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13 May 2011


Mikey McD

I am thankful that our form of governance provides for peaceful revolution (divide). I wholeheartedly agree that "A useful path toward the Great Divide is the re-establishment of states’ rights."- see 10th Amendment. How glorious it would be to witness the increase (restoration) of liberty as "Right-leaning states begin to flex their atrophied muscles;" if even it were only a few states. The most likely divide will arise from right leaning states returning to pro-liberty policies further to the right while leftist states will continue to rely on the BS that is Keynesian econ, central planning and entitlements.

Todd Juvinall

Right on!

Russ Steele

OK right winger conservatives, here is the current list of right to work states:

Alabama | Arizona | Arkansas | Florida | Georgia | Guam | Idaho | Iowa | Kansas | Louisiana | Mississippi | Nebraska | Nevada | North Carolina | North Dakota | Oklahoma |South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Virginia | Wyoming

Here is a graphical view, click on the state and the graph will take you to the individual Right to Work law. I just wish that Wyoming had better winter weather. Maybe summer in Wyoming or Idaho and winter in Arizona.

Russ Steele

Walter Russell Mead has some thoughts on our current position
in this article: Establishment Blues:

I don’t want to make this a habit, and I suspect he doesn’t either, but Paul Krugman and I are once again in (very) partial agreement. We both think the American elite has intellectually and morally lost its way, and we agree that the problems our country faces today have more to do with elite breakdown than popular stupidity. We locate the blame somewhat differently within that elite; Krugman splits the blame between George W. Bush and the economic policy makers of the Clinton/Obama administrations. I think the rot goes deeper and has spread out more widely. But the United States today — in both parties, in the corporate and business worlds, in academia and among the intelligentsia, in religion and in many other fields — does not have the strong and thoughtful leadership that we need.” . . .

The American people aren’t perfect yet and never will be — but by the standards that matter to the Establishment, this is the best prepared, most open minded and most socially liberal generation in history. Unsatisfactory as the American people may be from the standpoints of Georgetown and Manhattan, this is as good as it gets. Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Harry Truman could only dream of the kind of sophisticated and cosmopolitan understanding that folks in Peoria have now compared to the old days.

The American people are less prejudiced, more globally aware and more willing to meet other cultures and societies halfway than ever before. Minorities today are better protected in law and more fairly treated by the public than ever in our history. No previous generation has been as determined to give women a fair chance in life, or to attack the foul legacy of racism. The American people have never been as religiously tolerant as they are today, as concerned about the environment, or more willing to make sacrifices around the world to promote the peace and well being of humanity as a whole.

By contrast, we have never had an Establishment that was so ill-equipped to lead. It is the Establishment, not the people, that is falling down on the job.

OK, it the people are in charge, we need to create and appoint the leaders that are going to foster the Great Divide.


3..2..1...and somebody will jump in with statistics 'proving' that Blue states make more money than Red states.

while ignoring the high likelihood that most of that money was made via FIRE activities in urban areas and thus put us all in the soup.

The primary relationship I see between Red vs. Blue areas is that of the colonial power vs. the colony. It's all about resource extraction and political power. At least imperial England was capable of producing manufactured goods, the modern American city seems better suited to pushing paper (and getting a bit of vigorish).

Paul Emery

George, for someone who is promoting states rights you sure wimped out by not supporting Prop 19. In my opinion that was a clear expression of states rights. California voters substantially voted to allow medical marijuana use but the feds still chose to trump the states with their random enforcement of the federal law. I believe you opposed 19 because it was "messy" when it came to confronting the feds.

Account Deleted

At the town hall meeting at the Rood Center last month, I was struck by the sharp division of opinion to the point that I could discern no amount agreement on anything other than a bit of general bonhomie. Most of what the left brought up was based on nonsense, but they firmly believed it and that is all that matters. As I walked away, an acquaintance of mine approached me and asked what I thought of the whole discussion. I told him we were, as a country, so badly divided on reality and general tenets of governance, that I saw no hope in moving forward. The idea that we can compromise is a sad fairy tail of the naive middle-left and a cynical ploy of the hard left. Conservatives know that compromise is merely a speed control on the final approach to doom. The tiller will not budge one degree with compromise. The problem with the conservative answer is that is not ready to deal with the mayhem and bloodshed that would follow a return to Constitutional values. There really are a couple of generations of illiterate and helpless humans in this country that would starve to death in the middle of a well stocked farm and drown in a one foot deep puddle with out direct govt aid.
What to do? I know in which direction lies my freedom and prosperity but what of the others in this nation that seek destruction? The coming national election will be instructive.

George Rebane

Re our previous thoughts on Prop 19.

D. King

Thanks George, I needed that to amp me out for the weekend.

Here Paul, pass this around to your friends so they can learn what we already know.


Russ Steele


Thanks, now I know why our local left has a hard time dealing with facts. They have been programed by their teacher to reject facts in favor of their feelings. I can see how disruptive it will be for the left, once the Tea Party Patriots adopt a school program is fully implemented. I predict there will be cultural clash that will soon become open warfare.

Todd Juvinall

When the left is starving in the cities because they have regulated the farmers and the truckers into oblivion (for environmental purity, whatever that is), we can only hope they then come to the table. The problem is we on the right have to drag these people along even though they hate us because we have the knowledge they don't about the consequences of their actions. It is kind of like Joe Biden's support of the War in Iraq. Until his son became a soldier and went there, he was not a fan. But even he got real when his blood was in jeopardy. So until the left is starving and the neighborhood Starbucks close, these lovelies will be our political enemies.

Mike Thornton

Russ, you guys on the right declared "open warfare" on your political. social and economic enemies a long time ago, the difference is that they have finally woken up to that fact and are starting to fight back.
Let's face it guys, your policy models have failed in every way and on every level possible.
You realize (of course) that if the country to actually divide, the states that were run on a progressive, social-democratic philosophy would likely have as their highest cost, dealing with the flood of refugees, that would be streaming out of your so-called 'right to work" states, since what they would really be is little kingdoms, populated by sweatshops, broken down infrastructure, totally privatized services with glittering (and heavily guarded) gated compounds for the wealthy.
I'm sure there will be entertainment available as well, perhaps even community book burning and the "Two Minute Hate" as well as enforced Evangelical Christianity and public loyalty oaths.
On the other hand the "Progressive States of America", would be prioritizing quality education, 22st century infrastructure, protecting the environment, organic agriculture, quality employment and workplace safety along with a living wage, religious freedom and social equity.
These things can all be done and that's based on "facts" Russ, not "feelings"!
As usual, the problem is that because you guys have no vision and are only concerned with what you can milk out of today for yourselves and the people that you decided are deserving, we can't get anywhere. This is because you (as I stated previously) started a program of "open warfare" quite some time ago, to make sure it doesn't happen.
So, if the question is: "Has the time come to split up the United States of America into smaller entities and let them go their separate ways?" I say the answer is a resounding "Yes!"
And on another note, if the people of this or any other community allow the "Tea Party" to start "propagandizing" (and that's exactly what it is!) school children, without demanding and getting equal access and time, all hell needs to break loose!

George Rebane

Thank you MikeT. I didn't know who on the Left would contribute the corroborative Exhibit A to this post, but there it is.

RL Crabb

Question: Will there be a bounty on hippies? Will you need to produce a scalp to collect?

George Rebane

Bob, my best guess is that hippies will drift toward the Progressive States, and you would have to ask them of their policies toward such vagabonds. But if it will be anything like the USSR, then yes, there will be a bounty on such folks, and not much more than a denounciation will be required to send them into the gulag - shirkers were dealt with harshly.

Mike Thornton

In this matter I agree with you George.
Clearly we both think that the others position is (at best) incorrect and that's fine.
The more important part of the issue is that because the country, for all intents and purposes, is pretty much equally divided and equally entrenched (though I do believe that the "progressives" have a little catching up to do, when it comes to understanding the true nature of the fight) neither side can get anywhere and we spend all of our time fighting other. This gets us nowhere and in fact the US as a whole is collapsing into becoming a second rate nation with a first class war machine (for now).
While I only partially agree with him, it's one of the things I respect about Ron Paul, in that he has clearly said that the people of this country need to have a clear and meaningful dialog/debate about what we want. Part of that discussion needs to be whether there's a way to work things out and live together or have a peaceable divorce.

Steven Frisch

Don't be fooled, in the Great Divide, if there is to be one, the right will enslave the residents of the "Progressive State', take its product, destroy its culture, and claim it as their own. They will act as the social Darwinists that they are.

History shows us that the proponents of separation are the totalitarians, and the proponents of secular inclusion are the democrats, small d.

We are the patriots; proponents of the Divide are a threat to the nation, our traditions, our principles, our liberties and our future.

Account Deleted

Thanks Mike - as I pointed out, we are just too badly divided. Your wild imagination is quite a treat. The left has run the education system for decades and what do we have to show for it? The left claims the free market doesn't work, but there is no free market.
"enforced Evangelical Christianity"??? How does that work? And where do you see that being attempted? If you want a meaningful dialogue/debate, you'll have to come up with something a bit more fact-based. I would love to have a dialogue about what we want. I want freedom and liberty - you?

Todd Juvinall

The left is brain dead regarding freedom. They think government needs to tell everyone how to live and what is allowed whereas we on the right want to leave it to the individual (with minimal government intrusion). Our strategy has worked better because America became the greatest place in history. The lefts best example of their nirvana, the USSR has gone the way of the dodo bird, and after only 70 years and millions of its own citizens murdered.

Thornton is the best example of why the divide exists. He doesn't even acknowledge his ilk has taken over and run the education system over the last 40 years r so. He refuses to look at his beliefs in any critical way, it is always the other guys fault. Frisch appears to also eat the hand that feeds him. His cynical view is very scary for our country. While taking the hard earned money of the ditch digger he then slams the ditch digger because he may be a individual thinker and a conservative. I find the attitude of these leftwingnut scofflaws very troubling. So, yes, there is a divide, but in my desires of divide, I only want to defeat the leftwing trash ideology with my vote, not a separation of my country.

Barry Pruett

I have been trying to refrain from the blogs a little bit...but this comment struck a nerve.

"History shows us that the proponents of separation are the totalitarians, and the proponents of secular inclusion are the democrats, small d."

So, the proponents of separation from England in the 18th centurt were totalitarians? You are kidding, right? I have to be misunderstanding your point.

"We are the patriots; proponents of the Divide are a threat to the nation, our traditions, our principles, our liberties and our future."

I am sorry Steve, but the threat to our liberties are liberals. Any person that thinks that government should control the means of production (telling Boening where they can build their airplanes) is a liberal (aka socialist). History has clearly and unequivoically shown that socialism is the single greatest threat to freedom and liberty in the world. I have seen it first hand...I really do not need to see it here.

D. King

“History shows us that the proponents of separation are the totalitarians.”

Correct Steve, like taking our moral biblical teaching out of the classroom through the separation of church and state argument. Though it’s most likely a waste of time, you should watch the above linked video. It will help you to understand what has been done to you. One step to the right Steve and you can find salvation through conservatism. We await you brother!

D. King

Russ said: "...Tea Party Patriots adopt a school program..."

What a great idea!

We should start with deprogramming and move to classes in original thought.

Todd Juvinall

Barry, lefties can not help themselves. The always expose their beliefs even after lying for years.

Steven Frisch

D. King--it would be a cold day in Hell before I join you guys. Your principles are greedy, power hungry, purely self-interest motivated, intolerant, amoral tripe.

Barry--The overwhelming majority of 'liberals' in America are not proponents of state ownership of the means of production, which is the definition of socialism. For you to paint 'liberals' as proponents of state ownership is a lie. Liberals are proponents of balancing the power of oligarchies and monopolies with the power of the state when necessary. For you to portray that as socialism shows your fundamental misunderstanding of political economy and the founding principles of this nation.

I have on several occasions stated clearly an un-equivically here that I believe property rights are a fundamental foundation of our liberties. Your buddies here seek to ignore that, and paint the world black and white.

You want to propose a 'divide' George? You want a world where you can be with people who think like you, look like you, worship like you, hold to the same principles--go back to eastern Europe. That is a European concept, not an American concept.

In order to separate you would by definition have to exclude--and that is tyranny.

Todd Juvinall

Wow, someone is off the meds this morning. Barry is absolutely right about liberals. They want government control of everyone else except themselves of course. They tried this in the USSR and it failed. In China, they are starting to wise up and are heading fast for capitalism and freedom. Even in the liberals favorite place, Cuba, the Castro's are starting to realize their people are worse off because the commies held the power. Even Europe and Canada having experimented with socialism, are now heading back to capitalism. I would be mad too if I was a devoted lefty like Frisch. His world is crumbling all around him. Soon, grants and loans to non profits that do political chicanery will be devoid of money. Not too soon for my taste. The eco nuts and liberals never look in the mirror for the reason they should. They just comb what is left of their hair and never ask themselves "why are our ranks shrinking and the world's people rejecting us". Well, the reason is simple, we believe in freedom, liberals believe in government.

Barry Pruett

Steve...where to start? I will pick the most important. "Liberals are proponents of balancing the power of oligarchies and monopolies with the power of the state when necessary."

Monopolies are created by either government intervention in the market (granting preference to one business over another) or criminal coercion (price fixing). So liberals are for balancing the power between the monopoly and the government that created the monopoly? That does not make any sense.

Further, is not government coercion an indicia of state ownership of the means of production (i.e. NLRB v. Boeing)? There is no lie in any of my statements. It is the Truth; the Truth upon which this great nation was founded - liberty and freedom. Those who support the indicia of state ownership of the means of production do not want others to here the Truth. The class warfare game played by liberals is simply propaganda.

Steven Frisch

Funny, I can't help but notice that the map of the right to work states Russ posted up above, which by the way is the very same thing I sought out yesterday immediately upon reading this post, is an almost exact replica of the division in the country between the rebels and the Union (with the exception of the western states that were not in the Union yet, but would probably have broken substantively that way if if the popular sovereignty proposal in the Compromise of 1850 had stood).

Todd Juvinall

Barry, you made him speechless! He reverts to babbling about maps.

George Rebane

This little piece of history is common to eastern Europe conquered by the Red Army. When the Soviets arrived in Estonia (Sep 1944), one of the first things they did was to instantly revamp the public school system into their program of “socialist (communist) indoctrination.” This was then led by the NKVD, predecessor to the KGB. As stated clearly in the video DaveK linked, the early educational investment in controlling a population was clear. Estonians did their best to counter USSR’s ‘education’ by concurrently homeschooling their children in the real history and culture of the country. Without such homeschooling in the communist invaded lands, the world would look very different today.

After the war we were interred for almost four years in Geislingen, the UN’s displaced persons camp for Estonians in southern Germany. As a youngster I was addicted to listening to grown-ups’ conversation, and heard my father and others talk of (communist and Nazi) propaganda and indoctrination that they had witnessed in the last few years. They fully understood the ‘as the twig is bent …’ dictum of educating children. The first thing that the Estonian camp leadership set up was a school system in which I started my education.

I recall the hastily written (and of poor material quality) schoolbooks on Estonian history and the role of the Russian bear that swallowed up whole nations during and after the war, Estonia included. Within the perspective of my overheard conversations, I was able to understand at an early age what these stories were intended to make me think. And I took them in as ground truth, primarily because they matched the ground truth of what, along with countless refugees, my parents, family, and I had just witnessed. And moreover, what the newspaper headlines continued to blare, especially after the Berlin airlift started (Spring 1948).

But children don’t need corroborative reality in order to become wedded to ‘induced reality’. This is especially true in the parts of our lives where history and theories of social order inform. These are meta-areas that we don’t directly experience but, with appropriate authoritative sources nearby, can be constantly used to interpret the daily goings on to children whose resources and interest for further investigation are limited. And so, over the years a reality gets embedded, then calcified, and then valued as the working template through which ongoing observations and inputs are organized. To the degree that this Weltanschauung or world framework gives comfort, it will be defended fiercely by its owner.

It is for that reason that a coherent culture is valuable to a sovereign nation-state. Assimilation into a consistent national narrative allowed multiple cultures to enter, build, and evolve the exceptional America that some of us remember and continue to celebrate. Today that common thread no longer intertwines and binds us. Starting with the Great Society, and its almost immediate control of national public education, we are already two generations removed from ‘E pluribus Unum.’

Steven Frisch

Monopolies can be created by government intervention, in the case of intervention of behalf of corporate entities through tax policy, incentives and transfers of intellectual capital to the private sector such as the use of public funds to subsidize oil, gas an coal companies, for example; OR they can be created by lack of government intervention, such as an un-regulated markets allowing players to get so big that they can unfairly compete or undercut competition, fix prices, and drive competition out of the market, like Standard Oil did before Teddy Roosevelt broke them up. Once a monopoly is established, the monopolist can collude with others or form strategic alliances to maintain prices above the level of optimal economic efficiency, thus realizing unreasonable profits, such as a $11.6 billion quarterly profit for Exxon). Once the monopoly is established it is increasing difficult for new players to enter the market and for new technology to transform the market as monopolies squeeze out competition. This allows monopolies to engage in unfair allocation of the costs of doing business, such as not including the full costs of production (like pollution, un-fair labor practices, health care and other externalized costs) and thus realizing a lower production cost that they then benefit from. These externalized costs are born by the public, through taxes, public health consequences or the destruction of the commons (air, water, ecosystems, natural processes). But conservatives in America have consistently come down in favor on both sides of this equation for the corporation and against the citizen. Conservatives give tax breaks and incentives, if not outright cash, to the monopolist, and weaken regulation that could serve to protect the interests of the people, including small business.

So, conservatives are for ceding power and control to corporation and gutting the ability of government to act as an effective counter balance.

Clear to you now buddy?

D. King

Steve, with Obama Care, do you think you’re going to tell doctors where they have to live based on the needs of the system?

...and please, no more original intent meaning from you!

Steven Frisch

Finally, I think Mr. Pruitt you might take a lesson from none other than Adam Smith, who said;

"Monopoly, besides, is a great enemy of good management, which can never be universally established but in consequence of that free and universal competition which forces everybody to have recourse to it for the sake of self-defense. The truth of these observations have been proven countless times. The relationship between good management and competition applies to government and private monopolies, socialist and private entities, and remains true today. Fortunately, competition need not be anything close to "perfect" to provide incentives for good management and a cornucopia of other benefits."

So none other than Adam Smith recognizes that monopoly is an enemy, that open competition helps destroy monopolies and encourage good management, and that even an im'perfect' market system, one that includes regulation, can be sufficient to provide the benefits that act as an incentive.

That is the capitalism I support my friend.

So, if we agree that monopolies are bad, how come Conservatives and the Republican Party, and now the Tea Party are consistently on the side of corporate monopoly and against the people?

For those of you reading out there that are conservatives suffering a loss of quality of life I would ask you, what has 40 years of conservative power and counter attack on the New Deal got you?

Your leaders are selling you a bill of goods; they say they are for your rights while stripping you of your liberty through the Patriot Act; they say they are for your livelihood while overseeing the greatest transfer of wealth in American history from the middle class to the elite though tax policy; they say they are for your children while stripping them of their future security by deconstructing every safety net they have, such as the planned destruction of Medicare.

I'll tell you what you conservative counter-revolution has got you, another year older and deeper in debt!

Steven Frisch

Yes George the Red Army revamped the schools from Nazi intent to Communist intent...just so we are all clear about the origins of your theory about why a "coherent culture is valuable to a sovereign nation-state".

Fortunately, for those of us from the United States, who grew up with the theory that a nation composed of diverse residents, including Africans, Scots, Irish, Germans, Italians, Jews and even Estonians, could become a homogeneous one, growing stronger as many influences celebrate their origins but still be assimilated into a common culture.

It is called "Americanism".

D. King

George, did you ever eat at Vlado's on Broad St. in Nevada City. (sadly closed now) He had a similar story from a Yugoslavian perspective. In fact, it’s amazing how similar.

Steven Frisch

Todd, if you can't keep up just drop out OK? No one will thing you are less of a man for it!

Larry Wirth

Sorry to be late guys!

Mike T, you write some really silly things. For instance, the notion of economic refugees fleeing conservative states for progressive ones. It that what we're actually seeing? Well, no, just the opposite.

"Progressive education"? An oxymoron if there ever was one. Do you actually believe that today's HS grad is, despite vastly improved access to information, truly better educated than his counterpart of the Sixties? SAT scores argue convincingly to the contrary, since they have been steadily declining for nearly 50 years now.

Entertainment? Thank's, I'll pass on what currently passes for entertainment, From Hollywood's current output, right down to what happened in the White House the other night.

Book burnings" Is that why conservatives are vastly better read, on average, than progressives and usually own more books? Perhaps they read by the light of the burning of excess copies.

22nd C. infrastructure? Like the high-speed rail line currently under construction between Fresno and Bakersfield which, even if completed, would have to rely on constant subsidy for all time.

Organic agriculture? Good luck feeding the seven billion people on the planet with chicken manure and hand harvesting. Never mind ethanol.

Go back and actually listen to Yuri Bezmenov, you may learn something.

Steven, a champion of private property? What's your take on the current Boeing dust-up? And where were your objections on the public takeover of Chrysler and GM. Odd how only Ford is making any kind of profit.

As for oil profits, they are determined almost entirely by the pump price of gasoline as they are a percentage of sales. About $.07 per gallon right now, they're but a fraction of what government is lifting from your pocket- $.88 per gallon nationally averaged.

A bit like "big tobacco." Governments at all levels make dozens of times more money via taxation than the tobacco companies. And if smoking is so bad for people, why does the gov have no compunction in lining its own pockets by the practice?

And on, and on, but enough for now.

George Rebane

And as this discussion continues, we see a complete disconnect in the communication of ideas between the Left and Right. SteveF's rejoinder that conservatives' support of private enterprise immediately translates into their promotion of monopolies is perhaps the most blatant example.

(SteveF, you're welcome here to offer and defend your views on the ideas presented. Your continuing innuendo about my not understanding America or Americanism is beyond the pale, and more appropriate fare on FUE's blog.)

From truthout.com we have another example of some ideas that to the Right are insane, and to the Left are nothing less than wisdom revealed.

DaveK, I think Vlado's closed before we arrived in NC. And yes, I have maintained all along that my story, no matter how little known, is typical of millions of similar stories.

Dixon Cruickshank

patriotic ?? wasn't there a recent dust up about even flying the American flag -

Case in point - due to Federal Regulations NMFS as Fla is known as " The Fising Capitol of the World" (its on our tags)
We, the public, can only fish 45 days a year - ironcially the worest times so we don't catch many - admitted. Now this was the Feds idea, they closed it completely in Federal Waters, then Fla had the option to leave State Waters inside 9 miles open the current 10 mon. - IF they did not go with the 45 day season the Feds stated they would never open Federal Waters - extorsion or blackmail take your pick. So much for states rights - btw we as citizens are also sueing OUR Gov.

Commerical fishieries are now regulated to -Catch Shares- handed out by the Gov., each share(fish) granted for ever to that fisherman from a Total Allowable Catch (TAC), both the TAC and who gets what are determined by - you guess it I bet, the Gov. The TAC being so small that the individual fisherman can not survive but can sell or lease their shares to anyone forever. Therby creating a fish collective controlled completely BY you guessed it the Government. This has been brought to you by NOAA under the astute leadership of Jane Lubruncio - whatever - ex head of the Enviromental Defense Fund (EDF).

If thats not socialism I will drive out to CA and kiss somebody's ass. This is just one example as this has all just been instituted since the election of this administration. There are multiple lawsuits by New Bedford and Glouster, Mass. trying to defend their citizens from their own Government - and you don't think we have a divide.

This week in Mass again, an art student that drew a pic of the American flag was told he could not hang it in the classroom because it might offend a classmate - and we don't have a divide

Dixon Cruickshank

Note the origin of the Reps

After more than a week of deliberation, the House overwhelmingly approved a measure honoring the intelligence community for the mission that killed Osama bin Laden.

The vote wasn’t unanimous, however. Four liberal Democrats – Reps. Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), Barbara Lee (Calif.), Pete Stark (Calif.) and Lynn Woolsey (Calif.) – voted “present” on the measure, which was offered as an amendment to an intelligence authorization bill.

Mikey McD

Great use of facts and logic Larry! Well done:
Posted by: Larry Wirth | 14 May 2011 at 12:37 PM

Mikey McD

What gives me hope that a divide can successfully/peacefully occur (and thus restore the liberty once promised to Americans) is that both sides (Liberty vs collectivism) think their 'team' would be the victor.

And I thought the progressives knew that they lived off of the labors of us entrepreneurs whom create jobs/food/infrastructure/medical cures/ipods/low fat ice cream, etc...

I guess the 'next time the government will get it right' mantra of the collectivist provides hope in the midst of a (morally and financially) bankrupt Social Security System, Medicare, Dept of Education, Dept Of Energy, EPA, HUD, FEMA, IRS, Federal Reserve, DOD, SEC, Treasury's Fiat Money....etc, etc, etc.

I will continue to believe in laws of economics (not emotion driven propaganda)with a sprinkle Einsteins definition of insanity.

I will side with individual liberty and free market capitalism (competition, REAL money, Real Interest Rates) over tyranny. I will not worship government as a god.

Steven Frisch

Hey George, I'm just pointing out that you seem to be the immigrant who has not assimilated to American culture. I'm not sure why there is anything wrong with that, especially since your posters can peg people as socialists and communists on a regular basis, not to mention infer that they act illegally or take psychotropic medications.

You are the one who is inferring that a culture needs to be homogeneous to be stable.

And I did not say that conservative support of private enterprise immediately translates into the promotion of monopoly--I said conservatives consistently support monopoly--I actually think both sides of the political spectrum are guilty of supporting monopoly to different degrees, its just that conservatives support monopolies and oligarchies to a greater degree than liberals do. However, this forum would never let a conversation get to that nuance.

Finally, I am fascinated at the magical thinking on this blog about the purity of free markets. Only an adherents of Rebanism, could not recognize that there is no such thing as a free market.

Every market has some rules, regulations, cultural norms, ethics, boundaries, or other mechanism that restricts its freedom. Markets look free only because we have grown used to the restrictions. For example, every market in first and second world countries (and most third) has restrictions on child labor. Does that make the market less free in a philosophical sense? Of Course it does. But would we eliminate child labor laws? No, and I don't think anyone here is suggesting that. There are dozens of restrictions that interfere with a free market--we just don't see them or recognize them. Zoning is a restriction on free markets, are we going to eliminate zoning? or pollution laws? or safety regulation on automobiles or medications? or governors on go-carts? No one is suggesting that, but does anyone doubt that the go-cart track that had carts that go faster would do better financially? The list could go on....

Consequently, how 'free' a market is is extremely hard to define. It is essentially a political definition, it is function of the process through which people make collective decisions.

When a free market economist, such as followers of the here-sainted Hayek, say that certain regulations should not be implemented because it would interfere with the freedom of a market, they are merely expressing a political opinion that they reject the rights that are to be defended by the proposed regulation.

So the issue is not really "we want a free market" it is "we want a less regulated market". Great, once we get to that, then the question is what regulation is necessary and what regulation is un-necessary? I would be the first one to say that un-necessary regulation should be eliminated. Fine, lets find them and eliminate them. In order to do that we need to do a cost-benenfit analysis, which means the external costs, that is the costs that the target of the regulation might pass on to the taxpayers or citizens, needs to be calculated as well. We must internalize the externalities. I wholeheartedly support weighing the value of a regulation against the costs and making rational decisions.

That brings it back to a political process, collective decision-making, which is the definition of politics. So the problem you guys really have is that in a true collective decision-making process you cannot get your way. You are not standing for some high-minded principle, because there is no such thing as a free market, you are standing for political advantage for your point of view.

Well tough luck boys--we are not buying the principle thing--most sane people like safety, clean neighborhoods, fair business practices and restriction on child labor.

Steven Frisch

I suppose the collapse of world fisheries so Dixon can fish any damn time he wants would be preferable, huh?


Steven Frisch

By the way Dixon, what gives you the right to take my fish?

RL Crabb

As usual, this never-ending repetitious debate reaffirms my belief that the biggest impediment to freedom, justice and the American way are liberals and conservatives.

Steven Frisch

I want to go back to this point from Barry for a moment:

"So, the proponents of separation from England in the 18th centurt were totalitarians? You are kidding, right? I have to be misunderstanding your point"

Yes, you do misunderstand my point. George's separation is based on cultural differences, not political differences. Our founders did not support division based on cultural differences---except of course for Africans!

Todd Juvinall

Kinda funny hoe Frisch complains about corporations and such and he is the "leader" of a non-profit corporation. Nowif there truly is a hypocrite amonst us, I think we found him. Steve, try to keep up man while we all get a chuckle at your expense. Oh, and how is it you can question Georg'e assimilation into American culture and at the same time defend the immigrant communities of America? You are sooo funny. Must be that higher education in "critical thinking" eh?

Barry Pruett

The quote you provided says exactly the opposite of what you think it says and in fact supports my point. Smith's assertion suggest getting government out of the economy. You must know that during the time of Smith England created the monopolies in the colonies about which he spoke. Smith asserts that competition without government intereference is best. Government intervention in a free market creates monopolies...in fact a monopoly is another indicia of socialism.

Again, you are not making sense, and you are confusing the law. Monopolies are not illegal in the USA. What is illegal is price fixing or a company doing something that limits competition.

Like I said, monopolies are created by government intervention or criminal coercion.

Please name for me a current corporation that has a "monopoly" that was not created by government intervention.

Mike Thornton

I love it when Steve Frisch shows up, since he's pretty much smarter than the rest of you guys combined, especially you Todd!
In many ways I agree with you Steve in the fact that we all know what "States Rights" really means for most of these people. But at the same time, they are effectively blocking any real progress on most issues and it's clear from everything we see, that they have no intention of giving up or even trying to reach a compromise position that we might all be able to live with.
So what do we do?
I'm not saying I have the answer, but I think there comes a point where perhaps you have to let the Ayn Rand and her sycophants, drown in order to save the rest of the people on the ship!
Look it's pretty simple really, the majority here believe in the "Gilded Age" and I believe in the "New Deal".
I don't think there is any argument that government has an appropriate role to play as a counter balance to privatized corporate power.
You complain about government "choosing winners and losers" and you're right, because once again, privatized corporate power has corrupted the process and continues to do so at every opportunity. Rather than correct the problem, which would be to make government more beholden to the rank and file and less to the investor class, your answer is to just do away with government and let the investor class make the decisions directly.
History (translate that as "facts" for those of you from Rio Linda) shows us what happens when the investor class has been allowed to call all the shots, works out pretty good for them, but for everybody else, not so much.
Consider another fact, that the vast majority of private wealth has been built using public resources and public investment, not to mention the labor of the American working class. But now, since technology has allowed for the outsourcing of production to the cheapest labor market anywhere on the planet, the investor class has done what? They have increasingly abandoned America in order to do exactly what your preferred economic model calls for, the "maximization or profit".
So for all of this talk about "patriotism", what we have is every attempt possible being made to lower the standard of living of the American worker and a wholesale disinvestment in our country's infrastructure, educational system and pretty much everything else, save the military, because a lethal war machine is very much needed to protect global capitalism. Now mind you the investor class has no problem with asking ALL Americans to foot the bill for that!

Barry Pruett

OMG. I guess that George's article is pretty close to the mark. "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

Brad Croul

"Today the debate has again become compelling due to the seemingly irreconcilable polarization between the factions of the Left and those of the Right." Factions, yes, but very small factions. I think there are some vocal extremists out there, but the majority are, middle of the road, moderates.

I think the polarized factions are peopled mostly by middle age folks who are just getting a little too set in their ways. What is the average age of a commenter here? 60 years old, or older? Where are the political opinions of the young being voiced?

Account Deleted

Wow, Steve "I said conservatives consistently support monopoly" - where does that come from? Can you give concrete examples of that fantasy?
Was it the Exxon example? "Once a monopoly is established, the monopolist can collude with others or form strategic alliances to maintain prices above the level of optimal economic efficiency, thus realizing unreasonable profits, such as a $11.6 billion quarterly profit for Exxon)" Exxon is a monopoly? You don't like a private company to make a profit? Please Steve, can you give us a run down on what those profits were in relation to sales? What operations contributed to the profit? If you want cheaper oil, then we need a lot less demand and/or a lot more access to production. It's that simple. Free markets are not created by a complete lack of regulations. Free markets only exist where there is a level, fair playing field with enforceable contracts and the rules of contracts upheld in a court of law. How about those GM bond holders that bought at a promised set of rules. And who pulled the rug out under them and broke the rules? It wasn't the conservatives. And who mandates different rules for different skin color? Not the conservatives. It's libs who like and create monopolies. Such as the public school system and labor unions.

Mike Thornton

That is a great point, Brad!!!

George Rebane

When we get into all or nothing reasoning, things get pretty comical. Arguing that I dismiss the political component of finding a suitable form of governance is just a symptom of bad reading skills. RR stands as a record of my credo in how proper social structures should be built and maintained.

Crediting me with originating some fairly important ideas about conservatism and classical liberalism and being their sole practitioner is simply humorous.

Fortunately or not, culture is the hands-down driver of politics, and not the other way around. Marx advanced the proposition (actually stolen from the French Jacobins) that politics could drive culture to generate the perfect communist man from an amalgam of diverse cultures. The USSR attempted that practice and failed miserably. The constituent cultures rejected the politics of the central state, and went on to discover their own.

America's secret has been the genius of the Founders who crafted a country that could accept people from all over the world, people who would never dream of publicly carrying/displaying the flags of their former homelands during American celebrations, people who would never demand that their language becomes an accepted alternative to English, people who came as immigrants to offer their progeny into the American amalgam, and not to set up colonial enclaves of what they purported to leave behind.

Not understanding the difference between an unassimilated multi-cultural society, and one that welcomes multiple cultures into a working process of assimilation is either an intellectual hurdle, or a hope that the audience is too dense to understand the difference. In any event, the ex-KGB apparatchik in DaveK's 13 May 2011 at 09:50 PM comment spelled it out correctly, and our Left has been doing its best to put it into practice.

George Rebane

"Where are the political opinions of the young being voiced?" To the extent that they have them, they are being voiced in their schools (beats studying) and the voting booths. These forums that argue from various versions of history and current events are not suitable to minds that find more compelling interests elsewhere. As Brian Kaplan has shown ('The Myth of the Rational Voter'), they vote on the side of the most often heard slogans.

Brad Croul

"...they vote on the side of the most often heard slogans." Perhaps the Great Divide could be viewed as a sloganeering echo chamber used by the polarized factions to win the youth vote.

Mike Thornton

George writes: "they vote on the side of the most often heard slogans."
That would explain the rise of the modern conservative movement, since for all the belly-aching we hear about the so-called "liberal media" conservative and pro-corporate messages dominate the airwaves and most mainstream newspapers.
If I'm hearing what George is saying correctly, than the retention of culture with assimilation is to be desired and valued, but the retention of culture without assimilation is to be discouraged and dismissed. I think that I basically agree with this premise and if that is indeed what's being said, I wish George would enlighten some of his friends, since it's pretty clear that their idea of assimilation means " totally adopt my culture, values and beliefs or get lost!"
Can I also add that there should be an equivalent of "Godwins Law" that applies to the pulling out of the Soviet Union, at the drop of the hat, to be the universal boogieman (next to the Muslims).
I mean, come on George, the "Cold War" is over. Don't you remember Saint Ronnie Raygun defeated the "Ruskis" in single handed combat, while balancing a ball on his nose and trading weapons for hostages with Todd's friends in Iran.

Steven Frisch

Barry, all I can say to you is that you should probably reread Wealth of Nations, especially with an eye to the fact that he never ran a 'business' never met a payroll, never invested a large sum of money, and rejected his Christianity for Deism as a student.

"Fortunately, competition need not be anything close to "perfect" to provide incentives for good management and a cornucopia of other benefits", is interpreted by scholars to illustrate that as a scholar and well known 'absent minded professor', Smith was espousing a theory, stated in absolute terms to make a scholarly point. I just finished reading Nicholas Phillipson's biography of Adam Smith, and re-reading both The Wealth of Nations and his Theory of Moral Sentiments.

Scott, if your interpretation was not clouded by prejudice you might have noted that we are actually agreeing. But in short, I will restate my thesis. Smaller is better. More diverse is better. Distributed is better. Government, led by both conservatives and liberals has contributed to the promotion of the big, the sole, and the concentrated in business. This is a net weakness in Capitalism that must be corrected, or Capitalism, a system I love and believe is the best we have to date to allocate resources, will suffer the same fate as socialism and communism; relegated to the dustbin of history.

Steven Frisch

By the way Crabby, I suggest that rather than standing on the sidelines and isolating yourself by elevating cynicism and sarcasm to an 'art form' (which you are admittedly quite good at) you get back in the mix in this great country of ours. It is worth saving and we need everyone working to do it.

Steven Frisch

Mike, thanks for the compliment.

The thing I find most interesting is how unprepared most here are to consider an idea in its totality. It seems few have the capability to conceptualize, analyze, synthesize and intellectually internalize information. It is though Fox News is the new brain and anything that takes more than 30 seconds on a video screen is to hard to try to understand.

(Except for George of course who has great critical thinking skills and uses them to indoctrinate weaker minds)

I think I'll just go now though---the sycophants are to depressing. I would rather read.

Todd Juvinall

As we can read, Thornton and Frisch really are socialists with a redo of history at the snap-to. Total hypoocrites in the real sense.

Crabb, you are wise to stray on the sidelines since you slay all of us.

I don't think I have ever read a bunch of hooey as is written by the left here. I would say Mr. Rebane's real world experiences trump a retired disc jockey and a non profit corporate "leader". How fitting.

Mikey McD

Th illogical, fact-less, hypocritical, emotion based propaganda spewed here by the openly progressive is of no surprise.

The progressives damn folks who simply look to produce, love, serve mankind and live based on individual liberties as opposed to the current over taxed, over regulated, over manipulated, over entitled society. They refuse to connect the dots between individual liberty and capitalism. They type hatred on keyboards designed/produced by capitalists, travel, listen to music, eat, cross bridges, treat sickness, call long distance- all THANKS TO CAPITALISM. They live better than kings from the past- ALL THANKS TO CAPITALISM.

For it is there inability to reason, create, produce, design, thrive that forces them to live off of the the success of others via using the government as a club (tanks/guns) and drives them to hate/punish the successful via government control.

You cannot believe in private property/individual liberty and be a collectivist.

Mike Thornton

Yeah, Todd, and most, if not all of those wonderful benefits of "CAPITALISM" started out as PUBLICLY FUNDED, Research and Development projects, in PUBLICLY FUNDED entities, like the PUBLICLY FUNDED university system and the PUBLICLY FUNDED military.
God, do you even have any toes left?, Because the way you shoot yourself in the foot after pulling it out of your mouth a hundred times a day, has just got to be in the Guinness Book of World Records!
And quit sucking up to George! You're getting to be like Sean Hannity with his puppet master Mark Levin.

RL Crabb

If I was standing on the sidelines, I wouldn't be involved in this so-called conversation. It's not just sarcasm, it's having to watch this parade of idiots year after year after year. I was there for NH2020. I spent countless evenings sitting through torturous planning commission meetings. I am just amazed at the inability of supposedly grown men sniping at each other while the state and the country go down the shitter.

Yes, I blame all of you, liberal, conservative, martian. And I'll continue to do what I do, exposing you jackanapes to anyone who reads my comics. Sometimes people have to laugh to keep from going mad.

Mike Thornton

Well that is a bit of a "touche" there Bob.
You perform a real service doing what you do.
For me, I think that these folks on the right have been bullying people for way too long and it's about time for folks to start telling them where to get off.
And I'm sorry if you don't agree, but when it comes to pushing the country "down the shitter" it's not a 50-50 deal!

George Rebane

Well gentlemen, have the sincere and heartfelt contributions herein vindicated the proposition presented in the post?

RL Crabb

Sorry, Mike, but your vision of a pure progressive-led future doesn't appeal to me any more than a Rand-conservative-led future. California is about as close as anything I've seen, and it's a basket case. Sure, you can blame it on Arnold or Pete or George D., but for all intents and purposes it's been a Democratic state for half a century. Government by initiative has only allowed the legislature to pass the buck so they can say "it's not my fault" and get reelected.

And the conservatives are no better. The current strategy of "we have to destroy the village to save it" doesn't make them heroes in my eyes. And while I agree with them that education has become too anti-American, replacing it with a Texas-type caricullum based on creationist mumbo jumbo is no answer.

The most frustrating aspect of all this is that I see the seeds of good ideas from Steve and George, but they get buried in the endless one-upsmanship and partisan rhetoric.

And George, no, I don't think splitting the country in two is the answer. If that was true, we never would have had a country in the first place, just a bunch of squabbling country-states that probably would have been swallowed up by the Third Reich while they fought over who would lead the parade.

Account Deleted

You got it, George. We see the left praising the "great middle" and to not listen to us because we are "radical". I asked Steve some simple questions and he calls me prejudiced. But he can't explain why I am prejudiced or give any answers other than to claim we are on the same side. What? He claims smaller is better, but small govt TPers are his enemy and he likes humongous govt. We offer our opinions and ask for some explanations from the left and for that are cast aside as "bullies". I'm sure if we all met for beers some where we'd have a great time. Still - how will we move forward as a country? On one side are the producers and on the other are the distributors. And the distributors are running out of producers.

Mike Thornton

I would argue that when California really was "progressive", some pretty amazing things occurred here, Bob. I don't equate "progressive" with "Democratic Party" either. While coming straight out of the "Founding Fathers", I would put Ron Paul's stance on the issue of having our military stationed and occupying countries all over the world in the realm of "progressive" policy, since it actually would help the nation to "progress" into the future.
To me the real issue is "progressive" vs. "regressive" and I think it's fairly clear that the vast majority of people that post here fall into the "regressive" camp.


"Well gentlemen, have the sincere and heartfelt contributions herein vindicated the proposition presented in the post?"

Of course it has. It's low hanging fruit for a spat.

Blog political arguments about what-was consist of viewing history as a sort of simplified clay which can be manipulated to suit the view, arguments about what-will-be overinvolve a charming notion that the ship can be driven towards a destination.

My own working theory is that the evils each side sees in the other is merely an expression of the political unit's (or 'country' in this case) need to remain stable. In an era of abundant land and natural resources, individual freedom (and risk) is tolerably easy to maintain, in an era of diminishing resources and increasing density, the population will cook up some sort of combination of central control and/or peer pressure to keep things ambling on.

In an increasingly heterogeneous country, top down control by large organizations will tend to be the chosen route. The Left sees corporations and the Right sees central government as a prime mover, but they are more results than causes.

Mikey McD

This is EXACTLY the type of idiotic, illogical, reasonless crap the progressives teach our kids today.

Just where do the Mike Thornton's of the world think governments get their funding from?


"Yeah, Todd, and most, if not all of those wonderful benefits of "CAPITALISM" started out as PUBLICLY FUNDED" Posted by: Mike Thornton | 14 May 2011 at 06:38 PM

BTW, I bet less than 1% of the goods and services existing today were birthed via public funds.

Account Deleted

OK Mike, now I'm regressive. I was prejudiced, but now I'm regressive. Facts? Examples?

RL Crabb

wmartin has a good point, in that we have run out of frontiers to conquer. It is a nation of dwindling natural resources and space, and much of the current debate is how to protect the environment and still have the kind of gung-ho consumer society that made this country rich. It can't be done, especially with so many other nations scrambling for a piece of the shrinking pie.

Lifestyles will have to change, but it needn't be less than what we have now. Government will necessarily be part of the solution, but industry and small businesses need to be able to foster the innovation needed in the transition. At present that is not happening in California. In the last ten years, I've seen too many friends take their business elsewhere. (And I don't mean cranky old libertarians. I'm talking true blue liberal progressives.)

If the goofballs that run this state had any gonads, they'd hold a constitutional convention and clean out all the dead weight to make this place competitive again. Instead, they just pile on more regulations and bureaucracy and figure business will come here for the nice weather.

Mike Thornton

Todd, you're not even worth responding to anymore.
You clearly have no ability to follow even the most simple logic train, period!
Do you understand the difference between publicly funded and privately funded?
Do you also get the fact that nearly all the examples you cited were created using a pool of everyone's tax dollars and that now private companies are making profit for themselves and their stockholders after taking advantage of projects that they didn't pay to start and in many cases develop and would never have funded on their own?
Do you get the fact that all of these private companies use publicly funded infrastructure, from roads to police protection and that while the profits are privatized the costs are socialized?

Scott do you want to eliminate Social Security as it is now constituted?
If so you're a "regressive". Do you want to change medicare into some version of the Ryan Plan?
If so you're a regressive.
Do you want to eliminate the "Minimum Wage", cut back on work place safety, food or environmental protection regulations, if so.....
Is that enough for ya?
Better yet, here's the kicker question (kinda like "You might be a Red Neck if.....)
Do you think Todd makes sense or do you think he's simply a blind partisan without a clue?

D. King

Well gentlemen, have the sincere and heartfelt contributions herein vindicated the proposition presented in the post?

Ah, yep!

RL Crabb

I always have to remind myself that the people who write and contribute to these blogs tend to be at the far ends of the political spectrum. While the party faithful are working tirelessly to purge their platforms of anything that reeks of pragmatism, the majority of voters just want to keep their jobs and raise their families without being subjected to ideological nonsense.

As examples, there's local blogger Curtis Walker, who wants to kick the blue dogs out. (You mean like Gabby Giffords?) Or Don Pelton, who calls Obama a "republican president". On the right, Russ Steele is happy that Mike Huckabee (a suspected closet socialist) will not run for the nomination. (Still holding out for Attila the Hun?) Or the various tea party people who tell me that the movement has no social agenda. (How about that forty year plan?)

The hard-ons will no doubt carry the day, be it left or right, but it won't last. Both sides underestimate the average American's tolerance for such dogma.

In the long run, any plan to split up the most successful nation in history will more likely result in the extremeists being exiled to Antarctica, where they will have an endless supply of snowballs to throw at each other.

Steven Frisch

Scott, just for the record, the prejudice I was referring to in your comment was a prejudice against actually reading what i write and thinking about its meaning. I am actually very pro-business. As a matter of fact i would be willing to bet, and demonstrate, that I have done quite a bit to promote business in the region over the years.

If you construed my comment to mean racial prejudice it was entirely unintentional and I apologize.


'I always have to remind myself that the people who write and contribute to these blogs tend to be at the far ends of the political spectrum.'

A funny thing here is that the 'center' would be viewed as incredible political and policy radicals by people from 50 years ago much less 100.

My thinking is that, given no systemic shocks, you can guess the future of the country. You just have to look at somewhere like the UK. We'll always find another reason to surveil the population (and find it increasingly practical to do so), give public money to 20 people in order to benefit the 1 person who truly deserves it, and continue tearing down culture and replacing it with bureaucracy.

Of course, the problem is that there are always systemic shocks, so who knows...?

It's all a foregone conclusion, but on a personal level you can always shield yourself from the worst effects of the future (or embrace them) by choosing a place to live in. There's still a lot of cultural diversity in this country and while it's impossible to find the US of 100 years ago anywhere (imaging telling Wyatt Earp that he couldn't gamble or buy laudanum at the druggist, he'd laugh his ass off), rural Utah is certainly different than San Francisco.

You'd think that the sheer weight of people who do nothing particularly useful for a living, ranging from those on some sort of public assistance to real estate agents to stock speculators to directors of bogus non-profits (it's pretty obvious what the 'green' part is in many cases) would capsize the boat, but somehow it keeps on keepin' on.

Steven Frisch

Bob, on numerous issues I have demonstrated very moderate positions. I support governance reform, tax reform, smaller government, devolution of power and authority to local governments, multi-year budgeting, performance measurement for state agencies boards and commissions, sunset clauses on regulation and legislation, reigning in public pensions, campaign finance reform, CAPing state budgets, raising the Social Security age limit, and indexing Medicare. On a local level I am a leader of one the few organizations that has come out in support of numerous local building and development projects, including the previous plan for Loma Rica Ranch, Boulder Bay, Homewoood Mountain Resort, Baltimore Ravine and the Timberline project in Auburn. My organization is leading an effort to spotlight hundreds of local businesses through our Geotourism project with National Geographic, with performance metrics to demonstrate the direct economic value of our efforts.

I am not an extremist.

The extremists are the ones who truly believe that 'extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice". If that extremism diminishes liberty and denies justice it is a vice!

Yet every time I comment here I am painted as a leftist, collectivist, socialist, rent-seeker, law breaker, and made fun of for having previously been a chef. (As though I should be embarrassed by being a working man who has spent the vast majority of my career making a payroll, managing to a budget, and providing a service)

The biggest problem here is that the regulars would not be able to recognize a moderate it they slept on their living room floor. This forum creates radicalism, and feeds on the controversy. That means people cannot have meaningful conversations that really gets into the meat of what we need to do to actually apply themselves and solves the problem. This is exacerbated by a host who throws out terms like "The war for Southern Independence" knowing it will be incendiary.

The only reason I even come here is that I live in this region, and I refuse to allow the outrageous statements here to stand unchallenged. I know that the regular posters here will not ever change their emotionally held opinions based on evidence, but I have hope for the silent readers, who may read something here and take the time to go out and find out for themselves what is really going on.

George Rebane

Well said SteveF. We do, however, watch your 'feet', noting examples like the intensity and manner of your support of AB32 and opposition to Prop23. And it is my hope that these pages will in their small way continue to reinforce and broaden the mantle of moderation in which you wrap yourself whenever we are blessed with your visits.

Steven Frisch

George, as long as disagreement over one issue is couched as extremism your site will be a refuge for unproductive rhetoric.

I truly believe that climate change is threat, I have seen the evidence and heard some of the best scientists in the world demonstrate the threat, and believe that we can plan for climate change and have a strong vibrant economy at the same time. But this thread is not about climate change.

My moderation is real, and established long before I learned of Rebanism.

RL Crabb

As I mentioned above, I think Steve has some good ideas. As for the chef slurs, yeah, it's a low blow. (I used to cook at the Northwoods Clubhouse in Tahoe Donner, so I know how tough it is to run a kitchen.)

I've also seen you in favor of more regulation, like the new rule mandating sprinklers in all new home construction. Hey, it's great if you can afford it, but it would be a hell of a lot cheaper to design houses with escape routes. What will it do for affordable housing?

And maybe you are a moderate, but you've allied yourself with a lot of people who aren't. I'd like to believe you could go to Sacramento and talk some sense into the Democrats, but mostly I see the same jockeying for position and power. (Read Dan Walters' piece in the Friday(?) Sac Bee concerning the Dems plan to rig the initiative process in their favor.)

I could make the same complaints of the Republican Immovable Objects in the legislature, as if they aren't having enough problems attracting votes in blue California.

On a brighter note, at least you won't have to go to Antarctica to find a snowball today. (Yuck!)

Mike Thornton

It's interesting that when Steve Frisch supports AB 32, which as Steve correctly points out is an attempt to try and do something about perhaps the biggest potential catastrophe faced by humanity and opposes Prop. 23 which was bankrolled by two Texas oil companies trying to influence California politics for their own financial gain, that's labeled as "extremist".
But whether it's the climate change deniers or the birthers, who continue to rant about their totally discredited claims, they are to be taken seriously (even though they are, in fact, totally crazy) And on pages like RR they treated as responsible people, who simply have questions.
Oh, come on....

Account Deleted

OK - I'm regressive because I advocate for reform or elimination of programs that don't work. The Great Society and the War On Poverty and all of the billions thrown at social problems here in this country haven't worked. SS and Medicare are in serious trouble and are not sustainable as is. There is need for serious reform. We have to honor the promises made to those vested in the system that were forced to pay into it. But we can be progressive and move forward with new ideas. And it should be voluntary. How is offering a free choice a bad thing? Steve claims he wants smaller govt but opts for bigger govt every time the choice is offered. He claims I'm prejudiced because I won't read his posts. Why don't we go back and read his and my posts. I'm asking for clarity of his statements and he has ignored almost every one. And Bob, Texas does not have any kind of school science curriculum that have conjured. Your imagination is great for cartoons, but try to stick with reality when you post on line. You must have watched the same propaganda film that warned of the govt forcing folks to become Christians.
I think the conversation should stay at a level that speaks to our basic beliefs of what is important to us and what role govt should play in our lives. The rest becomes a lot of Daily Kos gag lines being slung at each other.

Todd Juvinall

Based on Frisch;s self proclaimed positions on issues I guess I would be a moderate too. But, I am simply who I am and no matter what the conservatives says or believes the left will always call them an extremist. It doesn't bother me. When I was A supe, I has a position of support for people on the Ridge who wanted to be left alone and have the building of their homes left up to them. These people are the real hermit hippies from Berkley. Well, even though I supported them with my words and vote, they surrounded me on a break in front of the doors and called me Nazi. That convinced me then the left is never satisfied. So I am a extremist for freedom and liberty and proud of it.

Steven Frisch

Bob, I guess my point would be that the policy decisions that we are debating are not as black and white as some here, or on Mr. Pelline's blog, would have us believe. Usually if there is a vigorous debate or disagreement over policy it is because there are legitimate differences of both opinion and fact driving the approaches, and debate, in the long run should serve to inform and improve the decision-making. I can think of numerous issues where new conditions and fact have changed my mind. For example, owning my own business, meeting payroll and dealing with regulatory mandates has considerably tempered my position on regulatory reform.

I would posit that it is possible to support fire control inclusions in residential construction (in light of the considerable threat of wildfire in the Sierra Nevada and the large swaths of the region that have no reasonable fire safety coverage) and support the implementation of Title 24 Part 9, while still supporting reasonable exemptions for cost and reasonableness in the implementation of certain parts of it. Few issues are really as simple as the stand alone decision being made, it must be placed in the context of the overall suite of issues that are associated with it.

Scott, I would further note that I listed about 10 things I support above that are a reflection of supporting smaller government. That hardly jibes with the statement, "Steve claims he wants smaller govt but opts for bigger govt every time the choice is offered." Not only have I listed them, I am actually doing something about them; advocating for these things in public policy at the local, state and national level; coordinating activities with networks supporting these policies; and when appropriate signing on as a supporter of legislation to address these issues. If you would like to posit your questions again I would be happy to try to answer them, in a civil tone, if we can all agree not to attack peoples motivation with the usual childish banter.

In response to my statement that Republicans seem to be consistently in favor of monopolies you stated, "Can you give concrete examples of that fantasy? ..... Was it the Exxon example?..... You don't like a private company to make a profit? ......Please Steve, can you give us a run down on what those profits were in relation to sales? What operations contributed to the profit? ....... How about those GM bond holders that bought at a promised set of rules. And who pulled the rug out under them and broke the rules? It wasn't the conservatives. And who mandates different rules for different skin color?"

Are these the questions you would like answered?

Brad Croul


I think you are digging yourself a hole and making your own Great Divide. You are assuming the "real hermit hippies from Berkeley" are leftists.
But, according to you, they were at the Supes looking for support for a lassiz-faire, libertarian life with less government interference.

The Great Divide becomes a cracked mirror glass with the awareness that nobody (sociopaths excepted) is really that polarized.

The Great Divide is only helpful for the Party Liners who want to maintain the status quo of subsidies, no bid contracts, and keep the pac money coming in.

For example, I usually vote democrat but I would vote for Rand Paul. I am not sure about a Paul/Paul ticket (or dynasty) though.


Steven Frisch

Todd, if you are referring to the approval of Title 25 alternative building standards debated in Nevada County in the 1990's I think that is a good example of you standing up for a part of your constituency that you would have been assumed to be 'out of step' with at the time. Kudo's to you.

I fully support local governments amending the building standards contained in T-24 for certain residential structures. I also support alternative building codes for street widths, parking requirements, street scape improvements, commercial mixed use development, affordable housing, and recreational facilities.

Quite frankly I find building codes are usually an impediment to innovation in building and development and can often stand in the way of people who chose to go above and beyond the 'standards'.

Todd Juvinall

Well I guess we agree on at least one thing. Croul is too extreme though.

Mike Thornton

See Todd, when a smart guy like Steve explains it well, you realize that indeed even you have supported "progressive" policies in the past.
Contrary to popular belief *at least here) "progressive" doesn't always mean "more regulations" it means "smart regulations"
I can just see it now, one day Todd will have a "Sanders/Kucinich" bumper sticker on his Chevy Volt!

Todd Juvinall

Actually I had to leave so I did not make my whole point. The hippie dippies wanted no one telling them they couldn't live ten illegal homes to the parcel so we did have a difference in the rules. I supported less government intervention in the boonies regarding houses which is not a "progressive" position but a conservative/,libertarian one. The other point was these lovelies from the ridge would turn out to protest a project and deny others their "rights" while at the same time asking the government to stay out of theirs. That is a good example of the "Thornton Manifesto" position which I reject. You see, maybe with some reading of Bastiat and Locke, perhaps you can come over from the dark side and join the freedom loving Americans.

Steven Frisch

I, for one, have greatly enjoyed reading Bastiat, Locke, Hayek, Smith, Hume, Burke (whose history of the French Revolution I very much enjoyed), Buckley, Kristol (Irving not William), Friedman (who I once met with my dad), and many other conservative thinkers.

Hey Mike, perhaps a more thorough reading of conservative philosophy would merely make us more effective spokespeople for liberalism as originally defined: support for liberty, equal rights, free trade, free and fair elections, universal suffrage, capitalism, and freedom of religion. Hey wait, those are all things I still believe in, and define as my political philosophy!

I suspect that a more careful reading of history and philosophy would lead to the discovery that liberals and conservatives have more in common than they believe today.

Steven Frisch

Todd, another thing we would agree on re: the Ridge, or other places. Support for alternative housing construction does not mean unequal enforcement of zoning laws. The Ridge residents should have the same zoning and variance process as any other citizen.

Dixon Cruickshank

I just wish those on the left could make a statement that wasn't 5000 words, I can't read them anymore.

And Steve the whole point of my post was those are YOUR fish and you can't fish either. The models they use are just like the AGW ones only worse - they can back to 1945 and totally guess - then adjust for the outcome they want. If you can catch the 5 fish allowed last year in 2 hours their not that scarce - or the other scarce one you can't away from to catch those 5.

But you insist on being an expert on everything regulatory - the more the better.

Mike Thornton

Wow, I've got a "manifesto"!
I don't claim to be a "spokesperson for liberalism" and if there was a time that the conservative movement was being led by great philosophy, that has pretty much ended as far as I can see.
I listened to the Republican Speaker of the House, on Face the Nation today and when he was directly asked about what, if anything should be done to help the millions of Americans facing huge housing debt and foreclosure that was caused by the rapacious behavior of the big banks and Wall Street, he hemmed and hawed and eventually said something to the effect of "The quicker we get through this the better." Now apparently, if that means millions of destitute and even homeless American families, that's just the way it goes.
Meanwhile how dare anyone even think about cutting subsidies to gigantic oil conglomerates, ask the wealthiest companies and people in the nation to pay their fair share of taxes, do anything to create meaningful work for the 30 Million Americans that are unemployed or under employed while many of these great bastions of "capitalist" achievement, that some here love to worship, sit on the sidelines with trillions of dollars in cash (much of it from taxpayer bailouts) waiting it out hoping that they'll be able to crash the economy to the point where unions, workers rights, product safety and environmental protections are swept away.
I'd have a lot easier time looking for ways to find common ground with some of these folks, if they would take some of these issues as seriously as they take on things like Obama's birth certificate or if they'd put 1/2 as much energy into attacking the banks as they do into ridiculing people who are trying to address global climate change.
(I guess we'll just have to ad another entry into the manifesto)

Steven Frisch

Dixon, perhaps you should try Twitter.

Steven Frisch

Perhaps if they are my fish too, I would like to steward them appropriately so future generation can learn to fish.
Otherwise they may be learning to fish in the Crab Nebula.

Account Deleted

OK Steve - I see that you say you are for "smaller govt" but everything else listed doesn't sound like smaller govt. to me. More power to local govt's sounds nice, but in fact you are not for it. How does increasing regs rammed down from on high work give more power to local govt? It obviously doesn't. You were for the Loma Rica plan, but it's full of capitulation to all manner of "green" regs all originating from the ivory towers of moon beam nonsense that imposes higher costs to us here at the local level. Smaller govt means the Feds follow the Constitution. AGW is clearly a dividing point here as you are a true believer and I'm not. Smaller govt means less govt in my life. I can not recall anything you have advocated that would lead to that. If I'm wrong, please update me. And yes, I would like you to answer those questions. See - I do read what you write.

Mikey McD

I don't recall the "big banks and wall street" forcing anyone to re-finance their homes to buy swimming pools, hummers, additional homes to flip (nor did they force folks into buying a home). Banks loosened underwriting which allowed aggressive individuals to leverage themselves for whatever purpose they desired. To simply blame the banks/wall st. is a poor argument. The lack of intelligence on behalf of the mortgage holder is a byproduct of a failed education system. It does help me understand why progressives believe that we all need government to be our keepers. In the Pr-liberty side of the Great Divide both banks and individuals would reap what they sow.

"what, if anything should be done to help the millions of Americans facing huge housing debt and foreclosure that was caused by the rapacious behavior of the big banks and Wall Street,"Posted by: Mike Thornton | 15 May 2011 at 03:05 PM

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