Letters to the Editor

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ROMNEY: His economics should be challenged

Letter by Fred LaMotte, Steilacoom on Jan. 20, 2012 at 10:56 am with 129 Comments »
January 20, 2012 1:28 pm

I challenge the assumptions of Mitt Romney’s unregulated laissez-faire economics.

No one pulls themselves up by their own bootstraps. We all depend on the labor of others from the pangs of our mother’s womb. We are interconnected as drops of dew on a web. Every dollar we claim to earn on Wall Street represents the sweat of factories, here or abroad, whose workers must forfeit the fruits of their labor to us.

And if we call rich people job creators, then we must call immigrant field hands food creators. Each leaf in our salad, each bean in our coffee, each spoonful of warm soup served on our white linens we enjoy not only through our labor, but through the grace of calloused palms, aching shoulders, long days of toil by Third World villagers or undocumented farm workers, too often disdained by the very elites who eat from their fingers.

The money in our pockets is not ours only. It is stained with the tears and toil of others. Every dollar is a human community.

Independence is a myth. We are inter-dependent, each upon all. And the rich are especially dependent on the work of the poor.

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Leave a comment Comments → 129
  1. cargilekm says:

    and say’s it all too well. Now watch all those that will call him a socialist.

  2. Okay. I’ll start:

    Romney is a socialist!

    (I don’t really believe that, but just trying to get the ball rolling here.)

  3. aislander says:

    Each dollar one earns represents a fraction of that person’s life. To the degree that we assert a collective claim on that dollar, we assert a claim on that fraction of his life.

    To assert that we have a claim on a fraction of someone’s life makes the person that much a slave…

  4. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Fred, prior to 1913 the money in your pocket was yours. Progressives have pulled more and more out of it until the masses were addicted to govt handouts of their own money!

    I, and my family, are not dependent on you at all. Whatever you do or did, if essential, would have been completed by someone if we took govt out of the picture and allowed capitalism to run its course.

    You are asking for redistribution thinly veiled on the basis of interdependence. It is about who takes the risk, who holds the most responsibility.

    Yeah, that apple has to get picked or street cleaned. By the guy in charge of an orchard has greater responsibility and should be rewarded. You do not pick that guys name out of a hat but choose the best leader based on real and arbitrary metrics.

    Sorry if you always got picked last or did not work hard enough in school, not my fault or problem.

  5. ct7 “prior to 1913 the money in your pocket was yours.”

    Obviously your 1913 reference is to the ratification of the 16th Amendment imposing a permanent federal income tax.

    Where do you suppose those damn politicians got such a nasty idea for an INCOME TAX anyway?

    Abraham Lincoln, REPUBLICAN, imposes first federal income tax: Aug. 5, 1861

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/25787.html

    Then, on June 16, 1909, President William Howard Taft, REPUBLICAN, in an address to Congress, proposed a 2% federal income tax on corporations by way of an excise tax and a constitutional amendment to allow the previously enacted income tax.

    An income tax amendment to the Constitution was first proposed by Senator Norris Brown, REPUBLICAN, of Nebraska.

    The amendment proposal finally accepted was Senate Joint Resolution No. 40, introduced by Senator Nelson W. Aldrich, REPUBLICAN, of Rhode Island.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/16th_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

    Those damn progressives, er, uh, REPUBLICANS!!!

  6. Hey, wait a sec. According to ct7 “progressives” created the income tax. But I have proven it was really REPUBLICANS who imposed the income tax from Lincoln through to the 16th Amendment. That means Republicans must be Progressives.

    Romney’s a PROGRESSIVE!!!

    Romney’s a SOCIALIST???

    Ah! It really doesn’t matter, because he’s gonna lose anyway, and so will Gingrich, and Santorum and Paul and anyone else who tries to go up against President Obama.

  7. aislander says:

    concernedtacoma7: As we all know (or should), Republican and conservative are not synonyms. Anyone seeking enlightenment could Google “progressive Republicans” (the word “progressive” was first used with respect to American politics, I believe, by dissident Republicans who formed the Bull Moose Party, self-described as progressive.

    Robert La Follett, Teddy Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Joseph McCarthy, Nelson Rockefeller and his uncle (I think) Nelson W. Aldrich, were all progressive Republicans, but BY NO MEANS conservatives.

    Unfortunately, there is still a progressive strain in the party to this day…

  8. Here’s the deal guys.

    We don’t need no stinkin’ Income Tax!

    Cuz, we wanna keep all our own munney, that we earnt all by ourselfs, wit no one else’s help, cuz we workt hard and made all the right decishuns, and …

    We didn’t need no stinkin’ military protectun us from no Nazi’s, cuz we wood have made our own munney anyways, by workin hard and makin all the right decishuns, even if we wood have ended up speakin German and havin to throw a Sieg Heil here and there.

    What do you guys think INCOME TAX is for?

    It’s for protecting your rights from enemies foreign AND DOMESTIC! Get a clue!!!

  9. aislander says:

    The government could not exist without the economy, so let’s put first things first…

  10. One thing I can agree with Mitt Romney on is that President Obama “didn’t cause the recession.”

    Mitt has been caught on video saying that over and over and over again. President Obama, “didn’t cause the recession.”

    Thank you Mitt for that brief glimpse of honesty.

  11. Correct, he just made it worse and longer.

  12. Romney Repeatedly Said Obama ‘Made The Recession Worse,’ Now Claims ‘I Didn’t Say That Things Are Worse’

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/07/01/259102/romney-flip-flops-obama-economy-worse/

  13. I’m thinking your post about incest applies to your 9:19 post rather nicely.

  14. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    More useless opinion from the Evergreen State College cabal. Must be Bernice Yount’s turn next, ’eh Fred. If I still took the print version of the TNT, I wouldn’t care – more ink = more newsprint = more fire starter for my mesquite. But geez you Evergreen State nerds are BORING.

    BTW, cute new handle you have here, Fred.

  15. “Every dollar is a human community.”

    Laughable. Just like “It takes a village.”

  16. All that money in off-shore accounts are “jobs-creators” right?

    Romney’s personal tax load is around 15% (according to him – and we will have to take his word for it). His proposed tax bill would reduce his taxes even more.

  17. But geez you Evergreen State nerds are BORING.

    You must have a REALLY boring existence if you entertain yourself by responding regularly (and regularly vociferously in your regular responses) to such a boring person. All that boring might explain why there are so many holes in your logic……

  18. “I, and my family, are not dependent on you at all.”

    So you don’t drive on publicly-funded roads? You didn’t go to publicly-funded schools? You generate your own electricity? You don’t use municipal drinking water and severs? You grow your own food?

  19. “More useless opinion from the Evergreen State College cabal. Must be Bernice Yount’s turn next, ’eh Fred. If I still took the print version of the TNT, I wouldn’t care – more ink = more newsprint = more fire starter for my mesquite. But geez you Evergreen State nerds are BORING.”

    When you can’t refute the message, attack the messenger.

  20. Spiderweb says:

    “so let’s put first things first”

    Great idea! Since NOTHING would exist without the environment to support it, we should put THAT first.

    Next, both the economy AND government require humans, so lets put humans (each other) before either of those!

    I could support a system that puts humans and the environment before profits, corporations and ideology.

  21. Amen Fred.

  22. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    When you can’t refute the message, attack the messenger.

    Ha, this letter is nothing but OWS talking points wrapped up in sugary prose. Every one of his statements and theories have been refuted ad-nauseam here. And redundancy IS the definition of boring – no matter how much it may be drippingly composed.

    We are interconnected as drops of dew on a web. Every dollar we claim to earn on Wall Street represents the sweat of factories, here or abroad, whose workers must forfeit the fruits of their labor to us.

    I think I am going to hurl.

    I have “refuted“ flamottes… “message“ here for a number of years. The Evergreen State cabal is no less than a seminar-letter writing, far left propaganda machine. Even before the new “anything goes“ LTE format was introduce here, flamotte, Bernice, et al were cranking out this garbage at a clip of at least one letter a month.

    And even though Fred is registered and comments on this board, he never engages, or responds to anyone. If he did, perhaps he could refute my statement that he is boring and redundant… kinda like Larrehill.

    You all are free to worship at the foot of the OES cabal if you like, I am simply pointing out the obvious drumbeat to the oblivious.

  23. LOL at the 5:55am kettle calling the pot black.

  24. philichi says:

    I think that the left is right. I have decided not to drink coffee, eat salad, or eat apples. I am going to live off of the bark on my trees.

    Now the apple pickers, coffee and salad growers don’t have to work anymore! Aren’t I compassionate? While I am at it I am going to stop buying cars, and TVs. I have just given more people days off.

    I suppose that Obama can just send everyone in the world food stamps. What a nice world it would be.

  25. phillichi – please try to convince vox to back off on his coffee consumption – his posts are getting a little jittery.

  26. LOL at the 5:55am kettle calling the pot black.

    Do you have to get everything backwards? The saying comes from a tale about a sooty pot seeing his reflection in the shiny surface of the kettle hence: the pot calling the kettle black. Inverting the saying means the exact opposite: The shiny kettle sees the sooty pot and declares that the pot is black.

    Wait a minute! Maybe you meant to point out that – since I don’t refer to other posters as boring – I, like the kettle, am spotless and am accurately pointing out another’s soot.

    Nah…..you just got everything backwards again…..

    Is that you Peterlarryjim? aislander is mourning your departure. It would be great to let him know that you are back and back to your old tricks.

  27. They are both on the burner so therefore both black. :)

  28. beerBoy, apparently someone has never seen an electric stove.

  29. philichi – can I play too?

    I’ve decided that the right is left….oops…that doesn’t work…do-over!

    I’ve decided to be a corporatist. If it were before 1980 I would think about doing it by coming up with a product, promoting it, selling it, opening a factory in America but….as Michael Milken demonstrated, that ain’t where the real money is.

    I’m gonna make my billions buying up other companies by manipulating the portfolio to convince lenders and stockholders that it is worth far more than it really is, use the additional companies as collateral to buy other companies, close down those companies and lay-off thousands of loyal workers, declare bankruptcy to avoid commitments to pay retirement benefits – but not before I have used my insider knowledge to sell all of my stocks in the company – repackage sub-prime loans, claim they are AAA, advise others to buy them, take out insurance on that deal so when my clients lose their shirts I make billions more, then – when the deal threatens to blow up in my face – I go to Congress and threaten to destroy the whole economy unless they pay for my losses.

    I move my assets into off-shore accounts to avoid taxes but I feel entitled to US protections of my interests because, after all, I pay plenty through lobbyists who fight for my rights as a corporate citizen.

    I don’t create US jobs unless they are for illegal aliens (all the while complaining about those “damn Mexcans”) but I do send lot of work to China because they get paid pennies on the dollar, don’t get overtime, and I don’t have to worry about getting sued when the processes in my factories that I know pose a huge health hazard to my workers start making them keel over and die.

    I am a staunch supporter of militaristic policies especially when those policies directly benefit my profit margin but I had “other priorities” that allowed me to evade the draft and none of my children are ever going to think of joining the services.

    Gosh – that was fun phil!

  30. Not even my campstove leaves soot on my pots and pans….

  31. alindasue says:

    ehill said, “So you don’t drive on publicly-funded roads? You didn’t go to publicly-funded schools? You generate your own electricity? You don’t use municipal drinking water and severs? You grow your own food?”

    A great source for information on such self-sufficient living is: http://www.motherearthnews.com

    Of course, certain people on this forum may not like it since the magazine and its website do tend to appeal to the “boring” Evergreen State College ecology types (and “urban farmers” such as myself). One thing I find as I read the magazine’s pages is that the more a person becomes “self-sufficient”, the more he learns to appreciate and support the local community and community resources such as roads.

  32. alindasue says:

    beerBoy said, “Not even my campstove leaves soot on my pots and pans….”

    Neither does a wood stove… He must be cooking on an open campfire.

  33. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    bB @ 11.26, speaking of jittery.

    Wow, bB, sounds really simple. We should all be gozillionaire corporatists… you first.

    Ain’t America great!

    BTW, you spoiling’ for a fight w/ me or somethin’?

  34. alindasue, I think we all realize that SPeters (the reincarnate LF, amjm, kpntrl) is cooking on a different kind of pot. If you get my drift.

  35. We should all be gozillionaire corporatists… you first.

    If I didn’t have ethics I would.

    Not spoiling for a fight – just noting that Mr. LaMotte seems to get under your skin.

  36. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Not under my skin, the guy truly bores me – as do the rest of the ESC cabal. TNT really needs to go back to the 3 letters per year (or whatever the limit was) rule.

    And FWIW, serail LTE writers of all political persuasions bore me. We know their positions on any issue just from the chosen header – no need to read further. But the ESC cabal is by far the most egregious, IMO.

  37. beerBoy, FYI, the current vernacular is “Living in his head rent-free.”

  38. philichi says:

    beerboy, have you ever met a businessman that you like? Michael Milken helped finance the cell phone business. Do you use one today?
    You know, in the 30s and 40s there was a man with a funny mustache that also hated capitalists. He found the best of them and took their factories and property. He put them in camps and killed them. He called his party National Socialism. “Nazism”
    Do you hate capitalists as much as Hitler did?
    I would fell safer with a group of private equity mangers than I would with a group of socialist and communist. At least they just want to make money. Hitler, Castro, Mao, Stalin, and the other nuts want to lead you or kill you.

  39. aislander says:

    beerBoy writes: “I’ve decided to be a corporatist. If it were before 1980 I would think about doing it by coming up with a product, promoting it, selling it, opening a factory in America but…”

    Corporatism has an actual definition, beerBoy, and it ain’t what you wrote. Broadly it means the organization of society into areas of common interest that function politically as well as economically.

    These organizations of common interest then meld with the national government to some degree, and exert mutual influence. There ARE examples of this in our political economy–GE, Goldman Sachs, Solyndra, and many others–but they are a cancer, and should be weaned from the government and the government should be weaned from them.

    Ideologies that view society as an organic whole are more likely to be organized along corporatist lines than are those societies that are more individualistic in nature.

    Corporatism, therefore, has nothing to with building a business from scratch, possibly incorporating it (corporation has the same root as corporatism, but a very different meaning), and then doing business.

    And YOU should have known that, beerBoy…

  40. beerboy, have you ever met a businessman that you like?
    Yes

    Michael Milken helped finance the cell phone business. Do you use one today?
    No

  41. Looks like Romney lost in South Carolina, so President Obama doesn’t need to worry about him now, and Gingrich is no challenge.

    FOUR MORE YEARS!

    FOUR MORE YEARS!

    FOUR MORE YEARS!

    OBAMA!!!

  42. aislander – explain how this isn’t corporatism

    go to Congress and threaten to destroy the whole economy unless they pay for my losses.

    I move my assets into off-shore accounts to avoid taxes but I feel entitled to US protections of my interests because, after all, I pay plenty through lobbyists who fight for my rights as a corporate citizen.

  43. Do you hate capitalists as much as Hitler did?
    No.

    Looking at the various systems around the world it seems apparent that the best solution is a blend of capitalism and socialism. Even Ben Franklin realized that some services need to be socialized (specifically in the case of Franklin – the fire department)

    What we have now is not capitalism……at least not the capitalism as described in the text books. What we have now – or are heading for if we don’t make some big changes – is neo-feudalism.

  44. aislander says:

    Nice dodge, beerBoy. I was talking about your assertion that corporatism once meant building a business. It isn’t that, and never was…

  45. aislander says:

    beerBoy writes: “Even Ben Franklin realized that some services need to be socialized (specifically in the case of Franklin – the fire department)…”

    You’re dragging out THAT old chestnut!?! Nobody on our side is suggesting that such services are socialistic. Transfer payments from one citizen to another are socialistic.

    Agreeing to pay taxes for police, fire protection, and the military does not imply consent to be someone else’s parent for life!

    This nation was formed with the understanding–and it is state in the Federalist Papers–that the national government would NEVER spend money on projects that benefit SOME citizens and not ALL citizens.

    Police and fire protection are not concerns of the Federal government–not even in the Philadelphia of Franklin’s time…

  46. aislander says:

    beerBoy writes: “‘Do you hate capitalists as much as Hitler did?'”
    “No.”

    So…now you’re agreeing that Hitler was anti-capitalist–as I have always said. I KNEW you’d come around eventually…

  47. Now that Romney has lost in South Carolina, we need a new topic. I suggest this:

    NEWT: Is Gingrich the jerk that he appears to be?

    Short subject. Simple answer, Yes!

  48. Pacman33 says:

    Focusing attention and attacks on people who have greater wealth-generating capacity has had counterproductive consequences, including tragedies written in the blood of millions. Whole totalitarian governments have risen to dictatorial power on the wings of envy and resentment ideologies.

    Intellectuals have all too often promoted these envy and resentment ideologies. There are both psychic and material rewards for the intelligentsia in doing so, even when the supposed beneficiaries of these ideologies end up worse off. When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.

    For the Left, liberty is not particularly important in value, much less the most important one. They would just as soon barter it away for security and equality, as they have done in western Europe.

    Once we understand this, then much about the left begins to make sense. In Europe, we can see how the welfare state puts in place a system of incentives that creates a new kind of enfeebled man, but that’s not exactly correct. In reality, it simply reveals the man for what he is … a lazy, frightened, selfish, superstitious, instinct-loving and lowdown rascal. Leftism aims low and always reaches its target.

  49. aislander says:

    Pacman33: Excellent deconstruction (to use a lefty term) of the left. To judge on which side of the ideological divide one lives, merely choose which of the following makes your leg tingle:

    Freedom and Opportunity or Equality and Fairness.

    One of the above is in concord with human nature and the other must be enforced to suppress human nature…

  50. aislander, such a simpleminded little twiticism you’ve come up with. You think of that all by yourself or did you copy from a piece of propaganda you recently read?

    What does any of that crap have to do with Mitt anyway? The Topic you know!

  51. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Muck- you are trying to shift the dialogue. This election is not about one person but about ideals.

    BHO got elected on rhetoric and the appearance of a polar opposite of Bush. This election is not about Newt or Mitt, but about Barry. It is about his failures. It is about 16% real unemployment. Eric Holder and fast and furious. Solyndra. Radicals taking over egypt and libya. Ignoring the Constitution. Harry and Nancy. OWS. Partisan divides.

    Take your pick of the issues I just listed. Any one is enough to vote for anyone over Barry.

  52. Oh aislander…..if you want to reframe things in order to claim some sort of moral victory, do what you need to.

  53. ct7, All candidates in the modern era get elected on “rhetoric” we all know that. Some rhetoric is better and more believable than others, and that’s who gets the most votes and wins, right?

    You are correct about one thing, but I do wish you could at least refer to him as Obama, or President Obama out of respect for the office if nothing else. He no longer goes by “Barry” and we all know that those who refer to him that way do it as a slam. But anyway…

    This election is totally about Barack Obama, in that

    1. President Barack Obama would like to be reelected.
    2. The Republicans, spearheaded by Mitch McConnell feel it’s their primary goal above all else to see that President Obama is not reelected, no matter what it takes or who the Republican candidate eventually turns out to be.

    Now, that I’ve answered that issue for you, the one you said I could pick…

    I am not trying to “shift the dialogue” as you say. Look above. This topic is about ROMNEY: His economics should be challenged. I was discussing Romney in my previous 3 comments, right? You didn’t mention Romney even once in your 3:10 AM comment.

  54. Oops, sorry ct7, I err’d. You did mention “Mitt.” My mistake. Sorry about that.

    But, let me also address your comment, “It is about 16% real unemployment. Eric Holder and fast and furious. Solyndra. Radicals taking over egypt and libya. Ignoring the Constitution. Harry and Nancy. OWS. Partisan divides.”

    All that, except for the last item “Partisan divides.” is not as important to Mitch McConnell and the majority of Republicans, as is defeating President Obama.

    The Republicans have put partisanship ahead of “The People” and that is a fact, given their extreme use of the filibuster tactic and other tactics to stall efforts that the president and congress have attempted to put forward to fix the economy for the benefit of “The People.”

    At least, that’s the way it appears to me and a lot of other people who will be voting for President Obama against Mitt Romney, or whomever turns out to be the default Republican candidate.

  55. philichi says:

    The left always says that they just want a little socialism. However, why is it that the little socialism is the part that is bankrupting my country. Fannie May, Social Security, and medicare, are essentially bankrupt. Should I get started on the other nifty socialist ideas? How about student loans, the department of labor, and the department of education. Please don’t tell me that you need the department of education to go to school. My first 8 years were done before this silly cabinet.

    There you have it. A nice country with a little bit of socialism. Sort of like a nice body with a little bit of cancer. What a little bit of socialism really gives us is what we have now. “Food Stamp Nation”

  56. But philichi! Isn’t that precisely why our country is NOT a Democracy, and it’s NOT a Republic. It’s a blend of both, a Democratic Republic. It’s supposed to be a give and take between the various parties who meet somewhere in the middle to find the best compromise between what each party wants.

    Except that for the past few years the parties, both of them, have become so polarized that they can’t seem to agree on much of anything.

    Isn’t that about how things are really?

  57. took14theteam says:

    I do wish you could at least refer to him as Obama, or President Obama out of respect for the office if nothing else

    I am sure the man behind this curtain never called former President Bush, shrub, ever…..

  58. President Obama must be incredibly powerful – not only did he create the economic crash before he got into office, he has managed to then destroy Greece, Italy and the Euro.

    phil – your grasp upon economics only extends as far as your partisan bias is served by it.

  59. “I am sure the man behind this curtain never called former President Bush, shrub, ever…..”

    Out of three messages I posted, including the one you referred to and the two since, that’s ALL you could come up with? That off topic bit of tripe!

    This is part of the reason it can be so frustrating to debate issues on these blogs. Small minds take issue with insignificant minutiae, apparently because they have no valid arguments to make regarding the real issues.

    No, I don’t believe I ever called Bush “shrub” because that is such a stupid thing to say, and it’s not even clever at all. I have referred to him as Dubya, and W. I probably even referred to him as George. You got a problem with that?

    Beside that, you are DEFLECTING. This is a blog about Romney, and in two of my last three comments I specifically mention Romney, until the diversion, which OI am attempting to correct here and now.

    This blog is still about Romney. Right?

  60. Actually, what is frustrating is trying to navigate the lefty double standard of rules.
    The commentor above me has no room to chastise anyone for off topic comments.

  61. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Muck- did you not refer to President Bush as the village idiot? Within the last couple days?

  62. aislander says:

    The question was: “[beerBoy]do you hate capitalists as much as Hitler did?”

    You answered “No,” thus acknowledging the fact that you understood that Hitler was an anti-capitalist.

    So…were you lying then?

  63. philichi says:

    Muckbr please go read and learn what the difference between and democratic and republican form of government is. I assure you that neither have anything to do with getting free stuff form the government. they have to do with voting.

    You seem to be happy with you President. At what time will you be worried about the spending? Do we need to become Greece, or will Portuagal be fine?

  64. took14theteam says:

    This is part of the reason it can be so frustrating to debate issues on these blogs…

    Then don’t debate issues on these blogs.

    It is a very simple concept. Just don’t comment here anymore and you won’t have that frustration.

  65. Amen tookone, that would solve his habitual hypocrisy too.

  66. BTW, has anyone else experienced temporary posting problems after commenting behind you-know-who?

  67. aislander says:

    Speters: I know that there is a spam filter, and if your post contains a verboten word (such as some old monikers) the post is rejected until that word is removed. Trouble is, it disappears from the box that one posts in, so, unless you’ve copied the post beforehand, you have to rewrite the whole thing. If you try to re-post it verbatim, though, a “duplicate comment” message comes up.

  68. aislander says:

    In any case, the word “democracy” has a different meaning to progs than it does to normal people. It has nothing to do with the process of elections and voting, but rather is about everyone ending up with the same amount of stuff…

  69. so…were you lying then?

    When?

    I don’t remember ever remember claiming that Hitler was a capitalist – are you imagining things again?

  70. What I should remember is to check my posts because there isn’t an edit feature.

  71. I am aware of the filter, but there have been several times when I got a certain poster’s ire up and suddenly even the word test or :) wouldn’t post. I would then unplug my router and plug right into my modem and shazam. Mind you, this is the poster who claims to have “access”.

    Anyway, I was just curious if anyone else noticed.

  72. aislander says:

    anti-capitalist=lefty

  73. alindasue says:

    beerBoy said, “I don’t remember ever remember claiming that Hitler was a capitalist – are you imagining things again?”

    Clearly, you didn’t make that claim, but aislander had worded that question as a “gotcha!” along the lines of “Are you still beating your wife?” There is no answer you could have given that he couldn’t claim “gotcha!” on.

    aislander, I enjoy debating issues on these forums with you, but it would be more enjoyable if you’d refrain from presenting your arguments in the form of gotcha! questions.

    Back on topic…
    I find it interesting that much of Newt Gingrich’s arguments against Mitt Romney in the debates regarded his success as a capitalist. I thought the Democrats were the ones that the Republicans were labeling as “anti-capitalist”. Newt Gingrich is a Republican, right?

  74. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    SPeters, I don’t know if it’s because I’m a Mac user, but I sometimes cannot post to a thread at all – happened just the other day. (bB, any problems on your end?) And it doesn’t seem to make any difference whether it’s a thread to which I have already posted, or not. Yet when it happens, I can go to any other thread and I will have no problems posting – very frustrating.

    I’m thinking it’s a glitch in the new format, mostly because it’s only happened since the change, and then only three of four times. And, I don’t believe the certain lefty snail “who claims to have access” is any more honest with that doozy than he is with all of his other… contributions/ screen names.

    If the problem persists, I will report it to TT tech support… if I haven’t done so already.

  75. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    … a “gotcha!” along the lines of “Are you still beating your wife?” There is no answer you could have given that he couldn’t claim “gotcha!” on.

    Uhmm, playing along here, what about the answer “I have never beaten my wife”?

    Gotcha!

    … it would be more enjoyable if you’d refrain from presenting your arguments in the form of gotcha! questions.

    Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and Michelle Bachman said to say hello.

  76. aislander says:

    alindasue: You are generally one of the more reasonable left-leaning members of this forum, and we actually agree on an issue or two.

    I don’t believe, however, that was a “gotcha” question that I posed to beerBoy. He and I have had a running disagreement about the ideological location of fascism and Nazism. I maintain they both belong on the left because of their philosophical roots and because they are both statist (big, intrusive government) enterprises.

    beerBoy revealed that he, too, believed that Hitler was anti-capitalist (as Hitler asserted himself numerous times in his writings and his speeches). Anti-capitalism is a position of the left–beyond any shadow of a doubt–so I considered this an important admission for beerBoy to have made.

    Thus my 5:04 PM post yesterday and my 12:02 PM post today…

  77. aislander – you are inferring something that is not there. (and that does support the conclusion that you meant it as a gotcha)

    While it is true that both Marxism and Fascism are anti-capitalist it is an error to then conclude that they both come from the same impulse just as it is an error to conclude that, because Marxism and Capitalism are internationalist, they must come from the same place.

    Fascism is based in militaristic glorification of the state and imagined racial exceptionalism – a stance that is more evident in those who claim to be from the Right…..or Zionist Israelis…..than from the Left.

    But – as my post already implies – the whole Left/Right dichotomy is a rather simplistic and simpleminded breakdown that only works for those who cling to black and white oversimplifications.

  78. sandblower says:

    aislander wrote: “He and I have had a running disagreement about the ideological location of fascism and Nazism. I maintain they both belong on the left because of their philosophical roots and because they are both statist (big, intrusive government) enterprises.
    beerBoy revealed that he, too, believed that Hitler was anti-capitalist (as Hitler asserted himself numerous times in his writings and his speeches). Anti-capitalism is a position of the left–beyond any shadow of a doubt…”
    Total and complete nonsense. You know nothing about this important issue and it would be best for you if you did not go further.

  79. vox – no problems lately but I did have some problems a couple of months ago where I could post in the morning and then, in the afternoon, I was unable to.

  80. aislander says:

    In promoting the Founders’ idea of an ideological continuum, beerBoy, I am attempting to move beyond that “simple, black and white dichotomy.”

    I believe it is much more important to look at a political system by what it does than by what its justification for existence might be. “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”

    Since fascist and communist regimes DO approximately the same things, it really isn’t important why THEY think or say they are doing those things…

  81. aislander says:

    sandblower writes: “…it would be best for you if you did not go further.”

    That sounds like a threat. Is it?

  82. sandblower says:

    It is not a threat. It is your choice to make a bigger fool of yourself, if that is what you want. My advise is to not do that for all here to see.

  83. sandblower says:

    The fashionable attempt to equate communism and Nazism is in reality a moral and historical nonsense. And nonsense unabated encourages more nonsense.

  84. aislander says:

    Your argument is blah, blah, blah? Give me some facts that prove your assertion…

    “Advise,” by the way is a verb. I think you wanted the noun…

  85. alindasue: “Back on topic…
    I find it interesting that much of Newt Gingrich’s arguments against Mitt Romney in the debates regarded his success as a capitalist. I thought the Democrats were the ones that the Republicans were labeling as “anti-capitalist”. Newt Gingrich is a Republican, right?”

    Newt Gingrich is a RINO in the fact that Newt Gingrich will do whatever is good for Newt Gingrich including stabbing his own fellow party members in the back with whatever sharp political utensil he happens to have available. Pretty much the same as the other Republicans running for the nomination, except maybe Ron Paul.

  86. aislander says:

    Two whole stars! The site received two stars more than it deserved. I have never seen a more simplistic, circular exposition. Hell, even the grammar and word choices were in error. Get back to me when you know something…

  87. alindasue says:

    beerBoy and vox,
    I also encounter occasional problems posting since they went to this new format, although not as often lately. I’m hoping that’s an indication that they are finally working the bugs out of the system…

  88. aislander – as long as we are getting past simplistic categorizations, while it is true that Hitler’s rhetoric was anti-capitalist, anti-communist, and anti-jew (he claimed that the evils of capitalism AND communism were due to the influence of the Jewish bankers and Jewish communists), calling fascism “anti-capitalism” doesn’t account for all of the wealthy American corporate leaders who were very enthusiastic about Hitler’s program.

    http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/llt/51/pauwels.html

    http://azvsas.blogspot.com/2009/05/how-us-capitalism-supported-hitler.html

    While it may be true that “pure” capitalism is in opposition to corporatism, purity is highly unlikely when dealing with humans – even in a nunnery or a monastery – especially when their primary motivation is profit.

  89. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    alindasue, just out of curiosity, are you a Mac user?

  90. I’m on a Mac, using Firefox.

  91. from my first cited source:

    In the 1930s, the anti-Semitism of corporate America likewise revealed itself to be the other side of the coin of anti-socialism, anti-Marxism, and red-baiting. Most American businessmen denounced Roosevelt’s New Deal as a “socialistic” meddling in the economy. The anti-Semites of corporate America considered Roosevelt to be a crypto-Communist and an agent of Jewish interests, if not a Jew himself; he was routinely referred to as “Rosenfeld,” and his New Deal was vilified as the “Jew Deal.” 17 In his book The Flivver King, Upton Sinclair described the notoriously anti-Semitic Henry Ford dreaming of an American fascist movement that “pledged to put down the Reds and preserve the property interests of the country; to oust the Bolshevik [Roosevelt] from the White House and all his pink professors from the government services … [and] to make it a shooting offense to talk communism or to call a strike.” 18 Other American tycoons also yearned for a fascist saviour who might rid America of its “reds” and thus restore prosperity and profitability. Du Pont provided generous financial support to America’s own fascist organizations, such as the infamous “Black Legion,” and was even involved in plans for a fascist coup d’état in Washington. (Hofer and Reginbogin, 585–6)

  92. from the same source:

    Today, most of our political leaders and our media want us to believe that “free markets” — a euphemistic code word for capitalism — and democracy are Siamese twins. Even after World War II, however, capitalism, and especially American capitalism, continued to collaborate cozily with fascist regimes in countries such as Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Chile, while supporting extreme-right movements, including death squads and terrorists, in Latin America, Africa, and elsewhere. One might say that in the headquarters of the corporations, whose collective interest is clearly reflected in American government policies, nostalgia has lingered on for the good old days of Hitler’s Third Reich, which was a paradise for German as well as American and other foreign firms: no left-wing parties, no unions, unlimited numbers of slave labourers, and an authoritarian state that provided the necessary discipline and arranged for an “armament boom” and eventually a war that brought “horizonless profits,” as Black writes, alluding to the case of IBM. These benefits could more readily be expected from a fascist dictatorship than from a genuine democracy, hence the support for the Francos, Suhartos, and other Pinochets of the post-war world. But even within democratic societies, capitalism actively seeks the cheap and meek labour that Hitler’s regime served up on a silver platter, and recently it has been by means of stealthy instruments such as downsizing and globalization, rather than the medium of fascism, that American and international capital have sought to achieve the corporate Nirvana of which Hitler’s Germany had provided a tantalizing foretaste.

  93. So, all this equates to Mitt Romney’s economics being based on Fascism, right? Should that be challenged?

  94. alindasue says:

    “alindasue, just out of curiosity, are you a Mac user?”

    No. I use a Windows PC, so the occasional problems with posting don’t seem limited to just Mac computers. I am using Firefox though.

  95. aislander says:

    Your point, beerBoy, rests on fascism’s being intrinsically antisemitic and on antisemitism being an operative component of fascism. Neither of those is true of Italian or Spanish fascism, although certainly of Nazism.

    Until Germany invaded Italy in 1943, Jews were heavily represented in the fascist government of Italy. It was not until then that any repressive policies specific to Jews were instituted in Italy.

    Speaking of “cheap and meek labor,” please enlighten me regarding the strong, independent labor unions in Soviet Russia…

  96. aislander says:

    Corporate leaders are not necessarily free-marketeers, beerBoy, as you well know. Many corporations are rent seekers and therefore quite open to the idea of corporatism simply due to their amorality and pragmatism.

    However, merely pointing out that putative “rightists” were supporters of Hitler and Mussolini opens the door to again doing the same with all the prominent American leftists who were enthusiastically doing the same…

    One simply need look at the personal histories of Lenin, Hitler, and Mussolini to see that they were basically in accord on most aspects of socialism, but split on the question of national movements versus international socialism. They then found themselves competing for the same constituency in Europe, a situation not known for building comity. Obviously, the leaders were power seekers, so the competition was not based solely on ideology.

    Once Moscow under Stalin split with the national socialist movements, American socialists threw in with Moscow, and fascism was immediately characterized as being of the right, then a novel view. But Norman Thomas and FDR were both accused at various times of being rightists…

  97. “Ha, this letter is nothing but OWS talking points wrapped up in sugary prose.” — When you can’t refute the message, attack the messenger.

    “The Evergreen State cabal is no less than a seminar-letter writing, far left propaganda machine.” — When you can’t refute the message, attack the messenger.

    “flamotte, Bernice, et al were cranking out this garbage” — When you can’t refute the message, attack the messenger.

    “he is boring and redundant” — When you can’t refute the message, attack the messenger.

    “You all are free to worship at the foot of the OES cabal if you like” — When you can’t refute the message, attack the messenger.

  98. “For the Left, liberty is not particularly important in value, much less the most important one”

    Don’t you just love it when clueless conservatives tell each other what “the left” thinks?

  99. “The left always says that they just want a little socialism.”

    Really? Perhaps you could quote five or six people who ever said such a thing. Bet you can’t.

  100. “I am sure the man behind this curtain never called former President Bush, shrub, ever…..”

    Wahhhhh! They started it!

  101. “In any case, the word “democracy” has a different meaning to progs than it does to normal people.”

    Another claim of mind-reading. LOL

  102. “fascist and communist regimes DO approximately the same things”

    Right. Fascist regimes maintain private property, and communist regimes confiscate private property. No difference at all.

  103. All this banter about fascists and Nazis is just as interesting as it was on the other threads, where this off topic nonsense was discussed ad infinitum, but this time I think I finally understand aislander’s main point, which is…

    If given the chance. most Republican politicians and corporate CEOs, would like to have the power of Adolf Hitler to force everyone to do whatever they want, regardless if it is right or wrong, just as long as it benefits them and increases their own power.

    That’s about it, huh aislander?

  104. “I have never seen a more simplistic, circular exposition. Hell, even the grammar and word choices were in error.”

    When you can’t refute the message, attack the messenger.

  105. What have you refuted Erik?

  106. Who’s Erik?

  107. aislander says:

    I don’t give a rip what you think or what you like and don’t like, muck. There is only one reason to post on this forum: that it is an enjoyable pastime. Your mission seems to be to extract all pleasure from this.

    If there is an interesting digression, I’ll follow it. If someone’s opinion elicits an interesting (to me!) thought, I’ll express it. Many times the digressions are more rewarding than the original topic.

    Having you hectoring everyone because they don’t do exactly as your exaltedness wishes is like taking a walk through a park accompanied by a drill sergeant who believes he is always on duty. Well, I am through marching in step. You take care of you and I’ll take care of me…

  108. Oh my! And here I thought I was participating in this fun discussion and finally understanding aislander’s point.

    My mission is to have fun as well on these blogs, but it seems that some don’t feel I have a right to that, but only they do. It seems that when others follow an “interesting digression” as you put it, they are routinely accused of “deflecting” in order to get them back to “marching in step” as you put it.

    Personally, I think we can all have a lot more fun on these blogs if we each endeavor to put a complete end to all the personal animosity, and simply stick to the issues. Like this issue on Mitt Romney and his economics.

    You have accused me of “hectoring” but honestly, I feel I have only stood up for myself against those who have first hectored me.

  109. aislander says:

    Interesting that you should put it that way, muck. I really didn’t notice you much until I responded to a couple of your posts and referred to you as “mucky.”

    You would have thought I had questioned your legitimacy, based on your reaction to that! So, I didn’t address my replies to “mucky” anymore.

    You really put yourself in the forefront of my consciousness when you accused me of plagiarism, based on nothing but your own delusional opinion. That is when I decided that I despised you.

    When I expressed my displeasure at that particular accusation, I found you shadowing me everywhere I dared to post, referring to me in the most disparaging terms. If you weren’t stalking, you managed a damned fine imitation of it.

    Then, if anyone dared call you out on your behavior, you indulged in the most sanctimonious display of self-righteousness, saying you were reacting only to being abused by others and what a fine, fair fellow you are, followed by bringing God into the conversation in the most shameless way. Talk about taking His name in vain!

    So my message to you in the post above was not in reply to whatever it was you posted, but an expression of my opinion regarding your very presence on this forum.

    And, then to play the victim…

  110. Personally, I think we can all have a lot more fun on these blogs if we each endeavor to put a complete end to all the personal animosity, and simply stick to the issues. Like this issue on Mitt Romney and his economics.

  111. aislander says:

    Unbelievable.

    Muck, just as you once expressed concern for me (real or feigned, but more likely the latter), I am saying this to you out of concern, not only for you, but for those around you.

    I think your behavior has been that of a psychopath, and for the happiness, and possibly the safety, of anyone close to you, I think you should seek some sort of treatment…

  112. Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

    1. powerful expressions of nationalism
    2. disdain for the importance of human rights
    3. identification of enemies
    4. supremacy of the military
    5. rampant sexism
    6. controlled mass media
    7. obsession with national security
    8. religion and ruling elite tied together
    9. protection of powerful corporations
    10. power of labor suppressed
    11. disdain for intellectuals and the arts
    12. obsession with crime
    13. rampant cronyism
    14. fradulent elections

  113. Which of those 14 don’t describe America today?

  114. beerBoy, wouldn’t a better question be: Which one of those describe the Republican Party today?

    I would say: All of the above.

  115. I had a major case Meta Deja Vu @ 11:13am today.

  116. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    First of all bB, there is no Dr. Lawrence Britt, and the fact you are awarding him a doctorate is a sure-fire tell of the degree to which you still rely on left wing blogs. Lawrence Britt is an author, he holds no doctorate. The Laurence Britt you refer to, is a former corporate executive (ooooh the irony) who wrote and published a novel about right-wing extremism, titled June 2004, during the height of the Lewinsky scandal. And the highly debatable inventory you are citing appeared in an op-ed piece he wrote for a humanist magazine called Free Inquiry in the real 2004 – to wit:

    http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=britt_23_2

    The inventory subsequently went viral in email inboxes and leftist blogs during that presidential election year (Bush/ Kerry), and along the way some genius anointed him Dr., and began “referring to him as a political scientist who had compiled the fascism inventory independently of the Bush administration. He had not done so, and had never claimed to do so. The article was, and had always been intended to be, an argument against the Bush administration.”

    Still, the fact someone else phonied-up his credentials does not invalidate the article. The 14 points he presents could be threatening of civil liberties, and the 14 points are undeniably common threads between the United States and commonly accepted fascist regimes. The trouble is that they’re also points that the United States has in common with many democracies. And some of the so-called points represent standards of US and democratic political culture.

    So what’s your point? Do you agree with the… uh-hum… doctor, that we are a fascist state?

    Never mind.

  117. beerBoy, I would not be concerned that the 14 points you listed may not have been compiled by an actual Doctor. Doesn’t matter.

    First: Because there are a lot of very smart people who are not DOCTORS, and the guy who came up with that list is obviously one of them, and

    Second: The 14 points are perfect for describing the current traits of The Republican Party, and so as a hit piece on Bush/Cheney it works, and it works even better now to describe the unholy trinity of McConnell, Boehner and Cantor.

    So, heres the site you got your info from, right?

    Political scientist Dr. Lawrence Britt recently wrote an article about fascism (“Fascism Anyone?,” Free Inquiry, Spring 2003, page 20).

    http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/fasci14chars.html

    .

    And here’s the site voxy may have gotten his info from (I suspect so, because the wording is very very similar to his comment above) right?

    .

    “During the 2004 election cycle, an email chain letter began circulating, attributed to one “Dr. Lawrence Britt, a political scientist,” who had apparently written a 14-point article listing the defining characteristics of fascist regimes. There was something to the email, and we’ll get to it in a minute, but first let’s address a few misconceptions. First of all, there is no “Dr. Lawrence Britt.” The author of the 14-point fascism inventory, Laurence Britt, is a former corporate executive who wrote and published a dystopian novel about right-wing extremism, titled June 2004, during the height of the Lewinsky scandal. That is, to the best of my knowledge, his only published volume.”

    http://civilliberty.about.com/b/2007/09/10/one-nation-underrated.htm

    .

    America is NOT a fascist state. Not yet, but let the Republicans steal any more power, and watch out!. However, the Republican Party is most definitely a fascist-like political party. All they need now are brown shirts.

  118. Good catch vox. Here is a link to the original article
    http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?page=britt_23_2&section=library

    Goes to show ya that you can’t accept everything you see as Gospel on the internet!

    That being said, I really don’t care if he is a PhD or not as I know several Phuds who are idiots who knew how to jump through hoops and whose butt to kiss. His 14 characteristics make sense to me. I posted them in a (likely vain) attempt to communicate with aislander that went beyond his (false) meme that somehow fascism was a kissing cousin to the Progressive Movement.

    While the author may have meant his 14 pts to be an indictment of the Bush Administration it still resonates under Obama and any of the folks who want to replace him.

    The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance.

  119. aislander says:

    So…which cohort most resembles brown shirts or the black shirts of fascist Italy?

    The law-abiding Tea Party members in their lawn chairs?

    The college thugs shouting down conservative speakers?

    The Black Panthers intimidating voters at the polls?

    The OWS people with their “Eat the Rich” signs and actual fatalities and assaults (along with all the appetizing behavior)?

    The longshoremen’s union and its illegal, violent tactics?

    The WTO protestors who now compose OWS?

    Must be the Tea Party people. I heard they shouted at some politicians who wouldn’t answer their questions….

  120. Pacman33 says:

    “Liberalism is totalitarianism with a human face”

    ~ Thomas Sowell

  121. took14theteam says:

    So bB, if those 14 points represent America today, which Party is in charge of America today? And which party is in charge of the state of WA today?

    So I would come to the conclusion that those 14 points represent the Democrat party. Starting with BHO, mmm mmm mmm.

  122. === crickets from the lefties ====

  123. You guys keep arguing for one side over the other. How can I argue with you except to keep saying – open your eyes, it is Both “sides”, there are no conservatives, there are no liberals. When it all shakes out there is really no difference between a Dem and a Repub when they are both owned by their corporatist lobbies.

    Of course – when I write “you guys” I am referring to the various screen names – not actual different people.

  124. aislander says:

    Seems that, if conservatives ever NEED “brown shirts”–which I cannot visualize in my wildest imaginings–we’d have to borrow them from the lefties…

  125. True dat.

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