WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Open Friday / Weekend Forum

So which stories / topics / issues have captured your attention as we reflect on the week?

Efforts to abolish capital punishment in Delaware stalled in a House Committee. State Representative Melanie George Smith (D-Bear) said the legislation lacked sufficient support to pass at this time.

Fisker Automotive officials were grilled on Capitol Hill Wednesday. G.O.P. lawmakers insisted Fisker should never have gotten a Federal loan in the first place, and once the Feds extended the loan, they should have moved more quickly to cut off money transfers to the manufacturer as it started to miss deadlines established in the loan agreement.

The Colonial school district in New Castle County prepared to lay-off teachers and staff if a June 4th property-tax referendum goes down in flames. Even if voters were to approve the pared-down referendum in this second round, the district would STILL have to lay off some teachers.

It pays to be a charter school, even a failed one: The state of Delaware agreed to send $350,000 to Pencader Charter School to keep it going through the end of the current academic year. So students will be able to finish out the year and teachers will get paid.

The murder trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell came to a rather unusual unexpected end when Gosnell's attorney rested his case without calling a single witness. Apparently, defense attorney Jack McMahon believes the case against his client has already been undermined.

The split within the national Republican Party played out again this week: Republican House leaders had to yank legislation to assist Americans with pre-existing health conditions gain access to insurance coverage because of insufficient support from rank-and-file Republicans.

A Republican state senator in Tennessee - Stacy Campfield - was criticized for insensitivity to the Boston Marathon bombing victims after he posted a picture of a pressure cooker to mock backers of gun control. During an interview with ABC News.com, Campfield rejected claims that the joke was tasteless: "I think it is tasteless when Obama will drag everybody he can up to Capitol Hill and try to pass gun control."

New York City officials announced the reputed Boston Marathon bombers hatched a spontaneous plan - to set off their remaining explosives in New York City's Times Square.

The 26-year-old Chinese entrepreneur who was hijacked by the Marathon bomber suspects has spoken about his harrowing ordeal. Some of the conversation reportedly dealt with such topics as girls, the amount of the payments for the entrepreneur's Mercedes ML 350, the iPhone5, and whether anyone still listens to CDs.

A mere eight days before the Boston Marathon bombings, New Jersey authorities arrested a 27-year-old, Ukrainian, Rutgers University student - Mykyta Panasenko - aboard a New Jersey Transit train for carrying two improvised explosive devices.

The U.S. Senate approved a deal late Thursday to ease Sequester-mandated aviation cuts following negotiations between both political parties and the White House. Call it a piecemeal fix to the budget cuts imposed by the Sequester. Some Dems noted the members of Congress were quick to fix the aviation cuts, but have dragged their feet on addressing cuts to domestic programs. Said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.): "I doubt the most disadvantaged citizens are flying on commercial aircraft." The senator labeled such quick fixes, "Sequester budget Whac-A-Mole".

CISPA - the controversial, cyber-security legislation, which cleared the U.S. House of Representatives last week - appears to be dead (for now) in the U.S. Senate.

You can hear my interview with John Nichols, veteran Political Writer for The NATION & The PROGRESSIVE, about how CISPA raised concerns from the libertarian Right and the Left...

Audio Here

The formal dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential complex on the campus of Southern Methodist University - with President Obama and all the living ex-Presidents attending - prompted new reviews of the George W. Bush Presidency.

While in Texas, President Obama traveled to Waco to speak at a Memorial Service for the victims of last week's deadly fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas. ATF agents are still on the scene of that explosion. One thing's clear: That Texas fertilizer company didn't heed disclosure regulations before the explosion.

Cuban President Raul Castro's daughter - Mariela Castro - will NOT be allowed to travel from New York to Philadelphia to address LGBT supporters (and receive their award) during the Equality Forum's Global LGBT Summit May 4th. Mariela Castro - who heads Cuba's National Center for Sex Education, and who has publicly defended gay/lesbian rights and same sex marriage - did receive a U.S. visa to attend functions at the United Nations in Manhattan. But, she'll be confined to a 25-mile radius of Columbus Circle in Manhattan -- like all Cuban diplomats. Similarly, the Castro government in Havana confines U.S. diplomats to the province of Havana -- no travel outside without the express permission of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

As much as ex-New York Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner tries to put his sexting scandal behind him, he can't. The potential New York City mayoral candidate conceded more women might step forward to say he had sent them lewd texts and photos.

More U.S. students appear to be looking north of the international border to pursue a higher education at lower prices. According to the Institute for College Access & Success, the number of U.S. students attending Canadian colleges & universities has risen 50%. About 10-thousand U.S. students are enrolled at Canadian institutions. Compared to U.S. institutions of higher learning, Canadian universities still enjoy massive governmental support.

The impoverished South Asian nation of Bangladesh (the former East Pakistan) mourned the latest factory disaster: The collapse of the eight-storey Rana Plaza building, which housed five apparel factories supplying some of the most famous clothing-brand names. At least 350 dead. The price of inexpensive clothes on the shelves of U.S. & European retail stores.

You can hear my interview with Mark Magnier, Indian Subcontinental correspondent for The Los ANGELES TIMES & TRIBUNE newspapers about whether this disaster in Bangladesh might trigger any real reforms...

Audio Here

The Obama Administration informed Congress that Syria's government may have used chemical agents, such as Sarin, in rebellious towns. The Obama Administration further said "no option is off the table" should the evidence mount against the Assad regime. Still, in the aftermath of past U.S. military interventions and evidence of Islamists among the ranks of the anti-Assad rebels, the administration seemed to have little stomach for intervening in Syria at this time.

The hacking of that Associated Press Twitter account (not to mention the Twitter accounts for the CBS News magazine shows, "60 Minutes" and "48 Hours") Tuesday exposed media vulnerability. Traditional media have become more dependent on new social media, both for reporting and sending out content. But this incident demonstrated, in dramatic fashion, the downsides. Hackers disseminated a phony tweet on the A.P. feed that the White House had been bombed, triggering a temporary 200-Billion-dollar drop on Wall Street. An organization called the Syrian Electronic Army (aligned with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad) claimed to be behind the cyber attack. Associated Press reporter Mike Baker informed his Twitter followers that he had been a victim of Phishing.

For NBC's Tom Brokaw, Lindsay Lohan was the last straw. Brokaw has publicly criticized the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner.

As POLITICO reports: "Last year, Brokaw became one of the biggest critics of the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner after he saw Washington buzzing around and about the troubled Hollywood actress, who was a guest of FOX News's Greta Van Susteren. 'The breaking point for me was Lindsay Lohan', Brokaw told POLITICO during a recent interview in his office in the NBC News Rockefeller Plaza headquarters in New York. 'She became a big star at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Give me a break'."

Posted at 9:22am on April 26, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Fri, Apr 26, 2013 9:44am
What is it with Brokaw? He married a Miss America contestant (Miss South Dakota) but seems to have recurring issues with hot starlets. This time, Lindsay Lohan. When he was hosting the "Today" Show, he had a famous go-to with Dallas star Charlene Tilton. He later claimed that after he had to interview her, he decided he should quit the Today Show. What a pretentious fop. A pretty boy who has spent his adult life reading off TelePrompTers who imagines himself a "serious journalist." I bet he wouldn't be caught reading the Daily Mail either.

Fri, Apr 26, 2013 9:47am
The dedication of the Bush library gives us an opportunity to reflect back and consider the legacy of George W. Bush.

There are so many words we could use, but war criminal, terrorist, murderer, and dictator are just a few which immediately spring to mind. He will forever be remembered as the president who started a war for no reason, and left thousands of our servicemen and women without limbs, without the ability to speak, and paralyzed. Many other veterans have PTSD and are committing suicide.

In interviews over the past few days, Bush has no remorse for the genocide he committed and remains oblivious to the thousands of lives that he destroyed.

That's the Bush legacy.

Fri, Apr 26, 2013 10:15am
Curious, the US media seem to be in rush to say how Bush is making a comeback in public approval. (They did the same with Tricky Dick.) Meanwhile, the CBC says the US public still mostly disapproves of him. We all know the how the US MSM have a history of dishing out false information,

Allan Loudell
Fri, Apr 26, 2013 10:24am
The media accounts I've seen have noted an uptick in his polling BUT that a majority of Americans STILL view him negatively.

Fri, Apr 26, 2013 10:24am
One: Tom's comment on Lindsey is dead on. In fact, it portrays a society a bit out-of-touch with reality. I had a startling revelation yesterday. For most of my lifetime, I have wondered why the Great Powers allowed themselves to be drafted into WWI... Anyone reading their history, knows that each of the powers realized it was not in any of their interest to go to war, and fought against the tide taking them there, but, for some odd reason, ... reason never did prevail. It was as if everyone was on some type of hallucinogen when it came time to decide how next to proceed, whether or not to go to war, and all parties sort of resigned that even though they could refuse to participate and shut-down the whole thing, everything was sort of drifting that way so they might as well too... Oddly like being 20 miles up the Niagara River from the falls, and refusing to paddle to shore....

I see the same trends today. Ridiculous notions like sequester which so easily could have been avoided. Except for the fact the Tea party would not budge. Ridiculous notions like in reporting the Boston bombing, when the news wasn't coming in fast enough, the networks made it up. Ridiculous notions, that since Lindsey is in the news right now, let's invite her to the White House Correspondents dinner....

I see and feel many of today's people are right there in spirit with those of the last century. It's as if their consciousness and the functions of true reality are disconnected.

My theory which was formalized yesterday, is that since it has occurred almost 100 years apart, it is related to the change of century. That moment when we change the first two numbers of the ear every hundred years apart. Things that happened only 15 years ago, are deemed as from a different century. The lessons learned back then, the standard feeling is, certainly won't apply today. We, the tenants of this New Century, have a greater grasp of knowledge and know far better about everything than any of our predecessors. For we have technology. Therefore, our actions, even if we choose to pursue what those in the past have done, will not yield the same results ... 2+2+2 can equal anything we want in this new century....

100 years ago we were just pulling ourselves into the mechanized age. It was a marvelous time! For the first time, man could fly. For the first time, one could travel without horses across town, across state, or across country... For the first time, one could speak to someone on the other side of town, state, or country.

They too had the same hope and belief that things were going to be different. The wars of Europe just couldn't happen anymore. Europe was now civilized and cultured. Perhaps it might be cute if they'd pretend to skirmish and when tired of the effort, then settle peacefully in the end. It would be sporting in fact, to test in combat all the new weapons each nation had acquired in its arsenals but not yet used.

War... that was so 19th Century... Yet by 1920, just 7 years later from 1913, an entire generation of European men, was just gone. Wiped out. All dead or horribly wounded, leaving a big hole between the dying populations of the old and infirm, and the very young and newly upcoming generation too young to fight in this war, but raring to avenge and give it try when it was to be their turn.

Are we as a society there, in that lost world where wishes take precedence over what facts dictate will be? Are we yet in the same frame of mind? Is North Korea our hot-headed Balkans of the last century, where one raging bullet eventually kills 10 million men? Where the crazier the idea;the more it's appeal, prevails?

I would offer that if we are inviting Lindsey Lohan to the White House Correspondents' Dinner, that yes... we are very likely also in that similar frame-of-mind right now... That, as a society, we are titillated by the "crazy", and actually bored with the "real"

And it is because of the Century mark, I tell you. Even I feel old now bringing up facts her on these threads from that far back... my goodness, it was only 13 years ago? That would have been 1931 from the end of WWI. That would have been 1958 from the end of WWII.. That was 1987 from the end of Vietnam. If you lived any during those times, you all know that the ghosts of 13 years before, played very heavily in the decision-making going on in those days.

Yet, everything that happened in a year beginning with the number "19", is "way old hat". Since History repeats itself, I am slowly sinking into a realization that we will soon find ourselves as being the most powerful nation on earth, in the similar boat that Britain found itself, when it began the last century.

I hope someone steps up this time like the boy in the Emperor-With-No-Clothes, and points out to all, that it just makes no sense....

Fri, Apr 26, 2013 10:41am
kavips: You might find this piece interesting....

Stumbling Into World War I, Like 'Sleepwalkers'

One hundred years ago, European statesmen emperors, prime ministers, diplomats, generals were in the process of stumbling, or as Christopher Clark would say, "sleepwalking," into a gigantic war. The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 is Clark's history of Europe in the years leading up to World War I a war that claimed 20 million lives, injured even more than that and destroyed three of the empires that fought it. Clark joins NPR's Robert Siegel to talk about the book.


Fri, Apr 26, 2013 10:47am
W. Bush remains unpopular even with people in his own Republican party. Notice that John McCain ran for president 2008 and tried to stay as far away as possible from a Bush endorsement? Mitt Romney ran in 2012, and made sure he wasn't associated in any way with Bush.

It's hard to like anyone who is a terrorist and war criminal.

Fri, Apr 26, 2013 12:09pm
Janet Napolitano admitted the Saudi National questioned after the Boston Marathon terrorist attack was already on a TERROR WATCH LIST and to be considered armed & dangerous...but the news still claims this poor kid was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Fri, Apr 26, 2013 12:52pm
Interestingly, the best accolades of Bush came from Jimmy Carter, who touted Bush's aid to Africa. I remember from the past, assorted accolades from that time period coming out of that continent praising Bush for his leadership on that front, both with giving aid, and fighting AIDS.

Obama has continued support for Africa but Bush was entirely responsible for getting the first initial large amounts ever coming from the United States pushed through. Clinton admitted that no other president could have gotten that through Congress, considering the political climate at the time... Republicans would have said "NO" to any Democrat's request to help the people of Africa.

The Bush Library is very different, I learned, from Clinton's address. Instead of bragging on the president as has been the tradition of presidential libraries of the past, this library simply outlines the facts presented in a timeline order as you learned of them, then asks you what you would have done if you were president. That actually sounds fun.

And despite teatime's harsh criticism, I don't think History will call him out as a terrorist and war criminal.... any more than I've ever heard of Kaiser Wilhelm called those names for his similar effort. As a head of state, one does what one feels is in the best interest of one's nation. Period. And yes, sometimes you get it wrong. But that doesn't make you a criminal. Wayne LaPierre is far more of a criminal or terrorist than George W. Bush if one wants to stretch the envelope way out there, because every four months, Wayne LaPierre's policies have killed more Americans than the entire Iraq War.

Fri, Apr 26, 2013 12:56pm
I would also like to know why Eric Holder granted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (Suspect #2) his Miranda rights...just as this terrorist was actually giving the FBI details about everything he and his brother had done.
The information gleaned from this interview could not have been used against the surviving brother, but could be used to determine what happened and who else was involved.

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Apr 26, 2013 6:21pm
Kavips: interesting comments about WWI.

Billsmith: thanks for the NPR link, I only caught a part of it yesterday and wanted to remember to go find in on line at NPR.org, and of course forgot. Thanks !

Sat, Apr 27, 2013 12:39pm
MikeFromDelaware: You're welcome. The scary part is when the writer starts comparing the world before WW1 and the world now. Those who don't know history are bound to repeat it (Santayana), and WW1 is mostly forgotten.

Sat, Apr 27, 2013 1:03pm
President George W. Bush will ALWAYS be popular with me. He wasn't a perfect president, and certainly not a perfect person, as none of us are, but he's sure a whole lot better than the bunch of borderline communists we have in there now.

Sat, Apr 27, 2013 1:20pm
Following is an alternate take on the results of the 2012 election, mainly how it applies to the church. While I find this message to be a must hear for Christians, I don't want to shut out those who don't know the Lord yet. The speaker is Steve Fry, pastor of The Gate Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. Steve is known previously for his musical accomplishments, as he has written some of the most recognized praise & worship songs such as "We Are More Than Conquerors" and "Oh the Glory of your Presence" and two full-length musicals "We Are Called" and "Thy Kingdom Come".

The message is rather lengthy, but it's very timely in nature and should be passed on to as many as possible.


Sat, Apr 27, 2013 2:03pm
A preacher speaking on politics is in violation of the tax code. His church organization should lose its tax-exempt status. He, the members of his church and everyone who has donated to him and taken a deduction should be audited and required to pay back taxes plus penalties and interest. IRS agents should bust in during services and drag him off to jail. The man is a criminal and deserves to be treated like one. People who think their taxes are too high - and who doesn't? - should be outraged at these free-loading preachers who get away with not paying (and at their lavish life styles).

Sat, Apr 27, 2013 5:59pm
"about how CISPA raised concerns from the libertarian Right and the Left..."

I find it offensive how the main stream media keep insisting on lumping libertarians with "the right" - libertarians are more often in agreement on specific issues with progressives than with the religious right (attempting to legislate morality and enforce religious conformity), neo-cons (war mongers) and the Wall Street elite (who want legislation to reduce competition and taxes and increase their own profits).

The media also consistently misrepresent the views of libertarians and depict them essentially as anarchists.

Either the media don't do their homework, or they seek to advance the agenda of corporate owners and advertisers by discrediting libertarianism. Or both.

I will be surprised if AllanLoudell and rjensen reply to this.

Sat, Apr 27, 2013 8:37pm
Some of you who go to church and hate taxes may find this interesting.

The CBC did a story tonight on people in Germany resigning their church memberships to avoid paying the church tax. As a result, Germany churches are having to resort to taking collections and other US style fund-raising.
In Germany, churches get most of their funding from Germany's income tax. If you are a church member, an extra percentage added on to your income tax goes to your church. If you don't belong to any church you don't have to pay.

Reportedly, many protestant ministers sometimes cut non-members some slack. Catholic Bishops, however, have ordered that non-members don't get communion, confession or church burial. (Of course, US bishops says people who support legal gay marriage or legal abortion don't get those either but priests don't often enforce that.)

CBC interviewed former church members who say they still "sneak" into church but don't pay the tax.

Sorry, I wasn't able to find audio for this.

Meanwhile, Canada today celebrated the 200th anniversary of international aggression by the US. On this date in 1813, US troops invaded Canada and burned Toronto (then called York) to the ground. Prince Phillip was on hand to honor the regiment that defended the city against US invaders in "the Battle of York."

Mike from Delaware
Sat, Apr 27, 2013 11:32pm
That is definitely one thing we got right in America, a sort of free market religious system. No state sponsored church, no taxes to pay the salary of any pastor, priest, rabbi, etc. Each religious group, be they Christian or not, gets equal treatment, and the marketplace [that is where folks decide to worship and give their offerings] is the church, synagogue, mosque, temple, etc, that survives.

Sun, Apr 28, 2013 5:08am
MikeFromDelaware: Well, many people in Germany don't think the US "got it right." The CBC has comments from Germans who say US churches are too "consumer driven" - too oriented to fund raising. As I heard these comments in the piece, it seemed like US churches are not unlike PBS stations during pledge campaigns - prostituting themselves during fund raising periods.

What do preachers and waiters have in common? Both work for tips. Religious services are built around the collections. They build to the sermon and immediately after the sermon, they pass the plate. Preachers who don't fill the plates, get fired. More evidence that Christianity is a corrupted form of Judaism: Jews don't handle money on the Sabbath. So, no plate passing in synagogues.

And Germany DOES have a free market system. You pick your religion. Any religion. You pay your church tax. Your religious organization gets the money. The tax is voluntary. The tax authority just acts as a collection service. You don't want to support any religious group, you declare yourself a non-member. Which is what people are doing. Tipping the preacher after the sermon is what sounds like a sick system.

The previous post is another example of how people in this country twist their perceptions of the world to support the myth of "American exceptionalism." This is why the world hates the US.

Sun, Apr 28, 2013 5:29am
Today the Daily Mail has a story on how Creationists brainwash kids.

"Controversy over 4th grade 'science quiz' set by creationist school that rewards kids for saying 'false' when asked if dinosaurs existed... and instructs them to say 'were you there?' if anyone disagrees"

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2315625/Controversy-4th-grade-science-quiz-set-creationist-school-rewards-kids-saying-false-dinosaurs-existed--instructs-say-disagrees.html#ixzz2RkPJ1bsc

The school mentioned is in South Carolina (of course). The state that kept electing Strom Thurmond.

Here are some of the questions with the "correct" answers. This is presented as a "science quiz" given to fourth grades, based on a DVD distributed nationally.

1. The Earth is billions of years old. FALSE
2. Dinosaurs lived millions of years ago. FALSE
3. On what day did God make dinosaurs? SIXTH
4. Dinosaurs lived with people? TRUE*
12. What is the history book of the universe? THE BIBLE!
16. What caused there to be fossils? A FLOOD.
18. The next time someone says the Earth is billions of years old, what can you say? WERE YOU THERE?

* This is one is documented in Genesis and in The Flintstones.

The solution to this tripe is simple. No school or home schooling program that teaches this crap is accredited. Kids who go to these schools (or follow home schooling programs) are not eligible to attend recognized and accredited colleges.

Thanks, Abe. We had a chance to be rid of these people but you insisted on dragging them back into the Union, which is the cause of most of today's problems. We'd be better off without the Confederate states and all the redneck, fundamentalist bigots that live there.

Sun, Apr 28, 2013 11:19am
billsmith: Wrong. Only politically conservative preachers are in violation because it exposes the evils of the Democratic party, even though they may not say it that way.

Democrats typically campaign at black liberal churches and the IRS turns a blind eye. The double standard lives on.

Sun, Apr 28, 2013 11:20am
billsmith: Oh by the way, thanks for listening.

Sun, Apr 28, 2013 11:55am
mrpizza: I am not a believer in double standards. They are all in violation. Thanks for asking.

Mike from Delaware
Sun, Apr 28, 2013 9:31pm
Billsmith: How much church tax is Germany collecting, a tithe? Less, or more? Obviously the Bible teaches about the tithe, but do we want the government making that decision as to how much we put in the collection plate? I'm glad it works for the Germans, I prefer the freedom to go to a church, even if I don't want to become a member [you'd be surprised at how many people go to a church for years and never become a member of that church, yet they donate whatever they choose, some are tithers, they are active in those churches quite often, but for some reason just want seek out membership. But that's really between the person and God, the government has no business being in the middle of that, in my opinion. So you believe in the separation of church and state in all other matters, but this??

Mon, Apr 29, 2013 5:20am
MikeFromDelaware: From the CBC story, it seems the church tax amounts to an additional seven per cent on top of your income tax. In my first post, I found it interesting that people were opting out of church "membership" to avoid the tax. In the second, I was responding to you interpreting this as a lack of a free market and state sponsored religion. That's not the case in Germany, although many countries do have an "established" church. You seem automatically to assume that "the American way" is the best way, maybe the only right way. And when you do, I'm here to get you to think about that assumption.

Me: I think the churches should pay taxes (not collect them or be free of them). Funny, when St. Peter was dreaming about pork, he did not dream about not requiring people to give money to clergy. As I pointed out earlier, the tithe was intended to compensate the tribe of Levi for not getting any land. Churches are big (tax free) land owners - plus all the other enterprises owned by churches - so why should they get a tithe?

It does seem distasteful the way Christians pass the plate and pressure people to donate during what is supposed to be a spiritual experience. Jesus said to give in secret, but there's no way to do that when the plate (or basket) comes down the row. In the category of sleazy fund-raising, churches rank right down there with public broadcasting pledge campaigns. Protestants aren't quite as bad as Catholics with their lotteries (probably illegal) and drunken, rowdy church carnivals. Jews at least keep money out of their services (and send in checks, which give them a tax deduction record) but they do get sleazy, too, with stuff like making people pay for seats to high holy day services (like a ballgame or a Broadway show).

Speaking of pork: Maybe that's why so many preachers are fat - especially compared to rabbis and imams.


Allan Loudell
Mon, Apr 29, 2013 6:13am
Mr. Smith---

Yes, of course, you have libertarian strains on both Right and Left.

But - other than aversion to foreign military adventures and yes, their inclination to let people do their own thing - because of their deep aversion to Government, especially the Federal government, I would argue libertarians come out more identified with the Right than the Left, at least in America.

Hence Rand Paul and Ron Paul are Republicans, not Democrats.

Could you even imagine the Pauls becoming Democrats, or members of a true Leftist party? Can't imagine.

Try this: Would former U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich fit your definition of a libertarian of the Left? Fierce opposition to U.S. intervention in Iraq; the U.S. Patriot Act, and other post 9-11 attacks on civil liberties.

BUT... favored single-payer, national health-care. Favored constraints on guns.

Obviously, such national health-care and any gun control are anathema to most libertarians, certainly libertarians of the Right...

(By the way, based on what you've posted, I'd assume you'd be somewhat similar, philosophically, to Kucinich... especially after Kucinich switched positions on abortion.)

Allan Loudell

Mon, Apr 29, 2013 6:25am
Interesting that we'd be discussing a church tax and a gratuity tax on the same weekend. In one regard, I believe it was BillSmith who argued for gratuities to be assessed or included in the price of the meal, and on the other, I believe, he argues against a church taxing its constituents through a federal government....

There was a study done in Ottawa on the effect of gratuity and service. As some of you may know, in Ontario, the gratuity is automatically assessed in every bill and must be paid.. In Quebec, the servers "only" worked for the gratuity, they were paid nothing by their cheap French proprietors. A standard form rating service on scales of one to ten was provided to about 30 guests who without knowing the nature of the study, were sent to establishments on both sides of the Ottawa River. The ratings in Ontario, averaged in the 30's... The ratings in Quebec, ranged in the 90's. With hindsight, it is almost common sense that if you feel you are entitled to money coming in, you don't try as hard as if you thought the amount of reward, would depend on one's effort....

That can extrapolate to religions as well. If the money is tithed and coming in because it is forced by the state and those not complying will go to jail, there is less effort on the part of the church to excel. However a church that actively recruits, is in neighborhoods helping anyway it can, is hustling in raising money so it can send all over the world, that church is probably going to do more good in this world than a church that responds with... "Sorry, can't help you right now. Can you call us back after Friday? That's when we have our check coming in.."

Just my two cents on this topic.

Mon, Apr 29, 2013 6:46am
.... and I would argue that Libertarianism is a non political trait. Something like blue eyes or blond hair, that we inherit in our genes. Just how much authority are we willing to tolerate...

With that in mind, I would further argue that because of that ubiquitousness of that trait, that Libertarianism is one factor which can be used to get cooperation from both parties to work together on issues...

For example, health care. Some use libertarian arguments to decry the government being even involved in health care. However I would argue it is the same gene that makes one for commons sense governmental health care, since the enemy destroying health care in this country, is its corporatizing, and evolution into becoming the business of "how much money can we steal from the money the Federal Government is borrowing", instead of how much can we help patients get well. The Libertarian gene is the one rebelling against the authority insurance companies have over whether we get care or not.

I walked by a patient on the phone last week, who had showed up for her regular long-termed planned appointment and from what I overheard, was on the phone because her insurance company was refusing to pay for the visit. I over heard her say they'd always paid for it before and she couldn't understand the freeze currently , so I'm sure this was just a case of "don't pay any claims until the month ends. We need our super dooper profit this month." She was walking out to the car with her two kids in tow, as I pulled out the parking lot.

it would make anyone's anti-authority gene run red with seeking revenge. In fact, it is amazing that there are even people out there who would say" ok. la. la. la. we will roll over and play dead and not even try to make our children well because there is nothing we can do because we are powerless and must accept the will of those more powerful and do their every bidding." In common-speak, we call those minions Republicans.

Mike from Delaware
Mon, Apr 29, 2013 8:21am
Kavips said: "That can extrapolate to religions as well. If the money is tithed and coming in because it is forced by the state and those not complying will go to jail, there is less effort on the part of the church to excel. However a church that actively recruits, is in neighborhoods helping anyway it can, is hustling in raising money so it can send all over the world, that church is probably going to do more good in this world than a church that responds with... "Sorry, can't help you right now. Can you call us back after Friday? That's when we have our check coming in.."

Kavips: Well said.

Mon, Apr 29, 2013 8:41am
Allan Loudell: You seem to see political thought as a uni-dimensional continuum running from "right" to "left."

I guess that makes everything simple for you media types but it is a flawed way of looking at the process. In your model, everyone on the "left" agrees with everyone else on the "left." If they don't agree on everything, then they must be closer to the "center" since they have agreed with the "right" on something. And the same applies to people on the "right."

This simplistic model has the one advantage of allowing media types to treat politics as a sport with two teams playing each other. But it is totally unreliable in explaining the actions of people in politics, in understanding their views or predicting their behavior. No political scientist or political philosopher looks at politics in this way. Like teachers who spent their time in education courses and know little or nothing about the subjects they are supposed to teach, media types spent all their time in media arts and crafts courses and know little or nothing about history, the social sciences and other disciplines dealing with areas the media "cover."

For all your professed interest in politics, you should have studied political science and political sociology in college. One more reason why the so-called "right" and the so-called "left" are united in their contempt for the media.

It also explains why media types fail to "get" libertarianism, or any other political philosophy.

Allan Loudell
Mon, Apr 29, 2013 8:52am
Mr Smith---

Actually, I don't, and my personal constellation of political beliefs is an illustration of that. My personal belief system doesn't at all fit the continuum you describe (Which is one of the paramount reasons I don't vote for national offices, Governor, etc.)

And I see vast differences among people WITHIN the Right and the Left, as typically defined in media. I partially agree with your caricature of mainstream media, except I believe print media do a much better job of showing the nuances than TV media can or do. Then, it is much like sports teams, as you say.

...Which is why I spend much more time with print media and on line than I do watching any of the cable news networks.

However I'm still waiting for you to comment on my observations about Kucinich, or whether you could identify ANY well-known politician left-of-center on that admitted one-dimensional continuum who would fit the definition of "libertarian", or even agree to being considered one. Perhaps one could if that politician were described as very "pro-civil liberties". But in American politics, that's not the same as "libertarian".

Allan Loudell

Mon, Apr 29, 2013 8:55am
kavips: No one is forced to pay the church tax. If you join a church, they collect it. If you don't join or if you drop your membership, they don't collect it. If anything, it's like that check this box to contribute to the presidential campaign fund on US tax returns. Most people don't check it.

In countries with established churches, few people go to church or consider church very important. Apparently, give preachers some money and they'll shut up. That is the best argument I can see for establishment of religion. Establishment makes religion irrelevant to people.

MikeFromDelaware: When somebody posts something you agree with, you say "well said." I guess people who have different opinions from you don't say things well.

kavips: There have been studies showing that conservatives - political and religious - rate on the F-scale, designed to measure "authoritarian personality."
"A personality pattern reflecting a desire for security, order, power, and status, with a desire for structured lines of authority, a conventional set of values or outlook, a demand for unquestioning obedience, and a tendency to be hostile toward or use as scapegoats individuals of minority or nontraditional groups."

The "F" stands for fascist and scale was developed after World War II when social scientists sought to understand the kind of people who supported Hitler.

Mike from Delaware
Mon, Apr 29, 2013 10:17am
Billsmith: When I say well said, I'm simply saying [sort of shorthand for] I agree with the statement, I'm not rating or commenting on whether or not the grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc, is done well. Simply I agree with the point being made.

You and I don't agree on a lot of things so even though your posts are well thought out, and well written, I don't say well said, even though you present your points quite well, I just don't agree with your point of view.

Mon, Apr 29, 2013 10:32am
MikeFromDelaware: Well said. ;)

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