The spiteful wrath of the ruling class
Posted by aogWednesday, 02 October 2013 at 14:12 TrackBack Ping URL

We have the amazing spectacle of the National Park Service shutting down open air mall sites that do not require any staff so that WWII veterans are denied access. Let it be clear that these sites have never been closed until now but suddenly, in the midst of a government slimdown, the NPS has the staff and time to put up barrycades. Can some one explain this as other than in effect, hostage taking by the Obama Administration?

In the same vein we have other parks being shutdown that have no dependency whatsoever on the NPS and indeed, in some cases being net revenue generators for the federal government. That means the Obama Administration, in the midst of the upcoming debt ceiling limit, is willing to forgo revenue in order to punish the public for not getting his way. Yet people claim Obama has the best interests of the citizenry at heart…

P.S. Meanwhile The New Republic is apparently calling for using tanks against the Republicans in the House of Representatives, while former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recommends bypassing Congress. And schools show “I pledge to serve Barak Obama” videos. Where did all the civility go? Perhaps it’s never been there.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 02 October 2013 at 16:35

And now they are hiring protestors at the WWII memorial. Who comes up with this stuff?

Bret Thursday, 03 October 2013 at 11:10

I’m wondering if it’s the same mentality that clamors for gun control.

If you can’t afford to patrol it, close it off to protect it. That of course completely ignores the fact that vandels will break in so it will only keep the law-abiding out.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 03 October 2013 at 12:18

As far as I can tell, it’s normally not patrolled more than any other public space and is left open all day and night. There are more guards now, to keep people out, than before the government slimdown.

Clovis Thursday, 03 October 2013 at 13:35

Can any of you remember if similar things happened in the Clinton’s shutdown?

If not, why? It it possible to be happening by orders from above, or more likely a joint decision of many actors who may be not happy they won’t get salaries this month?

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 03 October 2013 at 15:25

The non-dependent sites state specifically that this has never happened before during any of the many shutdowns.

more likely a joint decision of many actors who may be not happy they won’t get salaries this month?

Joint decision of which actors? This isn’t a mob, it’s a bureaucracy. How could doing any of this get any of the actors a paycheck?

Why didn’t this happen during previous shutdowns? You would have to ask the leader of the executive branch, that is, the President, why people under his control are doing this.

Apparently government websites are also being shut down. Not left running, updated. Turned off. That’s going to get someone a paycheck?

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 03 October 2013 at 16:25

As Politico reported Thursday, during the 1995 government shutdown congressional Republicans and President Bill Clinton were able to agree to a “stopgap bill to assure funding for veterans, welfare recipients and the District of Columbia.”

Why won’t Senate Democrats and President Obama agree now to any more stopgap funding bills?

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York told THE WEEKLY STANDARD following a noon press conference Thursday that in 1995 “it was a different world.” Why is that? “Because we have a Tea Party,” Schumer said without elaborating as he walked away.

Clovis Thursday, 03 October 2013 at 18:00

AOG,

Joint decision of which actors?

Put yourself in the position of the govt. employees who won’t get a paycheck. Imagine you read in so many places that your job is useless, and that you well deserve not be paid.

Is it a far stretch to imagine said employees may feel the need to prove they are needed?

Just saying that it can possibly be a colective behavior, not necessarily following order from the top (although they certainly enjoy the permission from above, in some way).

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 03 October 2013 at 18:16

Prove they are needed by screwing over private citizens, doing something they would never do while actually at their jobs? That’s like proving to my client he needs me by hacking in to his credit card company and turning off his credit card.

But we need no longer speculate —

Spokesman for the National Park Service says they were told to barricade the WWII Memorial by the White House

Clovis Thursday, 03 October 2013 at 18:38

AOG,

I do not think you gave me a good counter-example, I can believe some employers would appreciate you more if you did that. Heck, there are hundreds of stories of hackers getting jobs after doing something like that.

But we had indeed an answer. Let us see what the head of White House OMB (whatever that is) has to say now…

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 04 October 2013 at 18:05

Let’s list some other “we’re from the government and we’re here to hurt you because Obama!”

Now, the question is, which side here has concern for the citizenry? The one trying to “make it hurt” or the one that is expected give up because they feel compassion for these abused citizens?

Clovis Friday, 04 October 2013 at 19:03

Your surprise on that is more intriguing than the stories themselves.

Why do you think only one side is allowed to misbehave? A game theory model easily could predict this.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 04 October 2013 at 19:23

Where did I say I was surprised?

But, in reality, it is only one side (the MAL) that is allowed to misbehave, due to the bias of Old Media.

Clovis Friday, 04 October 2013 at 19:31

The coverage so far has been really partisan, with the NYT and Fox following contrary universes. Again, no surprises here.

They say we have all sort of petty fights in academia because so little is at stake. I ask myself if the lack of a real adversary in the global sceneis the source of American internal disruption.

This pathetic show would never play in the cold war times…

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 04 October 2013 at 20:11

I think this is a much better explanation. What has changed since the Cold War is that the MALists realized the USSR wasn’t going to save them by overtaking the USA. That’s when they turned bitter in domestic politics.

Clovis Friday, 04 October 2013 at 20:51

The link you gave is… kind of delusional.

What I learn from it is that people got so carried away by this petty fight that they are bordering irrationality. You indeed helped me understand how your congress dug up this hole. To see smart people like you so moved by those weak and emotional arguments tell me far more of the ground reality of US than any news outlet ever would.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 04 October 2013 at 22:44

Any specific delusions?

It’s not a petty fight if it’s about controlling 15% of the GDP and people’s health care.

Clovis Saturday, 05 October 2013 at 06:45

Your 15% figure is probably wrong, for it contains spenditures that would happen anyway under other names/programs.

If you are unable to locate the delusion in that article, whose main message is ‘we are in an epic battle against the forces of evil and comunism’, I can’t help you much, AOG.

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 05 October 2013 at 16:48

I think you’re probably wrong about me being probably wrong about the 15%. And is your view that it doesn’t count as under government control if it’s some other government program and not the ACA?

As for the article, it’s delusional even though you can’t find any specific delusions or factual inaccuracies. OK…

Clovis Sunday, 06 October 2013 at 07:45

AOG,

No, it is just my view that a reality based approach would recognize that a good part of that spending would happen anyway. First, because ACA incorporated expenditures of other programs, AFAIK. Second, you’d need to erase up the slight majority of your country, who approve of and made ACA into law, to not spend anything more at all.

The fact that there is this other half of the population (in fact, more than half), and their opinions and wishes will not disappear from one day to the other, is the root of the present stand off.

An external observer, like myself, initially has a hard time to understand how the above obvious facts are disregarded by so many people like you, AOG.

Your article above is that kind of delusional piece that, as Wolfgang Pauli would say of too speculative theories, is not even wrong. For it does not provide facts, only an angry ranting that can only resonate with people too much emotionally connected to the matter.

It sets the world in black or white, electing great evils to be undone and a cause greater than life at stake. It fulfills a sense of purpose, of meaning to its believers. And whishes upon the hereticals the fire of purification. It is indeed your religion.

Annoying Old Guy Sunday, 06 October 2013 at 09:38

a reality based approach would recognize that a good part of that spending would happen anyway. First, because ACA incorporated expenditures of other programs, AFAIK.

Well, as far as I know, that’s simply wrong. There was an attempt to shift about $500B from Medicare to the ACA, but that is unlikely to stick, so essentially most of the spending is new, that is in addition to current spending. Secondly I don’t use “control” as a synonym for “spend”. When the government decides what are valid insurance policies and forbids be to buy (and insurance companies to sell) anything else, that’s control, even if not a penny is spent by the government.

you’d need to erase up the slight majority of your country, who approve of and made ACA into law, to not spend anything more at all.

No. Every poll I’ve seen (for instance) indicates that a majority opposes the ACA. The House of Representatives is controlled by a party openly working to repeal it and won a once in a century political victory in 2010 to do this. When the legislation was being passed, there was a special election in Massachusetts on which it hung, and in a deeply Democratic Party loyal state, a Republican won by in large part opposing the ACA. I don’t understand how the above obvious facts are disregarded by so many people like you, Clovis. (Note which of us can provide actual evidence, and which doesn’t bother).

As usual, you don’t seem to be able to conceive of the reciprocal situation, these philosophical points you make you only apply to one side.

As for facts, what of this one?

Yet as the always dogged and perceptive Betsy McCaughey points out, since its passage and approval as a “tax” by the Supreme Court, the president has unilaterally and unconstitutionally changed the law.

Did Obama do that or not? Doesn’t that count as fact?

What about this one —

Obamacare agents of control will be left-wing “navigators” — not so coincidentally drawn from an army of left-wing labor leaders and community organizers from the SEIU to ACORN to Planned Parenthood. Left-wing activists who have access to every piece of confidential, private information of every American’s life — including, yes indeed, your voter registration. Crusaders one and all.

Will those people exist? Will they be drawn largely from MAL activists? Will they have access to that confidential private information? Does none of that count as facts?

What about another one —

It’s always worth reminding that the Tea Party came into being not because of Barack Obama but George W. Bush. It was Bush’s TARP response to what in fact was a government-induced financial crisis, on top of his spending policies, that brought the Tea Party to life.

Does that count as a fact?

As far as I can tell, your view is the article is delusional because politicians and political movements can’t actually be motivated by ideology, but only retail politics. When an article like this points out facts that support the ideological view, you claim “those aren’t facts” because you’re “reality based”.

Bret Sunday, 06 October 2013 at 18:35

Clovis wrote: “It sets the world in black or white, electing great evils to be undone and a cause greater than life at stake. It fulfills a sense of purpose, of meaning to its believers. And whishes upon the hereticals the fire of purification. It is indeed your religion.

Yes, yes! You’ve got it! We all all have our ideologies, our dogma, our “religion” if you wish to call it that, even you.

And like all religious wars, it should be clear that we will not back off until we’re either dead or win.

There is, of course, an alternative. It’s called federalism. Where the federal government is minimized, power is devolved to the states, and the states distinguish themselves by being more or less into regulation, taxes, and services. People vote with their feet based on what they want. More left leaning folks would move to California, New York, and Illinois. More laissez faire sorts would move to Texas, Wyoming, and Montana. We would then mostly leave each other alone and trade in peace.

But the MALists agenda/dogma/ideology/religion/etc. specifically includes controlling conservatives. Converting them, so to speak, in evangelical frenzy. As “religious” as I am as a sort of libertarian, can you really not see that Obama and his ilk are just as fanatical in their own way?

Or maybe they aren’t. After all, how could I really tell? Just because they look fanatical to me, doesn’t mean I’m capable of knowing that’s true. I may well be blinded by my ideology (or religion if you prefer). In which case you’re right: we’re the fanatics and are more than willing to destroy america if we have to live under what we believe to be the great evil that is the religion of the left.

There’s a fine line between strong preference, religion, and delusion. I believe I’ve identified my world-view as the first, but realistically, it doesn’t matter to me which it is. It probably doesn’t matter to anyone else either. My behaviors and actions are the same in any case.

Clovis Monday, 07 October 2013 at 11:18

AOG;

You own pool substantiates my argument. Did you even read it? Maybe it is better if I highlight for you then: “Thirty-five percent of the country opposes the law because it’s too liberal, while 16 percent argues it isn’t liberal enough.”

And I was thinking about a much better pool in my above comments: your last presidential election, where ACA was a constant point in every debate.

Your other “facts” either are as careless thought as your pool argument above, or worse. Take for example your establishment of a future proposition as “fact”: “Will those people exist?”. A “fact”, last time I’ve checked in my Laws of Nature books, must necessarily be in your past light cone, dear AOG.

BTW I find this one amusing too: “Will they have access to that confidential private information?”. It is a more general version of the Gell-mann effect H. Skipper and Bret alluded to in other thread. You’ve read your govt. has already absolute knowledge about everything possible to know within their NSA programs - then you forget about it and play dumbfounded with the possibility of another govt. sanctioned employee to have access to those all over again? How dare govt. to maintain multiple databases on you?! Oh, maybe the problem here is the waste of money of both employees doing the “same work”?

> As far as I can tell, your view is the article is delusional because politicians and political movements can’t actually be motivated by ideology, but only retail politics.

Sorry, I do not understand the meaning of “retail politics” here. Anyway, I did not imply the above belief anywhere - like you would say, show me the quotes.

Clovis Monday, 07 October 2013 at 11:35

Bret,

Well, I am not sure if your view of Federalism ever took place in your country. I mean, were your view the rule, the civil war would never happen.

> As “religious” as I am as a sort of libertarian, can you really not see that Obama and his ilk are just as fanatical in their own way?

I did not spend the last 2 or 3 months reading Obama’s personal blog. I did not lose my time reading any of his books too (and will hardly be convinced otherwise by now). So, unless we can discuss something more specific, it is hard to say. From afar, they do not look like to bear the blame for the serial disruptions caused by your Congress.

> There’s a fine line between strong preference, religion, and delusion. […] My behaviors and actions are the same in any case.

Now, here, I beg to disagree. Unless you are exercising sarcasm here, I hope you can see the difference between strong preference (I really enjoy strawberry icecream) and delusion (kidnapping an airplane and flying it through the WTC, because it is the only way to save Islam from those Satanic Americans).

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 07 October 2013 at 11:37

Clovis;

There are several key differences between the NSA and the ACA

  • The NSA data gathering is illegal and could be prevented under current law.
  • The employees at the NSA are far less likely to abuse the information and many fewer people would have access (see Kentucky)
  • The NSA does not have “absolute knowledge about everything possible to know”.

where ACA was a constant point in every debate.

No, because Romney was compromised on that via his background in Massachusetts. There was much gnashing and wailing among the conservatives about his inability (unwillingness?) to really attack the ACA. It was much more intense in 2010, with corresponding results.

I don’t expect to convince of you this, only to break you of your assumption that all facts are on one side and that anyone who disagrees must have no facts at all for support.

But let me ask, if a majority supports legislation, does that of itself make the legislation legitimate, and the minority must simply accept it, regardless of how damaging it is to that minority?

I did not imply the above belief anywhere

I think you did, which is why I prefaced it with “as far as I can tell”. I base it on your a priori rejection of the idea that the current USA political situation could be the clash of ideologies. What else you think it could be, I don’t really know, you haven’t explained.

Clovis Monday, 07 October 2013 at 14:56

AOG,

One by one:

> The NSA data gathering is illegal and could be prevented under current law.

This one got me laughing. It looks like every one involved with the NSA is laughing too, the differece being they are not only happy, but rich. Mostly with your taxpayer money.

> The employees at the NSA are far less likely to abuse the information and many fewer people would have access (see Kentucky)

I see, they at least are honest about that, right? How much personal information on you the NSA helds?

> The NSA does not have “absolute knowledge about everything possible to know”.

Ok, the phrase is surely not well defined. But I believe their eavesdropping possibilities very well include pretty much all hospitals and clinics that handle your health status.

I know you, being tech-savvy and all that, may well believe much of your personal info is well protected. Except, it is not. The genius in their method is not the ability to eavesdrop one individual point, but so many nodes at once connected to that individual one. IOW, they can know a great deal about you without ever bothering to break your criptographed personal data and communication. BTW, you probably know that much better than I do.

> I don’t expect to convince of you this, only to break you of your assumption that all facts are on one side and that anyone who disagrees must have no facts at all for support.

I did not implied you, AOG, have no facts (the criticism was about a ranting piece you linked to). You surely have lots of facts, many of which you make good use of. Others you distort, willing it or not, to fit an overall pattern that loosely correlates to your stated ideology. Up to that point, you are just like everybody else - only that, instead of promoting that distortion to fit religious views, or ecological views, or far-left views, you’ve directed them to some subset of far-right views.

> What else you think it could be, I don’t really know, you haven’t explained.

You got it right that I underestimate the ideological aspects of the clash. Not because there are no ideological citizens (there are many, you look to be one of them), but because a collection of ideological citizens do not necessarily imply an ideological movement. As you have basically only two parties in US, most people within those parties are distributed in too many subsets of ideologies. It leads to a final result which is often not that much ideological.

Taking a physical analogy, you can make a material with molecules that, individually, are highly polarized. But if they are arranged in domains of very anisotropic distribution, you do not end up with a good magnet.

The next thing then to dominate the dynamics is usually more powerful than most ideologies: power & money. Most politicias, and big political groups, follow dynamics better explained by this than any particular ideology.

Take you and most people in favor of this last Congress shutdown. I hardly believe you most profound thoughts are really ideologic. It is money. You are just really mad about paying the bill. It is just more elegant to say you worry about… freedom, or something like that.

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 08 October 2013 at 07:24

Clovis;

Let me see if I have your argument. If we take ‘A’ as “citizens are ideological” and ‘B’ as “political movements are ideological”, your claim is ¬ ( A ⇒ B) ∴ ¬ B. Can’t argue with logic, although that’s not a rule of induction with which I am familiar.

I also am impressed by your assertion that “AOG is A” and “AOG is not A”. Orwell would be proud…

Clovis Tuesday, 08 October 2013 at 08:38

AOG,

Maybe your computational training is hindering your analysis here. Logic is a restricted tool to analyse societies. You need higher mathematical ones.

I am stating that B (political movements) is a function of many things, among them ideological citizens (A), i.e. B = B(A,X,Y,Z…,t). I am also stating that IMHO, the relevance to changes in B induced by changes in A is rather low these days, i.e. \deltaB/\deltaA << 1 for t = today.

On AOG, may statement was that AOG is explicitly A, and implicitly dependent of other variables. And I indicated one particular variable relevant to AOG’s position on ACA. There is no contradiction on people having stated ideologies, but being also moved by other reasons that get covered by the ideological ones.

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 08 October 2013 at 09:35

Clovis;

The statement

I hardly believe you most profound thoughts are really ideologic. It is money. You are just really mad about paying the bill.

is a quite clearly “AOG’s position is not ideological”. It is certainly not an “also motivated” statement.

As for the ideological basis of our current situation, your position is you don’t believe that’s important factor because that’s your opinion, and arguments to the contrary are “delusional … angry ranting”. Well, OK. Whatever.

Clovis Tuesday, 08 October 2013 at 10:02

AOG,

My use of ” most profound thoughts” is exactly a reference to subjective (implicit) reasons. You may well disagree, or say I have no business in guessing what you really think (it is indeed a leap by my part, and an indiscreet one). But it is not an incoherence of my views regarding your persona.

> As for the ideological basis of our current situation […]

There were times when people would read books by Marx and organize meeting to convince everyone to make a revolution. That was pretty much an ideological time.

Nowadays, you take a president who most of the time is saying something about “growing the middle class” and so many other pro-capitalist worldview things, and tell me to believe he is a mad socialist trying to turn everyone red. And you place upon me to prove my opinion that he is not that ideological? Nice. I tell you, search on youtube for a video of Stalin or Hitler, and maybe we can talk later…

Bret Tuesday, 08 October 2013 at 10:04

Clovis wrote: “Now, here, I beg to disagree … I hope you can see the difference between strong preference (I really enjoy strawberry icecream) and delusion (kidnapping an airplane and flying it through the WTC, because it is the only way to save Islam from those Satanic Americans).

Your example doesn’t work. One is preference/delusion without action, the other with. Change it to “I really enjoy strawberry ice cream so I’m going to hold people as hostage at gunpoint until given lots of ice cream” versus “It’s extremely important to save Islam from those Satanic Americans.” Which is which now?

The term “delusion” says nothing about action.

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 08 October 2013 at 10:14

Clovis;

I provided an article that pointed out precisely where Obama is working on, in his own words, fundamentally transforming this nation and you just dismiss it. Nice. Especially after stating your opinion on Obama is based on ignorance.

I could point out that TOTUS says those “pro-capitalist” things, but when you get Obama speaking without prepared text, you get “spread the wealth around” and “taxes are about fairness” and “bitter clingers”, etc., etc. But you probably believe the GDR was actually democratic because they had “Democratic Republic” in the name, and that the USSR was a haven for the oppressed because of how much they claimed to respect human rights.

Clovis Tuesday, 08 October 2013 at 15:01

Bret,

You are still distorting the standard use of those terms. People do not think of extremists when someone declares a “strong preference” for something. Now a “deluded person” can easily be seen as dangerous too, for people in delusion can act in deluded ways.

So when I say AOG suffers a political delusion, I mean he is seeing things that most other people would disagree as being real. Had I only declared he has “strong preferences”, my comment would be meaningless.

Clovis Tuesday, 08 October 2013 at 15:10

AOG,

So you gather that terms like “spread the wealth around”, “taxes are about fairness” and “bitter clingers” are evidence of… socialism?

I had already this discussion before over there in Great Guys, and I was never convinced by the subversion of the term “socialism” with which you operate.

Both GDR and USSR would not have a problem in declaring their socialist intents and views. I believe that, if you ask Obama, he will not agree he is a socialist. If you ask the people in your country, or the rest of the world, you would easily get a large majority saying that neither Obama, the Democratic Party or the MAL are socialists.

The small minority declaring they are would be seen, well, as suffering a delusion.

Bret Tuesday, 08 October 2013 at 16:24

Clovis,

Saying Obama is socialist is simply shorthand for saying Obama is more socialist than me. Socialism is on a spectrum. Surely you don’t doubt that Obama is more socialist than me?

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 08 October 2013 at 17:57

Clovis;

What is socialism, if not “spreading the wealth around”? It’s hard to think of a better short description.

Both GDR and USSR would not have a problem in declaring their socialist intents and views

Where did I write anything about the GDR or the USSR declaring (or not) their socialist intents and views? Perhaps you could respond to what I actually wrote. You are, once again, seeing things that just aren’t real. Does that make you delusional?

P.S. Is it your view that any minority view that disagrees with the majority view is “delusional”? That certainly seems implied by your comments.

Clovis Wednesday, 09 October 2013 at 12:54

AOG,

> What is socialism, if not “spreading the wealth around”? It’s hard to think of a better short description.

I disagree. I believe the greatest merit of Capitalism (the real sort, not the crony one that runs in so many places) is that it spreads the wealth around. The reason it was chosen over socialism, in the course of the last century, was that it demonstrably led to better conditions to a greater number of people.

Now, am I a socialist for using the term “spreads the wealth around”? Context, AOG, context.

> P.S. Is it your view that any minority view that disagrees with the majority view is “delusional”?

No, it is not. But in politics, frequently they have concepts that are defined socially, by way of majorities. What one characterizes as Left or Right, for example, hardly has a closed definition. Your view of what is socialism is at odds with both dictionary definitions and consensual ones.

By the way, are you aware your acronym “MAL” translate to “evil” in portuguese (or spanish too)? Is that on purpose?

Clovis Wednesday, 09 October 2013 at 13:01

Bret,

Do you think it makes sense to say someone is more Capitalist than you? Or that someone is more Democratic than you?

I know that to say someone is “socialist” has a strong negative connotation in the US. So people who say Obama is one are either just trying to offend him (which I find a poor way of discussing politics) or are really under the impression he is socialist. Which is your take?

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 09 October 2013 at 13:54

Clovis;

If you want context, the context in which Obama made that statement was clearly the government doing the spreading. I’ll drop socialism and use Skipper’s term, collectivism.

Although, according to a dictionary we have

any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

Seems like my definition matches up with that. I will agree that frequently rhetoric of the TOTUS doesn’t conform, but that isn’t any different than the human rights rhetoric of the USSR.

I have to say, though, I have never before heard free market economics described as spreading the wealth.

The reason it was chosen over socialism, in the course of the last century, was that it demonstrably led to better conditions to a greater number of people.

Not according to people like Obama, nor his supporters. Ask Harry Eagar about that. In their view, very clearly stated, it requires government to do that, by spreading the wealth around. Example - the ACA.

As for MAL, it’s a happy accident. I didn’t plan it that way, but I like the fact that it does.

Clovis Wednesday, 09 October 2013 at 14:27

AOG,

> Example - the ACA.

I do not see universal health care as spreading wealth around. (I say health care, not ACA, since I do not know yet if ACA really implies in health care)

I see it under the idea, discussed at Great Guys, that what really matters is not so much inequality, but the bottom line we accept for people to fall in our societies.

Of course, to establish (and pay for) a bottom line is some sort of redistribution, but not one on itself (by socialist principles) and also a limited one, since it places no limit on how much you can grow your wealth.

I did not understand yet if your objection to that is functional (e.g. govt. only makes it worse and all the universal health care system is going to be dysfunctional and expensive) or base on principles (e.g. you should not be forced to pay for other people lives), or both.

If it is functional, I did not see you offering any other better option. If it is principled, you look then to disagree on setting up a lower bound to the “losers” of society.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 09 October 2013 at 18:08

Clovis;

Then I can’t imagine what you would see as “spreading the wealth around”. I can’t see how it is not socialism by the dictionary definition, as it is the government administering health care and taking de facto ownership.

As for my objections, it is “both”. In general I find those two things having a causal relationship, so it’s rarely one or the other.

Yes, I disagree on setting a government controlled lower bound.

Bret Thursday, 10 October 2013 at 15:23

Clovis wrote:

Do you think it makes sense to say someone is more Capitalist than you?

Sure, of course. AOG is more “Capitalist” and “Free Market” than me and I’m probably more “Capitalist” and “Free Market” than Hey Skipper. Conversely, you could say that I’m slightly more socialist than AOG. For example, I have little problem with a “government controlled” lower bound, especially if that safety net is provided by state and local governments (as opposed to the federal government), the bound is pretty low, and the bound is cash payments with no strings attached, if provided by a government.

Clovis wrote: “I know that to say someone is “socialist” has a strong negative connotation in the US.

Does it? Certainly it does among libertarians and conservatives, but I think Harry is proud to be a socialist, though I might be wrong.

Can you propose a different term? Every word I can think of that distinguishes my worldview from Obama’s has a strong negative connotation to me, but Obama and I agree on almost nothing, so I don’t think that’s surprising. Here’s the list that came to mind: leftist, liberal, progressive, statist, socialist, collectivist, redistributionist, …

Clovis Friday, 11 October 2013 at 10:17

Bret,

Conversely, you could say that I’m slightly more socialist than AOG. […] Can you propose a different term?

OK. I will then agree it is not a delusion to call Obama “socialister”, instead of a “socialist”.

AOG up there said my opinions on Obama are based on ignorance. So I ask, what do you guys really know about Obama that I do not?

Many of his actions as President have been the opposite of what he defended before his presidency, so what gives you confidence that your opinions are less ignorant than mine?

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 11 October 2013 at 10:31

AOG up there said my opinions on Obama are based on ignorance

No, Clovis up there said his opinions on Obama are based on ignorance. I’ve linked to it twice, I suppose I should quote it now as well —

I did not spend the last 2 or 3 months reading Obama’s personal blog. I did not lose my time reading any of his books too (and will hardly be convinced otherwise by now).

I, in contrast, have read many excerpts from his books and many of Obama’s own words and statements. I have been following his career since he was a state Senator, because I worked to prevent him from becoming a US Senator, seeing clearly what he was even then.

Many of his actions as President have been the opposite of what he defended before his presidency, so what gives you confidence that your opinions are less ignorant than mine?

I have no idea how these two things are supposed to relate. What do Obama’s blatant lies have to do with what you or I know about him?

Clovis Friday, 11 October 2013 at 12:30

AOG,

I, in contrast, have read many excerpts from his books […]

Oh, many excerpts you say?

I’ve read many excerpts on The Illiad too! It was about a nice big wood horse, wasn’t it?

I have been following his career since he was a state Senator, because I worked to prevent him from becoming a US Senator, seeing clearly what he was even then.

Hmm, you tried to prevent him from being Senator? Interesting. Now you are working to prevent him from getting his signature legislation in place. Now, how is that working for you? :-)

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 11 October 2013 at 12:39

Clovis;

I’ve read many excerpts on The Illiad too! It was about a nice big wood horse, wasn’t it?

It’s definitely a tell when you’re reduced to childish jabs like that, instead of any substantive response.

Clovis Friday, 11 October 2013 at 12:58

Sorry AOG, but you left me no other choice. I mean, you understand that to claim knowledge of a topic because you’ve read “excerpts” of it does not sound very convincing, right?

Anyway, my point above, that you’ve missed, is that to read or listen to him is no guarantee of knowing what he really thinks. If he says one thing, and does the opposite, it is a pretty good hint that he was not telling you in earnest from the begin. So, even if you find any “excerpt” of his to look like “socialist garbage”, it does not mean a thing.

What you can use to judge his thoughts, then, are his actions. And they tell me my cynicism over your politicians is quite justified…

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 11 October 2013 at 14:17

I think it’s less unconvincing than “I haven’t really read anything”.

I also noticed that I listed several sources of information, you picked out just one, and then claimed it was insufficient.

It’s also amusing to read you going on about how we can’t judge on just words, and also claiming we can do exactly that when it’s “not right wing media”. Where is your cynicism there?

Clovis Saturday, 12 October 2013 at 07:28

Where is your cynicism there?

It is diluted by statistics. As you take many, many opinions, you have a greater chance of measure what people generally think for real, for not everyone is necessarily faking it.

Also, I was talking about opinions in newspapers and blogs, which tend to be more sincere as compared to politicians opinions (which was my source of cynicism).

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 12 October 2013 at 10:30

I was talking about opinions in newspapers and blogs, which tend to be more sincere as compared to politicians opinions

OK, now you’ve made me laugh.

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