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Comment Archives: stories: Columns: Letters

Re: “Our jet-setters, homage to an Air Force hero, and more

the greedy old fart teabaggers prefer cheap crap from china and are shopping on amazon already.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by happyfew on 06/22/2015 at 8:56 AM

Re: “Our jet-setters, homage to an Air Force hero, and more

More sales tax ?? = More Amazon purchases.

0 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by TheStupidPatrol on 06/20/2015 at 8:53 AM

Re: “Our jet-setters, homage to an Air Force hero, and more

Mr. Liberty Who? We had the Ex Madam Mayor that when in office tried the same thing there doing now except then it was going to be a convention center. We ended up with a park that we cant keep up with. We had a Political Lawyer thats now our Mayor. Hes going to cost us. The only one was Miller he left the Council to run but was rejected by voters because of the money issue you talk of. I personally think our elections are paid for and decided long before any ballots are even printed and our politicians are recycled as long as they play nice with the club once there in. Most of the news organizations are owned and ran by those that make the political careers so there no help. Voters only here what the money men want them to here or pay to let them here. So where should these voters go to get informed? The citizens have no money to have a voice so they have given up even trying and just do there best to survive. The honest man wont take the chance on going broke fighting back. The voters are the only ones that could hold them accountable and they wont because they have been convinced by these same people there liberty may be infringed on if they allow some other fella to have some liberties. I fell for the "YES WE CAN" in the last National election what I got was Yes WE Can PAY. Nothing has changed and it wont unless We The People stand up and be The United People we were supposed to be.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Rocky Smith on 06/18/2015 at 9:23 AM

Re: “Obamacare and the Court, antibiotics in agriculture, and more

"Minimizing the cost of labor is a part of the Capitalist 'agenda'." Capitalism controls the cost of labor (Marx would have said "labor power") through the market, not through outright ownership of the body and soul of the laborer.

"I do not understand how the abolition of slavery contributed to the 'ascendency of capitalism'." Slavery in the South kept all of that labor off the market. There was no way for a capitalist to bid for the labor of a slave by offering him a dollar an hour more than he was pulling down on the plantation. Neither could he market any of his products to slaves.

Slavery bears a closer resemblance to feudalism, than capitalism. Slave owners were expected to care for their slaves, including children, the elderly, and the infirm. Capitalists do not bear those costs.

Posted by Mr. K-- on 06/17/2015 at 6:14 PM

Re: “Obamacare and the Court, antibiotics in agriculture, and more

"Political and economic terminology has evolved over time..." Which is why you need to familiarize yourself with it, and not make it up as you go along. "...if slave owners weren’t Capitalists, just what were they?" They were slave owners. You could also call them farmers.

Furthermore, Marx never thought "the government should build our cars or grow our corn." Marx said under a socialist economic system government would "whither away."

"Don’t be stuck with 19th century thinking about what YOU think Socialism SHOULD be." It's not a question of what I think or you think socialism should be, but what history and scholarship tells us socialism has been.

Posted by Mr. K-- on 06/17/2015 at 5:48 PM

Re: “Obamacare and the Court, antibiotics in agriculture, and more

You can ignore the spirit of the Constitution as much as you like, but just because the word Socialism doesn’t appear, does not negate the very reason the Constitution was written the way it was in the first place. It does not negate the first three words which are an expression of an ideology which has moved America to advance the cause of human rights. (may I remind you that the word Capitalism does not appear in the Constitution either)
Political and economic terminology has evolved over time, and I doubt that today’s American Democratic Socialist believes like Marx that the government should build our cars or grow our corn. Don’t be stuck with 19th century thinking about what YOU think Socialism SHOULD be.
And if slave owners weren’t Capitalists, just what were they? I’m of the notion that they personified the essence of Capitalism. Perhaps you think they were Fascists? They did create the Confederate government to protect their own economic interests after all. (the 3/5ths compromise was made on behalf of the slave states to increase their representation in the new government. Otherwise slaves would not have been counted for the purpose of determining the number of state representatives)
And, Yea, I DO get the warm fuzzies when I think about community, and working together to maintain and expand the commons, and understand the rewards for all of us when we advance the common good. Those are Socialist values, and are attainable through economic policies. I am disappointed that the perfectly good label “Socialism” is attached to antiquated associations with dictatorships and Communism.
Look around you. You are surrounded by Socialist achievements that enable you to attain your individual aspirations.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by asawatcher on 06/17/2015 at 3:59 PM

Re: “Our jet-setters, homage to an Air Force hero, and more

I might as well add, that there is no such thing as a single "socialist agenda" to which all socialists subscribe, just as there is no single socialist party or socialist organization or theory of socialism. In fact there are more theories of socialism than there are socialists in the world, because not only does each and every individual socialist have his own theory, but each and every individual opponent of socialism has his own unique theory as well!

Take unemployment insurance, for example, seemingly a prime member of any socialist agenda, but I can guaranty there are socialists out there who oppose it on the theory that the unemployed will wholeheartedly join in a revolution if the capitalists fail to provide a safety net for them.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Mr. K-- on 06/17/2015 at 3:56 PM

Re: “Our jet-setters, homage to an Air Force hero, and more

There seems to be a lot of people weighing in on what Larimore Nicholl meant by writing about the "'socialist agenda'" in his letter two weeks ago, so I decided to add my two cents. Note that Mr. Nicholl put the phrase between quotes in his letter. To me, this indicates that he is being facetious. What he is actually saying, I believe, is these are the things that reactionaries and arch-conservatives have labeled as the "socialist agenda" in their mudslinging propaganda.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Mr. K-- on 06/17/2015 at 1:56 PM

Re: “Our jet-setters, homage to an Air Force hero, and more

Dr. Iggy Thompson,

What is being discussed is a very small sales tax in the city. So small that very few will even notice and will be evenly distributed based partially on income (those with higher incomes tend to spend more), in fact much of the money raised will come from visitors. If they increase the property tax the impact per person will be much greater and only borne by residents. Gas taxes in the city would simply result in people looking for gas stations outside the city. The city does not register vehicles. If you tax companies for being inside the city limits, you encourage growth outside the city limits or other avoidance tactics. A sales tax, in this case a very narrowly targeted, finite lifespan sales tax makes sense and any impact to a person such as yourself will be negligible.

5 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Dave H on 06/17/2015 at 1:16 PM

Re: “Our jet-setters, homage to an Air Force hero, and more

Rocky Smith...not true. Look at the last election in our City. There were excellent candidates of the proven highest integrity. Instead some of the officials elected by citizens with the help of hundreds of thousands of campaign cash--thousands at a time--will continue to carry out the will of the unelected "city leaders" who have run this city into the ground over the decades.

Special interests have too much to gain than to allow true servants of the citizens to be elected. As long as citizens to 1) fail to be informed 2)continue responding to 30-second TV ads 3) fail to be skeptical of media connected with special interests and 4) fail to VOTE, we are doomed for more of the same.

4 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Liberty for COS on 06/17/2015 at 9:55 AM

Re: “Our jet-setters, homage to an Air Force hero, and more

Mr. Naumann Find us one person in this Community that is as honest as you wish that would run for office and Ill bet he would get the votes. the first problem is once they get in office the temptations are to much to handle and you get what we got. The second problem is we as the voters dont hold them accountable once they get in and screw everyone. The other ones in office wont take them to task because most are in on it or are doing it themselves much like the fiasco with our ex Sheriff. Then the Community votes them right back in with a hardy pat on the back.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rocky Smith on 06/17/2015 at 9:11 AM

Re: “Our jet-setters, homage to an Air Force hero, and more

Dr. Thompson --

Just make a list of the things you don't want to pay for, and we will take you off the list.

Sarcasm noted.

There are so many things that I do not want to pay for, but part of living in a democracy is holding your nose. However, your piece does highlight the YOYO nature of today -- if I don't benefit from it, I should not have to pay for it. What about your neighbor -- is he or she worthy of your consideration, does he or she benefit from PUBLIC expenditures?

I would agree -- increasing the sales tax is not only regressive but a surrender to political "reality." Folks in this town do not want to pay more, regardless of the value it might create for the COMMUNITY.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by schriendog on 06/17/2015 at 8:17 AM

Re: “Obamacare and the Court, antibiotics in agriculture, and more

asawatcher, I called it "crypto-socialist" because the words, "socialist" and "socialism" do not actually appear anywhere in the document. Furthermore, slave owners were not capitalists and the Federalists were not socialists.

Slave owners did not demand the 3/5-ths compromise. They demanded representation for each and every slave. The North demanded no representation for any slaves. Neither side got everything it wanted, but both sides got something. That is why it was called a "compromise."

Obviously, the word "socialism" gives you such a warm and fuzzy feeling, you feel qualified to discuss it without actually having studied any of its long and rich history.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Mr. K-- on 06/16/2015 at 6:04 PM

Re: “Obamacare and the Court, antibiotics in agriculture, and more

Mr. K;
Nothing “crypto”-socialist about it. It is right there in the Constitution’s first three words. It is there in the original national motto: “E Pluribus Unum”. Just because Marx hadn’t been born yet, does not mean that the Socialist spirit did not exist. After all, the Federalists did prevail.

Near as I can tell, there is NO political party named “The Democratic Socialist Party”. There is, however, an organization named: “The Democratic Socialists of America”. I’m not a member.

Minimizing the cost of labor is a part of the Capitalist “agenda”. The 3/5ths compromise demanded by slave owners was a Southern Capitalist ploy, during the formation of our government, for more political power. The abolition of slavery was a SOCIAL movement, and certainly not in the best interest of Capitalists. I do not understand how the abolition of slavery contributed to the “ascendency of capitalism”. If anything, it was a giant setback.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by asawatcher on 06/16/2015 at 3:34 PM

Re: “Obamacare and the Court, antibiotics in agriculture, and more

asawatcher, you are saying that the Founding Fathers, in the spirit of community, expressed a crypto-socialist political philosophy in the Constitution, which immediately came under fire from 18th century slave owners. On the contrary, those 18th century slave owners were also Founding Fathers and the Constitution consolidated their power within the Union. It took another 76 years and a Civil War to break the power of the slave owners and establish the ascendency of capitalism--not socialism.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Mr. K-- on 06/15/2015 at 12:03 PM

Re: “Obamacare and the Court, antibiotics in agriculture, and more

Apparently you misunderstood my question, asawatcher. The "Democratic Socialists of America" is not something I made up just to poke fun at you. It is an actual American political party. When you write about "Democratic Socialism" with a capital D and a capital S, it implies that you might be speaking for an actual organization, not just inappropriately capitalizing words for emphasis.

Personally, I did not think you had anything to do with that organization, based on your observations and analysis, but I did want to make sure. I feel certain that the Democratic Socialists of America, as a political party, must have a party platform, which conservatives prefer to call an "agenda" because it sounds less democratic. They have a platform or agenda for the specific purpose of publicizing their positions and advocating for socialism.

And here you come along and claim, "The job of today’s Democratic Socialist is NOT to sell some 'socialist agenda'..."

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Mr. K-- on 06/15/2015 at 11:16 AM

Re: “Obamacare and the Court, antibiotics in agriculture, and more

Mr. K;
I don’t think that in today’s America Socialism (as envisioned by Marx) is a viable political movement, nor do I think that a “Socialist” political party will emerge. Rather, Socialism as an economic model applied within a democratic representative form of government is a natural manifestation of the Spirit that our founders expressed in their effort to “form a more perfect union”. This “spirit” of community, of commitment to the common good, of, yes, “union," is what has propelled America to achieve the exceptionalism it represents to the rest of the world.
People, like myself, see this spirit as having been under attack since its inception. From 18th century slave owners to 21st century oligarch billionaires, the very idea of the “commons” has been, and is, an anathema.
Today’s anti government sentiments are fomented and promoted by the power and resources of Corporate wealth, and continue to be a threat to the founders’ ideology of social unity and the common good. I believe that a Socialist economic model is a perfect fit with our political democratic republic . . . thus the hybrid “Democratic Socialist” label has emerged with a strong voice in the political arena. So, yes, if I can add to that voice in any small way, I would be proud to be a “representative” of that “spirit”.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by asawatcher on 06/15/2015 at 8:52 AM

Re: “Obamacare and the Court, antibiotics in agriculture, and more

asawatcher, when you write, "The job of today’s Democratic Socialist..." are you speaking as a representative of the Democratic Socialists of America?

Posted by Mr. K-- on 06/14/2015 at 3:12 PM

Re: “Obamacare and the Court, antibiotics in agriculture, and more

Bill Schaffner contends the so-called "socialist agenda" did not help abolish slavery, and proves it by demonstrating that only Republicans and Democrats voted to pass the 13th Amendment in Congress. His argument totally disregards the entire history of the struggle, particularly the Emancipation Proclamation, the Abolitionist movement, the Underground Railroad, the Dred Scott decision, Bloody Kansas, John Brown, and even the Civil War! From Schaffner's argument you might think that one day Congress woke up and just decided to free the slaves on a whim, because it seemed like a good idea at the time.

I do not know what material support the Socialist movement may have contributed to the Abolitionist movement, but I do know it provided moral support. Karl Marx himself wrote dozens of articles for the New York Tribune and the Viennese Die Presse during the Civil War. Exactly how much such activity actually helped in reaching the ultimate goal is certainly debatable, but there is a wise old saw that goes, every little but helps!

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Mr. K-- on 06/14/2015 at 2:52 PM

Re: “Obamacare and the Court, antibiotics in agriculture, and more

Mr. Schaffner;
After re-reading Larimore Nicholl’s letter, I get the impression that you completely missed his point. In his letter he NEVER mentions “Republican” or “Democrat”. It’s YOUR inability to crawl out of the partisan ditch that is preventing you from seeing the larger ideological picture.
Mr. Nicholl is simply pointing out that some of the great accomplishments of the US are results of Socialist inclinations shared by most Americans. That the Spirit of “We the People” is, historically, a greater engine of advancement than “Me the Individual” (or “It the Corporation”). The job of today’s Democratic Socialist is NOT to sell some “socialist agenda”, but to help our fellow citizens understand that, for the most part, we are traditionally a Democratic Socialist country, and our greatest achievements are results of our Socialist predispositions that have managed to transcend, not fall victim to, partisan politics.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by asawatcher on 06/14/2015 at 8:38 AM

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