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Jan-05-2009 17:30printcomments

Op-Ed: Fascism Feeds
On Fear, Failure
To Democratize

Angry feudalists still seek reversal of progress.

American flag and cross
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross" Sinclair Lewis
Courtesy: frecklescassie.files.wordpress.com

(EUGENE, Ore.) - WHY is it we continue to face unreasonable and irrational, sometimes even threatening, reaction to all forward progress worldwide by those determined to “reverse-the-world back to the Middle Ages”? ARE there, even today, those who would prefer the social, cultural and --for sure-- the predominant ruling class economy/culture then in place?

You better believe it: Check out Comments received whenever any statement of “progressive” --much less “radical”-- political philosophy appears, anywhere.

You’ll recall that Middle Age image of castle-on the-hill --occupied by you-know-who-- and that bitter/cottage village-below for you, me and all others.

We all slaved away at whatever, while those born to the castle made the most of that accident-of birth and capital and cultural resources so inherited. Feudalism also demanded serf-service in continual wasting wars, you will note; not only to support “the royals” at varying levels but also to provide acquisition of richer resources by the power of bloody conquests.

That early “Royalism” is what later became the “Fascism” we fought as authoritarian essence of anti-democracy during two World Wars.

The basic principle of both is “imperial power overwhelming any other conceptual pattern provided for governance, in any culture or economy.”

That puts at great risk the absolutely essential American “consent of the governed” concept - what Lincoln famously phrased as “...of the people, by the people, for the people”.

Do you doubt for even a moment that many in like position today, with capital resources at hand from any unearned-income flow, do not still cling possessively to precisely the same political philosophy?


They never admit to that truth, and will literally “fight to the death” to deny it in the face of universal, modern social, cultural, and economic realities. But at heart it is any added costs, shared via tax or otherwise, that delimits their vision and defines their “objectivity”.

They will insist that “education should be run like a business”, evasively forgetting that no child is ever a commodity. To treat any one-so is to defy and deny the empowerment of the individual demanded in the 21st Century.

That’s because modern society now denies these regressed-feudalists any other protective pattern, while still providing them with the rule of law to protect private property, as it should surely do.

Meanwhile they continue to defy and deny more democracy in whatever form, wherever it may grow and strengthen. The last thing they are willing to allow is the heart of democracy: Equal opportunity, afforded by strong government, dedicated to close control by citizen choice of ethical, elected representatives --and funded by progressive taxes sharing the burdens equitably.

That’s WHY the Founders provided our free press, worthy of responsibility to inform and address all key issues for citizen understanding and shared choices.

It is notable that their First Amendment to the Constitution is the strong protection demanded to preserve and project our democracy. That experiment-turned-into reality in the past 230 years is now threatened by the distortion/perversion of “corporate campaign contributions”, ostensibly for the same political free-speech the Founders granted ONLY to human beings.

That’s WHY deathly-determined neocon-principle opposition rears its hydra-heads with the many widely-varying ways to oppose further extension of threatening democratic decision. That occurs whenever our elected-representative democratic-pattern for progress begins to bear down on its basic principle; equality of opportunity and pursuit of happiness, under law, for every person.

Primarily that explains why the Southern states continued to protect, preserve, extend and strengthen the pattern of outright human slavery for so long. There was money --much of it, easily acquired-- in both “the slave trade” and the prolific private-profit gain/pattern it served and made-possible. Plantation-style production was based on forced human productivity at very low costs.

That may sound all too familiar to many working, both with hands and with heads, in corporate-controlled similarly-run environments. That’s WHY corporate management and money strength is so often opposed to any unionism-based practice of any kind, as underlying threat to the continuing Plantation Concept, still carrying-on.

The current consequences of our economic collapse are now due in large part, a broad worldwide economist consensus now states. That’s reflected by David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter: “Ronald Reagan’s remaking of government’s relationship with private interests --a vision of lower taxes, less regulation, and maximum economic leeway for those at the top.” (See “Fiscal Therapy” in Reader’s Note.)

You’ll recall that the Articles of Confederation, first-step/taken as consequence of the 1776 American Revolution, was ”weak-government and unfettered capitalism/oriented”...and soon festered and failed. That was what drove our Founding Fathers to bring forth, first, our Constitution and then its essential Bill of Rights.

Both were cannily contrived, presciently produced to provide wise, lasting and inclusively democratic means for modifying and multiplying what they had learned from long-continued study of leading philosophers. (See The Federalist Papers, in any edition.)

They knew what they were doing, and why, that’s for-sure, too --reflected in our ongoing American progress for the early development of our nation.

More-current proof is found today in our robust and ready response to the truly horrendous attacks on our democracy underway by neocon cabal for the past thirty years and more: We have survived, and even “overcome” and we are ready for the oncoming challenges in a new century.

Surely the “transformative opportunity now in place after the huge mandate of Nov. 4” provides us all with a test of our own dedication to the vaunted “American Way”: “Equal opportunity, under law, and consummate continuation of democratic principle and potent pattern in all we do now” --for the 21st Century.

Feudalism is long behind us, and must be abandoned to its Rightful place in the pages of history. But such euphoria will never arrive until and unless we all do our part.

We must start with a truly American fair-shake, patient opportunity for President-Elect Obama to open the White House door, and then begin his transformative work --WITH OUR ESSENTIAL SUPPORT AND DIALOG.

====================

Reader’s Note: More than 30 Internet, national-source, other references and writer’s files were consulted for this Op-Ed. “See also”: FISCAL THERAPY: Getting the economy back on its feet, giving taxpayers a break, saving your retirement fund, and your kid’s college tuition? Done: And it won’t cost you a penny”; David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer-winning reporter; Mother Jones Magazine Jan/Feb 09. Quotes are shortened, condensed, summarized for space restrictions here. Source-and-references list and quotes-verbatim are available on request to Editor with full ID, street and e-mail address.

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Henry Clay Ruark is the one of, if not the most experienced, working reporter in the state of Oregon, and possibly the entire Northwest. Hank has been at it since the 1930's, working as a newspaper staff writer, reporter and photographer for organizations on the east coast like the Bangor Maine Daily News.
Today he writes Op-Ed's for Salem-News.com with words that deliver his message with much consideration for the youngest, underprivileged and otherwise unrepresented people.




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Henry Ruark January 17, 2009 3:41 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Old-editor's habit to re-read ALL comments. (I qualify, at least on age-level !!) On that basis, suggest you now skim Harumph's very intense and probing (if also very desperate-seeming)descriptions of Op Ed treatment here. He obscures true intention, caught up in defense vs its obvious impact on him and others. Then seek out ongoing dialog with others on specific points raised, some excellent, some meaningful, others more like space-wasters --YOU evaluate. That's intent for Op Eds here: to stimulate, first,a burst of cogitation; then honest, open, democratic,meaningful dialog built on solid sources other than pure belly-button massage...the latter easily ID'd by any of you. The sources should be forthcoming when sought by ANYone...mere personal feeling on 30-yr. college notes UNqualified... SO dissent always welcome, but based on sense and commonplace sensitivities and rational, reasonable sources, all fairly shared, sourced when demanded. What MORE do you expect to get for that plugged-nickel here ? You can always pick up a W.St. Journal if you prefer that style...and choice of content. But it doth cost $2.00 now.


Henry Ruark January 17, 2009 3:24 pm (Pacific time)

Friend Chris: You wrote: "What ever happened to helping the poor and defenseless through our purely VOLUNTARY Christian value of charity?" That demonstrates only too clearly point of mine to you: Given current economic crisis --no matter WHAT or WHO is the true cause-- do you really contend private sources, no matter how well-intentioned, can handle desperate need for unemployed and partially employed --on top of what is already in existence NOW ? Doubt if you do,since your Comments show more commonsense than that. Truth is, very simply, there are situations and times when ONLY government can handle what MUST be done...and when we are smart and determined enough to get past that point in our democratic experiment since 1776, we may be able to go on to what we could, should and MUST be, for the 21st Century. We'll never make it on the limited levels and patterns we now have seen for the past 50 years...which is why Obama did receive such a huge mandate, seeking the success of real hope some still maintain. Thank you for your civil ongoing participation here...but do not slow or stop the cogitation now underway.


Henry Ruark January 16, 2009 8:45 pm (Pacific time)

C.Jones: Have you read SUPERCAPITALISM by Robert Reich ? Or ANY of Kevin Phillips three major books on wealth in democracy ? OR The Shock Doctrine: Rise of Disaster Capitalim ? If not, you speak UNinformed, as well as MISinformed by much previous intentional distortion/perversion of truth on these topics. Happens some of your points are partially true, but not for the reasons you apparently cite here. If you will ID to Editor, glad to continue dialog in detail, and learn from you as well as share from deep resources here gathered over 50 years.


ChrisJones January 13, 2009 8:29 pm (Pacific time)

I think the government has shown us fairly clearly their level of trustworthiness with our hard earned highly inflated backed by nothing counterfeit fiat money. Perhaps putting more in their hands would not be the wisest thing. But then the band of thieves and murderers would have less power to oppress us and the rest of the world. What ever happened to helping the poor and defenseless through our purely VOLUNTARY Christian value of charity? Last time I checked the government hasn't solved the poverty problem in this country. And it never will because good economics and division of labor is what brings up the standard of living for people, not stealing from one group and giving it to another. The real rich elites in this world have their money in tax free foundations to do their evil. Keep preaching your little class warfare propaganda while the real puppetmasters continue to rule over us (aided by their favorite tool of control-government) while we stay distracted by superficial unimportant false paradigms.


Henry Ruark January 12, 2009 7:27 am (Pacific time)

Sinclair or whichever one you are today: You wrote: "Reagan created the foundation that grew the economy, not Clinton or any other democrat." History now displays deadly wounds round the world brought on by Reagan-radical view that "government IS the problem !: That ferociously erroneous and damaging diatribe (read: "a thunderous verbal attack") is the root and branch of every fatal backwards-step we've ever taken since --as any easy surveillance of rational nonpartisan economic sources now will show. Try seeking some for yourself.---------- Rich: You wrote: "In contrast many current political scientists that also have a learned foundation in economics see FDR as possibly one of the worst." That's obvously straight-out word-snatched copy from neocon-nasty sources without either link or any simple attribution here. IF you snatch, sir, sign off with where-you-got it; not only professional principle but also proof of good faith. "See also" mine-above, which summarizes dead-on defined and documented truth in this matter, including attack on FDR to help set up Obama for failure gained by continued means at any level, foul or even deadly, per previous code words used by same perverters here. IF either of you wish detail in depth, ID selves to Editor for fair, civil, further open, honest D0CUMENTED dialog direct. Given silence-here, no-link nonsense in only-own words falls direct into the round file, sirs. Credibility stands tall, honest, democratic only when built on accurate, open checkable sources proven in practice to be both reliable and authoritative. That's why historians footnote and build huge-reference back-of-book sources with solid fact.


Henry Ruark January 10, 2009 7:58 pm (Pacific time)

Sinclair, Rich et al: NO intention to play pubescent adolescent game "Mine is bigger than yours !" re sources here, but fact is we both must depend on them for our information since we do NOT cover this national issue ourselves. SO, want more, extremely timely ? See Jeffrey D. Sachs, Columbia University, in TIME 1/19: "Case for Bigger Government". pp. 34-37:"Thirty years ago, Americans were told that government was part of the problem, not the solution. We bet on the magic of the marketplace, but the magic proved illusory. Every major part of the economy --health care,energy, transportation, and food--is deeply troubled". -----THEN he explains in depth, density, undeniably, why that started with Reagan. SO "see with own eye", then if you wish to dispute, send your statements to Professor Sachs and/or internationally-famed TIME Magazine. OR do you wish to charge that both Sachs and TIME are "socialistic", or revert to "communistic", or even Democratic ??? !!


Henry Ruark January 10, 2009 5:20 pm (Pacific time)

Sinclair, Rich et al: Au contraire, sirs ! Yours is fatally misread, erroneous or intentionally, of our own and world history easily checked via Internet. Tax-cuts failed for Reagan, had to be reversed; left us with horrendous then-record deficits --and the false values concerning government that rotted away citizen faith in our democracy, working well until his impacts. Tax-cuts failed for Bush I,led to lop-sided economy setting stage for extended failures of "supply-side" and "monetarism" policies, built huge momentum for disastrous deregulation and corporate-controlled and corrupted globalization, the root of our current credit crisis now compelling chaotic beginning of second Great Depression --ushered into place via Bush II-cabal Iraq preemptive attack sold by corruption of "intel". Have you read Reich's SUPERCAPITALISM, or Klein's SHOCK DOCTRINE, or Kevin Phillips' WEALTH and DEMOCRACY"" If not, you are woefully UNinformed,and MISinformed by 30 years of neocon Noise Machine as well. IF you wish links and quotes from any/all of those,ID-self to Editor for direct contact, and I will supply to aid your learning from sharing here. Without duly authoritative recent information one cannot hope to understand the complex situations now currently forcing a different level of citizen understanding and responsible participation. What refs.can you cite for your statements, sir ? Even the best-intentioned public declaration demands something more than own-words/only.


Sinclair January 9, 2009 3:12 pm (Pacific time)

Can the editor name one thing Clinton did to balance the budget or improve the economy? He simply signed republican legislation, that's all! Prior to losing the house and senate he raised taxes, just the opposite of what he campained on. He did begin the process of allowing members of his cabinet to put pressure on banks to start issuing loans to individuals with poor credit histories, aka, subprime loans, and now we have inherited that absurd policy that has in this current mess. It was the Contract with America that gave us prosperity and it was the "non-conservative" Bush who screwed it up. Reagan created the foundation that grew the economy, not Clinton or any other democrat. Again Clinton just signed conservative legislation.


Rich January 9, 2009 10:17 am (Pacific time)

The vast majority of the people, by their repeated landslide vote in 1984, as well as economic professionals see the Reagan Administration as one of the most succesful in our nation's history. In contrast many current political scientists that also have a learned foundation in economics see FDR as possibly one of the worst. My money will be on the Clinton Administration as the worst, but it will be some time before it is properly assessed. I did review the below post by Menashe regarding Obama owning the recession. Maybe you missed the point, he stated "[Will] Obama in time own the recession/depression?" I took that as something analagous to Reagan, that is, in the fullness of time, even if something that went wrong before a president took over, if it's still screwed up in the future then eventually the current president will be blamed (taking ownership). That is unfair, but that's generally what happens, especially when voting day comes. I would reccomend reading some articles by Robert Merton as to how the federal bureacracy is so ingrained in funding policies that even a two term president cannot alter their often unfair directions. Reagan was an American who loved all Americans, he did not intentionally cause harm to any of us in my opinion.

Tim King: Rich, did you catch that in a really bad 'b' movie? Bill Clinton balanced the budget; in that regard he is one of the most successful presidents in American history. Reagan brought America out of the woods in many respects, but it was very temporary as history shows, as he balanced the budget on the backs of Americans who are our most vulnerable citizens; the mentally and physically handicapped. You can write and talk forever and never change that. Clinton cleaned up the horrible mess left behind by the first Bush and Obama gets to do it again, only it is much worse this time. I am a patriotic American who cares about all Americans. Reagan let them down.


Rich January 9, 2009 8:07 am (Pacific time)

Tim King I am sorry if you had loved ones that got caught up in reduced mental health funding. I use to have considerable (social) contact with director Dean Brooks and many staff members at the Oregon State Hospital in Salem. At one time many lived in those houses off 25th N.E., between the hospital and the prison to the south. Attended many social occasions at these homes many years ago. I also recall quite clearly that when Carter was president, the federal bureacrats had ingrained themselves into hospital funding policies that they were not only calling policy shots, but were also re-writing many of the hospitals administrative rules and regulations to the chagrin of the hospital's staff. The federal government has the tendency to gain control by providing (or withholding finances) and it is not something that can be changed very quickly. As it is most of the comments I heard from staff members was not so much about Carter, but the people within the federal government that were causing them problems. Reagan may be your target, but these financial problems began long before he came into office. Just the same I found Brooks and his staff (most of them) to be very dedicated to their patients. Our nation certainly needs to provide more mental health funding. Unfortunately there are patients who need to be in a controlled environment, so hopefully new institutions can be built all over the state. Are you familar with those people and groups who lobbied for cutting funding to the state hospital, Dammasch, and others in favor of having more halfway houses and getting more on outpatient status? It was people associated with former governors Straub and Goldschmidt. I also was around when the movie "One Flew over...." was filmed. Good bunch of people there at the time. In fact Jack Nickolson is a frequent visitor to Oregon and the Salem area to this day.

Tim King: I don't think I had any family members who were caught up in this problem; my family lives in California. At any rate, the facts are the facts when it comes to Reagonimics. Have a good day.


Anonymous January 8, 2009 3:21 pm (Pacific time)

even though you wont believe me now (nobody ever does until its too late), I am hoping that when you view this video, that when obama's economic plan fails, just like the 800 billion bailout in september didnt work, at that moment, when you see, that you will remember this video. You will then realize all this money is going to offshore bankers. This is a video of the economic GENIUS that was Ron Pauls economic advisor during the campaign. If you google his name, you will find 88,000 links all saying "Peter Schiff was Right". He warned about the mortgage bubble four years ago, and his 100 other warnings have proved to be accurate. I listened to him, and my economic situation is perfect. And will be, no matter what happens. If the federal reserve prints more money for this stimulas package, the dollar is gone. Dont believe me now, just remember you were told, and maybe you will wake up then. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9h2x7R8pxUsandeurl=http://www.dailypaul.com/


Henry Ruark January 8, 2009 3:20 pm (Pacific time)

Sol M.: Yrs re Obama "owning" any part of failures in economy or other problems/issues is downright flat-lie. Causes were set in train long before his political start. To make it completely clear, you lie in your teeth, sir... full detail in history and on public record, in consensus with world-leading economists, shows our current economic collapse comes from continued neocon policies commencing with Reagan and carried on in detailed destruction by both Bushes. Chapter/verse in too much print, too many millions of book and magazine pages, for any cockamamie attack. Reagan left then-record deficits, ended up reversing his original tax-cuts, found out the hard way (including book by Stockman, his main man on everything) that supply-side Reaganomics was major calamity, for which we now still paying. IF you did not know allathis, you UNinformed;if you believe otherwise, you MISinformed; if you state it publicly as here, your intention is simply to malign and p/p all over Obama. SO stand revealed in all bad faith and clumsy attempt to distort/pervert clear open record well understood by all who consult truthful sources, so recognized worldwide.


Henry Ruark January 8, 2009 2:14 pm (Pacific time)

Sol M.: Obviously you have NOT read the Reagan-authorized biography titled "Dutch", by childhood friend, long-time observer, colleague and then biographer. Please note ref. to biographer son Gavin, seek out details of health, esp. for Iran/Contra initiation, read background leading to final-days, with Altheimer's looming close. THEN evaluate what happened, more honestly via points in Tim's note which is absolutely accurate. I know, I was close observer in both D.C. and Oregon for some of start prior to his election. Cannot but ask: "Vas you dere, Sharlie ?" ! You old enough to remember, or only repeating second-hand ??


Henry Ruark January 8, 2009 2:07 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Quotes cut both ways, depending on who states 'em first... SO here's one; do you believe what it states so flatly ? "with government being our nanny and operating every aspect of our lives for us. For one, the abject incompetence of government in providing such things should rule it out for anyone with an ounce of integrity.." Did government tell you when last you could visit your wife for conjugal relations ? Did some bureaucrat file order to you precribing breakfast ? Do you feel guilty in accepting your Social Security check ? (I do not...paid taxes for every penny received but may beat 'em yet--at 91 !!) OR in having the police act to protect you vis-a-vis radicals at the election-station ? OR do you shudder with revulsion at the socialistic service of the Post Office ? OR do you defy, deny, and defeat truck operation bringing you food on that Eisenhower-endowed superroad? OR...YOU fill in the rest from your own life experience, since mine is under such very "insolent, impertinent" criticsm, from very suspicious sources. Thank you all for your ongoing participation, and remember we try to be both fair-AND-civil here...


Sol Menashe January 8, 2009 1:26 pm (Pacific time)

Will Obama in time own the recession/depression? How can Obama avoid taking responsibility when he will be so actively meddling in the economy? An activity the Founders warned us about. It will be his decision to forego deep and permanent new tax cuts, his decision to not extend the Bush tax cuts, his decision on how to spend the remaining $350 billion in TARP money, his decision to quasi-nationalize healthcare, his decision to push a cap-and-trade carbon emission program and his decision to spend hundreds of billions on a "green" industrial policy. It might even be his decision to try and reunionize the American laborforce. Obama will "own" the battered economy, perhaps almost literally, given Uncle Sam's bailout binge.

So what standard should voters hold Obama to? How about this one: The 1981-82 recession (Carter recession) lasted 16 months and was followed by an explosive recovery thanks largely to the Reagan tax cuts (even though they were too slowly implemented). The current downturn, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, started in December 2007. Mr. Obama better hurry. Please note that democrats took control of congress in January 2007. The economy was in good shape and unemployment was quite low prior to their take over. The radical left will attempt to spin the above reality, but they will fail as they fail in all their socialistic big government endeavors.



Tim King: Some of these comments are really amazing. In typical neocon fashion, you manage to place all of the problems YOUR party gave this nation in recent years and pin them on this young achiever before he is even in office. That is too much, yet ever so predictable. Don't come back and try to say you aren't a Republican either, because nobody will believe you. For the record, Reagan temporarily improved the nation's economy by robbing the money from programs that took care of the mentally and physically handicapped population. Anyone who lives in Salem, Oregon knows all about it; since the capitol city has ample closed and decrepit mental health facility buildings to show. It all happened because of old Ronnie; the man who gave the Republicans their 11th General Order; to never publicly criticize another Republican. So much for personal responsibility; the GOP is like a really corrupt force that is centered on "taking care of its own" at any cost. This is a new time and the dinosaurs should climb aboard the train or take their last journey to the swamps. Many things good about this nation that I was taught in school, manifested when we elected Barack Obama. Even if it is far less than perfect, we achieved something as Americans.


Henry Ruark January 8, 2009 1:18 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Here we have solid open and honest "democratic dialog" ...except allathat is only on one side. Here's what Tim wrote; in only seven words he says more than Hrump does in pages-full: "...you inject blatant falsehoods into the conversation." Readers are invited to "see with own eyes" the entire development of this dialog-thread...then consider the several source-speakers involved, evaluating them on open, honest, revealing ID-details and thus illuminating the life experiences (not to mention other very pertinent points !) from which ALL dialog MUST come. John Dewey stated: "Conversation is the heart of democracy" --here you see why that is still true, and you can decide "with own mind" what this-all means for YOU ! Lincoln phrased it: "...Of the people, by the people, FOR the people." Here you have self-revealing illumination from the sole most meaningful source, the mind of each person involved, in their own words...what more can you ever want ?? For more on "feudalist" fatalism, see Op Ed itself.


Rich Millison January 8, 2009 12:51 pm (Pacific time)

Henry Ruark you directed me to your 1:06/1-7 post. Where is your claimed source? It was your assertion that you had one. Thank you for your stated definition of "diatribe":" To all: Here's relevant definition: diatribe (as in "fulmination") n. : thunderous verbal attack." Henry Ruark could you point out my "thunderous verbal attack?". Hint: Does not exist. Regarding Obama's mandate. Sure he won, but his mandate is quite minimal, and at best very fragile. Regardless of his race, which many feel the need to point out, he lost the vote to the majority of the majority. Four more percentage points going conservative with this group and you have over 50% of all those that voted last November. 2010 will be quite similar to 1994. Hope your around to see it, in fact I hope we all are, because our enemies are going to try to take advantage of the incoming "gross" inexperience and naive world view. So far in all of Obama's speeches I have yet to hear any clear policy descriptions on how he is going to implement all these wonderful ideas he purports that he will create. If one looks at his past legislative performance (and his entire "known" life), I am left thinking of that commercial: "Where's the beef?" This so-called large mandate he has when compared to say Reagan who won 49 states, did you consider that a mandate? Now that was a mandate! I'm no future seer, but our military and our various intelligence services are probably going to be having a serious morale problem because of what he said he plans on doing and also by appointing a totally inexperienced individual to run the CIA during this period of our global war on terror. Good people will be leaving and good people will not join government service. Hopefully things will work out, but so far his utter lack of experience is showing, just like the Clinton Administration, which caused more harm to our country than any other past administration. Literally tens of thousands died violently because of the Clinton Cabal, which Obama is reconstituting. Just look at his staff and appointments. They all support Israeli doing what they're doing. Though at the current scandal rate coming from the democratic party, the future trend is looking quite bleak. What's next, a military draft? Maybe if he cuts tax rates and eliminates the capital gain taxes our economy can grow out of this financial mess, but to provide welfare to those who do not pay income taxes has already proven to be a bust. His stimulus package will fail just like the last one the majority democratic congress created and the boob Bush signed.


Harumph January 8, 2009 10:40 am (Pacific time)

Quote: To all: Obama's huge mandate for pragmatic change --best weapon we've ever had vs "the feudalists"-- funamentally altered American politics in 2008 --with Internet an essential weapon for success. Today he pledged, as part of his economic recovery plan, "expanding broadband lines across the nation." Check out www,internetforreveryone.org for your link to participate. Add to your own personal participation-channel list: www.Change.gov/page/s/contact OR simply www.Change.gov to reach Obama Transition site.



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Henry, there is NO mandate for "change" as you envision, with government being our nanny and operating every aspect of our lives for us. For one, the abject incompetence of government in providing such things should rule it out for anyone with an ounce of integrity... But as far as Obama goes, there is no mandate. Most Americans oppose most of what he believes in, because few know what he believes. His campaign was one of constructing images without substance, he revealed nothing of himself, and merely conducted a campaign of words and air, based on what he thought would appeal to people. In other words, his campaign evaporated, along with everytyhing he said, the next day after election.



Neither you nor I have any clue what he intends to do about most things. On your part, because you're so blinded with emotion and hype about "the black guy winning" you've never paid the slightest attention to what he's done and where he came from. Me, because Obama has been the most closed, secretive, and unrevealing candidate for president in my lifetime. Despite the almost endless campaign on his part for years, we know nothing about him, and have to dig up unguarded moments of his PAST to have any clue about his present thoughts on any topic.



Every word he speaks is calculated to reveal nothing, but yet manipulate your emotion. As for your juvenile insults hurled at people smarter and more sensible than you are by calling them "feudalists", you and Tim King have long ago revealed what kind of people you are at heart, and your proclevity to despise and insult anyone who fails to conform to your image.



You continue to demand I reveal my name. Why? Both you and Tim have unloaded mountains of verbal trashing and insults on every thinking person. You have earned neither trust nor respect, you have earned your reputation in my mind as an arrogant and pompous jerk. Try raising the level of your thoughts and words a bit and see if you can dig yourself out of the deep hole you've dug. Maybe then I'll reconsider the self-defense of anonymity from people who demonstrate no respect whatsoever for their fellow citizens.




Editor: It is obvious to everyone in the world that more Americans support Obama than not; why are you always trying to inject these lies into the conversation? He's the most decent politician who has emerged in years. I'm not totally happy with him and I probably won't be, but I'll be damned if he was not elected by a large majority of voters. As far as earning your respect; I don't want it. I have vast respect from people who live in the modern world and have half a clue what this life on earth is supposed to be about. I could really care less about what you think of us, and I mean that. Just be glad that we are somewhat open to most comments, and yes I will always have something to say to your confused negativity. Most people who comment here understand that we want to see the world heal from eight years of anti-American BS. Freedom? Bush is a wart on the world's ass. Even if he doesn't mean it, at least Obama has the ability to sound like he means well. Also, there is a plethora of information about Obama and his future plans. Again, you inject blatant falsehoods into the conversation.


Henry Ruark January 8, 2009 10:18 am (Pacific time)

To all: Obama's huge mandate for pragmatic change --best weapon we've ever had vs "the feudalists"-- funamentally altered American politics in 2008 --with Internet an essential weapon for success. Today he pledged, as part of his economic recovery plan, "expanding broadband lines across the nation." Check out www,internetforreveryone.org for your link to participate. Add to your own personal participation-channel list: www.Change.gov/page/s/contact OR simply www.Change.gov to reach Obama Transition site.


Henry Ruark January 8, 2009 8:04 am (Pacific time)

To all: Here's relevant definition: diatribe (as in "fulmination") n. : thunderous verbal attack ------------- Direct contact offered for any who feel so inclined, as basic ethical courtesy leaving space, time and attention open to others who wish honest, open, democratic dialog-space for good faith usage, as intended here. No responsible writer responds otherwise to irresponsibility and avoidance of ethical obligation for full ID when requested. Would you invite masked man, frothing at mouth, into your home ?? ANYone seeking honest civil conversation is always welcome, via same route.


Henry Ruark January 8, 2009 7:38 am (Pacific time)

To all: Seeking some way to make your voice heard re Obama policies now ? Here's "see with own eyes" sample of many-such Internet opportunities. We'll report on others for increasing your participation as discovered and sampled: Turning 'Yes We Can' into 'Yes We Will!' By ZP Heller, Brave New Films Posted on January 7, 2009, http://www.alternet.org/bloggers/http://bravenewfilms.org/118000/ "The Forum for Education and Democracy wants to turn 'Yes We Can' into 'Yes We Will,' channeling the momentum and energy of the election of Barack Obama into building a stronger public education system. They're calling for the President-elect to commit to providing every child with free, high-quality education and health care, every community with equal access to education, every teacher with vital support, and every school with much needed resources." ---------------- Heller's parents were both teachers caught in 40-student classrooms in city system. Their frustrations mirror many I knew from mine own long experience in education.


Henry Ruark January 8, 2009 7:24 am (Pacific time)

RM: See mine 1:06 pm 1/7> I await your full ID to Editor for direct contact, sparing others here any further diatribes.


Rich Millison January 7, 2009 6:19 pm (Pacific time)

Henry Ruark maybe the below will refresh your memory regarding active military assessment of incoming Commander in Chief: Henry you stated "Best ones I find, trusty on other points, shows Obama with high confidence level from a healthy majority. IF anyone finds numbers, please share with probing note re the source reliability and nonpartisan character. Favorite ploy of "those others" is to state distorted, perverted non-confidence charge without source or any checkable back-up data. Be aware, be alert, be wise AND well-informed in 2009 !!" I put my source, a 180 from your above poll(?), on another article. Could you please provide me your source so I can review? Mine was from the Military Times and was reported on CNN and other networks. Possibly your valuable source was also and I missed it.


Rich Millison January 7, 2009 6:11 pm (Pacific time)

Henry Ruark I see you claim that my previous post was a "diatribe." You made my point sir regarding insults and changing the subject. To refresh your memory you stated you had a scientific poll to support your opinion in contrast to the Military Times. Where is it? As far as complimenting Harumph for his illuminating and clearly stated viewpoints, you call that a diatribe? I call it changing the subject. What is your background in this nations unions as far as the percentage of it's members not agreeing with their leadership's political contributions to issues/candidates they do not agree with? Are you familiar with historical events of what has happened to some individuals who protested their union leaderships actions? Thanks, I shall await your sources showing that you have the sourced knowledge you write of.


Henry Ruark January 7, 2009 5:54 pm (Pacific time)

Anon etal: Communitarian causes same confusions as Communism, but from different roots...anyone consuming either has nobody to blame but him/herself. IF you choose such confusion, consider yourself free to do so,but I recommend a different kind of weed, sometimes even legal...never built a taste for such myself, but some need SOMEthing and this is better than NEOCONnothingness.


Henry Ruark January 7, 2009 4:11 pm (Pacific time)

RM: You wrote:"C-P is nothing more than a disjointed exercise that displays a dearth of academic rigor." Your C-P referred to your own use of "cherry-picking" phrase earlier. Let us see now, sir, how you will discuss Constitution and Bill of Rights without choosing any one part, section, statement, or component...allatonce via commonsense "displaying their truth and veracity", as you also wrote. IF you can do so you will have created a new analysis-form sure to draw great interest from every other writer who ever conceived of an analytic approach. Good trick, if you can do it: so please demonstrate here and now, the rapidly-the-better for your own tattered credibilities. If that be seen as "insulting innuendo", so be it. Silence is golden, especially for those whose large-worded display is backed ONLY by their own continuing personal massage, wherever applied. We await your demonstration now, sir...


Anonymous January 7, 2009 3:38 pm (Pacific time)

henry wont read this..he doesnt have time, because he is too busy reading things that agree with him, this is for others. http://www.newswithviews.com/Levant/nancy117.htm


Henry Ruark January 7, 2009 1:18 pm (Pacific time)

RM: You neglect to answer re Ayn Rand, sir. When you do, we can resume; until then, stay behind tree for safety and I suggest silence, too.


Henry Ruark January 7, 2009 1:06 pm (Pacific time)

RM: You wrote: "I find that those who deal in facts, the kind that don't always need to be sourced, because simple common sense displays their truthfullness and veracity, easily expose the agenda-driven, forcing them to respond in the only way they know how, change the subject." Nice try, sir, but you boggled the ball in that phrase re "common sense". You plainly reserve-to-self the sole right to determine WHAT, WHEN, and HOW to settle any question -and that simply ain't the way democracy works. WHAT is "common" re opinion based on distorted, perverted insistence on "MY way !"alone? That's what's left when one bars documentation from other rational, reasonable,fully recognized sources --such as Pulitzer-winning reporters and prestigious-award/winning major national magazine. That's what "informed opinion" is, sir, reported from truly reliable sources, with the word-"informed" stressed by actual good faith search and only then analysis by skilled writer to interpret, on professional level (see STAFF section) easily checked by "see with own eyes" and "evaluate with own mind". That is impossible for you since you deliver only from "academic and life experience" OR biased sources such as major military magazine reflecting heavy bias --easily determined by simple "common sense" about its participants. How do you relate YOURS-ONLY personal interpretation to make it into public opinion based on "common sense" ? Here common sense means truly professional search and analysis of factual content, with value-and-skill easily determined by test via "see with own eyes" and evaluate "with own mind:, which we do when we supply link, offer sources, and leave outcome up to each person --thus allowing also for their own "academic and life experience" --if they also apply "common sense" thus supplied by our reliable references and information. Rest of your diatribe simply reveals lack of sensitivity to head-on challenge to put up something other than own words. If you read into that approach "insulting innuendo" it may well be because the cogitation nerve now atrophied is bestirring itself from some jangling-impact. Re union contribution, in the experience of most persons in contact with both corporate and union "surround", union people at least can meet, vote and act with leadership forced to pay attention or lose position. In corporate life that's not true: Big chiefs make decisions, act on them, dispense the dollars, and run the show. That's how they get themselves paid 400 or 500 times what ordinary worker gets, and that alone demonstrates their power over board and even stockholders. It is common fact accepted by businss writers that corporate chieftains rule --or depart. DId you think they got those million-dollar weekly checks because the stockholders voted them allathat pelf ? Nope-is always somebody with stock under full control despite others seeking it --which is why mergers, takeovers and various other piratical action pervades big business. Unionism built by definition on cooperative effort to protect, preserve, extend jobs; do you contend every union leader is simply gang-chieftain with life or death control over the entire worker-group, used for his own malign purposes ? If so, why not apply same metric to corporate chieftains ?? Suggest again you ID-self to Editor for direct contact, sparing others here useless diatribe, if you seek information in good faith. To conduct diaspora-of-views here is to abuse comment privilege and test-further waning patience and added costs for management. Is THAT your real purpose, sir ?? Demonstate good faith by rapid ID to Editor, and let's then continue in honest, open way.


Rich Millison January 7, 2009 11:55 am (Pacific time)

Henry Ruark I reviewed your last comments addressed to me and I see you once again failed to provide a source for your previous claim dealing with recent active-duty military polls. Is that because a source does not exist that counters the Military Times? It was your assertion, not mine. I also contacted people that I know personally at different cable networks, so I was not ignored by them, they simply knew of no polls that backed up your previous assertion, nor did any other polls acknowledge your position after careful and methodical review. In regards to my suggestion that one read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in contrast to "cherry-picking" out narrative that supports ones viewpoint, well C-P is nothing more than a disjointed exercise that displays a dearth of academic rigor. I see that you also did not address my comparison of "Unions" juxtaposed with corporate political contributions. I must admit that I certainly appreciate the viewpoints of Harumph. They have been clearly stated positions and evaluations. Regardless of one's perspective, it is always refreshing to read comments that express themselves so clearly, free of insulting innuendo. I find that those who deal in facts, the kind that don't always need to be sourced, because simple common sense displays their truthfullness and veracity, easily expose the agenda-driven, forcing them to respond in the only way they know how, change the subject.


Henry Ruark January 7, 2009 10:29 am (Pacific time)

To all: Have just read completely, again, that last from Hrump, in which he allows us a partial glimpse of from whence he cometh. I respect and admire his very intense feelings and dedication to his point of view, while deprecating his refusal to see anything else. What we do here is intended to illuminate "the truth" --which is always a matter of personal interpretation, and stands or falls on how well that is done and with what trusty tools. SO again, we have all learned from this open, honest, and surely democratic display of personal freedom to state what we feel and believe...and that is as it should be. Best wishes to all who have participated, and please let us continue in same open, honest, dedicated, democratic manner, too. (I forgot "civil" but you will add it anyhow...)


Henry Ruark January 7, 2009 10:14 am (Pacific time)

To all: Thanks to Hrump et al for penetrating (no pun !) comment on writing approach termed "persuasive-affective" since intended to force cogitation via impact on nerve-ends and feelings, when possible. Sometimes that's only impact that gets through dissonance and deceit and distortion in these modern channels. Our S-N Op Eds aim to create precisely the kind of response and reaction now demonstrated, and we make no apology for the thought-production thus forced on those obviously now finding such mental activity painful. Patience and attention pay off here, in the long run, for all of us --with civil dissent, backed by support other than "own words", always welcome as part of American dialog first carried on by the Founders, as in The Federalist Papers, which you should "see also". Then for those who dare come out from behind tree of anonymity or synonymous name, there's always direct contact via full ID to Editor. IF you are not willing to ID, we find time-wasted on serving your requests, since that fact is sure proof of malign purpose.


Henry Ruark January 7, 2009 9:59 am (Pacific time)

Rich: Yrs re check with brdcst channels doth not surprise me, since staff slashes via corporate interests preclude any solid treatment of casual inquiry, including mine own to wellknown colleagues. Re Constitution, yours using "cherry-picking" slim excuse to avoid issue. One cannot analyze whole document without close study of its components, as you were invited to do. The meaning depends on relation of its components, which is why any writer takes on one piece at a time, as for vaunted First Amendment. Then there's 14th, used as excuse for corporate campaign funding by endowing dollar-power with human right. Ratio of corporate use vs the right to vote intended is more than 100 to 1, sir. Re stockholders, they captured by corporate chieftains, who control by command-presence as well as support from larger investors than any one or few responsible citizens. Have you ever covered corporate board in action ? OR ever reviewed 400-600 Annual Reports yearly for decade ? I did, and reported in national press. Amazing what one can learn: Major point rapid flight of invester funds from source to source, seeking faster gain, while ignoring responsibility except gain. That's driving force behind coming death of valuable daily newspapers--so reported here. Note you did NOT state support or dissent with Ayn Rand. WHY avoid that issue, sir ? Too revealing of your status ?? Have you read SUPERCAPITALISM by Robt. Reich ? Or ANY of Naomi Klein's reporting in NATION and two books ? OR Krugman NYT column ? WHAT have you read, to bring yourself into modern era ? What magazines do YOU surveil ? Re history, viewpoints of main men in that field have been forced into violent change since the era you name, as has curriculum across board in our educational system, too. Moretocome on that, since digital delivery now shapeth the system unavoidably, to build home-learning and kill off current funding via local control. Re prime sources in s/science research, that is error, since heavy emphasis placed on those in all professional research; but it comfortably covers the avoidance you demonstrate. SO can goonandonandonandon, while deregulation, globalization et al, et al, do their unavoidable change. Do you recognize those facts, sir ? Single, sole, personal iterpretation simply does not cut it, for public report by any responsible professional writer --which is why we offer "see with own eyes" and "evaluate with own mind" links and other refs. here at S-N. What do YOU provide readers ?


Tim King January 7, 2009 9:43 am (Pacific time)

HARUMPH, YOUR COMMENTS ARE TOO LONG; THAT IS WHY I SUGGESTED YOU WRITE SOMETHING YOURSELF. PLEASE BRING THE LENGTH DOWN OR BREAK THEM UP INTO MULTIPLE COMMENTS.


Harumph January 7, 2009 9:14 am (Pacific time)

Hey Harumph, has it occurred to you that the way you approach things is part of the problem? When people keep it civil, so much can be delivered and discussed. You complain that we attack you and yet you completely dismantle our points of view. I think we can all keep it from being personal and it can go a long way. I don't like it when our visitors tell us they feel like they are unable to make their point. Ruark's commentary is always personal. It is a calculated attack on the person of those who disagree. Ruark never proposes ideas and defends the merits of them. If you try, his response is to label you and insult you, while making the pretense of being intellectual and serious. For the record I believe every post you have placed here was approved. I often include a rebuttal because again, you come on very strong. There isn't necessarily anything wrong with that; but the dynamics are easy to trace. You are obviously a writer and you have plenty to say. I would consider publishing an article from you; maybe that is the best way for this to go. Let me know if so, you can email me if you are interested. >> I'm not a writer. Other than a couple of letters to the editor over the last 20 years, I have no claims to being a "writer". I'm just a small businessman, the son of a son of immigrants. An ordinary schmuck who has noticed that a lot of people aren't paying much attention, and whose memory seems to extend backwards about a week, when it comes to things political or international. Regarding your point about how everyone in the world wants freedom; well that just seems too simple. I believe that people want and need food and shelter, and positive interaction with others is valuable. "Freedom" is an extremely subjective word, I'm sure you agree with that. George W.'s version of freedom is to kill lots of civilians, create tens of thousands of terrorists in the process, and then tell women that they can't seek an abortion or control their own reproductive rights. That's because the people who label themselves as "Christians" are often the people who do the dead opposite of what Jesus Christ wanted. Want to talk about that for a second? >>> Yeah, I'll talk about that. That's 100% garbage. Bovine exhaust. How on earth do you live with yourself, assuming that someone you do not know has such a hideous character? To assume that George W Bush revels in the killing of women and children, and wants to foster terrorism around the world...??? You're engaging in complete incivility here. You're trying to demonize a person for making decisions you disagree with. And I mean, not just demonize, but make that person into a monster in your reader's eyes, one that pales in comparison to say, the Manson family, or any number of high profile psychotic mass murderers. Which, of course, is completely nonsensical. You could at least be honest and say that YOU CONCLUDE that his actions have accomplished this. And then, we can debate whether or not it's true. ( hint, you're as wrong as 2+2 = 776) But you're doing the "Henry" type of writing, either accept the assumptions, or be shredded publicly. Sorry, I grew a backbone. Nobody thinks for me, and I never 'accept' anythign, especially when it fails the sniff test. I'd love to hear you explain to me how Jesus would approve of today's GOP and the war in Iraq. >>> Jesus was non-political. Non-partisan. He didn't teach "international politics in an evil world". He taught how to live your life and be at peace with your God, which transforms your life from within. As irrelevant to this conversation as you can get, in terms of "WWJD". Because it is evil, this world is ruled by aggressive use of force. The obligation we as Christian members of a nation goes, is to make sure we use force as wisely as we can - in all questions of when, if, how, why, or any other factor. I did not meet ONE Iraqi last summer who believed we had helped Iraq. But I guess you will say that all those people actually in Iraq are wrong, yes? Is that part of my progressive agenda? The ones making money from the U.S. payroll are supportive, but stop paying them and see what happens. I can go on forever; Iraq was a functioning country when we attacked it. People there who were out of the political circle were living a stable existence. >>> Wow, you think Iraq was functional? Then you and I have entirely different views of "functional". It did not have a legitimate government, the government never defended the rights of the individual, the government waged war against its own people, and it had an enemployment rate of over 60%. It was the definition of "non-functional". But then, perhaps your standards of "functional country" are just a tad lower than mine... Funding for the fight in Afghanistan was largely directed to Iraq and we have lost ground, particularly in southern Afghanistan, as a result of it. In the end you can rally for war until your dying day, but I think you are morally wrong for having that point of view. If genocide is taking place, then I can be supportive of military action. W. going after Saddam Hussein was pointless. Why aren't we in Burma? How about China? >> No, Afghanistan lost ground because we brought in the UN. The UN is forever dedicated to preservation of status quo, no matter how bad that is, rather than change. They'll allow North Korea to continue to be ruled by psychotic thugs who starve their people and destroy the land, just so long as the headlines don't 'get too bad' and then they don't engage in strategies to transform the country, just "manage the badness". This same aimless and pointless waste of time and energy and human life is pervades all the UN does. My father once served in a little armed vacation tour of Europe more than a half century ago, and his intense hatred of tyranny and repression pervades my thinking. Perhaps to adjust my future thinking, my parents bought storybooks of real life, people who were Jews in the concentration camps, people who were oppressed in eastern europe under the Soviets, stories of pre WWII tyrants, and in fact, even perspectives of life before the US was born. Perhaps that's the foundation of my intense and burning condemnation of all who can't bring themselves to even speak for, much less call to act for, the advancement of those who otherwise have no hope. Even the Palestinians fall under that category. They have no hope, no future, no possible peace or prosperity or justice or freedom under HAMAS, Fatah, or ANY of the murderous religio-political corrupt conglomerations over there. We have been blessed with freedom without equal in our nation's history. Our debt to those who bought that for us, is to extend it wherever, however, and to whoever we can. To be absolutely relentless in pursuit of it for others. That, my friend, is the means by which we will preserve it here.


Henry Clay Ruark January 7, 2009 8:26 am (Pacific time)

To all: One of the world's wisest economists put entire point into very few words: "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy: that is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." : John Kenneth Galbraith


Henry Ruark January 7, 2009 8:17 am (Pacific time)

H-rump: You wrote: "I stand on both the veracity and the obvious accuracy of my characteriziation of what's being posted here." I.e., YOUR view is the ONLY acceptable one, right ? Must be ONLY yours, since you ofer no other source, nor any documentation of your words. Op Ed and Staff carry both for mine. Yet you refuse ID as in any civil conversation; refuse direct contact, repeatedly offered; resort rapidly to professional denigration and personal attack; but never offer any documentation, or link to sources, or support from anyone with special knowledge or oversight (as for Pulitzer-winning reporter, in prestigious magazine.) To allathat I need only say: "Harumph-yourself, sir !" With an action beyond mere name-calling definitely intended. When will we see your full, detailed, documented, linked, and "see with own eyes" for "evaluation with own mind" report ? Your full opportunity has now been made completely official via Editor Tim's continued welcome for dissent, when civilly presented in our S-N open, honest, civil and very democratic channel. P/p to you sir, for what that may be worth to aid others in full realization of your very obvious motivations here. You are still welcome to ID self in full to Editor, for continued (civil-guaranteed !) diect contact via sources, page numbers, authoritative voices in print and broadcast and academia and from 50-year writer's files. What can you cite for yours ?


Rich January 7, 2009 7:47 am (Pacific time)

Henry Ruark you wrote: "To all: If that one re Ayn Rand too challenging for our two critics, here's simple one: Do you support granting of political free speech to corporations, allowing them to make corporate campaign contributions ?" Interesting question but should also include "Unions" along with corporations. No doubt both enities have membership/stockholders that disagree with their political "contributions." Of course stockholders can sell their stock or request a vote. Members in unions who disagree can do what? It appears not much. Opposite viewpoints of union leadership is not well received and can be a job ender, or maybe something else? My below statement that acknowledged a satisfaction with Harumphs below essay was based on my academic and life experience. To cite specific examples in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights would simply be an exercise in "cherry-picking", which is what the far left does. That is why I recommended one to read the above in it's entireity, rather than in bits and pieces. Henry Ruark I am in full agreement with you about providing sources/links, how about you in regards to my link to the Military Times that supported an opposite position of yours that did not have a source? I researched, even e-mailed different cable networks to see if anyone knew of your claim. All responded, by the way, that they did not know of your claimed data conclusions. Once again I would say that if one looked at a history book written before 1964 you would see a big difference. History is history, it does not change to a large degree, especially in regards to what happened prior to 1964. In addition the sources cited in these past publications are generally "primary" in nature. You rarely see that in current social science publications. Writers for some of the publications you have cited are generally of an editorial nature, so they really are inferior to any and all primary sources in my opinion.


Tim King January 7, 2009 12:00 am (Pacific time)

Hey Harumph, has it occurred to you that the way you approach things is part of the problem? When people keep it civil, so much can be delivered and discussed. You complain that we attack you and yet you completely dismantle our points of view. I think we can all keep it from being personal and it can go a long way. I don't like it when our visitors tell us they feel like they are unable to make their point.

For the record I believe every post you have placed here was approved. I often include a rebuttal because again, you come on very strong. There isn't necessarily anything wrong with that; but the dynamics are easy to trace. You are obviously a writer and you have plenty to say. I would consider publishing an article from you; maybe that is the best way for this to go. Let me know if so, you can email me if you are interested.

Regarding your point about how everyone in the world wants freedom; well that just seems too simple. I believe that people want and need food and shelter, and positive interaction with others is valuable. "Freedom" is an extremely subjective word, I'm sure you agree with that. George W.'s version of freedom is to kill lots of civilians, create tens of thousands of terrorists in the process, and then tell women that they can't seek an abortion or control their own reproductive rights. That's because the people who label themselves as "Christians" are often the people who do the dead opposite of what Jesus Christ wanted. Want to talk about that for a second?

I'd love to hear you explain to me how Jesus would approve of today's GOP and the war in Iraq. I did not meet ONE Iraqi last summer who believed we had helped Iraq.  But I guess you will say that all those people actually in Iraq are wrong, yes? Is that part of my progressive agenda?  The ones making money from the U.S. payroll are supportive, but stop paying them and see what happens. I can go on forever; Iraq was a functioning country when we attacked it. People there who were out of the political circle were living a stable existence.

Funding for the fight in Afghanistan was largely directed to Iraq and we have lost ground, particularly in southern Afghanistan, as a result of it. In the end you can rally for war until your dying day, but I think you are morally wrong for having that point of view. If genocide is taking place, then I can be supportive of military action. W. going after Saddam Hussein was pointless. Why aren't we in Burma? How about China?


Harumph January 6, 2009 11:15 pm (Pacific time)

(EUGENE, Ore.) - WHY is it we continue to face unreasonable and irrational, sometimes even threatening, reaction to all forward progress worldwide by those determined to “reverse-the-world back to the Middle Ages”? ARE there, even today, those who would prefer the social, cultural and --for sure-- the predominant ruling class economy/culture then in place? >>> Well, in those "old fashioned, 18th century ideals" you attack wholesale, "forward" means the advancement of individual rights - those "certain inalienable rights" to which every man is entitled by the virtue of being human, life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, among other things. The advancement of those ideas is now opposed by the self proclaimed "progressives" who insist that we cannot "force" freedom on people who do not want it. Yet, there is no race, ethnicity, tribe (we gotta keep Ruark's insulting references intact, you know), nation, nor any other natural grouping of people who do not have the longing for these freedoms within their heart. To not have those things would imply one is less than fully human. It is a fundamental element of humanity. Instead, these self proclaimed 'guardians of humanity' argue that we have no right to interfere with the course of nations ruled by tyrants. Nor that we have any right to declare tyrants... tyrants. They even seek to define our nation as 'tyranny' while praising real tyrannies around the world, ones that promise to give their people material goods and services. I'm sure you want to label me "neocon", which is meaningless and undefined, but has had much investment of time and money to plant a negative emotional reaction to the word and anyone labeled with the word. Yet, I believe that our blood, sweat and tears are well spent, to have removed a tyrant and started Iraq and possibly Afghanistan down the road that our nation once trod... the path to self governing liberty. Liberty which you now denigrate as "tribalist" and obsolete by virtue of age. Yet, less than one century ago was so prized by the generation of the day, they signed up to go to war and fight with every ounce of guts, courage, and strength they could muster, one of them being my father. You better believe it: Check out Comments received whenever any statement of “progressive” --much less “radical”-- political philosophy appears, anywhere. You’ll recall that Middle Age image of castle-on the-hill --occupied by you-know-who-- and that bitter/cottage village-below for you, me and all others. >>> More imagery, but again, completely void of any meaningful references, leaving one's context and imagination to fill in the blanks. Everything's implied, but nothing stated. This is the "buzzword" method of communicating, designed to make anyone who doesn't wish to fill in the blanks feel isolated or intimidated, a sense of being "outside" the circle of knowledge. Except it isn't a circle of knowledge. It's a shared "version" of reality. It is history, assumptions, ideas, often revision of history, all rolled up and packaged and you have no choice but accept or be excluded. Ruark and those like him allow no questioning of his assumptions and ideas. Either you accept the world of assumptions, presumptions, and "perspective", or you get treated with contempt and derision. Either you accept the whole packaged set of presumptions to participate, or you're mocked, derided, and attempts to get you to abandon what you know or think, in order to socially "fit in". In other words, the very definition of "anti-intellectual". Intellectuals do not fear disagreement. They thrive on it, because their ideas are so strong they can win by the force of those idea's strength alone. No need for personal attacks or intimidation or social pressure, or bullying. We all slaved away at whatever, while those born to the castle made the most of that accident-of birth and capital and cultural resources so inherited. Feudalism also demanded serf-service in continual wasting wars, you will note; not only to support “the royals” at varying levels but also to provide acquisition of richer resources by the power of bloody conquests. That early “Royalism” is what later became the “Fascism” we fought as authoritarian essence of anti-democracy during two World Wars. The basic principle of both is “imperial power overwhelming any other conceptual pattern provided for governance, in any culture or economy.” That puts at great risk the absolutely essential American “consent of the governed” concept - what Lincoln famously phrased as “...of the people, by the people, for the people”. Do you doubt for even a moment that many in like position today, with capital resources at hand from any unearned-income flow, do not still cling possessively to precisely the same political philosophy? >> Again, this whole "you must accept all our premises and assumptions and the basis of our philosophy or be personally absused" nonsense continues. Of course, this will be denied, and done so with another volley of insulting and derisive insults, if anyone has the guts to publish it here. But, I stand on both the veracity and the obvious accuracy of my characteriziation of what's being posted here. In other words, once pointed out, it becomes "self evident". Whatever the response to the attack style of writing, the "substance" of the above is... well, non-existent. The commentary has implied contemporary parallels, but absolutely NO debate over any of it's accuracy or reality will ever occur. Not in a respectful peer to peer fashion. But, written in the "I am your intellectual superior, you tribalist idiot" style of a condescending barrage of insults. And, I dare you to actually engage in real communication, not your fake "intellectual coercion" nonsense.


Harumph January 6, 2009 10:24 pm (Pacific time)

Harumph: Thank you, sir, for your very revealing, even if somewhat garbled, >> Translation to real english: "You're ignorant and illiterate". philosophical dissertation from the 18th Century. >> Translation: You're not "with it". Ignore all those tried and true ideas, and leap with unfounded yet unquestioning faith into the modern world where us "academics" abandon everything we knew and adopt lots of silly, foolish, ideas that have never worked." Politics in this modern day it ain't... >> I suppose you're right. However, I'm not prepared to abandon the notions in the Constitution. I happen to value my rights, freedoms, and the blessings of liberty. Just because your ideas are framed as "modern" doesn't make them good, or even moral. If THAT, too, is "opaque rhetoric", so be it...clear lines do exist between what your tribe from past centuries believes, and what is now demanded for this 21st Century. >>> Please note the not even veiled personal insult. Note that nowhere does any idea I advocate or believe in get mentioned, merely the use of the "tribe" word, to make the reader believe that I am uncivil, unsophisticated, socially deficient, among other implications of the notion of tribalism vs civilization or democracy. If that were non-sense, as yours is nonsense, we would not now be facing the painful actions clearly demanded >>> There has been no "clear demand" other than in your imagination. --and chosen by Americans via O's huge mandate, >>> More gobbledygook. Vaguely a quarter of the population voted for Obama, about the same proportion for McCain. Obama barely won his primary, Obviously there was NO groundswell of support for Obama, and even less for his ideas, as Obama's campaign was based purely on "change" with whatever that meant left to the imagination of the listener. which no nonsense from you et al can obscure or even lessen in true impact, now and for decades to come. >>> I have no need of obscuring anything. All I have to do is paint the picture in stark terms and I win. Every time. Best wishes for this New Century, already here; albeit I doubt if you can ever truly appreciate the changes already here, with more hugely formative ones yet to come. >>> "New Century" capitalized, the implication meaning that the change in the 100's place in the year has somehow altered the realities of our world, society, people, or even economy. It did not. "Hugely formative" changes. Wow. Again, nice descriptive words, but absolutely and utterly lacking in any useful information. You might wish to seek out some palliative prescription via resort to other channels, offsetting the "poisonous" rhetoric we will continue here for those now awakened from past policy debacles from your tribesmen over the past 40 years, surely as formative as the Revolutionary times you distort/pervert so cannily. Your participation thus truly appreciated for what its own structure and meaning clearly demonstrates it to be -- even without any assistance from my possibly-revealing rhetoric. >>> To sum it up, your reply was uncivil, arrogant, filled with personal insults, and in NO way addressed anything of any substance whatsoever. Just like your original post on the topic.


Anonymous January 6, 2009 8:48 pm (Pacific time)

AS for this website, I will continue to view frequently. Not bad guys and gals. keep up the good work.


Henry Ruark January 6, 2009 4:31 pm (Pacific time)

To all: If that one re Ayn Rand too challenging for our two critics, here's simple one: Do you support granting of political free speech to corporations, allowing them to make corporate campaign contributions ? That certainly has extreme Constitutional relevance, demanding clear insight into what the Founders intended in not only the First Amendment but in their characterization of what constituted a "human being" with all those rights inevitable to that status.


Henry Ruark January 6, 2009 3:26 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Here's pertinent quote which may sound familiar after last several Comments from Hrump and RM: "We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force. " : Ayn Rand in "The Nature of Government". Inevitable question to both of these gentleman participants: Do you support that view from Ayn Rand ?


Henry Ruark January 6, 2009 3:18 pm (Pacific time)

RM: Your "me, too !" Comment also fails, be it noted, to cite ANY kind of support, relying solely on your own words --again ! IF Constitution is so relevant here, why NOT cite the exact words, then support your OWN understanding via rational and reasonable explanation ? It IS relevant, very surely, but not on distorted/perverted interpretation set on it via noise machine for the 40 years you mention, and earlier,too. That is only point accurately communicated in yours, sir, and if you wish to cite and explain Constitutional points, please proceed...honest, open democratic dialog always welcome here, even if ever achieved by known past bad faith participants. We can always hope that learning may occur from further sharing here.


Henry Ruark January 6, 2009 3:09 pm (Pacific time)

RM et al: The painful truth about trutj is that so few can recognize it when uncovered, or appreciate it beyond their life-experience biases. That's WHY we had Revolution in '76, and why another is already underway, even if not so noisy nor painfully evident YET. Given the huge-mandate Obama opportunity, recreating the creative "surround" of '76, we can do better, and must do so, with the arrival of Century21. To do otherwise is to revert to the failed situation of the Articles of Confederation (see Op Ed) -- precisely where we started more than 230 years ago. Have we learned NOTHING in all those painful decades ??


Rich Millison January 6, 2009 1:51 pm (Pacific time)

Harumph that was an excellent essay ( your 11:34 P.M. post). My guess is that you went to a school/college whose instructor's taught history the way it was, not how the radicals attempt to remake it, which began in earnest around 40 years ago. People should pick up an old college history textbook[pre 1964] and see what real history was and how it was taught.
Thomas Jefferson said: “When the government fears the people, there is freedom. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” I believe you did cite a source, the only primary source for your below essay theme, the U.S. Constitution. People should read it fully, not in bits and pieces, for the latter is what the radicals count on. Ignorance is their friend, facts are their enemy.

Tim King: There we radicals go again spouting this painful thing called "truth".  


Henry Ruark January 6, 2009 11:40 am (Pacific time)

To all: Please note that H-rump cites NO documentation, reference, or other back-up, depending ONLY, exclusively, absolutely on his own personal, openly neocon-derived interpretation of issues and history far removed from that shown in recognized sources, such as The Federalist Papers and Constitutional history. In addition please note the Op Ed cites a Pulitzer Prize-winner reporter via actual quote, and the Reader's Note gives reference to its source in the world-recognized magazine which just won the most prestigious prize in American magazine publishing. Is that open, honest, dialog via Op Ed ? IF H-rump has ever read Federalist Papers he can now easily cite any reference by page and edition, to prove up what he has so radically said publicly, thus open to full challenge for honest dialog here...or via direct contact if he fully-ID's self to Editor.


Henry Ruark January 6, 2009 9:28 am (Pacific time)

S-Vet et al: You are entirely correct, sir, fear is NOT their only weapon, but only among the most deadly and effective for most persons, especially those left uninformed by the massive failures of our vaunted free press to truly inform the people. Thanks for your participation here, sharing a parallel insight surely both relevant and significant to the point of the Op Ed.


Henry Ruark January 6, 2009 8:35 am (Pacific time)

Harumph: Thank you, sir, for your very revealing, even if somewhat garbled, philosophical dissertation from the 18th Century. Politics in this modern day it ain't... If THAT, too, is "opaque rhetoric", so be it...clear lines do exist between what your tribe from past centuries believes, and what is now demanded for this 21st Century. If that were non-sense, as yours is nonsense, we would not now be facing the painful actions clearly demanded --and chosen by Americans via O's huge mandate, which no nonsense from you et al can obscure or even lessen in true impact, now and for decades to come. Best wishes for this New Century, already here; albeit I doubt if you can ever truly appreciate the changes already here, with more hugely formative ones yet to come. You might wish to seek out some palliative prescription via resort to other channels, offsetting the "poisonous" rhetoric we will continue here for those now awakened from past policy debacles from your tribesmen over the past 40 years, surely as formative as the Revolutionary times you distort/pervert so cannily. Your participation thus truly appreciated for what its own structure and meaning clearly demonstrates it to be -- even without any assistance from my possibly-revealing rhetoric.


Subvet416 January 6, 2009 6:48 am (Pacific time)

Fear is not the only thing fascists like to feed on. "Langer, a psychiatrist, was commissioned by the Allies in 1943 to prepare a thorough psychological study of Hitler. His report, kept under wraps for 29 years, was published in book form in 1972 as The Mind of Adolf Hitler. Langer writes that Hitler was certainly a coprophile (a person who is sexually aroused by human excrement) and may have practiced homosexuality as an adult. He cites the testimony of Hermann Rauschning, a former Hitler confidante... Hitler, if homosexual, was certainly not exclusively so. There are at least four women, including his own niece, with whom Hitler had sexual relationships, although these relationships were not normal. Both Waite and Langer suggest that his sexual encounters with women included expressions of his coprophilic perversion as well as other extremely degrading forms of masochism. It is interesting to note that all four women attempted suicide after becoming sexually involved with Hitler. Two succeeded. (Langer:175f)." Source Modernhistoryproject.org


Harumph January 5, 2009 11:34 pm (Pacific time)

Wow. That whole column, and nothing but pseudo-intellectual rhetoric. "Progressive" is nothing more than the philosophy of "tax the productive and use the money to buy the votes for those who aren't by promising them an easy life at someone else's expense". That is the very definition of the corruption that the American Revolution was fought over and to get away from. YOu have the gall to cite the founding of our nation. Our founding fathers designed our nation to PRECISELY NOT be what you want it to be. They knew that government by it's own nature is like fire... self serving and consuming all it is given. They gave it only a limited few things to do, the list is in the Constitution, and not very extensive. And then, they gave us two amendments... The 10th being the most important, that says... What it isn't charged specifically with doing... It is prohibited from doing. This was protect the people from ideas like yours. To ensure that the minority of productive could never be turned into the slaves to produce for the majority - like you want. Our federal government's only legitemate role is to defend the individual. To protect him from enemies within and from outside the country, to defend his rights, and to defend the individual's sovereignty over himself. To prevent tyranny, the federal government was never to pick favorites and punitive targets by group or individual. It was not to distribute the means of one to another, for political advantage or purpose. Instead, government became the decider of all things. It became more important to lobby Congress than to run your business. Government had such an influence and so much control over everything, that in some cases, it became the largest item to deal with in managing your enterprise. You bemoan the effect of corporate (or any) influence peddling on Washington DC. But you set yourself up for it, by declaring the power of success, failure, and the ultimate authority over myriad items in the daily life of Americans. You wanted it, you got the results you desperately wanted. Now you come here and claim that MORE is the answer, not less. Today, every business interest in the country is standing at the trough in DC, and your guys are writing blank checks to them, drawn on the taxpayers, so fast you can't even add the figures up that fast. Your ideas, your foolish ideology is the fault, the reason, the problem. It has brought us every problem you rail against... and yet you claim that more of it is the solution. Small wonder your columns consist of buzzwords, jargon, and otherwise obscuring run-on flourishes of rhetoric. Nobody would ever fall for the idea that your money goes farther if you filter it through Congress. Nor that taxing employment makes more of it. Nor that buying the votes of the non-producing by taking the wages of the producers is in any way even moral. No, nobody would fall for that nonsense if it wasn't obscured with emotion, smoke, and opaque rhetoric.

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