Does Obama “Love America”?

I think this is largely a tempest in a teapot, but I’m going to stick an oar in the water anyway.

CNN and the Loony Side Of Left are doing their usual character assassination on Rudy Giuliani. FOX is all over the way the Lame Stream Press has tried to use this to “frame” Scott Walker as either out of touch, or gutless (unwilling to comment), or a closet believer that Obama has the claimed faults.

So we have yet another “Does So!” vs “Does Not!” over something that is artificial slime and at most a useless distraction from everything that matters. (Thanks again, Saul A…. /sarc;)

So what’s the truth, IMHO?

Obama does NOT love the America of our history, that has existed up until his election, and that most of the USA does love. Obama DOES love the America of his dreams, as he sees it could be after his “Fundamental Transformation” to its character is completed.

Why do I see it that way? Simple, really:

You don’t see the need for a gut wrenching top to bottom fundamental change to a socialist central control model if you love America as it stands (stood?) as a decentralized free market country with fundamental and widespread liberty. You don’t see the need to take over 1/6 of the economy, institute wide spread punitive taxes, and attack our power generation companies and oil energy production ability if you think markets work fine and free people making free decisions don’t need a Federal Mandate and Federal Control and Federal Handouts.

The simple fact is that the America of our constitution died some time ago. I remember it, in a hazy kind of way, from the ’50s with a few echos holding on into the ’60s ( even John F. Kennedy believed in things like lower taxes to increase prosperity ); but even that is a faded version post Progressive Era. The ’70s and ’80s had ongoing erosion of that America but with a brief resurgence under Reagan, and by the late ’90s we were in the full embrace of “Progressive” views. (Hillary once said she was not a “Liberal” but a “Progressive”…) Those progressive and socialist views are antithetical to the fundamental nature of the America of our Constitution. No two ways about it.

The Constitution describes a country where only very very limited powers are given, by the States, to the Federal government and nothing more. The America of today has a massive bloated Federal Government with unlimited powers until and unless a compliant Supreme Court decides to nit pick some detail (while leaving the bulk of the power grab in place…) Similarly, there is a strong assault on free markets and individual responsibility in favor of collectives and Federal direction and control. Just look at the bank bailouts as a stellar example (with GM as a side bar). Federal control of education is straight out of the Communist Manifesto and not anywhere in our Constitution.

Sidebar On Central Control of Education

For those doubting that last remark: http://thepeoplescube.com/peoples-tools/the-communist-manifesto-original-text-t3022.html

No particular endorsement of that source, it just had an easy to find copy that is complete and matches what I remember from my original copy back in California… Note well that we have a heavy and progressive income tax (and it will not be reduced by any True Believer) due to this Manifesto as well…

But, you say, we destroy the most hallowed of relations, when we replace home education by social.

And your education! Is not that also social, and determined by the social conditions under which you educate, by the intervention direct or indirect, of society, by means of schools, etc.? The Communists have not intended the intervention of society in education; they do but seek to alter the character of that intervention, and to rescue education from the influence of the ruling class.

The bourgeois claptrap about the family and education, about the hallowed correlation of parents and child, becomes all the more disgusting, the more, by the action of Modern Industry, all the family ties among the proletarians are torn asunder, and their children transformed into simple articles of commerce and instruments of labor.
[…]
These measures will, of course, be different in different countries.

Nevertheless, in most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generally applicable.

1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

5. Centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.

6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

8. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc.

So read it and weep. That is exactly the source for our progressive income tax, centralization of Education in the government and then further on to the Federal Government Central Authority, central control over communications and transport ( FAA, FCC, Dept. of Transportation, etc. etc.), The Fed and a small controllable cartel of “too big to fail” banks under Federal Central Authority, property confiscation laws (thank you War On Drugs…), and erosion of property rights (like that Eminent Domain For Any Friends Of Government that lets them take ANY land for their own use).

If you don’t memorize this Manifesto and constantly compare it to what your government is doing, you will have no clue why such things happen. Communism was not defeated. You can not defeat an idea. It just went briefly into hiding and behind the scenes. It shows up now in University and College classes all over this country. That, after all, was where I was required to study it…

(BTW, I’m not necessarily against all those ideas, just most of them. And those largely because they are subject to corruption by a few sociopaths as they rise to power, not due to any disagreement with the end goal of the ideal form. For example, I love the idea of providing an education to all. Just figure out how to prevent this being perverted into indoctrination as in Nazi Germany and under Stalin, and how to prevent any voucher program from being used to run Madrases pumping out Jihadis… so until they can be shown to safely work, I’d rather leave Education as a private good with individual funding and choice… Marx, IMHO, mostly was mistaken only in that he didn’t appreciate the capacity of Evil Bastards to corrupt Central Authority…)

Back At Obama and Such

Banks that were “too big to fail” were made bigger by forced government mandated mergers and Federal bailout money. Instead, they ought to have been broken up and made smaller (and put back Glass-Steagall… it worked fine for about 67 years; from enactment in 1932 to it’s demise in 1999 by the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act.) Then, to make it worse, they were made wards of The Fed in large part and the Federal Government has mandated much of their behaviour since. And the side bar is straight out of the Socialist method. The avoidance of bankruptcy is a key behaviour. Instead, the stock & bond holders are set aside and the means of production are handed to the state or to the workers. What happened with GM was exactly that. The capital stock was handed over in large part to the Union (i.e. workers) and another large stake was taken by the state (i.e. the Federal ownership of stock). Since then the government has sold off their stake, but that does not change what was done.

To those thinking “But we saved GM! Did you want GM to go away?!”: Please note that Bankruptcy does not mean the end of a company, it means new owners, typically the bond holders, take over. We still have Chrysler after many bankruptcies and sales and we still have many other companies that have gone bankrupt. What is different here is that the bond holder rights were taken away and the company was given to others, favored by the Socialist ideal, those being labor and The State.

Now Obama loves THAT America. He does not love the America where bond holder rights are recognized and they get to do what they want with their property including setting aside labor contracts made with the prior owners that make the company non-competitive and / or selling their assets as they see fit. (Also realize I am not taking a position on which of those outcomes is better. That tends to vary with the specifics. I am only taking a position on which is the historical American Rule Of Law and which is the Socialist Ideal…)

There are countless other examples of where Obama and his administration act in accordance with Social Democrat Ideals and implement Lang Type Socialism economics. Neither of those being historically American Ideals. All of them being “Fundamentally transform” activities.

In Conclusion

So that’s my take on it. Obama loves the Progressive Socialist Liberal America Of His Dreams, and he does not love Historic Classical Libertarian America of our founding, nor does he love the Transitional Crony Capitalist Federalist America from post Civil War constitutional changes. Just ask him why he doesn’t implement the proven to work Democratic economic recovery package of John F. Kennedy. Cut taxes? Reduce in some way Central Authority? No way… he doesn’t love THAT America…

Until that discussion of the different Americas is in the public square, it will remain a Lapdog Press tossing smear at folks like Scott Walker for being honest and saying they don’t know and maybe don’t care what Obama thinks. And, frankly, neither to I… (He’s on his way out, and will simply be Yet Another Lame Duck and Usta-Be in a couple of years. He won’t change what he thinks, and there is nothing I can do about it, nor anything he can do that will be lasting, so why care? Furthermore, I don’t care at all WHO is or is not a Christian nor who loves the America of the last 20 years. That isn’t the “real America” of my dreams anyway…)

Mostly I’m just groaning at Yet Another Smear Campaign being launched against anyone the Progressive Liberal Socialist Left thinks might have any chance of getting in their way and / or representing an opposing view. Their constant negative slime is, frankly, what drives me away from them. I can go on at some length about the failures of Markets (and about the failures of Socialism…) and I’m not at all in love with giving the Evil Bastards Of Corporate Oligopolies free reign over millions of powerless workers. But no way am I going to advocate for those issues when it puts me in the same tent with the Slime Mongers.

I don’t stand with slime and despise bullies of all stripes. Make no mistake, bullies in the press and the political parties are no different from those in the street; just learned to make a paycheck out of it and wear a suit. And they wonder why We The People have such low opinion of Congress, The Executive, Business Leaders, and The Press… Here’s a free clue: It’s the slime, disrespect, attacks, failure to have ‘fair play’, and constant dirt campaigns. I stand with the Nice Guy who has honest beliefs. I will NOT agree with all of those beliefs, maybe not even most of them. But I’ll take an honest nice guy with a working moral compass (no matter which way it points) over a slime chucking bully with dirt mouth.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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17 Responses to Does Obama “Love America”?

  1. philjourdan says:

    No matter how many times you explain bankruptcy to liberals, they never get it. But not due to lack of understanding. They realize the truth is detrimental to their lies, so they are using a fake ignorance to bolster their cause.

  2. Petrossa says:

    It all reminds me of this nice paper:
    An Orwellian America
    “We have been gradually disempowered by a corporate state that, as Huxley foresaw, seduced and
    manipulated us through:

     Sensual gratification,
     Cheap mass-produced goods,
     Boundless credit,
     Political theater and
     Amusement.

    While we were entertained,

     The regulations that once kept predatory corporate power in check were dismantled,
     The laws that once protected us were rewritten and
     We were impoverished.
    Now that:

     Credit is drying up,
     Good jobs for the working class are gone forever and
     Mass-produced goods are unaffordable,

    …. we find ourselves transported from “Brave New World” to “1984.”

    The state, crippled by massive deficits, endless war and corporate malfeasance, is clearly sliding
    toward unavoidable bankruptcy. ”
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1828618/An_Orwellian_America.pdf

  3. John Robertson says:

    Hi EM, good comment.
    I really miss Frank Zappa, the whole media keeps bringing; I am the Slime, to mind.
    Still kicking around the concept, if we lose private property, equality before the law and the same rules for all members of society, can we still claim to be civilized?

    Progressives always seem to be alarmed about some coming catastrophe, that only they can advert if only we give them enough power and money.
    Yet if one looks at the regions where they have held political power for extended periods, their help appears to be toxic.
    Detroit being the poster child, but anywhere the population choses to be controlled by interfering fear mongers, the effect seems the same.
    Your Obama, who I chose to style Obama Bin Lying, appears to despise and fear the working American. Truth shall not pass his lips, which is the progressive way.
    But he does play divisive racial politics real well,I have come to admire the cynical manipulation of those fawning sycophants that claim to be reporters.
    If you like your _________ you can keep your _______.
    Yet even after 6 years of blatant lying, our media still does not call it.
    But what would we expect from a populace who have permitted loans to be taken, secured on the earnings of their grandchildren’s children?
    Slavery is bad? Yet selling the next generations into such is just fine?
    Only a libtard/progressive could believe and do this. Yet they continue to be elected.
    Divide and conquer works great for holding power, however it destroys trust.
    Without trust trade cannot function.
    That thin veneer we call civilization requires that citizens trust the institutions will play their roles properly, once that trust is destroyed all bets are off.

    Oddly those persons who advocate for crashing the system and resetting it in their image, are strangely ignorant of human nature and history, incompetent in the use of tools and have an extremely exaggerated opinion of their own importance ..could this be what Lenin called useful idiots?

    Well you guys got sold a “community organizer” twice, we are being offered a “Part Time Drama Teacher” as the Canadian anointed one.
    Same outfits are pushing the sale but I think the Pretty Vacant One we are being offered is too empty to even manage a teleprompter.

  4. omanuel says:

    @E.M. Smith. I agree but this story is still unfolding:

    The world is very dangerous today because the AGW debate ended, and world leaders lost. “The cat is out of the bag!” Temperature data were altered !

    Earth’s climate heat is controlled by the remains of the supernova that:

    1. Made our chemical elements

    2. Birthed the solar system five billion years (5Ga) ago

    3. Sustained the origin and evolution of life on Earth after 3.5 Ga ago

    4. Still controls every atom, life and world in the solar system today (and the climate on each planet) . . .

    a volume of space greater than that of 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 Earths, and still expanding!

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Solar_Energy_For_Review.pdf

    World leaders like Obama and Putin had delusions of power, but the Sun’s pulsar core controls vibrations of each atom and the heart-beat of every life, including that of the world leaders and scientists-adjusting-data-for-hire.

    Will world leaders graciously admit defeat, or incite racial and/or religious violence or even a “false flag” nuclear war to sustain their false delusion of control of the world?

    http://jonathanturley.org/2015/02/22/islamic-scholars-present-an-open-letter-to-isis-leader-al-baghdadi/

  5. gallopingcamel says:

    How does the USA rate as a socialist country? Just look at the ten goals in the “Communist Manifesto” and rate the USA on a scale of 0 to 10 on each point. Here is my assessment and I would be interested to have the good folks here comment. My scores are in parentheses:

    1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
    (4)
    2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
    (7)
    3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
    (3)
    4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
    (10)
    5. Centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
    (8)
    6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.
    (3)
    7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
    (6)
    8. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
    (2)
    9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
    (6)
    10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc.
    (9)

    The sum of those numbers in brackets is 58 so in my estimation we are already 58% socialist but you don’t have to take my word for it. As a consequence of embracing socialism, the USA has tumbled in the rankings of “Economic Freedom” published by the Heritage Foundation. Currently the USA ranks #12, two places below Mauritius. Our plummet is likely to accelerate unless we can find an alternative to the Dimocrats and the Repugnants.
    http://www.heritage.org/index/

  6. Larry Ledwick says:

    I would score Item #6 much higher:
    6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.
    (3)

    My score would be closer to 7, as the government has defacto control of the major media via the complaint mechanism. All they need is some useful idiot to file a complaint against a TV or Radio station and they can roll them up in a ball of litigation and license hassles for years.

    It is clear that the major media are terrified of getting on the wrong side of this administration, and I really wonder what happens in those angry phone calls they get when they flub the talking points or embarrass the administration by accidentally asking useful questions or stumble over the truth about all the sweet heart deals being made in the back room with various corporate shills.

    The Current administration has also displayed a willingness to openly oppress certain reporters and do what just a few decades ago was unthinkable as in to publicly call out certain media outlets and reporters and openly black ball certain reporters from press invitations. In the days of the big press power houses they media (news papers) would have torn them a new ass hole for that sort of behavior. Now it is meekly accepted with only a handful of tenured reporters like Woodward speaking out about it and then only quietly with little coverage by other outlets. They have openly cultured a incestuous relationship with several major media outlets (spouses of senior media persons are in the white house staff for example) Some of them openly act as the White House propaganda organ (ie a U.S. based pravda for the current administration).

    The recent move of the FCC to pull the internet under its control via “Net Neutrality” smoke screen I strongly suspect will turn out just like the Affordable Care Act and the devil will be in the details as they lay the ground work to pull the plug on any internet source that does not conform to the approved talking points or agenda. The concept of freedom of speech is rapidly being eroded and being replaced with “Freedom of approved speech” The political correct movement is in my mind the single most dangerous movement there is right now to freedom loving people. It is fascism/totalitarianism by stealth with a smiley face.

    Interesting survey info came out recently:
    http://dailycaller.com/2015/02/20/almost-half-of-democrats-support-president-ignoring-court-rulings-if-its-important/

    It is clear that the Progressive party is flirting with a strong man government rather than a Constitutional Republic, and are too short sighted to see the dangers to that path.

  7. George O'Har says:

    Chiefio,
    For the most part, and as usual, on the money. So, thank you for your cogent analysis. You are a bit soft on Mr. Marx, though, when you say he was “mistaken only…” That sounds a bit like what I hear at the university, from students, when they say “communism is wonderful as an idea.” Like hell it is. Marx was wrong about a lot of things: labor theory of value, his view of history, his curdled romanticism. He also believed he had discovered, via Hegel, the truth of history. There is no truth in history (cf. Karl Popper). History isn’t predictable. Marx’s world view was colored by class, an easy enough mistake to make when he was alive in London. Marx was a revolutionary zealot, and like all men of that stripe, he thought he could make the world perfect. Now that is a really terrible idea, given human nature. But the idea did and does have its adherents: Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Dear Leader, Castro, Pol Pot, Hitler. A specious equality is one of the central tenets of Marxism. Problem there is that, as you point out yourself, the relationship between equality and freedom is kind of zero sum. The more you have of one, the less you have of the other. Obviously, Marx didn’t give a damn about freedom. He saw it as a virus, which is why Orwell, a socialist himself, but one who recognized this core dichotomy, wrote those books about him (Animal Farm, 1984).

  8. Serioso says:

    It amuses me to think that if you were my pupil and I your teacher I’d have to give your effort here a C at best. No mention of any actual facts! For example, what was the maximum marginal tax rate when JFK managed to get lower rates through Congress? What rate was agreed to? What is the maximum marginal tax rate under Obama? And, by the way, what was the rate of Federal tax as a percentage of GDP under Kennedy? How does that compare with today’s?

    You can rant about today’s socialist state all you want, but the numbers say the USA was a far more egalitarian country back in the 1960s. I’m afraid you’ve been seduced by propaganda. Perhaps you’ve been spending too much time watching Fox ‘News’?

    [Reply: See long reply here: https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/carping-comment-seriousoly/ -E.M.Smith]

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    Why I’ve never bought anything Lenovo (or any computer gear from China if I can find an alternative and why I build my own gear whenever I can and… )

    At a recent contract (Fortune 100 who will remain nameless) they ordered a batch of USB thumbdrives for a marketing campaign. Thousands of them. To be given away with great hoopla. Custom markings. They arrived. The security group tested a ‘batch’ and one of them popped up serious malware signatures. Long story short: A few dozen people in an emergency session ran 100% of them through testing and weeded out the pre-infected ones (that were less than 10%, but still way too many). No idea what was done with the “contract” of the folks supplying them from China…

    If it is from China, assume it is completely buggered. If it is from an USA maker, assume it only has the USA / NSA buggery in it, most likely…

    This is also why I’ve been having a devil of a time making a secure computing platform. At this point, you need to have ways of discovering really sophisticated, built in by the manufacturer, buggery in every single part of the hardware, firmware, and OS layers; and the protocols are suspect as well…

    It (among other things involving structural use of your data by the providing corporations – i.e. IMHO their spyware and data theft; but papered over by an “I have no rights” forced ‘agreement’..) is also why I refuse to use ANY “social media”. Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, you name it. 100% violation of your rights, trust, and privacy.

    Oh well… (And folks wonder why I keep my old Pentium machines around with sparse releases of Linux on them run from CD drives…)

    @Philjourdan:

    There is a fundamental human behaviour. Folks assemble a self consistent set of beliefs, then stick with them no matter what. If a foundational part is flawed, rather than fix the foundation and rebuild, they ignore the broken part and glue on more self-consistent broken bits.

    Since most folks are “none too bright”, this is easier than dealing with the complexities of reality and the fact that most of what we think we know is wrong in subtle ways. ( I consider myself to be “none to bright” at times and I’m way out there past the 99.x percentile. This isn’t an indictment of ‘dumb’ folks vs ‘bright’ folks; in fact, IMHO, the higher the IQ the better folks are at self deception and creative story telling. The “common sense” of the lower IQ score folks is often more accurate than the BS Artifice of the high IQ folks who embrace their own fantasies more readily…) But back at the point…

    We all live in a fantasy world. We want it to be self consistent. We create more fantasies to cover over the wrong bits rather than take on the work of finding what is really the truth and fixing it. In many cases this is a reasonable strategy (since it would take a lifetime to fix some bit, or because we simply can not know what really is – Quantum Mechanics anyone?…) so we are comfortable with this behaviour.

    For those reasons, we all to greater or lesser extent make decisions based on what makes us feel good rather than what is accurate and correct. (In the limit case this leads to psychological states…). IMHO, Progressive Liberal Socialist types more so than the more dour conservative sorts, but even they have their own version of it.

    So bankruptcy hurts some folks. The owners who screwed up or didn’t see the future well enough to avoid hitting a wall. The workers who had a nice job, until their market went poof! The governments who were sucking down nice fat taxes. The landlords and creditors who thought they would be paid. It is very very easy to “pick your favorite friends” and say THEY ought not be hurt. That makes you feel good. (As a creditor who lost ‘5 figures of billables’ in a bankruptcy of a client I don’t take such loss lightly…)

    It’s easier for Joe Working Stiff to see bankruptcy as “bad” for workers like him, and good for the banks who owned the debt and collected the assets while not paying the workers. Believe me, I was pissed that the client has signed a ‘short term capital note’ with the bank that had a ‘superceeds’ clause so they stepped in front of my billings. Personally, I’d choose a law that says any such loan made in the last year of a firm prior to bankruptcy filing was as the LAST position to be paid. Yet the bank DID put up the cash, that DID keep things going for a while and DID pay wages and invoices for “a while”. So ought they not get some return?

    I’ve seen several bankruptcies (Silicon Valley not only has the booms but the busts too). Often the product and many of the workers get retained in the next round of the same company and only the shareholders (owners) and some of the folks due payments (creditors like me) get shafted. Bond holders take over and things restart, or often get sold / merged with some other company.

    Now enter the Socialist Model. Instead of doing a restructure / restart with the present management and ownership tossed out, the Government steps in. Often keeping the Friends Of Government in management and telling the bond holders to go bugger off. (That, then, means any future bond sales by any future similar company will be at higher prices and cost of credit goes up, business competitiveness goes down, and it gets harder overall to do business… but that’s “someone else’s problem”…) A “sweetheart deal” is usually cut with any large union in place (as support for large unions that support large government is part of the Third Way Socialist method) even if that union is a major part of the reason the company was not able to compete. In the case of GM, it was $2500 of cost, per car, for retired worker benefits that were granted when GM was a near monopoly and could no longer be sustained. So a “social” decision is made to screw bond holders, other creditors (never mind that THEY had contracts too…), and other lenders in favor of Friends Of Government and Big Labor.

    Now, is that better, or worse?

    Unfortunately, the correct answer is “it depends” and nobody wants to hear that answer as it does not let them feel good…

    GM might make a great comeback, pay a reasonable return to bond holders anyway, and have a thriving retirement program with great wages for all. I doubt it, but it might.

    GM might make a slow simpering decline into irrelevancy as the bond holders lose value and the retirement costs per car balloon up to $10,000 each (when sales drop to 1/4 – the same problem that caused the problem in the first place) under competition from Korea and China.

    It is the unbridled desire to tinker with and screw around with the process that leads to the desire to roll the dice instead of just let the bankruptcy proceed, recognize the losses, and restart with a more viable cost structure. That same desire leads to the eventual desire to bugger the currency (so Korea becomes less competitive as the average real wage of all Americans on a global scale gets a decline); or to put in place various kinds of trade barriers ( from crash tests to content rules to MPG mandates to tariffs to…) in an attempt to keep China out of the car market. All needed because the root cause of GM financial imbalance was kept in place.

    So “we’ll see” if Americans are willing to pay $35,000 for a GM car instead of $20,000 for a Korean one just so some folks at GM get better wages and benefits. Me? I’m paying about $2k / year to keep an old wonderful Mercedes running; and will drive it as long as I can drive. Not going to buy ANY new American car, and never even a used GM one.

    @Petrossa:

    That’s the problem. Orwell was writing a story about the politics of his day, in spoof. We are now living that same Socialist Dream …

    @John Robertson:

    Ah, Zappa… A strong drink, best taken in moderation, but at times only that smoky bite is the right flavor for the moment…

    The problem we all are facing is the Incredible Power Of Stupid.

    It is far far harder to educate someone into understanding than it is to appeal to personal greed, self interest in a narrow thing, and herd them with fear. The folks doing the fear herding win great rewards of power and wealth from this, so see little reason to have a real education (why do that when political indoctrination into self satisfaction / greed and fear works better?…)

    It works well, too. Right up until it collapses.

    So has it been for at least 3000 years. So shall it continue to be.

    I rail against it as that make ME feel good. ;-)

    @GallopingCamel:

    I agree, but think we’re closer to 75%. (some terms need more weighting than others and then there are pernicious erosions of some points that are less obvious – like FDA banning things that work when a favored company has a new product and doesn’t want competition, or Monsanto buying the Dept. Of Ag. and laws they want to be able to pollute the natural gene pool with GMOs then sue the farmers who don’t buy their product for “theft” from their gene pollution.)

    Once those indirect bits are added, it’s way over 1/2, IMHO. (Remember that “3rd Way Socialism” involves the use of Corporations to achieve the ‘desired’ goals in exchange for government favors… so put “3rd Way” on the radar as a path to full Communism / Socialism and it makes more sense.)

    @Larry Ledwick:

    From days of the ancient Greeks, through de Tocqueville and into the present, the wheel has turned the same way. From Democracy to Tyranny.

    https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/alexis_de_tocqueville.html

    Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.
    Alexis de Tocqueville

    The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.
    Alexis de Tocqueville

    Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.
    Alexis de Tocqueville

    Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.
    Alexis de Tocqueville

    There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle.
    Alexis de Tocqueville

    When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.
    Alexis de Tocqueville

    In America the majority raises formidable barriers around the liberty of opinion; within these barriers an author may write what he pleases, but woe to him if he goes beyond them.
    Alexis de Tocqueville

    Those that despise people will never get the best out of others and themselves.
    Alexis de Tocqueville

    In the United States, the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own.
    Alexis de Tocqueville

    All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it.
    Alexis de Tocqueville

    Yes, I like de Tocqueville…

    The basic problem is that ALL major political bents do not want real liberty. Liberty is hard, as it must be given to those whom you despise, to do things you do not like, with not even the need to listen to your complaints.

    It doesn’t matter at all if you talk of Emperors, Kings, Democracies (where as Plato noted the mob votes to destroy liberty for the 49% ) and even Republics. Nowhere is real liberty the goal.

    Everyone advocates for liberty for THEIR point of view, for THEIR speech, for THEIR property, and for the taking away of those rights of liberty and property from others (via straight confiscation as in our ‘drug laws’ and our new version of ’eminent domain’ confiscation for the economic benefit of Friends Of Government; or via more subtle means like restrictive zoning and ‘hate speech’ laws).

    So we cycle, endlessly, on that wheel from Tyranny to Revolution to… Democracy to Tyranny…

    I do wish the Power Of Stupid were not so great, especially among the intelligent…

    @George O’Har:

    Ok, ok, I ought to have put a /sarc; tag on it… Sorry, but Mum was British and I’m possessed of that British favorite past time of saying something for humor so subtle that it’s hard to tell if it is that, or a straight endorsement… That “understatement for effect” is delicious, but it would seem to be an acquired taste for most folks ;-) /sarc;

    “Damning with faint praise” is a stronger version of it, without the humor so much… love it too…

    Like saying “It would be perfect, but for a few small issues – like the core values are in conflict with fundamental human nature and can not ever be achieved…” but in a way that’s much less blunt.

    (I once commented on a particular Young Thing Aspiring Singer after a slightly painful rendition of something or other with “Why, such singing! And such imaginative note selection!!” After a brief puzzled look, she decided it was a compliment and was quite happy / thankful. Her somewhat brighter sister gave me a knowing look… Two messages to two different audiences from the same statement. Gotta love it…)

    So forgive me, please. Marx had a great many things wrong (especially in his writings outside the Manifesto, such as some of his basic economic theories – that I had to learn, along with the debunking of them); but the core issue for the Manifesto is that it “sounds good, but is antithetical to fundamental human nature and collapse into tyranny and ruin is inevitable”.

    Somehow that isn’t quite as satisfying, even if more “in your face” clear…

  10. Larry Ledwick says:

    EM Just out of curiosity on those tainted thumb drives, were they detected with a routine antivirus scan from a common antivirus program or was it something more malicious that took industrial strength testing to find.

    Just wondering if the average user could detect a buggered flash drive with normal antivirus scanning. I would like to buy some larger new USB 3.0 thumb drives but have been reluctant to do that due to that known issue with some of them.

  11. E.M.Smith says:

    They were detected with “routine industrial strength tools from the pentest department”…

    The Penetration Testing folks caught it, IIRC. But do realize that I’m not directly privy to the details; just which group raised a flag and who got pulled in for late nights on a ‘special project’…

    Doubt if the run of the mill junk would catch it; but most likely mildly paranoid good quality stuff would. It was some industrial anti-virus scanner, but I don’t know which one.

    I know, not the answer you wanted… Neither trivial to find nor superhuman software required…

  12. R. de Haan says:

    Does Obama love America?

    That IMO isn’ the right question. I’s more of a diversion.

    The right question should be: Is he serving the American people and is he keeping his oath to protect the US Constitution?

    Well he doesn’t.

    He’s a pathetic liar, a cheat and as I see it a traitor, not only to the USA but all Nations.
    Probably the worst President we have seen in decades, a real Sociopath.

    For years now I have read about his “servants” admiring Mao and his Red Booklet and we all know there must be some truth in these articles although most of them were published by the right fractions in this country.

    I just look at the facts and I see that the Sheeple is getting themselves screwed from here to eternity.

    The situation wasn’t very rosy under Bush but Obama has made a mess of everything he touched and he won’t rest before the entire roof comes down.

    I really wonder how much more abuse the Sheeple can take?

    It won’t take long now before they’re kicked out of their warm stables and send to the laughter house.

    2015 will be a year of decisive year.

    We can’t stop the rot and decay but we can rid ourselves from the parasites.

    They are traitors and criminals and we know where people like that belong.

    With the pending crash of he global economic system we will soon will sink into a situation of austerity and incredibly harsh controls which probably include travel restrictions.

    Under these conditions dissent will become a bloody business.

    Just think how the protestors in Madrid and Athens were beaten senseless by a well prepared police force. It will be no different here accept for the fact that many americans have the means to take care of themselves which will make dissent the more bloodier.

    So hopefully the Sheeple will come to their senses and clean house before the roof falls.

    I’m not very optimistic and knowing the “centralist agenda” of bankrupting central banks and provoking wars to have a scape goat for their completely insane policies I am left with the only question to be asked.

    Why?

    Why is it they get away with all the lies about the non existing climate change problem and get away with it?

    Why is it they can pin point people who dissent, isolate them, attack them and terminate their careers?

    Why is it they data mine our entire communication, make steps to control the entire internet and get away with it?

    Why is a President who lies, kills and cheats like the one currently still in office will probably finish the job despite his dirty betrayal?

    Why do we allow the Fed to do what it does until we end up broke and without any pensions?

    Why do we accept a continuing and growing number of armed conflicts without any declaration of war?

    Why do we accept the destruction of our energy infrastructure?

    I can make the list much longer but you get the message: Why?

    Nobody can predict the future but if politicians cast their objectives in laws like they have done in Europe by turning the CO2 limits into law the future suddenly becomes very predictable.

    In Europe, kust like the US, the Sheeple remain silent.

    And with their silence they get the government they earn.

    It will bring times of hardship as it will take a long time to recover form this frenzy and not many will survive what’s on the agenda of the lunatics in control today.

  13. R. de Haan says:

    Just for the record, I agree with every word you wrote.

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