Sticks and Stones and All That

In response to my post on The “R” Word, some people expressed that a comparison of the “R” word to the “N” word is unfair. After all, as one person stated, “the ‘R’ word has to be earned.” When I pointed out that anybody can call anybody a racist, true or not, they responded “If that label is directed at someone who isn’t a racist, I’d argue that the word has no power at all. Sticks and stones and all that…” But doesn’t “sticks and stones and all that” apply to the “N” word as well?

I’m not defending the use of the “N” word. Nobody I know uses that word. I used to know people who used it regularly. They were black, so it was considered OK. I’m not saying there are no white people who use it. I know there are. I just don’t associate with them.

However, the “R” word is becoming so commonplace that it will eventually become meaningless. What prompted me to write The ‘R’ Word was someone who posted on my favorite local forum a couple of months ago:

“Many people are determined to hate Senator Barack Obama. But, c’mon, let’s just be honest for a change… It all has to do with the color of his skin and his self confidence.”

Wow, that’s some kind of “honesty.” The implication is that anybody who doesn’t like her candidate must be a racist, just because her candidate is black. That really got me to thinking. Since when is it racist to disagree with a black person? The term “racist” used to be reserved for true bigots, like the KKK or the Aryan Nations, — really despicable people. Now, anybody can qualify for that previously heinous label just by not supporting Obama.

When I was growing up, calling someone a racist was one of the worst things you could say about them. It had the same visceral impact as calling someone a child molester. And, like that other accusation, just the suggestion of it is enough to plant an enduring suspicion, even in the minds of those who are too “polite” to say anything, leaving the target no way to defend themselves without appearing to beg the question. Even without any justification, many people implicitly believe “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”

Despite its recent dilution, the word still has incredible power. Today, the mere implication of racism can put a person’s job in jeopardy. Corporations are very sensitive to the potential for lawsuits by members of protected categories who allege the reason they didn’t get the promotion they wanted was because of racism or sexism. Is it true in some cases? Of course. But, in most cases, whether it’s true or not isn’t likely to ever be investigated. Corporations can’t afford to take the risk, so any suspicion of racism or sexism, justified or not, can derail a person from the management track and send their career south. The victim is never confronted with the accusation and doesn’t know what hit them, because it’s easier for management to just avoid the issue.

The word is a powerful weapon. But perhaps its cutting edge will soon be dulled through misuse by the petulant and inept, who resort to name-calling when they run short on reason. Another possibility is that its overuse may create a self-fulfilling prophecy. People who are sick of spurious accusations and demands for political correctness may start identifying with the “R” word out of defiance, just as certain blacks have adopted the “N” word to refer to themselves. Will that be a good thing? I don’t think so. But I suspect we may be headed in that direction.


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Published in: on August 14, 2008 at 5:51 pm  Comments (59)  
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  1. First! :)
    I agree with you, objectifying labels for people are damaging, whether earned, unjustly applied, whatever. People dehumanizing and objectifying each other is an age old sport, and every human group has people who engage in this.
    And nobody should get a pass on it, I don’t care what their sob story is, they aren’t being civil, and they ought not be surprised when other people turn their backs on them.
    I don’t like Obama because he wants to take more money from me and use it for things I don’t care about, and I think his policies are Luddite policies and he’d a a bad step backwards for this country. McCain is flawed in many respects, but far preferable.
    I don’t really care what color he is, a robber is a robber.

  2. “But doesn’t ‘sticks and stones and all that’ apply to the ‘N’ word as well?”

    Why don’t you ask a person of color to answer that question for you? I’m you’ll find that they really, really don’t like being called that name by someone that isn’t black. How difficult a concept is that to understand??

    To deny that a significant portion (not all) of the opposition, both within the Democratic Party primary process this year & in the general election process now, to Obama is primarily motivated by people’s fears & prejudices when it comes to race is simply denying reality. Wake up…

    “Since when is it racist to disagree with a black person?”

    I doubt that’s what that person was talking about, and I suspect that you know that. Some people that are opposed to Obama at this point are NOT just honestly “disagreeing with a black person”…they are afraid that having a half-black man as President will be the end of their “interests” winning the day. They are motivated by blind racism unfortunately. Heck, even Taco above could come up with some “valid” reasons for him not to support Obama. I wouldn’t expect someone like him, or you NYD, to be ready to support someone like Obama due to your “conservative” ideologies.

    “the KKK or the Aryan Nations”

    Do you really think that there are any Obama supporters in these types of groups?? Why not??

    “But, in most cases, whether it’s true or not isn’t likely to ever be investigated.”

    Nonsense…usually the burden for proving racial discrimination lies with the plantiff. Do you not think that they would do an investigation to find out what thoughts & attitudes motivated the decision that was in question??

  3. Why don’t you ask a person of color to answer that question for you? I’m you’ll find that they really, really don’t like being called that name by someone that isn’t black.

    Ask a person who’s been called a racist how they like it. What’s your point? BTW, I know plenty of black people who would be just as offended at being called the “N” word by a black person as by a white person. (The black people with whom I associate don’t use the “N” word, either.)

    As I’ve repeated many times, I’m very much aware that there are racists in this country. And those people won’t vote for Obama. But the vast majority of people who won’t vote for Obama are not racists. They disagree with his policies. What I object to is the smear tactic of pretending that the main reason people don’t support Obama is because they’re racists.

    “But, in most cases, whether it’s true or not isn’t likely to ever be investigated.”

    Nonsense…usually the burden for proving racial discrimination lies with the plantiff.

    I’m not talking about when it goes to trial. Most corporations will avoid that at all costs. Given the expense of a trial, and the bad publicity associated with having a discrimination case against the company, it’s far too expensive in both monetary cost and public perception, regardless of whether they win or lose. To avoid any chance of that happening, they will quietly remove the person under suspicion from a position where a charge might be levied against them, thus averting the potential problem. Unless a formal complaint has been made, it won’t even go in their HR record. If a complaint has been made, they have to do an investigation. But, even if the accused comes out clean, the company won’t take chances. They will find some reason to move them to a non-management position. There’s nothing the accused can do about it, either, because people wrongly accused of racism/sexism are not a protected class.

  4. I feel honored. I helped spawn a whole new blog entry. :)

    I have to take a night to sleep on it and ponder my reply lest this happens again. :)

  5. “Ask a person who’s been called a racist how they like it.”

    Well, were they an actual racist?? If so, they earned the moniker!

    “But the vast majority of people who won’t vote for Obama are not racists.”

    I agree with that, but to overly minimize the fact that there are still plenty of people out there who won’t vote for Obama just because he is half-black isn’t fair. This election, like a lot of elections, is going to be close, and, IMO, it would be a shame for the USA to prove once again how racist a country it has been by simply denying Obama the Presidency because he is part black.

    “Most corporations will avoid that at all costs.”

    Any stats to prove that??

    “They will find some reason to move them to a non-management position.”

    Again, I suspect you’re just talking from your usual pro-management position on this topic, and not from any position of real knowledge on what actually goes on in these kind of cases. Corporations don’t just fold like origami at the first sign of trouble…

  6. IMO, it would be a shame for the USA to prove once again how racist a country it has been by simply denying Obama the Presidency because he is part black.

    I agree it would be a shame, if that were why he lost. But I don’t believe that for a minute. Nevertheless, if Obama loses, a whole lot of his supporters will claim that it’s because of racism. You know, and I know, that isn’t true. But that’s what will be said.

    Corporations don’t just fold like origami at the first sign of trouble…

    Having dealt with HR in a large corporation, I know how extremely sensitive they are with respect to these types of allegations. With any other claim of unfairness by employees, the company lines up behind the manager. If there’s any whiff of any type of discrimination against a protected class, HR’s job is to protect the company from any potential of a lawsuit. If you know anybody who works in the HR department of a large corporation, you can easily check this for yourself. There are no “stats” because they don’t (for obvious reasons) make it public. They’ll do everything possible to keep it from becoming public. Think about it. Can you blame them?

  7. “You know, and I know, that isn’t true.”

    Well, it depends where he loses and why. It looks to me like the election, as of right now, will come down on how NV, CO, OH, & VA will vote, and some of those states have a sketchy history when it comes to race.

    “If there’s any whiff of any type of discrimination against a protected class, HR’s job is to protect the company from any potential of a lawsuit.”

    That hasn’t been my experience at all. If an entity feels that racial discrimination is being claimed where none existed, they will fight it, since the bruden of proof is on the plantiff. There’s plenty of caselaw that shows how often (or how little) this kind of claim bears any fruit for the plantiff. A lot of times it seems like it’s a red herring…

  8. In the case where a formal complaint has been made, that’s true. They are legally obligated to investigate. In a case where there’s just innuendo, it never goes into the record but, in many (not all) cases, the company will act prudently by averting any potential of a formal complaint being made in the future. In those cases, some other reason is found to place the employee in a position where he isn’t managing others. Of course, that’s less likely to happen to an executive who has been with the company for twenty years, but most employees don’t have that level of invulnerability.

    Furthermore, while it may be unfair to the employee who is sidelined, from the company’s perspective, it’s the right thing to do. A company’s first duty is to it’s shareholders. Any potentially damaging situation that can be averted, should be averted.

  9. It just occured to me that 90% of African Americans will vote for Obama, and maybe 50% of white people.
    Which group has the higher proportion of people voting for or against someone based on the color of their skin? (which may or may not be a ‘racist’ reason)
    Just curious ;-)

  10. “Well, it depends where he loses and why. It looks to me like the election, as of right now, will come down on how NV, CO, OH, & VA will vote, and some of those states have a sketchy history when it comes to race.”

    So basically if Obama loses, and DOESN’T win NV, CO, OH, or VA, he lost because Americans are Racist? What if he loses the election and wins the aforementioned, but loses AL, GA, KY and TN? Are Americans still racist? You are planting your race bating seeds for an Obama loss now…seems you don’t have all that much confidence in your candidate.
    Yeah, I’m not voting for Obama and it has NOTHING to do with his skin color.

  11. “Which group has the higher proportion of people voting for or against someone based on the color of their skin?”

    Black voters have been voting overwhelmingly for Democrats for a very long time now. Is it racism? No, it’s about which Party black voters identify with more based on policies & perceived outcomes. Black voters have voted for white Democrats in large numbers in the past as well.

    “So basically if Obama loses, and DOESN’T win NV, CO, OH, or VA, he lost because Americans are Racist?”

    Did I say that?? No, I didn’t. I can’t predict ahead of time how any of these states right now are going to vote, and why some of the “battleground” states will vote the way that they eventually will is certainly beyond most people at this point. Only exit polling & other stats will be able to tell this after the fact.

    “What if he loses the election and wins the aforementioned, but loses AL, GA, KY and TN?”

    LOL…well, there’s almost no way that’s going to happen, IMO, based on the way things are looking right now. For instanace, states like AL, GA, KY, TN, WV & AR will certainly not be voting for Obama, in part, because of race. You could say the same thing for a lot of the states across the South as well. A candidate like Hillary could certainly win in states like TN, AR, and WV based on her race & the fact that she’s a Clinton.

    “You are planting your race bating seeds for an Obama loss now…seems you don’t have all that much confidence in your candidate.”

    No, I haven’t lost faith in Obama’s chances of winning at all. I just think that it looks close right now. After the conventions, VP picks, and debates, things could obviously change significantly.

    Someone that has articulated the kind of ideology that you have “DJ” would almost never vote for someone like Obama.

  12. I would never vote for Obama either, and it has nothing to do with race.

  13. “Someone that has articulated the kind of ideology that you have “DJ” would almost never vote for someone like Obama.”

    Thank-you! Glad to see you can recognize an ideological difference, I must say, I expected you to accuse me of being racist by default.

    “LOL…well, there’s almost no way that’s going to happen, IMO, based on the way things are looking right now. For instanace, states like AL, GA, KY, TN, WV & AR will certainly not be voting for Obama, in part, because of race.”

    Do you have any data to support that accusation? This link http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/ga/georgia_mccain_vs_obama-596.html, indicates Obama is closing the gap in Georgia, doesn’t seem like “race” as an issue would account for a 4 point swing in 6 months. I believe the South is more ideologically tied to conservatism (default Republicans) than they are to “not voting for a black man”
    This Link, http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/wv/west_virginia_mccain_vs_obama-632.html, although not as accurate as it covers two different polling blocks,shows a 10 point shift, again I do not believe that if “race” was the primary (statewide) issue, Obama could be reducing the gap, I think (begrudgingly), that the socialist message of the Obama campaign is getting through.

    I do agree with you that the election is going to be close, but I STRONGLY disagree that race, and there are race issues in this country, will not be the primary reason Obama wins or loses. Just to play devils advocate for a moment, if you are going to imply that if Obama loses, it is partly because of race, is it not fair to say that if Obama wins it is in part because of “White Guilt?”

  14. “I must say, I expected you to accuse me of being racist by default.”

    No, I don’t think that you’ve exhibited any racism here, just blatant sexism (not that you’ll ever admit that).

    “Do you have any data to support that accusation?”

    Of course…I’m not a fan of RealClearPolitics at all. It has Right-wing tendencies for sure…just look at all the people that say “great” things about it:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/about.html

    These are sites that I have used for years to get accurate polling data from:

    http://www.dcpoliticalreport.com/polls08.htm

    electoral-vote.com

    The Democratic primaries in WV, TN, & KY proved to me that race was a huge motivating factor in those states. Some of the comments from voters in WV in particular were very race-based and/or ignorant-based when it came to making statements about Obama’s name and/or his supposed “former religion”. There’s no way that he’s going to win those states, which is shame because all of them could be put in play with a different candidate. The RCP WV data is meaningless since some of it is from before the Democratic primary process was finished.

    GA has been consistently going for McSame for a long while now:

    http://www.usaelectionpolls.com

    http://www.usaelectionpolls.com/2008/georgia.html

    “I STRONGLY disagree that race, and there are race issues in this country, will not be the primary reason Obama wins or loses. Just to play devils advocate for a moment, if you are going to imply that if Obama loses, it is partly because of race, is it not fair to say that if Obama wins it is in part because of ‘White Guilt?'”

    Well, I never said that race would be the primary issue for a possible Obama loss…it depends on which “battleground” states he loses & why. As for the “white guilt”, I can say from first-hand experience that it DOES exists, especially in the Northeast USA. There are a lot of white, mostly liberal people out there that would like to try and make a real effort to put the devisive issue of race into the past. I personally don’t think that electing a half-black man to the Presidency will do that, but I can understand why some people would think that it would be a huge step in the “right” direction.

    One of the best ways, IMO, to show that women & minorities are exactly the same as anyone else is to allow them to rise to positions of power that they are truly qualified for, and then let them suceed. Hopefully, those that are out there that say that women & minorities just “can’t do it” will learn through experiencing the sucess of others that are “different” from them.

    “I believe the South is more ideologically tied to conservatism (default Republicans) than they are to ‘not voting for a black man'”

    Try spending some time down there and talking to people that actually live there. The GOP’s “Southern Strategy” has worked, in part, due to exploiting racism.

    Obama’s not a socialist BTW…not even close…my home state of VT has an actual socialist in the Senate.

  15. “Obama’s not a socialist BTW…not even close…my home state of VT has an actual socialist in the Senate.”

    Being that we have 2 “major” parties, neither of which is named “socialist” doesn’t change the fact that Obama has Socialists ideals. Surely you cannot dispute that. His most recent example was labeling those that produce and make $250000.00 as “rich” and can afford to be taxed more is very socialist, “From those based on their ability to those based on their need”-Karl Marx. Government controlled health care, progressive taxation-yes, sir, Senator Obama IS a socialist. Spin it all you want, his platform (which has been embraced by the DNC) IS a Marxist based platform.

  16. The “rich” are already paying 86.7% of all taxes collected, while almost half of all Americans get more “back” than they pay in. (See Eating the Rich.) Yet the Democrats still see the solution to every problem as taxing the rich even more.

    And, even while they’re crying out for ever more redistribution of wealth, they complain if you call them socialists. I wonder what they think socialism means?

  17. “And, even while they’re crying out for ever more redistribution of wealth, they complain if you call them socialists. I wonder what they think socialism means?”

    I don’t think they know, but if you ask one, it isn’t anything remotely close to Communism, even though Vladimir Lenin said “The goal of socialism is communism.” and “Democracy is indispensable to socialism.”

    It sure would be nice to get our REPUBLIC back!

  18. Can we get a definition of a “socialist” from the horse’s mouth (that would be you MG)?

  19. The “rich” are already paying 86.7% of all taxes collected, while almost half of all Americans get more “back” than they pay in. (See Eating the Rich.) Yet the Democrats still see the solution to every problem as taxing the rich even more.

    Blasphemy NYD! The rich are rich because we don’t tax them enough. We need to tax them until they are down to our level!

  20. “His most recent example was labeling those that produce and make $250000.00 as ‘rich’ and can afford to be taxed more is very socialist”

    LOL…I can understand that, unfortunately, being a “conservative” in this country basically means that you are likely to be against the longstanding & popular notion of progressive taxation, but, be that as it may, the rich indeed will need to watch out if Obama becomes President:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/06/09/ST2008060900950.html

    Obama isn’t for “Government controlled health care” BTW.

    Socialism is an economic/political theory advocating for collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production & distribution of goods OR a system of society or group living in which there is no private property. Last time I checked, there weren’t any mainstream members of the Democratic Party that were for govt. ownership of industries or for the abolition of private property…lol… This constant barrage of “socialism” from members of the Right-wing in this country is just more noise from the Right-wing noise machine, period.

  21. My apologies NYD for going OT, but…

    “Last time I checked, there weren’t any mainstream members of the Democratic Party that were for govt. ownership of industries…”

    Wasn’t it a DEMOCRAT that just recently floated the idea of nationalizing (read GOVERNMENT OWNERSHIP) refineries?

    Emminent domain is being used by DEMOCRATIC governors to take land from private citizens and give it to developers to increase the tax revenue for the STATE to pay for their ideological social programs-and you don’t see that as an infringement on private property rights?

    Please Mr Guy, you can do better than that!

  22. LOL…have I heard some extreme members of the Democratic Party call for (and sometimes change their mind later) the nationalization of the oil industry? Sure I have, but these are not mainstream ideas in the Democratic Party…as I stated above.

    From Fox “News” of all places:
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,369321,00.html

    Only Democratic public officials have used eminent domain in the past?? So, I guess IA Gov. Tom Vilsack, NM Gov. Bill Richardson, & AZ Gov. Janet Napolitano didn’t get the memo when they became the last 3 U.S. governors to veto eminent domain bills.

    Keep the Right-wing noise coming…I wouldn’t expect any less from you guys…

  23. So Blackmailing States by withholding funds is NOT Socialist then?

    As I stated before MG, I keep my facts as simple as possible so as not to overload your narrow mind.

    How many examples would you like?

    Railroads were losing money when regulated (read GOVERNMENT CONTROL).

    The Airline industry was in a shambles until DEREGULATED.

    Look at the FDIC insured banking system-in a shambles.

    Government Subsidies which inhibit farmers from growing what and as much as they want equals GOVERNMENT CONTROL- Ethanol- for example, causing food prices all over the world to go out of control- Sams club started rationing rice!

    And lets not forget YOUR OWN EVIDENCE “longstanding & popular notion of progressive taxation”

    -Only popular to a socialist, Read the book your party is following- The Communist Manifesto, LEARN what it says, then try and argue your point.

    If you love socialism fine, be honest and debate from that point.

    ““Obama’s not a socialist BTW…not even close…my home state of VT has an actual socialist in the Senate.”

    Yeah, great point! Who is heading the DNC?? Oh that would be HOWARD DEAN, former Governor of Vermont, connect the dots! He helped push Vermont Socialaist- to the point of a no shit socialist being elected, now he controls the entire party! Are you that Naive?

    “Keep the Right-wing noise coming…I wouldn’t expect any less from you guys…”

    Someones gotta stand up for the working man, the left sure as hell don’t care about them.

  24. “So Blackmailing States by withholding funds is NOT Socialist then?”

    What the heck are you even talking about?

    “Railroads were losing money when regulated”

    Let’s just conveniently ignore the fact that private enterprise built nearly all this country’s railroads, using charters from state govt. that created the railroad business corporations & gave a limited right of *eminent domain*, allowing the railroad to buy needed land, even if the owner objected.

    “The Airline industry was in a shambles until DEREGULATED.”

    Yea, cuz it’s doing so well right now…lol…

    “Look at the FDIC insured banking system-in a shambles.”

    LOL…shambles?? You’re confusing the housing crisis with the FDIC, which is solid as a rock…as always. I’m sure you’ll be taking all of your money out of the bank and placing it into a non-FDIC institution…kind of like the state insured system in RI that went belly up like 20 years ago when ONE guy embezzled money from it. Sounds like a “great” investment to me…

    “Government Subsidies which inhibit farmers from growing what and as much as they want”

    I’m opposed to them…as are many Dems.

    “Ethanol- for example, causing food prices all over the world to go out of control”

    Yea, I’m sure that unseasonable droughts in grain producing nations & rising oil prices had nothing to do with food prices going up…sure, sure…

    “And lets not forget YOUR OWN EVIDENCE ‘longstanding & popular notion of progressive taxation'”

    Damn that commie Adam Smith for advocating a progressive taxation system…lol…

    Anytime you’d like a history lesson about VT…you let me know “DJ”. Bernie Sanders was mayor of the largest city in VT & in the U.S. House long before he ever got into the Senate & Howard Dean got into statewide politics. Dean is in no way, shape, or form a liberal…let alone a socialist! During Dean’s term as our Governor, VT paid off much of its public debt, had a balanced budget 11 times (VT is the only state whose constitution does not require one), and *lowered* income taxes twice. He was the second longest-serving governor in VT’s history, but there’s an odd caveat to that which I’m sure won’t interest you much. He was even endorsed by the National Rifle Association several times, though he was never a member of the NRA. He’s basically a moderate Dem…not that you’ll accept that…

    “Someones gotta stand up for the working man”

    Yea, and they are called unions, but we’ve already been over that haven’t we?? Your “working man” is still waiting for that trickle down…and don’t hold your breath waiting for it either…

  25. MG, I think you had better do your homework on the things that the private sector has done that the government never could do when they were regulated. I am not going to cite you anything because you seem to have a bad case of holier-than-thou and half-factitis and have a thing for twisting words to meet your needs.

  26. “Someones gotta stand up for the working man”

    Yea, and they are called unions, but we’ve already been over that haven’t we?? Your “working man” is still waiting for that trickle down…and don’t hold your breath waiting for it either…

    O’rlly? Well… thanks for the laugh!

  27. Thanks so much for adding absolutely nothing to this discussion kiddo…now go point an empty gun on someone…

  28. “Dean is in no way, shape, or form a liberal…let alone a socialist!”

    Dean is a socialist, try and spin it anyway you want facts are facts! I think you need the history lesson Mr. Guy. “A victory for Bernie Sanders is a win for Democrats”-Howard Dean. When you support a candidate, you support the candidates views, in this case SOCIALIST.

    Paying the state debt off does not make him a moderate, it makes him fiscally astute.

    “Yea, and they are called unions, but we’ve already been over that haven’t we?? Your “working man” is still waiting for that trickle down…and don’t hold your breath waiting for it either…”

    Again, your revisionist history is flawed, look up the data on the number of small business startups after the Regan tax cuts, trickle down economics not only works and creates jobs, it creates wealth and strengthens the economy. Your problem, is the jobs created are non-union, this means the workers or small business owners advance based on their ability-not some union flunky “collectively” bargaining for them. If “unions” are so wonderful, why are the membership numbers constantly dropping? Why are the unions trying to remove the secret ballot?
    American workers are starting to wake up to the uselessness of unions-I suggest you read the writing on the wall.

  29. “Dean is a socialist”

    Once again, you display your ignorance as to who a socialist really is.

    “When you support a candidate, you support the candidates views, in this case SOCIALIST.”

    Ugh…yet another VT history lesson, Sanders let his name be placed into the 2006 Democratic state primary for Senate, which he won but did not take the endorsement (because he’s not a Democrat). This allowed him to run “cleanly” (with no other strong opposition) against the GOP’s super-rich, self-funded Senate candidate, which Sanders beat handily.

    “Paying the state debt off does not make him a moderate, it makes him fiscally astute.”

    …which makes him at least a moderate on fiscal issues…as I am BTW. :)

    The legacy of Reagan is clear at this point…HUGE federal debt & deficits, a larger disparity between rich & poor, class warfare from the top down, an expanded & useless “War on Drugs”, increased militarism, etc., etc..

    “If ‘unions’ are so wonderful, why are the membership numbers constantly dropping?”

    Two words…union busting. There’s a whole industry related to union busting unfortunately in this country now.

    Oh and BTW, union membership just went up:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/25/AR2008012503076.html

    Sweden, the UK, Germany, & Japan all have higher union membership rates and that doesn’t seem to have “hurt” them. I would argue that the fact that worker pay and/or total compensation has been basically stagnant for these last many decades and declining union membership are interrelated.

    “Why are the unions trying to remove the secret ballot?”

    I’m opposed to that kind of change.

  30. “I’m opposed to that kind of change.”

    Good, your coming around.

    “…which makes him at least a moderate on fiscal issues…as I am BTW. :)”

    It makes you fiscally astute as well, not a moderate.

    “The legacy of Reagan is clear at this point…HUGE federal debt & deficits, a larger disparity between rich & poor, class warfare from the top down, an expanded & useless “War on Drugs”, increased militarism, etc., etc..”

    This link will explain the benefits of the Reagan Tax cuts and how they made Clinton look good: http://www.heritage.org/Research/taxes/BG1414.cfm

    From your link “Randel K. Johnson, a vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, called the reported growth the result of a “rounding error.”
    “This is a very slight, marginal increase,” Johnson said. “For all the talk of organized labor putting more and more resources into organizing, this bump is insignificant.”

    An insignificant bump and your quoting that as significant?

    “Ugh…yet another VT history lesson, Sanders let his name be placed into the 2006 Democratic state primary for Senate, which he won but did not take the endorsement (because he’s not a Democrat). This allowed him to run “cleanly” (with no other strong opposition) against the GOP’s super-rich, self-funded Senate candidate, which Sanders beat handily.”

    Whether or not he accepted the endosement is irrelevant, Howard Dean supports a Socialist because he IS a socialist. You don’t support someone you don’t agree with on most issues. If Dean didn’t share the same core values as Sanders he would not have supported him and he would have endorsed someone else.

  31. “It makes you fiscally astute as well, not a moderate.”

    “Howard Dean supports a Socialist because he IS a socialist.”

    Keep that denial and ignorance right on coming.

    What a surprise…the Right-wing Hertiage Foundation thinks that Reagan did everything “right”…lol…and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is anti-union…wow…that is truly “newsworthy”. The union numbers went up in one of the largest yearly increases in the last few decades…now get out your crying towel…

    According to the U.S. Dept. of the Treasury, the net effect of all Reagan-era tax bills was a 1% decrease in government revenues. Reagan caused a record peacetime defense buildup including a 40% real increase in defense spending between 1981 and 1985.

    The result of Clinton making the tax code even more progressive (with zero GOP votes BTW) in 1993 along with the implementation of spending restraints was a massive increase in federal revenue which ended up balancing the federal budget and caused the longest period of peace-time economic expansion in American history.

    Supply side economics is a dead issue.

    “he would have endorsed someone else.”

    Like WHO??? The Green Party or Liberty Union Party candidates?? The marijuana activist or the 2004 GOP Senate candidate that ran again in 2006?? Give me a break…how deep does the well of ignorance go with you “DJ”??

  32. Wow, you really are twisted around the DNC talking points. The Reagan years, NOT the Clinton years were the longest peace time economic growth period in our nations history, Clinton benefited from the Reagan tax cuts, but I’m sure the “well of ignorance” you are drinking from prevents you from doing your own research.

    Like WHO??? I don’t really care, but if a person promotes a socialist, it is because they agree with them! This is not rocket science, You’ll never hear me supporting Obama because I don’t agree with his politics, you’ll never hear me supporting McCain because I don’t agree with his politics, you’ll never support Reagan because you don’t agree with his politics, Dean endorsed a socialist because HE IS a socialist!

  33. Thanks so much for adding absolutely nothing to this discussion kiddo…now go point an empty gun on someone…

    And you were saying?

  34. “The Reagan years, NOT the Clinton years were the longest peace time economic growth period in our nations history”

    LOL…too bad you’re one of the few people that actually believes that…it’s sad really. Supply-side economics has failed under two different GOP Presidents now while Congress was controlled by either Party.

    “Clinton benefited from the Reagan tax cuts”

    Sure, the only way that this is true is that Clinton “benefited” from fixing a lot of the fiscal mistakes that were made by his GOP predecessors.

    “Dean endorsed a socialist because HE IS a socialist!”

    LOL…as I’ve clearly shown to those that aren’t so ideologically blind, Dean endorsed Sanders strongly because Sanders won the VT Democratic state primary in 2006. It’s as simple as that…Sanders has always caucused with the Dems while in Congress.

  35. “LOL…as I’ve clearly shown…”

    You have shown nothing, except that you prove MY point. Dean and endorsed Sanders, as I said because he is a Socialist. Sanders, caucused with the Dems because the DNC has a socialist platform which aligns with the core beliefs of Sanders and Dean. As someone who clearly endorses socialist policies, Mr. Guy, I think it only appropriate you change your name to Comrade Guy!

    Reagan had 92 months (almost 8 years) of economic growth, I can find nothing that shows Clinton had more than 6, please provide a couple links to prove your point.

    Clinton benefited from the Reagan tax cuts in numerous ways, primarily, all the small businesses that started under Reagan matured during the end of Bush I’s administration and the the first term of Slick Willy, had Clinton left the booming economy he was given alone, we more than likely would not have had the DotCom bubble burst! I suggest , Comrade Guy, that you check the “talking points” you are given for accuracy vice leftist conjecture.

    I am not “ideologically blind” I am very open and have a diverse range of opinions which cover all issues political, moral, and religious, the vast majority are conservative (some leaning libertarian), and oh yes, I even have a few liberal positions. You Comrade Guy have provided nothing but leftist talking points that have no basis in fact, are easily (and exhaustingly) refuted and border on the inane. Articulate a thought of your own, or provide some proof for your banter and it is highly possible that you will gain some credibility.

  36. “You have shown nothing”…to those that are ideologically blind, period. Who else is Sanders supposed to caucus with…the GOP?! LOL…come on now…your simple-minded, guilt-by-association nonsense is just silly.

    “Reagan had 92 months (almost 8 years) of economic growth”

    No, he didn’t.

    “The Longest Peacetime Expansion in History”:
    http://clinton4.nara.gov/textonly/WH/Work/040299.html

    “This surplus is the culmination of six years in a row of successively improved fiscal balances, the longest such period of improvement in history”

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/?&dbname=cp105&sid=cp105AqBYv&refer=&r_n=hr648.105&item=&sel=TOC_627612&

    Real U.S. GDP only began to grow after contracting in 1980 & 1982. During Clinton’s entire term, there was uninterrupted GDP growth.

    “Clinton benefited from the Reagan tax cuts in numerous ways, primarily, all the small businesses that started under Reagan matured during the end of Bush I’s administration and the the first term of Slick Willy, had Clinton left the booming economy he was given alone, we more than likely would not have had the DotCom bubble burst!”

    The idea that the economy that Clinton was “given” was “booming” can only be true in the mind of true partisan with an absolutely *horrible* memory!! I wouldn’t talk about “credibility” if I were you “DJ”…if this were anything but the Right-wing site that it is…you’d be laughed out of town…lol…

  37. Oh, and don’t forget that every President in the later half of the 20th century before Reagan reduced debt as a share of GDP. Yea, Reagan was “great” alright…

  38. So you acknowledge Clinton had only 6 years of growth Comrade Guy. Another point you are quickly coming around on. Your first link is interesting, I will have to study it a bit, The second link is empty, the third link is a nice graph, but says nothing. How are you defining “economic growth”?

    Regardless of your definition, here a couple examples of that show Reagan grew the economy and the middle class, while your boy Slick Willy tried to destroy it.
    http://www.house.gov/jec/growth/prosper/prosper.htm
    http://www.house.gov/jec/cost-gov/regs/eti/radical.htm

    Keep trying Comrade!

  39. “So you acknowledge Clinton had only 6 years of growth”

    Wow…why is it that you guys have such a hard time with reading for comphrension?? During Clinton’s entire 8 YEAR TERM, he had positive GDP growth. And this graph *shows that*:

    My second link is far from being empty as well (I don’t trust the spam filter on this site):
    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/?&dbname=cp105&sid=cp105AqBYv&refer=&r_n=hr648.105&item=&sel=TOC_627612&

    And I quoted from it above as well.

    “In 1992, the American economy was barely creating jobs, wages were stagnant, and the unemployment rate was 7.5 percent.”

    Really sounds “booming”…doesn’t it??

    “How are you defining ‘economic growth’?”

    How about:
    -The unemployment rate was 4.2% in March 1999-the lowest peacetime unemployment rate since 1957. The unemployment rate was below 5% for 21 months in a row-the lowest sustained unemployment rate during peacetime in 41 years.
    -18.2 Million new jobs under the Clinton Administration.
    -The private sector added 16.7 million new jobs-with 2.4 million jobs added in the past year (1998-1999). Since 1993, 92% of the 18.2 million new jobs have been in the private sector-the highest percentage in 50 years.
    -The fastest & longest real wage growth in 2 Decades. Under the Clinton Administration, real wages rose 6.1%-compared to declining 4.3% during the Reagan & Bush Administrations. After adjusting for inflation, wages have increased almost 2.7% in 1998-the fastest real wage growth in more than two decades & the third year in a row-the longest sustained growth since the early 1970s.
    -After losing 662,000 construction jobs between 1989 and 1992, 1.7 million new construction jobs were added under the Clinton Administration-a faster annual rate than any other Administration since President Truman.
    -After losing 2.1 million manufacturing jobs between 1981 & 1992, the economy created 350,000 new manufacturing jobs since 1993. After losing 46,000 jobs in the auto industry during the Bush Administration, the USA had 147,000 new auto industry jobs under the Clinton Administration.
    -Under the Clinton Aministration, the Hispanic unemployment rate dropped from 11.3% in January 1993 to a record low of 5.8% in March 1999. The unemployment rate for black Americans fell from 14.1% in January 1993 to 8.1% in March 1999-one of the lowest levels on record for black Americans.
    -In 1998, the GDP price index rose 1% at an annual rate-its lowest level since the 1950s.

    THAT’s what I call real, sustained “economic growth”!

    Nice spin there from the GOP back in the mid-1990s, but as one of my links shows above:

    “Conspicuously absent from CBO’s analysis of reasons for the 1998 surplus is the fiscal effect of laws enacted by Republican congresses between 1995 and the present date. The reason for this is that the CBO actually totes up legislation enacted in the period that Republican have been in control of Congress as raising the deficit by more than it cut in 1998. The sum total of laws passed by the 104th and 105th Republican congresses will cost the Treasury roughly $11,000,000,000 more in FY 1998 than they saved.”

    Yea, I’m sure the middle-class really felt “attacked” under Clinton and not under Reagan…lol…

  40. “During Clinton’s entire 8 YEAR TERM, he had positive GDP growth.”

    So you reference a link that supports 8 years, then you download an unreferenced graph that purports 8 years? Hmmm something is fishy there Comrade Guy.

    6 years of growth appears to be the accepted norm. Reagan enjoyed nearly 8.

    I have never claimed the economy under Clinton was horrid, my only claim was he benefited from the Reagan tax model, supply side economics works, has been proven to work and if left alone will flourish. Clinton had to mess with it and the dotcom bubble burst, Bush II had the sense to cut taxes and stabilize the economy. The problem with the current crop of Republicans is they spend money like drunken sailors, they are not so different from the Democrats. Your last quote shows that, and I have not said anything to the contrary.

    “My second link is far from being empty as well (I don’t trust the spam filter on this site):”

    Don’t be so damn touchy, I don’t think NYD was suppressing your speech, I was simply trying (I guess poorly) to point out the link you provided came up with an error page, now that it is complete, I can access the page, and will read it this weekend-calm down Comrade Guy!

    “Yea, I’m sure the middle-class really felt “attacked” under Clinton and not under Reagan…lol…”

    Yes we did feel “attacked” under Clinton. ETI is a horrid idea, it is as bad as our current social security nightmare. Let the people keep their money and invest it the way they choose. Clinton never understood that. One of the few positive things about Bush II is that he at least tried to give us the ability to manage our own retirement.

  41. Howdy NYD!

    For once I agree with you LOL. I think race (at least in an American context) is a topic that is very…well…race specific. For example, I’ve heaqrd friends comment “How could I be racist? I’m Black…”. This seems like an almost comical statement since racism is not a one-way street. The term “reverse racism” is equally jovial…is there a “forward racism”? Although culture is a construct, I think race is a reality (look in the mirror!)…so it seems like my friends statement is kinda backwards, if you indetify with a certain race, then you’re just as likely to be racist as anyone else. So maybe it should go “Being that I’m identified as Black, how could I not be racist?”

    http://www.thecoppersun.wordpress.com

    // TCS

  42. Comrade Guy, I just found this quote, I thought you might find interesting;
    “The economic benefits of the tax cuts were summarized by President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers in its 1994 Economic Report: “It is undeniable that the sharp reduction in taxes in the early 1980s was a strong impetus to economic growth.””

    -Yeah, Clinton benefited from the Reagan tax model, ergo supply side economics works and works well!!

  43. Mr. Guy, the spam filter was not at fault in this case. You need to include the http:// at the front of your links, and you cannot put hard line breaks in the middle of them. I fixed them up, and they’re all working now.

  44. TCS, long time no see! Nice to hear from you again. I’ll have to stop by your blog and check out what you’ve been up to lately.

    For once I agree with you LOL.

    I think we’ve agreed more than once, haven’t we? In fact, while we may disagree on particulars, I think, in general, we both agree that race is a reality. It’s one of the many attributes that make up every individual. But, ultimately, the individual is paramount. Every individual has their own unique character, which is a result of many factors, including genetic, cultural, and individual experiences. But each individual is responsible for the choices they make, and the actions they take, and should be judged on that basis alone.

    Any institutionalized different treatment based on race, or any other accidental characteristic, only perpetuates the thinking that group identity is more significant than individual identity.

  45. “Any institutionalized different treatment based on race, or any other accidental characteristic, only perpetuates the thinking that group identity is more significant than individual identity.”

    NYD, you nailed it! I have never read a more accurate statement!

  46. “then you download an unreferenced graph that purports 8 years”

    Huh?? That graph is from an investment blog…you just don’t like the numbers in because they don’t meet your ideological view of the world. That’s *your* problem…not mine…

    “6 years of growth appears to be the accepted norm. Reagan enjoyed nearly 8.”

    Now you’re just lying…how many times do I have to tell you that the economy under Reagan didn’t start to “grow” at any kind of sustained rate until 1983?!

    “supply side economics works, has been proven to work”

    No one but the most blind partisan believes this anymore…that’s why supply-side is a dead issue at this point. You guys will keep touting it, but no one is listening anymore.

    The “dotcom bubble burst” was caused by a combination of rapidly increasing stock prices, individual speculation in stocks (sound familiar to what’s been going on with oil prices?), and widely available venture capital in which many businesses dismissed standard business models, focusing on increasing market share at the expense of the bottom line.

    “I don’t think NYD was suppressing your speech”

    I’ve never said that…we’ve run into several times in this blog where posting links with the “http” in front of them leads the spam filter on this site to either delete the entire post or put it into the spam filter. I try to avoid that whenever possible now…it’s not NYD’s fault at all, as we’ve discussed before in another thread.

    “ETI is a horrid idea”

    Did it ever become law?? If Bush had simply continued the economic gains/policies that Clinton had in the 1990s and not re-embraced the failed concept of supply-side, there would have been plenty of money to ensure Social Security’s solvency for many, many, many decades.

    “The economic benefits of the tax cuts were summarized by President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers in its 1994 Economic Report: ‘It is undeniable that the sharp reduction in taxes in the early 1980s was a strong impetus to economic growth.'”

    This sounds like Dick Armey talk or something from another one of your Right-wing “sources”…lol…more utter nonsense…the Laffer Curve is a complete joke…even the CBO agrees now.

    Federal revenue is basically proportional to GDP, so the key factor to increasing revenue is to increase GDP. When looking at actual historical data on tax rates, GDP, and revenue, the point at which another marginal tax rate increase would decrease tax revenues could be as high as 80%. As long as GDP grows, tax revenues will grow. Implementing a “pay-as-you-go” model (which is embraced by Dems and shunned by the GOP) is the only proven way to be fiscally responsible.

  47. WRT the spam filter. I’ve set it to accept up to 10 links, but it doesn’t seem to care what I set it to. However, as long as you only have 2 or 3 links in a post, it should be ok.

  48. “…how many times do I have to tell you that the economy under Reagan didn’t start to “grow” at any kind of sustained rate until 1983?!”

    You can say it all you want you are just lying because you don’t like the numbers.

    “Did it ever become law?? If Bush had simply continued the economic gains/policies that Clinton had in the 1990s and not re-embraced the failed concept of supply-side, there would have been plenty of money to ensure Social Security’s solvency for many, many, many decades.”

    Social security has a been a black hole for a hell of a lot more years than Bush II has been president, get your facts straight (again)!

    “This sounds like Dick Armey talk or something from another one of your Right-wing “sources”…lol…more utter nonsense…”

    Read the link again you moron, it came from President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers in its 1994 Economic Report, again, you scoff because it doesn’t fit your talking points. Try investigating things on your own, and then debate, as I stated in the last post, I will monitor this until it is archived by our gracious host, and should you supply any factual data, not just your “liar liar” socialist propaganda, I will respond.

    Good day Comrade Guy.

  49. “You can say it all you want you are just lying because you don’t like the numbers.”

    Enjoy living in your own, personal fantasy world “DJ” where all the facts magically line up with your ideologically-blind view of the world…lol…

    “Social security has a been a black hole for a hell of a lot more years than Bush II has been president”

    Social Secuirty is not in “a black hole” now, nor will in be for many decades to come. You guys have already tried those scare tactics to get your privatization scheme through, and it didn’t work!

    “Read the link again you moron”

    What link??? There’s no link up above, and when I searched for it before, all I came up with were baloney words from Dick Armey, Fred Thompson, and a bunch of biased, Right-wing sites.

    Once again…I accept your apparent unconditional surrender “DJ”…

  50. There is no surrender, I am waiting for you reload facts vice drivel.

    Lastly, my apologies for using the word “link” vice “quote”, the FACT is CLINTONS COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISORS…

  51. LOL…you expect me to believe that Clinton’s own set of economic advisors would be embracing supply-side economics in 1994 *after* they had just finished sucessfully pushing the exact opposite through Congress (with no GOP votes) in 1993?? Give me a break…if that quote is a REAL quote from the actual 1994 report (and I highly doubt it)…it’s been taken complete & totally out of context & I suspect that you know that. I’ll ask again…where is the link to the complete, actual, unedited report (not just the Right-wing spin about the report)??

  52. Comrade Guy, the only report available is for purchase, you sir are not worth the financial outlay, therefore, I have provided several more links which reference the same quote, I am certain you will spew your “Liar, Liar” verbiage, and that is ok, I have given you three links which validate my point that Clinton benefitted from the Reagan tax model to which Clintons advisors agreed.

    Enjoy.

    1) http://www.house.gov/jec/fiscal/tx-grwth/reagtxct/reagtxct.htm (see the fourth paragraph please)

    2) http://www.usnews.com/articles/business/economy/2007/10/31/whats-been-the-secret-of-americas-economic-success.html (see the last part of the 5th paragraph please)

    3)http://www.victoriacapitalus.com/researchpapers/Origins%20of%20Supply-side%20Economics.pdf (see second subparagraph of paragraph 5 please)

  53. What a complete joke you are “DJ”. These are almost all Right-wing sources that are obviously spinning the “facts” here.

    “Unfortunately, the Council could not bring itself to acknowledge the counterproductive effects high marginal tax rates can have upon taxpayer behavior and tax avoidance activities.”

    LOL…that’s because raising taxes on mostly rich folks ended up balancing the federal budget in the 1990s…not busting it like in the 1980s. Clinton’s tax increases yielded HUGE amounts of money into the federal coffers…Reagan’s tax cuts reduced revenue. Even the Congressional Budget Office has concluded that the Laffer Curve is a complete joke.

    I’ll ask again…you expect me to believe that Clinton’s own set of economic advisors would be embracing supply-side economics in 1994 *after* they had just finished sucessfully pushing the exact opposite through Congress (with no GOP votes) in 1993?? Do you have ANY ability for logic in that small head of yours???

  54. US News is right-winig??
    The 1996 JEC is right wing? Where do you comoe up with this crap??
    You just can’t handle the facts! The economy you insist on giving Clinton credit for was BECASUE of the Reagan Tax model, the Laffer curve is not a complete joke (unless, as in your case, you have absolutely no concept of econmics).

    If you give an American back 50 dollars, he will spend 200, that grows the economy, ergo tax cuts grow the economy. When you cut taxes on the rich, they invest more, this creates R and D money, which creates jobs, when you cut corporate taxes, the corporation has more money to invest in R and D which creates even more jobs. LEARN BASIC ECONOMICS

    Using your logic, we should tax everybody at 98% that will grow federal revenue, the CBO has continuosly used a staic tax model (which has been proven to be a joke) wheras most “real” economists realize the tax model used should be dynamic. Everyone who is anyone knows a 98% tax will not grow the economy, but it will increase revenue. Get real, and LEARN something about economics

    Again, try finding some facts to support your weak theories and this discussion can continue.

  55. “US News is right-winig?”

    Nope…learn to read…I said: “These are ALMOST all Right-wing sources that are obviously spinning the ‘facts’ here.”

    “The 1996 JEC is right wing?”

    Yea, when the GOP is in charge of Congress it is…duh!

    “The economy you insist on giving Clinton credit for was BECASUE of the Reagan Tax model, the Laffer curve is not a complete joke”

    Keep saying the same thing over & over again “DJ”…it will really become true someday, not!

    “If you give an American back 50 dollars, he will spend 200”

    …if he’s a fiscally irresponsible & unconservative American he will…lol! Your trickle down nonsense isn’t buying anything these days…you continue to be completely & totally ideologically blind, period.

    “Using your logic, we should tax everybody at 98% that will grow federal revenue”

    When did I say that?? Oh yea, it was never…I said that: “When looking at actual historical data on tax rates, GDP, and revenue, the point at which another marginal tax rate increase would decrease tax revenues COULD be as high as 80%.”

    NO ONE is advocating for tax rates this high! Just give it up “DJ”…you’re a pathetic Right-wing partisan…nothing more, nothing less…

  56. Again, no facts, just rhetoric, take a couple aspirins, and put a cold compress on your forehead, all will be better when you take a little nap. Maybe then you can find some FACTS.

    BTW, I read your links last night, and I think the data contained within is pretty interesting, and again, I never said the economy under Clinton wasn’t good BEFORE he started messing with it. The (paper) surplus he is so given credit for resulted from the Reagan tax model.

    I can’t understand where you come up “Right-wing partisan” I am conservative, leaning libertarian, hardly right wing, my economic positions are conservative, and if that means, “right wing partisan” to you, so be it, I’ll accept that, I don’t want to see your head explode, watching you copy paste your talking points is WAY too much fun.

  57. “I never said the economy under Clinton wasn’t good BEFORE he started messing with it.”

    No, you said that Clinton was given a “booming” economy, which is ridiculous on the face of it!

    “The (paper) surplus he is so given credit for resulted from the Reagan tax model.”

    You certainly have a knack “DJ” for reading a set of facts and then interpretting them completely & totally wrong…lol…it’s amazing! Then you try and say that you’re not speaking from a Right-wing perspective…give me a break…this is a pathetic display of the first-order.

  58. Yet again, Comrade Guy, no facts, just whining.

  59. We have all been amazed at what defendants will try and what courts will accept as legal argument. This one is amazing for sheer audacity.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,440443,00.html

    “Terrorist Who Brought Nail Bombs to Irish Parliament Claims It Was ‘Performance Art’

    “Convicted killer Michael Stone stormed the Irish Parliament with enough homemade bombs to kill dozens in a rain of fire and nails.

    But it was all in the name of art, he says.”

    “Security experts are chilled by the prospects of Stone’s acquittal on his artful dodge.”


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