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message 1: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Thoughts and Opinions is a group formed by a teenager, D.C. - the group is dedicated to freedom of speech and the ability to think. Kudos to D.C. and its members.

Please visit:

message 2: by John (new)

John Karr (karr) Oxymoron, Ilyn. D.C and freedom of speech and the ability to think.

But thanks for the tip to the youthful group. I joined, though I doubt they want to hear much from an older dude.

message 3: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
I think they do, John. D.C. asked me to advertise this group. Thank you for joining.

message 4: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
I posted:

D.C. wrote: "... never ending printing of money(that makes the dollar more and more worthless)..."

The solution: a return to the Gold Standard which Alan Greenspan has advocated for decades:

message 5: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
I also posted:

Joe wrote: "There is no such thing as laissez-faire capitalism, nor ever was and probably never will be."

Prior to July 4, 1776, no society ever recognized rights. Our Founding Ancestors did. It takes a generation as enlightened, as brave, and as resolute as our Founding Ancestors to constitutionalize capitalism and absolute property rights. It takes an uncommon individual to say "I can."

Thinking (by Walter D. Wintle)

If you think you are beaten, you are
..... If you think you dare not, you don’t
If you like to win, but think you can’t
..... It’s almost certain you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost
..... For out of the world we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will
..... It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are
..... You’ve got to think high to rise
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
..... You can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
..... To the stronger or faster man
But soon or late the person who wins
..... Is the one who thinks “I can.”

message 6: by Paul (new)

Paul Dinger Capitalism didn't exist in the age of our founding fathers. Most of them ran plantations. Factories didn't began to rear their ugly head until much later.
And the reason no society ever stuck with laissez-faire capitalism is because while it benefits the few it makes life horrible for the many. For example, corporations are raking in billions still while unemployment and poverty now are devastating millions. We have had nothing but laissez faire capitalism for the last twenty years and now we are in an economic crisis that may have no end. This is enlightened thinking? I guess we can say theives and murderers are enlightened thinkers too.

message 7: by Nina (new)

Nina Ilyn wrote: "I also posted:

Joe wrote: "There is no such thing as laissez-faire capitalism, nor ever was and probably never will be."

Prior to July 4, 1776, no society ever recognized rights. Our Founding..."
Wonderful insights in that poem..Would that all could live by them..nina

message 8: by Ilyn (last edited Apr 29, 2009 02:42AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Paul wrote: about capitalism

Capitalism is the separation of state and economics. It is coercion-free economics. It is the only economic system accordant with individual rights. It upholds inalienable rights.

Excerpt from Royal Serf:

Fox: “You cannot deny that crooked CEOs have greatly contributed to the economic crisis.”

Apollo: “There is a big difference between CEOs of government-sponsored enterprises, like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and CEOs of businesses with no political pull. The former are backed by coercive power and taxes while the latter use reason, persuasion, and innovation to succeed.

Man is fallible and not omniscient. We could make mistakes. When a government central planner makes a mistake, a whole industry or the entire economy could crash.

It is very important to recognize this fact: the government has been the CEO of the US economy for over a century.

We have a mixed economy in the US, not a free market. An explosive mixture of freedom and controls, a mixed economy has no principles to define its policies, goals, and laws. Having no principles to limit the power of government, it could collapse into dictatorship.

A mixed economy is a mixture of incomprehensible contradictions. Companies have been broken up because of their bigness; mergers have been prevented. Yet, AIG and Citigroup were bailed out because they were deemed ‘too big to be allowed to fail.’ Antitrust has been touted to be the fair-competition law, but how does a private company compete with too-big-to-fail, government-created, coercive-power-backed oligopolies?

A businessman’s success depends on his mind and effort, and on free, uncoerced trade. A bureaucrat’s success depends on his political pull. A businessman cannot force anyone; he suffers the consequences of his mistakes; he takes the loss if he fails. A bureaucrat forces his decisions on everyone; he destroys anyone who disagrees.

When a bureaucrat makes a mistake, he blames businessmen and uses the consequences of his mistake to obtain more coercive power. When a bureaucrat fails, the loss is passed on to taxpayers.

A businessman could be forced to pay his employees more than the market permits. He is expected to find a way to survive while operating at a loss. When the government achieves totalitarian power, forced labor camps are not far behind.

Both the Democratic and Republican parties champion the system of having the government as the CEO of the US economy. The private sector must stop them now by voting for reason and rights.

If men are left free, the mistake of one businessman or company would have no great impact on an entire industry. Barring rights-infringement, individuals should be free to do what they think best. Interference or coercion is contrary to man's survival.”

message 9: by Ilyn (last edited Apr 29, 2009 02:20AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Another excerpt from Royal Serf:

Fox: “Expound on the government as the CEO of the US economy and its mistakes that impacted the housing and financial industries.”

Apollo: “The government owns the financial system. The financial crisis was caused by the Federal Reserve (Fed), FDIC, Housing Policy, HUD, SEC, Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac.

The Fed kept interest rates below the rate of inflation, spurring borrowing that led to the housing bubble. The CRA coerced banks to lend money to low-income and poor-credit households. The government-guaranteed debt provided by government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac led to artificially low mortgage rates and the illusion that the financial instruments created by bundling them are low risk. Government-licensed rating agencies gave AAA ratings to mortgage-backed securities, creating a false sense of confidence. Deposit insurance and the ‘too big to fail’ doctrine created huge distortions in incentives and risk-taking throughout the financial system.

As coercive laws like antitrust and insider trading continued to terrorize businessmen, Mr. George W. Bush signed into law massive new governmental controls like Sarbanes-Oxley and massive new welfare programs like the prescription drug benefit.

The already heavily-shackled financial industry is further strangled by Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Statement No. 157 ‘Fair Value Measurements’ which became effective after November 15, 2007. It mandates mark-to-market, an accounting methodology that bases asset values on ‘fire sale’ value, not on projected cash flows. For example, the final value of a futures contract that expires in nine months will not be known until it expires. Its mark-to-market value is based on its current price in the open market. Mark-to-market is inconsistent with the law of supply and demand, taking into account the buyer but not a willing seller. It violates the ‘going concern’ concept.

The billions of losses reported by financial companies in 2007 and 2008 were mark-to-market losses. If applied to all businesses in the US as applied to financial intermediaries: 90% of US businesses would be insolvent given the lack of liquidity in markets. The major cause of the systematic liquidity problem is that publicly traded companies are not purchasing economically valuable assets because of the mark-to-market accounting risk.

The SEC makes accounting laws. The primary supporters of the Fair Value Measurements law are State Government and Union pension plans.

Financial institutions that have existed for over a century or almost a century have been wiped out. Government intervention into the economy neutron-bombs wealth and job creators. Ponder on these facts when you think of the government claim that economic regulations are good for the country.

President Obama used the financial crisis to blame the free market and to institute socialism. Mr. Obama said millions of Americans do not have health insurance because the health-care system has been left to the free market. His solution was a complete government takeover of medicine. Evading that the top 1% pays for 40% of all taxes, the top 5% pays for 60%, and half pays for 95%, Mr. Obama claimed the rich have been favored by cowboy capitalism and must have their taxes increased to fund universal education and universal healthcare.

After heaping the ills of government economic intervention on capitalism, even more government intervention is proposed as the cure. Despite massive evidence that the Federal Reserve and other government policies were responsible for the Great Depression, capitalism was blamed. Consequently, in the aftermath, the government’s power over the economy was dramatically expanded. Despite compelling evidence that the energy crisis of the 1970s was brought on by monetary inflation exacerbated by the abandonment of the remnants of the gold standard, and made worse by price controls, ‘greedy’ oil companies were blamed.

The government has gotten away with being a tyrant because we have not had many Patrick Henrys nor Thomas Jeffersons among the ranks of businessmen, and because citizens have been blind to the truth that economic regulations are shackles incompatible with liberty.”

message 10: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Royal Serf excerpt:

In a recent speech, Apollo spoke of serfdom and royal serfs:

“For more than a century, businessmen have heroically endured the status and conditions of Royal Serfs. This tiny minority has been portrayed as Goliath by statists and the maliciously envious.

The story of David and Goliath tells of a wicked giant terrorizing much smaller, weaker people, and an innocent, brave, young boy who vanquished him. A very similar story appears in the Iliad, where the young Nestor fights and conquers the giant Ereuthalion.

Of superhuman size and strength, Ereuthalion wields an iron club while Goliath has a massive bronze spear. Clad in armour, each giant challenges all the warriors in the opposing army. In each story, the seasoned warriors are afraid, and the challenge is taken up by a stripling, the youngest in his family - Nestor is the twelfth son of Neleus, David the seventh or eighth son of Jesse. In each story, an older and more experienced father figure - Nestor's own father, David's patron Saul - tells the boy that he is too young and inexperienced, but in each case the gods, or in David's case, God, comes to the young hero's aid and defeats the giant. Nestor, fighting on foot, then takes the chariot of his enemy, while David, on foot, takes the sword of Goliath. The victors pursue the fleeing enemy army and destroy them. Returning with their booty, the boy-hero is acclaimed by his people.

Big business has been portrayed as Goliath. This wicked-exploiter portrayal is made by statists and advanced by little men consumed with malicious envy. This portrayal is camouflage purposed to justify tearing down and enslaving spectacularly successful individuals.

Since only the government has the power to coerce, it alone has the power to become a Goliath.

Successful businessmen are like shepherds with many herds of sheep. In our world, there are four kinds of shepherds: the independent shepherds who desire a coercion-free existence, the lazy, the envious, and the sanctioners.

The lazy and the envious shepherds clamor, ‘Goliath, we are weak and some of our fellow shepherds have taken advantage of us. Punish the independent shepherds. No one should be allowed to own many herds of sheep. Goliath, spread the sheep around.’

There are other shepherds busily working. Goliath calls their attention and says, ‘Look at the independent shepherds wallowing in sheep. They are greedy and selfish. If not for their avarice and exploitation, you wouldn’t have to labor so hard.’

‘They are robber barons,’ chorus the lazy and envious shepherds.

‘They are callous crooks,’ Goliath thunders. ‘They should be punished and shackled.’

The sanctioners stay silent.

Goliath whacks the independent shepherds. ‘You are evil – you profit from selfishness and greed. Therefore, half of your herds of sheep and your lands are hereby confiscated.’

‘Do not let them use water from the river,’ demand the lazy and the envious.

‘Granted,’ Goliath puffs up.

The lazy and the envious cheer as they loot the independent shepherds’ sheep and lands.

The independent shepherds continue working, thinking up new sources of water. They dig wells. They build small dams to capture rainfall.

Months pass. The lazy have consumed their loot of sheep; the envious have little left. They petitioned Goliath: ‘The selfish, greedy robber barons are growing more powerful. They are getting richer while we are getting poorer. Do something, Goliath.’

Goliath jails the most successful independent shepherd and tells the rest, ‘Every month, deliver two-thirds of your herds of sheep to me. Spend eighty percent of your time helping your fellow shepherds. Stop being materialistic.’

‘Goliath, their dams and wells constitute unfair advantage,’ the envious point out.

Goliath destroys the dams and wells, forcefully smacking down independent shepherds pleading for him to spare some.

Independent shepherds escape and vanish. A few weeks after, no herd of sheep is left to loot.

Statists and little men destroy wealth and livelihoods. They destroy without compunction despite the consequent unemployment, poverty, and misery.”

Everyone in the audience was quiet.

*** continued in the next post

message 11: by Ilyn (last edited Apr 29, 2009 02:38AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
*** continuation

Apollo continued, “Citizens’ sanction of the use of force purposed to ‘do good’ gives the government camouflage in terrorizing the most productive citizens into submission.

The Sherman Act, the competition or antitrust law, was named after its author, Republican Senator John Sherman. It passed in the Senate on April 8, 1890 by a vote of 51 - 1, unanimously (242 - 0) in the House of Representatives on June 20, 1890, and then signed into law by President Benjamin Harrison, a Republican, on July 2, 1890.

President Theodore Roosevelt, a leader of the Republican Party and of the Progressive Party, used the Sherman Act in his extensive antitrust campaign, including dividing the Northern Securities Company. President William Howard Taft, a Republican, used the Act to split the American Tobacco Company.

Only the government has the power to coerce. All coercive monopolies are created by government intervention into the economy. The Objectivist Newsletter of February 1962 wrote: ‘Free competition enforced by law is a grotesque contradiction in terms.’

Under the Antitrust laws, no matter what a businessman does, he becomes a criminal. If he charges prices deemed too high, he is guilty of monopoly or the ‘intent to monopolize’; if he charges prices lower than those of his competitors, he is guilty of ‘unfair competition’ or ‘restraint of trade’; and if he charges the same prices as his competitors, they are all guilty of ‘collusion’ or ‘conspiracy.’

Companies are charged with being “anti-competitive” under a variety of pricing policies. The drug companies are said to be guilty of setting prices that are too high; Wal-Mart of setting prices that are too low; the airlines of setting prices that are too similar.

Not a single antitrust law was repealed or amended under President Reagan. Industries deregulated under President Carter became subject to antitrust under the Reagan Administration. Under Mr. Reagan’s watch in 1985, more than a dozen executives from electrical contracting firms were jailed for antitrust violations.

After years of government strangulation, the US airline industry was substantially deregulated in the late 1970s. This industry flourished. “Price wars” proliferated and prices plummeted. The George H. W. Bush Administration filed an antitrust suit for “price fixing”, alleging that the major airlines fixed prices through technologically advanced fare and reservation systems, created by American and United. The Bush Administration forced these airlines to issue refunds and to share their reservation systems with competitors.

In 1993 during its push for socialized medicine, the Clinton Administration threatened the US pharmaceutical industry, the excellent mass-producer of affordable drugs, with an antitrust suit for “price gouging” and “excess profits.” Then, Mr. Clinton launched an attack against hospital mergers though they reduce medical costs.

Wal-Mart created a revolution in “discount retailing.” Its profits soared for selling name-brand goods cheaply. In 1993, it was found guilty of “predatory pricing” under antitrust law.

In 1994 under threat of being broken up, Microsoft was forced to disclose key operating system information to competitors.

The evils caused by the government are blamed on businessmen. While vilifying these rightless scapegoats, government touts the urgency to correct such evils and the need for wider coercive power.

The antitrust laws and other regulations have rendered businessmen rightless and have kept them under a silent, growing reign of terror.

The government established in the Insider Trading laws: unearned profits by force . Profiting from years of study and establishing goodwill with others is earned profit, but punishable with fines and imprisonment. Intellectual egalitarianism, the belief that the minds and the knowledge of all men must be equalized, is the root premise of full disclosure and insider trading laws.

Knowledge is good for everyone. Allowing intervention by force into the very process of gaining and using knowledge, like the regulation of financial information, is one of the most dangerous of all economic controls.

Brilliant wealth creators who never sought government help are malevolently called robber barons. This dishonest label is purposed to foster virulent animosity against successful producers. This enslavement tactic has had the desired result: the American people have condoned laws against bigness and spectacular success. The advocacy or sanction of coercion is the mark of evil.

For over a century, oppressive laws have terrorized American businessmen. Corporate America is under a bipartisan dictatorship.

A nation that rewards envy and punishes the best, relegating them as Royal Serfs, cannot long endure.

Fellow Americans: let us constitutionalize coercion-free economics: capitalism.”

message 12: by Ilyn (last edited Apr 29, 2009 02:53AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Paul wrote in message 6: "Capitalism didn't exist in the age of our founding fathers."

From Royal Serf:

Dr. Leonard Peikoff was the first speaker on the first day:

”There are three fundamental questions central to any philosophy, which every person must answer in some way: What is there? How do you know it? And, what should you do?

The Founding Fathers had answers to these questions.

What is there? ‘This world,’ they answered, ‘nature’. Although they believed in God, it was a pale deist shadow of the medieval period. For the Founding Fathers, God was a mere bystander, who had set the world in motion but no longer interfered.

How did they know? ‘Reason was the only oracle of man,’ they said.

What should you do? ‘Pursue your own happiness,’ said Jefferson.

The result of these answers – i.e. of their philosophy – was capitalism, freedom, and individual rights. This brought about a century of international peace, and the rise of the business mentality, leading to the magnificent growth of industry and of prosperity.

For two centuries since, the enemies of the Founding Fathers have given the exact opposite answers to these three questions. What is there? ‘Another reality,’ they say. How do they know? ‘On faith.’ What should you do? ‘Sacrifice yourself for society.’

This is the basic philosophy of our culture, and it is responsible for the accelerating collapse of capitalism, and all of its symptoms: runaway government trampling on individual rights, growing economic dislocations, worldwide tribal warfare and international terrorism – with business under constant, systematic attack....”

message 13: by Ilyn (last edited Apr 29, 2009 02:56AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Paul further wrote in message 6: "And the reason no society ever stuck with laissez-faire capitalism is because while it benefits the few it makes life horrible for the many."

More excerpts from Royal Serf:

An intellectually honest individual concerned about alleviating human poverty and suffering uses the law of identity and the law of causality to discover their cause. A century laden with proofs, the unprecedented prosperity-explosion after the founding of the United States of America, would shine light on the answer: capitalism is the only social system that enables men to produce abundance - and the key to capitalism, to a coercion-free economic system, is individual freedom.

The Declaration of Independence explicitly states the only function of government: ‘ — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — …’

A government could interfere with the economy through the initiation of force, and/or through socialized industries. Neither is compatible with the sublime function of government. The recognition of rights, specifically property rights, creates an economic system in which production and distribution are privately or corporately owned: capitalism. It is the only moral political system because it is the only system dedicated to the protection of rights, which is a requirement for human survival and flourishing.

The signatories to the Declaration of Independence, their constituents, George Washington, and his men, thought it practical to have a social system based on individual liberty. The result of their philosophy is individual rights, freedom, and capitalism. History has proven them right. Their philosophy brought about a century of international peace, and the rise of the business mentality, leading to the magnificent growth of industry and of prosperity.

message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

A little light on history here.. the free market did not start with the US, neither did the recognition of rights.

The Dutch were very big on the free market (and thus were the centers of commerce in Europe). The Scots very well understood the free market, and are arguably the ones responsible for creating markets in the colonies, and then creating markets for the colonies. Both of these cultures (and others) recognized rights to property (commerce is not truly possible without it) and most other rights as well.
The English recognized rights both explicitly and implicitly in the restrictions on the crown and in common law.

This myth that the US created essentially everything is just that.. a myth. There is no harm in becoming familiar with history,

These few examples, which are not the only examples, all had MORE liberty, than the subjects of the US Government enjoy today..

message 15: by John (new)

John Karr (karr) There certainly was capitalism in the age of our founding fathers. Were they just giving away goods and services? No.

We've had recessions and even a depression before, and ultimately rebounded. Chucking it all for socialism is a huge mistake for this country. Where's your grand big brother going to get his dough when there's fewer and fewer jobs and no aspirations for wealth and prosperity? No where. Break the backs of the shrinking middle class. Printing it up like the golden goose IS going to decrease the value of the dollar to record lows.

Better start promoting growth in the private, no-government-hands-in-the-till BUSINESS sector of this country. And soon.

message 16: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Hello Paul, Nina, Brian, John, and everyone. I will comment this weekend.

I was busy last night - my husband and I started to build the website for Royal Serf.

message 17: by Nina (new)

Nina Good luck in this newest endeavor. nina

message 18: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Thank you so much, Nina. I should finish the website this weekend. The interior of Royal Serf is being formatted.

message 19: by Paul (new)

Paul Dinger Actually John, your ideas have been played out over the last eight years. What has happened? There is record unemployment, people lost pensions, and there is a smoldering crator where Wall Street used to be. Should we be standing in the burnt down house and keep saying let's play with matches?

message 20: by [deleted user] (new)


While I know that John does not want what he claims to want, neither is it the case that we have been allowed to live free for the last 8 years, including freedom of association (aka business)

Worse yet for all of us is that Obama has simply signed onto the Bush Doctrine in all ways. He adopts the Keynesian pseudo economics just as Bush did, which leads to economic failure as any mathematician or logician can tell you. He adopts the notion that the US Military should be the most active terrorist force in the world. He pushes through the Bush ideology of growing government at the expense of liberty at an exponential rate.

The only surprising thing is that statists claim to dislike Bush when he should be heralded as their god.. with Obama as the son of this "god."

If we want to use reason instead of ideology we will look to the depression of 1920.. It should have been by all accounts and indicators FAR worse than the Great Depression which would follow, but instead we had recovery in less than a year. Why? Government stopped regulating, shrunk, and refrained from trying to "fix the problem." In every instance where government gets involved in the economy, the economy (thus all of us) suffers. This is historical fact as well as logically verifiable fact.

As I noted before knowledge of history is lacking in this discussion, as well as knowledge of the most basic elements of reason..

message 21: by John (new)

John Karr (karr) Paul, blaming everything on Bush is a tired and false argument. Capitalist America was great before and can be great again if the government would halt bailouts, borrowing, taxing and spending to the nth degree. i.e, get out of the way.

If the government wouldn't have "encouraged" "zero money down" tactics for lenders cutting risky loans, and didn't buy crap mortgages and secondary loan pools from quasi-federal agencies Fannie May and Freddie Mac, this wouldn't be nearly so bad.

We survived the real Depression and we'll survive this, if Obama and the Democrats put the brakes on their socialist agenda.

Let's say you're in debt on a fixed income. You borrow a million dollars. How long does it take to get out of debt?

Same applies to this administration, only Obama and crew want to fix the "flaws" of the Constitution while everyone's busy trying to find employment or stay employed.

They are doing zero to promote business. Instead they grab for power so everyone becomes dependent on Big Brother. Businesses are holding back job creation because of it.

Paul, I'm sure there's an anti-Capitalist group somewhere that would be glad to have you. Oh, and take Brian with you while you're at it.

message 22: by Paul (new)

Paul Dinger Fannie Mae was a victim of the current economic times, not the cause. As for job creation, they have been sucking jobs out of this country for years. Our manufactering jobs have been going to depressed countries overseas for years. It is a domino effect, laid off workers can't pay for their houses, then real estate agencies fold. People who work for loan companies want to pass off the debt as an asset and on and on it goes.
As for the government, the ultimate tax and spender was Bush who not only ran up huge record deficits, but then cut government revenue to pay for it. Is that any way to run a business? Only if you want it to fail. Why are you so quick to let Bush off the hook, seems to me that he was acting like a lot of these companies, spending money he didn't have, just as reckless as any corporations. If our taxes do go up it will be to pay for a war that his administration never told us the real cost of while he borrowed, borowed, and borrowed to pay for it. It isn't a quesiton any more that we will pay higher taxes, the question is when. This is no way to run a business, but it is how our government operated until Obama came onboard.
So I would think that anti capitalists these days are probably the only ones who really understand what is going on.

message 23: by Ilyn (last edited May 05, 2009 02:20AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Paul, please define capitalism. Are you anti-capitalist? Why? What are you for and why?

Why do you think Fannie Mae is a victim? You say - "As for job creation, they have been sucking jobs out of this country for years." Who are "they"?

Brian, you consider anyone who is not for anarchy irrational or ignorant.

I am not for anarchy. I am on the side of Thomas Jefferson and the other signers/defenders of the Declaration of Independence. A good government leaves non-rights-infringers alone --- Thomas Jefferson said, "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others."

You advocate another way of securing rights - you advocate mob rule.

message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

John wrote: "Paul, blaming everything on Bush is a tired and false argument. Capitalist America was great before and can be great again if the government would halt bailouts, borrowing, taxing and spending to t..."


Sorry that you find reality too difficult to tolerate. Bush is accountable for what he did, and I cannot help but wonder why you would pretend that he is exempt from critical examination...

Unlike you, I am not pro-coercion and anti-free market, despite your dishonest implications. I recognize that the repugnicans are NOT pro-liberty or pro-free market, nor offer up any solution (nor have in the past offered up any solution).

Is what Obama is doing wrong and anti-liberty? Yep. Is it exactly what Bush was doing with regard to the economy, YEP!! There in lay the difference. Where you seem to find the practice when done by a demoncrat to be wrong and ill advised you seem to believe that growing government, attacking liberty, and promoting socialist agendas when done by repugnicans to be a good thing. Why be inconsistent? Why not simply support liberty regardless of what form of statist is in power?


These bad times did not just happen, they were caused by the government trying to manipulate investment. By lowering interest rates and pushing the social agenda of putting people into homes who could not afford them (see John this is socialism.. ) the market was not able to signal that further investment in long term projects was undesirable because sufficient investment in long term projects was already in place. In a free market, the market signals that sufficient long term investment in projects exists by increasing the cost of additional investments, The key indicator of this is increased interest rates. Since the government was not going to allow for this normal and reasonable market correction, it created a situation where there were great incentives to invest in long term projects. Another way to describe over investing in long term projects is "bubble."

This is what we saw. Now we are paying the price of these ill conceived keynesian policies (thanks Bush, Clinton, and others.. ) and will pay a much higher price as these same policies are the only policies that the current administration will even consider. Responsible behavior is actively discouraged. Have you heard all of the clap-trap about how saving money and being frugal is bad??

I agree that spending money that you do not have is foolish, but why are you taking essentially the same approach as John and saying that it is bad when done by one administration but good when done by another?? It is harmful regardless of whether the administration claims to be one form of radical statist or another..

message 25: by [deleted user] (last edited May 05, 2009 06:12AM) (new)

Ilyn wrote: "Paul, please define capitalism. Are you anti-capitalist? Why? What are you for and why?

Why do you think Fannie Mae is a victim? You say - "As for job creation, they have been sucking jobs out ..."


A little honesty would go a long way here.

Claiming that I am advocating EXACTLY what you are advocating, mob rule, is dishonest. As you very well know I have repeatedly spoken AGAINST mob rule, for the very reasons that the founders spoke against it.

I do not accept your axiom that having some people rule over the lives of others, because those few are inherently better or more deserving of liberty, makes those who are essentially owned by those few live a free life. If your actions are controlled by another you are not free. This is fundamentally true. To claim otherwise is to try to equivocate in a very Orwellian way to define slavery as freedom..

Freedom is NOT mob rule, as you try to pretend that it is.

Neither is slavery freedom.

No owners of individuals does not mean that everyone ones other individuals. You seem to be determined to overlook this basic fact. Adopting a denial of the law of non-contradiction in the process. Democracy is mob rule, for it grants to the many the power and "legitimacy" to control the lives of all others. This is what the founders knew and said, and why they opposed demoncracy. Let's not dishonestly pretend that democracy and liberty are identical. They are identical in the way that slavery and freedom are identical.

I do not consider anyone who advocates slavery, coercion, and other forms of statism to be necessarily be irrational and ignorant. Some advoacte it because of fear, desire for power, and other reasons.

However if you would set aside the personal attacks and false accusations you might just see that the comments made are all well supported and thus far wholly unaddressed.

Please refrain from such dishonest accusations as they reflect poorly upon you, and detract from all civil discussion.

I would strongly recommend not only reading the history of the founding of this nation, including but not limited to the writings of Jefferson, the ratification debates, and of course the basis for self-rule (REAL self-rule not this pretense of "self" rule that grants others the power over every aspect of your lives). But before trying out that material you should really read The Reasonable Woman: A Guide to Intellectual Survival by Wendy McElroy. She does a wonderful job of explaining the sorts of factual and logical errors which make up much of your arguments and accusations. You will find through reading this that you can avoid most of these common errors, and hopefully will decide that ad hominems serve no real purpose.

Good luck.

edited to add: I will say that I find anyone who denies reality and fails to follow the dictates of reason to be a fool living in his/her own little illusion. Only reality determines what is true, and only reason can lead to knowledge. Deny either and your claims will never be supported.

A key difference between our styles here is that I refer to evidence and facts, allowing reality and reason to point to the necessary conclusion. If I am mistaken, there are objective means to demonstrate this. You, and John, emote and attack the person. Where your claims have been proved false and your arguments fallacious, you have railed against a person and reiterated that you are right because you are right (putting yourself in the role of sole determiner of what is true, instead of allowing reality to determine what is true)

Ask yourself why you would choose this alternative approach..

message 26: by John (last edited May 05, 2009 07:36AM) (new)

John Karr (karr) Brian, I've yet to see an attack on you as a person, and Iyln shows the patience of a saint with you, so you can just set that aside. I just don't see your point of view at all.

I do question why you and Paul hang here at the TEA party thread, however. You seem to share little with the movement. Why not push on?

Paul, still on Bush, eh?

Take a look at the chart at this link. See that long red line extending to 1.85 TRILLION dollars? That's 2009's projected deficit thanks to this administration and current congress. Then look at 2008 and prior.

Which is worse? The red that's 4x bigger than Bush's year. So let's stay current, ok.

here's some breakdown to it:

message 27: by [deleted user] (last edited May 05, 2009 08:45AM) (new)


What you choose to see and not to see does not change reality, merely your own illusions.

I am beginning to agree with you that I share little in common with the ideology of fear, coercion, hatred, and anti-liberty. I joined because the surface rhetoric sounded hopeful, speaking of liberty and less government, but as we have seen here, there is a gross ignorance of history (especially that history you try to herald) a hatred of reason and evidence, and a distinct anti-liberty pro-coercion and violence attitude underlying the false rhetoric.

However I really dislike seeing the attitudes and beliefs of the founders so grossly mischaracterized and falsely represented, and being one who truly loves liberty, including economic liberty I dislike seeing the labels of a free people and free market so terribly abused and turned Orwellian.

Strange that you sanctify insults, misrepresentations, and personal attacks, yet at the same time never once offer any reasoned argument (much less a valid or sound one) nor even one instance of evidence.

This btw does not refer to any claim, post, argument or belief of mine yet was offered by Ilyn though she knows it to be completely false: "Brian, you consider anyone who is not for anarchy irrational or ignorant. "

This is a comment about me as a person, not any representation of anything said. So you see, if you allow reality to determine truth, your claims fail to match it thus are false. BTW this is far from the only example, as you know from your own use of insults and personal attacks in your pro-aggression rants in another thread.

"I just don't see your point of view at all. "

This is why I keep referring to objective facts, historical record, and basic sound logic. All of these are accessible to you, and in no way rely upon me, so that IF YOU ARE WILLING, you can take off the blinders and accept reality. This will mean allowing that you just might be mistaken in some belief, assertion, or attack. It means giving up the delusion of omniscience and the role of sole arbiter or truth. It means recognizing that where your beliefs and reality are in conflict it is not reality which is mistaken. For myself I accept these limitations and allow that anything I say can be proved false through referring to specific objective counter-examples. However you never even try to offer these or any evidence, choosing always to "attack the man" (Ad hominem) so as to distract from the issues.

So ask yourself why you would choose an alternative approach to reason, evidence, civility, and honesty.

Ask yourself why even in this last post where you had the option of dealing with explicit and clear statements of facts, and sound arguments, you avoided the issues to once again engage in ad hominem (a red herring fallacy meant to distract from the absence of substance in your own position and argument).

message 28: by John (last edited May 06, 2009 09:39AM) (new)

John Karr (karr) Status quo response from you, Brian.

I'll repeat:

If you don't agree with the TEA party movement, or at least SOME of the basic views in this thread, then why not move along?

message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

And I will repeat since you failed to even read the post, I am pro-liberty, pro-non-aggression, pro-free market, pro-reason, pro-reality. I realize that you abhor the latter two, but you claim (contradictorily) to be for liberty and a free market (or at least capitalism, which is similar though not identical).

That your rhetoric is contradictory, is YOUR own problem, not a reason for others to abandon the meaning of the words, the use of reason, or all of the overwhelming evidence.

Here again you fail to address ANY issue and instead lash out at the person.. It appears that ad hominems is all you have to offer.

What is so frightening about reason, civility, and honesty? Why not address the issues rather than trying to bully others?

message 30: by Paul (new)

Paul Dinger Yeah Brian, surely John only wants a chorus of approval and doesn't want to discuss what anyone else has to say. He and like minded individuals just want each other to agree, not discuss any ideas. However, if his point of view were really all that logical, shouldn't he want to defend it by means other than telling people to move on?

message 31: by John (new)

John Karr (karr) Brian and Paul,

Lash out and attack I've not done. You two don't seem to identify with the TEA movement so why not create your own group and see how many folks join?

That's probably the only way you'll know just how off your views are, as we just keep going 'round and 'round.

message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

Well said Paul.

I do not get the attitude of fear which prevents some from enjoying that "a-ha!" moment of discovery of new knowledge. Fearing that some small or large belief could be mistaken they lock down their minds, metaphorically sticking their heads in the sands saying "nananana I can't hear you" so that no new ideas, no aspect of reality at all can enter and disrupt the fragile house of cards.

I remember a time many many years ago when I was discussing politics with someone whose intellect I really had little respect for at that moment. She then presented a point to me succinctly and soundly, thus stopping me in my tracks and in that instant I abandoned the position I was taking, and the belief behind it and simply admitted that she was right. I was not lessened by this realization (though I was lessoned!) but rather improved because I was able to see that I had been holding a false belief.

This happens to anyone willing to let reality determine what is true, and is willing to learn. Best yet it is a joy to learn and abandon those false beliefs...

message 33: by [deleted user] (new)


So let's assume that I am mistaken. What have you offered to demonstrate that your claims are true or that the sound arguments already offered are unsound?

You have adopted the red herring tactic of ad hominem (attacking the man) rather than offer anything at all which supports your claims. Denying this does not change reality.

Cite the exact posts where you offered evidence. Cite the exact posts where you offered sound refutation of the sound arguments offered. This is what it means to have an honest, intelligent, intellectual discussion. This is what is means to demonstrate knowledge, rather than to emote.

Why not stop lashing out at individuals and discuss the issues?

Why not ask yourself why you would adopt this attack the person tactic rather than discuss issues honestly?

message 34: by Richard (new)

Richard Gray | 23 comments I have only begun to read these posts and not had time to reflect. It is interesting that any of you would entertain the idea of inviting the other to move on rather than to identify the areas that you agree and begin to work out the areas of disagreement with sound evidence and temperance. I am enjoying the banter, and encourage more of it.

message 35: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Lea (tracylea) | 37 comments Richard, I agree that I have enjoyed the banter on this group. However, I don't feel I can hold up a good argument with Brian, but every once in a while I build up enough steam and give it a go. ; ) Especially when the something is said that strikes a cord.

message 36: by [deleted user] (new)


Do not feel like this is any sort of competition or that we are adversaries. As long as we are all seeking knowledge/truth, then "who" is right is irrelevant. Fear only comes when we are afraid to let reality determine what is true, and so act so as to protect our belief against reality.

I mentioned a case in my own life where I did a complete 180 because someone pointed out what was necessitated by my position and that position was ultimately unsupportable. This has happened more than once, but only happens when we are willing to let reality tell us what is true, and when we are willing to change our minds based upon reason and evidence.

I do not want anyone to be intimidated, nor should they be I am only human. If I were to adopt John's approach of trying to insult, coerce, and otherwise bully people into either adopting his unconsidered positions, else chase them away, then I lose the opportunity to learn, as does anyone reading the discussion.

Intellectual discussion is not a battle for superiority (Really John, it isn't) but rather a mutual search for truth and knowledge. We examine issues from at least two perspectives (hopefully more) and then let reason and reality guide us to the necessary conclusions. If that differs with what any one of us wishes were true or believes, then that gives that individual the opportunity to learn and grow, or to stick their heads in the sand, leave the intellectual discussion, and deny that reality determines what is true. The former choice seems obvious, but far too many will choose the latter.

Either way, such discussions are not battles, but joint efforts.

message 37: by Richard (new)

Richard Gray | 23 comments Tracy, Thank you...
I feel very privileged to be a spectator in such wonderful, thought provoking ideas. I'm sure there are a lot of us spectators who get their news from news makers (media) who help formulate our thinking but for the most part agree with our own agendas. Its good to hear what the other (opposing) media is saying without having to sit through more rhetoric. Note I say more rhetoric, our favorite media have it's own agendas, don't they?

message 38: by Ilyn (last edited May 07, 2009 06:15PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Hi Tracy, Richard, Brian, Paul, John, and everyone.

I will join the discussions next week. I received the full Royal Serf interior proof yeterday, so I am busy proofreading.

message 39: by Richard (new)

Richard Gray | 23 comments Ilyn,

You are in our thoughts and Prayers


message 40: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1280 comments Mod
Hi Rich,

Thank you so much.

God bless,

message 41: by Anna (new)

Anna (stregamari) | 24 comments Brian, you do go on (and on and on)! Your arguments and reasoning are circular, non-relevant, and based on erroneous assumptions. This group is the "goodreads TEA party", TEA standing for Taxed Enough Already. If you want someplace to bash Christians, spout empty rhetoric, go to the headquarters for empty rhetoric (, or whatever). Unless you have something to say pertaining to TEA, move on, dude

message 42: by [deleted user] (new)


Can you offer anything to support your claims? Can you cite even a single instance where a premise of one of my arguments is identical to the conclusion?(this is necessary for the argument to be circular) Can you explain how direct refutations are irrelevant?

I have offered nothing "bashing" christians, nor anything which is not wholly supported, so clearly these two claims of yours are completely without merit.

I notice that like John, you have adopted the false dichotomy which assumes that if someone does not kowtow to you bullying then they must hold every possible hateful belief contrary to your own. Can you provide support for this position? Can you support your assumption that I hold the belief that you need to be taxed more?

Sorry Anna, but bullying does not work, nor even sit well with me. It speaks only to your own person and position. I invite you to join in a civil, reasoned, intellectual discussion of issues rather than using personal attacks, false accusations, and dishonest tactics.

Why not view honest civil intellectual discussions as opportunities for us all to work together to learn, rather than your own personal battlefield in which you take wild hate filled pot shots at others?

message 43: by Anna (new)

Anna (stregamari) | 24 comments Brian, each and every one of your posts is pompous, without end or meaning. again, blah blah blah. TEA, taxed enough already. not an outlet for your bigotry, hatred, and/or nonsense. please
<"adopted the false dichotomy which assumes that if someone does not kowtow to you bullying then they must hold every possible hateful belief contrary to your own. Can you provide support for this position? Can you support your assumption that I hold the belief that you need to be taxed more?>". First of all, proof-read proof-read proof-read. Bringing you back to the fact that this a forum for people who feel that they are taxed enough already is not bullying. Calling you a hate-mongering bigot is just the truth. and yes, if you believe that the up-coming tax structures, pay-offs and bail-outs are warranted, that you are agreeing that we all need to be taxed more.

message 44: by [deleted user] (last edited May 08, 2009 08:33AM) (new)

Contrary to your own remarks, I have not called anyone names much less done any "hate mongering"

What you are engaging in this "agree with me or else I will insult you, attack you, call you names, and make false accusations" is indeed bullying. I asked you to support your claims so as to see if there was a point of confusion. Rather than do so you have again chosen merely to offer up baseless personal attacks and insults.

I would ask the moderator to remove you and your post given that you have called me a bigot and a hate-monger amongst other things, without any evidence whatsoever. I do not hate, nor is there any action or belief of mine which anyone could ever deem to be bigoted.

You pretend as though you have read the posts enough to know that I support Obama, hate-monger, and support the new taxes, yet had you read any of the posts you would know that I have opposed all of these. Honesty and civility will serve us all better than this tactic you are adopting.

From yesterday's post as counter-example to your false accusations about my own beliefs: "And I will repeat since you failed to even read the post, I am pro-liberty, pro-non-aggression, pro-free market, pro-reason, pro-reality."

You see, Anna, I am opposed to taxation, especially increased taxation. I am opposed to anyone claiming the right to dictate how others can lead their peaceful lives. I am opposed to coercion and violence against innocents.

None of these positions I actually hold, and have previously explained here, match what you claim I do and must believe.

message 45: by Richard (new)

Richard Gray | 23 comments Brian,

It might be worth some quiet time to filter through the question- what is it that I do or write that infuriates others?

It seems the past post from you are in defense of your own posts, not so much contributing to the purpose of this discussion group. While I find it entertaining it can't be adding to your self worth.

Please do not take offense to this, I enjoy your brand of writing, perhaps doing it with a different target in mind might make life a bit more "GREEN"

message 46: by [deleted user] (last edited May 08, 2009 09:03AM) (new)


You make a false assumption: that I or anyone can control the emotions of others. We are each responsible for our actions and our choices, including our choice to throw a tantrum or not. I can no more force Anna or John to stop throwing tantrums than I can force them to engage in tantrums. The only one who can make such choices is the individual facing the choice of a tantrum or not. And remember, I have not been engaging in personal attacks, insults or the like to which one might understand such emotional and venomous responses.

Your characterization is self-defeating for were it true that all I post is defense of my own posts, then I never could have posted in the first place.. :)

I am not defending my posts, for they need no defense. I am however refuting the childish, insulting and slanderous personal attacks. Surely you can find no fault in refuting these?

I always am amazed that when someone civilly, rationally, and intelligently presents a refutation or even poses a question, and is immediately and viciously attacked, someone decides that the problem must be with offering reasoned civil intelligent discussion rather than pointing out the real problem: that of the false and vicious attacks..

My self worth is in no way dependent upon the opinions of those who are throwing tantrums, who make false accusations, and who engage in obvious slander. That they choose to hate and use insult does not grant to them any power over me. Why would you think that it does/would/should?

The target I have in mind is the person who is reading but not necessarily posting. The ideologues who choose to lash out at anyone who thinks, are not going to change their minds, for it is not their minds which are the focus, but rather some belief or beliefs held in faith rather than by reason. So I do not expect Anna or John to turn over a new leaf and decide that civility, honesty, and reason are good and desirable, but I know from long experience that by standing up to such bullies, by presenting ideas in a clear well reasoned fashion, others who are not posting may well come around to seeing the value of civility, honesty, reason, and the specific issue at hand (in this case recognizing that the problems are not party based but are shared by both parties).

Hopefully someone will step in to moderate and stop these pointless, slanderous, and off topic personal attacks so that we can get back to real issues.

So I would pose a question to you Richard, why would you choose to chastise me for being civil, honest, and reasonable, suggesting that I should change, rather than address the use of personal attack, insult, slander, and dishonesty such as we see clearly in the posts of Anna and John for instance?

message 47: by Richard (new)

Richard Gray | 23 comments Brian,

Your comment; "The target... for it is not their minds which are the focus, but rather some belief or beliefs held in faith rather than by reason." might be worth a re-think. Reason for the most part only gets us in trouble when we match it with Faith.

I am not your enemy,and I do not mean any chastisement, only a desire to contribute peacefully words of encouragement to a friend.

By the way I have requested your friendship on Good Reads, have yet to receive your acceptance here ?

message 48: by [deleted user] (last edited May 08, 2009 10:10AM) (new)

What do or could you mean by " Reason for the most part only gets us in trouble when we match it with Faith."(sic)

I understand that faith will of course get us in trouble, as it is the denial of reason and reality, but it is not clear what you mean here or how this is applicable to my explanation regarding the ultimate "target."

Assume I am of below average intelligence so that there can be no confusion in the explanations, with that in mind can you please answer the following: How is criticism of civility, honesty, and reason encouraging or friendly? How is what can only be described as chastisement for refuting vicious and venomous personal attacks either friendly or encouraging (to me..obviously it is encouraging to those who are pursuing this bullying and slanderous tactic)?

I asked why you would choose to chastise me for being honest, and civil rather than address the problem at hand, but it seems that your post avoids this question. So allow me to put it a bit more bluntly in hopes of getting an answer: Why is dishonest, vicious, personal attack and insult preferable to honest, civil, reasonable, intellectual discussion?

I saw the friend request, and checked out your page. I have been considering it, though it seems that there is at least one fundamental difference which may be at issue, that of illusion/faith versus reason/reality. I was waiting to see more posts before I made a call on the request. I will say that the last two are not the sort of posts I would expect of someone of shared interest or friendship. Of course it is fine to criticize someone civilly based upon points of disagreement or for differing opinion on that which cannot be objectively falsified or verified, but supporting and encouraging personal attacks to the point of criticizing refutations of those attacks? I just do not see how that is supposed to be a sign of friendship or even a positive trait under any circumstance.

BTW jftr I do not see you as an enemy, in fact I see none in that light. (Though I am not blind to threats) That does not and should not prevent me or anyone from pointing out the inconsistencies and contradictions, or even to point out the obvious and objectively true and verifiable a I did in my last post. I do not have to see you as an enemy or a friend to take note of the shoot the messenger approach being taken. Right?

message 49: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Lea (tracylea) | 37 comments You know now that I have had the opportunity to re-read the threads here, my evaluation of the situation is that Brian tends to bring up names in his comments, that others take offense. But after re-reading his comments I believe he is actually saying what we all are saying,however, he directly mentions McCain or Bush etc. we all know, including Brian, it is not them per se who ran this nation into the ground, it is the people we have elected as our state representatives in the House and Senate (which in McCain's and Obama's case they represent AZ and IL as senators). These are the people we have intrusted to represent our needs for our states and the nation as a whole. The majority have been in these seats far too long and have grown far to confortable, and some far too powerful. Generally speaking the Presidents do not have as much power as we give them credit for, they still have the state representatives to answer to who in turn are to answer to the citzens of this nation. It is time we speak up the next time we go to the voting booth! However, it is nice to commiserate here with fellow Americans until then. :~)

message 50: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks Tracy..

The problem is much deeper than that even.. Just as the founders predicted, if "we" grant the power to redistribute wealth in any form, and we engage in what they dubbed mob rule (what we have now) aka "democracy" the people will vote themselves whatever they like and make the minority pay for it.

That said, the president has enormous power, far more than is constitutional. A great resource on presidential power is The Cult of the Presidency, which carefully and critically goes through the gathering in of power into the hands of the president, usually through appeals to "patriotism" and military power, though FDR for example was able to use other fear based methods also.

Part of the reason I mention Bush and McCain is to try to get past this same old tired mindset which says "well if our party was in power then everything would be alright." We have seen enormous expansion of government under republicans as well as dems. Both are statist parties who are seeking power for themselves at the cost of liberty. If we fail yet again to realize this, and simply bemoan that a dem is in power now so all is going to hell, then we are missing the picture entirely. Obama is using the very same economic measures that Bush used (and Clinton before him, etc back to FDR at the very least) that being Keynesian economic models which any fifth grader who read it could tell you that it never adds up. Spending money that does not exist, then creating more money only detracts from wealth, hurts business, and will lead to less liberty regardless.

So yes I mention Bush, McCain, Obama and others in the same breath for they are for all intents and purposes with regard to economics and liberty, identical.

BTW speaking of voting, are you familiar with the definition of irrationality? It is doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result.. :) Check out Wendy McElroy's Why I would not vote against Hitler article. It is a wonderful explanation of the moral problems with voting. For a clear explanation as to why the US system of government is not self rule, nor was ever intended to be, and why it will never serve as representational of any individual's (or group of individuals') will, check out In Defense of Anarchy by Robert Paul Wolff. The title is misleading as it is the best defense of democracy and the US system (the two are not identical) ever offered.

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