Home / Limbaugh Plus CPAC Equals Tea Time

Limbaugh Plus CPAC Equals Tea Time

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I would like to invite my loving Republican family, friends and fren-emies to join my tea party. Can we talk? We all appreciate a conservative's viewpoint but are you all really getting anything out of the recent Republican speeches or antics? Do you really believe, like they do, that we do not need government assistance or government spending at this point in our economic downturn? The Conservative Republicans seemed to be kicking up dust anywhere they can whether it relates to our issues or not. They are revolting against gun laws, earmarks, the welfare state, tax laws etc. which are not the current priorities of the administration. In the past 2 months, we have been entertained by commentaries from Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter. We have been sidetracked by Republican tea parties and the Conservative conventions, all to derail the intention of the new administration's attempt to resolve our issues.

Last month, the Republicans formed their forty-odd revolts across the nation protesting against government spending and taxation — Obama's stimulus bill. These revolts are called, "Tea Party USA."  They claim that their tea parties are not a conservative or a liberal revolt. It is their revolt against our government giving billions of dollars to failed corporations. They believe that individual tax payers should have the right to spend their own money, not the government. That small business is the backbone of our economy and not the failing corporations. They believe optimistically that the American people have the work ethic and ingenuity to succeed and government will only get in their way. These small tea party groups were staged in cities across the nation to get their weary supporters to reject government aid and not think like a 'minority,' as Limbaugh had phrased it. What do they mean by minority? Regardless of class, race, sex or political persuasion, we are all 'minorities' at this point and are all threatened by this economic downturn and social breakdown.

Most would agree with the Conservative Republican position that corporations should not be 'bailed out' or compensated if they 'did it to themselves' from toxic investments and poor performance. That would be a logical reaction if the rest of our economy was strong and could sustain the fall out. The question is, do we have a choice at this point? Would the repercussions of their bankruptcy be worse? Also, most would agree with McCain that earmarks need to be edited out and reviewed very carefully so we don't waste any more taxpayer money. Advocates of the Republican Tea Party like Ann Coulter (columnist), Rush Limbaugh (talk show host), Michelle Bachmann (Rep. MN) would make more of an impact with the American people if they didn't continually insult the very people who are working to get us out of this mess or banter for the sake of hearing themselves talk. Any potential follower can see how counter-productive and frankly out of touch their comments have been half the time.

Jeffrey Feldman at the "Huffington Post" observes:

As the Republican leadership reverts to the same childish antics that turned off so many voters in the 2006 and 2008 elections, Americans worry about finding the money to put tea on their own tables – about making their mortgage payments, paying for treatment when they sick, and covering the cost of their child's college tuition. Symbolic tea parties, in other words, are not the collective action that an America in need actually needs right now. We need pragmatic, steady, and relentless actions–solutions after solution after solution until we finally stop the free fall of our economy and our optimism, allowing us to begin the long, arduous climb back to the surface. While revolting Republicans sit down for their tea parties, today, the White House, the Congress, and state governments across the country are working to give Americans those solutions.

If the Republicans had a leader who expressed a complete and thorough understanding of all the interrelated issues facing us and the potential short and long term repercussions of every decision as well as offering the President solid solutions, they would be invaluable to their country. The Republican party would then be taken more seriously. We need pragmatic tangible results and immediate solutions, not vague ideas and age-old conservative ideologies that do not relate to our current issues.


For instance, last month Rush Limbaugh spoke at the CPAC convention in opposition of Obama's stimulus plan claiming that Democrats were Socialists and are the ruination of our country. CPAC, the "Conservative Political Action Committee" is a group of far right-wing Conservatives who stage their concerns and protests against Democrats and big government. Their main theme was how the Obama's "Robin Hood" approach to government spending and the socialized domestic programs are considered communistic and socialistic. Limbaugh continually belched out that he wanted Obama to fail. He is convinced that the Democrats are responsible for our current $1.9 trillion deficit by enabling a socialistic state for the past 50 years. Let's talk through his logic for a moment, shall we? Hmm… The minor percentage of poor people collecting a total of maybe $1,200 a month in welfare is responsible for our trillions of dollars in debt? While Limbaugh is in la la land dancing through the tulips it has been clearly stated many times, and also admitted by members of his previous administration, that our current deficit was mostly caused by the greed and economic raping of corporate ultra-millionaire pirates, deregulated leadership, gross overspending and the poor management of no bid government contracts that are still missing billions today and remain unresolved losses. The Bush Administration and high level corporate crooks have cost us billions and billions of dollars. Remember Bush saying in his exit interview, "So what?". "We made mistakes.". Anyone remember that? We can't make this stuff up so why is Limbaugh?

Limbaugh also claims that those who cannot pay their mortgage, have no right to be in their home. The past deregulating administration, greedy billionaires, banks and rouge mortgage brokers helped put our average Joe and Jane in their own financial quagmire by selling them mortgage rate schemes that they knew were disproportionate. There are always exceptions to the rule but many of us who refinanced did not read the fine print. The mortgage brokers and the banks, however, wrote the fine print and came up with the schemes that were irresistible. We all fed into the housing boom, whether we knew it or not. Those who could not withstand the recent fall out need some assistance to help get them back on their feet. Today, there are many hard working families who are either late on their mortgage or facing foreclosure mostly because they have lost their jobs, not because they also bought a boat, a luxury car or went on lavish vacations, unlike our rich counterparts who are still living lavishly on our invested tax money. The issue is: If we kick them out of their homes, what do the Republicans plan to do with all the empty housing that no one wants? Who pays the mortgages? The Conservative Republican's "caring", freedom-loving philosophy states that all Americans should be proud of their ingenuity and be self-sustaining and not be dependent on welfare. With no jobs outlined, no money to pay off mortgages or no affordable lending, how can an individual tax payer make it without government help? Is government assistance a necessity at this point or is it a totalitarian strategy, according to their philosophy? Conservative Republicans want Democrats to fail because they believe that we are not a country to be socialized and controlled.

Recently, Limbaugh smeared Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services, for demanding the return of all undeserving bonuses given to former and current AIG executives and also requiring that AIG turn over the list of employees with the bonuses they received. Limbaugh claims that Frank's request was pure McCarthyism, that Frank is on a witch hunt and that these employees, despite their poor performance, deserve millions in bonuses.

Limbaugh's accusation is nothing short of ridiculous and has nothing to do with McCarthyism. AIG, American International Group, is responsible for insuring celebrities, corporations, national relief missions, etc. A small department of executives made toxic investments in the housing bond market that had been so inflated, it had no value, hence, put the company in bankruptcy. The company is now government owned and would not even exist if it weren't for the tax payer's money. Our nation is not in a life-threatening "Cold War" as it seemed to be in the era of McCarthyism. McCarthy was known for his fear mongering and interrogating many people who were suspected to have connections to Communism or Russia. Many people went to jail and lost their jobs because of his witch hunt. In the case of Barney Frank and AIG, these witches are already out. There is no witch hunt or unfair imprisonment. As the owner of AIG, we have every right to subpeona the list of people who received excessive bonuses undeservingly and manage who is entitled to what. May I ask my Republican friends, "Where is he coming from?. Does Limbaugh actually believe that the culprits of AIG's demise deserve millions of dollars in bonuses?"

The corporate thievery is costing Limbaugh and the rest of us billions and billions of dollars regardless of whether Limbaugh believes that they have a right to keep their bonuses or if he even knows what McCarthyism was. It is ironic that the same Republicans who claimed that Obama is a Communist has also criticized him for not changing the provisions in the bailout bill ahead of time to remove the employee's contractual right to these bonuses. Government intervention is only Communistic when it suits the Republican agenda or their pockets.

While we are all hoping that Obama can pull rabbits out of his hat and get this economy back on track in 100 days, we are distracted by these presumptive, non-supportive Republicans who babble on and on, not willing to help the President or his cabinet resolve our grave issues. They accuse Obama of Socialism, Fascism, Communism and now McCarthyism. Their claims are hypocritical of their own party's behavior (past and present) and their claim would be a radical shift in government that would take years and years to fully develop a socialistic or communistic government. So why do the Conservative Republicans focus on these non-issues when they could be speaking pragmatically and acting productively?

Here are some basic definitions of what Communism, Socialism, Fascism and McCarthyism actually mean so that we can try to understand what the Democrats are actually being accused of and to see if their protests relate to our current reality or not.

1. Socialism:

Refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating public or state ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and a society characterized by equality for all individuals, with a fair or egalitarian method of compensation.

Modern socialism originated in the late 19th-century intellectual and working class political movement that criticized the effects of industrialization and private ownership on society. Karl Marx posited that socialism would be achieved via class struggle and a proletarian revolution, and would represent a transitional stage between the capitalist and communist modes of production.
(Quoted from Wikipedia)

Socialism, then, may be said to be a formal economic system in which society exerts considerable control over the nation's wealth and property in the pursuit of social justice. Considerable control may or may not entail public ownership, while social justice usually depends upon the whims of a bureaucratic elite. Generally speaking, a market-based economy is antithetical to socialist principles and some form of benevolent planning is advocated.
(Quoted from Conservative Resources.com)

We have much fewer jobs and the ever-increasing number of unemployed is now forecast to reach 9% in 2010. That will soon result in many of us, Democrat or Republican, being out of work and without health insurance. This will force everyone to go to the emergency room where it costs a hospital and the tax payer $5,000 person per visit. Socializing healthcare seems to be our only way to avoid this potential outcome without completely annihilating the economy. Also, we have banks and major corporations claiming bankruptcy. If they do not get funding, it will affect every neighborhood and family dramatically and the ripple effect will be devastating. Our money will not be worth the paper it is printed on and no one will be able to get loans. We will also have fewer corporations who can employ a vast amount of our people if the government does not take ownership. I am sure all of us who are out of work will need to take advantage of these socialized programs one day if the greed and scheming does not stop.

2. Fascism:

Is a radical, authoritarian nationalist ideology that aims to create a single-party state with a government led by a dictator who seeks national unity and development by requiring individuals to subordinate self-interest to the collective interest of the nation or race.

Promotes violence between nations, political factions, and races as part of a social Darwinist and militarist stance that views violence between these groups as a natural and positive part of evolution.

Is a system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism. 

A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government. Oppressive, dictatorial control.
(From Wikipedia)

It seems to me that the Bush administration acted within the definition of a Fascist government. They promoted violence in Iraq, had a belligerent nationalistic attitude with the UN and willfully broke international law and allowed the Vice President to create his own autonomy and secret office. The Bush administration made many totalitarian decisions that caused the ruination of our country. They were not democratic or even transparent. They worked for a select group of big businesses and wealthy billionaires and not the state of our nation at all.

President Obama has inherited a world on the brink of bankruptcy, a world on the edge of a world war and and environment that is in peril. All that we are looking for him to resolve in 100 days. He has reached across party lines for bipartisanship, solutions, and ideas. He has continually been transparent and tried to explain what is actually happening through town hall meetings and press conferences. Also, Obama is said to be working on an appeal to Iran with the Israeli leader- an unprecedented peace-making attempt in the Middle East.

Now, in what way is Obama a Fascist and Bush wasn't?

3. Communism:

Is a socioeconomic structure and political ideology that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, stateless society based on common ownership and control of the means of production and property in general. Karl Marx posited that communism would be the final stage in human society, which would be achieved through a proletarian revolution. Pure communism in the Marxian sense refers to a classless, stateless and oppression-free society where decisions on what to produce and what policies to pursue are made democratically, allowing every member of society to participate in the decision-making process in both the political and economic spheres of life.
(From Wikipedia)

In my opinion, we all, Republicans included, have created an inflated illusional economy by our need to live above our means and by the greed and criminal behavior of some wealthy scammers who took advantage and enabled in this search for a better life. Everyone gambled for a piece of the good life and many lost. As a result, we have empty homes and buildings, empty storefronts and bankrupt companies. Who will fund these empty institutions? How do we keep from spiraling into a Depression? Who will pay all these unpaid mortgages and bonds if the government doesn't? I don't see where the wealthy who caused this mess or even Limbaugh for that matter, buying up anything! As a middle-class single executive, I feel oppressed every time I get 40% taken out of my paycheck and have no tax credits or write-offs to speak of. I feel oppressed when I have paid all these taxes but cannot get health insurance because of a precondition I have. I feel oppressed when we learn that we are going to war that we cannot vote on.

4. McCarthyism:

Politically motivated practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence. The term specifically describes activities associated with the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting roughly from the late 1940s to the late 1950s and characterized by heightened fears of Communist influence on American institutions and espionage by Soviet agents.
(From Wikipedia)

McCarthyism soon took on a broader meaning, describing the excesses of similar efforts. The term is also now used more generally to describe reckless, unsubstantiated accusations, as well as demagogic attacks on the character or patriotism of political adversaries.

During McCarthyism, many thousands of Americans were accused of being Communists or communist sympathizers and became the subject of aggressive investigations and questioning before government or private-industry panels, committees and agencies. The primary targets of such suspicions were government employees, those in the entertainment industry, educators and union activists. Many people suffered loss of employment, destruction of their careers, and even imprisonment. Most of these punishments came about through trial verdicts later overturned.
(From Dictionary.com)

This does not even deserve a comment because Limbaugh must have been suffering from too much medication when he commented on Barney Frank using an old McCarthyism tactic by requesting the list of AIG (American International Group) employees who received inordinate and undeserving bonuses after their poor decisions and performance caused the company to go into bankruptcy. Barney Frank is not using fear mongering or illegally dismissing any employee, he simply wants a list of these known thieves and corrupted employees who happily accepted these bonuses. He, like all of us, want to know what we paid them in bonuses and believe that since the corporation is not making money, they don't deserve huge bonuses, contractual or not. As a share holder, do you want employees who no longer worked at the company receive millions of dollars in bonuses? Will you pay a bonus of 20 million and more to the top managers responsible for the breakdown of the insured security bond market?
The answer is no.

Now that we have well-educated, responsible and independently functioning families losing their jobs, 401K's, pensions, their cars and homes, the government, and WE THE PEOPLE have to intervene and help each other. People can only help themselves as much as the resources around them. If there are no jobs in their town, sector or marketplace, everything else in their life immediately comes under assault. No amount of Limbaugh's preaching about personal striving, desire for independence or even a daily intake of Limbaugh's morning show will put food on their table.

Don't throw stones, conservatives. We all live in glass houses because we have all taken better rates, taken tax cuts, used government subsidized programs and invested in the stock market that gambled with our money. All of you applauding Limbaugh at the CPAC convention or tea totaling at your tea parties, freezing out in Fargo, take all the exemptions and tax breaks your accountant can get his hands on. If Limbaugh, Coulter and other conservatives were ever fortunate enough to put their pontificating words to the test to find themselves broke and out of work with only two choices: to be unemployed and solely independent, or be unemployed and accept a tax break, accept extended unemployment insurance or sign up for a temporary revised mortgage rate break; I bet that that they wouldn't turn down the helping hand from Uncle Sam. Talk is cheap, guys. Put your money where your mouth is and show us your true conviction… I've got an idea. Refuse to take any government tax break for a year!

Everyone should do whatever they can do to help their neighbor and support President Obama; after all, he got the job. The Congress needs to offer up their best, bipartisan, politically unmotivated, well thought out solutions and take responsibility for their part in the mess. I think every breathing American would like to see that responsibility has been taken. We need to be assuaged from the past political debacle. Congress needs to get out of the sandbox, take charge of the issues of today and help get us back on track. We do not have the time and the energy to waste with political banter and finger pointing that is not productive. Lives and industries are lost and at risk every day and after all, we are years and years away (if even at all possible) from a complete and fully organized Communist or Socialist government. Republicans, come join us in reality- get your hands dirty like the rest of us.

Pass the sugar.

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About ME2

  • Arch Conservative

    7 pages of bullshit.

  • No it isn’t.

  • Arch Conservative

    Umm… yes it is.

  • Robert Dean

    I am 86 years old. I grew up during the depression. At that time if you didn’t pay your mortgage you lost your right to live in that home.
    Congress set the stage for the entire mess we are in. The members in Congress and Senate who received large campaign contributions from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are now screaming about the terrible , greedy banks who gave loans to people who couldn’t pay them back. Those in congress who ordered the banks to give loans they would never give , caused this and should be in jail.
    I grew up when public funds were a public trust. Not anymore , now it is a big piggy bank.
    We are being flushed down the sewer of history as a nation and those that look and do not see and hear but do not listen are aiding and abetting this demise.
    It’s probably too late. When foreign governments refuse to buy our bonds that will be the swan song.
    MEZ is defending those that really caused the problem.

  • Very astute comment, Robert, reminiscent of Bliffle who also goes back awhile and brings in the right perspective into these discussions.

    So do visit us once in a while, please. We all need to hear a voice of reason.


  • Arch Conservative

    MEZ is defending those that really caused the problem.

    Of course he is. He’s still trumpeting the Obama as savior mythology.

    [Personal attack deleted. Arch, do you remember those little talks you and Chris had? You’ve been a lot better lately but that isn’t to say you can’t take another little vacation from BC if your behavior warrants it.
    Dr D]

  • ME2

    Thank you for commenting on the article. I just want you all to know that my article, if you all actually read the 7 pages, did not support Congress, Freddie or Fannie at all. It supports all of us who have been “taken” by the system of greed, ponzi schemes and political de-regulation. I offered my opinion of what the consequences would be if we did not get the governement to regulate. I am speaking out for those who will be homeless because they lost their well-deserved jobs, their pensions, life savings or even lost their homes because they got sick and cannot afford the profit-driven astronomical insurance rates or medication costs. I am blaming the economic and political theivery of a select group of “social and political” totalitarians who created this mess. My belief, as stated clearly, is that Congress, banks, insurance giants and corporate theives all created it in tandem. With profit in mind and not the lives of their “customers”, they created the mortgage schemes, insurance debocle and a war that will never end. The ultimate result of greed is destruction.
    Also, if you actually read this article, you will see it is not a swan song at all. I stated that most of us do not like bailing out corporations or getting taxed but I wondered if we even had a choice at this point! My concern that Obama was actually giving too much led me to do research on Communism and Socialism to see if he was! That lead me to the article.

    What would happen if we didn’t get the government involved!? Do we need the jobs these giants employ more than the savings to the deficit? The article was a ‘blow of the whistle’ before we have more empty buildings than occupied buildings and have tent cities in every city and town.

    With all due respect to those who survived the Great Depression, an old theory is not relevant to today’s issues and society. I would assume that the cost of living was not nearly as high, jobs were more easily found or created, “living” was not as complex and greed and unethical behavior was not as rampant. Today who can we trust? We can’t even trust our merchant, broker, bank or government. I was told back in the ol days, a hand shale was a binding contract. Today a contract is not worth the paper it is printed on.

    Remember you voted for the administration who did not stop de-regulation, balooned the cost of a war and voted for poor leadership which was the crushing blow that caused this mess. We are all free to vote for whomever, but where is the responsibility for that vote taken? The article is asking all of you who accuse this present administration of Communism or Socialism, to give all of us, including your GOP solutions that will actually work at this point. Where are your solutions? It is easy to call out insults and banter without better solutions.
    We all have to be responsible for the fall-out of the greed we all bought into for 8 years. Most of us had no idea that we signed up to be homeless 4 years later. Did any of us know that were being taken in the end? Does it help you sleep at night knowing that your neighbor is sleeping in a tent or in a hotel because you think they “deserve” to take a devastating hit that you fortunately have the funds to overcome? Love thy neighbor as you would yourself doesn’t come into play here?

    If you all read my article it questions the Republican banter being effective and logical to us today without supporting any form of government or group.

    Thanks for reading.

  • Arch conservative

    Well excuuuuuuuuussseee me….

    People are losing their jobs left and right, our currency is tanking, and people like ME2 are insiting that we can spend our way to prosperity, that Obama is going to save us all, and that the only reason we’re in this mess is because Bush was president for eight years despite the fact that Frau Pelosi and the new American gestapo was in charge for the last of those two eight and Barney Frank and Co in Congress strongarmed the banks into giving out subprime mortgages and now they want to blame everyone but themselves.

    To be fair Bush and the GOP were more than happy to spend billions of our dollars as well in some god forsaken sandbox halfway across the world.

    Then we have drug cartels threatening American citizens on thier own land in AZ, TX, and NM, and US courts awarding punitive damages to trespassing illegals at the expense of citizens….

    The world’s going to shit and I still have to suffer morons [personal attack deleted] cheerleading thier messiahs hope and change bullshit rhetoric so cut me a little fucking slack will you please……

    He claims to be angry about the same things I am and then proceeds to lecture us how it’s all the fault of one party and that the other party is nothing but a collection of altruistic individuals whose main concern is the American people’s welfare………Give me an f-ing break……..the truth is that both parties have forsaken Jon q. public and his desires to play by the rules and enjoy his time on this planet with his friends and family without getting f-ed in the a by the governemnt and the crooked scumbags who think they’re entitled to 20 million dollar salaries that they collude with

    How the fuck is electing a man who represents either major party in our broken system “change we can believe in”

    It’s not.

    Real change is going to be the beginning of a new civil war in this nation or world war 3. To those of you who think I’m being alrmist…don’t forget that World War 2……….a horrific event that cost 60 million lives only wrapped up a mere 63 years ago….Don’t for one second assume that we’re better than that. As long as we have grinning idiots on both sides of the asile in DC screwing us, crooked CEO and CFO’s cooking the books because hell how can we expect them to get by on a measly 20 mill a year, rampant illegal immigration and a corporate controlled propagandist media then we’re never going to be able to come even remotely clsoe to living up to the ideals of our founding fathers.

    For my own sake I don’t even dare to write on this website the things that cross my mind as to what really needs to be done in this nation. I’m not alone………people are getting fed up with the bullshit (like this article).

    If the author of this article really cared he wouldn’t be such a weak minded partisan hack. He’d be objective and honest but I guess that’s just too much to ask for some.

    Me…..I just want to watch them all burn for what they’ve done to this nation and it’s citizens trying to play it legit.

  • bliffle

    Archie has become unreadable again.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Good fuck, you’re dramatic!

    Honestly, you fucking spoiled ass rats don’t have the first clue as to what poverty is and how bad things can really be. You sit here, day after day, and whine and whine and whine like little children because the political party in office isn’t the political party you wanted to be in office and WAAAAAAH WAAAAAAAH WAAAAAAAH!

    I swear to God, it makes me sick sometimes to read what some of you write.

    Archie, you have no earthly clue what a broken system is! Oh boo hoo, gas prices have been high. Aw shucks, corporate executives had to take smaller bonuses! Aw damn, people have lost their homes and have had to downgrade!

    In the right context, those events are all tragic in their own way. No question about it. But in looking at the big picture there is something you whining, bitching, silly, dramatic Americans – not all of you, of course – seem to drastically miss. So I’m going to type this is nice big capital letters and even use the bold tags, ‘case you miss it:


    Hell, I know I’m extremely fucking fortunate. You’re using a COMPUTER, for one, and you’re probably in the comfort of your own home.

    There are people in the world, in our cities, in our streets, that have never even seen a home, much less a computer. People born into abject poverty, people born into life-crippling and soul-sucking disease, people born into hell. I, for one, cannot fathom (and do not have the arrogance to suggest I can) how shitty life can be for some of these people.

    And here you are, as usual, complaining and whining about America as though it’s the most tragic, hideous, desolate shithole on the face of the planet. Here you are saying that what your country REALLY needs is another Civil War? Really? Are you going to go step up to the front lines in that idiotic venture, champ? Will you strap on an AK-47 and go slaughter your fellow AMERICANS because of POLITICAL and IDEOLOGICAL differences? Gosh, I hope you do! Nothing elevates the human experience quite like a little good ol’ killin’ over blank, hollow philosophies.

    The reason you’re not better than World War 2 (whatever the FUCK that means) is because people like YOU aren’t better than World War 2! People like you don’t fucking learn from history. You’re obsessed with getting it your way, making sure YOUR ideas as at the forefront because, shit, you know better than aaaaaaaaaanybody else – which is why you’re spouting off on some internet forum instead of, you know, making a difference IRL!

    Honestly, Arch and Co., you don’t. I don’t. The difference between us is that I don’t pretend to know, I don’t imagine that my ideas trump those of the others on pure virtue of their being MINE. Instead, I find magic in the details and the discourse. And I’m embarrassed by my own arrogance sometimes. Truth is, I don’t know SHIT about a whole lot of things and I’ll spend the majority of my life not knowing shit about a whole lot of things. I’m okay with that because I find beauty and splendour in the fucking ability to just sit back and RELAX.

    A lot of you could benefit greatly from doing that. And while you’re relaxing in your comfortable computer chairs, remember that the ones who need our protection aren’t the ones in nicely heated homes with computers and cars and fridges filled with yummy food and television sets blaring infotainment 24/7; those who need our protection are those who don’t have any to begin with.

    So yeah, shut the fuck up and be grateful for a change.

    Sorry for the rant and the profanity, but sometimes the lack of perspective around here makes me vomit.

  • Jordan Richardson

    By the way, while I was writing that I heard the Sham-Wow guy on TV saying “you’re gonna love my nuts.” So…yeah.

  • For my own sake I don’t even dare to write on this website the things that cross my mind as to what really needs to be done in this nation.

    Arch, you don’t need to self-censor on BC insofar as you stay within the comments guidelines. In your case, that means you’re perfectly welcome to express displeasure, even extreme displeasure, with a writer’s or fellow commenter’s views as long as you don’t insult that individual personally.

    As much as I disagree with your politics, it’s clear to me that you are a very principled guy, and for that reason I tend to cut you a bit more slack than others might. I’d like you to be able to keep commenting here. It’s really not that hard to use those few fractions of a second between your brain formulating a thought and your fingers typing it to think a bit about what you’re saying, how you’re saying it and who you’re saying it to.

  • Actually, a fairly sensible article, ME2. The main point ought to be that, one way or another, we inherited this mess that needs straightening out and that there is no leadership from the Republican Party to speak of: if there was, people like Limbaugh or Coulter wouldn’t exactly shut up, but they wouldn’t be given the kind of attention they rightly don’t deserve. Case closed. The Republican noise is only a symptom of lack of any real leadership.

    That’s one reason why I find references to the past administration as fascist not only distracting but also counter-productive, counter-productive precisely because the object is to secure cooperation, and hopefully leadership, not to unduly antagonize the political opposition.
    And that’s one reason, I suppose you received a negative reaction, from Archie and Robert Dean (comment #4) – because it’s not all black and white. Democrats, too, cannot be absolved from having contributed to our present situation – because the culture of corruption and collusion between public and private interests was pretty much widespread at all levels of government, and independent of the party affiliation. To have at least hinted at that would have presented us with a fuller picture and secured you a greater measure of good will.


  • Arch Conservative

    You’re absolutely right Jordan. There are literally millions upon millions of people out there whose concerns are much graver than those of the average American.

    People dying of starvation in Haiti, genocide in Rwanda, women in the middle east being stoned to death, Mexican civilians being killed by the dozen by drug cartels, etc etc

    As one of my favorite authors, Mark Steyn points out, the period in which we are living today in America is abnormally peaceful and stable anomoly in this history of human events and we ought not fail to acknowledge that and appreciate it. I get that Jordan……..things could be much much much worse.

    However I fail to see how acknowledging that means that I, or anyone else must neccesarily be OK with getting screwed over by crooked CEO’s and laughing scheming politicians.

    There is a drug war going on in Mexico right now so I should be happy to have politicians in this country take as much of my money as they want, to spend on whatever they want because they leave me enough to buy a fucking ipod and some food? That’s pretty shoddy logic Jordan.

    Because our nation isn’t nearly as bad as as other places on this planet we have no right to be angry about what’s going on at home? We should all just smile as we slide deeper into the abyss?

    So yes life can be brutal and suck from start to finish for many Jordan. However I am not the reason for all of that misery and I won’t let you or anyone else tell me I cannot and/or should not take advantage of everything I possibly can to make my own existence as enjoyable as possible.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    ME2 –

    In your opening paragraphs you evince a basic misunderstanding – you wanted a ‘meeting’ with the conservatives. The saying goes, “Republicans look for a leader; Democrats look for a meeting”. There’s truth to that statement. They don’t want to meet with you and find consensus – they want to make things happen and you’re okay as long as you do things THEIR way, consensus be damned. Witness the Bush administration’s unilateralism as proof.

    Arch –

    Do you want to live a happy life? That’s a serious question…and I’m sure that you DO want to live a happy life.

    But there’s one thing you must have, and without it you will never, ever have a truly happy life – it’s gratitude in ALL things. It’s the ability to look at that half glass of water in every situation – EVERY situation – and be doggone glad you’ve got that much. I’m not saying that you’ve gotta be a loopy Hare Krishna Kool-Aid addict – anything but! We all need our share of righteous indignation and moral outrage…but such must not rule our lives.

    Happiness in life is not just an emotion, but a learned skill…and the single most important ingredient in that skill is simple gratitude. Learn that, and you’ll find yourself being far less rude to those you’ve never personally met and have no good reason to offend.

  • Baronius

    Metoo – I finished two pages of your article. A bit wordy. It strikes me that you present a caricature of conservative thinking, rather than an understanding of it. You want us to come up with more practical solutions than saying “government must be smaller”. It might be an old idea, and it may lack sparkle, but it’s a valid one. There are other Republican proposals for getting us out of the current economic crisis, such as targeted tax cuts to encourage investment, but the gist of the conservative argument is that government must be smaller. It’s not that we don’t have ideas, or that we’re not voicing them; it’s that you don’t like them. And that’s a fair position for you to take. But it’s unfair for you to complain that we’re not saying anything worth listening to.

  • pablo


    The gist of the conservative movement for all intents and purposes is to allow the fat cats to run roughshod over the rest of us, all the while talking about smaller government out of the side of their mouths. I have never in my life met more of a bunch of narrow minded, bigoted, racist, selfish, and mean people as most conservatives actually are, with particular reference to those that they elect. If you want a good dose of the kind of folks I am talking about, just waltz through most towns in the bible belt.

    I perhaps would have listened to your banter about smaller government, however the last republican president that you more than likely voted for took care of that lame argument once and for all. In fact the last statesman that your party had that even remotely resembles what you are talking about is Barry Goldwater, you know the guy that warned us all about the Trilateral Commission, and the CFR. Your got your Orin (fascist)Hatch, and your Sensenbrenners, and your mealy mouthed Lyndsay Graham, and your nazi admirer Schwarzen whats his face in California. Yeah a real great bunch of human beings there Baronius, a bunch of specimens to be sure. 🙂

  • Baronius

    Pablo, would you grant that the “bottom” 99% of those who call themselves conservative do believe in smaller government?

  • Baronius,

    Your comments might carry a greater way in the past when things were more or less “normal.” But they’re beside the mark because we’re in the situation of crisis. The corporations have got to be put in check (if only for the time being) and there’s no other way to do it other than through the government. So the Republican solutions you’re alluding to are no solutions; and as such, they contribute nothing to the discussion.

    ME2’s main point ought to be that there really is no leadership in the Republican Party right now(like that provided by the Newt years back), which is why the voices of such as Limbaugh and Coulter command the kind of attention they oughtn’t have. (As to my critique of the article, see #13.)

  • pablo


    Not when it comes to putting people in prison for victimless crimes, not when it comes to murdering human beings who have been conviced of a crime, and not when it comes to whatever particular pet projects that they might advocate. Regulate the poor, and de-regulate the rich. Now there are a small number of so called libertarian republicans that do perhaps advocate smaller government, with emphasis on human rights, but they are a very small minority. Most are bible thumpers or fat cat rich republicans, that don’t give a good godamned about anyone else.

  • Baronius

    Roger, principles matter most in time of crisis. A policy of “usually no torture” is not an anti-torture policy at all. Believing in small government except when government has to be large isn’t anti-statist. On a practical note, you could list on one hand the number of times a government has expanded its power briefly, then returned it.

    Pablo, I disagree. Government has precious little responsibility other than self-defense and enforcing the law, but drug laws and capital punishment fall under both. (I assume your first comment was an allusion to drug laws.)

  • Baronius,

    It may well be the case. Once the powers are extended, it’s rare indeed when there is any going back. And that’s what bugs me the most, that these moves have been “made necessary” by the crisis we’re facing. Corporations have to be put on the leash (and only the government can do it), to restore order and stability. Unfortunate but true.

    So in a sense, rampant capitalism had brought it on itself: it had not only caused its own self-destruction but also dragged our political institutions (and rights guaranteed thereby) along with it. I’m afraid we’ve reached the point of no return.

    Normally, I would agree with you that principles matter. But it’s a brand-new game, Baronius, which is to say, new principles and new rules.

    Believe me, I’m not looking forward to this kind of future, but that’s how I see it.

  • pablo


    The percentage of republicans that would agree with your first paragraph, (I do and I am not a republican, thank god)is probably less than 1%.

    As to your second paragraph, I would include making the law. As to capital punishment only the most draconian governments in the world today practice it, not only has it never conclusively been shown to deter crime, numerous innocent people in this country have been put to death, which I call murder. As to victimless crimes I do not think that the state has a legitimate right to infringe on a person’s freedom. I will not debate dui laws, and have very little problem with them.
    Prostitution should be legal, and I am surprised that more women that are all for a women’s right to choose dont support it.

  • bliffle

    OK, Robert Dean. I’m only 72 so you may consider me a whippersnapper, or some such thing, but here are my responses to your post:

    #4 — March 28, 2009 @ 14:07PM — Robert Dean

    I am 86 years old. I grew up during the depression. At that time if you didn’t pay your mortgage you lost your right to live in that home.

    Still the case. I know a couple people who have lost their homes to foreclosure, and I’ve read about MILLIONS more. No one has leaped to help people who’ve lost their homes. Amidst all the trillions of dollars handed out to fat cat billionaire bankers and GM executives, there is nary a program to help these people.

    What’s your point?

    Congress set the stage for the entire mess we are in. The members in Congress and Senate who received large campaign contributions from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are now screaming about the terrible , greedy banks who gave loans to people who couldn’t pay them back. Those in congress who ordered the banks to give loans they would never give , caused this and should be in jail.

    The bribers in the bribing lobbying groups bribed EVERY congressman and candidate. They play BOTH sides of every election. You’ve gotta OUTLAW LOBBYING.

    Well Tom Delay is already in jail, and he’s the guy who backed the law that revoked Glass-Steagall which kept good securities which were insured separate from bad securities which were uninsurable.

    And congress can’t ORDER anyone to make a loan!

    MEZ is defending those that really caused the problem.

    Really? Did MEZ defend Reagan and GWB?

  • ME2

    I have to say that some of the comments to my article are narrow-minded, bigoted and have little to do (if anything at all) with my article’s point. It seems that you all are sending hate messages without any consideration of the questions I posed to you and/or the consequences I “played out” based on the Republican’s recent ideaology and accusations in the past 2 months. No one who has strongly (and rudely) opposed me has taken the time to actually read the article and answer my questions or even offered friendly objective logical non-partisan points of view or their solutions. REAL LIFE solutions. Not based on 100 years ago or on an idea that Limbaugh came up with. Real answers. I do not claim to have any answer at all but I will help someone in need whether they are white, of colour, conservative or liberal.

    Baronius, small government at this point in time when we have no jobs or affordable health care, seems like a fairy tale to me. I am sorry. I think back in the early 90’s that would have made sense because we were in a surplus budget and living the illusion of being “self-sustaining”. Now that has proven to be a true fairy tale, we have a situation that is mind boggling.
    We need powers larger than ourselves to get us out of the mess we created. I certainly do not want more of a deficit. I would be crazy to…my article’s point was DO WE HAVE A CHOICE now that 1.3 was added on in the past 8 years?

    I wish that I was strong enough to create a job for all my unemployed friends or craete a market to sell my product when no one is buying anything. I would love love to have the cash to give my God-loving REPUBLICAN friends who have 3 Autsitic children, the husband lost his business as a mortgage broker and now is out of a job- would love to give them funds for their kid’s much-needed therapies and get him a new job! Unfortunately, most insurance companies do not cover most of autism therapy or medication. He is a very loving, honest, hard working man who has to live in Fla. because they have family to help them with the children. There are no jobs for him there.

    What should they do with their “plight” in life now? Create their own job and money for their children’s therapy?

    My article was quite clear…How can we be empowered, like the Conservatives would like us to be, if is there is no national “foundation” anymore, like industry, housing market, healthcare system thart works and ethical businesses? Now that It was stolen from us, you Conservatives want your supporters and us bleeding heart liberals to make it on our own…with what?

    The irony is that all you who are hateful to the bleeding hearts, the “underprivledged who try to make it on $1,200 a month or the unemployed who take benefits that barely pays rent, you all have taken more tax write-offs than all of the middle to lower class combined. You talk out of both sides of your mouths… bottom line is that you bought into the “fairy tale”, like all of us, but now do not want to pay the piper? You want the middle class to pay it, when frankly the middle class has nothing left to give- they are out of jobs! They also did not prosper or “benefit” from the “boom” in the first place…oh but they should pay the debt of the fat cat’s mistakes and ask nothing of you all on the right who profited?

    Baronius claims that Conservatives have come up with many solutions that the nation does not want to hear…?
    I have not heard much come out of that side but I trust Baronius knows something I do not. You wealthy investors cannot afford to give back to a nation of workers (who have made many of your constituents wealthy) a 15-20% tax increase? Will it really keep you from “investing”? If the wealthy does not throw something into the till, how do you expect everyone to be independent from government and live up to the ultruistic, independent philosophy that Limbaugh preached at your convention?

    I am for the people, you and I and the rest of us who’s life has been turned upside down from BS.

    My article was simply putting all the accusations from the far right out on the table for questioning and understanding. People are losing their homes, jobs and health and you guys are focused on the minuta of what Obama is or is not accomplishing at this moment, what Clinton did 10 years ago, what the democrats did 50 years ago or even how I just worded my article. Where is the responsibility for the accusations from your party these past 2 months?
    I made it very clear that Congress is a part of the problem and not a group I defend, Arch. Arch, read the article man!

    Frankly, I do not trust any of them but we do have a new President with a crap load of issues to solve. Like him or not, like the party or not- he won fair and square. With all due respect, you guys were not prepared to win, face it and get over it. Give him solid ideas or give him peace. Bush won by a mere percentage and that was even questionable. We still gave Bush 5 years of “patience” and unilateral power. We allowed him to run our economy into the ground with a war we have no business being in, de-re-gulating housing and creating no-bid contracts that “lost” billions and billions of dollars…some of which went to Halliburton and Mr. Cheny’s gang.

    I truly apologize if my good intention was overshadowed by anger but I am tired of these baseless accusations and decided to do my own bit of research and ask everyone for an explanation becuase I see a huge disconnect- that is all.
    You claim Democrats/ Obama is communist, fascist, socialist? I gave the true definition for your explanation of how we are.
    My presumed “attack” on Republicans/Conservatives was in direct response to the past 2-month diatribe from your party’s members toward the Democrats and the current President who frankly, has only been in office for less than 3months. My article naturally will read as “opposing” simply because I am questioning the basis of the Conservative’s accusations.
    You all can throw these insults out there but we have to word our sentences just right so you do not get offended?

    All this ‘splitting of hairs’ will not get that homeless family who once had a sustainable life AND paid too much in taxes, paid too much for their home, paid too much for health insurance- a job, an affordable loan or affordable insurance. Government is the only institution who has the power. We tried privatisation, remember…greed got in the way and it failed to help!!
    None of this anger and resentment toward me, the Democrats and the President will get these helpless people under a roof. If you are like Limbaugh and want them laying all over the streets then how do you all plan on paying mortgages for empty buildings and paying housing for homeless cities?

    God help all of you who are angry at the under-privledged and the suffering… may karma be kind to all of you.

    Are you all being productive being so hateful and unilateral?

  • ME2,

    Very eloquent response.

    It should be clear to all concerned that all the noise and static you’re hearing from the other side is indicative of nothing other than being at their wit’s end. Nothing but a smoke screen.

    On the other hand, let’s face it. All you can do with these people is make a moral (and emotional) appeal. Ultimately, it is my utmost conviction that you’re dealing here not with the failure of reason but failure of the heart. It’s always been so, my friend, and the world hasn’t changed. There are those who care for the others, and there will always be those who care only about number one. That’s it in a nutshell.

  • Baronius

    Metoo – I don’t think I’m being hateful here. I’m just taking a different position than you are. How can you say that conservatives aren’t putting forward their own positions? You know what my position is: smaller government.

    We’re sitting in a burning house arguing over whether more matches and gasoline would be a good idea. Matches and gasoline are what got us here. Roger is saying that maybe gasoline and matches are usually a bad idea, but these are tough times. (!) My position is that government interference got us here, and government disengagement is the best answer to our current problems.

    That’s not to say that our problems would be solved by minimizing government. The problems are there, and they’re going to be there no matter what. Bailing out AIG and GM didn’t diminish the impact of their inevitable collapses. But it did bankrupt the government and interfere with the market, which is the only thing that’s going to get us growing again (the market, that is, not the government).

  • Baronius

    Roger, you’re the one being hateful, assigning bad motives to this disagreement. You’re the one at wit’s end, abandoning principles.

  • “My position is that government interference got us here, and government disengagement is the best answer to our current problems.”

    That’s precisely the nature of your problem – to see the matter so. It’s precisely the lack of governmental controls, started by Reagan’s era of deregulation and perpetuated by his successors, Republicans and Democrats, that allowed the corporations to run amok to total disregard of anything but their own self interest.

    I’m really at a loss trying to understand through what prism you’re seeing the world.

  • Baronius

    Well, Roger, if you don’t understand my thinking, you should assume that I’m evil and stupid. You should call my comments noise and static, say that I have a failure of the heart, and accuse me of only looking out for number one. That’s far more constructive than, say, thinking about my position.

  • Baronius,

    I didn’t call you evil or stupid. And “failure of the heart” comment wasn’t directed at you: it was a general observation as regards those who use reason in order not to face up with their own emotional malady and maladjustment. I did not include you in that category.

    However, your thinking and way of looking at things does indeed puzzle me, to say the least. But that’s your business and you’re entitled to your views. I’ve only made an observation that in light of this opinion you seem to have – as to what brought about the present situation – no wonder we have a substantial disagreement as to what is/ought to be the proper course of action.
    I should think it goes without saying.

  • Baronius

    Roger, that doesn’t explain your comment #26.

  • Baronius

    Metoo – I finished your article. Pages 5-6 made me nostalgic for page 2. You do a nice job of demonstrating that we are headed toward socialism, although I don’t think that was your intention. And your distinction that Barney Frank wants a list of enemies to use slightly differently than McCarthy would have, well, that’s just funny. Then you put a bow on it and say that you want bipartisanship – after having rejected any input from one of the parties. I can’t imagine that this article was designed to persuade anyone, left, center, or right.

  • Well yes, Baronius. I do believe in what I’m saying there, in general – most of these disagreements have less to do with reason and logic than most people would like to believe. As a person of faith, you ought to know that most of our reasoned views spring from our emotional makeup up – namely, which particular emotions are the predominant ones in our lives, those which are uplifting (like love, for example) or the other kind. Reason and logic, in most cases, serves only to justify ourselves in our own eyes (without having to look deep into ourselves lest we discover which ugly things really move us). So I’m certain that you do understand what I’m saying and where I’m coming from.

    But it was a general kind of remark – on the nature of things. I wasn’t singling anyone in particular (neither you nor anybody else). It was meant rather in the spirit: Let everybody look into their own heart to see whether it applies.

    Besides, these very traits I was addressing are neither evil nor stupid. Just human nature at its best (or worst), and we’ve all been guilty of lies and rationalization-making to ourselves and others at one time or another, and if not now then in the past. Until we grow up.

  • Ah, Baronius, Baronius, Baronius

    How could you have sunk so very low as to suggest that those who don’t undersigned your warped thinking should/do consider you evil and stupid? They actually love you, with all of the milk of human kindness one could imagine. That milk flows freely and without limit throughout their very souls. It is not you whom they consider stupid and evil, it is merely your misbegotten ideas, all of which are pernicious. Indeed, some have several friends of your odd persuasion, although most probably would not want their daughters actually to marry one.

    You should listen to them and repent of your wicked notions. Lately, I have been trying to do just that, and am now attempting to communicate with Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz about acquiring a slightly modified Vogon Poetry Appreciation Chair. As we all know, the Vogons write the second worst poetry in the universe.

    During a recitation by their Poet Master Grunthos the Flatulent of his poem Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in My Armpit One Midsummer Morning four of his audience died of internal hemorrhaging, and the President of the Mid-Galactic Arts Nobbling Council survived by gnawing one of his own legs off. Grunthos is reported to have been “disappointed” by the poems’ reception, and was about to embark on a reading of his twelve-book epic entitled My Favorite Bathtime Gargles when his own major intestine, in a desperate attempt to save life and civilization, leaped straight up through his neck and throttled his brain.

    In any event, the Poetry Appreciation Chair is designed “to heighten the experience of the poem and make sure that not a single nuance of the poet’s thought was lost.”

    Should I finally communicate with Prostentic, and if he agrees to sell me a “Liberal”/Democrat Appreciation chair modeled after the Poetry Appreciation Chair, I shall be happy to post all of the necessary information so that you too can acquire one. It is only meet and right that you should do so.


  • Baronius

    Dan, you do bring your own…perspective, don’t you? I forget, who writes the worst poetry in the universe?

  • “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

    Such a flight of poetic fancy about nothing.

  • M (a) ¶/ ® k

    That would be Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings, Baronius. And Vogon poetry ranks third worst, not second.

  • Baronius,

    I screwed up, and hereby grovel. The Vogons write the third worst poetry. The second worst was that of the Azgoths of Kria. The very worst “perished along with its creator, Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings of Greenbridge, Essex, England, in the destruction of the Planet Earth.” Earth was, of course, destroyed by the Vogon constructor fleet to make way for a hyperspace bypass. This greatly annoyed the mice who, having discovered that the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is “42,” had Earth designed and built as a gigantic organic computer in order to learn the actual question to which 42 was the answer.


  • Thanks, M (a) ¶/ ® k for beating me to the correction. It is always refreshing to find someone who has a keen appreciation of past and future history.


  • Yeah, Dan(Miller) owes the Azagoths of Kria an apology for the incorrect citation. Always best to double check those sources.

  • M (a) ¶/ ® k

    Parenthetical Dan, I just have a deep appreciation of the Azgoth Poet Master Grunthos the Flatulent’s poem “Ode To A Small Lump of Green Putty I Found In My Armpit One Midsummer Morning”.

  • Clavos


    Re #s 39 & 39.

    Where on Earth did you learn to write (and think) like a liberal?


  • Thanks to Roger as well, and to all of the “little people” who inspire me to higher and higher intellectual leaps of faith and condescension. You are truly a beacon to my soul, shining brightly in the Wittgensteinian morass.


  • Clavos

    …And Wittgenstein is certainly morassy.

  • Clav,

    It has been a long and torturous journey, with many stumbles along the way. Fortunately, many of my “Liberal” Democratic colleagues have provided unspeakably kind help for which I shall always be grateful. I am completely overwhelmed.


    sobbing uncontrollably, shuffles off and humbly exits stage left.

  • Baronius

    Dan, I’m familiar with the planet whose destruction you describe. It’s a harmless place, mostly.

  • Dan (Miller)

    Your pomposity has no limits. But such is the predicament of all great lawyers with nothing to show for it but a wasted wit.

  • Why, thank you, Roger. I do appreciate the high praise, and shall go forth immediately in search of a bigger hat.


  • Whatever suits your fancy, Dan. But do me a favor, will you? Get the bug out of your arse while you’re at it.

  • bliffle

    Maybe someday Baronius will awaken to realize the extent to which he has been gulled by unscrupulous corporate manipulators masquerading as ‘conservatives’ in order to fool him and enlist his aid in establishing massive corporate socialism.

    They knew that his weak point was use of simple-minded words like ‘conservative’ and focusing his attention on the much-despised liberals so that he wouldn’t see that they are doing exactly what he abhors: organizing an oppressive massive government system that oppresses US citizens in pursuit of their (corporate) socialistic goals.

    Words, words, words. Fooled, as so many of his cohorts are, by mere words that hid the true intent of those deceivers.

    Now Baronius claims he wants ‘smaller government’, in spite of the fact that his political allegiance to our corporate oppressors has been consistent as they expanded to role of the government they owned to dominate all of us while handing out huge doles to themselves.

    And what would be the result if somehow we could diminish the size of government, now that the twin powers of corporate socialism, government and corporatism, have so thoroughly imprisoned us?

    Why, there would be no countervailing force at all against further intrusions into our lives and well-being by the huge overgrown corporations, and we would be even more oppressed.

    Careful what you ask for.

  • Cindy

    Dan S.(Miller) a one paragraph spoiler? Were you possessed by some demon?

  • Cindy,

    You caught me. The Devil Governor Palin made me do it.


  • DJS

    Thank you ME2 for taking the time to so eloquetly describe my daily nightmare. While I wish you would have been able to express these realities without the bitter outlash at the Republicans as a whole, I do agree with your summation of the real problem for us real people. I fear some of your truth may have been tainted by your bitterness (rightly earned) and it just gave those people (above) the spark they needed to light their dynamite sticks and once again play from the defense instead of coming to the table with new ideas which is what I gather you were callig for.
    I am still trying to figure out how abandoning us in our time of need is a viable option for those who want to shrink the only system that could save us at this point. It is true that it takes a lot of faith right now to trust that someone in authority could actually do more good than harm after all we have been through. The truth is, none of us even know if Obama will be able to handle this enormous burden he has inherited. But it’s the best shot we’ve got right now. I think many wrongs are being exposed and the people are demanding that we fix these gross injustices, but we need the processes and bodies in place to follow through and make things right. Privatization at this point is no different than leaving a wounded soldier behind just to save your own ass. Disgusting. If you notice, I haven’t identified my party affiliation because at this point, it doesn’t even matter. What matters to me is my life and the possibilities within it for myself, my daughter, my friends, and anyone else who chooses to work for it and at it. Being grateful for what we have already IS the first step. I am very grateful to report that as of today, I still have a job to go to every day. I have a Master’s degree and yet I am employed as a preschool Director for only $13.00/hr. I cannot afford health insurance as the premiums for me equal approximately 85% of my total income due to chronic illness. So I wait, and pray, that my daughter nor I get seriously hurt or ill or I will spend the rest of my life in the hole. I work nearly 70 hours per week, take care of all of my bills on my own, and always seek to improve my life. According to the ideal of privatizational theory, I should be well ahead of the game right now. Well, I was able to take advantage of the housing situation by purchasing my first home this year at an unbelievable rate. However, you will not find me gloating that I made out better because of someone else’s misfortune. It will only take one car wreck, illness, injury or other catastrophe to put me in the exact same category. I am simply hanging on the edge every day even though I go through the prescribed ritual of success: many years of education and higher degrees, good work ethic, quick learner with ability to generalize skills quickly, put in more hours each week than seems humanly possible, etc, etc. I believe we are resposible for choosing the direction of our own path based on our efforts, but how can we get anywhere if the paths we are led on are broken. Damn, I am likig the sound of these infrastructure jobbing opportunities more and more…you feel me?

  • Georgio

    I enjoyed your article ME2…It was a bit long but you said what needed to be said ..I also loved your comment in # 25…You speak from the heart as well as the mind.

  • Baronius

    Roger – You ask how government has caused our current recession. There are lots of ways. You have to look at the change in incentives that result from any market interference.

    First of all, interest rates are too low. The interest rate is the cost of money. Any time a price is too low, the demand exceeds the supply. The banks, being suppliers of loans, tried to cut back on their riskiest loans (the ones that should cost the most). Government and groups like ACORN stepped in and claimed discrimination. So the banks were forced to give high-risk loans at low interest rates. The banks did the only thing they could do: add interest rates, points, and special payments down the road to try to break even.

    When the government states home ownership as a national goal, allows population to increase through immigration, and zones areas away from housing, you get an increase in housing demand without an increase in supply. Housing prices skyrocket. The supply of houses eventually catches up in some but not all regions. At the high appraisal values, state and local governments go nuts with the increased revenue. The moment that housing prices adjust to lower demand, states go broke.

    As banks and state budgets begin to seize, money should shift over to buy the stocks and bonds. But it can’t. Why not? Because the federal government has already tied up trillions of dollars with its own debt. Its solution? To give money to the states and banks, to replenish the credit market. Where do they get the money? From the credit market. It’s exactly like that other great government invention, daylight savings time. We skip an hour ahead so that day will start sooner, and are surprised that night starts sooner too.

    These are only a few examples of the unintended consequences of government policy. You could name a thousand more. Energy policy: no one increases the efficiency of their coal-burning plants, because even the smallest upgrade mandates governmentally required across-the-board improvements. Education policy: we’ve done that one to death on BC lately. Lobbying restrictions: for some reason, Obama can’t find qualified people who’ve never worked in their field of expertise. The list is inexhaustible.

  • I’m not saying, Baronius, that the government wasn’t an enabler. I’ve argued about it in many of my pieces on BC and my own weblog, “The Case for Fraud” series. But the climate of corruption which by now permeates both Washington and Wall Street was the direct result of deregulation started by Reagan and continued through the successors. The corporations became all powerful and crooked politicians and government officials have joined the parade in hopes of carving a niche for themselves and lining their own pockets. So indirectly you’re right in that the government had allowed it to happen; they created the Frankenstein monster. And yes, popular political ideas – like affordability of housing – were used as a guise(by the unscrupulous politicians and crooked public officials, at HUD, for instance (Andrew Cuomo comes to mind) – in order to promote their own agenda and for material gain. So I’m far from condoning it and believe I do see a fairly comprehensive picture.

    Now, perhaps it was by design (the New World Order agenda), perhaps not. Still deregulation IMO was the trigger mechanism that had set this downward spiral in motion.

    And BTW, I don’t think you need Dan Miller’s intervention. I believe we can discuss these issues politely and civilly, even if we disagree.

  • Here is a link to an article from what, I suppose, is an unlikely source. It deals with the law of unintended consequences in a small part of South Dakota over a long period of time. The basis thrust, as I see it, is that Governmental meddling with even the very best of intentions can easily produce bad results; those bad results take on a life of their own, feed upon themselves, and can be difficult if not impossible to change, after the damage has been done.

    This is a “teaser.” I do hope that someone reads the article. It’s about happenings over more than one hundred and twenty years at an Indian boarding school in South Dakota.


  • It is so obvious that it ought not to even be said, that the problem is the incestuous relationship between government and business. But because business is central to a capitalist society, the point at which blame has to be assigned and corrections have to be made is in government.

    The people should reign in government and its abuses to solve this problem. When you have government trying to transfer the blame onto business and solve the problem by suppressing and controlling capitalism it only makes things worse.

    The solution should be to separate government from business as much as possible and limit it to regulatory oversight without excessive interference.


  • Baronius

    Roger, I don’t know what you have against D(M). I don’t feel like I needed his help, but he’s always welcome to join in.

    You make two observations: that the current problems began with Reagan, and began with deregulation. The first can be disproven easily. The deregulation of Savings and Loans took place under Carter, as did the first bailout of Chrysler. But I’m not blaming him exclusively. The late-1970’s mess was triggered by the oil and financial crises of the Nixon years. Carter’s (and Nixon’s) response was terrible though. Those two disrespected the markets as much as Obama seems to.

    Also under Carter we got the famous CRA, which was strengthened under Clinton. (I’m not pointing fingers here. Probably the only president in this era who did great was GHW Bush, who let the bad S&L’s die and liquidated their remains.) The thing is, we’ve been monkeying around with financial regulations for decades.

    As for deregulation being the problem, I just don’t see it. It’s certainly not the only way to read the facts, and I don’t find it a convincing way. I gave some examples earlier of specific regulations that did harm. Where deregulations have done harm, it’s largely because of other regulations. For example, when Carter lifted the cap on S&L returns, he didn’t expand their available investments. So they had to stick with real estate, and needed high returns to stay competitive, so they went into building speculation. Kerplunk. Nixon’s wage and price controls guaranteed future inflation. If you want an example of unambiguous deregulation, it’s NAFTA, and that’s been an unambiguous success.

  • Baronius

    Hey Dave, I haven’t seen you around lately. You’re the guy who knows the history of regulation, so maybe you can answer this. Is there any sort of precedent for the POTUS firing the president of GM?

  • Baronius,

    Unless you don’t see the emergence of a global corporation that can operate at whim and having amassed unheard of powers – the kind of powers it never commanded before – almost independent and separate from that of a nation-state, then as far as I’m concerned you’re missing the big picture. And that’s regardless of where you or I care to affix the blame, which, for the purposes of analysis, is a secondary (by now) and a moot issue. I would ask myself if I were you why you’re being so resistant to that idea? What on earth makes you want to defend unscrupulous corporate behavior? And until we come to terms with this issue, I really don’t think this discussion has much of a future.

    As to Dan (or anybody else for that matter) I have no problem with people jumping in and contributing. But the particular snotty remark of his I’m referring to (Baronius, Baronius, Baronius …) was just an example of one of Dan Miller’s Kodak moments; and it did manage to derail our discussion of the issues. Now, that kind of help and contribution I don’t really need. And if you do for some reason, just say so and I’ll be just as happy to end this discussion right then and there.

  • Baronius

    Yikes, Roger. I think the conversation ends when you ask why I’m so resistant. How am I supposed to reply to that?

  • Well, I tried to find as much common ground between us as I possibly can. But the problem I’m referring to I regard as an indispensable part of the equation. If I asked you what you think an improperly formulated question, it was only to have you reconsider. Nothing else was intended. Be that as it may, it looks like we have reached an impasse; and it centers precisely as regards this and no other issue. And that’s better than in most cases even as it stands, for at least we know where exactly we disagree.

    I don’t minding discussing this further, but I regard this particular perception as critical to any further progress.

  • PS: Actually, I’d consider it rather unfortunate if the discussion were to end here, for I do believed we covered a lot of ground and reached many points of agreement. And just for curiosity’s sake, it would be interesting to learn why both of us appear to be rather hung up about this rather crucial point.

  • ME2


    Yes, you are right. The article had no intention of persuading anyone, anywhere-glad you understand that. At the end of the day we are all in the same boat going in the same direction, no matter who we voted for or what we believe in.

    I believe that there is the far right and the far left but the truth lies in the middle.

  • And it’s happening right in front of our very eyes, even as we speak.

  • Hey Dave, I haven’t seen you around lately. You’re the guy who knows the history of regulation, so maybe you can answer this. Is there any sort of precedent for the POTUS firing the president of GM?

    He didn’t actually “fire” him, he forced him to resign, which creates at least a facade of legitimacy. The closest case is when Lee Iacoca took over Chrysler back in 1979 at the urging of the Carter administration. In other similar cases, like Commonwealth Edison the CEO was indicted on criminal charges.


  • Baronius

    Who cares if it’s legal, Dave? We’re sticking it to a rich man! That’ll teach’em!

    We need to patrol the libraries of America and get Hope&Change back on Blogcritics. I honestly miss his insights. Hillary Clinton is picking up the Margaret Sanger Award on her way home from Guadalupe, Obama’s only one pick away from appointing his whole Cabinet (15 people!), and the president of GM serves at the pleasure of the President.

  • ME2


    After all that has occurred in the past 8 years, how can you sit there and say,”we’re sticking it to the rich man!”?? It is proposterous.

    I don’t understand the logic. You say you think that government should not bail out GM at all, that we should have small government and they should fix their own issues. After billions of dollars of bail out money later, you say that Obama should not try to correct the problem and that he should leave a failed CEO there because he is rich? Do you believe Obama is ‘sticking it to the rich man’ by asking the CEO to step down…??

    Can you explain that? What is your solution for GM and the current CEO when they are in bankruptcy? Obviously, they cannot afford to help themselves so bailouts are necessary to keep industry alive and people working in Detroit.
    Obama is asking for a new CEO, I assume, to offer a fresh perspective and strategy, so that we may have a chance in getting our money back out and GM back on track.
    The CEO/rich man failed to offer a stylish, practical, fuel efficient car when Toyota and Honda ran with that market at least 15 years ago. GM stayed with the SUV and Hummer market because they claim ‘that was what “we” wanted.’ Unfortunately, it wasn’t what all of us wanted. Failure to keep up with the major trend in fuel efficient “green mechanics” cost him his job, not Obama. Why is this situation any different than what any corporation or company on NYSE would do with a failed president? And what does the changing of a failed president have to do with the ‘getting the rich man’? I would think that most GM stock holders would agree that he step down!

    In my history, I have never seen when the government or the nation has ever ‘stuck it to the rich man’. The rich man has controlled legislation and has rarely had a tax increase. It is not a “punishment” against the rich man. It’s about responsibility.
    It is a simple measure of checks and balances. Not based on classism or predjudice.

    Are you projecting? Maybe you meant to say, ‘the rich stuck it to the middle class’
    With respect, your comment is overly dramatic and does not relate to the current issue with GM president.

    Had Obama (or any president in that position for that matter), not asked him to step down, we as a nation would have rushed the white house in protest. We would have a country in revolt. Most of us have issues with the bail out anyway, let alone keeping the old president and old strategy that got them in this situation in the first place.

    At least that makes sense to me.

  • ME2


    Oh, and I forgot the rich man will be able to “retire” on a 23 million severance package.

    I feel sorry for him.

    With respect, your point is pointless.

  • Well, ME2,

    I’m having the same problem as you. He won’t even admit that unscrupulous corporations are part of the problem. I wanted to have the conversation going and yielded as much ground as I possibly could. Well, it ain’t gonna happen. I give up.

  • Bliffle

    Dave continues his ideologically inspired delusions about business and corporate capitalism:

    “#59 — Dave

    It is so obvious that it ought not to even be said, that the problem is the incestuous relationship between government and business.”

    And who is it that insists on that incest: BUSINESS!

    Ever since there has been government or business, business has INSISTED on bribing and manipulating government.

    ” But because business is central to a capitalist society, the point at which blame has to be assigned and corrections have to be made is in government.”

    Totally wrong! It is BUSINESS that corrupts governmen.

    “The solution should be to separate government from business as much as possible and limit it to regulatory oversight without excessive interference.”

    The lobbyists hired by business would never agree to that. They’d laugh at you!

  • Bliffle

    Baronius’ uncomprehending fog of delusion is becoming apparent to all:


    After all that has occurred in the past 8 years, how can you sit there and say,”we’re sticking it to the rich man!”?? It is proposterous.”

  • Baronius

    Metoo – To be clear, my comment was directed at our current willingness to skirt the law in pursuit of governmentally-directed prosperity. I didn’t mean to imply that Wagoner deserves his former job, or that he isn’t overpaid. I don’t know either of those things to be true. My only contention is that his dismissal is a significant moment on the slippery slope away from a government of “laws, not men”.

    It’s always instructive how a bit of sarcasm can throw a conversation off-kilter.

    BTW, this is usually where some left-winger will say that Bush skirted or broke the law. My reply would be “skirted, maybe”, and that his crisis was a matter of national defense, a matter about which the president has latitude. But either way, we’ve got to be careful when the president appropriates broad, unprecedented power.

  • Baronius

    Roger – I’m still not sure what you’re getting at. I mean, I’ll grant that companies are in the business of making money, but I wouldn’t call that corporate greed. They’re supposed to make money. And the leap to a multinational leviathan (possibly with its own currency, according to a comment on another board) sounds more like evangelical end-times prophecy than any argument you’ve made to date.

    I once had a teacher who would work through proofs on the chalkboard, explaining what each step “got you”. It’d help me if you’d state where the argument was headed as you walk through each step of the proof. Otherwise, we can get hung up on relatively minor step.

  • The heads of AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were forced by the government to resign last fall, and were in fact replaced by executives hand-picked by Hank Paulson. In the case of GM, the next in line of succession was allowed to take over.

    Conservatives on here have groused frequently that the government wasn’t getting enough clout or demanding enough sacrifices in return for taxpayer bailout money. Yet in each of these cases, the government has demanded a change in leadership. I don’t recall the ideological cries of alarm when this was done to AIG, Fannie and Freddie.

    Baronius’s quite remarkable ‘history’ of the cause and effect of government regulation [#’s 56 and 60] is almost entirely fictional. It wouldn’t be hard for me to make up an alternative ‘history’ that taught exactly the opposite lesson, but that too would serve little purpose except to demonstrate the limits of ideology in this context.

    If you insist that all conservative policy is automatically valid and correct, and all liberal policy is automatically doomed to failure — or vice versa! — you are not likely to ever be able to analyze a situation, past or present, with accuracy or insight.

  • Cindy


    How do you maintain to your conscience that Bush did not break any laws?

    Benjamin Ferencz, investigator and chief prosecutor at Nuremberg war crimes trials has said that Bush should be tried for war crimes.

    “Nuremberg declared that aggressive war is the supreme international crime,” the 87-year-old Ferencz told OneWorld from his home in New York. He said the United Nations charter, which was written after the carnage of World War II, contains a provision that no nation can use armed force without the permission of the UN Security Council.

    Henry King Jr. another Nuremberg prosecutor has said that:

    “I think Robert Jackson, who’s the architect of Nuremberg, would turn over in his grave if he knew what was going on at Guantanamo,” Nuremberg prosecutor Henry King Jr. told Reuters in a telephone interview.

    “It violates the Nuremberg principles, what they’re doing, as well as the spirit of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.”

    “The concept of a fair trial is part of our tradition, our heritage. That’s what made Nuremberg so immortal — fairness, a presumption of innocence, adequate defense counsel, opportunities to see the documents that they’re being tried with.”

    “To torture people and then you can bring evidence you obtained into court? Hearsay evidence is allowed? Some evidence is available to the prosecution and not to the defendants? This is a type of ‘justice’ that Jackson didn’t dream of.”

  • Baronius

    Cindy, based on evidence, nothing has happened at Guantanamo that’s nearly as unjust as the Nuremberg Trials. Read up on both of them and you’ll be surprised.

  • The war wasn’t the same. though, was it? Or maybe you care to equate World War II with 9/11 and “Rumsfeld’s war,” and therefore argue for equal treatment of the events and the ensuing trials?

  • Cindy


    Nothing “as unjust”? Are you implying then that means it’s just? That means it is legal? I’m not sure what point there is in your comment.

  • ME2


    Again, with all due respect, I think that your past president and his gaggle of control freaks more than “skirted” many laws nationally, internationally and even within his own sector.

    Where do we begin?
    Off the top of my head I can name a few:
    Cheny creating an autonomous VP office (free of systematic accountability), Rumy’s “skirting” war policy, WMD farce that they covered up and proceeded to put us at war with a country, Iraq, who was not responsible for 9/11, Halliburton’s no bid contracts, Katrina’s no bid contracts, Gitmo, water-boarding, Immigration law “skirting” of migrant workers already working in America…on and on and on.

    They took “a nation in crisis” defense to the extreme to give them power that they should have never had. We all know that.

    BTW, what does granting excessive no-bid, billion dollar contracts to Halliburton have to do with our national security, especially the no-bid governmental contractors working after Katrina?

    I agree with you. Government power needs to be limited but we are talking about something that our government will never accomplish because the people have too much freedom.

    The “power” that we are talking about here is involvement out of necessity. We do not see any corporations out there buying up bankrupt ones and we do not see anyone running to their real-estate broker buying up buildings either. The government has no choice to step up.


    I also agree with handy guy #77. The GOP picks their positions according to their interest or gain. One time they are calling for complete control over bail outs with more stringent guidelines and the president’s recall and intervention on contractual bonuses. Then they complain that the President and Democrats are wielding excessive power and creating a socialized state…??

    Which is it guys?

  • Was Baronius saying that the Nuremberg trials were themselves unjust? I’m not agreeing or disagreeing, just wondering if that’s what he meant.

    The injustice at Guantanamo comes from holding people indefinitely without charging them, much less trying them.

    And a dismayingly large percentage of those held at some point since 2002 were never terrorists in the first place. A lot of them were later released, without comment or apology, but 242 are still being held.

    I believe Obama and Holder when they say they are trying to sort this in as fair and expeditious way as possible. But it remains one of the most shameful parts of recent history.

  • Baronius

    I believe that the individuals held at Guantanamo Bay were acting outside the bounds of soldiers or conventional criminals, and fall in a legal gray area. This gray area isn’t peripheral to their behaviour, either: it was the point. They weren’t soldiers of any army of any government which was at war with the US. They chose to wage war outside the traditional battlefield, so they relinquish the rights granted to a battlefield soldier.

    I don’t like that my country has done nothing to resolve their status. We should declare them something, and treat them as whatever we declare them.

    I think the Nuremberg comparison was more provocative than Cindy intended it. Legal scholars dispute the fairness of those trials, which had more than a hint of (and even some of the same officials as) Stalin’s show trials. We can say that the right people were hanged; we may one day make an equivalent statement about Guantanamo Bay. But that’s not the same thing as justice, is it?

    Metoo – I’m glad that you recognize that government can overstep its bounds when the feeling of crisis is in the air. If you keep that thought fresh in your mind, that’s all I can hope for out of this conversation.

  • You’re gonna have to figure it out, Handy. I’m running out of ideas. Shit gets weirder and weirder.

  • ME2

    “The history of power politics is nothing but the history of international crime and mass murder (including, it is true, some of the attempts to suppress them).”
    Karl Popper

  • Cindy


    What you believe about the Guantanamo prisoners seems very mistaken. (Something I’m still working on writing about.) In fact your whole outlook on it seems to go against the grain of what you profess your beliefs to be. The U.S. Supreme Court found the Guantanamo trials illegal and in violation of the Geneva Convention. This was a check on the executive powers. That’s something you believe in right?

    I’m not defending wrongdoing in the Nuremberg trials. What I am saying is it was an important landmark that represented what should be an advance in international justice–particularly that a head of state could be held accountable for waging war.

    Seven key precedents were embodied in the decisions of the International Military Trial:

    1. The initiating and waging of aggressive war is a crime.

    2. Conspiracy to wage aggressive war is a crime.

    3. The violation of the laws or customs of war is a crime.

    4. Inhumane acts upon civilians in execution of, or in connection with, aggressive war constitute a crime.

    5. Individuals may be held accountable for crimes committed by them as heads of state.

    6. Individuals may be held accountable for crimes committed by them pursuant to superior orders.

    7. An individual charged with crime under international law is entitled to a fair trial.

    I am talking about what Bush did in direct violation of laws that came out of Nuremberg. And you are making statements like this:

    …based on evidence, nothing has happened at Guantanamo that’s nearly as unjust as the Nuremberg Trials

    Do you see any problem with arguing that way?

    First, what does your opinion about who got worse treatment have to do with Bush’s violation of international law?

    Second, your opinions on the Guantanamo prisoners seem very casually based. In other words, they do not seem to me to be based in a clear knowledge of the subject.

    Third, how are you comparing who got worse treatment anyway? Is being kidnapped with flimsiest of cause, tortured, having coerced testimony entered into evidence, being held indefinitely without habeas corpus rights and without charge somehow not good enough to qualify as bad treatment in your view?

  • They weren’t soldiers of any army of any government which was at war with the US. They chose to wage war outside the traditional battlefield, so they relinquish the rights granted to a battlefield soldier.

    That’s all well and good, Baronius, except that by no means all wars are between soldiers fighting on behalf of governments.

    And it was the Bush administration which insisted on calling combat operations against these guys ‘the War on Terror’. They relabelled their antagonists purely to suit their own purposes.

    I’m sorry, it doesn’t wash. If they were terrorists and criminals, call them that. If they were enemy soldiers, call them that. Either way there are rules by which you have to abide, as opposed to just making up your own rules for convenience.

  • Baronius

    Dread, we are in considerable agreement. Figure out what legal status best defines them, and proceed as such.

    Cindy, I was responding to your citation of Nuremberg trial officials as authorities on what constitutes a legal trial. You put them up as expert witnesses; I’m entitled to cross-examine them. As for the rest, I doubt that we’re going to cover any new ground.

  • pablo

    Comments 83 and 84

    I would add that the vast majority of those that were sent to Guantanamo were sold as bounty to US forces and not on the field of battle when apprehended.

  • To all bloggers:

    Just wonder! I’m still rather new to this site. Has Baronius ever owned up to being wrong on any matter of consequence? I don’t mean trivial shit, but the kind being discussed at present.

    I’ve having a helluva time trying to reconcile his Christian values (as inspired by the Catholic faith) and a certain kind of obstinacy.

    Forgive me, Baronius, but this is a challenge. I know you’re gonna balk and say I’m not playing fairly. But the way I see it, you invite this kind of challenge. Either you’re playing a silly little game, having us here trying to kiss your royal arse – trying to talk sense into you, like a little child that feels they need to be wooed and cajoled before they give in. Or else, you’re making me believe that I’m talking to a person from another planet.

    So which is it, Baronius? Will the real Baronius please stand up and be counted? I, for one, would like to know whether I’m dealing here with a real, flesh-and-blood person (for all the pixels you and I and everybody here represents) or with some phantom or other-wordly phenomenon. The inquiring minds would like to know.

    Roger Nowosielski

    PS: I have not responded to “Baronius’s inquiry” on another thread for fear it may have originated in another galaxy millions of light-years away. I shall regard it for that reason as an undecipherable scribble (and therefore in no need of response). Will someone please help me to authenticate the source?

  • Cindy

    #89 – Baronius,

    Okay fair enough. My presumption is they understand the law well. You’re right to challenge that. So, I withdraw them as experts and substitute the 7 precedents listed above and the Supreme Court ruling instead.

    I’ll assume you don’t want to answer the question about how your conscience permits you to say Bush did not break the law.

    #90 – pablo,

    That is a good way to put it.

  • I’m glad somebody is being enlightened. For my part, I’m still in the dark.

  • Baronius

    Roger, what inquiry? Anything in the past week or so? (I’ll have to think about how to answer the rest.)

  • No, it’s I who must draft an answer about what you called “apocalyptic vision,” about corporations and so forth. I think it’s on Glenn’s thread.

  • Very few commenters on here, left or right, well informed or not, ever admit explicitly to being mistaken. It just doesn’t fit the blogosphere opinion model.

  • Then why do we even bother? Just to hear ourselves talk?

  • Baronius

    Roger, I’ve mulled your question over. I don’t think that in my time on this site that anyone has changed dramatically. Clavos hasn’t become a deeply religious man, and Handy’s still reliably a Democrat. I’ve noticed that Bliffle has been – I don’t want to speak for him – but he’s seemed almost despairing in the face of The Machine lately. Maybe he’s always had this side, but I’ve just noticed it recently. I don’t think I’m any more fixed than anyone else around here.

    I’ve changed a lot of my thinking over my lifetime, and I’ve evolved on particular issues. There were some recent discussions about privatized prisons – I didn’t change my mind about the morality of them, but I’m certainly more concerned about their administration. Dan(M) is a bundle of legal information, and Joanne has the Detroit beat. Our BC friends in Australia and Israel have no idea how much we learn from them. I feel like an award winner: I don’t want to leave anyone out, but I’ll never be able to list everyone. You know who you are.

    Truth be told, there’s one area that my mind has changed recently. I’m trying not to focus on it. Let’s just say that the Obama administration hasn’t been what I expected, but as an American I will remain cheerily hopeful.

  • Baronius

    “Then why do we even bother? Just to hear ourselves talk?”

    To hone our arguments, to learn from others, to get our tails kicked when we screw up, and because Doc Dread doesn’t say anything funny unless we provoke him.

  • Baronius, the issue is not Obama in my thinking but some structural stresses we’re experiencing, and the threat that unstoppable corporation posed to political power. I think we are experiencing precisely very cataclysmic events, and the kind of changes which are in the process of evolving are not ordinary in kind. It’s a great paradigm shift in the nature of political power and its relation to economic activity and system of production. Anyway, we may as well shelve for now since it’s one of my topics for the article I’m writing.


  • STM

    The only thing I’ll say about Guantanamo and dopey George W.Bush is: habeas corpus.

    All those charged with a crime and not treated as POWs deserve a fair trial under criminal law.

    However, that being said, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t also be tearing thes people a brand-new set of arseholes.

    Terrorists – yes, they REALLY do exist – are just mass murderers and deserve to be treated accordingly.

    Accordingly in this case, if you follow the anti-logic of G.W’s thinking, means that if they aren’t POWs – then they must be criminals. Enemy combatant is just made up bollocks. Accordingly also means killed or captured, especially in the commission of a crime.

    However, those captured deserve a proper jury trial because due process is key to our freedoms and without that, we are just like them.

    Due process: That’s just in case some of those who are captured actually AREN’T terrorists.

    That’s why our laws are shaped the way they are.

    Just in case. Even if it’s only 1 in a 100 who benefit from our laws, it should still apply.

    That’s why our institutions go back more than 1000 years, and they are still blowing the sh.t out of each other and keeping women locked up at home like they did in the middle ages.

    Can’t pretend to sell democracy and then withold the most crucial bits of it.

  • …and because Doc Dread doesn’t say anything funny unless we provoke him.

    Baronius, you know as well as I do that unprovoked funniness is a felony under Section 33894(27)(j)(ccxiv) of the Hollywood Writers’ Guild code, by which we all abide, and is punishable by either three years in prison, a custard pie in the face, or a 14-hour marathon of Rob Schneider movies, whichever a 9th Circuit Court judge considers to be less humane in the particular circumstance.

  • ME2

    I just want to thank everyone for reading my article. I am new to the blog world so I appreciate the constructive criticism and patience for my tendency to be long-winded.
    Thank You.

    I have to say, I was hoping for more discussion on the specific, pro-active ideas and thoughts (from both sides) for solutions outside of ‘smaller government’. What I read mostly was posturing and defending one’s own “turf” , so to speak, but now that I see the ‘lay of the land’ on BC, I understand why…I guess.

    In keeping with the theme of the atricle, I just learned that my friend, Limbaugh (aka “Conservative Joe”), is disgusted with the fact that NY is going tax everyone whose salary exceeds $300,000 yr. a 31% tax increase. He spouts off in his show today that he is moving his studio, condo, home and whatever else out of NY because he thinks it is disgusting that he or any other wealthy entrepreneur be singled out to pay up.

    This is what I tried to illustrate in my article. A lack of responsibility, bi-partisan nationalism, understanding and thought leadership about the practical dilemmas facing our economy and nation. If Limbaugh is the Republican mouthpiece and “leader” of the Republican/Conservative party, and you support him to represent you, then how can you not be implicated to have these lacking qualities?

    NYC for an example. Currently they face a 7 billion deficit by 2011 with the following issues:

    1. It is projected that NYC will lose 243,000 jobs by 2010 due to Wall Street retrenchment which will produce a 7 mil. budget gap by 2011 which will make it very unlikely that Wall Street will generate nearly the tax revenue going forward. Tax revenue projected for 2009 is 34 billion which is 7% less than last year.
    Most corporate bonuses have been cut or reduced so the tax revenue on that will be much less.
    2. Foreclosure rate increased 29% in 2008 and home values also have declined slightly so real estate tax revenue will reflect that as well. They project that 17,000 construction jobs will be lost until the market recovers and they claim that will take until 2011.
    3. Due to the falling 500 index, NY will now need to increase its funding of pensions of its municipal employees by 670 million. Health insurance costs for municipal employees will increase 670 million in 2009.
    4. NY Governor Paterson is trying to “make up” for a 1.2 billion deficit of the NYC transit system by substantially increasing transit fares and charging tolls on all local bridges as well as an additional payroll tax for commuters just to attempt to fill the gap.

    In getting back to my article’s point, using NYC as a “prototype” of where the overall economy is heading, what do the Republicans think Bloomberg and Paterson should do to increase their tax revenue for their state without having jobs, taxing the wealthy or getting government assistance and what do these immediate needs have to do with their Communism and Socialism accusations at the end of the day?

    Where’s your magical rabbit Baronius and Arch?

  • leighann

    As a full time employee, mother of two with a husband who has a job that keeps him away from home all week, student as well as a countless list of other things, I will have to say that I am far less educated than many of you seem to be on politics and history. I just do not have the time to do the reading and study that it seems to take. This is why I browse through threads like this. I have become interested and this is how I try to educate myself on the issues of today. That being said, I have a few questions.

    1. As Jordan pointed out in #10, there are people far less fortunate than we are. I would imagine that there are people in this world who would look at the everyday average American and think that we have far more than we need. They would think that we are greedy because we have two vehicles, central heat and air, computers, food to eat at least three times per day, more clothes than we wear in our closets and the list goes on and on. Most of us have far more than is necessary to live while some have far less. If we have a case for taking away from those who we feel have more than they need (who are greedy), then would that not also mean that they (those spoken of in #10) also have a case to take from us?

    2. If Barak Obama really feels that it is wrong for some to have too much while others have too little then why did he not take some of that campaign money that he had and give it to that poor little campaign of John McCain’s (that was poor compared to his) or some other far less fortunate campaign?

    3. Why can’t these states just cut spending instead of taxing more? If I can’t pay my bills at home, I do not just decide to take more from my employer, I cut things that I do not need to live.

    I think a few of the people that Jordan talked about in #10 should help preside over cuts; they do know the difference between necessity and luxury.

    I know that this is probably a simplistic view and there are probably issues that I have not considered, that is why I am asking. It does not make sense to me. I also know that some of the questions seem sarcastic, like number 2, but they are not I just want someone to help me make sense out of what seems to be contradictory.

    As far as the comment made about just going to visit the Bible belt earlier to find out how mean conservatives can be, I live here. The person who posted must have just passed through and not stayed very long because they are dead wrong about that! You come to most of these small towns and break down on the side of the road, someone will help you. If you are in need, they will help you. When you walk into just about any store here you will see donation containers for people in the community who have fallen on hard times and need help. When my house burned down, before the week was over I was mostly refurnished and had what I needed to live. That was not from any agency, it was from the people in my community. I know that there are some mean people here in the Bible belt, but they are the exception. There are many good people here.

    Oh yeah, one last question, Why is it that Arch Conservative gets reprimanded for his personal attacks but no one else? Is it because he is not as subtle as some about it? If Baronious has not been personally attacked by being called a person from out of space because of his ideas, as well as other things then what exactly is a personal attack?

  • Jordan Richardson

    If we have a case for taking away from those who we feel have more than they need (who are greedy), then would that not also mean that they (those spoken of in #10) also have a case to take from us?

    Who are “us?” And what about framing your question differently, just for fun. Why not flip “taking away” with “giving away?” Instead of an act of theft, it becomes an act of compassion and self-sacrifice. Of course, that’s never the outlook when one feels forced to change, is it?

    Hell, I can relate to that. I hated having to share – my mom would slap my fingers if I didn’t share with the other kids at the playground, yet they all had toys too and weren’t forced to share with me! – and I kind of still do. What’s mine is mine, I earned it, and all that.

    But I guess when I see people without the ability to even frame the idea of “mine,” of ownership, of fucking having stuff in general, I kind of stop caring about what I’ve earned, what I dislike doing, and what’s mine. I kind of start caring more about how I can help. Maybe I’ll be more “principled” later….

    Maybe when I grow up.

    Here’s hoping.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Why is it that Arch Conservative gets reprimanded for his personal attacks but no one else?

    Untrue. I’ve been schooled many a time, had posts edited and deleted to suit the comment policy that I sometimes neglect.

  • leighann

    As far as socialized medicine is concerned, I used to think it was a pretty good idea. That was until I had to deal with the VA about my dad.

    He is a Vietnam Vet. He is mentally ill and self medicated for many years with alcohol until the VA finally diagnosed him. Since then, he had not drank a drop and it has been years. He also has HepC. It is believed that he contracted this in Vietnam although no one knows. He is dying from liver failure; I just got back from seeing him.

    I have read where people on here have had good experience with VA. My dad did also for the most part until he got really sick. I think most people do have good experiences with them until the employees that they have to see start placing their value judgments on his life. After all, he did do this to himself. He is just a crazy old (56) vet who drank too much, he is not worth saving.

    He sees a PA instead of a doctor who is very rude to him. They do not even let him see a doctor much less a specialist! If my son has a little cold, I take him to the VA. If he is really sick he sees a real doctor. Every time my dad is about to qualify to get on the transplant list, they come up with another test that says he tested positive for drugs. It is a different drug every time. If you could see my dad you would know that that is impossible. He can’t even get out of bed or feed himself independently. Anyway, he went to a private doc the last time and tested clean the day after they accused him of failing the test. Guess what? He still has to wait 6 more months to qualify for the list.

    Oh, and the list is just about impossible to get on with all the hoops they ask you to jump through before you can get on it. You are dead before you get through that red tape.

    If socialized medicine makes it to where they can place value judgments on who deserves good medical care and who doesn’t then they can keep it. No thanks. That seems to be a mighty slippery slope to me.

    If anyone is interested there is a support group for liver failure patients at delphiforums.com. There is a thread called “Total Frustration” where some VA patients are discussing these issues. There are other threads there that speak to these issues.

  • leighann

    Ok Jordan maybe I should not have said “no one” but it seems that I do see other comments that look like personal attacks to me that do not get the reprimands.

    I will have to say that I have not seen Archie’s because they are deleted. Maybe they are much worse. I was just wondering.

  • #104, Leighann:

    A very fair post, especially with respect to the question:

    “Why is it that Arch Conservative gets reprimanded for his personal attacks but no one else? Is it because he is not as subtle as some about it? If Baronious has not been personally attacked by being called a person from out of space because of his ideas, as well as other things then what exactly is a personal attack?”

    It’s kind of hard to explain, Leighann, but I see it like this. There are two kinds of responders. Some just react to the ideas – anything that contradicts or conflicts with their view (regardless of who, why, or when is saying it), and they don’t engage the person. So derogatory comments launched at the person under such circumstances I’d consider a personal attack and ad hominem (not just because of the form of words used but because they’re used as replacement for a dialog and person-to-person engagement).
    If, however, you engage the person (and their ideas) and end-up saying things which might be construed as offense, different rules apply because evaluation takes place in the context of a more or less established person-to-person relationship – which context allows for greater elasticity as to what is acceptable by way of words and deeds.

    And that’s why form of words used is a poor index as to what is offensive or abusive as much as the context itself. In the case you’re citing, my comments to Baronius, e.g., we’ve had extensive discussions to my “outer-space” comment on related matters/subject, which served as a background: and in light of that, my comment may be interpreted (if you’re generous enough) as expression of my frustration with Baronius rather than as a personal attack – which, to the best of my knowledge and self-awareness, it was. (I’m not of course, in the position to tell you about the comments policy, but that’s my understanding.)

    As to your observations re: the Bible Belt, I thoroughly agree. No people when you meet them in person are as mean to those you meet online here – liberals or conservatives. Which suggests two possibilities. (1) Either only the meanest gravitate toward sites like BC; (2) or it’s just that online communications gives us a false sense of freedom that we wouldn’t take for granted when communicated in person. And I’d like to believe that the second option is closer to the truth than the first.

    I do appreciate the freshness and honesty of your voice, and would encourage you to keep on visiting and posting.


  • leighann

    OK but if you give it willingly it is truly shared. If you are made to give it then it is taken from you. I give all of the time to those that are in need, no one forces me. I was also made to share when I was young but let’s call it what it is. When you got slapped for not sharing you were forced to share. Therefore it was taken from you. Your mom was trying to teach you a valuable lesson.

    I do not think it is bad to share, I just do not think that people should be made to do it. Maybe I am naive but I think that most people would not mind helping others if they knew somehow that the money was going where it was supposed to go. So many people have been burned.

    Oh, “us” are those who have more material goods than others. Even some who are considered “the poor” have much more than some in other places. Right?

    What I am trying to say is this. If you have more than one coat, you should have to give your extra one to someone who does not have one. If you have more than one car, you should be made to give it to someone that does not have one? Right?

    That, for me is the way that I am supposed to be and I do try but it is hard.As most things go with me, it comes in degrees. This is not a good thing I am saying about myself, I know. It is hard to give what you have worked for even to those who you know have tried but not been successful, and all the more to those (like my brother) who do not try.

    The reason that I should try to live my life that way is a personal decision becuase that is what I believe Jesus told us to do. If I am forced to do it then it is no good.

    I do not think I am being able to get my point across very well. Sorry.

  • Baronius

    Metoo, my magical rabbit is not to spend stupidly during good times. That way you won’t go broke trying to match (or increase) the spending during bad times. I learned that one back when I still believed in magic tricks. It’s why conservatives complained so loudly at Bush’s expansion of Medicare.

  • Cindy

    I am going to try to see such conservatives with pity rather than giving in to my outrage at what I see as such fundamentally distorted thinking in people who can support the enlargement of government as long as it is for military spending or property protection or state enforcement of their own beliefs on other people, but choose fucking medicare as the most wasteful thing they can think of, and while I am trying to see them with pity, fuck I am fucking pissed off…grrr!!!!!

  • Outrage is of no avail with persons of such heart. It’s supposed to appeal to person’s moral sensibilities. But if it falls on deaf ears, it’s no longer effective. Waste of breath. The best you can do, pray for ’em.

  • Baronius

    And puppies! I hate puppies!

  • ME2


    I am also a very generous “bleeding heart” and give when no one knows. It is a heart decision. I appreciate your pureness of heart. Unfortunately not all of us have that.
    I posted this article because the far right does not want to spend, does not want to be taxed and does not want to give to those less fortunate. They believe that government just enables the poor by giving them aid.
    I have many friends who are living ‘day-to-day’ and many who are wealthy. Now the issue is that we have families in “upper middle” and “middle class” who have lost their jobs or their homes… it is no longer an ‘ism’ issue.
    My friends in the “lower class” are stable and do not feel the pressure of today’s downturn. In fact, one dear friend said to me, “Funny, maybe now people will see what it’s like to live day-to-day with stress and worry about the most basic life necessities, like health insurance, paying bills etc.”. They said that life is as they know it, barely getting by, so this downturn is not effecting them at all. If they lose their 13.00 hr. jobs the end of the world is here.

    Now, it is a matter of survival and not just for our need for the “luxuries” in life. I travel to India and China for work and I have seen poverty that no American would live 5 minutes in, more or less a week, year or lifetime. Everytime I would ask for a “doggie bag” at the hotels/restaurants in these countries (so that I can give my food to the poor people living in the streets), I would be warned that I could get arrested. It is illegal to “promote” giving in India. Indian officials claim that giving to people on the street will create more begging and they control begging by government “relief” centers so they expect you to give to them, not the people directly. How convenient. It is heart wrenching to see such poverty! Arresting people for giving homeless some food??!!

    Most Amercians have been so blessed and we are all spoiled that it has become our demise because greed comes into play when the basic necessities and luxuries are taken care of. As we all know, Americans are programmed to “succeed” and consume. It is ingrained into our country’s psyche. The quest for that better car, that better TV…is what the US is built on. I do not think it is possible for us to live and operate as a 2nd world country, even-though ironically we are heading in that direction. Most would commit suicide before accepting a meager lifestyle.
    Also, our cost of living and operating in this country cannot withstand everyone living hand-to-mouth. That is why we have to import products from China because we would never pay the “American prices” in order to employ workers in factories.
    Do you know that the factories I work with employ workers between 16-20 yrs. old ( no law against teen workers) who make 50.00 per month, get room and board at factory and work 6 days a week. Imagine American workers living and working like that?
    I think that “giving” is a moral issue which cannot be factored into this current situation. The question is: where will the funding come from to help everyone stay off the streets if the wealthy are not taxed? Where will the jobs come from if government does not create national projects to get people back to work? The private sector is not “giving” anything now…banks, investors, corporations etc. Banks are not even loaning the money that was given to them by government.

    The question is government’s role in the fall-out now that the white collar along with the blue collar work force has been decimated. The only people who will have luxuries are the extremely wealthy, deserved or not. The rest of us will all be in the same boat now, whether you are Christian, Atheist, liberal, conservative, rich or poor.

    I pray for the day when a country, community or family would give without question. Our country is a “me” driven society so some taxation and regulation is necessary for the good of all, unfortunately. The middle-class has been taxed for decades and decades. Did anyone have a problem with that?

    As far as socialized healthcare…thank goodness your father at least has the under-funded VA hospital. My retired father (before medicare) had to pay 7000 yr. in health insurance because he was an individual with a “pre-condition” and still had to wait months for an appointment.
    Imagine if your father didn’t have that.



    Your magical rabbit was sold down the river with the rest of us Our previous president spent money like he had no sense. Remember, he started out his term with a surplus. So, your magical rabbit would be a logical rabbit for him.

    Now that he even spent our grandchildren’s future social security, people cannot get assistance now-because now Bush supporters say what Bush said in his exit interview… ‘We lost it, so what!?’ The American people were ripped off, smirked at and patronized by that administration and now that we are broke, without jobs or our savings we all are supposed to be independent, not trust government and get a job that does not exist?

    Got any other rabbits up there?

  • “That is why we have to import products from China because we would never pay the “American prices” in order to employ workers in factories.”

    Now, that’s where I have to disagree with you, friend. Have you tried anything lately from Wall-Mart? Over 90 percent on their shelf is China-made, even though it bears the proud mark/brand-name of an American product. And most of it breaks within a week. The stuff they make is real crap, so no – we don’t need that kind of product; and to insist that we do – because of the stupid consumer who is penny-wise but pound foolish – is to cater to the worst in most of us.

    There must be other ways of helping third-world and poverty stricken countries than by having them turn shit products at slave wages. Let’s be a bit more imaginative than that.

  • Baronius

    Metoo – I don’t think you have a good understanding of the right. The right does want to give to charity, and does give. Those of us on the right simply oppose governmental spending on charity. It’s terribly inefficient (private charities work better), it has no moral element (it’s not charity if the tax man has a gun), and it gives too much power to the government (as noted, the tax man has a gun). I’m also not sure why you look down on the average American. You accuse him of quite a bit. Lastly, you’ll be hard-put to find a right-winger who supports the last eight years’ spending. Like Cindy and Roger (#112-#113), you don’t seem to understand the ideology you’re arguing against. If you look into it a little more, we look less and less like monsters. A pretty good rule of thumb is, if you envision your opponent hating puppies, you’re distorting his position.

  • Baronius

    Oh, I forgot to add one thing. You said that you “pray for the day when a country, community, or family would give without question”. Do you see the difference between the first one and the last two? When a community or a family give, they’re giving out of their own pockets. When a country gives (or at least, when a country’s government gives), it’s giving out of someone else’s pocket.

  • “Like Cindy and Roger (#112-#113), you don’t seem to understand the ideology you’re arguing against”

    Don’t start it now, Baronius. I’ve asked you time and again to try to explain your ideology and thus far you haven’t. And it’s not that I wasn’t willing to listen. So don’t you be hiding behind indirect remarks as though I (I can’t speak for Cindy) was unreasonable. As far as I’m concerned, we have unfinished business.

    And no, I don’t believe you hate puppies (although sometimes you make me wonder).

  • José Jiménez


    I visualize you, not as hating puppies, but as supporting military spending, protection of private property and state regulation of things like marriage, et al.

    You’ll have to let me know where, in what I said, I’m getting you wrong.

  • Cindy


  • People like Baronius – I’m hypothesizing, of course – would like to believe in the goodness of human nature. All you need is uncoerced freedom and everything will fall into place: the rich man will give to the poor and the wealth will trickle down to the forgotten, the miserable, and the needy. And that’s the virtue of Christian charity. For if, perchance, the government will step in and try to help those who (for some unfathomable reason) have slipped through the cracks and haven’t been helped, then, God forbid, not only is the government encroaching on the freedom of the rich man to do with his riches as their heart desires but committing a far worse offense – by robbing the rich man of his/her God given opportunity to exercise their loving-kindness towards their fellow men.

    Which is really, odd, come to think of it, because one of the trademarks of the conservative mindset is “not to trust people” and believe that some can be “evil.”

    So until someone comes forward and clarifies these little bits of inconsistencies, I’d have to insist it’s a rather messy philosophy.

  • Baronius

    Roger, you and I have logged in so many hours lately that I honestly can’t imagine what I *haven’t* told you about my beliefs. Life, liberty, and property. A government that does only the things that only a government can do. I’m about as conventional a conservative as you’re ever going to find, in the theoretical “big three” branches of conservatism (fiscal, social, national defense). I don’t think that Jose and I have ever chatted before, but he seems to get me.

    I think (I’m guessing) that you assign odd motives to my beliefs. Fiscally, I believe in small government, not because I don’t care about the poor, but because government is inefficient and potentially dangerous. Socially, I don’t believe in legislating much, but I’m respectful of the things that have worked in our society – not because I want to see a crucifix embroidered on the flag. Our national defense is one of those few things that only government can do, and I’m persuaded by history that we need both good intentions and the potential of force, in order to protect ourselves and lead (but not bully) the world.

    I don’t think I have any other motives for anything political, and I don’t know where any of what I just wrote is evasive.

  • Cindy


    #120 was by me. Apologies for the confusion.

  • Baronius

    Cindy, even when I squint a little, you just don’t look like a Jose.

  • ME2


    I agree with you about import products… It is not about saving the poor chinese workers it is simply, again, a matter of greed and economics. It costs less to ship cheap products to the US than to make it at home.
    I have my own feelings about Walmart but please trust me that we with a ‘have to get a great deal’ mentality has forced designers and wholesalers, like me and my friends, are forced to go to 3rd world countries to produce product at the price points that the retailers set so they can make their margins in order to sell in their stores!

    If we produced a shirt in the US vs China it would be 3-4x the price for the same shirt- button to hem, simply because of our labor cost. Brother, I wish I could tell you it is not true, but it is. I have spent 20 years competing with the ever-increasing demand of retailers to get lower prices. The bigger the reatiler the more bargaining power they have to give us cheaper and cheaper prices.

    We as consumers created the demand for bargain basement prices from retailers so importers are forced to go to all ends of this earth to compete. I chuckle when I hear the “Buy American” slogans because people do not realize that they themselves created the price point that forces the wholesale and retail industry to go overseas. People do not understand that they would not buy most of those products if made in US because it would be too expensive! Between labor, mold charges, material costs etc. would drive the cost thru the roof.
    I wish we could bring it all home. It would be easier for us reatilers and wholesalers. The prices are becoming so so low that it is forcing the mid-tier retailers to go out of business because they cannot compete with the mass market retailers and most of us shops price, not quality.

    Sorry to say!

  • Well, it’s soon to become a moot point since a great leveling is at work anyway, not to mention the Americans have already lost their soul to the company store.

  • Well, I was the other Jose. So we can’t pretend anymore.

  • OK, Baronius. What you’ve just provided in #123 is a portrait of an average conservative – nothing odd or unusual about that. So if I am/was ascribing any motives to you, it must be on the basis of some of the things you had said in some of your comments. So I’m gonna have to sift through some of it and pull it out. Time out!

  • ME2

    Amen Roger for #122
    Perfect way of putting it.


    I am very confused at your comments to my post to Leighann. Iwas commenting on her belief that we should not force people to give by raising taxes.
    #117 ??? I am not for the normal joe and I have accused the average american for what!!!???
    That is so untrue and you obviously want to get a rise out of me because a blind person would know that my entire article and posts HAVE been for the average american. I think that it is clear to everyone here except you, sir.
    Explain exactly where I have accused the average american in my article. I am curious to hear what you come up with!

    I am not saying that you right wingers do not give to charity, I am simply responding to your GOP/speakers comments and ideaology that
    1. no tax for the rich (all of you)
    2. gov’t. spending freeze (McCain)
    3. do not trust gov’t. (Jindall)
    4. dems. enabled the poor with a welfare state (limbaugh)
    5. the aver. american needs to fend for themselves (limbaugh)

    I have never ever stated that the Republicans do not give to charity.

    So the Red Cross, Goodwill and others do not know what they are doing and are ineffective because they get government money?
    Please Explain.

    Where are your other Republican supporters on this thread?
    I think you need help.

  • ME2


    Ya know, I think I finally see where you are coming from. You want smaller gov’t. I think we get that. I think most democrats agree that gov’t can’t control everything, and shouldn’t!
    What has ‘derailed’ me with you are your extreme comments/fuzzy ideaology. Maybe you like to spar and banter so you want to engage us to react and take extreme positions. At the end of the day, you are probably a loving man who very moderate.

    Get a puppie. That is what all self-centered republicans ( and democrats for that matter) need.

    God Bless

  • ME2

    #government-127 Roger,

    Yeah, it is a sad reality. I have seen it coming for 16 years now. At this point retailers and wholesalers are going to Vietnam and S. Africa for even lower prices.
    If you recall, in the early 80’s it was more about quality and design. There was a variety of products, they were well-made and less commercial. We need to bring back that retail model for it to survive the “staleness” of retail sales.
    It is tough to design for a marketplace that is based on price. We are seeing the fall out of that “trend”.

  • Well, the point really is that since we’re gonna have the New World Order sooner or later, there’s going to be a meeting somewhere in the middle. And the American consumer has certainly done his/her bit to be a part of that parade.

  • ME2


    Baronius, Baronius…

    Whether me, my family or community gives to someone or the government gives it out, it’s all the same. Government money still comes from my pocket, as well all of us. We pay taxes.
    Anymore, I don’t know where the money is coming from. A Monopoly board game possibly?

  • Clavos

    Anymore, I don’t know where the money is coming from. A Monopoly board game possibly?

    These days, from the presses at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

    Hyperinflation, here we come…

  • Baronius


    Re: Americans, I was referring to you comment #115:

    “Most Amercians have been so blessed and we are all spoiled that it has become our demise because greed comes into play when the basic necessities and luxuries are taken care of. As we all know, Americans are programmed to “succeed” and consume. It is ingrained into our country’s psyche. The quest for that better car, that better TV…is what the US is built on. I do not think it is possible for us to live and operate as a 2nd world country, even-though ironically we are heading in that direction. Most would commit suicide before accepting a meager lifestyle.”

    You may want to help the average American, but you sure look down on him.

    Re: the far right not giving, I was referring to another passage in the same comment:

    “I posted this article because the far right does not want to spend, does not want to be taxed and does not want to give to those less fortunate.”

  • Well, Baronius. It’s not necessarily “looking down.” But we have created a one-dimensional man.

  • Baronius

    Clavos, I don’t think the inflation will be hyper. You could increase the money supply by, like, 10% over two years. The value of the dollar would drop by 10%, and the price of everything would increase by 10%. The credit and housing markets would leave us nostalgic for the comparative boom of 2009, but I don’t see hyperinflation.

  • Baronius

    There’s an old line that a bigot is a person who loves America, but hates 90% of its population. I think that the joke still works today if you replace the word “bigot” with “liberal”. Of course, no one sets out to think that way, but if you look down on all Southerners, Christians, whites without a college degree, Cubans, fat cats earning more than $250k per year, hicks earning less than $30k per year, and military personnel, you’re a lot closer to 90% than you realize.

  • “but if you look down on all Southerners, Christians, whites without a college degree, Cubans, fat cats earning more than $250k per year, hicks earning less than $30k per year, and military personnel, you’re a lot closer to 90% than you realize.”

    Baronius, there IS hope for you!

    But why would you want to inject the term “liberal” when you, a devout conservative, hold the same opinion?

  • Jet

    Because the word “liberal” is the same as “bogeyman” to conservatives Roger. It doesn’t mean anything; they just think it sounds scary to the general public.

  • You may well be right there. I’m glad, though, it’s not scary to you – at least not in every application of the term.

  • Jet

    Conservatives have a liberal tolerance toward right-wing christians interfering in politics-scary

    Conservatives have a liberal tolerance toward Oil Companies attempting to wreck the invironment in the name of profit$-Scary

    Conservatives have a liberal tolerance toward big business raking in obscene profits, resulting in huge but undeserved bonuses for executives.-scary

    Conservatives have a liberal tolerance toward Rush Limbaugh-berger trying to tilt the table of influence toward him, in the name of a bigger salary for himself.

  • Baronius

    Roger (#140) – In what respect? Who have I bad-mouthed?

  • You equated “the liberal” with “the bigot” – in passing, I should say.

  • Clavos

    Baronius #138:

    I don’t think the inflation will be hyper. You could increase the money supply by, like, 10% over two years. The value of the dollar would drop by 10%, and the price of everything would increase by 10%.

    Your base assumption, that they’re only going to increase the money supply by 10% is, I think, too low. They have already printed a trillion new dollars in the past few weeks, and they’re going to have to cover much more in loans from the Chinese and others — they’ll be printing more than the 10%.

    Also, the other side of the equation, the quantity of goods and services offered is reduced because of the recession, so we have both elements strongly present: WAY too many dollars chasing far too few goods & services.

    I bet the inflation in 2010/2011 will rival the 1974-75 and 1979-1981 double digit levels; it may well go higher.

  • Baronius

    Roger, I didn’t intend to equate them, and I’m sorry if it came out that way.

    Clavos, there’s still a difference between what economists call “hyperinflation” (Weimar Germany, 1920’s) and what economists call “I’m broke, I can’t afford anything, and I’m wearing orange pants” (US, 1970’s).

  • Clavos


    From Wikipedia:

    In economics, hyperinflation is inflation that is very high or “out of control”, a condition in which prices increase rapidly as a currency loses its value.[1] Definitions used by the media vary from a cumulative inflation rate over three years approaching 100% to “inflation exceeding 50% a month.” [2] In informal usage the term is often applied to much lower rates. As a rule of thumb, normal inflation is reported per year, but hyperinflation is often reported for much shorter intervals, often per month.

  • Baronius

    Clavos – Orange! I’m telling you, people wore pants that were orange!

    Yeah, you’re right, hyperinflation is a broad term, and it’s possible that we could see it. I’m still blown away by our ability to absorb the $4 gallon of gasoline without inflation, though. Not even like sweat pants, either. They were corduroys.

  • ME2


    I do not look down on the average American all- they are our economic machine. You missed my point. My point was that our country is the largest consumer in the world. We are the hardest working people in the world (so that we can keep up with our chosen lifestyle). The global community depends on our economy to fuel there’s …why? Because we spend money.
    And that is OK. I am just calling it what it is.

    Trend and manufactured obsolescence is what manufactures use to keep the machine rolling, to keep us spending, season after season.
    China and other developing countries are suffering because no one is spending right now.
    I am commenting on the overall consensus of liberals on this thread who belive that we are spoiled and do not know what poverty is all about, that’s all.

    I am being honest with no judgement what so ever. I love our country and our people. I have travelled to many many countries and believe me, we are fortunate- all of us.

    It is also like us living in similiar enviroments like our foreign neighbors.
    Can you imagine us living in a war-zone situation like Isreal,
    Ireland, England has been subject to for years? Forget Baghdad!

    Can you imagine us truly living in a communistic or socialistic country?

    You are trying to put me on the defensive, Baronius. I am not biting next time 😉

  • ME2

    Its all funny money at this point and we are talking exorbitant figures with our allies and foreign “investors”. Is it time for the ‘bailout’ favor to be paid back since we have loaned money and military support to many countries in trouble for decades?
    It is scary that we don’t even own our country at this point.

    Are we and all other countries really going to be able to pay each other back at the end of the day?

  • It ain’t gonna happen Metoo. There’ll be one (common) currency, one (international) law, and one (world) government. It ain’t pretty, but the writing is on the wall.