2nd July 2012

“In Germany's recent past, in the kaleidoscope of cultures and religions in this multicultural society, many people have forgotten that human rights must come before religious practices.”

Seyran Ates

6 Responses to “2nd July 2012”

  1. TIGERLILY Says:

    Amen to that!

  2. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    From the other day:

    reetBob Says:

    June 30th, 2012 at 22:59
    Sinjin, the claim you’re making is extraordinary. It seems fair to ask you to provide the extraordinary supporting evidence, especially as I know of no-one else who has made this claim.

    In the absence of further evidence I’m holding to the position of unbelief.
    ~~~
    You need evidence? What?

    In every corner of the world you can read story after story of clergy sexual abuse. The persistence of these stories is so familiar to just about every person I know. Frankly I’m astonished you would question me on this at all!

    Clergy sexual abuse has been documented back to the 11th century and presently the largest stories surround the abuse in Philadelphia:

    Here are just a few current stories among the thousands you might read:

    http://articles.boston.com/2012-06-30/news/32485818_1_abuse-complaints-thomas-bergstrom-clergy-abuse
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/convicted-pa-monsignor-seeks-release-from-prison-to-await-sentencing-lawyers-plan-appeal/2012/06/30/gJQAoag4DW_story.html
    http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/abuse-priest-jailed-for-five-years-557605.html
    http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2012/s3537310.htm
    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-06-26/news/sns-rt-us-usa-crime-churchbre85p1gv-20120626_1_church-abuse-case-fight-extradition-flight-risk

    Yes it is fair to ask for suppoerting evidence, but how fair is it for you to ignore the obvious? In this light surely you are either a religious apologist or not paying attention.

  3. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I wanted to think on your challenge from the 27th before responding because you frequently have an insight that I’d like to consider for a day or two instead of just blurting out whatever is on the top of my thinking.
    “Taxation challenge to you: Design a tax system from scratch that is fair to you, regardless of you’re in life, with just one single proviso: you do not know what your status in life will be. Make it fair to yourself prior to the point of your conception, because who conceives you WILL affect your status in life. See if you can come up with a system which you consider fair no matter how things turn out.”
    I remain of the belief that I stated on the 27th but I made a presumption that what I’ve said previously on the matter, or in relations to the subject, was still part of the active conversation: I apologize for the egotistical presumption.
    What I “presumed” was still on the table was what I’ve said previously about safety nets: That I’m in favor of safety nets.
    First: I believe in the concept of having “skin in the game” or the psychological negative effects of feeling or being disenfranchised. In a participatory democracy all participants must be included in their governance. Paying taxes, paying your money for your governance, your police department, your fire department, your stake in the game means your entitlement to your standing as a tax paying citizen. A sub-culture of disenfranchised, disassociated, non-tax paying, poor people is a beat down that is harmful psychologically.
    Caveat: I said I was for a safety net and I am. Whatever investment we need to make to ensure the participation of all our citizens in this democracy we do for ourselves. When we lift up the least among us we lift us all. We are all in this together and those we forget we forget at our own peril. So if it is education as we were speaking of the other day, or food stamps/WIC checks, social security , Medicare/Medicaid, et cetera we continue these safety net programs adjusted for whatever changes in tax implications we create.
    A problem I see too often I’d characterize as the “can’t fight city hall” mindset where for the poor, with little resource, just give up, they don’t write the letter to their representative, they don’t make the effort to take a stand for themselves. Not paying taxes reinforces this sense of hopelessness.
    Go to the town carnival and watch the fellow argue with ring toss vendor about a prize he believes he won for his kid and he will be explaining how he paid his money, he isn’t being treated fair, and the guy won’t relent until his kid is beaming with the big Elmo stuffed animal. Rarely do I see this fervency in the town hall by that same guy.
    The “flat rate” sales tax is a progressive tax because the people who consume the least are taxed the least. They have more of the income they earn because they don’t pay tax on their income.

    A “flat rate” sales tax is a pro-market methodology that puts downward pressure on the price equilibrium between supply and demand. This downward pressure results in lower prices or creates the tendency for prices to decline. This pressure comes from the “flat rate” sales tax, the consumer who consumes the least is taxed the least, so marketers will have to convince people that the value of their products are worth paying the additional taxes to purchase them. This is a downward force.
    The alignment of the Republican Party with the Pro-Business 1%ers and the Democrat party with the Pro-Labor unionists (12-13% of the population) has alienated roughly 85% of the population from the controlling political powers.
    A view of hope: A Pro-Market, free markets party? If we go back to “dancing with who brung us” we will find again that which made us all in the first place. That to speak specifically to your challenge “…prior to the point of your conception…” I’d argue that we should have never made the departure from Pro-Market economics in the first place. The establishment of the income tax was truly a boneheaded move! Think about it: “…Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived…”. Who among us actually believes the Congress is even able to actively monitor “…whatever source derived…”? (Especially among the rich and the criminal class.)
    Caymen Island and Swiss bank accounts does anyone out there actually believe these are passbook accounts? Do we all believe the rich and criminal classes aren’t actively pursuing investment and earning income that isn’t taken into account by Congress? OH! And don’t forget about mega-corporations that operate globally? Is Congress actively monitoring mega-corporations and where they earn their income? I think the young people say “Puh-Lease” when they hear such nonsense.
    Taxing income is simply put too complicated for the Congress, or the IRS, or any governmental entity to police. We need to stop this incessant proclivity to complicate relatively simple matters.
    • Yes Jeff, I agree with you regarding progressive taxation. I agree that the value of the American marketplace has a value that must be paid for fairly and in relation to the success you derive from it.
    • I scoff at the idea that a flat tax on income is fair, it is a lie and a lie for the reasons that you have already identified.
    But a flat rate sales tax has the benefit of being an equal rate (fairness) to all participants and also generating from all participants revenue, in terms of actual dollars paid, relative to the success they have derived from the marketplace (fairness).
    We need to separate the concept of “free ride” from the conversation. Republicans disdain the “free ride” they see half the population getting where they don’t pay taxes (a little lie because they still pay sales taxes).
    We need to separate the concept of “I pay taxes so poor people‘s opinions don’t count”. If no one is taxed on income no one can say this.

    If we all pay the same rate, if we all pay tax on consumption, we can’t isolate, we can’t look down our noses at each other. The poor man and Mitt Romney can stand side by side and say “Hey I pay sales taxes, I want this!”.
    If we ensure the safety and security of our fellow Americans with programs to lift them up, to sustain them through illness or poor health, and through periods of changing economic conditions outside the context of “the public doll” where we divide ourselves on the basis of who pays tax and who doesn’t then we can change the conversation entirely. This is a “common defense” matter as it ain’t so much the threat from militaries abroad encroaching on our borders/disrupting our commerce that is affecting American lives. The threats that intrude on the lives of most Americans tend to be more organic: Illness, injury, death, et cetera.
    Fact is: Cancer kills more people than terrorists will ever have the capability to.
    Fact is: Diabetes has far greater a negative effect on the productivity of American lives, effects that adversely affect their potential to produce an income, than illegal immigrants serving up coffee and donuts at the local Dunkin Donuts.
    Fact is: Heart disease breaks up more families than senseless marijuana arrests in urban city neighborhoods.
    Jeff your lament is not lost on me “…income is currently less than that which I must spend to live…”. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a guide. We can NOT call ourselves civilized if we don’t provide for the physiological and safety needs of our citizens. Fundamental to our doctrine, the Constitution is spelled out plainly and clearly: Our government is about our people.
    Your morality, creativity, spontaneity, your ability to solve problems, the confidence and self-esteem you carry, the respect of others, the friendships, families, and your sexual inclinations are all seated upon the foundation of security of your body, employment, property, health.
    Without food, water, sleep, and a place to take a dump, you are a burden to society and that affects us all adversely. Alleviate these burdens from all citizens, lift up the least among us, to the point of having enough money to live on, enough of a safety net to allow a person to be as productive as they can be and you lift us all.
    At the end of the day that is it in a nutshell: people being productive, as productive as they can be. Anything that limits a person’s ability to be productive needs to be viewed as an enemy of the state. Poverty needs to be viewed as an enemy of the state. NOT poverty stricken people but the condition of poverty itself.
    A safety net that allows all citizens to be as productive as they can be, coupled with a fair flat sales tax that allows an individual full authority over all of their income, is what we started this nation with (taxing commerce not income). It is also the hope for the future because re-enfranchising people, all people, supporting free markets (not monopolies/duopolies/oligopolies like we do today), is the best possible system of funding our governance.

  4. Kittie Aldakkour Says:

    That is because many people look to their religion to define human rights.

  5. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Kittie that is a frightening thought, especially for having read Deuteronomy.

    You simply can not appreciate women or children if you subscribe to that vile treatise.

  6. reetBob Says:

    ” You need evidence? What?”

    Yes, i need evidence.

    “In every corner of the world you can read story after story of clergy sexual abuse. The persistence of these stories is so familiar to just about every person I know. Frankly I’m astonished you would question me on this at all!”

    I’m not questioning you on this. You claimed that the Catholic Church is a false front for paedophilia, your claims imply that child abuse is such an all-pervasive and mutually acknowledged motive that the very clothes worn are symbolic of these malign intentions.

    “Clergy sexual abuse has been documented back to the 11th century and presently the largest stories surround the abuse in Philadelphia:

    Here are just a few current stories among the thousands you might read:

    http://articles.boston.com/2012-06-30/news/32485818_1_abuse-complaints-thomas-bergstrom-clergy-abuse http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/convicted-pa-monsignor-seeks-release-from-prison-to-await-sentencing-lawyers-plan-appeal/2012/06/30/gJQAoag4DW_story.html http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/abuse-priest-jailed-for-five-years-557605.html http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2012/s3537310.htm http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-06-26/news/sns-rt-us-usa-crime-churchbre85p1gv-20120626_1_church-abuse-case-fight-extradition-flight-risk

    These are all stories pointing towards a higher than average prevalence of sexual abuse from Catholic clergy (probably much higher) than in the rest of society. I think there are likely several contributory factors. The life of a clergyman probably does attract predators with a predeliction for young boys, a (hideously unnatural) life of chastity will turn few more against their flock, and a sense of responsibility to the church of god over these ‘earthly’ laws allows many others to protect their fellow clergy and ignore their conscience.

    “Yes it is fair to ask for suppoerting evidence, but how fair is it for you to ignore the obvious? In this light surely you are either a religious apologist or not paying attention.”

    First came the straw man, then came the ad hominem attacks, as i suspected they would. I’m being a rationalist. What you claim is not obvious or self evident. I’m still not convinced that the Catholic church, for all its ills, is a false front for paedopilia.