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MurphTheSurf3 On July - 5 - 2014


A three-judge DC Circuit Court of Appeals panel is about to rule in Halbig v. Burwell. The case, using unclear legislative language, is challenging the existence of federal insurance subsidies which generally put the “affordable” in the Affordable Care Act.

Two of the judges, both Republican appointees, expressed varying degrees of sympathy for the challengers’ case during the open court hearing.

The ACA was left mostly unharmed by the Supreme Court’s ruling against its universal contraception mandate if the majority’s statement that the ruling is very narrow applying only to a very specific subset of businesses does, in fact, come to pass.

At issue is whether the statute permits the federal exchange (which serves residents of 34 states which opted not to build their own) to dole out premium tax credits. The challengers seized on an ambiguity in the language of the statute which says the subsidies are to be provided by “an Exchange established by the State.” The Federal exchanges are not, by definition, state exchanges.

“The administration’s loss in the Hobby Lobby case is a bitter pill to swallow, but it is not a lethal threat to Obamacare. For critics of the law, Halbig is everything that Hobby Lobby is not. Where Hobby Lobby exempts only closely held corporations from a portion of the ACA rules, Halbig could allow an mass exodus from the program. And like all insurance programs, it only works if large numbers are insured so that the risks are widely spread. Halbig could leave Obamacare on life support — and lead to another showdown in the Supreme Court.” writes George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley.


The good news is that the Obama Administration would petition for an en-banc ruling in which the entire D.C. circuit would review the case and vote on it. There are 11 judges: 7 Democratic appointees; 4 Republican appointees.

The bad news is that the conservative think tank, The Cato Institute, crafted the legal argument that is the cornerstone of the case and is working on three other similar cases wherein language in the complex law is being used to undo it. And, there is no doubt that if the en-banc ruling were to go against the conservatives, they will appeal which means the Supreme Court could get yet another chance to scuttle ACA.


Written by MurphTheSurf3

Proud to be an Independent Progressive. I am a progressive- a one time Eisenhower Republican who is now a Democrat. I live in a very RED STATE and am a community activist with a very BLUE AGENDA. Historian, and "Gentleman Farmer."

216 Responses so far.

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  1. @SueInCa From your link

    Found: Libertarians’ “Lying To Liberals” Guide Book

    The title of your article says Guide Book, but when you read it you find that it’s about two articles published in Reason magazine in 1977. I have told you repeatedly that there is no such “book.” Not then and not now. Repeating something over and over doesn’t make it true. Classical manipulative technique.

    “a REASON article headlined “Marketing Libertarianism” written by Moshe Kroy, and published in the February 1977 issue.”

    “Anyway, just in case “Marketing Libertarianism” hadn’t got the rulebook out widely enough, REASON ran a second article later in 1977 headlined “How To Get Converts Left & Right: Political Cross-Dressing Is The Answer.”

    Two magazine articles from 1977. Can you not tell the difference between a headline calling something a book and it actually being one?

    It’s got all the right emotional push buttons, Ayn Rand and Koch Brothers in the header image. It’s laced with adjectives like “rancid” “lying” “tricks” “sheeple” “ploy” “con” “true believers” “Randroids” “snotty” “sociopaths” “marks” “front” “narcissist” “nihilism” “crap” “flak” “suckers” “slick” “tricksters” “imbecile” “cynical” “manipulative” “bullshit” “con-artist” “credulous ” “facile” “smug” “dystopia” “assholes” “hysteria” “lobby” “dupes” “gullible” “fecklessness” “fraud” “crime” “facile”

    Talk about emotional manipulation, yet somehow it’s a Libertarian thing to be manipulative. Give me a break.

    I went to the Reason link you put up and found the article just fine … Two pages and most of those filled with header and ads so about 1 page of actual text. Do you really think that no one is going to actually follow up on your links? Do you really think that one page is the same as a guidebook?

    @monicaangela If you already have and have read the book, then how did you know to get to it using the search text “Libertarian Handbook to Manipulate Liberals” which is a phrase that isn’t anywhere in the book. Even the word “Libertarian” isn’t in the online portions and it’s only in one place in the entire 517 pages. “Liberal” shows up in 15 places just in what’s online and 20 in the whole book.

    Were you the one who did the manipulation that linked that phrase to the book or were you taken in and hiding it? Those are the only two explanations I can think of that fit the facts. Especially after you said to Kes, “The book I posted is a book that these people use to learn the art of human manipulation.”

    Edited to add the link again:

    and it’s the first book to come up on google under that search phrase.

    But it’s not a book on how to use manipulation, it’s a book on how to recognize it and defend yourself from it. If you had actually read it, you would have known that. It’s written by a very liberal Brit who is described in Author’s notes: “He is active in European environmental politics and was the successful private complainant in the European Court of Justice in several cases of national breaches of European environmental law.”

    Coxall, Malcolm (2013-02-19). Human Manipulation -- A Handbook (Kindle Locations 9017-9018). Malcolm Coxall. Kindle Edition.

    What a hotbed of hidden Libertarianism there must be in the European environmental movement. It’s just amazing how well they hid their influence on this book. Praising examples of rioting and looting as an acceptable social response and denigrating the “capitalist aristocracy.”

  2. @kesmarn @SueInCa @monicaangela

    The three of you have been taken in by someone who tied your search phrase to a book that has no relation to what you think. So you don’t have to look it up again, here it is:

    or simply:

    It’s called Human Manipulation -- A Handbook, by Malcolm Coxall, edited by Gary Caswell originally published in 1985 with copyright renewed in 2013. It is a book on recognizing and protecting yourself from manipulation. It’s an interesting book and I’m about halfway through it.

    You guys really got taken in.

    • monicaangela says:

      You are missing the point entirely. The book is not an elementary school textbook used to debate how Libertarians manipulate Liberals, it is a book discussing human manipulation, if you have almost finished it you should recognize many of the methods the Libertarian Right uses to try to manipulate the population in this nation, Liberals, Conservatives, Socialist, and all others.

      Anyone can use these methods, but if you would just step back and look at what the supposed Libertarian Right movement in this nation under the auspices of people like Ayn Rand, The Koch Brothers, Ron and Rand Paul, etc., are doing, you would understand what the book is discussing and would be able to apply it to what your understanding of the Libertarian Right movement (because that is what you are, Libertarian Right, not just Libertarian) in this nation is all about.

      I’ve read the book, and believe me I see how those on the right, Libertarian, Republican, Conservative or whatever they wish to call themselves, are doing. They are using many of the manipulative practices that are being discussed in the book you are almost finished reading to destroy this nation as we know it. They want this to be a plutocratic corporatocracy. You can’t just read, you have to comprehend and apply. :)

  3. monicaangela says:

    The Libertarian movement is this country has become a bastardized version of what Libertarian-ism is supposed to be. I will allow Noam Chompsky to describe what Libertarian was and has become in this nation.

    So, as we can see, there are left leaning Libertarians, right leaning Libertarians, Socialist Leaning Libertarians, and confused Libertarians who have usurped Libertarian-ism and are picking and choosing the things they find in the Libertarian world platform and trying to apply them here in U.S. politics. This reminds me of how Right Wing Christian organizations manipulate religion in order to practice their predatory capitalism, nothing more.

    • kesmarn says:

      Monica, Chomsky put it in a nutshell (with emphasis on the “nut” part) when he referred to the Rand Paul (Ayn Rand/Koch Bros) current brand of libertarianism as “savagery.”

      The word “libertarian” might have had a more benign meaning in Europe at one time, but once Rand and the Kochs seized on it, it became the monstrosity that Chomsky says even most corporations would “never allow to happen. Because it would completely destroy the economy.”

      It seems to be a political stance that says that if you have a problem with mice, the solution is to burn the house down.

      Oh, and btw here’s a link to the “How to Sell Libertarianism” article that some were interested in:


      In that article is a further link to the guide for the “salesmen” selected to spread the faith: “Marketing Libertarianism,” by Moshe Kroy:

      Modern American libertarianism strikes me as less a political philosophy than a religion — or maybe more accurately — a cult.

      In a discussion elsewhere, I asked a group of a half dozen libertarians whom they planned to vote for in November. Just to see if they had any actual candidates in the pipeline. Not a single one of them could name one name. Not one.

      Even I was surprised. Their most common answer was “anyone but the incumbent.” Do they have any clue of what kind of psychos and nincompoops they could get elected with that plan? Just as an example, here in Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur — an experienced, brilliant and compassionate person — was a few years ago up against Rich (“Nazi Boy”) Iott. A complete knucklehead, who spent his weekends playing dressup with a lot of other fantasists (WWII re-enactments in which he played a Nazi) and who had not the faintest notion of what policies he supported in any area. The only thing he “knew” was that “guv’mint was bad.”

      What would the “vote out the incumbent” plan have gotten us there? Certainly not any improvement. Thank goodness, Kaptur crushed him in the election. Although they were very attention-grabbing — his supporters were extremely small in numbers. And I suspect are even smaller now.

      • monicaangela says:

        Thanks for the links Kesmarn !!! We are on the same page when it comes to this “Cult like version of Libertarian-ism.” The book I posted is a book that these people use to learn the art of human manipulation.

        I see we live in the same state. I am in Ohio’s 1st Congressional district, and unfortunately represented by Steve Chabot, hopefully we will soon be rid of him.

        I love Marcy Kaptur, and Rich Lott…how he even had the nerve to run against someone like Marcy is beyond me. I’m so glad she was re-elected. :)

        • kesmarn says:

          I didn’t know you were in Ohio, Monica! That’s great.

          Unfortunately I was gerrymandered out of Marcy’s district by those “lovely people” who were voted in in 2010. I miss her so much. Totally ethical and so hard-working. She’s done so much to try to help this area.

          And — yes — it’s a sign of Iott’s level of intelligence that he thought he was going to take that seat away from her. He lives in a total fantasy world. But then — he was born into money and has never had to work a day in his life. A perpetual child.

          Also from this area is the notorious “Joe the Plumber.” Don’t even get me started on him! 😆

          • monicaangela says:

            Yes, I am in Cincinnati, I take it you are in Toledo since you mentioned the infamous Joe the Plumber. :)

            • kesmarn says:

              Yes, in a ‘burb a bit away from Toledo, but close enough to be affected by the “malarkey” as Joe Biden calls it!

  4. @kesmarn I hope I’m doing this right :)

    Compendium of replies to the various replies to the various replies to …

    Maybe not as currently constituted, but I agree we still need something like the FBI and maybe CIA. Those are both legitimate and necessary governmental functions as part of defending us from outside harm and police power to find criminals. We also still need the Department of Defense by the same reasoning. The Department of State also serves a necessary national government function.

    I’ve said before that we have our own wacko far wing … the anarchists. I go after them wherever I meet them. The bottom line on anything that has anything to do with a government is that they are the organization that is authorized to use force, deadly force if needed, to back up their rules and rulings within a given geographical area. Competing groups using force are best described as gangs and thugs, not governments. Governments may be a necessary evil, but they are necessary for the continuation of any civilized society.

    I simply believe that we need to keep them as small as possible while serving those needs. I also believe that the ones that act at the farthest level from the people should be the most controlled and limited. There’s the old saying that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I add an addendum to it: Power attracts the corrupt and the corruptible. The smaller the group a government acts on and the less power they are allowed to wield, the more limited the damage corrupt people can do.

    That was the whole idea of the way our Constitution was set up. A government of few and limited powers and those powers split up so that they are controlling each other. The 17th Amendment knocked one of those out. The Senate was originally appointed by the State governments and they were supposed to represent the States as governments against a would be encroaching National government -- one more power group set against the others. Gridlock was intended to be central to the system. A national law had to get past the People’s House of Representatives, the State’s Senate, the Executive’s President and past the muster, if needed, of the Federal Judiciary. That’s a pretty high bar, or at least it used to be.

    One of my personal tests for any legislation I’m thinking about being behind is to ask myself: “If the worst person I can imagine got into control of this, would I still be ok with it?” Sooner or later, if not the absolute worst, but definitely someone I wouldn’t approve of will wind up in charge of or enforcing that legislation.

    Back to replies at point.

    You agreed with Sue’s “bait and switch” reference. Did you go to the link she gave and actually read it? It was a very badly slanted description of a 37 year old article.

    I did get myself to the middle class for a while. Not any more. As I think I said, if I could bring myself to accept it, I qualify for Section 8 housing and quite a few other government welfare programs. Fortunately I had disability insurance as part of my employment package when the car accident happened, especially since the guy who hit me had no insurance and was in the middle of filing for bankruptcy. That’s enough to cover my rent and utilities and a few other bills and I make and sell jewelry on eBay and tutor algebra online to cover (usually) the groceries. I just deleted a whole bunch of my background because I’m not looking for pity, a lot of people don’t believe it all happened to one person and I don’t really want the whole thing on the web for all time. If you’re interested I’ll email it to you. Even without it, what I’ve said above and elsewhere here should be sufficient to prove that I’m not some greedy rich bitch that’s never gone without a meal.

    I say it because I’m being accused of lying, of promoting issues while (secrecy being implied) working for the opposite, of being selfish and uncaring about the poor, of not understanding what those “on the bottom” go through and I’m tired of it.

    Is it embarrassing for an atheist or agnostic to ask for help from a church? It is a bit, but you know, not one of them ever asked me anything about my religion (or lack thereof). I’ve had to listen to a sermon over dinner on occasion, but if that’s their price for giving me a place to sleep indoors and a meal, I’ll give them their 10 or 15 minutes (not that it’s going to change anything). There are also many charities that aren’t church related, United Way being the biggest one. We had an umbrella organization called Seven Counties when I lived near Louisville that was totally secular. There are many others.

    I’m not sure what you’re referring to on standards being more of a problem with charity. It’s not like there’s just one charity like there’s just one government. If you get someone with a bad hair day in a government office you’ve got no where else to go. If it’s at a private charity, you just go to the next one. Kid’s nanny? I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone in any charity I’ve gone to over the years that would be in any position to worry about a nanny. The rich donate. They don’t sit out front or do the cooking. Or at least if they did anywhere I’ve been, they did a pretty good job of not looking it.

    Bait and switch? Have I ever dodged a question? I wasn’t even here to talk about politics. I got here via Zemanta looking for a post to link one of my posts on my blog to and it looked interesting. The biggest problem we have, as Libertarians, is that we can’t and don’t promise the moon to everyone. It takes time to explain WHY we believe what we do, to build up the background as to why what a lot of people think is good, in the long run really isn’t. It’s not easy and if a person isn’t willing to listen and give you even half a chance to explain, then you’re just spinning your wheels. Time to move on.

    There are a couple of people here that I think might be at least interested in listening, which is why I take the time, even in the face of open antagonism and personal insults, to try to give those reasons. Right now I just got an email that eBay is having a free listing week, so I won’t have as much time for a bit, but I still will be putting a couple of posts together. That will have to suffice.

    • kesmarn says:

      Diane, thanks for taking the time to respond at length. And it’s good to hear that at least you’re okay with keeping the FBI and the CIA. I know some folks who veer extremely close to the total anarchy end of the Libertarian spectrum, and I think we’d be in Somalia for sure if they get in the driver’s seat.

      How about the FDA and the public schools? Are those acceptable? OSHA?

      We already know that you’re not in favor of the minimum wage, Social Security or Medicare.

      It’s interesting that you (and by “you” I mean that I’m making a sort of extension to Libertarians in general because I do believe you’re trying to represent the whole party to a degree here) feel that government is such a potential source of “corruption” that it needs to be monitored and regulated closely. And yet imply that corporations aren’t (potential corruptors) and don’t (need regulation). I suppose that Libertarians would argue that the Invisible Hand automatically takes care of corporate corruption. The theory being that corrupt corporations are always found out and they inevitably go out of business in a free market. Sigh… if only. Not in this world, unfortunately. But then I can hear the Libertarian argument that “we’ve never really had a true free market.” Perhaps. But we never will either. Not with the Kochs in charge.

      The truth is, the game is rigged. But the threat is not from a corrupt government. (Except for the SCOTUS, which I will grant you is corrupt with its current make-up.) It is from people like the Kochs who spent $14 million trying to defeat my Senator — Sherrod Brown — by meddling in an election in a State in which they are not even residents. Why do they want to throw out my senator? And Ohio is not the only State in which they’ve meddled.

      The game is rigged on Wall Street because Anthony “Koch-owned” Scalia’s son Eugene Scalia is working tirelessly to sabotage Dodd-Frank reform measures on Wall Street. Nice “free market” principles going there, with a Scalia-Koch partnership!

      The game is rigged because favored firms on Wall Street provide ultra-high speed trading opportunities to insiders and skim off billions to go into the pockets of day traders. But let’s get rid of the “big government” SEC that might stop it, because that is “too much regulation.”

      Interesting how all the parts of the government that allegedly need to be lopped off are the ones who might just happen to put a dent in the obscene level of profits the Kochs, Waltons and other dynasties might enjoy. The bloated and highly profitable Defense Department seems to be relatively safe -- although the uber-wealthy are currently more interested in selling arms to both sides of conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere, while hiding behind a Rand Paul front of “pacifism” here on the home front.

      This is what I mean by bait-and-switch. Not that you personally are doing that; one person hardly could pull off what they’re doing. But I’m very much afraid you may have fallen for it. The Libertarian Party I’ve seen wears a PR version of a hippy costume that screams “peace,love and weed,” in order to win votes, but acts like a thug when it comes to the poor, the disabled and the elderly.

      It’s a good thing that you got a decent lump sum settlement from what must have been a very bad accident. But I suspect the Kochs would like to do a version of tort-reform and/or revision of employment benefits (especially union ones) that would make getting a settlement like that almost impossible for anyone down the road in the future.

      I’m glad that you met with compassionate and humble people at the churches where you’ve gone for help. But I can tell you that I personally know people who’ve had to sit through humiliating lectures on how “you have chosen a life of poverty for yourself because of your inability to manage your money and because of your own poor choices.” This — to a 60 year old woman who had worked like a dog all her life and then had the nerve to develop liver failure. And this same “pastor” then announced that he was about to leave for a vacation in Tahiti and if she had only run her life more wisely, she would be rich like him. Did his kids have a nanny? Indeed they did. And he drove a Lexus and wore a Rolex watch.

      And our United Way is so totally overwhelmed here… All I can say is “good luck” to anyone who has any hope of getting on their waiting list. This goes for housing assistance, health care, home winterization, You name it. Reaganomics have virtually destroyed this rustbelt area.

      No, I would never call you a liar, Diane. I honestly don’t think you are. I think the trouble is — and I’m sorry to say this — that you have believed liars.

      Libertarianism is long on rhetoric and appeals to gun-rights, marijuana and isolationist activists but short on practical programs to help the working poor and the disabled poor. My friend with liver failure has no settlement to fall back on. She wouldn’t be able to begin to buy jewelry making supplies (and please understand that I’m not putting you down for either of those things, just saying her circumstances are different).

      All she has is SS Disability and Medicaid.

      And all she knows is that the Libertarians want to take that away.

      At least that’s what it says up there on the platform that the Kochs wrote.

      Can anyone assure her that they won’t?

      • Even if I was elected President tomorrow with a Libertarian majority in both houses of Congress. it’s not like we’d just chop everything off overnight. Social Security would have to go down some sort of buy down process. Various welfare programs would have to be phased out. Even corporate welfare would have to be given a year or two to totally wind down (remember, I’m imagining a situation where the Libertarians get voted in overnight with no warning). New legal structures would have to be worked out to handle class action suits or something similar for taking care of problems like pollution or wanton endangerment on the part of companies towards their employees.

        Once people know that they’re going to be able to keep a lot more of their own money and also that the thought “My taxes are paying to take care of them. I can’t afford to give much more on top of that.” isn’t operative any more, a lot more organizations and probably more specialized ones, will be created.

        We wouldn’t have bailed out Wall Street. Let them stew in the juices of their own making and if they go under … let ’em. There’s a term for it in free market economics, “Creative destruction.” If a company has so badly mismanaged their money and plans, then their demise opens up the resources that they were using to be put to better uses, better as defined by the people who are actually buying the end products with the money that they’ve earned, not what some third party has decided that they “should” want.

        A defense department that is actually just that, for defense, would be far smaller than the behemoth we have today. After WWII Europe and the Pacific had been decimated. We were the only western country that still had an undamaged manufacturing structure. Those decades were the American heyday while the rest of the world put itself back together, and in large part with our help. But they are capable of defending themselves now. We spend more on the military than the rest of the world combined and the largest part of that is continuing to pay for everyone else. Again, it would take a few years to wind down, but we don’t need NATO. If Europe wants to maintain it for their own purposes on their own nickel, then fine. It’s not our responsibility.

        As to love, peace and weed … kids have been saying that for a long time. College students don’t usually think of the responsibilities that go along with the freedoms. The freedom to succeed requires the freedom to fail. The freedom to make your own choices means the responsibility for the consequences of making bad ones. It also means that sometimes semi-solid fecal matter happens and if there’s rotating air movement machinery in the area it can spread it far and wide.

        Overall, Americans are a pretty generous crowd and almost always willing to help when they can. They’re usually willing to give second or even third chances even if a person causes their own misery if they believe they’ve learned to stop doing whatever it was that got them into trouble in the first place. But there are limits. If an adult person is capable of making better choices but doesn’t because they expect someone else to keep taking care of them, there comes a point of saying no. “Sorry son, you’re on your own this time.”

        My sister’s old mega-church in Vegas did pretty much the same thing (although not as bad circumstances) to her. It was quite a shock to her that all the money she’d been giving to them wouldn’t be so easily available when she was on the needing side. She had a pretty rough few weeks trying to put together the money to keep the power on. For some strange reason she also quit tithing and started giving to some other charities instead.

        My accident? The guy who was driving and the guy who owned the truck had no insurance and were already in the middle of filing for bankruptcy. Nothing there to get a settlement from. My disability insurance from work hasn’t anywhere near kept up with inflation and when there’s almost no tutoring available to do in the summer … after rent, utilities and the like there’s nothing left to eat on. About $30 so far for July and less than $10 worth of jewelry sales. I stock up ahead of time on big things like laundry detergent and toilet paper and non-perishable food. August is still going to be really hard.

        That “handbook” thing wasn’t any sort of book. It was two articles in a magazine. As I said to Sue. I’ve never seen them or heard of them anywhere in over 35 years. It’s not an official Libertarian thing at all and the excerpts that the link she sent me to were definitely unethical and would be flat out stupid techniques, even in the short term. But it was a far more slanted and emotionally rigged piece than the Forbes one. Sue gave me a link to the CA budget and it turns out that, at least on the matter of unfunded liabilities, the Forbes article was correct. I haven’t tried to track down the rest.

        Implicitly trust the rich? No way. The government has no business being able to give any advantage to someone based on their wealth or who their friends are or who they went to school with. If they can’t earn their money honestly then maybe it’s time to put a huge pin into their inflated egos. If you think my defense (such as it is) of the Kochs is because I see them as somehow special because of their money, then you’ve been reading me wrong. I just despise the technique of demonizing someone and then using that as a method of emotional manipulation to cut off the need or even possibility of discussion on the issues.

        Here’s that evil Adam Smith on it … “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”
        ― Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations: An Inquiry into the Nature & Causes of the Wealth of Nations

        • kesmarn says:

          Diane, it’s small consolation to me and many of the voters I know that the end of Social Security and various social support programs will be occurring “gradually” under a Libertarian regime. Why would we vote to stick it to our own children and grandchildren? I suppose Ayn Rand would say that Darwinian survival is their problem and they need to look out for themselves, but most normal people have more empathy than that.

          Besides which, I’m baffled as to how even younger people who are hard working and thrifty are going to make it in a Libertarian world.

          Let’s take a hypothetical: Say we have a 30 year old widow with a 4 year old child. In Libertarian Land (LL hereafter), she’s not going to get SS for her daughter because it’s gone. She will have to work,

          But since there is no minimum wage, she has to take that $5/hr job (the one that is better than not working at $15/hr.)

          So her full time wage amounts to $200/week.

          Let’s say she’s very lucky and finds a day care that will take her daughter for $100/week. (Which does not exist in the real world.) She won’t be getting federal assistance with her day care because that program (which creates dependency) has been phased out by the Libertarians.

          So she has $100/week left for other expenses. If she takes on more hours and/or another job, her daycare expenses will go up even more and she’ll hardly see her daughter at all.

          Her mom is living, but can’t help with child care because she’s still working. Can’t retire. Because Social Security is gone in LL.

          It would help if she could get food stamps, but they create unhealthy dependency too. So they’re gone.

          If she’s lucky enough to find an apartment for $350/month (Again — not likely in the real world.), this leaves her with $50/month for food, clothes and transportation.

          She gets food from the local churches — but they have to limit it to one bag a month because there are so many “no-minimum wage” workers in LL.

          What the Libertarians have failed to explain to this mother is exactly how she’s supposed to save up enough to “take care of herself” in retirement.

          Or for that matter — even to live long enough to get there without Obamacare (which they’ve also gotten rid of).

          One thing she knows for sure, though. When it all falls apart and her life collapses in illness and debt, the Libertarians will know who’s to blame.


          Final thoughts. As I mentioned before, I’m fine with Libertarians putting up whomever for any office they want — as long as they are very up front about all the programs they plan to get rid of. I really dislike stealth agendas. They show contempt for voters.

          But I think the Libertarian agenda is completely impractical and unrealistic, frankly. And I’m extremely relieved to see that the party has never gotten more than 1% of the vote in any presidential election. To be candid, I hope they never do. I think it would be the most damaging thing to happen to the country since the Civil War.

          Truthfully, I probably don’t have a whole lot more to say on this subject. I could never even consider voting for a party that takes — fundamentally — the same attitude that Britain took during the Irish potato famine. Let them starve. It will be an edifying and educational experience for them. They’ll learn the value of work.

          • I don’t know how much you think your 30 year old example mother would be getting from SS. When my mother died and I took in my 14 year old sister (I wasn’t about to let her rich child molesting father have her) I got all of $150 a month from them. No one’s living on that.

            Day care … The day my mother died was the same day I came home from the hospital with my newborn son, still trying to finish up school. A friend and I swapped off turns.

            That one day and the financial repercussions of it ended the whole career path I had spent 6 years in college working towards.

            Has this mother got any sort of work history? Is she a good worker? Do you think businesses don’t compete for the best workers they can afford?

            If someone can afford the 15% or so currently taken off the top for SS and Medicare, why can’t they afford to save that same money? Don’t you think they should be able to make that choice for themselves as to when and how much?

            Why this need for a minimum wage? It’s not universal by any means. One of the richest countries in the world is Switzerland. Yet somehow they manage without one and seem to be doing just fine.

            It sounds like unless we can deliver some sort of utopia, the current system or more of the same is the only un-alternative you think worth even considering. Since that standard can’t ever be met, why bother reading or replying to what I write?

            If you find out that someone has been cheating you for years on end do you pretend that you don’t know it and keep on giving them your money or do you suck it up, knowing that you’ll never get it back and admit that you screwed up by trusting someone you shouldn’t have? Would you be doing your children a favor by continuing to throw your money away?

            If you’re operating to remove a malignant tumor, do you ask what you will replace it with?

            One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge — even to ourselves — that we’ve been so credulous. (So the old bamboozles tend to persist as the new bamboozles rise.) -- Carl Sagan

            • kesmarn says:

              Diane, with all due respect, your circular “logic,” leaves me with no choice but to leave the discussion.

              Your position seems to be that if the whole problem can’t be solved perfectly, there’s no point in doing anything. As in — “only” $150 dollars in SS survivor’s benefits is worse than none at all. That makes no sense.

              You plead your case as a high school dropout and then suddenly shift ground and talk about your six years in college.

              Every time a point of yours is successfully refuted, you claim a different point of view. One day, you’re saying people should settle for $5/hr jobs.Then when someone asks a legitimate question about living on that wage, you say “good workers” will always make more. That’s a dodge. (How good were the wages for “hard workers” on plantations in the South in 1850?)

              You say that everyone should be able to save, but then you say that you don’t make enough money to buy food. I don’t mean to be unkind but how much are you saving each week for your own later years on that income? Yet others are supposed to do it.

              You’re right. There really is no reason to continue to respond to your comments. With all due respect, I suspect you’re here out of boredom and are basically just engaging in relatively empty argument to pass the time. Either that or — more likely — to proselytize rather than to discuss.

              The “cognitive dissonance” charge is so old it’s growing mold. I’ve heard it from so many people on the right — when the well runs dry — that I could recite it by heart.

              I wish you all the best. But I am done. There will be no more responses from me to anything you write.

              If it makes you feel better you can tell the other Libertarians in KY that you won. Godspeed.

          • SallyT says:

            Kes, it’s a seductive vision—enjoying the same quality of life that today’s heavily-governed rich nations enjoy, with lower taxes and less regulation. The vision is so seductive, in fact, that we are forced to return to the question with which we began: if libertarianism is not only appealing but plausible, why hasn’t any country anywhere in the world ever tried it?

            • “You plead your case as a high school dropout and then suddenly shift ground and talk about your six years in college. ”
              So I can’t have been both?

              ” Every time a point of yours is successfully refuted, you claim a different point of view.”
              No point was ever successfully refuted. Self delusion manipulation.

              “One day, you’re saying people should settle for $5/hr jobs.Then when someone asks a legitimate question about living on that wage, you say “good workers” will always make more.”
              I said neither of those things. Straw Man manipulation.

              “How good were the wages for “hard workers” on plantations in the South in 1850?”
              Red Herring manipulation.

              “”cognitive dissonance” charge”
              I never made any such charge. Straw Man manipulation.

            • Why? Because what most politicians want is the power to control others. They may mean to rule well, but they mean to rule.

            • kesmarn says:

              You’ve got it, Sally! There is no example of a successful, functioning Libertarian state anywhere on the globe.

      • I’ve mentioned the anarchist wing of the party before. Anarchists pissed me off 35 years ago and they still do to this day. I’ve gotten in some pretty heavy arguments with them. If all people were angels, then anarchy and socialism would work equally well. But they won’t and they never can. Basing a societal structure in the belief that “the right people” will be running them and that people will do the “right thing” are doomed to fail. Yet, like the perennial weed that you can never seem to completely get the roots dug out, the idea keeps popping up, saying “But this time it’s different. This time we really do have the solution.”

        The Roman Empire tried to buy off the common people with free “Bread and Circuses” while they devalued the currency and Caesar after Caesar grew ever more wasteful. It didn’t work then and no variant of it ever has. It probably wasn’t helped by the fact that a lot of them were drinking water delivered by lead lined aqueducts :)

        FDA? It’s kind of a tossup whether they have killed or saved more people by keeping drugs off the market for years and years of testing, even though the rest of the world is able to take them. As to food, just like many other “regulating” agencies or licensing boards, there are two huge problems. First, they give the public a false sense of security. It must be safe if it’s being sold. The government will take care of us so I don’t have to worry about it. Bernie Madoff has to be above board. The elevator has to be safe. The restaurant must be clean enough. He’s a doctor. He has to be competent. The building inspector checked off on it. You don’t need to worry about a company’s reputation. They meet the minimum codes.

        What happens in practice is that the minimums become the maximums. There’s little economic benefit to doing anything more. In a lot of cases it’s easier and cheaper to bribe the inspector or cheat on the test than to do it right. Where there’s a path to corruption on either side, people WILL be on it.

        One accidental delay on Thalidomide over 50 years ago raised the FDA to hero status. It also taught them that you don’t get noticed for the things you approve, only for the ones that you don’t pass that may or may not actually do harm. So they sit and demand test after test, study after study. And people die waiting.

        If you’re looking for a utopia where nothing bad ever happens, it’s a fantasy. No one can promise that. The question is what are the costs for that imagined safety? What products, what jobs, what entire industries are never created because of the artificial roadblocks put up in the name of safety (and in reality, it’s control that’s being sought)?

        We’ll never know about most of them. However here’s a sample: One of the pharmaceutical companies has developed a vaccine for herpes. They decided not to even try to bring it to market. Too expensive to get FDA approval and too fraught with potential legal dangers under the deep pocket theory of liability. Multiply that by 100 or 1000 to guess at what we’ve lost.

        OSHA? Workplace accidents were already consistently declining, even before OSHA came into being. They didn’t even change the slope of the trend line. All they’ve done is add more and more layers of added cost to everything you buy.

        Sure, you can almost always come up with some example or another of a regulator turning up a problem and saving the day, but again, at what cost? They say that you can’t put a value on a human life, yet courts do it every day in legal settlements.

        Let’s make the airlines put in this and that new feature. So what if it all adds up to double the cost of a ticket? It will save lives. But does it really? If people can’t afford to fly, then they drive. Cars are way more dangerous than flying. You wind up with more deaths overall, not fewer.

        These kinds of questions aren’t easy to think about. They’re uncomfortable. Reality is like that. You think you sound cynical and uncaring even talking like this. You don’t want to make those kinds of admissions and choices. We’ve changed from believing in an all powerful, all knowing, beneficent God to take care of us and put in its place an all powerful, all knowing, beneficent government to take care of us run by the elites who must know better than you so you can trust them to make your choices for you. I don’t believe in either.

    • SueInCa says:


      Do you have any proof that the guide book mentioned in the article of 2013 that I posted is no longer in use?

      I noticed you dismissed the article so I am hoping that you do have something to show that guide book is no longer being used.

      • “Do you have any proof that the guide book mentioned in the article of 2013 that I posted is no longer in use?”

        Perfect example of a loaded question or more formally,
        Shifting the Burden of Proof: A fallacy that challenges opponents to disprove a claim, rather than asking the person making the claim to defend his/her own argument. E.g., “Space-aliens are everywhere among us, even here on campus, masquerading as true humans! I dare you prove it isn’t so! See? You can’t! That means you have to accept that what I say is true.”

        • SueInCa says:

          Hey you made the claim if you cannot prove something why would you claim it? Nice try trying to flip this back on me, won’t work. And at this time I have to tell you I will not be responding to you any further. You answer very few questions asked of you, and quite frankly I do not have time to respond to every post you add here without answering the questions that are asked of you.

          I am bowing out of this now. Have a good life in your utopian world.

      • Just on terminology -- something that caught my eye in re-reading this. You’ve phrased it like “Have you stopped beating your wife?”

        This pair of magazine articles has *never*, to the best of my knowledge, being in a position 4 or 5 years after it was published that I would know if it was, been used as anything, official or unofficial. I have never seen it or even heard of it or read anything even similar to it until I followed your link.

      • Are we talking about the same link that was about two articles in Reason magazine? There’s no way to prove a negative, but I’ve never read or even heard of what the article you sent me to was describing. I was active enough in the early ’80s that I was 3rd District Rep and then vice chair of the Libertarian Party of Kentucky and that was just a few years after these articles (from what the link said) were published. I would think if they were actually any sort of guidebook or even a training source I would have at least heard of it. It’s not being used anywhere now that I know of and it was never used then either. There was about 15 years after that where I wasn’t active at all other than voting. I got active again in the late ’90s for a few years when the Indiana party needed a district candidate. Then again about a year ago when I moved back to Kentucky.

        Personally, I agree that some of what they quoted (I’d like to read it myself to make sure they are accurate quotes) is pretty bad. It’s true that you have to find some points of agreement from which to start talking to someone, but to pretend that those specific points are the total of what the party is about? That seems to me not only unethical, but pretty stupid, even in the short run.

        The Kochs are Republicans now, not Libertarians. The Tea Partiers are Republicans, not Libertarians. Even the Pauls are Republicans, not Libertarians. I don’t know that the Kochs are all above board. I have no way of knowing that, one way or another. Other than the fact that David was our vice presidential candidate in 1980 and that they had a lot of personal money, all I’ve learned of them is what I’ve picked up online in the last 6 months or so. They are neither devils nor angels, but the way they are being used as a straw man whipping boy pisses me off. It’s setting them up as demonized figure which can then be used as a verbal shorthand to avoid specifics.

        You don’t have to know if a position is good or bad, right or wrong, you just need to be told that the Kochs are behind it or in favor of it and it’s defined as necessarily evil. It shuts down discussion and answers all questions, no matter what the issue is. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, but if the Koch name can be inserted into something, there can be nothing else to say. That’s bad. That’s wrong. It stifles reasonable discussion and debate and that can never be good.

        I can make no excuses for Bush’s spending. I didn’t vote for him. I didn’t support him other than those days right after 9/11 when we were all together. He and his Republican Congress were just as wasteful as any Democratic administration usually is. We had no business in Iraq and while I think we did have the right to go after Al Qaeda we fiddled around too long pretending that we weren’t all out going after them and missed our best shots. By the time we publicly ramped up in Afghanistan they were scattered and we mired ourselves in another nation building mess that we should never have been in.

        If you go into the CA budget you can select the summary, then select Statewide Issues and Various Departments. About a third of the way down that .pdf it discusses the unfunded benefits problem. Apparently there’s a proposal on the table to deal with it, but nothing has actually been done about it. The state is also saying that they are not responsible for paying for any increased benefit packages since 1990, even though they were passed by the legislature. So, at least on that point, he was right in the Forbes article.

        • SueInCa says:

          If you have never heard of the guide to manipulate liberals, perhaps you are not as much in the know in the Libertarian party as you think? As for you supporting Bush after 9/11, you might want to check your “all of us were supporting” because I know I was not and never supported the war in Iraq because I knew it was based on lies. I also never supported the war in Afghanistan, I learned from the Russian incursion in to Afghanistan besides it was Saudis that made up the bulk of those terrorists yet Bush continued to hold hands with them and trade kisses, literally. How do you not declare war on the very country that most of the terrorists came from yet decide to go after one that had no terrorists until we got there?

          • No terrorists in Afghanistan until we got there? Bin Laden wasn’t in Afghanistan and didn’t have his training camps there and wasn’t under the protection of the Taliban?

          • After 9/11 as in the first few weeks, not 3 years later. You have a habit of putting words in my mouth that I never said. Does that fall under Moving the Goalposts or Overgeneralization or maybe Manipulation of Memory?

      • kesmarn says:

        Sue, that’s one thing I had meant to mention in my comment above. The mere fact that the handbook on how to manipulate liberals is 37 years old is hardly an argument that it isn’t taken seriously by Libertarians today.

        After all, how old is the Constitution?

        • There was no handbook, not 37 years ago and not today so there is nothing to be taken seriously.

          • SueInCa says:

            See my comment below, has Charles Koch ever apologized for these activities like Senator Byrd did? If he did, I would love to see his apology.

            • I have no idea. I’m not responsible for what Charles Koch does or doesn’t do because he was our vice presidential candidate 34 years ago.

          • SueInCa says:

            The Progressive magazine and Center for Media and Democracy have released new documents that show billionaire oil industrialist Charles Koch was an active member of the controversial right-wing John Birch Society during its campaigns against the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Charles Koch was following in the footsteps of his father, Fred Koch, a leader of the John Birch Society from its founding.

            • Once again, not my responsibility. If you search the comments you’ll see that I put the Koch/John Birch info up two or three days ago.

          • SueInCa says:

            Diane I am not sure how you deny something in black and white but go ahead and believe what you will.

            • monicaangela says:

              I am placing this comment here because the thread has run out and I don’t feel like starting a new conversation. In regards to Diane’s assumption that the link I provided does not include the language “Libertarian manipulation of Liberals,” she is correct. You have to read the book to understand how this theory of human manipulation is being used by Libertarians and others to try to manipulate the populace.

              Oh well, in the interest of saving the thread, look for my comment and video at the top of the thread.

            • That book is really interesting. I may even buy it. You should read it before you make any other categorizations of it though. It’s actually aimed at recognizing and avoiding being manipulated, not how to do it. :)

            • I just went to Monica’s link. Go there and put in the book search box on the left the supposed text “Libertarian handbook to manipulate liberals.” It’s not anywhere in the book or the title.

              In fact, do a search on just “Libertarian.” What do you get? No result found in this book for Libertarian.

              Someone set it up as a link text, maybe in a comment or on another site, but has absolutely nothing to do with anything Libertarian.

              I’m thinking that maybe it’s Progressives doing the manipulation, using loaded emotional terminology and making unsupported claims trying to create a mental state of fear. Heck, running down the table of contents, I’m sure seeing a lot of those very techniques used in all the sites you’ve sent me to and a lot of what’s being written here.

              Agenda control
              Moving the goalposts
              Linguistic manipulation
              Rigging the obvious
              Institutional inertia
              Timing games
              Reputation control
              Cultural manipulation
              Political/organizational tricks
              Judicial manipulation
              Rhetorical manipulation
              Historical manipulation
              Statistical manipulation of several kinds
              Loaded questions
              Data dredging
              Data manipulation
              Discard unfavorable data
              Null hypothesis
              Politicization of science
              Logical manipulation
              Manipulation of morality
              Emotional manipulation
              Self delusion
              Fear is the enemy
              Social manipulation
              Group manipulation
              Induced animosity
              Induced unity

              This could actually be a pretty good reference for me for identifying all sorts of manipulative propaganda. I’m not saying you have used all of these personally, but you definitely have on a few of them.

            • Read your own link. It was two articles in Reason Magazine in 1977. It’s there in black and white as you put it.

            • kesmarn says:

              Monica, thanks so much for these valuable links.

              I glanced through a few pages and --wow-- talk about beyond cynical…

        • It will be 227 Years on September 17th since it was approved by the convention and was ratified by the minimum number of states less than a year later on June 21st. I’m a bit of a history buff too.

          I’ve got Madison’s notes on the convention and all the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers and private correspondence and minutes from state ratifying conventions. I’ve also got a large percentage of both the contemporary and ancient political and philosophical books and papers the ideas of the Founders came from.

          I’ve got a lot of them in electronic form you can download at http://mygauntlet.com/book-list/ if you’re interested.

          • kesmarn says:

            Thanks, Diane. I do know how old the Constitution is. But of course, it was a rhetorical question. The point being that if just the age of a document (37 years in the case of the Libertarian handbook) is enough to invalidate it, then by the same logic a 227 year old Constitution should be totally out of date and irrelevant.

            • There’s a big difference between a one page article in a magazine almost no one had ever heard of at the time 37 years ago and the founding document of our nation.

              False equivalence manipulation.

        • SueInCa says:


          I am always going to question controversial statements made with out any citation to back them up. I am also going to question links provided where research shows the writer writes nothing but derogatory stuff about one entity.

          As you stated, the Constitution is very old, so is the Bible but people still believe it and share it every single day.

    • SueInCa says:


      You wrote:

      You agreed with Sue’s “bait and switch” reference. Did you go to the link she gave and actually read it? It was a very badly slanted description of a 37 year old article.

      How so? How is it very badly slanted? Are you saying it is as badly slanted as the article you posted for me to read by Forbes?

  5. monicaangela says:

    @Diane Merriam,

    Diane Merriam says:
    07/11/2014 at 1:24 PM
    Is there any way to continue conversations when we’ve hit the limit of reply depths? It’s getting moved around every which way. :)

    Yes there is, you can always return to the top of the thread, use the @whoever you wish to address and begin the conversation anew. :)

  6. monicaangela says:

    @Diane Merriam,

    Recently while researching Libertarian-ism and how it links to Plutocracy and Oligarchy I ran across this very interesting article on AlterNet dated February 5, 2014. Here is the title, a couple of paragraphs, and the link to the article:

    5 Obnoxious Libertarian Oligarchs Who Earned Fortunes from the Government They’d Like to Destroy:

    The cult of the libertarian-minded ultra-weatlhy would make an intriguing anthropological case study. But it would be a case study with a twist: its research subjects increasingly control our economy, our politics, and even our personal lives.

    We’re dealing with a cohort of highly fortunate, highly privileged and highly unaware individuals who have been inappropriately lionized by society. That lionization has led them to believe that their wealth and accomplishments are their own doing, rather than the fruits of collaborative effort – effort which in many cases was only made possible through government support.

    But instead of thanking the government and the taxpayers for their good fortune, they have allowed their own good press to go to their heads. And they’re biting the hand that feeds them, attempting to shut down the system of taxpayer support and government action which created their world.


    Just as I would not if I were lucky enough to escape a burning building, knowing others were inside close the door upon exiting leaving them to their fate, I would not subscribe to a party that would do what I feel is tantamount to what I have just described.

    As I said before in my post, I could never go along with the ideas of the Libertarian Party, not the wealthy of the party or those that follow their message. I am by no means poor, nor lower middle class, and could very easily agree with you if I had no conscience regarding my fellow man. I unlike many others who have been lucky enough to be born into the right set of circumstances, understand how government has been beneficial in helping to allow me to not only become wealthier than many, but has protected my wealth through its various programs, public services and the like. We, none of us on this planet can truthfully say we came here alone, made it on our own, and deserve to live a lifestyle that is hundreds of times better than our fellow man.

    “Much will be demanded from everyone who has been given much, and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be asked.” Luke 12:14

    • Being rich doesn’t necessarily make you superior in any way. Nor is there any sanctity in being poor. The question is have you earned your money, however much or little of it you have, honestly? Almost invariably, if the government is involved, the answer is no.

      If two people or organizations make an exchange that both are making voluntarily, then it is honest. That doesn’t mean that everyone is happy with the deal, but if you need or want what the other person has more than you need or want the other things you could have spent that money on, it’s still honest. If one party is threatening or forcing the other or lying or cheating then it is not honest.

      The most basic definition of a government is that it is that organization that is authorized to use, or threaten to use, force, deadly force if necessary, to ensure that the people in a given geographical area follow its rules and decisions made on the behalf of those people using the just powers that they have given to it.

      A human being that has no interactions with other people is generally a short lived creature doing nothing but ekeing out the barest survival. It takes a society to have the great variance in what people can do and make and trade that allows us to have the incredible options that life today offers. The most options are available in the societies that are the most free to make those trades with each other as they see fit.

      So if force is so bad, why not get rid of government altogether? Because people are not angels. There are bad people out there who would like nothing better than to kick back and rob people of whatever they feel like they might want with a few extra kicks thrown in just because they feel like it. If you get home and your house has been broken into, you want to get your stuff back and probably get in a few kicks of your own. But who did it? You might think you know, but what if you’re wrong? A government, first in the form of police, gathering evidence and then in courts, making judgements about guilt or innocence and deciding and enforcing sufficient penalties to deter future repeats, takes the anger out of it. They are not directly involved and don’t have the high tide of emotions that are all too likely to lead to mistakes if you try and take justice into your own hands.

      That also extends to the need to be able to stop another person or organization who is doing harm to others, even if that is not their primary intent. Whether it’s a neighbor whose band loves to practice at full volume at 3 in the morning or a business that simply dumps its waste into a river they are doing harm to others without their consent. The band problem may be taken care of if they build a soundproof room so that you don’t hear them. The business may find a way to clean up their waste. But in either case, if the problem is NOT ended and possible restitution for damages already done (5000 watts of sound can put a permanent hurting on your hearing) paid, they have entered the zone of criminal behavior and once again, the force of government is needed to put an end to it in an equitable fashion.

      Another needed aspect is the fact that even honest people can have differences of opinion as to what they thought they agreed to or what is an equitable settlement of responsibility. Arbitration can only go so far. At some point someone needs to be able to say “Enough! This is the final decision.” and be able to enforce it.

      Finally, you can’t pretend that there isn’t the rest of the world out there and there’s bad people in it. A society needs to be able to put up a joint defense when someone outside threatens or undertakes military action against it. These days a purely civilian militia isn’t going to cut it so a permanent military force is needed sufficient to hold the line until the rest of the society can gear up to defend itself.

      These are both the minimum and maximum functions that are needed for a free and honest civilized society. Police, courts and military and the ancillary functions needed to support them.

      • monicaangela says:

        You adhere to Libertarian beliefs, and I am closer to the beliefs of Socialism, so we, with that enormous divide between us, with that great division in our manner of thinking will, I’m afraid, become like guinea pigs on a treadmill, go around and around and around, and never get anywhere. I have enjoyed reading your thoughts on the subject, but continue to believe you fail to understand.

    • kesmarn says:

      Monica, thanks so much. I’m sure you’ve probably seen this Libertarian platform from 1980 (when Diane says she first discovered Libertarianism), but for those who haven’t, here it is:


      Don’t we all have to ask ourselves how serious anyone can be about living in a country without law enforcement agencies like the FBI? (They may not always have been saints, but — really? Don’t reform them? Just get rid of them?) Or the Department of Education? Ohhh-- and how about that nasty FDA? Wouldn’t want those pesky food inspections now, would we? And of course, everyone will be fine without Social Security and Medicare. Retirement is overrated anyway. (We all would love to have an 80 year old nurse with Parkinson’s starting our IVs because she can’t afford to retire.)

      Libertarianism is Fantasy Politics as nearly as I can tell. It seems to be the day dream of the politically naive… “Ahhh… a world completely without enforceable rules…! Wouldn’t that be lovely?”

      But in real life, that doesn’t produce Utopia. It ends up as something more like Somalia. Or Lord of the Flies…

      • monicaangela says:

        Sorry it has taken me a minute to get back to you. Yes, I have read it recently, and read it back in 1980 when it was published. Thank you for posting it, and I agree with everything your comment says.

      • SueInCa says:

        No wonder Rick Perry turned to Ron Paul at the debates when he could not remember all the government agencies he would get rid of. As a pseudo Libertarian, Ron Paul would know.

      • SallyT says:

        Or, Kes, consider the darling of many an ’80s conservative: Pinochet’s Chile. (Installed by Nixon) In twenty years, foreign debt quadrupled, natural resources were wasted, universal health care was abandoned (leading to epidemics of typhoid fever and hepatitis), unions were outlawed, military spending rose (for what? who the hell is going to attack Chile?), social security was “privatized” (with predictable results: ever-increasing government bailouts) and the poverty rate doubled, from 20% to 41%. Chile’s growth rate from 1974 to 1982 was 1.5%; the Latin American average was 4.3%.
        Pinochet was a dictator, the libertarians will claim and makes some feel that they have nothing to learn here. Somehow Chile’s experience privatizing social security can tell us nothing about privatizing social security here, because Pinochet was a dictator. Presumably if you set up a business in Chile, the laws of supply and demand and perhaps those of gravity wouldn’t apply, because Pinochet was a dictator.

        • SueInCa says:

          Conversely, Sally, they claimed Chavez was a monster but could never give any credible answer as to why they thought so. It turns out that Chavez, Morales, and both the de Kirchners(husband wife Presidents at different times), da Silva, Correa, Lugo and Castro all paid off the World Bank and refused new loans. This angered Bush and when people like him get mad, they demonize the “supposed” perpetrators. Much of what our press reported about South America was either an outright lie or a half truth. When people go against the world powers, they are no longer legitimate.

          • Sorry. I read it as you meant that it was a good thing that they refused to borrow again, not just who they borrowed from.

            • SueInCa says:


              Honestly? How do you read something as “something I meant?” It was very clearly in the same sentence as the World Bank, how do you change it around to something I meant? You cannot possibly know what I meant, you are not me.

          • Not a major point, but just yesterday Putin forgave 90% of the 35 billion that they had loaned Cuba. They may not have borrowed from the World Bank again, but they didn’t stop borrowing altogether. I don’t know anything on the rest of them.

            • SueInCa says:

              Did I say they stopped borrowing completely? I said they paid off their loans to the World Bank. Not sure how you think a loan from Russia is in any way connected to the world bank or why it is relevant.

        • kesmarn says:

          Awesome, Sally! And you’re right. Once you unleash the Greed Hounds, it doesn’t matter who’s allegedly “in charge,” because misery and chaos will inevitably ensue.

          Isn’t it interesting how they seem to feel that the very wealthy can invariably be trusted to behave in honorable, ethical and compassionate ways? No gummint regulation needed. But the poor always need to be punished, deprived and “motivated” externally to “do the right thing”? Because they’re apparently so “innately depraved.”

          Just born that way, I guess… 😉

  7. S-Man says:

    Typical; when they can’t get their agenda through in a straight-forward manner they will enter through the back door. This SCOTUS will go down in history as the most politicized ever…and hopefully the most reversed.

  8. SearingTruth says:

    “Withholding health care from an ill person is the most basic terror.”

    A Future of the Brave

  9. All too true. I was actually saddened when SCOTUS ruled the ACA constitutional (with some provisos) because cases like Hobby Lobby were brewing early on. The conservative game-plan here is death by a thousand cuts, and they have the money and the Bush/Reagan legacy judiciary on their side.

    Should this appeal be upheld through the whole court system, there’s no putting ACA together again. That’s why the Public Option was so critical--and why it won’t proceed. Who’s willing to run in 2016 on Medicare for ALL? Whatever its faults, it has stood up to court challenges and it would be nearly impossible to undo.

    • They didn’t uphold it as Constitutional. They addressed two individual points that made up the specific case. They can only rule on the points the individual case at hand.

      One they ruled against, that the federal government had no authority to force the states to expand Medicaid. That wasn’t a hard ruling at all. That basic type of issue has gone against the government every time they tried it. It’s why they usually work with carrots and sticks in terms of funding for programs or block grants to the states and the like.

      They ruled for the government on the individual mandate, but only if it is treated as a tax, which interestingly, enough we were assured over and over again in the preceding years that it was not.

      I did not agree with the Hobby Lobby ruling. A corporation is not a person. It is treated as an individual under a very few, very circumscribed business practices. It has no moral standing, no matter how many or how few people hold stock in it.

      I did finally track down the ruling itself though and found out why they had to. Apparently HHS had already quietly granted immunity on the contraceptives issue to several non-profit corporations. Legally, the profit status of a corporation doesn’t make a difference as to how it’s treated, so HHS shot itself in the foot.

    • S-Man says:

      I agree, these baby-steps toward single-payer (ACA) if overturned will set us back a hundred years. (If we last that long) :-(

  10. SearingTruth says:

    “Sometimes ‘opportunity’ means the right to die in the streets if not needed.”

    A Future of the Brave

  11. Cato is NOT a conservative think tank, unless you consider gay marriage, pot legalization or most liberal social issues to actually be conservative ideas. They are Libertarian. Big difference.

    • SueInCa says:

      The Cato Institute is an American libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was founded as the Charles Koch Foundation in 1974 by Ed Crane, Murray Rothbard, and Charles Koch, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the conglomerate Koch Industries. In July 1976, the name was changed to the Cato Institute. Cato was established to have a focus on public advocacy, media exposure and societal influence According to the 2011 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report (Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, University of Pennsylvania), Cato is number 14 in the “Top Thirty Worldwide Think Tanks” and number 6 in the “Top Fifty United States Think Tanks”

      The Institute’s website states, “The mission of the Cato Institute is to originate, disseminate, and increase understanding of public policies based on the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace.”

      As long as the Kochs agree, that is. Do you support the Kochs, Diane?

      • Sue -- I’m replying to this post because we’re so deep in the others that we can’t reply directly there. I’ll try to get all of your replies to me in this one. There’s also the big one I accidently left for Murph and he re-posted to you that I don’t think you’ve had time to go over. The only thing out of it you’re mentioned out of the half dozen or so questions I asked so far is the Forbes article.

        I didn’t know that about that author. It was just the first one in search to get you a specific link of the half dozen or so I’d read that was saying about the same thing. I appreciate that you went and read the article. Are you saying that nothing of what he said was true? Has the Federal government been paid off? Have the pension funds and other unfunded liabilities been brought current or at least up to date with the original plan to get them funded? It’s the unfunded liabilities problem that compares California (and unfortunately several of the cities like Stockton) to Detroit and Chicago (really the whole state of Illinois).

        I do wish you’d stop with the Koch = Libertarian = me claims. Ad Hominum attacks are meaningless, simply what some “bad” person may or may not have said. That has absolutely nothing to do with the truth or falsehood of a claim. I’m looking for specifics as to what you want to know or what specific issues you’re referring to.

        On the “On the right they don’t talk about their other positions because…” The people who don’t talk about their other positions are the ones on the right that don’t want to let their own people to know, not the Kochs. As an example in specifics, Jerry Falwell isn’t about to announce to his followers that the Kochs are in favor of gay marriage. The Kochs have never hidden that, but Jerry Falwell has.

        You ask for citations. I asked the same and you sent me to a description of a 37 year old article as some sort of proof. Do you have anything more relevant?

        I think that’s actually everything that I haven’t responded to you before on.

        • SueInCa says:

          Here are some more links that explain what California has had to pay off on the Schwartzeneggar built debt


        • SueInCa says:

          I am not comparing you to the Kochs, I am saying the Kochs are the Libertarian branch of the Republican party. Are you saying because a guide is 37 years old it is not relevant? What does that say for the Constitution and the Bible?

          You speak of Jerry Falwell as if he is still alive. He died a few years ago. But what you are saying is the Kochs are above board on all of their dealings. If that is so, why did Rachel Maddow have to back track on Americans for Prosperity to find the Kochs influence? If you have a site where the Kochs are above board and truthful about all their affiliations, I would be happy to peruse it for information. I would be especially interested in their thoughts on gay marriage. They do have a brother that is gay but for some reason he was “ostracized” from the family.

          As for the budget in California, we have paid down a great deal of the billions in debt that Republican Governor Schwartzeneggar left when he left office. Of course there is still debt, the Republicans did the same thing in CA as they did in DC, they put it on credit cards. Medicare Part D, Two wars, Tax cuts for the rich, all put on credit cards by Republicans. It was Orin Hatch R-Utah who told the truth:

          Six years ago, “it was standard practice not to pay for things,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. “We were concerned about it, because it certainly added to the deficit, no question.” His 2003 vote has been vindicated, Hatch said, because the prescription drug benefit “has done a lot of good.”


          If the person who wrote the article you cited wants to blame a Democratic administration for not cleaning up the mess fast enough, which your link did, then he has zero credibility in financial affairs If you want to see the budget for the state of CA, you can review it here:


      • Sure do, although not as you think. David Koch was our vice-presidential candidate in 1980 when I first found the Libertarian Party.

        Are they angels? No. But they aren’t the devils the press and Harry Reid make them out to be either. You do know they’re also in favor of gay marriage and ending the war on drugs? That they also donate to the ACLU and NAACP? That they regularly back ideas which infuriate the Corporate Capitalists and the the fundamentalist Christian Right? Do you know they and their foundation are actually 60+ places down the list of political contributors, well behind many liberal groups?

        Probably not, because on the left they make such good cannon fodder and it’s really easy to demonize a couple of rich individuals and make them the target for everything you’re against … even if they’re not. It saves them the effort of actually discussing any issue when it’s so much easier to set up the paradigm Koch = evil and then use that as shorthand for everything else. Good psychology.

        On the right they don’t talk about their other positions because if they let some of them be generally known, it might make their constituents repudiate them. Can you imagine Jerry Falwell’s gang knowingly looking for backing or accepting money from someone who is in favor of gay marriage? The law and order lock ’em all up crowd knowingly looking for backing or accepting money from someone who is in favor of legalising drugs? Smart choice, to do their best to keep the Kochs’ other positions off the public radar.

        Cato has the reputation they do because they are still, after all these years and unlike Heritage and a few others, ideologically consistent. You know where they’re coming from and you know they will give the facts and their reasoning that supports why they say what they say.

        I can sum up my political philosophy in two sentences: I want the government out of my bedroom, out of my billfold and off of my back. If I’m not hurting someone else (and hurt feelings don’t count) or taking their stuff, then leave me the {expletive deleted} alone.

        • SueInCa says:

          Please cite one or two things they have done to incite the religious right.

          So what if they give to the ACLU and the NAACP, everyone who has done their research are well aware that when they do give, there are consequences down the road, just ask the students of Florida State University.

          I can give all the money I want to charity but if I am destroying the environment each and every day I operate, it pretty much cancels out those funds. Why would the KOchs fight regulation to keep their chemical plants safe from terrorists? Why would the Kochs put millions of lives at risk by fighting safety regulations at their plants? Because of greed, pure and simple greed. So yeah, give the NAACP millions of dollars to assuage any future guilt(if you actually have any soul) to curry favor with a group you as a John Bircher think is inferior.(the Kochs -- not you).

          So what you are telling me in your own words is that the Kochs and Libertarians, in general, are liars? And they lie to get funds from the right? Yet you claim their party? I am sorry, to me that sounds wrong, plainly and simply wrong and dishonest. But good for me that I already know their ties to the religious right. I have researched them and the religious right extensively, you are not fooling me. Sorry

          • MurphTheSurf3 says:

            This got left for me but it is for you:

            Diane Merriam says:
            07/10/2014 at 9:39 PM

            In order …. You state “You stated that it is better to turn social services functions over to private donors because it is better to have a person who funds something all the time than to have a government who can pull the plug anytime they want.”

            I do think that private charity is better than forced charity via the government, but I’ve never given a reason like that. Where do you find that I said that?

            You say you have studied the Religious Right and the Kochs for 6 years. What does that have to do with anything? I’m an agnostic, and even then only to the point that, in formal logic, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Until Reed started hitting on the Kochs I hadn’t really thought about them, politically, in decades. So what does that have to do with me or anything I’ve said?

            You say left leaning think tanks have put out plenty of info on both of these subjects. Have you ever done any research for yourself? Have you ever read the Cato articles they’re referring to, whichever ones they may be? I’m here. I regularly read on Salon and HuffPo, The Washington Post and the New York Times. I watch videos from MSNBC (I don’t have a TV). Before I go rampaging off making claims about someone I do some research to see if what I’ve read is actually correct.

            California’s budget? I really wish it were true. I was born in San Diego and I’ve also lived in Sacramento and Tahoe. I love California except for one thing … the governments in California. I lived across the street from Brown when he was first Governor. Sac housing was very mixed. I was in a $60 a month studio apartment, he was in a penthouse apartment. Anyway, I was coming out one day and saw a news crew across the street. I figured something momentous was happening so I went over and asked one of the cameramen what was going on. He said, and I quote: “We’re just doing a piece on the Governor’s day. We’re just waiting for him to come down to go to work… If he comes down… If he goes to work.” then shrugged and gave a chuckle. I understand he’s grown up some since then, but it would be really hard for me to change my impression of him.

            Anyway, budget. Rather than go into a long response in an already long response, here’s a link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasdelbeccaro/2013/07/08/jerry-brown-stands-atop-californias-collapsing-house-of-cards/

            You say I am for a cause and then support it’s opposite. Where? What cause? I support the reputation of the Cato Institute. Do you consider that a cause? I support many of the causes that the Kochs donate to, but not all of them. You say I’m lying. What, specifically, have I said that you consider a lie? All I’m hearing is generalities.

            Oh — and your link … Your proof is a hyped up description of a single 37 year old article?

            If that’s the best you can do and if you can’t come up with any specifics for the other accusations you’re throwing at me, then don’t waste my time.

          • Aren’t being in favor of gay marriage and legalizing drugs, plus you can add in stem cell research, being against the war in Iraq, believing in evolution, all things that religious right are against?

            Government doesn’t always have the best ideas for how to do things. They often stick with old rules long after new information becomes available, so I don’t automatically question resistance to government intrusions without knowing the specifics on both sides. Same thing on environmental issues. I need specifics before I’ll pass judgement one way or another.

            I don’t pretend to be a mind reader and know what’s in their minds.

            Their father was a Bircher and, in a different reply, I already said that that would worry me a bit myself based on what I know of them. But are you going to hold the son responsible for the actions of his father?

            I’m perplexed as to what you are considering to be lies.

            • kesmarn says:

              Sue, exactly. The tactic of bait-and-switch implies that a salesman has a shoddy product to sell and has to use deception to sell it.

              When a party has to use a stealth campaign to trick voters into going along with something they normally would reject, what does that say?

            • SueInCa says:

              In your own word, the Kochs Lies:

              “On the right they don’t talk about their other positions because if they let some of them be generally known, it might make their constituents repudiate them. Can you imagine Jerry Falwell’s gang knowingly looking for backing or accepting money from someone who is in favor of gay marriage? The law and order lock ‘em all up crowd knowingly looking for backing or accepting money from someone who is in favor of legalising drugs? Smart choice, to do their best to keep the Kochs’ other positions off the public radar.”

            • SueInCa says:

              Diane you posted a link to Forbes written by a man who seems to have a grudge against California, Gov Brown and Democrats in particular. Every single post he wrote that is listed on Forbes is against all of these people and our state. His website is a cornucopia of negative articles about the same. He was the Chairman of the California Republican party. Yet you ask me to read his opinions and you think his opinions will be anything but right wing? He is an attorney, not an economist. He makes a lot of claims, with no citations so how is one supposed to believe those claims? Usually when people cite studies, they cite the actual study and provide a link. He did none of that, I am just supposed to believe him because he claims it. Sorry no dice.

            • MurphTheSurf3 says:

              I reposted your reply to Sue IN California to her that you accidentally left for me. Keeping track of the step-in boxes here can be be a bit daunting.

            • MurphTheSurf3 says:

              This got posted to me but it is for you.

              KillgoreTrout says:
              07/10/2014 at 10:03 PM

              Miriam, maybe you missed my comment where I asked you to state YOUR libertarian principles.

              If so, would you mind doing so soon? I’m mean your personal libertarian principles and not necessarily the party’s as a whole.

              I asked in earnest.

            • SueInCa says:

              One more question for you Diane. You stated that it is better to turn social services functions over to private donors because it is better to have a person who funds something all the time than to have a government who can pull the plug anytime they want. What is it that secures charity donations by private donors and how does a social service agency guarantee that donor will always donate?

            • SueInCa says:

              Again your comment below to Kes and I has nothing to support any of your claims. Quite honestly, Diane, I am not one to waste my time on posters who make claims without any documentation. I am not going to keep answering, over a period of time, someone who has no credible citations to back up their claims.

              I have studied the Kochs and the Religious Right for the past 6 years, I know the ins and outs of the connections between the two. You claim the Cato Institute puts out factual information so I will tell you there are left leaning think tanks that have put out plenty of info on both of these subjects, complete with citations so you must believe they are true as well.

              BTW what is your point about California and comparing us to Detroit? You are aware that in the four years Brown has been in the Governor’s office and has had a Dem leaning Assembly that we are now running a surplus? What does California have to do with Detroit?

            • SueInCa says:


              You obviously did not get my main point. And it goes for everything you mentioned. It does not matter how much you claim to be for this and for that if on the other side you are supporting the very causes you say you are against.

              THAT is a lie. THAT is a huge lie. THAT is hypocritical and THAT is what they do because they know the people who follow them are not going to question them. When the Kochs published a manifesto in their own magazine on how to trick Liberals, there is no way you can call them above board or claim to not know what they are thinking. And though you did not provide any links to support your claims, I will do it for you.


          • MurphTheSurf3 says:

            Sue- you are good….very good!

            • Miriam, maybe you missed my comment where I asked you to state
              YOUR libertarian principles.

              If so, would you mind doing so soon? I’m mean your personal libertarian principles and not necessarily the party’s as a whole.

              I asked in earnest.

            • In order …. You state “You stated that it is better to turn social services functions over to private donors because it is better to have a person who funds something all the time than to have a government who can pull the plug anytime they want.”

              I do think that private charity is better than forced charity via the government, but I’ve never given a reason like that. Where do you find that I said that?

              You say you have studied the Religious Right and the Kochs for 6 years. What does that have to do with anything? I’m an agnostic, and even then only to the point that, in formal logic, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Until Reed started hitting on the Kochs I hadn’t really thought about them, politically, in decades. So what does that have to do with me or anything I’ve said?

              You say left leaning think tanks have put out plenty of info on both of these subjects. Have you ever done any research for yourself? Have you ever read the Cato articles they’re referring to, whichever ones they may be? I’m here. I regularly read on Salon and HuffPo, The Washington Post and the New York Times. I watch videos from MSNBC (I don’t have a TV). Before I go rampaging off making claims about someone I do some research to see if what I’ve read is actually correct.

              California’s budget? I really wish it were true. I was born in San Diego and I’ve also lived in Sacramento and Tahoe. I love California except for one thing … the governments in California. I lived across the street from Brown when he was first Governor. Sac housing was very mixed. I was in a $60 a month studio apartment, he was in a penthouse apartment. Anyway, I was coming out one day and saw a news crew across the street. I figured something momentous was happening so I went over and asked one of the cameramen what was going on. He said, and I quote: “We’re just doing a piece on the Governor’s day. We’re just waiting for him to come down to go to work… If he comes down… If he goes to work.” then shrugged and gave a chuckle. I understand he’s grown up some since then, but it would be really hard for me to change my impression of him.

              Anyway, budget. Rather than go into a long response in an already long response, here’s a link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasdelbeccaro/2013/07/08/jerry-brown-stands-atop-californias-collapsing-house-of-cards/

              You say I am for a cause and then support it’s opposite. Where? What cause? I support the reputation of the Cato Institute. Do you consider that a cause? I support many of the causes that the Kochs donate to, but not all of them. You say I’m lying. What, specifically, have I said that you consider a lie? All I’m hearing is generalities.

              Oh -- and your link … Your proof is a hyped up description of a single 37 year old article?

              If that’s the best you can do and if you can’t come up with any specifics for the other accusations you’re throwing at me, then don’t waste my time.

        • monicaangela says:

          It appears you are overlooking much of the damage the Koch brothers are doing to this country. Giving donations to organizations you are trying to crush is one of the oldest tricks in the book.

          » Download this fact sheet as a PDF
          “Koch Brothers Exposed” chronicles the damage being done to individuals, communities and our democracy by two billionaires who are using their vast wealth to rewrite the rules of government to suit their ends. But the Koch brothers are a symbol of a greater problem of the power of money in politics—in particular, the ability of some über-rich people and large corporations to put their massive thumbs on the scale of democracy in ways that manipulate and ultimately overwhelm the will of the people.

          • I tried to get the pdf, but there wasn’t a link.

            Money and politics … As long as the government has favors to give out, then those who want to purchase them will do so. The solutions isn’t to demonize everyone with money, but to change the government so that it doesn’t have favors that it can hand out.

            I’ve started on the video, but just in the first few minutes there have been a lot of questionable assumptions and accusations.

            Harry Reid said that the Kochs want to do away with government. That’s not true. They want to greatly reduce the size of it, but that’s not the same as no government.

            Income inequality, strictly in and of itself, isn’t a problem. An economy isn’t a fixed pie. As long as it keeps growing and everyone’s piece is getting bigger, that’s fine. It’s when the pieces get smaller for some while others’ are getting bigger that there’s a problem. In too many ways that is happening. My diagnosis is different though. The vast majority of the top increase is coming almost directly from the FED. All that extra money they’ve been putting into the economy isn’t actually going into it. It’s going into the stock market and they know it but keep doing it. Wall Street has been donating a lot more money to Democrats these days to keep the good times (for them) rolling.

            I don’t see how it can last much longer, but then I was saying that in the early 2000s too and it still took years before those chicken started to come home to roost. The Price to Earnings ratios are even more outrageous now than then (no, I don’t own any stocks, I was just looking into understanding it at one time). High end real estate prices, both commercial and residential are skyrocketing again. Anything to try and make more money than you can get in conventional investments like actual businesses. Future costs are too uncertain for most businesses to be willing to make much in the way of improvements until and unless things settle down. In the long run we probably would have been better off letting Wall Street crash instead of propping it up. Letting companies that screw up go broke is part of what a true free market needs.

            I wish there were simple sound bite answers and slogans that could explain what I think and why, but there aren’t, so I hope everyone forgives long responses.

            I went over what I think of their father’s background fairly well in another comment so I won’t repeat all that, but suffice it to say he wouldn’t be anywhere on any of my top 1000 list from what I know of him. Still, if you’re going to denigrate what children do because of what their father did, the Kennedys couldn’t have come within a country mile of politics. Their father made his money bootlegging and was actively pro-Nazi. At least Frank Koch turned against what he learned of the Soviet Union … and then went too far the other way and created the John Birch Society, an organization I despise from what I know of them.

            Amazing what you can learn on a side trip. There are 42 gallons in a barrel of oil. So 17,000 gallons is about 405 barrels. The standard railroad tank car holds up to 34,500 of oil. If that’s their biggest spill, less than 1/2 of one railroad car full, they’ve actually done pretty well. If they knowingly stole oil from Indian land then that’s a negative, no argument on that. There’s no love lost between Charles and David and their other two brothers though. Other fines and settlements? Again, compared to most oil companies, the numbers the video is giving are pretty good.

            The Koch brothers spent over 80 million dollars on political causes (I’m sure it’s a lot more, but that’s the number they used)? Tom Steyer, has promised to spend 100 million dollars, this year alone, to any Democratic politician who opposes the Keystone XL pipeline.

            10k, 20k political donations? They’ve made donations that big to Democrats too. Harry Reid himself has received Koch funded donations. So has Chuck Schumer. How about $30,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee? From CQ (Congressional Quarterly) 2000 to 2012: John Tanner D-TN; $68,500, Collin Peterson, D-MN; $67,500, Blanche Lincoln, D-AR; $57,500, Mary Landrieu, D-LA; $55,000, Mark Pryor, D-AR; $50,000.

            Those money numbers being read part? If you listen they’re repeating the same ones over and over.

            That’s just the first 5 minutes.

            There’s only so much time in a day and I need to get some other stuff done.

            • monicaangela says:

              You can’t pick it apart in the first five minutes. You need to watch the entire video. When you have time of course.

          • SueInCa says:


            Trinity and Beyond and Bikini Atoll really solidified my opposition to anything nuclear. I was alarmed at the words Truman spoke after the bombs were dropped. “With God on our side…..”I have always been against war but when I heard that it, kind of solidified for me the idea that men who wage war have to use God as a crutch to explain their devious actions. The testing they and other countries did in the aftermath of WWII is prob a partial reason for upticks in cases of cancer and other diseases as well. People displaced from their homes in order for a country to test their war toys? I have a real hard time believing “god is on our side” when I really look at what this country has done.

            • Sue, I’m going to reply in Off Topic, I don’t want to hijack this thread. We just sort of drifted away from it. 😉

            • SueInCa says:

              Kt I do agree with much of what you have said here. I think the excuse that many many more would die is just like an American who does not want to take responsibility for their actions, we have many past and present who fall in to this category. If that was the case it still does not justifying killing so many in such a horrible way, right? I have read and watched a great deal of stuff on the war and my humble opinion is that once Hitler was dead and Italy had given up, it would not be long for Japan. As things stood at the end, they would have possibly been fighting both the Soviet Union and the US and even with the horrors they visited on the Chinese, they were not strong enough to go it alone against those two nations. I could be wrong but logically that seems to me to be a good reason. Or perhaps the US could not take the chance that the Soviet Union would go in a take over Germany if they were otherwise occupied? I rather doubt that, though since there was already an occupation force right after Germany surrendered in early May 1945

            • You know what gets me about that whole “god is on our side,” bullshit is that the leaders of both nations that engage in war say that.

              Hitler said, when he heard that FDR had died, that it was a sign of providence that Germany was destined to win. He didn’t use the word god, but he clearly implied that.

              Japan of course had the emperor, who was supposedly a living god.

              To this day, I have mixed feelings about our decision to use the bomb. Many people say that using those two bombs saved millions of lives. Many people say we should have just waited because Japan was actually already defeated. I think to some degrees, both these beliefs were true.

              I think the real reason we used them was because Stalin had his eye on Japan and we wanted to prevent him from gaining a foothold there. I think we also wanted Stalin to know that we had such a devastating weapon and were not afraid to use it.

              Stalin, at the time, was still an ally of the US, but nobody in our government trusted him, one bit.

              Maybe the use of the first bomb could be justified, but the use of the second one was purely an inhuman experiment.

          • SueInCa says:

            KT you and Adlib need to change this posting comments so we can post on your original comment lol. I really like Netflix but we very seldom rent DVD’s and if we do, we get them at Redbox. Unfortunately we still have cable because of baseball and some other shows we both like to watch. I did watch that Trinity and Beyond you suggested and went back to watch it again and it is gone. I was going to refer it to a friend but now it is no longer on Netflix. I guess they have to do that sooner or later for space reasons. I think I just might look up the West Wing. One of my favorite shows of all time.

            • Yeah, that is one thing about Netflix that bothers me. They’ll stream something really good for awhile, then it goes back on their mailing service only.

              I guess, as you say, it’s all about space.

              Trinity and Beyond was really good, wasn’t it?

          • SueInCa says:

            That is great Monica. I think we all need to continue to speak out. I will never be quiet despite being called a “meanie”, “bitch”, “whore” etc by Kochs little trolls. Truth is not always pleasant and people who have been brainwashed have a very hard time facing the truth, if they ever do.

          • SueInCa says:

            Thanks for posting it Monica. I did not know it was on you tube. When I first watched it, I tried you tube but not there, that is how I started my “love affair” with Netflix lol. I also have Amazon prime on 30 day trial, so far, not impressed.

            • Sue, I love Netflix streaming and the dvd mail service. I use the streaming service everyday. I watch about one dvd from the mailing service each week.

              The selection of movies available for streaming isn’t great, but there are some good ones. I also watch documentaries, old TV series and the Netflix originals. I just loved House of Cards. My guilty pleasure is binge watching my favorites.

              I’m currently going through the entire West Wing series, and I love it.

              I pay 18 bucks a month and that includes both streaming and mail in options. I think it’s very much worth the 18 bucks.

              With Amazon, you don’t have to buy into Amazon Prime, you can still buy individual movies or HBO, Showtime episodes. And they stay in your own private library of videos, to be watched whenever you choose, as many times as you choose.

              Cable TV can kiss my behind!

            • SallyT says:

              Boy, can you imagine the up roar if President Obama’s father had worked for the Communists (and started his wealth there) instead of coming from Kenya? OH, can I see the misspelled signs on that!

            • monicaangela says:

              I actually saw it for the first time on YouTube quite some time ago. I haven’t tried Netflix or Amazon Prime and don’t plan to try either. I generally buy the DVD’s I am interested in watching. I never watch anything once, I have to watch several times in order to actually appreciate the material and to glean every bit of information from it. I also enjoy having this material on hand when friends stop over for an evening of conversation, political or otherwise. I’m always surprised at the look on their faces, some of them, after they have seen documentaries like the two I have posted here. :)

          • SueInCa says:


            Did you see Park Avenue: Money, Power and The American Dream? It is the one Charles Koch was able to force PBS not to air. It is on Netflix if you want to view it.

          • kesmarn says:

            Thanks so much for posting, Monica!

      • kesmarn says:

        Thanks for the info, Sue. And when Koch ran for office, their party platform specifically said — in writing — that their goals included getting rid of Medicare and Social Security. Is that still part of the Libertarian platform?

        • SueInCa says:

          Kes as far as I know it still is.their platform. I still cannot figure out if you have such deep seated convictions toward Libertarianism why you would run on the Republican ticket, like the Pauls do. Isn’t that pretty much deceiving the voters?

          • kesmarn says:

            Good point, Sue. If Libertarians have strong negative reactions to being classified as being on the right, it makes no sense to run under the banner of a party that makes no bones at all about being on the right.

            • kesmarn says:

              Ran out of room below, Diane, but all I can say is that I think the Libertarians should definitely run for office and specifically and overtly state that their goal is to get rid of Social Security, Medicare (and I would assume Obamacare, SNAP, and other safety net programs). No stealth campaign. Just say it loud and proud.

              I’ll be interested in seeing the public reaction to that.

            • To both Kes and Sue:

              Yes. It’s still part of our platform. I’d a whole lot rather count on established private charity when it’s needed than what some yahoo in the government may decide to do that will flip everything upside down that you’ve planned for.

              There is no Social Security Trust Fund. It’s a bunch of IOUs from the government to itself. Every dollar taken in has been spent, but since it’s an “internal” loan, it doesn’t show up on the books. That financial buffer used to fuel a lot of spending is just about gone and there’s nowhere else to borrow but on the open market. The debt can’t be hidden any more and the only way to pay what has been promised is to jack up more taxes to pay for all the unfunded liabilities. Detroit and California aren’t the only ones that have been playing that game.

              The courts have also long since ruled that you have no legal claim on anything from Social Security. To all the people who say “It’s my money! I’m entitled to it.”, no you’re not. Not legally. There’s not even a legal contractual commitment as there is with, say, government retirees. You could fight for that in the courts. Not for Social Security or Medicare.

              It’s not Libertarians running on Republican tickets. It’s Republicans with Libertarian leanings using the name to differentiate themselves. Ron Paul was our Presidential candidate in ’88, but he left the party. There are Libertarian leaning Democrats as well, but fortunately or unfortunately the Republican ones got out first using the name so the Democrats don’t.

              There are a lot of people that aren’t who call themselves Libertarians or “little l libertarians.” It’s the “in” thing to be. We also, and definitely unfortunately, have a bunch of out and out anarchists who call themselves Libertarians. That’s our “lunatic fringe.” But there’s a big difference between small government and no government.

              It’s not part of the Libertarian platform to never go to war. It IS part of the platform not to involve ourselves in wars, as a government, that are none of our business. If Pearl Harbor happened again tomorrow, there would be no Libertarian saying that we should just roll over and take it.

            • SueInCa says:

              I was talking to a guy who claimed to be a :Libertarian the other day and he told me to get ready for a civil war. How is war on their platform if they claim as a country we should not fight wars? I think what you have is a lot of people that like one or two stances they have taken and declare Libertarian for those few stances.

    • SearingTruth says:

      Fellow citizen Diane Merriam, Libertarians are Republicans on steroids.

      The only difference is that they allow the enslaved to use recreational drugs, and don’t care how or if they worship a god.

      The Libertarian Party stands for pure greed, and an ultimate inhumanity.

      “Ayn Rand was a simple and dispassionate evil.”

      A Future of the Brave

      • SearingTruth says:

        “The libertarian philosophy, while advancing many aspects of freedom, fails to advance a human beings one most unique and defining quality.


        A Future of the Brave

        • Well said my friend.

          In the 21st century, we, as enlightened human beings, can no longer sit silent and let the oppressions of natural order remain.


          • MurphTheSurf3 says:

            KT- I reposted a comment that you left for Diane Merriam that accidentally got left for me to her.

          • SearingTruth says:

            Thank you for not accepting the freedom of the cage gentle friend KillgoreTrout.

            And for always standing for humanity.

            “I too relish small government. Just large enough to cherish and protect the innocent, the poor, and the suffering.”

            A Future of the Brave

      • Ayn Rand did not found the Libertarian Party, nor are her principles the same as the basic principles of the party. There are several overlaps, but to claim they are one and the same? No go. I don’t know where you learned what you think you know about the Libertarian Party, but why don’t you ask some questions and I’ll see if I can answer them for you.

        • SearingTruth says:

          “The Libertarian Party believes that the rules of government should be the brutal and dispassionate laws of nature.”

          A Future of the Brave

        • Hey Diane. Could you please state your Libertarian principles? The ones you believe are closest to your party’s?

          I have to ask, what you would replace SS and Medicare with? How would we as a nation, better care for our elderly and disabled?

          I really would like to see a list of clearly stated Libertarian principles.

      • SueInCa says:

        Ayn Rand took her SS just like anyone else. I wonder if she were alive today if people would wonder how she came to this country, showed disdain of most everything we stood for but wanted her share of the pie, just like any other citizen.

        • kesmarn says:

          The old saying used to be “there are no atheists in fox holes.” In Rand’s case, apparently there aren’t many libertarians among the dead broke. When she ran out of money, she called on her Uncle Sam.

          • Well, Meriam. First let me say. I am very sorry to hear of your troubles. I really am.

            But who do you think would give you the most help now? Some supposed religious charity that may lend a hand for a week or two, or our government programs that would help you for maybe years to come?

            How can anybody in your situation, (and I’ve been there myself) decry government programs that are derived from the preamble to our constitution? Namely where it says, “to promote the general welfare….” I simply don’t understand. Maybe I missed a large portion of this conversation.

            • Diane, this is a reply to your comment below.

              I was referring to the preamble, and I see it as a sort of a mission statement for our nation.

              Yes, I know that the founders weren’t talking about “welfare,” as a government program. They were referring to the health of our nation, as a whole.

              Many people think that if someone just doesn’t feel like working, they can fill out a few forms and get “free money.” That is certainly not the case. Yes, some people cheat and abuse the system, but the far greater number of those receiving government help do need it.

              Our tax dollars go to fund many things we may not agree with, but yet, most people don’t make a big fuss about it because they look at the entire picture.

              When people get welfare checks, food stamps and the like, they put that money back into the economy, almost as soon as they get it. Many people receiving government dollars or food stamps are only getting such help temporarily.

              To think that charitable organizations would be enough, on their own, to help care for the sheer numbers of people who need it is a bit naive, I think.

              The better our citizens do, the healthier they are, only makes us stronger as a nation.

              In my opinion, libertarianism is not even patriotic. It’s not patriotic to be more concerned about one’s self and immediate family, without also being concerned for all of our fellow American’s well being.

              These are just my feelings on these matters.

            • Is there any way to continue conversations when we’ve hit the limit of reply depths? It’s getting moved around every which way. :)

              Why? Because I don’t believe that my needs and wants give me the right to take your money without your express consent.

              The “general welfare” clause is in Article 1, Section 8, not the preamble.

              “Section 8
              1: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;”

              It is then followed by the enumeration of powers granted to the Congress.

              If you read the original notes of the convention, it’s clear that the phrase “general welfare” meant that the powers listed were only to be used where it was to the benefit of all the country, not just part. It has absolutely nothing to do with “welfare” as we think of it today.

              The original phraseology, as was resolved by the Convention on June 27, 1787, was … “and moreover, to legislate in all cases for the general interests of the union, and also those to which the states are separately incompetent, or in which the harmony of the United States may be interrupted by the exercise of individual legislation.” The Committee on Detail compressed it into the single “general welfare.”

            • SallyT says:

              Sounds like good advise there, KT!

          • Quick FYI … If I could bring myself to do it, I qualify for Section 8 housing and a lot of other welfare stuff. I spent a good year and a half or so homeless and am a high school dropout. I turned a lot of that around (obviously) but then between a truck plowing into me and later a birth defect leaving me pretty much unable to be on my feet for more than a few minutes at a time brought me back down (financially) again.

            • kesmarn says:

              I am sorry to hear of that, Diane. And it’s good to hear that you’ve gotten yourself back into the middle class with no help from anyone.

              But it’s also clear that — even though you are a high school dropout — you’re hardly lacking in intelligence or verbal skills.

              That’s truly a blessing.

              But not everyone has been so blessed. And those people do need help. It seems unfair to ask them to go to their local church and plead for assistance in person — especially if they’re agnostics or atheists.

              There’s a certain semi-anonymity to government programs like SNAP and assistance with health insurance that take the “tin cup, hat in hand” aspect out of asking for help.

              And the standards are more objective. The poor don’t have to worry that some judgmental person is going to decide that because they’re overweight, they don’t need food assistance. Or because they have a tattoo, they are not the “deserving poor.”

              You never know when you’re going to run into Lord or Lady Bountiful at the local charity who will say “no” just because their kids’ nanny happened to be sassy that day.

          • SueInCa says:

            The Uncle Sam she disdained for so long. Turns out she is a hypocrite like the rest of her followers

        • SallyT says:

          And, she hated Reagan, was pro-choice and she was an atheist. That atheist thing made Paul Ryan have to lie that he wasn’t her fan after all when running for VP.

      • kesmarn says:

        Searing Truth, you make good points. I must say that to me the Libertarian party looks like the party of anarchy. If their “principles” gained widespread acceptance, we’d be looking more and more like Somalia by the day.

        • I’ll make the same offer to you, Kes. Ask me some questions about what you think Libertarianism is and I’ll try to answer them.

          • kesmarn says:

            See my reply to your minimum wage answer below, Diane. Thanks.

          • kesmarn says:

            How about the Libertarian position on a minimum wage then, Diane?

            • kesmarn says:

              In that case, Diane, I hope that Libertarian candidates will be extremely open and frank about campaigning on that as well. Again — I think bait-and-switch stealth campaigning shows a lack of confidence on the part of the Libertarian Party.

              I really believe that the very same platform planks that attracted you in 1980 should be pushed for today — loud and strong.

              Every Libertarian should be out there saying: NO minimum wage NO Social Security NO Medicare NO Obamacare NO public schools NO FDA

              I genuinely want to see what the reaction of the vast majority of the American public would be to a truly honest statement of those policies would be.

              I suspect it would be a resounding NO!

              But running on a pseudo-hippie “peace, love and weed” platform and then pushing the Koch agenda once in would be pretty low. I hope that’s not the plan.

            • Definitely against. Minimum wage is a tax on the poor by those who are a little less poor. I’d rather be working at $5 an hour (which sometimes I do) than not working at $15.

        • Libertarian ideals have outlived their time. The nation and the world have become too populated to rely on such an individual based ideology.

          As far as Rand goes, she supported and advocated one of the basest aspects of human nature. Selfishness. The last thing human beings need encouragement for is selfishness. The other is a sense of moral superiority. Elitism. Her character John Galt, is a prime example.

          • I much prefer individualism to universal slavery. The fact that the world is so big and complicated is the best reason there is for us needing small government and free markets. No person or organization, anywhere, no matter how well intentioned, can know enough to direct our interactions from above.

            Rand’s characters, and especially Galt, did tend to be more than a bit cut-out. I think a lot of it is just Russian writing. They spend the first third of a book introducing you to every player on every stage, without taking the time for depth to develop a character as a whole person.

            I was talking to someone about about her work a few weeks ago and finally, I think, put a good finger on what was missing. I asked him if he had any kids and saw his face mellow when he said yes. I said “Then you know … That first moment, when you look at your child, how fragile and precious and so totally dependent on you, it changes you.”

            His eyes opened wider while he said “Yes, it does.”

            I said “That’s what’s missing.”

            • If you believe that you have the right to take what someone else has earned with a gun to their head then either you’re a criminal or they’re a slave who does not own the results of his labor. Everything that a government does is, at the root, backed up by guns.

              Free markets? A free market is one in which everyone competes with each other without government interference or aid. If you don’t keep your customers satisfied then you go under. There’s no government official that you can bribe with contributions or more tangible gifts that will help your company get a leg up on their competition or to make the regulatory costs high enough that a new competitor can’t afford to get into that market to begin with. There’s no inspector you can bribe to give you the proper stamp of approval. You have to depend on your reputation.

              As to shrinking the government. There are three areas where a government is needed as impartial referee or an organizer. We need police to investigate crime. We need courts to judge the criminal and, if convicted, assess the penalties. We also need courts to judge civil suits, where even honest people of good intentions occasionally have disagreements. Finally we need an armed force to respond to outside attacks and protect the territorial integrity of the nation.

              All the rest need to be cut off or at a minimum wound down over time.

              A market is made of of billions of individual transactions every day between people making their preferences known by the price they are willing to pay or trade for a certain good. The combination of all those transactions is what tells a producer how much to make or an investor where to invest to best satisfy the needs and wants of the consumer. They don’t have to know why what they make is desired by anyone in particular. The fact that they can sell so much of something means to make more of it. If they put something on the market that people don’t want to buy, that fact gets sent to them as well and production is lowered or stopped while the resources that it would have taken are put to better uses.

              An economy run (if you can call it that) from above has “disinterested” (at best) people deciding how much of something will be made and at what price it will be sold. But it’s impossible to know what the actual combined value to the consumers of something is without price information. That guarantees that resources will be wastefully allocated, making too much of one thing and not enough of another.

            • Universal slavery? Please explain?

              Don’t we already have free markets? Where would you begin to shrink the size of our government? I would start with the Department of Homeland Security and the many redundant agencies associated with it. The creation of the DHS and related agencies was the largest expansion of government in U.S. history.

              “No person or organization, anywhere, no matter how well intentioned, can know enough to direct our interactions from above.” I don’t even know what that means!

          • kesmarn says:

            “The last thing human beings need encouragement for is selfishness.” There it is, Homie, in 10 words!

            • SallyT says:

              The worship of the already successful and the disdain for the powerless is essentially the morality of a thug. Money and property should not be privileged above everything else-- love, humanity, justice.

    • kesmarn says:

      Any organization that was initially founded and funded by Charles Koch is going to have an uphill credibility battle on many fronts, though, Diane.

      • Actually David Koch :)

        They are a very credible organization. Someone else earlier in these comments gave some numbers I wasn’t aware of. I copied them here:

        According to the 2011 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report (Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, University of Pennsylvania), Cato is number 14 in the “Top Thirty Worldwide Think Tanks” and number 6 in the “Top Fifty United States Think Tanks”

        The Institute’s website states, “The mission of the Cato Institute is to originate, disseminate, and increase understanding of public policies based on the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace.”

        • kesmarn says:

          Well, wikipedia might want to revise their info on the Cato Institute then, because they “credit” (or blame) Charles Koch for being the founder.

          The Cato Institute is an American libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was founded as the Charles Koch Foundation in 1974 by Ed Crane, Murray Rothbard, and Charles Koch,[6] chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the conglomerate Koch Industries.

          I’ll grant that it is a well-known think tank. McDonald’s is a well-known restaurant as well. When it comes to quality? Well, they both have their issues.

          And we all do have to love Koch code. “Individual liberty” often means “I don’t pay taxes and I do carry a gun. But you don’t get any food stamps.” “Limited government” translates: “Koch industries can pollute and no regulators had better get in our way.” “Free markets” can mean “Crush unions and abolish the minimum wage.” and “Peace” means “Just sell the weapons to both sides and let me reap the profits, but don’t funnel money that could be lining my pockets into a war effort.”

          Looks good on paper, though.

          • SallyT says:

            Kes, one of many things that the libertarian can’t do is point to a place in the world where their Utopian theories have worked. Sounds good, yes, but as the saying goes, “Sounds too good to be true.”

            • SallyT says:

              Oh, Diane, you do try. But, I can’t go with you there. Everybody wants the Founders on their side; but it was a different country back then-- 95% agricultural, low density, highly homogeneous, primitive in technology-- and modern libertarian-ism simply doesn’t apply.
              All American political movements have their roots in the 1700s. Loyalist opinion essentially disappeared. There were and still are liberals, conservatives, libertarians against the Georgian monarchy and for the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You can certainly find places where one Founder or another rants against government; you can find other places where one Founder or another rants against rebellion, anarchy, and the opponents of federalism. Sometimes the same Founder can be quoted on both sides. They were a mixed bunch, and lived long enough lives to encounter different situations.
              The process of giving life to our constitutional rights has largely been the work of liberals. On the greatest fight of all, to treat blacks as human beings, libertarians supported the other side.
              An untested political system unfortunately has great rhetorical appeal. Since we can’t see it in action, we can’t point out its obvious faults, while the ideologue can be caustic about everything that has actually been tried, and which has inevitably fallen short of perfection. But I’d rather vote for a politician who’s shown that his or her programs work in the real world than for a party candidate that can’t.

            • The early US is the closest we’ve come to a true small government, free market country. The last 100 years or so have generally been a downhill slide.

            • kesmarn says:

              Right you are, Sally! There is no example of a functional libertarian society. In fact, the societies that have the least income inequality, the best educational outcomes, and the healthiest populations tend to be the northern European socialist ones!

  12. choicelady says:

    Murph -- I am looking at this case of course, but your source, Jonathan Turley, is a Libertarian, and he got let go at MSNBC because his views and interpretations of the law were at odds with even Roberts et al. Of course ThomasScaliaAlito (they are just one person) will vote Libertarian on all cases, but I think it likely that the ruling would come down on the same basis that the overall Constitutionality did. Turley has an axe to grind here, and he is not the definitive source of even mainline conservatism on Constitutional issues.

    • I only wish we had Libertarian votes on the SCOTUS. So many people don’t seem to know who we are and seem to think of us as a right spectrum party. That is not the case at all.

      The best short form description I’ve come up with is that I want the government out of my bedroom, out of my billfold and off of my back. If I’m not hurting someone else (and hurt feelings don’t count) or their stuff then leave me the {expletive deleted} alone.

      • choicelady says:

        That, I fear, is NOT what underpin Libertarianism as a political movement.

        It is, and you can follow this, a fervent belief that property rights trump everything else. Libertarians oppose all governmental support for civil rights when it requires property owners to admit all people, no discrimination.

        Your view is your view, but it is not the fundamental value of the Libertarian movement. The Koch brothers are Libertarian -- they hate government for its support of human rights over their right to have mercenary forces wage violence in developing nations to take their resources, don’t want to serve minorities if they think it might hurt business, don’t want to have schools and public institutions they have to support with tax dollars, and on and on and on.

        Your desire for PERSONAL liberty is understandable. It’s not the fundamental concern for Libertarians. It’s property over people, the preservation of riches and power of the few against the many.

        Please understand we see your concerns and share them, but the gulf between personal ‘liberty’ and the Libertarian party platform is a significant difference we hope you and others will note and take seriously. It matters.

        • The Kochs are still mostly Libertarian, but they’re actually Republicans now. Some of their positions these days are definitely NOT Libertarian.

          I’ve been a Libertarian for a good 35 years now, almost from the very beginning. Sometimes active, other times not. I’ve got a lot more time on my hands these days so I’m getting active again.

          As far as I can tell, the general perception of the Libertarian Party is that it’s the same as the Tea Party. It most definitely is not. They have given themselves our name and tried to pretend that they are us, but they’re NOT.

          I want to do a short explanation on property, but I can’t find a short way to do it. It’s late. As I said to someone else, I’m planning a post on the LP and it may wind up having to be a couple of posts. I’ll have to let it go until then.

          • choicelady says:

            Nope -- I don’t think they’re the Tea Party, but I know from years of paying attention that Cato and the Kochs put property rights front and center over human rights.

            That some Libertarians think civil rights are paramount does not outweigh that. The Kochs work through the GOP now but to secure a Libertarian foothold.

            Pay attention to the Pauls -- the son is also a Dominionist, anointed by Ted Cruz’s extremist father the same day Ted was. Rand said he opposed the extension of the Civil Rights Act to businesses -- private property -- where one ought to be free to discriminate totally.

            There is no way around it. That’s who they are. Cato championed Hobby Lobby over you.

            Personal liberty is found most readily at the hands of the Dems, not the Libertarians. Only point of agreement is on decriminalizing or legalizing drugs. That, to me, is wholly insufficient a reason to follow them.

      • Diane, you can use expletives here. We’re all adults here and don’t have a list of “bad words,” to be deleted.

        • I used to cuss like a sailor, but when my son was born I decided that do as I say, not as I do wasn’t an acceptable approach.

          Besides, using {expletive deleted} lets people use whatever cussing means the most to them in its place :)

  13. monicaangela says:

    Without addressing the issue concerning the new case that would like to challenge the ACA subsidies, let me just say that the Roberts court has become an activist court, and before ruling on any other case concerning the ACA, should remember the following case:

    Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. (8 Otto.) 145 (1878), was a Supreme Court of the United States case that held that religious duty was not a defense to a criminal indictment. Reynolds was the first Supreme Court opinion to address the Impartial Jury and the Confrontation Clauses of the Sixth Amendment.

    George Reynolds was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), charged with bigamy under the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act after marrying Amelia Jane Schofield while still married to Mary Ann Tuddenham in Utah Territory. He was secretary to Brigham Young and presented himself as a test of the federal government’s attempt to outlaw polygamy. A first trial ended in his acquittal on technical grounds.

    The Court considered whether Reynolds could use religious belief or duty as a defense. Reynolds had argued that as a Mormon, it was his religious duty as a male member of the church to practice polygamy if possible.

    The Court recognized that under the First Amendment, the Congress cannot pass a law that prohibits the free exercise of religion. However it argued that the law prohibiting bigamy did not meet that standard. The principle that a person could only be married singly, not plurally, existed since the times of King James I of England in English law, upon which United States law was based.

    The Court investigated the history of religious freedom in the United States and quoted a letter from Thomas Jefferson in which he wrote that there was a distinction between religious belief and action that flowed from religious belief. The former “lies solely between man and his God,” therefore “the legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions.” The court considered that if polygamy was allowed, someone might eventually argue that human sacrifice was a necessary part of their religion, and “to permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.” The Court believed the First Amendment forbade Congress from legislating against opinion, but allowed it to legislate against action.

    The Court affirmed Reynold’s conviction unanimously. Chief Justice Morrison Waite wrote on behalf of himself and seven colleagues. Justice Field wrote a concurrence that dissented on one minor point.

    I believe it is time for the right wing conservatives and the Tea Party to stop trying to attack and remove the ACA, and start devoting their time to fixing any problems it might have. When will those so called “Christians” begin trying to legislate for the people instead of trying to legislate against the President?

    • Mopshell says:

      My reflexive answer to your final question is “never” but I’m wondering how they will react to the supplemental bill the President has just presented to Congress to deal with the flood of refugees at the border? What the Republicans basically want is in that bill but will they want to obstruct Obama even more than solve the problems at the border? As Obama said, “This is a test case”.

      • monicaangela says:

        After reading that bill, especially section 107 of the bill which is HR. 7311. I notice that funds to the countries that the children are coming from are no longer receiving the funds they were receiving to implement actions that would prevent human/child trafficking. I often wonder if this is an effort by the wealthy of those countries to continue receiving money from the U.S. for this action….OR ELSE.

        Section (107)
        YEARS.—Section 110(b)(3) of the Trafficking Victims
        Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7107(b)(3)) is amend-
        ed by adding at the end the following:
        ‘‘(i) IN GENERAL.—Except as pro-
        vided under clause (ii), a country that is
        included on the special watch list described
        in subparagraph (A) for 2 consecutive
        years after the date of the enactment of 15
        •HR 7311 EH
        1 this subparagraph, shall be included on the
        2 list of countries described in paragraph
        3 (1)(C).
        5 ITY.—The President may waive the appli-
        6 cation of clause (i) for up to 2 years if the
        7 President determines, and reports credible
        8 evidence to the Committee on Foreign Re-
        9 lations of the Senate and the Committee
        10 on Foreign Affairs of the House of Rep-
        11 resentatives, that such a waiver is justified
        12 because—
        13 ‘‘(I) the country has a written
        14 plan to begin making significant ef-
        15 forts to bring itself into compliance
        16 with the minimum standards for the
        17 elimination of trafficking;
        18 ‘‘(II) the plan, if implemented,
        19 would constitute making such signifi-
        20 cant efforts; and
        21 ‘‘(III) the country is devoting
        22 sufficient resources to implement the
        23 plan.’’.
        25 FOREIGN COUNTRIES.—Section 110(d)(1)(A)(ii) of the 16
        •HR 7311 EH
        1 Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C.
        2 7107(d)(1)(A)) is amended by inserting ‘‘such assistance
        3 to the government of the country for the subsequent fiscal
        4 year and will not provide’’ after ‘‘will not provide’’.
        6 PORT.—The Secretary of State shall—
        7 (1) timely translate the annual report submitted
        8 under section 110(b) of the Trafficking Victims Pro-
        9 tection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7107(b)) into the
        10 principal languages of as many countries as possible,
        11 with particular emphasis on the languages of the
        12 countries on the lists described in subparagraphs
        13 (B) and (C) of section 110(b)(1) of such Act; and
        14 (2) ensure that the translations described in
        15 paragraph (1) are made available to the public
        16 through postings on the Internet website of the De-
        17 partment of State and other appropriate websites.

  14. James Michael Brodie says:

    I will continue to say this: Those who voted “protest” votes in 2010, or simply did not vote…

    They are the ones who set this in motion, giving the Tea Party credibility and a natioanl forum. I will go to my grave referring to this time as Post Reconstruction II.

    During the first incarnation, a Congress that had more Black elected officials (with fewer states) than there are today got wiped clean of them.

    Today, we have a president.

    Do I really need to be any clearer?

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