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Stem cell decision imminent

Justin Webb | 21:14 UK time, Friday, 6 March 2009

I am told by a contact in the world of stem cell technology that the announcement relaxing the rules governing the use of embryonic stem cell lines in the US will come next week - perhaps as early as Monday. Big day. The Bush years are being rolled back.

Some suggest it does not matter any more, but most in the medical profession think it does.

Comments

  • 1. At 9:35pm on 06 Mar 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Not a moment too soon. The decision made by President Bush, influenced by religious conviction, impaired our ability to make progress while the rest of the world pressed on. Hopefully, this reversal will allow us to, once again, take the lead in this important endeavor.

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  • 2. At 9:41pm on 06 Mar 2009, Andy Post wrote:

    If nothing else it will stop the ridiculous practice of running two complete labs where one would be sufficient just so a researcher can demonstrate that no Federal dollars are being used for embryonic stem cell research.

    Embryonic stem cell research is just that: research. It may prove to be a major step forward, or it may prove fruitless. Either way we need to know so we can judge where best to invest our resources.

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  • 3. At 9:44pm on 06 Mar 2009, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    Justin:
    I hope that the decision comes as soon as possible...Possibly Monday....

    (**//**)

    The Bush years are being rolled back.....
    Yes, those years being rolled back fast...

    -Dennis Junior

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  • 4. At 10:18pm on 06 Mar 2009, Rory Andrews wrote:

    yeh its funny that. At the time you think the regulations are going to be forever (and the sky is falling)

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  • 5. At 10:28pm on 06 Mar 2009, seanpmc1 wrote:

    As the uncle of a two year old with Cystic-Fibrosis, I am very glad to see that Obama is seperating Church from State like he is supposed to.

    I'm sure plenty of Hard-Core Religous groups in the US are going to go nuts about this, but as far as I'm concerned, if God didn't want us to use this as a means to cure disease, God wouldn't have made it possible in the first place.

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  • 6. At 10:32pm on 06 Mar 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    "I am told by a contact in the world of stem cell technology . . . "

    One only has to read the BBC News to know of this - not such a coup after all.

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  • 7. At 10:36pm on 06 Mar 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    This is one decision most Amnericans favor.

    Lesson to the Obamaphiles, just because you oppose his economic policies does not make you a party of no.

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  • 8. At 10:44pm on 06 Mar 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    What people forget is that adult stem cell research is far more promising and doesnt have the moral and ethical issues that make embryonic stem cell research so awful to conservatives.

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  • 9. At 10:51pm on 06 Mar 2009, seanpmc1 wrote:

    As for the Religous complaints about Stem-Cell research being un-ethical, a couple years ago there was an experimental treatment for Cystic Fibrosis that used the patients own stem cells.

    What is unethical about that?

    From what I understand, it was done by use of an Inhaler to get the cells directly into the lungs, and the children that were tested showed improvement. Given enough time and money, they could quite possibly cure CF, or at least extend the lives, and quality of life, of the people that are afflicted with it.

    Far better use of Government money (IMO) than funding a Religous War that has been going on since the Crusades...

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  • 10. At 10:54pm on 06 Mar 2009, bere54 wrote:

    #8 - Many conservatives do not have moral and ethical problems with embryonic stem cell research. They seem to think the diseases that might be cured are awful. It's not fair or accurate to lump all conservatives in with the fundamentalist far right-wing.

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  • 11. At 11:07pm on 06 Mar 2009, seanspa wrote:

    #8 and #10, opposition to embryonic stem cell research tends to come about from religious and 'ethical' concerns. That does does necessarily make them right wing or extreme right wing, let alone conservative.

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  • 12. At 11:09pm on 06 Mar 2009, Andy Post wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 13. At 11:15pm on 06 Mar 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    in ref. to #9

    That is exactly the point. The experiment used the individuals own stem cells, which is just fine and not objectionable to most conservatives. It is the unnecessary destruction of embryos in embryonic stem cell research that is disturbing.

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  • 14. At 11:20pm on 06 Mar 2009, bere54 wrote:

    11, seanspa -

    You may be right, but I seem to recall that the polls conducted several years ago, when Bush signed his executive order, indicated that a majority of people were in favor of it (the research, not the executive order), the exception being the religious right-wing, and the Catholic Church, which is in a category unto itself.

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  • 15. At 11:25pm on 06 Mar 2009, bere54 wrote:

    13 - "It is the unnecessary destruction of embryos in embryonic stem cell research that is disturbing."

    Those embryos are going to be destroyed anyway. Is it more ethical to destroy them with no purpose? How is embryonic stem cell research any more unethical than organ transplant?

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  • 16. At 11:26pm on 06 Mar 2009, jlaw6402 wrote:

    Let me start off by saying I support stem cell research. There are inevitable social and ethical challenges to every issue, but this one in particular.

    All the drama needs an ending. At the end of the day, the stems hold the golden key to discovering hidden secrets to many treatments. Political stakes are high and unavoidable, but human lives are more important.

    J from Beer & Pancakes

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  • 17. At 03:13am on 07 Mar 2009, Alex Herr wrote:

    Thank goodness this ridiculous religiously motivated ban is being revoked. Finally, medical research can go ahead unimpeded! We'll at long last have the resources needed to fight diseases like Diabetes and forms of cancer. It's a great day for all of those who are compassionate about saving lives.

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  • 18. At 03:24am on 07 Mar 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    Hasn't it been discovered that stem cells can be
    recovered from placentas, as described here?

    I believe that they have also been found in amniotic
    fluid as well. Might not this be a way to make both
    sides of this debate happy?


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  • 19. At 08:53am on 07 Mar 2009, moionfire wrote:

    I think we need to remember that STATE governments CAN and DO fund stem cell research....


    The ban was simply on the FEDERAL government.

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  • 20. At 10:49am on 07 Mar 2009, british-ish wrote:

    There is far too much enthusiasm as the FT suggests; adult stem cells are being hyped up for religious reasons, not scientific ones, which is a questionable way of doing science as I would have thought Galileo's experience might have shown.

    The American mass media especially is very quick to report on the potential possibilities as though they are all inevitably achievable, and in either branch of stem cell research, it is all so far a matter of "may" not "will".

    As it happens, since I'm disabled through a spinal injury, I too can declare an interest. It would be nice to have full use of one of my legs again instead of it being merely a decorative appendage . . .

    But though this seems to be one of the areas of activity I'm not holding my breath expecting to be offered a little injection in the next couple of years. Neither are my orthopaedic surgeons . . .

    And the FDA approval (an example of hyped enthusiasm?) of biotech company Geron's experiment on patients with spinal cord injuries makes me feel very nervous. It claims to hold 'patents' on certain stem cells, for example, and is avowedly commercial.

    However, I have checked their website, and, rather to my relief, have discovered "Currently there are no sites enrolling patients for this study". In any case, Geron's development is extremely limited in its application.

    I'm also rather suspicious of the focus on the spinal cord. Cynically, I can't help wondering if it's a case of "take up thy bed and walk" publicity. Much more likely to arrest the media's attention than the arrest of Alzheimer's or the cessation of the shaking associated with Parkinson's, though I myself would be much happier knowing there was either a stem cell cure, or at least a possibility if arresting either condition, than one that would allow me to walk normally again. But the 'before and after' pictures wouldn't be as spectacular, would they?


    This sort of thing takes a long time. And I would prefer, I think, to get my information from The Lancet or Nature.






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  • 21. At 2:24pm on 07 Mar 2009, carolinalady wrote:

    Oh, dear, here we go again...same cast of characters and same arguments as we saw on Charles Darwin's birthday.

    As Saint Dominick pointed out, this is not a moment too soon. Scientific research, advancement and application has been stifled in the US to pander to the religious right and the neo-con/energy complex for far too long.

    Even former First Lady Nancy Reagan is on board with stem cell research. When it hits home in one's own family -- as it will in the next 25 or so years as we Boomers start to lose it -- the political hypocrisy is painful to behold.

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  • 22. At 3:33pm on 07 Mar 2009, American Sport Fan wrote:

    Here is the thing about the stemcell debate: for years, the rightwing of the Republican Party has tried to tie the issue of stem cell research to the debate on abortion. In doing this, they have tried to put the lives of unborn fetuses which may not even become human life, above the suffering of the sick. How is that position helping people or preserving life? Tell me, I'd like to know.

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  • 23. At 3:35pm on 07 Mar 2009, Jeebers76 wrote:

    13,

    I'm confused. Since when do conservatives care about stem cells? Are you getting that confused with the religious right bunch? I thought being conservative meant that one wanted as little change as possible.

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  • 24. At 4:37pm on 07 Mar 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 23

    You are right. Religious convictions have impaired our ability to progress and have allowed other nations to take the lead in many fields. Even NASA, where I spent 40 years, is falling behind other space agencies in scientific and robotic research, and it had no choice but to resort to the Russian Soyuz to service the ISS.

    It also means buying or getting products and services we can afford to pay for, but that is not what happened every time fiscal "conservatives" have taken control of the White House or Congress. IMO, when it comes to fiscal matters we have two liberal factions, one advocates tax and spend, the other borrow and spend. Both are detrimental to our future.

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  • 25. At 4:45pm on 07 Mar 2009, timohio wrote:

    Yes, there are adult stem cells, placenta stem cells, and embryonic stem cells. The point of the research is to find out which ones hold the most promise for medical treatments. And it could be that different types of stem cells will end up being promising for different kinds of treatments. That's what the research is all about. At this point no one is suggesting wholesale harvesting of embryos for the purpose of gathering stem cells.

    I believe that a source for a lot of embryonic stem cells is excess eggs fertilized as part of the in vitro fertilization process, not from abortions. Typically a number of eggs will be gathered from the mother, fertilized in vitro, and a certain number of embryos implanted in the uterus. The rest are discarded. And that just mimics what happens naturally. Not every fertilized egg is carried full term to birth.

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  • 26. At 5:02pm on 07 Mar 2009, Jeebers76 wrote:

    25,

    The irony about the whole stem cell thing is that in the human body, a LOT of embryos are created that don't make it to full term. In fact, most of the time the fetuses are aborted BY THE HUMAN BODY ITSELF without the mother even knowing that she's pregnant. It's really easy to make mistakes when reproducing cells that fast, so I can understand why this sort of thing would happen.

    So, give the realities of what the human body itself will do with embryos, why are we trying to save them all in the case of artificial insemination? Are we trying to be better than God's creation, the human body? Seems kinda like hubris to do anything more than mimic the human body. Humanity is no better than mother nature, I think, even though we try to be more altruistic at times.

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  • 27. At 5:07pm on 07 Mar 2009, Jeebers76 wrote:

    "It also means buying or getting products and services we can afford to pay for, but that is not what happened every time fiscal "conservatives" have taken control of the White House or Congress."

    Huh. Buying what we can afford, that sounds more like simple logic. But, the whole "tax the future" idea is more than a little illogical, because taken to the extreme we go broke, as we are now. As for "tax and spend Democrats" since when has this been true? 40 years? 50? I remember reading a statistic that stated we were actually making a profit under Clinton and previous Democrats as compared to the "conservative" Republicans who hiked the debt (see Reagan and Bush).

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  • 28. At 5:12pm on 07 Mar 2009, neil_a2 wrote:

    OK, let us put it together.

    "Pay to Play", "Socialized health care", "Pro choice", "Show pictures of dead American soldiers"

    I propose:

    If you want to benefit from embryonic stem cell research, our soon-to-be socialized medicine should use the "quota" system. To advance your position in the queue, you must first sacrifice one of you own embryos.

    Minimally, you must be a registered organ donor, and on-call for an emergency donation.

    We do not want sub-standard stem cells in our bodies, so:

    If the voluntary abortions do not provide sufficient "desirable" embryos, then we should have a national lottery (comparable to a pre-birth draft) to extract embryos from a larger population to insure an adequate supply of quality materal.

    You worked so hard to get the photos of dead soldiers in the media. Why not officially recognize the women getting abortions in the "legal" section of the newspaper with many thanks for benefiting society? The same for the mothers who lost their sons and daughters as soldiers.

    So, it sounds like total nonsense to you.

    What part?! You have to kill you own children? You have to contribute to benefit? You are so special you should not have to contribute; but, your "special" needsqualify you to benefit from the involuntary death of others? Killing the helpless is OK, but being killed for serving society is not?

    I am sorry. It is not a religious issue.

    I am not fund of "killing for convenience". ... My children are adopted. I am grateful their mothers did not opt for "convenience".

    Do not misread what I say as religious zealot.

    I feel the major proponents of these issues are quite selfish while contributing little of themselves to the benefit of others.

    I have no interest in promoting the interests of the selfish. If I am called "conservative" for that view, then the name is fine by me.

    Aside from killing the helpless, I am quite in favor of the work in stem cells.

    My best wishes to the one with a child with cystic fibrosys.

    "gunsandreligion", I like your proposal.

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  • 29. At 5:30pm on 07 Mar 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    25, timohio, as for

    At this point no one is suggesting wholesale
    harvesting of embryos for the purpose of gathering
    stem cells.


    In the last few paragraphs of the first link that Justin
    posted, there is a reference to Obama allowing just
    that. Originally, according to Healy, the Clinton
    administration was the one which initiated a ban
    on embryo creation for the purpose of harvesting
    stem cells, and the Bush administration merely
    continued it.

    Personally, I have no problem with obtaining
    stem cells from embryos which were going to
    be discarded anyway, but the idea of creating
    human embryos explicitly for that purpose
    seems to go too far for me - even though I
    don't have extremely well defined concepts as
    to when "life begins."

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  • 30. At 5:44pm on 07 Mar 2009, happylaze wrote:

    . At 10:36pm on 06 Mar 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    This is one decision most Amnericans favor.

    Lesson to the Obamaphiles, just because you oppose his economic policies does not make you a party of no.


    Mre like the old farts are worried they will not find a cure so are all up for being quick now ,like Nancy.


    When it hits tehm they suddenly give a damn, before that they are all full of excuses to deride it. whatever "IT "is.


    The selfish generation

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  • 31. At 5:48pm on 07 Mar 2009, happylaze wrote:

    Are the religiously based right as opposed to fertillity treetment as to the by products of fertility treatment.


    There is waste in every industry, including babies.



    Like the spelling anyone?

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  • 32. At 5:56pm on 07 Mar 2009, happylaze wrote:

    18 It might make both side of the debate happy.
    but researchers using the stem cells are further ahead maybe than t hose that had to invent a new way of getting cells before they could actually get around to doing the research they were after like ... curing someone.

    meanwhile in the states we have been busy researching how to make cells because the cells being created in those good "fertillity" clinics(how many say concieve (lol great mistake )younger and eat healthy?lol)were not (morally) good enough .

    The most direct way to get air into a ballon is to blow into it.
    we have here in the states removed the easy option and said "air movement can be produced by the rotation of blades in a fan powered by electricity ", s. So we went off to figure out electricity and fans etc so that we would not have to blow and in the meantime the rest went ahead and figured out that a full ballon will move if you let the air out.


    RETARDED ,our research is .

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  • 33. At 6:07pm on 07 Mar 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #23 and #0

    I think you both listen to Air America and MSNBC too much.

    Do all liberals support the hate of Ward churchill and Bill Ayers?

    If you oppose Obama you must be conservative?

    Many of us refuse to be classified like that.

    I am a fiscal and foriegn policy conservative and social liberal.

    But to people like you because I oppose the bailout i am to the right of Michael Savage.

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  • 34. At 6:51pm on 07 Mar 2009, moderate_observer wrote:

    you can add, countries that refuse to seperate church ( or any other religion) from state affairs are all poor and shows very little progress. For the last 8 years the country has been run like a theocracy, and we wonder why the country is in a deep recession!

    iraq = god's war

    science= hedonistic work of the blasphemous unbelivers.

    Bush = the deity who should not be questioned. To challenge him is un-american (un-holy).

    wall street's elite, / karl rove and anyone close to the president = the pharisees who are always correct, no judicial oversight needed or no SEC regulations apply.

    Sounds like something out of the 16th century.
    It sounds like the script of an episode of south park.

    Sadly this is what was happening, of course the Bush years has to be reversed by whoever is president after him, to not do so would be dangerous.

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  • 35. At 8:26pm on 07 Mar 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #30. happylaze: "Mre like the old farts are worried they will not find a cure so are all up for being quick now ,like Nancy."

    In fact Mrs Reagan has been a supporter of stem cell research since at least 2001. The late president, Gerald Ford also. I don't see that it's old farts looking for a quick cure - some of them have been in the forefront rather than jumping on the bandwagon.

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  • 36. At 8:30pm on 07 Mar 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 27, Jeebers

    "I remember reading a statistic that stated we were actually making a profit under Clinton and previous Democrats as compared to the "conservative" Republicans who hiked the debt (see Reagan and Bush)."

    Yes, the opinion I made in an earlier post may have been accurate of what transpired four or five decades ago when the Democratic party was, indeed, the party of tax and spend, but that is no longer the case. President Clinton was the only president in the last four decades to put in place true fiscallt conservative policies focused on smaller government and reductions in spending that eliminated our budget deficits, produced a surplus, and created 22 million jobs in 8 years.

    Our current mess requires stimuli in the form of tax cuts to the middle class and investment to create jobs, which would automatically increase government revenues and reduce welfare payments while at the same time improving or repairing our antiquated infrastructure.

    Unfortunately, saving our financial institutions and what remains of our industry requires massive amounts of cash, which we don't have and must borrow and pay interest on.

    The alternative is to let our under capitalized banks collapse, which means the end of capitalism, and let what is left of our industry go bankrupt, which will increase the number of unemployed by several millions causing our economic situation to further deteriorate.

    I hear a lot of criticism from our Republican friends, both on this blog and neighbors, what I haven't heard are alternatives on how to solve our current problem; other than the perennial let the market forces (such as they are) take care of the problem and make tax breaks to the rich permanent. I am afraid we have to do better than that if our goal is to save the USA.





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  • 37. At 10:29pm on 07 Mar 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #34

    What hypocracy, i have seen more demonizing by the Obamaphiles in two months than in 8 years of Bush.

    You guy are going after a loud mouth radio talk show host!

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  • 38. At 10:34pm on 07 Mar 2009, Mike Mullen wrote:

    Thing is with the various types of stem cell some may be more useful than others, or it may be that different types are useful for different things. However until the research is done no one can be sure, so embryonic stem cells need to be researched. Lets not forget that those persuaded Bush to enact these rules did so because of their religious 'faith' not based on any scientific rationale or better alternative.

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  • 39. At 10:39pm on 07 Mar 2009, Mike Mullen wrote:

    #37 Magickirin:

    "What hypocracy, i have seen more demonizing by the Obamaphiles in two months than in 8 years of Bush."

    Well they do say, 'there's none so blind as those who will not see'

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  • 40. At 11:23pm on 07 Mar 2009, marcel33 wrote:

    Wow, Obama has nearly doubled the US's budget deficit, took him only 6 weeks to do it! Bush took 7 years for that feat.

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  • 41. At 00:03am on 08 Mar 2009, Wil wrote:

    Er, Bush left the bomb there. He make the market collaspe. He create an un-win-able war.

    Obama is cleaning up for him to save you. And then these blind people still try to sabotage the effort and accuse him of losing money.

    Poor kid (mentally).

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  • 42. At 01:23am on 08 Mar 2009, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 29 guns,

    An interesting point. I found the language she was using there (re: creation of embryos for stem cell "harvesting") a bit vague, so I looked into it a bit.

    According to the Washington Post, "those briefed on the content of the order yesterday said [the Administration] would lift the restrictions without caveats and let the National Institutes of Health (NIH) work out the details."

    More on that here).

    But even from this article, it remains unclear if it will be the NIH, or the Administration, setting policy re: embryo creation for stem cell collection. It quotes a stem cell researcher, who says, "'I don't personally have any problem creating embryos for embryonic stem cell research, but if [Obama] decides that embryos that have already been created and are going to be discarded are the ones that would be used, that would be reasonable as well. '"

    So I guess nobody really knows yet. Definitely something to watch, though.

    Yours,
    Pinko


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  • 43. At 06:47am on 08 Mar 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    Since the Catholic church is against embryonic stem cell research, can something similar to this be in store for Catholics engaged in research? Today a bishop, tomorrow a congregant.

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  • 44. At 07:05am on 08 Mar 2009, Jeebers76 wrote:

    36,

    I have no idea what we could do in the short term to boost the economy back to a semblance of health. In the long term, I do have a few ideas.

    First, make sure you have an employment base for the industries that make the USA money. This means funding education from kindergarten to college, because most of the lower class wants to become middle class, to become more productive and financially secure. This means doing whatever necessary to promote science and learning, and yes this includes stem cell research and banning Creationism in modern schools because of it's inherent tendency to negate other forms of thought, and the arguing that ensues because of religious competition.

    Second, make sure the infrastructure is in full operating condition. I remember reading about there not being enough trains and other cargo transports to move grain produced by US farms, so it rots in grain elevators. Invest in phone lines, power generation, roads, cargo transport etc of all kinds....

    Third, tone down military spending by at least 50%. The bigger the hammer we have, the more we are tempted to use it to solve all our problems. The armed forces are not trained to act as police, and aren't equipped for it either. Moreover, Americans have proven we don't have a clue as to getting countries to see things our way. Best to leave them to figure it out for themselves than blunder in trying to fix things.

    Fourth, up the taxes on the wealthiest, and close whatever loopholes exist. Decrease the taxes on everyone else. Money is now concentrated in the hands of a very few, so to get it producing again you need to get it moving. The rich and corporations just keep money, or spend it on luxuries (which don't help the economy at large) instead of doing what they should be, investing in the lower classes to produce a steady future profit.

    We have to get the idea that the wealthy are somehow more intelligent and wiser than the rest of us. They have proven they aren't, time and again. When given money, they will save it. Give it to a poor man, and he'll spend it immediately on the essentials, like homes, cars, mattresses, clothes etc. This stimulates the economy.

    I am not advocating communism, nor even socialism really. I just want to tweak the current laissez faire system into something guaranteed to force the weathy to keep their money moving by generating work and dough.

    Fifth, ensure that the preventative health care system is available to all no matter how little money they have. Disease knocks out billions of dollars every year that could have been easily prevented through vaccines, dental care, proper medication etc.

    Sixth, make sure that all of these measures are self sustaining, and ecologically sound. Trash the resources you feed upon is only going to kill your efforts in the long run. Sure, it's more expensive to watch yourself, but the consequences are far too nasty to ignore.

    Seventh, tax the hell out of any company that outsources its workers, bring it up to a competitive level with domestic production. Eventually these weasels will realize it's just easier to make the products closer to those who will be buying them than paying huge tariffs. Less waste, and FAR less human rights and health abuses.

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  • 45. At 07:19am on 08 Mar 2009, smileytm303 wrote:

    Hooray!

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  • 46. At 09:40am on 08 Mar 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #44

    How about adding:

    Break the Union stranglehoard on troubled industries. Those parasitic groups create no benfits for the U.S Economy. Make striking illegal and start Rico trials for Union intimidation.

    Cut govt salaries in hald for non essential state workers and by fiat stop all pension payments to that same group starting now.

    I've yet to see these two groups make any sacrifices

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  • 47. At 12:22pm on 08 Mar 2009, topspin wrote:

    I'm quoting this from a different thread because it is worth repeating:



    "Medically and scientifically a fertilized egg is a living, unique, human being. There is no argument that it is living, nor that it is unique. The part people stumble on is that it is human. If it is living and unique it has to be something. Its own DNA identifies it as human. It is a developmental stage of humanity. A fetus, a baby, a toddler, a child, an adolescent, an adult, a geriatric, are all development stages of human...

    What I do not see in this or most discussions concerning stem cell research is the distinction between embryonic and adult. Adult stem cells have had tremendous success in being coaxed to pluripotency and have shown the greatest medical promise. Embryonic stem cell research is not necessary.

    Even if embryonic stem cell research could provide medical help beyond that of adult stem cell research, should we harvest humans to do it? Really this is not much different than the Nazis performing medical experiments on Jews. Sure valuable information could be gained, but at what moral cost? Of course, some will say that an embryo and a grown man are quite different, but they are both living, unique, human beings. Should we reclassify them as less than human for our own interests?"

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  • 48. At 1:13pm on 08 Mar 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    Am very much in agreement with saintDominick's reaction # 1, - " Not a moment too soon"

    Interesting person the life long Republican Bernadine Healy, from your " Some suggest" link.
    Googled her name to read her resume, and her previous paths in life.

    " She's pretty much anti-science when it comes to medicine in general.
    She seems to think that evidence-based medicine, the scientific revolution that has saved so many lives, is some sort of fascism. And to top it off, the AAPS, the bizarre organization that seems to include every doctor that shows up on Quackwatch, likes her.
    It's sad and embarrassing to see one of my colleagues get sucked into the pseudoscientific realm of medical denialism. But most of all, it's dangerous. She speaks from a position of authority, and people believe her. It makes our work that much harder and that much more important". [http://scienceblogs.com/denialism]

    I have not laughed so much for a long time.
    Wonder what hat she will be wearing tomorrow?

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  • 49. At 1:32pm on 08 Mar 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 44, Jeebers

    Your post outlines the Obama stimulus package, which is labeled by "conservatives" as a socialist solution to our problems.

    Investment in education is regarded as evil by those who prefer religious schools and higher education opportunities for those who can afford it, rather than those whose aptitude and qualification offer the highest probability of success.

    Investment in affordable healthcare for everyone is evil. Those without the means to pay the exhorbitant charges we get when we are treated don't deserve help and should be left to fend for themselves. Only the wealthy deserves to survive.

    Investment is infrastructure is categorized as pork. Only investment in crusades and sole-source contracts for corporations rebuilding what we destroyed is acceptable.

    Tax breaks for the middle class is class warfare. Only tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans is acceptable and conducive to progress. If in doubt. see what happened in recent years before reaching a logical conclusion.

    I see what we call conservatism as a pervasive form of social suicide that if allowed to flourish will eventually destroy our society and our country.

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  • 50. At 4:06pm on 08 Mar 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    44. Jeebers - May come back to respond to your post at 44, most of which I agree with, with a longer response later.

    In the meantime, please consider that 11% of all taxpayers pay something like 78% of all taxes. (Not sure how old this figure is.) People who are better off should pay more tax, that's only fair. Everybody accepts that.

    But these are also the same people who create very nearly 100% of new jobs. There was an episode of the West Wing where Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe) points out that as a corporate lawyer he was paying 26 or 27 times as much income tax as the average person. He didn't gripe about it, but also resented being vilified as somehow not paying his share.

    The nature of my work is such that I deal with a lot of exceptionally bright, creative people. Yes, some of them earn a lot of money, but they also generate a disproportionate amount of economic activity, and pay a hugely disproportionate amount of tax. Right now a lot of them (in my sector of the economy, manufacturing, virtually all of them) are desperately trying to keep their companies from going bankrupt, and trying to keep their employees from losing their jobs. Almost all of them have cut their own pay, and some of them have stopped paying themselves altogether. These people have, and bear, 100 times, or 1000 times the responsibility, and the risk, of the average employee.

    But being brilliant, while necessary, isn't enough. It has to be accompanied by an awe-inspiring capacity to work, and to work hard. Really hard. Almost by definition, if they are awake, they are working. It is not easy to start and run a successful business, and it is not for the faint of heart. Typically, the founder of a successful business works at least 70 - 90 hours per week, and earns very little for the first 2 - 5 years the company is in business. If the company survives for five years (and most do not) it may then have a bright future. There is a saying that behind every overnight sucess is 20 years of hard work in obscurity. Based on my experience, there is a lot of truth in that saying.

    How would you like to be running an auto parts company whose major customer is Chrysler? Well, I know people in that boat, and it's really ugly. These people have worked unbelievably hard all their lives, and they are about to lose their life's work. They aren't alone.

    People talk about fat cats who live off the backs of the workers, but in my experience, that is a myth. I have seen an awful lot of businesses (and, truth be told, a lot of awful businesses, too), and I have yet to see any of them run by "fat cats".

    Taxes are significantly higher in Canada than in the US, and more steeply progressive, so maybe it is different in America, but by and large, I would say that these people pay their fair share of tax, and probably more than what, really, is their fair share of tax.

    I am still wating, however, for any candidate in our riding to run on a platform of "Lower taxes for rich lawyers, bankers and business tycoons". Sort of like "National take your favorite used car salesman to lunch day". Guess I won't hold my breath on that.

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  • 51. At 5:07pm on 08 Mar 2009, Old-Man-Mike wrote:

    To Jeebers76

    I would like to say that agree with every one of your points. It will be a long haul, but worth it in the end.

    As to the short ter, I would say that the most important lesson from history, particularly European history, it that the middle classes must not give up hope for recovery and reform.

    Every revolution has been lead by, of backed by, disaffected members of the Middle Classes including Military officers and political leaders., Franco, Hitler, Lenin, Mussolini, Castro and a host of others in Latin America and around the world were of Middle Class backgrounds.

    Do not think it could not happen in America, I am sorry to0 say :Why Not. If it could happen in Germany, given enough provocation, it could happen anywhere.

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  • 52. At 6:53pm on 08 Mar 2009, topspin wrote:




    The ban was on the use of taxpayer money to fund EMBRYONIC stem cell research. If EMBRYONIC stem cell research was so promising then why aren't researchers swimming in dollars from private sources?




    I'm not a fan of Bernadine Healy because she is a big supporter of abortion, "plan B" ( which can kill a fertilized egg by preventing implantation in the womb), and Obama's action lifting the ban on federal funding. She does, however, make some good points about ADULT stem cells in the article linked above:


    http://www.usnews.com/blogs/heart-to-heart/2009/3/4/why-embryonic-stem-cells-are-obsolete.html


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  • 53. At 7:25pm on 08 Mar 2009, happylaze wrote:

    "Of course, some will say that an embryo and a grown man are quite different, but they are both living, unique, human beings. Should we reclassify them as less than human for our own interests?""


    lol yea I heard a girl make that argument once or twice.Answer Yes.


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  • 54. At 7:28pm on 08 Mar 2009, happylaze wrote:

    Interested I think you didn't look hard enough at the fat cats out there.

    Reality we are all going to suffer until those rich republicans decide to start investing . they want the world to end any way so why would they.



    The rich will get richer on this great con. .Hoard gold and buy up land when cheap.

    But agreed there are way more important fish to fry.
    Start with the retirees.

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  • 55. At 7:54pm on 08 Mar 2009, bere54 wrote:

    50, Interested - "People talk about fat cats who live off the backs of the workers, but in my experience, that is a myth."

    When people talk about this, at least in the States, they are talking about corporations like Walmart and its ilk, and various health "care" industries (to give just a small example), where the CEOs and other top executives take home millions while many of the employees of these corporations are working for minimum wage. A nurse's aide in a for-profit hospital chain can make $7 an hour, while the top boss pulls in his millions. Is the boss actually working physically harder than the nurse's aide? Is the aide really worth only $7 an hour?

    If the nurse's aides made a decent living wage, the CEOs could still be filthy rich. But since they want to be obscenely rich, they pay poverty wages to their lowest employees. So in effect they are living off the tired, bent, poorly-paid backs of the workers. If if weren't for the workers, there would be no wealth.

    I expect one could come up with quite a long list of corporations where the disparity in pay between the bosses and the workers is shockingly huge and grotesque.

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  • 56. At 9:35pm on 08 Mar 2009, Dutchange wrote:

    44, Jeebers76, thanks for this clear post.

    50, IF, great post as well.
    I feel very sorry for all those young, good entrepreneurs who fail and I respect the survivors, but...

    I just have one question: Why?

    Why do they have to take 100(0) times more responsibility than others?

    Why do they have to work from dawn to dusk?

    Why?

    Just because they are bright (and young, energetic) people? But if so, why don't they see the strangeness of it all?

    Should it not be more humane to start a company without working one's brains out?

    Why is this not possible any longer? Aren't these brave boys working harder than the medieval serfs? What happened....?

    The hill on which the bright city shines, is growing higher and higher. How many outsiders can still see its lights? How many inhabitants of this city have lost contact with the earth completely?
    And where dwell the Great Thinkers of this city? In the caves created by its growth? Are they blinded by the lights?

    I'll keep on dreaming... maybe a 100 years sleep will do me good ;-)

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  • 57. At 10:28pm on 08 Mar 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 50

    IMO, the problem in the USA is not opposition to tax breaks for small business or for young entrepeneurs who do work long hours to pursue their dream and who are, indeed, the engine that drives our economy. The problem is the inequality that exists between the middle class, who also works very hard and struggles to make ends meet, and the CEOs whose decisions and ineptitude are a major factor for the economic problems we are experiencing. The same goes for the top 2% of our society who spend their time shopping in Paris, surfing in Australia, and sun tanning in private islands.

    GM and Chrysler are not in trouble because of the unions, as some Republican friends so often suggest, they are in trouble because of the lousy investments they made in recent years (Saab, Opel, etc) and the large amounts of money they borrowed to finance those investments, which they are now unable to pay and we - the tax payers - are financing on a quarterly basis.

    Banks are not in trouble because they lent money to construction workers who bought a house for $150K when they were employed and who can not make their mortgage payments because they lost their jobs, they are in trouble because of bad investments facilitated by deregulation and flawed diversification laws, and the huge sums given to developers and speculators who over built and brought the price of real estate down consistent with the law of supply and demand.

    Our economic situation is, indeed, dire and you can't help but wonder what will happen if unemployment hits the 15% mark, foreign investors lose confidence and stop buying our Treasury bonds, and we are unable to honor our global commitments. Will we be able to help Eastern Europe overcome their financial and economic crises or will we have to cede that part of the world to Russia? Will we be able to escalate the war in Afghanistan or will we have to negotiate a settlement to save face and withdraw? Most importantly, will we be able to keep our financial institutions solvent and save our capitalist system when the Fed is unable to continue to print money, inflation goes up out of control, and the Federal government is unable to provide basic services and honor FDIC, pension insurance and entitlement obligations?

    I am confident we will recover, but I expect a rough road ahead for a couple of years, and social unrest is certainly not out of the question.

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  • 58. At 10:45pm on 08 Mar 2009, timohio wrote:

    re. 50. Interestedforeigner:

    I don't disagree with most of what you say, but it's important to remember a couple of things:

    The business owner does indeed put in long hours and take most of the risk (I have relatives who own their own businesses, and I see what you describe), but if the business is successful they will make most of the profit. The workers will not necessarily benefit if the business does spectacularly well and is sold at a large profit. The workers usually make the same. High tech businesses may do profit-sharing or stock options, but your auto parts business won't do that. However, if the business fails, it will be more than the owner who is out of work. It won't matter how dedicated or hard-working the employees have been, either. And a business owner can pare down his staff to keep the business afloat. He keeps the business but the employee is on the street. So there is a degree of shared risk without necessarily shared profits. That's the nature of a capitalist system. I'm okay with that, but we have to keep in mind what the system is when we talk about taxes.

    Also, when we talk about income tax, we are talking about a tax on the net profit. That's income minus expenses. So a small business owner would have to be doing very well indeed if after deducting supplies and materials, salaries to employees, health benefits to employees, retirement contributions, amortizing equipment costs, interest payments on business loans, etc., he or she is personally pulling in over 250,000 dollars. And if they are doing that well, I'm okay with taxing them.

    The character Rob Lowe played in West Wing that you cited was not running a business. He had been an attorney in a large practice, if I recall properly. He didn't have those business costs unless he could amortize his suits. He should pay those taxes since his salary was all profit. The law practice as a business would have expenses that could be charged off, and that would figure in the net profits registered by the company. But not the salary of an individual attorney.

    Americans in particular have weird ideas about taxes. In a democracy it is not the government taking money away from us. It is all of us banding together to pay for things we all need, and doing it more cheaply and efficiently than if we tried to do it individually. Americans found in the decades after Reagan's election that after their taxes had been cut they were gradually having to pay for more things on their own. Like higher tuition at state colleges. And eventually bad things started happening like bridges collapsing because they hadn't been properly maintained. Were we better off? I don't think so. I think we would have been better off paying those taxes.

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  • 59. At 11:02pm on 08 Mar 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    55, bere54, I agree with you about the big corporations
    and the way that they treat their workers. But, I believe
    that interestedforeigner was tallking about "small"
    businesses, typically still run by a founder or
    a descendant, who has a personal involvement
    in the business.

    The problem with the unions is that they are
    really every bit as bad as their management.
    They are both part of the same system.

    Capitalism, like many other systems, works
    best in the small, and typically fails in the large.

    My concern is that the Democrats will establish
    a coalition between Big Business and Big Labor
    to crush the small business community. I've
    seen it before.

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  • 60. At 11:11pm on 08 Mar 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #54 and #55

    I noticed that those criticzing fat cat Ceo (even the sucessful ones) say nothing about bloated govt employee including Barney Frank and chris Dodd.

    They are just as guilty as the leaders of AIG and they have not had the decency to resign

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  • 61. At 11:16pm on 08 Mar 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    Justin - you've started a debate on something that MAY or MAY NOT happen in the next few days, based on a "contact".

    This is not news. Can we debate things that are definite?


    But on to the topic.... There's still alot of smoke and mirrors out there in this contentious issue.


    That said, I would be delighted to see Obama keep his campaign promise and release federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

    However it still leaves lots of different issues in play.

    First there are, if I understand correctly, currently 4 different types of stem cells:-
    1) embryonic stem cells taken from a days old embryo of around 150 cells called a blatocyst
    2) placenta blood / umbilical cord stem cells
    3) adult stem cells which may be coaxed to activity
    4) the new IPS (induced pluriptent stem cells) from human skin.

    From a scientific point of view it is important to research all of these to find the best possible use of stem cells, or even whether different types could be used in different ways. To ignore one type would make the other research incomplete.


    With embryonic stem cells there is another issue .... where do you get them from?

    1) create them specificlly for research. This was banned by Clinton, and then re-banned by Bush (although he didn't really need to do anything, it was already banned)

    2) use discards from IVF clinics


    Back to Justins post - has Obama said he will allow production of embryos (ie overturn the Clinton ban) or simply allow federal funding of the research on stem cells from spare embryos? Perhaps one of you out there knows.

    Personally I have no problem with either of the above. I am atheist, so the religious argument cuts no ice with me, and then from a practical, living human point of view, a 150 cell blatocyst has no organs, no brain, is just a group of cells. I may have been one once, but I don't think the rights of a blob can outweigh the massive potential for good that could come from the research.

    If the IPS and adult stem cells prove eventually to be more or equally efficient (after research) then science will move away from the embryonic stem cells. That is the nature of science - rational. It will change it's view based on data, not on emotive scaremongering.


    And finally 2 things....
    1) to anyone who is aganst all embryonic stem cell research on moral / religious grounds on the sanctity of life (as they define it)..... if you do not also oppose IVF with equal vigour you are hypocrits!

    2) to the "antis" who try to blur the issue with references or comparisons to Nazi experiments on Jews or pseudo science-fiction terms like "harvesting the embryos" ....... if you could just try to argue rationally people would take you much more seriously.

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  • 62. At 11:31pm on 08 Mar 2009, happylaze wrote:

    58 Tim, genius from Ohio.


    When are they going to give you a job running things.
    (i know you are too smart to take it.)

    Really like to see someone pointing out the truth here .

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  • 63. At 11:39pm on 08 Mar 2009, happylaze wrote:

    Small is a word that should be redefined when it comes to business. small is 250 employees. that is bull.
    big are bad to employees and small are good.


    self is good.
    working for a 4 man firm where the boss made enough to buy cabins n alaska , build from scratch a boat 35ft long that would count as a house to me. 4 big trucks. endless other crap and all the time that republican voting cheap skate didn't pay the coverage for injuries he was legally supposed to and made big bucks only to sack them all because he was OK.

    But that is the difference between human and inhuman.

    to some of us.




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  • 64. At 11:57pm on 08 Mar 2009, timohio wrote:

    re. 60. MagicKirin:

    Senators and members of Congress may be wrong and may be partly responsible for the mess, but they are not bloated. They must maintain two residences, for one thing--one of them at Washington prices. People often leave government service to go back into the private sector to make more money.

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  • 65. At 00:18am on 09 Mar 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    63, happylaze, I've worked for people like that.

    Perhaps that's why I don't treat people that way.

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  • 66. At 00:19am on 09 Mar 2009, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Billy2 (52),

    "The ban was on the use of taxpayer money to fund EMBRYONIC stem cell research. If EMBRYONIC stem cell research was so promising then why aren't researchers swimming in dollars from private sources?"
    Good question.



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  • 67. At 01:09am on 09 Mar 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    54 Happy, 55 Bere, 56 Dutch, 58 Tim, 69 Guns,

    Thanks for your comments. As Guns guessed, I was actually thinking about some of the middle sized companies with which I am familiar, and their owners.

    But I have started to reflect on your comments, and I'm wondering if that is the only context.

    It isn't just about young people trying to make a go of a start-up. The people who run one of the automotive suppliers are nearing retirement. Everything they have is tied up in that business. It is their entire life. They have, or had, about 60 employees.

    Another family I know run a company that supplies flooring and floor coverings. They have just filed for bankruptcy. They probably had more than 500 employees.

    Another company I know had 2000 employees. This is not a small enterprise. The company is a century old. In their industry, which is chronically cyclic anyhow, sales have dried up. I remember the last time the industry went into the tank, and they didn't receive any new orders for almost a year. It's worse now.

    This is the tip of the iceberg.

    Let's shift gears for a moment and talk about the Sam Seaborn character. He was working as a senior associate at a heavyweight New York law firm, earning US$ 400,000/yr., working on corporate finance.

    That's a pretty rarified atmosphere to begin with. Even to be hired by a firm like that, at all, (i.e., to get a try-out in the big leagues, so to speak) you would pretty much have to have finished on the Dean's list at law school, and it would have to have been a pretty good law school. You would have to have killed the LSAT. You would almost certainly have had to have finished at or near the top of your class in your undergraduate studies.

    What people don't realize is how incredibly bright, and hard working you have to be to get to that point. And that isn't enough - you also have to be in the right place at the right time, and have pretty good social skills.

    I believe the statistic is that there are fewer than 50,000 Canadians who earn more than C$ 300,000/yr. That may sound like a lot, but in a workforce of 15m people it is slightly less than one person in 300. The number of people who earn C$ 1M/yr or more is very, very small. Fewer than 1000? Probably.

    For every heavyweight mover and shaker in a corner office earning $ 1 M+, there are twenty junior lawyers who were weeded out before becoming partners: they just didn't make the cut. For every one of those junior lawyers, who were even given a try by a top tier firm like that, there are probably 25 - 50 lawyers in second or third tier firms trying to scrape a living out of residential real estate, family law, or criminal law in the suburbs. I seem to recall hearing one time that the median income of lawyers in Ontario used to be about C$ 25,000/yr.

    It's like the great zigurat (?) of aviation described by Tom Wolfe in "The Right Stuff", or like professional sports. There are roughly 380,000 Canadians who play hockey in organized leagues. Each year about 60 will make it to the NHL. The level of talent of even the worst player riding the bench on the worst team in the NHL is still astoundingly high.

    Well, I have met and worked with people like that, who work in business, in law, and in finance & accounting. They have truly extraordinary skills. These people are as rare as hen's teeth. And they are unbelievably capable. And, just like professional sports, it is brutal. If the skills fade, if you lose a step, you're gone. There is no job security in that kind of environment.

    In the population generally, I'd be surprised if there is one person in 10,000 who has that kind of knowledge and skill.

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  • 68. At 04:52am on 09 Mar 2009, british-ish wrote:

    66. At 00:19am on 09 Mar 2009, Ed Iglehart wrote:
    Billy2 (52),

    "The ban was on the use of taxpayer money to fund EMBRYONIC stem cell research. If EMBRYONIC stem cell research was so promising then why aren't researchers swimming in dollars from private sources?"
    Good question.


    Answer: because the 'private sources' with the money thought they'd make ten times as much twenty times faster giving it to hedge funds like Madoff's. Just as they did in the dot com debacle.

    And now they don't have any . . .



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  • 69. At 06:04am on 09 Mar 2009, happylaze wrote:

    67 interested.
    I think you are living in the past.

    we have been shown how little substance the recent past has had.
    it was the smoke and mirrors that Doug would refer to so often.

    It was all a sham. a great big sham and it brought many down. Why. Because people kept saying things like you have mentioned in your posts here. They deserve to make SO much.

    We put all our eggs in to few baskets.
    allowed Big to be the driving force of dominance rather than quality and values that are real.

    Now I always have a goat the older generation because quite frankly they deserve it.

    Both sides of the political Isle.
    NO ONE took healthcare seriously. workers rights.
    Mandatory holiday pay, redundancy.

    unless it effected them.
    The rich have forgotten the Oblige .


    OWTH

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  • 70. At 06:13am on 09 Mar 2009, happylaze wrote:

    GnR.
    Good for you. I wish that all would have to compete on the same level.


    It is no wonder that some in china glue their shoes together so badly. the fumes are killing them.
    but the same happened in the UK.

    I once shut a subsidiary of wickers medical group down for a week because they were making workers use lead solder without extraction.
    then complaining at the staff for going sick with asthma.

    They put in extraction in the end and I suspect saved some hassle by going lead free.
    I don't know but that was because I was off enjoying the 4 weeks holiday pay rather than stay and keep quiet.;)good days.

    Worker safety goes to reducing pollution as well.





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  • 71. At 06:43am on 09 Mar 2009, happylaze wrote:

    68

    lol Madoff. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahh.

    the dodgy boss I wrote about above 63.
    though he was so "slippery' that he had it announced on his car(well big stupid truck suburban).
    Well now those same laws that allowed him to be so slippery and the mentality that they brought to politics has come full circle to bite his ass....when the bigger fish played to the same rules.
    well I'm sure he will survive . that 's what a sugar wife is for.


    Hope not.

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  • 72. At 12:38pm on 09 Mar 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #64

    are you aware of the many perks congressman and senators get?

    Let them have a studio apt in MD or VA

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  • 73. At 1:23pm on 09 Mar 2009, timohio wrote:

    re. 67. Interestedforeigner:

    I'm not sure what your point is. Yes, there are extremely bright people out there, and many of them work very hard. But most of the jobs in both of our countries are not created by that small number of extremely bright people. They are created by fairly ordinary people who run fairly ordinary businesses.

    I would probably be classified as fairly bright. I was bright enough to get through a demanding graduate program in my field. But I'm not impressed by my own brains or education and I'm not terribly impressed by other people's brains or education. It's what you do with it that matters to me.

    Not all smart, hard-working people are motivated by money.

    And, conversely, not every smart person is doing something that benefits the society as a whole. Enron was run by people who thought they were smarter than everyone else. So were many of the investment banks.

    If the private sector learns anything from this debacle, it should be a little humility and a sense of decent limits on personal ambition.

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  • 74. At 2:01pm on 09 Mar 2009, bere54 wrote:

    67, Interested -

    In another lifetime, long long ago, I spent 15 years working as a legal secretary in various Washington D.C. law firms, ranging from tiny (one lawyer and me) to mid-size. In my experience, the larger the firm, the more prestigious the firm, the higher the income of the attorneys, the worse they paid and treated the support staff.

    I once worked for a very well known environmental non-profit. No one was paid all that well and there was no snobbery. One of the lawyers presented brilliant briefs in court, and was offered a position, highly paid, in a top D.C. firm. He accepted it on the condition that he could bring his secretary with him, which they agreed to. The reason he wanted to bring his secretary? She wrote all his briefs. So he was going to make all the money and she was going to do all the work, for not much more than she had been earning at the non-profit.

    I don't know how it works in Canada, but in law firms here, it is the associates who do most of the work and while they do get excellent pay, it is nowhere near what the partners make, and the partners don't actually do all that much work. They put their signatures on briefs, court motions, memos to clients, etc., that have been prepared by "lesser" employees. I suppose you could argue that they have worked their way up and paid their dues, but the millions that are raked in by law firms are due more to the hard work of associates and support staff than anything a partner does.

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  • 75. At 3:22pm on 09 Mar 2009, timohio wrote:

    re. 72. MagicKirin wrote:

    "Let them have a studio apt in MD or VA"

    Some of them probably do. I have heard of groups of congressmen who share apartments in DC to keep costs down. But that only works if your district is close enough to let you see your family on weekends.

    But why should we expect our representatives to live apart from their families in conditions many of us would consider unpleasant?

    Not everyone is pigging out at the public trough. My own House Representative lives very frugally. And I doubt that the piggery is limited to one party. You mentioned two Democrats with whom you have ideological disagreements. I'm sure there are conservative Republicans who abuse their position, too. Do you think things were any different when the Republicans were in the majority and it was all Republicans who chaired the committees?

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  • 76. At 3:47pm on 09 Mar 2009, Johnny Norfolk wrote:

    Are there any Conservative voters at the BBC. Its all very left wing.

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  • 77. At 4:21pm on 09 Mar 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    It is no longer imminent, it is done.

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  • 78. At 5:05pm on 09 Mar 2009, happylaze wrote:

    75 lol
    Valiant effort a man.

    You are a patient man.

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  • 79. At 5:08pm on 09 Mar 2009, bere54 wrote:

    75, timohio -

    I've always wondered why the states can't buy permanent housing in the D.C. area for their Congressional representatives, who would then rotate in and out of these flats or houses, the same way as Presidents move in and out of the White House. If a particular representative feels the housing provided isn't suitable, he/she could then pay to live elsewhere.

    This perhaps might remove the financial burden of buying and maintaining two households and thereby lessen the temptation for these people to engage in graft.

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  • 80. At 7:42pm on 09 Mar 2009, timohio wrote:

    re. 79. bere54:

    That's an excellent idea, but I doubt that the states would welcome the additional expense. At the moment, it's the individual Representative or Senator's responsibility, so there is little incentive for the states to jump in.

    I suspect that the biggest reason for graft or influence peddling is the need to raise lots of campaign money. A Representative must run for re-election every two years, so they must be constantly raising money. In the East or West Coast media markets, it must cost a fortune to run political ads. I would favor mandatory public financing of campaigns, with no outside groups allowed to run ads, but the Supreme Court has already dis-allowed that on freedom of speech grounds.

    Why is it, by the way, that in the US politicians run for election, but in the UK they stand for them. Is the pace that much slower in Britain? ;-)

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  • 81. At 7:46pm on 09 Mar 2009, timohio wrote:

    re. 78. happylaze:

    I don't really write rebuttals in the hope of changing the mind of the original poster. I figure that person is usually pretty confirmed in in his or her ideas. Mostly I write to point out some facts or offer a different interpretation for other people who might be reading this blog who are not so invested in a single point of view.

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  • 82. At 9:31pm on 09 Mar 2009, bere54 wrote:

    80, timohio: "Why is it, by the way, that in the US politicians run for election, but in the UK they stand for them. Is the pace that much slower in Britain?"

    Good question! Maybe it's because in olden times they would stand in the local pub and hand out cash for votes? That's my impression from reading Trollope's political novels.

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  • 83. At 10:32pm on 09 Mar 2009, elainecharnley wrote:

    Prior to the expected statement by President Obama, permitting the use of embryonic stem cells, we were informed by a US Goverment spokesman that Britain was no more special than other nations.
    If we are to understand this to reflect the President's view, it is a negation of the importance of the founding fathers to his own and America's Christian heritage, in which he boasts. It is an indicaton that economic concerns are taking precedence over honouring God and His Laws. "Honour your father and your mother, that all might go well with you, and that you may live long in the land which God gave you."
    President Obama has stepped off THE ROCK.
    When God created man in His own Image and Likeness, He saw us in Christ. Christ was the embryonic Seed of God planted in Mary's womb. From the very beginning, the Seed bore the Image and Likeness of God. Spirit and Soul were bound up in this Seed, reflecting the glory of God. The earthly seed of man also has a spirit and soul which is bound to that within the woman's ovum. Their spiritual union of their reproductive cells creates a new soul. If the resultant cells had no spirit or soul, they would not divide or develop. To destroy that embryonic life is a breaking of God's Law.
    Let the healing of the nations ills be in repentance and returning to the Lord, Who forbad the taking of blood (Acts 15), the Holy Spirit bearing witness. We live by the law of Christ, Who exhorts the church to seek the gifts to enable Him to minister to His flock, and to those who will believe on Him. This is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, by which all men shall be blest. Christ does not take life, but gives new life to all who will receive it.

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  • 84. At 11:58pm on 09 Mar 2009, bere54 wrote:

    83, elainecharnley -

    Your entire post is an expression of your personal belief. It has nothing to do with fact or truth. What does the religious law you choose to live by have to do with the rest of us? Why would you assume the rest of us should be governed by your chosen religion? This is religious extremism at its worst.

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  • 85. At 04:01am on 10 Mar 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    73 Tim.

    Not sure that I really had a point.


    Originally I was going to make a comment on protectionism, but got distracted along the way.

    There was an issue I had that came up a couple of months ago during the recent war in Gaza. It is so much easier to tear down than to build up. I loathe the people who keep these conflicts going, because they are so miserable and selfish. They are only happy if the whole world is just as miserable as they are. And I always want to ask them what they think they have achieved in the world, what have they built. Have they created jobs for their neighbours? When they die will they be remembered for their kindness and generosity? Will they be remembered for having contributed their time and effort for the benefit of their community?

    And I think about people I have known, really remarkable people, who are not destructive, who are not mean, who are not selfish, who are talented, and kind, and thoughful, and generous. People who have built businesses from nothing, and thereby been the benefactors of many other families.

    I know two brothers who came from Tanzania with nothing, and now employ 350 people. A family that walked out of Hungary carring their children, came to Canada with nothing but the clothes they were wearing, and never looked back. Another young man who walked out of Hungary and ended up running a major electronics company. A Polish pilot who arrived in Britain with nothing, fought in the Battle of Britain, married an English war bride, came to Canada with nothing, and built a business and a carreer. One of the brightest, most creative people I know, a fellow who "couldn't make it as a lawyer" (yeah, right), but accidentally started a business and now employs over 200 people.

    I think about Paul Tellier, and E. Hunter Harrison.

    I think about Desmond Tutu, and Nelson Mandela.

    I think about Cher, who completely recreated herself and built a career out of nothing. I don't care what she earns, I do not begrudge her a penny of it. She has earned everything she has.

    Someone asked, in effect, what drives these people, and why they are the way they are. I don't know, that just the way they are. These are people who are living life to the full.

    Consider Benjamin Franklin. Did the guy ever sleep?

    It's easy to criticize nameless anonymous people for being venal and selfish, and I'm sure there really are people like that. I've certainly also met some pretty slimy characters in business and in law, and I'm sorry to say not all of them have been served justice. I laughed just as hard at "Roger and Me" as anybody else.

    But the thing is, I read Germinal by Emile Zola one time, and he recognized that sometimes people are successful not because they are rapacious robber barons, but because they are quality guys who work hard. Sometimes merit is rewarded, These people do not deserve my scorn. They are admirable.

    For some reason I was thinking about Herbert Hoover. He will always be remembered as the guy who flubbed the depression, the punch line of a thousand bad lines and bitter jokes. But, when you look closer, you find that before he was President he was a man of remarkable achievements as a public servant. Does he really deserve the scorn that is heaped upon him?

    I knew another man, who, at age 41, was given the task of turning around an enterprise that employed 5000 - 7000 people and was losing over US $1 M/day. I'm not sure he was fully successful. The plant was a basket case when he started. He staunched the bleeding. He pushed through reforms in a unionized environment that were 30 years overdue. That plant (under different owners) has been largely profitable ever since. Without him several thousand people would have been out of a job. He saved his employers hundreds of millions of dollars. If he had been paid $5m/yr, it would have been a bargain.

    He went on to a larger task. He was a man of intelligence, ability, energy and integrity. But some of the company's employees engaged in unethical conduct on his watch. As far as I am aware, it was the end of his career. I knew this man, and I have often wondered why he deserved that fate. You may say, well he was well taken care of. Perhaps. But for a man like that to end a career so young, in ignominy, no amount of money would be compensation for that.

    No, the rich are too easy a target for scorn.

    I don't want to look at villains any more. I want to look at what is good in people. Show me people I can admire and emulate, and who I can point out to my children and say:

    "Now that was a man."

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  • 86. At 07:20am on 10 Mar 2009, Jeebers76 wrote:

    No, the rich are quite deserving of our scorn, and so very much more.

    , Interestedforeigner wrote:
    “In the meantime, please consider that 11% of all taxpayers pay something like 78% of all taxes. (Not sure how old this figure is.) People who are better off should pay more tax, that's only fair. Everybody accepts that.”
    Nope, sorry. If that were true, the IRS agent I spoke to a few months ago would have said that about 50% of the top income wouldn’t be doing their level best to avoid paying taxes. Ever heard of Cayman bank accounts? I have, and that’s just one tiny example. The Brits themselves are getting ticked about offshore banking accounts, remember that article a while back?

    “But these are also the same people who create very nearly 100% of new jobs.”
    Ah, but recently they have failed in this. More and more corporations and rich men are investing in overseas factories, in order to take advantage of lower wages and fewer benefits, besides being able to get away with much less safety precautions and regulations, all of which are there to protect the workers from upper class greed.
    This is a problem. Those factories depend on US sales to make their profit. Therefore, money is flowing faster and faster AWAY from the economy that the whole world seems to depend on. Still think the rich are noble? Keep reading!

    “Yes, some of them earn a lot of money, but they also generate a disproportionate amount of economic activity, and pay a hugely disproportionate amount of tax. “
    Awh, how cute. Too bad they also make wildly grotesque sums of dough so vast they couldn’t possibly spend it all, especially when you consider that most blue collar workers are WORKING MULTIPLE JOBS JUST TO SURVIVE. More interestingly, the internet has created a relatively easy and cheap way to advertise small businesses. Small businesses are steadily providing an ever growing chunk of business because of their flexibility. What, you think I didn’t read the Business section of magazines and newspapers?
    “Almost all of them have cut their own pay, and some of them have stopped paying themselves altogether. These people have, and bear, 100 times, or 1000 times the responsibility, and the risk, of the average employee.”
    You missed a fundamental problem. As time goes on and the population increases, we find steadily increasing and much more damaging swindlers getting away with fleecing thousands of people. The problem is that money equals power, and the only thing that trumps this is a massive upswell of lower class contempt for the rich. Remember Bernie Madoff? Problem is, money is increasingly concentrated in a relatively infinitesimal percentage of the population. This means that it takes ever increasing percentages of the rest of us to counter abuses. Did you know that frequently white collar criminals get a slap on the wrist, in comparison to the rest of humanity? “Oh, my son isn’t crazy, he’s just eccentric.” Remember that excuse? It’s been used by the nobility for thousands of years. The upper class gets away with murder, simply because they have more power than the rest of us. I can cite quite a few famous people who got off nearly scot free because of their wealth.
    I no longer trust the nobility to behave honorably. Too many scandals and crimes happening for that. I don’t trust ANYONE with large amounts of power without some form of accountability. Problem is, most rich men aren’t brilliant, and don’t give a damn about the rest of humanity despite their vaunted statements. This is entirely human, and quite normal, BUT with all that power and few restrictions, what’s to stop criminal behavior and raw greed at the expense of the rest of the world?

    “But being brilliant, while necessary, isn't enough. It has to be accompanied by an awe-inspiring capacity to work, and to work hard. Really hard. Almost by definition, if they are awake, they are working”

    ROFL! You DO know that the rest of humanity works just as hard? A rich man can hire people to clean, cook, and take care of their kids. The rest of us don’t. So, we work MULTIPLE jobs and STILL have to maintain our own households besides raising our children. What if someone gets sick? Oops, no health insurance to pay for it, and you gotta take time off (without pay) to take care of them. Worse, BOTH husband and wife are working multiple jobs, not just one each.

    “People talk about fat cats who live off the backs of the workers, but in my experience, that is a myth. I have seen an awful lot of businesses (and, truth be told, a lot of awful businesses, too), and I have yet to see any of them run by "fat cats".”
    I have. I watch all the time, and wonder how they can get away with it. Did you know that we actually pay a “poor/minority tax”? It’s not on the books, but for example car dealers charge far more (I think the quoted amount was at least $500, which is a LOT to a poor man) just because of where the buyer happens to live.

    “Taxes are significantly higher in Canada than in the US, and more steeply progressive, so maybe it is different in America, but by and large, I would say that these people pay their fair share of tax, and probably more than what, really, is their fair share of tax.”
    (snort) Nope. What do you think tax lawyers, accountants, and Swiss bank accounts are for? That conversation I had with the IRS agent was just this past fall, during election season.

    I am still wating, however, for any candidate in our riding to run on a platform of "Lower taxes for rich lawyers, bankers and business tycoons".
    Never. They disguise it with lots of complicated and vague terms. Did you know that a much larger portion of government money goes to the richest than the poorest? No kidding. I recall a man in my home state, Carl Pohlad, who owns the baseball team. He wanted a new stadium, and over several years of trying to get politicians to ignore the public outroar and lack of support so that he could get Minneapolis to fund his venture. He eventually succeeded. The excuse was that he was bringing in business, but then again he also brings in lots of crime as well, which the taxpayers have to pay the cops to fight. That’s one small example, but how many times have you heard of tax “incentives” to get the wealthy to invest in something? If you read the paper, ALL THE TIME.
    , saintDominick wrote:
    “The problem is the inequality that exists between the middle class, who also works very hard and struggles to make ends meet, and the CEOs whose decisions and ineptitude are a major factor for the economic problems we are experiencing. The same goes for the top 2% of our society who spend their time shopping in Paris, surfing in Australia, and sun tanning in private islands.”
    (laughter) See what I mean, Interested?

    “GM and Chrysler are not in trouble because of the unions, as some Republican friends so often suggest, they are in trouble because of the lousy investments they made in recent years (Saab, Opel, etc) and the large amounts of money they borrowed to finance those investments, which they are now unable to pay and we - the tax payers - are financing on a quarterly basis.”
    Remember what I wrote about the government spending more money on the rich than the poor? Oh, don’t use YOUR money, Mr. Moneybags, use OUR money!”

    “Banks are not in trouble because they lent money to construction workers …they are in trouble because of bad investments facilitated by deregulation and flawed diversification laws, and the huge sums given to developers and speculators …”
    Hmm, so WHERE is our money going? Why, to pay the rich man, of course. I remember a quote from History of the World, Part 1, “F(bleep) the poor!” The less regulation, the more scams they will come up with. Remember Lord Acton? He said something about power corrupting people. You might want to look it up. Too much money in too few hands means a lot of power in the hands of a easily corruptible few.

    “I am confident we will recover, but I expect a rough road ahead for a couple of years, and social unrest is certainly not out of the question.”
    And personally, I think a little social unrest is just what the doctor ordered.
    timohio wrote:
    “Senators and members of Congress may be wrong and may be partly responsible for the mess, but they are not bloated. “

    Absolutely wrong! Did you know that the single fastest way to become a millionaire in the USA is to become a Congressman?

    , Interestedforeigner wrote:
    “The level of talent of even the worst player riding the bench on the worst team in the NHL is still astoundingly high.”
    Does that justify the outrageous salaries for men who essentially ferry a bit of rubber around on a patch of ice? That’s nothing compared to what the USA pays basketball and baseball players, let alone the football players. What about the people who are partially responsible for shaping our children, the teachers? They get paid jack squat.

    9, happylaze wrote:
    “It was all a sham. a great big sham and it brought many down. Why. Because people kept saying things like you have mentioned in your posts here. They deserve to make SO much.

    We put all our eggs in to few baskets.
    allowed Big to be the driving force of dominance rather than quality and values that are real.”
    I don’t recall the last time I agreed with happylaze, but I am here. Too much power in too few hands, we should never have trusted upper class to be intelligent and wise. They are no better than the rest of humanity, since most of them aren’t as competent as Interested makes them out to be. Interested is looking at the lower chunk of the upper class. Go higher, and you notice something interesting. Rich men pass their money to their kids. There is a monetary threshold one reaches where it’s easy to make a few million bucks, but you must have the capital to hold your own until it kicks in. Kind of an entrance fee, if you will. Did these kids earn their position? Nope. Are they as competent as their parents? Nobody knows, so why trust them with such power? Old money doesn’t teach anything about the value of a dollar. Too bad most of our US politicians are East Coast old money, if you examine their families a little. Bush isn’t from Texas, did you know that?

    “The rich have forgotten the Oblige.”
    Exactly my point, Interestedforeigner. Exactly. Why we ever thought they were better than the rest of humanity just for virtue of their positions I’ll never know.

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  • 87. At 08:49am on 10 Mar 2009, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    Interested

    ....good points all...

    Its seems too many want to point to an outside source as the main problem in their lives

    I would say that all the people you mention have at least one thing in common...No acceptace of personal BS or excuses..Is the goal achieved? yes or no...If no, then rework the plan and keep going forward until it the goal is achieved...


    Wish this was the norm instead of the shining example...but alas it is always easier to sit on the sidelines and throw stones and come up with reasons why you failed due to "someone else" (fill in blank)...

    the secret of success is not a secret..but it takes time and lots of hard work and a little bit of luck...I like the old saying:

    "the harder I worked, the luckier I got"

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  • 88. At 09:02am on 10 Mar 2009, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    bere54

    Your entire post is an expression of your personal belief. It has nothing to do with fact or truth. What does the religious law you choose to live by have to do with the rest of us? Why would you assume the rest of us should be governed by your chosen religion? This is religious extremism at its worst.

    ...................................................................

    What is the difference between what you call "religious extremism" and the view of secularism being forced on the rest of us?

    This is being done ALL the time by the left, yet you claim this to be different and even good for society, how exactly is this acceptable? Because its YOUR view, its OK?

    Do you feel your politics and world view to be the only side in full control of the "facts and truth"? If yes...then you are guilty of what you are protesting against in others...Using the govt to force your own personal beliefs onto others against their will...



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  • 89. At 09:17am on 10 Mar 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    83 elaine

    Nice sermon. Thank you....


    but with this
    "The earthly seed of man also has a spirit and soul which is bound to that within the woman's ovum. Their spiritual union of their reproductive cells creates a new soul. If the resultant cells had no spirit or soul, they would not divide or develop. To destroy that embryonic life is a breaking of God's Law."


    ... you are falling into the trap with equating what you personnally believe with FACT.

    I on the other hand do believe there is a soul.... or a god, for that matter. I cannot prove this, but then I am not trying to force my opinion on anyone. I will not force you to use medical treatments derived from this research in the future. You would refuse that to others .... don't seem to christian" to me, free will and all that.


    QUESTION
    Do you oppose IVF treatment as assiduously as you oppose embryonic stem cell research?

    please answer as none of the other antis has the guts to....

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  • 90. At 09:23am on 10 Mar 2009, RomeStu wrote:


    88 curiousamerican
    "What is the difference between what you call "religious extremism" and the view of secularism being forced on the rest of us?"


    The difference is that secularists would not take away your right to practise your religion or to live according to its principles.

    No one will force you to have an abortion or to use medical treatment derived from embryonic stem cell research.

    It is you dogmatic religious fundamentalists that would remake the world according to your own beliefs. Religion belongs in the church and in the home.

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  • 91. At 1:20pm on 10 Mar 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    87. Curious.
    "The harder I worked, the luckier I got" is from Mark Twain. He was pointing out that there was nothing better in life than being lucky, and the harder he worked, the luckier he got.

    88. Curious.
    Secularism isn't being "forced on" you or me, or anybody else.

    The essence of Freedom of Belief is the freedom to have religious beliefs, which includes the freedom not to believe at all. Humans have a wide range of beliefs and levels of spirituality - something amply demonstrated on this blog.

    However, for a long time - I am tempted to say since Ronald Reagan drove a truck through the separation of church and state -the worst sin an American has been able to commit in public life is to be an atheist.

    There is no harm in defending your beliefs. Part of holding beliefs is sustaining them in the face of challenges. But accept that others have different beliefs, and do not be afraid to question and examine your own beliefs, to truly understand why you hold them. Questioning and examining belief is as old as human history, and it is healthy. It is part of how we find truth - whether in the secular world or in the spiritual world.

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  • 92. At 3:40pm on 10 Mar 2009, bere54 wrote:

    88, CuriousAmerican: "Do you feel your politics and world view to be the only side in full control of the "facts and truth"?"

    My world view does not come from belief in a mythical being. It is based on facts and truth. That is the difference between the secular population you seem to fear so much, and the fundamentalists. It is a very clear difference.

    And yes, I do fear the fundamentalists because they want to impose their world view, based on myth and not at all on facts, on me, my children, my friends, and everyone else.

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  • 93. At 3:59pm on 10 Mar 2009, happylaze wrote:

    interested I realise some of the wealthy are not hoarding fat cats.
    but lets face it.
    americans ultra wealthy pay next to no tax compared to those equally hard working two shift working americans.

    lets also face the fact that someone has to actually make something. and that is very very very very rarely the one making all the money.
    They "work" at a golf course well excuse me but I think the team could go play a round as well if they had the time.

    The Common american attitude of it is all hard work that gets you there is not quite right.
    Cher for example. nothing to do with the luck or the drugs.
    plenty take drugs. but also plenty say no.
    those that say no sometimes get left out.

    Try closing a deal with a Guy who is busy thinking "why doesn't this dude have any beer around here?"


    2/3 of business in the UK was concluded over a drink with alcohol in it(that was a stat from the 90's maybe it changed)

    so what of those that don't drink.

    They find the community that doesn't drink.

    Tell those working too many hours to do anything but sleep after that they have a chance to make it big.
    How?
    paying the bills is the concern of TODAY.


    Yea some make it big. your friends from Tanzania what line did they get into?
    (this is just curiosity).


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  • 94. At 00:12am on 11 Mar 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    93 Happy.

    The brothers from Tanzania make commercial refrigeration equipment. Both are wonderful, but the one brother in particular is such a beautiful person, the goodness and decency radiates from him.

    As for the rich ...

    People think the rich don't pay taxes, but, again, my knowledge and experience tell me otherwise.

    The rich pay staggering amounts of tax. In Canada, anyone earning over C$ 500,000/yr has an effective marginal tax rate of close to 70 % (how, you say, when the maximum rate of income tax, federal and provincial taken together, is 53%, plus about 3% of surcharges? Well, the remaining 44% is subject to all of the other taxes of life - property tax, GST, PST, gas tax, and so on. At the end of the day, on the last marginal dollar it is uncomfortably close to 70 %. Anyone earning C$ 500,000/yr is paying at least C$ 220,000 in income tax, if not more. By comparison, somebody earning C$ 70,000/yr (not a bad wage, really, particularly in a two income household) might expect to pay perhaps C$ 15,000 in tax. Median household income in Canada is about C$ 60,000 per year.

    You may say that's fine, but in Ontario it means that, thanks to the "fair share" health care tax levy, the fellow earning C$ 500,000 is effectively paying perhaps fifty to eighty times as much for health care as the average taxpayer. I believe in progressive taxation, but that seems a bit much to me.

    No, I'm fairly certain these people are not undertaxed.

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  • 95. At 01:15am on 11 Mar 2009, bere54 wrote:

    94, Interested -

    I have no knowledge of the Canadian system, but from what you say it bears no resemblance to the U.S. tax system. There are so many obscure loopholes in our system that many extremely wealthy people do get by with paying little or even no taxes.

    Warren Buffet has been quoted as saying that his secretary pays a higher percentage of taxes on her income than he does on his.

    David Kay Johnston, a NY Times reporter, has written a fascinating book on this subject called "Perfectly Legal." At least I assume the whole book is fascinating. I got so angry I was unable to finish it. I was afraid I would have a stroke.

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  • 96. At 01:31am on 11 Mar 2009, elainecharnley wrote:

    In answer to comments on viewpoint 83:


    Jesus said: “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” I write as a prophetess, called and chosen by God for faithfulness to Christ and His Gospel.

    Regarding IVF Treatment, destruction of human embryo stem cells, and abortion:

    When a woman accepts to undergo IVF treatment, she is accepting to partake in an unnatural procedure which becomes unethical and unlawful when any ‘unwanted’ human embryo’s are destroyed, either directly or indirectly.

    Should those who want children, who would also permit the decimation/destruction of the life of unwanted child embryo’s, be considered suitable candidates for parenthood? Since that is the case with those who choose IVF, is not God justified in withholding children from them?

    Any child born as a result of IVF treatment is unlikely to speak against the procedure, or even condemn the destruction of potential siblings - and the same reaction can be expected from their own offspring, also.

    Those who consent to the destruction of one or more of their embryo children, share the same guilt as those who choose to abort their offspring.

    As well as supporting embryo stem cell research, President Barack Obama also accepts that women have a right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy - as does Secretary of State Mrs. Hillary Clinton. Yet Barack Obama chose a respected pastor to minister at his inauguration who was known to be against abortion and the use of embryo stem cells for research purposes. There was every reason for the fumbling and confusion during the swearing in ceremony. Abraham Lincoln’s Bible was not used during the second attempt in the White House.

    President Obama chose to ignore the advice of the priest whom God provided for his good.

    Pharmaceutical companies make use of aborted foetus tissue to grow the bacteria used in Rubella vaccine. The vaccine that is injected into children carries the DNA imprint of the aborted child used in the development of that vaccine.

    Measles vaccine carries the animal DNA protein of the chick embryo tissue used to produce that vaccine. It has been found that chick protein can cause serious side effects in children alergic to egg and gelatin.

    The MMR vaccine also contains gamma globulin obtained from human and animal blood and thus carries the DNA protein derived from those sources. It is added to the vaccine to ‘boost the human immune system’! The MMR vaccine is not recommended to be given to children with compromised immune systems.

    Not surprisingly, a wide variety of side effects of varying degrees of severity are experienced following vaccination. Conscientious medical scientists have expressed concern about the longterm effects of the adverse byproducts of these vaccines on the body. Use of vaccine destroys any natural immunity passed on from mother to child, and can cause further complications for such children.

    However, what becomes of all ‘manufactured’ human embryos, who carry spirit and life within their bodies and whose genes bear witness to their forebears, will have to be answered for before God.

    ‘There is a way that seems right with man, but the way thereof is death.
    There is a way that is right with God, and the way thereof is life.’

    Stimulating the ovaries and using natural ways to increase and enhance fertility are known medical options which have proved helpful to those who find it hard to conceive.

    The best way, however, is to first turn to the Lord in prayer, and for both partners to make sure they are fully abiding in His word and will for their prayers to be answered.

    The Lord encourages us not to give up hope, but to keep praying. For ‘the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.’ Special children, who have brought great blessing to mankind, have come into the world through such faithful perseverance in prayer and hope. Their parents kept faith with God and were blessed for so doing.

    Likewise, those who have responded to God’s call to adopt have brought great blessing to abandoned children, and afterward been rewarded with childbearing, themselves.

    God, Who alone is good, ‘works all things together for good to those who trust and love Him...’


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  • 97. At 01:50am on 11 Mar 2009, Medicaltourism wrote:

    With regards to saving lives, Stem Cell is humane as compared to harvesting for healthy kidneys, liver, heart, cornea, pancreas, spleen, et al. to save a life.

    We all have been made aware of the various ways of finding donors for such organs, voluntarily and un-voluntarily.

    Yet, I predict that Stem Cell will be reserved for those who can afford the cost of the treatment; or be at the mercy of a clinical trial.

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  • 98. At 02:13am on 11 Mar 2009, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 94 feriner,

    I am knee deep in the sludge of tax time, and I'm not sure where you are getting your figures. The top tax bracket starts at $126,264 of taxable income -- that is, income after expenses, deductions, RRSP, etc.

    In Ontario you will pay %46.41 on interest and employment income. Taxes on capital gains, dividends, small business dividends, etc., are all taxed at lower rates.

    Don't forget the $500,000 lifetime capital gains exemption.

    Now, who do you think is more likely to be able to write off expenses, charitable deductions, political deductions (at 100%!!), re-classify income as dividends, capital gains, and the like. Or even just maximize RRSP contributions. Not the guy making $36,000, or even $60,000, I'd bet.

    Yes, the top tier pays more tax. But that just crimps the de-luxe lifestyle, and won't have a fundamental effect on basic necessities.

    BTW, the Ontario Health Care Premium (no longer Fair Share) starts at $300.00 @ approx. $20,000 taxable income, and tops out at $900.00 @ approx. $200,000 taxable income. Hardly seems exorbitant. I bet that $200.00 is missed a whole lot more than the $900.00

    Yours,
    Pinko

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  • 99. At 08:57am on 11 Mar 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    re my own post 89

    Just re-read it and realised there is a missing NOT in the following sentence. (regular readers probably spotted that one!)

    "I on the other hand do believe there is a soul.... or a god, for that matter. "


    I do NOT believe there is a soul or a god.


    I need a proof reader.

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  • 100. At 09:09am on 11 Mar 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    96 elaine

    I disagree with you entirely, but I totally respect your consistency.


    I have stated many times that one of my main problems with the overtly religious is their hypocracy.

    You at least are consistent - anti stem cells, anti IVF, anti abortion.

    I disagree, but you at least live by your principles.

    Do you also reject the use of rubella and MMR vaccines on children?

    Here we have a problem, because you are inflicting your "beliefs" onto innocent children.

    In Britain a couple of years ago there was a mass hysteria against the MMR vaccine due to a false report that it caused autism.
    Consequently many parents did not use the vaccine, and now we have a huge increase in measle (up by 30% in 2008)

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/4525311/Measles-cases-reach-a-13-year-high-prompting-epidemic-fears.html




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  • 101. At 09:47am on 11 Mar 2009, Jeebers76 wrote:

    My last post 86:

    Did I write something disagreeable? I notice no comments about it.

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  • 102. At 11:58am on 11 Mar 2009, bere54 wrote:

    100, RomeStu -

    I don't know - respecting someone for their consistency in their beliefs when that consistent person would deny all sorts of freedoms and rights to others because of those beliefs, well, that's a strange reason for respect in my book. I tried to read her post but it was just too much, and I don't mean too long. Gag.

    For you and everyone else on here who are driving me crazy with this, I can keep silent no longer - it's "hypocrisy," not "hypcracy." Please make a note of it, and thank you!

    Jeebers -

    I didn't find your post offensive.

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  • 103. At 1:14pm on 11 Mar 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    102 bere54

    I know - I was having a moment of kindness.

    I do actually have more respect for someone who is consistent, but wrong - rather than inconsistent but wrong! It's the difference between hypocritical lunacy and just plain lunacy.

    The rest of her post was, as you say, hard to digest.


    ps thanks for the spelling correction
    I am writing it out 100 times in red ;-)

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  • 104. At 1:50pm on 11 Mar 2009, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Jeebers (101),

    A lack of comment can be interpreted several ways:
    1. General agreement - no need to comment.
    2. General disagreement, but not so strong as to stimulate a comment.
    3. Too long to read - scrolled past.

    My response: No. 1.

    ;-)
    ed

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  • 105. At 1:52pm on 11 Mar 2009, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    I thought it was Hip-ocracy!

    ;-)
    ed

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  • 106. At 3:16pm on 11 Mar 2009, bere54 wrote:

    103, RomeStu-

    Thank you for taking the spelling correction with good humor. I do try not to be too persnickety about this sort of thing but sometimes my inner speller revolts and I cannot help it. And when the same word is being misspelled over and over again by practically everyone - aarrgghhh!

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  • 107. At 4:53pm on 11 Mar 2009, elainecharnley wrote:

    Re comment 100 RomeStu

    If a doctor told you that excessive eating and drinking is not good for your heart, would you deny his good sense? If he was overweight, you might call him a hypocrite, but you could not deny his words were truthful. You might even acknowledge he was speaking for your good.

    If I tell the truth about how certain vaccines are produced, which highlight the use and abuse of slaughtered child corpses to grow bacteria which is then injected into the bodies of children, does it not strike you that this practice is totally abhorrent. I see it as a sign of Judgement, of reaping what is sown - as in the case of Global Warming, also.

    If the Abortion Act had never been passed, what would these pharmaceutical companies use? I understand they obtain these discarded baby's bodies from private clinics.

    Vitamin D is a powerful antidote in the treatment of measles, and helps to prevent serious complications arising. Even though this is an old fashioned 'tried and tested' remedy, it appears to have been largely forgotten in this age of sophisticated, costly treatments.

    As for the empathetic comment about these procedures being reminiscent of the appalling abuse of children in Nazi concentration camps, who were used for experimental purposes, I have drawn the same analogy myself in the revelation of some scientific research activities, including the above. Portondown used soldiers to try out what they were told was a cold cure. It killed some and left others fighting for their lives with lasting side effects.

    As to the safety of MMR vaccines, even the pharmaceutical companies send their vaccines out with warning literature on the side effects. These are seldom shown to parents, and some GPs have not read them and caused serious harm to those children who are classified as unsuitable for these vaccines.

    Those parents who want an unbiased view can find many articles on the internet written by medical scientists and practitioners, for and against.

    JABS internet site has some revealing articles written about the research done, and the medical findings on MMR vaccines past and present. Dawbarns is a legal practice which is currently handling several hundred cases of litigation against the Government on behalf of Gulf War veterans, farmers, and parents of children who have had serious side effects from MMR vaccines.

    It is written: 'In the multitude of counsels there is safety.'

    However, it is also written: The witness of one, is one witness. The witness of two is greater. But the witness of God is greater than all.


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  • 108. At 5:04pm on 11 Mar 2009, happylaze wrote:

    35 DC my point was Nancy is up for it WHEN IT EFFECTS HER.

    Or her loved ones, but not before.

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  • 109. At 5:19pm on 11 Mar 2009, happylaze wrote:

    Ahhh 94 interested.
    I think we have the root of our difference.
    I am referring to the US where the rich DO NOT pay their way.

    They most certainly are not paying 70% in taxes, even at top income.somehow.

    The tax on their capital gains(great source of revanue) is 16% or so(I Think).

    I have no problem wiht the wealthy being taxed to take into account the fact that they really are not the ones with the biggest risk. Here in the states they will keep much of what they had and the workers will be laid off with no backup because NO ONE wants to pay taxes, even those that can afford it.

    I see it is different in Canada.

    You guys have health care right?

    We don't



    And jeebers lol sorry to phrase it so politely.

    I'll make it more offensive that way it is easier to object to.
    just cause I don't like to ruin a god thing.;)

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  • 110. At 5:38pm on 11 Mar 2009, happylaze wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 111. At 7:15pm on 11 Mar 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    105 Ed

    Hip-ocracy = government by the "coolest" Yo!



    106 bere

    I'm actually quite embarassed about the mis-spelling, since I'm a bit of a grammar / spelling troll in my own way. I generally try to suppress it on this blog in order to debate ideas not literacy, but every so often it is merited.

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  • 112. At 11:39pm on 11 Mar 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    107 elaine

    Why I am even bothering at this time of night is a mystery to me, but anyway.....


    "If I tell the truth about how certain vaccines are produced, which highlight the use and abuse of slaughtered child corpses to grow bacteria which is then injected into the bodies of children"

    "I understand they obtain these discarded baby's bodies from private clinics."



    ..... slaughtered child corpses .... discarded baby's bodies ......

    What planet are you on?
    Zygotes ..... blastocysts ..... not developed past 150 cells ..... a blob with the potential to become a human being. Genetically human yes, but not yet a "human being"

    ...... and certainly not child corpses or baby's bodies.

    This sort of gross misrepresentation disgusts me.

    And more about the Nazis .... OMG (if there was one!) what are you on?

    If you can't distinguish between Nazi experiments on living human beings, and a blob of 150 cells then you totally devalue the suffering of those victims of the Nazis. Shame on you.


    You end with your continuing catch-all argument
    "However, it is also written: The witness of one, is one witness. The witness of two is greater. But the witness of God is greater than all."


    It is also written : there is no god. It was all made up by mankind, along with Zeus, Neptune, Thor and Coyote.

    It was wrtten .... by me!

    Goodnight.

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  • 113. At 01:28am on 12 Mar 2009, bere54 wrote:

    112, RomeStu -

    Nice try, but there are some people who are so mentally unbalanced that there is no reasoning with them. The moment they try to validate their point of view with what "god" says, their argument is lost. What they are reciting is probably what some fundamentalist preacher spewed out. This is the result of brainwashing with no thought process whatsoever involved. You are right; it is disgusting. It is also very sad.

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  • 114. At 04:04am on 12 Mar 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    98. Chrono.

    "Sludge."

    A singularly well chosen noun.

    I will admit, it is a few years since I have had to go through the tax guide as frequently as I used to. There was a time when I was far more familiar with it than now. A disturbingly intimate relationship.

    I remember, quite clearly, though, that there was a break point in the Ontario provincial tax - I graphed it. I seem to recall that the break point was at about C$ 67,000 of taxable income (i.e., a surprisingly low number) After that point, the proportion of Ontario tax going to health care was astonishing, and if you were wealthy, it amounted to something like 30 % of the provincial tax bill. You say it's only C$ 900, but I cruched the numbers and it was way, way, way more than that, and there was no cap - it just kept on climbing, and climbing, and climbing. If I'm not mistaken, Mike Harris was Premier when this was introduced.

    And then there were those sneaky little "surcharges". By the time you were done, the total wasn't 44.61%, it was 53 %. The course instructor pointed this out, and he had been doing tax since the mid 70's.

    And if you do business in more than one Province, well, Alberta might be ok, but Quebec (and I have some familiarity with this) is something else again.

    Two of the examples I calculated were for a woman who earned about C$ 30,000/yr and the other was for someone earning roughly $ 450,000. It seems to me that the one person was paying about a thousand times as much for health care as the other. These are fairly extreme examples.

    As for the previous example I gave, it assumed the full RRSP deduction, and maximum personal deductions, but no dependents. It also assumed charitable donations equal to 1% of gross income.

    Dividend income from closely held Canadian Corporations is somewhat misleading. It appears to be given favourable treatment, but only because it has already been taxed once before it leaves the corporation. Again, it's a while since I have done this, but the way it was set up was to try to reduce the taxpayer's incentive to play jiggery-pokery games with shifting income between a closely held (e.g., family business) corporation and the personal income of the employees (e.g., family members) drawing salary from the corporation.

    I also thought that the C$ 500,000 lifetime capital gains exemption boondoggle of the Mulroney years (which, of course, merely fueled house price inflation in, e.g., Toronto and Vancouver, as peole bought "investment" properties) had been cut off at the knees by Paul Martin? I know a fair number of well to do folks, but I don't believe I know of anyone who has ever been able to take advantage of that provision.

    In any case, at some point you have to ask when enough is enough. Does someone who pays C $150,000/yr in tax (roughly ten times what would be paid on median houshold income) get ten times as much value out of the schools? Do they get ten times as much health care? Ten times as much policing? Do the fire trucks come ten times as fast? Is the mail delivered ten times as quickly?

    People who earn more should pay more, we all agree on that, but I still have trouble thinking that the rich in Canada are undertaxed.

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  • 115. At 2:21pm on 12 Mar 2009, happylaze wrote:

    114
    I'm pretty lost on that letter.

    Seems like there is a resentment of the fact that the very rich pay a higher percentage(V republican)per dollar.
    (do they get 10 x more service)

    Basic point is are they saying they can't do well on so much left over.
    ( Bit like that dweeb lennon with his I'll move to NY to escape UK taxes Dweeb)

    Strangely the rich Are always Rich. they are not lining up at the dole office.

    The but they earned it is a con. There were many faults with the communist systems we have witnessed on earth but the basic concept that each person is work the same is true.

    The highest paid people in the land should be the sewer people.

    They do the filthiest job.

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  • 116. At 5:16pm on 13 Mar 2009, elainecharnley wrote:

    There have been inumerable complaints for a number of years about the downturn in standards at the BBC. However, it was following the showing of ‘Jerry Springer - the Opera’ - despite considerable opposition from over 50,000 tv licence holders - that the Directors of the BBC began to fall into serious disrepute over their failure to respond appropriately to defaming, dishonest, and dishonourable conduct toward members of the public, and even the Queen.

    I have been informed that when a contributor, called to the prophetic ministry, is publicly defamed and insulted by atheist hecklers on this site, Moderators acting on behalf of the BBC do not consider such conduct constitutes an offence.

    The shame is theirs, not mine.

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  • 117. At 9:13pm on 13 Mar 2009, Jeebers76 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 118. At 10:00pm on 13 Mar 2009, bere54 wrote:

    116 elainecharnley -

    If you don't wish to be publicly disagreed with (what you call being "defamed and insulted"), perhaps you should not practice your "prophetic ministry" on a public blog. Of course, you are free to do so, just as others are free to "heckle," as you call it, when they find your comments ridiculous.

    Sounds like you want to have your say with no one allowed to answer back. That's hardly fair, is it?

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