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Venezuela Burning
Venezuela: A Cautionary Tale
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  • Dale Fayda

    As I never get tired of pointing out on this site, NONE of this will serve to slow down the Left in this country one bit.

    Why not, you ask? Because liberalism (pause for for a deep sigh) is a mental disorder.

    • FriendlyGoat

      Yes, people who want to preserve earth’s environment, promote a social atmosphere of “good faith and fair dealing”, take care of the sick, educate the children, avoid unnecessary wars, and actually support families with policies which actually support families all belong in the insane asylum—-where they can be smugly pitied by all those too smart to give a damn about any of those things.

      • Dale Fayda

        Did you read the article, you dope? Did you? Did you read the NPR article TAI references?

        This cretinism you just posted only confirms the last sentence of my post. Socialism is a dismal, vicious failure in Venezuela – are you going to argue otherwise? Are you, enlightened one?

        Your “good intentions” and “compassion” are less than worthless, because they lead to the debacle described in the article. Everywhere and every time. How many times does history have to kick the likes of you in the face for this to register? How many millions have to die, how many lives need to be ruined, how many cultures need to be degraded and how many economies have to be wrecked?

        Progressivism is a pathology – no question about that. I don’t want to “smugly pity” the likes of you – your ilk has done way too much damage for that. I want to see socialism crash and burn over and over, I want to sweep it off the political table as a diseased, rotting remnant of humanity’s collective derangement, I want to put my foot on your throats (in every possible sense) and squash you like the vermin that progressives are.

        That’s the only way to stop the spread of your kind – cut it out like a malignant cancer before you lay waste to everything.

        • FriendlyGoat

          Yes, this “dope” read the article, then noticed the pollution underneath where a perma-grouch changed the subject from Venezuela to all American liberals and handed us his usual and typical Sh*t sandwich. Tired of you, Dale. Grow up.

          • Dale Fayda

            One of your party’s presidential candidates is a self-avowed socialist. Yes or no?

            When asked to describe the difference between Democrats and Socialists, the DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schults couldn’t come up with anything: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/08/02/leader_of_democratic_party_again_wont_explain_difference_between_democrats_and_socialists.html

            A well paid and prominent MSNBC anchor stands by her contention that children belong to the state: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/13/melissa-harris-perry-promo-children-msnbc_n_3076195.html

            American liberals LOVED Hugo Chavez: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2007/11/the_new_fellowtravelers.html

            Van Jones, Obama’s cabinet member, self-described communist.

            The American Left are socialists, socialists are the American Left. Care to prove me wrong?

            What IS the difference between American liberals and socialists, anyway?

          • Tom

            I’m downvoting both of you, because you’re both arguing like idiots. Blargh. It’s like both of you have decided to embrace your respective stereotypes.

          • FriendlyGoat

            It’s okay. This is not the only conservative place I go and people down-vote me all the time.

          • Dale Fayda

            If what I had to say offended your delicate sensibilities, that’s just too gosh-darn bad. Next time I’ll consider being more milquetoast in how I express myself on this site. Just remind me, OK?

            If you’re going to downvote someone, just do it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvSZ_HQmZgQ

          • Tom

            Except that metaphor doesn’t work. Because I already shot. Now I’m talking to the corpse.

          • Dale Fayda

            No, you whined. There is a difference.

          • Tom

            Well, can’t do much else but talk–much like you in this regard.

          • Dale Fayda

            Indeed… Well, how about I put myself in “time out”? Feel better, old woman?

          • Tom

            I’m afraid that you are under the misapprehension that you are talking to FG’s wife. Please reply to one of his comments.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Dale gets to ya over time.

      • PennsylvaniaPry

        Friendly Goat—I don’t think you find many people on the
        right objecting to the items you list. You are avoiding the issue, which is an ongoing
        attempt in this country and elsewhere by the Hard Left to bring not only more
        and more economic decisions, but also personal decisions, under government
        control. We are not talking about regulation—everybody understands the need for
        reasonable safety regulations, for example, as well as for quality regulations
        where the average consumer lacks the expertise to judge a product or service.
        Rather, we are talking about the Hard Left’s desire to subject what should be
        private decisions to political oversight. Decisions, for example, that ordinary
        people might make about where to live—the suburbs or the city, e.g. We have
        been hearing recently, for example, that the federal government under Obama’s
        watch is interested in looking at ways to prevent people from living in
        suburban developments. Yes it might try doing so using existing tax and
        regulatory devices, but the intention is the same regardless. The reasoning is
        based on environmental claims, but still, that is a good example of how
        government is getting involved in what has up to now been a quite personal
        decision. Then, too, there is more talk of federal action toward making such
        suburbs more diverse by forcibly locating lower-income housing in or near such
        suburbs. Now, we may or may not believe that diversity is a good thing, but I
        can tell you that when people move to a given neighborhood, they do so because,
        for whatever reason, they themselves feel comfortable living there. If the
        government now comes in and forcibly changes the very character of that
        neighborhood, it has infringed on the prior residents’ decisions. Again, you
        may not respect such residents’ desires, but we still have some freedom of
        asssociation in this country, and a big part of that involves where we decide
        we want to live.

        Also, in the U.S., it is true, the federal government has
        not explicitly tried to take over various industries per se; however, by
        advancing a blizzard of regulations—environmental rules that are killing the
        coal industry; labor rules that are telling companies that they can’t open new
        plants in certain areas because they might hire non-union labor, not to mention
        our byzantine campaign finance rules that certainly infringe on the rights of
        ordinary people to engage in political activity, the government has involved
        itself in decisions that really ought to be up to the market and to people’s
        individual decisions.

        The point is, Friendly Goat, by throwing up obvious and
        benign examples of government activity that everyone has accepted from time
        immemorial, and which very few people are seriously challenging, you retard the
        discussion with irrelevancies and deliberately avoid the real issue, which is
        the intrusion of Hard Left politics into the mainstream of American politics.
        And Obama is an exemplar of the Hard Left, coming as he does from the
        quasi-Marxist academic Left, with various associations with people who have for
        decades been regarded as undeniably on the Hard Left. Obama is not a Democrat
        like Jimmy Carter was in the 1970s, or like Bill Clinton, even. He is a
        quasi-revolutionary character who is, indeed, out for fundamental
        transformation of the country, whether the American people want it or not.

        • FriendlyGoat

          You may not (I hope) consider yourself a part of the “Hard Right” which believes, among other things, that everyone should “ammo up” for the coming revolution where some sort of government men will literally be coming to get your guns, that gay people should be killed (as thought in parts of Africa), that not only Obamacare but also Social Security and Medicare should be repealed, that income tax is unconstitutional (even with an amendment to the contrary), that global warming from carbon dioxide emissions is a “lie from the pit of Hell” to somehow subjugate or control “God’s people”, that all unions are bad, that tax-funded public schools are bad and should be abolished, that the Fair Labor Standards of the New Deal era are poppycock, that only state governments should assure anyone a right to vote, and that the federal government should not be regulating ANYTHING not specifically mentioned as a federal responsibility in the Constitution.

          I have no idea how much of that you actually do espouse, but in case you find my description a “tad” overdone, please consider that I can find your description of the “Hard Left” a tad overdone.

          Of course I call myself a “liberal”. To me there is no other way to reconcile my appreciation for the facts that our corporate-made food and drug items are not allowed to kill us, that doctors are supervised, that our banks and lenders are supervised, that employers are supervised, that insurers are supervised, that car dealers are supervised, that gasoline and natural gas are supervised, that weights and measures are supervised, that aviation is supervised, and that our governments actually do protect all of us daily from fraud or dangerous business sloppiness in dozens to hundreds of other ways. Most of that stuff is because of a century of uphill work by “liberals” and was fought (and is still being fought) by “conservatives” at every turn.

          When smart-A$$ Fayda said “liberalism is a mental disorder”——it’s too much, just TOO MUCH.

          I’m not an atheist or a Marxist or an old-fashioned drug-addled hippie. But there is balance in life and sense in discussion. I am aware that modern Republicanism has almost nothing to it but a desire to cut the taxation of the richest people in the world, absolutely assassinate any remnants of unions and fill the courts with Samuel Alitos. If you feel you must call me “Hard Left” for recognizing that, I can’t stop you. Or, since your name is relatively new to me among this pack of regular cynics, maybe you would be willing to actually engage in something remotely akin to “balanced discussion”.

          • Jim__L

            I think this is another case of “arguing with someone who isn’t in the room”. Everyone argues against a chimera of everything they find worst about the general category their interlocutor identifies with.

            One of the horrible things about identity politics, really.

          • FriendlyGoat

            It would be nice if we got beyond “identity politics”. From what I hear, anyone on the right in Congress who strays even a little bit into “moderate land” is now a target to be “primaried”—–most likely by money from some state(s) other than the one from which the Congressman was sent. Those of us on the left side are not ignoring this phenomenon, and not underestimating either the financial heft or the ideological zeal now marshaled against us.

          • Jim__L

            “State(s) other than the one from which the Congressman was sent”… I thought the Left wanted all politics to be National? What’s wrong with one state influencing another — isn’t that what happens when the two coasts impose their views on Middle America?

          • FriendlyGoat

            What’s wrong with it is that all local elections should be financed by the local people involved and no one else—–MEANING that the local people make a local decision without interference. You said that identity politics are horrible. I don’t need the Club for Growth to tell my county’s voters who to put in my state legislature from my county—-and you don’t either.

            You can’t have anything BUT identity politics with all offices for sale to the biggest block of national money.

          • Jim__L

            Pfft, if elections were for sale in this country, Giuliani would have been the GOP nominee in 2008. How much did he pay for his single delegate? And how much (little) did Huckabee pay for his campaign?

            Money talks, but sometimes no one’s listening.

            (Sorry, that was a bit too dismissive. Money matters a bit, but ultimately, it is the voters that decide. Super-PACs can keep a candidate in the race, but can’t get him over the finish line.)

          • Terenc Blakely

            Soros says ‘Hi and keep up the good work. The check is in the mail.’

          • FriendlyGoat

            I only wish someone —anyone— was paying me to write. No one is.

          • Jim__L

            You saw the results in Kentucky, did you see this bit?

            “So much was off in Kentucky. Someone sent around this snarky and obseqious Rachel Maddow bit
            in favor of “rising Democratic star” Adam Edelen. Edelen wasn’t just
            going to win re-election as auditor, that was just a brief stepping
            stone to his challenge of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul in next year’s Senate
            race. He raised a whopping $900,000 and ran TV ads in the last week. He
            ended up losing to someone who cobbled together $37,000 for his
            campaign. ”

            The Left should probably recalibrate its expectation that money is the end-all be-all of electioneering. Sometimes, it takes respecting what your constituents believe is more valuable than money.

            Honestly, I suspect that most modern campaigns have reached some level of saturation, where more money can’t really be effectively deployed.

          • FriendlyGoat

            You are probably the only conservative in the entire United States who believes money cannot be effectively deployed in campaigns. Last I heard, your side is still raising it hand over fist to spend in every race on next year’s ballot.

          • Jim__L

            On this occasion, I chose my words carefully — you can reach a “level of saturation, where *more* money can’t really be effectively deployed”.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Don’t we imagine that most campaign dollars are expended to reel in 1) the famous “independent” voter who supposedly does not make up his/her mind until the last minute, and 2) the new voter who has not registered and voted before?

            No, I’m not easily swayed by ads from my opposition and I would expect that you are not either.

          • Jim__L

            Again, the Giuliani case — in some points in the pre-election polls, he was winning. Even those who supported him early on deserted him for other candidates, even with all the money he could spend.

            This applies to Jeb Bush, too.

            Can money affect an election? Sure, especially if it’s the difference between getting your message out and not. Can it “buy” an election? Not really. The message is what’s most important.

            I think that above and beyond not being swayed, many on the Left are simply incapable of enough human sympathy to understand why Conservatives might be swayed by certain arguments. Kim Davis’ courageous stand comes to mind. I suspect that large strides will be made towards ending polarization in this country will come when the Left becomes more tolerant and understanding of people with non-Leftist points of view.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Kim Davis is said to be a person who, five months after a divorce from her first husband, gave birth to twins fathered by a man who would be her third husband, children who were adopted by her second husband. You can defend her as arbiter of who can get a marriage license. I can call her a recalcitrant nut who will be over-ridden in her zeal to get her county sued again and again while she mis-performs the duties of a clerk.

            “The left” is never going to either sympathize with or tolerate Mrs. Davis. She is a complete kook. Not even most of the right is going to stick with her. Consider, for instance, the “Chamber of Commerce” right. Corporations will fall over themselves running away from the “Kim Davis” brand.

          • PennsylvaniaPry

            The policies you mention that were successfully implemented by liberals (with quite a bit of Republican backing over the years–Nixon set up the EPA, for example, and really pushed Affirmative Action, for whatever cynical reasons he may have had, but he did) are not considered Hard Left. The Hard Left wants much, much more control over business and people’s personal lives than the Democratic Party has historically ever really contemplated. I don’t know the extent of your leftward leanings, as you haven’t advocated anything one might consider “Hard Left” that I’ve seen. But I am curious to know what conservatives have called for killing gay people. I am aware of the case in Uganda, where Americans were involved with that horrible legislation, but seriously, is anyone in the U.S. calling for the death penalty for gays? And who has called for the repeal of Social Security? I know Bush proposed setting up a private portion for young workers so that they could have some ownership interest in the funds they would be contributing, but he wasn’t and no is now calling for outright repeal of Social Security. The government will always provide some income floor for seniors as it does now. There does seem to be more contention about global warming, but I think there are more reasonable voices out there than you might recognize. Krauthammer, for one, has said that, of course, it’s not the best idea to just pour CO2 into the atmosphere at the rate we have been doing, but, like many other conservatives, he is dismayed by the economic implications of what is often called for by the environmental left, which has included such things as outlawing capitalism (Naomi Klein) and democracy (several prominent scientists have said that may be necessary). As for unions, public sector unions clearly exist by dint of a conflict of interest that screws the taxpayers. I do believe that the industrial union era was a phase we had to have in order to humanize capitalism and industry, but there too, I recall how, in the 1960s, the railroad unions preferred to see the railroads go bankrupt than concede an inch, somehow believing that the railroads were owned by deep-pocketed rich guys who could always come through. The collapse of the Penn Central in 1970 and the chaos that caused for Northeastern industry, which incidentally, was one of the earlier motivations for shutting down heavy industry in states like New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, had several causes, but union intransigence was a large one. And no one on the right is opposing commonsense regulation of clean air and water or consumer goods or professional services. That’s a red herring.

          • FriendlyGoat

            1) I’m glad you agree that I’m not here calling for the excesses you can find from the Hard Left.

            2) The Old Testament called for killing the gays. And many conservatives are more enamored with the OT than the NT. That’s why they put up monuments of Moses’ top ten and almost never consider putting up a monument of Jesus’s top two.

            3) Maybe I hang out in too many far-right places, but I have read the opinions of several people in comment sections who are against Social Security and Medicare altogether. They call them welfare.

            4) In my state the conservatives fight against regulations for clean air with respect to coal-fired power plants all the time.

            5) I’m glad you agree that unions helped “humanize capitalism and industry”. I will agree with you that some unions and some union bosses have “gone too far” to their own detriment. I do not believe the correct answer is right-to-work laws to kill them off completely, but most conservatives do.

            6) The long-term solution to fossil fuels and CO2 is nuclear fusion—-we are said to be closer than ever, but still not there. I’m glad Krauthammer is one of the conservatives in the meantime who is not calling global warming a hoax. As you know, many do.

          • PennsylvaniaPry

            As for gun control, there is a reasonable belief among many gun owners that the Obama Administration would like to make the regulatory and compliance burden of owning a gun so onerous that it would effectively make it impossible legally to own and use a gun as people traditionally have done. Already, some veterans have been declared mentally unfit by the VA (without their knowledge, or ability to appeal, or in the face of clear evidence to the contrary) and had their guns rendered effectively illegal. It’s tricks like that that people fear.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I am aware that there is a “belief” among some people that Obama is trying to ruin the 2A rights of Americans. I question how “reasonable” that belief is. The reason I do is not what you said here, but what I regularly read in other conservative places.

            I didn’t make up the “ammo up” term in last post just to be rhetorical. I actually see it in print quite frequently. Even though I have owed a rifle for 45 years, the spiked gun sales and gun mania with Obama as president has been astonishing to me.

            NO ONE is “coming to get” the 300+ million guns scattered all over this country. The very idea of it is more impossible than Donald Trump’s claim that he is going to deport all the undocumented immigrants.

          • PennsylvaniaPry

            While it is probably true that no memo from Obama exists to the effect of directing the government to take away people’s guns, the fact is, Obama is part of a political group in this country that is hostile to gun culture and is indifferent to the Second Amendment, if not wishing it could be repealed somehow. Obama’s comment about “clinging to guns and religion” said it all for many of us. Those words drip with contempt and have rightly earned him great suspicion on the part of many people in this country who are not members of the coastal elites for whom neither guns nor religion mean much.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Obama was right about his comment that those who have been left behind economically tend to cling to guns and religion as emotional compensation. He wasn’t knocking guns and religion. He was bemoaning the jobs picture which has left SO MANY men SO FRUSTRATED that guns and religion are all they’ve got left.
            In Obama’s ideal, those men would have growing economic futures instead of a psychological need for an AR-15 which they cannot legally point at anyone anyway..

            You see, some people believe we need more tax cuts to get more jobs for the men “between the coasts”. Some of us believe that too many high-end tax cuts are what actually killed the opportunities and dreams of ordinary men “between the coasts”.

          • Jim__L

            Australian gun policy “came to get” Australians’ guns. People who advocate Australian-style gun laws are advocating confiscation.

            Arguing otherwise is like an Arab who argued that 9/11 had to have been conducted by the Mossad, as he couldn’t believe that his own side would do anything so horrible.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I don’t advocate Australian-style gun policy. Can’t/won’t happen in this country. I’d settle for fighting our gun war against the corporations who make and sell the guns.

          • Jim__L

            Again though, we’re confusing what you are advocating and what others on the Left are advocating. Saying that “no one” is talking about any given policy idea is a bit of a careless generalization.

          • Shahid

            FriendlyGoat is clear in what he’s advocating: “I’d settle for fighting our gun war against the corporations who make and sell the guns.”

            Whether he would be for Aussie-style confiscation is beside the point. He just apparently wants to make it impossible for folks to obtain guns legally.

          • teapartydoc

            Go to Hell.

          • Terenc Blakely

            Well considering he ran guns to the Mexican cartels early in his first term and planned to use the results of that program (hundreds of Mexican deaths) to ‘do’ something about gun control in this country until it all blew up in his face. And no his program was totally different from Bush’s.

            So yeah, we are extremely suspicious of his motives and methods. As an aside can you tell us what are Obama’s successes in office? I for one can’t think of any but he does have an almost endless list of failures and utter eff ups.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Obama’s biggest successes are Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan in place of what might have been Samuel Alito II and Samuel Alito III.
            The ACA is also a big effin’ deal (as Biden famously whispered). The Dodd-Frank law together with the CFPB are big deals. Healing up with Cuba will be a big deal. Not going to war with Iran is a big deal.
            Not over-reacting to Putin is a big deal. Not having a GOP president reduce high-end income and estate taxes even more is a huge deal.
            I have been proud of both Barack and Michelle Obama every day and still am.

        • FriendlyGoat

          Conservatives hated Jimmy Carter too, despite him being one of the best Christians the White House ever saw in the 20th Century.

          I wish I had a dollar for every time I have heard him called an awful president by conservatives. The shtick never ends from the right, even as you believe you are excusing everything moderately left EXCEPT Obama. You can do that here, but your fellow conservatives as a group never did and we liberals as a group have not forgotten how the political game actually works against people.

          • PennsylvaniaPry

            I don’t recall conservatives at the time “hating” Jimmy Carter. They thought he was feckless and incompetent politically, but no one hated him. Such passions really weren’t a part of American politics in the 1970s, apart from generalized disgust with Nixon’s ways of doing things.

          • FriendlyGoat

            The point is that conservatives deride Carter in the present. And, yes, I recall the 70’s too——before tax cuts ruined politics (and economics for the middle class.).

          • teapartydoc

            I hated him. I lived in Rhodesia when I was a kid. He gave us Robert Mugabe.

          • Jim__L

            OK, I’m curious — what do you think of PennsylvaniaPry’s assertion that “I don’t think you find many people on the right objecting to the items you list. You are avoiding the issue, which is an ongoing attempt in this country and elsewhere by the Hard Left to bring not only more and more economic decisions, but also personal decisions, under government control”?

            Is this just an issue of one person’s “control” is another person’s “supervision”?

          • FriendlyGoat

            What I think of PennsylvaniaPry’s assertion is that it emanates from 1) a misunderstanding of history, or 2) a deliberate distortion of history, or 3) merely a segueway to his/her desire to talk about other things, by blithely claiming no one objects to government seeking to preserve the environment, regulate “fair dealing”, take care of the sick, educate the children or support policies which support families.

            The fact is that we have many conservatives vigorously opposing any actions to reduce CO2 emissions for climate change, opposing a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, opposing the Affordable Care Act, opposing public schools, and opposing the SNAP program formerly called food stamps.

            He claims I am avoiding THE ISSUE. I believe he is—-and I believe all conservatives are. Much of this is energized by the issues of guns, abortion and gay marriage—–AND—–some of it is energized by conservatives’ utter confusion about whether high-end tax cuts create jobs or destroy them (as is actually the case.)

          • Jim__L

            – PP’s definition of The Issue is “an ongoing attempt in this country and elsewhere by the Hard Left to
            bring not only more and more economic decisions, but also personal decisions, under government control”.

            What do you think about that?

            – If I may presume to clarify PP’s view on “preserve earth’s environment, promote a social atmosphere of “good faith and fair dealing”, take care of the sick, educate the children, avoid unnecessary wars, and actually support families with policies which actually support families”…

            I would say he thinks (as I do) that only one of those (being smart about wars) is core to the mission of our national government, and the rest should be handled at the state, church, local, family, or even individual level.

            The only part of your definition that gives any clue that you’re not talking about exactly the same thing he is, is the word “policy”. It might have been clearer if you put “national policy”. At that point we might have had a discussion about something like the Moynihan Report (and I’m interested to hear your thoughts on that.)

            – I’m not completely clear on your definition of The Issue. Is it high-end tax cuts?

          • FriendlyGoat

            I spoke of “the issue” because PP spoke of “the issue” in the quote you asked me to expand my thoughts on. There are, of course, many, many, many issues.

            You trust the abilities and intentions of state governments much more than I do. My personal opinion is that most of them are both inept and mercurial for anything bigger or more politically-charged than the maintenance of roads. Yes, I know the conservatives wish to take “states rights” back to a pre-Civil-War governmental atmosphere and that is one of the biggest reasons I switched from marginally conservative to totally liberal about 35 years ago. When America dumped Carter for Reagan, I re-evaluated my stand on nearly everything and have never looked back. Never will.

            So, net-net, I do not believe as PP did, that anything about the Hard Left is “the issue”. If America even has a Hard Left, it has and has always had a Harder Right. From Jim Crow to today’s opposition to a NATIONAL Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,—-the rough time span of my life—- I don’t find any useful answers to anything in conservatives’ policy ideas, and even less in the effort to rely on individual states for anything important.

            As for the church, the actual Gospel of Jesus is incompatible with the most basic tenets of modern political conservatism as far as I’m concerned.

          • Jim__L

            I think that PP’s basic issue remains unaddressed — the idea that
            handing powers to the Federal Government so far above and beyond the
            Constitution has removed freedom from the hands of the population of
            this country. The essence of conservative thought is that Government Policy is not the answer, and that Government’s even having a Policy on so many subjects is a dire encroachment on citizens’ freedom, economic and otherwise.

            Federal Government policy has backfired very, very badly in terms of the people it has tried to help (see: the Moynihan report). It has weakened popular initiative to follow the
            teachings of Christ at an individual level (see: lack of charitable
            giving among Liberals; the individual level is frankly the only level that counts, in
            terms of virtue, as well as being the only true life-changing level.) It has led to the actual prosecution of Christians for following the dictates of their conscience (see: controversies surrounding Obergefell). It is driving the country into bankruptcy. (See: the national debt.)

            The span of my life includes events like the fall of the Berlin Wall (brought to you by Reagan and the innate weakness of socialism, and inconceivable under Carter), and the increasing awareness that programs like Social Security and Medicare are driving an unsustainable national debt, so I think we’re concentrating on different aspects of the news here.

            In terms of Jim Crow — I will give you, racism has pretty much vanished from the overwhelming majority of situations in America. But instead of declaring victory, modern Leftists have fallen prey to “Selma Envy”, which has led to witch hunts and the prosecutions mentioned above. Cincinnatus has not gone back to his plow — he has declared himself Caesar, and carries on with proscriptions.

            I’m curious why you trust Federal government, but not State. I don’t like or trust either one (I live in California, after all), but because states differ, California experiences competitive pressure from states like Texas to keep its policies from going completely off the deep end. And, I could always move if things get too bad (though various personal concerns keep me in California.) This means choice and freedom, where Federal Policy eliminates it.

            Nationalizing everything, particularly in the *extremely* partisan way the Left has been pursuing, leads to a winner-take-all situation that both polarizes the country, and cranks up the emotional intensity of arguments. It’s bad all around, and needs to stop.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Well, I didn’t know you lived in California. My disdain for state governments actually is rooted more in examples such as Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Wisconsin, Missouri, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia & Maine.
            That is the list of those which have not expanded Medicaid because of the messes in their legislatures, for instance.

            As we know, the new GOP governor in Kentucky may seek to reverse Kentucky’s former expansion—-or not. If he succeeds, that would be a prime example of the mercurial policy flip-flops which states’ citizens risk with regularity.

            My main reasons for liking federal solutions to major problems are 1) The country is often near 50/50 liberal and conservative. That makes for better solutions than states that are more like 40 liberal and 60 conservative. 2) The federal government funds its solutions better, meaning definition and implementation are better. 3) Many problems, like banks and securities are just bigger than states can handle. 4) Citizens generally do not deserve a patchwork of confusion on major issues when crossing a state line.

            It’s true that the Constitution never mentioned nuclear power plants, telecommunications, aviation, weather forecasting, scientific research, fair labor standards, food safety, drug efficacy, clean air, clean water, non-discrimination on race and gender, or even the word “corporation”. I personally think that the idea the federal government cannot touch these things and/or anything else because of what founders supposedly “reserved to the states” is just beyond nuts and out of touch with reality. Most Americans have thought likewise for over 100 years (if they even thought about it at all), so all this constitutionalist stuff of 2015, in my view, is just a sudden “tactic” to push more high-end tax cuts—-the only real Republican agenda ever. That’s my take. You, of course, can have yours and it’s perfectly okay for individuals’ thoughts to not exactly align.

            I do know that the recent gay marriage ruling from the Supreme Court has hit a big nerve. But however “leftist” that is, my (female) wife and I (male) have been married 44 years and we do not feel anything has been taken away from our marriage by allowing others of companionate love to have legal rights too.

          • Jim__L

            FriendlyGoat, the main thing you’ve done here is to admit you want to use the national government to impose your beliefs on people who disagree with you, and take their money (and the money of their unborn children) to do so.

            I’m afraid of that’s the case a great deal of the invective on this site really does apply to you.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Sure it does. I’m not a conservative. I never have pretended to be. But another true statement about me is that I am not a paid operative to clutter up sites of my opposition. I do not belong to any organization other than being a registered Democrat. I am a volunteer hobbyist who enjoys arguing the liberal position on most political matters. So, yes, I am criticized, even hated, and I’m okay with it.

            As for your first paragraph here, let’s please not pretend that conservatives do not also seek to use the national and state governments to impose their beliefs on people who disagree with them—-AND—–take the money of others to do so. Some conservatives believe that they are the only ones paying taxes and that only liberals are reaping the benefit of those taxes. You seem to have already demonstrated here that you would be fair-minded enough to recognize such a belief as hogwash.

          • Jim__L

            I wasn’t simply pointing out that you were being targeted; I was pointing out that you were being targeted *fairly*.

            I think that by their very nature, efforts to shrink the government reduce both the taking of money from one group to fund another (present-day “picking winners and losers”, or Hayek’s “privileging one group over another”) and opportunities for the State to impose beliefs. Those are both good things to reduce.

            And, once your taxes are lower because the government doesn’t have as many responsibilities (well, after the national debt is paid off), you’re free to use that money to write checks to whatever charities you please. And that’s a good thing too.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Everyone is free to write checks to charities now—-and deduct them from taxable income or estates. That’s one of the best things about the tax code and high taxes on high incomes or accumulated wealth in particular. They encourage charity MUCH MORE than low taxes do.

            I believe Warren Buffet has explained that in a situation like his there really isn’t any logical choice but philanthropy. Marvelous that.

      • Boritz

        I object to you saying that “families all belong in the insane asylum”.
        This post brought to you by NBC.

        • FriendlyGoat

          NBC for Nice Boritz Comment?

      • teapartydoc

        You can do all the good you want as long as you do it with your own time and money. Trying to steal mine to do it might make you feel good about yourself, but just imagine for a moment what it makes me want to do to you. Then consider for another moment whether I an folks like me might do if we ever get a chance at payback.

        • FriendlyGoat

          Threats are what the Tea Party is about. Thanks for reminding me, but I’d already heard the score on you guys.

      • Vizzini

        people who want to preserve earth’s environment, promote a social atmosphere of “good faith and fair dealing”, take care of the sick, educate the children, avoid unnecessary wars, and actually support families with policies which actually support families

        That’s an excellent description of the right in the U.S.!

        • FriendlyGoat

          C’mon Vizzini. You’re spinning.

          • Terenc Blakely

            Well considering the numerous lies in your post, his post is far more truthful. All leftist policies do is impoverish most and create a new aristocracy of political connected, academics, celebrities and crony capitalists who promote the left.

          • FriendlyGoat

            You conservatives should know what we liberals know. Good stiff high-end taxation of income and estates can help you CONTROL what you see as the politically-connected aristocracy, celebrities, academics and crony capitalists. It can also help us control the likes of the investor class which are eliminating workers’ jobs hand over fist BECAUSE low taxation allows them to merely KEEP the savings from doing so.

          • Vizzini

            No, you’re making the childish assumption that people who disagree with your particular solutions either aren’t interested in solving the problem or hate the people suffering from the problem. The ridiculous strawman that people on the right want to destroy the environment, revel in the suffering of poor people and keep children from being educated is simply tiresome at this point.

          • FriendlyGoat

            It’s not a strawman that liberals generally propose and advocate all of our environmental protections and the conservatives generally lobby against them as “too costly” or generally unnecessary. It’s not a strawman that liberals generally favor a free public education through high school level and conservatives generally want to find ways to privatize the effort for benefit of religious views and social (as well as racial) segregation. It’s not a strawman that liberals promote collective bargaining for workers and strong safety nets of all kinds while conservatives oppose both of those.

            How can you possibly misunderstand these political trends? They have been the ongoing themes of political and legislative “news” for several decades.

          • Vizzini

            You’ve essentially made my case there. In every example, you’ve equated opposition to your particular solutions for problems as equivalent to not wanting to solve the problems. You can’t consider that there is any other way to solve a problem than your own.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Republicans never met a problem they believed to not be solvable by more high-end tax cuts, more deregulation of business practices and more right-wing judges on courts. That’s what they do and that’s what they propose as the hammer for every nail. The problem with those things is that they are all counter-productive.

            Your side refused to do anything whatsoever about health care for decades and has been promising since the passage of Obamacare to repeal and replace with something better. There is NEVER any substance to your side’s proposals for that other than “screw people” and I likewise believe there is NO SUBSTANCE whatsoever to your replies to me. You are simply reversing my statements as though that made any sense. It doesn’t.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Socialism can never work because the Government Monopoly doesn’t work. The Government Monopoly like all Monopolies suffers from the same disease, the lack of the “Feedback of Competition”. It is the “Feedback of Competition” that provides both the information and motivation which forces continuous improvements in Quality, Service, and Price in the free market private sector. This means that without the “Feedback of Competition” public employees lack the information (what are the competitors doing and how can we beat them), and the motivation (people hate change and will go to unseemly lengths to avoid it) that if they don’t improve the business will go bankrupt and everyone will lose their job.

  • Fat_Man

    The next foreign policy of the US must give first priority to the basin of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, which is our back door. We must kick hind ends and take names. We must ignore charges of imperialism. We cannot tolerate messes like Venezuela.

  • iconoclast

    “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

    Winston Churchill

    “Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.”

    Alexis de Tocqueville

  • bittman

    The author should have mentioned that Hugo Chavez’s daughter is a BILLIONAIRE. I’m still waiting for the Hollywood crowd who were continuously crowing about the greatness of Chavez’s Socialism to comment.

  • ACLUmember

    The communist thugs, oops I meant socialist leaders, of the “Bolivarian Republic” have not the slightest inclination to allow free elections on December 6th.

  • koblog

    Funny how the richest person in Venezuela is Hugo Chavez’s daughter. Wonder how that happened.

    Superior business sense? Cattle futures? University speaking fees? Family foundation contributions that get siphoned off as “salaries and expenses”?

  • Neo

    The only thing worse than a Venezuelan bolivar are Zimbabwe dollars, the only currency that I know of that comes with an expiration date, literally. It’s printed on the bill.

    I sometimes think that our government would like the same. They act like it’s there.

  • koblog

    Funny how the Left is so in favor of helping the little guy and “families” but those are the very people most hurt by socialism. They don’t even have toilet paper. Some “help.” Care to move to Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela?

    How many Leftists are investing their own money in Venezuela’s economy? They can, but we know that socialism drives investment out. Who can trust crooks who will “nationalize” your business at the drop of a hat and take everything you invested?

    • Neo

      Funny how most all “communist” or Socialist states seem to be “Bring You Own Toilet Paper”.
      Same is true in Cuba.

      Perhaps, they have mastered the use of the “three shells”.

      • Dan

        you are fined one credit for a violation of the verbal morality statute

  • Terenc Blakely

    “One wonders what the allure is of a socialism that impoverishes its citizens but enriches its leaders.”

    A feature not a bug for leftists.

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