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26 November 2010


Barry Pruett

Well said.

Todd Juvinall

What fascinates me about the liberal is their denial of history. I have always loved history especially military history. The movement of warriors and the battles they fought have really made the planets bulk of historical record. There were always kings and the peasants were just the fodder for the kings. Along comes America and reveres the individual and removes the king. The liberal has replaced the king with an overarching government and I suppose they somehow think they would be exempt from the wall when the individual is tamed.

George Rebane

Good thought Todd, you took the words right out of my mouth. I should have included that.

Paul Emery


Before you start casting judgments of the tactics and language used by your critics I would like to know your opinion of the language and style used by people you seem to admire such as Rush Linbaugh, Glen Beck, Slime Master Andrew Breitbart and Carl Rove. I can bring up endless examples of them using the same tactics that you claim Pelline and Frisch use. By your apparently condoning the tactics of your fellow travelers it removes any moral justification for your critiques of verbosity of those who oppose you. Can I provide you with some examples for your comment?

D. King

"...and I suppose they somehow think they would be exempt from the wall when the individual is tamed."

That, is where the term "useful idiot"
comes from.

Mike Sherman

I am having a difficult time seeing “Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Slime Master Andrew Breitbart and…..” in George’s posts, unless you are referring to a like-minded ability to extrapolate on truth.

What is truth? Well, that seems to be different for many people this day and age. However, when the rubber meets the road, there are absolutely absolutes, thus you can actually discover the truth.

“The truth of the matter is”….how many times do we hear that every time a talking head is given the microphone? What is the truth……of a particular subject for debate? For most it seems to be what boils down to a heart-felt ‘feeling”. However, truth can come forward based on the accumulation of facts.

And the fact of the matter is Rush, Glen, Sarah, Bill, Carl, Ann, Charles……they all have a knowledge and ability that far exceeds anyone on the left, thus the reason for the ratings. It’s a now-brainer……it is the actual truth of the matter.

George Rebane

Paul, unfortunately and unintentionally I have again eluded you. I cast no judgements save the attempt to illuminate the vast barricades between our widely divergent views of reality. However, your comment indicates that you are quite sanguine with the cited Pelline post. Perhaps I err.

Paul Emery


For the record, I don't appreciate or support the type of language you refer to. However you consistently characterize the "left" in a demeaning manner that would justify the same level or response.
However, the rhetoric used in the post that you refer to is mild compared to Glen Beck.

"I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. ... No, I think I could."

or Rush Linbaugh
"You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray. We miss you, James. Godspeed."

I can go on and on. Why not condemn all language of that kind and maintain a civil dialogue. As much as I didn't support most of Ronald Reagan's policies I appreciated his style which was always respectful but very direct.

Mike Sherman

Somehow I never equated television ratings with intelligence.

Todd Juvinall

I always give Paul a break because he is an unabashed liberal and he has strong opinions about the right. He does use code words to describe his derision. He uses "developer" "slimeball" and many other colorful terms to describe the right. He does refrain from using those terms on people like Ed Schultz, Maddow, Matthews and Dean among others. So, I usually don't take it too seriously when Paul or other liberals make requests from conservatives for some sort of comparisons.

Greg Goodknight

"And the fact of the matter is Rush, Glen, Sarah, Bill, Carl, Ann, Charles……they all have a knowledge and ability that far exceeds anyone on the left, thus the reason for the ratings."

-Mike Sherman, even though I'm not sure who your Charles or Carl are, I'm afraid that's as silly as anything I've heard from the loony left who think Olberman and Maddow are just speaking truth to power.

-Paul Emery, you seem to be saying, 'well, yes, Pelline and Frisch pull the same crap as Beck and Company, but George can't call Jeff and Steve on it until he denounces those national figures'.

For one thing, none of the right wing pundits and media figures register as decline-to-state and proclaim themselves part of the great middle.

Pelline, in particular, has spectacularly double standards for his friends on the left vs. what he'll allow the folks who aren't his friends on the left. And he'll not follow his own claimed standards when he posts on this and on Steele's blog.

In short, both Pelline and Frisch can dish it out, but they can't take it.

Paul Emery

I didn't realize "developer" was a derogatory word...

Greg Goodknight

Paul, do you think the average KVMR listener thinks "developer" is a positive or neutral word?

Steven Frisch

If I couldn't take it I would not be here. I think I've proved I can take it. The reality is if you are going to dish it out we are not going to sit back without countering your crap.

In a previous post I recommended a truce---a real truce not a bullshyte one where you go back to titling posts with my name, reposting from Jeff's blog, or allowing your posters to make personal attacks.

If Rebane and Steele are game, I am.

If not--I will keep attacking their ideas by name at every possible opportunity.

Greg Goodknight

George, it isn't the "so-called Nolan Chart". David Nolan, co-founder of the Libertarian Party, really was the one who refined and popularized this two dimensional model to displace the polarizing, one dimensional left-right model. The Nolan Chart gives form to an otherwise difficult to explain concept.

You may remember Carl Sagan's explanation of living in Flatland as an exercise for understanding how difficult it is to imagine more than 3 physical dimensions... It turns out getting Left-Right partisans to grok the Nolan Chart is similar to the problem of getting Flatlanders to look UP.

David Nolan died of a stroke in Tucson last week, on Nov 21, two days shy of his 67th birthday.

George Rebane

Paul, I characterize the local left's promotion of its ideology as being in hubristic error. I have explained the source of my perception, we live in different universes. They no doubt view me and mine similarly. If you judge their rhetoric to be equivalent to mine, then you have illustrated yet another aspect of our division which derails dialogue.

Greg, yes, that's the correct Nolan of the chart fame. Sorry to hear of his death. And I fully agree with your Flatlander analogy.

George Rebane

SteveF, whatever makes you think that I would want you to stop posting your counterpoints. For my readers of all persuasions they serve as visible, constant, and substantiating memorials to the differences between our philosophies and powers of your argument. If you're happy, I'm happy.

I will continue referring to what I believe to be the errors of the multifariously labeled leftists. You will only feel my repartees to the extent that you identify with the referenced political classes. In receiving your counters, I am relieved of such secondary labors.

That you attack me personally indicates that you believe I am the lone holder of such beliefs, and have been able to garner a large and ignorant audience. As hard as that may be to believe, neither is the case.

Greg Goodknight

George, if you've not read Thomas Sowell's "A Conflict of Visions", you should. We live in the same universe, but Sowell makes a case for two dominant visions of human nature which he calls constrained and unconstrained. Pelline and Co. would call these "idiots and the enlightened". So might Todd J., but Todd (no offence intended,Todd) would have the categories reversed from Jeff's.

The unconstrained vision of the anointed is where our coercive Utopians's hope springs eternal. The constrained or tragic view would rather trust to freedom of choice and the rule of law that doesn't bend with the wind to minimize the unintended side effects of the latest harebrained scheme gone wild.

By the way, Sowell doesn't divide these into left and right. There are examples of both in each of those camps, though the left is typically unconstrained, and vice versa.

The unconstrained among us might be more receptive to the same basic ideas from George Lakoff's "Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think".

George Rebane

Thanks Greg for those references. As I have tried to point out, I also am not comfortable with the single dimensional version of the political spectrum. For example, for at least a century there have been progressives in both parties.

And the Nolan chart is also a mighty attempt that falls short. But in its study, I have to conclude that today's liberals etc are operating in disguise. They are actually authoritarians as indicated on the Nolan chart. Their continual constraints on personal liberties separates them even from the liberals of the Woodstock age. Today's left unabashedly wants to control both our economic and personal behaviors.

Such people have every right to promote that. My bone with them is that their rhetoric is at odds with the laws and regulations that they pass. They don't fess up to the truth of their beliefs and therefore bamboozle the electorate.

Greg Goodknight

Steve, you seem to have a hard time posting without resorting to expletives or crude caricatures, misspelled or not, or translated into another language, though I will agree you do have thicker skin than Pelline.

I can't be interested in your so-called truce while I am barred from Pelline's blog for posting more respectfully than Pelline ever does here or at Steele's. I believe you took a special dislike to me when I didn't let you get away with describing yourself on The Union blogs as just a regular guy without conflicts of interest while, on Prop 23 and AB32, you were (and are) a walking, talking conflict of interest as President of the truly misleadingly named Sierra Business Council.

Greg Goodknight

George, any simplified reference frame will fall short of reality; maybe someday a usable three dimensional representation for all political thought will be developed, but with so many choking on just two dimensions, this should be it for now.

The left-right paradigm is about two centuries old. Paradigm shifts take time and good luck.

Greg Goodknight

George, one more before I give it a rest... the site you found with this version of The Quiz is interesting...

As usual, the shadings of the questions I find a bit constraining, but this one has me on the Left-Leaning Freedom Lover chunk of the Libertarian quadrant, close to the Radical Libertarian section.

I'm guessing Pelline would still say Extreme Right Wing, but one should consider the source. The farther to the left, the more anything not Left is indistinguishable from Right.

Jeff Pelline

You've been talking to yourself in the last three posts here. Why not give it a rest? LOL.

Barry Pruett

Moderation in the protection of liberty is no virtue; extremism in the defense of freedom is no vice.

Keep going Greg...I am enjoying the read as I watch OSU thump Michigan.

Barry Pruett

The extreme leftist in Nevada County (Pelline, NCDCC, Frisch, et al.) need the conservatives in California to behave like liberals. The fact of the matter is that our extreme leftists statewide need to moderate in the defense of freedom. The rest of the country has realized this...along with Germany, France, and England...California will follow (most likely kicking and screaming like babies). LOL.

Todd Juvinall

Greg keep it up, you are so much smarter than Pelline etal and I enjoy reading your stuff.

Barry Pruett

Let us remember that it is leftists who support convicted cop-killers, organize to prevent other Americans from exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights, consistently threaten violence, and otherwise have a long history of supporting foreign powers who wish our nation and its freedoms harm.

For many years, the anti-American culture of the extreme left has been largely ignored. Like a cancer running through the body politic, the culture of hating America has metasticised. It is now “uncool” to have a flag in the yard, support our troops or believe in American exceptionalism.


Jeff Pelline

Be careful of your extremist labeling of us moderates. We have a flag in our yard(s) too. Always have.

Russ Steele

Keep going Greg . . .

I think that readers will note that you have contributed to the discussion, while Jeff P could only summoned up his superior intellectual capacity to chide you for your contributions. Most revealing!

George Rebane

Greg, you and we all can be thankful that they are constantly watching us. Fortunately, we are never without an audience, especially when certain buttons get pushed. Stand by for the next post.

Greg Goodknight

Jeff, I've apparently been talking to you, Barry, Todd and probably others, along with answering George and Steve.

Barry, Jeff just thinks if you Republicans were more like Democrats he'd like you more. It's similar to Pelosi, as the current Congress was seated after the whomping Dems gave R's two years ago (a love tap compared to the thumping three weeks ago), claiming the lopsided numbers meant there'd be more bipartisanship, not less.

Meaning, of course, that bipartisanship for Democrats really does refer to Republicans caving and agreeing with Democrats. No need for that in California now, Dems own the place. Lock, stock and barrel. We'll see how well that's working out in 2012 and 2014.

Jeff Pelline

The "we" you refer to is being marginalized by the day. Your "fellow" Republicans in our county don't even post here. Why not? Stay tuned for more of the same.

Michael Anderson

I have been in Southern California since the beginning of the week, but catching snippets from the ongoing Nevada County Left v. Right Blog War with some dismay.

While staying with my in-laws I was perusing their library and came across Mortimer J. Adler's "Six Great Ideas." I have described my political position as Libertarian Progressive and I am quite comfortable with how this fits with those ideas.

Truth. Goodness. Beauty.
Justice. Equality. Liberty.

Two triads: one dependent on Truth and the other dependent on Justice. For the Libertarian Progressive, Justice is the Prime Directive.

For the unabashed liberal, egalitarianism is the pivot for justice and liberty. For the unabashed libertarian, liberty is the pivot for equality and justice.

I don't have time to find a liberal quote that exemplifies this, but Barry above provides the example for libertarianism: "Moderation in the protection of liberty is no virtue; extremism in the defense of freedom is no vice."

Extreme equality stamps out liberty, and extreme liberty stamps out equality. Without justice, neither equality nor liberty is possible.

Greg Goodknight

No, the "we" I was referring to is the entire country, and they can't be my "fellow" Republicans because I've *never* been a Republican, nor do I have any desire to be. Left-Libertarian and Republican doesn't mix well except over wine and cheese.

I'd rather be a Democrat again but I doubt the party will return to its anti-Federalist roots in my lifetime. However, stranger things have happened.

C'mon, Jeff. Take the test:

Jeff Pelline

This blog is extreme right, not "right."

Jeff Pelline

I also LOL at this "test." It's *so* old. Dick Phillips brought it to The Union a long time ago, jumping up and down insisting we run it. We did, on the opinion page. NC is stuck in a time warp. Sometimes that's quaint, sometimes it not.

Greg Goodknight

There are multiple versions; this is one of many. Give it a try, Jeff. It's fun and it's free! ;)

Barry Pruett

Jeff: You profess to be middle of the road...yet your handful of admirers represent the extreme leftists in Nevada County? Does that not tell you anything?

Account Deleted

Michael, the maxim at the end of your last post is interesting and I get the gist. But the trouble is that if you and I (and others) were to write down what we believe are the meanings of the key words, we would have a few different ideas. Also, when using a word like 'equality', The meaning in terms of how it relates to our American govt. and it's citizens is a totally different story from one person to the next. As an example, I believe that following the Constitution and the Bill Of Rights leads to full equality (extreme, if you wish) without impinging on anyones liberties.

Jeff Pelline

These "talking points" of yours are an old saw. Don't worry about my "admirers." They are diverse, growing and hardly "a handful." In our county, moderates and the Left are getting together. Our county is changing, and you are on the wrong side of change for whatever reason. When it comes to "admirers," you lost every percent in our county when you ran for clerk recorder, one of the biggest local political drubbings in history! You are marginalizing yourself more every day, too. Why don't any "fellow" Republicans post on your blog or this blog? What does that tell you?

Barry Pruett

Jeff: I do not profess to be "middle of the road." I am an unabashed fiscal conservative and social moderate. That is who I am and I am not trying to mislead anyone. Unlike you who is dishonest intellectually with regards to your poltical leanings, I am comfortable with myself. Nobody in this community believes that you are a moderate...it is however funny to hear you say it. Only in the eyes of Jeff Pelline (our local "middle of the roader") is it marginalizing to defend liberty! LOL.

So do you care to answer the question posed? No, of course not. You have not written an article in support of any conservative...even one's with moderate views such as Fiorina and Whitman. "The lady doth protest too much."

Far from moderation, you are a lefty extremist...just embrace it and make your life more tolerable. LOL

Jeff Pelline

You do not "know" this community. You are holed up with like-minded people. Your idea of diversity is a trip to SPD in Nevada City. LOL.

Sarah H

It must be noted, again, that Steve Frisch has promised on multiple occasions to "leave rebane's blog and never return" only to show his lack of integrity by returning time and time again. He has proven himself not worthy of another man's trust.

Barry Pruett

Thank you for making my point Jeff.

Barry Pruett

Classi John Stoos -

"Imagine if folks had told the Republicans after the 1852 and 1856 elections that they needed to drop this whole opposition to slavery talk if they wanted to ever be a major national party."

Moderation would have destroyed liberty...I love Stoos.

Greg Goodknight

Pelline is just trying the classic "bandwagon" propaganda line. Empty rhetoric to try to convince others of the popularity of his favorite politics, and anyone not following that parade is missing out on the future.

Nationally, the left got whipped at the polls a few weeks ago. California's gone to the dogs, or at least the Unions, on it's way to bankruptcy. Dems will be the only ones holding the bag when the bell tolls.

Barry Pruett

...with no bailout from the feds.

Nuff said

"Imagine if folks had told the Republicans after the 1852 and 1856 elections that they needed to drop this whole opposition to slavery talk if they wanted to ever be a major national party."

Let's see ... in one case, the Republican political leaders were fighting for people of color. In the other case, they fighting against it ... Yeah, Barry, Stoos is a genius. LOL.

It's also funny to listen to you and Pelline argue over who best knows this community, considering neither of you have been around here for much more than decade. One of you is removed as editor of the local paper and the other gets beat in a landslide election. Doesn't seem like either of you have a good grasp, or good reputation around here.

BTW ... "leftists who support convicted cop-killers, organize to prevent other Americans from exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights, consistently threaten violence, and otherwise have a long history of supporting foreign powers who wish our nation and its freedoms harm."

This is the hateful, labeling kind back & forth BS between the dems and repubs that we Americans are so sick and tired of (as you found out in your campaign). Apparently you don't get that, so we'll assume you've hung up your political aspirations.

Barry Pruett

Nuff said: First, I know who you are. Second, I have never been a politician, nor will I ever be. My views will be expressed without regards to political concerns. I am only concerned about the truth. Sorry the truth hurts your feelings. LOL.

Dixon Cruickshank

and otherwise have a long history of supporting foreign powers who wish our nation and its freedoms harm."

Let me see here, which of our recent Speakers of the House visited Syria - against everyones else's wishes and to what end ??

To whom do we owe the brillence of giving the Palistinions another $150M on top of the $400M we just gave them ??

PS - Gaza is much better off economically than the US, their economy is booming

Greg Goodknight

"Be careful of your extremist labeling of us moderates." - Pelline

Jeff, never has a statement of yours needed a smiley more than this one. Might there be anyone you worked with at The Union that could stand behind this claim of yours? I can't remember anyone standing up for this moderation claim of yours... actually having an obvious moderate claim you as a fellow traveler would do wonders to make this claim credible.

Remember, a "moderate" in San Francisco is different than a moderate elsewhere. I think just knowing a Republican makes one a moderate when in Baghdad by the Bay.

Greg Goodknight

And more about "the test". I was first distributing a version of it about 25 years ago; the one that George linked to is one of the better ones I've ever seen.

I'd say the chance of Jeff Pelline scoring anything close to Centrist is about a snowball's chance in hell, but I'd nonetheless be quite ready to be surprised to find he really is a centrist. Take the test, Jeff, and tell us how that site thinks where you're head is at, besides the dark place where many here think it is. Take the test, report the results.


The Left-Right paradigm is two centuries old; a replacement is long past due.

Greg Goodknight

I expect Michael Anderson has known Jeff for quite some time... Michael, do you think Pelline is a moderate? How does his politics differ from yours?

Greg Goodknight

I expect Michael Anderson has known Jeff for quite some time... Michael, do you think Pelline is a moderate? How does his politics differ from yours?

Dixon Cruickshank

I haven't looked at the test but I can assume "Red" lights and bells and whistles going off half way through - that is if he was honest in his answers, that would be unlikely as well - Like I've said before " if he was any more left he'd walk in circles"

I did like the comment about him having a flag in the yard, although he didn't mention which one

Dixon Cruickshank

pssst - just wanted to bring up a rather current collectivist failure unfolding as we watch

the EU

If your so inclined to feel the EU and the Euro will eventually fail, try this ETF - EUO but you will have to pay attention but it trades at 200% leverage on the $ vs the Euro. Has made quite a move recently and was the 3rd largest share for shorts covering their positions as of 11/15

Greg Goodknight

I know they read this blog, so here's the unanswered questions:

1) Jeff, yes, it's been around in one form or another for a couple decades... where do you stand on the Nolan Chart? What were your answers?

I'll be happy to post mine first, just promise you'll do the same.

2) Michael Anderson, you've known Jeff for awhile, do you think he's a moderate? Where does he seem to differ from your political point of view.

Michael Anderson

Greg G.,

Not sure what info. causes you to write "you've known Jeff for a while," but we do have kids the same age and we cross paths every now and again. Jeff and I have never broken bread together, which we should probably rectify, but there you have it.

Anyway, to answer your question directly, for whatever it's worth, I do actually think that Jeff P. is a moderate. Maybe not in the right-leaning world of Nevada County, but certainly in the state of California as a whole.

Would he be considered a moderate in some redneck suburb adjacent to Atlanta? Of course not, he'd be characterized as an America-hating communist. Would he be considered a moderate in the Haight-Ashbury? Absolutely not, he'd be labeled a toady of Charlton Heston in that neighborhood.

As I have said before, my political point of view is Libertarian Progressive. On the Nolan Chart I am a Left-Leaning Freedom Lover, in the same quadrant as George, just on the other side. Pretty much the same place you are located if I am reading your postings correctly.

Based upon my reading of Jeff P.'s writing, I would imagine that he is somewhere within the white ring, probably in the liberal quadrant.

Steven Frisch

I just did the following Nolan Chart Survey and guess where I ended up? Smack dab in the middle of the the moderate circle.


Todd Juvinall

Not based on what tripe I read from you on these blogs. Self delusion is a curable malady.

Greg Goodknight

My interest is piqued; I'm to the left of Frisch? Fascinating. A cynic might opine that his answers, rather than thoughtful responses, were chosen to generate a desired result.

If George will agree to the role, I'll send my quiz2d *answers* to George, to be released here when Steve Frisch sends in his answers.

Michael Anderson, you once wrote the following in response to comments of mine regarding AGW:
""Let it be known that people like you pose the greatest danger to life on earth, and we are cataloging your behavior in real time.

People like you--educated, but toadies for the evil life killers of the planet for whatever reason--are high on the target list.

Dumping carbon is evil, just like dumping sewage into a river is evil. If you can't agree to that, we have a major problem."

Those are not the words of a libertarian "left leaning freedom lover".

George Rebane

Agreed Greg.

Steven Frisch

I'm not sure I could repeat the performance. It was a 10-15 question survey and 3 weeks ago. I don't remember all my answers. But I'll try----

Ok here it is

Liberal-Leaning Centrist on political map

Steven Frisch

Answer Key:

1) 2
2) 3
4) 5
5) 3
6) 4
7) 2
8 ) 3
9) 3
10) 2
11) 3


Mikey McD

Libertarian on political map

Guess Who?

Steve Frisch

A graphic representation of the difference between governing and ideology.

By the way, the first time I did the test I came out a little more slightly on the libertarian side.

George Rebane

SteveF, upon reflection, what changed?

Steve Frisch

I'm not sure. I did not save my responses the first time around,
only the graphic. If you click on the link to the first chart you will see I only moved over one square on the chart. If I had to guess it would be that I moved a little in that final group of ranked issues.

Michael Anderson

Here's mine:

Left-Leaning Freedom Lover on political map

And here's my answers:

1. 4
2. 5
3. 3
4. 6
5. 3
6. 4
7. 3
8. 3
9. 4
10. 3
11. 4


Steven Frisch

Wow Michael, if we trusted this test you would be considered more 'liberal' than me!

Michael Anderson

And more libertarian (with a small "l"), as well!

I have taken a number of these types of "you're-really-a-libertarian" tests over the years and this is certainly one of the better ones. In particular I enjoyed the canned response at the end which attempts to get me to do some reading so that I will hopefully (I'm assuming from the test-writer's POV) move more in the direction of where Mikey resides.

Steve, I plugged your numbers in to see what the canned response was for your classification. It seems that as a centrist there is less hope for your conversion, but some less vociferous attempts to move you were still made.

In the real world, tests like this are reductionist and should only serve as a crude tool to begin the dialogue, not end it.

Steven Frisch

I agree wholeheartedly with the comment that these things tend to be reductionist. By boiling these complex political issues down to their 'essence' we often loose the nuance, and thus the logic behind a specific position is lost.

For example, I would have answered differently on question 1--about government spending, if the description had been different. I voted for #2-'keep it the same'.

I support shrinking government by between 5-10%. That would be between $175-$350 billion just from the federal budget. But question 1 implies that the cause of the size of the budget is waste, fraud and abuse. The modifying description, and the stretch to 10-20% kept me from choosing number 3.

So contrary to Georges observation about socialism a few days ago, that being 'a little bit socialist' is like being a little bit pregnant, I could be a little bit libertarian, but the insistence of the pregnant libertarians to make be be the whole thing keeps me abstinent.

The whole libertarian test experiance reminds me of doing the Meyers-Briggs test, where I usually come out an ENTJ. It is a a nice start, like tossing I Ching coins, but really does not mean anything into you dig into the dark Jungian detail.

Michael Anderson

And here I thought "Just Say No" was only appropriate for The War on Drugs!

Thanks for providing me with my first morning chuckle, Steve.

Steve Frisch

Greg, I popsted my results and the chart above. just curious about yours at this point.

Michael Anderson

Greg, I'm also looking forward to reviewing your Nolan data.

George, are you able to pull the trigger?

"If George will agree to the role, I'll send my quiz2d *answers* to George, to be released here when Steve Frisch sends in his answers."

George Rebane

Absolutely Michael, I'll do whatever I can to facilitate the exchange of information in such discussions. Please tell me what exactly I must do to help.

Steve Frisch

I am a little amazed that I came out as "moderate" as I did on this survey, and think it has to do with the bias of the survey toward one dimensional answers, directing one to the closest position to ones own.

But this brings up an interesting point. I know my own politics pretty well, and have a pretty good read on other peoples political positioning. I am on record here, and at Russ' blog, stating that I believe that the US is a "center-right" nation rather than a "center left" nation. I fully acknowledge that and recognize that my personal politics are a little to the left of the nation and our region.

I believe that capitalism is the best system yet devised by man to allocate resources, increase standards of living and prosperity, and incentivize doing the innovative and often "right" thing.

The core issue is that although capitalism is the best system, it is still imperfect, and in many instances allows people and companies to externalize the true cost of production of products, goods and services. For example, when manufacturing computers there are significant social and environmental costs related toxic and carcinogenic components, that often end up in land fills and leach into water supplies, and then need to be remediated at public expense. It only makes sense to me that we should be internalizing these externalities, so that products, goods and services actually reflect the true cost of production. In this way the developers of same would be incentivized to reduce or eliminate the formerly externalized costs, users would be taking responsibility for their own consumption, and the need for environmental regulation would be reduced.

Being a capitalist does not mean staying stuck in the 19th Century, it means actually working to make capitalism an effective tool to address some of the social and environmental problems that have emerged as a result of our use of resources. For capitalism to continue to address our needs, and act as the engine of prosperity it has been, it needs to be flexible and evolve as human understanding of those consequences and impacts evolve.

How many readers here would agree that the emitters of toxic pollution should pay for those impacts? How many agree that if the cost of producing a widget includes using resources held as part of the "commons" the users of that resource bear the responsibility for paying for it, and managing the resource so that our use today does not destroy the resource for future generations?

There are many here that would define that as socialism, but they are demonstrably wrong. What I just described is not socialism, it is taking responsibility for ones own actions. It is actually how most people would define modern conservatism.

I am one of the few, and earliest, of those mis-identified as liberals here to come out strongly for deficit reaction, and have put up specific recommendations for reducing the deficit.

Yet I come here, day after day, and see the political philosophy I profess described in the most inaccurate histrionic terms. Above is proof based on a tool advanced by George that clearly identifies my positions, in not one but two separate takings of the test, as a centrist, with no acknowledgement from the howling wolves of the right that they are actually the radicals. I come here and find George describing fascist Germany as a left wing totalitarian state, when every respected historian would vehemently disagree, and I could site a dozen or more if I was willing to debate a stone wall, with no accountability for the inaccuracy of this statement from the regulars here.

The point it illustrates is that although I know where I am on the American political spectrum, I really don't think those within George's affinity group really know where they are. Regardless of recent election results, which I believe have more to do with the Democrats historic inability to package their message rather than a real disconnect with American values, the group here is actually on the radical fringe.

America is a center right nation, and the Sierra Nevada is a center right political environment, but the views expressed here are not center right. There is no room for any center here--just right. Living in the woods with Mickey McD is simply not an option for most of us; allowing or hastening our states disintegration is not an option for most of us; collapse of our social, economic and natural systems to test some arcane libertarian theory is not an option for us; and purging people who are willing to reach across the political divide to seek pragmatic solutions is not an option.

I know where I am, I am on the side of the people and against the dangerous radicals who are standing in the way of the adaptations of capitalism that we need to deal with the modern world.

Where are you?

George Rebane

SteveF – Thank you for that expanded explanation of your position. I agree with almost all you say about capitalism and am heartened that those are your beliefs about that system of generating and distributing wealth in society.

However, I have continue a disagreement with you about Nazism. Right wing cannot be ascribed both as holding to libertarian concepts of liberty AND concurrently prescribing the strict control of means and distribution of production and proscription of those same liberties. The right/left polemic has been muddied by historians of many colorations. It is though a documented fact (e.g. Goebbel’s diaries) that the seed ideology for national socialism came from Marx and Lenin’s international socialism.

So I ask you to pick a coherent definition of right wing with which you would like to paint us. In no way do any of us on the conservative/libertarian side sign up for the prescriptions of either national or international socialism. Individual liberties are inconsistent with both.

Steven Frisch

First, libertarianism is not the only political philosophy located on the right side of the spectrum.

Second, using Joseph Goebbel's as a source for your description of the Nazi economy, or even as a source on the origins of Nazism, is a pretty bad source. If you are going to use a source from within the Nazi party to discuss the economy I think you might want to consider looking at the writing of Hjalmar Schacht who actually constructed and ran early NAZI economic policy, or take a look at the 4 year plan put together to ready Germany for war that was overseen by Goering, or look at the economy that Albert Speer colluded on constructing with slave labor.

Historians like Allan Bullock, William Shirer and Ian Kershaw, or on the economy Tim Mason would disagree with your analysis. Historians may have it 'muddled' in your mind, but they are the historians.

Finally, here is another nice little graphic to illustrate my point.


Steven Frisch

I think Greg offered to have you (George) act a a 'go between' for posting his responses to the Nolan chart.

Sarah H

Frisch your comments have tones of being unhappy & angry & miserable & hateful- again. Your obsession with emotionally charged material is not constructive to the dialogue. It speaks volumes that you wish for the individual to be stripped of liberty AND that you trust government to run lives better than a free man. Instead of citing pollutants which no one wants in our streams [and which we already control]... why not discuss meaty issues like taxes, gun control, food production, building codes, foreign aid, Social Sec., etc.?
What sunset tonight! Hopefully Nevada County had a good one too; of course the wine helped. Gnite!

Sarah H

Right-Leaning Freedom Lover on political map

I finally figured it out!

George Rebane

Again SteveF you are attacking hills not defended. No one made that point about libertarianism. Second, Goebbels was the ideological brain of the Nazis for almost 20 years. The "early" Nazis ran no economy and had no national power in Germany. Goering was a buffoon, who oversaw very little of economic and logistical matters. You are correct in the ascription of Speer's role. He was the logistical genius who brought the productive capacity of Germany under state control and brilliantly managed its operation as it was destroyed bit by piece during the war. William Shirer ('Rise and Fall ...') and Albert Speer ('Inside the Third Reich') make that very clear.

Also from the 'Ayn Rand Lexicon' http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/fascism_and_communism-socialism.html

But you still haven't answered how we right wingers can back both individual liberty and autocratic control of all organs of the state and functions of the country. That clarification would perhaps be a stepping stone to common ground.

George Rebane

Way to go SarahH!

Steve Frisch

George, for someone who actually lived through a portion of this history your appalling lack of historic knowledge and unwillingness to actually research your comments is telling. By early Nazi economy I of course meant the economy they brought in after they seized power in 1933. I am well aware of the gap between the founding of the Nazi party and the nazi seizure of power. Schacht ran the economy then, and until 1937, when buffoon or not, Goering took over the implementation of the 4 year plan that was designed to gear the economy up for full war production.

Goebbels was not the brains of the Nazi movement he was the mouth.

For a guy who lived through the worst part of it, your history is rusty. It is of course often true that someone who actually lives through epic times does not see it as clearly as someone with an outside.

Barry Pruett

Damn dude...answer the question and stop blathering about how you are smarter than George.

"But you still haven't answered how we right wingers can back both individual liberty and autocratic control of all organs of the state and functions of the country. That clarification would perhaps be a stepping stone to common ground."

Steve Frisch

By the way, just to be clear about my knowledge of Objectivism, I read all of Ayn Rands writings as an adolescent, where Objectivism soon joined Existentialism, Nihilism and Anarchism as philosophical trends explored as a child and rejected as an adult.

To a teenager Dominique Francon or Dagney Taggert may seem like a bit of a fantasy, but they were Palinesque in their depth. I prefer my women more like Dorothy Parker.

Steven Frisch

Barry, in short, I answered the question in my first response up above when I said "First, LIbertarianism is not the only political philosophy located on the right side of the spectrum".

"the right" is an artificial construct and it can and is made up of many parts, just as '"the left" is made up of many parts. Right libertarianism is not the only inhabitant of the right side of the spectrum. Consequently, authoritarianism and right libertarianism can simultaneously inhabit that same space. That does not mean that all libertarians are also authoritarians, but is does mean they are located next to each other on the spectrum, and may have some characteristics of each other.

But that does not go far enough. The real answer is that part of libertarianism as you practice it here IS autocratic control of the state and functions of the country.

Let me give you just one example: corporate personhood. What began as the basic right of a corporation to enter into contracts has gradually expanded into rights to all other protections granted natural person, such as due process, property, free speech, and increasingly against discrimination and self incrimination. The central question is "do associations of people as corporations have the same rights that individual people do". No where in the constitution does it state that corporations have such rights, as a matter of fact most founders warned against the 'monopolies in commerce' that can effect government and restrict the rights of the people.

By the way, if one is an 'originalist' I would think they would vehemently object to this creeping redefinition of constitutional intent.

The practical effect of granting corporations such rights, which many here who call themselves libertarians support, is the gradual diminishment of individual rights as associations of people granted such rights band together, manipulate the organs of state, and are capable of overwhelming individual actions in politics.

This is a classic example of how a 'libertarian' position is also an authoritarian position.

I would point out that there are dozens of other examples of the inconsistency between the opinions and positions supported by many here and libertarianism.

1) A libertarian would not legislate sexual orientation (gay marriage and DADT).
2) A libertarian would not legislate drug use (Prop 19).
3) A libertarian would not legislate medical care (abortion).
4) A libertarian would not support foreign offensive wars (the Bush Doctrine).
5) A libertarian would not impair free expression, including expression like the publication of documents through Wikileaks.
6) A libertarian would support full damages for any one harming the environment (Prop 23, CWA, CAA, NEPA, ESA).

The point I am making here is that George, when he asks this question, is actually not a Libertarian, he is a hybrid. He cherry picks his libertarian positions, and mixes them in with authoritarian positions, and probably in some cases liberal positions. Actually, reading your comments, you do the same thing. You may identify yourself as a Libertarian but you are not a Libertarian, you are a combination of several political philosophies.

Thus the circle closes, we are not, any of us, any one thing. We are many things. To think otherwise is naive and childish.
We cannot place people on a spectrum; their individual political philosophies are much more complex and nuanced than a chart, a dynamic I explain and acknowledge in myself above. The difference between you and me and George is that I understand and acknowledge that.

By the way, I am still waiting for Greg Goodknight to live up to his end of the bargain stated above and post his answers and chart.

Steven Frisch

A very smart man once told me that brevity often masks lack of depth, which is why most Americans have made it a virtue.

Steven Frisch

All I can say to Sarah is, Madam I am a happy man, I am defending liberty and freedom, and the same sun sets and provides beauty to both of us. If you do not see that, you simply do not understand my position.

Mikey McD

I am a libertarian in so much as I am an anti-collectivist. I am a libertarian in so much as I respect the constitution/bill of rights/dec of independence as providential and perfect documents. I don't agree with the Wilson/FDR expansion of the term 'rights', I completely disagree with the immoral, discriminatory and manipulative progressive tax system (though I pay begrudgingly each year and consider it charity). I don't care about who has sex with who or how they have sex with who. I think Social Security should be a choice. I think 'use taxes' are stealing (gas tax, crv tax, hzmad tax, etc etc etc). Regarding war,I don't agree in being the aggressor (I was openly for a defensive blitzkrieg attack after 9-11 and opposed to the invasions of Iraq). I think private enterprise is capable of solving more problems than government. I think government creates more problems than private enterprise.

Mikey McD

Road FROM serfdom (this should keep congress busy through Christmas break):

=drastic reform of tax code (equality and functionality)
=Terminate the FED, allow banks to form their own FDIC.
=Offer Social Security as a choice
=Reform Defense Strategy ("do not fire unless fire upon")
=Reform Education System (promote private education- take the burden off government- easy if the unions will side with the kids)
=balanced budget; deficits only in war times
=Privatize government jobs

Michael Anderson

Steve outlined:
"1) A libertarian would not legislate sexual orientation (gay marriage and DADT).
2) A libertarian would not legislate drug use (Prop 19).
3) A libertarian would not legislate medical care (abortion).
4) A libertarian would not support foreign offensive wars (the Bush Doctrine).
5) A libertarian would not impair free expression, including expression like the publication of documents through Wikileaks.
6) A libertarian would support full damages for any one harming the environment (Prop 23, CWA, CAA, NEPA, ESA)."

Mikey is the most consistent poster of libertarian thought on this board, and I believe he can confirm that he is good with 1 - 6.

Steven Frisch

Mikey McD--perhaps the one thing you and I CAN agree on is that you are the purest form of Libertarian blogging here.

(Oh yeah, we were together on being openly for invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 but against invasion of Iraq in 2003)

Michael Anderson

Whoops, Mikey beat me to it!

Anyway, I agree with Steve F. that we are all political mutts. Let's embrace that complexity and get on with trying to fix this freakin' mess, together.

Steven Frisch

Michael beat me to the core point; we spend so much time besting each others political philosophy that we don't focus on the things we actually can agree on and fix together. Every time I try to invoke the 80-20 rule here I am told 'no dice'.

George Rebane

The autocracy that was Nazi Germany did not hew to an economic theory in the sense that we understand such theories - e.g. the Austrian school, Marxist economics, Keynesianism, etc. Hitler was the first to eschew any such restrictive discipline, and held that the Nazi state had to marshal production, distribution, and consumption on an ad hoc basis that allowed it to prepare for war as rapidly as the WW1 allies would allow without invoking a premature attack on Germany. Already in the 1920s Hitler denied the necessity of an economic policy. Early on he orated that "world history teaches us that no people has become great through its economy but that a people can very well perish thereby", and later concluded that "the economy is something of secondary importance". His summa on the topic was, “The basic feature of our economic theory is that we have no theory at all.”

Schacht filled government slots – Chairman of the Reichsbank and economics minister - and was a functionary in the implementation of party orders. He was in no way an author of what could be called national socialist economics. And the order of the day in the 1930s was to consolidate and reorient production according to party ideological aims and military realities, the authors and purveyors of which were Goebbels and Speer. (Goebbels, as member of Hitler’s inner circle, was much more than a mouthpiece of Nazi screed, he was also to a great part its author and kept his finger on the pulse of popular acceptance of Berlin’s dictates. Today we would be accurate in also viewing him as Hitler’s prime handler.)

Finally, I’m most puzzled by any argument that seeks to confuse an autocrat (restricting personal liberties) and a libertarian (seeking to expand them) with the same label. Playing such games is akin to Orwellian newspeak and, practiced widely, the death of modern language as a communication medium. Yes, I have already pointed out that all of us occupy different points in a highly dimensioned space of ideological attributes. But people do recognize when their places in ‘political space’ are near each other, so they give that ‘neighborhood’ a more or less commonly understood label. Autocrats cum totalitarians and conservatives/libertarians are nowhere to be found near each other in such a political space, therefore grouping them under the same label would be more than cynical.

SteveF, give us a view of your 80-20 rule one more time.

Mikey McD

Michael Anderson... you had me at "A libertarian would not legislate"

Mikey McD

Do you think that our taxes (private property taken by force) should go to fund groups like the Chamber of Commerce? Economic Resource Councils? Sierra Business Council?

Are you familiar with Davy Crockett's speech, "Not Yours To Give"?


Steven Frisch

Mikey, just to be clear Michael was quoting my post above.

Also, NO tax dollars go to directly fund SBC indirect or operating expenses. SBC does not receive any unrestricted funding (other than voluntary membership) from any government entity. All government funding we receive is restricted to providing a specific purpose. Government funding to SBC in the 2010 tax year for specific projects will be less than 15% of our revenue. Donations to SBC are tax deductible; which merely means that they are deducted from your adjusted gross income, up to a certain allowable amount, when calculating your income tax.

For example, if I make $50K per year, and tithe 5% of my income to my church, my adjusted gross income would be $47,500 per year, and my federal tax would be calculated on that basis.

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