Class Warfare.. A Liberal Chess Game

looneyleftChris brought up some issues about fairness in one of his recent comments and it got me thinking. He stated that he absolutely promotes class warfare, because it is warranted. We are rapidly approaching a breaking point in this country that has been driven by the politicians in Washington. They have promoted class warfare as a tactic to gain power. And they are furthering that tactic as a means to intrude further and further into private industry and take away the rights of American citizens. They do it by making people think that life isn’t fair, and government is going to even things up for you. Well, I will not be fooled by yet more government claims of their willingness to help Americans. I didn’t buy it from the Republicans when they ran things, and I certainly refuse to buy it from the Democrats now.

buckly-cartoonUnfortunately, I imagine that we may have seen the last of Chris. And that is unfortunate. I was hoping that he would be able to add a different perspective to the site. And I say that with sincerity. But his final posting declaring the site as a paradise for those of us wanting to pat each other on the back could mean he is no longer willing to attempt to talk to anyone not willing to accept his version of “fair” or “fact”. I tried to go and email him personally to discuss it with him, but he deleted me as a facebook friend. Disappointing. I will miss the opportunity to rationally discuss the liberal point of view, but then again, that wasn’t really happening thus far anyway. Fear not, dear readers, I will continue to seek liberals who are willing to withstand the heat. There are just too many perspectives in these discussions we are not getting to hear because each one that comes leaves when challenged. But I digress, as I often do.

The class warfare that we are seeing today is unprecedented at least in my short lifetime. It has always existed but I have never seen it played so well by those on the left before. Perhaps it was the addition of a black man out front that was so effective. A belief that he was just like all of the financially struggling black Americans. He shared their pain and understood their struggle. I say false and false, because he never knew their struggle, with a free ride to Harvard and an upbringing that brought him into contact with the most powerful Left Wing extremists in America, he knows nothing of the struggle of every day Americans, black or white. 

ass-chainsaw-tax-cutsThe point is that class warfare is playing at an all time high. The liberals in America are doing their level best to convince Americans that the wealthy are getting a free ride. That the wealthy don’t contribute anything to society and should be brought down to our level. That the wealthy are evil people who aren’t paying their fair share. It is admittedly an easy game to play (otherwise how would liberals play it so well). We have a minority of the wealthy acting like idiots, screwing people over, and basically showing their ass. And we have a vast amount of people in America struggling to get by every day. 

The liberals tell them it isn’t their fault. The wealthy are to blame. Let’s start with the basic facts. It isn’t the wealthy that are making Americans poor. It is the government. Over the course of our lifetimes, 80% of the fruits of our labor (or our ancestors labor) is taken. Not by the wealthy… by the government in the form of taxes. Yet the poor in America know you can’t beat the government, so what other choice do they have than to hope that the government will save them. Well I agree that the government could help them, by going down to about 1% of its current size and scope and getting out of the market. 

cod6-class-warfareWe have created a victim mentality in America. If you don’t succeed it isn’t your fault. The rich white men did it. They held you down. They are to blame. Sure government is to blame too, but only those damn Republicans, who are in the pockets of big corporations. Don’t pay attention to all the ties to big business that are being reported about the Democrats too. Only Republicans take the money and give the favors. We Democrats just take the money and then tell the big corporations to go to hell. 

The Democrats are here to save you, poor Americans. News flash for the following groups: Latinos, Blacks, Minorities, and Poverty stricken folks. You have been pledging your allegiance to the Democrats for the last 50 years. And you are still in the same position that you were in 50 years ago today. The Democrats, despite their promises, have not improved your lot in life one bit. Do you feel like you are better off today because of something the Democratic party did for you? I didn’t think so. So why is it that you keep thinking that “this time they really mean it…”?

cheney-skullsOr are you buying those lies that the Republicans have kept them from helping you? Oh that’s right, the Republicans and Bush deregulated everything and let the big businesses and financial sectors run amok. They let Wall street matter rather than Main Street (and if one more liberal uses that lame class warfare statement of Main St. vs. Wall St, I might snap). Cheney was in big oil’s pocket and that caused the problem. The Republicans are beholden to special interests. Oh I can go on all day with the bullshit that the Democrats are spouting these days. 

Instead I will offer you this: They are counting on one thing for all of this to work. They are counting on the fact that you are far too busy working to feed your family with the 20% of your earnings that government is not taking from you to do the research and see that they are 100% full of shit. De-regulation has been happening for 20 years under the watch of both parties. Cheney didn’t really amount to jack shit in the big scheme did he? Big oil isn’t a tenth of the problem that financial mismanagement in the financial sector was. A little hint for all you liberals, Barney Frank’s corruption is costing Americans ten times what the oil companies ever cost them in the past. Bravo.

We are bombarded by the left with claims that social justice is what is needed. The left wing in America has an ideological predilection toward egalitarianism — or forced equality. The president has stated in numerous interviews that he wants to “spread the wealth around.” His chief of staff ruminated that one should never “waste” a crisis. The administration is willing to shift tax burdens from some large groups to other small groups. The government thinks it can make poor people rich by making rich people poor. The liberal mantra forgets that you can’t make things better by taking money from wage payers and give it to wage earners for nothing. All you do is lessen the number of earners the payers can employ. Doesn’t seem that wise to me.

From all of this, the government tells America that they have a mandate to take from the wealthy (because the top 25% paying 86% of the taxes isn’t taking enough). Therefore, the government’s principal interest in using the TARP funds is acquisition of control: Control over bankers, over banks and over vast sectors of the economy. The auto industry, financial industry, all industry through cap and trade. 

The Constitution, which guarantees freedom of contract and denies the power of the government to take life, liberty, or property without due process (suing for it), is an obstacle for the government. Freedom is an obstacle for all governments. Thus, the administration will trample whatever constitutionally-guaranteed liberties it can get away with in order to acquire the power to re-order our lives so as to bring about its egalitarian vision for America.

Judge Andrew Napolitano, former Federal Judge

obama-socialist-posterUnfortunately, we will all suffer before the government realizes that our financial prosperity has come from private, uninhibited initiative, not from Soviet-style central planning. What we are seeing is a move towards socialism in this country, that is massive and rapidly accelerating. The sad thing is that many of those on the left, and Chris was an example, are not only OK with it, they actually think that this is a better course forward for America. 

And therein lies my problem. Because the rapid expansion of government that we are seeing has no good outcomes for Americans. History has shown again and again that the socialism that Chris and those on the left seek is BAD FOR AMERICA. Those on the left that are not in government are letting their desire for “fairness” get in the way of common sense showing them that this is a horrible path to take. Those on the left that are in government are laughing all the way as they get to expand their power and create a state where Americans will continue to sacrifice their freedoms and liberty until the great experiment that was America is no more. In seeking fairness you are sacrificing liberty. In sacrificing liberty, you are killing what made being an American something special.

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Comments

  1. I don’t know about anybody else who posts here, but way back when(what my children call the dark ages & my grandchildren call the olden times), when I was in grade school, we were told that the uniqueness of our country was that we did not have a class hierarchy. What the Socialists have been doing over the years is separating us by injecting something that was never there in the first place – and that is how I believe that our politicians have elevated themselves onto their ivory pedestals.

    I do not like it one bit. We are being divided in order that they may conquer us. We need to get united again.

    Tax Day Tea Party is doing just that. See you there!

    • bullshit

      • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

        It must be awfully nice to have it all figured out. I like the cut of your jib, One Nation, One People, One Fuhrer oops, I mean Leader. As Mel Brooks put it in “The Producers”, Sieg heil baby!

  2. There has been class warfare, as you call it, in this country since its beginnings, but it is not so much about those who have and those who don’t. It is about skin color, starting with black versus white, and now adding brown and yellow. Face facts: In a country the size of the US, with such population diversity, class and color “warfare” is inevitable. That was shown clearly during the primary elections with Obama using so adroitly the color issue. And he won that one. Ponder a moment the terms used daily here: African-American, Latino, etc. We should be just Americans, but maybe that is too simplistic for those who would use anyone and anything to further political and social agendas. But the greatest exponent of “using” class and color is the US media, which for the most part, has lost its way.

    • RWBoveroux says:

      Jac Mills:

      While I agree with the idea of your post that discrimination of one sort or an other has been existent in this land since it’s formation, I would be interested in knowing how you define “American”. Is an American someone who lives in the territory of the 52 states or is there something more required for that title.

    • Jac Mills: I don’t necessarily agree that class and color warfare is inevitable, in the future. That will depend largely I think on what happens over the next 8 years. Racism will exist as long as stupid people exist, but the warfare we see may subside.

      I have always said to Libs that I pray the first black Pres candidate is a Repub or at least a conservative. That was because the pent up frustrations of the black populaion would result in what I thought, election of the man. You may consider it part of the healing process.

      Unfortunately we didn’t get that, we got the worst possible alternative. A socialist at worst and a fascist at best and a Progressive for damn sure. The result will be alienation of the successful among us, if he succeeds. And anger and frustration among the minorities and lefties, if he fails. And they will pin his failure on the rest of us who opposed him.

      It is an ugly option being played out and if you watch closely the media is helping extend its impact.

      If you don’t support Obama you do not support equality and liberty for minorities and the poor.

      So you see, if Obama succeeds over next 8 years then warfare will go away (mostly) because those of us who love liberty will become a true silenced majority, perhaps even a minority, but for sure SILENT.

      Gosh, and I thought I woke up in a good mood….bummer
      JAC

      • Just A Citizen:
        So you wanted a black Republican. Well, you got one of two. And you think we may have a “socialist at worst, a facist at best…, but a Progressive for damn sure.”

        I am pleased YOU know what you have. I do not know for certain what the man REALLY is. He has dumbfounded me, but that may never have been a difficult task, anyway.

        Cheers, mate.

      • esomhillgazette says:

        I can’t figure this fool out either. He’s an entirely different sort of liberal than any I’ve seen. Sometimes he’s as wacked out as Nazi Pelosi. Sometimes he seems more moderate. You got the silent part right too. One things for certain though. He has ass-kissing down to an art!

    • I’m sorry, but there has always been a huge space between classes in america. That is the point of capitalism.

      • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

        Yes, and at one time all Vanderbilts were rich. Then they spent all their money and a;ll became average. Gloria V. of jeans fame lived an exceedingly average life until she hit on a way to make money again.

      • Colin,

        Then you do not understand what Capitalism actually “is”.

        The only manner in which there is a ‘class-less’ society is by force and violence.

        Since no one exercises the same effort in earning their resources, there will always be differences. To remove this, means that addition effort must gain NO benefit, and NO effort must RECEIVE benefit.

        Thus, by force, earnings must be transferred from those that earn to those that do not.

        Those that earn will stop, since it gains no benefit.

        The consequence, an equilibrium of suffering and poverty.

        • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

          Flag,

          Hopefully Colin is paying attention. Back in the late 60’s I seem to remember reading a statistic that in the Soviet Union, somewhere on the order of 90% of the produce was grown on the 2% of the farmland that was allowed to be privately owned on the collectives.

          Why is it that folks just can’t wrap their head around this one? It is in the nature of mankind that most want to work and improve their lot rather than stand still.

    • Obama barely mentioned race at all during his campaign. He avoided it too much, in fact, considering he is the first non-white president.

      • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

        So?

        What was it that Martin Luther King said, “that a man should be judged by the content of his character rather than the color of his skin”? Perhaps we have arrived at that point. That is unless you want to continue to insist that there is a closet racist hiding behind every door and under every rock.

  3. Kristian says:

    I kept hearing Chris talk about fair. I tell my kids all the time that life isn’t fair. I also used the Constitution bit about Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. It doesn’t even promise happiness, just the pursuit of it and it doesn’t say a blessed thing about fair. My kids hate that, but what are ya gonna do? LOL! I don’t believe the wealthy in this country need to pay anymore than they already do. USW, you hit the nail square on that one. They pay more in taxes and they can’t pay their bills. They don’t pay their bills, they eventually go out of business. Another one bites the dust. And does the messiah care about this? Nope, he wants to spread the wealth. Well, I’m not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination but I certainly don’t hold it against anyone that is. They worked for it, I didn’t. I don’t deserve anything that I don’t earn.

    • I use the same thing with my son. He is beginning to understand that actions have consequences, and he may not always like the consequences of his actions. He doesn’t like it, but he he’s beginning to understand that life just isn’t fair.

      • Kristian says:

        You know that is part of the problem. No accountability. No one is made to accept the consequences of their actions. They want someone to bail them out because that is what they have been taught. It’s not fair, I’m not to blame and I deserve. Bulldookey! If you earn it, it’s yours.

        • esomhillgazette says:

          Hey! There somebody goes using my word again! LOL!

          You are right Kristian. Accountability and Responsibility have not been taught, for the most part, for years in this Country. I guarantee you I have taught my kids though!

          “I DESERVE it”, Has become a dirty phrase to me. In life, you don’t “deserve” a flippin’ thing!

    • Kristian: I think we do a diservice to our children with “life is not fair” comment. My wife would use it on them and I would jump in with “life is perfectly fair”. Some people may not be fair, situations may change, chaos and random events happen but they are part of a “perfectly chaotic universe” which you are part of. “Your challenge is to figure out how to deal with it to your best advantage, without harming others.” You might say that then you will have found the perfectly fair answer.

      My purpose in this is that the statement deflects the situation to “life”. The end result is if life is not fair, it leads to “life is a bitch and then you die” which leads to “I hate my life so I will end it”.

      I also challenge the “everyone is not perfect” phrase, much to my wifes distain. My reply is “I am perfect” and my rational is that God made man in his image, therefore we are all perfect. There is more to it but my wife is Catholic so that gets to the point in the fewest words possible. What we do with it may not result in perfect outcomes. She then brings up the deranged murderer to which I reply he is perfectly deranged.

      My purpose here is to stop projecting imperfections and problems to the individual based on their existence. Their problems are a result of their conscious decisions, or lack thereof.

      My rational is exposed by your answer to Redleg. Your premise is that life is not fair then you point out that there is no accountability and people want bailed out. That is because all they remember is the part about “life is not fair”. They eventually want someone to fix life to make it fair because they forget the part about it is their job to do so.

      I offer this for deep dipping over coffee, not as chastizement of you or others.
      May your morning be calm and warm
      JAC

      • Kristian says:

        JAC,

        I don’t believe that I have ever looked at it quite that way before. It makes sense though. Of course the first time I use that on them I’m gonna get this look that says ” Uh oh, Mom’s lost it!” Actually I get that look from them quite a bit already but that’s ok, I think kids are supposed to look at their parents that way. As far as humans being perfect, I’m going to have to agree to disagree on that one. Yes, God did create man in his image but if we were perfect He would not have had to send His son to die for our sins, and that’s about as far into that as I want to delve on this blog. This isn’t the thread for a religious discussion.

        • Kristian:

          I respect your request on God discussion and that was not my intent either. Just that I always tried to avoid projecting outcomes onto people due to their status or mere physical existence.

          If your kids are under 14 I urge you to enjoy every moment, even the bad ones, to the fullest. The ages of 14 to 19 turn out to be designed to reduce the pain when they finally leave, at least that is my new theory. If they do it right, you’ll be holding the door for them the day they leave, as they throw you that look of “you are the dumbest person on the planet”. Tears will come to you but both of sadness and joy. If you have good ones, which you can control some of but not all, they will return much quicker, and your intelligence level will have greatly increased. My second was the worst but it only took one year away for her to realize how good she had it. Our youngest has Autism, he is a very big 16 year old kid. It is funny, sometimes, to watch the teenager moods driven by hormones battling with the playfullness of a 10 year old. He will go ballistic on us and then once calm explain he doesn’t know why he got mad. We have been very lucky-
          My absolutely best wishes to you and your family.
          JAC

      • I never told my daughter life was not fair…I told her it could be cruel and most of it would depend on the decisions she made…I did however love to play “You can’t always get what you want”…she hates the song to this day!

        • Kristian says:

          That’s a good one Terry, I’ll have to try that.

          JAC, I think that you are right. I sometimes think we have children so that we can know true heartbreak. But they are such a joy most of the time. I try to see the humor in everything that they do and I think that they appreciate that. I hope that they do anyway.

      • JAC,

        What’s you take on “Life is tough. Its tougher when you’re stupid”? Its my fav!

        ;o)

    • When someone spreads the wealth in this country, they are not doing this to people like you. You are not the poorest in this country. You may feel like, oh, i’m alright, i don’t need more money, leave it with the rich, but in reality, this to help people that are starving, or people living in the streets. These people are not lazy. You complain about elitists, but then you say that anyone poorer than you must just be a lazy bum. Also, the way that people make millions or billions in this country is not through hard work. It is about taking advantage of the poor. If it makes you money, then there is no reason not to do it in a complete free market. So once the rich get a hold on these companies, they take huge risks, give themselves millions in bonuses, and then just take american’s money once the company has “bit the dust”. That is how a free market works.

      • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

        I am a solid middle class guy, son of a bartender, grandson of coal miners. Went to college through scholarship. I most definitely feel that I am being taken advantage of. I have worked with the rich and the very poor. In the very poor parts of the South Bronx and Central Harlem or Bed- Stuy in Brooklyn, 43 year old great-grandmothers were not uncommon. Would you please tell me how in hell these people are ever going to get out of poverty if they don’t make better choices in their lives?

      • Men who do not understand free markets often promote incentives into other people that are incorrect.

        A man creates a business to solve a problem. If he is good at solving the problem, he earns a profit.

        Colin refuses to explain why companies live longer than their founder – Bell/GE/Edison/Ford/Johnston are all bewildering examples to him.

  4. RWBoveroux:

    Nothing sinister in my use of the term “American.”

    To illustrate:

    I am an immigrant, a naturalized US citizen, and I call myself an American.

    My wife is Chinese, also a naturalized U.S. citizen, and she calls herself an American.

    My four children have lived in Australia for many years. They were born and raised in the U.S., and they call themselves American.

    For me, “American” is not a tag. It is now, and always will be, a sense of belonging, commitment and loyalty which I am privileged to embrace through my U.S. citizenship and residence. But I recognize and appreciate that others may define differently. And I apologize if words in my earlier post misled. Best wishes.

    • esomhillgazette says:

      JAC Mills,

      I perfectly understood what you meant. I am sick of hearing people referring to their group as AFRICAN-American, or Hispanic-American, or Asian-American.

      To me, _______American, has become a PC term Liberals use because calling a race by their racial name (NO! not a Racial Slur) For instance, you can usually tell by looking at someone what race they are from. So why not just “I’m an American”.

      As for race, They could say, I’m of African DESCENT. Or, I’m of Chinese Decsent. Especially Asian. Asian is too generalized and I’ve noticed that Chinese don’t like to be referred to as Japanese or Korean. And besides; Iranians and Indians don’t look like Most other Asians, though they’re considered Asians. And lot of South Africans are WHITE. So why can’t THEY be called African-Americans if they have immigrated here!

      As you said, “American” is not a tag.

      • Esom…. – you could not be more inaccurate in your assessment. Identity as you deride is not a liberal construct as you suggest but a well seen phenomena from both anthropological and sociological perspectives. This was best put forth most recently in layman terms in the “Lexus and the Olive Tree” by Thomas L. Friedman (which was far less political in presentation than “Hot, Flat an Crowded”). The Polish-American festival I attend every year at the Shrine of Czestochowa is attended by predominantly Catholic, Conservative Americans who are proud of their Polish heritage.

        • esomhillgazette says:

          Ray, I apologize if you thought I was deriding races. That was not my intent. I simply meant that everyone should be proud of their heritage and ancestry. I am very proud of my Scots-Irish ancestry myself and have traced them back to the Ulster Plantation in 1714 Ireland. I have heard African-American and Hispanic-American spoken like it was holy until it makes me want to puke though. It HAS become a PC title to minorities. I am not a SCOTS-IRISH-American. I’ve never been there. I talk like a backwoods hillbilly with no brogue to my tongue! I’m an American!

  5. USW’s comment about the poverty stricken and minorities voting Democrat the last 50 years is so true where I live. I used that very argument before the last election, with some hardcore Dems, asking them “what have the Dmes really done to improve this area in the last 35 years? As they would normally stand there with their mouths open, I would simply say “not a damn thing”. Well, it was good for a laugh at the time, because the idiots still voted the same way. Just goes to show “you can medicate the mentally ill, but you can’t fix stupid”

    • Here is what the democrats do. They try to start programs like acorn. These are programs that help poor people save their money, spot someone trying to take advantage of them, or for legal advice. But the republicans find a single case of voter fraud, and even though acorn is found not guilty in court, they still get all their funding taken because the dems keep backing down when the republicans don’t like something.

      • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

        I have dealt personally with ACORN both as a civil servant and later as an independent contractor. Trust me,these people are far worse than just doing voter fraud. they are extortionists with political clout.

  6. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    I think we can all see a recurring theme regardless of whether it be the global warming debate, the class warfare debate, the public education as indoctrination debate, etc.

    What we see is that through “education”, environmental issues, class issues, and countless other tactics, the government is actively attemtping to grow larger and larger and impose more and more control over individuals and society as a whole.

    Some will argue that the Founding Fathers were not idealists, they were simply out to protect their own intersts. Ok, fine. To a large extent aren’t we all? However, the Founding Fathers, for whatever reasons (altruism, enlightened self-interest, or even not particularly enlightened self-interest) believed in attempting to limit the power and size of government. We are seeing the loss of that ideal.

    Perhaps they should have put something in the Constitution requiring that ALL laws undergo a thorough review once every 10 years to evaluate if they are really necessary and if they adhere to the Constitution. THAT would actually give our Representatives and Senators something truly productive to do.

  7. With all due respect the tone of the post doesn’t seem all that likely to engage meaningful debate – the hypothalamus seems to have won over the cerebral cortex for sure.

    On the notion of ‘life isn’t fair’ and ‘government is not the answer’. Do we suggest that those born into a life with not just the cards stacked against them, but the whole damn deck do not merit our help? I’ll try to avoid encampment in a particular ideology because I’m having trouble figuring out if USW sees all Democrats as liberals and vice versa (or socialists, or marxists, or Leninists, or communists or whatever).

    So I ask – what is the answer? Is it Capitalism? Is it a free market? Is it Conservatism? Is is ‘quit bitching about how unfair life is and pick yourself up by your bootstraps and get your lazy ass to work’? What is it?

    As an example only – take Philadelphia. This city used to be teeming with a strong working class – heavy heavy blue collar regardless of race or ethnic background. Neighborhoods such as Brewerytown (Schmidts anyone?), Fishtown, Richmond, Bridesburg, Kensington were all alive with a strong working class that earned decent wages and provided stable lives for families and children. They were supported by decent education, churches, and unions that, ahem, keep things on a relatively even playing field. What happened? Well, several things happened – corrupt city government, a burdensome tax system (for businesses), over-aggressive unions, and a mass exodus of industry from the city core. Large business owners quickly figured out it was cheaper to set up shop elsewhere. And they did. Now, in a large swath of North Philadelphia we have what we call the Badlands. This is where even cops hesitate to go at night and large drug busts require the National Guard’s help (more firepower). While some neighborhoods are creeping back to life (Northern Liberties), there are still signicant, deeply rooted, systemic and pervasive problems in large populations in the city. “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps”? A lot of these kids have no shoes, let alone boots or bootstraps. Only slightly above this ‘class’ that is akin to a third world country, is the marginal class that does work for a living, albeit for signficantly less than you or I. Their schools are falling apart, teacher drop out rates are among the highest in the nation, the unions have screwed most of them, and they pay more on the dollar for basic needs such as fuel and food (everyone from outside the city knows that you try and avoid fueling up in the city – you’ll pay more and run the risk of being car jacked).

    You could probably use this example in a number of large urban centers across the country. Tell those folks they don’t belong to a different class. So what is the answer? No ‘class warfare’? What is the alternative? Pretend they don’t exist? Don’t watch the local news and lock my doors and speed through South Philly on my way to the ballgame? Maybe it just isn’t my goddamn problem. I still have a job I work real hard at, I pay my bills and live far enough outside the city that I can enjoy its amenities but not deal with all the bullshit. Opportunity costs money, and if government isn’t to provide an opportunity and if the charities can only solve the problem one household at a time then maybe its just tough shit to everyone else and we accept the fact that while they are Americans the same I, their tough luck is not mine.

    • Kristian says:

      I think you may have answered your own question with the example you gave of Philadelphia. Government stepped in and the place went to hell. Government needs to be downsized in a big way. I have no problem helping my felow man, do it every opportunity that I get. I do have a problem with government telling me that I have to. I think many on this site have a problem with that too.

      • Government was only part of the problem (and local government at that – not the Feds) – my point was there were contributing parties from all angles of the political spectrum which complicates the flavor of responses usually seen in this forum.

        • Even amongst all of the mayhem in N. Philly, I am sure, if you looked, there would be some success stories. Why…because the right decisions were made. Government intervention of any kind no matter the angle of political spectrum will most often result in “unintentional consequences”. Help needs to come in the form of good people helping unfortunate good people, not the government. Government “help” creates government “need”. That has, in my opinion, been the greatest injustice the government has created.

          • Kristian says:

            Very well said Terry and I agree. People should help people, not the government. Yesterday a young man came into my office. He was well dressed and well spoken and he explained that he and his wife and children had just moved to FL from MI and they had apparently been staying with a friend and it didn’t work out so he and his family had been staying in a motel. Long story short, he came in looking for some kind of odd work so that he could add to what he had to pay for another night in this room. Unfortunately we don’t have anything like that in my office so I gave him the 16$ that he said he needed. It was my choice to do so. He could have been lying, I don’t know but I did what I could to help. I look at it this way, if I can help someone I will because one day it may be me that needs a hand up and I would hope that someone would be there to give it to me.

          • Terry – its a matter of determining what those decisions were and how to replicate them on a much larger scale. I keep hearing Government (Fed? State? Local?) is not the answer (maybe it isn’t), but then what or who is; and how is the potential for resulting need eliminated? Its unreasonable to think that enough volunteers could be marshaled to solve systemic social and economic problems that are matrixed in geographic microcosms. I’m not buying that logic. Much as I’d love to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity every weekend I still have my own yard to mow. Is there such as thing as more than one person (a group) helping others w/o some agenda?

            • Ray,
              I believe there are programs that are working. The problem is you/we will never get the government to look at this program works, and this one doesn’t. When you look at our schools, charter schools and voucher programs are proven to work, but instead, they want to take over pre-K.

              • LOI – I am curious about the ‘success rate’ (criteria and actual measurement) of charter schools, private school, etc. v. public since this seems to be quite the hot topic. Not trying to be a smartass – I am actually curious. Thanks.

    • Ray,
      Excellent post, well said. I don’t believe there is an easy answer. I do, however, believe that sticking with what got them there won’t do anything to get them out of there. Philly is a good example, but you could use any metro area that has been under near exclusive liberal (not democratic) control since WWII. I think you answered your own post when you described the companies leaving Philly for greener pastures. I recently heard reported that Rush Limbaugh is moving his program from NY due to the coming tax increases there. Will he take his employees too? Where will the guys in his mailroom work, as I doubt they can relocate on what they make. This is the governments fault, not Rush’s. (I am going off slightly half-cocked because I don’t know all the facts.) The analogy seems to hold, though. I was laid off approx 1 month ago. I am not angry at the company that I worked for. I have gotten another job (start Monday) for half the pay and completely new field. If I hadn’t found one close by, I would have relocated elsewhere where there was work. I know how tough it is out there, and haven’t had to look for work since I was 15. I feel I am an intelligent person though not overly so. What I do have is: A) a work ethic which I have found to be stronger than most, and B) Common Sense, which has become a marketable quality. While common sense may not be a “learnable” skill, a strong work ethic is a matter of choice. I don’t want to sound heartless but the American Dream is still out there and still attainable, to all who are Willing to Work for it!
      CZ

      • Thanks CZ – and good luck in your new gig. I left a job working in Philly partly because of the insane city wage tax (go figure). I suppose the only way places like Philly change (oops, change = bad word), is there must be a catalyst. An event, an occurrence – something different. Generations ago, on the heels of the New Deal it was actually WWII. While I would never advocate that, short of intervention at some level by someone on a scale like that then the cycle starts all over again. Most everyone here hates the idea of government intervention (I however, sadly, do not), but no other plausible evidenced solution can be pointed towards. My liberal-leaning mind needs to read and see that before I can be ‘talked off the ledge’. Someone please help.

    • Ray, I have some very similar questions about the issue in my town. Youngstown, Ohio has made the Top 10 most dangerous cities list for many years now. I get infuriated when a black person drives up to the store in a new Escalade, with a $300 cell up the the ear, and pulls out a food stamp card to pay for the food they get. Just writing about this has me pissed off. I do blame government for this, and all the crime ridden neighborhoods are a result of bad govt. What to do about it? Good question, my only idea is to end welfare completely and when crime comes knocking on my door, start shooting. It may be the only way to rid our cities of these people.

      • G-Man – if Youngstown is like Philly – the drug dealer I suppose you are describing is just as likely to be funded by the homeless crackhead who panders for money to feed his habit and the suburban Mom/Dad what gets a quick fix on the way to work or on the way home. I only blame government for allowing an illegal drug trade to flourish (new topic USW?).

    • esomhillgazette says:

      Ray,
      I don’t know if you would agree with me; but I’ll say it anyway! The problem seems, to me at least is that we as a Nation are out there in the other countries of the World helping them pull themselves up by their bootstraps instead of concerning ourselves more with OUR problems here at home.

      Let me give you some examples:
      1.Just last night, FoxNews reported that we had spent $15 Billion dollars for AIDS research in AFRICA.
      2.Obama is intending on spending $190 Million to help rebuild GAZA.
      3.Billions are spent every year by this Country to feed children all over the world, while we have approximately 330,000 children in THIS country hungry and homeless.
      4.Celebrities such as George Clooney, Madonna, and Angelina Jolie go to foriegn contries to help people or in the latter 2, adopt foreign children when there are aplenty of children right here who need help and need adopting.

      Now I’m not saying anything is wrong with any of that. But I hope you see where I’m going with this. We have too many problems, such as the ones you spoke of in Philly, for the Government to be spending so much money in other Countries. Most of which, I will add, HATE US! At least when we’re not throwing money at them!

      So maybe instead of Class Warfare, we could try some working together WITH local government to fix these things. I submit that this will never happen as long as Liberals are in charge OR while the Federal Goverment is so big. The only ones they are out to help are themselves. They don’t give bulldookey (my word! MINE!) about the destitute folks in Philly or anywhere else in “OUR Country”.

      • Esom…. – very good take and I understand that same line of thinking. I also often wonder what would happen if we spent that money more judiciously back home. My take will often come back to:

        1. Bigger government is not the answer – but better government. President Obama (and please everyone stop with the messiah nonsense) stated to the effect of getting rid of what does not work and implementing results oriented programs that do – well ok – I’m on the wagon for that – but I have not seen us get rid of anything YET. I remember doing research on the myriad of antiquated procurement systems in use by the Department of Defense – costly, duplication 100 times over of effort and very very old in most cases. They have tried numerous times and blown hundreds of millions of dollars and still cannot deliver a centralized transparent system. I say bullshit – we have the technology to do it just not the desire to make the change and suffer the pain of doing so;

        2. We unfortunately cannot ignore the crisis in other nations. This is not ‘bleeding heart Ray’ but more so recognizing that extremism is often born from crisis and frequently from poverty – there are examples of this all over the world. I just hope we don’t become one. To the Gaza point – we don’t help rebuild Gaza then we help create the next generation of Hamas terrorists – at least that is what both Israeli and Muslim friends I have tell me;

        3. In my opinion – the only value celebs bring to the mix is of they can, as a product of their celebrity, raise awareness over issues the media doesn’t feel inherently worthy of coverage. I would hope their intentions are good.

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Esom!

        I love your word “Bulldookey” and I sure do use it alot now! Thank you for coining it! I hope that you don’t mind my borrowing it? Having three kids, it sure does sound better instead of saying the real word.

        ***********

        Has anyone here ever listed to Dr. John David Manning (I think that is his full name)? He’s a black preacher in NYC who has a message that needs to be heard…that message has to do with PERSONAL pride and responsibility.

        IMO, his greatest problem is that he comes across way too harsh (and he SEEMS to have hate) and that tends to alienate folks, mainly those who are not of a conservative bent. I think that people see/hear “how” he preaches (turns them off) vs. “what” he preaches (an important message for all of us). He does do some ethnic name-calling, but I believe that is because of trying to get across to “whom” his main audience is. He sees where this Government is leading the American people and he’s doing his best to stop it. Unfortunately, I believe his “how” is having the opposite effect.

        I believe that he really does love his people (blacks, whites, yellows, reds, etc.), he just wants them to have personal growth through their personal pride and responsibility; not through Government hand-outs (which, I believe he equates to being enslaved yet again). This is what I get out of his sermons (plus, I have to say — he makes me laugh!).

        Regards,
        RS

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      You see, there are indeed people with the “entire deck” stacked against them. I am all for helping such people. Such people existed LONG before the Federal Government became huge and became the “sole provider for the needy”.

      We used to have well-respected and well attended churches that provided charity to those in need.

      We used to have close-knit neighborhoods with people that gave a damn about each other and who would help a guy out if he was down on his luck.

      We used to have families that stuck together through thick and thin and tried to work things out when a family member had problems.

      Now, a lot of people are going to come up with a blue million examples of how things were TERRIBLE back then and how if a guy was down on his luck, most likely the local sheriff would just run the bum out of town on the rails.

      Fine, whatever. My argument is that any large bureaucracy is far less efficient at helping ANYONE out than we as individuals are. The larger any government or corporate entity becomes, the less efficient it becomes and the more subject to corruption it becomes.

      Should people in need be helped? Of course! Should that be the primary job of the Government? Umm… no.

      Also, I am a big fan of (and I am paraphrasing somewhat), “Teach a man to fish and he can fish for life, give a man a fish and the next time he is hungry he will come and ask you for a pizza.” Government aid programs have nothing to do with providing people a means to improve their lot in life. They are only designed to continually give away fish and pizzas, thereby keeping the needy trapped in a condition of continual need. Furthermore, the system is designed so that single mothers with minimal to no financial resources and lots of kids get the highest benefits.

      If a person gets more money and food for remaining single, having more kids, and making sure to either have no job at all or at best a job that pays minimally, then there is at least going to be the temptation to remain single, remain un-employed or under-employed, and have more children.

      I would be more inclined to be in favor of government assistance programs if the goal of those programs was to provide a REAL education to both the adults and the children in these situations, and provide incentives for them all to become productive and self-sufficient and self-reliant members of society.

      Under the current system I could make FAR more money than I currently do by being single, having several kids, NOT having a job, getting on welfare/food stamps and becoming a drug dealer so I would have a nice chunk of unreported income to supplement my welfare and food stamps.

      • Peter,
        I was writing at the same time as you, sorry. Didn’t mean to copy.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          If two people have the same thought at the same time, and express it in similar ways, that isn’t copying 🙂

      • Kristian says:

        Got tickled with the whole fish and pizza thing, thanks I needed a good laugh. But you are 100% right in that analogy. I saw someone say on this blog that Liberals see the world as they wish it to be and conservatives see the world as it is. I tend to believe that. We need to have programs that teach the people receiving government help how to help themselves so that they don’t have to depend on the government all their lives. I don’t believe that is going to happen though because government needs that dependency. It doesn’t matter which party is in the White House.

        Esom, I love your word, it tickles me everytime I see it in one of these threads and the post that I put up earlier just cried out for me to use it. Like Richmond said, thanks for coining it and I promise not to use it unless I absolutley have to! LOL!

        • Kristian,

          How about, you can take a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. A lot of these problems stem from children who are unwilling to learn in school. And they have become parents and grandparents, etc. My wife sub. teaches and see’s this in every classroom. And its not racial, but poverty level where it shows, usually assisted living. I’m pretty sure there are more “whites” on welfare.

          • Kristian says:

            Well sure, why should they be willing to learn when they have already figured out from Mom & Dad that Big Brother will always take care of them? If I hadn’t been raised the way that I was I would probably think the same way. My mom and dad worked when we were growing up and that showed me that if I wanted to get anywhere in life, work was the only way to do it. No one was going to give me anything. I think that they did a pretty darn good job with me. Now my brothers on the other hand were raised a bit differently. You need to understand though, my “dad” was actually my step dad and my brohters were his natural children. My brothers both had things handed to them and to this day have a “the world owes me a living” attitude. Drives me batty! Some would tell you that isn’t a far drive! LOL!

        • esomhillgazette says:

          Ah, it don’ really matter! Ya’ll can all use it. Or I guess you can. Wait. Better ask US since he put a dang trade mark on it!

    • Ray,

      Interesting reading is poverty rates in our cities.
      1. Detroit, MI 32.5%
      2. Buffalo, NY 29.9%
      9. Philadelphia, PA 25.%

      I think you will find they all have and historically had Democratic mayors.
      They never seem to get that adage, give a man fish you feed him for a day, teach him to fish, you feed him for life. Which doesn’t work if he refuses to learn to fish, because he was raise expecting you and I to feed him.

      When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic. Ben Franklin

      Is that not where we are today? Liberals play the poor against the rich, and have nearly reached the point that where we will have FEWER people paying income tax than RECEIVE an income tax REFUND.

      I had an exchange with Chris a few days ago where he stated “we need to support people who are UNWILLING to support themselves. Now the is audacity! The communist manifesto states “from each according to his ability”. Even Marx expected people to work in order to receive something.
      The liberals have led us down a path, slowly but surely, where it is now OK to have never worked a day in your life, but to have been given all basic necessities by the government.

      And I believe your statements about children without shoes. I just don’t think the government will solve their problem. I think the parents will have to resolve this, by getting a job, or moving, or by giving up their children. Is that harsh and uncaring. Maybe. How many of those parents are high school dropouts? Makes it harder to get a job. There are always GED programs available. I don’t want to blame the victim, but I don’t want to help anyone who refuses to help themselves.

      Unless a stance is taken, Franklin’s warning will become a reality. Pelosi and her ilk are pandering to that group, and looking to add to it. She is pushing to extend benefits and of course, voting rights, to illegal aliens. Obama wants to control the census. If they succeed, we are likely doomed to stand by and watch our country devolve into a third world nation.

      • LOI – While Philly currently has a Dem Mayor (Michael Nutter) – he is the first in a long time to really force some realities into the status quo thinking in and around the city. He will not build Rome, but hopefully no one is expecting him to. I do believe government fits into the equation somewhere, just not certain and what level and how much. I do agree that “they” need to learn to fish, but the problem is far too complex to simplify it. Where do they fish? How do they get there? Who is buying the fishing gear? What if the fish aren’t biting? What if the pond dries up? What if we teach them all to fish but don’t set limits so they don’t overfish? See where I’m going with this? The parent that we suggest get a job, move or give up their children – harsh? You bet. Would it work? I don’t know.

        • Ray,
          Good points. I don’t mean to suggest I have all or most of the answers. I feel my point on are they trying to help themselves is crucial. Have also read about requiring DRUG TESTING for all government assistance. How about some betting on how large a percentage would be eliminated from welfare if that were required? I bet on 40%.

          Also, I don’t care about their party, just in general, the Dem’s have pushed this agenda further. But both are guilty.

          • LOI – interesting! You will get a lot of people bitch about privacy which is a stickier issue. I would suggest the number to be higher than 40% – only problem is then do we rope in another social program to help the addicts? Ugh!

          • This drug test would be a positive step and after all, when you apply for a job, you must submit to a drug test.

            • Kathy – the question becomes what do you do with the information? Do you deny benefits for a positive test? Does the drug used/found matter? How accurate do the tests need to be? If I know I have to pass a test for my bennies can’t I just beat the test (take masking agents or quit cold turkey long enough to get bennies)? I do think drug testing is a bad idea – especially since I think most recreational drugs should be decriminalized – but that’s another story.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Welfare program that would at least make more sense:

        If you are un-educated or under-educated, the government will provide child-care for your children and food for your table while you actively pursue an education. This can include a GED, a trade shool, a community college and even a four-year college or university. The govenrment will out-right pay for the costs for you to get your GED, and should you choose a trade-school, community college, or 4-year college or university, the government will highly subsidize your continuing education for UP TO 4 YEARS using grants and very low interest loans while still providing child care/food for you and your family.

        Once your chosen path of education is complete (or your GED + 4 years [maximum] of trade school, community college, or college is complete you are required to become employed. Even self-employment or small business ownership is acceptable provided that it provides the means for you to support yourself and your family without additional government assistance.

        Every year that you remain employed and continue to provide for yourself and your family, you will receive a $500 tax credit as a “bonus” for other tax-payers no longer having to support you.

        I am sure many people here could try to shoot a million holes in this plan, but isn’t it a heck of a lot better than what we are doing currently?

        • Peter:

          Stipulate that the money is paid by the government directly to the educational facility…the temptations of being handed money…

        • Hmmmm – certainly something to chew on. Sort of “I’ll give you boots, boot straps, and teach you to fish” (Would have to figure out the single mom child care angle). Post hoc your safety net is really really small and limited (or not there at all?).

        • Just one major point: We have been subsidizing higher education for years. What has the cost of a college education done in that time????

      • esomhillgazette says:

        I agree with that “unwilling” comment he made, LOI. That in particular stood out from all of his other comments to me. Have you ever read SF? Particularly David Weber, and his Honor Harrington series. In them the Republic of Haven in it has a Dole System where everyone in their society recieves a stipend every month without working. They have to keep conquering other systems to keep their economy going. Since Obutthead is too big a tootie to do that. What do you think the U.S. will do when we are on that system?

        • Kristian says:

          Obutthead? That is a hoot! You come up with the dangedest things…LOL! Thanks for keeping things on an even keel Esom, your humor and insight are much appreciated by this poster.

        • hahahahaha I LOVE the Honor Harrington series, and it’s scary to think just how close we’re getting to that.

    • CWO2USNRet says:

      Doesn’t opportunity exist? Our country spends vast sums on social services mostly aimed at the inner city poor. Programs designed to provide opportunity: Head Start, vocational training, tutoring, scholarships, etc. Unfortunately many of our poor are hamstrung by a sub-culture that, at best, is indifferent to, and at worst, actively disdains self-improvement.

      I think the root cause, the self-destructive sub-culture, needs to solved first.

    • I do not know what the final solution is, at least not on a short-term level. I do know that if government interference is the cause, or even just a large part of the cause, that its removal is a step in the right direction.

      When it was found that asbestos exposure caused cancer and other health issues, asbestos was no longer used and precautions were taken when it was. The cure for the damage is still not complete, but leaving government in place, or worse, expanding its meddling, would be like increasing asbestos exposure in hopes of developing natural immunities, and working on other treatments without removing the root cause. Government meddling is like asbestos exposure. It sucks for those it hurt, and they should receive all the help we can give, but the first step is to stop pumping asbestos fiber into the air, so that the rest of us are not infected, and so that the infected have a better shot of getting better and having treatments work.

      Are the downtrodden deserving of our help? That is debateable I suppose, but I believe that most of them are. I believe that those who are deserving, deserve real help, meaning help from people, not from the faceless government who has only heartless false hope and control in mind. Capitalism grants the power to individuals to help others and to those with no bootstraps to have a chance to get some if they are willing. Philadelphia is an asbestos ridden wasteland, and until the asbestos is realized as the cause for the dearth and removed, then it will remain a wasteland with no chance for help or hope or change for those whose lack of resources traps them there.

  8. Black Flag says:

    I’m sure Chris is lurking, and he’ll return.

    He can’t stand me talking about him without him offering some withering superciliousness animadversion.

    • Flag,
      You have me playing the “Jaws” theme song in my head.

    • Kristian says:

      BF,

      I was watching that discussion you were having with Chris and had to ask myself just how obtuse can this young man be? He wasn’t listening to anything that you said and was in fact making an ass of himself. He reminded me of a whiny teenage boy. Maybe I’m being a little harsh but I don’t think so. He couldn’t stop being right long enough to really listen to what anyone was saying.

      • Black Flag says:

        As the new guy on the block, whilst wearing exactly the wrong color shirt, with exactly the wrong logo on the shirt, wearing exactly the wrong hat, to boot – I’m sure part of his strategy was to come out swinging as fast and furious as he could and see how many fell into the mutuality of name calling, profanity and insults so to convince other lurkers that ‘we’ were no more than knuckle-draggers he always said we were.

        I think we survived well. And I think, so did he.

        He will return, far better armed and dressed 😉

        • Kristian says:

          You’re probably right! I just hope that when he does come back he’ll be a little more respectful.

  9. esomhillgazette says:

    The problem as I see it is that Obama and the Liberals have instituted Class Warfare at a time when we as a Nation need to pull together to fix the problems we have.

    The rich don’t need to be taxed to pay for the poor. That has got to be the stupidest thing I have ever heard! The thing is, we ALL need to pay the taxes, instead of just about 40% of us. The rich, or at least the wealthy (most of them anyway), worked their butts off to get what they have. Call it luck, skill, whatever, they made that money and should NOT have to “Spread the Wealth”.

    I believe, as Kristian does, that it is a matter of people being taught that they “deserve” everything. There is no accountability or responsibility taught to children these days. Indeed, they are taught instead that nothing is “their” fault. It’s the fault of “The Man” holding you down. The rich not giving you an opportunity to get rich yourself. Trying to keep all the money to themselves. I know some still teach right from wrong, but we have become a small Minority. As a Society we are only looking out for number one.

    I just don’t see where Class Warfare is going to help with this. I don’t see where dividing us into groups or classes will do anything except EXACTLY what IS DOING. Polarizing us and causing the problems we are faced with to become worse. Obama preaches (that’s the word, not speeches) that, “we all need to work together”, while at the same time singling out for persecution the very ones who can pull us out of the mess we are in. Business. The Marketplace.

    This is no accident in my view. Like US, I was willing to give Obama a chance. I didn’t like him and I doubted he had our best interests at heart, but considering what I feared, that was a big step. After all; he is our President for the next 4 years. But since he took office, my fears have been justified ten times over. I see not only outright manipulation of both the Media AND the masses, but fear mongering and racism (yes racism) as well.

    I consider we few TRUE Conservatives,to be a small island of reason in the midst of insanity run amok. And the saddest part of it is, most people are either happy with it, apathetic, or just plain don’t care, because they don’t think it concerns them. Boy! Are we in for a sad awakening soon!

    Peace Out!

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein

  10. If the taxpayers can get a constitutional amendment on the ballot of our respective states to completely end welfare, would it pass? Would it work?

  11. Black Flag says:

    Class warfare is a tool of all government regardless of shirt color.

    It creates division and enables the ‘divide and conquer’ strategy. If the people ever figured out that they outnumber the SOB’s, the SOB would be in trouble.

    Remember the story of the Roman senator who suggested that all slaves were an arm band so they could be more easily identified. Another senator rose and said that idea was very bad, because it would show the slaves how large their numbers were, and they would revolt against their masters.

    Class warfare provides conflict, though created by government, allows government to offer itself as a solution, as long as the people surrender their rights and accept more control.

    It confuses the people, makes them suspicious of their neighbors, so that we see guile and dishonesty in all our neighbors intentions, breaking down the natural social order of cooperation and free market systems, forcing people into the controlling arms of government to accept government’s discretion of what constitutes cooperation, and honesty – all the while with government operating with gravest of dishonest intentions.

    As long as the elite believe the people can be manipulated into multiple but paradoxically opposite camps, where differences of mere opinion are aggravated to differences between life and death, where ‘our’ freedom is more important that ‘their’ freedom, and then they set us upon ourselves – they have made us their slaves.

    • B.F.,I’m never sure we outnumber the SOB’S.

      • SFC Dick says:

        Ron, Sir
        Take it from a card carrying SOB, you guys outnumber the hell out of us, and I’m more of a benevolent SOB.

    • Flag,

      Your comments make me wonder about something else, I hope is related or ties into our discussion. Fox this morning did a segment on Christianity being under attack by the media and politicians. Consider how many law suits have been brought against nativity scenes or pray before a ball game.

      And at the same time, they have demanded Muslims and others be give special treatment or we are discriminating against them.

      • Black Flag says:

        Nothing like a religious conflict to kill millions and at the same seize control of the masses.

      • USWeapon says:

        LOI,

        I believe that to be a true phenomenon. I have thought about writing on this subject in the past. As you all can remember, I wrote my piece about the religious right’s overwhelming control over the Republican party. In that piece I rallied against the christians. I am certainly willing to write a piece that takes a more positive view of christianity. I aim to be fair and have honest discussions. That is a topic that might warrant discussion.

        • US,
          I was wondering if this ties to the class warfare. Silencing Christians and calling them racist for protesting Obama’s stance on abortion for example?
          But probably better as a separate subject.

          • SFC Dick says:

            Life of, Sir
            As you know from my previous posts, I cast a jaundiced eye on “christians” because I find many want to control things for the better of society, that being said, they are the only group I know of that still is looked at as fair game as far as attack by the media. I used to think I was a Christian, ofcourse That was in my time of naivety. I had been since reminded by many Christians that I’m a papist, cult member. Damn the luck. On the other hand, my “cult” says I’m doomed since I don’t sit , face to face, with a man who might or might not be a pedophile, and admit to looking at naked pictures of those broken souls crying out for attention (porno), so whatchya gonna do. I talk to God probably 3 or 4 times a day. He’s more of a listener but I know for a fact God loves me, has interceded on my behalf (not in combat, in my mundane life back home) and I have personal knowledge, as in I know to a moral certainty, not through faith, that he exists.

    • Black Flag says:

      “When all government, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the Center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Amen T.J, Amen.

        Jefferson was a great idealist, and also a great pragmatist. He knew that the only way to have a functional federal government was to have it be a small as possible, give the States as much power as possible, and attempt to balance the Federal powers of the executive, legislative, and judiciary brances.

        Once the States became largely devoid of power, and the three brances of the Federal Government all figured out that they could have more power by simply not impeding each other (even if this meant ignoring the constitution), then they tyrrany was ON!

        • SFC Dick says:

          Peter B, Sir

          You can thank your neighbor, Abe Lincoln for hammering down the states. It would have been hard to argue against his positioning back then, but it does have the big 2d order of effects now.

          GEEE WHIZ…..I wish some one would right a guest piece about the 10th ammendmant movement sweeping the country, ge…but who would be that guy/. Black Flag, nah, he’s continually saying there is some control, hope, in strong local gugbnent…hmmm… who would be brash enough to write a piece about the 10th ammendmant movement folly, that great panacea. Some one brash, balzy enough to suffer the wrath of this board? Hmmm…….

          • SFC Dick says:

            damn, I keep forgetting my super cutting edge tag line, guess the proof is in the pudding.

            “All enlisted men are stupid, but they are cunning and deceitful and bear considerable watching.”

        • CanadianFox says:

          Peter B, I find those who go so far back in time to state a case interesting. Do you really think that with 300 million people plus, Mr. Jefferson would give the same answer on the size of government as it relates to its function? I for one don’t. I do agree that you can learn some things from the past, but you have to make decisions based in the present, with alot of thought about how it relates to your vision of the future.

  12. Hey Flag, you big bully! First you beat people up with logic & reason, and then you throw out supercilious animadversion ?!?!?
    Dumb it down for me a little bit, please! LOL!
    Supercilious I got, but animadversion I’ll have to look up.
    Illusion, I was just curious about those poverty numbers you wrote. Where did they come from? I ask because they seem awfully high to me. I know Detroit is a cesspool, but 1 out of 3 below the poverty level? And nearly as bad for Buffalo? I wonder if this is just a way to get more federal matching funds.

    • C.Z.
      Goggle poverty in US cities. I picked the poverty in America site.

      http:www.usccb.org/cchd/povertyusa/povfact6.shtml

      This is a catholic site, but matches information I had already viewed.

      When looking at that information, it makes me wonder, if you live in an area that is that bad, why not leave? Vote with your feet, that’s one of the big advantages in living in a free country.

  13. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    I have seen, in this thread and a few others, remarks about how the Christian religions are being torn down by the media.

    Like it or not, this country was founded on Judeo-Christian prinicples AND morals. The Founding Fathers at that time made no bones about the fact that they were Christians, and used Christian ideas and principles in writing the founding documents of this country. They believed that morals and values had an absolute basis, and that human (inalienable) rights had an absolute basis, and that basis was the Creator.

    A great way to tear down this society and its traditions, is to attack the very basis for the founding of the country, i.e. Judeo-Christian principles. If we can paint a picture of Christianity as “bad”, then the very founding documents of this country can be portrayed as “bad” and we can re-write them into anything we darn well please, which due to moral relativism can now be seen as “good”.

    Liberals would say that this is bulldookey.

    I point to the following:

    Amendment I
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    There has been a HUGE thing going on for quite some time now that somehow morphs this into a concept known as Separation of Church and State. This is a great tool. If we must SEPARATE the Church from the State, the State is no longer allowed to be influenced in any way by anything that could be said to be coming from the Church!

    All it actually SAYS here is that congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion (the government won’t make up a religion on their own and force the people to be followers of it), and congress won’t do anything to prevent the people from freely exercising whatever religion they choose to follow.

    Seems pretty clear to me. It does NOT imply that the Constitution was not written with Judeo-Christian morals, values, and principles in mind, and it does not say that there is anything WRONG with the fact that religious morals, values and priciples were used to craft the founding documents of this country.

    Another problem that I have is with the people who are in positions of power (the President, members of congress, federal judges) who routinely attempt to alter or circumvent the constitution. The following comes directly from Article VI:

    The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

    Therefore, in my book, any President, Senator, Representative, or Judge found to be circumventing the Constitution (Legislating from the Bench, or taking over private corporations for example) would be in breach of article VI and should be immediately removed from office.

    • PeterB – right you are – they believed that human rights had an absolute basis so long as by humans you weren’t referring to the slaves tending the farm. You need not paint Christianity as bad as then assume by extension thus that the Constitution isn’t worth wiping your rear end with. Christianity, in fact most all religions, have a fairly deep history of some bad stuff. I am a practicing Lutheran who knows that Martin Luther wrote Von den Juden und Ihren Lügen and feels obligated to challenge at least some of what the Church professes. My wife is Catholic – talking about WWII and Rome at the family Christmas dinner table can get really uncomfortable. Doesn’t mean we shit on the Constitution – it just means we’re making ourselves aware that our framers were not perfect.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Oh, totally agreed. The framers were not perfect. They were, in fact, human. Seeing as how the Constitution was written by imperfect humans, it is not perfect either. However, I think it was a pretty good attempt at forming a government that would allow for as much individual freedom and liberty as possible.

        True, the Constitution did not apply to the slaves tending the farm, they were seen as property at that time and not as people.

        I made an argument in another thread on this site that essentially stated that the Constitution currently does not apply to unborn children either, because unborn children are essentially seen as the property of the mother (why they are not also the property of the father I cannot quite figure out), and because an unborn child is not a person, but is a piece of property, that unborn child does not posess the inalienable rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. I like to bring up this point just to stir things up, because I am evil that way 🙂

        But, although the Constitution is not a “perfect” document, that does not give any government official the right to unilaterally abrogate or alter the Constitution to suit their needs, wants, or desires. To do so violates the Oath that they took when they agreed to take the office that they were elected or appointed to.

        • Good one PeterB – that 3rd paragraph is a doozy.

        • Peter and Ray:

          “True, the Constitution did not apply to the slaves tending the farm, they were seen as property at that time and not as people.” I used this quote because it goes to the comments you both made.

          True and False: If you read the many documents surrounding the formation of our country you see that slaves were recognized as both by some, as property only by some, and as humans only by others. It is not that the abomonation was not recognized, it was that it could not be reconciled without destroying a union of 13 states, thus making them vulnerable to attack, again. The politics must have been something to see. Perhaps a little like we have today.

          It is my personal opinion that if the original founders had been around and in power much later the whole issue would have been resolved as they had planned. Even the Gov of S. Carolina was on board at the time. But the radicals got hold of both sides later and we got attempted expansion, abolition and a civil war.

          By the way, because we are all human we are perfect……SMILE.

          And, while I do not dispute the role of religion in the beliefs and thus actions of our founders, they also existed at the end of the Enlightenment Period, which kind of challenged alot of those principles. I ask you to identify in our constitution exactly what provision is based on Judeo-Christian morals or principles.

          Calm down everyone, this is not an attack on religion. It is a challenge on what many here think the document represents, or actually says.

          Peter: I think your comment about property and abortion is an inaccurate description of the rationale used to support abortion. At least I have never heard that defense presented by anyone. I have heard that a womans body is her own. Surely you are not disputing that are you??

          JAC

          • Kristian says:

            JAC,

            I would agree that a woman’s body is her own and the government has no right to tell her what she can and cannot do with or to it. However, this goes back to accountability. Why should an unborn child’s death be the answer? The child did not ask to be conceived but was because the mother doing what she wanted to do. I hope that when my daughters get pregnant they do so because they choose to and if it happens when they don’t want it to, I hope that they won’t look at that child as merely an inconvenience and then decide that murdering the child is an acceptable answer.

            • Kristian:

              I was not defending or opposing the concept of abortion.
              I was pointing out that the argument for was not based on the fetus being considered property but the womans being her own.

              However, the questions you raise get to the heart of the debate. And that is why it is so devisive and why those in powere keep throwing it in our face every election cycle or during every Supreme Court Justice confirmation hearing.

              Mitt Romney had it right when he stated that our country is deeply divided on this issue. And by deep he meant at our moral cores. In a democratice Republic that means it can not be solved politically. It takes about 75% on one side to do that.

              Here is what I do believe as an absolute. If we can not figure out how to deal with this issue in a way that does not inflame and infuriate those with the opposite view…..WE HAVE NO CHANCE OF RESURRECTING OUR CONSTITUTION AND RESTORING OUR LIBERTY.

              My Best to You
              JAC

              • Kristian says:

                I absolutley agree with you on this and I didn’t mean to come off as if I were offended. That wasn’t my intent. I guess I just don’t really understand the reasoning behind a persons decision to abort a child because it is inconvenient. I know that this isn’t the only reason that it is done but it is the primary reason. Like I said, it goes back to accountability. But as you said, this is a highly emotional issue and one that I don’t believe there will ever be a solution to.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Sure a woman’s body is her own. A man’s body is his own too! If it is perfectly acceptable to do what you want with your own body, why can we not sit at home doing bong hits and snorting cocaine as long as all we are doing is sitting around at home?

            • Because eventually you run out of money and come to my house to take what you want.

              OR

              In your drug induced stupor you decide to shoot that SOB next door that yelled at your kids.

              Now don’t get all excited. To some degree I agree with you Peter. I only point out that these arguments are often disconnected from the consequences of certain types of drug use that differ from those we see with alcohol or pot.

              A friend raised this point recently and I pointed out that METH is deadly addictive. It is my understanding that just one hit of this stuff permanently alters the brain chemistry and funtion. Creating a deadly addiction that can never be satisfied. So, would this drug be legalized???

              This issue reminds me of the fight scene in the movie McLintoc. Scrambling up the muddy slopes of the pit to take another swing….only to slide back down again. I prefer to be the guy standing aside who tells McLintoc…No Whiskey…Going Home Now..

              Have a Great Day PeterB
              JAC

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Oh, and I also agree that religions are far from perfect as well. They are human constructs as well.

        The INTENT of most religions and most governments is generally to do “good”. The outcome of most religions and governments doesn’t always work out that way.

        Some people would even argue that religions and governments have simply become (and perhaps always have been) ways to control the masses and distract them from what is really going on, while the people with the true power in the world go on about there merry business.

        • Peter,
          Great points, and thank you. You have addressed what I was asking the Flag. I am waiting for you and him to cross swords, should be an epic battle.

          • Black Flag says:

            LOI, you can already see the points where our blades will tangle, no doubt – however, PeterB seemed to have engaged in sword play before, so I’ll stay my hand until he exposes his style…

            Peterb: You are using Bonetties Defense against me, ah?

            Man in black: I thought it fitting considering the rocky terrain.

            Peterb: Naturally, you must suspect me to attack with Capa Fero?

            Man in black: Naturally…but I find that Tibal cancels out Capa Fero. Don’t you?

            Peterb: Unless the enemy has studied his Agliepa….

            • SFC Dick says:

              Black Flag, sir..

              What? What! Man, I love Dennis Miller, I can follow about 90%, hell, I know who Mitzi Gaynor is, but what you just wrote,Bonetties Defense?Capa Fero?
              Geez…see below please

              “All enlisted men are stupid, but they are cunning and deceitful and bear considerable watching.”

            • Black Flag says:

              Arg Bad editing:

              Comes from Rob Reiner’s “Princess Bride” –
              http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093779/

              One of the greatest sword fights in movie history…

              ..continuing… (with slight editing)


              Peterb:
              Unless the enemy has studied his Agrippa-

              And now, with the grace of an Olympian, Peterb flies off the perch, somersaults clean over the Man In Black’s head, and lands facing his opponent.

              Peterb:
              — which I have.

              The two men are almost flying across the rocky terrain, never losing balance, never coming close to stumbling; the battle rages with incredible finesse, first one and then the other gaining the advantage, and by now, it’s clear that this isn’t just two athletes going at it, it’s a lot more that that.

              This is two legendary swashbucklers and they’re in their prime, it’s Burt Lancaster in “The Crimson Pirate” battling Errol Flynn in “Robin Hood” and then, incredibly, the action begins going even faster than before.

              And behind him now, drawing closer all the time, is the deadly edge of the Cliffs of Insanity.

              Peterb fights and ducks and feints and slashes and it all works, but not for long, as gradually the Man In Black keeps the advantage, keeps forcing Peterb back, closer and closer to death.

              Peterb:
              (happy as a clam)
              You are wonderful!

              MAN IN BLACK:
              Thank you — I’ve worked hard to become so.

              The Cliff edge is very close now. Peterb is continually being forced toward it.

              Peterb:
              I admit it — you are better than I am.

              MAN IN BLACK”
              Then why are you smiling?

              Inches from defeat, Peterb is, in fact, all smiles.

              Peterb:
              Because I know something you don’t know.

              MAN IN BLACK
              And what is that?

              Peterb
              I am not left-handed.

              And he throws the six-fingered sword into his right hand and immediately, the tide of battle turns.

              THE MAN IN BLACK, stunned, doing everything be can to keep Peterb by the Cliff edge. But no use. Slowly at first, he begins to retreat. Now faster, Peterb is in control and the Man In Black is desperate.

              And the six-fingered sword is all but invisible now, as he increases his attack, then suddenly switches styles again.

              A ROCKY STAIRCASE leading to a turret-shaped plateau, and the Man In Black is retreating like mad up the steps and he can’t stop Peterb– nothing can stop Peterb — and in a frenzy, the Man In Black makes every feint, tries every thrust, lets go with all he has left. But he fails. Everything fails. He tries one or two final desperate moves but they are nothing.

              MAN IN BLACK
              You’re amazing!

              Peterb
              I ought to be after twenty years.

              And now the Man In Black is smashed into a stone pillar, pinned there under the six fingered sword.

              MAN IN BLACK
              There’s something I ought to tell you.

              Peterb
              Tell me.

              MAN IN BLACK
              I am not left-handed either.

              And now he changes hands, and at last, the battle is fully joined.

              • Oh My God…..Pass the Whiskey!!!

                I actually recognized those lines when you first posted them. Took a while cause it was nagging at me then it popped in the old noggin.

                BF you crack me up!!!!

              • Black Flag says:

                Pop to the bottom of the Global Warming debate for further scenes …. 🙂

              • SFC Dick says:

                Humor….!
                See, that’s what threw me.
                I slow down and concentrate when I read your stuf.I’m reading, thinking…”oh F#@K Me, the PTSD is coming early this time, I can not make any sense of this,….stop, read, ‘cmon now Dick, you consistantly score high in reading comp, …WTF?”

                I was looking at job postings last night, thinking about a position with homeland security. “Perfect” thought I, I know that some day I will be able to look at some person, in the eye, and I will be able to say ” Ma’am, we are homeland security, we have no sense of humor”. Pretty much, that is what gave that job posting an edge over some more, cooler, jobs.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                BF,

                I rank that movie as my favorite of all-time, and that scene is an absolute classic.

                I don’t actually have a “style” of debate or argument per se. I usually just spout out what comes into my head. You will also notice that I don’t often cite too many sources.

                I suppose you could call my style “throw stuff out there and see what sticks!”

                I know what I believe, and sometimes I can fairly articulately put something out there that explains why I believe something; however, sometimes I am purposely writing something with the express purpose of simply trying to get people to think for themselves.

                Beyond that, I am not out to convince anyone of anything. If someone reads what I write, thinks it over, and comes to the conclusion that it has some validity, that is fine. If they read something I write and think it is garbage on a stick, that’s fine too.

              • Black Flag says:

                I think we will have lots of fun!

                Thanks, PererB for your insights here.

  14. I strongly disagree that “class warfare” has been around sine the beginning of our nation. There has always been concern for the imposition of defacto slavery and poverty on the poor, or some other group, by corrupt actions of govt or evil Barrons (or both in cahoots with each other).
    But not “Class” in the sense it is used today.

    I believe Marx popularized it in his works and it spread here through both marxist and progressive movements. Fear of the great monopolies was driven by Teddy R., a progressive. I do not see the use of what we now call class warfare until the end of the the 1800’s in the writings I have studied. I remain open to new evidence if someone can point me in the right direction.

    The original use of class, aka individuals may not change from one class to another without permission of the Monarch (whether and individual or a group), is burned into our DNA through our history, education and culture (fairy tales). The progressive and socialist movements know this and have used it quite well to keep us at each others throats.

    So……How do we stop it?????
    JAC

  15. Black Flag says:

    Ray

    I know you asked about private vs public, but here is a bit about homeschool vs. public.

    In 1997, a study of 5,402 homeschool students from 1,657 families was released. It was entitled, “Strengths of Their Own: Home Schoolers Across America.”

    The study demonstrated that homeschoolers, on the average, out-performed their counterparts in the public schools by 30 to 37 percentile points in all subjects.

    A significant finding when analyzing the data for 8th graders was the evidence that homeschoolers who are homeschooled two or more years score substantially higher than students who have been homeschooled one year or less. The new homeschoolers were scoring on the average in the 59th percentile compared to students homeschooled the last two or more years who scored between 86th and 92nd percentile.

    This was confirmed in another study by Dr. Lawrence Rudner of 20,760 homeschooled students which found the homeschoolers who have homeschooled all their school aged years had the highest academic achievement. This was especially apparent in the higher grades.

    Another important finding of Strengths of Their Own was that the race of the student does not make any difference.

    There was no significant difference between minority and white homeschooled students. For example, in grades K-12, both white and minority students scored, on the average, in the 87th percentile. In math, whites scored in the 82nd percentile while minorities scored in the 77th percentile.

    In the public schools, however, there is a sharp contrast. White public school eighth grade students, nationally scored the 58th percentile in math and the 57th percentile in reading. Black eighth grade students, on the other hand, scored on the average at the 24th percentile in math and the 28th percentile in reading. Hispanics scored at the 29th percentile in math and the 28th percentile in reading.

    Dr. Ray found the average cost per homeschool student is $546 while the average cost per public school student is $5,325. Yet the homeschool children in this study averaged in 85th percentile while the public school students averaged in the 50th percentile on nationally standardized achievement tests.

    Similarly, the 1998 study by Dr. Rudner of 20,760 students, found that eighth grade students whose parents spend $199 or less on their home education score, on the average, in the 80th percentile. Eighth grade students whose parents spend $400 to $599 on their home education also score on the average, in the 80th percentile! Once the parents spend over $600, the students do slightly better, scoring in the 83rd percentile.

  16. Black Flag says:

    average proficiency than did students attending public schools.(9)

    Table #1
    National Assessment of Educational Progress
    Percentage Scoring At or Above Proficient: Reading (1994)
    Type of School 4th 8th 12th Grade
    Public 24% 26% 32%
    Private 38% 47% 48%
    Roman Catholic 36% 47% 44%
    Other 41% 48% 56%

    http://www.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/national/20060715report.pdf

    (PS: the Other is Homeschooling)

    ..all private schools were compared to all public schools. The average private school mean reading score was 14.7 points higher than the average public school mean reading score…

  17. Black Flag: Just had to share this with you and everyone else.

    My son and I just finished watching the latest release of “The day the earth stood still”. At one point when the two main earthling characters realize they may be in deep DooDoo the kid looks at the alien and asks “What do you think we should do? Run away or stand and fight?” He calmly answers “niether, there is nothing you can do”.

    I started laughing and my poor son got upset asking “what is so funny”. I just had to say “nothing son, you wouldn’t understand”.

    Gee BF, I didn’t know you were starring in movies too!!!

    OTFLMAO!!!!! I think.
    Any way, the perfect end of a great two days. Don’t know about you all but I’m exhaused. Did you notice we broke the 300 comments mark on yesterdays post.

    Man US—your getting popular.
    Love and hugs to all
    JAC

    • Black Flag says:

      LoL!

      That was my stunt double 😉

      Yes, it was fun. I look forward to the co-post.

  18. SFC Dick says:

    Class warfare has been going strong for a looong time.. At age 15 I had to work, well, I wanted the fam to have electricity, so sis and I worked, came home every Friday night and signed our paychecks over to Mom, she’d return us some pocket money.

    I had started out in catholic grade school, I did not end up in Catholic high school, I let sis go, not enough fund for me. Heck, I was an am a genius anyway. Point is, Catholic society where I come from is well to do, I was in a well to do fam and we fell on hard time ( well, that depends who ya ask, Mom contends Dad was hard times, no Dad=better times) Now I go over to visit some buddies and find a real attitude towards me by some parents. One dud found out that his boy was playing in my supreme garage band, OFCOURSE I had a rock band in high school, upon realizing who his boy was hanging with, the boy from now the wrong side of the tracks, he put the end to that. I was devastated, but made stronger. Today, as we speak, that old man is facing 3 serious charges, is awaiting trial. He could end his life in prison. He was in it, allegedly, with Gov Blago. Bob Cellini, very well could find himself on the wrong side of the tracks. HA!, the poor boy fights (volunteers 2x) the loosing war, wide awake, on his hind legs, wading into it driven by some sense of duty to a country that has devolved into something he sees as vile; the money dudes still perpetuate class warfare, possibly propped up by guys like me.

    “All enlisted men are stupid, but they are cunning and deceitful and bear considerable watching.”

  19. The mainstream media wouldn’t do it. So we are trying to get your important messages to the American people. This post is a suggested read at, http://aresay.blogspot.com/

  20. Been a bit busy. Would like to comment on Philly though, how it got there and its way out..

    It’s hard to believe that class warfare can exist in this country. Within two generations, roughly 40 years, almost anyone can go from non English speaking immigrant to middle class. I don’t think that there is another place in the world where that can happen.

    The problem is that to maintain political power, a certain nameless party must maintain control over a substantial number of people and thereby be elected. This particular group long ago “reformed” the schools. part of that reform was the dumbing down of curriculum. I have heard that the average HS grad in 1945 had a vocabulary of 25,000 words. 1995, 10,000. I assume that by 2025, it will be fifty with most starting with the prefix “mother”. We all know that history is not being taught anymore, nor geography. Math has become fuzzy and the period, well, you don’t see many of those. My father’s high school curriculum in a rural school in the 1930’s would be beyond most college juniors today.

    The other part of the reform, and I know I’m starting a war here, was the removal of “values” from the curriculum. I always thought that values were taught two ways. First there was the assumption that we almost all had religious beliefs. Part of those beliefs was an acceptance of things like the ten commandments. Yes, there were athiests back in the old days. They however were usually smart enough to understand that the tolerence they received was based on the same rule of law established by those who would use their Judeo-Christian heritage (and philosophy) to create this country. Were athiests harassed? Yes, absolutely, but they were never burned at the stake as they had routinely been in other places and times. Is it nice to harass athiests? No, but it’s better than burning them at the stake. Thinking people assumed that over time, and with more education (note: I said more, not different) eventually even athiests would be allowed to go through life avoiding unplesantness unless they wanted to voluntarily engage in debate on religion which would then eventually descend into name calling as it always does.

    The second reform was even more sinister. Remember those WW 2 movies? The standard Infantry squad had the Pole, Irishman, Jew, Wasp, Puerto Rican, Italian and whatever else America saw itself as. Unfortunately, Blacks were excluded, to our shame as a society but the general idea was there that we were all in this together. Eventually, with the few Korean war films made, even the Blacks and Asians were brought into the fold. From a purely political perspective, all ethnic groups having a commonality of interest as they moved up the ladder was a bad idea. So, in 1965 that party with a fellow named Robert Kennedy as its de facto head (think Arthurian succession)began something called bi-lingual education. Passed with the best intentions, as a mechanism to supposedly integrate immigrants even faster into the society it was met with overwhelming support. Unfortunately, no one, at any school of education today can point to it as anything other than a total failure. The same time that bilingualism was becoming the norm, the United States completely revised it’s immigration policies opening up immigration to third world countries that had never been excluded but had tiny quotas before. Now there was a flood.

    Now, either of these reforms by themselves might have worked their way through our system and been digested. Together, they created the perfect storm. Today, you can pick up the phone in New York City, dial 311, the City hotline, and if necessary be connected to an operator/translator who can deal with any of 136 languages. I ask, does anyone out there think this is a good idea?

    My personal experience is that while some immigrant families have worked their way through this mess and have done what previous generations have done, most have not. they are caught in a perpetual “Twilight Zone” neither fish nor fowl, unable to break the grasp of poverty, they are resentful and don’t know why. It must be “the man” keeping them down, or at least that’s what they are told by those who say they only care about their welfare.

    That leads us to our indigenous black population. Dominated completely by the “party of the people” for well over 50 years, they are worse off today, in the inner cities, than they were then. Anyone who denies that merely has to look at the statistics on out of wedlock births over the past sixty years and welfare dependency. If you dig deeper into Black history, you will find bursts of intellectual and social progress such as the Harlem Renaissance (1920-1945) which equaled or surpassed white society in a seperate but equal culture. This too couldn’t be tolerated. Imagine this social class moving out of poverty and permanently into the middle class.

    So, sometime in the 1960’s it was decided that government would “help” the immigrants and the blacks. That they were making steady progress in the past didn’t bother anyone. It was not fast enough! New immigrants to the cities, both from the rural South and overseas wanted equality and they wanted it now! The fact they did not have what their predecessors currently had was wrong! It was discrimination! It had to be.

    Nowhere did anyone ever mention that if you went back in time, those middle class, suburban home owners, forty years before had been living in the slums of the lower East side. What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!. The world slowly turned on its head.

    Did class envy always exist? Did jealousy always exist? Affitrmative to both. But, never before, in the United States had an entire political party staked its entire future on cultivating them.

    Let us assume for the moment that our underclass was totally bamboozled by those folks. What do you do? Well, you rise up, you burn it down, you trash it. You get back at the opressor. Put it to the man, get Whitey. Burn baby burn. That folks, is how it all got started.

    Philly is no different from Chicago or New York or Newark. All these cities experienced riots in the ’60’s. the party of the people came forward. They had dialogue, they promised and delivered. They threw money around like water. Not only did the underclass put them in power, the middle class voted for them too. Why? Well, to keep the lid on, to stop the burning and looting, at least until the middle class could get out of Dodge. Which they did.

    Fast forward fifty years. Who is left in these cities, the poor, who are still being promised everything and given nothing that they need like a way out or a decent educational system. To get totally subjective here, you really have to sit down and dialogue with these people. they want what we all want but their brains have been scrambled. It’s not A-B-C-D etc. it’s F-X-W-M. They are no dumber or smarter than the rest of us, they have just never been exposed, anywhere, to critical thinking. The other folks left in those cities are the guilt driven liberals, the true believers. Like French generals in the First World war, it’s not that the attack failed (liberalism) because of the machine gun (false premise) but that the attack lacked sufficient elan (more money). So we’ll just keep sending more troops(stimulus) over the top until we succeeed (yeah right).

    So, where do we go from here? Well, in NY we were lucky, we had Dave Dinkins as mayor. The classic liberal, he was totally unqualified except for the fact it was his “turn”. Being black, all good white liberals voted for him. The man turned out to be so bad, that no one could cover for him. Four years later, Rudy Guilianni ran against him and beat him.

    Now, there was no way in hell Guilianni should have won except for the fact that enough blacks, other minorities and whiite liberals voted for him, secretly. Even they knew when enough was enough.

    I do not like Rudy, I don’t think, despite going to the same college, that I’d like to go drinking with him. The one thing though that he and I have in common is a belief in rules and their enforcement. The man was uncorruptable. First the squeegee guys were driven off the streets, then it was the no loitering laws that were enforced. Small drug dealers were rounded up who then cut deals turning over the big guys. My personal favorite, graffitti, was demoted from “expression” or an “art form” back to vandalism. Lo! The streets not only became safe but were perceived as safe. 2,000 murders a year were cut by 2/3rds. Rigorous enforcement of rules on welfare, plus federal welfare reform led to a 2/3rd’s cut in welfare rolls. The city blossomed. Other cities did as well, but not like New York.

    Therein lies the answer for Philadelphia. Rules must be enforced. Jabbering community organizers must be ignored by City Hall (Rudy did). For the first time, in a long time, the ordinary people, the majority must be served and the hell with the rest. You need a politician who only wants one term but would take two. How you find him is your job. Very few are aware that the reason we have term limits in NYC is because of Rudy. The Council, 95% party of the people mind you, were so scared that they were willing to sacrifice their own futures to ensure Rudy would have only eight years. people might catch on that the council, at the very least., was counterproductive.

    I’m a housing guy, forty years now, all in NYC, all in transitional neighborhoods. Ten years ago I drove my two sons to Philadelphia to look at St. Joseph’s U and La Salle. On my way to La Salle, I was shocked to see blocks and blocks of brick rowhouses deserted. What an opportunity. Build a complete new neighborhood within an old one. Renovate those homes but don’t give them away. Provide a satillite police precinct right in the middle and encourage sweat equity. Give massive tax abatements to stores that want to open as well as housing developers and homeowners but most importantly, enforce the rules. They work.

  21. CanadianFox says:

    Wow! I know I am not going to be very popular on this blog, but I will tell you what I think. Based on what the author has said I have probably lived longer than him. The class warfare is something I have always wanted to talk about. But I see it entirely different. number one, I am a history major from my college days. The one thing that always impressed me when studying civilizatiions, was that most prominent ones always failed when the gap between rich and poor got too wide. When more and more of the “middle class” became part of the poor category. So you might say, I consider this post as pretty jaded to the “upper class”, “aristocracy”, “top 5-8% richest” or whatever you want to call them. A nation is only as strong as that middle group of people – exactly who the current President and administration is for. Even people like Warren Buffet want people “below” him to do well. Because he knows that he will profit too. Ask him if he “pays too much in taxes”. That is a “loaded question” because I have all ready read and heard his response. Even though for most of my political voting life, I voted to the conservative or to “right of center”, I knew that the laws got skewed to the “upper crust” over the past eight years. And why not? The majority of them were huge contributors to the Republican Party. I know that the author and many of you who blog here will vehemently disagree with me. But I truly believe our nation lost its way over the past eight years in particular. I know a solution. It is called “working together to solve our current problems”. If we could ever get over this “conservative” vs. “liberal” epithet contest, maybe that could happen. But until we do, it unfortunately will only get worse.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      “So you might say, I consider this post as pretty jaded to the “upper class”, “aristocracy”, “top 5-8% richest” or whatever you want to call them. A nation is only as strong as that middle group of people – exactly who the current President and administration is for.”

      You had me going pretty good until you started spouting Democratic Talking Points.

      Then you came back with:

      “I know a solution. It is called “working together to solve our current problems”. If we could ever get over this “conservative” vs. “liberal” epithet contest, maybe that could happen. But until we do, it unfortunately will only get worse.”

      Which is something I can actually buy into.

      You say in your post that you used to vote conservative, then switched when you realized how corrupt the Republicans had become and how apparent it became that they were beholden to “the upper-crust”.

      Don’t you see that the Democrats are equally beholden to “the upper-crust”? Who do they get their money from? Hmm.. George Soros comes to mind, the UAW comes to mind (and before you say the UAW is made up of blue-collar workers, let me point out to you that their leadership is made up of RICH people who force the workers to pay dues which are then donated to the Democrats), Large Environmental Lobbyists come to mind, etc.

      The Democrats are no more interested in helping the “poor” or the “middle-class” than the Republicans are. If you think that they are, you are merely deluding yourself.

      • CanadianFox says:

        Just so you know I am not about “democratic talking points” I have never or will ever speak up for a union. We all need to band together to defeat the “free choice act”. What a joke that is. Doing away with a secret ballot for the benefit of union leadership and coffers. I cannot think of anything more un-American than that.

  22. I have always prided myself on being part of the middle class. I would define it as being too rich to get need based financial aid for my kids to go to college but too poor to afford to pay the tuition. Anyone else got a better definition, I’ll listen.

    The republicans I think have always had a bad rap as being the party of the rich. I daresay, the rich contributed as much or more to the democratic party as they did to the republicans. Off hand I think of Soros, Jobes, all of Hollywood and my Governor John Corzine as being rather rich dem contributors. Last year I believe the net worth of the Senate had more democratic millionaires than republicans.

    The rap has been around since the first plutocrat, FDR was elected to help the little people or the “rabble” as Chris would refer to them. He, if I remember correctly, was elected over the “bootstraps” Herbert Hoover who saved Europe from starving, rabble and all after WW 1.

    It’s never a matter of vehemently disagreeing with us. If you are an older guy, you might remember what Sgt. Joe Friday used to say, “Just the facts, just the facts.” Bring those to the table and you will find a home, contentious maybe, but nonetheless, a home.

  23. Dear CanadianFox:

    As US is off at work let me offer this.

    Your popularity here will not be based on your positions but on your ability to coherently explain them. Most of those that disagree will attack but not with venom alone, they will try to question your defense to see how strong. If it can be defended and proves true, you will find many willing to change their minds. I have seen it here and know it to be true. But you must meet the first condition, a coherent and well thought out hypothesis or position. The same goes for you challenge of others.

    As a self educated historian and philospher I would like to pose a different opinion on the fall of civilizations. I believe you will find it was not the disparity between rich and poor that caused their demise but 1) the belief by the poor that they were not allowed to be anything more combinded with a STATE that no longer provided for their needs and 2) the loss of tolerance by the State and eventully society (see Day of Empire by Amy Chua).

    As for the concept of “middle class”, that is new in historical terms. And, why do we call it a class in America, where no class has existed, other than the slave. I posit that the very word “class” has been deliberately used to inflame distrust and even hatred between members of our American society, that includes Canada as I have seen it there as well. You think our easterners vs westerners debate can get heated, just try talking about Ontario in B.C. But I digress. Those who have thrown this word around with “lower”, “middle”, and “upper” know that there are no true classes in this country, so why use the term. Since we claimed our independence from England, and the rest of Europe, the term has been used because it invokes hatred and fear bred into our DNA over hundred if not thousands of years or totalitarian govts (of all stripes and flavors). If you don’t think these types of reactions are deep within us I ask you why after over 200 years of independence from Europe do so many Americans still seem to wish for a benevolent King? There is not other way to explain why we seem to project such hope for salvation on the office of President, especially when the office has very little real power (per the constitution).

    If one thing will make you “unpopular” on this site it is comments like: “So you might say, I consider this post as pretty jaded to the “upper class”, “aristocracy”, “top 5-8% richest” or whatever you want to call them.” I have never seen a single comment on this site “jaded to the…”. What you will find here is a large number of people “jaded” to the concept of, and defense of, individual liberty and the idea of restoring our federal govt to the limited role envisioned by our founders. What is going on here is a struggle by us to figure out how to do that in a modern society with problems and issues that did not exist when our nation was created. What you see as bias towards the rich is nothing but the recognition that what ever is theirs is theirs, and whatever is mine is mine. A free people can not condone taking from one to give to another and claim they support liberty. And so as we don’t get confused here, Liberty in this sense means freedom from the coersive use of force by government. Furthermore, not a single person here (that I know of) supports the idea of the poor staying poor or wouldn’t bend over to help someone truly in need. On their own and by their own choice.

    The other consideration that most of those who call themselves “liberal” today miss is that our frustration and anger is with an overbearing Federal Govt. Remember, our constitution expected people of like minds and values to congregate together and pass such state or local laws as they felt necessary for their prosperity and happiness. That was “decentralization”. We have lost that and wish to restore it…that is all…nothing more sinister than that.

    You are correct in that USW and most of us will disagree with you that “our nation lost its way over the past eight years in particular”. If you read back many posts you will see most of us believe it started many many years ago. Some think 1787, some think 1860, some think late 1800’s, others with W. Wilson and others with FDR. I tend to go with 1860 as the real departure that opened the door to centralized federal control but it is the legacy of the “progressive movement” of the late 1800’s that we live under today. And that my dear friend is called fascism, pure and simple. With few exceptions every congress and administration since then has moved farther down this path, always increasing the centalized control of the federal govt. Bush was no different and you will find many, many detractors here. Even those who call themselves “conservative”. The difference is that we will recognize when we think he did something good or proper, or at least the outcome was good. I absolutely do not believe that Mr. Obama, his administration or the current congress really gives a damn about “middle class” or any other Americans for that matter. What they care about is finally implementing the progressive movements goals for this country. The only question is whether that will be just more fascism or if we end up with full blown socialism. The latter will result if the progressives lose control because socialism is really not the goal of the movement.

    Regarding political donations: You will find the same contributors on both party lists. Some give in differing percentages but they all support both sides. Why? Because that is what fascism spawns….blackmail. This is protection money given to make sure each ones interest is protected and perhaps even favored by those in power. Notice how good ol TBoone came out of the wood work in this election but was abscent during the mid term cycle.

    Regarding Mr. Buffet and all like him: The answer is simple, just send the govt a bigger check and shut the hell up. Sorry, not very diplomatic huh?

    The laws have not been “skewed” to the “upper crust” the past eight years. Individuals and certain goups are always favored by the administration and party in control of congress, that is what centalized—-fascist got gets you. If you want that bulldookey to stop then cross the line and join hands with us on this site.

    Also, categorizing and labeling is what humans do. It is part of how we describe and learn from the natural world. There is nothign wrong with labels…..as long as they are honestly and accurately applied. I happen to believe the common terms used today have been hijacked by political hacks and propogandists. I am not sure most folks here could define or describe the history of these terms in their traditional since. My favorite is the accepted understanding of Left vs Right. So…..my “self imposed” label is flaming radical right wing liberal. Can’t alway remember the order but I challenge you, as I did Chris, to tell me what you think I mean by that.

    Now for the good part. I completely agree that “working together to solve our current problems” is the solution. However, ignoring significant differences in underlying values and principles or ignoring what is going on to just get along, will not get us working together.
    WE MUST FIND COMMON VALUES BETWEEN US FIRST. Meta-values if you will (thank you Hans and Marie for that term). It was this basic truth that allowed our founders to create our country, in the face of diverse opinions. Common values form the basis of trust and allow meaningful negotiations to occur. Without it we are just yelling at each other from our battlements.

    I think most of us on this site would agree, so let me extend the principle of LIBERTY to you as the first such meta-value from which to work. If you choose to not share it then we have nothing to work together for. I for one will still listen to your positions on various topics but I will hold no hope for every working together to solve the truly big problems of our day.

    Well that is probably enough for now as I may have already gone on to long.
    I do wish you well and hope you will stay engaged in thoughtful and meaningful discussion with me and others here.
    JAC

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Wow JAC,

      USW could probably post that as a “mission statement” for the site 🙂

      Nicely written!

    • CanadianFox says:

      I intend to, but right now work is calling. I just do not have as much time as I would like. So sometimes my thoughts are too short and too much to the point.

    • CanadianFox says:

      JAC, I appreciate your thoughts and feedback, but one thing you need to understand about me. I do not have the stomach or time to debate about theories, concepts or hypothetical ideas. If it does not resonate with me based on present life experiences I must confess I am not very good. I hate it when people go back to the past to win an argument or debate. The past is just that, the past. Can you pick up some wisdom and thoughts from it? Certainly. But todays world and problems are far removed from Jeffersonian days. I do agree with Liberty as a value. But that value can only take you so far. And as more and more people get involved there are more “issues” to contend with. And actually I am one of the easiest people in the world to work with, because I am not afraid to compromise.

      • If you can not think beyond a perceived immediate need that you believe requires action, you will be doomed to slavery. Something I gathered from your other commments you have no stomach for. You will wander in pain until the end.

        You will never escape from the crowd screaming “lifes a bitch and then you die” so suck it up.

        Bye the way, hypotheticals should not be ideas but examples used to make a point. I also have no tolerance when they are used in other ways. The world would not run without theories and of course objective study to determine if they are true or false.
        And, concepts are what allow humans to exist beyond that of snails.

        Without the past there is no now!!!!!!!!

        You say you accept liberty as a value but it can only take you so far. If you have it, why would you want to go any farther or anywhere else for that matter. This concept of liberty which we now share as a value was protected by the Constitution. It has been lost. That is why it is so important to look to the founders and that document. It is our legaly binding contract with the govt. If we don’t figure out how to restore its constraints you can kiss liberty of any kind good bye.

        So I hope you try and at least sip from the well once and awhile.

  24. Very good posts people. I would like to add a little bit to the dicussion. I was an Obama supporter…yes you can throw your pitch forks now…LOL because I like many other Americans of all races, creeds, ect believed that he would bring “good change” I will not say “real change” because its not by far. But has anyone else looked at how the government is making us downgrade ourselves as far as what we are worth in the work force. This is far bigger than “spreading the wealth” this is about fading out classes period. Soon, there will be no classes. The poor and middle class will fade out and the rich…well let’s just say the only rich people that will be around is the GOV and all those that have contributed to US downfall. Think about it, you have CEO’s that are now janitors (upper class to middle/lower class), you have janitors (lower class) that have been laid off and now where do they go. It is an ongoing spiral. The bottom line of all of these discussion is: The government is taking us to a fascist state right in front of us and those that believe this are “terrorist” are discredited, or are just plain wacko. Well call me f-in crazy because what they are doing is wrong, wrong, wrong…if we stand for nothing we fall for anything. This economic crisis is so interweaved within all things, how do you change it? It doesn’t matter if a Republican, Democrat, Independent, Conservative, ect is elected. The agenda in the Whitehouse and the government was created back in President Wilson’s time…the president is a puppet and the congress is not the puppeteer although they have there strings attached, but the real colprits are people like: FEDS, VK Durham, Alan Greenspan, international leaders, Bildenburg group, Trilateral commission, CFR, ect…the list goes on and on.

  25. BoredomCorner says:

    There’s no class warfare in America?

    Wow, based on how eager you jerks are to bash the lower and middle classes, you sure fooled me.

    • SK Trynosky Sr says:

      You see, right off the bat, we are “Jerks”. So much for rational, intelligent discourse from folks like yourself.

      FYI Champ, my grand dads were coal miners in Pennsylvania and both died, one in his 40’s the other in his 50’s from black lung disease. My Dad was a lifetime bartender. I got through college on a scholarship. So, I am not skull and bones Yale, not hardly pilgrim, neither are most other folks on this site.

      You need go no farther than the current health care “debate” to see how the so called “rich” are being pitted against the “poor”. How do these democratic millionaire congressmen and senators define rich for us? Why, by jingo, it’s someone who makes more money than we do. Plain and simple, that’s it. Push envy and class hatred. Wasn’t that how Hitler got on the bandwagon about “Jews”?

      Wake up and pay attention.

  26. fuck it i love it
    ok

  27. j’aime tout ce ki bouje

  28. gogogogogogogogogogogogogogogogogo

  29. SkinnyFrog says:

    The only way government can make citizens “equal” and making life “fair” is to make everyone equally poor. Government cannot make everyone equally rich, or even equally middle class. All government can do is tax away and/or confiscate and legislate away wealth until we’re all equally poor, and at that point there are still the wealthy politicians who run the country as dictators.

    If you don’t believe that, just look at all past “classless” societies. U.S.S.R? Nope. Cuba? Nope. The dictators and leaders live in some version of wealth while the populace manages on what they government gives them.

    The best thing government can do is to get out of the way and let the private sector thrive. Everyone doesn’t end up equal, but everyone has an equal chance.

    • lebarbarian says:

      “Everyone doesn’t end up equal, but everyone has an equal chance”….LOL keep dreaming!!! you really think everyone has an equal chance???….really??? why dont you have a nice walk in the poorest hoods?

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