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I've said repeatedly over the last several weeks that liberals and conservatives have two very different views of freedom.

Liberals want freedom for all Americans.

Conservatives want freedom just for employers (read: those with power).

One popular conservative blogger reinforces my point:

Republicans who believe that contraception should remain a private affair, and that employers and insurers should be free to decide whether to cover contraception for their employees and customers or not. Democrats used Fluke to demand that those choices be stripped from private enterprises and instead be forced by the executive branch to entirely subsidize contraception.
How much clearer can this be? Their idea of "freedom," of "choice," doesn't extend to all Americans, just those who do the hiring.

I, like all liberals, believe that what my 19 employees at Daily Kos do with their health care coverage is their business, not mine. In other words, they have the freedom to seek whatever health care services they deem appropriate, and I don't have the right to abridge that freedom (nor would I want to).

Originally posted to kos on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 11:22 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I See It as Narrow Definition of "Oppression" (29+ / 0-)

    Government, and ONLY government, can oppress, can deprive us of freedoms. So it's government, and only government, that needs to be restrained.

    Private power of all types is the same as individuals, it all needs and deserves freedom from oppression, which can only come from government.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 11:26:12 AM PST

    •  I have caused head explosions with that (21+ / 0-)

      very point. Ask a conservative if a union can take away his freedom and get enthusiastic agreement. Then ask if a corporation can. Then point out how much bigger, e.g., Wal Mart is than any (or all) unions.

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'ya aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il ya toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

      by blue aardvark on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 12:17:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, that is what they believe but... (6+ / 0-)

      Actually most of us move in out of roles where we are vulnerable to oppression and also in positions to oppress others.  As a father and a husband, I am in a position at home where I could oppress my family but in the public arena, I am vulnerable to the police and the government.  At work, I am both capable and vulnerable in different roles that I fulfill.

      Laws are the opposite of freedom.  Every law protects someone and it also restricts someone.  Laws that protect those with very little power are sometimes called rights and they restrict those that are capable of wrongly and injustly weilding power over them.  Laws that protect the ones in power from the lawsuits and the organization of those with little power seem to be appearing in record numbers (from places like Alec and a handful of hard driving Republican Governors).  I believe the difference between a free country and a authoritarian country is who the laws protect and who the laws restrict.  We are unfortunately being moved in the wrong direction.

      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 12:25:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The law does not protect. At best, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mikejay611, Buckeye Nut Schell

        it prevents a repetition of injury and/or deprivation of rights--i.e. a crime.

        However, while our agents of government are empowered to deprive individuals of rights as punishment for proven crimes, history has been replete with agents of government engineering the deprivation of the rights of innocents under cover of law.  That is, they have made deprivation legal in the interest of advantaging themselves or their friends. It started with depriving the original inhabitants of the Americas of their lands and resources and continued apace with depriving African captives of their human rights be redesignating them as property.  So, material property trumps human rights.  It's traditional.

        People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

        by hannah on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 12:50:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm sorry I could only rec your comment once. (0+ / 0-)

          You are absolutely correct. The government does and, to varying extents, always has used the law to deprive individuals of their rights for whatever reason suits them. However, the rights they are depriving them of in this case, were rights that were written down as a law and our country has written several of those "Good" laws.  In fact, you could argue that everything that is good about this country stems from the "Good" laws.  My point was that every law is written for the benefit of one party and as a restriction to another.  For example, the first amendment.  

          Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
          This restricts the government (Those capable to oppress) and protects the citizens (the vulnerable).  It lays out exactly what the government cannot do.  This is one of what I would call the "Good" laws.

          Compare that to the Patriot act where it:

          Sec. 213: Allows "Sneak and peek" search warrants, which let authorities search a home or business without immediately notifying the target of a probe.
          See how this law "allows" the government to do something to its citizens previously thought they were protected from the bill of rights.  This new law protects the government (those capable of oppression) against the lawsuits of the citizens (those vulnerable to the oppression). These are not necessarily bad laws, but they are the ones that take freedom away from people.  These may be necessary at times but they are very dangerous to a free society.  Each one leads us closer towards Authoritarianism.

          There are no purely "Free" societies and there are no purely "Authoritarian" societies.  They are opposite ends of a spectrum where all countries fall somewhere in between.  The United States, at one time, was farther towards the free side than any other country.  Just because we were doesn't mean it is still true.  It takes constant vigilance to limit the dangerous laws and promote the "Good" laws.  Unfortunately, those who have power like the laws to protect them and do not like to be restricted (regulated).  They are very organized (ALEC) and they have a lot of money and they literally own the traditional media.  People need to understand the fight we are in and what is at stake.  To borrow a rightwing slogan, "Freedom isn't free", it has to be earned everyday by staying aware, educating others and by doing what we can to promote the right laws and fight the wrong ones.

          (I hope I wasn't too over dramatic with the whole, fate of the world speech but I believe every word that I wrote.)

          "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

          by Buckeye Nut Schell on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 03:17:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's getting better. The deprivators are (0+ / 0-)

            having to work a lot harder to keep what little privilege they have left.

            The idea of the United States is great and has universal appeal.  However, it does not appeal to people who define themselves in terms of their dominion over other people.

            That, btw, is the problem being addressed by Little Ricky when he whines about the environment being elevated over man. If man can't claim dominion over nature, how can he exercise dominion over the natural persons he needs to command to gain his sustenance?  Think of the people who can't boil water.  How will they survive if they can't make others do for them and satisfy their demands?  You say, "they can ask nicely."  Right.  Now picture Little Ricky or LimpBough asking nicely!

            People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

            by hannah on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 03:03:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Oppression's just another word (4+ / 0-)

      for "I've got mine, now give me yours".

      Republicans don't care about oppression or freedom.  It's all just empty sloganeering designed to continually support laws and regulations that will put the government's hand into the pockets of the little people and redistribute their mites into the bottomless maw of the 1%'s insatiable greed.

      "Give me my tax cuts", they say, but subsidize the airport where I can land my private jet.

      "Give me my tax cuts", but subsidize the infrastructure for my gated community.  

      "Give me my tax cuts", but, lordy, don't even think about taking away my right to dig up and exploit the oil and minerals from under public lands.

    •  this is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue aardvark

      exactly that.

      at one point in my misspent youth, I identified as a libertarian. Had not yet been exposed to different power structures that are just as problematic.

      big business needs a strong counterweight.

  •  It isn't (28+ / 0-)

    That their definition is different.  It's that their definition changes when it suits them for that moment.  It's part and parcel of the cynical hypocrisy of the GOP.  

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."

    by dankester on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 11:27:54 AM PST

  •  Their concept of freedom (24+ / 0-)

    is that if they're not the boss of me, they're not free.    

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 11:28:40 AM PST

  •  Employers should also be free to (30+ / 0-)

    choose voluntarily whether or not to pollute, whether or not to follow OSHA or labor laws, whether or not to follow product safety regualtions...

    It's good to be free.

    This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

    by Words In Action on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 11:29:43 AM PST

    •  Exactly, they want the freedom to pollut the air, (5+ / 0-)

      the water, & the ground (ie: the food we it) as much as they want, & in exchange they kindly allow us the freedom to breath, drink, and eat as much of their pollution as we want.

      If there's a reason for the rich to rule, please Lord, tell us why. -Battle of Jericol, Coal Mining Women

      by JayRaye on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 01:01:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  My freedom to own slaves, beat child workers (3+ / 0-)

      sexually harass women employees, threaten immigrant workers with deportations and expose homeless contractors to asbestos, have been cruelly taken away from me by the socialists!

    •  free (0+ / 0-)

      You have an interesting definition of free.  What if I own a small business and don't want to subsidize this just because I am cheap.  That isn't against the law.  And despite your meandering moral judgments, it isn't really a crime, either.  Having the government tell people that they HAVE to do something is serious.  These childish arguments that it is ok because Republicans are bad people are frightening.

      I'm not a Republican, but I'm sure as hell not whatever the hell you are...  And I hope that there really aren't that many of you.

  •  Considering it's cheaper to fund birth control (31+ / 0-)

    than fund neonatal care, group policy subscribers aren't subsidizing anything.

    "At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." ~Sen. Ted Kennedy

    by Wendy in FL on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 11:29:57 AM PST

  •  BiPM sending you a bill for 15 foot massages. (7+ / 0-)
  •  I'm taking my harpoon out of my (10+ / 0-)

    dirty red bandanna.

  •  Their concept of "freedom"... (17+ / 0-)

    ...means freedom from ideas and cultures and peoples they don't like.

    They cannot grasp the concept of freedom being more than doing what they are told....

    It's the "freedom to hate."

    "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

    by CanisMaximus on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 11:34:31 AM PST

  •  I'm wondering, and I'm sure I'm not the (23+ / 0-)

    first to have this thought, if we should contact the Fortune 1000 corporations and ask them to pledge that when they offer health plans, they will allow doctors to determine the best course of treatment for their patients/plan members, and will not attempt to use the moral code of the corporate executives to override the doctor-patient relationship.  This could be done through shareholder resolution as well.  Would make the Blunt Amendment appear as ridiculous as it is.

    Dogs are people, but corporations aren't.

    by Greasy Grant on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 11:37:40 AM PST

  •  Since health insurance... (20+ / 0-) a form of compensation, it is in a way no different than a person's salary or wages.  In telling someone that some medicine or proceedure won't be covered, that person is being denied their compensation.  This is yet another way the 1% is trying to steal from workers.

    •  Does this apply to (0+ / 0-)

      Cosmetic Breat Implants,
      platic surgery, Lasik,  
      sex changes,
      female circumcision?

      Isn't your compensation what you both agree to before your employment begins?

      A denial of compensation would only occur if they refused something that they already agreed to. Not if they never agreed in the first place.

      •  It should absolutely apply... (3+ / 0-) plastic surgery, lasik, and sex changes; those are health issues to be decided between someone and their doctor.

        What in the world does female circumcision have to do with it?

        •  but it doen't apply to any of them (0+ / 0-)

          so we must not be free.

          Female circumcision is a medical procedure that some people still practice. Surely you will fight for their freedom against companies denying them thier compensation.

          If not, why a distinction?

          •  I have never once... (3+ / 0-)

   of female circumcision being done for a medical reason.  Please provide evidence of women going to the doctor and having it done.  Every story on female circumcision that I've ever read has been one of it being done to a woman against her will as an act of mutilation.

            •  dosen't have to be done (0+ / 0-)

              for a medical reason. Many boob jobs are just cosmetic.

              Like male circumcision it is entirely optional. It does not fix anything broken.

              from wikipedia

              FGM is typically carried out on girls from a few days old to puberty. It may take place in a hospital, but is usually performed, without anaesthesia, by a traditional circumciser using a knife, razor, or scissors. According to the WHO, it is practiced in 28 countries in western, eastern, and north-eastern Africa, in parts of the Middle East, and within some immigrant communities in Europe, North America, and Australasia. The WHO estimates that 100–140 million women and girls around the world have experienced the procedure, including 92 million in Africa.
              •  They are mutilating those girls. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                No, insurance should not be required to pay for mutiliation.

                What a stupid, disingenous question.

                •  Good (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  adam smith needs revision

                  so you agree that there a medical procedures that an employer would be entitled to not cover because they offend his moral sense.

                  •  No. (4+ / 0-)

                    Contraception is a health issue; it should be covered because it's a health issue.  I don't know why you are personally obsesessing on female circumcision, but that has nothing to do with contraceptive medications being covered.  They are two totally different situations, and your attempts to conflate the two are disgusting.

                    •  vacant stare (0+ / 0-)

                      Your inability to see someone beating you on the head with a point is almost funny.  Please just be honest.  You want what you want.  You refuse to acknowledge that any other point of view can possibly exist and you refuse to follow any basic logic which demonstrates that you must have some constraints around your desires or they will be taken to extremes.  You insist that any health issue must be covered, despite the cost to someone else, yet refuse to acknowledge the sometimes the words 'health issue' might include some item you are uncomfortable with, so you just say that anything you find distasteful is not a health issue.

                      Who do you suppose is paying?  The company I work for has limited profits.  If the cost of my health insurance goes up, the cost of my pay raise will go down.  The person who owns my company reserves the right to make a minimal profit.  That is just the way it is.  If you do not see that, you really aren't in the correct galaxy.  If health care costs go up, then payroll costs must go down.  At least acknowledge that simple basic fact, to prove to the rest of us that you aren't totally disconnected from reality.

                      •  Worried stare (0+ / 0-)

                        There are no medical reasons for--and I can only assume you do not know what "female circumcision" actually is--removing a girl's/woman's healthy clitoris. If there is a tumor on it, then the procedure is surgical treatment of cancer, not "female circumcision." You seem less intent on proving some sort of point and more intent on gleefully encouraging "female circumcision".

                        If what you are really trying to accomplish is "there are medically unnecessary procedures which batshit crazy people still want performed", while "female circumcision" fits the criteria it is never done with the willing consent of the female involved (see the definition of "coercion").  So "female circumcision" will never be on any health plan other than one designed to only allow medically-unnecessary procedures and only if someone other than the patient asks for them to be performed on the patient.

                        If you hadn't been so gleeful about the idea of forcibly cutting off a woman's clitoris against her will (and on a side note, seek more therapy for your divorce, you seem to need it), you might have come up with a medically unnecessary procedure which has no real medical benefits but which the patient sometimes demanded to happen.  Like unnecessary limb removal, where the patient is convinced he (usually he) has one or more too many limbs and needs the extra one removed.  If you had gone with that one from the start, instead of typing about your dreams of cutting the clitoris off your ex, you might have been able to come up with some sort of point.

                        But even that medically unnecessary procedure shouldn't be covered, even under freedom of health care, because it represents surgery being used to reduce a human body's ability to take care of itself. Harm has been done.

                        Ahhh, you say, but what about sex changes? To that I respond that if you get a sex change operation that limits your life equivalent to the removal of a limb, you need to sue for lots of money. All they usually do is change your appearance and the way you have sex. There's nothing wrong with cosmetic surgery in general, because all it is supposed to do is improve the mental well-being of the patient in a relatively undamaging way to the body.  Unlike unnecessary limb removal.

                        •  Again, completely miss the point (0+ / 0-)

                          The point is not about female circumcision.  Let it go.  The point is that not everything that is medically related should be paid for by someone else.  That is really what you are proposing...  Someone else should pay for the stuff that I want.  That is not what insurance is.  Insurance is supposed to be a safety blanket that keeps me from going bankrupt in the case of some serious medical condition.  It is not 'someone else pays for all the stuff I want'.

                          Now, if you want to change the subject because of this and start talking about how some people who have insurance still go bankrupt, that is fine.  But at least acknowledge that you are changing the subject and we can talk about something else.  But your assertion that because it has to do with my health that someone else should pay for it, is just nuts.  That is the point.  It was unfortunate that the first comment in this line referred to female circumcision, but your inability to miss the point and focus on the irrelevant aspect of what the commenter is saying is mind boggling.

          •  female circumcision is a religious procedure (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            vacantlook, Calamity Jean

            not a "medical" one.

            [insert pithy sigline here]

            by terrypinder on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 01:00:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Careful (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              or we'll see RealityBias posting again...

              The optimist sees the glass as half-full. The pessimist sees the glass as half-empty. The realist just knows she's thirsty.

              by Cali Scribe on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 01:03:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  That's the purpose (0+ / 0-)

              But the procedure itself, cutting off human tissue is at it's core a medical procedure. a vile one to be sure.

              But who are we to limit someones freedom to have it done but not covering it under insurance?

              •  You're acting like there are adult women... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mikidee, Calamity Jean

                ...lined up around the block wanting to get female circumcision proceedures done.

                What's the matter, do you miss your foreskin or something?

              •  No - the procedure is not "medical." (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cassandra Waites

                It is physical mutilation.

                Who are we to limit someone's "freedom" to have young women physically mutilated?  We are civilized, intelligent, educated, democratic, humane women and men who, thank FSM, do not unscrew our heads and hearts in the face of religiosity that offends human decency.

                Who are you that you would even ask this question?

                "Fear is for people who don't get out much." Rick Steves

                by mikidee on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 03:23:20 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  missing the point (0+ / 0-)

                  By fixating on the commentors choice of female circumcision allows you to completely ignore his point.  It doesn't matter if an employers objection is religious or financial.  At a certain point, you either have to recognize that telling an employer that they have to expand a certain benefit to include a certain cost is counter productive.  Eventually, employers will choose plans that offer contraception but don't offer something else.  Or, the amount that the employee has to contribute will increase to cover the additional cost.  And not every employer is a greedy, 1% pig.  Some people just own small and medium size businesses and in difficult economic times are worried about costs.  By choosing to completely ignore the point and fixate on something unrelated (ugh, that is female circumcision, I hate that, so I will assert that everything you say is wrong) does nothing for your credibility.

                  •  The choice to argue for female circumcision (0+ / 0-)

                    If you hadn't gone with the odd notion that a forced transvaginal ultrasound is the same as consensual sex, sorry, that female genital mutilation is the same as birth control, then you would have been able to make points and have them be heard.  But you can't pick something to defend which is as evil as female genital mutilation and still expect to be taken seriously. You have to agree that female genital mutilation is evil and wrong and, as it is never performed on a woman with her consent, completely irrelevant to the discussion of "medical procedures women want performed on themselves", and find something else to argue with that actually has something to do with what point you are trying to make.

                    It would be like saying, "Should we really elect our officials? After all, Hitler was elected!" and then expecting to be taken seriously about not electing our officials. When you have opened your mouth and apparently removed all doubt, you are unable to go back to only being thought a fool.

                    •  what? (0+ / 0-)

                      I looked at every comment I made and see absolutely nothing about transvaginal ultrasounds.  Or any other ultrasounds.

                      The point is not at all like saying that since Hitler was elected that all elections are bad.  Are you really that obtuse?  The point is that not everything health related should be paid for by other people.  Insurance is not "I want someone else to pay for everything for me".  Insurance is "I don't want to go bankrupt if I get cancer or have a heart attack or tear my MCL".  Again, insurance is not "I just want someone else to pay for everything for me".  If you want to change the subject and talk about how some people with insurance still go bankrupt, that is fine, change the subject.  But at least admit you are changing the subject before you do so.

                      At a certain point, that doesn't work any more. Get off the inanities and either address the point or save your breath.

              •  we are correct. that's what. (0+ / 0-)

                [insert pithy sigline here]

                by terrypinder on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 04:46:43 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Insurance does cover some forms of all of those (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        For example- reconstructive breast implants are covered.  Reconstructive plastic surgery is covered. Eyeglasses are covered to some extent; and as far as I could remember, my son's circumcision was also covered (I certainly never got billed for it). Corrective sex surgeries for new borns are fairly routine.

        Cosmetic breast enhancements are not covered because it has nothing to do with health. Whereas contraception has everything to do with health and well-being.

        •  some insurance does cover (0+ / 0-)

          I don't have eye care with my current employer provided insurance.  And the dental coverage is spotty.  Not every medical procedure is covered by all insurance in all cases.  It is certainly reasonable for some insurance to cover these things and certainly reasonable for some insurance not to cover these things.  Is that point really lost on you?

  •  Both sides hypocritical on "freedom" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    campionrules, createpeace, VClib

    Conservatives want property/economic/commerce freedom, but not social/moral/religious freedom.  Liberals want the reverse.

    It always amuses me when one side or the other talks about how they support "freedom."  They each support "freedom" only in some areas, not in others.

    True Libertarians (not the Ron Paul version) are at least consistent -- they want both freedom with respect to property/economic/commerce matters, and also freedom with respect to social/moral/religious freedoms.  

    •  Huh? (25+ / 0-)

      We're fine with religious freedom. What we don't want is having someone cram it down our throats. Not letting the Catholic church set policy isn't stomping on religious freedom. Sorry you don't get that.

      "What profit a man, if he gain the world, but has to pay taxes on it?" Paul 8:36

      From the Gospel of St. Ron Paul in the Teachings and Misunderstandings of the Words of Adam Smith

      by ontheleftcoast on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 11:46:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I said conservatives want less freedom (2+ / 0-)

        when it comes to religious/social/moral issues.  They want the laws of the country to reflect their social/moral/religious beliefs.  Where conservatives want freedom is in economic matters -- less government "taking" of money someone earns, less government involvement in how people spend their money, less government restrictions on commerce.  

        Liberals want religious/social/moral freedoms -- freedom to believe what you want and act on those beliefs, without government restriction.  (The marriage debate is the best example: conservatives want civil laws to conform to their religious beliefs; liberals don't think the law should reflect one religious belief over another, or over no religious belief).  

        The conservative position on contraception, as I see it, is actually in line with their property/economic/commercial freedom position -- they don't like that the government is telling they that they have to pay for something they don't agree with.  It's the conservative notion of "if I pay for it, I get a say in what I pay for" versus the liberal notion of "don't impose your religious beliefs on me."

        If the law did not force the employer to pay for the employee's health insurance -- doubling down on a previously absurd connection between a completely private matter like health care and a person's employer -- we wouldn't have this problem.  I've said elsewhere, it's absurd for health care to be tied to a person's employer.  If the employer wasn't forced to go out and negotiate for the health insurance and buy it, there would be no debate here.  The employer would be completely unconcerned.  

    •  Please detail to us... (6+ / 0-) do liberals not want "social/moral/religious freedom"?

      •  he double negated us (7+ / 0-)

        You and I both missed his "reverse not". Argle bargle.

        "What profit a man, if he gain the world, but has to pay taxes on it?" Paul 8:36

        From the Gospel of St. Ron Paul in the Teachings and Misunderstandings of the Words of Adam Smith

        by ontheleftcoast on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 12:17:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I said liberals WANT social/moral/religious (4+ / 0-)

        freedoms -- conservatives don't.  Conservatives want the laws to reflect their social/moral/religious beliefs.  Liberals don't.

        The conservative position on the contraception debate is based on their notion of property/economic/commerce freedom -- their notion that person A (the employer) should not be forced to pay for something against person A's beliefs.    

        •  In this case then (0+ / 0-)

          is it the conservatives that want more religious freedom?

          •  Actually, as I said above, the conservative (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            argument is, at its core, an "economic freedom" one -- the employer should not have to go out and buy, and pay for, something that he does not want to buy because it violates his religion.  The argument that they are making is that the employer shouldn't have to buy something he disagrees with because it violates his religion.  If government forced people to USE contraception, that would be a pure religious argument.  This one's all wrapped up in economics -- and the conservative view that "he who pays should get a say."  (Remember Reagan's famous "I'm paying for this microphone"?)

            If they were arguing that contraception should be outlawed (something that was settled in Griswold v. Connecticut) that would be an argument imposing their religion on others.  (While that's what some may want to do, most of them don't overtly make that argument any more.) Here, they are framing it as all about the person who buys the product -- the health insurance -- having control.  

          •  They want the freedom to impose THEIR religion (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            on the rest of us, w/ governmental enforcement.

            "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

            by bartcopfan on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 01:05:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  could you describe the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              adam smith needs revision

              imposition on you?

              What will you be unable to do?
              What will you be required to do that you find immoral?

              •  I'll make it simple for you: (4+ / 0-)

                My access to safe, affordable reproductive health care services will be limited (and in some circumstances denied) because a group of homophobic, misogynistic, pedophile-protecting clerics who can't even influence their own flock will have convinced the federal government to accommodate their batshit-crazy fear of women's sexuality expressed as religious doctrine.

                It has nothing to do with asking me to do something immoral - it's about adopting institutionalized religious misogyny and making it the law of the land.

                Religion needs to stay in church, where it belongs.

                "Fear is for people who don't get out much." Rick Steves

                by mikidee on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 03:36:38 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  How 'bout this: (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Calamity Jean

                by denying other Americans' access to reliable contraception, they'll impose future welfare/TANF payments on me (and you).

                Personally, I find forcing others to bear unwanted children to be immoral.

                "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

                by bartcopfan on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 03:51:47 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Hell, they've ALREADY imposed the Iraq War (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Calamity Jean

                  and its associated costs (won't be finished paying for 100+ years), including its portion of the debt.  And I damn sure consider Bush's war of choice based on lies to be an immorality.

                  "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

                  by bartcopfan on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 03:56:37 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  But access is not being denied (0+ / 0-)

                  You can purchase contraception at over 50,000 pharmacies across the counrtry.

                  Not to mention condoms whcih are even more widely available and even cheaper.

                  •  If you can't afford them--they're denied. (0+ / 0-)

                    I know multi-millionaire Mitt and his minions can't grasp that ordinary people can't afford things they take for granted, but the $50/month cost of a typical dose of BC pills is a lot of money for a lot of families.

                    I'll ask you the question I'd ask Rush:  would you rather pay for the welfare/TANF for the unwanted--but unprevented--child?

                    "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

                    by bartcopfan on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 07:37:54 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Are you willing to give him the choice (0+ / 0-)

                      Only ask the question if you are willing to deal with the answer.  If the question is rhetorical, then save it and don't act like you have some sort of insight that you don't really have.

                      •  I'm not sure what "insight" you're talking about. (0+ / 0-)

                        All I'm saying is that we're already very likely to pay either way.

                        And I'd bet RMoney's $10k that Rush ain't interested in paying for the kid's welfare.

                        But this isn't even about money--it's about control.  Rush and the so-called religious right demands the right to determine who can have sex and who can't, w/ forced pregnancy and childbirth the penalty for failing to live to their approved rules.

                        "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

                        by bartcopfan on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 02:06:10 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  insight (0+ / 0-)

                          The insight I'm talking about is the presumed ability to read minds.  Despite the evil you perceive in anyone who disagrees with you, why not actually address some of the issues that are raised?  For example, please show me some real data about the number of pregnancies that this might prevent.  Seriously!  How many people out there that currently have jobs and have health insurance provided to them (or some other mechanism that provides them this health insurance) are having babies because contraception is not covered by their current insurance?  How many of those people will not have babies once this contraception suddenly becomes part of their coverage.

                          All this noise is just that; noise.  Lets see some real statistics and we can do some real math.  I assume you already know the numbers, otherwise you wouldn't be so strident in your assertions.  It shouldn't take too long for someone reading this to provide some numbers.  I don't see how you could have such a strong opinion about this without knowing them.

                          Your hyperbole about "demanding the right to determine who can have sex and who can't" adds nothing but noise and attracts the cheerleaders.  It has nothing to do with an adult discussion of the issue.

                          •  Pffft. I never claimed to be able to read minds. (0+ / 0-)

                            Only to view actions.

                            And I've seen and heard for decades that wingnuts only give a damn about pre- or extra-marital sex when it's done by a Democrat, a poor person, a nonwhite, a non-heterosexual, or a non-chrisitianist--anyone they disapprove of (as I said).

                            Just where were the howls of condemnation and shame from The Right for Palin's daughter, or the many Republican't lawmakers and preachers caught w/ others (often same-sex) not their spouses?  It was silence, except when they made IOKIYAR excuses.  I'd have soooo much more respect for them and their movement  (and Lakoff's "strict father" framing) if they'd have the same level of condemnation when one of their own tribe fails to live up their standards.  But no, their approbation is only for The Other.  Not that you give a damn what I think.

                            Now, as far as the statistics on pregnancy prevention as regards insurance coverage of contraception, sorry, I don't have those at my fingertips.  If they're as simple to obtain as youi imply, I don't know why you don't already have them to share w/ the rest of us.  I am aware that about half of American preganancies are unplanned and about half of those end in (so far still-safe and legal) abortion.  Of those abortions, about 90% are in the first trimester, another 8-9% are in the second (both early trimesters are before fetal viability), and the remaining 1-2% are in the third (most often for fetal defects inconsistent with life or other abnormalities).  For more details, I recommend the Alan Guttmacher Institute website.

                            I'd bet a lot of those unplanned pregnancies are to women (even I know men don't get pregnant) who don't have contraception covered health insurance.  And I know we on the left have fought conservatives for decades to get and keep funding to Title X, which provides contraception to low-income women and families.  Of course, this is after we fought conservatives to get/keep medically-accurate, age-appropriate human sexuality education in our public schools (including "abstenence-PLUS").  We fought conservatives to allow girls and women to fully participate in school sports (as a mattter of policy, conservatives HATE Title IX) so that they might pursue their interests wherever they might lead, instead of accepting only a societally-prescribed role.  But now, in the interest of an "adult discussion", I'm off on other cul-de-sacs.

                            As I see it, the main issue is lack of health insurance and while I wanted single-payer (I've had to fight my PPO off-and-on for nearly 20 years now to try semi-successfully to make them pay for what they say they'll pay for) or at least a public-option, I support the ACA--derided by critics as "Obamacare"--mainly because it'll finally get some hard-working but struggling families some help.  

                            And since this whole thread started off from a discussion about "imposing costs" on others, this is a fine place to circle back to.  Those who will soon be able to afford some decent coverage under the ACA were often already receiving healthcare.  But it was at the ER and was the most expensive care there is and taxpayers and those of us with insurance were/are picking up the tab.  We were/are already paying those costs "imposed on us" by others; my point was that we're all (Rush included) already paying for these unwanted pregnancies.  Why don't we try something to bring some order to the situation, besides pious moralizing and finger-pointing?

                            "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

                            by bartcopfan on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 05:07:13 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  How often? (0+ / 0-)

                            How often were they receiving healthcare at the ER?  I assume you know, since you state it like it is a fact.  Please share.

                            I don't know how easy those statistics are to retrieve.  I stated that I couldn't imagine you being so strident unless you knew them.  I guess I was wrong.  So, now I have no idea why your opinions are so strong.  You seem to be admitting that not a single fact had anything to do with the formation of your opinions.  That is fine.  Why should the real world have anything to do with your perceptions?  At least stop presenting your opinions as facts (for example, please provide a source to the policy that requires conservatives to hate Title IX).

                            Feel free to get the last word on this one.  I'm not likely to learn anything from a conversation where you have no interest in doing anything other than making sure I know how you feel.

                          •  I doubt I could convince you the sky was blue, but (0+ / 0-)
                            How often were they receiving healthcare at the ER?  I assume you know, since you state it like it is a fact.  Please share.
                            here you go.  While the existence of a word like GOMER probably won't satisfy you, according to the CDC, "When compared with adults who had private health insurance, uninsured adults were 4 times as likely to have used the ER as a regular place of care...."

                            This took about 30 minutes I didn't have in Teh Google.  In the meantime, I suppose you can deliver dozens of verified quotes from conservatives expressing their joy and support for Title IX.  And just 'cause I'm a nice-guy liberal Democrat, here's some free hints: Don't check recent Republican't party platforms or anti-feminist icon Phyllis Schafly--they're on your side.

                            "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

                            by bartcopfan on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 09:37:40 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  facts (0+ / 0-)

                            At least you are trying.  I checked both references about Title IX and didn't see anything that requires Conservatives to oppose it as a matter of policy.  Nice try, though.  Again, I could waste time looking for quotes from conservatives who have joy about Title IX, but I won't bother.  You made the point that it was required by policy.  Sounds like the responsibility to back up that assertion is on you, not me.  Please, feel free to do so.

                            And, you did spend some time on the interwebs.  Congratulations.  Now do me a favor.  Find a statistic that supports your already determined opinion that in the long run it will be cheaper if people who already have health insurance (but don't already have contraception covered) have contraception added to that insurance as a result of federal regulations.  I assume that is what you were talking about when you asked the question if Rush would rather pay for the contraception or the resulting baby.

                            The point you need to figure out is, how many fewer babies will there be, and how much will that save?  That is, how many people who already had health insurance weren't getting any contraception because their health insurance wasn't covering it.  Those people in that situation who were getting pregnant will stop getting pregnant are the 'savings' that you were referring to.  That means you have to account for those people who were already paying for their own contraception (no savings there), who were just not having sex (no savings there), who won't bother to get contraception now (no savings there, either, but there will be the cost of adding the option to the insurance) and the people who want to have babies and so will have them anyway (no savings there, either, but still the cost).

                            I assume this is what you were referring to when you asked the question.  Just like when you changed the subject above and started talking about people who get their health care at the emergency room.  In theory you have some numbers about the people who will still get their health care at the emergency room, despite having the option to go to a regular doctor.  Or, who will stop going to the emergency room, even, and wait until they have even more catastrophic events occur because of social pressure not to use the emergency room.  I'm not saying that I support having people use the emergency room for non-emergencies, but you raised the point, so I assume you would have some statistic or fact to back it up.

                            Again, feel free to just give me another opinion and have the last word, or seek out some statistic and try to have a conversation.  Your call.  But remember, at this point, if anyone else is reading, it is pretty obvious that those are your choices.  Find some facts and share them and have a conversation or just bluster and spout your opinions to those you hope will cheer-lead for you.

        •  Ok. But... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ...a lot, if not most, liberals do want laws and policies to reflect their social and moral beliefs.  For example, wanting a single payer health care system is born out of a moral belief that everyone should have access to the care they need.  Liberals want people to receive food payment assistance because we morally believe no one should go hungry.  Etc..

    •  Unless you're willing to live in anarchy and chaos (9+ / 0-)

      some restrictions of both economic and personal freedom must be codified into law. Determining what those laws should be, is the essential role of government. I do believe that citizens deserve to be protected from exploitation by powerful private interests.

      I don't believe that a free for all is a workable model for society.

      48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

      by Siri on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 12:07:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Anarchy (4+ / 0-)

      "Libertarians" want anarchy: no government. That's not freedom. At least not after the first few minutes, when warlords/corporations move in.

      Liberals want property/economic/commerce freedom. Conservatives say they do, but they don't. When they get power they abuse those freedoms for all but their cronies.

      What you just said is inane.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 12:11:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  DocG - libertarians are not anarchists (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        They just believe in a very limited government, but they don't believe in no government.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 11:25:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No True Scotsman (0+ / 0-)

          There is no limit to the limit to government that libertarians want. Everyone wants some limit: the government I want, but not the government I don't need that someone else wants.

          Libertarian is a degree, entirely relative. You might as well call yourselves "moderate" while constantly reducing the "what we're not" pole. It's the entirely slippery slope political ideology. That's why it's so popular among Republicans.

          The closest to a legitimate "libertarian" politics that isn't merely the thin edge of the wedge to anarchy (and the corporocracy/theocracy/warlordism that moves into the vacuum) is Jeffersonian Democracy. But even that is not a practice, but rather an ideological bent.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 04:38:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  wrong (6+ / 0-)

      liberals believe that there is a role for government in preventing tyranny by majorities which is what usually impinges on personal freedoms, and in protecting public interests, public safety and health.  Kind of what the founding fathers wrote in the Constitution, it's all there.  

      •  Not really. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Conservatives are much more focused on private property and economic rights -- if I work for it, and earn it, it's mine; if it's my property, you can't tell me what to do with it.  Liberals much less so.  Liberals move closer to socialists (yes, I know what that means and that some here profess to be socialist) in the sense that the wealth generated by the country is available to all for the good of the country as a whole.  Conservatives -- more focused on individual rights economically; LIberals are more focused on the rights of the collective economically -- what's good for us as a whole, rather than whether I get to keep more of what I earn or make through work or capital investment.  The rhetoric of the left - "the rich should pay more to benefit everybody else" shows that.  The left generally thinks that wealth is made off the collective, rather than as a result of individual efforts; thus, the left tends to think that the GDP is more available to the collective; the right tends to view the wealth generated as belonging to the one whose efforts or whose capital generated the wealth.  

        That's measurable.  How much of our GDP is controlled by government?  How much of our GDP is taken in taxes?  Conservatives want less, Liberals want more.

        And, for example, in contracts.  Conservatives want as little government regulation as possible over a contract between two adults.  Liberals, much more so.

        •  the left doesn't say the rich (5+ / 0-)

          should pay more for the benefit of everybody.   The rich receive more of the benefits of society,  by power structures and wage structures, economic policies that favor their interests,  from where and what infrastructure is built, maintained, improved, to laws that favor creditors over debtors, to  picking winners in industry, to imposing costs as the collective level but profits to the individual, etc.

          Adam Smith recognized that those who owned the most owed the most, not out of some philanthropic belief, but out of cold hard economic fact.

          •  That's really not a "neutral" economic view. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I recognized that most economics are biased, and that's based on a left-leaning view of economics and how you value what people "receive" from the government.  What you are saying is that the rich take what government provides -- roads, bridges, police, fire, military, etc. -- and makes more money.  Does that mean that they get more value FROM government?  Let me give you an example -- let's say two people buy a $600 laptop from Best Buy.  One uses it to email and surf the web at home.  One uses it to run a million dollar business.  What did they "receive" from Best Buy?  Normally, we'd say the same thing -- they each got the same laptop.  Under your view, the rich person received a much more valuable laptop than the other person. It's all a matter of how you "value" what was transferred.  

            Your view of how to value what government provides is by no mean non-controversial.  There was even a study done by the Tax Foundation trying to quantify exactly what you said - who "benefits" more per dollar given to the government.  It's interesting reading if you want to see the contrary argument to your position.  That study says that, considering all taxes paid, the poor get much, much more in benefits for every dollar of taxes they pay than do the rich -- which is absolutely as it should be.  The poor get much more out of government than do the rich -- which, again, is as it should be.  

            Me, I agree that a progressive tax system is absolutely, absolutely necessary -- because, as Adam Smith said, the rich have the most.  A tax dollar taken from a rich poor person might cut into food, clothing, necessities.  Not so for a rich person.  Simply, for the rich, a much higher percentage of their income is disposable income, and therefore the rich should pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes -- more like what Adam Smith says.

            But I don't buy the notion that the rich get more from government per dollar spent in taxes than the poor do.  The rich should pay more, I completely agree, but your reason makes no sense to me.  

            •  I wouldn't quote the Tax Foundation (3+ / 0-)

              as an unbiased source, anybody that has had people from the Reagan administration and the Koch Bros. tax director as board members, who created 'tax freedom day' aren't in my book reliable on tax policy and why the rich are overpaying their share.  It certainly is contrary to my view,  but not exactly a convincing authority.

              The reality of government policy favoring the rich, avoiding paying those nasty tax dollars in the first place.  


              •  I absolutely agree it's not unbiased. (0+ / 0-)

                My point is that there is bias on both sides -- both sides come from a value system.  

                And before you can make statements about "government policy favoring the rich" you have to define "the rich."  Certainly, nothing in that article applies to a two income family making AGI $250,000 a year -- the "rich" when you are talking about "Bush Tax Cuts for the Rich."  

                •  the Bush tax cuts favored (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  blueoldlady, Cassandra Waites

                  the super rich, but all upper income earners benefitted more than anyone around the median incomes did or the poor.

                  You obsess over the line between rich and not rich.   And you don't seem to have any feel that people in the US at the top ten percent, while not in the same league as Mr. Lauder by any stretch of the imagination, still have tons more disposable income, benefit from tax deductions and policies that poor people never get, etc.   and benefit from the system more than a child born into a family that makes $24,000 a year.  

                  I am sorry, you push one point of view,  it is distorted and favors the 'rich' whether you start it at $100k let alone $100k AGI, or $100 million.    

                  That article was an illustration that you favored point of vew always pushes tax dollars without looking at the enormous distortions of tax policy, not just rates or  income.  

                  It is not about collective good vs. individual freedom.   It is about individuals being protected from the greed and complacency of those born on third base with a silver spoon in their mouths and thinking they did it by themselves, whether they only got one spoon or a million.   The entitlement society of the upper middle class and wealthy needs to end.

                  •  Disposable income is exactly why (0+ / 0-)

                    I favor a progressive income tax.

                    When people on this thread tell me "the rich don't get that way in a vacuum," and when Elizabeth Warren says the rich got they way because of the roads "we" built, or the education of workers "we" provided, or the police and fire "we" paid for, that's a view that wealth creation is as much a product of the collective (the "we") as the individual.  The left -- people here, Elizabeth Warren -- put much more focus on the collective - the "we" -- as the source of wealth than the right do, and the right put much more focus on the individual efforts as a source of the wealth than the left -- again, Warren "There is nobody in this country that got rich on his own."  That quote is the best example, I think, of where the philosophy of the left and the right diverge.  The left would generally agree with that.  The right would vehemently disagree.  

                    I'm not saying that one side is "correct." They are both based on value judgments --both biased.  The left is biased toward the notion that, since the "we" provided the basis for the wealth, the "we" is entitled to more of it in return, and entitled to more of a say in how people earn it, and how much they earn.  The right is biased toward the notion that wealth is created primarily through individual merit, meaning that the "we" has less right to that wealth, less right to put restrictions on how people earn it, or what they earn.  That's my point.  


                    •  it is not a point of view (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      blueoldlady, Cassandra Waites

                      but  a fact, the rich receive benefits, real money benefits, taxes not paid benefits, etc,  that allow them to accumulate the pile of money they hover over and scream 'mine' at.    It simply is math.

                      It is an opinion, a point of view, to try to pretend the math doesn't work and it just perception.   The right doesn't deal in fact very much,   the unspoken, the outright lies to hide what is.  You preach their line all the time.  

                      Warren isn't expressing mere point of view.  If you quantify economic policy, who benefits, who pays what, the rich win.   They end up with more dollars in their pile at the end of the day.  Same way the right never sees red state welfare in action, as economic and socially conservative states that try to enact the legislative policies of the right, end up with more poor people and need more federal tax dollars to operate.   They let the rich keep all the money, pass policies that give more money back to the rich, then expect subsidies from states that meet needs, tax fairly and have higher overall economic output.   Liberal economic policy works better.   Except for a tiny number of people who hold 80% of the wealth now, based on the front page diary, have reaped 93% of the economic wealth of the recovery, paid for by a veritable shitload of tax dollars.   That is not a point of view.  False equivalency, another right wing tactic, checked off for you.    

                      •  Can you give me an example of those (0+ / 0-)

                        benefits that, say, a doctor making AGI $500,000 a year in earned income gets -- the "real money benefits" that he gets?  What "real money benefits that he gets for his, say, $130,000 in federal income taxes he pays on that earned income that are so very different from the "real money benefits" a family of two making a total of $100,000 a year make (paying maybe $20,000 in federal income taxes) ?  He doesn't -- that's what a progressive system is all about.  

                        Now, it may well be that our progressive tax system is screwed up for the uber rich that get most of their money in capital gains.  and that should be fixed.  

                        •  the license he holds (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Calamity Jean

                          is one of those things that allows him to earn all that money,  how do you quantify the license?   Earnings over similar amounts of education but no license?   And it costs to get the license, there are few schools,  why are there so few schools? AMA accreditation, influence in legislature, laws that assign proof of need for a school to operate, etc.,  all that keep those licenses rare and profitable, significant state support of the infrastructure of the schools, the hospitals, the specialists, payment systems that are tranfer payments of public money into private hands at rates well beyond what other industries repay on similar captial investments, etc.

                          Did it never occur to you to ask why a doctors' hours are so much more valuable than so many other kinds of workers?   Others save lives,  others have to have years of professional and practical training?   How did a doctor get the compensation?   There was a time when doctors did well but not as well as now overall,  same as CEO's, compared to their workers.    When you can start answering those questions, you can start to see why government enables some to succeed so very well and that it is very much at the expense of others in the system.

                      •  Save your breath, jfromga - (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        He's a LAWYER (he usually finds a way to work that into the conversation somehow - took a little longer than usual this time).  

                        Being a lawyer means never having to admit you're ignorant.  Or arrogant.  Or that you think you're waaaaay smarter than everybody else on this site and you looooove talking down to them.  

                        Lawyers like to tip back in their big old leather chairs at the end of the day, crack open the bottle of Jack in the credenza, and rain down patronizing comments on the little people (who type their briefs, correct their grammar, remind them of key court rules they've overlooked, and generally babysit their sorry selves for small pay and no appreciation).  

          •  Well said. coffeetalk doesn't seem to (6+ / 0-)

            understand that our wealthy don't build their wealth in a vacuum.

            •  I understand that view (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              adam smith needs revision, VClib

              and all I'm saying is that it is a view from the left -- focused on the collective. There is a contrary view from the right, focused on the individual.  There's no "one truth" here.  It's a matter of your economic philosophy.  Certainly, no one operates in a vacuum.  How much of a person's wealth is attributable to the collective, and how much to the individual, is a matter of debate, because it's opinion.  The left puts more value on the collective; the right puts more value on the individual.  

              And let me say, before people begin accusing me of things, that I ABSOLUTELY BELIEVE IN A PROGRESSIVE INCOME TAX SYSTEM.  Because the rich have more money -- more disposable income -- they should pay a higher percentage of what they have in taxes.  I'm not arguing that the rich shouldn't pay taxes or shouldn't pay more in taxes.  I'm simply making people aware that there is more than one way to look at things.  

            •  The Tax Foundation, a veritable fount of neutral (0+ / 0-)

              Ah, yes - "a small group of business executives" who undoubtedly had the requisite hatred of FDR displayed by all members of their class.  I guess that's the new definition of "neutral" economic views?

              The Tax Foundation Story

              The year was 1937, the heart of the Great Depression. During the previous decade, first under Herbert Hoover, then under Franklin Roosevelt, federal spending had climbed 170 percent; over the previous five years internal revenue collections had risen 198 percent.

              Concerned about the effect such expansion might have on private sector growth, a small group of business executives gathered in New York City to discuss how they could monitor fiscal activities at all levels of government and convey the information to the general public.   They decided to launch an organization which, through research and analysis, could inform and educate Americans using objective, reliable data on government finance.

              •   I agree it's biased. That's the point. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                It is biased from the right.  Most of the views expressed here are biased from the left.  When you rely on value statements like "fair" and "rich" and "economic rights," there is no "neutral" view.  Those are all based on value judgments.  

                I specifically acknowledged that the Tax Foundation study was the contrary view of who "benefits" from government -- because "benefits" is again, a value-laden word.  People here presented the left's version of who "benefits" from government -- the people who make the most money in our system.  The right's version doesn't view making money as a "benefit" from that comes from government.  They view a "benefit" from government as a direct financial transfer or a direct service provided  -- who gets $x in direct financial benefits from the government per dollar spent in taxes -- is in that link.  It was to show that people look at what it means to "benefit" differently.  

                •  "Which is absolutely as it should be" (0+ / 0-)

                  Hmmm....  sounds like somebody believes the poor really do get more out of government than the rich....either that, or he just doesn't know his "right" from wrong....

                  There was even a study done by the Tax Foundation trying to quantify exactly what you said - who "benefits" more per dollar given to the government.  It's interesting reading if you want to see the contrary argument to your position.  That study says that, considering all taxes paid, the poor get much, much more in benefits for every dollar of taxes they pay than do the rich -- which is absolutely as it should be.  The poor get much more out of government than do the rich -- which, again, is as it should be.  
                  •  I do believe that, for every dollar of taxes paid, (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    the poor get more in direct economic benefits than the rich.

                    I'm a married  lawyer.  I pay SS taxes, Medicare taxes, federal income taxes, state income taxes, sales taxes.  For that, I get the same roads, bridges, schools, police, fire, military, etc. that everyone else does.  (I access the courts more, but we pay individually, outside of the tax system, each time that happens -- filing fees and court fees when we file things.) I make enough so that I get few deductions (most deductions phase out when two incomes reach into the six figures) and if I do, the  AMT kicks in.  I pay a lot in federal income taxes.  As a supporter of the progressive tax system, I understand that. for SS and Medicare, what I get in benefits is exactly the same as anyone else who pays into the system at my level gets. I understand that I pay more for things funded by federal income tax and state income tax than do families that make less, and I understand that direct government benefits are reserved for families that make less.  And that is as it should be.  That's what progressive taxation is all about -- I pay more for the federal military than does a family making less, because I have more disposable income.  I don't "get more military" for my money - I get the same army, navy, air force, marines, as families that don't pay federal income taxes.  

                    A two income family at, say, $50,000 pays a lot less in federal income tax (sometimes no federal income tax) and state income taxes.  They get all the same roads, bridges, police, fire, schools, military that I do.  Some get EITC -- actual checks from the government.  Others get things like child care tax credits (these phase out) or college tuition tax credits (these phase out).  For every dollar I pay in federal and state income taxes, I get less in the way of government services than does someone making a lot less money.  I completely understand that.  It is as it is supposed to be.  The government has no business providing me services that I can pay for.  The government has no business providing, for example, Pell Grants or low-interests loans (two direct benefits) to families that don't need that extra financial help for their children to go to college.  The government provides financial benefits to those who need it -- who pay less in taxes to begin with.  Most direct government benefits are not available to those above a certain income level.  

                    As it should be.  

        •  I think your view of "the left" is from "the right (7+ / 0-)

          Don't Tread On Me ... you've got Santorum all over your shoes. Ewwwww !

          by mumtaznepal on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 12:43:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I don't agree with your phrasing in the least: (4+ / 0-)
          Conservatives are much more focused on private property and economic rights -- if I work for it, and earn it, it's mine; if it's my property, you can't tell me what to do with it.  Liberals much less so.
          No.  Liberals are for everyone being allowed to keep their personal property and economic rights.  Not just a few privileged people.
          Liberals move closer to socialists (yes, I know what that means and that some here profess to be socialist) in the sense that the wealth generated by the country is available to all for the good of the country as a whole.
          No.  Where are you getting this from?  People own their own wealth.
          Conservatives -- more focused on individual rights economically; LIberals are more focused on the rights of the collective economically -- what's good for us as a whole, rather than whether I get to keep more of what I earn or make through work or capital investment.
          That's a false equivalency.
          The rhetoric of the left - "the rich should pay more to benefit everybody else" shows that.
          No.  Sorry - I've not heard that rhetoric.  The "left" may say, "the rich should pay more in taxes", because their taxes, their fair percentage of contribution, has been cut to less than other's fair share.
           The left generally thinks that wealth is made off the collective, rather than as a result of individual efforts;
          No.  What "left" do you imagine?  Seriously, you sound like someone on the right's imagination of what "the left" thinks.

          Don't Tread On Me ... you've got Santorum all over your shoes. Ewwwww !

          by mumtaznepal on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 12:49:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You are using words that are loaded with opinion. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            adam smith needs revision, VClib

            First, of course, the idea of "fair" is loaded with all sorts of value decision.  

            No.  Sorry - I've not heard that rhetoric.  The "left" may say, "the rich should pay more in taxes", because their taxes, their fair percentage of contribution, has been cut to less than other's fair share.
            While this is true of the uber rich who pay all income in capital gains, it is certainly NOT true of "the rich" as defined as household (two income) AGI of $250,000 and up.  Those households often pay far, far, far more of a percentage in all federal taxes than do most secretaries (I don't say Warren Buffet's because she is in that group, I think).  Take a look at the AMT.  So what's "fair" for "the rich" to pay? That's full of value decisions that the left and the right make differently. "Fair" and "rich" are not objective, measurable terms.  The left and the right view "fair" and "rich" differently.
            No.  Liberals are for everyone being allowed to keep their personal property and economic rights.  Not just a few privileged people.
            Here's your "loaded" term: "their personal property and economic rights."  What are the "economic rights" of someone who is hired by someone else to perform a job? Everyone agrees that we should respect people's "economic rights."   I think that the left and the right would define "economic rights" differently -- the right tying it far more to what the individual can do in an unregulated market than the left.

            And this is proved by a comment just made to me here:

            The left generally thinks that wealth is made off the collective, rather than as a result of individual efforts;
            Someone said in this threat that the rich don't make their wealth in a vacuum.  That's the "left" I'm talking about -- the notion that wealth is made because of use of the collective.  The left is much more likely to say, as Elizabeth Warren does, that the rich make their wealth because "we" provide the basis for them to do that.  The right says, that is the same basis that is provided to everybody, the rich make money because they use it differently -- much more focused on individual efforts (or capital investment) as a source of wealth.  

            And this:

            Liberals move closer to socialists (yes, I know what that means and that some here profess to be socialist) in the sense that the wealth generated by the country is available to all for the good of the country as a whole.
            is a matter of rhetoric as much as anything.  The left is more likely in terms to talk about this being a "rich country" that can afford to "care for its poor and needy." The country generates wealth (see my comment above); we all should have a say in how it is put to use -- even down to some here who argue for 70% or 90% taxes above incomes because there's no reason for people to have that much money, or who argue against people being allowed to pass down massive estates to their children.  There's an argument that it's not good for the country as a whole (the collective) to be focused in the hands of a few.  The right is usually coming from the notion that the individual wealth is earned individually, and that the government has no business getting involved in who accumulates how much wealth.

            Frankly, I believe fully in a progressive income tax system for reasons that I could articulate in a longer post.   I absolutely believe those with more money should pay a higher percent of their income in taxes.   But I'm objective enough to understand that each side is engaging in rhetoric shaped by their underlying view.  

      •  jfromga - the founders were afraid of the (0+ / 0-)

        tyranny of the majority but what they feared was poor people voting to take away their property. That is why the framers supported the view that only land holders should have the right to vote, although they didn't put that in the Constitution.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 11:28:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hypocritical? (5+ / 0-)

      Liberty of the person from undue government regulation is NOT like economic liberty.

      The problem with libertarians is they do not understand the distinction.

      It always amuses me to read "true libertarians" spout nonsense.

    •  I think Liberals want property, economic and (3+ / 0-)

      commerce freedom too.
      We just recognize the responsibility of a citizen to act according to the interests of society as a whole. We also don't want someone's economic freedom to impinge on someone's social freedom (hence the right to healthcare trumps the right to deny employees healthcare - and most liberals would agree the solution to this is single payer health care)

      And conversely we believe in limits to limits to social, moral, and religious freedom.
      We don't think it's okay to cause harm, even if your belief system dictates it.

      Liberals believe in the inherent freedom of the person, while conservatives believe in the inherent freedom of conservatives.

      Please Vote for the Democratic nominee for President in 2012.

      by mungley on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 12:54:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This sentence make my point: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        We just recognize the responsibility of a citizen to act according to the interests of society as a whole
        There is a balance between one's individual interests and the interests of society as a whole.  On economic matters, the right would lean more toward individual interests, and the left would lean more toward the interests of society as a whole.  
        •  I understood your point. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          On the surface that is completely true.

          What I was getting at, is that "Economic Freedom" is not inalienable, because so much of it can impinge upon others' needs.

          When conservative say economic freedom, they really mean "Free use of the commons without having to give back to society."

          Conservatives don't want to provide health care to their employees, but they are fine risking the health of those same people.

          Conservatives want to extract our natural resources from the ground, but don't want to have to replenish the resources they destroyed getting to their desired product.

          Conservatives want to be able to pollute the air and the water in their business endeavors, without having to help those harmed by that pollution.

          Conservatives want the byproduct of their self interest to suffice when it comes to being part of a community.  

          While one might call the above desires 'freedom' they are clearly not acceptable behavior in a free society.

          Let's look at fracking. Fracking pollutes water, and may be causing Earthquakes. Should a company engaging in fracking be required to rebuild your house if they frack it to the ground?
          Conservatives say, "No they should be to frack all they want, and damn you for living on shale."  

          I think the harmed person's right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness trumps the fracker's right to frack.

          Please Vote for the Democratic nominee for President in 2012.

          by mungley on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 02:18:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Actually arguably the left cares more about fair (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoldlady, Calamity Jean

          competition- and thus the interests of the individuals; whereas the right mostly care about protecting the interests of the 'winners'. Regardless of seemingly libertarian rhetoric, in reality, the right is all about taking care of the winners of the society.

          As an individual without bags of money or a trust fund with my name on it, I know I'd do a whole lot better in a liberal society than a dog-eat-dog (or Big-dog-eat-small-dog) conservative society.

    •  but that's not true (0+ / 0-)

      making somebody pay minimum wage is not infringing on their economic freedom.

      Ask your barista what her degree is in.

      by happymisanthropy on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 01:50:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Depends who is talking (0+ / 0-)

        there was a whole debate about that in the 1930's.  Look up "substantive due process" and freedom to contract.  In much the way the liberals in the SCOTUS held that the Constitution has a right to privacy that is not expressly spelled out, the conservatives in the SCOTUS in the early 1900's held that there was a "right to contract" that was not spelled out in the Constitution.  They held that two competent adults could contract on any economic basis they chose and the government could not tell them that the economics of their purely private contract had to be for so much money.

        At first the SCOTUS held that New Deal legislation violated economic freedoms including the so-called "freedom to contract." FDR threatened to pack the Court - a purely political move - to get his legislation through.  Then came the "Switch in Time that Saved Nine" when one justice changed his views.  

  •  "peculiar exemptions" (7+ / 0-)

    Let's take it back to James Madison, who had quite a bit to say about the possibility of being taxed to support Christian teachers. The Founding Fathers are our friends, too.


    Whilst we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess and to observe the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to those whose minds have not yet yielded to the evidence which has convinced us. If this freedom be abused, it is an offence against God, not against man: To God, therefore, not to men, must an account of it be rendered. As the bill violates equality by subjecting some to peculiar burdens; so it violates the same principle, by granting to others peculiar exemptions.
    and here-
    Because experience witnesseth that ecclesiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of Religion, have had a contrary operation. During almost fifteen centuries, has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.
    and here-
    Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberties, may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure & perpetuate it, needs them not. Such a government will be best supported by protecting every citizen in the enjoyment of his Religion with the same equal hand which protects his person and his property; by neither invading the equal rights by any Sect, nor suffering any Sect to invade those of another.
    and finally:
    Because attempts to enforce by legal sanctions, acts obnoxious to so great a proportion of Citizens, tend to enervate the laws in general, and to slacken the bands of Society. If it be difficult to execute any law which is not generally deemed necessary or salutary, what must be the case where it is deemed invalid and dangerous? and what may be the effect of so striking an example of impotency in the Government, on its general authority?

    "I'm not a humanitarian. I'm a hell-raiser." Mother Jones

    by histopresto on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 11:44:53 AM PST

  •  Just as money is speech (10+ / 0-)

    Corporations are persons.  Well, them and churches.  They are the only kinds of persons, or speech, that Republicans seem to concern themselves with.  Hence, their freedoms seem to be Republicans' main concerns.

    When Free Speech is outlawed, only outlaws will have Free Speech.

    by Dallasdoc on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 11:46:38 AM PST

    •  Churches Are Corporations (6+ / 0-)

      Chuches aren't just corporations, which are people. They're the first class corporations, which don't have to pay taxes, and are expected to be given money without getting profits in return. Including money from the government, lots of it.

      Pretty good, considering that corporations themselves are first class citizens, with rights but not responsibilities or liabilities of mere humans. Churches are the .0q1%.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 12:08:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  my question is (3+ / 0-)

      if corporations are people, my friend, then aren't Unions people too?

      Couldn't we get a lot of the anti-union legislation overturned on Equal Protection grounds?

      "It's never too late to have a happy childhood." - Tom Robbins - Political Compass sez: -8.25, -7.90

      by ARS on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 12:39:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Freedom (17+ / 0-)

    For conservatives, "freedom" is loosely the freedom that a predator has to eat prey.  The prey's freedom from being eaten is never a concern.

    Cory Robin's book The Reactionary Mind is quite lucid on this point.  Conservatives are about favouring the employer over the employee, the landlord over the tenant, the husband over the wife and the shepherd over the flock.  It is primarily about private dominance, and to the extend that public policy like providing birth control to poorer women interferes with that private power, they oppose it.  

    As for liberals, freedom is more than just the mere absence of chains.  Jean Valjean was "free" at the beginning of Les Miserables, but without the means to support himself, and a community that rejects him because of his status as a convict, that freedom is nothing but the freedom to starve in the cold somewhere.  No, freedom requires more than the absence of constraint, but the affirmative means to pursue it.  Autonomy is the key.

  •  That's all they ever cared about (4+ / 0-)

    --the freedom to exploit, the freedom to be rich.  Not opportunity to get rich, but the freedom to be rich once you are rich.

    That's the only freedom that matters to them.  The rest of us can suck Nugent's machine gun.

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 12:04:11 PM PST

  •  no no no. (6+ / 0-)

    The difference is the spelling.
    The Republicans have Freedumb.
    We have Freedom.

    You're welcome.

    This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson

    by Karl Rover on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 12:07:27 PM PST

  •  Am i not free (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans who believe that automobiles should remain a private affair, and that employers and insurers should be free to decide whether to cover automobiles for their employees and customers or not.

    because my employer does not buy me a car as a part of my compensation?

  •  Not exactly (4+ / 0-)

    Liberals see no limits to freedoms as long as there are no victims.
    Conservatives think that all freedoms stems from property rights and anything that infringes on property rights is tyranny.

    “Take not from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.” - President Thomas Jefferson

    by gjohnsit on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 12:29:20 PM PST

  •  simple solution (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Employers shouldn't be involved in health care AT ALL.  Insurance should be between the end consumer and the insurance provider, period.

  •  I'd much rather have government take away (0+ / 0-)

    a choice than a religion.

    Rick Perry is George Bush without brains.

    by thestructureguy on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 12:32:48 PM PST

  •  It's not even about employers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    it's about money. Freedom from government interference in MY MONEY. Employers just happen to be a front for money

    A) because they tend to have some

    B) because it sounds less greedy then the reality

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 12:33:50 PM PST

  •  Their idea of "freedom" means (5+ / 0-)

    the "freedom" to agree w/ them. Period.

    "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

    by bartcopfan on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 12:36:53 PM PST

  •  Ahem. That's Freedom® you're talking about. (6+ / 0-)

    Don't forget it.  Freedom® is God-given to all men (unless you're black, in which case you get a 3/5ths share) and not dependent on yon moor, the Caliph of Kenya, Barack Al-Obamai!

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 12:38:31 PM PST

  •  Freedom must exist (0+ / 0-)

    side by side - with enlightenment.  Then we have a society that lifts us all.

  •  Looking for Sharia health plans (5+ / 0-)

    I think my employees would be pleased if I decided that my personal morality required that our health insurance be consistent with Sharia law.  For their freedoms.

  •  Do your employees pay anything for insurance? (4+ / 0-)

    Mine sure do, and I never had a job where I didn't pay something towards my health insurance.  If I have to pay too then you have no right to infringe on my freedom to choose.

    Well, not you personally, but you understand.

  •  God tells me to drive steadfast down the straight (6+ / 0-)

    and narrow middle line no matter what your atheistic traffic laws may say.  Now stop getting in the way of my religious liberties.

  •  The Conservative Mind (3+ / 0-)

    This paradigm goes back to the original thoughst in England way back in the 16 or 17 hundreds.

    •  This comment is really important (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mikidee, Calamity Jean

      In terms of trying to understand what is really going on here, this is the Tory mindset attempting to re-establish itself and that in turn has a lot to do with ancestral issues from Europe brought over by the Puritans.  

      One can Google the opening scene from the 1999 movie "Elizabeth" which dramatizes with computer generated fire, that the solution to the question of which religious doctrine ought to be the one people believe in was to burn people alive for making the wrong choice.

      The First Amendment came from a desire to find a better way.  That we seem to be slipping back because a segment of the population wants control over everyone else, is not a good thing.

      hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

      by Stuart Heady on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 01:21:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Right loves freedom of religion now, (11+ / 0-)

    so can the Muslims build mosques again?

    •  Nope. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      That's infringing on my religious freedom to live in a Christian Nation.

      Ask your barista what her degree is in.

      by happymisanthropy on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 02:02:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course there's that little bitty problem... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        ...of how the early Christian church was communistic.

        All the believers were one in heart and mind.  No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. [...]  There were no needy persons among them.  For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
        Acts 4:32-35
  •  Regulation (8+ / 0-)

    That's what it's called, and yes, employers--poor affronted souls--they get regulated.

    They don't have the freedom to discriminate on the basis of race

    They don't have the freedom to fire women when they get pregnant

    They don't have the freedom to make their employees work in unsafe conditions or lose their jobs

    And so long as the RW in this country insists that health care be tied to employment, then yes indeed, poor employers, the govt is going to regulate the kind of health care so provided.

    It's called the social compact.  

  •  I believe in Janis Joplins definition of freedom (3+ / 0-)
  •  All of this goes away if we jettison employer- (3+ / 0-)

    purchased health insurance and everyone goes into competitive exchanges -- or to single payer.

  •  shorter version of freedom (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans want freedom to abuse it for the profit of the rich, Democrats want freedom to fight against such abuse.

  •  A small correction to the "liberal" freedoms (0+ / 0-)

    Employees in a relationship with an employer, in an enterprise in which the owner of the means of production (the one who owns the business) enjoys profiting from the labor of others, are not actually free.

    Real freedom would exist if the business were employee owned and managed, where they have freedom of association. In other words, a collective. No one who understands this would freely choose to to be a slave to wages, where a portion of their efforts is taken from them, if they could work in a collective where there is complete profit sharing. Market wages aren't based on real value of the labor, but reflect a wage that derives from a monopolization of the means of production by the owner class.

    This is how some become rich, and others just tread water. This isn't truly fair or free, but that's capitalism for you.

    Not trying to pick a fight here, just stating an economic reality and using a more realistic concept of freedom.

    How's that war economy working out for you?

    by ZhenRen on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 12:52:14 PM PST

  •  Question: can't the next GOP administration (0+ / 0-)

    change these regulations with a stroke of the pen? Is this going to be a constantly moving target? Yes, your insurers must pay for contraception; nope, for the next 4 years, your insurers don't have to; yes, for the next 8 years; no for the next 8...

  •  Whose religious liberty is guaranteed? I think (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, Calamity Jean

    it's the individual's right to believe, or not, and to practice, or not. There is no way the employer's beliefs should be paramount to the individual's.

    Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

    by Catskill Julie on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 12:52:54 PM PST

  •  Beautifully put Markos; thank you! (0+ / 0-)
  •  What about the freedom to not be forced by (0+ / 0-)

    the government to do something that violates one's conscience? Do you really want the government to have that power? Sure, it all seems well and good when Obama is in the White House, but would we have wanted it when Bush was in the White House? I hate to bring it up, but, barring a miracle, someday another Republican is going to be in the White House, and I'm not sure we want to give him the power so many are happy to hand to Obama.

  •  Other Versions of Freedom and Liberty: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    1. Christian-only government is total freedom and liberty. And it's totally not a theocracy. Only Muslims do that.
    2. Gays can't marry. this is also freedom and liberty.
    3. Women can't control their reproduction without us telling them what to do and how. Freedom! Liberty!

    [insert pithy sigline here]

    by terrypinder on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 12:58:02 PM PST

  •  I'm glad to see you call yourself a liberal (0+ / 0-)

    Because its liberals that drive the causes that really count in this country.
    I'm a liberal Democrat and my goal is to get liberal Democrats elected. You should hear some of the nasty names we get called here.
    I keep telling them its a liberal Democrat website---then they start cussing me out, teling me its not.
    YOu ought to tell more people youre a liberal. Some people think this is an exclusively Occupy site and act that way

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 01:01:15 PM PST

  •  That's a point that I believe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites

    ...has not been pushed enough:  What they are referring to as "religious freedom" is the "freedom" of employers to impose their religious beliefs onto their employees.

    GOP Agenda: Repeal 20th Century.

    by NormAl1792 on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 01:01:39 PM PST

  •  more of the other versions of freedom (0+ / 0-)

    Religion in the "public square" means "no criticism allowed!"

    Freedom of religion means No Mosques in Lower Manhattan!

    [insert pithy sigline here]

    by terrypinder on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 01:03:35 PM PST

  •  Much bigger gap than that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    The usage of "freedom" in much of the center and left (and even among most secular conservatives) is essentially political, and involves limiting the ability of the government to unreasonably interfere in what you do.  Different people have different priorities about balancing off my rights versus the rights of other people and the role of government versus markets versus individual choice in deciding this (and what kinds of decisions belong in what bucket), but it's the same basic definition of "freedom."

    Among social conservatives, the meaning is very different.  It is basically the "freedom" to adhere to a faith-based world view and by extension freedom of the state from individuals.  (And in the mindset of social conservatives, there's no distinction between government and "corporations" which themselves have a different purpose in the social conservative universe than they do in a liberal democracy.)  In this regard, it's straight out of "1984."  Giving into their world view out of fear isn't good enough.  You're expected to voluntarily choose to submit to their world view; that';s how you become "free".  This act of submission is how you attain the conservative concept of "freedom."  In the theocratic world, this means "freedom" from Satan or whomever.  That "Freedom is Slavery" slogan from Orwell isn't snark from the author.  It is fundamental to the modern totalitarian mindset.

  •  Weak argument. (0+ / 0-)
    I, like all liberals, believe that what my 19 employees at Daily Kos do with their health care coverage is their business, not mine. In other words, they have the freedom to seek whatever health care services they deem appropriate, and I don't have the right to abridge that freedom (nor would I want to).
    Unless the insurance you offer to your employees covers and any all medical procedures without cost (and I am guess that there are things your insurance doesn't cover), then you are selecting the coverage that your employees receive.

    It was never about what your employees and their doctors decide, it was about what agreement/options do you have when offering insurance as a benefit.

    If you believe that there can be no limits in selecting coverage, are you prepared to pay for that benefit? If someone insists that they need ex-gay therapy, are you obligated to pay for that?

    Does the insurance you offer your employees cover chiropractic care? Why/why not?

    •  Insurers generally decline coverage... (0+ / 0-)

      for medical reasons, not moral ones.  Some procedures are not 'medically necessary', or they are 'experimental'.  Before the PPACA was passed, insurers could decline coverage for a 'preexisting condition'.  The question before us is whether a medically necessary procedure can be declined because of your boss' moral objections, i.e. you need a blood transfusion but your boss is a Jehovah's Witness.  Let's not go off on a tangent with a red herring.

      Dogs are people, but corporations aren't.

      by Greasy Grant on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 01:14:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Its more about payment than it is actual services (0+ / 0-)

        Nobody has a job where the employer says "You can't use birth control".  A lot of people had jobs where the employer says "I'm not paying for your birth control".

        Substitute birth control for any number of healthcare practices (chiropractic care, acupuncture, mental counseling, plastic surgery, etc.) and I guarantee the argument becomes a lot less cut-and-dry.

  •  A Must Watch From Bill Moyers & Company (0+ / 0-)
    Full Show: How Do Conservatives and Liberals See the World?

    Bill and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt talk about the psychological underpinnings of our contentious culture, why we can’t trust our own opinions, and the demonizing of our adversaries.

    “When it gets so that your opponents are not just people you disagree with, but… the mental state in which I am fighting for good, and you are fighting for evil, it’s very difficult to compromise,” Haidt tells Moyers. “Compromise becomes a dirty word.”

    In my opinion a brilliant show.

    I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

    by superscalar on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 01:11:06 PM PST

  •  millions and years invested in way of thinking (0+ / 0-)

    The way the word freedom is defined does not work as a clearly rational and straightforward concept.

    There have been millions of dollars in all kinds of PR efforts at all kinds of levels and years invested in creating a way of thinking about this that is cultural and political.

    When you really try to get inside this, what you get is an ability to think in contradictory ways and questioning is not allowed.  That is why this works really well with the born again Christian culture, and its ripples outward from there.

    Dittoheads are really dittoheads.  

    There is no understanding of the Constitution.  It is merely a buzzword.  This is why you can have 8th graders get up at a rodeo and make speeches about freedom and the Constitution that make no informed sense and have people cheer.

    It doesn't have to mean anything.

    Liberals and progressives long ago gave up flag waving, and thus, conservatives tend to think they alone own the symbolism of the American Revolution and patriotism in general.  

    But none of it comes with any analysis and it is actually analysis proof for these people.  You might as well try to convince the next Jehovah's Witnesses who come to your door to convert to atheism.  Not going to happen.

    The best thing that can be done is to find public ways to discuss in realistic terms, the best possible future for America as a culture and as a society - as well as politically.  

    What would freedom mean if we face a system run by oligarchic plutocrats who brook no opposition in ruining the last acre of Creation in the name of over-the-top greed?
    Do you think someone like Santorum wouldn't be tempted to become an autocrat?  Do you think Santorum is the last guy like that we will see through the years ahead?

    The point of the long struggle for freedom in the world is to be able to think clearly and to question and to engage in debate about the nature of reality and what to do about it without being restricted by dogma.

    There are still elements of the national debate that are left overs from the time of burning people at the stake for deviating from authorized dogma.  

    That needs to be exposed for what it is.  We damn sure don't need to be dumbing down our educational system in order to make the world safer for blind group think.  

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 01:12:16 PM PST

  •  I don't understand working class republicans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for a lot of reasons, but lets stick to health care for now.  Obviously, a great deal of working class republicans engage in premarital sex and/or use birth control.  

    Now, I think everyone believes birth control should be an option in a health plan (maybe not Santorum).  The argument (which I know is probably BS posturing to hide their anti-women bias, but humor me) is over who should pay for that care, the private employer or the employee.  

    Now this argument would be moot if we decoupled healthcare from employment, which I think both conservatives and liberals would like to do.  Liberals would like to replace the current system with universal healthcare, conservatives with some sort of free-market shakanery.  If everyone is forced to buy health insurance individually, individual prices will rise, meaning the costs of birth control in a health plan would als rise.  This would seem to hurt a working class person's interest, although it would seemingly make a lot of sense for the 1%. Increased health care rationing means less competition for the high end health care services.  Now, I can see why rich Republicans wouldn't care about costs, but I don't understand why working class republicans don't care.

    Getting back to the here and now, decoupling birth control from health care will mean real life costs increases in not only the price of the product, but invariably, for those persons forced to go without birth control and who end up with a preventable pregnancy.  On a purely economic basis, this makes no sense for anyone but employers and sellers of birth control.  Why are working class republicans always so quick to get behind people who are taking money out of their pockets?

  •  I wonder if the Republicans also agree upon (0+ / 0-)

    ...for example if a Muslim employer insists that all his employees cover their heads and fast during the Ramadan? No fasting? No job for you at my super department store. Or hospital. Or factory.

    How's that for "freedom"?

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 01:17:48 PM PST

  •  May I remind you that George Lakoff wrote a book (0+ / 0-)

    on this?Whose Freedom?: The Battle Over America's Most Important Idea [

    Macmillan, May 15, 2007

    Since then it has been reviewed and the subject of many blogs here.  Keep up the good work.

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 01:20:02 PM PST

  •  Public Option Makes This Issue Go Away (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Fine. How about we take employers out of the equation entirely? Making health insurance a function of employment is insane. And far more expensive for the employers. Some day they'll realize that, then we'll all get a better, freer, less expensive healthcare system.

    In the meantime, we classify these organizations as religious institutions; prohibit them from employing people of other faiths; prohibit them from providing services or educating people outside their faith; and deny them government funds of any kind. You wanna be a bigot, inflict the damage on your own kind and leave the rest of us alone.

    Democrats are not always right, but Republicans are insane.

    by BobBlueMass on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 01:23:12 PM PST

  •  Freedom of Capital (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    If you read between the lines, the modern GOP believes in one and only one absolute freedom. Freedom to earn and spend your private money on whatever you want, however you want.

    Which, if you consider what money really equates to, it's really saying they believe in the freedom to get rich and use that money to coerce people into doing whatever they want, whenever they want.

    Or rather, the freedom to control and orchestrate the lives of others using puppet strings of cash. Which is why their policies all are blatant giveaways to big business and the private sector.

    The Blunt Amendment? Not only was that to placate the religious right but also an attempt to give employers even more power to control their chattel. Considering the assaults on union power in state houses as well as every attempt made to destroy healthcare reform, the type of freedom the GOP wants has been made clear.

    They feel that the most sacred freedom is to never have a dollar of your cash spent on anything you disapprove of (and if you don't agree with us? Oh, we'll just make sure you never have cash to spend!)

    There is no room for real individual liberty when the world has been affixed with a price tag, the playing feild for earning dollars is extremely and inherently skewed, and any attempt to correct for this is stalled with cries of "Socialism!"

    We've just replaced a monarch and aristocracy with a plutocracy, and does it really matter if we're technically "free" if all we have the effective freedom to do is to slowly starve to death on the streets or die of over-exposure if we don't conform to whatever Neo-Feudal system is spawned from this?

  •  The Republican definition of economic freedom ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... is pure license. In Republican-speak, economic freedom is pure license, the absence of external impediments. The rhetoric argues that financial and environmental regulation are limitations on freedom.

    If you took this definition to its logical conclusion, then all laws go against freedom. In the truly laissez faire world, there would be no contractual obligations. You could make all the false promises you want, and then anyone whom you cheated would be out of luck in the name of freedom. You would be free to dump toxic waste downstream that kills your neighbor's children in the name of freedom. Your business could sell defective products and have zero liability.

    But, an economic system which regulates those external harms, and imposes costs on those who should rightfully bear them, will be superior to a "free" market.

    True freedom is not just negative freedom from government regulation. Government regulation exists to preserve positive freedom and opportunity.

  •  Incorrect to say that Cons want to limit freedom. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SlowNomad, noelcor

    It all reduces to to the very different concepts of "Liberty" held by Conseratives and Liberals. It's been a source of political conflict since his nation was founded.

    The religious extremists are just a sideshow. Let's put them aside for a moment and talk about classic Conservatives. They don't believe that they are out to diminish anyone's personal liberty. They believe that they are defending their right to own property and to use their property freely.

    That's the core value of classic conservatism: the freedom to own property and to use it freely.

    The liberal concept of liberty is about freedom of action and freedom of opportunity.

    We all own personal property, but the Conservative is concerned with the kind that generates income: land, natural resources, business assets (including customers and employees) intellectual property, investments and capital.

    When a classic conservative sees the government telling any business what kind of compensation must be provided to employees, his Confederate hind-brain recoils with the belief that his liberty is being assaulted.

    When a liberal sees one group of workers denied benefits accorded to others, she reacts with the belief that individual liberty is being assaulted.

    Most people have a gut understanding that, however contradictory they may be, both kinds of Liberty are legitimate and must be maintained in some kind of balance.

    I think we can talk to moderate conservatives about "balance" and win converts without compromising our principles. I'm talking about the small tradesman with one truck and a sizable collection of tools who votes Republican because he sees his business property as the source of his personal liberty.

    ...or we can do the dance with the religous crazies and influence no one.

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 02:27:25 PM PST

  •  Freedom to a Conservative is economic freedom (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and all freedom to them was described by Milton Friedman in his book Capitalism and Freedom, which was a publication of a series of lectures he delivered in 1956, so when I say that Republicans have never had a new idea since 1956, I really mean it.  Republicans have had no new economic ideas since 1956.  Three paragraphs below do not exceed the Fair Use limit:

    It is widely believed that politics and economics are separate and largely unconnected; that individual freedom is a political problem and material welfare an economic problem; and that any kind of political arrangements can be combined with any kind of economic arrangements. The chief contemporary manifestation of this idea is the advocacy of "democratic socialism" by many who condemn out of hand the restrictions on individuai freedom imposed by "totalitarian socialism" in Russia, and who are persuaded that it is possible for a country to adopt the essential features of Russian economic arrangements and yet to ensure individual freedom through political arrangements. The thesis of this chapter is that such a view is a delusion, that there is an intimate connection between economics and politics, that only certain arrangements are possible and that, in particular, a society which is socialist cannot also be democratic, in the sense of guaranteeing individual freedom.

    Economic arrangements play a dual role in the promotion of a free society. On the one hand, freedom in economic arrangements is itself a component of freedom broadly understood, so economic freedom is an end in itself. In the second place, economic freedom is also an indispensable means toward the achievement of political freedom.

    The first of these roles of economic freedom needs special emphasis because intellectuals in particular have a strong bias against regarding this aspect of freedom as important. They tend to express contempt for what they regard as material aspects of life, and to regard their own pursuit of allegedly higher values as on a different plane of significance and as deserving of special attention. For most citizens of the country, however, if not for the intellectual, the direct importance of economic freedom is at least comparable in significance to the indirect importance of economic freedom as a means to political freedom.

     Emphasis mine

    From this flows the massive political infrastructure by the right which constantly emphasizes "freedom" but does not state that the freedom they crave inextricably tied up with achieving economic freedom for themselves, but not necessarily desiring it for others not at their exalted station in life.  So when a so-called conservative tells you that he/she craves freedom, consider it in the light of this knowledge that it is economic freedom for themselves and those who will help keep them in that elevated state of economic freedom for themselves, but not necessarily you.

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 02:51:11 PM PST

  •  Long ago (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ohiodem1, noelcor

    Before the days of common internet usage, back in the 1980's, I used to argue with others in a political forum on a Navy-run local Bulletin Board system in DC.  The biggest argument I ever had with the opposition was there and it was on the definition of "Freedom".  I was pretty young at the time, but it convinced me like nothing else that we have no common frame of reference.  Our world views and theirs are that different.  How you define that one word shows quite clearly what your worldview is.

    They have created a world where everything is an opinion, and nothing is a fact, everybody is entitled to an opinion, and every opinion is equally valid.

    by SlowNomad on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 02:54:40 PM PST

  •  That's why I hate them, "freedom" doesn't mean (0+ / 0-)

    What we think it means.

    They are evil monsters.

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 03:33:07 PM PST

  •  This is a grade A thread (0+ / 0-)

    This thread was excellent.  It needs to be read in it's entirety.  I'm bookmarking it.


    There's room at the top, they're telling you still, but first you must learn how to smile as you kill. -J Lennon

    by noelcor on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 05:58:51 PM PST

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