U.S. Politics episode 4: A New Thread

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  • The US was much less involved in the Middle East on September, 10th, 2001.  Doesn't look like it did much good.  


    Whatever effort we put into 'fixing' Islam - supporting moderates, funding de-radicalization programs, whatever helps - we should be an equal effort into examining our own role in the situation we find ourselves in.
    Less involved, but still responsible for regime change, propping up dictators etc.  I'm not blaming America (or the West in general) at all, I'm just pointing out that there have been fundamentalist Muslims around as long as America has been a country and it was only recently (historically speaking) that they turned their attention towards us.  If we want these problems to stop - and I hope we all do - then of course addressing issues within Islam must be done, but if we're sincere and really want to address the problem then we should look at our own (related) problems that need fixing too.  Like maybe Obama increasing drone strikes ten-fold wasn't a good move, and Trump quadrupling Obama's rate of drone attacks is also a bad move.  Drones kill innocent people, when innocent people die their friends and relatives turn to terrorism for revenge, or at the very least became part of that class of people who could stop terrorism but don't say anything.
    DaveyMac
  • ThomasThomas North Carolina
    Phoebes89 said:
    Vanslewel said:
    Thomas said:

    You just named a couple thousand out of billions.  There are some that are doing good stuff, but the overwhelming majority are not doing anything.  I already provided examples of Muslim neighborhoods refusing to call police when they know one of their neighbors is about to conduct a terrorist act.  They didn't speak up when the Charlie Hebdo shooters were sleeping next door.  That happens regularly.  Do you think that is not a problem?  
    The majority of non-Muslims aren't doing anything to combat terrorism either, because most people, regardless of faith or political ideology, aren't really in a position to do anything. We live our lives and put our trust in the intelligence services, military, and law enforcement to combat terrorism and other threats to our society. I haven't done anything in the past year to help combat terrorism, and most people I know haven't either. I assume (correct me if I'm wrong) that you haven't either. 

    You assert that Muslim neighbors refused to call police on the Charlie Hebdo shooters. Is there a reputable news source you're getting your information from? 

    There are 3.3 million Muslims in the United States. That's roughly the population of Connecticut. A handful have committed acts of violence. From a logical perspective, it simply doesn't make sense to condemn millions of individuals for the crimes of a few. 

    Correction, it was the Paris attack last year, not the Charlie Hebdo shooting.  But here is a link.  There are a lot more examples similar to this you can find.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2016/03/19/captured-paris-attacks-suspect-abdeslam-hid-in-belgiums-molenbeek.html

    Again, you are deflecting.  When I say Muslims aren't doing enough to condone their own issues, you automatically respond with "well non-Muslims aren't either" as if that is a valid response.  As I posted earlier, in order to criticize Republicans do I also need to criticize Democrats too?  No.

    Also, since you ignored what I have written about 10 times, I am not condoning Muslims.  I am simply stating that their religion has a lot of issues and they need to step up to combat them.
    The article mentions that the suspect's associates and friends helped to conceal him. It does not say that neighbors knew he was in hiding there. 

    I'm not trying to deflect. I'm just pointing out that your assertion that the majority of Muslims aren't doing anything Is holding them to an unfair standard. What, pray tell, is a doctor, student, or insurance salesman living in suburban Virginia supposed to do when they don't have any specific information about someone who's been radicalized? And why should my Muslim neighbor be condemned for doing nothing when I'm not doing anything either? 

    My only quibbles with you are that 1) blanket assertions that Muslims aren't doing enough to combat terrorism are not accurate (see details about the current fight against ISIS) and that 2) that terrorists belong to a few sub-sects of a huge religion that has over a billion followers, so blaming a religion makes no logical sense.



    Continue to apply pressure to help reform their religious practice from the inside?  Nobody's going to clean up regressive Islam but Muslims.

    gguenot said:
    Vanslewel said:
    Thomas said:



    https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.nytimes.com/2016/04/15/world/europe/poll-british-muslims.amp.html

    You do bring up a good point about what random suburbia dwelling Muslims are meant to do about the extremists in their religion— I don’t really have an answer for that. The problem I see is the data in the article.


    gguenot said:
    Vanslewel said:

    You assert that Muslim neighbors refused to call police on the Charlie Hebdo shooters. Is there a reputable news source you're getting your information from? 

    There are 3.3 million Muslims in the United States. That's roughly the population of Connecticut. A handful have committed acts of violence. From a logical perspective, it simply doesn't make sense to condemn millions of individuals for the crimes of a few. 
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.nytimes.com/2016/04/15/world/europe/poll-british-muslims.amp.html

    I have seen many people bring up polls and say that the way to solve extremist Islam is by Muslims. I always wonder what people are expected to do? When I lived in Saudi the mosques would have talks about Muslim extremism and people were encouraged to anonymously share if they had been in contact with anyone who had extremist views. September 11th actually happened when I was quite young and in Islamic school. We actually ended our lessons early that day to watch the news and everyone was upset and crying. We had a really powerful sermon about how the terrorists were evil and that this was not Islam. We actually were bussed home early that day because people picketed outside our school calling us terrorists and throwing rocks, I was 12 at the time.

    I am genuinely asking what else people are expecting Muslims to do? 
    Is just sitting back and letting their problems grow and impact non-Muslims the answer?  No.  Saudi Arabia is the largest exporter of radicalism.  They are the cause of a lot of the hardcore fundamentalists around the world.  

    That is like saying I went into a Catholic church for a year and never saw a boy get raped so I guess there isn't a problem with the Catholic church raping boys huh?
    Brawn
  • ThomasThomas North Carolina
    gguenot said:
    I agree this is a tough subject and it’s easy to sound like all Muslims are being generalized, but my concern is the “what can we do about it?” response. As a member of the left, if we continue to be unable to discuss this issues we’re facing then those who are truely prejudiced will end up having their way. Take Majid Nawaz— he’s literally a former extremist now counter extremist and he doesn’t have a platform to speak on liberal media sites. He is advocating the tenants of liberalism: gay rights, women’s rights, etc but calling for a reform of the religion and the only station that will have him is Fox News. Fox News then takes his message and uses it to fuel the true bigotry against Muslims by reinforcing stereotypes and stoking fears. To paraphrase Sam Harris, if the left can’t even talk about the issues within the religion, how can it ever begin to be reformed to grant women and gays equal rights? If we continue to excuse modern terror attacks by pointing to other religions’ faults then the bigots will win with their Muslim bans, registries, and persecution. The only thing keeping that from happening right now is the left and moderates defense of Muslims— which they should be defended. But how many more attack will need to happen before the “solutions” of the bigots start sounding reasonable? That’s all I have to say on the matter. I have a couple Muslim friends that I’ve had for a long time. One doesn’t agree with me like others here and the other does— it’s all about keeping communication channels and minds open.
    Exactly.  

    To my previous point, why is it people were ok going after the Catholic church for molesting kids and calling for reforms, but going after Islam to reform itself is somehow awful?

    I think Islam got a major wake-up call when ISIS rolled through a lot of its territories and destroyed the local Muslim populous.  They didn't get this with Al Qaeda until Zarqawi came around, who was basically the unknowing founder of ISIS.

    Europe has a much larger issue with Muslims than we do in America.  I would argue we don't really have much of an issue because most of the radicals here are immigrants rather than converts.  American Muslims are much freer than almost all Muslims around the world, which might play in to why you don't see born and raised Muslims in America killing people very often, it is also someone born and raised in a more fundamentalist nation. 
    Brawn
  • gguenot said:
    I agree this is a tough subject and it’s easy to sound like all Muslims are being generalized, but my concern is the “what can we do about it?” response. As a member of the left, if we continue to be unable to discuss this issues we’re facing then those who are truely prejudiced will end up having their way. Take Majid Nawaz— he’s literally a former extremist now counter extremist and he doesn’t have a platform to speak on liberal media sites. He is advocating the tenants of liberalism: gay rights, women’s rights, etc but calling for a reform of the religion and the only station that will have him is Fox News. Fox News then takes his message and uses it to fuel the true bigotry against Muslims by reinforcing stereotypes and stoking fears. To paraphrase Sam Harris, if the left can’t even talk about the issues within the religion, how can it ever begin to be reformed to grant women and gays equal rights? If we continue to excuse modern terror attacks by pointing to other religions’ faults then the bigots will win with their Muslim bans, registries, and persecution. The only thing keeping that from happening right now is the left and moderates defense of Muslims— which they should be defended. But how many more attack will need to happen before the “solutions” of the bigots start sounding reasonable? That’s all I have to say on the matter. I have a couple Muslim friends that I’ve had for a long time. One doesn’t agree with me like others here and the other does— it’s all about keeping communication channels and minds open.
    Muslims who are pushing for reform are speaking to conservative Muslims. Conservative Muslims are not really consuming liberal media, so why would advocates of reform appear on liberal websites/tv stations that already promote women and gay rights? Their intended audience isn't on those platforms...

    Also, the media covers the fight against ISIS in great detail. The majority of Kurds, the Iraqi security forces, and other groups fighting against ISIS are Muslim.

    American media has a responsibility to defend Muslims, because the immediate reaction of the right is to immediately condemn all Muslims. That is the same mental framework that terrorists operate in, and is incredibly dangerous. In the wake of San Bernardino, for instance, Trump called for a ban of ALL Muslims entering the country to great applause. In the wake of NYC, he called for the termination of the Diversity Visa Program. He is advocating for collective punishment. That should concern everyone who believes in American values.

    If Muslims have special responsibility to counter extremism in Islam, don't we, as Americans, have a special responsibility to call out extremism in our communities?
    DaveyMacPhoebes89DeeCretanBullSomeBiscuit
  • Thomas said:
    gguenot said:
    I agree this is a tough subject and it’s easy to sound like all Muslims are being generalized, but my concern is the “what can we do about it?” response. As a member of the left, if we continue to be unable to discuss this issues we’re facing then those who are truely prejudiced will end up having their way. Take Majid Nawaz— he’s literally a former extremist now counter extremist and he doesn’t have a platform to speak on liberal media sites. He is advocating the tenants of liberalism: gay rights, women’s rights, etc but calling for a reform of the religion and the only station that will have him is Fox News. Fox News then takes his message and uses it to fuel the true bigotry against Muslims by reinforcing stereotypes and stoking fears. To paraphrase Sam Harris, if the left can’t even talk about the issues within the religion, how can it ever begin to be reformed to grant women and gays equal rights? If we continue to excuse modern terror attacks by pointing to other religions’ faults then the bigots will win with their Muslim bans, registries, and persecution. The only thing keeping that from happening right now is the left and moderates defense of Muslims— which they should be defended. But how many more attack will need to happen before the “solutions” of the bigots start sounding reasonable? That’s all I have to say on the matter. I have a couple Muslim friends that I’ve had for a long time. One doesn’t agree with me like others here and the other does— it’s all about keeping communication channels and minds open.
    Exactly.  

    To my previous point, why is it people were ok going after the Catholic church for molesting kids and calling for reforms, but going after Islam to reform itself is somehow awful?

    I think Islam got a major wake-up call when ISIS rolled through a lot of its territories and destroyed the local Muslim populous.  They didn't get this with Al Qaeda until Zarqawi came around, who was basically the unknowing founder of ISIS.

    Europe has a much larger issue with Muslims than we do in America.  I would argue we don't really have much of an issue because most of the radicals here are immigrants rather than converts.  American Muslims are much freer than almost all Muslims around the world, which might play in to why you don't see born and raised Muslims in America killing people very often, it is also someone born and raised in a more fundamentalist nation. 
    Part of the issue is that when you say "Catholic Church," you are talking about a specific organization. You're not talking about "Christianity" as a whole. After all, why should the average Methodist be held responsible for what a catholic priest does? Islam is an amorphous term. It would be more productive to call for reform in specific sects, organizations, mosques, etc.
    CretanBullDaveyMacPhoebes89
  • Frakkin T said:
    Everyone's talking about what Muslims need to be doing--how about you get your own house in order first? What are you doing to fight the rising tide of white supremacism here at home? Why do people feel the need to police the behavior of others?
    There are board members here calling out reverse racism, and linking to outrage articles about the scourge of ANTIFA.  Does that count?
    Phoebes89
  • Extreme facets of all ideologies justify violence with them. Religious, political, cultural, tribal, familial, etc.

    It’s not as if these psycho Islamic extremists would just go away if the rest of the faith started disapproving of them. Marginalization and destruction of extreme elements is happening in lots of places in different ways and at different rates and should be applauded. Can more be done? Yes, but you aren’t going to encourage progress by demonizing a whole faith with over a billion followers though, you’d get better results by lifting up and shining light on the good examples than you would focusing myopically on the bad.
    Phoebes89
  • Tax package time!

    Estate Tax: phased out
    AMT: gone
    Top Bracket: dropped to 35%
    Corporate Rate: dropped to 20% and you get to expense investment and you get a 12% repatriation rate on oversees funds
    These are the wins for corporate America and those at the top of the pyramid.

    Surrendered on small business pass-throughs: only 30% of business income gets the 25% rate with the rest taxed at the full marginal income rate. Sad.

    Mixed bag for lower and middle class with doubled standard deduction, loss of personal exemption, expansion of child tax credit, and lower marginal rates. Basically if you were already to get out of marginal tax, then you are neutral, and the personal exemption vs standard deduction will help some and hurt some depending on the specifics.

    No more deduction of medical costs is a stumper. Not sure why they’d go after that.

    $500k loan cap on mortgage interest deduction, $10k cap on property tax deduction, and loss of other state/local tax deduction will definately hurt middle class folks in high-cost/high-tax areas. Hurts the rich too, but the lower top marginal rate would offset that for big earners.

    Came through for corps and the rich, didn’t make it on small business, and a lot of gray for middle class. Not exactly a slam-dunk.
  • Vanslewel said:
    gguenot said:
    I agree this is a tough subject and it’s easy to sound like all Muslims are being generalized, but my concern is the “what can we do about it?” response. As a member of the left, if we continue to be unable to discuss this issues we’re facing then those who are truely prejudiced will end up having their way. Take Majid Nawaz— he’s literally a former extremist now counter extremist and he doesn’t have a platform to speak on liberal media sites. He is advocating the tenants of liberalism: gay rights, women’s rights, etc but calling for a reform of the religion and the only station that will have him is Fox News. Fox News then takes his message and uses it to fuel the true bigotry against Muslims by reinforcing stereotypes and stoking fears. To paraphrase Sam Harris, if the left can’t even talk about the issues within the religion, how can it ever begin to be reformed to grant women and gays equal rights? If we continue to excuse modern terror attacks by pointing to other religions’ faults then the bigots will win with their Muslim bans, registries, and persecution. The only thing keeping that from happening right now is the left and moderates defense of Muslims— which they should be defended. But how many more attack will need to happen before the “solutions” of the bigots start sounding reasonable? That’s all I have to say on the matter. I have a couple Muslim friends that I’ve had for a long time. One doesn’t agree with me like others here and the other does— it’s all about keeping communication channels and minds open.
    Muslims who are pushing for reform are speaking to conservative Muslims. Conservative Muslims are not really consuming liberal media, so why would advocates of reform appear on liberal websites/tv stations that already promote women and gay rights? Their intended audience isn't on those platforms...

    Also, the media covers the fight against ISIS in great detail. The majority of Kurds, the Iraqi security forces, and other groups fighting against ISIS are Muslim.

    American media has a responsibility to defend Muslims, because the immediate reaction of the right is to immediately condemn all Muslims. That is the same mental framework that terrorists operate in, and is incredibly dangerous. In the wake of San Bernardino, for instance, Trump called for a ban of ALL Muslims entering the country to great applause. In the wake of NYC, he called for the termination of the Diversity Visa Program. He is advocating for collective punishment. That should concern everyone who believes in American values.

    If Muslims have special responsibility to counter extremism in Islam, don't we, as Americans, have a special responsibility to call out extremism in our communities?

    Thank you. I think this exactly my argument. I most certainly do think that it is the responsibility of more moderate Muslims to speak to more conservative Muslims. I mean as someone who use used to be a member of the religion I have a million complaints that I could list. I definitely do not think that one of those complaints would be that moderate Muslims are not doing anything, they are, even within more conservative Muslims countries. 
    Vanslewel
  • ThomasThomas North Carolina
    Vanslewel said:
    Thomas said:
    gguenot said:
    I agree this is a tough subject and it’s easy to sound like all Muslims are being generalized, but my concern is the “what can we do about it?” response. As a member of the left, if we continue to be unable to discuss this issues we’re facing then those who are truely prejudiced will end up having their way. Take Majid Nawaz— he’s literally a former extremist now counter extremist and he doesn’t have a platform to speak on liberal media sites. He is advocating the tenants of liberalism: gay rights, women’s rights, etc but calling for a reform of the religion and the only station that will have him is Fox News. Fox News then takes his message and uses it to fuel the true bigotry against Muslims by reinforcing stereotypes and stoking fears. To paraphrase Sam Harris, if the left can’t even talk about the issues within the religion, how can it ever begin to be reformed to grant women and gays equal rights? If we continue to excuse modern terror attacks by pointing to other religions’ faults then the bigots will win with their Muslim bans, registries, and persecution. The only thing keeping that from happening right now is the left and moderates defense of Muslims— which they should be defended. But how many more attack will need to happen before the “solutions” of the bigots start sounding reasonable? That’s all I have to say on the matter. I have a couple Muslim friends that I’ve had for a long time. One doesn’t agree with me like others here and the other does— it’s all about keeping communication channels and minds open.
    Exactly.  

    To my previous point, why is it people were ok going after the Catholic church for molesting kids and calling for reforms, but going after Islam to reform itself is somehow awful?

    I think Islam got a major wake-up call when ISIS rolled through a lot of its territories and destroyed the local Muslim populous.  They didn't get this with Al Qaeda until Zarqawi came around, who was basically the unknowing founder of ISIS.

    Europe has a much larger issue with Muslims than we do in America.  I would argue we don't really have much of an issue because most of the radicals here are immigrants rather than converts.  American Muslims are much freer than almost all Muslims around the world, which might play in to why you don't see born and raised Muslims in America killing people very often, it is also someone born and raised in a more fundamentalist nation. 
    Part of the issue is that when you say "Catholic Church," you are talking about a specific organization. You're not talking about "Christianity" as a whole. After all, why should the average Methodist be held responsible for what a catholic priest does? Islam is an amorphous term. It would be more productive to call for reform in specific sects, organizations, mosques, etc.
    If only it was as simple as calling out sects.  Sunnis are killing Shiites, Shiites are killing Sunnis.  They have sects inside of sects and almost all of them, in some part of the world, are killing each other in addition to non-Muslims.  I don't see Methodists killing Baptists because the other believes a slightly different version of their religion.
  • If we accept your premise that the content of religious texts ipso facto causes extremism, we have no way to explain the historical variability of conflict over time, or why Albania is currently peaceful while Syria is engulfed in war, or why Turkey is comparatively liberal, while Saudi Arabia is more conservative. Any analysis that elides ideological fractures within certain sects, as well as political, economic, and social conditions, is not adequate.
    JaimieTDaveyMacCretanBullPhoebes89Flukes
  • emnofseattleemnofseattle Mason County, Washington USA
    Thomas said:
    Vanslewel said:
    Thomas said:
    gguenot said:
    I agree this is a tough subject and it’s easy to sound like all Muslims are being generalized, but my concern is the “what can we do about it?” response. As a member of the left, if we continue to be unable to discuss this issues we’re facing then those who are truely prejudiced will end up having their way. Take Majid Nawaz— he’s literally a former extremist now counter extremist and he doesn’t have a platform to speak on liberal media sites. He is advocating the tenants of liberalism: gay rights, women’s rights, etc but calling for a reform of the religion and the only station that will have him is Fox News. Fox News then takes his message and uses it to fuel the true bigotry against Muslims by reinforcing stereotypes and stoking fears. To paraphrase Sam Harris, if the left can’t even talk about the issues within the religion, how can it ever begin to be reformed to grant women and gays equal rights? If we continue to excuse modern terror attacks by pointing to other religions’ faults then the bigots will win with their Muslim bans, registries, and persecution. The only thing keeping that from happening right now is the left and moderates defense of Muslims— which they should be defended. But how many more attack will need to happen before the “solutions” of the bigots start sounding reasonable? That’s all I have to say on the matter. I have a couple Muslim friends that I’ve had for a long time. One doesn’t agree with me like others here and the other does— it’s all about keeping communication channels and minds open.
    Exactly.  

    To my previous point, why is it people were ok going after the Catholic church for molesting kids and calling for reforms, but going after Islam to reform itself is somehow awful?

    I think Islam got a major wake-up call when ISIS rolled through a lot of its territories and destroyed the local Muslim populous.  They didn't get this with Al Qaeda until Zarqawi came around, who was basically the unknowing founder of ISIS.

    Europe has a much larger issue with Muslims than we do in America.  I would argue we don't really have much of an issue because most of the radicals here are immigrants rather than converts.  American Muslims are much freer than almost all Muslims around the world, which might play in to why you don't see born and raised Muslims in America killing people very often, it is also someone born and raised in a more fundamentalist nation. 
    Part of the issue is that when you say "Catholic Church," you are talking about a specific organization. You're not talking about "Christianity" as a whole. After all, why should the average Methodist be held responsible for what a catholic priest does? Islam is an amorphous term. It would be more productive to call for reform in specific sects, organizations, mosques, etc.
    If only it was as simple as calling out sects.  Sunnis are killing Shiites, Shiites are killing Sunnis.  They have sects inside of sects and almost all of them, in some part of the world, are killing each other in addition to non-Muslims.  I don't see Methodists killing Baptists because the other believes a slightly different version of their religion.
    The Shia are more often then not though the victims of oppression by Sunnis. 
  • ThomasThomas North Carolina

    The Shia are more often then not though the victims of oppression by Sunnis. 
    True, but look at the numbers of Sunni's killed by Shiites, because they are far higher than the number of Methodists killing Baptists.  Literally their hatred of each other is based around the most petty differences in their religions background.
  • ThomasThomas North Carolina

    Vanslewel said:
    If we accept your premise that the content of religious texts ipso facto causes extremism, we have no way to explain the historical variability of conflict over time, or why Albania is currently peaceful while Syria is engulfed in war, or why Turkey is comparatively liberal, while Saudi Arabia is more conservative. Any analysis that elides ideological fractures within certain sects, as well as political, economic, and social conditions, is not adequate.
    Is comparing Turkey to Saudi Arabia really a fair comparison?  Maybe compare Turkey to a Baltic state, because it will look extremely radical, especially now.  Should we mention all the atrocities that have been on-going in Turkey?  Maybe look at the government of the country that wants to move to a more Islamic conservatism (that was the whole coup that happened last year).  But no, you would rather compare Turkey to one of the most vile countries in the world in order to make it look more passive?
  • emnofseattleemnofseattle Mason County, Washington USA
    edited November 2017
    Thomas said:

    The Shia are more often then not though the victims of oppression by Sunnis. 
    True, but look at the numbers of Sunni's killed by Shiites, because they are far higher than the number of Methodists killing Baptists.  Literally their hatred of each other is based around the most petty differences in their religions background.
    Yeah but if you're the victim of armed violence by the other party fighting back is not terrorism, it's self defense. 

    Like when another poster tried to bring up the troubles as an example of religious extremism and blamed the Catholics while conviently leaving out the state support of extremist Protestant militias, and multiple mass killings of unarmed civilians by British Soldiers (U2 recorded a song about one such occurrence) 
    at some point committing violence back is justified and not terrorism. 

    The Shia have traditionally been oppressed by Sunni, do Shia violence against Sunnis isn't terrorism. Just because a Moslem does something violent doesn't always mean Islamic terrorism, the PKK for example is a political and not religiously motivated group, most Shia militias operate in areas populated by Shias. The Palestinians while religiously motivated also have a land dispute that stems from the 1947 war. You can't label every single shot fired by moslems as terrorism, sometimes it's merely political, sometimes justifiable l

    like OK, say a southern baptist state like Alabama outlawed other churches and Methodists continued to worship in Methodist churches, and Alabama state troopers break in and shoot like a dozen unarmed methodists, and next week a Methodist blows a car bomb in Montgomery in retaliation, is that Methodist terrorism in that hypothetical? Since you brought up that, the reason there's no violence between sects of Christianity (at least not today) is because there's no oppression between those groups. Our society allows all of them to coexist and the government isn't taking sides between churches 
  • ThomasThomas North Carolina
    Thomas said:

    The Shia are more often then not though the victims of oppression by Sunnis. 
    True, but look at the numbers of Sunni's killed by Shiites, because they are far higher than the number of Methodists killing Baptists.  Literally their hatred of each other is based around the most petty differences in their religions background.
    Yeah but if you're the victim of armed violence by the other party fighting back is not terrorism, it's self defense. 

    Like when another poster tried to bring up the troubles as an example of religious extremism and blamed the Catholics while conviently leaving out the state support of extremist Protestant militias, and multiple mass killings of unarmed civilians by British Soldiers (U2 recorded a song about one such occurrence) 
    at some point committing violence back is justified and not terrorism. 

    The Shia have traditionally been oppressed by Sunni, do Shia violence against Sunnis isn't terrorism. Just because a Moslem does something violent doesn't always mean Islamic terrorism, the PKK for example is a political and not religiously motivated group, most Shia militias operate in areas populated by Shias. The Palestinians while religiously motivated also have a land dispute that stems from the 1947 war. You can't label every single shot fired by moslems as terrorism, sometimes it's merely political, sometimes justifiable l

    like OK, say a southern baptist state like Alabama outlawed other churches and Methodists continued to worship in Methodist churches, and Alabama state troopers break in and shoot like a dozen unarmed methodists, and next week a Methodist blows a car bomb in Montgomery in retaliation, is that Methodist terrorism in that hypothetical? Since you brought up that, the reason there's no violence between sects of Christianity (at least not today) is because there's no oppression between those groups. Our society allows all of them to coexist and the government isn't taking sides between churches 
    False, Shiites aren't killing Sunnis out of defense unless being attacked in the moment.  In Iraq, al-Zarqawi got what he wanted, a Sunni-Shiite war that would be blamed on America.  There were roving bands of Shiites killing innocent Sunnis for revenge on suicide bombings, etc that had been carried out by Sunnis.  How is that defense?  
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  • tom_gtom_g WV
    edited November 2017
    Who do we want to be the top scientist at the Department of Agriculture - Sam Clovis or Cathie Woteki?

    This will help you answer
    CretanBull
  • tom_g said:
    Who do we want to be the top scientist at the Department of Agriculture - Sam Clovis or Cathie Woteki?

    This will hep you answer
    That was one of the most fascinating things that I'd ever read about something that I'd never thought about!  Sadly, we've seen the same problems with other Trump appointees in other Departments...the woman in charge of public education is an advocate for private education, the guy in charge of the Department of Energy 1)wanted to abolish it, 2) had to admit that he didn't know what it did (which makes "1" even more stupefying), the person in charge of protecting the environment doesn't believe in climate change etc.
  • tom_g said:
    Who do we want to be the top scientist at the Department of Agriculture - Sam Clovis or Cathie Woteki?

    This will hep you answer
    That was one of the most fascinating things that I'd ever read about something that I'd never thought about!  Sadly, we've seen the same problems with other Trump appointees in other Departments...the woman in charge of public education is an advocate for private education, the guy in charge of the Department of Energy 1)wanted to abolish it, 2) had to admit that he didn't know what it did (which makes "1" even more stupefying), the person in charge of protecting the environment doesn't believe in climate change etc.
    I guess the swamp needs drained of its experts, and replaced with Nazis and the incompetent. 
    CretanBull
  • tom_g said:
    tom_g said:
    Who do we want to be the top scientist at the Department of Agriculture - Sam Clovis or Cathie Woteki?

    This will hep you answer
    That was one of the most fascinating things that I'd ever read about something that I'd never thought about!  Sadly, we've seen the same problems with other Trump appointees in other Departments...the woman in charge of public education is an advocate for private education, the guy in charge of the Department of Energy 1)wanted to abolish it, 2) had to admit that he didn't know what it did (which makes "1" even more stupefying), the person in charge of protecting the environment doesn't believe in climate change etc.
    I guess the swamp needs drained of its experts, and replaced with Nazis and the incompetent. 
    There's a general conservative-Republican held view that government is too big, these agencies should be privatized etc it really seems as if they're being set up to fail to prove a point...and little things like food safety and breathable air are the price that they're willing to pay.
    tom_g
  • emnofseattleemnofseattle Mason County, Washington USA
    edited November 2017
    tom_g said:
    tom_g said:
    Who do we want to be the top scientist at the Department of Agriculture - Sam Clovis or Cathie Woteki?

    This will hep you answer
    That was one of the most fascinating things that I'd ever read about something that I'd never thought about!  Sadly, we've seen the same problems with other Trump appointees in other Departments...the woman in charge of public education is an advocate for private education, the guy in charge of the Department of Energy 1)wanted to abolish it, 2) had to admit that he didn't know what it did (which makes "1" even more stupefying), the person in charge of protecting the environment doesn't believe in climate change etc.
    I guess the swamp needs drained of its experts, and replaced with Nazis and the incompetent. 
    There's a general conservative-Republican held view that government is too big, these agencies should be privatized etc it really seems as if they're being set up to fail to prove a point...and little things like food safety and breathable air are the price that they're willing to pay.
    That's the trope that's been played since the 80s "oh If we don't give the central state complete and non questionable power over every aspect of our lives we will have dirty air and unsafe food" please. 

    Nothing stops local authorities from regulating pollution or the use of civil courts to retrieve damages. When the EPA has been given so much power that they'll show up like mafia enforcers at the lot of some family in Idaho who was building a house in an established sub-division who had all the proper permits and said "well the county didn't get a clean water permit so you must immediately tear down your house and if you want to challenge us in court you'll have to pay a fine of ten thousand dollars a day for not tearing it down" (yes that was a real case that went before the US Supreme Court) or when they'll come and demand farmers get clean water permits for "wetlands" over water holes and have jurisdiction because these ponds are "navigable waters of the United States" or the FDA launching SWAT raids against farm coops for the crime of selling unpasteurized milk to people who want to buy unpasteurized milk.  you're using a tropey scare tactic to make people think of some giant company dumping toxic sludge in the town wells when in reality these government agencies are really just legalized rackets strong arming normal people. 


  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • CretanBullCretanBull Toronto
    edited November 2017
    tom_g said:
    tom_g said:
    Who do we want to be the top scientist at the Department of Agriculture - Sam Clovis or Cathie Woteki?

    This will hep you answer
    That was one of the most fascinating things that I'd ever read about something that I'd never thought about!  Sadly, we've seen the same problems with other Trump appointees in other Departments...the woman in charge of public education is an advocate for private education, the guy in charge of the Department of Energy 1)wanted to abolish it, 2) had to admit that he didn't know what it did (which makes "1" even more stupefying), the person in charge of protecting the environment doesn't believe in climate change etc.
    I guess the swamp needs drained of its experts, and replaced with Nazis and the incompetent. 
    There's a general conservative-Republican held view that government is too big, these agencies should be privatized etc it really seems as if they're being set up to fail to prove a point...and little things like food safety and breathable air are the price that they're willing to pay.
    That's the trope that's been played since the 80s "oh If we don't give the central state complete and non questionable power over every aspect of our lives we will have dirty air and unsafe food" please. 

    Nothing stops local authorities from regulating pollution or the use of civil courts to retrieve damages. When the EPA has been given so much power that they'll show up like mafia enforcers at the lot of some family in Idaho who was building a house in an established sub-division who had all the proper permits and said "well the county didn't get a clean water permit so you must immediately tear down your house and if you want to challenge us in court you'll have to pay a fine of ten thousand dollars a day for not tearing it down" (yes that was a real case that went before the US Supreme Court) or when they'll come and demand farmers get clean water permits for "wetlands" over water holes and have jurisdiction because these ponds are "navigable waters of the United States" or the FDA launching SWAT raids against farm coops for the crime of selling unpasteurized milk to people who want to buy unpasteurized milk.  you're using a tropey scare tactic to make people think of some giant company dumping toxic sludge in the town wells when in reality these government agencies are really just legalized rackets strong arming normal people. 


    Accepting your argument at face value (which I don't :) ) do you think the solution to these problems is putting people who are objectively unqualified in charge of massive governmental departments?  Do  you think departments should be staffed with donors over professionals?
    Phoebes89Flukes
  • So, smart people of the Bald Move community, I have a position and I'm wondering if anyone has a rebuttal. This is something that has bugged me for a lot of years and now with so much talk about Schedule A deductions with the new tax plan I have finally gotten to a point where I called a couple of representatives to toss out a feeler, but I've only really thought about one side of the issue so I figured I would bring the more of a gripe than an idea here to see what you fine folks have to say. 

    Renters are getting totally screwed, and it should really stop. I've been a homeowner, and now I'm on the renter treadmill. I'm also a tax preparer so I see this constantly. Why do homeowners get mortgage interest and renters get nothing? I can see where they would get property taxes because there is a state tax deduction and that all makes perfect sense, but why do they get mortgage interest and I don't get some portion of my rent or anything like that? It's not because it generates taxable income for the lender on the other side because my rent does as well. I feel that either the standard deduction should be raised (I don't like the Trump plan on the whole, but I do like that solitary piece of it) or there should be a deduction for renters. If you think about it, it is typically lower income working folks who rent. People who need tax deductions. The rent treadmill is a super tough one to get off of, particularly in Southern California where I live and pay $1900 a month in rent. Why do homeowners get this awesome deduction and renters get totally screwed? It's not like their homeownership is kickstarting the economy or anything. You're simply building equity and being given a nice governmental pat on the back for it (not to mention the 250k/500k capital gain break when you sell). You don't have to mess with the deduction, but either raising the standard deduction to average things out or giving a nice kickback to the renters seems only fair to me. I'm all for these deductions. I like tax breaks for working folks, but I want some consideration as well.

    Also, it's nice that CA gives a renter's credit but it's only $60/$120 and it phases out incredibly low on the scale. It's far from equitable.

    So, where am I wrong? What makes homeowners so special as to deserve such better treatment?
    JaimieTThomas
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    tom_g said:
    tom_g said:
    Who do we want to be the top scientist at the Department of Agriculture - Sam Clovis or Cathie Woteki?

    This will hep you answer
    That was one of the most fascinating things that I'd ever read about something that I'd never thought about!  Sadly, we've seen the same problems with other Trump appointees in other Departments...the woman in charge of public education is an advocate for private education, the guy in charge of the Department of Energy 1)wanted to abolish it, 2) had to admit that he didn't know what it did (which makes "1" even more stupefying), the person in charge of protecting the environment doesn't believe in climate change etc.
    I guess the swamp needs drained of its experts, and replaced with Nazis and the incompetent. 
    There's a general conservative-Republican held view that government is too big, these agencies should be privatized etc it really seems as if they're being set up to fail to prove a point...and little things like food safety and breathable air are the price that they're willing to pay.
    That's the trope that's been played since the 80s "oh If we don't give the central state complete and non questionable power over every aspect of our lives we will have dirty air and unsafe food" please. 

    Nothing stops local authorities from regulating pollution or the use of civil courts to retrieve damages. When the EPA has been given so much power that they'll show up like mafia enforcers at the lot of some family in Idaho who was building a house in an established sub-division who had all the proper permits and said "well the county didn't get a clean water permit so you must immediately tear down your house and if you want to challenge us in court you'll have to pay a fine of ten thousand dollars a day for not tearing it down" (yes that was a real case that went before the US Supreme Court) or when they'll come and demand farmers get clean water permits for "wetlands" over water holes and have jurisdiction because these ponds are "navigable waters of the United States" or the FDA launching SWAT raids against farm coops for the crime of selling unpasteurized milk to people who want to buy unpasteurized milk.  you're using a tropey scare tactic to make people think of some giant company dumping toxic sludge in the town wells when in reality these government agencies are really just legalized rackets strong arming normal people. 



    tom_g said:
    tom_g said:
    Who do we want to be the top scientist at the Department of Agriculture - Sam Clovis or Cathie Woteki?

    This will hep you answer
    That was one of the most fascinating things that I'd ever read about something that I'd never thought about!  Sadly, we've seen the same problems with other Trump appointees in other Departments...the woman in charge of public education is an advocate for private education, the guy in charge of the Department of Energy 1)wanted to abolish it, 2) had to admit that he didn't know what it did (which makes "1" even more stupefying), the person in charge of protecting the environment doesn't believe in climate change etc.
    I guess the swamp needs drained of its experts, and replaced with Nazis and the incompetent. 
    There's a general conservative-Republican held view that government is too big, these agencies should be privatized etc it really seems as if they're being set up to fail to prove a point...and little things like food safety and breathable air are the price that they're willing to pay.
    That's the trope that's been played since the 80s "oh If we don't give the central state complete and non questionable power over every aspect of our lives we will have dirty air and unsafe food" please. 

    Nothing stops local authorities from regulating pollution or the use of civil courts to retrieve damages. When the EPA has been given so much power that they'll show up like mafia enforcers at the lot of some family in Idaho who was building a house in an established sub-division who had all the proper permits and said "well the county didn't get a clean water permit so you must immediately tear down your house and if you want to challenge us in court you'll have to pay a fine of ten thousand dollars a day for not tearing it down" (yes that was a real case that went before the US Supreme Court) or when they'll come and demand farmers get clean water permits for "wetlands" over water holes and have jurisdiction because these ponds are "navigable waters of the United States" or the FDA launching SWAT raids against farm coops for the crime of selling unpasteurized milk to people who want to buy unpasteurized milk.  you're using a tropey scare tactic to make people think of some giant company dumping toxic sludge in the town wells when in reality these government agencies are really just legalized rackets strong arming normal people. 



    I lived in China for a month. I've seen how it looks when the government only pays lip service to food/architectural/air safety. No thank you. 
    CretanBullPhoebes89Flukes
  • @Travis I’m going to guess (without knowing facts) that they don’t want to give a deduction more than once on a single property. If renters got it as well, that would mean that the property owner would get a deduction as well as the people renting. This could lead to a lot of paperwork issues that they don’t want to deal with. 
    Travis
  • I don't have much to contribute to the conversation, but I wanted to say that as a renter here in California, I agree 1000% that rent here is outrageous.  I know that where I live is beautiful, and we have terrific weather, and that part of why rent is so expensive here is due to those facts, but ... holy crap we pay a LOT of rent each month!  But houses here in my area *start* at 350k - my husband and I have pretty much resigned ourselves to the fact that we'll never be able to afford a home here.
    Travis
  • LordByLordBy Utah
    edited November 2017
    Travis said:
    So, smart people of the Bald Move community, I have a position and I'm wondering if anyone has a rebuttal. This is something that has bugged me for a lot of years and now with so much talk about Schedule A deductions with the new tax plan I have finally gotten to a point where I called a couple of representatives to toss out a feeler, but I've only really thought about one side of the issue so I figured I would bring the more of a gripe than an idea here to see what you fine folks have to say. 

    Renters are getting totally screwed, and it should really stop. I've been a homeowner, and now I'm on the renter treadmill. I'm also a tax preparer so I see this constantly. Why do homeowners get mortgage interest and renters get nothing? I can see where they would get property taxes because there is a state tax deduction and that all makes perfect sense, but why do they get mortgage interest and I don't get some portion of my rent or anything like that? It's not because it generates taxable income for the lender on the other side because my rent does as well. I feel that either the standard deduction should be raised (I don't like the Trump plan on the whole, but I do like that solitary piece of it) or there should be a deduction for renters. If you think about it, it is typically lower income working folks who rent. People who need tax deductions. The rent treadmill is a super tough one to get off of, particularly in Southern California where I live and pay $1900 a month in rent. Why do homeowners get this awesome deduction and renters get totally screwed? It's not like their homeownership is kickstarting the economy or anything. You're simply building equity and being given a nice governmental pat on the back for it (not to mention the 250k/500k capital gain break when you sell). You don't have to mess with the deduction, but either raising the standard deduction to average things out or giving a nice kickback to the renters seems only fair to me. I'm all for these deductions. I like tax breaks for working folks, but I want some consideration as well.

    Also, it's nice that CA gives a renter's credit but it's only $60/$120 and it phases out incredibly low on the scale. It's far from equitable.

    So, where am I wrong? What makes homeowners so special as to deserve such better treatment?

    I don’t necessarily agree with the homeowners mortgage deduction, but I do believe that landlords get to deduct interest expense along with depreciation and maintenance and taxes on their returns so there is a deduction for landlords which, in theory, results in lower rent for renters than if the deduction did not exist.

    For example if I rent out a 200k house for $1.2k/mos, I could deduct depreciation of about $7.25k/yr and if I owe $150k at 5% another $7.5k for interest and maybe another $1.5k in property taxes. So I get $14.4k, my payment is maybe $10k and I pay property taxes so I’m clearing $2.9k cash but I have a loss of almost $2k/yr on my taxes to offset other income.

    The only better deal tax-wise than homeownership is renting out real estate (except the whole part of finding and putting up with renters)
This discussion has been closed.