Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.”     Abraham Lincoln,    First Inaugural Address, 4 March, 1861

September 9, 2009

Jon Henke Appearance on Rachel Maddow Show

by Brad Warbiany

Having spent a few years in the ‘sphere, I remember the good ol’ days when Jon Henke was a fellow obscurity at QandO — which I’d point out was then and is today a bit less obscure than The Liberty Papers. He’s gone on to quite a few high-profile gigs, including online media coordination for the 2006 Republican Senate candidate from Virginia.

He recently got himself into a fight with WorldNetDaily, where he may have inadvertently learned George Bernard Shaw’s lesson:

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.

I’ve largely avoided the WorldNetDaily stuff, the birthers, and all that nonsense. I do so because frankly I don’t have the time or energy to even give these conspiracy nuts a mention, much less spend more than a minute debunking them. These days, I barely have time to post about stuff I actually like to think about! And this nonsense doesn’t interest me in the slightest. Besides, my co-contributor Doug does an excellent job of it on his own. But suffice it to say that I’m in the Mataconis/Henke camp. There are a lot of things to criticize the Obama administration for, and silly fights over birth certificates are merely a distraction that obstruct our view of the important issues.

So below is Jon Henke, on the Rachel Maddow show, essentially calling the WND folks (and Maddow) to task for wasting time on nonsense, and suggesting that credible voices would do far well to distance themselves from WND:

Well said, Jon, and good work taking Maddow to task.


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25 Comments

  1. Bah.

    The Left and their double standards are hilarious. It’s perfectly okay with her, for 35% of the people in her own party to believe that Bush was behind 9-11, or knew about it and did nothing about it on purpose. It’s perfectly okay for a “Truther” and an avowed communist to be hired and given a position of responsibilty for tens of billions of dollars in the white house.

    Nothing to see here – move along folks. LITERALLY and not just figuratively, his appointment as the “watermelon” czar was a non-story.

    Oh, but the leftist MSM now has its panties all in a (faux) knot over a TINY, and extreme fringe minority of the right. Which, unlike the KOS kids and others fringe elements of the far left, who are welcomed by the Dem party – the fringe right groups are NOT embraced by, and are NOT representative of main stream conservatism.

    But the Left, masters at projection, naturally believe that the tiny crazy fringe of the right must be representative of the mainstream. Just like they believe, that because THEIR protests are all filled with paid astroturfers, the tea parties must also simply be paid shills of big oil, or big pharm, or GOP or whatever.

    As Jon pointed out, Van Jones was a NON-story – completely and 100% ignored by her and the rest of Pravda – UNTIL he resigned. She admitted it. And more outrageously, an act which Maddow feels was unjustified and ONLY occurred because of “right wing nutjobs.”

    So its unacceptably “right wingnut crazy” to not want a communist “Truther” hired as one of The One’s 30+ “Czars.” ??

    Again – bah. I’m no “birther,” and as for my OWN decorum, I will never go to a rally holding anything like an Obama=Hitler sign, etc., and in fact, if I do see one, I will try to get the person to get rid of it – knowing full well that THAT is the sign that will be intentionally isolated by Pravda for the evening news.

    But I am in the camp that reacts to stuff like this and says: “You spent the last 8 years calling Bush “Hitler” and elected democrat politicians were comparing US soldiers to Nazis, and you were bleating from the rooftops that “dissent is the highest form of patriotism,” and you were being complicit in your TOTAL silence over YOUR sides’s nutjob conspiracies…… and NOW all of a sudden you want nice manners and “civility”? Boo hoo, cry me a river. You made the rules. You showed the way. Sucks that YOUR guy Alinsky’s rules can work both ways, doesn’t it.”

    Comment by southernjames — September 9, 2009 @ 4:26 am
  2. Southernjames-
    I gotta dispute the notion that turnabout is fair play. If one side feels wronged by the other, the answer is not to use the same tactics; that can’t lead to a good place. More effective results would be acheived by the right wing if they took the high road.
    When anyone, left or right, uses a Hitler/Nazi analogy, they are only saying two things. 1)I’m scared sh*tless, and 2)I’m an idiot.
    Fear and idiocy are not going to solve America’s problems.
    Everyone (yes, everyone) needs to act better for America to get better.

    Comment by Rich — September 9, 2009 @ 6:05 am
  3. Funny how every liberal nut voice must be heard and cultivated, whereas conservative voices must be expunged, take for example the key to Maddows “reporting” the old marxist, alinsky, isolate, destroy, by boycotting, damamging their profitability, and above all as was done to McCarthy and others make an example out of them so no one participates in unapproved thought, great job comrade Maddow. It is a shame to see people sell themselves like merchandise for personal success. What happened to Hllary’s we must be able to dissent and those voices must be heard, funny how you use perjorative to destroy their credibility and impugn them, but dont dispute with facts or the nature of the charges, which is what reporters are supposed to do! this would be acceptable for propaganda is Soviet states, but America????

    Comment by Virgil Pattarino — September 9, 2009 @ 6:14 am
  4. Rich,

    I agree with you. What I don’t agree with, is the insistence upon the Left and ALL national media but I repeat myself (with the sole exception of A.M. radio commentary and Fox News), that there can be two sets of rules. One set for them, when they are out of power; and one set for the other side, when they are IN power.

    The struggle for political power in the country has clearly been defined by the Left as: “You must observe Marquis of Queensbury Rules, and we can use every dirty street fighting trick in the book. But we shall pretend we don’t do that, or ignore it when it happens; and when a tiny miniscule percentage of your side violates the Queensbury rules and strikes below the belt (while we’ve been biting, gouging, and punching you in the nuts for 8 years) WE can cry “foul,” and take great Umbrage!”

    And I am unimpressed with people from our side being enablers of that viewpoint. It makes me wonder whether they are TRULY interested in “the high road,” or if they really want to just curry favor and get invited to the “right” sort of cocktail parties.

    People like Rachel Maddow should not be let off the hook when they DEFEND their non-coverage of Van Jones’ appointment, and BLAME “nutjobs” for him resigning. If there was nothing wrong with Van Jones’ past history and political viewpoints, why didn’t Obama come to his defense? Why don’t the media raise THAT question with their hero, as opposed to just blaming his departure on who THEY defame as being nutjobs and kooks.

    The calls for “civility” coming from the Left are too hypocritical for words, and deserve no credence (or encouragement/enablement from anyone on the right) until they acknowledge that they TOO should follow the same rules – and disparage and discredit their OWN haters, conspiracy mongers, and fringe loonies. But as I believe they are incapable of doing that, I won’t be holding my breath.

    Comment by southernjames — September 9, 2009 @ 6:30 am
  5. The problem here is the MSM. When we’re making reasoned arguments against Obama’s policy, we are ignored. When we have peaceful protests against the present and future debt being taken out in our name, we are mocked. When one of us is beaten by union thugs for trying to speak out on health care, the news is buried.

    When we start dropping Nazi references, we make their “news”. When one of us makes holds up a crazy sign like “keep the government’s hands of my Medicare”, he is made a celebrity. When one of us makes a racist reference to Obama, we are all condemned.

    As much as the blogosphere has brought sunlight to bear against the media, it’s not enough. They are still running an ideological narrative that has no room to admit that the libertarian/conservative wing of the polity had anything to offer but a big fat dose of racist crazy.

    The problem with this situation is that it allows no room for us to begin fighting dirty because the MSM ideological machine is set to turn that against us.

    We need to devise our own set of rules to knock down the credibility of the media. Every time we catch them in a lie, whether direct or of omission, we need to beat them over the head with it. Every time we find them spouting fantasy about economics and the efficacy government, we need to whack them in the kneecaps with it. We need to make a concerted effort to debase the media and debase the narrative. Only that will change the rules.

    Jon Hinke went in a direction that’s actually useful to defending our sector of the polity. Let’s encourage him to keep it up.

    Comment by Quincy — September 9, 2009 @ 7:22 am
  6. [...] [HT: Liberty Papers] [...]

    Pingback by Jon Henke Challenges Rachel Maddow | QandO — September 9, 2009 @ 7:47 am
  7. Hinke did about as good as can be expected, I suppose – considering it is her forum and she controls the discussion. But I’m not all rah rah cheering him over his performance. Because I don’t think he opened up a single liberal’s eyes with his guest appearance, but more or less simply served to reinforce Rachel Maddow’s and the MSM “narrative.”

    I would have liked him to have raised the issue discussed in my prior posts a little sooner than in the final 20 seconds of his 7 minute or whatever it was, spot. He spent the first 95% of his interview going along and getting along, and being the “enabler” of this double standard – amiably agreeing with that Leftist twit on all her “points” about all those nasty right wing crazies. Instead of clarifying up front and firmly, that they are a TINY minority, contrary to the MSM’s chosen “narrative,” AND comparing her “concern” over birthers with her lack of concern over “Truthers” in order to point out her hypocrisy.

    Until the very end, not calling for the same standards to be applied by HER side too. And I think he failed to negate the impression that the “birther” crowd is representative of main stream conservatism, but in fact represents a MUCH smaller slice of this side of the aisle than the MORE heinous “Truther” movement represents, on their side.

    I could only stomach watching the entire thing all the way to the end, because Brad promised that he “took her to task.” He FINALLY did so – and she shot him right down and rebuffed him with her “and the crazies got Van Jones” retort. And then the interview ended. So I give him credit for going on the show – but….I’m not overly enamored with the performance.

    Rachels’ wrap-up for her viewers, as unfortunately assisted by Hinke, was no doubt something like:

    “Well it’s good to know that there is ONE sane and sensible person on the right, in the midst of all that overwhelming and widespread ignorance, racism, sexism, homophobia, islamophobia, and all around craziness. Let’s all hope that he won’t remain a sole and lonely voice.”

    Comment by southernjames — September 9, 2009 @ 8:07 am
  8. I heard John Henke on the Rachel Maddow show and was impressed. I thought that his blog might be a good place for left-right discourse; something I think our country needs. Unfortunately after reading the comments I see this is very unlikely.

    Comment by Django — September 9, 2009 @ 8:33 am
  9. Right-Left discourse which doesn’t START from the presumption that: Tea Party protesters are ignorant, uncivil, racist, tea “baggers”; and that the right is dominated by right wing “birther” nut jobs — and, which is willing to acknowledge that left wing “truthers” are every bit as nutty as birthers and should be shunned by the Left as much as you want birthers to be shunned by the Right — would be welcome.

    That is not what you see attempted on Glen Beck. But neither is it what you see attempted on Rachel Maddow.

    Comment by southernjames — September 9, 2009 @ 9:03 am
  10. First let us agree to forego name calling. If we disagree, let us do it civilly. But let us at least try to understand what the other believes. I do not know what the “New Right” stands for. To me what I hear on the media seems contradictory. I certainly have strong viewpoints that I am always willing to share.

    Comment by Django — September 9, 2009 @ 9:47 am
  11. I think a critical first step is to realize and accept that the main stream media has its own agenda aside from merely presenting the facts of a situation in a balanced fashion. This creates misimpressions among people who do not go to alternate sources such as the internet, for their information. As just one lone example, people who ONLY get their daily news from the New York Times in print, and CNN on t.v., were never told anything about Van Jones. Until after he resigned. And then, what was conveyed was essentially that he was hounded from his job for being a former “activist” by a pack of loud ultra-conservatives.

    People who ONLY get their daily news from those two sources are no doubt under the misimpression that people show up at tea party protests and town halls, carrying guns and Obama-Fascist signs on a regular basis. As opposed to it being the extremely rare exception.

    I am not sure what you mean by the “New Right.” I have not heard that description from any of the sources I read. Perhaps you could explain what you mean with that description.

    I do believe there are different variations of political conservatism. People who are right of center are not at all in lockstep in all of their beliefs. There are widely diverging views on social issues (abortion, gay marriage, immigration, etc.); international relations – a LOT of people on the right disapproved of Bush’s Iraq war – most especially the handling of Iraq after Saddam was toppled. They are given various labels (some of them meant to be disparaging) such as “social-cons,” “neo-cons,” etc.

    But the libertarian brainy political wonks who run this site can do a much better job of explaining the subtle variations of political philosophies right of center than I could. Anarcho-topias, and stuff.

    A very important distinction which needs to be made (and which some of the libertarians on this site refuse to do) is that “conservative” is NOT synonymous with “Republican.” The GOP is not conservative in spite of the MSM’s efforts to paint anything to the right of Nancy Pelosi as being so. At least it is not controlled by conservatives. Bush I and Bush II and McCain were IMO, big government “moderates” or “centrists” who were really not very far to the right of Bill Clinton, if to his right at all.

    Comment by southernjames — September 9, 2009 @ 10:40 am
  12. Certainly the mainstream media are biased; switching back and forth between FOX and MSNBC can at times make you feel like they are on different planets.

    I think I heard John Henke mention the term “New Right” on the interview with Rachel. I could be wrong I was in and out on the interview. Anyway your explanation clarifies the muddy situation.

    I am mainly interested in viewpoints, ideas and so forth. For example I believe that our government should be as open to the public as possible; I do not use the term transparent because that has become a four letter word with me. If our government is not open then what we discuss has little meaning. I think both liberals and conservatives can back this.

    Our president ran on opening the government to the people. At times I am disappointed at the progress but I think we should give him a chance. I am hopeful.

    Comment by Django — September 9, 2009 @ 12:43 pm
  13. The trick is to not watch either Fox news or MSNBC.

    I don’t think you would get any disagreement from those on the right in terms of favoring tranparency in government, and I also recall that this was a real centerpiece of Obama’s campaign.

    I would like full disclosure from ALL politicians. Who are public figures. Which means things like Bush’s transcripts from college and his full military records, should have been disclosed. To my knowledge I think they ultimately were – but I am not 100% positive. Kerry should have signed the form which would have released ALL of his military records, and not just some of them. Which he promised to do but never did. Obama should release ALL of his records too – whether they be related to his passport/residency in other countries growing up, college transcripts, etc. We all know Bush’s and Kerry’s and Gore’s grade point averages in college. And I think the courses they took too, were made public. Why don’t we know Obama’s; and what is really more scandalous to me — why has nobody in the media ever asked why?

    We elected the LEAST “vetted” candidate in my lifetime. And nobody outside of the internet and A.M. radio gives a crap.

    Where we disagree, is that I think Obama did the exact opposite of what he promised. First example: He promised to put all proposed bills online for no less than five days, so that the public could read them and debate. The first 787 Billion dollar stimulus bill which was rammed through Congress was not made available to the public until AFTER it was passed. Second example: 30+ “czars” all operating outside the appointment process of vetted cabinet positions. Just selected. No open disclosure and public discussion, as to the history on these people – no vetting by an NON-watchdog main stream media – who just sit silently by.

    “Sunshine is the best disinfectant.”

    The vetting of these czars has fallen to the people themeselves. Bloggers who do their own legwork, now have to be the investigators who share their findings.

    There are other examples. For example, he appears to be closed and intentionally inscrutable as opposed to open and transparent as to whether he believes or does not believe in the ‘public option.’ Perhaps he will come out and finally make a firm stand and take a firm position in his latest address. I could go on – But I believe that this Administration has shown itself to be far LESS open than either the Bush or Clinton administrations were. Neither of whom made more transparency and openness a specific campaign PROMISE.

    Finally, I believe that BUT FOR the town hall ruckus of this summer, congress would have passed, and Obama would have signed into law, a bill which would have transformed 1/6th of our entire economy…..which the legislators themselves HAD NOT READ. As President professing to be in favor of “openness,” and “disclosure” and “transparency” Obama’s lack of leadership in failing to step in and say “stop – let’s discuss this thing,” reflects exceptionally poorly upon him. Just my opinion.

    Bottom line on where our opinions differ on this issue: I think he has HAD his chance, and in 8 short months he has blown it. Regardless of my differences in political philosophies with Obama, I simply do not trust the man.

    Comment by southernjames — September 9, 2009 @ 1:59 pm
  14. He’s had his chance. The 5 day waiting period? Apparently, it’s only good enough for guns. No bill has stayed on Obama’s desk for 5 days.

    The first major bill of the administration was rammed through Congress so quickly that few legislators had a chance to read it. Same thing with the auto bailouts. The bailouts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In fact, slam it through so quickly no one gets what’s in it has become the norm in the Obama-Pelosi-Reid edition of the US government.

    The only difference on health care is Obama couldn’t get it rammed through before opposing Republicans could read the thing and start putting out specifics.

    Then there’s the whole selection of cabinet appointees, the “czars”, etc. Not to mentioned the continued lack of action on Charlie Rangel.

    I could buy the transparency line on January 20. I can’t now.

    Comment by Quincy — September 9, 2009 @ 10:21 pm
  15. Django,

    One criticism (which may be unfair) I hear from many on the ‘right’ about liberalism (not ‘classical’ liberalism, but about those who are nowawdays known as “progessives”) is that it is a political philosophy that appears to OFTEN be based largely on emotion and feelings. Rather than logic. I myself view the democratic party as being the “party of unintended consequences.” Some new program (like LBJ’s “great society”) is concocted because it just seems like a good and noble thing to do. It “feels” right. And those opposing it make those who advocate it, emotionally upset – they must be “mean,” or “selfish” or “racist” or something. And then it gets passed, and everyone feels so good and noble and moves on with their lives. And on to the next feel-good project. Never looking back. Never considering or anticipating the unintended consequences (destruction of nuclear family units, marginalization of poor adult males leaving a viscious cyle of lack of male role models, encouragement of sloth and non-ambition and welfare fraud – creation of a permanant dependant underclass, etc., etc….the Government’s War on Poverty….a total failure). Or caring about the consequences afterwards.

    What matters is that if felt good and noble at the time.

    Up to bat now? “Public Option” health care. “Everyone” is going to get medical care, because everyone “should” get health care and so therefore it is just the proper thing to do. It feels so right and so therefore, the hell with pesky little details. And let’s put our blinders firmly in place if somebody brings up potential ‘unintended consequences.’

    That is the perception.

    Now, on the topic YOU have selected: More “open” government — as specifically PROMISED by Obama during his campaign….

    You’ve heard opinions from one side. Having heard those, how about if you destroy the ‘myth’ that conservative have about the left being all about “feelings” if in fact it is a myth, and explain, with examples, exactly WHY you still feel “hopeful,” 8 months in, and based on what we’ve seen so far – that your guy will, in fact, live up to his promises to have a more open and transparent administration than his predecessors. Examples to show that he even INTENDS to.

    Comment by southernjames — September 10, 2009 @ 6:49 am
  16. I am glad to see we can agree on something. I firmly believe that opening government to the people is the most important issue before us; without it we are doomed. I agree sunshine is the best disinfectant, I hope both liberals and conservatives keep this in mind.

    I also think we should apply this philosophy to the past so we know what worked and what didn’t. I disagree that the previous administration was more open than the current one so let’s investigate and the people judge. We spent 50 million investigating Clinton’s financial transgressions only finding he had been unfaithful. (If any in the previous government had extra marital affairs I don’t want to know about it.)

    I agree that politicians or at least their team should read any bill they sign. I also think politicians and potential politicians should be able to discuss issues without Teleprompters.

    As I mentioned before I have been disappointed in the progress of opening government. But change is difficult in Washington; we should have a better picture in a couple of years.

    Comment by Django — September 10, 2009 @ 7:28 am
  17. Yes In my opinion liberals are a “feelings” group in general. That is I believe that liberals want to help the less fortunate. But I also think most liberals are logical. For example I assume we can all agree that an open government is essential.

    You mentioned the public option. Let’s look at this from a global perspective. The rest of the world has national health care; those evil Europeans. They pay about ½ of what we do for health care and their numbers are often better than ours. You can argue this all you want but all the legitimate studies I have seen rate most these country’s medical care better than ours and their people prefer their system to ours.

    But the point here is not a feel good issue but an economic one. They have cheaper medical care and this is reflected in the global economy. I don’t know if you have noticed but our auto industry has had its butt kicked in the past 20 years by foreign companies. One of the main reasons (not the only) is health care expense. A CEO for GM recently stated that GM is a health care company that happens to sell cars. Unless we can curb health care expense I don’t think we can compete globally. Unless we remove the insurance company’s 30 percent profit margin I don’ know how we can lower cost sufficiently. The only contribution the insurance companies make to health care is shifting money around.

    The only other approach would be for large companies to limit health care to employees. This would mean the insurance companies would have fewer resources to draw from and cost would rise; only the elite could afford heath care. Then the problem would be convincing the masses that the other guys are to blame.

    Bottom line: We will have to compete with those evil socialized countries.

    Another “feel good” issue is public education. It certainly does not reside in Republican philosophy (I don’t how conservatives etc. feel about it).

    I believe that the next 50 years will see a revolution in theoretical physics much like we saw during the first half of the 20th century. In my opinion the Copenhagen Interpretation will fall and we will embrace a new era in technology (like the 20th century). The results could be catastrophic. Imagine if Hitler had had nuclear weapons.

    Our educational system is slipping (my opinion). The republicans don’t care; look at Bush II and McCain. Does anybody question they would have even gotten into the colleges they went to if not for their parents. Obviously it’s more important who you are than what you can do. Moreover, I have wondered why Republicans have the intense abhorrence for Clinton and now Obama. Could it be since they were not affluent they felt they should be working for a dollar an hour in a sweat shop?

    Science is deteriorating. The Large Hadron Collider is in Europe and Biomedical research continues to leave the US going to Europe and India. Our past Republican administration spent its time trying to get Creation Science taught in schools. Science is not even a major topic on most browsers. Kids who are good at math and science are nerds. Who would ever take math or science courses in college, they’re hard? Medical schools often recommend that applicants do not take calculus because it is difficult to make a good grade in it. Many science majors with a BS have not taken DiffEq. An understanding of modern science is difficult or impossible without DiffEq.

    I think we need all the help we can get in math, science and engineering. This means educating everyone. I think our educational system is in shambles; it needs an overhaul. We would probably disagree on the overhaul but I firmly believe that unless we promote math and science we will pay for it.

    Bottom line: We will have to compete with evil socialized countries that promote math and science.

    Yes I am a “feelings” person but I believe that my agendas are necessary to maintain our country’s status.

    Comment by Django — September 10, 2009 @ 9:38 am
  18. Having a hard time resisting delving into a little bit of subtle sarcasm directed at the right, with that use of the word “evil” not once but twice?

    Remember, that cuts both ways. If you want to slide back down into the gutter, I’ll be happy to follow you there. Remember – you don’t get to have one set of rules for your side, and require me to play by another. Those days are, sadly for your side, over.

    “The only other approach would be for large companies to limit health care to employees.” There are ALL SORTS of approaches to health care reform (such as opening up competition among insurers across state lines, etc., etc.) which can be enacted in lieu of a “public option,” if you study the issue.

    Oh, and GM’s health care nightmares are a result of decades of Cadillac union goodies, which other non UAW manufacturers are NOT saddled with, combined with tens of thousands of retirees, who are entitled to a life-time of care/pension benys. Under their fat union contracts.

    Education: “Does anybody question they would have even gotten into the colleges they went to if not for their parents.” No. Of course not. And your point is?

    “Obviously it’s more important who you are than what you can do.” Sometimes. Sometimes not. That is how the world has always worked and always will work. Sometimes if your Daddy is not influential as in the case of Bush, McCain (and oh yeah, two more you forgot – Kennedy and Gore -hmm, why is that?) affirmative action can give you an advantage over other average schleps too, just as if your Dad WAS a bigwig.

    Unless Obama got into Occidental, Columbia, and Harvard based solely on merit – high grades and high test scores.

    But we’ll never know, now will we, because he has never and will never release those test scores and grades.

    “Moreover, I have wondered why Republicans have the intense abhorrence for Clinton and now Obama. Could it be since they were not affluent they felt they should be working for a dollar an hour in a sweat shop?”

    You apparently don’t know any republicans personally, and apparently do not read any conservative publications, such as National Review Online, etc. – - for you to make such a ridiculous statement. Truly ludicrous. “You’re not born rich, so you should be stuck in a sweat shop.” ?? Do you truly believe that bullshit?

    Republicans disliked Clinton, but it had ZERO to do with his working class background. Guess what? Lots of Republican politicians came from working class backgrounds too. Ever hear of Sarah Palin?

    And in very sharp contrast to people like Clinton or Palin, Obama was by no means poor or even working class – but instead grew up in a privileged and sheltered environment in Hawaii, and for almost his entire life, attended very elite, expensive and exclusive private schools.

    “I think our educational system is in shambles; it needs an overhaul.”

    So we can agree that the Government run “public” school system in this country is a mess. Good.

    Question: Which organization stands firmly in the way of making any significant and meaningful educational reforms, and lobbies constantly for the status quo? And which party do they have in their back pocket? Hint: It’s a Union.

    Sorry, but John McCain (for all his faults, and I actually strongly dislike the man) is not the reason American high school students are fed pablum and held to low standards in math and science.

    Comment by southernjames — September 10, 2009 @ 10:23 am
  19. Django –

    Too many fallacies to refute all at once here, but the credibility of your argument is seriously damaged by the claim that insurance companies in general are close to a 30% profit margin. Proof, please?

    Comment by Quincy — September 10, 2009 @ 10:31 am
  20. “Our past Republican administration spent its time trying to get Creation Science taught in schools.”

    Really? I don’t recall that. Source, please?

    I do recall:

    The Bush administation spent its time fighing illegal wars for oil and to enrich Halliburton stockholders, remember? And the death totals were on the front page of the national papers, every single week. Until after January 20th, when the death totals became boring and irrelevant and are no longer mentioned.

    And spent its time trying to kill black people in New Orleans, remember?

    And spent its time electronically eavesdropping on all our telephone conversations so that they could destroy all of our civil liberties, remember? How I weep when I remember all of those librarians rounded up by John Ashcroft’s jack-booted thugs. I hope they’ve been released.

    I mean sure – President Bush may have made a few dozen speeches here and there, proclaiming that the world was created in 7 days and is only 5,000 years old (not that I can find them archived anywhere), but I missed where his Department of Education passed out mandatory or even suggested teaching materials on evolution and intelligent design.

    The “tips for teachers, on how students can ‘help’ the PRESIDENT” (as opposed to helping their COUNTRY) is a more recent invention, I do believe.

    But if so and if you are correct – well that goes a long long way to explaining why 8th graders in Japan get higher Algebra scores than American 8th graders. Oh well, at least OUR kids know more about multi-cultural sensitivity, diversity, and the new secular religion of moral equivalancy.

    Comment by southernjames — September 10, 2009 @ 10:41 am
  21. Yes I have known a lot of Republicans; many “intelligent” Republicans, professional etc. My sweat shop comment reflects my interpretation of their attitudes. Of course they would never admit it but you could bring out if you pushed. On occasion I did; it was informative but not pretty. My sweat shop comment also comes from a discussion I had with a town father when I was leaving my childhood poverty (I’ve been in a lot of gutters and a lot of fights). Anyway the town father a strong Republican lectured me saying didn’t I know who I was and what did I think I was doing trying to leave. So yeah I do believe that BS, I have been there; I guess I still have a chip on my shoulder. It didn’t end, I have continued to see and experience these events and it is usually from Republicans (but not always).

    True, I have not read many conservative publications, then again I have not read any communist literature either (well I did read one story when I took Russian). I’m not comparing the two I just don’t have any desire to read either.

    You are correct about Obama, he was middle class. But it’s debatable whether being Afro-American or being from a low economic class is worse. I know about affirmative action but I don’t think that has much to do with being president.

    I know that there are Republicans that came from disadvantaged situations but I find it interesting that the last two Democratic presidents came from such and both were well educated and articulate whereas BushII and McCain were from elite backgrounds and were well….

    As for Republicans disliking Clinton I recall them complaining that he was stealing all their ideas; he responded that he only stole the good ones. He was a moderate and many of his policies were to right of center. On a recent TV interview Alan Greenspan stated that Clinton was the best Republican president we have had in while (paraphrased). My point is considering he was a Democrat I don’t see how the Republicans could object to his policies.

    Yep I’ve heard of Sara Palin; didn’t know she came from a disadvantaged background. Now there is an intellectual for you.

    Yes there are a lot of reasons for the American automobile problems most assuredly entitlements. But one of the biggest costs of entitlements is health care.

    Yes there are many other proposed solutions besides the public option. But many including me believe these are just gimmicks that can at some later date be forgotten. I repeat the only contribution health care insurance makes is shifting money. The 30 percent figure I used is one that is often thrown about. I don’t know where it came from, I don’t know what their profit margin is and I doubt that few if any do. Do you doubt that their profit is significant? About 25 years ago I had connections with a large insurance company. One thing that was apparent was that insurance was a very lucrative investment for the ultra rich.

    I stand corrected; I should have said my perception of the previous administration’s educational reforms was to see that Creation Science was taught in K-12.

    In my opinion the public educational systems needs reform but it will be difficult to do. From my experience the private schools are worse. The teachers cannot fail or even in some cases discipline the son of the man who donated 50K for the new gym. I was also surprised to find that the subject matter taught at some private colleges was dictated by parents. I lectured at several of these colleges and was astounded at the knowledge base of the students. In my opinion these schools are “pseudo” schools.

    My use of the word “evil” reflects what I perceive as the conservative view of socialism. I don’t recall hearing the word “evil” used but I have heard many references which reflect that attitude, usually toward other countries. This seems somewhat hypocritical to me since our country is collection of free market and socialistic systems. If you believe that socialism is bad you should point out these systems in our government. Say what you mean and mean what you say. In any case we will have to compete with countries that are very socialistic; if the system is that bad we shouldn’t have any problem.

    The military, police, Medicare, Social Security and public education are socialistic. I know Republicans would like to do away with Medicare, Social Security and public education but that would not bode well for being reelected so they don’t mention anything about them. The previous administration seemed to be experimenting with replacing our current military with mercenaries but I’m not sure that was successful.

    So I think in the near future we will remain a country with socialistic components.

    As for sinking into the gutter, I have been there many times but I think these types of discussions are over when you do that. As for as one side playing by a different set of rules it seems to me that the Republicans have always been known as the party of dirty tricks. In my opinion in the last several weeks or months there has been a barrage of Republican dirty tricks. I’m not saying that Democrats are innocent but Republicans in my opinion are much better at it.

    I don’t think I have resorted to name calling; if so I apologize. I was sarcastic regarding Sara Palin but I think she deserves it.

    Comment by Django — September 10, 2009 @ 2:25 pm
  22. I’m sorry you had a bad experience with a registered Republican, who lectured you to stay in your sweatshop, or in your gutter or in your “place.” Out of 40 million registered Republicans, I’m sure there are some other really bad eggs too. And as a member of the party of Feelings and Emotion, you naturally internalize that bad personality trait which some individuals have, as being reflective of an actual political philosopny.

    Some people believe that free markets and encouragement of entrepreneurial capitalism, as opposed to oppressive and stifling centralized control of production and capital, is a way to create opportunity for advancement and BRING people out of sweatshops. But that is just a political philosophy as opposed to feelings and internalized emotions, which can give someone an angry and emotional “chip on their shoulder” to the point where they can not objectively analyze differing political philosophies.

    “From my experience the private schools are worse. The teachers cannot fail or even in some cases discipline the son of the man who donated 50K for the new gym.”

    And in the government school, the star football player gets more leeway than the goth punk, when caught with contraband. But getting to, you know, the actual point, I think it is a statistical fact that private schools and home schoolers, and other alternatives to the failed government school system, on average produce students with higher test scores and better academics. But there are those pesky facts getting in the way of emotion and feelings again. So never mind.

    “The military, police, Medicare, Social Security and public education are socialistic.” That’s a tired old canard liberals use to attempt to try to point out that conservative opposition to socialism is somehow hypocritical. Try to stay away from the DNC and Kos Kids propaganda “talking points,” next time. The definition of “socialism” that conservatives refer to as being an objectionable economic system, is that which results in centralized federal or state ownership and control, oversight, and administration of the means of production and allocation of resources.

    The military is not in the slightest way shape or form, reflective of socialism, because every single form of government in the history of the world has had a military. And when my local fire company chief or county sheriff who heads up our local police department or local county school board members – who are all LOCALLY elected officials – people who live in our neighborhoods (one of whom lives two streets over from me) are replaced by an Administrative Department in Washington DC, and federal bureacrat employees for life, 1000 miles away, control their federal employee firemen, police officers and school teachers in my town from D.C. – then we’ll talk about those entities, and socialism.

    I’m sure that is what you would like. And people like me will fight you tooth and nail to prevent that from happening. Why? Because it is so insanely inefficient and worse, detrimental to individual liberty and freedom, one could almost call it downright….hmmmm…what’s that word, oh yeah – evil.

    “I know Republicans would like to do away with Medicare, Social Security and public education…”
    That is a lie. Stop lying. Or if you actually BELIEVE that, then go educate yourself before, once again, making stupid statements. Oh yeah, that’s right I forgot – you have no desire to actually educate yourself about what conservatives believe and what they TRY to make their GOP elected officials follow, because – to you, conservative philosophy is so extreme it is just the flip side of COMMUNISM. That says a lot about you. Pretty much says it all, in fact.

    Guess what? Wanting programs significantly reformed is not the same as eliminating them. I suppose the reason some people would like the two socialistic programs of social security and medicare significantly reformed is because they are financially broke ponzi schemes getting ready to COLLAPSE. And yes, politicians of both parties have to cater to their voting bases. So when a special interest group like AAARP screams bloody murder and, aided and abetted by Pelosi/Reid, screams “Bush is going to through Granny out in the streets,” when Bush floats the IDEA of private investment accounts for social security – as a way to try to SAVE it – sure…..politicians are going to run for cover. And the media stands silently by. The rules of the game are: Only the Left, like Obama does in EVERY SINGLE F–KING SPEECH HE GIVES, can use hyperbolic scare tactics. But it’s “bad form” if the right does it. Yes, we all understand the rules. Got it.

    As for the background of politicians – McCain and Bush were from advantaged backgrounds and Clinton wasn’t. So the fuck what? Gore was from every bit as privileged a background as Bush. John Kerry? He grew up attending elite private schools in Switzerland. Ted Kennedy was one car accident away from being president – but at least that did not stop him from never being brought to justice for his actions, but instead remaing a US Senator, decade after decade after decade. Must have been that privileged background of his, huh? Ya think?

    Reagan grew up as working middle class, just like Clinton. He got rich before becoming a politician, by becoming an actor. Clinton got rich (VERY rich) be BEING a politician. Is one route to fame and fortune better than another?

    I never said Palin came from a “disadvantaged background.” Working middle class is not “disadvantaged,” where I come from. Maybe it is, if you are (or have become) some sort of liberal elitist. Regardless, you then change the subject by taking a shot at her intellect, when the topic (YOUR topic) was economic backgrounds of politicians.

    And as for Obama, he was by no means from a disadvantaged economic background, as I pointed out. As for affirmative action – you are right – it has nothing to do with “BEING” president. Ah, but you slyly change the subject again. Was that intentional? The issue was ‘privileged’ versus ‘non-privileged’ backgrounds (Rule: Fine for Liberals – so it is never even discussed; but cause for suspicion with Conservatives and decreases their credibility. Got it. We know the rules).

    The issue was how much did affirmative action act in the same manner for him as if he had instead had an influential Father like Bush, in terms of Obama getting into and through his private high school, Occidental, Columbia, and Harvard? And only someone who is truly delusional would believe that a white man named Barry Dunham (his Mom’s name) – with the EXACT same education, drive and oratorical skills, could have served a couple of terms as a Illinois state senator, and then run for President and win, as a freshman US Senator. He was not elected president in spite of his race, but because of it.

    “So I think in the near future we will remain a country with socialistic components.”

    And the battle will be how many more “socialistic components” Obama/Reid/Pelosi will be able to create which previously did not exist, and how much more control Obama/Reid/Pelosi will be able to tranfer to the Federal govt, over the socialistic components already in place.

    Comment by southernjames — September 11, 2009 @ 4:27 am
  23. I thought we were going to refrain from name calling.

    As far as public vs private education, I believe both are in trouble primarily because they are controlled by parents. I don’t know who should control the educational systems, I don’t have a solution I just know what we are doing both public and private is not working.

    Yes private schools graduate students with better scores but their student body comes in with better scores, education and attitude. Until you can control parameters making comparisons are futile.

    If you believe that Republicans do not want to eliminate Medicare, public education and Social Security then you are deluding yourself. You should read more. Remember the market is the solution.

    As far as fighting you guys, I have been doing that all my life. I had to do that to get out of the gutter and then to stay out of it. It is not my choosing but I don’t expect it to end, but this discussion has.

    Comment by Django — September 11, 2009 @ 6:13 am
  24. Public schools are in trouble because of too MUCH parental control? Wow. That’s a new one. Incredible.

    My daughter is a senior in a public h.s. Gosh, I wish somebody had told me years ago that I had ANY sort of say or control over WHO was going to teach her, WHAT courses she was going to be given, WHAT textbooks and materials would be used, what the curricula and SUBJECT matter of the courses would be. ET CETERA.

    That’s a real LOL moment. Thanks for that laugh.

    “If you believe that Republicans do not want to eliminate Medicare, public education and Social Security then you are deluding yourself. You should read more. Remember the market is the solution.”

    I will! I’ll read and read and try my best to search for copies of any Republican sponsored bills EVER introduced seeking to “eliminate” rather than reform Medicare, Social Security, and public education.

    In the meantime, let’s start with the official 2008 GOP campaign platform, shall we?

    “Social Security: We are committed to putting Social Security on a sound fiscal basis. Our society faces a profound demographic shift over the next twenty-five years, from today’s ratio of 3.3 workers for every retiree to only 2.1 workers by 2034. Under the current system, younger workers will not be able to depend on Social Security as part of their retirement plan. We believe the solution should give workers control over, and a fair return on, their contributions. No changes in the system should adversely affect any current or near-retiree. Comprehensive reform should include the opportunity to freely choose to create your own personal investment accounts which are distinct from and supplemental to the overall Social Security system.

    Medicare and Medicaid: As discussed in the health care section of this document, we commit to revive Medicare by rewarding quality care, promoting competition, eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse, and giving patients and providers control over treatment options. We envision a new Medicaid partnership with the states, improving public health through flexibility and innovation.”

    Hmmm. A lot of wishy washy political rhetoric, but I just can’t seem to find that assasin’s killer bullet hidden anyplace in there. Sneaky Republicans! Okay, well then….

    Let’s try Education! Maybe the GOP support for going back to one-room school houses – or even better!! – denying education altogether to any non-white person who can’t afford a fancy Bush/McCain private school – will be gleaned from this passage:

    “Reviewing the Federal Role in Primary and Secondary Education: Although the Constitution assigns the federal government no role in local education, Washington’s authority over the nation’s schools has increased dramatically. In less than a decade, annual federal funding has shot up 41 percent to almost $25 billion, while the regulatory burden on state and local governments has risen by about 6.7 million hours – and added $141 million in costs – during that time. We call for a review of Department of Education programs and administration to identify and eliminate ineffective programs, to respect the role of states, and to better meet state needs.

    To get our schools back to the basics of learning, we support initiatives to block-grant more Department of Education funding to the states, with requirements for state-level standards, assessments, and public reporting to ensure transparency. Local educators must be free to end ineffective programs and reallocate resources where they are most needed.”

    Gosh. (Scratches head). Destruction of public education has just GOT to be in there somewhere. I mean, it just FEELS like that is what those mean Republicans must stand for, right? That’s what Liberals apparently all tell each other, so it must be true.

    Yes indeedy, this discussion is most certainly over.

    And I wish you the best of luck in fighting those Republicans, so that they don’t send you back to that Sweat Shop gutter, like you and I just know they are all yearning to do.

    Comment by southernjames — September 11, 2009 @ 7:32 am
  25. I see that someone is trying to make the ludicrous point that conservatives want to somehow do away with our public school system. No one wants to do that! They simply want to fix our FAILED public school system.

    We have major cities in the U.S. with a 75% dropout rate!! Chicago and DC are two cities that come to mind. They spend almost twice the national average per student and still produce the worst overall results. And those cities tend to be controlled overwhelmingly by Democrats. And somehow liberals are supposed to be the public school champions and conservatives are the public school enemies?!? How do you square that??

    I am not against the idea of public schools… however I am against the systematic destruction of our public school system by those who use and abuse our children’s education as a source of their political power.

    Here is an INCREDIBLE essay written by a former NYC Teacher of the Year that absolutely eviscerates the obscenely inept and neglectful public education system in American… for me, the (seemingly intentional) destruction of our school system is paramount to child abuse and treason.

    Read for yourself and decide if he has a point. Are we miserably failing our children and is there a certain group that seeks to maintain the status quo for their own political gain?

    Read and ponder… “Against School” by John Taylor Gatto:

    http://www.wesjones.com/gatto1.htm

    Unions and special interests are using children as political pawns. It has to stop.

    Put control back in the hands of the states, bring competition into the system and take “political correctness” out and put education back in… for the sake of our children and for the future of our country.

    Comment by Painesright — September 13, 2009 @ 8:23 am

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