Yesterday I got an email from someone who asked what I charge for “Guest Posts.” (This always means that the aspiring guest poster wants to write about nothing even vaguely related to ethics.) I told him there was no charge: just come on an Open Forum and write something that I deem worthy of guest post status.
Of course, as a virgin commenter, he’ll have to get through moderation first.
Heh, heh, heh…
24 thoughts on “Friday Open Forum”
More “infrastructure” from the Biden administration:
Biden’s measures will include $80 billion to boost the Internal Revenue Service’s audit capabilities over the next decade for wealthy individuals and corporations, a change that could generate $700 billion in revenue, according to the person. The administration has already asked for more money for enforcement in its outline for the 2022 annual budget.
So, that’s eight thousan million dollars a year for each of the next ten years to fund enhanced IRS auditing? How many agents is that? How many millions of computer programming contracts? Supposedly to generate 700 thousand million of extra tax revenue from tax cheats? Who are these people kidding? They want to turn the U.S. into Italy with its Guardia di Financia interjecting itself into every aspect of commerce? Defund the police so you can fund income tax storm troopers? Sheesh.
I completely agree, also consider the fact that these proposals and their revenue projections are often as suspect as the prospectus for a shady condo development. There are numerous “tax collection” efforts that have never even covered the coast of their administration, much less brought in anywhere near the projected net revenues. Others cost much more than their worth. The 1934 National Firearms Act, for one, and the federal inheritance tax laws, for another. (American gun control laws in general have always existed to promote the expansion of the ATFE (originally a part of the IRS) and continue to extend the tentacles of federal power into our lives. In my opinion, the NFA, the GCA ’68, and the Hughes Amendment to the FOPA ’86 should all be repealed.)
Speaking of taxation, since Biden has decreed that “no amendment is absolute,” the Sixteenth Amendment would be high on my list to repeal. The Seventeenth is a close second.
They seem to treat tax money as a natural resource that simply need better technology to be properly mined. Fracking for dollars. “The money’s out there, all we needs is better technology to harvest it!”
I find it astounding that no one is calling out the price tag of Biden’s infrastructure plane as outright deceit.
He has bastardized the term infrastructure to include free preschool, tuition free community college and other programs that will require annual expenditures.
When you build a road, a dam, upgrade the grid you pay for it once and it has an expected lifespan of some years that provides continual benefits. Investment in infrastructure means it is a capital expenditure. Infrastructure costs have never applied to operational expenses.
How can any of his plan have a finite price tag if we have to allocate more and more funding for providing the so called free tuition for Pre-school and two years of post secondary ed.. Does anyone believe that the colleges will be willing to hold the line on costs if government is the payer? I know there are a few educators here and they know that tuition is merely one component of the costs of post secondary education. Fees are the fastest rising component of the college bill. The Feds already pickup most of the tuition with Pell grants at community colleges now and because of that college costs have soared.
Without any economic feed back loop the amount charged that restrains price increases tuition will spiral upward as if the product offered is perfectly inelastic. States and Counties that used to subsidize public post secondary schools will allow the feds to supplant them as the resource provider and that will effectively eliminate any local oversight capacity they could have exercised.
I am curious as to your reasoning for each of those Amendments.
Please correct me if I am wrong, but the 16th says that we can be taxed, correct? I see no major issue with taxation as long as it is fair. I view taxation, at least in the ideal sense, as a membership fee to enjoy the benefits of society. Now we can debate what fair taxation is, but getting immigration involved and deporting or regulating illegal immigrants, and making sure that people in the US, gaining the usage of roads, social programs, etc are all paying into the tax system seems to me to be a start toward fair. The arguments on who pays what, and how much, I think, detract from the main problem, which is overspending. I have ideas, probably bad ones, on how to help with that issue too. Regardless, I don’t see that eradicating the 16th Amendment would solve that problem, and truly, while I think that Biden’s infrastructure bill sucks, I think we need to be taxed so that when the government gets its head out of…well you know, we can improve our infrastructure, especially our water treatment, sewer, and power systems, though I can hardly argue fixing roads and bridges, and frankly, I think that increasing the railway network, not for superspeed trains or anything, but as an increase to railway cargo carrying, would be a great addendum that could save a certain amount of money in the long term on the damage semi trucks do to highways, simply by being so much heavier than the cars, and so much more frequent than the heavy farm equipment.
As for the 17th, does it not ensure we all get two Senators per state, essentially codifying the Connecticut Compromise, which I think is even more important today? Why would you want to eradicate that one?
I can get behind the abolishment of the 16th and 17th amendments. The 16th gives Congress authorization to tax your income, without apportioning it between the states, based off of population. Before it passed, Congress had to make do with tariffs and excise taxes. It gave Congress a lot more power than was originally intended.
The 17th changed the way Senators were elected. The Constitution guarantees 2 Senators from each state, however, before the 17th, they were elected by state legislatures. Which made sense. Senators were meant to represent the interests of the states as a whole, whereas Representatives were meant to represent the interests of the citizens. Now, both Representatives and Senators represent the interests of the citizens. Who speaks for the states as a whole on the federal stage? Also, since the states have no say now on the federal stage, it’s another way the federal government can take more control from the states.
Why can’t we just amend the 17th Amendment to replace;
“…elected by the people thereof..” with;
“…elected in a manner as the legislature thereof may direct…”?
That way, if a state wants popularly elected senators, they can have them. If they want them to be elected by the legislatures, they can have that. And if we worry about some exotic weirdness, just make it either one or the other as the legislature may direct.
16th Amendment: Start fresh with federal authority to tax, setting more appropriate limits on taxation. We need to starve the federal government back to it’s core purposes.
Rail freight transport is dead, it just hasn’t laid down yet. Trucks offer so many advantages in scheduling and delivery. Freight trains are really only better point-to-point delivery of commodity shipments like coal. They cannot offer loading dock to loading dock service for the vast majority of business and industry. (And I’m a fan of railroads!)
17th Amendment: Return the appointment of Senators to the state legislatures as originally written in the Constitution. Stop the “nationalization” of Senate races and make them beholden to their states rather than to their big campaign donors. I have no problem with the “Connecticut compromise.”
These things will not happen, although they would certainly be more palatable if repealed than, say, the Second Amendment.
But, without the 17th Amendment, we would never gotten Senator Al Franken!
It is always interesting how the government needs more laws to restrict you, but conveniently ignores all kinds of fraud by important people.
The state of racism in the United States of America has become quite a mess these days. Our society and our very culture is under a constant bombardment of unsupported accusations of racism and systemic racism. If you disagree with the political left in any way you are immediately considered an anti-black racist no matter what your skin color is and if you are a non-black person you can’t use the word nigger no matter what the context is even if you’re condemning the usage of the word or simply reading what some historical figure wrote. You are expected to join the anti-white racist movement (pro progressive movement) or you are the problem.
So, if you’re not a virtue signaling anti-white proxy racist then…
Our culture is being intentionally twisted into a segregated race based culture. This is immoral and anti-American!
This is no joke folks, this is very real.
When I was a kid, my parents were military. We moved a lot, and most of my friends were also military brats, who also moved a lot. I formed friendships with the knowledge that they would be fleeting, and somehow that influenced me to only be friends with people I really liked. There wasn’t any point in politicking to be friends with the “cool kids” when you were going to move within a year or two.
The military community is arguably one of the most diverse communities in the country, and my friends race never made a damn bit of difference to me. I was friends with everyone who was nice and had similar interests.
At one point, I had a friend group that looked like a Sherman-Williams paint swatch of skin tones. I remember sitting with my friends one day, and the friend at the darkest end of the paint swatch suddenly said that she was happy that our group was so different, that we had one person of every color, and that was cool. The friend at the lightest end of the paint swatch agreed, but admitted that they had never said so because they didn’t think they were allowed to say things like that. Everyone nodded, and agreed. We were all happy that we were defying stereotypes, and everyone also understood why the lighter skinned friends couldn’t say things like that. We were 10.
The cultural pressures to act a certain way and form social bonds a certain way had already permeated our thinking, but we had all ignored it because other pressures had made it less important. We didn’t set out to form a group of multiculturalism, we were just kids who moved a lot and cared more about liking each other than what our skin color was. We all knew it was strange, though, even if we didn’t really understand why other people thought so. Most of us were also afraid to talk about it.
I worry about what all this CRT and “anti-racism” will do to kids. Kids don’t always react the way one might think they will, and these propaganda campaigns could have a myriad of effects. Increased hostility between racial groups being impressed upon the next generation of kids is what I worry about. I don’t think implanting racism in children will result in anything beneficial.
We had very similar situations with making friends as kids, my Dad was military when I was born and he never settled down in one spot after he got out, I switched schools nearly 17 times between Kindergarten and 12th grade, 6 of those moves were in High School. Friends were a very fleeting thing and to this day I have no really close friends, although I have reconnected with old school years friends via Facebook which has been really nice and we’ve even had a couple of reunions with a few notable grade school friends.
Part of my grade school years was in Chattanooga TN during the civil rights and anti-Vietnam war days, there were marches, riots, burning of buildings, an Ebenezer Baptist Church in our neighborhood was fire bombed by some white supremist and my Dad was one of the ones that helped put the fire out because the Fire Department wouldn’t show up to our neighborhood for such things. Our neighborhood was very diverse but our neighborhood grade school wasn’t which I always thought was really weird because the black kids in our neighborhood that we played with every day went to school somewhere else. We only had one black teacher in our grade school, she was my fifth grade teacher and was my favorite school teacher, learning in her class wasn’t a chore, it was fun; she was uniquely different in that way. Simply put, I’ve never really understood the hate that’s ingrained in racism growing up, but as matured I knew I had to stamp it out when I see it, I don’t always succeed but I make an effort to be the pebble in the pond.
I remember the anti-black racism as a kid very well and I also remember the anti-white racism too, it was really thick from both sides in all my schools except for two schools in Bloomington, IN where racism seem to be non existent. College town probably helped that a lot.
There were race riots in Evansville, IN where I went to two schools, one of them two different times, the tit-for-tat racism in that town was absolutely terrible. One race riot at my school in the spring of 11th grade (1975) year made national news. There were people being attacked because of their race all over town for a long while and the few black personal friends and acquaintances I had at that time wouldn’t speak to me anymore simply because I was white. Anyone that tells me that it’s not possible for black people to be racists because they’ve been oppressed is a lying racist and that is exactly what I tell them. I faced direct and indirect anti-white racism nearly constantly as I grew up and after all that I’m still not a racist.
I am acutely aware of things around me that lean towards racism and I have lost many a “friend” because of their racism, I’ve lost some long term close black friends over the last 10 years because of their racism, one was an old Army buddy. I don’t use the Julie Principle at all when it comes to racism. I’m a rather mouthy SOB when it comes to racism I witness, I don’t tolerate it from anyone and it’s usually not a pretty thing when I snap and go off on a racist. People usually learn the hard way that they don’t cross that red line when they’re around me.
I sincerely mean it when I say…
I recognize anti-white and anti-black racism because I’ve seen it up close and personal and I’m seeing anti-white black racists and anti-white proxy racists flourish in this hyper politicized environment. Whether they are knowingly doing it or not the media and the far left progressives are stoking the anti-American fires of racism in the USA and it will turn into more bloodshed.
Null Pointer wrote, “I don’t think implanting racism in children will result in anything beneficial.”
I know without a doubt and from personal experience that implanting racism in children and adults across the USA will have terrible results across the board.
Yes, anti-black & anti-white racism is a very personal thing for me.
To start, why have you not conpleyed The Pandemic Creates a Classic and Difficult Ethics Conflict?
I share this.
From your link…
Young people like Gabrielle Crooks are the future leaders of the United States of America and that should scare the hell our of any critically thinking, freedom & Liberty minded person alive.
Seeing that, as a white guy, is roughly the equivalent of being gay and seeing graffiti that says “Kill all fags, now,” or being Jewish and seeing graffiti that says “Juden raus!” (Jews, get out!) and “Tod zu der Juden.” (death to the Jews). Would anyone here be ok with anything like that being written where gay people or Jewish people were bound to see it? Probably not. It doesn’t bug me that much that there are people out there who want me dead because of who I am. What DOES bug me is that there are people out there who think I DESERVE to die because of who I am and that I should SUBMIT to death because of who I am. I’ve never seen a slave, owned a slave, bought, sold, or traded a slave, neither has anyone on my behalf, and neither has anyone in my family since we’ve been in the US. I will not be executed for no reason other than my color.
That is what makes her more dangerous than some random Stormfronter; she has the backing of academic, media, and entertainment elites.
(low whistle) That’s messed up.
In his address to the joint session of Congress, Joe Biden said:
“We won’t ignore what our intelligence agencies have determined to be the most lethal terrorist threat to our homeland today: White supremacy is terrorism,” Biden said. “We’re not going to ignore that either.”
I am so anxious to hear some administration official explain what the crime of “white supremacy” would look like; how will we know it when we see it? Any actual criminal behavior of which I can conceive that might be motivated by white supremacy is already covered under multiple state and federal statutes. Although I am not a fan of the “hate crime” statutes, they would seem to have “white supremacy” covered.
If “white supremacy” is a code word for “conservative white people,” then those of us in that demographic need to get busy. Exactly what time does the shooting start? I mean, if we wait until they seize all of our guns (“assault weapons” first, then all semi autos, then scoped rifles, then repeating arms of any type, then the remaining handguns, rifles and shotguns – for anyone except “the government,” of course) and herd us onto the busses headed to the FEMA camps, it will be too late. Between now and then, when will we fight back? I try hard to hold on to optimism. (Hey, I’m 67 and just planted an orchard of fruit trees, so that makes me an optimist, right?) I am putting a lot of hope (and political effort) into the 2022 elections, in the expectation that we can still turn this deal around.
American conservatives need to get back to the task of reducing the size and power of the federal government. No one with two brain cells to rub together thinks that the current rate of federal spending is at all sustainable, and many believe we may have already passed the point of no return on debt. The state governments need to assert their rights under the Tenth Amendment and quit being the lap dogs of Uncle Sugar.
The 2020 election and the first 100 days of the Biden administration have clearly shown where the Democrats and the Left -but I repeat myself- want to take this country, and should serve as a wake-up call to anyone who cares. If we do not turn back, we will eventually have to choose when to lock and load.
These intelligence agencies are clearly ignoring the lived experiences of inner city residents.
I’m wondering how many deaths in America can be directly attributed to “White Supremacy” since, oh, the halcyon days of Barak Obama and all the racial healing?
I’d like that compared to the number of Americans killed by gang violence in the same period. Or the number of black Americans killed by people of the same race?
Asking for a friend.
I’m just going to leave this here as a really, really excellent must-read from the always-worthy Volokh Conspiracy:
Netflix’s “Stowaway” is a good ethics movie.