October 27th, 2008

Spread it around—it would be good to see this particular “wealth” redistributed

The following audio tape is from a 2001 Obama radio interview. It’s already featured on Drudge, so it’s sure to reach quite a few people.

But I’m doing my little bit by posting it here. You can do yours by sending it to everyone you can think of who isn’t already one hundred percent in the Obama camp.

When a person recreates him/herself by using a mask in order to hide the true self and hidden beliefs, the facade is not that easy to sustain over time. A person ordinarily slips up every now and then, especially when fatigued.

Obama’s “spread the wealth” answer to Joe the Plumber’s question was immediately recognized as a telling error of this sort. That’s why Joe had to be investigated and if possible discredited—to deflect attention from what Obama had said and what it revealed about him.

Michelle Malkin offers a transcript.

Let’s see if the MSM picks up on this. Any bets?

124 Responses to “Spread it around—it would be good to see this particular “wealth” redistributed”

  1. Toes Says:

    So, after all these years, the neocons are turfed and a very liberal administration is to be tested with a harsh economy. You Yanks sure do make interesting politics.

    There was a terrific interesting interview last week on Democracy Now …

    McCain Campaign Calls Obama a “Socialist”—But Why is That a Smear?

    As the presidential race enters the final stretch, the McCain campaign has been sharpening a new line of attack against Sen. Barack Obama: charging that his tax plan amounts to socialism. We speak to Harper’s publisher Rick MacArthur about whether Obama is a socialist and why being called one is considered a smear in US political culture.

  2. grackle Says:

    In past Presidential elections I’ve always had the comforting thought that no matter which of the two candidates were elected that since this was America neither candidate would be a complete disaster. I thought that the nomination and general campaign was a process that acted as a rough quality control on candidates.

    But the more I learn about Obama the more frightened I become.

    This latest revelation about Obama’s thoughts on redistribution of wealth is ominous. I think Obama will be elected. With a filibuster-proof Congress and a MSM whose prestige and credibility depends on Obama being viewed as “the one,” we have for the first time the conditions that are ripe for a bloodless revolution toward the far, far Left.

    Be afraid America – be very, very afraid. The purge is coming.

  3. nyomythus Says:

    Well, this is a major new development that doesn’t look good for the Obama/Biden ticket, man what a hair splitting experience!

  4. armchair pessimist Says:

    This is “40 acres and a mule” talk back when he was an up and coming black politician. My only hope is that he is nothing but one more lying sack of sh*t saying anything to get elected.

  5. SteveH Says:

    I contend we could find video of Obama beating his grandmother to a pulp and it wouldn’t change things one ioda. And who knows whats going on in the minds of those who profess themselves “undecided”?

    UNDECIDED? I can understand being undecided about buying a Ford or Chevy. I can even understand being undecided up to Thanksgiving eve about whether to have squash or a green bean casserole.

    But to be undecided 8 days before an election whether you want individual liberty or tyranny of socialism to define the lives of your descendants? WTF? Do these same people get confused about whether to take heroin or aspirin for a headache? Were they conflicted at some point about whether to marry the homecoming queen or a drag queen?

    I’d almost be offended to find out these people voted the same way i did.

  6. Obama: The pattern, and it’s implications | BitsBlog Says:

    [...] HillBuzz, Riehl World View, Commentary, Blogs of War,  neo-neocon,  Ben Smith’s Blogs, Power Line, The Corner, Eject!, The Volokh Conspiracy, Doug Ross  The [...]

  7. nyomythus Says:

    Those are funny Steve, LOL

  8. vanderleun Says:

    Well, as the saying goes, hope in one hand and defecate in another an see which one fills up first.

  9. harry McHitlerburtonstein the Conservative Extremist Says:

    Neo:
    “Let’s see if the MSM picks up on this. Any bets?”

    Not after its been touched by Matt Drudge and Michelle Malkin. Persona non-grata, as far as the MSM is concerned.

  10. Darrell Says:

    The “undecided” number has been bothering me also, it doesn’t seem possible, perhaps it really is people who are uncomfortable telling the truth to the pollsters?
    Strange indeed.

  11. njcommuter Says:

    The “undecideds” may also be waiting to see who will drop the next shoe. (Where did that expression come from, anyway?)

  12. Fausta’s Blog » Blog Archive » Obama in 2001: How to bring about “redistributive change” Says:

    [...] Spread it around. [...]

  13. amr Says:

    When the major media does not do its job and the alternative media is read by comparatively few, this is what we get. If there are any in the media with any self respect, if Mr. Obama is elected they will attempt to cover him properly and we will soon see if the President Adams Alien and Sedition Acts or Wilson’s Sedition Acts are revived. And then they will find out as Joe the Plumber has, on the power of government, when in the wrong hands.

    If there was any president in modern times who would have contemplated striking out it is President Bush; one accused of being dictatorial, but those who have BDS are still free. We shall see how long it takes congress to start real war crime trials instead of the mock trial of a few years ago, against members of this administration.

  14. Alice Finkel Says:

    Good catch, thanks neo. It just puts in plain language what has been pretty apparent about BO from his serial autobiographies and his formative influences. Obama wants to trash the Constitution and institute redistributive justice and unlimited populist largesse–using other people’s money.

    Will this make any difference in real terms? It will make all the difference in the world.

  15. Occam's Beard Says:

    I agree 100% with you, neo, and also with grackle and armchair pessimist. It’s a sorry pass when you hope a politician is/was lying, but in my pessimistic moments I’m afraid that those instances may be a rare case of his telling the truth.

    On a topical note, liberalism seems like Jason or Freddy in one of those Halloween movies – even when you think it must be dead by now,
    it just keeps coming back in an ever more virulent form. What exactly would it take to discredit liberalism/ progressivism/ socialism/ communism permanently? To touch on another topical theme, those political philosophies have already swung at and missed about 12 strikes – isn’t it time they went back to the dugout? They can’t hit!

  16. Occam's Beard Says:

    “Redistribution of wealth” proves a point I’ve long made: socialism is the philosophy of the loser. Only those in the bottom half of the bell curve want to be lumped in as average, because for them it’s a step up.

    It’s like my suggesting to Bill Gates that he and I pool all our resources in an investment fund and then evenly split the profits. I’d be a little light on the front end, but pleased as hell on the back end. Now there’s some socialism I could get behind! /g

  17. J. Peden Says:

    “…generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf….”

    That statement is self-contradictory at best, or else a lie, or maybe even just plain gibberish. But why quibble with Obamaphiliacs when His holy intent is to control everything – for “our” own good, of course, the Constitution be damned, Amen.

    The idea that there is such a thing as a “negative” liberty is absurd in itself. So right off, I’m forced to conclude that Obama is either extremely vile or extremely ignorant, or both. It’s a tough choice, but I’d tend to go with the amalgam view that Obama doesn’t really know what liberty is – so that he can’t even really have it himself – but that whatever it is, he fears it.

    Unable to control even his own mind and take advantage of its [lacking] capacities, Obama must control everyone else. In other words, being also a functional Progressive, Obama is a Commie.

    Otherwise, why would Obama want to destroy liberty so much? – especially under the quise of conflating income/wealth disparity with a liberty-gap, when liberty is what produces the disparity to begin with. Obama is a Commie.

    The same would apply to Obama’s view of the individual’s capacity for free thought. He doesn’t know what it is, so he doesn’t really have it himself, but whatever it is, he fears it and wants to destroy it. Obama is a Commie.

    In other words, Obama is an anti-free thought bigot/racist. His vaunted “nuance” of words is directed only toward propagandistic control of thought, from which comes control of everything, and, as such, Obama’s thought is grossly inferior thought. In other words, Obama is a Commie.

    He doesn’t understand individual freedom and he really doesn’t like it to the point of being threatened by it on a visceral level, exactly the same as would a classic rascist in regard to skin color.

  18. James Says:

    Wow not only is this socialist, he is plagiarizing Marx for cripes sake.

    Positive and negative freedom…

    ie. We can’t be truly free until; we abolish private property and every man has the ability to achieve his fullest potential through the applied capital of the communal state.

    Sounds great, the only problem the Marxist vision of human potential is waiting in a ration line.

  19. J. Peden Says:

    Oh, Oh, now Limbaugh’s going through reaming the Marxian Messiah a new one on this same issue, as we speak.

  20. J. Peden Says:

    Only those in the bottom half of the bell curve want to be lumped in as average, because for them it’s a step up.

    The “Socialist” Progressives themselves seem to recognize their basically parasitic natures, and therefore know that they must control the producers. Hence, their very severe need and drive to institute the Communist slavery. It’s a matter of their very survival. And now of ours.

  21. Sergey Says:

    The dynamic of Obama’s ascent has a clear imprint of mass hysteria, not unlike that of Adolf Hitler. It is not Obama who scares me most, but susceptibility of American public to such a feat of mass madness. That is something I never expected from any Anglo-Saxon population, and now my view of human nature is more gloomy than ever before.

  22. J. Peden Says:

    …susceptibility of American public to such a feat of mass madness. That is something I never expected from any Anglo-Saxon population, and now my view of human nature is more gloomy than ever before.

    True, but what are the chances that Obama would be out wandering around and happen to come upon someone like Joe The Plumber, if there weren’t a lot of “his kind” out there also?

    I know quite a gaggle of “them” myself. We’re not done yet.

  23. Dave Moelling Says:

    My Daughter is applying to U Chicago (Geology not far left stuff), but the hotbed of far left ideology in Hyde Park is as virulent as ever. The recent flap over trying to block the Milton Friedman Economics center was truely a Marxist endeavor. There’s nothing more productive for a research university than turning down money for you world renowned economics department. But I guess is their lad is soon to be president, it’s worth it.

  24. Bryan Lovely Says:

    Occam’s Beard:

    What exactly would it take to discredit liberalism/ progressivism/ socialism/ communism permanently? To touch on another topical theme, those political philosophies have already swung at and missed about 12 strikes – isn’t it time they went back to the dugout? They can’t hit!

    Arnold Kling says that socialism and liberalism (a/k/a socialism lite) are nowadays essentially a religion that makes the devotee feel good. Consequences are irrelevant; what matters is the feeling of brotherhood in a great struggle.

    Shannon Love at Chicago Boyz says that socialism is programmed into our genes since it meant survival in the hunter-gatherer tribe, and atavistically appealing to that impulse will always get traction even though it no longer makes sense in the real world.

    I guess it’s just one of those things that we’ll have to struggle against forever. There’ll always be somebody who thinks that taking wealth from one person to give to another is a good idea, regardless of the repeated failure to actually help the recipient over and over through history.

  25. J. Peden Says:

    There’s nothing more productive for a research university than turning down money for you world renowned economics department. But I guess is their lad is soon to be president, it’s worth it.

    Yeah, I was just wondering how large Obama’s “protection” racket would get, should He be elected, and how many would sacrifice to Him whatever, prophylactically, without even the demand being overtly made. But I don’t think my first-born will go quietly.

  26. J. Peden Says:

    Well, it’s for damn sure we can’t strip no profit off of no Socialist, because they don’t work productively to begin with. So why do they exist?

    Oh, I forgot that Marx’s Communists just happen to have conveniently evaded his whole dialectical materialism/class warfare/your-thoughts-are-produced-by-your-body-part-movements schema. So that the worth of these putative Socialist parasites must exist instead in their ethereal, other-worldly value as Saviours.

    Hence, Obama.

    [Actually, along with other factors, it could just be that the material wealth generated by Capitalism has created a very large niche for these Socialist parasites to occupy, so that they are in fact ripping us off.]

  27. neo-neocon Says:

    Bryan Lovely: I think the genetic idea is flawed. I read the piece and there is no evidence of a genetic component, just cultural behavior in a tribal situation. Just because something exists does not mean it is genetic. In a tribal situation, it is simply good survival skills to share.

  28. Sergey Says:

    Bryan, that was my comment 23 October, and I feel it is important enough to repeat it here:
    “The eternal attraction of socialism is no wonder. For untold millenia humans lived in large extended families without individual property, they are genetically hard-wired for such behaviors. But it works only in small comunities where everybody knows everybody, and only if hunting-gathering is the only source of sustenance. Since agricultural revolution (around 8000 years ago) this type of society organization is inadequate. Puritans in Plymouth Rock get this lesson hard way – almost half of them starved in result of collective farming of the land, and they divided the fields into family-owned parcels. The social progress since then was establishing and strengthening of individualism, which liberated creativity and brought about all wonders of modernity. That is why it is so sad joke when socialists call themselves progressives, while actually they are retrogrades wanting to return us in 8000 years old past.”

  29. kungfu Says:

    I listened and he never says “TRAGEDY THAT ‘REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH’ NOT PURSUED BY SUPREME COURT” as Drudge reports.

    Listen to the whole thing. It sounds like he says the courts were never designed for such a thing, which is the conservative view, isn’t it?

  30. Sergey Says:

    Neo, there could be no evidence of genetic component at this stage of development of behavioral genetics. But human behavior IS determined genetically for large part, this is for sure, and this is well established fact that specifically human behavior was formed exactly in the setting described above. (Social skills were the decisive factor in competition between humans and Neandertals – patterns of brain development revealed by craniology proved it.) The leading school of human behavorial genetics exist in Russia, founded by Efroimson, and not silenced by politcorrectness; I happened to visit its seminars and several researchers in this field are my close friends.

  31. Sergey Says:

    See
    # Hamilton, W. D. 1964 The Genetical Evolution of Social Behaviour I and II, J. Theor. Biol. v7, pp 1-16, and 17-52
    # Hamilton, W. D. 1975, Innate Social Aptitudes of Man: an Approach from Evolutionary Genetics, in Robin Fox (ed.), Biosocial Anthropology, Malaby Press, London, 133-153 (IF including altruism to fellow altruists among strangers discussed herein)
    # Hamilton, W. D. Narrow Roads of Geneland I and II, 1995 Freeman I 2001 Oxford Press II (biography of WDH and anthology of his writings)

  32. neo-neocon Says:

    kungfu: The point is not whether he thinks the courts are the way to go, or the legislature. The point is that he thinks it’s a worthy and worthwhile goal.

  33. Baklava Says:

    Right on Neo. It is not a worthwhile goal.

    Redistribution is a highly divisive goal and topic.

    This country needs to focus back on equality of opportunity.

    One of the best books on this topic is Ward Connerly’s “Creating Equal”.

    I recommend that book be on every college’s reading list.

    Maybe that one and “Road to Serfdom”.

  34. Sergey Says:

    Socialism is an archetype of collective unconscious, in Jungean sense; you’ll never understand its lure until you accept this fact. This also means its universality and impossibility to eradicate it. It can only be contained and thrown back; in religious terms, this is a part of original sin. Its potential to generate mass hysteria proves it beyond doubt. Nazism was an outbreak of the same psychic epidemic.

  35. Sergey Says:

    My advice from Russian historical experience: when socialist agitators arrive at political scene, form armed vigilante groups and hunt them, shoot them down as rabid dogs. They are more dangerous than the latter.

  36. thomass Says:

    Its a distraction. He’s a JFK dem and nothing he.. umm, I mean… you can say with distract us from that feeling.

    Stop the smears… start the spreading!

  37. Sergey Says:

    Socialism is a form of organized robbery, Mafia elevated to position of absolute power. No wonder it came from Chicago.

  38. thomass Says:

    kungfu Says:

    “I listened and he never says “TRAGEDY THAT ‘REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH’ NOT PURSUED BY SUPREME COURT” as Drudge reports.

    Listen to the whole thing. It sounds like he says the courts were never designed for such a thing, which is the conservative view, isn’t it?”

    He sounded like he said both. He supports the concept but that courts do not have the administrative support required to follow up on their decisions. This sort of regulatory apparatus is better set up by legislators / the legislative branch.

  39. John G. Spragge Says:

    OK, first: after a seven hundred billion dollar (a seven with eleven zeroes or the total annual wages of one and a half million plumbers making $48,000 per year) bailout for wall street, do you really think you can get everyone excited by sermons about the iniquity of [re-]distributing wealth? Did you put the seven hundred billion dollar, seven with eleven zeroes cheque a Republican administration wrote to the finance community out of mind during the period where you fulminated against the unproductive, the “losers”, and so on? If so, I have a quotation for you: “…to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself.” That partially describes George Orwell’s description of doublethink, and it also describes a process which, as far as I can see, you would need in order to regurgitate Ayn Rand’s more fervid rhetoric at this particular moment in history.

    But let us put Senator Obama’s comments into their own context, that of the civil rights movement. If the idea of some compensation for two hundred years of labour stolen outright, and another hundred years of economic and political marginalization, so offends you that you believe that even having discussed the idea should disqualify a person for public office, do you feel the same way about the “redistribution” of the money “earned” by drug dealers? In other words, do you disagree with asset forfeiture? And if we can take the ill-gotten gains from drug dealers, why does the idea of taking some of the ill-gotten gains of three hundred years of racially based exploitation to compensate the victims and their descendants so mortally offend you?

  40. Uh-huh Says:

    John G. Spragge:

    So, then this whole thing is Obama’s sweet talkin’ way of getting whitey to pay reparations?

    I’m all for paying reparations to any former slave …
    OH WAIT THEY ARE ALL DEAD.

    As all my ancestors came over long after the civil war, please explain to me why I should pay?

  41. John G. Spragge Says:

    Un-huh: gladly; I think the linked cartoon pretty much sums it up.

  42. Baklava Says:

    John mixes things up with, “OK, first: after a seven hundred billion dollar (a seven with eleven zeroes or the total annual wages of one and a half million plumbers making $48,000 per year) bailout for wall street, do you really think you can get everyone excited by sermons about the iniquity of [re-]distributing wealth?

    That’s on the spending side. The issue is on the taking side. This country ALREADY has a progressive tax which punishes success. The bottom 50% of income tax payers pay 3% of the income taxes and the top 10% of the income tax payers pay 71% of the income taxes. Obama’s plan changes that even more radically AND AT THE WRONG TIME.

    His prescription will hurt the economy and jobs and create more dependency on the government at at time when the economy needs to expand. John McCain’s prescription is what this economy needs. John is calling for capital gains tax reductions, keeping income tax rates at current or lower rates (not raising them) and those two things are what will HELP.

    If you want higher unemployment and dependency on government vote Obama.

    I defy you to tell me how the private sector can grow faster with Obama’s plans than John McCain’s.

    http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=309565448930564

    Respectfully – Obama’s ideas and policies are the wrong ideas and policies for this nation economically.

    John wrote, “do you feel the same way about the “redistribution” of the money “earned” by drug dealers?

    John, please don’t equate producers, hard working people, entrepreneurs with Drug Dealers. In this economy there is a large African American entrepreneur class. There is opportunity for all. There should be reward in success. We ALREADY take enough from this set of people and don’t you want to see MORE jobs created? Yes, the African American economy is only about 10% of the economic pie though 12% of America is African American but you can’t fix that by redistribution. Growth and opportunity is what fixes that. You can’t make equality of outcome.

    Treating us ALL equal under the law is the way to advance this country’s racial divisions. The prescriptions outlined in Ward Connerly’s book “Creating Equal” make a good argument that helping or giving a hand up should be given to ALL who are economically or socially disadvantaged not just one race. Anyone in dire need or non-able bodied or disadvantaged can be given educational help government assistance but there is no argument for redistribution based on race or given to able-bodied people that is acceptable NOR is it compassionate. It is not born of love or caring to make somebody dependent.

  43. Sergey Says:

    There were no “bailout”, technically. All these money are loans, that will be repayed to Treasury by auctioning the papers. In banking language, this are loans given on the security of mortgages. When housing market became healthy again, the lion’s share of the morgages value will be restored.

  44. Uh-huh Says:

    John G. Spragge:

    So your defense to my charge that this is all just Obama’s way of sweet talkin’ whitey into paying reapartions is…

    YES WE CAN!

    ?

    Cause your little cartoon shows that whitey deserves to pay.

  45. SteveH Says:

    “”And if we can take the ill-gotten gains from drug dealers, why does the idea of taking some of the ill-gotten gains of three hundred years of racially based exploitation to compensate the victims and their descendants so mortally offend you?
    John G Spragee”"

    Why stop at a mere three hundred year history? We just go back far enough till we find American slave ancestors who wronged other groups. Theres a darn good chance that our foreign aid monies are already rectifying this pitiful history for any the slave descendants.

  46. Baklava Says:

    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YmFhYzIzMGQ1Y2FlMTA4N2M1N2VmZWUzM2Y4ZmNmYmI=

  47. SouthernJames Says:

    New poster, and very BIG new fan!

    Questions for the Reparations advocate:

    1. That cartoon might have been relevant to white “Bob” thirty or so years ago. But hasn’t affirmative action altered that scenario just a tad? I think it is a (liberal white guilt) myth that society is STILL that way. To the contrary, (and referencing that cartoon): a) someone can come across the border illegally for $500 bucks and if the left and McCain/Bush have their way, they have it smooth and easy as compared to some white person from say – Europe who pays THOUSANDS to try to immigrant here the proper and legal way. Immigration example – no longer relevant.
    b) Getting that mortage loan, based on color? Hell, thanks to Fannie and Freddie and those low interest loans they gave to people with poor credit – why do you think we need a big fat bailout? It is no tougher getting a mortgage based on your color if you are black. And hasn’t been for years.
    c) That leg up for a job. My LSAT and undergrad GPA would have gotten me a full ride at an Ivy law school back in 1988. But being the incorrect gender and color, I couldn’t even get IN to those schools. I’ve paid plenty for the sins of the descendants of OTHER people.
    d) The “old boy” network? I was a finalist out of several dozen candidates for an governmental attorney position a few years back. The guy with the final say was the same race as the totally unqualified and completely incompetant female he chose over me. Giving a fellow member of the same race a leg up. Just like in the cartoon. She had to be (VERY gently and cautiously – cant’ be too careful about potential discrimination/litigation) “eased” out of the job, due to her incompetance.

    My color and gender is at best neutral and at times a disadvantage in today’s world. Why should I be forced to take food from my similarly situated white kids’ (who will be in the minority in 30-40 years) mouths, to give to people who are i.e, getting jobs over me due to quota hiring, because white people who are NOT descendants of mine, may have owned descendants of the affirmative action crowd now holding out their hands for cash?

    I DID have a descendant who sacrificed on the battle fields in the 1860s, so that slaves could be free in this great United States of ours. Does that count at all? Can I get a coupon for a partial discount?

    Oh, and since Obama is only half black and was raised by whites, does he get half a check and pay half a check? How much money does he owe to himself? Since his Dad is Kenyan, and since slave traders in Africa were black too and not just Europeans, and since Africans owned each other……maybe Obama is 100% descended from slave owners.

    Here is a question I would love for an Black Obama supporter to answer: Would Obama still be considered “Black” and still accepted as the transformational African American candidate IF he was born and raised in the EXACT same manner…not ONE thing different……EXCEPT if he had married a fair skinned blonde girl instead of Michelle – and genetics being what they can be….his pretty little daughters came out looking just as pretty, but….looked as lily white as Palin’s kids? I bet not. But if not, why not? Can the classification of his “race” be an arbitary and subjective decision???

  48. Occam's Beard Says:

    So when is Canada going to pay reparations to the French Canadians?

    Or the Lakota to the Sioux?

    Or the Normans to the Anglo-Saxons?

    Or the Anglo-Saxons to the Celts?

    Or the Romans to …just about everybody?

    Or the Arabs to…just about everybody?

    Or the Mongols to …just about everybody?

    Or the Cro-Magnons to the Neanderthals?

    Or Lucy Australopithecus to the monkeys she probably jostled out of a tree?

    And if your ancestry is half from the “oppressed” group, and half from the “oppressor,” do you shift half of your money from one pocket to the pocket on the other side, and call it good?

    Liberalism is such a tough creed to implement…

  49. John G. Spragge Says:

    Baklava: Everything the government gives, to anyone, it must take from someone else. For at least eight years, the Bush government has taken from the children of the future through increasing debt and deficit financing. Years of this policy left the United States with financial and even strategic vulnerabilities, and Americans must set out on a path to paying for what you consume or use as you go. Put quite bluntly, as both the intractable deficits of the past thirty years, and the recent market train wreck have clearly indicated, the policy of catering to the desire for wealth simply hasn’t worked. It has delivered stagnant incomes for most people, an economy made profoundly brittle by a corrosive inequality, and a concentration of economic power that has delivered only gross mismanagement.

    Nor does your implicit claim that a few geniuses who want to make huge amounts of money deliver wealth hold up. Over the past sixty years, real technical innovation has come mostly from people in acedemia, research institutions, and the military, who have mostly delivered them for straight pay or, in many cases, for no money at all. Linux, the open source movement, the invention of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee; all enormous innovations, all delivered either for straight pay or gratis. If you want to honour the people who made the world we live in, thank them. Don’t give away credit for their great gifts to people of lesser talents but greater avarice.

    Sergey: Even assuming your highly optimistic premise, the people of the United States (and most other countries) have assumed a total of trillions of dollars in risk for investment bankers and mortgage brokers driven by greed to engage in irresponsible speculation. That assumption of risk constitutes a bailout by any definition, because risk has value; just ask any insurance company.

    Uh-huh: The history shows that most people generally identified as ‘White’ have in fact benefited from the oppression of people of colour. Whether, or what, we should pay for this remains a point of contention; the underlying fact should not. Nor, in my humble opinion, does it make sense to try to read a talented politician out of the political process for simply talking about historical reality.

  50. kungfu Says:

    Is there a difference between “redistribution of wealth” and “redistributive change,” the phrase he actually uses to describe the goal of the civil rights movement?

    Isn’t every revolution “redistributive change”? The American revolution? The Reagan revolution? Even the “Sexual Revolution”? Isn’t “redistributive change” more about power than wealth? I would posit that “redistributive change” has less to do with the socialist “redistribution of wealth” and more to do with any great change that shifts power from one place to another.

    In the case of the civil right movement, one of the goals was to shift voting power from those enfranchised to those not. In the case of the American Revolution, a shift from Britain to the Colonies; in the case of the Reagan Revolution, a shift from Democrats to Republicans; in the case of the Sexual Revolution, a shift from traditional monogomy to… well, you remember the 70s.

  51. Baklava Says:

    John wrote, “For at least eight years, the Bush government has taken from the children of the future through increasing debt and deficit financing.

    This is a good point – but the purse strings are held by Congress. With the Bush tax rates the economy surged and revenues INTO the government SURGED (some years with double digit increases).

    Respectfully, the problem has been and has been since 1974 essentially that the CONGRESS has spent more than it has taken in. Again, the purse strings are held by Congress. During the Reagan years this was the case also. Revenues went from 550 Billion to 990 Billion from 1981 to 1989. But spending increased at a higher rate than that.

    Reagan tried to veto and there were even federal government shutdowns that hurt Reagan’s standing in the polls because the media went full bore on how that hurt ordinary citizens.

    Respectfully, put the blame where it belongs. That is the overspending, out of control growth of government spending. This overspending blame does lie at the feet of Democrats and Republicans but if you READ Cato Institute or Citizens Against Government Waste reports you see that Democrats BY FAR vote for more and more spending and call Republicans names and say that Republicans “don’t care” for “X” group over and over again.

    Democrats call “increases” cuts and the media reports “increases” as “cuts” also.

    John wrote, “t has delivered stagnant incomes for most people,

    Respectfully, this is factually incorrect. Incomes have risen in all income groups over 30 years. What has risen dramatically and unaffordably are things like:
    1) health care
    2) college tuition
    3) housing

    All of these rising costs have lowered spending power though incomes have risen. It is my assertion that these costs have been exacerbated because of government intervention in these areas and the REMOVAL of market forces. Add to that the cost of lawyers mucking up things and you see the problem we have.

    Let me ask you a SIMPLE question. You seem bright and interested in a better america.

    Ready?

    Do you recognize that taking MORE from the private sector has a negative impact on economic growth and therefore a negative impact on job creation?

    Is it your assertion that taxing the private sector more will actually see a positive impact on job creation?

    Is it your hope to see more and more less dependent people?

    OK, that was 3 questions.

    Your second paragraph made a claim that I didn’t make. It is a misunderstanding of my position.

    Back to the topic at hand…. Taxing more during an economic downturn to “redistribute” wealth would be a mistake at the fundamental level. Providing more opportunity SHOULD be the long term goal. Do you agree?

  52. Jimmy J. Says:

    John G. Spragge,
    If your cartoon example is true then tell me how Barack Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate, how Colin Powell became a General/Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice a Secretary of state, Walter Williams a professor of economics, Larry Elder a radio talk show host, Jesse Jackson a national figure, Maxine Rivers a Congresswoman, and the list just scratches the surface of African Americans who have done quite well in this deeply biased, unfair society.

    If Barack Obama is elected President will you finally quit with the racist bigotry? No? I thought not.

  53. John G. Spragge Says:

    baklava: Bill Whittle wants to give the government established by the original US Constitution credit as a “limited” government, even though it accepts the definition of a whole race of people as things, mere chattel property. He wants us to accept the historical United States government as a “limited” government, despite a long and almost wholly dishonourable history of deception, coercion, and outright armed robbery in dealing with the indigenous peoples of the American land mass. But he seems to believe that to even suggest that justice might call for devoting some of the enormous wealth piled up by the American government and society should go compensating the survivors of these historical injustices should instantly render a person unfit for high office. It seems that an increasing number of Americans simply do not share his opinion.

    SouthernJames: In the aggregate, people generally identified as “white” still benefit from the oppression of people of colour, notwithstanding any minor and cosmetic changes in the system. Someone in their teens in the 1980s, when the drug laws reified the discrimination portrayed by Barry, would have reached the ripe old age of forty by now. Some things have changed, but if you look at a portrait of a corporate board, you’ll see the people generally identified as “white” remain on top.

    Occam’s beard: The word “Sioux” comes from a corruption of an Anishinaabe word that refers to the Lakota (and possibly the Dakota and Nakota) nations. A suggestion that the Sioux should compensate the Lakota resembles a suggestion that the Germans should compensate the Deutsche or that the Welsh should compensate the Cymry.

  54. armchair pessimist Says:

    Reparations. Well, let’s deduct the costs of fighting the civil war + accumulated interest, exempt the descendants of those who fought in the Union Armies, exempt the descendants of people who hadn’t yet come to America when slavery ended, exempt the descendants of those who as of 1865 had no assets to pass on. As for of those of mixed ethnicity, prorate contributions by % african american descent. Finally, deduct the considerable administrative costs of administering this program. If such costs exceed the monies extracted, then have the beneficiaries make up the deficit. That way everything’s tidily wrapped up to everybody’s satisfaction.

  55. Baklava Says:

    John, I see you avoided my questions.

    The question is not what happened in the past. We know the past was ugly. Do not assume you know what Bill or I think or want.

    The questions I ask pertain to the future.

    My goals for the future are:
    1) Equal opportunity – less divisiveness
    2) Expanding opportunity – the number of jobs (work needing to be performed) expanding
    3) Conservation – lowering costs and spending – private and government. This can be done by simply freezing current spending levels and watching budget situations improve at the macro and micro economic level as revenues eclipse spending levels.

    We can STRENGTHEN safety nets for the elderly, children and non-able bodied people with federal and state governments that aren’t crippled by budget problems. That is compassionate.

    We can strengthen this country’s outlook by having a situation where we stop negatively impacting the private sector with more and more burden. This in turn lessens dependency on the government.

    If dependency grows because we’ve negatively impacted the government with bad policy that does not do this country well.

    We all recognize the path. Do not assume you know what anyone thinks or wants based on their solutions going forward.

    Respectfully, Please go back and answer the questions I posed.

  56. Baklava Says:

    The second to the last paragraph should’ve said, “We all recognize the past.

  57. Logern Says:

    George Will from “This Week” Oct 26, 2008

    95% of what the government does is redistribute the wealth. It operates on the principal of concentrated benefits & dispersed costs. Case in point, we have sugar subsidies. Costs the American people billions of dollars but they don’t notice it; it is in such small increments. But the sugar growers get very rich on this. Now we have socialism for the strong, that is the well represented & organized in Washington, like sugar growers, but it is socialism none the less, and it is not new.”

  58. Baklava Says:

    Holy cow,

    Obama’s statements hammering Fox News today has been over the top.

    Obama is an angry person who has cut off a Philly station and Orlando station, hammered Joe the Plumber and anyone else who criticizes his philosophy.

    Debate isn’t allowed anymore?

    Questions can’t be asked and addressed?

    Are you like that John? You won’t address my questions. I gave you the respect…

  59. nyomythus Says:

    I think Obama might want to follow a Marcus Garvey lead in regards to forming a new nation somewhere else, because what he proposes, superimposed over our democracy, changing the constitution, bypassing the checks and balances through judicial activism is going to take a fight of the kind that brings a horror we really don’t want to visit in the moist gravest of expressions … I just swung way back into the McCain camp, staying open-minded, but again this doesn’t look good for the Obama/Biden ticket.

  60. gcotharn Says:

    Given the Obama campaign’s spin of the 2001 radio interview, it’s important to remember the following:

    1) Obama was clearly speaking of redistributing wealth from rich to poor via government legislation.

    2) Obama would undeniably be happy to see the judicial branch create wealth redistribution, but he believes such is unlikely to occur. This is a minor issue which is being argued as a method of distracting attention from #1. #1 is the major issue.

    3) I do not agree with Progressive Taxation, yet it does have the virtue of being intended to raise money for government expenditures.

    Conversely, Wealth Redistribution, as used by Obama, is intended to transfer money from the rich to the poor – as Obama’s proposed tax plan does via blatantly cutting checks to nontaxpayers.

    There is a difference, and anyone who claims to not see the difference is being wilfully evasive and/or wilfully unobservant. I refuse to believe that people who blog or who comment on blogs do not see the difference between raising money for government and cutting checks to nontaxpayers. Plenty of gray areas exist, yet Obama’s tax plan and economic/political philosophy nevertheless cross a line to a standard operating procedure which the United States has never endorsed, and which the Founders never envisioned when composing their exceptional document.

  61. gcotharn Says:

    I’ve been reading George Will for two decades. He opposes socialism in all it’s forms.

    Obama’s proposed cutting of checks to nontaxpayers would be a new standard operating procedure. Checks have been cut to nontaxpayers in the past, and wrongly so, in one and off situational attempts to juice the economy. Those attempts to juice the economy, btw, were failures.

  62. gcotharn Says:

    and, btw, if your George Will quote is correct, then George Will is openly calling Obama a socialist.

  63. gcotharn Says:

    as well as the politicians who overregulate industries and markets and then pass subsidies which are intended to fix the problems caused by the overregulation.

  64. Logern Says:

    Checks were cut to non-taxpayers in Bush’s stimulus plan this last year. Nothing new there.

  65. Baklava Says:

    Logern wrote, “Checks were cut to non-taxpayers in Bush’s stimulus plan this last year. Nothing new there.

    Yes. And conservatives were against it.

    Are you for expanding it Logern?

  66. John G. Spragge Says:

    Jimmy J.: No society has ever successfully oppressed every single member of a particular group. I consider the argument that this oppression therefore doesn’t exist or need addressing fatuous. To answer your question: the election of Senator Obama, if it happens, will mark a significant milestone in the journey of dismantling the poisonous ideology of “white” supremacy. That doesn’t mean that ideology will disappear, or that we will need to stop dealing with its legacy, or that we will not need the freedom to reflect on ways to address the legacy of “white” supremacy without fear of getting tarred as unfit for public office.

    baklava: You asked three questions:

    Do you recognize that taking MORE from the private sector has a negative impact on economic growth and therefore a negative impact on job creation?

    You can look at this one way, and say that the private sector cannot function without the security and equity that government provides. But even that involves an artificial division. We all cooperate to build a working society; those who work for the government follow one set of rules, while those in business follow a different set, but we all have the same end in view.

    While government functions have multiplied enormously over the past century, the complexity and wealth of the society government has to coordinate and regulate has likewise increased. Without government, much of that wealth would simply not exist. The current ideology, which holds that government simply burdens the “real” wealth creators, who, the theory goes, respond primarily to monetary incentives, has worked very poorly. It has given most western countries, and above all the United States, an inefficient public service and a greed-glorifying private sector that has grown, in many areas, profoundly corrupt.

    Is it your assertion that taxing the private sector more will actually see a positive impact on job creation?

    I believe that in the long run. paying for the government you need as you go will lead to a better economy than a long term dependence on borrowing.

    Is it your hope to see more and more less dependent people?

    We have a wealthy society because of our profound interdependence. Persons who drive on roads paved, maintained and kept secure by cooperative enterprise, works in a building built, heated, plumbed and cleaned by a collective effort, using technology created by individuals from around the world, and still preen themselves on rugged individualism merely fool themselves.

  67. Occam's Beard Says:

    Comrade Spragge, let me address all of your substantive points here:

    There. That didn’t take long.

  68. gcotharn Says:

    Logern,
    Thats exactly what I said, and it ignores that the Democratic Congress’ checks to nontaxpayers(signed into law by Bush) were a one and off emergency measure (and a misguided and ineffective measure at that), and were not a new standard operating procedure as Barack proposes. There is a difference, and I accuse you of wilfully ignoring the difference.

  69. FredHjr Says:

    “and now my view of human nature is more gloomy than ever before”

    Sergey, you and me both.

    I’ve long held the view that socialism cannot grow the host (the economy) because all it is is a parasite. It can only grow the colonization of the host, which kills the host. This is so evident a truth that to ignore it takes an act of extreme bad faith or extreme stupidity.

  70. gcotharn Says:

    @ John Spragge

    I appreciate your pointing out that electing Barack Obama will not stop Canadians and the world from accusing Americans of being widely infused with white supremacists who are oppressing black persons. It voting for Barack will not end Canadian accusations of U.S. racism, there is no reason left to vote for Barack.

    The private sector can and mostly does function without equity provided by the government. You say U.S. free enterprise system has not worked. In fact is has worked better than the economic systems employed in every other nation on Earth.

    The only way to “pay for the government as you go” is to reduce taxes and regulation and therefore grow the economy and therefore increase government tax revenues. Higher taxes, at this time, will shrink the economy and reduce government tax revenues.

    We have a wealthy society partly b/c of our interdependence. However, all societies are interdependent, and no society is wealthier than ours. The reason for our additional wealth has something to do with economic freedom and opportunity which is available here and is not as available in some other places.

  71. harry McHitlerburtonstein the Conservative Extremist Says:

    John G Sprague:

    “the election of Senator Obama, if it happens, will mark a significant milestone in the journey of dismantling the poisonous ideology of “white” supremacy.”

    There’s an entire “white supremacy” ideology behind all this? Im sorry but I didnt catch that memo. Can you tell me where that’s posted?

  72. John G. Spragge Says:

    gcotharn: Every society influenced by Western values has experienced the poisonous ideology of “white” supremacy, and if you believe I consider my own country an exception to this, please disabuse yourself. We have a long, tragic, and dishonourable history of racism in Canada. Indeed, as I said, and as Senator Obama has said, the willingness to elect a member of a historically oppressed people shows what strides the United States has made, and whether Senator Obama wins or loses, you, and the rest of the world with you, will have passed a great milestone and overcome a great challenge in the dismantling of racist ideology. But that won’t mean that any of us, in any nation, will have finished the journey.

    As for the question of growing the economy: you seem to believe that:

    1) desire for wealth fuels innovation

    The record simply doesn’t bear that out. Greed has produced plenty of fraud rather than actual eceonomic production, and many of the inventors who have produced ideas of great value (Richard Stallman, Linus Torvalds, Tim Berners-Lee) have simply sent their creations into the world as gifts.

    2) the rich will not pay their fair share

    Warren Buffet, one of the most genuinely creative members of the super-rich, has backed Senator Obama for president. Indeed, to suggest that the wealthy will never agree to a fair contribution to the country that has made their wealth possible insults the best of them.

  73. harry McHitlerburtonstein the Conservative Extremist Says:

    John G.:

    “Senator Obama has said, the willingness to elect a member of a historically oppressed people shows what strides the United States has made, and whether Senator Obama wins or loses, you, and the rest of the world with you, will have passed a great milestone and overcome a great challenge in the dismantling of racist ideology.”

    Must the candidate “of color” be a liberal or “progressive” in order for that to be true? Or can I go ahead and vote for the guy I feel best represents my views? (Im sure, naturally must be considered racist if not liberal/progressive)

  74. harry McHitlerburtonstein the Conservative Extremist Says:

    In other words John; can I wait until the candidate “of color” is a conservative?

  75. harry McHitlerburtonstein the Conservative Extremist Says:

    Oh, and another question concerning reparations:

    An earlier poster asked a great question; where does it end?

    My next question is: When does it stop? Who decides when sufficient debt is paid? Do white people have a say, or would that be an exclusively the domain of those bearing a grudge?

    It seems to me that liberals love to right inequalities by creating more of them. I dont know who it is on this forum that is fostering any sort of race superiority as an ideology, but I certainly can name people here using grudges, grievances and “pay-back” as a good part of theirs.

    What do you say John?

  76. FredHjr Says:

    Mr. Spragge,

    I read nothing in Mr. Buffet’s statement of back in May of this year that indicates WHY he is supporting Barack Obama. He does not say anything that would indicate that it was because of Obama’s proposed steepening of the progressive rates that garners his support. So, we don’t know why. Maybe it’s his foreign policy prescriptions?

    Since you are a Canadian, have the steeper taxes in Canada had any impact on the formation and growth of small companies? Much of Canada’s economy relies on natural resources. Outside of that sector, how are things going? I know that Eastern Canada seems to have a kind of parasitic relationship with Western Canada. Do government jobs in Quebec and Ontario fill the rolls enough for ya?

  77. Uh-huh Says:

    John G. Spragge:

    Desire for wealth does fuel innovation. It is not the only fuel, but your completely counting it out as a factor shows your socialist bias.

    Not to mention that you have no grasp of basic economics.

    Saw a new campaign slogan at My pet Jawa blog:

    “Obama for President
    Because THIS time Socialism is gonna work.”

    Wtf do you think it can possibly work now? Has Stalin, Mao, Pol-Pot and all the rest taught you nothing?

  78. SteveH Says:

    Just go to any hospital maternity ward and take note of which babies in the window owes which other babies a living. Thats how absurd reporations or wealth redistribution is.

    “The way to end racial preferences is to end racial preferences”.
    Chief Justice, John Roberts

  79. grackle Says:

    For at least eight years, the Bush government has taken from the children of the future through increasing debt and deficit financing.

    The writer is confused. Bush is the President, with no control over expenditures except in a negative manner by veto. Congress appropriates, funds and incurs debt. Congress is not “the Bush government.”

    The history shows that most people generally identified as ‘White’ have in fact benefited from the oppression of people of colour.

    History also shows that most people generally identified as ‘people of colour’ have in fact benefited from the oppression of … you guessed it … ‘people of colour.’ Africans, Asians, Semites, Arabs – all have oppressed ‘people of colour.’ But does this prove anything except the fallacy of rehashed Marxist/Black Panther/Nation of Islam/Black liberation theology memes?

  80. gcotharn Says:

    @John Spragge

    Thanks for responding thoughtfully. I respect that.

    I would appreciate Barack’s election as a tangible milestone. I would also recognize it as a lagging indicator. The necessary shift in national attitude has already occurred.

    re: desire for wealth does not fuel innovation

    I disagree.

    I also believe desire for wealth can be a virtue, insofar as wealth reduces human misery, and insofar as producing personal wealth necessarily contributes to the increased wealth of one’s fellow man.

    re: rich paying their fair share.

    I never said the rich would not pay their fair share. The rich are already paying more than their fair share.

  81. Portia Says:

    Socialism is a way to bring back nobility by a back door. By nobility I mean an entrenched class that inherits previledge at birth, not nobility of mind or manner.

    Note how all their thinking gravitates to those who are more entitled by virtue of being who they are, and the hierarchy it implies. Note how quickly Hilary got dumped for the “black candidate.”

    Historical injustices aren’t a valid parameter. History is full of injustices. Do Italians owe Britain reparations for all the enslaved celts? if no, why not? Because the Roman Empire fell? But the residual wealth is still there, isn’t it? (Incidentally, there are economists who believe that slavery was a net DRAIN on the economy in general. Also, from my pov — and having traveled extensively in Africa — as bad as slavery was, we got current african americans out of the hell hole that is modern Africa. Chances are if their ancestors had stayed there — and supposing the same genetic pairings had occurred — none of them would be alive. And if they were, their condition would be much worse. I always think that the people who support reparations have drunk the koolaid of Black Liberation and think Whites invented slavery to put “Colored People” down. Get a grip. Slavery was a function of the human condition until the industrial revolution liberated us all. If you believe otherwise, you do not know history. Also, possibly you are doomed to repeat it. Slavery is not the original sin of america, it is the original sin of humanity — always and forever objectifying those not-us.)

    Eventually, after all the “protected classes” get their due, though — and Sergey probably can correct me here if I’m wrong — what happens in socialists countries is that a “nobility of the bureaucracy” forms. Politburo members end up with hereditary status. And they’re the lords living high off the hog while the peasants stay in line.

    This, my friends, is ultimately the bill of goods Obama and his followers are selling us in the name of “justice” and “redistribution”. It means he’ll make everyone equally poor. Except those bureaucrats who enforce his rules.

    Don’t buy it. The new noblemen might not be inbred — yet — but they have as much right to rule over free men as the noblemen of old did.

    To quote a great writer: No Lords, no ladies, no kings, no queens. We won’t be fooled again!

  82. Baklava Says:

    John answered, “You can look at this one way, and say that the private sector cannot function without the security and equity that government provides.

    My question asked about the taking side of things. You answered on the government ‘spending’ side of things. You did this earlier. Respectfully, you keep confusing spending vs. taxation.

    Quickly, I neither mentioned bringing spending to zero, nor did I mention bringing taxation down to zero. Look at the question again. It was, “Do you recognize that taking MORE from the private sector has a negative impact on economic growth and therefore a negative impact on job creation?

    You see? If you take more than you presently take from the private sector, do you recognize that it has a negative impact on economic growth and therefore a negative impact on job creation. Please answer again. Thank you.

    To expand on the inability to answer the question as posed you wrote, “Without government, much of that wealth would simply not exist.

    Remember John, I didn’t propose no [without] government.

    To the second question your answer was, “I believe that in the long run. paying for the government you need as you go will lead to a better economy than a long term dependence on borrowing.

    If revenue INTO the government grows and grows and on average stays around 20% of GDP, why then would since 1974 the expenditure side of the equation GET to continue to be 23% of GDP. Why can’t liberals understand that the expenditures need to be reduced from 23% of GDP to pre 1974 levels of 20% of GDP? Yes, we should stop borrowing. Besides emergencies and national security issues (such as 9/11) we should limit budget expenditures to at least 20% of GDP. Raising tax rates will only have a negative impact on the economy (GDP) and is the exact wrong prescription during a recession. Do you recognize that?

  83. Gray Says:

    Re: John G Spragge

    Canadians, they’re either at your feet or at your wallet.

  84. Logern Says:

    The rich are already paying more than their fair share.

    The rich don’t seem to have to pay equitable compensation for their contributions to disasters like Enron or the current Wall Street debacle. (often because they destroyed the wealth to pay everything back)

    And then, how many coporate heads leave with large compensation packages while companies fail?

    A progressive tax seems more than fair.

  85. Baklava Says:

    Logern, what in the world does what you wrote mean????

    Because companies fail (some companies fail and some succeed) – that justifies your position that what??? The top 10% of income earners which pay 71% of the income taxes should pay what 80% of the income taxes?

    Lordy!

    Let’s have some coherence ! Some lucidity! Some critical thinking! :)

    OK, in good cheer and spirits here.

    Please do not generalize the ‘rich’ as crooks or even mostly crooks.

    That doesn’t do well for leftism. It isn’t persuasive. It only reflects more about you than anything. :)

  86. harry McHitlerburtonstein the Conservative Extremist Says:

    OT:

    Teaser on the AOL slash page:

    Know Sarah’s Favorite Food?
    Hint: You’ve Probably never eaten it before. (We wouldn’t)

    OK. They were probably minutes away from a flight to Chicago for some rough-n-tumble bare-knuckles investigative journalism when the breathless text message concerning another mysterious and unsettling artifact of Sarah Palin’s life was brought to the light of day.

    They each canceled their flight to the windy city. There was bigger fish to fry.

  87. Beverly Says:

    Bill Whittle on this in the National Review Online. Excerpt:

    Shame, Cubed
    Three separate reasons to be appalled, each more disgusting than the last.

    By Bill Whittle

    The Drudge Report this morning led off with a link to audio of Barack Obama on WBEZ, a Chicago public radio station. And this time, Barack Obama was not eight years old when the bomb went off.

    Speaking on a call-in radio show in 2001, you can hear Senator Obama say things that should profoundly shock any American — or at least those who have not taken the time to dig deeply enough into this man’s beliefs and affiliations.

    Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

    Barack Obama, in 2001:

    ” You know, if you look at the victories and failures of the civil-rights movement, and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to vest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples. So that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at a lunch counter and order and as long as I could pay for it, I’d be okay, but the Supreme Court never entered into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.

    “And uh, to that extent, as radical as I think people tried to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution — at least as it’s been interpreted, and Warren Court interpreted it in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties: [It] says what the states can’t do to you, says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf.

    “And that hasn’t shifted, and one of the, I think, the tragedies of the civil-rights movement was because the civil-rights movement became so court-focused, uh, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change. And in some ways we still suffer from that.”

    A caller then helpfully asks: “The gentleman made the point that the Warren Court wasn’t terribly radical. My question is (with economic changes)… my question is, is it too late for that kind of reparative work, economically, and is that the appropriate place for reparative economic work to change place?”

    Obama replies:

    “You know, I’m not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. The institution just isn’t structured that way. [snip] You start getting into all sorts of separation of powers issues, you know, in terms of the court monitoring or engaging in a process that essentially is administrative and takes a lot of time. You know, the court is just not very good at it, and politically, it’s just very hard to legitimize opinions from the court in that regard.

    “So I think that, although you can craft theoretical justifications for it, legally, you know, I think any three of us sitting here could come up with a rationale for bringing about economic change through the courts.”

  88. Beverly Says:

    Question: Why is the desire to pick someone else’s pocket (socialism, Communism) considered Noble and Good, and the desire to go your own way, paying your own way, considered Greedy and Bad?

    Help me out, here.

    Another one: has everyone forgotten the lesson of Jacob and Esau?

    Another one: When will malicious envy be named as the mainspring for the masses who vote for socialists?

    Another one: Why are the red states calling themselves “Blue”? “Bolshevik,” “Menshevik”–here we go again.

  89. John G. Spragge Says:

    Harry wrote:

    Must the candidate “of color” be a liberal or “progressive”…

    Of course not. And you need not vote for him (or her), either, so long as you base your vote on policy, not race. Next question.

    Who decides when sufficient debt is paid? Do white people have a say…

    Everyone has a say. Let’s remember the actual context of this discussion. In 2001, Senator Obama made the reasonable enough observation that the job of fixing injustices in the civil rights issue had an economic component; the injustices of segregation included economic exploitation, and the victims of that exploitation deserved redress. Some conservatives apparently want to make that wholly reasonable comment into evidence of Senator Obama’s unfitness for the presidency. I disagree. It seems from the evidence of the polls that most Americans disagree. And let me put this clearly: if you do not believe in redress for the victims of injustice, as long as you have a good reason, I do not think that anyone should attempt to reach back and use your comments as evidence of unfitness for public office. Whoever reads a “shut up and pay” message into what I have written should read my comments more carefully. I have simply said that you cannot make a tenable claim that because Senator Obama thinks the political process should address the distribution of wealth, that in and of itself renders him unfit for office.

    FredHjr: wrote:

    Since you are a Canadian, have the steeper taxes in Canada had any impact on the formation and growth of small companies?

    Toronto, the largest city in Canada, has a greater and more exuberant commercial diversity and vitality than any other city its size I have ever visited, and I credit much of that to the thing taxes make possible: namely, the provision of universal health care. Canada’s low-tech and resource sectors have taken some solid hits, especially paper mills, about a dozen of which have shut down. But companies like Research in motion (you have heard of the Blackberry, right?) have taken up a fair bit of the slack. More to the point, we tax ourselves, not our kids or grand kids, and we pay our own way in the world. So thanks for asking.

    grackle wrote:

    istory also shows that most people generally identified as ‘people of colour’ have in fact benefited from the oppression of … you guessed it … ‘people of colour.’

    Not really. For most of the past five centuries, wealth flowed pretty much exclusively into Europe and to the colonizers from Europe. That doesn’t make for a pretty or an edifying history, particularly if you study it closely, but the unpleasant nature of the reality doesn’t give us a license to ignore it or make excuses for it. Over the past five hundred years, people from just one continent, one civilization invaded four of the others, slaughtered and enslaved the inhabitants, and stole huge amounts of wealth. The behavior of people from Europe in the Americas, Africa and Australia makes for a dire history, and we ought not to ignore it or excuse it.

    Portia wrote:

    Note how all their thinking gravitates to those who are more entitled by virtue of being who they are, and the hierarchy it implies. Note how quickly Hilary got dumped for the “black candidate.”

    Spare me. That goes beyond nonsense into an insult to the intelligence of millions of Americans. The Democrats dropped Hillary for the talented candidate, the better speaker, the better organizer, the better campaigner, the better strategist, the better candidate. You can’t simultaneously claim to uphold a meritocracy and denigrate a the undoubted achievements of Senator Obama based on nothing but innuendo.

    Baklava wrote:

    Respectfully, you keep confusing spending vs. taxation.

    Since governments have to way to raise money except through some form of taxation, government spending equals taxation.

    If you take more than you presently take from the private sector, do you recognize that it has a negative impact on economic growth and therefore a negative impact on job creation.

    OK, you want a short answer: no. Long answer: when governments spend money, they either borrow it (and defer the taxes) or they tax now to pay for it. In both cases, however, the money, or some of it, comes out of available investment pools that business would otherwise tap. And, by the way, you cannot, strictly speaking, “take” from the “private sector”, since most money the government raises goes back to the private sector, some as needed services, some as transfer payments of various types, and some as government purchases.

    …the expenditures need to be reduced from 23% of GDP to pre 1974 levels of 20% of GDP?

    Since 1974, we have created an entire new telecommunications and information infrastructure. Since 1974, we have created a host of new standards (the core Internet standards, those maintained by the IETF, come to well over 3000 pages, or enough to fill a decent size book shelf. The government has a huge role to play in the development and maintenance of all these standards, as well as a huge host of standards for other new technologies. The development of new technology has allowed Western nations to more than double the value of all the goods and services we create. To use a simple analogy: would you rather have five marbles, give the government one, and have four left, or have ten marbles, give the government three, and have seven left?

  90. Logern Says:

    Baklava,

    Seems pretty clear to me. But what you stated in your post is not what I said.

    Let me put it this way: A corporation creates jobs, yes, but like the captain of a ship, if the CEO purposely or not purposely navigates to disaster, it can be likely that he never truly compensates the millions in cargo, loss of crew, or passenger’s lives. Furthermore, just because you create wealth (i.e., cigarette companies), doesn’t mean you’re a net plus for society. You may in fact be doing great damage.

    What I am saying is those in the very top brackets who are suffering this so called “unfair tax” never truly compensate us for their mistakes. (you can choose not to buy that, but I keep seeing examples of this over the years, instead of the opposite)

    For all the jobs and puppies they give us — when they damage us there is not equitable compensation. Thus the fairness of a progressive tax. On the other hand, those who do next to nothing (Paris Hilton), I don’t ask for a litmus test to justify their existence, provided they don’t object to a progressive tax.

    That said, there are other reasons to support it. There are reasons not to support it, but you see which way I lean.

    (and yes, I do think progressive taxes at some point is oppresive, but look up our tax burden compared to most other countries — it will only make you look like a whiner to complain)

  91. John G. Spragge Says:

    Gray: If you want to insult me or anyone else, try to construct an intelligible sentence that has some discernible relation to reality.

  92. sergey Says:

    In reality progressive taxation never achives its goals, because corporations set prices, and so redistribute tax burden in the opposite direction. If they fail to do so, they went banckrupt. So markets automatically undo all the work social engineers do. To avoid this costly self-deception, better to set flat taxation: everybody pays the same percent on profit. This was done in Chile under Pinochet, and had wonderful result: it ended mass poverty and unemployment by creating middle class comprised half of the population in 10 years. It also practically eliminated corruption because separated government from economics and business activity: no tax privileges means no lobbists. Nobody go to government for specific policy to this or that industry, this or that region.

  93. sergey Says:

    You should also understand that socialism is most stable and efficient in its most terroristic form, as in North Korea. All hybrids of private enterprise and government meddling in economics are inherently instable and eventually evolve either into true free market capitalism, or into Stalinist monstruosity. Hybrid regimes are most riddled with corruption and exist only because of it: bribes are libricant of all socialist regimes, allowing them to continue operations.

  94. harry McHitlerburtonstein the Conservative Extremist Says:

    “you need not vote for him (or her), either, so long as you base your vote on policy, not race. Next question.”

    Thanks for letting me off the hook John, for my continuing to propagate an “ideology of white supremacy” for not voting for Obama. I appreciate that.

    “Some conservatives apparently want to make that wholly reasonable comment into evidence of Senator Obama’s unfitness for the presidency.”

    Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, you can cultivate support with racist preachers and unrepentant left-wing terrorists and be technically “fit” to run for the office, but again, Im glad your not going to hold me responsible for enforcing a history of injustice for not voting for the guy.

  95. Evenk Says:

    I finally get neo cons, at least the ones who want smaller government. I think that is what is happening now. It’s start two wars and spend the money as you leave office. That way government will have to get smaller.

    Tax and spend is prudent. The spend-and-spend neo cons = disaster.

  96. Baklava Says:

    Evenk does not know conservatives. Evenk wrote, “t’s start two wars and spend the money as you leave office.

    The Congress overwhelmingly voted for both wars and authorized funding for the wars. Using the rhetoric you did says more about you than ‘conservatives’. Conservatives have long been CRITICAL of Bush for not vetoing and for expanding domestic spending with such LARGE increases.

    For over 60-70 years the revenue into government has hovered around 20% of GDP. Starting about 1974 spending has increased from 20% of GDP to about 23% of GDP.

    Wishing or hoping to get spending under control and keeping tax rates low is prudent.

    Your last statement about spend and spend neo cons only displays your lack of understanding and says NOTHING about what we believe. It would behoove you to actually talk to us to see what we believe. :)

  97. J. Peden Says:

    denigrate a the undoubted achievements of Senator Obama

    Check your meds, Spragge. Either that, or simply admit now that you are a Communist.

  98. nyomythus Says:

    Your last statement about spend and spend neo cons only displays your lack of understanding and says NOTHING about what we believe. It would behoove you to actually talk to us to see what we believe. :)

    Most here are heavily encroached in traditionalist conservative shallows, I’m trying to tug the whale back to deep centrist waters, which make me doubt how many of us were actually once Leftist, and what essential residual principles prevail from that perspectional experience.

  99. Baklava Says:

    Logern made my generalization point by saying, “What I am saying is those in the very top brackets who are suffering this so called “unfair tax” never truly compensate us for their mistakes.

    You can target those individuals with “sin” taxes I suppose but to raise taxes on the top rate with the points you are raising is to raise taxes on the top bracket because SOME people drove a company into the ground or ran a cigarette company.

    The point is that RAISING tax rates from current levels have a negative impact on jobs and the economy. To not realize that as John didn’t is a fundamental failure to understand economics.

    I thank John for his candidness but how can I impress upon somebody who simply does not understand economics at basic levels that raising tax rates for ANYONE in the middle of a recession is the exact wrong thing to do?

    I would love to relate to you guys. I was a liberal pre-1991 but can’t figure out how this basic concept is lost…

    Can either of you help me out on why tax rates (not spending) being raised has no negative impact on the economy.

    You guys both seem unable to separate out spending out of the discussion. Nobody is calling for spending to go to zero or for the government to NOT provide infrastructure or services.

    This is the outcome of raising tax rates:
    1) negative impact on economic growth
    2) negative impact on jobs – therefore higher dependency on government
    3) the need for more government services to provide benefits for those who lost their jobs.

    Given that information – why would you raise tax rates at the forefront of a recession??

    Removing more money from the private sector has the effect of:
    1) Removing money that could be spent by the private sector
    2) That means less goods and services are spent by those individuals and they change their behavior accordingly
    3) Less goods and services purchased means there is a ripple effect as B to B (business to business) purchases decline and as economic activity declines people are laid off
    4) When people are laid off those people have less purchasing power and less goods and services are purchased from businesses.

    Understand now?

  100. J. Peden Says:

    The point is that RAISING tax rates from current levels have a negative impact on jobs and the economy.

    Communists certainly don’t understand that. They seem to be blind, either because they are flat out stupid or they are raging narcissists. Or else they simply don’t care – pick your own explanation for that. Or else they actually desire these negative impacts.

    Btw, speaking of Slavery and murder: just how many people have been and are being dealt with by Communists, producing these particular outcomes, over the last 150 years?

    And has Communism ever improved itself – freeing its own slaves, stopping its own murders, making any redress whatsoever for its own grotesque outcomes?

    I’ll cut China some slack, but otherwise the answer is, No. All Communism does is repeat, repeat, repeat. This is exactly what people like Obama, Ayers, and Spragge want us to do.

  101. J. Peden Says:

    A final note to our brilliant elitist, Spragge – elitist: someone who thinks they are smarter than others based upon no objective evidence relating to intelligence.

    If you are not a Communist, Spragge, then tell us, just what is the quilt you are carrying around which you want us to pay for – now by electing a Black Communist? I don’t have any guilt, or at least none that anyone else should pay for.

    In particular, as a white American, I don’t have any guilt about slavery or racism. Even if I did accept your blatantly racist or rediculous ancestral or “Country perma-stain” model of guilt assignment, it’s already been “paid for”.

    Whatever remains is your own guilt, Spragge. But since it’s yours, why don’t you pay for it yourself? Instead of running from your own racism, Spragge, face it and pay for it, instead of trying to project if off onto me or whoever else who happens to be standing around.

    And Spragge, if you were really serious about solving “racial” problems, maybe you’d turn your attention to the Black inner cities of America, where the hell produced by Black Democrats flourishes, and to which a certain Black Communist has contributed mightily with all his quite diseased heart and soul: as an Ayers “community organizer” with particular designs upon destroying education; a cynical self-aggrandizing Rezko low-income housing pimp; an enabler of the Rev. Wright anti-semitic anti-American anti-white racism, helping Wright to preach the hopelessness of black victimization as a terminally disabling mental feature simply from being black in America; an ACORN subversive of Democracy itself; and as a wealth redistributor who helped produce the current credit meltdown by essentially forcing GSE loans to people who couldn’t afford them – you know, to “help” his people back in the ghettos.

    Spragge, if you are not a Communist, then what is your excuse for in effect promoting more of the same thing that you say you decry and want us to feel guilty for?

    No, Spragge, you are not going to be escaping your own well deserved guilt any time soon! Lucky for you that you can’t actually vote for the Black Communist, Obama, so as to really run up your debt.

  102. Baklava Says:

    Dismiss this and blast the messenger if you will

    http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/10/28/obama-affinity-marxists-dates-college-days/

  103. Baklava Says:

    This is a good way at helping the economy recover

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2008/10/boehners_rapid_economic_recove.asp#more

    We need to educate people on basic economics. Boehner’s plan is right on the money and would help all americans with a focus on less dependency on government and a stronger economy.

  104. Gray Says:

    Well, I ain’t paying. You can’t make me pay: It’s not my fault I’m white, and handsome….

  105. nyomythus Says:

    Peden, Btw, speaking of Slavery and murder: just how many people have been and are being dealt with by Communists, producing these particular outcomes, over the last 150 years?

    Slavery predates Communism, to see what authority give a warrant to Slavery see the monotheist scriptures; Torah, Bible, Quran.

  106. J. Peden Says:

    Slavery predates Communism

    Thanks, but I certainly didn’t say it didn’t. After all, someone had to have built the Pyramids. – joke

  107. Portia Says:

    nyomythus

    Not necessarily. If anthropologists have it right it’s possible primitive peoples were “communist.” And communism – see Catalina, Roman — predated slavery in America. Authority? WHAT are you talking about. Torah and the Bible were what finally caused people to set others free. Are you under the impression Romans were either Jewish or Christian? Because they CERTAINLY were slavers. As were most people pre-industrial revolution. There were jobs that were JUST too nasty or boring or whatever to do otherwise. As soon as machines came on the scene, though we could let the slaves go. And it’s a GOOD thing.

    Conquer indocrination. Read the facts for yourself.

    P.

  108. nyomythus Says:

    Someone had to have built the Pyramids.

    Well, ‘someone’ can cheer up because the precedence might be set that the Egyptian government owes ‘someone’ a hell of a lot of back pay! :D

  109. nyomythus Says:

    Yes, Portia, I would believe that primitive people had some sense of communal compassion toward extended families, which supports the idea that morality is innate and doesn’t require some revelation from a Burning Bush and to believe that latter is a contemptible thing to say about humanity considering what the species has been through. It’s easy to imagine both, it’s easy to imagine that there is some benefit to cooperatively working, fighting, managing resources, surviving – particularly when humans were intricately apart of the day-to-day ravages of nature and natural selection. I can’t remember who said it but I’ll never forget it, “It was a great moral improvement when men stop killing and eating their fellow man, and merely made them slaves – Wil Durant I think. But we can do even better than that. The monotheistic scriptures codify the warrant for slave, for all future generations to resort to; thus being “the source of” and “the cure for” in this case slavery. I’m not sure what your Roman, Jewish, Christian, Pre-Industrial Revolution comment is, can you spell it out a little more clearly?

  110. grackle Says:

    grackle wrote:

    Grackle wrote: History also shows that most people generally identified as ‘people of colour’ have in fact benefited from the oppression of … you guessed it … ‘people of colour.’

    And below is the writer’s reply:

    Not really. For most of the past five centuries, wealth flowed pretty much exclusively into Europe and to the colonizers from Europe. That doesn’t make for a pretty or an edifying history, particularly if you study it closely, but the unpleasant nature of the reality doesn’t give us a license to ignore it or make excuses for it. Over the past five hundred years, people from just one continent, one civilization invaded four of the others, slaughtered and enslaved the inhabitants, and stole huge amounts of wealth. The behavior of people from Europe in the Americas, Africa and Australia makes for a dire history, and we ought not to ignore it or excuse it.

    The writer, ignorant of history, apparently did not even check Wikipedia before replying. Below are just a few excerpts …

    As recently as the 1950s, Saudi Arabia had an estimated 450,000 slaves, 20% of the population.

    Slavery in Mauritania was legally abolished by laws passed in 1905, 1961, and 1981, but it has never been criminalised, and several human rights organizations report that the practice continues there. In Niger, slavery is also a current phenomenon; a study has found that more than 800,000 people are still slaves, almost 8% of the population. Descent-based slavery, where generations of the same family are born into bondage, is traditionally practised by at least four of Niger’s eight ethnic groups. It is especially rife among the warlike Tuareg, in the wild deserts of north and west Niger, who roam near the borders with Mali and Algeria.

    The trading of children has been reported in modern Nigeria and Benin. In parts of Ghana, a family may be punished for an offense by having to turn over a virgin female to serve as a sex slave within the offended family. In this instance, the woman does not gain the title or status of “wife”. In parts of Ghana, Togo, and Benin, shrine slavery persists, despite being illegal in Ghana since 1998. In this system of ritual servitude, sometimes called trokosi (in Ghana) or voodoosi in Togo and Benin, young virgin girls are given as slaves to traditional shrines and are used sexually by the priests in addition to providing free labor for the shrine. Slavery in Sudan continues as part of an ongoing civil war. Evidence emerged in the late 1990s of systematic slavery in cacao plantations in West Africa …

    According to Human Rights Watch, there are currently more than 40 million bonded laborers in India, who work as slaves to pay off debts; a majority of them are Dalits. There are also an estimated 5 million bonded workers in Pakistan. As many as 200,000 Nepali girls, many under 14, have been sold into the sex slavery in India. Nepalese women and girls, especially virgins, are favored in India because of their fair skin and young looks.

    Private slavery in China was technically abolished in 1910, although the practice apparently still continues unofficially in some regions. The Chinese government continues to practice slavery in the form of forced prison labor for a wide variety of raw material processing and manufacture of goods for both domestic consumption and export. It is estimated that in the last 50 years more than 50 million people was sent to the Laogai forced-labor camps.

    The writer, like many Marxists, seeks to make slavery the exclusive practice of white folks. Even a cursory reading of history dispels this Marxist ‘urban legend’ but they ignore the facts in order to ‘prove’ their points. I apologize to the readers for the length of this post.

  111. John G. Spragge Says:

    Baklava: Heading into a recession, it makes sense to cut taxes on lower income earners, as Senator Obama proposes to do. Given the massive deficit and debt, on the other hand, tax cuts for the wealthiest have little utility. Governments cut taxes to low income earners because they will spend, purchasing goods and services that will stimulate the economy. Governments cut taxes for the wealthy, in the hope they will invest. But when the government already runs a large deficit, any tax cuts for the rich must come at the cost of borrowing more, and thus shrinking the pool of funds available for investment. So extending the tax cuts proposed by the Bush Administration for the wealthiest 1% of the population does not make any empirical sense, even in a recession. It merely increases the debt your people will have to pay back later.

    J. Peden: Thanks for your concern, but I can happily report that I do not feel the slightest guilt.

    And by the way, if you take the trouble to read what I have written, you will find that I have never actually suggested anyone ought to vote for any particular American candidate. As someone from outside the US., I respect your right to choose for yourselves whom to vote for. I do, however, point out arguments that don’t hold water.

    grackle: I didn’t say that only people from Europe practised slavery; I merely pointed out that between about 1400 and 1800, Europeans and people of European descent practiced slavery and conquest more widely and with greater economic success (i.e. they committed armed robbery and murder better than anyone). Slavery existed and indeed exists today in many parts of the world, but that has no real relevance to the looting of four continents by Europeans and their descendants, that history stands as solid fact.

  112. harry McHitlerburtonstein the Conservative Extremist Says:

    “Slavery existed and indeed exists today in many parts of the world, but that has no real relevance to the looting of four continents by Europeans and their descendants, that history stands as solid fact.”

    Ah, the ideology of perpetual payback and eternal guilt. That sounds so inspiring and spiritually up-lifting. I dont know any sane guy could pass that up.

  113. harry McHitlerburtonstein the Conservative Extremist Says:

    I dont know how any sane guy could pass that up.

  114. Gray Says:

    I didn’t say that only people from Europe practised slavery; I merely pointed out that between about 1400 and 1800, Europeans and people of European descent practiced slavery and conquest more widely and with greater economic success (i.e. they committed armed robbery and murder better than anyone).

    Like Spaniards did! Nobody, I mean nobody raped, pillaged, enslaved and killed the “Native Peoples” of America like the Spanish did!

    I’m not Spanish. None of my ancestors are Spanish.

    Why should I pay for what they they did to the indians? Besides, all that gold got shipped back to Spain and a lot went to The Church. Let the Catholic Church pay the indians (I’ll bet you’d just love that….)

    Would a fellow who is half indian and half spanish only get half his blood money?

  115. John G. Spragge Says:

    Just to get the collective blood pressure down, and still the panic attacks of those who think I plan to send the repo man after what the banks have left of their money: I do not endorse and specific scheme for reparations for the history following 1400.

    I simply insist people who have at some time discussed some form of monetary compensation for 200 years of slavery and 100+ years of economic and political discrimination, or for that matter for 500 years of land and resource theft have not ruled themselves out as presidential candidates. I really haven’t said anything else on this topic, except that we have to face our history and not make excuses for it, a very different thing from the paralyzing shame some of you apparently imagine I must feel.

    Along the way, yes, I have added that Senator Obama’s current tax proposals arguably make sense, and they certainly do not convict him either of communism or class warfare.

  116. Baklava Says:

    John wrote, “So extending the tax cuts proposed by the Bush Administration for the wealthiest 1% of the population does not make any empirical sense, even in a recession.

    love the talking points ! You did well !

    “extending” the tax cuts is keeping tax rates the same. Not “extending” the tax cuts is “raising” tax rates and it does hurt the economy whether you can BRING yourself to say it or not. And why would you want to hurt the economy at the entrance of a recession?

    You wrote, “It merely increases the debt your people will have to pay back later

    Again, no it merely negatively affects job creators, small businesses (s-corps) and they have created 80% of jobs in the last decade.

    So, you are for more dependency on government and higher unemployment ? :)

    It’s the big government way! Right !

  117. harry McHitlerburtonstein the Conservative Extremist Says:

    John:
    “I simply insist people who have at some time discussed some form of monetary compensation for 200 years of slavery and 100+ years of economic and political discrimination, or for that matter for 500 years of land and resource theft have not ruled themselves out as presidential candidates.”

    You mean as far as you’re concerned. For me, it firmly places the candidate who holds the opinion that some sort of race grievance must be paid on the same level of a class warfare espousing communist. What’s the diff? Very little as far as I can tell.

  118. grackle Says:

    I didn’t say that only people from Europe practised slavery; I merely pointed out that between about 1400 and 1800, Europeans and people of European descent practiced slavery and conquest more widely and with greater economic success (i.e. they committed armed robbery and murder better than anyone). Slavery existed and indeed exists today in many parts of the world, but that has no real relevance to the looting of four continents by Europeans and their descendants, that history stands as solid fact.

    At the very same time period(1400 to 1800) slavery was also widespread among “people of colour.” In fact slavery has been widespread among all groups, not just those whom the writer labels as “Europeans,” since the beginning of recorded history on up to modern times.

    For example, Bernard Lewis, a renown historian of the Middle East, in his book, “Race and Slavery in the Middle East,” has this anecdote on p. 1:

    In 1842 the British Consul General in Morocco, as part of his government’s worldwide endeavor to bring about the abolition of slavery or at least the curtailment of the slave trade, made representations to the sultan of that country asking him what measures, if any, he had taken to accomplish this desirable objective. The sultan replied, in a letter expressing evident astonishment, that “the traffic in slaves is a matter on which all sects and nations have agreed from the time of the sons of Adam . . . up to this day.” The sultan continued that he was “not aware of its being prohibited by the laws of any sect, and no one need ask this question, the same being manifest to both high and low and requires no more demonstration than the light of day.”

    The book is available on line and I invite the reader to peruse it. What will be found is that slavery was widespread and taken for granted by a large group of “people of colour,” namely any Islamic group – all during the time period(1400 to 1800) cited by Spragge. The Islamic world imported slaves from every continent and the victims came from every racial group. Below are a few relevant quotes and a link to the book. Read what a real historian has to say instead of the half-baked Marxist pabulum offered up as historical fact by Spragge.

    The vast majority of unskilled slaves[of the Islamic world], however, came from the lands immediately north and south of the Islamic world — whites from Europe and the Eurasian steppes, blacks from Africa south of the Sahara.

    Central and East European slaves, generally known as Saqaliba (i.e., Slavs), were imported by three main routes: overland via France and Spain, from Eastern Europe via the Crimea, and by sea across the Mediterranean. They were mostly but not exclusively Slavs.

    The slave needs of the Ottoman Empire were now met from new sources. One of these was the Caucasians — the Georgians, Circassians, and related peoples …

    Deprived of most of their sources of white slaves, the Ottomans turned more and more to Africa, which in the course of the nineteenth century came to provide the overwhelming majority of slaves used in Muslim countries from Morocco to Asia. According to a German report published in 1860.

    The need, from early medieval times onward, to import large and growing numbers of slaves led to a rapid increase, in all the lands beyond the frontiers of the Islamic world, of both slave raiding and slave trading …

    In the Islamic world, where slaves were transported over great distances from their places of origin, the slave trade was more complex and more specialized with a network of trade routes and markets extending all over the Islamic world and far beyond its frontiers and involving commercial relations with suppliers in Christian Europe, in the Turkish steppe-lands, and in black Africa.

    http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/med/lewis1.html

    I don’t dispute the historical fact of Western empires but it’s historical bunk to imply only the West has indulged in empire-building. The principle empire during the time period specified by Spragge(1400 through 1800) was the Ottoman Empire. The Western empires didn’t dominate until the 1900′s and were relatively short-lived compared to the Ottomans, who held sway for hundreds of years. Do the Ottomans, known today as Turks, owe reparation to all the folks who now reside in those formerly subjugated regions? Or do they get a pass in the reparations game?

  119. Vince P Says:

    Did you put the seven hundred billion dollar, seven with eleven zeroes cheque a Republican administration wrote

    Who other than the most boring partisans would consider this a Republican idea? Paulson is a Democrat, and the Democrat Congress voted for it. Other Republicans went along for the ride because they felt they had no responsible alternative. And the Democrats added 150 Billion in pork for the 2nd bill. Are you against that?

    This was a non-ideological solution to a problem that no one knows how to solve (Because there is no solution other than to take the pain now instead of later)

  120. Vince P Says:

    Regarding the Bible and slavery.;. it’s total nonsense to state the Bible supported the system of slavery as we know it today and have seen in America in the past.

    The Biblical slavery was more like an indentured servitutude. It was a type of contract. (especially if the slave and master were Jews), otherwise it was like being in the army. It was not like what developed later as a consequence of the Islamic slave trade that the Europeans got their slaves from.

  121. Vince P Says:

    This is from Front Page Mag about Ibn Waraq book on Defending the West

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=97ccc078-df30-4a61-9bb4-d017510779cc

    Ibn Warraq shows that things were all together otherwise. “Black Africa was a full and active partner in the slave trade,” produced black captives and was solely responsible for organizing and controlling their sales. “African powers remained in control of the sale of the slaves as long as the slave trade lasted.”

    Moreover, Arabs participated heavily in the black slave trade as well–according to their own accounts, which Bin Warraq duly cites. The 10th century Arab geographer al-Maqdisi termed Bantu-speaking East Africans and Africans generally as “Zanj.” Al-Maqdisi wrote, “they are people of black color, flat noses, kinky hair and little understanding.” Similarly, a 10th century Islamic Persian treatise described black Africans as “people distant from the standards of humanity,” while a 13th century Persian observed, “the ape is more teachable and more intelligent than the Zanji.” And Islamic social scientist, economist, historian and philosopher Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406) wrote, “the Negro nations are, as a rule, submissive to slavery because [they] have little [that is essentially] human and have attributes that are quite similar to those of dumb animals, as we have stated.”

    In fact Muslim traders were far more culpable than Westerners. From the 1700s through the 1920s, Arab traders handled over 17 million black slaves–including 1.5 million who died en route, many crossing the Sahara, according to a 2004 comparative study by Olivier Petre-Grenouilleau. By contrast, little more than 11 million crossed the Atlantic. Whereas the Occident finally outlawed slavery, abolitionism “did not resonate in either black Africa or the Islamic world.” Indeed, Muslims regarded Western abolitionists as “a threat to their very livelihood but also as an affront to their religion,” writes A. Azumah in Islam and Slavery. Thus Orientals were the largest slave traders, as Ibn Warraq shows here, through collected sources.

    Even the supposedly “tolerant” Ottomans accepted slavery, “perpetuated [it] by tradition and sanctioned [it] by religion” and lacked an abolitionist movement, according to Ehud Toledano and Turkish historian Y.H. Erdem (again, carefully cited).

    The Ottomans also engaged in a huge enterprise manufacturing and trading eunuchs–males usually castrated during boyhood. In the Muslim Mediterranean–southern Europe, North Africa and the Near East including all of the Ottoman Empire at its largest point–“large harems [maintained] by the upper classes greatly stimulated demand for males who could be trusted with large numbers of nubile women.” Eunuchs survived “total removal of testicles and penis” that caused extensive hemorrhaging and death rates of 90% or more in the sub-Saharan west and west-central Africa, according to Jan Hogendorn’s 1999 essay, “The Hideous Trade.”

  122. nyomythus Says:

    Obama is a liar, and his redistribution crap is grossly anti-liberal — it’s hardcore socialism, he’s dumping the treasury at feet of the whores that will scoop it up, but people voting for him for this reason aren’t prostituting their sex (with is fine it’s none of my business), they’re prostituting the very core of liberalism. Not that the xenophobic McCain/Palin ticket and its disdain for science and culture are much better, I think it’s at least a tad better, which demonstrates the horrible choices we are faced with.

  123. nyomythus Says:

    Regarding the Bible and slavery.;. it’s total nonsense to state the Bible supported the system of slavery as we know it today and have seen in America in the past.

    Vince P: It’s right there in black and white print, the monotheist scriptures carried it onward for future generations, codified the warrant for, gave permission for, slavery. You can say it been misread, but why would a divine scripture be so misinterpreted, unless it was really invited by and written by … men.

  124. John G. Spragge Says:

    Bkalava: In answer to your contention that any tax increase will hurt the economy, I can only tell you that your argument depends on your definition of “hurt”. Your economy has existed, in a variety of ways, on borrowing over the last thirty years. At some point, if you don’t stop running into debt and start arranging to repay what you owe, your creditors, which include rival powers such as China, will simply cut you off, and that will put your country in a whole world of hurt. If the Bush administration had not run so recklessly into the hole, maybe the incoming administration could prudently cut taxes to weather the recession, but as things now stand, you have to ask yourself: how much of a mortgage on your country and its future do you want the heirs of Mao Zedong to have? And if you plan to cut taxes for some and not others, it makes sense, particularly in a recession, to cut taxes for the lower middle class, who will spend the money.

    As I said, you may disagree. But although I note you have better points than the ravings of some people here, this issue has nothing to do with what I or anyone else can or cannot “face”. Your country cannot simply run into debt indefinitely; no country can. Incorporating that reality into an economic assessment makes sense.

    grackle: Any time you want to discuss my actual claims, rather than regurgitate the horrors of the Ottoman slave trade, feel free. I stick by my point. We speak English, not Turkish or Arabic, in North America. They speak Spanish in Central and South America. They speak English in Australia. They speak English in South Africa, French in the Congo, Purtugese in Mozambique– where do those languages come from? Not the Middle East— I believe they hail from a little corner of the world called Europe. They speak Turkish in, um, Turkey.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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