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Letters to the Editor: October 25, 2013

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West Valley View's picture

Obamacare or Obamascare?

Editor:

I felt all along that Mr. Obama’s healthcare policy was due to be mired in controversy. It started when Nancy Polesi while campaigning for the passage of the Obamacare bill made the now infamous statement: “Lets pass this bill and then we will find out what’s in it.” My goodness, that’s like buying a used car down in Nogales without even test driving it first. The bill is 1200 pages long and I would wager that knucklehead Polesi does not know what’s in the bill today. Nothing but partisan politics at its worst.

Whatever happened to great leaders like Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton who put aside partisan politics and brought forth legitimate compromises that benefitted all Americans? Here is my solution to this government shutdown that is harmful to all Americans. Delay Obamacare until the mid-term election in 2014 and put it on the election ballot where all Americans have a chance to vote on this controversial bills merit. Take it out of the shady backroom of American (Washington) politics where political favors, financial bribes and powerful lobbyists are taken out of the equation.

In return the Republicans put tax-reform on the table which seems to be crucial to Obama and the Democrats. This would be a real compromise where all Americans are the winners and not special interest groups.

This president while campaigning promised the American public that he would bring us together. Instead he has split this nation in two on economic, political foreign affairs and now health care controversies. Not to mention scandals like the IRS, NSA, Fast and Furious and Bengahzi. Its time for Obama to live up to his promise.

Jim McLaughlin
Arlington

Subscription makes sense

Editor:

I agree with Uriah Whatton of Buckeye who wrote The View should be by request only in his letter of 10/15. It irritates me to see during the week The View papers getting wet and drying out in my neighborhood driveways. Some neighbors will wait until 3-4 papers are out in the driveway before they pick them up. Quite often I find there is more news in The View then in the Arizona Republic. I think it is wonderful and I appreciate we get The View free but I hate to see the paper wasted. Subscription makes sense.

Marty Proffitt
Buckeye

Socialism in America

Editor:

Whenever the government forces the working class to pay for the non-working class, it is socialism! That is how the everyday working person sees it. It is not based on any legal definition in a dictionary or on Wikipedia or school text
book; it is based on cognitive perspective.

Perspective is where fact and reason needed for some peoples’ opinions goes out the window. It is a truth that is based on a person’s experiences and observations. It is their point of view. Just because a perspective is not in a text book somewhere
doesn’t make it any less real for the observer.

I belong to several political forums and social media and the common consensus among the general public from my perspective is that the word socialism, when used in everyday conversation, refers to the definition I gave above, rather than the definition found in books.

This wouldn’t be the first word in history to develop a new or different definition. But it is the first word in my lifetime that for some reason, has a group of people adamantly objecting to anything but its original definition.

For those who oppose socialism in America, after discussing it with them for a while, I have discovered not a single one of them is opposed to helping the needy, but are actually opposed to the corruption and abuses that go on in those programs. Many also consider socialism to be a forced charity. Generally people do not care for our government telling them what to do or how to spend their hard earned cash.

Patrick Orr
Avondale

Let’s pray for our country

Editor:

Folks I’ve seen and heard everything! Mr. Petty, President O’Bama and his liberal Csar’s attacking old folks by closing our parks and attacking Catholic Military Chaplains from baptizing babies or saying the liturgy.

Just think of the absurdity of it all! Someone of his stature — oops — position enforcing such orders. I/m sure the world is amused by all this. Does he (President O’Bama) really think the world believes it’s the Republicans that are doing this. They hear you spout your lies everyday Mr. President.

Recently on the news I heard Muslims are pushing their women to entertain sexually the Al Queda men?

I recall the German Nazi’s did the same during World War II. Quote: “Children for the Master Race!” The Nazi’s were in Arab Country during the War; guess they taught the Arabs well and I’m sure many Nazi’s took refuge in Arab countries when the war ended, running from retribution.

Who is this man in Washington? He dislikes Catholics, Jews, and quite possibly all Americans. He’s trying to indoctrinate our children, while protecting Muslims. Sounds like a man who’s goal is way higher, but not for America, otherwise he would listen to the people. He’s been thwarted some recently, we must pray for the safety of our people and country.

Analie Maccree
Goodyear

Invoice to Sen. Cruz

Editor:

To: Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)

From: United States Citizenry

RE: Remittance Advice - Invoice #USCITZ2013 - 01

Self-indulgent, self-aggrandizing, self-serving and ego-centric antics inflicting economic & financial damages to United States of America & Beyond: $24 Billion plus. Please remit immediately (Congressman Trent Franks’ Share of this Hubris prorated among 18 Senators & 144 Congressen -$148,000,000 plus) or face class action litigation from the citizenry.

Only gold bullion or your political hide on a platter is acceptable tender to satisfy this invoice.

David Compton
Litchfield Park

What’s Buckeye’s agenda?

Editor:

We see that the Town of Buckeye wants to move up to City status. Why? Jobs, they say.

What is NOT said is this: a Town needs voter approval to sell town-owned real property. A City does not — the council can decide to do whatever it likes and the voters can be left out.

As it happens, the Town of Buckeye owns a few parcels it wants to sell — worth in the millions.

If / when City status gets voter approval, the “hidden agenda” will be in play: sell off the 5 or 6 parcels (many acres!) and purchase a large site near the airport & then sell it cheap to a developer. Realtors gain big fees — voters get what?

All I want to know is WHY this agenda is not publicly disclosed. Please help disclose it so the VOTERS can make an informed choice this November.

Frank Lopez
Buckeye

Don’t want pension bomb

Editor:

Good job on this series of articles.

This issue has engulfed CA residents in unsustainable payout levels to “public” retirees, far higher than anything the private sector can offer.

This same issue threatens AZ taxpayers. Enough already!

Why are vacation hours and sick pay factored into pension payout levels? Paid vacations/sick time are offered to ensure that people have a chance to be with family and “decompress” from their busy bureaucrat duties. Rested workers work better. Sick workers do not. NOT going on vacay would seem to reduce worker effectiveness for the 48 or 50 weeks a year they do something at work. So paying a pension bonus to a less-efficient worker is a “double hit” against the taxpayer — who must make up pension shortfalls every year. It’s going to get worse unless fairness & sanity are brought in!

Public workers get far larger payouts than in the private industry sector. This must be attenuated — before the AZ taxpayer becomes the servant — financially — of his/her public employee master.

Don’t believe me? Look to CA and the huge taxpayer burdens of public pensions that are there now & are not going away soon.

Don’t Californicate AZ taxpayers with a CA-style pension bomb!

C J Bright
Buckeye

Election facts are questionable

Editor:

In the Election Pamphlet that was mailed to voters had several opinions that I believe were stated emotionally rather than factually. As an example, the Mayor of Litchfield Park stated,“This override will NOT icrease our taxes.” The same Election Pamphlet states in the QUESTION,“Any budget increase continuation authorized by this election shall be entirely funded by a levy of taxes on the taxable property in this school district for the year for which adopted and for six susequent years....” So why are people that are well meaning stating taxes will not increase. A “Yes” vote shall authorize the Litchfield Elelmentary School District Governing Board to continue the existig maintenance and operation budgets override authority and resulting TAX. My question is What resulting TAX

 

Les Armstrong

Goodyear

Cartoon was offensive

Editor:

The editorial cartoon that you printed Friday October 18th was the last straw for me! Morgan’s Opinion Cartoon could not be more wrong in the content that it portrayed but was very openly insulting to homeowners who have or will vote NO on the overrides for Aqua Fria and Litchfield School Districts. I want my subscription to the West Valley View immediately terminated.

Cindy Gramm
Goodyear

L. Park plans shelved

Editor:

I am responding to several letters to the editor from Jeff Gibbs and one letter from Karen Eicher. All of these letters are highly insightful concerning Litchfield Park.

Mr. Gibbs, the plans that you call for in your letters are on the shelf in the City Hall of Litchfield Park. In the mid 90s the Mayor and City Council hired a world-class planner and asked him to produce a concept plan for the development of Litchfield Park’s Village Center. The Village Center was one part of a larger development agreement. The intent was for the highly profitable Village at Litchfield Greens housing development west of the Litchfield By Pass, and resulting maintenance costs to the city, be paid for by on going revenue from the Village Center.

The attempt in the original 1991 Development Agreement was to avoid having the long established homes in Litchfield Park subsidize new development by reducing their services for such as items as road and park maintenance.

The Village Center plan was presented to several standing room only meetings of citizens of Litchfield Park at the school cafeteria. It was modified according to public sentiment. It became the central issue in a general election in which the Mayor and City Council members bet their political futures for the benefit of the people of Litchfield Park. The public responded by re-electing them by a margin of two to one. As I recall voter turnout was heavy.

That Village Center Plan remains on the shelf. All it needs in my opinion to become a reality is some elbow grease and a little political courage on the part of the Mayor and City Council of Litchfield Park.

Bob Musselwhite
Litchfield Park

Answer to editorial

Editor:

In September the editors asked our community on ideas for stemming violence. My more thorough response is on-line. My research shows that not only has crime dropped following Christian spiritual revivals but that positive societal changes also result. Such things as violent crime, prostitution, drunkenness, gambling, theft, domestic abuse, drug use, and profanity dropped dramatically, so much so that in some places police forces had nothing to do and jails and court dockets were empty. In addition, out of these revivals grew the movements that resulted in such things as the formation of orphanages, programs for the jobless and homeless, the Salvation Army, and the YMCA, which provided sports and devotional programs for directionless young men who were gravitating towards crime.

In a marvelously refreshing and encouraging article by Martin Henry entitled Divine Intervention for Crime Reduction, the author says, “Speaking in the Christian tradition, whenever there is a renewal of real godliness, as opposed to mere churchliness, there has always been a renewal of goodness. When large numbers of citizens are seized of the two great commandments to love God supremely and to love neighbour as self, there has been dramatic social transformation.” See http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130811/focus/focus4.html.

Simply put, asking Jesus Christ to be in charge of our life results in the Holy Spirit taking up residence in our hearts and beginning the supernatural work of transforming us from the inside out. What follows that transaction is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22.

If America wants to see violence end, then we must acknowledge that without God’s supernatural help we are powerless to do it. God won’t force it on us but He is eagerly waiting to gift us with it. Your editorial is a start in the right direction.

Don and Gayle Brees
Avondale

Communism coming to U.S.

Editor:

How many can remember this famous quote?

Your children’s children will live under Communism. You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept Communism outright; but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of Socialism until you will finally wake up and find that you already have Communism. We won’t have to fight you; WE’LL SO WEAKEN YOUR ECONOMY, until you fall like overripe fruit into our hands”. Nikita Khrushchev, 1959

As a small boy, I remember thinking that could never happen here in the United States of America...........and now the words of Khrushchev are coming to pass.......right before your very eyes..........

Thomas Moore
Goodyear

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Comments

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Mr. McLaughlin:

   In case you're feeling neglected, I apologize.  I meant to get to your diatribe sooner, but was distracted.

   Normaly I refer to the current Republican Party as the Republi-Con Party in order to emphasize the fact it is composed mostly of (and certainly controlled by) what are known as "movement conservatives" - people who put ideology before everything else, demanding perfect loyalty of all party members, and brand as RINO's (Republicans In Name Only) those who fail to rigidly toe the party-line (who are then purged from the ranks).  Ironically, despite all their inveighing against "Socialism!"  and "Communism!" (terms they conflate, confuse, and often misuse), their behavior and demand for political correctness among their members resembles nothing so much as the Socialist and Communist parties!

   However, your letter demonstrates another trait they share with those other parties: substitution of propaganda for truth, and it's constant repetition.  (What's known as "the Big Lie Technique".)  All of which leads me to respond to some of the Republi-cons contained in your piece.

   First, Speaker Pelosi said no such thing!  It's really annoying how that lie just keeps being repeated mindlessly.  (I'll be charitable and assume you don't realize it's a lie.   But being a parrot is no badge of honor either.)

   She was commenting on the Republi-Con disinformation campaign that had been going on before the law was even passed. She was making the point that because of that campaign people were getting confused, and didn't know what was in the actual legislation. (“Death Panels”, anyone?) She then expressed the (naive) hope that this would cease once the law had been passed. Her precise words were:

"But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy."

Source: http://mediamatters.org/blog/2010/04/07/beck-adds-to-fog-of-controversy-...

 

   Get it? She was saying that because of that disinformation campaign Congress had to pass it so that the American people (not Congress) could see what’s in it “away from the fog of controversy”.

   Please note the part I super emphasized.  Why, I wonder, do Republi-Cons always leave out that part?

   Next there's the ridiculous assertion that the law is 1200 pages long.  (I've noticed the number keeps increasing over time.)  Since the actual bill is available on-line, there's really no good excuse for repeating that lie.  The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is, by itself, only 906 pages long.  Big enough, but no need to exaggerate by increasing it over 132%!

   But, to be completely accurate, we must also consider the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which also forms part of "Obamacare".  It adds another 55 pages, making a total of 961.  Still, a long way from your 1200 pages!

Sources:

Patient Protection Act - http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111hr3590enr/pdf/BILLS-111hr3590enr.pdf

Reconciliation Act - http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ152/pdf/PLAW-111publ152.pdf

   Of course, even this count is an oversimplification, since you have to allow for how these bills are printed in their official forms: with w-i-d-e margins that increase the number of pages.  There are other versions of this law available, which come to considerably fewer pages, but the official versions are the longest.

   Moreover, if you ever go to a library which has a copy of the U.S. Code (the official compilation of our current laws), look through some of the volumes it is composed of.  Examine the Immigration Law, the Judicial Code, or even the (dreaded and dreadful) Internal Revenue Code.  Succinct is not a word that will leap to your mind.  So, unless you want a constitutional limit on the length of all bills before Congress (would 500 pages be enough?), this tired line is the cheapest of cheap shots!

   Did Obama promise to "bring us together".  Perhaps, but one should never take such broad and vague campaign promises too seriously.  At most they amount to a statement of what candidates hope to do, not what they actually can do (much less will do).  I seem to remember his predecessor campaigning on a promise to be "a uniter, not a divider".   How'd that work out for ya?

   Plus, of course, it takes two to tango.  Remember how, in 2008, the ink on the ballots was barely dry, and Republi-Cons were vowing to make Obama a 'one term wonder'?  And who can forget Senator McConnell saying, repeatedly, that his number one priority was making sure Obama had just one term?  Clearly, that's been the Republi-Con strategy, and refusing to cooperate was a big part of it.  You can't tango when your "partner" won't dance!

See: http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2012/09/25/mitch_mcconnell_and_the_one...

   As for the "scandals" you mention, how much of that is subtantive, and how much is simply Republi-Con hyperbole?  I've noted in far too many places to repeat that the G.O.P. is too busy trying to make political "hay" to seriously examine the real issues involved.  Plus, they're trying to bury the fact that Bush the Second had similar scandals which were far worse.  Of course, back then they were busy acting as the cheering section while he blatantly violated both the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the Fourth Amendment, and used the IRS to "go after" liberal groups.  (To name just two examples.)  Can you spell h-y-p-o-c-r-i-s-y?

   Your "solution" is a joke, and a poor one.  First, there's no constitutional way to do as you suggest.  (Funny, I thought Republi-Cons were all about following the Constitution - except when they're not!)  There is no way to put "Obamacare" "one the election ballot" so that Americans can vote on it.  That would be an example of direct democracy, and as my Republi-Con "friends" never tire of saying, we're a republic!  (Which is a representative democracy.  Congress votes on laws, we vote for Congress.)

   Besides, it was "on the ballot" last year (in a sense).  Romney and Ryan ran on a pledge to "repeal and replace" the law, with their party marching right behind them.  I'm sure you remember what happened on Election Night.  (Faux News had a nervous breakdown over it!)

   So, sorry sir, but it's your letter that is "nothing but partisan politics at its worst".

 

porr000's picture

Mr. Moore

I completely understand where you are coming from in your letter.

The idea of limited government, free enterprise, & self-determination are some of the founding principles that made America great.



Obama's idea of America, is cradle-to-grave social welfare.



Under the Obama fiscal policies, and his rhetoric of "spreading the wealth around", "you didn't build that", "don't shoot for the corner office", the idea that wealth is evil, he is creating a generation or culture of people who think it is OK to rely on the government for part or all of their basic livelihood instead of upon themselves; a culture of people who no longer strives for opportunity, upward mobility, or prosperity.



Right now, half the country doesn't pay federal income taxes, there are more people on food stamps today than there has ever been in American history, long-term unemployment right now is the highest since WWII, add healthcare to the mix, and I feel we are almost halfway there to Obama's welfare-state.   



The president really is ideologically out in left field.  He really does want a government-directed economy, a government-centered society, and it is going to bring us to a debt crisis.  But, every time we move toward fiscal responsibility, his rhetoric and hyperbole gets out of control.

I don't think people understand that $7+Trillion dollars of the current $17+Trillion dollar debt has been incurred since Obama took office.  Future generations are going to find themselves having to pay $500K each or more to pay that back.

If we keep going down this trajectory, we will soon face an interest rate problem and debt crisis similar to what is going on in Europe.  We will literally loose control of our own fiscal destiny as a country.   Obama and most other Progressives currently in power simply don't care because they won't be around in the future to deal with the fallout like many of us younger people will.

We need a president who will re-limit government, reignite the economy, to get our spending under control, to balance a budget, to make sure future generations are better off, and to turn the American idea back on.  Hillary Clinton unfortunately, is completely incapable of being that person.

 

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Mr. Orr:

   How can you?  For all you  know the words Mr. Moore is using have a completely different meaning from what you assign to them.

   As for "America's founding principles", I'm afraid you haven't the foggiest notion what they are.

   Limited government doesn't mean government limited to just the few things you want it to do.  It means government limited by a written constitution.  And not just limited to those powers expressly stated therein.  I may be repeating myself, but I find it odd that the same "conservatives" who insist the Federal government can have no power over health care, nonetheless support federal laws restricting or banning abortion.  Bit of an inconsistency there.

   (The distinction between Federal and State governments is important.  One of the things I found tiresome during arguments about the constitutionality of "Obamacare" were people who thought that because "Romneycare" compelled people to buy health insurance, it was okay for the Federal government to do so too.  The fact is the State governments have much broader power than the Federal government.  Literally known as the Police Power, it's the authority to legislate for the healthy, safety, and welfare of a State's residence.  Obviously, "Romneycare" qualifies.  For "Obamacare", however, the constitutional foundations are more limited.  Limited, but not nonexistent.)

   Free enterprise?  I agree it's a good thing, but it's hardly a "founding principle".  To start with there's no mention of it in our Constitution, nor (for that matter) in the Declaration of Independence.  Plus, if you know the history of this country, you know that pure "free enterprise" has never been practiced here.  For example, the great intercontinental railroads received tremendous help, and subsidies, from the government.  And, of course, modern commerce would be impossible without the Interstate Highway System - perhaps the biggest public works project in our history.  As the President correctly observed: private enterprise "didn't build that".  (Neither did it build Hoover Dam, without which probably none of us would be living here.)

   Self-determination?  Well, that depends on what you mean.  The basic principle I've always thought was expressed in the Declaration of Independence: our government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed.  (Not unanimous consent, please note.)  That's the basic democratic principle our nation is founded upon: taxation with representation!

   But if by that phrase you mean what is referred to as "rugged individualism" - again that's simply never been the case.  Even before we had a Constitution, we had a federal law stating that "schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged".  (The Northwest Ordinance, Third Article)  My how "socialist"!

   I might add that the idea of public education was present from the very start as well.  And the funding for Land-grant universities (the forerunners of today's State universities) came from the Morrill Act of 1862 - during the first Republican Administration of course.

   There are numerous other examples one could find of government aid and support being provided to individuals.  In this country "no man is an island".

   I'd love to see some proof of what you call Obama's idea of "cradle-to-grave social welfare".  Once again, just because you perceive a thing to be true, doesn't make it true.  (Unless of course, Blue Cross is "socialism".)  Ditto for the rest of the empty rhetoric you spout.

   And before you put too much stock on the claim that "half the country doesn't pay federal income taxes" I suggest you read that report I provided a link to, and discover why they don't, who those "moochers" are, and exactly what policies helped produce that result.  You won't like the answer.  (And the correct number is 47%, remember?)

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/1001547-Why-No-Income-Tax.pdf

   Since the rest of what you wrote is simply more of the same uninformed nonsense you spout, I'll just end by saying: Lather, rinse, repeat!

porr000's picture

Mr. Posner:

It is quite evident Mr. Moore is talking about a fundamental transformation of our government, as am I.

And if you will remember, Barack Obama in 2008 spoke about fundamentally transforming the nation.

To Joe the plumber, he spoke of spreading the wealth around.

Mr. Moore spoke of Communism, I spoke of social welfare, others call it various other names like socialism, collectivism, statism, leftism, etc.

The result of this transformation is what matters, regardless of what it is called. But you prefer to argue over semantics, which is quite typical for someone with your affliction.

So, from what you wrote I am not sure if you do or don't agree with the idea that limited government, self-determination and free enterprise are founding principles that made this country great.

You seemed to go off topic with arguments you must have had with other people in the past; lazy people not working to pay taxes, abortion, Obamacare, taxing the rich, etc. I never mentioned those things in my comments. I don't believe half the population doesn't pay taxes because they are lazy by any means. The reasons and make up of it in this conversation is inconsequential. What is important is that we only have half paying for all these things, and it is getting smaller daily. Without spending reductions, the continuation of these spending levels creates higher deficits and debt.

It is all part of Obama's plan...

Next will be his push to make a bunch of illegal aliens beholden on the his social-welfare system and then his plan will be completely in motion.

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Mr. Orr:

  This from the man who says words can mean whatever he (and his "group") want!  That's called sophistry, sir, and it's your "affliction".

   As for the rest of your exercise in empty rhetoric (which, of course, completely evades and avoids what I wrote), the only fit response is: Lather, rinse, repeat.

porr000's picture

Mr. Posner

I presented an opinion, not an arguement. There IS a difference. 

porr000's picture

[Insert mad scientist laughter here]

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Mr. Orr:

   That you're mad I'll consider, but there's no way we can call you a scientist.  They know better than to argue reality is just a matter of perception.  (Even in Quantum Mechanics you can't go that far.)

Gordon Posner's picture

 

   Speaking of "founding principles", here's a quotation you and Mr. Moore can chew on.  I was startled to come upon it myself, considering who wrote it.  Regarding the Federal government’s power to directly impose taxes, the argument was made that it should:

 

“make it a fixed point of policy in the national administration to go as far as may be practicable in making the luxury of the rich tributary to the public treasury, in order to diminish the necessity of those impositions which might create dissatisfaction in the poorer and most numerous classes of the society. Happy it is when the interest which the government has in the preservation of its own power, coincides with a proper distribution of the public burdens, and tends to guard the least wealthy part of the community from oppression!”

Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, Number 36, (Signet Classic Edition, 2003), page 219 (emphasis added).

 

   Hmm, tax the rich instead of the poor.  Who knew the Founders were a bunch of Commies?
 

WOW!

From the Independent Journal...

"21 nations have lined up in the United Nations to draft a right of Internet privacy while the furor over the U.S. spying on at least 35 world leaders comes to a head.

European lawmakers stated that they knew that America was spying on them but...they did not know that it was to such a large extent.

Germany joined forces with Brazil, who recently denounced [the United States'] NSA espionage as a 'breach of international law,'

[French] Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere told broadcaster ARD there would be consequences. 'We can't simply turn the page,' he warned."

Apparently, European officials aren't as understanding about Obama's illegal tactics as ours are.

This is what you get when amateurs are running the country!

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Judy:

   1) Wow!  And here I thought "conservatives" despise what the rest of the world thinks.  Between this, and your love for all things "gay", are you becoming one of Roy's dreaded "Progressives"?

;-)

   2) Does that mean you now approve of anything the U.N. does (such as pass resolutions condemning Israel)?

   3) So far there's been little or no evidence that those "tactics" are illegal (much less that Obama's behind them - though I agree that as President he's responsible for them).  To the contrary, to date all the evidence appears to show that his Administration followed the law (a claim your "beloved" Bush the Second can't make).  The only exceptions were mistakes, that are being corrected.

   The real problem may be with the law itself.  (And I've worried about that for some time.)  To start with, the idea of a secret FISA court, one that's practically just a rubber stamp, needs to be changed.  There's also evidence that the system is out of anyone's control (shades of HAL 9000), or is a "bureacracy run amok".  All of which suggests a need for greater oversight, by the President, by Congress, and by the Courts.  But that requires changing the law!

   As with a number of other issues (Benghazi, the IRS and 501(c)(4)'s, the fiasco of the rollout of the Federal Exchanges), there are a number of serious matters to investigate and discuss.  The problem is: your side is too busy scandalmongering, and playing "gotcha games" to do that.  (And yes, my side can be too defensive about it.)

P.S. - On Benghazi, remind me again.  What was supposed to be the "sinister" reason for the initial mistake in blaming the attack there on that stupid video tape?  Was it: a) to insure Obama's re-election, b) to insure Hillary's election in 2016, c) to cover up a talk about Syria with the Turkish Ambassador, or d) some new theory Daryl Issa has yet to dream up?

Pardon me, Gordon...I neglected to make my point...which is...under this Administration, government agencies/departments (whether it's the GAO, CIA, IRS, ATF, State, Justice, Defense, etc.) just don't seem too adept in carrying out what are supposed to be covert operations.

And please don't get me started on Benghazi. It makes me crazy!

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Judy:

   I don't disagree, but what makes you think the problem is unique to this Administration!  (And I'm not sure the GAO, the IRS, or the Justice Departments participate in what's usually meant by the term "covert operations".  But that might be quibbling on my part!)

P.S. - Ben Ghazi who?

;-)

 

porr000's picture

Right you are Judy. It is just one of the many problems we have to deal with when we end up with someone who is totally unqualified for the position of President...even after being in office for one term.

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Mr. Orr:

   You've frequently lectured me on what you perceive as my arrogance, but it's nothing compared to your own.  So, contrary to the views of the majority of voters who elected him twice, you insist the President is "totally unqualified".  Compared to whom?  His predecessor?  May I remind you Obama was the one who finally got the Mission Accomplished, and captured (actually ended the life) of the man responsible for 9/11.  (And he did it without sending us to war.)

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Mr. Moore:

  It's not that I'm skeptical about the authenticity of that quote (given your track record in that regard).  It's just that I can't help observe Krushchev was a poor prophet.  (He comes by it naturally, so was Marx!)

   Obviously, as it turns out, his grandchildren will be living under a form of Capitalism ("thug" Capitalism, I'm afraid, ruled over by an oligarchy).

   So if you want to put your "faith" in his words, just consider his own track record first!

  Oh, and on the subject of quotes, here's one you should consider:

The problem with the Internet is that you can't always verify the quotations appearing on it.  - Abraham Lincoln

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Brees:

   I hate to bring up the obvious, but sometimes it's necessary.  (Such as in response to what you wrote.)

   My research (and knowledge of history) shows that not only do criminal activities increase following "Christian spiritual revivals", but that negative societal changes also result.

   There's the Unholy Crusades, the Unholy Spanish Inquisition (begun after "their Most Catholic Majesties" took over that country), and who can forget the Unholy wars of the Reformation (when Christians slaughtered each other to make sure only the "spiritually correct" version of their faith prevailed).  Oh, and let's not forget the Salem Witch Trials, the justification for Slavery "Bible believing Christians" found in that text, or the recent "moral example" set by various priests.

   To be fair, there's nothing evil about Christianity that necessarily produces these effects.  (Even though they keep happening with depressing regularity.)  And other faiths and philosophies have nothing to "crow about" in that regard.  (After all, parts of the Law of Moses required my ancestors to commit what today would be called war crimes!)  But because all religions and philosophies are ultimately run by humans, and we're so adept at mucking things up, I'm afraid I can't accept your pollyannish claims.

   (Besides, how can I "put in charge" someone I consider to be dead and dust for about 2,000 years?)

 

Mr. Posner,

Thank you for taking the time to read our letter concerning revivals and their effect on crime.  We noticed you didn’t refute the examples we gave but simply offered up some examples that told another story.  You have set up what is known as a false bifurcation.  It’s not a case of either/or as you suggest but actually a both/and.  Our examples are true and so are the ones that you cited. 

The key difference as we see it is that the “crusades” examples you gave are people of faith, albeit dangerously off on their theology, forcing their faith onto others with the threat of violence.  The examples of revival we cited are people coming to faith in Christ willingly in large numbers.  And because that change is from the inside out their lives were lived in a different manner, a manner that reflected the character of Jesus Christ.

We know that you are not a big fan of organized religion; the fact that it is composed of imperfect people lends itself to the problems that arise with imperfection and we would never deny that.  However, we’re very big fans of Jesus Christ.  You see we don’t consider Him to be “dead and dust” as you state.  We believe He rose from the dead just as the Scriptures said.  We’ve not read any logical explanation for how a handful of scared, frightened men (after Jesus’ crucifixion but before the resurrection) morphed into strong, bold men within a few days (after they saw and interacted with the risen Jesus).  They were willing to die for what they saw and experienced and in fact, all died martyrs’ deaths with no deathbed confessions saying, “We were just kidding.”  No logical explanation for what happened to His body.  No logical explanation of why the Jewish leaders who wanted this whole thing put behind them didn’t just go produce Jesus’ dead body for everyone to see that the rising from the dead claim was bogus.   We have faith but we consider it to be a reasonable faith as opposed to a blind faith.  We may disagree but that’s OK. 

Lastly, we tried the link in the online letter and it worked fine.  Perhaps if you cut and paste it into your browser you can find it that way.

Again, thanks for your interest in this subject.

 

Don and Gayle Brees

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Brees:

   First, thank you for a thoughtful and intelligent response.  It's quite refreshing.  Unfortunately, you have some very incorrect views about me, or the point I was making.

   I have no beef with organized religion.  Indeed, I have often defended it against those who attack it.  (A group I refer to as Anti-Theists, as distinct from Atheists.  The latter merely don't believe in religion, the former seek to destroy it.)

   Yes, I have no doubt that the examples you cited are true, though I'm skeptical that they had quite the positive effect you claim.  Certainly the "good works" of various charities inspired by Christianity can't be denied.  (In responding to the Anti-Theists I often invoke Dr. Albert Schweitzer, Mother Theresa, and the Red Cross.)  But the examples I provided show the dark side of religion, how it can be abused and misused.  Both aspects much be borne in mind.

   I'm pleased that you see the most important point of my examples: that they involve the mingling of Church and State, and the evils that can result.  But I'm afraid "force" can take subtler forms.

   The article you provided a link too referenced the Temperance Movement.  As I'm sure you're aware it was often a violent affair.  It mentions a Rochester store dumping all its liquor into the street "before a large crowd", supposedly this was down "under conviction of sin", but it might have just as easily happened because of the threat of mob violence.  One hopes not, but can you say such things never happened?

   And the difference in our religions is another factor that weighs against your "solution" (at least as expressed).  I wasn't merely mocking your faith when I made the remark about Jesus being "dead and dust".  Perhaps my words were too brutal, but I was trying to make a point in the most forceful way possible.  Your "solution" will only work for those who share your faith.  Asking a Jew (myself) to ask Jesus to be in charge of my life is grotesque in the extreme.  I'm sure there are members of other faiths who have the same response.  How would you feel if (borrowing a line from the Anti-Theists) I said we should ask the "Flying Spaghetti Monster" to be in charge?  I'm sure you would not be amused.

   As for the basis for your faith, I do not challenge it.  I will simply point out that (like mine or anyone's) it is a matter of faith.  None of us know the truth.  Suffice to say that I don't accept the authority of what's called the "New Testiment" (a term which is actually insulting for reasons too complex to go into here).  There are many resons why, but since I don't want to engage in a theological debate, it all boils down to this: for you, God said it, you believe it, and that settles it.  For me: I don't believe it, G-d never said it, and that settles it.

   Let me repeat what I said in another Comment: had you made your appeal more universal, embracing non-Christians, and the non-religious as well, I probably wouldn't have written a word.  (Though I still think your "solution" to the problem of gun violence is naive.  On the other hand, I don't doubt that it can help.)  But you chose the words you used, and they are exclusive and divisive, rather than inclusive and unifying.  Perhaps in the future you will give some thought to writing with greater care.

P.S. - As I've said, the website is working.  It was probably just down for maintenance.  Or (and I mean this seriously) because of your efforts so many people were trying to reach it that the system became overloaded!

porr000's picture

There is a ton of support for Mr. & Mrs. Breed position from our leaders throughout our history.

For instance:

The Bible is the rock on which this Republic rests.
-Andrew Jackson

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Mr. Orr:

   That would be the same President who (among other things) shortened the name of the Democratic - Republican Party into the Democratic Party.

   That would also be the President who (in a move I'm sure you and anyone else who denies the authority of the Supreme Court), allegedly declared "John Marshall has made his law, now let him enforce it."  He then proceeded to disobey a Supreme Court decree and engaged in a little piece of murderous Ethnic Cleansing known as The Trail of Tears.

   Yup, he's a great example of the moral leadership that a "man of the Bible" can provide!

   As for history, it provides "a ton of support" for my position too.  I just mentioned six of the more obvious ones.  (If you care to delve further into this depressing subject, may I suggest Constantine's Sword by James Carroll.)  The difference is: the Founders embraced my position, and rejected that of the Brees.  (Or haven't you notice the "odd" fact that God isn't "in the Constitution"?  To use that tiresome line.)

P.S. - I'm happy to report that the website they provide a link to seems to be up and running.  Maybe it was just off-line for maintenance when I checked earlier.

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Mr. Orr:

   Oh, and having read the article they linked to, I'm not impressed.  It's the usual vapid collection of anecdotes, simplistically applied, that actually gives religion a bad name.

   To start with, it notes (apparently in an attempt to prove Jamaica is a "Christian Nation") that its national anthem has been a prayer to God for 51 years.  Oddly, it then notes that during this time at least 51,000 people have been murdered there.  I assume the author isn't offereing this as proof of the efficacy of prayer.

   Next he offers as an example of the "miraculous" power of Christian Revivals what happened in Rochester, New York, in 1830.  Breathelessly he tells us how, after the multitude were converted "The Temperance Movement took hold in Rochester", noting that this victory over "demon rum" took place "Long before the Prohibition Era".  I'm sure you recall what happened when a similar outpouring of the "Christian Spirit" led to Prohibition - how it became the foundation of modern organized crime!

   (By the way, we have only the author's word that any of what he discusses actually happened, much less that it was due soley, or mainly, to Christian Revivals.)

   Of course, the author paints a rosy picture, and overlooks the dark side of religion that so often accompanies such revivals, precisely because passion and fervor triumph over reason (and humility).

   I do not deny the beneficial effect that religion can have on a one-to-one basis, but to suggest that the ills of modern society (particularly of gun violence - the topic of the original editorial the Brees were responding to) can be solved simply by having all of us fall on our knees and depend on "God's supernatural help" is naive at best, and dangerously foolish at worst.  Have you so soon forgotten the doctor who was murdered, in church, by a man convinced he was doing "God's will"?

  And, of course, there's the awkward problem that America is a religiously diverse nation.  A call for all of us to ask "Jesus Christ to be in charge of our life" is positively obscene when made to a member of my faith, whose people have suffered so much during times of "Christian Revival".

   Had the Brees even acknowledged the other faiths in this land (not to mention the religious freedom our Constitution guarantees), had they also admitted that religion is no guarantee of moral conduct, and that the non-religious can be moral too, then a call for all people of good will to band together against the evil of violence would have been a "revival" I could join in.  Instead, all we got was another variation on what's known as Dominionism - the arrogant view of some Christians (thank God, not all) that their way is the only way, and that we must all bow to it.

   No thank you.

Gordon Posner's picture

 

 

Oh, and sorry to tell you this, but that web address you provided doesn't work.  It may be the entire jamaic-gleaner website is down.

Gordon Posner's picture

 

 Sorry that should be jamaica-gleaner of course.  I'm going to bed.

Gordon Posner's picture

Dear Mr. Orr:

    You are hysterically funny! You don't know it, but you just stepped through the looking glass!  (I'll tell you how and why another time.)

porr000's picture

Is "telling me another time" anything like when the White Queen tells Alice, " The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday- but never jam to-day"?

The flaw in your comment to Judy and your comment above, is that you used an analogy to communicate your thoughts. Rather than saying what you actually mean, you resort to ambiguity.

That makes it difficult for the reader because what you said could have many different interpretations.

Whenever there is ambiguity in people's comments, it is generally a red flag that they are going to embark on some form of deception or spin, especially when they begin using some ridiculous analogy.

Please spare us from whatever egocentric or scurrilous sophistry you plan to unleash in order to make yourself sound ass-tute. You had your say on this matter in your letter a few weeks ago.

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Mr. Orr:

   Glad to see you caught the reference.  I was afraid it might be too obscure.  (Most people know about Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, but not as many know about the other book).

   And the flaw in your argument is that I made no "analogy" at all.  (But I'll demonstrate that when I tell you exactly why the reference applies.  It will be in a letter I'm still composing, one which won't appear until after another letter I sent is printed, so you'll have to wait.)

   Since I've made several Comments (plural) to Judy on this page, I'm not sure which one you're referring to, or which part you think uses an analogy.  I'm pretty sure none of them did - but if you care to be more precise I'll reconsider my perception.

   But complaints about "ambiguity" and how what's said "could have many different interpretations" is (I repeat) hysterically funny coming from someone who insists words can mean whatever he damn well wants!  At the risk of being imperious, there's a scene from the movie The Last Emperor which illustrates my point precisely.  The young emperor is being instructed in English by his tutor (played by the great Peter O'Toole), and complains that he shouldn't have to be bothered with all this.  Why is correct use of language important anyway?  In response O'Toole replies:

Unless you can say what you mean, you can never mean what you say!

   To repeat myself, "conservatives" by using the term "Socialism!" as a catch-all epithet for anything they dislike (including private insurance like Blue Cross) have caused the word to become meaningless!   And it doesn't matter one whit whether the circles you run in (also known as the great "conservative" echo chamber) agree on the way you use it - that's still not it's meaning!

   By the way, you know what fits your definition of "socialism"?  Much of the Reagan and Bush tax cuts!  After all, they allow people who inherited money they didn't work for, and live off it without working, to pay lower taxes (or no taxes at all), while getting the benefit of government, which the rest of us have to pay for in one way or another.

  (And I won't discuss further your egocentric and scurrilous sophistry in using that definition, particularly in regards to "Obamacare".  It's simply a tiresome repeat of the Republi-Con theme of the "Black Welfare Queen", or the updated version I call "Romney's Moochers" - the infamous "47%".  If you know anything about where that number actually came from and what it actually means, you know how utterly false Romney's remarks were.  The same applies to yours!)

   I will add, however, that you're the one frequently taking refuge in ambiguity!  (For example, your deliberate failure here to specify what you were talking about.)

porr000's picture

You used the analogy of the looking glass twice in your comments about my letter and acknowledged your reference to it above in your reply, so I find it unlikely you didn't know what I was talking about.

You are incorrectly accusing me as someone who insists words can mean whatever he damn well wants. I am not insisting anything, but merely pointing out that the word socialism is being used differently by many working common day people.

I wouldn't say you are risking coming across as imperious, but rather you have nothing substantial to add with your degradation to slamming conservatives.

You are just playing games now. In your typical extremists fashion, you go off on tangents and nothing you added has anything to do with my letter to the editor.

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Mr. Orr:

   I see your misuse of the English Language continues.  I have made no analogies at all.  I made a reference to a work of Lewis Carroll, whose signifigance I'll make clear in that future letter I mentioned (though I've already given you all the clues you need).

   An analogy consists of saying something like "A car is to a horse as an airplane is to a bird".  That is, the first is a form of ground transportation, the second involves flight.  I am making no such analogy.  I am, however, comparing your "philosophy" to one that appears in the book.  Perhaps you should re-read it.

   As for knowing what you're talking about with reference to my comments to Judy (and yourself), how can I possibly?  You are the one deliberately being vague, and deliberately refusing to explain yourself.  (Though you have time and energy enough to do plenty of other things.)  Please, you're simply being disingenuous.

   Regarding what you are "insisting", allow me to quote your letter:

Whenever the government forces the working class to pay for the non-working class, it is socialism! That is how the everyday working person sees it. It is not based on any legal definition in a dictionary or on Wikipedia or school text book; it is based on cognitive perspective.

Perspective is where fact and reason needed for some peoples’ opinions goes out the window. It is a truth that is based on a person’s experiences and observations. It is their point of view. Just because a perspective is not in a text book somewhere doesn’t make it any less real for the observer.

   That, sir, is known as relativism: the idea that there is no such thing as objective truth, that it's all just a matter of opinion.  You then make an appeal to popularity to legitimate your distortion and misuse of the English Language.  But it doesn't matter if you alone are doing this, or a group of "like-minded" people (who hold a similar philosophy).  Words have a definite meaning, and they don't change simply to fit your political convenience.  By that "standard" the people who claim Republicans are all fascists or the Tea Party is racist are just as "correct" as you are.  After all, that's their perception.

   George Orwell had much to say about this kind of misuse of language, by which war becomes "peace", and an agency devoted to lies becomes the "Ministry of Truth".   Totalitarian governments love that.  The Nazis declared there was such a thing as "Aryan Science" (as contrasted with "Jewish Science"), and Stalin proclaimed a school of "Art" devoted to "Socialist Realism".  Of course, there was no science in what the Nazis did, and few regard Stalin's ideas as "art".

   (Admittedly, the latter does allow for some subjectivity, but there are limits.  I challenge anyone to seriously claim a braying donkey is as "musical" as a Mozart symphony.  At least, don't try to do it and be taken seriously!)

   (By the way, that was an analogy!)

   As for what you call my "degradation to slamming conservatives", that must be another example of the looking-glass language.  Unless you're trying to say that I degrade myself by engaging in such conduct, the use of the word "degradation" makes no sense at all.  Or, perhaps you meant I'm attempting to degrade "conservatives" by slamming them.  Either way, that sentence is bad English.

   But, given the way you, Judy, and "conservatives" in general love to "slam" people on "my side" (usually engaging in ad hominem attacks), that remark borders on hypocrisy!  In case it hasn't dawned on you yet, I've merely decided it was time you "got some of your own back".  I am a mirror, and reflect what's in front of me.  If you're asking for more "civil discourse", I suggest you follow your own advice.  (After all, you were the one who implied I was a liar about the Tea Party, whereas I simply stated that you were ignorant of some facts concerning that movment.)

  And the only "slam" I've made was to criticize some of the conduct of "conservatives".  A criticism I backed up with proof (something you avoid most of the time).  So, unless you think Blue Cross is an example of "socialism" (as "conservatives" once charged), you have to admit my critique has merit.

   (Since it doesn't fit your "definition", you can't honestly agree with those who called it "socialism".  Needless to say, however, that's how they "perceived" it!)

   Finally, the last paragraph of your Comment (the one I'm now responding to) describes you and your conduct perfectly.  By your own definition, then, you stand revealed as an extremist!  (A fact anyone who respects reality already knows.)

P.S. - But nice job evading and avoiding most of what I wrote, instead of making a direct reply to it.  Extremists usually do that when they're backed into a corner, and have no good reply to make!

You're right, Patrick. Your interpretation of "socialism" might not be what is found in Merriam-Webster, but it IS what people mean when they say it these days.

What Gordon is doing (besides just being "ornry") is ignoring the fact that the meaning of words can change from time to time and region to region.

I'm from the South and if I tell you you're "ill", I don't mean you're ailing. I mean you're irritable. If I want to know where your "younguns" are, I'm asking about your kids. If you'd been in my high school and I called you "tuff", I'd have meant you were good looking.

Successful communication requires only that both sides understand the meaning of what is being said.

And Bob's your uncle!

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Judy:

   No, it's what Mr. Orr hallucinates the word means.  The fact that you, and others of your ilk, share in the same hallucination doesn't change it's actual meaning.

   And please note by that definition "Obamacare" isn't Socialism!

   Does it involve the government forcing the working class to pay for the  non-working class? Not at all.  (Here we run into another definitional problem.  I shall assume that by "working class" the two of you don't mean what true Socialists and Communists usually mean: distinguishing laborers or employees, from business owners or employers, tenants from landlords, the property-less from property owners.)  So the question becomes: who pays under "Obamacare", and who benefits from it.

   The answer to the first part is: anyone who isn't poor enough to qualify for Medicaid (or other exemptions based on their financial condition, plus anyone who isn't already covered by some form of insurance (such as Medicare, or employer provided insurance), pays.  If they don't already have individual insurance of their own, they have to go buy it.

   Okay, then who benefits from it?  Answer: anyone who previously couldn't get insurance, either because they were excluded for a pre-existing condition, or couldn't afford to buy an individual policy.  (The purpose of the Exchanges is to essentially turn such people into a "group", thus enabling them to get lower group insurance rates.)

   Notice what's missing?  Any reference to whether or not someone is working.  (Which is what I assume you mean by "working class".  If I'm mistaken, please let me know, along with your "revised" definition of that term.

   Indeed, the only way in which being a member of the "working class" is relevant is that losing one's source of income, and therefore assets, will qualify you for one of those exemptions.  (Especially going on Medicaid - the government program for poor people.  Many of whom, by the way, are members of the working poor!)

   So, if we take your "definition" of "socialism" seriously (a herculean task), it means "Obamacare" isn't socialism.  Thanks for confirming what "my side" has been saying all along!

P.S. - And, by the way, this is where my prior reference to the Republi-Con obessesion with "Black Welfare Queens", and "Romney's Moochers" comes in.  They both consist of the same argument: that government programs to aid the poor consist of throwing largesse at lazy no-goods, by taking money from the "hard working".  In Romney's case the problem is that's not who the "47%" actually consist of.  But to know that, you have to go to the source of that number.  Which I'm happy to provide below.  (I believe I already provided it in a Comment to another issue of the View, but just in case here it is again.  My explanation of why it's important, and why Romney was utterly, and ironically, wrong will have to wait another day.)

www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/1001547-Why-No-Income-Tax.pdf

 

P.P.S. - And your analogy to use of the word "ill" doesn't work for a simple reason.  That word doesn't have a "technical" meaning, and is frequently employed in contexts that have nothing to do with health.  Thus, for example, we have "women of ill repute" (which doesn't refer to the state of their health, though definitely to something which can affect their health, and that of their customers).  A person can be ill mannered, or can be acting on ill feelings (both of which are related to the usage you mentioned).  People can suffer from ill luck, in more than just medical matters.  And, of course, your attempt to rend the English Language is ill advised, and the poor thing is ill used by your conduct.

   But despite your attempts to distort and change its meaning, the term Socialism refers to a particular political and economic theory (or philosophy) which does not simply mean taking from one group and giving to another.  (After all, by that "definition" Don Coreleon was a Socialist!)

Frank Blunt's picture

There sure are a lot of right wing nut sheep in the west valley. It's hard to believe so many people are sucked in by the right wing fear and smear, but given the lack of facts in the corporate media, it's understandable.

"Self-indulgent, self-aggrandizing, self-serving and ego-centric antics inflicting economic & financial damages to United States of America & Beyond..." Really, Mr. Compton?

If you change the $24 Billion to $6 Trillion, your invoice could be addressed to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, ATTN: Barack Hussein Obama.

By the way, as one member of the citizenry, I'd prefer his (Obama's) "hide on a platter" over the gold bullion.

David Compton's picture

Really Ms. Weaver!  Your Precious President "W" incurred most of the $6 Trillion with an illegal war on the nation's credit card in Iraq and profligate, frivilous allocations to the Defense Contractors like Haliburton and CACI along with ill-advised tax cuts that conflated the debt.  OBAMA HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS!  Since you appear to get your news from the Fox Trots, you are undoubtedly clueless about the fact that the deficit (not the debt) has been cut in half since President Obama has taken office!  Ms. Weaver, I will ask of you one thing - PLEASE DO MAKE SENATOR CRUZ YOUR 2016 PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE!  We would love that.

 

You're right, Mr. Compton. I am a Fox Trotter, but more of an Internet-er of late.

You, obviously, are an MSNBC/CNN/ABC/CBS-er...better known as the drive-by media...so aptly dubbed by Limbaugh...whose word I'll take over the likes of Laurence O'Donnell or Ed Schultz any and every day of the week.

Concerning your claims about deficits/debt under Bush and Obama, I'll refer you to an article on the Forbes website, "The Facts About Budget Deficits: How the Presidents Truly Rank". The writer does a much better and more concise job than I ever could. Below is an excerpt from the article.

"In fiscal 2009, TARP contributed $151 billion to the budget deficit, but in 2010 and 2011, $147 billion of that amount was recouped and thus reduced the size of the deficit during President Obama’s watch."

As for making Cruz our nominee...if only I had that power. I don't agree with his stance on some things, but I DO like the fact that the Democrats can't insult him, they can't intimidate him and they can't shut him up. (Dianne Feinstein can verify that!)

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Judy:

   You could at least try not to live down to the stereotype of the typical Republi-Con.  Really?  Limbaugh is your prophet and guide?  That hardly indicates "independent thinking" on your part.  Please tell me you're not one of his (aptly named) dittoheads!

  For the record, I don't listen to either O'Donnell or Schultz, and hardly ever to MSNBC.  When I do, as with most other media, I pay attention to and fact check their sources.  You should try it yourself with Faux News and Squawk Radio.  You may not like what you find.

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Judy:

   Thanks for the article.  I wonder why you didn't include a link to it (since we can do that now)?  So allow me to supply it: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesglassman/2012/07/11/the-facts-about-bud....

   It would be nice if this came from an impartial and unbiased source, instead of from the founding executive director of the George W. Bush Institute, part of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas!

   There's one part of what he wrote I agree with, the part which touches on a point I made in my other Comment:

The only tricky part is whether to give a president credit (or blame) for his incoming and outgoing years.

   The problem is it's even trickier than he makes out.  You see, as in Physics, in Economics you have to consider the problem of inertia.  Once the economy is moving in one direction, it takes time to slow it down, much less to reverse course.  And there are plenty of factors that play a part.

   That, of course, is part of the Republi-Con double standard I spoke of earlier (and his article is essentially more of the same).  Reagan and Bush aren't to blame for their economic problems, it was all the fault of their predecessors (Carter and Clinton).   But how dare anyone even suggest that Obama's economy in anyway is due to the policies of Bush the Second (even in part)!  This article is a more sophisticated form of the same thing.

   I take issue with his use of averages, not to mention the GDP. After all, in a booming economy that number goes up, in a recession it goes down.  For much the same reason deficits go down in "boom times", and increase in recessions.  So that skews things.

   But using averages is suspect all by itself.  Why?  Well an old joke illustrates the point: Bill Gates walks into a skid row bar, and the bartender declares "Wow!  The average income here is now in the billions!"

   Finally, the article uses Governor Dean's reference to unemployment. (Though it doesn't give us the entire exchange, which makes me wonder how accurately Dean was quoted, and whether his remarks are taken out-of-context).  But Bush's "contribution" to our woes consists of more than just the unemployment numbers.  Remember, the great economic meltdown began under Bush, and was (at least partly) the result of the policies he pursued and championed.  (Mostly, what I call mindless deregulation - instead of the thoughtful kind.)  You, and other Republi-Cons try to deny him any responsibility for that, or put only the slightest amount there.  In contrast, I blame many, including Clinton, Phil Gramm, and both some Democrats as well as Republicans.  But then, it's the policies I put the blame on, not just a particular party.  (Though, to the extent today's Republi-Cons want to continue said policies - the blame is all theirs.)

   What I can't deny (to use the author's words) is that the troubles of today have at least some roots in the past, and those roots were planted by Bush the Second (among others).

P.S. - And you do realize that the part you quoted shreds an objection "conservatives" made against the TARP (as administered under Obama), as well as establishes something they either deny, or ignore: much of the money spent has been recouped!  (And as any economist will tell you, that's not the only measure of whether or not the program was successful, we must also consider the benefit it produced, and the harm that might have ensued without it.  However, since I have my own problems with how TARP was run, I'm not going to speak in its defense.)

P.P.S. - Tell me, Judy, is shameless self-promotion the sole quality you admire in a candidate?  "Saint Sarah of Alaska" had the same character, and as I recall you admired her too!  I should point out that you Republi-Cons can't insult me, can't intimidate me, and can't shut me up either.  Does that make me good "presidential timber"?

   (Don't worry, I have no plans to run, still being marginally sane!  I've often thought anyone who wants to be President should be disqualified for that very reason.)

"It would be nice if this came from an impartial and unbiased source, instead of from the founding..."...blah blah blah

Not cute and certainly not clever on your part, Gordon. You obviously read Mr. Glassman's bio (included on the webpage), but chose to mention only what is probably the least of his accomplishments--as a way to discredit him.

Here's what you left out...

Hosts and moderates "Ideas in Action", a weekly tv series on public policy issues

Was a regular on the 1990s CNN show, "Capital Gang Sunday" and PBS's "Techno Politics"

Was president of the Atlantic Monthly magazine, publisher of the New Republic magazine, executive vp of U.S. News and World Report, editor and co-owner of Roll Call (the Congressional newspaper)

Served as chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, then was Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs under Bush II

Has authored three books on investing

His articles on finance, economics and foreign policy have appeared in the NY Times, WSJ, the LA Times, Kiplinger's Personal Finance and Forbes

So, with all due respect, I think I'll trust his judgment on these such things over yours!

As for taking Howard Dean's words out-of-context...if Glassman did, he probably did the old doc a favor...YEE-HAW!!

And, no, those qualities make neither you nor Cruz good presidential timber. But I am impressed with his willingness to confront those (such as Feinstein) who think they are above it all.

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Judy:

   What's neither cute nor clever is your penchant for "guessing" my motives, and getting them wrong.  I wasn't trying to discredit Mr. Glassman by observing his background, merely calling attention to a fact which could lead one to question his "objectivity".  Are you telling me you wouldn't do the same if I referenced an article by Governor Dean praising Obama's handling of the economy?

   Any "discrediting" I did came when I discussed the substance of the article, which I  notice you've completely evaded and avoided.  Why not deal with that?

   Whether Glassman did Dean a "favor" neither of us can say, but in case it's escaped your notice, I've frequently condemned partial quotes taken out-of-context, whether the victim is Pelosi or Romney (who likes being able to fire people who don't do their job).   Obviously you don't feel the same, since you make light of the possibility.  (Part of the reason you're "accuracy challeneged" - you can't be bothered with facts.)

   And being able to challenge people with false estimates of their "virtue" is another quality Cruz and I share.  After all, I do it constantly with you, Mr. Orr., Mr. Moore, Roy Azzarello . . . .

porr000's picture

I don't know if people really understand that $7+ Trillion so far of our $17+ Trillion dollar debt has been incurred since Obama took office.

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Mr. Orr:

   Since I've already dealt with that overlysimplistic argument above, I won't bother to repeat myself.  Economics is a lot more complicated than you "perceive".

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Dave:

   I'd agree except there's this voice in the back of my mind whispering: "Be careful what you wish for"!

 

P.S. - Welcome back.

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Judy:

  I hope you're sitting down for this one (well, half-sitting), but I partially agree with you.  As I've observed before, Mr. Compton tends to be a bit hyperbolic with his rhetoric.  (Though, you're not entirely unfamiliar with that "sin" either._

   On the other hand, you forget that the $6 Trillion you mention wasn't entirely Obama's doing!  Some of the "credit" for it must go to past Administrations (particluarly of your "beloved" Bush the Second), and I believe the current crop of Republi-Cons can "take a bow" for part of it too.  (Causing our credit rating to nosedive in 2011 certainly didn't help!)

   By the way, if you're referring to the deficit, you should know it's been decreasing for the past few years (starting in 2010).  (I think both Democrats and Republicans can take a bow for that - though the improving economy deserves most of the credit.)

   Still, I'll join you in deprecating Mr. Compton's intemperate language.  Will you join me in doing the same to the hyperbolic rhetoric from "your side"?

porr000's picture

Some of it is Bush's fault?  OMG are you serious?  You are actually going there?  

Well, since the accurate number is now over 7 Trillion dollars, I think Judy's estimate of 6 Trillion is spot on! 

That is more than any other president before.

His annual deficits even though they are going down are more than 1 trillion dollars each and every year.  No other president has ever had deficits that high.  

He is "spreading the wealth" and passing on this burden to the future generations.  

It is wholy irresponsible, but why should you care, you won't be around to deal with the fallout like the rest of us.

 

Gordon Posner's picture

 

Dear Mr. Orr:

   Riddle me this: Where does the debt come from?  Did it just magically appear on January 20, 2009?  Or does it have roots in the past (before Obama took office)?

   The answer is the latter.  The National Debt is simply the accumulation of the annual Deficit (plus other items, such as the interest on that debt).  It's like a running balance on the national "credit card".  Fail to pay the monthly current charges, and the debt increases.  Pay that amount, and the debt is unchanged (except for the interest on the balance).  Pay more than that amount, and the debt declines (provided, of course, that your overpayment is more than the new interest.)

   Under "Saint Reagan" the deficit increased by 97%, and that was largely due to his embrace of "Supply Side Economics" (a major source of all our fiscal problems).  Under Bush the First, it increased by 90%.  But (thanks in part to the tax increases he had the courage to make) the rate of increase declined sharply in his last year.

   That continued under Clinton, and was aided by his tax increases, as well as by decreased spending - for which I agree the Republicans deserve some of the credit.  (By the way, spending under Reagan increased by 57%, under Bush the First and Clinton only 21 and 27 percent respectively.)

   As a result of all that, the deficit didn't merely decrease under Clinton, it became a surplus!  In short, we were finally paying off our "monthly charges".

   And then along came Bush the Second, and the deficit ended up increasing by 458%!  I think you can imagine what that did to the debt.  Plus he left us with the Great Recession.  (Recessions generally don't do good things to the economy or our fiscal condition.)

Source: page 63 of the World Almanac For 2010, with some calculations for the percentages.

   And unless you're redefining the word "deficit", I'm afraid your charge that the deficits "are more than 1 trillion dollars each and every year." is inaccurate. The estimated deficit for this year is lower, and for the following years they are well under a trillion.  (Although if you want to be skeptical about those numbers, I don't mind.  I don't like relying on estimates either, but it's all we've got).

 See: http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/download_multi_year_deficit

   On the other hand, we reached the Trillion dollar mark in 2009, and that was a direct result of the "fallout" from the Bush years.  (Arguably we could charge that deficit to Bush, since the government was operating under his budget, passed the previous year.  But more on that, later, as we get to the issue of the National Debt.)

See: http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_deficit_chart.html

   Both you and Judy are being vague with your numbers (a complaint you previously, and falsely hurled against me in another context), because you keep mixing up the Debt and the Deficit.

  However, turning to the issue of the National Debt, it almost doubled under Bush, reaching the 6 Trillion level in 2002, and ultimately going to over 10 Trillion by September of 2008.

   But did Obama increase it by 7 Trillion, as you claim?  As of Oct. 28, 2013 the Debt was $17,086,679,172,704.67 (http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/).  So for your 7 Trillion increase to be correct, it must have been no higher than around 10.08 Trillion when Obama took office.  Unfortunately for your claim, the actual number for January 20, 2009 was $10.6 Trillion, so Obama has yet to reach your 7 Trillion figure.

See: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/debt/current (You have to enter the dates to get the numbers).

   But if we look at the numbers for Bush the Second, what do we see?  Again, why he nearly doubled the 5.7 Trillion debt he started with to 10.6 Trillion.

   And that gets us to the problem with your claim that Obama has been running Trillion dollar deficits every year, and that "No other president has ever had deficits that high".  You see, as I alluded to it before, there's always a problem "assessing blame" for a President's first year.  Not only are they operating under the economy left to them by their predecessor, but they're usually operating under that President's budget.

   We can, of course, simply say the first year's deficit belongs to Obama, and forget about how much Bush may have contributed to it.  But, if we're going to use deficit numbers from the end of that year (i.e.: the total deficit for the entire year), then shouldn't we do the same for debt as well?  And if we do, what happens to your 7 Trillion increase?  It disappears!  Why? Because by the end of 2009 the debt had reached over 12 Trillion!  (Leaving an increase of about 5 Trillion - comparable to Bush.)

   And that brings us squarely to a little bit of "double-standard" I've encountered when debating the economy with "conservatives".  They love to blame the poor numbers of Reagan's first years (when unemployment reached the highest it had been since the Great Depression) on poor old Jimmy Carter.  They also love to excuse Bush the Second's initial problems by claiming they were Clinton's fault.  But somehow Obama is held responsible for everything from the moment he took office!  All prior economic history just ceases to exist.

   Tell you what, I'll allow you to blame Obama for 7 Trillion of the Debt, if you'll "credit" Bush for the 10.6 Trillion he bequeathed to us!

 

porr000's picture

Bush? Clinton? Historical deficits? Irrelevant! The topic is Obama's unprecedented and ever growing contribution to the National Debt. But, you digress...

porr,         Love your completely illogical thought process. You are really funny, but too predictable. Your pattern is clear.  1) inane statement,  2) nonsensical response, 3) insults.

Better come up with a new routine or your comedy act will get stale quickly.

porr000's picture

ir·rel·e·vant 

n.
Gordon Posner's extraneous contributions to the discussion.
 
porr000's picture

You can't compare apple's to oranges with math. It is what it is. You can't compare Obama's $7 Trillion contribution to the total accumulation to date under Bush. You can't compare round numbers to specific numbers. If you switch from round numbers to specific numbers, then you better make sure those specific numbers are exact (or the best estimate with the known figures).

You can claim some of the deficit during Obama's first year in office is attributed to things in place when Bush left office (some bailout figures if memory serves me correct), but you can't claim that it negates the entire deficit that year nor fail to acknowledge what the entire deficit for the year is. As I said, it is what it is. Math is not subjective. If you want to break up how much gets attributed to each administration, that is fine, but you better have the figures.

But you can't be blaming Bush for Obama's contribution to the Debt. That sir is apple's and oranges. There are Bush's contributions and there is Obama's contributions. They are fairly exact figures if you want to find them. I prefer to deal in round figures in this case because it is simpler for an opinion column. Feel free to get the exact figures if you wish.

porr000's picture

Seems like the only accounting you are familiar with is billable hours.  Come back when you learn a thing or two about accounting.

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