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21 October 2011


Russ Steele

Is the OWS just Like the Tea Party? I have posted a video comparision at Is It 2012 in Nevada County Yet. You decide if they two can be compared.

Russ Steele

Oops, should read "if the two"

Michael Anderson

Russ and George,

My kid's soccer coach was at the Nevada City protest on Wednesday. He's a paramedic. He didn't take a crap on a police car. He didn't even bang a drum.

The OWS protest is about preserving the middle class in America. The various tea party groups are also trying to do this. These groups may have different ways of getting out their message, but they are going after the same thing: stop the relentless assaults on the US Constitution that are concentrating power with the Republican and Democratic Party oligarchs.

I think OWS and the Tea Party Patriots should seek common ground. Their messages resonate for me.

Michael A.

Steve Enos

No, No Michael, you just don't get it. The OWS supporters are all a bunch of unwashed, pot smoking, hippy commies that hate America.

As George says they are... "pathetic looking young people"... "directionless people with little knowledge and fewer skills"... they are "clueless"... "led by a lone horn player"... "My name is Rebane".

How sad, how very, very sad.


What draws me to the OWS movement?
The idea of a locally sustained economy backed by local self governance without influence from large corporations from outside our area, this is what the 99% want. There are a lot of other issues being brought up that some of the 99% support and some do not, but we all know there’s no chance of any of our issues being addressed if the levers of government are controlled by multi-national corporations who do not possess the morals of people and whose sole purpose is bent on making vast amounts of wealth for a few at the expense of many.
Democrat I am not, both parties are beholden to huge corporations that have taken control of our country shaping it into the head of a globally repressive corporate empire that cares nothing for local self autonomy within our country or around the world.
You should be part of the movement, come fight for your local community, that’s my goal, strengthening my local community with the aim of sustainability, so we can weather the storms that a global market can bring.
You’ve fallen for the same name calling trick that attacked the Tea Party. As you wished people would stop listening to mischaracterizations of the Tea Party and instead engage in dialogue with you, don’t just listen to what some “Clinton pollster” says, instead come out and talk to a few of us, after all, you are part of the 99% and you’ll be shocked at how much you have in common with your neighbors.


Wow, good luck Jed. For many who post here this is not about "coming out to talk to a few of us". or "how much you have in common", or even wanting to create a society where there is widespread democracy and economic self-detrmination.

The concept that the global financial system should be open, transparent, democratic, and fair; that it should serve the needs of a broader range of people, and act as a positive engine of economic prosperity the way ethically driven capitalism should, is completely alien.

This is about a small group of tea party people who have been duped by global corporate interests to participate in and organize a national movement designed to protect the interests of concentrated capital and the power that it brings, that acts in a predatory way, that unethically insists on an unfair share of a dwindling piece of the earths resources, and does so under the guise of freedom and American values.

I am drawn to your message, because I am a capitalist, and I believe that capitalism can work better than any other system yet devised, but it must be reformed, must serve a broader need, must act in a way that is socially and economically and environmentally just. I am not frightened by the OWS movement, because the alternative is continued concentration of power in the hands of an irresponsible elite, and eventually social, political and economic collapse.

Steve Frisch

George, you may be amused by the fact that, assuming I have no problem with connectivity, your site is allowed in China, as is Mr. Steele's, but Mr. Pelline's appears to be blocked. I am experiencing similar connectivity problems with Google e-mail accounts, Facebook, and You Tube, which appear to offend the Chinese system.

In my humble opinion, the answer to social and economic dislocation is more democracy-- blow down walls and breathe the free air--not filtering technology.

Russ Steele


Is it Pelline's blog or his web site for Sierra FoodWineArt that is blocked, or both? Can you see the County Tourism Web Site from China now, or it also blocked? The County tourism web site is gonevadacounty.com

Mikey McD

M Anderson, this is the first time I have heard anyone partial to or associated with the OWS mob use that goal- "stop the relentless assaults on the US Constitution that are concentrating power with the Republican and Democratic Party oligarchs."

Every video, op/ed, news story I have reviewed shows the mobs disdain for corporations, a desire for more 'social justice' (via force) all via pissing on the constitution and giving even more power to a federal government (donkeys and elephants). Hypocrisy, ignorance or stupidity... take your pick.

Interesting that corporations lobbyists are evil and labor union lobbyists are 'good.'

Mikey McD

Does the OWS mob understand that the ability of 'evil' corporations to buy influence is correlated to the power of the government for sale?

Limit the power of government and you will limit the power of the 'evil' corporations.

Steve Frisch

Russ, gonevadacounty comes up, and Sierra FoodWineArt does as well. Just in the last hour SFR began coming up. I think it must have something to do with the filtering technology, since my connectivity otherwise has been excellent.

Google docs, Facebook and You Tube is till blocked.

The whole what is blocked and how does one work around it thing is fascinating.

Steve Frisch

By the way Russ, you must not have seen the comments I have awaiting moderation on the Nevada County 2012 web site? Are they not coming through?

George Rebane

SteveF - what is your current location? Itinerary?

Greg Goodknight

"This is about a small group of tea party people who have been duped by global corporate interests to participate in and organize a national movement designed to protect the interests of concentrated capital and the power that it brings, that acts in a predatory way, that unethically insists on an unfair share of a dwindling piece of the earths resources, and does so under the guise of freedom and American values.

I am drawn to your message, because I am a capitalist, and I believe that capitalism can work better than any other system yet devised, but it must be reformed, must serve a broader need, must act in a way that is socially and economically and environmentally just." -- Steven Frisch

In other words, we need to destroy Capitalism in order to save it.

I'm more worried about duped OWS participants who think the would-be bosses wishing to rule in their names would be any better.

Todd Juvinall

With a hundred thousand or so pages of IRS can do and can't do, I would say the capitalist system is fairly well regulated. Then add the million or so laws at all levels of government (including others like NID and a local fire district, reclamation district or even a mosquito district) and I think we have enough rules. The issue is enforcement. So over time our little corner of the world, America, has ratcheted down through all these rules and regulations the very reason we were created. Sure we need rules to get along and maintain order, that is the basic tenet of ant just society, but when the government starts forbidding coconut oil on my popcorn at the theater, I think we have gone to far.

Some of the worst abusers of our system are grant seeking non profits like the one who made coconut oil an issue. There are many non profits created to do injury to the system and they need to be removed and defunded. America is eating its young.

D. King

"No, No Michael, you just don't get it. The OWS supporters are all a bunch of unwashed, pot smoking, hippy commies that hate America."

That's a little over the top Steve.


Well, maybe not.

Russ Steele

Sorry Steve,

I overlooked your posts waiting moderation, sorry for the delay. I will reviews and respond when I get more time.

Ben Emery

I will repost something from our local paper that is pretty clear at what the 99% are pissed about;

I am the 99%
Ben Emery
Nevada City

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” — Mahatma Gandhi

On Sept. 17, a rally against the unaccountable reckless behavior of Wall Street and the financial sector began in New York City. A single location with a few hundred people mushroomed into a few thousand people and now includes cities and towns across the nation with tens of thousands people in solidarity. I am one of the 99 percent for whom the Occupy movements are speaking.

What is the source of this unrest? The destructive rot of corruption in our government and political system that has infected the entire body politic is the source. Special interests control our two major political parties and their leaderships. Our representatives are no longer capable of working for the public good in the presence of this rot.

To address all the policy changes required, we first need to excise this infection from our system. The following two extracting procedures are a must before we can move forward. Public financing of campaigns and amending the U.S. Constitution to establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are individuals entitled to constitutional rights."

I sent this in quite awhile ago and it just got published. RR is behind the curve a bit, you guys are still in the "then they laugh at you" mode. The overzealous crack down from those who are controlled by the power that be are becoming more draconian. The establishment has obviously moved onto fighting them.

George Rebane

BenE - I believe that you totally misunderstand my assessment of the Occupy movement (perhaps through the progressive penchant for ignoring my words and substituting 'I know what he's really thingking'). I have never ignored the Occupy movement, nor do I intend to as the weeks roll by. And the last thing I would do is to try to discount such a movement by laughing at it. BTW, for you and others of similar interpretive skills, describing and/or recounting the attributes of some thing is NOT the same as denigrating it through laughter.

I cannot speak for the other commenters on these pages, but I do stand by my RR posts.

Ben Emery

I was addressing all the comments on the thread up until this point.

You expressed your opinion the other night so I just went to the comments. I thanked you twice the other night for not being hyperbolic about the event in Nevada City. The communism comment was a bit but as I wrote Paul, baby steps. Getting people on the left to stop making huge accusations is just as hard.

I think we aren't all the far apart on many key issues. Despite what most believe to be true the majority of Americans are in agreement on many many major issues. As I have said here many times the power that be need to keep the masses divided otherwise we unite and focus on power elites. This is why I am an outspoken opponent of the two parties. It is easy to corrupt and divide two groups but get four or five into the mix and it becomes much more difficult.

Here is one of the ten key values of the GP that most conservatives agree with;
Decentralization of power either in the form of government or corporate is the key to bringing our forefathers vision to fruition.


* How can we reduce power and responsibility to individuals, institutions, communities and regions?
* How can we encourage the flourishing of regionally-based culture, rather than a dominant mono-culture?
* How can we have a decentralized, democratic society with our political, economic and social institutions locating power on the smallest scale (closest to home) that is efficient and practical?
* How can we redesign our institutions so that fewer decisions and less regulation over money are granted as one moves from the community to the national level?
* How can we reconcile the need for community and regional self-determination with the need for appropriate centralized regulation in certain matters?

George Rebane

BenE - your 1215am definitely makes you welcome in the tea party (but we won't tell anyone). The ideas on the decentralization of power, control, knowledge, ... are ideas that conservetarians like me have been promoting for decades. All the while we have had a difficult time understanding how the 'radical rightwing' appellations apply to us. Are there some specifics where you see RR being in the far right; these would be interesting for all readers if we focus on them.

Todd Juvinall

Here is a shameless link to my post on the differences between the TPP and OWS.


I too would like BenE to do a top ten list of what he considers our rightwing extremism. I always considered myself a simple conservative. But, since the Greens are to the left of the democrats, I would make the observation they are not to close to the conservatives.

Mikey McD

For me it comes down to choosing between more government (force) or less government (force). How does solution x, y, z affect my personal liberty.

Corporation contributions don't even make a dent... and why do labor unions get a pass?


Of course I did not say, "we need to destroy capitalism in order to save it". That was an over the top description of my statement. I have said here on many occasions that capitalism is the best system yet devised to allocate resources. I said we need reform. And I am on record here as agreeing that some of the reform we need very well may mean reducing or eliminating a good deal of those "hundred thousand pages" of rules that Todd references; but then of course in the very same paragraph he goes on to attack a basic tenet of American democracy, free speech and free association. I wonder how one "removes" people who freely associate?

George, I am in Beijing for the next week.

Russ, thanks for the reply.

Mikey McD

“What is true, just, and beautiful is not determined by popular vote. The masses everywhere are ignorant, short-sighted, motivated by envy, and easy to fool. Democratic politicians must appeal to these masses in order to be elected. Whoever is the best demagogue will win. Almost by necessity, then, democracy will lead to the perversion of truth, justice and beauty.”
— Hans-Hermann Hoppe

Todd Juvinall

Once again SteveF appears unable to read with comprehension. Reading what I said about rent seeking non profits as some sort of attack on free speech and association is simply fallacious. The taxpayers fund these organizations and when they lobby the politicians they are breaking the law. They then need to be sanctioned. I simply learned that from SteveF in his political trysts with Prop23.

Steve Frisch

Todd, you're once again, factually incorrect. Lobbying, as defined under the law, by non-profits is not illegal. The legal threshold for 501c3 organizations, in order to maintain thier status, is approximately less than 20% of their budget. Lobbying with government funded grants is generally illegal, but not with privately raised funds.

The ability of non-profit organizations, which are defined in the tax code, to speak out on public issues is protected free speech and free association under the constitution. The ability of non-profit organizations to educate the public about public issues, and to support specific solutions to problems, is protected free speech. Just because you don't agree with the speech is no reason to characterize them as intended to do harm and call for them to be "removed".

The ones who should be removed are non-profits who break the law--I wholeheartedly agree with that. Or organizations that dupe the public by claiming to be non- profits when they are not, that is illegal behavior. In short, the organization you founded, CABPRO, engaged in illegal behavior when it falsely claimed non-profit status. They are the ones who should be prosecuted.

Steve Frisch

McD, would that be the same Hoppe whose free speech rights were defended by the ACLU, an organization I support, for his controversial academic views on the economics of homosexuality?

Todd Juvinall

No Steve once again you know nothing about which you speak. You were the chief lobbyist for the defeat pf prop 23 and we have yet to see the amounts you claimed for political lobbying which is against the law. You were breaking the law as far as many people could determine. Why would you do that? You still have not published the documents necessary to allow the public to see the total dollars which had to be substantial since you were constantly on the stump back then.

CABPRO has never broken any laws and unlike you and SBC has never sucked from the hind teat of mother government. By the way, who is paying for your overseas junket? Please list all the taxpayer funds you are utilizing so we can observe the transparency you claim you want from all others. A simple list of all expenditures via email to this site will suffice.

Steve Frisch

Todd, all of my required 990 reports are filed with the appropriate agencies. And you are dead wrong about the law on supporting or opposing specific legislation.

It is against the law for a for profit business to claim it is a nonprofit. You and I could go around and around on this issue, but smart readers will just look it up and decide for themselves.

As far as my trip is concerned, it was partially funded by the US State Department, and you can rest assured that it will show up in my 2011 990 form., as is legally required.

You simply don't know what you are talking about. Your emotions are getting the better of your ability to do good research.

Ben Emery

I agree with the tea party on many things but disagree with many of their solutions as well, so I don't join.

No where on this thread have I used the term radical, right-wing, or extremists. I try not to use explosive terms to generalize an entire population.

Since we have an agreement on decentralization maybe we can can come to an understanding, not necessarily an agreement, on our positions against consolidated power be it government or corporate?

Ben Emery

"But, since the Greens are to the left of the democrats, I would make the observation they are not to close to the conservatives."

Today's "conservatives" would consider the policies of Reagan, Nixon, and Eisenhower left of the current democratic party. So being left of the current democratic party isn't that hard to do. The greens and libertarians agree on many many things outside of social issues. That is why I chose the green party in the 90's over the libertarians, that is why I am described by many as a libertarian leaning green.

At a forum last year I sat next to a communist (extreme left) and the distance between the two of us on the policies we agreed on were night and day.

An Example

I think a state controlled health care for all insurance policy was the way to go. Increase the pool, more healthy participants increasing intake of premiums at the same time only having a fraction of the increase in claims. This would lower the cost for everybody at the same time getting everybody insured. Essentially at the moment the government is on the hook for the most costly segment of our society the elderly, chronically sick, and the poor assuring maximum profits for private industry.

The communist thought a nationalized VA system was the only answer. Government owned hospitals, government trained/ owned staff, government owned equipment, ect...

Huuuge difference.

Todd Juvinall

I don't see the difference BenE in what you or the communist are advocating.

SteveF, sorry to have to correct you again but you were breaking the law if you were politicking against a political issue and not reporting it. Your 990's are missing, where did you hide them? CABPRO was always a legal for profit under the law and never took a dime of government money for anything. SBC is a arm of big government and many call the kinds of non-profits like SBC simply money laundering machines for democrats. Is SBC a money laundering scheme?

Steve Frisch

Sorry Todd, 100% up to date and fully filed, you are just too stupid to know where to look. By the way George, according to your definition I think Todd just lied.

Ben Emery

That was my last statement of my comment but then I took it off to let you make it.

Here was the statement that didn't make it on the comment

"I don't expect you to see the difference due to the fact that anything left of your ideology is equivalent to communism in your opinion"

One is complete ownership of the health care system and one is a insurance program.

The real problem lies that you have no idea what you are talking about when using the terms communism, socialism, and extreme left wing. As I said before Reagan, Nixon, and Eisenhower would be extreme left wing for today's "conservative/ republican"

Greg Goodknight

"[C]apitalism can work better than any other system yet devised, but it must be reformed, must serve a broader need, must act in a way that is socially and economically and environmentally just."

Sorry, Frisch, but that is a "must be destroyed in order to save it" sort of statement. There's already something like 70,000 pages in the Federal tax codes ostensibly put there to do just that, along with volumes of regulations regulating anything and everything that might possibly relate to interstate commerce.

Now we need, according to you, additional reforms to make sure a private enterprise serves "a broader need", and meets some nebulous standard of being socially, economically and environmentally "just".

"He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance." A future Jefferson could be writing that about a Frisch the Fifth.

Economic justice is harder than it looks:

Greg Goodknight

"Today's "conservatives" would consider the policies of Reagan, Nixon, and Eisenhower left of the current democratic party. So being left of the current democratic party isn't that hard to do."

First, Nixon was never a "conservative", so it is wrong to portray him as one. Anti-communist isn't "conservative" and Nixon's was probably mostly borne of opportunism.

Besides that, I'd love to hear what Eisenhower and Reagan did that was "left of the current Democratic party".

D. King

Thanks for the link Greg. Love the Headline.

"They want $lice of the occu-pie"

Ben Emery

Your link is stuck in between laugh and fight.

Eisenhower supported his 91% top marginal income tax rate, supported labor unions, and told his brother that those who tried to eliminate Social Security were ignorant and stupid. The modern day democratic party are split on a one half of one percent tax increase on the wealthiest Americans whose effective federal income tax rate is 17%, abandoned labor unions, and have put Social Security on the table for negotiating. There is much more, such as the federal interstate highway system. Total cost of federal government was $1.14 trillion, adjusted for inflation it would be in the ball park of a $9 to $10 trillion dollar program. Obama/ democrats got a $700 billion stimulus with nearly $350 billion of that were tax cuts and no buy American provision due to the republicans opposition to the idea.

Paul Emery


Can you explain the money Democrats money laundering operation you accuse SBC of being part of. I'd like to know more about how it works.

Greg Goodknight

Ben, reality check. No one paid a 91% tax rate. In those days, even department store credit card interest charges weree deductible (and should be today). Plus, his legislature was largely Democrat.

Beautiful misdirection, btw. You tar Eisenhower for the high *marginal* tax rate of his day that was not of his making, and then misstate current *effective* tax rates.

Quotes, please. And state for the record what the Social Security payroll tax rate was in the mid 50's, compared to the combined SS and Medicare taxes, including employer paid portion and expected state and federal income taxes paid by middle class workers on the Social Security payroll deductions they don't get to see.

Mikey McD

Greg, did 'we' have crv tax, property tax, gas tax, cigarette tax, utility tax, communication tax, cell tower tax, sales tax, fishing license tax, well owners tax, septic tank tax, ETC when Eisenhower ruled? LOL.

Todd Juvinall

Wow I go to church, get back and fire up the computer and there we are, the same liberal mantra I left earlier today but still the same.

Friesch and SBC are utilizing taxpayers money and grants which foster jobs for the left (AB32 and Prop23 political work). Obama is the latest grantor of favors. What happens is the grant and/or rent seekers such as say, ACORN, would get tax money then do the bidding of the democrat machine. Most non-profits are like ACORN are almost exclusively peopled by the leftwing. They are then encouraged to assist their mentors with volunteer time and/or monetary donations. It is a well documented scam and it has been maintained lately in the billions of stimuli money sent to prop up and pay the teachers unions and others. You should google it PaulE (of course you have haven't you?).

SBC is one of those non profits that do "studies" and hold "meetings" almost exclusively. I would guess since Freisch won't reveal the makeup of the employees (after calling conservatives racists) that along with a monochrome set of employees they are probably of one political party. Sort of like the media and the professors of our colleges.

BenE says of me, "The real problem lies that you have no idea what you are talking about when using the terms communism, socialism, and extreme left wing."

So if I don't BenE, why don't you tell us all your definition of those terms and who fills them in your view?

Paul Emery


Under your defination wouldn't you also consider defense contractors such as Haliburton who profit from wars started by former CEO's (re Cheney) to also be practitioners of "money laundering' (your definition)

Todd Juvinall

Halliburton is a private contractor. I am speaking of non-profits. If Halliburton was run by Cheney and was getting money through contracts and then donating a portion back to Cheney, I would say that would be illegal. Oh, that;'s right, it is already. The non-profits mre the latest liberal ploy for money laundering. Creative though.

George Rebane

MichaelA 1211am - I'm sorry to have missed this, "The OWS protest is about preserving the middle class in America." I am simply aghast at this conclusion given the composition, behavior, messages from, and the supporting organizations of the OWS movement. If so, it is the middle class of a nether world neither I nor mine would ever want to join. The evidence of two parallel universes keeps pouring in. How can we continue to cobble together a single nation comprised of such two different and distant cohorts who have to live cheek-by-jowl? The easy answer from each to the other is 'You just need to give up your principles.'

Paul Emery


Here's a chronology Cheney and Haliburton

1,Cheney was chairman and CEO of Halliburton Company from 1995 to 2000 and received stock options from Halliburton.Cheney retired from the company during the 2000 U.S. presidential election campaign with a severance package worth $36 million.

2. As of 2004, he had received $398,548 in deferred compensation from Halliburton while Vice President.

3. Cheney was a major champion for the Iraq war that awarded Haliburton a $7 billion contract for which only Halliburton was allowed to bid.

4. Also in 2004 the Pentagon reported that Halliburton would repay the government for overcharges estimated at $27.4 million for meals served to American troops at five military bases in Iraq and Kuwait.

I can go on and on. All this while Cheney received "deferred" compensation from Haliburton essentially while still on the payroll while engineering make work wars for for major financial supporters of Republican including guess who? Bush Cheney.

Ben Emery

My original sign for the Occupy Wall St/ San Francisco was a dart board with 20 different federal issues for each section. It is different for every person, for me it is about removing special interest money out of our political parties/ campaigns and the bulls eye was amending the US Constitution to state that corporations are not human beings and money does not equal free speech.

The other 18 can be different but here were the ones on my board. Military Industrial Complex, Monopolies, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Tax Code, WTO, Free Trade, Federal Reserve, War on Drugs, Patriot Act, FISA Act, TSA, Homeland Security, For Profit Health Care, Medicare part D, Glass Steagall, CFMA 2000, Lobbyists

All these issues have one thing in common, lots of money and lobbyists buying up our so called representatives.

Ben Emery

Almost every tax you listed were state and local taxes, not federal.

Property Taxes are state taxes that were in place when Eisenhower was elected president.

Most excise taxes were put in place in the late 17th and the 18th centuries, cigarettes were one of those taxes.

Gas Tax- Hoover

Doubling FICA Taxes- Reagan

Eliminating interests deductions from taxes- Reagan

Reagan drastically reduced taxes on the wealthiest while drastically increasing them on everybody else.

Here is some of the tax hikes of Reagan by republican Alan Simpson

Ben Emery

I will address your points a different time, I don't have the time or energy to deal with this stuff tonight.

Todd Juvinall

PaulE, all of Cheney's monetary issues were placed in a blind trust throughout his term. All politicians do that. He did not have anything to do with his money except his VP salary.

Greg Goodknight

Ben, Reagan had Tip O'Neil as Speaker, and, if you read the Constitution you'll find all tax and spending bills have to originate in the House.

Social Security taxes went up in Reagan's time supposedly for my generation to pay for its benefits. A cruel joke, what it mostly did was pay for higher benefits for seniors at the time, free money the Congress pretended to pay fair interest on into the "trust fund" of IOU's, and easy reelections for folks like Claude Pepper D-FL who had the retirees kissing his feet every second November.

Dwight Eisenhower to the left of Nancy Pelosi... whoever gave you that idea has been smoking some bad granola.

Paul Emery

Sure Todd

Cheney didn't exert any influence in the exclusive 7B contract to Haliburton that didn't allow competitive bids. Really! You have such blind faith when the Republicans are in control. Imagine your howl if the VP was Biden and the 7 billion $ non competitive contract was awarded to his former employer who had just bought him out with a 26 B severance package. You reveal your true colors here Todd.

Paul Emery

correction: 26 million severance package


Just a reminder about the Eisenhower legacy. From the Eisenhower Memorial no less

"Dwight Eisenhower was the principal force behind the greatest single expansion of Social Security beneficiaries in the history of the program. He led the legislative drive to add over ten million Americans to the system. Here’s how it developed.

When the Social Security Act became law in 1935 its purposes were primarily aimed at factory workers and other employees of business organizations. The legislative process leading to passage of the law was both lengthy and contentious. Large numbers of working American’s were left out of the original Old Age and Survivors Insurance coverage. No major changes in the Social Security law had been made since its initial passage.

During the presidential campaign of 1952, candidate Eisenhower made it clear that he believed the federal government played a rightful role in establishing the Social Security system, but he made no promises concerning its future. However, after the election it became clear that the Republicans would have control, by slim margins, of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. This changed the political and legislative landscape considerably.

Previously, expansion of the Social Security system or increasing the level of payments to retired Americans had been given no chance to succeed in the Congress because there were enough conservative Democrats (and the majority of Republicans) who would vote against such bills. With a Republican President it now appeared likely that the majority of congressional Republicans would honor their President and support his initiatives. Among the new legislative possibilities, action on Social Security now seemed possible.

Thirteen days after taking his oath of office, President Eisenhower delivered his first State of the Union message to Congress and, when discussing the need for greater effectiveness of government programs, he said, “The provisions of the old-age and survivors insurance law should promptly be extended to cover millions of citizens who have been left out of the social security system.”


Greg Goodknight

Paul, what you have dug up is evidence of 'sausage' making. I am shocked (shocked!) that the Eisenhower administration might have gone along with a Social Security expansion to buy Democratic congressional votes for something else.

What Ben claimed was that Eisenhower was to the left of current Democrats; that remains unsupported and very probably delusional.

Todd Juvinall

PaulE, perhaps you should do a better research effort on Halliburton. Clinton's Administration hired them as well. So, is that a conflict? Or did you just conveniently forget that?

BTW, what is your opinion and criticism of all the ACORN money since Obama was involved with them as a community organizer? How about your opinion on the stimulus money going to pay Teacher's Union pensions as well as the other unions since they gave 380 million to Obama?

Ben Emery

Directly from the Eisenhower library.
Letter to his brother Ed,

"The political processes of our country are such that if a rule of reason is not applied in this effort, we will lose everything--even to a possible and drastic change in the Constitution. This is what I mean by my constant insistence upon "moderation" in government. Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas.5 Their number is negligible and they are stupid. "

He was talking about the modern day republican party leadership and financial backers. By todays standard Eisenhower is a lefty.

It was during the reagan administration when the FICA taxes were drastically increased the other modern day lefty.

Ben Emery

You are really grasping at straws here and I have better things to do. I am sure we will get back to this subject again and maybe you will have a better argument than shifting power administration to administration. So would you logic go towards the claim that Reagan defeated communism, it was really O'Neil. By the way Reagan didn't defeat anything on his own he just continued the policy of containment that had been in place since the 40's.

Mikey McD

Ben, corporations are human beings. Unions are human beings. K-9's are dogs.

Question-Just how much did corporations contribute to McCain's/Obama's the last presidential campaign?
Answer- ZILCH.

Question- Were the top donors public sector union employees or private sector non-union employees?
Answer- The top donors were in fact PUBLIC SECTOR UNION EMPLOYEES. Do we need an amendment to protect society from public sector unions?

Paul Emery


Clinton did not personally profit from their well being as did Cheney. Neither did he work for them before taking office. Acorn is chump change compared to the 7 B no competition contract awarded by the Bushies to Haliburton . Cheney continued to profit after he became
VP. He was just not allowed to participate in decision making. why should he? He knew shat to do.

Of course not Mikey (amendment). As an Libertarian you must appreciate those organizations donating as they wish as a gesture of free speech.

Yes Ben. The myth of Ronald Reagan lives on. He's the most over hyped President in history. I give him high marks or style though.

Eisenhower really wanted to increase Social Security coverage. It wasn't just a bargaining chip.

Here's more on why I like Ike

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”
― Dwight D. Eisenhower

In most communities it is illegal to cry "fire" in a crowded assembly. Should it not be considered serious international misconduct to manufacture a general war scare in an effort to achieve political aims? ”
― Dwight D. Eisenhower

hmm WMD's ?

Mikey McD

Paul, would you allow liberty lovin' folks like me to OPT-OUT of SS (I would gladly let them keep the $180k I have paid in if they would let me out)?

Ben Emery

Why do I have to keep writing this on these pages, Unions are special interests and should not be allowed to fund political parties or candidates.

I 100% support unions and the right to collectively bargain but individual votes not consolidated money should determine our elections.

The first paragraph from an open letter to the citizens of the 2010 US Congressional 4th.

"Nothing in our Constitution addresses political parties or partisanship. However, over the past 30 years, political parties have presented partisanship as the only operating paradigm. Our government has become less representative because that’s what BOTH parties want. They fight for campaign dollars instead of votes, then use those dollars to manipulate opinion in an effort to frighten voters to take their side. This was not what the founders envisioned for our grand republic."

Ben Emery

When you opt out of SS and then fall on hard times later in life for no fault of your own are we as a society supposed let you suffer? Now multiply your intentions with a couple million people within our nation, no amount of good hearted charity will be able to take it on.

Mikey McD

Ben, just wanted to highlight that you forgot to call out employee unions (especially public employee unions) in your opt-ed piece... though your anti-corporation stance WAS noted in the same op-ed piece.

I am heartened to read of your appreciation of our republic (not a "democracy").

Greg Goodknight

So, Ben Emery has decided he has better things to do than support his claim that Eisenhower was to the left of modern Democrats.

Paul Emery, in his attempt to rewrite history, picks up the baton Ben drops and runs with Eisenhower the Warrior's anti-war sentiments. Sorry Paul, but Republicans were the core of the "isolationism" (the Democrat's derisive term) that slowed FDR's entry into WWII; this wasn't Ike being "left wing", this is classic Republican conservatism. And the Iraqi WMD scare was manufactured primarily by the Iraqis, who wanted their neighbors to believe they had them, and thought they'd corrupted the UN with enough Oil for Palaces graft to keep the US at bay.

Iraq really was in Niger prospecting for yellowcake uranium; British intelligence had it right.

Paul Emery


You are ignoring the fact that the "evidence" of Iraq's interest in Niger uranium was based on a forgery.

From the New Yorker

"Then the story fell apart. On March 7th, Mohamed ElBaradei, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in Vienna, told the U.N. Security Council that the documents involving the Niger-Iraq uranium sale were fakes. 'The I.A.E.A. has concluded, with the concurrence of outside experts, that these documents . . . are in fact not authentic,' ElBaradei said."

"One senior I.A.E.A. official went further. He told [Hersh], 'These documents are so bad that I cannot imagine that they came from a serious intelligence agency. It depresses me, given the low quality of the documents, that it was not stopped. At the level it reached, I would have expected more checking.'"

Greg Goodknight

No Paul, it was NOT based on that forgery. As Christopher Hitchens has written, "The subsequent mysteriously forged documents claiming evidence of an actual deal made between Zahawie and Niger were circulated well after the first British report (and may have been intended to discredit it) and have been deemed irrelevant by two independent inquiries in London."


It should also be noted the forgeries were also deemed irrelevant to the bipartisan congressional investigation that eventually agreed with the British position.

Paul Emery

Wrong Greg

This is the summary of the Iraq Survey group about the so called attempts to purchase yellow cake from Niger.

"Investigation Into Uranium Pursuits and Indigenous Production Capabilities
Foreign Pursuits

ISG has not found evidence to show that Iraq sought uranium from abroad after 1991 or renewed indigenous production of such material—activities that we believe would have constituted an Iraqi effort to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program. As part of its investigation, ISG sought information from prominent figures such as Ja’far Diya’ Ja’far—the head of the pre-1991 nuclear weapons program.

Greg Goodknight

Wrong, Paul.

That the Iraq Survey Group didn't find purchased yellowcake or contracts laying around doesn't speak to the Iraqi chief "nuclear goon" traveling to Niger, nor would the the head of the pre-'91 nuke program be a credible witness of what al-Zahawie would be doing or Saddam intending a decade later.

They were poking around for uranium, and they were expecting the US to give up the embargo sooner or later. Read the Hitchen's pieces on the subject, comrade Christopher does a good job of putting the pieces together

Paul Emery


The Iraq Survey Group was a fact-finding mission sent by the multinational force in Iraq to find the alleged weapons of mass destruction to be possessed by Iraq that had been the main reason for the invasion. It consisted of a 1,400-member international team organized by the Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency to hunt for the alleged stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological agents, and any supporting research programs and infrastructure that could be used to develop WMD.

What more do you want? Hitchens is an independent journalist with an opinion piece. The IRQ was the most comprehensive investigation into the questions about WMD's and this is what they concluded. On one hand you support the CIA's allegations that he had WMD's but ignore later research by the CIA and Pentagon that unequivocally said they didn't. Neither were they looking for uranium in Niger. You are such a Bush apologist that it clouds your judgement.

Again, their findings

"ISG has not found evidence to show that Iraq sought uranium from abroad after 1991 or renewed indigenous production of such material—activities that we believe would have constituted an Iraqi effort to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program."

Greg Goodknight

I'm not a "Bush apologist", Paul, I just never had a need to invent stuff to hate him for. It's a shame Democrats couldn't nominate a candidate that could beat him (and no, neither did).

No, they didn't find any smoking guns that showed an active nuke program, but we're still left with an Iraqi nuclear goon claiming not to know the country he had visited under diplomatic cover had uranium as its only valuable export.

Sorry, that strains credulity, and the Brits *still* think he was there to talk about uranium.

Greg Goodknight

"ISG has not found evidence to show that Iraq sought uranium from abroad after 1991 or renewed indigenous production of such material"

Please note, this is NOT a statement equivalent to "ISG has determined Iraq did not seek uranium from abroad after 1991".

Todd Juvinall

I just loved Tony Blair's speech to the Joint secession of Congress on the issues in July 2003. One of the finest I have ever heard. Paul should listen to it. If you do, listen all the way through, it is a masterpiece.


Greg Goodknight

"Joint secession of Congress"? Might be a good idea, but not what you intended.

Paul Emery


Joint secession? Not a bad idea actually

I'm impressed that you found Blair inspiring since he's a Liberal and a Socialist by the general definition in this blog. Yes, he sure could deliver a speech like someone else we know.

Of course most of what he said about Iraq was found not to be true and eventially his famous "mushroom cloud" statement made him a laughing stock and accelerated his resignation.

I take it you believe that it is our mission to "liberated" oppressed nations from their dictatorial leaders because it is our calling to enforce "freedom" in the world. I take it then you were a strong supporter of our intervention in Libya and wish we would have sent troops into Egypt as well.

Todd Juvinall stands besides the Socialist Tony Blair. "Necessity makes such strange bedfellows"

WM Shakespeard

Steve Enos

Who are the OWS folks? well keep saying they are jobless bums all you want, it's not the truth:

Injured vet spent day at work, nights at protest

The Associated Press OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Iraq War veteran injured in clashes between police and anti-Wall Street protesters felt so strongly about economic inequality that he wanted to do something to change it.

Roommate Keith Shannon says that Scott Olsen, 24, joined the protests as he worked his day job as a network engineer. He left his apartment at night to sleep alongside protesters in San Francisco and Oakland, Calif.

Olsen, 24, apparently suffered a fractured skull Tuesday during the clashes.

It's not known exactly what type of object struck Olsen or who might have thrown it. The group Iraq Veterans Against the War said officers were responsible for his injury. Police are investigating.

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