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Thread: The republican party, is a corporate think tank controled, propaganda group/ cult.

  1. #101  
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    Irrelevant anecdote is not evidence. Your assertion that the "liberal" arguments you are referring to have some basis in a belief that political conservatism is a recent media invention, is not supported by observing the existence of conservative regions of the US. Rather the opposite, if anything, but not much there either.
    Not sure what you are trying to say. You've spent months railed on conservative corporate media to people who don't even watch it; if that media they aren't having an effect to make people more conservative, or changing people's minds in that general direction--than you have no argument. As I've said before most of the specifics put forth in the conservative media were presumed before they were even broadcast and were hardly news at all--mostly "ya...no surprise there moments." or "of course!" That's how our brain's tend to work; Fox News Rush and others make lots of money tapping conservative confirmation bias; MSNBC taps liberal bias.


    In all of these matters self-described "conservatives" have signed on to profoundly radical, new and untraditional, or even traditionally liberal ideological positions, at the behest of their media buttonpushers (no other source exists).
    I have no idea what you are trying to convey. Not a clue. Some of this might be your unique definition of conservatism--my past several post have illustrated my brand common to New England small towns--more akin to Ron Paul conservatism.
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  2. #102  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ”lynx”
    You've spent months railed on conservative corporate media to people who don't even watch it;
    With dozens of examples and a simple, direct argument showing the influence of that media on those people – it frames their issues, provides a common body of specific errors and falsehoods with no other source, regulates their vocabulary, and so forth.
    Quote Originally Posted by ”lynx”
    if that media they aren't having an effect to make people more conservative, or changing people's minds in that general direction--than you have no argument.
    For the tenth time: Ascribing your stupid, insulting, and suspiciously convenient misreadings to me is something you should quit doing. You are unable to follow my arguments. I don’t know why – the blind spots are huge, and form a pattern familiar from Fox News and the like, but the possible root causes are varied. I can’t do anything about that, but I don’t have to reply as if engaged in a debate over my actual arguments and postings.
    Quote Originally Posted by ”lynx”
    As I've said before most of the specifics put forth in the conservative media were presumed before they were even broadcast and were hardly news at all- -mostly "ya...no surprise there moments." or "of course!"
    That is false. I listed many, many examples of specifics - in particular specific recent falsehoods, but including many issues that run directly counter to conservative ideology and tradition (deregulated banks, foreign wars on borrowed money, expansion of Presidential powers, federal police intrusions on privacy, suspension of provisions in the Bill of Rights, the list is long) – for which that cannot possibly have been the case.
    Quote Originally Posted by ”lynx”
    That's how our brain's tend to work; Fox News Rush and others make lots of money tapping conservative confirmation bias;
    They tap it to sell their corporate agenda – I am pointing to the success of the sales job, and observing that it is evidence of their influence. They have sold the self-described “conservatives” of America a pile of garbage; their clever tapping of racial bigotries, economic and historical ignorance, innumeracy and illiteracy and general substandard education, comes under the heading of technique (including a generation’s campaign of creating that substandard education etc).
    Quote Originally Posted by ”lynx”
    MSNBC taps liberal bias.
    A very recent and still nascent phenomenon of uncertain validity - there’s no 25 year history of that (the couple of “liberal” shows on MSNBC are fairly new, they replace solidly rightwing standard-bias fare that was norm for many years, and MSNBC is the only TV station that has even them) or comcomitant degree of influence. There are no common “liberal” specific falsehoods in the public discourse that trace back to MSNBC, for example, to contrast with the dozen or more “conservative” ones that trace back to the major media altogether including MSNBC.
    Quote Originally Posted by ”lynx”
    I have no idea what you are trying to convey. Not a clue.
    No kidding. Do you recall my pointing this out several times in the past?
    Quote Originally Posted by ”lynx”
    Some of this might be your unique definition of conservatism--my past several post have illustrated my brand common to New England small towns--more akin to Ron Paul conservatism.
    No conservatism includes blatant and recently invented specific falsehoods among its core principles. No Ron Paul brand conservative principles support the Patriot Act, the Iraq War Powers Act, deregulation of Wall Street and the big banks, warrantless wiretapping, suspension of habeas corpus, privatization of the military, haphazard foreign military ventures, or a President who would push such an agenda.

    Yet the “conservatives” in the part of Maine you reference ended up supporting all those things, repeatedly and consistently for years on end, and look primed to continue their support of corporate “personhood”, deregulation of financial and commodity markets, reduction of taxes on the very wealthy, military response in Iran, and so forth and so on: and, especially, the politicians advancing such measures as their political agenda – in particular, Republican swine.

    They will continue to believe easily debunked falsehoods with no apparent “confirmation bias” in conservative outlook at all (their is no event to over-learn from) much less a Ron Paul brand – that Obama bailed out the banks, that the Obama negotiated health care plan is “socialist”, that Obama ran much larger deficits than W, that Obama was not born in the US, and so forth.

    The question is why, or how, this situation as has come about. It doesn’t arise spontaneously from conservative beliefs, Ron Paul’s or anyone else’s. The OP offers an explanation that seems generally to fit the facts and events.
    Last edited by iceaura; March 8th, 2012 at 12:36 AM.
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  3. #103  
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    Quote Originally Posted by NancyPhillips1234 View Post
    I from Wilson NC, this town was made off Tobacco money, and since Bev Perdue came along we can ensure that we will not have that very long, if she has anything to do with it. I worked in the tobacco fields growing up every summer and found it to be a real honor to know that is what makes our town special, but of course the small-town farmer is dweddling away and tobacco will be taxed till it is unaffordable just like gasoline. It just seems that the give it to me free society is the cancer that has no answer.
    Now.... how is that the democrats' fault? It sounds to me like small farms are dying because big farms are killing them off. Go figure. The small farms can't afford their own private senator to lower their taxes for them like the big farms can.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by NancyPhillips1234 View Post
    I am a Republican female and totally disagree with the idea that we are corporate guided puppets that choose capitalism over the American people.

    A lot of the argument stems from a disbelief, perhaps from life inexperience, that conservatives have been around for many generations before big media was even around.
    Except those conservatives were nothing like today's conservatives.

    The media feeds Republicans a false sense of a history that never was, and they buy it, hook, line and sinker. Just like how those idiot Muslims across the ocean buy into false histories. It's easy to prey on people who treat rumor as fact, and Rush Limbaugh's speculations as if they were the erudite teachings of an educated man. I don't think Republicans are evil people, just really really naive. I hope they grow up soon, and realize that real life isn't a big, simple, narrative.

    And that the free market is not a panacea (because there is no such thing as a panacea in economics. )
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  4. #104  
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    People were even more naive a hundred (or even thirty years) ago than they are now. They seldom got news and tended to believe what they heard because they got it from people they respected, or like now, listened to people of similar views. Small communities were pretty tight knit. I remember reading a paper a few years back how the polarized media is much like a return to the 19th century when most people got their news from one or two biased newspapers, usually the only ones you could get, because they were written for the communities they served. People who don't like Rush don't listen to him and tend not to believe what ever he spouts--if you listen to him you probably believe most of what he says because you see the world in a similar way and trust him. MSNBC established in the same year as Fox News deliberately as a counter alternative uses lies (perhaps too strong because they probably believe themselves) of omission on a regular basis--people who watch it tend to trust them because they already have that point of view. There's also the over generalization, on both sides, that just because you subscribe to the general philosophies of a party (say small government...or socialism (hehe) , you believe in every position of that party--that too is a mistake.

    Trust me I'm perfectly willing to make a Faustian deal on quite a few issues to get government (at every level) cut in half and return us to a nation of responsible, independent citizenry rather than the entitlement society our kids will pay for. But fear not, it won't happen this year for the White house, unless the economy does a tail spin this summer--the Republicans just don't have the leadership to pull its three main interest together (religion, business freedom, and the libertarians).
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    MSNBC established in the same year as Fox News deliberately as a counter alternative
    That is false. MSNBC was a standard rightwing news source for many years, dominated by people like Joe Scarborough et al. It's first news analysis operations were hosted by Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham. It's first overt break from its steady supply of standard corporate rightwing programming started around 2005 or so, with Olbermann's show.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    uses lies (perhaps too strong because they probably believe themselves) of omission on a regular basis--
    Likewise false, in two ways: such lies would require intent, and MSNBC does not often commit them - at least, not during its "liberal" programming.

    The people asserting that the Fox News cadre tells lies - lies of omission, lies of commission, lies of deception, lies of misdirection, lies of innuendo, lies of material fact and lies of context, tactical lies and strategical lies, lies of all kinds and consistently delivered and reiterated after correction or complaint - have posted many, many direct examples as well as argument from audience patterns etc. A comparison with Fox would require something at least approaching similar evidence, argument, etc. Anything less would be simple slander.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Trust me I'm perfectly willing to make a Faustian deal on quite a few issues to get government (at every level) cut in half return us to a nation of independent citizenry rather than the entitlement society our kids will pay for.
    It's way too late for that - after W's administration finished wrecking the place, simply paying the bills and keeping the ports open will require a government more than half the size of the one he started with.

    Besides: there was no such past to "return" to. Chasing that fantasy simply turns the country over to the Robber Barons and company towns again. Your only actual, real life agenda is tax cuts for rich people - and if you really wanted to shrink government you would increase taxes on rich people. That would also have the benefit of reducing the burden of Republican debt service on your kids, if you actually care about your kids.
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  6. #106  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    People who don't like Rush don't listen to him and tend not to believe what ever he spouts--if you listen to him you probably believe most of what he says because you see the world in a similar way and trust him. MSNBC established in the same year as Fox News deliberately as a counter alternative uses lies (perhaps too strong because they probably believe themselves) of omission on a regular basis--people who watch it tend to trust them because they already have that point of view. There's also the over generalization, on both sides, that just because you subscribe to the general philosophies of a party (say small government...or socialism (hehe) , you believe in every position of that party--that too is a mistake.
    It's true that polarization occurs on both sides. What worries me is when one side consistently shows itself more willing than the other to disregard the advice of the "educated elitists".



    Trust me I'm perfectly willing to make a Faustian deal on quite a few issues to get government (at every level) cut in half and return us to a nation of responsible, independent citizenry rather than the entitlement society our kids will pay for. But fear not, it won't happen this year for the White house, unless the economy does a tail spin this summer--the Republicans just don't have the leadership to pull its three main interest together (religion, business freedom, and the libertarians).
    Republicans and democrats both propose equal and opposite government welfare. It's just that one of them is called the "Defense Budget". Military spending is economically the same thing, really. A soldier and a welfare recipient are economically (though not morally) identical in that both groups' actions don't result in anything that can be bought or sold. In economics that's the only trait that matters. The fact that one profession is inherently more honorable than the other doesn't affect its economic usefulness whatsoever. It just makes us emotionally feel better about it.

    If you really look at the defining difference between the Clinton era and the present, the core difference in his policy is that he basically gutted the military. It gave him a tax surplus, and coincided with the most prosperous period in recent memory. That might just be a coincidence, but I doubt it. Also when you look at the worst failed states in modern history, most of them were paying something like 50% of their GDP into military expenses. The Soviet Union was notorious that way. North Korea still is now. Ukraine is a very interesting case, because it has nukes, but still for some reason maintains the currently largest military force in all of Western Europe. I suspect they just realize that they can't afford to fire that many government employees. But how do you prosper economically and at the same time pay millions of people to do something that will never yield any visible economic return?

    If we can find ways to pay less to get security, we really should seek them out. We need better diplomacy, and more decisive political tactics when we deploy (fewer "pie in the sky" dream goals like "rebuilding" or "spreading democracy", and replace them with realistic objectives). I'd also like to see the military culled down to just a very few elite core groups during peace time, and all the rest assigned to the reserves. I figure the most determined and efficient soldiers would survive the culling, so I don't really feel bad about the rest.
    Last edited by kojax; March 8th, 2012 at 03:46 AM.
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  7. #107  
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    We're using different tape measures, you're definitions of liberals and conservative are so different there's no meeting nor way to repair our conversation.

    Starving the beast and getting representatives who understand half an economy monopolized by government foundamentally wrong and stiffling private business is the only way to reduce government. I'm not willing to even consider raising taxes for anyone at this point until we stop giving money away to those who've done nothing for their country unless they are severely handicapped or have starving kids. Everyone needs skin in the game.

    I don't think you'd like my government nor ideas on citizenship.
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  8. #108  
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    Sorry. Didn't mean to change stuff after you had posted. I hope I was just shuffling things around to try and shorten my post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    We're using different tape measures, you're definitions of liberals and conservative are so different there's no meeting nor way to repair our conversation.

    Starving the beast and getting representatives who understand half an economy monopolized by government foundamentally wrong and stiffling private business is the only way to reduce government. I'm not willing to even consider raising taxes for anyone at this point until we stop giving money away to those who've done nothing for their country unless they are severely handicapped or have starving kids. Everyone needs skin in the game.

    I don't think you'd like my government nor ideas on citizenship.
    The problem is both sides have their pet budget things.

    I read " well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State" to mean the founders opposed large standing armies. It's also apparent in some of the quotes of prominent figures such as Benjamin Franklin that they didn't think much of the idea. Certainly they also wouldn't have supported a dole, and their idea of a properly functioning prison probably fit into a much tighter budget constraint than ours. Then there's environmental litigation, and the massive armies of lawyers that get paid to resolve those disputes.

    I just don't think the cuts we really need to make would ever make either side very happy.
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    Let me give an example of what I mean about republicans of today differing substantially from republicans of yesteryear. The republicans of the 50's and 60's revered education, wanting for the country to be run by the "best and the brightest." That's the exact polar opposite of their stance today, where anyone with a PhD is labeled an "elitist" when they give their opinion, and with the most recent president pushing "no child left behind." On that note, I highly doubt the Republicans of the 1960's would have even considered, in their wildest dreams, electing GW.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    We're using different tape measures, you're definitions of liberals and conservative are so different there's no meeting nor way to repair our conversation.
    You aren't using any measure at all - you don't employ any definition of "liberal" or "conservative" whatsoever. That is a consequence of the ongoing corporate rightwing propaganda campaign you've suckered into, which like all authoritarian cons includes a large amount of Orwellian vocabulary destruction. You can't see, write, or think usefully about these topics, because you don't have any words left that mean anything.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Starving the beast and getting representatives who understand half an economy monopolized by government foundamentally wrong and stiffling private business is the only way to reduce government
    Cato Institute resident researchers not long ago pointed out what anyone who understood market economics would have seen long ago and easily: that reducing taxes on rich people makes government grow, while raising taxes on rich people causes government to shrink. "Starving the beast" just increases the debt burden of the growing government, risking major financial problems. Reagan, Bush, and W showed how that works for twenty years among them.

    You keep going down that well-explored road, your economy will end up where everyone else's has - nothing left of your economy but crippling debt, government employment, and sucking up to rich people.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    I'm not willing to even consider raising taxes for anyone at this point - - - - .
    Then you can kiss your hope of small government goodbye - because if the rich don't have to pay for it they're going to order up the big dinner, just as they did in 1981 and 2001.

    You slop the hogs that generously, they're going to get big in a hurry.

    until we stop giving money away to those who've done nothing for their country unless they are severely handicapped or have starving kids
    Really. Welfare? That piddling little smatter of spare change is worth wrecking the country to shut down?

    Or were you talking about serious money - like the subsidies to the major corporations, the military boondoggling, or the huge tax privileges of the wealthy?

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    The problem is both sides have their pet budget things.
    No. The problem is the rich don't want to pay taxes - and now have the means to enforce their preferences in the matter.
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    It's true that polarization occurs on both sides.
    It hasn't, though. There simply is no equivalent, even a sort of approximation, of this degenerate Republican Party on any "other side".
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  11. #111  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Let me give an example of what I mean about republicans of today differing substantially from republicans of yesteryear. The republicans of the 50's and 60's revered education, wanting for the country to be run by the "best and the brightest." That's the exact polar opposite of their stance today,
    They still do mostly revere education. But want federal government to stay out out of it because it's a state rights issue. They also want accountability for schools and teachers, more schooling choices for the parents, and $ for college/technicals schools based on merit rather than just handed out to anyone. NCLB is in large part a failure--as are many Federal one-size fits all solutions. In some other places, I think they are off their kilter, such as prayer and anti-science curriculum being driven by the Evangelical arm.

    And Ice, it would have been nice to provide a link to that article from CATA. Perhaps you didn't want folks here to see the point in that discussion central to our discussion:
    "Those of us who believe that govern-
    ment has reached a size at which it threatens to become our master
    rather than our servant should therefore (1) oppose any tax increase;
    (2) press for expenditure cuts; (3) accept large deficits as the lesser of
    evils." http://www.pdfdownload.org/pdf2html/...pdf&images=yes
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; March 8th, 2012 at 11:02 AM.
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  12. #112  
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    And Ice, it would have been nice to provide a link to that article from CATA. Perhaps you didn't want folks here to see the point in that discussion central to our discussion:
    That's "Cato" - it's not an acronym, it's the name of a guy you should read - and that point is not central here (no point made by a Cato Institute essay is relevant here except as it illustrates the corruption of the Republican Party: the Cato Institute is one of the corporate think tanks referred to in the OP)

    but since it is illustrative of that, as it clearly illustrates the degree to which propaganda from such sources has framed and corrupted the US public discourse via the modern (Reaganite) Republican Party's media support, let's notice what it says.

    For one thing, it shows the orcs willing to "accept large deficits" as well as an expanding Federal government, all the way up to and including national economic collapse, in pursuit of tax cuts for rich people, and their strategy of actually doing so. Thus the dishonesty of all the rhetoric about "smaller government" and "OMG look at the deficit, we have to do such and so". They are perfectly willing to allow - even encourage - government to grow like Topsy, metastasize ineffective agencies that do not disturb them (especially, "security"), spend like a drunken sailor, start wars all over the planet, neglect the landscape and infrastructure and resource base, and raise generations of people who can't add fractions or read a book, as long as their taxes are reduced.

    And that quote shows it - their pet intellectuals in charge of justification have come through, despite that little glitch about lower taxes leading to expanding government. So, yeah, post it. In combination with the Republican Party campaign rhetoric we can find all over our TV any time these days, it illustrates the OP's claim.

    The situation so far is that the Republican voter is willing to crash the US economy, ruin your fellow citizens and country, destroy everything in the US from middle class egalitarian politics to its tradition of working class independence from servility to the rich, allow those rich to gather in the entire 75 year built up surplus of the US working class from WWII in perpetuity, to save a few nickels on food stamps and deny medical care to bums. The people who have sold you on that, who have bought an entire Political Party and supporting media infrastructure to sell that as actual governing policy, aren't bothered by ruination of the US - like their friends the wealthy in Brazil, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Dubai, Paraguay, Mexico, Peru, Indonesia, Singapore, etc; like their long ancestry in Italy, Egypt, China, Russia, France, Spain, etc; they anticipate doing very well, thank you. They want tax cuts, they get tax cuts, they become and remain rich and powerful.
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  13. #113  
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    It's funny to see you now dis your source after it has been pointed out what is actually says. Funny as heck. :-)
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    Quote Originally Posted by llynx
    It's funny to see you now dis your source after it has been pointed out what is actually says. Funny as heck. :-)
    So the pattern - fail to follow an argument, reply by personal insult, get that screwed up as well - is with us still.

    I don't think you've noticed what it actually says, in terms of this thread. But you could reread it, compare it with the Republican Party campaign rhetoric - and then look at the OP again.

    Because, to put things gently, it wasn't my chosen source I was dissing. The Cato Institute is long familiar to me, and all its "conclusions". I just picked a source for the point (reducing taxes on rich people increases the size and expense of a given government) the orcs couldn't possibly label "liberal", and instead would have to deal with in terms of content. Why do you think I chose that source? For what it actually says. And it says this:

    In the US right now: increasing taxes on rich people will lead to smaller government; decreasing taxes on rich people will lead to larger government.

    The various explanations - - make them pay for the government and they will help you curb its growth; run your society better and you don't need as much in the way of government agency; cut down on borrowing and there's less pressure from compounding debt - - are of interest, but the basic fact I just wanted to nail down. The fact that this insight is standard, known, available, to the corporate think tanks currently puppet-running the Republican Party and framing the major media operations, tht they know what they are doing, is relevant here.

    And I knew the kind of stuff I was trying to nail into.
    Last edited by iceaura; March 8th, 2012 at 08:14 PM.
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    "But
    their argument fails to take into account the degree of progression
    built into the existing tax system, which means that the burden of
    government spending is not sufficiently felt by much of the elector-
    ate. The fiscal pragmatism argument ignores the case made by public
    choice theorists that, absent a constitutional balanced budget require-
    ment, the tendency in elective democracy is for government to bor-
    row and spend rather than tax and spend, and to spend much rather
    than little."
    It's amazing sometimes how you interpret things. I put the rest of their conclusion so you can read it again--it doesn't have much to do with yours. If anything their argument is our tax code is too progressive--that means the exact opposite of your plan to continue to turn us into a thinly vialed socialist county where government controls more than half the money and dolls it out to private contractors or pays people directly even if they don't have skin in the game because we keep soaking it to our risk takers and money makers. But I'm glad you showed us link--you need to post from CATO more often. t
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  16. #116  
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    It's amazing sometimes how you interpret things. I put the rest of their conclusion so you can read it again--it doesn't have much to do with yours. If anything their argument is our tax code is too progressive-
    Oh, dude - - -

    1) - - - - The extraordinary arguments of the Cato Institute are familiar to me (their analysis of the justifications of the Iraq War and its financing being particularly educational) and if I were going to make a three page post detailing the progression from corporate think tank to Fox News shibboleth to Republican campaign canard to gullible rightwing internet poster, with the agenda tracked the whole way (tax cuts for rich people), I might start with the entire argument structure and "conclusions" of a familiar source like this.

    But since I was making no such book length post, I didn't do that. So there's no post about that, like that, or relevant to that. I didn't even link to the article, as nothing in it pertained at the moment. So how about you respond to the posts made, as made, with the arguments they actually contain? Is that really too much to ask? Is there some way to prevent you from sailing off on some irrelevant tack, misreading and misleading and inevitably insulting in that it's supposed to be my posting that - - - -

    2) - - - and was instead making the quick and simple point that all this noise about smaller government and reducing deficits and increasing freedoms and whatnot is sideshow for these people, at best auxiliary and at worst deliberately misleading, which provides the key perspective on their relationship with the Republican Party: that it's a vehicle for them to get their taxes cut and their butts in the power seats. And so far, it's worked like a charm. This is further evidence supporting the OP, the thread topic, which if you would remind yourself about before posting might help you in following my arguments - - - - -

    3) oh hell with this. Look: you apparently can't follow even simple arguments on this topic, but that doesn't mean you need to be posting this stupid shit over and over and over. Never reply to any post of mine on this topic. Just stop.

    And in your freed up time:
    But I'm glad you showed us link--you need to post from CATO more often.
    read Cato. It's a name, not an acronym - one cap. One of those old time philosophers , or another (your choice). The Institute is ironically named - but the wingnuts there are like all the others: completely deaf to irony (that's actually an identifying characteristic, a field mark).
    Last edited by iceaura; March 9th, 2012 at 01:20 AM. Reason: repair serious error in implication
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  17. #117  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Let me give an example of what I mean about republicans of today differing substantially from republicans of yesteryear. The republicans of the 50's and 60's revered education, wanting for the country to be run by the "best and the brightest." That's the exact polar opposite of their stance today,
    They still do mostly revere education. But want federal government to stay out out of it because it's a state rights issue. They also want accountability for schools and teachers, more schooling choices for the parents, and $ for college/technicals schools based on merit rather than just handed out to anyone. NCLB is in large part a failure--as are many Federal one-size fits all solutions. In some other places, I think they are off their kilter, such as prayer and anti-science curriculum being driven by the Evangelical arm.
    Yes. They worship education itself, at least up the level of a bachelor's degree, and dream of their kids getting one.

    I guess I should have said that they used to worship educated people. Instead of branding people with doctorates who come out on an issue with their educated advice as "elitists", they used to listen to them. They also used to be more darwinistic about intelligence, preferring for the smartest people to run everything. Now I think enough of them realize their kids aren't headed in that direction, that "no child left behind" type thinking has taken over.

    This problem could stem just as much from the difference in academic discipline found in the public schools of small towns vs. big towns, as from anything else. I am a bit reluctant to assign the issue to DNA (though that's not impossible to be present here). If you come from a school with poor academic discipline then you'll tend to know less about "common knowledge" issues, which would make a person appear dumber than they really are.

    And Ice, it would have been nice to provide a link to that article from CATA. Perhaps you didn't want folks here to see the point in that discussion central to our discussion:
    "Those of us who believe that govern-
    ment has reached a size at which it threatens to become our master
    rather than our servant should therefore (1) oppose any tax increase;
    (2) press for expenditure cuts; (3) accept large deficits as the lesser of
    evils." cj26n3-9.pdf - By Nitro PDF Software
    Are those the views of CATA?

    #3 is quite insidious. If we accept Large Deficits, those will give the government justification to impose a higher tax rate upon us. And once we become accustomed to that tax rate, they'll keep charging it to us even if those deficits were to begin to get paid off.

    People are just so gullible. Government can conjure up a proxy to do its evil for it, and we fool ourselves into thinking that proxy is responsible for our condition, rather than the entity that purposefully created that proxy intending for it to do what it is doing. They get us into wars, so the war can be the reason for our taxation. They get us into debt so the debt can be the reason for our taxation. They put people in prison over petty crimes like selling pot, so the crime rate can be the reason for our taxation. Nobody seems to ask: what would happen if we simply removed the proxy entity?

    Maybe it's because we don't like the answer: if we removed today's proxy entity, the government would simply dream up another to replace it.
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  18. #118  
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    Are those the views of CATO?
    As a whole, perhaps not, but it is the type of pragmatism they sometimes show toMorton's Fork dilemma.

    Nobody seems to ask: what would happen if we simply removed the proxy entity?

    But since the government is "We the people," as someone once said we get the government we deserve. I, and many millions of others would chop it in half; regardless of the temporary pain, we'd be stronger nation by the end of it.
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    Cutting the government in half would be good, as long as we don't try to do it all at once, and people could agree on where to make the cuts. What usually happens is each special interest looks only at the one thing they want to see funded. The worst is if that special interest is a corporation that wants its own government contract funded, because they'll figure out which senator(s) are key to the issue and go after them with a vendetta. The one decision all by itself could cost them their next election, regardless of how good a job they've been doing overall. A government workers union can be just as dangerous, or a political action group like Sierra Club.

    If Senators/Congressmen know from the outset that they won't be fairly judged, then attempting to do the right thing is career suicide. Maybe some honest people will take that route, but.... they'lll quickly be replaced.

    So, what I'm trying to say is: the problem you want solved can't be solved until you solve the underlying problems. Without some serious changes to the state of campaign finance, and the confidentiality of donations to political action groups, pork barrel politics is going to easily survive all attempts to unseat it.
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    Are those the views of CATA?

    #3 is quite insidious. If we accept Large Deficits, those will give the government justification to impose a higher tax rate upon us. And once we become accustomed to that tax rate, they'll keep charging it to us even if those deficits were to begin to get paid off.
    1) It's "Cato". Not "CATO", not CATA". No kidding - that's kind of significant, for those who have read Cato, or more directly those who have read the British "Letters" published under the pseudomym, and inspiring a good deal of the political philosophy that founded the American Revolution.

    2) That ship has sailed. The debt is run up. Reagan first, and then W&Co, did that to the US, in furtherance of the organized operations that have redistributed most of the wealth of the New Deal into the hands of the rich.

    It's not a matter of "justifying" restoring the former levels of taxation that anchored the phenomenal rise in prosperity of the American citizenry (they're prejustified), it's a matter of capability: can we in fact levy adequate taxes on the rich any more, enough to pay our debts and get the necessary done, or have we lost control of the American government?

    They key observation is that the Republican Party, in its role as essentially a tool of the corporate class, no longer aspires to governing the country - and it is apparently capable of seeing to it that the country is not in fact governed.

    They get us into wars, so the war can be the reason for our taxation. They get us into debt so the debt can be the reason for our taxation. They put people in prison over petty crimes like selling pot, so the crime rate can be the reason for our taxation. Nobody seems to ask: what would happen if we simply removed the proxy entity?
    "They" used none of that as a pretext for taxation. "They" reduced "their" taxes simultaneously with the getting into wars, putting people in jail at record rates, etc. "Their" goal is to quite realistically remove the proxy, just as you recommend - that proxy is the only entity capable of interfereing with "their" accumulation of wealth and power.
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    Now the proxy will be the debt they ran up during that time. Government is like any other bureaucracy. It wants to sustain itself, and expand. One way is to devise complicated rules that require trained personnel to apply. Another is to simply create a major problem, so trained personnel will be necessary to keep the major problem in check. Successful Bureaucrats hate to permanently solve any problem because it means putting them self out of work.

    We could legalize pot, and forgive all past pot dealers for their crimes, and our prisons would no longer be full. Probably the prison guard union would protest the decision, arguing that in their "expert" opinion those pot dealers are a danger to society. The reality? They know many of their number will be laid off.

    And this is the problem with money in politics: the determined few can win against the apathetic many. The rest of us would care about the issue only insofar as we'd like to see the government's budget go down. The prison guard's union cares in that their very livelihood depends on it. Who do you think will write the most letters to their local senator? Who do you think will take up a collection and put an ad on TV or the radio?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Now the proxy will be the debt they ran up during that time.
    Yeah, having to pay off huge government debts is one of those things that leads to taxation eventually. Something to think about next time an opportunity to start a war presents itself; or a President runs on an economic platform based on lower taxes for rich people leading to greater amounts of tax revenue and no debt - in the future; or an administration begins governing the local financial system on the assumption that moneylenders would never ruin us all just to get rich themselves.

    The next question is: who is going to pay those taxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    And this is the problem with money in politics: the determined few can win against the apathetic many. - - - - Who do you think will take up a collection and put an ad on TV or the radio?
    I'm not sure of the connection between "money in politics" and "the apathetic many". I do know who is paying for the ads on TV and radio these days - 70% of the campaign spending is from corporate sources, controlled by wealthy people (the determined few), that was illegal throughout US history until last year.

    And the majority of these ads are pushing the insight that taxing rich people is big government at its worst, taxing rich people is unAmerican, taxing rich people is a threat to our liberty and freedom and jobs and the lives of our children, and the American people should vote only for those who promise to stop taxing rich people.
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  23. #123  
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    Really the money creates two imbalances then. Even in a world where everyone earned the same income, the determined few could collect enough money to outspend the apathetic many. But adding inequalities of wealth into the picture creates a situation sometimes the apathetic (but wealthy) few also win against the apathetic (but not so wealthy) many.

    What we really need to do is just quit fooling ourselves and eliminate all these phoney campaign finance laws, if we're going to make them so easy to circumvent anyway. Why pretend to ourselves that we're trying to curtail the corruption if we're obviously not trying to curtail it? It's like they say in Alcoholics Anonymous: admitting you have a problem is the first step to solving it. These fake campaign finance laws serve no other practical purpose than just to give us a way not to have to admit something's wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    What we really need to do is just quit fooling ourselves and eliminate all these phoney campaign finance laws, if we're going to make them so easy to circumvent anyway. Why pretend to ourselves that we're trying to curtail the corruption if we're obviously not trying to curtail it?
    One of the lessons of the current bribe-fest is that those campaign finance laws the Supreme Court threw out were doing a lot of good. And they were the leftovers - there used to be stricter rules than that, in the good old days before Gingrich got hold of things.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    It's like they say in Alcoholics Anonymous: admitting you have a problem is the first step to solving it. These fake campaign finance laws serve no other practical purpose than just to give us a way not to have to admit something's wrong.
    Who is it that you think is not "admitting" something's wrong? We lefties have been screaming bloody murder for decades now. We bitched about the loss of the Fairness Doctrine, the growing US wealth disparity's encroaching on political influence, the soft money vs hard money waltz, etc. One of Molly Ivins's last columns was an essay on what needed to be done - top of the list: campaign finance reform.

    This is a long time well thought out issue, with dozens of common recommendations and a history of discussion and conflict going back to WWII.
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    Getting rid of anonymous donations to politicians and superpacks is probably the only thing that can be done within current intepretations of the courts, but that alone would go far to see who's "buying whom." Right now, in theory an international actor could have huge impact on domestic politics without anyone being the wiser.
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    Right now, in theory an international actor could have huge impact on domestic politics without anyone being the wiser.
    Multinational corporations are international actors. There is no reason to assume that Exxon, Chevron, the Koch brothers, Cargill, Monsanto, Halliburton, and the like, have the domestic wellbeing and governance of the US as a country or Americans as a people anywhere near the top of their priority list. Aside from making sure they are not subject to taxation by its government, they have little real interest in America beyond its status as one of their major markets.

    As far as anonymity, since corporate money has been defined as personal speech I doubt you can get law past the Court that forces exposure of the speaker to possible intimidation and so forth. Pen names and anonymous speech are pretty well established in the public discourse, as long as slander or legal action do not ride in their content.
    Last edited by iceaura; March 13th, 2012 at 05:33 PM.
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  27. #127  
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post

    As far as anonymity, since corporate money has been defined as personal speech I doubt you can get law past the Court that forces exposure of the speaker to possible intimidation and so forth. Pen names and anonymous speech are pretty well established in the public discourse, as long as slander or legal action do not ride in their content.
    Maybe we could try legislating it from the other end? Force corporations to disclose their donations as a condition of corporate status or tax legitimacy? And then have the government make that information public knowledge?
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