Tea Party

Dueling 10-point Programs: Occupy-tastic Salon.com vs. the Tea Party's "Contract"

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Remember the Tea Party's Contract From America? This is the whole document, and here's a quick list of its 10 bullet points:

1) Protect the Constitution
2) Reject Cap & Trade
3) Demand a Balanced Budget
4) Enact Fundamental Tax Reform
5) Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government
6) End Runaway Government Spending
7) Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care
8) Pass an 'All-of-the-Above' Energy Policy
9) Stop the Pork
10) Stop the Tax Hikes

Fans of numerical symmetry can rejoice that the old-skool Frisco webzine Salon has produced its own list of 10 recommendations, in a "New Declaration of Independence" for the 99 percent generation. Here are those demands, edited down heavily by moi:

1. Debt relief

We demand immediate relief for the 99 Percent, particularly the poor and young students and college graduates. The Debt Jubilee is an ancient idea, and an attractive one in an era of growing economic feudalism, as the poor increasingly devote all their labor to repaying the rich.

2. A substantial jobs program

A real, direct jobs program, done in the WPA style, would rebuild our cities and towns in addition to putting thousands of people back to work.

3. A healthcare public option

If a true single-payer system would be too disruptive, we can put the building blocks in place by giving people a public option. Expanding the pool of Medicare recipients to include healthy younger people paying into it would instantly improve the program's fiscal outlook. Nationalizing the underfunded Medicaid system would instantly reduce the deplorable inequity of our healthcare system, too. If this new Medicare could negotiate drug prices — like the Veterans Administration, our wonderful, totally socialized healthcare program for one group of Americans — it would save even more. (Hey, why not combine the proposal with debt relief for young doctors?)

4. Reregulate Wall Street

Bring back Glass-Steagall. Pass the Volcker rule, too. Ban banks from trading derivatives. Limit their behavior and tax their earnings.

5. End the Global War on Terror and rein in the defense budget

[T]here's no way the world's sole remaining superpower can justify spending more than every other country on Earth combined on its military.

6. Repeal the Patriot Act

[L]et's dismantle the expansive domestic surveillance state, hurriedly established at a panicky period of national crisis and then enshrined as permanent without a word of serious debate.

7. Tackle climate change

At the very least — and this is literally the very least the government should be doing right now to combat climate change — a price should be put on carbon emissions, either in the form of a direct tax or as part of a cap-and-trade scheme.

8. Stop locking everyone up for everything and end the drug war

Full legalization of marijuana would lead to many fewer people being jailed for victimless crimes and immediately destroy a critical income stream for gangs and increasingly violent drug cartels. Legalizing marijuana would also give states and cities a desperately needed infusion of tax revenue. (Legalization or decriminalization of other drugs would be similarly beneficial, but a good deal more controversial.) Those who commit nonviolent drug offenses should never be sent to prisons for years. Those currently in prison for nonviolent drug offenses should be freed and rehabilitated into society.

9. Full equality for the queer community

Gay marriage is a no-brainer — rights granted to a majority are being denied to a minority based on arguments founded solely on bigotry — and should be recognized nationwide. Let's not forget, too, that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Americans are denied other rights, including, in most states, protection from workplace discrimination and housing discrimination.

10. Fix the tax system

[L]et's create a millionaire's tax bracket, and a financial transactions tax. Let's close the carried interest tax loophole and raise the estate tax and taxes on capital gains. Let's get the highest marginal tax rate back up to, at the least, Reagan-era levels.

Which list do you like better, o beloved Hit & Run commenters?

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  1. Penn stole this idea from the bibl…oh, wrong thread.

    1. i see what you did there!

    2. i wish i could upvote this comment a la reddit.

      at least you’re already at the top

  2. The Tea Party’s is better, of course, than the crazy people’s, but I’ve already put together my own, much longer and more libertarian “contract.”

    1. Oh, this is exquisite. Particularly #22 (Haggis the official food). I LOVE haggis!

      I’m stealing it in total – thanks!

      1. Thanks! Most people don’t like the haggis one, to be honest. However, other nations fear haggis eaters. It’s a cheap way to make us look stronger.

      2. My favorite one in retrospect is probably the affirmative action plan giving living members of historically oppressed minorities hand grenades.

        1. Do we really want to supply the Irish and Italians with grenades?

          1. I was thinking only the ones who arguably remain aggrieved. Like blacks and chinamen. And maybe some women.

            1. “Chinamen” is a joke, by the way. Don’t want any grenades tossed in my direction.

            2. What about Nazis? Nazis have really been on the bottom of the social totem pole in the US, ever since 1941 or so, when “progressives” were sent the memo that they weren’t supposed to admire the accomplishments of people like Mussolini and Hitler so much.

              Nobody ever cares about the Nazis, and the untold suffering they have endured in America.

              1. Their fashions seem to be making a resurgence. Their ideas never went away. See also Obamanomics.

            3. I’m pretty sure “Asian-American” is the preferred nomenclature.

              1. I was kidding! Really! Too much Kung-Fu.

              2. The Chinaman is not the issue here.

              3. Asian American? How the hell does that distinguish them from the gooks,the dot-heads and the wogs?

          2. Better question: is there anyone who isn’t descended from someone who was at one time a historically oppressed minority?

            1. Okay, as the libertarian president, I’ll make the decision about who gets hand grenades myself. The ultimate issue is that once the liability-free grenades are granted, we strike affirmative action laws from the books. The grenades make everything a wash.

              1. Gentlemen, I cannot allow for a hand-grenade gap!

                1. Everyone will want one, but only those certified by my administration as worthy will get the Grenade of Social Leveling.

                  1. So, no Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch then?

                    “And blow Thine enemy to tiny bits
                    In They Mercy.”

                    1. Or “thy” mercy – either way

                    2. No, the church isn’t on my list of the oppressed.

              2. Just for clarification, everyone is allowed to own grenades, right? You’re just giving free ones to the oppressed?

                1. Here’s #10 in full:

                  10. Advocate a new solution to social inequities: An affirmative action hand grenade program. Each member of our most aggrieved minority classes will receive a hand grenade, which can be used at will (just the one grenade, mind you) without civil or criminal liability. Obviously, the mere threat of use should be sufficient to offset most prejudices and cultural biases (“Me and my grenade would like a job”). Once the grenades are handed out, that’s it, we’re all even, okay?

                  1. Pro, are you aware of this?

                    http://www.eviloverlord.com/lists/overlord.html

                    GREAT material. I printed a hard copy to keep in the loo whilst I excremeditate.

    2. One question about #83: May I opt for Miss Functional Equivalent? Or do I just get the prize I get?

      1. I believe there are numerous alternatives provided by the prize committee.

  3. “WPA style” = Unconstitutional.

    “Tackle climate change” – I have a foot and half of climate change on my driveway you can tackle.

    1. I have a foot and half of climate change on my driveway you can tackle.
      hahaha +1000000

      I don’t know why these people are obsessed with government-run healthcare. I don’t mean universal healthcare; I mean they actually want bureaucrats to control it, no matter what. They ostensibly understand the limits of government (overextended military, PATRIOT act ridiculousness, etc), yet think that government control of the economy actually works…

      1. They ostensibly understand the limits of government, yet think that government control of the economy actually works

        There’s got to be a clinical reference for that phenomenon. Schizo authoritarian perhaps.

      2. meta,
        no, they do NOT “understand the limits of govt”; they merely seek to expand those limits in areas of which they approve. It’s a whose-ox-is-being-gored issue. They would scrap defense entirely if they could, even though it is an actual Constitutionally-mandated federal responsibility, but expand the welfare state which is not.

        1. No, defense is not “an actual Constitutionally-mandated federal responsibility”.

          I will give you every penny in my possession if you can point to the language in the constitution which OBLIGATES the feds to provide defense.
          Remember, it can not be IMPLIED. You must find an unequivocal command.

          1. OK, I’ll bite. What’s wrong with

            “The Congress shall have Power…
            To raise and support Armies…
            To provide and maintain a Navy;
            To provide for calling forth the Militia … repel Invasions”?

    2. Climate change has been going on for four billion years and if we don’t do something in the next ten years we will all perish. Algore said so.

      1. Well, he did invent the Internet…

        1. And he did ride (will have didden ridden?) the mighty moon worm!

          1. I just want to know what they plan to do about manbearpig.

      2. The current/projected rates of climate change are/would be much faster than any period in biological history that wasn’t accompanied by mass extinction.

        If you think the models are wrong, say that. The significance of the problem if they’re right is indisputable.

    3. Don’t they know the history of the WPA? The term “boondoggle” was coined to describe it.

      1. In short, NO

      2. Don’t they know the history

        Full stop. You really don’t need to ask anything else.

        1. The Big Dig was modeled on the WPA, wasn’t it?

  4. I agree with the Tea Party list, more or less, ten for ten, because it doesn’t involve any SoCon nonsense. The Salon list is about a third correct. I like 5, 6, 8, and some of 9. But,

    4. Reregulate Wall Street

    Bring back Glass-Steagall. Pass the Volcker rule, too. Ban banks from trading derivatives. Limit their behavior and tax their earnings.

    It’s just nonsense. How about we eliminate the FDIC, so banks are actually accountable for what they do?

    1. How does banning banks from trading derivatives help at all? Do these goons even know what derivatives are?

      1. Do these goons even know what derivatives are?

        No. But they read in a daily Kos diary they were bad. So they must go.

        1. Um, derivatives are bad, mmmkay?

        2. Exactly. Some derivatives are fine, some are garbage. But banks have no incentive to figure out which are which, when we reward their mistakes with billions in bailouts. Talk about a no-brainer.

          1. Uh, Joe? Derivatives are BAD, mmkay?

      2. If banks couldn’t hedge against interest rate risk, what would that mean for depositors and borrowers?

        1. Or more broadly, how is any business supposed to hedge against risk. If you are banning derrivities, you should probably also ban futures.

          1. The only way to save the future is to ban the future…s

          2. My first job during law school involved reviewing swap agreements as part of due diligence for a bank acquisition. Quite a few involved churches.

          3. It always confused me that they “only want to ban speculators.” Well, how do you hedge (give up risk) without someone to take it on?

            As an aside, the futures markets are probably some of the best-functioning markets in existence. But when the prices aren’t what some random lefty wants, it must be MARKET FAILURE1!!!1!11!

            1. They absolutely are. And they allow people to plan by locking in costs. If you have a business like making bread or running a trucking company that is dependent on consuming a lot of a commodity that has volitile prices, it would be damn near impossible to plan and do business.

              But you have to remember these people have never worked for a real business. So they have no idea how businesses actually work.

              1. Bakers and freight shippers existed long before futures were widely available. It’s not impossible at all, you just have to subject your customers to massive variations in price (which of course the 99%ers would be screaming bloody murder over too).

      3. Banning naked CDS’s is not a bad idea. But banning CDS’s in general is.

        Devil’s in the details.

        1. Banning contracts is a bad idea in general.

          1. Can you buy insurance on your neighbor’s house?

            1. Um, no. But you can buy insurance on your wife’s life. Or the life of an executive of a company you own stock in.

              1. But you can buy insurance on your wife’s life.

                Awesome…that’s a two-fer!!

            2. Just because it is currently the rule that you cannot doesn’t mean it should be. A more appropriate analogy would be insurance against your neighbor’s mortgage default or something, anyway.

              Anyway, banning naked CDSes would significantly reduce the liquidity and therefore the accuracy of the information about creditworthiness (speculators >> ratings agencies).

              1. Justifying naked CDS’s as a market signal is a weak rationale for allowing trillions of dollars in unsecured bets. Bets against which the issuers are not required to carry sufficient reserves. The meltdown of AIG ought to be enough evidence that the naked CDS market is screwed up.

                I can buy insurance against those items or people against which I have a vested interest in. Insurance is a hedge against a loss, if I don’t own it or if I’m not married to it, then it’s not a loss to me.

                1. I’m generally with the Nerfherder on this.

                  The underlying problem is the ratings agency oligopoly resulted in very bad ratings being assigned to securities, and those securities being “insured” via CDS’s for a price that was too low. If the actual risk of the MBS’s was known to AIG, the price they would have charged for taking on the risk would have been much higher.

                  What the naked CDS’s show is essentially that people knew about, and were able to exploit, the difference between the actual risk levels of various MBS’s and the rated risk that was used to price the derivatives.

                  Personally, I do not think that a naked CDS market would even EXIST if the securities were rated correctly. Just like there is no market for taking out insurance on complete strangers.

                  Imagine if you could take out insurance on your next door neighbors life, knowing that he had cancer and was about to kick the bucket, but also knowing that the insurance company knew nothing about this and would sell you the insurance for a few dollars a month.
                  That is the equivalent of what was going on in the naked CDS market.

      4. It doesn’t. It would only frigging collapse the U.S. economy. Just like their “debt jubilee”. It’s a bit ironic that they reference “economic feudalism”, since completely destroying our financial system is well on guaranteed to bring back the real thing.

      5. A Canadian visiting in the states excoriated me over dinner today regarding derivatives. “What the fuck were you guys thinking!??! You deregulated the entire banking sector and you thought nothing would go wrong?!?!” He then proceeded to explain derivatives to me

        I asked him if it was so obvious, why no one in the weeks prior to the crisis no one was calling for the ban on derivatives. He didn’t have an answer, yet he still thought government regulation could have prevented the problem.

        1. Prole’s First Rule of Financial Regulation:

          Anyone smart enough to be entrusted to become a regulator and make wise decisions about mistakes in the marketplace, is much too busy making millions placing bets against the stupidity to accept a low-paying government regulator job.

  5. Other than the laudable goals of ending the Patriot Act and the drug war, how is the OWS platform anything but “give me a pony and give it to me now?”

    1. You’ve got it all wrong, it’s a pink pony. The difference is crucial.

    2. I think that’s the big difference between the two right there:

      Tea Party “Please do less stuff to me”

      OWS “Please do more stuff for me”

    3. you forgot “…and someone to shovel horse poop”

    4. List 1: Libre
      List 2: Gratis

  6. The first three suggestions alone make this a Declaration of Dependence.

  7. I can fully support both “6. Repeal the Patriot Act” and most of “9. Full equality for the queer community” although I do think individuals (not employed as government agency HR managers) have the perfect right to be ignorant fools. People in a true free market who discriminate on the basis of things that have nothing whatsoever with the actual job for which they are being hired only harm themselves and benefit their less bigoted competitors who will have a better skilled pool of workers from which to choose.

    1. And if they ACTUALLY MEAN IT, i can also support “5. End the Global War on Terror and rein in the defense budget” but sometimes with those on the left when they say that they simply mean “we support different wars in different places that people on the Right.”

      1. Yes, oddly, the American left seems to prefer intervening in foreign conflicts in areas where we have no national interest: e.g. Bosnia. At least neocons can point to some degree of national interest in the wars they want to fight.

        1. Uganda may be next on the menu. In Libya one could make a good argument that we actually fought on the same side as Al Quida. History may prove this was literally the case.

          1. In Libya one could make a good argument that we actually fought on the same side as Al Quida.

            Terrorists created or saved?

            1. “Terrorists created or saved?”

              +50

      2. Actually they support the same wars in the same places as people on the Right- as long as Their Team is in the White House. Same concept as how Republicans aren’t concerned with the expansion of government and loss civil liberties as long as Their Team in office.

        1. Paul,

          That does certainly seem to be the case with Teleprompter Obama so you may have a point.

  8. Abortions for all.

      1. Very well. Abortions for nobody.

          1. Abortions for some, little paper flags for others.

              1. Booo!!!

    1. Retroactive abortions for those who live in parks for more than a week, with political pretenses.

    2. Abortions for some, small American flags for others.

  9. A real, direct jobs program, done in the WPA style, would rebuild our cities and towns in addition to putting thousands of people back to work[…]

    … digging and filling ditches.

    By the way, the Great Wall was a jobs program, a real and direct program.

    1. Fucking Mongorians coming, so I build shitty wah to keep them out! Fucking Mongorians!!!

    2. The obsession the SWPL hordes have with the WPA/CCC shows just how ignorant they are of both the history of the program, its workforce, and whether it can be established in our present-day society.

      Even if it could be legislated or instituted by executive order, a modern WPA would be dead in the water from the get-go. Where are they going to get the workers for all these infrastructure projects? How many of our citizens have the same level of blue-collar skills that those workers possessed (even the “unskilled” workers of that time had analytical and mechanical abilities that far surpassed anything the Milennials and Gen-X possess). The workers were more literate than many grad students are today, and worked for far less in both raw and inflation-adjusted terms than these brats would be willing to stomach.

      About the only thing a modern WPA would be good for is replicating the Big Government/Left-Wing-propoganda aspects of the theater programs, and the entertainment industry already covers this on a massive, insidious scale.

      1. Jobs created or saved. It would not be beyond them to just hire current construction workers to do the job. After all, if these people were not hired, they would not have any jobs to do at all! If government didn’t do anything, nothing would get done!!!

      2. I mostly agree, but I think you are talking up the 30’s era workers a bit much and making some absurd generalizations about an entire generation of people, many of whom are talented, hard working people and nearly all of whom are quite literate.

        1. I think you are talking up the 30’s era workers a bit much and making some absurd generalizations about an entire generation of people, many of whom are talented, hard working people and nearly all of whom are quite literate.

          The generalizations of Gen-X, and the Millenials in particular, aren’t absurd by any stretch. All I have to do is read the “I am the 99%” manifestos to see that these “talented, hard-working, literate” people are the exception, not the rule.

          1. Actually I think I recall that Gen-X is considerably more conservative economically than the Boomers.

            The Boomers want free shit on a platter, cradle to grave. Gen-X is the group that knows they are quielty slaving away to pay for Social Security benefits they will never see.

          2. Dude are you kidding? 99.99% of Gen-Xers have never written a 99% Manifesto.

            Those greatest generation members you’re in love with produced numerous KKK, fascist, and communist manifestos.

            1. Those greatest generation members you’re in love with produced numerous KKK, fascist, and communist manifestos.

              As if that refutes my point in the slightest. Get back to me when the Millenials show 1/10 the work ethic that their grandparents and great-grandparents possessed.

          3. All I have to do is read the “I am the 99%” manifestos to see that these “talented, hard-working, literate” people are the exception, not the rule.

            The people writing this stuff are, like, 0.001% of the populace and not a representative sample at all.

            Their signs would be far more accurate if they read, “We are the 0.001%!”

        2. I would sooner trust a troop of baboons with a set of hand tools. Most of the OWS kids would end up in the trauma ward if you give them a hammer and a screwdriver.

      3. You have obviously failed to consider that all these people expect to be enlisted as managers and/or artists, either overlording the worker masses or inspiring them with herioc depictions in multi-media.

        1. Oh, I fully understand that the Salon-ites are doing the typical Marxist tactic of advocating for the very programs they believe will give them influence over the passions of the proletarians. It’s a great example of just how steeped in the managerialist mindset these posers are.

          1. It always ends badly when young, educated, idealistic people take it on themselves to free the proletariats.

      4. You know, I have to admit that there is a dark, malevolent streak in the back of my mind that would go along with giving them their WPA, on a few conditions…
        1. All of the OWS protesters and the entire staff of Salon would have to sign up to participate.
        2. There would be a minimum irrevocable enrollment of five years.
        3. Corporal punishment would be permitted.
        4. The program would be administered by Team Red (not rooting for Team Red, just making sure Team Blue gets their big government good and hard).
        But, then the better angels of my nature take over and just leave me saying “Hell No!”

      5. Where neo-WPA agitators will invariably hit a brick wall is in determining an appropriate compensation mechanism. They’ll end up with blocks long queues of unemployed seeking ditch filler positions and an absolute shortage of anyone willing to do the digging because the pay rate will be identical in the spirit of equality.

    3. So are wars, and they are also indirect jobs programs. If these guys are Krugman’s Army, they really ought to be pushing for MORE wars, and BIGGER wars! They should be out busily manufacturing a powerful imaginary enemy, like space aliens.

      1. They should be out busily manufacturing a powerful imaginary enemy, like space aliens the Koch brothers.

        1. They’ve already manufactured that enemy. They haven’t been able to muster up support for a war on the Koch brothers, though.

          1. (Except among certain “objective” “reporters” in the lamestream media, of course.)

  10. We demand immediate relief for the 99 Percent

    My mind twisted this into “relieve myself on the 99%”, which I’ll be happy to do once I’ve drunk enough babies’ blood.

    *adjusts monocle, resumes drinking*

    1. Babies’ blood tastes best when seasoned with the tears of the proletariat.

      1. I took a shit on the proletariat…more than once.

        *resumes drinking, reflects on how to fuck over proles even more*

  11. Actually, not as terrible a list as I feared. Just get rid of 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 10 (as written, at least). Still, 5 good ideas out of 10 – not bad.

    1. Agreed, it is better on the whole than either the Republican Party Platform of 2008 or the Democratic Party Platform of 2008.

      1. I think it is worse than both. The damage done by their idiotic insistence on stopping global warming, taxing everything that moves, and regulating the banks into oblivion would be much worse than any good they did on the drug war and patriot act.

        1. “their idiotic insistence on stopping global warming, taxing everything that moves, and regulating the banks into oblivion”

          Both Barak Obama and John McCain would agree them on much of the above.

          1. They would agree with some but not all. You would have to elect both of them and let each do only their worst to come up with this.

            1. That sounds like the past 11 years.

    2. Nine sounds good until you think it through. What they mean is create another discrimination suit industry for gays. And also make it illegal for anyone to publicly object to homosexuality. That is not so good.

      But also, WTF does gay rights have to do with Wall Street or the Patriot Act? These kids really are public school victims.

      1. Are you saying we should do away with discrimination laws regarding race, sex, and religion, or that you think sexual orientation should be an exception to those standards?

        1. Yes. Being a choice. Not a bad one but a choice. People should be free to object to it. And if you want to claim it is not a choice, then prepare to go back to the days of gays being considered defective. Much better to consider it a choice. If I can fire you for being a Redskins fan, I should be able to fire you for being gay.

          1. Ah, so it’s different because you’re ignorant about the nature of human sexuality?

            1. No Tony, you are just ignorant about genetics and well pretty much everything else.

              1. You’re so educated about genetics that you know for a fact that sexual orientation is a choice? I’d love to see the studies that show this. Because it sounds like an assumption some Christian imbecile made and which you’re regurgitating.

                When did you choose to become heterosexual, by the way?

                1. There hasn’t been a study that has showed shit. And further the existence of bi sexuals and millions of people who have experimented with homosexual sex yet are otherwise straight disproves the theory anyway. If it were a gene, you would either have it or not. And you also wouldn’t have any free will about it, which of course you do.

                  1. I’ve experimented with heterosexual sex but I’m still homosexual. All people are gay, QED.

                2. While I can’t speak for John, I did it for the ladies.

                  And engaging in consensual homosexual acts is a choice.

                  1. But people aren’t fired for having homosexual sex acts, but for being homosexual.

                3. Ahem, I’d like to field this one if I may.

                  When did you choose to become heterosexual, by the way?

                  A: Every waking moment.

              2. Just because it is not genetic (and that is far from settled, some genetic things are complex interactions among many genes), doesn’t mean that it is a choice. Are you straight only because you made a choice to be that way? You could have just as well been gay if you had chosen to? At some point, 13 y.o. John weight the pros and cons and after careful consideration decided he wanted to have sex with women rather than men for the rest of his life?

                1. Did the environment I grew up in affect me? I am sure it did. But it also affected about a million other things. Did I really choose to be a Kansas basketball fan or was I just indoctrinated into the cult before I had a chance? Definitely the latter.

                  Not everyone finds homosexual sex pleasurable or fullfilling, true. But, not everyone who does chooses to be gay. Given that, I don’t see how it is analogous to race or sex.

                  1. Every attempt at conversion therapy has been a failure, suggesting that even people who really really want to be straight and are not, cannot be. It’s no more a choice than skin color.

                    1. Oh bullshit Tony. Lots of people have had homosexual affairs or isolated acts when they were young and gone on to completely straight lifestyles. I mean Jesus, have you ever read any biographies of 19th Century single sex boarding schools? Have you ever been around women’s colleges? They don’t call them LUGs (Lesbians Until Graduation) for nothing.

                    2. What’s your point? Trust me, I’m aware of heterosexuals experimenting. That just suggests, if anything, that sexuality is more fluid than either of us is talking about. But what’s it got to do with the fact that there are homosexuals out there?

                    3. “sexuality is more fluid than either of us is talking about.”

                      This. The idea that sexuality is merely a binary option is silly. Most people are not 0 or 6’s on the kinsey scale, but because we live in an atmosphere that promotes hard categories people aren’t comfortable talking about their “in between” tastes.

                    4. Four years of Apple advertising bombardment haven’t brought me around to purchasing an iPhone.

                    5. We GET it, Tony. You’re gay. And you remind us of that quite frequently.

                      Rational straight people don’t proclaim their straightness nearly as frequently.

                      I wonder why that is.

                    6. I haven’t said anything about my sexuality here FIFY. You really have issues with this subject, you know.

                    7. Bullshit, Tony.

                      Plus, I don’t care if people are gay as long as they don’t use force or trickery to gain access to other peoples’ goodies, or fuck in the street. JUST LIKE STRAIGHT PEOPLE.

                    8. The guys who prefer dudes but “really really want to be straight” are not a representative sample of all men who have engaged in homosexual sex at some point in their life.

                    9. That is, the people who would think going to conversion therapy is a good idea are the ones who have already failed at their desire to fit in with the hetero crowd. The ones who quit having occasional sex with dudes don’t go.

          2. From http://www.heterodoxy.com/soci…..xuals.html

            Take it for granted that people know what difference it makes whether homosexuality is a choice. Under no circumstances should you consider whether Christianity is a choice or what difference that makes.

            1. Sure Christianity or any religion is a choice. If you want to end the laws against dicrimination based upon religion, you won’t get any argument from me.

          3. But you shouldn’t be able to fire someone because they’re Christian? Being gay is almost undeniably less of a choice than being religious since it has scientific basis, yet religion is a protected class. By the logic of protecting religion, why not political views?

            Even race (ask Michael Jackson) and gender (ask Chaz Bono) are arguably “choices” anymore. You have to either consistently protect all logically related classes, or you should protect nobody.

            Personally I prefer the idea of being blind to these irrelevant features as long as someone can do the job, but I have no right to control who others choose to contractually or personally relate to. But from a government employment standpoint, I have no problem adding sexual orientation to the “protected classes.”

            1. “But you shouldn’t be able to fire someone because they’re Christian?”

              Sure. Why not? There is nothing in the Constitution that says you can’t. Is that a bad way to be? Sure. But what business is it of the government’s?

              1. As a Christian, I agree completely.

                I should be able to restrict my hiring to whoever I want. Perhaps red headed women between the ages of 26 and 28 and I fire everyone the day they turn 29. As long as I’m clear about my hiring and firing practices and I don’t create contracts that contradict those practices, then it’s not the government’s business.

                If my practice is offensive to people, then they should boycott my business and bankrupt me.

                Even if it’s not offensive, it might be just plain stupid and my business will suffer and I’ll go bankrupt.

                Either way, the market takes care of the problem.

            2. Re: Proprietist,

              […]but I have no right to control who others choose to contractually or personally relate to.

              And they don’t have a right to a steady paycheck from you, their personal choices notwithstanding. Clear?

            3. Michael Jackson did not really choose to be white. He had a skin disease that caused him to lose its pigment.

              But there is a joke that goes… Only in America could a poor black kid from Indiana grow up to be a rich white man.

              1. I thought it was “… to be a rich white woman.”

              2. almost….the punch line is “rich white woman”.

            4. I’d just like to end the idea of “protected classes.”

          4. Homosexual acts are a choice, just as heterosexual acts. But, being a man, I am attracted to women. I cannot help my attraction to them. I’d prefer not to be, especially to some that are very, very wrong for me.

            Because I know I cannot help my own attraction to women, I am sure a homosexual man or woman cannot help their own attraction to people of the same sex.

            Of course, nearly everyone is in control of their own actions. However, that does not mean that heterosexuals should be set aside as more priviledge to pursue their desires and homosexuals be forbidden.

            While I have seen conflicting evidence in a genetic cause for homosexuality, it is biological. Cross sections of brains of effeminate males compared with females have shown striking similarities, whereas the cross section of a masculine male is very different from the effeminate male.

            That does not win the argument for homosexuality as much as transgenderism. Most homosexuals are pretty secure in their own sex/gender.

            It’s not all nuture either. I remember a case about a boy who, for some reason, had his genitals mutilated by a doctor during his circumcision. The doctor and the parents decided to make the boy into a girl and train him up to be a girl. But as the boy got older, he rejected this sexual classifaction and acted very tomboyish. Eventually, he found out the truth and underwent surgery to become a man.

            1. For males at least, the likeliest explanation is hormonal effect in utero, rather than genetics. Every embryo starts out basically female, and then there is a point in which a surge of testosterone causes a transformation. I posit that homosexual attributes are caused by an incomplete or inadequate testosterone surge at the appropriate time.

              Quite a few classic “butch” lesbians have XXY syndrome.

              As for the rest of females, I don’t have a good answer. A study I read the other day was fascinating though: 50% of straight women polled in the study expressed sexual attraction to females as well as males.

              Hell, maybe we ARE all a little bit gay, and it’s just a matter of degree.

              1. Quite a few classic “butch” lesbians have XXY syndrome.

                XXY is Klinefelter’s syndrome, and no lesbians have it, because it only occurs in males.

                1. What the hell am I thinking of, then?

                  1. I would guess that you’re thinking of XYY Syndrome, but that wouldn’t be right either, since that also only occurs in males. The presence of a Y-chromosome makes one male. XYY syndrome, is sometimes called supermale syndrome, because men with that karyotype tend to be taller, stronger, and (debatably) more aggressive than other males. Some chromosomal abnormalities can cause a person to be intersex; men with Klinefelter’s often exhibit some female traits, such as gynecomastia, but I’m not aware of any studies that found a link between abnormal karyotypes and homosexuality.

            2. I don’t know where my old abnormal psychology text books are, or I would cite the actual studies, but I have read at least two studies that provide pretty compelling evidence that homosexuality is more nature than nurture.

              The main one I’m thinking of compared:
              1 – children of heterosexual biological parents raised by heterosexual parents
              2 – children of at least one homosexual biological parent raised by heterosexual parents
              3 – children of heterosexual biological parents raised by homosexual parents
              4 – children of least one homosexual biological parent raised by homosexual parents

              The percentage of children in each group who identified as homosexual or bisexual was:
              Group 1 ? ~ 3.5%
              Group 2 ? ~ 8%
              Group 3 ? ~ 3.5%
              Group 4 ? ~ 10%

        2. Religion is a choice, too. In fact, if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

        3. Re: Cognitively impaired sockpuppet,

          This:

          Are you saying we should do away with discrimination laws regarding race, sex, and religion

          Has NOTHING to do with this:

          What they mean is create another discrimination suit industry for gays. And also make it illegal for anyone to publicly object to homosexuality. That is not so good.

          Dishonest Sockpuppet equivocates yet again – what a suprise.

        4. Are you saying we should do away with discrimination laws regarding race, sex, and religion

          Yes.

        5. Are you saying we should do away with discrimination laws regarding race, sex, and religion
          When it comes to private interactions and transactions, absolutely. I’m Jewish, and if a business does not want me to purchase their products or services or does not want to hire or do business with me because of that, then they are well within their natural rights to do so. I also, have the right to decide that they are douchebag bigots and not do business with them while encouraging others to follow suit. I’d rather have these bigots’ feelings out in the open, so we can crucify them in the realm of public opinion. Also, I’d rather not give my money to someone if I know they hate me because of my age, race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, or whatever else.

          However, because the government represents ALL Americans, it does not have the right to discriminate against anyone because of race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, as well as other differences between persons.

          1. ^^^ Thread winner.

      2. “But also, WTF does gay rights have to do with Wall Street or the Patriot Act? These kids really are public school victims.”

        I can’t believe what I am about to do – but I have to defend them on this. Many people view policy issues as interrelated. Libertarians for example might defend the free market on the same grounds they would defend the right of gays to sleep with people of the same sex. They both involve the right to freely engage with people in a consensual way. Marxists might call libertarians crazy for making such a connection.

        1. But saying you can do something is totally different than saying the government should make it illegal for anyone to object to you doing it.

          1. John,

            I was not defending their actual positions – I was only defending the fact that they might see these issues as interrelated.

            1. I don’t think that even social conservatives are trying to force gays to do it missionary style, though.

              1. Watch this…

      3. And also make it illegal for anyone to publicly object to homosexuality.

        Bullshit, John, and you know it. Every time you claim to be a lawyer I LOL because I remember all the crap like this you post here.

        1. How is that not bullshit. If I can’t run a business and not hire homosexuals because I disaprove of their conduct, how am I free to object to it? And further, even if I hire them, once someone is a protected class, you have to be very careful of what you say around them for fear of creating a hostile work environment. So basically, the law would tell people they have to hire gays and can’t tell them what they think about homosexuality in the work place. That pretty much ends right to object to homosexuality.

          And yes, I am a lawyer. And if you knew your ass from a hole in the ground about civil rights laws, you would understand the full effects of making homosexuality a protected class.

          You only LOL because you are too ignorant to know any better Tonio.

          1. make it illegal for anyone to publicly object to homosexuality is different from prohibiting employment discrimination.

            Not that honesty has ever been your defining characteristics, but this is stunningly egregious, even for you.

            1. Fuck you Tonio. Read the post. I explain that making homosexuality a protected class means prohibiting criticism of homosexuality in the work place. If you have an answer to that, make it. Otherwise, just save us the effort and start posting as MNG.

              Let me put it to you in simpler terms. If I can’t say something anywhere I please without facing legal, as opposed to social consiquences, then I am no longer free to say it and effectively no longer free to believe it.

              1. “John|10.31.11 @ 2:37PM|#
                Fuck you Tonio.”

                Ah, the genteel civility that is John disagreeing with someone…

            2. make it illegal for anyone to publicly object to homosexuality is different from prohibiting employment discrimination.

              No it is not dipishit because of hostile work environment. Again, if you your ignorance shows. Not that ignorance hasn’t been one of your defining characteristics, but I kind of thought that you were at least capable of learning something if it was properly explained to you. I guess I thought wrong.

              So, if you are not bright enough or honest enough to understand and respond to the points made, please stop wating time and white space.

              1. John, face it, you stepped into it with your usual careless hyperbole and Tonio called you out. And as usual you respond by cursing the guy and claiming dishonesty and blah, blah, blah. I almost think you must have this on little index cards, maybe they come in a box with a Hannity flag pin and bumper sticker.

                It’s so easy to demonstrate that “make it illegal to publicly object to homosexuality” doesn’t equal “prohibit employment discrimination” that a 3 year old could do it. All one needs is the concept that there are NON-WORKPLACE opportunities to object to homosexuality and viola, you’re proven flat wrong.

                Again.

                1. “It’s so easy to demonstrate that “make it illegal to publicly object to homosexuality” doesn’t equal “prohibit employment discrimination” that a 3 year old could do it.”

                  So easy you don’t do it. You just state it as a truism. It is effectively illegal to say racist things in this country. If I walk around saying racist things, my employer is legally obligated to fire me. If he doesn’t, he will face huge litigation and legal sanction. He couldn’t keep me at my job if he wanted to.

                  If you made homosexuality a protected class, it would be the same thing for objecting to homosexuality.

                  It is a simple distinction that everyone, including you, get. You are just so fundementally dishonest and just an awful person, you won’t admit it. Instead, you just say some truism without any rational backing it up and don’t deal with the over arching point. And then of course insult me.

                  I really do feel sorry for you some days.

                  1. Is it really that difficult not to be racist or homophobic? I don’t know why homophobes should get special treatment that racists don’t get.

                    1. Is it really that difficult not to be racist or homophobic?

                      Don’t know and I don’t care Tony. It is called the first amendment. It sucks to be that way. But freedom means the freedom to suck.

                      But good for you Tony. You at least made a cogent response to the point. You really are smarter and more honest than MNG.

                2. All one needs is the concept that there are NON-WORKPLACE opportunities to object to homosexuality and viola, you’re proven flat wrong.

                  Wow, this is total crap, dude.

                  Way below your usual level.

                  If I declared that there were towns in the US where you couldn’t criticize religion, it would not be a defense of my policy for me to claim that you can criticize religion outside of those towns.

                  I’m still banning the criticism of religion.

                  I’m well aware that (as usual) the rights of employers and property owners mean nothing to you, but a change in the law that effectively prohibits anyone who employs anyone or who sells any product in a retail (or “common carrier”) from openly denouncing homosexuality is effectively creating a prohibition against public denunciation of homosexuality.

                  And it’s absurd to claim that there would be “non-workplace” opportunities to do so, anyway. If I as an employer went outside of my workplace once a day and held press conferences declaring that I hated black people and thought they sucked, how effectively do you think I could defend myself against litigation from any black employee or job seeker who wanted to file a claim?

                  1. One can say and do racist things all day long and you will not in any way be arrested. You cannot say it at work, but not all of us live at work.

                    John said “make it illegal for anyone to publicly object to homosexuality”. This is patently false. Anyone can publicly criticize homosexuality in a variety of contexts.

                    1. Think about how bad your logic is here. Under your logic if “anyone” is prohibited under any context from doing x then you can say “they have made it illegal for anyone to do x.”

                    2. MNG and Tony don’t own or run businesses, so the idea that one’s freedom is limited if certain behaviour is curtailed in the workplace is lost on them.

  12. Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care

    So the Tea Party wants to do away with Medicare? Let’s check the polling…

    A list of meaningless platitude is not a platform. The OWS declaration is a good start. Just not for people who will never, ever find reason to raise any tax on any rich person, ever.

    1. A list of meaningless platitude is not a platform. The OWS declaration is a good start.

      Cognitive dissonance much?

    2. Except when they managed to create a tax systerm where nearly 50% of the country pays no income tax and the top earners pay nearly all of it.

      Jesus Christ Tony don’t you ever get tired of repeating lies on here that every one knows is a lie? Should you take your act elsewhere?

      1. The bottom 50% don’t pay federal income tax because they don’t make enough income. I’m all for more people paying federal income tax. But I’m not for pretending that the exemption that exists so that people don’t go into poverty paying taxes should be done away with out of “fairness.” Let’s figure out how to get more people making more income, how about, then you can stop whining that the rich are so oppressed.

        The bottom 50% have only about 2% of the wealth in this country. Whatever vapid excuses you make, the GOP or libertarian tax platform will result in the bottom 50% having even less of a share.

        1. “The bottom 50% don’t pay federal income tax because they don’t make enough income.”

          Tautology much?

          1. Um no. You seemed to be claiming that the bottom 50% don’t pay income taxes because some unfair new tax policy came about that coddles the bottom 50%, or something. I’m saying they don’t pay income taxes because they are too poor to pay them because of increasing economic stratification.

            Your solution is to tax them more and make them more poor?

            1. Isn’t that cute? Toni doesn’t understand ‘tautlogy’!

            2. Your solution is to tax them more and make them more poor?

              My solution would be to continue to not tax them, but somehow find a way to shame them into shutting their fucking yaps when they claim that the tax system is unfair because it’s not progressive enough.

        2. The bottom 50% have only about 2% of the wealth in this country.

          Oh, Toni lied again.

        3. Also: “wealth” and “income” are different.

          1. This to infinity.

        4. “The bottom 50% have only about 2% of the wealth in this country.”

          Because it’s a finite pool, wealth is. And it’s never earned- only given or withheld from invisible money angels. Stupid money angels. Always giving the fat cats the wealth. I want some wealth, too.

          1. Wealth has been redistributed upward in this country because of policies specifically designed to do that.

            But once all those unfair policies have taken effect, you will claim that every single cent in the hands of the rich was “earned” and ought to stay where it is, and every change to those policy should be even more upward distribution.

            1. Wealth doesn’t migrate. Wealth is either given to a person (A “Have”) by the money angels, or it is not (a “Have Not”).

              I’ll make no such claim- I’d say that every other cent was earned. Or maybe one out of three. But what does it matter? It’s all from the money angels anyway.

            2. “Wealth has been redistributed upward in this country because of policies specifically designed to do that.”

              Why don’t you advocate repealing these redistributionist policies that you seem to find offensive rather than trying to make up for them on back end though tax policy?

              “…you will claim that every single cent in the hands of the rich was “earned” and ought to stay where it is,…”

              The concept of “innocent until proven guilty” is quite beyond you, isn’t it?

          2. Pray to the money angels. I hear they like the sounds of coins jingling together, so do that all day long.

            1. Re: The economics ignoramus strikes again,

              Wealth has been redistributed upward in this country because of policies specifically designed to do that.

              Only if you’re talking about inflation and bailouts, sockpuppet. Otherwise, you have no clue of the process that makes rich people richer, and it isn’t by making the poor poorer.

              1. The only reason we ever had a middle class was because of things like unions that secured minimum wage laws and other government labor rules. Since unions have been virtually destroyed, along with the bargaining power they represented, wages have remained stagnant, pensions have been raided, and taxes have become more regressive. It’s not all just Ayn Rand fairy tales. If you’re rich enough, you can buy a politician. Or is that just another facet of genius and ingenuity to you?

                1. There are no more Unions?? Who-hoo! I’m going into business! I’ve always dreamed of being a Robber Baron.

                2. The only reason we ever had a middle class was because of things like unions that secured minimum wage laws and other government labor rules.

                  Again, bullshit. The middle class was around long before the early 20th century–they were represented by merchants, large farmers, lawyers, and various craftsmen.

                  taxes have become more regressive

                  If the middle class and the poor want their services, they should be willing to pay for them. I’m not interested in hearing any squealing from the bottom 50% about tax fairness when they’re calling for cradle-to-grave socialism. That money has to come from somewhere, and it might as well come from the people who want those services.

                3. Back in the real world, politicians who promise free stuff to their voters normally win elections. Your kind of politicians have won elections in most parts of the word for decades now, stop living in your stupid Hollywood world of evil groups buying politicians.

                  Giving money to unproductive losers is no way to create wealth, you stupid buffoon.

                  1. I may be a stupid buffoon, but at least I’m consistent about it.

                    1. Not really, one day you do the moral finger waving crusade, then the next day you very openly state you don’t believe in morals but support your system because it creates wealth.

                    2. Let me add: LIAR!!!! You used the term “wealth”. Wealth is cash, real estate, stocks/bonds/durable goods.

                      Total U.S. “wealth” is around $55 trillion. Total held by the 1% is about $5.7 trillion (just north of 10%).

                      Argue if you want that that’s a disproportionate amount, but STOP LYING.

                4. The only reason we ever had a middle class was because of things like unions that secured minimum wage laws and other government labor rules.

                  Tony, Tony, Tony,…we’ve been over this before. Repeating it months after it’s been disproven doesn’t change the fact that it simply isn’t true. For that to be true, the country would have had to have had no middle class prior to the rise of the unions and the implementation of minimum wage laws in the 1930s. As others note, there has always been a particularly robust middle class, well before the 1930s. That hasn’t changed since you were last proven wrong.

        5. The bottom 50% don’t pay federal income tax because they don’t make enough income.

          Bullshit. I could see it if the vast majority of those people were making $15,000/yr. But the median income is $49,000, and the tax system is set up so that many of the people in the lowest tax brackets actually get income they never earned when it comes time to file their returns.

          Let’s figure out how to get more people making more income, how about, then you can stop whining that the rich are so oppressed.

          “More people making more income” is never going to happen the way you want it to. The manufacturing sector has no incentive to grow in this country, slavish devotion to the Cult of the Bachelor’s Degree has resulted in two generations of paper-pushers that are worthless outside an office or service sector environment, and the massive expansion of credit that’s kept the big-government programs in place is grinding to a halt. We got lucky in the 90s with the lightning in a bottle that the Internet represented, but we don’t have anything like that to save our bacon now.

          1. “slavish devotion to the Cult of the Bachelor’s Degree has resulted in two generations of paper-pushers that are worthless outside an office or service sector environment”

            FIFY

        6. The bottom 50% have only about 2% of the wealth in this country.

          Do you actually know what median is?

        7. “The bottom 50% have only about 2% of the wealth in this country.”

          Question: Would you rather have 1/2 of one pie or 1/3 of another pie that was twice as big?

          1. Whichever one keeps the wealth from being distributed upward to the rich!

  13. Hmmm…

    The Salon list is basically suggesting:

    – Massive increases in “crony capitalism”

    – Attacking the only part of the U.S. government that works – DoD

    – Using lots of drugs

    – Increasing the special treatment of people who engage in homosexual activity

    Sorry, I’m not a supporter.

    I’ll stick with the Tea Party list.

    However, I can see how the Salon list would be appealing to thieves, scammers, losers who display no initiative or responsibility, and homosexuals who want to be “more equal” than the rest of us on the basis of the fact that they are homosexuals.

    It’s a disgusting, worthless list of socialist and narcissistic tripe, dripping with dog vomit.

    However, I really like the Tea Party list.

    1. I think it’s questionable whether or not DoD works. It’s a huge bureaucracy just like the rest of gov’t, the only difference is that it enjoys a constitutional mandate.

      1. Of course it works. When they drop a bomb, it blows up. When they send troops to foreign countries, there they are. When a senator steers a sweet contract to his home state, that money is getting spent no matter what anyone says. Now that’s an effective government agency.

        All snark aside, I do think that the US military is really good at doing military stuff. So what? The fact that an agency is effective at doing what it does does not by itself justify its existence.

      2. Well, the DoD does try to do a lot of things that are business-like and customer-focused. However, a lot of bureaucratic non-sense and regulations are piled on it making this very difficult and tedious.

        Trust me, the government does not usually go after the ‘lowest bidder’, especially when we have to buy stuff from minorty or women owned businesses, from businesses that employ the physically handicapped, and other businesses that do not have to be completely competitive.

    2. MM, you make me want to puke my guts out. Increasing the special treatment of people who engage in homosexual activity.

      Homosexuality is not a choice, asshole. I don’t want “special” rights, I just want the same rights everyone else has.

      1. And you don’t have the right to marry a woman? Because that’s the right I have and so should you.

        1. I have the right to marry the person I want to marry. Shouldn’t he have that right as well?

          1. I have the right to marry the person I want to marry.

            No you don’t. Nobody does.

            Seriously. Think about what you just wrote.

            1. The right to enter into a contract with another freely consenting adult.

              Would encourage you to think about the implications of what you just wrote but your self-delusion or dishonesty (whichever) kicks in whenever teh gehs comes up…

              1. But we don’t all have that right, now do we? Suppose, for a moment, that I wanted to marry my sister. It is Alabama after all, though I’m not from here. Also, the thought of marrying one of them is truly horrifying in ways you cannot comprehend. I still do not have that right, no matter what state I live in.

                I’m not saying I want to marry my sisters. I would rather be gay married. I am saying that the right does not exist if I chose to and one of them consented.

                I’m not making an argument against gay marriage. I think the government should just get out of the business of marriage like most libertarians believe.

                1. Get rid of marriage licenses, Tonio. Problem solved.

          2. I’ve been married to a psycho for 20 years. Why do gays want to be as miserable as me?

            1. I firmly hold to the idea that if we let gays get married, you’ll see an upsurge in initial marriages, then the rate will stabilize well below hetero numbers.

              But divorce court will be way more entertaining, I give it that.

      2. I don’t care who marries who. However, I will always be completely, utterly against the government providing special rights for selected groups.

        I oppose laws on hiring criteria.

        I oppose affirmative action.

        I oppose hate crime laws.

        I oppose laws that limit speech.

      3. While I will agree that you can’t help who you are attracted to, you very much do choose who you have sexual activity with. Just sayin.

        1. Gay refrain: “I didn’t hit puberty until eleven, but I knew I was gay since I was only five.”

    3. So making drug use a legal choice means everyone is suddenly going to become a junkie? Or did you mean that making drug use legal means pure-as-the-driven-snow folks such as yourself will be forced to ingest drugs against your will?

  14. I want it all and I want it now.

    1. “We’re gonna take it, anyhow!”

  15. The Occupados can shout about raising taxes until they’re blue in the face, but as long as people are able to deduct socially approved spending from their tax burden, they are going to scramble for every deduction they can get.

  16. Of course their #1 issue is “pay for my mistakes.” These whiny fucks should be ashamed of themselves.

    1. And of course do nothing to prevent other people from making the same mistake. If they also included going after colleges and universities for over charging them and future students, I would still think they are wrong. But I could at least respect them for being something besides leftist astro turf. As it is, they just want their loans paid off and the rest of us to continue to support their fellow travelers in academia.

      1. The thing I keep hearing repeated is that because they were told it would be X, they can’t be held responsible that things didn’t turn out the way that someone said they would. Whether it is “people said ‘an education’ was a guarantee to a ‘good job’!” or “people said housing prices would never fall!” they really seem to think that’s a good excuse.

        1. Nothing bad is supposed to ever happen to you. What infuriates me is that if they had gotten a job and made a bunch of money, I wouldn’t have shared in it. Or when people bought houses and made money, they didn’t share it with me. But now that that risk hasn’t turned out, I am supposed to help them make good.

          1. +1000000
            This is probably the only area where I feel like I’m in the same universe as the OWSers. If everyone around me can get bailed out of their mortgages, why can’t I get bailed out of my much smaller, but serious to me, debts? Because they get to have a house and I don’t? Because they bought a house they couldn’t afford and I didn’t?
            It’s preaching to the converted here to bring up those bailouts, but to a stupid 19 year old? The government has been handing out free money on an unprecedented scale for as long as they remember. As absurd as I think these protesters are, there’s definitely an element of “I learned it by watching you!”.

  17. I wonder if the Occupados would be interested in debt amnesty if it meant having their credit rating reduced to zero. They could be out of debt forever!

    1. If we had true deflation every once in a while, then they wouldn’t need so much debt to begin with.

    2. Hugh, I saw someone on my Facebook say exactly that the other day. She bought an overpriced condo she couldn’t afford, mortgage goes underwater, she shortsells, and now it’s not fair that her credit rating is shot.

      1. We can also nullify their marriages, bar them from any job that requires a security clearance or oath of office, and require them to wear t-shirts that read “I don’t live up to my obligations!”

      2. It’s not. She at least got to live in the kick-ass, overpriced condo for a while. The rest of us haven’t even lived the dream yet.

      3. A 750 FICO score is a human right!

        1. No, no. You’ve got it wrong! The government should back up your credit if your FICO is less than 750… It says so, right there in the constitution… Doesn’t it?

          1. Well, if you’re a well-connected player in the fInancial industry, it does. Not that two wrongs make a right, but nobody can tell the protesters that it isn’t the way the world works. It is, if you’re the right people.

            Which is why libertarians ought to be a rising force like we’ve never seen.

    3. This is actually an interesting point. If student loans were treated as every other debt during bankruptcy it might actually go a long way towards stemming the tide of easy credit for people and majors that are unlikely to command a market value comparable to the cost of the education they want the loan for.

      1. Ding ding ding! We have a winner!

        1. Although I agree in principle, the obvious Occupado objection is that even in bankruptcy where their student loans can be forgiven, there are still consequences to pay. Your credit is shot, etc etc etc. They simply want the government to act as if these dumb fucks never borrowed money with the expectation that it would be paid back.

    4. I see what you did there – very nice

  18. You know, ending government involvement in marriage altogether would go a long way toward equality for sexual minorities…

    1. Hear, hear.

    2. That woudl be nice. Then we wouldn’t have to listen to all the assholes saying “gays have the right to marry a woman, what’s the problem, hurr durp” all the time either.

      1. Marriage is a legally binding contract, something the gov’t has a role in enforcing.

        1. But at the same time, their role should only be enforcing the contract and not mandating it’s terms.

  19. We need a metric by which we can declare OWS officially over.
    I expect it to be any day now that the snow is flying.

    1. Definitely.

      A, because snow is cold. B, because once the snow starts flying, the OWS kids will just move to their parents’ ski cabins. They won’t have to camp out in the park, just to avoid living in the basement and having to hear Dad tell them to put down the bong and get a job.

    2. I hear snow and moisture is hell on an iPad.

    3. How about when they decide to NOT report sexual assault and instead handle it “internally”.

      1. Arrest them all for conspiracy to protect rapists or something.

  20. I can only assume it was some nominal amount of shame that led them to slightly separate 3. A healthcare public option from 5. End the Global War on Terror and rein in the defense budget. Apparently America can’t afford a trillion-dollar military establishment but it can’t afford NOT to have a multitrillion-dollar single-payer plan.

    Same goes for separating 4. Reregulate Wall Street from 6. Repeal the Patriot Act. Funny how they complain about the intrusiveness of a poorly thought out and thinly debated Patriot Act, only two bullet points after urging the creation of multiple intrusive rules, some of which were previously discredited and others of which are vague and largely unexplored.

    The Tea Party one benefits from being vague and setting broad areas of agreement. Being vague gives more room for people to agree and fewer reasons to object. Also acknowledges that a 10-point list isn’t really the place to get deep into the policy weeds.

  21. What happened to the $20/hr minimum wage demand? Salon is a bunch of free-market nihlists!!!

    1. I not fat chicks all the time, Fist. I prefer to only skinny or full-figured chicks.

      To each their.

  22. 2. A substantial jobs program

    A real, direct jobs program, done in the WPA style, would rebuild our cities and towns in addition to putting thousands of people back to work.

    This is hilarious. Really? We’re going to throw work gangs on the back of trucks and have them building dams out west while they live in camps? Yeah, I’d like to see the $5,500 laptop girl take that job.

    1. HA! They have no intention of performing physical work. Instead, they would occupy the roles of counselors and administrators, HR managers, etc…

      Can you imagine Mr. Drum Circle Guy picking up a shovel and digging a ditch? Or how about Ms. Granola in My Hair working on a broken down dump truck in the middle of nowhere?

      No, their intention for themselves is the establishment of the Nomenklatura. They will be the arbiters of fairness.

      1. Pretty much — the only skill they learned in college is sucking up, and the Useless Middle Management Ass-kisser market is apparently drying up.

    2. Did you see the piece Rushkoff wrote where he claimed the OWS people were working really hard, the type of hard work that only a farmer or coal miner would understand. Then when people like myself who shoveled shit in a stable as a job once upon a time got pissed, he edited the post and the hyperbole magically went away. Disingenuos fucktard that one.

      here’s the boing boing post that has te original text.
      http://boingboing.net/2011/10/…..iving.html

      here’s teh CNN link with the altered text
      http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/25/…..?hpt=op_t1

      what a douche, he’s probably never done a hard day’s work in his life.

  23. I think the Tea Party cheat slightly to get to ten since demanding a balanced budget, restoring fiscal responsibility and ending runaway government spending are all pretty much different ways of saying the same thing. And “Protect the Constitution” is like saying “Protect Motherhood and Apple Pie,” very worthy I’m sure, but a bit short on policy specifics.

    So I’d rationalize the two together as:

    1) Repeal the Patriot Act/End the Global War on Terror
    2) Reject Cap & Trade
    3) Demand a Balanced Budget
    4) Enact Fundamental Tax Reform
    5) Full equality for the queer community
    6) Stop locking everyone up for everything and end the drug war
    7) Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care
    8) Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above’ Energy Policy
    9) Stop the Pork
    10) Stop the Tax Hikes

    1. I like your list. The OWS people:

      * oppose your #2
      * our idea of #3 and 4 has nothing to do with theirs
      * Oppose #7, 8, 9, and 10

    2. “End The Global War On Terror” is one of those statements that means different things to different people. If we “end” the war, does that mean we withdraw all troops from the M.E.? Does it mean we stop drone attacks on Al-Q members? Does it mean that a leader whose government trains and financially supports groups whIch carry out attacks on Westerners are immune from attack? Does it mean that a jihadi group can kill thousands of Americans, but that we will never harm their leadership and operatives as long as they are in another country, because that would be a violation of sovereignty?

  24. Self government requires the governing of the self. At the end of the day, you can either govern yourself or have the state do it for you. Of course, they may not always do what you want them to.

    Anyway, the group above that makes us govern ourselves more wins over me.

    1. Re: The Federalist,

      you can either govern yourself or have the state do it for you.

      Well, the sockpuppet, Tony there, pretty much said that the State owns his ass and his shorts, and so he pays them money and votes for them so they don’t rape him, shorts and all.

      1. Tony also hates the fifty individual state governments, as they get in the way of a unified, one-size-fits-all cloak of edicts coming from DC.

  25. Hows abouts this:

    1) No more hurting or killing people.
    2) No more breaking, vandalizing or stealing people’s stuff (including fraud).

    BAM! 2 point list. Top that.

  26. . Expanding the pool of Medicare recipients to include healthy younger people paying into it would instantly improve the program’s fiscal outlook.

    So make it more pyramid-like. Check.

    5. End the Global War on Terror and rein in the defense budget

    6. Repeal the Patriot Act

    Now we’re talking. And they just lost Obama’s support. So much for hope’n’change.

    1. I’m assuming they want a mandate, because why would healthy young people want to pay into Medicare?

  27. NO EFFORT, FREE SHIT AND QUEER SEX FOR ALL!!!!!1!11111111

    1. No offense to anyone, but I really don’t want the queer sex. Weird sex, sure, but not queer sex.

      1. well, WMW could be classified as queer sex, given the inherent lesiban posibilities. Are you saying you’re not down for that?! You sir, are NO patriot!

        1. I am all for lesbian sex until it involves a similiar pay back on my end. Then, I am content to live without seeing it.

        2. I don’t mind being in close proximity to lesbian activity. I just said I don’t want queer sex, myself.

          1. But as the Beach Boys laid forth in their prophecy- 2 girls for every boy! (or was that Jan and Dean?)

        3. WMW could be classified as queer sex, given the inherent lesiban posibilities. Are you saying you’re not down for that?!

          Based on most of the lesbians I’ve seen, not a chance. Those cute college girls you saw flicking tongues at the Halloween kegger last weekend don’t exactly represent a broad cross-section of the lesbian community.

          1. It doesn’t have to be likely, just possibly. Just look at how many people buy lottery tickets.

          2. I know some damn cute lesbians. The hottest girl I have ever personally known was also, quite frustratingly, a lesbian.

            1. You’re lucky, because most of the ones I’ve been around and seen were more masculine than Robert Mitchum.

      2. How about freaky sex?

  28. Whichever group’s position is ‘Death to All Humans’ is whom I’ll back. But I am pretty biased.

    Jess
    http://www.anymouse.com

    1. Really? Any mouse? Even the jumping kind?

      1. what about the dead kind?

        1. They don’t jump too good.

          1. That’s why you put an elastic band around them first.

    2. Wow that makes sense if you think about it.

  29. “Which list do you like better, o beloved Hit & Run commenters?”

    Is that a trick question?

  30. The tea party’s is typical “arrgghh govt spending” without any actual ideas or understanding of what we spend money on.

    As absurd and incoherent the various debt ‘relief’ proposals of OWS are, I’ll settle for #5,6,8, & 9.

  31. This whole thing is just a wrapper for items 2 & 3, which are what they really care about, and which are horrible, horrible ideas.

  32. Expanding the pool of Medicare recipients to include healthy younger people paying into it would instantly improve the program’s fiscal outlook.

    Since they already pay into it, how is having them draw on it as well going to improve its fiscal outlook? Won’t this actually make it worse?

    1. My thought as well.

    2. You’re not thinking young enough!

  33. I took one look at the Salon list, and my only demand for make benefit glorious America is that public education be banned.

  34. Hmm. One problem with the Salon list: how do you pay for the free health care and the jobs program once you’ve eliminated debt?

    1. WTF? Spoofer?

    2. Because once all debt is eliminated, we’ll all have a shit-ton of cash. Well, maybe not the holders of the eliminated debt, but everyone else.

  35. Their number one demand is debt relief.

    But I bet that they are all in favor of continued government subsidization of debt through artifically reduced interest rates.

    That’s the contradiction. I’ve been saying this for the last three years. The governments concept of “affordable” housing isn’t cheaper houses, it’s more expensive houses with looser loan terms.
    Student loans work the same way.

    The net result of the government’s policy of making it easier to get loans is that you end up with everyone being in hock. That is the underlying problem that the Occupy protestors and their allies do not get. And they WON’T get it either, because economic reality is not something that they are willing to face.

    1. But let’s look at economic reality:

      It is increasingly necessary to have a 4-year degree to get a job.

      State aid to college students has been reduced by like 25%, forcing students to pick up the difference, while tuition has risen.

      There are now millions of graduates with bad job prospects because of the economy and huge debt. What do we do about it? Leave a whole generation in indentured servitude? What?

      1. “It is increasingly necessary to have a 4-year degree to get a job.” Due in part to the guaranteeing of student loans and subsequent weakening of educational standards by colleges to get a bigger piece of the pie.

        “tuition has risen” See above.

        “There are now millions of graduates with bad job prospects because of the economy and huge debt. What do we do about it? Leave a whole generation in indentured servitude? What?”
        Nothing that you would be willing to do.

      2. The increasing importance of having a college degree parallels the decline in both the quality and significance of a H.S. diploma. So long a public schools are churning out “graduates” that can’t balance a checkbook, write in complete sentences, or find their own state on a U.S. map, employers have no choice to seek assurance of at least basic skills.

        Which the Financial-Academic Complex is more than willing to provide — along with a lifetime of non-dischargable debt.

      3. It is increasingly necessary to have a 4-year degree to get a job.

        And its increasingly necessary to have that 4-year degree in something other than social studies or the humanities to get a job. That’s the other side of the reality coin, and it’s one that not a lot of people in the academic world have come to grips with yet.

        State aid to college students has been reduced by like 25%, forcing students to pick up the difference, while tuition has risen.

        And yet every double-digit rate increase in tuition costs is met with either indifference or half-hearted whinging by those who actually pay those costs. Perhaps its better if market forces started coming into play, and high school grads simply refused to play the debt game until certain conditions are met. I doubt many on the left would be down with removing the loan guarantees, but I can’t see why they wouldn’t support making it dischargeable in bankruptcy once again. That alone might be enough to cause drastic cuts in tuition costs.

        There are now millions of graduates with bad job prospects because of the economy and huge debt.

        Then the banks, the government, the universities, and the students need to take a bath on the bad decision they all made to financialize a university education, in the name of increasing the numbers of the managerial class. If that means going into bankruptcy, so be it–those laws were put in place for a reason, and it was to ensure that the risk was equal on both sides. Otherwise, how is that fair to those who chose to be personally responsible for their own futures and economic well-being, and not place themselves in onerous debt?

        1. What Tony really means is:

          If you’re not college-educated, you’re not worth shit.

      4. We can first STOP telling college students that getting a philosophy or English or sociology degree qualifies them in any way shape or form for employment.

        Or tell students that if they insist on getting a humanities degree, they will not be eligible for all the free cash they can get in the form of a student loan.

        Loans are given based on the likelihood that they can be paid back.

  36. There’s things to like in both top ten lists. Of course the TP one is going to immediately appeal more to libertarians, but as Tony pointed out it is full of platitudes and overlapping points.

    A top ten list that doesn’t once mention the word “defense” while claiming to want to “stop pork” “limit government” and “balance the budget” is a f*cking joke.

    And imo the most important one in both lists is the OWS #8, something liberals and libertarians should agree one and get to work on.

  37. From the TP list, if you get away from overlapping platitudes like 1 and 5 and look at specific proposals I could support 2, 3, 8 and 9. From the OWS one I could support 5, 6, 8 and 9. Put ’em together and you’ve essentially got Gary Johnson.

  38. Let’s Raise Energy Prices, take away the profit incentive to develop new energy supplies, subsidize alternative energy we know will fail because we are contrarians and it makes us feel good sticking it to the man. Why can’t life be like the cartoons I watched as a kid?

  39. The Salon list is pretty dumb, but it’s yet another example of a media source projecting its own (at least slightly more thought-out) positions onto its clueless OWS darlings. The consensus among the protesters is much better represented through all the signs that say stuff like “Destroy Capitalism” and “Eat the Rich,” which somehow turn into “Bring back Glass-Steagall. Pass the Volcker rule, too. Ban banks from trading derivatives” in articles explaining the protesters’ demands.

    Most sources seem to insist on describing the OWS movement as “opposing the increased political influence by big banks and corporations” when it would be much more accurate to describe the movement as being opposed to big banks and corporations altogether.

  40. The most simple and basic problem with any tax code where taxation jumps a substantial amount when you reach a certain income level, is that the end result is a whole bunch more people suddenly earning incomes just below the level where it jumps. If it’s $250,000 a year, the number of people earning $245,000 a year will boom and so on.

    The end result is that the predicted increases in revenues from such plans never materialize and you’re back to square one wondering why “rich folks don’t pay their fair share?”

    That’s why a general idea like point “10” is so hard. Because you don’t know what constitutes a “fix” and the one “fix” they do suggest won’t work and has been tried before and didn’t work.

    Furthermore tehy are absolute murder on people who make their income in non-traditional ways. For people who make next to nothing for four years and then make five years worth of income in one year, those brackets are death. They wind up paying way more in income tax than a guy who makes the same amount of money over five years. Granted this isn’t a whole lot of people, but that doesn’t make those people any less screwed over.

  41. Huh, huh-huh, ahuhhuh huh, Salon’s gay. Huhhuh. That’s gay.

  42. My best friend’s mom makes $77 an hour on the computer.She has been out of job for 9 months but last month her check was $7487 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read about it here NuttyRichdotcom

  43. Lester dear, I make $77/hr. sitting in front of the computer because I’m waving my vagina into a webcam. Now go do your homework.

  44. These fools will keep pushing for socialism in this country and they can try and have it with their dead bodies.

    Liberty-loving people have nowhere to go. We’ll make our stand here and these fools really won’t like it when we do.

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