Archive for Sunday, August 27, 2017

Letter to the editor: Free individuals

August 27, 2017


To the editor:

America’s initial and basic cultural value is individualism, coming from the very reason the colonists came to America and why legal immigrants still come. The colonists came primarily for freedom of religion, from the yoke of dictatorial monarchs, and for economic opportunity. Individualism is the freedom of the individual to create your own future based on your own efforts and beliefs, without the constraints of a tyrannical government.

Therefore, the founders created a unique governmental system in America, with three equal branches of government, all dedicated to protecting the rights of the individual against totalitarianism. The founders granted most powers of government to the states, fearing a strong central government, thus providing individual citizens the most control. Individualism is further evidenced in the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment. This has created boundless individual opportunity, unfettered access to redress, and the greatest free society in the world.

Individualism, or self-reliance, is attacked today by a form of Totalitarian Socialism, creating dependency through victimhood, intolerance for dissenting views, politicized educational system and media.

Are we going to tolerate our culture being negatively changed by allowing our educational system to teach intolerance of free speech; political and media efforts to change or eliminate our constitution confirming our inalienable rights; media bias and irresponsible editorializing trying to change our values; governments’ biased regulating for political advantage; operatives and media efforts to silence opposing views through political correctness, combat in our streets and on campuses?

Your choice: Totalitarian Socialism or Free Individualism!


Louis Kannen 10 months ago

Totally 'on point'...time to wake up and get real! Waking up, "wondering what just happened" is not an option, the current Venezuelan Maduro Madness a prime example.

Brock Masters 10 months ago

Freedom scares some because it doesn't guarantee equal outcomes and does result in losers.

Stu Clark 10 months ago

Mr. Reynolds needs a refresher course in US history. The reasons for the revolution against English rule had little to do with individualism, rather it was precipitated by the oppressive and kleptocratic actions by a distant government. Unlike most revolutionary movements, its leaders thought deeply and knowledgeably about the form of the new US government. Individualism, per se, was not their priority, rather that the people, acting together and within the framework of the Constitution, should have control over their leaders. Legislation is by majority rule, but the judiciary works, in part, to protect minority interests. Mr. Reynolds seems to think that a government that provides services is socialistic and totalitarian, and that the only (and preferable) alternative is anarchy.

Brock Masters 10 months ago

Where did the LTE mention the revolution? Went back and reread it and didn't see anything about the revolution.

Ken Lassman 10 months ago

Um, the letter examined the reasons that the country was founded, i.e. why there was the break from Britain. Otherwise known as the American Revolution. Capiche?

Brock Masters 10 months ago

Ken, no need to be snarky. There is a difference between why the colonist came here and the revolution. The LTE speaks about why the colonist came here, not why they later revolted.

He later juxtaposes the reasons the colonist came here against the founding father's design for the new country.

Nothing about the revolution itself and he certainly didn't say the revolution had anything to do with individualism as stated by the poster saying he needs a refresher course in history.

Ken Lassman 10 months ago

Well, then using your low snarkiness threshold, you are guilty of the deed as well, Brock. I suggest you read the Declaration of Independence again if you don't feel that individualism, freedom from tyranny and totalitarian government wasn't front and center for declaring a complete break from Britain, otherwise known as the American Revolution. How else would you characterize its most famous sentence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness?"

Brock Masters 10 months ago

Ken, you're arguing with me about something unrelated to my post. Did I say that individualism wasn't a reason for the revolution? Nope, you're just making stuff up.

The poster criticized the LTE for not understanding the revolution. I simply said he did not mention the revolution. And now you attributing a whole bunch of nonsense to me.

In the words of my President, weak, very weak.

Ken Lassman 10 months ago

OK, so you, David and I all agree that individualism was a value for our founding fathers--good. But Stu's point was that the history of colonial governance, especially when they drew up the Constitution and our system of governance was not to enshrine individualism, rather it was designed to create a structure that would prevent the growth of totalitarianism and maintain a government that would remain responsive to the needs of the individuals, communities and states that it governs.

Stu's observation is that the actions of the colonies and the values of the founding fathers were a response to the autocratic, absentee, non-responsive and isolating actions of the Crown. It is off-the-mark to characterize their values and the subsequent actions (read: the American Revolution) as focusing primarily on David's characterizations, i.e. individualism vs. the yet-to-emerge socialist form of governing. The Declaration of Independence focused almost entirely on taxation without representation, absentee, non-responsive governance that cut off economic access to the rest of the world, and violence against the colonies to maintain this isolation, and the Constitution focused on setting up a governmental structure designed to create a system of checks and balance for our communities and states to thrive under.

Kendall Simmons 10 months ago

Apparently Mr. Reynolds doesn't realize that he, himself, is intolerant of dissenting views. Based on what he's written here, he certainly doesn't want the media expressing ANYTHING that he disagrees with...and is willing to give it ALL up in order to avoid the possibility of dissension.

Yet he thinks that's "free individualism:??? How bizarre. Of course it isn't...because, among other things, it requires that everyone agree about everything. And that will NEVER happen. Not with human beings at any rate.

Mr. Reynolds doesn't want to be disagreed with. OK. He can want that. It's his right. But that doesn't mean that it's his due. Or that the rest of us must cater to Mr. Reynold's bizarre view of "free individualism" or any other views he might have. He's entitled to his own opinion. He's just not entitled to everyone else's, too.

Bob Summers 10 months ago

America’s initial and basic cultural value is individualism

This initial assumption is misleading and incorrect. To group ALL humans in "America" as valuing "individualism" is a laugh at best.

Only certain types of humans value freedom. A great many on them,tens of millions of them today, want the freedom to be taken care of. They demand what other people create and produce. They demand other peoples money and will call you a "hater" if you do not give it to them. They will say and do anything to take other peoples money as obvious in letter above mine.

The best way for them to get what other people have is a government full of people like themselves redistributing the wealth.

This is why the bureaucracy of Republicans and Democrats hate Trump. He is getting in their way of redistributing wealth.

David Reynolds 10 months ago

Stu, my point in discussing the Constitution was to emphasis Individualism is codified within it, and with some specifics spelled out within the Bill of Rights, and the 9th Amendment reinforces individualism even more. The states refused to sign the constitution until the individual rights were defined, and individualism is most exemplified by the 9th Amendment paraphrasing: “The rights outlined in the other amendments are not all inclusive, and should not be construed to deny or disparage others not specifically mention here-in”. This action codified “individualism”.

Your comment shows you either do not understand my point or wish to ignore it. My point is that thru individuals, families, explorers, business ventures, chose an uncertain future at sea & once they arrived in the colonies to achieve their dreams. One of the key uncertainties was death. Which happened to many. There were no guarantees, no government help. In many cases one of the key problems to the survival of the early colonies was the lack of supply lines from Europe.

These people persevered thru their own initiatives, resistance to their beliefs & adversity at every turn; yet they raised their families, built their farms, communities & eventually cities, forms of government & their economy.

This was individualism/fortitude on display. It molded these people to cherish one single value..."Thru individual effort & belief in yourself and your goals, you can accomplish anything in-spite of the odds". This was not necessarily true in Europe.

Yes, the colonies were technically under the governance of the European monarchs, but their communications were 3 months in coming. Also, the appointed governors were chosen among the colonists.

Each colony had its own charter it ran by. Each state accepted religious liberty differently. The New England colonies, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland were conceived and established "as plantations of religion." William Penn even set up the governance of his area under his "Charter of Privileges".

To your comment regarding the revolution. Personally, I believe that the revolution was inevitable. These colonists, had carved out their farms, communities, cities, institutions & economies, thru their own efforts, sweat & sacrifice.

These colonists were not about to give it all away to a remote selfish monarch, who did not have their best interests at heart.

The colonists had become Individuals...and Subjects No More!

David Reynolds 10 months ago

Kendall, please read what I said versus what you think I said.

Regarding the media I said: ",,,, media bias and irresponsible editorializing trying to change our values". That is NOT responsible journalism, especially when their editorializing is so easy to verify as incorrect.

Regarding my other comment: "political and media efforts to change or eliminate our constitution confirming our inalienable rights;". Yes, I resist those comments in the context of honest debate. Not just that they are printed or voiced.

Kendall by "free individualism" I mean as I have explained in my letter & response to Stu. Yes, to govern it takes many. To pursue your dreams, it takes yourself. Thus, my objection to "Victimhood"!

You can disagree with me all you want in an honest debate. In that contex,t I have the right to present my side of the issue, while not denying your right to present your views.

Hopefully this clear my position up for you.

David Reynolds 10 months ago

Bob, at first I misunderstood your comment, then I realized their cynical nature.

Your comment: "Only certain types of humans value freedom. A great many on them, tens of millions of them today, want the freedom to be taken care of. They demand what other people create and produce. They demand other peoples money and will call you a "hater" if you do not give it to them. They will say and do anything to take other peoples money as obvious in letter above mine." clearly demonstrates what has happened to society over the last 50-60 years.

This has all come about thru the efforts of some to create & constantly reinforce Victimhood. President Lyndon Johnson (D-TX), started dependency/Victimhood with his Great Society programs, creating & institutionalizing dependency.

Once victims break the bonds of dependency/victimhood on their own, they are free to pursue their own ideas, dreams & beliefs.

You are correct. President Trump's policies of trying to break the bonds of dependency/victimhood is why members of both democrats & republicans are constantly trying to not just demean him, but destroy his presidency.

President Trump is messing in the "sweet deal sand box" of the establishment. They don't like it, because then their sweet deal ends.

Dependency/victimhood is a vicious & malicious infection thrust on some in society. President Trump and his supporters are trying to end it if possible.

To do so people just have to BELIEVE they can achieve something...the moment that happens they are victims no more.

Bob Summers 10 months ago

Truth is cynical? Maybe the delivery is perceived "cynical".

There are millions and millions of humans that parasite off others.

They will say and do anything to get what they want.

There are not enough producers to satisfy all the takers. If not for the fiat petrodollar, America would be a different place.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 months ago

"Individualism is the freedom of the individual to create your own future based on your own efforts and beliefs, without the constraints of a tyrannical government."

Unless you are a slave or a Native American or poor or disabled or a woman. I don't know when you were born, but when I divorced my violent husband in 1975, I didn't have any credit rating. Why? Because the man kept the credit rating. You know what the evil government did for me? They forced companies, that only hired white men and would continue to do so until required otherwise, to hire some kind of minority. They preferred hiring white women to hiring men of color. They soon found out that women can work hard and use a drill. What a shock! This is a job I would never have gotten, if the government hadn't stepped in. It allowed me to raise my daughter, buy a mobile home, a new car, and save enough money to move to Lawrence and finish my education.

Getting out just in the nick of time. The "hard working" grandson of the founder (who did work hard) decided to take over managing the company, so that he could use the advertising money to help pay for his "hard working" race car. Supposedly good advertising for restaurant equipment /sarcasm/. The quality went downhill even before I quit, and the factory in Ottawa was shut down.

Sorry, I don't have much time for rich people who have time for race cars, private jets, expensive resorts, $50,000 birthday parties, yachts, etc. I've been too busy working. And half of my work life making them money, so they can go out and have so much fun.

David Reynolds 10 months ago

Dorothy, no one should ever have to endure domestic violence. I respect the fact you were able to remove yourself from that situation.

Your story proves you can overcome obstacles and the clutches of being a victim of any situation.

I believe your continued hard work will pay dividends in the long term.

Dorothy, I wish you nothing but the best.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 months ago

And I couldn't have done it without the government mandating change.

P Allen Macfarlane 10 months ago

In the era of Trump, money equals freedom!

Steve Hicks 10 months ago

"Your choice: Totalitarian Socialism or Free Individualism!"

Posing a false choice results in false thinking (though it's more a chicken-and-egg question). This letter is a good example.

There are, for example, numerous societies that are (what the letter-writer would choose to call) "socialist," which are not totalitarian.

But what the letter-writer would call "socialism" is in fact built into any group that consists of more than two people: as "society" always does. People in society usually see the necessity and value of working with each other for their common good (which is why some U.S. states were constituted as "commonwealths"). And that necessarily requires they limit their individual "rights," to greater or lesser extent.

Or you can theoretically have a society where every person insists on his own unlimited individual "rights." There are historical instances of at least-temporary societal collapse. That's how we know that people in that situation act every man for himself; when "common good" ideals like the rule of law are withdrawn.

In such a "society" the most vicious and ruthless individuals enforce THEIR "rights" and their will, and everyone else does what they say. The writer seems to believe such a society is the ideal of "freedom." Most thinking people would consider it the worst kind of totalitarianism.

The writer mischaracterizes the Constitution. It's writers tried to balance communal and individual "rights." It does not give full rein to individual "rights," as the writer claims. Its writers were wise enough to recognize that the only workable society, and the only society strong enough to protect its members' "rights," is one in which individuals are united in acting together for their common good. The writer of this letter seems to believe that ideal is "socialism."

I think the writers of the Constitution had the right ideal. The letter-writer's assertion that individual "rights" are absolute, and paramount, instead posits that "society" and the ideal of "the common good" it involves are totally false criteria: moreover, evil.

I'm sure anarchism sounds to the letter-writer like something that could work, when he's pondering alone in his bedroom. Venturing into the real world (mentally or physically) will disabuse him of the idea that his individual "rights" are absolute: or paramount to anyone except himself.

Bob Smith 10 months ago

SH**, what we are seeing now in Venezuela is the end-stage of yet another socialist experiment that is falling into ruin.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 months ago

What you see is a stupid, violent dictator coming to an end.

Brock Masters 10 months ago

'Socialism is a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole."

We are not a socialist country so socialism will not be playing a role in the Harvey cleanup. It will be done by our governments, federal, state and local, private industry and volunteers. Very different than socialism.

Bob Forer 10 months ago

I was always puzzled by the hypocrisy of libertarians, e.g. Ayn Rand accepting government handouts.

Free individualism???


Steve Hicks 10 months ago

BS, you may want to think about relocating to Somalia. It has everything "libertarians" want.

Armen Kurdian 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Libertarians still believe in rule of law, not anarchy.

Steve Hicks 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Armen, I spent a few years once as a convinced philosophical anarchist. (The belief that "I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul" often appeals to callow adolescents.)

But anybody who thinks it through eventually realizes anarchism can't possibly work in the real world.

Anyone who thought it through knew American government couldn't possibly work by the anarchist principle that "government is the PROBLEM." But those who believed Reagan have been trying anyway, for 40 years: and so we have massive, continuing, proof it's an unworkable theory of government.

Or at least those who live in the real-world see it doesn't work. Many "conservatives," unwilling to abandon their bad theory, still insist (like Sam Brownback) that "it's working."

"Libertarianism" is a theoretical half-fig-leaf for "Reagan conservatives" who aren't honest enough to admit anarchism doesn't work, and can't work. They believe in "the rule of law" so far as it protects (what they convince themselves are) their inherent autonomous "rights." But law (government, society) that in any way hinders their "Free Individualism" is (as the letter-writer asserts) "Totalitarian Socialism."

I'd put it this way: "libertarians" are anarchists who lack the courage of their convictions.

David Reynolds 10 months ago

Steve, you glossed over paragraphs 3 & 4 of my LTE, as your comments are not related to my comments. My comments relate entirely to the behavior of the left that has been going on for decades, but more aggressive recently, and outline the difference between socialistic agenda vs governmental socialism.

First Victimhood: The left creates victims to promote its agenda to weaken America & move America into the Globalist sphere. The Socialist method to promote victimhood (childlike dependence) is to offer the victim all the benefits of a working society without the work. In essence, the left says, we don’t care what your problems are, we in the left will solve them for you.

After all a victim identity can be a unifying force, but victimhood is a position of powerlessness for the victim, equivalent to a childlike dependence. Victimhood of course is the polar-opposite of an independent achievement mentality, Individualism. Victims are easily manipulated & controlled. An individual with an independent achievement mentality, can’t be easily manipulated.

Thus, once there is a victim, the social justice issue is attached. Then, with a complicit media the victim mentality is promoted stirring emotions. Some recent examples are Ferguson, Charlottesville, & Berkeley.

Second Intolerance of Dissenting Views: Intolerance of dissenting views is manifest in the following violent acts.

A great current example of this is Charlottesville & Berkeley. Those protesting the removal of the statues, in Charlottesville, had a permit and were protesting lawfully. The fact they had guns and clubs would have been a non-issue if Antifa hadn't shown up illegally. Yes Antifa did "not have a permit", and Antifa shown up with clubs, etc seeking a fight, thus the conflict would not have occurred if Antifa had stayed away. Remember, it takes two to tango, and without Antifa no tango, no riot.

An article today in the Washington Post, outlines the violence imposed by Leftist Antifa groups at Berkeley, where 13 Antifa members were arrested.

As a side note, why are Antifa members wearing black masks and clothes to hide their faces? They must not want to be identified knowing they are breaking the law.

Third Politicized educational system and media: If you breath you know the bias in the media!

An egregious example of educational bias, occurred at Rocklin Academy in California, where the kindergarten teacher led an in-class discussion on transgenderism that included a “gender reveal” for a little boy who was transitioning to a little girl, resulting in a girl being sent to the principal’s office after she accidentally “mis-gendered” a classmate in what’s being called a “pronoun mishap”. The girl was “questioned” in the principal’s office & sent home in tears. Really? A first grader is expected to understand such a complex subject?

Also anti-free speech efforts such as safe spaces, Berkeley campus riots to shut down speakers & today’s riot at Berkeley.

David Reynolds 10 months ago

Dorothy, after your story yesterday & my comments to it, I expected more maturity from you than the picture post above.

Just for your clarity, there is a difference between a community of independent achievement oriented compassionate individuals coming together to help their neighbors, and a Socialistic Government.

Dorothy you should be ashamed and apologize for a cheap shot at concerned citizens risking their lives, and spending their personal time & resources to save their neighbors & help their communities.

Of course your cheap shot came from a dry home & free of things that go "bump in the night"

David Reynolds 10 months ago

Steve a further comment regarding the Rocklin Academy transgender issue.

How can a 6 or 7 year old possibly comprehend the subject of transgenderism?

How can a parent possibly put a 6 or 7 year old thru surgical & chemical procedures thus committing the child to a lifetime decision, without allowing the child to mature at least to an age where they are capable of comprehending transgenderism & themselves, and able to make such profound decision for themselves?

To me this is "Totalitarian Socialism" imposed on a child incapable understanding what's being done to them, or offering intelligent responses/questions, or even saying "NO"!

Steve Hicks 10 months ago

Dave, nobody has made more political hay of being a victim than "conservatives." And that's pretty much the tenor of your letter, isn't it ?: "THEY are out to get us."

That was, in fact, an exact quote from Richard Nixon on the Watergate tapes, referring to the "radiclib" (you may have to look up that Nixonian neologism) Democrats and media. Pretty much the same enemies-list for the brave "conservatives" of our time who are defending our "rights" against the crushing forces of "socialism," isn't it ?

It's hard to credit the self-congratulatory "conservative" self-image as victim. They play it so well that they currently control the presidency, the Congress, and the Supreme Court. They also held the power of all three branches of federal government for 6 years during the Bush2 administration. The 40 years before that, they always held the power of one, and more often two, branches of government. Poor downtrodden victims !

Violence is wrong, in and of itself: and inexcusable, whoever does it. But if you want to make "antifa" the poster-boy for political violence, keep in mind America's "right" is always 'way ahead in kill-ratio: Oklahoma City, Atlanta, the Wisconsin Sikh temple, Charleston. When "leftists" have killed a couple hundred more people whom they don't like, I'll take your "Intolerance of Dissenting Views" argument against "leftists" seriously.

Bias in media ? There certainly is. Bias for or against truth. Honest journalists try to report what actually happens, and what people actually say. What THEY report can be fact-checked against least by those who live in, and accept, reality. "Conservative" media either "spins" facts to "conservative" tastes (Fox News, for example: which was very intentionally created for that purpose), or invents "alternative facts" ("Infowars" and "WND," for example).

It's always interesting that "conservatives" find "liberal bias" in (for example) the honest media reporting that there's heavy rain and flooding in Texas: but see no bias at all if (for example) Fox "News" reports that Congress' minority Democrats are trying to use Texas flood-relief funding to stop Trump's border-wall: or if "Infowars" says the weather in Texas is sunny and cloudless.

"Conservatives" perception of "bias" always seems to be that those who report truthfully what "conservatives" do and say (Nixon and Trump, for example) show what "conservatives" actually are (liars and crooks, in this example)...and doesn't square with the self-deluded and self-congratulatory "alternative reality" that "conservatives" want to project, that they alone are defending America against the overwhelming tide of evil "socialism."

Maybe America doesn't need that NEARLY as much as being defended against crooks and liars ?

Steve Hicks 10 months ago

Dave, I'll also mention on "political correctness"...

You obviously want to believe P.C. is a "leftist" tactic...something evil those "other people" do. It's not.

Get honest, Dave. Nobody is more a slave to political correctness that "conservatives."

Your letter and your comments hit all the notes of "conservative" P.C.: THEY are out to get us, THEY are taking away our "rights," THEY lie, THEY are violent, THEY control the media against us, etc. etc.

Self-examine, Dave. Be honest. Don't be a tool of "political correctness."

Wake up.

Brock Masters 10 months ago

Political correctness is avoiding the expression of speech or views that might offend others, especially those who are discriminated against.

What you list may be considered talking points but is not political correctness.

Steve Hicks 10 months ago

"Political correctness" is expressing the "correct" group-think political views...and those are the correct ones ("talking points" or otherwise) you have to subscribe to, if you want to identify with "conservatives."

Steve Hicks 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Dave, you might also check your perception of the Constitution as a charter of unlimited individual (and/or states') "rights" against what George Washington, presiding officer of the Constitutional Convention, said it was, "by the unanimous order of the Convention," when he sent the completed document to the President of the Continental Congress in 1787:

"It is obviously impracticable in the Federal Government of these States to secure all rights of independent sovereignty to each, and yet provide for the interest and safety of all. Individuals entering into society must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest. The magnitude of the sacrifice must depend as well on situation and circumstance, as on the object to be obtained. It is at all times difficult to draw with precision the line between those rights which must be surrendered, and those which may be preserved; and, on the present occasion, this difficulty was increased by a difference among the several States as to their situation, extent, habits, and particular interests.

"In all our deliberations on this subject, we kept steadily in our view that which appears to us the greatest interest of every true American, the consolidation of our Union, in which is involved our prosperity, felicity, safety--perhaps our national existence. This important consideration, seriously and deeply impressed on our minds, led each State in the Convention to be less rigid on points of inferior magnitude than might have been otherwise expected; and thus, the Constitution which we now present is the result of a spirit of amity, and of that mutual deference and concession, which the peculiarity of our political situation rendered indispensable.

"That it will meet the full and entire approbation of every State is not, perhaps, to be expected; but each will, doubtless, consider, that had her interest alone been consulted, the consequences might have been particularly disagreeable or injurious to others; that it is liable to as few exceptions as could reasonably have been expected, we hope and believe; that it may promote the lasting welfare of that Country so dear to us all, and secure her freedom and happiness, is our most ardent wish.”

If you hear a shrill insistence in the Constitution that individuals' (or states') "rights" are absolute and paramount, you're hearing something other than its writers intended, according to their own words. You're hearing what they specifically disavowed. And no doubt that same "spirit of amity, deference and concession" was still "steadily in [their] view" when they added the Bill of Rights to the Constitution a few years later.

No doubt I'm showing my "liberal bias," but here's a trustworthy site where you can verify for yourself that George Washington actually wrote those words:

David Reynolds 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Steve, Interesting response, rather victimish I think. As I said earlier, it takes two to tango.

I would like to respond to your thoughts regarding Political Correctness.

Mao’s 1967 book: “Mao Zedong on People’s War” (better known as Mao’s “Little Rd Book”) was the ultimate authority on political correctness in the ‘60’s, and was carried by millions of Chinese during the “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution”. Mao’s Cultural Revolution was violent and impacted politics & society for decades after his death.

Chairman Mao helps us understand that Political Correctness is not some phrase thrown about by competing points of view. Some people even see it as a joke. Not so, it’s absolutely serious! Political Correctness is in-fact an ideology. This ideology can be traced back in time to the 1920’s, and find its origins in the so-called Franklin School of social theory & philosophy of cultural Marxism/Communism/Fascism. This ideology infected some governments, most specifically, Italy, Russia, & China, causing much harm in their time. America has escaped ever having a governmental ideology up to this point. The left and the media are certainly espousing America adopt the “Political Correctness” ideology today.

Make no mistake, “Political Correctness” is an ideology, the Left wishes to impose on America to forever change its cultural values, and transform America into a Globalist nation.

Political Correctness, as applied today, attempts to control “language”. When you control language, you control knowledge, thought, words, learning and creativity. Freedom of speech, total freedom of speech, is vital to a “free society”. There is no beneficial logical argument for placing any limits upon speech. The Left argues that so-called ‘hate-speech’ should be criminalized. The problem with this is ‘hate-speech’ cannot be defined in a way that is universally acceptable. The additional problem is, who gets to define what constitutes ‘hate-speech’? The constitution guarantees ones right to speak, it does not guarantee another person against being offended, especially when political correctness is used as a political tool. Political Correctness is justified, by the left, visa vie “etiquette” & thus used to marginalize people by defining opposing views as bigoted and illegitimate.” Political Correctness, thus stupefies society, and numbs them to the Left’s manipulation, forcing conformity to the Lefts narratives.

Steve, you say that conservatives use political correctness. That is a shallow view point. It would be more correct to say those, of all political, and demographic categories that hold dear to America’s cultural values & national independence, oppose the Lefts use of “Political Correctness” to undermine America’s Free Individualism values, and America’s position as a powerful, free independent nation.

Paul Youk 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Its the Frankfurt School, something you clearly know nothing about other than regurgitating someone else's lying propaganda. Idiot.

I'd further clarify my thoughts, but the PC standards of this dying newspaper would only delete my comment (50/50 they do anyway).

Bob Smith 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Personal insults come out when posters know they have no rational response.

David Reynolds 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Steve, regarding your latest comments regarding the constitution and the thought that our rights are not unlimited. To that point I would agree, but with limits to my agreement.

What Free Individualism is about is not that we are limited by laws that are practical, like not driving on sidewalks, rioting, crying fire in a theatre, assaulting your neighbor, stealing, violating the ten commandments that are basically codified in our laws.

Where Free Individualism disagrees with you is the Lefts assault on our specific rights granted in the Constitution's Bill of Rights, and others fought for and achieved thru the 9th amendment and the due course of everyday law.

David Reynolds 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Sorry Paul, for the misspelling. It's interesting your militant attitude, trying to demean the message. It's also interesting you weren't able to discuss/debate the facts of the blog.

Thus your typical leftist trick of trying to destroy the facts by obfuscating with let's say, colorful commentary tells us all you have nothing constructive to say.

Steve Hicks 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Yeah,yeah, David, right. Mao's Little Red Book. Franklin School. Sophistry, David. BS. (That doesn't stand for "Bob Summers." or "Bob Smith," as much as it applies to both).

The first "founding document" of American history you would probably find, if you paid any real attention to American history and tradition, would be the Mayflower Compact. A communitarian document. Constitution, likewise. All sane theories of society and government are.

Basic sociology, David: there are self-directed and other-directed people. If you're all about yourself and your "rights"'re not living in reality.

I'll say again: wake up, Dave.

Ken Lassman 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Let's look at the first sentence of the US Constitution:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Notice that it does not say "As Individuals of the United States..." rather sets the stage for the collective protections that the constitution will afford citizens As A Whole. There is an acknowledgement of the blessings of individual freedom stated up front, but also a clear statement of the need for collective defense and general Welfare. The system of checks and balances was created as a way to prevent governmental heavyhandedness such as was experienced by the colonists under the Crown, but it was done at the community and state level, not the individual level. The idea I believe, was based on the idea that individual freedoms were best guaranteed by creating a collective umbrella of a kind of social contract under which individual freedoms could play themselves out.

David, you make it sound like there has been some kind of long running leftist plot against individual freedoms and yet the main thrust of "equality and justice" movements that I've seen is to push for equal access to the economic spheres that are too often out of reach for many. It is lame to talk about protecting individual freedom if you don't have access to good jobs, good education and good legal protections or a clean environment. It is not a "victim mentality" to want good opportunities of these kind for you and your family, and it is not "income redistribution" to want access to the same kinds of subsidies that many corporations and economically privileged folks have had, is it?

And what do you think about the right wing desire to intervene in our bedrooms, our healthcare systems, and the desire to check everyone's papers to make sure they pass muster? Seems every bit as threatening to individualism as anyone else.

David Reynolds 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Ken, the "Equality & Justice" movements are great examples of "Victimhood".

You need to reread my posts & brush up on your history.

Ken Lassman 9 months, 3 weeks ago

So did you go to good public or private school that prepared you for college? Did you get in and have the financial resources to get a degree that paved the way for a good job with health insurance, a retirement plan and good credit? Were you able to parlay that into buying a house and raising a family with the same or better access to these benefits than you had? And a legal system/law enforcement resources that protected you instead of harassed you? Because this pathway, while it takes hard work and effort to obtain, was probably way more accessible to you than someone of equal capability and potential whose skin color is different from you, comes from a third world country that speaks a different language, and even has come from a different socioeconomic history from your family.

This is what the Equality and Justice movements are concerned with, David, not your so-called victimhood focus. It's all about equality of access and unbiased system of justice, and if you don't see how you've benefited from that system, then it's time that you brush up on your history.

David Reynolds 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Ken, you make a great many assumptions about me & the opportunities I may or may not have had. I will give you a little bit about my background. The point to understand as you read this is that regardless of the many obstacles in my life, thru personal perseverance, I and my wife overcame them. Thus, demonstrating that no matter what, by having a goal in life, it doesn't matter how many times one gets knocked down. What matters is how many times you get up and continue to persevere.

Contrary to your biased opinion Ken, it doesn't take "privilege" to succeed in life, it takes resilience, personal goals, and stick-to-itiveness!

That is the lesson life has taught me, and so many others who have overcome their share of adversities to achieve their personal goals.

My story started 6 weeks before I was born when my father, who was a police officer, was shot twice, and killed. The first 7 years of my life I lived primarily with my grandmother & step-grandfather. My grandmother suffered from severe depression after losing 2 children and her husband who died resulting from their home burning down. My older brother and sister lived in an orphanage off and on for 2 years. In those days, there were no social programs for financial help. Everyone helped each other person to person, and took initiative to better their own lot in life.

When I was ten my mother said, she couldn't afford to buy my clothes or pay my tuition for school so I went to work delivering 2 different newspapers, getting up at 4:00AM, & worked at a soda fountain. I worked thru grade school & high school.

I married my wife right out of high school, worked in various jobs for 6 years, some of that time unemployed. I will say I never once filed for nor took unemployment compensation. I used my unemployment as motivation to get a job and provide for my family. After being married for 6 years I attended KU with a wife & 2 children. I graduated 6 years later with a degree in engineering. During that time, I worked 40 hours a week during the school year & 80 hours a week during summers when I wasn't going to summer school. Yes, I had student loans, but they came from a private bank, not the government. There was no one to help me.

My wife & I busted our buttons to make a life and I always went the extra step at work where they eventually sent me to school where I earned and Executive MBA. During that time, I became registered as a professional engineer in 4 states.

My wife & I risked everything opening our own company. While we owned that company, we worked 24/7/365. Yes, we provide everything for ourselves.

The problem with the Progressive’s “Equality/Justice” agenda today is it never promotes self-sufficiency, just victimhood/dependence. Why do Asian’s perform so well in school, and get great jobs as a minority, yet American women & other minorities are always complaining about being repressed?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 9 months, 2 weeks ago

It is wonderful that you were able to overcome the tragedies that hit your life, and I hope your siblings were able to do the same. You should be proud. But you really didn't do this alone. You had someone who would give you a job when you were a teenager. You had teachers who taught you, and probably mentored you. You had your wife helping you. You had a bank who would give you a student loan, and yes, that loan was probably guaranteed by the government, and your savings and checking accounts at that bank were protected by the government. Why you didn't collect unemployment while you looked for a job is beyond me. Your employers pay into that. It doesn't last long and can keep a family from starving.

Most people I have ever known personally who have had to collect welfare or unemployment have not been on it for long, and by law you can't be on it for long. I'm happy that your life has worked out for you and there were jobs when you needed them. You sound like you are a hard worker. You also sound like you are closer to my age, and maybe don't realize how much our economy has changed.

I'm 65. When I found myself married to a violent man and needed to escape, there were no battered women's shelters. But there were jobs that paid a living wage. There was cheaper rent, cars, and gas. There were companies what paid for all of their employees health insurance, including their family plans, because they wanted to keep good, well trained employees. That isn't reality anymore. I would hate to be a woman faced with what I went through in today's economy. She would have to get assistance. Why? Because even with a glut of apartments, rent doesn't go down. Because even a good used car costs 3 times as much as what I paid for my first brand new car in 1980. And yet, a young woman nowadays would be lucky to earn even double what I earned in 1980., and her expenses would be triple. Life has changed. And I'm sorry you hate helping someone get a leg up, but many of us believe that helping others is more important and more moral.

But even though I managed to support my daughter and me on my own, doesn't mean I didn't have help. I stayed in my hometown to be near my family, who helped a lot. I didn't ever have to take welfare, but I slept better at night, knowing it was there if I became sick or we were hit with a depression and the jobs weren't there.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Perhaps, instead of blaming those who are poor, you should start blaming those who are trying to keep them poor out of greed. We have large corporations that own most of the rentals that are too expensive. We have large corporations that make billions of dollars, but only pay minimum wage to workers who are desperate enough for a job to take it. Then those companies give lots of money (which could be used to pay their workers) to politicians, so they won't raise the minimum wage and fight unions. Their workers should not be paid so little they qualify for assistance. It's ridiculous. Some are working two jobs, but in this day and age, they are working their two jobs just to survive, not to better their lives. Have a little empathy.

Steve Hicks 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Dave, thanks for the information on where you're coming from. We're evidently contemporaries, and share some of the same formative life-experiences. I consequently have a bit more sympathy with you personally.

But even less for your "Free Individualism." It's a callow philosophy, and more reprehensible in a person who's had some experience of life, than in a day-dreaming adolescent.

Mark Twain observed that a cat who sat on a hot stove would never sit on a hot stove again. And never sit on a cold stove either. There's such a thing as getting the wrong lesson out of our experiences.

If the lesson you got from your experience of life is "I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul," you got the wrong lesson. If you truly believe "we provide everything for ourselves," you're missing reality.

Maybe your personal motto is "I Did It My Way;" and you consider everybody else should say the same. But the real world doesn't work that way. I'd recommend you consider the traditional American motto "E Pluribus Unum," which can be glossed "We're All In This Together."

I'd recommend even more those things Jesus surely know them...about caring for each other.

You might want to re-think that "Free Individualism" stuff, Dave.

David Reynolds 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Steve, “callow philosophy”? I do not believe Individual freedom without dictatorial oversight is an “immature” idea. The individual has always sought freedom from dictatorial oversight by overlords, monarchs, various totalitarian governments & now political ideologies. Please see the Magna Carta, William Penn’s Charter of Privileges, the USA Bill of Rights.

In my post, I should have made one further point: I was never told: I couldn’t do something; I was unworthy, I was a victim of my ancestors being persecuted for their religion or we were dirt poor thus I couldn’t achieve in life. On the contrary: “My mother said: “The Lord Helps Those That Help Themselves”. No victimhood, that was just the situation.

This is contrary to victimhood advocated today using the past versus today via the “Ad Misericordiam fallacy” argument where victimhood & dependence is promoted and, in fact justified.

There was an interesting article in the New York Times, in 2014, titled: What Drives Success? The authors basic argument is “It turns out that for all their diversity, the strikingly successful groups in America today share three traits that, together, propel success. The first is a superiority complex — a deep-seated belief in their exceptionality. The second appears to be the opposite — insecurity, a feeling that you or what you’ve done is not good enough. The third is impulse control.” By impulse control the authors mean, what are you willing to give up today to have a better tomorrow?

After one of their examples they say: “The point of this example is not, “See, it’s easy to climb out of poverty in America.” On the contrary, Justice Sotomayor’s story illustrates just how extraordinary a person has to be to overcome the odds stacked against her…But research shows that perseverance and motivation can be taught, especially to young children. This supports those who, like the Nobel Prize-winning economist James J. Heckman, argue that education dollars for the underprivileged are best spent on early childhood intervention, beginning at preschool age, when kids are most formable.”

They also say: “The United States itself was born a Triple Package nation, with an outsize belief in its own exceptionality, a goading desire to prove itself to aristocratic Europe (Thomas Jefferson sent a giant moose carcass to Paris to prove that America’s animals were bigger than Europe’s) and a Puritan inheritance of impulse control.”

The article also says many minority groups are more successful than whites, due to their striving for success.

Thus, the article is saying if we promote success from early in life we can have “individuals” grow up believing they can succeed. If, we would promote success more than victimhood/dependence we would see broad success of everyone in society.

If those promoting victimhood quit telling people they are victims, and instead promote a positive “can do” attitude, we help individuals/people be Free to succeed.

Steve Hicks 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Sorry, Dave. "Free Individualism" isn't reality...especially not political reality, which necessarily involves more than a single "Free Individual." Side-track studies and anecdotes don't really obscure that problem.

That's the problem the founding fathers tried to deal with realistically in writing the Constitution. It's disingenuous...indeed, perverse cite the Constitution in support of your view that "Free Individualism" is NOT a problem...and is, in fact, itself the complete answer.

Wake up, Dave. Be honest: most of all, with yourself.

Ken Lassman 9 months, 2 weeks ago

David, I did not see your reply until this morning and I want to emphasize my phrase:

"...while it takes hard work and effort to obtain, [going to good schools, getting a degree, a job and a good home, etc.] was probably way more accessible to you than someone of equal capability and potential whose skin color is different from you, comes from a third world country that speaks a different language, and even has come from a different socioeconomic history from your family."

In no way did I make an assumption that your path was an easy one, and I honor the difficulties your overcame to achieve what you have in your life. It may not feel like you were privileged because of the nature and number of obstacles that you had to overcome to achieve what you have, but as hard as it was, you had access to those goals in ways that others with the same set of circumstances simply did not have access to, period.

Yes, folks helped each other out back in the day way more than we do now, but that didn't make some things happen no matter how much others helped. My mom got a degree in business in the 40s and was told unceremoniously that she could be nothing but clerical support despite of her skills just because she was a woman. Blacks were not able to get higher education in many colleges where opportunities were rewarded with good jobs, and many job settings were equally segregated. And the list goes on and on.

Take another one of the "equality and justice" organizations that you say are victim-based. In the 1970s, folks who were taxpaying citizens who happened to also have disabilities so they required wheelchairs were just stuck without access to public buses, access to public buildings, schools, etc. For years and years a group in Denver would request accessible public transportation that their tax dollars were paying for, along with curb cuts and ramps so that public facilities that they helped pay for would be accessible. They were roundly ignored until finally, out of exasperation, a small group started blocking roads with their wheelchairs and bodies. Long story short: they got the public attention that was needed to make their case for universal design, which is based on the principle not of privileged access so much as universal access: everyone can use an accessible entrance, bus, curb cut, etc. And the movement grew to a national level, resulting in the passage of the American with Disabilities Act, helped along considerably by Kansas' own Bob Dole.

Am I saying that victim mentality is not a problem? No. But in example after example throughout history, even today, the driving force behind the vast majority of "equality and justice" movements is to level the playing field, or even to be able to get onto the playing field, not to slant it the other way. It is solidly in the same tradition that the United States was founded on.

David Reynolds 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Steve & Ken, sorry for no response, I have been out of town recently

I believe you both suffer from the idea that individuals only succeed thru liberal big government victimhood. It takes individual initiative to achieve, despite the odds. Look at all the successful minorities in the USA.

Free individuals are those who take initiative and, despite obstacles, achieve personal success. The liberals thru there over reaching activities stifle individual initiative. The following people explain what I am saying.

Terry McCann, in a Durham News Observer LTE titled: “Liberal dogma perpetuates black victimhood”, 9/3/2015, in part says: “The liberal narratives…portrays blacks and minorities as victims that need to be rescued and government as the institution that will bring forth equality for all.”

"Liberal policies put individuals with fingers pointing outward instead of inward. Many in the black and minority community need to look at the man in the mirror and see that the enemy is staring back at them. …If black people in today’s America are victims, the bad guys are no longer just members of the KKK and their riffraff but rather also are liberals that exaggerate inequality and unfairness in American life in order to justify overreaching public policies or programs. Liberalism undermines the spirit of self-help and individual responsibility.” Terry is a Durham mathematics school teacher.

Matthew Delmont in an article titled: What Black Americans Lost by Siding with Democrats, in the Atlantic 3/31/2016, says basically starting with providing the majority of their voting support to Democrats since President Kennedy, they have gained little. But most of all they lost leverage with the Democrats who basically ignore them until election time, making promises deliver little to nothing.

In part, he says: “While the passage of the Civil Rights Act helped Johnson earn…94 percent of black voters in 1964, there is a gulf between what black Americans hoped the legislation would achieve and what Democratic politicians actually delivered. Although… helped end apartheid conditions in the South, …the legislation did little to address the structures of racism that shaped black lives in cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. This was an intentional consequence of how the bill’s sponsors, largely liberals from the North, Midwest, and West, crafted the legislation.”

After the initial impact of The Great Society programs of the 1960’s the poverty rate in America has bobbled along, but net out basically unchanged.

It’s Free Individualism, self-initiative, that makes a person successful, not liberal victimization & big government.

Steve Hicks 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Dave, skip the cherry-picked anecdotes, and opinions of whoever.-commentator or -editorialist. The question is Americans' political self-image. Isn't that your point with your claims about "Free Individuals," and "victims" ?

So what is Americans' true political self-image, Dave: are "We the People" the government of the U.S., taking corporate responsibility for our mutual welfare ? The Reagan-right gives lip-service to that traditional American model (when it suits their purpose of opposing "Big Government"): but they (you) actually believe the contrary doctrine of their Dear Leader, that "the government" is a malevolent external entity, and "...the PROBLEM !"

See the self-pitying victimhood of that mindset, Dave ? Big, bad (not to mention "illegitimate" and "over-reaching") government is keeping us down ? Denying us our "rights" ? ignoring our needs and wishes ? Sending our jobs overseas ? The list goes on and on.

Kinda makes you want to tell them, "Stop sniveling," and "Take some SELF-initiative !!," doesn't it ?

Poor victim "conservatives" ! Hopelessly oppressed by evil "Big Government" and its "liberal elites"...politically marginalized, with nothing but control of the presidency, the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Supreme Court.

I shed a tear, Dave.

David Reynolds 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Steve I believe you are so self-absorbed & myopic in your views, you do not see the reality of the world around you. There are millions of more stories like I quoted if you would look. The two I quoted were to show all the government intervention in the world doesn’t matter if the individual doesn’t act to improve their own situation; and to say that big government solutions don’t necessarily solve problems, they can perpetuate them.

Terry McCann, is a black man who, thru his efforts, became a school teacher in the south. He evidently knows first-hand the negative effects of the victimhood promoted by liberals. Terry is saying, if you want to improve your lot in life look inward, not outward for help.

Matthew Delmont is asking, what have minorities gained by aligning themselves with just one political party. It's gotten them Detroit, Chicago, LA, etc, with poverty, no opportunities, crime, and death on their doorsteps. He is asking what has changed for the better for minorities?

There is an interesting article titled: "HOW THE WELFARE STATE HAS DEVASTATED AFRICAN AMERICANS". It still rings true today. Please see:

The following is an excerpt from that article saying what "Big Government" has gotten some minorities: "The rise of the welfare state in the 1960s contributed greatly to the demise of the black family as a stable institution. The out-of-wedlock birth rate among African Americans today is 73%, three times higher than it was prior to the War on Poverty. Children raised in fatherless homes are far more likely to grow up poor and to eventually engage in criminal behavior, than their peers who are raised in two-parent homes. In 2010, blacks (approximately 13% of the U.S. population) accounted for 48.7% of all arrests for homicide, 31.8% of arrests for forcible rape, 33.5% of arrests for aggravated assault, and 55% of arrests for robbery. Also as of 2010, the black poverty rate was 27.4% (about 3 times higher than the white rate), meaning that 11.5 million blacks in the U.S. were living in poverty."

I would also add the current efforts by the establishment, on both sides of the political spectrum, to grant amnesty to immigrants, is also hurting minorities, by taking jobs minorities could have.

So please explain again how “Big Government & Liberal Victimhood” are improving the lives of minorities?

Steve, your childish references, to cherry picking stories, wake up, self-pity, etc. trivialize a very big problem. They also display, for all to see, your lack of sincerity, and ignorance to the realities of minorities, and how “Big Government” is not helping!

David Reynolds 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Steve, I would also like to add further comments regarding how the Big Government social programs from the Great Society, are not helping any demographic, but in fact, are worsening their plight.

Quoting from the above article:

"The most devastating by-product of the mushrooming welfare state was the corrosive effect it had (along with powerful cultural phenomena such as the feminist and Black Power movements) on American family life, particularly in the black community. As provisions in welfare laws offered ever-increasing economic incentives for shunning marriage and avoiding the formation of two-parent families, illegitimacy rates rose dramatically.

For the next few decades, means-tested welfare programs such as food stamps, public housing, Medicaid, day care, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families penalized marriage. A mother generally received far more money from welfare if she was single rather than married. Once she took a husband, her benefits were instantly reduced by roughly 10 to 20 percent. As a Cato Institute study noted, welfare programs for the poor incentivize the very behaviors that are most likely to perpetuate poverty."

"The marriage penalties that are embedded in welfare programs can be particularly severe if a woman on public assistance weds a man who is employed in a low-paying job. As a report puts it: “When a couple's income nears the limits prescribed by Medicaid, a few extra dollars in income cause thousands of dollars in benefits to be lost. What all of this means is that the two most important routes out of poverty—marriage and work—are heavily taxed under the current U.S. system.”

The aforementioned report adds that “such a system encourages surreptitious cohabitation,” where “many low-income parents will cohabit without reporting it to the government so that their benefits won't be cut.” These couples “avoid marriage because marriage would result in a substantial loss of income for the family.”

A 2011 study conducted jointly by the Institute for American Values’ Center for Marriage and Families and the University of Virginia's National Marriage Project suggests that “the rise of cohabiting households with children is the largest unrecognized threat to the quality and stability of children’s family lives.” The researchers conclude that cohabiting relationships are highly prone to instability, and that children in such homes are consequently less likely to thrive, more likely to be abused, and more prone to suffering “serious emotional problems.”

Thus, it is imperative, if a person is to be "free" from "Totalitarian Socialism facilitated by Big Government", they must take “individual initiative”.

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