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  1. #81  
    Our widdle friend. Wei Wu Wei's Avatar
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    No, it's actually a major component of my argument against socialism. Equality of results demands that the state ignore individual differences in talent and effort.
    I'm not talking about equality of results.

    A socialist state that demands the expropriation of property to distribute equally will end up giving the same-sized parcels of land to skilled farmers and unskilled urban dwellers, with the result that the former will grow food and the latter will starve.
    Except that I'm not arguing about distributing wealth or property evenly.

    Eventually, the state will have to collect the food and redistribute it. A skilled farmer cannot buy his neighbor's land with his surplus and make it productive, and the neighbor cannot sell his parcel and use the money to build a business that he might be able to run. Stultifying conformity is imposed.
    okay




    It is not purely symbolic. It is very real. It exercises real power. When you use phrases like "social symbolic entity", you are babbling.
    Just because something is symbolic doesn't mean it does not effect real people.

    Humans live in a world that is partially symbolic, and they react to those symbolic structures as if they were actually physical realities.

    Physical reality is stuff like matter, energy, mass, momentum. Laws, social roles, organizational structures, relationships, and so on are not part of physical reality.

    Although symbolic structures have real effects on people, they are not part of physical reality, and they should not be looked at in the same way that physicists look at atoms. Their status as concepts, symbols, and relationships means they need to be examined differently, taking into the account how concepts, symbols, and relationships function, rather than treating them like hard aspects of material reality.



    The government of the United States is a group of institutions, defined by law and populated according to law. It has legally mandated divisions, which have legally mandated powers which are limited by the basic documents which established it, and which were ratified by the representatives of the governed. It is real, and it is a solid, physical thing.
    No it's not. Law isn't a solid, physical thing.

    Can you tell me the atomic weight of Law? Can you tell me the density of law at sea level? How much energy is required to accelerate Law from 0 to 100 mph in a vacuum? Which periodic elements constitute law?

    It is not a physical, material thing. Neither are the relationships in question, the roles in question, etc. etc.

    To pretend otherwise is to attempt to deconstruct reality, but reality doesn't take kindly to being deconstructed.
    The reality humans experience is not the same as Material Reality. Humans live in a world that is full of categories, structures, relationships, names, and distinctions that are purely symbolic.

    this seems like a different discussion but I'd enjoy having it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
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  2. #82  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    The case of Anastacio Hernandez Rojas gained national media attention in 2010 after he died following a confrontation with border patrol agents who were trying to deport him.

    Rojas, 42, and his brother were caught on May 28 sneaking from Mexico into San Diego, where he lived for more than a decade.
    They should have used a trebuchet and launched him to Guatemala.

    (h/t daveman)
    Olde-style, states' rights conservative. Ask if this concept confuses you.
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  3. #83  
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    Well it seemed earlier you were arguing that the right to life required the right to own property, because the right to life necessitates a right to sustain oneself and property acquisition is necessary for this.

    I'm curious how you argue that property acquisition is necessary for the right to life. People can and do live full lives without owning any private property.
    This is only true if you accept Marx's arbitrary distinction between private and personal property. People cannot live without food, clothing and shelter. If they rent, rather than own, they still own the money by which they pay for these things. Wages are property, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    1. If a person can live their entire life without owning private property, how can you argue that the right to life necessitates the right to property? How would a person who never owns property's right to life be affected by their inability to purchase property?
    There is no legal inability to purchase property in a free economy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    If the right to sustain oneself is not necessary for the right to life, as you say in the case of abortion, then it doesn't matter whether or not property acquisition is a right, because it's not necessary to preserve the right to life.
    This argument is only valid if you accept the premise that a parent has no responsibilities to care for a minor child.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    We can agree that a person has a right to live, but how is owning a business necessary for that?
    Everybody who engages in commerce is the owner of a business. A laborer sells his labor, which is a commodity. The means of production for his business is his physical strength, his dexterity or his skills. That's what you don't get. The state that owns the means of production doesn't simply take control of factories, shops or infrastructure, it takes possession of us.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    Okay that's fine for an elaboration on inheritance rights, but I was asking how inheriting property represents the product of one's own effort? That's fine if you say it's someone else's effort and given to a person, but that doesn't explain how receiving it = effort on one's own part.
    I didn't say that it did. I also said that it down't matter. The state has no more business robbing my heirs than it does robbing my grave.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    So you are saying that the mental decision required to put money into an account that will accumulate interest is the effort that makes interest a "product of one's effort?"
    Absolutely. If you think that making a living from investing doesn't require effort, you need to try it.

    [QUOTE=Wei Wu Wei;500576]It sounds like you are saying anything at all, including making a decision counts as effort. Does deciding to wake up, get dressed, and walk several blocks to a welfare office to get money that you've calculated into your budget count as effort?[/QUOTE[

    Obviously not. It generates no economic growth. As I explained at length, an investment in a savings account is a loan to the bank. The bank pays the interest in return for the loan, and uses the principle to lend to others who are a somewhat higher risk than the bank. Those loans permit the borrowers to engage in commerce beyond the scope of their immediate resources. Money lent to a business is productive. Money given away to non-workers is not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    I figured you may not agree that effort is the same as labor, which opens up the door for any sort of labor, as in the welfare example listed above.
    And yet you tried to introduce it again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    Assume A is a hired hand. You are saying the commodities produced by A's labor belong to B and a portion is given to A because of an agreement between A and B?
    Yep.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    What this means then, is that the fruits of the labor belong to whom they belong to because of a social agreement, rather than simply going to the person who did the work to produce it. The commodity produced does not go to the person who's effort produced it. It belongs to the person who owns it and is divided up according to an agreement.
    What you casually dismiss as a social agreement is called contract law, which is the basis of all voluntary transactions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    Workers work for wages precisely because they do not own the products of their own labor. This economic relationship between the owner of the land and the worker of the land only functions because the worker does not own the products that he produces with his labor.

    Therefore, your implication that private property is the product of one's own labor is incorrect. It's an expression of a social relationship. A owner of private property can "earn" money without doing a single iota of work towards producing goods, selling goods, or running the business (as if often done by shareholders of companies).

    Private property can belong to someone without them doing any productive work whatsoever, while a person who do all the work can have no ownership over the property.
    Risk of capital is a form of effort. The laborer risks nothing if the goods that he produces do not sell, as he is free to pursue other work. His employer is invested in a farm, factory or other productive enterprise. The risk to his investment justifies his compensation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    I'm not ascribing morality to it.
    Of course you are. Why else do you object to private ownership of property?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    Are you saying that the people who own the media control the messages? Is this true when the media is owned my mega-corporations?
    When was the last time that you saw ABC do an expose on Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    Also, non-profit organizations can and do produce news media. If an organization is not producing a commodity, it's not a private business and wouldn't be government controlled.
    You didn't say non-profit, you said state-controlled.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    What would stop a non-profit organization from speaking their mind?
    The money must come from somewhere. A non-profit isn't going to attack its donors, and if its donors include the government, or specifically one party within the government, then that non-profit will do everything in its power to ensure that it continues to have access to those grants.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    A state interesed in private property would have no interest in your car or your home or your record collection or anything else like that.
    Really? Then why do my heirs have to pay taxes on those things?
    --Odysseus
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  4. #84  
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    Again, you don't have to agree with this in a legal sense, but the distinction is important because when I say "no private property", I'm not talking about any goods for individual use. Property that is used to produce commodities to be sold on the market for profit is different than property that you consume for their own uses.

    A house used for shelter is not the same as a house used for rent. Private property requires other people, a flow of money, and economic activity.
    A house used for shelter can also generate income. For example, a portion can be rented out. It can be used as collateral for a business loan. It can be a home office. Does the state have the right to take over the rooms in my home that are used for my business?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    It's not nonsensical and existing US laws already recognize the difference between these. I'll give a simple example:

    Say I purchase a movie, Iron Man 2. That DVD belongs to me, it's my Personal Property. I can watch it, I can make wind chimes out of it, I can submerge it in water, I can eat it if I so choose. If I play it on a big screen tv and eat popcorn that is perfectly fine. However, if I decide to charge people to come into my house and watch the movie, it's different.

    How is that different? Why is it that playing it on the tv is fine, but charging people to see it is not? It's because US law recognizes a difference between property that is used for your own consumption and property that is used as a business to generate money.
    Wrong again. The DVD is your property. The content of the DVD is the property of the copyright holder. The contract by which you purchase the DVD (the fine print on the back) specifies exactly what you are buying and the terms of use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    In a sense, the law already recognizes the difference between Personal Property and Private Property. So let's use your logic:

    It's my DVD and there is no difference between property I own and property I use to generate money. I can put the DVD into my DVD player and that's fine, but at some arbitrary moment, when I charge money for my friends to come watch, it becomes illegal? Even if I charge money to see it, I can still use it as Personal Property in the future. If I wanted, a month from now I could watch it myself without charging anything. So why does the law treat one of these issues differently?

    It's because they are different. You own the movie for Personal use, but not for Private use. This distinction is the only way these laws can function.
    That is not my logic. It is your misrepresentation of the nature of property. You own the physical piece of plastic, but you do not own the movie that is recorded on it. It is protected by copyright, and is not your property. Your purchase of the DVD entitles you to view the contents, but not to charge others for it. This is a contractual agreement that is explicitly stated on the package at the time of purchase. Pretending that the movie on the disk is simply an extension of your property demonstrates either a complete lack of understanding of copyrights and intellectual property, or willful dishonesty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    What about the freedom of religion? If the State owned all private property, how would that prevent you from going to church?
    Well, for one thing, the state could tear down churches at will. In fact, that's pretty much what happened to the abbey's of Britain under Henry VIII.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    Private property owners are not allowed to discriminate based on religion, so if the state owned the property, it would be illegal for the state to do so.
    That is not true. Private property owners do have the right to discriminate based on religion if the religion is a part of the institution. For example, a church can mandate that its employees be members of the church. Also, the current interpretation of religious liberty in that regard is an extremely narrow one. At one time, it was perfectly acceptable for individuals to choose who they would conduct business with based on religious affiliations. And, you are making a distinction between a state-owned church, which would answer to the state, and a private church which is regulated by it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    In fact, millions of Americans already work for state-owned institutions and they have no infringements on their rights of religion, speech, or anything else.
    Really? I guess that you haven't been following the case of the Marine who is being dishonorably discharged for disparaging Obama.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    The government recognizes them as rights.
    So? If a cat has kittens in an oven, and the Cuban government recognizes them as biscuits, does that make it so?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    Just because you don't pay them doesn't mean they are not paid. If someone breaks into my home and the police come, I don't have to hand them my credit card to pay for them, and they are not slaves.

    I have a right to be secure in my person and home, and the police are meant to protect that right, and the police are a free service. It's true that they are paid with taxes, but even if a person doesn't pay taxes, they still have the right to equal protection under the law.

    So you can, indeed have a right that is contingent on someone else supplying it for free.
    Please tell me that you don't teach civics. Seriously. Or economics. That would be very scary.

    Police are not providers of a service, they are law enforcement officers of the state. If you don't understand the difference between a law enforcement official who maintains public order and a doctor who provides a personal service, then you really don't understand a single thing about the public and private sectors.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    Why not? It seems that your argument that you can't have a right that is contingent on someone else supplying it for free doesn't hold up.
    Sure it does. You really don't understand what a right is, do you? A right isn't simply something that the state promises you. A right is a freedom to act in an area in which you are sovereign. I have the right to seek to enter into a contract to procure health care, but I do not have the right to compel a doctor to provide it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    Do you have another argument, or can you refine your first argument to address my criticism?
    There's no need for another one. The first one was perfectly adequate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    Are public school teachers slaves? Parents and children have a right to demand their services without paying them, and tax payers foot the bill for that too.
    Actually, parents and children have an extremely difficult time getting teachers to produce. Teachers seem to work for unions, rather than schools.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    Are you a slave? You work for the government. I don't have to write you a check to do your job, even if that job benefits me. If the US is invaded by a foreign army I can demand that the military work to defend the nation, without having to pay upfront.
    Actually, I'm a volunteer. I'm not a slave, but I'm far more constrained in my liberties as a condition of my employment than most people. And while you can demand anything that you like of the military, we don't take our orders from you, we take them from our chain of command.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    Now I know you are going to try to illustrate the difference between government functions that are necessary and constitutionally authorized vs those that are not. However, before you do, I should point out that that is an argument about the role of the government, not an argument about what is at hand here.
    But the role of government is what is at hand here. Rights do not come from government. The government cannot simply declare that something is a right and expect reality to bend to its will. A government that seeks to guarantee things that it cannot control will not be able to guarantee the things that it can control.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    What we are discussing here is whether you can have a right that requires someone else to do something without you paying them up front. Police, military, teachers, social workers, and all other government employees do this all the time.
    You are using verbal gymnastics to distort my position. Government employees in the US are free to leave their jobs if they find the terms of employment onerous. In communist states, where the state is the sole employer (it owns all of the means of production, remember?), one cannot quit the state.
    --Odysseus
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  5. #85  
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    PBS is a non-profit media organization that regularly has right-wingers on the air espousing anti-government viewpoints.
    In your dreams. First, PBS is not owned by the government. Second, I'd like to see what you consider right-wingers on PBS. Third, PBS knows which people in the government support it, and never bites the hand that feeds it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    First, you could still have your own home, just not be the landlord of a rented property.
    So, I cannot rent a room in my home?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    Second, public housing already exists and the people who live there still have their rights. The police cannot arbitrarily enter their homes without going through the proper legal routes. The fact that these not privately owned doesn't mean you don't have rights in them.
    Really? Public housing projects are hardly bastions of individual rights. For one thing, the residence in those projects is contingent on having income below a certain level, so those who live in them are constrained in their commercial activities. Second, public housing authorities are notoriously lax in providing services. A private landlord who treated tenants the way that public housing agencies did would soon find himself without tenants.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    Even if the state did have the same rights as your landlord, that still doesn't mean they have unlimited rights. Almost every state in the US has restrictions on when and how landlords can enter a home. Landlords also must give notice before evictions.
    You're missing the point again. The state wouldn't have the same rights as a landlord, it would have greater rights. Imagine a landlord who wasn't constrained by law, who owned the courts, the police, the fire department, the IRS and every other agency, public and private. The state would be more powerful than any landlord would ever want to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    That's already illegal for the state to do with it's employees. Having more employees wouldn't change that.
    But the state wouldn't have more employees, it would have all employees, since all businesses would be state run. There would be no check on state power. It could do whatever it wanted to whoever it wanted. It could decide that it didn't like the Catholic Church's ban on abortion and mandate that it provide birth control with the Eucharist if it wanted to, because nobody could say no to it. It would be all-powerful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    1. Stealing land is not petty thievery. Again, you're conflating the two forms of property.
    No, you are making an artificial distinction between forms of property. I didn't say land, but in the USSR, simply keeping food that you grew would get you shot. In China, any form of financial chicanery could result in the death penalty. States without property rights treat property crimes as crimes against the state.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    2. Also, the state certainly would use lethal force against a petty thief who resisted the police.
    Only if the officer believed that his life was in danger. Using lethal force to protect your life is not the same as using it against a kid who hoarded grain.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    3. Crimes against the state do not mean lethal punishment. Tax evasion is a crime against the state but you don't get the death sentence for it.
    Not in the US, which has property rights, you don't, but in communist states, withholding property from the government would get you killed. Again, look at the Soviet and Chinese examples.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    I'm not talking about equality of results.
    Of course you are. "From each according to his ability, and to each according to his need."

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    Except that I'm not arguing about distributing wealth or property evenly.
    True, the party always gets the lion's share of the redistribution, but it doesn't matter. Any system that takes property away from the people who create it in order to give it to those who didn't is going to create poverty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    okay
    No, not okay. It's one of the reasons that we oppose socialism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    Just because something is symbolic doesn't mean it does not effect real people.

    Humans live in a world that is partially symbolic, and they react to those symbolic structures as if they were actually physical realities.

    Physical reality is stuff like matter, energy, mass, momentum. Laws, social roles, organizational structures, relationships, and so on are not part of physical reality.

    Although symbolic structures have real effects on people, they are not part of physical reality, and they should not be looked at in the same way that physicists look at atoms. Their status as concepts, symbols, and relationships means they need to be examined differently, taking into the account how concepts, symbols, and relationships function, rather than treating them like hard aspects of material reality.

    No it's not. Law isn't a solid, physical thing.

    Can you tell me the atomic weight of Law? Can you tell me the density of law at sea level? How much energy is required to accelerate Law from 0 to 100 mph in a vacuum? Which periodic elements constitute law?

    It is not a physical, material thing. Neither are the relationships in question, the roles in question, etc. etc.
    You are mixing physics and politics in an attempt to obscure the issues with verbal gymnastics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    The reality humans experience is not the same as Material Reality. Humans live in a world that is full of categories, structures, relationships, names, and distinctions that are purely symbolic.

    this seems like a different discussion but I'd enjoy having it.
    Then I hope that you find someone else who'd enjoy it as well. However, it won't be me.
    --Odysseus
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  6. #86  
    Senior Member txradioguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apache View Post
    Yet you are way too eager to bring that same shit here. IT. DOES. NOT. WORK. Nothing you, or your side stands for works, EVER!
    Wee Wee only admits the USSR failed because he believes...as does the President...that if Democrats had only been in charge it would have succeeded.

    Wee Wee thinks that if he could only be in charge...Communism in the U.S. would work.
    In Memory Of My Friend 1st Sgt. Tim Millsap A Co, 70th Eng. Bn. 3rd Bde 1st AD...K.I.A. 25 April 2005

    Liberalism Is The Philosophy Of The Stupid

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    The libs/dems of today are the Quislings of former years. The cowards who would vote a fraud into office in exchange for handouts from the devil.
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  7. #87  
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by txradioguy View Post
    Wee Wee only admits the USSR failed because he believes...as does the President...that if Democrats had only been in charge it would have succeeded.

    Wee Wee thinks that if he could only be in charge...Communism in the U.S. would work.
    Wei admits the USSR failed because he cannot deny it without becoming an object of ridicule. He continues to agitate for the same policies while denying that this is his intent, not because he thinks that it will go better this time if only he and his ilk are in charge, but because he wants to be in charge. If that happens, then everything will work out, because Wei and his cronies are so obviously superior to the rest of us. Progressives are motivated by a deep disdain for for their neighbors and a preening sense of their own superiority. The progressive mindset was stated eloquently by Sen. William Borah, a progressive Republican, on the occasion of Hitler's invasion of Poland, when he said, “Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.” The idea that Hitler might have abandoned his plans of global conquest and genocide because a legislator from a country that he despised whispered a few honeyed phrases to him encapsulates the hubris of the progressive. Meanwhile, those who see through it are relentlessly demonized, because their ideas cannot stand in the light of day. Progressives loathe the democratic processes that thwart their ideas, and reject the common sense of the people that they seek to rule. This is why they oppose alternative media and free speech, because it undermines their attempts to control the narrative and market their candidates. Obama, for example, campaigned as a centrist (except when he was off the script and then made seriously alarming statements that demonstrated his true character), and every progressive outfit played along, even to the point of manufacturing memes of racism against those who tried to lift the curtain.
    --Odysseus
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    Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the people!
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  8. #88  
    Senior Member txradioguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odysseus View Post
    Wei admits the USSR failed because he cannot deny it without becoming an object of ridicule. He continues to agitate for the same policies while denying that this is his intent, not because he thinks that it will go better this time if only he and his ilk are in charge, but because he wants to be in charge. If that happens, then everything will work out, because Wei and his cronies are so obviously superior to the rest of us. Progressives are motivated by a deep disdain for for their neighbors and a preening sense of their own superiority. The progressive mindset was stated eloquently by Sen. William Borah, a progressive Republican, on the occasion of Hitler's invasion of Poland, when he said, “Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.” The idea that Hitler might have abandoned his plans of global conquest and genocide because a legislator from a country that he despised whispered a few honeyed phrases to him encapsulates the hubris of the progressive. Meanwhile, those who see through it are relentlessly demonized, because their ideas cannot stand in the light of day. Progressives loathe the democratic processes that thwart their ideas, and reject the common sense of the people that they seek to rule. This is why they oppose alternative media and free speech, because it undermines their attempts to control the narrative and market their candidates. Obama, for example, campaigned as a centrist (except when he was off the script and then made seriously alarming statements that demonstrated his true character), and every progressive outfit played along, even to the point of manufacturing memes of racism against those who tried to lift the curtain.

    I know I'm repeating myself for the millionth time...but excellent post!
    In Memory Of My Friend 1st Sgt. Tim Millsap A Co, 70th Eng. Bn. 3rd Bde 1st AD...K.I.A. 25 April 2005

    Liberalism Is The Philosophy Of The Stupid

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    The libs/dems of today are the Quislings of former years. The cowards who would vote a fraud into office in exchange for handouts from the devil.
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