Challenge to Strange New Conservatives

Challenge to Strange New Conservatives
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I have a challenge for all the true believers in the likes of Rush Limbaugh, etc. Read this article:

(For Limbaugh's original talk, click on this link:

Then tell me how in the world the writer and Limbaugh managed to get what they say they got out of the full text of Obama's Kansas speech on December 6, 2011:

Do not cite anything in Obama's academic or political past that you think proves he's a socialist. That's offsides in this challenge. Simply explain to the rest of us with ironclad facts and logic based on the speech with nothing out of context how you think there is any validity at all in what either the reporter at the first link or Limbaugh said about how that speech constitutes a confession by Obama to the American people that he's a socialist running for reelection as president against the U.S.

Those who wish to take this challenge can check their reasoning for validity here:


1. Any comment that refers to anything outside the full text in the transcript of Obama's Kansas speech at the second  link will be removed for being in violation of the rules.

2. Anything quoted out of context to distort the meaning will be flagged in a response as having done so in violation of the rules.

3. Any clear misstatement of fact in contradiction to facts stated in Obama's speech will be flagged in a response as in violation of the rules unless it is supported as a matter of public record. Statements by talk show hosts of any political persuasion, liberal or conservative, do not count as matters of public record.

4. Comments must be pertinent to the subject matter as described above or they will either be flagged in a response as in violation of the rules or removed. They will be removed only if they have no value as illustrations of the vacuous mindset they represent.

If there are no takers, the implications are obvious. Nasty comments full of gross expletives or simply labeling a position "liberal" and dismissing it out of hand are useless rhetoric with no substance, rhyme, or reason. There are plenty of examples of this in some of the comments posted by the kind of conservatives my articles have defined. This article is an attempt to clearly demonstrate the emptiness of their rhetoric and the irrationally twisted nature of their thinking by providing a clear example of that from someone many of them follow and admire and challenging them to defend its alleged "facts" and means of drawing conclusions.

While this article is aimed specifically at such readers, I find it likely they will either hesitate or refuse to take the challenge. I therefore invite any others who agree that Rush Limbaugh's statements and "logic" are absurdly lacking in any kind of validity to recommend this article as a demonstration of the vacuous nature of this kind of conservatism and the damage it is doing to our country, the United States of America.

Copyright June 2013 © Robert P. Wendell

Redistribution freely permitted contingent on the unmodified inclusion of this copyright notice.



Robert Wendell Added Jun 9, 2013 - 3:34am
It's interesting that my other articles about a specific conservative psychology, which is only a subset of conservatives and does not apply to all of them, always got nasty replies almost immediately. So far there has been only one comment here from a conservative of the kind described in my article, "Recently Twisted U.S. Conservatism". It violated the rules, so I deleted it. However, I immediately repented doing that, since it illustrates their lack of interest in dealing with issues in any kind of substantial way. It simply said, "So boring...Zzzzzzzzzz."

Please bear in mind that I don't believe that all conservatives are this ridiculous and disengaged from intelligent discourse. I think there are conservatives who think for themselves and are capable of gettin their facts straight and using sensible logic to draw conclusions. I'm referring here to the ones who fit the generic definition of a specific conservative psychology, the ones who've been defining themselves that way by smearing their silliness underneath my articles, those of others, and in and under their own. Unfortunately for both themselves and the rest of us, they're dominating Republican politics right now.

So it seems pretty clear, as if it weren't already from comments in other articles as well as some of those they write, that they just think what they think without rhyme or reason and assume you're doing the same idiotic thing. So when confronted with actual instances of the kind of blatant conservative stupidity this article points to in the first link and challenged to justify it within the bounds of reason and legitimate debate, they have nothing to say so far. We''ll see.
Robert Wendell Added Jun 11, 2013 - 3:27am
Yes, I understand very well what Limbaugh is doing, but it is indeed doing damage to our country. It introduces a lot of noise into the political communications pathways and makes the truth unintellible to most. Both sides of the aisle are doing damage to our country because they don't work for us, yet we vote for them. Yeah, yeah...I know we don't really get to choose those among whom we get to choose. They're preselected. I'm well aware of that, but what you say about the "Business Party" I would call the Finanical Elite Party (FEP), because these political shenanigans don't promote all business by a long shot .

A lot of small business is very much hurt by it, but many small business owners nevertheless blindly vote for the worst supporters of the FEP. There is enough difference in the two sides of the aisle to matter, in my opinion. Also, there was a time (I was born in 1944) when there was much better consensus and much better support for an inclusive rather than the increasingly extractive economy we how have. We have historically done much better economically in terms of both narrower income gaps together with greater GDP under Democratic presidents than under Republican presidents since the big shift in Republican politics began. That is a matter of public record easily accessible to anyone with a sincere desire to know the truth. The problem is most of the radical right doesn't give a darn about the truth, but only about confirming the delusions in which they already indulge.

I also believe that if we had a truly informed electorate, we would unseat a lot of the power on both sides to preselect our candidate field. We have let the FEP rule by default because most of us remain ignorant of the truth of who our government actually works and worse, a large minority of these allow themselves to be suckered by the slick propaganda machine of the FEP. However, I believe this is coming to an end, if not in the near future, at least in the foreseeable future. I have many reasons for this optimism, but that is a subject for another day.
Johnny Fever Added Jun 11, 2013 - 1:23pm
1) If you delete this comment I will never comment in one of your articles again.

2) It takes only the most arrogant hypocrite to claim conservatives don’t deal with issues when you are the one making the rules and deleting conservative comments.

3) You don’t debate, you sling insults. From the horses’ ass:
“smearing their silliness underneath my articles”
“they think without rhyme or reason”
“blatant conservative stupidity”
With so many to choose from, I decided to limit myself to one comment.

4) The reason I and many other conservatives didn’t read your post is because you’re incapable of making an argument without forcing me to read three links. I can barely muster the strength to read your garbage.
Robert Wendell Added Jun 11, 2013 - 1:43pm
I'm not deleting this comment. It speaks for itself more eloquently than anything I could say about it. The rules are clearly fair because they restrict you to what Limbaugh said was specific to Obama's speech and nothing else. You have not only refused to do anything to show that Limbaugh had any reason to draw his insane conclusions about what the speech actually says, but you refuse to even look at either what Limbaugh says about the speech or the speech itself. The speech is long and available somehwere else, so it makes no sense to copy it and put it here. You apparently have no idea that your comment only confirms everything that you complain that I've said about your kind of conservative non-thinking. There are intelligent conservatives who don't even come close to fitting your mold or who swallow the kind of ridiculous talk people like Limbaugh make their living off of.
Johnny Fever Added Jun 11, 2013 - 2:25pm
Only about 1.5 million people listen to Rush which means if everyone that listens to him agrees with him he speaks for less 1% of the population. That is why you and your posts are fictional accounts of conservatives from one member of the loony left.
Robert Wendell Added Jun 11, 2013 - 5:12pm
Good reasons for optimism. I have a lot of them, but they're too much to write about in a reply. I may do an article on it later sometime.
Robert Wendell Added Jun 11, 2013 - 8:53pm
So are you saying Limbaugh is just one member of the loony right and doesn't represent the brand of conservatives my articles exclusively target (not all conservatives by any means, but yes, those who self-identify with the kind I target by taking offense)? There are a number of comments on some of my other articles from people who express feelings of having been insulted when I say anything negative about the junk Limbaugh preaches. That's why I chose this particular piece of the weirdo conservative pie. I don't have a habit of insulting conservative positions across the board. Some of my positions are conservative. As I've said many times, I believe in conserving what is good in traditional values and not throwing away the baby with the bathwater. But we can't act on fear of change to resist common sense solutions to pressing problems that are real, but that some conservatives insist on trying to wish away.
Johnny Fever Added Jun 11, 2013 - 10:36pm
Actually you do have a habit of insulting conservative principles across the board. Would like me to cut and paste more of your insults? Let’s not beat around the bush, you don’t like conservatives, that’s cool, I don’t like liberals. Your line of attack is actually pretty smart, label all of them as “AM talk radio listeners” and throw out the baby with the bathwater.
Robert Wendell Added Jun 12, 2013 - 4:44am
"Actually you do have a habit of insulting conservative principles across the board."

??? Show me where. Everything I've said has defined a particular kind of conservatives in a broad general way that fits ANY political scenario, including communism. It has nothing to do with any specific political beliefs. I've said this again and again. Conservative Russians who wanted to preserve the Soviet Union fit that definition. Dang! You people have blinders on. Now the people who read or listen to and actually believe trash like the Limbaugh assessment of the Obama speech alluded in to my article are ALSO people who fit that definition because of the nature of the twisted logic and bogus facts about what Obama actually said.

So are you telling me ALL conservatives like the kind of cow poop Limbaugh dishes out? Is that why the older Republican establishment is now trying to distance themselves from the Tea Party and these talk show idiots? I talked about William Buckley and his old Firing Line radio show, his TV show, etc. in another comment to another article. He was very conservative. Do you really think he fits the definition that my articles describe? No! No way!

So I direct what you call my "insults", which are just simple statements about a very particular kind of conservative mentality that is common to multiple and very different, even OPPOSING political environments such as the U.S. and Russia, and some of you here self-identify with it by taking offense as you demonstrate clearly with your comments.

I never said any of you fit those definitions. I said a certain kind of conservatives have those characteristics and you and others jump in all angry that you're not like that, so why were you offended if it doesn't fit?! You probably still don't get it that I wasn't talking about you UNLESS it fits.

Of course, your comments were not only an unwitting admission that you were offended precisely because it actually does fit, but they demonstrated beautifully one by one all of the characteristics of the particular mentality described in the article! You really, really missed the whole show. No clue. That's how well those of you who really do fit the definition process ALL YOUR INFORMATION!

Now that I've challenged those of you who have self-identified with that definition to use solid facts and legitimate thought processes to justify Limbaugh's nutty diatribe, a true genius at suckering people like you, you refuse. Refusing to participate in a real, honest challenge narrowed down to valid logic and solid facts says it all. The definition of a particular kind of conservative mindset in the articles I've written doesn't refer to anything you believe. You could be a North Korean communist and still fit that definition perfectly, and believe me, the North Koreans do. You probably still don't get it that those defnitions are totally independent of anything specific anyone believes. You could believe with all your heart that rubber duckies fly and that one of them should be president of the United States and it wouldn't matter as far as fitting those characteristics is concerned.

The anti-intellectualism that you and others have demonstrated in your comments is a truly brilliant way to show why you can't get anything right: you can't think straight!
Robert Wendell Added Jun 12, 2013 - 8:31pm
Nathan, you have to read that speech looking for any hints at all of what you already think about Obama and then stretch the living daylights out of it to get where you are on this. Anyone with half a speck of objectivity will find NOTHING in Obama's speech to justify Limbaugh's assessment. You could do the same thing you're doing with half a dozen other presidential speeches from previous presidents.

So far none of you who love to come into my articles and say absolutely nutty things have come even close to taking this challenge. The challenge is to take specific elements of Obama's speech and demonstrate, without ignoring their contexts and without logical errors, how anyone could possibly justify Limbaugh's absurd take on it. As I've said before, Limbaugh is infamous, not just among moderates and liberals, but among many traditional Republicans, for his ridiculous comments on just about any subject. Most Republicans who belong to what used to be mainstream Republicanism distance themselves as hard as they can from the likes of Limbaugh.

Your defense of Limbaugh as making any kind of positive contribution at all to informed political debate is so absurd as to put you right with him in terms of your ability to twist facts and logic. However, I believe the obvious difference between you and Limbaugh in terms of making a living at it is also reflected in the difference in your sincerity. You seem to really believe what you say. I have very strong doubts that Limbaugh does. He just an expert in making money playing people like you.
Robert Wendell Added Jun 12, 2013 - 8:33pm
Robert Wendell Added Jun 12, 2013 - 9:41pm
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." - U.S. Declaration of Independence, beginning of second paragraph

"The president of the United States, not Fidel Castro, not Kim Jong-il, not Mao Tse-tung, not Lenin, not Stalin, not Gorbachev, not Saddam Hussein, not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, not Hugo Chavez, but the president of the United States said that while a limited government that preserves free markets speaks to our rugged individualism as Americans, such a system doesn't work and has never worked." [Lengthy ad hominem, Poison the Well attack by association (]

"The president of the United States said that the United States of America, as founded, "has never worked." Stop and think of that. Ponder that for a moment. The president. Not the head of the SEIU. Not the chairman of some congressional committee. Not a Democrat presidential hopeful. The elected president of the United States said in Osawatomie, Kansas, trying to be Teddy Roosevelt, [appealing with emotional rhetoric to American icons with a tacit implication of "how dare Obama make such a comparison"] that the United States of America has never worked. That is a quote, 'has never worked.' " [Quoting Out of Context, (]

Obama's Kansas speech, referring to Republican trickle-down economic theory:
"Now, it's a simple theory. And we have to admit, it's one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government. That's in America's DNA. And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. (Laughter.) But here's the problem: It doesn't work. It has never worked. (Applause.) It didn't work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression. It's not what led to the incredible postwar booms of the ‘50s and ‘60s. And it didn't work when we tried it during the last decade. (Applause.) I mean, understand, it's not as if we haven't tried this theory."

Now this is the only time "never worked" appears in Obama's speech, or anything else that means the same thing. It not only doesn't refer to the United States not working, but to a specific Republican economic idea not working. Note also that the long list of communist dictators and Marxist thinkers that have nothing to do with anything in Obama's speech are "poisoning the well" by an implied association, followed up later by a a clear indication that Obama was trying to be Teddy Roosevelt, an American icon, with an implied emotional contrast that says, "How dare this Marxist president compare himselt with Teddy Roosevelt?"

Obama didn't anythying at all about the United States never working, but since I'm not a politician, I will state that there are clearly ways that the United States itself has never worked. One very crucial one is the ideal presented in the opening lines of this comment, the quote about unalienable rights, etc. from the Declaration of Independence. Slavery did and still current discrimination of all kinds still violates this ideal.

The blatant use of logical fallacies combined with emotional rhetoric that appeals to a false patriotism that imputes virtual sainthood on the U.S., appeals to intense political prejudices and xenophobia, and sees any criticism of our country as unpatriotic unless it's aimed at the current president is typical of Limbaugh and many other talk show hosts like him. Even if the positions these people take were accurate representations of reality and practically unimpeachable, resorting to the kind of rhetorical tactics this man and other arch-conservative media icons like him use is nothing short of sick. Honest spreading of accurate information has no need to use these kinds of utterly despicable tactics.

That anyone here who reacts negatively to my articles and defends these people is clearly a person who fails to recognize the very sick nature of the way these people twist information...and as in this example, indulge shamelessly in this kind of blatant disinformation. Anyone unable to detect this sort of sicko rhetoric is absolutely incompetent to judge the value of any kind of information.

Now what I've done here in this comment is exactly the kind of thing, but in the opposite direction, that I've challenged those who oppose what I've been writing to do. No one, including you, Nathan, has come close to attempting to do this. After what I've shown so far in this comment, only the
Robert Wendell Added Jun 12, 2013 - 9:45pm
Please do not split this continuation off from the comment above!~

...only the tip of an enormous iceberg, makes it clear why. There is no possible logical or factual defense of what Limbaugh has said about Obama's speech. I cannot personally believe that anyone as clever at using this kind of sophistry to dupe his listeners doesn't recognize the fallacious nature of what he's doing. He's not nearly so dumb. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for his fans.
Robert Wendell Added Jun 13, 2013 - 4:33am
"But he's dead wrong. Rugged individualism has always worked in the United States."

So quote to me where he says that it doesn't. You can't read straight any more than you can think straight, not to mention that this has nothing to do with the challenge, which is whether Limbaugh's tripe has any merit, namely that Obama's speech constitutes an open admission that he is a socialist, a Marxist, and that he was running as president against the U.S.

Your last paragraph is rife with bad reasoning and statements for which you cite both insufficient and badly flawed evidence. I'm tired and don't feel like dissecting it like I did the first part of Limbaugh's fecal verbosity. I demonstrated clearly what rational discourse means in practice with an example in the comment to which your responding and you apparently have no idea how to respond in the same manner. Some people can't be reasoned with because they have no idea what "reason" and "rational discourse" mean, so it would be a waste of time anyway.
Robert Wendell Added Jun 13, 2013 - 3:00pm
"Here is the quote where he attacks trickle down economics, and points out that it is a function of our rugged individualism, so he is in fact suggesting that it is our rugged individualism itself that 'doesn't work.' "

That's bananas! He never even remotely implies that trickle-down economics is "a function of our rugged individualism". That's your idea, not his! Where do you get the gall to even say that? It's patently stupid! In the same sentence he talks about both our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism and then says these are in America's DNA. He's clearly saying these are good things! He's only saying that the trickle-down theory sounds good because it appeals to these ideas, but says nothing that indicates these things are bad, but on the contrary, that they are healthy! Then he refers again to the theory and says that doesn't work.

Only those who already want to think what you're saying about this is true could twist these words so badly. That's precisely what's wrong with your screwed up thinking on just about everything you comment on in my articles. It's illogical, irrational, screwed-up thinking. I could twist anything anybody says and make it say what I want it to say using your dumb tactics. No wonder you fall for people like Limbaugh. You can't tell an orange from a baseball because they're both round.
Robert Wendell Added Jun 14, 2013 - 12:22am
You need to get one thing straight, Nathan. People who know how to think straight don't need me to tell them what's wrong with your thinking. But I'm talking to you; not them. You seem impervious to the clear fact that your thinking is royally screwed up even when I show you clearly, step-by-step, exactly how. Please bear in mind that right now I'm talking not about what you believe. I"m talking about the way you justify what you think and/or draw conclusions. But at least I did my best to show you exactly where and how it goes off track. If you want to ignore that, you will keep looking to anyone who understands well reasoned thought based on a clearheaded reading of facts like a true-blue screwball.

The only ones who will miss that are the ones whose thinking is equally messed up, including many liberals. Again, I 'm not talking about what they believe, but how they think. You don't seem to get that. It has nothing to do with your beliefs per se, but the way you twist facts and reason to arrive at or justify them. I attack bad reasoning whenever and wherever I find it, no matter what the beliefs are. If I didn't give a hoot about that, I wouldn't bother to point out where your thinking goes off track.

You keep pretending to yourself that all my attacks are ad hominem, but the flaws I pointed out in my last response to you would be flaws no matter who made them or what their specific content might be, so they exist independently of your ideas or who you are. Any ad hominem attacks of which I'm guilty are a result of getting fed up with you for using such pitifully flawed thinking even after having the flaws clearly called out. Notice that I don't use ad hominem attacks to promote or debunk the political components of an argument. I'm trying to wake you up. But you don't distinguish between an attack on your bad logic and an attack aimed at you for indulging in it.

This stuff about agreeing to disagree assumes that all opinions have equal value no matter how screwed up the thinking behind any of them is. I'm trying to tell you that there are objective criteria by which to judge the validity of an argument. I give you a clear demo of what that means, but you just miss the whole point and take it all personally. I do get fed up with that kind of self-blinded attitude and your apparent lack of desire to notice or at least admit how you take key words someone else says and paste them together the way you decide will make you "right" and accuse the other of saying what you say they said. I have blasted you for doing that, just as I do Limbaugh, but the reasoning itself that I showed you and the flaws in your thinking I've called you out on have nothing to do with ad hominem attacks.

My last statement, that you can't tell an orange from a baseball, is a metaphor for what you did with the quote I provided from Obama's speech. Obama mentioned rugged individualism and you took that and related it in a totally false way with what he said doesn't work. That's kind of like concluding that an orange and a baseball are the same because they're both round. It ignores any further detail at all in how they actually relate. You seem to want to eat the baseball and swallow it whole anyway.
Robert Wendell Added Jun 22, 2013 - 11:39am
"It is you who cannot help but insult conservatives with third grade name-calling, as Fever said below."

Don't you think you have a bit of a double standard, to put it extremely mildly? I will call out bad logic and the tendency to indulge in it every time. That is NOT synonymous with "third grade name-calling" [sic, try "third-grade name calling"]. Fever comes into my articles commenting with openers like "I don't know why I bother to respond to your dribble" without anything close to a hint of why he thinks it's dribble except that he doesn't agree. Yet you never say a word about that to him or anyone else who does the same.

I give clear reasons why I disagree with whatever position. I back them up with facts that are matters of public record (TV and radio hosts' personal opinions are not facts that are a matter of public record). I use valid logic to clearly point out the flaws in the positions of those who disagree using objective, universally accepted tools of analysis. I jump on you for not doing that and you call it name calling, yet say nothing when others do real name calling with no attempt to justify it other than opposing statements of opinion. So I have a simple question. Why do you apply such a grossly obvious double standard?
Robert Wendell Added Jun 22, 2013 - 11:45am
By the way, Obama's totally correct that trickle-down theory has never worked. It's been tried several times by Republican administrations and it is a matter of public record that it never worked.
Robert Wendell Added Apr 15, 2014 - 11:34am
David, you're indulging in pure cow poop. Limbaugh specifically referred to this particular speech by Obama as amounting to a confession to a bunch of things that Obama's speech in no way confessed to. That is precisely what I wanted to point out in the article and nothing else, that is, just how Limbaugh twists words and uses bad logic to draw insane conclusions about what THIS particular speech says. Drawing conclusions about what this speech says, indicates, or confesses to by using what you may regard as other historical evidence outside the speech of Obama's thinking is completely irrational. Even if Obama were Lenin or Ho Chi Minh, there is nothing in that speech that justifies the ridiculous implications Limbaugh pretends it has.
Mike Haluska Added Apr 17, 2014 - 3:37pm
Bob -
What Obama says in a speech is of little importance.  What Obama DOES is of paramount importance.  This guy is the most socialist prone person to ever occupy the Presidency - period.  His political appointments border on Marxist specifications - check the background of the "Science Czar", John Holdren.  This whack job wrote in his book titled Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment; he discussed the possible role of a wide variety of means to address overpopulation, from voluntary family planning to enforced population controls, including compulsory abortion, adding sterilants to drinking water or staple foods, forced sterilization for women after they gave birth to a designated number of children, and discussed "the use of milder methods of influencing family size preferences" such as access to birth control and abortion.
If you can't see the socialism in his economic "policies" then you're just a blind supporter of "the government gives me stuff" crowd.
Mike Haluska Added Apr 17, 2014 - 3:44pm
Obama's comments:
""Now, it's a simple theory. And we have to admit, it's one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government. That's in America's DNA. And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. (Laughter.) But here's the problem: It doesn't work. It has never worked. (Applause.) It didn't work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression. It's not what led to the incredible postwar booms of the ‘50s and ‘60s. And it didn't work when we tried it during the last decade. (Applause.) I mean, understand, it's not as if we haven't tried this theory."
Are PURE leftist loony fantasy!  The progressive "programs" simply prolonged the Great Depression - caused by GOVERNMENT FAILURE" !!!
Let Dr. Milton Friedman educate us:
Mike Haluska Added Apr 17, 2014 - 3:48pm
Hey Obama fans of "Big Government Creates Prosperity" -
Where was "Big Government" when the USA went from a backwoods country to the most prosperous nation in history?  And exactly HOW does Big Governmnet CREATE anything when all it can do is CONFISCATE the income and wealth of its people?
Robert Wendell Added Apr 17, 2014 - 4:42pm
Mike et al  with regard to Mike's statement: "What Obama says in a speech is of little importance.  What Obama DOES is of paramount importance."
This article does not and never intended to address that. What it addresses is Limbaugh's claim that Obama's speech amounted to a direct confession to all that Limbaugh claims it is. Even if Obama were Ho Chi Minh, Mao Tse Tung, or Lenin, there is nothing in the speech itself that supports Limbaugh's claims about it. His diatribe is loaded with logical fallacies and the heinously cheap tactics he indulges at the beginning.
I challenged you folks to show anything that justifies what Limbaugh says about the SPEECH AND NOTHING ELSE. Your attempts to justify Limbaugh by referring to things extraneous to the speech show an extremely silly, brainless misunderstanding of this simple point:
The speech itself does not say anything like what Limbaugh says it does!
Limbaugh, not I, set the rules by saying what he did about the speech without reference to anything outside it. He said the speech said or implied all these things. Failing to understand this simple point is logically same as my accusing you of swearing at your mother when you were in fact telling her you love her. To prove my accusation I then produce a recording of you swearing at her on another occasion and actually believe I have made my case. For any of you to pretend it is unfair to prohibit bringing in other things in your attempts to "prove" Limbaugh is right about the speech is just as pitifully stupid.
My purpose was to show how irrational Limbaugh is using a specific example. I've heard more Limbaugh than I ever wanted to. I think he's actually much smarter than any of you and doesn't believe most of what he says. He just makes a handsome living suckering you because he reads you like a book. He's the political equivalent of a con man, but that's not illegal. He doesn't take your money; he just brainwashes your gullible little minds. Anyone who takes Limbaugh seriously is so far in the red mentally that they're beyond help.
Robert Wendell Added Apr 17, 2014 - 8:08pm
Bee Ess, here your words this time are definitely NOT B.S. I agree. There is a lot I don't like about they way Obama has handled his presidency. I'm not as partisan as you seem to think. I'm registered as an independent and think both parties are corrupted from the inside out.
I usually vote Democratic only because the opposing candidates are usually completely off the wall. I vote for what I consider the lesser of two evils. Locally, especially the judges, I look up their peer reviews and how the lawyers that have worked with them view them and how they tend to decide cases. It's all on the Internet here locally. I pay no attention at all to which party they belong to, so I never vote either party across the board.
I think the main thing most of the crazy conservatives (who want to do anything but conserve) today think is leftist about Obama is the healthcare act. The rest is just digging into his history and pulling up stuff that had any leftist ring to it, but there is not much they can point to legitimately that he's actually done that is more leftist than many previous presidents.
Most of the Marxism scare on the right is just paranoid fear of an "n-word" president because the whole civil rights movement and anything related to it were considered leftist by the states rightists who wanted to keep the Jim Crow south as it was. Worse, many historical blacks were either leftists or looked that way to many conservatives. Most conservatives today view most blacks as just wanting handouts and therefore left-leaning.
I personally think free market economics in the case of healthcare works against the interest of the recipients of healthcare. It doesn't pay to find cheap, effective ways to cure diseases and it pays a lot to find "magic bullets" that make people more comfortable with their diseases, does nothing to cure them, and thus keeps them buying expensive drugs for life. There is also the gross conflict of interest in allowing medical doctors to make money by effectively subcontracting specialists at the expense of the client, often unnecessarily. Certainly the financial incentive to do that is there in spades.
I also believe that healthcare should be a basic right. I don't consider the recognition that all the financial incentives are upside down in our current healthcare system. They make doctors ridiculously wealthy and ruin patient's lives if they fall seriously sick without insurance they used not to be able to get even before their illness simply because they were viewed as a bad risk.
Robert Wendell Added Apr 17, 2014 - 8:12pm
In other words, I think some markets need to be single-payer markets. I would vote for a single-payer system and I'm anything but a Marxist. I think Marxism is completely unworkable and that is well-proved historically.
Mike Haluska Added Apr 18, 2014 - 3:31pm
Bob - your comment:
"In other words, I think some markets need to be single-payer markets. I would vote for a single-payer system and I'm anything but a Marxist. I think Marxism is completely unworkable and that is well-proved historically. "
is so repetitively self-contradictory I need a flow chart.  Did it ever occur to you that a "Single Payer" is a perverse form of monopoly where the monopolist spends OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY?  Sorry my friend, this has NOTHING to do with Free Enterprise or efficiency.
Robert Wendell Added Apr 18, 2014 - 4:44pm
Mike: " Sorry my friend, this has NOTHING to do with Free Enterprise or efficiency."
Another statement totally out of context. You think if I make one exception because free market economics happens, in that one case and perhaps a very few others if any, to produce upside own incentives to favor profits for industry at the cost of anything workable for the people it's supposed to serve, I'm a Marxist, socialist, or whatever you decide at the moment to call me. I made it very clear WHY in the particular case of healthcare, I do NOT view free market economics as serving the people healthcare is ideally intended to serve. It is only because of the particular nature of this one area of life. That does NOT make me contradictory or anything you want to make of me. You're just another example of how fanatical commitment to ideology completely trumps common sense.
Robert Wendell Added Apr 18, 2014 - 4:46pm
Thank you for your comment, Eric. These people are so self-blinded and irrational it would be hilarious if it weren't so pitiful and there weren't so many who actually politically implement their fanaticism.
Robert Wendell Added Apr 18, 2014 - 5:07pm
Eric, you also beat me to the comment on the difference between the political comedians and people like Rash Limbo, Shorn Sanity, Makin' Smelly, and Damn Colder. The latter sell utter cow poop to people who are already primed to swallow every word. They revile any ideas that fail to support the bubble of fiction they so love to inhabit in order to insulate themselves from the reality they so fear.
Note that the Republican-oriented talk shows are admittedly entertainment, at least according to Bee Ess. They are most definitely not comedians, at least to their viewers, who take their hateful political polemic quite seriously. The reason is simple. Their political opponents don't provide them with tons of material for really good jokes. On the other hand, the comedians naturally go for the farcical stuff the hard right talking heads dish out because it contains an endless stream of good material for jokes. What real comedian would not be attracted to that? Both kinds of political entertainment are indeed entertainment, but the emotional tone is completely different.
Robert Wendell Added Apr 18, 2014 - 5:13pm
Oh, Eric, also note that they assume I get my political views from listening to these entertainers. That's because that's what they do and naturally tend to think everyone else forms their opinions the same way. They are habituated to classical projection and have no clue they are. They have no idea how I really form my opinions, namely be world-wide, real-world observation from multiple cultural viewpoints and a lot of international and intercultural life experience in my 70 trips around the sun on this planet. I also have strong training in critical thought..something so foreign to them they can't help from keeping its conspicuous lack from sickly dripping off pretty much everything they say or write.
Robert Wendell Added Apr 18, 2014 - 11:06pm
I just have fun with substitute names that sound enough like the real ones that everyone gets who I'm talking about and people get upset because I played with their beloved idols, then they talk about my "king". Who's that in your opinion, Bee Ess? Obama?
I don't believe you don't care about my fun name game, because all the people who truly don't care simply laugh. They find it entertaining, including some hard line Cuban conservatives who happen to be good friends of mine. It's not even just name calling, you know. I didn't call anyone names like b*tch, a-word, or anything like that, and how did you manage to squeeze race get into this, by the way?
You knew who I was referring to by the sounds, that's all. That's a bit different from name calling, isn't it now? But those people whose names I parodied deserve anything bad I could call them, including the ones I didn't use. At any rate, anyone who takes them seriously as having anything of substance to say is has serious observational weaknesses and reasoning problems anyway. Their obvious psychological manipulation of their audience's emotional predispositions and blatant use of logical fallacies are matched only by the suckers who worship them, and whom I keep running into on this site.
"Dialectic: a discourse between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject, who wish to establish the truth of the matter guided by reasoned arguments."
I have yet to find a conservative on this site who has the slightest idea of what that is, much less how to do it. If you've read anything I've written without making knee-jerk vocabulary associations, but understood the actual meaning of my words, you know I believe in free-market capitalism where it's appropriate, which is virtually everywhere except some parts of healthcare. However, I think business needs to be policed just like the rest of society unless you think the mere possession of money automatically bestows sainthood on the possessors.
Robert Wendell Added Apr 18, 2014 - 11:11pm
I think free-market capitalism is the most natural and efficient way for the distribution of goods and services and that we the people need to keep the policing of those who participate in it clean and simple. I would like to see our taxes become a simple sales tax with exemptions for the basic necessities of life. I believe an income tax is unconstitutional. I hate the idea of abortion, but believe it should not be driven underground. I don't like drug addiction and don't think marijuana is good, but I think it should be legalized. However, I don't think it should be sold by private enterprise, but only licensed by the state like hard liquor in some states. I think we should do the same with heroine and other drugs. This makes its use transparent, treats addiction more like prescription drugs under careful control, and I think that information should be available to anyone who wishes to know. It should be legal to refuse employment to those who use these drugs.
I think free market capitalism is not intrinsically good or moral. It is moral only when morality and basic human values are legally imposed on it. That's why we have laws against some of the more obviously immoral business practices. We need to do better at this.
Drug cartels are just profit seekers who are willing to take huge risks, including not just jail, but a very premature death simply so they can live a life of unbelievable luxury while they're alive. They are fundamentally no different from any other business that violates the law or unfairly manipulates the law politically for special privilege over competitors. It's a difference only in degree and not in kind. There is every shade in between drug cartels and legitimate, highly moral business concerns the same as there is for individual people.
I believe in fair competition and protection against the elimination of negotiating power for any parties to an exchange. Negotiations that leave the competition no options but to do business under conditions they would otherwise never accept are not negotiations, but robbery unless those conditions are created by natural market conditions, lack of demand for their product, inability to compete in an otherwise open and free market, etc.
These are not Marxist ideas, now, are they? So picking on my vocabulary, my use of language, my ability to spell correctly and use good grammar, etc. as marking me as anything political at all is completely bogus. I do notice that most of those who yell socialist and liberal at me can't spell, use good grammar, and are generally semi-literate at best. It seems to go with an inability to think straight about much of anything. The main mode of reasoning seems to be random emotional tendencies, fear of change, thoughtless word associations, and just plain old-fashioned Pavlovian conditioning.
Robert Wendell Added Apr 25, 2014 - 4:57pm
Mark, our main disagreement is which politicians will help us get where we both seem to want us to go as a country. It also seems to be what sources we view as representing accurately the realities we have to deal with to get there, including climate change. 
Robert Wendell Added Apr 25, 2014 - 4:58pm
BS, it's not dribble, but drivel. Using a dictionary works. Try it sometime.
Robert Wendell Added Apr 28, 2014 - 9:47pm
 verb ˈdri-bəl

: to fall or flow in small drops
: to let (a liquid) fall in small drops
: to let saliva or another liquid drip or trickle from your mouth
 intransitive verb ˈdri-vəl

: to talk in a very foolish or silly way

driv·eled or driv·elled, driv·el·ing or driv·el·ling

 Full Definition of DRIVEL

:  to let saliva dribble from the mouth :  slaver

:  to talk stupidly and carelessly


Robert Wendell Added Apr 28, 2014 - 9:54pm
George, who says I think either Rs or Ds are doing any real good for us in the U.S?  You say, " 'A Socialist' is therefore, 'Do they advocate forceful restrictions of economic choices?' If you put a thief in jail, both the thief and law enforcement are forcefully restricting economic choices. So could you please define more precisely what you mean by "forcefully restricting economic choices"?
Robert Wendell Added Apr 28, 2014 - 10:04pm
Greed: intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food.
A synonym for greed is avarice, defined as  excessive or insatiable desire for wealth or gain.
So a desire for gain that considers the good of others is good. Too many here are conflating that with greed. They are not the same. Greed doesn't give a flying fig about anyone but number one and violates what is generally considered the basis for morality, its very root, the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Violating this rule ranges from simple, base selfishness to the worst kind of psychopath.
Mike Haluska Added Apr 29, 2014 - 7:39am
George - let Dr. Friedman educate us on "Greed":
Robert Wendell Added Apr 29, 2014 - 3:02pm
I watched it. So? I agree with most of what Friedman says. I certainly don't think political greed, as he wisely called it, is better than economic greed. The thing is that both need policing, just like anything else, because as Friedman asked Donahue, where are you going to find these angels? He conveniently ignores the other side of that question, though.
And that's the crux of it. The angels and the devils are us! We all need protection from those of us who will stop at nothing for personal gain. In between we have all those who don't mind cheating here and there or a whole lot to gain at someone else's expense. With the phrase "at someone else's expense" I'm not referring to fair competition . There is a lot of unfair competition domestically and at the international level, too, at other countries' expense.
It's funny how many of the current crop of conservatives, as well as many of those who are more traditional, have no problem at all with big government spending when it comes to military protection of our "right" to compete unfairly in the international arena at other countries' expense. That is not getting policed because we have the world's most advanced and capable military and lots of international political allies with similar motives. That's not enough to keep what goes around from coming around, though. It's doing just that in the form of all kinds of radical insurrection and terrorism.
It really chaps my posterior however, when rather than admitting the truth of that, many if not most conservatives start pretending that such statements are a defense of terrorist acts. I'm just saying that if you clearly and deliberately fart in an ignorant, prejudiced, weapon-bearing religious fanatic's face, don't be too surprised if you get shot. That doesn't justify the shooting in the least, but you really shouldn't be too awfully surprised by that reaction and have to invent all kinds of dumb reasons for it that having nothing to do with the truth of what you did to provoke it.
Mike Haluska Added Apr 29, 2014 - 3:45pm
Bob - ever since we went to Korea as a "Police Action", our country has been caught in a "Tar Baby" foreign policy trap.  Again - following the Constitution would have prevented all of these conflicts and losses in human life. 
If the proponents of the war cannot gain public support by actually having our duly elected representatives vote FOR WAR, then we shouldn't risk American lives and treasure.  We're on the same page, Bob.
Robert Wendell Added Apr 29, 2014 - 3:48pm
Mike, I'm glad we have something to agree on.
Robert Wendell Added Apr 29, 2014 - 8:22pm
Yes, and it's the corporate, especially the financial corporate world, that is behind a huge chunk of this corruption of egalitarian ethics. It's not the government. We the people get the government we ask for with our votes, our complacence, our desire to idealize to great heights of impracticality our democracy, our general ignorance of reality, just being asleep at the wheel, or any combination of the above.
We have let the corporate world control our government by default, by neglect of our own duty to remain duly informed and act accordingly. Too many conservatives support these corporate elite and their nefarious political manipulations with an unrealistic, silly idealism, a false patriotism that effectively imputes sainthood to our nation by viewing it as so exceptional as to be beyond common human flaws. This didn't start with Obama, for Pete's sake. It has been going on forever.
Robert Wendell Added Apr 29, 2014 - 10:04pm
So what do you propose as a solution, George, or don't you think there is one? Making government smaller doesn't fix anything. It just makes fewer people more powerful. I happen to think we still have enough of a democracy left to give us the power to change things if enough people were to awaken to reality.
I'm not talking about violent revolution either. I'm just talking about the power ceded to us, the people, by our founding documents, especially the U.S. Constitution. Most conservatives who discuss anything of this kind here with me live inside a bubble of fiction created to sucker them like candy suckers a toddler. They vote for people who talk about the Constitution, but cede all the power to the very corporate interests that have subverted it and want to cede them even more.
Mike Haluska Added Apr 30, 2014 - 7:35am
Bob - you need to qualify your statement:
"Making government smaller doesn't fix anything. It just makes fewer people more powerful."
It depends on what you mean by "making government smaller".  If you mean simply reducing the number of government employees, then you're correct. 
What I mean by "making government smaller" is eliminating the functions currently being performed by the government that are outside the Constitution.  Of the over 1,600 federal agencies, how many do you think would be eliminated if the Constitutionality rule were applied?
Mike Haluska Added Apr 30, 2014 - 7:40am
Bob - your comment:
"Mike, I'm glad we have something to agree on."
is appreciated.  I always thought we had the same basic objectives, just disagreed on the best (not perfect) path to get there.
Robert Wendell Added Apr 30, 2014 - 1:07pm
Robert K., you make some excellent points. I think the first thing on the way to bettering (not completely fixing) the current politico-economic-military injustice is to eliminate the gross unfairness of the rules for qualifying new parties for the election process. The media play a heavy role, too, in blocking serious third party contenders. If you chase the major media outlets to the top through their chains of holding companies, a very few Republican men own the whole industry. Part of their game is to use some media to deliberately hire liberal journalists, most of whom are naive about how utterly corrupt the current system is.
This makes the majority of the media look liberal so they can yell about this with their radical right talking heads. They have to power to block anything on the liberal side that would expose this game. I have personal knowledge of some small pieces of this. It can get really nasty, like heads rolling and long, successful careers lost if top executives fail to block certain investigative journalism that would expose this game, ignite popular opinion against a war they want, etc.
The war racket is a big part of the picture. Eisenhower belatedly realized this and warned us, coining the phrase "military-industrial complex". As a people, we failed to listen. Military suppliers of every kind, from military boot and glove to heavy weapons manufacturers make ten times more profit during war than during during peace. There is no economic incentive in our current system for peace, but plenty for war. Our youth are fodder for their cannons. They don't give a hoot about that, though. Nixon scuttled peace talks with Ho Chi Minh so he could guarantee an election win, then had to resign to avoid impeachment. Many thousands of lives were sacrificed for his personal "gain". History has made it clear that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was manufactured with LBJ's enthusiastic participation. These are just the tips of huge icebergs, which remain almost entirely under water. Follow the money if you want to find the truth!
Robert Wendell Added Apr 30, 2014 - 2:01pm
Larry: "No, liberals are mentally ill and deficient in character."
I consider Obama the least of the two evils I had to choose between. If you got anything like that out of Obama's autobiographies, your statement above is a pure case of classical projection. Your view is so pitifully twisted that you and I have nothing to discuss.
Robert Wendell Added May 1, 2014 - 10:06am
George, in our democracy our political leaders are SUPPOSED to serve us. We're SUPPOSED to be their masters and not the reverse.
Mike Haluska Added May 1, 2014 - 10:36am
Bob - the most succinct thing you have written is also the most profound!  That is PRECISELY why I am adamant about granting as little of my personal freedom and responsibility to the government.  Like electric power tools, politicians make good servants and lousy masters!
Robert Wendell Added May 1, 2014 - 8:22pm
BS, glad to see something from you other than pure BS. Haven't looked at the video links yet, but otherwise have no problem with your last post except that Bush was not worse than Obama. Obama would not be in the quagmire he's in if it hadn't been for the irresponsible and worse, criminal behavior of the Bush administration, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al. By the way, I strongly disagree with the current use of drones in the Obama administration and the warmongering in this country in general. We need to stop our criminal foreign policies, which have been common to almost every administration since time immemorial.
Robert Wendell Added May 12, 2014 - 12:06pm
George, I respectfully disagree with your TARP position. I have looked at that from many different angles and studied diverse opinions on the subject, witnessed lots of interviews from key players, dissenters, etc. I've also looked at unarguable facts surrounding what happened.
Those of you who harp against TARP (please forgive the inadvertent rhyme) are ignoring what happened when failures occurred because Paulson at first thought some should occur, that they should just let the market work. Well, it started to work.
Things were so tightly tied together around the world that the whole banking system was collapsing very fast. The domino effect was and is real. Too many think this was just propaganda, but apparently have no clue just how tightly interdependent participants in the worldwide banking system are.
Robert Wendell Added May 12, 2014 - 12:50pm
The results of letting more fail would have utterly ruined the world economy and we would all be rightly blaming the key players for what they didn't do to stop it. Hindsight is 20/20. It was bad enough as it was.
What gripes me is that no one went to jail and the big bonuses were like giving us all the finger, including everyone who lost their homes to this mess. The ties to banking of the key players are real and easy to blame, but that doesn't make it the motive. Paulson, as you point out, had strong ties to major banks and other financial institutions, but he had a free market philosophy that he tried and got the stuffing scared out of him by the results. He quickly reversed course, fortunately for us all.
Mike Haluska Added May 13, 2014 - 11:30am
Bob - here's the core cause of all the trouble related to TARP:  The US Government interfered with the free market and ordered lending institutions to make loans to people that would probably default.  Barney and friends decided that it's "not fair" that poor people can't get a mortgage, so they intervened STUPIDLY.  If that didn't happen, there would be no need for TARP.
Robert Wendell Added May 13, 2014 - 10:41pm
Mike, first that in no way implies that we didn't need TARP to save us from a major economic catastrophe after the fact. Second, what's your source for the "stupid" intervention you claim. Are you claiming that the government forced banks to make loans to unqualified people? If so, please back that up with some real information that is not from some freaky conservative talking head.
Mike Haluska Added May 14, 2014 - 9:55am
Bob - go back and do your homework, I'm not going to research common knowledge about a topic for you.  "Forced" was a strong word, but the government strong-armed and guaranteed loans that would never pass muster under normal credit-worthy requirements.
I wasn't debating the merits of TARP - I was stating the fact that stupid government intervention in the name of "fairness" once again backfired and the taxpayer was holding the bag.
Robert Wendell Added May 14, 2014 - 11:56pm
Your government strong-arming is an extremely small piece of that picture unless you've been hiding in a cave and missing 90% of the information on what really happened. You weirdly think 400 ppm of CO(2) is too small an atmospheric proportion to have a significant effect on AGW despite solid, long-established scientific, pre-AGW mechanisms that make it clearly significant if you understand them at all, yet you propose this small part of this picture is the whole explanation or even a very significant contributor to the situation that precipitated TARP? Wow! It was highly lucrative for some to sell these bogus loans and they went at it with a vengeance. I've heard quite a few of these spilling their guts about it in addition to whistle blowers who got canned for complaining about it. That had nothing at all to do with government strong-arming. Who sells you that kind of grossly stupid stuff and please tell me precisely why you buy it? Because you're already primed to believe it?
Mike Haluska Added May 15, 2014 - 11:11am
Bob - your comment:
"It was highly lucrative for some to sell these bogus loans and they went at it with a vengeance."
is 100% correct, and I think we are arguing across purposes.  My point is that the government intervened and like so many other times unintended (but predictable) consequences ruined everything. 
The people I hold in highest economic esteem are not "speculators" but those who risk their own capital and actually MAKE SOMETHING  that people want, employ people at a high wage and makes all of our lives better. 
Robert Wendell Added May 15, 2014 - 2:23pm
It would have been better like it was in the 1930s, but worse. If you think we could have gotten off that easy by letting the banks fail, you are totally clueless. That kind of talk is coming from folks how play you. They don't even believe it, unless they're just totally ignorant  about the way the international banking system currently works.
Robert Wendell Added May 27, 2014 - 2:46pm
Correction to the last post: 
...folks who play you... instead of "folks how play you".
Robert Wendell Added May 27, 2014 - 2:52pm
BS, how do you define "progressive"? Is this a label for someone who believes in real freedom to choose among options in the marketplace as I do. Or do you think progressive means anyone who is opposed to the financial mob rule and economic anarchy you pretend represents free markets? The Cosa Nostra doesn't give a hoot about government regulations. They simply ignore them. Why don't you just go work for them to find out about just how free unregulated markets are?
Robert Wendell Added May 27, 2014 - 3:03pm
Continued: Government regulations only apply legally, but don't apply in practice to illegal markets. Illegal markets are regulated by power, both financial power and firepower. What makes you think a lack of policing legal markets would ultimately be much different?
Mike Haluska Added May 27, 2014 - 6:29pm
Robert - are the posters misunderstanding your definition of "regulation"?  Once we cleared up you weren't advocating for "control" or "picking winners & losers" I was on board.
You know my recommendation for minimizing corruption - ending politician's & bureaucrat's ability to grant special favors.  The best way to combat a greedy monopolist is to set several greedy capitalists after him. 
Robert Wendell Added May 28, 2014 - 1:39am
Mike: "The best way to combat a greedy monopolist is to set several greedy capitalists after him."
That doesn't work if the greedy monopolist is powerful enough. Let's not play silly semantic games with words like regulation and control. Unenforced regulation is not regulation. If you want to call that control, then we disagree, because I believe in regulation with means of enforcement and consequences for violators. I already stated in my immediately preceding post that  Illegal markets are regulated by power, both financial power and firepower. Now I ask YOU, what makes you think a lack of policing legal markets would ultimately be much different?
You isolate your little ivory tower, conservative idealism from the earthly reality of power seeking. The former Soviet Union didn't really practice Marxist ideals. The powerful turned their power into money they hid elsewhere in myriad clever ways. They sent you to gulags if you didn't agree with them. They had a market economy that was not at all free because there was a monopolistic power center that controlled everything.
Now, do you imagine that there were not greedy, wannabe capitalists in that population who would have loved to overthrow that monopoly? The demise of the Soviet Union has proved there were. They just couldn't do it before then. The current Russian billionaires as well as the Russian mafia are just examples of power centers that are beyond regulation by Putin, who would love to return to the days of the old Soviet Union. Most of my life has been lived during the cold war all the way from the end of WWII when my father returned from the front lines in Germany after that war ended.
I used the Cosa Nostra in the U.S. in a previous post here. They're an example of unregulated economic activity. Go work for them and see how you like it. See how people in that society deal with monopolies in that world, then come back and tell me about it. The mafia was originally a group of political insurgents fighting a corrupt nobility that held Sicily under armed occupation. They just never quit playing their power games.
They developed a societal code that worked to overthrow their oppressors and they became the oppressors. If you could go talk to some of them as some have, especially those lawyers who have worked with them, you would find out that they view our whole system as essentially no different from theirs. They see the U.S. and any other country as just bigger and more powerful, but no less "criminal" than they are. They watch our children get sent to war, our intelligence activities, black ops, etc. to support our international crimes and theylaugh out loud at our hypocrisy when we show disgust for their use of hit men, etc.
They see us as just having more professional assassins than they do. They know how many judges they corrupt and they also know which ones industry has corrupted. In their minds, they're just living by their own rules instead of ours and we have the power to put them in the can if we can catch and convict them. They kill state's witnesses and then laugh at us for our nasty stares because they know we (the U.S.) kill people who spill secrets we don't want anyone to know about. Do you imagine that Snowden's life would have been worth two cents if anyone had known what he was about to do or caught him before he could reveal anything? You may justify that, but he revealed a lot of our dirty underwear and it wasn't all pretty or nothing more than state secrets that served the interests of our citizenry and national security.
Robert Wendell Added May 28, 2014 - 12:47pm
In case anyone's wondering, I'm not promoting the mafia perspective and certainly don't fully buy it, but I have to admit there is a strong element of truth in it. In my view, there is an expanded perspective that recognizes that the whole world represents the realities that some of us keep pretending don't exist.
For me, the bottom line on how the world actually works is who has the most power. Then we have to consider this: what kind of people are they? Do they cherish what is good for the world or only what they think is to their personal advantage, which they typically view as acquiring even more power.
So the ultimate currency in practice is power. Money can buy power, but the power to do your will is the ultimate decision maker on what is actually going to happen. In a sense, this is unregulated, free-market "powerism". Since money can buy power and usually does, this translates to unregulated, free-market capitalism. Some here are probably thinking,, "No! That's absurd. There are international laws and regulations as well as all kinds of different state laws and regulations,"
My answer to that is to ask who is making those laws and regulations and how well they actually stick to them. Are they enforced, and if they are, are they even good laws and regulations? How do whoever gets to make them get the power to do so? Are they stacked in anyone's favor or any category's favor over others? If so, why and how did they get the power to do that?
The ultimate truth of how the world works is who has the power to do what. Money is a huge part of that picture. Unregulated free-market capitalism is an oxymoron. It can't be both unregulated and free. This exists only in some people's naive, idealistic minds. It is the economic equivalent of political anarchy. It not only doesn't exist in reality except in failed states, but can't even exist anywhere in the world right now in any form other than failed states.
What so many conservatives pretend is free-market capitalism is mob rule, the ground rule of which is "may the strongest have their way" until somebody either kills them, merely replaces them, or simply ruins them financially, The pseudo-reality most of today's Tea Party types envision is nothing like the reality that would result if they were to ever get their way. It would quickly turn into something more like a cock fight with a whole bunch of cocks mauling each other in a massive free-for-all. Sounds a lot like what we already have in the world today, doesn't it? If we don't fully understand what the existence of rogue and/or failed states implies about how things and people REALLY work, how can we pretend to understand how our pie -in-the-sky ideals would actually manifest in practice?
Robert Wendell Added May 30, 2014 - 9:09pm
I received these quotes in an email:
“I hope we shall… crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”
- Thomas Jefferson

“There is an evil which ought to be guarded against in the indefinite accumulation of property from the capacity of holding it in perpetuity by corporations. The power of all corporations ought to be limited in this respect. The growing wealth acquired by them never fails to be a source of abuses.” 
- James Madison


“I am more than ever convinced of the dangers to which the free and unbiased exercise of political opinion – the only sure foundation and safeguard of republican government – would be exposed by any further increase of the already overgrown influence of corporate authorities.” ~ - Martin Van Buren

“We may congratulate ourselves that this cruel war is nearing its end. It has cost a vast amount of treasure and blood… It has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic; but I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.” 
- Abraham Lincoln

Mike Haluska Added Aug 15, 2015 - 1:53pm
Wendell - As far as judging whether or not someone is a socialist or subscribes to socialist policies, pay NO ATTENTION to their words.  My judgment regarding Obama is based on his ACTIONS - not his words.  Based on his ACTIONS, Obama is a closet socialist - "closet" because like most Democrats they are smart enough to know that accurate, objective descriptions of their intentions would lose elections. 
Besides, politicians have decimated the English language to the point that fact, fiction, truth, lies are indistinguishable. 
"It depends on what your definition of IS is" 
"You can keep your doctor"
"What difference does it make?"
"ACA will lower everyone's health insurance premiums"
“If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that."
“It’s here that companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future.”
Barry aka. Hyperminde Added Aug 18, 2015 - 10:32pm
RE (Mike H): socialist or ... socialist policies, pay NO ATTENTION to their words.

@ Mike - I believe this quote applies to what you were saying:

"Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."

 - George Orwell
Mike Haluska Added Aug 27, 2015 - 6:41pm
Bob - I still think we are arguing across purposes here.  Let me clarify what I mean by "regulation" and see if we don't have a common base to stand.  The regulations I refer to are anti-freedom, anti-choice, anti-free market and that attempt to influence the outcomes of the market. 
The problem with the anti-monopoly regulation is that always ends up with the "regulators" being in the pocket of the companies they are supposed to regulate.  Think about it - if you and I were appointed to sit on the "Little Old Ladies Handbag Manufacturers Industry Committee" and draft regulations, what would we do?  Both of us know next to nothing about old ladies handbags, let alone what to do to make the industry "fair & honest".  Sooner or later we leave and get replaced by Senator Joe Blow's son-in-law who just happens to be tied to the ladies handbag industry.
As an evil monopolist, what would you fear more:
1) an open market that competitors can freely enter
2) a small group of Senator's son-in-laws that can pass legislation making it nearly impossible for your competitors to enter your market?
Robert Wendell Added Aug 27, 2015 - 10:11pm
Truly free markets and commercial anarchy are far from synonymous. The purist idea of supply and demand economics  (i.e,, perfect competition in classical economic terms)  is an ideal that doesn't exist in the real world. This is not only true because politicians and governments interfere. It is true, period, under any circumstances.
That's why ethics, morality, and long-term vision are essential. They are not built into an unregulated market for which government only prosecutes obvious, gross crimes. The markets are not self-adjusting for the long-term good of society when left alone as Ayn Rand argued. Far from it.
In a truly democratic republic, the people who elect our leaders are ultimately to blame . We don't have a truly democratic republic (not a pure democracy). Some people want pure democracy, direct voting on issues by the public.
Our founders knew that doesn't work because it results in the tyranny of the majority, so they deliberately eliminated it as an option. Our republic has, as I imply in my quotes of our forefathers above, gone exactly in the direction they warned us against. Corporate power severely filters our choices before we get to vote. "I don't care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating." - William M. Tweed
Robert Wendell Added Aug 27, 2015 - 11:45pm
Robert Altemeyer's Social Dominator profile fits Limbaugh to a "T". He even confessed it in this quote:
“Do you know what bought me all this,” he asked, waving his hand in the general direction of his prosperity. “Not my political ideas. Conservatism didn’t buy this house. First and foremost I’m a businessman. My first goal is to attract the largest possible audience so I can charge confiscatory ad rates. I happen to have great entertainment skills, but that enables me to sell airtime."
- Rush Limbaugh [My emphases]
That came from:
(The article there is short and well worth reading in its entirety. A telling point is Limbaugh claiming to want independence from Middle East oil while encouraging driving great big SUVs. Morons actually buy this.)
The following site used to have the Limbaugh quote in my previous comment on video. It's now unavailable. Makes you wonder why, but only if you're stupidly naïve. Money talks:
(This site has a whole lot of other stuff that exposes Limbaugh for who he really is by using, guess who...Yep!...Rush himself. But guess what again! Showing this stuff to conservatives does nothing to stop them from worshiping RL as a conservative hero. Kind of goes along with the independence from ME oil and big SUV thing. Self-contradiction is a trademark of psychological conservatives, whether they be Muslim fundamentalists fighting for ISIS and making rape a religious ritual, ethnic Russians in Ukraine longing for the return of something like the old USSR, or American dimwits who believe in the sincerity of Rush Limbaugh.)
Robert Wendell Added Aug 29, 2015 - 9:39pm
By the way, does anyone here really think Faux Muse wants Jeb Bush or any other Republican to win? They would lose a ton of money if a Republican won. They can make a ton more money yelling about Hillary or any other Democrat if one of them wins. No, they hope like crazy a Republican doesn't win so they'll have much more juicy stuff to make up about it all and spoon feed it to all the suckers who believe in them.

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