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Less than 2 weeks left and I'm undecided

from the que-no-sea-el-jorge dept.
For the last few months i've dogged on John Kerry for using "I'm not George Bush" as his ticket to the whitehouse. Didn't he have anything positive to say? What besides his not being Bush was there? Last night it hit me. He's right. He is not George Bush. That's what the world needs to fix things up in Iraq ... not Bush.

Iraqis hate Bush ... (wouldn't you if he attacked and killed your family in search of some mythical weapons of mass destruction?). Most of the international community hates Bush (wouldn't you if he ignored your pleas for peaceful measures and called you a bunch of chickens for not helping him in an unethical war?) People don't want to work with the united states because they can't stand our leader.

So as far as the war in iraq goes, I'm for Kerry. He may not have a specific plan, he may have gone into the war had he been in the same situation, though I'm starting to believe that he would have waited and given it some time. He's not dubya and that's what the international community wants.

Now I need some help. Besides the war in Iraq (and terrorism), why should I pick one candidate over another? I've got less than two weeks to figure this out.

Other Issues

Don't forget about the other issues. There's the economy and just national security in general. John Kerry says that he will give tax cuts to the middle class, but his record goes against him. John Kerry says he is the man for national security but he doesn't seem to ever say what his plan is.

Bush gave a tax cut to 109 million Americans(figure could be wrong cuz it's just off the top of my head, but its close). And honestly I don't think any organization would really want to attack us with Bush as President because they've seen what he'll do, whether or not it was right(that's a different subject).

Here are some factors to weigh in

Some factors to weigh in, aside from the forementioned Iraq (& terrorism), are the economy (a.k.a. jobs) and education.

Under the current administration, it's the first in, I believe at least 50 years to have less jobs than when it started. Granted, thanks to the internet, some people make a living through that and that is not counted as being "employed."

Bush's "No Child Left Behind" has its strong points as well as its weak points. Is standardized testing the best way to tell if students are learning? It's your call.

And to me, the most important is what America's relationship with the world is. It kind of ties into Iraq & Terrorism, because in order to combat Terrorism, we'll need allies. Or else our armies will be even more depleted, and a draft could ensue.

Those are basically my thoughts. I did support Bush for a while until things didn't add up, Fuzzy Math I guess. Iraq definitely had WMD, then they had the potential to get WMD. Meanwhile, North Korea admits to having WMD, yet we have not attacked them.

Either way you vote, please don't get caught up in the media hype of "Did Bush or Kerry serve honorably" or "Is Dick Cheney's daughter a lesbian". The best place to find out the facts is www.factcheck.org It's been endorsed by VP Dick Cheney as well as Democratic Radio Host Randi Rhodes.

Good luck in your endeavor.

K.C. Ushijima, the Provo-King

The Factors

John Kerry VOTED for the use of force, has made numerous claims that Saddam needed to be removed from power, and he, Clinton and every other Dimocrat who had access to the intelligence had come to the same conclusion... Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. Because Howard Dean was mobilizing the far left with his claims that we shouldn't have gone to war, Kerry had to run to the far left and say it too. He, and the other Dimocrats will say anything to get back into power.

As for the international community... If France and Germany both want Kerry to lead, let him move to one of those countries and then Kerry can lead a UN nation the way he wants to. The international community's desire has NO place in American politics. If the international community was in charge, Hitler would have owned Europe, The Solviet Union would still be the Solviet Union, and Japan would probably own half of the Pacific.

As for the economy, the .com bubble had just burst at the end of the Clinton administration and the results were starting to be felt in early in 2001 and then 9/11 happened. Chaotastrophic (I need to be typing in Word right now) drop in the stock market, whole companies were completly wiped out, the nation shut down for a week, everything is effected. It is true that Bush is the first president in over 50 years to end a term with less jobs than he started with, but circumstances like that would have left ANY president with less jobs than he started.

As for education, Bush has spent MORE on education than any other president. Is standardized testing a good idea? Maybe not, but tell me how else you are going to measure an improvment? Maybe you could... but no. Or have you throught about... oh yeah, that wouldn't work either.

Why don't I like Kerry? He'll say whatever lie it takes to get into office. The draft? bah. January Suprise? bah. He's scrambling for material now and he's starting to scratch the bottom of the barrel.

Kerry did talk of a global test

Kerry did talk of a global test, but what did he mean by it? I'm not John Kerry, but here's my feelings on it. If you are making a big decision, such as going to war, you want your allies (and your own country) to understand why you did what you did by offering sound facts.

Should Bush have been able to openly prove that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks, we probably could've gotten more allies and the support for Invading Iraq, in America and the World, would be substantially higher. It's kind of difficult to keep support when reports indicate that there were NO WMD in Iraq.

Here's the full John Kerry quote, instead of a small sound bite that is easier to mislead and skew.

"No president, through all of American history, has ever ceded -- and nor would I -- the right to preempt in any way necessary, to protect the United States of America, but if and when you do it, Jim, you've got to do it in a way that passes the, the test, that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people, understand fully why you're doing what you're doing, and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons."

John Kerry did in fact vote for the use of Force in Iraq as a last resort. Once all the other means had been used. He had a similar ideology during the Gulf War. The idea that there could be ill side-effects of going into war too early. I have heard that there are more terrorists in the world post-Iraq.

Religious Bush supporter Pat Robertson recently said on CNN's Paula Zahn Now: He was just sitting there, like, I'm on top of the world, and I warned him about this war. I had deep misgivings about this war, deep misgivings. And I was trying to say, Mr. President, you better prepare the American people for casualties.

Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties. Well, I said, it's the way it's going to be. And so, it was messy. The lord told me it was going to be, A, a disaster and, B, messy. And before that, I had deep, in my spirit, I had deep misgivings about going into Iraq.

The draft may NOT take place, but there is potential that it could happen. Reports indicate of a backdoor draft where soldiers are serving longer terms than before. I'm curious to see if pro-war folks will enlist to take place of soldiers who refuse to go back. Just recently, several soldiers were reprimanded for not doing a mission because they felt it was too dangerous.

And one final thing, I'm all about keeping America safe and don't wish the loss of innocent lives anywhere in the world. The total death count of innocent lives since 9/11 is over 13,000 and continues to grow. I don't like invoking God/Religion/Jesus when discussing politics, but if we are all God's children, all lives are precious, whether or not they're American. War is sometimes inevitable, but God's (innocent) children are being killed. Their only crime is being born in a country other than America.

K.C. Ushijima, the Provo-King

Capitalism vs. Communism

I'm going to make a seemingly irrational statement and then show how rational it is. What you are suggesting is that we, the United States of America, do is adopt a communist form of government.

Socialism taken to the extreme is communism. It's a harsh over generalization but the statement itself is true. Socialism seeks to take the wealth from the rich to redistribute to the poor. A noble cause if you believe in Robin Hood but HIGHLY impractical in the real world. Under the law of consecration, yes, it can work, and will work, but until there is a righteous government on the earth, it is a failed concept.

Communism is what you get when you try and equalize the income of the rich and the income of the poor. You don't get any truly industrious people because you have no reason to work harder to get ahead, because no matter how hard you try, you'll always be stuck where you are at. It rewards the lazy because they can be lazy and still get the same amount as the hard worker. Sucks, doesn't it?

Redistribution of wealth is a insane idea in a capitalistic society. While it is true that people like Theresa Heinz Kerry are born into or are given wealth, a large majority of people who have money in today's world went out and EARNED it. They worked their way through the system so that they could enjoy the life they wanted to live. By taking the money that they earn away from them, they are lesslikely to want to go out and work for it because they will eventually have to give it up. The poor on the other hand stay poor because they percieve limits on themselves. Then they demand to be helped because there are so many more people doing better than them. It is easier for them to ASK for the money than to WORK for it.

I'm not suggesting that the poor of the country aren't willing to work for it. I know quite a few people who are considered to be living in poverty that work damn hard for what they get. They ask why opportunity nevers knocks for them. It's a hard question to answer, mostly because I wanna know the answer myself. But people put limits on themselves and then blame everybody else for their lack of success. I know that this doesn't apply in every case, but it does in a majority of them... People stopped trying to achieve because they percieved it to be too hard to advanced and then started blaming the world around them for their circumstances. They thought school was too hard, working for a promotion seemed impossible, putting themselves out on the line to get ahead didn't seem to be worth it. Pick your poison, but it's true in 90% of the cases I know. I firmly believe that people are poor because they refuse to do anything about it but complain. Once again, I know that there are people who are poor due to circumstances outside of their control, but the vast majority COULD take control if they were to put in the effort.

It brings me to one of your points Tyler. Raising the minimum wage is a horrible idea because of this... It advances inflation artifically. By raising the minimum wage, an employer has to pay more and he's not going to take it out of his profit margin because he's in business to make money, giving people jobs is a by-product of him making money. So the McDonald's franchise has some choices to make. They could just bump everybody up and take it up the a**. They could bump everbody up and then make the customer take it up the a** in the form of increased prices at the register. Or they could let some people go, increase the wage of the people who stay and maintain the status quo. But then you just added one more person to the unemployment roles.

And then you are looking a whole new problem. Minimum wages goes up a dollar, and then the spending power over everybody else goes down, because with the increase in wage, costs are going up. Whoops. Now we are really in trouble. Costs go up, the price of business increases and then more people up the line have to be let go. But this time it's a whole assembly line at an automaker because material costs have gone up so dramatically that they can't run the company around the clock anymore. Eventually everything reaches equilibrium and then people start complaining that the minimum wage is too low again. Basic economics.

Here's another good idea... let's increase the tax burden on the rich, they can afford it because they are rich right? Take that money that they were spending on goods and services and give it to the government and then everybody starts to suffer. The rich aren't buying the same amount of goods anymore because they don't have the same amount of money to spend on it. It's not like they aren't rich anymore, but the rich are rich because they know how to manage their money, so with less money, they spend less. The rich aren't buying as many new cars anymore so another assembly line gets shut down, and unemployment goes up, yet again. Why? Because a business won't make a product that people aren't going to buy.

Now imagine increasing the minimum wage and raising the top tax bracket up. Instead of jobs being created, jobs are lost. Government actually gets less money because people aren't spending as much, and then they get less money because there are more unemployed people, so those people are actually costing the government money now. So now we need to raise taxes yet again to be able to afford to pay the unemployment benefits to those people.

As for my earlier post, I was using Iraq as an example of Kerry bending to the international community. We disagree on the war itself, and that's fine. I'm arguing that Kerry is not a good choice for leadership because of his willingness to subject the US to the UN. It should go US first, UN last.

I'm all for living the law of consecration, but not under the auspices of the Democrats or the UN. You show me a righteous government and I'll support it. But until then, you are suggesting communist rule.

Returning to the original question...

Tyler,
For the first time in my life, I will be voting for the Democratic Presidential candidate this year. Like you, my biggest reasons for supporting Kerry have to do with the fact that Bush has done so badly. However, there are a couple of things I see as "positives" for Kerry. Since you asked - Here is one of them:

Kerry is reasonable enough to recognize that tax cuts are indeed a good short-term fix to a recession. Unlike some of the other Democratic candidates who advocated that all of the Bush tax cuts should be repealed, Kerry very sensibly maintainined that the tax cuts should be retained for middle class Americans and rolled back only for the wealthy. In my opinion this is the perfect balance on this issue.

Followup

Just so I'm not accused of blowing smoke, here's the link to an article detailing Heinz Kerry's tax information. And apparently she only paid 12.3% of her total income. Yet another example of how the left is NOT to be trusted.

12.3% of total income

If you read the article, you'll notice that it says: She serves as chief executive of the Heinz Family Foundation, which made more than $4.6 million in charitable contributions last year, the Kerry campaign said.

You can write off taxes if you make financial donations to charities. LDS members who pay tithing can write it off on their taxes. So it is possible that though she only paid 12.3% in taxes, there could be other factors which makes the percentage so low.

And if it is bad that she only paid 12.3% of her income, did she do anything illegal that is violating tax laws? If she is adhearing to the tax laws, how does it show that she (and the left) are corrupt and to not be trusted? Shouldn't that be an indication of flaws or loopholes in the tax system?

The article also mentions: But Paul Bschorr, a lawyer for Heinz Kerry, said Friday that none of her personal investment accounts or accounts controlled by her family trust are deposited outside the United States, a step some wealthy American use to defer or escape taxes.

So she is NOT using at least one way of escaping taxes legally.

K.C. Ushijima, the Provo-King

Why the 12.3% is important

If we are talking about the rich paying "their fair share" and if Kerry keeps complaining about how people are using loopholes to get out of paying taxes, and it's happening in his own house, shouldn't he start there and work his way out? If the left is going to complain about people using the loopholes and then they are shown to be using them, their arguments should be immediately discarded. It's like Charlie Rangle introducing a bill to reinstate the draft and then having the left complain that it's really what Bush wants. Show me by your actions, not the fluffy words you spit into the mic.

Not that his part of the article can be construed as proof, but it does pose an interesting question: No information was provided about how much income was earned by trusts of which she is the beneficiary. If the trusts are as large as reported - and the Kerry campaign has not challenged the billion-dollar estimate - then even a modest 5 percent return would have generated $50 million of income.

And for the record, I don't trust what a lawyer says. The words liar and lawyer are interchangable as far as I'm concerned. No, this isn't true of all lawyers, but it's been shown far too many times that lawyers will use whatever technicality exists to make their lie "true."

An Indefensible Position

dJake,
Please excuse the harshness, but your ill-defined position seems indefensible at every turn.

Are you arguing that Teresa Heinz Kerry has lied or cheated on her returns? If so, you have presented no evidence to support this claim.

Are you arguing that her return is illegal, but ethically wrong because she uses "loopholes"? If so - as ProvoKing correctly points out - every tithing-deducting Mormon is also morally in the wrong.

Are you arguing that she should pay a voluntary tax above and beyond what the rest of us are required to pay simply because she believes in easing the tax burden of the middle class? Although that would be admirable, it's a bit of a lofty goal, isn't it? I don't think I've ever heard of any politician that could meet that standard - Republican or Democrat.

Finally, at what point did Teresa Heinz Kerry become "the left"? And what in the heck does "fluff stuff up again" mean?

And the anti-lawyer stuff is just dumb.

Correction

In the third paragraph I meant to say "Are you arguing that her return is legal...". Sorry.

thanks... kind of

i made this post for an honest inquiry and told myself i wouldn't argue or point out any flawed arguements... i just gotta say something here...

"As for the international community... If France and Germany both want Kerry to lead, let him move to one of those countries and then Kerry can lead a UN nation the way he wants to. The international community's desire has NO place in American politics. If the international community was in charge, Hitler would have owned Europe, The Solviet Union would still be the Solviet Union, and Japan would probably own half of the Pacific."

with an arguement like that... you've given me more reason to vote for kerry

One of us is seeing what he wants to see

dJake,
My wife and I are building a house. Often, we visit the construction site. When we get there we inevitably find a bunch of Mexicans who are some of the hardest-workers you will ever see. These guys are currently roofing our house in 100 degree weather! Of course it goes without saying that they are getting near minimum wage.

So, here's my question for you: Are these guys destined to be super-wealthy from their hard work? Or are they dirt poor because they aren't working hard enough? Which is it?

Not understanding the reasoning

I'm not seeing the reasoning behind raising the taxes on the top tax bracket. What do you want those increase in taxes to do? Aside from the obvious economic problems they will introduce, what are you seeking to accomplish.

Interesting note... Kerry's wife, a billionare, paid on 12.6% in taxes in 2003. That's less than I paid, and I GUARANTEE that I'm making less money than her. How can you believe somebody on raising taxes when they engineer it so that they have a LOWER tax burden than everybody here?

dJake vs king benjamin

-"What you are suggesting is that we, the United States of America, do is adopt a communist form of government."

in the end, i think that would be a better system than what we have today.

-"Under the law of consecration, yes, it can work, and will work, but until there is a righteous government on the earth, it is a failed concept."

every latter-day saint who has been endowed has covenanted to live the law of consecration. the idea that some divine theocracy is needed to live it is a myth. we do not consecrate to live it in the future, but to live it today, just as the other covenants we make.

-"Communism is what you get when you try and equalize the income of the rich and the income of the poor."

Sounds like something Jesus said, "But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin." (D&C 49:20)

-"Redistribution of wealth is a insane idea in a capitalistic society."

Tell that to King Benjamin. "And also, ye yourselves will asuccor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the bbeggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish." (Mosiah 4:16)

-"a large majority of people who have money in today's world went out and EARNED it."

Again, King Benjamin "And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy. And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, HOW YE OUGHT TO IMPART OF THE SUBSTANCE THAT YE HAVE ONE TO ANOTHER. And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, WHICH DOTH NOT BELONG TO YOU BUT TO GOD...." (Mosiah 4:20-22)

-"By taking the money that they earn away from them, they are lesslikely to want to go out and work for it because they will eventually have to give it up. The poor on the other hand stay poor because they percieve limits on themselves. Then they demand to be helped because there are so many more people doing better than them. It is easier for them to ASK for the money than to WORK for it."

Wow... King Benjamin was speaking specfically to you. "Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just- But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God." (Mosiah 4: 17-18)

"-I know quite a few people who are considered to be living in poverty that work damn hard for what they get. They ask why opportunity nevers knocks for them.... I firmly believe that people are poor because they refuse to do anything about it but complain"

The same thing happened before Christ killed most of the rich in america. "some were lifted up unto pride and boastings because of their exceedingly great riches... For there were many merchants in the land, and also many lawyers, and many officers... And the people began to be distinguished by ranks, according to their riches and their chances for learning; yea, some were ignorant because of their poverty, and others did receive great learning because of their riches...And thus there became a great inequality in all the land..." (3 Nephi 6:10-14)Lazy people are such a pain.

-"Raising the minimum wage is a horrible idea because of this... It advances inflation artifically. By raising the minimum wage, an employer has to pay more and he's not going to take it out of his profit margin because he's in business to make money, giving people jobs is a by-product of him making money."

The average CEO in the nation makes in two hours what a minimum wage worker makes in a year working full-time. i think the answer is simple. Here in happy valley, jobs are not near as scarce as they are elsewhere in the nation. I haven't worked minimum wage since i was 15. I thought the same way as you. Why raise minimum wage. If people want more money, they can find a better job. I came to realize it's not so simple in most of the larger cities in the nation.

"-I'm all for living the law of consecration, but not under the auspices of the Democrats or the UN. You show me a righteous government and I'll support it. But until then, you are suggesting communist rule."

As I said before, it's a myth that the law of consecration needs a government to be lived. Just as it is a myth that tithing replaced the law of consecration. I'd love some scriptures that support a capitalist economics... and for every one you find (if any), i'll show you a dozen that condemn it and a dozen more that support a commune economy.

The 12.3%

I was not aware that John Kerry was against the use of loopholes. I just thought he wanted to raise taxes on people who earn more than $200,000 a year. And that the middle class is paying a higher percentage than what they used to pay.

dJake wrote: Show me by your actions, not the fluffy words you spit into the mic.

Are you suggesting that he and his wife should voluntarily pay more taxes for the sake of being credible in their claim of wanting to raise taxes for the rich?

I do understand that it would be great for any politician to put their money where their mouth is. But if Mr. & Mrs. Kerry are abiding by the tax ordinances, I'm still not sold that it makes them untrustable. They paid what they are legally bound to do. If you obey the laws of the land, that should be a good attribute, shouldn't it.

What is your definition of loophole? Is donating money to charity and writing it off a loophole? If so, then every LDS Tithing payer who writes it off on their taxes is using a loophole as well.

It's interesting that we take the whole article to be fact, but we only show skepticism towards the lawyer's quote.

K.C. Ushijima, the Provo-King & prospective law student

My "indefensable" position

First, Heinz Kerry's taxes were released by the John Kerry campaign, which I can easily call the left. As to the "but once again, the left is trying to fluff stuff up again," they are trying to show that they are being totally open and honest about everything with a partial release of information, but I'm willing to bet that if the full truth were known we'd see that these people who claim to have the best interests of the people were in reality just watching their own backs saying whatever people want to hear while trying to get into power.

It may be true that I have no direct evidence of Heinz Kerry's lying or cheating on her returns, so this next part is educating guessing, but unless you show me hard proof to the contrary, I'm running with it. When her husband died, he left billions in trust to her and her children. I've asked several accomplished financial advisors and on the most conservative of investment strategies, an even billion dollars should net a minimum of 2% increase every year. 2% of $1,000,000,000 is $20,000,000.

No, I can't back up that there is any lying or cheating going on, and it is just the musings of several people that I associate with. We feel our position is justified because there is no denial coming from Kerry campaign about how much money his wife has in trust. Without proof though, this is all speculation.

Are you arguing that she should pay a voluntary tax above and beyond what the rest of us are required to pay simply because she believes in easing the tax burden of the middle class? Although that would be admirable, it's a bit of a lofty goal, isn't it?

Not at all. You are asking for my vote and I expect you to do as you say. If you don't do as you say, I will tear you apart on it because you are living a double standard. You don't get to say what everybody else should be doing and then say that you can't be held to the same standard.

I don't like lawyers. They promote the whole concept of "true lies." Look at almost every defense lawyer out there, every trial lawyer who sues a doctor, a company, any individual because they think that they could get rich because of it. Granted, people need to have legal methods to seek redress through the court system, but it has grown to an overwhelming problem because it's no longer about the truth, but what you can prove in court.

You call my position indefensable? Fine. We'll have to agree to disagree.

I think dJake's point is that

I think dJake's point is that the US is sovereign, and therefore has both the right and responsibility to ensure the welfare of its citizens--a responsibility that cannot be delegated to any other entity, particularly not to the UN.

I'm guessing he doesn't necessarily mean that the US shouldn't consider how its actions will affect our relations with the international community, which would be pretty short-sighted.

Interesting

I find it very interesting that you are willing to give your vote to a candidate who said "We won't give up our right to defend our nation unless it doesn't pass the global test." I realize that I'm not using the exact quote, but that is very close to what he said.

My argument against Kerry is that he would subject our national interests to international scrutiny. I don't believe France, Germany, Russia, Spain, China, even Britan have the right to impose their will upon us. As far as I am concerned France and Germany should lose their right to vote at the UN because they were in bed with Saddam while he was in power and fought against us going in because they didn't want to be found out. This link
will take you to an interview Fox News did with the French Ambassador, where he is confronted with the data from the report by Charles Duelfer.

It was suspected before the war, and proven after investigation that France, Russia and China were being bought off by Saddam Hussien so that they would help end sanctions against Iraq or at least prevent the UN Security Counsel from doing exactly what the US did. Using the Oil For Food program, Saddam was able to grease the wheels of European Union members, including France and Germany, so that they would stand back or even fight against any possible invasion into Iraq.

Kerry's desire to pass any action through a "global test" would mean that he would consult with corrupted nations such as France and Germany. And I do stand by my previous statement, because the way nations these members of the European Union work, Facism would be a prevelant form of government in Europe. Japan's imperialistic expansion would have continued unchecked. The brand of communism preached in the Solviet Union would still be being practiced in the Eastern Bloc.

The left leaning people of the world are the hippies of the 70s. No moral character, who's favorite slogans were Make Love, Not War. Liberalism itself isn't the problem, but the idiologs who have taken platform from a position of taking care of the poor, the weak, the needy to a position of people of Ammon. Kneeling on the ground, praying for deliverance as an approaching horde of Lamanites descended upon them killing everybody in their path. I prefer the approach of Moroni, who wrote out "In• memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children" and then went out to kick the trash out of the Lamanites until they went back where they came from.

If Kerry has his way we'll all become the people of Ammon, on our knees praying for deliverance as the terrorists of the world come and slaughter us all.

can you have it both ways?

I'd love to have some 100 degree weather around here. I'm sick of the rain. Anyways...

There is no doubt the makin minimum wage isn't the easiest way to get ahead in this world. But look at it this way: One or more of those Mexicans can realize the value of what they are doing, and after working in some kind of supervisory role he could go out and start his own roofing company. Of course he would be taking the risk on his shoulders, but then his opportunity for income becomes much greater.

Working hard at some minimum wage job, just doing it day after day without trying to advance one's self is like praying to the saints. Yeah, you are praying, but is it getting you anywhere? Realizing that you can get further ahead in life by looking for or creating opportunity is the goal, and working hard in that direction is the key.

To answer your questions... Are these guys destined to be super-wealthy from their work? They could be. One or two of them might get so far ahead of you and me that it would be freaky. Are they dirt poor because they aren't working hard enough? If they are only focusing on doing the physical labor that they are tasked with, and they aren't trying to advance their own cause, then yes, they aren't working hard enough.

The Federal Deficit

The federal government under George Bush is running a massive deficit of about $400 billion annually. In the long term, there is wide-spread agreement that this is a recipe for disaster. Obviously, reversing the tax breaks for the rich is one way to collect more funds and therefore, to help alleviate this problem. That, in a nutshell, is why it is probably a good idea to roll back the tax breaks for the wealthy.

The reason I describe this plan as "sensible" is because it neither rolls back the tax breaks entirely, as some Democrats have advocated(which would stifle consumer spending), nor does it ignore the deficit crisis altogether (which is what Bush is doing).

I frankly don't understand what Teresa Heinz Kerry's tax returns have to do with any of this. But I am absolutely certain that the fact that she pays at a 12% tax rate is not proof that "the left cannot be trusted". (What was her tax rate when she was married to the Republican Senator Heinz? Or doesn't that interest you?) We really need to get past these character assassinations.

The Law of Consecration

If you remember correctly, we have covenanted to live the law of consecration, though we are not asked to do it yet. As for the governmental issue... I point out Solviet Union, China, and North Korea. Communism by its very nature breeds corruption fast than Democracy does. Communism is a choice for people to enter into, and when people do that willingly, it works. BUT, when people are forced into that same principal, or people with unrighteous intentions enter into it the system becomes corrupted because they do not adhere to the principals that are taught.

I'm impressed with your knowledge of the scriptures, but you are overlooking one key fact. Back in the 1830s when the Church was headquartered in Kirtland, the law of consecration is put into effect. Members of the church were asked to enter into it and provide for the community as opposed to their own needs. It worked for a short period of time, but it wasn't long before people who had willingly entered into the law of consecration began dropping their share of the load, expecting others to pick it up. The Lord rescinded the Law of Consecration for a time and instead put in place the law of tithes. This is no myth... this is the history of the church.

I am not saying "The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand." I do expect that given my own predispositons against working, that if somebody can work they should work. My reasoning is simple. I will give to ANYBODY that I needs support who cannot provide it for himself. But I refuse to be told by a government that I already believe to be corrupt that I have to support people who are just looking for a handout. I totally agree with Spencer that until the government handles that aspect of it, I will provide my support by means of fast offerings.

You sound to me like a person who reads the scripture "Money is the root of all evil." You are neglecting to read the footnote and see that it really is "The love of money is the root of all evil." People who read it that way think to themselves that people who have money must be evil. But I will tell you, some of the most righteous men I know have wealth, give of it freely and still believe as I do, that you help those that need it, but you do it on your own and not because the government tells you to.

Minor adjustment

You bring up an interesting contrast between trusting and credibility. And I want to correct myself. The Kerrys' trustworthiness has nothing to do with this at all. It is more about the credibility to their claim. One of the cheif complaints that Kerry has made is that these tax breaks place a greater burden on the middle class, but he's not doing his part to relieve that burden. If he is in fact doing the exact opposite of what he says he wants to do, why should we give him any credit at all?

Throw out the article... I linked to it so that there would be an easy understanding of the contents included. Instead, here is the 1040 that she has made available through johnkerry.com. And that still doesn't account for her billions that she has in trust. Unless they are earning her 0%, there is a huge chunk of money not accounted for.

I would also like to point out that all of the Schedules listing her deductions aren't included in this disclousre. Maybe it means nothing... but once again, the left is trying to fluff stuff up again.

my new "indefensable" position

It may be true that I have no direct evidence of this, so this next part is educating guessing, but unless you show me hard proof to the contrary, I'm running with it. I think dJake enjoys gay sex. No, I can't back up that there is any homosexual activity going on, and it is just the musings of several people that I associate with. We feel our position is justified because there is no denial coming from dJake about when his first encounter with another man was. Without proof though, this is all speculation.

You call my position indefensable? Fine. We'll have to agree to disagree.

kill! kill! kill! kill! kill!

kill! kill! kill! kill! kill! kill! kill! kill!

that's what the book of mormon teaches, right?

it seems to that moroni was protecting the nephites from lamanites who had openly threatened and attacked the united states.

how many times must it be repeated. SADDAM AND IRAQ DID NOT ATTACK THE UNITED STATES. THEY HAD NO WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION, NOR HAD THEY THE ABILITY TO MAKE THEM. SADDAM DID NOT WORK WITH AL QAIDA IN THE 9/11 ATTACKS.

this isn't a defensive war. it isn't even a pre-emptive attack. it's foreign policy using war as a technology to bring about political ends. saddam was not a threat. if bush had listened to the international community, we would not have killed over 15000 innocent civilians in iraq. we would not have killed possibly hundreds of thousands of iraqi soldiers.

i really didn't want this post to be about the war. i've said plenty about it on other posts and you have just ignored the facts.

i want to make this post about the other issues.

kerry just won another point with me today. uvsc had a religion and politics forum today. my favorite speaker was rondald snider whose "rich christians in an age of hunger" was voted as one of the most influential religious books of the 20th century. he made an excellent case for raising the minimum wage to a living wage in order to combat poverty. (his main point was for governmental funding for faith-based charities which bush passed (and i believe kerry voted for)). his other points included guaranteed health care, better schooling, and a focus on two-parent families. he also believes that the upper-class should be taxed more to relieve the burden of the lower class.

kerry won points with the living wage, health care, and placing more of the tax burden on the rich (which i understand they care the most of already).
i don't know too much about his plans for education or his position on 2-parent families. as of right now, i side with bush on these two issues.

perhaps this should be for another topic elsewhere, but i'm sickened by the ever growing divide between the rich and the poor in this nation. america is the richest nation, but we have the highest poverty percentage among industrialized nations. snider mentioned that there isn't too much biblical precedence to push an equality of possesion. as latter-day saints, we have that precedence in the book of mormon, pearl of great price, and the d&c (especially 49:20), but we like most everyone else don't give much of a damn.

screw the poor. we need our expensive cars, our over-sized houses, fine clothing, diamond rings, and everything else so people can see how hard we work and how much we've accomplished. jesus would be proud.

Amazing

You typed it, I read it and it makes sense.

The concept of having Kerry in office would seem counter productive, because he would (1) Roll back the tax cuts in the top bracket, and (2) Increase spending for the programs he is suggesting.

But you are right, the deficit is growing and something needs to be done with it. Until we get a fiscally conservative president (which Bush is not) then we're going to be in trouble, no matter who we go with. And might I add this... the congress is equally responsible in this regard if not more so. On Nov 2, vote for the FISCALLY conservative and then we might get somewhere.

-"though we are not asked to

-"though we are not asked to do it yet"

go to the temple. there is no 'yet clause'. we covenant to live it now.

-"As for the governmental issue... I point out Solviet Union, China, and North Korea."

those are great examples of communist states that did it wrong.

-"you are overlooking one key fact... The Lord rescinded the Law of Consecration for a time and instead put in place the law of tithes."

open up your scriptures and read the law of tithing. "Verily thus saith the Lord, I require all their surplus property to be put into the hands of the bishop of my church in Zion... and this shall be the beginning of the tithing. And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually;"

tithing was imposed after the law of consecration. this is what made it a sacrifice. people were to give one tenth AFTER they had already given their surplus (that which exceeded their needs). Your version of the law of tithing goes along with jerusalem's needle-gates and camel-ropes; myths created by rich people who want to keep wealth.

-"I will give to ANYBODY that I needs support who cannot provide it for himself"

there are plenty people in africa who could use that, but those heathens are prolly just lazy slackers who would rather starve to death than work.

-"I will give to ANYBODY that I needs support who cannot provide it for himself. But I refuse to be told by a government that I already believe to be corrupt that I have to support people who are just looking for a handout."

it seems you already forgot what king benjamin said. here's a refresher: "Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just- But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God."

-"You sound to me like a person who reads the scripture 'Money is the root of all evil.'"

no, i just agree with jesus that "Ye cannot serve God and Mammon(literally riches/money)" and that "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Please don't appeal to the mythical needle-gates or camel-ropes)

-"People who read it that way think to themselves that people who have money must be evil."

well, i don't read it that way, but i do believe that people who live substantially above their needs are living in sin. d&c 49:20

-"some of the most righteous men I know have wealth, give of it freely and still believe as I do, that you help those that need it."

i'm sure that some of these people do. i also believe that some of the people we consider as very righteous men (who do give freely) still do not give enough because they prize their money too much.

-" but you do it on your own and not because the government tells you to"

unfortunately, you are basing your views of some poor examples of communism and again are assuming that living the law of consecration demands some form of gonvernmental sanction.

ok tyler ...

Good point, but could you try to be a little less crude and personally insulting? There are other ways to say the same thing.

(BTW, I also don't want to get filtered-out by BYU again.)

I'm tempted to remove your comment ... but I'd rather play god as little as possible so this one will stay for now. Just do me a favor though and try to keep it clean.

I realize this is coming from the guy who swore on his check, but still ... =)

hmmm

Didn't get down to the bottom to read this until now. All I'll say is this...

If your political discussions revert to personal attacks, then you must have reached the end of rational thought. I believe John Stewart called it being a partisan hack.

I may disagree with your position, but I respect it because of your conviction, and because you believe it outside of the standard party talking points.

Consider this the denial of ALL homosexual activity.

one point tyler

I agree with your last part Tyler. We should take care of the poor, however, I don't agree in giving handouts to people just because they are too lazy to get an education and get a job. If I knew my money wasn't going to people like that I would be more willing to give.

That's why I have no problem paying fast offerings because I know where the money is going and I know that it's not just a hand out. People who receive from the church usually serve by cleaning chapels or working in canneries and things like that. If the government developed a program where people who received aid would give some type of public service in exchange, I think I would support that. I just don't think people should get something for nothing.