Friday, August 26, 2011

Where Too Much of Our Taxpayer Dollars Go

I have two thoughts after seeing this video.  First, I strongly suspect that the gentleman being questioned by Judge Judy is not an atypical abberation of those receiving tax payer dollars, or "stipends" as he calls it, but rather makes up a significant proportion of those that we tax payers are supporting.

Second, I think Judge Judy should be on a short list for consideration for filling the next Supreme Court vacancy. 


67 comments:

John Myste said...

I have not listened to the video yet, as that would take too much of my lunch time, which is very important as I am very hungry and it is very late.

I will assume you are trying to show an instance of someone taking advantage of the system with use of entitlements. If you are, kudos. There is too much of that going on. We need to reform the entitlement system so we can give more to those who actually need it and less to those who don't.

Perhaps we could even add a few dollars to the kitty once the reform is complete and they are being better spent. Perhaps a few Koch dollars.

The Heathen Republican said...

That's probably the most he's learned since he started college. Instead of getting his tuition and rent paid for by taxpayers, he probably thought it was coming out of Obama's stash.

T. Paine said...

Mr. Myste, you were on such a roll! I agreed with every word you wrote until the last short paragraph.

Heathen, I cannot imagine what that gentleman's major is, but it sure isn't economics. Or then again, maybe it is and Paul Krugman is his professor.

John Myste said...

OK, I watched the video.

It is galling.

I am so annoyed that my tax dollars are supporting that guy. We definitely need to reform that system, because his attitude and actions trick conservatives into thinking this what "entitlements" are all about, and there is little more.

Also, I am just annoyed at him and she SHOULD send the tape to congress (535 times).

And Judge Judy did not allow the plaintiff to fully present her case. She should be disbarred.

Just the Facts! said...

John,
I'm puzzled by your statement, "because his attitude and actions trick conservatives into thinking this what "entitlements" are all about, and there is little more."

Are you saying that what this dirt bag was getting was an entitlement?
If the dirt bags actions upset you, why are conservatives tricked? Why liberals are upset?

John Myste said...

@Just,

If Person A Scams the system, some conservatives then think this means that any alphabetical characters receiving assistance are scamming the system.

It really means the letter A is scamming the system.

That is why some conservatives are tricked. Conservatives who think the Alphabet, by definition, scams the system, are not as analytical as I.

I am annoyed at the reality: person A Scammed the system.

We need reform. There is no mechanism in place to punish this or to prevent it, nor is there any real data telling us how wide-spread it is.

The Heathen Republican said...

Well said, John. Allow me to be more precise.

When Person A scams the system, conservatives do not simply want to throw out the system; we also want to fix it. Obviously the politicians who designed the entitlement didn't foresee everything, and there are unintended consequences that need to be addressed.

If the entitlement in question is one that conservatives already want to get rid of because it's outside the government's defined role, then we'll use this as an opportunity to trash it and get more people on our side. But we do not simply see fraud and decide to throw the whole thing out.

Perhaps most importantly, we learn from examples like this and we oppose new entitlements like ObamaCare. We point out that the new system has rampant fraud; that the new system has unintended consequences; that a group of overlord politicians simply can't think of everything; and oppose new entitlements that will repeat the mistakes of the past.

John Myste said...

@Heathen,

Well said, John.

Agreed.

Obviously the politicians who designed the entitlement didn't foresee everything, and there are unintended consequences that need to be addressed.

You ain’t whistlin’ Dixie, my friend.

If the entitlement in question is one that conservatives already want to get rid of … then we'll use this as an opportunity to trash it and get more people on our side.

Opportunistic bastards!

If the entitlement in question is one that conservatives already want to get rid of … then we'll use this as an opportunity to trash it and get more people on our side.

Very intellectually honest, sir. We [liberals] do the same thing with policies we don’t like.

Perhaps most importantly, we learn from examples like this and we oppose new entitlements like ObamaCare.

Flawed logic. That is like saying, perhaps we will learn from our mistakes when our car’s fuel injector fails and we can all ride bicycles. A flaw in the implementation of a system indicts the implementation, not the system. ObamaCare is good or it’s bad and Judge Judy’s defendant does nothing to address it.

We point out that the new system has rampant fraud

If that were true, you should, of course, point it out. I assume by fraud, you mean like Judge Hudson’s legislative efforts under the guise of interpretation, right? I agree, that was a bit fraudulent, though “fraud” is probably not the best contextual term.

… that the new system has unintended consequences;

All complex system do, up to, and including democracy itself. If I understand you right, we should therefore throw democracy out, as our implementation of it is flawed, contains fraud, etc. All the things that tell you a system is wrong.

… that a group of overlord politicians simply can't think of everything

I don’t think we should only focus on Republicans.

… and oppose new entitlements that will repeat the mistakes of the past.

We could just as easily replace the word “entitlements” with “laws.” Any complex system is hard to predict, and almost all laws are complex. Your statement could be used by an anarchist as easily as it could be applied to entitlements. To argue that a flawed entitlement implantation tells us new entitlements are bad is no different from arguing that a banana that is brown and mushy tells us that fruit is bad. It is a composition fallacy. I would agree that it tells us that if we are going to create very costly programs, we need oversight and accountability for their use or they could be abused. Let’s agree on that instead.

As you once stated, I do seem a bit combative. I don’t mean to be. My heart is filled with love.

If I were a fire, I would burn, If I were a woodcutter, I would strike; but I am a heart, and I love. It’s all I know how to do. I think I plagiarized that from the Last Temptation of Christ, but I may have plagiarized it from another source. Either way, it is so me.

T. Paine said...

First, us intellectually obtuse conservatives who get tricked into thinking that all of the alphabet people are scamming the system when only person A is doing so would like to point out that in reality it is probably more like people A through J (at a minimum) who are conning the system at the taxpayers’ expense. I recall a fascinating and brilliant man even recounted a story of his earlier days describing such abuses from those of his neighborhood acquaintances. Do you recall that story, John?  Of course, I realize that was anecdotal, but it sure seems to be a lot more pervasive of a problem than just the dastardly person A being the lone problem person here. I bet Judge Judy would agree.

Continuing onward…

HR: “Well said, John. “

JM: “Agreed.”

TP: “Me too! I also agree!” :)



HR: “Obviously the politicians who designed the entitlement didn't foresee everything, and there are unintended consequences that need to be addressed.”

JM: “You ain’t whistlin’ Dixie, my friend.”

TP: “I can’t whistle anything, let alone Dixie. It is really is quite a handicap. I should ask person A if there is a government “stipend” to help me learn to whistle Dixie.”




HR: “If the entitlement in question is one that conservatives already want to get rid of … then we'll use this as an opportunity to trash it and get more people on our side.”

JM: “Opportunistic bastards!”

TP: “It sounds like Myste was channeling person A too there!”




HR: “If the entitlement in question is one that conservatives already want to get rid of … then we'll use this as an opportunity to trash it and get more people on our side.”

JM: “Very intellectually honest, sir. We [liberals] do the same thing with policies we don’t like.”

TP: “John, that was also very intellectually honest of you too sir and you are to be commended accordingly. That said, the liberals trash things they want to get rid of through demagoguery. We conservatives seldom resort to such base tactics. At least not any that I can think of anyway. I am sure person A will have some fallacious examples though.




HR: “Perhaps most importantly, we learn from examples like this and we oppose new entitlements like ObamaCare.”

JM: “Flawed logic. That is like saying, perhaps we will learn from our mistakes when our car’s fuel injector fails and we can all ride bicycles. A flaw in the implementation of a system indicts the implementation, not the system. ObamaCare is good or it’s bad and Judge Judy’s defendant does nothing to address it.”

TP: “Good analogy, John. What happens though when the automaker has shown a track record in nearly every car it builds of having an inferior product that costs more than what other private companies could produce with a higher degree of quality. Further, what if that automaker was doing something that the company founders never intended nor set up the foundational components for them to do in the first place? (forgive the strained analogy; I am rather tired this morning.)”

T. Paine said...

HR: “… that the new system has unintended consequences;”

JM: “All complex system do, up to, and including democracy itself. If I understand you right, we should therefore throw democracy out, as our implementation of it is flawed, contains fraud, etc. All the things that tell you a system is wrong.”

TP: “While I wouldn’t ironically vote to throw out democracy, I think we can do things to correct the complex entitlement systems. Despite the honest and altruistic intentions of many Democrats to the contrary, one of the unintended consequences of that entitlement system has become the cynical pandering done by other progressive politicians to expand the number of alphabet people that need or would like to be on the taxpayer dole. This helps to further strengthen their voting bloc and political power accordingly.”




HR: “… that a group of overlord politicians simply can't think of everything”

JM: “I don’t think we should only focus on Republicans.”

TP: “Yes, let’s not focus only on the Republicans. Let’s include the Democrats, because when it comes to increasing revenues, they really can think of everything.”




HR: “… and oppose new entitlements that will repeat the mistakes of the past.”

JM: “We could just as easily replace the word “entitlements” with “laws.” Any complex system is hard to predict, and almost all laws are complex. Your statement could be used by an anarchist as easily as it could be applied to entitlements. To argue that a flawed entitlement implantation tells us new entitlements are bad is no different from arguing that a banana that is brown and mushy tells us that fruit is bad. It is a composition fallacy. I would agree that it tells us that if we are going to create very costly programs, we need oversight and accountability for their use or they could be abused. Let’s agree on that instead.”

TP: “Mr. Myste, I will agree on that instead! The problem is that often time the laws created to ensure oversight and accountability are either circumvented or ignored, even by the elected officials entrusted to ensure compliance. As a prime example, I refer you to the thoroughly corrupt and dishonest Barney Frank and Chris Dodd with their (mis-)dealing with the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac meltdown that was the catalyst for our housing market tanking.”




JM: “As you once stated, I do seem a bit combative. I don’t mean to be. My heart is filled with love. If I were a fire, I would burn, If I were a woodcutter, I would strike; but I am a heart, and I love. It’s all I know how to do. I think I plagiarized that from the Last Temptation of Christ, but I may have plagiarized it from another source. Either way, it is so me.”

TP: “I loved that last paragraph as it allows me to end just as we started, on a note of agreement!” :)

John Myste said...

TP: “I can’t whistle anything, let alone Dixie. It is really is quite a handicap. I should ask person A if there is a government “stipend” to help me learn to whistle Dixie.”

There is a government stipend for everything, Mr. Paine. You just have to find it.

I like the way you use “play notation” to represent who is speaking. I think I am going to steal that.

I recall a fascinating and brilliant man even recounted a story of his earlier days describing such abuses from those of his neighborhood acquaintances. Do you recall that story, John?

There have been a few. One was my disabled neighbor Wanda, the other was the impoverished Zora (and all of her dependent neighbors). I am not sure if I mentioned them by name, but they are burned into my memory.

That said, the liberals trash things they want to get rid of through demagoguery.

I did field research to verify this, and it turns out that both sides like demagoguery, but it is far more of a conservative trait. For further information on this, see the following sources:

http://ohpblog.ohpinion.com/
http://jackjodell53.wordpress.com/
http://thebeekeepersapprentice.com/
http://www.fairandunbalanced.com
http://manifestojoestexasblues.blogspot.com/
http://www.davedubya.com/

What happens though when the automaker has shown a track record in nearly every car it builds of having an inferior product that costs more than what other private companies could produce with a higher degree of quality.

We need to fix the process with a government solution. It turns out that the general public will not offer high quality entitlements. They will just let the people die. You know what bastards you are. Don’t play. Other than that deal-breaking point, your false analogy was pretty good.

Further, what if that automaker was doing something that the company founders never intended nor set up the foundational components for them to do in the first place? (forgive the strained analogy; I am rather tired this morning.)”

All successful companies use strategies that were not envisioned by their founders or they go out of business. We live in a dynamic world. I would hope the company’s founders would include in their charter provisions for unforeseen needs.

While I wouldn’t ironically vote to throw out democracy, I think we can do things to correct the complex entitlement systems.

Exactly.

Despite the honest and altruistic intentions of many Democrats to the contrary, one of the unintended consequences of that entitlement system has become the cynical pandering done by other progressive politicians to expand the number of alphabet people that need or would like to be on the taxpayer dole.

Progressives want a small alphabet. They do not, however, give enough attention to this fact. I suspect it is a psychological phenomenon. It is hard to acknowledge true problems of a system and fix it while the other side is constantly trying to throw the system away. They have to be careful to get it fixed without giving those who irrationally which to trash it, enough clout to succeed, which would be disastrous from a humanitarian perspective. I suspect if there were no conservatives, real entitlement reform would have happened a long time ago.

Mr. Heathen, your answers by proxy failed to persuade me and your concession is accepted accordingly, sir.

The Heathen Republican said...

Oh, I'm required to respond to all of your inanity, John? Noted.

"A flaw in the implementation of a system indicts the implementation, not the system."

Agreed, but unintended consequences and fraud are not implementation flaws. In most cases, they are flaws in the system itself. Or stated another way, they are flaws allowed by the system and not foreseen or accounted for by the politicians that built the system.

So a flaw in the system is an indictment on the system. Repeated flaws in repeated systems are an indictment on the politicians that built the systems. It's one more reason for conservatives to oppose ObamaCare since it was created by those politicians.

"I assume by fraud, you mean like Judge Hudson’s legislative efforts under the guise of interpretation, right? I agree, that was a bit fraudulent..."

You shouldn't make assumptions and I don't want to debate judicial activism with someone that will disagree with me on base principles. Let's just say that both sides think their guys don't do it, and both sides accuse the other side's guys of doing it.

"All complex system [have unintended consequences], up to, and including democracy itself. If I understand you right, we should therefore throw democracy out..."

I don't know the fancy-John-Myste name for it, but I'm sure that's a fallacy. To say that all complex systems have unintended consequences in order to refute an argument against one system due to its unintended consequences is fallacious. If your argument were valid, we would never be able to cite unintended consequences for any argument.

"We could just as easily replace the word 'entitlements' with 'laws.' Any complex system is hard to predict, and almost all laws are complex. Your statement could be used by an anarchist as easily as it could be applied to entitlements."

Yes, we could easily replace the two words, and my statement would still be true. I'd like it if the people who write new laws and entitlements would learn from the past. I'd also like it if they would start writing laws that were less complex instead of more complex. While we're at it, let's keep our new legislation to a single topic instead of adding lots of ornaments in order to buy votes.

Yes, we silly Republicans have seen the history of entitlement legislation, and want it to get better and less complicated. We can be so silly sometimes.

John Myste said...

@Heathen

Oh, I'm required to respond to all of your inanity, John? Noted.

Ad Hominem. Thank you, sir.

Actually, you did not respond to all of it, but only the part that was directed at T. Paine, and not the part that was directed at you. I am OK with that. I actually just wanted to falsely accuse of you of conceding. I was not trying to provoke a response.

Agreed, but unintended consequences and fraud are not implementation flaws.

I guess it is all semantics. The system is Entitlements. There is a way we implemented that system, and like all complex systems, it needs to be perfected. It is good you responded, because your mistaken assumptions would have prevailed had you remained silent. I would probably have thought you a fool, sir.

In most cases, they are flaws in the system itself.

Verily you say unto me, from your throne of faith.

Or stated another way, they are flaws allowed by the system and not foreseen or accounted for by the politicians that built the system.

I think this is what I said, so I have no choice but to agree with it.

So a flaw in the system is an indictment on the system.

If you have a bad fuel injector, you should try a different car. What if your car goes really fast and you it is really good, in theory, but just needs a new fuel injector?

Repeated flaws in repeated systems are an indictment on the politicians that built the systems.

All complex law codes have tons of flaws, including repeated ones. However, this is a very progressive philosophy. I am proud to call you one of us.

It's one more reason for conservatives to oppose ObamaCare since it was created by those politicians.

A law should always be evaluated on its own merits, and not on who came up with it.

Also, you don’t get to pick which policies are flawed. The New Deal may have been better than you think, as well as what as the laws that continued in that direction after it.

The “flaws” people oppose in laws, such as ObamaCare, are not necessarily the real flaws. Let’s not inject ideology into the discussion now. We are talking about entitlements and automobiles. We all agree that both are good. However, in your case, you want to challenge the value of autos and entitlements because your car has a flat tire and over 400.00 of your tax dollars is supplying an illiterate college student party money. How about we fix our flat, and review our entitlement system to make it better? Cars good; flats bad. Entitlements good; party stipends bad. Myste good… etc.

You shouldn't make assumptions and I don't want to debate judicial activism with someone that will disagree with me on base principles. Let's just say that both sides think their guys don't do it, and both sides accuse the other side's guys of doing it.

Consider it said. I don’t want to have that debate either. I just used it as an example of deceptive and corrupt activity associated with the Affordable Healthcare Act (on the conservative side). I probably should have left the comment out, as it did not strengthen my case, which is very powerful without it and is weakened by distractions.


[To Be Continued …]

John Myste said...

[Part II: Continuation] …

I don't know the fancy-John-Myste name for it, but I'm sure that's a fallacy. To say that all complex systems have unintended consequences in order to refute an argument against one system due to its unintended consequences is fallacious.

I used that argument to refute the idea that a system should be curtailed, instead of reformed, just because the system is abused. That use of that argument is NOT fallacious, since if the assumption is true, it follows that any complex systems with flaws should be curtailed instead of being reformed. They have but to match our “just because it is abused” criterion.

The only way around this is if it is your contention is that entitlements should be curtailed instead of being reformed BECAUSE they are entitlements AND because the system is abused. I gave you the benefit of the doubt and assumed this was not your contention. If your contention is that systems that are highly abused should sometimes be reformed and other times gutted or redone, then you need to make an argument showing why entitlements specifically falls into the latter category. Just because it is highly abused does not work unless we are back to highly abused systems should be abolished, in which case your charge of fallacy does not work.

I will convert the argument I made to a fallacious one in the next paragraph. Here is the non-fallacious interpretation you got: if you take as axiomatic that flawed systems can be reformed instead of being curtailed, then my argument is not fallacious. You cannot say that in this case, this system should be curtailed instead of being reformed because it is flawed. You must come up with some other reason than “because it is flawed,” as you are admitting that being flawed is not prove that a system should be curtailed instead of reformed.

Had I used the same argument to prove that entitlements are OK, then the argument would have been fallacious. The fact that other systems run with severe flaws offers no evidence that this system should run that way. For this reason, I began this comment thread by agreeing that the entitlement system is flawed AND that it needs reform. Not only did I knot make the fallacious assertion, I asserted the exact opposite. Therefore, this fallacy could not have been committed.

As I am sure you know, one of my many interests is rhetoric and critical thinking. The fallacy I think you were accusing me of, is one I see constantly. Every time I see it I just say it is “fallacious” because I don’t recall the name of the fallacy. If you stumble into it, shoot me an e-mail (or I could just ask Free. I am sure he knows).

I don't know the fancy-John-Myste name for it, but I'm sure that's a fallacy. To say that all complex systems have unintended consequences in order to refute an argument against one system due to its unintended consequences is fallacious.

Though I don’t know the name of it, I do know that this is very fallacious, which is one reason I don’t ever say anything remotely like it.

[To Be Continued …]

John Myste said...

[Part III: Continuation] …

Let me summarize my above rant on entitlement reform in a more succinct way: my argument is not against the flawed system. I agree to that, and opened with it. My argument is against the solution. The fact that a system is flawed is not justification for curtailing its use across the board if it is a needed system. We should reform, not curtail, unless reform is not possible.

I'd also like it if they would start writing laws that were less complex instead of more complex

You identified the root cause of many political problems, including the ability of judges to legislate from the bench. The legislature does not like it when judges make laws, and yet they continually leave them no choice.

While we're at it, let's keep our new legislation to a single topic instead of adding lots of ornaments in order to buy votes.

I agree with this too, whole-heartedly. Earmarks and pork contaminate bills and they give politicians ammunition used to lie about other politicians political postions on issues, which obfuscates reality and helps undermine the democratic process. If a bill has 100 things in it and Rick Perry cannot vote for the 77th one, he will be accused of voting against the other 99, and the old truth-o-meter will have to give the accusation a measure of credibility, even though in principle it is a complete lie. Earmarks and pork are the biggest threat to our democracy that I know of (if I only choose from the list of ones we know how to fix). It is a big fat target with virtually no hunters around it.

Yes, we silly Republicans have seen the history of entitlement legislation, and want it to get better and less complicated. We can be so silly sometimes.

I agree about the silliness, but the rest of the statement when taken alone, is what we all want.

I just re-read this, and I am still going to post it, but I think it is highly possible that the bulk of our discussion is a semantic dispute, as we both want reform of entitlements and neither of us want to kill them entirely. I don’t want anyone’s benefits reduced at all unless they are obviously gaming the system and I am unwilling to cause the innocent to suffer in order to curtail the actions of the guilty. We need to come up with another solution.

No response necessary, sir.

[THE END]

free0352 said...

, because his attitude and actions trick conservatives into thinking this what "entitlements" are all about, and there is little more.

This guys is just like hundreds of other's I've met on public assistance. He's a perfect ambassador for welfare.

BTW, we Libertarians and Conservatives aren't the one's being tricked. It's liberals hoodwinked by more sophisticated versions of our friend here with really good sob stories on why they "can't" find a job.

T. Paine said...

Free, I would concurr and I further think that this typical ambassador of the alphabet people makes up a very significant portion of those abusing the entitlement systems.

Annie said...

I just love to see my hard earned money helping out the disadvantaged...sadly, I seldom see that.

T. Paine said...

Annie, your comment is great! All of us guys are prattling on at length and you sum up perfectly my exact sentiments in one sentence. :)

John Myste said...

Annie,

I am gratified to see how much you enjoy your hard-earned money going to the disadvantaged.

Send your tax deductible check here:

Med & Food for Kids
4488 Forest Park Parkway St. Louis, 63108

100% of your hard-earned money will go to the disadvantaged.

MFK’s mission is not to feed hungry children, as the name implies.

Its mission is to provide downtrodden villages with the means of feeding themselves.

100% of donations go toward this, and when last I checked, about a year ago, their staff was all-volunteer, so every penny went to the cause. They have received recognition from more than one external humanitarian group.

I know you will be contributing, but all pass the word along, so others who wish their hard-earned money to go to such causes have an outlet to make it happen also.

If each of us just gave a small percentage of our wealth to causes like this, the world would be a far more productive and less downtrodden place, and Annie's vision would finally come true.

God Bless women like you, Annie.

John Myste said...

BTW, we Libertarians and Conservatives aren't the one's being tricked. It's liberals hoodwinked by more sophisticated versions of our friend here with really good sob stories on why they "can't" find a job.

Crap!!! I have been hoodwinked! I concede the point. I believe you have proven beyond any reasonable doubt that no person receiving welfare is doing it under the legitimate mandates of the program.

Every single one of them is tricking me; even the ones I don’t know and the ones you don’t know are tricking me. Additionally, my point that of the great numbers receiving benefits, some of them have integrity and real need and others don't is now soundly refuted by your vehement assertion.

I mistakenly thought that people had a huge diversity of circumstances and situations, including the ones I have known that were not gaming the system. I have known both types, or I thought I did. It turns out one of the types was admittedly a charlatan and the other was tricking me. I have to include my single mom, a mother of four, among them, unfortunately, as she received benefits for a very short time before she spent the rest of her life working 14-16 hour days and still failing to make ends meet. Thank God I now know the truth about that conniving fraud.

Most of those receiving benefits are black boys, living off someone else, and using their "rent stipend" for inappropriate purposes, and none of them want jobs or are willing to work.

Here is now I know:

Free says he met some people like this. I cannot possibly debate that, as he probably did meet some people who game the system, so I have no choice but to concede that all those on welfare game the system. We should abolish welfare entirely, and we probably well once congress learns that Free met some corrupt black boys.

The Father of History, Herodotus, earned that singular distinction for being the first historian to document his sources.

I read a translation of the Histories of Herodotus when I was younger.

As I recall, he said something to the effect of he “knows the gods are envious of mankind because he heard it from some Delphian townspeople.”

He documented other facts also, just as you documented your sources, Free; so I now boastfully credit you with equal journalistic integrity, O Father of Poverty. I am proud to know a Father.

What is the assertion here? Are we arguing:

A - That ALL welfare recipients are gaming the system, so we should abolish or severely curtail all welfare benefits?

B – That SOME welfare recipients game the system, so we should abolish or severely curtail ALL welfare benefits?

C – That some welfare recipients game the system, so we should review the situation and come up with a plan for serious welfare reform that involves not cutting benefits to those who are legitimate recipients, but stopping those who are not legitimate from receiving benefits (my position)?

D – There is no such thing as a legitimate welfare recipient, even if they are those in dire need?

E – There is no such thing as a legitimate welfare recipient, even if they are those in dire need, and those who claim the need are lazy liars?

The video Mr. Paine posted is interesting and enraging, but nothing more. It proves that at least one person is gaming the system, a point that has never been in dispute. I don’t know of any human being that would not agree that lots of people game the system, so showing someone who is gaming the system to make that argument is pointless.

I must therefore assume that the video is intended to be a point of interest and is not intended to add to the strength of any debate.

Let’s all agree on that, and just say, hmm. Interesting. That asshole. Thank God not all welfare recipients are like him, huh?

free0352 said...

If you want to give your money to this asshole, be my guest.

I don't.

As for having met "a few people" if you call thousands and thousands a "few" you can't count.

John Myste said...

If you want to give your money to this asshole, be my guest.

I don't.


I believe I said I wanted reform to stop this individual and all like him from gaming the system. Therefore, you must be talking to someone else, Judge Judy, perhaps?

As for having met "a few people" if you call thousands and thousands a "few" you can't count.

You actually figured out that thousands of people were gaming the system. I may be able to buy this line, if not for witnessing other things you have figured out, which have pretty much been universally driven by composition fallacies and pre-set axioms. I cannot condemn all of the poor because you have used unsound logical techniques to condemn all the poor for the unproven acts of others.

By the way, I don’t want you to give ANY of your money to this cause. Pay your taxes and all of your money will go toward national defense, which is what you want as a tax payer. I will also pay my taxes, and they are all going to social programs, which is what I want. See, we both got what we want, if it is in fact OUR money, as you suggest.

I would hate to rub salt in an open wound, but if we get to divvy up taxes and say that it is our money, then I am going to vote that roughly 400.00 per month of your taxes becomes this gentlemen in the videos money. Maybe then you will finally agree that we need to reform welfare without curtailing the benefits of those who need it.

Both you and I agree that we need to stop all people who game the system from doing so. Our only disagreement is the approach, so let’s focus there.

Let’s work together to solve this problem, Free. My comrade, my brother!

S.W. Anderson said...

OK, so the way this works is, you find an example of an irresponsible jerk who's gaming a system set up to help people become, as the judge said, productive members of society, and from that you infer, you generalize, that a segment of the population — welfare recipients (or just black ones, maybe?) are mostly or all irresponsible parasites.

I wonder, Paine, would you be so willing to make the same extrapolation about, say, a high-level energy company executive who bilks millions of people out of billions of dollars? A CEO who claimed he had no idea his CFO and other executives had cooked the books, lied to state and federal officials, and cheated investors, finally collapsing the company, leaving thousands of employees with no job and no pension, and leaving hundreds of thousands of investors suffering terrible losses?

That was Ken Lay, of Enron infamy, Paine. Not black, not poor and not cheating a single county's taxpayers out of a few hundred bucks. No, Lay cheated millions out of billions. So, would it be fair to deduce from that that all energy industry CEOs and executives are lowdown, dirty criminals? Or at least most of them? How about all corporate CEOs and executives? How about all businessmen?

Or, would doing that just be a cheap shot and grossly unfair?

Mr. Parasite in the video should've been made to scrub and wax floors in county buildings with 2-inch gauze pads, at minimum wage, until he paid back the rent money he misused. While he was riding the system you can bet someone who was really hurting and deserving was doing with less or doing without, in part because he was cheating. So, I have no sympathy for him.

My point is that the only thing the video proves is that that particular man is a cheater and a parasite. Suggesting it somehow proves most or all, or some unknown but presumably high percentage, of people on public assistance are just like him is cheap-shot intellectual dishonesty of a kind all too prevalent among conservatives.

John Myste said...

OK, so the way this works is, you find an example of an irresponsible jerk who's gaming a system set up to help people become, as the judge said, productive members of society, and from that you infer, you generalize, that a segment of the population — welfare recipients (or just black ones, maybe?) are mostly or all irresponsible parasites.

If you read the comment thread, it would be clear that is how it works. I didn't realize that either until now; and amazingly, if you try to apply the formula to anything else, it is a composition fallacy. It is only sound thinking when applied to government assistance.

Geez. You learn something new every day.

John Myste said...

I asked Mr. Free to clarify his position. I even gave him A, B, C, D, or E.

I think maybe Free was a little embarrassed to do it, and understandably so.

Therefore, I put the same question to you, Mr. Paine. Pick a letter or invent one of your own.

The argument that there are not virtuous poor in America is absurd. Think about it: what if you were right? How would you know?

Just the Facts! said...

"My point is that the only thing the video proves is that that particular man is a cheater and a parasite. Suggesting it somehow proves most or all, or some unknown but presumably high percentage, of people on public assistance are just like him is cheap-shot intellectual dishonesty of a kind all too prevalent among conservatives."SW Anderson

I think it is up to you to prove that this example is NOT what a high percentage, of people on public assistance are like.

John Myste said...

@Just,

S. W. Anderson Observes:

My point is that the only thing the video proves is that that particular man is a cheater and a parasite. Suggesting it somehow proves most or all, or some unknown but presumably high percentage, of people on public assistance are just like him is cheap-shot intellectual dishonesty of a kind all too prevalent among conservatives."

Mr. Just responds, must to the chagrin of his conservative brothers:

I think it is up to you to prove that this example is NOT what a high percentage, of people on public assistance are like.

No offense, Just, but I am embarrassed on your behalf. Because of the inherent difficulty in proving a negative, generally the person making the positive assertion has the burden of proof. This is even more so the case when the only assertion made is the positive assertion. Saying I don’t see enough data to make a claim is not asserting, per se, but stating that I cannot assert. This is a very basic accepted axiom of the soft science of critical thinking. Mr. Anderson simply pointed out that you committed a composition fallacy and it is absurd. He did not speak to the actual number of people gaming the system. Like you, he does not have that data. Unlike you, he did not select the most egregious example he could find, a single person, and declare that a sufficient sample.

I can say that Mr. Just molests little boys. In fact, I am pretty sure you do. You can easily prove me wrong, though. Just show that you have never molested a little boy. If you cannot do this, then I think it is safe to say that you have. If you find this reasoning suspect, I will withdraw my positive assertion, so long as you recant your indictment of Mr. Anderson (and of John Myste who made the same statement a few comments earlier).

Just the Facts! said...

Now, John you see the problem with many of the questions that Conservatives are asked, to prove a negative.

Just wanted to create a level playing ground. As you pointed out, any time a non-liberal is asked to prove a negative, the response can be
"Because of the inherent difficulty in proving a negative, generally the person making the positive assertion has the burden of proof. This is even more so the case when the only assertion made is the positive assertion".

Statement withdrawn, playing field now level.

free0352 said...

You want proof John? Proceed to the nearest government housing project. Observe for exactly 1 hour. Repeat this in several other housing projects for a total 1 hour each.

That is literally all it takes to see the answer to the system is end the system.

John Myste said...

So, if I can find a neighborhood where most of the people there are getting housing for which they are not entitled, it means that all those who get assistance with housing because they genuinely need it should be cut off, right?

If I find a person who makes many fallacious statements, should I then discount all statements he makes as fallacious even when no fallacy is involved?

You repeatedly try to find examples of people gaming the system to make your point. However, I have always admitted that such people exist, from the very beginning. Therefore, proving me right is not very persuasive. I knew I was right from the outset. I think the system should be reviewed. We need to stop the gamers, without preventing those in need, from receiving benefits. I have made this point to you repeatedly, to which you repeatedly respond, "but, but, but.... some p, p, people are gaming the system. The system must be abolished."

B, b, but, Free. S, s, some people are not gaming the system, and those people also have to be considered also. W, w, we need to consider all of reality and not just the portion you want to see. I am not ignoring your portion of reality. I am considering the entire picture, something which you seem completely incapable of doing.

free0352 said...

We need to stop the gamers, without preventing those in need

The vast, vast majority are gaming the system. The tiny minority who are not can be taken care of by private charity much better than by a bloated, corrupt culture or entitlement and a equally bloated government to match.

But if we must er, I say er on the side of not running this mess. The suffering of the very few is outweighed by the justice done to tax payers.

And if you feel so bad about it, you can help take care of those who really need it. That is after all, a PERSONAL obligation... not one of the state.

John Myste said...

The vast, vast majority are gaming the system.

Free, you made that up. It could be true, but if it is, you don’t know it. If it is true, we still need to solve the problem of the non-gamers, whatever that number is. Now stop making things up.

The tiny minority who are not can be taken care of by private charity much better than by a bloated, corrupt culture or entitlement and a equally bloated government to match.

“Let charity take care of the needy” is a common answer hypocrites give. Everyone who says it is intentionally being deceitful, as they all know that charities are either unwilling or unable to do this. They do not do it now. They do try, to some extent. You are saying “let’s use a solution that will not work as our remedy.” You should not be a shamed of your stance and offer false solutions to cover your shame. Be proud of what you believe for the reason you believe it. I know I am very proud of my beliefs and I don’t make up fake solutions to try to excuse them. My beliefs need no obfuscation.


But if we must er, I say er on the side of not running this mess. The suffering of the very few is outweighed by the justice done to tax payers.

I know you want to err on the side of poverty and sickness. You have made that very clear. Re-stating it lends nothing to your argument. Your passion is already known.


And if you feel so bad about it, you can help take care of those who really need it. That is after all, a PERSONAL obligation... not one of the state.

The obligation of the state is to represent its citizens. I am one of them. I want poverty to be addressed. You are another. You don’t get your way just because you want it and you call yourself “free,” and you don’t get to personally decide what the obligation of the state is.

free0352 said...

Free, you made that up. It could be true, but if it is, you don’t know it

That which you freely assert I too can freely deny.

If it is true, we still need to solve the problem of the non-gamers

No "we" don't. I nor anyone else holds any responsibility to perfect strangers. I'm responsible for my family, especially my daughter. That's it. As for charity, it will either work or it won't. The result of it is irrelevant as to the individual's responsibility to those who should be providing for themselves. Redistribution is simply legalized theft and calling the thief "government" changes nothing about it's immorality.

The obligation of the state is to represent its citizens

NEGATIVE. The obligation of the State is rule of law. That supreme law is the United States Constitution and I think you've confused "promote the general welfare" with "PROVIDE the general welfare."

You don’t get your way just because you want it and you call yourself “free,” and you don’t get to personally decide what the obligation of the state is

Nether do you, that's what elections are for in a Republic. Seems things are swinging this time in my direction, as your Progressive ideals in place since 2006 have failed American society so.

John Myste said...

@Free,

Free, you made that up. It could be true, but if it is, you don’t know it

That which you freely assert I too can freely deny.


I assert that were it true, you would have no way of knowing. If I am wrong, tell me how you know. If you don’t k now how you know, then that is called faith, so admit that faith is your answer. The burden of proof is on you, since I did not claim it is or is not true, but question how one would know without the needed data, and you made the outrageous assertion. But I am sure as an award-winning logician, you already know this.


If it is true, we still need to solve the problem of the non-gamers


No "we" don't. I nor anyone else holds any responsibility to perfect strangers. I'm responsible for my family, especially my daughter.


I agree. And I am not responsible for financing your wars. However, the government is responsible for representing its citizens, and not just you, but all of them. The government is responsible for its democratic populace. I don’t want to use Free’s money for any government functions. I want to use legally collected tax revenues. It gives you defense and defends your property from Cuba. It gives hungry children food. You think you should get to make war and keep Cuba from taking your property, but babies should die of hunger unless the deadbeats can feed themselves.

That's it. As for charity, it will either work or it won't.

It doesn’t and you know it. When the libertarians say we should solve welfare problems with charity, they are lying. They know this does not work and they know that shelters are past capacity and that there are not enough charitable funds to go around. Lying is worse than greed: thinking only they should be represented by the government. It is adopting an ideology that intentionally promotes solutions that it knows fail in order to avoid addressing problems it does not care about. For a republican to sink this low, he would have to say something like it is OK to cut down all our trees down because we can plant sawdust to grow more.

[To Be Continued … ]

John Myste said...

[Continuation …]

The result of it is irrelevant as to the individual's responsibility to those who should be providing for themselves.

If you are saying that I think you are saying, I agree with this pointless statement.

Redistribution is simply legalized theft and calling the thief "government" changes nothing about it's immorality.

I totally agree with this. If person A is wealthy and we take from him to make person B wealthy, that is Robin Hood theft, something I have argued many times against liberals who want unreasonable top marginal tax rates. However, you mistake each person doing his part to the best of his ability to keep the nation running as redistribution of wealth. If you redistribute wealth, either one person becomes no longer wealthy or someone who was poor becomes wealthy. This does not happen and I do not advocate it. Collecting taxes is not redistribution of wealth. It is redistribution of funds, by definition. Your term, like all of your terms, is born of emotion. I recommend you employ your award-winning logical mind and leave the emotional arguments to lesser men.


The obligation of the state is to represent its citizens

NEGATIVE. The obligation of the State is rule of law. That supreme law is the United States Constitution and I think you've confused "promote the general welfare" with "PROVIDE the general welfare."


You are mistaken on two counts. One, I totally agree that the obligation of the government and all people is includes the rule of law. We need our laws to be moral, ethical and to represent all of us, not just you and to provide what is needed, such as SSA, Medicare, Etc. Thank God the law requires you to participate in these through taxation, which is, if I understand your right, your obligation, as it is the rule of law. Stop complaining about having to fulfill your obligations, Free.

The second point is you mistakenly think I interpret the General Welfare clause to mean that the Founding Fathers intended for us to have global entitlements. You are so wrong. We don’t have enough actual data to know what the founding fathers intended in that and a couple of other clauses. They may have intentionally left it ambiguous in order to get the Constitution ratified. I suspect the answer depends on which founding father you ask.

However, you are still more mistaken when you think I care what they thought. If our laws are not evolving, they are devolving. They could only remain stagnant in a stagnant world. I have no interest in the evolution of our intellect dying 200 years ago. Further, we already have rejected some of the Founders ideals and intentionally. We have also amended some of their laws.

I care what’s right and I don’t define it as what people with 200 year old ideas say is right (or Gods with 2000 year old ideas, which is equally absurd, but a better example because you can see more clearly how ideas that seemed sound once become obsolete as we grow). They had no more data than we do. They had less. I believe in reason, not faith in a God or faith in a Founder. Surely an award-winning logician can respect reason, right?


You don’t get your way just because you want it and you call yourself “free,” and you don’t get to personally decide what the obligation of the state is

Nether do you,


Right. I get my way because it is the rule of law.

Seems things are swinging this time in my direction, as your Progressive ideals in place since 2006 have failed American society so.

My progressive ideals have not been upheld since Clinton left office. I do, however, agree that your conservative ideals have mostly trashed America, but we digress.

[THE END]

free0352 said...

tell me how you know

Experience. Massive amounts of it.

And I am not responsible for financing your wars

Yes you are. The Constitution says PROVIDE for Defense. It simply promotes welfare. There is a stark difference between the two. The one is a duty, the other a suggestion and is open to interpretation. Providing defense is cut and dry.

. I want to use legally collected tax revenues. It gives you defense and defends your property from Cuba. It gives hungry children food.

It's the government's job to defend a country, it's a parent's job to feed a child.

ethical and to represent all of us, not just you and to provide what is needed,

Our government's responsibility is to protect individual rights, not collective ones. In fact, there are no collective rights. We live in a Republic, not a hoard run by a mob.

but babies should die of hunger unless the deadbeats can feed themselves.

No babies would die, stop being a drama queen.

We don’t have enough actual data to know what the founding fathers intended

Yes we do, they left us a convenient written document called the Constitution that spells it out pretty well.

T. Paine said...

“I care what’s right and I don’t define it as what people with 200 year old ideas say is right (or Gods with 2000 year old ideas, which is equally absurd, but a better example because you can see more clearly how ideas that seemed sound once become obsolete as we grow). They had no more data than we do. They had less. I believe in reason, not faith in a God or faith in a Founder. “

John, some ideals and principles transcend generations. I would humbly submit to you that such is the case with our constitution. Further, those “obsolete” founders even gave us a method to amend that constitution so that it could evolve should the need arise. We simply, as a people, have not always used that legal method to change our supreme law of the land.

For the record, I would also submit to you that the core moral principles espoused in the Bible are also standards that are as relevant today as they were two millennia ago, especially in the context of living in a civil society peacefully. We often times fail to abide by those principles, and almost always with negative outcomes accordingly.

John Myste said...

tell me how you know

Experience. Massive amounts of it.


I have seen the opposite. Your experience is simply a composition fallacy, as you already know.


And I am not responsible for financing your wars

Yes you are. The Constitution says PROVIDE for Defense. It simply promotes welfare. There is a stark difference between the two. The one is a duty, the other a suggestion and is open to interpretation. Providing defense is cut and dry.


You don’t get to decide what the Constitution means either, Judge Free. The constitution provides a body for that and they agree with me. For you to disregard their definitions is itself un Constitutional.


I want to use legally collected tax revenues. It gives you defense and defends your property from Cuba. It gives hungry children food.

It's the government's job to defend a country, it's a parent's job to feed a child.


If the parent is either unable or unwilling, then it is the government’s job. That is what I pay them for.



Our government's responsibility is to protect individual rights, not collective ones. In fact, there are no collective rights. We live in a Republic, not a hoard run by a mob.

I agree completely. I am glad you finally see this. Children, the elderly, the poor, are all made up of individuals. I also am an individual.


but babies should die of hunger unless the deadbeats can feed themselves.

No babies would die, stop being a drama queen.


Exaggeration for effect. They would starve, but often live.


We don’t have enough actual data to know what the founding fathers intended

Yes we do, they left us a convenient written document called the Constitution that spells it out pretty well.


Ah, so it is very clear without ambiguity after all. Only the nation is completely divided over what it really means (as the Founders themselves were. The Constitution is nothing but a big huge compromise that offended everyone involved, but I don’t have time to teach you this right now. You think that the Founders all thought just alike and all agreed on this great wisdom. You are mistaken, which is but one more thing that helps explain the inherent ambiguity in your Bible).

John Myste said...

T. Paine,

John, some ideals and principles transcend generations. I would humbly submit to you that such is the case with our constitution.

I agree with you that are some ideas that seem to transcend generations. I completely disagree that those ideas that transcend generations are encapsulated in Article I of the constitution. I could just as easily say my political philosophy transcends generations and I would have just as much weight behind me. Your statement, while true, is a complete red herring.

Further, those “obsolete” founders even gave us a method to amend that constitution so that it could evolve should the need arise.

Holy crap! That is a game-changing discovery. You mean we can amend and change the Constitution? Why ever would we want to do such a thing? Don’t we go to it to determine what’s right? If we change it, we will break it. That would be to suggest that it was no right in the first place and we know more about some things than the founders did. Preposterous!

For the record, I would also submit to you that the core moral principles espoused in the Bible are also standards that are as relevant today as they were two millennia ago

Hmm. Guilt by association. Stoning disrespectful daughters. Slices babies to bits to get even with their fathers, slavery (even a favorite among the Founders), suppression of women’s rights (also a favorite amount the founders). I guess you are right, as there are still people who would advocate all of these things. I tend to think they would advocate them anyway, and that the Bible and Founders are not their primary source of inspiration, any more than those who reject them do so, despite what the Bible says or what the Founders thought. We have learned a lot in 200 years, and still more in 2000.

The essence of your argument is that because the Founders may have embraced universal truths, we should have reverence for their opinions. The argument is fallacious. Some things are virtuous even when espoused by evil men and some things are evil, even when espoused by virtuous men. Things are not right or wrong based on who thought them. As I am sure you know this, pointing out that the Founders may have expressed some good principles does nothing to suggest that their opinion should supplant anyone else’s.


Most people in the America embrace most principles we could logically label as timeless virtues and most people in America embrace more of those principles than the founding fathers did. In fact, anyone alive today who thought the way many of the Founders did would be renounced as racist and backward and no one would have any respect for them. You worship the Founders, just as you worship God. You worship the things you say they are, something they never were. It is also the same way you worship Reagan. You invent entities to worship and then worship them.

Conservatives have a bad habit of making up personas for individuals or groups of individuals and claiming that these personas thought just like them, even though the individual or individuals that make up the groups thought nothing like they thought. Why do they do this? Because Appeal to Authority does not work unless you have an Authority to be the subject of your appeal.

Uh oh, I wrote this before reading your conclusion. I wrote it as I read, so most of it was composed before I realized the wisdom of your commentary. I am only going to post this to show the absurdity of how I thought only moments before and to contrast it with the wisdom you imparted upon me, almost in a virtuous act of intellectual rape.

My newly revised opinion is forthcoming.

John Myste said...

My Newly Revised Opinion Based on the Teachings of T. Paine:


My mentor put it best when he explained: We often times fail to abide by those principles [Biblical], and almost always with negative outcomes accordingly.


With this in mind, I have adopted a few slaves. They stopped struggling after only a few beatings. I had to beat my wife a little longer because she had been more thoroughly brainwashed by modern man. She is not technically a slave, though. Here is the thing: she has to obey me and so do my slaves. My slaves have to do everything I ask because they are my slaves. My wife has to do everything I ask because she is my wife. That is the only similarity in their functions.


My wife, Uncle Tom and Aunt Jemima should all want to live by God’s will. There is a lot of wisdom in the Bible and if only they would live by it, the world would be a better place. I know my world would, and that’s really all that matters.


My one slave, Uncle Tom, as I call him (his real name is Frasier something or other, who cares), tried to run away soon after I adopted him. He is too old to do that, I think around 90, but who cares. I easily whipped him and put him back to work. I also whipped Aunt Jemima (She is not my aunt, but Tom’s aunt, but who cares. She is my slave). She took it like a trooper, which was impressive for a broken down property that is more than 100 years old. If she were a house in the city she would certainly be condemned. I punished his Auntie J because Uncle Tom Loves her and it punished Uncle Tom also. I learned that from the Doctrine of Guilt by Association used by God. I just want to be like God, really, you know, to let Him into my heart.


Since I just adopted them, I really haven’t got much use out of them. A couple of times I caught Aunt Jemima trying to read, which I find to be a ridiculous farce. Slaves cannot read; and why would they want to? So I whipped Uncle Tom.


Aunt Jemima wept and I did not like that one bit. It made me feel bad for doing the right thing, and so I whipped Uncle Tom again to punish her. I don’t know if she continued the insubordination because she folded her arm around her bowed head and I could not tell. I thumped the back of her skull a few times with a powerful fillip, and no tears came out, so I think maybe she was getting over herself.


I don’t think Uncle Tom will get out of line anymore. I warned him what happens next. I will be like God and dash Uncle Tom’s infant great grandchild against the rocks if Aunt Jemima sheds anymore of her annoying tears or is she gets out of line in any way that makes me feel uncomfortable. Everyone has been duly warned!


Even talking about today’s events makes me uncomfortable, which is another problem with America. There once was a time when people proudly modeled their lives after God’s will and the wisdom in the Bible, and if people thought they were living any other way, then that was a source of shame. Where has that discomfort gone? What have we become?

[Tip o the Hat to T. Paine]

The Heathen Republican said...

John, based on their names, I assume your two new slaves are black. Why, when you chose your new slaves, did you choose black ones?

I find that offensive. Is that how you think of African-Americans? You could've just as easily chosen whites, Asians, or latinos, but you chose blacks. This says something significant about you as a person.

John Myste said...

@Heathen,

John, based on their names, I assume your two new slaves are black. Why, when you chose your new slaves, did you choose black ones?

Sorry for the confusion, Heathen. I thought it would be clear. I chose black ones because the Founders typically frowned on us keeping white slaves and black ones were the slaves of choice. I did not want to do something that I know they would not approve of, as my mentor would not like that.

If I had not chosen black ones, I feared I would not have been in compliance with Mr. T. Paine's worldview of goodness and the right way to live.

Oh, and they are often stronger.

By the way, I married my wife before Mr. Paine introduced me to God's will (and the will of the Founders), which is to say it was before I knew that woman we marry are also to be obedient, subservient forced labor. It is just an ironic coincidence, and rather fortunate really, that she matches my other slaves.

John Myste said...

I find that offensive. Is that how you think of African-Americans? You could've just as easily chosen whites, Asians, or latinos, but you chose blacks. This says something significant about you as a person.

Actually, it says something significant about T. Paine and the Founders as a person.

If I had chosen the race, it is possible I would have chosen the same race, though. I don't know. I like so many. I am a xenophile and the more unlike me something is, the more I like it (I am sure you can appreciate that!).

Xenophilia is a bit racist, but I don't think I really discriminate against Caucasians, if this is what you are implying.

free0352 said...

I have seen the opposite. Your experience is simply a composition fallacy, as you already know.

You have zero data and zero experience. Therefore your flawed logic cannot override my experience. You sound once again like a nieve sucker. The people in the hood laugh at people like you and enjoy taking advantage of you. You're a willing mark.

You don’t get to decide what the Constitution means either, Judge Free. The constitution provides a body for that and they agree with me. For you to disregard their definitions is itself un Constitutional.

The Constitution outlines government functions and limits it's power. Since I'm not government, I can't possibly be unconstitutional. As for the Supreme Court, welfare has been limited or repealed many times. That has yet to be challenged on a Constitutional bases, let alone ruled for. More over, show me a Supreme Court Decision that entitles citizens to welfare?

Your pitiful arguement here is flawed on it's face, and is therefore rejected. I don't have time to teach YOU about the Constitution, as I'm the one college trained on it. Unless you can produce for me a degree in Constitutional Law I'll take my bachelors in Political Science and laugh confident in my superiority.

Your argument is flawed, your logic is flawed, your intellect is flawed and your training is flawed.

John Myste said...

You have zero data and zero experience.

I have known many people receiving entitlements, both gaming and not gaming. I have more diverse experience than you, by your own admission.

You sound once again like a nieve sucker. The people in the hood laugh at people like you.

nieve is not a word, sir.

And, actually, they are laughing at you. The angrier you get, the funnier it is.

Since I'm not government, I can't possibly be unconstitutional.

When judges interpret that Constitution they are carrying out their Constitutional mandate. Doing what they then say, is the law, per the Constitution. Rejecting that clarification or their interpretation is unconstitutional, and yet it is what you seem to advocate.

As for the Supreme Court, welfare has been limited or repealed many times.

It survives. Challenges to SSA have been overturned every time they have been tried. In fact, your side gets beat to a pulp in almost every instance.

More over, show me a Supreme Court Decision that entitles citizens to welfare?

I don’t need to. Back to your Constitution lesson: until a law is challenged, it is the law once it is signed into law, per the Constitution.

Your pitiful arguement here is flawed on it's face, and is therefore rejected. No argument there. Just a frustrated appeal to vehemence. Sorry, I cannot fulfill your needs.

I don't have time to teach YOU about the Constitution Going to school is very time-consuming, which is where you would have to start.

as I'm the one college trained on it. I don’t think so for a couple of reasons: 1. Your training is in accounting. 2. Your training is business. 3. Your training in law now. For a Renaissance man you don’t seem to do very well. By the way, my brother teaches Constitutional Law and he does not agree with your interpretation. Suffice it to say, as a practicing attorney and PHD holding professor (and JD), he probably knows the nooks and Crannies of the Constitution a little better than you, so your Appeal to Self Authority is rejected on that basis. Additionally, I know several bloggers who teach law and are attorneys at Mad Mike’s America (The site owner himself being one of the instructors, not sure about his degree), and LazersEdge (a brilliant instructor who teaches law) and one of the main contributors. Would you like me to put you in contact with them, so you can set them straight? They are very far left liberals and clearly in need of your legal expertise.

[To be continued … ]

John Myste said...

[Continuation … ]

Unless you can produce for me a degree in Constitutional Law I'll take my bachelors in Political Science and laugh confident in my superiority.

A bachelors in political science means you may have learned 100th of what I and most bloggers know about politics and even less about law. Again, my ultra-liberal brother and friends with their JD’s seem to think you know very little. I think I should let you educate them.

As for laughing, it is quite humorous that you think a bachelors in political science is something to brag about or lends any credence to your faith.

Your argument is flawed,…

Obviously you feel this way, or you would have my opinion. Pointless.

your logic is flawed,

You cannot speak to flawed logic. Your awards, trophies and other recognitions notwithstanding, most of your debates are riddled with violations of the commonly accepted rules of critical thinking. I know you feel right; however I also know that you feel overmatched in the area of logic vs. logic, so that appeal won’t work either.

your intellect is flawed

I don’t eat enough fish.

and your training is flawed.

Just as yours is. Your argument that you have a bachelors in political science and thus are knowledgeable about the Constitution and law is just sad. It means that you don’t even know what the path to learning law is and you think you did it. I am embarrassed on your behalf. (respectfully).

P.S.

I have some influence at Mad Mike’s America. It is a high volume news site with several million visits per year (I think). They are always looking for a few people with strong opinions. They have quite a few attorneys on their writing staff. I make this promise to you: if you use your political science training augmented with your superior conservative logic to straighten out the liberal interpretation of the Constitution, I will make sure it gets posted on the site the day you send it to me. You will marked as a Guest Contributor. Only the grammar will be edited because Mike would not publish it with tons of grammatical errors. (I think I can get them to link back to your site, which would probably win it more traffic than it has seen since it opened), and you would have that warm fuzzy feeling of getting to set them all straight with your political science degree.

[THE END]

T. Paine said...

John, you kind of lost me with the appeal to ultra liberal Constitutional scholars.

One could claim that President Obama is also an ultra liberal Constitutional scholar and yet he routinely ignores and seems to be completely ignorant of the Constitution's separation of powers and restrictions on the federal government.

It is my observation that this is often the case with ultra liberal constitutional scholars.

John Myste said...

@Mr. Paine,

John, you kind of lost me with the appeal to ultra liberal Constitutional scholars.

Mr. Paine, I was not responding to you, but to Free. He has a degree in political science, which, if I understand him, makes his conservative interpretation of the Constitution the correct one. In the absence of logic, he uses his mini-degree as his argument.

However, I just happen to have PHD'ed and JD'ed attorneys all around me who disagree with Free's interpretation of the law, even though he has a bachelor's in political science.

Since he is waving these impressive credentials around to prove his case, I thought I would put him in contact with dissenters who are equally impressive (PHDs, JDs, long histories of teaching Constitutional Law at Universities), so he can explain to them how his political science degree shapes the meaning of the Constitution.

free0352 said...

I was an intern in a federal prosecutors office through high school, went on after the Marines to be a court bailiff and register of actions in a circuit court while I earned my Bachelors in Political Science from Michigan State University. I then worked as a Congressional aid back in district. Those are my qualifications.
But if you want to talk about “knowing people” my mother supported us as a legal secretary, paralegal and went on to graduate from Cooley Law College my last year of high school. She was a local assistant prosecutor before going to work for a major malpractice insurance company which she represented last year at the Supreme Court. My aunt (no dead) was a business attorney, and my cousin is a civil rights lawyer working on Libertarian causes. I also currently volunteer my time for the CATO Institute (perhaps you’ve heard of it) where I advise on military issues in a non paid, unofficial capacity.

What exactly are your credentials? Did you win a spelling bee?

John Myste said...

Free,

I was an intern in a federal prosecutors office through high school, went on after the Marines to be a court bailiff and register of actions in a circuit court while I earned my Bachelors in Political Science from Michigan State University. I then worked as a Congressional aid back in district.

So, let’s see. As a child, you got coffee for prosecutors. Then you went on to the marines and handed papers to judges. After that, you performed some secretarial duties, and typed 60 words per minute. You went on to earn a political science bachelor’s degree, what those who want to be attorneys or politicians, but are not up to the challenge of law school earn.

Basically, what you have just said is that you probably have about the same amount of experience with constitutional studies as I,and most educated people have.

However, you are using your "experience" and "education" to say that your conservative interpretation of the Constitution should be revered. Everyone I listed has infinitely more education and experience than you do, and every one of them believes in a very liberal interpretation of the Constitution. If credentials are the deciding factor of who is right or wrong, then you studied politics for 2 years, and they studied them a minimum of 5 and you were a secretary at the height of your Career and they are attorneys and professors in the profession we are talking about. Why are you bragging? How embarrassing.

Therefore, using your own reasoning, their opinions are superior to yours. So, I concede without need to debate that if superior academic history proves an opinion to be accurate, then unless those who have infinitely more of this disagree with you, you win. However, it turns out, they all disagree. I think sinse you are very knowledgeable of the law and since you think your resume offers your philosophical opinion weight, you should have no problem explaining how your academic history and experience gives you the correct opinion. I will even right the “snippet, mini forward, for you if you like, outlines your credentials.”

Again, I will make sure this gets published at a high volume news site, teeming with lawyers and professors who teach Constitutional law. Once they see your resume, I am sure they will renounce their views.

You forgot to take me up on this generous offer that last time I extended it, which totally surprised me. The first day your article is up, it will be read by a greater number of people than the total number of people who visited your blog since the day you first posted there. I would think you would want your opinion in this matter to get the recognition it deserves.

Not only did you not take me up on my generous offer, but you did not even acknowledge it. Frankly, I am a little hurt by this.

I extend my offer to you a second time, and now more passionately than the first. I am VERY impressed with your resume. Unless these other fellows can refute the power of your resume, I may have to change my opinion, because as it stands now, your interpretation of the Constitution is all but proven. You have certainly given me food for thought. It is hard to keep my informed opinion in the face of your political science degree AND you paralegal mother to boot! Perhaps she can help you prepare your article?

John Myste said...

@Free,

Oh, I just thought of one more thing, which is just going to delight you to no end. Though I do not publish them on my personal blog, I write philosophical articles related to law. Two of them have been published at the news site where I am going to have your article published, when you finally finish it. One of the attorneys there who teaches criminal law, used one of my articles as part of his curriculum.

I am not trying to use this fact that my work is used to teach law in class as part of the debate, but it kind of dovetailed into our discussion and I knew you would be gratified to learn this.

It is just a pleasant anecdote, a diversion from the aggressive tone our discussion has taken.

John Myste said...

I also currently volunteer my time for the CATO Institute (perhaps you’ve heard of it) where I advise on military issues in a non paid, unofficial capacity.

Oh, one more thing, I also advise in a non-official capacity. Another word for it is yap. If you are not careful they are going to yank the mop from your hand and throw you out.

They will only tolerate so much.

free0352 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
free0352 said...

So, let’s see. As a child, you got coffee for prosecutors.

Yup, been doing this since I was 15 years old. Can you say the same? Coffee was indeed part of my duties, but so was shepardizing cases on Lexus Nexus and West Law. Do you even know what those programs are?

and handed papers to judges.

When I wasn’t researching law or organizing the docket, providing security to witnesses and jurors or supervising inmates yes, I did that. Let me ask you, how many hundreds of hours of legal argument have you observed? I can’t really tell you how many hours I have… I don’t recall how many hours I worked those three years. After that, I was hired as a national account executive for a freight company. Why go to law school when you can make 65k RIGHT NOW? Frankly, junior attorneys just don’t make that much.

Basically, what you have just said is that you probably have about the same amount of experience with constitutional studies as I,and most educated people have.

Really, what was your experience again? Your vaunted illogic?

Everyone I listed has infinitely more education and experience than you do, and every one of them believes in a very liberal interpretation of the Constitution.

Yes, but I still have more than you.

Why are you bragging? How embarrassing.

For you in this debate yes, because it seems I still have more experience than you. If I’m under trained, I’m still superior and that reflects negatively on you not I. Perhaps when you conjure a PHD I can feel inferior on legal knowledge. You have to admit, I've forgotten more about law than you know and that margin is only going to increase as my career and education increase. However, be that as it may that's not to say my legal experience and knowledge is extraordinary, just that it's more than yours.

Ask your learned friends about “Textualism,” and start from there educating yourself. Until you understand the concept, I’d rather not waste any more time explaining it to you. You can kinda read after all.


You forgot to take me up on this generous offer that last time I extended it,

No thanks.

Not only did you not take me up on my generous offer, but you did not even acknowledge it. Frankly, I am a little hurt by this.

I’m sure they have heard (If so prestigious) opinions by Scalia, Alito, and Thomas. I can't say it any better than they. However, I can say it better than you. That's because I have real world experience and training in the subject, which qualifies me more than one who read a few philosophy books and talked to a handful of PHDs. Once again, you prove too incompetent to bother with on the subject. I suffered through the boredom of college and I'd appreciate you spare me from it here. Maybe one of your JD friends could do some bloging for you, and I might learn something. Any pursuit of new knowledge seems wasted here on an amateur humanities major.

T. Paine said...

At the risk of upsetting the apple cart by jumping into the middle of your debate, John and Free, I find myself with a few unsolicited thoughts on the matter. Since it is my blog, I will share them accordingly. :)

Formal education on a given topic can be a very valuable thing and will typically add a lot of credibility to a person when they speak on topic.

That said, I have known many a person that has been educated far past his intelligence level.

Again, I ask how can a Constitutional scholar, such as our current President is purported to be, so casually diregard so many of the very dictates of the law of which he is supposed to be an expert? Is he really not that knowledgeable or is his desire to do as he wishes regardless of that law what determines his errant decisions.

Further, I have had the great pleasure of befriending people that do not have much if any formal education, but are brilliant due to their ability to reason and learn via their observations through work and personal experience.

In my field of expertise, I work as a RF Engineer and design and optimize wireless phone networks. I have had the great displeasure of having had worked with a very nice man that had his masters in electrical engineering, but was completely incompetent when it came to putting that knowledge to use in a real world setting.

Further, I have also had the great pleasure of seeing a gentleman that had no college level education but worked his way up from being a field technician that repaired the cell site equipment to being one of the best RF engineers we have simply because he could think and apply what he learned through observation.

In other words, formal degrees and accolades can indeed show a level of mastery in a subject, but not always, just as real world experience can and will often trump a theoretical academic's abilities when put into action in a live situation.

John Myste said...

So, let’s see. As a child, you got coffee for prosecutors.

Yup, been doing this since I was 15 years old. Can you say the same?


No, I have not done menial labor for low pay in quite some time.

Coffee was indeed part of my duties, but so was shepardizing cases on Lexus Nexus and West Law. Do you even know what those programs are? I had actually heard of LexusNexus, but I was unable to define it and I didn’t know what West Law was. I know what they are new. Phew! I caught up. We are now equals.

and handed papers to judges.

Impressive.


When I wasn’t researching law or organizing the docket,

So, you now claim to be a paralegal. Though you are not, you should have got the certification. It is very easy to do. I will ignore the “organizing the docket,” as I don’t think secretarial duties are relevant.

providing security to witnesses and jurors or supervising inmates yes I worked in a parole office pre-analyzing psychological profiles of those on parole. Oh, I must be an attorney.

Let me ask you, how many hundreds of hours of legal argument have you observed? I probably have watched less court TV than you have. I know welfare recipients often spend many hours viewing. Perhaps you can catch up to their knowledge once you retire.

After that, I was hired as a national account executive for a freight company. Why go to law school when you can make 65k RIGHT NOW? Frankly, junior attorneys just don’t make that much. I spoke to the only one I felt comfortable asking this to. He started at 90k per year and very shortly after was making closer to 160. I could not live on 65k. You, unlike most other attorneys, think that is a lot of money. Hmm.

Really, what was your experience again? Your vaunted illogic? My point, which zoomed over your head, was that neither of us have any experience that gives us authoritative legal knowledge. If you disagree, join the bar and make some real money. Hopefully they will accept your coffee and your bachelors in political science and you. As of now, the institutions that evaluate credibility say you have none. In fact, so did my brother! I can ask more attorneys if you need more evidence. I don’t mean you. I mean other attorneys.


Everyone I listed has infinitely more education and experience than you do, and every one of them believes in a very liberal interpretation of the Constitution.

Yes, but I still have more than you.


So, by your logic, anyone who ever went to court for a ticket has a credible opinion on the interpretation of the Constitution so long as they are speaking to someone who never had a ticket, right?


You have to admit, I've forgotten more about law than you know and that margin is only going to increase as my career and education increase. However, be that as it may that's not to say my legal experience and knowledge is extraordinary, just that it's more than yours.

So far as I can tell, you do not know more about Constitutional law than I do, but far less. You don’t even know how to interpret it. You cannot even understand it. You think you know what was in the minds of the founders and you further think they thought as an entity, two mistaken notions. You further think your experience with paper and donuts makes your illogical opinion sound, even though people with decades of experience and impressive resumes with not a donut to be found on them, disagree. It is OK for you to disagree with professionals, but not when you claim to be a professional and then further claim that this validates your opinion.

[To Be Continued …]

John Myste said...

[Part II]


Ask your learned friends about “Textualism,” and start from there educating yourself.

Actually, I don’t have to ask. I am familiar with the term and I am familiar with Scalia’s soapbox and it is utterly no surprise to me that you would worship at the same alter he does. Only, he uses Original Intent to mean Original Intent only in cases where HE thinks this fictitious entity called the Founders agrees with Him. Otherwise, he is completely against it, as with the case of torture, for instance, where he cares exactly what the words of the Constitution says, and not one iota about what the original intention behind them was. His inconsistency invalidates his doctrine. Hitching your wagon the craziest person to ever sit on the Bench is not really a good method to improve your failing position in this debate.

By the way, I started something many months ago. It is a satire of Scalia’s mind. I will get back to it. It’s very funny. When I finish it, I will make sure you know about it. You can read it and learn something.

Until you understand the concept [textualism], I’d rather not waste any more time explaining it to you. You can kinda read after all.

Fortunately and much to your great delight, I understand it now, so put up or shut up.


You forgot to take me up on this generous offer that last time I extended it,

No thanks.


Very cowardly, sir.


Not only did you not take me up on my generous offer, but you did not even acknowledge it. Frankly, I am a little hurt by this.

I’m sure they have heard (If so prestigious) opinions by Scalia, Alito, and Thomas. I can't say it any better than they.


None of those three fine gentlemen have any use for your credentials, or would ever use them to try to appear to have a better position in a debate. They don’t know you and if they did they would not brag about it. They are legal philosophers and argue philosophically. They don’t use their bachelor’s in political science to try to persuade someone of their opinions accuracy. They would consider your credentials: coffee and donuts and would immediately have a belly laugh. YOU argue that your interpretation should be respected because of your resume. ONLY YOU argue that and I think it would make a fine article.

If you are backing down and admitting that your opinion is philosophical, then there is no reason to write the article. However, that is not how this began. It began with you bragging about your superior credentials validating your authority. I know you wish you had not done that, but you did. It’s done.

[To Be Continued …]

John Myste said...

[Conclusion: Part III]

However, I can say it better than you.

I don’t think your trio of Gods mentioned above would agree. They would simply laugh at your credentials and move on. Also, your legal mumbo jumbo has not impressed thus far, so you false claim that you can “say it better” is summarily dismissed, prima facie, as you attorneys like to say.

That's because I have real world experience and training in the subject, which qualifies me more than one who read a few philosophy books and talked to a handful of PHDs.

If you don’t quite throwing your resume around, I swear I am going to take a donut or two to courthouse myself.

Once again, you prove too incompetent to bother with on the subject.

Then why do you feel mortified?

I suffered through the boredom of college and I'd appreciate you spare me from it here.

Don’t you wish you had studied law now? Perhaps you could have earned 65k per year, about the same amount as someone assembling cars in the Ford factory.

Maybe one of your JD friends could do some bloging for you

I doubt it. There is no such thing as bloging. Are you sure I am the one in need of study?

Any pursuit of new knowledge seems wasted here on an amateur humanities major.

Which one is considered humanities, computer science of business?

Again, instead of touting your resume and claiming to be a professional, you really should approach the bar. You are not earning your fair pay.

[THE END]

John Myste said...

[MY CONCESSION TO FREE]

This whole discussion is silly. It is fallacious to use an Appeal to Authority as part of your debate when the authorities all disagree with each other. It is fallacious even if you point to yourself as one of the authorities. Therefore, for the sake of discussion, I am changing my answer. I accept you as a Constitutional Authority, yet still reject your interpretation as illogical. Neither you, nor I, know what the Original Intent of the Article One was and we have no way of knowing how much of it was a compromise. We can assume that what it meant was interpreted different by different founders, just as it is interpreted different by people today. Both conservatives and liberals each interpret it as needed, due to the inherent nature of its ambiguity.

John Myste said...

By the way, one of the attorneys at the site you are afraid to post at, put it beautifully. I think he has the answer:

I personally believe that the founding fathers probably intended to be vague about the specific meanings of the various rights and restrictions incorporated into the constitution, which is what makes it such a fascinating legal document, considering how well it works centuries after it was drafted. That inherent vagueness has allowed the constitution to adapt to the times in whatever manner they present themselves. ~ Collin Hinds

The Heathen Republican said...

Like other topics of late, I am not an expert in this area. My masters degree would not give me any special credibility. But my view is that our Constitution should evolve by amendment and not through interpretation.

I would not be equipped to debate someone like Mr Hinds, but I suspect we all have our left/right biases regardless of expertise. So his statement about interpreting the Constitution says more about his ideological leanings and doesn't settle anything.

John Myste said...

@Heathen,

1. Mr. Paine showed a video about someone gaming the system.

2. I pointed out that it only proves that someone gamed the system, nothing more.


3. Free pointed out that he knows almost everyone on the planet who receives government assistant and they are all gaming the system. I may have exaggerated a tiny bit, but Free can explain it.

4. I refuted Free’s opinion as a composition fallacy. I know exceptions and my mother was one.

5. Free argued that the Constitution does not allow the government to buy a sandwich for one of its eight year old starving citizens. I may not be expressing it just as he did, but Free can explain it.

6. I pointed out that this is a strict interpretation of the Constitution and an unproven one.

7. Free countered with a crushing blow: it is THE CORRECT interpretation, as proven by the fact that he has a mini-degree in political science. Those were not his exact words, but are their exact meaning. Perhaps he can elaborate.

8. I pointed out that people with actual credibility, actual law degrees, and people who have actual experience, actual attorneys, disagree with him, so his mini-degree is nullified as a proof.

9. Free countered that he served donuts to people with law degrees.

10. For obvious reasons, I just restated my former declaration.

11. Free challenged again that unless I have his resume, his interpretation is the credible one. Again he discounted the fact that people with real grown up resumes in the field disagree, so by his own algorithm, he is dead wrong. I don’t believe the algorithm, of course. I was just trying to embarrass him, so he would resume the discussion logically. Only the first part of my plan succeeded.

12. Since he would not let it go, I offered to give his logic a huge amount of reader attention on a site whose staff is made up of an inordinately high number of writers who are also attorneys. This would have given his writing more attention than it has ever had and he could have had his logic analyzed by attorneys like himself. Much to my amazement, he declined my generous offer.

13. And the nature of the discussion had changed. Somehow I let my rebuttal against the false arguments against entitlements become a dispute about why Free’s mini-degree in politics does not redefine what the Constitution means. You may not know this, but Free is an award-winning logician. I was very surprised that he fell into the trap of this fallacious thinking.

14. Noticing the problem, albeit very late in the game, I conceded to Free and returned to original discussion, and so here we are. Now that you are caught up, assuming you were not already, I will prepare an answer to your last post, which is very intelligent, and deserves a thoughtful response.

John Myste said...

@Heathen,

I would not be equipped to debate someone like Mr Hinds, but I suspect we all have our left/right biases regardless of expertise. So his statement about interpreting the Constitution says more about his ideological leanings and doesn't settle anything.

I agree 100%. That was my point in the first place. Credentials don’t settle the matter because we all have an equal understanding of the question. We have different interpretations, which mostly match our ideologies and biases.

I consider the possibility that, I, of course, am the exception to the rule. I think I have the actual answer and it is this: different founders had different ideas about the Constitution and this was the compromise they all settled on. The more conservative of the group (by today’s definition), would say it should be interpreted by strict enumeration and the more liberal (by today’s standards) would say there were clauses that let us out of this. I think everyone would agree that it should truly evolve by amendment. The funny thing is, I never had the position that a broad interpretation of the Constitution is what the “founders” as a unit intended. I never argued this, because I don’t believe it. I think the founders were individuals with disparate ideas, and frankly, I am not too concerned what about they were. To me, their opinions are exceedingly interesting trivia and nothing more.

I simply reject as absurd, the idea that we can determine that the full original intention of the Constitution was the rigid enumeration in Article 1 that Conservatives see and nothing else. I reject that as baloney and here is why: if that were the case, there is not enough data in the Constitution to tell us so, and yet those who argue that it is the case, do so primarily using the Constitution to support their argument. They are thinking irrationally. They are thinking ideologically.

It is not the ultimate conclusion I challenge as right or wrong, but their fallacious logic. I don’t know what the real answer is; moreover, I do not care. I care what is right or wrong and I care for the utilitarian path we can take to get us closer to right. I don’t care what the opinions of the founders were in this matter, though I am interested in any good arguments they would use to express them.

My guess is that they were more lenient overall than rigid. I base this on some familiarity with the words and beliefs of some of them. Conservatives usually like to see the founders as very Christian patriots with firm notions of right and wrong based on God’s word. The problem is this: the Founders did not see themselves this way at all. Many of them, and most of the most prominent, rejected the Bible as the word of God and outright disrespected it. Some of them explicitly called it trash. They deferred to Nature as their God and consider what is right to be a philosophical question about what conforms to nature and what works. They did not see right and wrong as something a political body, or a heavenly one, could mandate (or as an absolute). People like to pull up quotes out of context to refute this. Don’t bother. It is a losing game and one you wish use you had not started before it’s over (this one’s for you, Free).

[To Be Continued …@Heathen]

John Myste said...

[Conclusion @Heathen]

This is a big topic, and one I told myself I would not get into in this thread, but has moved in that direction. The Founders, as worshipped did not exist, just as the Father, as worshipped did not exist, just as Jesus, as worshipped, did not exist, just as Reagan, as worshipped, did not exist.

Many conservatives have a habit of inventing heroes and then offering their fictitious creations their undying allegiance. It is this fallacious act that I intended to softly challenge. I was not up for an aggressive debate. Somehow, from the time of the onset of this thread up to now, that as changed. I am now fine with an aggressive debate on this issue.

Once Free Appealed to Authority and pronounced himself as the Authority of his affection, the nature of the discussion changed. I felt compelled to embarrass the absurdity. That low-toned desire in me is now discharged and we can either resume the real discussion or terminate it here. I am OK with either decision.

[THE END]

The Heathen Republican said...

I don't really want an aggressive debate either, and it sounds like you and I are in (almost) perfect agreement. Let me see if I can offer a subtle point that may or may not be illuminating.

You seem to think that conservatives idolize the founders (the do) because we look at them as perfect or flawless with impeccable logic ahead of their time. While some conservatives might, I think almost every conservative you ask would say that is not why they revere the founders. I do not think they were perfect. Perhaps I'm not typical, but I think I am.

The reason we bring up the founders is that not everyone agrees with me about the use of amendments (good) versus interpretation (bad). When the left tries to interpret the Constitution in ways that, in my opinion, contradict its plain language, conservatives naturally object.

But we don't object because we have a conflicting interpretation; we object because the founders wrote plainly and clearly, and subsequent amendments are similarly understood plainly. Yet the left insists on interpreting the plain language to mean what they want it to mean.

So we look to the founders and their opinions and their original intent because they are the antidote to progressive interpretation of our Constitution. We don't bring in the founders as some kind of appeal to authority or to suggest that they were infallible. We bring in the founders because our Constitution should be understood as it was originally written and amended with no interpretive filter.

If we simply want to interpret the document to suit our current politics, there is no need to consider original intent or the founders. So to me, it all comes back to whether or not interpretation is acceptable or not.

I'm also content to conclude here, but you don't need to leave the last word to me.

John Myste said...

@Heathen,

Yet the left insists on interpreting the plain language to mean what they want it to mean.

Both sides do this equally. The reason they can get away with it is that the plain language in the Constitution is ambiguous, either by design, as I suspect, or accidentally. This is our sticking point. I suspect that the Founders could not agree and left the final analysis for another day, either by necessity or prognosticative design, I don’t know.

I find it very difficult to give anyone the last word ever. It is my psychological debility, one I will one day address. Alas, not today.