Monday, October 13, 2014

Has There Ever Been a Greater Truth?...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

"The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected." by G.K.Chesterton born 1884 died 1936

Such is the truth.

Nowhere is this more evident than on conservative web logs such as FreeThinke (a true misnomer), where commentary contrary to his line of thinking is deleted post haste, Who's Your Daddy" where irrational reactionary sock puppets run rampant, and to a lesser degree Always on Watch where occasionally reasoned discourse can be found.

Conservatives are truly their own worst enemy. When suppressing opposing views are commonplace, and creating alternate realities become the norm, you can be sure it is indicative of a dying poliotical ideology. Web logs such as those named above are the dying whimpers of a movement that fails to recognize what their own rational self interest really are.

Hat tip goes to my Dad, a truly independent thinking conservative that gets it.


  1. I'll agree with your Dad (we elderly stick together) and just add that a movement which derives its
    ideologies from the intellectual giants Sarah Palin, Joe The Plumber, Rush Limbaugh et. al. is....
    well, enigmatic at best.

  2. Their worst enemy and ours, but then the word has been so corrupted I have no idea what it means any more.

    Evolution in social and political systems, like evolution in genetic systems, is based on inevitable mistakes that somehow, sometimes and accidentally offer an advantage. When you die, you stop making mistakes, but that's hardly a good reason to stop breathing.

  3. Add you your list of "intellectual giants" Ted Cruz. Overpaid millions by the federal government (from hard working taxpayers), and holding one of the most powerful positions in the world, and its big bully pulpit.... when when the opportunity arose (arises) to address the very real problems of Obamacare and to present a better alternative, he used this immense power to basically blow it, and recite juvenile rhymes from children's books.

    Not too different from if, during the upcoming "State of the Union" address, President Obama chooses to read a Spongebob script out loud.

    (Legislators who babble instead of doing their job are IMHO as bad as listless slugs who moan about having to read what they vote on).

  4. That's an interesting quote. If we argue that Obama and his lost supermajority fairly represented the progressive cause as it now stands in the U.S., we can certainly allow that mistakes were made.

    I generally think of today's modern conservative politician, pundit or partisan as simply someone who wishes to prevent anything good at all from happening. Perhaps to their own detriment, trample the poor and middle class. Coddle the 1%. Cut benefits. Gut entitlement programs. Privatize SS. Increase insurance premiums. Reduce coverage. Bump up co-pays. Deregulate energy and finance. Favor a flat tax, consumption or even food taxes over income taxes. I'm so far away from these people, I find it difficult to even think of them as human. I consider people like myself, Governor Brown, Nancy Pelosi or the president himself to be the true conservatives. I wish to see the middle ground pushed so far to the left that the wingnuts simply fall off of the edge of the earth.

    I guess if we have any hope whatsoever in the next twenty-five to fifty years it must come from the center. But that center doesn't have a voice right now. Maybe as the millenials come of age and take on the reigns of power. But then again, these are the same people who graduate with crushing debt, enter an uncertain jobs market and economy, may never realize the dream of home and family and firmly believe that SS will simply disappear before they reach retirement age.

    1. Flying: I think that there is not so much of a difference there between the more corrupt aspects of the two sides. The Left now "coddles the 1%" more than the Right in the aspect of providing bailouts to wealthy corporations, crony capitalism (both opposed more by the Right at this time). Privatizing SS... an Al Gore project.

      And personally, there is some regulation in finance we can do without. Such as the new, mostly Democratic legislation that puts the bailout culture into law. Or Fannie and Freddie, which force banks to behave badly.

      "But that center doesn't have a voice right now"

      We definitely need more of the Sam Nunn types. Or even a Paul Tsongas. Pelosi is too hypocritical and uses her office for personal gain that I do not see her as a good example of anything.

    2. And Flying, I completely agree withon the problem of those on the right who want to cut off services to the poor (while I do want to cut off handouts to those who aren't poor and can pay for it themselves.)

  5. I'm not going to comment on bailing out AIG or any other bank. We can all hear the supposed justification for that listening to NPR or reading the newspapers. Who really knows if it's true? It does seem plausible that the biggest concern in 2008 and 2009 was simply unfreezing credit to get money flowing through the economy again. I'm not an economist. I do believe that it was the right thing to do to bail out Detroit. The new Camaros and Chargers are some damn nice cars. Another American success story. We caused the recession that brought GM and Chrysler to their knees. Why not help them get back on their feet? Personally, as much as I might like to own a Toyota, for what I need, an American car comes in a lot cheaper.

    I think Gore's idea was to wall off SS in a "lockbox" which was just a campaign gimmick. An irresponsible executive and legislative branch would not be able to "squander" all of the trust fund surpluses that had been growing after 1983 when payroll taxes had been bumped up to squirrel away money for the coming baby boomer retirements. There is no way to isolate a $2.5 trillion trust fund from the rest of the economy even if we wanted to. In a non-interest bearing account, the trust would be eroded away by inflation. The funds can only be invested in Treasury bonds. So, I guess all the money is really still there, right?

    Bush was the one with the plan to replace SS benefits with individual accounts. As if for comic relief, he promised that everyone who was at least as old as Laura and himself would see no change in their lifetime benefits.

    1. Hello Flying...

      "Detroit".... as in GM and Chrysler, would have made it just fine with a conventional bankruptcy, instead of the bankruptcy that happened which included outright corporate welfare of tens of billions of dollars. And if one looks past the Camaro's and Chargers, one finds colossal "Government Motors" failures like the Chevy Volt. I do not consider massive record-size crony capitalism involving taxpayer gifts to huge corporations as an "American success story".

      "Why not help them get back on their feet?"

      Because businesses should not have to be bailed out by the taxpayers when their own business practices run them into the ground. This only encourages more of the irresponsible behavior that caused the problems in the first place. An appropriate analogy would be a teenage driver caught speeding who has their parents pay their fine and give them a pat on the back every time it happens.

      As for SS, Gore did promote actual privatization. As did Bush. But I actually think it was a good idea. It was privatization of only a small percent, and it involved giving workers (not the 1%) more choice over what to do with their SS accounts. A devolution of some of the power and decision making to the individuals involved. Something we need more of, not less of.

      This corporate welfare culture ( part of "coddling the 1%") used to be mostly a beast of the Right, and now the Dems support it at least as much.

    2. IMO, we need realize that privatization presents an opportunity for the banks and plan administrators:
      costs that remain the same whether the plan value goes up or down. I worked with some
      shrewd 401K investors that had to put off their retirement until age 70 as they tried to recover from fairly cyclic market losses. I'm getting so ancient that even Paul Ryan wouldn't touch my SS, but I empathize with the valid concerns of the younger generations.
      IMO, we can judge privatization as either an efficient investment, or one which can bleed into more profits for the bloated banking empires.

    3. GM and Chrysler, would have made it just fine in that rich "private equity" (al la the "Bains") could have acquired these companies for pennies on the dollar, stolen employee pensions, and dropped worker wages. That is why the Right was so mad. Their "constituents" were extremely eager to steal the wealth of those companies and workers - and Obama prevented that theft.

    4. Any contrived excuse to justify a transfer of taxpayer funds to a wealthy corporation....

      To bad the Left is not as much opposed to this as they used to be. That was on of their true strengths.

    5. Yes, it is "contrived" for the Left to protect American jobs. How terrible it was that the Bains weren't able to force down auto worker wages and steal their pensions! BTW, I'm not saying that I agree 100 percent with the way the bailout was handled, only that I disagree strongly with dmarks' assertion that nothing should have been done (thus allowing the Bains to profit greatly at the expense of workers and the economy).

    6. I am not now, nor have I ever been an advocate for Government bailing out failing enterprizes. It was decided long ago (TR) that Government can regulate businesses, generally increasing their operating costs, but bailing them out when they have shown managerial incompetence? I say NEVER.

      Let the market set wages through collective bargaining between management and labor.

    7. Mr. Sanders disagrees strongly with an assertion I never made. The auto companies should have gone through conventional, handout-free bankruptcy.... which is far from doing "nothing".

      I say "never" also, in regards to RN's sentence.

    8. Thank goodness saner and more rational thought prevailed! By both the former and present administrations. And, by "do nothing" I meant exactly that... a conventional bankruptcy - which would have enriched only the Bains who would have been able to swoop in and buy assets for pennies on the dollar.

      dmarks, RN's and Romneys preferred course of action would have resulted in an "economic catastrophe that would have thrown the nation into a full-blown depression and resulted in dozens of additional bankruptcies in the auto industry and across industrial America" (source).

  6. That quote - very Ambrose Bierce-like. And, yes, that's a huge compliment.

  7. RN ...i just discovered this today...

    Check episode 282 seems to fit in with themes you raise from time to time. Thinking outside the box...


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