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Is the steam going out of the Tea Party?

Mark Mardell | 02:29 UK time, Friday, 16 April 2010

"We stand here today to reclaim our destiny!" proclaimed the speaker at the Tea Party movement's rally in the centre of the capital. It marked the culmination of a day of protests, to mark the date when all Americans have to hand in their tax forms. It was a gorgeous, sunny Thursday evening, better suited to lounging around on the grassy hill beneath the Washington Monument than counter-revolutionary fervour.

"Make them pay - make them go away!" he yelled repeatedly but the crowd failed to take up the chant. One woman said to her friends: "Make him go away." Not that she disagreed with the sentiment, he just wasn't very inspiring.

Tea Party rally in Washington DC 15 April 2010A few thousand people had come out to mark the culmination of a day of protests. When I asked why so few, people pointed out, absolutely fairly, that it was an evening in the middle of the week and that their were rallies not just in the capital, but all over the country.

The mood was more like a good natured rock concert than the fury of last summer's town hall gatherings. Perhaps a sort of guarded optimism has replaced the anger. But it is hard to know where the Tea Party movement is heading.

The harsh speeches from the stage, the banners depicting Obama as Mao, the warnings of loss of liberty and dictatorship only a step away are in contrast with the often rather measured worries of the people holding them.

Behind the rhetoric tax is the very traditional concern. The president has filed his tax returns, paying $1,792,414 in federal income tax from his income of $ 5,505,409. Few of the people gathered a stone's throw from his home will pay that much, but they all feel what they do pay is too much.

Lauren Boer sits on a wall beneath the monument watching the speeches. She is not rich and she tells me she is fed up with the bailouts, which she says have helped people who bought homes far above their means. She says when her husband was made redundant they lived on rice and beans for eight months to make ends meet and to pay $10,000 tax on what she says is a "shoebox" of a home.

Tea Party rally in Washington DC 15 April 2010"What am I, some sort of idiot to get up and go to work at 4.45 every morning while they sit at home on the coach in a mansion watching Oprah?"

She is of course holding her own hand-made banner.

One of the noticeable features of Tea Party rallies is the lovingly-crafted placards, some with stinging slogans - "If you don't love America, leave!" - others with cramped words, detailed arguments and even graphs.

But Washington's canny street sales men have wised up to this gathering of free market enthusiasts. A man in dreadlocks waves printed banners with the Tea Party patriots snake and "Don't step on me", and the dollars roll in. The politicians and think tanks too want to capture and directed this inchoate force.


A survey by the New York Times indicates that the average Tea Party supporter is a well-off, well-educated married white man over 45. It seems to me a bit more diverse than that. Almost exclusively white certainly, but there are many women, quite a few young people and lots of families. A prim looking mum, dad and two kids all weaning T-shirts proclaiming "Parental rights group" watch as a lanky Goth woman in extremely skimpy shorts goes by shouting "Liberty!"

Tea Party rally in Washington DC 15 April 2010"I suspect the politicians will succeed in harnessing and neutering this force. The Tea Party has beliefs, aims and ambitions by the barrel-load but no focus. Movements prosper when they have a clear - and achievable - objective. In fact, curiously for people motivated by a distrust of politicians and disliked of Washington, most of their energy will be spent on electing more Republicans and more conservative Republicans in November, and then trusting them to do the right thing when they get to Washington.

This is very far from a programme.

Matt Lewandowski is watching the rally with his family, all in Patriot T-shirts. He tells me: "Every day they are taking more rights, taxing us to death. Charging their charge card to the moon." He says he doesn't want his grandchildren to pay for the debt the government is creating.

So I ask him how he would cut the deficit. Do away with Medicare (free health care for the retired) for instance? Not that. Cut the huge defence budget? No, not that either. So what? He says: "Cut people out of government, get rid of a lot of people. Get rid of all the waste."

After years covering politics I rather despair when I hear politicians fall back on this, but it is said so often that voters can hardly be blamed for thinking it is a solution. When push comes to shove, politicians in government never quite find those huge savings. Not that there isn't waste, but it is not significant compared to big projects. But real choices are hard.

Outside the park a young man sits with a small banner that tries to point this out. It reads "Stop socialized medicine - close military hospitals". I wonder what sort of response he's been getting.

"Mostly thumbs up. They don't get it. It's kinda funny."

Comments

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  • 1. At 02:57am on 16 Apr 2010, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    Mark Mardell:

    I honestly, hope that the steam is leaving the Tea Party and the motivation that they are using!

    (D)

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  • 2. At 03:12am on 16 Apr 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Steam? It always was a minor phenomenon compared to the attention it received from the media. Reporters love controversy, the wackier the better.

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  • 3. At 03:29am on 16 Apr 2010, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    It's hard to say where the movement will go now, but I think a lot of those people will continue to remind people of the national debt and Obama's policies at least until the November elections. If anything, they will be an important voting block in the November elections.

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  • 4. At 05:29am on 16 Apr 2010, TeaPot562 wrote:

    One could start reducing Federal expenditures by closing military bases in friendly countries that really don't want the bases where they currently are. Example: We have a sizable military installation in the middle of Seoul, Korea. Better we should arrange to trade that acreage to the S. Korean govt. for similar acreage in a more rural setting; sell the downtown base and buy a couple of farms.
    Do we really need the many bases that we have around the world?
    Also, a number of military "bases" were set up in the past and now serve no function: example: in San Francisco, the Presidio originally had cannons focused on the entrance to San Francisco bay. It is now valuable acreage, and could be sold to the highest bidder, with the proceeds used to pay down the national debt. Other former bases around the US could also be released to the private sector, in order to generate taxes to the state and local govts.
    If the City of San Francisco wants to maintain the Presidio as a museum, let them pay the Federal govt. for the property.
    Considering bases in the US is off the main purpose of the thread; but closing bases and selling off land could at least begin the process of reducing the size of the federal govt., which is supposedly what the Tea Party Movement is about.
    TeaPot562
    P.S. My blog handle has no relationship to the Tea Party movement as such.

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  • 5. At 05:58am on 16 Apr 2010, ag42b wrote:

    The movement isn't particularly widespread where I live, but having recently lost my modestly paying job of 30 years due to "lack of work", I can sympathize with some of these folks' sentiments. Taxes go up, wages don't, and pork barrel expenditures and bailouts for failed businesses anger many average working people. We are Taxed Enough Already. The Tea Party movement has no really well known leadership, and will probably fade into obscurity over time.

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  • 6. At 08:50am on 16 Apr 2010, Christopher Lord wrote:

    The sad truth is that the Tea Party movement has mobilised a large section of white America which has indeed been left out of the equation in the political process. What is sad about it is that there is a reason they have been excluded: namely that their views are so infantile and preposterous that all anybody in power can realistically do is ignore them. The flash in the pan idea that suddenly this moronised suburban cannon-fodder is going to get the chance to drive policy soon burns out in the oxygen of reality. They are what I believe Americans identify as 'rubes'. The temptation for the Republicans to gull them with some simplistic untruths is overwhelming, especially when you also factor in some honest to goodness all-American profit-based policy-making by consultancy operations with corporate backing. By the time any of this gets translated into votes, the Tea Party movement will have become a part of the very political machinery they believe they are destroying, and the only ones still wearing the t-shirts will be those too dull-witted to read a newspaper, or indeed anything more complicated than baseball scores.

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  • 7. At 09:31am on 16 Apr 2010, shiveringofforgottenenemies wrote:

    Spin, spin, spin, Mark! Shame on you!

    The Tea Party isn't a "movement"...it is a groundswell of DISCONTENT that has no outlet in our electoral process. Sure it's mostly middle-aged people, they have voted all their lives and come to realize that the politicians value "clout" over honesty. They have seen Rangle, guilty of corruption, on the podium at the signing of that rotten Health Care Reform...they have seen the drunken scandals, the drugs, the sex scandals and they are DISGUSTED with American politics and politicians.

    Stop being so patronizing, Mark. The Tea Party is about FRUSTRATION and it is a backlash against decades of being TOLD what is "politically correct". It is about Americans reasserting their right to make their own judgement and have their own opinions....it is a recognition that we are being fed PROPAGANDA by Obama and all of his talking heads. These are Americans who are FED UP with the professional spin-doctoring.

    They look at the 13 million illegals in this country and they KNOW its WRONG. They look at the $15 billion of cocaine coming into the country and they know that this is crazy. They look at the billions being poured into schools and know it has not improved education. They are finding that they cannot take PRIDE in this America.

    The people who actually get out for a rally with their home-made signs might be the "fringe" of the Tea Party...but they represent the tip of the iceberg. The discontent with the way America is governed runs DEEP. This is not a small pressure group like the gays. These are not a band of people living illegally in our country making demands. This is a massive stirring of MILLIONS of Americans who are FED UP with the federal government constant expansion, and fed up with the liberals.

    So, no, the Tea Party will not lose steam...Obama himself is stoking the boiler!

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  • 8. At 10:04am on 16 Apr 2010, cmulder003 wrote:

    the "tea party" shows all the rest of the world alreay knows about the USA.
    Its a racist selfish dumb country that is a danger to other countries.

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  • 9. At 11:08am on 16 Apr 2010, John McLaren wrote:

    The Tea Party phenomenom is just retro McCarthyism given a lift by the internet. Twitter gives @RedScareBot, Facebook scores of others. If you don't support God, Apple Pie, Shooting, Hunting, Fishing etc. and especially if you support Health Care Reform you must be a Communist/Marxist/Socialist (but ask them the difference)

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  • 10. At 11:11am on 16 Apr 2010, Mark Jackson wrote:

    7. At 09:31am on 16 Apr 2010, shiveringofforgottenenemies wrote:

    ---------------

    Nice to see Sarah Palin's speechwriters contributing to the BBC, you'd think they'd be busy inventing threats or fear-mongering.

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  • 11. At 11:47am on 16 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    I have no doubt that Tea Party members are motivated and determined to pursue their goals, but their message does not seem to be resonating at a national level and it only elicits enthusiastic endorsement from those in the political fringes.

    Calls for lower taxes when the federal income tax rates have gone down and revenues are insufficient to pay for the services we receive only appeal to those who don't understand the implications of what they are proposing or don't care for the security and stability of our country.

    Claims of socialism because the healthcare reform legislation that just passed covers most American citizens sounds hollow when you consider that the new program uses private insurance carriers to administer it. The same is true for the changes that President Obama proposed yesterday for NASA which include, among other things, the transfer of many manned space flight design, development, testing and operational responsibilities from civil servants to private industry. If this is what the Tea Party considers socialism I can only imagine what capitalism means to them.

    Philosophical issues are important, but they lose their appeal when hyperbole and distortion of the truth become the vehicle to deliver the message. Add to that the determination of Tea Party advocates to replace moderate Republicans with members of the far right and the likely outcome is rejection from within.

    Logic and reality are seldom a consideration when it comes to political campaigning, but the Tea Party tactics and ther message are so extreme and incoherent that they are likely to kill what could have been a powerful element in national elections.

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  • 12. At 11:55am on 16 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 8, cmulder

    "the "tea party" shows all the rest of the world alreay knows about the USA.
    Its a racist selfish dumb country that is a danger to other countries."

    I am not so sure about that. What the Tea Party movement is likely to show the rest of the world is that the USA is a country that allows people of different political and social persuasions to voice their opinions with freedom and without fear of retribution, in contrast with what happens in so many other countries where people don't express their political and social views because of fear of persecution, incarceration and even death.


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  • 13. At 12:10pm on 16 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    First ignore the NYT the legitamacy of them as a honest news source was debunked years ago.

    the Tea Party has a limited economic agenda, they are well articulated and certanatly more credible than say the grassroots of the SEIU, Code Pink and ACORN.

    They are adiverse group despite what the infiltrators from liberal hate groups tried to con the media with.

    Joe Trippi a democratic strategists says the Democrats better taken them seriously.

    Keep the target on Reid and Boxer

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  • 14. At 12:35pm on 16 Apr 2010, JohnD wrote:

    The main-stream media does not understand the movement. The MSM reports that the majority of americans will get a large tax refund this year, and the main-stream public cannot project their thought process beyond this year. There is no way that taxes will not increase over the next few years. The administration has floated a european style VAT which is not cover by the MSM. The TEA party understands that the adminstration's pay out to the general public this year in terms of tax credits was done to placate the main-stream public into thinking this boat is not going to sink.

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  • 15. At 12:44pm on 16 Apr 2010, American Sport Fan wrote:

    "Tea Party", try to draw their "inspiration" from the Boston Tea Party of 1773, which ended up putting the state of Massachuessette under direct military rule by the British Government under General Gage and then General Howe. They like to think of themselves as a modern day sons of liberty, opposed to the Governments ability to raise taxes.

    However, the Son of Liberty were not opposed to the idea of taxation in and of itself. There complaint was over the fact that the British Government had taxed the colonies with out their consent, and with out them having any say over it in Parliament. That does not mean that they were opposed to the idea of paying taxes, as the tea party would like us to believe. Indeed, john adams actually would support a tax on whiskey after becoming vice president in 1790, which would lead to a rebellion in eastern Pennslyvania that my ancestors fought in.

    My own opinion on the "teaparty" is that they have been somewhat over hyped, especially by FOX NEWS which seems to have a vested interest in promoting their cause. Their rallies have never really attacted the "huge numbers" that they have claimed because camera angles have been able to show how small their numbers actually are. Aerial Shots tend to show smaller crowds, while direct shots of the crowd can make it appear as if there are more people attend than their actually are. Most media, never used the aeral photography and used close up shots, which of course are going to make the crowds look larger than they actuall are.

    Because of this, they were able to gain a measure of momentum and have wielded more influence in the conservative movement that perhaps they deserve. It's seems that every member of the conservative movement seems to bend ovr backwards to agree with everything the tea party wants. Because of this, the Republican Party has become the party of "No", causing the very gridlock the Teaparty claims they want to prevent.

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  • 16. At 12:56pm on 16 Apr 2010, JohnD wrote:

    You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

    “When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”

    Adrian Pierce Rogers

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  • 17. At 1:04pm on 16 Apr 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    I think they would have been more successful if they had fashioned their motto after the Whiskey Rebellion. Firstly because it was more like what them tea partiers are whinging about, and secondly because nothing says 'party' like whiskey.

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  • 18. At 1:09pm on 16 Apr 2010, lancelot83 wrote:

    As an american, I can tell you that it's not a matter of the tea parties losing steam. The evidence is simple in that yesterday, (tax day) April 15th, the numbers turning out across the U.S. were much larger than they've been over the past year.

    It is true that they are not very organized. But if they were organized I personally would be very impressed. To pull together a movement of this size and organize it more so than simply showing support for the individual freedoms we have in america in ~1 year is truly astonishing when you step back for a moment. These are simply people who are beginning to pay attention to the shift in american policy and then coming out to show support and nothing more. In the corporate world, I've seen small groups of people take several months to pull a simple initiative or corporate project together and yet this group has accomplished that on a much grander scale in roughly one year. What this translates to is an awakening of people who until the election of Obama simply trusted the american political system to work as it has for over 200 years. All are witnessing a subtle shift to socialistic policies and this has people waking up, paying attention and speaking out.

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  • 19. At 1:29pm on 16 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 10, Mark

    "Nice to see Sarah Palin's speechwriters contributing to the BBC, you'd think they'd be busy inventing threats or fear-mongering."

    Let's hope Mark doesn't start winking and wearing oversized Japanese glasses. That would be a lot scarier than listening to the Comedy Central speeches delivered by good ole Sarah.

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  • 20. At 2:10pm on 16 Apr 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    The ignorant attract the media. Numbers were very small, deserving of much less attention but the media likes to determine what is news. Jingleisms and underlying racism. These are the folks that are the dupes of big business and convinced to vote against their own self interest. American Taliban.

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  • 21. At 2:22pm on 16 Apr 2010, Radical Moderate wrote:

    The most scary thing about the Tea Party people is the fact that at least some are educated and "successful". One reader aptly described their behavior as a tantrum, but what is truly frightening is their total lack of understanding of how a democratic country works!! They just HAD 8 years of their man in Washington, and look where it got us. The danger in their behavior is the role model it creates for the "dangerous classes", who need little excuse for disruptive behavior. It is really playing with fire, and I fervently hope a majority of Americans reject this "insurrection-Lite"!

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  • 22. At 2:25pm on 16 Apr 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    “We stand here today to reclaim our destiny!"
    It may have been a good idea to ask this person, “And your destiny, what would that be?”
    At the very least this may have given us some idea of where the Tea Party movement is heading.
    I believe the Tea Party Movement is an inevitable expression of the American People getting fed-up - with everything except food.
    Further, I don’t believe (regardless of what the Times Survey indicates) that the average Tea Party supporter is a well-off, well-educated married. If this were true, as you insinuate, the Tea Party would have more focus; instead, the members are all over the spectrum, and when protestors get all over the spectrum, it is usually means gneralized discontent compounded by a feeling of extreme impotence – except for all the guns floating around in the United States of America.
    Over the past year, the Tea Party movement — originally stoked by the stimulus bill & taxpayer bailouts - came out strongly against more Government spending – on anything and everything. The shot-gun approach.
    Is the steam going out of the Tea Party?
    No, it’s just not boiling yet.
    There will come an issue that will take it from simmer to boil, and will do so with the speed of lightening.
    At that time, the insurrectuion will be unfocused, dangerous and armed – aiming at whomever these Tea-Partiers believe is not grass-roots American, and that could include Immigrants and Democrats.
    I find this movement, because it is so unfocused (but likely well-armed), very volatile and explosive.

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  • 23. At 2:31pm on 16 Apr 2010, Phaedra wrote:

    It is funny, but it's also sad.

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  • 24. At 2:33pm on 16 Apr 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Spring hopes eternal, doesn't it, MM?


    But perhaps you should wait with your diagnosis till November?


    P.S. Good luck on May 6th.

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  • 25. At 2:49pm on 16 Apr 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:


    Compressed hot air blows.
    Hear the pretty whistle tweet?
    Soon, the Tea grows cold.

    Last night I had a lovely discussion with some folks about whether "Pop Culture" was dead. In light of the communications revolution of the IT Age, the persona of our National (and Global) Village has become a bit schizophrenic. Small groups here think they are everyone. They aren't. So, the center doesn't hold, things fall apart.


    More 2 the pnt:
    I know there is a very real sense of dissatisfaction (cultural anomie, if you will) that has permeated American Culture for 2-3 generations. Some might think the Tea Party represents the 'Political Movement of Frustration'. It doesn't. This, too, shall pass.

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  • 26. At 2:55pm on 16 Apr 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:


    8. At 10:04am on 16 Apr 2010, cmulder003 wrote:
    the "tea party" shows all the rest of the world alreay knows about the USA.
    Its a racist selfish dumb country that is a danger to other countries.

    ____

    Your blithe over-generalizations sadden me.
    You speak with the same Pre-Judging (aka prejudiced) voice that you attribute to US.

    Pot, have you met Kettle? You have so much in common...
    So sry. Game ovr. Try agn.

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  • 27. At 3:13pm on 16 Apr 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    @SaintDominick (#12)
    Dare I say that sage wisdom once again prevails? I'm sry to use the "w" word. Sometimes it just applies.
    ___

    Here in America, we believe in free information.
    You are allowed to express you opinion, no matter how idiotic.
    I may not agree with what an idiot has to say, but I will defend their right to express gaseous fumes.

    Heck, that's why I think the Congressional Jedi Tweet Archive is a fine idea. Go ahead, make my day. Spew vitriol and idiotic tripe. We, the collective eye of The People, are watching...


    @ JohnD:
    RE: "The TEA party understands that the adminstration's pay out to the general public this year in terms of tax credits was done to placate the main-stream public into thinking this boat is not going to sink."

    Ah... but do YOU realize that Bush (and most of his GOP predecessors) did the same thing? It's a very old trick. It is one of the few tools that Washington DC has to keep the proletariat happy -- and the GOP was VERY good at blowing smoke at mirrors.

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  • 28. At 3:14pm on 16 Apr 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    #16 Cute cliches, now please apply this logic to situation where 20% of population holds 80% of wealth and pays 60% of tax revenue received. The old trickle down theory of economics is akin to the peeing on your own foot theory of economics (once again, 'Whisky Rebellion' would have been better name for the movement, because whiskey rebellers much more likely to pee on own feet)

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  • 29. At 3:49pm on 16 Apr 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    From the raw, early figures I can find through various news sources; I am willing to bet that far more people attended the Starbuck's "Tax Day" free coffee campaign than joined in the various and scattered Tea Party rallies throughout the country, yesterday.

    There is little, if no unity within the Tea Party 'movement'. The "Tea Party" itself is little more than a catch-all title for a scattering of small, quibbling groups who cannot agree on an agenda even between individual groups. Those groups I study, here in Michigan, are noted for frantic bursts of great passion and pledges of commitment; followed by long episodes of idle lethargy and wavering involvement.

    As it stands today the movement is hardly one of much real political clout. More like a mosquito in the tent. Makes a lot of noise. Gets in an occasional bite on exposed flesh. More annoying than significant.

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  • 30. At 4:06pm on 16 Apr 2010, SomeGuy141 wrote:

    Why is it these conservatives are getting so upset over government spending by a democrat, when they were thrilled to know that George Bush was spending billions of taxpayer dollars on false intelligence about WMDs, but everyone knows Republicans only love Republicans.

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  • 31. At 4:41pm on 16 Apr 2010, carolinalady wrote:

    Ah, Philly-mom and frayedcat, thanks for making me laugh today. I'm in the midst of a discussion on another blog with a TeaPartier who thinks I'm a schoolteacher because I actually know that Karl Marx held some pretty complex theories regarding production and distribution of goods and wealth. She, however, boils it all down to the slogan: "from each according...etc." and "stands by" all previous statements identifying the President as a Marxist. Oy gevault. I do wish somebody would teapot-whistle timeout on these folks and send them to Miss Manners' Remedial Etiquette for Dummies.

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  • 32. At 5:01pm on 16 Apr 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    I've seen third party movements come and go before and the Tea Party shows no signs of being a lasting movement.

    If the U.S. had a parliamentary style government a third party could win seats in Congress and possibly implement some of their agenda. Unfortunately, in our winner take all electoral system they have almost no chance of winning any elections and all they are likely to accomplish is to split the conservative vote to the benefit of Obama and the Democrats.

    And Bluesberry (post #22), your assessment of the Tea Party as a bunch of armed conservatives with a hair trigger waiting to start a revolution sounds like liberal propaganda. The people attending tea Party rallies are believers in our constitutional form of government, not a bunch of wild eyed anarchists out to overthrow the State.

    Your remarks do hoewever explain why liberals hate and fear the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms: they seek to disarm everyone lest they someday miscalulate and push their leftist agenda too far too fast and cause people to rise up and cry "Enough!" It will be much easier to turn us all into good little servants of the state if we lack the means to resist.

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  • 33. At 5:25pm on 16 Apr 2010, St George wrote:

    I am not so sure about that. What the Tea Party movement is likely to show the rest of the world is that the USA is a country that allows people of different political and social persuasions to voice their opinions with freedom and without fear of retribution, in contrast with what happens in so many other countries where people don't express their political and social views because of fear of persecution, incarceration and even death.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    You talk as if this is something exclusive to the USA, Any western democracy has this right so lets congratulate america for doing the bear minimum in terms of human rights.

    The problem with these tea parties are that they tend to be white middle age, racist, god fearing, right wing nut jobs. In any reasonable country these clowns would be a small part of the poulation, Sadly my experience travelling the USA is that they still have huge civil rights issues and for the most goddy nation on the planet have very little tolerance for their fellow man. This is not surprising if you ever tune in to Fox News or CNN looking at the level of trash they spew out on a daily basis.

    Really the USA has come as far as it is ever going to, They've reached the top and are now on the way down. The bad news for the rest of the world is that China will be more than ready to fill the void when the time comes!

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  • 34. At 5:37pm on 16 Apr 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    A great idea to help USA's economy is to kick all the illegal immigrants out of our country. They are stealing our jobs, costing us billions of dollars, do not pay taxes and worst of all, we don't know who they are- they could be robbers/murderers/terrorists/ect. A rancher in Arizona was recently killed by illegal immigrants and every day there is more violence from the horrible drug gangs, who have no morals or values.

    The illegal immigrants are beginning to overwhelm America. It is like there are two Americas- one America made up of legal citizens and another America made up of illegal citizens.

    We are not one America and will not be one America until we ship the illegal immigrants out. This would truly unify our country as one America, as well as increase the bond with legal immigrants who abide by our laws and adapt to our country.

    It is not up to us to accomodiate illegal immigrants or adapt to their customs. Illegal immigrants must accomodiate us by coming to America the legal way. That is all we ask.

    It is a really bizarre feeling to grow up in America, living here your whole life, paying your taxes and abiding by the law, then you grow up and read in the paper about how it is illegal to ask an illegal immigrant their status, even if they might be a terrorist. This does not make sense. Illegals are criminals. It is about time we began treating them like criminals.

    Unfortantely, it is regrettable when legal immigrants get caught up in the mess. If an immigrant comes here legally, they are a USA citizen and a part of America. But there would be less harassment toward legal immigrants, if we kicked out all the illegal immigrants, because we would know our govt. knows who they are and that they are legal.

    Illegals do not belong here. If President Obama tried to grant the illegals amnesty or USA citizenship, there would be a giant uprising, way huger than the Tea Party. It would be America against Obama.

    To save America's economy, we need to ship out all the illegal immigrants as soon as possible. This would save us billions in resources, medical costs, decrease the deficit and give us our jobs back.

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  • 35. At 5:53pm on 16 Apr 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    Hmmm maybe the tea party should have called itself the "nobility"...

    I mean if most teapartiers are wealthy and white as MM sez who can blame them, they just trying to stay on top -

    All those years of ripping off the neighbors, skimming off the middle and hoarding more than the fair share...we don't want to see that wasted. We need to treasure those who are so special that they know for certain they are actually worth 80% more than the average joe sixpack and so are entitled to keep a higher percentage of their revenue than, say, a slovenly lower middle class kind of guy who just puts in 60 hours a week at hard labor. Not to even mention the monetary value of racial superiority.

    Cuz we all know that a poor, single mom whose subsistence welfare payments don't even cover daycare so she can't keep a job even if she gets one WANTS to live that way. And we can't blame her god-fearing refusal to take birth control or get an abortion - cuz those are sins. Good thing the 80% guy gives her some part time work cleaning the McMansion at below minimum wage off the books. That there is enough trickle to keep the proles happy thank you very much.

    The bulk of our economy involves selling doodads to ourselves - we must preserve our nobility, they are our bestest customers and the most patriotic.

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  • 36. At 6:00pm on 16 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 13, Magic

    "...the Tea Party has a limited economic agenda, they are well articulated and certanatly more credible than say the grassroots of the SEIU, Code Pink and ACORN."

    Magic, I don't want to sound nasty, but would you mind clarifying your statement?

    If the Tea Party movement has a "limited economic agenda", should we assume that economic matters are not important to them? If that is the case, what do they stand for?

    Why should the Teachers Union, Code Pink and ACORN have an economic agenda? Are you referring to internal fiscal matters or economic proposals at a national level? If the latter, would you mind telling us why organizations such as the ones you mentioned be involved in something that is completely outside the scope of their responsibilities, let alone area of expertise?

    Our government (federal, state and local), political parties, financial institutions, some think tanks, and some scholars discuss economic matters, propose solutions, develop and implement economic policy, and recommend changes designed to strengthen our economy and address fiscal matters.

    I confess that when the Tea Party became a national movement I was under the impression that one of its most important priorities, besides electing conservative Republicans, was exposing economic and fiscal policies that were, in their opinion, flawed. I thank you for clarifying that false impression.

    Maybe I will pass your erudite conclusion on to my daughter and her evangelical husband, two Tea Party enthusiasts and Sarah Palin devotees. Considering all the static I get from them about socialism, pro-abortion charges, denial that healthcare reform addresses pre-existing conditions or prevents insurance companies from ending policies when someone reaches pre-established caps, allegations that military reductions in the Middle East and Persian Gulf are endangering our national security, death panels and the rest of what seems like a canned repertoise of garbage I am delighted to have finally learned that the Tea Party really has little to do with economic matters.

    I hereby confess that I had a terrible time learning negative logic, and that impairment has not improved with age...


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  • 37. At 6:00pm on 16 Apr 2010, arclightt wrote:

    @12 (StD): You win the prize for this statement. Bravo Zulu!

    @11 (StD): "Calls for lower taxes when the federal income tax rates have gone down and revenues are insufficient to pay for the services we receive only appeal to those who don't understand the implications of what they are proposing or don't care for the security and stability of our country."

    Dominick, I agree with you as far as you went; however, I think that if you dig deeper, you'll find that what most folks are really concerned about when they scream about "taxes" is not so much the taxation, but what they consider to be unwarranted spending, or taxes collected ostensibly for one purpose and then used for another. These are different issues that all get lumped in together as "taxation". There ARE some folks who just don't get the finances, but I suspect they are in a distinct minority.

    I believe most Americans would support some higher taxation level IF they KNEW that it was going, for example, directly to debt reduction, and the Congress did NOT have the ability to divert it to new spending, AND if they thought that the burden was being carried equally by everyone. My sense is that Americans don't particularly care for the theory that the wealthy should carry everyone, nor do they believe that the wealthy should be carried. Unfortunately, there's no check or balance in place to enable the other two branches to prevent the Congress from abusing either their budget or tax authority, and the Congress has absolutely demonstrated that they cannot and will not discipline themselves in either of these areas. Given that this is the case, Americans have no reason to believe that Congress is going to collect their money to really equally distribute the pain, nor will they use the collected money wisely. Under those circumstances, taxation understandably is a touchy subject.

    Pass a real Balanced Budget Amendment, with real teeth and no way for the Congress to turn it into mush, and a corresponding amendment to keep the tax code from becoming a special-interest slot machine, and I suspect that at least some anger over "taxation" would abate. For sure, if the BBA and tax amendment were written correctly, the Congress would not be able to provide the ROI to campaign contributors that they provide today, and that could only be a good thing.

    @25 (PM): "I know there is a very real sense of dissatisfaction (cultural anomie, if you will) that has permeated American Culture for 2-3 generations. Some might think the Tea Party represents the 'Political Movement of Frustration'. It doesn't. This, too, shall pass."

    More likely, it will mutate into something else; however, I don't believe it will pass without leaving behind some scarring, just like so many of the other actions and movements of the last half-century have done.

    @22 (BB): In two words, highly unlikely; however, since the threat is nonzero, it serves to constrain all the folks who lean toward authoritarian forms of governing (be they leftist or rightist, or statist or free-market oligarchy), and that can only be a good thing. Those weapons, believe it or not, serve not only to constrain the government, but also to constrain private bases of power as well. They are only a backstop, however; the first and best defense against all forms of authoritarianism is a population that accepts the responsibilities of citizenship and ensures that its leaders do the same.

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  • 38. At 6:00pm on 16 Apr 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    #32 liberals hate and fear the second amendment right to bear arms? I thought I was a little liberal, but I absolutely LOVE the second amendment right to bear arms - so I'm saved. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

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  • 39. At 6:13pm on 16 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Must say I'm very bored with this tea party. Any discussion about it just seems to end up the same way; it's just a focus for the 'angry right' and politically, economically, ethically and morally confused a far as I can see. (Sort of combination of our UKIP and BNP supporters.)

    They want 'less government', but they still want social security, unemployment benefit, and Medicare and Medicaid, and huge armed forces.

    But they themselves don't want to pay for any of it.

    They think. somehow, if you stop immigration and send 'illegals' back, somehow this will double or treble available jobs and manufacturing. Why? How?

    They think they are overtaxed, yet 47 per cent of US citizens actually get rebates on their tax in some form or another and pay minimal Federal taxes.

    They want local control of affairs, but the taxes they must pay and don't get any rebate from are, as I understand it, all state or local level.

    They hate 'Washington' politicians but they don't seem to have any candidates coming through of their own supporting anything they want except Republicans . . .

    None of it actually make any sense. Anyway, you can't 'take back' a 'destiny'. It's yet to become evident, or it wouldn't be a destiny. . .It all just seems code for "I want to go back to a time when whites had it better than anybody else."

    (Squirreldom much enjoying the amazing peace of the London skies now there are no planes flying--until 7am tomorrow, anyway. Ah, if only it could be like this more often.)

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  • 40. At 6:21pm on 16 Apr 2010, FrankMcG wrote:

    The numbers may have been low, but it has to be considered that this was a weekday and most of the tea party supporters were at work earning a living and trying to make ends meet without government help.

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  • 41. At 6:25pm on 16 Apr 2010, soccermum wrote:

    It's so impressive to see many on the left have been mastering the skill of using hateful phrases to paint a peaceful group. Possibly they have all this free time in direct relation to one part of why the Tea pArty is so fired up; Thus the legitano incentive to work--the government will provide all! It's easy to throw out the racist accusation when there is no true argument..... Again, our country has already for decades been providing free to low income Americans: health insurance, housing, food stamps, and now free cell phone with minutes...This has been in place already!!! All on the back of the Middle Class working American.... The new Healthcare bill (certainly not reform) has now expanded the free Medicaid to those under $30000. thereby excluding the middle class again and in fact will be forcing these same Americans to increase what they already pay for their insurance through their workplace and unions. So Yes people are more than fed up.....Thus the legitimate and
    growing every day TEA PARTY....

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  • 42. At 7:07pm on 16 Apr 2010, Ex Pat American Re Patted wrote:

    I know it's de riguer to mention the "harsh" protest signs (which probably represent a very small minority of signs) but really how long is that meme going to be perpetuated.

    The Tea Parties are nothing more than a spontaneous outburst of concerned citizens. I lived in the UK for 10 years so I know you know (as well as I do) that there is an oppression in England that so far hasn't been apparent in the US on the same level. For one thing, there are many, many Brits who long for the day when just singing "Jerusalem" or "God Save the Queen" isn't slammed as jingoistic or un-PC by the powers that be.

    Yes, but the powers have given the Brits their crumbs called "Last Night of the Proms." The only day, it appeared to me when being proud of being British was acceptable. I would be willing to bet that there is a huge number of Brits following the Tea Parties and wishing that the same groundswell would take place in their country.

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  • 43. At 7:09pm on 16 Apr 2010, Ex Pat American Re Patted wrote:

    Are you going to moderate only some of the comments? Because, if so, then you are no better than many of the ignorant--and I mean that sincerely not as an ad hominem--comments that seemed to have got through so far. Look inside yourself and do the right, fair and just thing. Let all opinions be heard.

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  • 44. At 7:20pm on 16 Apr 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    #41, Ah Victoriana (or Marie, perhaps?), a Queen of the Nobility. Thank you for clarifying - It is community supported social welfare programs for those less fortunate that the tea party opposes. It spoils "them", let "them" eat the stale cakes.

    Ah but for the grace of God....or to walk in another's shoes...bet you go to church on Sundays too. “The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all.”-chesterton

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  • 45. At 7:30pm on 16 Apr 2010, arclightt wrote:

    @41 (vu): Unfortunately, there's plenty of blood on hands all around. This is what I meant by scarring. Some of the TP folks have behaved abysmally, and some of their detractors have done so as well.

    When all the denigration by all the groups is done, however, we'll still be broke and $60T in debt, with serious shortfalls in maintenance, continued loss of jobs due to automation, an education system that doesn't understand what its purpose is and how to get there, and other issues. Congress will still be unwilling to discipline themselves on spending.

    The one ROI from all this trashing of each other, however, is that folks on all sides of the problems will be just another bit less willing to try again to work together, which will just make those problems that much harder to deal with.

    For a nation that so focuses on ROI, you'd think we'd be smarter.

    Arclight

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  • 46. At 7:47pm on 16 Apr 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    #45 - whats "ROI" (apart from French for King)..rights of the individual? I would have to say look how far we've come...women and racial minorities can vote since only 1914, Health care industry regulatory reform was first proposed in 1934, federal troops had to escort black children to school to protect them from white adults protesting their right to education in 1957, the last widely publicized racial lynching was in 1968. Sure we are still experiencing the back-lash - if all white and wealthy maybe the Tea Party is the last huzzah of that particular evil and we will all be better off after it fades. Or...along those lines, maybe once the GOP kicks out Steele the tea party will return to the fold.

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  • 47. At 7:54pm on 16 Apr 2010, arclightt wrote:

    @46 (fc): ROI = Return on Investment.

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  • 48. At 8:06pm on 16 Apr 2010, Maria Ashot wrote:

    Not my kind of Party -- Tea or otherwise.

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  • 49. At 8:23pm on 16 Apr 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    arclightt thx, Return On Investment “There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies.”-Churchill

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  • 50. At 8:58pm on 16 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 45, arclightt

    "For a nation that so focuses on ROI, you'd think we'd be smarter."

    I don't have a problem with constructive political criticism, if nothing else because it often highlights flaws in proposed legislation and because it forces us to reflect and reconsider our positions. In fact, I believe listening to peers and trying to find consensus are essential elements for succesfull governnance.

    A case in point is the financial reform legislation that is being debated at the moment, which includes language that could be misinterpreted or lead to abuse in the future. Unfortunately, instead of pointing out a questionable part of a bill that is otherwise excellent and long overdue the opposition is trying to discredit it and decided to oppose it. Considering the latest bank scandal, I have the feeling the shot themselves in the foot.

    What is readily apparent, at least to me, is that the most important consideration or goal in Washington is not investing in our future or finding solutions to our problems, but scoring political points to win elections.

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  • 51. At 8:59pm on 16 Apr 2010, American Sport Fan wrote:

    Re 39

    Here is the thing about the "Tea Party's opposition to healthcare reform. The claim that it will bring about "socialized" medicine and claim that they don't want "government run healthcare." However, if you ask them if they want to get rid of medicare and medicaid they will say "Don't touch it!"

    WEll correct me if I am wrong, aren't medicaid and medicare government run health programs?

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  • 52. At 9:01pm on 16 Apr 2010, American Sport Fan wrote:

    re 13

    Magic I hope you realize the the SEIU is a Union, who primarily represent hospital workers all over the country. They do not have a right wing agenda. I may be true that some of their members, like my mother, are democrats but not all of them.

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  • 53. At 9:02pm on 16 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #36
    SaintDominick wrote:
    Ref 13, Magic

    "...the Tea Party has a limited economic agenda, they are well articulated and certanatly more credible than say the grassroots of the SEIU, Code Pink and ACORN."

    Magic, I don't want to sound nasty, but would you mind clarifying your statement?
    ___________________

    What I mean by limited is the detractors and the flat our liars say they are racists etc. They are focused on a few core issues do not have any defined social or foriegn policy agenda.

    As far as the groups you mentioned( Teachers Unions, Code Pink ACORN) their agenda address a narrow group while the Tea Party activists advocate policies that would benfit the majority of Americans

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  • 54. At 9:27pm on 16 Apr 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    Magic - "...benefit the majority of Americans"? - it sounds good, but if you look at the tea party quotes in MM's post there seem to be an AWFUL LOT of "thems" and "theys" being wished into a cornfield...and not a lot about "us".

    "Make them pay - make them go away!".."What am I, some sort of idiot to get up and go to work at 4.45 every morning while they sit at home on the coach in a mansion watching Oprah"..."If you don't love America, leave!".."Every day they are taking more rights, taxing us to death. Charging their charge card to the moon."..."Cut people out of government, get rid of a lot of people..."

    PS - who watches Oprah at 4:45 AM ?

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  • 55. At 9:32pm on 16 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Redf 53, Magic

    "What I mean by limited is the detractors and the flat our liars say they are racists etc. They are focused on a few core issues do not have any defined social or foriegn policy agenda."

    That is not what you said in your original post, but I accept the fact that you probably misstated your argument and did not mean what you said. There is no doubt that the Tea Party is focused on a few core issues such as lower taxes, excessive government spending, opposition to healthcare reform and opposition to anything supported by Democrats. The question is whether those arguments have merit and are supported with ideas on how to do things better. Thus far I only see finger pointing, little substance and no solutions.

    "As far as the groups you mentioned( Teachers Unions, Code Pink ACORN) their agenda address a narrow group while the Tea Party activists advocate policies that would benfit the majority of Americans"

    Exactly, organizations such as the Teachers Union focus their attention on issues that are important or relevant to their members, that's the way it should be and that is why I questioned the comparison you made in an earlier post.

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  • 56. At 9:34pm on 16 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 52, American Sport Fan

    I tried to make that point to Magic in the past, but he is so anti-union that he doesn't seem to understand the fact that half the union members are Republicans, vote Republican...and support their union!

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  • 57. At 9:49pm on 16 Apr 2010, ClownD wrote:

    I wonder - do the hypocrites spouting off their hateful, ignorant, judgmental views about the people in the tea party realize that they are guilty of exactly what they are accusing the tea party of? Probably not, as the hateful ideologues on the left only see a group that disagrees with them, so therefore they must be racist, stupid, knuckle-dragging cavemen. I guess they must have missed the NY Times article that said tea party supporters are more intelligent and more wealthy than average Americans. I guess the hateful leftists don’t want to let facts get in the way of their ideology. And as far the tea party being some kind of radical group, consider their principle ideas: a smaller less intrusive government, less spending, less taxes, less debt, etc. I guess those ideas are just as radical today as they were in the late 1700’s when the colonists rebelled to start America on it’s way to greatness and unrivaled prosperity.

    The tea party haters only see what they want to see. And I’m sorry to disappoint, but they won’t be fading into obscurity anytime soon. As long as Obama, Pelosi and Reid are in charge, they will be there to resist. Even taking over the House in Congress won’t be enough. Obama’s policies are leading us down the path of unsustainable debt and spending (much like Greece), only no one will be around to bail the US out if things get that bad. So I can assure you all that as long as we are on that path, the tea party will be around to resist. Ignore and dismiss them if you wish, but just don’t be surprised when they are the decisive segment of the electorate in 2010 and 2012.

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  • 58. At 10:00pm on 16 Apr 2010, ClownD wrote:

    American Sport Fan wrote:

    “However, the Son of Liberty were not opposed to the idea of taxation in and of itself.”
    “That does not mean that they were opposed to the idea of paying taxes, as the tea party would like us to believe.”
    ====
    Please point me to the official statement made by any tea party group that says they are totally opposed to the idea of taxation, and also that they thought the Sons of Liberty were also opposed to the idea of taxation. Either you do that, or just admit that you are making things up, and that you have not a clue as to what you’re talking about.

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  • 59. At 10:11pm on 16 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #52

    If the SEIU and other unios would stick to worker issues like safety as opposed to be partsian thugs for the Democrats I would not be so against them.

    Nor do I feel it is fair for companies and the public to have to deal with anti competive measures like PLA and card checks. In addition I who have never recieved any benfit from unions should I have to pay the UAW pensions.

    Take any money going there and restore it to NASA

    Oh for the days when one could stand up to Unionwithout being attacked. James McPharland we need you

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  • 60. At 10:17pm on 16 Apr 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    #57 - didn't NY Times say "educated", not "intelligent"?

    Anyhoo, apart from the pointed "anti-Obama Pelosi Reid" plank, none of the concepts you list would particularly distinguish the Tea Party from any other US political party. In fact, in terms of substance and presentation, your description most closely resembles the platform of the US Socialist Party - ain't that sumthin'!
    http://socialistparty-usa.org/platform/

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  • 61. At 10:26pm on 16 Apr 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    Hee hee - we're resisting because we're on a path to unsustainable debt and unrivaled prosperity - that's us in a NUTSHELL! As soon as they change the name to either Whiskey Rebellion Party or Cocktail Party, I'm in.

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  • 62. At 10:30pm on 16 Apr 2010, joan_of_arc wrote:

    The Tea Party is like going to church. One person leads the flock and the flock follows without reading their books.
    The tax laws are better this year, healthcare will be affordable, and our children will be able to go to college. How's that for evolving into a better society? Children will be saved, our taxes will be lower, and everyone will receive the same healthcare treatment. Plus, instead of making the space station a resort for travelers, we get to explore Mars for scientific reasons.
    My personal opinion regarding the Tea Party is: they like to socialize and drank beer.
    For example: On March 21, 2010, Sonny Thomas, Springboro Tea Party founder, tweeted "Illegals everywhere today! So many spics makes me feel like a speck...grrr...wheres my gun?. He lost his sponsors for his rally April 17th...mmm. Will that tweet be in the Libary of Congress archives?

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  • 63. At 10:47pm on 16 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    When i was in Wetsern Mass earlier today, a so called progrresive radio station was spreading lies about the Tea Party: saying the majority were racists, stupid and there were no major crowds.

    Well for anyone in downtown Boston on Wed, I think they would disagree.

    The problem is that those invested in Obama card or the Obama agenda are so ridgid they will not even consider suggestions that don't come from Obama

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  • 64. At 11:00pm on 16 Apr 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    The ex-hippies are are too old for this protest movement.

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  • 65. At 11:00pm on 16 Apr 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    frayedcat (#60) "#57 - didn't NY Times say "educated", not "intelligent"?"

    Yes. Here is the demographic of Tea Party respondents compared to all respondents:

    Tea Party demographic

    It's not surprising. People with more money tend to be more conservative. A college degree tends to improve one's earning potential.

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  • 66. At 11:07pm on 16 Apr 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    #63 But you must admit it is a really stupid name, the 'tea party'. Especially since historically the 'Boston tea party' or 'massacre' was largely a PR scam. 'Whiskey Rebellion Party' is just SO MUCH MORE COOL and conceptually parallel.

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  • 67. At 11:19pm on 16 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #9
    John McLaren wrote:
    The Tea Party phenomenom is just retro McCarthyism given a lift by the internet. Twitter gives @RedScareBot, Facebook scores of others. If you don't support God, Apple Pie, Shooting, Hunting, Fishing etc. and especially if you support Health Care Reform you must be a Communist/Marxist/Socialist (but ask them the difference)

    ______________

    And if you criticize Obama, don't see free healthcar ea s a human right and think Republicans have better ideas than Dems you are a racists to the left and lies like Media Matters.

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  • 68. At 11:24pm on 16 Apr 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    #65...and money and leisure tends to improve one's college degree potential...

    Not sure I like the use of the word 'conservative' here though, judging by the descriptions, by advocates of the tea party purposes on the page, conservative would be a misnomer, in fact these party members seem to describe themselves as radicals, perhaps with 'conservative values'?

    Perhaps this is how we attract so many members! All-white but non-racist wealthy and educated conservative radicals on a path to unrivaled prosperity and unsustainable debt with a sprinkling of anarchy and a dash of aristocractic ideals thrown in ... something for everyone. No wonder Palin is a popular spokesperson for the party.

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  • 69. At 11:33pm on 16 Apr 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    quietoaktree (#64) "The ex-hippies are are too old for this protest movement."

    No, the Tea Partiers tend to be older than average.

    One of the most significant ways that TPs differ from the general population is that far more describe themselves as "angry" (53% to 19%). This is much more significant than age, wealth, or education differences. The other 47% appear to be willing to associate with angry people.

    What I don't understand is the 1% of TPs who are "enthusiastic" about the way things are going in Washington.

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  • 70. At 11:37pm on 16 Apr 2010, starFloridian wrote:

    Never fear Mark - despite your alignment with the rest of the left-wing media, the people who are represented by the Tea Party will shrug off these attempts to smear us and in November will march to the polls to make sure that Obama will feel all alone in his Oval Office. I just received a copy of an article in an English newspaper that talks about an English family of seven, with another deliberately planned child on the way, that is receiving 850 pounds a week, a 4-bedroom house complete with a Mercedes SUV, a 42" flat screen TV, WII games console, three Nintendos, and four mobile phones. The husband, 35, said he quit working because he could get more money from the taxpayers. Are we headed in the same direction with the current administration? It sure looks like it!

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  • 71. At 11:49pm on 16 Apr 2010, cynic555 wrote:

    I don't know a lot about the tea party - but things like lower taxes and having a government that is responsible to its people resonate with me.

    I am very dissatisfied with both the Democratic and Republican parties. I think both parties are lower than whale excrement and would sell their mother if it were required to retain power.

    We just went through a major economic meltdown and Chris Dodd and Barney Frank still are running the Finance and Banking committees - that says a lot.

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  • 72. At 00:44am on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 67, Magic

    "And if you criticize Obama, don't see free healthcar ea s a human right and think Republicans have better ideas than Dems you are a racists to the left and lies like Media Matters."

    You should try to be a little more creative. Most Democrats are well aware that the main reason for the opposition to President Obama's policies are ideology and a well crafted strategy designed to regain power. All we have to do is remember the attacks against President Clinton to realize that racism may be a factor for some, but not for most Republicans or Independents.

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  • 73. At 00:50am on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 63, Magic

    "The problem is that those invested in Obama card or the Obama agenda are so ridgid they will not even consider suggestions that don't come from Obama"

    Do you actually believe the stuff you say? President Obama invited the Republican leadership to the White House this week to ask for cooperation on the financial reform legislation and to solicit inputs. The answer was a memo stating that all 41 GOP senators oppose the bill, like everything else President Obama proposes. Calling Democrats, and President Obama in particular of ideological rigidity or partisanship would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.

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  • 74. At 00:51am on 17 Apr 2010, American Sport Fan wrote:

    Re 56

    I realize that Magic's comments were anti union. I happen to be very sensitive on that topic since my mom was involved in a Strike throught the SEIU, all be it a strike that lasted only one week.

    RE
    58

    I am not making this stuff up. I am merely using there rhetoric an pointing out what they stand for. They do try and model them Selves as "Patriots" after the likes of John Adams, Samuel Adams, Paul REvierre, Patrick Henry, and George Washington even though I am pretty sure the above mentioned historical figures would have been opposed to what The Tea Party wants. In addition, the references the tea party makes to the events in Boston Harbour in 1773 are intentional on their part.

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  • 75. At 00:52am on 17 Apr 2010, crash wrote:

    In response to christopher lord
    You must be one of the people that think we should pay higher taxes keep the unemployment rate around 10%,hand over your health care to the government.(maybe we should let the government pick which type of car we drive)whether we can own guns and what type of house we live in.
    I guess the meek are starting to inherit the earth !

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  • 76. At 00:56am on 17 Apr 2010, American Sport Fan wrote:

    RE 60

    Magic, it seems that you have a thing against Unions. Let me ask you this one question: WHY?

    Why do you seem to dislike Unions so much?

    You do realize that a lot of the benifits that most American's enjoy in their jobs are the direct result of the hard fought struggles of the Labour Movement. Things like the 40 hour work week, paid vaction, medical benifits and safer working conditions are the direct result of the hard fought struggles of men and women involved in the labour movement.

    Do you really think that employers would offer these benefits out of the goodness of their hearts? Most business care about one thing and one thing only. Their profit margins.

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  • 77. At 01:01am on 17 Apr 2010, crash wrote:

    SaintDomonick will you be happy when the all seeing,pure,made in heaven government,that cannot possibly make a mistake,just takes your entire pay check and gives you cans of soup an cheese to live on.Is that when all you cry baby socialist whiners will be happy when you no longer make any decisions at all,an never have responsibility for anything ! is that the Eden you seek.

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  • 78. At 01:04am on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 53, Magic

    "Oh for the days when one could stand up to Unionwithout being attacked"

    Playing the victim card is not going to get you very far on this blog. That may work with the party faithful, but not in a forum like this one.

    I am neither in favor nor against unions. Union membership is chosen by employees when they are unhappy with the compensation or benefits they receive, or when the working conditions are unacceptable. As a result, the best way to keep employees from organizing is to be fair to them and responsive to their concerns.

    I can tell you that from a management perspective it is a lot easier to deal with union members after a collective bargaining agreement is signed than it is with non-union personnel. Everything is spelled out and there is usually little ambiguity about what the company and the union folks are expected to do. That is not the case with exempt personnel, particularly on issues such as performance evaluations, promotions, pay raises or discharge where there is an awful lot of sujbjectivity.

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  • 79. At 01:41am on 17 Apr 2010, crash wrote:

    The Union stopped representing the working man 30 years ago,weak management and ridiculous union demands have almost destroyed the American auto industry and many other manufactoring sectors of this country.The NEA is one shining example of a Union that throws it's weight around with no regards to consequence as long as it achieves it's own political goals.I live in south east Texas and believe me if you work in a refinery that is nonunion you are a lot better off and generally a lot less likely to get layed off.

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  • 80. At 01:53am on 17 Apr 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 77 crash-

    "SaintDomonick will you be happy when the all seeing,pure,made in heaven government,that cannot possibly make a mistake,just takes your entire pay check and gives you cans of soup an cheese to live on."

    What kind of soup?

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  • 81. At 02:23am on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 77, crash

    "SaintDomonick will you be happy when the all seeing,pure,made in heaven government,that cannot possibly make a mistake,just takes your entire pay check and gives you cans of soup an cheese to live on.Is that when all you cry baby socialist whiners will be happy when you no longer make any decisions at all,an never have responsibility for anything ! is that the Eden you seek."

    No, I wouldn't be too happy in a place like that. I much rather live in a country like the USA where TAXES ARE LOW, where initiative and hard work are rewarded, and where everyone - in theory - has an opportunity to be prosperous and successful.

    It is precisely because I support and want to preserve the opportunities and values we enjoy that I support President Barack Obama whose policies are anything but socialist.

    On the issue of unions. Like I said, I am neither in favor nor against them, although I agree that they are no longer needed and that upward mobility opportunities are much easier to be found in non-union environments than in those with a large organized labor workforce. Nevertheless, I believe it is up to the employees to choose what they want and, based on personal experience, I know that many choose union representation because of bad management, low salaries, inadequate benefits or bad working conditions.

    Union played a role in the mess we have in Detroit, but much of the responsibility rests on upper management. Poor quality and design, poor customer focus, and lousy investments doomed GM and Chrysler. Exhorbitant pension liabilities for professionals and union workers did the rest.


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  • 82. At 04:21am on 17 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Well, as someone said, it's always easier to see where people are coming from than where they're going. I've been looking at that CBS poll, and if the Tea Party's destination is a bit uncertain (the majority don't want a third party, for example) you can see where they're coming from alright:

    Dislike Obama personally: 84%

    Does not 'share values of most Americans' 75%

    Obama 'very liberal': 77%; heading towards 'socialism': 92%
    (49% call that 'government ownership or control'; 11% 'limiting freedom' or 'taking away rights')

    Obama's policies 'favour the poor' (i.e. do not favour the middle class): 56%

    Obama born outside USA/don't know (i.e suspect he wasn't) : 71%

    (89% TP-ers are white; 1% black. 1% Asian; 6% 'other'. 75% are over 45; 29% over 65; only 23% under 45. 59% are male; 52% think too much has been made of problems facing black people.)

    Favoured spokespeople:

    Sarah Palin: 66%
    Glenn Beck: 59%

    Tea Party same as/similar to Republicans:
    80%

    Favour Republicans: 54%
    'Independent': 41%
    Dems: 6%

    Vote Republican: 66%

    (In other words, 'independent' or not, the majority will support a Republican.)

    Fundamental beliefs:

    Support fewer services: 92%
    (Yet just under 50% have someone in their household who receives Medicare or Social Security.)
    Immigration very serious problem: 82%
    Bailout unnecessary: 74%
    Global warming dud: 66%
    Anti-abortion: 53%
    Oppose gay marriage/civil union: 40%

    63% get their ideas about the TP from Fox News; 24% from the internet (but 31% say they've viisited a TP website, so some must mistake Fox News for one!);

    78% have not donated money or been to a TP rally or meeting;

    84% believe they represent the views of 'most Americans'; 83% are from the Midwest, South or West. 62% graduated from High School or had 'some' college education. 76% earn over 50k; 35% less. 61% are Protestant; 39% 'evangelical' and 38% attend a service weekly.

    People may draw their own conclusions; I have:

    The 18% of the voting population the TP is made up of are white, probably not living in a multi-ethnic environment, i.e. tinged at least with racism, middle-aged or ageing, reasonably well off but frightened and panicking economically; selfish (they rate social issues very low) and probably smug; have a basic education but nothing special; are fundamentally on what Europeans would call the far right, and got all heated via a TV channel.

    Oh, and since they seem mostly to despise Congress, Washington, and their elected members as much as they do Obama, at least half of them might well not vote next November, but all will turn out to get rid of Obama in 2012 whatever happens.

    Others' interpretation may vary, of course ;-)

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  • 83. At 04:48am on 17 Apr 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    80. At 01:53am on 17 Apr 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 77 crash-

    "What kind of soup?"
    ______________

    LOL, many times.




    (Soup is likely from Leamington, though)

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  • 84. At 04:49am on 17 Apr 2010, joan_of_arc wrote:

    Thank you squirrelist. I am sure religion doesn't count or does it?

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  • 85. At 04:55am on 17 Apr 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    82. At 04:21am on 17 Apr 2010, squirrelist

    The thing I'm trying to figure out comes from Gary's link, where 70 % of the tea partiers consider themselves to be well off financially, yet 55 % say that the recession has been "difficult".

    If they're doing better than most other people, then what are they up in arms about? I'm actually astonished by how little tax Americans pay. Are these amounts only at the federal level?

    And as for the Obamas, to pay only $ 1.8M in tax on income of $ 5.5M strikes me as an incredible bargain. I would have expected something more along the lines of $ 2.5M or so.

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  • 86. At 05:54am on 17 Apr 2010, d_m wrote:

    I'm beginning to think that a lot of tea partiers are angry with government because they lost a lot of money when the housing bubble burst. They were probably over invested in stocks and real estate, and lost most or a significant amount of their retirement nest egg when the market crashed. If you listen to what they say, you almost have to come to this conclusion. They resent the bank bailout and help for the poor because nobody is helping them. With their nest egg in trouble and the prospect of retiring receding into the future, yes, they're angry. And they are angry at government for letting this happen to them.

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  • 87. At 06:04am on 17 Apr 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 83 Interestedforeigner-

    "(Soup is likely from Leamington, though)"

    Campbell's Tomato Soup with grilled cheese sandwiches. American processed cheese, of course. Mmmmm-Mmmm, good!!

    Very unpatriotic of Crash to deride a lunchtime favorite of American children.

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  • 88. At 06:38am on 17 Apr 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    The interesting part I find in the poll Gary linked is the 97% voter registration of the Tea Party respondents. Rather a high percentage for people who are so often quoted as having never been involved in politics prior to their involvement with their particular Tea Party group, or attendance at a rally.

    Follow-up questions should have asked if the respondent regularly voted in federal, state, and local elections.

    During the 2009 November elections in Michigan; which were, by and large, local elections; an average of 18% of all registered voters turned out to cast their ballots throughout Michigan. There were no mention of these elections on any of the Tea Party internet sites. No candidate endorsements. No get-out-the-vote campaigns. No rallies scheduled.

    A part-time electorate, at best.

    It should also be noted that, in Michigan, Voter Registration primarily takes place at the Secretary of State office when one renews their drivers license and/or gets new plates. There may be a high number of registered voters in Michigan. That does not automatically equate to those registered voters that actually vote.

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  • 89. At 06:57am on 17 Apr 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    I don't know a lot about the Tea Party movement either, but out of curiosity I watched several hours of their convention a few weeks ago, enough to get through the media filters and hype.

    I would agree that they are all angry about something, and it has to do with
    - the failure of government, particularly the federal government, to get the job done
    - both the Republican and Democratic parties as they function today
    - the attacks on traditional values
    - increasing taxation.

    I found a lot of their ideas to be both sympathetic and attractive, and their system of grassroots organization appealing.

    They had a short checklist of basic social and governmental principles that were not socially exclusive or threatening except to entrenched anti-populist interests, and that I believe any conservative American would likely endorse, which boiled down to 'we look for and expect honesty, transparency, and the promotion of the citizen's interests from every elected and appointed public official.'

    Their method was well thought out - look at the demographics in your community, find areas and individuals that were likely to support these values, and talk to them personally to determine if they would also actively support these values.

    Few of the American posters here give unqualified support of the performance of our federal government, especially if counted across the past AND present administrations and their Congresses - most like me are outraged.

    The Tea Party movement is clearly an inchoate and various group of groups and diverse individuals. No single statement or conclusion will describe them or their aims. They are without centralized leadership, platform or objectives. Clearly, a lot of the motivation is the fun of association, writing outrageous posters, and wearing funny hats as a protest against the failure of the larger society to acknowledge their interests.

    But the success of Obama's decentralized election campaign has brought down the traditional model of political activism in this country, and all kinds of interest groups are finding gtemselves on the internet, organizing themselves by spontaneous and untried models, and getting media attention. Welcome to the twenty-first century.

    Ignore all the media hype, all of it, if you are interested in anything beyond being entertained. If you want to know the truth about these or any other people, you must go where they go and have a conversation with a dozen or so over coffee, or Red Bull, or whatever they are drinking.

    KScurmudgeon
    it's Springtime in America at last.

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  • 90. At 06:59am on 17 Apr 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    87. At 06:04am on 17 Apr 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Campbell's Tomato Soup with grilled cheese sandwiches. American processed cheese, of course. Mmmmm-Mmmm, good!!
    _________________________

    I didn'trealize you were a fundamentalist, Publius.

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 91. At 07:01am on 17 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    86. d_m :

    I think, broadly speaking, you're right; that's all it amounts to. Plus they're angry because they don't understand either how it all happened, or why; and, like many house buyers in London 18 months ago thought their homes represented a kind of continual 25 per cent annual interest rate. . .But I suspect what may also be significant, given the age groups, is fear about their health and what that will cost them. But since it's fairly obvious insurance premiums will probably escalate, they're confused and blaming the wrong people. Hardly surprising after the last 12 month shambles, really.

    Looks as though they were happily asleep dreaming the American Dream, and have just half woken up to find, like Rip Van Winkle, the world looks very unfamiliar to how it did when they dozed off full of barbiturates. They didn't drop into a druggy daze from the fumes in the Hashbury when they were in their teens by the look of it.

    It is obviously not a 'third party movement', and even more curiously a majority do not think Palin would be a credible president. So I think Mark was right when he wrote: "curiously for people motivated by a distrust of politicians and disliked of Washington, most of their energy will be spent on electing more Republicans and more conservative Republicans in November, and then trusting them to do the right thing when they get to Washington."

    I've drawn the same conclusion. Only the 'right thing' I suppose is only anything that's 'Right', not right, if you see what I mean.

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  • 92. At 07:08am on 17 Apr 2010, d_m wrote:

    #88

    How do you verify that the poll respondents are really registered or vote for that matter? What's more, and I don't know much about tea paartiers, but I suspect if you admit you don't vote you kind of undermine your creditibality.

    The only tea partier here im my area in WA claimed to be tea partying spontaneously and to not have much inerest in politics, but a search on her name linked her to a number of political websites, one of which she authored. Pretty disingenuous.

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  • 93. At 07:20am on 17 Apr 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 92 d_m-

    "How do you verify that the poll respondents are really registered or vote for that matter? What's more, and I don't know much about tea paartiers, but I suspect if you admit you don't vote you kind of undermine your creditibality."

    That was my take on it as well.

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  • 94. At 07:30am on 17 Apr 2010, d_m wrote:

    #91

    You're right, if it isn't Right, it's definitely wrong.

    Political memories are pretty short too, well, here in the US anyway. And just about the time you think you've got things figured out, something comes along to derail your new found awareness. What with Iran, Afganistan, volcanos spewing ash into the atmosphere, dorughts in much of the middle east and elsewhere, and the third pole melting who knows how long the tea partiers will be able to maintain the focus.

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  • 95. At 07:50am on 17 Apr 2010, d_m wrote:

    #93
    I haaven't heard anything locally about a tea party since early last summer. Things may pick up as the weather warms.

    The democrats may also be right when they say once people begin to realize how they will benefit from the health care package they will be less opposed to it.

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  • 96. At 09:38am on 17 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #78
    I am neither in favor nor against unions. Union membership is chosen by employees when they are unhappy with the compensation or benefits they receive, or when the working conditions are unacceptable. As a result, the best way to keep employees from organizing is to be fair to them and responsive to their concerns.
    (Then you should be against card check which eliminates a secreat ballot, it is a way for the Union to intimidate. And a company should ave a right in its founding principles to say we don't want to deal with unions)
    I can tell you that from a management perspective it is a lot easier to deal with union members after a collective bargaining agreement is signed than it is with non-union personnel. Everything is spelled out and there is usually little ambiguity about what the company and the union folks are expected to do. That is not the case with exempt personnel, particularly on issues such as performance evaluations, promotions, pay raises or discharge where there is an awful lot of sujbjectivity
    (I can tell you from an indepedent businessnes perspective that Union adds cost and getting rid of union workers is almost impossible. also they are a primary impediment to educational reform and again I should not have to pay UAW pensions)

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  • 97. At 09:42am on 17 Apr 2010, Lard_Cheeses wrote:

    how can you accuze anyone with an income of $5,505,409 of being socialist politiks in america is a choice between an egg and an ovoid object that fell out of a chiken

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  • 98. At 09:43am on 17 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #76
    Do you really think that employers would offer these benefits out of the goodness of their hearts? Most business care about one thing and one thing only. Their profit margins
    ________________

    Sorry I'll trust abusiness leade rover aunion or a goverment anytime. Unions are intimidate, engage in politcal campoaigns(even though many of the members support another party)drive up costs for small business.

    People like James Hill and Andrew Carnegie did far more for working people than thugs like George Meaney and Andrew Stern

    Proud to be non Union

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  • 99. At 10:06am on 17 Apr 2010, American Sport Fan wrote:

    Re 82

    You really hit the nail on the head with that post. They are primarily white males, over the age of forty five, who don't want social services and know someone in their family who is recieving social services. They primarily get their news from Fox News (Which is Owned by Rupert Murdoch and run by former Reagan Aid Roger Ailes.

    They seem to believe everything that Glen Beck says and seem to take it seriously, although it should be noted that I'm not really sure Beck believes every word he says since he started out as a Stand Up Comic.

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  • 100. At 10:09am on 17 Apr 2010, American Sport Fan wrote:

    RE 98

    Magic, I don't tend to trust anyone whose primary motive is to make money. That is a business primary motive. If they could get away with paying workers below their worth, they would.

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  • 101. At 10:44am on 17 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    To Dominick and sports fan here is proof that more America agrees with me about Unions

    http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/5612/public_opinon_of_unions_falters/

    ref #100

    And I don't trust that Unions care about performance, I'll trust non Union over Union any time.

    But at trade shows we are forced to pay useless union serivces that even unskilled amateaurs like myself could do in 1/4 of the time.

    Go Scabs!!

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  • 102. At 11:27am on 17 Apr 2010, Two of Pentacles -Change- wrote:

    What Tea Party?
    They sound like SA Boers Sympathizers
    The songs they sing in South Africa

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  • 103. At 11:32am on 17 Apr 2010, Two of Pentacles -Change- wrote:

    I keep getting Tea party Hate Mail
    for example: Item 1 Tea Party At Sea
    I hate them

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  • 104. At 11:49am on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 99, Americam Sport Fan

    "They are primarily white males, over the age of forty five, who don't want social services and know someone in their family who is recieving social services."

    I saw a demonstration of Tea Party folks in the city where I live on Tax Day. Most were senior citizens who I suspect are collecting Social Security benefits and are on MEDICARE. Ironically, some were holding signs condemning "American Socialism". I bet every single one of them would be outraged if anyone suggested doing away with SS and MEDICARE. In fact, many our fearful of the plan put forth by President Obama to eliminate some of the waste in the MEDICARE program and voice their concern by caloling for smaller government, which I guess means a less interventionist or proactive government.

    Their incoherent message suggests the movement is influenced more by anger and frustration than by ideology or pragmatism. Every single person in that demonstration was white, and in addition to senior citizens I also saw quite a few kids of high school age. A few motorists honked their horns, but most ignored them. In fairness to the movement, the demonstration was held on a week day when most people are working and unable to participate in events like this.

    It is obvious that there are a lot of people that don't like President Obama, that are concerned with one party controlling the White House and both chambers of Congress, that object to the changes that are being implemented even when those changes benefit them directly, that are concerned with our growing budget deficits and mounting debt, our trade imbalance, the weakness of our currency, and that are very upset with the erosion of manufacturing jobs in the USA, high levels of unemployment, and our dependence on imports.

    The problem is that their expressions of anger, which were not evident when President Bush was in office and most of the problems cited above were present, do not include a vision for the future or specific solutions to solve the problems we are having. They call for smaller government, but want to retain the services they get. They want a balanced budget and elimination of debt, but call for lower taxes. They want jobs, but remain indifferent when thousands of teachers nationwide are being laid off and schools are being shut down because of state budget constraints when a well educated and skilled workforce are one of the most essential requirements to solve our problems.

    In summary, there are a lot of folks that don't like what they see, but they don't have a clue how to solve the problems we have and, not surprisingly, they lash out against the man who is trying to solve the problems he inherited because he has failed to solve them all overnight. This is the result of being part of a society of instant gratification whose idea of fiscal responsibility is limited to the number of credit cards they have in their pockets.

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  • 105. At 11:51am on 17 Apr 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    18. lancelot83:

    "As an american, I can tell you that it's not a matter of the tea parties losing steam. The evidence is simple in that yesterday, (tax day) April 15th, the numbers turning out across the U.S. were much larger than they've been over the past year."

    *****************
    The Tea Party is not fizzling out. If anything, it is slowly growing. Obama's comment that they should be saying, "Thank You", will probably increase their numbers. Like his "..they cling to their guns and religion" comment, it shows his blind spot is a mile wide.

    What's uncomfortable to watch are the insults used to describe them. The Tea Party's biggest crime seems to be that they are white and middle-aged. Since when did being white and middle-aged become something worthy of derision?

    I see a very ugly racism and bias evident in the criticism of the Tea Party. It's open field day on white males, and the hatred felt toward them has been unleashed.

    I guess we're all rednecks now.

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  • 106. At 11:55am on 17 Apr 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    99. American Sport Fan:
    Re 82

    "You really hit the nail on the head with that post. They are primarily white males, over the age of forty five, who don't want social services and know someone in their family who is recieving social services. They primarily get their news from Fox News (Which is Owned by Rupert Murdoch and run by former Reagan Aid Roger Ailes.

    They seem to believe everything that Glen Beck says and seem to take it seriously, although it should be noted that I'm not really sure Beck believes every word he says since he started out as a Stand Up Comic."

    ************

    A recent Gallup Poll shows that they are anything but this mythical group you've created.

    The Tea Party is like a Rorscach test which exposes its critics' biases -- and ignorance.

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  • 107. At 12:04pm on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 101, Magic

    "And I don't trust that Unions care about performance, I'll trust non Union over Union any time."

    I realize that this is hard for you to accept, but union members in the USA are Americans no different from you. They have families, responsibilities, some - like non-union workers - work hard others don't.

    The point you miss, or choose to ignore, is that it is up to employees to choose union representation and that the decision is usually influenced by poor working conditions. People don't organize and pay union dues because they like it, they do it because their employer is abusing them and because attempts to persuade management to address their grievances failed.

    It is true, however, that unions have become increasingly unpopular in the USA in recent decades, and that is not due to Republican demonization alone. Competition and business considerations, such as trying to mitigate retraining costs incurred when there is a high attrition rate, resulted in companies being more sensitive to employee's demands.

    I suspect the reason you don't like unions has nothing to do with performance, but with the fact that most lean Democratic and contribute to the Democratic party. I had first hand experience with unions such as the IBEW and CWA and I can tell you, unequivocally, that about half of the members were Republicans, that many disagreed with the donations their representatives were given to the Democratic party, but chose to seek and retain union representation because of the gains they made in both salaries, benefits and job security.

    Your criticism would resonate more if it was directed at the union leadership instead of the membership...

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  • 108. At 12:08pm on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 96, Magic

    "And a company should ave a right in its founding principles to say we don't want to deal with unions"

    Totalitarianism is anathema to the values we cherish.

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  • 109. At 12:15pm on 17 Apr 2010, Two of Pentacles -Change- wrote:

    @ 105. AndreaNY wrote:
    Like his "..they cling to their guns and religion" comment, it shows his blind spot is a mile wide.
    __________________________________________________________________________
    I think Mr.Obama was referring to a (two faced) bbc commentator
    (who will remain nameless)

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  • 110. At 12:20pm on 17 Apr 2010, American Sport Fan wrote:

    Re 104

    Dominick,

    I don't know whether to pity these folks, or despise them. I wonder just how many of these senior citizens actually realized that they are being manipulated by the extreme right. I wonder how many of them are actually aware that Social Security and Medicaire are government programs. I wonder just how many of them are aware of this?

    Sadly, I suspect that a lot of this "anger" has to do with racism. Let's be honest here, there are still people here in the United States who believe that A black man should not be allowed to be president of the United States.

    That is why the birthers are able to continue to push their claims that President Obama is ineligable to be president of the United States inspite of the State of Hawii's repeat affirmations that Obama was in deed born in that State In 1962. I wonder if they are even aware of the fact that the Aloha State was actually admitted to the Union at all. Maybe they only regard it as a vacation destination, forgetting that they are our fellow americans. I think another part of it may be the fact that Hawii tends to vote democratic.

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  • 111. At 12:21pm on 17 Apr 2010, American Sport Fan wrote:

    RE 106

    How am I ignorant? Can you tell me? I am just responding to a fellow users comments.

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  • 112. At 12:23pm on 17 Apr 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    108. SaintDominick:

    Ref 96, Magic

    "And a company should ave a right in its founding principles to say we don't want to deal with unions"

    Totalitarianism is anathema to the values we cherish.

    *****************

    Speak for yourself. I cherish the freedom to run my business as I see best.

    Freedom from unions does not equate with totalitarianism. If anything, union restrictions on job movements and time, down to the minute, approach totalitarianism in the workplace far more.

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  • 113. At 12:34pm on 17 Apr 2010, lancelot83 wrote:

    So many on this thread overlook a simple observation that should generate thought to the objective reader that is not passing judgement based on an emotional reflex, innaccurate skewed media coverage with an intentional reporting slant for or against.

    The simple fact for an open minded person to consider is the fact that there is a tea party movement in the first place.

    The only other time any of us have seen a grass roots political movement worthy of ~comparison was in the late sixties in protest of the Viet Nam war.

    Election year after election year people of any political view stay at home, loosely consider which candidate they may vote for, barely dig into the actual issues and then in November most but not all make the effort to vote in time.

    Important to step back and note that there is a forest made up by all of the trees being discussed...

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  • 114. At 12:45pm on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 112, Andrea

    People have the freedom to run their business as they please, especially in the USA, but labor also has the freedom to organize when those "free businessmen" are abusing them. As I pointed out earlier, employees do not seek union representation and pay union dues because they like it, they do it because they are being abuse.

    You, apparently, believe that companies should have the right to hire temporaries, part timers, pay minimum wage, force people to report to work early or stay late without compensation, schedule them to work 39 hours a week so that they don't have to give them benefits and other such business strategies and, obviously, they are increasingly getting away with it. Conversely, labor also has the right to do whatever they can to protect themselves and get a better deal, particularly when their employers are posting record profits, engaged in buyouts to expand their business, and executives are receiving millions of dollars in compensation and enjoying golden parachutes worth millions.

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  • 115. At 12:45pm on 17 Apr 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    111.American Sport Fan:
    RE 106

    How am I ignorant? Can you tell me? I am just responding to a fellow users comments.

    *************
    I'm responding to your comments. Your generalizations about the Tea Party are off the mark. You make many mistaken assumptions, the most obvious that the anger toward Obama is based on racism.

    In fact, the TPC's (Tea Party Critics) are worthy of some stereotyping. They appear to be people who are very angry themselves and don't see the problem with disparaging a group based on its gender and ethnicity. They project their own anger onto white males, which makes them a group that is angry at angry white males. They tend to classify large groups of whites as "rednecks". Their most common criticism of the Tea Party is that it is white, or not (fill in the acceptable race or ethnicity).

    It's hard to take TPC's criticism seriously when the biggest crime of the Tea Party is that it's predominantly white. The TPC's don't even realize how narrow and biased their own views are.

    By the way, the Tea Party was found to be representative of the American public, demographically.

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  • 116. At 12:51pm on 17 Apr 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    It seems that a Coffee Party vis a vis Tea Party is like Barack Obama's space and nuclear program vis-a-vis Ronald Reagan's space and nuclear defense progream.


    You compare the two yourselves. Before you post again.

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  • 117. At 12:52pm on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    "...there are still people here in the United States who believe that A black man should not be allowed to be president of the United States."

    Very true, and the fact that President Obama is a well educated and successful man makes it even worse, but I honestly don't think that is the main reason for the anger that is evident today. For starters, take a look at what happened to former President Bill Clinton.

    I think the most important factors are ideology, fear, ignorance and a well crafted political strategy that uses deceit, distortion, and misinformation to win elections. The fact that they don't know what to do after they are elected is immaterial, the goal is to get in at any cost.

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  • 118. At 1:18pm on 17 Apr 2010, American Sport Fan wrote:

    RE 115

    But the fact of the matter is, a lot of the criticism is based on Racism. Just because they do not openly make racist comments doesn't actually mean that they do not habor racist attitudes. The fact of the matter is, a lot of this is based on racism because some people still ave racial prejudices in this day and age.

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  • 119. At 1:37pm on 17 Apr 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    118. American Sport Fan:
    RE 115

    But the fact of the matter is, a lot of the criticism is based on Racism. Just because they do not openly make racist comments doesn't actually mean that they do not habor racist attitudes. The fact of the matter is, a lot of this is based on racism because some people still ave racial prejudices in this day and age.

    ***************

    Yes, but you do realize you are accusing them of being racists? And the basis for this claim, which is serious and highly offensive, is that they might harbor racist attitudes, even though they don't make racist comments?

    That, in other words, racism exists, therefore, they are likely to be racists.

    Since when did the definition of racist become white, male conservative?

    Honestly, this has got to be one of the most ignorant arguments against the Tea Party.

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  • 120. At 1:38pm on 17 Apr 2010, Stuart wrote:

    I'm not sure there ever was much steam, but they do identify a broadly true set of questions. As you stated however; broad is not good in politics. People want short, catchy statements and they want them from either the democrats or the republicans. Any other politician could walk on water, explain the meaning of life and cure all social ills (which, as I write this I realise that of course the current incumbents all claim they do and have done exactly these things or similar!)and the US electorate would still not vote for him. Sadly, this means that the tea party can do all it wishes and even be correct and it will never achieve anything. Hmm, am I sounding like the tea party here? Is that bad? Who cares?

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  • 121. At 1:39pm on 17 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #110 and 118

    The way blatanty throw out the racism card for legitimate criticsm is very disgusting.

    The Left and race hucksters have go a way with this for 30+ years.

    The people doing this witrh the Tea Party are primarily two groups:

    1 Obama supporters and the media who lie or skew the fact.

    2. People who don't know the fact and are uneducated about the issues.

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  • 122. At 1:41pm on 17 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #108

    Totaliartariasm is forcing some one to join a union to work at a place of business
    paying protection fees to pay union salaries

    for an independent business person to pay union contractors on a job

    PLA agreements

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  • 123. At 1:54pm on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 113, lancelot

    "The simple fact for an open minded person to consider is the fact that there is a tea party movement in the first place.

    Regardless of whether the Tea Party movement became so spontaneously or because of a deliberate attempt by the Republican leadership to revive a demoralized party, there is no question that it has energized the far right and it has given new life to the GOP.

    The problems, in addition to the incoherency of its message and the strident rhetoric they embraced until recently, is that it has overreached in their attempts to unseat moderate Republicans and by doing that they undermined the party unity that is so critical to win elections.

    Their attacks on incumbents such as John McCain and Charlie Crist are dividing the party and may very well have the unintended result of helping the opposition.

    In any case, you are absolutely correct, the fact that such movement emerged and has become such a poerful force in American politics should make everyone pause and reflect. Incidentally, a similar movement, albeit much less vociferous, mobilized the Democrats in 2008 and persuaded many Independents to vote for Barack Obama. This is not unprecedented, and I doubt this will be the last time we see something like this happen.

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  • 124. At 2:02pm on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 122, Magic

    I worked at two locations where employees decided to seek union representation. Nobody forced them to do so, they did willingly and deliberately. The reason for their decision was inadequate compensation.

    Companies don't force applicants to join a union, the employees that chose union representation demand membership from anyone interested in joining. You attack unions as if they were an abstract when they are, in fact, organizations composed of fellow Americans dissatisfied with their working conditions.

    As a former manager who was involved in several bargaining agreements, sat across the table from union representatives - including those chosen by our employees - and who had to go to arbitration on more than one occasion in response to grievances and other charges, it is somewhat uncomfortable for me to defend them, but it is precisely because of my intimate relationship with them that I don't hesitate to defend their right to seek representation if they wish to do so.

    Businesses can easily minimize the possibility of employees seeking union representation by paying competitive wages, offering a good benefit package, and by providing a safe and inviting work environment.

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  • 125. At 2:10pm on 17 Apr 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    Sorry Magic, but I know some tea party advocates 'round heah by mah neck o' the woods (99.9%white school district) and, erm, how do I put this...they are racist. Openly, vocally, self-admittedly, fundamentally racist - including with regards to the President, and on all matters, not just tea party concerns.

    That said, I think perhaps we could say the the TEA PARTY does not have a racist or discriminatory platform BUT the tea party ATTRACTS numerous angry racists who are "anti Obama" on many levels, including race.

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  • 126. At 2:15pm on 17 Apr 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    Unions and the squeeze...who gets a bigger piece of that ROI...Owner wants a McMansion, builder wants a McMansion, Subcontractor wants a McMansion, each wants to squeeze the other just a little bit, either charging more than cost-plus, skimming, paying below prevailing wage, cheating on the taxes...It's a wonderful world.

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  • 127. At 2:20pm on 17 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #124

    Most business do pay competitive wages. But business should not have to pay for unemployed workers at 80% like the auto companies did and which we now have to pay for.

    nor should I have to work with a union based company at a trade show if I don't want to.

    Ask anyone if they are satisfied with Union Workers at the Jacob Javits Center?

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  • 128. At 2:53pm on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 126, frayedcat

    Ant the little guys should be content they enjoy the privilege of building and maintaining those McMansions for the big boys.

    There have always been - and most likely there will always be - rich and poor, what I find offensive is the way some people object to the weakest members of our society to find ways to better themselves.

    Yes, getting a good education should be the eventual goal and the key to success, but in the interim they have to do something to put food on the table and if that something happens to be chosing union representation they should not be denied the right to do so. In the end, it should be their choice.

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  • 129. At 2:57pm on 17 Apr 2010, TrueToo wrote:

    MagicKirin, in comment 125 on the 'nuclear Goal' thread you wrote:

    "Is Hardtalk an interview show? A local talk show interviewed a regional tea party person who did flub questions ala Joe Biden."

    My answer was removed so I'll try again:

    Hardtalk is a BBC TV show with Stephen Sackur, so can't be the same thing. Could be they broadcast some or all of that Hardtalk show on World Service Radio. It was definitely Sackur doing the interview and I believe the interviewee was Debra Medina. The link I gave last time might have been the reason for the post being removed so I'll just say if you
    Google World Service Sackur Tea Party you'll find the interview.

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  • 130. At 2:58pm on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 127, Magic

    "nor should I have to work with a union based company at a trade show if I don't want to."

    You don't have to, there are plenty of non-union jobs in the USA. The bottom line is that companies don't force union representation on their employees, the employees willingly choose to have it. Moreover, work restrictions, such as mandatory membership, is not imposed by the company or even the union leadership, it is demanded by the union members when they opt for a close shop environment.

    In a nutshell, your beef should be with your friends, n eighbors, and fellow citizens who decided, for a variety of reasons, to seek union representation.

    "Ask anyone if they are satisfied with Union Workers at the Jacob Javits Center?"

    Perhaps somebody should remind those dissatisfied union members that they have the option of deselecting the union when their contract expires.

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  • 131. At 3:02pm on 17 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #125
    frayedcat wrote:
    Sorry Magic, but I know some tea party advocates 'round heah by mah neck o' the woods (99.9%white school district) and, erm, how do I put this...they are racist. Openly, vocally, self-admittedly, fundamentally racist - including with regards to the President, and on all matters, not just tea party concerns.

    That said, I think perhaps we could say the the TEA PARTY does not have a racist or discriminatory platform BUT the tea party ATTRACTS numerous angry racists who are "anti Obama" on many levels, including race.
    ____________-

    I've seen one person who was condemned by fellow Tea Party goers in ABC, CNN, FoX and BBC reports

    Compare that to the racists who are pro Obama (yes african Americans can be racist) pro Palestinian marches (Jews are the most descriminated group today) or ANSWER rallies


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  • 132. At 3:05pm on 17 Apr 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    There are currently 59 Tea Party groups in Michigan. 28 of those groups scheduled "Tax Day" rallies across the State. Each participating group asked for Tea Party members to pre-register (RSVP) for the events.

    8 groups received a total of 21 respondents. The other 20 did not receive a response.

    These numbers certainly indicate there is not much 'grass-roots' enthusiasm, nor commitment to the Tea Party movement in Michigan.

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  • 133. At 3:07pm on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 121, Magic

    "1 Obama supporters and the media who lie or skew the fact."

    I am an Obama supporter and I don't believe racism is the mean reason for the opposition to his presidency or his policies. I believe there is an underlying element of racism in some of the angry protests we see, but I believe the impetus for the opposition is mostly ideological and influenced by ignorance and greed. Pretty much along the lines of what happened to Bill Clinton throughout his two terms in office.

    "2. People who don't know the fact and are uneducated about the issues."

    What do you expect us to believe when we hear charges of socialism against legislation that uses private insurance companies to administer healthcare, or criticism of President Obama's support to the space program when he is proposing a transfer of many government functions to private industry? What do you want us to believe when we see people complaining about high taxes when our tax rate has gone down and government revenues are insufficient to cover expenditures?

    Ignorance? Indeed, the problem is that you are directing that accusation to the wrong group. Unless, of course, the position taken by the opposition is motivated by cynical opportunism and greed rather than plain ignorance, which is probable.

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  • 134. At 3:19pm on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 131, Magic

    "Compare that to the racists who are pro Obama (yes african Americans can be racist) pro Palestinian marches (Jews are the most descriminated group today) or ANSWER rallies"

    You are using one of the oldest and most effective tactics used by political parties to deflect attention from their misdeeds and justify their positions: blame the victims.

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  • 135. At 3:32pm on 17 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #132
    publiusdetroit wrote:
    There are currently 59 Tea Party groups in Michigan. 28 of those groups scheduled "Tax Day" rallies across the State. Each participating group asked for Tea Party members to pre-register (RSVP) for the events.

    8 groups received a total of 21 respondents. The other 20 did not receive a response.

    These numbers certainly indicate there is not much 'grass-roots' enthusiasm, nor commitment to the Tea Party movement in Michigan.

    _____________-

    Can't speak for Michigan but in blue state Mass Tea Party is very strong, and hate radio(shultz,Miller and Rose) have been lying about the number in most states.

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  • 136. At 3:43pm on 17 Apr 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    Yes, people of other races besides caucasion can be 'racist' too - I don't support that neither. And so where a racial minority is fighting for equal rights against racism and discrimination, that's 'racist', because its based on race. Then if the little guy gets on top, is he gonna' lash back? Prob'ly. Is that scary to a lot of wealthy educated polyester whites? Prob'ly. It's a hard call...so look again to the isolating and angry rhetoric of these tea party people who don't like America right now, but want other people to 'leave' if they don't like America - some of it may be race-based nasty, some of it is just plain mean and nasty...and some of it is pretty just plain stupid.

    If the tea party wants to stick around they are going to have to evolve.
    If the tea party wants to stick around they are going to have to find some new financial sponsors, cuz' the health insurance industry lobbies are going to put their money to use elsewhere now, like jury-rigging 'n judge purchasing 'n 'at.
    If the tea party wants my personal support, they're going to have to change the name - cain't stand it - would NEVER wear that on a t-shirt.

    Now here's a good logo and name though - and it has hockey sticks - if this was a party I'd join

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzF0hHb7xMc

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  • 137. At 3:44pm on 17 Apr 2010, TrueToo wrote:

    114. SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 112, Andrea

    You, apparently, believe that companies should have the right to hire temporaries, part timers, pay minimum wage...


    Nothing wrong with minimum wage for minimum ability. And if employers had no "right" to pay minimum wage, then there wouldn't be one, when you think about it. And it protects workers who otherwise would be paid far less by unscrupulous employers. I imagine the socialists on this thread would prefer to see businesses going down rather than have some workers getting far less (shock, horror) than others.

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  • 138. At 3:56pm on 17 Apr 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    135. MagicKirin:


    "Can't speak for Michigan but in blue state Mass Tea Party is very strong, and hate radio(shultz,Miller and Rose) have been lying about the number in most states."

    ***************

    And I can't speak for other states or even New York, but the people I know who have attended Tea Party rallies are educated, intelligent and aren't informed by FoxNews.

    They are also white male conservatives, so that means they're labeled racists, redneck, etc.

    I, for one, am getting tired of the constant drumbeat of racism charges based on nothing more than stereotyping and ignorance on the part of Tea Party critics. I feel they are more racist and biased than any group I've seen in a very long time in this country.





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  • 139. At 4:00pm on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 137, TrueToo

    "Nothing wrong with minimum wage for minimum ability. And if employers had no "right" to pay minimum wage, then there wouldn't be one, when you think about it."

    I thought about it and I am deeply concerned with the present trend to hire temps and part timers to reduce cost. The goals is not to stay afloat, but to increase profit margins by reducing labor expenses.

    "And it protects workers who otherwise would be paid far less by unscrupulous employers."

    You can't go any lower than minimum wage.

    "I imagine the socialists on this thread would prefer to see businesses going down rather than have some workers getting far less (shock, horror) than others."

    Hardly,. I suspect that most of the participants in this blog would like business to prosper and grow so that employment opportunities increase. We would also like to see a robust economy, and a prosperous but well regulated Wall Street that invests prudently and gives credit to businesses and individuals without taking unnecessary risks, and many of us would love to see a government and a society committed to fiscal solvency.

    If that means socialism to you, so be it.

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  • 140. At 4:07pm on 17 Apr 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    134. SaintDominick:

    You are using one of the oldest and most effective tactics used by political parties to deflect attention from their misdeeds and justify their positions: blame the victims.

    ****************
    Are you not doing the very same thing -- that is, blaming those who you perceive to have the power as being oppressive and abusive? Certainly, your claims of what I must believe as someone who wants to run my business as I see fit are proof that you generalize pretty consistently. Like this:

    "You, apparently, believe that companies should have the right to hire temporaries, part timers, pay minimum wage, force people to report to work early or stay late without compensation, schedule them to work 39 hours a week so that they don't have to give them benefits and other such business strategies and, obviously, they are increasingly getting away with it"

    You have no idea how I pay my employees or what I demand of them, yet you snap-on your stereotype of the greedy, indifferent employer to me because I am not pro-union.

    This is no different than a lot of the stereotypes being used to define the Tea Party.

    When the explanation for calling Tea Party participants racists comes down to the fact that they are white and racism exists, therefore, they are racists, you have to admit that's pretty weak reasoning.

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  • 141. At 4:18pm on 17 Apr 2010, TrueToo wrote:

    139. SaintDominick,

    What about people who want, for whatever reason, to work as temps and part timers? It works both ways.

    You can't go any lower than minimum wage.

    You can, illegally. Are you saying this never happens?

    If that means socialism to you, so be it.

    What you just described is not socialism.

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  • 142. At 4:19pm on 17 Apr 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    #138 - It seems there's a different angle about trying to establish a national movement than the particular people you know who are members -- this is mass mob mentality manipulation - politics - we're talking about.

    An individual's desperate desire to be and remain part of their like-minded peer group community is definitely an element of mass mob manipulation, but to be successful on a national level they have to operate on very simple, single cell visceral basis...like "we hate taxes", "we don't like this black man as president (or the other two people we identify as targets so we don't look racist)" or "yes we can change things for the better if we work together"

    The accusations are that there are race-baiting buttons embedded in a lot of the tea party rhetoric and, lets face it, you don't see a lot of minorities at their events or in the admin.

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  • 143. At 4:41pm on 17 Apr 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    This is what my newly renamed political party thinks of the UNION QUESTION (f/k/as a tea party group with no members cuz the name was dumb)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTafZRecy2k&feature=related

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  • 144. At 5:15pm on 17 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #134
    SaintDominick wrote:
    Ref 131, Magic

    "Compare that to the racists who are pro Obama (yes african Americans can be racist) pro Palestinian marches (Jews are the most descriminated group today) or ANSWER rallies"

    You are using one of the oldest and most effective tactics used by political parties to deflect attention from their misdeeds and justify their positions: blame the victims.

    ______________

    No just pointing out 1 person at a Tera Party Rally who was a racist does not reflect on the entire group. But since the left is using the race card to brand the Tea Party, I am merely pointing out far greater racism in their groups.

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  • 145. At 5:18pm on 17 Apr 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    87. At 06:04am on 17 Apr 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Campbell's Tomato Soup with grilled cheese sandwiches. American processed cheese, of course. Mmmmm-Mmmm, good!!

    Very unpatriotic of Crash to deride a lunchtime favorite of American children.

    __________

    We are on exactly the same page.
    I think Cream of Mushroom is also made at Leamington. That's where those trustworthy red and white cans come from.

    So that was the classic lunchtime choice:

    Lipton's Chicken Noodle with grilled cheese;
    or
    Tomato with grilled cheese (and Bick's sweet mixed pickles);
    or
    Cream of Mushroom with a club sandwich, (and, when I got older, pickled onions, Swiss Cheese, and a cold ale).

    Mmmm, mmmm good, indeed. It's a cool day. Think I might go for some right now.

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  • 146. At 5:33pm on 17 Apr 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 115 AndreaNY wrote:

    "By the way, the Tea Party was found to be representative of the American public, demographically."

    Really? When? where? By whom? Can you perhaps provide a link to the relevant study?

    Just to be clear, you are saying that they are broadly representative of the whole electorate in terms of, say, age, gender, race etc?

    Because Squirrelist at #82 quotes a CBS poll that says the following, inter alia - "89% TP-ers are white; 1% black. 1% Asian; 6% 'other'. 75% are over 45; 29% over 65; only 23% under 45. 59% are male"

    So you're saying that the whole electorate looks like that? Or that the CBS poll is wrong? [A cunning plan by those nasty TP haters perhaps?]

    And just for the record, I am a white, middle-aged male. I think we have as musch right to our views as any other group. But I do think that, if you'd like to open your eyes for a moment, and look at, say, the House or the Senate [or indeed any Western government], or most boardrooms, you'll find that we poor, oppressed middle-aged white males are exactly an overlooked oppressed minority...

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  • 147. At 5:38pm on 17 Apr 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    65. At 11:00pm on 16 Apr 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "Yes. Here is the demographic of Tea Party respondents compared to all respondents:

    Tea Party demographic

    It's not surprising. People with more money tend to be more conservative. A college degree tends to improve one's earning potential.

    _____________

    Just thought I would re-post the for Andrea's benefit.

    Not sure what it means yet. I agree with the people who say that the tea partiers are (a) not monolithic in terms of socio-economic profile; (b) incohate.

    I'm also coming to believe that an aspect of it is a kind of latent, predominantly passive racism, but not perhaps as large an aspect of it as might be claimed.



    The thing is that the Tea Party groups do represent a recurrent populist theme in North American political history - they are tapping in to an existing historical vein. Right now it is a sort of unfocused anger, waiting for someone with leadership skills to provide that missing focus.

    One of the frustrating things about politics is that while there is lots of anger, when you get people to sit down (relatively) calmly, and you put the federal budget (and it doesn't matter if it is the US or Canada) in front of them, and ask them how they would do it differently; what programs or services should be cut, or where taxes should be raised, there really isn't any answer.

    So, in the end, when you sweep away the anger, there isn't anything useful or constructive to build upon. It isn't as if they aren't sincere, or well meaning. It's just that when you run up against the proportion of the budget that is already allocated to entitlements or defense, there really isn't much left.

    So what do you do?

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  • 148. At 5:43pm on 17 Apr 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 121 MagicKirin wrote:

    "The way blatanty (sic squared) throw out the racism card for legitimate criticsm (sic) is very disgusting.

    The Left and race hucksters have go (sic) a way (sic) with this for 30+ years.

    The people doing this witrh (sic) the Tea Party are primarily two groups:

    1 Obama supporters and the media who lie or skew the fact (sic) .

    2. People who don't know the fact (sic) and are uneducated about the issues."

    The way MK [and indeed certain members of the Israel lobby] blatantly throw out the anti-Semitism card for legitimate criticism of Israel is indeed very disgusting. Some of them have indeed got away with it for decades.

    The one thing that is just as disgusting, if not more so, is the way that he and certain other extreme right wingers forever whine hypocritically 'we're not allowed to make any criticism of Obama or we get called racist' - which is simply untrue - while they blatantly use that tactic themselves.

    [Then again, MK believes the Mods are slyly inserting all those typos into his postings....]

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  • 149. At 5:55pm on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 144, Magic

    "No just pointing out 1 person at a Tera Party Rally who was a racist does not reflect on the entire group. But since the left is using the race card to brand the Tea Party, I am merely pointing out far greater racism in their groups."

    Many of us saw what happened when a group of African American elected officials tried to enter the Capitol a few weeks ago when people insulted them and spat on their faces. Admittedly, the TP gatherings we saw on Tax Day were very subdued and there was no evidence of hatred or calls for violence. I guess the TP leaders concluded they had to change their behavior in order to influence policy-making at a national level...

    You are right in saying that racism is not limited to a specific ethnic group, but trying to compare what African-Americans and Hispanics tell white Americans with white America has done - and does - to them is a tough sell.

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  • 150. At 6:01pm on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 141, TrueToo

    "You can't go any lower than minimum wage.

    You can, illegally. Are you saying this never happens?"

    You don't write legislation or company policy on issues such as minimum wage based on the probability that someone is going to break the law.

    There are tens of thousands of Americans struggling to make ends meet because they are only earning minimum wage, because their employers don't offer benefits, and because they are no scheduled to work 40 hours a week. This is not a trivial problem and it should not be minimized or ridiculed.

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  • 151. At 6:06pm on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 140, Andrea

    "This is no different than a lot of the stereotypes being used to define the Tea Party."

    If you treat your employees as fairly as you suggest, and I have no reason to doubt you, I commend you. My comment was not directed at you personally, it was directed at hundreds of business owners who are taking advantage of the present economic circumstances to abuse their employees.

    I do not criticize your opposition to organized labor, or anyone else's, I criticize those that demonize people who for a variety of reasons have sought union representation. You have a right to your views and to conduct your business in accordance with the law, so do they.

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  • 152. At 6:38pm on 17 Apr 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 131 MK

    "Compare that to the racists who are pro Obama (yes african Americans can be racist) pro Palestinian marches (Jews are the most descriminated (sic squared) group today) or ANSWER rallies"

    Typical enough

    He whines about all Obama opponents being dubbed racist. Then announces that Obama supporters are racist [yes, I know, he didn't say they were all racist - but he didn't specify which ones were either] as are those who go dare to on pro-Palestinian marches.

    As for Jews being the most discriminated against group, this is a familiar whine of his - as I recall he once whined how unfair it was that they don't receive positive discrimination.

    As far as I know, Jews make up 14% of the Senate. African Americans? Not sure, but I think it's between 0 and 1%...

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  • 153. At 7:32pm on 17 Apr 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 145 Interestedforeigner-

    "We are on exactly the same page.
    I think Cream of Mushroom is also made at Leamington. That's where those trustworthy red and white cans come from."


    They make soup at a plant in Etobicoke, Ontario. I don't think Heinz lets Campbells get too much of their tomato crop.

    Driving past the tomato fields around Leamington during harvest time a friend remarked to me that it smelled like catsup. She understood why when we drove past the Heinz plant in town.

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  • 154. At 8:04pm on 17 Apr 2010, tin_man wrote:

    for me, it's just all so disappointing how we treat each other here in the US...so very uncivilized...point the finger (usually the middle one)...insult those we don't identify with...rationalize how we're better than the next person...more for me and to hell with everybody else...where would we be without our hate?...it seems to define us more than anything else i can think of...it's like we never left the playground where being king of the hill was all that mattered...does the tea party have an answer?...doesn't look like it...do they even know what the question is?...doesn't look like it...maybe it's written on their hand and they just can't see it through all their anger...

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  • 155. At 8:08pm on 17 Apr 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Perhaps the most prominent person behind the Tea Party movement in Michigan is, Amy Jayne Hawkins; Executive Director of Citizens for Traditional Values. Ms. Hawkins' name pops up in 42 of the 59 Michigan Tea Party sites. It appears that she is responsible, in large part, for forming many of the existing groups.

    The link shows the make-up of Citizens for Traditional Values leadership. Many noted Republicans in that list. I would dare say you could not find a Democrat in the bunch.

    Current total membership in the various Michigan Tea Party groups stands at about 339 members. Rather small number of "patriots" in a State with a population of 10 million people. I would not say they are demographically representative of the State of Michigan by any stretch of the imagination.

    There is also much evidence of divisiveness between the various, independent groups. An example of this divisiveness may been seen in the names of two groups in the small city of Traverse City, on the western side of the State. There is the Traverse City Tea Party Patriots; and The True Traverse City Tea Party Patriots.

    Does not sound as if the two groups are of like mind.

    Frankly; I cannot see a group of 339, rather politically naive, mostly politically inactive people having a major impact on elections in this State. Especially with such groups as the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia and it's 4 active members.

    The old National Guard recruiting slogan was, "Sleep well tonight. You're National Guard is awake."

    I think their slogan could be, "Don't worry. Us four guys got yer back!"

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  • 156. At 8:17pm on 17 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #152

    As usual you choose to ignore the point, the claims by many anti Tea Party people is that a percentage of the protest is tinged by racism is not true.

    But it is a fact that Jews are still descriminated world wide far more than any other ethnic group.

    I'd have to check the percentages but let looks at African Americans in high positions in goverment compared to Jews?

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  • 157. At 8:19pm on 17 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #149
    Many of us saw what happened when a group of African American elected officials tried to enter the Capitol a few weeks ago when people insulted them and spat on their faces. Admittedly, the TP gatherings we saw on Tax Day were very subdued and there was no evidence of hatred or calls for violence. I guess the TP leaders concluded they had to change their behavior in order to influence policy-making at a national level...

    ___________Insulted yes, but no racial slurs or spat on has yet been proven. I don't believe the congressman from GA.

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  • 158. At 8:24pm on 17 Apr 2010, HERCULE_SAVINIEN wrote:

    HOW TO CUT THE DEFICIT!!

    MARK MARDELL ASKS: So I ask him how he would cut the deficit.

    HERCULE TRIATHLON SAVINIEN REPLYS:

    1. Cut the size and mission of the Israeli-American Empires, military, no country on the planet has [12] Twelve, that's correct [1] One Dozen Carrier Battle Groups, the [UK] United Kingdom has at last count [1] One Carrier, and it is up there in age, the Peoples Republic of Red China purchased the French Carrier, and is building [1] One, now were talking fighter jet carriers, not even including the Empires Marine Helo Carriers, and support ships. Then you have the Trident Submarines, they are running more patrols now then were ever run during the Cold War.

    2.[NASA] needs to be severly defunded, the days of having manned space missions is unnecessary and overly hyped, in California there are in fact privately owned and operated ways of entering orbit, a episode from [CSI] Miami was about one firm operating out of Flordia. Throwing more money not a rat hole and risking lives is not the answer, the answer is in the Dreamers, Thinkers, Workers, NetCitzens, Tea-Bagger the [21st] Century and its promise of yet greater and newer technology, not another [50] Fifty years of just throwing men into space to prove it can be done yet again, or [4] Four women at once for show. Pear down [NASA] and hand contracts to civilian firms for specific tasks.

    3. Demand pay as you go, no more of this just tacking on to bills yet another bridge to no where, every penny of tax payer money must be accounted for, [WHO] is asking for tax payer money? [WHAT] is that money to be used for? [WHEN] will it be need and when can the outcome of what the money be expected to be seen? [WHERE] is the benefit of that expendure expected to be seen in its benefits, to the taxpayers of the entire Empire, not just in some local benefit, if it only serves local benefit then the State should fund the project. [WHY] is it that money should be spent on the requested funding, you must justify a major federal funding program, why shouldn't it be a privately funded project, why not at the local level, [Town, City, County, State] level?

    3. Funding of and too other nations must be cut, it is time for the [UN] United Nations to be used to supports actions of a peaceful nature and not the citizens of the Empire, a case in point is Israel it is a nation now and it is about time it acted as an independent nation it is just one of many.

    4. When your going Bankrupt and spending your nations future it become time to live within your means, and that means line item, by line item, do we need this, can we use something else in its place.

    5. The Empire has to fall, [300] Three Hundred military bases, Space Programs, Hand out you can't afford to hand out, not holding people responsible for their having their hands in the cookie jar, its over. Empires come and go over the same thing, more money going out than coming in.

    HERCULE TRIATHLON SAVINIEN

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  • 159. At 8:34pm on 17 Apr 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 135 MagicKirin-

    "Can't speak for Michigan but in blue state Mass Tea Party is very strong, and hate radio(shultz,Miller and Rose) have been lying about the number in most states."

    There are about 28 Tea Party groups in Massachusetts. A first hand look at membership appears to show an even small total of membership than in Michigan. But the population is also smaller at about 6.5 million.

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  • 160. At 8:44pm on 17 Apr 2010, Two of Pentacles -Change- wrote:

    MK aka Mr Non-Partial
    If you look carefully you can see teabagger (description = white guy with hat) cupping his hands and gobbing dirty disease ridden dna
    Congressman Emanuel Cleaver spit on by teabagger before healthcare vote - new video!

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  • 161. At 8:47pm on 17 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #159
    publiusdetroit wrote:
    Ref 135 MagicKirin-

    "Can't speak for Michigan but in blue state Mass Tea Party is very strong, and hate radio(shultz,Miller and Rose) have been lying about the number in most states."

    There are about 28 Tea Party groups in Massachusetts. A first hand look at membership appears to show an even small total of membership than in Michigan. But the population is also smaller at about 6.5 million.

    _____________

    serious question:

    Is your analysis by memembership list or by attendance at rallies?

    I am basing mine on the latter.

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  • 162. At 8:52pm on 17 Apr 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    153. At 7:32pm on 17 Apr 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    There are a lot of tomatoes that go into that other product, too. Tom Connors wrote a sort of a love song about it. I don't know what percentage of Canada's tomatoes are grown within 100 km of Leamington, but it must be pretty substantial.

    On the other one, the big cans don't seem to have an address, but the small ones are labeled "60 Birmingham St., Toronto", which I see is in Mimico down by the Lakeshore, a bit south of the Mimico yard. Don't know whether that's where the soup is actually canned, or if that is head office, or both. I get down that way now & again, so maybe next time I'll have a look.

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  • 163. At 9:07pm on 17 Apr 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    142. frayedcat:


    "An individual's desperate desire to be and remain part of their like-minded peer group community is definitely an element of mass mob manipulation..."

    ***************
    You do realize there are many types of Americans who choose to "remain part of their like-minded peer group community"? Is this now the basis for judging the merits of a group's position?


    As for that Congressman being spat on, check again. In the video, it appeared to me that the protester was screaming, "Kill the bill!" My observation is that there was no intentional spitting.

    The Congressman, on the other hand, appeared to be looking for a fight. He looked pretty angry when he brought the Court Officer out afterwards looking for his "perpetrator".

    As for those n-word accusations, that story's plot just keeps getting stranger and stranger. First the words were heard on the steps. Then around the corner. Yes, the story has changed.

    Thin-skinned politicians looking to pick a fight with Americans over race are not exactly what we need right now.

    If they can't take the heat, they should simply stay off the steps when people are screaming at the tops of their lungs.

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  • 164. At 9:17pm on 17 Apr 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    The article on the Gallup poll is here, followed by Gallup's analysis.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/04/tea-party-obama.html

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/127181/Tea-Partiers-Fairly-Mainstream-Demographics.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=syndication&utm_content=morelink&utm_term=Politics

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  • 165. At 9:21pm on 17 Apr 2010, Two of Pentacles -Change- wrote:

    160. At 8:44pm on 17 Apr 2010, you wrote:
    Bad Network Link Typo just like the dodgy MK aka Mr Non-Partial
    Congressman Emanuel Cleaver spit on by ...
    MK U-Can Take a Cab, Car, Train or a Automoble*
    *=( or he/she can Run, Hide or Read more at palingates.blogspot.com )

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  • 166. At 9:23pm on 17 Apr 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 161 MagicKirin-

    "Is your analysis by memembership list or by attendance at rallies?"

    I am looking at membership. That demonstrates a stronger sign of commitment than just dropping in on a rally for a good time.

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  • 167. At 9:44pm on 17 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #166
    publiusdetroit wrote:
    Ref 161 MagicKirin-

    "Is your analysis by memembership list or by attendance at rallies?"

    I am looking at membership. That demonstrates a stronger sign of commitment than just dropping in on a rally for a good time.

    _______________

    I disageee I think the sentiment is more important. Remember when Obama won he got voters who are usually very disinterested in politics and elections

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  • 168. At 9:45pm on 17 Apr 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 156 MagicKirin wrote:

    "As usual you choose to ignore the point, the claims by many anti Tea Party people is (sic) that a percentage of the protest is tinged by racism is not true."

    As usual you don't make one.

    As I understand it, since your claim is barely in English, you are stating that not even a % of the Tea Party protest is tinged by racism. [I have made no comment on whether it is or it isn't.] Though you were happy to claim that at least some of those who support Obama and/or the Palestinians are racists.

    You state this as fact.

    How do you know? What proof do you have?

    As ever, none.

    This is just more of the typical Magic In KirinLand 'Words mean what I want them to mean, no more, no less', and 'It's true because I say it is - no evidence is needed'. Essentially it's The Big Lie all over again, just keep repeating something and eventually people may believe it

    "But it is a fact that Jews are still descriminated (sic sic) world wide far more than any other ethnic group."

    Evidence?

    Bearing in mind that the vast majority of Jews live in the US, Israel, Canada , Australia and W Europe.

    Yes, doubtless anti-Semitism still exists - but what exactly is your evidence for your 'fact' about discrimination?

    "I'd have to check the percentages but let (sic) looks (sic) at African Americans in high positions in goverment (sic) compared to Jews? (sic)"

    Since when has being in the Senate not been a high position in government? As I said, Jews are c 14% of Senators and c 2 % of Americans. African Americans are some 13 % of the population, and 1 senator, who was appointed to replace Obama. There are more Jewish Senators, at 14, than there have been African American Senators in history - 6.

    I don't know off-hand what percentage of Cabinet etc appointees is Jewish. I rather expect it's more than 2% - hardly surprising since the vast majority of Jews in the US support the Democrats. I do know that Obama's chief strategist, David Axelrod, is Jewish, as is his Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel.[AFAIK the latter served in the Israeli Army].

    But as ever, Magic the 'nuanced and tolerant', don't let the facts get in the way of your bias...

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  • 169. At 9:58pm on 17 Apr 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    Weel the base for my recently formed former tea party group right now is very small, consisting only of Irish immigrant pirate ice hockey players, but its a fun peer group - join us!

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  • 170. At 10:00pm on 17 Apr 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 164 Andrea

    One of the commenters on the article you cite questioned Gallup's interpretations, as follows:

    "The Gallup Poll says that Tea Party adherents, based on age, educational background, employment status and race, "are quite representative of the public at large," according to Gallup's Lydia Saad.

    Oh really? I looked at the Gallup Poll data and found something totally different.

    Contrary to what's been reported, the Tea Party movement's demographics more closely match those of the Republican Party than either Democrats or independents.

    Forty-nine percent of Tea Party adherents are Republican, 43 percent are independent and only eight percent are Democrats. This is in sharp contrast to the overal U.S. electorate, in which 40 percent identify as independents, 32 percent as Democrats and only 28 percent as Republicans.

    I don't know where Gallup gets off saying that the Tea Party movement is "representative of America as a whole," when 55 percent of Tea Party members are men and only 45 percent are women, comapred to women making up 51 percent and men 49 percent of voters overall (Not to mention the adult U.S. population as a whole).

    Seventy percent of Tea Party members are conservative, 22 percent moderate and only seven percent are liberal. How does that square with only 40 percent of voters overall being conservative, 38 percent being moderate and 21 percent liberal? It's quit evident that the Tea Party movement is considerably to the right of the electorate as a whole.

    With many Tea Party candidates openly challenging Republican incumbents in GOP primaries, it's rather apparent that the Tea Party movement poses a much greater threat to the Republicans than to the Democrats.

    Then there is the matter of race. An overwhelming 79 percent of Tea Party members are white, matching the racial demographics of the GOP. Yet whites make up only 66 percent of the U.S. population as a whole, according to the Census Bureau.

    With African Americans and Latinos heavily favoring the Democrats -- and Latino births now poised to outpace white births by 2012 -- the GOP and the Tea Party movement are, in fact, fighting to curry favor with a segment of the U.S. population that will inevitably become a minority by the middle of this century, while doing absolutely nothing to appeal to African Americans and Latinos -- and indeed are doing everything they can to alienate them."

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  • 171. At 10:11pm on 17 Apr 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 167 MagicKirin-

    "I disageee I think the sentiment is more important. Remember when Obama won he got voters who are usually very disinterested in politics and elections"

    Does not surprise me that you think sentiment is more important.

    The people who voted for Obama, did just that. They voted!

    What gets elected officials elected? People who go to the polls and cast a ballot; or people that stand around on street corners shouting?

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  • 172. At 10:22pm on 17 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #171
    What gets elected officials elected? People who go to the polls and cast a ballot; or people that stand around on street corners shouting?
    _____________

    You think that the Tea Party people don't vote?

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  • 173. At 10:27pm on 17 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    Since when has being in the Senate not been a high position in government? As I said, Jews are c 14% of Senators and c 2 % of Americans. African Americans are some 13 % of the population, and 1 senator, who was appointed to replace Obama. There are more Jewish Senators, at 14, than there have been African American Senators in history - 6.

    _______________-

    Look again at the high ranking house members, charle Rangel (the tax cheat was finally forced out of his commitee chairmanship) Henry Waxman etc.

    Denying the discrimination of Jews is like denying slavery of the 1900s or the Holocaust. Or is there a reason why IRC refuses to accept the Red Star but will accept the Red Crescent, that Israel not only has never been on the Security Council but is refused membership in most major African international orgnizations. That the Daily Kos made major anti-semetic comments about Senator Lierberman ot that Jessie Jackson got away with the Hymie town comment.

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  • 174. At 10:30pm on 17 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #168
    http://www.wordiq.com/definition/History_of_anti-Semitism

    a link for discrimination deniers like John

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  • 175. At 10:58pm on 17 Apr 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    170. John_From_Dublin:

    Oh really? I looked at the Gallup Poll data and found something totally different.

    Contrary to what's been reported, the Tea Party movement's demographics more closely match those of the Republican Party than either Democrats or independents.

    *********************

    Look again. Gallup identifies the Tea Party as "skewing right" and being "decidedly Republican and conservative in their leanings", which addresses its politics.

    As for its demographics, it states:

    "In several other respects, however -- their age, educational background, employment status, and race -- Tea Partiers are quite representative of the public at large."

    If you look at that chart, you see the Tea Party is almost identical to Gallup's "All U.S. Adults" category.

    It doesn't surprise me that you would focus on its politics. That's usually the primary litmus test used to determine whether a group is legitimate. The race (and racist) issue is then raised, out of nothing, to justify the dismissal of the group based on its politics.

    This is why the "They're white" claim is so ridiculous. So is a lot of America. So are a lot of democrats. So what?






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  • 176. At 10:58pm on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 172, Magic

    "You think that the Tea Party people don't vote?"

    Of course they do, and I expect them to vote not only for the candidates they endorse but for anyone running against Democrats.

    The Tea Party has been getting all the attention because it is a novelty, because of all the rallies they have held, and because of what has been said or taken place in some of those demonstrations.

    What has not been getting too much attention is the determination of most Democrats to vote for our incumbent senators and representatives.

    The Tea Party has been gett

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  • 177. At 11:04pm on 17 Apr 2010, Two of Pentacles -Change- wrote:

    174. At 10:30pm on 17 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:
    "a link for discrimination deniers like John"
    _________________________________________________________________________

    John. Go Show the kirin your smarts. Soon he will be labelling you as an “anti-semite”. ha ha ha
    Pilipinas Got Talent - Jovit Baldivino - Faithfully (Journey Cover)

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  • 178. At 11:07pm on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 173, Magic

    "Look again at the high ranking house members, charle Rangel (the tax cheat was finally forced out of his commitee chairmanship) Henry Waxman etc."

    Please correct me if I am wrong, but isn't Henry Waxman white?

    The point that was made in response to your allegation of discrimination against Jews in the USA is that, proportionately, there are more Jews in high level government positions than African Americans who are a larger segment of our population.

    That fact also extends to other positions of power and influence in our society including Wall Street, corporate ownership, academia, etc. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with it since most have risen to the top because of their education, hard work and demonstrated performance, but to insinuate that Jews have endured the same level of discrimination as people of African ancestry in the USA has got to be the ultimate example of hyperbole.

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  • 179. At 11:08pm on 17 Apr 2010, timohio wrote:

    re. 166: publiusdetroit:

    I am looking at membership. That demonstrates a stronger sign of commitment than just dropping in on a rally for a good time.

    167. MagicKirin:

    I disageee I think the sentiment is more important.

    Magic is going to just shriek at this comparison, but the Tea Party rallies remind me very strongly of the anti-war rallies on college campuses in the late 60s and early 70s. Lots of noise, lots of heated tempers, lots of name-calling, good time had by all. Go out for a beer afterwards and feel good about yourself. But in the end not very much accomplished. If anything the news coverage of long-haired college students screaming at cops just hardened the attitudes of a lot of the blue collar middle class. The war ended when public sentiment turned against it, and that was as much a product of the casualty rate and the beginning of the draft lottery as anything else.

    To be successful, protest movements need one of two things:

    A) Truly committed members with the numbers and skills to raise money, join mainstream political parties, and provide the ground troops in an election campaign to get their candidates in office. The anti-abortion activists have taken that route and it worked for them. So have a lot of the environmental groups. Barack Obama's campaign did something similar using the social networking features of his web site.

    B) Truly massive numbers (as in March on Washington numbers) turning up at rallies in Washington. That convinces members of Congress that these people are serious and that there are enough of them to swing an election. Letters and emails don't do the same thing because everyone knows that they can be orchestrated and it really doesn't show much of a commitment.

    So far the tea partiers haven't shown either of these qualities. They haven't been around long enough to show whether they can get involved and get people elected and they haven't had enough people at their rallies to be truly alarming. They might be making noise for a while longer (the anti-war protests went on for almost 10 years), but unless something changes they're not going to have much impact.

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  • 180. At 11:09pm on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 173, Magic

    "Denying the discrimination of Jews is like denying slavery of the 1900s.."

    I am guessing, considering the year, that you are not talking about the USA, in which case your point is valid.

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  • 181. At 11:17pm on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 173, J-F-D

    "With many Tea Party candidates openly challenging Republican incumbents in GOP primaries, it's rather apparent that the Tea Party movement poses a much greater threat to the Republicans than to the Democrats."

    I think you are right, the first casualties are likely to be moderate Republican incumbents such as Sen. McCain and Gov. Charlie Crist. I suspect a lot of Republican senators and congressmen are having second thoughts about the TP movement.

    Having said that, I expect TP members to vote for anyone opposing Democrats, regardless of whether their candidate is a moderate Republican or Independent. Their goal is to regain control of Congress, how they achieve that goal is inconsequential to them.

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  • 182. At 11:30pm on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 179, timohio

    I agree but will add another important requirement for a popular movement to succeed: a coherent message or theme that resonates at a national level and appeals to all segments of our population.

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  • 183. At 11:36pm on 17 Apr 2010, Two of Pentacles -Change- wrote:

    MLK Analysis ☸ WHEEL OF DHARMA
    Hates Obama with a passion, supports the Tea Party, supports the AWB (Average White Band) and claims to be an non-Israeli jew

    MLK could be a spy or a conundrum* who hates himself
    Pronunciation: \kə-ˈnən-drəm\
    Etymology: origin unknown
    _____________________________________________________________________
    (*)=conundrum
    1 : a riddle whose answer is or involves a pun
    2 a : a question or problem having only a conjectural answer b : an intricate and difficult problem
    please send obama hate mail from your nazi friend's (卐)

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  • 184. At 11:40pm on 17 Apr 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    176. SaintDominick:

    "What has not been getting too much attention is the determination of most Democrats to vote for our incumbent senators and representatives."

    ******************
    This is no surprise. How do you think Bush got re-elected? It was because all of the people who wrongly assumed everyone felt as they did about him (ex., that he was awful). His supporters made a point of proving them wrong.

    This is why Obama's chances for re-election are stronger than a lot of his detractors realize. His supporters will die before they let him go down. There's a lot riding on his not being a one-term president.

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  • 185. At 11:42pm on 17 Apr 2010, strontiumdog wrote:

    Magickirin/St Dominick,
    Your topic of ethnic/religious groups in high office got me wondering how many Muslims are there in high office in the USA? . You never seem to see them on TV. I see there are about the same number of Muslims in the US as there are Jews. About 5.3 million so I presume there would be the roughly same amount of Politicians', civil servants etc, etc

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  • 186. At 11:44pm on 17 Apr 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 173 MagicKirin wrote:

    "Look again at the high ranking house members, charle Rangel (the tax cheat was finally forced out of his commitee chairmanship) Henry Waxman etc."

    If you have data, provide it. If not, stop wasting our time. In particular, please provide data that Jews are less than 2% of the House of Reps or African Americans more than 13%. [To be clear, I do not of course claim that racial or religious groups have an entitlement to be represented in the legislature in proportion to their proportion of the population - just that if any such group is grossly over-represented, they can hardly claim to be the victim of gross discrimination.]







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  • 187. At 00:02am on 18 Apr 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 173 MagicKirin wrote:

    "Denying the discrimination of Jews is like denying slavery of the 1900s or the Holocaust."
    & # 174 "a link for discrimination deniers like John"

    I have no idea what drivel you are talking about slavery in the 1900s.

    You make it clear you cannot write, spell or think. Now you make it clear that you cannot read.

    Either point out where I *denied* discrimination against Jews or stand displayed yet again as the mendacious defamer you are.

    If you could read you would be able to see that you stated "But it is a fact that Jews are still descriminated (sic sic) world wide far more than any other ethnic group." [There go the BBC inserting typos - clear evidence of their bias...]

    I asked for evidence of this "fact" - not that anti-Semitism exists, which I clearly accepted, but that Jews are more discriminated against than any other group in the world. Again, I repeat, i neither agreed or disagreed, merely pointed out that your tedious habit of repeating your prejudices as fact without evidence has no place in rational argument.

    You give me history, and accuse me of being akin to a holocaust-denier.

    I've asked before, as someone once asked McCarthy, 'have you no shame? Have you no decency?'

    the answer is clear.

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  • 188. At 00:05am on 18 Apr 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 177 Never Been Gone wrote:

    "John. Go Show the kirin your smarts. Soon he will be labelling you as an “anti-semite”."

    Of course he will. He's done it before. He'll do it again. Anyone who dares to disagree with him or entertain the heretical thought that every action of this or any other Israeli government is not perfect will eventually get that that treatment from MK and his ilk.

    Still, he called Nelson Mandela a racist anti-Semite, so at least I'm in pretty good company...

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  • 189. At 00:06am on 18 Apr 2010, Two of Pentacles -Change- wrote:

    sorry typo: I meant MK (MagicKirin) not MLK @
    183. At 11:36pm on 17 Apr 2010, you wrote:
    ______________________________________________
    MK MagicKirin Analysis... .. .
    .☹. WHITE FROWNING FACE.

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  • 190. At 00:09am on 18 Apr 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 175 and #181

    Just to be clear, the posting at "170" you refer to and either agree or disagree with was a quotation from the link Andrea provided, not my opinion. Having said that, it seemed reasonable to me, and a welcome counterbalance to the views expressed by Gallup.

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  • 191. At 00:15am on 18 Apr 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    On the subject of the Tea Party, Andrew Sullivan posted a link to the following, and made the following comment:

    "I hadn't seen this video and no doubt it shows only fringe characters and posters. But, in some cultural respects, the movement really does look increasingly like some last rather desperate and sad coda to the Civil War."

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S38VioxnBaI

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  • 192. At 00:57am on 18 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 184, Andrea

    "How do you think Bush got re-elected?"

    Former President George W. Bush was still popular when he ran for re-election and got most of the Independent vote plus a fair number of Democrats. His popularity plummeted during the last 2 or 3 years of his administration.

    Another factor was that Kerry ran a lousy campaign, did not defend himself against the Swift Boat allegations, and did not provide alternatives to Bush's policies.

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  • 193. At 02:09am on 18 Apr 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    " better suited to lounging around on the grassy hill beneath the Washington Monument than counter-revolutionary fervour."

    "Counter-revolutionary" is a grossly inaccurate characterization, highly biased and pejorative, and poor journalism but it is what I have come to expect from BBC. Perhaps some at BBC even who report on America don't know or have forgotten that America began as a revolt against overbearing government and overbearing taxation the American revolutionaries rejected. The tea parties are in the tradition of the American Revolution in the finest sense. It is those who would impose government regulation and excessive taxation on us in the name of the greater good of society who are the counter-revolutionaries, who would make us more like that wetched blot, that skewered isle, and the rest of that acursed continent of misery Europe.

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  • 194. At 02:17am on 18 Apr 2010, timohio wrote:

    re. 182. SaintDominick:

    I agree but will add another important requirement for a popular movement to succeed: a coherent message or theme that resonates at a national level and appeals to all segments of our population.

    The anti-abortion movement doesn't fit that requirement, but they certainly have succeeded as a popular movement. A niche movement can succeed and have an impact on the larger population without appealing to all segments of our population.

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  • 195. At 02:36am on 18 Apr 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    182. At 11:30pm on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 179, timohio

    "I agree but will add another important requirement for a popular movement to succeed: a coherent message or theme that resonates at a national level and appeals to all segments of our population."

    ... and typically someone to focus that message and lead the group.

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  • 196. At 03:02am on 18 Apr 2010, Two of Pentacles -Change- wrote:

    "Counter-revolutionary" is a grossly inaccurate characterization, highly biased and pejorative
    The tea parties are in the tradition of the American Revolution in the finest sense. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    U.S. Constitution
    What it says,
    What it means,
    A Hip Pocket Guide:
    Service Unavailable
    Error 503 : I-Spy with my little eye hypocrite @ MarcusAureliusII (193. ) with his sly eye

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  • 197. At 04:25am on 18 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #180

    Sorry typo the 1800s but I think you and though he would never admidt Dublin knew what I was talking about.

    But the fact remains discrimination against Jews is still acceptible in much of the world. Look at thge previous U.N head, the terrorist supporter Galloway and liberal college campus.

    Sorry it took so long I was watching DW on BBC America

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  • 198. At 04:27am on 18 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #188
    Of course he will. He's done it before. He'll do it again. Anyone who dares to disagree with him or entertain the heretical thought that every action of this or any other Israeli government is not perfect will eventually get that that treatment from MK and his ilk.

    Still, he called Nelson Mandela a racist anti-Semite, so at least I'm in pretty good company...
    _______________

    No what I have said is that Mandela does not value Whites and Jews as much as other races, that he has not condmened ethnic clensing by Mugabe and terroism against Jews.

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  • 199. At 05:00am on 18 Apr 2010, Warren wrote:

    It's really hard to say since the American mainstream has shifted so far to the right in public opinion.These mean spirited,right-wing foul speaking,anti-intellectual,hate spewing members of the Tea Party Express have much reason to feel quite elated because of all the ignorance and fanaticism that abounds all across America which means that they're bound to flourish to a great degree.The Americam public should try to shed themselves of this right-wing lynch mob mentality and quite soon.

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  • 200. At 09:31am on 18 Apr 2010, Two of Pentacles -Change- wrote:

    46664 was Nelson Mandela's prison number when he was incarcerated on Robbin Island, Cape Town for 18 years.

    46664 is a global movement fighting against HIV/AIDS in Africa and around the globe and MUSIC is a key element of the 46664 campaign.

    46664 thats my number. Small minded is an adequate description for kirin's and marcuses crap. Deaf, Dumb and Blind with ignorance and bitter hatred may work

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  • 201. At 10:03am on 18 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #199
    Warren wrote:
    It's really hard to say since the American mainstream has shifted so far to the right in public opinion.These mean spirited,right-wing foul speaking,anti-intellectual,hate spewing members of the Tea Party Express have much reason to feel quite elated because of all the ignorance and fanaticism that abounds all across America which means that they're bound to flourish to a great degree.The Americam public should try to shed themselves of this right-wing lynch mob mentality and quite soon.

    ________________

    The Tea Party is not a hate filled group and are smarter and more informed than most americans. please do not confuse them with the hate rally of racists in LA.

    There is more hate there or WTO protests, Louis Farakhan ralies and code Pink demonstrations.

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  • 202. At 10:36am on 18 Apr 2010, Two of Pentacles -Change- wrote:


    ___________________________________________________________________________
    — This is Joni Mitchell performing Slouching Towards Bethlehem, a song based on the poetry of W.B Yeats.
    ___________________________________________________________________________


    ‘things fall apart the center cannot hold
    the falcon cannot hear the falconer.’

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  • 203. At 11:02am on 18 Apr 2010, Two of Pentacles -Change- wrote:

    Bless Me
    Bless me, so that they can’t curse me
    I’m in the midst of stangers
    Strangers with no love or mercy

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  • 204. At 11:09am on 18 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 201, Magic

    "The Tea Party is not a hate filled group and are smarter and more informed than most americans. please do not confuse them with the hate rally of racists in LA."

    The problem with your premise and the comparisons you make is that most people don't even know what you are talking about...and the fact that people throughout the world have heard the statements made by Tea Party members and saw how they behaved during the healthcare reform debate.

    Judging by more recent behavior it is apparent that the TP leadership recognized the danger of expressing extremism in such an overt manner and have told their followers to tone down their rhetoric and demonstrate a more civil behavior. Unfortunately for them, it is hard to shed an image after you get based on demonstrable behavior and deeds.

    Incidentally, who are the racists you are talking about? Are you talking about the riots that took place in LA and DC decades ago, or Hispanic demonstrators in LA? Considering the way you think I am sure you are referring to the audacity of minorities demanding equality or expressing their anger after Martin Luther King was assassinated.

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  • 205. At 11:14am on 18 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 198, Magic

    "No what I have said is that Mandela does not value Whites and Jews as much as other races, that he has not condmened ethnic clensing by Mugabe and terroism against Jews"

    That is not exactly what you have said in the past, but I am pleased to see that you are trying to tone down your rhetoric. The advice the Tea leaders gave their followers when they suggested a more civil approach was good, maybe a bit late, but good.

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  • 206. At 11:16am on 18 Apr 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 198 MagicKirin the 'tolerant and nuanced' wrote:

    "No what I have said is that Mandela does not value Whites and Jews as much as other races, that he has not condmened (sic) ethnic clensing (sic) by Mugabe and terroism (sic) against Jews."

    Goodness - where on earth could we all have got the idea that you said that Mandela was a racist anti-Semite? When in fact all you said [according to you - not the most reliable witness, to put it very mildly] is that he thinks Whites and Jews are less valuable than other people. Completely different....

    I will ask you again, for what feels like the 97th time - does the fact that most of Mugabe's victims were and are black not occur to you? I think Mandela is not the one who values some races more than others.

    And now Mandela has failed to condemn the Chinese earthquake and the Icelandic volcano. Clearly he hates the Chinese and the Icelanders...

    For a more objective view on the Mugabe issue - in fairness, you couldn't have a less objective one - here is what Wiki says at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Mandela#Zimbabwe_and_Robert_Mugabe. It contains links to 6 sources, which are at the link I provided.

    And no MK, for the several zillionth time, you can say "Wickipeeja iz byassed becos thay wont lett mee rite there entree onn Isreal" as many times as you like - that still won't make it true, or turn your Big Lie into truth.

    "Despite their common background as national liberators, Mandela and Mugabe were seldom seen as close. Mandela criticised Mugabe in 2000, referring to African leaders who had liberated their countries but had then overstayed their welcome.[155][156] In his retirement, Mandela spoke out less often on Zimbabwe and other international and domestic issues,[120] sometimes leading to criticism for not using his influence to greater effect to persuade Mugabe to moderate his policies.[157] His lawyer George Bizos revealed that Mandela has been advised on medical grounds to avoid engaging in stressful activity such as political controversy.[158] Nonetheless, in 2007, Mandela attempted to persuade Mugabe to leave office "sooner than later", with "a modicum of dignity", before he was hounded out like Augusto Pinochet. Mugabe did not respond to this approach.[159] In June 2008, at the height of the crisis over the Zimbabwean presidential election, Mandela condemned the "tragic failure of leadership" in Zimbabwe.[160]"

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  • 207. At 11:34am on 18 Apr 2010, Two of Pentacles -Change- wrote:

    - Untold Stories , I could go on and on, the full has never been told
    Opportunity is a scarce scarce commodity
    In this time I say
    I’ve got to survive
    Some way, Some how
    my cup is full to the brim
    I could go on and on, the full has never been told

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  • 208. At 11:34am on 18 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    "But the fact remains discrimination against Jews is still acceptible in much of the world. Look at thge previous U.N head, the terrorist supporter Galloway and liberal college campus."

    Religious and ethnic intolerance or discrimination have existed since the earliest beginnings of mankind, and will likely continue for as long as our species survives.

    Obviously, the Jewish people have been persecuted and have endured tremendous pain and misery for millennia, mostly at the hands of Christians, but pretending that they are targets of religious discrimination in the USA and that they have suffered the same abuses as those endured by African Americans and Hispanics is disingenous, to put it mildly.

    American Jews are among the most successful members of our society. A disproportionate number of them are in high government and corporate positions, many are renowned academics, and many are members of the American elite. Their ability to rise to the top is not because of preferential treatment - and certainly not because they are discriminated against - but because of their emphasis on education, work ethics, intellectual acumen, ingenuity, and demonstrable performance.

    One of the reasons so many people react angrily at the insinuations you make is because of your insistence in portraying yourself and fellow Jews as the underdogs, and because of your efforts to compare Jews to the most unsuccessful and denigrated members of American society. Stop pretending, be proud of who you are and what you have achieved, and show some compassion for the less fortunate, if nothing else because being poor and unsuccessful does not mean they are evil.

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  • 209. At 11:58am on 18 Apr 2010, Two of Pentacles -Change- wrote:

    Never Been Gone – ☮☯♡ – Wanna Be Loved

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  • 210. At 12:05pm on 18 Apr 2010, lancelot83 wrote:

    Ref #123 Saint Dominic

    I will bow to the assertion that there was a ~movement in 2008 to get Obama elected. By and large I would say that Pres. Bush was a very polarizing figure and that corruption and lack of conservative leadership left the Republican party much like a ship without a rudder.

    I do believe that America is a center right country however. It's my opinion that without getting into the weeds and staying at ~10,000 feet, the implicit impact of electing Obama and then his take over or socialistic policies he's introduced (banking, automobile, insurance...) has the average man or woman waking up and brushing off constitutional understandings of intended government framework and then stepping out of the comforts of their homes to provide a voice.

    Make no mistake about it, you will now see the democratic party and biased media sources (all of them...) in the U.S. ratchet up 'racist' or derogatory comments to taint the appearance of the tea party movement. Very predictable and sad for America.

    History has shown that at least three common elements can be ponted out in the fall of great systems of government: 1.) Greed, 2.) Immorality and its impact of the nucleus of a society: the Family, and 3.) A decline in patriotism to protect and defend that system of government. I see America on that path today personally. The question is how long will we be able to prolong the entropy...

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  • 211. At 12:14pm on 18 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #206 and 208

    Despite what Dublin says wikipedia is biased and yes if they claim to offer open editing and ban many people besides me, I will never accept ist as a relliable source, not does the educational establishment.

    Dominick I said descrimination of Jews worldwide, as the U.S is one of the most progressive nations in the world obvious there is less here than say Europe or the Middle East.

    What I resent is that since there is still subtle discriminations against Jews, certain Country Clubs can get away not accepting Jews, certain black leaders like Jackson and McKinney have made anti Jewish remarks etc, liberal proffessor blanatant racism against Jews; so I get annoyed when posters say I don't understand about discrimination.

    I have been rejected on contracts and positions because I am Jewish

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  • 212. At 12:43pm on 18 Apr 2010, Two of Pentacles -Change- wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 213. At 1:00pm on 18 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 210, lancelot

    Our society is, indeed, center right which is why so many Americans feel so uncomfortable with the changes being implemented by President Obama and the Democratic leadership, regardless of how beneficial they may be to us, our business community, and our country in the long run.

    I would argue, however, that most of our media outlets have not hesitated to to broadcast popular concerns voiced by the opposition, including the far right and including allegations of a socialist agenda, to the point that many members of our society are convinced that the USA is now on a path to European-style socialism. In reality, there is nothing farther from the truth.

    Helping corporations stay afloat the way President Bush did with our financial institutions (TARP) and President Obama did with our auto industry is hardly what Marx and Engle had in mind. In fact, those decisions were made precisely for the opposite reason: to save capitalism and sectors of our economy that are of critical importance to our well being. The same goes for the infusions of funds by the Fed, our efforts to stabilize currency and convince China to raise the trading value of the yuan, and our focus on trade imbalance.

    Healthcare "reform" that uses private insurance companies to administer the system is not socialism, and transferring many of NASA functional responsibilities from government to contractors is not what most rational people would regard as socialism.

    In fact, I would say that most of the policies that are being put forth by the Obama Administration are centrist compared to established programs such as Social Security, MEDICARE and MEDICAID. Interestingly, many of the opponents to Obama's policies enthusiastically participate and protect those socialist programs and are concerned with his decision to eliminate MEDICARE waste, while calling for smaller, less intrusive, and effective government!

    Another important cause championed by the Tea Party and the GOP is taxes, and even though our present federal tax rates are much lower than in recent decades - with predictable impacts on our budget and national debt - they still complain and demand change. The fact that most of the tax increases we have seen in recent years involve State income tax, sales tax, property taxes, excise tax, and entitlements does not deter them or give them time to pause and reflect on what they are advocating, what is happening or the consequences of what they are proposing.

    I am not among those who believe race is the reason for the opposition to President Obama. I believe it may be a consideration for some, but not for most Americans. I believe ideology, fear of change, fear influenced by the erosion of manufacturing jobs and the realization that the semi-skilled jobs that were once the mainstay for our middle class will never come back, a feeling of inadequacy because of substandard technical skills that preclude many of us from applying for and filling many of the jobs that are available, the realization that many good jobs and advancement opportunities are going to qualified foreigners, and other factors are the real reason for the anger that is apparent among many of our fellow citizens and the opposition to President Obama's policies.

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  • 214. At 1:04pm on 18 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 211, Magic

    "What I resent is that since there is still subtle discriminations against Jews, certain Country Clubs can get away not accepting Jews"

    Can you provide evidence of what you are alleging? There are a lot of exclusive country clubs and gated communities in Florida and I can assure you that the ones that are being excluded, not overtly but by pricing them out, are not Jews.

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  • 215. At 1:42pm on 18 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 211, Magic

    "I have been rejected on contracts and positions because I am Jewish"

    I have no doubt that you honestly believe you were rejected from getting contracts or being hired because of your religion but I have to tell you, with equal honesty, that I doubt that was the case.

    I worked with and for many Jewish persons in my life and never sensed discriminatory actions against any of them or from them. You may want to do some soul searching, there are likely to be other reasons for your inability to get the business or job opportunities you were seeking and, more often than not, there are ways to qualify for them without resorting to the old mantra of victimhood.

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  • 216. At 1:45pm on 18 Apr 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 211 MagicKirin wrote:

    "I have been rejected on contracts and positions because I am Jewish"

    Suuuure you have, Magic, sure you have.

    You submitted your application form like everyone else, written in your own ....unique way. And they didn't hire you - because you're Jewish. [And no doubt because you're 'nuanced' and 'tolerant'.] And yet, even though you had proof of their vile racism and anti-Semitism, you were too fine and noble a person to sue them...

    Amazingly enough this widespread discrimination in the US doesn't seem to have stopped those 14 Senators. [Ie a representation some 700% greater than the percentage of Jews in the population. Nor those many other Jewish doctors, lawyers, businessmen.

    Just Magic....

    [From Wikipedia - so according to MK it can't be true, as it didn't appear on an "objective" source, like Fox

    "Paul Warburg, one of the leading advocates of the establishment of a central bank in the United States, and subsequently one of the first governors of the newly-established Federal Reserve, was Jewish. Several Jews have served as Chairmen of the Federal Reserve, including Ben Bernanke, the current Chairman, and Alan Greenspan, the prior chairman.

    Jews have traditionally been drawn to business and academia (see Secular Jewish culture for some of the causes), and have made major contributions in science, economics, and the humanities. Of American Nobel Prize winners, 37 percent have been Jewish Americans (19 times the percentage of Jews in the population), as have been 71 percent of the John Bates Clark Medal winners (thirty-five times the Jewish percentage). While Jewish Americans only constitute roughly 2.5 percent of the U.S. population, they occupied 7.7 percent of board seats at U.S. corporations.[82]

    Since many jobs/careers in science, business, and academia generally pay well, Jewish Americans also tend to have a higher average income than most Americans. A 2008 Pew Research Center study found that "46 percent of Jews in the US make more than $100,000 a year."[83]

    Here is the link - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Jews#Science.2C_business.2C_and_academia

    As ever, they provide links to their sources. Unlike MK.

    As ever, MK is free to either [a] provide evidence to disprove mine or [b] shut up and stop wasting our time. I predict [c], the Magic Way - "ignore the evidence, stick with the prejudice".]

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  • 217. At 1:51pm on 18 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    St D, John D:

    What is the point in trying to illuminate a closed, shuttered mind with only one agenda? There is no discussion that can take place.

    Let's just accept that the Magick Giraffe believes there is only one group of people everybody is really prejudiced against who does not belong to it and leave it at that, shall we? However much the constant repetition clearly demonstrates to everyone else equally prejudiced views about other ethnic groups and religions.

    Motes and beams, that sort of thing.



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  • 218. At 2:02pm on 18 Apr 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    201. At 10:03am on 18 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    "The Tea Party is not a hate filled group and are smarter and more informed than most americans"

    Recent arrivals at the blog may not be aware of the recently published 'Magic-English Dictionary'. As I have a copy, allow me to translate

    "The Tea Party ... are smarter and more informed than most americans"

    In English, "The Tea Party ... are extreme right wingers.. More right wing even than the average Republican - which is pretty right wing. About as right wing in fact as MK. Therefore, to him, that makes them "smart and informed""

    So, just to clarify; in Magic - "smart and informed". In English - "neither, but extremely right wing, like MK"

    He also throws in another of his all-time fave Magic words - "hate"

    In English,” hate or hatred - a feeling of intense dislike; enmity" [Collins English Dictionary]

    In Magic - " hate or hatred - a feeling of intense dislike; enmity; but only when felt by anyone who is a Democrat, or liberal, or progressive, or in any way to the left of MK or Dick Cheney. Right wingers, Republicans and MK are not capable of hatred; anything they say that would strongly suggest hatred, eg of Obama, is in fact a calm and reasoned opposition to his policies, which are of course, like him, Marxist Maoist Leninist Commie Pinko Muslim and dedicated to the overthrow of the USA."

    So - I hope that's cleared that up...

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  • 219. At 2:10pm on 18 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Looks like our beloved insurance companies are positioning themselves for the restrictions to be imposed by the new healthcare reform laws. Humana, my insurance carrier and one of the largest MEDICARE HMO insurance companies in the USA, is dropping doctors who do not participate in their "capitated" (not to be confused with decapitated) insurance system. Under this system, physicians that agree to the terms of the capitated system are paid monthly regardless of whether or not they see a patient.

    The rationale used is that by paying a modest fee on a monthly basis, regardless of whether or not a physician sees a patient, that physician receives adequate compensation over the long run and can be denied the opportunity to charge high fees when he/she has to provide services to a seriously ill patient.

    Physicians that have not agree to participate in the capitated system and prefer the ongoing rate when they do see a patient are being dropped, regardless of impact on patients including those living in areas where there is only one specialist available.

    The problem, as usual, does not involve the desire of physicians to provide services to their patients, or MEDICARE restrictions, but the focus of insurance companies on profit margins.

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  • 220. At 2:13pm on 18 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #215

    You don't know the situation and the fact you refuse to acknowledge racism against Jews

    Sorry that shows ignorance.

    I'm not claiming victimhood just stating facts that a former President can be racists against Jews and win a nobel peace prize, that MSNBC can be racist against Joe Lieberman and not be criticized. That Eric Cantor can recieve death threats and that is taken less seriously than John Lewis alleged spiting incident. that although Jews are a minority in the U.S we do not get benefits that other minority groups do.

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  • 221. At 2:17pm on 18 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    182. At 11:30pm on 17 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 179, timohio
    I agree but will add another important requirement for a popular movement to succeed: a coherent message or theme that resonates at a national level and appeals to all segments of our population.


    Ah, not necessarily. A movement of this sort thrives on people thinking it represents their views, whatever they are or in fact if they are contradictory or vague, and many can imagine that because there is no clearly defined or coherent programme.

    And it becomes easier when, as a result, people can boil it all down to just three or four elements--or codes or slogans-- as those who appear to support it here do.

    If you look at the kinds of links you nearly always end up following on so many of these tea party websites and blogs, you always end up with the same core, and that core is white, far-right fascism. But then,
    i've long felt that that is one of the consequences of any country that both exalts uniforms and makes it such a preponderant part of its economy.

    And distrusts or fears non-conformity.


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  • 222. At 2:24pm on 18 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    There was a joke in Germany in the mid- thirties, telling which landed some people in concentration camps:

    Thousands of rabbits suddenly appear at the Belgian border claiming to be refugees and demanding political asylum. The border guards, rather surprised, ask why. They say "The Gestapo is rounding up giraffes." The border guards say, "But you're not giraffes, you're rabbits!" The rabbits say: "We know that. But you try explaining that to the Gestapo."

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  • 223. At 2:39pm on 18 Apr 2010, Two of Pentacles -Change- wrote:

    Posting:
    @ 211. Kirin wrote:
    I have been rejected on contracts and positions because I am Jewish
    ___________________________________________________________________
    Maybe you have, but what has Obama and Mandela ever done to you?
    Make My Day☮☯♡ Champion
    ___________________________________________________________________

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  • 224. At 2:46pm on 18 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    219. At 2:10pm on 18 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    "The rationale used is that by paying a modest fee on a monthly basis, regardless of whether or not a physician sees a patient, that physician receives adequate compensation over the long run and can be denied the opportunity to charge high fees when he/she has to provide services to a seriously ill patient."

    That's 'socialised medical care'! It's almost how the NHS works. Doctors are salaried, and there's a scale depending on how many patients (well or ill) they serve in their community. How ironic. . .

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  • 225. At 3:04pm on 18 Apr 2010, Two of Pentacles -Change- wrote:

    Posting:
    @ 211. Kirin wrote:
    I have been rejected on contracts and positions because I am Jewish
    ___________________________________________________________________
    @ Kirn Posting above: it is clear that you are suffering from a deep-seated inferiority complex. Seek psychological help, with a qualified counsellor. Don't blame elected black leaders who you resent and find threatening.
    ___________________________________________________________________
    p.s. Don't tell them you are Jewish, it is not a required item of data in case you did not know. Let your colleagues play "guess who's jewish", if they really want to. Good Luck with interviews and try to come across as being more positive. It is important to spell check all correspondence to ensure you create a good impression. Take care.
    ___________________________________________________________________

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  • 226. At 3:06pm on 18 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #223

    Never Been Gone wrote:
    Posting:
    @ 211. Kirin wrote:
    I have been rejected on contracts and positions because I am Jewish
    ___________________________________________________________________
    Maybe you have, but what has Obama and Mandela ever done to you?
    Make My Day☮☯♡ Champion

    ____________

    Obama policies have certanatly hurt me and most independent businesspeople.

    Me personaly Mandela has not but neither has Kim of North Korea or George Galloway the terrorist supporter or Mugabe the ethnic clenser.

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  • 227. At 3:08pm on 18 Apr 2010, glasbak wrote:

    victoriausa wrote (16 April):

    "...Again, our country has already for decades been providing free to low income Americans: health insurance, housing, food stamps, and now free cell phone with minutes...This has been in place already!!! All on the back of the Middle Class working American.."

    So it's not true that 40 million plus Americans don't have any health insurance. This is fantastic news!!! They get it free, and they get housing with it!

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  • 228. At 3:18pm on 18 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 224, squirrelist

    "That's 'socialised medical care'!"

    Ideology is relevant dependent on who champions it, who denounces it, and who embraces it. In this case, a socialist model is being used successfully and with absolute impunity in the USA by an icon of capitalism: our insurance industry! The only differences are that the ones using it and forcing medical practitioners to use it don't provide medical care, they only administer the system and profit from it, and they denounce any attempts to end or control their racket.

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  • 229. At 3:26pm on 18 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 227, glasbak

    "So it's not true that 40 million plus Americans don't have any health insurance. This is fantastic news!!! They get it free, and they get housing with it!"

    As I am sure you already know the truth is somewhere in between. Seriously ill people and victims of accidents have access to medical care in Emergency Rooms regardless of whether they can pay for it or not. The cost of that care is passed on to insured people in the form of higher premiums. The problem is that people do not have access to free preventive medical care that, at least in theory, would reduce the probability of major and expensive medical problems.

    There are programs to help the poor in the USA, there are also programs to help the very rich in the USA, including tax breaks given as incentives or subsidies such as those given to farmers.

    Unfortunately, the government help that gets most attention is the one provided to those who need help the most.


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  • 230. At 3:33pm on 18 Apr 2010, mari-ann wrote:

    Three thoughts.

    1. People forget so quickly and conveniently. Do they realize that the 'tax cut' Bush provided is about to run out? That we have have caused so many of these problems because of greed? You can't have it both ways!
    Most of all: why do we hear so rarely mentioned that eight years of financial decline by the Bush administration cannot be cleaned up in such a short time, regardless which party or president would be running the country now?

    2. That socialized medicine DOES work (sorry, Brits) when one views the very successful (example) French program? That if physicians are cramped the way they have been, they cannot deliver good, leave alone excellent health care any more because they have to make choices regarding your treatment according to regulations rather than need? (That means that John Patient suffers most here!)

    3. Regarding Palin: ...listen to the shrill voice and imagine you are a child. A chillin' thought! This woman will never have the grace, elegance, demeanor or intelligence to represent this great country. "Speaking' to the average American is not good enough! It would become a world-wide, sad joke. The USA really is a great place, for so many reasons (speaks an immigrant) I am palin' at the thought that we would slide beyond repair with her at the helm!

    It is time that we vote for issues of national and international importance - not according to colors of many kinds!

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  • 231. At 3:42pm on 18 Apr 2010, mari-ann wrote:

    A fear for many years now: I have been wondering for decades what the inner earth is looking like since we have been pumping its life-blood out of it.
    Gas, oil, coal... and what we have been putting back: water (hello: that's not a plate-sliding lubricant like oil!), chemically loaded garbage and nuclear waste? Does it do the same as it would be to us if we would 'donate' blood endlessly? Could it be connected in any way to the frightening increase of and speed of disruption of the planet with quakes in increasing speed and strength? Volcanic eruptions? The answers given to these are not satisfying me. I am curious to see if others feel that here, as with the air, we are causing irreparable damage.
    I would really like a sensible answer, not just empty, opposing comments.

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  • 232. At 3:55pm on 18 Apr 2010, lancelot83 wrote:

    Ref #213.

    I respectfully disagree with you Saint Dominic on several of your points defending Obama's policies.

    Rather than belabor this thread to no avail. I believe I'll simply find something more productive to do with my time on this Sunday.

    God bless.

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  • 233. At 4:19pm on 18 Apr 2010, timohio wrote:

    re. John_From_Dublin and SaintDominick:

    I know that Magic makes it difficult to be sympathetic, guys, but it would not surprise me at all that Jews were still subjected to discrimination. And depending on his age and where he lives, it is certainly believable that during his working career he would have been denied contracts, jobs, and even housing because he was Jewish. My wife grew up in a suburb that when she was a child had been closed to Jews by deed restrictions. The ironic thing was that when Jews finally began to move in, they were eager to keep African Americans out.

    Later on my wife was in high school with a lot of Jewish kids. Many of them had no living relatives other than their nuclear family. The others had been killed in the Holocaust. So the Holocaust is not ancient history for Jews. I work with a guy whose mother was a camp survivor. I can't begin to imagine what that knowledge does to a person's sense of security.

    There is still among some groups in some parts of the country a strong bias against Jews. You will still hear grumbling about Jews owning all the banks or all the newspapers. I have spent my life in higher education and cultural institutions with many Jewish co-workers, donors, and supporters, so an anti-Jewish bias seems just bizarre to me, but I'm sure it exists. My younger sister, who has dark Celtic looks, changed her last name (which is a German one) when she was a struggling actress because she thought she was being denied roles because people thought she was Jewish. The phrase used was that they were looking for an "Anglo-Saxon type". Can't be sure, of course, but it does sound suspicious.

    Ironically for Magic, an anti-Jewish bias is likely to be more prevalent among those with extreme right wing sympathies. Jews have long been prominent in liberal circles, including the Civil Rights movement.

    Mind you, the kind of discrimination that Magic is reporting doesn't begin to compare with the lynchings, beatings, police brutality, red-lining, and outright segregation and Jim Crow laws that African Americans have endured until relatively recently. And still endure to some extent in some parts of the country. I'm sure there are African Americans who would be quite happy to report that the worst they've endured is being denied membership in a country club.

    None of this justifies Magic's rabid anti-Arab and anti-Muslim statements, and if his ranting comments here are at all representative of his daily speech and writing I could well believe that his being Jewish is not the cause of his problems. But don't dismiss out of hand the existence of anti-Semitism in the US.

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  • 234. At 4:27pm on 18 Apr 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 220 MagicKirin wrote:

    "Sorry that shows ignorance."

    Alert the media! MK has written something true!

    No, sorry, I was wrong. Amazingly enough, it appears he wasn't talking about himself.

    "I'm not claiming victimhood"

    You are claiming victimhood.

    "just stating facts"

    Just spouting bile and prejudice.

    "that a former President can be racists (sic) against Jews and win a nobel peace prize",

    Yet again, the hypocrisy is staggering. He whines constantly, without evidence, about Obama's defenders hurling accusations of racism. While he constantly hurls accusations of racism.

    Back to the Magic Dictionary

    For "racism" [see also "hatred"] - "if accusation is made by someone MK dislikes, it is a spurious smear. When made BY MK, 'racism', 'discrimination' and 'anti-Semitism' mean daring to disagree with any thought, policy or action of any Israeli government, no matter how right wing. [Note - if you are in fact Jewish or Israeli and dare to disagree with any thought, policy or action of any Israeli government, no matter how right wing, that makes you a self-hating Jew.]"

    "although Jews are a minority in the U.S we do not get benefits that other minority groups do."

    You could not make this up.

    As previously demonstrated, Jews are represented in the professions, business and politics in proportions that exceed their proportion of the population. Their wealth and income are above average. [On merit, no doubt.]

    The reverse is true of the largest minority group, African Americans. [I'm fairly sure it's true of Latinos also, though I don't have data to hand.]

    And MK whines because there aren't special provisions made for Jews...

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  • 235. At 4:43pm on 18 Apr 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    #231 - dunno' but I did encourage my family members south of LA to move east.

    I lost track a little ways back, is the T-Party discriminating against those of the Jewish race/religion? Is that cuz the stereotype of the US Jewish is that they are 'liberals'? Are the Jewish in the US no longer stereotyped as liberals? Do they want to belong to the T-Party? It is so hard to keep track of which groups we don't like in the T-Party, escpecially if we find out we basically agree but still want to hate them. I pity da' fool.

    That's why my base spun off to form the Dropkick Murphys Party, we allow anyone to join and they're allowed to think whatever they want and can still hang with us.

    Look at this poor Jewish man at a Tea Party party. He speaks about health care reform, crazy nasty TP lady says Heil Hitler 'n tells him therefore he is the most againt Prez Obama...i say WUT?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVS4Zgjm8HE&feature=related

    Then compare to MY party - fun fun fun!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qlym4eLWHFA&feature=related

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  • 236. At 5:00pm on 18 Apr 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 217 squirrelist wrote:

    "St D, John D:

    What is the point in trying to illuminate a closed, shuttered mind with only one agenda? There is no discussion that can take place.

    Let's just accept that the Magick Giraffe believes there is only one group of people everybody is really prejudiced against who does not belong to it and leave it at that, shall we? However much the constant repetition clearly demonstrates to everyone else equally prejudiced views about other ethnic groups and religions.

    Motes and beams, that sort of thing."

    I can't argue with any of that, squirrel - except perhaps your suggestion that I am trying to change MK's mind. I gave up on that possibility aeons ago. His rock hard prejudices are surrounded by a "Security Barrier" of bigotry and hypocrisy, impenetrable to all sense, logic, evidence, fairness, reason or spelling.

    I know we should probably ignore him, but unfortunately I see no sign that this would make him go away.

    I disprove his assertions from time to time not to change his mind, but just in case anyone else might be naive enough to swallow them - and also perhaps out of a fear that silence may be taken to indicate assent.

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  • 237. At 5:04pm on 18 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #233
    Ironically for Magic, an anti-Jewish bias is likely to be more prevalent among those with extreme right wing sympathies. Jews have long been prominent in liberal circles, including the Civil Rights movement.

    (I've seen more discrimination by the left the racist supporting the Palestinians in Europe, liberal student orginizations and professors, several African American leaders)

    Mind you, the kind of discrimination that Magic is reporting doesn't begin to compare with the lynchings, beatings, police brutality, red-lining, and outright segregation and Jim Crow laws that African Americans have endured until relatively recently. And still endure to some extent in some parts of the country. I'm sure there are African Americans who would be quite happy to report that the worst they've endured is being denied membership in a country club.
    (Again I stated world wide and yes I'd world wide Jews are more descriminated than blacks or hispanics)
    None of this justifies Magic's rabid anti-Arab and anti-Muslim statements, and if his ranting comments here are at all representative of his daily speech and writing I could well believe that his being Jewish is not the cause of his problems. But don't dismiss out of hand the existence of anti-Semitism in the US.
    (There has never been any anti moslem or anti Arab statements, anti terrorists and terrorists sympathizers who happend to be moslem)

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  • 238. At 5:39pm on 18 Apr 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    Hmmmm - back to a benefit of unions in terms of employee safety...BALANCE is the key, and some of the T-parties seem a bit...off-kilter

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  • 239. At 6:36pm on 18 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 233, timohio

    Members of several ethnic and religous groups have been discriminated against throught our relatively short history including the Irish, Japanese, Chinese, Catholics and Jews.

    As despicable as any form of discrimination is nothing compares to what people of African ancestry endured in our country until not so long ago, and what Hispanics are experiencing today. What happened to our African brothers is despicable and, hopefully, will never happen again. What is happening to Hispanics is part of the process of assimilation associated with a large influx of immigrants from a specific ethnic group; a circumstance aggravated by language, ethnicity and customs.

    Every one of these ethnic and religious groups eventually became part of mainstream American society and today they are no different from anyone else. In fact, if there is one group among them that stands out because of their success and achievements it is the Jews.

    I have befriended and worked with members of just about every ethnic and religious group in the USA, including native Americans, and not once did I meet one that felt sorry for himself or felt discriminated against, except for African Americans and Hispanics who still suffer from prejudice, although not as pronounced or overt as it was before the Civil Rights movement.

    Magic's claims of discrimination and the reason he gives for not getting contracts or a job would have some credibility if he had stated that it happened several decades ago, but he is portraying his plight as something that is taking place today which, given the circumstances and the realities that exist today, is truly pathetic.

    Alas, I would not be surprised if he blames President Obama for this one too!

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  • 240. At 6:47pm on 18 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 235, frayedcat

    "Are the Jewish in the US no longer stereotyped as liberals?"

    One of the largest concentrations of wealthy retirees in Florida is in West Palm Beach. Many of them are Jewish, and judging by the way they enjoy life I doubt very much they consider themselves victims of anything...other than the inexorable passing of time.

    Incidentally, that also happens to be one of a Democratic strongholds in Florida. You have to drive a little further South to Little Havana, aka Miami, or drive further North to Jacksonville, or to places like Ocala, Tallahasse and the panhandle to enter Republican, anti commie, and God's territory.

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  • 241. At 7:09pm on 18 Apr 2010, Bill Baur wrote:

    I don't know where these Neo-Nazis get time to hold rallies. If they don't have jobs, then they should be out looking for them. If they have enough money where they don't need to work, then what are they whining about all the time?

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  • 242. At 8:03pm on 18 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #241
    Bill Baur wrote:
    I don't know where these Neo-Nazis get time to hold rallies. If they don't have jobs, then they should be out looking for them. If they have enough money where they don't need to work, then what are they whining about all the time?

    ______________

    SEIU leaders don't work and their members call in sick

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  • 243. At 8:28pm on 18 Apr 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 233 timohio wrote:

    re. John_From_Dublin and SaintDominick:

    "I know that Magic makes it difficult to be sympathetic, guys,"

    Not difficult - impossible.

    " but it would not surprise me at all that Jews were still subjected to discrimination. And depending on his age and where he lives, it is certainly believable that during his working career he would have been denied contracts, jobs, and even housing because he was Jewish."

    and

    "None of this justifies Magic's rabid anti-Arab and anti-Muslim statements, and if his ranting comments here are at all representative of his daily speech and writing I could well believe that his being Jewish is not the cause of his problems. But don't dismiss out of hand the existence of anti-Semitism in the US."

    Tim, while I always find your postings well-written and worth reading, I fear you may have inadvertently succumbed to what one might call 'Magic's Disease', ie positing a false dichotomy, or adopting an excessively 'black or white' approach.

    Specifically, you appear to have the view that I denied anti-Semitism exists, whether in the US or elsewhere. As far as I know, I didn't. I did ask MK for evidence of his alleged 'fact', that Jews are more discriminated against than any other group in the world. [To be clear - I didn't even say that it was untrue, or otherwise. I simply asked for evidence.] MK, being MK, mendaciously [a] accused me of denying discrimination existed and [b] compared this to Holocaust denial.

    [For the record, I think it's also important to separate anti-Semitism and discrimination. As I see it, the former is merely a prejudice, albeit a reprehensible one - the latter is actually putting it into effect.]

    Has there been and is there anti-Semitism, both in the US and elsewhere? Of course

    Has there been actual discrimination against Jews in the US in living memory? Again - of course.

    Is there actual discrimination against Jews now in the US? Possibly, but that's where I would be more sceptical. For a number of reasons

    [a] The evidence I have referred to that Jews on average do well financially, eg have above-average incomes

    [b] The evidence that they are over-represented in the professions, business and politics compared to their proportion of the population. [I reiterate - I have no reason to doubt that this is on merit.]

    [c] The fact that I believe it would be very difficult and unpopular to openly discriminate in the US

    [d] I don't know the exact legal situation in the US, but even if it isn't a criminal offence to discriminate on grounds or race or religion, I'm sure it would constitute an infringement of civil rights and consequently be actionable in court.

    [e] Therefore even if a person were anti-Semitic and *wanted* to discriminate against Jews, I doubt they would dare to do so openly, and I think they would have to be very cautious even if they tried to do so surreptitiously

    I also think that there is a real risk of 'Crying Wolf' syndrome. Ie, if people like MK continue to misuse and abuse terms like 'racist' and 'ant-Semite' [and indeed 'hater'] to mean anyone who dares question any Israeli policy, there's a real risk that at some stage someone will try to 'call out' a genuine anti-Semite - and a lot of people will ignore them, and just think 'Big deal - they call everyone they don't like anti-Semitic'. The expression will lose all meaning, which, apart from the blatant dishonesty and defamation, is one reason I deplore those who hurl it around like confetti. [Not you, I hasten to add.]

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  • 244. At 8:32pm on 18 Apr 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10108/1051388-455.stm

    link re unions 'n mine safety

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  • 245. At 8:40pm on 18 Apr 2010, timohio wrote:

    re. 239. SaintDominick:

    Every one of these ethnic and religious groups eventually became part of mainstream American society and today they are no different from anyone else.

    St.D, I wish I could agree with you on that. I would like it to be true, but it isn't. I was raised as a Catholic, for example, and remember the suspicion that John Kennedy's candidacy raised among Protestants. Look at the suspicion there was in some circles about Mitt Romney's Mormonism. I remember a co-worker bemoaning the fact that her daughter was marrying a Catholic. She was from an upper class WASP family and saw it as a step down socially.

    What happens in the US is that each ethnic group as it enters the country is discriminated against until it is established enough to discriminate against the next wave of immigrants. And each group then feels itself secure until something happens to shake that complacency. Every racial, ethnic, and religious group other than white Anglo-Saxon Protestants should be nervous about the right wing militia types, for example, because they would like to get rid of all of us plus the native Americans. And the treatment of Japanese-Americans in WWII should be a permanent reminder that such things can happen in the US and will happen again unless we are all vigilant.

    As far as the people you've met not feeling discriminated against, that depends on their income level. Wealth or even prosperity shields one from a lot of things. And people might not talk about discrimination because it's humiliating.

    Believe me, I'm not trying to defend Magic's behavior. You can read his response to my post; he doesn't exactly try to be likable. But I do think that we shouldn't underestimate the amount of hostility that any ethnic, religious, or racial group can experience in this country.

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  • 246. At 9:01pm on 18 Apr 2010, frayedcat wrote:

    Well USA - don't sink the boat that you built to keep afloat - I don't like any hate motivated parties - tearing down without buidling just hurts worse

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-PmyAfQ5xY&feature=related

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  • 247. At 9:36pm on 18 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Well Mark, considering the number of transformations this thread has undergone, from socio-political repercussions, to the eternal Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with brief lapses on healthcare, socialism, racism and even a brief stop in the cosmos don't you think it is time for a different topic?

    Aside from a few benign projects our infrastructure remains in a dismal state of decay, our education system is in crisis mode, energy legislation is in limbo, financial reform is no longer as popular as it was a few days ago, desperately needed immigration reform is such a controversial topic nobody dares touch it, and the upcoming Supreme Court nomination is likely to be as nasty as the last one regardless who the nominee is.

    There are plenty of worthy topics to choose from besides dissecting the psyche, motivation, and influence of TP enthusiasts.




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  • 248. At 9:42pm on 18 Apr 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    220. MagicKirin e:

    ref #215

    You don't know the situation and the fact you refuse to acknowledge racism against Jews

    Sorry that shows ignorance.

    ********************

    Yes, it most definitely does. Perhaps they're not exposed to many Jews.

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  • 249. At 10:21pm on 18 Apr 2010, TrueToo wrote:

    Coupla things;

    When MagicKirin first mentioned Jews being discriminated against more than others he didn't specify the US and I believe he was talking generally. Others then took it up the wrong way. I would imagine that blacks were discriminated against more severely than Jews in the US but the picture changes of course once you cross over to Europe.

    CNN has just broadcast a clip about a black US soldier who was present at the liberation of Buchenwald. He had resented the discrimination he had to endure by being restricted to an all-black unit, but once he saw what the Jews had suffered it changed him and he realised that whatever would happen to him on his return to the US, it could never be that bad:

    http://multimedia.boston.com/m/30366187/holocaust-liberators-reunite-recount-horrors.htm

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  • 250. At 10:33pm on 18 Apr 2010, TrueToo wrote:

    I meant to add that the anti-Semitism of the far left/radical Islam alliance has overtaken the anti-Semitism of the far right or at least it is far more vociferous.

    Stranger bedfellows than the far left and radical Islam you wont find.

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  • 251. At 11:03pm on 18 Apr 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    248 Andrea.

    The response at 215 by St. D. was a soft, deliberately restrained comment to the MK comment at 211. In the circumstances, it was fairly gentlemanly. He was trying not to hurt Magic's feelings.

    A less restrained, much funnier, but rather more harsh reply was made by J-i-D at 216.

    Lots of us work in fairly cosmopolitan environments, and I have no doubt that Jews are subject to discrimination in our society. It certainly isn't what it was 50 years ago, but it's there all the same.

    ----------

    (I have a few stories on "my life as a Jew". This is particularly odd, being descended from Presbyterians. Speaking from experience, having been told I "look" and "sound" Jewish, people will quite happily and without hesitation discriminate against you for being Jewish with just as much enthusiasm as if you really were. Nothing like equal opportunity prejudice, is there?

    Less than pointless to say you aren't Jewish - you "look" Jewish, so they don't believe you - and why should you feel pressure to deny being Jewish anyway? Is the idea "well, if I were Jewish, I'd merit your hatred, but I'm not, so I don't"? Or by telling them you aren't Jewish they will apologize - as if they would admit to being wrong because you aren't Jewish, but they would still think it would be okay if you were...

    But I digress.
    ----------

    The point is that while there may be discrimination against Jews in our society (and against others, too), we have all seen Magic's spelling and grammar, and we have all seen his approach to discourse.

    If Magic sends in a CV written that way, the rejection won't have anything to do with being Jewish. And if he shows up at a job interview or at a project presentation, and speaks or presents in anything like the way he writes here, you have to figure the chances of him getting the work are between slim and nil.

    Neither 215 nor 216 was about a failure to acknowledge discrimination.
    At root, 215 and 216 were really about self-knowledge and denial.
    That's what made 216 so funny.

    ----------

    It is, indeed, time for a new string. Over to you, Mark ...

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  • 252. At 11:06pm on 18 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Let's see if I've got this right.

    Whenever there has been a question as to whether there is any racism or racial prejudice affecting politics in the USA, we have been told consistently by several contributors that there isn't, or can't be, because everyone in the USA is 'easily assimilated". (To quote Bernstein's Candide.) And to query is to 'play the liberals' race card'.

    But now we are told there is rampant prejudice and discrimination against American Jews.

    (Yet at the same time there is none, apparently, against African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, American Moslems, Arab Americans, or for all I know, gay or disabled Americans.)

    Well, fancy that. This is not exactly a logical proposition, is it?

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  • 253. At 11:13pm on 18 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    250. At 10:33pm on 18 Apr 2010, TrueToo wrote:


    "Stranger bedfellows than the far left and radical Islam you wont find."

    Blimey. Well, people certainly won't find them making bedfellows except in their own tortured imaginings.

    How ridiculous can you get? But then, there's this absurd and consistent attempt from the American right to completely confuse fascism with socialism, as we've seen all too often in certain comments here.

    That sort of nonsense deserves only derision.

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  • 254. At 11:31pm on 18 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 249, TrueToo

    "When MagicKirin first mentioned Jews being discriminated against more than others he didn't specify the US and I believe he was talking generally. Others then took it up the wrong way."

    I don't want to dwell on this issue, but although it is true that many of Magic's allegation of racism or prejudice against Jews was directed at what happened in other countries, there is no ambiguity in the allegations of prejudice against Jews in the USA. In the end he did make a definitive switch to prejudice abroad.

    Accusing countries, groups, institutions or individuals of racism is serious business and those making the charges should be prepared to provide evidence to substantiate their claims. Comparison to what happened or is happening to other ethnic or religous groups is equally controversial and deserving of evidence to support the claims.

    Many members of minority groups in the USA have experienced situations that are suspicious and could lead us to believe they were influenced by our ethnicity, religion, gender or age, but few can actually provide evidence to corroborate it as fact. In part because there are laws that prohibit discrimination and serious repercussions for those that practice it.

    Unless Magic was told or saw something that makes him believe that he was denied a contract or a job because of his religion, he should not have made that claim. There are many reasons why a person is not awarded a contract or given a job, and allare unrelated to race or religion.

    In any case, the excerpts below illustrate his conviction that there is religous prejudice against Jews in the USA:

    Magic's post 131

    "Compare that to the racists who are pro Obama (yes african Americans can be racist) pro Palestinian marches (Jews are the most descriminated group today) or ANSWER rallies"

    Magic's post 173

    "That the Daily Kos made major anti-semetic comments about Senator Lierberman ot that Jessie Jackson got away with the Hymie town comment."

    Magic's post 211

    "What I resent is that since there is still subtle discriminations against Jews, certain Country Clubs can get away not accepting Jews, certain black leaders like Jackson and McKinney have made anti Jewish remarks etc, liberal proffessor blanatant racism against Jews; so I get annoyed when posters say I don't understand about discrimination.

    I have been rejected on contracts and positions because I am Jewish"

    Magic's post 220

    "I'm not claiming victimhood just stating facts that a former President can be racists against Jews and win a nobel peace prize, that MSNBC can be racist against Joe Lieberman and not be criticized. That Eric Cantor can recieve death threats and that is taken less seriously than John Lewis alleged spiting incident. that although Jews are a minority in the U.S we do not get benefits that other minority groups do."

    And last, but not least, your own closing remark: "Stranger bedfellows than the far left and radical Islam you wont find"

    Happy dreams!



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  • 255. At 11:34pm on 18 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Seeing as how the Tea Party apparently wants to put the clock back to some form of 'traditional' American values--and given how much people go on about a bunch of guys who put pen to paper two centuries ago and say nothing they inked in then should be changed, I've been giggling over this ever since last Thursday:

    "Now, as volcanic ash strangles the nation's transportation back into the 19th century, the modern marvel of television is poised to shake the foundations of U.K. politics.
    Okay, so we Americans turned the diabolical gaze of television cameras onto our would-be leaders about half a century ago -- Britain is a very old, tradition-obsessed nation. Change comes slowly."

    [CBS]

    Right; do you know, I couldn't get a Hansom Cab home in time for my cucumber sandwiches at teatime for love or money? And that wretched urchin of a street sweeper near Lloyd's coffee house spattered my spats with muck because I only gave him a halfpenny? And we've got another child stuck halfway up the chimney in the library? Honestly, his squeals quite spoilt my concentration on Mr Dickens' latest serial episode. Really, let that socialist Lord Shaftesbury have his way and those boys will be demanding a union and wages next! What is the world coming to?

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  • 256. At 11:36pm on 18 Apr 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 252

    Oh squirrelist

    There you go again

    Confusing poor MK and Andrea with your facts and your logic

    ;-)

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  • 257. At 11:41pm on 18 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    251. At 11:03pm on 18 Apr 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    "It is, indeed, time for a new string. Over to you, Mark ..."

    Why? The Magic Giraffe and a couple of the others will ensure it ends up in exactly the same way whatever it's about.

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  • 258. At 11:57pm on 18 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 248, Andrea

    I never denied that there is still racism or prejudice in America and, indeed, in most other countries. Sometimes it is overt and pervasive, sometimes it is subtle and relatively benign and it can be motivated by many reasons including ethnicity, religion, gender, age, nationality, cultural, social class, and even physical appearance.

    What I have said, repeatedly, is that although racism is a factor in many of the things that happen to us, and that are currently taking place in our country, it is seldom the main reason for the behavior, discord or anxieties that are apparent today.

    The problem I had accepting some of Magic's claims was not limited to the fact that they were not supported by evidence, but because some of the examples he cited were simply unconvincing. The most blatant, in my opinion, was his conclusion that he was denied a contract and job opportunities because of his religion.

    You told us yesterday that you own a business. Consequently, I am sure you are well aware of all the laws that are in place to protect applicants and employees. While they may not be bullet proof, most businessment would not take the risk of denying someone a contract or a job because of his/her religion. There are many reasons for an employer denying someone a job, and in most cases those reasons are well documented, can be supported if challenged, and never include factors such as race, religion, gender, or age...unless the employer is a total idiot willing to risk the future of his/her business. Consequently, I have to assume that Magic's conclusion on this issue was incorrect and most likely completely off the mark.

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  • 259. At 00:09am on 19 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    I've just come across this in 'RealClear Politics' (a site that tends to feature among the Tea Partiers) by David Paul Kuhn.

    "But this racism charge is also a unique matter. It creates a whirlwind that always hurts liberals in the end. Many liberals still presume whites' politics are racist rather than reasonable. Pretty soon, many whites stop listening to liberals.
    . . . .
    Democrats have exponentially larger problems. They have not won a majority of white men or white women since 1964. Obama's gains with white men in 2008 are gone, and getting worse. The sooner many liberals seriously consider why Democrats are struggling with whites, all over again, the sooner they will win some back. Until then, calling them racist won't help."

    In other words, you can't be a real white American and a 'liberal' or a Democrat?

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  • 260. At 00:24am on 19 Apr 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    253 Squirrel

    That's one of the funny paradoxes about North America, and also about certain places in Europe.

    On the basis of experience, I would guess that racism and prejudice on the basis of linguistic, religious or cultural differences, and sexism, in Europe is much more deeply entrenched than in America, but, usually less visible.

    There are two kinds of prejudice here.

    There is a predominantly passive sort of prejudice that is sometimes mainly awkward ignorance waiting to be dispelled by experience.

    And then there is the actual, malicious hatred kind of prejudice, that may lead to violence and that has prospered so greatly on the internet.

    The violent, malicious kind of racism is fairly rare.

    The passive kind is pretty common. Americans (and Canadians for that matter, but differently) will often be quite openly prejudiced in the passive way. But if something bad happens, those very same people will be the first ones to turn around and help strangers in need - including the strangers against whom they have just made racial or cultural slurs in the previous breath. I have seen this many, many times, in many parts of America, (and in Canada).

    For example, there are American vigilantes at the Mexican border trying to keep foreigners out. Oh yeah, and some of them are ready to shoot intruders and all that - so they say.

    But let them find someone injured in the desert, or without water, or in trouble in any way, and these very same fire-breathing vigilantes will be the first ones to risk their own safety, their own vehicles and their own property to save people from danger; to take pity on strangers; to call for help; or to call the members of their church congregation to help out to take them into their families to house them and shelter them and feed them.

    This is one of the wonderful and amazing contradictions of America. I have seen it many times, over many years, usually West of the Appalachians, and almost always anywhere on the Great Plains.

    There's a slice of Americans who like to think of themselves as having this rugged "God, guns and guts" old testament kind of frontier persona. But when it's not on TV, when it's real, right there in front of them, inside (mostly) Americans are kind, and generous, moral, and brave. It's the new testament that wins out: they cannot bear to see innocent people suffer, and they will stand up, sometimes at risk to themselves (thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me), to do what's right.

    Regrettably, this is the deep down goodness of America that foreigners only too rarely see and experience.

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  • 261. At 00:52am on 19 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    256. At 11:36pm on 18 Apr 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    "Oh squirrelist
    There you go again
    Confusing poor *** and ****** with your facts and your logic"

    I hope we are not being set up. Let me try this logical argument out:

    "I am a paarrot, and I have been discriminated against because I am a parrot. People are prejudiced against parrots and parrots are victimised. Therefore, whenever I (a parrot) unwarrentedly smear, defame or libel someone, or provoke someone into disagreeing with or attacking my point of view or an opinion, I can, and will, claim it is only because they are racially prejudiced against parrots."

    That, I suspect, has led to one or two (or more) contributors ending up being banned or simply abandoning this blog in frustration in the past. Even, I understand, to the extent of the BBC blocking not only contributions to a blog, but blocking access so that it cannot even be read. If that really is a sanction that has been applied, it is an unwarranted abuse.

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  • 262. At 01:01am on 19 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Why on earth was Sarah Palin tea-partying in Hamilton Ontario?

    I do hope she doesn't imagine the Governor-General's job is the same as being a half-time Governor of Alaska? Has she got a bit confused? Thinks Canada is part of the USA by any chance? Just because the flag doesn't have a Union Flag in the corner any more? Thought she was in Vermont because of the maple leaf or something?

    If she goes to Hawaii and sees its State flag, no doubt she'll be demanding a war for its independence from Britain . . .

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  • 263. At 01:17am on 19 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #258

    Dominick you never heard of Irish and Jews need not apply?

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  • 264. At 01:19am on 19 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    Getting back to the original thread which was the Tea Party. Sincve both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton are attacking the Tea Part with baseless acusations and claims it is not definitly losing steam.

    When you take into account the major violence was perpertated a few months ago by SEIU thugs against a African american Tea Party participant, we know where the intolerance is.

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  • 265. At 01:49am on 19 Apr 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    262. At 01:01am on 19 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:
    "Why on earth was Sarah Palin tea-partying in Hamilton Ontario?"

    Didn't make the news here. I'll have to check.
    Maybe she was visiting Niagara Falls, and made a wrong turn on the QEW? It happens.

    Or maybe she's trying to take back America's (manifest)Destiny?

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  • 266. At 01:56am on 19 Apr 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Well imagine that.

    She was in Hamilton, on Thursday night for a sellout crown of 900 at a fundraiser for a children's charity.

    No, as far as I'm aware it didn't make the national news here, either in print or on the CBC. It made the local newspaper in Hamilton, though.

    I'm a bit surprised she was able to draw 900 people in Hamilton.
    Anyhow, it was for charity, so that's all right.

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  • 267. At 02:05am on 19 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    264. At 01:19am on 19 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    "both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton are attacking the Tea Part with baseless acusations and claims"

    1) What are these 'baseless accusations and claims'?

    " major violence was perpertated a few months ago by SEIU thugs against a African american Tea Party participant"

    2) What was this, when, and what is your evidence?

    "a former president can be racist against Jews and win a nobel prize"

    3) Which president, when, and what example can you quote?

    You accuse 'the former head of the UN' (by which I presume you mean Kofi Annan--who is African; or do you mean Boutros Gali, who is a Christian as well as an Arab?-- of being anti-Semitic.

    4) Demonstrate with evidence.

    Let's not bother asking for proof of the other mud you sling about so readily, like 'Ted the drunk'. . .

    You whine about prejudice in one respect and expect sympathy with one hand while almost every post you write on this blog is full of it with never one iota of substantiation.

    It's time to put up or shut up.

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  • 268. At 02:06am on 19 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    264. At 01:19am on 19 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    "we know where the intolerance is."

    Well, some of us can see it under our noses.

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  • 269. At 02:47am on 19 Apr 2010, Terry Neal wrote:

    The 'weak' tea party is a better term. When the best they can do is Sarah Palin spouting sound bites like "Do you love your freedom" and such, blaming the Democrats for all the problems created by George Bush...give me a break. The sooner they are done with this nonsense, the sooner we can get back to normal teatime.

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  • 270. At 03:35am on 19 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    266. At 01:56am on 19 Apr 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    "Anyhow, it was for charity, so that's all right."

    Was it? I'm not so sure.


    I've looked into that charity, albeit briefly--its website is not very informative.

    "The Charity of Hope is a non-profit organization . . .
    What makes this charity special is that 100% of the funds raised are directed to the children in need.. ..
    The Charity of Hope is a non profit organization that will . . .
    Ensure that all activities to raise funds are conducted with integrity.
    Ensure that when soliciting for funds, it is done so in a professional manner.
    Ensure that 100% of all net proceeds are donated to fund children in need."

    [Website]

    Its donations (it only apparently donates to other charities and occasional grants to individuals of the odd thousand or two dollars) don't seem to match up to its apparent income.

    Palin's fee is said to be between 150,000-200,000 USD. The 900 participants paid 200 (Canadian, presumably?) dollars each.

    Since 2003 — the charity’s first full year — The Charity of Hope has received almost $578,000 in donations and receipted gifts, according to the Canada Revenue Agency. Of that almost $166,000 has gone to local charities and children, $248,000 was spent on fundraisers and more than $290,000 on other expenses.
    [Sam] Mercanti [Chairman] did not have an immediate explanation of what “other expenses” included, but added that none of its volunteers or board members are paid.

    [benedictionblogson.com]

    When I was running a charity and furiously raising money for it, that kind of fundraising would have got me sacked by my committee in very short order. And I think I would have had the Charity Commissioners appearing in my office looking rather grim.

    There's some interesting history:

    Sarah Palin has been given the boot as a celebrity fundraiser for hospitals in Hamilton, Ont., but she will come to town raise money for a local children’s charity instead.. . .
    The former vice-presidential candidate was supposed to speak at a fund-raising event for the Juravinski Cancer Centre and St. Peter’s Hospital in Hamilton. But a backlash of negative publicity cancelled those plans.
    Fortunately for children’s’ groups in Hamilton, local business leaders were able to re-direct the Palin appearance so that the Charity of Hope group would be the beneficiary of the event, said Sam Mercanti, chairman of the charity and CEO of Automotive Canada.


    [Toronto Sun 18 Dec 2009]

    The hospital fundraiser was originally organised by Sam Mercanti's brother Peter.

    She said, during her speech: "“Our accents too! Do you know how many people asked me if I’m Canadian . . . I feel right at home with you all. We share a lot in that accent.”

    Thought you'd appreciate that.

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  • 271. At 03:48am on 19 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    I've just, having got interested, turned something else up.

    People may remember Palin said in Calgary "“We used to hustle over the border for health care we received in Canada."

    'Unrepentantoldhippie' looked this up:

    "The Yukon Health Care Insurance Plan is restricted to those who are permanent citizens of the Yukon Territory.
    Yukon residents are eligible for the territorially-funded health coverage. To be eligible you must:
    • Be a Canadian citizen or have immigration status
    • Make your permanent home in Yukon
    and
    • Be physically present in Yukon and not absent for more than six months, without a waiver from Insured Health Services."

    Looks as though Citizen 'Healthcare' Palin might owe the Canadian government a few bob. Maybe they should have asked for her Hamilton fee back at the border?

    (Of course, some might say I'm only a muck-raking squirre, but I'm following an old American tradition. . .Amazing what you find when you root about a bit, isn't it?)

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  • 272. At 03:54am on 19 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    69. At 02:47am on 19 Apr 2010, Terry Neal wrote:

    "The 'weak' tea party is a better term. When the best they can do is Sarah Palin spouting sound bites"

    If only it were a case of 'once soundbitten, twice shy' . . .

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  • 273. At 03:54am on 19 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Tea hee :-D

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  • 274. At 04:54am on 19 Apr 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    270. At 03:35am on 19 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    "There's some interesting history:"

    "Sarah Palin has been given the boot as a celebrity fundraiser for hospitals in Hamilton, Ont., but she will come to town raise money for a local children’s charity instead.. . ."

    "The former vice-presidential candidate was supposed to speak at a fund-raising event for the Juravinski Cancer Centre and St. Peter’s Hospital in Hamilton. But a backlash of negative publicity cancelled those plans."
    __________

    Well, she didn't seem a good choice in Hamilton (to me), and particularly not at a hospital. Recent attacks on public health care wouldn't have made her any friends, fewer still if she has used our system and now denigrates it. (Public health care is probably closer to our hearts than the Charter of Rights and Freedoms).

    She has huge negatives here - probably even worse than Stephen Harper, and there aren't many public figures who can say that. E.g., her popularity would be in the low single digits in Quebec, and not much higher in urban Ontario.

    Wonder if it occurred to her or the organizers that the ruling party wouldn't want her here? She is just the kind of lightning rod reminder the Conservatives don't want the voters to see or hear. Did nobody try using a phone?

    If it had been at an hospital, I imagine CUPE (the union to which most health care workers belong) would have had protesters out in force.

    Yes, that could have gone wrong in a hurry. No wonder they canceled. Ouch.

    Maybe that's why there was comparatively little publicity - and what little there was, was bad enough to get it canceled.

    Still, we should have been polite. It's not right to be mean to guests, even ones you don't really like.

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  • 275. At 04:57am on 19 Apr 2010, Another Opinion wrote:

    The Tea Party movement was started during the Bush administration, in response to the unseemly TARP Bank bailouts that Bush shoved through. This is not about Democrat vs. Republican or liberal vs. conservative. Half of the households in the United States pay NO federal income tax and in fact through a gawd awful thing called Earned Income Tax Credit, if you keep popping out kids you can't afford, you can get around $6000 a year back from the Feds while paying no income tax. The problem is that both Bush and Obama have pushed through budget busting legislation that will guarantee that taxes will hit nose bleed levels for the half of the country that pays taxes, while the half that don't contribute anything keep voting these programs in. Unfortunately the burden will be passed on our children and grandchildren.

    What really galls me is people who know nothing about the Tea Party movement automatically brand them as racist Republicans, when in fact they started their movement because of a Republican president and Republican legislature pushing through more goodies for the masses or the well connected. Unfortunately a Democrat president and legislature is just continuing this suicidal path.

    How would you feel if your parents went on a massive spending binge, and then you and your children had to spend your entire lives paying for it? It's the modern form of slavery.

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  • 276. At 05:02am on 19 Apr 2010, Bob Carter wrote:

    cmulder003 wrote:
    "the "tea party" shows all the rest of the world alreay knows about the USA.
    Its a racist selfish dumb country that is a danger to other countries."

    You are mistaken if you think that everyone in the U.S. agrees with and supports that Tea Party and its ideas.

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  • 277. At 05:08am on 19 Apr 2010, Bob Carter wrote:

    In may previous post, I wrote:

    You are mistaken if you think that everyone in the U.S. agrees with and supports that Tea Party and its ideas. I meant to write "...the Tea Party..." but accidentally wrote "...that Tea Party..." Sorry or the typo.

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  • 278. At 05:20am on 19 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    This piece was turned up by Mike Morgan on the earlier Sarah Palin thread (no95), but it's tricky to navigate, so it's worth quoting this summary from it:

    "They yearn for sharp changes in national policies which, they contend, weaken the country's sinews. .

    They are against big spending, relief payments, federal aid to education, medical care for the aged, urban renewal or increase in the Social Security program.

    They are against the present size and administration of foreign aid, holding it to be wasteful. they doubt the value of our participation in the United Nations and they are against big government.

    Liberalism (Medicare) is well down the road to socialism. . .the federal income tax regiment(s) Americans by confiscating their wealth. . .

    Registration of personal weapons is a plot to expose fighting patriots. . .

    Textbooks have been stealthily adulterated with [liberal] doctrine. . .

    They largely describe themselves as 'libertarian and individualist'. . .They align themselves with the Republicans' call for smaller government.

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  • 279. At 05:28am on 19 Apr 2010, Jay Love wrote:

    WE HAVE TO THANK THAT GREAT VISONARY, GEORGE W. BUSH, ALSO KNOWN AS KING GEORGE BY SOME, FOR SETTING UP HOME LAND SECURITY AND OTHER PROGRAMS TO
    STOP THE TERROIST. IT IS NOW IN PLACE TO CAPTURE AND/OR DISCOURAGE THE KKK MILITIAS, THE WANT TO BE HITLERS, AND THE TEA PARTIERS WHO HATE THE BLACK PRESIDENT. LONG LIVE KING GEORGE!!!

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  • 280. At 05:30am on 19 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Oh, I forget to mention something.

    'Another Opinion' will find this interesting.

    That (278) btw was Life magazine, Feb 9th.




    Er, in 1962
    ( I mean, who hasn't heard of the ex-fighter pilot Frank McGehee and the National Indignation Convention?)

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  • 281. At 05:34am on 19 Apr 2010, Jay Love wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 282. At 05:38am on 19 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    275. Another Opinion:

    Ah yes; the feckless improvident working classes that are draining the country of its vitality and living off the hard-earned wealth of the hard-working middle class. To the workhouse with them! Bring back the Poor Law!

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  • 283. At 05:59am on 19 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    274. Interestedforeigner:

    There were actually only about 60 complaints, but apparently some established donors were not wildly happy and said they'd withdraw their contributions.

    In the end, Palin had a bit of a hatchet job done on her substitute appearance by a columnist, but only, I suspect, because the Toronto Sun had sponsored the event in some way (paying the hire of the venue, maybe? I don't know) in return, they thought, for a 45-60 minute exclusive interview; which Palin on the day cut first to 15 minutes, then to five, and only allowed one previously vetted question.

    (Had I been treated like that, or a British paper had been, the hatchet would have been even sharper, I can assure you. But then, it was pretty sharp for what is apparently a very conservative-leaning tabloid. Shows you how inept Palin and/or her advisers really are to blow that, doesn't it? Oh, what fun.)

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  • 284. At 06:26am on 19 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    274. At 04:54am on 19 Apr 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    "It's not right to be mean to guests, even ones you don't really like."

    Why not? Some deserve it. I didn't see a transcript, but she also called on Canada to get busier exploiting the country's natural resources --'drill, baby, drill' in the Arctic for them down South? Or was she hoping to be offered the opportunity to club a few baby seals?

    I gather she's criticised Canada's heath care system. That's interference in another country's politics to me. Just as well she's not planning a weekend in Britain this month. . .

    (Oh, btw, researching all that stuff I kept coming across references to Sarah 'moose dressing'. This wouldn't be anything like cross-dressing, would it, Squirrel asks interestedly?)

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  • 285. At 06:44am on 19 Apr 2010, d_m wrote:

    What is it with Sarah Palin? She's less interesting than yesterday's oatmeal. Yet somehow she's achieved pop-culture status. How did that happen? I wouldn't have thought that republicans or ultra-conservatives would be into pop-culture. Yet she seems to be the darling of many such people.

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  • 286. At 06:44am on 19 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    "Yet the American right — and Americans in general — should be paying close attention to how Cameron’s Tories fare in Britain’s election on May 6, and how well they govern if they win. That’s because for all his leftward feints and politically correct gestures, Cameron is campaigning on a vision of government that owes a great deal to the American conservative tradition."

    That's Douthat in the NYT. OMG. I'm definitely not voting Tory. That's precisely what some of us are afraid of.

    [Shudders in horror.]

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  • 287. At 06:55am on 19 Apr 2010, d_m wrote:

    #286
    I think you're right to worry. After all, they opted for an American style debate, even though they did it better. I don't know much about Mr. Cameron. Is he more like Nixon or Reagan? Or a Bush?

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  • 288. At 07:19am on 19 Apr 2010, 1Of1000s wrote:

    The best way to cut cost is line item veto.
    That and not adding things to bills to get support.

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  • 289. At 07:25am on 19 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    287. At 06:55am on 19 Apr 2010, d_m wrote:

    "I don't know much about Mr. Cameron. Is he more like Nixon or Reagan? Or a Bush?"

    Good god no. I'd really be panicking then. Sort of an FDR-Carter-Clinton? Maybe a kind of Obama, if he could have got his tax, spending and consolidation we were rather expecting from the election year through Congress.

    (Our conservatives are pretty liberal compared to yours. With the exception of Thatcher and the people who originally surrounded her. Though there are some of that ilk in the Tory Party still, but they've been trying to be invisible the last few years. Very different; I don't think any US reporters/commentators really have a grasp of our politics from what I've read to be honest.)

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  • 290. At 07:51am on 19 Apr 2010, d_m wrote:

    #289
    That's not such a bad combination really. I confess I don't really get your politics either. Parliements are a puzzle to me as well. It seems like they can be held hostage by a small group (3 or 4 or 5 members) from a small whacko party who then end up with way more influence than they deserve. Right at the moment the Isreali parliement comes to mind. Seems like Netanyahu's government depends on a small group pro-settlement conservatives to form a government.

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  • 291. At 07:57am on 19 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    O goody. It's poll time again. This one's Pew.

    I've reworked some of the results so I can put a single table together.

    So: what Americans think is bad about the USA:

    Banks: 69%
    Congress: 65%
    Federal govt: 65%
    Large corporations: 64
    Dept of Education 60
    National News media: 57
    Federal agencies: 54
    Entertainment industry: 51
    Social Security: 51
    Justice Dept: 49
    Unions: 49
    CIA: 48
    IRS: 47
    Obama Administration: 45

    Least worst: small businesses and tech companies. (Must be the iPad.) Oddly, the Postal Service a lot of people seem to pick on wasn't singled out particularly.

    57% think government has a negative effect on daily life; and hardly anybody trusts 'government' at all:

    77% overall don't now; 88% of Republicans don't. The thing is, it seems people haven't for years anyway, and generally even less when it's a Democratic president: under Bush 2, 53(all)/50(R); Clinton 71(all)/75(R); Bush 1 64(all)/56(R); Reagan 58(all)/47(R); Carter 71(all)/73(R).

    I'm not sure what to make of this. It's when you get to slightly more than half thinking the entertainment industryis rubbish you wonder what's really going on. It just seems as though at least half of all Americans are dissatisfied or unhappy with nearly everything around them and most things that their daily lives are involved with and their futures rely on.

    That looks like a hefty seriously traumatised chunk of the population, really. It's fascinating. Looks very like the tail end of the Weimar Republic.

    The only real conclusion I can come up with is that if I were an American politician looking to be elected in November, I would even more cynically promise anything to anybody and not care one iota about keeping any electoral promise at all. If such a big majority thinks government and most of its institutions can't be trusted, what would it matter? What difference could it possibly make except to ensure I was sitting on the gravy train comfortably for the next four years?

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  • 292. At 08:10am on 19 Apr 2010, TrueToo wrote:

    252. squirrelist wrote:

    But now we are told there is rampant prejudice and discrimination against American Jews.

    No, you aren't. You are being told there is a degree of prejudice and discrimination.

    (Yet at the same time there is none, apparently, against African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, American Moslems, Arab Americans, or for all I know, gay or disabled Americans.)

    You aren't being told that either.


    253. squirrelist wrote:

    250. At 10:33pm on 18 Apr 2010, TrueToo wrote:


    "Stranger bedfellows than the far left and radical Islam you wont find."

    Blimey. Well, people certainly won't find them making bedfellows except in their own tortured imaginings.

    How ridiculous can you get? But then, there's this absurd and consistent attempt from the American right to completely confuse fascism with socialism, as we've seen all too often in certain comments here.


    You shouldn't be quite so scathing from a standpoint of ignorance. It makes you look silly.

    George Galloway is far left and chief Gaza terrorist, Ismael Haniya, is a radical Islamist. Luckily I hadn't just eaten breakfast when, without warning, the TV broadcast Galloway giving Haniya a hug. OK, that doesn't mean they are literally bedfellows, but I'm sure you understand the principle. Galloway had led a motley crew of lefties through Egypt to Gaza to show solidarity with, you guessed it, radical Islamists.

    Yes they are strange bedfellows indeed. What could possibly attract the anarchistic, hedonistic, irreligious far left to the Sharia-wielding devotees of radical Islam - apart from a dark obsession to restructure entire societies in their own image and a mutual hatred of the West, especially America, and Israel?

    Now if you want further education on this matter, the Internet is a great resource.

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  • 293. At 08:23am on 19 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    290. At 07:51am on 19 Apr 2010, d_m wrote:

    "Parliements are a puzzle to me as well. It seems like they can be held hostage by a small group (3 or 4 or 5 members) from a small whacko party who then end up with way more influence than they deserve."

    You mean like Senators?

    It doesn't usually happen like that in fact unless you have a lot of small parties with wildly conflicting agendas. The Israeli example is distinctly the odd one out; it's not representative of how most parliamentary systems work.

    We haven't been in anything like that situation really for 70 years I think. Though the Belgians got into a mess a couple of years ago because, basically, a right-wing party simply refused to compromise any part at all of its agenda with anybody, which is normally what has to happen in the event.

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  • 294. At 08:24am on 19 Apr 2010, d_m wrote:

    #291
    Maybe this just reflects the attitudes of people who are willing to do polls. I don't do them. I don't get many call asking me to do them, but when I do I don't.

    I don't understand why so many people dislike government. Maybe it's a holdover form the Reagan Presidency. What was it he said? Government isn't the solution, it's the problem. Something like that. Anyway, whenever I ask someone who's complaining about the government what it is they don't like, they never have a good answer. Mostly just cliche's and generalized complaints.

    I think people don't really know what the government does for them. They don't even seem to know the obvious things, like power generation, the national highway system, air traffic control, the Army Corp. of Engineers, the National Weather Service, the internet, Medicare, Social Security to mention a few.

    I don't know what to make of the poll numbers either. They don't make any sense to me. Well, except perhaps for the entertainment industry.

    Perhaps people just have unrealistic expectations.

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  • 295. At 08:46am on 19 Apr 2010, d_m wrote:

    #293
    Good point. Occasionally one senator will do something like that. But since Reagan, it's usually more like one side or the other. In fact, republicans and democrats have had a difficult getting together on anything since Nixon was impeached.

    It would be great if government worked better, but it just works as well as it works. Sometimees better, sometimes worse. For the most part, it does pretty well for us.

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  • 296. At 09:11am on 19 Apr 2010, Nigel wrote:

    The tea party movement is bound to lose steam as people become more aware of reality over time. They speak of high taxes under Obama even though taxes have gone down; they complain of deficit spending even though the vast majority of of our debt was created under Bush; they're outraged of a loss of freedoms even though Obama has drastically reduced the power of the executive in comparison to the Bush administration, who claimed the right to wiretap without a warrant, arrest without charges, imprison indefinitely without trial, and torture with impunity. I agree with the tea party advocates about the danger of excessive power and infringement on civil liberties; that is why I am thankful Bush and Cheney are gone.

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  • 297. At 09:26am on 19 Apr 2010, DennisLanePretoria wrote:

    re: 165. At 9:21pm on 17 Apr 2010, Never Been Gone wrote:

    Have looked at the 'spitting' video and the comments about the AWB flag. Apologists say that it is the Tennessee state flag (which it quite clearly isn't - there is far too much white and not enough black). However, as someone living in South Africa, it doesn't quite look like the AWB flag (which should be more like three 7's linked at the centre. This flag is more like three T's linked at the base. However, it clearly looks to be some sort of neo-fascist flag (the white circle on the red field helps in that interpretation).

    Would be grateful for other interpretations of what that flag actually is (or links to some good stills).

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  • 298. At 10:09am on 19 Apr 2010, TrueToo wrote:

    254. SaintDominick wrote:

    And last, but not least, your own closing remark: "Stranger bedfellows than the far left and radical Islam you wont find"

    Happy dreams!


    It's easy to go on a copy and paste exercise, but far more difficult to bring evidence to bear on the debate. People here do that a lot re MagicKirin. If you really have not noticed the alliance between the far left and radical Islam, then you've been asleep on this issue for a long time. I've given an example of it in post 252.

    Re anti-Semitism, I am not American but my reading of it is that there has been a shift in the source of anti-Semitism against Jews in America. Many of them supported the human rights struggle and some were murdered by the KKK for supporting blacks. Then you have the Louis Farrakhans and anti-Semitism among the more radical Muslims in America. Jewish students experience a great deal of hostility on American campuses, though of course is difficult to disentangle anti-Semitism there from hatred of Israel, though one suspects they are very often one and the same: singling Israel out for attack when there is no shortage of real rogue nations out there smacks of anti-Semitism.

    There's a black American radio show host, Terry Anderson, who perceives the black community as under racist attack, not from whites, but from Mexican criminal gangs who have infiltrated the US. Is he wrong?



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  • 299. At 10:19am on 19 Apr 2010, Two of Pentacles -Change- wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 300. At 10:26am on 19 Apr 2010, TrueToo wrote:

    257. squirrelist wrote:

    251. At 11:03pm on 18 Apr 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    "It is, indeed, time for a new string. Over to you, Mark ..."

    Why? The Magic Giraffe and a couple of the others will ensure it ends up in exactly the same way whatever it's about.



    That's just a touch hypocritical of you. As I recall, you were the one who kicked off the Israel bashing in the 'Hung with bloom along the bough' thread, post 146 to be precise. You really should try to do something about your anti-Israel obsession.

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  • 301. At 11:03am on 19 Apr 2010, Two of Pentacles -Change- wrote:

    brandnutopian said "You can't make out any name calling due to the chanting, but starting at about 2 Minutes and 10 seconds you can clearly see someone carrying an Afrikaner Resistance Flag, of the South African white power group, walk through the scene and people turning and eagerly following. I've heard people say that it was the state flag of TN, but it's clearly not".

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  • 302. At 11:07am on 19 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 298, TrueToo

    "There's a black American radio show host, Terry Anderson, who perceives the black community as under racist attack, not from whites, but from Mexican criminal gangs who have infiltrated the US. Is he wrong?"

    Nope. Terry Anderson's concerns are not directed at Mexican-Americans or Hispanics but at criminal gangs, often associated with drug cartels that entered the USA ilegally along with hundreds of thousands of depserate and hard working peasants seeking a better life.

    African-Americans are not the only ones that are concerned and want something done against those gangs. Many in the Hispanic community also want something done, their only concern is that some groups or individuals will use that as an opening to lash out against all Hispanics, including those born in the USA.

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  • 303. At 11:59am on 19 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 263, Magic

    I said in an earlier post that discrimination against members of many ethnic and religious groups including Africans, Irish, Japanese, Chinese, Mexicans, Catholics, Jews and Mormons have been victims of discrimination in the USA at various times in our history. I also said that most have assimilated and are today integral and valuable members of our complex society.

    Yes, I have seen hate signs. There was one in Rosman, North Carolina, that read something like "(insert offensive racial epithet) don't let the Sun set on your asses". Translation: "blacks get out of town before sunset because you are only welcome to work here during daytime".

    Such examples, and the actions that often accompanied those expressions of hate are, thankfully, long gone. Does discrimination still exist in the USA? Of course, but it is not as pervasive or widespread as it once was, and it is seldom put into practice, if nothing else because laws - and most Americans - reject it.

    The point that some of us tried to make, apparently unsuccessfully, was not that Jews had not suffered discrimination in the USA in years past, which is undeniable, but that today they constitute one of the most prosperous and influential segments of our society and, therefore, it seems disingenous to blame that unfortunate part of our history for our own failures or limitations.

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  • 304. At 12:06pm on 19 Apr 2010, arclightt wrote:

    @260 (IF):"There's a slice of Americans who like to think of themselves as having this rugged "God, guns and guts" old testament kind of frontier persona. But when it's not on TV, when it's real, right there in front of them, inside (mostly) Americans are kind, and generous, moral, and brave. It's the new testament that wins out: they cannot bear to see innocent people suffer, and they will stand up, sometimes at risk to themselves (thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me), to do what's right."


    IF, I think if you really begin to separate issues and sort them individually, you'll find that the "God, guns, and guts" persona you spoke of has at its heart all the "new testament" things you referred to.

    Most Americans combine a degree of compassion with a degree of justice, and bind it with personal responsibility. They don't resent giving folks a hand up; they are a lot less inclined to give handouts. I guess what I'm saying is that the "God, guns, and guts" label is only that--a label. Like most short descriptions of human positions, it's like the verbal equivalent of junk food--it provides an emotional zing, but no real mental nutrition.

    @291 (sq): Interesting numbers. What I believe the numbers are telling you, even though it's not readily apparent, is that (a) an awful lot of folks are very concerned about their futures, (b) those concerns are causing them to look more closely at institutions that they might not otherwise think so strongly about, and (c) the cracks in the foundation of those institutions (brought about by the misbehavior of those folks who have run those institutions) are now coming glaringly into focus.


    Your solution is precisely what we DON'T need, although I'm sure some folks will try that approach. What we need in my estimation is a frank facing of facts:

    a. We're broke and $60T in debt
    b. It's going to take some real work to get out of the ditch
    c. Nobody's going to get everything they want, ever again; however, if we work very hard, we may be able to ensure that everyone gets what they NEED.

    Regards,
    Arclight

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  • 305. At 12:34pm on 19 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #294

    What people in the U.S don't like is goverment and waste and entitlements.

    For instance junkets to the climate change conference in Copenhagen, 68 Millions of our tax payer money going to a museum to honor Ted the drunk.

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  • 306. At 1:12pm on 19 Apr 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    275. Another Opinion:

    "The Tea Party movement was started during the Bush administration, in response to the unseemly TARP Bank bailouts that Bush shoved through."

    ******************

    Good point. They are just as angry at Bush for his spending as they are at Obama. It's one of many points that is lost on the Tea Party critics, who often get their information from (gasp!) media soundbites from Tea Party rallies.

    I'm not sure Obama's claim that he rescued the financial system resonates well. The bailouts are a huge sore point.

    It's too bad that we won't have more debate about financial reform legislation. The question of whether it effectively deals with "too big to fail" seems to be crowded out by partisan sniping (ex., who's protecting Wall Street versus who's clobbering them harder). Our president is resorting to raw politics and not really allowing a robust debate, in my opinion. Hope we don't wind up with more legislation that nobody truly examines until afterward.

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  • 307. At 1:18pm on 19 Apr 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Ref# 291 Squirrel.
    Looks like a lot of people are responding saying things are bad when they actually mean "Not as good as I would like it to be".
    Is it possible that 49% of Americans think the entertainment industry is genuinely a bad thing? Or do you think that some people might have a grumble about their favourite show being cancelled, or are not happy about the behaviour of certain celebrities?
    The negative view of government and it's services should probably be similarly viewed.
    To give some context, did 65% of Americans shrug their shoulders and say "Yeah, we didn't expect anything better" regarding the federal government's response when Katrina hit? No. The shock at the delayed and inadequate federal response demonstrates what most Americans expected out of their government.
    Viewing the the US govt in comparison to some other genuinely bad governments (Sudan, Zimbabwe) where there is no rule of law and basic services are not available really ought to give most Americans a wake up call about what their government really does for them.
    Bad? No. Could do better? Yes.

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  • 308. At 1:42pm on 19 Apr 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    304. arclightt:

    "c. Nobody's going to get everything they want, ever again; however, if we work very hard, we may be able to ensure that everyone gets what they NEED."

    *****************
    The definition of "NEED" is one we should discuss. There seems to be a broad definition of it.

    I was listening to an NPR piece on hunger in the US the other day. The guest clarified that the term "food insecurity" was more appropriate than "hunger" and went on to describe how, today, many people didn't know where their next meal was coming from. Another guest pointed out that many obese children were malnourished.

    I found myself wondering about their redefining "hunger." When I was young, we often didn't know where our next meal would come from. My brother started busing tables at a nearby Chinese restaurant and was able to bring home leftovers. I started babysitting. In our case, "food insecurity" drove us to get jobs. I don't think those jobs are as readily available today.

    I also found myself wondering what an acceptable amount of need might be. To the guests on the show, food insecurity was something to be eliminated. To us, it had just been a regular part of our life, one of the many challenges (and, by far, not the worst).

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  • 309. At 2:13pm on 19 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #307
    PartTimeDon wrote:
    Ref# 291 Squirrel.
    Looks like a lot of people are responding saying things are bad when they actually mean "Not as good as I would like it to be".
    Is it possible that 49% of Americans think the entertainment industry is genuinely a bad thing? Or do you think that some people might have a grumble about their favourite show being cancelled, or are not happy about the behaviour of certain celebrities?
    (No what americans hate about the entertainments is when ignorant celebrities like Sean Penn and Danny Glovers show support to terrorism or lecture their paying customers)
    The negative view of government and it's services should probably be similarly viewed.
    To give some context, did 65% of Americans shrug their shoulders and say "Yeah, we didn't expect anything better" regarding the federal government's response when Katrina hit? No. The shock at the delayed and inadequate federal response demonstrates what most Americans expected out of their government.

    (Well actually most americans know the failure was mostly due to the Demcoratic governor and the mayor of NO)
    Viewing the the US govt in comparison to some other genuinely bad governments (Sudan, Zimbabwe) where there is no rule of law and basic services are not available really ought to give most Americans a wake up call about what their government really does for them.
    Bad? No. Could do better? Yes.
    (Yes we expect beetter, we also don't expect to be marginilized by our leaders when we don't follow faithfully)

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  • 310. At 2:29pm on 19 Apr 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 306, Andrea

    "I'm not sure Obama's claim that he rescued the financial system resonates well. The bailouts are a huge sore point."

    Bush's TARP, aka bank bailout, helped save our financial system. What President Obama proposed, got and signed was the stimulus package, which along with heavy infusions of funds from the Fed, helped keep our economy from total collapse and mitigated the impact of the recession by containing the number of jobs lost.

    Both were little more than a panacea to a much larger problem that we continue to ignore, our lack of fiscal responsibility, and by OUR I mean exactly that. Demanding services and demonizing attempts to eliminate MEDICARE waste, are inconsistent with our calls for lower taxes. If anything, we should be paying more taxes to pay for what we get. If we don't want the services we are getting we should specify which ones we want eliminated.

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  • 311. At 4:51pm on 19 Apr 2010, MDshooter wrote:

    Until people can accurately quote the Constitution of the United StateS of America, they will have no understanding of what it means.

    This country was founded on individual liberty, and rules and ideas were set forth to protect those liberties. What the Tea Partiers want is the recognition of those rights once again. Politicians swear an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution, yet spend their time trying to avoid and abuse that oath. For those of you who pontificate from outside the USA, please study your history before embarassing yourself on this blog. For those of you who call yourselves Americans, try to imagine where you would be today without those liberties. And be honest with yourself, all ideology aside. It's important.

    The Tea Party movement isn't just about taxes. It's about our Rights and our freedoms. Personal responsibility, freedom of choice, respecting others, not being afraid of our elected officials and the people that protect them, teaching our children what we want to teach them, enjoying the results of our hard work the way we see fit, and I could go on and on.

    The Tea Party movement is as strong today as it was a year ago, and if you doubt that, follow the money. Contributions to conservative groups of all kinds have skyrocketed this past year. Most will reveal their donations openly. Do some research. The media and the elected officials have ignored and ridiculed the movement since day one, but do so at their own peril. Most of the people I know involved with this conservative uprising have JOBS or businesses to run, FAMILIES, TAXES that were due on the day of the protest and little free time to spend travelling hundreds or thousands of miles to attend a half day rally in the capitol. It's why there were hundreds of other protests staged all over the country, all of them well attended. Try google, it's your friend.

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  • 312. At 4:59pm on 19 Apr 2010, TrueToo wrote:

    I agree with much of what you say here but I have lotened to quite a few Anderson shows and there is no doubt that he is concerned about Mexican criminal gangs with their racial (or perceived racial) attacks on blacks and taking over of once-black communities. He also has a lot of anger against one particular individual (I forget his name) who wants to create a Hispanic enclave in the US.

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  • 313. At 5:01pm on 19 Apr 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 309 MagicKirin

    "No what americans hate about the entertainments (sic) is when ignorant celebrities like Sean Penn and Danny Glovers (sic) show support to terrorism or lecture their paying customers"

    "Well actually most americans know the failure was mostly due to the Demcoratic (sic) governor and the mayor of NO"

    "Yes we expect beetter (sic), we also don't expect to be marginilized (sic) by our leaders when we don't follow faithfully"

    I don't think anyone seriously questions that the US has a serious overspending and debt problem. [Whether much of the current Administration's spending has or hasn't been justified to counter the recession is a matter of debate.]

    So, it seems to me that, if Obama wants to cut spending, there's an easy first step.

    All he needs to do is cancel all future elections - very expensive businesses.

    Essentially elections are there to allow the people to express their opinion.

    Clearly however they are not needed, when psychics like MK already know what 'Americans' or 'most Americans' actually think. [There are others - the types who pop up now and then to tell us all the result of the elections later this year and the result of the 2012 election.]

    This is not the first time - he's confidently told us what various people on this blog and outside it think, who is and isn't racist [eg the Tea Party apparently aren't, and liberals are] etc etc

    Granted, some might argue that he is displaying symptoms of megalomania, that all he really knows is what 'Americans who think like MK' think, and that he’s just 'doing an MK' - ie making his usual assumption that something is true merely because he thinks it...

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  • 314. At 5:13pm on 19 Apr 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 275. Another Opinion:

    "The Tea Party movement was started during the Bush administration, in response to the unseemly TARP Bank bailouts that Bush shoved through."

    And # 306

    "Good point. They are just as angry at Bush for his spending as they are at Obama. It's one of many points that is lost on the Tea Party critics, who often get their information from (gasp!) media soundbites from Tea Party rallies.2

    Is there any evidence for the claim that the TP movement started under Bush? The Wiki page suggestsotherwise - and they have references. link here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_Party_movement

    Examples

    "The movement emerged in 2009 through an ongoing series of Tea Party protests.[3][4][5][6] These are partially in response to the 2009 stimulus package[7][8] as well as the 2008 bailouts.[9]"

    "On January 19, someone on FedUpUSA posted an invitation "to a Commemorative Tea Party" protest in Boston on February 1.[34] On February 11, talk radio host and Fox Business Network personality Dave Ramsey appeared on Fox and Friends, waving tea bags and saying, "It's time for a Tea Party."[35]

    But the dominant theme seen at some of the earliest anti-stimulus protests was "pork" rather than tea.[36] The term "porkulus" was coined by radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh on his January 27, 2009, broadcast[37] in reference to both the 2009 "stimulus" bill, which was just introduced to the House of Representatives the day before, as well as to pork barrel spending and earmarks[38]. This proved very popular with conservative politicians and commentators[39], who began to unify in opposition against stimulus spending after the 2008 General Election."

    "According to FreedomWorks state and federal campaigns director Brendan Steinhauser[40][41], activist Mary Rakovich[42] was the organizer of a February 10, 2009 protest in Fort Myers, Florida, calling it the "first protest of President Obama's administration that we know of. It was the first protest of what became the tea party movement."[43]

    New York Times journalist Kate Zernike reported that leaders within the Tea Party credit Seattle blogger and conservative activist Keli Carender with organizing the first Tea Party in February of 2009, although the term "Tea Party" was not used.[44] Other articles, written by Chris Good of The Atlantic[45] and NPR’s Martin Kaste[46], credit Carender as "one of the first" Tea Party organizers and state that she “organized some of the earliest Tea Party-style protests”.

    Carender first organized what she called a "Porkulus Protest" in Seattle on Presidents Day, February 16, the day before President Obama signed the stimulus bill into law[47]."

    So it seems that it started under Obama.

    I would suggest that this is just one of the reasons that some people have difficulty taking it seriously, eg [a] as MM indicates above, they seem to be v keen on lower spending - till you ask them where the cuts should be and [b] they seem far more concerned about spending under a Dem President than they ever were under GWB.

    (And please, agree or disagree, provide alternative sources or otherwise, but spare us the old MK ‘you cant trust Wiki they’re just leftie commies’ nonsense.)

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  • 315. At 5:22pm on 19 Apr 2010, ColleenBen wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 316. At 5:22pm on 19 Apr 2010, itsnothealthcareihateitsobama wrote:

    Finally after a week of being unable to even read this blog to say a few words to that other Eugenean that used to write here.
    He is a pinko. Obam is a pinko. All crazy.O bama only got in because they set up that GW would ruin things so much that Obama was going to win. it has all been a plot from the start.

    I'm for health care I just don't want Obama care.
    Change the name but the left won't do that they have to scream on Obama care all the time. Well done on getting rid of the scruffy hippy smith.
    Time for some real tea drinkers to take control of this wise nation.

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  • 317. At 5:23pm on 19 Apr 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    I don't know whether Tea Party has run out of steam, but this thread obviously has, with 'usual suspects' returning to their favorite subject:

    Israel and the Jews as a source of all evil in the world.

    [including earthquakes, mudslides and volcano eruptions]

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  • 318. At 6:07pm on 19 Apr 2010, Jay Love wrote:

    IN REGARDS TO TERRY ANDERSON,GANG WARFARE IS BASED ON COMPETITION FOR MONEY AND/OR TERRITORY, AND NOT ON RACE.

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  • 319. At 6:32pm on 19 Apr 2010, TrueToo wrote:

    My comment no. 312 was in response to SaintDominick's comment no. 302.

    I note that SaintDominick and Squirrelist, having poured scorn on the concept of the far left and radical Islamist being bedfellows, are now silent on the matter. Perhaps they didn't like the example I provided at no. 292 to back up my assertion. Perhaps they Googled around to try to prove me wrong but found that Google proved me right.

    Seriously, it is an interesting puzzle. Given the hugely disparate nature of the two, the far left should run a mile from radical Islam, yet they embrace it. Why?

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  • 320. At 6:34pm on 19 Apr 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 317 powermeerkat wrote:

    "I don't know whether Tea Party has run out of steam, but this thread obviously has, with 'usual suspects' returning to their favorite subject:

    Israel and the Jews as a source of all evil in the world.

    [including earthquakes, mudslides and volcano eruptions]"

    I missed those postings. Perhaps you could clarify exactly which postings and posters you are smearing - sorry, referring to?

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  • 321. At 7:04pm on 19 Apr 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    There must be something in the water in Eugene that addles the brains.

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  • 322. At 7:56pm on 19 Apr 2010, TtownYankee wrote:

    I am an Okie which is one of the reddest of the red states here across the big pond, and the tea party has criticized Oklahoma politicians as being too liberal. This is a state in which Barrack Obama did not win a single county. They are that red here.

    That's a lot like criticizing Kim Jong for being too soft and lenient on political uprisings.

    The problem with the tea party movement is that most normal people consider them a radical party because they advocate state militias protecting the borders and that states remove themselves from the federal government. They suggested that OK "cut all ties of any kind" with the federal government. They even suggested at one time that OK and Texas join forces to become a new country where they could round all the ill eagles up and get rid of them.

    The only reason this party has any steam at all is because of the fear mongering they are guilty of.
    I am not the sole Okie on the side of reason. The party is a small faction that needs to be given the dismissal it deserves. They are radicals and should not be considered a "normal" political party.

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  • 323. At 8:09pm on 19 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    319. At 6:32pm on 19 Apr 2010, TrueToo wrote:

    "Perhaps they didn't like the example I provided at no. 292 to back up my assertion."

    Didn't think much of it, no.

    "Perhaps they Googled around to try to prove me wrong but found that Google proved me right."

    Nope.

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  • 324. At 8:20pm on 19 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Three days of silence and then this weird obsession with somebody callled Eugene starts up again . . .

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  • 325. At 8:21pm on 19 Apr 2010, d_m wrote:

    MK you should give up trying to speak for everyone because your limited views necessarily do such a large constituency an injustice.

    Are you really so simplistic that you think it's possible to eliminate waste? What nonsense. People don't like government. Wow, that's going to present 'people' with a real problem then, since they're the ones who form them. In any case, the alternative would be what? As for entitlements, which ones would you cancel? And, more interestingly, which ones would you keep?

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  • 326. At 8:39pm on 19 Apr 2010, TrueToo wrote:

    323. squirrelist wrote:

    Didn't think much of it, no.

    And, as I thought, unable to offer any evidence to counter its validity.

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  • 327. At 9:46pm on 19 Apr 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    It's certainly true that some individual left-wing writers have been soft on radical Islam, for example Noam Chomsky:

    http://www.jochnowitz.net/Essays/EnemiesPolReg.html

    However individual cases do not suffice to prove a general argument. There are lots of left-wing political parties in the US, but when I looked up one (Socialist Party USA) its international policies were so fringe that I didn't bother to look up the others -- most of them are even flakier.

    Here's an article by Jeffrey Herf on the subject, published in perhaps the most respected mainstream-left political rag, The New Republic"

    http://www.tnr.com/article/world/killing-the-name

    This article puts radical Islamism in its proper context, I think.

    I wouldn't try to generalize on the basis of a few examples. Holding Chomsky or Galloway accountable for their words and deeds is fair. Extending their example to "the left" (whoever they are) generally is not.

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  • 328. At 10:27pm on 19 Apr 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    TrueToo (#319) "Seriously, it is an interesting puzzle. Given the hugely disparate nature of the two, the far left should run a mile from radical Islam, yet they embrace it. Why?"

    I don't find it much of a puzzle. It's puzzling only if you try to make sense of a linear left-right model of politics, and believe that the far left (or right) wing should arrive at some coherent, easily understood philosophy of politics. This is not how it works -- why else would there be so many different far left political parties in the US?

    http://www.dkosopedia.com/wiki/List_of_Left-Wing_Parties_in_the_United_States

    I reject this one-dimensional model. Conventionally, we describe the major totalitarian political forces of the 20th century as "left" and "right" but this categorization doesn't seem helpful to me. I would just describe them individually for what they were, and they were both given to violence on a grand scale in the support of their political objectives.

    It's not unusual for the left to overlook violence, if not embrace it. There are many left-wing sorts who revere Ernesto "Che" Guevara as an icon of the left, ignoring the fact that he was a ruthless murderer. I attribute this mostly to ignorance and poor judgment, failings I ascribe equally to the far left and the far right. A coffee shop down the street has a poster of Che on the wall, yet the proprietor is a mild-mannered Swede who does not seem the least bit homicidal to me. Go figure. (Even red squirrels count Che as a friend, but what can you expect from a rodent?)

    People, being multi-dimensional, are the puzzle, not particular ill-defined categories of people.

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  • 329. At 10:43pm on 19 Apr 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    310. SaintDominicke:

    Bush's TARP, aka bank bailout, helped save our financial system

    *********************

    At the time, I felt this way, too. Now, I'm not so sure. It is no surprise that presidential advisors from the financial industry crafted solutions that saved their organizations.

    I wish someone had been there better representing taxpayers, who wound up with the risk. In this respect, I think Obama wasn't as on top of things as he should have been.

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  • 330. At 10:47pm on 19 Apr 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    314. John_From_Dublin:

    Is there any evidence for the claim that the TP movement started under Bush?

    *******************
    The Tea Party is upset over events that pre-date Obama. Its members are angry at Bush for the bailouts and for not adhering to conservative principles, especially with respect to spending.

    I would suggest that you do some more digging into their issues and avoid the media soundbites. Otherwise, you wind up like so many others who listen only to snippets and then call the Tea Party uninformed.

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  • 331. At 10:50pm on 19 Apr 2010, TrueToo wrote:

    327. GH1618,

    However individual cases do not suffice to prove a general argument.

    Fair enough. I mentioned Galloway, but he is only the tip of a very large iceberg. Be interesting, for a start, to check out the political affiliation of the motley crew that accompanied him to Gaza. I'd bet money I don't have on them being left-wingers.

    I read the article at your link - very good, but not quite what I was getting at.

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  • 332. At 10:52pm on 19 Apr 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    319. TrueToo:

    Given the hugely disparate nature of the two, the far left should run a mile from radical Islam, yet they embrace it. Why?

    ****************

    They both hate Bush with a passion? ;-)

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  • 333. At 10:55pm on 19 Apr 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    327 Gary.

    An interesting article.

    "Reactionary Modernism: Technology, Culture and Politics in Weimar and the Third Reich."

    With a title like that, the book must have just flown off the shelves.
    Can't wait for the movie.

    ----------

    He makes the point that people who resort to suicide bombings are not likely to be put off their plans of glory in Valhalla by threats of deterrence.

    Not so sure about that.

    The thing about the suicide bombers is that you never see the top guys volunteering to be suicide bombers, and you never see them sending their own children. No, they make sure they send other people's family members.

    Sort of what you'd expect, from that kind of person, really.

    It's a fair suspicion that the people running the show, the Osama bin Ladins of this world, have a distinct aversion to all kinds of personal pain if it is required to be experienced at first hand.

    But I don't get that smell from Ahmadinejad. He doesn't seem to be a coward at a personal level. Islam or no Islam, he smells a lot more like Juan Peron, Francisco Franco, Salazar, Mussolini, maybe Horthy, or maybe even that other Wagner-loving, Iron Cross-winning Aryan. He has the same contempt for Western pusillanimity, and he is clearly a risk taker not by religious belief but by calculation. Also dangerous, but different.

    ----------

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  • 334. At 11:36pm on 19 Apr 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 330 AndreaNY wrote:

    "The Tea Party is upset over events that pre-date Obama. Its members are angry at Bush for the bailouts and for not adhering to conservative principles, especially with respect to spending.

    I would suggest that you do some more digging into their issues and avoid the media soundbites. Otherwise, you wind up like so many others who listen only to snippets and then call the Tea Party uninformed."

    Someone said the TP started under Bush. You endorsed the claim. I was sceptical. I provided evidence that this was incorrect. You ignore it.

    Instead - shades of MK - you give your opinion as fact. And you suggest i do some research to prove you right.

    Here's a wild and crazy idea. If you have evidence [a] that the Tea party started under Bush and [b] that it has frequently expressed animosity to Bush - please provide it.

    Granted, it is a somewhat amorphous group, with possibly no clear set of principles - but I've seen plenty of anti-Obama slogans. As of yet, not one anti-Bush.

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  • 335. At 00:35am on 20 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    331. TrueToo

    The occasion to which you are referring was a day long demonstration and fast (Hamas and Fatah jointly) to protest at the imprisonment of Palestinians (some of whom are teenagers) in Israel, mamy of whom (including some elected politicians) have been effectively abducted from their homes?

    I care about that issue; it's a humanitarian issue and a matter of justice and international law. If anyone prefers to tell me that only people on the 'left' share that concern, I can only say I am not surprised.

    It was 'Prisoners' Day'.

    Which didn't get a lot of attention; over here maybe we've got an excuse, since we're dealing with a volcano and we're in the middle of an election.

    So read this.It's on Al-Jazeera;

    (They also have a short piece which mentions in passing one of the fringe radical Muslim organisations is campaigning to get Muslims in Bradford not to vote on the grounds that people no longer have confidence in politicians or government. Sounds peculiarly familiar, that message. So you could say that fringe radical Muslims share something with the Tea Party.)

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  • 336. At 00:36am on 20 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    328. At 10:27pm on 19 Apr 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    (Even red squirrels count Che as a friend, but what can you expect from a rodent?)

    Rats.

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  • 337. At 02:15am on 20 Apr 2010, jay jarrell wrote:

    With all the comments I guess not,just waiting for november elections if I still have a home or food to eat or transportation but I can give blood for heath care that I have to pay for or go to jail,hey wait a minute! free three squares and roof over my head!!!!! by jove I think I,ve got it!!!!!

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  • 338. At 03:27am on 20 Apr 2010, ninetofivegrind wrote:

    I saw a report where a Tea Bagger who was also a senior demanding the government "get their hands off my Medicare". It seems a number of these people lack a basic understanding of what they are protesting about. I wonder if a number of these people wouldn’t be so keen to "reclaim their destiny" if Barack Obama's name was Brian O'Mara with the accompanying complexion?

    Pure genius of the young fella with the placard reading: "Stop socialized medicine - close military hospitals"

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  • 339. At 05:02am on 20 Apr 2010, Jim Anderton wrote:

    "You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else."

    JohnD you certainly could legislate the Wall Street speculators and liability lawyers out of prosperity and reallocate that wealth into better access to capital for small business, or first time home buyers...how can Capitalism survive when our best and brightest youth become stockbrokers, bankers and attorneys instead of scientists, engineers and craftspeople? Eventually, we'll have to discourage this "paper" economy and actually start creating real wealth, or else someone will do it for us. Perhaps China, or maybe a resurgent Japan. I suspect robotics is the next Big Thing and they're leading...while we create "innovations" like collateralized debt obligations.

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  • 340. At 05:36am on 20 Apr 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    328. At 10:27pm on 19 Apr 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "People, being multi-dimensional, are the puzzle, not particular ill-defined categories of people."

    bravo! Hence the Tea Party, whatever it may be. And the Democratic Congress, a super-majority that cannot form a majority; and the Republicans, who imagine themselves the true majority while driving off almost everyone.

    Maybe the paradigm is the internet, where everyone finally realizes he or she is aligned with a score of disparate interest groups and no two of us are entirely alike.

    The voices on this blog illustrate how ready we are to stereotype each other. But then this is where I found this validating perception.

    Thanks

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 341. At 05:52am on 20 Apr 2010, TrueToo wrote:

    332. AndreaNY wrote:

    319. TrueToo:

    Given the hugely disparate nature of the two, the far left should run a mile from radical Islam, yet they embrace it. Why?

    ****************

    They both hate Bush with a passion? ;-)


    True, and they hate America, Israel, the military superiority of the West, Christianity....apart from that, the love in between them is just totally weird.


    328. GH1618 wrote:

    People, being multi-dimensional, are the puzzle, not particular ill-defined categories of people.

    True, but when you get hordes of people jumping up and down and yelling and screaming in support of a particular cause, as you see so often on these forums from the comrades of the left, dimensions tend to shrink and become irrelevant. Granted that you will see the same thing from the right or from football supporters or from any mob, but here I'm trying to identify the attraction of the far left to radical Islam. There is no doubt that it is widespread, but why?

    It's not unusual for the left to overlook violence, if not embrace it. There are many left-wing sorts who revere Ernesto "Che" Guevara as an icon of the left, ignoring the fact that he was a ruthless murderer.

    True and in this respect it would be instructive to check out the adoration with which many journalists of the esteemed organisation under whose auspices we communicate here regard Guevara. They positively celebrate him. These journalists appear to range from left to far left and I doubt there is a right winger among them, though perhaps a lonely centrist or two. And it took many die-hard, far left, communist supporters of Stalin, for example, decades to finally acknowledge that he was a butcher. I guess some of them never have.


    335. squirrelist,

    No, we are are not talking about the same event. I'm referring to the one shortly after Israel's attack on Gaza, early 2009. Galloway and company barged into Egypt, meeting some opposition from the Egyptians and armed with supplies for the Gazans. They were bristling with righteous indignation against Israel and overflowing with love for the likes of Haniya.

    Sorry, I don't read al Jazeera, especially not around meal times. It's full of innuendo and propaganda against Israel, stopping just short of outright lies, but coming so close to them as to make no difference. If you seriously regard those "journalists" as reliable sources, then I can only say your animosity against Israel is perhaps understandable, if not excusable.

    So you could say that fringe radical Muslims share something with the Tea Party.

    That really is a long shot.

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  • 342. At 11:58am on 20 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    341. At 05:52am on 20 Apr 2010, TrueToo wrote:

    "I don't read al Jazeera". Or the Morning Star or the Socialist Worker I suppose. Well, never mind.

    So how about The Kuwaiti Times or Ynet News then?

    As for 'ruthless murderers', we'll just forget the right-wing death squads in South America that had both active and passive support from the US, shall we?

    But this is where I stop. I'm not interested in this tedious tit-for-tat spiral some people think is a substitute for arguments and dialogue

    It's no more helpful or informative than if anyone were to post "Mr Jones thinks yellow is a nice colour" followed by "You didn't respond to me. Your silence tells me you hate the colour yellow".

    Which is all that you (and some others) appear to do.


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  • 343. At 12:42pm on 20 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Can't resist quoting this as a nice example of right-wing logic in the US:

    "You know, a couple of days after the health care bill had been signed into law Obama ran around all over the country saying, “Hey, you know, I’m looking around. The earth hadn’t opened up. There’s no Armageddon out there. The birds are still chirping.” I think the earth has opened up. God may have replied. This volcano in Iceland has grounded more airplanes — airspace has been more affected — than even after 9/11.

    "Earth has opened up. I don’t know whether it’s a rebirth or Armageddon. Hopefully it’s a rebirth, God speaking."

    [Rush Limbaugh, yesterday.]

    Yes. I see.

    So the US Congress passes the Health Bill and the consequence is that a volcano erupts inIceland and Britain gets covered in volcanic ash?

    If that's God's retribution for 'socialised health care', either he's forgotten the geography of his creation, or, in our case, he's been a bit slow on the uptake, it's taken 60 years.

    I like the theology too. Forget plagues and the Four Horsemen and all that stuff. All we have to worry about when Armageddon comes is no planes going anywhere and the airport runways left to the rabbits and the birds (chirping, too--we can hear them now!).

    That's OK. Not a problem then. There'll still be boats and trains. What a relief; I thought it might be really inconvenient.

    (Hang on a minute; I thought he said he was going to Costa Rica? Or was that just another of those promises the right forget and pretend they never made when it's inconvenient for them?)

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  • 344. At 2:12pm on 20 Apr 2010, RJTysoe wrote:

    Where was the Tea party when Bush was in power, taking the US into 2 poorly planned wars, giving tax cuts to the rich, piling up the deficit and turning a blind eye to Wall Street? Where were they at the election where Obama was elected?
    Obama might have bailed out the banks but it was because he had too. If the banks had failed then millions more hard working Americans would be without homes, jobs and pensions.

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  • 345. At 2:27pm on 20 Apr 2010, TrueToo wrote:

    342. squirrelist wrote:

    I'm not interested in this tedious tit-for-tat spiral some people think is a substitute for arguments and dialogue

    Evidently you are not interested in any inconvenient evidence that contradicts your prejudices. Your comment doesn't distract anyone from your inability to debate the points raised. You scoffed at the idea of the far left in bed with radical Islam but you have nothing to say about the evidence I subsequently provided.

    Have a look at that al Jazeera article with an open mind, if you can - then you'll perhaps notice the absence of facts or quotes from identifiable, responsible individuals or organisations. It's just a hazy impression created of evil Israel. Propaganda, not journalism. Unlike her Arab and Iranian adversaries, Israel has a Supreme Court unhindered by the state and it has outlawed torture. And Israel certainly does not torture Palestinian children. That is a vile accusation and reinforces my intention not to touch al Jazeera with someone else's barge pole.

    If this is really where you get your information on the Israeli-Arab conflict, it's no wonder that you are so abysmally ignorant about it and so anti-Israel.

    But what is even more disturbing is the fact that you are geared to swallow anything you are fed by the likes of al Jazeera.

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  • 346. At 3:06pm on 20 Apr 2010, Carl Showalter wrote:

    I'm fairly certain now that Americans can only distinguish two states of being from one another:

    left - right
    right - wrong
    good - evil
    freedom - socialism/marxism/communism (they're all the same, you know)
    christians - heathens

    I dare say the instant you recognise it's a bit more than this, it'll be one instant too late for you.

    it's sad, but also to be expected of people who are descended from Europeans we kicked out in the 1700s for being a bunch of overly religious weirdos.

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  • 347. At 1:05pm on 21 Apr 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Does the tea party have a stance on religion? Is it an openly or implied christian institution? Just curious off the back of what Palin said yesterday?

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  • 348. At 5:14pm on 21 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    I do wish I'd come across this before, but better late than never:


    "In July, 1798, Congress passed, and President John Adams signed "An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen" into law. It authorized the creation of a marine hospital service, and mandated privately employed sailors to purchase health care insurance. Its passage created America's first payroll tax. Ship owners were required to deduct 20 cents from each sailor's monthly salary and provide proof of those receipts to the service, which in turn provided ailing sailors hospital care. A 100 dollar fine was levied on any violating owner, or ship's captain for failure to comply."

    You can [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]read it here.

    Courtesy of one Shannyn Moore from Alaska, writing on Huffpo about the Alaskan Governor and Attorney General's announcement that they too will challenge, in the names of the Founding Fathers, the Health Bill's consitutionality.

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  • 349. At 5:18pm on 21 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    347. At 1:05pm on 21 Apr 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    "Does the tea party have a stance on religion? Is it an openly or implied christian institution? Just curious off the back of what Palin said yesterday?"

    Well, the majority claim to be Protestant, and most of the rest Catholic.

    But (same source as above):

    "This law of mandated insurance was from the same Congress and President who signed unanimously the Treaty of Tripoli June 7, 1797. Article 11 stated, 'As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion...'

    Ah, history and its uses . . .much more to it than trying to brew a cuppa with sea water.

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  • 350. At 5:30pm on 21 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Bit late to change it I suppose, but maybe the header should have been 'Tea Party all Steamed Up'?

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  • 351. At 6:00pm on 21 Apr 2010, willow wrote:

    You and those who comment on your articles are condescending bigots. You're in love with hating conservatives. It's incredibly hypocritical that you accuse others of being intolerant.

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  • 352. At 6:14pm on 21 Apr 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    348. At 5:14pm on 21 Apr 2010, squirrelist

    Thanks for that.

    So, it turns out the founding fathers were communistic fascist-socialists just like President Obama.

    Who knew?

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  • 353. At 6:40pm on 21 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    348:

    I knew that would happen somehow. (It worked OK when I tried it.) Anyway, the text of the Act is on Google Docs, if people want to check I haven't made it up, they'll have to do a search.

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  • 354. At 7:50pm on 21 Apr 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    352. Interestedforeigner:

    'Atheistic, conservative-hating, bigoted communistic fascist-socialists just like President Obama.'

    Let's get this right. We've got to be inclusive.

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  • 355. At 4:48pm on 22 Apr 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    #354

    You've forgotten Russian Bolsheviks and German National Socialists.

    [two sides of the same totalitarian coin]

    Of course pertaining to Mubarack Hussein Osama.

    [nothing to do with present day U.S., obviously. :)]

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  • 356. At 10:20pm on 22 Apr 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    355 meerkat
    "Mubarack Hussein Osama"



    Where do you get them from? Are you just sitting at home concocting trite word-plays on the president's name?

    ...... or are you fed them ready-to-run by some vast anti-Obama machine?

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  • 357. At 06:04am on 23 Apr 2010, javanyet wrote:

    Not one complainer has yet been able to name a single right he or she has "lost", not one has been able to cite a single article or amendment of the U.S. Constitution that has been violated.

    Yet the tea party people (they're not actually "members" of anything as they reject the notion of organization) repeat these two statements over and over at the top of their lungs: "We're tired of our rights being taken away" and "we're tired of the Constitution being trampled on." Oh, and of course none of them want to pay taxes, but they complain bitterly about cuts in any public services.

    They are politically unsophisticated and ignorant of almost every aspect of how our government works. This makes them a prime target of anyone that wants to get their vote... and at the moment the GOP is at the top of the list.

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  • 358. At 06:15am on 23 Apr 2010, javanyet wrote:

    "337. At 02:15am on 20 Apr 2010, jay jarrell wrote:
    With all the comments I guess not,just waiting for november elections if I still have a home or food to eat or transportation but I can give blood for heath care that I have to pay for or go to jail,hey wait a minute! free three squares and roof over my head!!!!! by jove I think I,ve got it!!!!!"

    What an embarrassment. I've found that most of the posts from my fellow Americans are easily identifiable by their near-illiteracy and absence of sense. Sigh. Please don't take us all for fools. And please don't ever read the comment boards on US Yahoo or the like... you will never take any American seriously again!

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  • 359. At 07:33am on 24 Apr 2010, Granten wrote:

    The Tea Party doesn't really have much in the way of intellectual support. Without that it's hard to make this anything more than semi-spontaneous demonstrations. As a group based on emotional anger rather than a hard platform they probably won't survive more than a few years.

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  • 360. At 5:04pm on 24 Apr 2010, RangerWillRobinson wrote:

    Is it entirely coincidental that so many of these people resemble the "Gods Hates Fags" mob that Louis Theroux filmed a couple of years back?

    A classic case of the silent majority being ignored in favour of pandering to a very vocal (not to mention irrational) minority.

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  • 361. At 10:15pm on 24 Apr 2010, andyparsonsga wrote:

    21. At 2:22pm on 16 Apr 2010, TrailerTrash wrote:

    "The most scary thing about the Tea Party people is the fact that at least some are educated and "successful". One reader aptly described their behavior as a tantrum, but what is truly frightening is their total lack of understanding of how a democratic country works!!"


    Some of the unbelievably inane responses regarding the TEA party, and the above comment is just one of the many, that display a total lack of understanding of the method of governance in the US. The message I have been able to garner from those that support the TEA Party movement has been one of putting pressure on Congress to adhere to the Constitution and thus attempt to limit the overbearing reach of the Federal Government.

    I have included statements from members of the current Congress regarding the constitutionality of the health care reform, as that is the bill that has garnered most attention of late and it just sort of grew into what I am sure some of you will consider a monstrous diatribe!

    While reading through the statements it became plain to me that most of the respondents either had no idea what was in the Constitution, or were quite happy to ignore constitutionality and legislate outside of it, as long as it achieved their political aims. To me, the two main constitutional issues in the health care bills were the requirement to purchase something mandated by the Federal government, something that had never happened before, the second was the purchasing of votes by the Congressional leadership, specifically of Senators Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu, and having the cheek to use taxpayer money to do it!

    The more I studied and compared some of the statements made by our erstwhile elected representatives to what I have managed to learn about the Constitution, its history as well as its purpose and intent, the more I realized that many of our legislators, academics, media and pretty much most US citizens, have absolutely no idea about what is actually contained in the Constitution, how the system of Federal government was originally intended to work, or how it has been corrupted by generations of politicians, both Democrat and Republican. As someone that believes that the US Constitution provides a unique balance between individual freedom, protection for the minority and protection from overt government power, I decided to (once again) study the Constitution including its amendments and its processes to try to find out exactly where Congress derives its power to enact policies that potentially have a huge impact on everybody’s lives.

    I would take the time to point out that this is not a rant about healthcare reform, which I agree really does need to be reformed, but an illustration of the way many of our “leaders” view the Constitution.

    Here are some of the comments from members of Congress when asked about the Constitutionality of the proposed healthcare bills:

    Sen. Roland Burris of Illinois said “Well, that’s under certainly the laws of the--protect the health, welfare of the country. That’s under the Constitution. We’re not even dealing with any constitutionality here. Should we move in that direction? What does the Constitution say? To provide for the health, welfare and the defense of the country.” Maybe Sen. Burris has a different Constitution to the one presented by Cornell, Harvard, Princeton and Yale, as well as the Congressional Library and the Smithsonian, but all I could find was “provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States;” no mention of ‘health’ in any other copy I viewed.

    Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia claimed that “there is no place in the Constitution that talks about you ought to have the right to get a telephone, but we have made those choices as a country over the years.” Perhaps Sen. Warner is not aware that there is a difference between “making a choice” and “being mandated”. Then he went on to say “The United States Congress passed laws regarding Medicare and Medicaid that became de facto mandatory programs. States all the time require people to have driver’s licenses. I think that this is a bit of a spurious argument that’s being made by some folks.” Spurious!? I think the whole of Sen. Warner’s argument is spurious! The term “became de facto” appears to me to illustrate extremely well how Congress seems to work nowadays. Legislation starts off as popular and within the Constitution but then morphs incrementally into something totally different! Perhaps a better term for Sen. Warner to have used would have been “fait accompli”, rather than “de facto”.

    Following on in the same vein, Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri’s response was “In most states, the government mandates the buying of car insurance”.

    Is it just me, or does this show that we have Members of Congress who cannot differentiate between State and Federal legislation? Forgive me, but wasn't there an issue in 1861 about State’s Rights? Maybe they just don’t understand that there is actually is a difference. Or perhaps they just hope (assume) that “ Joe public” doesn’t understand or care that there is a difference. Amendment 10 of the Constitution, the final Amendment of what is commonly referred to as the “Bill of Rights”, (and became part of the Constitution in 1791) states quite categorically that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

    Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania opined “Well, I don’t know if there’s a specific constitutional provision.” Forgive me for being a trifle cynical here, but isn’t it part of Sen. Casey’s oath to uphold the Constitution? And if he doesn’t know what is in the Constitution, shouldn’t he at least find out, before taking an oath to defend it or cast a vote?

    Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island said “Let me see. I would have to check the specific sections. So, I’ll have to get back to you on the specific section. But it is not unusual that the Congress has required individuals to do things, like sign up for the draft.” Using the draft as an example of Congressional power to force someone to purchase something mandated by the Federal government or face prosecution and potentially imprisonment is to me a very specious argument, not least of all because the “raising and supporting of armies”, and one would assume that might include requiring people to “sign up for the draft”, actually is one of the enumerated powers granted to Congress (Article 1, Section 8. clause 12).

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California “assumes” (and we all know that to assume makes an ass out of … well, her!) “Well, I would assume it would be in the Commerce clause of the Constitution. That’s how Congress legislates all kinds of various programs.” Assumes!? Isn’t it her job to know? And if this is how “Congress legislates all kinds of various programs”, does that automatically mean that the “various programs” are constitutional, or does it mean that Congress has “assumed” more power than they actually have?

    For those who are unaware, the Commerce Clause, (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3) states that the United States Congress shall have power "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes". Courts and commentators have tended to discuss each of these three areas of commerce as a separate power granted to Congress. It is common to see the Commerce Clause referred to as "the Foreign Commerce Clause," "the Interstate Commerce Clause," and "the Indian Commerce Clause," each of which refers to a different application of the same single sentence in the Constitution. Dispute has long existed as to the range of powers granted to Congress by the Commerce Clause, and normally where there is dispute, the clause is paired with the “Necessary and Proper Clause” and the combination of the two is then used to take a broad, expansive perspective of the enumerated powers granted to Congress under the Constitution. The Necessary and Proper Clause (also known as the “Elastic Clause”, the “Basket Clause”, the “Coefficient Clause”, and my personal favorite, the “Sweeping Clause”) is the 18th clause of Article 1. Section 8 and states “The Congress shall have Power - To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

    Some Senators were at least honest in their ignorance. Sen. Kent Conrad North Dakota said, “No, but I’ll refer you to the legal counsel for the Senate and they’re the ones that lead there as the full legal basis for the individual mandate--and I assume it’s in the Commerce clause.” Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana “Well, we’re very lucky as members of the Senate to have constitutional lawyers on our staff, so I’ll let them answer that.” Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska “Well, you know, I don’t know that I’m a constitutional scholar. So, I, I’m not going to be able to answer that question.” I’m no Constitutional scholar either but I can read and I don’t need a lawyer to explain plain English to me. Nor am I a scholar of taxation, but I did take the time to read the Constitution (and I didn’t even need to take an oath to defend it) and I know that it is a much less onerous read, than say the notes on how to complete my tax return. Now according to Congress, in order to reside legally within the US I have to know and comply with the tax code and the notes relating to my tax return, (16th Amendment, 1913). Ignorance is apparently no defense, so if I do not complete it correctly then I can be subject to fines, the seizing of my personal assets and/or imprisonment, unless of course I can I can get the same breaks as Tim Geithner or arrange a quick flight back to the UK!

    Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii was at least slightly more honest in his opinion “I’m not aware of that--let me put it that way. … Not in particular with health insurance. It’s not covered in that respect.” So if it’s not covered under the Constitution why did you vote for it Sen. Akaka? By the way, love your State and hope to visit some time later this year, Aloha y’all!

    So, and again this is my opinion, it seems that Congress believes that it has the authority to do anything it wants, whether it is constitutional or not. As Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont said "We have plenty of authority. Are you saying there is no authority?" followed quickly by "Why would you say there is no authority? I mean, there’s no question there’s authority. Nobody questions that." Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi’s response was somewhat less articulate, she just said “Are you serious? Are you serious?”

    Perhaps that’s the issue here, does anybody SERIOUSLY QUESTION THE AUTHORITY Congress seems to have granted itself?

    For those that don’t know about the Constitution, its history, intent and meaning, I have laid out a few salient facts below. For those that are aware of the Constitution, its history, intent and meaning, please accept my sincerest apologies for trying to “teach you to suck eggs”!

    The Constitution is the highest law of the United States of America. The “Philadelphia Convention” (now also known as the “Constitutional Convention”, the “Federal Convention”, or the “Grand Convention at Philadelphia”) (boy, you lot sure have a lot of names for the same thing!) took place from May 25 to September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia, PA, to address problems in governing the US, which had been operating under the Articles of Confederation following independence. (otherwise known as the American Revolutionary War 1775-1783. You know, that little spat you had with my ancestors over tea, the one where you cheated and hid behind rocks and trees instead of standing in a straight line dressed in brightly colored clothes so that they could shoot you!). Although the Convention was purportedly intended only to revise the Articles of Confederation, the intention of many of its proponents, chief among them James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, was from the outset to create a new government rather than “fix” the existing one. The delegates elected George Washington to preside over the convention and the convention became one of the central events in US history. The Constitution was ratified by representatives of the people of the first 13 states. When nine of the states ratified the document, they put forth a “union of sovereign states” and a Federal government for that union. The Federal government started on March 4, 1789, with the US Constitution taking the place of the Articles of Confederation.

    The US Constitution is the oldest federal constitution now in use and it has been changed (Amended) 27 times since its inception in 1787.

    Article I, deals with Congress (Legislative Branch). Article II, deals with the Presidency (Executive Branch). Article III, deals with the Judiciary (The Supreme Court). Article IV, covers the States. Article V, covers the Amendment process. Article VI, covers the legal status of the Constitution and Article VII, covers the ratification process.

    Article I, Section 8 enumerates the powers granted (by the people) to Congress. Remember, Amendment 10 further stipulates that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” James Madison said in 1787 that “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined.” Seems pretty straight forward to me, - Congress here is what you are allowed to do, anything not included in this section is not your within your remit, so keep your noses out!

    The first “enumerated power” granted to Congress is “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;” Congress has for many, many years used a very broad interpretation of the “General Welfare clause” to push through legislation that would appear to fall way outside of their remit. There have been many Constitutional challenges over the years and it is the responsibility of the United States Supreme Court to deal with those challenges in accordance with the Constitution. The Supreme Court is made up of nine Justices, nominated by the President and the Senate votes to confirm the nomination. To say that in recent years that the nomination of Justices and approval by the Senate has followed political ideology, rather than on whether the nominee would apply strict interpretation of the Constitution, would be a total, unrelenting understatement!

    However, the question needs to be asked that if one piece of legislation is passed outside of the powers given by the Constitution and nobody bothers to challenge the constitutionality, does that therefore set a precedent and thus allow a “de facto” expansion of Congressional power? One of the perplexing issues for me is where members of Congress, the media, academia and people claiming to be “constitutional scholars” (and I suppose to a slightly lesser extent, even some members of the Supreme Court) appear to become selective in their interpretation of what is, the very plain language contained within the Constitution. We regularly see arguments being used to interpret one clause or amendment one way, even down to arguing about the punctuation, but then refuse to allow exactly the same argument to be used in interpreting a different clause. We are assured that this is “just politics”, which seems to imply that it’s OK to lie, manipulate and cheat, as long as you’re playing a partisan game. Now call me stupid, (and many of you already probably have!) but shouldn’t we be able to expect more than “politics” from those that are elected to represent us, you know little things like honesty and integrity?

    My belief is that the Founding Fathers intended to provide for individual freedoms along with the responsibilities that accompanied those freedoms, to better regulate commerce between the States and allow people the freedom to pursue happiness. They also wanted to provide protection for the minority from the majority (rule of the majority a.k.a. Democracy, but we’ll get into that a little bit later!) and provide for a common unity in international affairs and national defense. They truly believed that if the people were able to pursue happiness, to reap the rewards of their labor, without an overbearing government, the natural desire to improve their lives would transform the fledgling nation into the richest, freest, most powerful nation in the world. That country would be a beacon of light for people living under tyranny the world over. How dumb is that, right!? The Founding Fathers believed that in most circumstances a local government that was more responsive to the local electorate’s needs and desires, was infinitely preferable to a large “one size fits all” national government. They believed that if you didn’t mind living with high taxes in say California, you could move to a place with lower taxes. Or, if you didn’t like the cold winters in Massachusetts you could move to sunny Florida. I really believe that they did not make a mistake where under the document that they so carefully crafted, most of the power was to lay with the States (“a union of Sovereign States”), the Presidential and Congressional powers only really coming into play in times of dispute between the States, a national emergency or where national unity was required.

    The Founding Fathers took both the time and trouble to enumerate the powers granted to the Federal Government. For those that either missed these or were asleep during their school years, allow me to elucidate:

    1. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; (Harry Reid please note)
    2. To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
    3. To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes; (Does this mean China now gets the Casinos?)
    4. To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States; (Chrysler bailout anybody?)
    5. To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures; (Now carried out by the Federal Reserve, a private bank)
    6. To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;
    7. To establish post offices and post roads;
    8. To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;
    9. To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;
    10. To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;
    11. To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
    12. To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;
    13. To provide and maintain a navy;
    14. To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;
    15. To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;
    16. To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
    17. To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings; (John Murtha International Airport?)--And
    18. To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof. (The (in)famous Necessary and Proper Clause)

    It is apparent from the various writings of the Founding Fathers during and after they had won independence from Great Britain (still smarting about that one!) that they gave long and hard thought as to what sort of government would be right for the country. Some favored a European style Democracy, others wanted a Monarchy and even suggested that George Washington should be crowned King. Most believed that they had fought for, suffered and sacrificed enough to escape the tyranny common to those types of governments prevalent in Europe at that time and so they settled on a Republic, or more specifically a Constitutional Republic.

    Just after the completion and signing of the Constitution, in reply to a woman's inquiry as to the type of government the Founders had created, Benjamin Franklin said, "A Republic, if you can keep it." It must be really difficult to maintain the dream the Founding Fathers had in a Constitutional Republic, when it would appear that most don't even understand what a Constitutional Republic is!

    Given the amount of talk about Democracy by politicians, academics and the media this may come as a shock to some (I know it did to me!), but the US is not, and never has been a Democracy. There is a very real difference between a “Democracy” and a “Constitutional Republic”. The best description I found to describe the difference is “Rule by Law versus Rule by Majority”.

    A Republic is representative government ruled by law (the Constitution). A democracy is direct government ruled by the majority (mob rule). The Founding Fathers believed that a Republic recognizes the inalienable rights of individuals, while democracies are concerned with group wants or needs (commonly misrepresented by politicians as the “public good”, a catch all for just about every bit of mischief).

    Lawmaking in a Constitutional Republic is a slow, deliberate process requiring approval from all three branches of government (Executive, Legislative and Judiciary) and legislation has to be within the law (Constitution). Lawmaking in the US today I believe can best be described as an unlawful democracy. We have seen ample example recently on how legislation these days occurs rapidly, (think TARP, Stimulus, Healthcare and then cue cries of “we must get this done now, it cannot wait or be slowed down”), and appears to require approval more from the whim of the majority as determined by polls and media pressure rather than whether or not it is Constitutional. Often it would seem, Legislators don’t even feel the need to read what is contained in a bill prior to voting on it! It was John Conyers of Michigan, the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee who famously said “what good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?”. Forgive me Mr. Conyers but if something is that damned important and it is going to affect everybody’s life positively or negatively in some way or other, isn’t it your job to find the time to read it? And if you require two lawyers to tell you what it means, are you qualified to legislate and if you feel that you are qualified, shouldn’t you insist on it being written in a way that you and the rest of us can understand. I have some very serious doubts about your judgment if you trust lawyers to represent facts in an honest manner!

    I believe a good example of democracy in action, is an activity made famous in the days of the Wild West, it was called the lynch mob!

    Even though nearly every politician, teacher, journalist and citizen believes that our Founders created a democracy, it is absolutely not true. The Founders knew full well the differences between a Republic and a Democracy and they repeatedly and emphatically asserted that they had founded a Republic.

    Article IV Section 4, of the Constitution states quite categorically that it "guarantees to every state in this union a Republican form of government".... Conversely, the word Democracy is not mentioned even once in the Constitution.

    James Madison (1751-1836) and the fourth President of the United States warned of the dangers of democracies with these words, "Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths...",

    James Madison also said "We may define a republic to be ... a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure for a limited period, or during good behavior. It is essential to such a government that it be derived from the great body of the society, not from an inconsiderable proportion or a favored class of it; otherwise a handful of tyrannical nobles, exercising their oppressions by a delegation of their powers, might aspire to the rank of republicans and claim for their government the honorable title of republic." Wow, how prophetic!

    But I believe Madison’s best quote on this subject to be "Every word [of the Constitution] decides a question between power and liberty. "

    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) said "A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men."
    Patrick Henry (1736-1799) is quoted as saying “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”

    US military training manuals used to contain the correct definitions of Democracy and Republic. However, the manuals containing these definitions were ordered destroyed without explanation about the same time that President Franklin D. Roosevelt made private ownership of US Minted Gold Coins illegal.

    The following comes from Training Manual No. 2000-25 published by the War Department, November 30, 1928.

    DEMOCRACY:
    A government of the masses.
    Authority derived through mass meeting or any other form of "direct" expression.
    Results in mobocracy.
    Attitude toward property is communistic--negating property rights.
    Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it be based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences.
    Results in demagoguism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy.

    REPUBLIC:
    Authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best fitted to represent them.
    Attitude toward law is the administration of justice in accord with fixed principles and established evidence, with a strict regard to consequences.
    A greater number of citizens and extent of territory may be brought within its compass.
    Avoids the dangerous extreme of either tyranny or mobocracy.
    Results in statesmanship, liberty, reason, justice, contentment, and progress.
    Is the "standard form" of government throughout the world.

    It would appear that very few, and given what we hear today, nearly no politician, teacher or journalist actually knows or understands the difference.

    What is probably most galling to me is that every Federal Officer has to swear an Oath to uphold the Constitution before being allowed to take their seat (Article 6 - Debts, Supremacy, Oaths): “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.”

    The Oath that has been used since 1884, and like the Constitution is quite plainly worded and unambiguous “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God. “

    Given the behavior of the majority in Congress it seems apparent to me that they either do not understand the Constitution and/or the Oath, or they have absolutely no intention of keeping it, and that to me, is frightening.
    I have heard many arguments over the last few years that the Constitution is a ‘living document’ and must move with the times. This is understood, and the Founding Fathers knew that it would have to change with the times. Article 5 deals with how to amend, or change, the Constitution. In a nutshell, Congress can write a change, if two-thirds of the members in each House agree or the state governments can call a convention to write changes, although this has not happened since 1787. Any changes that are written by Congress or by a convention must be sent to the state legislatures or to state conventions for their approval. Congress decides whether to send a change to the legislatures or to conventions and three-fourths of the states must approve a change for it to become part of the Constitution.
    An amendment can change any part of the Constitution, except one — no amendment can change the rule that each state has the same number of seats in the Senate.
    There have been 33 proposed Amendments to the Constitution since 1787, but only 27 have been adopted. The first 10 Amendments were made in 1791 and are commonly referred to as the “Bill of Rights”. The following 17 dealt with challenges of the day, for example in 1865 the 13th Amendment forever banned the practice of slavery. The 15th Amendment, in 1870, gave all citizens the right to vote regardless of their race. The 16th Amendment in 1913 is the one we all love, Income Tax!

    Americans have added amendments only to later rescind them. In 1919 the 18th Amendment was passed banning the making and selling of alcohol but it was impossible to get all of the people to stop drinking (go figure!) and many people felt the government had no right to make laws about their private habits, so in 1933 the 21st Amendment was adopted, which repealed the 18th Amendment.

    So the Founding Fathers ensured that the Constitution could change and they provided ways for it to be amended. So, if Congress have the courage of their convictions to enact legislation that falls outside of the Constitution, why do they not just follow the amendment process contained in Article 5? Do we now rely upon what they managed to sneak through previously as precedents? Or do we just let Congress continue to legislate outside of it?

    In my opinion, the Federal Government has been usurping the power provided to it under the Constitution pretty much since the time of the first “Progressive” US President, the 28th US President, Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924). However I think we have to thank the 32nd President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882 –1945) for putting Congressional unconstitutionality on steroids.

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  • 362. At 8:23pm on 26 Apr 2010, MissSpitFire wrote:

    There are a few things many of you fail to realize:

    1) Tea Party activists are not just Conservatives or Republicans. The group is strongly comprised of Libertarians or those with beliefs bordering Libertarian.

    2) While it's true there isn't strong leadership within the group, members of the Tea Party generally agree about which candidates to support- for example, Ron Paul. (In fact, in the 2008 election I saw stickers supporting Ron Paul than those for any other candidate.

    3) The ball is just starting to roll. As the economy continues to decline- and be assured it will- frustration, fear, and unrest will become more prevalent. Americans are incredibly distrustful or politicians- and with good reason. (Neither our current president nor our previous president seem to care an ounce about preserving American's freedom.) The tea party's gonna look attractive.

    4) What some of the British seem to miss is that America has a very permeating theme of individualism. Most Americans expect equal OPPORTUNIES, not an equal standard of living. We expect people to work hard for what they want. Americans certainly disagree about how equal access to opportunites and the prevention of corruption should be applied, but if they realize that recent politicians are not after the best interests of the people and that a more socialist approach is not bringing about the results they were seeking, you can bet they're going to jump on any bandwagon that shows a glimmer of hope.

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  • 363. At 1:15pm on 01 May 2010, McJakome wrote:

    8. At 10:04am on 16 Apr 2010, cmulder003 wrote:
    "the "tea party" shows all the rest of the world alreay knows about the USA.
    Its a racist selfish dumb country that is a danger to other countries."

    This is not racist, because the US is not a race, but it is at least as "dumb" as anything that Sarah Palin or the dimmest tea party member [is that redundant?] has said.

    I sometimes despair at the poor education, simplistic notions, etc. of many of my countrymen and women. However to assume that the majority of a population of 300,000,000 are dumb based on the inadequate sample that you may have been exposed to is ludicrous.

    As to the US being a danger to other countries, given the role of our institutions in the recent world-wide economic debacle, and in the ill-considered and incompetently executed Iraq invasion, I am reluctantly forced to agree [in part].

    My only consolation here is that in the list of dangerous countries, the US is far from being the most dangerous. Were that so, neither Canada nor Mexico would exist as independent countries, the US would not even make a pretense of spreading democracy, Europe would have been forced, long since to toe our party line, the US would have nuked seveal countries during peace time, and other abominations too numerous to detail from A [Abkhazia] to Z [Zair] via T [Tibet] would be laid at our door. {But of course, ideological propagandists do so, in defiance of logic, anyway.}

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  • 364. At 1:39pm on 01 May 2010, McJakome wrote:

    63. At 10:47pm on 16 Apr 2010, MagicKirin wrote:
    “…The problem is that those invested in Obama card or the Obama agenda are so ridgid they will not even consider suggestions that don't come from Obama…”

    The problem is that those invested in the Tea Party/FOX card or the Palin agenda are so rigid they will not even consider suggestions that don’t come from TP, FOX, Palin or GOP.
    Back acha, you bet, I’m a “real” American [wink through oversized glasses] not like SOME people [wink and smirk].

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