Wednesday, January 04, 2012

And the winner is - Santoromney?

Look! Up in the sky! It's Mitt! It's Rick! NO! IT'S SANTOROMNEY!!!

So Mi
tt Romney is pleased as punch after beating Rick Santorum in the Iowa caucuses by a mere eight votes, huh? Mitt's jubilation needs to be placed in check. To end up in a virtual tie with a basket case like poor old Rick is an ominous portent of things to come I'm afraid. With the South Carolina primaries just around the corner, Willard Mitt should be getting fat with worry. And who would blame him? The jackasses in that state who identify themselves as "Republicans" are so out-of-touch with fundamental reality, they perceive a conservative hack like Mitt as a radical left-winger. And you wonder why I get such a kick out of politics? Life is beautiful.

FLASH! THE MIDWEST IS THE NEW DEEP SOUTH!

Another example of the spreading intellectual rot of the United States of America; a country which at one time (Hold onto your hats, generation Xers!) was the best place in the world in which to live. It's not anymore. It ain't even close. Still, we do have the best reality shows on the planet. Stand proud, America!

It boggles the senses that so many voters in the Hawkeye State would have bothered to venture out in the freezing weather to vote for any
of these clowns. Their sense of civic responsibility truly astounds. If I had my way, the first caucus would be held in Wisconsin. Those folks have awakened to what is being done to the working people of this country. Iowans obviously haven't a clue.

I fail to u
nderstand the importance that is being given to the Iowa caucuses. Does anyone seriously believe that a relatively isolated state near the center of the country is a microcosm of American ideals and political opinion? Or that the people who live there - a lot of whom are just-a-tad reactionary, uninformed and out of touch - are an indication of who the nominee will be? With regard to the Republican caucus, Iowa has a fairly reliable history of getting it wrong. I strongly suspect that the "momentum" that Mitt 'n' Rick will be receiving out of their "victories" won't amount to a hill of garbanzo beans in the long run.

"I don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money. I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money."

Rick Santorum
Sioux City, Io
wa
January 1, 2012

Ohhh, Lawdy! Lawdy! Thank you, massah!

Ah, Rick! What an ass
hole. That a halfwit like Rick Santorum can go as far as he's gone proves only that this really is a white man's world. It also shows a Herculean act of desperation on his part to play the race card in Iowa of all places - a state with fewer African Americans than any other in the union - about two percent. Take that moronically insensitive comment as a sneak preview of what's in store for us as the Hilarious Campaign of 2012 gets underway. No doubt about it, kids, this is gonna get ugly. You don't want a front row seat for this fight; it's liable to get a bit messy. The mezzanine is your best bet.

The right wing wants to
take back 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue so badly, nothing's going to stand in their way, not even common decency. They can't win on the basis of their ideas because those ideas are beyond reprehensible. The only chance they have is by appealing to the darkest dysfunction in white America's tormented soul: its irrational fear of the dreaded KNEE-GROW. The Republican governors of thirty-four states are now in the process of "legally" denying them the vote by mandating that they purchase voter ID's. This is what is known as a "poll tax" - and it was ruled unconstitutional almost a half-century ago. Oh, yeah, this is gonna get very ugly indeed.

PUBLIC SERVICE MESSAGE:

No race of people in the history of this country have suffered more - and with less good reason - than have our fellow citizens of African heritage. I would imagine that there is a special place in hell for any politician who would exploit white America's paranoia simply for political gain.

NOTE TO THE GOP: Knock it off.

If you had any doubt that the Roberts Court's obscene Citizens United ruling of two years ago might seriously harm our republic, those doubts should have been dispelled in Iowa. I never thought I would live to see the day when I would feel a tinge of sympathy for the likes of Newt Gingrich but - so help me Mitch Miller - that day has come. For the past week Romney's super-secret, political action committee has bombarded the Iowan airwaves with anti-Newt propaganda. Gingrich's popularity, which had been rising in recent weeks, crumbled amid the onslaught. We don't know who paid for those ads. We may never know. The court of John Roberts has seen to that.

So it's off to New Hampshire and South Carolina. I must admit to you that I'm feelin' just a little blue at the moment. None of the candidates I was praying for (the bat-shit crazy ones) will be getting the nomination. Herman Cain is gone and forgotten. Rick Perry has headed home to Texas to "think things over". Maybe he'll be back. Maybe not.

Ron Paul's campaign is still in full-tilt-boogie mode. It has recently been revealed that in the eighties, the congressman was responsible for some perfectly hideous, racist newsletters. I find it quite interesting that his opponents for the GOP nod are using every issue they can think of to bring him down a notch or two - every issue but that one. It's not too difficult to figure out the reason for this. Ron Paul is a reactionary racist? That would make him VERY appealing to the knuckleheads who constitute the "base" of that disgusting party. Can't
have that, can we.

Just an h
our ago as of this writing Michele Bachmann announced that she will be "suspending" her campaign. She has seen the writing on the wall I suppose. At some of her appearances over the weekend, the crowd numbers were in the single digits. And she was born in Iowa! This is a real let-down. I was pinning my hopes on her candidacy more than anyone's. Can you imagine what a scream her campaign might have been? Alas, it was never meant to be. I'm gonna miss Michele like nobody's business. All of that sweet, accidental humor is now ashes to the wind. I wonder what the future holds in store for her. FOX Noise? Dancing with the Stars? Reality TV? I can see her hosting a game show: The Price is Reich.

It's time to wind up the masquerade
Just make your mind up, the piper must be paid
The party's over; it's all over, my friend....

My male friends have always been puzzled by my indifference to sports. This is true. I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of articles in the sports pages that I have read in my life. It is also a sad indicator that, as a political writer, I'll never be considered Hall of Fame material. The great ones - every single one of them - were all stone-cold sports fans. But what good is sports when compared to the incredible spectacle that comes only once every four years - the race to the White House??? No contest comes close to it in terms of a pure adrenaline rush. None.

So let the 2012 Republican Clown Car Race-to-the-Bottom begin. Gentlemen, start your rhetoric.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
tomdegan@frontiernet.net

SUGGESTED READING:

Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72
by Hunter Thompson

The Boys on the Bus
by Timothy Crouse

Thompson and Crouse were both correspondents for Rolling Stone Magazine during the McGovern/Nixon race of 1972. Their respective memoirs of that campaign are essential reading for any self-respecting political junkie.
I'm happy to say that both books are still in print.

AFTERTHOUGHT:

Rick Perry has just announced that he will be entering the South Carolina primary.
YES!!!

78 Comments:

At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blog is a riot! keep up the good work, This is the best satire I've come across since the Colbert Report.

 
At 2:45 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

It is absolutely mind boggling to see how well Santorum did in Iowa, but then it IS Iowa and they do not have a very good track record for picking winners. Also fun to see Gingrich throwing a hissy fit and storming off in a fit of pique. However, unlike you Tom, I will not miss Miz Bachmann; the stupid hurts too much. And poor Perry, still stumbling along, too dumb to know that he is toast. If God called all of these clowns to run, he must have one hell of a sense of humor.

 
At 5:54 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

Iowa picked our current president, so I would have to agree that they have not had a very good track record of picking winners.

 
At 6:13 PM, Anonymous John said...

The Price is Reich???

...isn't that what we are watching?

 
At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

Tom,
It was Charles Moore who I was quoting, but you can rephrase if you feel the need to.

 
At 7:09 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Anonymous - thank you so much for the kind words!

JTF - I was referring to the GOP caucuses. Perhaps I should rephrase that.

Charles Moore - As always, sage wisdom.

And Johnny - You're absolutely correct. That's exactly what we're watching.

Cheers!

Tom

 
At 7:36 PM, Anonymous Tom V said...

Tom,

As always an entertaining as well as very piognant viewpoint on the Iowa circus and what seems to be shaping up as the greatest political show on earth overall. Is it November yet cause I don't see this getting any less painful. :)

Tom V

 
At 8:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there another Bush out there in the wings . . .?

 
At 8:03 AM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

Couldn't pass on this news showing again how wrong centralized big govt is for Union's, and the middle class. (Unless we are talking about China's middle class/Unions.)

Obama allows the export of the very popular,sales recorded breaking Volt to China.
USA Today reports,

"General Motors agreed in Shanghai today to develop an electric vehicle platform with longtime Chinese partner SAIC. It effectively moves GM’s future electric vehicle development to China. Unclear is whether this would also lead to assembly of future EVs for the U.S. market in China.

The deal came as the Chinese government is pushing foreign automakers to give Chinese companies EV technology they lack, according to an Associated Press report. U.S. lawmakers have complained that China is “shaking down” GM to get Volt secrets. Electric vehicle development in the U.S. has been developed with extensive U.S. taxpayer funding."

When are the OWS crowd going to wake up and camp out side where ever Obama is vacationing or the golf course he is playing?

How can Obama say he wants to protect American jobs and then allow this to happen?

 
At 12:46 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

JTF.....it is not Obama's fault that Congress is too gutless and too brainless to enact heavy tariffs that would take the profit out of overseas manufacturing of all types. The only job creation we get from the establishment capitalist pigs is outsourced and benefits foreign nations to the detriment of WE THE PEOPLE. Obama has actually done a few things lately that I thought were hip. Now if he gets his head out from up his ass on the medical marijuana dispensary debacle I might even vote for him again !!

 
At 2:31 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Ellis -

Curious - how would heavy import tariffs help our economy?

 
At 3:03 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Harley, by forcing production to occur back here in Amerika. Tariffs will take the incentive out of overseas production. Make it not profitable to produce goods anywhere else but here. Then pay workers here a living wage so they have spendable cash to stimulate the economy. Goods that are produced here don't have to cost way more if the profit margin is reasonable and not outrageously obscene. This is exactly the type of failure of capitalism to meet the needs and expectations of society that Jefferson's Guardian was referring to when discussing Marxist philosophy.

 
At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Sean said...

HA! This Ellis D. Esq. is as good at satire as Tom Degan! You guys are a great keep up the good work I get a good belly laugh out of your stuff.

 
At 4:17 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

You want satire ?? Watch a session of Congress on CSPAN !! But if you really think I'm that funny I'll try to get my old job back at National Lampoon !! See, I'm actually Chris Miller !!!

 
At 4:32 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Ellis, you do understand that sovereign wealth funds around the world hold quite a bit of our currency and debt, right?

Also, you do understand how the average American benefits from the disparity between American wages and the rest of the world, right? If you remove that disparity from the equation and close that gap by isolationsist policy, you will decrease the purchasing power of the average American, even with an increase in wages. It's like trying to lift your own body by pulling on your belt loops - it doesn't work.

 
At 4:39 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

What we do now doesn't work. Let's remove the greed and share the wealth. Fuck a global economy, it's a terrible idea....causes nothing but trouble !!!

 
At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

So higher costs for what Americans buy is a good thing? "things made here don't have to cost way more if the profit margin is reasonable and not outrageously obscene." And with the stupid EPA, OSHA and other rules business has to comply with here, what makes you think higher costs are due to greed? That's a winning idea!

And yes, I will blame Obama for not stopping GM from giving the Volt to China, he has no problem doing things now with out congress so what stopped him how? He couldn't pour piss out of a boot with the instructions on the insole, plus he's just about the laziest thing I have ever seen in public office.

I agree with Sean, you are an idiot Ellis and so far out of touch with what it takes to run a business in America today its really very sad.
You want less greed, lets start with lowering the amount of free stuff we give away now to the close to 48% who now pay no federal income taxes . WTF, why are they so greedy?

Since Obama got into office has the American standard of living for non govt workers gone up"? HELL NO.
And who pays the salary for the govt Workers, the tax payers do. And what % of Americans pay no federal income tax close to 48%. It's the worlds largest pyramid game ever invented. But you stupidly blame anyone and every thing but the person who promised he would "fix" everything by sharing the wealth. Obama.

Answer this question Ellis, tell me one bad thing about socialism?

 
At 9:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom Degan is mentally ill, so are the dimwits who chide in with similar views.

 
At 9:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ellis D. and Tom Degan are the same two people. A lot of these are TD in different guises.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5C4GaNylWCY

Rory Gallagher, here is some good music.

 
At 9:39 AM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

JTF....I have never said I favor socialism. I just despise capitalism. Here is why.....I believe all humans have an EQUAL right to live and subsist. BUT not all are equal in abilities, intelligence, strength etc. As a result that places an ethical obligation ( which you probably see as a burden ) on those fortunate enough to be on the right side of the bell curve ( which by the way is quite skewed in a 1 %/ 99 % wealth disparity ) to provide and care for those left of center ( again a very skewed center ) on the bell curve. I don't believe in class division. Everyone has an equal right to food, shelter, medical care and employment. It is the responsibility of a civilized society to provide that. So those with their shit together have a responsibility to the less fortunate to lend a hand. I don't know what " ism " you want to call that. I'd go with humanism if you need a word for it. It seems you folks have a mindset where you believe if you work harder, try harder or are born with a silver spoon up your ass it entitles you to some kind of advantage or preference. That's bullshit no one is any better or more worthy than anyone else. All we can ask of members of society is that they give their best effort in all they do. The result of such effort will not be same for everyone for reasons aforementioned. That doesn't give the fortunate 1 % the right to exploit, discriminate and take advantage of the less fortunate 99 %. So I guess that makes me an idiot ?? I'm sure it is very difficult to run a successful business in Amerika. The aspects of that JTF mentions as burdensome are necessary to protect the fragile Earth from ruin. If it makes the business costly to operate the solution to that lies in revamping where and why we spend tax revenue. With so much wasted by unnecessary military spending of course there is an imbalance and additional burden on small businesses. This issue is really about what we should value and why. If you conservatives want a society full of conflict and hate you will reap what you sow. I'm a peace and love guy myself so I find it difficult to relate to selfish egoistic values that I don't share. I hope this clears things up.

 
At 10:26 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

Ellis
Again you expose liberal ignorance with regard to the economic impact of the policies you support. A chart, assuming you can decipher:

http://www.mhhe.com/economics/pugel12e/keygraph/graphkey2d.html

TD
Don't worry about the GOP. You need to start finding something Obama can claim as an accomplishment. Rant all you want. MSM claiming T party dead. Look at last election. History will repeat itself, because your kind have been given the keys and they are proven capable only of bankrupting everything they touch.

T-304

 
At 11:15 AM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

boltok.....the economic impact on the average Amerikan from the policies you support makes me happy to be ignorant. If you think this capitalist bullshit helps anyone but the wealthy you are deluded beyond help. You want to ride on your high horse and leave the horseshit for the rest of us to clean up. I want you guys to eat the horseshit. Therein lies our differences.

 
At 3:15 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

EE
Your theory of economics is offering larger pieces of the pie to the masses. The only problem is that your theories, if followed, will result in a pie tin with no slices left. I know that graph was hard to understand. Hope this analogy helps.

 
At 3:54 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

No boltok....the problem is so much of the pie is wasted and pissed away on things like illegal wars ( including the misguided drug war ) that benefit no one. That is where the needed revenue can be found. Right now the chosen few get too much pie leaving mere crumbs for the rest of us. Why you folks can't see that really puzzles me. Maybe you need to electrify your kool aid ??

 
At 4:38 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Ellis, at best, you are arguing from a position of a severe lack of ANY meaningful data to support your position. Unless I am woefully ignorant, please educate me as to any economy of any size that has flourished in the absence of free markets. I'm not saying such a thing doesn't or can't exist - what I'm saying is that it never has before. So, at best you are purely speculating.

Also, enough of the 99% and 1%. That false dichotomy was recently created as a cute slogan by the college kids and baby boom hippies in Zucotti Park. There is no reality in the propaganda, no matter how often it's repeated. In truth, society exists acorss a wide spectrum of socio-economic strata. The whole 99% stuff is sloganeering and is simple-minded.

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Harley, so you deny there are people who spend more on a bottle of wine with their dinner than other folks earn in a year ?? And yes it is speculation on my part that allowing the majority of Amerikans to live above the poverty level will benefit society !! Where the fuck did I get a crazy idea like that ??

 
At 5:43 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

"I just despise capitalism"
EE,

what would you replace it with?

 
At 6:04 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

"Everyone has an equal right to food, shelter, medical care and employment. It is the responsibility of a civilized society to provide that."

NO everyone does not. Everyone has a RIGHT to EARN these things! Unless they belong to the 4% of Americans who due to birth handicaps, or non self inflicted physical or mental handicaps, can not compete in the work place, there is no right to food, shelter medical care or employment. That 4% yes, the rest NO.

I will GLADLY pay taxes for that 4% of us, but I am dammed tired of carrying the load for the close to 50% of Americans who play no federal income tax, and don't even have the good graces to thank those of us who do pay federal income taxes, for taking care of them with our efforts/money . Do your really beleive that close to 50% of Americans are so weak and so incompetent, that they must be provided food, shelter, medical care and work by the other 51%?

Lets talk about cuts in our military spending for a minute EE, you seem to beleive that we don't need as many people in our military to protect us, right? Then why don't we cut even further by reducing by 50% the dollars from the feds for local police and firefighters? If we don't need the military to protect us, why do we need so many of cops and firemen?

If it's a right for me to have food, shelter, medical care and employment because it is the responsibility of a civilized society to provide that", why the HELL should I work another day at my 65 hr a week job now?

Ok, now it's time for JG to come in and make fun of me and to deflect from this.

 
At 6:46 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

JTF...if there is no right to employment, how are folks supposed to get the money to buy food and pay for shelter etc. ?? No dude, I don't think 50% of the population is that incompetent etc. I think that so many jobs go to illegals who shouldn't even be here to begin with and that so many jobs are outsourced along with the fact that so many jobs don't even pay a full time worker a living wage is why so many people need assistance. Add to that the shitty dumbed down education that so many folks have been so generously provided with the past 30 or so years and throw in the unprecedented greed of the upper-class and yes there is a problem. Regarding police and firemen. Firemen protect the public. Police are the goon enforcers of the establishment first, public servants second if at all. If most folks had a fair shake and the consideration for the social contract didn't fail there would be little if any crime. Except of course the white collar crime of the psychopathic ruling class. Enforcement of drug laws that are unconstitutional to begin with takes up so much of the cops' time that real crime runs rampant. So I hope I answered your questions ??

 
At 9:48 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

EE so you support the return of all illegals now!
Define what amount of money is a living wage, $10 per hour, $20 per hour, why not $50. And make that the min. Wage. Wonder what a McDonalds Happy Meal would cost?
But if you issue food stamps then they can be afforded, right? But who picks up the difference between what the a Happy Meal costs in cash vs.the value of govt issue stamps?
I disagree with you 100%, there is no right to Employment. There is a right to exchange your labor for what it's market value is, but there is no guaranty right that anyone will want to purchase it.
Whose fault is it that our youth have been given shitty education for the last 30 years? Has the dept. of education been spending less? Have teachers been paid less, have their class room sizes gotten larger, are they without teachers asst? Has the number of teachers declined, have their unions not represented them well? Are teachers working too many hours a year? Were is the problem?

So your ok with reducing our police numbers, but not firefighters, because they protect the public? But our armed forces do not protect us?

I am always amazed how you blame the failures of our country on the upper class because of what you define as greed. I guess the solution is for the Feds to figure out what a living wage is, and tax anyone who who over that amount down to that level. Sound fair to you?

And you do not favor socialism? What do you dislike about it?

 
At 1:56 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Ellis,

Has your societal vision been realized at any point in the past (geographical, time period, context)? Or, is it a yet unrealized, theoretical vision?

Honestly trying to understand where you're coming from.

I get griping about this and that. I do it all the time. Lots of things I don't like about our society and wish were different. But, I think we need to be careful we don't burn down the city to get rid of the rats. And, by the way, all rich folks aren't bad people and all poor folks aren't worthy, honest people. You do know that, right?

 
At 9:56 AM, Blogger Ysmene said...

The republican candidates are a screaming howl to watch. I'm sorry but I don't have a polite way to say this: they are all bat-shit insane.

Ladies and Gentlemen, you may remember me as Yaz from a previous post. I've finally set up my own blog so I don't have to post here as an anon. Have no idea how long my Internet connection may last but I intend to "edumacate" as long as I can. I simply can't stand "teh stupid" anymore. Anyone want to be put on my blogroll. (Needless to say Tom, I've already got you.)

 
At 10:21 AM, Anonymous Bia said...

Haha...Great pithy blog, Tom!

Yes, we will miss the likes of Bachman and Perry for their sheer entertainment value!
"Perry: Bush without the Brains!"

Onward to the Idiocracy!

 
At 10:43 AM, Anonymous Bia said...

BTW, Harley,
This "vision" of greater income equality and SOCIALISM in the important HUMAN areas of education, medicine, and social security, all this in a DEMOCRACY that functions FAR BETTER than ours, exists in several European countries and has for some time, notably, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, etc etc.
These countries all engage in Capitalism as well, but it is far better REGULATED, so that it doesn't "Own Them" like ours does, especially now that our slimy Reichwing SCROTUS has given Corporations "Personhood"!
THEY have cleaner elections, more candidates and VIABLE parties to choose from, and a parliamentary system to represent minority factions instead of our hopelessly Bunged-up and sold-off Congress.
They pay a LOT of taxes, but they GET a lot of social services instead of Endless WAR, and THEIR Piggy-rich have to pay a larger share!
....But of course, you wouldn't notice this if your head was so far up your arse that you couldn't see! ("Is there a Tea Party up here!?"

 
At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

Bia,

Tell us one thing don't like about socialism.

 
At 11:15 AM, Blogger Marie said...

Great suggested reading! I was in the first group of 18 year olds eligible to vote in 1972 and I campaigned for McGovern. I was called every name in the book while I canvassed for him. It was the beginning of my political education and, unfortunately, the beginning of my backing mostly losing candidates. Until Obama, my support was the kiss of death.

Anyway, I would also suggest Isobel Wilkerson's brilliant "The Warmth of Other Suns". It should be mandatory reading in schools and especially for anyone who thinks Americans of African descent are not still significantly challenged in this country.

 
At 6:07 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Bia,

I don't think I've come across in my responses as deserving of a response like that. My head is clear, I assure you. Sophomoric name-calling doesn't add to the discussion.

Thanks, anyway, for trotting out the insignificant Scandinavian countries, all of which have a population roughly the size of NYC or less. All of which have some of the strictest immigration policies in the world. None of which deal with any significant amount of multi-cultural issues - they are all very much homogenous nations. And, all of which had their assess saved by the US in WWII (including Germany by the way, whom we saved from themselves). And, yes, they all do sit back and allow the US to foot the bill and do the heavy pulling on the international front because we are better than they are and they know it. If something needs to be done, the US does it. Not impressed. And, please continue with the etc, etc.... as if there were a whole host of others you simply didn't have space to provide.

 
At 6:57 PM, Anonymous James said...

Hey Harley, you are wrong about the Liberal Socialist countries having strict emigration policies. I have about 80 relatives in Norway and they tell me there is a lot of immigrants from African and Mid Eastern countries flooding into Scotland, Holland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany.

Since all these counties have insanely generous welfare programs, they are being taken advantage of and the immigrants are causing drug use and crime to escalate.

Being Liberal is great, being too Liberal is not so great.

 
At 9:42 AM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Harley, my societal vision is theoretical and is based on a premise that many seem to reject, that is people when treated fairly are basically good and will act ethically in their behavior. This brings me to JTF's question regarding how much is a living wage and how can goods and services be affordable if the McWorker is paid $20 an hour ?? Since JTF doesn't believe that folks have a right to employment to begin with I guess that begs the question as to what is reasonable pay !! Let's start with the premise that folks have a right to work and earn a living. The next question then is what quality of life should that worker reasonably expect ?? To live in a grass shack ?? A penthouse apartment ?? A slum tenement ?? A mansion in hills ?? Should that worker expect to have children and raise a family ?? In a civilized society the minimum standard of living should allow all folks, not just the wealthy to live comfortably and thrive. Therefore, the government needs to utilize resources to subsidize the pay of lower level workers so they can reach that $20 an hour pay without causing the price of a Big Mac to rise to 7 dollars. This is the extent of socialism in my societal vision. Resources are properly utilized for the public good, not for the benefit of the elite to maintain the status quo. But I guess if one rejects the premise that folks have a right to employment to begin with, my argument becomes moot. If one believes there is such a right to work and earn a living the question becomes how to achieve more equity in the distribution of wealth ?? People such as JTF need to accept the reality that those who are fortunate enough to have intelligence, strength wealth etc. have a responsibility to the less fortunate to lend a hand. The alternative is a world full of conflict and hatred which as we can see isn't working out too well.

 
At 1:42 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

"Therefore, the government needs to utilize resources to subsidize the pay of lower level workers so they can reach that $20 an hour pay without causing the price of a Big Mac to rise to 7 dollars."

EE, it doesn't work that way! Where does the govt. get the resources to subsidize the pay to equal $20 an hr?
Govt gets it from others, which means "others" have less money to buy a Big Mac or a new car or go to a movie. So who now suffers? What you have successfully done with your plan is to reduce all of us to the same level of living.

Now, take your comment, "accept the reality that those who are fortunate enough to have intelligence, strength wealth etc. have a responsibility to the less fortunate to lend a hand". If the govt reduces us all to the same standard of living by "subsidize" the wages of others, that is what will happen.
Plus these little accepted facts:
1. By nature when a person is given something instead of earning it, they treat it less responsibility. (check condition of public, section 8 housing now vs. its condition when first built)


2. The world will ALWAYS be full of conflict and hatred, no matter how hard govt tries to prevent it.

3. Doesn't this position go against your call to the hell with global economics?

4. I said clearly that govt. has a responsibility to take care of the 4% of Americans who due to physical or mental handicaps that they have due to no action of their own.

Sorry EE, I don't believe govt. will ever bring us to signing KUM BA YAH while holding hands and sitting around the camp fire.

 
At 1:52 PM, Anonymous Jus the Facts! said...

EE,
Did I miss your answer to my question "name one thing you DISLIKE about socialism"?

 
At 2:18 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

JTF....that comment about public housing almost sounds racist ?? You know funding for maintenance of projects is nonexistent. Those folks barely eat, let alone do home improvements. Where does the revenue come from that we waste on the military ?? There always seems to be plenty in that cup when all the other cups are empty !! Why is MIC spending a sacred cow ?? Oh that's right, the establishment cronys get rich off of it !! The hatred and conflict are CAUSED by the establishment, THOSE are things that do trickle down !! JTF...you are very Darwinian in your thinking. You seem to envision an every man for himself society with only the strongest surviving. That would work if we were animals but humans possess the ability to reason ( well maybe not human conservatives ) and therefore should be able to create a kinder, more gentle society in which folks are judged by their efforts and not by results. You asked why you should work a 65 hour week or whatever if you could get away with doing less than the next guy ?? PRIDE is why !! PRIDE in doing the best you can do in everything you do, WITHOUT any expectation as to a result or gain. Everyone has an ethical obligation to do one's best, share what they have and not do anything to hurt anyone. Once that obligation is fulfilled, society then has an obligation to provide a level playing field with equal opportunity for all. I think that is the part you guys seem to miss.

 
At 3:58 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

"JTF....that comment about public housing almost sounds racist?"

EE, what is racist about making an observation on the way free or low cost housing is treated by its occupants? You've heard the term "drive it like a rental"? Is that racist?
You know, I really am sick and tired of liberals using the race card when they are beat in a debate.

I will not lower my self any further to discuss this matter with you other than, how do you know what my race is or isn't? Just another question from me to go along with what don't you like about socialism that you refuse to answerer. You want world peace, and 8 weeks holiday every year, start answering the questions you are being asked about your beliefs or stop condemning mine!

"but humans possess the ability to reason ( well maybe not human conservatives )" PISS OFF!

"Everyone has an ethical obligation to do one's best, share what they have and not do anything to hurt anyone. Once that obligation is fulfilled, society then has an obligation to provide a level playing field with equal opportunity for all." Thank you President of the Karl Marx Fan Club.

You are living in loonville to think that is the obligation of man and society, pure KUM BA YAH drivel.

 
At 4:25 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

JTF...sadly the majority of the human consciousness on Earth is the unenlightened PISS OFF attitude you display. Why you favor a world filled with war and hate over one filled with peace and love I'll never understand. Is it an ego thing with you ?? You have bought into the idea that there will always be war and conflict, I refuse to believe humans can't do better than that, to do so becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. To get back to a question posed by Harley...no I don't believe that during the history of mankind that Western man has ever tried to implement a system that strives for fairness and equality. That has only been tried ( and accomplished ) by Native American Indians and Hippie subcultures. I'll say it again...when treated fairly folks will act ethically and work together. When folks are mistreated and taken advantage of all sorts of social ills and deviations will result. Maybe if you guys had spent more time studying philosophy, sociology and psychology instead of economics, political science and business management you would understand this concept !!

 
At 8:35 PM, Anonymous Logic said...

>>Tell us one thing don't like about socialism.

JTF, your commentary suggests that you regard any service that the government provides for 'the people' as socialism. Furthermore, your recent comments imply that you approve of military spending to 'protect us'. I don't like that your positions on socialism make you a hypocrite.

Actually, I don't really have an opinion on your being a hypocrite, just making a point.

Government by its existence is a socialist entity - or at least once it makes the claim that it is there ‘for the good of the people’ - and when is this not the case? More often than not, that claim is just a load of horse-shit. Many of the people in power regard the government as a vehicle to exploit the people to secure their own power and wealth. At the moment, this seems to be the predominant theme.

 
At 8:35 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Ellis -

I studied engineering in college and practice as a vocation. I study philosophy, history, biorgraphies and theology in my spare time. Economics and politics interest me little, although Niall Ferguson's "Ascent of Money" is an interesting book I recently read.

Humanism is an approach that casts off the teachings of the Bible for an approach to peace and harmony built of the power and good will of human beings. It is a logical approach given an atheistic worldview (in fact, our only hope). But, logical arguments can be wrong if based on flawed premises. So, I don't call you an idiot (or anyone else, hopefully) - I think your approach fits with your premise logically. I simply disagree with your premise, as we both know. In fact, if I were to hold to your premise, I would basically say "hang the whole mess, what does it matter!"

 
At 11:36 PM, Blogger Amaryllis Turman said...

It is good to know that other people see this foolishness that is going on too. At times I wonder if it is just me. I want to say to some of the Repubs, "Really???? Did you just say that and think that was socially acceptable and not offensive?"
I do wish that Herman Cain had not been such a flash in the pan, because he was hilarious to watch. Looks like it will probably be Mitt or Rick and both of them are more annoying than funny. Someone should walk around them with a gong and hit it every time they make some false claim.

 
At 8:21 AM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

SO my recent comments imply that I approve of military spending to 'protect us'? You don't like that my positions on socialism make me a hypocrite.
Really? Better re read my posts, what you claim to be my statements were questions.
BTW, the Native Americans murdered each other off by the thousands through tribal wars, LONG before Europeans arrived. Had slavery, torturer, mistreated their women, allowed their widows to die of starvation, basically as rotten as any humans are.

Logic, tell me one thing you don't like about socialism.

 
At 4:25 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Just the Falsehoods!, you totally misrepresented Native American culture when you remarked...

"...the Native Americans murdered each other off by the thousands through tribal wars, LONG before Europeans arrived. Had slavery, torturer, mistreated their women, allowed their widows to die of starvation, basically as rotten as any humans are."

Quite the contrary, indigenous people in the Americas were very democratic and amazingly peaceful, especially when compared to European descendents. As a matter of fact, Thomas Jefferson thought the Native American cultures were strong and faithful, and were probably happier than any that existed in all of Europe.

Your viewpoint is obviously ethnocentric, and derived from an Anglo-Saxon bias that permeates North American (i.e., "Caucasian") educational institutions today. It fits naturally, though, with your already prejudiced outlook concerning Islam and Muslims, which you've articulated on this very blog in the past.

Congrats, or something like that, for being the hate monger we already knew!

 
At 4:26 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Harley, I would rather put my faith in human beings that I know exist than in a God that I have no proof exists. While technically an atheist, I am actually a very spiritual person. I follow Buddhist philosophy but not Buddhism as a religion. I believe in the channeling of positive energy. Whether this energy comes from a God or from Nature has been the subject of many debates. Regardless, I believe positive energy leads to good behavior and negative energy leads to bad behavior. People are conduits for energy with the key factor being how they learn to process it. That raises a whole new set of issues and questions which I'd be happy to discuss if anyone is interested.

 
At 5:18 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

"Quite the contrary, indigenous people in the Americas were very democratic and amazingly peaceful, especially when compared to European descendents."

JG,
You have no clue how wrong you are. In the first place no one is comparing Native Americans to Europeans so why do you even bring it up? Secondly, you are totally in the dark on inter tribal conflicts. Just check the history of the Crow Nation and the Nez Perce peoples. They both had nasty wars with their respective enemy s long before contact with Europeans. The records show conflicts like any where else in the world when different groups rub shoulders, why would you beleive different?
Is it because in Liberal-ville, the only thing good to come out of Europe is Marxism?

And those Aztecs, they were a lovable bunch. They were at peace with all their neighbors, except the ones who weren't so at peace in have their hearts cut out of them after being capture by a peaceful, Aztec raiding party.
Incas, fine group of peace loving people, right? Read "Last days of the Incas" by Kim MacQuarrie, if you can, if not just start reading at chapter 3 for a little non-European history lesson of peaceful live and let live Native Americans.

Check out this website for some correct information about those hippies of the Native Americans, the Mayans. Lot's of flowers in their hair!

authenticmaya.com/maya_warfare.htm

Thomas Jefferson's views were based on a very limited segment of the Native American Population. As it would seem are yours. Want proof? There were indigenous people shrinking heads, very democratically and amazingly peaceful,long before contact with Europeans in in the northwestern region of the Amazon rain fores

Congrates for proving again how dumb as a pile of rocks you are.

 
At 7:12 PM, Anonymous Sean said...

Where to start with the comments? hmmmm
While part of me wants to respond to Ellis D Esq's craziness, I figure what is the point. Trying to argue with him about capitalism vs marxism would be like trying to convince someone who thinks the earth is flat other wise. Last time I checked it wasn't Russia, Cuba and North Korea that were ringing in all the new innovations and economic expansion over the past decades. And China has only become what it is by embracing capitalism.

Jefferson's Guardian seems like the type of person who still believes the myth that American Indians were just peacefully living green lives and never wasting anything. Instead of the reality that they fought, killed, raped and murdered like everyone else in history. The best example of this myth is the whole American Indians never wasted any part of the buffalo, even though they would drive whole herds of buffalo over cliffs and only cut take the tongues.

 
At 8:52 PM, Anonymous Logic said...

What do you consider socialism?

Do you object to social programs?

Are social programs like the interstate highway system socialism? When the newscasters are orgasmic about the surge in the stock-market - what fraction of society does this benefit? Is that socialism? When the United States attacked Iraq, was that socialism?

To me socialism is just a word. Overused. Misused. Ultimately meaningless. If a government function benefits the large majority of people - and society as a whole, it probably should be persued. I'm sure we can both site myriad examples of so called social progams that fall short of this in either motive or execution - and few that meet the mark. If the people in both government and business who control society are not promoting an environment where most people can be employed - and by all indications, they are not, what then?

 
At 9:18 AM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

As defined by MERRIAM-WEBSTER
socialism is:


1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

2:
a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state


3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done.

 
At 1:25 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Well as socialism is defined above, one thing I totally disagree with is the concept of no private property. I believe all property and resources are owned collectively by WE THE PEOPLE. The state owns nothing under my social schematic. Everything is communally owned and used as needed by whoever needs it. What a concept, huh ??

 
At 3:10 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Just the Falsehoods! and Sean, Native Americans revered all of nature and all that nature had to give and offer, from the animals and plants where they lived, to their housing and even the weather. They were a very spiritual people, understanding much better than the European and Euro-American frontiersman, settlers and other invaders of their land, the spiritual connection between them and all of nature around them. The animals were considered to be spirits and were revered, and even though they were hunted and killed, their hides and skins were used for everything from drums, clothing and lodging; their meat would never be wasted, contrary to what Sean made up (He must be watching too much TV; I think I even saw that old movie), and their spirits would always live on in the minds of the tribe members.

As far as warring amongst tribal units, it was rare. Prior to the invasion by the Europeans and Euro-Americans, most warring took the form of "mourning wars" and were fought to take captives in order to avenge and replace the loss of a group member, rather than to acquire territory or resources -- as was the typical reason by Europeans and Euro-Americans, and continues to be the motivation for war by Americans today. In that respect, nothing has changed. European contact, however, which brought disease and trade, and limited Native American hunting grounds and land options, intensified these tribal rivalries.

As already mentioned, your ethnocentric viewpoints are shining through, and it's obvious your understanding of indigenous societies and cultures is based upon revisionist history which, to this day, portrays Native Americans as savages and heathens every chance it gets.

 
At 3:12 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Just the Falsehoods!, one more thing: Please tell me one thing you don't like about capitalism.

 
At 3:57 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

JG,

You are totally thick as a brick to believe:
"As far as warring amongst tribal units, it was rare."

Did you even go to the sources I listed? Or would that cause too much grief for you to discover, just the facts? Native Americans are just as savage as any Europeans, then and now, no more, no less. It's called being human.

You still owe me what is one thing you don't like about socialism? Not budging on your question until you answer that. Nice try at deflection though.

 
At 4:00 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

EE,
What a concept, but sadly that's all it is, a concept. I cant think of any civilization that operated using your social schematic. Currently or in the past. Do you know of any?

 
At 4:17 PM, Anonymous sean said...

Jefferson's Guardian,
I'm sure for old people like you who grew up with crappy TV westerns the idea of the savage American Indian may be something society envisioned, but I'm 32 and that image was LONG passe in schools and pop culture by the time I was growing up. For the past 3-4 decades the myth that you have bought into of American Indians being basically hippies has been pushed. But Sorry there are plenty of reports from early settlers and frontiers people of coming across herd of rotting or burned buffalo carcases.

 
At 4:35 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

JTF....let me ask you what is it about communally owed property that you don't like ?? If you were able to use a set of really nice golf clubs but you didn't technically own them, would that satisfy you or would you need to know they are " yours " ?? If you knew you will have food and shelter if you get up each day and give your best effort in whatever it might be you have talent or ability in, would that satisfy you or does your ego make you think you are somehow better than the next guy and therefore entitled to more ?? Maybe we need two parallel societies...one for egomaniac alpha males and one for folks who have satisfied minds ??

 
At 4:38 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Sorry for the typo...I meant communally OWNED property. It's tough multi-tasking while at work !!

 
At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

EE,
Ok about the typo, I've not got a good record there myself.

Never said I didn't like communally OWNED property. What I asked you is where has it ever existed.

Basic problem with the community is it's made up of people. People who may want to use the golf clubs when you do for starters. Who then gets to pick who gets to use the golf clubs? They belong to everybody.

Look at this for a minute, I work and you work. Most people in our community play golf so most of the money we make goes to make graphite golf clubs. I hate golf, cant play, bad back, but I love to fish. But due to the demand for golf clubs there is never enough graphite for fishing poles. I get pissed because my labor is not producing for me what I can use and want, like it is the golf players. I say, "screw this, what am I working for? The results of my labor are not providing me what I can use, so why the heck should I work"? Has nothing to due with my ego.

My neighbor who loves golf and works hard, see's me not contributing my labor for the community, but still sharing in the community's food supply(you did say I would have enough food and shelter, so I guess it's provided somehow). He gets pissed cause he cant play golf cause he has to work longer hours to pick up the slack my not working has created to provide the money for golf clubs that are owned by the community.

He says screw this, I'm going to either figure out a way to own my own set of clubs for the extra labor I'm doing or I'm going to forget about golf and not work, just like my neighbor JTF done.

 
At 7:18 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Just the Falsehoods!, you asked and stated...

"Did you even go to the sources I listed?" and "Native Americans are just as savage as any Europeans, then and now, no more, no less."

Yes, I made an exception and viewed the non-hyperlinked address you provided. (When the hell are you going to learn basic HTML?)

From your source:

"We now know that Maya warfare was intense, chronic, and irresolvable, because limitations of food supply and transportation made it impossible for any Maya kingdom to unite the whole region in an empire."

You're certainly not going to take one specific example, which isn't a good one -- given the specific crises they encountered -- and attempt to portray this as the norm, are you? C'mon, you claim to be college educated. Act like it.

Modern anthropology confirms what I've stated; yours are only subjective opinions -- as usual.


Ellis, you observed...

"Maybe we need two parallel societies...one for egomaniac alpha males and one for folks who have satisfied minds ??"

We used to have this, but it was obliterated when the Europeans and Euro-Americans destroyed the indigenous cultures of not only this continent, but, except for a few that are well-isolated, all around the world.

 
At 8:02 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

JG,

You are no long worth my time. Did you check into the book I suggested, did you do any research on you own about the inter tribal warfare I listed (no links)? It took looking through 18 pages of Google search results before I found the first reply to the question, Native American inter-tribal warfare that didn't answer with a reference to Europeans. With results like that you have to wonder who is ethnocentric and bias?

Aztecs, try to discount them, Incas, try to overlook them, Mayan's, your objection is laughable. Shrunken heads, you ignore that. You demand proof, I provide from non right wing sources and then deny what you are reading.

Mankind is mankind, whether they Native Americans, Europeans, Asian or Africans. The history of violence is not limited to Europe. Nor is Europe the sole training ground or reason or source of violence. It is mankind, who by our very nature, that is violent. If not the case why did Native Americans have clubs and shields before 1492 if they were not used to defend themselves from other humans? For hunting a bow/arrow, knife, and lance would be enough. Shields are for self defense and clubs are for smashing a head open in combat. Don't need either to put Thumper and Bambi down.

Stay in your dream state of rainbows, Unicorns and fairy dust, camp fires and meaningful sit ins.

You really had to work hard to get around all the proof my link gave you to avoid the FACTS that the Mayan's were war like without anyone's help.
I am graduate from college and have provided you source texts and examples as any college student would to to prove their argument. All of which you ignore. For a self proclaimed liberal, you sure have a closed mind to new ideas and FACTS!

 
At 8:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Che Guevara’s “to establish Socialism rivers of blood must flow”.

 
At 9:53 AM, Anonymous sean said...

I guess this tribe disappeared because the vikings killed them....

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/07/070712-chaco-massacre.html

Of course JG will ignore this as he likes his fairy tails.

 
At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

Well done Sean.

Facts will not change a Liberals mind, all it will do is cause them to flee the discussion.

Keep it up!

 
At 3:14 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

JG said

"..understanding much better than the European and Euro-American frontiersman, settlers and other invaders of their land, the spiritual connection between them and all of nature around them. The animals were considered to be spirits and were revered..."

If you hold to pantheism or animism, this is a commendable trait. In other words, if it's true, good for them. If it's a false belief, then it's hogwash.

 
At 4:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on Harley A.

Ke-mo sah-bee

 
At 6:47 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Harley A., you joined the conversation by saying...

""...if it's true, good for them. If it's a false belief, then it's hogwash."

Which, and I'm sure you'll agree, would equally apply to any of the major religious faiths of the world.

Nevertheless, the way to truth can take many paths.

 
At 7:58 AM, Anonymous Just the Facts? said...

JG,

Giving up your position the Native Americans were above human faults?

 
At 3:20 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Just the Falsehoods!, you asked...

"Giving up your position the Native Americans were above human faults?"

I challenge you to show me where I indicated Native Americans were absent human frailty and failure ("human faults"). I did make a number of remarks considering several of their attributes "compared to [the] European descendents" (which you even acknowledged), but I guess you've forgotten this. After all, that was a few days ago, so I suspect you've been stone-cold drunk since then and don't remember.

Once more, this shows me that your limited comprehension skills make debate with you hardly worth my time and attention. I believe modusoperandi, on several occasions, made the same claim. As he said many times, you don't argue in good faith. You never have, and you never will. It's also, and not coincidentally, why Dave Dubya has banned you from commenting on his blog.

 
At 10:43 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

JG,

Your kidding, right?

You are not worth my time, just go read again your own posts on the subject of Native Americans.

Maybe you can answer this, what don't you like about Native Americans before Europeans came here?

 
At 6:40 PM, Anonymous Bj Latas said...

I was under the impression the FBI was somehow instrumental in 'blotting out' Marilyn Monroe because of her connection with the Kennedy brothers. Don't know how true it is, of course...just some things (rumors) through the years. Still a mystery after all these years. NRN Will be back for more...always a 'good read'.

 
At 7:23 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Bj!!!!

Your Facebook page is gone!

What happened???

I miss chatting with you!

All the best,

Tom Degan

 
At 1:50 PM, Blogger PeterFloydian said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 2:06 PM, Blogger PeterFloydian said...

Well my dear fellow Earthling, I read almost everything on the 'International Embarrassment' issue and put a link to it, on my FB page.
As a Belgian, I am very experienced on 'International Embarrassment', since our politicians hijacked the country for the most absurd reasons and this during the beginning of the big world crisis.
After the politics restored, the 'unions' took over this bad role, by starting economy-destructive actions.
I want to congratulate you here on both your great writing skills and your accuracy on the subject.
I do want to state though, that these kind of things happen in a lot of Western countries.
I guess it's the end of an era and a scream for an alternative way of living. Let's hope we all get rid of the morons and find 'constructive spirits' to lead the way.
Can't wait to read more of you, even if it's a subject that doesn't really interests me, since I do enjoy your style so much, on it's own.

Respectfully,
Peter.

 

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