David Gray The problem is people in the West don't understand the cultural differences at play here. Jesse's commentary is a great example (sorry to throw you under the bus). Jesse doesn't understand why a film could cause such a ruckus and why they can't just fire off some angry emails or picket the streets. A lot of people in the West don't understand it either. But in the Middle East, the people understand clearly. Blasphemy can be a capital offense depending on the severity in much of the Middle East. That means the punishment is as severe as a murderer or rapist would receive here. It doesn't matter if you agree with such a law. What matters is that they agree with the law and follow it. It is part of their culture. Our two cultures do not mesh in this regard. We have a high reverence for free speech in the West. The Middle East has a high reverence for religious law. The two can and often collide, as we are witnessing with these events.
David Gray Hey now that's a policy I support! Pack up shop and get out. No more aid, no more nothing. In reality though, what majority will support such an action at this point? Definitely not a majority from any party. This is the beginning of a culture war between the West and Middle East, which I believe will culminate into full out war before the decade is up.
David Gray You have to understand and respect their culture Jesse. Their culture and beliefs find blasphemy as offensive as certain capital offenses here in the States. It doesn't matter if you don't believe that is right. That is what they believe. You should respect their beliefs and their culture. With that said, committing acts of violence against our embassies is a very dangerous thing considering they are technically sovereign territory of the U.S. This event is just the start of a long culture war that is beginning to erupt between the West and Middle Eastern cultures.
David Gray But we need a strong dollar! The people that say we need a strong dollar forget (or are just ignorant) that too strong of a dollar makes our goods much more expensive in other countries, which in turn lowers exports.
David Gray I didn't realize the film had a connection to Jones. Of course it doesn't surprise me. This is a cultural issue where the West and the East do not mesh. Middle Eastern culture does not allow for blasphemy in any way shape or form. They regard that as much more important than freedom of speech. Whereas in the West, we believe that freedom of speech is the most important right that exists. Those two beliefs do not mesh well, and it is one of the many reasons why our two cultures have such a hard time understanding each other. Freedom of speech should continue to exist here, but it is not our right to say what should happen in the Middle East. If the film depicts what a country believes is criminal in nature, than protests make sense from their perspective. We need to stop pushing our ideals and culture on the Middle East. Let them develop their own culture and laws and then let us work to coexist with them in the world. Pushing our culture onto them will only create more problems.
David Gray Chicken Little? This is what the top experts around the country with access to the information at hand said would happen. That is why we took this unprecedented step. How does the core revolve around too much consumer debt? The core was the risky investment vehicles that the largest banks in the country carried on their books with book values higher than their actual real value. Once people started to realize the value of these 'investments' were worthless, they started to plummet in value and those left holding the bag (see Bear Stearns). That started a cascading collapse. It had nothing to do with consumer debt. Unless you consider mortgage debt as consumer debt.
David Gray You don't understand the severity of the problem we had. Entrepreneurs wouldn't have been able to start businesses because capital would have been locked down for an extended period of time. Big businesses, who had nothing to do with the collapse, wouldn't have been able to make payroll without revolving credit available. People would not have been paid. They would have withdraw whatever money they had in banks to make ends meet, creating a run on the banks. The whole system would have collapsed. That is why we had to bail them out. I don't like it one bit, but that is the situation that we were in. The best we can do today is to change the banking and credit system in a way where this disaster cannot happen again. The easiest way to do that is to reinstate Glass-Steagall. Unfortunately there is too much money involved and changing hands in Washington to make that a reality.
David Gray No one forced banks to lump sub-prime loans into investment vehicles and sell them. They did that on their own trying to make an extra buck, even though they knew that the loans were bad investments. Then they got caught with their pants down and everyone suffered, resulting in a bailout. Had a simple government regulation, which protected the country from investment banks co-mingling with regular banks for over 60 years had not been repealed in the late 1990s, the disaster of the banks failing would have been something that could have been brushed off. Instead the banks were allowed to grow to unprecedented sizes and literally became 'too big to fail', which is why we were forced to save the banks, else the rest of the economy would have suffered a much worse fate than we experienced.
David Gray Terrorists attacked us on 9/11. No one disputes that (not even the liberal press). You want it to be stated outright that Muslims attacked us, as to push the viewpoint that Muslims are the enemy and their views and culture run counter to our views and culture. The last point about their views and culture might very well be true, but Muslims are not our enemy.
David Gray No need to put fundamentalist in quotations. I am aware of the meaning. It is very similar to a fundamentalist Christian who believes in the literal interpretation of the Bible as events that transpired as written. Where does your premise that a contest between the feds and the states that the states win automatically come into play? Article VI, Clause 2 specifically states the opposite. Maybe you have heard of it? Does the Supremacy Clause ring a bell?
David Gray So I am very confused. I thought you were a fundamentalist when it comes to the Constitution. What you just outlined is a complete rewrite of the Constitution, the government, and how our way of life would be governed. So does that mean you want a revolution to rewrite the new Constitution in a way you deem better for everyone? Who would lead this revolution?
David Gray If you don't trust anyone in a position of power (which is what I am gathering from your comments), how would you run the government then? Would there be a government? Would there be laws? Would there be politicians and lawyers? How exactly would society work in your ideal world?
David Gray A vote for Johnson is a vote for Obama. Don't think that is true? The latest CNN/ORC poll showed 52%/46% Obama/Romney margin when those two candidates are only on the ballot. When Johnson and the Green party candidate (Stein) are on the ballot as well the breakdown is: 51% - Obama 43% - Romney 3% - Johnson 1% - Stein So Obama goes down 1%, which corresponds to the 1% support of Stein and Romney goes down 3%, which corresponds to the 3% support for Johnson. The data backs it up. A vote for Johnson is a vote for Obama.
David Gray When did the government break the law again? Oh, you mean when they did something that you believe is outside the bounds of the Constitution, but the Supreme Court, whose responsibility it is to determine what is in and outside the bounds of the Constitution, has determined is ok. Gotcha. So basically, you believe you know better than SCOTUS? How many years have you been practicing law? How many years of Constitutional law experience do you have? How long have you served as a judge?
David Gray I read the article from National Review. It is the only one that cites the number before compensation. Salary websites on the other hand, which don't exactly have political views, cite that number is after benefits. So right away, there is a discrepancy which needs to be explained. I have also read that the 'average' teacher in the union is someone with a masters degree and 10+ years experience. Comparing that level of education and experience to the private sector would most certainly garner a much higher average salary than the $54k cited as the average workers salary. Finally, the 30% number wasn't drawn out of thin air. The initial proposal was to increase teaching hours from 5.45 to 7.5, which is a 30% increase. Obviously the proposal has now changed, but with the initial proposal in mind you can see where the 30% number came from.
David Gray " For one thing, he might actually have a Republican Congress. That would be bloody awful because they'd pass all kinds of insane things." That is one thing I will absolutely agree with you on. The worst thing in the world in my opinion is a government controlled by one party.
David Gray You might be correct, I haven't really delved into the average income in Chicago. I'm concerned with the average teacher income, which taking out benefits is a paltry $53k. I don't see that as over payment. I was just pointing out that I wouldn't put it past someone to quote total compensation and compare it to take home pay. People are sneaky!