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Independence Day Essay: "What I Am"
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Cody Dawg
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Jul 4, 2005, 10:19 AM
 
In the spirit of the 4th of July, which I am sure that the minority-minded liberals will try to one day have stamped out so that some racial, political, or social organization is not offended by the fact that we celebrate this country's independence, I am posting this commentary by George J. Esseff. This essay was published by the Washington Post on Wednesday, October 20th, 2004 and is available online at http://whatiam.net/

You’re a Republican???


In today’s America, ask a growing number of high school and college students; their teachers and professors; the self-anointed media elite and/or hard working men and women of all ethnicities, the question, “What is a Republican?”, and you’ll be told “… a rich, greedy, egotistical individual, motivated only by money and the desire to accumulate more and more of it, at the expense of the environment … the working poor ….and all whom they exploit…”

I am a Republican … I am none of those things… and I don’t know any Republicans who are.

WHAT I AM … first and foremost, is a loving husband of some 52 plus years, the father of four and an American who’s proud of his country… and his country’s heritage.

WHAT I AM … is the grandson of immigrants who risked everything, including their lives and those of their children, to escape tyranny in search of freedom.

WHAT I AM … is a man who grew up during the Depression and witnessed, first hand, the effects of the Stock Market crash and the soup lines that followed. I watched as both my parents and grand parents, who had very little themselves, share what food they had with a half dozen other families, who had even less.

WHAT I AM … is someone who worked his way through college by holding down three and four jobs at a time and then used that education to build a better life.

WHAT I AM … is a husband who, at age 24, started his own business for the “privilege” of working 60, 70 and 80 hours a week, risking everything I had, including my health, in search of a better life for myself and my loved ones.

WHAT I AM … is a businessman whose blood, sweat and tears…. and plenty of them…, made it possible for me to provide a secure living, not only for my family and myself, but also for literally hundreds of my employees throughout the years. Employees, who in turn, were able to buy their own homes, raise their own families and give back to their communities and their country.

WHAT I AM … is a man who believes in God; a God who has blessed this country… and all for which it stands.

WHAT I AM … is someone who knows, if you doubt miracles exist in today’s world, you need only to look into the face of those who received them … and the eyes of those who give them.

WHAT I AM … is an American who’s proud that his President embraces a belief in God; proud of a President who understands, as “politically incorrect” as it may be, there is evil in this world and for the security and safety of all freedom loving people everywhere, it must be confronted… and it must be defeated.

WHAT I AM … is an American who takes comfort in the knowledge that our President refuses to allow decisions concerning the very safety and security of this nation, to be governed by the political whims of foreign governments.

WHAT I AM … is tired of hearing from leading Democrats who see only negativity in America; racism in her people; class warfare in her society and “political incorrectness” in her character.

WHAT I AM … is a former democrat who now understands that it is the soldier and not the reporter that guarantees us our freedoms of press, speech and dissent.

WHAT I AM … is a man who believes in the sanctity of life. A man who is repulsed by the pandering of the political left for votes, at the expense of the unborn.

WHAT I AM … is a husband and father who believes in the sanctity of marriage and the preservation of the family unit.

WHAT I AM … is a movie go-er who is repulsed by those insecure, socially inept, elementary thinking, ego-inflated “entertainers” who have appointed themselves “experts” in the fields of national security and geo-politics and then use their forum to attack this nation, its leaders and its actions…. much to the delight and encouragement of our enemies.

WHAT I AM … is an American who understands the difference between “censorship” and “choice”. Evidently, these individuals do not, because when these same “celebrities” receive public ridicule for their offensive actions, the first thing they yell is “Censorship!”. What they seem incapable of understanding is… the right of free speech and dissent is shared equally by those offended… as well as those who offend. I support and will continue to support those films and performers whom I choose to … and refuse to support those I don’t. It is my right as an American … a right I will continue to enthusiastically exercise.

WHAT I AM … is a voter, tired of politicians, who, every time their voting records are subjected to public scrutiny, try to divert attention from their political and legislative failures by accusing their opponents of “attack ads” and “negative campaigning”…. and the news media who allow them to get away with it.

WHAT I AM … is a Catholic who loves his God and his Faith… and who’s been taught to respect all religions whose teachings are based in love, peace and charity. As such, I am embarrassed and ashamed of those individuals, in both private and public life, whose decisions and actions are devoid of any sense of character or morals; individuals who are only driven by what’s best for them … rather than what’s right … often times at the expense of many …. including our national security.

WHAT I AM … is a realist who understands that the terrorist attack that murdered hundreds of innocent Russian children could have occurred here, in our heartland. That’s why I sincerely believe America needs now, more than ever, a President who sees with a clear and focused vision and who speaks with a voice when heard by both friend and foe alike, is understood, respected and believed.

WHAT I AM … is eternally grateful to Ronald Reagan for having the bravery to speak out against Communism and the courage of his convictions in leading the fight to defeat it; and George W. Bush for the vision, courage, conviction and leadership he has shown in America’s war on terrorism amidst both the constant and vicious, personal and political attacks both he and his family are made to endure.

WHAT I AM … is a human being, full of numerous faults and failures, but a man nonetheless, who, though not always successful, has continually strived to do “what’s right” instead of “what’s easy”. A man who is challenging the religious leaders of all faiths, to not only preach to their congregations the fundamentals of “what’s right” and “what’s wrong”, but to also then hold them accountable for their actions in both the public and private sectors.

WHAT I AM … is disgusted with the Courts who, on one hand, call the murder of a pregnant woman a “double homicide” but then refer to the abortion of her baby as, “pro-choice”.

WHAT I AM … is someone deeply troubled by a political party which embraces a candidate whose primary “leadership” qualities center around his protesting of the Vietnam war and his labeling the honorable men and women who fought in it, (50,000 of whom gave their lives in that action), as rapists, and war criminals. That same political party then stepped forward this year to block the appearance of a true Vietnam war hero, retired Admiral and former United States Senator, Jeremiah Denton, (a man who spent seven years and seven torturous months in a North Vietnam prison), from speaking before an open session of the California legislature as part of that state’s 4th of July celebration. The reason Democrats gave for refusing to allow this American hero to speak before their state legislature was because of the “conservative” nature of his views. As an American, that troubles me deeply ….as well it should you.

WHAT I AM … is a man who feels the need to spend, $104, 655.60,(tax paid) of his own money, to purchase this advertisement, in order to set the story straight. Some may say this money would have been better spent feeding the world’s poor. At the risk of sounding self-serving, as an American and as a Republican, for the last six decades of my life, I have done exactly that… and more. Following the examples of my parents and grand parents, I have used my earnings to feed the poor, shelter the homeless, provide housing for the elderly and medical care for the sick….. and continue to do so… and I’m not alone in that work.

WHAT I AM … is someone who is paying for this announcement, at my sole expense, in hopes of opening the eyes of those led blindly by ill-informed elements of our great nation, who, through either ignorance, or malicious intent, repeatedly attack and belittle those of us who belong to a political party that holds true to the belief, “… the rights of the governed, exceed the power of the government”. For those interested, I am speaking only as a tax-paying individual who is in no way associated with The Republican National Committee, nor with any of its directors, or delegates.

WHAT I AM … is a man who understands, “the American way of life” is a message of self-empowerment for all.

WHAT I AM … is an American who is grateful that our nation gives each of us the opportunity of self-determination and the right to benefit from the fruits of self achievement.

WHAT I AM … is an American who wants to preserve that way of life for all who seek it.

WHAT I AM … is blessed to be an American…. and proud to be Republican.


George J. Esseff, Sr.
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Jul 4, 2005, 10:27 AM
 

iMac 20" C2D 2.16 | Acer Aspire One | Flickr
     
von Wrangell
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Jul 4, 2005, 10:49 AM
 

To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged;- and verily, Allah is most powerful for their aid
     
Cody Dawg  (op)
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Jul 4, 2005, 10:58 AM
 
Since neither of you is from or in this country I can only assume that both of you are jealous.

Now THAT is funny!

     
BRussell
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Jul 4, 2005, 10:59 AM
 
In the spirit of our country's most important day, I give you...

an angry partisan political rant!
     
Cody Dawg  (op)
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Jul 4, 2005, 11:03 AM
 




Happy 4th of July, BRussell.
     
von Wrangell
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Jul 4, 2005, 11:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cody Dawg
Since neither of you is from or in this country I can only assume that both of you are jealous.

Now THAT is funny!

Jealous of what exactly?

To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged;- and verily, Allah is most powerful for their aid
     
Millennium
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Jul 4, 2005, 12:00 PM
 
I'm not terribly certain I understand what's funny about this. It all sounds quite reasonable to me. My faith differs from his, of course, and I am much younger, but this is someone who appears to understand the Republican platform quite well, agrees with it, and is not "brainwashed" as many people nowadays accuse any Republican who isn't clearly "evil" (by their own definitions) of being. In particular, this is someone who seems to understand the basic idea that people do not need guardians over their day-to-day lives, as opposed to the modern Democrat ideology that the purpose of the state is to be just such a guardian. This has been one of the core battles of politics for centuries, and the Democrats and Republicans are little more than modern American incarnations of that battle.
You are in Soviet Russia. It is dark. Grue is likely to be eaten by YOU!
     
von Wrangell
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Jul 4, 2005, 12:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by Millennium
In particular, this is someone who seems to understand the basic idea that people do not need guardians over their day-to-day lives, as opposed to the modern Democrat ideology that the purpose of the state is to be just such a guardian.
Then why all this talk about "protecting marriage" and "protecting the unborn"? That's supporting the "state guardianship" just as much as anything else I've heard.

But to entertain your question. Look at his first claim that he is none of the following.:

“… a rich, greedy, egotistical individual, motivated only by money and the desire to accumulate more and more of it, at the expense of the environment … the working poor ….and all whom they exploit…”

1. In his article he claims his work "made it possible for me to provide a secure living, not only for my family and myself, but also for literally hundreds of my employees throughout the years." So he's obviously rich if he has employed hundreds of people.

2. In his article he claims: "working 60, 70 and 80 hours a week, risking everything I had, including my health, in search of a better life for myself and my loved ones." Which is nothing but greed. Because there is no other reason to work that much unless you want the money from it. It doesn't seem like he had much time for his loved ones if he worked that much.

3. In his article he claims: "is an American who is grateful that our nation gives each of us the opportunity of self-determination " What is self-determination other than being egotistical? (I'll elaborate on this if you want to when I get home from work)

4. See point 2.

5. I'll give him that point(though I wouldn't agree about Republicans as a whole)

Are you beginning to see why this is so hilarious?

To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged;- and verily, Allah is most powerful for their aid
     
demograph68
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Jul 4, 2005, 01:09 PM
 
     
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Jul 4, 2005, 01:18 PM
 
Five Reasons I'm a Democrat
Deb Barnes, magazine editor, MRD website editor

1. Yachts make me seasick.

2. I think tree-hugging should be an Olympic sport, along with
monopoly-busting.

3. God talks to me, too, but not once has he mentioned invading a country.

4. I have a six-figure salary if you count the figures after the decimal
point.

5. Rush Limbaugh is a Republican.

http://www.musicrowdemocrats.com/fivereasons.html
     
Cody Dawg  (op)
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Jul 4, 2005, 01:44 PM
 
...and, based on your post ^ Democrats are not funny nor make any sense.

In particular, this is someone who seems to understand the basic idea that people do not need guardians over their day-to-day lives, as opposed to the modern Democrat ideology that the purpose of the state is to be just such a guardian. This has been one of the core battles of politics for centuries, and the Democrats and Republicans are little more than modern American incarnations of that battle.
     
Spliff
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Jul 4, 2005, 03:11 PM
 
[Begin rant]

Geez, that essay is ripe for parody and satire. It's begging for it.

It's another one of those "Proud to be American" chest-beating speeches. We get it. You're American, you're Republican, you're proud, you're god-fearing, you're gun-toting, you're liberal-loathing, blah blah blah.



Thank god for Americans with a sense of irony and a self-deprecating sense of humour, Americans who don't get misty-eyed thinking of Springsteen standing in front of a US flag singing "Born in the USA.

And don't think I'm bitching just because it's written by a Republican. I'm sick of the clichéd Republican vs Democrat rhetoric. It's always the same. The issues never change, the attacks never change, the vocabulary of the rhetoric never changes. It's always the same simplistic, polarized arguments from both sides and Cody Dawg is helping to perpetuate it by linking to that crappy, embarrassing article. Whether it comes from the mouth of Russ Limbaugh or Janeane Garofalo, I can't stand it.

At least Matt Stone and Trey Parker of South Park—to give you an example—are smart enough to ridicule mindless patriotism and the rigid, simplistic thinking of many conservatives and liberals.

[End rant]
( Last edited by Spliff; Jul 4, 2005 at 03:18 PM. )
     
BlueSky
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Jul 4, 2005, 03:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cody Dawg
...and, based on your post ^ Democrats are not funny nor make any sense.
I've probably been around here long enough to be known for the lack of both, but I doubt it has anything to do with political parties.

That aside, is this how you celebrate the birth of your country? Looking for ever wider and newer ways to divide Americans? Do you think the men who founded this country fought a war in order to divide Americans?

Personally, I think they had a good reason for fighting a war, and I doubt it was born of bitchiness because their 4th of July Strawberry Trifle didn't turn out as they had hoped.

Maybe you could take a day off.
     
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Jul 4, 2005, 03:20 PM
 
That's right: being rich is bad. Working a lot to make more money to better the life of oneself (and one's family) is pure greed. Wanting to get off one's lazy arse and accomplish something well above the status quo is egotistical.

Spare me.

But oh well -- I'm content being a rich, greedy, egotistical man that will retire a multimillionaire, pay for my both my nieces' college (and my own kids, if we have them), and help our local churches financially.

Maury
"Everything's so clear to me now: I'm the keeper of the cheese and you're the lemon merchant. Get it? And he knows it.
That's why he's gonna kill us. So we got to beat it. Yeah. Before he let's loose the marmosets on us."
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Jul 4, 2005, 03:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by RAILhead
But oh well -- I'm content being a rich, greedy, egotistical man that will retire a multimillionaire, pay for my both my nieces' college (and my own kids, if we have them), and help our local churches financially.
You forgot to mention shitting gold.
Chuck
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Cody Dawg  (op)
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Jul 4, 2005, 03:46 PM
 
RAILhead works for what he has.

What are any of you doing today? Relaxing? Barbecueing? I'm working.
     
RAILhead
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Jul 4, 2005, 03:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit
You forgot to mention shitting gold.
No, I've never done that, sorry.
"Everything's so clear to me now: I'm the keeper of the cheese and you're the lemon merchant. Get it? And he knows it.
That's why he's gonna kill us. So we got to beat it. Yeah. Before he let's loose the marmosets on us."
my bandmy web sitemy guitar effectsmy photosfacebookbrightpoint
     
Spliff
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Jul 4, 2005, 03:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by RAILhead
That's right: being rich is bad. Working a lot to make more money to better the life of oneself (and one's family) is pure greed. Wanting to get off one's lazy arse and accomplish something well above the status quo is egotistical.

Spare me.

Maury
Maury,

This is the kind of stuff that I'm tired of from the right and left. The debate shouldn't be "the rich are bad" or "the rich are good." It's not that simplistic, but many people on both sides try to make the debate that simplistic. It's harmful because it leads to a shouting match instead of reasoned debate about how to, for instance, distribute tax dollars to best serve the country. There are very good arguments for and against redistributing wealth, but no one is going to hear those arguments (or the counter-arguments) if everyone is calling rich "selfish scum" or the poor, "lazy scum."

P.S. Glad to hear that Uno is in good health.
     
Chuckit
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Jul 4, 2005, 03:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cody Dawg
RAILhead works for what he has.

What are any of you doing today? Relaxing? Barbecueing? I'm working.
Hey, don't blame me because I'm capable of getting my work done in the time allotted to it.
Chuck
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Spliff
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Jul 4, 2005, 03:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cody Dawg
RAILhead works for what he has.

What are any of you doing today? Relaxing? Barbecueing? I'm working.
Who gives a **** what you're doing today or what I'm doing today. And don't turn "work" into a fetish and an indicator of superiority. It's creepy and dishonest.

Everyone has to work to make a living unless they're perpetually on social assistance or they inherit great wealth. But working doesn't make you superior. Is the hard-working rapist a better person that the lazy rapist? No, they're both rapists—one just has better clothes and a nicer car.
     
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Jul 4, 2005, 04:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spliff
[Begin rant]Thank god for Americans with a sense of irony and a self-deprecating sense of humour, Americans who don't get misty-eyed thinking of Springsteen standing in front of a US flag singing "Born in the USA.[End rant]
Which is ironic if you actually listen to the words.
Born down in a dead man's town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
You end up like a dog that's been beat too much
'Til you spend half your life just covering up

[chorus:]
Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.

I got in a little hometown jam
And so they put a rifle in my hands
Sent me off to Vietnam
To go and kill the yellow man

[chorus]

Come back home to the refinery
Hiring man says "Son if it was up to me"
I go down to see the V.A. man
He said "Son don't you understand"

[chorus]

I had a buddy at Khe Sahn
Fighting off the Viet Cong
They're still there, he's all gone
He had a little girl in Saigon
I got a picture of him in her arms

Down in the shadow of the penitentiary
Out by the gas fires of the refinery
I'm ten years down the road
Nowhere to run, ain't got nowhere to go

I'm a long gone Daddy in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
I'm a cool rocking Daddy in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
It's a great song. And it's a patriotic song. But it's not a blindly patriotic song, it's a bitter and sad song.
     
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Jul 4, 2005, 04:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cody Dawg
What are any of you doing today? Relaxing? Barbecueing? I'm working.
In honor of this thread, I'm barbecuing a Democrat.
     
Cody Dawg  (op)
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Jul 4, 2005, 04:26 PM
 
bluesky



...for instance, distribute tax dollars to best serve the country
Thanks for volunteering to redistribute your own money, Spliff! Thanks!
     
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Jul 4, 2005, 04:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spliff
Maury,

This is the kind of stuff that I'm tired of from the right and left. The debate shouldn't be "the rich are bad" or "the rich are good." It's not that simplistic, but many people on both sides try to make the debate that simplistic. It's harmful because it leads to a shouting match instead of reasoned debate about how to, for instance, distribute tax dollars to best serve the country. There are very good arguments for and against redistributing wealth, but no one is going to hear those arguments (or the counter-arguments) if everyone is calling rich "selfish scum" or the poor, "lazy scum."

P.S. Glad to hear that Uno is in good health.
Me too, which is why I posted a smartass comment as equally inane as his.

(Thanks for the Uno words, too -- he's doing great!)

Maury
"Everything's so clear to me now: I'm the keeper of the cheese and you're the lemon merchant. Get it? And he knows it.
That's why he's gonna kill us. So we got to beat it. Yeah. Before he let's loose the marmosets on us."
my bandmy web sitemy guitar effectsmy photosfacebookbrightpoint
     
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Jul 4, 2005, 05:00 PM
 
You people must eat a lot of antacids with all of your cynicism.

I thought the essay was a clear indication of what a man believes and why. Well said.

thanks for sharing Cody Dawg!
     
von Wrangell
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Jul 4, 2005, 06:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by RAILhead
That's right: being rich is bad. Working a lot to make more money to better the life of oneself (and one's family) is pure greed. Wanting to get off one's lazy arse and accomplish something well above the status quo is egotistical.

Spare me.

But oh well -- I'm content being a rich, greedy, egotistical man that will retire a multimillionaire, pay for my both my nieces' college (and my own kids, if we have them), and help our local churches financially.

Maury
This post reminds me of my late grandfahter(may he rest in peace). He was a very rich man. He didn't inherit a cent. He built up his empire himself and fell with it himself. But at the end of the day when he left his earth he left it a very poor man. Not only in money but in also in life.

See, I'm also rather well off. I'm probably paid more than a large majority of my fellow countrymen. I still live a very "simple" life. I drive old cars, I have a small apartment, I try to spend as little as possible on "material" goods. And every cent I have at the end of the month goes to charities. Every single cent. And this makes me a very rich man.

Greed is searching for more and more money to live off. Greed is to seek a bigger house, a newer more expensive car etc. Greed is to seek for material goods to satisfy our greed. You might spend some money on charity to calm down your conscience but you are not a rich man if you live more expensive than you need to.

Greed is to spend most of your time working to buy your kids the newest game for PS2, or to buy a house that is larger than you need. Greed is to use your skills for your own benefit(or your family). When I have the chance I travel the world trying to help less fortunate countries and people to advance their education system and research levels. I don't spend that time watching the latest sitcom on my new 42" plasma TV.

So what I'm trying to say is that beware of living as well as you can because material goods and benefits don't last forever.

"Do not turn away a poor man...even if all you can give is half a date. If you love the poor and bring them near you...God will bring you near Him on the Day of Resurrection."


ps. before you go on about me typing this from my expensive computer: I didn't pay for it with my own money.

To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged;- and verily, Allah is most powerful for their aid
     
Cody Dawg  (op)
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Jul 4, 2005, 06:55 PM
 
Good post. I have a lot of respect for you. I like to make money because we have children to raise. We are middle class: Comfortable, clean, and healthy. We're happy. We sat and played video games with our kids all day, ate ice cream, bought some fireworks for tonight, and our day was low-key and relaxed. We don't need a lot of money to be happy, either.
     
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Jul 4, 2005, 07:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cody Dawg
What are any of you doing today? Relaxing? Barbecueing? I'm working.
Originally Posted by Cody Dawg
We sat and played video games with our kids all day, ate ice cream, bought some fireworks for tonight, and our day was low-key and relaxed.
     
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Jul 4, 2005, 10:08 PM
 
It's good work if you can get it, right Cody?

Happy Fourth of July, guys n gals of the USA.

Get over all this republican / democrat vilification nonsense and debate real issues. Carpe diem!
( Last edited by DBursey; Jul 4, 2005 at 10:18 PM. Reason: winky for Cody :))
     
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Jul 4, 2005, 10:40 PM
 
As of today, after 25 years, I am no longer a Republican.
I take this step with deep regret, and with a deep sense of betrayal.

I still believe in the vast power of markets to inspire ideas, motivate solutions and eliminate waste. I still believe in international vigilance and a strong defense, because this world will always be home to people who will avidly seek to take or destroy what we have built as a nation. I still believe in the protection of individuals and businesses from the influence and expense of an over-involved government. I still believe in the hand-in-hand concepts of separation of church and state and absolute freedom to worship, in the rights of the states to govern themselves without undo federal interference, and in the host of other things that defined me as a Republican.

My problem is this: I believe in principles and ideals which my party has systematically discarded in the last 10 years.

****

Fifty years from now, the Republican Party of this era will be judged by how we provided for the nation's future on three core issues: how we led the world on the environment, how we minded the business of running our country in such a way that we didn't go bankrupt, and whether we gracefully accepted our place on the world's stage as its only superpower. Sadly, we have built the foundation for dismal failure on all three counts. And we've done it in such a way that we shouldn't be surprised if neither the American people nor the world ever trusts us again.

****

While it has compiled this record of failure and deception, the party which I'm leaving today has spent its time, energy and political capital trying to save Terri Schiavo, battling the threat of single-sex unions, fighting medical marijuana and physician-assisted suicide, manufacturing political crises over presidential nominees, and selling privatized Social Security to an America that isn't buying. We fiddle while Rome burns.

Enough is enough. I quit.
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Jul 4, 2005, 10:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader
You people must eat a lot of antacids with all of your cynicism.

I thought the essay was a clear indication of what a man believes and why.
So what? The Communist Manifesto was a pretty clear indication of what Karl Marx believed and why. That doesn't make it agreeable or right.
Chuck
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Jul 4, 2005, 10:52 PM
 
I worked all day until this evening (kids playing games and PS2) then we took them to watch some fireworks and set off some of our own. They had a good time. I'm tired now, though. It's hard to believe that the summer is almost half over. Next up: Labor Day. End of summer.

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Jul 4, 2005, 11:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit
So what? The Communist Manifesto was a pretty clear indication of what Karl Marx believed and why. That doesn't make it agreeable or right.
Not many people can give you a detailed essay on why they believe what they believe. It's nice reading something that gives good reasons for a person's beliefs. I never said I agreed 100%.

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Jul 5, 2005, 01:46 AM
 
Why do you assume that because I think he's a prick, it gets my stomach in knots? I just think he's a jackass; that's all. No need for medicine.
Chuck
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Jul 5, 2005, 01:49 AM
 
I guess your cynicism comes with a stomach lining of lead. And what's with all the name calling? You can't debate what he said? You have to call him names?
     
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Jul 5, 2005, 02:31 AM
 
(Long post alert, y'all. Mainly because there are a ton o' quotes, and those take up a bunch of vertical space. Sorry. Not my fault.)

Originally Posted by Railroader
I guess your cynicism comes with a stomach lining of lead.
I guess so. I like to think of it as not being a little girl, but you can phrase it however you like. What it works out to is, yes, I am capable of forming my own opinions without becoming physically ill.

Originally Posted by Railroader
And what's with all the name calling? You can't debate what he said? You have to call him names?
I can't really debate that he believes what he says he believes. As he offered very little reasoning behind his belief in these things, I'm kind of at a loss to disprove any of the evidence he failed to offer. All I can tell from this is that he's a loudmouthed Republican who's a lot more of a stereotype than he wants to believe.

To pick on a few of the specific points that are stupid:
WHAT I AM … is a movie go-er who is repulsed by those insecure, socially inept, elementary thinking, ego-inflated “entertainers” who have appointed themselves “experts” in the fields of national security and geo-politics and then use their forum to attack this nation, its leaders and its actions…
Because only Republicans get the right to spout long diatribes out their asses in the media, I guess.
WHAT I AM … is a husband and father who believes in the sanctity of marriage and the preservation of the family unit.
I take this to be a nice way of saying "I don't want gays to have a certain legal title because that would make me feel less special," possibly with a jab against women's rights thrown in there. If he actually means it as the condemnation of straight Christian Americans that it should be, that's awesome. But he's not awesome anywhere else, so I doubt it.
WHAT I AM … is tired of hearing from leading Democrats who see only negativity in America; racism in her people; class warfare in her society and “political incorrectness” in her character.
Maybe they'd stop complaining about those problems if you'd do something about them? (I don't think most of these are major problems myself, but the tone of this point was more along the lines of, "I know these are problems, but would you stop killing my buzz, man?" Which is stupid.)
WHAT I AM … is a man who believes in the sanctity of life. A man who is repulsed by the pandering of the political left for votes, at the expense of the unborn.
People who say this actually don't give a **** about the sanctity of life. They just like fetuses a lot. Suggest they become vegetarians and they'll double over on the floor in laughter. (And to suggest that the left is just doing this for votes — have you seen their numbers lately?)
WHAT I AM … is an American who’s proud that his President embraces a belief in God; proud of a President who understands, as “politically incorrect” as it may be, there is evil in this world and for the security and safety of all freedom loving people everywhere, it must be confronted… and it must be defeated.
You're glad the President goes by his religion to determine enemies rather than what is diplomatically sound? Awesome. I was tired of having all these differences from the corrupt theocracies and terrorists in the Middle East anyway. (I'm not saying this is what the President is actually doing, but it's what he seems to be praising — that the President is embracing his religion and going against the Great Satan.)

Oh, and WHAT I AM is tired of Republicans bitching about Democracts. Is it not enough for them that they've completely taken over? They have to crush the opposition even further to the point where it can't even express its opinion? What sore winners.
Chuck
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Jul 5, 2005, 04:49 AM
 
Amazing how bothered some Democrats are that someone else has a different opinion than them. This guy’s rant seems to have struck a few nerves which -considering the extreme closed-mindedness of those he was aiming at- doesn’t surprise me in the least.
     
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Jul 5, 2005, 10:11 AM
 
Are you talking about me? I'm not a Democrat and never have been one.
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Jul 5, 2005, 10:33 AM
 
I think Crash meant to say 'the Left' rather than 'some Democrats'. However, he does have a point; when faced with an example of how Republicans view themselves, it seems that many on the left have more than a few bones to pick with that definition.

It all goes back to the vilification each side does of the other. Conservatives call liberals evil, liberals call conservatives evil, and pretty much everybody buys into one or the other of these accusations. The hell of it is, not only do they go into this, but they do it one-dimensionally; each side says (or at least heavily implies) that people on the other side know that they're evil, and either don't care or revel in their own corruption. Given that, is it any wonder that we'd see the Left reacting like this?

Of course, this particular article and its reactions only prove that the Left vilifies the Right in this manner. However, I have no doubt that a corresponding article on how the Left views itself would provoke exactly the same kind of reactions from the Right. This is what happens when both sides of the conflict claim a monopoly on morality.
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Jul 5, 2005, 10:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by von Wrangell
This post reminds me of my late grandfahter(may he rest in peace). He was a very rich man. He didn't inherit a cent. He built up his empire himself and fell with it himself. But at the end of the day when he left his earth he left it a very poor man. Not only in money but in also in life.

See, I'm also rather well off. I'm probably paid more than a large majority of my fellow countrymen. I still live a very "simple" life. I drive old cars, I have a small apartment, I try to spend as little as possible on "material" goods. And every cent I have at the end of the month goes to charities. Every single cent. And this makes me a very rich man.

Greed is searching for more and more money to live off. Greed is to seek a bigger house, a newer more expensive car etc. Greed is to seek for material goods to satisfy our greed. You might spend some money on charity to calm down your conscience but you are not a rich man if you live more expensive than you need to.

Greed is to spend most of your time working to buy your kids the newest game for PS2, or to buy a house that is larger than you need. Greed is to use your skills for your own benefit(or your family). When I have the chance I travel the world trying to help less fortunate countries and people to advance their education system and research levels. I don't spend that time watching the latest sitcom on my new 42" plasma TV.

So what I'm trying to say is that beware of living as well as you can because material goods and benefits don't last forever.

"Do not turn away a poor man...even if all you can give is half a date. If you love the poor and bring them near you...God will bring you near Him on the Day of Resurrection."


ps. before you go on about me typing this from my expensive computer: I didn't pay for it with my own money.
And?

Money isn't the root of all evil, the LOVE of money is -- but you're the only person in this thread making it sound as if money is bad. Money is neutral, it's a tool. A dumbarse will fall in love with it and let it become all-consuming, but someone with a brain won't.

The problem with your post is that you laid the idiot blanket over everyone that makes money.

We pull in 6 figures, but we only live off 70% and give the rest to charity and savings for our family. I have 2 nieces that won't be able to afford college without them or their not-well-off parents going deep into debt. But I'm "smart" about my money, so thanks to Uncle M, they won't have to worry about college outside of staying out of trouble and making good grades. That's a Good Thing. Sure, they're parents should have done a better job, but that's yesterday's news.

And again, "living well" isn't bad, either. Who gives a rat's arse if you can't take it with you? I don't think anyone's ever seen a hearse puling a U-Haul on the way to the cemetery -- but that doesn't mean my wife shouldn't be able to drive whatever she wants, wear whatever she wants, go wherever she wants, vacation wherever she wants, etc. We're alive NOW, and we're financially blessed. Charity is our priority, but I never to vow of poverty, so as long I'm all "squared" the God of my faith, the rest is mine to do with as I please.

"Rich" "Poor" and all that are just catchy words with no real meaning. I know people that make $500k a year, but they aren't worth squat because they spend it all, have no net worth, and they're arseholes. Conversely, I know people that make $25k a year, are worth half a million at 30 years old, and they're the best people I know. The "rich" guy is the latter. The "poor" guy is the former.

My point is this: having and spending money in a financially/spiritually responsible manner is Good.

Maury
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That's why he's gonna kill us. So we got to beat it. Yeah. Before he let's loose the marmosets on us."
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Millennium
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Jul 5, 2005, 11:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by von Wrangell
See, I'm also rather well off. I'm probably paid more than a large majority of my fellow countrymen. I still live a very "simple" life. I drive old cars, I have a small apartment, I try to spend as little as possible on "material" goods. And every cent I have at the end of the month goes to charities. Every single cent. And this makes me a very rich man.
Good for you. However, the writer of this article doesn't seem greedy to me.
Greed is searching for more and more money to live off.
Greed is to seek material wealth for its own sake. This man never said he was out simply to make money. He wanted to do something -in this case, raise his kids more comfortably than he himself was raised- and so he set out to do what it took in order to make that possible. Is that really greed?
Greed is to seek a bigger house, a newer more expensive car etc. Greed is to seek for material goods to satisfy our greed.
Isn't that a circular definition?
You might spend some money on charity to calm down your conscience but you are not a rich man if you live more expensive than you need to.
You are right that 'rich' is a state of mind more than anything else. However, even you live more expensively than you need to, if we take things in the strictest possible sense. I doubt you're prepared to live the lifestyle of an actual ascetic. I'm not prepared to do that either. Most of us don't live lives of opulence or of self-denial, but rather we live in what the Buddha called "the Middle Way", which is to say relative some degree of moderation. Where in that middle people choose to live is their own business, is it not?
Greed is to spend most of your time working to buy your kids the newest game for PS2, or to buy a house that is larger than you need.
Come to think of it, who defines 'need'? Are you saying that you are qualified to define need for anyone other than yourself? Where do you get that kind of authority?
Greed is to use your skills for your own benefit(or your family).
Surely not. We all use our skills for our own benefits, or those of our family, sometimes. Even you do, I'm sure. For that matter, why is it greedy to make sacrifices for one's family, particularly when doing so keeps them from becoming "less fortunate"? Is it greedy to keep one's self and one's family out of situations where assistance would be required? Is it greedy to not be dependent on help from others?
When I have the chance I travel the world trying to help less fortunate countries and people to advance their education system and research levels. I don't spend that time watching the latest sitcom on my new 42" plasma TV.
Good for you. If that's how you choose to help people, then that's your prerogative, and I have no intention of criticizing you or hindering you from doing this. However, I do have a bone to pick with the broad brush you're using to paint people who don't undergo that degree of self-sacrifice as "greedy".
So what I'm trying to say is that beware of living as well as you can because material goods and benefits don't last forever.
Indeed, being consumed by greed is a terrible thing. However, I think your definitions of greed and what it means to be consumed by it are perhaps overly broad.
"Do not turn away a poor man...even if all you can give is half a date. If you love the poor and bring them near you...God will bring you near Him on the Day of Resurrection."
True indeed, from a Christian perspective. I do hope you don't plan on enshrining it in secular law, however; Church and State and all that.
ps. before you go on about me typing this from my expensive computer: I didn't pay for it with my own money.
Then how did it come into your possession? Or are you using a library computer or something?
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James L
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Jul 5, 2005, 11:37 AM
 
My favourite parts of this thread so far all involve irony:

1) On Independence Day, when Americans should be celebrating the unity and freedoms of their country, someone creates a thread which only serves to encourage further divide.

2) The dude who wrote the original letter paid over $104,000 to put it out? Wow, he must really value his own opinion. Especially considering the majority of his posts could probably apply to being a democrat also. I didn't realize that being a husband, a father, the offspring of an immigrant, a businessman, a movie critic, a voter, a Catholic, etc were Republican only traits. Honestly, does anyone really fall for this diatribe?

3) Cody contradicted herself... again.

     
James L
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Jul 5, 2005, 11:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by RAILhead
And?

Money isn't the root of all evil, the LOVE of money is -- but you're the only person in this thread making it sound as if money is bad. Money is neutral, it's a tool. A dumbarse will fall in love with it and let it become all-consuming, but someone with a brain won't.

The problem with your post is that you laid the idiot blanket over everyone that makes money.

We pull in 6 figures, but we only live off 70% and give the rest to charity and savings for our family. I have 2 nieces that won't be able to afford college without them or their not-well-off parents going deep into debt. But I'm "smart" about my money, so thanks to Uncle M, they won't have to worry about college outside of staying out of trouble and making good grades. That's a Good Thing. Sure, they're parents should have done a better job, but that's yesterday's news.

And again, "living well" isn't bad, either. Who gives a rat's arse if you can't take it with you? I don't think anyone's ever seen a hearse puling a U-Haul on the way to the cemetery -- but that doesn't mean my wife shouldn't be able to drive whatever she wants, wear whatever she wants, go wherever she wants, vacation wherever she wants, etc. We're alive NOW, and we're financially blessed. Charity is our priority, but I never to vow of poverty, so as long I'm all "squared" the God of my faith, the rest is mine to do with as I please.

"Rich" "Poor" and all that are just catchy words with no real meaning. I know people that make $500k a year, but they aren't worth squat because they spend it all, have no net worth, and they're arseholes. Conversely, I know people that make $25k a year, are worth half a million at 30 years old, and they're the best people I know. The "rich" guy is the latter. The "poor" guy is the former.

My point is this: having and spending money in a financially/spiritually responsible manner is Good.

Maury

     
Millennium
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Jul 5, 2005, 11:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by James L
2) The dude who wrote the original letter paid over $104,000 to put it out? Wow, he must really value his own opinion. Especially considering the majority of his posts could probably apply to being a democrat also. I didn't realize that being a husband, a father, the offspring of an immigrant, a businessman, a movie critic, a voter, a Catholic, etc were Republican only traits.
They're not. However, among modern liberals there's a very real sense of belief that Republicans only represent fat, white, rich-by-inheritance businessmen (note the men on the end), and that liberalism represents everyone else. I think a large part of his point was that Republicans can and do represent the "common folk" at least as well as Democrats do.
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Jul 5, 2005, 11:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by Millennium
They're not. However, among modern liberals there's a very real sense of belief that Republicans only represent fat, white, rich-by-inheritance businessmen (note the men on the end), and that liberalism represents everyone else. I think a large part of his point was that Republicans can and do represent the "common folk" at least as well as Democrats do.
Fair enough... though there are stereotypes that go both ways:

Republicans: fat, white, rich by inheritance businessmen.

Democrats: Liberal, baby killing, tree hugging, protesting, etc.


While the truth, as it almost always does, lies somewhere in the middle for both parties.

Cheers,

James
     
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Jul 5, 2005, 12:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Millennium
Good for you. However, the writer of this article doesn't seem greedy to me.
I'm sure he doesn't to most who are used to Western "comforts" and "standard of life". I'll try to explain better in this post in my replies to you.
Greed is to seek material wealth for its own sake. This man never said he was out simply to make money. He wanted to do something -in this case, raise his kids more comfortably than he himself was raised- and so he set out to do what it took in order to make that possible. Is that really greed?
The way he talks about it points to pure greed. The standard of living most in the west talk about are how big(or expensive) your car is, how easy it is for you to send your kids to various after school activities etc etc etc. Standard of living in most of the world though means how easy it is for you to get clean water, find a school(literally and not the way we in the West look at it) etc etc. The way he talks about it points to greed as he focuses on money.
Isn't that a circular definition?
Probably But what I was trying to say is that greed is just like any other addiction. You need to feed it and you often try to "reduce" your addiction by feeding it. Understand where I'm going or don't I make any sense at all?(very possible)
You are right that 'rich' is a state of mind more than anything else. However, even you live more expensively than you need to, if we take things in the strictest possible sense. I doubt you're prepared to live the lifestyle of an actual ascetic. I'm not prepared to do that either. Most of us don't live lives of opulence or of self-denial, but rather we live in what the Buddha called "the Middle Way", which is to say relative some degree of moderation. Where in that middle people choose to live is their own business, is it not?
Yes, I live more expensively that I need to. We all do. But all obvious "extras" I've done away with. I've also spent time to see what other parts of my life I'm able to be without. And yes, it is their own business where in the middle they live. But that also makes it OK for me to point out the greed of some of those who claim to live in the middle. I mean, how many families do we know of that have two cars? Most rationalise it by saying that they need it. That's BS(for the most part). The list goes on for things like that, that we try to rationalise as "need". Most of it is BS though.
Come to think of it, who defines 'need'? Are you saying that you are qualified to define need for anyone other than yourself? Where do you get that kind of authority?
Need is defined by the word itself. We all have different needs but it's pretty obvious what is necessary and what not. For instance most people in cities it's completely unnecessary to have two cars. Still many do. Each and every person knows what is needed in their own lives. How much we try to rationalise it differs though.
Surely not. We all use our skills for our own benefits, or those of our family, sometimes. Even you do, I'm sure. For that matter, why is it greedy to make sacrifices for one's family, particularly when doing so keeps them from becoming "less fortunate"? Is it greedy to keep one's self and one's family out of situations where assistance would be required? Is it greedy to not be dependent on help from others?
It depends on the situation. If all you do is help your family(like most do) it's greed. You're not helping them because your heart tells you to do it, but you are helping them to let your family have it better than other. What we should do is help others as well. There are families that have no one to take care of them. And we should spend as much on them as we do on our own family. As with Railheads example, a better thing to do(though he is already doing a good deed) would be to sponsor a kid he doesn't know to school. That way that kid could later help both his own family as well as other kids. That is the way I do try to do it. At the moment I don't have kids but I try to instead spend money on sponsoring kids to various sports and music lessons that my brothers and sister are priviledged enough to attend. When I have my own kids I will continue doing the same. What I'm trying to say is that if you are are "rich" enough to spend on these various luxury "items" for your family you are "rich" enough to take 50% of that to spend on people you don't know. Because giving a kid the chance to go to school, be apart of a team in sports, or learn music is one of the best things we can do. We shouldn't just spend our money on our own kids and then spend whatever change we have left on charity to feel better.
Good for you. If that's how you choose to help people, then that's your prerogative, and I have no intention of criticizing you or hindering you from doing this. However, I do have a bone to pick with the broad brush you're using to paint people who don't undergo that degree of self-sacrifice as "greedy".
And that's fine by me. Just as I have the right to criticise people I believe are greedy you have the right to criticise me for that. I have no problem with that. I'm just happy that we are able to discuss this. Maybe one day you'll see the light and join me
Indeed, being consumed by greed is a terrible thing. However, I think your definitions of greed and what it means to be consumed by it are perhaps overly broad.
They might very well be as I'm trying to make sure to get rid of all possible greed that I've been brought up with(Western society and rather wealthy parents). Just like when people try to stop smoking they often try to stay away from second hand smoke as well. Sort of similar if you know what I mean
True indeed, from a Christian perspective. I do hope you don't plan on enshrining it in secular law, however; Church and State and all that.
No I don't want to do that. I believe that people have to realise this themselves.
Then how did it come into your possession? Or are you using a library computer or something?
The lab I'm working for paid for it.

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Millennium
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Jul 5, 2005, 01:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by von Wrangell
The way he talks about it points to pure greed. The standard of living most in the west talk about are how big(or expensive) your car is, how easy it is for you to send your kids to various after school activities etc etc etc. Standard of living in most of the world though means how easy it is for you to get clean water, find a school(literally and not the way we in the West look at it) etc etc. The way he talks about it points to greed as he focuses on money.
He focuses on money? That's odd; out of 28 points, I count only eight which mention anything remotely related to money. That figure includes mentions of things like employment, communism, "the fruits of personal achievement", and so forth in this definition. I even counted "class warfare" as one of the mentions.

This may seem like a lot, I suppose, but many if not most of the core issues of the battle between modern conservatives and modern liberals are over money and what ought to be done with it. Since this essay is about those very issues, I don't see how it's excessively focused on money.
But what I was trying to say is that greed is just like any other addiction. You need to feed it and you often try to "reduce" your addiction by feeding it. Understand where I'm going or don't I make any sense at all?(very possible)
I think I'm getting the idea, but it raises the question: if greed is an addiction, then what is it that greedy people are addicted to? Are they actually addicted to the concept of money? Is it that they're addicted to status, or comfort, or some particular vision of themselves which requires money to fulfill?
And yes, it is their own business where in the middle they live. But that also makes it OK for me to point out the greed of some of those who claim to live in the middle. I mean, how many families do we know of that have two cars? Most rationalise it by saying that they need it. That's BS(for the most part). The list goes on for things like that, that we try to rationalise as "need". Most of it is BS though.
My wife and I live at roughly the center point between our jobs: she drives a somewhat longer distance, but I face worse traffic, such that our commutes actually take about the same amount of time. She is a teacher, and so her workday starts and ends much earlier than mine does; in fact, on most days her school building closes before I'm done with work. To drive between her workplace and mine takes about an hour in the mornings but much longer in the afternoon.

As a result, we own two cars; both are in good condition but were bought used. Both were bought outright, and so there are no loans to deal with. Can you offer me a better solution? Moving would only exacerbate the problem for one person or the other, changing jobs would be quite difficult for either of us, and I hope I've outlined in adequate detail why we cannot drive to work together.

My point is that my wife and I are not all that exceptional, as far as these things are concerned. You claim that the concept of families needing two cars is usually BS, but I don't see any justification for that claim.
Need is defined by the word itself.
Need is need? Surely there's a more concrete definition than that.
We all have different needs but it's pretty obvious what is necessary and what not.
Recognizing need as opposed to desire is a skill. It's not a difficult skill to learn; I suspect most of us on these boards were taught how to do it as children. Recognizing needs is indeed easy, for someone "on the inside". Are you saying that you can easily assess the needs of other people than yourself?

Certainly most would agree on the barest necessities: air, water, food, shelter, clothing (which some would classify as a kind of shelter). However, there are other needs which are just as real. Where, for example, would you place the need to feel loved?
For instance most people in cities it's completely unnecessary to have two cars. Still many do.
I don't know if I'd say that many do, but it probably depends on the city.
Each and every person knows what is needed in their own lives. How much we try to rationalise it differs though.
It depends on the situation. If all you do is help your family(like most do) it's greed. You're not helping them because your heart tells you to do it, but you are helping them to let your family have it better than other.
"Better than others"? Are you sure that's what people are really going for? Most people, I'd imagine, don't really care about being better than others. They just want something better than the present situation, whatever that may happen to be. This is what most people would say the phrase "a better life" means, and I'd wager that the writer of this article would say the same thing.

What we should do is help others as well. There are families that have no one to take care of them. And we should spend as much on them as we do on our own family.
That's noble indeed, but you're talking about spending half your income to sponsor only one family, or much more than that to sponsor more than one. Is this really what you are after?
As with Railheads example, a better thing to do(though he is already doing a good deed) would be to sponsor a kid he doesn't know to school.
It would be a better thing to sponsor a stranger while his own family struggles? I suppose some moral systems would see that as altruistic, but others would see it as irresponsible.
That way that kid could later help both his own family as well as other kids.
What guarantee do you have that this would happen? While it would certainly be a fine thing, you seem to be taking it for granted. Why?

Also, why would this be a better situation than preventing his family from requiring help in the first place. This would free up those in a position to provide help, so that they might help others instead. Is this not a good thing?
And that's fine by me. Just as I have the right to criticise people I believe are greedy you have the right to criticise me for that. I have no problem with that. I'm just happy that we are able to discuss this. Maybe one day you'll see the light and join me
Perhaps, but I think we have very different definitions of 'light'.
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Cody Dawg  (op)
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Jul 5, 2005, 01:47 PM
 
Where is the "Smackdown" award?
     
Chuckit
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Jul 5, 2005, 02:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by Millennium
I think Crash meant to say 'the Left' rather than 'some Democrats'. However, he does have a point; when faced with an example of how Republicans view themselves, it seems that many on the left have more than a few bones to pick with that definition.
I don't think that's right either. As a general rule, I agree with "the Right" more often than "the Left" (if I agree with either), so I don't see why you'd characterize me as the latter.
Chuck
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