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Comments by OldDawg

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Posted on October 24 at 5:02 a.m.

I have noticed elsewhere on these pages that Transition House needs some immediate help now. My impression is that they largely serve locals, the working poor if you will, folks struggling with situations but trying to work it out .... not young "crusties" or "bums" on the move who have chosen homelessness as some weird lifestyle choice.

While this debate rages and is good, I'd like to suggest a visit from each of us to Transition House's website, to make whatever donation you can. Then come on back and resume the argument with gusto.

http://transitionhouse.com/services/

On Demonizing the Homeless?

Posted on October 22 at 11:42 a.m.

For brother or sister spacey. I humbly offer this, it has helped me on occasion when I have said similar things: Matthew 7:3-5.

On Unite the Vote

Posted on October 15 at 8:13 a.m.

I share Mr. Watson's concern over the individual mandate, and the right the Federal government is claiming under the commerce clause. It needs to be struck down, not because universal health insurance is a bad thing, but because its not necessary to burn down this important restraint on federal power in all our affairs, for the sake of this one aspect of our lives.

My preferred way to do this, without mangling the interpretation of the constitution, is through the income tax code and by provision of a basic federal catastrophic care plan for everyone who doesn't have a private plan; high deductibles, keep it very basic and essential, pays for nothing thats routine. You get a tax credit if you file a certificate of private insurance with your W2, and you won't get the federal cover. So if you don't want to voluntarily buy private cover, that's cool, nobody will force you .... but you will have it regardless, and you will be sacrificing your tax credit to pay for it, and we won't have to watch you die for the lack of it.

I'd like to see Mr. Watson's views on this approach. Are the legal challenges just about defeating universal cover and that's it ... or are they about providing universal catastrophic cover in a manner that respects freedom of choice? Those of us who dig individual responsibility and the right to choose still need a much better answer than "let him die" when they ask "that question." You know, the one about the guy who gets deathly ill, having chosen not to buy insurance either for lack of resources or lack of brains. Let's just let him live, having freely chosen to give up his insurance tax credit, whatever the reason he had for not buying insurance on his own.

On Give Me Liberty or Give Me ObamaCare!

Posted on October 12 at 8:48 a.m.

Cycleboy, that's an interesting concept ... our government using force against its citizens. We sovereign citizens do extend limited power of force to them, at least temporarily. But the citizens will have the final word, whether you think they're lazy or not. One thing the citizens will do, even those citizens currently sharing in Carp's euphoric green celebration, is to evaluate whether the government has matched means with ends, and has been judicious in it's exercise of "force".

Like you, I have been persuaded that the ban on plastic bags makes sense, and is worthy of suffering the infringement of my liberty. Much evidence and consideration has gone into weighing the costs and benefits of plastic bags, and they have been found wanting (imho). Other methods of restraining their use, that are more respecting of liberty and free choice, such as bag taxes, are probably more cumbersome than they're worth. So the "nudge" of a ban on plastic bags, I can accept.

But recyclable paper bags? Absolute over-reach, arbitrary and capricious, not supported by evidence of significant harm, and no consideration of unintended consequences. An injudicious use of government force.

I'm kindof an environmentalist. "Kindof" because, while I share many of the "ends" sought by most environmentalists, I reject the "means" that most environmentalists (at least around here) embrace. Of course, the ban on paper is not the end of the world, it's only grocery bags we're talking about. But such small things add up and can be magnified in the public psychology and opinion -- and that matters when you realize that exercise of government force is fleeting in this democracy. It will be remembered when a much bigger environmental issue is at stake. A reluctant public will be hearing from the green opposition: "watch out, don't trust the greens, you compromise and give an inch and they'll take a mile. Remember how a ban on plastic mysteriously mutated into a ban on recycled paper as well."

On Carpinteria Bans Bad Bags

Posted on October 11 at 6:07 a.m.

Don McD, your ideas about JohnLocke's income just make no sense.

You say: "Investment income, whatever the vehicle, comes from 'someone else' doing work." Wrong again. Investment income comes from loaning money to other people, in the great majority of cases from accumulated wages you earned on your own work. These borrowers ask for the money so they can buy houses, cars, boats, build factories, employ people, and innumerable other good things. Are you saying the world would be a better place if JohnLocke had not saved up his wages that made these loans possible?

You say "Pension distributions are deferred wages (looks like you didn't work for a union shop.)" Yes, they can in part be considered deferred wages ... to the extent that an employer would have to offer higher wages now if it did not offer a pension plan. It works that way regardless of the plan being negotiated by a union. Regardless, distributions from a pension plan consist of return of principle (wages that were saved, not spent) and that evil investment income you're so worried about. Why do you hurl venom on JohnLocke's living off his own prior wages that he deferred from spending, and the associated investment income ... but glorify distributions from pensions (especially ones negotiated by unions) which operate on the same principle? How can you sleep knowing that union negotiated pensions rely on investment income, which you claim "comes from 'someone else' doing work"?

On Occupy Santa Barbara Mobs De la Guerra Plaza

Posted on October 8 at 6 p.m.

DonMcD, if as you say "Corporations own our government and conservatives modify our government in their favor" then why did the Wall Street bail-out, TARP, fail to pass the first time it was put to a vote? Why was it that the R's in Congress voted it down, while most of the D's supported it? I think you should closely review the links supplied by howgreenwasmyvalley. The D's and R's are equally corrupted by Wall St. money, just as they’ve both been corrupted by Union money.

I agree there is a difference between "the average Dawg in a union … and the multinational-corporations." But that’s hardly relevant and I never suggested otherwise. I said there’s no difference between the average Dawg in a union, and that average Dawg holding his pension stock in Apple, the big bad multinational. The Dawg is the Dawg, a sovereign citizen collecting his rightful earnings as a worker and a shareholder, and he's quite capable of deciding for himself what legislation he'll support with contributions from his own wages and dividends. Further, the Dawg would appreciate the reduction in his union dues, and the increase in his dividends --- that would come with prohibiting his servants, the Union Managers and Corporate Managers, from using his money politically and presuming to speak for him.

On Occupy Santa Barbara Mobs De la Guerra Plaza

Posted on October 7 at 6:59 a.m.

Don McD, I must respectfully disagree. Unions are not "a very basic part of democracy". Neither are Corporations. I can't recall any mention of these organizations in the Constitution. And I don't recall Jefferson bringing them up in the Declaration of Independence.

Let me know when you're ready to "reach across the aisle" so to speak, and consider proposals to limit political contributions to individual citizens, and prohibit donations from the clubs they're members of, whether they're called unions or corporations.

On Occupy Santa Barbara Mobs De la Guerra Plaza

Posted on October 6 at 7:15 a.m.

DonMcD, I think the Republican's just might bring it up, to the extent that they will feel beholdin' to the Tea Party, and to the extent that the Tea Party returns to it's own grass roots and initial impetus ... revulsion at all the bail outs. I find some common ground between the Tea Party and these Occupy Wall St. folks on some of these issues, especially the deeply shared anger about the bail outs of Wall St.

A constitutional amendment to prohibit political donations from corporations is worth serious consideration .... so long as it included prohibition on donations from labor unions. Neither entity is "a person" in a real sense. Let political donations come from real persons only.

Romney's comment was unfortunate. He meant of course that corporations represent shareholders (sometimes poorly, sometimes well) who are people. Mostly people like you and me, saving for our old age, putting away our IRA's and pensions into corporate stock. But like you, I'm in favor of eliminating the middle-man ... I'd prefer to make my own donations, as a saver, rather than entrust these to corporate managers.

Likewise, Unions aren't persons, they represent real persons (sometimes poorly, sometimes well) who work like you and me. I'd prefer to make my own donations, as a worker, rather that entrust these to union managers.

So it's worthy of real consideration. I might support it if it's framed along these lines.

On Occupy Santa Barbara Mobs De la Guerra Plaza

Posted on October 6 at 6:20 a.m.

I think the protesters are nutty if that list of demands shared above by cartoonz is "official" from the organizers.

But I share their anger about Wall St., though my anger is directed to the Democratic Party and the President. The financial reforms they passed (when both House and Senate had Democrat majorities) under "Dodd-Frank" were a sham, and I feel my vote for the President has been betrayed. Too big to fail is still alive and well and thriving, and there's no way that Dodd-Frank's failure to address it can be laid at W's feet. This is Obama's bad, he owns it all sad to say.

Now the president I voted for is trying to make up for this failure by proposing punitive and crowd pleasing taxes on the rich. Well and good if that flicks your bic ... but it solves nothing fundamental. They are still too big to fail, it's gonna happen again very soon, and we will be back to shovelling newly printed money their way in short order. Nothing, I mean nothing, has changed.

Break the banks up. Now. Turn "too big to fail" into "too small to bail". Return banking to something resembling a free market. Where you do actually fail, and succeed, on your own, depending on whether you're adding value.

Too bad this isn't the protester's agenda. They're pushing socialism, when the problem is that's what we have ... We All own the banks now, we have all the downside, none of the upside. We've nationalized them, without calling it that, and it's a botched nationalization at that.

On Occupy Santa Barbara Mobs De la Guerra Plaza

Posted on October 4 at 5:35 a.m.

That's one big entitlement mentality you've got there Mr. Akre, just about the biggest one I've seen. Yes, surprise, surprise, Casa Esperanza is not Shangri-la. Ya see, there's just no money in helping the homeless, and so things get a little ragged for sure. I'm sure all the more so when pathetic ingrates like you feel the need to write such terrible reviews about your free lunch.

Oh yeah, I forgot, you paid! ... that big $300 coming out of your social security check. I'm glad to see that you found a better bed and breakfast in SLO for your $300. I'm sure all kinds of landlords were beating a path to your door to get that kinda money.

I'm sure they have their faults like all humans, but I know the good people working at Casa Esperanza don't deserve what you've dished up here.

On A View from In There

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