Authors Complaining About Tea Party Misinformation are MisInformed

Russ Steele

The Sac Bee is carrying a story on the Tea Party asking the question: Is the tea party healthy for democracy?  The article is written by Vanessa Williamson co-author of her book, “The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism.”

The authors have some nice things to say about rural Tea Party units and the people in them, but then they start looking for some negative balance and wrote this:

At times, the level of misinformation in tea party circles reached conspiratorial proportions. At a tea party meeting in Massachusetts, people discussed the possibility that the “smart grid” (an electrical infrastructure improvement approximately as controversial as road repair) was in fact a plan that would give the government control over the thermostats in people’s homes. Where are these smart, educated Americans getting such terribly inaccurate information?

Where we get this “terribly inaccurate information” ? From PG&E our power company. They offered us $25.00 to take control of our thermostat. They upped the offer to $50.00 and then $75.00. Our answer was not at this house.

If you read the PG&E Plan Submitted to the Public Utility Commission, the smart grid is to control a lot of devices in our homes. If you bought a water heater from GE lately, it has an embedded chip to allow the smart meter to communicate with your water heater, and can turn it down or off.  Do not pay your bill and PG&E can remotely turn off your power.  More details here and here.

The Author blames Fox News and Glenn Beck for the smart meter rumor. No rumor.  Just read the power companies submission to the CPUC if your want the facts.  Something the authors of the this article and the promoted book did not do.  Our local lefty is promoting the Sac Bee misinformation article. LOL.

An then there was this on Agenda 21

. . .  “Agenda 21” has made the rounds in tea parties nationwide as well as in Northern California. I saw firsthand how these conspiracy theories provoked very real fear on the part of many seniors involved in the tea party. And unwary local town officials have had to put important planning decisions on hold when sleepy town meetings are swamped with angry tea party members worried about Agenda 21.

Yes, rural counties in Northern California are organizing to counter the UN efforts to implement Agenda 21, via US Government Agencies and funded NGOs.  More on Agenda 21 here, here and here at Rebane’s Ruminations.

You can read the rest of the Sac Bee story here.  This appears to be a story to promote the authors book and cast doubts on the Tea Party.

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About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

63 Responses to Authors Complaining About Tea Party Misinformation are MisInformed

  1. Dena says:

    I often ask myself if the left could be right and I am the one who i wrong. In every case after looking into the subject, I find I am right and the left is the one who doesn’t know what they are talking about. In the case of the Tea Party, when Glen Beck had his washington meet, they left the place so clean that a reporter had to look on the streets to find a scrap of paper on the ground. When the left had a like meeting, they trashed the place. That told me all I needed to know about the Tea Party and the right.

  2. gjrebane says:

    There are apparently no exceptions to the modest and misled minds that populate the ranks of lamestream journalists. And the most ignorant of them all are those who still praise journalism as society’s paragon of propriety, prudence, proper proportion, and professionalism.

  3. RL Crabb says:

    You might not want to include those leftie hippies of SYRCL in your blanket assessment, Dena. Every year the volunteers scour the Yuba River and remove tons of garbage. I’m guessing at least some of them show up at occupy events.
    The Tea Party has the advantage of being the outsiders, much as the Dems were seen in ’08. Most voters will cast their ballots for a better economy and that may catapult the movement into the hotseat. That’s when folks will see just what they have in store for the rest of us with their own brand of social engineering. Better learn to duck.

    • Dena Wiltsie says:

      First, nobody told the people to clean up after them self. On the other hand, as long at the tea party sticks to it’s goals of a smaller government, all is well and good. The problems as you point out is of the members would like to take up the issues like abortion. If you don’t want big government, don’t let them have the power to control an issue like that. Almost all groups start going where they shouldn’t after their original mission is accomplished. Examples are the NAACP and unions. They are doing things now that they were never created to do.
      And by the way, the event I am talking about happened just after the Glen Beck event and was not part of the Occupy activity.

  4. Brad Croul says:

    Regerding PG&E controlling thermostats, they have had that power since day 1. It’s called a blackout.
    Peak rates are a function of supply and demand.
    Until we have unlimited electrical capacity we will have to ration it. I am not sure we should even aspire to that degree of capacity. Aren’t we already being fried by all the radio waves we created?

  5. gjrebane says:

    One of the misrepresentations of Agenda21 by the left is that it is some hidden conspiracy which is the figment of the tea parties’ imagination. It’s hard to tell whether these leftwingers are ignorant or just want to mislead their followers. Information on Agenda21 is and has been freely available on its own and UN websites for years. Its tenets are known to anyone who cares to read them, and its operational arm ICLEI (q.v.) is in full function across the world – California alone has over 100 chapters promoting Agenda21 in every manner of local affairs imaginable. With all this information freely available, anyone who chooses to remain ignorant about the international project is either butt stupid, or bears the burden of the Papua-New Guinea stone age natives whose universe ended at a narrow river across which everything to their eyes was invisible.

  6. Brad Croul says:

    Regarding the insidious U.N. plot to enslave mankind, and/or a non-binding document on sustainable growth from 1992, what is the danger of a local government with a layer of planning regulations on your property, overlain with a state/regional layer of regulation, overlain by a federal layer of regulation (that we already are subject to), and a worldwide (non-binding) layer of planning recommendations?
    We are already abiding by local, state and federal laws and regulations. How much different will life be with Agenda 21?

    Does one lose the ability to exploit those undeveloped/ un-managed areas of the world for fun and profit if some other organization (besides an often-corrupt local government) is watching? Is that bad, or wrong? (Yes, it seems to be human nature to try to game the system to your benefit, so someone will be making a killing off any new regulations.)

    Is the idea of sustainability dangerous, or logical?

    We don’t live in a vacuum. We are connected upstream, and downstream, upwind and downwind, and across oceans to our neighbors.
    Just because the “commons” was cut up, fenced off and sold, or otherwise appropriated, doesn’t mean we don’t have any responsibility to be a good neighbor.

    We have seen what laissez-faire attitudes have done to the planet. Locally, we had to pass laws to protect the valley from rampant hydraulic mining. That is just one example of many.

    Some here think that we are the frog slowly getting stewed by regulations and will suffocate with an NH 2020 or Agenda 21. I don’t think so.

    I think we have much more to fear from overpopulation and overcrowding resulting in a global pig/chicken/human pandemic that will make Agenda 21 a moot point. In order to save the world, about 75% of the Chinese population should be redistributed to areas of low population density.

    I implore the UN to initiate this diaspora immediately.

  7. Arthur M. Day. says:

    Given that well over 50% of the member nations of the United Nations are un-democratic and mostly kleptocratic, anti-free speech, anti women, etc., anything tainted by U.N. bureaucrats should be rejected out of hand.

    • Dena says:

      Sorry to correct you but they are very democratic. Democratic means the will of the people no matter how evil it is. The correct solution is what this country was founded on and that is a Republic where nobody as total power to control everything. If the people are given full power, they will abuse it. If the government is given full power, they will abuse it. It to is not fool proof, but it is far harder to tamper with than giving the vote to a bunch of power hungry third world nations.
      Additional note: we are no longer a republic and haven’t been for about 100 years. Don’t judge us on current history but on distant history before we destroyed the republic.

    • stevefrisch says:

      IT IS REJECTED OUT OF HAND–no one I work with works on sustainable development because of A21, or energy efficiency because of A21, or transportation planning because of A21, or sustainable agriculture because of A21, or even climate action planning because of A21–that has been my point all along. People who work on these issues work on them because they want to improve their communities and their quality of life, and they are engaged in advancing their communities in a democratic society with exactly the same rights that people who oppose sustainable development, energy efficiency, transportation planning, sustainable agriculture or climate action planning do. We all have the same right to work on these things. I would be willing to bet that less than 10% of the people I work with have ever even heard of A21–they have come to their goals completely independently. We do these things because we believe in them, and were doing them before 1992, not because some conference in Rio 20 years ago told us to.

      • Dena says:

        Hitler BELIEVED he was making the world a better place by eliminating the Jew. Logic and wisdom combined with facts is far better than believing in something. Save believing in something for fairy tails and use your head when running the world.

  8. The difference between you “true believers” in the things you have listed (in favor of Agenda21type crap) and us is we want to allow people freedom to make decisions and you want and use government’s power and their guns to enforce your “visions”. Big difference I’d say.

  9. Steven, You wrote:
    . . . no one I work with works on sustainable development because of A21, or energy efficiency because of A21, or transportation planning because of A21, or sustainable agriculture because of A21, or even climate action planning because of A21–that has been my point all along. People who work on these issues work on them because they want to improve their communities and their quality of life, and they are engaged in advancing their communities in a democratic society with exactly the same rights that people who oppose sustainable development, energy efficiency, transportation planning, sustainable agriculture or climate action planning do.

    Who are paying these people, or are they unpaid volunteers? The pay master makes the rules. Many government agencies have adopted dog whistle code words for Agenda 21 and have embedded them in the contracts issued to NGOs like your organizations. You are the slaves of the Agenda 21 masters and you do not even know it.

  10. stevefrisch says:

    You are so full of crap, Russ. So all people who advocate for smart transportation choices, or safe food, or walkable communities are dupes of the UN? What nonsense. More than 80% of the dollars we use come from the private sector. I have a right, and our organization has right, within our democracy, to advocate for what we think is a preferred choice for how we organize our society, just as you do. Finally, to empower people to compare what we do to Hitler, is sick and wrong. That is what makes you guys the friggin fascists today. I would stand up for your right to speak your mind and advocate: you would crush mine. That is why I will fight you until my dying breathe. My point remains the same, just because what we advocate bears some resemblance to language used in A21 is no reason to say what we do is A21. Talk about a one dimensional world view, you guys take the cake.

  11. stevefrisch says:

    I always enjoy my trips back to the 19th century over here!

  12. Dixon Cruickshank says:

    You don’t really think they just call Agenda21 do you??? we know they don’t – check out the Pres’s new Oceans Planning Council or whatever – they plan to have control over waterways that feed into the oceans – DUH that is about very creek in the country including the Great Lakes. They don’t call it Giant Waterway Control Panel of Agenda21 though – BTW they just announced this week they are not going to take Public Comment anymore – not that it mattered anyway, at least save some people time.

    Tom is very on top of this issue, would be a great Tea Party meeting topic, as this the Agenda21 issue on the front burner RIGHT NOW

  13. Dixon Cruickshank says:

    I swear Frisch you must think all these people are really really stupid – pelines may be, but these are not

    We here know you can’t really tell the masses what its going to do, you have to be sneaky – we got it k

  14. MikeL says:

    Steve please Google Rosa Korie and listen to what she has to say about Agenda 21.
    http://www.democratsagainstunagenda21.com/buy-behind-the-green-mask.html

  15. RL Crabb says:

    So what exactly are the opponents of Agenda 21 proposing? Abolish the land trusts and sell off the open space to developers? Bulldoze the bike trails and get those people back in a car where they belong? Defund public transit and tell the elderly if they want to go anywhere to take a taxi? Are the environmentalists overzealous? Yeah, I’d agree with that, but do you really believe life in the future can go on the way it has for the last hundred years without doing great harm to the only planet we all depend on to survive?
    Or is it like the cartoon I did that claims the right will “pave every acre of an earth dominated by corporations and the almighty dollar?” If Agenda 21 has documented their vision, what is yours? I’d love to know…

  16. I recall the attempt to make the Colfax Highway a “Scenic” highway under the California law. Everyone at first said WOW, what a great idea. Then the property owners read the laws and said YIKES! It appeared they would have a couple of zoning overlays along the route and lose a bunch of their property rights. Led by Ernie Bierwagen, we at CABPRO informed all the property owners and they defeated the “scenic” designation. You have to read the fine print just like you need to read the fine print in an insurance policy.

  17. RL,

    You bring up an interesting point. There was a study done in Orange County on the cost of public transit vs use of private vehicles. On the bus route studied, it was cheaper for government to hire limos than it was to run the bus line with empty seats. When a Gold County Stage goes by take a look, every one of those empty seats is costing tax payers about $4.00. It has been some time since I did the calculations, the ridership may have improved, but the costs have been going up also. The more one digs into the cost of public transit, the more one realizes that there must be a better way. Running near empty day in and day out is not the right solution.

  18. Dixon Cruickshank says:

    Mr Crabb that sounded so Frisch/Enos like – the Federal Gov owns 30% of every acre in the country now, at this point there are still some private landowners but Agenda21 would pretty much make them only babysitters as they would not have control over the land – thats simplistic but about right. No State or County control either all Fed

    • RL Crabb says:

      Sorry to dare to advance a view that doesn’t fit your ideology, Mr. Crankshaft. It’s just my nature to question authority on either side. And speaking of questions, it seems no one wants to answer mine. So it’s limos for the infirm to save money, eh? I’ll go with that one.

  19. In Nevada County the government controls 250,000 acres about 1/3 of it all. One can be complacent and make up horror stories about paving over the place but it is simply a fairy tale. Private property ownership is why America is the greatest. No more King’s forest where Robin the Hood has to hide, or is it?

  20. benjaminemery says:

    Since 90% of our media is controlled by 5 or 6 mega-corporations we are all misinformed, why? Those mega-corporations have interlocking boards and the same interests as those who control the leadership of both republican and democratic party’s.

    http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/brunitedstatescanadara/671.php?nid=&id=&pnt=671&lb=

    excerpt
    “In most cases those who had greater levels of exposure to news sources had lower levels of misinformation. There were, however, a number of cases where greater exposure to a particular news source increased misinformation on some issues.

    Those who watched Fox News almost daily were significantly more likely than those who never watched it to believe that most economists estimate the stimulus caused job losses (8 points more likely), most economists have estimated the health care law will worsen the deficit (31 points), the economy is getting worse (26 points), most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring (30 points), the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts (14 points), their own income taxes have gone up (14 points), the auto bailout only occurred under Obama (13 points), when TARP came up for a vote most Republicans opposed it (12 points) and that it is not clear that Obama was born in the United States (31 points). The effect was also not simply a function of partisan bias, as people who voted Democratic and watched Fox News were also more likely to have such misinformation than those who did not watch it–though by a lesser margin than those who voted Republican. “

  21. benjaminemery says:

    I read,
    BBC, Financial Times, India Times, NY Times among other more independent sources and Is it 2012 in Nevada County Yet?

    1987 and 1996 both had major communication laws passed that changed the rules and made the incentive to consolidate/ merge. One example is NBC/ GE being involved in media/ defense at the same time. In 25 years we have seen 90% of media ownership shrink to 6- traditional and 2- internet companies that have many interlocking boards/ interests.
    Go to They Rule and in the left bar click popular maps and then it is the fourth map down filed under Big 6 Corporate Media. There are interlocking boards/ members that cross the entire spectrum of major industries, which are the same industries that own the leaderships in the republican and democratic party’s.

    http://www.theyrule.net/

    2006
    Six huge corporations now control the major U.S. media: Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation (FOX, HarperCollins, New York Post, Weekly Standard, TV Guide, DirecTV and 35 TV stations), General Electric (NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, Telemundo, Bravo, Universal Pictures and 28 TV stations), Time Warner (AOL, CNN, Warner Bros., Time and its 130-plus magazines), Disney (ABC, Disney Channel, ESPN, 10 TV and 72 radio stations), Viacom (CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, Simon & Schuster and 183 U.S. radio stations), and Bertelsmann (Random House and its more than 120 imprints worldwide, and Gruner + Jahr and its more than 110 magazines in 10 countries).

    Oops, I guess there are 8 companies if we count the internet.

    Google and Yahoo

    • E Peritz says:

      What Ben has said about the consolidation of the media under a few corporations–cnservative by nature, I might add–shouldn’t even be a point of contention. The trend has been ongoing for years, reaching the present domination of major media outlets in the hands of a handful of companies. End of story. All the charts and liberal bashing won’t change this basic–and dangerous–fact.
      And those of you who love to bash Soros as a Nazi Rat, you are merely making fools of yourselves, believing in the infallibility of a source during the chaos that defined Hungary once the Nazis invaded. Where does one find the truth when the Arrow Cross–the Hungarian Nazis– and Germans, under Eichmann’s perfected orchestration, launched the last major deportation of Jews to extermination camps, 450,000 poor souls. And by Christmas, 1944, the Soviet advance units were fighting in the city center of Buda; the Arrow Cross was murdering hospital patients in their beds, walking on the streets, hiding in houses. The Soros family was split, as so many families were. Tivadar Soros, George’s father, saw his family rarely, busy helping other Jews secure false papers so that they might survive a bit longer. People learned the news by word of mouth or by seeing Soviet tanks rolling down the streets once controlled by Panzers.
      Very easy to throw dirt at a 14 year old George Soros, just another jewish boy being hunted for extermination in a murderous city and time. But where is the definitive verification?
      Just an unsubstatiated, barbaric, slimy attack from the far-right– but always so wrong–like the trials and travails George Soros survived as a teenager.

  22. E Peritz says:

    D. King, your sarcasm is duly noted. I find that the typical response by those misinformed when presented with stubborn facts.

    • D. King says:

      Glad to hear it, it’s truly a shame when sarcasm goes to waste.

    • Ryan Mount says:

      Maybe we can take all of these underwriters of our political activities like Soros and the Koch brothers and put them on an island Papillon-style. For us GenXers who prefer a more updated narrative, we can choose the plot from Escape from New York.

      Currently money is a form of Free Speech in the USA. All of these jackasses are fooling with the system in what I believe are unhealthy ways. Currently the only tool us poor slobs have in redressing this is to call out their activities out in the public light. But we seem to neither have the discipline nor foresight to rise beyond demonizing our enemies, I mean competition. So I’m leaning towards Ben’s proposal of government sponsored elections because it seems that we can’t run elections like grown-ups. And when we can’t do that, that is, do those things we’re told we can do by ourselves, it seems the appropriate role of government.

      Yep, classical liberals (neo-cons/liberals) have a point here. You’ll have the fox watching the hen house, but we do not have the kind of transparency in our elections that makes me comfortable, not that I need any comfort. But after recently reading George Washington’s Farewell Address, I am convinced as James Madison was, that these internal and in some cases external factions, in this case well-funded ones, are perhaps the most dangerous thing to our Republic. We are on the path to despotism. Actually, we’re kinda already there. And we voted for it.

      • E Peritz says:

        If by government sponsored elections you mean public financing, I’ve been in favor of that even before the obscene Citizens United travesty.

      • Dena says:

        And what makes you think the government can do any better job of picking who is running than the people. All you need to do is look at government employs and that is what we will wind up with as leaders. On the other hand how is the government going to deny money to a Hittler when election money is available to all. What we have needs improvement but letting the government getting involved will open the door to a monarchy.

      • Ryan Mount says:

        > And what makes you think the government can do any better job of picking who is running than the people.

        We still pick (vote for) them Dena, there is just no private financing of campaigns. The government (we) would regulate the campaigns in terms to duration and funding.

        Of course this won’t fly in the Supreme Court, so we’d probably need to amend the Constitution.

      • Dena says:

        You still haven’t addressed the problem of who gets the money. The most likely to receive the money will be insiders and party in power members. If you are an outsider, you will not be able to run. God save the king.

      • Ryan Mount says:

        Dena-

        There are many people much smarter than me who have thought this through. But here are a couple of suggestions:

        1) Limit the campaign time to a couple of months. That’s exactly 1 month and 29 days longer than the average American attention span.

        2) Give everyone the same amount of media time. Maybe hold two primaries, the first as an open one to narrow down the field. Like American Idol.

        3) After the first primary, select the top 60%, maybe 70% vote getters. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

        4) Give the narrowed-down field a budget for things like travel and hookers.

        5) There is no #5.

      • Dena says:

        The reason you don’t answer my question is because there isn’t an answer. We are governed by lawyers and they make their living by finding loopholes and using them. Rule number one is don’t give government any additional power because they can help themselves to more power than is good for us. What you suggest would result in a million people running for president, each with a government issued budget of a few dollars. Given the government paying my run for president, I might even give it a shot however I know I don’t have a chance of wining or even getting through the primary.

      • Ryan Mount says:

        I did answer your question Dena. Would you prefer the answer in Pig Latin? too much work.

        No one gets any money until they have been filtered out American Idol-style. And when they do get money, it’s just enough for plane flights and hookers. I got to say hookers twice. How about $20 million for the top 5 candidates? That seems generous.

        A great majority of the campaign money is spend on advertising. Let’s drastically limit that and have more government-sponsored debates and a set of graduated, open primaries. My goals, as if anyone cares which they probably don’t, are to reduce the influence of political factions (parties), provide greater discussion about the issues in details, and greater transparency during the entire election process.

        Ah heck, forget about all that. Let’s just get back to demonizing candidates with weird accusations. The truth is we’re happier when we’re in pain. In fact, that’s why we keep electing these bozos with a very broken process.

  23. E Peritz says:

    To Dena Wiltse: Much more to the story than your link provides and Tucker Carlson’s outlet is earning some shoddy reviews. And I wouldn’t rely on anything Glenn Beck said. BTW, Fox news viewers are the most misinformed of all people who get their news from a TV source, though TV journalism has gone way down hill over the years. Having had a father who worked for many years for CBS in NYC and also having had a busines partner, a publisher of the leading golf magazine and President of the New York Times Magazine Division, I’ve been close to the industry.

  24. benjaminemery says:

    Dena,
    Publicly Funded Campaigns have small donations and signature requirements to receive funding. There are 150 million federal tax returns filed a year if we put $10 per tax return we would would raise $6 billion every four years for federal elections. 2008 was the most expensive campaign season in US history at $5 billion. We make progressive campaign caps per office forcing candidates to run on issues due to the fact they don’t have virtually unlimited money for smear campaigns. To receive FCC license media needs to allot equal candidate advertising during prime time for candidates that qualified with the signature and small donors requirements. We are supposed to be the government. Those who control the purse strings of our elected officials are who they represent. All this makes campaigns much shorter and it will make them much more civil and solution oriented.

    Here is an example of one form of Fair Elections or Public Funding
    How Fair Elections Funding Would Work

    To Qualify: Candidates have to receive 7,500 $5 qualifying contributions and signatures from registered California voters to show that they have a broad base of support.

    Fair Elections Candidates Receive: Enough baseline public funds to run competitive primary campaigns ($1,000,000). If they win their primary they receive enough baseline public funds to run competitive general election campaigns ($1,300,000).

    “Fair Fight” Funds If Outspent: If Fair Elections Candidates are outspent by an opponent who does not participate or if independent groups attack them or support their opponent, they receive matching funds on a dollar for dollar basis within 24 hours to respond, up to total funding of 4 times the base amount, i.e. $4,000,000 in a primary and $5,200,000 in the general election.

    Prohibitions for Participating Candidates: Candidates would be prohibited from raising or spending additional money beyond what they receive from the fund. Once qualified, they must agree to spending limits and taking no private contributions.

    • Dena says:

      I don’t want to give my money to a person I don’t agree with and that’s what I would do if you don’t indicate a person on your tax return. I am not paying to attend a show, I want to elect a leader who is as great as Washington, Lincoln or Reagan.
      What you are suggesting will allow those already in office to not worry where they will get the money to remain in office. You noticed that Obama didn’t accept public funding when he ran? Thats because he figured he could get far more money that McCain would get by accepting public funding.
      Our system allows you to vote first with your pocket book and then on election day. If somebody is not worth having, the process reduces the public exposure to their lies. Obama as an unknown was able to get support in the first election but this time he will find it much harder to because of his total failure. With public funding, and his opposition limited to the same restrictions, he would not have this problem.
      The election process is not a fight between two equals, it’s a fight between good and evil or at least evil and less evil. There is nothing fair about it and to think otherwise is just plain socialism. This is something dreamed up by those in office for the day they should retire because they can no physically raise the fund they need but they still wish to remain in office. Just another government perk.
      P.S. how do you qualify? You raise private funding and campaign. You haven’t changed anything other than the size.

      • benjaminemery says:

        Dena,
        We don’t elect leaders we elect representatives. The question becomes who do they represent?

      • Ryan Mount says:

        See Dena? There are smarter people than me who have thought about this. For the record, Ben’s proposition mentions nothing about hookers (there, the 4th time!)

        > I don’t want to give my money to a person I don’t agree with

        Oh stop it. Really? Like I said about, publicly funded elections are not gonna fly with the SCOTUS anyway due to their *explicit* linking of money to freedom of speech, so this is a pipe dream and a parlor game. Not that I don’t think we should explore the idea.

        Anyhow, this isn’t about “giving” tax money to people you don’t agree with. You’re contributing to a process that levels (uh, oh. Release the conservative hounds!) the playing field to some degree. Think of it metaphorically like you your iPhone or your PC or whatever. The government (e.g. Apple/Microsoft) provides the platform (road and rules), in this case a regulated election process, and the candidates/we provide the apps (e.g. cars, bikes, jogging enthusiasts and other jackasses). I don’t think any of that made any sense. Sorry. I am in no way endorsing Steve Jobs for President in any fashion because: 1) he’s dead 2) he would certainly be our first fascist President.

        Generally I’m very pro individual liberty on most issues. But if this election issue where a road, we’d have piecemeal pavements all over the place or differing quality. It seems to me, that because we can’t be grown-up about this (elections), this seems to be an appropriate place for the government to step in and facilitate.

        Unless we believe that money/fund raising equals quality in our election process. If we believe that, then disregard the whole public elections thing.

      • benjaminemery says:

        Dena,
        “What you are suggesting will allow those already in office to not worry where they will get the money to remain in office.”

        Do you realize that our elected representatives spend anywhere from 1/3 to 2/3 of their time dialing for dollars and more and more of the legislation proposed are written by lobbyists? Maybe we could get representation of the people instead of what the lobbyists promote, what a novel idea. The size and scope of government has a direct correlation with the increase in lobbying in DC. Some say it is due to the power/ spending of the government attracts the lobbyists but I say the government has always had that power and the introduction of Supply Side policies we have much more accumulated wealth that uses that wealth to buy off political party leadership to secure more wealth and power within the absolute corrupted system. It is called crony-capitalism or corporatism.

      • Dena says:

        To benjaminemery; Obama seems to only be representing a small portion of the far left. The 2010 election indicates that the people expected something far different that they are receiving. I am not 100% sure the right heard the message as they haven’t exactly been doing everything they should.

        To the other comments. Our big mistake is having a full time government. These people should have a day job instead of being professional elected officials. Consider that they are full time but didn’t have time to read Obama care or most of the bills they vote on. With a full time government, they have passed over 80,000 pages of laws. Don’t you think we have enough laws on the book when the Constitution is only 4 pages long? What are they doing in a public building sending out resumes. If I did that on my job, I would be fired for sure. Make a rule. They must spend so much time working for the public and if they don’t, they can no longer hold public office. All fund raising must not be done in a public building. That would accomplish what both of us want, a better government and a smaller political budget.

  25. stevefrisch says:

    And here you see the root of the problem, there is an entire segment of our population who characterize representative democracy as evil, if those choosen to represent do not reflect their point of view. it is the mindset that says my representative is legitimate and yours is illegitimate. It is he mindset that says come to my tent and embrace my beliefs or I will obstruct your beliefs 100%. No compromise, no negotiation, no prisoners.

    Even though I rarely agree with any of them, Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters are every bit as much a representation of the beliefs of their constituents as Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor are. This is the American system. It is a system designed to force debate, accommodation, compromise and gradual progress. Progressives, liberals, moderates and ‘real’ constitutionalists get that. Radicals who would overthrow our system in exchange for an arcane 19th century failed philosophy of corporate governance under an unfettered laizze faire economy, do not.

    This is the Great Divide: fantastical governance versus pragmatism. Give me pragmatism any day. That is what our founders knew.

      • stevefrisch says:

        With all due respect Dena, I don’t really need you to teach me the difference between a democracy and a republic. If you actually read my post above it is a perfect description of the American republic, which is a partial “representative democracy” and a constitutional republic. I mean really, I read and think about this stuff every single day.

      • Dena says:

        You appear to still need to read the link. The republic didn’t fail, the Progressives eliminated it in 1913 with two changes to the constitution. The 20th century is an example of your democracy and I know of nobody alive who recalls what it was like to live under a republic.

      • stevefrisch says:

        Well Dena I am glad we finally have you on record as a proponent of returning to the 19th century. That is really what this is all about. My guess is about half of the population who are women and 28% of the population who are black or Hispanic will have a problem with this idea since they did not exactly enjoy the situation before 1913. But that’s fine, you keep on rooting for corsets and buggy whips.

      • Dena says:

        A republic protects the right of the minority. As I said you don’t understand what a republic is about. Yes the founding fathers didn’t get it exactly right the first time but you can’t say the civil war didn’t accomplish anything. Nothing in a republic prevents change, it just prevents a overbearing government.

    • Yep pragmatism as seen by the 100,000 pages of the tax law and the millions of regulations controlling almost all aspects of human activity (as well as critters). Yep, you go guy.

    • Greg Goodknight says:

      If the founders had any idea that “pragmatic” progressive social democrats would eventually stretch the interstate commerce sphincter enough to pass any desired spending, ANY spending, they’d have cut it out.

      They were pragmatic, not insane.

  26. benjaminemery says:

    Everyone,

    Here is a great interview with Dena’s great leader Ronald Reagan cabinet right hand man David Stockman of the Office of Management and Budget.

    http://billmoyers.com/segment/david-stockman-on-crony-capitalism/

    • Dena says:

      And what Obama has done with the green economy, bailouts and stimulus isn’t. By the way, I am not in favor of a tax rate over 20% for anybody. Higher rates punish all the people by killing the Economy.

      • Dena is right n the money!

      • Ryan Mount says:

        Did you folks even watch the Stockman video? It’s extraordinary. Unless you didn’t like Ronald Reagan, then I might understand why you might want to avoid it. If you did watch, you would realize that many of our current problems start with Clinton who radically changed the governments posture with investment banks.

        Most of the current bailouts, including GM were started by the last President. It’s time we stop this partisan nonsense. You folks are arguing about who moved the deck chairs on the Titanic. Obama has blown it. Stockman mentions that. In fact, he goes on to say, as I have said, that Obama on many levels is basically Bush III. Or as I like to call him, Clinton III.

        The Bush Administration on the Auto Industry Bailout:

        http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/20/business/20auto.html?_r=1

        Pay careful attention to this part:

        “The [Bush RM] plan pumps $13.4 billion by mid-January [2009 RM] into the companies from the fund that Congress authorized to rescue the financial industry. But the two companies have until March 31 to produce a plan for long-term profitability, including concessions from unions, creditors, suppliers and dealers. ”

        I understand some of you folks hate Obama. That’s OK. I don’t like him either. But I didn’t like Bush II, and especially that two-faced cretin Clinton. But please pay attention to the facts. They’re all creeps. And we keep voting for them.

  27. D. King says:

    Gorge Soros, Godfather of the radical left.

    “Soros Gave More than 50 Times as much as Koch Brothers to Universities, Liberals Still Scream Foul”

    Our lefty friends shouldn’t feel that they’re the only ones being indoctrinated.

    “Soros Indoctrinates Students Around the World”

    A Great Read!

    http://www.mrc.org/special-reports/special-report-george-soros-godfather-left

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