LJWorld.com weblogs Loyal Opposition



Coming out of the conventions I cannot help but note that the level of discord is acerbic and escalating. The word liar is bandied about freely - frequently focused on opinion and beliefs. Intent is questioned and painted as base. Plans are challenged with high emotional content. Most exchanges are a few sentences long (or less). Horrendous problems are reduced to short sound bites.

In our own little LJW world, ad hominem attack is the coin of the realm. Both sides are absolutely certain as to the righteousness of their opinions. Contrary opinions are belittled and reduced to ridicule. A poster may be cosigned to psychiatric services for expressing anger at what in his/her opinion is a gross misrepresentation.

Now, I spend much time buried in our nation’s history with emphasis on our civil war. I have recently been reading James McPherson’s book “Battle Cry of Freedom“. I would commend it to our free wheeling debaters on here with focus on the political and civic environment from 1850 to 1860. In my reading a similar environment to the one today existed (different topic). That one led to a civil war and 600,000 casualties.

I cannot help but wonder where we are headed with our current debates. Having thoroughly debased the opposition is compromise any longer a possibility? Are we really so sure that our opinions are transcendent and our opponent’s ideas are so worthless? Shades of my kindergarten playground!


Alceste 5 years, 9 months ago

Moderate notes: "A poster may be cosigned to psychiatric services for expressing anger at what in his/her opinion is a gross misrepresentation."

Projection at play here, finally??

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

Good. Like you and JAFS, I never include myself.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

Of course this is right - I agree about the level and kind of conversations on here.

I suggest to the author that he choose not to engage in that sort of thing, as I have chosen - it's the only thing we can do to elevate the level of the discussions.

If he's referring to my suggestion of a good therapist for anger issues, it was just a friendly suggestion - if I found myself increasingly angry, as he comments, I would seek that for myself.

Also, perhaps books on the Civil War may not be the most peace inducing ones to read.

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

JAFS,JAFS,JAFS! How can you be so blind? Disagreement is fundamental to a healthy body politic. This blog is about unhealthy disagreement. I should be able to say pretty much whatever I want about the current administration without being challenged as needing medical care. You remember that in the former Soviet Union dissenters were consigned to mental hospitals for the very act of dissent along.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

Again, I agree completely.

You can say whatever you like, and I can respond in kind, right?

If you think that a friendly suggestion of therapy for anger management is in any way equivalent to a government forcing citizens to be confined in a mental hospital, I don't know what to say.

And, again, if you find the hostility of conversations on here disturbing, as I do, the best thing to do would be not to engage in that sort of behavior yourself, in my opinion.

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

How about some examples of what you consider I have poster recently that would violate JAFS's rule

WRT you I start with exhibit 1 - posting a need for mental health therapy directed at another poster - however well meaning - and I do question intent here.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

What rule?

You wrote a blog that seems concerned about the level and type of discussion on here, and in politics in general. I agreed, and suggested that if you're concerned about that, you make sure your posts don't engage in the kind of behavior you dislike.

My little suggestion about anger seems to have gotten quite a reaction - it was really just a friendly suggestion, given your post on the subject.

I wonder why you react so strongly - therapy is common these days, and no longer stigmatized in our society, many people go to therapy for a variety of reasons, etc.

Your comment above to me that starts with several capitalized versions of my name, asks how I can be so blind, etc. appears to me to be rather hostile and ad hominem to me.

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

No compromise! As long as government is fighting among themselves, they can do less damage to America. Gridlock is the only defense we have left against the liars and thieves in government.

Lock it up tighter than well-drillers ascot.

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

You would think the liberals would have figured out that compromise is in their vital interests. Liberals are the ones who want change. Conservatives are pretty much happy with the status qua. Deadlock leads to the status qua. Whatever this election yields it will not produce the liberal control of 2008. Gridlock. Government shutdowns. Defaults. No money for Obama Care. Maybe in 2014? 2016?? 2018?

Greg Cooper 5 years, 9 months ago

OK, Mod, if you are so concerned about lack of respect in posting, how about you address things by their real names? The Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA for brevity) is not Obamacare. That term has been coined by the opposition as a term of derision and has no place in your "new frontier" of kindness and civility.

And, yes, I do agree with your premise.

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

Mrs S in her convention speech said it is just fine to call it Obama care. It really is hard to keep up

Greg Cooper 5 years, 9 months ago

She did not say it was just fine, she sneeringly referred to Republicans referring to the AHCA as Obamacare.

Again, Mod, simply saying something is so does not make it so.

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

That is not how I took it and since I don't like parts of it I will call it what I will. Of course I heard the sound bite and I missed the alleged sarcasm

Greg Cooper 5 years, 9 months ago

Had you the severe interest in issues that you profess, you'd have watched the speech and known the context of it. But you would rather debunk a "sound bite" than know the real issue. That is why I pay little attention to your posts, and why you constantly resort to personal attacks, misquotes and belittling of others.

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

It's only the third worst poetification in The Universe. Grunthos the Flatulent is a bit worse.

progressive_thinker 5 years, 9 months ago

"I cannot help but wonder where we are headed with our current debates. Having thoroughly debased the opposition is compromise any longer a possibility? Are we really so sure that our opinions are transcendent and our opponent’s ideas are so worthless?"

This topic is a worthy discussion. History is replete with this cycle. Victors become vanquished, then victor again. Each iteration of the cycle brings a new level of instability to each and to the whole.

I have to agree with Moderate. I have to wonder where this is all going.

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

JAFS Wrote: Also, perhaps books on the Civil War may not be the most peace inducing ones to read.

What was it that Plato said "Only the dead have seen the end of war". You will not make it go away by making believe it does not exist. But then avoiding things that impact their "love at all costs" philosophy is typical of the more extreme liberals like JAFS.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago


Please point towards any of my comments that would support your charge of "love at all costs", and "more extreme liberals"?

This is a perfect example of how you distort my points - I can only wonder at your motivation to do so.

Read what you like - I was again only making a friendly suggestion that reading books on one of the most horrible, devastating wars in this country is probably not helping you towards a general sense of well being.

Here's what it's starting to look like to me - you actually like being angry and want to do things that promote that, as well as distorting others' views in order to get mad at them.

Why would you want that?

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

JAFS not everything I post is directed at you personally. The “mote extreme liberals” is directed at those who want to repeal the Bush Tax Increase, who want free medical care, who would indirectly tax the upper middle class with a cap and trade regime that takes from them and gives to others. This is the group that thinks it is just fine to overtax the upper half of the middle class while not taxing half of the citizenry. This is the same group that denies abuses in the social safety net. I can go on.

Now your comment on studying the civil war coupled with past comments on paying for war, and comments on cutting defense are IMHO reflective of a peace at any cost mentality. I am free to make such a comment as it speaks to posts you have made. I have made no posts personally suggesting you need therapy.

Another strawman JAFS. I neither distort posts nor am angry at any specific person - not even you - dispite my perception that you are trying to provoke me.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

You have continually distorted my posts in our discussions, even after I've repeated myself numerous times.

The fact that I believe we can cut our defense budget in many ways doesn't mean I don't want to defend our nation - it means I believe that there's plenty of waste and fraud in the budget, and also a lot of American expansionism. I, of course, want to defend our nation - that's just common sense.

Seems to me that you have it rather backwards about provocation - looks from my end that you're trying to provoke me, with comments like "more extreme liberal", etc.

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

Again you miss the point (ignorance or duplicity?). From your perspective I malign you and distort just about everything.

From my perspective you pretty much do the same. You believe you are right. I know there is no right and wrong and that what you call distortion is my opinion – the one I have a right to have..

The point is that calling me names solves nothing as I just respond in kind.

Now you could actually respond to the substance of my distortions (??)(or lack of it) by answering my questions starting with “How do you propose to pay for the Trillion we are out of balance each year. If taxes are your answer than on who and how much. If you do not agree there is an imbalance your version of the facts would be helpful because my data is US Government certified.

Greg Cooper 5 years, 9 months ago

Exactly what name did he call you?

Anger got you a little flustered, Mod?

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

Careful! If JAFS knew who he was he sure would get after you!

Greg Cooper 5 years, 9 months ago

That's the kind of comment that completely belies your letter's premise. Nice job disproving your wish for civility.

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

Good point. Are you going to make it to JAFS?

Greg Cooper 5 years, 9 months ago

I will when he breaks his own civility rules, which I have not seen happen, even when provoked by you and others. Again, replying with opinion does not equal name-calling or degradation, except in your mind.

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

Sorry with that comment I no longer consider you unbiased. Telling me to seek medical help should break somebody's rules.

tbaker 5 years, 9 months ago

I’ll tell ya where we are headed George: depression and hyperinflation leading to record unemployment and civil unrest that will be much worse than the riots in the 60’s.

Compared to the rest of the world, things in the US are WAY, WAY, better than just about anywhere else on the planet. Nowhere have this many people had it so good for so long. Consequently no one is moved to make significant political changes when the majority of the population is generally happy.

All that is going to change because roughly half the country wants to live off the other half the country and since this gets them elected, politicians are all too happy to oblige. What was supposed to be a temporary government safety net has become a career choice for tens of millions of people.

This is unsustainable and anyone with an IQ of a house plant can understand this – but they won’t even try because ideology blinds them.Even if we taxed people making over $250K a year at 100% (and through some bizarre set of circumstances they were willing to pay it) it wouldn’t even cover half of the deficit for one year.

This is just 8th grade economics. We have a huge and growing structural deficit. That means we have a deficit even when the economy is operating at its full potential and tax revenues are maxed out. 41 cents of every dollar we spend is now borrowed. We print money (quantitative easing) and go through life with our head in the sand ignoring what this is doing to the value of our money. You cannot arbitrarily increase the money supply with no corresponding value-added and then be surprised when inflation comes along as it is doing and robs everyone in the country – rich and poor alike. The only thing making a dollar actually worth a dollar these days is the bond market’s expectation of future tax collection.

The tyranny of simple math is being ignored (and scorned as you point out) because people don’t like it when their world view is challenged with facts and reality. The only way to snap people out of this mass psychosis is to make things very bad for everybody so we can collectively wake up and realize the error of our ways as a country and return to the paradigm where people are expected to take care of themselves. Government is supposed to be guaranteeing everyone’s equal opportunity (rights) and helping clear a path for people setting the most favorable conditions possible for them to look after themselves. Just as we are all born unique individuals, such will be the outcome of our lives. No two will be the same and government should not attempt to make it so.

Robbing Peter to pay Paul has never worked. Socialism has failed every single time it is tried. Personal responsibility, free markets, and individual liberty are the only recipe that works but we will all have to suffer before enough people come to this conclusion to make a real difference.

fiddleback 5 years, 9 months ago

I always love to see that avatar. So do you belong to the Quantrill Society? How often do you fantasize about shooting all the unarmed socialist hippies in Lawrence?

Been thinkin' about gettin' me one of them Tim McVeigh avatars and trollin' the message boards down in Oklahoma City...

Stay classy, tbaker.

Trumbull 5 years, 9 months ago

Never realized it was Quantrill until now.

tbaker 5 years, 9 months ago

Following your lead, I suppose an avatar of Jim Lane would be just fine?

Ad hominem fail. Wise up.

fiddleback 5 years, 9 months ago

Ha! You imagine someone doing that? How many people do you think even know who Jim Lane was?

What a weak attempt to justify your celebration of a mass-murderer.
Strawman fail.

fiddleback 5 years, 9 months ago

Given that he relishes apocalyptic visions of Weimar Republic-style hyperinflation and seemingly dreams of a U.S. without any social safety nets, there isn't much to discuss. We can agree that our country's spending is unsustainable but little else. Tbaker represents the libertarian id, impervious to modern complexities and fortified with false nostalgia for a pre-1900 America in which capitalism was red in tooth and claw. Debating someone committed to this absolutist plateau of thought is pointless. Adherents of this and other such primitive dogma are too complacent to evolve beyond basic self-authoring minds.


But even if the inhumanity of his politics is hopeless, I thought he might be capable of recognizing the inhumanity of his repugnant avatar. Sadly, you, like him, do not seem to comprehend that we are talking about 200 murdered civilians; can you imagine calling the questioning of a Tim McVeigh avatar "weak and childish?" Methinks not.

tbaker 5 years, 9 months ago

Your selective reading of history and clumsy, child-like ad homenim attacks provide a clear view into your barren intellect. Wise up. You should approach this dialog with at least an attempt to reason critically. Nowhere did I advocate the end to safety nets; they will not survive if not reformed. Consider the fact that even suggesting the entitlement culture bankrupting our country be reformed is confounded by the likes of you because “Debating someone committed to this absolutist plateau of thought is pointless”.

By advocating personal responsibility and arguing we need to change the paradigm from one of incentivized failure with handouts, to one where government empowers people to take care of themselves, you stammer away with the baseless regurgitated dogma that such an idea is “...impervious to modern complexities and fortified with false nostalgia.” Since dogma is all you have, you fail to support your assertion with a single example. Only liberals are surprised when they produce more failure by rewarding people for failing.

Nearly two thirds of all federal spending in 2011 went to citizens in the form of some kind of government entitlement or benefit payment. In 1975 it was 46 percent. In 1940 it was 18 percent. This is unsustainable. We will soon not be able to pay for this. The US will soon be forced to spend less money or face fiscal default and catastrophic results.

How would you propose we confront the problem? Perhaps we should do something before that day comes and our choices are stark and limited? Should would trowel forth more of the failed groundless creed that clings to the irrational liberal narrative that most Americans are victims of this or that sinister elite, and aren't competent to cope with life's impenetrable mysteries without government supervision? Is that going to solve the problem?

Or should we consider that it is immoral to regard some individuals as servants to those in need, rather than as independent beings with their own lives and goals. Should we dare question what is noble about a morality that turns men into beggars and victims – those taking government hand-outs, and those forced to work in order to pay for them, the bailed-out and the bailers?

Maybe we should ask what happened to the American ideal of fierce self-reliance which held the right of the individual to exist for his own sake. The founders knew that this is the only possible basis for a free country. This is no less a fact today. We’ve come to the point where it is freedom or service - the pursuit of happiness or of the "public good"--the Declaration of Independence or the endless crises of the welfare state - self-interest or self-sacrifice. Instead of handing-out, maybe we view government safety nets as hand-ups to those in need, while government focuses on clearing a path and setting conditions for everyone to have the best opportunity to take care of themselves.

fiddleback 5 years, 9 months ago

Yes, alas, my poor intellect's as barren as a Cass County homestead after General Order #11...to be fair, you're literally a magnet for ad hominem attacks (at least from the historically literate) when you sport a Quantrill avatar and post on Lawrence's newspaper site. That picture might as well be a middle finger, but of course anyone who calls you on that is out of bounds...

And my mistake if you don't actually advocate removing all safety nets, but likewise, why would you assume that I'm against all reforms? Obviously everything needs reforming.

However, for someone who still wants some safety nets, you certainly pass for a libertarian purist and pioneer fetishist with an 1860's guerilla avatar and phrases like "return to the paradigm where people are expected to take care of themselves." Does the latter sentiment include the sick and elderly? Do you support the continuation of Social Security if it can be made sustainable via means testing or other adaptations? What is your idea to root out illegitimate claims of disability? And do you support Romney if his top-heavy tax cuts will most likely add a couple trillion to the deficit? (http://crfb.org/sites/default/files/Primary_Numbers_--_Romney_add.pdf , http://taxpolicycenter.org/taxtopics/romney-plan.cfm) At least we'll have some ugly automatic cuts coming up if the two sides can't come to an agreement...

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

Wow! it.is unfortunate that those who have contributed to the country and paid their taxes will be destroyed along with those who live off them. In fact the former will be hurt worse.

However, IMHO we will not get to the point you suggest before civil unrest leads to real push back.

I really believe that people like JAFS are clueless on economic reaities. They really think people will willingly give up most of what they have worked to get in prusuit of an idealized notion of social justice.

We have an annual imbalance of 1 trillion and our liberals ignore it. Either we cut programs or we raise taxes. To meet that level we would need to almost double taxes on those who actually pay them.

Of course people like JAFS refuse to acknowledge the reality. I have repeatedly asked the question as to who pays and how much. I have yet to receive an answwr - only suggestions I seek thearpy - shades of the USSR. The "rich" at best will contribute 10%. The real puch back starts when the real costs are recognized by those middle class workers who must pay them.

The big liberal lie. We can have it all if only we raise the marginal tax rates on the "rich" by 10%

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

Again, more distortion.

I think it's time for me to stop talking with you, for the second time - it is increasingly just a waste of time.

For the record, and not for the first time, I generally support the bipartisan debt commission's recommendations, which include both tax increases and spending cuts.

My suggestions about therapy come from your "increasing anger" comment, and the anger I often perceive in your posts, not from questions about the budget.

The idea that an anonymous suggestion is in any way equivalent to an oppressive government is odd - I have no power over you - I'm not your parent, boss, spouse, or a government employee.

No liberal I know suggests that only raising the marginal tax rates on the rich will solve budget issues, so that's another distortion.

I will again recommend therapy, this time for continuing distortions and mis-perceptions on your part.

And, I will stop engaging with you after this post, and request that you stop responding to my posts, for the second time, since we seem to have gotten to the same place again. This will probably be the last round, since I don't imagine another one will get us anywhere different.

Good luck, and good bye.

tbaker 5 years, 9 months ago

We are way past debt commissions Jafs. The out-of-control spending combined with unfunded federal mandates put our national debt somewhere in the $60 trillion range. We are accumulating debt at the rate of $2 million PER MINUTE. As I have repeatedly pointed out, there is no increase in taxes, even taking 100% of what the “rich” make that even begins to scratch the surface. Do you realize there have been Treasury Bond sales (to finance more debt) that for the first time in US history there weren’t enough buyers? Do you know that the Federal Reserve had to step in and buy US bonds with printed money to finance more debt? Saying we can solve our problems by some “balanced” approach of spending cuts coupled with tax increases is just an ignorant ideological cliché that completely ignores the scope of the problem so the solution can be made more politically palatable. It’s about appearances, not real solutions.

What worries me is the fact the kind of change needed to turn this around is so unprecedented in scope it is practically impossible based on today’s political norm. Real spending cuts in government are very rare. When they actually happen and aren’t just accounting gimmicks they just nibble at the edge. I’m going to use you as my typical liberal-leaning American use-case. You’re intelligent and likely well educated, but I would bet you a steak dinner you will categorically reject my previous paragraph. I suspect you’d flatly reject an idea that suggests at least a half a dozen cabinet-level agencies, and hundreds of various spending programs need to be closed and ended. Liberal-leaning folks react emotionally to these kinds of ideas. They will ignore the tyranny of simple math and the unflinching reality it shows us what is coming and fall back on their worldview / ideology. They dig in for more fighting and arguing. Both sides exchange volleys of hubris and congratulate themselves on the righteousness of their stance. Meanwhile nothing has changed and the country continues on towards Armageddon.

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

Sir/Mam. I have to acknowledge your creativity. How do you do it? You seem to be on here 24/7/365. Where does food/clothing/shelter/beer come from??

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

Well my facts are supported by the IRS websight. I have only claimed that the upper middle class is maligned. The rich skate. Taxes on the poor are deceptive as their deductions/credits/adjustments tend to eliminate any tax due while the reducations on the middle just reduce the amount.

Which part of Mr. Ryans oversimplification are you calling a lie? because I claim that Obama will raise my taxes does not mean I agree with paul Ryan. Another liberal strawman to avoid what they know to be true

Carol Bowen 5 years, 9 months ago

I've just about given up on these blogs. They've become little more than banter. At one time, I actually learned from them. Now, being labelled a conservative or a liberal is intended as an insult. Liars, socialists, communists, libertarian. Running to my dictionary (Yes, I still own one.) does not give me information to justify that any of these labels are truly bad, not even liar.

Am I a conservative? Sometimes. Am I liberal? Sometimes. Am I a liar? No, I'm running around with a lantern looking for the truth. Am I a socialist? A libertarian? Capitalist? Sometimes, sometimes not. Do I believe any group needs to bend over backward for another? Never. That's where compromise needs to happen. No group has the ultimate solution.

Trumbull 5 years, 9 months ago

Me too. I have for a long time been disappointed by the way people label others as liberal or conservative. And it is not just these blogs. It is opinion writers and news media. It kind of de-humanizes people when you label them and put them in a category. This is judging people and I was always taught that this is wrong. I lean more for liberals, but this does not mean I am not open to conservative thought and even have conservative beliefs. I also believe that different times call for different measures. Different times call for more conservatisim. Different times call for more liberalisim. Almost like your choice of a fishing lure on a given day.

What this strict judgement and polarization is very much like absolutism. When taken to the extreme, it is very bad and can have terrible consequences. Absolutism has not been talked about much, but it is thick headed and lowest common denominator type thinking. And sadly, I think it gets worse as one gets older. I am getting older and feel like I get pulled into the swamp and am guilty of this myself. God help me from being a bitter old man with a closed mind.

verity 5 years, 9 months ago

I think it's called pragmatism---doing what works, not what is called for by an ideology. I'm not saying that there aren't times when one must stand on principle, but it's generally good to approach other ideas with an open palm rather than a closed fist.

Dehumanizing people is exactly what is intended, not a by-product. If the "other" is not human, then whatever we do to them is justified. And generally the "other" is labeled unjustly so that they can be thought of as not human. Do I need to give examples? They abound on these boards.

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

You can call me a libertarian. Why wouldn't you?.

Don't let words bother you. Just enjoy talking to people that may or may not agree with you. Be happy they aren't like the 99% of Americans that don't care enough to be heard.

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

We do seem to have a problem sorting fact from opinion.

Fact: the rich at times pay less federal income tax then those making considerably less then they do. Opinion: The rich are undertaxed.

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

"Fact: repeat a lie often enough some people accept it as truth. "

I've heard that a million times and I still don't believe it.

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 9 months ago

I have also been interested in how the Civil War still impacts our political dialogue today, particularly in light of the fact that we have our first Black President.

South Carolina seems to be a strong base for Tea Party support and I believe this was the first state to secede from the union.

Southern families that harbored resentment from the Civil War passed along their prejudice and their political ideas to their offspring. I believe I witnessed this in my own family.

The Civil War was not that long ago and I believe it still impacts us today in ways we are probably not aware of. It is hard to erase the negative effects of war.

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago


Are we equating tea party people (anti-tax) with people who advocated slavery?

Is this one of those gross generalizations Verity is challenging??

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 9 months ago

If you want to deny the anti-government/anti-Washington sentiment of the Tea Party you can but I believe you are just being argumentative.

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

Of course they are anti-government. That said they are not advocating forming a new nation. Yojr comparison (if you meant it) is insulting and inaccurate.

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

Well, while I agree with your comparative, I would argue that the difference is in the role of the federal government. One party sees it as the solution to just about all our ills while the otheer sees it as a tool that can become a tyrant.

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago


Tangs picture blocked the "post" box.

I asked for an example of where I had maligned you: None was forthcoming.

As far as distortion. Your definition of a distortion may well be my consdiered opinion. What makes you right?

Are we taking all our toys and going home??

verity 5 years, 9 months ago

I agree that these boards have degenerated, although if one tries, one can still have a conversation without personal insults. Conflict generates clicks and the LJW needs advertising to survive. As we are getting this for free, we can't really blame them because somebody has to pay for it. Maybe we just have to agree to clean it up ourselves.

I have this clever little device called a mouse. I just swipe it and fly by those things I don't want to read. Sometimes, out of sheer cussedness, I read things I know will cause consternation, but I don't have to respond. Obviously, even admittedly, some people come here just to get their jollies by irritating and getting a rise out of others. I don't know if ignoring them would cause them to to away, but at least they wouldn't be getting off on it. Might save a few keyboards from death by drowning.

As far as the greater world is concerned, unfortunately once we have gone down this path, it's hard to go back. Jayhawklawrence's comment is a case in point. Feuds, once started, are passed down through the generations. The only answer, I think, is not to respond in kind.

That doesn't mean letting misinformation stand, but one can counter it with facts, not insults.

Yes, a few people can make a difference. (OK, OK, I know that's a cliche.)

Trumbull 5 years, 9 months ago

Tolstoy has a good story about this called the forged coupon. This was a counterfeit bill that kept getting passed around. The evil only ended when one who lost by accepting the counterfeit bill tore it to shreds. Only in this way did the misdeeds stop.

verity 5 years, 9 months ago

A number of other posts have been made since I started writing mine above.

Cases in point of stating, without basis, what others think.

How about not putting words into other people's mouths?

How about not making sweeping generalizations about other groups of people?

How about stating opinions as opinions, not facts?

And don't give me the "s/he did it first." When I used to babysit and that excuse was used, my reply was, "I don't care who did it first. I don't care if your parents allow it. I don't allow it." Hint: yes, Charlie may have hit Charis first, but Charis was purposely agitating Charlie. Just because my back is turned doesn't mean I don't know what's going on.

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

Must be a teacher

I think it best to not state what specific people think - Not a good idea. I have no trouble with intuiting from a number of posts an individual’s position and restating it. If I am wrong I can be corrected. Generalizations as to "putting words in people's mouth: are useless. As a poster I have a right to challenge misinformation or bias used to challenge my posts.

Sweeping generalizations about groups. Is it wrong to say that the Nazis killed 6 million Jews or the democrats have advocated for a tax increase on those with incomes above $250K? Is it right to write that Republicans want to kill Medicare?

I would submit our anger (I am not alone there) stems from the opinions that follow the generalization. Now I categorically reject the brand opinion as opinion. Hardly anybody on here does that and in most cases it is obvious anyway. The real problem is that many posters can not themselves differentiate between their own facts and opinions.

Perhaps the solution is to simply post ones own opinion or statement as to why another post is off base without challenging personally the other poster Perhaps it would be more profitable to keep to the focus of the thread and not jump shift to some other perhaps meaningful but irrelevant topic for the current thread

Lastly, it does matter who throws the first rock. It also matters as to the size of the rock. Rock throwing almost always ends up in a fire storm. Best to not throw rocks to begin with. I do not buy what I perceive to be the current PC to turn the other cheek. I might do so for somebody with no history of rock throwing but not for regular practitioners in that art.

verity 5 years, 9 months ago

If you are refering to me as "must be a teacher" then you are dead wrong. Really the kind of thing I was talking about.

As far as sweeping generalizations, I'm talking about "all liberals are" or "all rightwingers are." Things not based on certifiable fact. Sorry if that was not clear.

Rocks are not being thrown here. Words are. And turn the other cheek---well, I think that's a few thousand years old. As for the rest, I'm not even sure what you're saying, but in my opinion, it appears that you are itching for a fight.

So I am walking away.

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

Not with you although I did offer alternatives to your thoughts.

Must be a teacher was a compliment to the way you parsed the issue - I happen to think well of teachers as a group.

Could we be spring loaded to an assumption that since I post negative at times. all y posts are negative??

verity 5 years, 9 months ago

"Spring loaded to an assumption"

OK, that's just funny---and you're right.

Your post sounded adversarial to me. If I was wrong, then I apologuze.

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

Well I did n o0t mean to be adversarial with you but I was disagreeing. Maybe I disagreed to strongly.

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

28 hours ago Progressive Thinker posted the following

"I cannot help but wonder where we are headed with our current debates. Having thoroughly debased the opposition is compromise any longer a possibility? Are we really so sure that our opinions are transcendent and our opponent’s ideas are so worthless?"

This topic is a worthy discussion. History is replete with this cycle. Victors become vanquished, then victor again. Each iteration of the cycle brings a new level of instability to each and to the whole.

I have to agree with Moderate. I have to wonder where this is all going."

We could have pursued that notion but we didn't. Wonder why?

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 9 months ago

The viewpoints expressed on this blog are a good cross section as to the variety of political views present across this country.

I have found reading them to be very valuable.

It seems even more miraculous and mysterious to me that we could ever have created a United States of America.

As I watch the Republican Party try to rig the elections this year, including the work of Kobach I wonder how these people can say they have any understanding of the history of this country or understand the real beauty of our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

It makes the work of Sister Campbell ("Nuns on a Bus") even more special for me because I know I owe my freedoms to special people exactly like her. Somehow, we have always had these small voices who rose up above the rest of us to remind us of what is truly worth fighting for.

There is simply no rational moral or economic justification for massive tax cuts for rich people based on trickle down theories or deregulation that led to the banking crisis. Greed and the battle for power is an old story. As old as the human race.

tbaker 5 years, 9 months ago

"There is simply no rational moral or economic justification for massive tax cuts for rich people based on trickle down theories or deregulation that led to the banking crisis. Greed and the battle for power is an old story. As old as the human race." - Jayhawk

I'm not sure if your world view / ideology will permit this, but consider for a moment a world where the government took 100% of the money made by people making over $250K a year (aka; the evil rich) That won't even cover HALF the deficit for one year and this assumes people would actually continue to work even though everything they earned was taken from them. We are WAY past the point where raising taxes will do any good. Huge cuts in spending are required. Thats not my opinion - thats just simple math and 8th grade civics class. This is hard for liberals to process - I know. There is always someone out there who must be not paying his fair share causing all this hardship. The last thing it could be is a government that has grown much too large and spends way too much. All I ask is you aquiant yourself with the harsh realities of the economic numbers and come to your own conclusions.

The banking crisis was not caused by deregulation. Name the regulation that was done away with that caused it? This is just a baseless liberal talking point that tends to resonate well in focus groups, it is the farthest thing from a fact. Regulation was actually one of the pricipal causes (have you heard of the Dodd/Frank Bill?)


You don't owe your freedoms to Sister Campbell. You owe them to the fact you were born in the United States which holds that human beings have inalienable rights. Our founders put these in a constitution our leaders are sworn to protect and defend (so you can keep having these rights). In the United States the individual person is sovereign, not the government. The reverse is true in much of the rest of the world. You should be thankful.

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 9 months ago

My impression from reading your comments is that you are the one with the narrow ideological view and you are married to a lot of opinions that seem historically very selective with the facts.

You also have an obsession with your readers being 8th graders.

I am not surprised since the only people that would seriously believe in Paul Ryan economics would have to be around that educational level.

fiddleback 5 years, 9 months ago

"Name the regulation that was done away with that caused it?"


Another factor was the failure to regulate the emerging OTC derivatives market:


George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago


Was Mr. Clinton not on duty when Glass-Steagail was repealed? Where were the Congressional oversight hoard when derivatives were born? Where was the press.

It would seem that there may be broad responsibility for what happened to include that many of the derivatives were not producing but included federally insured mortgages

We would all get along better if this particular canard was just used as a lessons learned and not a campaign issue.

fiddleback 5 years, 9 months ago

I never said I was exempting Clinton from blame; far from it. He himself has admitted that signing CMFA was one of his greatest blunders.

I am not mentioning this as a campaign issue, but simply to illustrate the deliberate lack of oversight in such areas, and that deregulation did indeed facilitate the 2008 collapse.

George Lippencott 5 years, 9 months ago

No argument as long as we keep it neutral.

Given the lack of success of other regulation regimes I wonder if we would have caught it??

tbaker 5 years, 9 months ago

"Another factor was the failure to regulate the emerging OTC derivatives market"

People often mistake de-regulation (lack of regulation / government control) with a failure to enforce the laws already on the books, as was the case with the SEC's failed role in enforcing the rules when it came to the derivatives market. Case in point was the SECs failure to enforce the law when it came to the behavior of the various bond rating services such as Standard & Poor's, Moody's and Fitc, not to mention the unchecked activities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (which Bush tried and failed to regulate).

When one adds the effects of Dodd/Frank to this picture, the de-regulation aurgment collapses, but liberal folks do not want to hear about how government caused the problem in the first place. Facts make no difference. They will not/cannot let go of the mistaken belief that government solves problems, becuase if they do, their ideology comes unraveled.

fiddleback 5 years, 9 months ago

"as was the case with the SEC's failed role in enforcing the rules when it came to the derivatives market."

The SEC regulates options, not swaps, an important distinction. The CFTC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodity_Futures_Trading_Commission) has more oversight over derivatives, except that CFMA officially curbed their power to regulate OTC derivatives and swaps (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodity_Futures_Modernization_Act_of_2000). Yes, the SEC leadership had manifold failures during the Bush years, including regulating the ratings agencies. However, deregulation during the end of Clinton's term was at the root of the bubble.

And sorry, but as suggested above, your grasp of these issues seems at best scattershot and/or selective. Nonetheless, feel free to enlighten us with borrowed tautologies about the horrors of Dodd-Frank. I'm sure people will listen, as William Quantrill was nothing if not fair and balanced, right? Though if I had to pick a bushwhacking stock broker, I'd probably go with Bloody Bill Anderson...

tbaker 5 years, 9 months ago

You cite Wikipedia and question my grasp of the issues? LMAO

fiddleback 5 years, 9 months ago

Not much of a rebuttal, Will. Yes, I start with simple references to give you an overview because you haven't shown any awareness of what the CFTC or CFMA are, let alone acknowledged that they contradict your "what deregulation?" argument above.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 9 months ago

America has always had nasty and lively politics. Back in the day you needed the sand to speak up in public or at least slink around at night with spray paint. Now, anonymous "avatars" fling monkey poo. Smelly and sometimes entertaining, but probably doesn't help us make good collective decisions.

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 9 months ago

I would like to apologize to all 8th graders for any insulting comments I made today.

I know a lot of them are very bright.


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