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13 August 2013

Comments

Russ Steele

What he was really saying, it is getting harder and harder to pull the wool over the eyes of the sheeple:

Speaking to State Department personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil, on Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry said that "this little thing called the Internet ... makes it much harder to govern." -

See more at: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/john-kerry-little-thing-called-internet-makes-it-much-harder-govern#sthash.RV4ga6hm.dpuf

Michael Anderson

George wrote: "With the loss of the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) that was decommissioned this March, we are now down to ten nuclear super-carriers."

Thank goodness. Get rid of ALL of them. They are ALL albatrosses. They have NO MILITARY VALUE WHATSOEVER. A huge carrying cost, a vulnerability, our very own Maginot Line.

We need a crash coarse to scrap these machines and replace them immediately. Nothing to debate here George, you are just flat out WRONG.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/?p=105583

Account Deleted

Micheal A - Another good, open minded liberal. "Nothing to debate here George, you are just flat out WRONG." The thought police are alive and well. If you want to debate something, it appears we have to ask Micheal if it's allowed.
Actually, the Maginot line worked perfectly. The Germans army dared not attack France directly. The lesson to be learned was that countries need to consider all of the ways they can be attacked, not just protect the last way they were attacked. The Maginot Line was purely defensive, while our carrier fleets are can be both offensive and defensive. The comparison to the Maginot Line is badly flawed.
Since Micheal thinks they should be replaced, (immediately, no less!) I'm left wondering what Micheal has in mind as a replacement.

Michael Anderson

Scott, I cannot fathom why you think I represent your thought police shibboleth. All I am doing is disagreeing with George vehemently, and claiming that the debate is long-over. Aircraft carriers have been compared to the Maginot Line for decades--at least since Vietnam--so I am not bringing up anything new here.

Regarding whether carriers are to be considered offensive or defensive weapons, I will leave that discussion to the Wired article I cited. IMHO and for the record, their offensive capabilities are no longer viable.

The replacement will be weapons that are already under development. The only point I am making is that we need to get rid of Cold War anachronisms ASAP.

Paul Emery

Yeah Michael-wrong

Aircraft carriers are nostalgia for Christmas past. (for the defense contractors) Talk about a fat turkey with no defense against any gadgets of modern warfare-lasers, make a hole nukes, modern subs, Really....

Would anybody who writes on this blog volunteer to serve on one of them? Come on-sign up. Any takers?

Russ Steele

Michael and Paul

Can you answer this question: If the day of aircraft carriers is over why is China building one, and India and Japan just launched one?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/donaldkirk/2013/08/13/aircraft-carriers-first-chinathen-india-and-japan-all-want-one/

Account Deleted

OK Micheal - what you're saying is we're allowed to debate without having to ask you, but you are in charge of saying when we can not debate an issue any longer. That's a bit more modest, I must say. Thanks for clearing that up.
"their offensive capabilities are no longer viable."
Wow - has this bit of news gone out to our carrier groups?
"The replacement will be weapons that are already under development."
'Under development' means 'doesn't work very well, yet' And when they are ready, and the navy feels they can be phased in to replace the carrier groups, that's what will happen. Those replacements will also be be made by evil 'defence contractors' as well, so I'm not sure how this will make Paul any happier. Perhaps we can farm the work out to Planned Parenthood. They have certainly proved their ability at human slaughter to exceed that of our military.

Joe Koyote

If the day of aircraft carriers is over why is China building one, and India and Japan just launched one?-- I recently read an article about this subject and the general consensus was that the main reason for building carriers by these countries was not defense or offense but status. You are not considered a first rate military power unless you have an aircraft carrier.

" A compelling piece of evidence for this is that poverty rates kept decreasing after the Great Depression, and then started increasing after the launch of the War on Poverty in the mid-1960s." this isn't that compelling.. it’s more like cherry picking or card stacking.

Perhaps the poverty rates decreased because of Roosevelt’s “socialist” policies and then increased with globalization, downsizing, and the off shore movement of American jobs. Or perhaps poverty was also the result of massive amounts of money being poured into questionable military excursions rather than infrastructure and jobs at home.
Again, you are assigning a single cause to a complicated issue without considering the multitude of other factors that come into play just to make a partisan stab. Typical right wing propaganda, blame anything else but greedy corporatists. Monstano uber alles.

Quote of the day –

“In as much as the first task of the national socialists (nazi party) was to destroy simultaneously all trade unions as well as all liberal democratic institutions, it was necessary to make the people believe that these were devilish inventions, cleverly designed by malicious persons to ruin the German people. This they sought to accomplish by asserting with endless repetition that these institutions were similar in structure and mood to those of communism. They then painted communism in terms so lurid as to horrify even the skeptical.
They could then rally all good Germans around the Führer, who promised to protect his people by waging relentless war on these "enemies of the fatherland."

Sound familiar?

Gregory

JK wins the Godwin Prize today. Joe... Congratulations!.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

fish

Hey Greg...don't you actually have use the "H" word to invoke Godwin? Or is merely hinting (e.g. National Socialists) around it sufficient?

fish

In which I stand corrected regarding Godwins law!

George Rebane

Attributed to The Donald of Trump -

Let me get this straight . . ..
We're going to be "gifted" with a health care plan we are forced to purchase and fined if we don't,Which purportedly covers at least ten million more people, without adding a single new doctor, but provides for 16,000 new IRS agents, who have recently demonstrated their objective and professional integrity written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that didn't read it but exempted themselves from it, and signed by a Dumbo President who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, for which we'll be taxed for four years before any benefits take effect, by a government which has already bankrupted Social Security and Medicare, Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, and the Post Office all to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that'sbroke!!!!!

'What the hell could possibly go wrong with that?'

Joe Koyote

Godwin's law doesn't change anything.. It's simply a feeble attempt to rebut an argument without facts. So what, It doesn't address nor change the fact that the Republican party is using the same strategies as the Nazis to gain power. How about discussing that rather than bringing in the ideas of some apologist trying to create a reason to avoid such a conversation.

fish

What the hell could possibly go wrong with that?'

Everything.....which is what is being counted upon. They have their scapegoat (TEAM RED) all lined up. And Harry Reid really let the mask slip this weekend when he said that this was only a "step on the path to single payer".

George Rebane

re JoeK's 1001am - the interested reader may be interested in the effect of Truman's 1946 rollback of FDR's New Deal policies to get the country out of its post-war recession. And the notion that the War on Poverty was a "single cause" instead of a multi-headed, multi-year socialist snake is ludicrous. Finally, interesting how such simple notions as "general consensus" (whose?) attributing nations building and maintaining carrier capabilities is just for "status" explain away major defense projects across the globe. Liberal logic, or something more seriously amiss in such thinking?

re JoeK's 1052am - It's undeniable that Godwin's Law is borne out by the historical data of online discourse - RR is just one of many such venues where the Left returns to remind us that conservatives (and conservetarians) are just Nazis in disguise.

The thing the JoeKs don't present is data to back up their Republicans "using the same strategies as the Nazis to gain power." Saying it doesn't make it so. But everyone can point to this administration's build-up of militarized police power, armed agencies targeting various groups of Americans, and formations such as the FEMA Corps of young no-nothing, incipient brown shirts.

Gregory

fish, Godwin's Law of Nazi Analogies covers making analogies to Nazi actions to denigrate others. Forgive the tautology, but it's pretty clear.

If it's brownshirts insisting on ideological purity one wants to focus on, Interior Sec'y Jewell's comments on hoping there are no "deniers" on her staff echo those of the real brownshirts seven or eight decades ago.

fish

Nahh Greg I was just being snarky!.....I did send George the link regarding Secretary Jewells statement.

Funny that they consider us "braindead" Limbaugh followers but react like Hyenas if one of their own even thinks about wandering off the reservation.

Gregory

fish, sorry about missing an appropriate snark, but what do you mean, "us"?

I ain't a Limbaugh 'follower'. He's wrong 50%... nearly always right when talking about Dems, nearly always wrong when talking up the GOP.

Gregory

George, regarding local militarizations, I found it interesting that the locally deployed armored cars (with RESCUE in big white letters) weren't being shown off at the Nevada County Fair last week.

fish

I ain't a Limbaugh 'follower'. He's wrong 50%... nearly always right when talking about Dems, nearly always wrong when talking up the GOP.

Nor am I. Frisch trotted out the notion that I was during a discussion a while back. I use the reference to illustrate that any argument used in opposition to positions the left espouses then Rush Limbaugh simply must be behind it.

Todd Juvinall

Listening to Tom Sullivan today and the last topic was the HUD Secretary and his decision to prosecute anyone who lives in a community he deems "out of compliance" with his racial and ethnic mix. How will he enforce that? Guns?

Todd Juvinall

Regarding Limbaugh. I listen whenever I can. He was the only person talking about eco extremists 20 years ago and many other issues the lamestreams would not cover. I was fighting the landuse wars and the ESA wars and the timber wars and he was alone on the national front. So, I have a bit of respect for him some ingrates may not have.

Joe Koyote

Earth to George –Here is some proof that the right wing attacks unions: “…..the ravages of union impressed pensions, both public and private, on the cities and states across the nation”, etc. Is that not a negative association, and thus an attack? The quickest way I know to find proof that one strategy of the right wing is to attack unions, is to read the rhetoric in RR. Union bashing is a regular feature here, is it not?

Have not Republican appointees to the Supreme Court provided majority rulings that further the political power of corporations (and thus the majority stockholders who own them) like Citizens United? Is this not an attack on democratic principles like a fair electoral system (given the power of TV ads in electioneering)? Does the right NOT constantly attack liberal ideas and institutions like Social Security and Medi-care?

We are talking about persuasion techniques here. Propaganda, euphemistically called public relations in the corporate world was refined by the corporate (including Wall St.) funded Nazis. The same strategies that worked there are now being recycled by the global corporatists once again. In the PR world, if it works, you keep using it until it doesn’t work anymore.

Again, so what if Godwin's law is borne out to be true, if it is true (who are your sources). Perhaps enough similarities exist to at least put it on the table for objective discussion. Instead Godwin’s law becomes an excuse for not engaging in that discussion. Partisanship blocks that discussion. This is not about republicans versus democrats or liberals and conservatives. It’s about the American people versus the corporatists who are planning the Forth Reich for us, including Obama, The right’s obsession with blaming Democrats, liberals, unions, environmentalists, teachers, progressives, and every one else clouds their view of the big picture, Monsanto uber alles.

fish

The right’s lefts obsession with blaming Democrats, liberals, unions, environmentalists, teachers, progressives, and every one else clouds their view of the big picture, Monsanto uber alles. Republicans, conservatives, small business people, gun owning bitter clingers, people who don't work for the government, libertarians, constitutionalists, and every one else clouds their view of the big picture, Monsanto Omnipotent government uber alles.

It works both ways Joe.

Gregory

"“…..the ravages of union impressed pensions, both public and private, on the cities and states across the nation”, etc. Is that not a negative association, and thus an attack?"

Ask Detroit.

George Rebane

JoeK 430pm - Guilty as charged. RR has been an opponent of unions since day one, and has gone into great detail on their iniquities against society and the body politic. But RR's weapons are rhetoric and reason, admittedly not very effective against the progressive propaganda machine that today dominates the media and academia. But it is the best I can do with the support of like minded readers.

Godwin's law became a truism because even a casual perusal of the public left/right debate inexorably validates it. One need look no further than these pages for evidence. (We note that my 1106am received another response from the chorus of crickets.)

Account Deleted

There is a huge difference between 'attacking unions' and pointing out the ruinous effects of certain unions on the companies and municipalities that employ their workers. I am all in favor of unions. Freedom of association and all that it implies. Freedom of association also means freedom to not associate. The idea that unions can become a monopoly for folks working at a certain trade or at a certain place of business is completely un-Constitutional. And there the trouble begins. A certain president by the name of Roosevelt was against federal workers forming a union. Would those today on the left like to say he was 'attacking unions'? Trade and govt unions have, in fact, destroyed or financially weakened municipalities across this nation. Pointing that out is not 'attacking' unions.

Joe Koyote

fish 4:43 -- I agree, it cuts both ways, which is a good point. As long as people are distracted by partisan bickering and blaming they aren't going to be able to sit down and find a solution to our problems. In the meantime, the global corporatists of all supposed political persuasions, religions, and countries are pushing us down the road to Monsantoland, which will probably socially resemble medieval Europe only with advanced technology. All I am saying is that I think some of the political rhetoric now being used to ideologically divide the country resembles the rhetoric used to convince the German people to put their hopes for a better future in the hands of the Nazis. Bad choice! I think the global corporatists are trying to do the same thing. While many RR fans agree about the dangers of global corporatism, somehow talking about persuasion/propaganda issues seems to raise the collective blood pressure by forty points as each side points their finger (often their middle one) at each other. Yes it is a touchy subject, but one that needs to be discussed none-the-less.

Bill Tozer

"Yes it is a touchy subject, but one that needs to be discussed none-the-less."

Can't argue with that Mr. Koyote. But, then again, there is nothing is impossible.

Ben Emery

The pension argument is absent one major factor, the financial crisis that destroyed pensions that were heavily invested in the deregulated market.

George Rebane

JoeK 1004pm - OK, on RR we discuss (and cuss) all things; we are an irreverent bunch. I've never heard of Monsantoland and its evils. If you write a piece on it, I'll publish it here and it can serve to launch a discussion of corporatism. But I do want you to send someone besides your friendly crickets to acknowledge that RR has for years bemoaned the relationship between large corporations and governments (those that cannot compete with government support/subsidies).

BenE 736am - your comment seems to be pregnant with an assertion that is laboring to follow, what is it?

Account Deleted

Ben - there were numerous articles being written before '08 on the underfunding of pensions. Both private and municipal. Also about the coming financial problems for both SS and medicare. The meltdown did not "destroy" the pensions. Also, I would be fascinated to hear the details of the 'market' with no regulations. What planet did this market exist on?

Ben Emery

Scott,
I made the mistake of letting George control the meme. The mistake is George rarely gives a position outside of talking points of the powers that be. Not that he has any direct connection but he is spoon fed right wing think tank positions through the echo chamber. Hundreds of millions are spent each year on corporate friendly theories, focus groups, and messaging to manipulate the suckers such as George who play the trickle down theory for misinformation perfectly. He is one notch above the bottom, his readers.

Pensions are in as much trouble as being reported it is a concerted effort from corporate America to put the final nail in the coffin of what a 100 plus year labor movement accomplished. Check out this study.
http://crr.bc.edu/briefs/state-and-local-pension-costs-pre-crisis-post-crisis-and-post-reform/

As for the deregulation, it started in the Reagan administration and we have never looked back. The big two that allowed a $900 trillion dollar derivative market coupled with FDIC to exist was-

Remember the global GDP is around %60 trillion

Commodities Futures Modernization Act 2000 (Clinton an Republicans)
Gramm Leach Bliley 1999 (Clinton and Republicans)

There were plenty of people screaming about derivatives but those same powers that be George blindly follows controls our politicians and owns our media so those speaking out against the derivative market were character assassinated.

Does the name Brooksley Born ring a bell.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/warning/view/

George Rebane

BenE 901am - Your comment to Scott's 803am is a non-response, and appears to repeat your contention that the pension fund managers are/were incompetent and need/ed a more robust set of training wheels that only government could provide. And your gratuitous swipes at me and RR are now coming at a regular and more tiresome frequency.

Ben, you have a pretty big audience for your screed here on RR. And that's fine, because you are a clear bookend on the ideological spectrum that this blog presents to its readers.

But I do want you to show a little appreciation for the trumpet that RR provides your views, and referring to me as belonging to a class of unthinking "suckers" who just "trickle down misinformation" makes me think that you really don't appreciate the contention of ideas. This calls into question the purpose of your continuing as a loud voice on these pages. In short, you are beginning to piss me off, so please convince me that you still have something cogent to contribute in this forum.

George Rebane

'Oh, those damn Republicans' was updated 15 August 2013.
http://rebaneruminations.typepad.com/rebanes_ruminations/2013/08/oh-those-damn-republicans.html

Account Deleted

Ben - you mentioned that pensions were destroyed because they invested in a 'deregulated market'. That means a market with no regulations. Please tell us about this market with no regulations. Just because some regulations changed does not mean there were no regulations or that it was deregulated. I am well aware that many in the financial industry (as well as home buyers) got greedy and stupid. The basic problem leading up to the financial collapse was the fed govt pressing the banks to make loans to those who could not afford them and falsely assuring everyone it would make good all of the bad loans. It was, in fact, govt regulations that set up the trouble. Plenty of blame for everyone.
Lots of folks did quite well, financially, during the time period that involved the real estate market bubble bursting. The good folks on the left in the federal govt assured the rubes that all was quite well in the markets and our own Maxine Waters told us that "housing prices never go down". Well....
As far as pensions being under-funded, this is not a matter of politics or opinion. There are standards that have been in place for decades that dictate prudent funding levels. These have not and are not being met by both industries and municipalities.
Alarms were going off for years well before 2008 about this. If I warn some one that they are venturing out onto thin ice, I'm not 'attacking' them, just warning about danger for their own good.

Ben Emery

George,
When I first started commenting here I thought that you were actually a independent thinker who was willing to have a discussion. This isn't the case. Your typical response is that nobody who disagrees with you is smart enough to understand the issues. Your insults are much more polite but just as vitriolic as Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck once the decoder ring allows us to understand what the hell you are saying.

I don't like bullies at all. Those who share your values of hierarchy and power are bullies in my opinion. Believing that some people are superior either by force or by genetics. I and billions like myself will never lie down and accept the garbage put forward by those who sit in power and you are regurgitating the garbage as if it is the only reality because that is just the way things work. The one good thing from globalization is the people of the world are coming together and the "reality" that has perpetuated the oppression of others to enrich a small few is coming to an end. They know it and that is why there is such a crack down and militarization of all societies going on at the moment. Revolutions are taking place all over the planet and the Occupy Movement and the fall of European nations was the straw that broke the camels back of thinking it isn't a real threat. They were very effective of squashing the movement through oppressive actions and "laws" that are put in place to protect those who sit in powerful positions and those who do their work for them.

The fight is just getting going and it will get ugly. I have faith in that the non violent path will succeed when all is said and done. Many people will suffer and many people will die. But for the first time in world history the average person no matter where we are located on the planet has communications. That is the game changer for the paradigm shift that has been incrementally happening for the last few centuries.

I am reminded of a Martin Luther King Jr "Ways of Meeting Oppression"
http://www.gibbsmagazine.com/Ways%20to%20respond.htm

In my life I have chosen option two and three. The stronger I get in my convictions the more I act in the realm of option three.

Gregory

George, my experience is in line with Sowell's Conflict of Visions... when evangelical progressives like Ben find someone who doesn't agree with them, there's one of two possibilities... ignorance or malevolence. So the lecturing begins until it's clear malevolence (or willful ignorance) is the motivating factor.

That the progressive's head might be up their arse doesn't occur to them, possibly because it's dark in there.

From his recent inability to see that a million to 100k is only 10:1 and not 1000:1, it's clear numbers dance in Ben's head, a jumble. No one that innumerate can have a clue about the numbers that are 8+ orders of magnitude larger that dominate our unfunded liability woes.

Welcome to option 3, Ben. Most of us figured violence (including destroying private property like survey markings) isn't appropriate way back in grade school. Better late than never.

Todd Juvinall

The irony of BenE's positions and his utter disdain of the posters here is the Arabs and the other third world people's think the same of him simply because he lives in America. Too funny.

Ben Emery

Todd,
Actually most people around the globe like Americans and oppose US policies. Funny I haven't seen it before now. I am always complaining about how our government is supposed to be "us" but represents corporate interests instead. International people like Americans but not our corporate interest policies.

Ben Emery

Greg,
First, If you look at the way George writes there is very little options on the directions the conversation can go. What would you expect from a evangelical progressive like myself? To sit back while constantly being insulted and abused.

Reading the overview of the Sowell's Conflict of Visions. He gets it partly correct on both constrained and unconstrained in modern day US political philosophy but very wrong in the describing of the behaviors.

There are two theories that explain current US political ideology perfectly.

The first one is from the father of American neoconservatism Irvin Kristol.

This paraphrasing of course - Conservatives celebrate American past greatness while liberals celebrate the greatness America can achieve.

The other theory Sowell touches on with his constrained and unconstrained.

Conservatives believe in original sin and that all people need punishment from a authoritarian figure to be good. In other words, a top down system.

Liberals believe that inherently people are good and we need to set up society in such a way that when people fall on hard times they don't fall through the cracks. We do this through coming together as a whole.

Gregory

To the contrary, Ben, I think you'll find the Moslem street is ticked off not about US "corporate interests" but US support of the state of Israel and, thanks to Obama, US drones killing combatants and innocents alike in Moslem countries.

fish

What would you expect from a evangelical progressive like myself?

It took a while but at least you've admitted it.

You know what they say.....it's the first step on the road to recovery.

Ben Emery

Greg,
What do you think the US support of Israel, controlling oppressive governments in Muslim nations, and the drone program are doing? They are securing positions for strategy resources for corporate interests/ profits. Why did the US overthrow a democratically elected prime minister in Iran and prop up a pro American shah? For the hell of it. Do you know what the TAPI pipeline is and can you map the route? If yes then take a look at our targets for the last dozen or so years. Why did Cheney secret Energy Task Force meeting in March 2001 divide up Iraqi oil fields to "foreign suitors" and the Bush administration have dozens of PNAC members? To bring it back to the Americas, where does the term banana republic come from?

Ben Emery

Greg,
What do you think the US support of Israel, controlling oppressive governments in Muslim nations, and the drone program are doing? They are securing positions for strategy resources for corporate interests/ profits. Why did the US overthrow a democratically elected prime minister in Iran and prop up a pro American shah? For the hell of it. Do you know what the TAPI pipeline is and can you map the route? If yes then take a look at our targets for the last dozen or so years. Why did Cheney secret Energy Task Force meeting in March 2001 divide up Iraqi oil fields to "foreign suitors" and the Bush administration have dozens of PNAC members? To bring it back to the Americas, where does the term banana republic come from?

http://www.judicialwatch.org/bulletins/maps-and-charts-of-iraqi-oil-fields/

Maps and Charts of Iraqi Oil Fields

Last Updated: February 14, 2012
Synopsis

These are documents turned over by the Commerce Department, under a March 5, 2002, court order as a result of Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit concerning the activities of the Cheney Energy Task Force. The documents contain a map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, as well as two charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects, and “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts.” The documents are dated March 2001.

Ben Emery

Fish,
I have never claimed anything different. I am growing more fond of the label/ term majoritarian since most of my positions are in line with the majority of citizens in the US.

Its not about the party but about the values and ideas.

Green Party and majoritarian platform

They’re for single-payer, everybody in, nobody out, free choice of doctor and hospital. That’s been a majoritarian position for years. Living wage? Overwhelming. Anti-war? [About] 70% want us out of Afghanistan now. The Green Party stands for bringing the soldiers back and curtailing the American empire. Cutting the military budget? A majority of Americans think that the military’s budget is too big and should be cut. Getting rid of special tax breaks for corporations? Overwhelming support. Renegotiating NAFTA and WTO? Majority support. I can go on and on.

Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2012/07/12/qa-ralph-nader-on-the-green-party-obama-and-romney/#ixzz2c9F0AE21

Gregory

"This paraphrasing of course - Conservatives celebrate American past greatness while liberals celebrate the greatness America can achieve."

I'm no Kristol fan, but I'd love to see a pointer to anything he wrote that Ben (or an unnamed source) mangled to get the above.

"Liberals believe that inherently people are good and we need to set up society in such a way that when people fall on hard times they don't fall through the cracks. We do this through coming together as a whole."

Left-liberal progressives generally ignore the unintended side effects of giving away free stuff to those who don't try very hard to not fall through the cracks.

Ben, how's the nursing school effort going?

Account Deleted

Conservatives tend to be realistic about what actually makes things work and liberals tend to believe in fairy tales. Single Payer just means 'free stuff' to most people.
Liberals always point to an increasing gap in income, but that is always the outcome of progressive policies. It happened during the depression in the 30's and it's happening again now. Less choice in how I spend my money means more money concentrated in the hands of the few. More big govt - single payer - means I have to shell out more to cover the non producers. There will be more non producers because there is less reason to work. If medical, food and housing are all 'rights' then there is no reason to work. Living wage just means I have to pay more to have some one do something I can do for myself. I will then chose to do it myself and have no need for the lowest wage earners.

Ben Emery

Greg,
Nobody gives away free stuff. We all participate and we all benefit. Is the road you drive on free or did you pitch in a little here and a little there with small taxes? Just as our parents did. How about the public school you went to was it free or did the people your parents age or older chip into the system to guarantee it would be there for you. Now it is your turn to pay into that system but somehow in a very distorted view you seem to think you are paying for someone else instead of paying back what somebody else provided for you. Totally selfish bs but I wouldn't expect anything less from you.

I am so glad you are concerned with my education. Actually I am registered and returning this semester for a couple classes, I will keep you updated.

Ben Emery

Scott,
Have you ever visited an undeveloped nation and ventured out of the cities/ tourist areas? I am guessing you haven't because you would see how people live in abject poverty work their asses off just to get through each day. Why do I bring up undeveloped nations when we are talking about the US? Because you have this notion that hard work is the only thing standing in the way of prosperity and poverty. The difference between prosperous nations and poor nations are the infrastructure, which is an investment from the entire society not just a wealthy few.

Todd Juvinall

BenE, so how would you make things better for a country like, say, Jamaica?

Ben Emery

The more important question Todd is how would you make Jamaica better? I think my positions are pretty clear but yours on the other hand are not other than let free market a.k.a. corporations take care of everything. What does that mean and look like in your vision?

Gregory

"Nobody gives away free stuff."

Obamaphones be free. Foodstamps are free stuff. Welfare is free stuff. Allowing someone to wait until they are ill before signing up for medical "insurance" is free stuff.

"We all participate and we all benefit."

How does that differ to the following:"From each according to ability, to each according to need"?

Regarding your examples, absolutely no one considers public education to be akin to welfare, and roads are substantially paid for by gasoline taxes, borne by all according to their use. No problems there; your arguments are off point and off the wall. The problem with public education isn't access or funding but rather the inability of the monopolistic public schools as a whole to do a good job, or to take bad teachers out of the classroom.

Regarding my interest in your education or lack of it, when running for congress against McC and the loony from Florida you claimed in your campaign literature to be a nursing student on hiatus for the campaign. Just checking.

It does strike me your complaints about pay and paying for health care would have been moot had you spent some of the last 20 years to learn a trade that pays more than being a ranch hand for a relative.

Todd Juvinall

So let me get this straight BenE. I ask you how you would solve the problems you identify here as parmaiunt to you and you don't answer but ask me how I would solve them.. OK, I get it. You have no solutions, only complaints.

Account Deleted

Wrong again, per usual Ben. I have witnessed how hard some folks work for a living and saying the only difference is infrastructure misses a huge point. I have never stated that hard work is the only thing standing in the way of prosperity in this country. The work done must result in something useful to others. The govt should not be the party to determine the usefulness because the govt is not providing the money. The more value, the higher the pay. Pushing a broom is low value and is low pay. Brain surgery tends to be of a much higher value to me and others, so a much higher pay. Some folks live in countries that have little or no natural resources that are of value to the rest of the world. They are never going to gain wealth unless they provide a service to others in the world that is found no where else. I have no obligation to provide money to any one that does not provide useful goods or service to me. And I have no right to take money from anyone unless I can provide something of service to them. Charity is a separate matter and should be provided voluntarily. I am happy to provide charity to those who truly need it.
Infrastructure must be something that folks want. The so-called high speed rail is an excellent example of how socialized policies result in higher income inequality. I am forced to provide money to a scam that provides no service to me or millions of other folks. Who gets the money? Richard Blum (DiFi's husband, what a coincidence) owns the company that won the bid to build the thing that I don't want. So money is forcibly taken from the poorer person and handed to the wealthy person. No free market here.

George Rebane

BenE 1018am - Following up on a long unanswered point and one that builds on Scott's 1115am, your refusal to acknowledge that free markets and corporatism are antithetical stops not only progress in the dialogue, but sheds little light for the reader on your tin ear here. Corporatism cannot exist without government bringing its power to bear to mangle the markets in favor of selected corporations. And only big governments with extensive enforcement apparatus (aka lots of guns) that funnel a large chunk of the GDP through their accounts can support corporatism. Left to lumber in a free market, these leviathans would be outflanked by the smaller and more nimble enterprises every time. But such a notion is invisible to progressives, or they are just too cynical to answer this with anything but crickets, and then continue to post comments that acknowledge no other truth than that first espoused in the 1848 Manifesto.

fish

They’re for single-payer, everybody in, nobody out, free choice of doctor and hospital. That’s been a majoritarian position for years. Living wage? Overwhelming. Anti-war? [About] 70% want us out of Afghanistan now. The Green Party stands for bringing the soldiers back and curtailing the American empire. Cutting the military budget? A majority of Americans think that the military’s budget is too big and should be cut. Getting rid of special tax breaks for corporations? Overwhelming support. Renegotiating NAFTA and WTO? Majority support. I can go on and on.

Well good news for you then in your next election! That you are so in tune with the wishes of the electorate should make you a shoo in.

Ben Emery

Fish,
I encourage you to read the entire article and if that peaks some interest the book Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny

fish

I encourage you to read the entire article and if that peaks some interest the book Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny

Oh yeah Ben...I'm all over it! Your propaganda, My propaganda...what's the diff?

Account Deleted

Voter choice is not a myth. You are, in fact, quite free to vote for anyone who qualifies for the job. You don't have to drink Coke or Pepsi. There are millions of choices at the store and water right out of the hose, if you please. The left keeps howling about free choice and democracy for the masses. Then, those damn morons go off and vote all wrong. And they make the free choice to shop at WallyWorld, fer gawds's sakes. Oh dear me - won't the masses ever make the free democratic choices that Ben wants them to?
Actually, Ben - we are going to end up with socialized health care in this country. Not sure why you lefties are so upset. Massive debt, massive wealth transfer. Millions sitting around doing nothing, just like those highly advanced socialized countries in Europe. What's not to like?

Bill Tozer

Mr. Ben. Funny thing about Jamaica. The slave traders made the mistake of nabbing slaves from a warrior tribe. Nothing non violent about that tribe. Its in their DNA. Anyways, those slaves overthrew the slave traders and commandeered the ship. Ended up happening in what we call modern day Jamaica. Those Jamaicans make great enforcers of the drug trade and put fear in those who skim a little off the top. Not to be messed with. Again, must be in their DNA.

Jamaica is akin to Haiti and most of the countries in the entire 3rd world. Give every citizen 100 clams and by the end of the year 3% will have everybody's 100 bucks in their hot little hands. That is what Sean Penn is finding out helping the quake victims in that region.

Now, lets put aside this notion of the peace loving Muslim world once and for all. Can you name one Muslim country that is a functioning democracy? They just vote in dictators....er...followers of Sharia Law. Sharia law has no place ever for democracy. Just cause they have elections does not ever mean they have democracy. Name one Muslim controlled government anywhere on Plant Earth that extends equal right to women, Coptic Christians and homosexuals. Imagine a gay man or woman running for office in Syria. More like running for their lives! But, the again, there are no gay Muslims. If there were, they would be peace lobbing Muslims no doubt. At least Egypt's population did some serious push back against the Brotherhood. "Brotherhood" my sorry rear end. Closer to kill them Coptic Christians and run every aspect of your lives through authoritarian's iron fist. Worse than under Saddam or the previous Egyptian President we coaxed to flee.

Remember that speech Obama gave in Cairo? One of the very first things he did as President. Even before he got the Nobel Peace and went off to Europe to wave his hand and make the Olympics come to Chicago? Anyway, the Egyptian President at the time said NO to the Brotherhood attending. No way, they are 100% Sharia law and death to gays and they treat women like cattle. It is a good thing, its the law, hahaha.

Anyways, Obama insisted that the peace loving moderate Muslum Brotherhood attend the Cairo speech. Invited them over the President of the Egypt objections and refusal to let them attend. Yep, he laid down the vision in his Cairo speech alright. That vision was one big middle finger to the Egyptian Prez. Now we are left with no good options in Egypt...choice between bad and worse. Same with all those Ahad the Arab Spring nations. Never happen in Iran. Them Persians, not Ahabs the Arabs.

Arab Spring my sorry rear end. It was and still is a fight for authoritarianism, aka complete power. Sharai law and all that jazz, not democracy. Let's see now, name one Muslim Government that is worth a shit or democratic. In fact, name one country in Africa (besides South Africa and Rhodesia) that is worth a grunt sandwich. Congo? Algeria? Sudan? The beautiful Capital of Monrovia where rape is not a punishable offense? America is bad, first and foremost.

Bill Tozer

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151593135111733&set=a.264390006732.139356.44473416732&type=1&theater

Bill Tozer

Concerning the aircraft carrier and cuts to the military budget in general, I am thinking Ben is correct.

This shocking news comes out of Britain. Not some wack job conspiracy theory, but genuine news involving Princess Di. Has nothing to do with speeds up to 85 miles an hour or alcohol, or a concrete pillar that was struck. No, even Scotland Yard is involved so we know it is the real McCoy. A British soldier killed Princess Di. Now, if Britain cut its military budget way back, Princess Die would still be around.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/aug/17/princess-diana-death-police-information

Bill Tozer

Concerning Stop and Frisk in NYC as being unconstitutional, oh well. Detroit was smart not to try that silly racist policy which puts people of color under the white man's thumb. Detroit should know. Their murder rate is 11 times greater than that of the Big Apple.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-07-21/25-facts-about-fall-detroit-will-leave-you-shaking-your-head

George Rebane

BillT 850pm - Thank you Mr Tozer for that Detroit data. It is these folks who for decades elected their own kind into city government. It reminds one of the Great Experiment about which our Founders admonished us.

Bill Tozer

Mr. Rebane, something new under the sun about Detroit. With Detroit's population at 83% African American, they may get away with it. No one will complaining about unfairly targeting people of color. It can't hurt. Lord knows it might even help that crime ridden city.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/08/20/detroit-police-consider-stop-and-frisk-policy/?test=latestnews

George Rebane

BillT 749am - Mr Tozer, you correctly cite the population statistic for Detroit, but fail to recall that liberals are innumerate, especially those holding public offices. No matter the numbers, when more non-whites are involved in any pejorative way with crime, education, achievement, etc the mechanism for such attributions are ALWAYS racist. There simply is no other alternative.

Todd Juvinall

Watched Cspan this morning and it was a all black panel discussing all things unfair to people of color here in the USA. I shake my head in disbelief that these folks sitting up there drawing a salary of gazillions would be so ungrateful they live in this country of opportunity. But I got to hear their views of complaining about everything rather than any thankfulness. They spared no time in complaining about the "white man". They represented the Congressional Black Caucus and other "non-profits" of the "progressive" bent.

Bill Tozer

Dr. Rebane, it is a ugly stark fact you just uttered. Can't agrue with that. I noticed the last paragraph in the article posted above:

"Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager who was shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer, said in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" that "you can't give people the authority, whether civilian or police officers, the right to just stop somebody because of the color of their skin."

So, Sybria Fulton is the new spokesperson and authority and reference to be quoted as a counter-argument to the story? Easy for her to say. She does not have to live in Detroit.

One could even take her statement to mean you cannot stop someone who is darker skinned.

Ben Emery

Bill,
Usually I can take our disagreements with chuckle but this Detroit rant is getting down right racist.

What is it with you guys that makes it so you cannot comprehend the big picture very few issues?

Median Net Worth Households in US

Whites $113,000

Hispanic $6,300

Black $5,600

This is where the history of being property not human for majority of our country comes into play. Those numbers represent much more than a monetary value. They represent nutrition, living environments, access to books and learning tools, after school activities, travel/ vacations, business or work connections, and so on. The lower the total the lower level of all those things mentioned are available to that family. Doesn't mean they cannot get out of it but rather it is a much tougher road out of it. I grew up in lower half of middle class. Both my parents were dirt poor. My kids grew up pretty securely in the middle class. Here the thing about my parents. My dad grew up in rural CA and my mom in New York City. My mom was exposed to free museums, arts, international people, and a top notch education in the 40's. She got a degree in English literature and became a teacher. My dad was sold on the old the way of doing things and thought he would work his way up the corporate ladder. After working with the same company for years he could no longer train anymore snot nose recent college grads that would pass him up for promotions. At 44 he started driving a truck independently.

I guarantee a vast majority of those remaining who are not black in Detroit are poor. Go to Northern New England and you'll find the same phenomena. People don't leave because wages are so much lower and they cannot afford the move to a higher priced area. My brother lived between Maine/ Vermont/ New Hampshire for around 5 years. One year he made $6 an hour as as a laborer steel framer. The foreman of his crew who was making prevailing wage and had been with the company for over a decade was making $12 an hour. So not to many people moving from Caribou Maine down to Boston. My guess the same would go for Appalachia. Poverty is is a bitch to get out of especially if it has been generational poverty. George was lucky to benefit from the progressive era making college obtainable to all who qualified. We know for a fact that the GI Bill opened universities option for the first time in family histories. That investment along with all the other infrastructure investments from our government built the largest and strongest middle class in world history.

My daughter is leaving this week to attend university in SF and our son is at St Mary's in Moraga. The debt accumulated from sending them to higher education will challenge our mortgage in size. That is with tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships and grants. Universities and Banks are basically raping the American dream for every penny. Exiting higher education with huge debt loads with declining wages.

I will end this rant by saying a country that doesn't protect manufacturing and doesn't primarily purchase goods made within their own borders is sending all their wealth out of the country.

Power over a man's subsistence is power over his will.
Alexander Hamilton

Ben Emery

My guess you guys will either choose to or not understand the George remark in 20 August 2013 at 09:09 AM.

George was an immigrant with no roots where he grew up. No family owns a piece of land or house that has been handed down generation to generation. So the ability to get up and move is much easier because those roots aren't holding you down. That is why generational poverty is so hard to break.

The mentality of; at least where we live now we have a place to live and can survive. If we move we will know nobody and will live a lower standard of living.

Gregory

" Can you name one Muslim country that is a functioning democracy?" -Tozer

Turkey

Gregory

Ben, generational poverty isn't from having a crappy house in a crappy neighborhood and being tied to it, it's from the secrets to staying poor and ignorant being handed down from parent to child, over and over.

Are your kids studying something that will enable a career likely to pay off their educational debt? If not, start campaigning to revert the bankruptcy laws to allow the discharge of student loan debt in chapter 7 or 11 legal actions, they'll need it.

fish

My daughter is leaving this week to attend university in SF and our son is at St Mary's in Moraga. The debt accumulated from sending them to higher education will challenge our mortgage in size. That is with tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships and grants. Universities and Banks are basically raping the American dream for every penny. Exiting higher education with huge debt loads with declining wages.

And yet you let them do this knowing it's a poor course of action?

Universities and Banks are basically raping the American dream for every penny.

What?? Two years at a community college is beneath an Emery? Cognitive dissonance really is a hereditary trait.

Bill Tozer

Brother Bee, my sista from another Mista: There are poor neighborhoods all across the fruited plain, including the poorest of the poor in rural Kentucky and West Virginnie. What makes Detroit so special is that it is a modern day tragedy. 5 times the national violent crime rate, 11 times the murder rate of NYC. 60% of all children residing in Motor City living below the national poverty rate. 47% of all folks over 16 are functionally illiterate.. Ben, we ain't talking about growing up in a low income family or hood. No sirree. We are talking about growing up in a city where there are 78,000 abandoned/vacant home, where 2/3 of the public parks are closed up and the police stations are closed to the public 16 hours a day.

What we are talking about is more like Lord of the Flies, not Watts. So, if I support Stop and Frisk in Detroit as a possible small solution to the crime problem, you think that is racist? Would you have your beloved children or wife spend 2 weeks in one of Detroit's houses that are selling for 500 bucks? My point it is easy for Sybria F to gab about Stop n Frisk speaking from sunny Florida in relatively safe neighborhoods. She probably never had to walk uphill through the snow to school, both ways. My point is Sybria and you are comparing apples to oranges.

Since when is talking about crime racist? Or black on black crime? Opps, I forgot. Talking about crime in a city that is 83% African American and the city government is 100% Africian American and the Police Chief is African American is ALWAYS racist speak. Me bad. What is Sybrina's solution to the crime rate??? Less Stop and FrisK or no Stop and Frisk? What is your solution? Detroit has 100,000 creditors they owe money to, 47% of the budget goes to salaries and health care obligations, and they have 20 billion in unfunded liabilities.

Detroit might turn things around. They have appointed another Emergency Education Czar to go along with their Emergency Fiance Czar that took over the city's checkbook.

I know the solution. Have somebody donate enough money to fix the 40% of the street lights that don't work in Detroit. Green bulbs to boot. That will end crime, lower the drop out rate and makeup to 55% of the adult population functionally literate. Maybe even 56%.

Detroit's problems are first because of racism, then George W did his evil deeds, and now because of Big Corporations robbed the residents of the few pennies they have left. Dr. Rebame is 100% correct. Waste of time trying to counter that 2+2=3. Its Lord of the Flies, Brother Ben, nothing less.

I am a racist bigot prejudice homophobic shrill of corporate Amerika. I don't believe in the Californication of America either. I am a lost cause. Got to go. Just bought me a new Hudson Sprayer and I better go squirt down the homeless before they get warm. They use awful profanity when I give them their morning bath. But, I always forgive them. Not because what they say to be, but rather that is the kind of guy I am living on this altruistic plane.

Bill Tozer

Breaks my heart every time:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwGTlpBHs7Y

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