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September 08, 2009



Well put. I live in an extremely conservative area. The paranoia and hatred that the local conservatives exhibit have made me question my own conservative ideals.

An Arkies Musings


Well said!


You put into words exactly what I've been feeling. Where has the respect for others gone?


Learn To Ride Horse

I believe the main factor here... Is the media. They seem to solely be responsible for bombarding the public with distrust, and negativity. Granted, people choose their own reactions - but through constant bombardment, and a lack of 'awareness' in general it becomes very easy to become another stock character crafted by the giant media conglomerate. is it a conspiracy? no. irresponsibility in action, for FAR too long? yes.

Media needs to start being held accountable. Turn off your televisions, boycott fox, cnn, msnbc and other major media outlets until they go back to what we need. unbiased truth & news, not politically infused commentary and social agendas.

"He who gives up freedom for safety, deserves neither" -Ben Franklin


People on the left got upset when W wanted to address children; the Black Panthers openly (and legally) carried weapons to an event with then-Gov. Reagan. This stuff isn't new; it's just a President the media likes, and they have short memories.

As for the health-ID question, it's obvious why the woman thought it would require a government ID: if healthcare is to be universally provided (or paid for) by the government, in order to have that information on your ID, you must be required to have an ID.

The reason the United States exists in the way that it does was because of a loss of faith in government. The people who wrote the Constitution had a fundamental distrust of human nature: hence the checks and balances and the assumption of a much smaller federal government than we have today.

We're witnessing a resurgence of that kind of libertarian thinking -- call it libertarian conservatism ("Don't Tread On Me"), over against the social conservatism that dominated for the last few decades. I think people of faith ought to have at least some sympathy with that impulse; if the government will leave me alone, maybe that means they'll let me practice my faith as I see fit.


Does it matter whose ox is being gored? In the near past, I do recall the past leader getting pounded by Moveon.org et al, McCain being falsely vilified by the Nytimes, and this is just for starters. There are fringe elements on both sides, so why use the big brush to paint an entire movement?
I do agree that the currency of leadership is trust. President Obama ascended to leadership at a very challenging time in the nation’s history. He has chosen to use his rhetorical skills as his leadership strong suite. He is painfully finding out that the substance of his program does matter and that there is a big difference between the coach and the cheerleader. Having a keen sense of the mood of the country , not practicing the robbing Peter to pay Paul will go a long way in reversing the buyers remorse that the country is exhibiting.
I will see how he attempts his comeback on Wednesday.


Conservatives aren't anarchists; they cherish the Constitution.

Much confusion seems to exists regarding the political spectrum -- the "left" and the "right." Part of the problem is that there is no single agreed-upon spectrum, but many people operate as though there is. As a result, they assign people and philosophies to the left and right without clarity as to what is on either end of the spectrum. For example, I've never understood how Hitler ends up on the opposite end of Stalin, but many people place fascism on the far right and communism on the far left. Exactly what are the axes of that spectrum?

I believe this is the political spectrum that truly reflects today's reality: to the left, government infringement of human rights; to the right, government protection of human rights. Operating on that scale, where is your philosophy? Where are the philosophies of communism, fascism, socialism, capitalism, liberal, conservative, libertarian, anarchy? Where is God?

Ron Corson

"that un-fact-checked statementscirculated by unknown bloggers and radio entertainers are to be believed over independent newspapers with long histories of factual reporting."

That is practically a Thomas Freedman quote. someone who works for a newspaper that like many newspapers is losing money so they want to be seen as the fact checkers because they are losing readers to the internet. The fact is that most of these media outlets except radio and internet are liberal controlled and they don't really tell the full story. so they are losing business and they are not trusted.

I always thought it was funny how they complained about the bringing of guns to town meetings and how they ignore that it was a black man with the gun in the pictures. Or how the only real violence was when a pro Obama person bit off the finger of an old man who was opposed to the healthcare so called reform.

The biggest thing is that the tv media only focused upon was there any disruptive behavior and ignored any of the questions and answers given at the meetings.

but then maybe it worked as it upset the less perceptive people like the author of the above article.

Oh by the way Gephart and Pat Schroeder complained about George Herbert Walker Bush address to public school students in 1991 and that was without the curriculum to write a letter to saying how you will support the President. That part of the curriculum that they changed thanks to the conservatives complaints.

If you think conservatives are anarchists you should listen to the green jobs advisor to Obama, Van Jones. Oh but you probably don't know much about that because that was really only covered on the radio and internet.


This forum is much appreciated, and there's much to be said about saluting the rank even if one may disagree with the person. From a religious perspective, I think it's best to be agreeable even when one must disagree. And I consider the counsel of King Solomon from Proverbs 24:21,22 invaluable in any and all political climates. It says ' 21 Fear the LORD and the king, my son, and do not join with the rebellious, for those two will send sudden destruction upon them, and who knows what calamities they can bring?'

Bottom line: one can still be agreeable while disagreeing. And it's also good to be an informed consumer and to have checks and balances in our government. Without checks and balances, we'd all be back in the days previous to our declaration of independence when the governed had to endure whatever was decided for them.

Monte Sahlin

Tomm, there is no universal, government-provided health care proposal on the table. So I don't see how that could have caused confusion. And some of the universal government health care programs in Europe do not require an ID card because they cover everyone and therefore there is no need to establish anyone's status.

I think the woman in question had such a prejudice against government that it is her irrational prejudice that caused her to interpret things in the way she did. It is this irrationality with regard to government that is anarchist.

Ron, it is impossible to have government leave me alone 100%. If there are going to be thousands of cars on a highway, then someone has to determine which side of the road we are going to drive on and that is one way (among hundreds, maybe thousands) that government dare not leave me 100% alone. When I listen to or read libertarians, I hear people who want this impossible 100% "leave me alone situation." It seems to be out of touch with reality.

It is easy to blame the media--kill the messenger--and I often feel that reporters make mistakes in the way the handle specific stories. But, I know from personal experience the kind of fact-checking that newspapers do. (I worked my way through college doing fact-checking, among other things, at a daily newspaper.) And I know the kind of fact-checking that radio does not do because my wife worked for radio stations for several years. The news personnel at daily newspapers are fiercely independent and often rebel if they think the editorial-page leanings of the paper are leaking into the way news is handled. There were recent incidents along these lines at the LA Times and the Boston Globe.

The bottom line for me is that a segment of the conservatives have gone too far. If they really want to influence the thinking of the rest of us, they need to turn back.

What is more interesting to me is how people relate their faith to their politics, or do not, in some cases. What does this extreme conservative politics mean in terms of religion?


D.S., you said that you find Proverbs 24:21-22 "invaluable in any and all political climates." ("Fear the LORD and the king, my son, and do not join with the rebellious, for those two will send sudden destruction upon them, and who knows what calamities they can bring?") What about the political climate of the American Revolution?

Gavin Greenwalt

Elizabeth your definition of Right/Left is worse than useless it's misleading.

I can say
"Left is about compassion and the right is about killing kittens." Doesn't make it true.

The left believes in institutional policies which work to solve social problems. The Right believes in private charity to solve social problems.

In its extreme the left suffocates personal freedoms by stripping individuality for the sake of society. In its extreme the right suffocates personal freedoms by removing the protections for those with less power than others. Both protect and destroy human rights.

If we had unlimited rights then we would all suffer. Do you have the human right to dump toxic waste in the stream which flows through my property?

You have the right to conduct business but do you have the human right to use a monopoly on food production and distribution to starve out a competitor's workers?

Everyone on all sides of the spectrum short of anarchists agree that government intervention is critical to protect rights and freedoms. Without an executive organization to maintain enforcement no freedom can be had. But with excessive enforcement you eventually lose freedoms. We're all on the continuum. The conservative movement is just current drawing a line in the sand and saying "anything more than what we want is extreme socialism". Which is silly because most of these policies are microscopic and practically non-existent distinctions from the status quo.

Monte Sahlin

Gavin, I agree with you that both the left and right have strengths and weaknesses. There are good ideas to be had from both sides and terrible mistakes that some people on both sides have a hard time letting go. I call this view "realism."

One example of the way both sides can be a little crazy with what they sometimes think are "principles" is the stand that the right has taken on guns and the stand that some on the left have taken on marijuana. Both are things that are potentially dangerous; both have limited usefulness. Why can't we come to a reasonable frame of reference on both things instead of being pushed into extreme positions? Some realists are needed in our government or it will destroy us because of one kind of extremism or another.


Rome (CNN) -- Italy's high court has upheld a prison sentence for former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in a tax fraud case.

The court Thursday said it supported a lower court's four-year prison sentence for Berlusconi.

Three years of that sentence are covered in an amnesty aimed at cutting down on prison overcrowding, effectively reducing Berlusconi's sentence to one year.

The high court also ordered a lower court to reconsider whether Berlusconi, 76, should be banned from public office -- a controversial issue that could play a key role in the country's political future.

A lower court convicted Berlusconi of tax evasion last October, sentencing him to four years in prison and barring him from public office for five years. In May, an Italian appeals court in Milan upheld that decision.

Read more about it

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