Blog to the White House

One of the most powerful unintended results of widespread Internet access is that individual voices can be heard in new ways on a national and international scale. You no longer have to be a journalist, a politician, an activist, writer or a hugely successful businessperson to make your opinions known.

You don't have to work outside the home. You don't even have toleave your home or your desk, which is why mommy bloggers and mom Web sites have become a lifeline for working and stay-at-home mothers, who historically have often been too busy to organize in politically effective ways.

BlogHer, a powerful online consortium of over 11,000 female bloggers, just announced a new campaign to use the Internet to harness women's opinions about the biggest global issues in our lives. The results will be funneled into BlogHer's Election '08 Voter Manifesto. BlogHer asks women to consider two simple questions: What is the single, most important global cause for women? What are the four top issues that women want U.S. presidential candidates to address?

Concerns facing women globally differ from the most pressing issues facing American women. In this country, we have cemented many fundamental women's rights, eliminating injustice the way some countries have eradicated polio or smallpox. The right to vote. The right to control our bodies -- including when, how, and where we have sex, marry and have children. Equal legal protection. All admittedly within our imperfect legal and judicial systems.

So the global issues on my list are many we already take for granted:

* Political representation: the right to vote in open and fair elections.
* Physical liberty: voluntary marriage and divorce and access to all forms of birth control.
* Protection against domestic violence, rape, and other forms of abuse.
* Economic freedom: the ability to work and have financial independence.

The four primary issues I'm most curious to see presidential candidates address are:

* Ending the war in Iraq and building the U.S. reputation as a generous, peace-promoting international partner.
* Comprehensive development and promotion of programs that make combining working and caring for one's family easier, including equal pay for men and women, flexible and part-time schedules, more extensive family leave policies, off-ramps and on-ramps, continuing education, child-care support and stronger support of gender and pregnancy discrimination laws.
* National health care insurance so that affordable health and dental care is accessible to everyone.
* Revitalized public education, especially in major urban areas, to restore education as a public good for all society.

Naturally my priorities are shaped by my gender, my race, my economic situation, the ages of my children, my life experiences. What's on your list -- and why?

Speak out about your red-hot issues. Post your opinion by June 15th to ensure your suggestions are included in the survey. On June 25th, BlogHer will issue a survey to the community so everyone can vote for or against the top proposals.

Make your voice heard. It's easy. It's free. And you don't have to leave your desk or your kitchen to do it.

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  June 11, 2007; 6:59 AM ET  | Category:  You Go Girl!
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Comments

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First!

Did anyone else hear the recent report on NPR about how women are still be treated at home in Afghanistan? Will try to find the transcript in order to post pertinent excerpts, but suffice it to say women are non-persons except for being men's servants.

Posted by: catlady | June 11, 2007 7:27 AM

Women do not have the right do do whatever they want with their bodies, nor do they have the right to marry whomever they want. Some individual freedoms make for a better society, others don't.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 7:29 AM

Obviously the Taliban representative has chimed in with the 2nd post of the morning.

What century did you just wake up from? It's certainly not this one.

Posted by: John L | June 11, 2007 7:41 AM

Leslie, are you going to actually write a column that is "on balance"?

Posted by: Lacking balance | June 11, 2007 7:44 AM

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 7:54 AM

The four primary issues that I would like to see addressed:

- Development of effective international strategies to address assymetric threats posed by rogue nations

- Long-term plans to address the need for the solvency of social security without bankrupting the young workers of today and the future

- Re-structuring of the national health care system to provide more universal coverage

- Creation of an effective immigration policy that reognizes the US need for attracting hard working individuals and families

Posted by: A Dad | June 11, 2007 7:54 AM

A Dad -- Thanks. Interesting to me how different -- totally valid -- concerns others have.

Lacking Balance -- Be more specific. What's unbalanced about this entry? If you weigh in with your views maybe it will feel more "balanced" (to you at least).

Posted by: Leslie | June 11, 2007 7:58 AM

nice to know I don't need to spend any time here today. same ol, same ol.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 8:06 AM

Wow - I actually agree completely with Leslie on this one. I think her and my issues are pretty similar - both at home and globally.

I also think some of you have unrealistic expectations of this blog ALWAYS being completely on point re: balance. If you don't like the topic for the day, do what I do - move on and leave the rest of us alone.

Posted by: londonmom | June 11, 2007 8:38 AM

Leslie, we are peace loving. But when people are trying to kill you, you need force to stop them

When you say affordable health care-do you just mean that someone else should pay for it? Many young people have access now but don't think it is important enough to pay for it. And it will be a similar cost-probably higher if the govt pays for it. Don't fool yourself. And if it is the govt administering it, it will not be so great.

Social security-it is so simple, yet no one wants to talk about it. Raise the age at which people begin getting benefits. I don't think that there is anything wrong with saying to people that they have to save more and finance a few yrs of retirement or that they have to work longer. When soc security was implemented, people lived til 65, now they live longer. It used to be something like 30 people paying in for every retiree-now it's something like 2. The math will never work without raising the benefits age.

My main issue is the war on terror-get in there and do the job right. Wherever we have to go. Just saying we don't want war and want to be peaceful is not going to stop people from killing us. Not in any way.

And then, pass the fair tax so we can get away from our oppressive tax system.

Posted by: atlmom | June 11, 2007 8:47 AM

Oh the shark has pretty teeth dear
And he shows them pearly white
Just a jack-knife has Mac-heath dear
And he keeps it out of sight

When the shark bites with his teeth dear
Scarlet billows start to spread...

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 8:54 AM

I'd like to see the presidential candidates discuss several issues:

* How will they rebuild our standing in the world as a country interested in peace, while at the same time protecting our interests both here and abroad?

* Will anyone do more than pay lip service to the need for a portable, affordable, nationwide health insurance program for everyone, and if so, what are the options?

* The transportation system in this country is falling apart and the states are not capable of paying to repair it. What are our options nationally for assisting the states with this issue?

* How will the candidates deal with Iraq, Iran and the rest of the Middle East nations, and is there a strategy for turning Iraq and Afghanistan into viable nations?

* This country is outsourcing manufacturing and technology jobs to other countries at a frightening rate, leaving few opportunities for many citizens to get good, well paying jobs. What do the candidates see as the future of the US' industrial and technology jobs?

* Immigration is becoming a hot button issue in all the states; what should be done to better integrate the growing population of people from other countries coming here for better jobs?

Posted by: John L | June 11, 2007 8:57 AM

I want protection from the anti public breastfeeding Nazis.

Posted by: Double D Momma | June 11, 2007 8:57 AM

"* Revitalized public education, especially in major urban areas, to restore education as a public good for all society."

This seems to imply that at one point education was a public good for all society. If there was an agreed upon model of goodness from antiquity to fall back on, we probably wouldn't have the problems we do.

As for what I want (and that hasn't already been mentioned): A systematic program to deal with the impacts of globalization on the workforce. Something along the lines of an expansion of the current student aid system to encompass retraining and education of adults who have lost their jobs.

Posted by: David S | June 11, 2007 9:03 AM

Double D Momma

"I want protection from the anti public breastfeeding Nazis."

You are too ugly to breastfeed in public. Please stop pronto!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 9:05 AM

My top four issues:

1 - the economy. In the immortal words of James Carville, "it's the economy, stupid". Except it's truly a global economy. More and more jobs are off-shored. Top technology companies like Cisco are requiring those who want to be future leaders to live and work in places like India, China, Russia etc. if they want to be considered for future promotion to the executive ranks. What's the US' position in the global economy? What should be done to ensure that the US can achieve and maintain that position?

2 - International security - the world is full of asymmetric threats - rogue groups of people who think that dying while killing large numbers of innocent people is a good thing. How can the US work in the larger world community to address this? What are the root causes of this problem? How can those root causes be addressed?

3 - Education - how can accountability and performance be brought into the education system? How can meaningful standards be set so that nobody gets to be an "honors graduate" of a public high school with a 4.0 average but is unable to read, without resorting to a strategy that results in everyone "teaching to the test"?

Although there are other problems I'd like to see addressed, solving those three would be sufficient for me. But the first is the most important. It all comes back to the economy. If the economy's strong, then we have enough to pay for all the other stuff. If the economy's in the dumps, we can't pay for the other stuff anyway so it's kind of irrelevant to worry about it.

Posted by: Army Brat | June 11, 2007 9:10 AM

John l: it is not the govts job to ensure jobs for anyone. I definitely disagree with you on this. It is the american way, actually, to figure out the best way to do things and if that means that a co. Is going to find better employees elsewhere, so be it. It sucks, but that's living in the US.

With immigration-i believe we should enforce the laws we have, not grant amnesty to anyone and not have a guest worker program. We need our economy to thrive on legal workers-and once we see the effect of the illegals not being here, then we can determine what to do about it.

Also, john L, the idea that health care is better b/c it is run by govt is not so sane. Other countries aren't doing a better job-they are doing okay because they have the us for backup. What we have sucks, but to quote churchill (?) (And badly)-it's the worst there is, except for all the rest. Sure, it could be much better-but in no way do I think that allowing the govt to be in charge will be the answer. Also-solving the illegal immigration issues will help in that regard. You and I are paying for people here illegally to have great coverage.

Posted by: atlmom | June 11, 2007 9:13 AM

How many examples can you cite of "an "honors graduate" of a public high school with a 4.0 average but is unable to read"? This sounds more like Urban Legend than fact.

Posted by: To Army Brat | June 11, 2007 9:18 AM

For those who have no health coverage, government health care is better than nothing. And at least we wouldn't have to pay lavish CEO salaries.

Posted by: To atlmom | June 11, 2007 9:20 AM

The real problem is that economic circumstances are so bad in their native countries that it's worth the risk of coming to the US illegally. Maybe these countries, with help from the developed world, can make circumstances better there so not as many people want to leave to come here. Some of the world's richest men live in these countries.

Posted by: To bashers of illegal immigrants | June 11, 2007 9:23 AM

atlmom,

I wasn't talking about the government making jobs. I was addressing the fact that we have bled most of our industrial base away, and are doing so with the technology industry now. The entire country cannot become service oriented and remain a leader in the world; already critical industries are relocating to countries we may become rivals with in the future. I'd like to know what will be done to preserve our industrial/technological base here, in this country.

Similarly, portable and affordable health insurance standards need to be set down to make sure that everyone has some basic level of care, especially children and those on the bottom rungs of society.

"Let the market decide" assumes that the market knows what is best for the country, instead of what is best for the market. I think we've already seen that corporations are only interested in what's best for their stockholders, and damn everyone else.

Posted by: John L | June 11, 2007 9:28 AM

Seems like I'm not the only one with health care coverage as a big issue!

If and when I get a nanny, I'd like to pay for health care for the nanny-- any ideas on how much that would cost per month and what companies to use? We live in DC.

I suspect that the hassle of providing health care for nannies has occassionally tipped the balance in favor of "out of the home" daycare or having one parent quit and stay home. If there were universal health care, I imagine more nannies would be used-- bringing more parents into the workforce-- and placing fewer children into "out of the home" daycare. What are the ramifications of that?

Posted by: Jen S. | June 11, 2007 9:29 AM

Tony did not get whacked but maybe this topic should?

Posted by: sleeps with the fishes | June 11, 2007 9:32 AM

Atlmom-- I'm confused. You say that illegal aliens have "great" health coverage, but you also say that gov't provided health care is pretty bad-- so where are these illegal aliens getting this great health coverage that you speak of?

thanks for any light you can shed on this!

Posted by: Jen S. | June 11, 2007 9:35 AM

I agree with John L, Army brat, and David S. The economy should be number one. We cannot continue to let big business offshore all of our manufacturing, high tech, and yes, even our agriculture. A country that can't feed itself can't defend itself either. China wants to start importing chicken into our country. They already have shown us what they can do for our teeth and our animals. Most of all the wheat gluten comes from them too, however, I digress. After that, I would say immigration, healthcare, and re-taking our place as a global leader of peace and prosperity while keeping our borders and citizens safe. Wow, I should have just said world peace.

Altmom,

People in other countries aren't doing it better, they are doing it cheaper. The government should be responsible for the people who live under their care. They should make laws that are fair instead of bowing to big business. Also, it is in their best interest to keep their citizens happy so that the classes can be maintained and people always have something to strive for. Really, if we keep going the way we are with the rich getting richer and the middle class being squeezed to extinction and the lower class living in poverty, you can expect a very uncivilized society to emerge, maybe even an uprising.


Posted by: scarry | June 11, 2007 9:36 AM

For me I would like to request from the white house - peace on earth, and for fix DC public schools! the second of course is for selfish reasons, but DC should be the showcase of what American can do... as it is run by our government!

Posted by: single mom | June 11, 2007 9:40 AM

scarry

"Really, if we keep going the way we are with the rich getting richer and the middle class being squeezed to extinction
and the lower class living in poverty, you can expect a very uncivilized society to emerge, maybe even an uprising."

Duh, ya think?


Posted by: Karl Marx | June 11, 2007 9:42 AM

One of the bases of the Reagan Revolution was that the working class had achieved middle class pay and lifestyle in mid 20th century, and that this needed to be taken away from them so the rich could get richer.

Posted by: To Karl Marx | June 11, 2007 9:50 AM

Actually, some people choose nothing over having health care. Those people assume someone else will pay for it.

And someone else will. One can always get health care-the stats you are thinking about are those who do not have health insurance. Those people have access to health care-there are places to go. So no, I don't think that a govt run universal coverage would be better than what is there currently. Unfortunately, you can't mandate that people keep up healthy habits or go to the doctor, so we must pay for that.

Posted by: atlmom | June 11, 2007 10:03 AM

Why the tude towards scarry? She was just pointing out what altmom is missing.

If you are so smart, why didn't you point it out.

Posted by: to Karl Marx again | June 11, 2007 10:06 AM

My top concerns:

1. American economy. The next big thing is going to be technologies/transportation that do not run on gas/oil. What if America put her shoulder to the wheel and became a leader much as we did in the space race? We need real leadership to set this as a goal and go for it. I always shake my head when I hear (car) companies whine that it's going to hurt them. Oh really? Technological innovation will help our American economy if WE KEEP IT HERE. If you want this race to go to China/India, believe me, they'll be happy to step up.

2. Abortion & Birth Control. As pro-choice, I believe in working with pro-life groups on reducing abortions, but I also believe access needs to be made cheaper and easier, as does access and education about birth control. Honestly, I think birth control should be in the water, you should be evaluated on whether you are a fit parent (the basics -- no child molesters, no schizophrenic parents, for example, no child abusers) and then an "antidote" given to allow you to conceive.

3. Our nation's infrastructure. It is, as an earlier poster, noted, falling apart. Wouldn't it be nice to re-organize against sprawl and encourage more walking (fight obesity)?


Posted by: Rebecca | June 11, 2007 10:09 AM

1. Equal (not "special" as the religious right keeps bleating about) rights and protection under the law for GLBT's.

2. Passage of the ERA.

3. Affordable college tuition and books for ALL.

4. Universal health care for ALL.

Posted by: Alex | June 11, 2007 10:11 AM

The vast majority of children of schizophrenics are NOT schizophrenic.

Posted by: To Rebecca | June 11, 2007 10:13 AM

"Honestly, I think birth control should be in the water, you should be evaluated on whether you are a fit parent (the basics -- no child molesters, no schizophrenic parents, for example, no child abusers) and then an "antidote" given to allow you to conceive."

And no lesbians are fit parents.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 10:14 AM

"With immigration-i believe we should enforce the laws we have, not grant amnesty to anyone and not have a guest worker program. We need our economy to thrive on legal workers-and once we see the effect of the illegals not being here, then we can determine what to do about it."

Regarding enforcing the laws we have -- do you have the same view of speed limit laws? There are millions of people each day who exceed the speed limit -- should we focus on enforcement there as well? Think of the number of annual deaths that can be attributed to these law-breakers -- certainly more than are attributable to illegal immigrants...

The bottom line is that current laws are not being enforced because they are as unenforcable as speed limit laws -- we all agree people should obey the law but there are obvious reasons that many don't.

Moreover, with respect to immigration, it has historically been a strength of this nation that we have a fairly open immigration policy -- we need to ensure that we maintain this strength moving forward.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 10:15 AM


"2. Passage of the ERA."

Just curious -- what specifically do you think would change if this occurs? Discrimination based on gender [especially with respect to pay] can already be punished when demonstrated. What exactly does this accomplish?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 10:19 AM

I love that people complain that this blog never tackles serious issues, but on a day when we're actually discussing some, someone references a TV show and song lyrics. You can't please all the people all the time.

Anyway, I agree with Leslie on the topics she listed. Internationally, laws need to be passed to protect women from violence. What good are freedom to vote or go to school or marry freely if they can still be threatened with violence if they try to practice their freedoms?

Domestically, I want the politicians to focus on an exit strategy in Iraq, national healthcare (even if it's contracted out to several local companies), and fair tax. As a woman, the biggest issue for me is legal and safe abortions and national healthcare so that every woman has access to birth control and prenatal and postnatal care.

I also think immigration is a serious issue. What we need are reformed immigration laws that are more lenient so that more immigrants are legal. Having to wait 5 years for a visa encourages them to break the law. If we didn't need them, I'd say screw 'um! But we do, so we should do more to help them follow our laws.

Posted by: Meesh | June 11, 2007 10:20 AM

The reality is that the average person in europe would be considered poor here. Everyone is getting richer. People's houses are bigger, everyone has more than a generation ago. We consider 4 bathrooms, a cell phone, cable tv, playstations, etc to be neccesities, but they are not.
We don't talk about how the prices of food and clothing have dropped significantly in the last 30 yrs, so if you don't earn more-it still goes further than it used to.
I don't believe I said illegals are getting great health care, but if I did, I was wrong. But they get the same coverage others without insurance do. Which isn't so horrible if it is free (to them-i and you still have to pay for it). I think the priorities of our govt are way screwed up- if we could get them to do the right things, we could clearly pay for whatever we need. That's actually one reason to clean up the tax code-get rid of it so lobbyists can't be so influential and so politicians can't use the tax code to enhance their power.

I do think the fact that cos can deduct *their* health expenses but you can't deduct your ins premiums skews health care to the employer-and that is horrible- I shouldn't fear for leaving my job bc of my coverage.
Cos are leaving the USprimarily due to our tax code being so oppressive.

Posted by: atlmom | June 11, 2007 10:20 AM

"then an "antidote" given to
allow you to conceive."

Can you spot the Nazi on this blog?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 10:21 AM

Honestly, I think birth control should be in the water, you should be evaluated on whether you are a fit parent (the basics -- no child molesters, no schizophrenic parents, for example, no child abusers) and then an "antidote" given to allow you to conceive.

Posted by: Rebecca | June 11, 2007 10:09 AM

Wow - thanks for sharing, Rebecca. I'll be sure to share your thoughts with my uncle, as well. He suffers from schizophrenia and would be intrigued by your application of eugenics theory to bar him from reproduction. Does your definition of child abusers include those who spank, or those who are insufferably judgmental?

Will persons who are ignorant about mental health issues and the inheritability of mental health defects be permitted to reproduce and pass on their ignorance?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 10:22 AM

Atlmom-- I still don't understand what you are talking about-- from what I understand it is very difficult for people who live in poverty-- whether they are illegal aliens or not-- to get good health care, let alone that "great" care you mentioned earlier. Perhaps you hadn't heard about it in Atlanta, but there was a story here in the DC area a couple of months ago about a child dying because of tooth decay-- an easily treated infected tooth spread to his blood or his brain or something and he died. His parents had been trying to get the tooth pulled by a dentist, but no dentist would help out-- something about very few dentists accepting Medicare patients? Maybe things are better in Atlanta, but around here, I don't think it is correct to say that those in poverty are getting great medical care. could be a state by state thing?

Oh, and not that I think it matters, but I don't believe the parents or child were here illegally.

Posted by: Jen S. | June 11, 2007 10:25 AM

Rebecca, I agree with you on the birth control thing, although I think we're in the minority. Your idea sounds a lot like my sterilization idea. The problem, of course, is who gets to decide what factors make you a good parent. I'm sure mine differ from President Bush's and anon at 10:14.

Posted by: Meesh | June 11, 2007 10:26 AM

"With immigration-i believe we should enforce the laws we have, not grant amnesty to anyone and not have a guest worker program. We need our economy to thrive on legal workers-and once we see the effect of the illegals not being here, then we can determine what to do about it."

Translated: It's a good thing for crops to rot in the fields in California, North Carolina and other states because there are insufficient workers, for the second consecutive year, to harvest fruits and vegetables. I like paying higher prices and wasting food. The timing works, too, because, during the summer, children who qualify during the academic year for subsidized breakfast and lunch at schools have little access to nutritious food. Let's drive the price of fresh produce up so high that the parents of poor children will be unable to make their food stamps stretch far enough to buy any fresh fruit and vegetables. Then we can blame them for eating less expensive processed foods and burdening the health care system when they develop obesity-related diseases.

With my blinders on, it's a win-win!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 10:32 AM

"Can you spot the Nazi on this blog?"

Hey, where is the respect for the victims?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 10:33 AM

Honestly, I think birth control should be in the water, you should be evaluated on whether you are a fit parent (the basics -- no child molesters, no schizophrenic parents, for example, no child abusers) and then an "antidote" given to allow you to conceive.

Posted by: Rebecca | June 11, 2007 10:09 AM

Let me get this straight. The government is gonna come onto my land, drill down 100 feet to the acquifer that feeds my well, and put chemicals into the water to disable my and my wife's reproductive systems? Not even the government of Red China does that!

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 11, 2007 10:35 AM

"Everyone is getting richer. People's houses are bigger, everyone has more than a generation ago."

Everyone is not getting richer. The reason people "have more" is that people are buying on credit. People are consuming things even when they cannot afford them. My grandparents and their friends of their generation may have had less, but they only bought what they could afford and pay for. These days, my friends have a lot of things: big houses, fancy cars, lots of cool tech gadgets, brand-name clothes. But they also have so much credit card debt, I honestly don't see them ever paying it off.

Posted by: to atlmom | June 11, 2007 10:36 AM

Leslie:

"Revitalized public education, especially in major urban areas, to restore education as a public good for all society."

With respect to the above, are you asking to see a president stake out a position to nationalize public education? It's interesting that a decade ago the Republicans were in favor of reducing the federal role of education [and Democrats were not] and today the Republicans have made the most significant increase in nationalizing education [and are opposed by the Democrats in doing so].

It's not clear that either party is championing a more nationalized education system -- was just wondering if that was the point of your comment.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 10:38 AM

So, we know that we aren't going to catch all the murderers, should we stop trying? What a crazy argument.

Many people here illegally also commit cruimes when they are here. Sure, even with the argument that many of them are law abiding once they get there (ignoring that they broke the law-with our help to get here), but so we should just let them all in regardless? If you broke the law then nothing happened, wouldn't you keep breaking the law-if only to see when you'd get caught? Ensure we have some way for people to come legally, sure-but I know plenty of people with highly regarded skills who are the ones being treated like criminals, who have to wait five years just to *apply* for a green card, and those are the people who are choosing to leave-the people who want to enter illegally and send back money etc and aren't necessarily highly skilled are the ones we're embracing? That doesn't make ane sense. Does anyone wonder why the politicians are so gung ho on amnesty? They think if these people are citizens then they would vote for them(my theory anyway). Why are we chasing away highly skilled people yet embracing those low skilled people? People want to come here, still.

Posted by: atlmom | June 11, 2007 10:38 AM

ABCNews has been running stories about how people --aren't-- getting health care, especially children with poor parents and no health insurance. The last story was from Texas, where the rules have been changed to make it so hard to get health care (repeated visits before referrals, long waits, limited sites, etc) that one young boy died before he could get the needed care.

Many immigrants refuse to go to medical facilities, fearing if they give their ID they may be deported (legal or not), or that they feel they won't be able to afford the care.

I know a mother who, while her children are covered by their dad's health insurance, she has no coverage at all, so has to either visit free clinics, go to the emergency room, or do without any care when she becomes ill.

Considering that even on my coverage I had to pay several hundred dollars for routine lab tests for a supposedly "covered" exam, health care without insurance is not an option for many people low down on the financial ladder.

Posted by: John L | June 11, 2007 10:38 AM

I guess the main things that I will be looking for in the future are as follows:
1) the economy- I do think the US needs to figure out how to keep jobs in the US and make businesses profitable.
2) Find a way to resolve the IRAQ war. I don't think the US government can continue to spend the $$ it does in IRAQ without severe consequences to future generations.
3) Find a way to save SS. I really am worried about the baby boom generation retiring in large numbers and SS going bankrupt.
4) Education-Continue to improve education and the preparation of US students so they can compete globally.
5) international diplomacy. We need stronger and more alliances with other countries.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 11, 2007 10:40 AM

"Everyone is not getting richer."

It would be more accurate to say that every decile of the US population has experienced consistent improvements in overall quality of life measures over the past decade.

One can certainly argue as to whether the rate of improvement is 'good', and one can argue as to whether the disparity between the individual decile improvements are 'good' -- but the improvements are there and measurable.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 10:43 AM

"That's actually one reason to clean up the tax code-get rid of it so lobbyists can't be so influential and so politicians can't use the tax code to enhance their power."

Get off the wing-nut blogs and think for yourself.

Our current tax code incentivizes, among other things, home ownership, retirement savings, and the establishment of small businesses which create and maintain many jobs in the US. As long as the majority of us agree that these are valid social goals - and it's difficult to imagine any argument that they are not -- the current tax code is significantly better than going to a regressive flat tax system.

If you want to drop your tax bill, cut an agency or two or more, and raise the minimum age to qualify for social security benefits.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 10:46 AM

The health care is indeed atrocious here. I am helping out a sibling with mental health issues and just his medication (which is a necessity for him to function)is over $500 a month. What is interesting to note is that many people without insurance do not go for regular checkups because of the expense and then when the situation really deteriorates, they are forced to go to the emergency room which ends up costing even more money often times for conditions that could have easily been prevented or treated if they had the initial access to care. The point is that everyone complains how much universal health care would cost but people need to be aware of the high costs of not having healthcare for all.

Posted by: dclawyer | June 11, 2007 10:50 AM

Re: birth control. I know this is controversial. Ok-- re mental illness. I admit, my only experience with schizophrenia is knowing a woman who is afraid her schizophrenic mother is going to one day visit her house and kill her family (she regularly threatens to do so). I admit that while I am sympathetic to those who are mentally ill, I also believe it is most likely (unless they are on an appropriate therapeutic and/or medical regimen) that they don't make the best parents. If someone has a mentally ill parent who did a great job, I'd love to hear about it (honestly!) and I think it would be great to get positive stories out there.

After seeing the story of the newborn who was put in the microwave (I believe that took place in Texas), after hearing countless stories of child abuse...how can you not be for some sort of "parenting test"? I agree that the difficulty will be inappropriate discrimination, but I still feel it should exist -- either that, or a stronger push for birth control accessibility.

Posted by: Rebecca | June 11, 2007 10:53 AM

"So, we know that we aren't going to catch all the murderers, should we stop trying? What a crazy argument."

If we spend the same effort on enforcing murder as we do on enforcing speed limits then we will have more speeders caught and fewer murderers.

My point is that treating illegal immigration like murder overstates the issue. Good, honest people exceed the speed limit. Good, honest people are illegal immigrants. Bad people murder.

We need to ensure that the immigration policy is reasonable so that the US can continue to attract good people from around the world.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 10:53 AM

But are taxes around to collect revenue for the govt or are they to incentivize us? You shouldn't have it both ways. You have one goal or the other.
You can incentivize people in different ways-rather than doing it in a roundabout way that doesn't usually work the way you wanted it to in any event.

I never advocated a flat tax (taxing income is rarely the way to go).

Posted by: atlmom | June 11, 2007 10:58 AM

Many people here illegally also commit cruimes when they are here.

(Other than the crime of being here illegally), most illegals try not to do anything that will do anything to attract the attention of authorities to them, including committing violent crimes.

Posted by: To atlmom | June 11, 2007 10:58 AM

".how can you not be for some sort of "parenting test"? I agree that the difficulty will be inappropriate discrimination, but I still feel it should exist -- either that, or a stronger push for birth control accessibility."

This is scarey on so many levels.

Are you *really* ready to make the argument that the Government should determine who gets to have kids?

Have you seen the result of this thinking currently in China with respect to limiting family sizes?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 11:00 AM

And some illegals drive drunk and kill. Not that many legals don't - of course they do. Just last Thanksgiving a young marine and his date were killed by an illegal who was drunk. It was at least the second incident within a few weeks.

Posted by: DC lurker | June 11, 2007 11:01 AM

Sarcasm alert: Plenty of red-blooded Americans drive drunk and kill innocent people too, so let's send them back to Europe, Asia, Africa, or wherever their ancestors came from. Sounds like a plan to me .

Posted by: To DC lurker | June 11, 2007 11:03 AM

I like Leslie's list. My addition:

Mandatory minimum vacation entitlement, such as what they have in much of Europe. Workers of all types - married, single, parents, childless, men and women - are overworked and stressed out. As a businesswoman, I believe in the free market solutions, with minimal governmental interference. However, the market is not responding with respect to this issue. And, at this point, I wonder if workers even know what's best for them, ie that they need vacation, and failure to take it is burning them out.

http://toocoolforschoolonline.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Me | June 11, 2007 11:04 AM

I was only responding to the comment "most illegals try not to do anything that will do anything to attract the attention of authorities to them" which is a bunch of hooey.

Posted by: DC lurker | June 11, 2007 11:06 AM

Re: Parenting test. I'm not talking about limiting family sizes. I recognize that we will never have a parenting test, but I think a national discussion would call attention to important issues for children.

I'm a liberal, but on this issue, I guess I'm quite conservative. I also believe that if you are on welfare, you should also be on mandatory birth control. I also realize that is extremely controversial.

If you have been convicted of child molestation or abuse, your ability to have children should also be eliminated (and no, I don't mean people who spank! -- I mean people who put a newborn in a microwave or put out lit cigarettes on their children...need I go on?)

Posted by: Rebecca | June 11, 2007 11:07 AM

Yes, we have peachcare in ga, it's not great, but it is there for children.

And so whoever (I believe someone anonymous) would prefer to subsidize our food with cheap illegal labor (exploit much) rather than show people what the true prices are? The reality is that it's not that americans won't do the jobs, it's that employers don't want to pay people what they want to earn. Is that going to get better when you make people legal? No things will go up in price (as they will, starting this summer, not due to inflation, but due to min wage increasing).
I think the economy being able to give correct price signals (inlike now) is better than what we have.

Yes, I read an article last week that profiled a woman who couldn't pay her mortgage. She was out of work and actually said that she got offered some jobs but it wasn't as much as she used to make so she turned them down. Well, if you need to pay the mortgage you need to pay-it sucks that you can't find work that pays as much as before, but that's life. Take a job, get a roommate, do something other than complain to a reporter.

Posted by: atlmom | June 11, 2007 11:08 AM

What a weird upside down world liberalS like Leslie live in. We are a peaceful, generous nation. We do more to keep the peace than anyone. Maybe she prefers europe where peace is taken as never getting involved in anything where people may die. They couldn't even stop the genocide in their own backyard without our help.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 11:08 AM

Rebecca

"I agree that the difficulty will be inappropriate discrimination, but I still feel it should exist -- either that, or a stronger push for birth control accessibility."

Wiil a stronger push for birth control accessibility reduce the birth rate for mentally ill parents?

Have you really thought this through?

Posted by: Elaine | June 11, 2007 11:09 AM

Europe couldn't even stop the genocide in their own backyard without our help.

So we should annex Europe to the US? Or at least tell them how to run their countries?

Posted by: To pATRICK | June 11, 2007 11:11 AM

"Many people here illegally also commit cruimes when they are here.

(Other than the crime of being here illegally), most illegals try not to do anything that will do anything to attract the attention of authorities to them, including committing violent crimes."


This is absolute BS! They commit a lot of crimes. This is liberal feelgood fantasy. Oh they are just here to feed their families, so hardworking, so innocent. Crapola! Come down to Texas where some towns and ranches are like the wild west now.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 11:12 AM

"Many people here illegally also commit cruimes when they are here.

(Other than the crime of being here illegally), most illegals try not to do anything that will do anything to attract the attention of authorities to them, including committing violent crimes."


This is absolute BS! They commit a lot of crimes. This is liberal feelgood fantasy. Oh they are just here to feed their families, so hardworking, so innocent. Crapola! Come down to Texas where some towns and ranches are like the wild west now.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 11:12 AM

My priorities :

1. Fix the way we finance health care. The employer-based insurance system is broken. My small son is a pediatric cancer survivor, and will be uninsurable for the rest of his life. Until you have been faced with a health crisis like a rare cancer, you have no idea how broken the insurance system is. We faced both the loss of a child and bankruptcy in the face. Many of the other families at our hospital had already gone bankrupt. These were all families that supposedly had insurance.

2. Get out of Iraq, somehow, soon. The war was an stupid, evil endeavor from the beginning. Countless civilians have died over there.

3. Find some way to make it easier for parents to juggle their work and family roles. Perhaps policies that encourage part-time positions for people (not just parents) who need or require more balance in their lives? The FMLA system is a bandaid. When you have a seriously ill child, you need more than 12 weeks unpaid leave, but you can't lose your job because that is where the insurance is!!

4. Create a culture of serious discourse in Washington, rather than the current sloganeering. The president needs to actually CONSULT with people who know and understand the issues. It would help if we had a president who actually understood other cultures, and perhaps who knew a smattering of history. Some scientific knowledege would help too.
3.

Posted by: ratgirlny | June 11, 2007 11:14 AM

"So we should annex Europe to the US? Or at least tell them how to run their countries?"


Funny how when the sht hits the fan, they call 911-The US. Your post is ridiculous.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 11:15 AM

My red hot button issues for the 2008 election:

-Ending the Iraq war.
-PAID maternity leave for everyone.
-No bailout for people underwater on their mortgages they can't afford.
-More gun control.
-Improving public education.
-Allowing gay marriage.

Oh, and illegal immigration? It's not even on my radar, I couldn't care LESS!

Posted by: Emmy | June 11, 2007 11:16 AM

"Mandatory minimum vacation entitlement, such as what they have in much of Europe. Workers of all types - married, single, parents, childless, men and women - are overworked and stressed out. As a businesswoman, I believe in the free market solutions, with minimal governmental interference. However, the market is not responding with respect to this issue. And, at this point, I wonder if workers even know what's best for them, ie that they need vacation, and failure to take it is burning them out."

Let's also mandate that we increase unemployment to European levels as businesses cut back on hiring.


Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 11:17 AM

"2. Get out of Iraq, somehow, soon. The war was an stupid, evil endeavor from the beginning. Countless civilians have died over there. "


Really? Removing a dictator who had gassed his own people, launched 2 wars on his neighbors, tried to kill an ex president, was thought by every major intelligence agency to have some WMD, did nothing to dispel that and violated 17 UN resolutions. Evil and stupid? Get a grip.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 11:18 AM

The standard of living is much lower in europe-and they don't even pay for much of their own security (we do)- one reason is their *mandatory* vacation. You want vacation, take it. Your employer will pay you or not.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 11:19 AM

But are taxes around to collect revenue for the govt or are they to incentivize us? You shouldn't have it both ways. You have one goal or the other.
You can incentivize people in different ways-rather than doing it in a roundabout way that doesn't usually work the way you wanted it to in any event.

I never advocated a flat tax (taxing income is rarely the way to go).

Posted by: atlmom | June 11, 2007 10:58 AM

Why shouldn't you have it both ways. Many government policies have multiple goals. Imprisonment is justified as both punishment and rehabilitation. Taxation -- in every country on the planet - raises revenue and shapes behavior. Putting your head in the sand about the multiple theories behind government practice doesn't make it so.

Whether you tax consumption or income, if you eliminate the tax code as you suggest, the result is a flat, regressive tax. Call it a VAT if you like.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 11:19 AM

Ah, what a topic! My fantasy list of subjects a presidential candidate (or, let's be crazy, The President) would address:

- Revamping the justice system to make it egalitarian and humane.
- Improving (dare I say, guaranteeing?) accessible early childhood care and education.
- Introducing and enforcing a livable minimum wage. I realize this is NOT the same everywhere, but everyone working full-time, regardless of where in the country they live, should be earning enough to keep them above the poverty line.
- Putting together a comprehensive plan to ensure thorough and PREVENTATIVE health care for all people (hey, let's throw family planning coverage and even education in there, too).

Posted by: boston liz | June 11, 2007 11:22 AM

Mandatory minimum vacation entitlement, such as what they have in much of Europe. Workers of all types - married, single, parents, childless, men and women - are overworked and stressed out

Are you on crack? We have it so very good now. Talk to my grandmother who was a farmer's wife, raised 4 kids, cooked 3 hot meals a day on a coal stove, hauled all the water they used - heated the water they bathed in, kept a vegetable garden and all the chickens and pigs and NEVER had more than an afternoon away from the farm because they had milk cows! Mandatory vacation - get over yourself! I know SAHMs with microwaves who can't get ONE hot meal on the table a day!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 11:22 AM

So those with mental illness are the equivalent of convicted child killers and molesters? Nice.

All other argument aside, the consequence of your policy argument is to discourage anyone from getting treatment for mental illness or disease. So much for encouraging parents to get help BEFORE a child is placed in the microwave.

I hope no one in your family, or yourself, ever experiences depression, early onset Alzheimers, adult ADD, or any other mental health problem, because you seem ill-equipped to cope with treatable brain dysfunctions. Funny, you don't seem to have any qualms about a paraplegic as a parent.

Posted by: to Rebecca | June 11, 2007 11:24 AM

"-PAID maternity leave for everyone."

Just curious -- my wife and I make great money -- explain exactly why you think families poorer than us should be forced to pay into a system so that we can have paid maternity leave for my wife?

Wouldn't a better system be to provide some level of money post-birth based on income level that phases out as income increases? Something like a 'credit' for a 'child' that gets reduced as family income increases. Perhaps we could even call such a thing a 'child tax credit'...

Maybe we could even extend it so that people get it multiple years?

If only someone would implement such a thing...

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 11:24 AM

--Banning credit card sign-up on college campus.

--Family-friendly work environments. return to a standard 40-hr work week. Discourage excessive hours.

--Affordable health care for all. No coverage for infertility treatments. If there is a medical necessity for treatment for a condition that may improve fertility such as endometriosis, fine. For other treatments such as IVF, there should be no insurance coverage. It may sound harsh, but I don't believe insurance should pay for this as long as people aren't getting basic care for their health. Let the insurance companies spend their money for other health-related services.

--Eliminate 'legacy' college admissions. Every applicant should have an equal chance.

Posted by: huh? | June 11, 2007 11:25 AM

Alt Mom -- Agree totally.

Single Mom -- Hear you on DC public schools! It is a relatively small system (60,000 kids) with one of the highest per pupil budgets in country. It can be fixed! And it should be a showcase for the country!

Instead of bashing other people's opinions or the blog, tell us what your top four priorities are!

Heard from the BlogHer folks. They are reading today's entries...so your voice is being heard.

Posted by: Leslie | June 11, 2007 11:26 AM

to anonymous 7:18: people said the same thing when FMLA was enacted. (Europe was well ahead of US with respect to job-protected leave.) Guess what? FMLA didn't render the US a socialist state. Hardly even made a blip. We need more incremental, common sense reform. Worker hours are getting bleaker and bleaker, with no end in sight.

Posted by: me | June 11, 2007 11:27 AM

I want the next president to give each of my kids a pony. Which is just about as reasonable as the rest of the wish lists being floated around.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 11:27 AM

what about birth control in the water...and a pill to take when you WANT to conceive?

Posted by: Leslie | June 11, 2007 11:28 AM

"Introducing and enforcing a livable minimum wage. I realize this is NOT the same everywhere, but everyone working full-time, regardless of where in the country they live, should be earning enough to keep them above the poverty line."

We are attempting this now through the Earned Income Tax Credit -- and it has become fairly effective.

The difficulty in addressing this issue at the 'wage' side is that it reduces the creation of low-wage positions [in addition to failing to distinguish individuals who are employed temporarily in low-wage positions, such as college students, from heads of households employed in these positions].

Increasing EITC levels also tends to have more broad-based support...

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 11:29 AM

No, it is not. Check out the flat tax. It is *not* regreesive (check out the prebate) and taxes everyone regardless of whether they earn income and regardless of whether they do it legally or not.

And wrt gun control, emily, again, if we just enforced the laws we have, we'd be better off.

Posted by: atlmom | June 11, 2007 11:30 AM

Don't ask me to pay for your contraception, which, by the way, is different than birth control. Abstinence is free! For heavens sakes girls, control yourselves and show your daughters a good example.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 11:30 AM

Honestly, I think birth control should be in the water......

Yikes who gets to decide this? I agree that the things that happen to children in this country are beyond horrific, but how about we start truly punishing people who commit these heinous crimes instead of giving them a slap on the wrist. Don't put child molesters, rapists, microwave oven parents in jail, give them the death penalty and don't let them sit there for 20 years, do it within the month.

If the government starts telling people who can and cannot have kids I see a future where you have to make a certain income, have to be of a certain ethnic/religious group, can't be in a same sex household, can't be to old, can't be to young, etc, etc. The really bad people, will as they always do, find a way around the system. Maybe they will drink coke instead of water?

Altmom,

I am sorry but everyone is not getting richer in this country and I don't know about you, but I don't remember milk costing 3.00 a gallon when I was growing up. Food is not cheap unless you are eating pasta every night. I agree with some of your other posts, but not the ones about the economy or how good everyone has it here.

Posted by: scarry | June 11, 2007 11:33 AM

"people said the same thing when FMLA was enacted. (Europe was well ahead of US with respect to job-protected leave.) Guess what? FMLA didn't render the US a socialist state. Hardly even made a blip. We need more incremental, common sense reform. Worker hours are getting bleaker and bleaker, with no end in sight."

A national vacation requirement is a small, incremental change?

Most positions in which vacation is a reasonable benefit currently have vacation leave. Most positions which don't offer vacation leave are not positiions in which vacation leave makes sense.

What positions are you trying to focus this on?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 11:34 AM

1. Child care: Employers ought to be able to offer tax-free child care to their workers. The company could have an on-site Day Care center, where the worker could leave her child all day (with visits during her break or lunch time), at no cost to the worker, and with the company's costs deductible as a business expense. If the worker finds it more convenient to leave her children at an outside Day Care center (say, nearer to home or to a brother's or sister's school), the employer ought to be able to issue Child Care Vouchers redeemable by the Day Care center, with the amount of such Vouchers not taxable to the worker, but deductible by the employer as a business expense. Finally, if the worker wants to leave her children with a friend or relative (say, her sister or mother or husband), the Vouchers -- for the same value as the on-site Day Care center or an outside Day Care center -- should be redeemable by that friend or relative. This scheme would support both two-earner couples and couples where the worker has a stay-at-home husband.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 11, 2007 11:34 AM

Geez, Matt. "Red China"? Nobody has used that term in 40 years.

This confirms my earlier conclusion that you are stuck tight in the quicksand of the '50s!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 11:34 AM

scarry, you can buy a whole chicken for about 5 bucks. That and some instant mashed potatoes and some carotts. You've got a meal for a family of 4 for about 8 dollars total.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 11:35 AM

Leslie

"what about birth control in the water...and a pill to take when you WANT to conceive?"

A lot of people drink only bottled water...


Posted by: Elaine | June 11, 2007 11:36 AM

Eliminate 'legacy' college admissions. Every applicant should have an equal chance."

Sure, but then you would have to get rid of affirmative action to make it really fair.


Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 11:39 AM

"Really? Removing a dictator who had gassed his own people, launched 2 wars on his neighbors, tried to kill an ex president, was thought by every major intelligence agency to have some WMD, did nothing to dispel that and violated 17 UN resolutions. Evil and stupid? Get a grip."

pATRICK--

Far fewer citizens died in Iraq under Saddam Hussein than have perished in Rwanda, Sudan, and Uganda, etc., under evil dictators. But we don't charge over there to save those helpless, desparate, starving, horrendously abused people.

Why not?

Could it be that they're black?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 11:40 AM

To whoever said:

""-PAID maternity leave for everyone."

Just curious -- my wife and I make great money -- explain exactly why you think families poorer than us should be forced to pay into a system so that we can have paid maternity leave for my wife?"

WHEN did I ever say that poor people should be forced to pay into a system???!!!! WOW. There are MANY ways to implement paid maternity leave for everyone, and it doesn't involve higher taxes, etc, etc. I'll leave it at that.

Posted by: Emmy | June 11, 2007 11:40 AM

Your mother was pro-life, darling! Too bad that the special water you want so badly for others wasn't available for your mother.

Posted by: to Rebecca | June 11, 2007 11:40 AM

Totally disagree with you on the child-care. I am a working mom with two children. As a worker, I believe that employee benefits should be those that apply to all employees, not only parents. I would rather see increased pay for all employees - the parents could use the increase for child-care or other needs.

Posted by: to Matt | June 11, 2007 11:41 AM

Could it be that they're black?

I think its less that they're black and more about the fact that they don't really have anything we need (except Sudan has the secret ingredient in Coke apparently). We certainly let things drag on enough in Yugoslavia and they were white, so I think its all about oil.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 11:43 AM

Are they supposed to eat this 3 times a day seven days a week? That would be a total of 672 dollars a month.

Posted by: Yum Chicken | June 11, 2007 11:43 AM

anonymous 11:34:

I'm thinking of professionals and blue collar workers. And you raise a good counterpoint. Most professionals have a vacation entitlement. But they can't take it, cause they're too busy. And when they do take it, they're expected to bring their Crackberry.

What we need is an anti-interference provision, pursuant to which it's actionable for the employer to interfere with the ability of the employee to take the vacation.

Go ahead, bring it: blah blah blah, that's socialist, blah blah blah, Europe has high unemployment. What evs. Been there, done that, FMLA didn't wreck us, neither will mandatory vacation. Talk to the hand.

http://toocoolforschoolonline.blogspot.com/

Posted by: me | June 11, 2007 11:44 AM

"WHEN did I ever say that poor people should be forced to pay into a system???!!!! WOW. There are MANY ways to implement paid maternity leave for everyone, and it doesn't involve higher taxes, etc, etc. I'll leave it at that."

There is no free lunch -- every mechanism of payment diffuses costs [either through the tax code or through increased business costs]. My wife and I are at the high end of the income spectrum -- in order to have a system in which we receive benefits there must be people with lower incomes paying into it.

What's wrong with using the child tax credit for this purpose?


Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 11:45 AM

You can get a half a ham for about $7. You don't have to eat chicken every day, although if they did, many of them might be thinner and healthier!

Posted by: Lots of affordable food. | June 11, 2007 11:47 AM

"...Rwanda, Sudan, and Uganda..."

What is the United Nations doing about this?

Posted by: A Question | June 11, 2007 11:50 AM

2. Education and Tariffs: Here's a young man looking for an education so that he can support his family. He graduates high school and looks for a good, unionized manufacturing job such as his father had. Too bad! He's competing with someone in Red China who can do the same manufacturing work for one-tenth the wage. So the government provides him with help towards a college education, where he can learn to be a systems programmer or even an M.D. radiologist. Too bad, again! There's a systems programmer in India who can program for $120 a week, and a radiologist in India who can read X-rays and give diagnoses over the Internet. Maybe the young fellow has a strong back, so he looks for construction work. After all, they can't send that to India or China, can they? Too bad, once more! Illegal, undocumented, alien immigrant workers can undercut our young fellow's wages, so he doesn't get the construction job, either.

The answer is for Congress to enact monster tariffs that will make Smoot-Hawley look like free trade by comparison, so that anyone who imports foreign goods will have to charge what he would have to charge if he had the goods made here. As for construction and other fields where the employment of undocumented workers is putting Americans and legal residents out of work or driving down their wages, we need to allow American workers, or their unions, or honest employers of legal workers, or hospitals stuck with uncompensated care -- Congress needs to give all these people standing to sue any employer they suspect of hiring illegal aliens. The employer would have the burden of proving that each and every one of his workers is legally entitled to work in the United States. For any worker that the employer cannot prove legal, the employer would have to pay the plaintiff $20,000 liquidated damages -- of which half would go to the plaintiff's attorney. Big business does not fear Executive Branch enforcement of employer sanctions, because both national political parties are owned by business. But after the cigarette and asbestos and Ford Pinto lawsuits, big business *does* fear the power of Trial Lawyers. So, let's sic the Trial Lawyers on the employers of undocumented workers

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 11, 2007 11:51 AM

Wow, pATRICK, that right wing knee of yours is certainly jerking hard today.

Calling the current incarnation of the US "peaceful" is beyond hyperbole, not after we've started two wars in the last 5 years and still occupy both countries, as well as continually rattling sabers at various others. By the current administration's definition of "War on Terror", your grandchildren will still be in both countries trying to put down the unrest there.

As to Europe calling us to "bail them out", had the US never fought in the ETO during WWII the Allies would have still won. Our entry into the war just accelerated the process. When else did Europe ask for our help, BTW, other than that war? ISTM they don't "always" call for us.

I do agree that many vehicle crashes occur with Latino (illegal or legal immigrants) drivers; it appears that their culture does not equate danger with drinking and driving, and many don't get licenses for fear of the government using it to track them down.

With our current official paranoia, though, I can understand that fear.

Posted by: John L | June 11, 2007 11:55 AM

"There are MANY ways to implement paid maternity leave for everyone, and it doesn't involve higher taxes, etc, etc."

Could you share those ways please?

Posted by: to Emmy | June 11, 2007 11:58 AM

"Here's a young man looking for an education so that he can support his family. He graduates high school and looks for a good, unionized manufacturing job such as his father had. Too bad! He's competing with someone in Red China who can do the same manufacturing work for one-tenth the wage. So the government provides him with help towards a college education, where he can learn to be a systems programmer or even an M.D. radiologist. Too bad, again! There's a systems programmer in India who can program for $120 a week, and a radiologist in India who can read X-rays and give diagnoses over the Internet. Maybe the young fellow has a strong back, so he looks for construction work. After all, they can't send that to India or China, can they? Too bad, once more! Illegal, undocumented, alien immigrant workers can undercut our young fellow's wages, so he doesn't get the construction job, either."

Matt: The problem with your story is that unemployment in the US is currently at 4.6% -- which is typically viewed as full employment. If there are no jobs anymore, how is it that employment levels are so high?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 11:59 AM

3. Freedom from fear of Crime: End the experiment called, "rehabilitation of criminals who threaten death." That means the armed carjacker ("Give me your keys, or I'll kill you"), the armed robber ("Give me your money, or I'll kill you"), and the armed rapist ("Give me your body, or I'll kill you"), not to mention the attempted murderer. Let the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services run two kinds of prisons. The "Correctional Services" prisons would work on the rehabilitation and redemption of small-time dope dealers, purse snatchers, shoplifters and the like. The "Public Safety" prisons would lock up violent criminals who threaten death until they are too old, to slow, and too weak to repeat their crimes. Currently, the carjacker gets 20 years, gets out of prison after 7 1/2 years while he is still young enough, strong enough and fast enough to carjack again -- and maybe this time, the victim won't hand over the keys fast enough, so the carjacker will kill him. And then, it's too late! Nothing we do to the criminal -- not even the death penalty (which, as a bleeding heart liberal, I oppose) -- will ever bring his victim back to life. Better to let his life waste away in prison for at least fifty years, BEFORE he gets a chance to kill. We don't see too many armed carjackings, armed robberies or armed rapes perpetrated by old geezers pushing walkers, do we? Public safety comes first.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 11, 2007 12:00 PM

"pATRICK--

Far fewer citizens died in Iraq under Saddam Hussein than have perished in Rwanda, Sudan, and Uganda, etc., under evil dictators. But we don't charge over there to save those helpless, desparate, starving, horrendously abused people.

Why not?

Could it be that they're black?"

No, it is because they are in strategically unimportant areas unfortunately. There is no national security needs for these areas. The goals of any government is not saving the world, it is maintaining the safety and security of the STATE. You do what you can in an imperfect world. I believe that much of the killing in africa is based on civil war.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 12:00 PM

Come down to Texas where some towns and ranches are like the wild west now.

Oh patrick you stupid Texans all want it to be that way anyhow.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 12:02 PM

"Here's a young man ... He graduates high school and looks for a good, unionized manufacturing job such as his father had."

Why would any one do that?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 12:05 PM

Calling the current incarnation of the US "peaceful" is beyond hyperbole, not after we've started two wars in the last 5 years and still occupy both countries, as well as continually rattling sabers at various others.

Forgot about 9/11 already? The taliban who ran afghanistan sheltered Bin Laden. They started the war. 2nd, Iraq started two wars and then hinted at WMD. You liberals love to dismiss responsibilty for everyone but the US.I bet if a robber broke into your house and the police kicked down his door to arrest him, by YOUR logic the police would have been the aggressor.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 12:05 PM

4. Freedom from fear of Tyranny and Terrorism: "Across the generations, we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave. Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our nation. It is the honorable achievement of our fathers. Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation's security and the calling of our time.
"So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world. " So spoke President George W. Bush at his second inaugural address. If our government and its allies want all children, and their mommies and daddies, to live free from fear, they will do what is necessary so that tyranny will vanish in a puff of smoke, iniquity will close its mouth, and the Dominion of Arrogance will pass from the world. Then the children will rejoice, and their mommies will be glad, and their daddies will exult and sing, "Free at last! Free at last!"

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 11, 2007 12:05 PM

Regarding the notion that immigrants are more likely to commit crimes, from the Department of Justice:

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/international/immigrat.pdf

with, from the abstract: "...the bulk of empirical studies conducted over the past century have found that immigrants are typically underrepresented in criminal statistics."

and

"...in many cases, compared with
native groups, immigrants seem better able to withstand crime-facilitating
conditions than native groups."

This is not to say that illegal immigrants do not commit crimes, just that what evidence there is suggests that they are not proportionally more likely to commit crimes.

Regarding also the forced birth control thing I might reference the case of Buck v. Bell and the follow up case Skinner v. Oklahoma:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck_v._Bell

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skinner_v._Oklahoma

Both cases have to do with eugenics, and based on the historical applications of trying to limit reproduction and particularly its ties to racism I cannot bring myself to say that any system could be made that would not fail to address these issues.

Posted by: David S | June 11, 2007 12:08 PM

"Here's a young man ... He graduates high school and looks for a good, unionized manufacturing job such as his father had."

Why would any one do that?


Why not? Everyone isn't college material.

Posted by: scarry | June 11, 2007 12:08 PM

pATRICk,

Your excuses for why the US invaded Iraq (dictator who killed his own people, invaded other countries, etc) applies to a LOT of other places too. I guess companies like Haliburton and Boeing will be great places to invest in, since they're part of the growth industry of neverending US led wars across the globe.

Posted by: John L | June 11, 2007 12:08 PM

pATRICK

Do you know how crappy the schools are in Texas?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 12:10 PM

Hey Matt in Aberdeen - I'm intrigued by your idea of two different classes of prisions, and think that maybe it could work out better than what we've got going now. However, I have to question your grouping armed carjacking and armed rape as equal in severity. It seems to me that the motivations for those two crimes (and therefore the potential for rehabilitation) are very different. (I'm thinking of the carjacker who wants to sell the car, whole or for parts, as having an economic motivation, while the rapist would be motivated by much more complex feelings of revenge for perceived powerlessness or disenfranchisement, hatred of women, etc). Any thoughts?

Posted by: boston liz | June 11, 2007 12:11 PM

"As to Europe calling us to "bail them out", had the US never fought in the ETO during WWII the Allies would have still won. Our entry into the war just accelerated the process. When else did Europe ask for our help, BTW, other than that war? ISTM they don't "always" call for us."

Really, your revisionist history is disgusting. Which allies BRITAIN? FRANCE? ha. So you must be talking about Russia which struck a deal with hitler to carve up eastern europe and then was double crossed. I guess they fought in Egypt right and Italy? no I guess they bombed germany relentlessly huh? No. Germany could have thrown her whole weight against russia from the beginning and probably would have won. They almost did. Your America bashing is revolting. Forgot the Marshall Plan too didn't you.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 12:12 PM

Patrick,

I supported the war in Afghanistan and still do; it was obvious that was where bin Laden was operating from and the governing body there did not exist.

However, after "occupying" the country we declared "victory" and left it alone, to the point where today only the major cities are relatively safe and the countryside has reverted to "no mans land", and the Taliban is showing its head there again as well. Basically, Bush lost interest in Afghanistan in his eagerness to go after one of his "axis of evil" targets, when there was precious little reason to do so.

We didn't finish one job before taking on a larger one, and now we've got the responsibility for trying to fix BOTH countries, and a steady drain in US lives and a wearing down of our military with no end in sight. Yeah, that's something to be proud of for sure.

Posted by: John L | June 11, 2007 12:16 PM

"I admit that while I am sympathetic to those who are mentally ill, I also believe it is most likely (unless they are on an appropriate therapeutic and/or medical regimen) that they don't make the best parents."

Rebecca,

Your ignorance is phenomenal.

You regard "mental illness" as a single entity with the definition of "dangerous." That's like saying that having a cold will likely kill you, since respiratory infections can be deadly.

"Mental illness" isn't a category on the human behavior continuum. It's a huge, wide world of ailments that differ from other medical illnesses only in that they originate in the brain rather than elsewhere in the body.

Please do some reading and learn something about mental illness. Clearly, it frightens you. Becoming knowledgeable can help you lose the fear.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 12:17 PM

boston liz

"However, I have to question your grouping armed carjacking and armed rape as equal in severity."

Duh! Armed is armed! Violent crime is violent crime!

I don't give a sh$T about the motivations of crimes! Stick all of their sorry as$es in prison and throw away the keys. Get the riff-raff out of the 'hood, once and for all!

Posted by: Mo'nique | June 11, 2007 12:20 PM

"I do agree that many vehicle crashes occur with Latino (illegal or legal immigrants) drivers; it appears that their culture does not equate danger with drinking and driving, and many don't get licenses for fear of the government using it to track them down"

I do agree with this statement, John L, and would add that in the last few years, in many states, it has become increasingly difficult for illegal immigrants to obtain drivers licenses at all. I think since 911, many states have imposed really strict documentation rules that illegals cannot meet, and as a result, they cannot get licenses. I do think that in a way, we are shooting ourselves in the foot here, because they drive anyway, and because they don't have licenses, they are often uninsured and uneducated about general driving safety, including drinking and driving. If we made more reasonable laws that allow illegal immigrants to drive, we could at least provide some measures in the licensing process that would alert them to the dangers of drinking and driving. In the end, this would be a benefit to society, because it would decrease the likelihood of people driving with no licenses or insurance.

Posted by: Emily | June 11, 2007 12:20 PM

"Food is not cheap unless you are eating pasta every night."

Scarry,

Just not true!

Pasta, rice, in fact all grains, as well as beans, root vegetables, and most local vegetables in season are enormously cheap. And they all translate into healthy nutrition (low fat, high fiber, vitamins, minerals, etc.).

You have to be willing to widen your comfort zone, though.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 12:22 PM

"I have to question your grouping armed carjacking and armed rape as equal in severity. It seems to me that the motivations for those two crimes (and therefore the potential for rehabilitation) are very different. (I'm thinking of the carjacker who wants to sell the car, whole or for parts, as having an economic motivation, while the rapist would be motivated by much more complex feelings of revenge for perceived powerlessness or disenfranchisement, hatred of women, etc). Any thoughts"

Posted by: boston liz | June 11, 2007 12:11 PM

Yeah. I don't care about motivation. All I care about is that both of these criminals have shown that they are willing to kill to get what they want. Common sense tells us that someone who is willing to kill once is likely enough to be willing to kill again that it is too risky to give him a second try on the chance that he might have become "rehabilitated."

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 11, 2007 12:27 PM

Oh, and BTW, Patrick,

I voted Republican for president right up to the current one (even held my nose for Dole vs Clinton), when his staggering incompetence, cronyism, zealotry and worldview was obvious to anyone who did some research on him. When he ran for reelection I would have voted for a rotting dog before I would have voted for Bush, in fact, and given how badly his party has been beaten up at the polls lately, I'd say a lot of us moderate Republicans agree with me.

Posted by: John L | June 11, 2007 12:29 PM

"I do agree that many vehicle crashes occur with Latino (illegal or legal immigrants) drivers; it appears that their culture does not equate danger with drinking and driving,"

And a LOT of accidents are caused by mothers driving their kids and getting distracted; it appears that their culture does not equate danger with children passengers.

Posted by: risk/benefit | June 11, 2007 12:33 PM

I believe that much of the killing in africa is based on civil war.

Well, now, so is most of the killing in Iraq.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 12:33 PM

One way to find money for paid maternity leave without raising taxes, lower the defense budget. We spend somewhere between $1 billion and $2 billion a day on the war in Iraq. End the war, and use the money for social welfare programs here. I have no problem with that.

Posted by: Emmy | June 11, 2007 12:35 PM

Forgot about 9/11 already? The taliban who ran afghanistan sheltered Bin Laden. They started the war. 2nd, Iraq started two wars and then hinted at WMD. You liberals love to dismiss responsibilty for everyone but the US.I bet if a robber broke into your house and the police kicked down his door to arrest him, by YOUR logic the police would have been the aggressor.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 12:05 PM

pATRICK,

You often speak with a voice of quiet authority. Here, however, you're just flailing around stupidly, reacting without thinking.

Calm down.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 12:36 PM

Paid maternity leave? why not paid family leave? Maternity leave is flat out sexist and discriminatory-- (so lesbian couples would get it for both parents, but male gay parents would get nada?!) it should be parental leave at the very least and better to have it as family leave.

Nah, actually, I change my mind. No paid family leave at all for anyone-- better EITC to help the working poor, that is soemthing I can really support.

If you want to take time off to care for your family, then save up your money. I imagine the complications of providing paid family leave would outweigh the advantages that it provides to the betterment of general society.

Posted by: Jen S. | June 11, 2007 12:41 PM

"Don't ask me to pay for your contraception, which, by the way, is different than birth control. Abstinence is free! For heavens sakes girls, control yourselves and show your daughters a good example."

Why just girls?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 12:48 PM

"Don't ask me to pay for your contraception, which, by the way, is different than birth control. Abstinence is free! For heavens sakes girls, control yourselves and show your daughters a good example."

Sounds like mcewen hasn't gotten any in a long, long time and wants to ruin it for all the other men.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 12:50 PM

"Don't ask me to pay for your contraception, which, by the way, is different than birth control. Abstinence is free! For heavens sakes girls, control yourselves and show your daughters a good example."

Why not sons and fathers as well?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 12:50 PM

If we made more reasonable laws that allow illegal immigrants to drive, we could at least provide some measures in the licensing process that would alert them to the dangers of drinking and driving.

Emily, I have several questions. Why more laws when we don't enforce what we have now? What is unreasonable about not giving government approval to people who have broken our laws to begin with? Why should they get all the benefits of an ordinary citizen but pay no taxes. Are you in favor of amnesty? I philosophically feel they should be all deported but in my heart I know they will end up with amnesty which only postpones the inevitable.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 12:52 PM

"in my heart I know they will end up with amnesty which only postpones the inevitable."

So how do you think this should best be implemented?

Posted by: To pATRICK | June 11, 2007 12:54 PM

Children of illegal immigrants pay in-state tuition in MD. If you start there when your parents live in the state but they move you have to pay out of state. Something very wrong with this picture.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 12:54 PM

I still don't understand why paid maternity leave gets some people so upset, when EVERY SINGLE DEVELOPED NATION HAS IT except the United States. HELLO!!! We are dead last and supposedly the richest country in the world. Don't tell me it will cost too much money. That's ridiculous. Every other country finds a way to pay for it. Like I said, spend less on the Iraq war and there's your money right there. Also, Jen S., I do not mean to be discriminatory, of course all adoptive parents and gay men should be able to get 6 weeks of paid leave when they adopt a child. (Although, just so both lesbian parents don't double dip, it can be restricted to one parent. Is that better?) It is really NOT that complicated.

Posted by: Emmy | June 11, 2007 12:54 PM

Why should they get all the benefits of an ordinary citizen but pay no taxes.

They pay sales taxes. THey pay property taxes via their rents.

Posted by: To pATRICK | June 11, 2007 12:56 PM

pATRICK

"Why should they get all the benefits of an ordinary citizen but pay no taxes."

There are ordinary citizens who pay the same or less taxes than illegals.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 12:56 PM

Patrick,

Uhhh, the Soviet Union was one of the Allies in WWII, or did your revisionist history book neglect that little fact?

Here's a few more facts you appear to be short on:

The British bombed the Germans too. Look it up.

The vast majority of German army casualties happened on the Eastern Front. Germany lost over half a million men fighting for Stalingrad alone.

The biggest contribution the US provided the Allies in Europe was material, not manpower (although that certainly helped). Oil, food, and military equipment were all provided to both Britain and the Soviet Union in enormous quantities.

Britain had her entire empire to draw upon for most of the war, and Rommel was stopped in Egypt almost entirely by Britain alone. And don't even try arguing that he threatened the Middle East oilfield; just don't even try.

Posted by: John L | June 11, 2007 12:59 PM

"Forgot about 9/11 already? The taliban who ran afghanistan sheltered Bin Laden. They started the war."

Bin Laden is a terrible person. The Taliban government was/is abhorrent. But the majority of 9/11 hijackers were Saudi. The Saudi government funds anti-non-Muslim programs in US mosques. We made a good start in Afghanistan, but the "solution" to the 9/11 attacks can't be boiled down just to taking out the Taliban's Afghanistan and Saddam's Iraq.

Posted by: boston liz | June 11, 2007 12:59 PM

"Why should they get all the benefits of an ordinary citizen but pay no taxes.

They pay sales taxes. THey pay property taxes via their rents."

Most public housing units are TAX EXEMPT from property taxes. No taxes are paid via rents.

Posted by: DZ | June 11, 2007 1:00 PM

I still don't understand why paid maternity leave gets some people so upset, when EVERY SINGLE DEVELOPED NATION HAS IT except the United States. HELLO!!! We are dead last and supposedly the richest country in the world. Don't tell me it will cost too much money. That's ridiculous. Every other country finds a way to pay for it. Like I said, spend less on the Iraq war and there's your money right there. . . . It is really NOT that complicated.

Posted by: Emmy | June 11, 2007 12:54 PM

Emmy, Screaming in all caps doesn't make your argument in more coherent. It will cost too much money. You may find it ridiculous to discuss silly little things like budgets and whether we have the money to create a brand new entitlement program when we lack the funds to pay for the two biggest entitlement programs in existence: the Medicare or Medicaid program, but some of us deem acknowledging those pesky budget problems to be part of engaging in meaningful policy discussions. Other countries find a way to pay for it and, as a result of that and many, many other public policy choices, they offer 10% - 15% unemployment rates. If you find that trade-off to be appealing and prudent, you might want to consider relocating.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 1:02 PM

You guys want to refight the Vietnam war also?

Posted by: just asking | June 11, 2007 1:02 PM

Most public housing units are TAX EXEMPT from property taxes. No taxes are paid via rents.

Many immigrants live in rented homes. Sometimes there are 5-6 people per room. Sad but when there is a fire some don't get out as they live in basements, etc that are not legally bedrooms.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 1:05 PM

And change the law. Just because a baby is born here doesn't mean that baby should be granted US citizenship. If one or both parents are citizens, the the kid should be. Otherwise, no. I believe we are one of the few, if any, countries who allow this. It is quite absurd.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 1:05 PM

"in my heart I know they will end up with amnesty which only postpones the inevitable."

So how do you think this should best be implemented?"

I think that two things should happen. One -Amnesty them, we will never deport that many people. 2. Build a real border.

This what I would do but I doubt we could build a real border, Americans don't want a berlin wall. By the way they do not pay INCOME TAX or SS tax so don't give me that argument that they pay what you and I pay.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 1:06 PM

Emmy-- those countries have a history of punishing working women-- of discriminating and assuming that if you are a young woman you are likely to get pregnant and leave your job-- and depending on the system, the company will have to pay for this. so they choose to hire men over women.

contrast that with FMLA-- which is not gender determinative. Therefore, companies face the "risk" that either a male or a female hire will use FMLA leave, so there is reduced risk of sex discrimination.

Yes, it is unpaid, but really people should either save up their money themselves or if they are working poor I think EITC are a more efficient and fairer method of ensuring that people can get time off for family emergencies and to cover costs of bonding.

Paid maternity leave sounds so great, but I have friends in Europe that say it does come with a heavy risk of sex discrimination.

Posted by: Jen S. | June 11, 2007 1:06 PM

Most public housing units are TAX EXEMPT from property taxes. No taxes are paid via rents.


Posted by: DZ | June 11, 2007 01:00 P

Most illegals are not living in public housing because it is forbidden by statute. Let's get back to what's really happening - those who are renting are renting from private landlords who pay taxes.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 1:07 PM

Can we talk about something - anything -- else and leave the immigration debate? It's being discussed more intelligently elsewhere.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 1:13 PM

"Patrick,

Uhhh, the Soviet Union was one of the Allies in WWII, or did your revisionist history book neglect that little fact? "

You know damn well that Britain was in no position to defeat germany on its own. Yes, I do agree that the russians were prime reason that germany was defeated although it was very,very close initially. Germany also was pounded on a daily basis which choked off their war production. You seem to think that Russia vs Germany was enough, it wasn't, Germany was forced to fight a two front war and that was the tipping point along with enormous russian losses that bled Germany dry. You also forgot about the cold war in which we defended europe again. A lot of russian tansk were poised to pour through the fulda gap at any time and the responsibility of repeling them was AMERICAN! Please don't even get started on vietnam.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 1:15 PM

Jen S., Valid points. Europe is a little different. I like to look at Canada as a model. There really isn't gender discrimination there and I have a lot of family and friends in Ontario and Quebec.

Posted by: Emmy | June 11, 2007 1:19 PM

pATRICK

If you keep on skipping your meds, you might end up in the psycho ward.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 1:22 PM

Jen S., Valid points. Europe is a little different. I like to look at Canada as a model. There really isn't gender discrimination there and I have a lot of family and friends in Ontario and Quebec.

"The US has nearly ten times the population of Canada. California itself is larger. The idea that what works for 33 million will be viable politically, dollar wise and logistically for 300 million is suspect."

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 1:25 PM

"in my heart I know they will end up with amnesty which only postpones the inevitable."

So how do you think this should best be implemented?"

I think that two things should happen. One -Amnesty them, we will never deport that many people. 2. Build a real border.

This what I would do but I doubt we could build a real border, Americans don't want a berlin wall. By the way they do not pay INCOME TAX or SS tax so don't give me that argument that they pay what you and I pay.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 01:06 PM
Actually you are wrong. A good number of illegal immigrants do pay income and SS taxes by using a phony SSN from a friend, relative, or purchased on the street. So yes they are paying into the system. The real kicker is that they do NOT file the tax return. Therefore, they don't get money back. Some unknown person is being credited with their income (their tax liability) as well as the SS earnings. They get a lot of jobs by giving a false SSN. Of course dollar for dollar, they probably don't pay the amount that a professional does. But neither do legal poor people. And Patrick, your not paying as much taxes as some higher income Americans as well. We have a progressive tax system. It wasn't suppose to be a flat tax.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 11, 2007 1:27 PM

"pATRICK

If you keep on skipping your meds, you might end up in the psycho ward."

I'm sorry your lost aren't you?. The junior high blog on world events is around the corner. This one's for adults. Run along, Skippy.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 1:29 PM

Well, Patrick, I wasn't the one that said Britain could win WWII by herself. I said the Allies were going to win without the US entering the war in a direct manner (i.e. providing men); I don't consider us providing war material and supplies "bailing us out".

BTW, German war material production increased throughout 1943 and 1944, despite the US/British strategic air campaign. Their production collapsed only after two things happened; the transportation system and synthetic oil plants were attacked, and both weren't hit hard until late 1944. In fact, Germany wasn't on a war economy footing until 1943.

And I never brought up the Cold War or Vietnam; how do those equate in your statement that we've "bailed Europe out" anyway?

Posted by: John L | June 11, 2007 1:29 PM

By the way they do not pay INCOME TAX or SS tax so don't give me that argument that they pay what you and I pay.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 01:06 PM

actually, they do pay income tax and social security taxes, pATRICK. It is generally considered prudent to consider, rather than reject out of hand,argument based on facts.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 1:31 PM

"In fact, about $6 billion in annual payroll taxes are allocated to non-existent Social Security accounts. Experts attribute these payments to the forged documents that illegal immigrants purchase in order to find work. This $6 billion is collected each year with no future benefit-rights assigned. This sum is certainly more than any income taxes that would be owed on the earnings involved. (We know that the bottom half of wage earners pay much more in payroll taxes than in income taxes.) In any case, it is probable that the income taxes withheld from the wages of illegal immigrants also would in large measure be refunded because of the low earnings of these workers.

So when the discussion calms down enough to figure out how to integrate the illegal with the legal workforce, illegal workers are likely to receive non-trivial back-dated credits toward Social Security, while their back-dated income tax obligations are trivial."

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 1:34 PM

Altmon posted
"Social security-it is so simple, yet no one wants to talk about it. Raise the age at which people begin getting benefits. I don't think that there is anything wrong with saying to people that they have to save more and finance a few yrs of retirement or that they have to work longer. When soc security was implemented, people lived til 65, now they live longer. It used to be something like 30 people paying in for every retiree-now it's something like 2. The math will never work without raising the benefits age"

Well lets get rid of age discrimination. Many people in their 50's find that their jobs are outsourced but cannot find another due to age discrimination. Can't retire can't work what are we supposed to do?

Put back what was bowered from SS and there will be plenty for us to retire.

Only those who put in should be able to take out so sorry stay at home moms you did not contribute to SS so you should not collect. The benefits for marred and single should be the same since the input is the same. And if the contributer dies nothing for the non-contributer unless they are under 18.

I am waiting for the "camps" to be provided for retirement. Showers anyone?

Posted by: over 50 | June 11, 2007 1:35 PM

Many immigrants have been able to file income taxes since 1996.

In 1996, the Internal Revenue Service created the nine-digit Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or ITIN. People who don't qualify for a Social Security number, such as undocumented immigrants, cannot file their taxes without it.

More than 7.4 million immigrants have been issued the taxpayer numbers since 1996.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 1:36 PM

Even those of you who claim the US system is the best can't claim it is perfect. So let's at least look at what the other countries have (universal health care for ex.) see what the faults are with their implemention of this benefit (like the long waiting times in the UK) and try to come up with a plan that addresses that issue as well.

Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | June 11, 2007 1:38 PM

When else did Europe ask for our help, BTW, other than that war? ISTM they don't "always" call for us."

This is why I brought up the cold war. IMO europe has lost the will to engage in any military action in defense of itself for very long. WE are getting that way too. We have lost 3500 men in IRAQ over 4 years. From a miltary perspective this is tiny. We have app 40,000 traffic fatalities a year here and no one utters a peep.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 1:38 PM

"In fact, Germany wasn't on a war economy footing until 1943."


This is when Speer took over I believe. He said that Germany could have been 3-4 more heavily armed in 1939. Now that's scary.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 1:43 PM

When else did Europe ask for our help, BTW, other than that war? ISTM they don't "always" call for us."

This is why I brought up the cold war. IMO europe has lost the will to engage in any military action in defense of itself for very long. WE are getting that way too. We have lost 3500 men in IRAQ over 4 years. From a miltary perspective this is tiny. We have app 40,000 traffic fatalities a year here and no one utters a peep.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 01:38 PM

We don't spend a billion dollars a day on legal driving enforcements. I don't think it is the number of soldiers as much as how much money is being spent and how much gain is being made over there. Not too mention, every life is precious. We don't want to minimize the life of the soldiers.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 1:43 PM

Even those of you who claim the US system is the best can't claim it is perfect. So let's at least look at what the other countries have (universal health care for ex.) see what the faults are with their implemention of this benefit (like the long waiting times in the UK) and try to come up with a plan that addresses that issue as well.

Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | June 11, 2007 01:38 PM

Who knew it was this simple? That Health Care Commission Clinton established? The many, many think tanks who have devoted years to proposing solutions? All they had to do was listen to Divorced mom of 1.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 1:44 PM

Wow, the West Germans, French and British relied on the US to protect them during the "cold war". We did it all by ourselves!

Amazing; I suggest someone go read some history instead of having Limbaugh tell you what happened.

Getting back on topic, short of the world's largest fortified boundary equivalent to the Iron Curtain of the 50's and 60's, the US isn't going to control illegal immigration. Yeah, that would look really great; "give us your huddled masses", but only if they're Europeans.

Posted by: John L | June 11, 2007 1:44 PM

"So let's at least look at what the other countries have (universal health care for ex.) see what the faults are with their implemention of this benefit (like the long waiting times in the UK) and try to come up with a plan that addresses that issue as well. "

That would take too much work and the excess thinking would give me a headache. It's easier to b!tch and whine. As long as I've got mine, I really don't give a sh!t about anyone else.

Posted by: pATRICK'S CLONE | June 11, 2007 1:45 PM

"Wow, the West Germans, French and British relied on the US to protect them during the "cold war". We did it all by ourselves!

Amazing; I suggest someone go read some history instead of having Limbaugh tell you what happened."

Your axe to grind against the US is silly. The bulk of the cold war was paid by the US. I suspect you blame the US for being attacked at pearl harbor too.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 1:48 PM

"That would take too much work and the excess thinking would give me a headache. It's easier to b!tch and whine. As long as I've got mine, I really don't give a sh!t about anyone else."

Not sure why you involved me in that one. I think that is a liberal view.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 1:50 PM

I love that people complain that this blog never tackles serious issues, but on a day when we're actually discussing some, someone references a TV show and song lyrics. You can't please all the people all the time.
(signed) Meesh

Just look at the about 25-30 posts Meesh! and you single me out!


Posted by: sleeps with the fishes | June 11, 2007 1:50 PM

pATRICK

"When else did Europe ask for our help, BTW, other than that war?"

Duh, World War I?

Posted by: DZ | June 11, 2007 1:50 PM

"IMO europe has lost the will to engage in any military action in defense of itself for very long. WE are getting that way too. We have lost 3500 men in IRAQ over 4 years. From a miltary perspective this is tiny."

I agree that 3500 persons over a 4 year mission if small, but this military action is not in defense of the US, and our military medical expertise is greater than it used to be. This war was ill-advised from the get-go. It was based on faulty intelligence, and the plan of execution was flawed and developed in ignorance of Iraqi history. Were we acting in defense, the percentage of citizens against the war would be below 10% and everyone would ignore them. As it is, the recent increase in troops has had zero positive result.

We are asking our leaders the right questions: why are we there? What is the scope of the mission? How long will it take? None of the answers have been satisfying to that great unwashed middle of the electorate that you ignore: the patriotic center willing to fight wars necessary to preserve our national security.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 1:53 PM

To over 50: how you got that from my comments, I have no idea. I don't understand-the system is going bankrupt and you want your check every wk, come hell or high water?

How about, there is age discrimination precisely *because* the age at which people receive benefits is 65? How about companies would be more willing to hire older workers if they thought they weren't just waiting til the soc security kicks in (yes, companies are stupid-they should be hiring older workers since they are overall, more loyal and also have a better work ethic etc but cos are stupid). But the reality is by the time one reaches a certain age they may not need to work full time (can use some savings for a few yrs). Think outside the box please.

Posted by: atlmom | June 11, 2007 1:55 PM

"We are asking our leaders the right questions: why are we there? What is the scope of the mission? How long will it take? None of the answers have been satisfying to that great unwashed middle of the electorate that you ignore: the patriotic center willing to fight wars necessary to preserve our national security."


You may be surprised but I agree with many points in your post. If a buttload of WMD had been found this would have been a different situation. Second, Bush IMO did not send enough troops to occupy IRAQ. Third, we underestimated the amount of mischief on IRAN's and Syria's part.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 1:57 PM

I am not buying that food in this country is cheap for everyone. Cheap for who, me? Well, yes, I spend about 140 a week on groceries for three people. We eat fruits, vegetables, and meat, but the reality is that it's not cheap for everyone. Aren't cherries in season, well at the grocery store they were 5.00 a pound. Cheap is relative to what you make, how many kids you have, where you live, etc.

As far as government sponsored maternity leave, I would rather see that money go to the elderly who have to choose between medicine and food.

Posted by: scarry | June 11, 2007 2:00 PM

The price of milk has soared since January 1, 2007. There is insufficient labor to reap the fruits and vegetables. Ask the farmers how they feel about illegal immigrants. We love, love, love the farmers as long as we can be on their side against the government. But when they need us to fight for a guest worker program or to increase the number of immigrants that can home here legally and fill those migrant worker jobs, we tune them out. I guess we only like them if we can attend FarmAid concerts, but not if they ask us to consider their business needs.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 2:07 PM

To altmon
Maybe because I paid a check to SS every week come hell or high water and was promised benefits. The money was there, the money was borrowed, put it back and there will be plenty to pay those who want to retire,
Actually I would want to retire later but the jobs are not here they are in India.
We would save a lot but not paying the non-working spouse, then those who did work can retire

Posted by: over 50 | June 11, 2007 2:08 PM

scarry

"Well, yes, I spend about 140 a week on groceries for three people"

That is less than $1.00 per meal per person. How much do you spend on take out? Does your kid's childcare include lunch/snacks?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 2:10 PM

Please Chrissy or someone else, rescue us from the misery of rehashed political arguments.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 2:11 PM

scarry

"Well, yes, I spend about 140 a week on groceries for three people"

That is less than $1.00 per meal per person. How much do you spend on take out? Does your kid's childcare include lunch/snacks?


Posted by: | June 11, 2007 02:10 PM
We spend even less for a family of three. I spent approximately $450/month for a family of three. Both Scarry and I have a three year old daughter. So approximately the same food in take. My daughter's day care supplies two snacks, drinks, and a lunch four days a week. I still send extra snacks each day because my daughter does not like their snacks. We have take out once a week which is about $35/week. Why is that not right? We eat very well and have all the food that we need.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 11, 2007 2:15 PM

scarry

"Well, yes, I spend about 140 a week on groceries for three people"

That is less than $1.00 per meal per person. How much do you spend on take out? Does your kid's childcare include lunch/snacks?


Posted by: | June 11, 2007 02:10 PM
If you don't count snacks that is approximately $2.22 a meal for each person or $6.66 a day.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 2:17 PM

Well, yes, I spend about 140 a week on groceries for three people"

That is less than $1.00 per meal per person. How much do you spend on take out? Does your kid's childcare include lunch/snacks?


Posted by: | June 11, 2007 02:10 PM

you obviously failed math 140/7 = 20 per day. 20/3 = 6.67 per meal; 6.67/3 = 2.22 per person per meal per day

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 2:20 PM

"you obviously failed math 140/7 = 20 per day. 20/3 = 6.67 per meal; 6.67/3 = 2.22 per person per meal per day"

Yes, I failed math and science and that is why I couldn't find WMD over there.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 2:24 PM

How many examples can you cite of "an "honors graduate" of a public high school with a 4.0 average but is unable to read"? This sounds more like Urban Legend than fact.
______________________________

The statement should be read as hyperbole.

From the "American Heritage Dictionary" - hyperbole: n. A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect, as in I could sleep for a year or This book weighs a ton.

So the two cases I cited - a 4.0 graduate who is illiterate, or a school where teachers only teach a standardized test - should be considered hyperbolic representations of the two extremes. In real life all schools are somewhere in between; the hard part is getting them closer to where you want to be. You want to know that if George graduated with a 3.0 average in a subject list from high school X, and Jane graduated with a 3.0 average in an identical subject list from high school Y, they have approximately the same skill sets. Today you don't. You want to know that any high school graduate has a certain minimal skill set; today you don't.

Posted by: Army Brat | June 11, 2007 2:25 PM

Really, for most people in the coming years, they will receive more from soc security than they put in (my grandma's been collecting for 35 plus yrs and her current check is more than she ever got working). For my generation, I tend to doubt it.
No, our congress won't ever repay the money that was stolen. We are in for a rude awakening, actually, it's only a few yrs from now when they can't just go in and take that money to prop up the rest of the budget.

Posted by: atlmom | June 11, 2007 2:28 PM

We hardly "bailed Europe out" in WWI either; our manpower contribution was more symbolic than anything else, but the fresh infusion of men did help morale.

Patrick, you love to throw out that liberal tag whenever you find someone who disagrees with your extreme right wing viewpoint, don't you? I guess from your position on the spectrum everyone is to your left, but that hardly makes you representative of even your own party.

Posted by: John L | June 11, 2007 2:32 PM

"We hardly "bailed Europe out" in WWI either; our manpower contribution was more symbolic than anything else, but the fresh infusion of men did help morale."

Ha! Double Ha! You are the one out there living in your own little world. Let's see so far, the US barely contributed to: WWI, WWII, the cold war, Kosovo or the Marshall Plan. Keep writing maybe someone will be gullible and historically ignorant enough to buy what you are selling.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 2:37 PM

pATRICK,
Can you shut up please? You are a monumental bore.

Posted by: lurker | June 11, 2007 2:38 PM

pATRICK is merely a legend in his own mind!

Posted by: your are wrong lurker! | June 11, 2007 2:43 PM

pATRICK,
Can you shut up please? You are a monumental bore.

No, bugger off.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 2:44 PM

pATRICK

"No, bugger off."

Ah, ha!

Posted by: Nigel | June 11, 2007 2:48 PM

My argument wasn't the fact that I didn't have enough food to eat. I am blessed with a good job as is my husband. My argument was that stuff is not that cheap anymore and that some people do not have all the resources to buy a lot of healthy food. Look at the people who are living on food stamps. So it doesn't matter when I eat out or if my kid has snacks at school because I am not in the equation. If milk went up to 5.00 a gallon, I could still buy it, but, many people couldn't.

Don't worry about the math; I am bad at it too.

Posted by: scarry | June 11, 2007 2:50 PM

Patrick saunters up to the edge of the blog. Patrick quietly baits a hook. Scads of suckers jump all over each other to take Patrick's bait. Patrick wins the blog fishing event today. Well done Patrick.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 2:53 PM

Patrick,

Why you keep trying to rewrite what I said I have no idea, unless it's because you can't refute what I actually did say.

"barely contributed?" Kosovo? Cold War? Marshall Plan? I mean, really, Kosovo???

I'm surprised you haven't thrown in Grenada and Panama into that list as well, not to mention Libya and Lebanon too.

Really, Patrick, you need to read some good history books instead of listening to your right-wing friends, who've apparently convinced you the US has saved the world all by ourselves at least a couple of times, if not continuously since the 1910's.

But, that would no doubt intrude into your little far right world you've created, and everyone knows books are mostly written by liberals (definition: anyone left of Patrick) anyway and can't be trusted.

Posted by: John L | June 11, 2007 2:57 PM

John L., put a fork in it, we are done.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 3:00 PM

"pATRICK,
Can you shut up please? You are a monumental bore. "

"pATRICK is merely a legend in his own mind!"


Can you imagine living with or working with this pompous windbag? Thank you God for sparing me the excruciating tediousness of knowing this guy! Thy will be done. Amen.

There is a Travel Alert in my house for the state of Texas.

Posted by: Top Cat | June 11, 2007 3:01 PM

If you don't want to hear Patrick rant, then please stop engaging him. No one is going to change (or open) his mind. He thinks what he thinks. It will never change. It is best to just stop arguing with him and maybe then, we will be able to talk about something interesting again.

Posted by: Emily | June 11, 2007 3:03 PM

"I was only responding to the comment "most illegals try not to do anything that will do anything to attract the attention of authorities to them" which is a bunch of hooey."

Agreed. If they tried to stay out of the public eye, why would there be graffiti all over the place boasting "MS-13"?
----
Rebecca, I'm in agreement with you. There should be a qualification exam for hopeful parents. I personally think parents should be capable of providing basic needs for their children--food, health insurance, shelter, etc., before they have them, and that should be a qualifier as well. Unfortunately, as one poster said, it does smack of eugenics, and it would be all but impossible to put into place. I believe it would be prudent, for the good of the whole, to put such measures into place, but you will always have the people who are disqualified wailing that all they ever wanted was to have a child, and that basic right was taken away from them. As much as I'd like to see it happen, one must admit that it's cruel. And I can't really say that "I should be able to do whatever I want with my body" as a pro-choice person, while denying that right to another person.

Maybe the secret is to lift the stigma attached to abortion, so fewer prom queens will flush their newborns down the toilet. Maybe we need better sexual education. Opening up a young person's eyes to the reality of parenthood might help discourage them from becoming a parent before they're ready. Unfortunately, people are too afraid of talking to their children, so we just assume they'll learn it on their wedding night (please), and instead they learn it from paragons of morality like Paris Hilton.
----
"Don't ask me to pay for your contraception, which, by the way, is different than birth control. Abstinence is free! For heavens sakes girls, control yourselves and show your daughters a good example.

Posted by: | June 11, 2007 11:30 AM"

Let me guess--you think girls "get themselves pregnant"?
----
"Your mother was pro-life, darling! Too bad that the special water you want so badly for others wasn't available for your mother.

Posted by: to Rebecca | June 11, 2007 11:40 AM"

And how would you know? Many pro-choice women have children. Because having children IS a choice. My own mother is every bit as pro-choice as I am.
----
"And change the law. Just because a baby is born here doesn't mean that baby should be granted US citizenship."

This is a tough one. I agree with you--mostly because the mentality is quite often "I have to cross the border before I go into labor so my baby can be a citizen, and no one would separate a child from its mother." Smart thinking, but I'm not sure that it's justifiable to allow you immunity from the law just because you found a somewhat questionable loophole.

Posted by: Mona | June 11, 2007 3:04 PM

liberals (definition: anyone left of Patrick)

That's nearly everyone.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:06 PM

previously you wrote:
*****************************************
Well lets get rid of age discrimination. Many people in their 50's find that their jobs are outsourced but cannot find another due to age discrimination. Can't retire can't work what are we supposed to do?

Put back what was bowered from SS and there will be plenty for us to retire.

Only those who put in should be able to take out so sorry stay at home moms you did not contribute to SS so you should not collect. The benefits for marred and single should be the same since the input is the same. And if the contributer dies nothing for the non-contributer unless they are under 18.

I am waiting for the "camps" to be provided for retirement. Showers anyone?
****************************************

1. yes, let's get rid of all discrimination, but how about a suggestion on how to do it?

2. maybe, but we are living longer. the real deficit is in Medicare, especially with part D. this will dwarf Medicare A and B benefits, and the social security deficit.

3. really 2 different arguments. First, if my spouse and i work, we may apply for benefits. For any able-bodied adult to collect, they must have contributed $1000 for each of 40 calendar quarters (10 years). Second, this moves us into the late 20th century and allows women control of their economic destiny. That is, they do not have to stay in an abusive, loveless relationship for economic benefits.

4. enough of the gratuitous Holocaust references.

Posted by: to: over 50 | June 11, 2007 3:07 PM

"liberals (definition: anyone left of Patrick)

That's nearly everyone."

Here it sure is. But unlike most of you, I don't talk into a mirror. I post with people much different than myself. This guarantees these rude comments but that is what freedom is about, the ability to disagree with anyone, even me as often as you like. How many of you post to conservative websites? Very few I imagine, you should it, you might find, like I do here some interesting people.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 3:13 PM

"Rebecca, I'm in agreement with you. There should be a qualification exam for hopeful parents. I personally think parents should be capable of providing basic needs for their children--food, health insurance, shelter, etc., before they have them, and that should be a qualifier as well."

Mona, as a knee jerk reaction, I would tend to agree with you that there should be some kind of qualifying test to become parents. So many people do it with no thought or preparation. And some of them do it very badly. But some of them do incredibly good jobs also. They rise to the occasion, and despite poverty or lack of education and resources, manage to raise wonderful kids. And many people who have resources and money do a rotten job of raising their kids (Paris Hilton certainl was raised with lots of resources, but her parents still seem to have failed her miserably).

So in the end, I doubt that a qualifying test would really help at all. The human spirit can often rise against adversity against pretty grim odds, and no qualifying test that I know of could measure the potential for some people who are poor or unprepared, nor compensate for the fact that some who appear to have everything going for them will fail nonetheless.

Posted by: Emily | June 11, 2007 3:14 PM

Scarry- milk here -for organic-is 5 dollars. For non organic it is under 4 dollars. I beleieve is's closer to 3.69.
Yes, recently, food has increased in price, and that is due to your wonderful govt actually-they are giving all sorts of incentive for growing corn to make into fuel that is about the worst newfangled idea there is (it uses about as much fuel to make as it creates-no I'm not against alternative fuels, far from it, but hydrogen is a much better way to go).
And, I said that clothing was much less expensive than it was 20 or 30 yrs ago too-i begged my mom to buy me stuff that cost *more* than what I can buy similar stuff for now.

Posted by: atlmom | June 11, 2007 3:16 PM

"Only those who put in should be able to take out so sorry stay at home moms you did not contribute to SS so you should not collect."

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:16 PM

The price of milk has soared since January 1, 2007. There is insufficient labor to reap the fruits and vegetables. Ask the farmers how they feel about illegal immigrants. We love, love, love the farmers as long as we can be on their side against the government. But when they need us to fight for a guest worker program or to increase the number of immigrants that can home here legally and fill those migrant worker jobs, we tune them out.

OR...

We stop excluding farm workers from minimum wage. This just might make it enticing enough for a citizen to apply for the job.

And hey! Maybe once there are more citizens picking the lettuce, peaches, etc. there will be more portable toilets available for the workers.

Posted by: Wool gathering | June 11, 2007 3:16 PM

I don't find Patrick rude. I think he is opinionated and in the minority on a blog with a lot of liberal people, so no matter what he says he sticks out. .

Posted by: scarry | June 11, 2007 3:17 PM

"There should be a qualification exam for hopeful parents."

Mona, you never cease to amaze me.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:18 PM

I said that clothing was much less expensive than it was 20 or 30 yrs ago too-i begged my mom to buy me stuff that cost *more* than what I can buy similar stuff for now.

Posted by: atlmom | June 11, 2007 03:16 PM

Well, maybe that's because nowadays too much clothing's made in off-shore sweatshops by labor slaving away for figurative pennies an hour, as opposed to a living wage.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:19 PM

Mona, as a knee jerk reaction, I would tend to agree with you that there should be some kind of qualifying test to become parents. So many people do it with no thought or preparation. And some of them do it very badly. But some of them do incredibly good jobs also. They rise to the occasion, and despite poverty or lack of education and resources, manage to raise wonderful kids. And many people who have resources and money do a rotten job of raising their kids (Paris Hilton certainl was raised with lots of resources, but her parents still seem to have failed her miserably).

Substitute "marriage" for parenthood--many people do it very badly, indeed.

But I think it's really funny how adamant Michelle Singletary is about prenuptial agreements (she's agin 'em), given that 3% of all couples have them, but the divorce rate is in excess of 40%.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:20 PM

altmom I don't know how I feel about corn being used for fuel. On one hand it would create jobs in the Midwest on the other it would probably bring a rise to more products imported from China and other countries that do not have good safety and manufacturing requirements.

I wonder if people are afraid of hydrogen.

Posted by: scarry | June 11, 2007 3:21 PM

I said that clothing was much less expensive than it was 20 or 30 yrs ago too-i begged my mom to buy me stuff that cost *more* than what I can buy similar stuff for now.

Posted by: atlmom | June 11, 2007 03:16 PM

Well, maybe that's because nowadays too much clothing's made in off-shore sweatshops by labor slaving away for figurative pennies an hour, as opposed to a living wage.

Maybe...or maybe 20-30 years ago atlmom wasn't setting the fashion trend the way I was and shopping for clothes at thrift stores! Personally, I think there was plenty of sweatshop labor in the garment industry 20-30 years ago. We simply weren't as aware of it happening. As a country, I think we really and truly thought it ended with the Shirtwaist Factory Fire.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 11, 2007 3:23 PM

"Let me guess--you think girls "get themselves pregnant"?"

OK, then let the guy that is treating you like an object of his sexual desires pay for your contraception.

don't ask everybody else to subsidize your style of sex life.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:23 PM

"That would take too much work and the excess thinking would give me a headache. It's easier to b!tch and whine. As long as I've got mine, I really don't give a sh!t about anyone else."

Not sure why you involved me in that one. I think that is a liberal view.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 01:50 PM

pATRICK,

Please explain how you regard this as a liberal view. Aren't you rightest reactionaries always moaning about how liberals want to give too much to the poor, underprivileged, and underserved? If that's the case, how do you then call the above-stated view "liberal"?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:23 PM

"Only those who put in should be able to take out so sorry stay at home moms you did not contribute to SS so you should not collect."

"Yes! Yes! Yes!"

As well as the stay at home dads.

No work, no food!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:23 PM

I think some of the Ride On Buses in Montgomery County are powered by hydrogen. But I know nothing of alternative fuels. If hydrogen works, why isn't it used more widely?

Posted by: Emily | June 11, 2007 3:23 PM

"Only those who put in should be able to take out so sorry stay at home moms you did not contribute to SS so you should not collect."

That's fine, just don't ask my universal health system to pay for your kids' therapy since you weren't around. Tit for tat. I will happily pay for their incarceration though.

You dopes, If a SAHM never worked then she would only collect the dependant benefits of their spouse if they died. This is already the case. GREAT IDEA!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:25 PM

don't ask everybody else to subsidize your style of sex life.

I think this should be the qoute of the day because it is so silly. Is there more than one style of sex life. Can I go pick one off the rack at Macy's?

Posted by: scarry | June 11, 2007 3:26 PM

Though a spoiled brat may think so, Health insurance is far from a basic need to raise children.

Posted by: To: Mona | June 11, 2007 3:29 PM

"There should be a qualification exam for hopeful parents."

Mona, you never cease to amaze me. "

Out of curiousity, what would you do if you failed MONA? Would you graciously accept some bureaucrats decision on your most fundamental human right or if I know you, keep them in the b@lls and walk out. ;)

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 3:29 PM

"There should be a qualification exam for hopeful parents."

Mona, you never cease to amaze me. "

Out of curiousity, what would you do if you failed MONA? Would you graciously accept some bureaucrats decision on your most fundamental human right or if I know you, kick them in the b@lls and walk out. ;)

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 3:29 PM

"...but I don't remember milk costing 3.00 a gallon when I was growing up."

Posted by: scarry


It'called inflation scarry. If you grew up 30 years ago, milk probably ran you $1.68 a gallon. So, yeah, I guess you're right. However, it's probably safe to assume the average person earns more than they did in 1977.

Posted by: dctony | June 11, 2007 3:30 PM

"I am not buying that food in this country is cheap for everyone. Cheap for who, me? Well, yes, I spend about 140 a week on groceries for three people. We eat fruits, vegetables, and meat, but the reality is that it's not cheap for everyone. Aren't cherries in season, well at the grocery store they were 5.00 a pound. Cheap is relative to what you make, how many kids you have, where you live, etc."

You're missing the point, scarry.

Food CAN be cheap in this country, but you have to be willing to buy foods you may not love and give up others that you do love but that are too expensive.

You're right that the food you WANT to eat isn't cheap. But good, nutritious, healthy food can be extremely cheap if you're willing to change your habits.

As to the cherries, I didn't say that all fruits/veggies in season are cheap. But if you buy the ones that are cheap BECAUSE they're in season, you can do very well.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:30 PM

I only read the posts until 10AM, but I am amazed that no one mentioned reducing global warming and other ways humans are destroying our planet. (My apologies if this subject was discussed extensively at 10:15.) Although I agree that the issues raised - universal health car;, women having the right to control their bodies, not be raped, vote, have equal pay; work-balance issues; etc. -- are valid, if we are discussing GLOBAL priorities, I can't think of one that trumps environmental issues. To put it another way, none of this means anything if 6 billion of us can't breathe the air, drink the water, and/or eat the food on our planet.

Posted by: Usually a lurker | June 11, 2007 3:33 PM

"Let me guess--you think girls "get themselves pregnant"?"

OK, then let the guy that is treating you like an object of his sexual desires pay for your contraception.

don't ask everybody else to subsidize your style of sex life.

Posted by: | June 11, 2007 03:23 PM

I just love how, when this person is given the opportunity to correct him/herself, he/she again places the responsibility (and blame) at the feet of women. 3:23 could've just as easily written, "Guys, pay for contraception!" But nope, that would mean that men bear some of the responsibility for procreation... when we all know it's really those smarmy women-folk. Eve was Adam's downfall, dontchya know?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:34 PM

You're right that the food you WANT to eat isn't cheap. But good, nutritious, healthy food can be extremely cheap if you're willing to change your habits

Who said I didn't eat good, healthy food? Capping certain words doesn't change my opinion either. I guess we will have to disagree that we live in the land of cheap food.

Posted by: scarry | June 11, 2007 3:34 PM

Scarry,
How's the pregnancy going? Have you gained any weight yet? I went to the doctor's last week and it turns out I lost 7 pounds (because I have been so nauseaous lately). Funny how when I actually try to lose weight, it won't come off, but now, I seem to be losing easily. So I am supposed to be eating more small meals to try to gain some weight. Yesterday, I indulged in ravioli and meat sauce and then ice cream cake. Yum. But today, the nausea has come back, and I can barely stomach my tomato sandwich. Sigh.

Are you still nauseaous?

Posted by: Emily | June 11, 2007 3:36 PM

"(definition: anyone left of Patrick)"

Which would include pretty much EVERYONE

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:36 PM

Only those who put in should be able to take out so sorry stay at home moms you did not contribute to SS so you should not collect."

You dopes, If a SAHM never worked then she would only collect the dependant benefits of their spouse if they died. This is already the case. GREAT IDEA!

You only have to 10 quarters to get social security.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:36 PM

he/she again places the responsibility (and blame) at the feet of women. 3:23

If you are going to get the worse end of a bargain, shouldn't you be expected to have a greater incentive to control that situation? Guys aren't the ones getting pregnant or cervical cancer from HPV so chicks who give it up to easily or without protection are stupid.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:38 PM

Only those who put in should be able to take out so sorry stay at home moms you did not contribute to SS so you should not collect."

You dopes, If a SAHM never worked then she would only collect the dependant benefits of their spouse if they died. This is already the case. GREAT IDEA!

You only have to 10 quarters to get social security.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:38 PM

Scarry, don't visit Macy's if you expect others to subsidize it! Go to Wal*Mart instead. It'll be dull and unsatisfying, but we won't pay for Macy's style!

Posted by: Mona | June 11, 2007 3:39 PM

"How many of you post to conservative websites? Very few I imagine, you should it, you might find, like I do here some interesting people."

Hi, pATRICK.

Which ones do you recommend?

Posted by: pittypat | June 11, 2007 3:40 PM

"You only have to 10 quarters to get social security."

So wrong.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:41 PM

Are you still nauseaous

Yep, but I have gained five pounds which is good. I hate to say it, but I am glad you are nauseaous, I think it is a really good sign. Also, don't let it worry you. I lost weight with my daughter (ten pounds) and only gained ten back. The baby will take what it wants from your body.

Posted by: scarry | June 11, 2007 3:42 PM

Fingers ran away with me--you only have to work 10 quarters to qualify for social security.

I am not a SAHP, so I have no idea how it applies to those who didn't work for pay long enough to qualify; or did work for pay and then stopped.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:42 PM

Hydrogen is awesome: drawbacks, storage is difficult and there is no transportation system for it (yet).
Living wage: what the heck is that? That *is* a liberal concept. You should be paid what you're worth. If you think you're worth more get another job. If you don't like it get more skills. Harsh, but reality. Should 'living wage' be set at what? 100 dollars an hour? See how silly it is when you force an employer to pay something the employee is not worth? You get inflation, pure and simple.
And economists will hardly say that inflation is rising ( as it will in a few months) because those people in DC raised the minimum wage. But that will be precisely why.
If farmers aren't willing to pay what people want, they won't get a work force and their profits will dry up. If they raise their wages, they will get more workers. Same goes for why there is typically a shortage of teachers-not enough people are not willing to do that job for the wage presented.

Posted by: atlmom | June 11, 2007 3:43 PM

I don't find Patrick rude.

Posted by: scarry | June 11, 2007 03:17 PM

No surprises here. She likes all the pompous windbags, so long as they are men.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:43 PM

"Only those who put in should be able to take out so sorry stay at home moms you did not contribute to SS so you should not collect."

You dopes, If a SAHM never worked then she would only collect the dependant benefits of their spouse if they died. This is already the case. GREAT IDEA!"

I think the point was that spouses shouldn't get dependent benefits based on someone else's contributions and that only those who contribute themselves should receive benefits. I guess minor children would still be eligible for dependent benefits.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:44 PM

Scarry, don't visit Macy's if you expect others to subsidize it! Go to Wal*Mart instead. It'll be dull and unsatisfying, but we won't pay for Macy's style

That was great!

Posted by: scarry | June 11, 2007 3:44 PM

chicks who give it up to easily or without protection are stupid.

Posted by: | June 11, 2007 03:38 PM

This reveals exactly how little respect the poster has for women.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:45 PM

To qualify for benefits, you earn "credits" through your work -- up to four each year. This year (2007), for example, you earn one credit for each $1000 of wages or self-employment income. When you've earned $4,000, you've earned your four credits for the year. Most people need 40 credits, earned over their working lifetime, to receive retirement benefits.

Posted by: From my SS statement | June 11, 2007 3:45 PM

"Fingers ran away with me--you only have to work 10 quarters to qualify for social security."

still wrong.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:46 PM

"Who said I didn't eat good, healthy food?"

You're deliberately misreading again, scarry.

I did NOT say you don't eat good, healthy food. I said that you can eat at least as healthfully for much, much less money than you spend. You just woouldn't be able to buy sme of the foods you and your family PREFER.

(And, btw, the caps are to alert you to points being made, as you so often seem to skip right over them.)

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:48 PM

Unfortunately, ethanol made from corn uses about the same amount of energy as you get from it, but it's in different forms. With everyone jumping on the ethanol bandwagon, farmers are finding it hard to feed cattle, hogs and any other food beast, so their market prices are climbing upwards (not to mention higher fuel costs too).

Why is hydrogen not becoming widely used as a vehicle fuel? One word:

Hindenburg

Plus, hydrogen is an inefficient fuel; it has to be pressurized and in order to get a decent range for the vehicle, you'll need about twice as much space in the fuel tank as you would a liquid fueled vehicle.

So basically, you've got a vehicle that has a very small trunk space (if any) and has a fairly short range before needing to be refueled, it's got a pressurized and explosive fuel tank, and finding a station to refill it is hard to do.

Realistically, government subsidized studies into more efficient hybrids and fuel from other sources such as sugar cane (Brazil produces nearly all their vehicular fuel from cane) are better options now than hydrogen, at least until the production/distribution costs start coming down and people get over their hydrogen fears.

Posted by: John L | June 11, 2007 3:48 PM

"Fingers ran away with me--you only have to work 10 quarters to qualify for social security."

still wrong.

Posted by: | June 11, 2007 03:46 PM

At least I went back and checked, rather than simply saying "you're wrong" and then lazily not providing the correct information.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:48 PM

I don't find Patrick rude.

Posted by: scarry | June 11, 2007 03:17 PM

No surprises here. She likes all the pompous windbags, so long as they are men.

Yeah, I guess I better take 03:26 PM advice. I like some of the women windbags too. I guess that is just my style, but I mean i'm not asking you to pay for it, so what's your problem?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:49 PM

I think that a 'living wage' is the hourly amount that would keep someone over the poverty limit if they worked full time (40 hoours per week). for people to be working full time and still be in poverty is shameful.

'You should be paid what you're worth. If you think you're worth more get another job.' -- I can't even respond to this.

Posted by: huh? | June 11, 2007 3:50 PM

"How many of you post to conservative websites? Very few I imagine, you should it, you might find, like I do here some interesting people."

Hi, pATRICK.

Which ones do you recommend?"

Hi PITTYPAT, I am not surprised that you asked because you need some backbone to do it. I will get back to you. I apologize in advance for the rude comments that you will endure, but it will be interesting.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 3:50 PM

"I don't find Patrick rude.

Posted by: scarry | June 11, 2007 03:17 PM

No surprises here. She likes all the pompous windbags, so long as they are men."

That was rude and of course anonymous. Coward

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 3:53 PM

Thanks, pATRICK.

I will look for your list.

Posted by: pittypat | June 11, 2007 3:53 PM

'You should be paid what you're worth. If you think you're worth more get another job.' -- I can't even respond to this.

I think she needs to go out and work in the fields for a few weeks, and then come back to us and tell us what she earned. And whether or not it was worth it.

There are alternatives, sort of, to hiring people to pick crops. You can develop varieties that will withstand mechanized harvesting. It will not be as tasty, and possibly not as nutritious.

But there's always a price to be paid.

I recall an article in Nature(?) a few years back where they demonstrated that the foods that are grown with shorter growing seasons don't have the same nutritional value as stuff that takes longer. Evidently some things just can't be hastened very well.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:54 PM

"I don't find Patrick rude.

Posted by: scarry | June 11, 2007 03:17 PM

No surprises here. She likes all the pompous windbags, so long as they are men."

Hey, now, Scarry likes some of us female pompous windbags, too, right Scarry? And we like her right back.

Posted by: Megan | June 11, 2007 3:55 PM

"Food CAN be cheap in this country, but you have to be willing to buy foods you may not love and give up others that you do love but that are too expensive.

You're right that the food you WANT to eat isn't cheap. But good, nutritious, healthy food can be extremely cheap if you're willing to change your habits."

Wow, I guess I misunderstood YOU. Maybe next time it would be easier if you didn't use the word YOU to make a point.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:55 PM

chicks who give it up to easily or without protection are stupid.

Posted by: | June 11, 2007 03:38 PM

This reveals exactly how little respect the poster has for women.

I am a woman and no I don't have a lot of respect for chicks who give it up easily or w/o protection. They don't have respect for themselves, why should I?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:56 PM

I am a woman and no I don't have a lot of respect for chicks who give it up easily or w/o protection. They don't have respect for themselves, why should I?

Posted by: | June 11, 2007 03:56 PM

Actually, men can get diseases too. So why aren't they covering themselves up?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 3:58 PM

Guys aren't the ones getting pregnant or cervical cancer from HPV

For example, guys DO get HPV. They get a lot of other diseases too. But

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 4:01 PM

(And, btw, the caps are to alert you to points being made, as you so often seem to skip right over them.)

Points don't equal facts and it did sound like you were saying that she didn't eat healthy food. You make it all sound so easy too, why don't you go around from town to town showing all the poor people how to eat.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 4:02 PM

Actually, men can get diseases too. So why aren't they covering themselves up?

In hetero sex it is harder for a man than a woman to contract HIV and aside from HIV most of the other STDs cause no symptoms in men or are treatable with meds. Pregnancy and cervical cancer are not. You can blame the guys all you want, but if you want to be healthy and not pregnant then the responsibility should be yours to take the necessary steps.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 4:03 PM

While there is some evidence to suggest that the earth has possibly been warming in the last ten to twenty yrs, it is naïve to think we have caused it.
Really, you need way more data than we have to make any sort of assumptions. And don't you think that 50 yrs ago instrumentation wasn't as accurate as it is today? Perhaps that has something to do with the one degree warming trend? If warming continues for 100 more yrs we might have enough data, but even then

In any event, conservation, biofuels, cleaning up the environment -all are good things. No question.

Posted by: atlmom | June 11, 2007 4:03 PM

"Hey, now, Scarry likes some of us female pompous windbags, too, right Scarry? And we like her right back."

Hear, Hear, Megan. As a female pompous windbag, I'll second that thought.

Posted by: Emily | June 11, 2007 4:03 PM

Yeah, I am one myself (pompous windbag)!

Megan, Emily, Patrick--thanks.

Posted by: scarry | June 11, 2007 4:05 PM

In hetero sex it is harder for a man than a woman to contract HIV and aside from HIV most of the other STDs cause no symptoms in men or are treatable with meds. Pregnancy and cervical cancer are not. You can blame the guys all you want, but if you want to be healthy and not pregnant then the responsibility should be yours to take the necessary steps.

Men can still get through HIV via vaginal sex. They can also get syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, etc. It can directly affect their health. Not to mention that HPV can still be spread despite a condom, as it affects the perianal area (which a condom does not cover).

Personally, if neither party can afford a condom, then I wish they wouldn't have sex. But I don't feel that one person should shoulder the burden, and blame, exclusively.

Why do men risk their health, or risk a woman becoming pregnant with their child, rather than wear a condom? Why are you saying it is exclusive the province of one party, rather than both?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 4:07 PM

Megan, Emily, Patrick--thanks

now there's a weird lineup

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 4:07 PM

"Why do men risk their health, or risk a woman becoming pregnant with their child, rather than wear a condom? Why are you saying it is exclusive the province of one party, rather than both?"

Let's see, because they have a willing, naked woman in front of them? ;)

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 4:09 PM

"In hetero sex it is harder for a man than a woman to contract HIV"

So? Who do you think is spreading HIV to these women? Other women? Nope, that can't be it--lesbians have a notably low rate of HIV transmission. Hmm, a quandary.

pATRICK, I've tried three times to respond to your question, and my $*#&^ computer keeps freezing! Basically, I'd accept it, probably because it's not really my lifelong dream to have children. Though I would be insulted. That's why I don't think such a system would work. That's also why I offered other alternatives in my original post. Maybe the anonymous troll didn't see that part?

Posted by: Mona | June 11, 2007 4:10 PM

Why do men risk their health, or risk a woman becoming pregnant with their child, rather than wear a condom? Why are you saying it is exclusive the province of one party, rather than both?

I'm saying that logic has it that one who has the most to lose (i.e., the woman) SHOULD have a greater incentive to make proper choices. Even if a man gets a girl pregnant, the impact on his existence (if he chooses) is significantly lesser than the impact on a woman. So complain all you want about guys paying for these things, but that 'aint gonna change the fact that if you don't want it, it is up to you to make good choices. Never abdicate responsibility for your health and welfare. Why feminists advocate this is beyond me.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 4:11 PM

"Megan, Emily, Patrick--thanks

now there's a weird lineup"

A murder's row of pompous windbags!

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 4:12 PM

Unfortunately, ethanol made from corn uses about the same amount of energy as you get from it, but it's in different forms.
***************************************
The Monsanto CEO was on CNBC last Friday to refute this. Although this is true for the corn cob, it ignores the rest of the plant that is made into other materials with different applications.

The demand for ethanol will raise meat and milk prices, but the demand for cellulose (prairie grasses) in the next generation may cause erosion.

Posted by: to: John L | June 11, 2007 4:13 PM

Megan, Emily, Patrick--thanks

now there's a weird lineup

A murderer's row of windbags!

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 4:13 PM

How many chicks would take the word of a guy who said "oh, yeah, its o.k. I'm on the male birth control pill"?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 4:14 PM

"A murder's row of pompous windbags!"

Yes, Patrick. This is quite a line-up. But I'll give you this. You are a bigger windbag than any of the rest of us. On that count, you win hands down. But at least you use your name. :)

Posted by: Emily | June 11, 2007 4:14 PM

How many chicks would...

We're not poultry, we're human beings!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 4:19 PM

And, my grandmother and her sisters were working in the sweatshops to make clothes mid last century and thank goodness for those jobs. They fed my mom and her sister. And the rest of the family.
So would you rather have jobs here, than in those 'poor countries where people get paid pennies a day?'. You would be taking food from their mouths (cause you don't want to offshore jobs). And what people never say is-how much is housing? If I'm making pennies a day but my rent is free or only five cents-how does that compare? You're using your US experience to extrapolate how horrible it is elsewhere and that is quite impossible.

Posted by: atlmom | June 11, 2007 4:21 PM

How many chicks would...

We're not poultry, we're human beings!

Ima chick. I'd rather be called that than old lady or gal. "Human being" lacks flair.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 4:24 PM

How many chicks would take the word of a guy who said "oh, yeah, its o.k. I'm on the male birth control pill"?

Posted by: | June 11, 2007 04:14 PM

Probably about the same amount of guys that take a chick's word that she takes the pill :)

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 4:26 PM

atlmom -- glad you agree with the premise of saving the planet. I disagree with your comments about global warming not being caused by humans. But, even if we disagree on the cause, I'm glad we are on the same page about cleaning up the planet. Reduce, reuse, recycle!

Posted by: Usually a lurker | June 11, 2007 4:32 PM

How many chicks would take the word of a guy who said "oh, yeah, its o.k. I'm on the male birth control pill"?

Posted by: | June 11, 2007 04:14 PM

Before you answer this question, consider the number of chicks who take the word of a guy who says: (i) "I'll call you" (ii) I love you, or (iii) I'm not seeing anyone else.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 4:34 PM


"While there is some evidence to suggest that the earth has possibly been warming in the last ten to twenty yrs, it is naïve to think we have caused it."

Posted by: atlmom

You're right atlmom. Although 98% of the world's scientists disagree with you, you're probably right. Please contact the following organization for like-minded people...

Flat Earth Society


Posted by: dctony | June 11, 2007 4:35 PM

Mona, if you're still reading, thanks for your comments.

Here's some suggestions for a basic parenting test:

If you answer "yes" to any of the below questions, you cannot have a child:

1. Have you ever been convicted of child abuse?
2. Have you ever been convicted of child molestation?
3. Are you on welfare?
4. Have you ever been convicted of domestic abuse or any violent crime?

Posted by: Rebecca | June 11, 2007 4:36 PM

"While there is some evidence to suggest that the earth has possibly been warming in the last ten to twenty yrs, it is naïve to think we have caused it."

Posted by: atlmom

You're right atlmom. Although 98% of the world's scientists disagree with you, you're probably right. Please contact the following organization for like-minded people...

Flat Earth Society"

Oh an arrogant enviro-liberal how shocking! 98 percent huh, yeah ok.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 4:37 PM

I take issue with your "test" for parenthood. A lot of INNOCENT people are convicted. How about changing the wording to "Have you committed..." ?

Posted by: Emmy | June 11, 2007 4:40 PM

Before you answer this question, consider the number of chicks who take the word of a guy who says: (i) "I'll call you" (ii) I love you, or (iii) I'm not seeing anyone else.

Touche

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 4:40 PM

Don't forget the married men who are "getting divorced" or whose wives just don't understand them.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 11, 2007 4:42 PM

" take issue with your "test" for parenthood. A lot of INNOCENT people are convicted. How about changing the wording to "Have you committed..." ?"


Because pedophiles can be trusted to answer truthfully of course.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 4:51 PM

Watch for a tan line on a man's left ring finger.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 4:51 PM

Many scientists refute global warming. But currently, that's where the money is - that's where grants are coming from fast, and furious.
There are plenty of real scientists who are refuting that *we* are doing the warming. Many climatologists *will* say that it appears, in the last few years, that the earth is warming. So is mars/neptune/etc. So how do they have global warming *from humans*?
Again, THERE ISN'T ENOUGH DATA to prove it is *us*.
Maybe, in about 500 years, we'll have enough data. By then we'll probably be in a cooling period.


Posted by: atlmom | June 11, 2007 4:52 PM

Don't say "pedophile" because that means someone who loves children. This isn't love, it's hatred and victimization of children.

Posted by: To pATRICK | June 11, 2007 4:53 PM

Oh an arrogant enviro-liberal how shocking! 98 percent huh, yeah ok.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 04:37 PM

Not arrogant little man, just right.

Posted by: dctony | June 11, 2007 4:57 PM

Watch for a tan line on a man's left ring finger.

Posted by: | June 11, 2007 04:51 PM

Married men who take their ring off one night and have a tan line are few and far between. More common is the man with a long-term significant other, or the still-married man who hasn't filed for divorce but hasn't worn his ring in months, or the dog who stands upright.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 5:00 PM

"Oh an arrogant enviro-liberal how shocking! 98 percent huh, yeah ok.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 04:37 PM

Not arrogant little man, just right."

Thanks you proved my point far better than I ever could.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 5:01 PM

Let's see, all you have to do is call me a name and then nothing I say any longer has any merit. Or if I make a typo, or a grammar error.

Posted by: To pATRICK | June 11, 2007 5:05 PM

Welcome to the pATRICK insults everyone blog. He's the only righteous dude here.

Posted by: to newcomers | June 11, 2007 5:05 PM

"Because pedophiles can be trusted to answer truthfully of course."

But wouldn't they just lie about being convicted too?

Posted by: Emmy | June 11, 2007 5:05 PM

Doesn't it make sense to recycle just so we don't trash up the earth?

Doesn't it make sense to use more environmnetally efficient cars so we are less dependent on foreign oil and to make the air nicer to breathe?

You don't have to believe in global warming to be enviromentally friendly.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 5:07 PM

Doesn't it make sense to use more environmnetally efficient cars so we are less dependent on foreign oil and to make the air nicer to breathe?

--On my wish list is a requirement for an energy sales tax based on MPG for any vehicle that is sold to be used to offset the cost of gasoline. Let the gas guzzlers pay more for the privelege of depleting resources.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 5:12 PM

How many chicks would take the word of a guy who said "oh, yeah, its o.k. I'm on the male birth control pill"?

About as many as will believe the line "I've had a vasectomy."

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 5:12 PM

"Because pedophiles can be trusted to answer truthfully of course."

But wouldn't they just lie about being convicted too?"

I would think you could check with the police about that, couldn't you?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 11, 2007 5:12 PM

"3. Are you on welfare?"

Does the include EITC? Does it include FARM for other siblings? Over what period of time -- what if it was just one month in the last 12? Does receiving social security disability payments count?

Also, if one is living off their parent's welfare [i.e., child of rich parent with no independent means of support] does that count as a disqualifier?

[Sorry, this is such a bad, bad idea to even consider -- I was about to reply with a parody of Swift's Modest Proposal but just couldn't.]

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 5:40 PM

If you answer "yes" to any of the below questions, you cannot have a child:

1. Have you ever been convicted of child abuse?
2. Have you ever been convicted of child molestation?
3. Are you on welfare?
4. Have you ever been convicted of domestic abuse or any violent crime?

Posted by: Rebecca | June 11, 2007 04:36 PM

It's interesting that there is only one financial criteria that you propose to use to disqualify adults from parenting: welfare. Not bankruptcy. Not insolvency. Not living below the poverty line. Not convicted of defrauding the IRS or of embezzling. You are not concerned about whether a person can support a child; you are only concerned about whether that person has made choices consistent with your politics.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 5:59 PM

whether that person has made choices consistent with your politics.

committing child abuse or child sexual abuse is about politics?

Posted by: ?? | June 11, 2007 6:10 PM

whether that person has made choices consistent with your politics.

committing child abuse or child sexual abuse is about politics?

Posted by: ?? | June 11, 2007 06:10 PM

Is it so difficult to read ALL OF a comment before reacting to a single clause and posting something irrelevant to the point 5:59 made?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 6:17 PM

what is the point? it says there's only one question about finances and should be more, instead of only questions about politics. not my fault if they didn't make the point in a way that is clear.

Posted by: ?? | June 11, 2007 6:19 PM

As much as I want parents to be responsible, I don't want government interfering in peoples' decisions to have children. It just gives the bureaucracy too much power, and this power can be easily abused. Has anyone read the Handmaid's Tale? In this fictional society, the government has complete control over how people live their lives, including childbearing. Pretty scary stuff. Also, if the government can dictate who cannot have children, it is not that far a leap for it to also dictate who must have children. Imagine the flip side of the scenario. People who are married, financially solvent, and have not been convicted of crimes must have children or will suffer certain penalties, such as perhaps increased taxes.

The world is not perfect, but I would rather preserve our freedom than allow others to make choices that are rightfully mine to make.

Posted by: Emily | June 11, 2007 6:20 PM

--On my wish list is a requirement for an energy sales tax based on MPG for any vehicle that is sold to be used to offset the cost of gasoline. Let the gas guzzlers pay more for the privelege of depleting resources.

Posted by: | June 11, 2007 05:12 PM

There is already such a tax in the U.S., it is commonly known as the gas guzzler tax.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 6:27 PM

Have you ever read about the practice of eugenics (defined as selective breeding) as carried out by the Nazis? Have you ever read about the common practice of involuntary sterilization of the mentally challenged which occurred in the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's? This is what you are advocating. How can you rationalize your pro-choice stance with your idea that the same right would be denied for other people? You are either quite naive or intellectually dishonest to say a woman has total control of her body but to deny that right carte blanche to all but your select few. Please reexamine and research your position on this.

Posted by: to Rebecca | June 11, 2007 6:39 PM

Although to be fair, we already have a situation that can be considered eugenics on our hands. With all the advances in technology, people can easily detect many genetic abnormalities in their fetuses and abort them. I am not saying it's right or wrong. But it happens. There is also a certain amount of sex selection in the process as well. There was an article on selective reduction in the WP Magazine a few weeks ago that was very interesting.

It just seems that technology has advanced way faster than our ethical thinking on these issues.

Posted by: Emily | June 11, 2007 6:45 PM

there is a huge difference in an individual making a choice vs. the government dictating that choice for you! What Rebecca advocates is that the government makes the decision for you and me.

Posted by: To Emily | June 11, 2007 6:49 PM

the 6:39 post was mine.

I meant to start it off as To Rebecca rather than put To Rebecca in the name field.

Posted by: Fred | June 11, 2007 7:02 PM

The 6:49 post was mine also.

Posted by: Fred | June 11, 2007 7:11 PM

I can't believe people are spending this much time and comment space discussion Rebecca's utterly ridiculous plan to limit parenting privileges. Nevermind that it's a logistical impossibility (there is absolutely no way you can chemically alter the environment to hinder reproduction without causing unbelievable health problems, and voluntary submission to this "test" will work about as well as just asking people to kindly refrain from having sex); the right to procreate and right to determine how your children are raised are two of the fundamental rights that fall under substantive due process privacy rights. Are you really advocating taking on the 5th amendment and all the jurisprudence that stems from it?

Posted by: pastryqueen | June 11, 2007 7:16 PM

Are you on welfare?

I would rather have children raised by welfare parents than children raised by self indulgent, rich brats.

Can you say Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, etc, etc.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2007 7:37 PM

Cure the problems with obtaining and provision of VA benefits and take better care of our veterans!

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