A New Period

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Outside my door (see above) I have a sticker that states “I Miss Bill” which I ceremoniously retired today. Bill was no liberal; I hope Obama will stay to the left and avoid the mistakes and the conservative political nature of Mr. Bill; however; I am excited that he will be more willing to listen to others and engage a wider domestic and international audience. Did you see the Europeans and Asians screaming his name?
Below is a picture of me removing my “I Miss Bill” sticker.

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86 thoughts on “A New Period

  1. But…but…I love Bill! I sure am excited about Obama though.

    You are right, people all over the world are going crazy. Some friends of mine who live overseas were e-mailing me last night, they were all congratulating me. One of them said, “America needed this,” and he is right. Unfortunately, some have to failed to realize that. Ultimately, I think Obama and the Democratic Congress will get a lot done, and it will give the Republican party some time to regroup and produce some better candidates. They can only blame themselves for the loss last night.

    By the way, Carson: did you hear about the new law passed in Arkansas making it illegal for Homosexuals to adopt children? I just heard about it, it is disgusting.

  2. That’s right. Now I can’t adopt or foster children. Obviously I’m a huge threat to the welfare of a child. I mean, I would make sure they were fed and clothed and loved. Can’t have that.

  3. I am not attempting to start an argument, but I do not understand why people want to take away rights from Homosexuals. I mean, they are people too. We have moved from blacks to women to homosexuals, what is next?

    Republicans claim that Obama is a socialist, yet they are the ones who want to take basic rights away from specific peoples.

  4. I’m not for taking away those kind of rights away from homosexuals or anyone. I do believe in the sanctity of marriage and I believe that any Christian worth his or her salt would oppose gay marriage. Some choose to disregard scripture about that but that is their right. But as far as adoption goes i don’t care who you are. If you want to get some poor kid out of the system, unless you are a registered sex offender or a fellon, go for it.

  5. Josh –

    I am a Christian, and I support same-sex marriage. And I like to think that I am worth “my salt.”

    The bottom line is that the morality of same-sex marriage is not for the government to decide. The Church can think whatever it wants, but Homosexuals should be afforded the same rights as everyone else.

  6. Now Dillon, we can’t have the people who disagree just living their lives however they want as long as they aren’t hurting anyone else. We need the government to force people to act in a Christian manner. Because that’s what government’s for, right? Oh, wait, that’s not right… Well, because homosexuals are such a threat! No, wait…Oh! Because people are real, saved Christians if they just act like it because we force them to. Funny, that too sounds wrong somehow…

    I live here because my family and friends live here, and for that reason I have no plans to move, but if I could, I’d make it where I’d never lived in the Bible Belt.

  7. Josh-
    You are right. According to the scriptures homosexuality is worng. You know it, I know it. However, I side with Dillion and justthisgirl’s roundabout way of saying it, government has no right to mess with things such as homosexuality laws the 9th and somewhat the 10th amendment touches that.

    Dillion-
    Contrawise, I do believe that same-sex marriage is morally wrong and should be banned. Can it be put in practice? No. But it is a moral issue. That’s why the 10th amendment should be used in that case. If the majority in a state want it gone, fine. The federal has no power over it.

  8. Prop 8 won it seems… same sex marriage was officially banned in California

    I’m putting this one down alongside the trail of tears, Japanese internment, prohibition, the war on drugs, and the patriot act as major screw ups in our country…

  9. Speaking as a Christian who does her best to love everyone (regardless of their actions), I believe we did the right thing in California. I believe gay couples should be given the same rights as married couples under a civil union, but I am confused as to why gay people want to be “married.”

    1. Marriage is biblical, it is not a government institution, so why should the government have the authorty to change it.

    2. By definition, marriage is between a man and a woman…changing that is changing the definition of the word/institution. (It seems the same to me as deciding to call a house a truck. It’s just arbitrarily changing the definition of a word.)

    3. If gay peple are allowed to marry who they love, then what happens when the bi-sexual population wants to be able to marry a man and a woman? That would only be fair, right? Since they love them. Then if we are allowing that, what is wrong with a woman having two husbands or vice versa?

    A friend of mine said he could not conceive of our country allowing a man or a woman to marry multiple men/women…to which I pointed out 50 years ago, no one could have conceived of Prop 8 being on a ballot.

    I think it speaks volumes that a state as liberal as California still felt marriage was too sacred to mess with:-)

  10. You are correct. We are not a theocratic state. Do you think conservatives know what that means? So, Walker — when did you cross the line and join us academic types on the left? Welcome!

  11. Nooo. That’s a great sticker (yeah, I’m a huuuge NAFTA fan). You can’t just ditch it. Bill was/is not a convserative. In fact, I think he lacks any ideology other than, “I love Bill”, but you can do worse than that.

  12. Great point. But how is a “civil union” different from a “marriage?” Is a “marriage” not essentially a “civil union?” Words are just words, after all.

  13. Every word has thoughts, feelings, and connotations behind it. I do not necessarily disagree with you, James, but I am just playing the devil’s advocate.

  14. “We have moved from blacks to women to homosexuals, what is next? Republicans claim that Obama is a socialist, yet they are the ones who want to take basic rights away from specific peoples.” ~Dillon Sorensen~

    Eh……Dillon, you got your facts a little wrong at the beginning of this post. Where exactly did you get the idea that the dems were the ones wanting to give rights to citizens anyways?

    1.) Look back to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and look at the voting records therein…..They are in a “yeh-ney” format to dissuade any confusion…

    The Original House of Representative Version

    Democratic Party: 152-96 (61%-39%)
    Republican Party: 138-34 (80%-20%)

    The Senate Voted Version

    Democratic Party: 46-21 (69%-31%)
    Republican Party: 27-6 (82%-18%)

    The Senate Version Voted on by the House of Representatives

    Democratic Party: 153-91 (63%-37%)
    Republican Party: 136-35 (80%-20%)

    …….Clearly the Left wing has cared so much about the rights of minorities in the past.

    2.) While women’s suffrage was a recurring issue for decades before even being ratified by congress, I would like to point out the separation of wages issue from the 1920s. While the ability to vote was a national trend forming since the progressive years of Republican President William Taft, Woodrow’s predecessor, Taft’s appointment as Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court in 1921 was seen as the watershed moment for equal-pay legislation. Taft’s dissenting opinion in Adkins v. Children’s Hospital in 1923 was a progressive move and called out a maximum-hours law was equivalent to a minimal-wage. The Supreme Court overturned the decision, to agree with Taft, in 1934 permanently ruling separate hours/rates for women and men as unconstitutional. (Century of Struggle: The Woman’s Rights Movement in the United States)

    ……again, another example of Conservatism working for the good of the people rather than for their own self-interest…….(Oh, and I would consider the redistribution of wealth a very selfish act on the part of the dems. My father worked two jobs throughout college to pay for it by himself because my grandparents couldn’t afford to send him on their own penny. He ended up graduating with honors and paying his own way through graduate schooling too. He has lived the American dream of making something out of nothing. If others are too lazy to follow in his footsteps or too influenced by the defeatist mindset of Liberal America that states that, “It is not fair that you shouldn’t have the same chance to go to college so you should vote democrat because we will take money away from others and give it to you,” then they can just suck it up because you can succeed in America with out government help and from any level of society as long as you have the drive to do so. I do not consider it in any way selfish that he wants to keep his earnings because he has worked harder than other bums to receive it.)

    3.) Kelly, I really enjoyed your post, it gets down to what is acceptable in christian beliefs. As for everyone else, You probably already know where I stand on the Homosexuality issue, I doubt I need to restate it. I would like to remind you though that the bible is not a pick-and-choose smorgasbord board where people can decide what beliefs work best for them. I can understand loving all people for the same reason that God does, but that does not mean that you have to acquit them of the sinful lives that they choose to lead.

    Walker,

    I will finish up my post with a short response

    Trail of Tears = A jurisdiction made by DEMOCRATIC president Andrew Jackson

    Japanese Internment = DEMOCRATIC president Franklin Delano Roosevelt authorized the internment of Japanese Americans with Executive Order 9066 which gave military commanders the right to create exclusion zones from which all access could be barred.

    Prohibition = I agree……..we Lutherans do enjoy our brewskies 🙂

    The War on Drugs = Maybe you have had the benefit of coming from a non-Chemically Abusive household (I don’t know, I am just guessing) however I have not been so lucky. Maybe you remember my chapel speech from last year but if you don’t, I would like you to know that there IS NO POSITIVE SIDE TO DRUGS. They have destroyed certain parts of my life that I can never gain back and diminished the view that I have of someone as important as a father. Thank God someone else stepped in to fill the void. If fighting over the right to use psychoactive drugs is one of the biggest issues that erks people in America today, then they should feel pretty darn lucky.

    Patriot Act = I agree

    Thank you to all who took the time to read this rather lengthy post.
    God Bless,
    Patrick Ryan

  15. I only have one question, Edward:

    Since Obama won, and I voted for Obama, does that make me a socialist? If so, I’m ready to throw off those chains, baby!

    Oh, and Arkansas just passed the most ridiculous law in the history of rednecked-dom. Boy I am glad to be living in this chest-thumping state.

    My rule? Leave your cross and morals outside the voting booth. Please, think of the children.

    Come back to Fayetteville, Edward, my intellectual atmosphere is stagnating.

  16. One other thing, Edward:
    I was beginning to worry if you were going to swallow your love for Hilary and the Clintons and join me in voting for Obama. I guess my question has been answered.

    You know how you always wondered if we would ever be an integral part of history? I think we can officially say yesterday evening will be one of those “watersheds” that will stick around for quite some time…and I couldn’t be happier. I have been following Obama since 2004, and still find myself euphoric when I think about the magnanimity of it all. Days like these come once a lifetime. Cherish it. Have a fantastic pinot noir for me.

  17. I think it says something awful that used a Merlot for this. Merlot’s not the best choice of wine for any occasion and certainly not for a good one. Have shiraz or a pinot noir if you want to drink good wine.

  18. I’ve never understood the argument that Obama’s policies amount to supporting people who are too lazy to work or go to college. I think the vast majority of people Obama wants to help are poor because of circumstances. Students in poor areas do not have the kinds of advantages schools like HCHS offer (i.e. awesome college counselors, great teachers, etc). They may not even be aware of what opportunities they do have. If Obama wants to raise taxes to help other people have the same kinds of opportunities i did, i will gladly pay them. If there’s a poor black kid in a poor school district somewhere who is a genius but is not in college because he either does not have or is not aware of the opportunity to do so, I want to change that. I would much rather that kid is in my class kicking my butt and making me earn the privilege i enjoy just because i was born into a system that tends to favor white males whose parents have a college education or higher.

  19. Kristi — not dry enough for me.

    former student — I love you because you get it; a few in my courses think that everyone gets a new car at 16 and that mom and dad pay gas while a minority of them take their studies only slightly serious. Plus, I suspect for someone like you this is a moot point in that you are focused on something much bigger than money.

  20. One thing has me curious … do we really think that society has completely moved away from treating women as targets in light of how both Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin were treated this political season? I have been pretty disappointed by people in the media and in the campaigns on both sides of the political spectrum and of both gender … and I have been proud of people in all of those groups who have stood up and said “enough already” … I just think it is sad that women still receive, in my opinion, differential treatment.

    I am thrilled that so many more little boys and young men feel in their hearts that there is no limit to what they can achieve in America … I am just sad that so many little girls and young women are witnessing that strong women have to be willing to have everything from their children’s personal lives to their hairstyles or preference for skirts or pantsuits scrutinized if they dare to lead.

    There may be cracks in the glass ceiling … but the glass ceiling is still there … but, hopefully, not for long. 🙂

    Ever hopeful,

    ~Staci

  21. The glass ceiling is only there is you let it be there. For many, the glass ceiling needs to be there because they make money talking/writing about it. 🙂

    It is a shame though how Hillary and Palin were treated. I mean, men like Bush are never treated as bad as they were.

  22. Patrick –

    Interesting statistics. Must I remind you, though, that JFK first introduced the bill in 63? Many Democrats in Congress did not support the bill in fear of losing their strong supporter base in the South. A lot has changed over the last 60 years.

    I do not understand how trying to help the less fortunate is selfish. Nice story about your Dad. My Mom would have loved to college. She grew up in poverty, and a job at Dunkin’ Donuts would not cover the tuition. You should watch your mouth, she is not a “bum” or “lazy.”

    FYI – homosexuals do not choose to live sinful lives. Who in their right mind would CHOOSE to be the subject of frequent discrimination?

    Carson – I was right there with you; I was sipping on an ’08 Pellegrino 😉

    Former student – right on!

    Roland – I disagree. I do not think that as a woman, Mrs. Brown “let’s the glass ceilling be there.”

  23. Dillon,
    Good point. Taking away rights from certain people is a tough issue, and I’m sorry. I’m glad you oppose it and the government should not be able to take away that kind of right. That is up to the individual.

    However, you say that the government should not be able to take away rights. Huh, then why do you think that the government should have the right to take away our right to choose where our money goes, by saying that it is okay to redistribute wealth?

  24. Dillon, helping the poor is not selfish, however coveting what another has is. What you would have us do is perpetuate the attitude of jealousy and “I don’t have money so I need to take from someone else who worked for it. That ideology is based in selfishness and that is biblical.

    I understand that you see that as charity and you obviously have a giving heart. A caring heart is a strength not a weakness. However going about giving to others what you have stolen from another is not strength. And giving the government the power to do that limits your freedom, and once they have that power you cannot take it back. At that point the only way to do so is by force.

    Also speaking of rights, what gives a person the right to kill another person? Especially someone that can’t defend themself. Notice I used the word “someone” instead of “something” since the baby is a living human contrary to what those planned parenthood nuts would have us believe.
    If you have sex that means the baby is no accident. Since scientifically speaking that is the purpose of sex isn’t it?

  25. Roland,
    I agree that some men are targeted more than others… but what concerns me is that EVERY woman who aims too high seems to be targeted … I may be wrong but I would love for somebody in the media/academia to do a study to see if there is a statistically significant difference in the number of articles, news stories, etc. that are about negative PERSONAL attributes of female candidates in national races involved in the 2008 election verses male candidates in the 2008 elections.

    I don’t think the statement about the glass ceiling being there only if you let it be there is a fair one when it comes to politics, however … especially in reference to elected positions … because to get elected a person relies on society’s willingness to accept his or her leadership … in other professions or situations, perhaps … but I don’t think it is simply a mental construct in presidential politics.

  26. Josh,

    Do you honestly think that the poor sit around and say ““I don’t have money so I need to take from someone else who worked for it.” I think they say “Man, I am working two shifts at McDonalds, trying to put myself through college, and raising a kid alone because my husband is in jail. How come the rich white guy in the corner office with the easy job does not have to worry about paying his mortgage and making sure his kids can eat because he has a piece of paper that says ‘Harvard’ on it. Why has the government forgotten about me? Why does everyone think that I am lazy?”

    I still do not understand why people think that Obama is going to “redistribute the wealth.” He is not going to reach into your bank account and hand out checks to the poor. He is going to roll back the Bush tax cuts, resulting in an increase in taxes for the wealthy and a decrease for the poor and middle class. Why should people with more money pay LESS in taxes? It just does not make sense.

    I have trouble figuring out where this rumor came from that Democrats support abortion. Do you really think that Obama, a Christian, gets off on dead babies? I am a Christian, and I recognize that abortion is awful. However, I realize that legislation outlawing abortion is not an effective way to prevent it. People would still have unprotected sex, and they would either put their babies up for adoption, resulting in more babies up for adoption than people who want to adopt them, or they would seek out illegal abortions. I could go into the global consequences of overpopulation an a dwindling food supply, but that is for another day.

    The whole “social justice” thing does not work when you pick and choose which lives are valuable. I have trouble finding reason in a party that claims to care about the lives of babies, yet supports the execution of criminals who are, in many cases, innocent. Or a party that has no desire to improve on conditions in poverty-stricken communities that lead to crime and death. Or a party that does not care about innocent people being killed over a conflict that we can not solve.

    Why do I find myself motivated to come back to this blog and argue? I doubt Carson wanted to spark heated arguments on his blog when he first started it.

  27. Mrs. Brown, I think that would be a great study to do! It would have to be done by a non partisan organization, but that is a great idea. Another good study would to examine negative personal attacks based on political affiliation.

    Roland on a personal level your glass ceiling idea is dead on, but on a political scale, not quite.

  28. Its not about what they say to themselves its about what the nature of that attitude.

    Obama said, and I quote “I believe when you spread the wealth around, its good for everybody” Explain the connotations of that to me that don’t say that he wants to redistribute the wealth.

    And considering the fact that there are numerous videos of him speaking at planned parenthood rallies or meetings or whatever you want to call them, I would say that he is pro-abortion. And I have been around dems alot in my life, including you, and it is my experience that they in most cases oppose laws forbidding abortion and will defend it with their lives and the lives of the babies they would have killed (which by the way is over 50 MILLION. I don’t know about you but I would call that genocide ).

    And don’t even try to say that they are “pro-choice” and don’t support abortion, because if they didn’t support abortion they would be pro-life. ( I really hate both those terms because I believe in calling things what they are. There is no pro-life or pro-choice. There is pro-abortion and anti-abortion. There is no gray area)

    So you would rather support saving a murderer who has had the chance to live than save a baby who would lose their life before they even had a chance? If not that is certainly what you just stated.

    And as long as there are things to argue about there will always be arguments so get over it.

    Dude, I respect you which is why I don’t approach you in real life about what we argue about on here. Just wanted to let you know that.

    And explain to me how the republican party (since that seems to be what you are targeting. Correct me if I’m wrong) perpetuates environments that are poverty and crime stricken? Believe it or not socialism will not solve that. I don’t believe there will ever be anything that can truly and completely EVER stop that. When you redistribute wealth everyone is poor. There isn’t enough money in the world that can keep an entire country well fed or to send everybody to college. And the government cannot buy all the supplies for everyone to be fed, because you have already destroyed the businesses that stimulate the economy.

    And as far as I’m concerned, the “Christian” church Obama went to should not be called one. They are black liberationists. Try doing a little research about it. They believe that any God that does not agree with the specific interests and beliefs of the black community should be rejected. Call me crazy, but that doesn’t sound much like Christianity to me.

    Patrick, help me out here.

    And by the way Dillon, my family will be one of the families that Obama says will not get tax increases. (although I think he will continue to lower the amount of yearly income eligible for tax breaks)

    So before you go telling me that I’m the same as the upper class that just want to keep their money maybe you can make sure that my family makes less than 250,000 or 150,000 or whatever Obama and Biden decide to stop at. The only reason I have the opportunity to go to HCHS is because my Pa-pa (my grandpa if you don’t speak my language. lol) pays for it. And if you had your way I probably wouldn’t have that opportunity. My family makes about 55-60 thousand a year and we’re content. We are a middle class family who happen to stand out and be conservative because we believe that a baby should not be killed because it is different or the Mom and Dad made a mistake, we believe that we should have the right to choose to do with our money what we will, we believe that a marriage should be between a man and a women, that people should have the right to own a gun, we believe that abstinence is important, we believe in God and we are proud of our country. So don’t you dare judge me.

    If I sound angry it is only because you have pushed me.

  29. i dont think that is biblically covetous. if it was, Jesus would have told poor people to stop being covetous all the time instead of encouraging people take care of the poor. patrick its awesome your dad was able to do so much under such adverse circumstances. but wouldnt it have been better if the government said “we see you working hard, and were willing to help you out. we know the system isnt fair, but were trying to correct that.” besides, as dillon pointed out, obama is not reaching into your bank account and taking out money. if obama was going to spend that tax money on blowing stuff up half way across the world, would you be just as vehemently opposed to it?

  30. Josh, some things:

    “When you redistribute wealth everyone is poor.”

    False. What you are talking about is progressive taxation; progressive taxation =/= “redistribution of wealth.”

    Prime example of an implementation of a progressive tax: England, Sweden, Germany, Australia, Canada etc. etc. The list is endless.

    Hey, I’m a liberal, a socialist if you will, and a Christian. Does that make me any less of a Christian than you, because I believe that women have a right to do what they want with their bodies, that I believe that gays have a right to be happy together?
    If so, I don’t want to hear it from you. The one judge of who is “more” of a Christian is God.

  31. Josh,

    I did not intend to “push you,” I have nothing but complete respect for your opinions.

    As far as the quote goes, “redistributing the wealth” and “spreading the wealth around” are two different things, in a literal sense. At least, that is what I gather. “Spreading the wealth around” would mean something more among the lines of taxing the wealthy to benefit everyone. That is just my two cents…

    I disagree with you about the whole anti-abortion/pro-abortion thing. I am not “pro-abortion,” I am “pro-choice,” Abortion rates can be dramatically reduced without passing laws that make it illegal.

    I do not support “saving murderers.” I simply do not support a system of capital punishment that is biased against the poor who can not afford adequate legal representation. Not to mention the times authorities have learned that someone was innocent only AFTER they were killed. One’s life or death should not be decided by 12 people.

    A good friend and mentor of mine recently summed up this whole socialism issue quite well:

    “I lived in the Swedish social democracy for 3 years. I have no desire to see a socialist America. Taken to it’s end, it strips people of the motivation to achieve and puts the state in a parenting role. I’ve experienced it firsthand.

    I also lived in South Central LA for 3 years and saw the other extreme – poverty, violence, crumbling schools, pollution, and racial tension. In other words, entire segments of the population left behind.

    So it’s tough to imagine that, in 2008, there can’t be a balance between full-out socialism and full-out capitalism. That’s why I’m more likely to take a chance on a potential mistake than to hedge a bet on an absolute mistake.”

    And you know what? My family will be affected by the tax increase. And I am perfectly fine with that, because I know that your family needs the money more than mine does. We might have to make a few changes in our lifestyle, but it is not a big deal.

  32. I do believe that Jesus taught people not to worry at all about earthly wealth and focus on their treasure in heaven, and that stealing is stealing, and not to be covetous of others. (which he did btw)

  33. And Dillon, like I said before, you have a giving and caring heart, but the government should not have the power to reach into our back pocket and take what they need, put most of it into their pocket and give the rest to someone who didn’t earn it. That’s not charity. God wants us to give to the poor out of our own good hearts, not because the government threatens us if we don’t. That’s not charity that’s extortion, and like I said it gives the government WAY too much power. Our nation was meant to have a balance of power between the people and the government. But in socialism the balance is tipped almost entirely toward the government, and you cannot, like I said before, take it back. And even in a Democratic Socialist country, where the people still have the right to vote, the government will see that they have the power to take that away. And by the time the people figure out “Oh crap! The government has too much power. Why did we give them that much power just so we might have a better life because they’ll give us everything we need, when they can take away all of our freedom?” its too late. And eventually that country WILL become communist. Socialism is a transitional stage and it will almost always become communism. “If we cannot learn from history, then we are doomed to repeat it”

  34. That’s what the taxes DO!!!!!!!!!!!! They take money away form the wealthy and give it to the poor. If they just took it away from them outside of tax people would know for sure that the system was corrupt. But if they do it by tax then its absolutely okay. Explain to me how taxing the rich more is not taking.

  35. Jesus did not call taxation “stealing”, even under harsh Roman rule. instead he said render unto caesar what is caesar, and to God what is God’s. storing up earthly treasures is not the same as hoping your kids have an opportunity to go to college. he also cared for the physical needs of people, such as when he fed people or healed them. i know there is a much deeper spiritual meaning, but Jesus does not urge you to neglect yourself or others when they are in need in this life.

  36. Josh and Dillon-According to Obama’s tax plan, my family would receive tax cuts also. However, I still believe that you should have the right to keep and do what you wish with what you earn. Just because Obama says that my family will pay less taxes does not mean that I will sacrifice this belief. Dillon, I agree with you that those who are more fortunate should absolutely help the less fortunate. However, I disagree with you when you say that this should be the government’s responsibility. I would prefer to see the helping of the less fortunate through the use of charity foundations and private companies. My family and I always give to charity, and we do it with willing hearts. I would love to see the more fortunate be willing to help the less fortunate with a heart like yours, Dillon.

    I guess the best way I can explain this is through an analogy. Let’s say hypothetically that I have a 95 GPA and someone has a 75 GPA. I don’t believe that the school should force me to give away my GPA points. I worked hard for my grades, and I should have the right to keep them. However, this does not mean that I am not willing to assist those who do not make high grades. As I’m sure you know since you’ve known me for a while, Dillon, I always get tons of phone calls at night asking for help on homework. I never turn down someone asking for help, and I help them because I want to. So, just because I make higher grades than someone does not mean I am unwilling to help and tutor them.

    Dillon-I liked the article you cited. I think that it really shows the negative effects of a socialist economy. I am glad to know that you give with a willing heart and not grudgingly. Just like Jesus said, charity means nothing if you do not do it with a willing heart.

    So, in summary, I believe that whatever you earn, you should be able to do with what you want. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t help the less fortunate, and it should not be the government’s job to redistribute the wealth.

    On the subject of gay marriage and abortion, I believe both are wrong. I believe in the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, the way God designed it. Many argue that abortion is lawful because it is the property of the mother, and the fetus lives off the mother. But is not the child living off of his mother and father as he matures and grows up? Why not give the mother the right to kill her child as long as the child lives off of her?

    Johnathan-I agree with you when you say that the only judge of who is a true Christian is God. Jesus tells the crowd that whoever is without sin may throw the first stone at the adulteress. But no man is without sin, and that is why he cannot judge another man’s sin.

  37. Do you know what communism is, Josh? A communist state is one where the PUBLIC owns the means of production, not the government. That being said, there is no history to repeat itself, because there has NEVER been a true communist state. The USSR was in no way a communist state; it’s petty state capitalism was actually a quasi-communist ideal.

    The slippery slope you use cannot be applied to America; the US will NEVER become a communist state. No country ever will.

    And if you want to get technical, all taxes are a form of wealth distribution. Hell, so is consumerism.

  38. Josh, that is not what taxes do. Taxes pay for schools, roads, libraries, guns, coffee, pens. If the government uses it, our taxes pay for it. Taxing the rich is not taking, it is FAIR. Why should the burden be placed on lower and middle class wage earning households? Reverse redistribution of wealth is far worse than redistribution of wealth.

    As I have said a thousand times, ALL OBAMA WANTS TO DO IS ROLL BACK THE BUSH TAX CUTS. Which, by the way, most economists recognize as a complete failure. The only people who will see a tax increase are those who make more than $600,000/year.

    Josh, you do realize that your family will benefit from around a $1,000/year tax DECREASE, right?

  39. I forgot to mention an important aspect of my beliefs. I believe that you should give to the less fortunate that are working hard, but I don’t believe that those who do not even try to work or find a job should receive charity and financial assistance. I personally believe that if you are not willing to contribute to society then you should not be able to receive society’s benefits.

    I guess what I’m saying relates to Andrew Carnegie’s “The Gospel of Wealth.” I agree with Carnegie’s beliefs on philanthropy and charity as the way to help the poor in combination with the right of people to do as they pleased with their money.

  40. the school GPA argument is generally a good one. the only problem is, it only works assuming everybody has the same opportunity within that school. what do you do with the kid with the serious learning impediment? or the kid who is failing because he cannot pay for books or cannot get to school every day because his mother will be late for work and lose her job? once you start factoring in these kinds of problems, its obvious the school has to step in somewhere to help out the less fortunate.

  41. Christopher, although your analogy is a good one, there are several confounding variable you fail to mention. For one, you could have been brought up in a decent environment with a $250,000 house in a fairly nice neighborhood with parents who love you and care for you; you come home and are challenged by your parents to do well in school and to try your hardest. The kid with the 75 GPA, however, could go home every night to a run down house in a poor, inner-city neighborhood with no money to afford substantial clothes and being cared for by a single mother. He or she may have to go to work as soon as they get home, leaving no time for homework, and shifting the concentration from school to earning enough money to eat dinner.
    If it were as simple as just working hard then everyone could become successful; unfortunately the world does not work that way, and some people require more help than others.

  42. Dillon-In regards to your last comment, the rich should not have to pay more taxes. Why should they? They have earned what they have and should be able to choose to do with what they want. It is not right of the state to force those who have earned their money just like anybody else to give it to the government.

  43. I was wrong earlier, my family’s taxes will not increase. Hooray!

    Anyway, Chris, you are my favorite Conservative. And a 95 GPA is a little low for you, is it not? 🙂 I like your analogy, but I am with Jon and former student, there are more things that must be taken into account.

    And former student, I am dying to know who you are…

  44. Johnathan and former student-Both of you are right. I believe that you left out the last part of my analogy-about those who have greater opportunities and benefits to help those who do not are under hard circumstances.

  45. Public schools do offer accommodations, modifications, Individualized Education Plans, etc. for students with different levels of learning disabilities. They offer free transportation, free and reduced-priced breakfasts and lunches, and even, in some schools, before and after-school care offered on a sliding-scale fee structure based on the household income level. Textbooks are provided free of charge. Public schools are far from perfect, but in my fourteen years of experience, there are many steps taken to try to help the less fortunate … more could probably be done … but since many who visit here are unfamiliar with public schools, I thought I would share …

  46. Dillon-You are my favorite liberal. I am glad that you and others with liberal views like Johnathan and former student can actually describe what Obama stands for besides change. That is why I respect all of your point of views.

    Oh and by the way, Dillon, if you need anyone to spread knowledge your way, you know who to call…. 🙂

  47. Not that I mean you are not smart Dillon, but if you ever need help on homework or anything, I am always glad to help.

  48. I agree that a 95 GPA is probably low for you Tutunjian. Former Student has a great point as it relates to the inequality of education. Plus, we put way too much on GPA; I am more interested in students who seek knowledge for the sake of expanding their ability to make a contribution in society; i would love to hear Obama’s take on that. I do know HRC and myself disagree on this.

  49. i plan on visiting over thanksgiving break. the reason my name is so nebulous is mostly because… and this is embarrassing… i havent been back to visit the school or any of my teachers (even carson!) and although i have been dying to do so, i keep getting very distracted. and i would very much like to meet most of you, you are far smarter and more involved than i was when i attended there 2 years ago (makes me feel old!)

  50. Mrs. Brown,

    I attended public school until the fourth grade. Although private school really changed my life, I am just as grateful that my parents put me in private school as I am that I attended public school. It made me that much more grateful for the educational opportunities that I have been blessed with.

    Chris,

    I do not believe that the rich should pay more in taxes. I just do not believe that they should pay less. What can one buy with $2.7 million/year that they can not buy with $2 million/year?

    Carson,

    We have discussed this before; I can not stand students who have high GPAs yet do not heighten their intellect at all in their high school career. I like the grading system at Reed College, too bad the high marijuana usage gives them such a bad rap.

  51. Mr. Carson-Thanks for the compliment. I agree with you on your views on GPA; I simply used it as an example. I do not sit in a classroom all day just so I can get a piece of paper that says 100. I sit in a classroom and learn so that I can one day get a job and, as you said, contribute to society. I plan on becoming an engineer and using my skills to help solve the problems of society. I also don’t let my learning end in the classroom. When I hear something in class that sparks my interest, I go home and read about it and research it. I try to always broaden my horizons and learn more than what I am being taught through reading articles in the paper, doing research online, and reading your blog. Not trying to suck up or anything, but I personally believe teaching is the ultimate contribution to society. They equip our future leaders with the knowledge and skills needed to lead, and that is why all teachers have my respect, especially one that (even though I have never had you, I can tell) is so dedicated to his job and students.

  52. Jonathan … those other factors are the ones that public schools just can’t control or figure out how to counterbalance. What public teachers would LOVE to figure out is why … sometimes … there is the student … who on paper … should have a 75 average because he/she is low-eco D (education-speak for poor) with all the stereo-typical challenges… but he/she has a 99 and a passion for education and beats all the odds … and to learn how to recreate that in the lives of every child that we can … I have taught students like that and have been amazed and humbled by them every single time … I had a beautiful Latina named Vanessa last year in Pre-AP Precalculus and AP Statistics (back to back classes no less) whose parents love her but don’t “push her” academically … her motivation is totally from within … and she searched for summer programs … and ended up going to a summer program (with a scholarship) to MIT … she is a senior this year in AP Calculus and a senior class officer and I know she is going to go somewhere amazing for college … and I wish I knew how to spread her self-motivation.

    In the same AP Stats class last year, I had a senior girl, Jocelyn, who was a mom and she was determined to do well in AP Stats to prove to herself and others that just because she was a teenage mom it did not mean that she was no longer a “real student.” She is studying to be a teacher. I think she will make a great one.

    I could give you more examples … but I will spare you … these young ladies represent the exceptions and not the rule. I wish so much that knew how to spread their desire to learn and achieve to others.

  53. Jon- I know you already know this, but its more for expanding purposes. True Communism rises up from the Proletarian (lower classes) to influence the government. I’m sorry, everyone owning everything together would not work in America. We are too ingrained in capitalism.

  54. Dillon-I understand the argument you are making. One thing I would like to point is that you are using relative terms. You don’t want them to pay more-more than what? More than already or more than others? I’m not trying to insult you, I’m just trying to better understand what you are saying.

  55. Mrs. Brown- I understand that these factors a school cannot control; that is not my initial argument. The fact is that there are confounding variables that affect how well a child does in school; I hear about them everyday from my track coach, a counselor at Booker T. Washington High School. Unfortunately not everything is based on hard work… if it were, success would truly be attainable for every single person, but the blunt reality is that it’s not.

    James- I know a system like that wouldn’t work in America; in fact, human nature prevents it from happening anywhere else on Earth.

  56. Jonathan … I wasn’t arguing … just joining in the discussion … big passion of mine … will talk to anyone about it … just thought you might be interested in what a former public educator’s take on it would be … I was also happy to see somebody using the phrase “confounding variable”

  57. Mrs. Brown- Oh I understand! I was just stating the fact that I was in a debate with someone else, and that was my argument! I’m always interested in hearing what people have to say, especially if they are from backgrounds different from my own; since I have never attended a public school in the US, I have no idea how it works, and I’m always very interested in listening to people who know what they’re talking about!

    And thank you, I picked that one up from my AP Stat class 🙂

  58. Jon: You stated that “I know a system like that wouldn’t work in America; in fact, human nature prevents it from happening anywhere else on Earth.”

    I am not sure I agree; I think it can and has to an extent; it depends on how one defines the system. We have bits and pieces here. Oh, I did not know you were in AP Stats.

    How about tribal societies that have not been corrupted by wealth and greed. Ok, I am full of it here, but it is fun to address.

  59. I do not necessarily think that we are too ingrained with capitalism, I think that we are too ingrained with consumerism, and that is why Communism could not ever work here.

    Carson – interesting point about the tribal societies. I guess you could say that they run in a socialistic manner. Someone kills an animal, everyone gets to eat it, right? Of course, communism and socialism are more easily embraced by those who do not know of anything different, and as you said, have not been corrupted by wealth and greed.

  60. Mrs. Brown- i did not mean any offense to the public school system. in fact, i rather enjoyed my time there! i know you guys have lots of ways of balancing the inequality of the system. and thats exactly my point. its about time the government took a hint from what the public school system has long known.

  61. Former Student,

    I don’t know why, but for some strange reason I am getting the idea that you are Sam Thompson? I’m probably wrong but I thought I would at least take a shot at it.

  62. no my name is ben smith. i was in sams graduating class. i didnt start going to HCHS until junior year and unfortunately i didnt get to know too many people outside my grade. but i look forward to meeting anybody on this thread sometime during thanksgiving.

  63. Former Student ….Ben, I guess … no offense taken … I am just passionate about education …love to discuss it … obviously, something DIFFERENT, if not something MORE, needs to be done because the outcomes are dismal for many kids … but many educators are trying and are frustrated (although there are some who are seriously burned out … and that is a huge shame … and they need to find another profession.)

    Take care!

    Jon: Doc Weezy would be proud!

    Carson: I don’t think they drink Merlot in tribal societies! 🙂

  64. Actually Dillion, most economists agree that the tax cuts of Bush did help stimulate the economy in the short run and had they been more and broader, they would have done much more. People forget that the economy slid back at the end of the 90’s with the dot com bubble burst and then 9/11 sure didn’t help much. The tax cuts helped to spur the economy on and it grew rapidly.

    Punishing success is nothing our founding fathers pushed for. I love this quote from Jefferson:
    “To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association–‘the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.'”

  65. Roland,

    450 economists, including 10 American Nobel Prize Laureates, signed a statement opposing the tax cuts in 2003. They said, and I quote:

    “Economic growth, though positive, has not been sufficient to generate jobs and prevent unemployment from rising. In fact, there are now more than two million fewer private sector jobs than at the start of the current recession. Overcapacity, corporate scandals, and uncertainty have and will continue to weigh down the economy.

    The tax cut plan proposed by President Bush is not the answer to these problems. Regardless of how one views the specifics of the Bush plan, there is wide agreement that its purpose is a permanent change in the tax structure and not the creation of jobs and growth in the near-term. The permanent dividend tax cut, in particular, is not credible as a short-term stimulus. As tax reform, the dividend tax cut is misdirected in that it targets individuals rather than corporations, is overly complex, and could be, but is not, part of a revenue-neutral tax reform effort.

    Passing these tax cuts will worsen the long-term budget outlook, adding to the nation’s projected chronic deficits. This fiscal deterioration will reduce the capacity of the government to finance Social Security and Medicare benefits as well as investments in schools, health, infrastructure, and basic research. Moreover, the proposed tax cuts will generate further inequalities in after-tax income.

    To be effective, a stimulus plan should rely on immediate but temporary spending and tax measures to expand demand, and it should also rely on immediate but temporary incentives for investment. Such a stimulus plan would spur growth and jobs in the short term without exacerbating the long-term budget outlook.”

    William Gale and Peter Orzag described the tax cuts as reverse redistribution of wealth, “shifting the burden of taxation away from upper-income, capital-owning households and toward the wage-earning households of the lower and middle classes.”

  66. That’s all well and good that they signed that in 2003 but when you look at the RESULTS from the tax cuts including an 8% growth by the 3rdq of that year and you get another picture.

    It is always strange when folks talk about shifting the burden away from the upper income folks when they pay the far majority of taxes as it is. That a very large % of people in this country don’t even pay taxes to begin with.

  67. Roland, would you mind showing me data that backs up your claim?

    In his report entitled “The Boom That Wasn’t: The economy has little to show for $860 billion in tax cuts,*” Lee Price of the Economic Policy Institute said that:

    “The fact that all major economic indicators are higher today than in early 2001 does not mean that the tax cuts have been beneficial. Since the Great Depression, the resilient U.S. economy has always had gains over such four-and-a-half-year periods. The appropriate question to ask is: How well has the economy performed compared to similar past periods? If the last four years of tax cuts had worked as promised, the economy should have done better than in previous cycles, when taxes were either not cut or cut much less.

    By virtually every measure, the economy has performed worse in this business cycle than was
    typical of past ones, including that of the early 1990s, which saw major tax increases. The single area that has excelled in the current cycle, housing, has actually done so despite reduced tax incentives since 2001. And the tax cuts certainly didn’t boost investment levels: the expiration of over $60 billion a year in business tax cuts at the end of 2004 had virtually no observable negative effect on investment.

    In fact, over the last four-and-a-half years, nearly every indicator—from job gains to economic output to spending—have fallen far short when stacked against comparable periods in past cycles.”

    *The report was last updated in 2006 and can be found at http://www.epi.org/briefingpapers/168/bp168.pdf

  68. Dillon, I have spotted a little circular thinking in your beliefs. You say that we should cut taxes to help the poor, but you have just stated that the tax cuts, which gave us working class people a little break, hurt the economy and should not have been implemented. Which are you more concerned about? You complain about the economy being bad because we cut taxes. Then you complain about the poor being in trouble because we don’t cut taxes. Make up your mind. Considering that you support a system that destroys economies but helps the poor, I think that you need to assess exactly what you want. If I’m wrong here please call me out. I’m not trying to bash you.

    And Jefferson, one of the top framers of our great country, should be listened to and not be referred to as a *cough cough* “dead white man”. I think he would have the best idea what this country should do. He helped found it for Christ sake. Good quote Roland!

  69. Josh,

    The Bush tax cuts did not give “working class” people a break. They gave rich people a break. Tax cuts are more successful if they focus those with moderate incomes. We can have both a successful economy and lower taxes on the poor. It is called progressive taxation, and it has seemed to work quite well in the rest of the world.

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