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what a lot of people object to is how someone with so little understanding of how employment contracts and benefits programs *actually* work getting so upset over the monsters their feverish imaginations have created and then criticizing those who actually know better for taking stands based on knowledge rather than imagination. if you think that all of the benefits your employer provides are coming from the deductions they subtract from your pay, then you clearly have no idea how expensive these benefits really are. frankly, if they *were* paid entirely by those deductions, then: A) why would any employee complain about the benefit levels provided, since they could simply buy greater benefits on there own, since it would be all their money anyway? B) why would anyone leave one company and go to another because they "got better benefits"? and C) why would any company choose to cut benefits since they are supposedly only spending their employees' deductions anyway? these questions answer themselves. employee deductions do NOT pay the cost of employee benefits, but merely force them to put some "skin in the game" with regard to the benefit levels they demand. on the other hand, benefits DO in fact come out of the employers' bottom line just as salaries and wages do, which means that your actual "pay" is the total of your salary/wages and your benefits (not merely your deductions), so demanding more benefits merely suppresses salaries/wages. if you could get ZERO benefits in exchange for cash, you would be astonished at how high your true annual "pay" really is. ask an HR person sometime what the *real* cost of benefits are. based on how you've described what you think they are here, i'm guessing it will knock your socks off. the employer, by the way, would be more than happy to cancel all your benefits and just pay you the difference (your deductions PLUS their additional cost), but the government that all you whiners have voted for makes it illegal for them to offer zero benefits to their full-time employees. the proof, by the way, is in the pudding: employers hire contractors at higher rates than employees all the time -- because they don't have to pay contractors' any benefits. that pay differential, in case you've missed the point, is a lot more than just your payroll deductions (and, of course, the other half of your SS tax). Hobby Lobby (et al) are in the truest sense possible paying the greater part of their employees' insurance.
In response to:

There Is A Good Case For Reparations

cordeg Wrote: Jun 01, 2014 8:24 PM
Exactly. I've been arguing this position for years. Reparations should be paid by the Democratic National Committee -- and let's start this election season, why not? It'll save Americans from having to listen to so many inane, BS campaign commercials if they are forced to put the money they raise from their supporters to good use MAKING UP FOR the grievous harm their supporters have done in the past. It is only logical that the government at large should NOT have to pay reparations because it was not ALL factions of government that caused the harm -- of all the parties involved in promulgating and sustaining slavery during the era of slavery, ONLY the Democratic Party survives. Making the WHOLE government pay means -- how silly would this be? -- making African Americans pay taxes to pay for their OWN reparations! Also, it is only logical that Republicans NOT have to pay reparations, because the Republican Party fought against slavery from its very inception -- ending slavery was precisely the cause of the creation of the party in 1854 -- and the members of the Republican Party gave their time, money, and even sacrificed their livelihoods and even their very lives (no, not just in the actual war, but in the political and social battles before, during, and even after the war and right on through to the modern civil rights era, when some Democrats finally joined the right side -- though not always the ones you read about in the newspapers) as they fought to defeat the Slave Power and gain the blessings of Liberty for all races. It would be downright cruel to now suggest that those who gave so much to overturn slavery should now be made to pay again for the crimes of the Slave Power that party had done so much to combat. In the end, the only logical defendant in the case for reparations is the Democratic Party, and since the Democratic National Committee is the proper representative of that party, the DNC should be forced to pay for what their party wrought.
In response to:

A Young College Grad Calls My Show

cordeg Wrote: May 27, 2014 8:10 PM
This comment betrays a seriously attenuated notion of morality. I know kids are taught to believe that all questioning of moral absolutes is a sign of "higher thinking" and sophistication, but the irony is that a majority of such equivocation is actually an indication of over-simplified thinking. It is simplistic to say war is immoral. This is recognizable the moment one asks, "Why is war immoral?" That is, is it the activity or the intent? War to subjugate is plainly immoral. War to liberate is just as plainly not so. To argue otherwise is akin to arguing that driving 80 MPH is immoral. Through a residential neighborhood? Absolutely. A casual disregard for the lives of everyone who lives there. But on a highway across the plains of the mid-west? No "moral" issue whatsoever. When America chose to go to war against Hitler, there was nothing immoral in that decision. When it firebombed Dresden to -- in FDR's own words -- "terrorize" the German citizen, that was an immoral act within an otherwise moral war. To claim that both the engaging in war and the decision to fire-bomb represent two examples of immorality is to possess a simplistic understanding of morality. The world and morality are apparently a lot more complex than the average "complex thinker" seems to think. In fact, it turns out that the people who think there EXISTS an absolute right and wrong and who seek to figure out what they are in various contexts are thinking MORE, not less, critically than those "sophisticates" who think that moral relativism is a sign of higher thought rather than a simplistic view. Granted, the problem with recognizing that moral absolutes EXIST is that it obliges one to conclude what does and does not qualify for "good" and "evil" -- AND ITS DARN EASY TO SCREW THAT UP. :-) That is to say, the person who says that moral absolutes exist does not necessarily understand enough to conclude what is "right" and what is "wrong". This is what leads otherwise rational human beings to reject the notion that such absolutes exist in the first place, since they -- simplistically, again -- jump to the conclusion that the fact that one can discern badly between the two polarities necessarily means that there are no poles to discern.
"Wait! You mean I actually WON the 2012 election? I didn't get to read the newspaper at all that week. Wow! No one ever tells me anything." -- Barak Obama, US President (at least that's the scuttlebutt)
In response to:

Poll Finds Wide Support for Voter ID Laws

cordeg Wrote: May 19, 2014 8:03 PM
It demonstrates both the bankrupt nature of the Liberal position on this subject as well as the cluelessness of the Liberal elite that erstwhile "news" anchor Tom Brokaw used his "American Stories" radio spot the other day to highlight a "proposal" by one-time civil rights hero Andrew Young to "compromise" on Voter ID laws by having the government pay to provide all Americans with a Picture version of the ubiquitous Social Security card -- supposedly eliminating the problem he imagines most Liberals have with the Republican push for picture voter IDs -- that they are "really" meant to block African Americans and Hispanics from voting because they are more likely not to be able to afford to get the ID. apparently unknown to the brilliant Liberal thinker Brokaw, several previous Republican proposals for Voter IDs in various states have INCLUDED provisions to provide them for FREE to those who were on ANY type of government program for low-income people -- solving the very same problem -- and Democrats STILL voted against these proposals and continued to demagogue them as "tantamount to literacy tests and other forms of voter suppression". Poor Tom. Poor Andrew. They don't even know the position of their OWN Liberal comrades.
No, no, Eleanor is quite right. And JFK wasn't assassinated by a gunman -- "lone" or otherwise -- he died from bumping his head into a bullet. Just a freak accident!
I would just like to point out how this episode defines a substantive difference between Republicans/Conservatives and Democrats/Liberals: I think it is safe to say that no matter how you personally feel about Sarah Palin, she is considered by the other side to be pretty "far out there" (they use a lot dicier language), and yet listen to how she puts her comment regarding the desire for a "pro-choice" Liberal Democrat to be discouraged from her present position to come over to our side: that is, she hopes that the wonder of becoming a grand-parent will make Hillary think more seriously about human life for a moment and perhaps see the error of her ways. Meanwhile, when Liberals/Democrats -- even those considered fairly mainstream rather than "far out there" -- describe what they'd like to have happen to perhaps cause Republicans/Conservatives to re-think their "pro-life" position and perhaps come over to their side, they express it as a desire that one of our children be born with two heads, or other horrible malformation, or have the lives of our wives (or selves for the female R/Cs) put in jeopardy by a problem pregnancy to convince us we are wrong in our position (although the latter case always seems to me to demonstrate that the "pro-choice" crowd doesn't understand the "pro-life" position at all, given that self-defense is a long-standing perfectly reasonable cause for the taking of another life in any case). So, even the so-called "wing nuts" on our side wish others to come to our side as a result of something wonderful happening in their lives, while even the supposedly mainstream members of their side wish us to come to their side as a result of some horrible devastating event occurring to us. Interesting, no? I've always said -- and they are forever vindicating my judgment on this -- Liberals/Democrats really love humanity in the abstract -- its actual people they hate.
In response to:

Noam Chomsky: Palin Was Right About Obama

cordeg Wrote: Apr 07, 2014 7:28 PM
Uh...yeah, I see. You're probably one of those people who think GWB and Cheney were "neo-cons" -- a clear demonstration of a failure to understand the plain meaning of words. Like "genocide", say. The killing fields were clearly the mark of "genocide" -- about one-quarter of the total population of Kampuchea (nee Cambodia) ALL killed by KR to consolidate the power of the Communist regime over the country. The war in Iraq was, well, a war, and not for nothing is it said that "war is hell". But, you can't exactly have two sides fighting and call all the deaths caused by one side the result of "genocide" by the other side. That's inane. It is also a bit foolish to shout "genocide" over any of the deaths inflicted on that side which spent the previous several years shooting at us and violating the treaty by which it obtained the end of the last war it brought upon itself by invading Kuwait. Furthermore, if there is one thing several years of half-way measures in Iraq proved, it was that neither GWB nor Cheney had any designs on imposing US rule in Iraq -- or even an Iraqi-led "puppet" regime. Quite the opposite: we put up with leaders and legislators who openly poked their fingers in our eyes. It may well be hard for you and your pals to accept that US policy consisted of virtually nothing more than overthrowing a thuggish regime that even the Clinton administration said it was US policy to oust (he just never did anything about it, since he had enough military involvement in Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo, where, one presumes, he didn't engage in "genocide" either), and enabling 25 million Iraqis to enjoy the kind of Liberty that allows citizens to criticize their government even when those criticisms are based on vacuous notions -- you know, the kind of liberty you think you deserve, but think "even one life" is too dear a cost for others to obtain. Well, despite years of braying by the likes of Chomsky and your illustrious self, ALL the empirical evidence supports the plain fact that the US administration you clearly love to hate had nothing more up its sleeve with regard to Iraq. They didn't take its oil (no "blood for oil") and they didn't impose their own government (no "American hegemony"). You must be so disappointed. I salute the independent thinking behind your anti-administration thoughts, but just objecting to those (once) in power, doesn't qualify as "speaking truth to power" -- that requires truth, not just a loud mouth.
Raising the federal "minimum wage" is a method of income redistribution -- from one group of low-income workers (the ones the raise puts out of work) to another group of low-income workers (the ones who remain employed at these entry level jobs). This is typical Democratic Party policy: throw a bone to one group of Americans while ignoring the damage being done to those who pay for the meager benefits the party's policies promise. They are always the first to say that -- for example -- deploying a missile in Poland is "stealing food from the mouths of children" by comparing the cost of one program to the other, but no one ever puts their feet to the fire to explain why they are themselves willing to "steal food from the mouths of children" to, say, support public broadcasting or any of the other Liberal favorites that divert priorities from the poor and the hungry. The reality is that the REAL minimum wage is $0.00, not $7.25, and what Democrats want to do now is give 900,000 Americans a marginal raise of a few thousand dollars at the expense of 500,000 other Americans who will lose their ENTIRE annual incomes. WHO WILL SPEAK FOR THEM? NOT "Liberals" and NOT "Progressives" -- who consider those Americans their policies will devastate to be simply "collateral damage"..
So, we have perhaps 2M people who "gained" heath insurance by signing up for Medicaid under rules that would have allowed them to sign up for it before ObamaCare. Hey, I guess "Happy Days are Here Again". But, there is yet another number I want to know: what is the number of kids who are being counted as having "gained" health insurance under ObamaCare, but are actually just under 26 and covered on their parent's plan, and who prior to the dismal Obama "recovery" might well have had their own employer-provided coverage because the unemployment rate among those in this age group would have been significantly lower? And what does that number become once you add to it the number of unemployed adults who may have "gained" insurance under ObamaCare but who actually ended up in the exchanges only because they lost their employer-provided coverage after they remained unemployed for an historically-long period in the Obama "recovery" and their Cobra coverage ran out? In other words, how many Americans have had to rely on ObamaCare simply because they were victims of Obama's other policies? With each passing day, I get the feeling that the current administration's strategy is to first create a crisis and then create a "progressive" program to mitigate the effects of that crisis -- and then claim that working-class Americans would be in trouble if it weren't for their "solution".
Solar panels on homes -- like electric cars -- are CURRENTLY the toys of the affluent. While the Ed Begley, Jrs and Tim Robbinses of America are constantly admonishing the rest of us to "go alternative energy", the fact is that the cost/benefit ratio dictates that most Americans simply can't afford these alternatives. BUT, if wealthy people want to dabble in personal energy plants and electric vehicles, more power to them -- just don't try to tell the rest of us we don't care about the environment because we can't afford the same. after all, if money was really no object, then they should be able to not only counteract their entire environmental footprint, but also those of 300 Million other Americans by simply paying to sequester all the CO2 the country produces, etc. Should we be allowed to assume that they do NOT do this because they "don't care", or are we the only one's expected to be adult enough to recognize that they simply couldn't afford to do that much? Yeah, I thought so.
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