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Letters to the Editor

History lessons

August 7, 2011

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To the editor:

Cicero, an old Roman, once said, “To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.” A cynical man (ahem), would ponder upon whether the Republicans have taken Cicero to heart and learned their historical lessons well.

The first time the Republicans caused a nationwide economic collapse (Great Depression), it ushered in a 30-year-plus era of mostly Democratic Party rule, creating sweeping, positive economic security, benefiting the majority of Americans and created a thriving middle class, the envy of the world.

So what were Republicans to do after they created their second nationwide economic collapse? Mustn’t repeat the “mistakes” of the past, letting President Roosevelt save the country and usher in decades of Democratic rule, powered by a grateful electorate.

A cynical man might think that Republicans (remembering and learning from their history) have chosen to sabotage the present economic recovery at every turn, filibustering every Senate economic legislative proposal, creating no House economic legislation (besides cutting taxes, always, always, ALWAYS cutting taxes for millionaires/billionaires), creating fake crises like the recent debt ceiling circus, and repeatedly, constantly, endlessly shouting the lie that Obama caused this economic mess.

While Republicans might be earning an “A” in history, forget not: 1) Democrats could figure out a way to stab themselves in the rear-end with a wet-noodle; 2) Most Americans seem too lazy to get off their rear-end and find the truth. God help our republic.

Comments

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

Crediting the Democratic party with the economic success of the USA after the devastation of so much of the infrastructure of so many other nations that occurred as a result of World War II is quite a bit of a stretch.

Fact is, our factories were never bombed, unlike many other developed nations.

It's easy to be on top when everyone else is down.

From reading your post, it appears to me as though your opinion is that the Democratic and Republican parties have a group intelligence, and they all think together and arrive at only one conclusion for every situation.

I am sure that is not the case, because both parties are composed of individuals.

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bjohanning 3 years, 1 month ago

It is very, very sad that you do not understand or know American history. FDR's economic rebuild of America was prior to WWII. Individuals yes, but the goals to rebuild a nation must be a priority, not a political goal to destroy it to support your own base of power.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

Have you ever read Herbert Hoover's autobiography? Fantastic reading, but it is rather long.

I was quite surprised to learn that: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" is not and never was a Franklin Delano Roosevelt quote at all!

But it is true that that particular quote became famous when FDR recited a note that Herbert Hoover had left for him during his first inaugural address.

Many historians would certainly take exception to your opinion that FDR's economic rebuild of the American economy was done prior to WW II. Oh yes, he tried to, I'm sure, but without a whole lot of success for a while.

The American economy was very much in the doldrums until the economic jump start of our entry into the war that began in 1939 with Germany's invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Fine group of allies the Europeans all were, not wanting to get involved in just a small skirmish between Germany and Czechoslovakia, despite all their treaties of mutual defense and Czechoslovakia's begging them all to honor their word.

The United States had not signed on however, strictly maintaining a policy of isolationism. That worked quite well, until December 7, 1941.

But on to your next topic, I doubt very much that it is the Republican's political goal to destroy the nation or its economy because so many Republicans are persons of means and have a whole lot to lose if the present economic doldrums continue.

I just can't imagine that any individual would sacrifice a comfortable retirement in order to support the political goal of destroying it.

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Crazy_Larry 3 years, 1 month ago

The New Deal, FDR's economic recovery plan for the Great Depression, was implemented between 1933 and 1936; well before WWII.

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Crazy_Larry 3 years, 1 month ago

War is good for the economy, unless you're the one being bombed. How do you think G.W. Bush kept the economy afloat?

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

clipped from: http://www.cnbc.com/id/44053555

"Back in 1937, the U.S. economy had been growing rapidly for three years, thanks in large part to government programs aimed at ending the deep recession that began in 1929.

Then the central bank clamped down hard on lending, and federal government spending dropped 10 percent. The economy contracted again in 1938. The jobless rate soared."

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jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

The problem is that the wealthy have managed to cushion themselves from the effects of a bad economy.

They do that by laying off people to maintain high profits and high CEO salaries, among other things.

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TopJayhawk 3 years, 1 month ago

FDR did not end the depression. WWll did. All FDR did was add a tremendous debt that the country had to pay. and this was all before WWll.

I remember what the thirty plus yrs of almost total Dem. power did for us, culminating in the peanut farmers term. The triple crown. Double digit unemployment, interest rates and inflation.

Yes indeed, give me more of that.

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Jimo 3 years, 1 month ago

You can always depend on Lib to put forward some loonie theory that virtually no one doesn't laugh at.

Yes, Hoover was a traitor to the rigid ideology of Coolidge. But that doesn't make Hoover 'just like' Roosevelt. Nor does Sarah Palin's support of the bank bailout transform her into a Keynesian (or someone who even grasps what that is).

What is it with your obsession with anti-majoritarian, gnostic ideology? What trauma impels you to seek out secret knowledge about 'what really is going on' so you can be 'smarter' than virtually everyone else - that 99.99% of people who don't know your special tinfoil insight?

For someone looking through a telescope in orbit around Alpha Centauri, everyone on Earth looks exactly the same, even Hoover and Roosevelt.

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jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

That's why a 1% cut in spending can't balance the budget quickly.

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jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Only if we have steady growth in the GDP and revenue increases of about 4--5 times the amount of the cuts.

See my post on our other conversation.

Your idea of "proof" is a rather odd one - it seems to consist of simple assertion with no evidence or facts to back it up.

I agree that if our GDP grows by about 2-3 percent a year, and we increase tax revenues by about $150 billion a year while simultaneously cutting spending by about $35 billion, the budget will balance.

But those other two factors are much more significant parts of what actually balances the budget, and the spending cuts are a rather small factor relative to them.

As I've said all along, it's a revenue and spending problem, and the solution involves both of those. In addition, it appears to be a growth problem - in fact, the growth part of the equation is the single largest cause of the solution.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

Maybe he reads history and realizes that many countries have been in this situation before, and it took them a decade or more to get out of it.

This recession began in December 2007, and so we're already close to 4 years into it. At the moment, it appears that another 6 years is not at all unlikely.

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jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

I never said it would.

I'm simply pointing out that two other factors are much larger ones in the balancing of the budget than a simple 1% cut in spending is, and that without those, it won't work.

So, it's misleading to say "it's a spending problem", "we can't grow our way out", etc.

Growth is the largest factor in the solution, with an increase in revenue 4-5 times as large as the spending cuts next.

If those two occurred without any spending cuts at all, we'd have much smaller deficits. But, if the spending cuts occur without the other factors, it won't make much of a difference.

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jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Also, we seem to have a different understanding of where the burden of evidence/proof lies.

In my view, when somebody makes the claim that a simple 1% cut in spending will balance the budget in a few years, it's on them to demonstrate that with some evidence/proof.

When it turns out that there are 2 other, much larger factors involved, they need to show some evidence that those factors will in fact turn out the way that's necessary.

I don't see a lot of good news evidence about the strength of the economy, and I don't see any evidence that a simple 1% cut in spending will result in tax revenue increases of about $150 billion/year, with no other changes in policy.

And, not to be too picky about it, but 9 years is about 3 times what I consider "a few" years.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 1 month ago

Yes but in defense of the letter writer the repub party set forth a pattern beginning with Richard Nixon and Watergate. Can we say crime pays.

Then there was the secret weapons deals during Reagan/Bush known as Iran-Contra. Can we use the word crime again. Weapons dealers and manufacturers are addicted to our tax dollars. The USA arms the world no matter what = even dictators and other adversaries.

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0208-05.htm

http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/4120/we_arm_the_world/

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 1 month ago

The icing on the cake began to surface in 1980 under Reagan/Bush known as "The Agenda".

The repub party has a long history of economic destruction which impacts hard working men and women by millions of job losses BUT NOT the bottom line of corp america. Like or not a consistent and disturbing pattern has been developed by their choosing.

After spending so so many decades in Washington D.C on tax dollar payrolls republicans are sure they learned all they needed to know about OUR money and founding reckless economies. Republicans have much experience under their belts and they never quit sharing.

For openers meet "The Agenda" the disturbing pattern of the repub platform:

  1. TABOR is Coming by Grover Norquist and Koch Bros. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2005/0705rebne.html

  2. The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist(Cost taxpayers $1.4 trillion) http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

  3. Wall Street Bank Fraud on Consumers under Bush/Cheney http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

  4. Bush and Henry Paulson blew the $700 billion of bail out money? http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year

Tax cuts that do nothing to make an economy strong or produce jobs.

  1. Still A Bad Idea – Bush Tax Cuts - The ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2001/0301miller.html

In the end big debt and super duper bailouts were the results of Reaganomics which does not seem to bother Republicans, as long as they are in power. Repubs see Wreckanomics as good for corp america.

In fact, by the time the second Bush left office, the national debt had grown to $12.1 trillion:

  • Over half of that amount had been created by Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy.

  • Another 30% of the national debt had been created by the tax cuts for the wealthy under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

• Fully 81% of the national debt was created by just these three Republican Presidents. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2010/0111orr.html

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 1 month ago

How many times in the last 10 days did you post this same set of links, merrill? A dozen times? two dozen times? Have you posted it 1000 times total yet?

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grammaddy 3 years, 1 month ago

How many times have you posted those same questions Snap?

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scott3460 3 years, 1 month ago

The exact same number of times he failed to refute the substance of the posts.

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gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 1 month ago

What's there to refute? It's mindless reposting of spam.

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Crazy_Larry 3 years, 1 month ago

Spam is usually advertising...merrill posts facts. Facts that noone can refute, apparently.

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gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 1 month ago

No one bothers because Merrill is the crazy guy shouting on the street corner. He yells quite a bit and very loudly, but he refuses to engage in any sort of debate. Any attempts at two-way conversation are totally wasted on him.

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beatrice 3 years, 1 month ago

I'm guessing it is less often than you have called the president something other than his actual name.

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TheYetiSpeaks 3 years, 1 month ago

Cicero also might have once said, "Don't look at history and make ridiculous conjecture." As someone already pointed out, giving Democrats (or any politicians) credit for our economic recovery after WWII is insanely obscene. Not only were our factories still standing, but remember, at that time Americans still didn't consider themselves above "grunt work" like today. The jobs that generation of Americans were busting their humps for, would be jobs populated by illegals today.

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scott3460 3 years, 1 month ago

Only because right wing politicians quit enforcing immigration laws so that working Americans faced illegal wage competition.

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Crazy_Larry 3 years, 1 month ago

NAFTA didn't hurt the American labor market...no siree. Illegal aliens taking jobs, keeping wages low, and burdening the social systems doesn't hurt either, I suppose.

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TopJayhawk 3 years, 1 month ago

And lowering that to about 70% is what fueled the economy for JFK. It was okay when he did it, wasn't it Bozo?

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Kookamooka 3 years, 1 month ago

I heard it said recently. "Greed is not the same thing as Growth." Too bad so many Republican's think it is.

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Abdu Omar 3 years, 1 month ago

Uhh. I hate to mention this but the letter writer was talking about the time BEFORE WWII, not after. Let's see...after was Harry, Dwight, Jack, Lyndon, and so forth. Before the war was Roosevelt and look at the programs he started.

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cato_the_elder 3 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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weeslicket 3 years, 1 month ago

more quotes from cicero: - In a republic this rule ought to be observed: that the majority should not have the predominant power. - In doubtful cases the more liberal interpretation must always be preferred. - According to the law of nature it is only fair that no one should become richer through damages and injuries suffered by another. - Nothing is so strongly fortified that it cannot be taken by money. - The enemy is within the gates; it is with our own luxury, our own folly, our own criminality that we have to contend. - The good of the people is the greatest law. and - When you have no basis for an argument, abuse the plaintiff.

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cato_the_elder 3 years, 1 month ago

"When you have no basis for an argument, abuse the plaintiff."

Actually, weeslicket, Cicero, who was one of the greatest orators of ancient times, was in dead earnest in offering this advice. Have you ever read any of his orations? I have, in Latin. I can assure you that he followed his own advice, and did so often.

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weeslicket 3 years, 1 month ago

i have no doubt that he did. nor that you do also. (though, no longer in latin)

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cato_the_elder 3 years, 1 month ago

Weeslicket, as long as English is a predominant language, the knowledge of Latin will often come in handy.

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weeslicket 3 years, 1 month ago

you're arguing up your own noodle again.

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cato_the_elder 3 years, 1 month ago

Be careful - as I understand it, X-rated comments are prohibited on this site.

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Jimo 3 years, 1 month ago

Ironic as always how a dissatisfied group of Baby Boomers yearns for the days of their childhood but don't grasp that that "Golden Era" was a product of the most liberal policies ever seen in American history whether unions, Keynesianism, the United Nations, progressive taxation, the World Bank, government funding of scientific research, child labor laws, the International Monetary Fund, consumer safety legislation, the interstate highway system, fluoridation of drinking water, etc. etc. etc. Basically everything in American history that fills Glenn Beck with hatred.

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cato_the_elder 3 years, 1 month ago

Jimo, that's a load of liberal BS that has made its way across the internet since the time that Americans in droves finally began to realize what deficit spending really is and how many government-sponsored "programs" there have that haven't worked (e.g., LBJ's "Great Society," which has been an abject failure and has created multiple generations of human beings mired in poverty and who have no ability to fend for themselves), and how much these "programs" (inner-city housing projects, for another example) have cost us in terms of both human progress and bottomless deficit spending.

In truth, the "Golden Age" of which you speak resulted from our having emerged after World War II as the greatest industrial nation on earth. Our industrial base, together with the astounding courage of most of our citizenry, gave us that victory. Afterward, American industry continued to thrive despite governmental interference of every kind imaginable, the only bright lights being an occasional piece of ameliorative legislation such as the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947. At present, the rubber has hit the road with regard to derficit spending, which has been practiced shamefully by members of both political parties for far too long.

We are presently locked in a struggle between whether we will grow government or grow industry. Since Obama took office, the only place in America that hasn't suffered a recession is Washington, D.C. and its environs. Government cannot create prosperity. Only private enterprise can. We're at a crossroads, and people of intelligence need to bear this in mind when casting their votes in 2012.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

There is no problem with deficit spending as long as the electricity is on and we don't run out of toner to print more money.

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Jimo 3 years, 1 month ago

World War II - often referred to as the greatest stimulus program ever enacted. Somehow wingnuts always forget that fact.

Great Society - thanks, it's refreshing to hear a nutter admit that, yes, of course the GOP wishes to destroy Medicare.

Sorry, the only "abject failure" in recent memory has been the Bush tax cuts, which failed to achieve a single promise and ushered in the worst economic performing decade since the 1930s. And that was before The Collapse in Bush's final year.

Since Obama took office, the only place in America that hasn't suffered a recession is Wall Street (and things aren't looking too shabby at Koch Industries on Moocher Blvd. in Wichita either!!). In contrast, half a million government jobs have been destroyed in the U.S. since Obama took office at a time when governmental employment is the smallest share its been since Kennedy was in office. Every month, we go through the same ritual: how many jobs were created by private industry? How many teachers, police, fire fighters jobs do we subtract to get down to the net figure? You have to be quite the nihilist to think that firing kindergarten teachers and public health workers is the "Path to Prosperity".

It takes an amazing degree of self-lying to try to convince oneself that the period of 1930-1970, an era of virtually total Democratic domination of American political discourse and policy, wasn't a time when the successes of America weren't inseparable from the successes of liberal policies.

An amazing degree of self-lying. But then, what else is the Tea Party?

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cato_the_elder 3 years, 1 month ago

Fine - you want to grow government, I want to grow businesses at all levels and create real jobs for real people. If your side prevails, it will be a dark, long winter for America.

We'll have to agree to disagree regarding the fact that it was not liberal politicians in Washington, but American free enterprise, that was responsible for American prosperity after the Second World War. And if you really aren't aware that the only part of America that has escaped Obama's recession is Washington, D.C. and its environs, then you've got your head in the sand.

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Mike Ford 3 years, 1 month ago

between 1920 and 1929 this country has Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover. There was an anti communist scare following WW I and there was an economic bust following WW I. My great grandfather lost his Wellsville farm in 1923 due to this event. There was an obsession with religion and the Teapot Dome Scandal in Wyoming and a bunch of Osage Oil Headright owners were murdered for the oil by Mr. Hale until the federal government intervened. I should not forget the Scopes Monkey trial in 1925 either.

People speculated on the stocks and eventually lost their a$$ES on paper in October 1929. For a couple of years Herber Hoover did nothing. Vice president Charles Curtis did nothing. Hoover had been good with the food supply in Europe in WW I but this was something different. It got so bad that there were hoovertowns full of shanties. Hoover ordered Mr McArthur and the military to burn down and attack US veterans of WW I camping near D.C. demanding their war pensions. So much for republican patriotism. When FDR ran Mr. Curtis warned that only Hoover and Curtis could fix the problem and yet a couple of years passed with nothing. I read the book Charles Curtis and the Search for a Mixed Blood Identity and it made Curtis sound like Brownback at times. To reference the present I wish the gop would've been allowed to run this country totally into the ground leading up to 2008. Dumya did a pretty good job however none of the denialists on here will fess up to it. They get mad when confronted with Bush because they know it stops their arguement and so do I. The GOP in the 1930's was totally big business with none of the churchies, gunnies, or fascists that exist now. It was fairly easy to see whose side they were on. All of these clowns give them cover as they vote for nonsense and defend it. Big business sent out goons to beat up striking workers and hired scabs in the 1930's. People knew the GOP was full of it when Alf Landon got hammered in the 1936 election. However, since Civil Rights, George Wallace, Jerry Falwell, and Ronald Reagan, these people have been bent on defunding everything they lost under FDR even if it hurts the rest of the country. History is lost on people watching FOX.

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tbaker 3 years, 1 month ago

"The first time the Republicans caused a nationwide economic collapse (Great Depression), it ushered in a 30-year-plus era of mostly Democratic Party rule, creating sweeping, positive economic security, benefiting the majority of Americans and created a thriving middle class, the envy of the world."

I've lost track of how many intellectual fallacies you've employed in this piece of tripe. Another blind ideolog spastically stammering out their line of BS in the face of an avalanche of historical facts to the contrary - yeah - thats what we need on this blog.

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thebigspoon 3 years, 1 month ago

I've lost track of how many times you failed to prove your point that there is "intellectual fallacy" in the statement. You who espouse the joys of the current Republican juggernaut need to be able to prove your silliness is relevant before attacking someone else's statements, statements which seem to be borne out in an economic study of the era in question.

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Trobs 3 years, 1 month ago

Do people forget that not all of FDR's policies were successes and a large amount of the return to "normal" our country had was in large part thanks to not FDR but the sudden industrial boom due to WWII?

Don't get me wrong, the Repubs are morons who think we can continue to fund a Trillion dollar defense budget with low incomes. But to say that Democratic policies made the country what we are isn't entirely accurate. We were the only country that was untouched in terms of infrastructure and industry post WWII. That gave us a major economic advantage for a long time, and instead of adapting to changing times, we fell behind and we are in the situation we are today.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

They didn't forget anything. They just never knew it in the first place.

There is a difference!

The real problem with history is that it is not an experimental science. It's just not possible to go back to experiment with different policies.

"the Repubs are morons who think we can continue to fund a Trillion dollar defense budget with low incomes."

I tend to think that many of the Republicans are optimists who sincerely believe that the economy might improve in the future.

Wasn't John F. Kennedy a Democrat? One proverb he made rather famous was "A rising tide lifts all boats." Perhaps some Republicans took his statement to heart.

And, about "adapting to changing times", it's my opinion that you are correct. Things will never say the same, we live in a world of constant change, and the only thing you can say for sure about any empire is that it will eventually fall. The Romans did quite well, lasting about a thousand years. I hope that the USA can beat their record.

One thing that has changed is immigration policies. It seems to me that when the economy was growing, and I'm talking about going back to something like 1800 and before, immigration was encouraged, and the farms, mines, and factorys were full of recent immigrants who were working very hard for a better life, and in so doing, were earning a better life for the entire nation.

But now? Some people seem to think that our problems are due in part to "illegal immigrants", and they all need to be found and sent home. And after that, we can close all the farms and factorys and just import everything we need. We'll have to, because all the people who are eager to work will be gone!

I think that is insane!

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Mike Ford 3 years, 1 month ago

really tbaker??? FDR 1932-1946, Truman 1946-1952, Eisenhower 1952-1960, JFK, 1960-1963, LBJ 1963-1968. Legislation: Social Security, FDIC, CCC, labor rights, Desegregation of the US Military (which ushered the racist democrats out of our party and into the GOP after Wallace and Nixon), GI Bill, Civil Rights and Fair Housing Act, Medicare, and the lists goes on. Please show your public historical stupidity like any good tea partier. Someone wasn't paying attention in Junior American History class in High School. DUH!!!!

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tbaker 3 years, 1 month ago

Duh is right. FDR made the depression worse and caused it to last longer. JFK cut taxes. Desegregation, the GI bill, civil rights, fair housing, medicare, etc, have nothing to do with this post. Its about economics. The post is about how great democrats are, yet you list Eisenhower who was a rebublican. Who wasn't paying attention in history class? Wise up.

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friendlyjhawk 3 years, 1 month ago

Ah, the Sunday morning smell of anonymous "Smarter Than You" in the LJW. Smells like roadkill. This is best reading! I can do this, I have read this (in original language), I think you are uninformed, repeating yourself, not paying attention, a blind ideolog spastically stammering. The content grinds on. It is just the absolute best thing to live in a town/area full the of best educated, most intelligent minds in the country.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

We're on the web, so you can read our drivel from anywhere in the world!

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beaujackson 3 years, 1 month ago

There you go again, Mr. D.P.S.!

Let me guess - you work (?) for a tax supported institution and get all ALL your news from NPR, PBS, CNN, NBC, CBS, or ABC, the POLITICO, or some "Leftie"website.

Too bad.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 1 month ago

Let's take a look at updated material and back door politics which are tools to further take the USA down.

ALEC Exposed

What is Brownback up to?

ALEC Exposed: State Legislative Bills Drafted by Secretive Corporate-Lawmaker Coalition

This week the Center for Media and Democracy released 800 model bills, legislation that is straight out of the corporate playbook and drafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council.

The group’s membership includes both state lawmakers and corporate executives who gather behind closed doors to discuss and vote on draft legislation.

ALEC has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months for its role in crafting bills to attack worker rights, to roll back environmental regulations, privatize education, deregulate major industries, and pass voter ID laws.

Thanks to ALEC, at least a dozen states have recently adopted a nearly identical resolution asking Congress to compel the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to stop regulating carbon emissions. We are joined by Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media Democracy.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/7/15/alec_exposed_state_legislative_bills_drafted

Koch Brothers, ALEC and Their Corporate Allies Plan to Privatize Government

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/5/secretive_corporate_legislative_group_alec_holds

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/5/new_expos_tracks_alec_private_prison

http://www.truth-out.org/publicopoly-exposed/1310660473

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 1 month ago

Where have we seen this many many times before? Oh, of course, right here on this award-winning website. Copied and pasted by the master of copy/pasting.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

And I am a master at noticing the combination of the letters "M E R R I L L", and then quickly scrolling down to the next combination of letters.

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Mike Ford 3 years, 1 month ago

naw, this is history from my junior and senior year high school classes twenty two years ago courtesy of Mrs. Barbara Dale and my American History classes at Baker, Washburn, and JCCC. I guess colleges teach lefties and the morons listen to George Will and Glen Beck. Keep rewriting history and the morons will listen. Oh yeah, and I've had a blue collar job for fourteen years...go figure...all you dumblicans and your stereotypes...you're the only morons that perpetuate and believe them.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 1 month ago

Private industry is the poster child for bureaucracy and fraud.

Why do several wealthy bureaucracies want to privatize government or certain aspects? It is certainly not to reduce bureaucracy and fraud. It's all about YOUR tax dollars moving into their bank accounts.

These several wealthy bureaucracies want their grubby paws on medicare,medicaid,Social Security and public education not because these programs are failures BUT because there are trillions of YOUR tax dollars involved. GUARANTEED PROFITS FOREVER!!!

These several wealthy bureaucracies don't pay taxes but love OUR tax dollars in their bank accounts. These several wealthy bureaucracies are lying about their motivations pure and simple.

Medicare,medicaid,Social Security and public education are quite successful which makes them quite attractive to big time profiteers.

Ask yourself: If these programs are such failures why in the hell would several wealthy bureaucracies want them in their portfolios? Trillions of your tax dollars and monster profits.

Ask yourself again why would anyone want these tax dollars investing in:

  1. Large CEO and BOD pay packages
  2. Shareholders
  3. golden parachutes
  4. corp jets
  5. special interest campaign contributions
  6. lower wages
  7. fraud
  8. Advertising
  9. No transparency
  10. offshore bank accounts to avoid paying taxes while WE taxpayers continue to shell out trillions in tax dollars

Why give up perfectly good insurance programs and public education all of which are best bangs for the tax buck?

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 1 month ago

"...And there is another type of Caps Lock user who doesn’t capitalize whole sentences but INSTEAD capitalizes a few SPECIFIC words for EMPHASIS. Now read a sentence like that aloud, shouting every time you come to a capitalized word, and tell me you do not sound like an absolute freakin’ lunatic. This method can turn even basic known facts into crazy-sounding gibberish (“The SQUARE of the HYPOTENUSE of a RIGHT triangle equals the SUM of the squares of the OTHER two sides”)..." http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/tips-for-not-appearing-crazy-on-the-internet/

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

I can think of one government program that makes enough money to selfsustain.

The Internal Revenue Service.

That's probably the only one, though.

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Mixolydian 3 years, 1 month ago

Speaking as an independent (once registered as a democrat) I don't care about parties, I care about policies. Right now, we need to grow the economy and shrink the government. That's going to take reform of the tax code and all entitlements. It's going to mean shrinking defense spending. It's going to mean that some members of both parties are just going to have to be brave and do the right thing, even if it means one term and done in this polarized environment.

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cato_the_elder 3 years, 1 month ago

You're right, but it won't happen without term limits.

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beatrice 3 years, 1 month ago

Term limits, while they may appear a good idea they end up just making politicians even more beholded to their monied backers to accomplish something in a brief period. There becomes even less reason to compromise and reach across the aisle to attempt to make things happen for the betterment of the nation. Those elected don't have the time to create relationships with anyone outside of their pocket of monied lobbyists.

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cato_the_elder 3 years, 1 month ago

How can you say that? It's never been tried at the federal level, and we've seen where we are under the current system. Career politicians in both parties can be counted on to do one thing, and one thing only: Feather their own nests, which they have done with great consistency.

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Abdu Omar 3 years, 1 month ago

So if this is true, we don't need to limit the terms, we need to stop special interest groups from holding so much power over our congress. It is that simple. We should outlaw lobbyists and special interest groups from affecting the outcomes of our congressional bills.

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beatrice 3 years, 1 month ago

Outlawing lobbyists would be grand. It will never happen, but it would be great. While we are at it, lets also outlaw politicians being allowed to pollute our streets with campaign signs every few months. Simple business people can't do that to promote their products, so why should politicians be allowed to do it? Start with the signs, then lets move to the lobbyists. Get this done, and I'll join the party and drink some tea.

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beatrice 3 years, 1 month ago

It has been done in states. Sometimes good people do serve for a long time. I don't think we need legislation in an attempt to control voter laziness. I like the concept and the appreciation of your acknowledging that sometimes things do happen in both parties that aren't in the nation's best interest, but I don't believe it works in practice.

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cato_the_elder 3 years, 1 month ago

You'll never know unless it's tried at the federal level. Staying with the current system of entrenched career politicians who are constantly on the take, directly or indirectly, has gotten us precisely where we are now.

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jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

The problem, as bea points out, is the "on the take" part.

Without changing that, term limits won't accomplish much, I'd say.

And, if we change that, we don't need term limits.

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cato_the_elder 3 years, 1 month ago

The reason they're on the take is that in so doing they enhance (1) their chances of re-election, and (2) being able to retire wealthy when they finally leave Congress decades later.

You can't criticize term limits at the national level when they've never been tried.

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jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

The reason they're on the take is because they're greedy, and willing to accept money in exchange for favoritism.

That wouldn't change if they were only there for one term.

And, there are plenty of other aspects - the easy transition from Congress to a cushy private sector job with the folks who bought you when you were there.

Term limits won't solve the problem, in my view - they don't get at the root of it.

Eliminating the influence of money on politics would solve it, but it's very hard to do.

And, of course, anybody can examine and analyze an idea in order to determine whether it makes sense or not - we don't have to try all of them before forming an opinion.

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cato_the_elder 3 years, 1 month ago

"The reason they're on the take is because they're greedy, and willing to accept money in exchange for favoritism.

That wouldn't change if they were only there for one term."

That's where we differ, but I respect your opinion.

Again, if it's never been tried you can't say with certainty that it wouldn't work.

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jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Why/how would term limits change their greed and willingness to corrupt themselves?

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cato_the_elder 3 years, 1 month ago

Because they aren't making their life's work out of it, that's why.

The best recent close-to-home example I know of is the governorship of Mark Parkinson, who vowed not to run for another term, kept his promise, and made his decisions based on the merits rather than with any concern for his own re-election.

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jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Sure.

Any politician who isn't running for another term doesn't have to worry about re-election.

That doesn't mean they'll make good decisions, or not be greedy and corrupt though.

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cato_the_elder 3 years, 1 month ago

Based on what we've seen from career politicians, the best way to ensure more bad decisions, greed, and corruption is to stick with simply creating more career politicians.

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Mixolydian 3 years, 1 month ago

When I read newspaper comment sections, I automatically stop reading when someone bastardizes a political party name or a politicians name (e.g., rethuglicans, dummiecrats, Brownstain, etc)

If you're doing that, you should know that: 1. You're not funny 2. You're not witty 3. You just label yourself as someone not worth the time to read or respond to.

I really dispair for our country when I see politicians throwing out those infantile bombs too.

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Jimo 3 years, 1 month ago

House Speaker John Boehner in April reached out to financial industry leaders to ask how much time he would have to screw around with the debt ceiling before doing lasting damage to the United States. He was told that such a stunt “could have grave consequences.” http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/53094.html

Congressional Republicans chose to create a crisis where there was none, to put us all at risk, and now we'll all be punished for the Tea Party's sins. Thanks again, Partiers!! You're doing a heckuva job. (But the black guy is still President. wink wink)

The GOP has been very clear that while Americans' #1 priority is jobs, the Republicans' #1 priority is making Obama a one term President. And if American jobs have to be sacrificied on the altar of partisanship then, in the words of Speaker Boehner: "so be it." They've (correctly) concluded that the only path to that end is to follow an unprecedented scorched-earth policy of unrelenting opposition to any measure that would improve the economy. The President has managed to get a few programs through sufficient to create or save millions of jobs and arrest a calamitous economic collapse. But Republicans have blocked him from doing anything more.

Instead, for the past year, we've been following Republican policies of "austerity," cutting spending from Washington, Kansas, to Washington, DC, laying off half a million government workers, letting unemployment programs expire, and yet extending tax cuts for the wealthy and welfare for corporations. Result? Things were getting better; now they're getting worse. Indeed, one quarter through the Tea Party Era, Congress has yet--yet!!--to even debate a jobs bill, let alone pass one.

Americans by an overwhelming margin blame George Bush for our economic woes. Soon, they'll be adding the Tea Party (correctly) to the list. It's no surprise that the typical Partier rally these days attracts as many tri-corner hat wearers as protestors. The day these Mad Tea Hatters are liked somewhere below a skunk but above child molesters on prison release are now upon us.

Again, thanks Partiers!! You're doing a heckuva job. Can't wait to see which comes first: Teaparty-villes of homeless unemployed veterans down by the river, taxpayer financed Revival Tents where homeless unemployed families go for a square meal and some snake-handling entertainment, or Armageddon Day when Muscular Jesus returns to kick the crap out of Marxist Kenyan Obama and his sidekicks Nancy Pelosi and Bill Ayers.

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Mixolydian 3 years, 1 month ago

Our current economic and political environment is akin to a married couple that have recklessly and jointly maxed out the Mastercard... where their credit debt now equals the amount of their income. Inevitably, their credit rating plummets. Instead of cutting up the card and reducing their spending, instead of actually coming up with a budget, or take on a second job to bring in some more cash to pay down their debt (not to spend on anything else BUT the debt) they:

  1. Argue over who caused more of the debt
  2. Argue over what their debt was spent on
  3. Call each other names
  4. Argue over whether they should now get a Visa or American Express card because the Mastercard is maxed out.
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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

Excuse me, but after your credit rating plummets, you cannot get a Visa or American Express card.

Debit card, perhaps?

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Mixolydian 3 years, 1 month ago

A few years ago, after signing an ill advised co-loan with my daughter, my credit rating dropped from 750 to 450. That didn't slow down one bit the 5-6 pre-approved credit card letters.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

Did you read the fine print?

I keep all my credit card offers, don't ask me to explain that, but I do. I have big box full of them. Very few of them have been opened, I just toss them into the box when they come in.

Here's a transcription of an offer for a MasterCard:

Tribute MasterCard Pre-Qualifed Acceptance Certificate

No Annual Fee Pre-Qualified*

If approved, you will receive a Credit line of: $2,000 *


*(If you no longer satisfy the credit criteria that we previously established and you previously met, we will consider you for the lower credit limit of $1,000, but at the Alternative Rates of Finance Charge, or not extend credit to you.)

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 1 month ago

The whole "pretending to be an extreme X to help the cause of Y" jazz is so 2008.

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bolshavik_vw 3 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

If you stick your head in the sand the view is wonderful, did you know that?

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

Karl Heinrich Marx (5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883)

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (22 April 1870 – 21 January 1924)

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 1 month ago

"This country was founded on my ancestor's stolen Choctaw lands..." The Choctaws owned the territory that became the New England states? That will come as a great surprise to the Algonquians.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

Give bolshavik_vw a break.

Since he can't be bothered to verify the birth and death dates of the well known people that he feels he needs to reference before he states his decade range guesses on when one was born and died, gets one of them wrong, and then gives himself a huge window for his guesses on the other, I think you should let him guess on that also.

And if he got it wrong, so what? His posting started with "let's see tea party moron", so that should have given you a clue where this one was going.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

But don't forget: "Your stupidity is what's tyrranical here."

And also, don't forget that the correct spelling is "tyrannical".

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weeslicket 3 years, 1 month ago

the most important paragraph of mr. Daniel Patrick Schamle, Lawrence states:

"A cynical man might think that Republicans (remembering and learning from their history) have chosen to sabotage the present economic recovery at every turn, filibustering every Senate economic legislative proposal, creating no House economic legislation (besides cutting taxes, always, always, ALWAYS cutting taxes for millionaires/billionaires), creating fake crises like the recent debt ceiling circus, and repeatedly, constantly, endlessly shouting the lie that Obama caused this economic mess."

thus far, NO ONE has refuted this argument. seems as though mr. schamle has won this particular argument.

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cato_the_elder 3 years, 1 month ago

There's no need to. He furnishes no proof.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

How can you refute an argument when half of it isn't true and the rest is histrionics?

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Armored_One 3 years, 1 month ago

This is like a tennis match... No, really it is. Dead dog boring to watch, since all you can do is watch left, then right, then left again. A few grunts to break the monotony.

Who wants to stop playing Red Light, Green Light and actually try to fix something for a change, rather than passing blame and praising this fool or that fool and almost all, if not all, that have been quoted in this thread are dead.

I have no problems with looking to the past for inspiration, but if all you do is look behind you, you will eventually run into something or fall into something. The time has come to press on and achieve, not revel in past accomplishments and assume that things will fix themselves. Entropy is the only thing that lies at the end of that path, and most people just can't seem to be bothered enough to notice, let alone care.

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jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

I agree.

The reason to look back is to try to identify what works better, so that we can do it again, and what doesn't work well, so we can stop doing that.

Unfortunately, with the current tendencies towards ideological historical revisionism, and the complexities of our society, it's hard to do that well.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

I look in my rear view mirror once in a while to see if a big truck is about to run over my car.

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bevy 3 years, 1 month ago

If voters VOTED, it would make a difference. If they bothered to become educated about whom they were voting for, it would make a HUGE difference. But, sadly, that might involve putting down the remote control/cell phone/I-pad and using their eyes, ears, and brains. Not to mention the critical-thinking skills that so many have never developed.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 1 month ago

Is the current regime still meeting with lobbyists outside the White House to avoid reporting the encounters?

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

The Depression in the 1930s was not unique to the United States, and it wasn't Roosevelt's fault. The entire industrialized world was affected. There are many reasons why it occurred, and to even think that anyone could explain them all within the character constraint of 3,000 here would be a joke. Many books have been written that cover that subject well.

Do you think it would have been better growing up in Germany in the 1930s? It was pretty bad there, too. For a while, until Hitler fixed the German economy. He did a very good job at that, actually.

Where would you be today if you had been born in Germany in 1930? What would your life have been like?

How do you think Hitler came to power? Have you read much history of that period? True, you experienced it firsthand, but you only experienced it from the viewpoint of an American citizen. My reading was not limited to that viewpoint.

Following is clipped from: http://www.english.illinois.edu/Maps/depression/about.htm

"In Germany, unemployment rose sharply beginning in late 1929, and by early 1932 it had reached 6 million workers, or 25 percent of the work force."

"In Germany Hitler adopted policies that were more interventionist, developing a massive work-creation scheme that had largely eradicated unemployment by 1936. In the same year rearmament, paid for by government borrowing, started in earnest. In order to keep down inflation, consumption was restricted by rationing and trade controls. By 1939 the Germans’ Gross National Product was 51 per cent higher than in 1929 — an increase due mainly to the manufacture of armaments and machinery."

And we all know the rest of the story.

Heil Hitler!

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

Ja, Holzwarth ist ein deutscher Name. Meine Familie kommt aus Deutschland. Aber es war vor vielen Jahren.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret. - Ambrose Bierce

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jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Generally speaking, the moderators on the forum don't respond to requests like that one.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 1 month ago

Last year the disappointed progressives rioted and burned stuff in Greece. This year it's London's turn. Coming soon to a fair city near you?

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 1 month ago

This is all very, very scary. Terrifying, and TongieBob does have a good point to make. Things in some countries look very much like they did in some places in the past. And not just in the 1900s, but at many times in history.

It was like that in Germany in the late 1920s and early 1930s. There were very few jobs, so if you had one you were lucky. Does that remind you of anything?

And if you had a job, when you were paid for your labors (or sold the products from your farm) you would go to town to buy the things you needed. Then you found out, your money was worth less every day. Less and less, every single day.

It reached the point that people were rushing around in the store to get what they needed and then run to the cashier to get their purchases paid for and get out of the store before the prices went up.

Because, the prices were going up while you were in the store as the news came in!

Years ago my grandmother told me, exact words: "Honestly Ronnie, it took a wheelbarrow full of money to buy a loaf of bread!" She told me about that more than once, and the point she was making was that it could happen again.

(But I have to qualify that, she was not talking about Germany in the 1920s and 1930s. She was talking about times before that, in the 1700s and the 1800s, because my family on my father's side had left Germany in the 1820s and went to Russia for a while, and then homesteaded here in Kansas in the years between 1880 and 1917. She was telling me family stories that had been passed down from generation to generation. Inflation is nothing new.)

It was terrible in Germany in the late 1920s. And then there was a man who promised to change all this, and it looked like he could maybe do it. And then, the stage was set.

To many people believed Adolf Hitler's promises.

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