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Politics => Vox Populi => Topic started by: Vic Vega on February 19, 2010, 07:21:31 am

Title: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Vic Vega on February 19, 2010, 07:21:31 am
What do you guys make of THIS?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35475336/ns/us_news-life/#storyContinued (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35475336/ns/us_news-life/#storyContinued)

How oppressed can you BE if you have your own airplane?

I am waiting for the media to call THIS guy a terrorist. He fits the definition of one.

Somehow I think I’m going to be waiting a long while....
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on February 19, 2010, 07:38:57 am
Second on all that.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Catch22 on February 19, 2010, 07:49:07 am
Consider it thirded!
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on February 19, 2010, 08:06:41 am
I was just going to post this but Vic is on the job.
Agree with all your points. The first thing I thought was, "Isn't this domestic terrorism?" Still waiting...
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: BmoreAkuma on February 19, 2010, 09:54:20 am
Is fourthed a word? ROFL If i hear someone say "he is defending his American right for free speech" one more time
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Battle on February 19, 2010, 10:17:12 am
How 'bout the fifth? ;D

It was bound to happen. Just check out the FOX radio circuit, for instance...  The nutcases are still so scorned about the '08 presidential election that they forgot to go back to thier miserable lives.
When you allow these phoney-ass, big mouth,  political cronies 'talk show' types to spew so much hate on the air towards our current president and his administration  to millions and millions of losers...   couple that nonsense with the tea party rallying and th' incessant bitchin' and complaining, you're eventually gonna get someone emotionally and mentally unstable enough to take desperate measures on... someone!  ...or something! :(

It's terrorism, plain and simple.
Right now fat-ass, limburger is on the radio trying to avert the accusations as fast as he can inhale pork chops.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Vic Vega on February 19, 2010, 11:26:47 am
@ Think Progress:

Quote
Today a man flew a plane into a Texas federal building in an apparent domestic terrorist attack. The suicide bomber, identified as Joseph Andrew Stack, was allegedly a right wing extremist who wrote on a website that violence “is the only answer” and expressed anger at the IRS, the federal government, and health care reform.

Newly-minted Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) appeared on Fox’s Neil Cavuto and showed none of the outrage and concern about terrorism that he exuded during his Senate election campaign. Asked for his reaction, Brown said he felt for the families, but quickly shrugged off the attack and transitioned to say that “people are frustrated” and “no one likes paying taxes.”


http://thinkprogress.org/2010/02/18/scott-brown-terrorism-yawn/ (http://thinkprogress.org/2010/02/18/scott-brown-terrorism-yawn/)

Way to keep perspective guy.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Battle on February 19, 2010, 12:39:14 pm
Que sera sera
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on February 19, 2010, 02:47:19 pm
@ Think Progress:

Quote
Today a man flew a plane into a Texas federal building in an apparent domestic terrorist attack. The suicide bomber, identified as Joseph Andrew Stack, was allegedly a right wing extremist who wrote on a website that violence “is the only answer” and expressed anger at the IRS, the federal government, and health care reform.

Newly-minted Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) appeared on Fox’s Neil Cavuto and showed none of the outrage and concern about terrorism that he exuded during his Senate election campaign. Asked for his reaction, Brown said he felt for the families, but quickly shrugged off the attack and transitioned to say that “people are frustrated” and “no one likes paying taxes.”


[url]http://thinkprogress.org/2010/02/18/scott-brown-terrorism-yawn/[/url] ([url]http://thinkprogress.org/2010/02/18/scott-brown-terrorism-yawn/[/url])

Way to keep perspective guy.


Some one should ask him how he would feel about someone flying a plane into his workplace.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: KIP LEWIS on February 20, 2010, 05:29:55 am
Is it terrorism? I can see it and then again, not all evil acts are terrorism.  It seems to me that the point of terrorism is to instill fear, to fight a "war", etc.  There is a big picture involved.  This guys motive was more "F-you!!!". He seems closer to the guy last Dec who in St. Louis walked into his place of buisness and started shooting his co-workers because his company screwed with their pensions or something like that.  People don't call that terrorism.  But then again, how different was he from a one time "unabomber"? 
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: BmoreAkuma on February 20, 2010, 09:33:55 am
The problem is if it wasnt for the note nor knowing the identity of the fellow it would have became a terrorist act from the arab community.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Hypestyle on February 20, 2010, 05:31:05 pm
all too bad that some people were hurt and another was killed by this rampage..
hmm.. if the perpetrator survived, would folks consider it an "outrage" for him to be arrested and read the Miranda?
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on February 21, 2010, 10:54:05 pm
Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) in the interview above seemed to be reacting to the quick association between the Austin airplane bomber, Joseph Stack, and Conservatives (including the Tea Party Protesters) who are opposed to excessive taxation.  And he is correct that to associate the two is grossly unfair.

In response to your speculations, above, your waiting is over: An article from the Wall Street Journal (in part provided below) states, "...the incident meets the definition of terrorism: a politically motivated attack on civilians."

Of course Stack engaged in a domestic terrorist act (blowing up a building with his airplane in a suicide attack to make a “political” statement).  But rather than playing word games, people are more interested in the substance (as in the case with other recent cases of domestic terrorist acts). 

The key questions, in this regard, are:

1.  Was he acting alone?  Or was his action coordinated in any way with others?

2.  From what ideology did he gain his inspiration?  Was he in regular, rare, or any contact with proponents of this ideology? (If his acts were in fact inspired by any coherent ideology, rather than motivated out of some personal rage against the IRS).

3.  Was he active in any movement that advocates violence against the United States Government or its citizens?  In the past, did he openly express sympathy for those who engage in such violence?

4.  Were there any warning signs, in terms of what he communicated to co-workers, friends or family?  In terms of what he previously posted on his websites? 

5.  Could anything have been done to prevent his murderous act?

My understanding is that Stack acted alone, without coordination, without prior open suggestion that he would engage in such an act.  He penned a muddled manifesto that was as much Leftist as Rightist (causing some of the Right to characterize him as a radical Leftist, though that too is unfair).  In truth, his "thinking" reflected a more personal insanity and rage than a coherent ideology   I’ve not heard of any past meaningful activism on his part.  It is doubtful that with such persons, with no warning signs and no conspiratorial contacts, that much can be done to prevent such incidents in the future.  In some ways his act is similar to that of Fort Hood shooter, for example, but in some ways quite different (as in that case, issues of political correctness apparently induced the Army to not take proper measures in advance where there were clear warning signs; the guy should have been removed from his position as a Major long before he initiated his Fort Hood attack).

If more info has come to light that I’m unaware of, feel free to share.  But from what I’ve seen of this, it appears Stack was just nuts. 

Touching on some of these points, here is the article from the Wall Street Journal that addresses the issue of Media Bias -- the Media's immediate jumping to conclusions to serve a liberal/left ideological end to negatively stigmatize those who legitimately dissent against the policies of the current Administration:

Pot Calls Kettle Stack
The Austin attack and the media's stereotypes.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703787304575075610490995030.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion
By JAMES TARANTO

"A software engineer with an anti-government grudge crashed his single-engine plane into an office building that housed nearly 200 Internal Revenue Service employees," FoxNews.com reports. Joseph Stack, 53, killed one IRS man, 67-year-old Vernon Hunter, along with himself.

Inevitably a debate has arisen over whether the attack was an act of terrorism. Fox notes that Art Acevado, police chief of Austin, Texas, where the attack occurred, "labeled the incident a single act by a lone individual and refused to classify it as terrorism":

But at least one lawmaker, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, disagreed and compared the incident to the 1995 bombing that killed 168 people in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

The White House dodged the question:
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters aboard Air Force One that White House officials will let an investigation "play out" before determining how to label the incident. He had earlier said that the incident did not appear to be terrorism, and when asked specifically if domestic terrorism was a possibility, he said he did not suspect ''somebody like an Al Qaeda.''

Arguing that it was terrorism was the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which issued a press release:
[CAIR] called the apparent airborne suicide attack on an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office in Austin, Texas, an act of "terror."

"Before taking off in the light plane that he allegedly used to attack the IRS office, Joseph A. Stack reportedly set fire to his own home and posted an anti-government screed on the Internet that was signed "Joe Stack (1956-2010)." . . .
"Whenever an individual or group attacks civilians in order to make a political statement, that is an act of terror," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "Terrorism is terrorism, regardless of the faith, race or ethnicity of the perpetrator or the victims. We pray for the speedy recovery of those injured in the attack." . . ."

Awad noted that if a Muslim had carried out the IRS attack, it would have surely been labeled an act of terrorism.

That's odd. Why would CAIR think a Muslim would do something like this? The question is facetious, of course: CAIR is understandably defensive about the stereotyping of Muslims as terrorists, or terrorists as Muslims. Such stereotyping is also understandable, since the last time terrorists flew planes into buildings, they were Muslims who claimed a religious motive. One can hardly fault CAIR for pointing out that the Stack attack runs counter to the stereotype, although expressly citing the stereotype in the process undercuts the message.

In any case, CAIR is right that the incident meets the definition of terrorism: a politically motivated attack on civilians.

When people say it wasn't terrorism, what they probably mean to say is that it wasn't an act of organized terrorism or war. Had the attacker been Muslim and left a screed against "infidels," it would have been reasonable to suspect that he was part of al Qaeda or some other enemy group, or at least that he was influenced by its ideology. That he was apparently a lone nut instead is a great relief not only to CAIR but to anyone who worries about attacks by America's enemies.

Some in the media were quick to engage in stereotyping--but not against Muslims:

Jonathan Capeheart of the Washington Post wrote: "After reading [Stack's] 34-paragraph screed, I am struck by how his alienation is similar to that we're hearing from the extreme elements of the Tea Party movement." Chris Rovzar of New York magazine added: "A lot of his rhetoric could have been taken directly from a handwritten sign at a tea party rally."  National Review's Steve Spruiell notes two other tea-party references that have since been edited out. Time magazine: "Toward the end of what appears to be his final note, Stack wrote, 'Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let's try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.' (See the making of the Tea Party movement.)" This one, from the New York Times, is especially clever: “In April 1990, a firebomb packed with a tea bag--a reference to the Boston Tea Party--and addressed to the I.R.S. was placed in the mail in Royal Oak, Mich. It exploded, injuring a postal worker.”

A look at the actual screed, however, shows that in many ways it runs counter to the stereotype of a right-wing nut. Yes, Stack's biggest grievance was against the IRS. But his complaint here is very specific and not ideological: He says he was adversely affected by the agency's enforcement of a tax-code provision titled "Treatment of Certain Technical Personnel."

He does, however, rail in more general terms against corporate "thugs and plunderers," "the joke that we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies," "the vulgar, corrupt Catholic church," and "the recent presidential puppet GW Bush and his cronies"--left-wing bogeymen all. His closing line is:

“The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.”


When the more over-the-top tea partiers call Obama a communist, they do not mean it as a term of approbation.

Our purpose in pointing all this out is to dispel a stereotype, not to reinforce one, so let's be clear: Stack is in no way typical of left-wingers either. But the eagerness with which journalists rushed to link him with the tea-party movement suggests that they are invidiously biased against dissenters from the current U.S. government. That's a stereotype of the media that turns out to have a good deal of truth.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on February 21, 2010, 10:59:44 pm
A terrorist doesn't need to be connected to a group to be a terrorist.  He just needs to commit an act of terror, which this guy did.  We're in agreement there.

I don't look for crazies to be consistent, or even coherent in their arguments. 

Could one argue that the Tea Party is creating a violent atmosphere that encourages acts like this?  Hell yes.  They certainly aren't denouncing them. 
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on February 21, 2010, 11:22:55 pm
A terrorist doesn't need to be connected to a group to be a terrorist.  He just needs to commit an act of terror, which this guy did.  We're in agreement there.

I don't look for crazies to be consistent, or even coherent in their arguments. 

Could one argue that the Tea Party is creating a violent atmosphere that encourages acts like this?  Hell yes.  They certainly aren't denouncing them. 

Reginald, one can argue anything one wishes.  But that doesn't take away from the fact that Americans have the right to protest and express dissent against the policies and acts of their government.  Sure, there are always some who feel that dissent is dangerous. Including people in positions of power (in the Government, in the Media, etc) who may be on the receiving end of those protests. 

Fortunately, we have a Constitution.

Of course if any persons are involved with groups that advocate violence against the United States Government or its citizens, those persons need to be monitored (whether they be on the Left or the Right) and prevented from engaging in acts of terrorism. But to broadly condemn dissent as creating a dangerous atmosphere, when you just happen to disagree with the views of those protesting, is ... itself ... dangerous in undermining the very foundation of our democratic society.

... and, putting aside the extreme fringes, I do think that this terrible bombing was generally denounced by both Republicans and Democrats.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on February 22, 2010, 12:27:42 am
I criticized Bush for 8 long years.  I never said "the tree of liberty needs to be watered with the blood of patriots" or whatever that crazy quote was from the Tea Baggers.  They carry guns to public events.  They are all about creating a violent atmosphere and it's no secret. It's disengenious to act otherwise. 

These guys get away with acts so brazen its astonishing to me.  They should be swept up in a huge arrest, but of course that would make them martyrs to the cause.  But so many of them skirt treason on a regular basis.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on February 22, 2010, 07:09:22 am
I criticized Bush for 8 long years.  I never said "the tree of liberty needs to be watered with the blood of patriots" or whatever that crazy quote was from the Tea Baggers.  They carry guns to public events.  They are all about creating a violent atmosphere and it's no secret. It's disingenuous to act otherwise. 

These guys get away with acts so brazen its astonishing to me.  They should be swept up in a huge arrest, but of course that would make them martyrs to the cause.  But so many of them skirt treason on a regular basis.

Dissent, particularly when expressed in active public protest, is inherently "dangerous" in the eyes of those who are in power. 

"Treason" ... "They should be swept up in a huge arrest" ...?  On my gawd.  How often, and from whom, have we heard such sentiments expressed in the past. Reginald, do you realize how totalitarian you sound?

What you are doing is trying to attribute the act of a lunatic (Joseph Stack) to a group of people that he had nothing to do with. Stack's manifesto did not praise the Tea Party Protesters. The manifesto that Stack quoted from was, in fact, the "Communist Manifesto." 

There is no evidence that Joseph Stack had anything to do with the Tea Party Protesters.  To the best of my knowledge, he was not one of them, he did not attend their events, and he did not communicate with them.  (If I am mistaken in this regard, and he was in fact a Tea Party Activist, operating openly or clandestinely, please share that information with me and everyone else on the forum.  Seriously, I would be interested to see the evidence.)

So instead you blame them, by saying that these protesters are creating a "dangerous atmosphere."  Well, one could also argue that the election of a man like Barack Obama, who forged strong and early political relationships with ("former") domestic terrorists (Ayers) and international terrorist sympathizers (Wright), itself undermined efforts to discourage terrorism, by suggesting that terrorism is understandable and forgivable if the end justifies the means.  One could assert that it is disingenuous to claim otherwise.  ... particularly when we are talking about a deranged anti-Bush anti-capitalist domestic terrorist who obtains his inspiration from the Communist Manifesto.

Would I make such an argument? No. I would not. But then, I'm not blaming those Americans who are today exercising their right to publicly protest (the destructive course our Government is taking) for the insane self-destructive violent murderous act of Joseph Stack either.

... oh, and by the way, I happen to be a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment. Better sweep me up too.  ;)
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Battle on February 22, 2010, 07:32:35 am
Quote
... oh, and by the way, I happen to be a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment. Better sweep me up too. ---michaelintp
([url]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q266/phenry1970/dkos/bouncy.gif[/url])



I would love to sweep you and the boston tea party goon squad out of the picture but I don't have the authority.
(http://i19.tinypic.com/25kmwlw.jpg)
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on February 22, 2010, 07:33:33 am
To be clear, I think sedition is the concept in question instead of treason.
Sedition: incitement of discontent or rebellion against a government.
This has historically been a gray area (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedition_Act_of_1918) with regard to the 2nd amendment.

I think it is clear that Reggie was talking about the fringe element that can certainly be interpreted as breaking the law with regard to carrying weapons at public gatherings and so forth. I think it equally clear that most people are not seriously equating the entire movement as full of nutcases.

Folks do seem to be concerned about the racist and extremist elements that are undeniably present in society and seem to be finding some means of expression in the Tea Party movement; I know I am. I would be able to hear the Tea Party movement better if they were more careful about disassociating themselves from extremists. Michael, you made similar points about President Obama's alleged associations during the election.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on February 22, 2010, 07:37:22 am
I would love to sweep you and the boston tea party goon squad out of the picture but I don't have the authority.

And isn't it fortunate that you don't. Nobody should have that kind of authority.
And really, they have just as much right to express an opinion as we all do. That's our bedrock.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on February 22, 2010, 08:08:21 am
...  I think it equally clear that most people are not seriously equating the entire movement as full of nutcases.

Well, I believe that most on the Left (and in the Mainstream Media) would like to do just that. There are many who, for their own ideological reasons, are doing just that. 

That is why they immediately presented Stack as one of them, before doing their homework.

Of course I don't support sedition or treason.  Above I said that those involved with organizations and groups (on the Right or the Left) that advocate violence against the Government or our citizens need to be monitored.  I should emphasize, I believe they need to be very closely monitored (probably at a level, and using means, that you would be uncomfortable with).

The "Tea Party Protest" movement, and folk similarly expressing strong concern, even outrage, over the insane growth of Government (and all that implies for the rights of the Individual and for our future), have a message to get out.  They have been pretty successful in conveying that message to a large number of undecided voters in the middle.  Query whether a lot of in-fighting would be productive in that regard.  You suggest it might be, to disassociate the broader group from the radical fringe.  As you say, the same could be said regarding more moderate Liberals and folk on the Left, most of whom instead chose to pound their anti-conservative message.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Battle on February 22, 2010, 08:50:13 am
Not every citizen in America is guided by a political ideology like these nuts and sees every issue as political as if on a radio band (left or right) or projects thier principles on everyone else (liberal or conservative) like these humps do...  they want peace and quiet.  People will see these demonstrations as trouble and potential violence.

If these nut cases continue this course of action with the public rallying, public protesting, the yelling on the radio, the screaming, bringing weapons and sh*t, the strategic acts of terrorism, and everything linked to these public gatherings... pretty soon there will be rioting, then someone will get killed, then another person will get killed and so on and so on...
all because they lost a presidential election in the fall of 2008.

That's what this is about. >:(
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Catch22 on February 22, 2010, 10:02:54 am
It's not just that they lost the election.  For many of them, it's who won.  Most of the people in the Tea Bagger /Anti-Tax "Movement" vote and protest against their best interests anyway.  I may be mistaken because I don't know anyone who's a Tea Bagger (hahaha), but since taxes have been lowered for over 90 percent of working families...under Obama, no less...what exactly are they protesting?  My guess is they don't know.  It's all about what Rush said or what was on FoxNews this morning.  Parroting whatever these so-called commentators say.  For some it may be about taxes, but for the greater majority, with their signs and slogans, it's about something else.  The guy who flew into the IRS building OWNED A PLANE!  My friends and I make pretty good coin and there's not a plane owning pilot among us.  Since they're parroting RushNews, I'll go ahead and parrot Bill Maher from the other night...

Only 2% of the people in a “movement” about taxes named after a tax revolt have the slightest idea what’s going on…with taxes.
 ;D
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Battle on February 22, 2010, 10:15:04 am
It's not just that they lost the election.  For many of them, it's who won.  Most of the people in the Tea Bagger /Anti-Tax "Movement" vote and protest against their best interests anyway.  I may be mistaken because I don't know anyone who's a Tea Bagger (hahaha), but since taxes have been lowered for over 90 percent of working families...under Obama, no less...what exactly are they protesting?  My guess is they don't know.  It's all about what Rush said or what was on FoxNews this morning.  Parroting whatever these so-called commentators say.  For some it may be about taxes, but for the greater majority, with their signs and slogans, it's about something else.  The guy who flew into the IRS building OWNED A PLANE!  My friends and I make pretty good coin and there's not a plane owning pilot among us.  Since they're parroting RushNews, I'll go ahead and parrot Bill Maher from the other night...

Only 2% of the people in a “movement” about taxes named after a tax revolt have the slightest idea what’s going on…with taxes.
 ;D



100% agree.

I say...

Get that fat fukk off the &#%$-ing radio before somebody else gets killed!!! >:(

OK...? 
As a warning, there are consequences to opposing the American government in such a manner and if I were them, I certainly wouldn't do it with a Black president who can speak softly with a big stick.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: BmoreAkuma on February 22, 2010, 10:37:59 am
Not every citizen in America is guided by a political ideology like these nuts and sees every issue as political as if on a radio band (left or right) or projects thier principles on everyone else (liberal or conservative) like these humps do...  they want peace and quiet.  People will see these demonstrations as trouble and potential violence.

If these nut cases continue this course of action with the public rallying, public protesting, the yelling on the radio, the screaming, bringing weapons and sh*t, the strategic acts of terrorism, and everything linked to these public gatherings... pretty soon there will be rioting, then someone will get killed, then another person will get killed and so on and so on...
all because they lost a presidential election in the fall of 2008.

That's what this is about. >:(
exactly I am one of those people. However I think it would take something like the deaths of a number of people in one rally for people to think back on how silly this is. Frustrated or not what you are doing is very uncomfortable for people who just want to live their lives and not being worried about anything. This is life sh*t happens you as a person have to deal with it adapt and move the f*ck on with your life

BTW I am a person that supports the 2nd as well but Im not stupid to have a gun walking around in public where they are children around for my "2nd admendment right"
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on February 22, 2010, 08:59:11 pm
Well guys, you are trivializing the bona fide concerns of the protesters and other conservative critics who are concerned where our country is headed. It is not just about taxes, though if anyone really believes taxes will be reduced over the long run, given where we are headed, they're smokin' something. Depending on where you live, you might already be working as a servant half of each year "for" the Federal, State, and Local Government (when all taxes, including sales and property taxes, are taken into account). Which is outrageous. Because, at some point, it becomes little more than state sponsored theft, tyranny by the majority.

However, the concern is much broader, and far more fundamental. It is the insane increase in the size of government, reach of government, and power vested in government. And expansion of that power into every facet of our lives. This can only have a long-term destructive effect, on our psychological independence, our self-reliance, our willingness to give to charity, and our very liberty.  

And more than that ... from an economic perspective, it is a suicidal course. We cannot sustain this. We will implode. The debt will be too great, the costs of carrying that debt unsustainable.  

It is important to look beyond today's immediate gratification, to the long-term welfare.  The future of our a nation is at stake. The future of our children, and their children, are at stake. Will they have to pay the price for our selfishness and short-sightedness?
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on February 22, 2010, 09:52:14 pm
You mean invasive government like the Patriot Act?

Did you, in a previous post, bring up the inconsequestial Bill Ayers while defending tax protestors who want to kill the president because they are too stupid to realize he LOWERED their taxes? 

The violent, racist elements of the Tea Baggers is not the fringe of the movement.  It's the face.  And until they denounce the violent acts of their sympathizers, why should anyone think otherwise?

Even the mainstream Republican Party has become a cyncial obstructionist organization bereft of any idea that Reagan didn't think of (well, that's not true...Reagan was AGAINST torture). 

I have my complaints about Obama...he's ignoring his mandate.  People want change, and they don't care about 59 or 60 votes. 
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on February 22, 2010, 11:07:56 pm
Reginald, I have to disagree. What you are repeating are the charges made by those who wish to discredit the critics. I understand that, as a tactic, this may be a somewhat effective tool to convince some people to discount the protesters. However, I see it as little more than that. A tactic. I don't doubt your sincerity, but I do think this tactic has influenced your perception.

My impression is that most of the protests have involved opposition to "socialism" (broadly defined) and costly proposals for State-controlled healthcare and the threat of ever-increasing taxes. On these scores, the protesters are 100% correct. "Non-discretionary" entitlement programs will over the long term financially destroy this country (with our children and their children left holding the bag). The Tea Party Protesters are correct to point the finger at Republicans as well as Democrats. Bush was no fiscal conservative, nor was he interested in lessening the scope and power of government.  Obama is clearly an advocate for a massive and ever-expanding central government. Leading the intrusion of government into even more aspects of our lives. At a price that is, just in financial terms, incomprehensible.

Now, when it comes to matters of national security, including combatting terrorist threats (from the Left and the Right or from those motivated by other ideologies), we differ. I see this as a part of the primary responsibility of the Federal Government to provide for the common defense. This is one of the only clear areas in which the Federal Government must play a central role. Particularly in our age of high technology, in both communications and weaponry.

As I see it, the basic problem is that virtually all of our elected officials, both Republicans and Democrats, focus only on a short-term time horizon -- at most, to the next election.  And, as a culture, we have become more self-absorbed as well, which also increases the focus on "gratification today" no matter the consequences tomorrow (to our kids and their kids). The problems I am describing will really come to a head in a couple of decades. At which point it will be too late.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on February 23, 2010, 12:46:01 am
from the HUFFINGTON POST:

Will Bunch
Author, "Tear Down This Myth"
Posted: February 22, 2010 10:06 PM

Why Won't They Use the "M-Word" About Joe Stack?

Vernon Hunter -- murdered in Joe Stack's suicide attack in Austin. Tex., last week -- was a real American hero:

In the hours that followed, Ken said he heard lots of talk about the pilot's motivations and felt compelled to speak out on his father's behalf.
"There was just too much going on about what the guy did and what he believed in, and enough's enough," he said. "They don't need to talk about him. Talk about my dad. You know, some people are trying to make this guy out to be a hero, a patriot. My dad served two terms in Vietnam. This guy never served at all. My dad wasn't responsible for his tax problems."

The Hunter family identified Vernon Hunter's body Saturday. That same day, as Ken drove to his father's home, he saw firsthand the destruction the small plane caused.

"We turned the radio down, almost off, and we just looked. No one said anything and we just kept coming in. My wife almost broke down, so it was tough," he said.


Hunter was a guy who fought for his country in Vietnam and went to work for it when he came home; he had a loving family who cared about him very much. And then he went to work one morning and he was murdered in cold blood by a narcissistic loser named Joe Stack. And yet some of our nation's so-called political leaders are refusing to criticize Stack, the murderer of Vernon Hunter.

The latest is a U.S. congressman, Steve King of Iowa. Here's what he said:

I don't know if his grievances were legitimate, I've read part of the material. I can tell you I've been audited by the IRS and I've had the sense of 'why is the IRS in my kitchen.' Why do they have their thumb in the middle of my back. ... It is intrusive and we can do a better job without them entirely.
It seems so outrageous, and yet King is hardly alone. Two of the most egregious example include whacked-our far-right Texas gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina, who said this weekend that Hunter's killer reflects "the hopelessness many in our society feel," and of course Massachusetts pin-up guy Scott Brown, who said that Stack's suicide attack is a sign that voters "want transparency" in government.

First of all, what the (expletive deleted)?

Second of all, aren't these the same people who jump all over anybody who calls an al-Qaeda or Taliban thug a "murderer" instead of a "terrorist," even though at the end of the day that's what even the people who bombed the World Trade Center were -- low-life, no-good killers, a notion that even Republicans understood back in Reagan's day? But now these same people refuse to condemn Joe Stack, let alone call him what he really was: A cheap, heartless murderer.

The one thing that's clear from Stack's vain and nonsensical "manifesto" is that the man was not insane, just an egomaniac who gave no thought to the innocent person he was about to kill, to that man's family or even his own family that he left behind to deal with the mess...after he burned them out of their home. The only insane people here are the ones who call Joe Stack a hero. He wasn't a hero. He was a coward. To see Joe Stack as something more than a two-bit killer is the greatest case of adding insult to injury that I have ever seen.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on February 23, 2010, 07:38:26 am
I wholly agree that anyone who would view this killer to be a "hero" is twisted.  I think the article is overstating the matter of Stack being viewed as a "hero" though.  I"ve not heard a lot of proclamations of heroism for Stack. The author of the article clearly has a political agenda. 

Of course many are concerned about excessive taxation (etc) but the people who hold such views have nothing to do with the murderer Stack and his sick act. To the extent anyone (on the Left or the Right) tries to associate the two, they are dead wrong.

I would assume the people who would actually view Stack as a "hero" are the same fringe extremists who thought Timothy McVeigh was a hero, or other domestic terrorists are heroes. Not many. Most blogs I saw bear this out.  Responses written by Conservative bloggers and writers tried to portray Stack as a Leftist, not one of their own.  The overwhelming vast majority of commentators on the Right, including very Conservative folk, were disassociating themselves from Stack.  Not proclaiming him a hero.

Stack, burning down his own house and crashing his plane into a building was, most likely, nuts though. (Given his apparent lack of past affiliation with any activists, fringe groups, etc ... it sounds like the guy just cracked and went "postal" so to speak, engaging in a sick twisted terrorist act of attempted mass murder that killed one man, Vernon Hunter).  I would reconsider this if, of course, evidence emerged that he did regularly communicate with purveyors of some sick ideology (etc), coordinated with others, shared his views with those others, etc. 

I agree with the rest of the article.  Particularly what it says about Vernon Hunter.

 

Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on February 23, 2010, 07:41:58 am
So, what's up with a US Congressman and a Republican candidate for governor being sympathetic to Stack?  This is what I mean when I say the nuts are not on the edge but the mainstream of the party.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on February 23, 2010, 08:02:54 am
So, what's up with a US Congressman and a Republican candidate for governor being sympathetic to Stack?  This is what I mean when I say the nuts are not on the edge but the mainstream of the party.

I believe your characterizatoin and that of the author of the article you posted are inaccurate, where he says the Republicans view Stack to be a "hero" and you say they express "sympathy" for him.  This is Left Wing Political Spin.  Reginald, I love you, but you are one of the most politically partisan people I know.  Anyway, time permitting, I'll look into it further, and get back to you later today.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on February 23, 2010, 10:42:29 pm
Are we all reasonable people here?  Does anyone really, seriously, think a United States Senator would express sympathy for the psycho Austin bomber Joe Stack, or that a Senator would publicly proclaim that Stack is a hero? Forget about partisan politics for a moment.  Even from the standpoint of cynical self-interest, would it be in the interest of a Senator to do so, vis a vis his or her constituency? Would such a proclamation enhance that Senator’s prospects for reelection? I don’t think so. (OK, one with an agenda might find someone “on the Right” who expressed such a sentiment, as there are nuts everywhere, particularly on the Internet, but really, guys ... let’s get real).

HERE IS WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON: As I thought, what we are seeing in parts of the Media and in Blogs is Left-Wing partisan/ideological spin to distort the words of Republicans like Senator Scott Brown (R-MA), in an attempt to link them to the deranged bomber Joe Stack. The article provided below interestingly even makes reference to some of the rabid anti-Conservative organizations referenced in our discussions above, responsible for these smears. Just goes to show how creative “Progressive” writers with a partisan axe to grind can do wonders with quotes taken out of context.  

Another reason for you all to look at these articles is that these pieces demonstrate the extent to which Conservative Activists do not sympathize with Joe Stack, and they certainly do not view him to be any kind of hero. As evidenced by what Senator Brown actually said, they certainly do not want that lunatic to be associated with them in any way. Though those on the Left are desperate to make the connection.

Frankly, I believe folks on the Left discredit themselves in the effort.

What all this represents is the same ugly smear politics that we’ve all grown to “love.” (urp!)

The Nation: Prominent CPAC Speakers All Sound like Joe Stack
Rusty Weiss
2/23/2010  NewsBusters
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/rusty-weiss/2010/02/23/nation-prominent-cpac-speakers-all-sound-joe-stack

We've seen the likes of Time Magazine, MSNBC, the Washington Post, and Newsweek link the Joe Stack airplane attack to the conservative movement.  But in an interesting twist, a political blogger for The Nation has inexplicably linked Stack to several players at the recent CPAC convention - including Tim Pawlenty, Scott Brown, and most notably Glenn Beck.  

Leslie Savan wastes little time delving into despicable comparisons from the onset with the title to her rant:  

Glenn Beck Dodges Incoming Plane at CPAC

From there, the associations to Stack stretch ever further.  Savan somehow manages to draw parallels between Pawlenty's comment about taking a 9-iron to big government, and the attack (emphasis mine throughout):

"Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty strained to hit a Southern-sheriff note of populist threat by suggesting, rather oddly, that conservatives were cuckolded wives who, like Tiger Woods's spouse, should "take a 9-iron and smash the window out of big government in this country!"--thereby managing to invoke both the wall of shattered glass windows at the Echelon Building and the marital troubles that may have contributed to Stack's anger."

It would seem the term ‘metaphor' is beyond the writer's grasp.  

Next up is an out of context quote from Scott Brown:

"It didn't help the damage control when conservative pin-up Scott Brown said of the attack, just hours after it happened, "I don't know if it's related, but I can just sense not only in my election, but since being here in Washington, people are frustrated." Which is scary close to saying Stack's terrorist act came from the same set of emotions and attitudes that put Brown in office (talk about saying "No"!)."

This smear has already been argued admirably at Legal Insurrection, as it stems from a weak attempt by Think Progress to disparage Brown over his comments during an interview with Neil Cavuto.  What Savan is focusing on, the phrase "I don't know if it's related", is designed to make the reader believe that Brown himself questions if there is a link between the terrorist attack and the anger that got him elected.  Shortly thereafter in the interview however, Brown clarifies by saying, "I am not sure if there is a connection, I certainly hope not..."

The smearing of conservatives in The Nation however, had only just begun, and Savan's worst venom was being reserved for the keynote speaker at CPAC - Glenn Beck.  The first punch being thrown with:

"Whether or not Joe Stack had ever watched Fox, dug Glenn Beck, or ever darkened a website run by a Tea Party outfit (and we may never know the truth about these things, either), Beck was fast to assume that Stack's nutty tax-and-big-government-hating manifesto would tarnish Beck's own nutty tax-and-big-government-hating shtick."

First, Savan gets out in front of it, by avoiding a definitive link between Stack and Beck, but most assuredly is implying said link.

Second, Beck is wise to assume that he will be linked to Stack, as this is a tactic exercised by the liberal media ad nauseam - from the Kentucky census worker suicide, to the Alabama shooting case - despite a complete lack of evidence to support such claims.  

Savan doesn't disappoint, throwing Beck and conservative opposition into the tank with Stack:

"Of course, Stack did not fly his plane into a capitalist redoubt, like a bank too big to fail; he flew it into an IRS office, which just happens to be the focus of radical constitutionalist anger."

Never mind the Stack manifesto rails heavily against the virtues of capitalism, also a focus of constitutional anger for its rapid elimination under the current administration.

She continues...

"...Beck's daily rantings make about as much sense as Stack's suicide note."

Again, simply another attempt at linking peaceful conservative activists and pundits to the violent actions of a lunatic.  

After referring to Beck and his audience at CPAC as violence-urging cultists, the article ends with this bit of wonderment:

"Which reminds me, where's the outcry? Why aren't the rightwing media and their auditioning politicians getting hysterical over Obama taking so much time to make a statement about the IRS attack as they did over Obama's "slow response" to the Christmas bomber? I mean, Stack killed himself and another person and injured 13, two of them critically; the Nigerian guy just scorched his privates."

While both the Stack plane attack and the Christmas bomber were equally terroristic in nature, the aforementioned statement actually minimizes the Nigerian's attempt at mass murdering over 200 victims by saying hey, he ‘just scorched his privates'.  This demonstrates such a clear disconnect from reality, that Ms. Savan should probably avoid pointing fingers at Beck for his alleged ‘fairy tales'.  Pot, please meet the kettle.

As for the question posed: Where's the outcry... over Obama's slow response?  Conservative author Michelle Malkin made this statement less than 24 hours after the attack:

"You know, now would be a good time for a uniter-in-chief - an agent of hope and change in Washington - to call for civility and healing and a ceasefire on inflammatory attacks against peaceful Americans who had nothing to do with this attack. At 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, crickets chirp."

Unfortunately however, when it comes to the left wing media and a chance to exploit a crisis, there will never be a ceasefire on inflammatory attacks.

Note:  For the other articles referenced in this piece, where Conservatives make clear that they have nothing to do with the deranged Joe Stack, see the following:

Time Magazine Links Austin Suicide Pilot To Tea Party Movement
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2010/02/18/time-com-links-austin-suicide-pilot-tea-parties

Matthews' Southern Poverty Guest Ties Stack To 'Radical Right'
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/mark-finkelstein/2010/02/18/matthews-southern-poverty-guest-associates-stack-radical-right


WaPo's Capehart: Austin Suicide Pilot's 'Alienation Similar To Extreme Elements of Tea Party Movement'
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2010/02/18/wapos-capehart-austin-suicide-pilots-alienation-similar-extreme-eleme

Newsweek Links Stack to ‘Right Wing Terror,’ Inexplicably Mentions Racism
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2010/02/19/newsweek-links-stack-right-wing-terror-inexplicably-mentions-racism

Reginald, and anyone else who is interested, I urge you to read these articles (they are short). They just might dispel some of your stereotypes regarding Conservative Activists (who do NOT assert allegiance to Joseph Stack).  If you really are interested in a serious dialogue, instead of falling victim to embracing unfounded smears, they may enlighten you.  

Let’s show a little decency here.  Nobody on the Right or the Left (other than some sick individuals, whom with an internet search I’m sure one could find) endorses the airplane bombing of the Austin building that housed IRS employees and killed one dedicated public servant.

I suggest that we move on. And I would hope, with this information, that in other venues no one here will be inclined to repeat the same smears.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: jefferson L.O.B. sergeant on February 23, 2010, 10:52:40 pm
Are we all reasonable people here?  Does anyone really, seriously, think a United States Senator would express sympathy for the psycho Austin bomber Joe Stack.

Yes, I do.

Just look at Gov. Perry from Texas.

He is openly talking about secession from the Union.

How much farther down the road do you have to get than the Governor of a state calling for a blatant act of treason.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on February 23, 2010, 11:31:32 pm
Jefferson, thanks for the tip!

I'm packin' my bags and movin' to the great NATION of Texas!


(http://jimsbikeblog.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/texas-flag.jpg)

                      Yippee ke-yay!
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Vic Vega on February 24, 2010, 06:52:01 am
According to the D.O.D. Terrorism is:

Quote
The calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological


If Joe Stack doesn't fit THAT discription I don't know who does.

i've already noted Scott Brown's doltishness.

Stack's daughter Samantha Brown has characterized her father as a hero.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/22/samantha-bell-joe-stack-d_n_471491.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/22/samantha-bell-joe-stack-d_n_471491.html)

Stack now has fan sites on the internet

http://weareaustin.com/content/fulltext/?cid=51571 (http://weareaustin.com/content/fulltext/?cid=51571)

Do I think all Conservatives are Joe Stack sympathisers? No. But there is an ugly nativist, anti-government movement in this country and I'm not hearing anybody on the right really repudiating it.

If you are going to A) doubt that the President is actual citizen, if you are going to scream about taxes after recieving the LARGEST TAX CUT IN HISTORY http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_02/016863.php (http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_02/016863.php) I can only assume something other than a rational discussion of the issues of the day is going on here.

And that is being kind.

Still waiting for somebody in the major media to call Stack a terrorist, BTW.

P.S.: If it wasn't for the Internet I would know NOTHING about Vernon Hunter.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on February 24, 2010, 10:25:17 am
Reginald, and anyone else who is interested, I urge you to read these articles (they are short). They just might dispel some of your stereotypes regarding Conservative Activists (who do NOT assert allegiance to Joseph Stack).  If you really are interested in a serious dialogue, instead of falling victim to embracing unfounded smears, they may enlighten you.  


Micheal, the attitude that one can easily infer from this statement right here is one of the things that annoy people about you. I state the annoyance as a fact, whether it is intentional or not; you can do with it what you will. You can't tell people they must be ignorant or unreasonable or victims to arrive at their conclusions without pissing them off. With love...seriously.

Let’s show a little decency here.  Nobody on the Right or the Left (other than some sick individuals, whom with an internet search I’m sure one could find) endorses the airplane bombing of the Austin building that housed IRS employees and killed one dedicated public servant.

I suggest that we move on. And I would hope, with this information, that in other venues no one here will be inclined to repeat the same smears.


I didn't see claims that anybody endorsed the airplane bombing. Only that some folks exploited it or attempted to. I understand that you are particularly sensitive to what you view as leftist spin as many folks are sensitive to what they perceive as rightist spin. Can we just admit that both exist? You don't seriously think conservative politicians are any less slimy than liberal ones do you? While we're on the subject, that holds for "the media" too, doesn't it? I have argued before that there is no "the" media, mainstream or otherwise, only an aggregate of media outlets that span the political spectrum in outlook. Isn't that fact too mundane to argue about?

(http://c0389161.cdn.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/dyn/str_strip/311048.full.gif)
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on February 24, 2010, 04:52:21 pm
As to an issue some of you have raised, of Conservatives not drawing attention away from "their message" to instead attack members of the Right, I would raise the same point as to Liberals and Leftists who make every effort to "keep to their message" and not deflect attention to their own ugly fringe. "Stick to the message" is pretty much the standard operating procedure employed by politicians nowadays on both sides of the political spectrum
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: BmoreAkuma on February 24, 2010, 05:08:15 pm
actually micheal it is great to have your opinion/viewpoint. It brings in a different perspective. So I don't mind really.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on February 24, 2010, 05:38:05 pm
Okay, I read all the links;  none of them make any reference to the Congressman or the Republican candidate for governor mentioned in the piece I posted who each said sympathetic things about Stack's actions. 

Why did they say those things?  Why are such statements acceptable by the RNC?
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on February 24, 2010, 10:41:10 pm
actually micheal it is great to have your opinion/viewpoint. It brings in a different perspective. So I don't mind really.


Thanks.   :)

Okay, I read all the links;  none of them make any reference to the Congressman or the Republican candidate for governor mentioned in the piece I posted who each said sympathetic things about Stack's actions. 

Why did they say those things?  Why are such statements acceptable by the RNC?


I was primarily responding to "your" article’s smear of Senator Scott Brown.  Whom, I believe, some people on the Left feel threatened by.  The articles I provided gave plenty examples of the use of selective quotes taken out of context, and distortions, as to Brown and others.  The articles I shared also show a genuine effort by Conservatives not to be tainted by Stack's horrific deed.

Also, we must realize that there are two ways of viewing Stack's horrible act: (1) as the act of a guy, previously law-abiding, who just snapped and went ballistic (because of his personal problems including tax deficiencies); or (2) as an act of "terrorism" (which literally it was, though it appears it was not an act of organized terrorism, and not even an act clearly motivated by a coherent ideology). Some of the people whom you object to might have seen it more as the former, given that it really does seem that (for whatever reason) Stack had mentally gone over the edge. Viewing him in this light does not mean that one condones what he did.

As to the Candidate and the Congressman: Neither Medina nor King expressed support for the Stack’s violent act. They do, however, apparently have negative feelings regarding the IRS, with King advocating that the income tax be replaced with a national sales tax.

In the article you posted, what was left out of the quote of Texas gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina was her express statement that she did not sympathize with Stack.  Nor did she endorse his violence or call him a hero. 

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/politics/state/stories/DN-medina_20tex.ART.State.Edition1.4bcbf02.html

As to Congressman Steve King’s remarks, I don’t see anywhere that he endorsed Stack’s act.  What he was really expressing were his personal feelings regarding the IRS based on his own experiences as a small businessman.  Still, I agree that he should have expressed himself differently, given the context.  But that is a far cry from proclaiming Stack a hero or supporting what he did.  King later explained his remarks.

“As a founder of a small business who has endured I.R.S. audits, I understand the deep frustration with the I.R.S. In the early days, my company could not run without me on the job. I once had to shut it down just to be in the room with the I.R.S. I did not get a fair shake, but I channeled my frustration the American way and ran for office. Americans looking for an outlet for their frustration should join me in calling on Congress to pass a national sales tax and abolish the current federal tax code and the I.R.S.”

http://iowaindependent.com/28640/king-on-suicide-pilot-i-understand-the-deep-frustration-with-the-i-r-s

Reginald, explain to me how their comments are more reprehensible than someone in the 1960's saying, "The Vietnam war is horrible. America is engaged in war crimes. I sympathize with the feelings of Bill Ayers. I agree that we must stop this war. But of course I do not condone his violent actions." [setting off bombs in an organized conspiracy]
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on February 25, 2010, 12:08:48 am
Tea Party Leader Calls Obama "Half-White Racist"
HuffPost Citizen Reporting   |  Alex Brant-Zawadzki First Posted: 02-24-10 07:28 PM   |   Updated: 02-24-10 07:48 PM


Last September Mark Williams, a tour partner with the Tea Party Express, referred to President Obama as "our half white, racist president."

In a September email obtained by Talking Points Memo, Williams angrily responded to what he calls a "false allegation" by CNN that he called President Obama a Nazi. In an apparent attempt to demonstrate he is not racist, Williams claimed to have a strong record on civil rights. He spoke of "marching for civil rights while asshole southern sheriffs were swinging nail-studded bats as blacks's heads..."

On September 14, 2009, Mark Williams admitted to CNN's Anderson Cooper that he referred to "Mubarak Hussein Obama" as a Nazi:

COOPER: But wait Mark, you're actually the one who called President Obama Nazi.
WILLIAMS: I didn't call Barack Obama a Nazi.

COOPER: Yes, he's on your list, on your Web site of like 21st century Nazis. You have his name.

WILLIAMS: We've got the philosophy of fascism and national socialism at work here. Of course we do.

COOPER: No, no but you have the president's name, although it's a derivation that's not his actually name, it's a name it's kind of a negative.

WILLIAMS: Mubarak Hussein Obama.

COOPER: Right, that's what's you call him on your Website. You're the one who's using the term Nazi.

Tea Party Express, a series of nationwide anti-Obama bus tours, is frequently decried as "astroturf", or fake grassroots, by other aspects of the Tea Party movement, notably the Tea Party Patriots, due to its associations with Our Country Deserves Better PAC, which is run out of the Republican strategy firm Russo Marsh.

Williams acts as a spokesman for Tea Party Express.

Robin Stublen, a leader of the Tea Party Patriots, told HuffPost in an email, "Mark Williams is not someone I would want being my spokesman. He comes off as an arrogant, self promoting, egotistical jerk. In politics, people like Mark Williams are a dime a dozen, even when you factor in inflation."

Williams concluded his September email by inexplicably refusing to defend himself:

I will defend my record on race to no one (sic), under any circumstances and, I will call out any racist, any time without regard to who they are ... and that includes our half white, racist president.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on February 26, 2010, 06:17:33 am
So Reginald, did you have no reaction to what I posted above, regarding ideologically-driven efforts of some to blame Conservatives for the airplane bombing of the Austin IRS facility?  What about the likely possibility that Stack represented no ideology, but rather just went nuts and exploded? And what about the material I provided above regarding the Congressman and the Gubernatorial Candidate, posted in response to your query?  I really am interested in your answer to the question I raised at the end of that post, regarding your interpretation of, and reaction to, the comments of Congressman Steve King and Candidate Debra Medina:

"Explain to me how their comments are more reprehensible than someone in the 1960's saying, "The Vietnam war is horrible. America is engaged in war crimes. I sympathize with the feelings of Bill Ayers. I agree that we must stop this war. But of course I do not condone his violent actions." [setting off bombs in an organized conspiracy]

As to what you posted above, I've looked into what's been happening with the Tea Party stuff since you sparked my interest.  It appears that the movement is fragmented.  As reflected in the article you posted, one of Mark Williams' competitors had some things to say about him: "Robin Stublen, a leader of the Tea Party Patriots, told HuffPost in an email, 'Mark Williams is not someone I would want being my spokesman. He comes off as an arrogant, self promoting, egotistical jerk. In politics, people like Mark Williams are a dime a dozen, even when you factor in inflation.'"

Who said Conservatives are never critical of other Conservatives? 

From what I read, Williams' "Tea Party Express" organization did not even attend the Tea Party Convention this month.

Mark Williams appears to be the mirror reflection of some guys on the Left.  You know, the guys who were constantly proclaiming that they "hate Bush, that "Bush is a Nazi," and much worse on other things (which I really don't feel like getting into, arghhhh).

Of course I do not defend Williams' comments (including his stupid and ugly "half-white racist" remark), any more than you would defend the rantings of comparable "activists" on the Left. Or at least I hope you wouldn't. 

Though, haha, I am a little curious as to which civil rights marches Mr. Williams participated in, fending off with his bare hands those baseball bats with nails in 'em.  :P

But this has no bearing on what we've been talking about here ... the blaming of Conservatives and/or Republicans and/or Tea Party Activists for Joe Stack's bombing of the Austin IRS building.  Where, in truth, when he was alive Stack had nothing to do with the Conservative Movement.

Though you wouldn't know that, from all the crap that circulated in the Media and on the Internet (expounded by "Progressive" organizations and writers in major publications) after the bombing. From all that stuff, you wouldda thought that Joe Stack was Sarah Palin's secret lover or somethin'.  Sheesh!
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on February 26, 2010, 07:45:29 am
(http://c0389161.cdn.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/dyn/str_strip/311051.full.gif)

Although I guess this could go in the Health Care thread.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on February 26, 2010, 04:39:16 pm
 ;D`

Dang shame that not everyone can be as level-headed and reasonable as you 'n me, Curtis.  ;)
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on February 26, 2010, 05:25:00 pm
;D`

Dang shame that not everyone can be as level-headed and reasonable as you 'n me, Curtis.  ;)

I'm glad we can laugh about it, Mike.
Title: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Tanksleyd on February 27, 2010, 10:16:30 pm
Quote
... oh, and by the way, I happen to be a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment. Better sweep me up too. ---michaelintp
([url]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q266/phenry1970/dkos/bouncy.gif[/url])



I would love to sweep you and the boston tea party goon squad out of the picture but I don't have the authority.
([url]http://i19.tinypic.com/25kmwlw.jpg[/url])


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People have been kicked for less...

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Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on February 28, 2010, 12:10:50 am
Tanksleyd, I looked at your link.  The article from the Wall Street Journal that I posted (way above) agreed that Joe Stack's attack fits the literal definition of "terrorism."  Just not of organized terrorism.

However, efforts to draw parallels to the Ft. Hood shooting are misplaced.  Majar Hasan long adhered to an internationally active terrorist ideology and was in communication with active leaders of that movement.  In contrast, it appears the Joe Stack adhered to no coherent ideology (judging by his rambling incoherent "manifesto") and was in contact with no one. The only way in which the two cases might be compared is that maybe (maybe) Hasan also "snapped" (Stack, it appears, clearly did).  Here is some info on Hasan, for those who are interested:

Major Nidal Malik Hasan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nidal_Malik_Hasan
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Tanksleyd on February 28, 2010, 12:36:31 am
Tanksleyd, I looked at your link.  The article from the Wall Street Journal that I posted (way above) agreed that Joe Stack's attack fits the literal definition of "terrorism."  Just not of organized terrorism.

However, efforts to draw parallels to the Ft. Hood shooting are misplaced.  Majar Hasan long adhered to an internationally active terrorist ideology and was in communication with active leaders of that movement.  In contrast, it appears the Joe Stack adhered to no coherent ideology (judging by his rambling incoherent "manifesto") and was in contact with no one. The only way in which the two cases might be compared is that maybe (maybe) Hasan also "snapped" (Stack, it appears, clearly did).  Here is some info on Hasan, for those who are interested:

Major Nidal Malik Hasan: [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nidal_Malik_Hasan[/url]


I am leary of talking directly to you as last time I did I got the consequence of Black Pathology/White Nobility (Let's just say good ridance to Joe Stack.) but is this why the Tea Party crew wants to remain "leaderless" so that they can disavow any knowledge?

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/28/us/politics/28keli.html?hp

Ya'know ALL conservatives disavow any violent act from Tennessee churches (A precedent?) to Dr. Tiller's church to the chapel at the OKC (A precedent?)federal building ("I didn't know kids were there": Timothy McViegh). ALL conservatives claim to be the party of God.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on February 28, 2010, 01:26:35 am

The Axis of the Obsessed and Deranged
 By FRANK RICH

Published: February 27, 2010

No one knows what history will make of the present — least of all journalists, who can at best write history’s sloppy first draft. But if I were to place an incautious bet on which political event will prove the most significant of February 2010, I wouldn’t choose the kabuki health care summit that generated all the ink and 24/7 cable chatter in Washington. I’d put my money instead on the murder-suicide of Andrew Joseph Stack III, the tax protester who flew a plane into an office building housing Internal Revenue Service employees in Austin, Tex., on Feb. 18. It was a flare with the dark afterlife of an omen.

What made that kamikaze mission eventful was less the deranged act itself than the curious reaction of politicians on the right who gave it a pass — or, worse, flirted with condoning it. Stack was a lone madman, and it would be both glib and inaccurate to call him a card-carrying Tea Partier or a “Tea Party terrorist.” But he did leave behind a manifesto whose frothing anti-government, anti-tax rage overlaps with some of those marching under the Tea Party banner. That rant inspired like-minded Americans to create instant Facebook shrines to his martyrdom. Soon enough, some cowed politicians, including the newly minted Tea Party hero Scott Brown, were publicly empathizing with Stack’s credo — rather than risk crossing the most unforgiving brigade in their base.

Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, even rationalized Stack’s crime. “It’s sad the incident in Texas happened,” he said, “but by the same token, it’s an agency that is unnecessary. And when the day comes when that is over and we abolish the I.R.S., it’s going to be a happy day for America.” No one in King’s caucus condemned these remarks. Then again, what King euphemized as “the incident” took out just 1 of the 200 workers in the Austin building: Vernon Hunter, a 68-year-old Vietnam veteran nearing his I.R.S. retirement. Had Stack the devastating weaponry and timing to match the death toll of 168 inflicted by Timothy McVeigh on a federal building in Oklahoma in 1995, maybe a few of the congressman’s peers would have cried foul.

It is not glib or inaccurate to invoke Oklahoma City in this context, because the acrid stench of 1995 is back in the air. Two days before Stack’s suicide mission, The Times published David Barstow’s chilling, months-long investigation of the Tea Party movement. Anyone who was cognizant during the McVeigh firestorm would recognize the old warning signs re-emerging from the mists of history. The Patriot movement. “The New World Order,” with its shadowy conspiracies hatched by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. Sandpoint, Idaho. White supremacists. Militias.

Barstow confirmed what the Southern Poverty Law Center had found in its report last year: the unhinged and sometimes armed anti-government right that was thought to have vaporized after its Oklahoma apotheosis is making a comeback. And now it is finding common cause with some elements of the diverse, far-flung and still inchoate Tea Party movement. All it takes is a few self-styled “patriots” to sow havoc.

Equally significant is Barstow’s finding that most Tea Party groups have no affiliation with the G.O.P. despite the party’s ham-handed efforts to co-opt them. The more we learn about the Tea Partiers, the more we can see why. They loathe John McCain and the free-spending, TARP-tainted presidency of George W. Bush. They really do hate all of Washington, and if they hate Obama more than the Republican establishment, it’s only by a hair or two. (Were Obama not earning extra demerits in some circles for his race, it might be a dead heat.) The Tea Partiers want to eliminate most government agencies, starting with the Fed and the I.R.S., and end spending on entitlement programs. They are not to be confused with the Party of No holding forth in Washington — a party that, after all, is now positioning itself as a defender of Medicare spending. What we are talking about here is the Party of No Government at All.

The distinction between the Tea Party movement and the official G.O.P. is real, and we ignore it at our peril. While Washington is fixated on the natterings of Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Michael Steele and the presumed 2012 Republican presidential front-runner, Mitt Romney, these and the other leaders of the Party of No are anathema or irrelevant to most Tea Partiers. Indeed, McConnell, Romney and company may prove largely irrelevant to the overall political dynamic taking hold in America right now. The old G.O.P. guard has no discernible national constituency beyond the scattered, often impotent remnants of aging country club Republicanism. The passion on the right has migrated almost entirely to the Tea Party’s counterconservatism.

The leaders embraced by the new grass roots right are a different slate entirely: Glenn Beck, Ron Paul and Sarah Palin. Simple math dictates that none of this trio can be elected president. As George F. Will recently pointed out, Palin will not even be the G.O.P. nominee “unless the party wants to lose at least 44 states” (as it did in Barry Goldwater’s 1964 Waterloo). But these leaders do have a consistent ideology, and that ideology plays to the lock-and-load nutcases out there, not just to the peaceable (if riled up) populist conservatives also attracted to Tea Partyism. This ideology is far more troubling than the boilerplate corporate conservatism and knee-jerk obstructionism of the anti-Obama G.O.P. Congressional minority.

In the days after Stack’s Austin attack, the gradually coalescing Tea Party dogma had its Washington coming out party at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), across town from Capitol Hill. The most rapturously received speaker was Beck, who likened the G.O.P. to an alcoholic in need of a 12-step program to recover from its “progressive-lite” collusion with federal government. Beck vilified an unnamed Republican whose favorite president was the progressive Theodore Roosevelt — that would be McCain — and ominously labeled progressivism a cancer that “must be cut out of the system.”

A co-sponsor of CPAC was the John Birch Society, another far-right organization that has re-emerged after years of hibernation. Its views, which William F. Buckley Jr. decried in the 1960s as an “idiotic” and “irrational” threat to true conservatism, remain unchanged. At the conference’s conclusion, a presidential straw poll was won by Congressman Paul, ending a three-year Romney winning streak. No less an establishment conservative observer than the Wall Street Journal editorialist Dorothy Rabinowitz describes Paul’s followers as “conspiracy theorists, anti-government zealots, 9/11 truthers, and assorted other cadres of the obsessed and deranged.”

William Kristol dismissed the straw poll results as the youthful folly of Paul’s jejune college fans. William Bennett gingerly pooh-poohed Beck’s anti-G.O.P. diatribe. But in truth, most of the CPAC speakers, including presidential aspirants, were so eager to ingratiate themselves with this claque that they endorsed the Beck-Paul vision rather than, say, defend Bush, McCain or the party’s Congressional leadership. (It surely didn’t help Romney’s straw poll showing that he was the rare Bush defender.) And so — just one day after Stack crashed his plane into the Austin I.R.S. office — the heretofore milquetoast former Minnesota governor, Tim Pawlenty, told the audience to emulate Tiger Woods’s wife and “take a 9-iron and smash the window out of big government in this country.”

Such violent imagery and invective, once largely confined to blogs and talk radio, is now spreading among Republicans in public office or aspiring to it. Last year Michele Bachmann, the redoubtable Tea Party hero and Minnesota congresswoman, set the pace by announcing that she wanted “people in Minnesota armed and dangerous” to oppose Obama administration climate change initiatives. In Texas, the Tea Party favorite for governor, Debra Medina, is positioning herself to the right of the incumbent, Rick Perry — no mean feat given that Perry has suggested that Texas could secede from the union. A state sovereignty zealot, Medina reminded those at a rally that “the tree of freedom is occasionally watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots.”

In the heyday of 1960s left-wing radicalism, no liberal Democratic politicians in Washington could be found endorsing groups preaching violent revolution. The right has a different history. In the months before McVeigh’s mass murder, Helen Chenoweth and Steve Stockman, then representing Idaho and Texas in Congress, publicly empathized with the conspiracy theories of the far right that fueled his anti-government obsessions.

In his Times article on the Tea Party right, Barstow profiled Pam Stout, a once apolitical Idaho retiree who cast her lot with a Tea Party group allied with Beck’s 9/12 Project, the Birch Society and the Oath Keepers, a rising militia group of veterans and former law enforcement officers who champion disregarding laws they oppose. She frets that “another civil war” may be in the offing. “I don’t see us being the ones to start it,” she told Barstow, “but I would give up my life for my country.”

Whether consciously or coincidentally, Stout was echoing Palin’s memorable final declaration during her appearance at the National Tea Party Convention earlier this month: “I will live, I will die for the people of America, whatever I can do to help.” It’s enough to make you wonder who is palling around with terrorists now.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Battle on March 01, 2010, 04:39:02 pm
Tanksleyd, I looked at your link.  The article from the Wall Street Journal that I posted (way above) agreed that Joe Stack's attack fits the literal definition of "terrorism."  Just not of organized terrorism.

However, efforts to draw parallels to the Ft. Hood shooting are misplaced.  Majar Hasan long adhered to an internationally active terrorist ideology and was in communication with active leaders of that movement.  In contrast, it appears the Joe Stack adhered to no coherent ideology (judging by his rambling incoherent "manifesto") and was in contact with no one. The only way in which the two cases might be compared is that maybe (maybe) Hasan also "snapped" (Stack, it appears, clearly did).  Here is some info on Hasan, for those who are interested:

Major Nidal Malik Hasan: [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nidal_Malik_Hasan[/url]



Y'know, Mike... 
It is very amusing watching you defend the indefensible! ;D  That's what lawyers are trained to do, eh?

It is almost as equally enjoyable as watching President Obama tell your former presidential candidate two years after the fact, at a convened (and much delayed) Health Care summit, in front of all his political peers,

"John, the election is over.  The campaign is over..." ;D

...but really, the whole ruckus in this thread really is about the fall of 2008.  I don't think it would have been fair for the republican party to have another republican president in office. No one does...
---except the republican conservative kooks! :D

Do you know that had Senator McCain became president in that election cycle, the republican conservative political machine would have enslaved everyone who is not like them?

They would've had a permanent presence in the judicial branch with one more supreme justice pick...
They would've filled the legislative branch with 60 fresh, new senators...
and the republican-in-chief would be sitting behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office right now if it wasn't for that 'mean ol' Barack Hussein Obama'.  Y'know, the black guy with the funny name your kind keeps calling names?  (socialist! muslim! etc...)


No one within earshot of this website would have no rights whatsoever!  That's what these tea party types are enraged at...   they missed their shot at jim crow part 2!
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 02, 2010, 07:27:41 am
Battle, thank you for reminding us of the President's mean-spirited remark directed against John McCain, in response to McCain's daring to express his point of view at the health care meeting.

Reginald, I’m not sure if your posting of opinion pieces reflecting the views of folks who agree with you (wholly or partially, I’m not sure) are meant to be a response to my posts (in which I express my views and ask for your comment).  It is a bit unclear. Of course one can find advocates in the Media, on the Left and the Right, who will most likely parrot any point of view (whether or not well founded, and whether or not based on all the facts).  I think citing articles is valuable, I really do, but I think personal dialogue in conjunction with that is valuable as well. Because much of what is in the Frank Rich's article is just a repeat of matters we've already discussed.

Though, honestly, the tenor of some of the articles I’ve seen from Left-of-Center editorialists and bloggers give me the creeps. These extreme efforts to demonize those who would dare challenge the Administration, who would dare challenge the idea that the Central Government should dominate our lives, that we as Americans should never dare to advocate that our Republic, as envisioned, was founded on Individual Liberty, not Government Dictate, are downright scary

Because the attitudes reflected in these articles represent the antithesis of what the American Revolution, and the founding of the United States of America, was all about.  See the debates in the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers, for example (none of which envisioned the dominating central government that exists today ... indeed, the Federalists went out of their way to assure everyone that what in fact happened would NOT happen).

In connection with the rather strident opinion piece in the New York Times authored by Frank Rich that you posted above, I think it is first worth noting that the woman active the Tea Party Movement, Keli Carender, profiled in the New York Times article posted by Tanksleyd (above), certainly does not resemble the demonic caricature painted by Frank Rich.  For good reason. The author, Kate Zernike, of the news article about Keri Carender for the New York Times, apparently actually felt that a news story should be objective, and thus as a newspaper reporter (rare these days?) she did not reveal an ideological axe to grind and actually made some effort to be objective:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/28/us/politics/28keli.html?hp

Ms. Carender, discussed in the article, is a woman after my own heart.

Now, on to the article you quoted.  Needless to say, I’m not going to respond to every doggone sentence, but I’ll respond to things that got my goat or amused me.  But before I do, I again want to repeat ... as I have several times already ... that to the extent there are any organizations or individuals who are participating in the “Tea Party” Movement who advocate violence against the United States Government or against American Citizens, those organizations MUST been closely scrutinized and we must be vigilant to make sure that they don’t make good on such goals.  However, closely monitoring them should not in any way be used as a pretense to excuse, and not monitor, those who with international terrorist connections to radical Islamic organizations pose a serious threat (and probably a far more serious threat, though I understand you might wish to debate that point).

Reginald, for goodness sake.  Vernon Hunter, murdered in Austin, was the dedicated public servant.  I sent money to his family [not dictated by Socialist-Wealth-Transferring Government Fiat, but rather because I thought it was the right thing to do], in trust for the benefit of Vernon’s grandchildren, along with a letter expressing my condolences and my feeling that Vernon was a true American (as he was).  This should not be an issue of partisan politics.


The Axis of the Obsessed and Deranged
 By FRANK RICH

Published: February 27, 2010

No one knows what history will make of the present — least of all journalists, who can at best write history’s sloppy first draft. But if I were to place an incautious bet on which political event will prove the most significant of February 2010, I wouldn’t choose the kabuki health care summit that generated all the ink and 24/7 cable chatter in Washington. I’d put my money instead on the murder-suicide of Andrew Joseph Stack III, the tax protester who flew a plane into an office building housing Internal Revenue Service employees in Austin, Tex., on Feb. 18. It was a flare with the dark afterlife of an omen.

What made that kamikaze mission eventful was less the deranged act itself than the curious reaction of politicians on the right who gave it a pass — or, worse, flirted with condoning it. 


Cut the bullsh*t, Mr. Rich.  No elected officials gave it a pass, and nobody condoned it.  Indeed, even respectable non-politicians who are active in the Conservative Movement made every effort to make clear that they did not condone this act of violence.


Stack was a lone madman, and it would be both glib and inaccurate to call him a card-carrying Tea Partier or a “Tea Party terrorist.” But he did leave behind a manifesto whose frothing anti-government, anti-tax rage overlaps with some of those marching under the Tea Party banner.


What a crock is this?  Mr. Rich is obviously dying to blame the “Tea Party Movement” for Stack’s attack, but lacking any evidence whatsoever, descends to innuendo.  However, clever journalist that he is, he inserted the mandatory line denying that he is doing exactly what he is clearly doing.

Frank Rich reveals his bias in the above passages.  “Flirted with” condoning the Stack attack?  That is a partisan way to say, “I don’t have any evidence that they condoned it” so I’ll say that they “flirted with it” instead.  Elected Republicans did not support Stack’s attack any more than Elected Democrats in the 1960’s supported terrorist bombings in protest of the Vietnam War (see my comments below).

Actually, Stack’s “manifesto” was an expression of insanity. It bashed Capitalism and Republicans. It bashed Bush (for goodness sake, a sentiment shared with many on the Left).

Of course, anything can overlap with anything. The rantings of the deranged Mr. Stack also “overlap” with the rantings of Leftists. But, for some odd reason, Mr. Rich, the liberal/leftist editorialist for the New York Times, didn’t think this worthy of mention.

That rant inspired like-minded Americans to create instant Facebook shrines to his martyrdom.


Screw them (to the extent they exist – Mr. Rich did not provide any citations – and a lotta folk on the Right are wary of Stack, given what he “published” in his manifesto). 

As I said, a calculated way to condemn all those who express a Conservative point of view is to find some isolated A-Hole on the Internet who advocates some lunatic point of view.  Of course, Mr. Rich could have done the same with lunatics on the Left, and the crazy things they advocate, but ... for some odd reason ... he chose not to.

Soon enough, some cowed politicians, including the newly minted Tea Party hero Scott Brown, were publicly empathizing with Stack’s credo — rather than risk crossing the most unforgiving brigade in their base.


Again, this is bullsh*t.  I already addressed this in my posts above, in which I provided an article that quoted what Scott Brown really said. That he hoped Stack's act would be not attributed to people who hold Conservative views.

Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, even rationalized Stack’s crime. “It’s sad the incident in Texas happened,” he said, “but by the same token, it’s an agency that is unnecessary. And when the day comes when that is over and we abolish the I.R.S., it’s going to be a happy day for America.” No one in King’s caucus condemned these remarks. Then again, what King euphemized as “the incident” took out just 1 of the 200 workers in the Austin building: Vernon Hunter, a 68-year-old Vietnam veteran nearing his I.R.S. retirement. Had Stack the devastating weaponry and timing to match the death toll of 168 inflicted by Timothy McVeigh on a federal building in Oklahoma in 1995, maybe a few of the congressman’s peers would have cried foul.


I already addressed King’s response (prior post above). OK, OK, now all Conservatives, or at least all “Tea Party Activists” are smeared with the memory of the Oklahoma City bombing?  All Conservatives in the Congress are wimps? No member of Congress may dare advocate that the Internal Revenue Code be abolished, to be replaced with a National Sales Tax, without being tainted with the Austin bombing and now even the Oklahoma City Bombing?  Funny thing is that tax theorists talk about these things (as well as a value-added tax and other proposals) all the time. But now, according to Mr. Rich, nobody in Congress can express the point of view that they are concerned about excessive (or potentially excessive) taxation, which is SURE to happen (given the magnitude of “mandatory” “non-discretionary” entitlement programs).  For goodness sake, even the former head of the Congressional Budget Office honestly states that this is a bona fide concern, looking into the future.  Anyone who knows anything about the federal deficit has to admit that either (1) taxes must be dramatically increased in the future or (2) federal expenditures must be dramatically cut in the future.

Anyone, anyone, with an ounce of objectivity, will see that the author of this article, Frank Rich, has an ideological axe to grind.

Equally significant is Barstow’s finding that most Tea Party groups have no affiliation with the G.O.P.


This clearly contradicts an allegation made by you, Reginald, in your posts above.

Equally significant is Barstow’s finding that most Tea Party groups have no affiliation with the G.O.P. despite the party’s ham-handed efforts to co-opt them. The more we learn about the Tea Partiers, the more we can see why. They loathe John McCain and the free-spending, TARP-tainted presidency of George W. Bush. They really do hate all of Washington, and if they hate Obama more than the Republican establishment, it’s only by a hair or two. (Were Obama not earning extra demerits in some circles for his race, it might be a dead heat.)


That there are some racists involved in the Tea Party Movement no one can deny.  Just as, on the Left, there are vicious bigots involved in that movement (and there are, even if some wish to deny it).  But the main point of this quote is that the Tea Party Folk are opposed to Big Government, whether it be facilitated by Republicans or Democrats.  Sadly, the last Republican President that we had who actively advocated the doctrine of Small Government was Ronald Reagan, and he was more successful in his rhetoric than in his deeds, though fault can’t be placed entirely on his doorstep.  Once the beast of Big Government is unleashed, it is virtually impossible to place it back in its cage.  Put another way, it is virtually impossible to change the course of the Titanic, no matter one’s best intentions.

The Tea Partiers want to eliminate most government agencies, starting with the Fed and the I.R.S., and end spending on entitlement programs. They are not to be confused with the Party of No holding forth in Washington — a party that, after all, is now positioning itself as a defender of Medicare spending. What we are talking about here is the Party of No Government at All.


My stars and garters! End spending on entitlement programs! No Government at all?!!! :o  Hahaha. Mr. Rich seems to think that Libertarians have horns growing out of the sides of their heads.  When I read this passage, I really laughed out loud.  [Of course, regarding Mr. Rich’s “objective” reference to the Republican Party is the “Party of No” ... I’m sorry guys, but this is so retarded].  And most Tea Party Activists, as far as I am aware, do not advocate the abolition of the Federal Government.  The Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines, these are legitimate programs of the Federal Government, and only the most extreme Libertarians would deny this.  I believe that most Tea Party Activists do not take Libertarian philosophy to an extreme.  But as a general principle, that Government should leave the individual alone, this is a sentiment that they, and I, wholly agree with.

The article then goes on, attacking Conservative TV figures such as Glen Beck.  I don’t have a lot to say about Beck, as I don’t have cable TV.   Mr. Rich also makes reference to those psychos who blame the Islamist 9/11 attacks (on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon) on the U.S. Government.  Well, believe it or not, I used to be active in Human Rights Circles surrounding Afghanistan (because of my interest in Women’s Rights), and I got to know a lotta Leftist Activists in that connection, and a whole lot of that 9/11 conspiracy theory bullcrap was, at that time, coming from these folks on the Left. They published garbage on the Internet blaming Bush for 9/11.

As to Ron Paul, he and his followers are idiots.  On that, I agree with the author of the article.  But it is unfair to taint the Tea Party Movement with them.  See the article posted by Tanksleyd to substantiate my point that the Tea Party Movement is not the Ron Paul Movement.

In the heyday of 1960s left-wing radicalism, no liberal Democratic politicians in Washington could be found endorsing groups preaching violent revolution.


I laughed when I read this as well.  Most of the Forum members, and probably most reading Mr. Rich’s opinion piece, are too young to remember that it was Democrats ... JFK and LBG ... to got us into Vietnam.  Not only did most Liberal Democrats of the Era not support those who advocated “violent revolution” ... most of those Democrats did not support those “Progressives” who advocated immediate withdrawal from Vietnam and condemnation of the United States of America in the “court world opinion” as a purveyor of war crimes.  Mr. Rich fails to mention that many of those “Progressive” activists later became leaders of the Democratic Party (including the Democratic Party’s nominee prior to Barack Obama, John Kerry).  The mind-set of all these folks is F-The United States of America, that America is always to blame, etc etc etc.  And of course there were folks on the Progressive Left who sympathized with the feelings the anti-war bombers (like Bill Ayers) but who did not condone their violent methods.

Nevermind the fact that most “Liberal Democrats” of the mid-1960s would today (in terms of their world view) be moderate Republicans.  Most Democrats of that Era were not Communist sympathizers.  Most were not advocates of Socialism.

The article does a few more things -- it (of course) bashes Sarah Palin, bashes a famous quote by Thomas Jefferson (regarding the Tree of Liberty), and provides silly anecdotal stories, etc.  Which is the best Mr. Rich can do, since, despite his obvious desire, he cannot attribute Joe Stack’s attack on the Austin IRS Building to the Tea Party Protesters.

This is NOT objective journalism.  This is not even an attempt at an objective analysis.  This article borders on hate mongering.  To demonize all those whom the Liberal Left disagrees with.  To set the stage for ... what? 

“Rounding them all up” ...?  :P

Also, one must wonder ... to what extent these folks on the Left are determined to distract the American People from the threat of terrorism that faces us from united and determined international forces.  The sentiment to minimize Major Hasan’s attack at Ft. Hood is an example of this.  The lame attempts to equate Hasan and Stack are an example of this.

While extreme Right-Wing lunatics need to be monitored, as they always have, the real threat of significant terrorism comes from radical Islamists, supported by Regimes who have the financial, technological and military means to support them.

As Rich says, “No one knows what history will make of the present.”  Despite Mr. Rich’s polemics, decades from now, it is far more likely that people will look back (if we are so lucky) and say that this was the time that the American People could have done something, but did nothing, to stop the real threat, because they were too busy pointing fingers at one another.

Anyway, Reginald, I think we all know where we stand, and I really can't imagine much more can be accomplished here.  I admit, this thread is looking more and more like the cartoon that Curtis posted.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Battle on March 02, 2010, 07:47:08 am
Battle, thank you for reminding us of the President's mean-spirited remark directed against John McCain, in response to McCain's daring to express his point of view at the health care meeting.


Mean-spirited?  No more mean-spirited as the things I've been hearing from FOX radio in the last 2 years and the interesting thing is this...  that kind of tone from that  radio station did not exist until Senator Obama entered the presidential primaries.

Your tone is nearly identical to what I've been hearing on that radio station so your remarks on this forum is simply anticipated and predictable.

The silver-haired senator was  expressing the concerns of his constituents and the president merely replied in kind.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 02, 2010, 07:25:33 pm
I have no objection to people fully quoting things their political opponents say, in context, if they object.  That is a part of fair discourse.  What I do find objectionable is when people take partial quotes out of context, or no quote at all (instead just making accusations up).  This is what Rich's article was almost entirely comprised of.  What is doubly disturbing is that after the falsity of the accusations are demonstrated, by providing the full quotes and the full context, some people still insist on repeating the lies.  As if repeating a lie over and over makes it true.

And when all else fails, dismiss the person providing you with any inconvenient facts (and with that, dismiss the facts as well).  Because really, all this agenda-driven stuff has nothing to do with truth or falsehood.

That is why trying to discuss such matters is usually pointless.

Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on March 02, 2010, 07:40:32 pm
Michael, I use the articles partly because I haven't had time to do the personal response I want to do, and partly because there's some stuff in there that I agree with.  I appreciate you taking it all seriously, whether or not we agree.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 03, 2010, 07:07:44 am
I understand fully about the not having a lot of free time.  It is time consuming, this stuff.  Fun, interesting, even enlightening, but time consuming.  I appreciate your comment.  Though I do wonder, at the end of the day, really what I intend to accomplish, haha. ::) Not much, really, but when I see an article like Rich's it just riles me up, and I can't let the distortions and innuendos go unanswered.  ;)

But that said, I can't help but share this highly amusing tidbit ...

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) is now a behind-the-scenes Tea Party Activist?!!! The Nevada Tea Party. ;D

STOP! THIEF! ID Theft:Stealing the ID of the Tea Party Movement in Nevada
http://smartgirlpolitics.ning.com/profiles/blogs/stop-thief-id-theftstealing?xg_source=shorten_twitter

Is the Nevada Tea Party and its newly minted third-party status for real?

Critics say the party, which already has a candidate for Senate, doesn't have any connection to the state's "tea party" movement and looks like an attempt to draw votes from Republicans, thereby aiding embattled Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in his re-election bid.
...
The Tea Party of Nevada isn't easy to reach. The party didn't issue a press release at its launch and appears to have no Web site. The sole phone number listed in its filing is for Las Vegas lawyer Barry Levinson, named as the party's secretary, but a receptionist at his office said, "He's not making any comments at this time."
...
The Reid campaign did not return a phone call from a reporter.
...
Critics note that Mr. Levinson, known for defending oft-arrested porn star John Wayne Bobbitt, doesn't fit the profile of a typical tea partier. He was an Obama supporter during the 2008 election and affiliated with the "Bush lied, people died" protest ...
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on March 03, 2010, 10:09:03 am
Any thoughts on the Keith Olberman commentary that is on the Home page of the Hudlin Entertainment site (http://hudlinentertainment.com)?

I liked it.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Catch22 on March 03, 2010, 10:48:39 am
Any thoughts on the Keith Olberman commentary that is on the Home page of the Hudlin Entertainment site ([url]http://hudlinentertainment.com[/url])?

I liked it.


I liked it, too.  I said virtually the same thing earlier in this thread.  I've looked at Tea Party websites and Googled "Tea Party Pictures" and I have yet to see a black face in the crowd.  On one site there were over 200 pictures and I couldn't make out a single black face.  Maybe there was a mulatto or someone passing in the crowd, so I could be mistaken.  With the make up of the crowds, even though many of these people may mean well, it comes off as a lynch mob.  I don't know one black person that sees this stuff and doesn't draw a racial conclusion from it.  How could you not?   I'm sure now that it's been made and issue, they'll find 2 or 3 black folks to trot out in front of the masses for a cheap pop. 
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: BmoreAkuma on March 03, 2010, 10:52:00 am
Any thoughts on the Keith Olberman commentary that is on the Home page of the Hudlin Entertainment site ([url]http://hudlinentertainment.com[/url])?

I liked it.
could you provide a sum? Im at work but ill check it out when i go home
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: JLI Jesse on March 03, 2010, 01:53:30 pm
Olberman commentary  (http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/clips/countdown-with-keith-olbermann/805561/)
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Battle on March 03, 2010, 02:47:12 pm
Thanks Mr. Olberman!

I had heard the sound clip "Where are the Black faces, where are the Latino faces, Native American, etc..."   on the Michael Baisden Radio Show but I never heard the commentary in its entirety.

One of the reasons I am concerned about the tea party movement is that the anger and dissatisfaction these people display will eventually effect everyone else on a personal level: at work, on the street, in public places, even in casual conversation, etc.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: MKG on March 04, 2010, 04:02:07 pm
He should of brought down that Statue of Lieity!
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 05, 2010, 06:41:47 am
Curtis, you ask for my reaction?  Hahaha, you already know my reaction. We’ve discussed this theme already. The fact that Barack Obama is the most left-wing President our country has ever seen is of absolutely no relevance in Mr. Olbermann’s mind.  That people are fearful of what Obama’s policies will do to us as a country, both in terms of long-term economic damage and economic burden on hard working Americans, is not on Mr. Olbermann's radar.  That people disagree with Obama on key social/moral issues is unimportant to Mr. Olbermann. That Obama is not vigorously confronting the foreign threats we face, while downplaying terrorism here at home, is cause for alarm, but not for Mr. Olbermann.

Instead, Olbermann attributes all criticism of President Obama to one thing: Racism.

The primary piece of evidence Keith Olbermann cites for what he is portraying as the racism that pervades the Tea Party Movement, and really of all white critics of President Obama, is the fact that Olbermann has seen few non-whites, and specifically, few blacks, at Tea Party rallies.

So ... let’s start with a question I would like to address to Mr. Olbermann:

Now let’s see, Mr. Olbermann. Would one expect to observe a sea of black faces at anti-Obama “Tea Party” rallies? I don’t think so. Do the math. African-Americans on last count comprised around 12.4% of the population (or 13% of the electorate in the last election).  So were the Tea Party rallies to reflect the same racial demographic of the United States as a whole, one would expect around 13% of those in attendance to be black. However, fully 96% of black voters supported Obama in the last election (with only 4% opposed to Obama). Based on the fact that African-Americans are already a fraction of the population, and among them the anti-Obama percentage is trivial, it comes as no surprise that we see fewer black faces at the Tea Party rallies. 

But on some Media outlets, we see absolutely none, ever (when there are some). I wonder why that is? I addressed the issue raised in Olbermann’s rant (though not prompted by that rant) in our discussion regarding the controversial Captain America “Tea Party” comic book.  It is apropos here:

As to not seeing black faces in Tea Party pictures broadcast by the Media ... what networks do you regularly watch? I spoke to one fellow who is active in these protests (I've never been to one) and he told me that the major media outlets turn their cameras away or shut them off whenever they see a "non-white" person. While one might be suspicious of this charge, we know it is true because MSNBC was caught doing so, some time ago. Remember their strident coverage of the protester carrying a rifle (or some such weapon), with close ups of the guy's combat fatigues, gloved hand, and firearm?  Later MSNBC’s skewed coverage was outed (perhaps by Fox News), by showing a full video of the man – which revealed that he is black. MSNBC had intentionally cut their footage, using only the close up, to hide the race of the "dangerous anti-Obama protester" (as they were characterizing him). So we know, as a matter of fact, that this does happen, when the message the Media wishes to purvey doesn't match the images they videotape.

This is particularly true of Olbermann’s MSNBC. 

In any event, while this does evidence Media Bias, it does not in any way establish that those attending the Tea Party rallies are racists. All it proves is that the overwhelming majority of African-Americans support Obama or at least are not sufficiently disturbed by his policies to attend an anti-Obama Tea Party rally (for a variety of reasons, but with the President’s race playing a role for some). 

In this regard, Olbermann’s 1940’s segregated professional baseball analogy is ludicrous; of course black professional ballplayers would have preferred to play in the Major Leagues. In contrast, as I have demonstrated above, only a miniscule percentage of African-Americans would have any interest in attending a Tea Party rally (after all, even most white Conservatives don’t attend these rallies, whether or not they sympathize with the Movement). In the Black Community, there may even be some peer pressure not to attend such rallies, enough to dissuade some who might otherwise be inclined to go, for fear of being demeaned and socially ostracized. Those African-Americans who do attend are, to the best of my knowledge, wholly welcomed with open arms. (Not exactly the reception they would get at a KKK rally). 

In proof of this point, see this response to Mr. Olbermann prepared by some of his so-called Tea Party "Racists" -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcsnWLLdl70&feature=player_embedded

The overwhelming black support for Obama has no bearing on the right, indeed the obligation, of Americans (including black Americans) who disagree with the President’s policies to strongly express their political views. Yet Olbermann uses this as a weapon. Olbermann’s reliance on his mighty Media sword, emblazoned with the word “Racist,” to intimidate those who dare to disagree with the destructive left-leaning policies of our President, will fail.

Not that I expect Olbermann to stop his distortive rants and demonizing. Vicious name calling has become a common political tactic, on both the Left and the Right, and I don’t expect it to end anytime soon. Certainly not in Olbermann’s case, as it is one of his specialties (and is nothing new, as reflected in the funny SNL skit mocking Olbermann a few years ago, posted above).  Because, again, fact and logic have nothing to do with what is driving the man. He is a left-wing partisan zealot, plain and simple.

Good night and good luck.*

*Olbermann’s sign off line, identical to that used by Edward R. Murrow, makes me roll my eyes every time I hear it; the absurd ego of it.

Anatomy of the "Racist" Charge—or, How to Turn a Setback into a Disaster
Victor Davis Hanson
The Corner – National Review Online
Thursday, September 17, 2009

It is strange to see Democrats and their supporters persist in their efforts — indeed, even intensify them — to equate Obama's failing legislative initiatives, his dive in the polls, and the rise of protests against him with racism. Polls reveal that it is not just a losing tactic, but an enormously self-destructive one for Democrats.

To make the argument, they would have to prove three points. And so far they have not even come close:

1) Uniquely vicious?

Is the anger against Obama different from what we have seen leveled against presidents in the past? Americans not only know that this is not true, but that some who now charge unfair play were themselves well beyond the bounds of decorum in their own attacks. In the Bush years, "hate" was a favorite word of liberal critics, from both officials (cf. Howard Dean) and mainstream publications (cf. The New Republic). "Assassination" was the rage among liberal culture (cf. Alfred Knopf, the Toronto film festival, the Guardian). "Liar," "Nazi," and "brownshirt" were casual slurs from high-profile Democrats (cf. Gore, John Glenn, Robert Byrd, Harry Reid, Pete Stark, etc.). True, shouting "you lie" is more serious than booing the President (cf. 2005), but whereas Rep. Joe Wilson has apologized, none of the booers at Bush's State of the Union address, I think, felt that "I'm sorry" was ever necessary. (Questioning Barack Obama's birth certificate is infantile, even unhinged, but not de facto racially motivated — perhaps analogous to something like Andrew Sullivan persisting in spreading rumors [complete with purported photographs] that Sarah Palin did not deliver her last child and engaged in an elaborate cover-up of a faked pregnancy and delivery to hide her daughter's own stealth unwed pregnancy.)

2) Is Obama the only minority high-profile figure to have earned real anger?

No. Clarence Thomas had his character destroyed for partisan purposes, and liberals were enraged when he attributed it to a "high-tech lynching." Alberto Gonzalez was reduced to a caricature of an affirmative-action beneficiary. Former HHS Secretary Louis Wade Sullivan's race was explicitly cited by Representative Stark in a particularly nasty attack. When Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was caricatured in state-run Palestinian newspaper cartoons as a pregnant monkey, few on the left rushed to denounce such virulent racism. The sad truth is that if a Pres. Condi Rice or Pres. Colin Powell were now in the midst of pushing a controversial conservative agenda (e.g., a federal ban on abortions, cuts in federal spending, keeping open Guantanamo, etc.), the liberal press would be as aggressively hostile as conservatives are today against the Obama plans. The only difference would be that all in the liberal camp would be furious over suggestions of racial motivations to their own anger over conservative African-Americans pushing controversial policy. This is self-evident.

3) Do more prominent politicians on the Right engage in racially charged invective, or rather on the Left?

There have been some lunatic local and minor right-wing state officials who have engaged in racist charges. But so far the most prominent violators of our common norms of decency have been on the left, and indeed those in high positions of executive or elected authority.

Van Jones was a White House adviser — one long ago sought out and watched, according to Obama insider Valerie Jarrett. So someone must have known that in racist fashion he had suggested that whites pollute minority neighborhoods and are more prone to commit mass murders in the schools. Top-ranking officials like Rep. Charles Rangel and Gov. David Paterson of New York have accused whites of racism in lieu of honest self-examination of their own failing careers.

There was no need for Eric Holder to accuse the country of cowardice for failing to talk about race on his terms, nor for the president himself to weigh in on a local police matter as judge and jury — to condemn police in general as profilers and those in Cambridge in particular as acting "stupidly." This was especially unfortunate given the president's own racialist gaffes in the campaign, whether his persistent confusion over the morality of the racist Rev. Wright, his incendiary dismissal of Pennsylvania voters in thinly disguised, culturally biased, if not racist terms, and his flippant reference to the grandmother who raised him as a "typical white person."

The fact is that both health care and cap-and-trade simply are not going to make it into law in anything like their proposed forms, due largely to real fright on the part of moderate Democrats who fear losses in 2010, given the abandonment of these issues by moderates and independents.

The false charge of racism won't change that reality, but it may well, if pursued, turn legislative defeats into political catastrophes for a generation. How strange that with large majorities in the House and Senate, with a president who just months ago enjoyed 70 percent approval ratings, and with a compliant and influential press, the Democratic party cannot pass its own legislation and instead is detouring to label most middle-class voters of all beliefs "racists." It is as if a group of political advisers got together and brainstormed how in theory to ruin the best liberal landscape in generations.

Olbermann Says Tea Parties Are Racist for Lack of 'Black Faces'
Without making it clear that he has actually attended a tea party protest, 'Countdown' host declares 'Tea Klux Klan' bigoted.

http://www.businessandmedia.org/articles/2010/20100216095241.aspx

By Jeff Poor
Business & Media Institute
2/16/2010 9:56:19 AM

You may or may not know it, but if you participated in one of the tea party rallies held nationwide over the last year, you’re a bigot. Why? A black man is president and any criticism of him must be rooted in racism, even though you as lawful protestor might not realize it.

It’s not a new charge [ http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YzMwMDkzY2EwYTcwYjJmZGFmODhlZWNhOGE5YjVjNmY= ], but MSNBC “Countdown” host Keith Olbermann doesn't mind repeating it. He made it the centerpiece of a long-winded attack on the tea party movement during the number one story of his Feb. 15 broadcast. Olbermann took his first shot by using anecdotal evidence – misguided comments from one individual [ http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/80005-tancredo-tells-tea-partiers-literacy-test-would-have-stopped-obama ]  at a single event and applied them to the entire movement.

“It has become fashionable, sometimes psychologically necessary that when some of us express it, we have to put it in code or dress it up or provide a rationalization to ourselves for it,” Olbermann said. “That this has nothing to do with race or prejudice, the man’s a socialist and he’s bent on destroying the country and he was only elected by people who can’t speak English. Or was it he was only elected by guilty whites?”

Although many have articulated why the tea party movement is important [ http://blog.heritage.org/2009/04/14/tea-party-101-prepare-for-tax-day/ ] and have expressed concerns over the direction the federal government is pushing the country what it means for the future, Olbermann asserted that since nothing significant has changed in people’s lives to date, the outcry is without merit.

“The rationalizations of the racist are too many and too contradictory for the rest of us to keep them straight,” Olbermann continued. “The whole of the anger at government movement is predicated on this. Times are tough. The future is confusing. The threat from those who would dismantle our way of life is real, as if we weren’t, to some extent, doing it for them now. And the president is black, but you can’t come out and say that’s why you’re scared. Say that and in all but the lifeless fringes of our society, you are an outcast. So this is where the euphemisms come in. Your taxes haven’t gone up. The budget deficit is from the last administration’s adventurous war. Grandma is much more likely to be death paneled by your insurance company. And a socialist president would be the one who tried to buy as many voters as possible with stupid tax cuts.”

A couple of times during Olbermann’s rant, he reminded his viewers that he was a white man and that made him qualified to label the movement as racist and thus gave him justification to use “incendiary” language to describe any anti-Obama protest.

“But facts don’t matter when you’re looking for an excuse to say you hate this president, but not because he’s black,” Olbermann said. “Anything you can say out loud without your family and friends bursting into laughter at you will do. And this is where those Tea Parties come in. I know I’ve taken a lot of heat for emphasizing a particular phrase, which originated at a FreeRepublic.com rally a year ago this month, originated with a Tea Partier. And I know phrases like ‘Tea Klux Klan’ are incendiary and I know I use them in part because I’m angry.”

Olbermann’s racism charge is predicated on his assertion that there is a lack of diversity within these protests. And although this is one of the most serious charges one can level at an opponent, Olbermann didn’t make clear whether the assessment is based on personal experience attending a Tea Party rally, or if he is just relying on the scattered and one-sided footage MSNBC compiled.

“But at so late a date we still have to bat back that racial uneasiness which has to envelope us all. And I know if I could only listen to Lincoln on this of all days about the better angels of our nature, I would know what we’re seeing at the Tea Parties is, at its base, people that are afraid, terribly, painfully, crippling, blindingly afraid. But let me ask all of you who attend these things how many black faces do you see at these events? How many Hispanics, Asians, gays? Where are these people? Surely there must be blacks who think they’re being bled by taxation? Surely there must be Hispanics who think the government should have let the auto industry fail. Surely there must be people of all colors and creeds who believe in cultural literacy tests and speaking English. Where are they? Where are they? Do you suppose they agree with you, but they’ve just chosen to attend their own separate meetings, that they’re not at your Tea Party because they have a Tea Party of their own to go to?”

If you apply Olbermann’s standard and use scattered anecdotal evidence to level a serious charge like racism, you can legitimately claim that there are racists on the president’s side. Kenneth Gladney, a black man, was allegedly beat up at a town hall by SEIU members back in August, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch [ http://sweetness-light.com/archive/seiu-thugs-beat-up-town-hall-protester ] reported on Aug. 7.

“Kenneth Gladney, 38, a conservative activist from St. Louis, said he was attacked by some of those arrested as he handed out yellow flags with ‘Don’t tread on me’ printed on them,” the report said. “He spoke to the Post-Dispatch from the emergency room at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center, where he said he was awaiting treatment for injuries to his knee, back, elbow, shoulder and face.Gladney, who is black, said one of his attackers, also a black man, used a racial slur against him before the attack.” (emphasis in original article)

But such incidents are inconvenient for Olbermann, who concluded that Tea Party protesters are willing sheep that have failed to look at what they’re doing introspectively.

“Look at who is leading you and why, and look past the blustery self- justifications and see the fear, this unspoken, inchoate, unnecessary fear of those who are different,” Olbermann continued. “If you believe there is merit to your political argument, fine. But ask yourself when you next go to a Tea Party rally or watch one on television or listen to a politician or a commentator praise these things or merely treat them as if it was just a coincidence that they are virtually segregated, ask yourself, where are the black faces? Who am I marching with? What are we afraid of? And if it really is only a president’s policy and not his skin, ask yourself one final question. Why are you surrounded by the largest crowd you will ever again see in your life that consists of nothing but people who look exactly like you.”
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Francisco on March 05, 2010, 07:39:22 am
Is it me or Micheal's posts keep getting bigger and bigger with each visit I make to this thread?? :D
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 05, 2010, 05:18:23 pm
Is it me or Micheal's posts keep getting bigger and bigger with each visit I make to this thread?? :D

Haha, well, probably shorter than Olbermann's rant.  Also, don't read the articles at the end of the post if you don't have time.

I do suggest you open up the link to the video.  I rather liked the message at the end.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on March 05, 2010, 07:00:06 pm
Curtis, you ask for my reaction?  Hahaha, you already know my reaction. We’ve discussed this theme already. The fact that Barack Obama is the most left-wing President our country has ever seen is of absolutely no relevance in Mr. Olbermann’s mind. 
When you start your rant with an assertion like this, it's hard to take any of it seriously. To claim that your assessment is a "fact" is absurd on its face.

That people are fearful of what Obama’s policies will do to us as a country, both in terms of long-term economic damage and economic burden on hard working Americans, is not on Mr. Olbermann's radar.  That people disagree with Obama on key social/moral issues is unimportant to Mr. Olbermann. That Obama is not vigorously confronting the foreign threats we face, while downplaying terrorism here at home, is cause for alarm, but not for Mr. Olbermann.

Instead, Olbermann attributes all criticism of President Obama to one thing: Racism.
No, he merely points out that racism is surely a component. You, on the other hand, would apparently have us believe that racism is completely absent from the entire Tea Party movement.

But, you know what, never mind. You seem more interested in wrestling Mr. Olberman to the ground instead of assessing honestly what might be accurate.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 07, 2010, 07:30:51 am
Curtis, you ask for my reaction?  Hahaha, you already know my reaction. We’ve discussed this theme already. The fact that Barack Obama is the most left-wing President our country has ever seen is of absolutely no relevance in Mr. Olbermann’s mind. 
When you start your rant with an assertion like this, it's hard to take any of it seriously. To claim that your assessment is a "fact" is absurd on its face.

Not at all. The concerns people have regarding the President's policies and goals are legitimate, and the disagreements very substantive.

Which President was more left-wing, in your view?  (This is not to say that Obama may at times be forced to temper what he would like to do, because of political realities, but to deny his "Progressive" history, his past closest associates, some of his appointments and attempted appointments, his goals, etc ... to ignore all this is absurd).

What impresses me about many of the Tea Party Protesters is that they are principled. They don't refrain from pointing the finger at certain Republicans as well as Democrats, where Republicans have supported massive government expansion. They are not mere partisan hacks.

That people are fearful of what Obama’s policies will do to us as a country, both in terms of long-term economic damage and economic burden on hard working Americans, is not on Mr. Olbermann's radar.  That people disagree with Obama on key social/moral issues is unimportant to Mr. Olbermann. That Obama is not vigorously confronting the foreign threats we face, while downplaying terrorism here at home, is cause for alarm, but not for Mr. Olbermann.

Instead, Olbermann attributes all criticism of President Obama to one thing: Racism.
No, he merely points out that racism is surely a component. You, on the other hand, would apparently have us believe that racism is completely absent from the entire Tea Party movement.

But, you know what, never mind. You seem more interested in wrestling Mr. Olberman to the ground instead of assessing honestly what might be accurate.

Sheesh. You really can't stand people expressing points of view you disagree with. Your dismissive response and distortion of what I've said speaks for itself. :P 

Also seems, from past experience and here, that you really don't like people identifying the faulty arguments and flawed logic contained in the polemics of those whom you admire.  It is also amusing, how you repeatedly, here and in other posts, attempt to re-frame what other people say. You do so with Olbermann's rant. You do so with Reginald's posts. You do so with my posts. Instead of being satisfied to simply speak for yourself.

All I did above is demonstrate the absurdity of Olbermann's overreaching rant. 

I've never said there are no racists involved in the Tea Party Movement. Curtis, I assume you've read my posts on this thread (and on the Captain America "Tea Party" thread) and thus you know fully well that I have of course acknowledged that on the Right there are some racists. But Olbermann goes much much further than this in his rant, to smear all Tea Partiers and to essentially characterize as racist any outspoken critic of Obama ... if that person is white. This is absurd. It is a transparent tactic to try to delegitimize and intimidate and foster hatred against those who disagree with folks like you and Mr. Olbermann. As suggested above, this is likely to backfire. Because it is grossly unfair.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 07, 2010, 09:05:48 am
By the way, was Olbermann's rant discussed on another thread?

This discussion we are having now really doesn't belong here, on the "Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building" thread.  This is really a different topic.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on March 07, 2010, 12:13:11 pm
Curtis, you ask for my reaction?  Hahaha, you already know my reaction. We’ve discussed this theme already. The fact that Barack Obama is the most left-wing President our country has ever seen is of absolutely no relevance in Mr. Olbermann’s mind. 
When you start your rant with an assertion like this, it's hard to take any of it seriously. To claim that your assessment is a "fact" is absurd on its face.

Not at all. The concerns people have regarding the President's policies and goals are legitimate, and the disagreements very substantive.
Who said that all of the concerns are illegitimate? That doesn't mean there is no racial component in both the assessments people make of the administration and the manner in which they express their concerns. Frankly, that seems obvious to me. Why should this be different from anything else? I know you don't believe that there is a racial component to nearly everything in America but frankly, you couldn't be more wrong on that. IMHO, of course.
 
Which President was more left-wing, in your view?  (This is not to say that Obama may at times be forced to temper what he would like to do, because of political realities, but to deny his "Progressive" history, his past closest associates, some of his appointments and attempted appointments, his goals, etc ... to ignore all this is absurd).
Here's a radical idea: how about looking at his policies and accomplishments as President instead?
He strikes me as a centrist Democrat, not all that much different from Bill Clinton.

What impresses me about many of the Tea Party Protesters is that they are principled. They don't refrain from pointing the finger at certain Republicans as well as Democrats, where Republicans have supported massive government expansion. They are not mere partisan hacks.
Well, it's true that their orthodoxy doesn't correspond to current party lines. That's not quite the same thing as principled. It also doesn't mean their principles aren't nutty.

That people are fearful of what Obama’s policies will do to us as a country, both in terms of long-term economic damage and economic burden on hard working Americans, is not on Mr. Olbermann's radar.  That people disagree with Obama on key social/moral issues is unimportant to Mr. Olbermann. That Obama is not vigorously confronting the foreign threats we face, while downplaying terrorism here at home, is cause for alarm, but not for Mr. Olbermann.

Instead, Olbermann attributes all criticism of President Obama to one thing: Racism.
No, he merely points out that racism is surely a component. You, on the other hand, would apparently have us believe that racism is completely absent from the entire Tea Party movement.

But, you know what, never mind. You seem more interested in wrestling Mr. Olberman to the ground instead of assessing honestly what might be accurate.

Sheesh. You really can't stand people expressing points of view you disagree with. Your dismissive response and distortion of what I've said speaks for itself. :P 
Actually, I don't care at all about you expressing whatever. I just can't be bothered to take this one seriously. I believe that is my choice to make.

Also seems, from past experience and here, that you really don't like people identifying the faulty arguments and flawed logic contained in the polemics of those whom you admire.  It is also amusing, how you repeatedly, here and in other posts, attempt to re-frame what other people say. You do so with Olbermann's rant. You do so with Reginald's posts. You do so with my posts. Instead of being satisfied to simply speak for yourself.
You seem to be speaking of yourself here.
Part of the dialogue process is reaching a shared understanding. You sometimes seem to think that your assertions are objective. I know my perceptions are merely that and so I seek to understand others' perspectives while stating my own views. You seem to attribute other motivations to my posts which is purely speculative on your part. I humbly suggest you would do better to simply take what I say at face value.

All I did above is demonstrate the absurdity of Olbermann's overreaching rant. 

I've never said there are no racists involved in the Tea Party Movement. Curtis, I assume you've read my posts on this thread (and on the Captain America "Tea Party" thread) and thus you know fully well that I have of course acknowledged that on the Right there are some racists. But Olbermann goes much much further than this in his rant, to smear all Tea Partiers and to essentially characterize as racist any outspoken critic of Obama ... if that person is white. This is absurd. It is a transparent tactic to try to delegitimize and intimidate and foster hatred against those who disagree with folks like you and Mr. Olbermann. As suggested above, this is likely to backfire. Because it is grossly unfair.
Do you deny that the Tea Party movement seems to be pretty much all white? If it is, we can all decide how we feel about that but facts are facts. Either it is or it isn't.

If there is some hope for common ground here perhaps it is in the following:
Can we agree that there is a racial component present in the Tea Party movement? Not that it is solely or even primarily racially motivated. But a component. In other words, can we agree not to ignore the elephant in the room?
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 08, 2010, 06:56:21 am
Curtis, if you seriously think I cannot stand people expressing views contrary to my own, query: Why do I frequent the HEF?  Am I just a masochist? As a general rule I enjoy hearing different points of view. Except when I am confronted with an outright bigot, I'm pretty darned tolerant of folks on the Forum, even when we strongly disagree. That doesn't mean that I don't express my disagreement in strong terms. But at least when I do so, I try to explain why (usually in a pretty detailed fashion, time permitting).  

I don't see Obama as a moderate Democrat. To turn a blind eye to where a man is coming from (the so-called "Progressive" wing of the Party), to ignore his past closest associates, and to ignore the Socialist "share the wealth" sentiments he expressed to Joe the Plumber during the campaign, and to pretend that time commenced only with the November election, is not something I'm willing to do. It does not make sense to "re-frame" Obama as though he just hatched from an egg. His programs have not been moderate, in terms of the unprecedented growth of the deficit and the national debt, interference in the free market system on a number of fronts, and the massive expansion of government programs and the attempted creation of huge new ones. As Phase One. The controversies surrounding some of his appointments and attempted appointments have been revealing. As have his interactions with Leftists in Latin America vs. his treatment of those who would be our strongest allies. Then there is also his weakness in dealing with Iran. I see him as a "Progressive" (i.e. Leftist) Democrat who, due to political realities is forced to package what he is doing to try to make it palatable to the electorate and Members of Congress.

Do you deny that the Tea Party movement seems to be pretty much all white? If it is, we can all decide how we feel about that but facts are facts. Either it is or it isn't.


Do I deny? In even asking this question, it is clear that you did not really read what I posted, above. That is the frustrating thing here.

I would suggest, with regard judging those who participate in Tea Party Rallies, there is nothing to feel about the fact that a relatively small percentage of those participating in the rallies are black. It is not the fault of those opposed to President Obama's policies (on a number of very legitimate grounds) that the vast majority of African-Americans support Obama. The low black turnout at the rallies is not the fault of those who, for good reason, are opposed to Big Government.  

An objective indicator of racism or racial bias is the extent to which there is racial "inclusion" vs. "exclusion." Racial bias can be evaluated objectively by seeing to what extent ethnic minorities, including blacks, are welcome as supporters at Tea Party rallies, Tea Party participation in Town Hall meetings, and the like. My impression is that they are very welcome (as clearly evidenced in the video included in my post, above). This really shows that Olbermann's reference to Tea Partiers as the "Tea Klux Klan" is asinine.

I suppose a feeling one might be justified in feeling is sadness that black Americans who dare to express Conservative points of view are routinely stigmatized and demeaned, as though black Americans were not entitled to exercise their intellects and express their points of view like every other American (but rather must conform to some Leftist racial party line). In this regard, the degree of racism that Conservative blacks are forced to endure from the Left is astounding. As is the acceptance of it.  Don't get me wrong. I'm not claiming that if this racial stigmatizing were eliminated, that we would see a sea of black faces at Tea Party Rallies. But we might see more. To deny that this stigmatizing creates a "chilling effect" on free expression flies in the face of what we all have observed in the mistreatment of outspoken black Conservatives and even African-Americans (and members of other ethnic minorities) who have served the American People in Republican Administrations.

If there is some hope for common ground here perhaps it is in the following:
Can we agree that there is a racial component present in the Tea Party movement? Not that it is solely or even primarily racially motivated. But a component. In other words, can we agree not to ignore the elephant in the room?


A "movement" is comprised of individuals. Of course some "movements" embrace racist or bigoted ideologies (such as the antisemitism of Nazism and Radical Islam or the racism of the KKK and Skinheads), and to the extent persons join those movements, it is fair to infer that those persons are at least in part motivated by religious and racial bigotry.  However, the Tea Party Movement is not one of those movements.

The focus of the Tea Party Movement is for Individual Liberty, and against Big Government (addressing issues such as Socialized Medicine, Taxation, 2nd Amendment, and the like). While the Tea Partiers are not all rigid ideological Libertarians, there is a strong libertarian streak surrounding the issues the movement focuses on. That as a nation we should embrace respect for the rights to life, liberty and property. To vest power in the Individual, not in the central Authority.

I've acknowledged that for some who participate in this movement, the mere fact that President Obama is black may constitute a "racial component" in those persons' minds (just as some people on the Left form expectations and demands based on race, and then react to individuals based on their race).  For many others who participate in the Tea Party Movement, the race of the President is wholly irrelevant. For them, this is an ideological struggle, surrounding the proper role of Government and the degree of independence that should be accorded the Individual. Evidenced by the fact that the Tea Party movement is critical not only of Obama, but also of white Democrats and Republicans who have fostered the unfettered growth of Government and Government Control. Of course this is a grassroots movement, so there is no single platform or candidate to point to. But this is how I see it.  

Curtis, you claim that on the forum you do not wish to read people's minds.  Yet this is exactly what Keith Olbermann was doing in his rant. In the most disparaging way imaginable (and, in his condemnation, he did go way beyond the Tea Party Movement, to smear all outspoken Conservative critics of the Administration).  

To summarize, the Tea Party Movement, in terms of the broad principles it stands for, is not based on race or racism or bigotry. As evidenced by the fact that all persons, of all ethnic and religious backgrounds, are welcomed (and cheered - see the video).  Now, as to what might be motivating any individual participant in the movement, neither you nor I can read each person's mind.  Only Keith Olbermann claims to enjoy this incredible psychic power.

For individuals who express bigoted sentiments, whether they are involved in the Tea Party Movement, the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, the Right, the Left ... that of course is another matter entirely.

I understand you see things differently than I do.  I won't, however, speak for you. I think, in expressing unfettered support for Olbermann's rant, without acknowledging any flaws in his arguments or his logic (discussed in my prior post), you've pretty much let me know where you stand on the issue.

By the way, I really did like the racial message of the video I posted, above, produced by folks active in the Tea Party Movement. Didn't you? (You may argue it is not representative, that it is propaganda, and so forth, but ... on its face it does contain a very decent message):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcsnWLLdl70&feature=player_embedded
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on March 08, 2010, 08:20:39 am
Curtis, if you seriously think I cannot stand people expressing views contrary to my own, query: Why do I frequent the HEF? 
You know, Mike, I don't think that of you. I can't imagine why you accuse me of the same.

I don't see Obama is a moderate Democrat. To turn a blind eye to where a man is coming from (the so-called "Progressive" wing of the Party), to ignore his past closest associates, and to ignore the Socialist "share the wealth" sentiments he expressed to Joe the Plumber during the campaign, and to pretend that time commenced only with the November election, is not something I'm willing to do.
That's nice. You are certainly entitled to your opinion. You don't think that your opinions are facts though, do you?

Do you deny that the Tea Party movement seems to be pretty much all white? If it is, we can all decide how we feel about that but facts are facts. Either it is or it isn't.

Do I deny? In even asking this question, it is clear that you did not really read what I posted, above. That is the frustrating thing here.
I've read it twice and I still don't know whether the answer is yes or no.

I would suggest, with regard judging those who participate in Tea Party Rallies, there is nothing to feel about the fact that a relatively small percentage of those participating in the rallies are black. It is not the fault of those opposed to President Obama's policies (on a number of very legitimate grounds) that the vast majority of African-Americans support Obama. The low black turnout at the rallies is not the fault of those who, for good reason, are opposed to Big Government. 
If you don't mind (actually, even if you do), I'll decide how I feel about things. Instead of "relatively small", I would suggest "minuscule". By the way, nobody is suggesting there are whites only signs although the Niggar placard does that pretty well.

An objective indicator of racism or racial bias is the extent to which there is racial "inclusion" vs. "exclusion." Racial bias can be evaluated objectively by seeing to what extent ethnic minorities, including blacks, are welcome as supporters at Tea Party rallies, Tea Party participation in Town Hall meetings, and the like. My impression is that they are very welcome (as clearly evidenced in the video included in my post, above).
Thanks for the primer but I'm actually pretty good at detecting racial bias. I have a lifetime of experience.

If there is some hope for common ground here perhaps it is in the following:
Can we agree that there is a racial component present in the Tea Party movement? Not that it is solely or even primarily racially motivated. But a component. In other words, can we agree not to ignore the elephant in the room?

A "movement" is comprised of individuals. Of course some "movements" embrace racist or bigoted ideologies (such as the antisemitism of Nazism and Radical Islam or the racism of the KKK and Skinheads), and to the extent persons join those movements, it is fair to infer that those persons are at least in part motivated by religious and racial bigotry.  However, the Tea Party Movement is not one of those movements.
So, the Tea Party movement is not the KKK. Got it. Of course, an absence of explicit racist ideology does not imply an absence of racial motivations or racism, right? So, about that elephant...

The focus of the Tea Party Movement is for Individual Liberty, and against Big Government (addressing issues such as Socialized Medicine, Taxation, 2nd Amendment, and the like). While the Tea Partiers are not all rigid ideological Libertarians, there is a strong libertarian streak surrounding the issues the movement focuses on. That as a nation we should embrace respect for the rights to life, liberty and property. To vest power in the Individual, not in the central Authority.

I've acknowledged that for some who participate in this movement, the mere fact that President Obama is black may constitute a "racial component" in those persons' minds (just as some people on the Left form expectations and demands based on race, and then react to individuals based on their race). 
Is that a yes?

I understand you see things differently than I do.  I won't, however, speak for you. I think, in expressing unfettered support for Olbermann's rant, without acknowledging any flaws in his arguments or his logic (discussed in my prior post), you've pretty much let me know where you stand on the issue.
Sure, you can probably extrapolate from "I liked it" to build a strawman for me on anything now. Knock yourself out.

By the way, I really did like the racial message of the video I posted, above, produced by folks active in the Tea Party Movement. Didn't you? (You may argue it is not representative, that it is propaganda, and so forth, but ... on its face it does contain a very decent message):
That message:
"Some of my best friends are black."
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 11, 2010, 06:55:33 pm
The concerns people have regarding the President's policies and goals are legitimate, and the disagreements very substantive.
Who said that all of the concerns are illegitimate?. That doesn't mean there is no racial component in both the assessments people make of the administration and the manner in which they express their concerns. Frankly, that seems obvious to me. Why should this be different from anything else? I know you don't believe that there is a racial component to nearly everything in America but frankly, you couldn't be more wrong on that. IMHO, of course.

So what is the problem with people expressing legitimate criticism of the Government?  God bless ‘em, the Tea Party Protesters are raising not only legitimate, but fundamental questions, as to the proper role of Government vis a vis the Individual.  Questions that hearken back to the positive ideals that served as the foundation of our Republic.

Why is Olbermann so obsessed with trying to portray legitimate criticism of Government as racist?  Curtis, he did not just say there is a “racial component” (as you re-frame his comments ... jeepers, please stop that).  He referred to the Tea Party Movement as the “Tea Klux Klan” and expressed the view that all those white folk at those rallies are bigots because there is not a large black turnout.  He similarly slurred any Conservatives who have the audacity to criticize the Obama Administration.

It is not surprising that the black turnout would be “miniscule,” as you say, given that blacks comprised 13% of those who voted (and roughly represent the same percentage of the population), that 96% of blacks supported Obama in the last election, and that there is significant ethnic/social pressure for Conservative blacks to maintain a low profile (for fear of being demeaned and stigmatized).  I raised all these points in my prior posts, but for some reason you either ignored my comments or claimed you did not understand what I was saying.  Which is why any attempt at real “dialogue” here is very frustrating.  Arghhhh!

As to your racial component point, I’ll address your later comment below.

Well, it's true that their orthodoxy doesn't correspond to current party lines. That's not quite the same thing as principled. It also doesn't mean their principles aren't nutty.

Belief in Individual Liberty is nutty?  The belief that Government should not grow so large that it dominates the Individual is nutty?  The belief that a man deserves to keep most of the fruits of his labor rather than it being expropriated by the State for purposes of “redistribution of income” is nutty?  Well, here, we have a fundamental philosophical disagreement.  No amount of “dialogue” will resolve this disagreement.

Because, when the majority, or a significant minority, of our population becomes dependent on the State for their very survival (a concern that will become all the more real, when virtually all of my “Baby Boomer” Generation comes to retirement age), our very democracy (founded on the principle of the protection of individual rights) will be threatened.  Instead of the electorate voting on the basis of principle, they will merely vote based on “who promises to line my pockets.”  When it gets to that stage, our nation becomes nothing but a tyranny by the majority.  Our Republic was intended to protect against that, by way of the Constitution, which itemized fundamental rights that would be protected no matter what, and that clearly limited the role of the Federal Government (as the “Federalists” so argued vs. the “anti-Federalists” at the time the present Constitution was adopted – a point that I also made, above).  The sad irony is that almost everything the Federalists assured everyone would NOT happen did happen, in terms of the expansion of the power of the Federal Government.  Much of this happened in the 20th Century, and much after the election of FDR.  I have little confidence, in this day and age, that the Supreme Court over the long run (particularly with potential Obama appointments) will protect individual rights.  In light of all this, the concerns expressed by the Tea Party Protesters are anything but nutty.  What they are doing is raising fundamental questions, regarding the future of our Republic and what it stands for:  Sovereignty of the Individual or Domination by the State.

The thrust of the Tea Party Protests pertain to the expansion of Government on the economic front.  As I said above, this is a legitimate area of controversy.

Curtis, if you seriously think I cannot stand people expressing views contrary to my own, query: Why do I frequent the HEF?  
You know, Mike, I don't think that of you. I can't imagine why you accuse me of the same.

Because you consistently don’t respond to what I actually say (particularly in those instances where I point out the logical fallacies of those whom you quote or reference with favor) or you refuse to respond to the actual points I make (instead just stating that you disagree), or you fail to respond altogether (after asking me to read an article or watch a video, and after I’ve spent a heck of a lot of valuable time trying to sort it out and raise questions).  That’s why.  Because, instead of my just responding, “Oh Curtis, you are so right” I instead raise a number of questions and point out analytic flaws or at least reasonable matters that merit further inquiry.  

Also, sometimes, all I get from you are snippy remarks, regarding how you personally find my manner of presentation irritating, instead of posts that actually address the substance of why you think my comments are off base.  As to this latter type of comment, I think it is fair to say that you do not apply the same standard to people you agree with.  Folks, like Reginald and others, who often recount facts and express opinions as they see ‘em (without the silly little “IMHO” tag line at the end) are accepted by you without critical comment.  Which naturally leads me to the conclusion that you are more disturbed by, and critical of, folks you disagree with, because points of view you don’t embrace bother you more (which is typical of any person – this is not a terribly damning condemnation).  My only point in raising this is not to whine but rather to simply point out that you don’t apply the same standard of criticism to those you agree with.  I urge you to think about this, before shooting off some response.

I don't see Obama is a moderate Democrat. To turn a blind eye to where a man is coming from (the so-called "Progressive" wing of the Party), to ignore his past closest associates, and to ignore the Socialist "share the wealth" sentiments he expressed to Joe the Plumber during the campaign, and to pretend that time commenced only with the November election, is not something I'm willing to do.
That's nice. You are certainly entitled to your opinion. You don't think that your opinions are facts though, do you?

This is a typical example of exactly what I am talking about.  

Do you deny that the Tea Party movement seems to be pretty much all white? If it is, we can all decide how we feel about that but facts are facts. Either it is or it isn't.
Do I deny? In even asking this question, it is clear that you did not really read what I posted, above. That is the frustrating thing here.
I've read it twice and I still don't know whether the answer is yes or no.

Here is another example of where you disregard what I wrote above.  I’ve tried to AGAIN explain my position in this post, but it was NOT ambiguous in the prior post.  I am mystified that you would claim to not to understand what I was saying, above.  

I would suggest, with regard judging those who participate in Tea Party Rallies, there is nothing to feel about the fact that a relatively small percentage of those participating in the rallies are black. It is not the fault of those opposed to President Obama's policies (on a number of very legitimate grounds) that the vast majority of African-Americans support Obama. The low black turnout at the rallies is not the fault of those who, for good reason, are opposed to Big Government.  
If you don't mind (actually, even if you do), I'll decide how I feel about things. Instead of "relatively small", I would suggest "minuscule". By the way, nobody is suggesting there are whites only signs although the Niggar placard does that pretty well.  

I’m not telling you how to feel. Feel what you want. But try to think about your feelings.

You reference a photo of one man, on the sidelines, not raising his sign at a rally, with a stupid ass sign.  You don’t know why he was standing on the sidelines, why a photo was NOT shown of him raising the sign among a throng of Tea Party Protesters (had he positioned his sign among a throng of white folk at an actual rally, you can be sure some photographer would have taken the picture, if for no other reason than a partisan one).  Neither you, nor I, know the back story as to why he was standing on the sidelines clutching his sign.  Might someone have told him that his sign was inappropriate, not representative of the substantive message that the Tea Party Movement wishes to convey?  You don’t know, and I don’t know.  No doubt this photo has circulated throughout the Progressive Press and on Progressive Blogs, with thousands of people seeing it.  This is one stupid handwritten misspelled sign, in a grassroots movement, where there is no central authority publishing the signs or telling people what to put on their signs.  (The only Tea Party site someone on the Left referred me to advised signs that dealt with socialized medicine, taxation, and the like ... the issues that the Tea Party Movement is actually interested in ... that did not include any racist text whatsoever;  some of the suggested signs were of course critical of Obama and Obamacare, sure, but not racist in any way).  I suspect the guy has an IQ of a peanut with his stupid handwritten sign “Congress = Slaveowner, Taxpayer = Niggar” (though I don’t think he was referencing slaveowners with favor, given that he is equating ‘em with Congress, haha).  I believe the point that he was inartfully, and racistly ... if that is a word ..., trying to convey, is a point that I happen to agree with ... that we should not allow Congress to turn American taxpayers into Slaves of the State. The way he conveyed the point makes me want to puke, because the racial content of what he wrote on his sign totally undermines the substantive point he wanted to make.  This is true, notwithstanding  the fact that both black folk and white folk (on the Left) use the term “Nigger” to refer in a disparaging way to those made subservient.  I agree with you that this one sign was stupid and racist.  

An objective indicator of racism or racial bias is the extent to which there is racial "inclusion" vs. "exclusion." Racial bias can be evaluated objectively by seeing to what extent ethnic minorities, including blacks, are welcome as supporters at Tea Party rallies, Tea Party participation in Town Hall meetings, and the like. My impression is that they are very welcome (as clearly evidenced in the video included in my post, above).
Thanks for the primer but I'm actually pretty good at detecting racial bias. I have a lifetime of experience.

Thanks for the primer? C’mon Curtis. Here we go again. You are blowing off my comments, without any substance of your own other than vague references to personal experience.  As a personal example in my own life, guys in interviews (and the like) have treated me “unfairly” too, they’ve even accused me of lying about my credentials.  From that do I conclude that they are all antisemites?  No ... they are just assholes.  

Curtis, based on your comment, ANY criticism of President Obama can be condemned as coming from a place or “racism” or “racial bias.” Very convenient.  As a way of avoiding the legitimate substance of the criticism.  In your comments, above, you agreed that the criticisms of the Obama Administration (and Republicans who now and in the past have favored Big Government) are “not illegitimate.”  Even if you don’t agree with ‘em, if their concerns are legitimate, why don’t you agree that they are entitled to express their concerns, without being villified, instead of citing with approval Keith Olbermann’s reference to them all as the Tea Klux Klan?  

If there is some hope for common ground here perhaps it is in the following:
Can we agree that there is a racial component present in the Tea Party movement? Not that it is solely or even primarily racially motivated. But a component. In other words, can we agree not to ignore the elephant in the room?
A "movement" is comprised of individuals. Of course some "movements" embrace racist or bigoted ideologies (such as the antisemitism of Nazism and Radical Islam or the racism of the KKK and Skinheads), and to the extent persons join those movements, it is fair to infer that those persons are at least in part motivated by religious and racial bigotry.  However, the Tea Party Movement is not one of those movements.
So, the Tea Party movement is not the KKK. Got it. Of course, an absence of explicit racist ideology does not imply an absence of racial motivations or racism, right? So, about that elephant...

Olbermann explicitly referred to the Tea Party Movement as the “Tea Klux Klan” and emphasized the point.  You referenced him with favor.  I assume you now repudiate his “Tea Klux Klan” reference?

The focus of the Tea Party Movement is for Individual Liberty, and against Big Government (addressing issues such as Socialized Medicine, Taxation, 2nd Amendment, and the like). While the Tea Partiers are not all rigid ideological Libertarians, there is a strong libertarian streak surrounding the issues the movement focuses on. That as a nation we should embrace respect for the rights to life, liberty and property. To vest power in the Individual, not in the central Authority.
I've acknowledged that for some who participate in this movement, the mere fact that President Obama is black may constitute a "racial component" in those persons' minds (just as some people on the Left form expectations and demands based on race, and then react to individuals based on their race).  
Is that a yes?

Curtis, here is yet another example of what I am talking about, in terms of our interaction, that drives me nuts.  Except here, it is even funnier, because you are using the same tactic one finds in the Progressive Press and in Progressive Blogs, of using a partial quote, while leaving out key content. The hilarious thing is that I specifically addressed your question in my post above.  For convenience, I’ll repeat myself (which again, should really not be necessary).

Here is how my comment (which you apparently ignored) continued:

Quote
For many others who participate in the Tea Party Movement, the race of the President is wholly irrelevant. For them, this is an ideological struggle, surrounding the proper role of Government and the degree of independence that should be accorded the Individual. Evidenced by the fact that the Tea Party movement is critical not only of Obama, but also of white Democrats and Republicans who have fostered the unfettered growth of Government and Government Control. Of course this is a grassroots movement, so there is no single platform or candidate to point to. But this is how I see it.
 
Curtis, you claim that on the forum you do not wish to read people's minds.  Yet this is exactly what Keith Olbermann was doing in his rant. In the most disparaging way imaginable (and, in his condemnation, he did go way beyond the Tea Party Movement, to smear all outspoken Conservative critics of the Administration).  

In other words, Curtis, in response to your question, for some people “yes” and for many other people, “no.”

With respect to matters of "bias" (regarding racial bias/expectations/intolerance or religious bigotry) the same observation ("yes 'n no") can be made with regard to people on the Left.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 11, 2010, 06:57:51 pm

I understand you see things differently than I do.  I won't, however, speak for you. I think, in expressing unfettered support for Olbermann's rant, without acknowledging any flaws in his arguments or his logic (discussed in my prior post), you've pretty much let me know where you stand on the issue.

Sure, you can probably extrapolate from "I liked it" to build a strawman for me on anything now. Knock yourself out.

No “strawman.”  You said you liked Olbermann’s rant.  Now it sounds like you are having some second thoughts.  At this point, what parts of his rant are you willing to say were extremist, off base, and unfair?

Do you really think that if instead of President Obama, we had President Condoleezza Rice, or President Colon Powell, or President Clarence Thomas, that the Tea Party Movement would have gotten off the ground? (See the article cited, above).  If not, then that goes a long way in establishing that the Tea Party Movement was precipitated by the policies and objectives of the current Administration (and those others who support Big Government), rather than the President’s “race.”

By the way, I really did like the racial message of the video I posted, above, produced by folks active in the Tea Party Movement. Didn't you? (You may argue it is not representative, that it is propaganda, and so forth, but ... on its face it does contain a very decent message):
That message:
"Some of my best friends are black."

Your response here is terrible.  When it comes to your (in your mind?) adversaries, “Tails I win, heads you loose” ... or, put another way, “Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”   If some schmuck on the sidelines of a rally is clutching a racist sign, you stigmatize everyone there with it.  When folks meaningfully involved in the Tea Party Movement produce a video demonstrating that they are inclusive and are not racist, and welcome black participation, you characterize it as “Some of my best friends are black.”  Curtis, this is just silly.

I really have concluded that this whole discussion is just silly and pointless. There really is no dialogue here.  Instead, what we are seeing is exactly what you were joking about, in the cartoon you posted, above (which I did think was funny).  I think we both have to accept that, on this issue, we fundamentally disagree.

As to my broader motivation for, from time to time, talking about Politics on the HEF:  I don’t really expect to change anyone’s mind on the Forum, when it comes to political issues.  If anything, my only hope is that, perhaps, someone may be interested in hearing a different point of view (just for the fun of it) and understand that much of the slander against those who express a Conservative point of view is unjustified.  To suggest a possibility for real mutual understanding (even among those who strongly disagree with one another on political issues).  I hope this is not a vision that is too idealistic.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Battle on March 17, 2010, 01:01:02 pm
As to my broader motivation for, from time to time, talking about Politics on the HEF:  I don’t really expect to change anyone’s mind on the Forum, when it comes to political issues.  If anything, my only hope is that, perhaps, someone may be interested in hearing a different point of view (just for the fun of it) and understand that much of the slander against those who express a Conservative point of view is unjustified.  To suggest a possibility for real mutual understanding (even among those who strongly disagree with one another on political issues).  I hope this is not a vision that is too idealistic.



But your point-of-view isn't really conservative.  It is something else, politically.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 18, 2010, 07:47:51 am
As to my broader motivation for, from time to time, talking about Politics on the HEF:  I don’t really expect to change anyone’s mind on the Forum, when it comes to political issues.  If anything, my only hope is that, perhaps, someone may be interested in hearing a different point of view (just for the fun of it) and understand that much of the slander against those who express a Conservative point of view is unjustified.  To suggest a possibility for real mutual understanding (even among those who strongly disagree with one another on political issues).  I hope this is not a vision that is too idealistic.


But your point-of-view isn't really conservative.  It is something else, politically.


Battle, you've exposed me ... I am something else ...

I have powers that human beings never dreamed of ...

(http://renegadefuturist.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/tad_carter_mutant.jpg)

Beware of the power of my subliminal message ...

... the power to make you fly ...

... even though I am far away.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Battle on March 18, 2010, 08:16:23 am
michaelintp, here is what I think:

The entire history of America has always been a insatiable desire to advance itself or move forward. Your objections to the Obama Administration has very little to do with conservatism, and more about a percieved  irrational, fear that your rights and/or priviledges are eroding away  or... ...or you may not have the ability to adapt to societal changes. Well, to me, not wanting to adapt is a sign of immaturity.
 
How is American society to fulfill its destiny of advancement when you behave as if it is an inconvenience to you?

As I said before, you are not a conservative because by definition, I would be considered conservative yet you and I do not share the similar interests, politically.  Why is that? 
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 18, 2010, 09:17:50 am
How is American society to fulfill its destiny of advancement when you behave as if it is an inconvenience to you?

The belief in the rights to "Life, Liberty and Property" ... are immature?  OK, I get it.  :P

Battle, "advancement" ... is not the inevitable march toward Socialism, the march vesting greater and greater economic power in the Central State, dictating the decisions that Individuals must make and expropriating greater and greater amounts of property from the Individual in the process for purposes of income redistribution (to both individuals and entities). Nowadays "socialism" has become a naughty political word, but in the past people were not ashamed of it and did not have a problem advocating socialized medicine and the like. Now all we hear are strained euphemisms.


As I said before, you are not a conservative because by definition, I would be considered conservative yet you and I do not share the similar interests, politically.  Why is that?  

Um ... because you are most definitely not a Conservative.  ;D
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Battle on March 18, 2010, 09:38:37 am
How is American society to fulfill its destiny of advancement when you behave as if it is an inconvenience to you?

The belief in the rights to "Life, Liberty and Property" ... are immature?  OK, I get it.  :P

Battle, "advancement" ... is not the inevitable march toward Socialism, the march vesting greater and greater economic power in the Central State, dictating the decisions that Individuals must make and expropriating greater and greater amounts of property from the Individual in the process for purposes of income redistribution (to both individuals and entities). Nowadays "socialism" has become a naughty political word, but in the past people were not ashamed of it and did not have a problem advocating socialized medicine and the like. Now all we hear are strained euphemisms.


Oh, stop with the 'socialism' spiel! >:(

I've heard it all my life. You never , ever hear this dribble from anyone other than from people like you. What has happened since the reagan era is when there is too much 'excess' and 'greed' and usually from one segment of people with too much 'Life, Liberty..."  ...and No, Property is not mentioned in the preamble.  Too much of one thing is never good.
Modern economics, according to its textbook defintion, studies the allocation of resources under the conditions of 'scarcity', not excess.

Can you do more with less?

...and don't tell me what I am not!
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 19, 2010, 05:50:40 pm
How is American society to fulfill its destiny of advancement when you behave as if it is an inconvenience to you?

The belief in the rights to "Life, Liberty and Property" ... are immature?  OK, I get it.  :P

Battle, "advancement" ... is not the inevitable march toward Socialism, the march vesting greater and greater economic power in the Central State, dictating the decisions that Individuals must make and expropriating greater and greater amounts of property from the Individual in the process for purposes of income redistribution (to both individuals and entities). Nowadays "socialism" has become a naughty political word, but in the past people were not ashamed of it and did not have a problem advocating socialized medicine and the like. Now all we hear are strained euphemisms.


Oh, stop with the 'socialism' spiel! >:(

I've heard it all my life. You never , ever hear this dribble from anyone other than from people like you. What has happened since the reagan era is when there is too much 'excess' and 'greed' and usually from one segment of people with too much 'Life, Liberty..."  ...and No, Property is not mentioned in the preamble.  Too much of one thing is never good.
Modern economics, according to its textbook defintion, studies the allocation of resources under the conditions of 'scarcity', not excess.

Can you do more with less?

...and don't tell me what I am not!

"Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" is the phrase from the Declaration of Independence, not the Preamble to the Constitution.

The concept of Man's natural right to "Life, Liberty and Property" comes from the classic "Liberal" thinkers of the 17th and 18th Centuries, most notably John Locke. 

I guess, by that standard, I should become irate if someone does not view me as a "Liberal."  ::)

And ... for most folks, we can only do less with less. That's the meaning of "less." But of course, that is not the real political issue. The real issue has now become the patronizing query, "Can I do more with your less."  I think you can predict the answer, from the standpoint of the recipient (who did not earn the income that is being expropriated after many years of difficult education and hard work).1 This comment pertains to the corruption of our democratic political process, alluded to above.

Battle, after all of our years of interacting on the HEF, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that you would become upset because someone on the Forum dared to assert that you are not a Conservative.  I'm sorry, but this is just cracking me up. ;D

1 By these comments I don't mean to undermine the value of charity. As I have demonstrated for years on this forum, I strongly support charitable giving and the moral obligation one has to help those in need. We are not talking about charity here. We are talking about government compulsion, under threat of fine or imprisonment.  Forced expropriation of income and property to "spread the wealth around" actually serve to undermine the charitable impulse, by eliminating the sense of personal responsibility one has for one's fellows. Because the attitude is fostered that "the Government will take care of it."
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Battle on March 20, 2010, 07:44:24 am
Battle, after all of our years of interacting on the HEF, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that you would become upset because someone on the Forum dared to assert that you are not a Conservative.  I'm sorry, but this is just cracking me up. ;D

1 By these comments I don't mean to undermine the value of charity. As I have demonstrated for years on this forum, I strongly support charitable giving and the moral obligation one has to help those in need. We are not talking about charity here. We are talking about government compulsion, under threat of fine or imprisonment.  Forced expropriation of income and property to "spread the wealth around" actually serve to undermine the charitable impulse, by eliminating the sense of personal responsibility one has for one's fellows. Because the attitude is fostered that "the Government will take care of it."


I think you've been reading too many legal briefs.

It's 'allocate  resources'  not 'spread the wealth'.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on March 20, 2010, 11:05:38 am
Michael, to wrap up the conversation we were having:

I like the Olberman piece. That doesn't mean I endorse everything in it. I like that he speaks directly about the racial element that is, to me, clearly a significant part of the Tea Party movement. That doesn't mean that everything they say is motivated by racial prejudice, just that race is a factor in the perceptions of the people involved and the manner in which they express themselves.

Furthermore, I find the denial of race as a factor either delusional or disingenuous. Race underlies nearly everything in the US yet we don't discuss it or even acknowledge it most of the time. No wonder we as a nation have so little skill in talking about race.

Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on March 20, 2010, 05:51:48 pm
This is from GAWKER, via the Huffington Post, so I'm sure you'll dismiss it as left wing propaganda:

Tea party protesters, on Capitol hill to rail against healthcare reform that will benefit them, and stoked up by speeches from Republican lawmakers, unleashed abuse and spit against black and gay members of congress.

The Huffington Post report that thousands of gathered protesters abused Representatives James Clyburn and John Lewis, both veterans of the civil rights movement. The latter had the word 'nigger' shouted at him. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver was spat on. When Rep. Barney Frank, report Talking Points Memo, "rounded a corner to leave the building, an older protestor yelled "Barney, you faggot." The surrounding crowd of protestors then erupted in laughter."

"It was absolutely shocking to me," Clyburn told the Huffington Post. "Last Monday, this past Monday, I stayed home to meet on the campus of Claflin University where fifty years ago as of last Monday... I led the first demonstrations in South Carolina, the sit ins... And quite frankly I heard some things today I have not heard since that day. I heard people saying things that I have not heard since March 15, 1960 when I was marching to try and get off the back of the bus."
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 21, 2010, 12:13:25 am
The benefit of my checking in, now and again, to the HEF is to be exposed to news stories such as this. Thank you.

Yes, this conduct is disgusting, and those individuals who engaged in it are despicable. 

In addition, such individuals undermine the credibility of those sincere persons who are opposed to the current massive expansion of government power and control. In terms of substance, I agree with the concerns expressed by many involved with the Tea Party Movement, as well as many Republican Members of Congress, editorialists for the Wall Street Journal and many others.

Anyone who has read my posts above, who is honest, will acknowledge that I've not denied that some people opposed to the policies of the Adminstration are in part motivated by race.  My point has always been, however, that many more are not. The serious concerns of people like myself, regarding the proper role of Government vs. the Individual, cannot and will not be dismissed.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on March 21, 2010, 12:37:00 am
I hear your denunciation loud and clear, Michael.

Here's what I don't get.  What is Obama doing that's more encroaching on our civil liberties than the Patriot Act?
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 21, 2010, 09:33:10 am
The PATRIOT Act, passed by an overwhelming majority of Democrats and Republicans in Congress, in reality affects very few people. It's purpose was to apply measures similar to fighting organized crime to fighting terrorism. International and domestic terrorism are real threats, like it or not. Their was a uproar regarding what it might do, who it might effect, etc ..., but did it affect you, me, anyone on the Forum, directly?  Or did it result in terrorists being caught?  It is the duty of the Federal Government to provide for the common defense, against enemies foreign and domestic.

What free spending Republicans and Democrats in the past and what Obama and the Democrats are doing today, with their revolutionary plan to expand the economic scope and reach of the Government, will affect EVERYONE. When the Government takes over matters in our economic lives, dominates areas affecting our very bread and butter, increasingly restricts what every American can and cannot do, while ordering every American to do certain things merely by reason of their being citizens, by massively increasing the per capita amount of National Debt that we and our children will have to bear now and in the future to fund these programs, and similarly by dramatically increasing the deficit that will inevitably lead to massive increases in the expropriation of income and property (by way of direct taxes and and fees and other devices as well as business taxation and regulatory measures that will increase costs to consumers), by doing all these things, by moving the nation more toward Socialism, we will ALL be affected, like it or not. We will become more dependent on the Government. We will have less control over our own property (that we are allowed to keep). Our incentive to produce and to work will be diminished. Businesses will be negatively affected, new business development (who are the providers of non-Government jobs) will be hampered and long-term economic development will be slowed or reversed.  The free enterprise system will be undermined.

Inherent in all this, our individual liberty will be diminished.

Sure, the USSR had the KGB and before that the NKVD.  But is that how the Soviet Government really controlled the mass of the population?  No. The real way the population was controlled was by the Government dominating every aspect of people's economic lives, turning every citizen into a slave of the state.  The Soviet Union finally fell apart because it could not economically sustain itself (in large part due the economic pressures caused by U.S. defense programs that they felt compelled to try to keep up with but could not afford).  

I'm not saying that Obama will turn the USA into the USSA, but what I am saying is that the massive expansion of Government Power in all the realms described above is destructive on many levels.  It will undermine what distinguished the United States from much of the rest of the world. Neither the former Soviet Block, nor the Western Europeon Socialists, should be viewed as our role models.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Vic Vega on March 21, 2010, 09:44:32 am
Here what Bruce Bartlett has to say about the Tea Partiers:

Quote
The Misinformed Tea Party Movement
For an anti-tax group they don't know much about taxes
On March 16 the tea party crowd showed up for yet another demonstration on Capitol Hill in Washington. Curious about the factual knowledge that these people have regarding the issues they are protesting, my friend David Frum enlisted some interns to interview as many tea partiers as possible on a couple of basic questions. They got 57 responses--a pretty good sized sample from a crowd that numbered between 300 and 500 people. (Survey results are here.)
 
The first question that was asked concerned the size of government. Tea partiers were asked how much the federal government gets in taxes as a percentage of the gross domestic product. According to Congressional Budget Office data, acceptable answers would be 6.4%, which is the percentage for federal income taxes; 12.7%, which would be for both income taxes and Social Security payroll taxes; or 14.8%, which would represent all federal taxes as a share of GDP in 2009.
 
Not everyone follows these numbers closely and tea partiers may have been thinking of figures from a few years ago, before the recession when taxes were higher. According to the CBO, the highest figure for all federal taxes since 1970 came in the year 2000, when they reached 20.6% of GDP. As we know, after that George W. Bush and Republicans in Congress cut federal taxes and they fell to 18.5% of GDP in 2007, before the recession hit, and 17.5% in 2008.
 
Tuesday's tea party crowd, however, thought that federal taxes were almost three times higher than they actually are. The average response was 42% of GDP and the median was 40%. The highest figure recorded in all of American history was half those figures: 20.9% at the peak of World War II in 1944.


http://capitalgainsandgames.com/blog/bruce-bartlett/1592/ignorance-bliss-tea-party-crowd (http://capitalgainsandgames.com/blog/bruce-bartlett/1592/ignorance-bliss-tea-party-crowd)
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on March 21, 2010, 09:46:16 am
Most people will have the same health program that they have.  But for people who don't have health insurance, they will be covered.  How is that Big Brother?  

Meanwhile, the government asserting the right to listen in our conversations, arrest us without any checks and balances, all that gets a pass from you.
Title: THE RIGHT STIFLES DEBATE by Christopher Buckley
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on March 21, 2010, 10:49:22 am
THE RIGHT STIFLES DEBATE
by Christopher Buckley

from THE DAILY BEAST

Now, the GOP is grousing that Obama has appointed former Sen. Alan Simpson—a Republican!—to a blue-ribbon deficit-reduction panel because he’s too “moderate.” Christopher Buckley on the latest Washington circus.

The New York Times and Wall Street Journal report that Rush Limbaugh, Grover Norquist, and Larry Kudlow, inter alia, are in a lather over Simpson, whom they view as a—brace yourselves—moderate Republican who might actually end up endorsing tax increases as a way out of the pit that we have dug for ourselves. The horror, the horror.

The last big commission recommended that we get the f--- outta Iraq. What happened? The surge.

At the same time, there are rumblings in the fever swamps of the left over the appointment of Erskine Bowles to the commission. Bowles was President Clinton’s chief of staff back in those good old days. He was instrumental in enacting the 1997 balanced-budget amendment that actually produced a budgetary surplus. (Remember that brief, shiny moment?) The lefties are worried that he might propose trimming entitlements, Social Security, Medicare. Gasp. Shudder.

When the going gets tough in Washington, presidents appoint “blue ribbon” commissions. It’s their way of saying, “OK, OK, since no one here can agree on anything, why don’t we bring in some grownups and see what they think?” This is generally followed by a wink-wink. “And if we don’t like what they recommend, we’ll just tell them, ‘Thanks, Gramps’ and send them back to the golf course.”

Not much ever really comes of commissions, really. The last one that really came up with something truly concrete was the Warren Commission, and for all its good work, most Americans persist in believing that Oswald was working in tandem with the CIA, FBI, Lyndon Johnson, and the John Birch Society.

The last big commission was the Iraq Study Group. It was chaired by James Baker and Lee Hamilton, the wisest of the wise men. Its Republican members included Sandra Day O’Connor, Ed Meese, and—what do you know?—Alan Simpson. Simpson seems to have become a first-responder wise man. For the Democrats, there were Leon Panetta, now head of the CIA, Vernon Jordan, and Chuck Robb. It doesn’t get more establishmentarian than that.

What did they recommend? Essentially: that we get the f--- outta there.

What happened? The surge.

And so it goes with blue ribbon commissions. Thank you. You have done a great service to the country. Don’t forget to turn out the lights on your way out.

I don’t mean to be flip, really. But if you live in Washington and see these commissions come and go, it’s hard to avoid becoming a little skeptical.

What’s different this time, however, is the fervor with which some on the right are going after Simpson, in an attempt to pre-empt any proposal he might eventually make on the subject of the most critical issue facing our country: the national debt.

It reminds one a bit of the endless debates leading up to the Vietnam Paris peace talks about what shape the table ought to be. If Democrats cannot agree on a centrist like Bowles, and Republicans cannot agree on a consensus-seeker like Simpson, then, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the final chapter in the American experiment. William Butler Yeats, please call your office.

The third rail of Democratic politics is cutting spending. For Republicans, it’s raising taxes. I’ll let Democrats defend spending our grandchildren broke on entitlements. As for the Republican third rail, one or two thoughts, the first being that we ought, really, to cut it out and get real.

Reagan raised taxes, repeatedly, but let’s not go there. Instead, let’s take two recent presidential models: Bush 41 and Bush 43.

Bush 41, faced with a recession, rising debt and a war, contravened his own body-part-specific campaign pledge and raised taxes. Say what you will about the politics of it—unwise, and not well-handled—it was the gutsy thing to do.

Bush 43, also faced with a recession, rising debt and not one but two wars, cut taxes. And here we are, rapidly going broke and an annual—annual—deficit running at $1.6 trillion. (Trillion being the new billion.) Is it necessary to say that Republican caterwauling about Barack Obama’s deficit incontinence is, really, just a bit much?

Apropos the attacks on him by the Rush Limbaughs and the conservative blogosphere, the folksy, good-humored Simpson told the Times, “Go ahead, keep babbling into the vapors. I’m not out to raise taxes but, for God’s sake, if these dizzy guys can’t figure out that this country...” The reporter noted that here Mr. Simpson “trailed off.” Who wouldn’t? But he got back on the trail quickly enough, with the bracingly direct remark that “I don’t believe we ever had a war where we didn’t have a tax to finance the war.”

So suppose, say, that the commission were to end up proposing something as straightforward as that Obama, having chosen to commit America to continuing engagement in Afghanistan and Iraq, should call upon the Congress to enact a war tax to support our presence there?

Well, gosh, gentlemen, thank you for that most, uh, interesting suggestion. The nation is grateful. Don’t forget to turn off the lights.

Meanwhile, let us, Democrat and Republican alike, give thanks for Mr. Bowles and Mr. Simpson, who at this point in their lives, surely have other things to do.



Christopher Buckley's books include Supreme Courtship, The White House Mess, Thank You for Smoking, Little Green Men, and Florence of Arabia. He was chief speechwriter for Vice President George H.W. Bush, and is editor-at-large of ForbesLife magazine. His new book is Losing Mum and Pup, a memoir. Buckley's Daily Beast column is the winner of an Online Journalism Award in the category of Online Commentary.
Title: Right-Wing Bloggers Demand Apology From Lawmakers Called 'Nigger'
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on March 21, 2010, 10:53:41 am
Right-Wing Bloggers Demand Apology From Lawmakers Called 'Nigger' By Tea Partyers

Yesterday a bunch of Tea Party anti-healthcare protesters called black and gay lawmakers 'nigger' and 'faggot'. Today the right-wing blogs want an apology — from the lawmakers, to the protesters.

Glenn Reynolds, at Instapundit, targeted his ire at James Clyburn, the Congressman and veteran of the civil rights movement. (The capitals, inevitably, are his.) "DOES CLYBURN OWE TEA PARTY PROTESTERS AN APOLOGY? The bogus racism card has been played so often that I no longer find such charges very credible. I'm sure, however, that, true or not, they'll be played much more loudly than the indisputably true statements about the antiwar movement."

Conservative blogger Ann Althouse is more magnanimous and forgiving of the lawmakers. She doesn't want them to apologise. But she does feel that "it's outrageous for them to pose as victims without very good cause. So what if some idiot said a bad word?"

Meanwhile GOP chairman Michael Steele and House Minority Leader John Boehner condemned the protesters. The same protesters who they encourage and inspire with dog whistle phrases and sly hints.



Send an email to Ravi Somaiya, the author of this post, at ravi@gawker.com.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Hypestyle on March 21, 2010, 01:03:14 pm
at this most recent demonstration, were there 'any' racial minorities among the protestors?  if so, what's their take on sharing space with those prone to shout epithets?
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Vic Vega on March 21, 2010, 03:37:16 pm
Quote
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus leaving a speech on health care by the President yesterday were met by tea party protesters chanting "Kill the bill, nigger." The incident has been confirmed by Congressmen John Lewis (D-Ga), Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo), Andre Carson (D-In), and House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC). Cleaver was spat on by a protester. In a separate incident, Barney Frank was called a "faggot" in what the Huffington Post describes as "deliberately lisp-y screams."

Note: these are ugly words, but what happened yesterday was ugly. I want to make it clear how ugly.


http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/archives/2010/03/tea_partiers_dr.php (http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/archives/2010/03/tea_partiers_dr.php)

Look the only reason these folks havent started burning crosses on the WH front lawn yet is because they figure they'd be shot for it.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 21, 2010, 04:43:25 pm
Of course the fact that several Republican lawmakers and persons involved with the Tea Party movement strongly condemnend the slurs is disregarded here. Indeed, it is laughable how the 'Right Wing Bloggers' article cited above by Reginald references this fact, almost as a footnote, but spins around to disregard it, as though a couple of assholes yelling insulting slurs are somehow the fault of those who strongly disagree with the Administration's policies. By the same token, some idiot bloggers on the Internet merit greater attention than statements by Members of Congress.

We are not living in Alabama in 1963, but of course this is the spin. To distract people from the real issues.   

No surprise. That is what politics in America has turned into ... a slur fest.  Both from the Right and from the Left.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on March 21, 2010, 04:56:01 pm
Well, besides nutcases like Bachmann who literally can't spell "America" in her press release, who are part of the Tea Bagger crowd, there are too many Republicans whose idea of a denunciation is "that was bad, but...the Democrats started it!".  No, the race baiting started with the Tea Baggers, and their historical antecedents. 

This is why I also posted the Christopher Buckley article.  He's certainly a man of conservative pedigree, and he's expressing frustration with the wingnut branch of his party. 

But back to my original question:  How is providing health care to more Americans a bad thing?  People certainly seem to like Medicare.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 21, 2010, 06:14:37 pm
Reginald, on a personal note ... Do you think I personally condone racial slurs, or make excuses for them in any way whatsoever? Do you think my viewing Obama as emerging from the Progressive Wing (with all that entails) of the Democratic Party is off base? While we disagree, do you believe that my concerns (given where I am coming from in terms of economics) are nothing but a mere pretense to criticize President Obama because he is black?  I don't think you think this of me.

In answer to your healthcare question, there was a good op ed in the Wall Street Journal yesterday and addressed your question:

The ObamaCare Crossroads
The vote is really about who commands the country's medical resources.


With the House's climactic vote on ObamaCare tomorrow, Democrats are on the cusp of a profound and historic mistake, comparable in our view to the Smoot-Hawley tariff and FDR's National Industrial Recovery Act. Everyone is preoccupied now with the politics, but ultimately at stake on Sunday is the kind of country America will be.

The consequences of this bill will not only be destructive for the health-care system and the country's fiscal condition, though those will be bad enough. Inextricably bound up in a plan as far-reaching and ambitious as ObamaCare are also larger questions about the role of government, the dynamism of American enterprise and the nature of a free society. Above anything else, this explains why Democrats have had such trouble convincing the public, let alone their own Members.

***
Most acutely in the balance is the future of U.S. medicine. On the opposing page we reprint a 1996 essay by the great Milton Friedman that is more relevant than ever. Drawing from Alexander Solzhenitsyn's novel "The Cancer Ward," the late Nobel laureate traces the ways that national health care fundamentally alters "the consensual relation between the patient and the physician."

In our world of infinite wants but finite resources, there are only two ways to allocate any good or service: either through prices and the choices of millions of individuals, or through central government planning and political discretion. This choice is inexorable. Stripped of its romantic illusions, ObamaCare is really about who commands the country's medical resources. It vastly accelerates the march toward a totally state-driven system, in contrast to reforms that would fix today's distorted status quo by putting consumers in control.

Friedman lays out how the country arrived at our current pass, starting with the World War II-era decision to offer tax subsidies for employer-sponsored coverage only. Like the company store, this inefficient and inequitable preference encourages workers to be paid in kind rather than cash, and over the years the third-party payer system it entrenched has inhibited competition and desensitized patients to the costs of their own care. With the 1965 creation of Medicare for seniors and Medicaid for the poor, government has come to play the leading role in shaping the way care is paid for and provided.

Naturally, the result has been high and rising costs. Since 1962, the share of the economy devoted to health care has risen to about 17% from 6%. Today, health entitlements account for about 5% of GDP but on current trend will rise to 7% in 2025 and about 15% in 2062.

That is the problem President Obama inherited, as it were. Yet rather than fundamentally changing these incentives, he chose instead to create a new middle-class insurance entitlement that will transform the way U.S. health care is financed, and thus delivered. Such a "universal" system has been the core liberal aspiration since the age of Bismarck. But time and again this political ambition has been thwarted by American individualism, distrust of government power, the checks and balances of the political system, and, every so often, good judgment in Washington.

Once the health-care markets are put through Mr. Obama's de facto nationalization, costs will further explode. The Congressional Budget Office estimates ObamaCare will cost taxpayers $200 billion per year when fully implemented and grow annually at 8%, even under low-ball assumptions. Soon the public will reach its taxing limit, and then something will have to give on the care side. In short, medicine will be rationed by politics, no doubt with the same subtlety and wisdom as Congress's final madcap dash toward 216 votes.

As in the Western European and Canadian welfare states, doctors, hospitals and insurance companies will over time become public utilities. Government will set the cost-minded priorities and determine what kinds of treatment options patients are allowed to receive. Medicare's price controls will be exported to the remnants of the private sector.

All bureaucratized systems also restrict access to specialists and surgeries, leading to shortages and delays of months or years. This will be especially the case for the elderly and grievously ill, and for innovation in procedures, technologies and pharmaceuticals.

Eventually, quality and choice—the best attributes of American medicine in spite of its dysfunctions—will severely decline.

Democrats deny this reality, but government rationing will become inevitable given that overall federal spending is already at 25% of GDP and heading north, and Medicare's unfunded liabilities are roughly two and a half times larger than the entire U.S. economy in 2008. The ObamaCare bill already contains one of the largest tax increases outside the Great Depression or the world wars, including a major new tax on investment income—and no one seriously believes it will be enough.

So a vote for ObamaCare is also a vote against the vitality of American capitalism. Business elites have mostly held their tongues, or calculated that they can later dump their health-care liabilities on the government. Yet ObamaCare will lead to much higher levels of taxation across society. The tax wedge—the share of labor costs that never reaches workers but instead goes straight to government—will start flying towards the 50% that prevails today in most of Europe. In America, without the same welfare state obligations, it hovers near 30%.

***
A self-governing democracy can of course decide that it wants to become this kind of super-welfare state. But if the year-long debate over ObamaCare has proven anything, it is that Americans want no such thing. There is no polling majority or any bipartisan support, much less a rough national consensus, for this expansion of government power. The election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts for Ted Kennedy's seat, of all things, was as direct a referendum as you could have.

So if the health bill passes in the House, it will only do so the way it did in the Senate, with a narrow partisan majority, abetted by political bribery and intimidation, budget gimmicks and procedural deceptions. An entitlement the country can't afford and doesn't want may pass because of sheer ideological willfulness. The ugliness of the bill, and of its passage, means that some or all of it might be repealable, but far better not to make the tragic mistake in the first place.

Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Vic Vega on March 21, 2010, 07:28:16 pm
Health care is already de facto rationed by personal means. That is if you are broke its the emergency room for you when you are seriously ill. And the rest of the time you suck it up.

Besides I'd like to see somebody go ON RECORD as saying they want Medicare, Medicaid AND the heath benefits the veterans get dismanted.  Since these programs have been around for decades and comprise a very large part if not the majority of Heath Care spending.

What the Health care bill does is regulate the non governmental part of the industry. No recisions, no failure to insure for pre-existing conditions. It exchage the Insurance industry get 30 millon new customers. They have little reason to complain (yet they did anyway).

I'd take the cost control issue serously when the pundits notice that a public option would have actually lowered costs by means of competition. If they're is a cheaper option out there Insurance Companies will adjust costs to keep pace. The same folks yelling for cost control were the exact same folks yelling for no public option and no group rates for pharmacuticals-(The VA hospital does allow for group bargaining and thier costs for prescription drugs are lower than folks on medicaid or medicare).

If folks get insured and go get regular checkup because they can now afford to, many illnesses will be nipped in the bud BEFORE they become serious and expensive.


 
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 21, 2010, 08:48:14 pm
Well, besides nutcases like Bachmann who literally can't spell "America" in her press release, who are part of the Tea Bagger crowd, there are too many Republicans whose idea of a denunciation is "that was bad, but...the Democrats started it!".  No, the race baiting started with the Tea Baggers, and their historical antecedents. 

This is why I also posted the Christopher Buckley article.  He's certainly a man of conservative pedigree, and he's expressing frustration with the wingnut branch of his party. 

But back to my original question:  How is providing health care to more Americans a bad thing?  People certainly seem to like Medicare.

First to Vic:  This is the nuttiest thread in the world, don'tcha think?  I think we should have named it, "Let's debate with Michaelintp about everything" thread.  Because we've gone so far afield from the original topic.  But whatever (I wish we had created a new thread; first about "racism" in the Tea Party Movement, and second, differing views on Obamacare (or at least have this discussion in the "Health Care" thread). But ... what is done is done, haha.

I am highly suspect of ANY new program of the magnitude of Medicare, operated by Government (with all the inefficiencies that entails). I think anyone who thinks that Government costs will diminish as a result is deluding himself.  Just as I think those folks are deluding themselves when they mock Conservatives because those Conservatives' mental time-frame goes beyond March 21, 2010, with regard to issues of the deficit, national debt, taxation, and the like.

Now to Reginald:  Regarding Bachmann, I understand that you don't like her.  I donno about the typo you refer to in some press release, but of course that is relevant to absolutely nothing. The reference does more in disclosing your feelings about the woman than anything else.

As to the Buckley article, he's pretty much pointing fingers at everyone, with the ultimate conclusion that we are in one hell of a mess.  Like me, I think he agrees that all this "slurring" back and forth is terribly unproductive.  But not likely to stop. The Wall Street Journal op ed outlined some of the origins of the mess we find ourselves in, and where it is now likely headed.

So long as political discourse is typified by the language of "hate" (nothing new, as in the mantra "I had Bush" -- remember that?) we can look forward to going further and further down the toilet. I think that was, in part, the message of Buckley as well.   

As to Buckley's comments as to tax increases ... how high is he willing to go?  Federal effective rates moving up to, say, 50% plus state rates exceeding 10% plus the "Alternative Minimum Tax" that denies deductions to folks who live in states that impose high income taxes, plus a plethora of other taxes (sales tax, use tax, and a number of others).  For goodness sake, why the hell work at all, if you are a slave to Government for 60-70% of the year?

Throughout this thread we have seen references to other Federal Programs, and just about everyone here ignores the reality that these programs (as projected) will bankrupt this country, and nobody (in DC) has the balls to address 'em because they are too politically sensitive.  I'm talking about Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and so on, all the "nondiscretionary entitlement programs." The WSJ op ed touches on this a little bit as well. Add on top of that the other "income redistribution" programs, including the one that has recently engendered such controversy.

Everyone is so frickin' short-sighted (and in this, I am pointing the finger at both Republicans and Democrats). Like "Fiscal Responsibility" ... what's that?  Doesn't go beyond today (or at most, the next election). Seems like our Congress needs a good dose of Repo Men, to remind them that our national financial planning must actually contemplate tomorrow.

But, of course, my primary concern has always been the geopolitical (notwithstanding the content of this thread).

So I guess I should step back, breath deep, and enjoy a moment of calm. At the end of the day, I guess all these economic realities don't matter. Because true economic hell will not really break loose for a number of years, and by that time it is more likely than not that most of our cities will be in cinders, or at least significantly depopulated. That will reduce the cost of all those doggone entitlement programs.

Oh, and Reginald, I am really interested in your answer to my "personal note" questions, in my prior post. Honest.  :)
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on March 21, 2010, 08:51:33 pm
Michael, are you seriously asking that question of me?  At this point? Really?
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 21, 2010, 10:37:42 pm
Michael, are you seriously asking that question of me?  At this point? Really?

Good. That's all I wanted to hear.  ;)

You see, I'm really not alone. Sure, there are some jerks, bigots, and so on ... but there really plenty of sincerely concerned folk as well. Though we may have highly divergent views, it is so important for all of us to remain aware of this (with regard to this issue and all other issues we discuss).
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: moor on March 22, 2010, 10:42:27 am
Well, besides nutcases like Bachmann who literally can't spell "America" in her press release, who are part of the Tea Bagger crowd, there are too many Republicans whose idea of a denunciation is "that was bad, but...the Democrats started it!".  No, the race baiting started with the Tea Baggers, and their historical antecedents. 

This is why I also posted the Christopher Buckley article.  He's certainly a man of conservative pedigree, and he's expressing frustration with the wingnut branch of his party. 

But back to my original question:  How is providing health care to more Americans a bad thing?  People certainly seem to like Medicare.

First to Vic:  This is the nuttiest thread in the world, don'tcha think?  I think we should have named it, "Let's debate with Michaelintp about everything" thread.  Because we've gone so far afield from the original topic.  But whatever (I wish we had created a new thread; first about "racism" in the Tea Party Movement, and second, differing views on Obamacare (or at least have this discussion in the "Health Care" thread). But ... what is done is done, haha.

I am highly suspect of ANY new program of the magnitude of Medicare, operated by Government (with all the inefficiencies that entails). I think anyone who thinks that Government costs will diminish as a result is deluding himself.  Just as I think those folks are deluding themselves when they mock Conservatives because those Conservatives' mental time-frame goes beyond March 21, 2010, with regard to issues of the deficit, national debt, taxation, and the like.

Now to Reginald:  Regarding Bachmann, I understand that you don't like her.  I donno about the typo you refer to in some press release, but of course that is relevant to absolutely nothing. The reference does more in disclosing your feelings about the woman than anything else.

As to the Buckley article, he's pretty much pointing fingers at everyone, with the ultimate conclusion that we are in one hell of a mess.  Like me, I think he agrees that all this "slurring" back and forth is terribly unproductive.  But not likely to stop. The Wall Street Journal op ed outlined some of the origins of the mess we find ourselves in, and where it is now likely headed.

So long as political discourse is typified by the language of "hate" (nothing new, as in the mantra "I had Bush" -- remember that?) we can look forward to going further and further down the toilet. I think that was, in part, the message of Buckley as well.   

As to Buckley's comments as to tax increases ... how high is he willing to go?  Federal effective rates moving up to, say, 50% plus state rates exceeding 10% plus the "Alternative Minimum Tax" that denies deductions to folks who live in states that impose high income taxes, plus a plethora of other taxes (sales tax, use tax, and a number of others).  For goodness sake, why the hell work at all, if you are a slave to Government for 60-70% of the year?

Throughout this thread we have seen references to other Federal Programs, and just about everyone here ignores the reality that these programs (as projected) will bankrupt this country, and nobody (in DC) has the balls to address 'em because they are too politically sensitive.  I'm talking about Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and so on, all the "nondiscretionary entitlement programs." The WSJ op ed touches on this a little bit as well. Add on top of that the other "income redistribution" programs, including the one that has recently engendered such controversy.

Everyone is so frickin' short-sighted (and in this, I am pointing the finger at both Republicans and Democrats). Like "Fiscal Responsibility" ... what's that?  Doesn't go beyond today (or at most, the next election). Seems like our Congress needs a good dose of Repo Men, to remind them that our national financial planning must actually contemplate tomorrow.

But, of course, my primary concern has always been the geopolitical (notwithstanding the content of this thread).

So I guess I should step back, breath deep, and enjoy a moment of calm. At the end of the day, I guess all these economic realities don't matter. Because true economic hell will not really break loose for a number of years, and by that time it is more likely than not that most of our cities will be in cinders, or at least significantly depopulated. That will reduce the cost of all those doggone entitlement programs.

Oh, and Reginald, I am really interested in your answer to my "personal note" questions, in my prior post. Honest.  :)


Tax Rate was essentially 40% early post WW2.  I'm assuming that's why we have highways, bridges, and reforested national parks.   The fleecing started well before Bush, Clinton and even Reagan, but gumption's been missing on Capitol Hill for a looooong time now. 



Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 22, 2010, 11:33:05 pm
Moor, what was the Federal Income Tax Rate when Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks were created?

The "tax rate" is only the tip of the iceburg, in terms of determining the effective rate of taxation.  For example, prior to the 1986 Tax Reform Act, if a person earned $500,000 in earned income but lost $500,000 from operating crappy real estate ventures, he would have had a net income of zero and thus paid no tax (because at the end of the year, he had no more money than when he started).  After the Tax Reform Act, different types of income are placed in different "baskets" so a person can literally have no real net income, or even a net loss, and still owe tax from the income in another "basket."  That is just one example.  Today we also have the Alternative Minimum Tax that denies people the "benefit" of full deductions for charitable contributions, state and local taxes, interest deductions, depreciation deductions, and so on (if those deductions are too high for that individual - a real problem for ordinary folk who live in high tax states like California or New York, who are not wealthy and who get hit by the AMT).  Everyone acknowledges this is terribly unfair, but few in Congress are willing to repeal the AMT because the cut to the Government's take would simply be too large.  The only point I'm trying to make, with these simple examples, is that the mere comparison of the nominal maximum tax rate from decades ago and today is very misleading.

Beyond that, you don't have a problem with a person literally paying 40% of his income to the Federal Government, 12% of his income to the State, a meaningful percentage in state and local taxes, and (upon death) eventually a substantial estate tax? This means that for well over one-half of every year that person is working as a servant for the State, not even counting the amount the Master will eventually confiscate upon that person's death, screwing over the decedent's kids. To my way of thinking, when the Government's take starts to expand into many months of your labor, and also takes a meaningful part of your children's inheritance, the System has crossed the line from necessary taxation (to cover the very basic essentials that every State must provide) to the imposition of servitude.

We do not live in Ancient Egypt or Feudal Europe. All property does not belong to the King. The Individual does not live, and does not work, and does not retain his earnings, by the grace of the Monarch.

The important thing to remember when looking at someone else is ... it is not your money and it is not my money.  It belongs to the person who earned it.  It is his alone, to do with as he pleases (including using it for charitable purposes, if he wishes, something that used to be important to people).  That is what freedom is all about.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on March 23, 2010, 04:59:12 am
Michael, here's a great essay that expresses the heart of a lot of peoples' frustration with the Tea Party/Republican axis. The racist, bigoted, ignorant mean spirited attitude that is fueling much of the Tea Party movement, and the number of Republican lawmakers that at best either ignore or encourage such toxic behavior is as big a threat to this nation as deficits or national security.  These attitudes cannot be tolerated;  they destroy the country from within.


An Absence of Class
 
By BOB HERBERT
Published: March 22, 2010

Some of the images from the run-up to Sunday’s landmark health care vote in the House of Representatives should be seared into the nation’s consciousness. We are so far, in so many ways, from being a class act.

A group of lowlifes at a Tea Party rally in Columbus, Ohio, last week taunted and humiliated a man who was sitting on the ground with a sign that said he had Parkinson’s disease. The disgusting behavior was captured on a widely circulated videotape. One of the Tea Party protesters leaned over the man and sneered: “If you’re looking for a handout, you’re in the wrong end of town.”

Another threw money at the man, first one bill and then another, and said contemptuously, “I’ll pay for this guy. Here you go. Start a pot.”

In Washington on Saturday, opponents of the health care legislation spit on a black congressman and shouted racial slurs at two others, including John Lewis, one of the great heroes of the civil rights movement. Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat who is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, was taunted because he is gay.

At some point, we have to decide as a country that we just can’t have this: We can’t allow ourselves to remain silent as foaming-at-the-mouth protesters scream the vilest of epithets at members of Congress — epithets that The Times will not allow me to repeat here.

It is 2010, which means it is way past time for decent Americans to rise up against this kind of garbage, to fight it aggressively wherever it appears. And it is time for every American of good will to hold the Republican Party accountable for its role in tolerating, shielding and encouraging foul, mean-spirited and bigoted behavior in its ranks and among its strongest supporters.

For decades the G.O.P. has been the party of fear, ignorance and divisiveness. All you have to do is look around to see what it has done to the country. The greatest economic inequality since the Gilded Age was followed by a near-total collapse of the overall economy. As a country, we have a monumental mess on our hands and still the Republicans have nothing to offer in the way of a remedy except more tax cuts for the rich.

This is the party of trickle down and weapons of mass destruction, the party of birthers and death-panel lunatics. This is the party that genuflects at the altar of right-wing talk radio, with its insane, nauseating, nonstop commitment to hatred and bigotry.

Glenn Beck of Fox News has called President Obama a “racist” and asserted that he “has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.”

Mike Huckabee, a former Republican presidential candidate, has said of Mr. Obama’s economic policies: “Lenin and Stalin would love this stuff.”

The G.O.P. poisons the political atmosphere and then has the gall to complain about an absence of bipartisanship.

The toxic clouds that are the inevitable result of the fear and the bitter conflicts so relentlessly stoked by the Republican Party — think blacks against whites, gays versus straights, and a whole range of folks against immigrants — tend to obscure the tremendous damage that the party’s policies have inflicted on the country. If people are arguing over immigrants or abortion or whether gays should be allowed to marry, they’re not calling the G.O.P. to account for (to take just one example) the horribly destructive policy of cutting taxes while the nation was fighting two wars.

If you’re all fired up about Republican-inspired tales of Democrats planning to send grandma to some death chamber, you’ll never get to the G.O.P.’s war against the right of ordinary workers to organize and negotiate in their own best interests — a war that has diminished living standards for working people for decades.

With a freer hand, the Republicans would have done more damage. George W. Bush tried to undermine Social Security. John McCain was willing to put Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the Oval Office and thought Phil Gramm would have made a crackerjack Treasury secretary. (For those who may not remember, Mr. Gramm was a deregulation zealot who told us during the presidential campaign that we were suffering from a “mental recession.”)

A party that promotes ignorance (“Just say no to global warming”) and provides a safe house for bigotry cannot serve the best interests of our country. Back in the 1960s, John Lewis risked his life and endured savage beatings to secure fundamental rights for black Americans while right-wing Republicans like Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan were lining up with segregationist Democrats to oppose landmark civil rights legislation.

Since then, the right-wingers have taken over the G.O.P. and Mr. Lewis, now a congressman, must still endure the garbage they have wrought.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: moor on March 23, 2010, 10:49:18 am
In 1918, the top rate of the income tax was 77% on income over $1,000,000 to finance World War I.... dropped to around 60% during the Great Depression and shot back as high as 94% (on all income over $200,000) in 1945.  Top marginal tax rates stayed near or above 90% until 1964 when the top marginal tax rate was lowered to 70%. The top marginal tax rate was lowered to 50% in 1982 and down to 28% under Pres. Bush in 1988.  In 1990, the top marginal rate was raised to 31% (which sealed the President's fate at one-term).  In 1993 Pres. Clinton raised the top marginal rate to 39.6%.  That tax rate remained until 01 when Pres. Bush lowered the top marginal rate to 35%.  Thanks to the sunset provision, this rate is scheduled to expire in 2011 and rates shall return to the '93 rates.

This was the top rate, not what ordinary folk were taxed, but my point remains - in what context, historically, have the working population in this country not been called upon to pay their share?  I don't recall studying about tea party movements during either of the Great Wars, or during the passage of Medicare and the Civil Rights Act. 

AMT was designed to help fund Vietnam, and was birthed during the LBJ administration, and implemented under Nixon.  It was designed as a check on the numerous tax loopholes for the rich, some of whom avoided paying taxes altogether.  It's failed to keep up with inflation, which is why it now slams some in the middle class, however Congress, time and time again, from Nixon to Clinton has had the opportunity to repeal it and refuses to do so.  Again, where where was the Tea Party platform during the budget crisis of the early 80s?  Drastic cuts for the upper income and increased military spending.... yet no outcry.  What about the 86 Reform Act?  Nothing... not a peep.   When Bush I increased taxes on the rich in 90, he sealed his legacy as a one-term president, but set the groundwork and all but handed the credit to Clinton for building the surpluses seen in the mid 90s. 

The historical context of apportioned taxing of those who can most afford it seems pretty clear to me.  I don't get why all of the partisan politicizing over middle class taxation when the real issue is what are we going to do about the wealthy who are grossly underpaying.  I'm not talking about the 200K folks either.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on March 23, 2010, 01:37:49 pm
Just for clarification, the rates moor is quoting are the top marginal rates meaning the rate on the last dollar of taxable income. The actual rate (taxes paid / taxable income) is lower as the top marginal rate is applied to taxable income exceeding a threshold. That threshold is currently around $380,000.

So, at $400K, your average rate would be 28.71%. At $1M, the average rate would be 32.48%. Remember, that's taxable income, i.e. after deductions.

Here's a calculator to play with. (http://www.dinkytown.net/java/TaxMargin.html)
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 24, 2010, 07:32:38 am
Advocacy of tax increases is usually typified by the attitude of "let the other guy pay."  "Let the 'rich' pay."  With the further subtext, "Maybe I'll benefit from the wealth transfers."  Today that passes for compassionate, charitable sentiment.

No wonder Conservatives give a higher percentage of their income to charity than those on the Left.

Also, the notion that the current Administration is not interested in significantly expanding the scope and size of Government ... does not comport with reality.

Michael, here's a great essay that expresses the heart of a lot of peoples' frustration with the Tea Party/Republican axis. The racist, bigoted, ignorant mean spirited attitude that is fueling much of the Tea Party movement, and the number of Republican lawmakers that at best either ignore or encourage such toxic behavior is as big a threat to this nation as deficits or national security.  These attitudes cannot be tolerated;  they destroy the country from within.


An Absence of Class
 
By BOB HERBERT
Published: March 22, 2010



Reginald, the Axis?  What images does that term conjure up?  :P 

The article you posted very much reads to me as the mirror image of what one sees from the Radical Right.  I’m surprised you see it as a good article, constructive in any respect (other than serving its purpose of “preaching to the choir”).  The goal of the article seems to be to demonize Republicans and Conservatives.  This is nothing new from the Left, of course.

For example: “George W. Bush tried to undermine Social Security.” On the contrary, Bush recognized that where Social Security is headed is untenable, and tried to implement a rational fix, while most of the idiot politicians in Washington kept their heads in the sand because the sh*t would not hit the fan until years after the “next election.”

You would not know from the slanted screed (errr … article) that you posted that majorities in both parties (um … surpriseRepublicans and Democrats) voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Yes, there were notable exceptions, like Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, who voted against the bill, remarking, "You can't legislate morality."  However, Goldwater had supported previous attempts to pass Civil Rights legislation in 1957 and 1960. The reason for his opposition to the 1964 bill was Title II, which (given his libertarian bent) he viewed as a violation of individual liberty.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964 

Goldwater later admitted he was wrong when opposing then embracing civil rights reform calling it “one of his greatest regrets.” And, coming from Goldwater, who always said it like it is (honestly conveying his true sentiments, even at political expense), I have no doubt that he meant it.  Recall his words (err ... or look at a video ... of his famous acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention):

 “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!”

These are sentiments that I could not agree with more. 

The author you cite, Bob Herbert, with his heart-wrenching anecdotal stories, snippits of quotes probably taken out of context, and purveying old stuff from the early 1960’s to bash Republicans and Conservatives a half-century later is … well, lame.  It serves nothing but a rhetorical purpose.  Though, no doubt, it is well received by its audience, to reinforce their hatred today of Republicans and Conservatives.  And to distract people from the real economic and geopoltical issues that face us. Which, very clearly, was the objective of the author.  He had his effect on you.

Reginald, please … this is 2010, not 1960.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: moor on March 24, 2010, 08:24:27 am
Advocacy of tax increases is usually typified by the attitude of "let the other guy pay."  "Let the 'rich' pay."  With the further subtext, "Maybe I'll benefit from the wealth transfers."  Today that passes for compassionate, charitable sentiment.

No wonder Conservatives give a higher percentage of their income to charity than those on the Left.

Also, the notion that the current Administration is not interested in significantly expanding the scope and size of Government ... does not comport with reality.



Let everyone pay, not just the rich.  But in that same respect, why should anyone be allowed to underpay? 

And, anecdotally, as a father of 2.5 who's firmly entrenched in the lower-middle end of the spectrum, I'll be the first to tell you that I'm hardly benefiting from any "wealth transfers". 

You could also argue that Conservatives who give higher percentages of their income benefit from doing so, but don't necessarily give more when based on other metrics of giving, such as hours worked, income foregone, etc., given the tax implications.

My last point would be this:  the last true fiscal conservative in the White House was Mr. Bush, Sr. - a man who by all counts has been largely ostracized by the descendants of his own party, and who arguably had missteps, but will probably never get the credit he deserved for trying to right the ship when he had a chance - his attempts to moderate on many policy decisions of his predecessor cost him his job.
 
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on March 24, 2010, 10:33:36 am
Advocacy of tax increases is usually typified by the attitude of "let the other guy pay."  "Let the 'rich' pay."  With the further subtext, "Maybe I'll benefit from the wealth transfers."  Today that passes for compassionate, charitable sentiment.


Well, if one considers the whole of government intake and spending as a function, I think it pretty clearly transfers wealth toward the already rich overall. The notion of a progressive income tax system is as old as Adam Smith (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_tax):
Quote
The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be anything very unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.

The notion of one's fair share is, of course, subjective and debatable. I think Mr. Smith's point is valid.

Also, the notion that the current Administration is not interested in significantly expanding the scope and size of Government ... does not comport with reality.

I have not seen "expansion of the scope and size of the federal government" listed as an objective. Do you have a reference?

The author you cite, Bob Herbert, with his heart-wrenching anecdotal stories, snippits of quotes probably taken out of context, and purveying old stuff from the early 1960’s to bash Republicans and Conservatives a half-century later is … well, lame.  It serves nothing but a rhetorical purpose.  Though, no doubt, it is well received by its audience, to reinforce their hatred today of Republicans and Conservatives.  And to distract people from the real economic and geopoltical issues that face us. Which, very clearly, was the objective of the author.  He had his effect on you.


I thought Mr. Herbert was situating the current behavior of some of the Tea Party activists and the Republicans courting the movement in historical context. Michael, to your credit, you have been consistent in denouncing hateful behavior on the part of these activists. That many conservative politicians and activists have not been as scrupulous is a cause for concern, at least it is for me. It makes me wary as to what degree sinister elements are behind the Tea Party movement or are using the movement as camouflage.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Vic Vega on March 24, 2010, 10:41:11 am
We always seem to find the money to be able to blow the hell out of Brown folks.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Lion on March 24, 2010, 04:44:59 pm
Estimated cost of Afghanistan and Iraq War: 3 Trillion Dollars over 10 years as of 2008

Estimated cost of health care: .94 Trillion.

I don't want to hear it.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Tanksleyd on March 24, 2010, 08:14:56 pm
We always seem to find the money to be able to blow the hell out of Brown folks.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 25, 2010, 09:02:22 pm
The "nondiscretionary" entitlement programs are a major problem facing our nation, and it is only going to get worse as my generation ages.

My view of rights is different than what has been expressed above. I believe a person has the right to what he earns, through his labor and his capital. Period. Anything beyond that, that he receives from his fellows, is charity.

A person has the right to do as he pleases with his property.  But he does have moral responsibilities.

I believe that many people confuse the two concepts ... of "rights" vs. "responsibilities"

Those who are able do have a moral responsibility to help those most in need, to feed the poor (etc). By giving charity. This has nothing to do with the recipient's "right" to take your property for his own use, but rather pertains to the moral obligation of the donor.

Similarly, there is a moral obligation for children to care for their parents, and more broadly, for people to care for their extended family.

As to whether taxation should be progressive or not, I've no problem with progressive taxation, so long as the Government that is being supported is providing only the basic essentials that a national government must provide, such as providing for the common defense, dealing with foreign powers, (together with the States) maintaining infrastructure that (because of the free-rider problem) cannot be privately funded, enforcing reasonable regulation for public health and safety, requiring full disclosure of information (by, for example, requiring accurate and honest disclosure of business information and product information), and enforcement of laws prohibiting racial, ethnic and religious discrimination. Other matters can be handled by state and local governments.

It is where the role of Government morphs into an agency for income redistribution that I have a problem, because by doing so it is forcibly imposing the giving of charity, and by so doing, takes it out of the realm of charity altogether. Undermining every person's individual sense of personal responsibility to give charity, and thus reducing the moral impulses of the population. The focus instead becomes "what I can get" and "what I can take" and "what I must pay."  Through coercion. That is when it becomes too easy for a democracy to slide into a tyranny by the majority, where the property rights of the Individual are no longer respected.

Strong social pressure should be brought to bear on those not fulfilling their moral obligations. Stigmatizing those who do not. Positive recognition should be accorded those who do, to encourage more people to give and to give more generously.

What I describe reinforces the work ethic, the family, and the charitable instinct, and more broadly, the sense of personal moral responsibility one has for one's fellows. Enhancing these would reduce a host of other problems that our culture currently suffers from.

Guys, I believe you understand where I'm coming from on the issue of Big Government, Taxation, and the like, and also on the issue of Personal Responsibility.  I believe I understand where you are coming from as well (collectively)(... no pun intended).  Which explains why we come out differently on domestic political issues.

This does not mean that I'm a devil, or that those who agree with me are devils, nor does it mean that those who disagree with me are devils.  But the blogs, articles, emails, and so on, just keep on flowing, from the Left and the Right, conveying such sentiments (like the article cited by Reginald, above).

That our nation is polarized is an understatement.

On the positive side, I guess that is part of the vigorous political dynamic. And it is nothing new. The vitriol expressed after the founding of our nation was no less severe.

So there we have it.

I would just ask that when we read our articles, those that we agree with, that we have the self-possession to step back from our biases and realize that the vitriol is just a rhetorical tool.  In other words, don't allow ourselves to be totally sucked into it.  Even where we agree with the objectives of those who express such sentiments.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on March 26, 2010, 11:45:46 pm
from the website FIELD NEGRO:

The truth about Harry. And maybe George.


I won't lie, I hate bumper stickers. A car should be for driving, not telling us about what religion you belong to, how smart your kids are, or who you vote for. Sometimes I see bumper stickers on very nice new cars and I just have to shake my head. I just don't get it.


Still, as much as I despise bumper stickers, I don't think I would do what this guy did. What the hell is A-merry-ca coming to when just having a bumper sticker declaring your love for his O ness can cost you a trip to the body shop? Oh lawd! These wingnuts are off the chain. I bet the guy was listening to Beck or one of those right wing talk show nut jobs and just got fired up. The poor guy just took out all his pent up rage on the first thing he saw with his O ness on it.


"After picking up his 10-year old daughter from school yesterday afternoon, Nashville resident Mark Duren was driving home when he was suddenly and intentionally rammed from behind by Harry Weisiger. Enraged at the sight of Duren’s Obama bumper sticker, Weisiger gave Duren “the bird” and then hit him from behind, leading to a violent series of events. Nashville’s WKRN report"


The guy didn't even care that there was a 10 year old child in the car. No sir, all he had to see was the face of the beige man in the people's house to go all Toyota on poor Mr. Duren.


“He pointed at the back of my car,” Duren said, “the bumper, flipped me off, one finger salute.”
But it didn’t end there. Duren told News 2 that Weisiger honked his horn at him for awhile, as Duren stopped at a stop sign. Once he started driving again, down Blair Boulevard, towards his home, he said, “I looked in the rear view mirror again, and this same SUV was speeding, flying up behind me, bumped me.”


Obama supporters, I think you are all going to have to start driving bigger cars. Or, just leave your bumper stickers at home. This is crazy. It's not worth losing your lives over this love you have for his O ness.


Finally, I am going to shock some of you tonight. I am going to defend the frat boy. Yes, defend him.


You all know about the video making the rounds on the Internet of the frat boy doing a quick wipe after playing touch with some Haitians. He has been getting killed for it in some circles. Hey George, this is what happens when you diss an entire city of poor suffering black folks by doing a fly over. These kinds of things tend to stay with you. Let's face it; you Bush folks tend to be Crips when it comes to your blood. So for many people it was easy to believe this story.


But don't worry George, even though I am no fan. I am going to lean to The Guardian story on this one and say that the whole thing just seemed a lot worse than it really was. And, that looks, in this case, was deceiving. Besides, the frat boy, like his daddy, has an issue with touching strangers, period. So I don't think it was a Haitian thing.....I don't think.


How is that? Field taking the high road. It must be the weekend.






Posted by field negro at 10:17 PM 24 comments   Links to this post
Labels: George Bush, Harry Weisger
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Living in right wing bloggerland: Those threats against the democratic lawmakers weren't real.


I would like to thank my man Greg Fuller for sending me the following article from Media Matters. It kind of sums up how right wing blogs have been reacting to the anarchistic and hooligan style tactics of their wingnut friends.


"Right-wing blogs trivialize threats against Democrats
Right-wing blogs have responded to reported threats against Democrats who voted for the health care reform bill by trivializing the threats or suggesting that the reports are false, condemning the threats but making excuses for them, suggesting that Democrats themselves are to blame for receiving the threats, or suggesting other acts of violence that people could commit against their congressional representative.

Right-wing blogs trivialize threats, make excuses, blame Democrats
Big Government: "We doubt these threats are actually real and, certainly wouldn't condone them." In a March 25 post, the "Editorial Panel" of Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com wrote: "Democrats and the leftist media are all atwitter about alleged threats of violence against Congressmen who voted for ObamaCare. We doubt these threats are actually real and, certainly wouldn't condone them." The post continued: "But, here's a tip: Hey Democrats, if you are worried about an angry public, how about not passing a sweeping government expansion opposed by 70% of the public. Just a thought."


Big Journalism's Walsh: Media "never once stops to question whether the Alinsky Party is, you know, exaggerating or even lying." In a March 24 post on Breitbart's BigJournalism.com about a report noting House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer warned Democrats about potential violence, Michael Walsh wrote: "Naturally, the media accepts this allegation at face value, and never once stops to question whether the Alinsky Party is, you know, exaggerating or even lying -- as the spiritual mentor of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton taught it to do." Walsh later stated: "So listen up, MSM [mainstream media], and consider this speaking out: God forbid that anything should happen. But if it does happen, try not to leap to pre-planted conclusions that fit the narrative: 'Democrats good/Republicans bad.' "

Gateway Pundit: "Suddenly the State-Run Media is Horrified that Politician's [sic] Home Addresses Are Published on the Internet." In a March 24 post responding to reports that the FBI is investigating an incident at the home of Rep. Tom Perriello's (D-VA) brother, at which a gas line was allegedly cut, Jim Hoft wrote, "Suddenly the State-Run Media is Horrified that Politician's [sic] Home Addresses Are Published on the Internet." Hoft further wrote: "This week an angry tea party activist published the address of a Virginia Congressman on his blog and suggested that Tea Party Protesters go visit this socialist at home... The tea party organizer did not direct anyone to harm the Congressman. But, that won't stop the leftist media from going berserk over the incident."

Confederate Yankee: "[H]ave a swing" at "your Congressman" instead. In a March 24 blog post, right-wing blogger Confederate Yankee wrote that it is "totally unacceptable to threaten" Congress members' "relatives or friends and put them in danger." Confederate Yankee added: "Go to your Congressman's office and scream at him in the most colorful language possible. Hang him in effigy at protests. If you're willing to do the time for the crime, have a swing at him."

NewsBusters: "The Media's Myth of Right Wing Violence." In a March 24 NewsBusters post, Mithridate Ombud wrote that while "[t]hose who commit violence in the name of politics deserve political change no more than they deserve leniency in sentencing," President Obama's "desire to continue ramming through the most divisive legislation -- against his own creed -- isn't helping bring calm to even the most peaceful conservatives. And while the evidence of a violent right is scarce, there's no limit to liberals attempting to make conservatives look evil." Ombud further stated, "Whether this is a shortcut to 2nd Amendment action, valid concern, or just a bunch of crybaby progressive politicians over reacting to criticism, it's hard to tell." Ombud concluded: "The media and politicians who are trying to construct a meme of conservative violence as we run up to the 2010 elections should only face the weapon they fear most; the ballot."

Dan Riehl: "Dems Have Only Themselves To Blame For Threats." In a March 24 post on his blog titled, "Dems Have Only Themselves To Blame For Threats," Dan Riehl wrote: "No one should seriously enjoy seeing this type of thing going on. Though, I'd add, the Netroots crowd would have absolutely no problem with this were the shoe on the other foot. But it's not. It's on theirs." Riehl later wrote of Democrats who received threats: "These malignant little tyrants want to play the victim? After victimizing America with their pathetic antics, their corrupt practices, all to push a destructive ideology America has long rejected? The Democrats are the real criminals here. They have torn the fabric of America with a repulsive world view they now hope to thrust upon the American people, whether we like it, or not."

John Hinderaker: Threats "being played up in the press because the Democrats want to dampen the anger that has erupted" over health care reform. In a March 24 Powerline post, John Hinderaker wrote, "We condemn political violence in virtually all circumstances; certainly in all circumstances that could arise in our democracy." Hinderaker later wrote that "[t]he current threats (assuming they are real, as I assume some of them are) are being played up in the press because the Democrats want to dampen the anger that has erupted over their adoption of a government medicine program through a series of legislative maneuvers that are in some respects unprecedented." From Hinderaker's post:

We condemn political violence in virtually all circumstances; certainly in all circumstances that could arise in our democracy. Threats of violence, sadly, are not uncommon in politics; let alone "harassment." Even insignificant conservatives like us have been threatened with violence on several occasions, and the linked article notes that Jim Bunning received threats after he temporarily held up the extension of unemployment benefits a few weeks ago.

The current threats (assuming they are real, as I assume some of them are) are being played up in the press because the Democrats want to dampen the anger that has erupted over their adoption of a government medicine program through a series of legislative maneuvers that are in some respects unprecedented. It is important for the Democrats and their press minions to understand that there are many millions of Americans who regard Obamacare not just as misguided public policy, but as an illegitimate usurpation of power. I am one of the many millions who are outraged at the Left's attempt to destroy the private health care system that has served my family so well, and who regard Obamacare as illegitimate.

As for the threats, we will take them more seriously if they result in the cancellation of a public appearance by a liberal due to security concerns. But that never happens to liberals, only to conservatives. It happened again last night. That was in Canada, of course; the home of government medicine and little regard for free speech. No coincidence, that.
Lopez: "Threats are wrong. But they also are somewhat commonplace." In a post on National Review Online's The Corner blog, Kathryn Jean Lopez quoted from Hinderaker's Powerline post and downplayed the threats against Democrats:

Threats are wrong. But they also are somewhat commonplace. Take deep breaths and work harder, is my advice to anyone to receives one.

Let's not pretend that Obamacare critics are all violent or otherwise breed violence. And let's not pretend that John Boehner and Eric Cantor, or Jonah Goldberg and Kathryn Lopez, haven't been subject to ridiculous -- albeit disconcerting -- threats, too. This is bad news, but it didn't materialize this Saturday or Sunday with a "Don't Tread on Me" flag.

Fox News figures condemn threats against Democrats -- but then make excuses for them
As Media Matters for America has noted, several Fox News hosts and guests -- including Gretchen Carlson, Steve Doocy, and Brian Kilmeade; Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, S.E. Cupp, Charles Krauthammer, and Stephen Hayes -- have been quick to first condemn the threats against Democrats but then immediately make excuses for or dismiss the seriousness of the threats.http://mediamatters.org/items/201003250028"


Don't you just love the "threats are wrong-- but" arguments from these wingnut blogs?


Personally, this sh*t is mild to me. I come from a place where we kill our political enemies. So sticks and stones if you get my drift. Still, this is A-merry-ca, we are supposed to be civil with our politics and in our political discourse. Violence and threats of violence is not the A-merry-can political way. At least not anymore.


Oh well; bring it on wingnuts. We will be right here.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 28, 2010, 07:03:08 am
As to your first article, a few years ago some guy almost ran into my truck, threatened to, gave me the finger, was screaming obscenities at me, all prompted by a bumper sticker I had proudly posted, featuring an American and Israeli flag side-by-side with an anti-terrorism message.  I have to assume the fellow was not a Conservative, nor a supporter of Israel or the United States. My story didn't make the newpapers, though. Also heard stories of cars keyed, air let out of tires, etc ... of cars displaying pro-Bush bumper stickers.

As to your second article, Let's see ... Condemnation of those who threaten violence ... I agree with that.  The fact that threats come from the Right and the Left, that's true. Are memories so short, or one's standard so "double," as to forget the hatred spewed from the Left during the Bush Administration?  I don't recall seeing any concerned, much less outraged, posts on the Hudlin Entertainment Forum during those eight years.

Reginald, that this is part of a conscious Democratic Party strategy to try to delegitimize and silence strong critics of the Administration is obvious. That there are a few nutjobs out there is also true, and they are a cause for concern. But to generalize from the latter to the former is both an insult to our intelligence and ... just an insult.  An intentional insult.

I can't help but believe that some on the Left, perhaps many, are just itching for an extreme act of violence by someone on the Right, preferably a Tea Party Activist (or someone who could be so characterized) ... but anyone on the Right would do.  My proof of this.  Just look at the Left and Liberal rush to judgement with regard to the Austin bombing of the IRS Building, where the perpetrator Joe Stack was immediately characterized as a Tea Party Protester.  The disappointment in the air(waves) and on the Internet from the Left was almost palpable when it became increasingly clear that the man was just a nut.

Even "better" from this cynical Leftist partisan perspective would be an unsuccessful attempt to take the life of the President.

Thus, I'm not holding my breath for anyone, including those on the Left, to follow Peggy Noonan's advice to "lower the temperature. Any way you can, and everybody. Just lower it."

Why lower the temperature when you can make such political hay out of anecdotal incidents? On the contrary, the more dramatic they are, the "better" they are to demonize all of your opponents.  No wonder the polemical gas is burning so hot.

In any event, here is another article to add to your collection, that has some merit (bolding added by me). My only reservation about it is that it might be viewed as an argument to silence strong expressions of legitimate political free speech, protected by the First Amendment, but I don't think that is Peggy Noonan's intention, given that she is really pointing the finger at everyone:

The Heat Is On. We May Get Burned.
Political rage is a national problem, not a partisan one.

Peggy Noonan
The Wall Street Journal: March 25, 2010

So where are we? In a dangerous place, actually.

Politics is a rough arena, and understandably so, for our politicians tell us more and more how to order our lives. Naturally there will be resistance, and strong opposition. We have a long history of hurly-burly debate, and we all know examples the past 200 years of terrible things said and done. Capitol tour guides enjoy showing the stain on the marble steps supposedly left by the blood of Sen. Charles Sumner, beaten half to death on the floor of the senate in 1856 by Rep. Preston Brooks, who wielded a thick gold-tipped cane. So we’ve had our moments.

But it’s a mistake not to see something new, something raw and bitter and dangerous, in the particular moment we’re in.

Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader, this week announced that 10 congressional Democrats have recently been menaced and threatened with violence, and that they found it necessary to meet with the FBI and Capitol Police. A congressman apparently said a casket had been left near his home; a congresswoman reportedly said she was worried for the safety of her children.

This is all completely believable.

Democratic officials are right to call attention to what they believe is a growing threat. It is a truly terrible thing. But it would be deeply unhelpful for the Democrats to use this story as a mere political opportunity, as a way to undermine opposition to ObamaCare by painting opponents as dangerous and unhinged. That would only inflame the country, and in any case is not true. The truth is this sickness works both ways.

There probably isn’t a Republican leader who has not the past few years been menaced, and in exactly the same ways as the Democrats. Thursday I asked a staffer for a congressman who is a significant and respected opponent of the health-care bill if he had ever been threatened. Yes indeed. “Over the years and as recently as yesterday,” both the congressman and his staff “have received countless threats—both threats of violence and of death. These come in the form of letters, faxes, emails, phone calls, and voice-mail messages. We’ve had the front window smashed in at one of our district offices. Rather than call TV crews or the Washington Post, we report threats to the proper authorities, and move on. We’d take issue with the recent narrative that conservatives are disproportionately hostile, prone to violence or whatever message the left is pushing these days. They have anecdotes, we have anecdotes.”

Even columnists and pundits have anecdotes. Just about everyone in public life on whatever level gets threats now.

Here’s the tenor and tone of the moment:

Under the news story on Mr. Hoyer’s statement on the Yahoo! news site on Thursday, there was a lengthy comment thread, with more than 800 people offering their thoughts. “An American Hitler might be in the making who would purge the leftists,” said one, who of course didn’t use his or her name. “Republicans are criminals and terrorists,” said another. “Republicans . . . are thugs, scoundrels and rascals.” And: “What did they expect when they . . . went against the American people and are FORCING this bill on us.” “It’s what happens before the revolution . . . people are frustrated over not being heard . . . let the battle begin.”

Here, edited for a family newspaper, are some of the recorded telephone messages left on the answering machine of Rep. Bart Stupak. These are messages left by individuals who appear to be pro-life activists—that is, people who have put themselves on the line to support generous and compassionate treatment of the unborn.

“I hope you bleed out your ___, get cancer and die.” “You will rue the day. . . . I hope you’re haunted the rest of your living day. . . . We think you’re a devil. . . . The country loathes you.” “You are one big piece of human ____. There are people across the country who wish you ill, and all of those thoughts projected on you will materialize into something that’s not very good for you. Go to hell, you piece of ____.”

These are people whose professed mission it is to save children. Whatever else these particular individuals are, they are people whose nerves have been rubbed raw.

Responsible leaders on all levels of American life ought to stop, breathe in, and see the level of anger and agitation that’s rippling through the country. Both sides should try to cool it, or something bad is going to happen. In fact I am struck now by how, when I worry aloud about this and say to a conservative or a liberal, a Republican or a Democrat, that I fear something bad is going to happen, no one disagrees. No one says, “Don’t worry, it’s nothing.” They say—again, left right and center: “I’m afraid of that too.”

What I keep thinking of is a beehive. A modern, high tech, highly politicized democracy is a busy beehive, and sometimes the bees are angry, and sometimes someone comes by and sticks a big sharp stick in the hive. The biggest thing Washington should do right now is stop it, stop poking the stick.

The beehive was already angry about a million things a year ago, and most of those things, obviously, were not the fault of the administration. People are angry at their economic vulnerability. They are angry at the deterioration of our culture, angry at our nation’s deteriorating position in the world, at our debts and deficits, our spending and taxing, our threatened security in a world of weapons of mass destruction. Their anger is stoked by cynical politicians and radio ranters and people who come home at night, have a few drinks, and spew out their rage on the comment thread. It’s a world full of people always cocking the gun and ready to say, if things turn bad, “But I didn’t tell anyone to shoot!”

And yes, this mood, this anger, has only been made worse by this yearlong, enervating, exhausting, enraging fight over health care. The administration is full of people who are so bright, and led by one who is very bright, and yet they have a signal failure: They do not know what time it is. They cannot see how high the temperature is. They cannot for the life of them understand that they raise it.

What we need now in our leaders is the knowledge that there is so much that is tearing us apart as a nation and that the great project now is to keep us together, to hold us together as much as possible, because future trends will be to come apart, and for many reasons. To come apart because we’re no longer held close and firmly by the old glue of appreciation for a common heritage, history and culture; to come apart because we’re a country that increasingly feels there are people in the cart and people pulling the cart, and the latter are increasingly overwhelmed and fearful; coming apart because we’re now in at least our second generation of young, lost, unguided children with no fully functioning parent in their lives, kids being raised by a microwave and a TV set. All of these things weigh and grate.

They are all, of course, too big and complicated to be adequately dealt with in a year or even a decade. But one immediate thing can be done right now, and that is: lower the temperature. Any way you can, and everybody. Just lower it.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on March 28, 2010, 12:00:27 pm
I don't think anybody here condones violence or threats against elected officials of any stripe. Michael, if your goal is to inform us of threats received by Republicans then thank you. If you are implying that there are transgressions on both "sides" so we shouldn't pay this any mind, well, not so fast.

I do agree that data is not the plural of anecdote. If only some entity tracking had been tracking intolerance and racial violence for decades... Somebody like, say, the Southern Poverty Law Center. They recently released an Intelligence Report on the subject:
Rage on the Right (http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2010/spring/rage-on-the-right). Here are the opening paragraphs:
Quote
The radical right caught fire last year, as broad-based populist anger at political, demographic and economic changes in America ignited an explosion of new extremist groups and activism across the nation.

Hate groups stayed at record levels — almost 1,000 — despite the total collapse of the second largest neo-Nazi group in America. Furious anti-immigrant vigilante groups soared by nearly 80%, adding some 136 new groups during 2009. And, most remarkably of all, so-called "Patriot" groups — militias and other organizations that see the federal government as part of a plot to impose “one-world government” on liberty-loving Americans — came roaring back after years out of the limelight.

The anger seething across the American political landscape — over racial changes in the population, soaring public debt and the terrible economy, the bailouts of bankers and other elites, and an array of initiatives by the relatively liberal Obama Administration that are seen as "socialist" or even "fascist" — goes beyond the radical right. The "tea parties" and similar groups that have sprung up in recent months cannot fairly be considered extremist groups, but they are shot through with rich veins of radical ideas, conspiracy theories and racism.


Also, here is an interview (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124906766) with Mark Potok, the director of publications and information for the Southern Poverty Law Center. The introduction:
Quote
When Right-Wing Extremism Moves Mainstream
Last May, about 30 people gathered at a resort in Jekyll Island, Ga., for a series of discussions about "increasing national instability" and President Obama's "socialized" policies.

The island was chosen for symbolic reasons — the initial discussions about creating a Federal Reserve were held there in 1910 — and the attendees met to formulate a plan for bringing their own radical organizations together.

"One of the interesting things about the meeting is how nondenominational it was," says Mark Potok. "There were Holocaust deniers there. There were anti-Semites. There were also people who have none of those feelings, who are all about the idea that the federal income tax is unconstitutional — people from the old[er] militia movements and so on."

Potok is the director of publications and information for the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group's latest Intelligence Report, "Rage on the Right," documents the growth in the number of hate and extremist groups — and how their rhetoric is increasingly entering the mainstream.


So, yeah, I'm concerned.

Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 28, 2010, 02:19:05 pm
Curtis, you wholly missed my point, regarding the conscious strategy of demonizing Conservatives, to stifle dissent. 

Regarding the studies you cite, what percentage of the total American population do the groups that truly advocate violence represent?  How about those that openly advocate racism (or more broadly bigotry -- and not through some Left-wing interpretive spin, but overtly - the neo-Nazis, the skinheads, the KKK, and that ilk)?  Of course extremist groups need to be monitored.  I've said that about 20 times on this thread. 

Though we do have to be careful of the source of any "intelligence reports" and how they are doing their classifying.  For example, if there is a group opposed to illegal immigration, that group might be classified in a negative way in a report when, in truth, it is a wholly legitimate organization that does not pose any threat of violence.  There is ample opportunity for ideological spin.  I'm not saying that is the case the studies you cited however (I've not looked into it).  Nor do I know if they choose to focus only on Right-wing groups, or whether they also monitor Left-wing and other radical groups (Jihadist, and so forth) that might also engage in acts of violance or terrorism.

My point is to not attribute the motivations of that minuscule percentage of Right-wing extremists to the broad body of Conservatives, Conservative Activists, and Republicans who are opposed to the government-expansionist polices of the Administration and, more broadly, are opposed to Big Government.  Men and women who support Conservative solutions and are for Individual Liberty.  Much of the hateful ranting we see from the Left does exactly that.  And goes well beyond that.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on March 28, 2010, 02:19:23 pm
I'm not saying that is the case the studies you cited however (I've not looked into it).
So then why make the comment?

My point is to not attribute the motivations of that minuscule percentage of extremists to the broad body of Conservatives, Conservative Activists, and Republicans who are opposed to the government-expansionist polices of the Administration and, more broadly, are opposed to Big Government.  Men and women who support Conservative solutions and are for Individual Liberty.  Much of the hateful ranting we see from the Left does exactly that.  And goes well beyond that.
So except for that "minuscule percentage of extremists" all the rest of those you name are enlightened patriots without a racist bone in their bodies motivated solely by their love of liberty. Really?
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 28, 2010, 03:21:08 pm
I'm not saying that is the case the studies you cited however (I've not looked into it).
So then why make the comment?

Because they are reasonable questions. Don't like people raising questions?

I didn't make an allegation, I just raised a couple of questions. Which is entirely fair ... and intellectually honest. (Including my honest comment that I'm not sure if the kind of bias we've seen in other publications posted on this forum is shared by the sources you cite). 

However, that said, I'm all for identifying and monitoring actual hate groups.

My point is to not attribute the motivations of that minuscule percentage of extremists to the broad body of Conservatives, Conservative Activists, and Republicans who are opposed to the government-expansionist polices of the Administration and, more broadly, are opposed to Big Government.  Men and women who support Conservative solutions and are for Individual Liberty.  Much of the hateful ranting we see from the Left does exactly that.  And goes well beyond that.
So except for that "minuscule percentage of extremists" all the rest of those you name are enlightened patriots without a racist bone in their bodies motivated solely by their love of liberty. Really?

Shockingly contrary to the hateful screeds produced by Leftist websites and editorialists, I know. We've already had this discussion Curtis, and I explained my views fully above. While I don't pretend to read minds, I believe that most folks involved in the Conservative Movement are men and women of principle.  Even if they don't agree with you. Please don't ask me to repeat myself (yet again).
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on March 28, 2010, 03:36:22 pm
I'm not saying that is the case the studies you cited however (I've not looked into it).
So then why make the comment?

Because they are reasonable questions. Don't like people raising questions?

I didn't make an allegation, I just raised a couple of questions. Which is entirely fair ... and intellectually honest. (Including my honest comment that I'm not sure if the kind of bias we've seen in other publications posted on this forum is shared by the sources you cite). 

However, that said, I'm all for identifying and monitoring actual hate groups.
Fair enough. I withdraw the objection.

My point is to not attribute the motivations of that minuscule percentage of extremists to the broad body of Conservatives, Conservative Activists, and Republicans who are opposed to the government-expansionist polices of the Administration and, more broadly, are opposed to Big Government.  Men and women who support Conservative solutions and are for Individual Liberty.  Much of the hateful ranting we see from the Left does exactly that.  And goes well beyond that.
So except for that "minuscule percentage of extremists" all the rest of those you name are enlightened patriots without a racist bone in their bodies motivated solely by their love of liberty. Really?

Shockingly contrary to the hateful screeds produced by Leftist websites and editorialists, I know. We've already had this discussion Curtis, and I explained my views fully above. While I don't pretend to read minds, I believe that most folks involved in the Conservative Movement are men and women of principle.  Even if they don't agree with you. Please don't ask me to repeat myself (yet again).
Please don't. Being men and women of principle does not preclude racial attitudes playing a part in what we are seeing - both in terms of how the current administration and its policies are perceived and the manner in which opposition is expressed. Acknowledging the role of race, both consciously and unconsciously, in the social calculus is just realistic to me. That acknowledgment is not intended to delegitimize or dismiss anyone's position. But it is a factor to consider.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 28, 2010, 10:28:38 pm
Curtis, as is the case with those who embrace positions that you agree with, on a variety of issues (in term of the potential for bigotry playing a role, or race playing a role, or ethnicity playing a role, for some people, depending on the issue). However, the more principled people are, the less likely this will be a meaningful factor for most (unless, of course, "in principle" they embrace racism or bigotry, which would be a pretty lame principle).

In any event, this has no bearing on whether, on their own merits, the issues being raised by Conservatives are legitimate or not. If they are, they should be addressed, rather than dismissed.

I do believe what we've seen in many of the articles posted above are indeed efforts to distract people from the importance of the issues being raised, because it is always easier to create and attack a straw man than to refute legitimate fundamental issues raised by one's opponents.  I see this as very much the strategy of the Left here, in an attempt to marginalize the opposition. To try to convince the electorate to ignore the issues raised and just "move on."  I don't think this strategy is going to work. I think, in its transparency and innuendo, it will just piss people off. Because it really is unfair.

I know Reginald feels differently, and I believe you do as well. We'll see what the future holds. In November.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Battle on March 29, 2010, 10:13:19 am
I know Reginald feels differently, and I believe you do as well. We'll see what the future holds. In November.


Just remember, michaelintp, that party senate majorities come and party senate majorities go...

---but it was Barack H. Obama who changed the game! ;)

Right now, is the best time for anyone in political science to get in the game and follow his lead.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on March 29, 2010, 11:33:06 am
I do believe what we've seen in many of the articles posted above are indeed efforts to distract people from the importance of the issues being raised, because it is always easier to create and attack a straw man than to refute legitimate fundamental issues raised by one's opponents.  I see this as very much the strategy of the Left here, in an attempt to marginalize the opposition. To try to convince the electorate to ignore the issues raised and just "move on."  I don't think this strategy is going to work. I think, in its transparency and innuendo, it will just piss people off. Because it really is unfair.

I know Reginald feels differently, and I believe you do as well. We'll see what the future holds. In November.

Michael, I take your point that some of this is just politics as usual and that some folks across the political spectrum are doing just what you describe above (although I do think it's coming far more at least as much from the Right although it is possible that I am more sensitive to that variety of it. I imagine the mirror image holds true for you. ;)) I, too, wish it would stop. I don't expect it will.

At the same time, I see something else happening that has to do with race. Not that race is the sole or even primary factor but it is significant. The Rage on the Right Intelligence Report and the interview with Mark Potok from the Southern Law Poverty Center concern me greatly.

As for the substance, I get that you are for a minimalist approach to government. Me, I'm for a safety net. The devil is in the details.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 29, 2010, 06:44:39 pm
Curtis, I agree with you on the "sensitivity" point, as to things directed at those whom we agree with.

Battle, as to learning from Obama:  An interesting/strange though just occurred to me.  Much of the support for Obama was grassroots.  Perhaps Conservatives did learn from Obama.

Anyway, I'm out of pocket for a couple of days for Passover.  Have a great week.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on March 30, 2010, 06:37:16 am
Battle, as to learning from Obama:  An interesting/strange though just occurred to me.  Much of the support for Obama was grassroots.  Perhaps Conservatives did learn from Obama.

You know, that is an interesting thought.
Anyway, we'll see you when you get back. What does one say? Happy Passover? Whatever it is, have a good one.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on March 31, 2010, 10:55:27 pm
Thanks, yep, "Have a Happy Passover" is fine.   :)

During the Passover Seder, when one drinks the four cups of wine one is to imitate the conduct of royalty (who used to recline on a couch when they ate).  So we are instructed to lean to the left each time we drink the four cups.

It occurred to me, last night, that ...

For two nights a year, Michaelintp is actually LEFT-LEANING!   ;D

Haha ... but now Passover is over ...

My son was visiting, and he had a stack of older Wall Street Journals with him, and whaddya know, there was an editorial on March 26th called "Demonizing Dissent" ... and I found one part particularly interesting:

"At a news conference yesterday, Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House Minority Whip, described his own experiences: 'I've received threats since I assumed elected office, not only because of my position, but also because I'm Jewish.  I've never blamed anyone in this body for that -- period. ... A bullet was shot through the window of my campaign office in Richmond this week, and I've received threatening emails.  But I will not release them, because I believe such actions will only encourage more to be sent.'"

Rep. Cantor was of course responding to the guilt-by-association tactics leveled against Republicans that we have been discussing. He makes a very good point. The unhinged individuals who engage in acts or threats of violence thrive on publicity. Elevating such incidents in the Media, drawing undue attention to them, is at best imprudent, if one's goal is to not encourage more of such incidents by the same or similarly-minded individuals. Query whether that is really one of the goals of those making a federal case out of every incident of some nut sending a threatening letter or email or yelling some threatening comment, or whether (as I suggested above) some on the Left actually see political capital in encouraging such incidents (by feeding the egos of those who engage in such behavior, giving them the attention they long to receive). If true, and I think it is, this is terribly irresponsible. Just a thought.

The other thought I had is that, while of course we all agree that threats and acts of violence are reprehensible and must be condemned, that is not the same thing as strongly expressed political speech, intended to galvanize "the troops" to "target" the opposition (yep, in politics, military metaphors are often used, haha).  It is very easy and convenient for The Establishment (those in power) to argue that the intensity, the public outrage, should be taken down a notch, when the effect of doing so would increase the likelihood of those in power maintaining the status quo.  Dissent, by its very nature, usually involves the expression of strong feelings and vigorous outspoken efforts to convince others to join the "cause" to change the course of government and replace those who are presently in positions of leadership. 

Put another way, those holding the reigns of power have an inherent advantage that, if nothing changes, they win. So, of course, they would like the discourse to be as low-key (and from the Opposition, as uninspiring) as possible.

This comment applies to dissent from the Left and dissent from the Right.  It simply reflects the different power dynamic between those presently on the "inside" of Government, and those presently on the "outside." 

So I am a little skeptical, now, of folk objecting to the intensity of feelings being expressed by Conservative Activists, when those very same folk didn't express objections when highly intense feelings were being expressed from dissenters on the Left against Republican Administrations.

And again, of course, when I refer to "Conservative Activists" I'm not referring to the extremist lunatic Right-Wing fringe here, I'm not referring to the crazed hate groups you referenced above, but rather to the vast majority of those involved in the Tea Party Movement, Conservative editorialists and commentators, and the like, who are sincerely concerned and, yes outraged, at the direction our country is headed. For many, the present expansion of Government, including ObamaCare, was the "straw that broke the Camel's back" (though, rather than a straw, it is more like a ton of bricks).   

By my nature I'm inclined toward calm, often pedantic, discourse (which, as you are well aware, is less than inspiring). I liked the fact that in Peggy Noonan's article she did point out the "heat" from both the Right and the Left, Republicans and Democrats. But, at the same time, she didn't address the dynamics of power issue, that I've just raised, above. So I dunno.  It is more complex.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: moor on April 01, 2010, 06:41:09 am
Mike,

Would you say, then, that behaviour exhibited by the minority political constituency (right vs. left) during the present and prior administrations has been comparable, in terms of say - tactics and intensity?  Or how would you characterize a difference (if any) between the two?
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on April 01, 2010, 11:22:28 pm
Mike,

Would you say, then, that behaviour exhibited by the minority political constituency (right vs. left) during the present and prior administrations has been comparable, in terms of say - tactics and intensity?  Or how would you characterize a difference (if any) between the two?

Well, I can describe to you my perception of much of the “agitation” that took place from the Left, during the Bush years.  There were protests, some violent and some involving illegal conduct, but most not.  There were acts of vandalism, destruction of property and death threats. In fairness, the vandalism, death threats etc ... presumably came from a small minority (just as the ones that are being so widely reported and emphasized today by supporters of the Obama Administration).  The illegal conduct, such as blocking access to facilities (etc) was, I believe, somewhat more widespread, but clearly still reflected the behavior of a small minority.

More relevant to the present discussion, was the nature of the rhetoric.  It was downright hateful. The use of Nazi imagery, most notably the swastika, was not uncommon.  With Bush and other members of his Administration being compared to Adolph Hitler and officials of the Nazi Party.  We also saw images of Bush portrayed as the Joker, as a vampire, and so on (with posters at rallies, and published pictures in magazines and newspapers).  Exaggerated claims of war crimes were made, characterizations of our leaders as “war criminals” and the like. There were calls for impeachment.  It was common, even coming from people one would otherwise think were reasonable, to hear the proclamation, “I HATE Bush!” (with a venom traditionally not encountered, repeated like a mantra).  Many expressed anti-religious bigotry.  Some expressed antisemitism in their perception of and approach to Middle Eastern Issues touching on Israel.  Some essentially offered apologias for acts of terrorism, including the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and others for acts of terrorism overseas.  Some defended bigoted totalitarian ideologies.  Some viewed Middle Eastern issues through a racist lense.  Some on the fringe embraced conspiracy theories that the United States Government was behind 9/11 while other lunatics blamed Israel.

Certainly there was a "grassroots" element to some of the opposition to Bush (and support for Obama), and here too there is a strong "grassroots" element to some of the opposition to Obama (and to those others who advocate Big Government). As to other “similarities” - You can draw your own conclusions, regarding how similar or different this conduct is from what we see from the Tea Party crowd. Whether one views the Tea Partiers as "worse" "about the same" or "not nearly as bad" is really in the eyes of the beholder. I imagine, as Curtis points out, this will vary, depending on one’s point of view and ideological loyalties.  Also on how sensitive you are to harsh criticism of those you agree with vs. how nonplussed you are when the criticism is directed against those you disagree with.  

I believe a difference is that much of the opposition surrounding Bush involved geopolitical issues and specifically the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, though there was a domestic component in the form of the USA PATRIOT Act (which was actually a bipartisan bill), and some objection to Bush domestic policies.  In contrast, most of the opposition to Obama pertains to domestic issues and particularly the expansive growth of government, though there is also a geopolitical aspect in the sentiment that he is too soft in dealing with foreign threats. I don't mean to minimize the controversies surrounding the domestic issues under Bush or the geopolitical issues under Obama, just pointing out what I think was and are the major thrusts of the opposition.

But in terms of the tenor and tone of the “debate” over the past decade, the Left certainly cannot be let off the hook.  

What occurs to me is that many of those active on the Liberal/Left were so used to being “on the outside” for so long (where a greater degree of agitation may be needed to garner attention and a following), that their modus operandi did not change after they (to a much greater degree) become The Establishment.  That might account, in part, for the confrontational character of the “public discourse” we are seeing today. (Or ... hmmm ... one could argue that some of the more outspoken Conservative talk radio hosts gained their popularity during the Clinton years, when they were the "outsiders" vis a vis the Executive Branch ...). The Conservative/Right (now the “outsiders” once again) are similarly expressing outrage and attacks.  So we see these major confrontations taking place, a veritable war of words, with a degree of acrimony that makes Peggy Noonan shiver and plead for restraint.

But then, President Obama expressed a contrary view, when he challenged his opponents to “bring it on.”  

We can expect an intense, and harsh, political battle.  This will of course include condemnations of lies and distortions offered by one’s opponents, allegations of Media bias (directed at whatever segment of the Media one doesn’t happen to like), and so on, and so on, and so on.  But it is not going to stop.

I don’t think either side has much justification to whine about it, at this point.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Vic Vega on April 02, 2010, 08:19:41 am
(http://www.bobcesca.com/images/teapartysign1sm-300x234.jpg)

Monkey See, Money Spend?

Hmmm...
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on April 04, 2010, 01:09:50 am
I prefer these:

(http://standupforamerica.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/springield-tax-party.jpg)

(http://wichitaliberty.org/wp-content/themes/thesis_16/custom/rotator/Tea%20Party%20Express%20Wichita%202009-11-04%20047.JPG)

(http://maggiesfarm.anotherdotcom.com/uploads/ATM.jpg)

I saw reference to the following Mission Statement in a letter to the editor today. It is from the Tea Party Patriots website. Found it interesting:

Tea Party Patriots Mission Statement and Core Values

Mission Statement

The impetus for the Tea Party movement is excessive government spending and taxation. Our mission is to attract, educate, organize, and mobilize our fellow citizens to secure public policy consistent with our three core values of Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Markets.

Core Values

•   Fiscal Responsibility
•   Constitutionally Limited Government
•   Free Markets

… [Summary of Core Values] …

Individuals posting on TPP online groups and blogs are expected to self-police, to conduct themselves in a civil and responsible manner, and to refrain from profanity, slander and personal attacks. TPP does not condone and will not tolerate discrimination of any kind, and it will not tolerate comments encouraging any kind of illegal activities.  … While TPP cannot monitor every statement made on TPP online groups or blogs, individuals are encouraged to report violations of this policy to volunteer@teapartypatriots.org.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Battle on April 05, 2010, 09:08:13 am
Just remember, michaelintp...


reagan was an actor pretending to be an American president.


Just remember that.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on April 06, 2010, 11:39:08 pm
As for the substance, I get that you are for a minimalist approach to government. Me, I'm for a safety net. The devil is in the details.

Point of clarification:  I too am for a "safety net" -- just not one provided by the Federal Government.  As a just country, and a just people, we must help those in need. I would opt for the charitable route, however, for a number of reasons. Some surrounding respect for fundamental rights, and some regarding fostering positive ethos in our culture. 

I intended to mention this some time ago, but didn't get around to it.  ;)
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on April 07, 2010, 12:22:29 am
How come this concern over fiscal responsibility doesn't manifest itself over what we're spending for our two wars?
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Francisco on April 07, 2010, 07:07:43 am
How come this concern over fiscal responsibility doesn't manifest itself over what we're spending for our two wars?
Because killing and/or maiming people and creating orphans and widows is good?? :D
Healing the sick and helping out those in need? Frigging communists!! :D

Now seriously. I think both sides just decided to let it go since no matter whoever gets in charge in a few years would be stuck with those wars. I mean the Republicans started it and they won't bring it up for it would basically negate any criticism the can come up with.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on April 07, 2010, 07:56:29 am
How come this concern over fiscal responsibility doesn't manifest itself over what we're spending for our two wars?

Reginald:  Asked and answered several times already. I have to think you are addressing other people on the forum who already agree with you. But ... I will answer your question once again:

National Defense is the paramount duty of the Federal Government.

People reasonably debate whether going into Iraq made sense (particularly with the benefit of hindsight - though what might of been in an "alternative time line" is of course speculative). However, at least President Obama during the campaign, and apparently now, supports our efforts in Afghanistan.  If you wish to pretend that we live in a geopolitical cocoon, if you wish to pretend that September 11th never happened and deny that there are plenty of folk out there who would like to initiate repeats, if you wish to deny that we are at war whether we like it or not, well, I can't stop you.

Virtually all economists agree that it is the nondiscretionary "entitlement" spending that is going to bankrupt the country over the long term. Virtually all agree that something dramatic must be done, and that the status quo is untenable.  Of course, with our politicians' time horizon (two to four years) don't hold your breath. If you wish to pretend that this is not the case, well, be my guest.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: moor on April 07, 2010, 09:38:03 am
How come this concern over fiscal responsibility doesn't manifest itself over what we're spending for our two wars?

Reginald:  Asked and answered several times already. I have to think you are addressing other people on the forum who already agree with you. But ... I will answer your question once again:

National Defense is the paramount duty of the Federal Government.

People reasonably debate whether going into Iraq made sense (particularly with the benefit of hindsight - though what might of been in an "alternative time line" is of course speculative). However, at least President Obama during the campaign, and apparently now, supports our efforts in Afghanistan.  If you wish to pretend that we live in a geopolitical cocoon, if you wish to pretend that September 11th never happened and deny that there are plenty of folk out there who would like to initiate repeats, if you wish to deny that we are at war whether we like it or not, well, I can't stop you.

Virtually all economists agree that it is the nondiscretionary "entitlement" spending that is going to bankrupt the country over the long term. Virtually all agree that something dramatic must be done, and that the status quo is untenable.  Of course, with our politicians' time horizon (two to four years) don't hold your breath. If you wish to pretend that this is not the case, well, be my guest.

I have always been bothered by the welfare = bankruptcy argument in the absence of any historical context.  Not one economist can point to the fall of a civilization spurred by benevolent spending. 
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Francisco on April 07, 2010, 10:52:43 am
How come this concern over fiscal responsibility doesn't manifest itself over what we're spending for our two wars?

Reginald:  Asked and answered several times already. I have to think you are addressing other people on the forum who already agree with you. But ... I will answer your question once again:

National Defense is the paramount duty of the Federal Government.

People reasonably debate whether going into Iraq made sense (particularly with the benefit of hindsight - though what might of been in an "alternative time line" is of course speculative). However, at least President Obama during the campaign, and apparently now, supports our efforts in Afghanistan.  If you wish to pretend that we live in a geopolitical cocoon, if you wish to pretend that September 11th never happened and deny that there are plenty of folk out there who would like to initiate repeats, if you wish to deny that we are at war whether we like it or not, well, I can't stop you.

Virtually all economists agree that it is the nondiscretionary "entitlement" spending that is going to bankrupt the country over the long term. Virtually all agree that something dramatic must be done, and that the status quo is untenable.  Of course, with our politicians' time horizon (two to four years) don't hold your breath. If you wish to pretend that this is not the case, well, be my guest.

I have always been bothered by the welfare = bankruptcy argument in the absence of any historical context.  Not one economist can point to the fall of a civilization spurred by benevolent spending. 
Because it has never happened.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on April 07, 2010, 11:33:53 pm
Well guys, believe what you wish. But it is wishful thinking.  ::)

The laws of economics cannot be repealed, by either political party.   

The Coming Entitlement Tsunami
by Michael D. Tanner
http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=11666
April 6, 2010


Our major entitlement programs, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, are all careening toward insolvency.

Social Security faces unfunded liabilities of more than $15.8 trillion. And while that sounds like a lot of money, it is dwarfed by Medicare's looming budget shortfall of between $50 and $100 trillion, depending on which accounting measure is used. Because of its funding mechanisms, Medicaid does face the same type of accounting shortfalls, but it will soon add hundreds of billions of dollars to federal, not to mention state, spending.

As the full force of entitlement programs kicks in, the federal government will consume more than 40 percent of GDP by the middle of the century. Half of that will be taken up by just those three entitlement programs. From there, it only gets worse.

Faced with this rising tide of red ink, the traditional response in Washington is that we must have the "courage" to raise taxes. But think about how much taxes would actually have to be raised to pay for all the government spending to come. And it's not just the "rich" who would get soaked. In fact, if you confiscated the wealth of every person in the United States earning over $1 million per year, you would barely make a dent in our future obligations.

If we really wanted to pay for the amount of spending to come, we would have to raise both the corporate tax rate and top income tax rate from their current 35 percent to 88 percent, the current 25 percent tax rate for middle-income workers to 63 percent, and the 10 percent tax bracket for low-income workers to 25 percent.



[For full article, see link]

Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: moor on April 08, 2010, 07:31:44 am
Well guys, believe what you wish. But it is wishful thinking.  ::)

The laws of economics cannot be repealed, by either political party.   

The Coming Entitlement Tsunami
by Michael D. Tanner
[url]http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=11666[/url]
April 6, 2010


Our major entitlement programs, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, are all careening toward insolvency.

Social Security faces unfunded liabilities of more than $15.8 trillion. And while that sounds like a lot of money, it is dwarfed by Medicare's looming budget shortfall of between $50 and $100 trillion, depending on which accounting measure is used. Because of its funding mechanisms, Medicaid does face the same type of accounting shortfalls, but it will soon add hundreds of billions of dollars to federal, not to mention state, spending.

As the full force of entitlement programs kicks in, the federal government will consume more than 40 percent of GDP by the middle of the century. Half of that will be taken up by just those three entitlement programs. From there, it only gets worse.

Faced with this rising tide of red ink, the traditional response in Washington is that we must have the "courage" to raise taxes. But think about how much taxes would actually have to be raised to pay for all the government spending to come. And it's not just the "rich" who would get soaked. In fact, if you confiscated the wealth of every person in the United States earning over $1 million per year, you would barely make a dent in our future obligations.

If we really wanted to pay for the amount of spending to come, we would have to raise both the corporate tax rate and top income tax rate from their current 35 percent to 88 percent, the current 25 percent tax rate for middle-income workers to 63 percent, and the 10 percent tax bracket for low-income workers to 25 percent.



[For full article, see link]




Trillions over what? One year, Two, Twelve?   And how exactly would changing the tax rate "fix" it?

Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Vic Vega on April 08, 2010, 07:48:58 am
You will note that it never occurs to Mr. Tanner to reduce defense spending to make up for some of the shortfall.

Also as many here have repeatedly mentioned the top tax rate for most of recent history was far higher than 34% percent.

In Mr. Tanner's world Richard M. Nixon is an redistrbutary fanatic.

Make of that what you will.

Medicaid AND Medicare would be made much more efficient if the U.S. made VistA the national standard for health care tech. Its already used in all VA hospitals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VistA#Usage_in_non-governmental_hospitals (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VistA#Usage_in_non-governmental_hospitals)
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on April 08, 2010, 08:02:54 am
My understanding is that this is the projected funding shortfall as the population ages.  There are only three ways to reduce the shortfall:  reduce or eliminate the programs, borrow (by issuing more Treasury securities, leaving the debt for future generations) or raise taxes.  What the author points out is that the rates of taxation would have to be draconian to cover the projected unfunded future shortfalls in these programs.  Not to mention the destructive effect that such excessive taxation (and/or debt) would have on the economy.

On another point, the notion of "benevolent spending" -- It is not "benevolent" to forcibly extract money from a man to give to yourself.  That is not benevolence, that is selfishness, akin to theft.  What is benevolent is when you voluntarily give of your own money to others need.  Programs that forceably redistribute wealth by dint of the recipient having a pulse, wholly unrelated to the work (or difficult educational preparation) that person has engaged in, has a number of negative social consequences.  Undermines the work ethic, undermines the sense of personal responsibility to take care of yourself and your family, undermines the personal sense of responsibility one has to care for others (with one's own funds, by way of charity), undermines the family (as the government, not the family, "takes care" of you), while the taxation and/or debt serve to undermine the incentives to work as you are increasingly "allowed" to keep less and less of your money earned (or pass less and less of it to your children).  All this also serves to foster economic dependency on the State, which undermines individual liberty.

I'm not a libertarian absolutist. Some taxation and government spending is necessary for the society to function. But the bias should be in favor or respecting the rights to property of the individual, as it is the individual who earned the income.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: moor on April 08, 2010, 08:16:17 am
Mike,

It IS MY MONEY  :D  I'm not saying tax "the rich"  I'm saying tax everybody.

I'm certainly not advocating for entitlement in the sense that you do nothing and get perks for it.  I'm saying that we need to ask ourselves what is an acceptable level of basic provision in a free society - ("free" as in "dom"  ;))  and how much, seriously is that worth to us.  What is the value of providing for the public welfare?  I'm not so sure that's as subjective as the national stage-makers would have us all believe. 

I BELIEVE that in a society where we subsidize agricultural exports, we can find the resources to properly subsidize a basic level of health care that benefits all citizens.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on April 08, 2010, 09:04:00 pm
I understand where you are coming from.  As I say, while I'm presenting the "Libertarian" viewpoint here, I am not a Libertarian Absolutist.  That is, however, my strong orientation, for the reasons I've stated, above, based on both economics and values.

Perhaps part of it is that my folks were young adults during the Depression, and drilled into me the concept that I should be thankful for any work, that no honest work is beneath a man, and that one must study hard when young and work hard as an adult, one's entire life.  With the expection of not getting anything for free.  In other words, with no sense of unearned "entitlement." 
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Lion on April 08, 2010, 11:41:32 pm
Interesting pictures...

Who oversaw the greatest expansion of the national debt during his two terms in office?

RONALD REAGAN... followed by GHWB on one term.

And the greatest reduction over the course of his two terms in office?

Truman, Eisenhower, LBJ, but after that...

BILL CLINTON

f*cking hypocrites need to go choke on their teabags.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on April 14, 2010, 09:55:47 am
I would have to know exactly what Ronald Reagan spent money on vs. Jimmy Carter.  Carter was one of the most inept presidents in American history (particularly as to geopolitics - read Iran - and as time has gone on he has only become a bigger lunatic and whore). 

In contrast, Reagan, as a direct result of his efforts and spending, destroyed the Soviet Communist Empire. Ending the Cold War. Something that NOBODY, certainly nobody on the Left, and even "realists" on the Right, thought would ever be possible. Creating the "Peace Dividend" that Clinton was able to take advantage of.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: BmoreAkuma on April 14, 2010, 01:27:22 pm
I would have to know exactly what Ronald Reagan spent money on vs. Jimmy Carter.  Carter was one of the most inept presidents in American history (particularly as to geopolitics - read Iran - and as time has gone on he has only become a bigger lunatic and whore). 

In contrast, Reagan, as a direct result of his efforts and spending, destroyed the Soviet Communist Empire. Ending the Cold War. Something that NOBODY, certainly nobody on the Left, and even "realists" on the Right, thought would ever be possible. Creating the "Peace Dividend" that Clinton was able to take advantage of.
At the cost of what?
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on April 14, 2010, 08:54:18 pm
I would have to know exactly what Ronald Reagan spent money on vs. Jimmy Carter.  Carter was one of the most inept presidents in American history (particularly as to geopolitics - read Iran - and as time has gone on he has only become a bigger lunatic and whore). 

In contrast, Reagan, as a direct result of his efforts and spending, destroyed the Soviet Communist Empire. Ending the Cold War. Something that NOBODY, certainly nobody on the Left, and even "realists" on the Right, thought would ever be possible. Creating the "Peace Dividend" that Clinton was able to take advantage of.
At the cost of what?

I don't understand your question.  At the "cost" of ending the Cold War.  At the "cost" of ending (or at least significantly minimizing) Communism as a meaningful worldwide ideological force.  Which, no doubt, some so-called "Progressives" did see as a real "cost." (Boohoo to them). However, given the vicious totalitarian nature of the Communist movement, all rational people (Democrats and Republicans) saw this as a benefit.  Not that sympathizers still don't exist, including among some that President Obama sought to appoint to Executive Branch positions, and including some Latin American strong-men.   But as a global movement, it is fair to say that Communism is dead. 

Now, thanks to Ronald Reagan, the bullsh*t mask has been ripped off KGB thugs like Putin.  It was the mask that Communism always relied on, the idealistic ideology wholly disconnected from reality, the noble rhetoric divorced from oppressive practice. Of course, Bolshevism as professed by Lenin from the outset justified its totalitarian "means" of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat based on the never-to-be realized Utopian "end" of a Worker's Paradise, but this mask duped a lot of gullible well-meaning people (particularly in the 1930s and 1940s) ... with their legacy continuing into the 1960s and beyond. 

For those of you who are too young to remember, because you take the fall of the Soviet Union for granted, as a historical fact, I can assure you that many folk, on the Left, in the Middle, and on the Right, never saw the fall of the Soviet Union as a realistic possibility.  Including Henry Kissinger under Richard Nixon who preferred the notion of accepting the existence of the Soviet Union under the approach of Detente.  Many, including Republican "realists" criticized Ronald Reagan for his "naive and simplistic" vision of the world.  Many mocked him as nothing more than a "Grade B movie actor reading lines."  Even more significantly, respected commentators trembled that Reagan was making the world far less safe when Reagan characterized the Soviet Union as the "Evil Empire" and when he advocated a missile defense system (idiotically labeled "Star Wars" by his critics).

Yet it was Reagan's idealism, in the face of these wrong-headed critics, that directly lead to the collapse of the Soviet Empire and the freeing of Eastern Europe.

Today we are faced with an ideology every bit as evil, indeed arguably far worse, than Communism, in the form of Radical Islam. Because by its very terms, it does not even pretend to don the mask of secular Utopianism and Egalitarianism.  Rather it views oppression as a positive ideal.  Horrible oppression of women, oppression of religious minorities, oppression of alternative points of view, oppression of democratic sentiments, and so on.  And yet, many on the Left, the very folk one would expect would be most offended by the tenets of Radical Islam, do nothing, and say nothing. Instead, they pander and advocate appeasement. So used to hating America, they are, that they can't bring themselves to express criticism of America's enemies.  Even when those enemies are no longer the noble Communist Workers of the World. 

Fools, they are. And Hypocrites.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Francisco on April 15, 2010, 09:32:02 am
The Soviet Union would have crashed with or without Reagan's intervention. Basically all Reagan did was to use the Red Scare excuse to spend as much money on weapons that weren't really necessary while screwing the underprivileged.

The only thing I think you're right, Mike. Is when you say radical Islamism is a treat as big or bigger than communism ever was. .
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on April 16, 2010, 04:21:50 pm
The Soviet Union would have crashed with or without Reagan's intervention. Basically all Reagan did was to use the Red Scare excuse to spend as much money on weapons that weren't really necessary while screwing the underprivileged.

The only thing I think you're right, Mike. Is when you say radical Islamism is a threat as big or bigger than communism ever was. .

Well, my recollection is that Reagan outspent the Soviets, and that they could not sustain the cost of their end of the Cold War. 

... but that's history.  As to the present geopolitical threat, looks like we see eye to eye.  ;)

Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Jay on April 17, 2010, 08:50:35 am
The Soviet Union would have crashed with or without Reagan's intervention. Basically all Reagan did was to use the Red Scare excuse to spend as much money on weapons that weren't really necessary while screwing the underprivileged.

The only thing I think you're right, Mike. Is when you say radical Islamism is a threat as big or bigger than communism ever was. .

Well, my recollection is that Reagan outspent the Soviets, and that they could not sustain the cost of their end of the Cold War. 

... but that's history.  As to the present geopolitical threat, looks like we see eye to eye.  ;)



Regan! lol

Didn't that dude create something called Reganeconomics? Which is basically telling businessmen it's okay to be greedy!
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on April 18, 2010, 02:07:12 am
Jay, there is absolutely nothing wrong with businesses striving to make a profit. This is not evil. This is how people support themselves in business, and aspire to grow and innovate to attract more customers for their goods and services.

Often those on the Left parrot the old Communist Party Line, of Capitalist "Greed" etc etc etc ...  Don't fall for it.

Where things do fall off track is where executives engage in outright fraud (etc), as we discussed on the "Black Tea Partier" thread.  Mechanisms do exist, and are appropriately exercised, to deal with this.

As to Reaganomics, the concept (which was correct) is that by reducing taxes, you stimulate business expansion, and thus (paradoxically) increase the tax base as more expanded businesses earn more income subject to income taxation. As the tax base increases, taxes raised increase, even though the tax rate is reduced.  Because the amount of taxes collected is a function of two elements:  Tax Rate x Tax Base.  The Tax Base is not static, but rather increases as business is encouraged.

The jobs created by this approach are, by the way, productive jobs, not inefficient Government make-work "jobs."
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Jay on April 18, 2010, 08:16:18 am
Jay, there is absolutely nothing wrong with businesses striving to make a profit. This is not evil. This is how people support themselves in business, and aspire to grow and innovate to attract more customers for their goods and services.

Often those on the Left parrot the old Communist Party Line, of Capitalist "Greed" etc etc etc ...  Don't fall for it.

Where things do fall off track is where executives engage in outright fraud (etc), as we discussed on the "Black Tea Partier" thread.  Mechanisms do exist, and are appropriately exercised, to deal with this.

As to Reaganomics, the concept (which was correct) is that by reducing taxes, you stimulate business expansion, and thus (paradoxically) increase the tax base as more expanded businesses earn more income subject to income taxation. As the tax base increases, taxes raised increase, even though the tax rate is reduced.  Because the amount of taxes collected is a function of two elements:  Tax Rate x Tax Base.  The Tax Base is not static, but rather increases as business is encouraged.

The jobs created by this approach are, by the way, productive jobs, not inefficient Government make-work "jobs."

What?! When did I say making a profit was evil ???

Here's the thing. I kindof agree that reducing taxes will promote jobs but that requires me to believe that big business will hire AMERICAN workers or do the right thing! Which is why I find it hard to subscribe to the trickle-down theory. (or as I like to call it, the Golden-shower theory  :D)

I could have sworn when I called a recent help line that "Joe" (if that was his real name) had a Indian accent. lol
(but maynot be what you consider a PRODUCTIVE JOB)

I don't think capitalism is greedy in itself. I think there's too much example of corporate greed going on. Enron got punished but how many more companies get away with doing what Enron did?

And yes or no. The gap between the rich and the poor is growing?

Now on the flip side, I did get a chance to talk to a respectable businessman who said the causes of his taxes going up was the reason he couldn't hire more american workers.

However, again I think people like him in these big business corporations are few and far between. Most I think would just pocket that money instead of creating new jobs here in America and would just OUTSOURCE to mexico or some other country where they can pay a worker a few cents then an American worker who would need more money plus benefits.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on April 18, 2010, 10:03:56 am
Outsourcing is a problem, I agree. But the solution is not to cripple American business and undermine economic incentives for success. If, over the long term, the only "solution" is greater and greater expansion of government and greater and greater retraction of private enterprise, then our country really is doomed.

Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Jay on April 18, 2010, 11:25:40 am
Outsourcing is a problem, I agree. But the solution is not to cripple American business and undermine economic incentives for success. If, over the long term, the only "solution" is greater and greater expansion of government and greater and greater retraction of private enterprise, then our country really is doomed.



DOOOOMMMMEEDDD!!! lol

I don't think such a thing will cripple American business. I think such a thing will be greater for all once you achieve the right balance. But you have to achieve that right balance.

It basically seems to me that we agree on the problem we just disagree on how to fix it. You're free hand of the market. I'm more government expansion.

Conservative meets left-wing nut job. You know that has a nice ring to it.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on April 18, 2010, 11:42:00 am
Hahahaha!   ;)

Lookin' forward to hear the next 5 Year Plan.

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/Jerome.Gouvernel/SFVA5ibgLuI/AAAAAAAAEXk/bmglB-H9UXk/080405-obama-stalin3.jpg)
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: michaelintp on April 18, 2010, 10:53:32 pm
Personally, I find the "Stalinist" parodies funny.  Because Obama is obviously not a Stalinist, and thus the parody is clearly tongue in cheek but making a point regarding his Left-of-Center policy orientation. I really don't like the "Obama is a Jihadist mole" kind of "satire" ... because really this is a parody of nothing. Sure, there is his pandering and so on, so I suppose one could identify satire of a sort ... but ... still. There are some forms of humor that are too far over the top, even for a Right-Wing Extremist like me. But, as they seem say a lot on this forum, mileage may vary.
Title: Re: Tax Protestor Crashes Plane Into Office Building.
Post by: Jay on April 19, 2010, 07:19:45 am
Well I find it funny because people thinking he's a muslim even though he's shown his American birth certificate like 10,000 times and people still say he's a muslim. McCain even said in his campagin.

Old Woman: I don't trust him because he's a Muslim

John McCain: Ma'am. No he's not a Muslim.

I don't know how many times it's been said that he's not part of that faith and yet still persist in that belief. You have to at least laugh at it. Otherwise I think I would  :'(

But yeah, you're right. *Removed*