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Critical Thinking


Mr. Pitts wrote another fascinating column published in the LJW this AM. His conclusion in the story header was “Tea Party Anger has racial Tone”. That is a pretty serious charge. How did he get there?

How about we walk down this one. Mr. Pitts started with a study from a University of Washington Think Tank. The study defined racist attitudes by asking a number of questions. Mr. Pitts elected to define a positive answer to one of those questions as indicating the respondent is a racist.

First of all a check on the University of Washington. The University is active in political polling and I could fine no comments critical of their efforts. In fact a number of comments were positive. There were some comments questioning the political leanings of the faculty but I could fine nothing to clarify that comment. They appear to know how to conduct a poll properly.

So we can assume the study was professionally done with no political bias. Now let us ask our own question. Who decided that agreeing with the statement that “if blacks would only try harder; they would be just as well off as whites” indicates you are racist? I suspect we could have a lengthy dialogue about that determination. I even suspect that many if not all of the group answering that question in the affirmative do not consider themselves racist.

But, let us accept that an affirmative answer defines you as raciest. The real meat in the study would be that 56% of all whites answered it in the AFFIRMATIVE. Worse, we have data that suggests that people not infrequently provide answers to such questions that are not accurate. I am sure some respondents saw where the study was going and said "Oh, no”. That means the number of whites who are racist as determined by this study could be even higher. Essentially, the study data suggests that a majority of all whites are racist. Since whites are a significant majority in this country that does not bode well for the future of efforts to address racism. Bet we could have a really good dialogue on this topic.

The next step in Mr. Pitt’s reasoning was to indicate that upwards of 73% of the “Tea Parties” most rabid followers supported the above notion. Interesting. What portion of the “Tea Parties” members are considered the “most rapid”? Just who was defined as a “Tea Party” member? Last I looked there was not registration for membership in what appears to be a very heterogeneous group. Are the “most rapid” a significant majority or even a significant plurality of the “movement”? Could a significant majority identify with the 56% “of all whites” – essentially making them no different from most of the electorate. I bet we could have a real dialogue on this topic also.

So, in summary. If you believe that the question posed does in fact indicate that a positive response makes you racist and if you believe that the “most rapid” tea party members are a significant portion of the movement and in fact reflect the attitude of most others who identify as “tea party” members (and are in fact tea party members), than the article is predictive. Otherwise – I am sure we could have a good dialogue on that, too.


devobrun 7 years, 12 months ago

Maybe the tea-partiers are just more honest about their feelings and thoughts. Maybe they are less afraid to be honest with themselves and others. Maybe the reason that they are tea-partiers isn't their level of anger, but their level of openness.

Maybe none of this means anything like what Mr. Pitts, Mr. Lippencott, or I think it means.

There could be non-linearity and randomness associated with the question and the questions cannot be rationally sorted out. In other words, maybe polls are like most other statistical inferences: a guess. And wrong in a way that can be manipulated to serve your own intuition.

I used to lie to pollsters. Now I just tell them to get lost, I don't do polls for anyone under any circumstances and say goodbye. I think of a response from me as a kind of vote. But that vote isn't for anything clear or well defined. So I don't participate.

I don't believe polls. None of you probably should either. Just ask the new Coke/Coke classic marketers what a poll can do for you.

funkdog1 7 years, 12 months ago


Sometimes I don't know why I bother, but I just have this feeling that I can't and shouldn't keep my mouth shut on this matter.

First off, the poll is neither here nor there. I think Pitts was just using it as a vehicle to write his column. That doesn't make his conclusions wrong.

Tea partiers were defined in this poll by people who self-identified as tea partiers. And tea party activists were defined by those who had either donated money to a tea party or who had attended a tea party.

Speaking as a white person, I can't for the life of me understand why so many white people have such a hard time admitting their prejudices, even to themselves.

Of course a large portion of the tea partiers are racist. There's just no question about it. Know how I know? Because I'm related to one. I receive all their racist emails and communications. That's the "advantage" of being white. Even when you don't want to be, you occasionally are made privy to the bigot parties.

Do the tea partiers have concerns that don't have to do with race? Sure. But the bottom line is that they are largely motivated to get off their butts and go out and protest because there are brown people living in the White House. Know how I know that? They didn't bother to protest Bush's spending. They didn't bother to carry guns to rallies when the Clintons tried to overhaul health care. They're dusting off the old Stars and Bars and flashing it proudly at their protests, when the old South has nothing to do with what's going on now.

Are all white people racist? Yes, most of us are, at least to a small degree. Again, know how I know? Because I'm privy to white conversations and white thinking. I was told again and again while working in retail, in different cities and different stores by different white bosses: "Keep an eye on the black people we don't know. They shoplift."

This kind of thinking is A) clearly racist and B) pervasive throughout white society, as much as we try to deny it to ourselves and everyone else. After you work in retail a short while you learn to spot shoplifter behavior and it has NOTHING to do with skin color. There was never any real evidence that black people shoplifted more than white people. But it's an accepted "fact" amongst white people without any question.

Just like "Black people would do better in America if they'd work harder" is an accepted "fact" by many white people. In my experience, the reason that most white people think this way is that they don't have close contact with black people and they have almost no real understanding of African American culture. (It's the exact same thing with gays. Once a gay-leery hetero becomes close friends with ONE gay person, their perception of gays changes dramatically.) And if you're going to deny that there's white culture and black culture and gay culture, then again, you're fooling yourself. We can all live together, but there needs to be more REAL understanding between us.

whats_going_on 7 years, 12 months ago

well said, although I don't know if I'd go as far as to classify all white people as racist. [even a little bit.] I suppose it would depend on the exact definition of racism. Denying the truth about race is one thing, but accepting the truth and looking past it is another.

beatrice 7 years, 12 months ago

Other than pigmentation, what would be a truth about race?

funkdog1 7 years, 12 months ago

The bottom line is that black people fundamentally understand white people on a level that whites don't understand blacks. Because they are surrounded by and permeated in white culture. For the most part, to survive and thrive in America, they have to play our game. We white people, on the other hand, can thrive in America without EVER having to play by black rules. That's just the way society is set up.

Am I a racist? I'm ashamed to say that yes, occasionally racist thoughts flash through my mind when I see or first meet a person who is darker skinned than me. It's something I've been working on my whole life, and I'm proud to say that I'm getting better. I don't make nearly as many snap judgments about anyone I meet, no matter their color.

I think a lot of whites aren't threatened by Barack Obama specifically ... I think a lot of white people would admit that he's smart enough to handle the job, even if they think he's not qualified enough. What really scares them is that he represents a fundamental shift in American society. That's what the Tea Partiers are really protesting.

Now that there's been one black guy in the white house, there can be more. Now that there's one Hispanic woman on the Supreme Court, there can be more. There might even be a woman in the white house one day. When Tea Partiers and other hard-right Americans say they want to go back to the Founding Fathers and the constitution they mean it: they'd like to see a time when black people weren't "uppity" and white people controlled everything and women were still at home, tending children.

whats_going_on 7 years, 12 months ago

also a good response.

I am curious as to what would have happened if Hillary had won. Would this stuff still be going on, and our conversations about it be shifted towards sexism?

Liberty275 7 years, 12 months ago

"For the most part, to survive and thrive in America, they have to play our game. We white people, on the other hand, can thrive in America without EVER having to play by black rules."

What is our game and black rules?

Tom Miller 7 years, 12 months ago

Thank you. Excellent question. I have long wondered that myself. What ARE the differences in those so-called rules? I am fully aware the mere existance of that question tends to make me racist, in appearance at least, but seriously, what are the differences? I do not see skin color. I was dramatically affected by Dr. Kings' words about not judging by skin, but rather by character, and have honestly tried to live my life in that very manner, but, being white, I have no idea just what the differences in the alleged "rules" really are. Will someone please enlighten my hungry and very interested mind. I am serious. I really wish to understand. Many mea culpas for my ignorance.

independant1 7 years, 12 months ago

When Tea Partiers and other hard-right Americans say they want to go back to the Founding Fathers and the constitution they mean it: they'd like to see a time when black people weren't "uppity" and white people controlled everything and women were still at home, tending children.

That's a pretty big leap there!

independant1 7 years, 12 months ago

The country is not where it is today on account of any man. It is here on account of the common sense of the big Normal Majority. (Will Rogers)

Scott Drummond 7 years, 12 months ago

All one has to do is ask who the "they" is that the tea baggers want their country back from. Answer that question honestly and the motiviations will become clearer.

Liberty275 7 years, 12 months ago

The answer is "socialists", although I've never been a tea partyer. Also, any time I see the words tea bagger, I see the motivation very clearly. I also take note of how childish the poster is.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 12 months ago

Funny, the teabaggers did not seem to mind, or at least did not protest, george w. bush's socialist drug prescription giveaway. Why?

Liberty275 7 years, 12 months ago

I don't mind it because it isnt mandated and if you want to enroll, you pay money for it. That isn't socialist, it's capitalist, just like the insurance my wife and I both buy through our work.

Tom Miller 7 years, 12 months ago

I agree. The primary concern I personally have with our current President is his hard lean towards socialism. Skin color has not one damn thing to do with it. personally, I believe it was high darn time we as a nation have a person OTHER than a white male in the White house. But not just ANYone. Thomas Sowell, J.C. Watts, the list goes on of highly qualified non-white men who would, or possibly WILL, do a great job of leading this country. Heck, a black or hispanic WOMAN in the White House is fine with me. No, my personal issue with the current occupant is purely political. He and his follower are true socialists, and we have a world of examples of just exactly how that does not and will not work in the long run. It simply will not work, period. Read your history. I've stood up against, fought against socialism all my adult life. Our current President is an affront to all that is truly American, both in principal and in practice. I am not, nor will I ever be, a member of or participant in said Tea party. I am a registered Independant voter, and I will vote against socialism every time.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 12 months ago

And I will vote against a right winger each time. History has shown the consequence of right wing governance and I, for one, don't think we need any repeats. Progressive political movements, on the other hand, have created tremendous improvement in our society. I do think we need repeated instances of progressive results.

funkdog1 7 years, 12 months ago

Very much yes, scott3460. Also, if tea partiers aren't racist, and they really see brown people as being equal, then why aren't there more brown people at tea parties? Surely they're just as "smart" and well-informed as the tea partiers?

Liberty275 7 years, 12 months ago

Why aren't there more brown people at the Renaissance Fair? Is there a sign out front that say's "whites only"?

Different cultures celebrate different ideas and usually relate with people inside their own culture. That's just how it is.

Tom Miller 7 years, 12 months ago

...and how many white folks do ya see at a "Junteenth" celebration?

Liberty275 7 years, 12 months ago

Don't know, don't care. I don't feel the need to celebrate the slow passage of messages in the 19th century.

independant1 7 years, 12 months ago

We'll have to undo a basic psycological theory (settled science).

Like kinds of people tend to gather in groups.

Ban it!

beatrice 7 years, 12 months ago

Who said "all" white people are racist, or that "all" Tea Party affiliates are racist? I just don't see that in these discussions. However, the Tea Party can be based on ideas found in racist thought while one need not be a racist to fall under the sway of a group with racially based motives. Does one need to be a skinhead to enjoy certain types of heavy metal?

In mentioning Clarence Thomase and others as proof somehow that the conservatives under question aren't racist, one thing you are missing is that Obama is both non-white AND liberal (well, a little left of center, at any rate). That is the tipping point. He seems to represent virtually everything that these types of conservatives hate -- non-white, urban, liberal, and educated. That all appears to be just too much for some people to handle.

beatrice 7 years, 12 months ago

Wow! Yes, I did miss it! Total crapola.

funkdog1 7 years, 12 months ago

B.S. If you'd care to mosey on over to some "liberal" news sites ... Huffington Post and such ... you'd see that plenty of liberals have plenty of things to disagree with the president about. You just don't see us packing heat outside the White House.

funkdog1 7 years, 12 months ago

Right. Because the tea parties started when Bush initiated the $700 Billion bailout. I forgot about all that protesting that the right did of Bush's spending.

I love how you prove your point with nothing except insults toward me.

I remember how right wing crazies protested Anita Hill because the only thing worse than an uppity black dude is an uppity black woman.

I like all of your great examples of how non-racist American culture is. Let's see... who'd you throw out? Oh yeah. All the obvious ones: Oprah, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Bill Cosby. Yep. America has really placed its trust in real leaders who are entrusted with major decisions in American life.

And then of course there are the multitudes of black presidents this country has had over the years, not to mention all the black CEOs of major U.S. corporations. Oh, and women. And the vast amount of wealth shared by blacks and whites alike in this country.

You're right. I'm an idiot.

George Lippencott 7 years, 12 months ago

Thank you for your comments.

The opinion most expressed or supported above is that all whites are racist. Does that make "Tea Baggers" more racist than "all whites"?

Are we talking race or ethnicity in our discussions? Are whites the only racist group or are there other races that are racist?

Flap Doodle 7 years, 12 months ago

Is it okay if I just dislike Dear Leader's Kansas heritage?

beatrice 7 years, 12 months ago

Who is Dear Leader? We have an elected President. Why do you hate democracy?

Liberty275 7 years, 12 months ago

Maybe he prefers a republic, you know, like America.

independant1 7 years, 12 months ago

flatlander aversion and flatulence aversion are not markers for bigotry or racism.

George Lippencott 7 years, 12 months ago

funkdog1 (anonymous) says : “Tea partiers were defined in this poll by people who self-identified as tea partiers. And tea party activists were defined by those who had either donated money to a tea party or who had attended a tea party.”

The word Mr. Pitts used in the article and which I misspelled twice was "rabid".

Now your take is that self-identified "tea party" persons were interviewed. Makes sense. How did we know they were rabid - did they self identify? Mr. Pitt’s argument as he presented it depends IMHO on that definition in suggesting "tea Party" persons are more racist than others are. Otherwise, his whole premise about “tea party” persons is not IMHO supported.

funkdog1 7 years, 12 months ago

Liberty_One : I respectfully submit that you're simply not telling the truth. I'm pretty freaking liberal with lots of liberal friends and I still hear plenty of BS racist stuff from white people, mostly NOT my liberal friends, although once in awhile they let something slip. I know that you know what I'm talking about. You know that I know that you know what I'm talking about. For some reason you're being deliberately dense. And yes, you do need to pay more attention to the racism going on around you, some of which you're willfully ignoring and some of which you'll never understand because you're incapable of seeing the world through a brown person's eyes.

And as far as my anecdotal evidence goes, I'm actually glad you brought that up. You're right. I only gave a couple of example. Truth is, I could give thousands. But it wouldn't matter how many completely true anecdotes I give you. Rather than admitting that it's a string of events that one can only conclude is a pervasive sociological problem, you'd just dismiss them anyway. I know the truth. And I know you know the truth, even if you won't admit it.

George: In Pitt's opinion, and in my opinion, some of the Tea Partiers are definitely "rabid" in their racism. In our opinion, there's plenty of evidence out there to prove that.

But you're asking for proof for something that you refuse to even admit exists, when it clearly does. Therefore, there's no where for the argument to go. Same with Liberty_One.

George: you're older than me. I know you hear the jokes. I know you get some of the emails. I know you've heard the conversations about how black people are lazy, or make bad fathers, or like to "work the system."

I knew I was wasting my time.

I hope you both live long enough to see the continued browning of America. I, for one, am looking forward to it. Let's see if they treat us the way we've treated them when they become the majority. My suspicion is that they'll be better people than we were.


funkdog1 7 years, 12 months ago

Okay, not bye.

Here's the problem with white America, and it can be PROVEN RIGHT NOW beyond a shadow of a doubt. With unemployment so high, brown people are RIGHT NOW disproportionately out of work when compared with white people.

So here's how that goes: Our company needs to fire some people. Who do we fire first? The brown people.

I'm the manager of a store. I see a black person come in who I don't know. That brown person has to earn my trust before I know that he or she won't shoplift. In comes a white person I don't know. I will trust that white person until he or she gives me a reason not to trust him or her.

I need to hire someone to fill a position at my company. I have a qualified white person and a qualified black person. I will hire the white person because I feel more comfortable around him or her.

It's not overt racism. But it's this subtle, pervasive racism that continues to ensure that brown people are less employed, make less money and take up more of our prisons.

Okay, now bye. Because I know you'll just deny this as well.

independant1 7 years, 11 months ago

agreed, brown people especially teenagers have much higher unemployment rates during this downturn. disagree it is pervasive racism as predominant cause.

it's a chicken and egg argument

check out Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams (conservatives) if you can stand it. Their opposing views are refreshing intellectual arguments as to cause effect on this topic.

funkdog1 7 years, 12 months ago

At my first job in high school I worked at a small, family owned grocery store in Wichita. I was told by the owners to watch out for shoplifters and especially black customers we didn't know. This was the late 1980s.

I was told the same thing at Roger's Food Center in North Lawrence when I worked there in college. Not by the owner but by a manager. This was the early 1990s.

(As a side note, one day when I was working at Roger's, the cops blocked all the traffic on N. 2nd Street and made two black guys, a white woman and her little toddler girl get out of their car and lay down in the middle of N. 2nd Street at gunpoint because they suspected that these people had stolen a television set. No set was found, and the people were let go. Can you imagine the cops blocking traffic and making a car full of say, white college frat boys lay down in the middle of the street while the cops had their guns drawn? I think not.)

I was again told to follow black customers who weren't our regulars at Roach Hardware in Lawrence, by TWO managers. One manager would refer to black people as "colored" when there were only us white employees around. When there were black people in the store, she would then refer to them as "black." This was the mid-1990s.

After working so many years in retail settings I can assure you that we caught far more scuzzy white customers who stealing from each of these businesses than our black customers, so I could never figure out why my managers fixated on the black customers.

I would submit that none of these businesses would have been chomping at the bit to hire any black person, qualified or not. Jobs I worked after that were more corporate, where they keep the racism a little more on the down-low.

You, of course, will say that these are simply coincidences or isolated incidents. I think it's a pattern.

It's not about the number of black friends you have. It's about being a big enough person to admit that as a white person in America, you already have an advantage.

As far as the protesters go, I would say that if the Tea Party movement was a legitimate political movement with non-racist overtones then it should have a representative number of minorities at its protests, which of course is different from region to region. Across the board, the U.S. is 1/3 "not white".

funkdog1 7 years, 12 months ago

Dude, what's stupid is you don't even realize that it's not a stupid question. Ooooo. You soooo hurt my feelings by saying I'm a joke to you. Boo hoo. Go back to your mayonnaise and wonder bread and nascar.

GardenMomma 7 years, 12 months ago

Having certain number of friends of one color or another doesn't make you not a racist, it's how you think and interact with your friends and how you think and act when not around your friends.

It's also not about the % of minorities that need to attend a protest that will make it be not racist.

But I think you already knew that.

mom_of_three 7 years, 12 months ago

I also have friends and family opposed to Obama, like the Tea Party movement, and I have seen those racist and stupid emails. just because you dont' get them does not mean they do not exist. i have also worked retail and know about racism there as well.

whats_going_on 7 years, 12 months ago

same here.

I've gotten the emails too, and seen it on Facebook statuses (heck, I've deleted people before because of their remarks). And like I mentioned in a previous article, I know a lady in town who will talk to you for hours about the tea party and her obvious racism. It's disturbing!

I try not to judge when I see people walking in, but where I work, there are honestly just as many shady people of other races (including whites) who come in. We have to be wary of everyone because of the nature of the work. As of the past few years, I've come to judge (not that its a good thing, but it happens) people on how they present themselves rather than race/color. I'll just call myself a trashist.

devobrun 7 years, 12 months ago

If a person finds B. Obama smart, effective, and wrong on a political and philosophical level, is that person racist? If the political and philosophical differences become associated with race, does that make the person racist?

If that person values individualism, if he rejects the collective and unifying aspects of a culture (anybody's culture) is that racist? Or is it just a different view of the world?

Can one disagree with another without being racist?

What is racism?

At what point does one become racist and, alternatively, can disagreements between people of different cultures be anything but racist?

I know some people from Africa who work with some African-American women. The African-Americans treat the Africans poorly. It is in my opinion racist. I stay out of it because they are not of my race or gender. It is confusing.

I think all of this is confusing because nobody can clearly define anything. Indeed, discussions are difficult because they are so full of emotion. My questions might be taken as racially loaded. Maybe they are just questions. Not if somebody is offended by them.

Until rational replaces racial, we will never understand each other.

Funkdog, how will you know if you are not racist? Is it even up to you to determine that?

I find myself full of questions but I think that nobody can answer any of them.

funkdog1 7 years, 12 months ago

Of course you can disagree with Obama's policies and be not racist. That's not what we're talking about, though.

I don't think I'll ever be totally not racist. It's a process. I'm working on it. But I do know that if it were up to me to hire a white person or a black person who were equally qualified for a job, I would not use race as the tie-breaker.

George Lippencott 7 years, 12 months ago


"George: you're older than me. I know you hear the jokes. I know you get some of the emails. I know you've heard the conversations about how black people are lazy, or make bad fathers, or like to "work the system."

Actually not in a long time. I suspect you are accurate, even if I have not seen such notes. I am not disputing your and others’ arguments just Mr. Pitts suggesting that "tea baggers" are worse.

Many of you:

Kind of like on other threads - we know. No, I do not know. I have no idea what "tea baggers" think as a group or if they as a group are more racist than anybody else. Mr. Pitts used the term "rabid" and I want to know what he meant and how he defined that someone was. Otherwise, all we can probably conclude is that "tea baggers" are like many other "whites"??

The anecdotal comments here just support that conclusion. Of course I would suggest that demonization a whole group of people on the basis of a one or two people observation is at best stupid and at worst a from of racisms itself.

funkdog1 7 years, 12 months ago

There are more than "one or two" photos of racist signs from tea parties.

George Lippencott 7 years, 12 months ago

Absolutely right. Does that yield a 56% racist or a 73% racist attitude?

George Lippencott 7 years, 12 months ago

Absolutely right. Does that yield a 56% racist or a 73% racist attitude?

George Lippencott 7 years, 12 months ago

Absolutely right. Does that yield a 56% racist or a 73% racist attitude?

devobrun 7 years, 12 months ago

I have avoided articles about tea partiers. But I avoid articles about dems, repubs, and any other political party, too.

Since I also don't know to what degree I am a racist, because the definition is so fuzzy, I wouldn't know if tea partiers are racist or not. Indeed, lumping tea partiers together as a group and calling them racist is a bigoted thing to do.

All people are individuals.

Now, if the tea party expressly stands for racism (like the KKK) then Mr. Pitts, or anybody else is fair to call them that.

What I read from Mr. Pitts is that he sees pictures from rallies, reads polls that ask tea party people questions. Then he draws conclusions.

Political arguments regarding ill-defined concepts, whose boundaries are undefined usually mean that all parties are engaged in a power struggle.

If Mr. Pitts is really just worried about winning more social and political power, then say that. Demonizing rarely yields a positive result.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 12 months ago

and their are websites devoted to liberals infiltrating tea parties with such signs.

Funk, your disproportionate impact argument for racism is totally empty: right now, unemployment is hitting male occupations such as construction much harder than female oriented occupations such as education, so does that imply sexism? right now, recent job losses have hit people under 30 far harder than people over 30, so does that imply some kinda agism???

Liberty1 is right: you didn't see any protests when GWB appointed a beautiful, intelligent woman who happened to be black to be secretary of state. in fact the only racial attacks came from the left/antiwar nuts who called her a house Ni--er among other things.

I don't think I'll ever be totally not racist. It's a process. I'm working on it. But I do know that if it were up to me to hire a white person or a black person who were equally qualified for a job, I would not use race as the tie-breaker.

---so, you then oppose the standard definition for liberals of "affirmative action" then.

and finally, yesI am white and what that latina now on the supreme court said was blatant racism, spoken to a racist group. if a white had said the equivalent to an equivalent group such as the KKK, she couldn't have been elected to be fire engine waxer!

I am white, and I have never heardor seen what Funk is talking about. I have many "tea party" friends, and am active with conservatives locally and nationally. yes, there are a few loons. but if you want loons in leadership, look left instead.

p.s. George: "tea bagger" is a vulgar sexual term meant to demonize average citizens who are protesting and exercising their constitutional rights. the left mounts such attacks like the racial smear because they are very upset by the effectiveness of the Tea Party movement, and the general revulsion against Mr. Obama's far left radical takeover of the government and many industries, debt that dwarfs all debt ever accumulated by the government ever in its history, and the raising of dozens of taxes. and that when we are in serious economic crisis.

beatrice 7 years, 12 months ago

Imagine, pretending to be something you are not in order to expose an organization for its shortcomings? How outrageous! By the way, care for some ACORNs with your Tea?

Hello Pot, may I introduce you to Kettle.

If you wear teabags on your clothing or have them dangling from your hat, then you are a tea bagger. Isn't it queer the way words can have more than one meaning? I'm sure Senator Santorum thinks so.

George Lippencott 7 years, 12 months ago

Yes, but I am trying to deal with using one’s brain to interpret what one reads. I am misguided enough to perceive that not everyone is so committed to their ideology that they can not learn not to not be taken advantage of by elected officials and their fellow travelers.

funkdog1 7 years, 12 months ago

Riiiiight. Because its racism that's hurting the construction industry right now, not the mortgage bubble. Poor white people. We are soooo discriminated against.

Critical thinking at its finest.

You are lying when you say that you have never heard or seen what I'm talking about. You know what I'm talking about. It's people like you who are the problem when it comes to race relations in this country..

beatrice 7 years, 12 months ago

Imagine how many times those on the Right have called Obama and his supporters "Socialists," and much, much worse. Since the election is has been non-stop socialist this and socialist that, and that taking all the money from the rich and giving it to the poor is all this "thug" "American-hating" "non-citizen" "Poser" "Muslim" "Dear Leader" wants. All of this sits perfectly fine with conservatives, without a peep against such slander.

Point out some racism among the ranks of the Tea Party, however, and suddenly it is "Hey, what's with the name calling?!"

George Lippencott 7 years, 12 months ago

Well, I have a problem with calling Mr. Obama a socialist as there is no evidence that he is. I apply the same standard to other issues.

beatrice 7 years, 12 months ago

Yes, but do you blog about others who are calling him a Socialist?

Liberty275 7 years, 12 months ago

There is evidence that he leans socialist and would move the country further socialist if he could. His ideal for health care was a purely socialist system, ie goverment-funded universal health care. "Spread the wealth around" is a corruption of the Marx's one-line version of his philosophy.

The words came out of his own mouth,. You have just chosen not to hear them.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 12 months ago

by Pittsie's logic ...

most democrat kansans are white. therefore, most kansas democrats are racist, too.

and yes it is socialist, the government picking who runs two major auto companies, interfering in contractual agreements regarding bankruptsy and even employment--deciding how much people will be paid, forcing union ownership of one major manufacturer, even forcing a plan to empower the government to decide your personal health care.
socialism, and syndicalism. SEIU is tied to Obama's hip. Socialism: government ownership of capital; look at the state of capital now compared to two years ago.
you have socialism, quite plainly, it is not name calling, but accurate description.

Katara 7 years, 12 months ago


The bank bailouts were under Bush's term. That is interfering on contractual agreements regarding bankruptcy & even employment.

Reagan was also a socialist under your terms with the air traffic controller's strike.

Bush I was also a socialist with the S&L crisis.

George Lippencott 7 years, 12 months ago


Not true

Mr. Bush loaned money to the banks and took no ownership position in them. It has been the current administration that wanted to renegotiate the terms of mortgage contracts in bankruptcy courts and who took ownership positions in auto industries.

Mr. Reagan fired government employees and replaced them with other government employees. Zero sum game.

I do not remember exactly what Bush I did but I am pretty sure he took no ownership position in S&L's which were already regulated by the government and where customer protection was provided by the government (in some cases)..

Do we have a common meaning for socialism or are we off on another tangent?

Katara 7 years, 12 months ago

Elder Lippincott (since we are on such formalities now), By bearded_gnome's terms all of my examples meet his definition of socialism.

Bush's bank bailouts were not just taxpayer funded loans.

"The Bush administration overpaid tens of billions of dollars for stocks and other assets in its massive bailout last year of Wall Street banks and financial institutions, a new study by a government watchdog says." http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/business/Bush-Bank-Bailout-Overpaid-by-Billions-Study.html

How about this?

"The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (Division A of Pub.L. 110-343, enacted October 3, 2008), commonly referred to as a bailout of the U.S. financial system, is a law enacted in response to the subprime mortgage crisis authorizing the United States Secretary of the Treasury to spend up to US$700 billion to purchase distressed assets, especially mortgage-backed securities, and make capital injections into banks." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_Economic_Stabilization_Act_of_2008

No government ownership under Bush, eh? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_takeover_of_Fannie_Mae_and_Freddie_Mac

Are you not familiar with what stocks are? They are not loans. Neither are assets that were purchased by the government. Both are ownership positions. Do you understand what conservatorship is? Hint: Bush 1 did this with the S&Ls.

With Reagan, you miss the point completely, however I am not surprised. By bearded-gnome's terms, socialism interferes with contractual agreements. What type of agreements do you believe unions have with their employers? Are they not contractual? Firing them most certainly would be considered interfering with employment, no?

Take your pick of the definition of socialism. It matters not. President Obama is no more a socialist than any of the past presidents. http://www.merriam-webster.com/netdict/socialism http://www.merriam-webster.com/netdict/socialism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism

You may proceed on your normal route of going off on another tangent or misrepresenting what is being said so that you can argue something else.

justoldme 7 years, 12 months ago

OK, I may be way off base, but I have a question. If I am disgusted with the current political mess ( and have been for years) exactly HOW am I supposed to step up and make a difference if I have no party affiliation? I am white, female and as disgusted with the decisions being made by our so-called representatives as I can get. My problem is that since I was old enough to vote, I have diligently researched the candidates, rarely voted straight ticket and always made the best choices I could. Even if the person I voted for got elected, they seem to change everything they stand for after being in office for a short time. While I am not, nor do I plan to be, affiliated with the Tea Party, there are things they say that ring a bell with me. Isn't there some way for those of us who are just ordinary low middle class working people WITH A BRAIN to be able to stand up and say ENOUGH! Stop playing politics and run this country like a business! I voted for Obama, and while I am still not convinced he will do what is best, I find it incredible that anyone with half a brain believes he should be able to fix problems that have been many years in the making in just a few months! That is just incredibly stupid. He can begin to make good changes, or he can begin to make things even worse. For me, the jury is still out on that, but not looking good. But again, how do I take a stand when the choices are ALL corrupt?

devobrun 7 years, 12 months ago

Justoldme, here's a solution:

Vote for people who will reduce government.

This is a paradox of course. However, if government is truly reduced, then it matters less who is in charge. If the clowns are in charge of one little section of the circus then the circus can run with a wide variety of acts. Are clowns part of it? Sure, just don't put them in charge. That is where we are now. We put the clowns in charge.

Also, don't ask for much from the government. Especially the feds. Take care of your own business and don't take anything from the feds. OK, military and a few other national things.

But regs for fat content in food? Come on. Go away feds. Sheesh.

justoldme 7 years, 12 months ago

I totally agree with that. The more dependent we are on our government, the more power and control they have. I am all for minimal government, but wonder if it is too late to get that back. Even at the conception of this country that was an issue, but it has multiplied many times over. I also agree that we need SOME government, but I really wonder how different it would be if the requirements as to who can run for office were changed. What if, in order to be eligible to run you had to be: Employed but earning less than $50,000. per year with no other extra income other than earned. Only allowed limited time in office then a return back to the real world to live with the decisions you helped make. Absolutely NO special gifts, treatment, trips etc. While in office or after. Any public speaking etc. is not compensated, but a part of your agreement to public service. In other words, a person would be running for office to actually try to do good things for the country as well as themselves, as they will not be rich before, during or after their term in office. I wonder if we could make things better THAT way?

independant1 7 years, 12 months ago

You say, "The more dependent we are on our government, the more power and control they have." = you are republican and you hate them poor f__ks.

devobrun 7 years, 12 months ago

I disagree with your income requirement. There are many wonderful people who could govern who make >$50k just from owning a dairy farm.

All other limitations you pose are great.
Now that takes care of the politicians. OK, that whole thing could get more complicated.

Now for the truly difficult task that must be done and is even harder than reducing the power of the elected officials. What to do about bureaucrats? It turns out that many decisions made by politicians are really instigated by the unelected officious, parasites called bureau---chiefs and bureau---workers.

Many of these people earn less than $50 k a year. They are entrenched. They exist to exist. They support the bloat by being. They have the most powerful union in the country.

We don't live in a democracy. We don't live in a republic. We live in a bureaucracy.

Many are well-meaning. Many are sincere. Many have jobs that seem vital. But they aren't. And no one will say it out loud. What a bunch of parasites.

How do you reduce the federal bureaucracy?

Example here was gathered by Googling U.S. government agencies and choosing the first one: Administration for child and families. Then I just followed a random click of the mouse and found this:


Empowerment zones, baby. Yeah. I'm hip man. There are thousands of these backwater, sleazy, make work, agencies in the fed. They never go away.

Wake up to the insanity. Skin color is meaningless. Non-rigorous, untested, government bureaucracies are the most obvious example of government detritus that goes as a good thing.

Again, I don't follow political articles in the papers. Could this attitude be a tea party attitude? I dunno.

My method is to pay my taxes and keep my head down. Leave me alone. I don't want your empowerment. And I could give a rat's behind what your name is.

Show up and do the job. That's really all there is to it.

Ronda Miller 7 years, 12 months ago

Great discussion going on, George!

Just a quick note - if it's less government you're after, you're not a democrat. Does that sound biased?

I heard a teacher in the Lawrence school district say to another teacher, when calling one black student the wrong name, "All these colored faced look the same." It was shocking, and I'm sure both students carry that memory from first grade with them now.

I see jokes that can be read as racist, or bigoted, or superior, but I have to say I also see them against everyone whether it is an older person, an over weight person, a sloppy person. Humor generally knows no boundaries. Soon we'll all sit in silence for fear of being politically incorrect. Is this another meaning of silent majority? :)

Graczyk 7 years, 12 months ago

There aren't a whole bunch of jokes about white people. Some, but not that many. Ive always found that curious. I would expect to see and hear more as a form of resistance.

independant1 7 years, 12 months ago

What's the difference between a white man and a snake? One is a evil, cold-blooded, venomous, slimy creature of Satan, and the other is a snake.

Liberty275 7 years, 12 months ago

Aren't the polish white people? How about the italians and irish? French? Also, if you pay attention to any television show, the straight white male is usually the butt of every joke.

The difference is, you can hurl insults at straight white males and we laugh at them just as hard as anyone else. Even the ubiquious "teabagger" is laughed off by the tea party contingent.

Katara 7 years, 12 months ago

"Just a quick note - if it's less government you're after, you're not a democrat. Does that sound biased?"

The Blue Dogs would like to have a word with you.

jonas_opines 7 years, 12 months ago

"Just a quick note - if it's less government you're after, you're not a democrat. Does that sound biased?"

A little, yes, since you forgot to include Republican in there too. It all seems to amount to the same thing.

independant1 7 years, 12 months ago

I wish you all wold just leave us morons alone. We're people too.

You might be a redneck if......

Liberty275 7 years, 12 months ago

I'm a redneck, a hick and a cracker. Don't take that to mean you are somehow intellectually superior because you probably aren't.

When you admit what you are and you have made something of yourself regardless, you render the person trying to insult you powerless.

George Lippencott 7 years, 12 months ago

Well, I am not sure I want to lay that on all Democrats. Government has a roll. I don't think any of us would want the military to be mercenaries. On the other hand, I am not sure that government should be making me eat less salt however good that may be for me. There is a lot of room in between. I know one thing, the more power in the hands of government the more that power becomes for sale witness Mr. Blogo!

justoldme 7 years, 12 months ago

Devobrun... The income guideline was approximate and really just a statement that we need to have real, working people in office, not the heirarchy of wealthy protecting and adding to their empires. As far as the bureaucracy comments, I couldn't agree with you more. I am currently one of those unemployed you hear about. I have worked the past few years for a government funded agency. You would not BELIEVE the waste I saw in this small office. One person on staff only showed up about once a month or so, used her vehicle provided for her to take her son's soccer team to practice etc. then billed for gas and cleaning etc. However, we were told on hire never to mention or complain about it, as she had important connections. And there were others just like her. I was occasionally told to order extra supplies, as we were below budget. Then, when one of those in power was caught cheating on a federal grant, and they lost the grant, they compensated for the financial loss by deleting my position. There were no consequences for those who cheated. I am aware that sounds like sour grapes ( and possibly some is) but it is also truth. We are living the very type of government that George Washington was so against, and for good reason. I have always been much like you and kept my head down and just tried to quietly live my life without causing any problems. I wonder now, however, if that is such a good idea. Am I an empty headed sheep being led to slaughter? NO! I will do everything in my power to continue to make my own life better without help. But I WILL do whatever I can to make my voice heard in any way that is constructive. While I do not believe in breaking the law or violence, I DO believe that there are ways to make change. Sure wish I knew what I could do...

beatrice 7 years, 12 months ago

Isn't the income threshold an attack against successful people? Why would you want the not particularly successful in office to represent you?

What exactly does it mean that you want to make your life better "without help"? So you don't take advantage of tax breaks when filling out your income tax? Does this mean when attending college you would refuse an in-state tuition if offered? I'm sure you refuse to raise your children in public school then, right? When we have a conflict with another nation, do you grab your gun and go fight, because having the military take care of it would just be asking for security welfare? ...

Not meaning to pick a fight here, I just don't believe you are thinking through your argument on what constitutes "help."

beatrice 7 years, 12 months ago

Term limitations are good in theory, but bad in practice. People complain that Obama doesn't have enough experience, yet they are also saying they want people who only have limited experience to be in office. Good legislation is often achieved with give and take among legislators made possible through longterm relationships. If everyone is new, there are no relationships built, except those between the newly elected and the lobbyists who are there to "show them the ropes." People jump right in and try to start passing bills because they know they won't be there long. That will end up having the opposite effect of small government.

Military spending is what needs to be slashed if we are ever going to get out from under our deficit. If we completely eliminated all social-service type funding, it wouldn't be anywhere near enough to eliminate the deficit, let alone start touching the debt. We need to look at where the big money goes, not just the crumbs that fall to the poor, if we want to make real changes.

So how about a march against our military? Anybody?

George Lippencott 7 years, 12 months ago

Katara (anonymous) replies…

I am not sure the LJWs response to responses works too well - starts to run off the page.

As usual, we interpret things differently.

First of all the "bail out" bill passed and then the administration changed and the new administration implemented a lot of it. By the by, Bush had a Democratic Congress so he cannot have all this laid upon him. I do not know about bearded_gnome, but to me the position taken in the auto industries starts to look like socialism. In defense of Mr. Obama, the public was demanding something in return for the use of public funds. Ownership was the response. Once you decide to use public funds to save private businesses - well it gets messy and nobody should be throwing about terms like socialism lightly. Help me but I do not remember a public ownership position in the banks - those were loans if I remember correctly.

There is no real contractual relationship between government employee unions and the federal government - it is established in law. Strikes are prohibited. I am not sure why the argument. Controllers are not socialism any more than the military is. Bad example.

Well, I guess once again we have a problem - I cannot even try to agree with you without you attacking. My point with the S&Ls was that the regulatory environment led to that outcome. Mr. Bush and all the minions (Democratic Congress) simply implemented existing laws (with some essentially bi-partisan changes). There is a big difference between a bail out (IMHO) and the implementation of government regulatory responsibilities to protect depositors. To me that is not socialism. I though we learned all that back in the 30's???

Well, you have a point about my attacks. However - there is always a "however" - you all can be relied upon for defending against such over stated comments charging socialism. Of course, I probably would have defended differently. I would not have used Bush. Don't need him to make the points you wanted to make. In fact using Bush confused the situation. In a sense, you validated the claim by IMHO saying that the Bushes did it also. They didn't and I am not sure Mr. Obama did.

We have an interesting challenge. The financial services industry took us to the cleaners. It would be stupid to allow them to do it again. Regulations are required. That is not ownership. If American business interests did not spend as much time "screw*** the consumers and employees than maybe regulation would not be needed. I am afraid I do not see them changing there ways voluntarily.

I am not being formal only respectful – these pages could use more respect.

Have a good night

Katara 7 years, 12 months ago

It is clear that you did not read the links I provided nor do you understand what conservatorship is. And it is clear that you are going to make your own definition of socialism along the lines of "I know it when I see it".

And again you accuse me of attacking you just because I disagree (and back up my statements with examples) when you make the first attack (Do we have a common meaning for socialism or are we off on another tangent?). This gets old and is why many do not interact with you. It is passive-aggressive in nature.

The bail out was passed under Bush's term. You are simply shifting blame again. This is dishonest. To imply Obama is a socialist because he had to implement the previous administration's last minute and poorly thought out policies boggles the mind. So the person who thought of the idea is not a socialist but the person who has to implement is. That's some critical thinking there.

Receiving stocks and purchasing toxic assets are part ownership. Conservatorship is also considered a form of ownership (although in most cases it is temporary). These things happened with the bank bail out (as you would have read in the links I provided you). On top of that, the US Government owns 80% of AIG's holding company - this figure is before the last infusion of funds into AIG. There were loans involved but that was not the only monies involved in the banks bailout.

You must not have a good understanding of what law is - law by its very nature is a contractual relationship.

Controllers are not socialism? Well, generally no because controllers exist in all political & economic systems however when the definition of socialism is state control and ownership of the means of production, one can argue that the nature of of Reagan's dealings with the air traffic controllers was socialistic (if you consider the production being air traffic control & the workers [government employees] the means of producing that service), In fact the whole nature of that relationship would be socialistic as the government controlled that.

Although I agree with you on your tangent about regulations being needed in the financial services industry, you missed my entire point completely - which was for all these folks screaming that Obama is OMG TEH EVUL SOCIALIST, similar if not the same actions were taking by presidents in our recent past. This gives you some choices - 1) Obama is not really a socialist (and neither were past presidents); or 2) socialism is okay if done by someone without the (D) behind their name; or 3) that race may be a factor in these charges because it was okay when white men did similar things and nobody said boo about that.

Katara 7 years, 12 months ago

Also, it is "ma'am", George, and most women of my generation do not consider that respectful. A lot consider it a substitute for the "b" word.

Generational differences, George. You be respectful of mine. I'll be respectful of yours.

Graczyk 7 years, 12 months ago

I'm lost. Ma'am is a substitute for the b word? When did that happen?

Liberty275 7 years, 12 months ago

"When did that happen?"

It didn't.

Any woman that takes ma'am to mean female dog has personal issues. It's a word of respect; a woman that takes it as disrespectful can just obsess over it until her brain explodes. I'm sick of giving up words to thin-skinned whiners.

Katara 7 years, 12 months ago

From the guy who equates taking a woman out to dinner and a movie to prostitution....

independant1 7 years, 12 months ago

Ma'am, Ma'am, Ma'am

That's all you ever do Katara

Ma'am, Ma'am, Ma'am

devobrun 7 years, 12 months ago

Katara, the Obama/Bush economic plan is a top down plan that has been evolving for decades.

The label of socialism is quite right in some areas and not quite there in others. But Government control of the economy is becoming manifest as time goes on. At what point the word "socialism" applies is not clear. But the direction is clear.

Health care: Computers are being used in places in the health care industry at an ever increasing rate. Our own LMH has instituted a new computer system to manage orders. The medical community is about to go on strike because it is so slow, cumbersome and officious. Doctor's are directed by the computer to follow protocols when ordering meds and procedures. It is a top-down management of the delivery of medicine. This is not a good time to enter LMH. Everybody there is doing their best. But it is a bureaucratic nightmare right now.

Energy policy: Local and state energy production is becoming more integrated and federal control via laws and EPA rulings are regulating generation, distribution and use of energy more and more.
Coal-fired plants are being phased out by the EPA because of CO2. Computer controlled grid distribution of electricity is pervasive where operators used to work. Carrot and stick programs for home insulation, automobile purchase, and light bulbs regulate the use of energy.

Food, water, air, professional sports, candles, lawnmowers, and on and on and on.

Creeping socialism, Katara. Top-down regulation, control and manipulation. The awareness raising, the guilt trips, the "we are all connected and one" mentality is creeping socialism. Both political parties are fully engaged in this. Grade schools through college promote this. Media promotes this.

Could it be that the tea party is angry about being told what to feel, think and do?

Immigration, affirmative action, global warming, mandated health insurance, taxes, rules, regulations. And no end in sight. Republicans spending money, democrats spending money. And if you question authority, you are a racist, bigot, evil individualist.

The irony of current leaders (60 year old ex-hippies) running the country the same way that their fathers did is not lost on me. Nor should it be lost on you. The old fat men in black horned-rim glasses used to tell us to be good and pray and follow the rules. We were made to feel guilty if we didn't follow the proscriptions of the rulers. The hippies rebelled. Now the tea partiers are rebelling against the proscriptions of the 60 year old men with pony tails who tell us to be guilty about our carbon footprint.

When confronted with this irony, what do the aged hippies say? We have evidence. We have science. We care. But their science is a "new" science. Their care is not for those who are conservative. They have created reality just as their fathers did.

And when told that they are engaged in creeping socialism they deny it.

George Lippencott 7 years, 12 months ago

Interesting take.

My take. We had a group of "old men" who left me alone but cared little for how there economic policies effected others. Now we have a group of "old men" who are constantly trying to change my life by arguing that I have been evil. At least religion was optional in the past.

patience is not a virtue anymore

George Lippencott 7 years, 12 months ago

Katara (anonymous) replies… Also, it is "ma'am", George, and most women of my generation do not consider that respectful. A lot consider it a substitute for the "b" word.

So, what is the correct title? Elder might also be considered a poor choice. I believe the appropriate title would be Mr. or Sir.

I believe I was clear in that IMHO socialism is a red herring. I did not call Obama socialist. I did note that taking an ownership position in the auto industries is pushing the line - but there were extenuating circumstances. My definition of socialism is generalized to government ownership of business. I may be dated.

If you want to call government intervention in the banks and S&Ls to maintain solvency - a notion supported by both parities since the banking crisis of the 30s - socialism - well feel free. I don't. .

Why don't you stay away from Bush? The bail out bill passed on his watch and was implemented by the next watch stander. The bill was approved by a Democratic Congress and details of implementation were worked out by Democratic office holders. Controlling the Congress, they could have simply voided the bill. What part of the nuanced world of Washington do you not understand?

Air traffic controllers?? You lost me.

Financial services is not a tangent. Both the S&Ls and the banks fall into this blanket. Long tradition of government involvement here. Socialism??? I do not think so. Motivation is protection of investors. With banks, we just take them and close them or sell them. With S&Ls we essentially did the same. Government roll was temporary.

Yes. I am attacking your approach. Whatever you want to call what Mr. Obama did by trying to argue that Bush et al did it also, essentially accepts the argument of socialism made by others. As I said before, it wasn’t IMHO.

It is time to move past Bush. Are you embarrassed by Mr. Obama? I think he inherited a difficult situation and is trying to do what he thinks is right - I am not so sure about some members of the Congress. There are things that he is doing with which I do not agree but so what - I can be wrong!! So can he!

Why the vehemence?

Katara 7 years, 12 months ago

And again... completely over your head, George.

Perhaps this threading thing is too confusing for you after all.

Bearded_gnome made the charge that Obama is a socialist and provided some guidelines as to how he defined socialism. I responded by saying if Obama is a socialist (using those guidelines) then past presidents are also socialists and provided examples.

You are too busy arguing just to argue with me to pay attention to the fact that I have not once claimed Obama is a socialist or the fact that I did not claim that you said Obama was a socialist.

In other words, we both don't believe that Obama is a socialist but you are going to argue with me because whatever reason you are going to argue with me.

It would be awesome if your ability to comprehend what others actually said was much better. Again you choose to argue things people haven't said.

George Lippencott 7 years, 12 months ago


Actually I am completely confused since the issue on socialism ended up as a response to one of my posts- i thought???

And for the sake of argument the point I was making I thought was " Bearded_gnome made the charge that Obama is a socialist and provided some guidelines as to how he defined socialism. I responded by saying if Obama is a socialist (using those guidelines) then past presidents are also socialists and provided examples."

I said that anology was a bad approach. Somehow I missed the point that your examples were not serious or were they?? In your response to me it appeared you defended your examples. No wonder I am confused.

I just think you don't like me!!! I am deeply hurt! WE are so compatible!

Katara 7 years, 12 months ago

I really, really, really wish you would make an attempt to distinguish between your thoughts and what you are quoting. It makes it very difficult to read.

I didn't not respond to your posts initially, George. I responded to bearded_gnome and you responded to that. You did not say that analogy is a bad approach. You disagreed with my examples as being examples of socialistic behavior. I explained how they met bearded_gnome's terms.

Injecting some more respect into the discussion again, George? And you wonder why you don't get any...

Tom Miller 7 years, 12 months ago

EXCELLENT post, devobrun! Truly, well stated!

Tom Miller 7 years, 12 months ago

hmmm...trying to find the difference between "nationalizing" private industries and "socialism"...and isn't nationalizing GM, Chrysler, and the banking industry just exactly what we see in the news almost daily? Maybe I'm just dense, or confused...or just old...I dunno...hasn't the government, by way of bailouts, basically taken over the ownership of the institutions they've bailed out? How else do the buyers get any return on their money? I mean, isn't that why ya buy into a corporation? To excercise managerial control over said business? And does that not equate to government ownership? Semantics, I suppose. You say tomato, I say tomahato...

devobrun 7 years, 12 months ago

Definition of "isms" is a tricky subject. Often people will use an "ism" with a caveat. They'll say that something is like socialism with the addition, or absence of .......

Fascism is often invoked with some caveat.

For example: Environmentalism is a modern form of budding fascism but instead of nationalism, it is globalism. Instead of authoritarian nationalism, we have authoritarian globalism. So is this budding fascism? I don't think so. I think whatever is going on in the U.S. and Europe regarding authoritarianism is a new thing. I think the global guilt trips, the global versions of authoritarianism are new and deserve a new word.

Whatever you call it, it is top-down management of stuff. And the number of things included in the word stuff is ever increasing.
My opinion (philosophy) is that government exists in proportion to individuals unwillingness or inability to take care of themselves. You may think that government is a good thing and that the more of it, the better. I think of government as heart surgery. When you need it, it is effective and can save your life. Better yet, don't need heart surgery in the first place.

And so we have a dilemma. More government to solve more problems? Or less government so that individuals stop relying on government and learn to deal with their own problems better. Mr Pitts knows this. I have read articles by him in the past that refer to this very dilemma. He's a smart guy. I often agree with him.

The present fear and alarm by the left regarding the tea party is bringing up discussions of the dilemma of government. Race is just one of these areas where the dilemma of government exists. Others include: health care, education, the environment, well all the issues.

At what point does government become too much? And when the government is run by a black man, can you protest that government is too big (and getting bigger) without being called a racist?

It is an emotional issue. It is not very rational. Leonard Pitts is alarmed by the tea party. George Lippencott asks about critical thinking.

The answer, George is that neither Pitts nor the tea partiers are engaged in thought. They are upset, angry, fearful. Thoughtless.

justoldme 7 years, 12 months ago

It is a new day and I am catching up on the posts. I find it interesting to note that there are some who feel the need to agitate or "attack" when they disagree. I prefer to take the stance of being taught. Yes, I have opinions, many based on fact. However, I also have questions. In my last post I stated I wanted to try to do things without help and that statement was apparently seen with disapproval. Let me be clear. In this society, we need to stand together. I get help every day from family, friends and from our government. I drive on the roads, call for a policeman when needed and enjoy the protection of our military. I pay my taxes, follow the laws and deeply appreciate the country I live in. However, again, that does not mean I am willing to sit by and hope against hope that everything will work out ok without me stepping up to try to make things better. I am not content to just leave the decision making with those who are elected officials. I want them to hear what I have to say! In keeping with that, I believe it is imperative that what I have to say come from a place of intelligence and education. NOT from the news media or another persons mouth.
In the case of the bail-outs... was it a good idea? I don't think so, yet letting those institutions fail would have caused suffering for too many innocents. So perhaps there was no choice. I do think there should have been greater consequences to those who caused the problems. As far as the government taking ownership, while I am concerned about the government having too much power and control, I don't think that them having stewardship would be the same as total control. And It could be I just have no clue...

devobrun 7 years, 12 months ago

Let the variable SILB represent the operation "screw in light bulb". Let the variable LB represent the light bulb. Let the operator S represent the actual twisting of an object.

Thus SILB = S(LB)

Are polls light bulbs? No Are polls an operation involving the twisting of an object? Yes

If an LB is presented, the poll can twist it until it apparently is inserted somewhere.

So all it takes is one poll to insert a light bulb into your......... The poll operator can insert any kind of object as well.

It can twist anything into place. Polls are versatile and effective.

George Lippencott 7 years, 12 months ago


I am so glad you are sure I am a liar. Hate to tell you my friernd but there are a lot of people (whaever their actual beliefs) that would not be caught dead writing or passing on a racial comment. I guess we run in different circles. I also said I had no reason to disagree with what you were writing.

funkdog1 7 years, 11 months ago

Actually, I was talking to bearded_gnome. I haven't seen anything that you've written that would indicate that you're a liar.

George Lippencott 7 years, 12 months ago

Katara (anonymous) replies…

Reply to reply runs off the page and in this case truncated.

As to what I think you meant - could have fooled me - I guess you did. Sure wasted a lot of time!!

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