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« State of Union 2013 got a C- or a D (updated) | Main | Wealth Creation & Distribution – A Progressive’s View »

14 February 2013

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Michael Anderson

George, we live in a shameful country. We started out in the 21st century in first place in so many categories. And now we languish, in so many categories, hob-knobbing with so many losers.
Yeah, we still have the biggest bombs. Big whoop, doesn't help in asymmetric warfare.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/14/opinion/collins-the-state-of-the-4-year-olds.html?hp&_r=0

Steve Frisch

Ah George, here is the rub. Polling that asks people to identify by party (or what they perceive to be party,) or normalize the responses by placing one who is conservative on economics but liberal on social issues by identifying them as conservative, are inaccurate at reflecting or predicting the values of the American people. Thus those you consider outright socialists, like me, show up as moderates. The reason more Republicans are not elected to public office and more libertarians are not nipping at their heels is that when one does get to values, most people are only conservative on certain issues. The truth is the great body of people who say "conservative' in these polls really are not conservative.

Regardless of the vicissitudes of politics, the USA is on an arc of liberalism, driven by two or three great periods of liberalism, the Progressive Era of 1913-1917, the New Deal Era of 1933-1938, and the Great Society of 1961-1967, that ushered in financial, monetary, and business reforms, expanded individual rights, labor rights, increased security in youth and old age, and radically expanded civil rights. These expansions of liberty that you would call liberalism survived the occasional retrenchment because they were consistent with peoples values, thus they were never eliminated in the periods of stasis or sometimes conservatism that intervened.

So the real story is that no matter that people call themselves conservatives, as long as they act like liberals when the time comes to make a decision, the arc of liberalism continues. More power to us as a people...that we opt for the individual, for democracy, for opportunity and liberty, for civil rights--is what makes me damn proud to be an American.

George Rebane

SteveF 510am - Thank you Steve; as I pointed out, the poll is imperfect but Gallup does the best it can. And I appreciate that you agree with my conclusion. Yes, the "arc of liberalism" is as you describe. However, I remind readers that we see very different futures for America as that liberal arc is followed. And that in these pages is the sum and substance of our ongoing debate.

Walt

George. One thing is certain. LIBS "fool themselves". If you happen to read the local fish wrap, ol' Jim Firth spews forth proof of that.
"California Democrats earned the support of the electorate because they have worked hard and effectively to run an extraordinary state whose complexity and success exceeds many countries. The entire world is presently suffering from financial challenges but California is one of the few states to actually have a balanced budget and perhaps soon a surplus with which to address California’s many needs. The Democrats are in power because voters know they act on behalf of the people. "

CA. Is BROKE!! A "balanced budget"?? LOL!!! Maybe on paper, or just bouncing around in that squirrel cage he rests his hat on.

Last November, for example, California’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office wrote, “The 2012–13 budget assumed a year–end reserve of $948 million. Our forecast now projects the General Fund ending 2012–13 with a $943 million deficit.”
And before that, there was the even bigger budget revision in May 2012, of which the Los Angeles Times reported at the time:

"Brown's revised budget reflects a steadily worsening fiscal picture for California. On Saturday, he announced via YouTube that the state's deficit had grown to $16 billion, nearly twice what he projected when he released his initial budget proposal in January."

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/01/18/gov-brown-uses-tricks-to-balance-ca-budget

Ca. is FAR from OK and on the road to recovery, and LIBBY "fuzzy math" strikes again.

George Rebane

Walt 1024am - while what you report is correct, its effect on the majority of California's voters goes unnoticed. It is socialism's redistributionist schemes and the firm belief that government is the solution which resonates, and does so because it absolves the receptive individual from responsibility for anything other than to belly up to trough for his 'fair share' of that glorious 'stash' that all proper governments can pile up.

What we on the Right misunderstand is the power of that absolution from responsible behavior. We wrongly think that all we have to do is to simply explain the matter to them, and the light will go on, and that they will then vote properly. As a result we consider that having told them once is sufficient after which a large fraction of us then sit on our collective ass and don't even bother to vote during the next election.

Meanwhile the socialists' promise that 'I'll take his money and give it to you.' hits the spot every time because it requires nothing to understand. That is why SteveF and his ilk are triumphantly drawing for us the very evident "arc of liberalism" on which we are embarked. We have yet to figure out how to counter their simple promise and its destructive fulfillment. And it becomes harder and harder as they successfully introduce populist democracy into every reach of public life.

Walt

Like I pointed out before. Dealing with LIBS is not much different than dealing with Alzheimer's patients with Sun downer syndrome. You can show them all the facts of reality right before their eyes, and the next day they will deny they ever saw it and your full of... prunes......

" We balance the books with passing higher taxes". Uh,,, seen that money yet?
Businesses are leaving at the rate of 5 per day on average. What does that do to those tax numbers? The big bucks people are hitting the road too. ( just like they did in N.Y.) So much for that revenue.
If they are not leaving, their just going out of business.

Heck.. My pal out in Tex. is ready to send the "black moving vans" to my place in the dead of night and save me from this state.
Since wind turbines are not going up like they used to, he now builds underground bunkers. ( I wonder who he got that idea from??)

Joe Koyote

I think the polls represent a few different things. First, Gallup traditionally skews slightly right to begin with (note their inaccurate presidential polling in the last election). The increase in Independents represents displeasure with both political parties (just look at congressional approval ratings). The fact that more folks now identify as conservative is testimony to the power of right wing media machine to sway public opinion (despite the insistence of belief in the liberal press myth) and the defection of many disgruntled Dems to the Independent category.

I think the main reason conservative thought is not gaining is that on many issues ( social security, health care, environment, guns, etc.), conservatives are just out of step with a majority of Americans. Cons like to blame it on the "lib press" propaganda that brainwashes the public, but that is just an excuse. The truth is that wage earners are probably tired of what they perceive to be a continuous attack on their well-being (bargaining rights, retirement, wage stagnation, health care costs, pollution, etc etc.) while corporations are allowed to be persons.

Joe Koyote

All of the rhetoric about evil libs is beginning to sound like brownshirts talking about Jews. We all want the same things out of life. We just disagree about the best course of action in getting there. Hitler blamed the Jews for Germany's problems when the real problem was the Nazis Party and their close ties to Wall Street bankers and moguls like Prescott Bush and Avril Harriman, who made money off war. The purpose of politics in any social system is to confuse, disrupt, and divide a population so as to better control the riff/raff and keep the dominant culture (in this case the robber barons who have controlled the political and economic structure of America since its inception) in power. If things get worse, and I think they will because the system is broken no matter which so-called political party is in office, life could get ugly for everyone outside a gated community. I am not your enemy and you are not mine, we are all being played like a fiddle by the most sophisticated propaganda machine the world has ever seen. Remember the book "1984'? It was just off by a few years. The real question is who is pulling the strings, they are the real enemy.

Gregory

12:18

One might suspect the ones trying to disarm the riff-raff are the ones trying to pull the strings.

Scott Obermuller

It's easy to spot a progressive/lefty a mile away when they come up with old line about 'we all want the same things in life'. Well - some things. Some folks want (and can afford) several vacation homes. In our last episode we learned that these homes caused mass starvation. So does Joe the K want several vacation homes? No? But didn't you just say.....? And on it goes. We do not want the same things, Joe. That is a fact. It is one of several irrefutable facts of life that lefties don't understand. What "rights" do you want? I'll bet a month's wages those rights are different than the rights I want. Steve F waxes lyrically about 'expanded individual rights' we get with the sweep of modern 'liberalism'. Like the farmer that gets smashed by the govt for having the audacity to grow wheat for his own family to eat? Like the poor person that tries to build their own house with out coming up with $60 to $100K for a building permit? Like the child that wishes on his or her own time to pray in school? Our right to possess fire arms as long as we first pay thousands of dollars as is being pushed now by the liberals? Personal liberties have gotten better for some as their Constitutional rights became a part of their every day life. But at the same time, all Americans have lost many liberties to the creep of "liberalism" as it is practised today. We are all becoming slaves to the state. Our right to free movement is gone as we now allow the govt to detain (with out probable cause) motorists and even pedestrians. Our slightest activities are scrutinized for the possibility of extra levies to be charged. All of this from the expansion of liberalism. But we get 'increased security'. Thanks. The left wants security - the right wants liberty. We do not want the same things. But, if more folks want security at the expense of rights, then off we go to 1984. You win, lefties - hope you enjoy the outcome.

Ken Jones

Scott it was just about a decade ago that conservatives were so willing to give up personal rights in exchange for security. Lest you forget the previous adminstration and the Patriot Act? Or "Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud." Crickets.
On a basic level we do all want the same thing. Freedom, security, health and happiness. How we define these basic necessities is where the difference starts. Too often we scream about the same thing just from a different perspective.

George Rebane

Lest we forget, 'freedom' and 'security' live on opposite ends of the see-saw, as do 'liberty' and 'equality'. Beware of those who will tell you otherwise.

Ken Jones

Security and freedom are not mutually exclusive. I have the freedom to disagree with your blog secure in the fact that our govetnment or some other entity will not suppress my voice.

George Rebane

KenJ 336pm - Excellent Ken! That is the best expose of the liberals' understanding of these notions I have seen for some time.
“Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” Ben Franklin.

Walt

See the updated Union page? Look at all those new anti gun laws.
Even removing the grandfather clause. So ALL of us that got an AR style
weapon while they are legal are about to become lawbreakers.
WOW!! a "tax credit" when the forced buyback scam starts.
And this is the Liberals doing.

what was the BS line we heard not long ago? " No one is going to try and take your guns"... Care to spew that again?

George Rebane

re Walt's 400pm - a longheld RR dogma - To the extent that government is not already evil, it tends correct that shortcoming at every opportunity. Therefore always constrain it under an ever watchful eye.

Ken Jones

George I used the same quote when former President Bush was promoting the Patriot Act.

George Rebane

KenJ 521pm - It seems then that you've forgotten its meaning in the interval.

Walt

It would be nice to hear from our gun loving Leftys. ( they do exist,, don't they?) It's not like they didn't get the memo this was more than a possibility.
This was one of the issues they tried to shout down when the Tea Party was giving the warning. WE weren't so wrong after all..
OK gun loving DEMS,, Will you bow to the people you put in power, and willingly and without question fork over your " banned" gun? DO tell....

Te ball's in your court... The Conservatives can't do a thing to stop it, so you can't blame them for your(our) loss of rights. Consider this self inflicted.

Scott Obermuller

Ken at 3:36 - 'Security and freedom are not mutually exclusive.' You make a valid point in that we are 'secure' in our freedoms. (some of them, anyway) The type of security the left talks about is the govt making us feel secure by its distribution of goods. Since the govt can only obtain the goods in the first place from the producers, then we become slaves to the govt as they first 'take' the goods from us. Or the revenue to buy the goods. Of course they squander the money and skim plenty off the top and then tell us we didn't give them enough. A beggar nation has no rights and is not secure. We are fast approaching that status.

Ken Jones

Scott I disagree with your assertion about distribution of goods as well as George defending President Bush and the Patriot Act. Yes George the quote from Ben Franklin never was better suited then the approval of the Patriot Act.
The US isn't anywhere close to a beggar nation and those who claim we are moving in that direction are disgruntled that the political direction of the pendulum is swinging to the left at this time.

George Rebane

KenJ 1130am - My "approval" of the Patriot act is as conditional as that of most readers. But I do note that even with greater cause, Bush2 did not implement FDR's sedition act (Smith Act 1040), and without due process incarcerate thousands of Americans sharing our enemies' ethnicities.

It would be most interesting to hear your definition of a "beggar nation" and what observables would indicate our moving toward or away from such a state. But you are correct that a large segment of America is most "disgruntled" about the direction of the country; and worse, we no longer view it as a pendulum, since we see this democracy as having abandoned all vestiges of political cyclicity, at least any that would save it from raw autocracy.

Steve Frisch

The left arc of pendulum always looks like a fatal amplitude to the right; looked at head on it is merely the recurring period of history.

Ken Jones

Your view of a beggar nation George seems to coincide with the election of President Obama. Thus the implication that those that voted for Obama are for "the hand-out". Hardly, I just rejected the conservative agenda and even more so the Tea Party influence, albeit some in the Tea Party actually helped their opponents with their archaic attitudes towards women and minorities.
I see no condition under which the Patriotic Act deserved approval from either side of the political spectrum.

George Rebane

KenJ 157pm - I take that as a pass on answering my 104pm.

SteveF 139pm - Well then, from your mouth to God's ear. The 21st century is like all the others, only with more technology and higher unemployment. Same ol' seesaw?

Gregory

How very neo-Hegelian of you, Steve. Wishful thinking, too. There's no reason to think past leftist peaks will ever be revisited. Or rightwing or libertarian/classic liberalism. for that matter. There is no celestial certainty to political and economic oscillations and machinations.

Ken Jones

George your reference to FDR was a direct avoidance of the implementation of the Patriot Act by President Bush.
Further trying to equate WWII with the two wars in the Middle East is disingenuous at best.

George Rebane

KenJ 458pm - Bush2 implemented the Patriot Act after 11sep01, FDR implemented the Smith Act before 7dec41. One incarcerated without due process, the other one did not. Japan never vowed to destroy America, Islam has done so from so many quarters and so many times that no one can keep count. But both were arguably set up to be fifth columns in the US during their ensuing strikes.

Steve Frisch

"Islam" is not a nation.

George Rebane

SteveF 617pm - Absolutely correct, Islam is much more than a nation with the ability to unite peoples across international boundaries and continents. Such was Christianity at one time as it spread across the world.

Ken Jones

Islam has a fair amount of extremists. To label Islam as worse than Japan with the statement that Japan never vowed to destroy America is just mind boggling. Japan declared war on 12/08/41 and attacked the US the day prior. If that isn't "vowing" to destroy America with the attack and the declaration of war, I wouldn't know what other evidence you would require.
I see that using Islam and a war on terror plays on the fears of some. However it still doesn't support the passing of the Patriot Act, nor does the Smith Act have any bearing on that decision. Just playing dodge ball.

Steve Frisch

George, I am not necessarily coming to the defense of the Smith Act, but it must be remembered that the act did two things: it made advocating the violent overthrow of the United States government illegal, and it required non-citizen adults to register with the US government. The Smith Act was voted on immediately after the Third Reich had conquered France, and the US was shipping arms and material to Great Britain, and American ships outside US waters were considered fair game to U-Boats. The Smith Act was not declared unconstitutional until 1957. Consequently the actions under the Smith Act were not outside of due process. But the Smith Act did not authorize the arrest and incarceration of people without due process, the Alien Enemy Act of 1798 did. The acts allowed for the arrest and incarceration of alien enemies even without a declared war. Executive Order # 9066, which was issued after December 7th 1941, allowed for the incarceration of people of Japanese residents, whether citizens or not, to address the fact that the Alien Act of 1798 did not cover non-citizens.

Steve Frisch

Should read "people of Japanese descent" .....sorry.

Steve Frisch

Right Ken, inaccurate Dodge Ball.

Russ Steele

Ken@01:57

You wrote: "Tea Party actually helped their opponents with their archaic attitudes towards women and minorities."

Where do your get this crap? Are you branding a whole group of people by the action of one individual? If that is so, then your stupidity is branding all liberal/progressives as stupid.

Gregory

"Japan declared war on 12/08/41 and attacked the US the day prior. If that isn't "vowing" to destroy America with the attack and the declaration of war, I wouldn't know what other evidence you would require." -KJ

I never caught a whiff of Japan wanting to destroy the USA, but rather that they wanted the USA to stop interfering with Japan's imperialist expansion. I think they expected an America weakened by a protracted Depression and lacking a Samurai's resolve would back off and let Japan's expansion continue. Didn't work.

I suspect the 9/11 attack was meant in much the same way; they thought we'd cave.

George Rebane

KenJ 703pm - to unboggle your mind, you need to read the internal communications of the Japanese prior to Pearl Harbor to understand what I have told you. And a little bit of WW2 history would not hurt either to understand that Japan very realistically never expected to conquer the US, but did believe they could convince the US to leave them alone to develop their "Co-prosperity Sphere" in Asia without interference if they destroyed enough of our ability to project power in the Pacific while we were filling our role as the "Arsenal of Democracy" for our allies in Europe. They missed on both counts - they didn't destroy enough of our Navy, and totally underestimated that US industry could supply and power a massive two theater war.

Ken Jones

Russ why can't you simply discuss the merits of an argument instead of diving into the gutter? You made my point for me Russ. You really don't want to engage in a discussion on stupidity.

George Rebane

KenJ 1012pm - It would help if you could cite any "archaic attitudes toward women and minorities." As a member of the local tea party and privy to their published policy statements, I'm not aware of any such attitudes. However, if you ascribe the personal statements of any given politician as blanket policy of the tea parties, then I think you need to reconsider Russ Steele's 832pm.

Ken Jones

George if you are unaware of many of the conservative Tea Party politicians making archaic and caustic comments towards women as well as minorities then you are not nearly informed as you would like us to believe. Further I have no interest in climbing into the insult sandbox with Russ. Can't have a discussion without throwing out insults reflects poor judgement. And I find blanket statements towards liberals and progressives litter many of the statements in this blog. But that seems to be acceptable.

Russ Steele

Ken@10:36PM

Ken, with no evidence, no specific quotes, no links and no videos, we can all assume your claim was just your imagination. Demonstrate that you are not as . . . . as your claim that the "Tea Party actually helped their opponents with their archaic attitudes towards women and minorities."

I have been a Tea Party Member for over four years and I have never observed one incident that you claims is common. Why is that? You need to back up your claim, demonstrate that I am wrong, and your charge is wide spread though our the Tea Party! Or, we can assume that your are just plain . . . .

Ken Jones

Russ you omitted the beginning of my statement: some in the Tea Party actually helped their opponents with their archaic attitudes towards women and minorities. Some not the entire Tea Party. I know you can distinguish between some and all.
For instance Central Mississippi Tea Party president Janis Lane stated that the biggest mistake was giving women the right to vote. Her claim "Our country might have been better off if it was still just men voting. There is nothing worse than a bunch of mean, hateful women. They are diabolical in how than can skewer a person. I do not see that in men. The whole time I worked, I'd much rather have a male boss than a female boss. Double-minded, you never can trust them."
Yes archaic.
A UW poll :The data tells us this opposition and frustration with government is going hand in hand with a frustration and opposition to racial and ethnic minorities and gays and lesbians." And 52 percent agreed with the statement, "compared to the size of their group, lesbians and gays have too much political power."
Also archaic.

Russ Steele

Ken@08:11AM

Links please. Especially the UW poll. How the question is asked can influence the answer. The number of people in the poll is vital to determining how valid it is.

Some = "An unspecified amount or number" Could 1 or could be 1,000s.

Steve Frisch

Yeah, because its just so hard to believe that opposition to government is a proxy for racism, homophobia and xenophobia!

Gregory

" its just so hard to believe that opposition to government is a proxy for racism, homophobia and xenophobia"

I'm sure that concept is comforting to you, Steve. The more you dehumanize and daemonize your opponents the easier it is for you to dismiss their opposition.

George Rebane

SteveF 934am - well, that's another piece of information that I was not aware of - progressives do believe "that opposition to government is a proxy for racism, homophobia and xenophobia!(sic)" And I presume that the obverse is also held to be true. Illuminating stuff.

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