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Archive for Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Get over it

June 16, 2009

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To the editor:

I read with annoyance and some amusement Kyle Givens’ letter in the June 11 Public Forum titled “Misleading the flock?” First, no Mr. Givens, I do not have second thoughts about Mr. Obama. I was appalled at the direction President Bush took our nation, while destroying our economy with his all-business-all-the-time administration and his trashing of world opinion of the U.S. through dictatorial, inflammatory, unilateral policies and acts of aggression, imprisonment without due recourse, overwrought patriotism, and use of torture — all hallmarks of fascism, by the way.

I see a turnaround in our economy, a return to the basic principles of human rights upon which our nation was founded and a return to sane, bilateral foreign policy in President Obama’s policies, which are resulting in a re-establishment of America as a beacon of freedom and democracy.

But that is what annoyed, not amused, me. I chuckled at his labeling of President Obama as both a fascist, on the far right of the political spectrum, and as a socialist, about two-thirds of the way to the far left. Consult your dictionary; you may label President Obama a fascist or a socialist if you wish, but you can’t have it both ways. In closing, I repeat the phrase progressives had to stomach repeatedly when President Bush was elected, “Get over it; you lost!”

Burger is from Lawrence

Comments

Gareth 4 years, 10 months ago

Liberty One: Try reading slower. You'll get it.

It so easy to spot the conservative halfwits on the internet --

a) Masturbatory G.I.Joe-fantasy "callsign" ("Liberty One", "PATRIOT", "Manly McBigPants", etc.)

b) 4th-graders view of geopolitics. ("good guys vs bad guys")

c) Selective sourcing. ("But right here, in the book "Liberals: Source of All Evil In The World", it says I'm right. So, uh.... There you go.")

d) Master Debaters ("I know you are but what am I?"), with a... unique... view of facts and history.

So sad. There used to be such a thing as a Conservative Intellectual.

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Andrew Stahmer 4 years, 10 months ago

Another example of "Change we can believe in!"

MSNBC reported on its website that Obama, despite his many guarantees that his regime would be the most open, honest and transparent in history, had adopted the Bush administration's policy of refusing to release the names of White House visitors who had visited Obama in order to influence policy. The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington promised to sue.

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Pilgrim2 4 years, 10 months ago

Gareth (Anonymous) says…

A self-given label isn't always true!


Thanks for confirming what I've been saying about the self-given label "progressive" for a long time now.

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Pilgrim2 4 years, 10 months ago

farfle (Anonymous) says…

We are not a democracy, we just have an illusion of it, on the federal level anyway.


You're right, we're not, and we were never intended to be. We are a democratic republic. There's a big difference.

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Flap Doodle 4 years, 10 months ago

The sooner Barry is back in his mob-financed mansion in Chicago as a private citizen, the better off we'll all be.

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wicklowway4 4 years, 10 months ago

Gareth:

"Quoting Hayek? Seriously? Why not just cite Lyndon LaRouche and cash in what's left of your credibility?"

Gosh, you're an ignoramus. Hayek has doctorates in economics and political science, wrote several influential books, won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Gunnar Myrdal (someone else you never heard of before today), and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Ever read "The Road to Serfdom," especially the chapter entitled "The Socialist Roots of Nazism"? No, didn't think so. You're one of these ignorant liberals who knows much more about Salma Hayek than Friedrich Hayek.

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Liberty_One 4 years, 10 months ago

Gareth, you do realize how stupid your argument about the GDR not actually being democratic having anything to do with the national socialists is don't you? That's about as smart as saying that since french fries aren't actually french that all food must be mislabeled. You gave no evidence to support your point, only a non-sequitur. You then say that others don't know what they're talking about?

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Gareth 4 years, 10 months ago

Awwww... its so cute when conservatives try to act like they know what they're talking about....

Quoting Hayek? Seriously? Why not just cite Lyndon LaRouche and cash in what's left of your credibility?

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wicklowway4 4 years, 10 months ago

Burger is ignorant concerning the where fascists and socialists stand on the political spectrum. As noted above, the Nazis were both fascists and socialists, so Burger's claim that they are essentially on opposite poles is ridiculous. Gareth claims that the Nazis weren't really socialists, but if you study their political platform (free education, social security, etc), they clearly were.

Hayek noted in "The Road to Serfdom" that fascists and socialists in Europe switched parties on a frequent basis. That fact suggests shows have close they are since you would expect people to go from one extreme to the other. According to Hayek, fascism is the phase socialists enter when they realize that communism is an illusion.

It is true that communist countries call themselves "Democratic" (North Korea is another example), but are not really democracies. However, the National Socialist Party (i.e., the Nazis) were indeed socialists. The main difference was that they were "national" socialists while other leftists were "international" socialists.

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notajayhawk 4 years, 10 months ago

dandelion (Anonymous) says…

"Okay, Tom. What are your solutions for those people who work for companies who don't offer health insurance, and only pay their people enough to eke out a living? Again, no solutions to a societal problem for the conservatives."

You mean no solutions you don't ignore, because they don't involve taxing someone else to pay for your free ride?

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MyName 4 years, 10 months ago

I agree with Gareth, but would like to add that, if you're looking at the zoology of politics in Western societies today, the fascist is an extinct species. So anyone who tries to paint the President (or any other politician) as a fascist is an idiot who automatically loses whatever point they were trying to make (see Godwin's Law and reductio ad Hitlerum for more details).

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Gareth 4 years, 10 months ago

Conservatives believe what they are told, apparently.

Nazis called themselves "National Socialists", so conservatives say they must have been socialist (hint: despite the self-given title, they weren't.).

East Germany, a communist state, called itself the German Democratic Republic -- so I guess that must mean that they were a democratic republic, right?

Here's a clue-by-four, conservatives: A self-given label isn't always true! (Shocking, I know -- but hey, the world is complex.)

For further examples, see "Fair and Balanced," "Family Values," or "Fiscally Conservative."

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parrotuya 4 years, 10 months ago

Corrections:

  1. America is not a democracy, it is republic.

  2. Fascism is difficult to define: but corporations in cahoots with the government is a good start. Wall Street owns the Congress, thus the U.S. is a fascist state. But this began before our current president was elected. So you can't blame him.

  3. Pure capitalism doesn't exist anywhere in the world. The U.S. is about 60% capitalist and 40% socialist. Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security are all facets of "socialism." In contrast, Europe is about 40% socialist and 60% capitalist. Nearly all world economies are mixed in this way.

  4. Socialism is not the same as communism is not the same as Marxism.

  5. Conserva-hards are sore losers. What's new?

DOWn, baby, DOWn!

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bronze 4 years, 10 months ago

Thanks

JHOK32 (Anonymous) says… Good article Mr. Berger. Some hard core Republicans still refuse to understand that Bush & Cheney invaded Iraq to provide huge profits for their big oil buddies. 4000 American kids killed & thousands maimed for big oil profits…………Bush & Cheney should both be imprisoned.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 4 years, 10 months ago

"I repeat the phrase progressives had to stomach repeatedly when President Bush was elected, 'Get over it; you lost!'”

It's sooooo hard for them to get over it, when they are sooooo far beneath.

( Send in the spelunkers! )

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Liberty_One 4 years, 10 months ago

dandelion (Anonymous) says…

"Okay, Tom. What are your solutions for those people who work for companies who don't offer health insurance, and only pay their people enough to eke out a living?"

Get a second job. Get a better job. Start your own business. Anything is better than stealing from your neighbors because you have a crappy job. As far as policy, it's the government that causes health care costs to be so ridiculous that insurance is required. It used to be that one paid for health care with cash out of pocket. Thanks to interventionist policies, that is no longer an option for most since costs have spiraled out of control. We should try a free market approach instead of our current interventionist approach to health care.

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farfle 4 years, 10 months ago

Mussolini said that the essence of fascism was the corporate takeover of government. That is what we have had since Reagan at least. We are not a democracy, we just have an illusion of it, on the federal level anyway.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 10 months ago

Over 5,000 military have died in the BUSHCO illegal occupation of the mideast.

The USA government now has 250,000 mercenaries on the USA tax dollar payroll

The USA now 250,000 military people in the mideast

500,000 armed USA people in the mideast is a huge tax dollar money hole.

Fire the mercenaries and bring OUR troops home!

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jaywalker 4 years, 10 months ago

"Some hard core Republicans still refuse to understand that Bush & Cheney invaded Iraq to provide huge profits for their big oil buddies"

People this moronic should not be allowed to vote.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 10 months ago

Do some believe party affiliation is indictative of being conservative?

Reagan, Bush and Bush were not fiscal conservatives. Opinion

Bill Clinton seemed like a republican and more of a conservative thinker. Opinion

Reagan,Bush and Bush were neoconservative thinkers,were not fiscally conservative,not liberal spenders but were reckless spenders. Opinion

In what ways are people who consider themselves conservative...... conservative?

A fiscal conservative or a fiscal responsible thinker would not see an advantage in putting milions upon millions upon millions of a country's population out of work to support another government abroad aka outsourcing. opinion

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JHOK32 4 years, 10 months ago

Good article Mr. Berger. Some hard core Republicans still refuse to understand that Bush & Cheney invaded Iraq to provide huge profits for their big oil buddies. 4000 American kids killed & thousands maimed for big oil profits............Bush & Cheney should both be imprisoned.

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dandelion 4 years, 10 months ago

Okay, Tom. What are your solutions for those people who work for companies who don't offer health insurance, and only pay their people enough to eke out a living? Again, no solutions to a societal problem for the conservatives. Those crickets just keep on going. No solutions to the economy. No solutions for sick people. Just do nothing and gloat about how superior you are, because you have good health and good job. Obviously it's karma. Those sick people must have done something evil to deserve their fate. Oops, that's not Christian, is it? What goes around, comes around is more Wiccan and karma is Hindu. I guess the right wingers would have a cow over that. Of course, if what goes around, comes around, I hope you have lots of money in savings, so if you get sick, then you won't need anyone to come help you. I don't think anyone will want to.

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cato_the_elder 4 years, 10 months ago

Irish, it's been evident for some time that many others who are "bored and lost" in "learned arguments" would naturally have voted for Obama, so you're not alone.

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Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 10 months ago

I have no idea what fascist or socialist are, and I really don't care. I am not going to run to Google and look it up. I thought President Obama' speech to the doctors was right on. Apparently they did too. I am a common person and I get bored and lost in these long winded learned arguments.

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75x55 4 years, 10 months ago

Curious - the "get over it, you lost" thing was incorrect then, and it's incorrect now.

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guesswho 4 years, 10 months ago

Tom,

It was an op-ed piece, which I stated. It is an opinion, as are letters to the editor. Did you read it? He discusses the use and misuse of language. He agrees conservatives have legitimate ideological beefs with Obama. That is not what the piece is about.

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dlkrm 4 years, 10 months ago

Wow, Doug Burger knows nothing.

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 10 months ago

Frank Rich? One of the most biased far-left zealots you can find, trying to double as a columnist. And anyone wonders why the NYT, with buffoons like Paul Krugman and Frank Rich are near financial collapse.

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 10 months ago

Obama's brand of fascism is socialism with a light coating of capitalism. National healthcare is a good example, as though we need another example.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/11/us/politics/11health.html?_r=2&hp

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sinverguenza 4 years, 10 months ago

Nana-nana-boo-boo!

You forgot that Burger, but don't worry, I got you covered.

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guesswho 4 years, 10 months ago

I think Frank Rich's op-ed in the NYTimes sums up nicely people like Mr. Givens...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/14/opinion/14rich.html?_r=1&em

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cato_the_elder 4 years, 10 months ago

I suggest that the letter writer himself consult a dictionary or encyclopedia and learn the words chosen by the Nazi party to describe itself, words that were represented in the acronym "Nazi." Fascism and socialism lived together as one in Hitler's Germany, a fact of which the letter writer has evidently been unaware. The letter writer is apparently blind to, or perhaps instead actively agrees with, the wholesale attempts presently going on in Washington further to deprive American citizens of many of their basic liberties in order to make them even more dependent on government, instead of themselves, for their needs. The earlier letter that he criticizes made the point effectively that many Americans naively bought into the most successful "bait and switch" presidential campaign in recent memory. Of course, those of us who had studied Mr. Obama's voting record and personal background carefully are not in the least surprised at what he and his enablers are attempting to do to the free citizens of this country.

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Liberty_One 4 years, 10 months ago

"fascist, on the far right of the political spectrum,"

If you label those on the "right" as being in favor of limited government and laissez-faire economics then fascism would not be on the right. Fascism is better labeled as Nationalistic socialism. Regardless, the whole left/right dichotomy is limited and a better representation of the political spectrum is the Nolan Chart.

What's amusing to me is that people like the LTE author really think that there's a genuine difference between Bush and Obama....

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