published Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

The Rapture

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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Marylutn said...

Well, RATS!

May 22, 2011 at 12:07 a.m.
dude_abides said...

This is the type of topical, apolitical humor that should keep Clay employed here in Chattanooga for a long time. What say you, Big Ridge? I think this just about cements Clay's job for another decade or so. Agreed Libertines4Freedom?

May 22, 2011 at 12:14 a.m.
nucanuck said...

Man, I was thinking how much better things would be here on earth after the rapture crowd departed, and now we are stuck with them a while longer.

When is the next departure date? Keep hope alive!

May 22, 2011 at 12:45 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

Ha. Who in the Bible belt reads the Bible, where Jesus said No man knows the day or hour (Mt 24:36)? He warned us against date-setting. And since He said, Teach all ethnic groups to obey all My orders (Mt 28:18-20), and then pushed off to Heaven and left us to do it, He expects us to get it done. Postmillenialism--worldwide victory for Christianity before Jesus comes back--is the Bible's doctrine; Christians ducking out before the end of history is a newfangled fantasy, however popular locally.

May 22, 2011 at 1:10 a.m.

andrew, your are a trip. I dont think you ever read the bible.

May 22, 2011 at 1:14 a.m.
nucanuck said...

"...victory for Christianity..." Andrew, seems most unlikely without some better pitchmen. The message has become so mangled that many in the Western World have simply brushed Christianity aside.

May 22, 2011 at 1:20 a.m.
canarysong said...

Nicely done, Clay!

May 22, 2011 at 1:34 a.m.
OllieH said...

Nobody can accuse Bennett of being apolitical, but every once in a while, it's nice to see humor for humor's sake.

This story has been fascinating to me, though. In the past few weeks, I've seen Christians desperately trying to distance themselves from Howard Camping. I've heard them call him a kook, a fool, and an idiot. Of course, Camping is not a kook, a fool, or an idiot for his belief in a bizarre apocalyptic prophecy, only for specifying the exact time at which it will occur.

May 22, 2011 at 1:52 a.m.
SavartiTN said...

Maybe just us sinners are left. Now that would be a reality check.

May 22, 2011 at 1:54 a.m.

the logical reaction of Camping's followers would be to turn on him in the least...

but I doubt all the people will do that, because mankind always had a problem to admit that one was terribly wrong..

.. just like any Bible-twister...

.. just like the conservatives who are constantly wrong on everything...

May 22, 2011 at 2:05 a.m.
SeaMonkey said...

guesss bennett wasn't in a mysogynist mood today.

"just like the conservatives who are constantly wrong on everything"

not really, austrian, we're spot on about obama...he's exactly what we said he would be...a marxist, anti-semite, anti-american, closet muslim, hamas sympathizer, narcissist, anti-capitalist and a believer that the constitution is too much about what the government can't do to us. we thought he would kiss up to illegal aliens from mexico, we thought he would play the class envy card, and we knew he would he would raise taxes....spot on.

every day he proves us right.

you leftists are very predictable....and the demagogues you support are all the same...slink into control as one thing, then reveal themselves for who they really are when they're in...whether it's hitler (who was a socialist), castro, chavez, lenin...and yes, obama.

you leftists don't learn from history...even recent history....that we're very right about.

May 22, 2011 at 4:07 a.m.
EaTn said...

Maybe the rapture really did happened and we're all the left-behind bunch--there's a sobering thought. Actually, the term rapture is not found in the Bible; it along with many end-time beliefs are fairly new prophetic interpretations that all denominations are not in agreement.

May 22, 2011 at 5:18 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Speaking of rapture, I see under the guidance of new Republican governor, Bill Haslam, Tennessee’s legislature has seized the opportunity to create a new bill allowing corporations to fill the pockets of politicians more directly now – no more middlemen for the Republicans in the great State of Tennessee – no sir-eee bob. . . . And as if this wasn't enough rapture for the Republicans, this new Bill even adjusts for inflation – yes, sir-eee bob.

"NASHVILLE — Tennessee corporations will be able to able to contribute directly to political campaigns under a bill going to Gov. Bill Haslam.

The House voted 65-20 for the measure, brought by Republican leaders and already passed in the Senate, that will allow companies to contribute the same amounts as political action committees.

Rep. Glen Casada, R-Franklin, called it a free speech issue and said 28 other states have similar laws. . . .

The bill also raises contribution limits for all by retroactively adjusting limits for inflation going back to 1996. That is expected to raise the ceiling by some 40 percent. . . .”

http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2011/may/21/corporations-get-contribution-rights/?breakingnews

May 22, 2011 at 6:05 a.m.
mistycat said...

The world has not ended. It is just being rebooted. Please be sure your security software is up to date. Run a full scan of your life and remove any malicious files which may be damaging your joy, stealing your hope, or slowing down your blessings. If you need more instructions, please refer to the users manual, readily available or put your hands together, bow your head and contact tech support. :)

May 22, 2011 at 6:54 a.m.
joepulitzer said...

UNBELIEVABLE!! Bennett didn't tie all this to the Republicans or the Tea Party.

May 22, 2011 at 7:29 a.m.
ITguy said...

Oh crap, now we have to pay back all that money we borrowed from China!

May 22, 2011 at 7:57 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Derf32 said: "The rapture: Joblessness, foreclosure, wall street fraud, unending wars, massive debt, political gridlock, hunger, tax cut for rich, corrupt church, idol worship, divorce, high crime, global warming, floods, drought, famine, destroyed eco-system, oil monopoly . . ."

I don’t think you understand, Derf32. Since the supreme court’s proclamation about corporate “personhood,’ Tennessee's Republicans now have more important things to do that attend to things like "joblessness, foreclosure, wall street fraud, unending wars, massive debt, political gridlock, hunger, high crime, global warming, floods, drought, famine, destroyed eco-system, oil monopoly, and lost hopes."

Indeed, Tennessee's Republicans have taken on the task of creating a new corporate bible, along with a newly revised version of the “creation week.” This newly revised and soon to be published version of the “creation week" consists of eight divine commands executed over six days, followed by a seventh day of rest:

On the First day: God said let there be light and profits.

On the Second day: God said let there be firmaments and corporations.

On the Third day: God commanded the waters, the dry lands, and the corporations to be gathered together in one place, and told them to bring forth corporate monopolies.

On the Fourth day: God said let there be corporate greed to divide the rich from the poor.

On the Fifth day: God said let there be oil spills, waste products, and pollutants to kill off all living creatures in the seas and on the dry land.

On the Sixth day: God commanded the land to bring forth corporate executives in his likeness and told them to be fruitful, and to multiply, and to fill their pockets with annual million dollar bonuses.

On the Seventh day: God, having created corporations, monopolies, greed, corporate exectuves, oil spills, and air pollution, rests from His work, and blesses and sanctifies the seventh day.

May 22, 2011 at 8:10 a.m.
woody said...

I'm sorry, Mountainlaurel..I believe you have God mixed up with Satan. I realize sharing a 'comment space' with the likes of "The Monk", et al, can tend to warp our own think patterns, but we must remember...for every 'Good' there is a 'Bad'...for every 'sane thought' there is a 'fallacy'...and, believe it or not, for every 'hard-working, tax-paying, just-barely-making-it family breadwinner' there are at least hundreds of phoney prophets, tax-evading corporate-types, and politicians ready willing and able to screw him or her out of all they can.

But, that's just the bad news...the good news is that we were all born with a sense of humor, at least a smidgen of common sense and the free will to utilize them at our own discretion.

And, as for the alleged "Rapture"..I was ready, but I'm just as glad God decided to wait a while longer... Look at what I might have missed..Woody

May 22, 2011 at 8:38 a.m.
una61 said...

Bible thumpers take heed: The world will end on Dec. 21, 4,666,666,666 C.E. when the sun expands into red giant and engulfs the Earth, give or take a few million years.

May 22, 2011 at 8:44 a.m.
fairmon said...

Mntlaurel,

I don't think contributions should be made by corporations but if not then PAC money should not be allowed either. I rather take my chances with a corporation than most special interest sources. If an individual wants to contribute they can send it directly to a candidates campaign committee. We chased the subject yesterday and I know we won't agree.

May 22, 2011 at 9:13 a.m.
canarysong said...

Here is an interesting article for those who might be interested in reading an examination of millenarian ideas, end times prophets and their followers, and alternative ways of looking at the concept of apocalyptic transformation. I've never been to this site before, but it was interesting and I'm going back to read a couple of other articles, including 'Transcending Online Road Rage' (hmmm, I wonder if they've met SeaMonkey?).

Beyond the End of the World: Navigating Our Personal Apocalypse http://www.realitysandwich.com/navigating_personal_apocalypse

May 22, 2011 at 10:51 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

dude_abides said... "What say you, Big Ridge?"

I am sitting here waiting for thebama to speak before AIPAC and wondering why anyone would give the rapture thing even a second thought. As usual, clay wastes time on the most irrelevant news he can find.

May 22, 2011 at 10:57 a.m.
fairmon said...

Perhaps the rapture did occur and no one was taken. It is frightening how people believe any propaganda that promises them and others an easier life. The republicans and democrats know they are lying and fooling people to extract from them wealth and support. The most frightening thing is that Obama seems to believe the BS and propaganda of his party and sways many followers to think there is an unending supply of money and that no one will experience any hardship. Those opposing his socialist agenda are just as bad by misleading people to believe they can continue involvement in three wars, reduce spending and without increasing revenue repair our failing economy. The two choices we currently have are not desirable.

Both parties are so compromised they are dysfunctional but still able to gain support from gullible voters without voters protesting or reacting aggressively. They like the passive, apathetic, submissive attitude of the majority. The low volume of calls and mail suggest they should continue as is. Both have become very sophisticated in governing by polls and the media.

May 22, 2011 at 10:59 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Woody said: "I'm sorry, Mountainlaurel..I believe you have God mixed up with Satan. I realize sharing a 'comment space' with the likes of "The Monk", et al, can tend to warp our own think patterns, but we must remember...for every 'Good' there is a 'Bad'...for every 'sane thought' there is a 'fallacy'...and, believe it or not, for every 'hard-working, tax-paying, just-barely-making-it family breadwinner' there are at least hundreds of phoney prophets, tax-evading corporate-types, and politicians ready willing and able to screw him or her out of all they can."

Are you telling me that God didn’t really bless and create profits, corporations, corporate monopolies, greed, corporate executives, oil spills, waste products, and pollutants to kill off all the living creatures in the seas and the dry lands? . . . Whew. . . . Thank goodness you’re here, Woody. . . See what happens when you’re away from the TFP board too long? We become easily confused by a little sweet talk from the forked tongued corporate set and their lowly minions like "The Monk."

May 22, 2011 at 12:08 p.m.
hcirehttae said...

SavartiTN - I think you're on the right track. The rapture did happen, and it's just us sinners who are "left behind." Live and love as if it's the only life there is, and I mean that in a sense of generosity and compassion, not wild partying.

May 22, 2011 at 12:23 p.m.
hambone said...

No union dues are ever used for political porposes. It is illegal to use union dues for politics. The union PAC money comes from voluntary donations by members.

Does a corporation collect voluntary donations from its employees?

May 22, 2011 at 12:48 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

SavartiTN said: "Maybe just us sinners are left. Now that would be a reality check." AND Hcirehttae said: The rapture did happen, and it's just us sinners who are left behind.AND EaTn said:Maybe the rapture really did happened and we're all the left-behind bunch."

Hmmmm . . . . Have there been any new "missing persons" reports filed since the rapture?

May 22, 2011 at 12:54 p.m.
SeaMonkey said...

"lowly minions"..."corporate set"...i think you better look in the mirror....your beloved democrats are in bed with corporations (the correct ones)..along with republicans ...you leftist stooges just pump out the same old progaganda...dems good-republicans bad, government good-corporations bad, private sector profit evil-taxation good....dumb asses....

and by the way, woody, you suck up, windbag.. ........for every piece of crud demagogue (obama), there is a true statesman (netanyahu)

for every creep that sides with evil, (obama and hamas), there's someone that sides with good (palin and israel)

obama is a bad guy...only a bad guy would side with hamas over israel....

mountainlaurel, sandy and another libs...obama is the corporate set...he is not about change, reform or anything else...you backed a hack..and you thought he was "the one"..dopes....

harp is correct..both parties are compromised.....but you wacko libs keep insisting it's the republicans.....the democrat party is the party of excess, grotesque spending and waste.. the republican party is the spineless party, and the party of big talk and no action.

you libs are whores for the democrat party....those of us who have voted mostly republican in the past have no problem dumping them if something better comes along..no problem at all....the democrat party and republican party have not come through for the american people.....

and you call me a minion?

bennett is a minion, so are you, sandy and mountainlaurel.....

i tell it the way it is......i don't have any loyalty to the republican party. to me, standing by and letting something happen is just as bad as those that are causing it to happen. republicans have stood by and let democrats due massive damge to this country..socially and economically. they just want to get along.

george bush was not a conservative...he ran as one , but ended up a big spending democrat. obama is no moderate..he ran as one, and is now a complete socialist.

the republican party is composed mostly, the heirarchy..that is, ....of country club republicans. they don't like conservatives...they like the game with the democrats the way it is...they both get a little something and go through the motions.....

you libs need to wake up

May 22, 2011 at 12:57 p.m.
Yano said...

Are complete sentences a liberal conspiracy?

May 22, 2011 at 1:07 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

SeaMonkey said: “you leftist stooges just pump out the same old progaganda . . . government good-corporations bad, private sector profit evil-taxation good....dumb asses... you libs are whores for the democrat party.”

Forget the foul mouth intimidation tactics, SeaMonkey. Better men than you are very aware of the problem and greater ones than you have already identified it:

THOMAS JEFFERSON, one of the founders of the United States democratic system, said "I hope we shall crush ... in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country".

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, in an April 29, 1938 message to Congress, warned that the growth of private power could lead to fascism:

The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism—ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. The Growing Concentration of Economic Power. Statistics of the Bureau of Internal Revenue reveal the following amazing figures for 1935: "Ownership of corporate assets: Of all corporations reporting from every part of the Nation, one-tenth of 1 percent of them owned 52 percent of the assets of all of them."

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, criticized the notion of the confluence of corporate power and de facto fascism, but nevertheless brought attention to the "conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry" in his 1961 Farewell Address to the Nation, and stressed "the need to maintain balance in and among national programs -- balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage."

Wikipedia Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporat...

May 22, 2011 at 2:05 p.m.

AndrewLohr wrote,

"Ha. Who in the Bible belt reads the Bible, where Jesus said No man knows the day or hour (Mt 24:36)?"

Andrew, do you actually realize that you are not much less a fool than the rapture-guys?? Any bible twisting and thinking they know the answer is equally dumb!!

May 22, 2011 at 2:32 p.m.
woody said...

Just a thought..I must have said something right a while ago.."The Monk" took time to take exception with it...

Well, as Hannibal (from the "A-Team") once said..I love it when a plan comes together..Woody

May 22, 2011 at 3:50 p.m.
fairmon said...

hambone if what you say is true then those people will have no problem sending their contribution directly to the campaign committee instead of the union sending it for them. I can then tell those union members that complain about the expenditure of their dues money for political contribution that will no longer be a problem. All PAC, Special Interest, Corporate and other contributions are ilegal and only individuals can contribute to a campaign. And, only the campaign committee with approval of the candidate can use the media or take any other voter influence action including but not limited to print, mailing, phoning etc.

May 22, 2011 at 3:54 p.m.
fairmon said...

Mntlaurel,

If those corporations cease to exist and profit you will find the funds that pay you lacking with your dependence on government more than it has been but they will not be able to keep you in the style to which you have grown accustomed. Purely out of spite I would like to see them destroyed as you advocate. That is about the only way some people that have no clue about how our business systems operate will ever learn. Some learn by reading, some by doing, some by seeing and others only by experiencing the pain.

May 22, 2011 at 3:58 p.m.
fairmon said...

Corporations doing things that are illegal should be punished to the maximum. CEOs breaking the law should be jailed as some have. If regulations aren't adequate then the legislatures are failing. If the business tax system is not adequate our legislatures are accountable. If an elected or appointed official is compromised by a corporation they should be punished and removed from the position. Why blame every business in the world for the failure of a few? A free capitalist market with fair competition is good and the Chinese are using it as we once did only better and a heck of a lot better than we are currently.

May 22, 2011 at 4:08 p.m.
hambone said...

harp, Dues support the business of the union only. Federal law prohibits any other use. If any member of any union thinks dues go to politics he is dead wrong!

May 22, 2011 at 4:11 p.m.
canarysong said...

Don't wait for the Last Judgment. It takes place every day. - Albert Camus, 'The Wall' 1956

May 22, 2011 at 4:32 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

hambone said... "Dues support the business of the union only. Federal law prohibits any other use. If any member of any union thinks dues go to politics he is dead wrong!"

You are kidding, right? Can you be that naive, misinformed?

May 22, 2011 at 6:32 p.m.
Rufus_T_Firefly said...

On the news tonight one guy spent all his savings getting the word out.

Waiting.... Waiting ... Waiting ... Waiting ...

May 22, 2011 at 6:54 p.m.
fairmon said...

That is good to know hambone. I assume then the fact the teachers union members directly contributed, not the union, between '89 and 2010 a total of 36.2 million with over 80% to the democrat party. They were the 5th largest contributor during that time. They were topped by:

1=51.5mm Actblue, all to democrats (democrat party PAC) 2=45mm American Fedn of state, county, Municipal employees to democrats. 3=40.8mm AT&T evenly between parties 4=39.4mm National association of Realtors evenly between two parties. 6=35.8mm Service employees International Union to democrats 10=31mm American Federation of Teachers all to democrats

7,8,9, 11,12,13 were unions at about 30mm each.

It continues through the top 140 with business contributions being small in comparison. Many businesses, such as Goldman Sacks, favored democrats. It is time for meaningful reform without all the loop holes the recipients keep slipping in. I guess the contention that congress is for sale may be true.

May 22, 2011 at 7:10 p.m.
chet123 said...

HARP...THATS COMPARE WITH BIG OIL GIVING REPUBLICAN PARTY BILLIONS...everyone knows republican is owned by big oil, banks, insurance....billions of dollars....scare to death of the big money....republican would perfer picking on the elders,children,working class..and now the middle class....this is one place you dont want to go bro!....republican have a long track record they cant hide from LOL LOL LOL

May 22, 2011 at 7:39 p.m.
fairmon said...

Chet I am embarrassed for you by your ignorance. It is OK to be for something but to throw something totally inaccurate out when most people, even those supporting the same party as you, know what you say is not accurate is embarrassing. I think both parties are compromised to the point they will throw you or anyone else under the bus if needed to get elected. I don't fall for the rhetoric of a smoke blower that can visit 57 of 50 states in a short period of time when campaigning. McCain's being a POW doesn't anymore prepare him for the job than being a community organizer prepares your boy. To me he is the "flower of the white house" a blooming idiot due largely to those he selects for his cabinet and surrounds himself with. Don't make the mistake that not liking democrats means I must like republicans because that is not accurate. The fact is I don't have to agree with or like either one.

No big oil didn't contribute billions which proves you don't even know how much a billion is. Two of them were in the top 140 contributors: 73=Chevron with 10mm. 75% to republican and 25% to democrats. 76=Exxon with 10mm. 88% republican and 12% democrats.

It is hard to hear when you are talking all the time and rattling like a can full of rocks. Support your party, be specific and accurate to protect your credibility when you use data. Your opinion weighs no more, is no more importantance, accurate or valid than others posting even if they disagree with you. Your credibility is suffering, people are laughing at you, not with you. You may want to at least get your GED before trying to convince anyone you are more intelligent than a below average junior high grad..

Another little fact you got wrong is the financial sector, big banks, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Goldman Sacks all contributed more to democrats than to republicans so they obviously don't own republicans. Do you think they own any democrats.

You and I can agree on something. You ignore my post and don't respond and I will ignore and refrain from responding to yours and revealing your ignorance and inaccuracies.

May 22, 2011 at 8:24 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

the clay bennett cartoons are like a pox on the face of the TFP on-line opinion page. It sucks people in to talk about trivia while more important issues are located just below on the page.

May 22, 2011 at 8:28 p.m.
hambone said...

BuRP, prove me wrong!

May 22, 2011 at 8:38 p.m.
dude_abides said...

I'm laughing with chet, and harp is a republican.

May 22, 2011 at 9:24 p.m.

BigRidgePatriot said...

“the clay bennett cartoons are like a pox on the face of the TFP on-line opinion page. It sucks people in to talk about trivia while more important issues are located just below on the page."


Baloney. Western culture has been in a tailspin since (religious and secular) apocalyptic millenarianism began limiting our horizons to a short-term future. Political and economic irresponsibility are merely symptoms of our disease (a couple of patches of crabgrass in our large, un-mowed backyard. Good call Clay. (I never thought I would say that.) BTW, Jesus actually said that those who are left behind get the better end of the deal. Those who are taken away are taken to judgment. Tolle lege.

May 22, 2011 at 9:28 p.m.

Christendom gave us cathedrals, universities, and science. Modernity (secularism and fundamentalism) gave us strip malls, cable TV, and un-mowed backyards.

May 22, 2011 at 9:35 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

whats_wrong_with_the_world said... "Baloney."

My mistake, we all clearly need to obsess over "apocalyptic millenarianism" as it is the root of all of the problems of Western Civilization.

Oh brother.

May 22, 2011 at 9:59 p.m.
dude_abides said...

Pretty scary that the former President subscribed to this crap. Please don't help elect another Dominionist Dickhead that believes God wants him to be "The War President" in the Battle of Armageddon, just because you don't like blacks or gays.

May 22, 2011 at 10:34 p.m.

hambone said... harp, Dues support the business of the union only. Federal law prohibits any other use. If any member of any union thinks dues go to politics he is dead wrong!

go read a book on jimmy hoffa you fool

May 22, 2011 at 10:53 p.m.

Canarysong:

I read your link to Will Black’s “Beyond the End of the World: Navigating Our Personal Apocalypse.” Interesting. He quotes G.K. Chesterton: “If we could destroy custom at a blow and see the stars as a child sees them, we should need no other apocalypse.” I’m afraid the nuance of GKC’s Christian humanism is lost on the author as he pulls the quote out of context to defend his own pop spirituality.

As Chesterton explains in another work, the west’s “extreme, dogmatic dualism” (decried by Will Black) was dealt a mortal blow two millennia ago when the worth of children was so strikingly affirmed by Jesus. Beyond the edge of the ancient world’s imperial apocalypse stood Augustine, Benedict, and Alcuin. They were the ones who mowed the lawn and pulled the weeds of Greece and Rome so that the garden of Medieval and Renaissance culture could be planted and cultivated. Chesterton said that “The Everlasting Man” (to whom the gardeners pointed) is the antidote to our crippling millenarian diversions.

May 22, 2011 at 11:17 p.m.
fairmon said...

hambone,

Reported on NPR radio. The recent supreme court ruling, which I think was a major mistake, enables unions to pay for campaign ads during a campaign and in the latter days of a campaign. Unions can create, belong to or contribute to a PAC. You or anyone else can check to see who contributed how much as I posted earlier. Unions are pretty active supporters of the democratic party. Corporations may or may not increase contributions and influence which would more than likely be with democrats where some, big banks and Wall Street already are favored, but few others are not in the good graces of democrats. GE is a democrat favorite due to their activity in the financial sector. The potential is there for corporations and others to have significantly increased influence and that is not good regardless of who they favor.

To me it is a stretch to say the ruling is supported by the first amendments right for an individuals freedom of speech. Judges consider themselves an all knowing and wise deity but they are about as screwed up as any entity in government. When a ruling is 5 for and 4 against that says either 4 or 5 are wrong.

Unions have and can serve a good purpose but many of them with so much money involved have become as political and corrupt as government.

May 23, 2011 at 12:16 a.m.
fairmon said...

dude+abides,

If you think I am a republican you are dumber than chet123. I did not vote for McCain, Fleischner or Corker but I did not vote for the idiot we have as president either. I have voted for candidates of both parties but at times with regrets once they were in office.

May 23, 2011 at 12:30 a.m.
canarysong said...

wwwtw wrote,

"Western culture has been in a tailspin since (religious and secular) apocalyptic millenarianism began limiting our horizons to a short-term future."

--- OMG! Maybe the world IS ending..... I actually agree with something you've said. Clearly a belief that the world will soon end and a better life afterward awaits is not a belief that is likely to motivate people to do their best in THIS life NOW to build a better future for coming generations. Indeed, it may even encourage some more fanatical believers to support policies that would hasten that longed for end.

As for the link that I provided... I also felt that the site smacked a bit of 'pop' or maybe even 'new age' spirituality (of which I am not a particular fan), but it looked interesting none the less. Although I am a non-theist, I enjoy reading the perspectives of a variety of spiritual viewpoints, traditional and not, western and eastern, ancient and contemporary. I don't wholly buy into any of them (although I do have a personal favorite), but I find valuable bits of insight and wisdom in many. I also find quite a bit of (hmm, how to be tactful...oh, forget it!) lunacy in some as well. Either way, I am rarely bored.

Maybe I'll get around to looking up some of Chesterton's work. He sounds interesting.

May 23, 2011 at 2:28 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Harp3339,

Putting the rapture involving money and campaign dollars for politicians aside for a moment and focusing on the “person” element, I’m curious as to what differences, if any, you see among these various types of legal entities. Also, do you think States have the legal right to favor one type of legal entity over another or deny any “person” the right to establish and actively participate in any of these various legal entities?

  1. A Corporation is a legal entity that is created under the laws of a state designed to establish the entity as a separate legal entity having its own privileges and liabilities distinct from those of its members. . . Unlike a partnership or sole proprietorship, shareholders of a modern business corporation have "limited" liability for the corporation's debts and obligations.

  2. A Labor Union is legally recognized as representatives of workers in many industries. The most prominent unions are among public sector employees such as teachers and police.

  3. Chamber of Commerce is a form of business network, e.g., a local organization of businesses whose goal is to further the interests of businesses. Business owners in towns and cities form these local societies to advocate on behalf of the business community.

  4. National Rifle Association is an American non-profit organization which advocates for the protection of the Second Amendmenf of the United States Bill of Rights and the promotion of firearm ownership rights as well as marksmanship, firearm safety, and the hunting and self-defense in the United States.

Chamber of Commerce Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chamber_...

Union Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_un...

Corporation Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporat...

NRA Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National...

May 23, 2011 at 7:16 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Canarysong said: "Don't wait for the Last Judgment. It takes place every day. - Albert Camus."

Good quote, Canarysong. I haven't read "The Fall," but did read a couple of essays about the book after reading your post. It seems like it would be an interesting read. Thanks.

May 23, 2011 at 7:27 a.m.
twharr said...

Am I the only one who sympathizes with Yano's progressive post? I award that the 2011 POTY (Post of the Year). Nice job!

May 23, 2011 at 8:52 a.m.
limric said...

I hate to break the bubble of those whom think the RAPTURE [not in the Bible] has not happened when in fact it has. I'M RAPTURED and I can see all you who are not RAPTURED or think that the RAPTURE didn't happen. I'm living proof it did happen, because I say so. The fact that the rapture is not in the Bible and the rapture adherents claim it is the most important Bible prophecy although not included or specified by the BeJesus. Why would such an important aspect of Biblical prophecy not be in the Bible? God works in mysterious ways, or God works in obvious ways, such as not including the RAPTURE in the Bible…because it does and doesn't exist. Or not. I report you decide.

May 23, 2011 at 8:55 a.m.
MTJohn said...

una61 said...The world will end on Dec. 21, 4,666,666,666 C.E. when the sun expands into red giant and engulfs the Earth, give or take a few million years.

Una's prediction come with one important caveat. Humanity has the capacity to intervene before to facilitate an earlier end to this age...and probably will.

May 23, 2011 at 8:55 a.m.
hambone said...

brainerdrebel (panther), Jimmie hoffa is the very reason we have the laws concerning unions that we have today.

May 23, 2011 at 9:08 a.m.
Leaf said...

After the Citizens United ruling, it's my understanding that both corporations and unions became "individuals" able to contribute to political campaigns. Of course, corporations have a thousand times more money than unions. On the other hand unions have a thousand times more people than the executives who control the corporate money, and votes still count for something.

May 23, 2011 at 9:08 a.m.
hambone said...

With all the attacks on unions and working people by various state governors ( Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, etc.) paid for by the Koch brothers. All they have managed to do is unite working people and the middle class like they have not been united in 30 years.

May 23, 2011 at 9:15 a.m.
limric said...

The next Rapture will occur on September 7, 2020, at 3:17 AM Mountainlaurel time. As in previous raptures (like last Saturdays), not everyone will be saved. Only the chosen ones (like Libertarians, big patriots and small sea creatures) will ascend into heaven. And like before, the chosen ones will include car keys, the occasional sock (no more than one pair), important phone messages, some Sargento string cheese and a bunch of those little metal fasteners that keep car door panels from falling apart. The precise moment it arrives will be announced by loud Canarysongs. So be ready this time.

Those remaining will be content living a life on earth. Where heaven truly resides.
Except when they have to mow the lawn.

P.S. Hopefully, by then again twharr will be able to complete a :-)

May 23, 2011 at 9:22 a.m.

Hey Bennett, why not a Hispanic couple? Or African? Or any other race and demographic besides the white middle class folks you so love to attack.

May 23, 2011 at 9:31 a.m.
jimbob said...

seamonkey, should be known as seadonkey cause every time he opens his mouth he makes an ass of him self. I'm with you Woddy.

May 23, 2011 at 9:41 a.m.
woody said...

Jimbob..I wish I had said that...but then I'd hafta call him "The Donk" and not "The Monk."

Hmmm..okay that works..Woody (not Woddy, though I know your heart was in the right place even if one of your fingers wasn't.)

May 23, 2011 at 11:41 a.m.
chet123 said...

HARP339....SEE YOU TALK WHEN I'M NOT IN HERE...notice you republican are thin skinned...well you better rough up...if you think i'm going to let you distance yourself from big oil then you better think twice....republican have too long kiss the boots of Big Oil, Insurance, and Banks and rich and greedy people....you turn your head on speculation scandle(spiking up the price of gas)....as big oil gouge the American people....and furthermore...i would trust governmet over the rich and greedy controling my tax money...try selling that to the American people...the republican was for privatizing Social security..Glad the democrats stop you.The american tax dollars in rich and greedy pockets?....but not without a fight pseudo intellect

May 23, 2011 at 12:17 p.m.
chet123 said...

harp..your said corporation found guilty doing wrong should be punish to max.......my question is how is that going to happen when republican remove regulation lOL LOL LOL...and place corporate boot kisser on U.S.Supreme courts like clarence Thomas,Samuel Alito,Antonin Scalia,John Roberts

May 23, 2011 at 12:40 p.m.
dude_abides said...

limric... I'm thinking of marketing a new product I will call Raptsure that will guarantee all those in a hurry to slip the surly bonds of earth (how surly those bonds can be when we're waiting for perpetual bliss and unctuousness) their comeuppance, shall we say. It will come in the form of a salve which can be rubbed on the skin, ingested orally, or one can put it in one's pipe and smoke it. Subcutaneous delivery is not suggested, as it needs to get to the soul before it gets to the heart. One could purchase 'Tincture of Rapture' (for the very devout and almost dead), 'Heavenly Boost' (probably the biggest seller), and 'I Can't Believe It's Not The Body of Christ' (a communion style wafer of breaded salve, deep fried in lamb lard and sold with cardboard 'crowns of thorns' for the kids. Think I've got a winner here? I mean, I wouldn't even have to charge any money for this product. The soon to be departed could just sign their homes and other possessions over to me and be on their way. If the product fails to send them to their maker, they would qualify for one month's free rent at their former abode. If this is not a suitable arrangement, I can just treble the dosage...er, quantity of the product daily until sufficient hereafter is obtained. Thoughts?

May 23, 2011 at 12:53 p.m.
Leaf said...

Oh, you gullible faithful believers of various things religious and political. If only I were unscrupulous enough to fleece you like the sheep you are. Darn ethics!

May 23, 2011 at 12:57 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Hambone said: "With all the attacks on unions and working people by various state governors ( Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, etc.) paid for by the Koch brothers. All they have managed to do is unite working people and the middle class like they have not been united in 30 years."

I believe the attack on these union organizations is a serious abuse of power by these State governors and representatives. Do we elect governors and representatives to make laws as to who among us can or cannot establish and participate in a legal entity or organization of their choice? I don’t think so. We elect governors and representatives to respect, support and uphold the Constitution and the rights of all citizens, including teachers, police officers, etc.

Indeed, it boggles my mind to think that any representative or State governor believes they are entitled to selectively choose a group and to create a law prohibiting that particular group of persons from establishing any kind of legal entity or organization or association of their choice. If individuals have the right to establish a corporation, a chamber of commerce, a National Rifle Association etc., individuals also have the right to establish a workers union.

The fact that you have wealthy persons like the Kochs - who represent another type of legal entity and some would say a competing entity – promoting and funding an effort to prohibit the right of other persons to establish and participate in an organization of their choice is out of line. If a new law is to be created, it should one revoking the right of such persons to maintain their own "legal entities" due to their abusive and unethical conduct toward others.

May 23, 2011 at 1:20 p.m.
limric said...

dude_abides,

That’s damn good idea and a great entrepreneurial beginning of a new pharmaceutical company. Your TV advertisements would be EPIC…literally. :-O

However -

I am non-believer and decidedly non-druggie. I do however prescribe to science and the ABSOLUTE UNSHAKING LAW of The Big Bong Theory. Thusly; In the beginning God said, “Give me a light.” To which we say unto the Lord, “Don’t Bogart that joint my friend. Pass it over to me.”..umm…….I forgot how the rest goes. But I AM HUNGRY.

May 23, 2011 at 1:27 p.m.
miraweb said...

Excellent cartoon, Clay! Now off to weed the garden.

Pity the spammers and trolls can't download any new material. No new talking points this week, gentlemen?

May 23, 2011 at 4:04 p.m.
dude_abides said...

Librarians4Freedom... How do you know that this is not a transgender union? Maybe they're Jewish. Maybe they're light skindians. They could be members of myriad different races or ethnicities that you would prefer to make fun of. Just pretend that he's not trying to insult you personally. Just pretend that paranoia isn't helpful. Maybe he's knocking bald men with plain wives who own dogs and leave the door open with the a/c running and think the world's ending.

May 23, 2011 at 4:05 p.m.
canarysong said...

Some good chuckles today....

Limric.... "The next Rapture will occur on September 7, 2020, at 3:17 AM Mountainlaurel time. As in previous raptures (like last Saturdays), not everyone will be saved. Only the chosen ones (like Libertarians, big patriots and small sea creatures) will ascend into heaven."

--- Good. We remaining sinners can meet here Sept. 8, 2020 for some RATIONAL discussion of how to fix all that the religious extremists have screwed up in the world. BTW, I'm glad that they'll be taking the string cheese...

Dude-abides.... "I'm thinking of marketing a new product I will call Raptsure..."

--- Can I buy stock?

Leaf...."Oh, you gullible faithful believers of various things religious and political. If only I were unscrupulous enough to fleece you like the sheep you are. Darn ethics!"

--- To heck with ethics; we should cash in. As my husband likes to say, "Stupid should hurt more".

L4F...."...when Lorena Bobbit cut her husbands penis was she vilified?"

--- OMG, you have SO many issues, it is beyond hysterical!

May 23, 2011 at 4:19 p.m.
fairmon said...

chet123, Your post are so dumb they don't deserve a response. Why don't you check and see who the big contributors are and who they contribute to. I don't think anyone other than an individual should be able to contribute to a candidate and those with limits. I listed them for you and now I wonder if you can read. The way you giggle and make off the wall stupid comments I am wondering if you are not some silly teen ager.

Social security should not be privatzed it should be abolished and the federal government get totally out of the welfare business. Or, do you support the inefficient skimming of the federal government because you are one of those lazy non-working asses that depend on all the welfare programs so you don't have to work Or, are you are afraid you couldn't make it on your own. Are you one of those getting a free cell phone? Did your house or apartment get all new weatherization, windows, doors, insulation? Do you go to the health clinic or to the emergency room with no insurance or ability to pay? Are your utilities paid for you?

Local and state governments plus local charities and churches should and could provide for under priveleged children, the elderly and disabled much better then they are now treated if the federal government would stick to legislating and not confiscating and dictating. I have to admit you are a fine example of how terribly our education system has failed.

Keep in mind Obama's man Holder can prosecute criminal activity, his SEC team can stop any wrong doing by Wall Street and add any policies or regulations they desire. You will some day find out both parties are compromised and are like prostitutes to special interest of all types. If you think big banks and the financial sector doesn't own the democrats check our Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac's and Goldman Sacks contributions to them. If, you even know who these folks are. I am not suggesting republicans aren't rotten I am saying democrats have the same odor.

Term limits with 100% turn over each 8 years may help. Do you have or have you ever read the constitution? Or, are you one of the 75 out of 100 high school seniors that didn't even know who the first president of the U.S. was?

May 23, 2011 at 4:30 p.m.
MTJohn said...

L4F - I'm still waiting to meet a fair and balanced libertarian.

May 23, 2011 at 4:55 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Limric said: "Only the chosen ones (like Libertarians, big patriots and small sea creatures) will ascend into heaven. And like before, the chosen ones will include car keys, the occasional sock (no more than one pair), important phone messages, some Sargento string cheese and a bunch of those little metal fasteners that keep car door panels from falling apart."

Psssst, Limric. Also remind them to take out the trash, the night before they ascend. The rest of us are tired of having to clean-up and pick-up after them all of the time.

May 23, 2011 at 5:17 p.m.
hambone said...

harp, I think that the reason we have Social Security and wellfare is because the charities and churches fell down on the job!

May 23, 2011 at 7:01 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

hambone said... "prove me wrong!"

If you are right, why do so many continuously complain about union and corporate contributions? Is this a smoke screen?

If only individuals can contribute what is the problem?

How is the data collected that ties contributions back to unions or corporations if individuals are making the contribution?

I am not trying to be smart, these are honest questions.

May 23, 2011 at 7:05 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

hambone said... "I think that the reason we have Social Security and wellfare is because the charities and churches fell down on the job!"

Is it possible that someone could not let a good crisis go to waste?

May 23, 2011 at 7:07 p.m.
dude_abides said...

hambone, there was a breakdown in intelligence involving the F.B.I. (Faith Based Initiative). It's a shame that molesting little boys doesn't feed the needy, because they don't seem interested in stopping that in the Catholic Church.

May 23, 2011 at 7:24 p.m.
rolando said...

We no longer need to worry about a cartoon from Clay showing Dear Leader in a bad light [as if we did].

Check this one out from Katie Pavlich:

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2011/05/23/wh_hires_negative_story_squasher

Quote

WH Hires "Negative Story" Squasher

Welcome to the latest use of taxpayer dollars to shove Obama propaganda down your throat, on your dime. The White House has moved a staffer from the White House New Media Department into a position of "rapid media response," with a goal of squashing, or cleaning up negative stories about President Obama on the internet.

The Obama administration has created and staffed a new position tucked inside their communications shop for helping coordinate rapid response to unfavorable stories and fostering and improving relations with the progressive online community.

"This week, Jesse Lee will move from the new media department into a role in the communications department as Director of Progressive Media & Online Response," read an internal memo from Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, provided to The Huffington Post. "For the last two years, Jesse has often worn two hats working in new media and serving as the White House's liaison with the progressive media and online community. Starting this week, Jesse will take on the second role full time working on outreach, strategy and response."

The post is a new one for this White House. Rapid response has been the purview of the Democratic National Committee (and will continue to be). Lee's hire, however, suggests that a portion of it will now be handled from within the administration. It also signals that the White House will be adopting a more aggressive engagement in the online world in the months ahead.

The post is a new one for this White House. Rapid response has been the purview of the Democratic National Committee (and will continue to be). Lee's hire, however, suggests that a portion of it will now be handled from within the administration. It also signals that the White House will be adopting a more aggressive engagement in the online world in the months ahead.

With Obama's record during his first term, Lee has his work cut out for him. I'm not sure if this move by the White House is an attempt to limit free speech or is just whining. You make the call.

Unquote

May 23, 2011 at 7:44 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

If you are going to do a cartoon on a stupid topic you could at least make it funny...

http://townhall.com/political-cartoons/mikelester

May 23, 2011 at 8:11 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Leaf said: “Oh, you gullible faithful believers of various things religious and political. If only I were unscrupulous enough to fleece you like the sheep you are. Darn ethics!”

Well, I'm glad you have ethics, Leaf. We’re already being fleeced by this crowd:

A new study of stock trading by members of the House of Representatives concludes that lawmakers earned "significant positive abnormal returns" -- approximately 55 basis points per month or 6% annually -- over standard market returns.

http://politicalwire.com/archives/2011/05/23/lawmakers_consistently_beat_the_market.html

May 23, 2011 at 8:24 p.m.
hambone said...

BuRP, Union PAC money comes from voluntary contributions from the membership.

Do corporations collect voluntary contributions from employees?

May 23, 2011 at 8:35 p.m.
tderng said...

hambone,is that like the "voluntary" dues they pay to work?

May 23, 2011 at 9 p.m.
fairmon said...

hambone

Local and state governments did not respond as they should have. The world has changed since the ponzi scheme was established. The SS system is based on those working supporting those receiving. That scheme fails around 2032, depends on the number working and their income. In a bipartisan way congress has liberalized it into oblivion just as they do most things, including subsidies. Survivor benefits were added without adding revenue, SSI and disability were added without increasing revenue, ability for immigrants once citizens to draw without ever contributing, medicare, medicaid, and prescription coverage have all been added with insufficient funding or increased revenue. People didn't have the 401-K, ROTH, HSA and other tax deferred or avoidance options. I am not advocating immediately abolishing federal welfare but it should all be phased out as rapidly as possible and shifted to local and state governments. the commitment to current participates and those above 50 should be kept.

The salvation army and many other charities were not functioning as they can now when SS was established. Legislation allowing any tax payer to reduce taxes by up to 20% of the taxes they owe if they contribute to an eligible charity would fund most charities adequately. The same should be true for local and state taxes up to 10% of federal taxes owed. Contributions to churches are deductible and that church income is not taxed, churches are exempt. There needs to be an investigation of church exemptions when they have earned income from investments. As a country we should accept an obligation and willingly give to assist underprivileged children, the elderly and disabled. Those unable to do for themselves but I have no sympathy for those that could but don't.

I don't know why I took all that time, none of this will happen and our elected idiots that don't understand social security and how it works will just keep on tweaking until it breaks. They couldn't stand the fear and reaction even if it would work better. It would be like taking a kids security blanket or pacifier when they start school.

May 23, 2011 at 9:05 p.m.
ITguy said...

Harp, I appreciate your thoughtful posts. The problem with relying on private charity is that they have never had the resources to meet the need. During economic downturns, the level of need goes up and the level of donations goes down.

In a perfect world, there would be no need for government of any kind. Gues what? We don't live in a perfect world. One of the legitimate roles of government is to protect the weak from the powerful. Unfortunately, many people seem to think that the powerful should be protected at the expense of the weak. It is a good thing that Jesus did not return, cause when He does return He is going to be really pissed.

May 23, 2011 at 9:46 p.m.

zharp3339 said... "Why blame every business in the world for the failure of a few?"

woody said... "I'm sorry, Mountainlaurel..I believe you have God mixed up with Satan. I realize sharing a 'comment space' with the likes of "The Monk", et al, can tend to warp our own think patterns, but we must remember...for every 'Good' there is a 'Bad'...for every 'sane thought' there is a 'fallacy'...and, believe it or not, for every 'hard-working, tax-paying, just-barely-making-it family breadwinner' there are at least hundreds of phoney prophets, tax-evading corporate-types, and politicians ready willing and able to screw him or her out of all they can."


Congratulations on your noble attempt to steer the forum away from the fallacy of hasty generalizations. Not an easy task after last weekend, and alas, it was ultimately unsuccessful, but you did your part.

May 23, 2011 at 9:54 p.m.

Like so much of the religious nuttiness that has alienated so many of you, the rapture was born in the good old U.S.A. Though they've earned my undying thanks for providing our city with a classical radio station and for providing the world with Little Debbies, the Adventists started this hokum in the 1840s. It’s amazing how the study of history helps us avoid our hasty generalizations.

May 23, 2011 at 10:29 p.m.
hambone said...

tderng, members dues support the business of the union.

I am a retired 45 year member of a construction union. I draw 2 pensions, one comes from paying dues all those years, the other is like a 401k. pays me now and will pay my spouse when I'm gone. Oh yea, I also draw SS.

The problem union have today is Hollywood's version of unions. Unions are not run by fatcats smoking big cigars or Mafia thugs, They are eun by the members who work within federal laws for collective bargaining.

May 23, 2011 at 10:35 p.m.
fairmon said...

ITguy,

Are you suggesting the federal government has the resources to meet the need? Apparently not. Note the tax reduction, not simply a deduction, for all charitable contributions. The increased efficiency per dollar would be major factor. The federal government is so huge, mismanaged and inefficient almost anything would be better. I assume you saw the two million dollar lottery winner on TV that was still receiving food stamps? The state administrator confirmed and his lawyer confirmed he was legally eligible and would continue receiving them. There are couples that divorce continue cohabiting while one gets section 8 housing, utility assistance, food stamps, Tenn care and an earned income tax refund exceeding the amount paid while the former spouse retains his $31 an hour job. I am sure they appreciate your help purchasing their SUV.

How many times can we double the debt? The current budget proposal would result in it doubling about each 3.5 years. 14.7 trillion, 29.4 trillion then a little more and interest on the debt will exceed the current budget. Right, local governments and charities may struggle during down turns but I think if people didn't think it was a government thing they would respond and do what was needed.

May 23, 2011 at 11:43 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

WhatsWrongWithThe World Said: “Like so much of the religious nuttiness that has alienated so many of you, the rapture was born in the good old U.S.A. . . . the Adventists started this hokum in the 1840s. It’s amazing how the study of history helps us avoid our hasty generalizations.”

Believe you are wrong about this, WWWTW. I was also curious as to the use of the term rapture, and checked Wikipedia yesterday:

“. . . The concept of the Rapture, in connection with premillennialism, was expressed by the 17th-century American Puritan father and son Increase and Cotton Mather. They held to the idea that believers would be caught up in the air, followed by judgments on the Earth, and then the millennium.

The term Rapture was used by Philip Doddridge and John Gill[ in their New Testament commentaries, with the idea that believers would be caught up prior to judgment on the Earth and Jesus' Second Coming.

There exist at least one 18th-century, and two 19th-century, pre-Tribulation references: in an essay published in 1788 in Philadelphia by the Baptist Morgan Edwards which articulated the concept of a pre-Tribulation Rapture, in the writings of Catholic priest Emmanuel Lacunza in 1812, and by John Nelson Darby himself in 1827. . .

. . . Dr. Samuel Prideaux Tregelles (1813-1875), a prominent English theologian and biblical scholar, wrote a pamphlet in 1866[28] tracing the concept of the Rapture through the works of John Darby back to Edward Irving.”

Wikipedia Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapture#...

May 24, 2011 at 12:22 a.m.

mountainlaurel,

for the conservative folks, Wikipedia is not a reliable source, since this is "left wing biased", although everybody can edit the writings, but, you know, logic is not part of their world...

For them you have to check what Conservapedia, or Creationwiki is saying....

May 24, 2011 at 4:09 a.m.
fairmon said...

mntl,

I think I have pointed out the investment results for many in congress as the link you posted did. It failed to point out that 6% is the average of better than market results with some doing much better than that. Many are not "buy and hold" investors but trade and take profits often. It is not surprising that many of them invest in financial stocks with unusual timing and success. Surely they wouldn't use their knowledge of pending legislation and other government activities in making their investment decisions. Would it surprise you to learn that many of them are invested in tax exempt municipal bonds?

Nancy Pelosi got some short lived press about her sizable investment in an energy stock before it increased significantly. She explained it by saying she liked the company and the business they were in. There was no follow up question as to why and no more media reports.

China reported yesterday they have a 3 trillion dollar excess they are seeking to invest. China and a few other countries, including Saudi Arabia, have a sovereign wealth fund with trillions they invest to earn money on their budget excess. China recently added a 35% ownership in an American natural gas company to their significant investments in American companies. Are they smarter than our leadership that is printing money to buy our debt?

In our life time the U.S. has gone from being the world's largest creditor to the worlds largest debtor nation. Could that be the result of poor congressional leadership?

May 24, 2011 at 7:32 a.m.
fairmon said...

Joplin, Missouri and others in the mid west probably thought the rapture had happened. The destruction and tragedy is a depressing sight. In addition to lost lives there are other treasures that cannot be recovered or replaced. As inefficient and lazy as I may think our government is I totally support them responding and doing all they can locally and in the mid west to assist those coping with the devastation.

Those that criticize others that find some comfort in prayer and believing in a higher power are insensitive bigots. I don't claim to understand them but I do accept their right to exercise their freedom of belief, regardless of what it is, without ridicule or interference from others. I support the proposition that the government will not impose upon the people any religion. This has been and will be my only post on the subject of personal beliefs.

May 24, 2011 at 8:03 a.m.
ITguy said...

Harp,

While I agree with you that local a agency is typically more efficient than a federal agency, I think you have to agree with me that local agencies have a very poor track record of protecting the rights or needs of the minority.

We currently have the lowest marginal tax rates since 1958 and the greatest discrepancy in wealth distribution since the days of the robber barons. I seriously doubt that giving more tax breaks to the wealthy will cause them to open their coffers and pour out their abundance into charities.

I hate to bring this up again, but during the final years of the Clinton presidency we were reducing the national debt. During those years there was no shortage of soccer Moms driving SUVs and plenty of McMansions being built. The wealthy were doing just fine, and by the way the middle class were better off.

The problem that we have today is the result of cutting taxes and huge increases in spending at the same time. Specifically the funding of two wars on credit and the Medicare prescription drug benefit.

It is ironic that this cartoon has brought out this discussion. Most spiritual mystics have preached the universal truth that we are all children of one deity and are all interdependently connected to one another and to the planet. The religious right for the last 200 years has tried to deign this truth and divide us into the righteous and the unrighteous. They obviously get to decide who is righteous. The culminations of this is this theology of Rapture where the worthy will be taken to heaven and the un-worthy will be punished. This fits perfectly into the political philosophy of the Koch brothers. The Wealthy are Righteous and deserving. They should not be responsible to anyone but themselves because everyone knows that the poor are lazy and unworthy.

Jesus would puke.

May 24, 2011 at 8:18 a.m.
limric said...

So; Since the Rapture came and went and nobody noticed, the religious ferver can revert to normalcy. Among the things loudly proclaimed will be a return to “Christian” values. And since this is a Christian nation we should abide in the scriptures. Ergo.

Instead doing stuff like legalizing gay marriages, revoke personal freedoms or practice evangelical capitalism, we should all take a tip from Muslims; Look backwards and live by Old Testament rules.

Execute anyone who works on the Sabbath. (Exodus 35:2)

Declare the eating of shellfish an abomination. (Leviticus 11:10)

Ban clothes made from two types of thread. (Leviticus 19:19)

No trimming of beards. (Leviticus 19:27)

All of the above sound a bit silly to rational people, and will probably never come into being - except for one. Slavery (Leviticus 25:44). The Koch brothers, along with their trained poodles, are working on that one right now.

May 24, 2011 at 9:14 a.m.
SeaMonkey said...

yes, mountainlaurel..let's concentrate all of the power in the federal government...because they've proven themselves to be so competant and trustworthy.....so free of corruption.

you dems/libs/leftists...are the facists........this is barely a republic anymore...it's much closer to some kind of a tyranny...it's certainly facist........and you morons on here wouldn't mind if it was marxist...you love quoting brandeis, jefferson, roosevelt..and so on...but you don't have the balls to quote the person you really admire the most.....marx

you quote the founding fathers or other americans just so you can ingratiate yourselves to some on here..but you're marxists..through and through..you don't trust people to make their own decisions....you loathe independence...you're completely transparent...and old news...obsessed with control.

politicians...and yes, democrats by the fistfull...are bought off by the "right" corporations....corporate corruption and government corruption go hand in hand......obama with his "stimulus" and obama- care have proven me right....nancy pelosi and barack obama are the most openly corrupt duo to lead this country......obama rewards those that support him financially...

in this country only governments can own property....we can pay off our houses but can never own the land under our house...we can own the building our business is in, but we can't own the land under it....the government has to know how much money we make, how much we have in the bank, it can tell us what to buy and what not to buy, what to eat, what we can't eat, and if you leftist nutjobs have your way there's no limit to what the government can do.

after about 100 years or so or "progressivsim" eating away at our freedoms and rights, we've become numb to it...disgusting

if the government can force us into entering a contract with a company in the private sector, there's no limit. it can tell us where to shop, exactly what car to buy, what kind of clothes we can wear.......etc..etc...

May 24, 2011 at 9:41 a.m.
Leaf said...

That's interesting what mountainlaurel said about Cotton and Increase Mathur being the founders of the "rapture" belief. If I remember my middle school history, Cotton was also involved in the Salem Witch Trials. Glad to know that the faithful are following in such wise and illustrious footsteps.

May 24, 2011 at 9:54 a.m.
SeaMonkey said...

'the koch brothers, along with their trained poodles, are working on that right now."

slavery?

as in punishment for not doing what you're told to do...like the obamacare mandate?

or like obama finding ways to punish newspapers or news agencies for tough questions and not agreeing with him?

obama and his wife..and pelosi are have the mentality of slave owners...

the master-salve mentality is alive and well in the democrat party.... you stooge...

why yez, massa obama ...weze bee good chillins an doo what you tellz us todoo! yez, massa why miss pelosi and miss michelle you lookin' might fine today! yessir!

May 24, 2011 at 10:06 a.m.
jimbob said...

seamonkey,America, Love it or leave it.

May 24, 2011 at 11:12 a.m.

mountainlaurel said...

Believe you are wrong about this, WWWTW. I was also curious as to the use of the term rapture, and checked Wikipedia yesterday.

Actually, the current popular teaching of a secret rapture (depicted in the cartoon) was new to the 19th century. Others had used the term before, but the theological innovations were significant. I’ll post more later. The point is that (once again) pop caricatures have little to do with historic Christianity, though of course, proponents will go to great lengths to find a longer history of the doctrine. Apparently, the author of the Wikipedia article leans in that direction.

Wikipedia can be useful as a beginning point for research, but the articles aren’t peer-reviewed in academic journals, so that is why we should not accept them as scholarly. Most scholars of church history have higher standards than to latch onto the first article that agrees with their viewpoint (or opposes viewpoints that the researcher opposes) (i.e. austrian_in_alabama)

May 24, 2011 at 11:36 a.m.
eastridge8 said...

Good Grief!!! I can't read anymore of this!! I'm so confused on every subject matter that has been introduced,I don't know what to think anymore!! I thought Harp was making the most sense until ITguy weighed in and then it all got more confusing...Seamonkey, mountainlaurel, leaf, hambone, etc, etc,etc. So I'll just leave EVERYONE with this ONE last thought....Harold Camping NOW says the END will come on OCT. 21,2011...so you've ALL got 5 more months to argue.

May 24, 2011 at 11:38 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

ITguy said: "The culminations of this is this theology of Rapture where the worthy will be taken to heaven and the un-worthy will be punished. This fits perfectly into the political philosophy of the Koch brothers. The Wealthy are Righteous and deserving. They should not be responsible to anyone but themselves because everyone knows that the poor are lazy and unworthy."

Thoughtful post, ITGuy. Indeed, it is ironic that Bennett’s "rapture" cartoon has brought out this particular discussion, but like you say it does fit when you consider current events and what is happening in the big political picture. I will only add that I believe the spiritual mystics who have preached that we are all interdependently connected to one another and to the planet are probably right about this – at least, it feels right to me.

This “rapture” discussion also reminds me of a book that I read a few years ago – “If Grace Is Truth” by Philip Gulley (Quaker) and James Mulholland (Baptist/United Methodist/Quaker.) The premise is that all mankind will be saved and will be going to heaven. Needless to say, the book has been controversial. A lot of people are unsettled to think they might be forced to share heaven with friends and neighbors they feel are undeserving. Personally, I feel comfortable with it, but some people like BigRidgePatriot tell me that I'm a liberal.

May 24, 2011 at 11:45 a.m.
canarysong said...

ItGuy,

EXCELLENT post! "Most spiritual mystics have preached the universal truth that we are all children of one deity and are all interdependently connected to one another and to the planet." I agree with mountainlaurel that this "feels right". Putting aside the concept of a deity, this inter-connectedness is also a thread that has remained constant in some spiritual teachings from the ancient (Buddhism) to the contemporary ('new age'), and is consistent with a scientific perspective as well.

Limric,

Yes; there are no Christians that truly live according to the bible. They all cherry-pick. If they didn't they would be in prison... for holding people as slaves, for murdering their unbelieving neighbors, for selling their own daughters into sexual slavery, for committing the biblically-sanctioned war crimes of pillage and kidnapping while in the military, etc., etc., etc..... There is no shortage of irrationality and hypocrisy among the pious who claim to hold the only answer to how the rest of us should live.

May 24, 2011 at 11:55 a.m.
fairmon said...

ITGUY,

I hate to keep kicking a dead horse since there will be no move toward the concept I describe. But, I don't suggest tax breaks to the wealthy in fact the opposite. Those of any income level could and no doubt would contribute up to 10% of their federal taxes if federal taxes were reduced by that amount. Some of us would donate more than the 10% reduction allowed since we now contribute with no reduction or deduction since I don't itemize.

Unfortunately we all need to pay more in addition to reduced spending just to operate the government and begin reducing the debt. Three senseless warms must end. I do believe charities, churches, local and state governments would step up if the fed stepped out. Regulation of charities would be essential which would include how much they were allowed for administration and other operating expenses plus open books and accounting. Too bad the federal programs don't have such regulations with honest accounting.

The D.C. power brokers aren't about to give up anything even if it makes sense and addresses the economic dilemma we have. One member of congress actually stated in an interview on CNBC that the government needed to retain the ability to "manipulate" the economy. His response was to a question about the fair tax proposal HR-25, I think is the bill, the wealthy and many in congress are so frightened of. It will never see the light of day, too much big money objection. It assures everyone pays consistent with the ability to pay.

May 24, 2011 at 12:32 p.m.
SeaMonkey said...

no, jimbob.....all marxists should leave...every single one of them..including the ones on this forum. it's not possible to be a marxist and be an american....so, get out. go check out the quotes of karl marx somewhere....it might as well be the democrat party playbook.

to deny it...flys in the face of the facts.

see, you leftist idiots....man's desire to control man has always been the problem..always..it's the root of all problems...whether it's forcing a relgion down someones throat by using violence or scare tactics/threats, or monarchs, or communists/socialists...dictators...etc....all the same..

you leftist/libs/democrats are about control....intruding in our private lives more and more.

our health, food, what we own, how much we earn, how much we can keep...it never ends...

all control freaks are eventually shown t he door...either the easy way or the hard way...

back off

May 24, 2011 at 1:20 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Eastridge8 said: “I can't read anymore of this!! I'm so confused on every subject matter that has been introduced, I don't know what to think anymore!! I thought Harp was making the most sense until ITguy weighed in and then it all got more confusing.”

Well, I’d stick with ITguy, Eastridge8. Harp’s way doesn’t really help to build good government and a strong Nation. Earlier on this thread he was saying he would like to dump our Social Security Insurance System, which could only multiply misery in America.

May 24, 2011 at 1:49 p.m.
fairmon said...

No Mntlaurel it would not multiply the misery index. It would greatly improve the efficiency of delivering welfare. I understand your fear of not being able to provide for yourself and your preference to be a clinger willing to give up anything for false security. I really do understand why and how people fall for all the false promises politicians make. A government bankrupted by welfare and war is not good government or a strong nation. What is the plan you propose to make us a strong nation with a good government? I am thinking you may be an antique collector which would explain the fondness of an antiquated ponzi scheme called social security.

You have nothing to worry about there are too many clingers looking to big brother to care for them. We have reached the point where the majority can vote themselves prosperity from the treasury. There are way too many that have no objection to the elite country club member behavior of their elected elite as long as they get some crumbs. We are like England bowing to the Queen as we marvel at every word uttered by our babbling idiots in congress if it is what we want to hear.

Your mind is totally closed to any alternatives. Joining you are many concerned that in addition to an increased contribution by the wealthy they may have to do something to care for those unable to care for their self. Greed and financial ignorance disguised as caring and benevolence is still greed and ignorance.

May 24, 2011 at 2:18 p.m.
librul said...

SeaDonkey, you .... oh, the hell with it. Somebody hand me my .44.

May 24, 2011 at 2:30 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Harp3339 said: No, it would not multiply the misery index. It would greatly improve the efficiency of delivering welfare. . . I am thinking you may be an antique collector which would explain the fondness of an antiquated ponzi scheme called social security.

You’re shameless at times, Harp3339. Indeed, to suggest Social Security is a “ponzi” scheme is simply dishonest. The only persons involved in a scheme when it comes to social security are some of the bankers, wallstreeters and sleazy billionaire types like the greedy Koch brothers and Peter Peterson who are desparate to get their hands on the public’s money.

And although we do have a welfare system, Social Security is not part of our welfare system. You know perfectly well that our Social Security Sytem is funded through Social Security Tax monies, which has been raising more money than is needed to pay for current benefits:

“The Social Security tax has been raising more money than is needed to pay for current benefits, in order to build up a surplus to help finance the retirement of the Baby Boom generation. All of this surplus is lent to the U.S. Treasury when the Social Security Trust Fund buys bonds from it. The money is then used to finance the federal deficit, just like any other money the government borrows.

The bonds held by the fund pay the same interest as bonds held by the public. These bonds are every bit as real (or as much of a fiction) as the bonds held by banks, corporations, and individuals. Throughout U.S. history the federal government has always paid its debts. As a result, government bonds enjoy the highest credit ratings and are considered one of the safest assets in the world. Thus the fund has very real and secure assets. . . .

. . . The government bonds held by the Social Security Trust Fund will always be a comparatively small portion of the government's debt, and therefore a relatively minor burden. They will hit a peak of about 14.4 percent of gross domestic product in 2015, whereas the debt now held by individuals and corporations is about 47 percent of GDP. Therefore, at its peak the burden of interest payments to the fund will be less than a third as large as the interest burden the government now bears.”

http://www.theatlantic.com/past/issues/98jul/socsec.htm

May 24, 2011 at 3:24 p.m.
rolando said...

Problem is, harp, few here really hear -- or care to discuss -- what you are saying about letting the ponzi schemes run their course, opting out only those under 50 years of age, and letting the scheme slowly die on the vine as the old folks die off.

I doubt they will start listening now.

The rest of us [the old crocks over 65] have had our pay confiscated for decades to provide the two biggies, Social security and MediCare with money -- money that was promptly put into the Congressional General Fund [or a President's private war-funding account] and spent for pig food [and bombs].

Retirees simply cannot afford to start over and put our money into something else...there is no money. Had I been allowed to regularly put that confiscated money into a simple savings account with compound interest, I reportedly would be a millionaire today -- or so the gubment told us during pay-equity discussions.

May 24, 2011 at 3:35 p.m.
canarysong said...

Harp wrote:

"I understand your fear of not being able to provide for yourself and your preference to be a clinger willing to give up anything for false security." "...there are too many clingers looking to big brother to care for them."

--- Harp, don't make me come to Tennessee and smack you into the middle of next week! You seriously didn't mean to say that mountainlaurel prefers to be a 'clinger', did you? There has been absolutely nothing that she has ever written that would suggest that. In fact, if she puts as much effort in her work as she puts into trying to educate the ignorant on this forum, then she is anyone's dream of a hard-working employee (business owner, professional, whatever...). What she displays here is true compassion and concern for others, NOT "greed and financial ignorance disguised as caring and benevolence...".

Are you starting to morph into SeaMonkey?

May 24, 2011 at 3:35 p.m.
rolando said...

mtnlrl -- that last of yours was such a disaster it simply cannot be salvaged.

The height of your misinformation is flabbergasting... If you cannot fathom the difference between a fund originally set up to directly pay retirees to one that is funded by an IOU, well...what can one say.

The Congress spends every cent of the SS fund every year...on everything under the sun. That's why it is called a General Fund.

In any case, the SS and MediCare are indeed ponzi schemes, using incoming funds to finance earlier contributors.

May 24, 2011 at 3:47 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Harp3339 said: “A government bankrupted by welfare and war is not good government or a strong nation. What is the plan you propose to make us a strong nation with a good government?”

We’re in agreement about the negative impact these costly wars are having on our economy, but if you were not so determined to multiply our misery, you might put issues like Social Security in the context of reality, Harp3339:

“The best way to make the size of the projected Social Security shortfall understandable is to put it in context. Relative to the size of the economy, the projected Social Security shortfall is equal to 0.7 percent of GDP. By comparison, annual spending on the military increased by more than 1.6 percentage points of GDP between 2000 and 2011. So the burden imposed by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are almost 2.5 times larger than the money that would be needed to eliminate the Social Security shortfall.

To take another point of reference, the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the Ryan Medicare privatization plan implied that it would increase the cost of buying Medicare-equivalent policies by more than $34 trillion, a sum that is almost five times as large as the projected Social Security shortfall. If the Social Security shortfall is a really big deal, then the additional costs attributable to the Ryan plan are five times a really big deal. Interestingly, almost no one in the media seems to be talking about that burden.”

http://www.cepr.net/index.php/op-eds-&-columns/op-eds-&-columns/the-good-news-and-the-bad-news-in-the-social-security-trustees-report

May 24, 2011 at 4:03 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Canarysong said: "Harp, don't make me come to Tennessee and smack you into the middle of next week! You seriously didn't mean to say that mountainlaurel prefers to be a 'clinger', did you? "

Goodness, thank-you, Canarysong. But if you should ever come to Tennessee again, please don’t smack Harp on my account. I think Harp might benefit more if you took him under your wing, and talk seriously to him about this interdependency we all share, along with this deep desire and/or strange inner need Harp seems to have to multiply human misery. If anyone can help poor tormented Harp3339, it will be you, Canarysong.

May 24, 2011 at 5:30 p.m.
ITguy said...

Social Security is not a ponzi scheme regardless of what you have heard on Fox News. Social Security is an insurance policy. We have all been paying premiums since we got our first paycheck. You may argue that you would do better by investing the money privately, but I would challenge you to try to find such a policy. I know of no annuity that will provide guaranteed annual cost of living adjustments, survivors benefits, and disability benefits. If you know of one, then let me know. I bet it will cost far more than what you have paid for Social Security.

While the private sector is usually more efficient than the government sector, I seriously doubt that private insurance would be less costly than social security when you factor in the excessive CEO salaries that are rampant in the private insurance industry. Not to mention down right fraud.

We really only have two options. A publicly funded retirement safety net, or totally privately funded investments. I personally like having both my IRA / 401K and the guarantee of Social Security.

May 24, 2011 at 5:33 p.m.
canarysong said...

Mountainlaurel wrote,

"...please don’t smack Harp on my account."

--- Don't worry, threatening violence is only fun if you are someone that no one expects would really do it. I might, however, give him a good talking-to and put him in time-out if he still refuses to straighten up. Hear that, harp? No dessert, either!

May 24, 2011 at 5:59 p.m.
canarysong said...

Yes, it was bound to happen.... Someone made a rapture-themed LOLcat. (cue loud groans from all non cat lovers)

http://icanhascheezburger.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/funny-pictures-quelle-surprise.jpg

May 24, 2011 at 6:21 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Canarysong said: "Don't worry, threatening violence is only fun if you are someone that no one expects would really do it."

Your kind and gentle spirit always comes through in your posts, Canarysong. I wasn't the least bit worried that you would actually peck at dear Harp physically. [grin]

May 24, 2011 at 6:34 p.m.
dude_abides said...

SeaHerman, You are like Travis Bickle, tormented and confused. You waste a day and a tank of gas to go see that gasbag Cain in Atlanta, along with like 12 other doofi, yet you are a racist pig that glories in typing sentences loaded with disgusting stereotyping. Your twisted frustration is scary. If you ever look in the mirror and notice that you've cut your hair in a mohawk, just remember... one through the soft palate won't affect your face. You put the mess in messianic complex.

May 24, 2011 at 7:51 p.m.
canarysong said...

Dude,

As a liberal you should understand the difference between 'waste' and 'investment'. The MonkMan didn't "waste a day and a tank of gas", he 'invested' it into 'proof' that he isn't a racist.

May 24, 2011 at 8:25 p.m.
dude_abides said...

I stand corrected. I swear there's some good in him somewhere. There was a grumpy old man in our neighborhood (whom my daughter called "The Storm Chaser" because he had a ham radio tower and a truck that sported an array of lights that could warm a gymnasium in an emergency) who came off initially as an absolute jerk, but over time his redeeming qualities came to the fore. Maybe... aww forget it.

May 24, 2011 at 8:51 p.m.
fairmon said...

Mntlaurel and canary,

Can't help but like both of you, believe me I have tried. Why do I call social security a ponzi scheme. A ponzi scheme is like Madoff taking new investor money and paying old investors so they would think their money was earning and he spent the rest. There was no fund but only new money flowing in.

Contrary to what people are led to believe there is no fund but accounting voodoo. Those currently working are paying those currently drawing and that will hold together through about 2032 when the number working and contributing drops to about 3 people working for each person drawing then it quits working just as his scheme did when too many people wanted to withdraw their money. Medicare, medicaid and prescription coverage already fall far short of expenses, how would you propose that short fall be made up?

Social security is not insurance paid by a policy holder, it is welfare and is called welfare in government accounting. If an individual could only draw what they paid in their participation would be for a very short period of time and some could not even participate.

itguy is right. There is no insurance company that will offer a policy that will do what the government is attempting to do with social security without going broke. The government can't do it either. You get an annual summary of contributions. You know how much you would receive monthly. Set aside 25% of your contributions for those that did not contribute but drawing due to disability, survivor benefits etc. and see how long before what you contributed is gone. Where will the money you receive after that point in time come from?

It is an unpleasant truth but social security, medicare, medicaid and prescription coverage is not adequately funded. Wars and other waste could and should all be eliminated and it is still a broken welfare system. It is simple high school math when you know how many boomers will soon be eligible and the number working per the number drawing drops precipitously the ponzi scheme fails just like Mastiff's did when people started asking for their money back. The only difference is no one goes to jail for the social security fraud.

itguy you and FOX news can take your republican con job elsewhere. You watch FOX, no wonder you think it is a cheap insurance policy that does the impossible. They are as bad as CNN and the NYT only with a different slant. The media thinks they have the answer when most of them don't even know the question.

May 24, 2011 at 9:49 p.m.
ITguy said...

Harp, You have misunderstood me. I don't watch Fox, and I have never been a Republican. Social security can be fixed. It is easy. You raise the cutoff so that higher earners continue to contribute.

Riddle me this. Why is it that there is always enough money to go to war, but never enough to fulfill the promises that we made to senior citizens?

May 24, 2011 at 10:05 p.m.
canarysong said...

Dude wrote,

"I swear there's some good in him somewhere."

--- I used to wish that I could deliver a basket of puppies to him; puppies can bring out the softie in anyone, right? Then it occurred to me that he might just drown them....

Harp wrote,

"Can't help but like both of you, believe me I have tried."

--- Ditto, damn it! ;-)

May 24, 2011 at 10:06 p.m.
eastridge8 said...

Well, harp and itguy, you both make alot of sense and I'm happy to read your comments...both interesting and informative BUT this old retired broad who counts on SS to survive cannot believe that harp would call SS a "ponzi scheme" at best. I did not ask for SS's creation..I did not "vote" for it but it was a promise to me and countless others that if we contributed part of our pay we would get it back when we retired. I kept my end of the bargain for 32 yrs and I expect my goverment to do the same. It's not perfect but if the president(s) would keep his/their hands off of it,it would be just fine. I'm going to bed now...I've read enough crap for tonight.

May 24, 2011 at 10:42 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Harp3339 said: “I call social security a ponzi scheme. . . Contrary to what people are led to believe there is no fund but accounting voodoo . . . Those currently working are paying those currently drawing and that will hold together through about 2032 when . . . it quits working."

Like it or not, Social Security is an insurance program, Harp3339. It functions and spreads risks the same way as every other public or private insurance program. Everybody is insured against the same thing, which in this case, is protection against loss of income when a worker retires. Workers pay for their Social Security Insurance through their payroll taxes. Indeed, Social Security Insurance is not any different than car insurance, life insurance, flood insurance etc.

Also, there is nothing “voodoo-ish” about the accounting system for Social Security. It seems to me the only people promoting this kind of chatter are some of those unscrupulous billionaires, wall streeters and Madoff types who have self-serving agendas. Again, as I posted earlier:

“The Social Security tax has been raising more money than is needed to pay for current benefits, in order to build up a surplus to help finance the retirement of the Baby Boom generation. All of this surplus is lent to the U.S. Treasury when the Social Security Trust Fund buys bonds from it. The money is then used to finance the federal deficit, just like any other money the government borrows. The bonds held by the fund pay the same interest as bonds held by the public. These bonds are every bit as real (or as much of a fiction) as the bonds held by banks, corporations, and individuals.”

http://www.theatlantic.com/past/issues/98jul/socsec.htm

As for 2032, I’m not quite sure what you’re saying here. Surely, you’re not suggesting Social Security will be out of money in 2032? If so, you are mistaken, Harp3339. As economist Dean Baker said just recently in a letter to one of Canarysong’s Senators:

“The Social Security Trustees Report shows that a maximum wage earner retiring in 2032 would receive an annual benefit of $40,800. . . The trustees’ projections show that if nothing were ever done, then the program would pay full benefits through the year 2037. . . At this point, even if Congress does nothing there still would be substantial money flowing into the program, allowing the program to pay just under 80 percent of benefits. . . Social Security’s finances are actually projected to improve slightly over the next decade so that the program would be able to pay 81.0 percent of scheduled benefits in 2050. The situation is projected to change little in subsequent years.”

http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/social-security-monitor/letter-to-senator-michael-bennet-on-social-security-comments

May 25, 2011 at 12:30 a.m.
fairmon said...

A 1998 article with incorrect assumptions. Note it says able to pay just under 80% of benefits. Interest is accounted at the bond rate although there are no actual bonds. The interest rates on bonds is now under 2% which is less than 1/3 the assumed rates. Interest is borrowed money from China and other sovereign wealth funds or we can always print more money as is now being done.

Wages have not increased with productivity as indicated, in fact the average has gone down. And, employment is much lower than projected. The article fails to address health care welfare while clearly stating people are living longer and those in the future will have to accept lower benefits or higher taxes. That is something I agree with. It didn't include increasing the eligibility age.

This is another case of someone telling it like they want it to be or the way they think it should be instead of the way it is. Have you tried checking with the social security department or someone in congress you trust to explain the system. Yes today there is adequate funding and revenue from those working to meet current obligations but there is a day coming where that will not be true. If it is an insurance plan and there were no new buyers would there be enough to pay those currently eligible that paid their premiums all those years. Insurance companies don't depend on new subscribers to pay those insured. Why do rail road workers and public employees such as fire and police departments opt out of such a low cost insurance plan?

May 25, 2011 at 1:51 a.m.
fairmon said...

itguy There is not enough money for the wars, we are borrowing money for those. There is enough in social security accounting to meet current obligations to seniors but not because seniors paid enough in plus interest to cover what they will receive but because current workers are contributing enough to meet those commitments.

In creasing the cap of the amount on which people pay only means those paying more will receive more when eligible. The article Mntl linked to points out the errors of doing that means testing. Clinton and Gore changed it to where those with other income paid taxes on social security as regular income. That means they paid taxes on the money they put in then pay taxes on it again when it is returned to them (when they collect on their insurance). Do insurance companies reduce their coverage based on income when two policy holders paid the same premium?

The only future fixes are increased taxes, increased eligibility age and/or reduced benefits. Current seniors and those approaching eligibility have nothing to be concerned about with social security but the same can't be said about medicare, medicaid and prescription coverage which are all very under funded by the medical portion of social security taxes and premiums paid by benefit recipients.

May 25, 2011 at 2:08 a.m.

good post eastridge. harp and all the girls tend to post longwinded post but i'm with you, I put mine in and i want mine out. maybe when they get there they will understand.

May 25, 2011 at 4:28 a.m.

hey great show tonight but kids will be kids.

May 25, 2011 at 4:29 a.m.
fairmon said...

br67 said; I put mine in and i want mine out. maybe when they get there they will understand.

Is what you and your employer put in plus interest earned all you want out? There would never be a problem with social security if that is the way it worked. In fact if you didn't receive all of it your estate should get any balance remaining.

May 25, 2011 at 7:25 a.m.
fairmon said...

SS is an insurance? Why do I not have the option of not purchasing it if I prefer not to? A large number across the country have that option. I don't have to insure my car which I don't or my house which I do. State law, not federal, requires me to have automobile liability if I elect to drive to protect others if I do harm to them or their property. I have the option of not driving.

May 25, 2011 at 7:37 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Harp3339 said: “A 1998 article with incorrect assumptions. Note it says able to pay just under 80% of benefits. Etc. etc, etc. . SS is an insurance? Why do I not have the option of not purchasing it I don't have to insure my car which I don't or my house which I do. . . State law, not federal, requires me to have automobile liability if I elect to drive to protect others if I do harm to them or their property.”

Switching gears again, Harp3339? You’re becoming more and more predictable. (Sigh) The bottom line is the U.S Social Security Insurance System is accomplishing what it set out to accomplish and has been doing a good of it since it was first set up. If some of these Republican representatives would cut out the crap and update the needed adjustments the U.S. Social Security system could continue to provide a 100% benefit rate long after 2032.

Indeed, Eastridge8 and the BrainerdRebels seem to be satisfied customers, and I’m sure their children and grandchildren will be just as satisfied. The only people who aren’t satisfied are Libertarians, some of these Republican politicians, the greedy jerks from the Wallstreet-Investment sector, and 70 to 80 year old billionaires like Alan Simpson, Peter Peterson and the Koch brothers who seem determined to rip off the public one last time.

May 25, 2011 at 9:57 a.m.
fairmon said...

Mntl Swithcing gears? No. I am still asking if so wonderful why the mandate to participate except for certain groups? A participant will draw their entire contribution in just a few years without consideration of all the liberalizations to cover others. you can confirm this with your local SS office. The benefit after that is paid by those currently working. They will also confirm as will the budget office that the annual outflow exceeds revenue.

Where is the excess cost of medicare-medicaid-prescriptions going to come from. You keep talking about how great it works but you never address why forced participation is necessay or why the annual outflow being greater than revenue is not a problem. The dumbest memeber of congress in either party will acknowledge that annual health claims far exceed revenue revenue from medical the medical portion of revenue and premiums paid by participants.

Deny thse facts all you want to, find all the articles you can that say what you want to hear. Listen to those politicians that say things people want to hear. Or, do your own research and math and you may conclude there just may be a problem. Each year you get a report from social security stating whay you have paid and an estimated benefit. Reduce what you paid in by 25% to cover the cost of covering various unfunded liberalizations and do your own calculation of how long it will take for you to receive what you paid in. multiply the remaining number of years per the actuarial life expenctancy. Where will that mone come from?

May 25, 2011 at 6:14 p.m.
chet123 said...

Harp339...work on bringing cost down...like gas...health cost have exploded....didnt have a problem until Bush and the republican house....Cheney once said the deficit was good for the country...now republican have nerve enough to lecture....

i will say this the Ryan Plan would be a disaster....hope republican try running on it LOL LOL...Dont see any poster commenting about it...Ole Blue eyes(paul Ryan)the people not falling for a snake Oil salesman....

If i was a republican i would watch Newt Gingrich closely...Gingrich ready to jump off ship...he see it sinking and hes not going down with it...Hes looking out for his own fat butt LOL LOL LOL

May 25, 2011 at 9:09 p.m.
fairmon said...

I don't give a rats butt if all the republican candidates jump ship, I don't like any of them. To set the record straight the house and senate were democratic controlled when Bush pulled his dumb ass acts and they approved them. Pelosi, Reid and Bush. I didn't think it could get much worse than that but I was wrong.

Health care cost was exploding when Clinton was in office and Hilary tried to get national health care and failed although her plan was better than what was recently passed.

I haven't read Ryan's plan so I don't know what I think about it. I can't say it is good or bad or half ass like most legislation out of congress. However, I would bet the only reason you say it would be a disaster is you are like a parrot for the party. You think and say what your party says. I say screw both parties they are both two faced lying paid for vote seekers.

May 26, 2011 at 7:59 a.m.
eastridge8 said...

Well, I see ya'll are still here cussing and discussing...have any of you been to bed?

Harp, I must say I do agree with your last post. I don't like any of the Republican candidates either. And Pelosi and Reid were worse than bad....they were awful.

May 26, 2011 at 10:48 a.m.
chet123 said...

Harp3339...Please be credible...too often i see republican on here lying through their teeth...You said Democrats were in controlled when Bush pull his dumb act...what do you mean...think you are skipping about 6years bro.(republican excutive,congress,senate and supreme court judges)that allow wall street and financial institution to run unregulated while republican turn their head the other way. NO WAY BRO....republican collectively pulled the dumb-butt for 6years.....sky rocketing gas, fighing Wars without paying for them....you can see that gas price increase whenever republican congress is in control...and you cannot deny that fact bro...its on record...Clinton threaten to release Federal reserve gas to bring gas down his last few years in office(republican almost had a baby)..it was as low as 89cent a gal....i will place democrat record against republican record any day...

You say Healthcare exploded when Clinton in office....what can Clinton do when republican want to privatize everything for their rich and greedy buddies then have the nerve to say let the Market adjust itself LOL LOL Dont look like that going to happen.

You mention the Ryan Plan...its a joke....tell your buddy Paul Ryan...to look at the revenue part..tax the rich and greedy since they have benefit the most in the last 30yrs

You say screw both party??? BS...thats not what you been saying the last 3 months i have been on the "Timesfreepress Comments"....you only criticize the Democrat with relent excruciating,vile,callous hate...while praising the republican and rich and greedy....so dont equate both parties now... This is the republican making..dont play the old switch-o-roo with me BRO...the decline for middle-class American started with the GREATEST SNAKE OIL SALEMAN of them all...your hero Ron Reagan(the genius from eureka college-unheard of college lol lol) with his crazy trickle down theory

May 28, 2011 at 3:03 p.m.
chet123 said...

eastridge8...you talk about who you dont like...who cares man!! reid and pelosi dont know you even exist...try to talk issues...and what they did you didnt like.....You talk like a republican...many republican are too ashame to admit they are republican...claim to be independent, libertarians or tea party....you are republican bro! LOL LOL

May 28, 2011 at 3:10 p.m.
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