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This room is for the discussion of current events,cultural issues and politics especially in relation to Catholic values.

Saint Thomas More was martyred during the Protestant Reformation for standing firm in the Faith and not recognizing the King of England as the Supreme Head of the Church.
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Nov 13th 2012 new

(Quote) James-17080 said: I do want to debate the definition of "socialism. "Big Governme...
(Quote) James-17080 said:



I do want to debate the definition of "socialism. "Big Government" is not the topic of this thread. If you wish, you may start a new thread with that idea.

Somehow, The Morrill Act of 1862became the misnamed "Merrill Act" . When we get through with this thread, maybe we should investigate how my brain mangled the name of the law. I thought only the beautiful Representative Michele Bachmann did that. But let us move on.

You're against the Morrill Act. I'm curious. Where did you go to undergrad and grad school?

When we talk about the Morrill Act, let us talk about it within the framework of the definition of socialism, and not "big government". Likewise, when we discuss Social Security and Medicare, let us talk about it in the context of Socialism, and nothing else.

I've seen far too many wizards here over the years bandy about the word "socialism". And then when you ask them for a definition of socialism, you never get one. I get the impression that they hear this on Fox News, where perhaps the motto should be changed from "Fair and Balanced" to "We make up your minds for you". But that again is perhaps another story.

To sum up, let us answer the questions I've put forth. I eagerly await your responses.

James ☺

--hide--


As someone who grew up on a dairy, this is about right...

Socialism: You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor. Communism: You have two cows. You give them to the Government, and the Government then gives you some milk. Fascism: You have two cows. You give them to the Government, and the Government then sells you some milk. Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Nazism: You have two cows. The Government shoots you and takes the cows. New Dealism: You have two cows. The Government takes both, shoots one, buys milk from the other cow, then pours the milk down the drain.
LOCKED
Nov 13th 2012 new

(Quote) ED-20630 said: The homily at this Sunday morning Mass was very interesting and instructive. The visiting pri...
(Quote) ED-20630 said:

The homily at this Sunday morning Mass was very interesting and instructive. The visiting priest grew up in the U.S. but has been a missionary priest to the Ukraine (of the former Soviet Union) since the collapse of the Soviet Union. He returns to the U.S. each years to obtain funds (the 2nd collection at Mass) for continuing the seminaries in Ukraine.


I wish that this priest could have given his homily at every Mass in the U.S. before this election. I am certain that many people were thinking about our election while he was describing life in the Ukraine under socialism and then communism. It was not hard to see the comparisons with the choices that we made on November 6th.



Just a few examples from the homily this morning:


> The communists promised to take care of all of the peoples' needs, from cradle to grave. All they wanted in return was your entire work life and your soul.


> The main opposition to the communists was the Eastern Catholic Church. The communist government systematically set about eliminating all traces of religion in the Soviet Union. The Catholic Church was banned, leading the Church to go underground for about 70 years (approximately). The communist government taught people to rely on the state instead of their faith.


> Churches were destroyed or re-purposed for other government uses. I know of one large Catholic church the was converted to a grainery (e.g. filled with wheat or barley) under Soviet rule.


> There was no unemployment, education was free, health care was free, but the communist government decided what your life's work would be and assigned jobs to each person. The choice was not yours to make. The priest discussed this working situation with some of the citizens... They said "We pretended to work all of the time and the government pretended to pay us for our work." The population had some money to spend, but there was hardly anything that they could buy in a store.


> Many priests, sisters and citizens were tortured and killed under the Soviet system. One of the large local university buildings was converted to a KGB headquarters. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the basement of this building was excavated for another project and was found to have hundreds of bodies buried within it.


> One priest ,with which this missionary priest worked, was assigned the night job of stoking the coal-fired boilers to run a factory (as he was no longer allowed his duties as a priest). This turned out to be a good job for the priest. Young men would come to him in the evenings on the job and this priest would instruct them in all of the things that they needed to know in order to become a priest. He would secretly ordain them as priests once he decided that they were fully prepared. This apparently happened with dozens of priests.


> After the Soviet Union collapsed, the strong underground Catholic Church in the Ukraine was able to come into the open and worship freely. The Ukraine was noted as reviving it's Church the most quickly after the collapse, due to it's strong underground church.


> Under communist rule, a bottle (a fifth) of vodka was cheaper than a bottle of selzer water. The communists discovered that if the population was in at stupor much of the time, it was easier to get them to comply and not revolt. Since the collapse, a few priests have set up an alcohol recovery center on an old government installation. The addicts live there and get treatment based on an American AA 12-step program. Alcohol addition is a huge problem in the Ukraine. Because of this, they have a declining population and a declining life expectancy.

------------------------------------


I hope that we don't venture very far down the socialism path before we (as a country) come to our senses. With the developments of the past four years, we have certainly started in that direction.


Just my thoughts.


Ed

--hide--
Interesting....did you ever see White Nights?

LOCKED
Nov 13th 2012 new

(Quote) James-17080 said: I do want to debate the definition of "socialism. "Big Governme...
(Quote) James-17080 said:



I do want to debate the definition of "socialism. "Big Government" is not the topic of this thread. If you wish, you may start a new thread with that idea.

Somehow, The Morrill Act of 1862became the misnamed "Merrill Act" . When we get through with this thread, maybe we should investigate how my brain mangled the name of the law. I thought only the beautiful Representative Michele Bachmann did that. But let us move on.

You're against the Morrill Act. I'm curious. Where did you go to undergrad and grad school?

When we talk about the Morrill Act, let us talk about it within the framework of the definition of socialism, and not "big government". Likewise, when we discuss Social Security and Medicare, let us talk about it in the context of Socialism, and nothing else.

I've seen far too many wizards here over the years bandy about the word "socialism". And then when you ask them for a definition of socialism, you never get one. I get the impression that they hear this on Fox News, where perhaps the motto should be changed from "Fair and Balanced" to "We make up your minds for you". But that again is perhaps another story.

To sum up, let us answer the questions I've put forth. I eagerly await your responses.

James ☺

--hide--

Fine. But we have already defined socialism earlier in this thread: the government ownership of the means of production. This definition doesn't seem to satisfy you. You say you are not sure "where the line is where socialism begins." You seem to be wondering if ANY enterprise the gov't engages in can be construed to be socialism. That's why I changed the question to "what is the role of government?" I suggest thatwe can use the answer to that question to define where we draw the line. I think the role of government is to provide public goods that are not best provided by the public sector. There are many private goods, or debatable public goods, that are already being provided by the private sector. When government starts taking over these industries (such as banks, auto companies, health care) it is legitimate to cry SOCIALISM!

The other mark of socialism is the lack of recognition of private property, which has also been pointed out in this thread. Socialist programs are typically set up using tax money. Taxes are collected by force from the government. Why isn't tax collection regarded as stealing, the taking of someone else's property? I think taxes are justifiable, strictly speaking, only to pay for public goods. Somebody has to pay for them. If it is a public good, then everyone should pay through taxes. So, again, public goods vs. private goods seems to be a good place to draw the line between socialism and non-socialism.

I did undergrad at a local private Catholic university and graduate school at Washington St. University, a land-grant univ.

Yes, I would say I am against the Morrill Act if it is still in effect. I don't think the federal gov't needs to reclaim the land it granted to the states. But I wouldn't require the states to run land-grant universities on them.

LOCKED
Nov 13th 2012 new

(Quote) James-17080 said: I'm not sure what is going on with the Volt. I understand it runs on both gas and electric.
(Quote) James-17080 said:

I'm not sure what is going on with the Volt. I understand it runs on both gas and electric.

[/quote]


James, you are correct about the Volt. It runs on both gas and electric, and the battery does not need to be charged for the engine to run. I stand corrected.


[quote]

The Culture War was linked to the Volt? I didn't know that. Here's a question for you. You're upset about the Volt, and maybe there is something there. I'm upset about the chiselers on Wall Street which caused the crash in 2008. But when I suggested that we stiffen regulations, wizards here said, "Oh no! That would be socialism". Yeah, and violating the Seventh Commandment is just fine. If I didn't know better, I would have guessed that they all grew up in Chicago.

--hide--



I actually thought that the government's involvement in the banking industry is the best example of socialism, but I wanted to keep to the Merriam-Webster definition of the word that was posted here and I couldn't quite fit banking services with the "product" part of it so I went with the second-best subject, which I clearly knew less about.

The current relationship between the government and the banks is socialism, whether or not anyone from the right on this site wants to admit it. There are several large banks that simply cannot stand on their own two feet, due to the large amount of worthless debt on their books. The government's latest response to this is to print money to purchase up to $40 billion a month of mortgage debt (a.k.., QE3).
www.bloomberg.com

(As you know, the Fed's printing of paper here (and the resulting inflation) is a transfer of wealth from the taxpayers to the banks.)

The story behind this would make anyone sick, but we can go back to the Clinton Administration and the new relationship that the President (and by default, the Democrat Party) formed with the financial services industry to learn about our current situation. The Clinton Presidency marked the heyday of financial deregulation in modern times. It was then that, at the request of the big banks and with a bill presented to him by Senate Republicans (led by Phil Gramm), Bill Clinton repealed Glass-Steagall (which broke down the barriers between investment and commercial banking, which created "too big to fail," and led to the commitment of the US government (read: you and I) to step in and provide money to financial institutions that faced bankruptcy). He signed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act in December of 2000, which was probably the bill most destructive to the US economy, as it allowed credit default swaps to go unregulated.
www.time.com

For those who don't know, credit default swaps are basically insurance products, in that they are committed to making payment in the event of the default of an institution (or a home mortgage). With insurance products, however, an insurance company is very strictly regulated (at the state level) to ensure it has the capital to meet its obligations. In the event of a hurricane like Hurricane Sandy, an insurance company has to be able to demonstrate that it would not go out of business because of such an event; there are testing requirements that it must meet.

The problem with the Commodity Futures Modernization Act is that it took a product with the same type of commitment, and it allowed it to be marketed without the maker demonstrating that it could meet its commitment to pay. The result is that there are banks that have these on their books and there is absolutely no way they can meet their obligations to pay, so the government has stepped in to prop up the banks. (More here: www.ritholtz.com

Because of the close relationship the government has with the banks (read: socialism), the government is not reversing the steps it took during the Clinton Administration that allowed the current financial crisis to occur. The big banks enjoy it this way.

This isn't socialism? Give me a break.



LOCKED
Nov 13th 2012 new

That is utterly dumb. Just read Obamacare. People have you know? It is set up to eventually move everyone to government control of your health care. Take for instance, there is now a tax on surgical implants, knees, elbows, shoulders, etc. The tax is 25% of the sale price of the item. The money goes to the federal government. Now insurance companies have to pay the bills, but then charge the costs back to you, but are prohibited from raising the price of the insurance to the purchasers. Not even you are so ignorant that you cannot see eventually insurance companies simply stop providing health insurance as a product. Two companies already have and that was a year ago.

Locally, in our small town, the hospital have a large push on to get doctors and nurses lined up. The reason is that eventually the federal government is going to take over the medical schools on the grounds that they need to cut costs. They will then allow medical students to attend the school tuition free, but require them to practice the kind of medicine government wants them to provide and where government wants them to work. This will result in medical students that shouldn't even be working on your care, much less your body. The doctors that got interested in a particular kind of medicine because of a sick relative will disappear.

Further on in the bill, and recently admitted by the Obama administration, there are dealth panels. They call it managed care committees. These committees will second guess your doctor and can overrule the decision between you and your doctor as to what kind of medical care you can access. Funny thing, Obamacare doesn't allow government to interfere in abortions. No, that is a private matter, but EVERY OTHER medical procedure is subject to government interference.

Half of Obamacare is the rewritting of our tax codes as it gives the IRS total access to your financial data. They do not have to have a reason nor a search warrant to simply dig into your bank account on the grounds they were making sure you were buying insurance.

Across the news are franchisers are having to lay off help, Olive Garden being one, because of Obamacare's requirement that businesses supply health care to everyone working over 30 hours a week. They have to purchase $2K of insurance for them. That amounts to a 20% increase in employment costs to those businesses. Guess what? Bye bye jobs.

LOCKED
Nov 13th 2012 new

Karis,


There are loony and crazy people in all walks of life. Certainly this woman qualifies as such.


I ask you.... Which is more loony/crazy?.... This woman who tried to run over her husband with an SUV or someone who votes for a president who thinks that parents should have the right to kill, dismember and dispose of their own unborn children? scratchchin scratchchin... even after the child is accidentally delivered alive.


Could there be something in that SF Bay Area air that damages peoples' brain cells?


Ed

LOCKED
Nov 13th 2012 new

(Quote) ED-20630 said: Karis, There are loony and crazy people in all walks of life. Certainly this woman qualifi...
(Quote) ED-20630 said:

Karis,


There are loony and crazy people in all walks of life. Certainly this woman qualifies as such.


I ask you.... Which is more loony/crazy?.... This woman who tried to run over her husband with an SUV or someone who votes for a president who thinks that parents should have the right to kill, dismember and dispose of their own unborn children? ... even after the child is accidentally delivered alive.


Could there be something in that SF Bay Area air that damages peoples' brain cells?


Ed

--hide--

O'Reilly's Jesse Walters interviewed people outside of Maher's show and it is amazing how ignorant these people are...they said housing prices went up (they haven't they've gone down) and they said Obama has spent the least amount of any president (he hasn't because he has spent the most of any president). HE said as long as they have Obamacare, free contraception, and abortion on demand they will vote for the guy....how ACCURATE and sad. Ten to one all these people call themselves moderates instead of liberals too. He also said the comedy show was vicious attacking mormon faith, etc....well, go figure.

LOCKED
Nov 13th 2012 new

O'Reilly's Jesse Walters interviewed people outside of Maher's show and it is amazing how ignorant these people are...they said housing prices went up (they haven't they've gone down) and they said Obama has spent the least amount of any president (he hasn't because he has spent the most of any president). HE said as long as they have Obamacare, free contraception, and abortion on demand they will vote for the guy....how ACCURATE and sad. Ten to one all these people call themselves moderates instead of liberals too. He also said the comedy show was vicious attacking mormon faith, etc....well, go figure.

I accidentally italicized the above...don't want it hard to read.

LOCKED
Nov 13th 2012 new

(Quote) William-607613 said: I actually thought that the government's involvement in the banking industry is...
(Quote) William-607613 said:




I actually thought that the government's involvement in the banking industry is the best example of socialism, but I wanted to keep to the Merriam-Webster definition of the word that was posted here and I couldn't quite fit banking services with the "product" part of it so I went with the second-best subject, which I clearly knew less about.

The current relationship between the government and the banks is socialism, whether or not anyone from the right on this site wants to admit it. There are several large banks that simply cannot stand on their own two feet, due to the large amount of worthless debt on their books. The government's latest response to this is to print money to purchase up to $40 billion a month of mortgage debt (a.k.., QE3).
www.bloomberg.com

(As you know, the Fed's printing of paper here (and the resulting inflation) is a transfer of wealth from the taxpayers to the banks.)

The story behind this would make anyone sick, but we can go back to the Clinton Administration and the new relationship that the President (and by default, the Democrat Party) formed with the financial services industry to learn about our current situation. The Clinton Presidency marked the heyday of financial deregulation in modern times. It was then that, at the request of the big banks and with a bill presented to him by Senate Republicans (led by Phil Gramm), Bill Clinton repealed Glass-Steagall (which broke down the barriers between investment and commercial banking, which created "too big to fail," and led to the commitment of the US government (read: you and I) to step in and provide money to financial institutions that faced bankruptcy). He signed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act in December of 2000, which was probably the bill most destructive to the US economy, as it allowed credit default swaps to go unregulated.
www.time.com

For those who don't know, credit default swaps are basically insurance products, in that they are committed to making payment in the event of the default of an institution (or a home mortgage). With insurance products, however, an insurance company is very strictly regulated (at the state level) to ensure it has the capital to meet its obligations. In the event of a hurricane like Hurricane Sandy, an insurance company has to be able to demonstrate that it would not go out of business because of such an event; there are testing requirements that it must meet.

The problem with the Commodity Futures Modernization Act is that it took a product with the same type of commitment, and it allowed it to be marketed without the maker demonstrating that it could meet its commitment to pay. The result is that there are banks that have these on their books and there is absolutely no way they can meet their obligations to pay, so the government has stepped in to prop up the banks. (More here: www.ritholtz.com

Because of the close relationship the government has with the banks (read: socialism), the government is not reversing the steps it took during the Clinton Administration that allowed the current financial crisis to occur. The big banks enjoy it this way.

This isn't socialism? Give me a break.



--hide--


Ok, so did the George W Bush administration do anything to reverse all the deregulation of the banking industry?

Also, don't forget, it was under Clinton that NAFTA and GATT were signed. An example of what happened: pretty much the entire textile industry in North Carolina sent all the jobs south of the border.



LOCKED
Nov 13th 2012 new

(Quote) Charles-211696 said: Ok, so did the George W Bush administration do anything to reverse all the deregul...
(Quote) Charles-211696 said:


Ok, so did the George W Bush administration do anything to reverse all the deregulation of the banking industry?

Also, don't forget, it was under Clinton that NAFTA and GATT were signed. An example of what happened: pretty much the entire textile industry in North Carolina sent all the jobs south of the border.



--hide--
That's right...I forgot about that little fact...yet we heard over and over this election that it was republicans fault that the jobs went overseas.

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