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LJWorld.com weblogs Loyal Opposition

Extremism.

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This is the second mini-summary of my perceptions of the liberal world here on the LJW web site. Remember when I first started to blog here that was a goal I created for myself. The previous mini-summary addressed the endless demands for more public resources without regard to source or impact.

Now I don’t mean by extremism those right wing militias that we all know about. I am not addressing the crazy semi-Christian fundamentalists who burn their children. I am not addressing the union activists that threaten people who oppose their goals. I am talking about many on here.

From my perspective any post that does not agree with the world view of many regular posters to this space is immediately relegated to being stupid, ill-informed, or anti what ever. Posts that simply challenge data are immediately restated as if the author suggested we for example reduce our government services to nothing. Comparison at the extremes of the argument are casually thrown about to discredit a less then absolute nonpolitical post

A perfect example is the on going debate on a story that provided a few factoids and then drew a very broad conclusion form those factoids as to the motivation behind teacher retirement data. Challenging the link between data and conclusion (not the conclusion itself) immediately led to charges of being anti-education and anti-teacher. That type of extremism is rampant in this space.

Such extremism is almost certain to produce fireworks as the original author takes umbrage at how his/her comments have been reinterpreted to a seeming political end. Such shenanigans do little to invite dialogue or earn support for the cause being advocated by those who do the reinterpreting.

So sad! If we can not have a meaningful dialogue in our little world how will we ever resolve the more fundamental difference we are facing as a nation.

Comments

devobrun 3 years, 6 months ago

"If we can not have a meaningful dialogue in our little world how will we ever resolve the more fundamental difference we are facing as a nation." Well:

Individuals living extraordinary lives make the collective better. It is as simple as that, George. The collective is a hedge. It is what people do when they don't know what to do. Government is a hedge just as religion is.

All that is meaningful is individual. All that is an advance of humanity is from an idea that comes from an individual. Dialogue is what people do when they adhere to a principle....and then defend it against other principles. And then they argue.

Joining hands and singing Kum-Ba-Ya is a way to overcome what? The other guys singing Cumbaya.

Find your own bliss is what Joe Campbell would say.

Dialectic is contrived. So George we solve our problems individually and not by arguing over opposing views. We reject "nation" and supplant it with individual freedom as the goal. We achieve it through individual responsibility.

Right wing, left wing.....blah, blah, blah. Doomed to the mediocrity of the collective. The right-left paradigm of "join my party" is a choice of which side of an argument that both lead to bigger debt, less culture, more depravity, less responsible behavior, more prisons, fewer scientific breakthroughs.....and on and on into the abyss of mediocrity.

"addressed the endless demands for more public resources without regard to source or impact."

It is right in front of your nose, George. It isn't government...it is the lack of government. The solution isn't democrats or republicans....it is individuals.

Pogo says: "We have met the enemy.........."

llama726 3 years, 6 months ago

I've noticed that your posts targeting extremism have come predominantly against the perceived extreme liberalism on the LJW forums, ignoring the variety of right wing posters who frequent this area.

I suggest you change your name to "conservative." Or at least "moderate-conservative."

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

These points are quite valid, but of course apply to both sides of the political spectrum on these comments.

And, George himself is a frequent practitioner of such tactics.

George Lippencott 3 years, 6 months ago

Interesting comments

  1. Note lead – I was only talking about liberals. Certainly, conservatives do the same things – unfortunately there are not many on here – wonder why – must be the well-reasoned dialogue.
  2. Tying to the above one must realize that I look very conservative because there is almost no one on here to my right. There really are in the real world – like Kansas. Mr. Brownback approaches a real conservative – there are some to his right that if they had had their way would have gutted schools even more. I did not support Mr. Brownback.
  3. JAFS – list a bunch of posts that support your “frequent assertion”?? I pretty much stay in the middle although I can understand how liberal ideologues could presume my posts challenging additional tax increases as extreme – as if maybe I suggested actual tax reductions.
  4. Any of you rapid taxers actually testify before the Kansas legislature suggesting increases in income taxes. Until you do, as I did, I am not sure you are qualified to challenge my credentials.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

I don't have the time or energy to do that.

But, in my conversations with you, you have often exaggerated and distorted my comments, and then reacted strongly to them, calling me names.

Most recently, you suggested I would be happier in Cuba (a veiled attempt to call me a communist).

Before then, you called me a Borg.

And, you have frequently attempted to paint my views as some sort of liberal extremism - a charge my liberal father-in-law would undoubtedly disagree with, as I often challenge his views.

George Lippencott 3 years, 6 months ago

  1. jafs (anonymous) replies… I don't have the time or energy to do that. Then don’t make comments that presume something you can not substantiate Most recently, you suggested I would be happier in Cuba (a veiled attempt to call me a communist). And you have not suggested repeatedly that we leave town?? But, in my conversations with you, you have often exaggerated and distorted my comments, and then reacted strongly to them, calling me names. Before then, you called me a Borg. And, you have frequently attempted to paint my views as some sort of liberal extremism - a charge my liberal father-in-law would undoubtedly disagree with, as I often challenge his views. Well I don’t recall branding you a liberal extremist. I do challenge your simplistic notion of majority rule particularly when it applies to taxes. IMHO, it is majority rule only if the majority has to meaningfully bear the burden of what they advocate. When 50% of the populace pays little or no taxes (property, federal income, etc) then we are not talking majority rule we are talking greed. The Borg represent a collective – not unlike what I perceive you to advocate. Correct my misunderstanding. Is there anything recently proposed on here that requires more resources that you do not support.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

I'm not a communist, so your name-calling is way off.

Yes, I have suggested, in response to your obvious unhappiness here, that you might be happier somewhere else. I, on the other hand, am quite happy here, and don't spend a lot of time complaining, as you do.

You can rest assured, though, that I have stopped trying to help you.

Your view of taxes is odd - democracy is the idea that all citizens get one vote. The idea that those who vote must pay a certain amount in taxes, or kind of taxes, is clearly undemocratic in nature, and points towards a sort of aristocracy.

Should those who own smaller houses, and thus pay less property tax, get less of a vote than those who own larger ones, and thus pay more?

Should a single person who owns a home have the right to demand that a couple owning a home of similar price pay 2x the property tax, so that each is paying the same amount as the single owner?

I do not support fancy renovations of the Capitol building - I didn't support (in fact, voted against) the library expansion. I questioned the need for certain items in the county budget. I do not support building new infrastructure (eg. sewer plants) in anticipation of growth. Etc.

I do not advocate for any sort of Borg-like collective.

I have, of course, pointed out to you numerous times, that we live in a system in which the majority of those who vote make many decisions. That doesn't mean I "advocate" anything about that - I simply remind you of it.

If you are in a minority, then you will feel under/unrepresented, as you seem to feel. And, as many liberals living in Lawrence/Douglas County feel with the election of Sam Brownback as governor.

I can't be any clearer about these things - I don't know why you insist on mischaracterizing me, and wanting to argue.

llama726 3 years, 6 months ago

  1. There aren't many conservatives on here? We have an assortment of individuals with "Liberty" in their name, rockchalk1977, Shewmon runs around occasionally.... I engage you reasonably and respectfully.

  2. Brownback doesn't approach a real conservative. He is completely conservative. You, then, are a conservative. That's fine. But don't pretend to be a moderate. A moderate considers other solutions. You don't.

  3. Your message board credentials? I'll go ahead and testify to Congress. Wait, I'm a real human being, who goes to school and works full time (even now, in the summer). Rapid taxers? What does that mean?

George Lippencott 3 years, 6 months ago

    1. There aren't many conservatives on here? I engage you reasonably and respectfully.
      Three,??? Yes you do. Not everything I write addresses you.
  1. Brownback doesn't approach a real conservative. He is completely conservative. Well in my nuanced world, there are degrees and I simply pointed out there were elements of the legislature more conservative than he
  2. Your message board credentials? I'll go ahead and testify to Congress. At least I have worked for principles that many others just complain about. Maybe I am not as conservative as you pronounce!! Rapid taxers? People to whom the only solution is more taxes on anybody but them.

George Lippencott 3 years, 6 months ago

Actually I was not writing about position but about technique. Messed up again, didn't I??

George Lippencott 3 years, 6 months ago

FS

How one thinks of the self rarely equates to how others view one.

!. I never called you a communist. You must be associating Borg with communist. Borgs IMHO had a social system where all were equal. Communist have in addition a notion of an economic system where some give more and get less.

2 You see you are having as much of a problem with my construct on taxes as I have with your lack of “Borges”. Our tax system has evolved from where only property tax payers had the franchise to today where over half the people pay little or no federal tax (the biggest and mostly uncontrolled tax). When your demands for more cost you nothing or next to nothing than the likelihood is you will demand more. Unfortunately someone else who can not stop you must pay. I do not consider that democracy and that is probably the basis for our differences. Now I have made it clear that I accept progressive taxes if they are uniformly progressive and where everybody pays something and where everybody gets a noticeable tax increase if taxes go up. That is a fair tax system in a democracy as long as the progressivity does not become confiscatory.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

You suggested I'd be happier in Cuba - if that's not a veiled attempt to call me a communist, I'll eat my hat.

Somewhere around 45% pay no federal income tax - but they still pay other federal taxes, and local ones as well. Included in that percentage are some very rich people.

Democracy is the idea of "one person, one vote" - money should have nothing to do with that.

Your idea is clearly undemocratic in nature.

If you want to reform the tax code, that's fine - but you can't take away anybody's right to vote based on what kind of taxes they pay.

George Lippencott 3 years, 6 months ago

Well, JAFS your position is not surprising. If you think about it you support a presumed majority taxing whatever it wants from a known minority. From each according to their ability and to each according to their need. Not sure that is original.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

I think your perceptions are off, both in regards to me and in regards to a number of other things as well.

If you don't like democracy, just be honest about it.

One person, one vote is a fundamental aspect of democracy. And, the fact that a majority can make decisions is also a fundamental aspect of it.

I have discussed the drawbacks of this before, but it is a fundamental aspect of our system (that's democracy, not communism).

Your various suggestions that people shouldn't be able to vote unless they pay your idea of enough taxes is clearly not a democratic one. Why not just own up to that, and say you want a system in which rich people have more of a vote than poor ones?

George Lippencott 3 years, 6 months ago

JAFS There you go again putting words in my mouth. Where did I say take away the franchise?? I believe I have advocated in many many posts to "fix" our tax system so that it is progressive and universal. I have no desire to go back to the “good old days” when only white Anglo-Saxon men could vote.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

Your complaints about "renters" who don't pay what you think they should pay towards property taxes not being allowed to vote on issues involving them are numerous.

It's clearly an idea that those who pay more should have more of a say in things.

beatrice 3 years, 6 months ago

So you throw all liberals under the bus ... then ask why we can't all just get along. Can't you see this?

If you have a problem with a specific poster, let them know on the story at hand. Writing a separate blog to argue the point completely fails because of the lack of context. This is just you claiming liberals are bad (in a nutshell).

Some people will do exactly what bothers you, whether they are on the left, the right, or even in the middle. This is because some people have great difficulty arguing a point without turning it a personal attack. To some, the one who can insult the best wins. I've certainly done the same, but I now make a concious effort not to. Without getting too AA meeting about it, you can't control the actions of others, you can only control yourself.

Part of the problem, as I read it, is that most of us just don't seem to really register how insulting some people can be if we tend to agree with their basic point of view. Maybe that is human nature. From my perspective, the conservatives on here are far more insulting to fellow posters. For you, it is the liberals. I'll bet we are both correct. I'm just not as insulted, and generally not personally insulted, by the liberals on here. It is all personal perception.

My advice, should you care, is that if it continues, just ignore certain posters. You know they won't attempt to truly argue a point but instead will make blatantly false statements to support their views and attempt to insult others, so ignore them. Pretty basic advice, I know, but just scroll past the people you feel are trolls. You can still find a good conversation and intelligent argument around here, it just takes a little work from time to time.

George Lippencott 3 years, 6 months ago

Well, Bea. Thank you frr a reasoned response. I just want to note one thing.

From my blog above. "From my perspective any post that does not agree with the world view of many regular posters to this space is immediately relegated to being stupid, ill-informed, or anti what ever." By inference one can tie that to liberals from context but the word "many" is not all.

Those "many" have leeped into defend what? Their right to haggle?? They prove my point by thier generalities and might I say the restatement of what I actually wrote. QED!

George Lippencott 3 years, 6 months ago

JAFS said: Your complaints about "renters" who don't pay what you think they should pay towards property taxes not being allowed to vote on issues involving them are numerous.

It's clearly an idea that those who pay more should have more of a say in things.”

Where did you get that? Reading into things again are we?? I believe I have suggested a renter’s tax so they can pay their fair share and would be less likely to vote to raise my taxes.

I also suggested they be drafted to shovel snow as homeowners have been – only fair.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

You also suggested that those who don't pay "enough" in property taxes shouldn't be allowed to vote on issues that involve them.

The point is the same - who defines "enough"? It leads to some odd questions, and I've already asked them, but you don't answer.

If I own a smaller house than you, and thus pay less in property tax, do I get a vote?

If somebody owns a house (or rents one, for that matter) the same size as another that is owned by 2 people, should that person be able to demand that the couple pay 2x as much?

It leads to absurdity, quite quickly. Property taxes are assessed on property - that's how they work.

Also, of course, your idea that many transient student renters are voting in large numbers, swaying the outcome of elections, seems rather unlikely to me - most students are extraordinarily out of touch with politics, and our turnouts are quite low.

George Lippencott 3 years, 6 months ago

JAFS

You are turning into the poster child for what I wrote about. Your keep putting words in my mouth.

I did not challenge the franchise for renters I did not make issue of the”progressivity” of property taxes

I did argue that everyone should pay taxes and that our taxes should be uniformly progressive.

What is the next myth you wish to generate!!! OBTW, thank you for your help!

George Lippencott 3 years, 6 months ago

OPH

Well I am old and my perceptions are colored by our history. I do not think that a problem. Now if I understood for a minute what you are referring to I might respond in some rational way. Since the gist of your comment seems to be to discredit me by generalities and establish yourself as so much more informed and attuned, I can only suggest that your stance is rather widely employed these days. We do not deal with substance but with personalities. George is old so anything he says is not relevant. I am young and powerful so my opinion matters more. Wow. The ME generation in spades!!

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 6 months ago

When union members are considered left wing extremists, it is time to stop paying attention to this man's opinions. Lippincott is "moderate" in his mind only.

Must be that publically-funded education that Lippincott received at KU, where yours and my tax dollars went to "educate" this man.

No wonder he opposes public support of universities. He is a living demonstration of their ineffectiveness.

George Lippencott 3 years, 6 months ago

YWN says: When union members are considered left wing extremists, it is time to stop paying attention to this man's opinions. Lippincott is "moderate" in his mind only."

Another volunteer to prove the accuracy of the original blog. Exactly when and where did I say union members are left wing extremists??? I have written in support of unions in the private sector. I am less committed to unions in the public sector - particularly if public unions support candidates.

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 6 months ago

"Now I don’t mean by extremism those right wing militias that we all know about. I am not addressing the crazy semi-Christian fundamentalists who burn their children. I am not addressing the union activists that threaten people who oppose their goals. I am talking about many on here."

George Lippencott 3 years, 6 months ago

YWN

You have to be kidding – right?? You believe that a statement concerning “union activists that threaten people who oppose their goals” applies to all union members. I guess you think it appropriate for all union members to threaten their opponents. In that case if all union members threaten their opponents than I guess you are right – they are all left wing extremists. Of course, I don’t think all union members believe in threatening others. So try again. You are horribly conflicted by your ideological views. Get a grip!

George Lippencott 3 years, 6 months ago

yourworstnightmare (anonymous) says… Must be that publically-funded education that Lippincott received at KU, where yours and my tax dollars went to "educate" this man.

Sorry, but inaccurate. Education was on the coasts. This is about the fifth time you have posted this inaccuracy and I have corrected it. Exactly what is you motive in arguing this repeated inaccuracy?

That I am a KU grad - wrong. That I graduated somewhere and that public money paid in part for my education - right on.

In my day the amount of public funding that went to education was smaller in real terms than today (I do count all sources not just Kansas).

I sure wish I had it as good as you do!!! Ah, but history started in 1985 – right??!!

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 6 months ago

"In my day the amount of public funding that went to education was smaller in real terms than today (I do count all sources not just Kansas)."

Don't be obfuscatory. You know very well that the proportion of the costs of education subsidized by taxpayers was higher in the past.

"Moderate", my foot.

George Lippencott 3 years, 6 months ago

Did you read what I wrote? In my day the number of students that graduated from university/college was a much smaller proportion of graduating high school students than it is today. The state did provide a greater proportion of funding for those students if and only if you limit consideration to the operation of the university.

Today a much larger cohort of our high school graduates go on to college. The state funding per student for university operations may be lower as you claim. The total state contribution is in fact higher because of the larger cohort attending. In addition I did not limit my comment to Kansas. Today, unlike in my time, there are Pell Grants, subsidized student loans and many other sources of revenue simply unheard of in my time. Mrs. Grey-Little just identified the expansion of a Kansas support program that is partially responsible for the tuition increase.

Your assumption implied is that however many students elect to go to college and no matter what they study the rest of us benefit sufficiently to warrant much higher taxes to pay more of your freight. I dispute that notion. It originates in the academic community who definitely has a conflict of interest in this matter. Independent studies suggest that many current graduates are working outside their degree and statistically will probably not recover the cost of the education provided.

Your cohort seems to believe that whatever the university wants it should get. I believe it is long past due for the university to examine how it is spending all the resources available to it and eliminate or down size aspect that are of marginal utility. That includes duplication of curricula at multiple locations, hiring of non-native Kansans from back east with higher salary expectations, allowing professors to have significant research time despite the lack of revenue that research attracts and so on.

Another Me Gen heard from. Give me - Give Me - Give Me. I will save all you old and stupid people. After all you created Climate Change and must be punished for it. And so on.

Oh, by the by, if you can not get something as simple as my educational accomplishments correct after at least four tries, how can we accept anything else you throw about.

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 6 months ago

Seems like you know all about me. Answer these questions, then:

1) How old am I?

2) What is my education level?

3) Did I attend public or private schools?

4) What is my "cohort"?

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 6 months ago

Extremists:

Union members (who threaten their opponents)

School teachers (who murder young children).

Hospice nurses (who burn down day care centers).

Doctors (who keep sexual slaves).

Kindly old retired men (who lie and obfuscate).

George Lippencott 3 years, 6 months ago

Dear YWN

Moderate wrote “Your cohort seems to believe that whatever the university wants it should get.” I do not normally track people and tend to take them as individuals. The cohort I was referring to is one seeking every greater societal investment in education.

I do note in your case a strong reliance on “reason” as the basis for a society. You reject religion and other appeals to what you consider emotion. You are hostile to those who are religious. You are also hostile to those who you feel have been unreasoned in their arguments.

You are a devoted student of the university suggesting some form of affiliation. You are staunchly anti- republican. You despise inequity as you define it. You are a strong believer in the roll of government to right the inequities of our society. You advocate for many things that will cost more and require someone to be taxed more. You are in general silent as to how those resources should be acquired.

You fancy yourself to be pragmatic although I fail to identify a consistent world view that would support such an assertion.

What have I missed and where am I wrong??

gudpoynt 3 years, 6 months ago

Aside from us, nobody is paying attention to any of this.

gudpoynt 3 years, 6 months ago

but do not frown when you have no legacy to pass down

gudpoynt 3 years, 6 months ago

all those you've cured of grave derangement will thank you in your funeral arrangement

gudpoynt 3 years, 6 months ago

i have one fist full of extremism, and the other full of the fear of extremism.

both are extremely sore from clinging so tightly.

gudpoynt 3 years, 6 months ago

but the strength of the clench is irrelevant, because...

Aside from us, nobody is paying attention to any of this.

gudpoynt 3 years, 6 months ago

there are worse past times you could dabble in mime pretending to climb some invisible vine

but sad is the clown who has finally found the one perfect joke only missing a punch line

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 6 months ago

"The cohort I was referring to is one seeking every greater societal investment in education." -Guilty. Oh the horror of such a view.

"I do note in your case a strong reliance on “reason” as the basis for a society. You reject religion and other appeals to what you consider emotion. You are hostile to those who are religious. You are also hostile to those who you feel have been unreasoned in their arguments." -We have a real Sherlock Holmes here... Although "hostile" is not the correct word. I think they are extremely misguided.

"You are a devoted student of the university suggesting some form of affiliation." -I live in a state with a public higher education system.

"You despise inequity as you define it." -If by my defining it, you mean "inequity without a purpose, justification, or reason", then yes.

"You are staunchly anti- republican." -Oops. Not true. I do despise what has taken over the republican party in the last 30 years. Why, my own mudder was a republican.

"You are a strong believer in the roll of government to right the inequities of our society." -Yes, as do all but the most extreme libertarians in our society. Medicare, social security, roads, bridges, infrastructure, libraries, public education, the military. All societal attempts to use government to right inequities.

"You advocate for many things that will cost more and require someone to be taxed more. You are in general silent as to how those resources should be acquired." -If I have been silent, then let my voice be heard. Raise income taxes on wealthy individuals, end tax breaks, cut the corporate tax rate or eliminate it altogether.

"You fancy yourself to be pragmatic although I fail to identify a consistent world view that would support such an assertion. " -Um, sort of the definition of a pragmatist, no?

George Lippencott 3 years, 6 months ago

YWN said

"You are a devoted student of the university suggesting some form of affiliation." -I live in a state with a public higher education system."

Me thinks it is more than that.

-If I have been silent, then let my voice be heard. Raise income taxes on wealthy individuals, end tax breaks, cut the corporate tax rate or eliminate it altogether.

Will not come anywhere near to paying for our deficit let alone increases. Just whom did you have in mind to pay for the increases for education in Kansas that you advocate??

"You fancy yourself to be pragmatic although I fail to identify a consistent world view that would support such an assertion.” -Um, sort of the definition of a pragmatist, no?

Well then, your suggestion on taxes is not that of a pragmatist as there is no way we are going to do what you suggest however merited it might be.

"You are staunchly anti- republican." -Oops. Not true. I do despise what has taken over the Republican Party in the last 30 years. Why, my own mudder was a republican.

Could have fooled me. Be nice if there were Eisenhower Republicans or Jacksonian Democrats - but there are not.

jayhawklawrence 3 years, 5 months ago

What I got out of reading this letter, other than a rather clumsy description of a "liberal world" on LJW was the idea of achieving a level of dialogue where honest discussion may lead to solutions in a problematic world.

That is a goal that most of us are in agreement about.

I think most Americans are asking themselves why we cannot seem to solve any problems in our country anymore. Looking at the Congressional poll numbers we see that Congress may be at it's lowest point in history in the eyes of the American people. Compared to Congress, Obama looks like the Beatles after the Ed Sullivan Show debute, but he is moving downward along with the general mood of the country.

This makes me believe that our fundamental problem may lie in the perception Americans have of themselves and their political responsibility.

I think too many Americans rely on biased information and their unconditional loyalty to a particular political party in order to evaluate information and make political decisions. They absolutely believe in information that comes from completely biased sources and it is hard to get factual information anymore.

Our government and our news media has a huge credibility issue.

Government and political parties cannot manage themselves. If they are allowed to do so they will only work for their own self interest. There is only one way for our system to work and that is for each citizen to be responsible and informed and you cannot be informed if you are unconditionally loyal to a particular political party.

For Americans to truly be Americans they have to have the ability to think independently, break down political rhetoric, be open minded enough to search for solutions and take time to carefully understand the issues before they go to the voting booth.

It is impossible to be right all of the time. Perhaps you might be right 50% of the time, however, it is our job to keep trying to get it right and you won't get there by closing your mind.

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