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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 4:14 pm 
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Figured we might be spoiling the innocence of the "Random Crap" thread, so here's a stab at a special place for the kind of topics that, on lesser forums, descend into name-calling and flame wars. Discourse here on exrx/forum tends to a higher level than that, thank goodness.

W/respect to the Arab/Israeli thing, I still tend to follow the idea that "to whom much has been given, much is expected." The haves in this situation are some (not all) of the neighboring Arab countries, Israel itself, and the outsiders who are fighting proxy here, Russians, British, United States, China (I'm sure soon enough), and others.

The Palestinians are about the only have-nots here.

This is not a bleeding-heart "Oh goodness not one Palestinian has ever done anything wrong ever" type of idea. The idea is more that those who hold the power can put an end to the cycle of vengeance and retribution that keeps the whole thing going. For Americans, that means us and our government in its relationship with Israel.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:15 pm 
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I'm always careful in trusting liberal sites, simply because a site I agree with can subject me to a high degree of confirmation bias. But that's what independent verification is for.

I think Israel is the main thing standing in the way, but it definitely can't be solved unilaterally.

I always thought the "liberal media" charge was made up outright to discredit independent verification. But being 35, I have been exposed to very little news from 40 or more years ago; just the historical stuff really. Reality tends to have a liberal bias. But did you notice people being dismissed out of hand for conservative views, or who's right in a debate being taken for granted, and that sort of thing in the media from 40 or more years ago? If so, perhaps there is a kernel of truth in a way. Or we have a case of truth being grandfathered into propaganda as the situation changed over time.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:43 pm 
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Oscar wrote:
"agree to disagree?

I'm surrounded by liberals.
Thanks for other thread."

So, Oscar, I really hope you're not thinking I'm a liberal. Far from it. Independent, with a fiscal conservative libertarian leaning. As far as I'm concerned both the current collection of Republicans and Democrats in the congress and Senate are whores to the big lobbies, they're just working a different side of the street.
Tim


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:24 pm 
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TimD wrote:
Oscar wrote:
"agree to disagree?

I'm surrounded by liberals.
Thanks for other thread."

So, Oscar, I really hope you're not thinking I'm a liberal. Far from it. Independent, with a fiscal conservative libertarian leaning. As far as I'm concerned both the current collection of Republicans and Democrats in the congress and Senate are whores to the big lobbies, they're just working a different side of the street.
Tim


I should not have used such a general term. I have litle to go on for 99% of this forum to make that claim. Just my way of saying debating is useless for me in these situations (forums, polictical)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:34 am 
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I'm a liberal, seriously liberal. Whole family are, my mum was even an elected politician for the Green Party in Scotland (they're pretty far to the left). Must be in my genes.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:33 am 
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I would be described as "very liberal", or "left libertarian". I agree 100% with self identified democratic socialists, but that isn't socialism in the traditional sense. So on the economic spectrum, I'm pretty far to the left, very liberal, but not quite a socialist. On the totalitarian/anarchy spectrum, I lean heavily to the anarchy side. So I'm very libertarian, but not quite an anarchist. If you are familiar with anarho-socialism, I'm a more moderate version of that. I tend to agree with people like Senator Bernie Sanders, Noam Chomsky, and people like that. Some people call me an "old school liberal", which makes sense. I'm definitely a fan of FDR. It's amazing how radically liberal he was back in the 30's and 40's.

I'm not a fan of Republicans or Democrats either. I'll take the Dems for lack of a viable alternative. Republicans are by far the worst, bigger corporate whores than even the Democrats. The last couple years EVERY policy they make is designed to stack the deck more and more in favor of the rich and corporations. They give to them by screwing the poor and middle class. Just look at wages, and the divergence of productivity from median income. With the "Citizens United" ruling the screwing is complete. It's the "Iron Law of Oligarchy". We have a corporatist oligarchy, headed by the Wallstreet aristocracy.

They insisted on keeping the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, some want to lower the corporate tax rate to 0. Yet they are against extending a payroll tax cut for poor and middle class. They do that on EVERYTHING. They want Obama out, and they will piss all over this country to get it.

They stir up the uneducated with the red meat of social issues. Oppressing any and all groups that will get them the votes of braindead bigoted rubes. They stir people up with nationalist propaganda consisting of jingoist hyper-patriotism, xenophobia and just general fear and anger. Then into that they insert each "Big Lie". They repeat it over and over again until it is believed as an axiom.
They are anti-science, they despise intelligence and knowledge as "elitism", and they glorify ignorance and stupidity.

They no longer have a single redeeming quality. Ronald Reagan couldn't even make it in this Republican party. No, conservatism died with Barry Goldwater.

You also gotta love the way they pay lip service to civil liberties, while they take them away from us. Getting the government out of the way...well unless it has to do genitals....or anything in the patriot act.....
Oh and don't even get me started on religion. Religion is like a penis. It's alright if you have one and you are proud of it, but don't wave it around in public or shove it down my throat. But with Republicans it's god, god, god, all the time. It would make no less sense if they attributed everything to Luke Skywalker or Harry Potter, as far as I'm concerned. It's about as sane to me as thinking Zeus and Thor are real.

Ok, I'll just end it there, I'm starting to ramble at this point.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:20 am 
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I don't get why a lot of Americans who are poor or middle-lower class vote against the social health system of Obama.
As I see it, with that system there are a lot more people who can afford medical help.

And coming from Europe it's funny that what you call left-wing/(libertarian/liberal?) isn't left wing over here at all.
It might even be slightly right-wing.

Also: In here the media is actually pro-palestines (not the terrorist acts of course), and there is much more awareness for the wrongs of the Israelites.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:20 am 
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EDIT: exrx double posted this


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:15 am 
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Wouter wrote:
I don't get why a lot of Americans who are poor or middle-lower class vote against the social health system of Obama.
As I see it, with that system there are a lot more people who can afford medical help


Wouter, I don't know where you got that idea. It's not the lower, lower middle that are against Obama care. And yes, it would be a good thing for them. The problems arise from the upper middle, in particular, mainly small business owners, that just can't figure out yet at this time as to what the upcoming tax burdens are going to be. They're kind of in limbo right now, and this is stopping a lot of them hiring on new employees.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:28 am 
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Seeing this is random, political, figured I'd post a rant. As bad as the economy is, you'd figure that the Republicans would have a lock on things, but it seems like they're trying to snatch failure from the jaws of victory. Looks like most of the candidates are getting the Joe Biden disease, being open mouth, insert foot. Bachman going after social issues, which the government has no business being involved in (gay marriage, etc), Perry calling social security a ponzi scheme, and Herman Caine saying the black voters are brainwashed.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:39 am 
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TimD wrote:
Wouter wrote:
I don't get why a lot of Americans who are poor or middle-lower class vote against the social health system of Obama.
As I see it, with that system there are a lot more people who can afford medical help


Wouter, I don't know where you got that idea. It's not the lower, lower middle that are against Obama care. And yes, it would be a good thing for them. The problems arise from the upper middle, in particular, mainly small business owners, that just can't figure out yet at this time as to what the upcoming tax burdens are going to be. They're kind of in limbo right now, and this is stopping a lot of them hiring on new employees.


I've got the classical image of a redneck or someone from a small town in middle USA, who doesn't have a lot of money to get by, but still votes republican.
And since republican=against "socialism" and against the health care system.
That might be an ignorant trail of thought though.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:53 am 
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Somebody I know routinely forwards me emails full of righteous indignation at what "they" are up to, out to destroy the country and YOU MUST TELL EVERYBODY before it's too late. Usually Obama is the bad guy.

Anyway, got one yesterday about HR 4646, which would impose a 1% fee on all bank deposits, paid by the depositor. That includes your paycheck and Mom's social security. The email said the plan was for Obama to pass this in December after the election and sock us all yet again with more taxes.

The email invited readers to look it up.

So I did.

Turns out there actually is such a bill, and it would impose the fee, but the email left out the important stuff: you receive a non-refundable tax credit on all fees paid in the year. After 7 years the Federal Income Tax would be abolished. I'm just a dumb farmer, but that don't sound like an Obama plan to me.

So what would this mean to various people in the US?

1) An elderly person who does not receive enough income to pay tax still pays the fee. Since it is non-refundable, they are now paying 1% income tax they were not paying before.

2) College students on work study also don't earn enough to pay income tax, but now they would.

3) The broad middle (I'm in there somewhere) who's tax burden is over 1% of our income would see absolutely no difference

4) The wealthy who are able to pay oftentimes zero tax now have a minimum 1% tax on any money passing through their hands. I'm sure that can be gotten around.

So in effect it is a plan to eliminate US income tax with a 1% flat tax, levied at time of deposit. Sound familiar?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:25 pm 
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Wouter, there is no doubt that the redneck image you have exists, however, the majority of the reason Obama care isn't liked by the majority, is because of the fact that there are so many unknowns involved with it. Even Pelosi came out with something along the lines of you have to vote it in to find out whats in it. Well, we're still finding out what's in it, and it is usually coming up with more taxes on small businesses, keeping them from hiring more people because they don't know what else is coming down the pike and how they will be able to afford it. Another BTW, the people that actually control the votes are the independents, not the far right or far left bases. Their ideas will never change. Health care reform is in fact desperately needed in this country, however, most do not want it Govt control, for fear of too much waste, fraud and abuse, not to mention higher taxation.

As to my personal beliefs, I found an interesting thing on youtube that pretty much describes my thoughts to a T. The author and myself are the same age, and have been and lived through the same experiences. We're both somewhere in that middle, with a large distrust of a powerful federal Govt, but neither far left or far right.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zfgoJzOCgg
Tim


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:38 pm 
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TimD wrote:
Health care reform is in fact desperately needed in this country, however, most do not want it Govt control, for fear of too much waste, fraud and abuse, not to mention higher taxation.


You know the crazy thing is the US has one of the most successful healthcare systems in the world -- if you're over 65, called Medicare. I heard yesterday that 2% of the dollars that pass through Medicare go to administration, compared to 20% for the insurance companies which must also show a profit.

Even if payroll taxes went up 3%, most wage earners would see a huge drop in total burden under a no-age Medicare, because there would be no more contributions to private health plans.

The uncertainty caused by Obama's plan for small business is largely because big insurance companies more or less wrote the plan.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:18 pm 
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I don't know all the details of the plan, or who pays what.
But I do know that a medical plan is necessary in the USA, at least something that shuts off those private insurances who account for a hell of a lot of money.
And that everyone can get medical help, not just the rich/those with jobs that pay for it.

Didn't the repuplicans want to change something to medicare?


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