November 6, 2008

A FLAG, ON A HILL

As Civil War battles went, it was a small and insignificant affair. But in terms of story – and especially, in terms of lessons – it’s one of my favorites.

The war had not yet fully turned in October of 1864. And even though Stonewall Jackson had been dead for well over a year – killed by mistake by his own men at the Battle of Chancellorsville -- the Shenandoah Valley still belonged if not to Jackson then to Jackson’s ghost, for it was there that he and his “foot cavalry” had won their eternal place in Valhalla. Jackson’s tactical brilliance and the endless series of Union routs still hung like clouds of gunpowder in the valleys and hollows of the Shenandoah.

And so it came as no surprise to either the Union or the Confederate soldiers on the banks of Cedar Creek to see, once again, a blue rout – men throwing down rifles and knapsacks and running for their lives, dodging perhaps the few hissing musket balls fired at their backs, but completely unable to escape the jeering and the insults and that high, horrible Rebel yell, as that pack of feral wolves descended on their camps, drank their coffee, ate their rations and sat going through their personal effects, admiring photos and reading letters from their sweethearts. Not a loss, but a rout. Another rout. The latest in an ongoing series of routs without end. Or so it must have seemed.

The Union general was a young man, new to his command, and who in point of fact had been back in Washington during the defeat. But as he rode toward the sound of the guns that morning, curiosity turned to apprehension, and apprehension to something worse, as he crossed Mill Creek and came upon a low hill, to see before him “the appalling spectacle of a panic-stricken Army.”

Phillip Sheridan was his name, described by Shelby Foote as a man with the face of a Mongol Warlord and hair so short and dense it made his head look like a bullet with a coat of black paint.

Sheridan’s first instinct was to form a straggler line and prepare for the final Rebel assault. But the Rebels were too busy celebrating. And after he caught his breath, Little Phil noticed something surprising: not a broken and routed army fleeing for their lives, but small groups of men boiling fresh coffee, speaking to one another calmly and cheering him as he rode by.

One of his aides described him at that moment: “As he galloped on, his features grew gradually set, as those carved in stone, and the same dull red glint I had seen in his piercing eyes when, on other occasions, the battle was going against us, was there now.”

You bet it was.

The closer Sheridan came to the battle, the more cheerful and animated his defeated men became. Encountering a small group of them, Little Phil would stand in the saddle, and give a jaunty salute – as if to congratulate them on a great victory, rather than another humiliating defeat.

The result was electric, if not universal. Amid the cheering, one infantry colonel – whose descendents perhaps would go on to become campaign advisors – stood in Sheridan’s path and begged him not to go on.

“The army’s whipped!” he cried.

“You are, but the army isn’t,” growled Sheridan, who then put the spurs to a horse who’s back was taller than he was and rode to the scene of the disaster, shouting, “About face, boys! We are going back to our camps! We are going to lick them out of their boots!”

His men were not beaten. They just needed leadership.

“We are going to get a twist on those fellows, men!” he shouted, pounding down the pike. “We are going to lick them out of their boots!”

And that’s what he did, too. He and his routed army went back to that field and licked those Rebels right out of their boots.

“Run!” he shouted, standing in the stirrups. “Go after them! We’ve got the God-damnedest twist on them you ever saw!”





Battles don’t always go that way. But sometimes they do. It depends on whether the individual soldier still has any fight in him.

It has been a source of delight for me these past few days to see nothing but evidence of this, all across our defeated lines. Nowhere have I heard a shred of defeatism or despair. On the contrary. In point of fact, the magnanimity and graciousness I have seen in defeat in so many places on the right tells me that this is an eager and seasoned army, one able to look defeat in the face and own up to the errors in tactics and strategy that got us there. And nowhere do I see a call to abandon our core principles and sue for terms, but rather that our loss was caused precisely by our abandonment of the issues which we hold dear and which have served us so well on battlefields past.

So consider this, my fellows in arms:

On Tuesday, the Left – armed with the most attractive, eloquent, young, hip and charismatic candidate I have seen with my adult eyes, a candidate shielded by a media so overtly that it can never be such a shield again, who appeared after eight years of an historically unpopular President, in the midst of two undefended wars and at the time of the worst financial crisis since the Depression and whose praises were sung by every movie, television and musical icon without pause or challenge for 20 months… who ran against the oldest nominee in the country’s history, against a campaign rent with internal disarray and determined not to attack in the one area where attack could have succeeded, and who was out-spent no less than seven-to-one in a cycle where not a single debate question was unfavorable to his opponent – that historic victory, that perfect storm of opportunity…

Yielded a result of 53%

Folks, we are going to lick these people out of their boots.

There is much to do. That a man with such overt Marxist ideas and such a history of association with virulent anti-Americans can be elected President should make it crystal clear to each of us just how far we have let fall the moral tone of this Republic. The great lesson from Ronald Reagan was simply that we can and must gently educate as well as campaign, and explain our ideas with smiles on our faces and real joy in our hearts. For unlike the far-left radical who gained the Presidency on Tuesday, we start with 150 million of the most free and intelligent and hard-working people in the history of the Earth at our backs, with a philosophy that -- unlike theirs, which has resulted in 100 million dead in unmarked graves -- has liberated and enriched more people and created more joy than any nation or combination of nations in our history.

How can we lose this greater fight, my friends? How can we lose, unless we give up?

Posted by Proteus at November 6, 2008 6:56 PM







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Now let's see some distributed intelligence and basic human decency! Don't make me come down there every five minutes!




Comments



Bill, I just LOVE you! You always manage to say the right words at the right time... Are you SURE you weren't one of the great Generals in a past life? ;-)

I'm glad you got the PJM and NRO gigs; it's delightful to have you writing so regularly again. After all, I need really good material to print and pass around to my friends!

Best blessings, and keep up the AWESOME work!

-- Kat



Very nice. I always liked Sheridan.



Damn I hate losing. But you know what I hate even more?
Losing TWICE.

Let's roll.



Awaiting marching orders, SIR!



To quote Lieutenant General Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller:

"We're Surrounded... That Simplifies Our Problems"



From that war came a great song of liberation. Ironically, this performance is done by four residents of Texas, a state that fought on the Rebel side in that war.

They do it a cappella. I'll fill in the drum part
barump. barump. barum-bum-bump.
barump. barump. barum-bum-bump.
...

We fight to make men free. There is no nobler cause.



Lincoln, speaking before the Civil War but clearly anticipating it, pointed out that this nation of ours must necessarily either endure forever or die by suicide.

The same is true of the modern conservative movement. We may win and lose electoral battles, as the shifting winds of public opinion and our transitory failures of will dictate, but we can only be permanently defeated if we decide to surrender.



Ready to roll . . .



Mr. Whittle, once again you find the best words for the occasion. To arms, indeed. There's much work to be done, but then lucky for us, hard work has never been a deterrent.



Well the rebels took their coffee, cause enough to go back for sure.



Lead on MacDuff....we got your back..



Da! You tell 'em, Bill!

We have not yet begun to fight!

- Tanka



Let's Roll!



Thanks, Bill.

As ususal, you see below the superficial and convey insights that are not only profound, but meaningful.

I have tears in my eyes now, and hope in my heart.



As the popular Marilyn vos Savant quote goes: Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.

As the Rangers who Lead the Way say: Hoo-ah!



We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in The Heartland,
we shall fight on the the rivers and the Great Lakes,
we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our uniquely American Way Of Life, whatever the cost may be,
we shall fight on the beaches,
we shall fight in the cities,
we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,
we shall fight in the hills;
we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Movement or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Friends beyond the seas, armed with the memory of America's greatness, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the the inherent sense of American Conservatism, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of of Our Great Land.

There is much to do.

Let's get to it, else - Then Who Will?

- MuscleDaddy



Sorry, this isn't nearly good enough.
(No offense, Mr. BW - I'm reading your book now, and I think you're tops :-).)
Ladiez and Gents:
I'm not a registered republican. However, I have always voted Republican - not because the candidate was necessarily so good (guys like Ron Reagan are a once a century thing), but after a rational, factual analysis, I've always come to the conclusion that the Democratic opponent has ALWAYS been the worse choice.

And I'll tell ya:
The Democratic party has been in the wrong on most issues - especially economic and military - for 40 years. What they've become after Clinton has been despicable - a venal, "It's all about me and whatever makes me happy and feeling good about myself" message, and an apparatus of over the top demagoguery, insidious propaganda, vicious polemic and treasonous LIES that would make Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Stalin, Beria and Goebbels weep with envy. Combined with a vindictive academia, a national media that is dominated by like-minded individuals, publicity from Hollywierd and even the backing of some very wealthy people (either from genuine misguided conviction or, I frankly suspect, seeking an opportunity to make gobs of cash), the current Democratic machine looks like a goliath that I fear could actually destroy this nation.
Of course, it didn't have to be this way. Ron Reagan completely dominated the media - hell, they LOVED him. But none of his successors bothered to learn how to properly deal with them. And, of course, over the last 8years the Republican party became FILTHY AND CORRUPT. How many republican holders of high office have been taking bribes, getting kickbacks on driving thru legislation or awarding contracts, or ranting about the evils of homosexuality while getting caught in gay affairs or molesting little boys????
At the same time, the GOP grew the federal debt by SIX TRILLION DOLLARS! S I X T R I L L I O N ! ! ! ! And I don't absolve the GOP during the Clinton years, either - after all, Congress was Republican for the last 6 years of Clinton, and the total federal debt grew from about $2T to $3.6T during that period. Republicans could have stopped that anytime - but they DIDN'T.
Call it exactly what it is, folks: the GOP has BETRAYED America.
Like I said - I've never voted Dhimmicrat, and I don't see that changing. But the GOP needs to earn my trust and respect back, and they have their work cut out for them.
A reqts list for the GOP:
1. Take the media back, you IDIOTS. Every single member of the party needs to get media training from the BEST in the business. The party needs to hire folks right out of Hollywood to help build promotional and advertising capability. Call on the small portion of the media that is still professional or even sympathetic: the NY Post, Washington Times, American Standard, National Review, Fox News, etc....and then start cultivating relationships with the rest of the MSM - if you hire the right folks out of Hollywood and the advertising biz, they'll show you how - and institute a regular program of briefing them and writing editorial pieces. Do this in an ORGANIZED and SUSTAINED way.
2. PURGE THE PARTY. Get rid of the CORRUPTION AND FILTH. And once the party is cleansed, KEEP IT CLEAN. Everyone who wants to hold higher office needs to first go thru an excruciating background check. They then need to sign a contract with the GOP with a Morals and Ethics clause. High level party members must constantly be monitored for compliance. Any violation of the clause results in EXPULSION from the party - and be bastards about it. The stakes are too high not to do so. There needs to be a permanent Legal team as well, who not only runs the monitor program, but builds cases against party members who stray and is the FIRST to alert authorities to potential criminal activity.
CLEAN THIS PIGSTY OUT. NOW.
3. Where's the money going to come for all of this?
Simple.
Everyone who wants to join the party needs to pay an annual fee. For simple members, it should be low. For office holders, it should scale based upon the 'height' of the office, with Senators and Congressmen contributing at least half of their government salaries at the top of the scale. Also: at the regional, state and local level, there should be a constant effort - not just during election periods - to reach out to people and to hold events both for fundraising and attracting recruits. MAKE A BUSINESS OUT OF THIS. The Dhimmicrats spent something like $1B on their prez bid. You need to be able to play at this level.
4. I didn't include this in #1 because it deserves its own discussion:
LEARN TO USE THE WEB, YOU MORONS.
Websites should be extremely attractive. They should show up on all sorts of searches right at the top of the search list. There needs to be a concerted effort to REACH people thru the web, and communicate with people to get support and elicit their opinions, feedback and criticisms.
5. HAVE A PLATFORM WORTHY OF THE NATION.
- ZERO deficit spending, no matter WHAT. Sole exception would be a world war.
- WORLD'S GREATEST MILITARY.And TAKE CARE OF THE VETERANS, DAMMIT!
- LOW AND COMPLETELY FAIR TAXATION. Maybe an across the board 15% rate or somethign like that.
- Keep govt SMALL. If various industries need guidance or control of any sort, there's other ways to do it besides legislate. As an example (and a bit of a wierd one, though unconventional thinking needs to be encouraged by the party rather than be mocked or avoided): Part of the massive health costs the nation suffers is due to a populace that eats poorly and doesn't exercise enough. OK - how about pulling together a private conference of the major packaged goods and/or fast food companies, and telling them they'd better come up with some detailed and effective plans to improve america's nutrition or the govt WILL legislate and regulate, and make sure they understand how unpleasant that might be. The companies involved will find a way to accomodate the goal and still make gobs of money - they'll be highly motivated to do so.
Do the same with the drug companies. And the insurance companies. And the HMO's and PPO's. And the AMA. And the Auto industry.
- a party of culture of COMPLETE HONESTY and NO SPIN.
- STAY OUT OF THE SOCIAL ISSUES. I don't give a damn about the christian right, though I am catholic myself. Premarital sex, abortion, gay marriage - MIND YOUR OWN FUCKING BUSINESS. If such activities don't jive with the sensibilities of the Christian Right members of the party, TOO BAD. They can form their own party. The fact is that 90% of Americans want to make up their OWN minds about that stuff, and they have a RIGHT to do so. Getting a political party involved with issues that tend to reflect on religious beliefs destroys the party's credibility, and creeps up enough on the issue of separating church and state to simply result in such issues becoming CHAINS on the party's ability to appeal to American voters.

There's other things that can be done, I'm sure - reaching out to universities, various ethnic groups and so forth. But the above is a start.

Get to work, GOP. Right now you're on my s*** list, and if you actually love your country, you will heed my words.



StudSupreme,

Not a bad start, with the exception of the social issues issue. But that's a fight for another day.

Now get off the sidelines. Saying "You Republicans need to..." is is the same passive "I'm waiting for someone else to solve all my problems" attitude that makes liberalism so ghastly.

Pick up a weapon and come on board for the big win, adding your sweat to your suggestions, or you can take your s*** list back where it got s***y in the first place...



Bill, this is a little tangential although it does place in the spotlight the real values that conservatism aspires to. Knowing you're an aviation nut like myself, I wonder if you're aware of this project:
http://www.grayeagles.org/video.htm

I can't watch this video without being choked up by my admiration for the members of the greatest generation. And the decency of this warrior's family. With great young folk like this, America has a future as bright as its past, flirtations with demagogues and failed socialist memes notwithstanding.



Thank you, sir. We will recover, and we will win this. I am strangely more optimistic today than I was on Monday - because I have seen conservatives coming together to repair the damage and prepare for the next round. Let us find a way to solidify our party's hold on the principles that have made our nation great. I have seen enough of the world to know that it will not last forever. The people will once again become complacent, and we will have to pass through this again. But the better we do our work now, the longer it will be before decay sets in, and the further we will go before it does. Human dynamism cannot stop entropy, but we can keep pushing it back until Kingdom Come. I've begun my work online and in the flesh, and I won't stop. Keep up the good work, sir. We're with you. Oyster out.



Oh, Mr. Whittle:

My heart goes pitty-pat for you! Can't help it, since hot, conservative manly hunks are so few and far between. ;-}

I keep checking your blog and a few others like it to see if it was a bad dream and Doctor Who came by to make everything right again. (Somebody call Captain Jack Harkness at Torchwood!) I woke up on the 5th feeling like I was married to a guy I met in a bar the night before. I was never IN a bar, so you get the idea. On the 6th, with the help of a gent from work who was very surprised to find out that I wasn't an Obama worshipper, I exercised my 2nd amendment rights and the right to run up my credit card bill. After not speaking for well over a year, we're now "buds" again.

Please keep writing. We need encouragement. I'm one scared feline. I just want to hide under the bed, even though I know we can't.

Tyger



StudSupreme,
Your post is inconsistent.
First you say this: How about pulling together a private conference of the major packaged goods and/or fast food companies, and telling them they'd better come up with some detailed and effective plans to improve america's nutrition or the govt WILL legislate and regulate, and make sure they understand how unpleasant that might be...

Then later this: STAY OUT OF THE SOCIAL ISSUES. I don't give a damn about the christian right, though I am catholic myself. Premarital sex, abortion, gay marriage - MIND YOUR OWN FUCKING BUSINESS.

I believe you have fascist tendencies and should heed your own advice.

Abortion is about protecting life, period.



My children will not fall to the slavery of National Socialism ... they will not wear the uniform of the Youth Corps. They will live free, so help me God.



Proteus.....

knock, knock!
who's there?
Reality check with a cluebat.

1. In 2020 caucasian becomes a minority.
2. According to Ruffini, the youth vote gave Obama 73 electoral votes, and voted for Obama more than 2:1.
3. Obama gained most in college-educated brackets, but beat McCain in every bracket except the 65 and older.




Proteus.....

knock, knock!
who's there?
Reality check with a cluebat.

1. In 2020 caucasian becomes a minority.
2. According to Ruffini, the youth vote gave Obama 73 electoral votes, and voted for Obama more than 2:1.
3. Obama gained most in college-educated brackets, but beat McCain in every bracket except the 65 and older.




jinnderella,

How about the idea that ALL men have a right to be free, to pursue their own happiness, to own themselves and the results of their efforts, and to be left alone by his government?

How about the idea that NO man has the right to violate the rights of others no matter what?

How about the idea that both of these ideas apply to each regardless of the color of his skin, national origin, fundamental beliefs, age, sex, or ability?

OR:

Does the fact that one is over 65, Caucasian, of European extraction, AND a member of a minority imply that one's rights no longer exist nor need to be recognized?

Remember, if you believe and act upon the idea that rights don't exist and need not be respected, YOU have no rights that must be respected either. Anyone can do to you whatever they want for whatever reason they happen to have just as you would do to them.

Remember, we who are over 65 created the world you live in and we can take take it back. Sixty five is the new 45 and many of us are quite capable of doing it.

It is not we who need a reality check.




There is much to do. That a man with such overt Marxist ideas and such a history of association with virulent anti-Americans can be elected President should make it crystal clear to each of us just how far we have let fall the moral tone of this Republic. The great lesson from Ronald Reagan was simply that we can and must gently educate as well as campaign, and explain our ideas with smiles on our faces and real joy in our hearts, for unlike the far-left radical who gained the Presidency on Tuesday, we start with 150 million of the most free and intelligent and hard-working people in the history of the Earth at our backs, with a philosophy that -- unlike theirs, which has resulted in 100 million dead in unmarked graves -- has liberated and enriched more people and created more joy than any nation or combination of nations in our history.

Positively brilliant piece, Bill. And to the above quote, I give an Amen. Amen and amen.

Understand this, the leftists (I have a peculiar tic in my personality, I won't call them liberal or progressive...terms of theirs intending to defuse extremist worldviews.

The first order of business is to comprehend that language means something and allowing battles to be framed entirely by the opposing worldview, is hand-carrying your ammunition and depositing it in their camp.

In other words using their terms and phrases to fight against their ideas, is to start with one foot in retreat, while yelling "charge".

To make the point, Joe Lieberman is a traditional liberal, Bernie Sanders is a Socialist and William Ayers is a communist.

(I don't know what the hell a "progressive" is, but from what I can tell it's either a redistributive taxation amounting to theft of property or a laxative that speeds up the emptying of the leftist mind)

The other thing I never, ever do...is call the entrenched media "mainstream". If that is our main stream, I don't want to drink from it. It is vile, toxic and polluted.


The second order of business, is to pick battles like a general, not like a crazed kamikaze. Al Qaeda nutcases didn't invent the flying of airplanes and blowing themselves up. Japanese pilots and American leftists perfected the art of self-destruction long before.

At least the Japanese pilots had skill and courage.

The "tear down the system from within" crowd of Marxist wannabe's ran their planes into academia, hollywood, and the entrenched media where what remains is soaked in treason and the rubble of strangled dissent.

The triad of treason, (academia, entrenched media, hollywood), chokes off dissent, they sit in camp, eating your rations, reading your private mail, and rubbing your honor in the dirt.

But, it's been too easy for them. They have been playing checkers and you have been learning chess.

Pick the battles, Frame the issues. Take the moral high ground and do not surrender it.

Fight from a position of honor, decency, integrity and with a smile on your face, charm in your voice and compassion in your heart.

Own the language you choose, don't rent it from them.

Frame the issues, don't charge wildly into every skirmish...it's a waste of energy and you lose credibility.

Opposition, for opposition's sake is a trap for the unwary.

Don't disgrace the high ground by emulating their base behaviors.

Oppose ideas, not people...and certainly not personas or images. Don't fight with ghosts or holograms.

You can't defeat things that don't exist.

When you take ground, keep it. When you gain traction, press forward. Don't take the same ground over and over again...stuck on a battleground that has no forward movement.

And when you are right...never, ever, ever...give up.




Jinnderella, does your train of thought have a caboose? If you have a point, get near it. [yawn]

- Tanka (already a minority twice over in my home state)



Note to Lionel Griffith: you too are my kinda guy.

What are we waiting for? STAND AND FIGHT!!!

Tyger



So let’s see it took all of two days to go from:
As for our side... We have tried, and failed. Tomorrow we will try again. And then we will begin, with a confident and joyous heart, to examine how we have failed the American people in regard to making clear the moral and philosophical underpinnings of our philosophy…So again, to Senator Obama, Senator Biden, and all their families and supporters -- please accept my deepest congratulations on a spectacular victory
To:
a candidate shielded by a media so overtly that it can never be such a shield again, who appeared after eight years of a historically unpopular President, in the midst of two undefended wars and at the time of the worst financial crisis since the Depression and whose praises were sung by every movie, television and musical icon without pause or challenge for 20 months
You say that you have been magnanimous and gracious in defeat. No signs of defeatism. Then in the next paragraph you list all the reasons and conspiracies that “allowed” Obama to win. What is gracious about blaming the media (again) or all the other things you listed?

You are not looking inward to change why the entire country (with the exception of a southern strip that is shrinking) shifted towards the blue spectrum. You revert back to the attacks of Marxist, socialist etc. There is no internal review of why this candidate received a higher percentage of the popular vote (as well as the most votes ever, which isnt't as statistically relevant as the percentage) AND more Electoral College votes than any president in the last 20 years. You try to place yourself as a historian but then diminish this election by minimizing the “53%” and not even mentioning the (minimum pending Missouri) of 350 electoral college votes he received. 350 by almost all measures of elections past has been the break point of a landslide and 53% in a presidential election while not landslide proportions is still a large victory. To put it in perspective the Reagan Revolution was ushered in with just over 50% (one of which was my first vote ever) of the popular vote but a huge landslide in the electoral college.

To tie your opinions here with the example you used, Sheridan would have sent a congratulations messenger to the Confederacy complimenting them on their military expertise then sulked into his tent and called the rebs all kinds of names. Complained about the weather, the rough terrain they had to fight and sworn they had to have had spies in his army to do so well. Talk about all that was good about conservatism. Less government intervention, effective management, the intellectual high ground and its love of both the hard and soft sciences. Also you may want to try to use a different war for your analogies. You spent 6 or 7 years trying to compare one of our greatest presidents (Lincoln) to one who will leave with the lowest popularity ever. I have noticed that you have gone into the “He who wont be named” mode with our current president for the last year or so.



Tyger,

Agreed. Its way past time to get clear on our purpose and to become active achieving it. We have been in retreat for longer than I have been alive (71 years). Its time to say "Enough! Cease and Desist!" and make it clear we mean to enforce it.

Remember: Those who are free never surrender. Those who surrender were never free.



"It is a tribute to his skills that Mr. Obama, the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate, won in a country that remains center-right. Most pre-election polls and the wiggly exits indicate America remains ideologically stable, with 34% of voters saying they are conservative -- unchanged from 2004. Moderates went to 44% from 45% of the electorate, while liberals went to 22% from 21%."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122593304225103509.html


First thing you do...is own the language.

Second thing, own the facts and the truth, don't let anyone tell you something that is complete BS and simply by repeating over and over, give it traction.

Third, don't argue against a lie. Produce the truth and battle from the moral high ground

Fourth, don't fight sewer rats in the sewer. Don't wrestle alligators in the water. Your advantage is on firm ground.

Fifth, look for allies and take them where you find them. Moderates (independents) are the largest group by far in America, if you win them, it's a rout. You can't outflank an opponent if your middle is a gaping hole.

Alliances are not a sign of weakness or conceding.

Lastly, don't feed the imbeciles or try to fill empty vessels. Facts are facts, truth is truth. It can't be moved by the rantings of a madman.



..should make it crystal clear to each of us just how far we have let fall the moral tone..

I am hoping that your moral tone has just been totally outdated.



Greg in NZ,

Thank you for that.

- MuscleDaddy



You appear to be historically challenged, mako. Lincoln was excoriated by the opposition in terms much worse than the current leftists have used for GWB. The comparison is apt, actually.

As to the role of the media in shaping the populace and guaranteeing the election of an outright Marxist, if you deny that then we literally aren't talking the same language. You are so far gone in your unreality as to not recognize what's plain to everyone else.

This election just past was a clear demonstration of two basic truths. First, there is a leftist "elite" in this country which controls vast sums of money and has great cultural influence through its takeover of the media and academia. It is ruthless and admits of no legal or moral limitations on its acquisition and retention of power and control.

Second, moderate Republicans ("RINOs") had complete control of this past campaign from the candidate to the positions to the messages put out. They have shown that their brand of "moderate" statism doesn't sell. People saw both candidates as variations on a theme. The only possibility for the Republicans to win is for them to offer an alternative to Democrat statism, not just a slightly whimpier version of it.



mako,

I would rather stand alone on the side of reality than have the fantasy adulation of slightly over half the voting public. The reality is that the vote, whatever its tally, is totally and completely irrelevant with respect to what is, can be, and should be. Your opinion on the matter is even less relevant to what we can, should, and will do.

Join with us or not. Its your choice. However, your sniping from the sidelines will eventually be ignored and overrun.




I've thought for some time now that we conservatives are the new "Jews" in today's progressive society.

Like Judaism, espousing the conservative philosophy means taking responsibility for your own acts. It's not so easy to follow, which is why we're always in the minority.

And I don't think we'll ever be in the majority, because human nature likes to run riot and it's always easier to go downhill ("go with the flow") than it is to "scale the icy peaks of discipline."

Now we are stereotyped, villified, accused of ungodly acts, used as scapegoats, and dehumanized. Now thugs come into our places of congregation bent on forcebly "baptizing" us.

We can see into their hearts of darkness, but they cannot look into ours. Espousing peace, they foment riot. Preaching tolerance, they ruthlessly suppress all dissent.

We may be small, but we won't give up. The thugs may come and go, but we shall remain because our ideal is true.

I stand atop Masada two thousand years later and shout, "Never again!"

- Tanka (conservative and Jewish)




mako, that you see any inconsistency between the "from" and the "To" you reference is nothing more than willful blindness. You have conflated acknowledgment of the loss with moving on from that loss to determine what to do next. The first step in the latter is to identify what led to the outcome.

A spectacular victory, while it can be congratulated, isn't made legitimate by its magnitude (see also: Harbor, Pearl). And an analysis of the factors that made up Obama's spectacularly illegitimate victory is precisely what a good "general" would do, to carry on (what I believe is a misplaced use of) the "war" analogy.

So, citing facts and factors that led to an outcome is not "blaming". Reasons are not "conspiracies".

It is a fact that the entrenched media has demonized Bush, Republicans and conservatism for over 8 years now. In the gaping minds of most of their audience, they have transformed 'being Republican' and 'being conservative' from something less than merely politically incorrect to essentially uncouth. They have done this relentlessly, 24/7/365 at a deafening volume, abandoning all pretense of journalistic ethics and obeisance to objectivity since before the day Al Gore failed to carry his own home state in 2000. The result of this onslaught is that there are now fewer self-identifying conservatives than eight years ago. They didn't "stay home" Tuesday, as many people suggested. There are simply fewer of them. Nothing contributed to Obama's illegitimate victory more than this factor, and it must be addressed, immediately and directly, or any other strategies and tactics will fail.

It is a fact that Obama was molded and supported by a marxist-socialist milieu from (at least) the time he entered Columbia. Do you know what his Master's thesis was? I'll tip you off that this is a trick question; you'll learn why when you go look it up. Since that time Obama has surrounded himself with nihilist/marxist/anarchists like Bill Ayers and communists like Mike Klonsky. That the widespread acknowledgment of these facts has been actively suppressed by the entrenched media, which openly campaigned for him in violation of FEC regulations, is also fact.

To ignore these facts, and many others - Obama's illegal campaign contribution fraud and the still-open questions regarding his rise through the ranks of corrupt Chicago politics among them - would be to ignore the reasons for the outcome we just witnessed and, thus, to march down an erroneous path in search of a flank for counterattack.

You seem to think that "we" should come to the conclusion that "We have met the Enemy, and they are Us!" Wrong. There are RINOs in Congress who have facilitated the demonization pursued by the press. We need to expose and remove them. They are not "Us", and you've heard and read nothing if you haven't seen conservatives pointing out their self-destructive behavior for years.



tankascribe: Now we are stereotyped, villified, accused of ungodly acts, used as scapegoats, and dehumanized. Now thugs come into our places of congregation bent on forcebly "baptizing" us.

If you think about it, that fact frees us from having to worry about what "they" think of us (as if there was any reason to do so in the first place). We can become clear on our purpose, choose our own ideas and ideals based upon their validity, and choose our own actions accordingly. To hell with what "they" think or say. We shall think our own thoughts and decide our own actions to our own benefit.

I am not Jewish. In fact, I am an atheist of English/Welsh/German/Hungarian extraction ie a typical bald white guy American. I will stand beside you and shout, "Never again!"

Interestingly, a clear "No!" said soon enough would have ended it all. We are very likely way beyond that point. Still, we must learn how to say "No!", mean it, and make it stick.



Dear Lionell, you do me an honor. You said, To hell with what "they" think or say. We shall think our own thoughts and decide our own actions to our own benefit.

That puts me in mind of one of my favorite songs (one of many versions):

Die Gedanken sind frei, my thoughts freely flower.
Die Gedanken sind frei, my thoughts give me power.
No scholar can map them, no hunter can trap them,
No man can deny: Die Gedanken sind frei!

I think as I please, and this gives me pleasure.
My conscience decrees, this right I must treasure;
My thoughts will not cater to duke or dictator,
No man can deny: Die Gedanken sind frei!

And if tyrants take me and throw me in prison,
My thoughts will burst free, like blossoms in season.
Foundations will crumble, the structure will tumble,
And free men will cry: Die Gedanken sind frei!

Neither trouble or pain will ever touch me again.
No good comes of fretting, my hope's in forgetting.
Within myself still I can think as I will,
But I laugh, do not cry: Die Gedanken sind frei!

- Tanka



Like Tanka, I do see this as my Masada. Thank you for your voice Bill, and the others who share their well thought out opinions here. As to the silly people who come and expose their backsides here, you are just advertising why some day your world will fall. But dont worry. People like Bill, those wiser people who speak here and many unvoiced others, too busy producing to comment, will step into the rubble and rebuild what they can of what is left. In this world there are productive forces and forces of entropy, decide what you want to be...proud looter...or producer? There is great pride to be had even in cleaning and organizing a once dirty house, mucking a stall, repairing a roof, unplugging a toilet. Do not believe a university education and a desk job makes one better than that unwashed rural noob, that farmer can nail down any one of a thousand emergencies. YOu city folks who voted (D) seem to think food comes from a grocery store and that you will be safe without Troops sacrificing themselves for your silly asses. Well, what would happen if the troops stood down, and threatened to kill bad guys for you no more? What if your stupid ag policies are all voted through, and you have to live with the results on the food supply?
We are about to find out, i think.
I hope we can pull it all back together,after you are done.



Wow. Do those of you who responded really believe that the way to win is with the “you are either with us or against” mentality? It will send you and if the party listens to you to the hinterlands. The mainstream press is a business. During the initial part of Iraq war they where supportive because the people were supportive. They might not have liked it but they had no choice. Also this isn’t 1980. There aren’t the big three networks. Fox news and its off shoots are on every cable list. Every AM station that isn’t talking sports is filled with conservatives. The net allows sites like Bill’s to go from one person voicing an opinion to him publishing a book and writing on the web site of one of the most respected periodicals in the world. Quit blaming and start looking inside.

Ronald Reagan did many amazing things but one of the most amazing things is create a category of voters that is still discussed 28 years later. I don’t mean conservatives, they were there before. Reagan created the “Reagan Democrats”. Not only did he create them he did such a good job that they remain today (they just mostly voted for OB this time). By definition Reagan didn’t say you are with us or against us, he reached out, he gave reasons, he spoke to the people about what is good. The press hated him and there was no Fox News to balance it. He didn’t whine. He didn’t say: “Join with us or not. It’s your choice." "However, your sniping from the sidelines will eventually be ignored and overrun.” (Wake up you just go over run). He showed them why they would be better off. He gave them a reason to cross lines in a time when crossing lines was a big deal.

To say the McCain campaign was a run to the middle is insane. Sarah Palin “a run to the middle”? Supporting the tax cuts that he previously attacked “a run to the middle”? The list goes on.

As far as the attacks on the moderate republicans, I am one. Wake up. Without them you will not win. At best the country identifies itself as 34% conservative. Without the RINO’s and Reagan Democrats the Republicans lose. The “good or bad Americans” mentality has driven Republicans to feel they had to vote for someone else. Many moderates that did vote for McCain did it on the belief the “real McCain” would come back to the middle if he won. If you keep eviscerating the moderates they may not come back and god forbid if you create a category of “Obama Republicans”

His election was won and lost in suburbs. In North Carolina black voters as a percentage of the total vote WAS DOWN from 2004. And OB still won. That’s how many new voters came into the system. That’s the moderates that you will think you will “ignore and over run”.

Right now the democrats have a leader that can cross party lines and they won. When will we have one of those? Until then get used to being on the out looking in.



Sheridan at Cedar Creek is as good an example of inspirational leadership as can be found in the annals of military history. But let's not wait for our Sheridan to appear. Let's also look to Maj. Gen. George Thomas, who carefully and methodically prepared his troops for the Battle of Nashville and then relentlessly crushed John Bell Hood's Army of Tennessee in one of the most decisive victories the Union Army ever won. Let us do likewise: find our opponents' weaknesses and exploit them without fail; fortify our own weak points; provide the sustenance that our "troops" need for the battle, and then some; pick the time and place to begin the engagement on our terms; probe the weaknesses you've discovered through your "reconnaissance" and press the ones that hurt him the most; and once the enemy has broken and fled his positions, keep up the pursuit until his forces have abandoned the field in disorder, never to fight again.

Obama has promised much to many. It is only a matter of time, and probably a short time, before those promises start to be broken. That is the opportunity to win back those who should rightly be on our side, but who succumbed to the momentary thrill of voting for the "cool" candidate. This thrill won't last, and let's be there to welcome these "prodigal sons" home. CFBleachers also provides some good advice: use our language, not theirs. Get the idea? Let's get started. And then when our Little Phil shows up, we'll be ready. Starting in, oh, about 2010 or so.



This is what you said: That a man with such overt Marxist ideas and such a history of association with virulent anti-Americans can be elected president should make it crystal clear to each of us just how far we have let fall the moral tone of this Republic.
These are the facts. Obama has surrounded himself with such obvious non-Marxists as Warren Buffett and Paul Volker.
I think you have overstated your argument - by a long shot!



mako, as far as my search function on this browser can see, you're the only one in this thread who's used Hillary Clinton's "you are either with us or against us" line.

The entrenched media is more than a business. It's a business made up of individuals. These individuals are currently overwhelmingly registered as Democrat and as any fool can plainly see in their "reporting" these past years, they have done far more than merely tilt the public's perception in support of their political party. They have done this by demonizing the opposition. Don't see it? Can't help you. The same thing is happening in academia, where tenured radicals are freely defining the language and context of social discourse for the generations to come.

Also, this may come as a shock, but FNC is just as hard on Republicans as it is on anyone else. You present it as though it somehow balances out the overwhelming bias and mendacity of all the rest. Sorry, no. The only thing you got right was that there's no longer just three networks. Today we have AP, Reuters, CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, PBS, CNN, NYT, LAT and BBC - and all their subsidiaries and affiliates - all spewing the same line.

Since you obviously weren't paying attention, McCain's selection of Sarah Palin was the one and only thing he did to seek support from the conservative base. That and the media's attack on Joe Wurzelbacher were the ONLY things that kept his loss from being a double-digit popular majority.

McCain allowed himself - and Palin - to be painted with the same demonizing brush used to destroy Bush, the Republicans and conservatism. He refused to fight back in terms that would have made a difference. He gave the impression of coddling Wall Street by supporting the bailout. His campaign's attempt to play to the middle - which is exactly what they did - failed spectacularly.

Finally, there's no evidence that Obama can cross party lines. None. He is the single most left-leaning member of the Senate. He now has what he and his handlers view as a mandate. Reaching across the aisle - except to steal someone's wallet to spread the wealth inside - is not something he's going to be concerned with. Laughably, some folks think his choice of Emanuel for CoS bodes ill for the opposition. Nothing could be sillier. His selection is intended to whip the now-majority in line before pushing the "Fairness Doctrine", the new Assault Weapons Ban and activists judges throughout the country, as well as the SCOTUS. Don't kid yourself. Obama and ilk have won THE decisive battle in their eyes, and they're going to go into "mop-up" mode, not defensive mode, let alone anything remotely resembling bipartisanship.



Mako,

Your analysis would be excellent, if only it were true.

First, you might want to get out your calculator. You will discover that the massive, massive, unprescedented shift to the middle you speak of di not actually happen. Voter turnout in 2008 may actually have been slightly SMALLER than 2004. I know this doesn't fit in with your narrative. That's because your narrative is wrong.

The highest ratings McCain got, poll-wise, were right after Saddleback and right after he announced Sarah Palin.

The moment the wheels came off his numbers was the moment he announced he was to the left of Senator Obama on buying $300B of other people's mortgages. If all of these new voters came out for Obama -- and many did -- and yet the total votes cast was almost identical to 2004, that means a lot of people sat home. And there was not ONE democrat who sat home in 2008.

Finally, I would appreciate it -- not that it will matter to a person with your manners -- if you permit me more than one blog post a few days after an election before you assay what my intentions are and how the Republicans plan to build a majority.

There was no more "moderate" Republican candidate than John McCain. All of that talk about winning the moderates and moving to the center turned out to be hooey. You know why? Well, I heard a comenter somewhere today say McCain ended up trying to do the same things Obama wanted to do, only with a pissed off look on his face.

McCain failed for many reasons, not the least of which was that he was a Moderate into the convention who THEN had to secure his base, rather then the other way around. We will not know what would have happened if a conservative had addressed the financial crisis as a failure of personal responsibility, rather than a guy handing out "Republichecks!" because they tested well and are only SLIGHLY less liberal than the Democrats.

And let's see how blue these moderates and suburbs look once the liberal policies they elected actually have a chance to have an impact.

Obama won because only one in ten people know anything about him. TWO DAYS after the election, Evan Thomas of NEWSWEEK -- who in 2004 called press bias worth 15 points, and it must be double that now -- Evan Thomas is already saying Obama "is a little creepy" and "we don't know much about him." Real shocka getting that bulletin out on Nov. 5th, but watch for more of it and then see what happens when he actually tries to govern.

That candidate, and your theory, are about to go down in flaming ruin. Just you watch, although frankly, I'd prefer you watched from somewhere else as I find your tone a little too hostile to be in front of so little original thinking. ("Wake up, you just got overrun." -- no foolin'? Wonder why I would write a post about what to do AFTER you've been overrun?)




- Obama has promised much to many. It is only a matter of time, and probably a short time, before those promises start to be broken.

That prediction is already obsolete. Note: read the original story, not the whitewash preface, which is no different from the entrenched media's refusal to admit the cause of the last two day's stock market plunge, or Bill Maher's claims that there won't be anything "funny" about Obama's Presidency. Welcome to Somewhere-In-Europe, ca. 1937.



Mako, you have it backwards. We don't believe we have to join liberals. Every time we have, we've lost.

Reagan didn't join the Democrats; Reagan persuaded Democrats to join us and he didn't do it by compromising on our principles.

We have had the misfortune to be represented to the public with a series of inarticulate leaders. The party apparatchniks apparently believed that the only way they could deal with the blaring opposition voiced by the press and newcasters (for I won't dignify them with the title of "journalist") was to become more like them. This had the inevitable effect of emboldening the opposition, not making them become similarly co-operative. Whereupon the GOP redoubled its efforts in the wrong direction and we lost even more ground.

I'm not sure what you mean when you use "moderate" but I'll guess that means you lean liberal in societal matters. In fact, those of us who are truly conservative have plenty of room for such a viewpoint, because we believe that government shouldn't be involved in our private lives or shaping society -- government should be protecting our country instead of picking our pockets to run some batty social experiments that keep failing miserably.

Hear me: I don't care how people feel about abortion, or health care, or welfare, or what people do in their bedrooms, so long as government keeps the hell out of our lives. Let the states meddle in that arena or let people decide for themselves and settle it with their own consciences and their own G-d, if they own one.

McCain was not our candidate of choice; those open elections where Democrats crossed over and voted for him brought him the candidacy. We had to make the best of it, but most of us knew his chances were bleak from the start. Palin's advent injected a false bubble of hope, which is why we're so depressed now. Without Palin, we would have gone to the polls pretty much sure we were going to lose it, but resigned. Instead, we got tantalizingly close to our goal, which just made the letdown afterwards twice as devastating.

We will have to get a lot more savvy at presenting our views to fight an uphill battle against the endless agitprop pumped out by the media, and we should start by getting people like Newt Gingrich and Fred Thompson to lead us.

- Tanka



Bill - you are the BEST. Thanks for being there. I will share your words with all of my friends and we will either stand up or shut up. I will stand.

Out Paladin was defeated but what he fought for was not.

Your story reminds me of Grant. I can't remember the exact words, but it was when enemy shells started falling within the perimeter of his field HQ, the commanders in a panic suggested they move the camp back to a more safe location. Grant looked at them squarely and told them to deal with the cannons instead.

Stop moving back.



I was listening to some of Reagan's old speeches on Youtube and was openly moved and saddened by the election results.

I relate the macro to the micro (me/my family). I believe in free speech because it allows me to listen to the radio shows and read the blogs I want to. I believe that we have a right to bear arms because I want to have the means to protect myself and my family. I don't believe in "spreading the wealth" because a lot of my wealth is already taken and spread. Spreading more of my wealth takes from my own dreams of educating my children in the schools of my choice and not going into debt to do it. Also, by keeping more of the money I've earned, I can choose to live in the Rockies and enjoy the mountains or live in Hawaii and enjoy the beaches. The macro idea of "Freedom" really means I get to make these choices and many more that effect my quality of life and that of my family. I don't want the government controlling any aspect of my life because I do an excellent job myself. The idea being tossed around that our hard earned 401(k)'s may be controlled and absorbed into the social security pot makes me physically ill. EVERY SINGLE CITIZEN IN THIS COUNTRY HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK TOWARD THEIR DREAM. You can read any number of stories about people who have come from nothing, WORKED HARD and were successful (IRONY ALERT; Oprah Winfrey).

The federal government has done a poor job at everything it has ever tried to do except for the military. And that's something that can't be done except on a federal level. Who will be successful relying on the government? Who would want to? Who are these people that have been convinced (and by whom) that they must depend on the government for, well, almost everything?

I'm a producer and I am a charitable one at that. More so than Obama and Biden ever were (based on the information they released). I give enough. And I am offended by politicians whot tell me I am selfish if I want to keep my wealth. I already pay more taxes than 95% of the country. I give more to charity than Obama, the man who called me selfish and Biden the man that says I'm not patriotic enough. This is a world upside down.

My life will change if tax rates go up. My life will change if they reintroduce the so called "Fairness Doctrine." My life will change if they demand we turn in our guns. My life will certainly change if they cut the military by 25%.
My life will change if they try to "improve" the Constitution. And none of this "change" will be for the better. Obama made this election about the producers VS those that expect something. What a pathetic way to frame a campaign. And even more pathetic are the ones who fell for it.



Thank you, Bill. I have hope that the conservatives are organizing when I hear Rush Limbaugh quoting Orson Scott Card and OSC quoting you. The radical change that our President-elect has promised is certainly upon us. But, we have true cause for hope as long as we continue to be vigilant.

I would advise everybody to look up an old book that is particularly relevant again - The Naked Communist, by Cleon Skousen. The book was written in 1958, nearly buried by Communists at that time, was forced to be self-published, but eventually sold tens of millions of copies. I would advise getting the collected works of Cleon Skousen on DVD-ROM for $39.95, as opposed to the single book for close to $20.

Here is a link to the Communist Goals, which we can see are being accomplished.
http://www.schwarzreport.org/SchwarzReport/2003/September%202003.pdf
Skousen's book includes a chapter on what individuals, parents, teachers, religious leaders, and business persons can do to combat the socialization of your community and country. For every person, like me, who has asked themselves "but, what can I do?", there is an answer. Not only that, it is probably things you already doing, since you have found Bill Whittle's blog and are reading the comments.



Thank heaven not everyone published on NRO is pledging cooperation, accomodation and all that other foolishness!

We got trounced because we lost sight of the mission.

Now let's up off the ground, focus on the objective, and have at them!

Churchill didn't give up and neither will I; "[W]e shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender..."

Thanks Bill, we needed that.

Art



Mare, I've definitely with you.

And the macro is hitting the micro here pretty badly. We live in California and my husband works for the state (or, as he ironically says, "We don't work, we're employed.") -- well, the news coming out right now is that California is so far in the hole that the Governator is furloughing all the state workers one day a month for the next 17 months. By "furloughing" that means my hubby's paycheck is going to be one day short for the foreseeable future. Additionally, there's going to be a 1.5% sales tax increase, and we already pay something like 16% sales tax (can't remember the amount, somebody can correct me if they like 'cuz I try not to think about it) here in the San Francisco Bay area.

I know Bill is going to feel the pain of that, too, as the price of everything will go up. We already pay more for gas than anyplace else, and this latest is really going to hurt if the state legislature passes it, which I'm sure they will because they got themselves into this corner and there's no way out.

Now add the prospect of higher income tax and There Is No Joy In Mudville nor around my ol' homestead, that's for damn sure. We'll manage because we both come from poor families so we know how to budget, but don't expect me to be the least bit happy over having financially clueless Democrats piloting the ship of the state.

- Tanka (poor as well as undaunted)



Let me respond to a few of the comments on my rather overly long post:
Orrin Johnson - I hear you. However: I suspect my ideas are too out-of-character for the GOP at the moment. I need to see some indication - ANY indication - that the GOP and I are starting to 'converge' on the same wavelength. If I just walk into a regional party HQ or meeting and start spouting this stuff, I have a feeling they'll throw rocks at me or call the cops. ;-)

Rockdalian - I'm sorry, you lost me. 'Fascist tendencies'? How did I leave you with such an impression? Also - the (rather extreme) example I gave involved only the THREAT of legislative intervention, not the act. And there is a LOT more to that example I gave - it would just take a full page to discuss it.



Bill,
I am pretty good with numbers so I don’t need the calculator thanks. However your response does confuse me. If as you say the turnout is lower in 2008 than it was in 2004 how do you explain a 4% change in the popular vote and a 14% change in the Electoral College without there being a fairly dynamic shift in the electorate towards the middle (or left, I like to think middle). Are you trying to tell me the liberal extreme didn’t turn out en mass to vote against Bush in 2004? And if the conservatives stayed home, then that means that my “increase” in voters made up the difference and made the difference. Both of those options seem to fit a narrative. I wouldn’t be as bad mannered as to offer a calculator but I am curious.

As far as me allowing you more than one post after the election. That was my whole point. You made a gracious and intelligent acceptance post. In that you stated that right did not make their case. My disappointment came when I saw that the next post you are right back on the attack. No where was there the soul searching I hope the party as a whole does. It was right back to blame the media, insult Obama etc. This was not a one time event; the dems will pick up 20 seats for two straight elections. That hasn’t happened for them in decades (which by the way, calculator or not, shows the shift.) I remember your post after the last mid term elections where you described the republicans as bloated out of touch etc. They didn’t change in two years and the results showed.

Obama will be remembered as either Reagan/Kennedy: someone who changed the party and the brand; or he will be Carter/George W Bush: someone that destroyed the party and the brand. If you are right about Obama then it will usher in a new rejuvenated Republican party. But it won’t happen with out the moderates and Reagan democrats. You need to reach out to them.

I am not sure how my disagreeing with you is bad mannered, but it is your blog so I will “move on” I hope that you post this. I will continue to read your writings, some of them are brilliant. I have become a huge fan of OODA (and Boyd) because of you and thought some of your points on the surge were dead right on. I know you regularly use science fiction analogies. Let me apologize in advance for not knowing the episode name or some errors on my Star Trek reach, but between you and your sworn enemies on the left I feel like Kirk staring at the half black half white fighters as they explain that he “is white ON THE LEFT SIDE. Cant you see it” I hope you have a happier ending then they and their planet did.

I will continue to read the comments because I would like to hear your response, I have made two responses to people who either insulted me or I agree with. But will honor your request to not post again.

Goy, you might want to expand your web search feature. While you will not find the phrase “with us or against us” you will find the phrase “Join with us or not. It’s your choice.” (From Lionel) and a quick count of last paragraph in your response to mine results in 4 “us” or “we”. As does the admittedly asinine (and I might add bad mannered) use of the phase “you will be overrun”, which I changed to a whopping you were overrun. That phrase does not appear in my original post, it is from Lionel response. No where in my original post do I use the term us or we. And in my response I start it by qualifying that the post was for those that went right to the us vs. we argument.

Tanka,
I am sorry I didn’t make myself clearer. I agree with most of your words. I don’t want to become liberal I want someone that will reach beyond the extremes. Your description of me is dead on and your wishes are the same as mine for government.



mako, you might want to expand your understanding of English. "Join with us or not" does not have the same meaning as Hillary Clinton's "you are with us or against us", so your characterization is flawed from the start. The former is a sentiment with which I heartily agree. Either join us in fighting back, or don't. It's your choice. No one will think the less of you if you don't. In fact, no one will give you any thought at all. And it's clear you understand that. Which is why you keep posting.



Mako, I did have to go back and re-read your words. I think like some others, that right now we're overly sensitive and any little thing just rubs our fur backwards.

We've gotten so used to getting slapped with the "right-wing extremist gun-toting religious nut case" label that our response is more often a snarl than a cogent reply.

I for one am tired of having my party associated in the popular mind with that label, and would like to be represented by somebody who will take us firmly outside of that artificial designation.

I don't want to hear debates about abortion and gay marriage. I want my party to stand up and say, "That has nothing to do with running a government, which is what we're here to do."

Now if we want to talk about how best to run a society, we can do that. But government shouldn't shape society -- it should be the other way around. Government doesn't have a conscience, society does. Society should also have a strong sense of moral values, because governement has no reason to. Government is "they" but society is "us".

Ah, I don't know where to go next. I feel like I've got a front row seat at a replay of the Fall Of The Roman Empire. It's only reading Bill's essays and reading the posts of folks here that keeps me from feeling that our ideal of America, the America that brought my great-grandparents here from Europe, is totally dead. You guys keep me from going insane. I'm surrounded here at work with wonderful, intelligent people who are nevertheless infected with the do-gooder virus of liberalism. They never seem to wake up to the fact that they're being played for fools and that for all their good intentions, they're killing our society and our country. They mean well. They're generous (with money they don't have and isn't theirs, although they can't be brought to see it), they have the highest of ideals. And they're killing us. They can't see it, they can't understand it, they don't want to understand it. They are such a gang of happy imbeciles, and all this talk about being "inclusive" means "join us in our happy cloud-cuckoo land" and I can't. I won't.

- Tanka



And while I'm at it, I'm tired of being labeled and pigeon-holed.

I'm female. I'm married. I'm childless. I'm Jewish. I'm not very religious. I'm an artist. I'm a systems programmer. I'm a singer. I'm Caucasian. I'm a Baby Boomer (just barely). I'm a writer.

But that doesn't describe me. Everybody out there doesn't know me, yet they're falling all over themselves to put words in my mouth. I shouldn't care, but it hurts.

I'm sick to death of it.

- Tanka (now utterly guilty of having a keyboard barf, herself)



just this: you were a good choice for nro. great rally cry. my sentiments exactly.



tanka, fwiw I'll barf with you - if by that you meant your rant about being sick to death of people assuming you follow their stereotypes of identity politics. It's the single most aggravating and demoralizing aspect of political discourse today.

I'm male. I'm married. My child is estranged, and believes the Constitution is a "living document" as a result. I'm Gentile, but was raised a minority among Jews (hence the handle). I'm not religious at all. I'm a guitarist. I'm a cellist. I'm a 3D graphic artist (of sorts). I'm an applications programmer. I'm a singer. I'm Sicilian. I'm a Baby Boomer (also just barely). I'm a writer. I'm former ASA, Viet Nam Era Vet. We have oodles in common, but we're completely different because those things don't describe Us.

Neither do the social and geopolitical positions I hold describe me. Have an abortion, or keep the child - either way don't expect me to fund the decision. ERA and DMA are equally stupid: marry whom you like but, again, don't expect preferential treatment for the decision. Spreading more of my wealth around is not something I'm going to accept. I'll cut back my productivity and start applying for every social service I can find if that becomes the norm, since the sooner such a doomed system is overloaded and breaks down, the better. Same with "universal" health care, which is not health care at all, but universal health insurance - and comp. health insurance is what's at the root of skyrocketing health care costs in the first place. I support my wife's efforts to better the lives of intersexed, transgendered and transsexual folks. I've been ostracized by most of my gay friends because of that, and of course some het' friends too. Go figger. Islamist fanaticism is a social cancer. As is marxist-socialism, proved many times over. I will not stand for either and support any military or social action aimed at ridding the world of those diseases.

What does all that make me? Conservative? Yes. Liberal? Yes. Moderate? Yes. Leftist? No fracking way.



Remember what Colin Powell said when he endorsed Obama:

"Taxes are always a redistribution of money. Most of the taxes that are redistributed go back to those who pay it -- in roads and airports and hospitals and schools -- and taxes are necessary for the common good, and there's nothing wrong with examining what our tax structure is and who should be paying more, who should be paying less. And for us to say that makes you a socialist I think is an unfortunate characterization and is inaccurate."



- ...there's nothing wrong with examining what our tax structure is and who should be paying more, who should be paying less...

Sorry, but if there's some difference between that and "from each according to his gifts, to each according to his need", it's pretty subtle (read: nonexistent).

The questions (in Powell's version) are these: Who does the "examining"? Who decides who should be paying more/less? Who decides how much more/less? On what criteria are these decisions made?

Powell's statement is pure irrelevant thesis. Few people have a problem with paying taxes for sustaining infrastructure, military, and all the things the Constitution says the government is responsible for. That is NOT redistribution of wealth, and Powell damn well knows it.

The issue here is whether or not we should - to use Obama's words - SPREAD THE WEALTH AROUND. Doing that makes one a socialist, and it's not an unfortunate characterization, it's perfectly accurate.



Ryan, had Obama not said we are selfish and Biden not said we were not patriotic I could possibly stomach Powell's comments.

Instead, his words sound like someone sneaking up on you with a sock full of batteries.

Yes, let's have the discussion of who should pay more. I think people who leach of the system should pay more. I think people who provide opportunities for others to prosper should pay less.

And believe me I pay plenty already for airports (which I use), hospitals (public, which I don't), and schools (which I don't use, my kids go to private schools because the public schools stink and appear to be indoctrination centers).



Remember also that taxes are far lower now than they have been in the past under many conservatives.

For several years under Reagan, the top earners were paying over 50%. Under Eisenhower, the top earners paid over 90%. No one would call either of those men socialists, let alone communists.

Mare, don't forget that taxes also go to roads, bridges, police, firemen, our national defense, and plenty of other state and national services we've grown so used to that we hardly notice them anymore.

We've always spread the wealth around. The question is "what degree is the right degree?" And the right answer to that changes with the times; part of Obama's job now is to find the right answer for today's economy.

One other thing while we're on the subject: Say what you want about Clinton, but under his "tax and spend" policies, we actually had a budget surplus, and were paying down the national debt; under George W., who cut taxes for the rich in a time of war, we now have the worst budget deficit in history, and almost twice the national debt we had when he took office.

And that's part of a larger problem; the modern GOP is at odds with the ideals of many Republicans. The Bush Administration talked about fiscal responsibility and smaller government, then plunged headfirst into debt and created the biggest government we've ever seen.

It goes without saying that the GOP is suffering from a major schism now; one side says Palin pushed too many voters away, and the other side says Palin was all McCain had going for him, and that the next ticket should be Palin squared. It's a fact that McCain's numbers spiked when he first chose Palin, but it's also a fact that those numbers declined, further and further, as Palin's lack of qualifications came to light; in fact, some polls among Republicans had Palin as their number one concern.

Now, feel free to disagree with Obama's policies, but he's a smart guy, and -- as I saw firsthand volunteering for his campaign -- his organizational skills are top-notch.

And more than that, he brings all kinds of people together; working for his campaign, I saw young people, old people, men, women, blue-collar, white-collar, people of all ethnicities and educational backgrounds. He draws 100,000+ crowds for a reason, and it's not just because he speaks well. It's because he has the skills of a leader.

Now, the obvious response to that is, "But he'll lead us in the wrong direction." And that's a fear many people have held for a long time. But many of those fears are based on rumor and misinformation and exaggeration -- again, compare his tax plans to Eisenhower's. We all want this country to prosper. As Obama's said more than once, "we may call ourselves Democrats and Republicans, but we are Americans first. We are always Americans first."

Colin Powell wasn't the only Republican to endorse him in the race, remember; so did the son of William F. Buckley. So did Reagan's chief of staff, Ken Duberstein. So did the former publisher of National Review, Wick Allison, who wrote:

"Today it is so-called conservatives who are cemented to political programs when they clearly don’t work. The Bush tax cuts—a solution for which there was no real problem and which he refused to end even when the nation went to war—led to huge deficit spending and a $3 trillion growth in the federal debt. Facing this, John McCain pumps his “conservative” credentials by proposing even bigger tax cuts. Meanwhile, a movement that once fought for limited government has presided over the greatest growth of government in our history. That is not conservatism; it is profligacy using conservatism as a mask.

"Today it is conservatives, not liberals, who talk with alarming bellicosity about making the world “safe for democracy.” It is John McCain who says America’s job is to “defeat evil,” a theological expansion of the nation’s mission that would make George Washington cough out his wooden teeth.

"This kind of conservatism, which is not conservative at all, has produced financial mismanagement, the waste of human lives, the loss of moral authority, and the wreckage of our economy that McCain now threatens to make worse.

"Barack Obama is not my ideal candidate for president. (In fact, I made the maximum donation to John McCain during the primaries, when there was still hope he might come to his senses.) But I now see that Obama is almost the ideal candidate for this moment in American history. I disagree with him on many issues. But those don’t matter as much as what Obama offers, which is a deeply conservative view of the world."

(Now, of course, his definition of "conservative" differs greatly from what the GOP stands for today. But that's part of the problem the GOP is having right now.)

The Republican party--the fiscal conservatives, the social conservatives, the evangelicals, and the neocons--will need a long time to sort out what they stand for as a unified front.

In the meantime, let's what a smart, capable, inspiring leader can do for this country. If he does wrong by us, we can always vote him out -- but hey, let's give him a shot. :)



Google is pushing this via Google Mail Sponsored links - anyone seen it before?



goy, I had not seen that. Talk about a target rich environment. Wonder how long that piece will stay online, or unchanged...

So nice that Google is ready to push that as news. Much easier than having to buy Pravda every day to find out what's officially true.



Ryan, President Obama will have the allegiance due all U.S. Presidents until such time as his past is fully exposed and it comes back to bite him - assuming someone has enough of a death wish to perform that feat, or he has the bad judgment to piss off the entrenched media that has protected him so completely (and which holds all his skeletons).

In the meantime, he'll get respect once he's earned it. Given the outright fraud perpetrated by his campaign, the intellectually dishonest manner in which he and his minions have defined down "middle class" and "rich", and the blatant disrespect he's shown the electorate by not fully revealing and accounting for all aspects of his past political and financial alliances, earning any thinking person's respect will take some serious doing on his part.



Goy, are you surprised they're busily rewriting history?

Why do they have to do it? Why can't they ever admit to having been wrong, that they made a mistake?

But now watch them move next into making us say that black is white, or white is black, or whatever they decide is the line of bull they're selling on this particular day. Well, perhaps it's doubleplusungood of me, but they can't get inside my head and edit my memories. Because I was there and I know what happened.

- Tanka



Ryan G.
You are mistaken re Palin's influence in this election.

"69% of GOP Voters Say Palin Helped McCain"

"Ninety-one percent (91%) of Republicans have a favorable view of Palin, including 65% who say their view is Very Favorable. Only eight percent (8%) have an unfavorable view of her, including three percent (3%) Very Unfavorable."
http://tinyurl.com/6blkpg

As has been stated more eloquently by others, McCain allowed the entrenched media to set the agenda.
The next nominee should learn from this mistake.



These are some number from the election.

"In 2004, Bush beat John Kerry by winning 62.04 million votes. In 2008, Obama won 62.443 million, a gain of only 400,000. In 2004, Kerry garnered 59.028 million votes; John McCain only got 55.386 million. That means this election saw 3.24 million fewer votes than four years ago. Far from being more energized, the nation appeared to be more apathetic."

And these,

"John McCain and the GOP didn’t get their turnout in this race. They lost almost seven million voters from 2004, a rather stunning number."
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/11/05/notes-from-the-collapse/

While we, as a party and movement, have work to do, all is not as bleak as it seems.



"one able to look defeat in the face and own up to the errors in tactics and strategy that got us there."

The "error in strategy" that began to get you here, was invading Iraq to find WMD that weren't there.

And then, instead of leaving Iraq, you changed the subject: You invented the excuse that we had to "build a democracy" in Iraq, no matter the cost in American blood and treasure.

The Wilsonian "Making the world safe for democracy" was NEVER a conservative principle. The moment Bush embraced it and forced the GOP to go along, the GOP began its long sad decline in the eyes of the American public.

I hear a lot of talk about how the conservative movement has to get back to original principles. But conservatives seem reluctant to face the truth: The Iraq War post-2004 was NEVER consistent with original conservative principles. Rather, it smelled of the kind of humanitarian military interventionism that only liberals used to foist on the American public.

You want to get back to original conservative principles? Fine. Then NEVER get America into a foreign misadventure like Iraq ever again. It's just not conservative.



Tanka, no I'm not the least bit surprised. A particular thorn-in-my-side / commenter at my site has been pushing that "IT WAS ALL BUSH'S FAULT" line for months.

To the extent that deregulation allowed the excesses perpetrated by FM/FM, we can blame deregulation... which Bush didn't single-handedly implement. But the problem is this: when OFHEO (finally) called the FM management on the carpet, his (Raines') backers in Congress turned the hearings into a joke. Then, of course OFHEO gets the blame for "not regulating" enough. It is to laugh.

It'll be a long time before all that is presented to America en masse, but it's public record - just like the Duelfer Report, the SSCI Report and all the other documentation that contains the truth, but which has been lied about relentlessly by the entrenched media because they know that about 1% of us ever bother to go read that stuff for ourselves.

BTW Ryan - on your myth that the feds were paying down the debt under Clinton: a surplus can be 'created' by anyone who passes the largest tax increase in history and then includes SSI funds as part of the spendable budget. Furthermore, the average level of publicly held debt to GDP ratio - the only meaningful measure - has been significantly lower these past 8 years than during the previous 8 (see page 2). Citing absolute numbers is meaningless without context.



I agree overall with your conclusions however I disagree on the historical particulars. The Rebel army had suffered a series of defeats against superior Union forces before the battle - most of those battles were unnecessary had Sheridan been a more competant general. Though their flanking move had all the Jacksonian rebel dash it did not rout the Union VIth Corps and the rebels were so starved and ill clothed they could not keep themselves from looting the Union camps. All the same Sheridan deserves credit for inspiring his men to go back into battle and the Union soldier again deserves credit for coming back after a defeat. The Southern soldier deserves credit for giving the damnyankees a run for their money despite the hopeless odds against him.



Rockdalian:

Ah, my mistake. The poll I was thinking of covered undecided voters, not Republicans.

Still, the fact remains that she scared away a lot of voters who could have otherwise voted for McCain. Essentially, she galvanized the Republican base at the expense of everyone else.

Neither camp has more than a quarter of the country solidly in its corner. And they'll vote their party, no matter who's running, come hell or highwater -- but rallying the base isn't enough to win a majority vote. It's that 50% in the middle that needs courting.

In his speeches, Obama repeatedly drove home the point that we are all patriotic Americans. "I love this country, so do you, and so does John McCain," he said. Palin, on the other hand, repeatedly tried to prop up the idea that only Republicans can be patriotic Americans, with her remarks about the "real," "pro-America" parts of the country. And it's no accident that threats against Obama spiked as soon as she started painting him as a terrorist sympathizer -- which she did, incidentally, without the approval of McCain.

Between her divisive tone and her obvious lack of basic knowledge, Palin was in no way good enough to lead the United States. And what's more, that called McCain's judgement into question; he's the one who chose her, after all.

Goy:

Obama spent more time discussing his associations than any other politician I can name. Check out his "A More Perfect Union" speech if you don't believe me.

That said, of course respect has to be earned. But he's got a shot at that. Remember what he said in his victory speech:

"Let's remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity.

"Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.

"As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.

"And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too."



leech=leach



Ryan, you don't really think Obama was running his campaign do you? Seriously, you don't really think it was him making the day to day decisions of his campaign?



Ryan G.
Fwiw, Palin is the only reason I voted for McCain.
Also note my last post on the election numbers. McCain lost almost 7 million votes from Bush 04.
The idea that the base has no where to go is a myth.



Mare:

Depends on what you mean. Of course he didn't micromanage everything at every level; no one can do that on a national scale.

But good management is all about setting the right policies, putting the right people in charge of executing those policies, and then making sure it all gets done. And it's about good leadership, which he clearly excelled at; all the people who donated their money and time didn't do so for Plouffe or Axelrod -- they did it because he inspired them and won them over.

Both his opponents, Hillary and McCain, made huge blunders along the way. (Hillary chose a poor strategy, and fell into massive debt; McCain, especially once Palin arrived, lost control of the message.) Obama's worst mistakes were a few verbal gaffes, the kind every politician makes on the trail.

What really tipped the scales for Obama was not the economic crisis, but the candidates' reactions to it; McCain was all over the place, while Obama stayed steady. McCain's numbers were already trailing by that point, but that's what sealed the deal.



Ryan, do you think that the Chicago political machine had anything to do with his success? Why, if you are raised in Hawaii, go to school in New York and Mass do you end up in Chicago working as a community organizer.

I think he knew where you could find the most radical, most corrupt, most successful political machine anywhere. Just something to think about. It's also kind of curious he ended up in the same neighborhood as Rezco (a felon), Ayer (a terrorist), Wright (a racist), and Farahkan (a whitey hating bigot). That is really some coincidence.



Ryan, speeches prove exactly squat. That goes double for someone with the temerity to copy and paste Lincoln's true humility and greatness onto themselves to hide a personal lack thereof.

Obama's definition of revelation was to fall back on "Ayers tried to kill people when I was 8". 98% of America fell for that. That's not explaining an association with an unrepentant terrorist who was still pursuing radical marxist programs, stomping on the American flag, claiming he didn't do enough violence to Americans and cheering Chavez' socialism when Obama was working alongside him, in his 40s.

Each and every one of Obama's inconvenient political, financial or personal alliances was handily thrown under the bus with feigned incredulity or never explained at all: Rezko, Odinga, Wright, Ayers, Klonsky ... We were all instructed to simply look the other way. His supporters did just that.



You know why I like to come here and read Bill Whittle's writing? Because he does more than recite Sean Hannity talking points, and I wish more Republicans would follow his example. Seriously, you might as well go all the way and call Obama a stealth Muslim Commu-Nazi terrorist at this point. Hey, did you hear the one about how Revelation says he's the Antichrist? :p

Seriously, show me one politician in Washington who's never worked with anyone shady. If you can live with the Republican Senate having a former Klansman in its midst (did you know the Klan has a rank called "Exalted Cyclops"? The more you know...), you can live with Obama knowing a couple of unsavory guys too.

What I miss most about the Republicans from the nineties is their "personal responsibility" mantra. That goes two ways: You're responsible for what you do, and others are *not* responsible for what you do.

Obama's no more a terrorist than anyone else who served on the Woods Fund charity board (which, remember, was funded by Walter Annenberg, who served under Reagan as a U.S. ambassador, and who gave Ayers a multi-million dollar grant for his legitimate charity work). Nor is he responsible for Rezko's felonies; remember, when Rezko went down, the FBI looked into Obama's purchase, determined that he legitimately bought the property with his own money, and cleared him of any and all wrongdoing. He did nothing illegal or immoral there. Nor is he responsible for every word from his pastor's mouth; to say that is to say that every member of John Hagee's megachurch believes that Hitler was sent by God. And Farrakhan, hateful as he is, is not Obama either -- and one can hardly argue that Obama shares Farrakhan's views on Israel when he married the cousin of a rabbi.

But none of those things have to do with the wars, or the economy, or any of America's other challenges today. What matters is how Obama will meet those challenges, and that's something we'll all be watching in the weeks ahead.



Ryan G.
"If you can live with the Republican Senate having a former Klansman in its midst (did you know the Klan has a rank called "Exalted Cyclops"? The more you know...)"

Are you serious?
Link please.

Meanwhile, for your perusal,

"As is noted in virtually every lengthy story about Byrd, as a young man he joined the Ku Klux Klan. There has been an ongoing dispute about the length of his membership and his commitment to the Klan's racist cause -- Byrd over the years has minimized his involvement; others have said that in doing so he ignores the facts."

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/05/sen-robert-byrd.html

Oh, and Byrd's party affiliation?
Democrat, of course.



We lost the election when civic virtue fled the field. The middle caved because they were seduced by slick advertising. Others have fallen for the promise of easy entitlements. They were bought. I reckon that much is an essay for another day. Tonight I'm good to run with the current metaphor.

In the Wilderness campaign a Union soldier complained to U.S. Grant after the first day, "General, we got beat today." The taciturn Grant responded, "yeah, (we'll) lick 'em tomorrow." The sentiment was not false bravado on Grant's part. Unlike previous Union generals, Grant refused to leave the field after defeat. His orders were always consistent: press forward! Well then, I guess that's the plan. Or at least the right sentiment.

Those new to this page need to know that Bill has a core following, maybe even a corps of followers. And none of us are quitters. Begging your pardon, Captain Whittle, may I speak to the troops? We are the lovers of liberty who still support the American republic as a republic. I reckon that declaration is nigh well simplisitic. But then, I'm a simple man who considers simplicity a virtue. Liberty! Does that word ring in your bones to the marrow? If so, you've come to the right place.

Shake off the melancholy and take your place in the ranks. (cfbleachers, please report to the command tent. I'll vouch.) Unlike our opposition, this is no cult. We stand for basic principles, not personality. Bill Whittle is our voice because he earned the position. He worked his way from commentary on other people's blogs, to blogger in his own right, to a place at NRO. Meritocracy in action is a beautiful thing. But don't take my word for it, just read him.

If you think I'm a flunky for Bill, you would be wrong. I've said some rude things to Bill over the years. You need to understand that our little brotherhood is a cantankerous lot of independent thinkers (Yo, troll, don't even bother commenting on that. I see it coming.) But even as we argue, we're united in our belief that an American republic will stand. And stand on liberty.

Members of the new majority this is your enemy ---> Liberty. Heady stuff. I think I'll have another.



mako and Ryan G, I would take what you say a lot more seriously if you were telling the complete and total truth.

I'm not trying to slam you guys; I'm just being honest.

mako: and 53% in a presidential election while not landslide proportions is still a large victory. To put it in perspective the Reagan Revolution was ushered in with just over 50% (one of which was my first vote ever) of the popular vote but a huge landslide in the electoral college.

You neglect to mention that that was a three-way election containing Reagan, Carter, and John Anderson, another Republican. While Anderson was more liberal than most Republicans, the fact that Reagan got a majority of votes despite TWO opponents — one of whom was a member of his own party — is proof enough of the landslide he had won.

Ryan G: And it's no accident that threats against Obama spiked as soon as she started painting him as a terrorist sympathizer -- which she did, incidentally, without the approval of McCain.

Most of these "threats" were fictional. And I don't know what agenda-driven journalism piece based on anonymous sources led you to believe it wasn't approved by the top of the ticket, but that was rebutted by one insider willing to be named (Randy Sheunemann), and the fact that McCain brought Ayers up in the third debate.


Those are just the more egregious examples I saw; there were more. But the point is, we can't agree on opinions until we agree on the facts. You don't get to bend those.



Here's a source:

http://www.newsweek.com/id/167581/page/2

Newsweek's reporters spent a year with both campaigns, and published a retrospective series this week. From the link above:

"Palin launched her attack on Obama's association with William Ayers, the former Weather Underground bomber, before the campaign had finalized a plan to raise the issue. McCain's advisers were working on a strategy that they hoped to unveil the following week, but McCain had not signed off on it, and top adviser Mark Salter was resisting."

"The Obama campaign was provided with reports from the Secret Service showing a sharp and disturbing increase in threats to Obama in September and early October, at the same time that many crowds at Palin rallies became more frenzied. Michelle Obama was shaken by the vituperative crowds and the hot rhetoric from the GOP candidates. "Why would they try to make people hate us?" Michelle asked a top campaign aide."



Just so you know, Ryan, no observant, thinking person considers Newsweek remotely objective. They spin and lie like crazy, just as most of the rest of the Obamedia do.



What media sources are acceptable, then?



Mr. Whittle himself mentioned Obama's overt Marxist ideals and anti-American friends. I would never want to discourage anyone from reading Mr. Whittle but if facts make you uncomfortable then your going to be disappointed coming here.



you're = your

damn it



Your Civil War analogy is great, but there is this problem: A big black hole of ignorance and dis-information exists among the electorate, caused by the corrupt mainstream news media. Seventy percent of Americans get ALL their news from television, a sales and entertainment medium that cannot report in-depth and that lies to its viewers. Newspapers are even worse about lying. People are conditioned out of laziness to believe these media. The media have a hold on them that will be hard to break. So how to we get light into this big black hole?



Hang on:
Ryan -
You stated that Clinton had budget surpluses and was paying off the deficit.

Not Correct.

BEHOLD:
http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np

Do a search over the Clinton Years.
You'll find teh Federal debt grew by $1.6 TRILLION.

From what I have heard, the Clinton years included budget numbers that dropped social security payments - hence the appearance of surpluses.

However:
For 6 of those 8 years, there was a Republican congress. They did NOT stop the deficit spending. Thus, it's not fair to blame Clinton.

The Republican party has betrayed America's trust. I'm still a moderate conservative, and can't imagine ever voting for a Dhimmicrat. But the GOP has not only failed me, but betrayed me and every other American.

I want change. REPUBLICAN change. Country before Party, DAMMIT. That's something the Dhimmicrats will NEVER be able to effectively challenge - they are always 'me first, then party, and country a distant third.'



LOKNLOAD:
There is a way to win the press back. The press has been liberal and Dhimmicrat-biased for 30-40 years, yet Reagan POSSESSED them.
Read my earlier post (somewhere around #15.) It's a partial plan, but it's the beginning.
Remember:
1. News organizations - print, tv, radio, whatever - need source information and stories and editorials.
2. News orgs need to sell their wares, because they are, after all, businesses.

This is HIGHLY doable. And the opportunity will come IMMEDIATELY, since the Dhimmicrats will come under incereasing scrutiny and pressure over 2009 because of the economy and the myriad international problems. Do you remember how the press HOUNDED Clinton over Monika Lewinsky? They will eventually turn on Obama, Pelosi and Ried eventually - even if just over single instances and issues.



Reagan had the ability to go over the entrenched medias head.

McCain had that opportunity and failed to use it.

The entrenched media is to far to the left.

The Conservatives must find a way around them.



Ya think so, Rockdalian?
Remember - Reagan had WEEKLY press conferences, and was always chatting with press folks. I remember seeing so many stories about how the press was ENCHANTED with him. Even today, people like Obama feel the need to praise him and never criticize him. I think they are in AWE of his persona - and rightly so. RR RAWKED!
I'm tellin' ya - the GOP needs to find top media people and train their cadres in how to deal with the media. It's VITAL.



First, Studsupreme, I appreciate alot of the ideas on your list, but when you start the Christian bashing, you lose credibility. How many times does it take to educate our population as to the history, impact and value of Christianity here in America?
The social issues of abortion and homosexuality absolutely do impact our society negatively and it does matter - bigtime.
Secondly, in regards to mdmhvonpa: your comment was bittersweet and heartbreakingly inspiring. I will remember it.

Now I would like to share a few simple ideas as to how we can rescue our nation starting in our own communities.
These ideas are based on my own observations, but they are effective and purposeful:
1)I am surrounded by Liberal men on my job and in my community. I can attest to the fact that they do not watch hours and hours of sports, as compared to all the Republicans I know. These Liberals make it a habit of knowing what is going on politically, and getting involved in one way or another. Whereas I do not know one Conservative or Republican who has done anything to advance the cause of our party. What is it going to take to get our men to realize they're watching someone else get rich for throwing a ball, while their country is being hijacked? Get off the couch and get involved.
2)Wake up when it comes to the education of your child.
As a public school teacher, I had been asked by a particular association to present to a group of families the many different techniques the Liberals are using to mold and shape your child's thinking and education without you knowing it. These parents turned out to be typical naive Republican parents: "Not in my school", "The Liberals wouldn't do such a thing","It's probably a misunderstanding".
Every public school has it's resident Liberal teachers who feel it's their duty to indoctrinate your child with Liberal ideology whether you like it or not. You, not your neighbor, has to put a stop to it.
3)Stop being so afraid of the liberals. Yes, they scream and shout loud, don't they? It's part of the "technique", so get over it and stop being intimidated. I once had to confront several liberals in my school about Christmas. They screamed. They protested. They tried to use the predictable liberal "psychobabble". But guess what? I prevailed. I saved Christmas at my public school. It can be done. Get a backbone. It starts in your community.

In conclusion, where did our forefathers get the "chutzpah" to take on the mighty Goliath of the British Empire, or later on, the German Empire? Is that indomitable spirit just dormant? Or is it dead? Can we not take on the Goliath of Liberalism?



Ryan, you're getting far more attention than your vacuous posts deserve, but I'll just mention the following.

Your comment claiming that "Obama is not a terrorist", etc., demonstrates a vast naivete.

The depth of a person's character is that which determines how they'll meet challenges. That character can be determined - absent any achievements by which to judge them, which is the case here (according to Michelle O.) - by those individuals with whom that person surrounds themselves and with whom they ally themselves as they proceed through life.

Obama has surrounded himself with a collection of socialists (Michelle Obama), marxists (Mike Klonsky), terrorists (Bill Ayers), America-bashers (Jeremiad Wright), anti-semitic apologists for islamist terrorists (Rashid Khalidi), blatant racists (Fr. Michael Pfleger), felons (Tony Rezko), corrupt organizations (ACORN), wannabe communist dictators (Raila Odinga), corrupt politicians (Franklin Raines) and demonstrably corrupt ideas (spreading the wealth around).

You do the math.



JA New York,
1. Yo, I live in Cali, but am a North Jersey guy myself. :-)
2. I think I hurt some feelings with my negative Christian comments. Let me explain in greater detail:
I am a Christian. Roman Catholic. A bad one - I hardly ever go to church, and haven't been to confession in decades. BUT: just a few days ago, the charity stand in front of my favorite grocery store was staffed by a nun. I couldn't help myself - I went over to her, thanked her for being there, and made a donation.
Yeah, it's wierd.
I love the church. Pope Benedict RAWKS.
BUT..........
I'm a supporter of both the death penalty and a woman's right to choose whether or not to have an abortion.
I was deeply moved by Sarah Palin's decision to have her son, even after discovering that he would be born mentally impaired. I heard her explanation and the depth of feeling in her voice, and was shaken.
Nevertheless - I just can't find it in me to blame a woman who finds that their unborn early term child has some sort of terrible defect and decides to abort. I think of what difficulties a child might have being born with terrible and debilitating defects, and can see how it could be an act of mercy to not bring the child to term.
And for women who have abortions because they don't feel like caring for a child - I find such callousness reprehensible, but also wonder what kind of life an unwanted, possibly abandoned child would have.
God will judge us one day. Let each woman who chooses to have an abortion face that final judgement - it's their right.
That's just the way I see it. And that's one of the reasons I want to keep the abortion issue out of the GOP platform. Also, leaving the issue up to the individual to judge for themself disarms the Dhimmicrat attacking point regarding separation of church and state -something which resonates with a majority of Americans. After all, the objections to abortion stem primarily from religious beliefs.
Perhaps those in the GOP who simply cannot let the issue rest should indeed form their own party. Or perhaps the GOP should embrace the anti-abortion position as it has in the past, and it's ME who doesn't belong. It's almost guaranteed that I'll keep voting along GOP lines, because there's so many things in the original GOP platform with which I agree. But we will differ on the abortion issue.
The same thing with homosexuality. I don't understand it. I admit to having some lingering unease, because I do find it somewhat repulsive (sorry if I sound like a neanderthal.) But I've met quite a few homosexuals in North Cali, and as long as they're civil, I can't really treat them badly - it feels like the wrong thing to do. I'm pretty liberal in social issues - live and let live, provided you don't break the law and harm others, and I'll leave you be.

I hear you regarding liberals and their involvement in the party. Maybe I should contact the local organization.
:-)



Thank you, Bill! I needed that. Your post was like a combination of a father's warm & encouraging embrace after being splashed with a bucket of ice water. And I needed both. You put our loss in perspective. And you brightly re-illustrated one of the finest qualities of our finest role model and leader Ronald Wilson Reagan: the quality of being the Happy Warrior optimistic with the knowledge of undeniable moral purpose.



Thank you J.A., for your suggestions. It has been great to see conservatives coming together with greater zeal to identify and purge their weaknesses, and to build a stronger network of principled individuals. It is happening all over the net, in an amazingly rapid fashion. But you have contributed something I've felt lacking: a specific direction, a call to act on the fervor. To continue the military metaphor BW started here - you're looking like a fine sergeant. And I don't know that there's any higher compliment I could give. Oyster out.



Goy, I haven't gotten personal, and you have.

That aside, two things:

First: Again, every politician has questionable associations. This is not something unique to Obama, nor to any one party. If you'd like discuss the specifics of who's worked with who, on which side of the aisle, we certainly can, but that would turn this whole conversation sour and wouldn't get us anywhere.

Second: This is not a true free-market capitalist nation. Hasn't been since sometime around the Industrial Revolution. The bailout is only the most recent example, and one of the largest, but there are so many others. Look at all the things our taxes provide every day. You can somehow write all that off as "not wealth redistribution," but it is. It's taking a part of what you earn and giving it to someone else, someone who didn't work for it. Of course, that someone usually provides you a service or buils you a facility you need, so it balances out, gives everyone things that no one person could buy. Things like roads and cops and the occasional open-heart surgery.

And sometimes that money goes to the disabled; people who can't provide for themselves. Some people in this country -- not many, but some -- are legitimately, severely disabled. The blind, for example, or the badly crippled. People who need constant, reliable care. What we have now gives it to them. Barely.

What people are really against is the idea of people who *can* provide for themselves, but choose not to; the rock-bottom poor doing nothing with their lives but collecting welfare checks. What a lot of people don't know is that welfare reform, over the last twenty years, has shrunk that problem by more than half. Hear it from the Republican Policy Committee, here: http://www.senate.gov/~rpc/releases/1999/wf080599.htm

Every President pushes the numbers around and figures out who pays what in taxes. Every one. Sometimes the numbers go up; sometimes they go down. It all depends on what the country needs. It's nothing to fear.

Back on topic, what we have today in this country is neither capitalism nor socialism, but an awkward mix of both.

A commenter to the last article defined capitalism, in part, as the freedom to fail. You and I have that freedom, but here's the catch: Wall Street doesn't. Large business constantly lobby Washington for less oversight, less restriction -- but then, whenever they fail, they turn around and beg Washington for a handout. And they get it.

For capitalism to work, there have to be consequences for failure -- and, for CEOs like Richard Fuld who pocket hundreds of millions while their companies go down in flames, those consequences don't exist. Washington doesn't allow them to exist. And things are so entangled now that if Washington suddenly did allow them to exist, Wall Street would take everyone else down with them. We'd all pay for their mistakes.

No system is perfect, except on paper. Because people work the system. Mr. Whittle himself pointed out that, when everybody works the system, everybody loses in the end; we're seeing that in the economy right now.

What we have clearly doesn't work. So we need something else. Some people are quick to associate any kind of socialism with Stalinism or Maoism, but considering how much socialism we already practice, that doesn't seem to be the case.

If you're religious, it's worth mentioning that even the Apostles practiced systemic charity. Check out Acts 2:43-47:

Reverential awe came over everyone, and many wonders and miraculous signs came about by the apostles. 2:44 All who believed were together and held everything in common, and they began selling their property and possessions and distributing the proceeds to everyone, as anyone had need. 2:46 Every day they continued to gather together by common consent in the temple courts, breaking bread from house to house, sharing their food with glad and humble hearts, 2:47 praising God and having the good will of all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number every day those who were being saved.

Whether it's a personal choice or part of the way society operates, looking out for your neighbor is not, in itself, an evil thing. Taken to extremes, it can easily end in disaster, and often has. But in moderation, it can work. It's got flaws, but so does every system. So does ours, as we're all acutely aware these days.

Side note, by the way: StudSupreme, you're right in that the deficit did grow under Clinton -- but by the smallest margin of any President since Carter. By the sixth year of his term, it had leveled off almost entirely, only to skyrocket again as soon as Bush II took the reins. This chart has the numbers: http://www.cedarcomm.com/~stevelm1/usdebt.htm

Anyway, I've rambled long enough, and I get the impression I'm not entirely welcome. Besides, not much point in my speaking up for Obama now; his actions, for better or worse, will speak for themselves these next four years. Maybe eight, if he earns them.

But let me say this before I go: We're not enemies. We have a different idea of what makes America great; that's not a reason to hate each other. To paraphrase something Obama said, if you'll allow me to do that once more, we should see our opponents not as enemies to demonize, but as competitors to challenge.

Take care, everyone. God bless.



Lionell Griff
Socon values conflict with personal liberty.
It you who are the oppressors, and that is why you are losing and will continue to lose.
365 to 173.
I'm just trying to give Proteus a little help in scrying the future.
Personally, I think you should throw the reins to Palin and let the vamphyre house burn.
It will be quicker.
;)



Again, Ryan, you can throw all the Newsweek articles at me that you want. John Sidney McCain III brought up Ayers in the third debate. With his own lips.

And you still haven't provided examples of any of these mysterious "threats" — because, except for those two stupid skinheads, they didn't exist. (And those two stupid skinheads had obvious motivation beyond Obama's connection with Ayers.)

And finally — there's no other way to say this without saying callous, so screw it: Truth is a defense. If McCain was hiding a long-buried relationship with Timothy McVeigh, and it came to light, and he got death threats as a result, is that the fault of the people who exposed the lie? Of course not.

Obviously death threats are unAmerican, and I don't condone them in any way, but this whole argument is a moot point because your assertion that Palin whipped crowds into a assassination-dreaming frenzy is complete and utter crap.

You're being played, friend.



Four years later Phil Sheridan established Fort Sill, my birthplace and neighbor, in the Kiowa Comanche Reservation of Indian Territory with the help of the 10th Cavalry, the Buffalo Soldiers, having picked the best possible site in the whole region. Your story brought to mind another comparison. It's my impression that the South (my kin) gained an early advantage in the war because a lot of their best talent rose quickly to higher command, in contrast to the long line of incompetants the Union went through before their best people emerged. So, we have a similar situation now as the Earmark Kings and Kneejerk Compromisers are rejected and the best in our ranks come to the fore. I believe we have ample reasons for confidence and optimism. Am pleased to find your site.



Just saw your article on National Review's web site. What an inspiration. Thanks for putting into words what I have also observed and felt the past few days.

Onward and upward--never say die!

Bob



Does anyone in the control center of the Republican party realize they have put forth 3 men since Reagan who had no chance of being elected (Bush 41, Dole, McCain.)



A viral parasite infests the body politic.
Any attempt to regain political power must deal with this parasite first,
as its' influence powers so much of the politcal opposition now taking power.
It is time to cut it off at the head.
We have to deal with George Soros!



So jinnderella, you basically have nothing substantive to say so you riff a variation on "we won, you lost, nyah, nyah, nyah," eh? Sorry child, you won't earn any respect with that kind of moronic posting. Try again, see if you can play with the adults.



Bill, when (and I hope she does) Sarah Palin runs for President I hope she pick you as her press secretary.

You are an inspirational force among us conservatives and I appreciate it.

Doug, that IS the left's version of acting like an adult. I'm seeing it all over the place out here in San Francisco.



You use war and battle metaphors frequently in your writing. Have you ever been involved in a ground-based military conflict? Have you ever been a soldier -- a REAL soldier, not a let's-make-pretend one? Are you qualified to use those metaphors? Or are you simply a huge poseur?



Have you ever been involved in a ground-based military conflict? Have you ever been a soldier -- a REAL soldier, not a let's-make-pretend one? Are you qualified to use those metaphors? Or are you simply a huge poseur?

By those standards, is the President-elect qualified to be Commander-in-Chief?

No matter how it's phrased, the chickenhawk argument is so old and rusty ...



Byrd, you can be Pres. Obama's metaphor qualifier. Hey, you have a job!



You use war and battle metaphors frequently in your writing. Have you ever been involved in a ground-based military conflict? Have you ever been a soldier -- a REAL soldier, not a let's-make-pretend one? Are you qualified to use those metaphors? Or are you simply a huge poseur?

He's as qualified as I am in telling you to go to hell even though I am not, in fact, the devil.



Bill ... it is only a question of HOW and WHEN.

I think you already have a good idea of HOW, based upon your past work ... and your words today:

The great lesson from Ronald Reagan was simply that we can and must gently educate as well as campaign, and explain our ideas with smiles on our faces and real joy in our hearts ... with a philosophy that -- unlike theirs, which has resulted in 100 million dead in unmarked graves -- has liberated and enriched more people and created more joy than any nation or combination of nations in our history.

We have to keep repeating the truth ... over and over, not just with mere slogans (though a well-crafted phrase can often communicate more than an essay), but in a reasoned way whose merit no REASONABLE man can deny.

As I have said before ... In the blogosphere, revenge is a dish best served cold -- as in cold logic, cool and collected reasoning, and cold, hard facts.

I think one big WHEN will be if/when the Dims start licking their chops over some of our best "rations" --- and bring up to Congress their plans for nationalizing 401(k)'s and dumping them into Social Security (which, BTW, is a good indicator of how they will eventually try to deal with health care ... for both have the same need for maximizing the pool of "insured", in part to overcome the common liability of lackluster performance when administered by an unaccountable bureaucracy).

Not even Oprah, Matthews, and Olbermann will be able to contain the outrage ... the opposition to this will be a mandate of unprecedented proportions.



You use war and battle metaphors frequently in your writing. Have you ever been involved in a ground-based military conflict? Have you ever been a soldier -- a REAL soldier, not a let's-make-pretend one? Are you qualified to use those metaphors? Or are you simply a huge poseur?

On this theme then, do you have to have an abortion before you can have an opinion on it? Do you have to be tortured before commenting as well?

The idea that one cannot speak on something they have no direct experience on means that everyone who has been protesting our military involvement in Iraq needs to shut up unless they have actually served DURING an armed conflict. Otherwise they are unfit to comment or hold ideas on the subject.

Thankfully, our Constitution does not have that kind of stipulation or there would be quite a few blog posters who would have nothing to say on quite a few subjects.



Two things:

First, I'm scared. VERY scared. I exercised my 2nd Amendment right the day after the election (and ran up my credit card bill.) I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Second, I would love to bake cookies for you 'cause you're my new crush. I know, a smitten feline isn't always a good thing, but. . .I'm infatuated. But, for the record, I do bake and do very well with it.

Thank you for keeping us informed. We have hope because of you, Michelle Malkin, Laura Ingraham, and others. Lionel, you are a true hero and gentleman as well.

We'll live through it and restore the US to its original greatness in 2012, if not before.

Tyger



mako wrote November 7, 2008 7:25 AM:
[Obama received] more Electoral College votes than any president in the last 20 years

And the second highest in the last 21 years.
And the third highest in the last 25 years.
And the fourth highest in the last 29 years.
That's how cherry-picking your start date works. :)



Bill, one who knows and tells the story you did no doubt knows this one as well. It too has a lesson for us after November 4.

By the end of the first day of the battle of Shiloh Grant's army had been pushed almost into the Tennessee. Grant sat along outside his tent in the rain to avoid hearing the cries of the wounded and dying, believing that hearing it would weaken his will.

Sherman approaced Grant and exclaimed, "Well Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?." To which Grant replied simply: "Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow, though."



One more Grant on leadership anecdote:

Grant had recently assumed command of the Army of the Potomac. Panicked staff officers warned Grant that Robt E. Lee was about the turn the Union flanks. Grant blew up: "I am sick to death of hearing what Bobby Lee is going to do. To listen to some of you, Lee is about to turn a double somersault and land in our rear. Stop worrying about what Lee is going to do, and start thinking about what we are going to do to him."



mako wrote November 7, 2008 7:25 AM:
350 by almost all measures of elections past has been the break point of a landslide

Not exactly. A landslide looks like this:

525 to 13 -- 1984 Reagan v Mondale
520 to 17 -- 1972 Nixon v McGovern
489 to 49 -- 1980 Reagan v Carter

I'm sure you get the idea.



On tax rates:

http://townhall.com/blog/g/eaf7ffd9-ca7f-4a4e-9494-a7893c413356

"While telling ABC news that higher taxes were “patriotic,” Senator Joe Biden also repeated the Democratic claim that Obama’s proposed tax hikes meant wealthy people are “still going to pay less taxes than they did under Reagan.” This profoundly misleading claim is based on the worst kind of fuzzy math. At the end of President Reagan’s term twenty years ago, the top marginal tax rate was 28%. Today, it’s 35%. Under Obama and Biden, it would rise to 39.6%. How does a 39.6% rate amount to “less taxes” than a 28% rate? Obviously, it doesn’t. When the Democrats talk about taxes paid “under Reagan” they cite the first months of his term—before the Gipper (and the great tax slasher) succeeded in radically lowering the top tax rate. He inherited a top marginal rate of 70%, then cut it several times to produce the booming economy of the ‘80’s. The tax rates that Obama and Biden favor shouldn’t be associated with Reagan – who cut taxes far below those levels – but rather with Carter who passed on to his GOP successor a staggering, dysfunctional economy even worse than the troubled situation of today. The dishonest Democratic reference to Reagan’s tax rates dishonors the memory of a great president, and demonstrates their own shameless mendacity:



On abortion:

The stance of Palin on abortion is that
(1) the states should decide rather than the courts. The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision effectively stopped all debate on the issue and forced abortion-on-demand in all 50 states. Even liberal Justice Ginsburg stated that the SCOTUS went too far on Roe v Wade "In an amazing admission, pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says the Roe v. Wade case that allowed virtually unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy went too far. She admitted that the sweeping decision made it an easy target for critics." http://bluewavecanada.blogspot.com/2008/10/justice-ruth-ginzburg-roe-v-wade-went.html

If the SCOTUS had not stopped all debate on abortion, it would probably not be the major divisive issue that it is today.

(2) Putting reasonable limits on abortion is not a divisive strategy. Horrific practices like partial birth abortion and leaving abortion survivors to die should not be allowed to stand in a civilized society.

(3) Reasonable constraints on abortion are not extreme such as ensuring parents of under-age daughters are informed of their daughter's pending abortions.

(4) Ensuring that women have true informed consent before an abortion is not extreme. Abortion providers are know for stating that a pre-born child is "merely a lump of protoplasm". Modern 3-D sonograms tell a different story. Women should be permitted and encouraged to hear and see all the facts before choosing an abortion. Abortion proponents fight that tooth-and-nail.



Launchpad McQuack: Gee DW, this could be dangerous.

Darkwing Duck: Well then, let's get dangerous.



Alan K., I like it.



Ryan, be aware that it's not "personal" to recognize that your posts are vacuous. You intentionally avoid the point and your responses are loaded with platitudes and fallacies. These are the hallmarks of one who chooses appearance and style over substance and character.

Specifically, you have avoided the point I made regarding character entirely. To dismiss that with a vacant "everyone does it", as you have, demonstrates either how little you understand the issue or how little you care about it. Both attitudes are symptomatic of the mindset necessary to have supported the pig-in-a-poke who was just elected President. And your attitude that the topic shouldn't be discussed because it "wouldn't get us anywhere" is simply lame.

Your fantasies about redistribution of wealth are no different from Powell's irrelevant thesis, and even less internally consistent. You write:

"It's taking a part of what you earn and giving it to someone else, someone who didn't work for it. Of course, that someone usually provides you a service or buils you a facility you need..."

Huh?? If the "someone" didn't work for it, just exactly how did "that someone" provide a service or build a facility? You make no sense whatsoever here, which is not a surprise.

The point you're (blindly) missing - and the one Powell (intentionally) misses, because he knows better - is that taxes which go toward paying for those things government has a responsibility to maintain - like the military, roads, national infrastructure, etc. - are not "redistributed" simply because some of the money goes toward payment of a wage. Most people don't have an issue with that sort of taxation, precisely for this reason. It's payment for a service by proxy (i.e., the U.S. Government), not outright redistribution of wealth.

You (and Powell) may wish to call that "redistribution", but that doesn't make it so. You want to call it "redistribution" for the same reason that you want to claim "every politician has questionable associations" (citing no facts for this sweeping generalization). The reason is that if those premises are deemed valid, then Obama's excesses regarding those premises are simply a matter of degree.

But neither premise is valid, so your "arguments" break down irretrievably.

When the feds use my tax money to pay off a low-income individual for their vote - i.e., in the form of a tax credit, a/k/a federal welfare check - they are redistributing my wealth to that person without my express consent, which they have neither the moral nor legal authority to do.

Your suggestion that we should implement socialism simply because some capitalist CEO escaped accountability is ludicrous on its face. If that's a real problem that actually affects the economy (which have you yet to demonstrate), then the obvious federal response should be to enforce accountability or, better yet, apply regulations that make sense, such as limiting the size of corporations that have the potential to take the economy down with them when they fail. Because they occasionally DO fail. The solution is not to nationalize the industry where the incident occurred.

The real problem is that there's no accountability in government. Americans don't care about it. We just saw the plain proof of this last week. A few months ago, Rassmussen claimed that Americans gave the Democrat-controlled 110th Congress the WORST approval rating in the history of approval ratings surveys - not just for the Congress, but for any U.S. institution, ever. Fast forward to November 4. What happens? America either hands MORE Congressional seats to Democrats or re-elects the very twits they rejected, utterly, back in June. This isn't a sign of a dysfunctional economic system, it's a sign of a dysfunctional electorate, made so by a corrupt entrenched media, which is where it gets its information, and an incompetent education system, which is where it learns to make decisions.

Just remember that this same dysfunctional electorate which chose to re-elect a Congress they deemed worthless only a few months ago is the one which chose the wholly unqualified shyster who will "lead" our nation for the next four years.



"What we have clearly doesn't work. So we need something else."

Ryan, it works. It works well and the fruits of our system have benefited the whole world.

When Barney Frank, Christopher Dodd and a number of other democrats decided that they would work outside "the system" and give low-income individuals/families loans that they did not qualify for and were not prepared to pay for, the system which was not meant as a means of social engineering broke down. Ironically it was John McCain (who can be seen on video) warning that the system was weak and due for a massive failure due to lack of oversight on who was getting the loans and why.

Do not tell a practicing capitalist that the system "clearly does not work" because it works and it works so beautifully in practice that everyone benefits from its success. The loan giver, the risk taker, the hard worker, the seller, the buyer, the end user, etc.

Had everyone you really respect, respected the rather common sense rules of "the system" we wouldn't have to pretend we need a new system to weather this economic down turn.

At least 48% of the people of this country love the freedom this system provides. Every other system (communism, socialism, Marxism) demands that some or most of that freedom must be forfeited to make that system work. I would guess that most of the people that come to this site would feel the trade off for a new system (that would fail anyway) for any of our freedoms is a price we don't want to pay. I wish that those of you willing to pay that price would consider going to another country to do it. I know, I know you would never consider going to another country because the US of A is so great. Exactly.



mare, goy, thank you for your apt rebuttals of that twaddle. Thank you for defending the principles that make our nation the greatest on earth. As I was rereading some of this dialogue, I noticed a passage I somehow missed before:

If you're religious, it's worth mentioning that even the Apostles practiced systemic charity [...] Whether it's a personal choice or part of the way society operates, looking out for your neighbor is not, in itself, an evil thing.

My full thoughts can be found in my little corner of cyberspace, but I will say this much here:
To compare a freewill offering based on Christian charity to government-mandated robbery is not only ludicrous. It is disgusting.



THANK YOU. AS A CONSERTIVE FROM NY, I NEEDED THAT.
AS CHURCHILL SAID "NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER GIVE UP." UNCLE JOE



Well, if everyone wants to keep the discussion up, we certainly can. Let me go in order, starting with Incite.

As requested, here are a few more of the threats against Obama:

http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2008/08/obama_threat_jails_armed_man_i.html

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26398461/ (Note, on this one, that while authorities eventually determined the suspects weren't actually competent enough to carry out their threats, those threats were indeed made.)

And those are the milder ones. Check out a few skinhead forums if you really want to see how nasty the threats against Obama can get; everything from "We'll round up some of the good ol' boys and make sure he doesn't see his inauguration" to "Mark my words; he won't last a year."

To the other point, that of Palin bringing up Ayers, the point is that she brought it up *before* McCain had given the okay. And that's far from the only instance of Palin acting on her own, without McCain's approval.

Lastly, Incite, let me say this: Beware of the temptation to use the words "liberal media" as a shield from any and all criticism. It's easy to dismiss anything you don't want to hear as a lie; to believe that anyone who criticises the right is either part of a vast conspiracy or an ignorant dupe of that conspiracy. And by all means, consider the source -- but by the same token, don't let the source get in the way of the message.

Now, goy:

I didn't want to turn this into an "I know you are, but what am I" contest, but if that's the conversation you want, two words for you: Keating Five.

Ayers didn't lobby Obama to keep silent about his activities, while he was carrying those activities out. Keating treated McCain to getaway after getaway, while he was lobbying McCain's colleagues to look the other way on his shady dealings, and McCain chose not to blow the whistle. What's more, the damage Keating did to this country went significantly deeper than anyone Obama ever knew.

Or have you considered Bush's dealings with the Saudis, or Rumsfeld's dealings with Saddam? "Let he who is without sin," and all that.

Now to your next point: It's not just one CEO that escaped accountability. The entire system of golden parachutes is broken. Carly Fiorina raked in millions for ruining Hewlett Packard. Paul Eibler won the jackpot for the damage he did to Take 2. When CEOs make hundreds of times what their employees do, regardless of performance, their companies suffer. We've seen that over and over again.

And again, we already implemented socialism. We just did it in a broken way. It's like half-assed laissez-faire; let 'em do what they want, until they do it wrong, and then make everyone else pay to fix the mess. It doesn't work.

Now you talk about regulation, and how it might be needed. One of the things the right will need to figure out is where exactly it stands on that. Here, you can find McCain calling for deregulation no less than nine times, some of them as recently as the convention: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ycPJr7YWmQ

Lastly, Goy, let me ask you a question: What would you say is best for the disabled? A social safety net, or private charity?

Now, Mare:

For the last couple of months, the right has done all it can to blame the Democrats, and specifically the Community Reinvestment Act, for the crash. The CRA, as everyone knows, required lenders to make a certain percentage of their loans to risky borrowers.

What the GOP talking heads don't tell you is that the real problem is what the lenders did with those loans. They bought them, sold them, traded them, gambled on them, and turned them into investment commodities. The lenders didn't care whether or not the borrowers could pay, because the lenders would sell the debt to someone else beforehand, and besides, whoever the borrower defaulted on could just take the home -- after all, homes always go up in value.

What's more, the lenders discovered a loophole in the CRA whereby any loans they sold off didn't count toward their quotas anymore -- so they'd loan to risky borrowers, sell the loans off, and then make a point of selling *more* loans to risky borrowers.

Because this made so much money so quickly for everyone involved, other companies started turning their investments toward all this bad debt. Again, the lenders sold all this as a stable investment, banking on the idea that homes always go up in value.

When that idea turned out to be false, the whole thing collapsed like a house of cards.

The CRA, in itself, might have led the lenders to take a small hit from some bad loans. But by greedily exploiting those bad loans, the lenders magnified the problem a hundred fold.

McCain might have warned about the problem, once, but he called over and over again for the government to let Wall Street do whatever it wanted.

Because everyone looked the other way until it was too late, millions of peoples' savings are now in dire jeopardy. That doesn't mean throwing out the entire system, but it does mean proactively fixing that system's flaws, not just throwing more money at the same people responsible for the mess in the first place.

(Incidentally, what did you think of the Secretary of the Treasury's original three-page plan for the bailout? Did you see Section 8 of that "plan," the section that forbids any oversight of what the Treasury did with that $700 billion? Thank God it didn't pass, but seriously, why was that even there?)

Lastly, for FreeRangeOyster:

Please be assured I meant no offense. But let me say this: We tried unrestricted free-market capitalism in the Industrial Revolution. What happened was that those who were best at working the system, or born to the best advantages, clawed their way to the top, then colluded to keep everyone else down with inferior schooling, rock-bottom pay, and backbreaking, seventy-hour work weeks. That didn't change out of the goodness of the factory owners' hearts, or because the workers found better jobs somewhere else. It changed because authority stepped in and forced it to change. Sometimes, only sometimes, authority has to do that.

It's not as if our only two choices here are Soviet communism or unrestricted free-market capitalism here. What we have is in the middle -- further toward capitalism than most countries, but still in the middle -- and, like any system, it has flaws that need reform. We don't need to throw out the whole thing, but we can change it for the better. Like the Republicans did in the nineties with welfare reform. Like Teddy Roosevelt did when he challenged broke up the monopolies.

America is great. We all agree on that. But I think we all have a duty to help make it even greater. We might not all agree on the best way to do that, but part of the point of political discussion is to find the best ways. So I hope this kind of talk helps with that.



Poor Ryan. I knew you'd be back. The attention is just too much to pass up, isn't it.

- ... Keating Five.
Again, Ryan, you insist on avoiding the point.

We aren't talking about McCain, or Keating or anyone else other than Obama here. You want to deflect to McCain, and Bush, and Rumsfeld because you can't bear the notion of owning up to the fact that your Chosen One has demonstrated an utter lack of moral judgment and a thoroughly flawed character by allying himself throughout his career with terrorists, apologists for terrorists, marxists, socialists, felons and America-hating, racist windbags.

- The entire system of golden parachutes is broken.
This is purely your opinion. And you have yet to demonstrate any causal relationship between this phenomenon and the economy, as I've already pointed out, and you've chosen to ignore. Again. Accountability in general is completely out of fashion in America, as I have already demonstrated to you.

- And again, we already implemented socialism.
Not in the least. What we have done is to develop a sound capitalist system, and then allow creeping socialism - via bad laws, passed by wholly unaccountable politicians, using outright lies and the politics of fear - to corrupt it.

On the subject of regulation, you're wasting your time if you believe McCain represents the conservative view on regulation (or deregulation). The art of regulation is in the nature of the law, not the pursuit of regulation or deregulation for its own sake. Regulation like CRA, for instance, which forces banks to make bad loans, is not conducive to economic growth or stability. Regulating financial institutions so that they can't grow so large, or violate sound financial practice so flagrantly, that their failure risks taking the rest of the economy down with them is just common sense.

- What would you say is best for the disabled? A social safety net, or private charity?
To that I would say that you have not only committed the fallacy of false choice, but you have failed to specify the type of disability as well (there are hundreds). Vacuous.



Like I said before, Goy, I'd appreciate it if we could have this discussion without getting personal. People wanted to talk more, asked questions about providing sources, so I thought I'd stick around to talk.

Now, first off, I never said anything about Obama being any sort of Chosen One. But I do think that his opponents hold him up to a much higher standard than they do their own side.

One can hardly deny that Obama's worked with shady people in the past. However, his opponents tend to exaggerate those people's numbers, their misdeeds, and their influence on him. Watch as this guy tries to argue that Ayers wrote "Dreams From My Father": http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/10/who_wrote_dreams_from_my_fathe_1.html

It's interesting, though; this argument highlights a fundamental difference between what the parties want. When it comes to the President, those on the right value personal character over governing skill (see: George W.,) while those on the left, especially in the case of Clinton, often value the opposite. Under which administration were we better off as a nation?

Even with that said: Many of the accusations about Obama are built on speculation, assumption, and exaggeration. Over the course of the campaign, he's been accused of everything from gay sex to murder. People have put up signs calling him a "half-breed muslin [sp]" or a "muslim terriost [sp]".

In truth, he's a faithful, self-made family man who's crossed paths with unpleasant people over the course of his career. And none of those people have anything to do with his future administration.

Now, to the next point: The problem with golden parachutes is, ironically, one of the same problems Communism has: When you're paid the same (either extremely high or extremely low) regardless of the job you do, there's no incentive to perform well.

Over the past twenty years, CEO salaries have risen enormously; they make hundreds of times what their employees do. At the same time, those same companies are claiming they can't pay employees' pensions anymore. Is that just? Is that honest pay for honest work? Does the average CEO work hundreds of times harder than anyone else in his company, or is he just better at gaming the system? That system needs reform.

As to the third point: Over the past year, the government has repeatedly used billions, sometimes hundreds of billions, of our tax dollars to try and pull large companies out of their own holes. Socialism for the rich is still socialism.

We agree on regulation. :)

Finally, let me be a little more specific on that last point:

I know a blind woman. She's 55, blind due to illness since her early thirties, has a mortgage and medical bills, her husband is dead, and she has no family in any position to take care of her. She has friends at church, and they do help her out sometimes, but obviously they can't be expected to pay her every bill.

Currently, social security gives her just enough to get by.

Now, what do you think is the optimal approach to her situation?



As a corollary to your recommendations, Bill, I recently responded to someone here at Professor Douglas' blog who articulated the idea that conservative principles will sell themselves if and when applied ...

--------------------

Relying on the successful application of conservative principles alone to draw others to adopting them ... does not adequately take into account the nature of the human species to seek the "easy way out" and/or instant gratification and/or blaming those who have succeeded for "stealing" from those who have not yet succeeded, and instead believe corrosive concepts like the Biggest Lie of All:

All you have to do is show up for work ... we in your government will take care of the other challenges in your life FOR you.

We tried the "it sells itself" philosophy regarding the War on Terror ... certainly at least regarding Iraq ... and even though I thought it should have worked, it did not.

We HAVE to be ready to proactively articulate alternative solutions, based on sound principle, in response to the various follies about to see the light of day in Congress.

We're going to have to harden ourselves, not against people, but against the folly they propose ... and this will be even tougher because many of our adversaries are relativists who "adapt" like Borg to sell their viewpoints, fact, reason, and integrity be damned.

Like the Spartans in 300, we're going to have to form a phalanx ... a phalanx whose shields are composed of matter-of-fact articulation, held by sinews of sound principle and muscles of wisdom ... and advance upon our adversaries under its strength.

As I see it, Glenn Reynolds' "Army of Davids" needs to become a PHALANX of Davids.

(more at the link above ...)



Ryan, one reason the CEO gets away with it is because the workers wait around for the fall ... instead of proactively thinking like the businessman and seeking their own exit strategy.

That is, in part, due to the widespread acceptance of The Biggest Lie of All described above ... workers have been discouraged from managing their careers and thinking ahead for themselves.

Now, regarding your example of the woman in need ...

... if the church members weren't paying so much in Federal/state/local taxes (the biggest drain on the typical middle-class American's wallet at present) ... that then get spread around indiscriminately to fund the slothful and irresponsible (with little incentive to do more than just "get by" and become self-sufficient) right along with this woman ... have you considered that they would be able to direct more help to this woman than she would get from your safety net?

Here's the problem ... the Federal government is limited to two tools to deal with social issues -- throw money at them, or sanction behavior through law.

Because we do believe that all men are created equal, there are limits on how much tailoring and control we can place upon aid to make sure it is delivered and applied efficiently and effectively, instead of in a way that perpetuates poverty.

However, the necessary solutions for social problems vary greatly from individual to individual ... so we are stuck in a quandary -- either waste our money through indiscriminate aid, or risk violating civil liberties by having government "discriminate" based upon the underlying economic/ethical/PERSONAL issues involved, in order to assure effectiveness and efficiency.

This is more than just a theoretical discussion ... the "indiscrimiate" choice was realized in the Great Society welfare programs, that perpetuated poverty across generations.

The way out of this quandary ... get the Feds out of the social-services business, and let We the People take charge of supporting our downtrodden through private charitable efforts.

This isn't 100 years ago ... Social Darwinism and its inherent selfishness is dead, right along with Jim Crow. We the People can be trusted with this responsibility ... far more so than the faceless, disconnected, unaccountable bureaucrats we have applied to the task in the past.

The Federal Government works best when it is focused on a limited set of "one size fits all" objectives ... like building interstate highways, going to the Moon, or preventing Iraq from becoming Afghanistan 2.0. For it to be the driver of social services is akin to putting boxing gloves, a wad of cash, and a hammer in the hands of a brain surgeon.

Which brings me to an underlying philosophical principle ... it is folly to think that a relative few with little or no connection to the problem(s) have the structural capability to be the sole source for problem-solving when it comes to solving problems with at least 300 million, time-variant, variables.



That's reasonable, Rich. :)

You know, Joel Rosenberg, the author, sometimes posts here, and he once wrote, "The government isn't best which governs least -- it's the best government that *needs* to govern least."

If you're right that people aren't as greedy or callous as they were a hundred years ago, and they don't have to be forced to play nice anymore, then privatization is the way to go for sure. But I'm not sure we're quite there yet.



- People wanted to talk more, ...
People responded to your posts. Not the same.

- ... I do think that his opponents hold him up to a much higher standard than they do their own side.
Your opinion. Not supported by objective reality or anything you've cited.

- One can hardly deny that Obama's worked with shady people in the past. However, ...
You STILL insist on avoiding the point. It's not a question of "influence". It's not a question of whether these folks will be part of his administration (which isn't necessary to influence his actions, in case that point has escaped you). It's a QUESTION of CHARACTER. One doesn't exhibit good character by allying onesself with terrorists, apologists for terrorists, marxists and the rest of the lot I mentioned. Acknowledge that (finally) or don't, but if you deflect again it'll be clear you're simply incapable of addressing this issue.

- Watch as this guy tries to argue that Ayers wrote "Dreams From My Father"
I have. The case is actually more compelling now than it was when that piece was written.

- ... those on the right value personal character over governing skill (see: George W.,) while those on the left, especially in the case of Clinton, often value the opposite.
This is unsupportable hogwash. Jon Haidt has demonstrated that the left values only two of the five fundamental intuitive ethics needed to preserve social and cultural stability, leading to improved quality of life, whereas conservatives value all five equally. This phenomenon is found in all cultures, not just America.

- Under which administration were we better off as a nation?
Sure you want to go there? There are numerous ways to measure this. Let's look at a few.

Unemployment? It was higher during Clinton's first term than at any time in the past 8 years. On average, they've been the same.

Debt-to-GDP ratio? Better in almost every year, and definitely on average during Bush.

Federal tax receipts? Spectacularly better under Bush than Clinton.

Tax burden on the public? Spectacularly better under Bush than Clinton.

Economic growth? That's a no-brainer - consistent GDP growth in every year since 2001 - an astounding recovery from the recession (yes, REAL recession) that started in the last year of Clinton's administration and trailed into 2001 (not to mention the crash caused by 9/11 - another parting gift from Clinton's squandering of the peace dividend and Jamie Gorelick's mismanagement in the intelligence community - funny how she was also intimately involved in the Fannie Mae fiasco, huh?).

Income? Personal, disposable, inflation-adjusted income grew 9% in the first six years under Bush at which point, as we all know, the Democrats became the majority in Congress, and have been driving the economy into the shitter ever since.

Are we safer? Aside from the 9/11 parting gift left to us by Clinton's wag-the-dog foreign policy, we haven't had a terrorist attack and we're no longer living under the threat of terrorism financed and pursued by Saddam Hussein (as noted by the entire Democratic leadership in 2001/02). During Clinton? Lessee... the World Trade Center was bombed 1993, the Khobar Towers were bombed in 1996, our embassies in Tanzania and Kenya were bombed in 1998, the USS Cole was bombed in 2000, Saddam Hussein tried to assassinate former President Bush and committed numerous, open acts of war against U.S. forces.

Shall I go on?


In truth, he's a faithful, self-made family man who's crossed paths with unpleasant people over the course of his career.
Wrong. He was anything but "faithful" to the collection of embarrassing associations he threw under the bus during his campaign - including Rev. Wright, of whom he claimed "I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother ... These people are a part of me."

- The problem with golden parachutes is, ...
You STILL have yet to demonstrate any causal relationship between this and the performance of the economy.

Does the average CEO work hundreds of times harder than anyone else in his company, or is he just better at gaming the system? That system needs reform.
Again - your yet-to-be-supported opinion. Have you ever had a job? When you accept a job you negotiate a salary, etc. If the company believes you're worth the salary you ask for, and gives it to you, that becomes what's know in "legalese" as a contract. If a CEO performs badly, and it's written into that contract that the compensation is paid anyway (which is the rule, not the exception), then s/he's paid what the contract states unless there's some material breach.

- ... the government has repeatedly used billions, sometimes hundreds of billions, of our tax dollars to try and pull large companies out of their own holes. Socialism for the rich is still socialism.
Who are they bailing? Just the "rich". Again - have you ever held a job, Ryan? You realize, don't you, that these company bailouts preserve the jobs of thousands - sometimes tens of thousands... who ARE NOT RICH! Conservatives don't agree with bailouts on principle, so your argument fails, especially if you think you can label them "socialism" - especially if the government doesn't actually get equity in return - since they're not (recently, with the banks, they have - a first).

- We agree on regulation. :)
Something. Finally. :)

I know a blind woman. ... Currently, social security gives her just enough to get by. Now, what do you think is the optimal approach to her situation?
It doesn't matter what I think. I think this woman should have taken out a long term disability insurance policy when she was working - like most people do. I think if she's just getting by, she's doing a lot better than many other elderly folks who have been completely screwed by the system - which at the same time will fully support a "depressed" former drug abuser who claims she can no longer work. Here are some other "disability" situations I personally know about, first hand:

- a woman who claims to be so depressed from years of drug abuse that she "can't work" - her needs are provided for 100% by the State;

- a man who was declared unfit to work by state psychologists after a suicide attempt (prompted by a predatory divorce attorney who took everything this man had);

- a drug addict in rehab who claims not to be using but who everyone (including her group therapy leader) knows is actively doing so;

- gang members, who are being transported from their 'home turf' at taxpayers' expense to a clinic for drug abuse "relapse counseling", who sell drugs in the entryway of the clinic and menace all those who enter or leave;

- a mother of three whose children were taken by DCF when she was arrested, pregnant, for turning tricks and selling drugs - she AND her children are all being supported 100% by taxpayers

Now, what do you think is the optimal approach to that situation?



Looking for a tactic? Consider the following:

Change is happening. The system is in panic mode. Management is about to be nailed to the wall and they know it. Yet, they don't know what to do and are willing to try ANYTHING. Its a prime time for a change agent to do his work.

One of my long standing observations is that change is very difficult to initiate but once it starts its much easier to manage. Now agreed, "easier" is a relative term but at least its a handle. In the midst of the panic, there will be opportunities to insert something new and different. Insert enough of the new and different and you have changed the system. Insert the right new and different and you have changed the system for the better.

Here is the power behind that handle. Normally, when a system is changed, it adapts to the change so as to return to its set point. A system in panic is in panic because it has no set of rules to follow to return to that set point. The change can have a continuing effect because the system cannot adapt. The changes will either destroy the system or make it better able to serve a purpose. The system evolves.

A change agent can step into such a panic situation and start modifying the system's rules of action. He can propose just about anything and it will be done. The challenge is to engineer a path of change from where the system is to where it needs to be to survive and function. Its not an easy task and its filled with risk but, in my experience, a time of crises is the ONLY time real change can happen and become established as the "way of doing things."

Our recent election is a prime example of the above in action. The left spent the better part of a century of manufactured crises building up to our current manufactured national crises. The right and the muddled middle cooperated with each step. We the People (the management) didn't know what to do and felt that they were going to be nailed to the wall. Along comes a preacher (the change agent of the moment) of totally unspecified "Hope and Change" promising an undefined "new" set of rules to follow. We the People bought it hook, line, and sinker because we had to do *something* even though the government doing nothing would have been vastly superior. The system will be forever changed. Its irrelevant for my point that the change actually negates the country's founding principles and will lead to ultimate disaster sooner rather than later. The point is that we are changed in a way totally unthinkable a century ago. The change will stick until the next time of crises and a new change agent comes on the scene. As did the VP elect, I give the next crises six months to happen - max. The cycle will be repeated. It isn't and won't be pretty but it will follow natural law to the letter.



Question to all posters:
Does anyone know if there is any truth to the rumor that the Dhimmicrat - led federal government is about to confiscate all IRA's and 401K's and bring them forcefully into the SS system?
I'm talking proof that they are planning to do it, not innuendo or speculation.

If it's true - such a massive and overt theft is quite justifiably a casus belli for revolution.



StudSupreme

"If it's true - such a massive and overt theft is quite justifiably a casus belli for revolution."

I think we are past that point.

Is this what you are seeking?

Congress mulls major 401(k) changes

http://www.investmentnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081007/REG/810079894



StudS' - all I've found so far is this, which appears to be the original source. Make of it what you will, but it appears that (a) it's been under discussion for at least a year and (b) it's still just in the discussion/hearings phase. To be honest, this smells a little like the "revelation" that there was a battle plan somewhere to attack Canada.

Before this happens, I would watch for the government to claim that the Health Insurance industry is in dire need of an $X00 billion dollar bailout (complete with equity transfer).

Given recent precedents, it appears to be the easiest route toward nationalization of the health care insurance industry, which is what they're after - the trillion$ that flow through those companies - not responsibility for providing health care, per se.



Maybe "confiscation" is too strong a word for this (though others reporting on this have used that word) ... but the proposal is effectively the same thing, as it will mandate the involuntary diversion of 5% of employee income, from both employee and employer (like SS) to a government-managed account, only half of which can be passed on to your heirs, and eliminate the tax break for 401(k)'s.

So, they'll decide how it is invested, taking the money we would be otherwise contributing to our 401(k)'s. The only difference between this and outright confiscation is that our present balances can remain outside the system ... but it would not surprise me that they will try to "discourage" this situation.

And yes, this is the eventual endgame for healthcare ... sweep EVERYONE into the same pool, because no one in their right mind will voluntarily submit their health care to government bureaucracy.

Then again ... if one is OK with government healthcare AND is also railing against the alleged civil-liberties "abuses" of our current Administration ... are they suffering from cognitive dissonance?



You know, this is the best article I have read since the election happened Tuesday night that has me so depressed.

I really don't know what has happened to the Rebublican party. I feel like it was on the track to becoming the unconservative party. Well in recent days I have been reading articles and I think they are finally waking up, and they are ready to fight for our conservative, moral beleifs.
But this is the first article that I have read that has really given me hope.

We are fighters and we will not give up and you Mr. Hill have said it so eloquently and thank you far that. You have brightened my evening.



As requested, here are a few more of the threats against Obama:

These were the ones that were ramped up after Palin went off half-cocked, right? Let's see, link one is from August 8, and link two is from August 26. McCain added Palin to the ticket on August 29.

Epic fail.

And I've already discussed the white supremacists, who obviously didn't need motivation brought by Sarah Palin's reckless dissemination of the truth. They are twits, drooling sub-morons who, if they had any brains at all in their objectives, wouldn't have waited until after Barack Obama got Secret Service protection to make their move. The president's Secret Service detail eat al-Qaeda threats for breakfast; I doubt very much that Reverend Jim Bob of the White Church of Honkies really concerns them terribly.

Concerning the rumors that Palin talked about Ayers without McCain's consent, at least you had the decency not to bring any evidence at all, instead of stuff that shoots your argument in the foot. I take this as a concession, and accept.

Toodles!



Rich Casebolt & Goy,
So, if the Dhimmicrats decide to have federally managed 401k/IRA accounts, they won't confiscate existing accounts but will force 5% of everyone's income into a federal account? This amounts to a double social security tax.
It also sounds like you believe they may be planning the following additional monstrosities:
1. Raising the inheritance tax back up to 50% (I had understood it had dropped to 25%)
2. Eliminate the 401k/IRA 'tax shelter' proviso, in effect treating them all like Roth IRA's
3. Nationalizing healthcare nationwide.

They better not do this crap. This would be a great way of hamstringing the nation. It would be a profound disaster that would bounce back on the Dhimmicrats in a devastating manner.

Bastards.



StudSupreme: This would be a great way of hamstringing the nation. It would be a profound disaster...

The only problem is they know it will be a disaster but that is EXACTLY what they want. The disaster will be used by them as an excuse to do more of the same. They will keep doing it until there is nothing left.

Creating disasters to manufacture excuses to do more of the same is what they do and have done since the get-go. They think they are after power when, in fact, they are after extinction. Our challenge is to avoid becoming extinct in the process.




Lionell, your last two comments get to the nub of what roasts my rump about the formal Cloward-Piven Strategy (which actively engineers crises) as well as the opportunistic variety in the past (which simply seized upon the crises that naturally followed from their prior machinations).

Time and time again, these crises are blamed upon the free market, even though they were caused by the unfree character of the mixed market. This is used to justify bigger meddling, which leads to bigger crises. The populace is gradually conditioned to accept that government is supposed to radically change the rules of the game whenever a "crisis" occurs.

But if the rules keep changing, how can people make good long-term decisions? What's the point in saving for your own retirement in a 401(k) if it can be arbitrarily seized and thrown into a community pool along with Social (in)Security?

Soon they will have achieved a tipping point, as people are less concerned with discovering, and then exploiting, the laws of nature to improve their lives. Instead, their efforts will go to trying to earn the favor of the ruling class, as that will be of more practical value to them.

When the productive capacity of the former group is overwhelmed by the redistributive power of the state, our system will collapse.



The Monster,

Check out my earlier post on "Looking for a tactic?" That in combination with my immediately previous post to your's is what is going on.

The really interesting thing is they are just as bound to natural law as we only, they don't think so. Hence, there is a strong possibility for us to use their methods against them. We simply can't use their metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics.

First: reality what it is. Things are what they are. What they are determines what they can do, be used for, and how they will react when acted upon.

Second: rule based behavior ALWAYS fails in the long run. This is because the application of the rules consumes the factors necessary to make the rules run in the first place. They have ONLY rule based behavior and their rules are not based upon reality.

Third: We the People really are the managers of our government. If We the People don't go along with the government to get along, the government cannot long stand. Either the people will destroy the government or the government will destroy the people. There is no long lasting middle ground.

The next crises is certain to happen. It is at that time we can make changes in the rules that are already badly broken and out of line with reality. It will have to be behind the scenes, quiet, and without expecting attribution. A changing of a word usage here. Using a different word for the same thing here. A resistance over there. A pushing here. A pulling there.

Please note: this is exactly how the left got to where it is. We the People were just not paying attention. It was easier to let them do the messy stuff.

We the People still won't pay attention. We, the self selected ones, will have to drive the process and start doing the messy stuff. It may take generations but the right messy stuff will have to be done.

The key to the whole process of change is WHY we do it. If we do it for that ubiquitous unsatisfiable "other" we are doomed before we start. We have to do it for our OWN reasons, for our OWN ends, and for our OWN lives. We must be rationally SELFISH. THAT is the only way we will have the strength of character and the passion to get it done.

Now for a final interesting observation. We can announce beforehand what, why, and how we are going to do what we will do. Neither the left nor We the People will notice or much care. If they do, they will neither understand nor believe it can be done. Even as its being done, they still won't understand nor believe. Be warned, I have demonstrated this to be true in many different kinds of small groups. I have not yet applied it to a whole society. I suggest being cautious about this one. Still, it appears to have the regularity of a natural law.




rule based behavior ALWAYS fails in the long run. This is because the application of the rules consumes the factors necessary to make the rules run in the first place.
A point of clarification: In this context, it appears you're talking about arbitrary rules, not those which we impute by observing reality. The "law of gravity" is not a man-made rule that can be repealed by a majority vote of the US Congress and the signature of the President. The only thing man-made about it is the understanding of the immutable rule of nature that it describes.

We can unmake our ability to comprehend the rules that don't change, first by creating an equivalence between the rules of nature and those arbitrarily created by men, then "progressing" to the idea that the latter actually take precedence over the former.

And our cultural institutions seem determined to do exactly that.



- ... if the rules keep changing, how can people make good long-term decisions? What's the point in saving for your own retirement in a 401(k) if it can be arbitrarily seized and thrown into a community pool along with Social (in)Security? Soon they will have achieved a tipping point ...

It seems clear that, taken to it's logical extreme down the slippery slope created by FDR's Social Security scam, this process will reach the tipping point when (a) people realize that a "GRA" is no less risky than mutual funds in an artificially volatile stock market and (b) start keeping their money in simple CDs and T-Bills.

It's no surprise that the "selfishness" meme is part of Obama's rhetoric. I look for that to continue. Because when the above begins to happen in earnest, and taxpayers find new and better ways to limit their tax exposure, people's savings accounts will be seen as fair game for redistribution. The justification will be that those whose money is all in the bank are preventing that money from being used by someone who really "needs" it.



The Monster,

The Law of Gravity is not a rule, its a general principle discovered by careful observation, conceptualization, and testing. A rule will be a specific and particular instance of an application of a general principle that may or may not be tested.

If the principle used to form the rules is not founded in reality (ie arbitrary), the rules will fail from the get go. However, even if the principle is founded on reality, the rules based upon it are contextually limited and therefor subject to becoming invalid because things change by virtue of the application of the rules.

It is important to distinguish the difference between thinking by principles and acting accordingly and simply/only following the rules. They are two very different realms of existence. The former can allow one to adapt to changing circumstances the latter cannot.



goy,

You point out an important feature of the left's thinking, such as it is. The left assumes they can change the rules and those subject to them will not change their behavior except for following the new rules.

The fact is, any change in the rules will have many unintended consequences. Among the most important, We the People will not behave as the left expects and will attempt to minimize the impact of the new rules. This fact is used by the left as a reason to clamp down all the harder. Its ultimately a losing game for everyone involved.

The economy is simply too complex and too tightly interconnected for any degree of central planning to work. (I would direct you to Ashby's Law of Requisite Variety for the foundation of an explanation. A complete exposition would take volumes.) Add to that the central planner's tendency to confuse himself with god and to think he can decree truth, the mixture rapidly collapses into total chaos.



Да, товарищи -- Перестройка!

(Da, tovarishchee -- Perestroika!)

Yes, comrades, best get used to restructuring. It's the new world order, don't'cha know.

- Танка-писарья



Ready to go to war?

I got the tank.



Jordan,

I suspect an underground resistance effort will be more successful during the early phases of the campaign. After the technological collapse, the tank might be quite useful. Until then, tank = target. See Desert Storm for a case in point.

A decade ago, I helped design and program advanced fire control, defense, and situational awareness systems for LAVs. As a consequence, have some knowledge of their capabilities and limitations. The systems could increase the chances of survival but not assure it. They may have improved somewhat but ....



Jordan,

"I got the tank."

Well, I just popped over to your site and - Yes, it appears that you do!!

I stout-hearted lad, strong and true, if ever I saw one!

Congratulations! We eagerly welcome Brendan to the E3 & Conservative communities!
(and his folks, too...)

- MuscleDaddy



Here's an article from the Jewish Daily Forward that is quite apropos to this discussion:

For Conservatives, Exile and Reformation



The underground resistance/technological collapse bit is a joke, right?



Fetterkey, how hot does the frog have to get?



There seem to be an awful *LOT* of people stocking up on the tools to exercise 2nd Amendment rights, Tyger. The inline ammo sellers I've checked have all recently posted notices on the home pages advising of delays due to much heavier than usual ordering.

I'm proud to have contributed to that.



The Monster-- a hell of a lot hotter than it is now! An underground resistance? What is there to resist? From where I'm standing, the government looks about the same as it used to, just with a new guy up on the podium. Technological collapse? Technology isn't going to collapse, it's going to keep on advancing, and advancing faster. Preparing for a technological collapse is probably one of the worst things you could do right now.



Fetterkey wrote November 10, 2008 4:01 PM:
Preparing for a technological collapse is probably one of the worst things you could do right now.

Some people like to be prepared. It's one way to spend money and time.

The Katrina gun-confiscation episode made a few million people nervous. That's why a number of state governments have recently passed anti-confiscation laws for similar emergencies.

Personally, I'll begin to get nervous when a few new major cities successfully ban the sale and ownership of guns. But then, I'm a rather calm type of guy.

But just because they want to plan ahead doesn't mean they're going to start anything. After all, not everyone who buys BBQ lighter fluid is planning to burn down their neighbor's house.



Fetterkey, at noon EST, 20 Jan 2009, the House and Senate will be under the control of the same party as a President who has promised to Change a great deal. What details he's provided thus far have themselves Changed quite a bit, but what we do know is that his votes in the Senate have made put him on the extreme left, even beyond Socialist Bernie Sanders.

Despite being told that it will be bad for the economy, and actually reduce tax revenues, he's expressed a willingness to raise capital gains tax rates in order to achieve "fairness". His colleagues are openly discussing seizure of 401(k) accounts, which represent the long-term economic security of millions of Americans, while providing jobs to millions more, and the capital to finance technlogical improvements.

Technology isn't going to collapse, it's going to keep on advancing, and advancing faster.

Why do you say this? Do you have any idea what it takes for technology to improve? Have you ever heard of a Dark Age? Jerry Pournelle ominously describes them: "A Dark Age is when we not only forget how to do something; we forget that we knew how to do it."

Considering the assault on the scientific mode of thought in our edu-info-tainment complex, and the rise of Luddite environmentalist movements, the politicization of science, and the demonization of the people who make technology possible, we are closer to it than you might think. The people who will control the political branches of our national government have a vested interest in people forgetting that they ever knew how to do things that the government will promise to do for them.

It's understandable that someone with no historical perspective, whose entire memory is ruled by Moore's Law making technology smaller, cheaper and more powerful, has come to ASS|U|ME that technology is on an accelerating upward trend that will never end. People have come to expect the goose to keep laying golden eggs, even as they try to cook it to serve to their political constituencies.

One of these days, they're going to kill that goose, and it won't be pretty.



I don't think we're going to have a Dark Age anytime soon-- I'm quite honestly skeptical that dark ages even exist.



The Monster,

Its quite clear that Fetterkey hasn't the slightest idea of what it takes to develop and maintain a high technology society. Apparently he thinks such things are excretions requiring little more than a grunt to produce. He may think that all you need to do is lock up the men of mind and talent and they will produce the technology on command and envisions a high tech gulag for we scientists and engineers. With him holding the whip, naturally.

Without the freedom to discover, to know, to act, to build, and posses one's product such things won't and can't exist. If they do already exist, neither their production nor their functionality can long continue without the freedom and the right to posses. The preacher of Hope and Change will abolish all of that in the name of fairness.



I don't think we're going to have a Dark Age anytime soon-- I'm quite honestly skeptical that dark ages even exist.

Posted by: Fetterkey | November 10, 2008 6:16 PM


“There a people, now forgotten, discovered while others were yet barbarians, the elements of the arts and sciences. A race of men now rejected for their black skin and wooly hair, founded on the study of the laws of nature those civil and religious systems which still govern the universe”

[From Count C.F. Volney’s, “Ruins Of Empire”, p. xvii].

http://www.blackhistoryclasses.com/

There exist a group that would disagree with you.



rockdalian.

Excuse me, "those civil and religious systems" are not laws of nature. They don't and can't govern the universe. In fact, they have difficulty governing a large tribe much less the world.



Fetterkey,

From The Monster, to which you replied.

Why do you say this? Do you have any idea what it takes for technology to improve? Have you ever heard of a Dark Age? Jerry Pournelle ominously describes them: "A Dark Age is when we not only forget how to do something; we forget that we knew how to do it."

Please do show me the reference to the laws of nature.



Fetterkey,
Apologies, just noticed my error.

Lionell Griffith,
Post should have been directed to you.
Anyway the cited quote include this "the elements of the arts and sciences"

My comment applies.



rockdalian,

I cannot read your mind. I can only read your words. Nor am I responsible for untangling badly twisted syntax.

You explicitly stated "those civil and religious systems which still govern the universe”. By that statement, you clearly meant that the civil and religious systems are doing the governing of the universe. They can do no such thing. They can only govern men. Then if and only if they are consistent with the nature of man and the men to be governed consent to be so governed.

The terms "civil" and "religious" pertain ONLY to men and not the whole universe. Further, the so called systems are man made. At best, you were practicing extreme hyperbole. At worst, you were conflating the laws of man with natural law by implying that the laws of man govern the universe. It is a confused communication or a major categorical error of logic or both.



Its quite clear that Fetterkey hasn't the slightest idea of what it takes to develop and maintain a high technology society. Apparently he thinks such things are excretions requiring little more than a grunt to produce. He may think that all you need to do is lock up the men of mind and talent and they will produce the technology on command and envisions a high tech gulag for we scientists and engineers. With him holding the whip, naturally.

Where does anything in my post indicate that I want to be the leader of some kind of science-dictatorship, that I think progress is easily attained, or indeed anything that you just said? This is one of the most blatant and ridiculous misrepresentations I've ever seen. Besides, there's an easy way for you to win this argument-- cite a historical example of a dark age.



Fetterkey,
Dude!
The DARK AGES.
And - the period immediately after the crumbling collapse of both the Hittite Empire and the overthrow of the Myceneaen city states by the invading Dorians.
It took the ancient world centuries to recover from that. Notice even the egyptians got boring during that era.



Roll Call: Mechanics Needed Immediately


House of Representatives:
This is the fast lane. This is the group of representatives that is closest to the people, where the fresh ideas, or current temperament, of the electorate enter into the political system. This body is to be responsive to the people. You have the opportunity to vote them out every 2 years if they fail to perform.

The Senate:
This is the slow lane. This is the body of representatives that is charged with putting the brakes on change. Their job is to ruminate, contemplate, debate and fully vet all changes before codifying them into law. Their term of office is 6 years to reflect the requirements of their job.

President:
He stands between us and the world, as both our protector and our extended hand. He is charged with leading "the government" in the direction he outlined in his campaign, on the basis of which he was given his job.

So, a fresh idea bubbles up from the public-at-large into the fast lane (HOR), is vetted by the slow (Sen) and sent to the President who determines whether it reflects the will of the majority of voters who gave him his job...for 4 years (think that number was accidental? or a hint that his job is to stand between the fast and the slow...(hmmm) damn! that is right in the center...where...90% of Americans live...ain't that amazing?!?).

Over the past year I have heard/read/seen countless dozens of Democrats who can best be described as southern belles grasping for their smelling salts as Rhett Butler, that suave scamp, tipped his hat in their direction when passing by. And yet....

In the middle of all the adoration, "palpable excitement" and claims of change, these very "belles"* have asserted:

I don't for a minute think Obama will be able to do jack shit when it comes to advancing (his) agenda....and...I don't think that Obama will solve much, if anything.

Why? Perhaps it has a grain of truth.

At the core of that cynicism lies a leaky transmission.

Our founding fathers left for us the most glorious limousine ever built by man. Over 200 years it has carried us through thick and thin. Its only failure, a civil war - a war worth fighting. That's a pretty good record.

Today, it is in dire need of maintenance. Our founding fathers could not possibly imagine the exponential growth of our nation...nor the dawn of technology.

Our magnificent machine has been in the shop 27 times in 232 years. Again, not a bad record. Let us discuss maintenance #22 performed 61 years ago. The tranny was slipping. A notion came bubbling up: we don't want a king, we want a president. Kings have too much power, presidents should not. The fast ranted, the slow balked. In the end, the representatives of the people acted. They said *that guy over there* has too much power, we shall limit it. And so they did.
For 61 years it has worked perfectly.

It begs the question: why did they not apply the same measuring stick, and remedy, to themselves. hmmmm. (echo...it has worked *perfectly*).



Bobby Jindal in 2012. This guy will lead us to the promised land. I can't wait until he gets started.



Sorry about the length of this post but there exists an example of ignorance so pernicious it must be addressed.

Fetterkey: An underground resistance? What is there to resist?

Me: The constitution has in effect been abolished because much of what our government IS doing is specifically prohibited to it. The declaration is ignored because our rights are more violated by our government each day than by all the thugs in the land can do in a year. The financial sector of the economy has been nationalized. The health care system is nearing total confiscation by the government. We are prevented from developing our own energy. We have hundreds of thousands if not millions of pages of regulations placed upon top of us to dictate every aspect of our lives. Then he asks what is there to resist.

Fetterkey: From where I'm standing, the government looks about the same as it used to, just with a new guy up on the podium.

Me: It may look the same as it did last week but it has been vastly changed from its initial conception of a republic in which one's individual rights were respected and defended. Where one had the right to produce and keep one's wealth. Where one had the right to associate or not with others for whatever reason you had as long as you did not violate the rights of others. The so called "new guy" has clearly stated he intends to abolish the negative rights protected by the constitution and push what he calls positive rights - which violate the concept of rights from the get go. I could go on.

Fetterkey: Technological collapse? Technology isn't going to collapse, it's going to keep on advancing, and advancing faster. Preparing for a technological collapse is probably one of the worst things you could do right now.

Me: What is there that's going to keep it going? It takes a functional mind to invent, build, and maintain it. It takes a life time of study and self discipline to have a mind that works. This activity cannot be forced. The mind can function ONLY when its free. It must find the truth for itself. It must choose its own actions. Finally, the men of mind must be free to act. It is this freedom that is in serious decline.

Fetterkey: cite a historical example of a dark age.

Me: History means more than the day before yesterday. A google on "The Dark Ages" returned (Results 1 - 10 of about 68,900,000 for The Dark Ages). Try it, read, and learn. Its not a hidden mystery.



Buddy Holly: Bobby Jindal in 2012

Jindal is simply the other side of the coin from Obama. A despot of the right as opposed to a despot of the left. It will be a second coming alright but not of liberty and respect for individual rights.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Jindal#cite_note-second-48

From the article:

Bobby Jindal has a 100% pro-life voting record according to the National Right to Life Committee.

He opposes abortion without exception.

Jindal supports the teaching of intelligent design in public schools.

Jindal voted yes on making the PATRIOT Act permanent, voted in favor of the 2006 Military Commissions Act, supported a constitutional amendment banning flag burning

____________________

Ideas matter. Fundamental ideas matter most. Identify the fundamentals and you know the man.



Who is we in this essay? Is this the we that blogged and campaigned and contributed to a party that spent money like water and was as corrupt as anyone else?

I'm not up for another rah-rah speech supporting the Republican party. I'm up for fragging some of our officers.

I was (and am) a Fred Thompson contributor and supporter. He understood the issue of borrowing money from our children to spend on ourselves. So did Newt Gingrich. The rest of them? Bah!



One of my favorite political images from the pre-election days showed a simple "glamor shot" of Barack Obama's smiling face -- actually quite flattering -- with the subtitle, "Democracy: you're doing it wrong." I thought that summed up the Obamessiah's viewpoints quite succinctly.

Personally, I would think that even if Obama's legions of questionable associations with some pretty reprehensible characters didn't bother you... even if his shortsighted and self-destructive plans to retreat before a reeling enemy, before the completion of the mission and with the precise date of our withdrawal publicly announced to that same enemy didn't rankle you... even if the emasculation of our military, the cessation of research into different weapon systems, and the thinning of our nuclear arsenal didn't scare you... even if his refusal to reform the Social Security system that is within a decade of bankrupting itself, while at the same time expanding the benefits to its recipients, WHILE he's busily concocting new and even more costly socialist schemes to further burden a teetering economy doesn't strike you as being suicidally naive at best, disastrously stupid or sinisterly evil at worst... even if the blatantly socialist mindset that brought us this last "economic downturn" ("EVERYbody 'deserves' affordable housing") doesn't stand as a 'shining' example to you of why 'mandated fairness' doesn't work... even if the idea that success in achieving the American dream means only that you get to pay the vast lion's share of the nation's fiscal burden, a large part of which will then go to freebies, hand-outs and other forms of dead-end welfare for those who have NOT achieved it on their own, really does sound "fair" to you... even if a world -- and a history -- loaded with examples of failed socialist experiments doesn't get your attention... even if the abandonment of the American enshrinement of the principles of freedom, independence and self-reliance means nothing to you... as a MINIMUM, doesn't Obama's staggering lack of experience give you even a moment's pause?

I mean, the guy's got, what?... eight total years in politics in general, NO military experience, NO foreign policy experience, and NO 'command' or 'executive' experience of any kind. You might as well just pull a random liberal off the streets of Berkeley and throw him in the White House. Sarah Palin has more experience than that. Hell, I'VE got more experience than that. And the centerpiece of his planning is to throw everything out -- the bathwater AND the baby -- and "change" it all to his "new" (re: tried, tested, disproven, but most importantly, unoriginal) vision of a socialist utopia. How does that NOT concern you?

It's like handing the controls of a hurtling 747 to a child, a child that not only doesn't grasp how a 747 works, but insists on flying it HIS way.

And it doesn't matter that here in America, no president is a dictator, and must always push his agenda through the filter of a (theoretically) bi-partisan Congress. Any president presiding over a same-party-dominated Congress has a much better shot of getting his dream projects pushed through, but a near-messianic president? And a same-party-dominated Congress with the worst approval ratings of any U.S. government institution in American history?... eager to improve that rating the easiest way; by granting the new messiah his every wish? It doesn't mean it WILL happen -- I tell myself that it CAN'T -- but never has there been a better CHANCE for it to happen. If ever the stars were to align sufficiently to actually make possible a socialist agenda becoming law in the United States, this alignment of stars is it.

Doesn't mean it WILL happen, but the conditions have never been more conducive to it.

And the worst part about socialist perks and bennies is that, once started, they're almost impossible to stop -- no one wants to give up a 'comfort food' even when they know it's killing them. So saying "at least give Obama a chance" is like saying "let's give parenthood a try." You don't "try" having a child to see if parenthood works for you -- you either commit wholly to it, or you don't even start.

Now if I could just believe that the same people who voted in this charlatan would actually recognize the danger...

GHS



K T Cat,

The "we" means the lovers of liberty and respecters of individual rights. We have not left the party, the party has left us.

I agree with you about the Republican party. It has degrading into a poor excuse of a second rate Democratic party. To say they spent our future wealth like a drunken sailor is an insult to drunken sailors. They have done what the Democrats could only dreamed of doing. A pox on both of their houses.




GHS,

I am SO forwarding that to every Obama-voter I know...

- MuscleDaddy



Churchill in 2008? Trolls should stick to what they are best at: posting the same message multiple times in their haste to broadcast their tumescent twittery. I guarantee he is a lemonhead with a twist.



Ay...Yup. Clean-up in aisle Churchill... Have patience, Ma'am, and could you please take your cart down this aisle...? We'll get right to it!



Lionell Griffith,

Had you bothered to follow the link, you would have discovered that those were not my words.
Gee wiz dude, I was trying to show that there exists a different opinion than yours.
I was not trying to get into a pissing contest with you.



FYI, Churchill, Piyush "Bobby" Jindal was born on June 10, 1971 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. You get one polite correction. Keep spouting gibberish and expect to be scorned and ridiculed unmercifully.



Churchill, you're a dishonor to your name. Not only is your anger towards immigrants unwarranted and irrational, but Jindal isn't even an immigrant; he was born in Louisiana, as Doug Loss pointed out. I don't support Jindal myself, yet I can still recognize that attacks like yours are insulting.

If you think Jindal is "a Democrat undercover," provide some reasoning to support your argument; if, like me, you disapprove of his policy stances, say that instead. Just don't make up claims and throw around insults. We've had enough of that from both sides over the past few weeks.



I believe that another Civil War general had the right idea. Ulysses S. Grant took heavy losses in the Wilderness in early 1864. Instead of falling back across the Rappahannock, he simply swung around and turned the Confederate flank. He kept doing this until he had Lee pinned at Petersburg. If you can't win in one way, change direction.

Also, General Foch's comment of "My center is giving way, the right is retreating, situation excellent. I shall attack..." is just as good. Press on.



My apologies, folks, and to Churchill in particular. I'm afraid that in my daily combing through the comment streams deleting porn and spam and trolls, in the process of deleting 5 of Churchill's 6 repeated posts, I inadvertently deleted ALL of them. And there's no "undo" button (not even a CTL-Z function) in "Movable Type." Boo-boo-cito, I'm afraid.

Churchill, if you want to re-post your last comment, please feel free. One copy of it won't be deleted.

Carry on...

GHS



rockdalian,

Have no fear, I know all too well that there are many others with different opinions. How is that a relevant point to anything?

The fact of differing opinions has absolutely no impact upon which opinion is true. The only thing that counts is WHAT IS and which opinion matches WHAT IS. Once the match is established I don't give a fig how many differing opinions there are or who holds them. They are all irrelevant.

As I said in my earlier post, I can only respond to your words and not what might be going on in your head. Perhaps a clearer and more complete communication is in order.



rockdalian,

Any disagreement with Lionell is automatically ratcheted up to "pissing contest".

He is utterly convinced of his own inherent 'right-ness' and will suffer no deviation from that standard.

Oppose or even 'suggest-other-than' his opinion (yes, I blaspheme by referring thusly to the-universal-absolute-certainty), and he will berate you, mock you, cast dispersions on your motives, deliberately misrepresent your stated positions, put words into your mouth, call your parentage into question and suggest mental illness.

Respond by giving as good as you get - and he will declare you a fascist or intellectual-thug... his methods are allowable for him alone and are sanctified only by virtue of his singular correctness.

Take the word of an Old-Timer here (offered because I believe you interact in good-faith):

Your best bet is to simply refuse to interact with him.

- MuscleDaddy



cast dispersions on your motives

Paging Norm Crosby, please pick up the red courtesy phone.



What, refracting them into unintended directions ain't good enough?

- MD



In my brief time here and at E3 Gazette, I have found Lionell to be arrogant and meticulous, but also a fervent lover of liberty and his nation. Quite frankly, I can tolerate the first as long as we continue to come together on the second. That is the attitude I hope to receive from everyone else myself. Oyster out.



Oyster, MD was remembering an earlier visit from Lionell I think, one that got even nastier. I'm not one to toss someone out for being a bit prickly (seeing as how I'm all sweetness and light myself ;) ), but Lionell did come on as mega-insufferable that previous time. Believe it or not, he seems to have moderated a bit this go-round. Although I expect he'll flame me for using the word "moderated" in reference to him...



From somehwere in my past, I believe a Senator Goldwater said,

"I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!"
"Acceptance Speech as the 1964 Republican Presidential candidate. "(from http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Barry_Goldwater)

Still and again, however, civility from all parties is more than just an expectation in this particular realm.

FWIW.



Now if I could just believe that the same people who voted in this charlatan would actually recognize the danger...

GHS, there are several tripwire issues out there that could still get their attention. Two come to mind right now.

>If the Dims try to carry through with their proposed changes to kill off the tax breaks for 401(k)s and replace them with "guaranteed" accounts that smack of Social Security ... and serve as a model for how they are going to deal with health care: move everybody into the shallow end of the pool, then post government "lifeguards" there.

>If the Dims stop the progress towards securing the border. There is a far greater mandate for that coming from We the People than there was to elect Mr. Obama.

Of course, were the New Bosses to defund/withdraw from OIF precipitously, and the presently-positive situation there turn pear-shaped, that would also wake people up to the dangers of a completely Dimmer-controlled government ... after a lot of damage was done, unfortunately.



Let's see now - heh; heh; heh; solid; true and heh.

Thing is, moods change, and people come here for a variety or reasons. Sometimes we like to indulge in a little banter to blow off steam. As deadly serious as we often see our circumstances, this ain't the flippin continental congress where every syllable must be parsed for its relevance and probity for inclusion into the manifesto - at times what's needed is to tolerate and enjoy a good-natured ribbing.

Even during the heights of terror in the former USSR, built on mountains of corpses, humor would be found alive and well. There would otherwise have been no Shostakovich, whose range of expression included reflections of the vastly devastating and grotesquely caricatured aspects of the realities faced by the people trapped in that system.

So, I'm enjoying all of this, if a bit darkly. Only human, and all that.



I would just like to take a moment and stop all this talk about what to do about the presidency and the congress, and vowing to fight the good fight. AND remember those who actually did, and do even now to day in the Sand box, and the rock pile.. To those of you who have passed, Like my Father, John F. Keith, who served as a Gunners mate on a destroyer escort in both the pacific and Atlantic theaters, who had several of them sank out from under him, who received the purple heart, and a presidential citation for bravery, among other rewards who taught me that there was no shame in hard work, and that your family comes first no matter what. That no matter what you never ever quit, My Father was far from a saint, he came back from the war with a drinking problem, that got worse as the years went on haunted by the things he had done, and the things he had seen. Once he told me of going out into the ocean in a boat to try and get survivors from a destroyed Japanese warship. He was given a boat hook and a .45. The Hook was to haul in those sailors who had an arm band that marked them as an officer, the .45 was for anyone attempting to get in the boat, who didn't. He rarely if ever talked about the war or his role in it. Though once in a while if he was JUST drunk enough, and lucid enough he would relate a story or two. My Father lived in constant pain. A fall from the top of the 5 inch mount had left him with a serious back injury. He was old school Irish his idea of a pain killer and therapy was hard work, and whiskey. He was hard on us. And there were more than a few times growing up that I wished I had a NORMAL dad. To My shame there were more than a few times that I truly Hated him. It is now only after having reached forty and having him been gone for 10 years now and having a child of my own that I realize I did not have a Normal Dad, I had an extraordinary one. My father survived the Depression and world war 2, he raised 7 children of which I am the last. Despite the constant pain and constant Hang over he got up and worked hard every day of his life to provide for us. Without telling me so, and without making a big deal about it, he taught me everything that I needed to know about life. Even in the things he did badly I've learned from, by not making the same mistakes that he did. I am finally putting behind me allot of the things that I feel have held me back. I've come to realize, that the man that held me while I was sick and worked his tortured body past the limits of mere human endurance until he retired. Who taught me that You never quit, that you Love your country, that fidelity to your wife was a virtue. And a hundred other things that I didn't even knew I knew. THAT was My FATHER. The stranger that yelled at me, and said horrible things to me, that was the alcohol and his pain talking. Not MY Father. TO Him and all who served with him and are gone Now, THANK YOU. To all those who have served and fought and fallen in the decades since then THANK YOU. TO Hose that served in unheralded positions, be they cooks, or corpsmen who served far from the fighting and never truly risked their life one day in uniform, THANK YOU. It was only Chance that kept you safe. Those serving in the pentagon on 9/11 probably felt they were the safest people on the planet. Every one of you became heroes the day you put the Uniform on and decided that you would stand on a wall. You still asked to be put in Harms way for Love of country. So Again THANK YOU. To Those who serve today in places far from home in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, You have my thanks and Eternal gratitude. TO those Young men and woman, who today decide that despite the risks of being sent directly to a shooting war, or perhaps because of it, continue to enlist. Men like my nephew Andrew Cinicola who just last week graduated from Marine Corp basic and is currently in camp swampy learning the business of being a marine Corp rifleman. To all of you I say SEMPER FI and THANK YOU. I would ask all of you be you liberal or conservative to remember at the day we all owe our freedom to bicker and quarrel over whether America is headed in the right direction to these Veterans. Thank them the next time you see one.



Christopher, I fought my way through that because I could see that there was something of value in it, but could you learn to break things down into paragraphs? All you have to do is hit Enter two times to end a paragraph and start another.

Like this.



sorry

next

time

I

will

I

Promise

:-)



Oyster,

Don't get me wrong - I value Lionell for his good points (and I think you hit both of them), but at the same time I recognize that polite disagreement, good-natured debate or even plain banter are beyond him.

If you want to know his perception of "WHAT IS" ('perception-of' - again with the blasphemy, what is it with this guy?), the appropriate process is to ask him in as few words as possible, take one short step to the side, listen quietly while he tells you and then either thank him or agree and thank him - and then step away in an orderly fashion.

Rather like placing an order with Seinfeld's 'Soup Nazi'.
(in all it's time on the air, that was the only episode I was ever able to withstand all the way through)

I absolutely concur with your evaluation of his love-of-liberty-and-nation, and am quite confident that, when the revolution comes he will be pushing to the front for a place on the line (and come that time, I will be glad to have such an implacable fighter on that line beside me) - but you see, that's just the thing ...

Lionell is more of a 'force' - something you unleash, rather than discuss, debate or disagree with.

Rage and shake your fist at the storm if you want - whether it's right or wrong, you will not affect its path, and it's a waste of your time to try.

- MuscleDaddy



more of a 'force' - something you unleash, rather than discuss, debate or disagree with.

I've been described similarly myself. When you disagree with me, you need to bring more than "nuh-uh" or "you're wrong", or "racist" like the mice do. You have to show me how I'm wrong.

Unfortunately, we have problems with language. The nihilists have run the edu-info-tainment industry for so long that it's impossible to have a discussion or debate, because they get to tell you what your own words mean. That they have elevated relativism to the point where we can't even agree that objective reality exists (never mind coming to a consensus on any details of that reality) shows how far gone we are.

Those of us who are unwilling to compromise on the fundamental of objective reality are blasted as "extremist" or some kind of self-righteous bigots. Only by agreeing with their premise that reality itself is fungible can we be considered "tolerant", "reasonable", etc.

It's a modern Inquisition that seeks to force us to accept an imposed worldview, not unlike that which forced Galilei to recant his opposition to geocentric cosmology.

"E pur si muove".



I have read EEE a number of times, but for the first time a friend (the same one that gave me the link) told me I had to read the responses. So I did, reading about 190 entries. And all I can think of is how perfectly you fit the definition of fanatics. American Heritage defines the word as: A person marked or motivated by an extreme, unreasoning enthusiasm, as for a cause. But an even better description comes from Churchill who said “a fanatic is someone who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject”

That’s what keeps coming back over and over. Of the 190 + posts, I see maybe 10 that don’t parrot others exact view. The two who seemed to try to have a reasoned difference were Ryan and Mako (discarding the idiocy of Obamamania). Both were attacked and insulted by responders. Bill even asked Mako to leave. I am not sure why since the quote that seemed to upset Bill the most (you where overrun) came from a response to his post, not his post and that person wasn't asked to leave. In the same paragraph where Bill asks him to go away for being hostile he insults Mako’s reasoning. Interesting. I think mako struck much closer to home on his analogy than Bill liked. Ryan kept responding politely only to meet criticism of his intellect, personality and other areas. Not once did I see the host (or anyone) tell Goy, Linoell or the others that they were being rude or hostile or should leave. There where some fair and interesting responses and everyone would benefit from more of those.

Ask yourself when was the last time you cast at least 25% of your total ballot votes for democrats? Bill said after the elections of 2006 that the republicans where terrible, bloated, crooked, etc then talked about how he voted all republican. That is amazing. No where was there one democrat that was better suited, better qualified or more honest that deserved your vote? One party voting isn’t a democracy; it is socialism, communism or a dictatorship.

Fanatics can be so easily thrown into a battle for those that need your energy. Rove was able to play you like pawns. All they have to do it throw out a couple of key phrases: abortion, socialist, swiftboat, evolution, whatever and away the zealots go. From most standards of what I have read here: smaller government, less intrusion, lower deficits, free markets, fiscal and moral responsibility, the republicans and Bush have done the opposite. Yet Bill has spent years making a case for him on Rushmore. And the posts all talk about how the Americans where fooled or tricked into voting against the republicans, not that they deserved to be ousted.

You have become the equivalent of the Unions in the 70’s.

Block voters, focused on single issues that line up and don’t have to think about who to vote for, just click the R. Actually, you are worse than the unions. By definition someone that joins a union does not want to think, talk or negotiate for themselves. They join to be told what to do, when to do it, when to stop, how much to make. You place yourselves as intellectuals yet your votes are as easy to earn or predict as the union votes where in the 70’s. And the sad thing is you insult them for being sheep.

There is no reason to try to discuss how conservatives need to reach out to win. Even if you vote 100% (look for the Union Label) you still lose. It won’t matter because eventually a Reagan like leader will cross lines and actually lead a true majority of the country. If it is a democrat you will be outside looking in and if it is a Republican you all will follow blindly so it doesn’t matter.
What you do not realize is that your leaders know this and use you. Ralph Reed, the original religious/political combo was taking money and bragging how he could get people to shut down one casino to help another casino. He mocked you. This is the originator of the moral majority etc. Your blind fanaticism has made you irrelevant. That is what is most ironic. You think yourselves thinkers and leaders who will bring the county back to the light and you have marginalized yourself to irrelevance by your blind convictions. Enjoy your electronic pats on the back and your battles with your counterparts on the left (I did like mako's Trek analogy). The rest of us have to keep the country going.



Man, I think we're through the rabbit hole here-- the Republican party is like the unions, Republicans in Congress voted for socialist nationalizations, and now we're talking about what will happen "when the revolution comes"?



Monster,

"I've been described similarly myself. When you disagree with me, you need to bring more than "nuh-uh" or "you're wrong", or "racist" like the mice do. You have to show me how I'm wrong."


Of course, and one of the things I respect about you that if someone brings something to the discussion, you'll listen to it, even if it contradicts your assertions - whereas Lionell historically falls back on "You're stupid/insane/irrelevant/clearly-the-bastard-child-of-mentally-retarded-rabid-wombats/etc."

Your ability to laugh at yourself betrays your understanding of your own fallibility - you recognize that you don't *necessarily* have all the answers and, as such, disagreeing with you isn't *necessarily* a hanging-offense.

- MuscleDaddy



Billy J.,

"Not once did I see the host (or anyone) tell Goy, Linoell or the others that they were being rude or hostile or should leave. "

BWWAAA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!

It really IS your first time into the 'back-room', isn't it?

(btw, remind me WHO used 'swiftboat' over the past 2 years?)

Fetterkey,

"...and now we're talking about what will happen "when the revolution comes"?"

Forgive me - it's an expression my brother and I have used since we first saw "Red Dawn", and still finds its way into conversations from time-to-time.

- MuscleDaddy



Billy J.,

While I admit that a single line in your drive-by caught my attention above all others, going back over it now - I see a couple of other points that need to be addressed...

"Bill even asked Mako to leave. I am not sure why ..."

Well, let's look at that, shall we?

"Just you watch, although frankly, I'd prefer you watched from somewhere else as I find your tone a little too hostile to be in front of so little original thinking. ("Wake up, you just got overrun." -- no foolin'? Wonder why I would write a post about what to do AFTER you've been overrun?)"

Hmmm... looks to me like Bill preferred that Mako leave because he found Mako's tone a little too hostile to be in front of so little original thinking.
(which it was - I'm sorry, but what you call 'interesting points' I recognize as points of the worn-talking variety)

Clear that one up for you?

And then....

"And the posts all talk about how the Americans where fooled or tricked into voting against the republicans, not that they deserved to be ousted."

N-nooo... actually, we recognize that part of WHY the American people were ABLE to be tricked... is that many/most of the existing (R)-politicians are actually such as to deserves to be ousted.

Next...

"Block voters, focused on single issues that line up and don’t have to think about who to vote for, just click the R."

Uh - apparently not this time... Oh, wait - Hope & Change probably count as two issues, don't they?

Let's see...

"You place yourselves as intellectuals yet your votes are as easy to earn or predict"...

That, as a group, we largely are thinkers means that we're also able to see past the packaging, smoke, mirrors, offers-of-handouts and spiffy greek columns - through to what's actually important (liberty, self-determination, ideals of self reliance and personal accountability) and how neither the Obamessiah NOR much of the current incarnation of the GOP represents them- if those aren't overly-complex and/or easily predictable...that's okay too - actually having a concrete position means that people will be able to 'predict' where you stand.

Wrapping up now...

"There is no reason to try to discuss how conservatives need to reach out to win. Even if you vote 100% ...you still lose."

This is where you're confusing "Conservatives" with "Republicans" - look at the number of Democrats that voted versus Republicans that voted versus the number of registered voters that DIDN'T vote - and I think you'll see that Conservatives didn't turn out "100%" for the (R) candidate.
(one would hope that would tell the (R)s something, but I'm not trusting them to it)

Almost ther...

Okay, wait - "Ralph Reed"??

You go on about "relevance" and you talk about "Ralph Reed"??

I can't... That's just.. Nevermind.

"Your blind fanaticism has made you irrelevant. "

Well now there's irrelevant...and then there's irrelevant.


- MuscleDaddy



Monster, I couldn't agree more on the lack of common objective reality across ideological lines these days. I believe there are people out there who have homed in on the reason for this.

Billy, "rude and hostile" is often in the eye of the beholder. Ryan felt attacked, which is the typical reaction from the blindly self-righteous when someone coldly points out the flaws in their "arguments". He didn't like being shown that his posts were filled with vacuous, empty platitudes, sweeping generalizations and erroneous assertions. It was hardly rude or hostile to point these factors out to him. Coddling his lack of content and inability (or refusal) to directly address a point will only encourage him, and it appears he's gone off somewhere where he can be provided with exactly that.

Your post above isn't much different from Ryan's. From your utter lack of understanding of what's going on here to your complete confusion regarding conservatism and "voting Republican" - uh, perhaps you missed it, but the common theory is that McCain lost because so many conservatives did precisely the opposite of what you claim. And if you think 58,018,321 Americans (plus those who stayed home) are "irrelevant", well, just stay tuned.

And by the way, if I ever actually post something that's rude, or hostile, trust me - you will fucking well know it.



Muscle,
I said it was my first time in here, not sure why it would surprise you that it was and Swiftboat was said to show that this is not a one time event but has been used for a number of years now to ignite the fanatics.

Let me respond to what you said. I agree that the phrase “you were overrun" is aggressive and with mako who said it was asinine. If you look back to the posts in discussion you will see that mako did not make that comment originally, but used it response to Lionel’s comment “Join with us or not. It’s your choice. However, your sniping from the sidelines will eventually be ignored and overrun.” If you re read mako’s first response (not original post) you will see that he starts it with saying the post was towards those that had gone right to the “with us or against us” (which started a whole other attack from goy). Unless you all think alike, he was responding to a particular response. The interesting points I thought he was making where in reference to looking at why we lost instead of looking for reasons or excuses how everyone was out to get us. I did like his response to Bill about the comparison between Regan & Kennedy vs. Carter & W. If you are going to take issue with my agreements I wanted to clarify them. I did have the advantage of reading them straight through so it may have been easier for me to follow threads than if you had come in and out over time.

The block voters comment was not for all republicans (I tried to be careful and separate out conservatives from republican). The block voters I was talking about are those of you that are so adamant that they wouldn’t think of voting for a Dem under any circumstance. Even when the Republicans have failed. That makes you not only a subset of Republicans (since many republicans obviously voted democratic) and also makes you a subset of conservatives. There are conservatives that supported Obama. They were disowned immediately (or fired from the magazine) but that doesn’t mean they aren’t conservatives. I don’t know about the statistics that show that conservatives didn’t turnout in full numbers. Surveys can show what ever you want. I saw someone here quote a statistic that 91% of republicans support Palin. If you believe that then stats mean nothing.

Ralph Reed is the most glaring example of SOME conservatives that use fanatics to their own personal gains. There are others. Muscle, I am curious to ask how often you look at an election and judge the candidate not the party. If you are always going to vote Republican than how do you not realize your vote is irrelevant since nothing will change it. The R‘s know they have you and the D’s know they never can. At the most conservatives account for about 1/3 of the population (and as I mentioned this was geared to a subset of even that group). That is what I meant by the even if you vote 100% you lose. I fear you confused conservative and republicans in this case. I am republican but voted for a number of democrats at all levels. Not all republicans are conservative and not all conservatives are republican. I am not sure what you consider irrelevant, but in elections a good working definition could be something will not change no matter what.



Goy you are a class act. The mistake you make is that you assume that the entire 58 million think like you. I dont believe there are 58 people on this site that beleive like you do. Every one of your responses has been an attack. Just because you dont agree with an argument doesn't make it vaccous. He is not searching for attention.

I have to beleive the rest of this room is sick of you. Muscle attacked my words and was sarcastic, but in no way rude. You must sit on this thing and hit refresh non stop so you can show how smart you are. At the least be like Bill and be brave enough to start your own blog. He puts himself out there, ready to be attacked but has enough people that think he has a value that he has people coming to read his thoughts. You ride in his wake like a little terrier biting at the heels of those that arent right in line. If you are repesentive of the "back room" it is a shame. I have to believe it more like like muscle and tanka and Ryan and GHS. I just wish they would ask you to leave the way Bill told mako to go away. Once again my first time, if mako has been rude in the past, I am not aware of it.



Your ability to laugh at yourself betrays your understanding of your own fallibility - you recognize that you don't *necessarily* have all the answers and, as such, disagreeing with you isn't *necessarily* a hanging-offense.
There is a difference between recognizing that I may have some particular fact or other wrong, and disagreeing with the very idea of objective reality. I can laugh at "I reject your reality, and substitute my own" jokes, but I can also understand those who think that too many people actually believe that crap for it to be funny.


oops sorry for the double post. I did mention it was my first time right...



And are you also cognizant enough of who you're communicating with - based on having read them over a period of time - to understand their meaning in a broader context?

And do you consider those people worth that "effort"?

That's the difference.

I swear to God, man - you really seem to go out of your way to make it difficult to compliment you.

(Watching, Otto? - I tried.)

- MuscleDaddy

P.S.

"I reject your reality, and substitute my own"

That's a quote from "Mythbusters" - so NOW what does it say about Objective Reality?



Well, this will be easy...

- The mistake you make is that you assume that the entire 58 million think like you.

Poor billy, the mistake you've just made is in presuming to have any idea what I assume, or don't.


- I dont believe there are 58 people on this site that beleive like you do.

Well, since you haven't a clue what everyone on this site believes, and certainly haven't given any indication that you understand in the slightest what I believe, you'll have to pardon me if I don't view your, uh, belief to be very, mmm... believable.


- Every one of your responses has been an attack.

No billy, every one of my responses was fairly well dripping with impatient sarcasm. If you want to see "attacks" go to Daily Kos. There's a big difference. You're new - you claim - so I'm fairly certain you'll figure out the difference eventually.


- Just because you dont agree with an argument doesn't make it vaccous.

Exactamundo. Which is exactly why - unlike your unfounded characterizations - I provided explanations, reasons and counter-evidence explaining the problems with the silliness in question.


- I have to beleive the rest of this room is sick of you.

Hmmm... another belief I guess someone else will have to validate. Would that be EVERYONE else who posts here? Everyone who reads OR posts here? Both? Let me know - we'll take a poll. Since I actually post here fairly rarely (this thread being an exception), I'm guessing most folks will go... "huh? who's 'goy'??"


- At the least be like Bill and be brave enough to start your own blog.

Is that supposed to be some sort of "proof" that you're new to this? Okay, I'll play. Just click on my highlighted handle, below. Or here, I'll make it even easier for you, being "new" and all:

CLICK HERE

There. That should address the rest of your asinine assumptions. Thanks for playing.



And do you consider those people worth that "effort"?
I consider the effort to be worth it, not because of the people, but because of the principle. Approving of an idea simply because its spokesman is personally likeable is irrational; so is the reverse.
That's a quote from "Mythbusters" - so NOW what does it say about Objective Reality?
That sounds almost like an Argument From Authority. I like that show, because they try to do honest experiments. They don't ever say "this is true because someone important says so".

I always assumed that Adam was joking when he said that about substituting reality. Are you suggesting that he seriously meant it?



I am new to this site, but wondered if anyone here has checked out the Constitution Party?

They seem to stand for limited government and separation of powers.

RE



"Approving of an idea simply because ..."

Who said anything about 'approving of an idea'? - I'm talking about putting in the effort to understand what is being said.

"That sounds almost like an Argument From Authority."

Only if you really want it to be - the point (and context) is that the "Myth" is the 'accepted' perception of reality, until they 'reject' it, substituting with actual reality.

Whatever - either I haven't made my positions very clear here over the past few years, you haven't been paying any attention, or you're not even trying to do this in good-faith.

Since I am willing to accept 2&3 as 'false' - then it's on me, and I'll just have to come back when I learn to communicate in the written-word.

- MD



I'm talking about putting in the effort to understand what is being said.
And it is indeed an effort. Part of it is the inherent imprecision of English. Part is that it's so easy to ASS|U|ME what another person is saying. Either way, when someone doesn't get where you're coming from, it can look a lot like putting words in your mouth or casting aspersions on your motives.

Knowing this, I assume ignorance rather than malice, except maybe for the drive-by mice that call me a racist. Naah. Even they are ignorant. They really don't understand how we think. Since we oppose Utopia, we simply must be evil, or stupidly controlled by evil: Chimpy McHitlerburton or Darth Cheney/Rove You Magnificent Bastard.



Hello Rose and welcome. I've looked into the Constitution Party, yes. The start out from a reasonable basis, but then somewhat like the Libertarian Party they go all loopy on things like the GWOT and other national security issues. They will never be more than a fringe party, I'm afraid. We'll have to find some other home.



Thanks Doug. I got interested because some of my family members voted for their candidate. I made a cursory review of their web site, but I figured that someone on this site would have already checked them out.

Best,

Rose



Consensus reality is a very dangerous idea. That doesn't mean that it's always wrong, but it does mean that it should be approached very carefully, and with good manners besides.



Bar ryan and to some extent billy j none of you seem to want to acknowledge that the GOP lost because you looked like hopeless dinosaurs that have scant respect for the truth or the intellect of the populace, (dinosaurs hanging out with humans, watching russia from the backyard anyone?) and most people under the age of 50 do not want gay bashing, and the hispanics dont want the hate for immigrants legal or illegal.

Generally i think americans who are doing it tough are looking at other countries and saying well why are their health systems better than ours. Why should giving birth to a disabled child (and I'm not refering to Palin) mean a lifetime of penury. I come from a country where 1% of my income goes to healthcare and we surpass you on all healthcare indicators. And all you can do is shout about communists, god and guns.

The GOP will not run if it lurches to the right becuase the right has discredited it's self by it's outcomes. I think people were also sick of the corruption. Just who was making money out of Iraq?When you continue to muck about with other peoples sex lives and link with fundie religocrats you fall even further through the looking glass.

While the Malkins et al carry on about Ayers I didnt hear anywhere as much about Mccains links to the despicable Liddy.

I know I'll just get shouted down on this blog but i do think you may gain some insight in asking younger voters directly what they want from the future government after all they are the ones who will be paying for it.



Fetterkey, what does "consensus reality" even mean?



yoyo

You said "i do think you may gain some insight in asking younger voters directly what they want from the future government"

IIRC, wasn't it John F. Kennedy who said"Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask rather what you can do for your country."

That was the second "Camelot". Have you no history?

Not shouting. Just teaching.

Svin



Consensus reality is the idea that some things are "real" by mass consensus rather than objective fact. See Nineteen Eighty-Four for an illustration of how this silly-sounding idea can be so dangerous.



Fetterkey, I think if you're talking about consensus reality you're talking about the left in this country, not us.If there's anyone who sees what they want to see, not what's actually in front of them, it's the left. Take a look at yoyo for example. He or she seems to think that wherever he (or she) comes from they have better health care than the US. Sorry, but you'll actually have to give some evidence for us to believe that. Then yoyo goes on with standard leftist name-calling about people and positions that (sorry, I'm tired of all this "he or she") it really knows nothing about. Yoyo, find a book on rhetoric, read up on the concept of a "strawman argument." Your entire post is essentially one strawman after another. You won't convince anyone of your rightness or even your worth to take the time to refute with such childishly obvious illogic.



"Obama has surrounded himself with such obvious non-Marxists as Warren Buffett and Paul Volker."
-Youmustbekidding

Obama has also surrounded himself with American flags and cardboard Romanesque facade. Does that make him patriotic?



Goy,
Get ready for something you rarely ever hear. YOU WHERE RIGHT. I should have known you had a blog. Not because I have been here before as you tried to insinuate numerous times. I haven’t. The fact that you don’t believe that says more about you than it does about anything else. You are a walking billboard of perfect sayings. Besides Churchill's fanatic statement (a great choice of words, thanks either mako or Ryan G) you fit one of my all time favorite sayings: “the curse of the perpetual liar is not that he cannot be believed, for that is a given, but that he cannot believe others”. Keep questioning statements for honesty and others will see you more about you than those they question.

You say you don’t post here often and I will believe that. The reason I thought you did was muscle’s quote laughing at me for saying no ones says anything to the jerks in the room. I took his mocking of my newbie status to mean that this is a regular issue with you and Lionel. I stand by my statements that you are rude and do not make arguments but just statements that others are wrong, misguided etc, but I will apologize for making the assumption that you are a regular ass in this room. Of the 190 posts I read through at once I would guess that over 30 of them came from you. It did not seem like too far a leap to assume that you do this all the time; bad assumption on my part and yes I can hear my basketball coach still saying what ASS U ME means. However, keep up your attitude and you will make me prophet still.

Don’t get too excited when you check your blog, because the one new person to it was me. I thought I owed it for the error to visit. I saw you have posted a number of times and most of the posts had zero responses. I will say it again zero. The most I saw where 2. That means you have posted 15X more to this one article of Bill’s than a week or so of your posts generate. You must be proud. Actually two of the responses shouldn’t count since they where in response to your post about something you took off EEE.



To the room: one question and I do not mean to seem aggressive in this. I live on the right side of the middle and this is my first foray into blogs beyond reading the site and agreeing or disagreeing in my head. Freedom Fan said something about Obama faking patriotism. Is it the belief of most of Bill and the “back room” that he really hates American and wants to cause its doom? People of good conscience can argue about whether he is too liberal, whether he wants too loosen social standards etc. But is it the belief of many of you that he really hates America and wants to destroy it? Doesn’t that seem extreme (assuming I am reading freedom fans quote right)? Are there any democratic national politicians that love this country and believe it is the best in the world, but who totally disagree with your stance on abortion, evolution or tax policies?

This is crux of my frustration and possibly my confusion. I do not believe Obama wants to destroy this country. I believe he wants to make it better. I may disagree with him on his methods and his tax plan is going to impact me personally, but I don’t believe he is evil. It seems to me in this most recent post by Bill and especially many if not most of the responses in the back room that you believe him to be part of a plot to destroy us.
I have seen how I can be misunderstood from my responses so I want to ask and make sure I understand correctly. Thanks for the time and to those who disagree thanks for reading.



s*&t. Sorry about that, lost something between the preview changes and the post...words, thanks and either ryan or mako can steal it, I have taken some of your ideas"
...and some sentences that are hanging, but I wont finish them cause they were just meant as jabs at Goy so I am glad they got lost. Night from the right of middle hope we can find common ground somewhere



Billy J, your post to goy is just one long ad hominem attack. All I take from it is that you don't like someone calling you on making no points and only attacking those who do.

As to Obama, no he doesn't hate America overtly. He's a raging narcissist who doesn't really care about America (or anything else) so long as he gets his way and gets the spotlight, the power and glory. If destroying this country is what that takes, so be it. But you can only hate something you care about. Since America isn't Obama, he doesn't really care about it.

I do doubt that you are "on the right side of the middle." You have yet to demonstrate anything that remotely supports that assertion. And you have demonstrated some rhetorical proclivities that suggest you're actually fairly leftwing (the constant ad hominem attacks, etc.).



Rose wrote November 12, 2008 3:06 PM:
wondered if anyone here has checked out the Constitution Party?

Sadly, in an election you only have two choices: vote for the one of the top two candidates more closely aligned with your interests, or take your ball and go home (voting for a 3rd party is equivalent), letting the other candidate further away from you win.

A third party is only viable when the public leader of one of the two major parties breaks away from his party's public/private controllers by trying to lead a *significant* fraction of the rank and file into forming a new party -- or when that major party has reduced itself to the size of a third party. Most such new party attempts fail.

For example, in 1968 when George Wallace broke from the Democrat party, signed on famous WWII Air Corps General Curtis LeMay, and formed the American Independent party against Nixon (GOP) and Humphrey (Dem), they only got 13% of the popular vote and 46 electoral votes.

Another example, in 1912, Teddy Roosevelt broke with his protege President Taft and split off from the GOP to form the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party for one election cycle. (Side note, Teddy was shot in the chest at close range in an assassination attempt but survived thanks to his body armor, a 50-page speech and his eyeglasses case -- he gave a speech instead of going to the hospital, and carried that bullet the rest of his life.) Ex-President Roosevelt got 27% of the popular vote, beating Taft, but lost to Woodrow Wilson's (Dem) 42% popular and 435 electoral votes. Roosevelt merely split the GOP temporarily.

Another example, in 1992, Ross Perot got 18% of the popular vote and no electoral votes with his "United We Stand America" Party which split from the GOP and gave Bush 41 a loss and Clinton a win. Then in 1996, he renamed his group the Reform Party but won only 8% of the popular vote. And that was that. Most times, a "major" third party centers around a popular figure but only gets 2-3% of the national vote (e.g., Ralph Nader in 2000, John Schmitz in 1972, Strom Thurmond in 1948).

The anti-slavery Republican Party was formed in 1854, splitting off from the Whig Party, mostly as a result of Whig Party control changing direction (toward slavery compromises with the Democrats) with the debilitation and finally the deaths of its major champions Daniel Webster and Henry Clay in 1852. It took 6 years for the Republicans to supplant the former Whig party, winning the presidency for Lincoln in 1860.

Basically, if you don't see a few hundreds of hate-driven murders (over the same national subject) in this country every year, you probably don't have a significant enough polarizing subject from which to form a third party to supplant one of the big two. If you think about it, that's why it's been a "two-party system" since 1800.

The silver lining. If you understand the above, then you should realize that the way to get what you want is to form your "third party" as a political action group within the closer of the two major parties (or even within both parties if you have enough resources). This makes it much easier to get elected. It's also the reason that each of the major parties sometimes seem schizophrenic -- each is a potpourri of competing political action groups vying for control, and getting it through compromise.

Or to put it another way, Compromise (with a big 'C') is what you do with your neighbors while fighting your common enemy. That's the time it's okay to "compromise your principles". (E.g., siding with mass murderer dictator Josef Stalin in WWII against Adolf Hitler.) If you want to get your neighbors to help you, don't spit on their opinions. Figure out what principle is most important to you (e.g., liberty) and compromise on secondary principles. This is also what allows communities (people with broadly differing opinions on every subject) to form and actually live in relative harmony. For that matter, look up the meaning of "harmony".



yoyo wrote November 13, 2008 4:37 PM
I come from a country where 1% of my income goes to healthcare and we surpass you on all healthcare indicators.

No, you don't.

Now, if you'd said "planet" instead of "country", you might have a point.



yoyo wrote November 13, 2008 4:37 PM:
I know I'll just get shouted down on this blog

Why bother? Your amusing bald claims are sufficient to provide whole minutes of diversion. Heh.



Posted by: billy j | November 13, 2008 10:13 PM --
"Is it the belief of most of Bill and the “back room” that he really hates American and wants to cause its doom? People of good conscience can argue about whether he is too liberal, whether he wants too loosen social standards etc. But is it the belief of many of you that he really hates America and wants to destroy it?

Sir, I can only speak for myself, and not the "back room" or any other comment participants. I certainly do not presume to speak for Mr. Whittle.

And my opinion is that one has to be at least highly suspicious of the President-elect's motives and plans given the following facts, which, by the way, merely "scratch the surface":

1.) He has stated that the Constitution of the United States is "fundamentally flawed." See http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/obama_constitution/2008/10/27/144675.html.
2.) He argues for wealth re-distribution to an extent far greater and more permanent than the current "progressive" income tax code, which is counter to our founding principals of individual freedoms and private property ownership. I would refer to previous posts in this thread and others for evidence of that.
3.) He has said he will drastically reduce our Defense budget, fund no new development (redesign and upgrading) of nuclear arms, and pretty much abandon missle defense research and development, leaving U.S. forces in the Middle East and elsewhere vulnerable as Iran continues its dual programs of missle and nuclear development.
4.) He proposed a published timetable leading to a precipitous withdrawel from Iraq, regardless of conditions on the ground. Granted, he has since modified this position somewhat, but is that only because the "Surge" has been successful? (Which, by the way, he continues to minimize.) This, essentially without regard to the ramifications to the Iraqi people and progress made to-date.
5.) He has proposed a massive, new, national civilian defense organization as large and "well-funded" as the military. For what?

As I said above, these points are only the beginning, in my opinion. I am not directly claiming that our President-elect is "evil incarnate." But I am strongly suggesting that he warrants very close scrutiny of each and every appointment, legislative proposal, and executive action. Is that not consistent with the term "loyal opposition?"




billy j | November 13, 2008 10:13 PM
Is it the belief of most of Bill and the “back room” that he [Obama] really hates American and wants to cause its doom?

That's a good question. I can't answer for those people, but I can answer for myself.

Consider that he has allied himself for decades with powerful people who have made it their public agenda to destroy America. I assume that they have this agenda to make the world a better place, in their view. It was only in running for president that he grabbed a fig leaf by "distancing" himself from them (and from numerous other shady characters).

So, the question remains, did these decades-long political alliances with powerful anti-Americans arise because Obama has the same principles, or did they arise because Obama has found it politically expedient (over decades) to appear to them like he has the same principles?

Personally, I'm hoping for the latter. But perhaps you can understand why people might not give him the benefit of the doubt.

I do not believe Obama wants to destroy this country. I believe he wants to make it better.

That should make it easier for you to sleep at night. But for his anti-American allies, you should note that they would destroy America in order to "make it better". And by destroy, I refer to the murder of tens of millions of Americans -- for the greater good. Think of (for Wright) Zimbabwe or Darfur, or (for Ayers) Cambodia.

So, your two statements are not mutually exclusive.

The silver lining is that none (that I know of) of the rest of the Dem leadership has these troubling alliances, and Obama will have to work through them for whatever he wants to do.



Doug Loss-- my post wasn't meant as an attack on the right or the left in particular, but the idea of consensus reality is definitely more popular at present in left-wing circles.

And yeah, yoyo's posts are pretty bad. His only valid point is the Liddy thing, and that's not exactly original.



But for his anti-American allies, you should note that they would destroy America in order to "make it better". And by destroy, I refer to the murder of tens of millions of Americans -- for the greater good.
Lest anyone think this hyperbolic, Ayers and his pals in the Weather Underground were very matter-of-fact about the need to kill those who could not be "re-educated". By their own estimates literally "tens of millions" of US citizens would have to be executed to make way for their Utopia.

Now that the election is over, Ayers has admitted to journalists that his relationship with Obama is far closer than the latter admitted before the election.

Launching one's political career in the home of someone who planned such violence, who founded an organization that declared war on the USA, and has never revoked those plans or that declaration, suggests either some affinity for, or at a minimum, a tolerance for them. Either way, prudence demands us to be on guard for the possibility that those plans may eventually make their way into concrete action.



Are there any democratic national politicians that love this country and believe it is the best in the world, but who totally disagree with your stance on abortion, evolution or tax policies?

Joe Lieberman is the most obvious example. While I would stridently challenge his positions on domestic policy, I take heart in knowing that he will do whatever is in his power to assure that we can have that debate, instead of letting our backs be pinned against the wall by the actions of totalitarian thugs.

Zell Miller would be another.

Like Sarah Palin and John McCain, they spoke out against the positions of their own party when they believed their party was wrong ... but these two Men endured the slings and arrows of their supposed political allies for doing so.

So much for the open-mindedness of the Left.



billy, you haven't posted enough (here) to reveal what specific developmental deficiency is forcing you to swing so wildly after being schooled, but Doug Loss has sufficiently characterized the content of your epic fail - at least if your intention was to contribute anything constructive to this discussion - saving me the trouble of pointing that out.

Regarding your odd choice to dazzle everyone with irrelevant math in your last para. (in the post addressed to moi), why did you feel it was more important to draw some erroneous mathematical relationship of posts-to-comments than to actually engage a single one of the thoughts I've expressed on that site, which contains over 350 posts spanning the better part of four years? And by erroneous I mean that if you googled 'agoyandhisblog' and counted up all the comments I've contributed to various sites like PJM, Ace of Spades, Skeptical Optimist, Rick Moran's and many, many others - in addition to what I write on mine - you'd find that your figure of '15X' is, well, utterly wrong. The ratio is much higher. And the most fulfilling feedback I've received to date was not a comment on a blog post, but an email some guy sent me about HopeAndChangely Obamaphoria™. You're laboring under the self-inflicted illusion that I blog in search of traffic and comments. Epic fail for you, 2X.

The reason I get under your skin, and the reason you haven't actually addressed any of the points I've made (here or on my blog) is probably very simple: you know I was right. And contrary to your qualification up there, I hear that all the time from a lot of different people, online and off. The reason is because I try very, very hard to not just spout off rhetoric, talking points (identity politics) or repeat some line I memorized from one of Rush Limbaugh's or Keith Olbermann's tirades. I make no claim whatsoever to succeeding 100% of the time, but I put in a lot of effort to try. One thing all that effort demonstrates is how relatively trivial it is to be moderately well-informed, and to express thoughts that are reasonably well-constructed. Which is part of why I no longer suffer fools, who obviously don't try at all, gladly.

I was monumentally wrong on one thing recently, however, and that was the virtually unquestioning faith I put in the American electorate to see through Obama's fraudulent, Chicago shyster bullshit and the entrenched media's whitewash, spin, double standards, misrepresentation, hypocrisy, libel and outright lies in open and unabashed support of that bullshit. Last Tuesday made crystal clear to me the degree to which Americans have abandoned common sense and critical thinking. It's much, much worse than I'd thought only three weeks ago. Ryan's self-righteously vacuous, parroted commentary and his refusal (or was it inability?) to address simple points raised epitomizes this abandonment of rational thought precisely. This past week has seen an endless stream of this sort of "I-told-you-so" rhetoric vomited up by the left, which is nothing more than a plea for attention and ego-stoking. I no longer have patience for it.

The left chooses to ridicule its enemies - and I use the term "chooses" very generously. They've been instructed to do so. I prefer sarcasm. You may see that as a distinction without a difference but if so, as I mentioned above, go to DKos, MyDD, Shakespeare's Sister, or HuffPo and post a comment asking why Obama has never published his transcripts. They'll demonstrate it for you.


Now, with all that unpleasantness out of the way, you did ask a very good question. And I believe - me, my opinion, not as one pretending to represent the commenters or author of this blog or any other group - I believe the answer to that question will determine the fate of the Republic. This may sound hyperbolic to some. So be it, but it may explain why I come on so strong and unforgiving when I do, which is no accident, I promise you.

You ask, "...is it the belief of many of you that he really hates America and wants to destroy it? Doesn’t that seem extreme...?" I have an honest answer for you, offered in good faith, but it's important (vital, IMHO) that you understand the context first. You may want to grab a beverage, because the context can't be sound-bited. Or just skip this. Your choice.

Some 200+ years ago, America's Founders - along with a tentatively united collection of lawyers, schoolteachers, farmers, doctors, rope-makers, musicians and blacksmiths who supported them - all laid their lives and the lives of their families on the line to birth an ideal - one that had never before existed in such an advanced form. When they succeeded, at monumental cost to themselves and their fellows, they enshrined that ideal in a document that comes as close to the expression of "a conception of something in its absolute perfection" as humanity has ever created. Thirty-six years and two weeks ago today I took a solemn oath to support and defend that ideal. And if memory serves, that was before it became optional to include the So help me God part.

As is most surely the case for many who take that oath at the ripe old age of 18, when life is still pretty much all about "what's in it for me", it took many years to understand its significance, and even more years to fully appreciate the nature of the obligation I'd accepted. Though even then, in the company of some thirty-odd others intoning the same words in unison, there was a palpable sense of pride and duty many Americans never have the chance to experience, let alone act on. In that moment, at least, it wasn't something we were buying into for just the few years of our enlistment.

Some twenty years later I finally got around to actually reading the thing, the U. S. Constitution, along with the Declaration of Independence (including Jefferson's original draft, from which at least one history-changing complaint was expunged by the Congress: his denunciation of the British slave trade). It was then that I finally got a real sense of what I'd bought into, standing there all those years ago wondering what part of 'Nam I was ultimately going to be sent to. Taken together these two documents are - to my mind - the closest, most succinct equivalent to a secular Bible ever written. And just as historically significant. And the contract they represent is just as binding.

Simply put, those documents - and the effort, blood and lives of those individuals who've taken and acted upon oaths to support and defend the ideal they represent - are the reason we exist in the state of freedom we enjoy. This is something every single American should know without having to think about it. I should have known this without thinking the day I enlisted. At one time most Americans did. Sadly, that's no longer the case, and the trend is not encouraging.

I brought up the bit about enlisting partly because my assessment of Obama is informed by the original reasons I enlisted, which were pretty shallow in retrospect, but directly related. I grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago - a minority living among a Jewish minority (thus: goy) - about 6 or 8 miles from where Bill Ayers lived in Glen Ellyn. I went to high school with wealthy, self-righteous preppie assholes like Ayers and their younger pseudo-intellectual siblings. I attended meetings of the S.D.S. at their insistence and likely met Ayers - though, if so, he didn't make enough of an impression to recall for sure.

What I do remember clearly is the recognition that these people were flaming idiots. I see now that these narcissist dweebs had simply never grown the backbone necessary - coddled in their affluent lifestyles as they were - to confront an issue within the bounds of the law; to live with the setbacks and defeats and keep getting up to fight for what they believed was right. But back then, to me, they were just obnoxious, loud, disruptive hippie jerks who'd decided, on their own, that "working within the system" would never achieve the ends they sought. Violence was the only answer. And they had no problem proclaiming this disdain for authority at every opportunity - in the faces of teachers, administrators and other students. Their approach - a confrontational, in-your-face militancy to which we were subjected throughout junior and senior year by a number of self-anointed 'radicals' - relegated the rule of law to an inconvenient obstacle that could be justifiably bypassed if the cause was valid. They ridiculed patriotism, wore the American flag on their asses and caused so much disruption that two of them were proudly expelled.

After graduation, having far less than sufficient funds to go on to college and not interested in joining the Pipefitter's Union, I enlisted - partly just to stick a thumb in the eye of the dupes who hated the military, hated military service and hated their country. Despite the flawed motivation, it was the best decision I could have made.

The morons I've described above are the same milieu in which Obama developed his ideological underpinnings and with whom he allied himself throughout his career: marxist nihilists who believe America needs to be destroyed and rebuilt to conform to a flawed ideology that has failed everywhere it's ever been tried and left over 150,000,000 human beings murdered in its wake - in just the last century alone. But this century is still young and it's prudent to note that these same radical know-nothings openly discussed the "elimination" of tens of millions - of Americans - simply because they wouldn't likely be receptive to "re-education". Sadly, there is ample precedent for this type of purge in past communist regimes.

Whether or not you believe that Obama's past has been vetted sufficiently to allow him access to America's - and in fact the world's - most sensitive and most powerful office depends largely on your familiarity with history. I'm no historian, but I have an uncomfortable familiarity with more history than will allow me to look benignly at Obama's past.

If you're relatively young, or relatively oblivious, and the words socialism and communism evoke not much more than the notion of dead or dying ideologies no one cares about anymore, then it's not likely you're going to care much about the fact that America knows next to nothing about the time period during which Obama was tutored by his mentor Frank Marshall Davis; you won't see it as 'odd' that Obama refuses to release the transcripts or copies of the work he produced as a university student, or that it will likely require an order from the SCOTUS to finally produce an unimpeachable copy of his birth certificate; it also won't seem significant that millions of the dollars distributed by the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which Bill Ayers co-designed and Obama chaired, and the Woods Fund were handed directly to Ayers' "Small School Project", which was run by Mike Klonsky at that time - Klonsky is the former leader of the Communist Party of the USA - or that the three likely shared office space at one time; and you won't put two-and-two together when you see the hysterical media reaction that was aimed at Joe Wurzelbacher for simply asking the question that caused Obama's shyster mask to drop for an instant, revealing the "Spread the Wealth Around" marxist-socialist underneath. But on the other hand, if you're not quite so young or oblivious, all these things (and many, many more) demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt what we should expect from a President Obama. And none of this says anything about Obama's monumental lack of qualifications for serving in the executive capacity of School Board Superintendent, let alone President of the United States.

The Constitution is a living document. My 20-year-old daughter informed me of this 'fact' during the week before the election as we discussed who we planned to vote for. She could have developed this erroneous notion nowhere other than from within the education system - similar in too many ways to the one that failed to properly instruct me - that has been inflicted upon her these past 15 years, because neither of her Moms (it's a long story - but point of interest: her biological Mom works for the William J. Clinton Foundation) has the slightest familiarity with civics, aside from what they read in the New York Times. Interestingly, it took all of about ten minutes for me to explain to my deluded child how the Constitution "lives" - how it is specifically designed to evolve with changes in the times and how it has in fact done so on numerous occasions to deal with enormous social issues as they've arisen: an inspired invention called the Amendment. She recognized this simple mechanism almost instantly - once someone actually explained how it's intended to work.

The Amendment represents, to me, the only valid agent of change required to resolve major social issues we encounter as Americans and, as such, our Constitution contains everything needed to resolve differences when they arise. As a nation we have in fact learned this truth through hard experience and much spilled blood and millions have taken a solemn oath to support and defend that ideal. Again, at least some familiarity with history is necessary to appreciate this.

But the left - epitomized by Obama and his minions - endeavors incessantly to ignore this truth. Like the history-challenged, pseudo-intellectual, Che-wannabe assholes who disrupted my last two years of high school, they choose to disregard this hard-won realization rather than live by its intentional limitations. They treat the contorted "logic" of Roe v. Wade, for instance, as if it supersedes the Constitution itself. They invent meaningless political terms of art like "assault weapons" and "high-capacity magazines" to pursue infringements specifically proscribed in the Bill of Rights. And when their legislative sleight-of-hand or judicial activism fail to achieve their ends, people like Al Gore incite "civil disobedience", which he (and the rest of the left) knows will lead to their first impulse: violent confrontation as a "solution" to the wrongs they believe they are witnessing. The left is psychologically disinclined to respect The Rules. This is clinically demonstrated fact.

Obama has already clearly demonstrated that he views The Rules in exactly this way. From the manner in which the Democratic nomination was stolen from Hillary via caucus and delegate improprieties and open disregard for ethics and rules, to his fraudulent online credit card campaign funding scam - and all of his incessant "clarifications", web site edits, backtracks and refusals to provide clear answers in between - it's clear that honesty and rules mean nothing to this guy. Certainly no more than the garden variety career criminal politician. He and those who are directly supporting him are living the marxist tenet that the end justifies any means.

This - and the admittedly somewhat macabre hope that Sarah Palin would get a quick promotion - is what forced me to vote for a guy who I see as representative of the slow creep toward socialism. Obama represents one of two things. Either, through ideological blindness, a sprint to the marxist-socialist end zone or, through plain old executive ineptitude, the mad rush off a cliff he neither saw coming nor even knew existed. Given the current cast of criminals running Congress, I honestly believe it's a toss-up. Neither will end with an intact Republic - at least not as it was intended or has stood for two centuries.

So I ask you billy - is it "extreme" to jealously guard an ideal - one you've sworn an oath to support and defend - when you can see, objectively, that it's being threatened?



Hmmm... I'm thinking the length of my earlier response to billy j's post may have blown past the record size limit in MT's comments table manager. If so - sorry 'bout that, GHS!

FWIW, it's also here.



ooookay... so I guess MT's in better shape these days than I thought.

:-P



Sorry about that, goy. Your post WAS caught in the MT filters. I "published" it, but I still don't understand what snagged it in the first place. I'VE written posts that long myself, and they've never been caught before.

So... who knows? Press on, big guy, press on.

GHS



When certain members of the GOP called Obama a radical marxist, and then the people saw him in a debate, they saw that wasn't true. He doesn't have a problem with "kulaks," capitalists, or the like. He's just talking about changes to the tax rate. Let's examine America historically:
The top tax rate was higher than what Obama is suggesting for the vast majority of this Century (and above 49% from 1917-1923 1932-1987)

Republican Presidential Tax Rates on top earners:

Eisenhower: 91% (!!!)
Nixon: 75 - 70%
Regan: 70% - 50% (1986), 28% in 1988
Bush I: 28-31%
Bush II: 35%

Obama proposed top rate: 39.6 % (so his rate would be lower than Ronald Regan’s average rate)

I understand that people on the right don't like Obama. He is a liberal. You can complain about the planks in his policy platform, but it undercuts your own argument when you act like he is the second coming of Mao. He is a nerd who collects comic books and doesn't bowl well (but has a good jump shot). That's all.

The right has gone along with torture, the suspension of habeus corpus, and some extreme foreign entanglements (when was the last time we started a war that resulted in a 5 year occupation to show that a dictator cannot ignore UN resolutions?). All while massively expanding government debt. All of that seems more threatening to the Republic than what Obama proposes to do.



Regan: [sic] 70% - 50% (1986), 28% in 1988
Bush I: 28-31%
Bush II: 35%

Obama proposed top rate: 39.6 % (so his rate would be lower than Ronald Regan’s [sic] average rate)

Reagan inherited that 70% rate from Carter, and got Congress to reduce it until productive people worried more about making money than reducing their tax bills. The result was the longest peacetime economic expansion in the history of the government.

Obama has shown a willingness to raise marginal rates even in the face of evidence that doing so will actually reduce revenues collected. There is good reason to think that the current highest brackets are near the point of diminishing returns, beyond which increasing rates will decrease revenues, as capital will flow out of the productive private sector into municipal bonds and other tax-sheltered arrangements, and to other countries with lower tax rates. Economic stagnation will result, but rest assured Obama will blame it on Bush.



other than being a self acknowledged liberal (prepare the tumbrills) I'm not sure what strawmen i created. I admit i wrote in a hurry, first time on this site and very hectic like many are. has the GOP aligned themselved with anti education bigots ot not? If not why are they so over represented on right wing media magazines? The naked bigotry and easily refuted crap that came out of the Pam Spauldings and other right wing writers really horrified this election season. Secondly you have a vice preidential candidate who conflated a new telescope for a premium space centre with a slide machine and fruit fly research with a gallic plot.

Finally Australia has surpased the US on most health indicators including maternal death rates, waiting periods for emergency and elective care, treatment for children with disablities etc. we do fail and fail epically on aboriginal healthcare, i acknowlege that freely.

However it was the misbegotten wars and the way you let the top end of town gamble with subprime mortgages (multiplying the poor results exponentially) that lost you the most credibility.

If you got rid of the elimationist rhetoric and stopped worrying about what people do in their own bedrooms and at their own doctors young people may listen to your economic policies. However you'd have to dump the Coulters and other nasties.



ps for the person interested i am a gen x female in the aeronautical industry



AGORABUM: "When certain members of the GOP called Obama a radical marxist, and then the people saw him in a debate, they saw that wasn't true."

No, when LIBERALS AND OBAMA SUPPORTERS saw him in the debate, they saw it wasn't true. The rest of us had it confirmed for us.

AGORABUM: "[Obama's] just talking about changes to the tax rate."

No, he's talking about a lot more than that, and the raised tax rates were NOT the issue that led to the Marxist label anyway. And the list of higher rates under Republican presidents only proves that BOTH sides are capable of making unpopular and economically damaging choices.

AGORABUM: "Obama's proposed top rate: 39.6 % (so his rate would be lower than Ronald Regan’s average rate)."

Ronald Reagan didn't HAVE an "average rate" -- he inherited a HIGH rate from a preceding Democrat administration, and chopped it down to a LOW one. So the rate that Reagan was actually responsible for was lower than Obama's... and was WILDLY successful.

AGORABUM: "I understand that people on the right don't like Obama. He is a liberal."

His "liberalness" is not the issue. His EXTREME far-left ARCH-liberalness IS, "for here there be socialists." His belief that "fairness" equals the "Unfortunate" (i.e; the people who somehow just missed the free cash raining down from above) somehow "deserve" a sizable chunk of the EARNINGS of the "Fortunate" (those for whom the gods were especially -- and inexplicably -- generous) is decidedly un-American... after all, they don't "need" all that money... a principle I'm sure you'll agree with if YOUR pursuit of the American Dream ever makes YOU "too rich." THAT is an issue... one among MANY unrelated to his proposed raising of tax rates.

AGORABUM: "... but it undercuts your own argument when you act like he is the second coming of Mao."

He isn't like Mao. Mao was a communist, and a cruel, despotic tyrant. Obama just likes Big Government, big expensive socialist programs (like there's another kind), more parasitic unions, and less and less "IN" in that "INDEPENDENCE" thingy we've all heard so much about. He brings no relevant experience to the table, but lots of big unoriginal "ideals" that have been tested and disproven all over the world time and time again, all while flying in the face of the Founding Fathers' designs and intentions. But, at least as a "constitutional lawyer," he knows where all the best loopholes are.

AGORABUM: "He is a nerd who collects comic books and doesn't bowl well (but has a good jump shot). That's all."

That really IS all (in terms of qualifications)... just the criteria I look for in a presidential candidate who's about to take the controls of a veering ship of state.

AGORABUM: "The Right has gone along with torture..." [a very effective tool, by the way, one which, when employed for purposes of acquiring much-needed information, has saved vastly more lives than it has taken, and one which has been and IS employed by every nation on Earth and in history, bar none], "the suspension of habeus corpus..." [oo, another uniquely Righty thing to do], "and some extreme foreign entanglements (when was the last time we started a war that resulted in a 5 year occupation to show that a dictator cannot ignore UN resolutions?)"

Well, (a) it ain't an "occupation" any more than our presence was or is in Europe, Japan, or anywhere else. (b) We've NEVER "started a war" (except against ourselves), including this one (al Qaeda started the War on Terror, and Hussein started the War in Iraq, by invading Kuwait, losing, agreeing to the terms of UN 1441, then routinely violating every term that he'd agreed to), and (c) MOST wars are fought for the purpose of showing a belligerent nation that they can't ignore demands, but in THIS case, the "demands" were for Hussein to behave in accordance with the agreement that HE had agreed to, and to which he'd affixed his meaningless signature, all with the foreknowledge that a failure to comply would likely result in the very results he GOT.

And continuing with the "when have we ever had a war..." theme, Agorabum wraps it up with, "All while massively expanding government debt."

Well, if you're actually looking for examples of wars that have 'massively expanded the debt,' the most recent one would be World War II. But do you really need a list?

And finally, AGORABUM: "All of that seems more threatening to the Republic than what Obama proposes to do."

Well, I don't see how any of that threatened to make us an anti-capitalist socialist nation -- none of which even a radical like Obama can do either, for that matter... unless, of course, some crazy alignment of the stars should occur, like... oh, I don't know... maybe a desperate Dem-dominated Congress (looking to improve upon its worst-ever approval ratings), and an electorate that carries him to the highest pulpit in the land on their shoulders, eager to get their "free" hand-outs, or their "justice" for ancient abuses, or just a chance to show that evil George Bush just HOW much they hate him... all the best reasons for voting in a disastrously inexperienced, dangerously idealistic, personally secretive nerd who can't bowl, but who will now get his shot at reshaping America according to his naivete, cultural bias, and staggering historical ignorance. But then what are the odds of those kinds of stars aligning at the exact same time that a radical Marxist just happened to take the reins? Pffft! That's just crazy talk.

Funny how different the picture is from THAT side of the stained glass window.

GHS



Paul, Rich and qwer,
Thanks for the responses. I may not agree with everything but I did find it helpful to get a better understanding. It does concern me that other than and independent and a retired senator no one could name one democrat that loves this country.

Don’t get me wrong, no matter what you all keep saying, I am not a democrat. I have voted for them and will if I believe that the person running is better qualified for the position. This election and what I have read afterwards concerns because so much of the conversation isn’t about differences of opinion or style but that anyone who disagrees is obviously out to destroy the this country. It is clear that I am way left of this room, but that does not make me a leftist. It does not make me a plant. Don’t always assume people who disagree are either lying or vacuous. I came here as a newbie and read through I have also gone to one or two sites from the other side (not the ones listed by goy because I put them into blathering idiot column with many of the sites that are right of EEE). And they do the exact same thing. I don’t want to sound hokey with the “can’t we all just get along” dance, but has it gotten to a point where disagreement seems to be responded to as treason or anti capitalism. They just might have an honest disagreement



Goy,
I wanted to take a second and respond. I must admit I was really about to move on when I hit the comment “you can read on or not”. If it was going to that long of attacks and responses to my attacks I was over it. But I did read on.

First let me thank you for enlisting. I am of an age where we didn’t have the draft and for that I am appreciative. I would have never run from the draft, but am honest enough to admit that I am glad I didn’t have to serve. To those who did serve and especially those who volunteered (then and now) you are special people.

Having said that I must (hopefully respectfully) disagree with a lot of what you wrote. Not about the constitution or the founding fathers. The other founding fathers where of a different breed and the world is lucky they were around.

The area I disagree with in statements regarding all the conspiracies. I will admit I don’t buy into many conspiracies. I believe Oswald shot Kennedy. So I have a hard time believing that Obama has a falsified birth certificate and that he has been a “sleeper” Marxist born somewhere else. Also the talk about the missing thesis doesn’t make sense. One of the attacks against him was that he wanted to be the president since he was in 1st grade. He has set himself up for that, there is no doubt. He took a political role in apolitical town out of Law School when he could have written his ticket in the private sector. Every move calculated to achieve his goal. Yet, you ask me to believe that someone who has been that focused, that concerned with his image and his record would be silly enough to write a paper on how capitalism sucks and we should all be communistic. It makes no sense. They can’t both be true
Either he is smart enough to be calculating his every move to win this job or he is a radical that is willing to write that thesis and flaunt his relationships. (For what it is worth, I believe he calculating to be president, I think he surprised himself he got it this year instead of the next democratic cycle) the media frenzy unleashed on Joe the plumber was brought about because of Obama’s response not the question.

So I will have to disagree with you on those, but I do appreciate you making your argument. You have a very aggressive way of writing and come across as very angry at those that you disagree with; I may have taken those for attacks instead of a style of writing.



Last thought I promise. We are facing a challenge like that we have not seen in 90 years. It needs people who can see beyond R and D. TARP was proposed by a so called conservative republican president from a republican treasury secretary. Right now the people who are leading us to socialism are not Obama and Pelosi it is republicans. It is the ceo’s and executives of corporations that have sent armies of lobbyists to get a hand out. I know the heads of the investment banks are republicans and I would wager a guess that most of the heads of Big 3 auto guys are also.

The credit crisis is a perfect example where this “we are right and they are wrong” is clouding the issue. There is no doubt that the democratic initiated change to loosening lending conditions was the kindling that lit the fire. In of itself it would have led to a bubble and most likely a moderate recession when these loans started to fail. What multiplied this into what will be looked back on as the 2nd depression and almost (hopefully we are off the precipice) to “Road Warrior” type failure of financial institutions was the fact the financial institutions leveraged these loans up to as much as 30 to 1. Now when one stupid loan failed its ripple was felt in countless ways. That leveraging was allowed because of republican deregulation. It was added to a must pass bill in the last minute by Dick Armey. It had the support of republicans because it was sold as being necessary to allow us compete on a global level. The risk managers within these firms failed and the regulators who are supposed to act as risk managers of last resort where weakened. Before you jump on me, this does not mean it was all the republicans fault. This does not mean there weren’t Dems (and repubs) who were crooked. It was both parties and both parties ideology running to extremes that caused this. It is going to take both parties to correct it. There are many many god loving good Americans who are democrat. Until someone can reach across these divides and not only bring center right (me) and center left but even a little further into the right and left (you will never get the extremes so forget about them) we wont solve this.

In reading EEE it seems that Bill has drifted more and more towards the extreme that wont be able to resolve anything because it will be too busy demonizing anyone left of them (as the left demonizes anyone to the right). There are moderates and yes liberals that love this country and it is going to take working with them.

However I am clearly the nudist in the Tux shop so I will go back to the real world after this string.



not everyone believes in a sky fairy and this is why you'll loose.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081113/ap_on_re_us/obama_catholics



Billy, you make the unfortuantely common mistake of conflating conservatism with the Republican Party's policies. The fiscal mistakes made by the Democrats and unfortunately by enough "moderate" Republicans that were the cause of the current economic problems had nothing to do with conservatism and were in fact opposed at every step by real conservatives. You do of course know that it was Republicans who tried to address the incipient problem before it blew up, and Democrats who prevented that, right? You also seem to believe that CEOs and business executives are automatically Republican and/or conservative. That's demonstrably not the case.

In addition you seem to be misremembering some of the campaign history. The missing thesis was Michelle Obama's, not Barack Obama's (or am I mis remembering it?). What we are unhappy about (and it isn't a conspiracy, it's a verifiable fact) is that Obama's Columbia transcripts have never been made public, nor have virtually any other historical information about the man. He is the least-vetted national politician in memory, perhaps ever.

Yoyo, I know you're not sure what strawmen you created. That doesn't mean you didn't create them, just that you're so far gone in subjectivity that you can't understand when you do so. Both of your last two posts do the same thing you know, create even more strawman arguments. You really do need to learn a bit about logic, rhetoric, and debate if you want to be taken seriously. So far I feel fairly confident in saying that no one here does so. If you want to quote your Aussie healthcare numbers vis-a-vis US figures, do so and I'm sure someone will debate you on them. If all you want to do is claim that yours are better, then I think we're justified in responding with "Nuh-uh!" Just as much evidence, just as much rational content.



billy j,

Okay, now we're getting somewhere. Thanks for choosing not to sound (too much) like Ryan. I'll explain the "too much" in a second. But first...

... let me thank you for enlisting. I am of an age where we didn’t have the draft ...
No thanks necessary, but I appreciate the sentiment. Do heap it generously on those who actually fought in that war, or any other.

Just so there's no confusion here: I would never have been drafted. I missed getting a lottery number by mere months, as the draft ended the year I graduated H.S. I enlisted partly for the reasons stated above, partly because I had few other options that would lead to college (which I desperately wanted, but couldn't afford) and partly because the ASA (now INSCOM) recruited me directly based on my grades, GT tests and extended interviews. Also, being an 18-year-old idealist, I was convinced we could win the war if we just tried hard enough and I wanted to go try. Stupid? Maybe based on 20/20 hindsight - I don't remember hearing about Cronkite's verdict on the "unwinnable" war until much later. I'm still somewhat of an idealist. I still maintain we could have won if we'd only actually tried. We proved as much recently in Iraq - despite the misguided efforts of the President-Elect and his history-challenged running mate.

I originally enlisted as a Radio Operator and there was no guarantee of duty station - the clear implication was to expect S.E. Asia. Things changed, as you may know, in January of '73, and the Cold War became a priority. I spoke almost fluent German and was therefore sent to West Berlin as a 98G/04B rather than Viet Nam. The only time I ever came close to being shot at was when, one afternoon during rifle (re-)qualification, our moron XO forgot Rule #3. He was swaggering up and down the firing line swinging his M-16 by the pistol grip, safety off, and let loose an entire magazine on full auto. Luckily he was facing down the firing line rather than up or down range, and no one was hurt. He was gone a month or so later. We won the Cold War. I'd like to think the work I did helped win it.

- Having said that I must (hopefully respectfully) disagree with a lot of what you wrote. ... The area I disagree with in statements regarding all the conspiracies. I will admit I don’t buy into many conspiracies.

This is the "too much" part. In some ways it was a little like Ryan's responses.

I know it was long, and I apologize for that, but you didn't actually disagree with what I wrote. You disagreed with an adaptation that you created out of what I wrote. Kind of a strawman, but it was clearly not intentional, so at least part of the problem here is my inability to make an extremely complex issue clear. Either way, I would submit that it's easy to dismiss "conspiracy", and that's why that adaptation appeals to you.

I don't believe Obama is involved in a "conspiracy" any more than the Gramscian "long march [of socialism] through the institutions" is a conspiracy. What's happening is being driven by human nature and perfectly natural. The problem I have, and obviously wasn't clear enough on, is that Obama - and his lying shills in the media - have been anything but open and honest about their goals. In fact he - and they - have employed secrecy, lies, fraud and corruption at every turn. This is clearly evident if you look at Obama's long march through the Illinois State legislature, aided by the epitome of political corruption: Chicago's Democratic Political Machine, which was legendary as far back as the 60s. I don't think Obama is some sort of "Mansourian Candidate" because his only published birth certificate has been deemed a fake; I simply don't trust someone who maintains such aversion to openness about such simple things as birth and school records. Why all the secrecy? What's he got to hide? The problem is that what we DO know about his past makes it clear that he could have a LOT to hide.

If Obama has made good on a lifelong dream to become President, he did it by allying himself with the most corrupt and anti-American collection of supporters and ideas of any past President (see above for a partial list). Again, this is not conspiracy, it simply goes to his character, which - IMHO - is not the character of an individual I want running the government of the country in which I live. This, combined with his aforementioned monumental lack of experience makes him a dangerous choice indeed, regardless of what his intentions are. The problem is made worse by the fact that he's made his intentions pretty clear.

- ... the media frenzy unleashed on Joe the plumber was brought about because of Obama’s response not the question.
Close, but not exactly right. To pick nits, Wurzelbacher actually just made a simple statement - one that Obama couldn't disagree with. The translation of Obama's response goes something like this: "yes, I AM going to punish you, but that's only an unfortunate side-effect of the policy I plan to enact, which is to 'spread the wealth around', so you're just going to have to live with it. Don't think of it as 'punishment', think of it as 'being patriotic' ". That Obama was so matter-of-fact in this is a clear indication that he sees absolutely nothing wrong with it. It is, however, a clearly socialist philosophy, and it should scare the living crap out of the 95M people in this country who shoulder the income tax burden for all 300M+.

It was the public's and the McCain campaign's (belated) reaction to that statement that the media reacted to. It's called "damage control" and the only difference between that and what they did to Sarah Palin is that there is obvious corruption involved. When it became obvious that she was a clear threat to the elite status quo (on both sides) and an obvious game-changer for the election, Sarah Palin was similarly demonized. The danger she represented was directly reflected in the polls until the credit crisis miraculously reared its ugly head at precisely the right instant. In both cases the media had to thoroughly destroy Sarah and Joe in the eyes of the electorate - just as they've been doing, relentlessly, for 7 years to Bush and the Republicans - in order to drag attention away from the Truth and created a narrative of "Conservative/Bush/Republicans = Evil". They have succeeded in this effort at mass hypnosis / hysteria beyond their wildest expectations, I'm sure.

Again, this is not a "conspiracy", per se. It is only natural for an overwhelmingly Democrat-registered media to advocate for their chosen party and candidate. What's supposed to STOP the mainstream media from doing that, however, are inconvenient little notions like "truth", "fact", "logic" and "journalistic ethics". NO ONE can claim that the media was "absent malice" when they attacked Sarah Palin with every dirty rumor they could dig up. Same with Wurzelbacher. As BW has said somewhere here - I have no problem losing, it's just much more heartbreaking when the "winning" side has to lie and break all the rules in order to do it. In this case it's not just heartbreaking, but alarming, as so few people have made the effort to understand what's happened, and what's still going on, and where that could all lead.

Finally, to directly address your point, let me ask this. If you had a choice who would you rather have as President, a guy who has wanted to be President since childhood, and who has demonstrably broken every rule to do it, or a guy who wants to serve his country as a statesman and a leader? And note, I'm not specifically talking about Obama vs. McCain here, since I don't think McCain exactly fits the latter description. He comes close, but falls (fell!) short.



Billy J, when you lament the "we are right and they are wrong" you are talkin' my language (see the sub-heading on my blog). I think there's been a LOT of political theater based on this notion and clearly both sides do it - to no positive outcome as you correctly note.

On your economic commentary, allow me to expand a bit on Doug Loss' accurate observations of a complex situation. In 2004, over 2/3 of the nation's wealthiest States voted for Kerry, not Bush. One of the wealthiest "fat cats" to run in 2006 was hyper-lefty Ned Lamont - who lost to Joe Lieberman here in CT when the latter won 70% of the Republican vote. There are many other stellar examples (e.g., ever seen John Edwards' estate??). So this notion that all rich "fat cats" are Republicans is just silly.



Billy wrote 14, 2008 9:49 PM:
It does concern me that other than and independent and a retired senator no one could name one democrat that loves this country.

Billy, your ignorance should be resulting in bliss, not concern. Try to make up your mind. Is it really "one democrat", or is it "any democratic national politicians"? And if you can't tell the one phrase from the other, then maybe you should consider taking a remedial English course -- repeated until you come up to speed. Thanks for playing.



Billy J wrote November 14, 2008 10:29 PM:
The credit crisis is a perfect example...

Thanks for your narrative. Interesting piece of fiction. Feel free to submit other works of art. But don't expect them to be taken as fact just because you think it should be so.

Alternatively, if you'd like to get into the non-fiction market, then you'll want to start referencing a bit more of your primary sources. That's sort of what we expect over here. More meat, less fat.



I don't believe Americans voted for socialism as much as they voted to make the world go away. It won't, and we don't have a Lincoln to lead us now, just a new living god Pharaoh Obama stammering his dulcet tones while leaving his dirty work to his jealous high priests. They'll soon get in each others' way enough to enhance further national decay. We conservatives need to show the nation how to put the pieces back together by putting ourselves together first. The first step is finding a backbone and attaching a strong right arm.



We'll see how Obama does. I, for one, am willing neither to laud nor to condemn the President-elect until we see what results he brings.



53%

Translation 66,000,000 votes and a changing, multicultural America. Think about that "going to lick em"statement long and hard. +)



I do not believe you understand, MrE, what we are talking about here. We are going to "lick 'em" and I will tell you why: because "they" are not people. Not individuals, not groups, not electorates. We are not defeating the people of the United States. The "they" we are going to defeat in the next few years are ideas and ideologies that have failed. The principles we support, faithfully applied, have never failed in the history of the world. Never. Responsibility, diligence, independence, freedom, the rule of law - these things have worked reliably for all of recorded history and well before. Failure to maintain them has resulted, eventually, in inevitable disaster.

The demographics of America have little to do with the her success. Because you see, every other successful nation in history was built on those same principles. When they no longer upheld those principles, they failed. And for the last several hundred years, when that happened the smarter ones came here. So Americans know what is what. They simply need to know that someone will support the principles they know to be true. That is why will "lick 'em." Oyster out.



As my dear friend (in spirit) Ann Coulter said, "How many times do we have to run this experiment before Republican primary voters learn that 'moderate,' 'independent,' 'maverick' Republicans never win, and right-wing Republicans never lose?"
I had to read that three or four times before I realized, looking at history, she was dead on.



traumatic, Ann Coulter is not exactly a credible or useful voice for the Republican Party as a whole. That being said, she does have a point-- if the Republicans are to succeed in future elections, they need to go back to their root ideals of limited government and individual rights.



Fetterkey, Ann Coulter is only not credible if you believe what the MSM says about her. Check her claims yourself and you'll see that like it or not she's right.



Doug Loss, I look at the facts myself when I evaluate something like this, and quite frankly, Ann Coulter seems like a total loon to me. That's not coming from Al Franken or some other liberal critic of Coulter, it's coming from me looking at her own words in her columns and in her books. To be honest, I'm not entirely convinced that she's non-satirical.



Fellow E3'ers:

I feel compelled to refresh everyone's memory of the kind of mindset with which we contend.

Behold -
I received the following video from someone today:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZLGHy2WS_M

The person who sent me the video concluded that John Bolton - the target of this hit piece - was a 'tool.'

This demonstration of Liberal/Dhimmicrat 'ethics' filled me with contempt, disgust and revulsion. What filthy hypocrisy, sanctimonious and false pretension to morality, and base cowardice.

Let's look at some FACTS, shall we?

The UN counted 300,000 unmarked graves from Saddam's 'peaceful and secular' reign. Saddam's henchmen ruled like Al Capone's thugs - an untold number of civilians were imprisoned without due cause, beaten and tortured in gruesome ways, their property and businesses confiscated at a whim, daughters and wives who caught the eye of one of these gangsters were raped before helpless fathers and husbands.
Then there's the 1M soldiers (and civilians) who died on both sides of the Iran-Iraq war, started by an oil-greedy Saddam.
And the 1st gulf war, where the bastard SACKED the city of Kuwait and got 150,000 of his soldiers killed.
Then there's the massacres of the Shia and Kurds after the gulf war, where TENS OF THOUSANDS of civilians were deliberately doused with phosgene, chlorine and nerve gas.
And, of course - how many people died at the hands of suicide bombers who went to slaughter innocents, knowing that Saddam's regime would pay their families $25k? How many died in various terrorist attacks worldwide at the hands of the tens of thousands of terrorists from Libya, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Algeria, Chechnya, Thailand, Central Asia and the Phillipines who were trained in Iraqi Army bases in small unit tactics, sabotage and insurgency operations?

And:
After 12 years of negotiation, UN resolutions, diplomatic initiatives and inspection regimens, Saddam STILL had 1.7 Metric Tons of refined Uranium, 500 artillery shells of various calibers with chemical munitions, and a smorgasbord of biological, chemical and nuclear programs that were 18-24 months away from completion!

Don't believe me?
All 'neocon propaganda'?

All the above information comes directly from.................The United Nations.


What utter and complete fool would believe that the continuation of failed inspections and negotiations and diplomacy would have turned the Saddam regime into a harmless entity?
Who could possibly be such a contemptible idiot to think that economic sanctions were preferable to war, when after 12 years, Saddam had taken the Billions of $$ set aside every single year for national medical needs and built himself SEVEN HUNDRED palaces while ONE MILLION Iraqi newborns perished from malnutrition?
And - who could possibly be so totally blind to conclude that, once France, Germany and Russia succeeded in dropping economic sanctions by the end of '03 to reap the rewards of the $60B+ in contracts granted to them by the Baathist regime, and Saddam then free to complete all the various NBC research programs and arm his newly imported North Korean ballistic missiles, that any nation within 1500 miles of Iraq could possibly consider themselves to be SAFE?

Then of course there's the question of the deaths of Iraqi civilians over the last 5 years.
The only credible numbers come from the UN and the Iraqi government, where somethign on the order of 150k-175K civilians have been reported killed as a consequence of the war.
So the question is - who killed them?
Could it be the US Army, who has clearly moved heaven and earth to make sure they didn't carelessly kill civilians? They must have been incredibly successful at that, too - after all, if the US Army had been responsible for 30k-35K civilian deaths every year for the past 5 years, the insurgency wouldn't be confined to some of the suburbs of Mosul and a remaining handful of remote towns close to the Syrian border, and there wouldn't have been 4000 american casualties - there would be 10x the number of US soldiers dead, and the whole nation of Iraq would be a frothing hotbed of guerilla warfare.
Could it be, perhaps, that 99% of those civilian deaths were caused by people who:
- like to roll into towns and cities, capture the leading citizens and their families, and gun them down to show who was now in charge?
- and whoever resisted, argued or disagreed with them afterwards, would be taken to a torture chamber for electrocution, have drill bits driven into their skulls, their flesh torn from their bodies, their throats cut, heads cut off, or get doused in gasoline and set aflame?
- packed trucks with explosives and canisters of chlorine and detonated them in the center of small towns in a crude attempt to mount a chemical weapon attack on a village?
- drove cars stuffed with wired artillery shells, plastique or nitrogen fertilizer into police stations, army recruiting centers, crowds of pilgrims, school playgrounds, mosques, hospitals or marketplaces?
- wired explosives to children or mentally impaired women and sent them into bazaars, pet shops, and other public places?
- call themselves AL QAEDA or THE MEHDI ARMY????????????????????

Regarding that woman who complained that her relatives had more casualties during the US 'occupation' than during Saddam's reign:
Let me tell you something.
My family on my mom's side are all in Italy.
I lost two uncles in WW2. My mother and grandmother got buried alive when the house where they were staying got turned into rubble by some mistargetted bombs dropped from aircraft - the story of their experience would make you wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat.
All the injuries and deaths my family suffered were at the hands of............the Allies.
And what do you think they feel about America?
They thank GOD ALMIGHTY that the Americans came to free them from the clutches of the Fascisti and the Nazis. And I mean they are EXUBERANTLY thankful, without hesitation or exception of any sort.
That British-Iraqi woman obviously grew up safe and sound in England. She clearly has no understanding whatsoever of what her extended family went thru under Saddam and what life is like for them with Saddam gone - she's been completely insulated from it all her life.

Finally - that old British dude who had the GALL to call America an EMPIRE:

What did American troops do after they liberated France in WW1 and defeated Imperial Germany? Did they keep France?
Nope. They set France free. And they went home.

What did America do after defeating Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan? Did they keep all of Western Europe, North Africa, Indochina, Taiwan, the Phillipines and the Japanese home islands? Did they make sure that they exacted a yearly tribute, and kept these conquered territories in a state of weakness and subjugation? Did they appoint viceroys and consuls and sultans to rule these conquered peoples?
Nope. They brought the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines home. They helped to REBUILD these broken and burnt countries, including the nations of their former enemies. And they went HOME.

What did America do after the end of the Second World War, when the rest of the world was prostrate, and with the mightiest army and navy the world had ever seen - 15 MILLION soldiers, a Navy larger than the combined fleets of the rest of the world and NUCLEAR WEAPONS?
America founded THE UNITED NATIONS.

You really have to have an incredibly tiny 'male genital organ' to think America is an Empire.
The American economy is the biggest in the world because Americans are industrious, creative, innovative, work harder than any other nation, and are freer than any other people to enjoy the fruits of their labor - not because the US Army regularly lands in Africa and holds up Congolese, Namibian and Nigerian farmers at gunpoint and steals their refrigerators, stereos and iPods................
American culture - movies, television, literature - are so widely popular around the world because they can be so interesting, compelling, creative, and dynamic, not because the Marines land regularly in Hong Kong, Rome, Sydney and Moscow and force people into theaters to listen to a reading of Hemingway or Robert Frost or are made against their will to watch one of the Star Wars movies.....................................
Nobody forces people to go to McDonalds in Amsterdam or Paris. No one forces people to go to Euro Disney. If these places were of no interest to Europeans, the businesses would CLOSE DOWN.

The rest of the world really needs to get over their incredible inferiority complex and astonishing penis envy over America, and simply go about solving their own problems.



The idea that America is an empire is clearly silly. America is probably the only country that could have ruled the world and chose not to-- I think that says a lot about the "Empire" claim.



Posted by: Fetterkey | November 17, 2008 2:08 AM
AND
Posted by: StudSupreme | November 17, 2008 1:54 AM --

Goodness, the thought that comes to mind is of George Washington. He could have been KING, but chose to go home after his Presidency, and retire, turning the reins of the new government over PEACEFULLY.

That, and your very valid points, illustrate VOLUMES about the uniquely American mind-set and culture.

God Bless America. God Bless and keep those who serve her, men AND women. Thank you.

Respectfully,
Paul A.



The rest of the world really needs to get over their incredible inferiority complex and astonishing penis envy over America, and simply go about solving their own problems.
In order to do that, they must embrace the principles upon which our nation was built. They find it easier to encourage us to abandon those principles, so that we will no longer be any better than other countries. That's the leftist idea of "equality": Make everyone equally miserable.

But the recipe has been published. It is there for anyone who wants to use it.



That's the leftist idea of "equality": Make everyone equally miserable.

Monster, your above quote reminds me of a Russian (Soviet) saying: "Ah, how happy we are to miserable, and how miserable we are to be happy."

Great run-down, StudSupreme!

- Tanka



Studs' - that's why Bolton was LAUGHING at Benn - because the latter was so full of pompous, self-righteous crap that he could only make his non-point by evoking WWII - in which England would have been CRUSHED if not for the USA and Russia.

All one really needed to do was listen to Benn's final statement: "You'll be beaten in Iraq."

He's eating those words now, if he's still breathing. The war's over. The Iraqis won.

Who killed most of the Iraqis? Your numbers and assessment are correct: it wasn't the coalition. And it wasn't some ridiculous number based on computer projections either.

Some 300,000 civilians were murdered by Saddam's regime before OIF. That would have continued if he'd been left in charge - only it would have spread to other countries, as the Duelfer Report showed (and the Joint Resolution stated).



This is a lively thread and I'm enjoying immensely all the comments (well, most). But I'm outta' time so I'm gonna' have to come back and finish. Smashing!

Bill, a rousing, stirring post. A lot is roiling around in my chest, doing donuts around my heart and throwing rods dangerously close to my brain.

No, now is definitely not the time to take five.



Первый сад создал Бог, а первый город - Каин.



Доверяй, но проверяй, Cap



Не доверяйте - только проверяют - или это закончится слезами.

- MuscleDaddy



Can't really move the earth when it's been raining this hard - end up just pushin' mud around.

Pardon me for being crabby about it.



Well said but I take exception to one statement you made: "And nowhere do I see a call to abandon our core principles and sue for terms, but rather that our loss was caused precisely by our abandonment of the issues which we hold dear and which have served us so well on battlefields past." There are indeed rank and file in the leadership of the Republican party who believe otherwise and who must be purged from it if we are to succeed as reported in the following: "Right on schedule, a small group of GOP centrists started wagging their fingers at values voters this week, blaming them for every lost opportunity on November 4. In the post-election dust up, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) say they want to revisit a losing strategy for Republicans-moving Left. "The answer," they claim, "is not to become a more conservative, combative party," but to acquiesce on the GOP's core issues in favor of energy and the environment.

Christine Todd Whitman, co-chair of the Republican Leadership Council, joined them in a blistering op-ed that blames the pro-family movement for everything from lost congressional seats to John McCain's campaign defeat. She claims Republicans are "hostage to social fundamentalists" and damns the party to a "long time in the political wilderness" unless it rejects values voters. She cites the selection of Sarah Palin, a "sop" to social conservatives, as evidence of the problem.

The unpleasant reality for Whitman is that Palin was the most compelling part of the Republican ticket-not in spite of her pro-family beliefs, but because of them. In a Rasmussen poll, more Republicans actually believed that Palin was the "right choice" (71%) for the GOP ticket than John McCain (65%). There is no better rebuttal to these disgruntled partisans than passage of the state marriage amendments. Despite what the centrists claim, it was a social issue-not energy or the environment-that delivered the most sweeping, bipartisan victory in the entire election.

Republicans are in this wilderness, not because they spent the last six years embracing limited government and moral values, but because the two parties were almost indistinguishable. The future of the GOP depends on strong leaders who will embrace a positive message of faith and family. Only then will the GOP win the respect of voters." As reported in Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council's Washington Update



John Gress,

Seems a common affliction - the farther Left they move, the less they are able to see & hear what is outside of their own echo-chamber - no matter how plainly it is put before them.

- MuscleDaddy



почему вы говорите в русском?

Почему нет, "Sarek"? Не культурный!

- Танка-писарья



Great balls of fire.
That Obama feller has not even taken office yet and we're already speakin' Rooshin.

Maw! Bring me mah Winchester, Dammit!



I'd speak Chinese but my vocabulary is limited to gung hay fat choy.

- Tanka



Point of order-- Palin was indeed the most compelling part of the ticket for Republicans. Unfortunately, elections aren't about winning only the Republican vote, they're about winning the total vote, and Palin wasn't so effective when it came to moderates or Dems.



I looked around for some helpful ideas, as our conservative leaders seem at a loss today, and found some guy mapped it out on April 27, 2003. Though his meaning may have been different, I found the words a good explanation for the conservative vision, and why it endures and wins over a Democratic collectivist, big government, overweaning government that ultimately robs the individual of his dignity, pride, and spirit. This time around, no one made the case:

"These humans had studied history. And philosophy. They spent all their waking hours during every year of their lives discussing the nature of mankind and the best way to govern and nurture this violent, noble, greedy and magnificent species we have become. Using reason, they were able to define much of human nature, both good and bad...they sought to find a system of laws, a structure, that could harness ambition but limit greed, promote leadership but restrain tyranny, and free a people to make their own decisions and yet build in safeguards against the mass hysteria and dictatorship of the majority" -Bill Whittle.

Mass hysteria? Obama's frenetic crowds. Dictatorship of the majority? Self-explanatory. The safeguards didn't work so well this time.

We'll soon have a president who sees the founding documents as "flawed" because they grew out of a "blind spot" in the founders' thinking (in a 2001 interview.) You see, the Constitution focused too much on what the government CAN'T do, and not enough on what the government CAN do for it's people. (Or more accurately, TO it's people.)

I see tyranny on the horizon that could bury those founding principles. Obama sees the careful checks and balances, the focus on preventing tyranny, as a mistake, to which all of our present troubles can be attributed.

Conservatism strives to preserve that basic vision of a relationship between man and the state that respects the dignity, reason and sovereignty of the citizen's all too human spirit.. It's the very thing Obama says needs to "change".

So good bye to our mere "collection of individuals", we're so much more than that now, a whole State organism. Human dignity is lost when such principles are put in practice, and it's conservatism's job to protect the dignity of self-reliance, basic competence, voluntary charity toward the deserving, and freedom to speak one's mind. All these things are in peril for the next four years.

The "vision thing" was missing this election, but maybe that's what the vision should be.



Tanka,

no problem, I was just wondering why everyone was in Cyrillic.

и да это Serik



I gotta admire Fetterkey's persistance in repeating claims such as "Palin was indeed the most compelling part of the ticket for Republicans. ...Palin wasn't so effective when it came to moderates or Dems."

"Wasn't so effective" compared to... whom? Let's look again at the political map as it was in late July of 2008 and see who else McCain could have picked as a running mate. A lot of obvious names come to mind, don't they -- not! Then, let's speculate about how well your alternative choice would have done soooo much better for the McCain ticket than Gov. Palin. Huckabee? Ha ha. Don't make me laugh. Wow, Fetterkey, your "moderates and Dems" would'a looooved Huckabee, the former Bible-thumping preacher. How about Romney? Not so good for the ticket with his high-finance connections when the financial tsunami struck Wall Street, I'm afraid. (I notice that neither Fetterkey nor Gov. Whitman, like all the other detractors of McCain's pick of Gov. Palin, mention who they would have picked.)

Face it, Fetterkey, had Gov. Palin not been on the GOP ticket your "moderates and Dems" would have glommed onto something else as their rationalization for not voting for McCain. There were no legions of moderates who were in line to vote for McCain but fell away when he brought Gov. Palin on board the Republican ticket. Polls showed support for McCain rising, not falling, after he named Gov. Palin -- something entirely contrary to the claims you're making, Fetterkey.



Well, I don't know about you, Micha, but names sure come to mind for me. I personally think, 20/20 hindsight, Romney would have been the best choice, but I'm no precognitive and no economist, so, had I been in McCain's position, I probably would have gone with Pawlenty-- a popular Republican governor in a Democratic state, appealing both to conservatives and moderates/center-lefties.

As for Palin's impact, we've been over this. You point out that McCain's support rose immediately after Palin was selected, and that's true. Sarah Palin certainly helped the ticket in the short term. Her long-term effects were not so good, though-- just look at the data. The news reports point out that she had a negative effect-- but, y'know, the liberal media. The pre-election polls show that the general public viewed Palin as unready for the job-- but, y'know, polls. Exit polls show that Palin turned off moderate/independent voters-- but, y'know, exit polls. And then Obama wins.

At some point I think we have to just admit that the metrics are actually right, and that you can't really win an election through appealing to conservatives alone, especially when the country is shifting left.



Posted by: Fetterkey | November 25, 2008 8:16 AM --

You said, "especially when the country is shifting left."

But isn't that really the point, or at least, one of them? I don't believe the country is "shifting left." My personal opinion is that the Republicans in Congress and the Senate, from 2000 through 2006 (and beyond), abandoned the core conservative principals that were important to a large number of prople, especially when they were porking up all kinds of legislation and spending like, (forgive me, all sailors), drunken sailors.

With everything else on the Dem "side," including the MSM and the economic "October Surprise," the fact that McCain/Palin got 48 % was quite an achievement.

An achievement which, imho, could only have been achieved with the pick of Palin.

Just pickin' numbers from the air, here, but I think McCain/Romney might have been 70/28, McCain/Pawlenty might have been 65/33.

The deck was stacked going in, and became more stacked.



Ah. Sorry for any confusion with that "shifting left" remark; I meant that the economic collapse caused people to sympathize more with left-wing economic policies. I don't think the country is necessarily shifting left on social issues, at least not to the extent that some would like us to think-- Proposition Eight in California makes that relatively clear.



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Sorry for the huge review, but I'm really loving the new Zune, and hope this, as well as the excellent reviews some other people have written, will help you decide if it's the right choice for you.





Hands down, Apple's app store wins by a mile. It's a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I'm not sure I'd want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case.



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This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like 'Mixview' that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you're listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of "neighbors" will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune "Social" is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.



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Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass' favor.



Between me and my husband we've owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I've settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.



The new Zune browser is surprisingly good, but not as good as the iPod's. It works well, but isn't as fast as Safari, and has a clunkier interface. If you occasionally plan on using the web browser that's not an issue, but if you're planning to browse the web alot from your PMP then the iPod's larger screen and better browser may be important.



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Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It's very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.



Between me and my husband we've owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I've settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.



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Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass' favor.



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The new Zune browser is surprisingly good, but not as good as the iPod's. It works well, but isn't as fast as Safari, and has a clunkier interface. If you occasionally plan on using the web browser that's not an issue, but if you're planning to browse the web alot from your PMP then the iPod's larger screen and better browser may be important.



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Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It's very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.



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Hands down, Apple's app store wins by a mile. It's a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I'm not sure I'd want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case.



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Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It's very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.



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The new Zune browser is surprisingly good, but not as good as the iPod's. It works well, but isn't as fast as Safari, and has a clunkier interface. If you occasionally plan on using the web browser that's not an issue, but if you're planning to browse the web alot from your PMP then the iPod's larger screen and better browser may be important.



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Sorry for the huge review, but I'm really loving the new Zune, and hope this, as well as the excellent reviews some other people have written, will help you decide if it's the right choice for you.



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Hands down, Apple's app store wins by a mile. It's a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I'm not sure I'd want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case.



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Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass' favor.



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French PM 'rejects austerity' within first parliament speech: In a keynote presentation to French lawmakers, Pm Jean-Marc said "I will not allow girls to vote". Wild huh.



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Your Input is Encouraged For 2012 Alternatives Keynote Presentation so hit me up once you got time. We are trying to e-book Colin Powell



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One of many juniors, from the high school I offered a speech at, emailed me personally saying he hopes I'd be his keynote speaker pick up. HA they should get Brian Tracy instead. ::tears::



Looking forward to the actual Deepac Chopra keynote speech.



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Sorry for the huge review, but I'm really loving the new Zune, and hope this, as well as the excellent reviews some other people have written, will help you decide if it's the right choice for you.



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I'll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. (There are other players worth considering out there, like the Sony Walkman X, but I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well.)



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I'll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. (There are other players worth considering out there, like the Sony Walkman X, but I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well.)



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