A note of thanks

First off, let me say I consider myself a conservative on most issues except when it’s a matter of helping the meek and needy. At that point I do not care if the church, community or government does it. As long as it gets done.

I am probably not your target audience, but I have to say I think you do a great job with your publication. I do not try to over-generalize but I would say there is a good chance a good percentage of the Xpress staff is fairly liberal or progressive. However, your coverage of events and info that hits both sides of the political spectrum is refreshingly without apparent bias. I appreciate that. One can only take so much of [national pundits] O'Reilly or Olbermann.

Your local coverage is needed and appreciated. Your community info is stellar and unique to the area. Your commitment from your advertisers gives us a lot of good choices to spend our bucks. When I finish the Xpress, I say, “Wow, this was free?!”

Thanks for the good work!

— Chris Henderson

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80 thoughts on “A note of thanks

  1. “At that point I do not care if the church, community or government does it. As long as it gets done.”

    No. I can’t agree with the writer. When a church or a community decides to help the “meek and needy,” they do so voluntarily and violate no one else’s rights through their charitable actions.

    When the government takes to provide charity, they can only do so by through the use of force. Government has no resources that it has not first forcibly confiscated from those who have earned or produced them.

    Involuntary charity is no charity at all, but is instead the establishment of involuntary servitude and is a violation of the right to use one’s own judgment concerning charitable action.
    …………………..

  2. tatuaje

    I find it very interesting that Tim Peck holds these beliefs…

    When the government takes to provide charity, they can only do so by through the use of force. Government has no resources that it has not first forcibly confiscated from those who have earned or produced them.

    Involuntary charity is no charity at all, but is instead the establishment of involuntary servitude and is a violation of the right to use one’s own judgment concerning charitable action.

    Maybe ‘interesting’ isn’t the word I’m looking for. Maybe ‘hypocritical’ is a better word.

    You see, ol’ Timothy ‘Welfare Queens Are Evil’ Peck has been on the dole himself.

    http://clatl.com/gyrobase/insult-and-injury/Content?oid=1232839&storyPage=6

    I guess it’s wrong when OTHER people do it, but not when HE needs it.

    Kind of like those other tea partiers who rail against ‘socialism’ (without even knowing what that word means, of course), all the while lapping up the medicare and social security.

    Hypocrites.

  3. Barry Summers

    I guess it’s wrong when OTHER people do it, but not when HE needs it.

    Of course, to be fair, he was handcuffed to the bed. And then they handcuffed him to the railing in the unemployment office and forced a pen into his hand.

  4. Margaret Williams

    Tatuaje & Barry: Whatever you think of TP’s beliefs and comments, it’s unnecessary (and against policy) to make it personal. You are both usually much more civil and (more often than not) bring interesting dialogue to the site. Please keep it that way.

  5. tatuaje

    Margaret:

    I can’t speak for Barry, but I do not consider what I posted as ‘making it personal’.

    Tim Peck professed a belief and moral standards that I showed, with a citation, that conflict with his actions.

    hypocrisy |hi?päkris?|
    noun ( pl. -sies)

    the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.

    Then I tied the same behavior to the political action committee whose agenda he vocally subscribes to.

    I’m not sure how calling someone a hypocrite (or bigot, racist, etc.) is out of line if it is backed up. That is not a personal attack but rather a statement of fact.

    I also believe that those who condemn others for what they do themselves need to be called out on their double standards, whether they be local commentators or national politicians.

  6. Barry Summers

    Margaret – While I agree with you in principle, I would argue that TP’s hypocrisy in this matter warrants a reality check. When he was in bad straights, TP took full advantage of the social safety net he now advocates withdrawing from others.

    Unemployment insurance benefits don’t appear out of thin air, they are ‘coerced’ out of employers, and kept in a pool of government funds until someone like TP needs them. I wouldn’t want to see anyone, even someone I disagree with like TP, left destitute by a layoff, and those funds exist to help us all over the rough patches. TP would do away with them.

    Hospitals like the one that treated the uninsured TP do so because of government mandates that injured human beings don’t get thrown out in the street because they can’t pay. This is another form of ‘coercion’ that TP rails against, yet took full advantage of when he needed it.

    It may seem like a cheap shot to point all this out. But one hopes for a little intellectual honesty in these debates, especially from someone as opinionated and scornful of dissenting views as Tim Peck(1). It’s easy to spin fantasy political viewpoints like the ones spun by Ayn Rand, and they are attractive to some. However, when someone like TP advocates for these views, I believe it’s fair game to hold them up next to the solid human realities that show them to be pipe dreams.

    All that being said, sorry if I crossed the line.

  7. dhalgren

    “Tatuaje & Barry: Whatever you think of TP’s beliefs and comments, it’s unnecessary (and against policy) to make it personal.”

    It’s all personal Margaret! It’s what we think of anyone’s beliefs and opinions that give us cause and reason to comment. And in this case, I think it was entirely appropriate to point out the obvious; Timmie talks it, but don’t walk it. Furthermore, I think interjecting your “personal” opinion was at best, unnecessary and at worst, an attempt at censoring two of the more thoughtful people who take the time and effort to share their “personal” commentary on this site. In my “personal” opinion your actions have had an overall chilling effect on the ongoing dialog. Your “schoolmarmish” sensibilities have no place here with the adults.

  8. Barry Summers

    Margaret – While I won’t join in calling you “schoolmarmish”, I will add one more note in defense of what you deem unnecessarily ‘personal’. In a political discussion, we partly base our judgments on what we know of the people making the arguments, and those judgments can change when we find that there’s something relevant about a person’s past that wasn’t known before. We may hear a religious leader speak against gay marriage, for example, in a completely different light, when we learn that he has been secretly seeing a male prostitute and paying him to stay silent. We may look at a political candidate differently, when we learn that he has a long-running financial or personal dispute with his opponent that he tried to keep quiet. These revelations about possible undisclosed motivations are relevant to the issues being discussed, and are therefore not just ‘fair game’, but in fact necessary, if observers are going to make a fully-informed decision.

    And the key word is ‘relevant’. Sometime last year, during a debate about URTV, one of the participants brought up another participants DUI conviction, even though it had absolutely nothing to do with the issues. I thought that was inappropriate, and I believe I said so. This TP situation is different – his past willingness to take advantage of the government-mandated safety net informs our judgment on his argument against that same system.

  9. Mr. Summers,
    I truly and sincerely wish you had let sleeping dogs lay. More is about to be revealed.

  10. Barry Summers

    Oh boy. Here we go.

    Davynne, I quietly gestured in the direction of the sleeping dog. If you’re choosing to poke the dog with a sharp stick, that’s all on you.

  11. You didn’t “quietly gesture,” & your point made without bringing up sleeping dogs. But now the shoe is on the other foot and you’re in the hot seat for overstepping…how’s it feel???

    There is a big difference in police brutality and endangering other innocent folks lives on the street.

  12. Barry Summers

    OK, you’ve lost me now. Who are you threatening, and with what? And how is it relevant to the discussion?

    As to the ‘hotseat’, are you referring to Margaret’s chastisement? How I feel is, I feel fine. I’m glad to have the opportunity to defend my position, and I think that I have.

    Sorry to have gotten you all wound up, though. If you hadn’t started hollering about the dog, I don’t think he would’ve woken up.

  13. Margaret Williams

    Dhalgren, Dhalgren999…. We know who you are, and I won’t abide threats couched in any form. As I did in an e-mail to you recently, I invite you to meet me in person instead of using this forum to attack me.

    To Tatuaje, BarryS, Tim… it would be so much more interesting for us all to meet over a beer. I know just a bit about the history of dialogue and disputes between y’all; the onion layers seem to be rich. But I’ll note that the environment here is not the Wild Wild West going on in the forums.

    Nonetheless, we do our best at Xpress to be objective and deal with the information we have at hand.

    “Personal” is a personal thing. Some folks have thicker skins than others; some topics are more difficult than others; all of us have buttons that can get pushed.

    What happened to Mr. Peck some years ago was a traumatic incident that put him in a difficult situation, however you interpret the unfolding of the events that lead to it. Perhaps that all makes his current beliefs appear hypocritical. Perhaps it’s simply incongruous, or ironic … Only he can tell.

    In any case, the referenced story at Creative Loafing is a public document, and noting it doesn’t appear to violate our policy.

    And although the tone of online comments is not easily interpreted, some of the remarks earlier in this thread seem mean-spirited. That’s the short version of our concern, and I ask that you adjust your approach accordingly.
    Prof. Margaret

  14. Thanks for making this thread about me. I am much more interesting than the above letter to the editor.

    In the course of making this thread about me the claim was made that: “This TP situation is different – his past willingness to take advantage of the government-mandated safety net informs our judgment on his argument against that same system.”

    Your claims are false. Specifically what “government-mandated safety net” could you possibly be referring to?

    I was physically assaulted. I was hospitalized for my injuries. I sued. I won in court. Twice. And I did quite well by it, thank you.

    Whatever it is that is “informing your judgment,” it is has no grounding in fact. But you do go on as if you’ve got something. Now we all know that you don’t.

    ……………………….

  15. tatuaje

    Your claims are false. Specifically what “government-mandated safety net” could you possibly be referring to?

    “It was about the last week of May when [my boss] wrote to me and said, ‘Well, it looks like this is going to have to be it,'” Peck says. “We were flush with money at one point, and we just dried up.”

    In June, he started collecting unemployment.

  16. Barry Summers

    Your claims are false. Specifically what “government-mandated safety net” could you possibly be referring to?

    Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_Medical_Treatment_and_Active_Labor_Act

    “It requires hospitals and ambulance services to provide care to anyone needing emergency healthcare treatment regardless of citizenship, legal status or ability to pay. There are no reimbursement provisions.” (emphasis mine)

    “The cost of emergency care required by EMTALA is not directly covered by the federal government. Because of this, the law has been criticized by some as an unfunded mandate.”

  17. You would beat a beaten man for accepting funds where they exist for the purpose of surviving? Does one’s acceptance of funds mean that he approves of the source of the funds? Hmm. Wonder how you would fare in the same situation?

    When it all boils down, all you have against Tim is that his arguments are better than yours, and when he was beaten and disabled, he took unemployment while his court case (which he WON) was being tried. Very nice.

    You are nothing but schoolyard bullies, and worse, you are too cowardly to post under your real names. All Tim has to do is show up and your harassment begins.

  18. My sympathies to Tim Peck.
    I had not read about his travails in Atlanta. To have been assaulted in such a manner and have two broken legs is horrendous. To be beaten on to the point of a compound fracture must have been hell. I hope no joints were involved….because that is often years of chronic pain. And the specter of a joint implant twenty or thirty years down the road.

    I believe unemployment insurance is not the same as “charity.”

  19. “In June, he started collecting unemployment.”

    I’m glad you have chosen this thin reed to hang your counter-argument on.

    Funds for unemployment benefits are extracted by the government from employers and employees involuntarily. Far from being a safety net, a claim for unemployment benefits constitutes restitution of a previous injury.

    Indeed, this reinforces my earlier point about the impropriety of certain government action. The letter writer states that he cares not whether a church or a community or a government helps the meek and needy. I objected by saying that, “Government has no resources that it has not first forcibly confiscated from those who have earned or produced them.” It was true when I said it then and it’s still true now.

    The ‘help’ the writer refers to is a redistribution of wealth from one person who has earned or produced it to another to whom it does not belong. It is this type of forcible charity that is objectionable for the reasons I stated above.

    I hope this further helps inform your judgment?
    ……………………..

  20. Barry Summers

    You are nothing but schoolyard bullies, and worse, you are too cowardly to post under your real names.

    Which part of “Barry Summers” do you not understand? Am I speaking Swahili? Is this thing on? Hello?

    All Tim has to do is show up and your harassment begins.

    I think there’s also a certain amount of him speaking necessary to really get us going.

    You would beat a beaten man for accepting funds where they exist for the purpose of surviving?

    Nobody is “beating a beaten man”. We’re saying that he did, in fact, need the system that is in place (as you said “for the purpose of surviving”), so why would he seek to deny it for others? He accepted help from a hospital that is required to care for him by the federal government, and he applied for & received unemployment payments, under the federally-mandated system. And yet, look above – he still denies it.

    I believe unemployment insurance is not the same as “charity.”

    I, for one, never said it was – that’s Tim’s word. It is a system mandated by the government, funded by employers. When you hire someone, you pay them, but you also pay into the unemployment insurance system, to help create a fund that will be there for people who get laid off, like Tim. It wouldn’t exist if the government didn’t “forcibly confiscate” it, to use TP’s distorted view. Other Teabaggers, like Alaska’s Joe Miller, actually claim it is “unconstitutional”, yet is happy for his own wife to accept it, when he had to lay her off:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/05/joe-millers-wife-received_n_750809.html

  21. Margaret Williams

    When the government takes to provide charity, they can only do so by through the use of force. Government has no resources that it has not first forcibly confiscated from those who have earned or produced them.

    Does that apply to the taxes, fees, etc., we contribute to the government for fixing pot holes, paying soldiers, offering medical benefits to the elderly/poor/military, hiring teachers… Long list of “charities,” depending on how it’s defined.

  22. Where do you suppose this money comes from in the first place? It is perfectly reasonable to oppose the forcible confiscation of my money and at the same time accept the return of some portion of my money in the form of unemployment checks.

    It does not change the fact that the government action is wrong.

    Were the government’s system of wealth redistribution not in place, other entities would step in to fill the needs of people like Tim and they would do a much better job of it.

    And that old trope about “you must think fixing pot holes, paying soldiers, offering medical benefits to the
    elderly/poor/military, hiring teachers, etc is wrong because you are anti-government and anti-taxation”, is so tiresome. Don’t you people understand there is a difference between government fulfilling its proper role and government overstepping its proper role? No, apparently you don’t.

    I waste my time here.

  23. “Does that apply to the taxes, fees, etc., we contribute to the government for fixing pot holes, paying soldiers, offering medical benefits to the elderly/poor/military, hiring teachers… Long list of “charities,” depending on how it’s defined.

    Yes, it does depend on “how it’s defined.” I say it should be defined properly.

    First, we do not “contribute to the government.” The government forcibly extracts wealth from individuals against their will. You may agree with the uses of that confiscated wealth but you are not “paying” taxes to them. They take them from you. And if you decline to “contribute,” you will be fined or imprisoned. If you refuse that, it gets worse. That is force.

    Second, the only proper role of government in a free society is the protection of individual rights. This would include the functions of law enforcement, the courts and the military. Therefore, “paying soldiers” is a proper function of government.

    Fixing potholes and paying teachers is not the proper role of government. Neither is offering medical benefits to the elderly or poor. These are the proper role of the private sector.

    The list of so-called charities engaged in by government is indeed long. Too long.

    I advocate the separation of charity and state.
    …………………………

  24. Barry Summers

    Erika – Are you going to apologize for calling me an anonymous coward? No? Thought not…

    No comment about the “charity” extended to Tim by the hospital that had no reasonable expectation that they would get paid, simply because the law requires them to? In your perfect “pay as you go” world, what happens to Tim when he shows up at the hospital with two broken legs but no money to pay for treatment? I’ll tell you what, he gets dumped in the street, like in L.A. where Kaiser hospitals were caught dumping homeless people…

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2006-11-16-kaiser_x.htm

    I waste my time here.

    Yeah, me too. Movies are so expensive, and there’s nothing good on TV… Oh – you meant that in the negative sense…

    I suggest you simply declare victory.

  25. Barry Summers

    I advocate the separation of charity and state.

    “But just not if I need it again, OK?”

  26. “what happens to Tim when he shows up at the hospital with two broken legs but no money to pay for treatment?”

    He submits a health insurance claim.

    Anything else?
    ………………….

  27. Barry Summers

    “what happens to Tim when he shows up at the hospital with two broken legs but no money and no insurance to pay for treatment, as happened before?”

  28. “But just not if I need it again, OK?”

    The only charity I have received came voluntarily from friends, family, associates and church.

    Charity implemented by government force is not charity at all. It is coercive redistribution of wealth and violates individual rights.
    ………………………..

  29. “what happens to Tim when he shows up at the hospital with two broken legs but no money and no insurance to pay for treatment, as happened before?”

    He gets billed for services rendered.
    ………………..

  30. Barry Summers

    Tim, you continue to deny that it was through government-mandated programs that you were provided treatment and money to live on after your ordeal, despite the clear proof of it.

    Margaret – this is why we snap at Tim. He is dishonest.

  31. “Tim, you continue to deny that it was through government-mandated programs that you were provided treatment and money to live on after your ordeal, despite the clear proof of it.’

    My goodness, you do have a knack for being wrong.

    I did not ask any hospital to provide me with free treatment. And demanding my confiscated money back from a government that took it directly from me in the first place is neither charity nor a safety net. As I stated before, it is restitution of a wrong.

    Perhaps always being shown to be in error is why you “snap at him.”

    Again, I appreciate being made the subject of this thread. My mother thanks you.
    …………………….

  32. Barry Summers

    I did not ask any hospital to provide me with free treatment.

    Yes, I can picture you in the emergency room:

    “Unhand me, woman!! I will not allow you to set my broken legs, because I will not be paying for it!! Take me to the jail, straight away, so I can crumple into a soon-to-be-dead heap of agony!!

    (yes, I do believe I have enough on me for some Tylenols, thank you…)”

  33. Piffy!

    [b]You would beat a beaten man for accepting funds where they exist for the purpose of surviving? Does one’s acceptance of funds mean that he approves of the source of the funds? Hmm. Wonder how you would fare in the same situation?[/b]

    Well, personally i wouldnt continue to pretend that such services were highly immoral and illegal.

    there are people who walk the walk. Mr. PEeck is clearly not one of them.

  34. And yet you have nothing. Again.

    I guess I’ve had enough. I’ll see you in the next thread about me.
    …………………

  35. Were the government’s system of wealth redistribution not in place, other entities would step in to fill the needs of people like Tim and they would do a much better job of it.

    This is a good snippet to show Erika and Tim’s fantastical and wishful thinking about how their utopian tiny government world would work.

    Please Erika or Tim can you point out any current society where this happens? Can you point to any historical society where government services did not exist as they do now where these other entities stepped in and did a better job of it?

    Is there any evidence what so ever that what you two suggest is even a remote possibility given the nature of the human beast?

  36. Barry Summers

    Thank you Christopher – the world view that Tim & Erika hold to is attractive; believe me, I would love to live in that world. But it’s a fantasy – how could you possibly envision transitioning from the world we live in now, to one where all people hold BOTH to the laws of self interest AND to a code of morality, compassion, ethics, etc., WITHOUT some entity like a federal government to ensure that it isn’t just Lord of the Flies?

    My personal opinion on the real underpinnings of the current Randian philosophers? Knock out the moorings of the social safety net, the commons that unite us, the laws and regulations that restrict unbridled greed. And then the way is clear for a feudalistic society where the rich prosper, and everyone else services them. Goodbye middle class, goodbye genuine democracy.

    Folks like Tim & Erika might not believe in this end, but the powers that are poised to take advantage of their fantasies will guarantee it.

  37. UnaffiliatedVoter

    Collecting UNemployment for a reasonable term is
    certainly not the same thing as remaining on the public feeding, housing and medical troughs for life like so many people across the country feel entitled to do. 42 Million on food stamps/EBT.
    It must stop.

    Mr. Peck’s first post here is totally correct, yet is rejected by so many. I think those people need to study the US Constitution, if they can read.

    I hope Mr. Peck has been able to collect major damage restitution for this attack.

  38. It’s worth noting, to return to the initial disturbance, that there isn’t any meaningful difference between church and government charity. Most of the significantly large church “charitable” efforts in current existence are enabled by federal funding. Most of the historic charitable efforts by churches were enabled through tax deductions for donors. (This is separate from, but related to, the fact that all taxpayers are made to subsidize churches due to their tax exemption.)

    The letter writer is more right than he probably intended in his distributive affirmation.

  39. Dionysis

    Can anyone cite any place, be it county, state or other country, where the private sector gleefully steps in and fixes potholes and pays teachers? Oh, maybe it’s Aynrandland.

  40. Ken Hanke

    Oh, maybe it’s Aynrandland.

    Seems unlikely because in Aynrandland nobody does anything without being compensated for doing it.

  41. Barry Summers

    Oh, maybe it’s Aynrandland.

    My parents took me there when I was a kid. The sodas all cost $300, and the rides stank from all the dead bodies piling up because nobody enforced seat belt laws, and there was no profit to be made on hauling away corpses.

  42. tatuaje

    Wow, step away on a Friday night and miss all of the fireworks….

    There’s quite a bit to wade through here, but let’s see what we can do…

    You would beat a beaten man for accepting funds where they exist for the purpose of surviving?

    Wonder how you would fare in the same situation?

    Uh, no. Never, ever did I, or anyone else, posit that. I am extremely happy that there is a system in place to help people who need it and in fact have used that system myself over the years. I have too many friends who have benefited from food stamps, the WIC program, and unemployment to ever look down on people for using public assistance.

    Does one’s acceptance of funds mean that he approves of the source of the funds? Hmm.

    I would say so, yes. As he pointed out, he could’ve just as easily fallen back on PRIVATE charities instead of using PUBLIC assistance.

    When it all boils down, all you have against Tim is that his arguments are better than yours,

    Uh, ok. I guessed you missed the part where he asked, and I quote,

    Specifically what “government-mandated safety net” could you possibly be referring to?

    and then I responded with the exact government-mandated safety net he had used.

    and when he was beaten and disabled, he took unemployment while his court case (which he WON) was being tried.

    Here’s the thing. The article makes it very clear that he did not go on unemployment because of his injuries. He went on unemployment, and again I quote,

    “It was about the last week of May when [my boss] wrote to me and said, ‘Well, it looks like this is going to have to be it,’” Peck says. “We were flush with money at one point, and we just dried up.”

    because his employer was having a difficult financial time. His unemployment had nothing to do with his injuries.

    And while I’m on that subject, and just to clear up some obvious misconceptions and invalid assumptions….

    I think what happened to Tim was disgusting and emblematic of a systemic problem in our country. No matter what Tim did to provoke the off-duty cop, the response was grossly out of proportion and I’m quite sure that the individual responsible didn’t suffer in proportion to his offenses unless he is currently in jail and can never work in law enforcement again. But if other similar cases are any indication, the perpetrator took a week’s paid at worst and continues to inflict his version of justice with impunity on the streets.

    I will say this. I find it, what’s the word, amusing, that someone who is so against taxation is living quite comfortably off of other people’s taxes. I mean, where does the money come from when someone sues the sheriff’s department?

    You are nothing but schoolyard bullies, and worse, you are too cowardly to post under your real names.

    This topic, and this response in particular, isn’t the place to debate the merits of online anonymity. It’s been hashed out ad nauseum elsewhere on this site and I’m pretty sure my views on the matter are well documented.

    And if you think that calling someone out on their double standards is being a bully then you must have quite the martyr complex.

    Funds for unemployment benefits are extracted by the government from employers and employees involuntarily.

    That is a false statement. On multiple levels.

    By entering into employment you have agreed to the rules which govern that transaction. If those rules are not amendable to you then you should find employment elsewhere.

    Not to mention that unemployment benefits are voluntarily payed by an employer, NOT employees.

    And if that is the entire basis of your argument, as it appears to be, then it is you who is supported by a thin reed, indeed.

    Far from being a safety net, a claim for unemployment benefits constitutes restitution of a previous injury.

    Again, you are using the wrong word. It is not ‘restitution’ because there was no ‘theft’. By starting a business, your employer agreed to pay payroll taxes.

    You, the employee who benefited from these taxes, didn’t even pay into them. So you’re argument of receiving ‘restitution’ is completely inappropriate and invalid.

    Indeed, this reinforces my earlier point about the impropriety of certain government action.The letter writer states that he cares not whether a church or a community or a government helps the meek and needy. I objected by saying that, “Government has no resources that it has not first forcibly confiscated from those who have earned or produced them.” It was true when I said it then and it’s still true now.

    Again, it is not true simply because you say it is. In no way, shape, or form have you shown that the resources were ‘forcibly confiscated.’ In fact, I just showed how they were in fact payed voluntarily by your employer.

    The ‘help’ the writer refers to is a redistribution of wealth from one person who has earned or produced it to another to whom it does not belong. It is this type of forcible charity that is objectionable for the reasons I stated above.

    Again, your choice of words is willfully ignorant of the reality of the situation. There was NO FORCE USED in the collection of payroll taxes. By starting a business, and as someone who is currently starting a business I think I can speak with some authority here, an employer agrees to the terms placed upon them by local, state, and federal authorities. I have NEVER heard of someone being forced to start a business and hire employees. NEVER.

    I hope this further helps inform your judgment?

    It does. I now think that you are an uninformed hypocrite.

  43. Barry Summers

    My goodness, Tim does have a knack for being wrong.

    …demanding my confiscated money back from a government that took it directly from me in the first place is neither charity nor a safety net.

    I know you have to do some crazy mental gymnastics to fit Aynrandland into reality, but try to get your facts right. Unemployment insurance doesn’t come “directly from you”. It doesn’t come from you at all. It is collected from employers, and in times of economic downturn, it’s supplemented by direct taxpayer funds.

    (Don’t even try that “but if my employer didn’t have to pay this to the government, he would’ve paid that directly to me” argument. What employer ever paid more money for an employee than he needed to? Absent a mandate from the government to help create a safety net for American workers, most if not all employers would simply put that money on their own bottom line. In Aynrandland, it would be the moral imperative.)

    And since the system is only funded to be able to support a small percentage of the workforce who are between jobs at any given time, it’s a fair bet that you were paid far more than your employer(s) ever paid in on your behalf. The rest came from my former employer(s). Pay up.

  44. mule

    “Second, the only proper role of government in a free society is the protection of individual rights. This would include the functions of law enforcement, the courts and the military.”

    Funny how “libertarians” always always expect ME to pay to protect THEIR lives and property.

  45. Piffy!

    Oh, i get it now! Mr. Tim Peck is oppressed by ‘government’ because they pay his bills against his will!

  46. tatuaje

    There’s lots more I want to say, but alas it’s a busy day. I’ll try to get back tomorrow.

  47. Cheshire

    Agreed, OP. It crosses my mind every time I pick up a physical issue of the Mountain Xpress how strange it seems that it’s free. (Usually I check it online, my small contribution to conserving resources.)

  48. Margaret Williams

    We are steadfastly free, sometimes at our peril (the first few years were VERY interesting, financially speaking). Nonetheless.

    Yes, Tatuaje, take a break and a lot gets said! Ayn Rand! I devoured her novels & Objectivist Epistemologies in high school… then grew tired of the whole idea. I have apparently grown to be a cynic: I don’t trust in the for-profit sector or religious charities to step in and do the right thing (they’re run by humans, after all, and we have both a capacity for compassion and a capacity for cruelty). Nor do I particularly trust government.

    Can anyone cite any place, be it county, state or other country, where the private sector gleefully steps in and fixes potholes and pays teachers? Oh, maybe it’s Aynrandland.

  49. I guess we can wait and wait and wait for Erika or Tem to offer some evidence that their fantasy social system has some real world merit …. or we can just ask again on the next thread that is all about Tem Pick. Should be arriving shortly.

  50. shadmarsh

    If you want to see a Libertarian utopia, just move to Somalia. I hear it’s lovely this time of year.

  51. Barry Summers

    I guess we can wait and wait and wait for Erika or Tem to offer some evidence that their fantasy social system has some real world merit …

    Not so much for the evidence with those two. I found it surprising that with all the time they spend on these issues, neither of them knew (or admitted to know) how unemployment insurance really works. Tim:

    Funds for unemployment benefits are extracted by the government from employers and employees involuntarily.

    False. From the NC Employment Security website:

    “Unemployment tax is not deducted from employee wages.”

    http://www.ncesc1.com/Business/UI/UiTax.asp

    They act like it’s some amount taken at gunpoint from their personal paycheck, and that collecting UI checks is really just “restitution of a previous injury”. Baloney. It’s an ‘insurance program’ paid for by employers and managed by the government. It’s a safety net, paid for by all, for the benefit of all. That’s why they’re against it – anything that constitutes something we do ‘communally’ must go, even if they have to lie about the facts in order to get people riled up.

  52. shadmarsh

    Yall are forgetting the first rule of the internet: Tim is always right.

  53. tatuaje

    I was going to tackle Tim’s assertions that “The government forcibly extracts wealth from individuals against their will” and “the only proper role of government in a free society is the protection of individual rights, but it looks like he’s taken his ball and gone home.

    Unfortunately, I guess it’s fair to say that I am not surprised that Tim has fled the scene. It never fails that once confronted with unassailable logic he either falls back on his standard charges of “ad hominem!” or disappears from the conversation.

    He has also attempted, as he has done so often as of late, to once again bemoan how this thread is all about him.

    Thanks for making this thread about me. I am much more interesting than the above letter to the editor.

    What’s interesting to note about this is the fact that this thread became about his absurd assertions in the very first post, not about him. It is simply another way for him to avoid being confronted by reason and logic.

    Just because people challenge your views, Tim, doesn’t make the argument about you. I’ll refrain from engaging in armchair psychoanalysis (even though it’s EXTREMELY tempting and downright easy to do), but I hope you realize that as long as you keep offering unreasoned and uninformed theories, people like us will continue to refute them. Not because we’re obsessed with you or schoolyard bullies, but because you continue to say things that are easily refuted and sometimes downright silly.

    And the reason I’ve taken the time to point this out is because I believe this represents a microcosm of the national debate.

    Political discourse in this country has become a lesson in emotional grandstanding, where anti-intellectuals are lauded and logic is banished.

    I believe Tim, and this current exchange, to be a perfect example of the political action committee that he claims affiliation with and their current strategy in the political arena. When confronted with their own hypocrisies or downright illogical and false assertions, they invariably claim that they are being ‘attacked’ by the ‘lamestream’ media instead of simply acknowledging that they were wrong or misinformed.

    But what they, and Tim, fail to recognize, or rather willfully ignore, is that asserting something as fact doesn’t make it so. And challenging these false assertions is NOT a personal attack, but rather the application of reasoning and logic to political discourse.

    Unfortunately, like Tim, people who have placed themselves on the national stage have begun to simply disengage from any debate that doesn’t follow their storyline. Sarah Palin, Joe Miller, Sharon Angle, and Meg Whitman are all perfect examples of this trend.

    And it’s a shame.

    I don’t deny that they’ll win votes. Playing to base emotions and dodging logical discourse is a particularly effective strategy.

    But I do believe that it does nothing for the people of this country.

    So Tim, let me finish by saying this.

    I’m sorry you think others shouldn’t have the opportunity to partake in our national safety net like you did, but I’m not surprised. The only people I’ve ever come across who are against food stamps or unemployment or medicare are those that are well-off and have no need of these services.

    Unfortunately, there are over 45 MILLION people in this country that are food insecure. About 15 million people are out of work. Now I know you blame most of these people for their situation, or think that if the government would just stop regulating businesses then these people wouldn’t be hungry or out of work. But I hope you can remember how you ended up without a job through no fault of your own and how thankful you must have felt not to end up on the street.

    Whether you are misinformed or hypocritical or just downright mean it doesn’t matter. The system was in place to help you and you made it through. And thankfully millions more will make it through, too.

  54. Dionysis

    I’d love to see Tim Peck show enough mettle to try and respond to the logic-infused drubbing that was handed to him by tatuaje, but as noted, once he’s aware that the circle is closing, he slithers away to wait another day and another topic to repeat the same game plan. And it goes on and on and on.

  55. Margaret Williams

    Tip from the moderators: Points made. Give it a rest.

  56. Dionysis

    “Oh, way to go Dionysis. Now you got us all in trouble.”

    Will I get detention hall?

  57. Margaret Williams

    I keep suggesting that everyone (yes EVERYone here) meet me for a beer instead. We might iron out some stuff. Or just get buzzy, I dunno.

  58. Barry Summers

    If you think I’m mean now, just get a few beers in me.

    Just kidding.

  59. Margaret Williams

    is MX buying? haha! Y’all might recall the letter above (remember the letter?) mentions Xpress is a free paper… it’s not a big leap to realize we work hard, with cadillac goals but beer budgets. And in counting how many people have commented on this letter, I would have to say yipes! But you never know. My ship might come in.

  60. Barry Summers

    I know who should pay…

    I sued. I won in court. Twice. And I did quite well by it, thank you.

  61. Margaret Williams

    Oy vey, let’s play nice. This thread’s now about beer.

  62. Barry Summers

    Oy vey, let’s play nice. This thread’s now about beer.

    To paraphrase Steve Martin, “Talking about beer is like dancing about architecture.”

  63. tatuaje

    Actually enjoying a post-Mountain Bizworks class Smuttynose imperial stout at Barley’s right now. Fantastic.

    Come on by.

    Hell Tim, I’ll buy you a round.

  64. Margaret Williams

    Damn, I’ve already settled in and moved up to decaf coffee.

  65. tatuaje

    And just so everyone knows…

    Frostillicus had it all F&$*ed up the other evening.

    My name is pronounced Tattoo-Ah-Hey

    It’s Spanish.

    For Tattoo.

    So much for anonymity, eh?

    Cheers.

  66. Barry Summers

    Hey folks, Margaret said Xpress has a “beer budget.”

    Yeah, poor choice of words there, Margaret. hehehe

  67. Margaret Williams

    Poor choice of words, indeed. In this case, it’s my budget…

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