Two articles about Jews

First, from our good friend Henry Whistler:

You’ll turn us against our brothers?

Jul 06, 2011

Just how little Republican Zionism has to do with Jews at all:

In any event, Republican Zionism is not aimed at the Upper West Side. Its intention is to solidify and animate the Christian right, attract Reagan Democrats, and appeal to the broad swath of Middle America that instinctively sees Israel as a friend and ally. The Gallup poll found that 60 percent of independents prefer Israel to the Palestinians. Democratic Jews may, too, but they aren’t going anywhere. If and when the Obama administration seriously clashes with Israel—over the “peace process,” recognition of Hamas, Iranian nukes, or outreach to Islamist enemies of Israel like the Muslim Brotherhood—the president will have nothing to fear from his Jewish base. Hell, a lot of them would rather join the Muslim Brotherhood than vote for a Republican.

It can never be stressed enough just how much contempt for Jews lurks on the right. Their fandom for Israel has little substance beyond service to their hatred for Muslims. The enemy of their enemy, etc.

I am somewhat a product of indoctrination by the American Jewish community, what with my skin steeped in Hollywood liberalism and the principles espoused by “elitist” Jews who permeate the highest echelons of intellectual achievement that have so inspired my awe and loyalty. Wherever I point to for leadership, one finds Jews. And so when it comes to Israel, I have always loved everything I see within their borders; as one could always expect, within Israel among Israelis exist the highest of man’s aspirations, and a model for all to follow as Western liberal democracy springs up out of desert soil. If it can happen there, it can happen anywhere.

I never felt an inch of space existed between myself and the Jewish people until I met a Jewish right-winger, who could not hesitate a moment to drive a wedge between us if I advocated the slightest measure of fair play between Jews and Palestinians. And yet, despite the noxious year I spent as a roommate with this individual, he never swayed my faith in the greater wisdom of the wider Jewish community. I recognized that my antagonistic relationship with this person had nothing to do with his Jewishness, and everything to do with his rightwing, black/white absolutist nature that ruled out, as he readily confessed to me, many or most Jews as well.

All you have to do is look at the vehement hatred Republicans will quickly deliver towards Jews they dislike to see the illusion broken. Glenn Beck, with his rabid slobbering over Saul Alinsky, and the visceral hatred he and other members of the GOP elite sputter over George Soros, has made sure this paradigm isn’t going anywhere, as one can hardly visit a thread on a rightwing blog without somebody blathering about Saul Alinsky, whose “Rules for Radicals” is nothing less than the template for the Tea Party.

I’d say that the esteemed Mr Whistler missed it, and missed it badly. From Aaron Worthing:

“Imperfection Doesn’t Preclude Greatness”

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 11:55 am

That is strong line from USA: The Jewish Promised Land, by Stephen Richer, a piece reflecting on the unique degree of tolerance exhibited in America, in general, toward Jewish Americans.  He writes:

We Jews have always looked to Israel as our promised land. The dates 586 BCE and 70 CE (the destruction of the first and second Temples and the start of the Diaspora communities) are etched into the collective Jewish mind, and we end each Yom Kippur and Passover with the saying: “Next year in Jerusalem.”

But in many respects, we Jews found our promised land when we first stepped foot on American soil (Boston, 1649, Solomon Franco), and later when we came in larger numbers during the 1800s (250,000 Jews by 1880). For the first time, Jews had a home country devoid of a history of Jewish expulsion or systematic Jewish bloodshed. For the first time in history, Jews had a country that – from the beginning – gave de jure acknowledgement to the right to practice to Judaism and the right to be an equal citizen as a Jew.

Read it all.  Your patriotic heart will swell with pride.  While he acknowledges the sad reality of American anti-Semitism, he also recognizes that such incidents stand out because they are out of place.  America’s truest self is one where no discrimination is tolerated but what arises from merit and conduct.

More at the link.

One thing I don’t believe Mr Whistler understands about (most) conservatives is why we admire the Jews, or at least the American Jews we get to see. Culturally, Jews in America are an extraordinary people. They place a strong emphasis on hard work, and it is drummed into their children beginning at an early age. Jewish children in America are strongly encouraged to work hard in school, to get the best grades, and thus win admission to the best colleges. There, they are again encouraged to work hard, to get the best grades, to win admission to professional schools or to get the better jobs coming out of college. American Jews are, generally speaking, the prototypical American dream, personified. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: if we all came from the same culture as American Jews, this country would have no problems at all.

Further, it seems to me that Mr Whistler missed it badly in his last two paragraphs. He told us that he “recognized that (his) antagonistic relationship with this person had nothing to do with his Jewishness,” but with his former roommate’s political views, yet he then turns around and that “All you have to do is look at the vehement hatred Republicans will quickly deliver towards Jews they dislike to see the illusion broken,” to go along with “how much contempt for Jews lurks on the right” from earlier on, never seeming to understand that we can have contempt for the views of some people who happen to be Jews not because they are Jews, but because we believe their views are both wrong and harmful. The distance he put between his own dislike of a Jewish former roommate’s political views and that roommate being Jewish he seems unable to grant to conservatives.

This is, in a way, akin to the position that if you don’t support the positions of the Israeli government or don’t support Israel’s right to exist, or even if you just have some sympathy for the Palestinians, why you must be an anti-Semite!¹ Mr Whistler would never accept such an argument, and he shouldn’t: not being a supporter of Israel does not mean that you hate Jews. Indeed, the California Iowa Liberal previously wrote:

One must simply resign oneself to the inevitable: To speak about Israel in any terms other than that of the most belligerently rightwing guarantees that the label anti-Semite will be applied. Nothing you do will prove your bona fides. Nothing you can say will make them stop, except complete capitulation.

Why, then, would he try to take the position that if a conservative disagrees with a Jew, that conservative must be expressing a “lurk(ing)” “contempt for Jews?” It’s like someone saying that, at least to him, “there is no question in (his) mind that racism is a factor in the anti-Obama agenda,” to try to cut off debate about President Obama’s policies.

Mr Whistler would say that condemning someone who opposes Israeli policy as an anti-Semite simply because he opposes Israeli policy is intellectually lazy, and a way of attempting to shut off debate by forcing the first person to defend himself against the charge of anti-Semitism rather than debate his points concerning Israeli policy. He praised Andrew Sullivan for resisting that argument.

Why then, after proclaiming himself above that kind of disingenuous and demagogic argument, does he turn right around and use the same form himself, simply against different targets? Perhaps it’s time for Fletcher Rhys’ favorite father to reexamine his argument.

___________________________
¹ – “While the term’s etymology might suggest that antisemitism is directed against all Semitic peoples, the term was coined in the late 19th century in Germany as a more scientific-sounding term for Judenhass (“Jew-hatred”), and that has been its normal use since then.”
² –

75 Comments

  1. The Jew that came from Europe before 1948 brought all the basis of Socialism and Marxism with them. That’s why they are far to the left. The Jew in Israel is more conservative. I had this email conversation with a Jewish friend of mine. He didn’t see or believe what I just wrote above. Here’s the exchange:

    Me: Read this, this what I was referring to in my remark. I have heard similar from many sources so I wasn’t delusional at the time:

    http://southcapitolstreet.com/2010/11/10/jews-democrats-and-progressives/

    I can easily see where you are as conservative as I am. But in Baltimore City and County, the Dems usually receive a skewed amount of Jewish votes, even though the Dems, especially the Liberals usually do not vote for Jewish issues. Just look at Newburg, NY and the Jewish vote for Hillary for Senate 100%. The article is what has been explained over and over in different degrees. Incongruency???? No other name for it.

    His response: Terrific reference article, Greatly appreciated. Well written, many convincing points. And I see your point (and the point of the article). I need to send this to my uber-liberal daughter.

  2. Why, then, would he try to take the position that if a conservative disagrees with a Jew, that conservative must be expressing a “lurk(ing)” “contempt for Jews?”

    Why don’t you stop trying to twist people’s statements into things they never said, Dana? You’re pretty blatant about it, and it is as dishonest as the perpetually baffled JH’s outright lies.

    This is what Mike actually said:

    All you have to do is look at the vehement hatred Republicans will quickly deliver towards Jews they dislike to see the illusion broken. Glenn Beck, with his rabid slobbering over Saul Alinsky, and the visceral hatred he and other members of the GOP elite sputter over George Soros, has made sure this paradigm isn’t going anywhere, as one can hardly visit a thread on a rightwing blog without somebody blathering about Saul Alinsky, whose “Rules for Radicals” is nothing less than the template for the Tea Party.

    This is how you “paraphrased” it:

    Why, then, would he try to take the position that if a conservative disagrees with a Jew, that conservative must be expressing a “lurk(ing)” “contempt for Jews?”

    Cheap and sleazy, as we’ve come to expect from you.

  3. Cheap and sleazy, as we’ve come to expect from you.

    Cheap and sleazy? Well, you’d sure know, that’s for sure.

    Spot-on, Dana. Your analogies about Israel and racism are perfect, which Phoeny, Herr Censor and Wheeler routinely engage in. And then these mental pygmies get all huffy about posts of yours like this.

    Too bad.

  4. The Jew in Israel is more conservative.

    You do realize that Israel is essentially a socialist economy, right? And that the closest thing the world has to an actual functioning Communist society is the Israeli kibbutz, right? So the average Israeli Jew is more “conservative” in what sense, exactly?

  5. You do realize that Israel is essentially a socialist economy, right?

    You’ll need to substantiate that, Jeff. Elaborate on the “essentially.” Wiki and the CIA Factbook sites state Israel has a free market economy; Heritage notes that your claim may be some 30 years out of date: Having moved away from the socialist economic model of the mid-1980s, Israel made dramatic free-market gains in the 1990s.

    In addition, even the socialistic values of the kibbutz has been transformed via privatization.

  6. Liked Richer’s article. I’ve never personally experienced direct, hateful anti-Semitism, and I’ve lived here for almost 30 years. The closest I come is when I meet a person who has never met a Jew before – this happens a good deal, even in an urban center like Raleigh – and they ask me (somewhat sheepishly) about whether the stereotypes (that we’re all good with money, etc.) are true. My mom and her parents were actually denied admission to the Pine Bluff (AR) Country Club on account of their Judaism back in the ’60s, but that’s really about it.

    So yeah, if you ever wonder why I’m such a First Amendment absolutist, it’s because those words have allowed me to live a life I couldn’t live anywhere else. (Honorable mention to Article VI, Paragraph III.)

    Anyway, what passes for annoyances to Jews here isn’t the blessedly rare violent neo-Nazi crap, but rather the refusal to acknowledge that we exist. Call it Rick Perry disease. (Kudos if you can name the three – by my count – governors that Perry implicitly disinvited.) And if having buffoons like Perry thinking everybody is a Christian is the worst of our problems, I’d say we have it pretty darn good.

  7. Hube, here’s an article from 2004 that cites Israel’s tax burden as among the highest in developed countries, and gives government spending as 55% of GDP. You’re right that calling it “socialist” is a bit hyperbolic, but it’s certainly more socialist than most.

  8. Jeff says:
    11 July 2011 at 22:18 (Edit)

    The Jew in Israel is more conservative.

    You do realize that Israel is essentially a socialist economy, right? And that the closest thing the world has to an actual functioning Communist society is the Israeli kibbutz, right? So the average Israeli Jew is more “conservative” in what sense, exactly?

    I can’t say what I did there, but the city dwellers, the patriotic Israeli singers at the pub, and the restaurant and shop keepers came across a whole lot different than the Jew you met state side, and I would not label them Socialists. Remember, these were the survivors of several wars of survival against the Arabs.

    Those in Europe before 1939 were those who had Marx and Engels as teachers, they came to the USA and kept that Socialist thinking. Those who went to Israel in 1947, and the existing Jews there from 1948 on have been fighting to survive. One thing I will say, when was the last beach front restaurant you went to that had an Army patrol riding the beach in a jeep with a 50 cal. loaded and ready?

    I wouldn’t say they had a 100% socialist economy since I did see industry there that looked rather capitalist to me. I met others under other circumstances that were not in a “kibbutz” setting.

  9. And here’s an article from 2007 giving the Israeli tax burden as above the OECD average, but noting that there are still 14 OECD countries with higher taxes. However, many of the OECD nations in Europe have strong socialist elements (especially Scandinavia).

    Here’s what Everybody’s Favorite Source has to say about kibbutz ideology. It borrows heavily from Communism, but functions within the free market economy. So it’s small-scale democratic communism and large-scale capitalism.

  10. Yorkshire – Israel is highly militarized, and with good reason – but that has nothing to do with whether they’re economically conservative or liberal. One can fight wars of survival against Arabs and still hold utopian Marxist ideals. Remember, most of the Jews who emigrated to Israel pre-1948 were previously Europeans as well.

  11. Jeff says:
    11 July 2011 at 22:59

    Yorkshire – Israel is highly militarized, and with good reason – but that has nothing to do with whether they’re economically conservative or liberal. One can fight wars of survival against Arabs and still hold utopian Marxist ideals. Remember, most of the Jews who emigrated to Israel pre-1948 were previously Europeans as well.

    And don’t forget from Nortern and Eastern Africa, and scattered throughout SW Asia.
    Here’s an article on the Kibbutz. It really never topped 10% of the jewish population:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kibbutz

  12. Yorkshire says:
    11 July 2011 at 19:52
    Meet most American Jews and you’ll get half of one side. Go to Israel and see the real Jewish people.

    Dana, don’t you hate it when Yorky proves me right in his very first comment?

    Did you, Dana, actually mean to defend Beck’s attacks on George Soros as not anti-Semitic? Because quite a few Jewish people would decline to agree with you on that one. Including the ADL. There’s disagreement, and then there’s crossing a line. And what with the religious resentments of Jews aren’t exactly thriving in the secular crowd. We knew there was something fishy about Passion of the Christ!

    I agree with most everything you said about the Jewish people, Dana. But they align Democrat in America or good reason, precisely because they value the intellect so much! After all, you guys aren’t getting any less crazy. This debt ceiling hostage-taking of America’s future doesn’t score points among people who value reason and/or caution.

  13. And George Soros is an unrepentant Nazi collaborator and a convicted insider trader who intentionally collapsed the British monetary system and views the United States as the key in preventing his One World Government, so attacking George Soros for what he has done, is doing is not anti-semitic but actually dead to rights.

  14. I can’t say what I did there, but the city dwellers, the patriotic Israeli singers at the pub, and the restaurant and shop keepers came across a whole lot different than the Jew you met state side, and I would not label them Socialists. Remember, these were the survivors of several wars of survival against the Arabs.

    Jesus Christ – what does the one have to do with the other?

    I swear, it’s like a whole bunch of whiny Pavlov’s Dogs – they hear the word “Socialist” and their brains shut down and they cower, whimpering.

  15. Israeli politics simply don’t fit in neatly with American concepts. In their social and domestic policies, they have much more in common with the European democracies, with the notable exception of those things which fall under religious laws; Israeli is officially a Jewish state, and the government intends to keep it that way. In its defense policies, it is much more like the United States: it confronts its enemies with overwhelming power. We sometimes look at that as conservative, but it would be a mistake to call Israel a conservative nation due solely to its defense policies. In its foreign policy, they are definitely Israel first, and all of their policies are viewed through that lens: if something is not to Israel’s advantage, it doesn’t matter how close a friend you are, they won’t agree.

    This is, I would suppose, a product of Jewish history: they learned, the hard way, that they cannot depend upon anyone else for their protection and survival. For 1900 years, they tried to make a living scattered about Europe, in as much of a go-along-to-get-along lifestyle as was possible and still be faithful to Judaism, and even as inoffensive as the Jews in Europe were, we Christians were still offended, and occasionally moved beyond the petty slights to dispossessions, robbery, expulsions, pogromi, and murder. The Holocaust was the worst, but hardly the first, of the Judenhass (probably a better word than anti-Semitic) actions.

    Zionism began as the intellectual child of Theodor Herzl, who published Der Judenstaat1 in 1896, because even as an “assimilated” Jew in Europe, he became convinced, following l’affaire Dreyfus that, in the end, the Jews, no matter how assimilated they might be, were always the outsiders, always the “other,” in Europe. Der Führer proved him to have been right, in spades.

    The Zionist dream consisted of relatively little immigration to the Holy Land before World War II: the British colonial rulers kept setting up roadblocks, the Arabs were hostile, and despite occasional anti-Semitism, the Jews who could afford to emigrate had a more prosperous and safer life in Europe than they could ever foresee in the Levant before Adolf Hitler came to power.

    Naziism destroyed all of that. The Jews in Europe were dispossessed before the slaughter began, and those who survived the war had virtually nothing left besides their lives; to immigrate to the Holy Land was no longer a choice which involved losing something.

    The generation which survived World War II is almost gone now; even someone who could remember the concentration camps as a child would be in his early seventies now, and someone who was 25 when the war ended would be 91 today. Israel is governed by the next generation, the generation which fought in the 1967 and 1973 wars against the Arabs, and the generation after that, the one which remembers the constant agitation of the two intifada. They are stern in their conviction that they can depend on no outsiders because all of their experience, as well as the lessons they were taught by their fathers and grandfathers, has taught them that they can depend on no outsiders.

    This is a lesson we Americans really don’t understand. Despite Pearl Harbor and despite September 11th, we have not faced any real threat to the United States itself since the War of 1812. It is easy for us, despite being far more conservative than the democratic Europeans, to see the obvious “compromise” between the Israelis and the Arabs which allows both to live in peace, because the threat to us, if words on paper fail to lead to the fulfillment of the promises made, remains negligible; to the Israelis, the threat if paper promises fail is existential.

    Israel is a nation which really cannot be compared, realistically, to any other.
    ___________________________________

    If you choose to buy the book using this link to amazon.com, CSPT gets a 4% commission. [back]

  16. Jeff notes:

    Remember, most of the Jews who emigrated to Israel pre-1948 were previously Europeans as well.

    And they are, to be blunt about it, mostly dead now. Israel is mostly populated and ruled by generations which do not remember the Holocaust, and by the generations which were born after Israel had already reached the May 1967 borders. The conquerors are elderly men, or are dead.

    The Israelis of today are the generations which followed, the generations which have lived not through expansion, but through the sporadic violence of the Arabs trying to kick them out. This is what they know, this is what they have experienced.

  17. Mr Whistler, I neither defend nor attack Glenn Beck’s comments concerning George Soros, because I never heard or read them. What I have noted is that you have expanded upon those comments, whatever they were, to claim that Republicans in general would turn on Jews if Jews were seen as taking positions they don’t like.

    No, we don’t like a scumbag like George Soros, but we don’t like him because of his political positions, and we don’t like him because of his currency manipulations. The fact that he is a Jew has absolutely nothing to do with it; your article implies that it does have something, some sinister undercurrent, to do with it.

    But they align Democrat in America or good reason, precisely because they value the intellect so much!

    Jews align mostly Democratic because they are primarily concentrated in mostly Democratic areas, and are more concentrated in urban areas. As for “valu(ing) the intellect,” note that in 2004, if you didn’t finish high school, you were more likely to have voted for John Kerry, while if you finished high school, and if you went to college, and if you had earned your collegiate degree, you were more likely to have voted for George Bush. In 2008, while Barack Obama carried all educational groups, his biggest margin was among those who never completed high school, and if you had attended college, you were more likely to have voted for John McCain than if you hadn’t. In 2000, the same pattern held true: the least educated people voted for Al Gore.

    Jews don’t fit in these patterns, for whatever reasons they have, but one thing is clear: it’s not about “valu(ing) the intellect.” The smarter you are, the more probable it is that you vote Republican.

    Heck, that’s the real reason Al Gore lost in 2000! When your base is the dumbest and least educated people, the probabilities that they will foul up their votes — such as: voting for Pat Buchanan instead of Al Gore, when they meant to vote for Mr Gore — because they are confused by the ballot are increased.

    My own opinion is that slightly more people went to the polls in Florida intending to vote for Vice President Gore, but because Mr Gore was dependent upon the dumbest, slightly more people in Florida who went to the polls intending to vote for Governor Bush successfully cast votes for Mr Bush. :)

  18. “But they align Democrat in America or good reason, precisely because they value the intellect so much!”

    Ah, there it is! Republicans are stupid rubes and Democrats are intellectuals. Wow, what a snob. I don’t know how much Mr. Whistler actually knows about Jews but my first wife was a Jew. So I had 20 years of experience dealing with an entire family of Jewish people and of being the “family Goyum”. Notwithstanding the fact my father in law owned 16 new car dealerships up and down the East Coast, he was a Democrat. The standing joke was when I told him he “operates like a capitalist and votes like a socialist”. I used to question him on every vote he cast and pointed out he was voting against his own best interests. To no avail. Till his dying day he always voted Democrat and bitched incessantly about everything they did after he voted for them.

    So if any of you guys can understand the “Jewish Psyche” please let me know. God knows I’ve had my share of trying to figure them out. One thing I do know Mr. Whistler, intellect has nothing to do with it.

  19. Ah, there it is! Republicans are stupid rubes and Democrats are intellectuals.

    And the amazing thing is that this sentiment comes from the guy who says Barack Obama is the greatest president in modern history.

    ‘Nuff said.

  20. BTW Mr. Whistler, no one in my wife’s family (until my wife) even graduated high school. They arrived at Ellis Island bringing only their Russian/German tendencies toward collectivism and immediately began building their own mini empire that, at my father in laws death was worth over 100 million dollars.

    My in laws valued education almost as much as they valued art. He collected fine art and owned Rembrandts, Degas, and even Da Vinci’s. Our wedding gift was a series of 12 water colors titled “Isreal From Egypt” by Salvatore Dali. They depicted the flight of the Isrealites under Moses and the destruction of the Pharoh’s army. They hung in our home for years until my wife’s death when I returned them to my mother in law out of respect. But intellectuals? Nah. Just regular folks.

  21. But intellectuals? Nah. Just regular folks.

    I think we could quibble with the definition. Perhaps it’d be better to say “value education.” Then again, considering the percentage of Jews in medicine, science, and law (just to name a few), “intellectual” might not be a bad term.

  22. Well Hube, we just don’t get it. We’re ignorant rubes, dontchaknow? Obama is the second coming. We just lack the intellect to appreciate the depth of his magnificance. After all Obama is an accomplished……..community organizer? Wow, I am impressed with the intellect! Hell, I’ve employed dish washers who’ve done more.

  23. Hube, my skewed deffinition of an “intellectual” is one who sits around and pontificates about things while others actully go out and do those things. Medicine, law and science require one to produce (or starve). They surely require a high level of intellect but I wouldn’t consider people in those fields to be intellectuals.

  24. Hube wrote:

    I think we could quibble with the definition. Perhaps it’d be better to say “value education.” Then again, considering the percentage of Jews in medicine, science, and law (just to name a few), “intellectual” might not be a bad term.

    As I noted in the original, American Jewish culture certainly values working hard, and American Jews, generally speaking, teaches their children to work hard in school, to get the best grades, and thus win admission to the best colleges. There, they are again encouraged to work hard, to get the best grades, to win admission to professional schools or to get the better jobs coming out of college. And American Jewish culture also encourages certain professions: medicine, law, finance, economics and the hard sciences.

    American Jews certainly are, generally speaking, better educated than average. But the notion that voting Democratic is something that the more intelligent people do is belied by the statistics of who actually votes Democratic.

  25. Henry Whistler says:
    12 July 2011 at 01:31 (Edit)

    Yorkshire says:
    11 July 2011 at 19:52
    Meet most American Jews and you’ll get half of one side. Go to Israel and see the real Jewish people.

    Dana, don’t you hate it when Yorky proves me right in his very first comment?

    Did you, Dana, actually mean to defend Beck’s attacks on George Soros as not anti-Semitic? Because quite a few Jewish people would decline to agree with you on that one. Including the ADL. There’s disagreement, and then there’s crossing a line. And what with the religious resentments of Jews aren’t exactly thriving in the secular crowd. We knew there was something fishy about Passion of the Christ!

    I agree with most everything you said about the Jewish people, Dana. But they align Democrat in America or good reason, precisely because they value the intellect so much! After all, you guys aren’t getting any less crazy. This debt ceiling hostage-taking of America’s future doesn’t score points among people who value reason and/or caution.

    Soros is an atheist. He may have Jewish “roots”, but WW2 he had no problem working with the NAZI’s in eliminating other Jews and he said it never bothered his conscience. What you have is a cold hearted SOB that is a “One Worlder”. If the USA fell tomorrow, you can bet he played the game to get rich.

  26. York, George Soros was born on August 12, 1930; he was only 14 years old when Germany was defeated. When he was 13 years old, he was made part of the Judenräte system that the Nazi occupation authorities set up in Hungary, but I wouldn’t hold anything like that against him: he was far too young to be taking adult decisions, and probably had little choice in the matter.

  27. In 1941, when he was 14 years old, Joseph Ratzinger was conscripted into the Hitlerjugend. In 1943, at age 16, he was drafted into the Luftwaffenhelfer, a German anti-aircraft division. Some of our friends on the left use these facts as somehow indicating that Pope Benedict XVI must be a secret Nazi, but I don’t see how conscription or being a teenager in the Third Reich somehow makes one culpable for the actions or philosophies of the Nazis.

  28. Dana, Soros was not “far too young” at all. And he has no regrets in his active role in gaining wealth by taking it from other Jews to enrich the Nazis. He also states that it was a very formative part of his life. It made him what he is today. So, if even he credits that time and his activities for what he has become… so can we.

    Besides, people mature much faster during hardship than during ease.

  29. Wow, it’s amazing people who work can keep up with the crazy here. Let’s try tapping everybody back as quickly as possible here:

    1. Hube, you’re still a vapid bimbo. I’ve laid down the gauntlet, you throw spitwads and scatter. Where do you rank the guy who slept at the wheel leading up to 9/11, screwed up the response to Katrina, started the revenue/spending habits that got us where we are today, and left the economy on fire falling down a canyon? Dana ranks him #2. Nuff said!

    2. Hitchcock, you’re still white hot liquid crazy. Calling Soros an unrepentant Nazi collaborator and “what he did” have nothing in common with each other. That’s a massive smear. But you’re John Hitchcock, and you spout “histo-facts,” which are a useful label informing us that they differ very much from “facts.” Thankfully, Dana already refuted your slander.

    3. Dana, it’s one thing to play games with polls, as this study reveals that one can easily look at other trends, such as noting the states with the fewest numbers of degree holders were solid Bush states, and the states with the highest numbers of college educated people were solid Kerry states.

    Or one can note that having a degree does not always mean one values intellect. A business degree, after all, is a degree in making money, not in discovering truth, except where it results in more money. If a stupid position makes money, the average businessperson will support a stupid position.

    On the other hand, only 6% of scientists are Republicans, 55% are Democrats. Kind of hard to claim intellectual cred when your party has an anti-science bent on a range of issues, y’know?

    But the ultimate cherry is provided by your fellow commenters, as intellectuals are denigrated as do-nothings and the jealous resentment bubbles forth. Hube and Hoagie immediately play victim, bemoaning being labeled as stupid rubes. As if such a thing were ruled out? But the point isn’t to be more intelligent in their responses, it’s to appeal to those who resent intellectuals and educated folks who tell them things they don’t want to hear. Republicans, for example, say stupid things about climate science constantly. Who says so? Climate scientists! Who do I side with? Climate scientists! What does that make me? Right? Oh, no, it makes me ELITIST!!! AAAAAAAAH, THE ELITIST SHOWS HIS TRUE COLORS, CALLING US REGULAR FOLK STUPID!!!

    Is that intellectual? No, it’s the noise of stupidity acting in self-defense.

    And Jewish culture is especially quick to identify and lampoon doltishness. Of course, they vote Democratic!

    What’s your explanation? “Jews align mostly Democratic because they are primarily concentrated in mostly Democratic areas, and are more concentrated in urban areas.” That’s not a cause! It can even be reversed: their concentration in those areas makes them mostly Democratic.

    You see, Dana? Your defense is tissue-thin and easily picked apart. And ultimately, I’d expect the less educated to vote Democratic, because Democrats are the only ones who give a rat’s ass about them and their economic interests.

  30. 1. Hube, you’re still a vapid bimbo. I’ve laid down the gauntlet, you throw spitwads and scatter. Where do you rank the guy who slept at the wheel leading up to 9/11, screwed up the response to Katrina, started the revenue/spending habits that got us where we are today, and left the economy on fire falling down a canyon? Dana ranks him #2. Nuff said!

    What you’ve “laid down” are your own pathetic weaknesses masquerading as delusions of superiority. Who else around here perpetually claims “victory” in online arguments? To say that is pure comedy gold is a true disservice.

    But to your question: 1) It’s funny how you, like so many others, blame NOTHING on our current “greatest president,” seek to imbue our last president with the blame for 9/11. You’ve said in here that “it was on his watch;” again, this same sentiment doesn’t currently apply. The man was in office seven months and got warnings of a possible attack. Of course, the president before him actually had a chance to KILL bin Laden prior to 9/11 and did not take it. Even though we knew then he was the terror mastermind we know now.

    2) Katrina? Please. GW has his share of the blame, but, alas, since the first responders to the crisis were Democrats (and a woman and a black), well, let’s go after the “racist” Republican 100%! Try again, moron.

    3) Won’t argue. Spent like a drunken sailor. Hate NCLB. Disastrous idea to invade Iraq. Although you cannot pin every economic woe on him alone.

    4) Ranking? GW belongs on the bottom half of the presidents of my lifetime. (I was born during the Johnson era.) Best president during my lifetime? Either Reagan or Clinton.

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  32. The esteemed Mr Whistler shows the real problem with Democrats:

    Or one can note that having a degree does not always mean one values intellect. A business degree, after all, is a degree in making money, not in discovering truth, except where it results in more money. If a stupid position makes money, the average businessperson will support a stupid position.

    Making money is what drives the engine of productivity. All of the great scientists and philosophers and thinkers you worship would be out, Cultural Revolution-style, harvesting the grain if it were not for the excess productivity of other people providing sufficient resources so that some people could be spared from the necessity of immediate production themselves for society to survive.

    It was one of our wisest Presidents, a Republican, of course, who said that “The business of America is business.” He understood what my friends on the left really do not, that wealth and power and freedom come from an economy which produces enough for the people to rise above a subsistence lifestyle.

    Instead, y’all vilify the people who are the most productive, and want to burden them further, because not everybody is as productive as they are. Those evil ol’ corporations y’all hate so much are the organizations which provide jobs for most Americans, the organizations which provide the mechanisms by which most people can translate their labor into food and fuel and clothing and shelter.

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  34. Hube: Your vapidity continues. Let’s look:

    But to your question: 1) It’s funny how you, like so many others, blame NOTHING on our current “greatest president,”

    What should I blame him for? Well, obviously not the bloody crisis that started in September 2008! Extending the budget-busting Bush tax cuts, certainly. Not fighting hard enough (against Republicans, mind you) for measures that would help the masses caught up in the recession…and? His stimulus was too small and directed towards tax cuts, because he was trying to compromise with Republicans. His financial reform was passable but weakened by compromise with conservatives (it should be noted that Obama compromising rarely results in Republican agreement, just further shuffling to the right). Over and over again, whenever Obama had the chance to do better, he bent over for defiant Republicans, got very little, and emerged with a less effective program. But he stopped the freefall among banks and certainly got Wall Street working again as they are awash in profit, he saved GM despite the rightwing insane blather about socialism, and now that all you guys claim you want to solve the deficit problem, he’s one-upped you by demonstrating to the public that you care far more about cutting taxes for the rich and weaning the public off “socialist” programs like SS and Medicare. The deficit clearly isn’t as important to you guys as those two.

    But yes, what should I specifically blame President Obama for that has contributed to our economic troubles?

    seek to imbue our last president with the blame for 9/11. You’ve said in here that “it was on his watch;” again, this same sentiment doesn’t currently apply. The man was in office seven months and got warnings of a possible attack.

    …and did nothing. You left that part out, as expected. George W. Bush was warned about the real threat facing America, and did nothing. He blew it off. He wanted Saddam, that’s what mattered to him. When presented with facts, Bush went with his “gut,” and America suffered for it.

    It’s funny, everybody knows this, but you guys just can’t help yourselves. You don’t want me to say I win arguments, but then you trot out the old ‘he was only in office a few months!’ line that I’ve heard a bajillions times, spoken automatically without thought. Well, guess what, Hube? That line is stupid. How long should we wait for a president to start defending the country, then? You’ll have no smart answer for that, will you? Because you’re wrong. Sorry about your ego, but suck it up.

  35. Dana: Wah, wah, wah, I said a true thing about business majors that hurts their fee fees. Yes, productivity is great, although it seems that the business community is best at driving workers to ever greater heights of productivity and siphoning all the increased profit directly to themselves. But it’s not necessarily intellectual, and that’s what we’re talking about, so yes please stay on topic.

    And again, I note the strident anti-intellectualism you spout on the drop of a hat too. You can’t have it both ways, Dana! You guys have done an excellent job of demonstrating the bubbling, boiling, toxic contempt for people who think without it being tailored specifically to productivity (although I’m sure you just mean profit…and short-term profit at that). Those do-nothing climate scientists!

    That’s who you guys are…and that’s what doesn’t mesh with Jewish culture at all. My point stands.

  36. …and did nothing. You left that part out, as expected. George W. Bush was warned about the real threat facing America, and did nothing. He blew it off.

    This is pure bulls**t. You tell me — what precisely what Bush should have done based on the possibility of an attack? We get these sorts of threats all the time. Should he have implemented a TSA procedure like we see now? How would that have gone over pre-9/11? Like a lead balloon, that’s how. Grow the F up. You know damn well you and your ilk would have been screaming “police state” and “fascism” long before the Patriot Act if he had done something like that.

    Oh, and of course, there’s the complete ignoring of the fact that Clinton could have ACED bin Laden had he desired. He said “no.” Who’s more responsible for 9/11 again, pea-brain?

    His stimulus was too small and directed towards tax cuts, because he was trying to compromise with Republicans.

    Blah blah blah. It’s always somehow the GOP’s fault! Do you even have any conception of how pathetic this constant drum beat is?? And “too small?” I’ve shown in here how the stimulus as is 1) didn’t even come close to living up to what we were told, and 2) based on the White House’s own projections compared to reality, doing nothing would have been better. And you say it was “too small??” LMAO!

    But he stopped the freefall among banks and certainly got Wall Street working again

    Uh huh. Except that, y’know, this was actually begun under his predecessor. *Shakes head*

    And still you have not answered why Obama is out “greatest president.” Aside from the fact that this is a ridiculous statement on its face, making such a judgment after two years of a [first] term is beyond presumptuous.

    And you talk about ego. Right.

  37. Making money is what drives the engine of productivity.

    You never actually described what it was that Goldman Sachs “produced”, did you?

  38. Instead, y’all vilify the people who are the most productive, and want to burden them further, because not everybody is as productive as they are. Those evil ol’ corporations y’all hate so much are the organizations which provide jobs for most Americans, the organizations which provide the mechanisms by which most people can translate their labor into food and fuel and clothing and shelter.

    Well, let’s take a look at an example of how these “productive” corporations actually contibute to society, shall we?

    Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. must have some mighty good accountants.

    The U.S.-based media conglomerate actually made money on income taxes during the past four years, according to an investigation by Reuters columnists David Cay Johnston.

    After digging through News Corp.’s financial disclosures, Johnston reports that based on the company’s $10.4 billion profits during that time period, the company would have been expected to pay $3.6 billion at the 35 percent corporate tax rate. But instead the company managed to collect $4.8 billion in income tax refunds, “all or nearly all from the U.S. government.”
    [...]
    That might sound remarkably boring to those of us who never splurged for Turbo Tax Premier, so we’ll repeat the takeaway: Instead of paying $3.6 billion in corporate income taxes over the past four years, the company actually received refunds worth $4.8 billion, a total worth nearly half of News Corp.’s pre-tax profits over the same period.

    My, what a remarkable way to “contribute” to a country – soak the tax system for half your profits while producing a product that leaves your viewers more ignorant and stupid than those who watch other media.

    These are the sort of “producers” Dana is challenging. If you like them so much, Dana, why don’t you give YOUR money to them rather than letting them get away with stealing from taxpayers in general?

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  40. The Phoenician wrote:

    Making money is what drives the engine of productivity.

    You never actually described what it was that Goldman Sachs “produced”, did you?

    Sure I did; it’s just that you didn’t want to listen. Goldman Sachs and the other investment firms produce wealth, by taking their clients’ money, and investing it in ways which they hope will make more money.

    Oh, wait, you will claim that money is not wealth, but, as always, you are wrong: money, as a holder of wealth, is wealth in and of itself, in any society which accepts money as a liquid holder of wealth. If I have $1,000, and invest it in such a manner that it returns me $2,000, I am $1,000 wealthier than I was before. I can then exchange some of that money for anything that people are willing to trade for money.

  41. Sounds to me like News Corporation took advantage of the tax laws as they are written; nothing wrong with that! And it ain’t “stealing from taxpayers” if it’s legal.

  42. Mr Whistler, are you really trying to tell us that the Jewish intellectuals in your crowd, the ones who produce such great technical innovations such as When Harry Met Sally, Hook and Gremlins are somehow more valuable to our society than the men who actually build things?

    The movies are great — well, some of them are, anyway — but they are essentially luxuries. It is the industrialists, the construction companies, and yes, even the investment firms, which produce enough excess wealth that we can go to the movies, that we can spend an evening engaged in a pleasant distraction rather than having to go out again and scratch at the earth, in the hope that we’ll get enough produce out to keep from starving to death.

    There are some fantastic astro-physicists out there, who have come up with great cosmological concepts like string theory and research into how or why black holes exist and perhaps even power the galaxies, but they exist only because capitalists have produced enough excess wealth that we can have research universities. We can survive, we have survived, without knowledge of the four fundamental forces of particle physics, but we cannot survive without food and water and shelter; it is capitalism and the rise of private business and industry which has made all of the other things possible.

    As you sit there, in front of the computer, working on a script you hope will bring you wealth and the next Best Screenplay Oscar, you are doing so sitting in a chair produced by a capitalist, typing on a computer produced by a businessman, at a desk which exists only because of private industry, in a house built by capitalists, eating food brought to you by a whole array of different corporations. Virtually everything you do, every advantage you have in life, is the result of people who produce things.

  43. Mr Whistler wrote:

    George W. Bush was warned about the real threat facing America, and did nothing. He blew it off. He wanted Saddam, that’s what mattered to him. When presented with facts, Bush went with his “gut,” and America suffered for it.

    Looking at the additional safety protocols put in place after September 11th, the full body scanners, the take-off-your-shoes, the denial of everyone not a ticketed passenger beyond the security area, the nearly two hour process to board a plane, I’m wondering just how you believe President Bush, or even President Clinton before him, could have put those things in place before September 11th?

    I was watching a show yesterday evening about the Marines who went into the so-called Triangle of Death in Iraq in 2004. They were there to root out the Iraqi insurgents, to pave the way for the elections to be held, and 36 of them gave their lives in that process. Three weeks before the elections, the Iraqi government said that no, no elections could be held there, because it was simply too dangerous. The Marine officers — field grade officers, not generals — in command of that area went to Baghdad, and put their case to the government, and got the elections back on. Then, on election day, the insurgents tried to stop them, but the people came out to vote in Iraq’s first free election ever, 16,000 of them in that one area, standing in line, sometimes for hours, all the while under sporadic mortar fire, and voted. Iraq is better off, the Middle East is better off, the world is better off, and yes, the United States is better off, because President George W Bush had a vision of freedom for a captive people.

  44. Hube: I love when I state a fact (Bush did nothing), you call it bullsh*t, then proceed to unload a big truck of bullsh*t on me.

    1. “You tell me — what precisely what Bush should have done based on the possibility of an attack?”

    Emulating Clinton’s approach to the millenial terrorist threat would have been a start, known as “shaking the trees.” It didn’t directly deter the attackers we caught, but when alerted to danger, Clinton looked for the danger. One might describe this expectation of a president as minimal, but only remedial expectations were made of Bush.

    2. “We get these sorts of threats all the time.”

    No, we don’t. Apparently you aren’t even slightly informed about the threat warnings we received that Richard Clarke tried to tell Bush were “red lights flashing” warnings. I wouldn’t be surprised if you regurgitated something from the Bush/GOP campaign to attack Richard Clarke for pointing out the plain truth afterwards, though.

    3. Yes, Clinton could have theoretically nailed bin Laden before 9/11, although we weren’t talking about Clinton. Then again, Bush had bin Laden cornered after 9/11, and he fudged that up too. Oh, and do you remember who did get bin Laden? President Obama, thankyouverymuch:)

    4. “It’s always somehow the GOP’s fault! Do you even have any conception of how pathetic this constant drum beat is??”

    What, the drumbeat of yahoos excusing the GOP for everything? I’m fully aware of how pathetic the GOP is and how they still manage to do so much damage to our country long after the last of them should have been chased out of office. Were you going to actually tell me what we should blame about the economy on Obama and not Republicans, or was it more vapid bimbo snark?

    5. What makes Obama the best president of my lifetime? Well, first of all, lots of terrible presidents before him! I mean, seriously, Nixon/Ford/Carter writes off the entire 70s, Reagan looks good in comparison to the modern GOP but his South American ventures, Iran/Contra, “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter,” – Dick Cheney, the beginning of the destruction of the middle class and the normalization of white collar crime, anti-union, anti-worker activities, and the launch of the failed thirty year experiment in supply side voodoo economics doesn’t exactly rate high with me. GHWB again looks pretty good compared to the crazies that came after him but the country needed Clinton, and those were some good years for the country indeed, except that Clinton waffled and signed off on a number of Republican schemes, including DADT, DOMA, NAFTA, and repealing Glass-Steagall (a big contributor to the 2008 recession, but let’s not forget this was Clinton signing a Republican plan, I believe Phil Gramm’s). Then whoops, there goes another godd*mn eight years to GWB, one of the worst presidents in our country’s history, if not the worst.

    So then, Obama. Besides stabilizing the economy and the banking system, and saving GM, he has already, just off the top of my head, restored some semblance of financial reform, ended torture (rendition is a bit sticky, but still a big step forward), passed at least a modest stimulus that kept the recession from being as bad as it could have been, backed down defending DOMA, repealed DADT, maintained the right stance during the Arab Spring so as to not make it about the US (until Libya, anyway), placed two women on the court who will serve as important counterweights to the horrible Alito, Roberts, Scalia and Thomas, passed universal health care reform (again, too many concessions to conservatives but still), and oh, yeah, carried out a brilliant, bold and yet insanely risky operation that resulted in Osama bin Laden resting on the ocean floor with two slugs in his face and fistfuls of intelligence. I can think of more things that he’s tried to get done that would have been great except for Republican obstructionism, as getting Elizabeth Warren out there to protect consumers (a big no no for Republicans!) comes to mind.

    And most of the worst things I’ve seen from Obama are, time and time again, due to capitulation and surrender to Republicans or adopting the Republican mentality. Not prosecuting torturers and war criminals, letting go of the public option, continuing the Bush tax cuts, laboring onward in Afghanistan (Republicans are starting to sense they can switch positions on this and go after Obama, but as we all remember during the Bush years, WE STAY UNTIL WE WIN RIGHT?) A lot of my disappointments stem from the hope that a lot of us who voted for him had that he would be a bolder game-changer, but what’s happened is that we’ve gotten a slow n’steady centrist, which still merely reduces him at times to par-for-the-course US president behavior. Flip-flopping on medicinal marijuana just seems to be Beltway infection, as even many Republicans are ceding arguments on the expensive freedom-killing Drug War.

    So yeah, comparing him to all US presidents in my lifetime, he comes out on top in my book. And, considering as a Democrat I basically get two choices, Clinton or Obama, I choose Obama. What Clinton didn’t do, Obama got done. What Clinton did that was bad, Obama has undone or worked in that direction. So I prefer Obama.

    And what are you left with? IT’S ONLY BEEN TWO YEARS. Well, these have been two and a half pretty dang crazy years, and he’s done quite a few tangible things in that time. The content of those years count. I fully expect him to get eight years, and I think that by the time those eight years are finished, his reputation will only be better. After all, he continues to outshine Republicans every day, only recently shaming them by example as the little bratty children they are, unyielding on their anti-tax theology as the country threatens to crumble again.

    So, Hube?

  45. Mr Whistler, are you really trying to tell us that the Jewish intellectuals in your crowd, the ones who produce such great technical innovations such as When Harry Met Sally, Hook and Gremlins are somehow more valuable to our society than the men who actually build things?

    Dana, keep track of the debate: I’m telling you that Jewish culture (and not just within Hollywood, anyone who values the highest reasoning and thinking will have Jewish heroes) values intellectualism, which you apparently detest, which demonstrates a lot of why Jewish Americans vote Democrat, not Republican. You keep ranting about productive people, which is great, but I certainly don’t think Jewish culture puts the two at odds. Yes, business is good, but climate change and pollution isn’t, so we must find ways to be clean and renewable in ways that continue general prosperity levels (or improve them). So what’s your point?

    But go ahead, keep telling me about useless scientists or something, on your computer.

  46. Sounds to me like News Corporation took advantage of the tax laws as they are written; nothing wrong with that!

    Uh-huh. A company which gives money to politicians and has massive amounts of power over their campaigns, uses laws written by those politicians, and makes $10.4 billion for which the government gives them $4.8 billion is “refunded taxes” – and you see nothing wrong with that?

    I’ll be bringing this up every time you complain about taxes being too high.

  47. Sure I did; it’s just that you didn’t want to listen. Goldman Sachs and the other investment firms produce wealth, by taking their clients’ money, and investing it in ways which they hope will make more money.

    That is not producing wealth, Dana – that is redistributing wealth.

    Oh, wait, you will claim that money is not wealth, but, as always, you are wrong: money, as a holder of wealth, is wealth in and of itself, in any society which accepts money as a liquid holder of wealth. If I have $1,000, and invest it in such a manner that it returns me $2,000, I am $1,000 wealthier than I was before. I can then exchange some of that money for anything that people are willing to trade for money.

    Once again, Dana, you fail to grasp the obvious – if the government gave everyone twice as much money, would they be wealthier?

    Your extra $1,000 in money is not wealth. It represents an extra claim you may make on wealth which is actually produced. What Goldman Sachs does, in the main, does not produce any extra wealth – it simply moves money around.

    The fact that you can’t grasp this yes demonstrates just how much credibility you lack in making any economic opinion.

  48. Sure I did; it’s just that you didn’t want to listen. Goldman Sachs and the other investment firms produce wealth, by taking their clients’ money, and investing it in ways which they hope will make more money.

    That is not producing wealth, Dana – that is redistributing wealth.

    Oh, wait, you will claim that money is not wealth, but, as always, you are wrong: money, as a holder of wealth, is wealth in and of itself, in any society which accepts money as a liquid holder of wealth. If I have $1,000, and invest it in such a manner that it returns me $2,000, I am $1,000 wealthier than I was before. I can then exchange some of that money for anything that people are willing to trade for money.

    Once again, Dana, you fail to grasp the obvious – if the government gave everyone twice as much money, would they be wealthier?

    Your extra $1,000 in money is not wealth. It represents an extra claim you may make on wealth which is actually produced. What Goldman Sachs does, in the main, does not produce any extra wealth – it simply moves money around.

    The fact that you can’t grasp this yes demonstrates just how much credibility you lack in making any economic opinion.

    Good point, PiaToR. I am wondering whether Dana will have the good grace to acknowledge it.

  49. Business is indeed putting its foot down, thus indicating the fallacy in McConnell’s newly announced “back-up” plan to authorize the President to raise the debt ceiling. In other words, the uncompromising Repubs have lost the battle. McConnell’s back-up plan is a political maneuver intended to put the blame for raising the debt ceiling on Obama, in time for the 2012 elections. Even that might backfire, as the Repubs will be viewed as both uncompromising and responsible for the problem, based on their own record going back to 2001. In effect, McConnell is admitting defeat, which the extreme Right of his party will never do, like Michelle Bachmann, who said today that she would never, ever vote to raise the debt ceiling. What Ms Bachmann does not understand is that the debt already exists, therefore it must be paid.

  50. “After all, he continues to outshine Republicans every day, only recently shaming them by example as the little bratty children they are, unyielding on their anti-tax theology as the country threatens to crumble again.

    So, Hube?”

    Well put, Henry! I agree with your assessment.

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  52. The Phoenician proves that he’s not an economist:

    Sure I did; it’s just that you didn’t want to listen. Goldman Sachs and the other investment firms produce wealth, by taking their clients’ money, and investing it in ways which they hope will make more money.

    That is not producing wealth, Dana – that is redistributing wealth.

    No, it’s producing wealth, because money won’t be made unless it is invested in something that will, eventually, produce something which increases value. It might be that the broker — GS, whomever — has provided the money that enables an entrepreneur to start a business or expand an existing one, and part of the increased profits are returned to the investor.

    The problem is that you see things as a zero-sum game: if someone makes money, then someone else must have lost it. That’s not how economies expand.

    Oh, wait, you will claim that money is not wealth, but, as always, you are wrong: money, as a holder of wealth, is wealth in and of itself, in any society which accepts money as a liquid holder of wealth. If I have $1,000, and invest it in such a manner that it returns me $2,000, I am $1,000 wealthier than I was before. I can then exchange some of that money for anything that people are willing to trade for money.

    Once again, Dana, you fail to grasp the obvious – if the government gave everyone twice as much money, would they be wealthier?

    Yes, actually, because if the US gave everybody twice as much money, that money would still go further outside of the US, where people weren’t given the extra cash. Of course, such a system can’t work for long, because inflation will eat up the gain, but due to the externalities, there would be some increased wealth in the ability to buy more imported goods.

    Your extra $1,000 in money is not wealth. It represents an extra claim you may make on wealth which is actually produced. What Goldman Sachs does, in the main, does not produce any extra wealth – it simply moves money around.

    The fact that you can’t grasp this yes demonstrates just how much credibility you lack in making any economic opinion.

    No, the fact that you don’t understand how wealth is created proves you are no economist. The extra $1,000 is additional wealth, assuming that the investment produced the additional wealth by creating something.

    As for Goldman Sachs, of course they produce wealth, because, in the long run, if money is generated in excess of inflation, it had to come from produced wealth. Perhaps you think that means it was simply stolen from someone else, but while such is occasionally possible, overall that’s not how it works. And if Goldman Sachs and other brokers and investment bankers never contributed to increasing wealth, it wouldn’t be long before there were no brokers or investment bankers; no one would borrow from them and no one would invest in them, because it wouldn’t be a winning proposition.

    Your library almost certainly has some books on economics; I’d suggest that you read a few, but, then again, I doubt you’d understand them if you did.

  53. Perry wrote:

    Good point, PiaToR. I am wondering whether Dana will have the good grace to acknowledge it.

    Oh, I acknowledged what he wrote, but what he wrote was wrong, as explained above. You shouldn’t hitch your horse to our Kiwi Kommenter’s economic arguments, because he really doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    One of his main problems is that he doesn’t understand that money is wealth. If I have a ton of steel, that is wealth if and only if someone else is willing to pay me for it or exchange something else he has for it. The same is true with money; while money is really a tool, and a storehouse of wealth, it acts like and is wealth in itself, because other people are willing to exchange other things for it. It’s true that I can’t eat money, but, then again, I couldn’t eat that ton of steel, either.

  54. No, it’s producing wealth, because money won’t be made unless it is invested in something that will, eventually, produce something which increases value.

    You seem to have missed what has been happening over the past few years, Dana. Money was made investing in crap like CDOs, which imploded spectacularly producing nothing. The capitalist system is supposed to be tying profit to actual wealth creation; the pathology of late-stage capitalism, the reason why you have escalating crises, is because it isn’t doing this.

    Yes, actually, because if the US gave everybody twice as much money, that money would still go further outside of the US, where people weren’t given the extra cash.

    Nope. You are assuming that people outside the US are stupid, and will not simply discount the US dollar. Does the term “floating exchange rate” mean anything to you?

    There is one special case in which increasing money will make people wealthier. Do you know what it is?

    No, the fact that you don’t understand how wealth is created proves you are no economist. The extra $1,000 is additional wealth, assuming that the investment produced the additional wealth by creating something.

    Bullshit. It is a token, Dana, a claim on wealth produced within a country. As a token, it is subject to changing values, and rests on actual wealth creation. How much wealth does a Confederate dollar represent these days? Why is one yen not worth one dollar?

    One of his main problems is that he doesn’t understand that money is wealth. If I have a ton of steel, that is wealth if and only if someone else is willing to pay me for it or exchange something else he has for it.

    Again, bullshit. If you have a ton of steel, you have actual wealth. It is, however, illiquid wealth, in that you find it difficult to exchange it for a loaf of bread or new car. That is why you represent claims to that actual wealth with simple tokens, money – to facilitate exchange of actual wealth.

    At the micro level, individuals might see money as a store of wealth. At the macro level, money is not and never will be wealth.

    At the macro level, an economy is like an engine. Money is the lubrication within that engine; it enables the parts to work together. You are confusing it with the work that engine does, the actual output.

    You shouldn’t hitch your horse to our Kiwi Kommenter’s economic arguments, because he really doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    Reaaaaally? I’ve got Adam Smith on my side; who have you got?

  55. Jews don’t fit in these patterns, for whatever reasons they have, but one thing is clear: it’s not about “valu(ing) the intellect.” The smarter you are, the more probable it is that you vote Republican.

    Dana – for some reason I thought this reversed itself once you got to people with grad/professional degrees; that is, that grad/prof degree holders supported Obama over McCain. I can’t find the numbers, but I’m sure they’re out there. Am I wrong on that?

    Second, if the Republican Party weren’t in thrall to a group of people who, implicitly or explicity, wish to use the government to enforce Christianity on us, then we’d be much happier with voting Republican. I, for one, would consider voting Republican if there were a GOP candidate who didn’t think government should be used to enforce Christian morals. (In NC this is rare – the one candidate I can remember that fit this description, a Congressional candidate named B.J. Lawson, received my vote in 2008 – though not in 2010, as I had moved to a different district prior to the election.)

  56. And Yorkshire, I’m a little bit late to the party on this comment, but – could you explain what you meant by this: Meet most American Jews and you’ll get half of one side. Go to Israel and see the real Jewish people. Do you have any reason why I do not qualify as part of the “real Jewish people,” or am I misinterpreting what you meant?

  57. Jeff wrote:

    Dana – for some reason I thought this reversed itself once you got to people with grad/professional degrees; that is, that grad/prof degree holders supported Obama over McCain. I can’t find the numbers, but I’m sure they’re out there. Am I wrong on that?

    No, but there is a major skewing when it comes to graduate degrees, because we require teachers to get them; what you wind up with is a major shift in graduate study toward a particular unionized workforce.

  58. “You shouldn’t hitch your horse to our Kiwi Kommenter’s economic arguments, because he really doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

    You wish, Dana! PiaToR’s explanations make a lot more sense to me than yours do.

    As he pointed out, printing money does not increase wealth, now does it? No, it does not!

    Moreover, as PiaToR also pointed out: “It [money] is a token, Dana, a claim on wealth produced within a country.” Do you disagree with that? I agree with it.

    I suggest you bookmark PiaToR’s lessons here on macro- and micro-economic properties and issues.

    Could it be pride getting in the way of clear thinking here?

  59. Perry, the Phoenician knows nothing about economics.

    I would point out here that both you and the Phoenician have spent a great deal of bandwidth arguing for borrowing and spending more, for Paul Krugman Keynesian thinking. Dr Krugman is a Nobel Prize winning economist. But it seems that, when you look at the real world, you see the people with no responsibilities parroting the arguments given by Dr Krugman, while the ones who actually do have responsibilities — the leaders of democratic Europe, for example — going the opposite direction, going in the direction I and the conservatives like me have been advocating.

    It’s easy, when you have no responsibilities, to argue any sort of fool program you like; when you do have responsibilities, then you wind up having to take those responsibilities into account, and operate within those constraints. Do you think that the leaders of the developed nations in Europe, most of whom are to the left of American thinking, like austerity programs? Do you think that the leaders of these flirting-with-socialism nations, with cradle-to-grave welfare systems, like having to tell their people that no, they can’t have more than they can pay for?

    The real world backs my thinking; the Phoenician’s, well that’s fantasyland.

  60. “No, but there is a major skewing when it comes to graduate degrees, because we require teachers to get them; what you wind up with is a major shift in graduate study toward a particular unionized workforce.”

    To have any credibility, Dana, you need to document that statement. What fraction of graduate degrees go to teachers who end up in the profession? What fraction of teachers belong to a union? What fraction of teachers who do belong to unions belong only because the unions provide liability insurance (which the teachers pay for, about $500 per year)?

    Off the top of my head, I don’t think you have a valid point here! I think this has more to do with your demonstrated, very strong anti-union bias, together with assuming that they are predominately Democrats (which they probably are, due to Republican disdain for ample support of public education).

  61. Eh, Dana lectures one of the world’s top economists (who saw September 2008 coming, mind you) on fiscal responsibility while ignoring Republicans holding the US and world economy hostage, already undermining our credit rating, in service of “austerity.”

    http://www.businessinsider.com/why-britains-brutal-austerity-plan-isnt-working-2011-7

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jul/14/europe-austerity-mantra-disaster

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/15/business/global/15iht-pound15.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

    http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/column/article_33978541-4aaa-5737-8ced-69d1a906dc41.html

    [retrieved from moderation - pH]

  62. “Eh, Dana lectures one of the world’s top economists (who saw September 2008 coming, mind you) on fiscal responsibility while ignoring Republicans holding the US and world economy hostage, already undermining our credit rating, in service of “austerity.” “

    But Henry, in Dana’s little world, ideology trumps demonstrated facts. However, let us look for his reaction to the growing problems in the UK since austerity, assuming that he will react.

    We can well afford stimulus while we phase in austerity where austerity is applicable without worsening our fiscal [and societal] problems.

  63. So, Hube? Silence, eh?”

    By the way, Henry, this roll-out of yours containing pertinent facts is a superior rendition! No wonder Hube has been uncharacteristically silent now for four days.

  64. “It’s easy, when you have no responsibilities, to argue any sort of fool program you like; when you do have responsibilities, then you wind up having to take those responsibilities into account, and operate within those constraints.”

    So I suppose to you that the arguments of ALL college professors should be discarded because they “have no responsibilities”.

    That is really weak, Dana, because you have failed to win the debate on economics here, so you reduce yourself to attacking the messengers with whom you disagree, on the basis of their so-called “lack of responsibilities”.

    You still have not responded to your alleged misunderstanding of the distinctions between money and wealth.

    I think you are being fooled by thinking only in microeconomic terms, in which case you might think that the accumulation of money is a measure of a person’s wealth, when, as PiaToR indicated, it is only a token whose value is determined by that which can be acquired with it. The Germans in the ’20′s learned this lesson when their currency became hyperinflated, therefore in essence worthless. There have been many examples of this phenomenon through time.

  65. Perry wrote:

    “It’s easy, when you have no responsibilities, to argue any sort of fool program you like; when you do have responsibilities, then you wind up having to take those responsibilities into account, and operate within those constraints.”

    So I suppose to you that the arguments of ALL college professors should be discarded because they “have no responsibilities”.

    That is really weak, Dana, because you have failed to win the debate on economics here, so you reduce yourself to attacking the messengers with whom you disagree, on the basis of their so-called “lack of responsibilities”.

    Discarded? No. But the arguments of “ALL college professors” on economics are all over the place, many of them diametrically opposed; some of them have to be wrong.

    I noted here that the Ivy-League educated economists working for President Obama got things very wrong in their predictions concerning the economy, while our own businessman John, not Harvard educated, slowed by COPD, and a rotten spelller to boot, somehow managed to get things right in this economy, as measured by his actual success in business. Call me simplistic, but for some reason, I seem to trust the judgement of people who have been right before than of people who have gotten things wrong.

  66. So, Hube? Silence, eh?

    By the way, Henry, this roll-out of yours containing pertinent facts is a superior rendition! No wonder Hube has been uncharacteristically silent now for four days.

    Oh please, you mental pygmies. Sorry, but when it comes to a choice between several days down at Maryland’s Sassafras River or dealing with your inanities, I’ll take the break, thank you very much.

    Wheeler: Seriously, “futile” has a whole new meaning when trying to “discuss” something w/you when [most recently] 1) you say that Bush should have had a Clintonesque approach to bin Laden et. al. yet these were the same policies which culminated in 9/11. This gives “idiocy” a whole new meaning. Seriously. Then 2) you casually state “Yeah Clinton could have had bin Laden … but Bush… How in the f*** can you say that in the offhand way you do … and then seriously complain about Bush having “cornered” OBL in Afghanistan? Clinton himself stated outright that they could have assassinated OBL had he given the order. Period. End of story. After all that OBL masterminded in the 90s. But Clinton retreated. WHY? I won’t argue about Tora Bora because we never should have been in Iraq in the first place. (Which, among other items, I note there has not been one single note of acknowledgment by you, … it’s too easy to just “know” what your political opposition “really” believes, despite what they actually say, right, Wheeler?)

    3) Your reasons for claiming Obama as the greatest president in your lifetime just means you must have been born in 2001. But ultimately it boils down to pure opinion, and your opinions are thoroughly weak. I’ve already (and have others here) refuted the economic claims you’ve made about The Messiah throughout recent threads at CSPT, so it’s boring already. And you still fail to acknowledge — as you yourself have said — Bush’s role in “saving” the banking system, etc. Oh, wait, that’s right — you just point out Bush’s role in the whopper 2009 deficit figures but not the reason why. That only applies to Obama. Check. *Sigh*

    BTW, Reagan’s South American adventures? Where? Try Central American, you geographically illiterate tool. And even so, I sincerely doubt you have the slightest inkling about why they were a Reagan “negative.” Just stay away from the usual leftie sites when you attempt your research. It’ll definitely help you stay reality-based.

  67. Hube: Man, for a guy who likes to dish it out, you sure don’t have much to put on the table when it’s your turn.

    1. You surely can’t be this dense. I was talking about what Bush could have done to prevent or discover the 9/11 plot, and addressed primarily domestic means ala Clinton during the millenial threat…and you conflate that with Clinton not getting bin Laden overseas. So let’s see, since Clinton passed on the bin Laden chance that he had, Bush was justified in doing nothing? You’re incoherent.

    2. Yet when confronted with the fact that Bush had bin Laden cornered in Tora Bora and blew it, and your response is “We never should have been in Iraq in the first place.” That’s nice, but the point was that in a post-9/11 world, getting bin Laden was a lot more important than back in the 90′s. And yet Bush blew it even then.

    3. Wow, Hube, you managed to figure out that Obama being the best president of my lifetime is an opinion. You’re closing in on me!

    4. Sorry you’re so bored by having conclusively proven something about Obama’s economic record that you can’t include a link or restate your case. Guess what, Hube? I bet you’re full of crap, and that your “refutation” is full of holes! So stick it in your ear. Jesus, like you think I haven’t already heard every load of spin Republicans have tried to whip up against Obama already?

    5. “The Messiah,” eh, go f*** yourself, dick. I’m dealing in facts here, sorry you guys have a nervous breakdown over Democrats electing a good president.

    6. Bush’s role in saving the banking system (against the express wishes of Republicans, mind you) was TARP, of course, which was the beginning, not the completion of the task. Bush handed the economy to Obama broken and in freefall, with no confidence about the future of the banks. This news article should refresh your memory a little bit, I know two years is a long time and all.

    President Obama said today that his economic team is “very confident” that the administration’s newest effort to stabilize banks — a mix of public and private funds that could total $1 trillion — will help to free up credit.

    The president spoke shortly after Treasury Secretary Timonthy Geithner officially announced the long anticipated program.

    The plan aims to remove so-called toxic assets — many of them bad mortgage investments — from the banks’ balance sheets through a private-public partnership. The program will rely heavily on private investors, such as hedge funds and private-equity firms, to buy up $500 billion to $1 trillion of assets with the government providing incentives such as low interest loans and sharing in both the risk and possible profits.

    The plan announcement jolted stocks on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones industrial average rallying nearly 500 points, or 6.8 percent, to 7785.86 — the fifth biggest point gain in history.

    6. Regarding deficit numbers, I don’t blame Bush at all for the cost of TARP, just like I don’t blame Obama for the costs incurred dealing with the recession Bush handed over to him. It’s phony Republicans who want to tack 2009 onto Obama’s totals and then act like these were all frivolous costs.

    So that’s not much you really have to say about my reasons why I consider Obama the best president of my lifetime, is it? You sure are a righteous arse for having so little to bring to the discussion, after prodding. I guess you have to posture a lot to make up for the lack of content you bring to a discussion.

    I mean, c’mon, “And even so, I sincerely doubt you have the slightest inkling about why they were a Reagan “negative.””??? That’s nice, but who cares what you doubt? Let me guess, you’ve found some historians to gloss over the bloody cocaine-trafficking Contras and their terrorist campaign against the democratically elected Sandinistas, who ousted the murderous Somoza regime, resulting in a war that killed 50-75,000 mostly innocent people? And that’s just one country, Reagan supported murderous rightwing paramilitary groups in Guatemala and El Salvador as well.

    I mean, surely you have something besides “Better dead than red!” Yes, no? Something that will make the statement, “Ronald Reagan sponsored terrorism,” incorrect? Because guess what? Ronald Reagan sponsored terrorism.

    Or maybe you can just pull your head out of your arse and realize that no, Hube, this Democrat doesn’t stick Reagan at the top of his list, and that shouldn’t be a massive surprise.

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