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"Taking Back America: And Taking Down the Radical Right"

ludahai

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I am going to read through this book, which is a collection of liberal essays. This is really a study of what some liberal writers are saying, and an examination of my own beliefs. I do this periodically as a way of challenging what I belive in. I have decided this time to engage in debate with others through the process as well, so my notes as I go through this will be posted here as well as on my blog. www.xanga.com/ludahai

I invite comments and discussion, both here and on my blog, all through this reading. Let's make this civil and educational. Let's keep the argument and near flaming to other threads please.

Here is my first installment:

Taking Back America
A Conservative Running Commentary of a series of Liberal essays

September 13, 2005

Just a couple of days after I made my final decision to break ranks with the Republican Party and refer to myself as a “Conservative Independent”, I have decided to take a look at a collection of essays from a groups of leading Liberal writers. Why? Well, for one, it is always a good idea to stay informed about what those you don’t agree with are saying. It is always good to question your own convictions. This is especially timely for me now that I have made my break with the party. I haven’t changed my ideology, but for me, the Republican Party’s morphing from “The Big Tent” to “The Revival Tent” has driven me away. I still support many Republican ideas, but I am hopeful that the Constitution Party, a party that I have considerable agreement with, can become a more important party in American political discourse.

Before beginning to read the book, I read the back cover. There are several red meat phrases present, such as “radical, reactionary policies of the Bush Administration,” “radical court-packing,” “assault on the rights of women and minorities,” among others. What do they consider radical, and the “radical right”, a phrase that is present in the title of the book? Is it meant to include all of those on the right, or just the fringe? Daniel J. Flynn, in his work “Why the Left Hates America,” is very careful to draw the distinction between mainstream liberalism and the Left. Is that kind of distinction drawn in this book, or are all conservatives lumped into this “radical right.”

What do they mean by “radical court-packing?” Do they mean to suggest that Bush is trying to pack the courts a la Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who actually attempted to add to the number of members of the Supreme Court to forward an agenda that was deemed to be unconstitutional? It was a Democrat responsible for that radical act. By putting conservatives on the courts, is President Bush doing anything different than when Democrats put liberals on the courts? That remains to be seen.

It is also going to be interesting to see what is meant by “assault on the rights of women and minorities.” Do they mean efforts to curtail the “right” to murder unborn babies? Is that the right they are keen to protect, or is it something else. Do they actually have evidence of this? It is hard to accuse someone of racism who has elevated two distinguished Black citizens to two of the most important foreign policy positions, making them two of the most globally visible American citizens in the world in Colin Powell and Condeleeza Rice. It would seem strange that, on the one hand, he is elevating Black Americans to their loftiest positions ever held in the government of the United States of America, while at the same time trying to curtail their rights.

This reading and commentary will take some time. I fully intend to give every essay the proper reflection that it is due. If it takes a year, fine. It is good to challenge your own beliefs every so often. Doing so makes one a better person, and more informed not only about oneself, but also those who disagree with oneself.
 

ludahai

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Taking Back America

A Conservative Running Commentary of a series of Liberal essays


Installment 2 - September 18, 2005

I have finished reading the introduction. As it is loaded with accusations and charges, I am going to tackle it piece by piece. The introduction is written by Katrina vanden Heuvel and Robert L. Borosage. Vanden Heuvel is editor of “The Nation”, one of the most liberal publications in the United States. She also has a history of being against the right-to-life movement. She has also been known to rudely interrupt hosts on talk shows in order to get her point across. Robert Borosage is the co-director of the Campaign for America’s future, which is another far-left organization.

In the very first paragraph, the oft-repeated mantra of the U.S. “fall(ing) from prosperity to recession and “recovery” without jobs” appears. Let’s assess this statement. When did the economic downturn begin? It actually began in the summer of 2000, while Clinton was still president and before the controversial election that Al Gore tried to win in court. http://www.msnbc.com/news/mobilechannel/1003571.asp?s=COM. The recession that Bush inherited was one of the mildest on record (see same article.) So, in reality, we have an economic downturn that started during the Clinton administration, President Bush inherited it, and in his administration, it was one of the mildest economic downturns in American history. Not a bad record for President Bush, and simply more evidence of the way the left will distort numbers and outright lie. BTW, this book doesn’t have a SINGLE citation.

Now, there is the “jobless recovery” charge. Employment is a lagging indicator. This is taught in nearly every Economics 101 class. 2001 actually saw economic growth (though small at 0.5 percent.) This is NOT a recession. Recession is economic contraction. This simply did not happen in the first year of the Bush administration. In 2002, there was more robust growth, indicative of an economy on the mend, and by 2003, economic growth was healthy again (http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/GNP/106/10yrs). Now, let’s get back to employment. Employment typically lags economic growth statistics by some 12 to 18 months. Unemployment reached its peak in June 2003 when it hit 6.3 percent (http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/data/UNRATE.txt.) This is about a point LOWER than the rate President Reagan inherited from President Carter in the early 1980s. By January 2005, the unemployment rate dropped to 5.2 percent, and has since dropped below the 5 percent mark. Sounds like a pretty good record considering the economic downturn President Bush inherited, the 9/11 attacks, a general global downtown that much if Europe is STILL suffering from, etc.

Also in that very same first paragraph, comes the line, “We’ve gone from peace to war, from relief at the end of the Cold War to fear at the hands of terrorists.” Well, first of all, liberals have conservative, hard-nosed presidents like Reagan and Bush to thank for the end of the cold war. Arab terrorists targeted America during the Clinton administration. The first attack on the World Trade center, the attack on the USS Cole, the attacks on the East African embassies and other attacks all occurred under Clinton’s watch. What did he do? Nothing! When Sudan offered bin Laden on a silver platter, Clinton let him get away to Afghanistan! Bush inherited Clinton’s do nothing attitude on terror. The terrorists then took to the offensive again, this time knocking down the World Trade Center in New York. President Bush was not about to play Clinton. He was going to take the war to the terrorists.

In the second paragraph, they say that “wages are down and unemployment is up.” Well, let’s not forget that the downturn began on Clinton’s watch. Unemployment started rising at the end of Clinton’s second term. The stock market slide began on Clinton’s watch. People want to blame Bush, but he inherited a declining economy from Clinton, and as we have already seen, thanks to President Bush, this decline was the mildest in American history, with a peak unemployment rate that was one of the lowest modern American history. Wages are on the increase. Even during the short-lived two-quarter recession, hourly wages were in the increase (http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyOutputServlet?request_action=wh&graph_name=CE_cesbref3.)

Furthermore, CPI (less food and energy) has been LOWER for most of the Bush administration than it was for nearly the entire Clinton administration. http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyOutputServlet?request_action=wh&graph_name=CU_cpibrief

Then, in the third paragraph, comes the standard liberal line “(s)elected for office by the conservative majority on the Supreme Court after losing the popular vote.” First of all, President Bush is NOT the first president in American history to win the Electoral College without winning the popular vote. Let’s not forget that Bush won the initial count in Florida, NOT Gore. Bush won the second count in Florida, NOT Gore. Gore went to the Florida Supreme Court to overturn laws passed by the Florida legislature to keep the counting going. Every member of that Florida Supreme Court was nominated by a Democrat. The liberals forget to mention that part, don’t they? The liberal Florida Supreme Court overrode the laws of the FL legislature, which it had NO AUTHORITY TO DO. Article 2, Section 1, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution clearly states that, “each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors.” It doesn’t say the Florida Supreme Court, it says the Florida legislature. The Supreme Court of the United States was simply protecting the right of the legislature to determine how the Electors are to be selected.

This was all from the FIRST PAGE of the introduction. If this is how the entire book is going to progress, I can see I am going to get an education in liberal thought. However, without citations, and making statements that are filled with so much fallacy, it certainly isn’t going to convince THIS person to change side in the ideological debate, that’s for sure.
 
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So this book actually said that Bush was radically packing the courts. LMFAO, only the left could possibly claim that excercising the presidents constitutionally guaranteed powers is radical. But I suppose the libs have always considered the constitution as a radical antiquated document e.g. their views on the first amendment (freedom of religion) and second amendment (right to bear arms).
 

ludahai

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Taking Back America - www.xanga.com/ludahai

A Conservative Running Commentary of a series of Liberal essays

Installment 3 - September 20, 2005

The second page of the introduction (xiv) has fewer red meat statements, however, one glaring one is this, “They cut taxes on the wealthy and raised burdens on working families.” The fact is, everyone who pays federal income taxes in the United States got a tax cut, NOT only the wealthy. Unless, of course, they are claiming that only the wealthy pay income taxes, which isn’t all that far from the truth. As soon as someone earns taxable income, they are getting a tax benefit. Before the 2001 tax act, you had to pay 15% from the first dollar earned of taxable income. NOW, it is 10 percent, a 33 percent reduction. This benefits MANY working class families who pay income taxes, but are not considered wealthy. They would only pay two of the three dollars they paid before in taxes so long as they remain in the ten percent tax bracket. It also provided relief for married couples, who would, one would assume, be among the “working families” so championed by the Democrats. They would, by definition be married, and would thus benefit more working families who paid income taxes. So, to say that this only benefits the wealthy is a farce and an outright lie. I would like to see their argument for how this places more burdens on working families as I go through the book, but when one looks at the actual benefits of the tax cut, this argument simply doesn’t wash.

http://www.resourceanalyst.com/Taxation.htm

Moving on to page xv, it gets pretty thick again. The claim is made that families are working longer hours, even longer than Japanese? Well, I know Taiwanese DO work longer than Japanese do. In fact, Taiwanese work more hours than anyone in the industrialized world. There is no way you can convince me that American families work more than either Taiwanese or Japanese. Of course, there is no citation for this claim. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, “average weekly hours of production workers” has DROPPED from 34.3 hours each week to 33.7 hours a week. This is CERTAINLY not even close to the Asian ethic where workweeks in the mid-40s to low-50s (hours per week) is somewhat common. http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/surveymost

Another statement made without citation (as are all such statements in this book) is that “conservatives have fought against environmental regulation while denying the global threat posed by despoliation.” No citation for that, and of course, it runs contrary to the truth. Once we get to the part of the book that details the claims, it will be easier to refute the specifics.

Near the end of this page, there is quite a bit of red meat for the faithful, four large chunks of it to be exact. One is that “its foreign policy has been given over to the most extreme ideologues of the right.” Well, considering that to the editors of this book, everyone to the left of Joe Lieberman is a rightist ideologue, that isn’t saying much. However, they have to realize that there was a major shift in the world from the time the Governor Bush was campaigning and by the time President Bush’s first year in office was up. The U.S. was the victim of arguably the brashest and most successful terrorist attack in the history of the world. The United States doesn’t strive for empire. The United States does not stay in places for a long period of time as an army of occupation, and when it does, it nearly always leaves it a better place than when it arrived. If you want to look for empire builders, look at Beijing. Have they voluntarily left places that THEY have occupied and gained influence in over the past fifty years? The United States has.

“Its fiscal policy is guided by zealots who use tax cuts to sap the capacity of the government to act.” Of course, to liberals, the government is the Mr. Fix-it of the world. If something is broke, leave it to the government. I don’t think it is so extreme to allow PEOPLE to have THEIR OWN MONEY to spend as they see fit and to have a less intrusive government. Of course, anyone who believes in that is called an extremist by the left. Then, I suppose such great men as Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were extremist rightists.

“It’s judicial nominees are vetted by Federalist Society extremists who seek activist judges to overturn half a century of jurisprudence …” Considering that for liberals, being “pro-abortion” is a litmus test, they shouldn’t really be commenting on this. The left has supported judicial activism for decades. It is often the only way that they can thwart the will of the people, as has been demonstrated on numerous occasions in California. It isn’t the right that wants judicial activism. The right wants judicial RESTRAINT! Follow the Constitution. If you believe there should be a change, it isn’t up to a justice on the Supreme Court to declare it, the Founding Fathers left a perfectly good mechanism to actually change the document. The left talks about settled “law” such as Roe v. Wade as sacrosanct. If all such precedents of the High Court were held in such regard, Plessy v. Ferguson (separate by equal) would still be the law of the land.

“It’s attorney general claims the right to arrest American citizens and hold them indefinitely without charges.” Again, there is no citation for this. I will look forward to a discussion on this later in the book to see exactly what they are referring to.

The more I read this introduction, the more I realize that this is just going to a hack attack on conservatism. IF there were citations, it would be easier to respect this book. However, the lack of them and the litany of baseless charges and outright lies present in the first three pages of the introduction tells me that while this book will be telling concerning the “thought” processes of liberals, there isn’t a whole lot of scholarship or honesty behind it.
 

ludahai

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Taking Back America

A Conservative Running Commentary of a series of Liberal essays

September 21, 2005 - Installment 4

Continuing with the introduction, on page xvi, the claim is made that President Bush would have a worse jobs record than any president since Hoover. That is an overly simplistic statement. Anyone who knows anything about economics knows that employment is a lagging indicator. Thus, the economic downturn that started at the end of Clinton’s second term would cause the loss of jobs at the beginning of President Bush’s first term. This is a lie. There was a net GAIN in jobs from Jan 2001 to Jan 2005. In 2001, 137,771,000 were recorded as employed. That number JUMPED up to 140,241,000 by 2005 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is a net INCREASE of more than TWO MILLION jobs! Where do the liberals get the notion that there was a massive job loss from beginning to end of the Bush administration! That number has increased by another two million THIS YEAR ALONE! So much for the jobless recovery, and another claim on the very same page that good jobs are getting harder to find. Obviously, people are finding jobs.

They also claim that the Republicans and Conservatives have no plan to deal with health care costs. Well, YES, there is a plan. The leftists don’t like it, but there IS a plan. To say that there is a plan that you don’t like is NOT the same as there is saying that there is no plan. Again, we see another lie by the leftists. And I am still barely a quarter of the way through the introduction! At this rate, it will take me a year to expose all of the lies and distortions in this book. Back to the health care plan, there are elements of it I don’t like because it is an unnecessary intrusion of the federal government. As someone who favors a more constitutionally-based government, I oppose the efforts of both parties to further enlarge the bloated national government.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/healthcare/

Page xvii cites the stock market collapse as shattering retirement plans of millions of Americans. Most Americans in the stock market for retirement are in for the long term, so they will be ok. However, a look at the genesis of the stock market collapse is in order. The largest one day total point loss in the history of the Dow Industrials occurred in April 2000, while Clinton was still president. That drop of more than SIX HUNDRED points occurred just three months after the all time high of the index and was symptomatic of an overall drop that had commenced in 2000. Of course, this book implies that Bush as responsible for it, though it clearly began under the Clinton administration.

http://www.nyse.com/about/history/1022221392987.html

Then, the discussion turns to schools. Schools are overcrowded and under-repaired and that the federal government only spends two percent of its budget on schools. GOOD! That is NOT the responsibility of the national level of government. State and local governments are charged with education, NOT the national government. Please find me a place in the Constitution that says that the national government is responsible for education. IT ISN’T. The tenth amendment to the constitution states that what is not specifically assigned to the national government is granted to the states and the people. The states and the people have the responsibility for education, NOT the national government. Of course, for leftists, the national government is supposed to be the solution to all of the country’s problems. I wholeheartedly disagree. However, such constitutional matters will NEVER get in the way of a good leftist attack.

http://www.nyse.com/about/history/1022221392987.html
 

SKILMATIC

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Re:

"Taking Back America: And Taking Down the Radical Right"

HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAAHHA:lol: :rofl :lamo

This will never happen when the opponents are liberals.
 

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This is a pretty good thread. I compliment the originator for his attempt at cordial discourse. There are some points I agree with and some I don't, such as a) the economy is doing well (of coarse, as long as I have a job, I think the economy is doing well), b) I don't think Bush is a racist, c) I don't think he is packing the Supreme Court no more or less than any other President, d) I don't care for Rice, but I do admire Powell (would probably vote for him if he ran for President), e) In light of our recent hazardous weather, I do think the Bush Administration could do more for the environment (I do believe this is a result of global warming), f) I have a different view of the electoral process and Florida/Ohio in particular and g) I don't agree with this:

Originally posted by ludahai:
The United States doesn’t strive for empire.
But I've said enough on this subject on other threads.

As far as the following comment:

Originally posted by ludahai:
“It’s attorney general claims the right to arrest American citizens and hold them indefinitely without charges.” Again, there is no citation for this. I will look forward to a discussion on this later in the book to see exactly what they are referring to.
Possibly the author was referring to Mr. Carlos Padilla. That's just conjecture on my part.

Overall, this is a good thread.
 

SKILMATIC

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This is a pretty good thread. I compliment the originator for his attempt at cordial discourse.
Why dont you compliment me? I am a great originator.
 

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Originally posted by SKILMATIC:
Why dont you compliment me? I am a great originator.
This is a good thread, and so is SKILMATIC a great complimentary originator.
 

SKILMATIC

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Billo_Really said:
This is a good thread, and so is SKILMATIC a great complimentary originator.

Awe thanks billo. Ok go on with your ranting against the radical right but to be fair please go rant on about the radical left. Thanks guys:2wave:
 

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Originally posted by SKILMATIC:
Awe thanks billo. Ok go on with your ranting against the radical right but to be fair please go rant on about the radical left. Thanks guys
Kerry's a *****!
 

ludahai

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Billo_Really said:
This is a pretty good thread. I compliment the originator for his attempt at cordial discourse.
At least on this thread, I hope we can keep it as such.

Possibly the author was referring to Mr. Carlos Padilla. That's just conjecture on my part.
We will likely find out when I get to the relevant essay in the book.

Overall, this is a good thread.
Thanks.
 

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Originally posted by SKILMAITIC:
There we go now my turn.

Bush is a monkey.
Out of respect for ludahai, ask me these questions on another thread.
 

ludahai

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It's been a while due to my busy schedule of late, but I am still working on this.

www.xanga.com/ludahai

Taking Back America

A Conservative Running Commentary of a series of Liberal essays

October 9, 2005 – entry 5

We are now up to page xviii (the eighth page of the introduction) and the red meat phrases are thinning just a bit. The authors turn to foreign policy here, and make the claim that pre-emptive war and unilateral intervention have overturned fifty years of bipartisan policy. Again, these claims are stock liberal claims, but they happen to be plain wrong. To give the authors credit, they do not criticize the invasion of Afghanistan, as some Leftists (including Michael Moore) have been doing and admit that millions of Iraqi civilians are grateful for the toppling of Saddam.

However, the invasion of Afghanistan certainly had bipartisan support, with only one lone Democrat from one of the most leftist anti-American Congressional districts in northern California voting against the war (Barbara Lee.) Most Democrats voted in favor of authorizing war against Iraq, INCLUDING Senator John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee.

The authors also make the claim that the Iraq war has made America a greater target for terrorists? You mean greater than then they attacked the World Trade Center not once, but TWICE, the attack of the USS Cole, the attack of the African embassies, etc?

The authors then get into what they refer to as the “Progressive Challenge.” Outside of the knee-jerk reaction of telling them to get a life, instead, the appropriate response is to take a critical view on what is being presented. One phrase stuck out to me, that being “fair taxes.” Traditionally, to leftists, fair taxes are as progressive as we can possibly make them. I am sure the argument for fair taxes will be made in the body of the book. However, if you want a truly fair tax, check out American’s for Fair Taxation (www.fairtax.org) to see what a TRULY fair tax would look like.

The make the statement that trickle down-economics doesn’t work. WRONG! Kennedy believed in it. Unfortunately, it was replaced by a vice president who didn’t believe in it, and initiated arguably the greatest failure in public policy in American history, that being the “Great Society.” The Reagan years saw the beginning of the longest sustained peacetime economic expansion in American history. While taxes were raised in the administrations of Bush 41 and Clinton, they didn’t resemble anything what they were during the Carter administration, when the economy foundered. As for now, the American economy has been showing signs of strength, which is something the liberals can’t seem to fathom.

On page xx, they make the statement that “tax cuts should be temporary, not permanent, and aimed at middle- and lower-income Americans more likely to spend the money they receive than the wealthy…” Of course, this is based on the liberal idea that your money doesn’t really belong to you. By-in-large, lower-income Americans don’t pay federal income taxes. How can you cut taxes when they don’t pay taxes unless you want to give them more refundable tax credits? Of course, the Fair Tax actually addresses this question in a satisfactory manner. Also, even if the wealthy don’t purchase goods with the return of their money (though many did), they would invest the money in ways that would spur job creation (by expanding businesses or investing their money that would permit the expansion of other businesses.) I know liberals have a difficult time understanding this concept, so I suppose we will have to try to educate them on this matter.
 

ludahai

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October 10, 2005 – Entry 6 www.xanga.com/ludahai

Capture the Future: An Apollo Program for Energy Independence
The authors point out that there should be a program for energy independence. I couldn’t agree more. The United States needs to be more proactive in securing an independence energy supply. There is an initiative called the Apollo Program, which is a “$300 billion, ten-year plan to invest in hybrid cars, renewable energy, efficient buildings and appliances, and diversified transit. (page xx)” This is designed to reduce dependence on “Persian Gulf oil.”

The search engines shows an Apollo Alliance, but their website didn’t come up when I tried to link into it. Hopefully, there is an essay that talks about Energy independence. However, the President has had a plan on the table for more than four years! It is designed to both meet short term needs, including the exploitation of American fossil fuels, something the Left has consistently been against, as well as investment into future, cleaner, renewable technologies (http://www.whitehouse.gov/energy/.) Once again, the left is being disingenuous in implying that President Bush doesn’t have a plan on the table, he does. They just don’t like it.

There is also the remark on the Persian Gulf and America being reliant upon it. Of the top five foreign suppliers of U.S. oil, only one, Saudi Arabia (third) was from the Persian Gulf. The others are Canada, Mexico, Venezuela and Nigeria. It is an overstatement to say that the United States is overly dependent on Persian Gulf oil.

The Right to a High Quality Public Education

The authors make the claim that the reason the United States has prospered and the democracy has thrived is due to public education. They call for school reform and the elimination of bureaucratic red tape. Who can argue with that? I certainly will not. Here is where there may be a bone to pick. “(W)e need to invest enough to guarantee the right to a high-quality public education to every child.” Of course, if that we means the State and local governments should invest, I have no argument. However, when we get to the essay on education, I will not be surprised to see that they mean the central government, despite the fact that there is nothing in the constitution that authorizes such a heavy federal interest in education. They also call for “invest(ment) in building new schools, recruiting new teachers, and reducing class size.” Again, sounds good if it comes from the state and local governments and not the federal government. As for class sizes, in some cases the class size argument is overrated. Taiwanese high schools regularly pack 35 to 40 or more in a classroom, and yet students here regularly outperform U.S. students in science and math. Something is obviously at work here, and my suspicion is that the factors lie beyond school and class size in many cases.

The Right to Affordable Health Care

The claim is made in the introduction that some 75 million Americans go without health insurance. I remember for years they were saying 45 million. When did the liberal establishment raise that number to 75 million? I must have missed that policy shift. It probably came shortly after George W. Bush won the presidency in 2000 and took office two and a half months later. It will be interesting to see how that number is backed up.

A Secure Retirement

They point out that half of all workers have no pension plan at work and that Social Security must be bolstered. They criticize those wishing to privatize social security. Pension coverage should be mandatory, argue the authors. Workers should be given a choice in where to put their retirement savings. Their solution, of course, is to reverse the tax breaks, as they put it, to the wealthiest Americans.

First of all, if you allow people to have their own retirement accounts, they can choose. Those who choose to avail themselves of the Roth IRA can do exactly that. This is an initiative that was opposed by many Democrats, yet provides exactly this freedom of choice these authors are clamoring for. Of course, in the interests of a government solution, they would rather the government control it ultimately than allow people to have true control over their retirement savings. As for Social Security, the numbers simply do not add up. It was devised in an era when many people didn’t even reach the age of retirement. Furthermore, this system is the biggest transfer of wealth from black men to white women than has ever been devised elsewhere, and it was devised by DEMOCRATS! More on this as we reach the essay on this topic.
 

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Re:

SKILMATIC said:
HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAAHHA:lol: :rofl :lamo

This will never happen when the opponents are liberals.
O man, you sound like that jackass Navy Pride.
 

SouthernDemocrat

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kal-el said:
O man, you sound like that jackass Navy Pride.
Except if you read his other posts, you will find that he doesn't quite possess the level of objectivity that Navy Pride seems to possess. ;)
 

SouthernDemocrat

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ludahai said:
October 10, 2005 – Entry 6 www.xanga.com/ludahai

Capture the Future: An Apollo Program for Energy Independence
The authors point out that there should be a program for energy independence. I couldn’t agree more. The United States needs to be more proactive in securing an independence energy supply. There is an initiative called the Apollo Program, which is a “$300 billion, ten-year plan to invest in hybrid cars, renewable energy, efficient buildings and appliances, and diversified transit. (page xx)” This is designed to reduce dependence on “Persian Gulf oil.”

The search engines shows an Apollo Alliance, but their website didn’t come up when I tried to link into it. Hopefully, there is an essay that talks about Energy independence. However, the President has had a plan on the table for more than four years! It is designed to both meet short term needs, including the exploitation of American fossil fuels, something the Left has consistently been against, as well as investment into future, cleaner, renewable technologies (http://www.whitehouse.gov/energy/.) Once again, the left is being disingenuous in implying that President Bush doesn’t have a plan on the table, he does. They just don’t like it.

There is also the remark on the Persian Gulf and America being reliant upon it. Of the top five foreign suppliers of U.S. oil, only one, Saudi Arabia (third) was from the Persian Gulf. The others are Canada, Mexico, Venezuela and Nigeria. It is an overstatement to say that the United States is overly dependent on Persian Gulf oil.

The Right to a High Quality Public Education

The authors make the claim that the reason the United States has prospered and the democracy has thrived is due to public education. They call for school reform and the elimination of bureaucratic red tape. Who can argue with that? I certainly will not. Here is where there may be a bone to pick. “(W)e need to invest enough to guarantee the right to a high-quality public education to every child.” Of course, if that we means the State and local governments should invest, I have no argument. However, when we get to the essay on education, I will not be surprised to see that they mean the central government, despite the fact that there is nothing in the constitution that authorizes such a heavy federal interest in education. They also call for “invest(ment) in building new schools, recruiting new teachers, and reducing class size.” Again, sounds good if it comes from the state and local governments and not the federal government. As for class sizes, in some cases the class size argument is overrated. Taiwanese high schools regularly pack 35 to 40 or more in a classroom, and yet students here regularly outperform U.S. students in science and math. Something is obviously at work here, and my suspicion is that the factors lie beyond school and class size in many cases.

The Right to Affordable Health Care

The claim is made in the introduction that some 75 million Americans go without health insurance. I remember for years they were saying 45 million. When did the liberal establishment raise that number to 75 million? I must have missed that policy shift. It probably came shortly after George W. Bush won the presidency in 2000 and took office two and a half months later. It will be interesting to see how that number is backed up.

A Secure Retirement

They point out that half of all workers have no pension plan at work and that Social Security must be bolstered. They criticize those wishing to privatize social security. Pension coverage should be mandatory, argue the authors. Workers should be given a choice in where to put their retirement savings. Their solution, of course, is to reverse the tax breaks, as they put it, to the wealthiest Americans.

First of all, if you allow people to have their own retirement accounts, they can choose. Those who choose to avail themselves of the Roth IRA can do exactly that. This is an initiative that was opposed by many Democrats, yet provides exactly this freedom of choice these authors are clamoring for. Of course, in the interests of a government solution, they would rather the government control it ultimately than allow people to have true control over their retirement savings. As for Social Security, the numbers simply do not add up. It was devised in an era when many people didn’t even reach the age of retirement. Furthermore, this system is the biggest transfer of wealth from black men to white women than has ever been devised elsewhere, and it was devised by DEMOCRATS! More on this as we reach the essay on this topic.
Well, anything written by contributers to The Nation is going to be pretty far to the left. If you want to read a book that does a much better job of advocating progressive ideals than this one, Conscience of a Liberal by the late Paul Wellstone is a good one.

The thing is though, if you read a book written by hard core conservatives, more than likely it will be every bit as onesided and intellectually dishonest as this one is.
 

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Here is a fact that liberals do not quite get; ...there NEVER was a radical right. Its just that whenever liberals are not used to not being the super power brokers anymore, ..they call the effective republican establishment, "The radical right" because they want people to believe that that is the best explanation for liberalism's failures.

It is perfectly fine & honorable for liberals to call their president a liar, a racist, a murderer, & a terrorist themselves, & even court the idea that our terror enemy should be protected by the constitution, ...but somehow its the powerful radical right who is a danger to America!

The so called "radical right" would give you a weapon to protect you & your family. The liberal whackos would give you their wrists to handwring, & the guilt to apologize to the terror enemy for some slight, or insult!;)
 
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