How Badly Does Modern Collectivism Hurt You?

Posted by CircuitGuy 5 years, 10 months ago to Culture
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How bad is collectivism today? Clearly the US is not Galt's Gulch or Stalin's USSR. We're somewhere in between.

I'm writing down some negative ways collectivism could affect individuals, from most innocuous to worst.

A) Collectivism is an annoyance at present. I usually find good ways to work around it.
B) If it weren't for poor gov't policies and collectivism, we might have fantastical things like a cure for cancer, affordable space travel, robots than can do most human tasks.
C) Collectivism keeps me from my dreams. (e.g. “A union or affirmative action is keeping me for being promoted out of turn, and there are no other options for me to do the work I love.” “A personal passion of mine is illegal.” “I can't get funding for my organization because of a sweetheart network around gov't, financial institutions, and my industry.”)
D) One or more Gail Wynands, Ellsworth Tooheys, or Wesley Mouchs are out to sabotage my life and are having some impact on me. We all agree these types exist. This item says your name personally is on their “list” of enemies or people to sabotage.
E) My business or career is failing because of collectivism and poor gov't policy (e.g. regulation, taxes, monetary policy).
F) We are on the cusp of totalitarianism and/or severe economic collapse similar to in Atlas Shrugged.

This is not an exclusive list, just the first six things that came to mind.

I'm curious which of these things are happening to Gulch members. Is it we're at A and B and just mindful of preventing the more severe items? Or we over halfway through a real-life Atlas Shrugged?

Note: I expect it varies depending on location, industry, interests, experiences, etc. Also, it could be a mix, say A and F but not B-E; they don't necessarily happen in order.


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  • Posted by khalling 5 years, 10 months ago
    I choose all but the one about personal sabotage. But the problem I have with your survey is people often don't know that policies are negatively affecting them. For example, ask technology start up entrepreneurs if Sarbanes Oxley is affecting their ability to get funded. Most won't even know about the regulatory policy but it is most certainly affecting their ability to get funded. what potential opportunities or wealth have been lost due to government intervention or economic downturn? Most people do not calculate the hidden opportunity costs in such an exercise.
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    • Posted by  $  rockymountainpirate 5 years, 10 months ago
      I think you're exactly right on this. Most of us have no idea what wonderful things were stopped by the company not being able to raise capital unless we happen to know someone in that start up.
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      • -1
        Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
        "Most of us have no idea what wonderful things were stopped by the company not being able to raise capital unless we happen to know someone in that start up." Oh darn, that money being raised honestly is such a hindrance to those who want to steal.
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        • Posted by  $  Hiraghm 5 years, 10 months ago
          Define "raised honestly", please?
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            Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
            Again, read the law and it's up to you to explain how it is a deterrent to an honest business situation. It's YOUR claim, you support it that the law is hostile.
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            • Posted by  $  Hiraghm 5 years, 10 months ago
              I made no claims; I asked a question. How do you define "raised honestly"?

              "Raised legally" and "raised honestly" are two different things.
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                Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
                So, are we to conclude that if dishonest fund raising occurs but it's legal it won't slow down business?

                It's YOU who is claiming the law is bad for business. Explain how when all it does is hold those accountable for making dishonesty illegal. Are you suggesting that you want a dishonest environment because it's better for business?
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    • -1
      Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
      Khalling proclaims that Sarbanes Oxley is an impediment to getting funded? How so?

      From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarbanes%E2...

      (I know folks around here don't like Wikipedia and tend to dismiss information from there. If the information is incorrect refute it with a reference, don't just proclaim it.)

      "As a result of SOX, top management must now individually certify the accuracy of financial information. In addition, penalties for fraudulent financial activity are much more severe. Also, SOX increased the independence of the outside auditors who review the accuracy of corporate financial statements, and increased the oversight role of boards of directors.[1]"

      So, Kahalling, please explain to me how an honest accounting is an impediment to anything except stealing?

      Rob
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      • Posted by khalling 5 years, 10 months ago
        hey Rob. "honest accounting." let's work backwards. So before SOX we did not have "honest accounting?" There is always fraud. This does not stop fraud. and that's been verified. We have had massive fraud less than 10 years later following the passage of the regulations. See Lehman Brothers, AIG, Fannie and Freddie. Basically the regulations and rules placed on a publicly held company are so onerous, conservative estimates are compliance with the law cost 3-4M per year for a medium sized company. In order to absorb these costs and make economic sense of them for your company, you need sales of about 500M. If the company can't go public, it takes the founders and VCs at least 10-20 years longer to get their money back. This kills the VC model. The number of companies going public after the passage of SOX is less than 20% of pre- SOX numbers. VCs now invest mostly in government backed projects or invest outside the US> The financial district in London proposed putting up a statue to Senators Sarbanes and Oxley because of all the business its passage shifted to GB. We are currently of all major countries, the ONLY country to have fewer public companies today than before SOX. Rob, if I may ask, what is your background? I want to see if you prove my point above.
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        • Posted by 5 years, 10 months ago
          "VCs now invest mostly in government backed projects or invest outside the US"
          I'm interested in numbers on this. It's hard for me to tell b/c most of the high tech VC money goes to the West Coast. A little goes to the East Coast. The Midwest isn't on the VC radar. I have known a high-tech entrepreneur to move most of his company to the West Coast just for funding reasons. I haven not heard of the sudden dryup of funds, but it's hard to say b/c everyone looking for funding says it's hard. I'd be interested to hear the amounts of VC funding that dried up.
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          Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
          Your point above seems to point out that not cheating on reports and executives who influence such are responsible for such cause a decrease in business. Are you suggesting that cheating is OK and a normal part of business and nobody should be held responsible?

          BTW, my background has nothing to do with asking a common sense question about the validity of a law that's supposed to curb cheating being blamed as a hostile business environment.

          Can you please address the issue of how decreasing cheating is responsible for a diminished business environment?

          Rob
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          • Posted by khalling 5 years, 10 months ago
            I'm not sure we are talking about the same thing. My point is before SOX was passed, the level of corporate fraud was less than AFTER SOX passed. I do not condone fraud, and I also do not condone regulations designed to force people they are innocent without being charged with anything. To do so is immoral, unconstitutional and counter productive. btw EVERY study has shown with securities laws. An 80% reduction in not only venture capital firms but companies going public! How is that good?! Are you one of those the ends-justifies-the-means people?
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          • Posted by  $  Hiraghm 5 years, 10 months ago
            Please define "cheating" for me?
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              Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
              Check out the law. It's clear what it is and who will be held responsible. I can lead you to knowledge, but I can't necessarily make you think.
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              • Posted by  $  Hiraghm 5 years, 10 months ago
                You apparently can't even lead me to knowledge. Learn to think yourself before sneering at others.

                I asked you to define "cheating". "Cheating" has NOTHING TO DO WITH LAW. Honesty and cheating are moral concepts, not legal ones.


                Sorry, khalling, gotta reprise the tobacco aisle sign again:

                "Selling tobacco products to minors isn't just wrong, it's ILLEGAL".
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                • -1
                  Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
                  So, if it's legal you think it's OK to cheat?

                  And you think that keeping cheating legal makes it easier to raise money for business?
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                  • Posted by Rozar 5 years, 10 months ago
                    I think he's trying to say that just because something is illegal, doesn't mean it's cheating when you circumvent it. Honesty doesn't mean following the law. They are mutually exclusive.

                    In fact I'm sure he means the opposite of your question, that it is not morally right to cheat regardless of law.

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                  • Posted by  $  Hiraghm 5 years, 10 months ago
                    Answer the question, Dr. Potter. Stop trying to deflect.
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                    • Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
                      Hiraghm, Hiraghm, Hiraghm... This isn't an inquisition.

                      YOU are claiming that SOX makes it harder to raise venture funding.

                      SOX is an effort to make those responsible for cheating, now things that are illegal, personally responsible.

                      How do laws against cheating others hinder fundraising.

                      I can only conclude that you and your ilk feel it's OK to be dishonest in business and you don't want to comply with the rules set up to keep people from being cheated.
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                      • Posted by  $  Hiraghm 5 years, 10 months ago
                        Reread the thread; I'm claiming nothing. I asked two questions you failed to answer.

                        You have not defined "cheating", nor have you defined "honestly raised".

                        Until you do so, you're arguments have no basis.

                        Laws and rules have *nothing* to do with honesty. See the tobacco sign quote above. The sign pretends that legality is more significant than morality.
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  • Posted by rossabh 5 years, 10 months ago
    I have done two blog posts - The American Puppet Class which tracks how Russia went Communist & Ayn Rand left when she saw how that was going + Compliance = Death by 1000 Paper Cuts.
    It is disheartening to see well intentioned, intelligent people so ignorant of that which they refuse to defend and even offer to give up willingly. “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.” -- Samuel Adams
    “The right to freedom being the gift of Almighty God, it is not in the power of man to alienate“If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.” -- Samuel Adams
    “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.” -- Thomas Paine.
    http://rossabh.wordpress.com/
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    • Posted by LetsShrug 5 years, 10 months ago
      Excellent blog. You should post it.
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      • Posted by rossabh 5 years, 10 months ago
        Thank you very much. I am looking for every way that I can to promote my blog, Compliance, which is the product of a doctor and my brother using input from others to guide discussions and thought about the direction of our country with a focus on healthcare. I did a lot of Face Book posts to groups, legislators and talkers as well as tweets to people of consequence with mid 30s page views. Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated. We have a country to preserve and I will die trying if that is what happens. My preference is to celebrate on the way through life because WE succeeded in shining the Light of TRUTH on Evil attacking US from within.
        ”A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.” -- Marcus Tullius Cicero
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        • Posted by Genez 5 years, 10 months ago
          Cicero is my favorite Roman. Great reading when you realize that he was dealing with similar issues in Rome, the destruction of a great nation by it's politicians.
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          • Posted by Hiraghm 5 years, 10 months ago
            Cicero was a patriot and a hero, imo.
            I was introduced to his orations against Cataline via the book, "Prince of Sparta", which led me to research him further, and at some point I had the revelation that Julius Caesar was executed, not assassinated.
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            • Posted by rossabh 5 years, 10 months ago
              Amazing insight and wisdom. I learned about his influence on the Founding Fathers in The 5000 Year Leap.
              "The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced. If the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt, people must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance." -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, 55 BC Quotation #23141 from Rand Lindsly's Quotations
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              • Posted by Hiraghm 5 years, 10 months ago
                On the History channel I caught a little bit of a ridiculous documentary on Caesar's execution, and the idiots asserted that the cause of his execution might have been jealousy over his public popularity on the part of the aristocracy that ruled Rome for 5 centuries... except that totally ignores the history of Rome's first five centuries, and excuses Caesar's excesses, violation of Roman law, and attempted grab at total power.
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  • Posted by airfredd22 5 years, 10 months ago
    You are 100% correct in your analysis regarding Sarbanes-Oxley.

    Your post reminds me of the time former Senator McGovern of North Dakota after he retired and opened up a small Inn much like Bob Newhart's on TV. "I wish I had known more firsthand about the concerns and problems of American businesspeople while I was a U.S. senator and later a presidential nominee. That knowledge would have made me a better legislator and a more worthy aspirant to the White House." It should be required to be memorized by all elected officials.
    I would also remind you that despite the moochers who make life difficult for us, never blame others, look inward and figure out how to solve the problem.

    Fred Speckmann
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    • Posted by LetsShrug 5 years, 10 months ago
      hint: hit reply under the comment you are responding too so it gets attached.
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      • Posted by airfredd22 5 years, 10 months ago
        Sorry, I thought I did, but then again I'm getting old and mistakes happen. Of course the above is a very scary statement on my part.

        Fred
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        • Posted by LetsShrug 5 years, 10 months ago
          "I would also remind you that despite the moochers who make life difficult for us, never blame others, look inward and figure out how to solve the problem."
          I agree that we look inward to figure out solutions...however, I'm a big fan of pointing a finger at evil and calling it what it is loud and clear too. Shining a bright light on moochers and looters and calling them out is highly underrated at this point. I want to change that. They're getting away with murder...literally.
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  • Posted by airfredd22 5 years, 10 months ago
    At last I've found a serious writer on this site that poses a challenging commentary.

    I'm afraid you have already discovered the truth, we are indeed at least halfway through the real life Atlas Shrugged. I read the book originally 40 years ago and saw the similarities between my country of birth, East Germany and the book. Then during the clinton years it became obvious as to where the path was leading us. Now, anyone that has ever traveled in the former Soviet satellite countries can see, we are almost at the point of no return. For those unfamiliar with the term, it is when an aircraft no longer has enough fuel to turn around and must continue forward. we are at the point that if we don't turn around now, we are indeed doomed to socialism and will be destroyed as a nation that is the light of the world.

    As to your personal situation in your work, remember that even if the looters are in charge, you can always take the leap into the world of self employment. At least then your life is in your own control and I guarantee, life is better under that condition. Mind you, life will be harder, but it will be better.

    Fred Speckmann
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    • Posted by Genez 5 years, 10 months ago
      I would agree that we are halfway there. We are at the point where the captains of industry still feel some freedom and are trying to fight. However, the chains are being forged, the noose tightened, etc.. Obamacare is HUGE step in that direction. Give it a few years and it will be government health care.. Then the next step will be true wage equality or profit equalization or some other buzz phrase, which will mean nothing more than the final destruction of the capitalist endeavor which made this nation great.
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      • Posted by airfredd22 5 years, 10 months ago
        As one of Al Capp's comic strip characters in Li'l Abner once stated. "i have met the enemy and the enemy is us." We let it happen by voting in corrupt politicians year after year and we are now reaping what we sowed.

        I can only remind us that everything Ayn Rand wrote about in Atlas Shrugged is happening right in front of us day after day.

        Fred
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        • Posted by DancingDon 5 years, 10 months ago
          what do you mean, "we"? I didn't vote for any of these thugs. One of my personal hot buttons. I am not the enemy and I don't deserve the government "we" voted for.
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          • Posted by airfredd22 5 years, 10 months ago
            We, as in the majority of those that voted these clowns into office, but also the we that come out and vote and thereby helping the uninformed to succeed in their agenda. I certainly did not mean to cast aspersions onto any individual. My question for you is, did you vote for any sensible candidate?

            Fred
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            • Posted by DancingDon 5 years, 10 months ago
              the term "we" is a plural the includes the speaker. So do you actually mean by your statement that you personally have voted for these thugs and are in part personally responsible for the current government?
              What sensible candidates? Lesser of evil type candidates might be a better term. And yes. I have voted for such. Though I am loath to use the term "for" here, as it really is more of an "against" the even worse candidates action. Would be nice to see a "none of the above" option on a ballot!!
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              • Posted by airfredd22 5 years, 10 months ago
                I plead guilty to the incorrect usage of the word we. I used it in the sense of common though incorrect use to describe the national electorate.

                No, I have not voted for the lying politicians that we now have in office from the President to the lowest of the low serving in the Senate and House of Representatives.

                I am in agreement with you that the choice is often down to voting for the lesser of the evils. A good reason for the electorate to pay more attention to the primary elections.

                Fred
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      • Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
        "Give it a few years and it will be government health care..."

        As opposed to corporate care administered through corporations...

        Quite frankly after watching Kodak deny their retired folks health care I don't trust corporations anymore.
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    • Posted by rossabh 5 years, 10 months ago
      I agree. Our issue is that too many of the Puppet Class fail to appreciate the Gift of America. Thomas Paine said, "That which we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly." and the spoiled whiners have no reference to challenge their indoctrination. The Progressives have attacked US from within for over 100 years and we have allowed them that opening with insufficient defense of American values. I was fortunate because =>My 6th grade teacher in 1956, told us to question all that we read, hear or see whether it is from them or from us. My Canadian born mother came across the border to have my brother and I on US soil even though our father was US and she, even more than him, instilled a love of America. The reading of history and knowing what happens to the fools who accept the free lunch points out the error of that path. A little bit of logical analysis and a long term view make America a rare gift to humanity worth fighting to preserve.
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    • Posted by LetsShrug 5 years, 10 months ago
      Kathywiso owns her own restaurant...self employed... the gov regs/taxes/fees are sucking the life out of her. It's coming from ALL angles and the vise is getting tighter.
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      • Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
        Let's see... She has to keep her place clean. She has to keep up with taxes. She has to keep her place safe.

        Just what is a specific impediment? Please give us a concrete example.
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        • Posted by LetsShrug 5 years, 10 months ago
          Do you own a business?
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          • Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
            Yes, I have. Photo lab studio. Had up to a dozen full and part time employees and always made payroll, paid taxes, and had a pretty good time. Would still be at it if the divorce didn't have a non-compete clause. But, I got the house and the car.
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            • Posted by LetsShrug 5 years, 10 months ago
              How long ago was that?
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              • Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
                Doesn't make any difference. The gripes were the same song then that I hear now. I used a service that took care of my compliance issues pretty much across the board. Had insurance for my full time folks, and offered proportional vacation time to my part time folks. Pretty much all on a handshake.
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                • Posted by LetsShrug 5 years, 10 months ago
                  It does TOO make a difference when. Just by you saying that it doesn't proves something.
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                  • Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
                    Yes, it proves you are grabbing at straws trying to stick me with something that I completely understand from having been in business for myself having to make payroll and stay compliant.

                    Just watched another complain that he "lost" freedom because range prices went up. Of course a "conservative" business man is going to blame a price increase on that there darn gumment. He doesn't want his customers thinking he's gouging them. ROFL And some folks fall for it.
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        • Posted by khalling 5 years, 10 months ago
          the cost to comply with the Health Department, Alcohol Authorities, local taxes on business (which often happen overnight and cannot be budgeted for), OSHA requirements, EPA requirements, unemployment taxes, 8 or more different insurances, for starters. Under such burdens, people walk away from their businesses more and more frequently today. let's not get started on Obabmacare....
          bobo do you work for the government? are you here to help us? lol
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          • Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
            Please be specific about how Obamacare has impacted any business except to show what a rip off some policies were.
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            • Posted by khalling 5 years, 10 months ago
              well, thousands of companies have reduced part-time workers from 30 hours per week to 20 in order to avoid having to cover them under insurance. How do you think that affects productivity? Private health insurance has skyrocketed due to uncertainty-that comes out of the employer offering health insurance pockets. Each business with a certain number of employees have had to hire extra compliance contractors, healthcare specialists etc to meet the over 3800 pages of rules and regs of Obamacare. Many companies had to drop family plans due to the escalating costs. This affects moral of your employees. Is your thinking cap on? lol
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              • Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
                How do the rest of the industrialized countries deal with the "horror" of employers offering insurance? Oh, that's right they don't at all. Their governments pay for it. Strangely their taxes are lower and their overall costs for medical care are lower.
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                • Posted by  $  Hiraghm 5 years, 10 months ago
                  What industrialized countries? You mean China, S. Korea?

                  Their governments don't pay for it; their governments take the money from the citizenry to pay for it.

                  And the quality of their medical care is lower, the freedom to decide on their medical treatment is lower (and in the case of China, even their family choices are restricted).

                  Of course overall costs of medical care are lower than here. Here is where medicine is pioneered, particularly pharmaceuticals. Of course, there's profit-motive... here.
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          • Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
            I don't work for the government.

            "local taxes on business (which often happen overnight and cannot be budgeted for)"

            Really???? Can you give us one example?
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            • Posted by Hiraghm 5 years, 10 months ago
              Suddenly I have a picture of this tourist from Iowa on a cruise ship somewhere off the coast of Madagascar grabbing the tiller and criticizing the pilot's navigational skills...
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              • Posted by khalling 5 years, 10 months ago
                they are out there walking around, I tell ya.
                Many municipalities retroactively tax. There. law passed-goes back in time. deal with it.
                here is a personal example. my city decided to pass a tax on downtown businesses to ensure beautification. btw it looks the same. anyway, I had a duplex in a residential neighborhood in the same zip. the zip covered a wider area than "downtown" 2.1% on "sales" well, wasn't everyone surprised when the city came back and included rentals as sales. not only the tax but had to pay an accountant to fill out the form on my return.
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                • Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
                  Oh, you weren't paying attention to the debate. Your fault. Ignorance is no excuse.
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                  • Posted by khalling 5 years, 10 months ago
                    local taxes on businesses. that was the debate. without a lead time to taxation. seriously, you're in the third group now
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                    • Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
                      I'm not in any group except the one that doesn't believe that a tax increase was passed without any warning. That's what I relied on the local Chamber for. I know what our city was doing. Sorry you or your friend doesn't have the savvy to stay connected.
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                      • Posted by khalling 5 years, 10 months ago
                        City Hall and the Chamber of Commerce are not necessarily friends depending on the municipality. As the owner of a simple duplex, I did not see the need to weigh in downtown beautification projects supported by downtown businesses. It was after the fact that most businesses outside "downtown" felt the lash. Regardless, small business owners can prepare for small changes in taxation policies. Here's one you probably felt the sting of. Retroactive taxation (famous) under President Clinton. How do individuals budget for that?
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                      • Posted by  $  Hiraghm 5 years, 10 months ago
                        Interesting you phrased it that way... "...stay connected"...

                        I can picture Dagny asking James, "...you KNEW about this?"
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                        • Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
                          Or Reardon relying on Wesley Mouch. Funny how he was supposed to be working for Reardon but betrayed him. But oops, aren't we supposed to be responsible to ourselves for those who we trust?
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                          • Posted by khalling 5 years, 10 months ago
                            We are responsible once we know what's been done to us-but people have free will. the point in the book is that Rearden saw Mouch as a necessary evil-wasn't paying as much attention because it wasn't moving the ongoing concern forward.
                            having liability for others' actions is a socialist anti-free will concept. This is all covered in the book...
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  • Posted by j_IR1776wg 5 years, 10 months ago
    It's not just today, the Socialists have an ongoing program best summed up in Norman Thomas's quote "The American people would never knowingly vote for Socialism, but that under the name of liberalism, they would adopt every fragment of the socialist program.". This from Wiki at the following link.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of...

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    • Posted by 5 years, 10 months ago
      The most bizarre thing is at the bottom how many people say they prefer "socialism". Maybe that means the word doesn't have a clear meaning. If it means what I think it means, no private ownership of the means of production, I hope many fewer people would support it.
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      • Posted by j_IR1776wg 5 years, 10 months ago
        Imprecision in the meaning of words is but one more tool in the socialist's arsenal. The fog is intentional. Remember "Hope and Change"? I believe it was intended to mean whatever the listener wanted it to mean.
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        • Posted by 5 years, 10 months ago
          I agree on Hope and Change. I remember hearing someone working for Obama on a Sunday talking show saying "real change" over and over, not realizing that saying "real" without clarification actually weakened his words.

          Regarding "socialism", socialists critics are the worst. People frequently say I'm for "socialism". If I didn't think the word meant "public ownership of the means of production" I might answer "yes", having been told that so many times. To me the word is like "terrorism". Those words are becoming general epithets for something bad.
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        • Posted by LetsShrug 5 years, 10 months ago
          Just like "common sense approach", "fair", "affordable", "quality"... since no one asks for specifics and just assumes the speaker means what they want it to mean, growing socialism is easily done. Dumb asses.
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          • Posted by j_IR1776wg 5 years, 10 months ago
            Maybe I'm getting annoying but we need to replace the public school system with one that has our children either home-schooled or sent to private, non-unionized, non-government-regulated schools of the parent's choosing.
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            • Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
              Religious organizations have been doing that for a long time.
              Clue: Abstinence doesn't work.
              Clue: The world is more than 6,000 years old.
              Clue: Bashing different minorities isn't the melting pot that made America strong.
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              • Posted by  $  Hiraghm 5 years, 10 months ago
                Clue: Religious organizations have a much better record of educating children than has the Dept of Education. Some of the worlds greatest scientists and philosophers were deeply religious.

                Clue: Abstinence works everywhere it's tried.
                Clue: So you say.
                Clue: the ultimate minority is the individual. Forcing the diverse individuals who came to the U.S. to accept its anglo-saxon value system (in particular those aspects of an objectivist nature) did make the nation strong.
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            • Posted by 5 years, 10 months ago
              We started with an independent school that didn't work out for us. We've found a daycare/K program that works, but we're considering sending our oldest to public school for first grade b/c we're not that impressed with the other options. The nice thing about the public school is it's two blocks away.

              My current thought on schools is there's no panacea, no substitute for the parents staying on top of it.
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              • Posted by j_IR1776wg 5 years, 10 months ago
                "My current thought on schools is there's no panacea, no substitute for the parents staying on top of it." I agree. Building a new school system as I am suggesting will require nothing less than an intellectual revolution that will alter the relationship of the Individual to the State. The Progressives are approaching a peak in their belief that the State owns our children and should solely and totally control their upbringing.
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            • Posted by Genez 5 years, 10 months ago
              That's why we home-schooled. and while our kids can be annoyingly independent in their thinking, I would not change our decision.. They know how to think, analyze and question and finally, come to their own conclusions. I love it when they come up with something I've known for sometime, but they come to it themselves rather than me or someone else telling them..
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              • Posted by j_IR1776wg 5 years, 10 months ago
                Excellent. I hope you are sharing this message with others outside of the Gulch.
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                • Posted by Genez 5 years, 10 months ago
                  We try. Unfortunately, many still view homeschoolers as weird, crazy, etc. Plus we teach from a Christian perspective so that makes us right wing fanatics. But we try to show others that whether it's private school, home school or some combination, anything is better than the public, leftist controlled indoctrination centers we call schools... (no I don't really have an opinion on the matter)
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    • Posted by rossabh 5 years, 10 months ago
      Ayn Rand was not the only one to observe the unmanaged human tendancy in some people.
      From Part 3, Chapter 3 of 1984
      ‘The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?’-- George Orwell

      One propaganda strategy used very much by the Left is to set the people up with just enough truth so that they lie to themselves. Michael Moore showing Bush in the Florida classroom on 9-11 was an example of that. The American Puppet Class shown Obama doing that after Iran nuked Israel would lie to themselves about the genius strategic planning by Carter 7.9 going on inside of the head who created the coming world "Man Caused Disaster" Years of indoctrination have created a very serious threat to individual sovereignty and liberty.
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      • Posted by 5 years, 10 months ago
        "Michael Moore showing Bush in the Florida classroom on 9-11 was an example of that."
        My engineering management class showed that clip. The professor believed that President Bush's delayed reaction is a normal human response to a situation you have not prepared for. If someone had told President Bush a _missile_ had hit buildings, he may have jumped up b/c that would have been easier to associate with something he had already thought about. My professor said this is a human trait, not peculiar to President Bush. The class had been discussing engineering decisions regarding bridges the fail and the infamous Ford Pinto case.

        Moore was extremely unfair to President Bush. Moore is another example of the left/right shouting match that I reject.
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        • Posted by rossabh 5 years, 10 months ago
          Whether your professor is correct (as I think he is) or not, the point is that one of the psy ops strategies is to pull the strings of the puppet class by setting them up to lie to themselves. They are a Lemming Brigade comprised of IDIOTs (In Denial Intensely Obscuring TRUTH from themselves) resulting from emotional rather than rational thought after years of indoctrination during their education and years of drinking Kool Aide.
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          • Posted by 5 years, 10 months ago
            There's no massive conspiracy. Political factions (parties) have formed as the framers of the Constitution feared. Industries crop up to profit from the supposed ideological battle.
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      • Posted by j_IR1776wg 5 years, 10 months ago
        And sad of sad, I have two grown children who are very successful economically and who I am unable to convince that their Individual Rights are disappearing rapidly.
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        • Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
          Tells please...

          What can't you do this week you weren't able to do last week? The week before? A year ago? Ten years ago?
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          • Posted by j_IR1776wg 5 years, 10 months ago
            Buy a toilet with a tank capacity of my choice
            Spend a couple of hours at the range for a reasonable amount of money.
            Buy health insurance with benefits and deductibles of my choosing.
            Fly without being treated like a terrorist.
            Make a phone call or send a text message with expectations of privacy.
            Buy an AR15 with a 30 round magazine.
            Buy a hundred watt incandescent light bulb.
            Buy a new car without the government mandated tracking module.
            Buy a 30-ounce big gulp in NYC.
            Have my conversations between me and my doctor be between me and my doctor.
            Have the IRS not pick on me for my political beliefs.
            Anyone else in the Gulch care to join in with freedoms lost?
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            • Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
              Oh sheesh....

              "Buy a toilet with a tank capacity of my choice"

              What difference how much it takes to flush. The job gets done. Ohhhhhh, I get it you wanna complain about the paperwork on that too?

              "Spend a couple of hours at the range for a reasonable amount of money."

              Take that up with the capitalist who owns it. If you are willing to pay what he wants why should he lower his price?

              "Buy health insurance with benefits and deductibles of my choosing."

              When the Obamacare gets up and running it will be far better. You will still buy your insurance from a private company but it won't be junk. It's rolling out just fine in California. MA, thanks to Romney, has something very similar for years now.

              "Fly without being treated like a terrorist."

              TSA came in under Bush. Doesn't matter where the idea came from, Bush and Chaney set things up for the abuses. Yes, Obama is continuing it and because of a recent incident they will probably get guns. Sad, very sad but I've never been able to carry a loaded gun on an American flight.

              "Make a phone call or send a text message with expectations of privacy."

              Darn, when I had a hard drive crash a couple of weeks ago they wouldn't give me my data as a back-up. BTW, privacy is a myth. Most folks through most history lived in small villages or neighborhoods where everyone knew everything.

              "Buy an AR15 with a 30 round magazine."

              If you can't hit a target with the first 29 rounds what makes you think the 30th is going to be magical? Actually so far those regulations are LOCAL and hopefully they will be defeated when folks realize that mass shootings are a health problem and see that folks can get treatment.

              "Buy a hundred watt incandescent light bulb."

              You can still do that. BTW I've already replaced most of the lights (CFL) in my home with LEDs. I'm also using LEDs in television studios because they don't change over their very long life, they don't emit much heat, and if I want to change the brightness I can do so without changing the color. Far better than the old way. Come on lad, join the 21st century instead of griping about old technology.

              "Buy a new car without the government mandated tracking module."

              Gotta show me the law on that one. Ain't no such thing I'm aware of unless someone has put one on your car. Yes, manufacturers are collecting data on g-forces, speeds, etc. but that's not available for use in anything except the manufacturer's or insurance crash data.

              "Buy a 30-ounce big gulp in NYC. "

              There you got me. Bloomberg and his nut cases were pretty bone headed about that one. I understand there is a new guy in town and things will change if they haven't already.

              "Have my conversations between me and my doctor be between me and my doctor"

              Every time you bought insurance. they were looking over your doctor's shoulder. If your choice of doctor happened to be out of plan you had to pay way more. If a script was expensive you had a bigger copay. Until I got government help my insurance was insisting I have a co-pay of over $1,000 for Welcol.

              "Have the IRS not pick on me for my political beliefs."

              Yes, liberal organizations were targeted too. But, when organizations are talking about overthrow of the government don't you think they should be investigated? When churches are making political recommendations...

              "Anyone else in the Gulch care to join in with freedoms lost?"

              They ain't "freedoms." Nobody has guaranteed you any particular type of light bulb or toilet will be available. Show it to me in the Constitution that anyone can have the crapper they want.


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              • Posted by Hiraghm 5 years, 10 months ago
                "Oh sheesh....

                "Buy a toilet with a tank capacity of my choice"

                What difference how much it takes to flush. The job gets done. Ohhhhhh, I get it you wanna complain about the paperwork on that too? "
                It doesn't matter. *I* get to choose. Not the government.

                ""Spend a couple of hours at the range for a reasonable amount of money."

                Take that up with the capitalist who owns it. If you are willing to pay what he wants why should he lower his price? "
                He could lower his prices if it weren't for taxes and regulation.

                ""Buy health insurance with benefits and deductibles of my choosing."

                When the Obamacare gets up and running it will be far better. You will still buy your insurance from a private company but it won't be junk. It's rolling out just fine in California. MA, thanks to Romney, has something very similar for years now. "

                My choice for health insurance is "none". Where in the exchange do I get to buy that?

                ""Fly without being treated like a terrorist."

                TSA came in under Bush. Doesn't matter where the idea came from, Bush and Chaney set things up for the abuses. Yes, Obama is continuing it and because of a recent incident they will probably get guns. Sad, very sad but I've never been able to carry a loaded gun on an American flight. "
                Yes, Bush is also a progressive. Too many of us "get" that now. And not being allowed to carry a loaded gun on an American flight is a 2nd Amendment violation.

                ""Buy a new car without the government mandated tracking module."

                Gotta show me the law on that one. Ain't no such thing I'm aware of unless someone has put one on your car. Yes, manufacturers are collecting data on g-forces, speeds, etc. but that's not available for use in anything except the manufacturer's or insurance crash data."

                Just like my health data isn't available to anyone from the Obamacare website. Just like my cell phone logs aren't available to anyone via AT&T.

                ""Have my conversations between me and my doctor be between me and my doctor"

                Every time you bought insurance. they were looking over your doctor's shoulder. "
                Til now, I never bought insurance.

                ""Have the IRS not pick on me for my political beliefs."

                Yes, liberal organizations were targeted too. But, when organizations are talking about overthrow of the government don't you think they should be investigated? When churches are making political recommendations... "
                By the FBI, not the IRS.

                "They ain't "freedoms." Nobody has guaranteed you any particular type of light bulb or toilet will be available. Show it to me in the Constitution that anyone can have the crapper they want. "

                You completely misunderstand the Constitution. The Constitution does not grant rights; it protects them. The Constitution delegates limited and enumerated powers to the government. Powers, not rights. If it's not delegated, the gov't has no say in it.

                See the 9th Amendment.

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              • Posted by 5 years, 10 months ago
                "TSA came in under Bush. Doesn't matter where the idea came from, Bush and Chaney set things up for the abuses. Yes, Obama is continuing it"
                Isn't this a really bad sign? A third of the country thinks Obama is the devil and a third thinks Bush was. But they solidly agree on things we consider "abuses". That means if your problem is with one party, you can fix it by choosing the other. It means complaining about President Obama is nearly pointless. That's depressing. I hope the time is ripe for either new ideas or a new party.
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              • Posted by j_IR1776wg 5 years, 10 months ago
                While you've got your Marxist head up your Marxist ass, you might as well check for polyps. That way you may be able to save your Collective the cost of a colonoscopy.
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      • Posted by 5 years, 10 months ago
        "We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end."
        Wow. Reading that again amazingly made me remember reading it over twenty years ago when I was 16 year old. It was a long forgotten memory.

        Anyway, what does Orwell mean when he says "power". Power to do what? I understand he's saying it's for some utopian goal, but is it power get get products and services they want, power to get sex, power to get people acting like their friends, or a perverse thrill of being the gatekeeper controlling whether another human being gets what he wants?
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        • Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
          Every time we get a new President his theory goes up in smoke.
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          • Posted by Hiraghm 5 years, 10 months ago
            No it doesn't. O'Brien wasn't speaking of Big Brother as an individual (who doesn't exist).
            We haven't had a President outside the progressive power structure since Reagan.
            Before him, you have to go back to Calvin Coolidge.
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        • Posted by rossabh 5 years, 10 months ago
          All of the above. There is a feeling that the little people need a keeper and are not capable of dealing with their own matters, nor do they even matter. Power is like a drug and it means that the powerful are all powerful and they can do whatever they wish
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    • Posted by rossabh 5 years, 10 months ago
      KGB defector, Yuri Bezmenov, 1985 interview describes the American Left voter of today - linked in my, The American Puppet Class blog post. This condition we see has been a long time coming and Ronald Reagan referenced Norman Thomas in his YouTube on socialized medicine. ‘‘You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism. We won’t have to fight you. We’ll so weaken your economy ...until you’ll fall like overripe fruit into our hands.’’ ~...~ Nikita Khrushchev ‘First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union 1953-1964’.
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      • Posted by fosterj717 5 years, 10 months ago
        This quote should be spread far and wide! Unfortunately, most people can only digest 30 second sound bites and pay no attention unless it has sex or violence associated with the message. Krushchev and Bezmenov were right. Our lemming class have arrived right on schedule and poised to go over the cliff in an instant!
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        • Posted by rossabh 5 years, 10 months ago
          Bezmenov, in his 1985 interview http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x32cxf_...
          said that the head of the project was surprised at how fast their program had worked !!!! 1985 interview !!!!! and they credited the surprise to the American educational system. The public education management and the Progressive war against the Founder's protections has created the American Puppet Class..
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      • Posted by j_IR1776wg 5 years, 10 months ago
        What manner of psychology allowed these people to accurately predict the gullibility of we Americans? Why did some of us escape this gullibility even though we were trained in this subject by our parents, schools, and religions?
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        • Posted by LetsShrug 5 years, 10 months ago
          I think once a society embraces the welfare state (social security/food stamps etc) the gullibility is obvious.
          Getting something for nothing is extremely attractive and tempting to most.

          Why are we different? Because we think.
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          • Posted by khalling 5 years, 10 months ago
            spot on. some of us, a minority apparently, think. We have to think.
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            • Posted by j_IR1776wg 5 years, 10 months ago
              Basic choice of humans: To think or not to think. In Genesis 2:17, A&E are admonished not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil lest they know what god knows. It has never varied and I guess it never will. We have to continue what we are doing to convince more people to make that choice.
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              • Posted by Hiraghm 5 years, 10 months ago
                See, the way I view the Eden story (rightly or wrongly), is that expulsion wasn't punishment.

                They ate of the fruit the tree of the knowledge of good and evil... that means that, prior to eating of the fruit, they were as innocent as all other animals, who do what they are compelled to do to survive. But, once Man learned right from wrong, he became responsible for his actions. It was time to leave the nest.
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                • Posted by khalling 5 years, 10 months ago
                  yea, that's how I see it as well. why is taught so punitively? because if you are really taught that you cannot strive for the knowledge -up to and including God's, what the hell are you but a beast in the field? don't get me started on you can't know what you can't know...
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                  • Posted by j_IR1776wg 5 years, 10 months ago
                    Slavery of the mind is no different than slavery of the body. Religions and dictatorships require non-thinking sheep to justify their existence. Their greatest enemies are those of us who ask "why?"
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              • Posted by 5 years, 10 months ago
                Then you're optimistic people will eat from the tree of knowledge rather than doing what their told?

                I am. I agree with Hiraghm's interpretation of the story.
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                • Posted by j_IR1776wg 5 years, 10 months ago
                  The potential to convince people to eat of the tree of knowledge has not changed in the last 5000 years. I am optimistic that we can stop and reverse the destruction that generations of young minds have absorbed from the evil public education system which is and has been forcing them not to eat of the tree of knowledge.

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        • Posted by rossabh 5 years, 10 months ago
          Some of US think instead of blindly support a team. My 6th grade teacher in 1956, told us to question all that we read, hear or see whether it is from them or from us. My Canadian born mother came across the border to have my brother and I on US soil even though our father was US and she, even more than him, instilled a love of America. The reading of history and knowing what happens to the fools who accept the free lunch points out the error of that path. A little bit of logical analysis and a long term view make America a rare gift to humanity worth fighting to preserve.
          The danger is that their are a lot of fools who support having Superman run their lives and that can splash over onto the rest of US.
          The Superman Idea
          The claims of these organizers of humanity raise another question which I have often asked them and which, so far as I know, they have never answered: If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind? The organizers maintain that society, when left undirected, rushes headlong to its inevitable destruction because the instincts of the people are so perverse. The legislators claim to stop this suicidal course and to give it a saner direction. Apparently, then, the legislators and the organizers have received from Heaven an intelligence and virtue that place them beyond and above mankind; if so, let them show their titles to this superiority.
          They would be the shepherds over us, their sheep. Certainly such an arrangement presupposes that they are naturally superior to the rest of us. And certainly we are fully justified in demanding from the legislators and organizers proof of this natural superiority.
          The Socialists Reject Free Choice
          Please understand that I do not dispute their right to invent social combinations, to advertise them, to advocate them, and to try them upon themselves, at their own expense and risk. But I do dispute their right to impose these plans upon us by law—by force—and to compel us to pay for them with our taxes.
          I do not insist that the supporters of these various social schools of thought—the Proudhonists, the Cabetists, the Fourierists, the Universitarists, and the Protectionists—renounce their various ideas. I insist only that they renounce this one idea that they have in common: They need only to give up the idea of forcing us to acquiesce to their groups and series, their socialized projects, their free- credit banks, their Graeco-Roman concept of morality, and their commercial regulations. I ask only that we be permitted to decide upon these plans for ourselves; that we not be forced to accept them, directly or indirectly, if we find them to be contrary to our best interests or repugnant to our consciences.
          But these organizers desire access to the tax funds and to the power of the law in order to carry out their plans. In addition to being oppressive and unjust, this desire also implies the fatal supposition that the organizer is infallible and mankind is incompetent. But, again, if persons are incompetent to judge for themselves, then why all this talk about universal suffrage? -- Frederick Bastiat 1801 - 1850

          “Despotic government has fear as its principle; and not many laws are needed for timid, ignorant, beaten-down people…
          After all we have just said, it seams that human nature would rise up incessantly against despotic government. But, despite men’s love of liberty, despite their hatred of violence, most peoples are subjected to this type of government. This is easy to understand. In order to form a moderate government, one must combine powers, regulate them, temper them, make them act; one must give one power a ballast, so to speak, to put it in a position to resist another; this is a masterpiece of legislation that chance rarely produces and prudence is rarely allowed to produce. By contrast, a despotic government leaps to view, so to speak; it is uniform throughout; as only passions are needed to establish it, everyone is good enough for that.” -- Charles-Louis Montesquieu and Social Anthropology #9
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          • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 5 years, 10 months ago
            Bastiat and Montesquieu... I am paying attention. I have read these words before... even quoted these giants myself. They still ring true with much force and eloquence.
            Regards,
            O.A.
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          • Posted by j_IR1776wg 5 years, 10 months ago
            I have spent a good portion of my life in trying to determine the proper relationship of the Individual to the Collective. I still have no idea of where some of our fellow humans get the concept that they are made of "finer clay". Most of our governments have been based on force. The earliest attempt to justify "elitism" that I found was Plato's Republic. Thank you for this post. We who choose to think need to become the vanguard of a rebirth of Reason on Earth.
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            • Posted by rossabh 5 years, 10 months ago
              Your observation sounds right to me because there are some humans who desire a master. Bastiat and John Adams are two of many who spoke of this. Some of our finest conservative people came from the Left after thinking about what they observed => Walter E Williams whom I quote below, Breitbart, Horowitz, Medved just to name a few.
              "I was more than anything a radical. I was more sympathetic to Malcolm X than Martin Luther King because Malcolm X was more of a radical who was willing to confront discrimination in ways that I thought it should be confronted, including perhaps the use of violence. But I really just wanted to be left alone. I thought some laws, like minimum-wage laws, helped poor people and poor black people and protected workers from exploitation. I thought they were a good thing until I was pressed by professors to look at the evidence." -- Walter E. Williams
              “Prior to capitalism, the way people amassed great wealth was by looting, plundering and enslaving their fellow man. Capitalism made it possible to become wealthy by serving your fellow man.” -- Walter E. Williams


              “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong” Dr. Thomas Sowell

              “Slavery has existed all over the planet for thousands of years with black, white, yellow and other races being both slaves and enslavers. Does that mean that everybody ought to apologize to everybody else for what their ancestors did? Or are the only people who are supposed to feel guilty the ones who have money that others want to talk them out of?”… THOMAS SOWELL
              "Imagine a political system so radical as to promise to move more of the poorest 20% of the population into the richest 20% than remain in the poorest bracket...You don't need to imagine it. It's called the United States of America." - Thomas Sowell


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              • Posted by j_IR1776wg 5 years, 10 months ago
                "Your observation sounds right to me because there are some humans who desire a master." Interesting concept - A small minority who want someone to be their master, a small minority who want to be master whipsawing the vast majority of us who just want to be left alone to live our own lives.
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                • Posted by rossabh 5 years, 10 months ago
                  That is the problem. We, who value liberty, must defend ourselves from both sides. My passion in this battle is looking for a way to communicate with the Politically Braindead who either do not learn from history or are more comfortable with a master. That is the reason for my collaboration with others in this battle which resulted in my blog post http://rossabh.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/...
                  “Despotic government has fear as its principle; and not many laws are needed for timid, ignorant, beaten-down people…
                  After all we have just said, it seams that human nature would rise up incessantly against despotic government. But, despite men’s love of liberty, despite their hatred of violence, most peoples are subjected to this type of government. This is easy to understand. In order to form a moderate government, one must combine powers, regulate them, temper them, make them act; one must give one power a ballast, so to speak, to put it in a position to resist another; this is a masterpiece of legislation that chance rarely produces and prudence is rarely allowed to produce. By contrast, a despotic government leaps to view, so to speak; it is uniform throughout; as only passions are needed to establish it, everyone is good enough for that.” -- Charles-Louis Montesquieu and Social Anthropology #9
                  “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.” -- Samuel Adams
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        • Posted by Hiraghm 5 years, 10 months ago
          They already had the experience with their own people. And the French Revolution provided a pretty good training.

          As I said elsewhere, my father always said that you can't make a man eat a can of peas all at once, but you can make him eat a whole can of peas... one pea at a time. That's how it's been done.
          If we'd have hanged Elvis, we might not have rap today. had LL Cool Beans or whatever started spewing the vile "lyrics" typical of rap back then instead of Elvis swiveling his hips, he *would* have been hanged.
          Instead, we had Elvis... then the water was turned up a bit with the Beatles... then a bit more with the "hard" rock bands... pretty soon it came to a boil, but we were too used to the temperature to do anything about it.
          Back in the 60s and 70s, the pop culture (aka media aka Hollyweird) began promoting the questioning of everything; but not merely questioning it. "Questioning" became synonymous with "criticizing". If one simply asks, "Why do we do things this way?", the question can be answered. But, if one simple belittles and makes fun of long held traditions, for which the conscious reason might be long forgotten, then one is more tolerated when one embraces mores in conflict with the abiding culture.
          I remember driving my father nuts asking the "why" of masonry practices. He'd never been taught the "why", he was just taught to do. I had to learn the "why" on my own.
          But, included in the new messages of Hollyweird, along with the belittlement of traditional culture, was the insinuation that, because the elders couldn't explain the countless "whys", they were stupid, slow, backwards. To be cool, one had to reject traditional culture. And you know, among young people, almost nothing is more important than being cool.

          Part of what inured me was that my father was a contrarian on principle. I believe it was his philosophy that the nose of authority should be tweaked just because it was the nose of authority.

          The rest is owed to Heinlein, Asimov, and Pournelle. And I suppose John W. Cambell.

          I had a good teacher in 2nd grade who ruined me by teaching me to think for myself, not to accept what authority says. That's how I have the brass to sit here and argue with accomplished people with degrees and high-paying jobs. I used to say that I'm never wrong, because once someone proves me wrong, I change my mind.

          I imagine I'm not unique in my stiff-necked-ness. But, most people don't grow up with these disadvantages.
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        • Posted by 5 years, 10 months ago
          I hope we're not that unusual. I hope most people really don't want socialism.
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          • Posted by LetsShrug 5 years, 10 months ago
            I'm to the point where I think most don't have a clue what socialism even is. Or freedom for that matter.
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            • Posted by rossabh 5 years, 10 months ago
              Check out the forms of government in this You Tubehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KFXuGIpsdE0
              Think about the control sought by the Progressives and the Collective structure with over 20 "green energy" government backed companies with scandals including many bankruptcies. There is a reason that the protections of the republic our Founding Fathers structured have been eroded.
              “It is obvious what the fraudulent issue of fascism versus communism accomplishes: it sets up, as opposites, two variants of the same political system; it eliminates the possibility of considering capitalism; it switches the choice of ‘Freedom or dictatorship?’ into ‘Which kind of dictatorship?’—thus establishing dictatorship as an inevitable fact and offering only a choice of rulers. The choice—according to the proponents of that fraud—is: a dictatorship of the rich (fascism) or a dictatorship of the poor (communism). That fraud collapsed in the 1940’s, in the aftermath of World War II. It is too obvious, too easily demonstrable that fascism and communism are not two opposites, but two rival gangs fighting over the same territory—that both are variants of statism, based on the collectivist principle that man is the rightless slave of the state—that both are socialistic, in theory, in practice, and in the explicit statements of their leaders—that under both systems, the poor are enslaved and the rich are expropriated in favor of a ruling clique—that fascism is not the product of the political ‘right,’ but of the ‘left’—that the basic issue is not ‘rich versus poor,’ but man versus the state, or: individual rights versus totalitarian government—which means: capitalism versus socialism.” -- Ayn Rand - philosopher and novelist (1905-1982)
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      • Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
        And how did that work out for the Soviets?

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        • Posted by rossabh 5 years, 10 months ago
          Hiraghm nailed it. Communism is not Russian -it is a world movement - check CPUSA which proudly proclaims in its website that it is proud of its support and affiliation with the Progressive Party. If you believe that the Founders properly protected US from losing our unalienable rights, you recognize that we are being attacked by a political insurgency whose agenda is the destruction of the America that the Founding Fathers created.
          “ It is easy to destroy a country’s currency. It is very difficult to detroy their sovereignty.” -- George Soros

          “Destroying America will be the culmination of my life’s work.” -- George Soros
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          • Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
            Absolutely FALSE. The closest thing is an Australian interview where he comments about his books being his life's work.

            It's like George Washington never threw a buck across the Potomac.

            Why does the right wing lie so much?
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            • Posted by  $  Hiraghm 5 years, 10 months ago
              By the way, the "issue" of WMDs was raised by the traitors on the left.

              Hussein fired on our warplanes flying the no-fly zone to keep him from using WMDs against his own people... AGAIN.

              That's an act of war that nullified the armistice. It was an act of war that merited conquest of Iraq, all... by... itself.

              But, the left never cared about that, because their general attitude was always "F* the U.S."
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            • Posted by  $  Mimi 5 years, 10 months ago
              Nay. It’s more like they are willing to believe everything they read, but it’s no different then the Pavlov-dog like response you got during the last presidency against Bush. Most of what was written about Bush and Cheney was false as well.
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              • Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
                Really????? Where are the WMD?
                Leaking the CIA agent's name got people killed. And Bush let Scooter off the hook.
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                • Posted by  $  Mimi 5 years, 10 months ago
                  Now who is believing BS? Valerie Plame was not covert. No one was killed. Her husband had already outed her in a book prior to any of the accusations. Scooter did nothing wrong until he lied under oath that he had a conversation involving her, but the content of the conversation was not illegal. Bush chose not to pardon Scooter, though he took a lot of heat from the Republican Party for it, and rightly so. The whole thing was a BS dog and pony show cooked up by the Dems. Now if you want to discuss how the loose lips of the Obama administration has caused death of top marines, I be more than happy to have that factual argument.
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            • Posted by 5 years, 10 months ago
              I really think you're on the wrong track saying one "side' lies. The whole left/right struggle is a lie IMHO. Mike M talked about a struggle between dynamism and things staying the same. There's also a struggle between liberty and authoritarianism. To me liberty is the most important thing. The left/right thing distracts from liberty. Many libertarians say, "Yes, it's part of their grand plan!' It's not. The left/right thing gets people fired up and gets views on articles and TV shows and votes. It's no master plan.

              BTW, once an apolitical article I wrote got picked up by a mainstread outlet and accounted for a third of a website's traffic. They said, "Give us more of that! Give us more stories with 25,000 readers!" If writing about left/right stuff got me 25,000 readers and I could do it without compromising the truth, I'd probably do it.
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              • Posted by Rozar 5 years, 10 months ago
                I fully agree. Although the state by definition is authoritarian and not voluntary. Where there is no choice there is no liberty and vice versa.

                I think in general you believe in some liberty, but not all and not for everyone.
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            • Posted by Hiraghm 5 years, 10 months ago
              prove it.
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              • Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
                WMD, "death panels," that there is a serious problem with voter cheating,

                There are even books written about it: http://www.amazon.com/Big-Lies-Right-Win...
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                • Posted by Hiraghm 5 years, 10 months ago
                  To address what I *think* you were saying...

                  Hussein *used* WMDs. Hence the no-fly zone as part of the armistice he violated. The WMDs used against the people in Syria most probably originated in Iraq, as we saw truckloads of such materials heading to Syria as we stalled our invasion.

                  Death panels... a real concern. There's already talk of rationing healthcare under Obama. Healthcare rationing will require some bureaucracy for determining whether a person's life is worth saving.

                  There may not be a serious problem with "voter cheating", but "voter fraud" is a serious problem, whether it's one vote or a million votes; and there has been examples and evidence throughout the history of the nation, mostly on the local level for local elections, of voter fraud; from ballot boxes being moved before voting closes in a district, to dead Chicagoans voting repeatedly, to military ballots being held up or discounted.
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                  • Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
                    And IDs won't solve pretty much any of the fraud you put forward.
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                    • Posted by Hiraghm 5 years, 10 months ago
                      It'll prevent dead Chicagoans from voting repeatedly. And more importantly, it'll keep illegal aliens from voting repeatedly.
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                      • -1
                        Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
                        Really... In a world where teenagers can fake an ID do you really think adults will have any problems?

                        The ID thing is a way for the right to discourage segments they believe to be opposed to them from voting. Sadly that too is simple to see.
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                        • Posted by Hiraghm 5 years, 10 months ago
                          In a world where teenagers can fake an ID, we still use cash money.

                          No, the ID thing is a way to keep dead people and people not eligible to vote from voting.

                          Identity theft is rampant (guess what segment of the population benefits most from it...) and you don't want to do a thing to prevent legitimate voters votes being stolen or nullified.
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                          • Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
                            Isn't a big enough problem to warrant disenfranchising so many people, particularly when it's the right wing that wants to discourage so many from voting.

                            No go back to the Koch brothers, left, right, left...
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                            • Posted by Hiraghm 5 years, 10 months ago
                              The 'right wing' in this case are conservatives, Tea Partiers, and/or, in the words of Wesley Mouch, "sticklers for the Constitution".

                              Make up your mind; either there is no voter fraud, or "so many people" are committing voter fraud. You can't have it both ways.

                              With a voter ID... NOBODY who is *eligible* to vote is disenfranchised. Only those not eligible.
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                              • -1
                                Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
                                Nope. Not everyone can afford or make it to a source for an ID. Only in your imaginary perfect world does everyone march in lockstep to Rush's wishes.
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                                • Posted by khalling 5 years, 10 months ago
                                  how absurd. They make it to the welfare office to sign up-the democrats are experts at busing people thousands of miles for a campaign event but there's no way to get people in to get an ID? but more importantly-what the heck are they showing to get welfare in the first place?? An ID!
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                                  • LetsShrug replied 5 years, 10 months ago
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                • Posted by Hiraghm 5 years, 10 months ago
                  Bisquick. Cocoa Puffs. Raincoats. That there is a serious problem with fabric computer cases.

                  See? I can throw out out-of-context meaningless words, too.
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            • Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
              Oh, and now let's watch a bunch of "citations" from right wing blogs. How's 'bout a transcript or video from an interview.
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              • Posted by rossabh 5 years, 10 months ago
                Projection is the way of the Left - I wanted to lie, I would join your side.
                http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x32cxf_...
                He describes The American Puppet Class (1985 interview) that I hear now. "You will be able to show them that black is black and white is white and they will not believe you." Are you mixing or drinking the Kool Aide?
                "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." - John Adams
                “Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice.” - John Adams
                "There Are Two Ways To Enslave A Country…. One Is By The Sword. The Other Is By Debt." — John Adams
                That is why the Left is the danger, not just Obama as an observant foreigner wrote,

                “The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president."

                "The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America . Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince.

                The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool.

                It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.”
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                • Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
                  Hmmmmm, still no real quote from Soros. Figured.

                  Tell the "big lie" often enough and folks will buy into it if they agree with it.
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                  • Posted by rossabh 5 years, 10 months ago
                    The " marks were your hint. Like I asked, "Mixing or drinking?"
                    “ It is easy to destroy a country’s currency. It is very difficult to detroy their sovereignty.” -- George Soros

                    “Destroying America will be the culmination of my life’s work.” -- George Soros

                    Koch Brothers want less government interfering with Americans and the Anti - Americans (those who would subvert the structure preserving the individual citizen's right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" want a master or to be a part of the Collective which they envision running the New Plantation.
                    If you are not here mixing the Kool Aide, I challenge you to the test for which one of us is an IDIOT = In Denial Intensely Obscuring TRUTH from oneself. I don't dance at the end of the Puppet String Media's strings - Entiende JouroList for starters?
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                    • Posted by Boborobdos 5 years, 10 months ago
                      Hmmmmmm, looks like you are trying to convince me that both Soros and the Koch brothers want to destroy government.

                      BTW, the George Soros quote turns out to be bogus.
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                      • Posted by rossabh 5 years, 9 months ago
                        Just playing for real - SOROS = Soros Organizations Relying On Suckers wants those addressed by Adams who volunteer to kneel before a master (the Collective) which is antithetical to the Koch brothers who employ huge numbers of people in the production of products. The obvious desire for being a master verses the liberty to risk, work and achieve/fail, but keep the rewards is the difference.
                        The Progressives with whom the CPUSA has proudly allied itself from the very early 1900s have an agenda described in Atlas Shrugged. It does not require a double digit IQ and that indicates that you are mixing rather than drinking.
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        • Posted by  $  Hiraghm 5 years, 10 months ago
          It worked out swell for the *communists*.

          Nice try, but communism was never, ever related to any nation. I warned when the Soviet Onion fell that the communists would simply find another sanctuary. It turns out that sanctuary was already prepared for them... in Washington DC.
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          • Posted by rossabh 5 years, 10 months ago
            I am copying/pasting the following answer to Borobudur because you are RIGHT ON.
            Hiraghm nailed it. Communism is not Russian -it is a world movement - check CPUSA which proudly proclaims in its website that it is proud of its support and affiliation with the Progressive Party. If you believe that the Founders properly protected US from losing our unalienable rights, you recognize that we are being attacked by a political insurgency whose agenda is the destruction of the America that the Founding Fathers created.
            “ It is easy to destroy a country’s currency. It is very difficult to detroy their sovereignty.” -- George Soros

            “Destroying America will be the culmination of my life’s work.” -- George Soros
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        • Posted by rossabh 5 years, 10 months ago
          They appear to be coming back with the help of the Progressives who have supported their increased influence in the Mideast among those who used to be very close to US.
          Reagan created some big time challenges for them as the American Loser Brigade screamed in fear that he was going to start a nuclear war by not being Carter-Obama like. The Collective could not compete trying to maintain equality with Americas power.
          The American Loser Brigade also ridiculed him for "Star Wars" which saved Israel from what the Chamberlain - Daladier fools had created.
          As Hitler admitted: "The forty-eight hours after the march into the Rhineland were the most nerve-racking in my life. If the French had then marched into the Rhineland we would have had to withdraw with our tails between our legs, for the military resources at our disposal would have been wholly inadequate for even a moderate resistance."
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  • Posted by Hiraghm 5 years, 10 months ago
    Technical quibble: we cure cancer all the time. We have affordable space travel, just not affordable by the individual (and a few individuals *could* afford it, check Scaled Composites).

    Sorry to quibble, but I cringed yesterday when some talking head on tv said that wind power was renewable energy, and renewable energy is preferred.

    Wind power, in point of fact, is one of the few non-renewable energy sources. Once the Earth winds down or the sun blows up, wind power go bye-bye.

    On the other hand, coal and natural gas *are* renewable; oil may be renewable. Sure, they can't be renewed in a convenient time period, but they *are* renewable.
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  • Posted by FrankHudson 5 years, 10 months ago
    For me, A & B & F. Although B could include less fantastical things - access to healthcare, employment, and an overall higher standard of living. Perhaps C as well - I'd like to start a business but am very, very hesitant.
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  • Posted by grizzld 5 years, 10 months ago
    The democrats have been pursuing national socialism ever since the 1930's. It is a diabolical political party which follows the rules for radicals espoused by Saul Olynsky. America needs a thorough house cleaning to get rid of the ideological roaches of our society.
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  • Posted by fosterj717 5 years, 10 months ago
    Unfortunately, I believe that we are much further down the pike and with any serious disruption, we will be in Galt's Gulch quickly. The Fed is already hatching radical, Keynesian plans that have never been tried before (for good reason) that can act as the catalyst of change. Unfortunately, not for the better however it will be "Transformational". Tyranny is always only one generation away.....
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  • Posted by freedombreeze 5 years, 10 months ago
    It is my opinion that we are closer to totalitarianism than even many Objectivists believe. I have a habit of integrating to the most fundamental level facts I have observed by induction. I have experienced and studied many cultures and lived abroad in several oppressive regimes like Russia, Indonesia and even Cyprus. I will explain only one of so many ways government practises collectivism in order to grow. This is a specific example of how science is distorted and biased in todays research environment which I will leave for the reader to verify by induction. Genuine scientific methodology is mostly not practised today. Results of scientific studies are biased because research is driven mostly by philosophic trends in the culture encouraging political pull in the form of government and crony capitalist incentives like grants, subsidies, soft loans, back room deals, etc. One of the conclusions I have drawn which follows collectivism based on the prominent cultural philosophy of altruism is the dwindling availability of some beneficial long standing drugs. One of the many is antibiotics. Humans life expectancy has extended from some 40 years to 75 or 80 years over the last century as a result of the discovery and use of antibiotics. Nevertheless, several studies claiming the alleged negative effects of antibiotics on the "common good" has gained popularity and prominent acceptance in the medical field. Many people are being denied much needed access to antibiotics due to this trend that antibiotics are dangerous to humans in general. The claim is that over-prescribed antibiotics will ultimately result in bacteria mutating into "super germs" which are resistant to and render the antibiotics ineffective for many people. This is a perfect example of how alarmist tactics can distort the results of studies resulting in denying the rights of individuals their access to potentially life enhancing or possibly life saving drugs. Just another example of many how the collective trumps individual rights.
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  • Posted by grizzld 5 years, 10 months ago
    Obamacare has clearly moved collectivism further down the road and now today, Reid destroyed the last rule a minority party could use to block appointments of socialist judges or whatnot, in effect the filibuster rule has been eliminated. Now the senate can pass anything without opposition. Viva StalinObamaReid!
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    • Posted by fosterj717 5 years, 10 months ago
      Harry Reid is the poster child for a totalitarian leader in the mold of Hitler or Stalin. Tell the big lie enough times and it becomes the truth. His idiotic act in quelling the filibuster is an act of a desperate tyrant...
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