Category Archives: libertarians

David Koch is steaming

The Koch Brothers have been bankrolling the Far Right for decades, including Tea Party and anti-science front groups. Now that the monster they’ve created is burning books and slandering Muslim Americans, they’re not so keen on taking credit.

“It’s hateful. It’s ludicrous. And it’s plain wrong,” says David Koch as he begins the defense of he and his brother against recent articles that have said the two men are spending a fortune to secretly fund an anti-Obama insurgency.

Read more here.

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Filed under hate groups, Kansas, libertarians, Radical Rightwing groups, Republicans, Tea Party Movement, Wingnuts!

A Republic of Mediocrity

The right wing is very fond of stressing the term “Republic” in reference to our country lately. They like to lecture us heathen liberals about the intent of the Founding Fathers, who, they are quick to point out, built our system of government based on representative democracy, not direct democracy, where the majority rules. Since they are not in the majority, it is understandable that they would cling to a view which legitimizes minority rule.
Wikipedia defines the term Republic as “a form of government in which the people or some portion thereof retain supreme control over the government, and in which the head of government is not a monarch. The word “republic” is derived from the Latin phrase res publica, which can be translated as “a public affair”.”
The Merriam Webster definition for “mediocrity” lies below:
Mediocrity:
a : the quality or state of being mediocre
b : moderate ability or value
And since there is some circular reasoning there, the Merriam Webster definition of “mediocre”-
Mediocre:
of moderate or low quality, value, ability, or performance : Ordinary; So-so
The citizens that follow Beck like to paint themselves as ordinary folk; humble, hard-working. They seem to resent anyone that possesses a higher intelligence or more knowledge on a subject than they do. Yet, they also seem to resent the suggestion that they take the time to get themselves informed rather than letting others inform them. It seems to me that they would like to pull the whole society down to their level. Do you think that is what Beck means by “Restoring Honor?” Is it now somehow deemed honorable to be mediocre and uninformed?
Following are some quotes on the subject of mediocrity:
“A talent somewhat above mediocrity, shrewd and not too sensitive, is more likely to rise in the world than genius.” -Charles Horton Cooley

“All greatness of character is dependent on individuality. The man who has no other existence than that which he partakes in common with all around him, will never have any other than an existence of mediocrity.” -James F. Cooper
“In the republic of mediocrity, genius is dangerous.” -Robert Green Ingersoll
America, it seems to me, is on the precipice of entering a dark age. If we allow mediocrity to become the measuring stick, we are aiming too low and dooming our future.
A recent attendee at Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally said of America, “This is the last bastion of hope. And right now we’re on very shaky ground.”
We are indeed, on very shaky ground, especially if the country has to depend on mediocre people to lead the way out. But I wonder what we are the last bastion of hope FOR? Freedom—already gone. Unfettered Capitalism—proven failure. Mediocrity—we are headed there like an out-of -control freight train.
Another attendee, a woman this time, said this of Barack Obama, “I can’t believe this country would elect someone so anti-progress and pride of America, that would that would willfully destroy the country and divide us so sharply again on the issue of race.”
Geez. I thought Bush already did that. But what do I know? If the facts are whatever the common man believes, I guess I don’t know anything. And I am one of them already.

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Filed under American Society, libertarians, Media, Political Reform, Tea Party Movement, Uncategorized, Wingnuts!

The Tea Parties’ Billionaire Backers

The Koch Brothers -- Charles and David

The billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, both lifelong libertarians, have given more than $100 million to rightwing causes, funding so many campaigns against Obama administration policies that their ideological framework has become known as the Kochtopus. The Kochs, who run the Kansas-based company Koch Industries—which maintains oil refineries in Alaska and owns Brawny paper towels, Stainmaster carpet, Dixie cups, and Lycra, among other products—have given to other causes, including $100 million to the Lincoln Center and $20 million to the American Museum of Natural History. But their political causes in particular have gotten the most attention. As Charles Lewis, founder of the Center for Public Integrity, told The New Yorker, “The Kochs are on a whole different level. There’s no one else who has spent this much money. The sheer dimension of it is what sets them apart. They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. I’ve been in Washington since Watergate, and I’ve never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times.”

Read more in The New Yorker article titled, “Covert Operations — The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.

fnord

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Filed under Kansas, libertarians, Political Reform, Radical Rightwing groups, Republicans, Tea Party Movement, Wingnuts!

The Outer Limits……. and Bears…….

cartoonbears.jpg beers image by bluepineowl_photos

“For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to… The Outer Limits.”

“The Outer Limits” was a respected, but short-lived, science fiction television program from the early Sixties.  Most episodes featured a “bear,” a monster of some sort, that provided the focal point for the show.

Our current political/social landscape has it’s own elements of “the Outer Limits.” Both sides, Right and Left, create their own “bears” to drive their ideological agendas. For the GOP, Tea Baggers and Libertarians the “bear” is the Federal Government. For Democrats and progressives, the “bear” is largely Corporations and Christian-driven social agendas.

Granted, the previous statement is a gross over-simplification, but the point is made.  There are elements on all sides that push the limits by demonizing the institution or ideology that fuels their ire.

Currently, their is a war within the Republican Party that threatens to purge even slightly moderate members and to be seen even in the least bit willing to work with Democrats is a virtual death warrant.

To their credit, Democrats are much less ideologically driven, but we have our own “lunatic fringe” that can’t support any semblance of compromise. To be sure, some issues, Gay Rights for example, have no room for compromise, but not all issues are quite so clearly defined.

“Politics is a process by which groups of people make  collective decisions.”

The above is the definition of politics from Wiki.

Well, do you see room for compromise on some issues, if so, what are they? Do you have your own personal “bear” or “bears” and what are they?


William Stephenson Clark

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Filed under Democratic Party, libertarians, Populists, Tea Party Movement, Uncategorized

The Oath Keepers – Some Scary Stuff…

This Mother Jones article is must reading.  Warning:  it contains some very scary information.  How many of the next Timothy McVeighs are there out there?

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Filed under libertarians, Tea Party Movement

The “invisible” not “infallible” hand…

Economist Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman

Free market dynamics can fix many problems, but all.  Milton Friedman called the combined process whereby 1) businesses fail due to not meeting customer needs and 2) when these failed businesses are replaced by businesses that did meet the customer needs as “creative desctruction”.  This “creative destruction” was powered by the “invisible hand” of free markets.  Friedman never believed that this hand was “infallible” AND “invisible”.  This latter silliness most recently came into fashion during the reign of Ronald Regan.

In case it is not obvious, allowing the domino-like effect of several businesses failing and the world economy collapsing is not “creative destruction”.  It is just plain “destruction”.  Milton Friedman was crtical of the U.S. Federal government for not acting sooner when banks started failing in a domino-like manner in 1931.  [FDR did not take office until 1933.]

Over our history, our economonic policies have been influenced by times of greater reliance on government intervention alternating with periods of greater reliance on free-market strategies.  This mixture, in my belief is better than either free market  or government regulation being the sole strategy.

NPR is featuring a series of articles on the tinkering that is going on with our economy – here is the first.

iggy donnelly

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Filed under Economics, libertarians, Political Reform, The Economy, Wingnuts!, World Politics

The Origins of Political Hate

Over the last twenty years the social sciences have made inroads into understanding bias and the forms of hatred that lead to discrimination and overt mistreatment of minority groups. Two theories emerge as being particularly helpful in understanding these virulent forms of intergroup prejudice: Right wing Authoritarianism (via the work of Altemeyer and colleagues) and Social Dominance Orientation (from the work of Jim Sidanius and Felicia Pratto).

The authoritarian personality construct developed by Reich and others in the 1940s, was an appealing theory that offered promise in understanding the Fascism that developed internationally in the 1930s. Reich’s authoritarian personality theory had its empirical and measurement limitations and was pretty much abandoned by the 1980s. Altemeyer in the 1990s revived this theory and developed empirically defensible methods of measuring a construct related to Reich’s, which Altemeyer termed Right-Wing Authoritarianism. During the same decade, Sidanius and Pratto developed their construct of Social Dominance Orientation which arose from their Sociological theory, Social Dominance Theory.

People who scored high on Altemeyer’s Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) scale

  • tended to be submissive to authority (they did not like to take charge);

  • were punative to those who were considered unconventional and minority groups;

  • were more conventional in their attitutes and behavior regarding issues such as sex, religion, and social customs.

Also according to Altemeyer, authoritarians are more accepting of illegal acts by government officials such as wire-taps, and searches without warrents. In one survey authoritarians expressed belief that Nixon was innocent of wrong-doing. Interestingly in mock jury experiements, authoritarians tend to be more punative to unconventional type defendants but more lenient with “establishment-type” white collar offenders. Authoritarianism is a quite strong and direct predictor of prejudice and discrimination.

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Filed under GLBT Rights, hate groups, libertarians, Radical Rightwing groups, Republicans, Research, World Politics