My Photo

December 2023

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

« Sandbox - 7nov14 | Main | ..., and this too shall pass »

09 November 2014


Russ Steele

President Obama lives in an imaginary world where he controls the levers, like the man behind the curtain in The Wizard of Oz. He does not know how to deal with the real world, where events are not under his control. He keeps moving the levers and nothing that he desires happens, all the while the real world just keep intruding in his imaginary world. When the levers do not work he acts like a spoiled child, pretending it was some one else fault for the failure.

George Rebane

BTW, Todd Juvinall has a nice commemorative on the Wall's anniversary.

Bill Tozer

Speaking of displaying utter contempt which Democrats hold their constituents intellectual capacity: Looks like more of the same o' same old Dirty Harry. I am so dumb, I actually thought the Senate was a legislative body with its rich history of debates and deliberations. Recall the Daniel Webster/John C Calhoun elegance and passion in expounding their viewpoints before passing legislation.

One thing I can say about Harry Palms Reid is that he is consistent. He will be beating that dead horse from here to Kingdom-come.. But, there is a new twist presented less than 48 hours after the election. The Evil Twins are cult leaders!

As the Rotund One would say, "You can't make this stuff up. Yikes!

Bill Tozer

Obama: Too extreme for America, too extreme for Nevada County.

Ben Emery

It's ironic that those who celebrate the ending of a 40 plus year cold war with the symbol of removal of the Berlin wall are the same people who want to build walls in our own country and support the illegal walls in Israel.

Shouldn't liberty and freedom be for all people?

Bill Tozer

Good lLord, Ben, you have done gone off the tracks. Speaking of illegal(s)..... Nah, having too much fun tonight to entertain your comedy. Plate is just too full. Catch you on the flip side, good buddy.

Todd Juvinall

Thanks for the plug George!

RillT, Ben Emery is just kidding. Isn't that right Ben? You really are just funning us?

Ben Emery

No Todd there are actually people in our country who want to put up walls with armed guards. An the walls in Israel have been found illegal in international court of law.

International Court Rules Against Israel’s Wall
International Court of Justice
8 July 2004


Ben are you dumb?
The walls in Berlin were to keep people from leaving the leftist workers paradise.
The walls that are needed along the U.S. Southern boarder are to keep people from enerting.

Oh by the way I hope your cancer treatment is going well and you make a full recovery.


I meant entering.......

Bill Tozer

good morning Brother Ben. Cream in your coffee....yet? Walls, walls. The Wailing Wall? The Great Wall of China to keep the hordes out. The Berlin Wall to keep the hordes in. The wall around New Folsom Prison with armed guards...guards with guns, like real scary lookin' guns that go bang, bang. All we have is a stupid fence to protect our sovereignty. And evil Border Patrol agents that carry real guns that go bang, bang. There ought to be a law!

At least Cuba has a wall of water around it to keep people in, just like Frisco's tourist attraction know as Alcatraz, aka, The Rock.
Thanks for the laughs. Glad to see you have retained your sense of humor cause you were really getting to be downright lead ballon for the past few years. Everything is so wrong, so heavy, so unfun. Glad you finally got a new perspective on life and are beginning to stop and smell the coffee. Life is good and remember it takes more muscles to frown that to smile. Thanks again for the chuckles you provided last night. You rock.
Well, I best scadaddle before Dr. Rebane tells us to take it to the sandbox. Take care my brotha from another motha. Peace out bro, dig yer new fro. Big hugs and kisses.

Todd Juvinall

I got a real good belly laugh as well BillT. No one could really mean what Ben Emery said. Heck, I went to South Central (Watts) once with a black friend who wanted me to meet his family. All the houses had walls! Ebery door and window was secured with bars! I guess they wanted to keep people OUT! Anyway, Ben Emery has to realize the security and safety of people is paramount on the planet. Doesn't he?

Barry Pruett

I enjoyed reading about Cold War Germany. Thank you for sharing. When reading your piece and thinking back on the history of the time, it seems that there was a stability and a lasting peace during the Cold War. There was no screwing around by any country...they knew that either the USA or the USSR would pound them if they got out of line. Philosophical question: Is the world better off after the Cold War?

Ben Emery


So you don't find it ironic that those who celebrate the Berlin Wall coming down want their own walls put in place with armed guards?

Todd Juvinall

George, regarding your addendum. I was also shocked at the CinC's attitude during their meeting that he called. It was Obama that wanted that meeting. It simply shows his hubris. Surrounding himself with winners! Harry Reid looked as if he was ready for the "nut house". His facial expressions were classic "pissed off"! Boehner was cool as were the rest of the R's.

Obama is not even a "Clinton" pragmatist by any stretch. He is a narcissist. I actually heard him described as such on a few programs this week. The people of the country told me a couple of things.

1. Those that voted wanted to get America out of the hands of the democrats.
2.Those that stayed home did so because they were sick of the democrats and thier broken promises.

Republicans showed the balls to turn our to vote and the libs/dems got a taste of the people's dissatisfaction with their agenda. Simple as that.

Michael R. Kesti

Ben Emery 10Nov14 07:40 AM

Do you lock your home's doors and windows when away and/or while you sleep?


This just in.......

Obamacare architect admits that democratic voters (read ......stupid voters) are the nations most "valuable resource".....for with them we can accomplish anything!

Bill Tozer

Morning Fish. I suppose that is why not a single R voted for it, nary a one. Written by non elected folks to boot. Talk about stupid. Dems passing something they have not read? At least the R's weren't that stupid.
Paul Krugman has his mangina all twisted up this morning. The Supreme Court is going to hear the case about that clause with those 5 little words in it about State Exchanges and subsidizes. Guess the stupid ones elected to Congress should have at least read what the non-elected put in there before giving it a aye. Krugman is blaming it all on "corrupt" judges, not stupid Dems if you can believe that. Beam me up, Scottie.

Ok, time to tie this into the topic. Remember when Botox Nancy said if the R's put up a wall they would scale it, pole vault over it (please don't try to visualize The Sagging Botox Babe catapulting upside down going over the wall), parachute over the wall, etc?

Well, that worked out so well for my intellectually challenged friends on the Left that they got walled in by Obamacare in the mid-terms and had no where to run, though run away and flee they sure tried. Bless their little hearts. Kids say and do the cutest things. It was an exercise in fertility. They got walled in. Like cats in a gunny sack.
Oh, me stupid, me berry berry stupid. I forget to throw an anchor around my neck when I breached the sea wall and jumped in the ocean like my smart friends of the liberal affiliation.

George Rebane

re BenE's 740am - I sincerely believe that observation about liberals not being stupid, but just having bad luck when they try to think. A recent examination of liberal tenets was assembled here -

But it is a bit astounding that the progressive mind cannot parse the difference between barriers to prevent inmates from escaping and barriers designed to keep undesirables from entering. To them, seeing a wall with armed guards is all the same - we could argue that they are incapable of nuanced logic (which is true), but in the case of such walls, there is no need for nuance, their existential difference screams to be recognized.

That this mental syndrome is widespread, nay, ubiquitous among progressives I call your attention to another embodiment of it that involves the transfer of funds that was exposed here -

I will also direct readers' attention to a piece that BenE wrote for RR over a year and a half ago that bears on a related topic -



No, in your case you give funds in the hope of receiving some personal benefit to help stroke your massive ego.

Posted by: Jeff Pelline | 07 September 2010 at 06:07 AM

I'll give fat boy his due! He is consistent flagrant asshattery!

Ben Emery

It all depends on which side of the wall a person finds themselves on.

Todd Juvinall

I attended the tribute to Orson Hansen yesterday at the NC Elks. There was probably a thousand people! I would suggest that when a lib dies, maybe if he/she is lucky, three people show up. Orson and his family have had a huge impact in this county and many people owe their livelihood to the Hansens. It was a fitting tribute to a very nice man and I wish all my prayers for the family are heard by the LORD>

Rest in peace!

George Rebane

BenE 927am - I can't believe that obviously false statement is all you are capable of. The nature and purpose of a defended wall has nothing whatsoever to do with the side on which anyone finds themselves. Their fortunes may be affected by such positioning depending on whether they see the wall as a benefit or a barrier to their aspirations. But none of this impacts the nature and purpose, or the legitimacy of such a barrier.

America's southern border is an ineffective barrier to illegal entry, and America has every right to construct and maintain a border that supports the enforcement of our constitutional mandate for securing our sovereign nation-state. As long as America and other nations still hue to the Westphalian principles of sovereignty (that has been the underpinning of world order for over three centuries), then walls to contain or exclude are all legitimate constructions by independent states. America's liberal traditions and values cause us to judge harshly other nations' walls built to forcefully contain their citizens, but that has no bearing on our building barriers to control entry into our country.

That you and yours cannot distinguish such beneficial and harmful purposes is yet another indication that we have passed the tipping point, and that hope for discovering an acceptable middle ground has all but disappeared.

Michael R. Kesti

Todd Juvinall 10Nov14 10:03 AM

Had you omitted the line concerning, "when a lib dies," Todd, your comment would have been admirably respectful despite being inappropriately located. That line's inclusion exemplifies the lack of class that you so frequently demonstrate.

Todd Juvinall

Kesti, Since you don't know Mr. Hamsen and his connections, I will let your slight pass. You are a total of one. I could care less about your description of my "class".

RL Crabb

That's our Toddy. Dumber than gravel.


During the Rodney King riots in LA, some toney neighborhoods in the hills (think Beverly) barricaded access to their homes to keep trouble out. One resident, looking at the wondrous firepower that emerged from the closets, was quoted saying something like "When the revolution came I always thought I'd be on the other side of the barricade."

Ferguson is going to get ugly without some real leadership from folks who have been fanning the flames.

Todd Juvinall

Yep dumber than gravel, that's me. Pot head and druggie? Cartoonists?

Todd Juvinall

Gregory, once the GJ issues all hell will break loose. The AG will be in a pickle.

Bill Tozer

Too sweet. Just got back from the Doc's office. Think I bruised a rib laughing so hard. Bad news is my co-pay shot up to 15 bucks, but still no deductible. Good news is nothing was broken as a direct result of my dear sweet Brother's improv. Well, good news maybe. It all depends on which side of the wall you "find yourself". Trying to find myself used to be a full time job. I know. I tried it once. Now I am much more content. Feel so much better since I stopped reading psychobabble, stop getting in touch with my inner child, and listening to all that gloom and doom and negativity being drummed into our heads by the looney left. Sure, America is the reason for all my troubles today. "And the beat goes on. Drums keep pounding a rhythm in my brain." Sung by the liberal intellectual giant Cher.... so true....for her.
What a glum lot. Figured out the problem the left has with walls on our southern border. First, it might make it more difficult to break in our Nation illegally. Second, as a direct result of making it harder for illegals to illegally enter the US, that in and of itself would make it harder for illegals to vote illegally. Makes sense to me. See, I am catching on. Glad I took the smart pills the doc gave me.
Now, excuse me. Gotto go wrap up the rib cage. Will somebody please make my Brother stop. It hurts! He is killing me.

RL Crabb

Yeah, Toddy, I did some drugs in my day. I destroyed enough brain cells to become the village idiot. Your ignorance appears to be from natural causes. Geez, it's a miracle you can spell your name.

Todd Juvinall

Crabb, [please, man you are cracking me up. While you were in the dens of backrooms in SF during the 60's finding your navel and testing the chemicals, I was raising a family and had 45 employees. If anyone has a problem with their noggin it is you. Now go to your room and contemplate your belly bitton. Too funny!

Ben Emery

My point isn't about specifics or justifications but rather about irony. Anyone who supports building a wall has their reasons and the legitimacy of those reasons depends on which side of the way you find yourself on.

"The nature and purpose of a defended wall has nothing whatsoever to do with the side on which anyone finds themselves."

It has everything to do with side of the wall your on. If you are a population suppressed/ depressed for whatever reason(Economic, Political)and are trying to rectify or get out of it a wall looks the same no matter what the justification. Just look at the justifications of those who support walls, it usually has a common theme of security from the unwanted who are generally poor and or suppressed.

So all those kingdoms that had high walls and guards to keep the rabble/ peasants in their place while securing the high standard of living made possible off the backs of those very same peasants.

This is another perfect example of where you side with authority over liberty/ freedom of average everyday people. The privileged have the right to protect/secure their wealth.

Have you ever studied John Ball and the Peasant Revolt? Check it out, fascinating history and is really is the birthplace to modern grassroots activism/ democracy.

No name calling here but a true observation-

You support economic liberty and freedom of capital while at the same time supporting a very strict narrow social legal structure that doesn't support liberty/ freedom of average working class people. A very predictable and stable society is what you seek, which makes for a very stable economy. I get it but just disagree.

RL Crabb

Yep, and never voted for a sweetheart junk bond that cost the county millions and never went belly-up on my mortgage either. And what exactly is a belly bitton? Sounds kinky.

George Rebane

BenE 203pm - (Hope springs eternal) Let me take another tack. In this discussion we look at the nature and purpose of a defended wall from the perspective of its builders, which in the present case is the US building a wall to keep illegal aliens out. It is our wall and our purpose, and it will be so recognized by thinking Americans who pay for and maintain the wall. Our wall does not have to satisfy the social needs of all foreign countries that find themselves on the other side; it has to satisfy only our interests. If it doesn't, then we won't build it.

Your arguments always go far afield in judging all social initiatives from the point of what you consider global justice. If it doesn't satisfy all your requirements for global justice, then you advise against America doing it. I am not so encumbered, and believe that a strong and sovereign America will again promote the most socially just world possible.

(Ergo, Mexicans should look to their government to promote social justice on their side of the border. If that's not possible, then they should revolt and set up a new government that will. But America acting as a safety valve for corrupt Hispanic societies does not provide us a future in which we can sustain our values, mores, and QoL.)

Todd Juvinall

Crabb, let it go man. You are a obviously living a time warp. I could care less that you don't like me. There are many who do and I am a happy man. You carry old hatreds and that is really not healthy. Seek some mental help and stay off the stuff. What a hoot!

Regarding Ben Emery's position on "fences". It is clear to me he is an open border person. A "world" citizen man. That ios fine as long as he is not n power it really doesn't matter. The election last week put the "close the border" people in charge so the American people have spoken.


Editor’s note: While our local hard-right, anti-(fill in the blank) ideologues mumble “what ifs” about gas prices, this morning’s S.F. Chronicle is writing that the “price is right to gas up and hit the outdoors,” including communities like ours. That’s good news for our tourism economy. In fact, our local hard-wing ideologues could “gas up,” hit the road and soak up some “S.F. values” with their families this week for roughly $25 or less one way (and a little more for their gas-guzzling RVs), according to the article. We gassed up for less than $3 a gallon in the foothills on Sunday.

“The price of gas was down to $2.75 a gallon Sunday at Sam’s Club in Sacramento. It was $2.83 at the costco in San Jose, $3.01 at the Costsco in South San Francisco, and $3.09 at the Econo in Berkeley,” The Chronicle’s tom Stienstra writes.

“Nobody is putting his or her life on hold anymore because of the price of gasoline.

“Every price rise or drop of 50 cents per gallon is equivalent to spending or saving respectively, about $3.50 per 100 miles, depending on what you drive.

“What does that mean for you?

It means I know a little boy who will have a lot more discretionary cash for chili fry purchases!

See jeffy....sometimes god does answer prayers!

Bill Tozer

Ben, what the heck are you talking about? Any citizen is free to move about this country as they please, no matter what their station in life. It's called freedom and liberty. US citizens can leave and return to the US anytime. I know. Once had a US border guard glare at my low life appearance hitchhiking down from the wilds of Northern British Columbia and he finally said "We have to let someone like you in, you are a US citizen." The guy I was hitchhiking with was not a citizen and not allowed in. The customs agent leered at me and I could tell he was disgusted that he had to let someone like moi walk across the border and set my feet on sacred ground.
Ben, you would love Canada. Good wages, liberalism is rampant, and Fox News is banned is most places. Very progressive, very green, very civil and polite, and not too crowded. What more can I say except any country that would deport Amy Goodman is A-ok in my book. And no fences! You do need a passport now to visit, which makes it difficult for poor Americans who have no ID to visit. No papers, no entry. Harsh, but polite. Canada is free to let in whom they please and reject whom they please. It's called sovereignty. Even our beloved United Nations accepts the right of all sovereign nations on earth to protect and police it's borders.
Next time I go to Canada I will tell them I am a Citizen of North America and see if that works. Bet it falls short.

Account Deleted

Quote from Ben - "If you are a population suppressed/ depressed for whatever reason(Economic, Political)and are trying to rectify or get out of it a wall looks the same no matter what the justification."
Ben - America is not trying to put a wall around Mexico. Folks coming from or through Mexico can go to a lot of other places. Cuba for one. The workers paradise. And folks come legally from Mexico every day. You are woefully ignorant of the barriers the East Germans put around their country. They machine-gunned folks in the back trying to flee. And very few folks were allowed back and forth through check points. Try actually going to one of the many border crossings with Mexico and see the thousands that come and go daily. Heck, there were kids coming from Mexico at one time being picked up by American school buses and taken daily to American schools. The lefties tried to cover it up.
Illegals come here and live primarily to break our laws. It was their intent as they came across the border and remains their intent as long as they reside here. We either enforce the laws or we admit we do not intend to uphold our Constitutional right to equal protection. You can't have it both ways.

Bill Tozer

Ben, is your glass ever half full? I believe you have never been happy concerning America. At least Michelle Obama became proud of the US for the first time. A suicide bomber walked into a school in Nigeria the other day and killed 50 school boys. That's 50. There, take that tragedy on which should keep you busy bringing world wide social Justice. You never have one positive thing to say. Everything is wrong. Capitalism is wrong, wages are wrong, our political system is wrong, our air is wrong. Have you ever once looked around and told yourself, "it ain't perfect, but it ain't bad"????? I am believing any brief moments of contentment you have had were fleeting and like trying to catch the wind. Just wear black and stay in perpetual mourning over injustice on Planet Earth. Hey, was that lady in red who got tear gassed from Turkey or Egypt? I forget. But looking at all those murdered over there on a daily basis, I think she had it easy.

Yeah, but....yeah but.....silly yeahbut, Trix are for kids.

Russ Steele

In reference to the 10 Nov Update;

The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee sent a letter to the head of the National Science Foundation (NSF) on Monday, demanding answers about the origins of the nearly $1 million taxpayer-funded project to track “misinformation” on Twitter.

The Truthy project, being conducted by researchers at Indiana University, is under investigation for targeting political commentary on Twitter. The project monitors “suspicious memes,” “false and misleading ideas,” and “hate speech,” with a goal of one day being able to automatically detect false rumors on the social media platform.

The web service has been used to track tweets using hashtags such as #tcot (Top Conservatives on Twitter), and was successful in getting accounts associated with conservatives suspended, according to a 2012 book co-authored by the project’s lead researcher, Filippo Menczer, a professor of Informatics and Computer Science at Indiana University.

Menczer has also said that Truthy monitored tweets using #p2 (Progressive 2.0), but did not discuss any examples of getting liberal accounts suspended in his book.

It appears that only conservative tweets are considered to have misinformation. Now the left want Google to stop indexing skeptical climate change academic papers. They are trying to control the flow of information, especially information that they cannot refute with a cogent argument of their own, like the fact there has been no global warming for 18 years and one month.


Speaking of censorship, one of Pelline's Lickspittles wrote in response to his gasoline note, "The right wing were quick to blame Obama for High gas prices, who do they thank when it’s low?"

My friend at "sierrafoothillsretort" wrote a one word reply that Pelline has apparently decided to block: Fracking.

Account Deleted

Well - 'The project monitors....false and misleading ideas....'
Such as:
This is an admission of what many of us knew. It is only one of many smoking guns (how many do we need?) that the left is evil.
Where is the law? Where is morality? I suppose that since we are careening off the edge of the cataract, the law of the jungle is taking hold. And folks wonder why so many fire arms are being purchased.

Paul Emery

Todd writes"RE:Todd writes:
" There was probably a thousand people! I would suggest that when a lib dies, maybe if he/she is lucky, three people show up."
When they had a memorial for Utah Phillips at Pioneer Park several thousand showed up. Also Sam Dardick was dearly loved and had a hube memorial. Do you actually think about what you write? Is there a brain involved in the process?

Todd Juvinall

Paul Emery, prove it. You are simply making it up. Is there a brain in your head? Appears not.

Bill Tozer

Back to Cuba, briefly. From the BBC

Trafficked humans not a gift from Cuba - While Cuban doctors are being celebrated for their Ebola work in Africa, few are looking at the circumstances under which those doctors are being sent, argues Mary Anastasia O'Grady of the Wall Street Journal.

The doctors are not a gift from Cuba, O'Grady says, but are trafficked human beings. According to DW, Germany's international broadcaster, Havana earns some $7.6b (£4.8b) annually from its export of healthcare workers - money that is supposed to go to Cuban workers' salaries, but is withheld by the state.

"Cuban doctors are not forced at gunpoint to become expat slaves, but they are given offers they cannot refuse," states the article. "As Cuban doctor Antonio Guedes, who now lives in exile in Madrid, told the German DW, 'Whoever does not cooperate may lose his job, or at least his position or his son will not get a place at university.' As with the workers in Curacao, the regime keeps healthcare workers under constant surveillance and confiscates their passports. Something about that doesn't sound voluntary."

George Rebane

Gentlemen - Has anyone considered what profit will accrue from this mudslinging match with Todd?

BillT 407am - Good point Mr Tozer. The progressives' celebration of all attempts at making communist tyranny work goes almost a century. If these people didn't vote, it would be amusing to see how they are continually beguiled by one dictator after another to come and visit their workers' paradise. And then come back to America extolling the virtues of the 'socialism' that was showcased. This Kool-Aid continues to be popular year after year.

Todd Juvinall

George, I was shocked that these liberals would attack me personally. Sorry, I guess I just set them off.

Joe Koyote

"when a lib dies: Toad: Why do you ooze with hate toward those with whom you politically disagree? All of your diatribes seem to be directed at people rather than their ideas; "those scumbag libs". Does this make you feel better about yourself in light of things you can't understand? It is a natural reaction to attack the messenger because in degrading the messenger you invalidate the message. This is probably due to your ignorance. Since you are unable to rationally discuss ideas, your responses turn to personal attacks. You seem to view your fellow Americans with whom you disagree politically with the same disdain as terrorists. How sad. You would have made a good brownshirt.

Ben Emery

So I guess the irony is lost on you guys?

Keep on celebrating the downing of one wall while promoting the rise of different walls.

George Rebane

BenE 854am - I also look forward to a dissertation from you on the future of America as a sovereign nation-state and the survival of the Westphalian world order. People of the Left, especially of the political bent, do not want to expose their thoughts on these matters for obvious reasons. You have long claimed to walk on a leftward road less traveled; perhaps this path will allow you to share such a vision with readers. If you wish, we could again post your thoughts as a byline in these pages so that they could get a dedicated airing.

Todd Juvinall

JoeK, why do you resort to calling me a name? My sisters used to call me that when I was 10. You cry that I attack "liberals" and whne that I hate them then turn around and denigrate my name. You are the prime example of what is wrong with a liberal. Total hypocrite! America tossed your sorry policies and your sorry reps out on their ear last week. You are a vacuous ideology. I simply point that pout. But as usual, I speak of LIBS in general and you lovelies attack personally. I would suggest you and Ben and Paul and Kesti grow up and get out of the namecalling of people and stick to your banished ideology. Now do what you libs do best, point out my spelling errors. Too funny!

Todd Juvinall

Ben Emery, yes, I am celebrating the rise of a wall that may be able to keep the terrorists out. You know, those guys that crucify little kids and cut off the heads of anyone who disagrees with them. Yep, get that wall up and KEEP OUT those that will come chop off your head. You can thank me later.

Ben Emery

There is always justifications for "walls" from those who are fearful but my point still remains, the irony of it.

Todd Juvinall

George is Obama in China oir the orient today? Isn't he usually away on Veterans Day?

Bill Tozer

Ben, to you there is no justification that is justifiable when it comes to borders and national security. Your greater good violates the role of the Chief Executive as per the Constitution of the United States. I suppose you are trying to recompense others in other countries for part in being a card carrying member of the oppressive ruling class. The irony is that you advocate trampling on the rights of a sovereign nation while bigots like moi advocate the rights on a sovereign nation, though you will never ever see it that way. Tell me, what rights does any non legal resident have concerning a wall? What say do they have in the matter? They have their opinions and their opinions are important to them, not me. The opinions that matter most are the voices of the citizens of our sovereign nation. Legal residents and illegal residents alike cannot vote. Me thinks you have a problem with those two little words "sovereign nation." Or maybe those 4 little words that are your trump card against all arguments; "white oppressive ruling class". Your trump card keeps you in everlasting tension, turmoil, and discontent.
The irony is you are part of the minority that pursues trampling on every US citizen's rights under your prevented theme of global social justice. Two wrongs don't make a right, pun intended.

Ben Emery

"Ben, to you there is no justification that is justifiable when it comes to borders and national security."

Correct, this is one of the places I am in agreement with American libertarianism.

"The irony is you are part of the minority that pursues trampling on every US citizen's rights under your prevented theme of global social justice. Two wrongs don't make a right, pun intended."

My position is actual the inversion of this statement. I believe in natural rights of all citizens on earth. That means I fight the oppressive policies either by governments or big business anywhere on the planet.

I believe government has some basic services it must serve and that is about it. I am actually a republican in philosophy but when we build a nation state out of individual regions with artificial lines recognized for legal a.k.a. taxation purposes, a federal government is needed. This is where the indigenous people of the planet had/ have it correct and "civilized" societies fail. That is where the conundrum lies. The founders struggled with it and we continue to struggle with it today. How can a government body in DC possible understand how to govern in Texas, CA, Wyoming, HI, Alaska, or any other state that isn't found in Northeast US? They can't and that is why it fails so miserable. Then lets extend that out internationally and the understanding and execution becomes even worse.

Ben Emery

Here's a secret, I am actually a traditional libertarian that is trapped in a huge nation and am forced to recognize the plight of all its people even though I do not know or even understand their cultures. There is power in numbers but with that power comes responsibility and much compromise. I cannot claim to be an American (USA) and pretend it is OK that in regions of our country government bodies discriminate, suppress, or even oppress the natural rights of my countrymen/ women. If I am forced to deal with a federal government than I am going to do everything I can that government works in the interest of the most people possible.

It is that simple.

Big Business literally equates to a voluntary(*) dictatorship/ kingdom. A small few make the rules of those who labor at creating the service/ product. Those who labor fought and finally won the ability to have a say in their work conditions and not have to risk their life to earn a living.

Prior to Obamacare If I needed to have health insurance because I have a condition and my insurance is through my work I don't have much of choice but to stay since no other insurance would have picked me up. I would have cost them more money than they could have made off of me. This is why health care, especially the insurance portion, cannot be for profit and is not in any other industrialized nation on the planet.

(*)Many times it is forced by necessity.


"I am actually a traditional libertarian that [sic] is trapped in a huge nation and am forced to recognize the plight of all its people"

Ben, your delusions never fail to amaze. So, all that it takes for a "traditional libertarian" to become a coersive progressive is to be cursed with empathy for one's fellow man?

Michael R. Kesti

Ben Emery, I asked a question of you yesterday that you did not answer. In light of the things you have said today my question still seems relevant so I will ask again.

Do you lock your home's doors and windows when away and/or while you sleep?

Ben Emery


I promote local economies, small business, family farms/ agriculture, bio regionalism, and self determination while denouncing federal violations of our civil liberties in the name of security, monopolistic industries, imperialistic foreign policies, military empire, the Federal Reserve, and war on drugs to name a few. What would you call it?

I doubt you ever thought about politics deep enough to understand what and why you stand for anything. From what I have gathered you are out to prove you are the smartest guy in the room at all costs. That accounts for your embarrassing tirades against the most minute things about the person you are trying to slay(metaphorically).

George Rebane

Until civilized (and structured) society came along, ALL "indigenous people" enjoyed lives that, as Thomas Hobbes observed, were "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short". And most of them living in such pristine conditions today suffer from a similar fate. It took judicious social structures that encouraged specialization and risk-leavened rewards to lift such indigenous people to a state from which no one wishes to return to their former fates.

It seems that those deprived of the history of the human condition are the ones who long for days that never were. They are the descendants of that most blinded of influential naïfs Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Ben Emery

Hobbes with his superiority complex described a free people over suppressive/ oppressive governance. Isn't that your desired claim?

Ben Emery

I have no idea who you are or what your intent might be for such information. Please state the intent for needing this information.

George Rebane

BenE 250pm - not even close Ben. While some misgoverned people did suffer as did your free indigenous people, it was the primitively organized indigenous classes that really made life hell for their brethren. The historical examples of this overflow - start with Africa, go across the Americas, and then through Micronesia (or Oceania). These turkeys spent so much time in internecine warfare and being brutish with their neighbors, that they never even conceived of the wheel and were found still dragging their loads or rolling them over logs 5,000+ years after the rest of the civilized world had cracked the code and gone on to other developments. There was little noble about the savage.

Bill Tozer

Ben, I finally get it. Finally. At first I thought you were like The Occupy Drum Majorettes who wanted to get rid of money and burn down the big banks and big businesses and not pay for anything cause it should be free and given to the people.
finally, with the help of Greg's post, I get it. It's not your fault. You were born with an oversized heart and you must speak up for all cultures even if you don't understand squat about them. Because you where born with an oversized heart organ, what else can you do but fight for the oppressed. You are their mouthpiece, their voice on this cruel hostile alien planet known by some as Earth. You speak for them, all of them, even when not asked by them to be their spokesperson, their defender, their Shining Path.

It's not your fault, you were born that way. I know you are fighting for them, all of them without ever leaving Nevada County. It's amazing. You have a global reach from your easy chair. I know a couple of reservations I can get you on up North. I will leave you there with the opposed, the ones who have suffered great injustice......your people. I am welcomed there, but I will just sit outside and see if you make it out without being stabbed and sliced up within 26 minutes. Jeez Louise, some poor folk have absolutely no gratitude for that big o heart of yours and what you are trying to do for them.....They prefer to show you want they want to do to you, not for you. These aren't the peaceful acorn gatherers you are used to.

Well, I am so glad I finally get where you are coming from. See ya in the hobo camps my fellow train tramp. We need you. We need you to fight for us no matter where we are....Fight the good Benjamin. Do not faint, do not give up, do not despair no matter how tiresome the road becomes. Fight for the little guy, Benjamin, fight hard all your people, each and every one, from your easy chair of course.,37413/

Ben Emery

The funny thing is with your sarcastic post it is the truth. I fight for good strong local policies that allow us to keep the state and federal governments at arms length while being an activist against national and international policies. I truly believe in natural rights of all people not just when it is convenient for me. Having cheap goods made off the sweat and sometimes slave labor of others is never ok, no matter how inexpensive it makes the goods. So when people are discriminated against in the South or anywhere in the US that is my country and that is wrong. When Walmart, Microsoft, Apple, GE, ect... go around the planet exploiting people those are representatives of our country/ community along with our economy and that is wrong.

Michael R. Kesti

Ben Emery 11Nov14 02:52 PM

My intent is make a logical argument concerning the building of some walls. In the hope that it makes you feel better about answering I will tell you that I lock my home's doors and windows when I am away and while I sleep.

Ben Emery

Are you kidding?

You think they were better off after the "civilized" beings slaughtered them over land they did not own, died in huge numbers of disease they could not fight off, being forced into concentration camps/ reservations/ prisons to survive off of rotten rations, being enslaved, and a concerted effort to destroy any remnants of their culture they were trying to hang on to.

Please explain to me in layman terms how this differs from brutal totalitarian regimes throughout history?

George Rebane

BenE 340pm - Who said they were better off after the Europeans (and the Chinese) decided to conquer them and take their lands? I'm saying that they would have been better off had they had the wherewithal to 'civilize' themselves so that the invader/colonizers would not have been able to conquer them so brutally or at all. But the opportunities open to the progeny of those who took the first shock is now another matter. We know of no one who wants to go back to those days of pre-European invasions. Oh yes, there are some who would still want to cherry pick the Hollywoodized synthesis of the noble savage life style, but that is a dream of a dream.

Remember, human life was not as precious then as we claim it is now. In those days everyone knew the privileges of conquerors, and fate of the conquered. And then again, human life is still not as precious as claimed today. In this pages I have catalogued the human losses of just one century, losses which overwhelm the best estimates of the many who were killed going back to the dawn of recorded history. Your only point for promoting short and brutish lifestyles is that such people didn't have the organization or technology to kill wholesale, which by their own words and deeds would they have done were they better prepared. Their small but incessant killings had to be accomplished inefficiently in retail. Nevertheless, kill they did, and sufficiently so as to keep their numbers insignificant when their conquerors arrived.

Brad C.

George 241pm I could not find a reference to Hobbs having been in America, so it sounds like he was making some sweeping generalizations here about American Indians (a.k.a. talking out his ass).

Also, Hobbs did not say "ALL" indigenous people...

"For the savage people in many places of America, except the government of small families the concord whereof dependeth on natural lust, have no government at all, and live at this day in that brutish manner as I said before." -"Leviathan"

I do like this quote from Hobbs -

"The passions that incline men to peace are fear of death, desire of such things as are necessary to commodious living, and a hope by their industry to obtain them."

Ben Emery

Talk about hollywoodization of history. There are actually oral histories of indigenous people that have been transcribed onto paper since the invention of the typewriter that don't paint the 24/7 of fear, warfare, and hardship you seem to think they lived under. Maybe you should try and research the issue before you make any more comments on "savages".

Here is what Benjamin Franklin had to say about the Iroquois Nation and their governance, which by the way was one of the models of what Thomas Jefferson among others envisioned when thinking about how the future democratic republic was going to be set up.

You will like Franklin's language

"It would be a strange thing if Six Nations of ignorant savages should be capable of forming a scheme for such an union, and be able to execute it in such a manner as that it has subsisted ages and appears indissoluble; and yet that a like union should be impracticable for ten or a dozen English colonies, to whom it is more necessary and must be more advantageous, and who cannot be supposed to want an equal understanding of their interests."-1751 Benjamin Franklin

What I have come to realize on Rebane Ruminations is most you guys don't know shit about American history and even less about world history.

This link has the language of resolution with links to the actual document.

George Rebane

BradC 418pm and BenE 525pm - First, thank you for this exchange.

History has been a passion, and I have had the privilege of studying under the personal tutelage of greats like Page Smith. But schools have changed their versioning of American history, and popular interpretations of anthropological 'science' from authors like Jared Diamond have put quite a politically correct caste on the human journeys that brought us here.

The accomplishments of indigenous peoples' achievement (including the Six Nations you cite) can be still be summarized by two simple metrics - their population counts, and their apparent intellectual inability to invent the wheel in a 5,000 year period subsequent to the invention by Eurasian civilizations (there are more, but this is merely a comment rebuttal).

And as I have pointed out for the last eight years, the history that you and yours embrace does in no way reflect the history that inform me and mine. I also have had the (mis)fortune and years to witness that of which I study and speak, and recountings from close friends and relatives who have witnessed and lived through even more. From my perch, you both have no idea of what you speak when it comes to what really happened and how deprived humans behave, especially when in threat of their lives.

So all we can do is continue our attempts to attract the pre-informed readers to our own Weltanschauungen. But I do appreciate the illustrative and illuminating dialogue.


Where are the links to the original? I see three links to a congressional resolution.

Ben Emery

I to know and have spoken with dozens of people who have experienced atrocities in Europe, Asia, and Americas. My mom was an adult ESL teacher who had many political refugees from Reagan era from the Americas. For a while our family was trying to help one of her students find her siblings who were most likely murdered by the Negroponte(Reagan) death squads. I have been opposed to US foreign policy especially when it comes to our military since the mid 80's and is why I am such a fierce activist and against any use of military action except in times of self defense. I know it isn't just the US Pentagon and Military it is done in many many nations.

While on one of my trips to Cambodia I've talked with at least a dozen people who were teenagers and watched the mass murdering take place. I visited their holocaust museum Tuol Sleng in Phnom Penh where people were tortured until they confessed to whatever the torturers wanted to hear.

Also one of my Aunts is 100% Sioux and grew up on a reservation with horror stories. Hopefully I can get her to come next year to Indigenous Peoples Day in Nevada County.

If you really like history I am telling you to read Howard Zinns book. It is well researched and sourced. It doesn't tell the entire story but it definitely tells the story from a different perspective than what you were taught in school and all through university years. Taught from the side of those on the losing side of battles. Up until Zinn book the victors always got to tell and shape the history that would be taught.

Account Deleted

Oh, Ben - "Taught from the side of those on the losing side of battles. Up until Zinn book the victors always got to tell and shape the history that would be taught."
So - lots of boo hoo tales from the poor NAZIs and Tojos boys? Right. I didn't think so. So much for that BS.
You claim you are all about local control - this county likes to vote for conservative Republicans. So when are you going to get in line and help? Suddenly you don't like what you just claimed you like.
Walls are for the frightened? So if your house has walls, I guess you are one cowered little dog.
You claim you are a libertarian? I'm glad I'm not drinking milk while reading that! You have no idea what a libertarian is. Your own idea of what the fed govt should do is the exact opposite of what the libertarian idea is.

George Rebane

Ben 832pm - not sure how that commentary contradicts or adds to what we are discussing, other than the presumption that those experiences confirm your worldview. So there you have it - how two people can have wildly divergent belief systems all corroborated by their education and life experiences. Hard to change anything there.

However, there is a test we can give ourselves on an ongoing basis. What is the predictive power of our belief system? That is the prime test i constantly apply to the tenets of my credo. When things occur in the world (or my life), did my belief system enable me to predict that. For the contingencies about which I did not have timely data, a retrospective analysis will serve when that data later becomes known.

A recent example would have been the success of Obamacare. As witnessed in these pages, my early and ongoing assessment of its failure based on my explicated beliefs is a matter of record. And millions of progressives across the land had no clue that this disaster was coming once its inception was known - in other words, their belief system about social organization and governance under our established system was and continues to be totally faulty. Yet they are sanguine and without hesitation continue to proclaim their abilty to see the future, and prescribe for the rest of us. That I could not do.

Ben Emery

George and everyone,
11 November 2014 at 09:12 PM

Fair commentary but I would disagree on language, as usual. Progressives are very different than liberals, there are areas of overlap in political views but very different in implementation. True progressives like myself, I would say Reinette Senum, and those like Ralph Nader all promote strong local- economies, small business, community participation, and governance(not big but rather effective) over state/ federal law. The more self sufficient we are as a region the less interference from state / federal. The same goes with big business/ chain/ franchise economics. Keep the wealth of the community in the community. When the need for large institutional services/ goods (government or business) come into play, we need very strict oversight to keep the focus on the overall health of the region. Not to relinquish authority to or export our wealth outside of the region. I know that means if other regions did the same we would not have the tourism here. Just think about relying on a tourist based economy for moment. Is there any less stable environment than that? The fact of the matter is Nevada County as does most regions has their attractions that people will travel to see or experience. The fall colors come every year, the river continues to flow ect... If we controlled our own region more both legally and economically the tourism would be the bonus the part not part of the main revenue. Actually by being a retirement community we receive the wealth of other regions by those who earn that wealth over a lifetime and decide to settle in our neck of the woods to live out their days in this life.

The reason why I listed a few experiences was to point out my distrust of big/ authoritarian style government and the paid military working under a veil of secrecy. I don't think most people think of secret death squads, torture, and covert actions creating unstable and deadly conditions in sovereign nations when they hold up an American Flag praising our military. And please don't mistake my distrust of the military having to do with rank and file men/ women of our armed forces. They are trained to follow orders and to trust the military hierarchy of command. I save my contempt for the Pentagon and the higher ups, especially the President of the United States of America.

Military conquest switched from increasing power and wealth of monarchs/ government to big business using their undue influence in our government to have access of the US Military to increase their power and bottom lines. As outlined in Major General Smedley Butler's floor speech "War is Racket". This is nothing new.

As I wrote and Greg G poo pooed I don't like big institutions of any kind but we live in a very big nation that has decided upon itself that we are uniquely exceptional nation and have authority over the entire planet whether that be with government or corporate authority. So my convictions and principles lead me to hold ALL large institutions accountable and the bigger the institution(government, religion, or business) gets the more responsibility to the general welfare of the people it inherits.

Have a good winter and hopefully these last couple of days gives you and your regulars a better understanding of my philosophies and the difference between progressive(reform) and liberal(adding more) to the system. You can ask Crabb about my fb page and most of my arguments are with Democratic voters who I believe are loyal liberals that live in denial of what is going on. To them it is about Democrats vs. Republicans and I put the same amount if not more blame on the condition of our country and its policies because of their inability to hold the Democratic Party accountable.

Ben Emery

I am done for the winter on blogs and social media after today so I am not going to get into it with you but will make one statement and leave it there.

The European or traditional libertarian are better described as libertarian socialism or social anarchism. It is what I consider myself as did Utah Philips and those of the enlightenment are described as being. Basically we have more of a horizontal society than a vertical. Worker Cooperative Economics is very good example of this idea in practice.

All in this together
How is the co-operative model coping with the recession?
Mar 26th 2009 | Mondragón |

You understandably are an American libertarian (Al)and believe that is what all libertarians believe. It is not! My guess you have never really studied or researched its roots and primarily count on CATO institute and things such as Ayn Rand books to form your definition of libertarianism. In fact if we want to talk about a unique trait of America its brand of libertarianism is a great place to go. I have spent way to much of the last 20 years of my life reading, debating, and practicing libertarian socialism. It has hints of (Al) in it but the philosophies are very different. (Al) in my opinion is obsessed with liberty of capital or capitalism. The part I agree with in (Al) comes with the civil liberties and the few issues on social liberty with drugs and tolerance of sexual preference. In my mid 20's I left the Democratic Party over Clinton signing onto NAFTA in 1994 and what I later figured out was the Third Way strategy. I considered the American Libertarian Party. After researching the philosophies of the political party and (Al) I got turned onto the history of libertarianism. By the end of 1994 the Green Party was a better match, more in the tradition of libertarian socialism or social anarchism.

Although I am not a big fan of citing Wikipedia it branches out and informs the reader of many different forms of libertarianism throughout the ages. This is a good jumping off point for you to start reading about the entire spectrum of styles of being libertarian.

Have a good holiday season, especially a great Christmas if that is what you celebrate.



"The European or traditional libertarian are better described as libertarian socialism or social anarchism."

It gets funnier and funnier; that's what you get when you let Noam Chomsky define the language.

No Ben, originally, libertarian just meant a belief in free will and a freedom from state control (with the monarch claiming to govern by the grace and authority of God).

Mme. Guillotine was not libertarian though she also didn't care much for aristocrats.


What would RL Crabb write about it if wasn’t for this blog? The Sequel. LOL.

C'mon represent a significant volume of the silly political antics occurring in your gentle Burgh. Cartoons frequently address these antics!

Surely you can do the math?!

Sounds lonely; he might be happier if he volunteered for something.

Like what....washing you with a rag on a stick?


"I doubt you ever thought about politics deep enough to understand what and why you stand for anything. From what I have gathered you are out to prove you are the smartest guy in the room at all costs. That accounts for your embarrassing tirades against the most minute things about the person you are trying to slay(metaphorically)." -Ben, going off yesterday, 1PM-ish.

That's what I get for having a life and not paying attention here for a day. Ben, no, not holding your worldview is not evidence of not having thought deeply (or deeply enough) about either politics and history, and if you had more of the gifts of rationality, knowledge and patience you'd not reach so quickly for the argumentum ad hominem arrows in your quiver.

I have some of those, too, and will just say this is the wrong place for you to be if you've a need to be the smartest person in the room.

Todd Juvinall

Pelline should appreciate the attention from Crabb. I do. I like that I am in his noggin all the time. Pelline is just exhibiting phony outrage. What a hoot!

Ben Emery

"It gets funnier and funnier; that's what you get when you let Noam Chomsky define the language."

You're right, what would one of America's most renown academics and an internationally honored pioneer of linguistics know about language.

As usual Greg implies he is the smartest guy in the room by default. Greg knows more than Noam Chomsky about language and analytical philosophy of language. He knows more than the person that is the top or in the top five most influential people in the world on the subject, way to go Greg Goodnight. Can you guide me to a place where I can study your body of work on the subject of linguistics and libertarianism so I can compare with the amateur kook Chomsky. I wish I would have known earlier so I wouldn't have wasted so much time and energy.

Noam Chomsky Biography from The European Graduate School
(which I am sure Greg Goodnight will deem as unimportant and useless)


"In strictly academic circles Noam Chomsky is best known as the theoretician who came up with the theory of transformational generative grammar, which revolutionized cognitive and linguistic sciences in the middle of the twentieth century. Since then, it has had a very important impact on both the analytic philosophy take of philosophy of language and philosophy of mind, as distinct to the continental philosophy one. Philosophy of language investigates the use, nature and origins of language. Whereas philosophy of mind studies the nature of the mind, its properties, but also consciousness. We must think of what is known as the mind-body problem (Descartes), and particularly the discussion of the origin of knowledge common to both philosophy of language and philosophy of mind. The analytic and continental traditions approach each philosophy in ways that are significantly different."

George Rebane

Re Chomsky. No one should confuse Noam Chomsky's contributions to the study of language formalism with his socio-political ideology - areas of his mind that are well developed and may be considered quite independently of one another (orthogonal notions for short). But make no mistake that of the latter, Chomsky would be quite comfortable being put in the communist camp. He commits himself to that characterization on a regular basis with his essays on, a political website (and one of my favorites) that at times seeks to make Marx look like a rightwinger.

Ben Emery

The link to the entire Biogrphy

Final two paragraphs of the biography-

Noam Chomsky, who has often defined himself as an "socialist anarchist" has been since the 60s one of the most active and most famous American intellectuals of the Left. As a pacifist he was one of the main opponents to the Vietnam War in the late 60s and today to the American-Israeli policy in the Middle East. As a supporter of the international anarcho-syndicalist movement and as a member of the Industrial Workers of the World union (IWW), he has published numerous books critical of imperialism and the United States’ foreign policy as well as the role of the media in Western democratic societies.

As mentioned above, in those fields too he is the author of countless articles and books. Some of them include: The Responsibility of Intellectuals (1967). "Human Rights" and American Foreign Policy (1978). Pirates and Emperors: International Terrorism and the Real World (1986). Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988). Terrorizing the Neighborhood: American Foreign Policy in the post-Cold War Era (1991). Democracy in a Neoliberal Order: Doctrines and Reality (1997). Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda (1997). Propaganda and the Public Mind (2001). Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky (2002). Power and Terror: Post-9/11 Talks and Interviews (2003). Perilous Power: The Middle East and US Foreign Policy: Dialogues on Terror, Democracy, War, and Justice (2006). Hopes and Prospects (2010). Making the Future: The Unipolar Imperial Moment (2010). Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel’s War Against the Palestinians (2010).

Account Deleted

re Ben at 11:02 - I notice you make the common mistake about 'liberties'. Capital and capitalism (also property) do not have rights or 'liberty' as you call it. Human Beings have rights and liberty is among those rights. If I do not have exclusive rights to my legally obtained wealth and property, then I am not much better than a slave. Any govt that decides to transfer wealth from one person to another with out the express and free consent of both parties is infringing on human rights. Obviously, we don't live in a society that is absolute and so I do have some rights even yet. But those rights slip away in an ongoing fashion as more and more 'rights' (goodies) are discovered by a citizenry that has developed a nasty addiction to others' wealth.
You have good intentions Ben, but you don't understand the lessons of history. Including any material good as a 'right' for people to have must include the 'right' of that people's govt to seize wealth or property from some one else. Such a system always devolves into corruption of both the folks in charge of 'deciding' who gets what and the folks on the receiving end of the goodies. Always. It will get worse and worse over time. It's human nature. 'American' (as you call it) libertarianism is the most moral and humane system of governance for all. Under AL anyone in commerce or business must subservient themselves to the society they live in in order to obtain wealth.
Obviously, it's a good idea to marry a libertarian govt with a largely educated, Christian people. We have been, unfortunately, drifting away from all 3 necessities. And we are all going to suffer for it.


Now, what happened to Master Ben's promise to go away until the Spring blooms? No Ben, your bouncing from argumentum ad hominem to argumentum ad verecundiam doesn't make your appeals any less fallacious.

You ain't libertarian by any stretch of the imagination, but I understand your desire to be seen in a libertarian light as it's an easier sell than left-liberalism/greenie at the moment, especially now with the electorate having clearly given the enviro-left a major spanking a week ago.

Looks like legislative action on the Keystone pipeline is on a fast track as I write.

Ben Emery

Greg Goodnight challenged Chomsky's ability to understand and express language. My hunch the person who is a lifelong student and 50 year MIT professor of linguistics is a good source of accuracy in definitions and explanations of their positions on topics.

In no way would Chomsky put himself in the communist camp by what I am guessing the standards you are using, the Soviet Union perversion of brutal totalitarian idea of communism. I think the Soviet Union wasn't communist at all but used the political system of communism to gain absolute power. I guarantee Marx would not have embraced how Lennon, Stalin, and Khrushchev governed. Communism is a failed political system on just about any level of measuring success. Just like every political philosophy socialism and straight up communism have different brands. My guess Chomsky's preferred brand of socialist governance would resemble the modern day Scandinavian model of democratic socialism.

Another good person is Richard Wolfe on the cooperative economic model.

Workers' Self-Directed Enterprises don't necessarily work outside of capitalism but dramatically change the decision making process to where there is fairly proportioned compensation deemed by the workers/ owners and also fairly proportioned sacrifices deemed by the workers/ owners. A more horizontal model of decision making.


That nasty man "challenged Chomsky's ability to understand and express language".

The nasty man did nothing of the sort; he did challenge Chomsky as the American Standard dictionarian, the authority to be relied upon, and Ben Emery being able to cut and paste Chomsky's publication titles is not a valid substitute to Ben showing some capability for reasoned argument.

No Ben, you are not proven correct because Chomsky has written more than I have. Try a'gin. Or better yet, actually follow through with your promise to go away for awhile.

George Rebane

Re Chomsky - Nowhere, to my knowledge, has the good professor claimed to be the final arbiter of semantics. Most mildly read people quickly discover that the same word has different meanings even in the same culture. Chomsky focused on language structures and the ability for different structures to carry various amounts of information (formal definition).

Of course BenE is right about Lenin/Stalin using the umbrella of communism to beget unbridled tyranny that focused power into the hands of a top-down stratified elite. But history records that they did it so successfully that the western press (led by US and Britain) swallowed the line that the USSR embodied idealistic communism. Many 'journalists' in today's lamestream still hew to that line. The bad part of even idealistic communism, the claimed common denominator of most collectivist revolutionaries, begets such an unnatural system of relationships that it quickly devolves into a police state, initially described as temporary before it becomes sclerotic. The 20th century is full witness to such evolutions.

But where IMHO BenE misses the mark is that Chomsky had more than a flirtatious affair with communism. In one interview I recall him saying, 'Some people even call me a communist, and I think I'm OK with that.' And the 'that' he was referring to was the altruistic form initially taught by Marx. I belong to the school that says altruism is a dysfunctional basis for organizing large populations, and more so if they are of different cultures spread over a large area. Altruism works better when the social order become smaller approaching that of a family, and ultimately of lovers. (And that is why we can't all just get along.)

George Rebane

The discussion here, while very engaging, has strayed significantly from my posted ruminations (on which I wanted to hear readers' opinions), that I think it's time for a new sandbox.

Before departing these ruminations, I draw the unaligned reader's attention to the very serious charge about free speech in academia made by Harvey Silvergate and published in the WSJ (see 10nov14 update of this post). Were such a charge, or one of similar scope, made against the Right, you would see a multitude of conservatives take to the floor to counter the arguments. But alas, from the Left all we hear, all we have ever heard is a chorus of crickets. They have no defense for such an advance of atrocities of the kind that their ideology is blanketing the country. Instead, they leap off into space with another anecdote about social injustice or inequality. And you know what? It works.


"My guess Chomsky's preferred brand of socialist governance would resemble the modern day Scandinavian model of democratic socialism. "

A tricky thing to do if you don't have a country filled with native Scandinavians.


Posted by: drivebyposter | 12 November 2014 at 05:06 PM

I think we have a winner!

George Rebane

drivebyposter 506pm - Mr poster, that is a very erudite observation. And Mr fish has confirmed it.

The comments to this entry are closed.