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I'll be reading this to our family before Thanksgiving dinner: "The Real Meaning of Thanksgiving"

Original post made by Brad on Nov 21, 2011

You won't learn this from our public school teachers, our textbooks, our American mainstream media.

The Real Meaning of Thanksgiving is to give thanks to the birth of Free-Market Capitalism over Collectivism in all its forms (e.g. socialism, marxism, communism, etc.).

At first the new colonists had a "utopian" collectivist method of growing crops but because this method of "spreading the wealth" was determined an abject failure and that if they continued with this method, the collective would starve.

Excerpt:
Realizing that another season like those that had just passed would mean the extinction of the entire community, the elders of the colony decided to try something radically different: the introduction of private property rights and the right of the individual families to keep the fruits of their own labor.

As Governor Bradford put it:

“And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number for that end. . . .This had a very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted then otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little-ones with them to set corn, which before would a ledge weakness, and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression."

The Plymouth Colony experienced a great bounty of food. Private ownership meant that there was now a close link between work and reward. Industry became the order of the day as the men and women in each family went to the fields on their separate private farms. When the harvest time came, not only did many families produce enough for their own needs, but they had surpluses that they could freely exchange with their neighbors for mutual benefit and improvement.


Web Link

---
I hope you will find this to be important to share with your family ... and while you're at it...to the "Occupy Protestors" too.

Comments (182)

Posted by more ideas, a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 21, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Thank you for this important reminder. The point about land stewardship and property rights is a contemporary success story playing out in the re-greening of the Sahel in Africa. To combat drought and beat back the encroaching desertification, farmers allowed indigenous trees to grow rather than burn for fuel or other uses. With property rights, tree management was in their interest.

An excerpt from the Scientific American story:Web Link

"Even naturally sprouting trees were off-limits to farmers until laws were changed to recognize their property rights. Tree management was traditionally part of normal agricultural practice here, Salif explained; it was encouraged by the Barahogon, a voluntary association of farmers to which both Salif and his father belonged. But the practice was largely abandoned after first colonial and later African governments declared that all trees belonged to the state, a policy that gave officials the opportunity to sell timber rights to business people. Under this system, farmers were punished if they were caught cutting trees, so to avoid hassles they often uprooted seedlings as soon as they sprouted. In the early 1990s, a new Malian government, mindful that forestry agency officials had been killed in some villages by farmers furious about illegal burning of trees by forestry agents, passed a law giving farmers legal ownership of trees on their land


Posted by John, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 22, 2011 at 8:14 am

No mention, of course, of the "property rights" of the native peoples the Europeans came here to displace.


Posted by jwoon, a resident of Danville
on Nov 22, 2011 at 8:18 am

You had to go there, John.......I'll be anxiously waiting for you to turn over your property to make it available for a new casino in town. Visit the casino to make your reparations..........


Posted by Mom of 2, a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Nov 22, 2011 at 8:47 am

Why do people assume all "Occupiers" are asking for socialism? I am not an occupier, but understand the core message. Accountability is what most are asking for, not socialism. The message has been lost due to the occupation, but grouping them together as socialist nuts only serves to further divide the country.


Posted by Mom of 2, a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Nov 22, 2011 at 8:58 am

Just to add - I found the overall message of this post very interesting and you're right: they definitely didn't teach us this in school!


Posted by John, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 22, 2011 at 9:23 am


Yes, "jwoon", I did have to go there, because Brad's fantasy about Thanksgiving is leaving out many key details of the history. I'm not given to simple black and white solutions to problems like merely turning over my property. I can recognize four hundred years of history make that difficult. But that doesn't negate the fact that this vision of Thanksgiving is one-sided, Eurocentric and chauvanistic. There are more subtle solutions to the historical injustice than merely ignoring it. I certainly support the Native American tribes attempts at fleecing gamblers as at least some recompense for their second-class treatment by our government.

And, as for the parable shared by "more ideas": ... Of course, in our own country, farmers and property owners have to deal with the fact that the seed market is dominated by one global corporation, Monsanto. A farmer wo contracts for seeds with Monsanto is prevented from using the seeds that he grows and produces for any subsequent crop. If he does, he must pay royalties to Monsanto. Even if those seeds grow as weeds, he can be sued for royalties by Monsanto. If those seeds should blow over to a neighbor's farm and take root, Monsanto can then sue the neighbor for royalties on their orginial seed sale. The farmers become dependent upon the corporation for seed supply, because their contracts prevent them from producing their own seeds. The freedom of their own "property rights" become attached to the whims of the corporation.

All this thanks to the glories of the capitalism that you celebrate in your fantasy of the meaning of the first Thanksgiving.


Posted by Brad, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 22, 2011 at 9:28 am

Dear Mom of 2,
Thank you for your replies. However if there is any coherent message and goal the Occupiers are sending, it is to overthrow Capitalism.

The opposite of Capitalism is Collectivism. Socialism is one form...however the definition of collectivism is blurry. Even North Korea on the extreme end of the Collectivist scale calls itself a Socialist country.

What the Occupiers and the Democrat party have as their platform is an anti-capitalist, anti-free market, pro-collectivist economic system. The latter has been proven to be abject failure...and cruel which has resulted in mass misery death and genocide.


Posted by Bill, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 22, 2011 at 9:50 am

I am beginning to think that the world's oldest profession isn't prostitution, but the public relations spokesperson in charge of whitewashing the screw-ups of the politician who happens to be in charge.


Posted by Another mom of 2, a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 22, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Hey Brad, if you think the main objective of the OWS is to overthrow capitalism, you are not paying attention.
Banks took billions from taxpayers to bail themselves out of the mess they got themselves into. Then they paid millions to the executives who screwed up.
What OWS wants is for the banks and corporations to pay their fair share of taxes, currently they don't. Get rid of tax loopholes and bring jobs back to this country instead of paying for cheap labor in India and China.
OWS in not about a handout, it's about giving the middle class a chance to survive.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 22, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Another mom of 2,

What you are witnessing is the marginalization of the OWS movement, as was done to the Tea Party.


Posted by Bridget, a resident of Livermore
on Nov 22, 2011 at 1:15 pm

You can always tell which letters were written by the Sociology professors at our colleges and universities!


Posted by Brad, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 22, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Another Mom of 2,
You are partially right in your most recent post...however I submit to you the main goal IS the overthrow of capitalism. Even the left-leaning New Yorker Magazine corroborates this main goal of overthrowing capitalism.

If you have time, here is their article which highlights the Occupy founder's goal of destroying capitalism >>> Web Link

Also, your comment about the banks is accurate as a symptom of the problem but I submit to you doesn't get at the root.

The root was the passage of the Community Reinvestment Act during the Carter Admin which gave subprime home loans to people who could not afford homes in the first place. Then Clinton expanded this program exponentially and groups like ACORN threatened banks, bankers and their families to give more and more subprime loans out. The republicans tried to warn congress about this but they were not successful (obviously). So the crux of the problem was and still is that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are still giving out loans to people who cannot afford to pay them back. Obama and his Congressional Democrats do not want to stop this practice...therefore, the housing bubble is still inflating.

So please place the blame where it should be...at big government democrats.


Posted by Jimbo is a fool, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 22, 2011 at 2:51 pm

So Governor Bradford "so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number for that end. . . " And with that, America took its first step toward socialism and its inevitable triumph.

For Bradford's act -- very similar to what an emergent socialist state does -- was to provide people with an adequate means of sustenance while also giving them a stake in their society. We see this in the public school system, where every child is given a parcel of opportunity to acquire knowledge and the means by which to act in the world, and to do so as a stakeholder in society.

We see this in the public library system, where every citizen is given the right to borrow and read as many books as they want to. God forbid that all citizens should be forced to purchase books from unsavory "entrepreneurs" (hucksters, as all capitalists are).

We have seen this in the expressed American ideal that every person should have their own home and a chicken to put in every pot.

Best of all, when the pilgrims convened to give thanks, they convened as a community in a spirit of communal sharing. They even invited Native Americans to partake of the communal gathering, and, of course, in true socialist fashion, didn't charge the Native Americans an admission fee.

God bless us all, from the first pilgrim occupiers to those current occupiers who, like their pilgrim forebearers, are seeking to bring about a better world through collective action.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 22, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Slippers/Jane/Whatever: No mention that none of what you list is in the constitution. No mention that we "bought (read stole)" all this _from_ Native Americans. No mention that the experiment in socialism has failed or is falling apart everywhere in the world. Who is the fool now?


Posted by Jimbo is a fool, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 22, 2011 at 4:27 pm

You're really too much, Kath. Not much of an imagination, eh? Don't recognize parody when you see it, eh? Silly you. Of the thousands upon thousands of readers of this thread, you're probably the only one who has failed to recognize my effort as a parody on Jimbo the fool's contribution. Next assignment: Quick, put on your thinking hat and work up a critique of Jimbo's link. Oh, or do you agree with that one? Actually, I'm not really asking ... as I don't care to engage such a dolt in this kind of nonsense.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 22, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Don't see a Jimbo post here for you to parody.


Posted by Jimbo is a fool, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 22, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Ah, so quick to label one poster who may or may not use multiple names, but then feigns[?] dumbness when it comes to another. By Jimbo, Kath, I mean Brad. But you know that. You're just playing dumb. Talk about fools?

Actually, my post was not a parody. Actually, Kath, I meant every word in that post. Actually, Kath, I pulled every word from the deep meanings of the Constitution. Your task, if you can pull yourself from the big bowl of corn puffs in front of you while you drool over the the televised debate, is to go discover those deep meanings within the Constitution. Don't come back until you do so.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 22, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Hey Jane, how's that Monsanto stock doing funding your Wall St. gambler's pension?


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 22, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Whew, you got even more GE stock than Monsanto stock. Pays well, don't it?


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 22, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Why, look at that. GE paid around $17,934,233.36 this year in dividends to Jane's pension fund, assuming the number of shares stayed the same all year.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 22, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I think these rich owners of corporations should really start paying their fair share of taxes.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 22, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Gollum, Nah, didn't catch that Jim is Brad. Knew it wasn't a parody. It's not in the constitution; we own several copies. Uhm, not watching the debates either. Reminds me of the joke: jumping to conclusions is the only exercise you get.


Posted by Patriot, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 22, 2011 at 10:20 pm

"The root was the passage of the Community Reinvestment Act during the Carter Admin which gave subprime home loans ... Then Clinton expanded ... like ACORN threatened banks, bankers and their families to give more and more subprime loans out.

So please place the blame where it should be...at big government democrats."

If people are just going to spin this as Republican good/Democrat bad or Democrat bad/Republican good, the real problem won't ever get solved. George Bush, Alan Greenspan, and the Republicans in congress did as much to inflate the housing bubble as the Democrats. Remember that the zero money down FHA loan initiative came from the George Bush administration.

Web Link

The Republicans had control of the presidency and congress for six years and couldn't pass any reform to Fannie or Freddie because enough Republicans objected.

No one threatened AIG or Morgan Stanley. No one forced those companies to sell credit default swaps that they couldn't cover and that would cause them to be bailed out by a Republican treasury secretary and federal reserve. It is partly because these companies thought they were too big to fail that they took excessive risks in the derivatives market in the first place. The bailouts started by the Bush administration reinforced that. Mitt Romney has said he supports that policy. To his credit, John Hunstman opposes it.

The bottom line is that Republicans are just as much at fault for the credit crisis as Democrats.


Posted by jwoon, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 23, 2011 at 8:28 am

John, I suggest some intensive therapy to help address your debilitating guilt complex. It must be terrible to carry around the weight of years of repression of your people. What, you're not Indian?! Amazing, the ability of the bleeding heart to take the enjoyment out of a holiday we all celebrate. What's next, tales of turkey repression?


Posted by Joe, a resident of Siena
on Nov 23, 2011 at 8:32 am

Great post, Brad! The true story of Thanksgiving was never taught to me in school, but over the years I eventually learned what really happened. The very first attempt at Socialism was a complete failure, and the lessons they learned back then are still true today, yet we have "occupy" idiots openly calling for an end to Capitalism. It fries my brain to witnesses such stupidity, as well as the people who defend them.


Posted by no_more, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 23, 2011 at 8:33 am

The problem isn't Dems or Repubs, it is career politicians. Both parties are responsible for the current state of the republic. Time to end their death grip on our money and our freedoms. Time to do two things. First, repeal retirement packages for all elected officials; they are already rich enough. Second, create a national 2-term limit. Then we can have a meaningful discussion about the true meaning of being thankful.


Posted by Mr. Moderate, a resident of Danville
on Nov 23, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Something that has peaked my interest through reading all these responses.

There's the clear Democrat vs. Republican vibe, as with all political topics. However, when we run into whose fault it is, that's when there's somewhat of a breakdown. Whose fault is it? Is it the democrats? Republicans? Career Politicians?

The fact of the matter is, we don't know exactly what it is. That's why OWS is around. Something is broken, and they want it fixed.

Just a clarification message.


Posted by Jimbo is a fool, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 23, 2011 at 3:53 pm

The "true" story of Thanksgiving. What a joke. Can you imagine have the Jimbo Brad read that slop to his family at the dinner table?

All the teahadists want to blame everything on the democrats, unless repubs are in office. None of them wants to focus on the economy and, specifically, the unjust way in which wealth is distributed in our society.

What happened to Kath? Are her and Stace, sharing tea and munching on cheese curls, searching the Constitution for where public education and libraries are mentioned?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 23, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Gollum, Not blaming the dems or repubs--they share guilt. How is wealth unjustly distributed? No one is predetermining who can earn the most. Those who can cut the right deal or are smart enough or work hard enough make money. They pay the largest portion of taxes to support those who, by circumstance or inability, can't. The notion that somehow someone in the top income bracket should give it all to those at the bottom--------well, why the heck work to be at the top? One can put in perhaps a minimum effort and just wait for the goose to roll the golden egg downhill.


Posted by Jimbo is a fool, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 23, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Since 10% of population owns 80% of wealth -- whether thru hard work (though likely less hard than shelf stocker at Walmart), hook, crook or inheritance -- they should shoulder 80% of the tax burden. Anything less is unjust. An inability to grasp such a basic concept is really too dumb for words. But I don't want to interrupt you from kissing up and licking those boots, Fat Kat.


Posted by Brad, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 23, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Dear JIAF,
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegseggerr, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Gollum, At least I must be pretty flexible with all that bending! I find you attempt to be more offensive when you are running low on reason and facts.

It would be unjust for the top 10% to pay less than 80% because . . . . ? What about wanting them to pay more, with no better explanation than they can.


Posted by Mike, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Nov 23, 2011 at 6:53 pm

History teaches us many things, one of which is that people regularly misrepresent it to promote their own agendas.

Mike


Posted by Jimbo is a fool , a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 23, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Hey Turkeys, history also teaches that the pilgrims did their thanksgiving bit centuries before capitalism or socialism were even thought of as concepts.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegseggerr, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 23, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Gollum, Doesn't change the stealing from Native Americans, no matter the name you put to the concept.


Posted by Jimbo is an idiot, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 23, 2011 at 11:22 pm

As my family sits and offers thanks on this holiday, we will be ever cognizant of extent of poverty in the country and how 80% of this nation's wealth is possessed by the top 10% of the population.

Government surveys analyzed by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities indicate that in 2010, just over half of the country's nearly 17 million poor children, lived in households that reported at least one of four major hardships: hunger, overcrowding, failure to pay the rent or mortgage on time or failure to seek needed medical care. A good education is also increasingly out of reach. A study by Martha Bailey, an economics professor at the University of Michigan, showed that the difference in college-graduation rates between the rich and poor has widened by more than 50 percent since the 1990s.

Ah, yes. Praise capitalism. And for 80% of the populace that's left to wrangle over 12% of the nation's wealth? Keep going after teacher salaries and pensions. They're breaking the bank! And nowhere in the Constitution does it saying anything about teachers earning a reasonable pension.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 23, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Yea, sit and be cognizant while doing little but calling people names on an anonymous forum. The bottom 90% of people sure appreciate your efforts. BTW, have you cashed out your gambler's pension yet? Please, for the love of all that is decent, stop providing capital to Wall Street.


Posted by Jimbo is a fool, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 24, 2011 at 6:05 am

I can assure you I support my words with actions, Stace. As you and your mommy Fat Kath need to know, one must be on the side of light or the side of dark. As long as you and your mommy continue to express so many idiotic views, I'll be there to shed light upon them so as to expose them for their idiocy.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegseggerr, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 24, 2011 at 6:59 am

Wow, that's what you think you are doing, Gollum? Who gets to determine which is the light side or the dark side; and why do you actually believe there is either? When you talk to your family, you could let them know that with a college education and hard work, they can achieve wealth as Warren Buffett did. Or let them know they can achieve wealth as Bill Gates or Steve Jobs and many others did with an idea and hard work. And you could point out they have the liberty to live a successful life and pursue their bliss, undefined by anyone else. Well, except for that looming debt.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegseggerr, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 24, 2011 at 8:11 am

Look Gollum, it is still possible to be any of those people. It is still happening even in this economy. Lots of reasons for people being unemployed; I never said that was a good thing. I certainly wouldn't wish it even for you. College loans, we've been down this road about who owes and the small percentage that don't pay them back. Wall St.--lot of blame to go around, but not everyone is guilty. Told you, know all about working class people on a personal level. I do what I can to help those who are not as able to help themselves. Do you do anything more than talk about it? Cite the death statistics you give. And then are you suggesting that if the top 10% give more (and you can answer all the questions you post as Kent) those statistics will change? Federal social programs?

By the way, it is a great country.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 24, 2011 at 9:15 am

Stacey is a registered user.

And I'll be here to shine a light on Jane's insincerity. CalPERS is the largest institutional investor on Wall St. and CalSTRS is the second largest pension fund in the US. So funny that Jane tries to defend some of the biggest owners of capital.

The size of these funds mean they have a rather large say in things when it comes to financial injustices. But they always seek higher returns because they _need_ the higher returns to pay the kind of pensions that the average American will never see. Don't expect these funds to address Monsanto pushing GMO corn. Don't expect these funds to withhold investments in market-rate conversions unless the law restricts them from doing so (they just can't seem to help themselves!). And don't expect these funds to not own any GE stock even though GE isn't paying it's fair share of federal taxes. And somehow it's everyone else's fault that these abuses occur?

And then Jane has the audacity to talk about educator compensation and student debt as if there is no relation. Yea, let's all stick our heads in the sand, like Jane.


Posted by Brad, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 24, 2011 at 10:06 am

JIAF,
The more accurate analogy I see in your "lightness and darkness" reference is ...

LIGHTNESS = Freedom for the individual, governing consistent with the US Constitution, free market capitalism, limited government, strong national defense, energy independence, rugged individualism. In other words, CONSERVATISM.

DARKNESS = continued loss of individual freedom, more and more collectivism, massive government controls, loss of free-enterprise and the private sector, more indebtedness, more and more tax, more and more welfare and greater government dependence. In other words, LIBERALISM.

Have a Happy Free-Market Capitalism Day.


Posted by Jiaf, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 24, 2011 at 10:56 am

I'm certain that every one in five children who are impoverished in this country will have a happy free-market capitalism day. Knowing that one can become a Warren Buffet or Tijuana Slim surely will be enough to feed their little stomachs. My own stomach is retching, like it retches whenever I read two or three Klan pieces in a row. Fat Kath, Mommy Kath's Stacey, and Brad/Jimbo, please think of your bliss while the percentage of children going to bed hungry in this country far exceeds that of any other advanced country.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 24, 2011 at 11:18 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Wrong. Jane's Monsanto-infected corn will feed their little stomachs while Jane reaps Monsanto profits. I'm going to go retch now over that thought.


Posted by Brad, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 24, 2011 at 12:04 pm

jiaf,
so let me understand your logic.

you are against american capitalism because it results in unevenly distributed wealth.

therefore, you are in favor of socialism whete the wealth is evenly distributed. example of pretty even distribution of wealth is the socialist country of north korea (except for the military and government officials who eat well). you are right, the wealth there is pretty evenly spread out...a democrats' dream.

btw: did you know what many north koreans are eating for their thanksgiving meal? their own children. >>> Web Link

a very sobering and gut wrenching fact....but people like you don't like to wrestle with failed outcomes of liberalism and socialism...only your "intentions" that everyone live in blissful utopia.

yes, your socialism leads to utopia doesn't it.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 24, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Jane isn't against American capitalism no matter how much she seems to complain about it and advocate for socialism. She's a capitalist herself with that Wall St. gambler's pension.


Posted by dublinmike, a resident of Dublin
on Nov 24, 2011 at 12:23 pm

dublinmike is a registered user.

I am thankful for what I have. Having spent time living a cold 1880's house without heat or air conditioning taught me to appreciate some things but it's the trips to Mexico that really made me appreciate what we all have. We take for granted the material goods we have easy access, clean water, ease of transportation and freedom to speak, to name a few things.

But, Brad, the Thanksgiving we were taught in school was largely manufactured by those that sought to structure a tale to make the white European look good. Now, don't call me a liberal. I am a realist. For example, I also criticize the Mexicans for their tale of whoa and suppression by the Europeans. They conveniently leave out the slaughter and enslavement of other races and tribes by the Aztecs.

Anyway, slightly off course of the original posting but you get my point. History is massaged.

p.s. Hate to tell you this, but George Washington did not cut down a cherry tree and owned slaves.

Happy Thanksgiving (I really do mean it :) )


Posted by Kathleen Ruegseggerr, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 24, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Gollum, Start a food drive; raise money for a worthy charity; do something about it. Mail me redacted proof, and I'll try to match whatever you do.


Posted by Stan, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Nov 24, 2011 at 3:53 pm


All holidays are a means of stimulating the economy. Thanksgiving, Christmas, all of them. I mean really, who is actually celebrating the origin of the holiday on that specific day.

Stand up with me and ban holidays! Stick it to the man.


Posted by jiaf, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Been there, done that, and continue doing so. Meanwhile, the upper 1% continues to follow its bliss.

"At the other end of the retail spectrum, Saks said Tuesday that its revenue had risen 5 percent, to $692.3 million, from the same quarter a year ago. Its same-store sales, sales for stores open at least a year, rose 5.8 percent.
"Full-price selling is at record levels," Mr. Sadove said. "We're now in a less promotional environment than we were before the recession." [...]

Some areas where Saks had placed big inventory bets, like shoes, turned out particularly well in the quarter, he said."

Turkey? Pshaw. Let them gnaw on my shoe leather.


Posted by Brad, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 24, 2011 at 6:39 pm

When liberals -- like jiaf above -- encounter people who are more successful than they are, the liberals want to them tear down to the liberals' level or below.

When conservatives encounter more successful people, the conservatives view them as a motivator to achieve their level and beyond.


Posted by Jiaf, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 24, 2011 at 8:41 pm

When democratic socialists like jiaf encounter a deplorable condition of poverty in a nation where 10% of the populace owns 80% of the wealth, and the only thing they can do is complain about teacher pensions, all she can do is point to the condition and the stupidity and gread that contributes to its persistance.

Redacted? Got dictionary?

N. Korea. Democratic socialism? Oh, forget it; you wouldn't know the difference, as it would take an IQ over 90.

When jiaf encounters the sickness of greed and the stupidity which attempts to rationalize it, she is motivated to call it what it is and call the people who rationalize it idiots as they are, one and all.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegseggerr, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 24, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Gollum, Not sure what you are questioning. _redacted_ document: Edited, modified, or revised document from which confidential or sensitive information has been removed. The suggestion was for you to send proof of a donation that I can match with your name and any other identifying information removed. I often provided redacted information for those with public information requests.

What you are motivated to do is to call people names and to get your posts removed and topics shut down.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 24, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Jiaf, I like you.
A lot!


Posted by Jiaf, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 24, 2011 at 8:58 pm

On Friday, November 25th, Occupy Seattle will join Occupy Tacoma, Occupy Bellingham and Occupy Everett in a statewide protest at Wal-Mart in Renton at 2:00pm.

With its long history of mistreating workers and suppliers, its recent announcement of significant cutbacks on employee health care, and its obscene profits, Wal-Mart is a prime example of how the 99% are suffering at the hands of the 1%. [...]

With $14.3 billion in profits in 2010, Wal-Mart still saw fit to eliminate health insurance coverage for part time employees, cut company contributions to employee health savings accounts by 50% and increase health care premiums 17% to 61% for over 2.1 million employees worldwide. According to an article in the Huffington Post, the average Wal-Mart worker makes $8.81 per hour, while the CEO makes $8990.00 per hour.

Protesting specific companies that are doing the most to hurt American workers (and by extension, consumers)? Sounds good.

The other thing to do, of course, is not shop at Wal-Mart at all, but I assume most progressives are already avoiding them. Wal-Mart sets a standard for poor worker treatment that other companies can only aspire to.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegseggerr, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 24, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Gollum, A question--you defended a chancellor getting paid $100,000 more than the previous person, but you are going after a CEO for making too much? Won't the Obama healthcare plan cover everyone anyway? What about Obama healthcare?

"The health-care law that Congress passed last year is unlikely to change that. While part-time workers will have access to new, subsidized coverage on the individual market, the Obama administration's signature legislative achievement provides little incentive for employers to cover workers who are not full-time staff." More of the article at:

Web Link


Posted by Jiaf, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 25, 2011 at 4:24 am

Fat Kath states that I "defended a chancellor getting paid $100,000 more than the previous person," and then asks, "but you are going after a CEO for making too much?"

First off, Fat Kath, we weren't talking about a chancellor; rather, we were talking about a college president at SDSU. And I wasn't defending him or his salary as much as I was pointing out how ridiculous it is for you and the other tea baggers to bemoan his salary when it is peanuts compared to what corporate CEOs make. SDSU's pres makes between 350-400K per year. He was not appointed by people whose salary he is going to determine (as often is the case in the corporate sector), but rather appointed by a chancellor after much consultation with faculty and administration at SDSU after a rigorous vetting process.

Second, you seem to be suggesting that SDSU's president and corporate CEOs are somehow equivalent. They are not. Again, an assistant prof at SDSU, after spending anywhere from 5-15 years in grad school (as well as spending a year or two teaching part-time stints until gaining full-time position), starts at approx 60-65K per year. 400K v. 65K is approx a 6 to 1 salary ratio. Compare that with the CEO who makes $5 Million per year v. a Walmart employee who makes 9 bucks an hour. By my math, that approximates a 250 to 1 salary ratio; and this is not to even mention how difficult it is for a family to eke out a bare existence on a 20K wage per year (which doesn't include time off for sickness, doctor's appts, children's sickness, etc.). And so you want to liken the college pres to a corporate CEO? On what possible distorted standard?

The ACA health care law? Don't know how this fits other than that you're attempting to deflect attention away from the idiocy of some of the prior positions you've been taking.... But what about it? The health care law is going to provide some relief for those who occupy the lowest rungs of the economic ladder. I would have liked to have seen the law stipulate a single-payer arrangement; but your heroic right-wing, corporate lapdog GOP, combined with corporate financed propaganda (see Fox News), made passage of a law having greater teeth a virtual impossibility. Obama and a large majority of Dems in congress took what they could get. Admittedly, it wasn't all that much, but it does represent progress; just listen to each and every reactionary GOP pres candidate talking about how they want to repeal it (including the fork-tongued Romney).

Finally, Fat Kath notes that "the Obama administration's signature legislative achievement provides little incentive for employers to cover workers who are not full-time staff." But of course. See above paragraph. The large corporation -- see, for example, WalMart -- is interested only in profit and so sees fit to employ part-timers who they don't have to assist with benefits. A democratic- and socialist-enlightened society would not defer to the Fat Cat corporations who in this country are "free" to engage in such vicious exploitation of human beings. Rather, in a democratic socialist society, the well-being of the collective overrides corporate "freedom." An enlightened democratic and socialist society would not stand for 1 in 5 children going to bed hungry at night; would not stand for a substantial minority of its children going without adequate dental care (think about how difficult it must be for low-income kids to study hard and do well in school while nursing a toothache or two or three).

These top 1% of the wealthy whose boots you lick are rarely producers in the mold of Jobs or Gates. In fact, they are far more often hedgefund managers, real estate moguls, lawyers for the rich -- parasites all who suck the blood from America's workers in order to hoard millions upon millions for themselves and their progeny. See Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman's opinion piece on the upper 0.1 percent in today's NYTimes.



Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 25, 2011 at 6:59 am

Gollum, My point on San Diego's president (thanks for the correction) was not that he made too much, of course, but that this generous $100,000 extra, together with all the raises handed to CSU top administrators and after increases to student tuitions which cause their loans to increase (see your debate about inability to pay such outrageous loans), was an improper use of resources and a slap in the face of faculty, who held a one day strike, who were not given promised raises (although administration indicated it was the state's fault). CEOs, by the way, most often (some exceptions are Gates and Jobs) have higher education and spend plenty of time in the trenches learning a given business before becoming the head of a company. The standard then is choice--if we are free to choose, and the people we are talking about know the choices, then all these people, regardless of income, are happy to have achieved their goals.

As to the federal health care plan, it is known that many corporations will at least consider stepping out of this ever increasing benefit because it will cost them less ($2,500 fine per employee rather than $8,000ish [more in the case of some public entities]). What's that line about laws and sausages . . . it's bad law all the way around and from either side of the aisle.

Pay attention to this part because it gets really old repeating it--I know plenty about the 1 in 5 and toothaches and not being able to make it on $20,000.

I'm not defending (or licking boots thereof) those who actually _do_ "suck the blood from America's workers" (such drama!). But really, I think the majority of Americans, no matter their income, get up and go to work and do their jobs and save for their progeny. There may be a few that get up and go to work and say, "who can I plunder today," but not many. Buffett and Gates could fit your scenario--making millions off the backs of the little people. Of course, they have a foundation--private--that will redistribute their wealth, but only as the foundation sees fit. I think it is wonderful that (a) they are doing it, and (b) they have the freedom to choose where to spend it.

I'll see if I can get the article on line.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 25, 2011 at 7:10 am

For those who want to read the Krugman piece: Web Link


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 25, 2011 at 7:43 am

First you have to be able to buy this line: "After all, in an idealized market economy each worker would be paid exactly what he or she contributes to the economy by choosing to work, no more and no less." So, in this idealized market, let's say those that make these determinations decide a professor, say, is worth $200,000 . . . and that's that. Or would someone(s) determine to increase that on some annual basis? And what about the non-performing worker; "sorry, you're outta here"? No need for unions then. How will highly valued stay at home parents be compensated?

"One recent analysis found that 43 percent of the super-elite are executives at nonfinancial companies, 18 percent are in finance and another 12 percent are lawyers or in real estate." Here I'll focus on lawyers as the easiest example--someone needs a lawyer, maybe even the best lawyer. Said lawyer has a going rate; person in need agrees to pay the rate. A willing contract between two people. The only _value_ is between those two people, and they have agreed on the exchange.

"Executive pay, which has skyrocketed over the past generation, is famously set by boards of directors appointed by the very people whose pay they determine; poorly performing C.E.O.'s still get lavish paychecks, and even failed and fired executives often receive millions as they go out the door." This is a contract between shareholders and the board. Separately, some of the biggest shareholders in these cases are STRS or PERS and/or other pensions. And lavish paychecks to failed and fired executives are given in the public sector as well (Bell, California may be an example). Fire the boards, you have the power.

"As the Bank of England's director for financial stability recently put it, seemingly high returns before the crisis simply reflected increased risk-taking — risk that was mostly borne not by the wheeler-dealers themselves but either by nave investors or by taxpayers, who ended up holding the bag when it all went wrong." I agree taxpayers paid the price (the government said it was necessary) for little boys playing with fire. Is this also saying GM should have been allowed to go under, and although there is _value_ to society in being able to buy a car, at least we still have Ford (who didn't take the bailout)? And the workers at GM would pay the price for no longer providing value to the society?

"So should the 99.9 percent hate the 0.1 percent? No, not at all. But they should ignore all the propaganda about 'job creators' and demand that the super-elite pay substantially more in taxes." There it is again, "substantially more"--just what is that number and how will the money be used?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 25, 2011 at 8:17 am

I should correct myself to recognize that this market economy already determines what a person's contribution is worth based on internal and external pressures on the organization. My questions are for whether Jiaf feels the _idealized market economy_ applies to everyone or just the top earners.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 25, 2011 at 9:50 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Yep, you won't be seeing Jane railing against certain abuses because she's disingenuous and benefits directly from those abuses. It is impossible for Jane to honestly defend university administration salaries and raises when students are getting hit with increasing tuition and going further into educational debt. Remember, Jane used to be an administrator herself. Too funny that Jane can only call Kathleen names when Kathleen writes in favor of university faculty and students. "I got mine!"

And bringing up Walmart was perfect. Thank you, Jane, for allowing me this opportunity to show once again how disingenuous you are. Walmart is busy in California abusing the initiative system to peal away anti-big-box legislation. But you won't see Jane write about reforming the initiative system to prevent special interest abuses as I have here in the past, no! Because reforming the California initiative system would also affect Jane's own special interest from benefiting from it. Instead, you're supposed to all go out and protest Walmart and distract yourself away from the root cause. "I got mine!"


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 25, 2011 at 10:05 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Jane wrote: "The health care law is going to provide some relief for those who occupy the lowest rungs of the economic ladder. I would have liked to have seen the law stipulate a single-payer arrangement; but your heroic right-wing, corporate lapdog GOP, combined with corporate financed propaganda (see Fox News), made passage of a law having greater teeth a virtual impossibility. Obama and a large majority of Dems in congress took what they could get."

You are all sorts of comedy, Jane! Please explain how Obamacare is going to provide relief when Obama's favorite unions all got waivers from taxation of their cadillac health plans. We witnessed the creation of another political favor in the system of crony capitalism. You can be sure that another president will return the favor. I know I won't see _you_ complaining about it. "I got mine!"

And ignore that I have also advocated here for some sort of single-payer universal system because it wouldn't fit your "dark v. light" mold.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 25, 2011 at 10:13 am

Stacey is a registered user.

I didn't see anyone mob Michael Moore at Occupy and demand that he redistribute his money. "Boot licking"


Posted by Brad, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 25, 2011 at 11:30 am

Paul Krugman!!!????

I didn't know ANYONE actually still believes anything this failed Keynesian writes!


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 25, 2011 at 11:56 am

Stacey is a registered user.

"Union pension funds sue J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, others over MF Global statements" Web Link

Jane, when is your pension fund going to start suing over Wall St. abuses? Oh yea, I forgot. Your losses are covered by taxpayers. Thanks for socializing your gambler's pension risk while keeping all the profits to yourself, just like the "too big to fail" companies. You could care less about the wider problem of retirement security for 100% of Americans. "I got mine."


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 25, 2011 at 4:35 pm

If you take the population of the US, deduct the 24% who are under 18 and the 14% who are 65 and up (generally not wage earners), then multiply it by the .1%, you get about 195,000 people. No matter their net worth, the .1% (and arguably a much larger percentage) can't possibly do enough to take care of the bottom 50% (about 154 million which would include children and those on fixed incomes).

So, Jiaf, the question goes back to government--federal, state, and local--what do _you_ believe those government entities should be doing on behalf of all citizens? Then, who should pay; how much; and by what rules?


Posted by Jiaf, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 25, 2011 at 11:32 pm

Fat Kath asks: "[W]ho should pay; how much; and by what rules?" You would think that a person who believes in democracy wouldn't be so stymied by such questions. Truly. It's almost difficult to believe anyone could feign such stupidity.

Recent polls show that 70+ percent of the populace are in favor of raising taxes on that segment of the rich that is making a yearly income of over $1 million. There are no polls that have asked specifically about taxing the top 10% of the populace that owns 80% of the wealth, at least that I know of. My strong hunch, however, is that with publicization of the stats themselves, and a breakdown on how that 80% of wealth is hoarded and used in ways that are antithetical to the needs of the populace, would garner a substantial majority in favor of full-scale redistribution of wealth.

But see, the reason why Fat Kath and her Quixotesque daughter, Stacey, have such a difficult time with the wealth redistribution question is because neither one of them believes in democracy.
They don't trust that questions of ungodly wealth can be decided by a democratic people.

Instead, they'd prefer the wealthy to decide what they want to do with the fruits of their exploitation. Fat Kath says about her Fat Kat idols: "Buffett and Gates [are] ... making millions off the backs of the little people. Of course, they have a foundation--private--that will redistribute their wealth, but only as the foundation sees fit. I think it is wonderful that (a) they are doing it, and (b) they have the freedom to choose where to spend it." Did you catch that. She thinks it wonderful! Well, there you have it: the fascist core at the center of all right-wing thinking. Antidemocrats such as Fat Kath and her doting daughter would prefer to see corporations decide where wealth is spent. And the democratic populace? Perish the thought! Fat Kath thinks that Fat Cat control of 4/5's of the nation's wealth is absolutely "wonderful." And of course it follows that the two fascist girls, mom and daughter, prefer to have corporations decide how much they want to tap of our natural resources, how much they want to pollute our air and water and ground soil, and whether the CEO should earn a salary at a 250 to 1 ratio with their typical workers or at a rate of 350 to 1.

Well Fat Kath doesn't seem to grasp that were the democratic populace to decide where labor-produced -- working-class produced -- wealth should be spent, we'd probably have a decent super train between San Diego and the Bay Area by now. We might be well on the way to reducing global warming. But no, the fascist Fat Kath and star-struck daughter want to see millions upon millions spent on the Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, and a couple dozen other fascist "think" tanks. Or billions spent on lobbying and advertising campaigns that are meant to keep the American public in the dark.

So,in answer to Fat Kath's questions: "Who should pay?" I defer to the American populace to put that matter to a democratic vote. "How much?" I defer to the American populace to put that matter to a democratic vote. "And by what rules?" I defer to democratic deliberative processes that are meant not to suppress voice (a la fascist corporate foundations that spend as they wish) but rather to expand and deepen public voice. Not very difficult concepts, these. Unless, that is, one is enmired pathetically in fascist, right-wing ideological ways of viewing the world.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 26, 2011 at 9:22 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Yep, as expected, no response from Jane about limiting special interest hijacking of the initiative system when invoking democracy. A recent poll found that 90% of Californians believe special interests infect the initiative system and over 70% agreed with specific reforms to it. Democracy for Jane but not for everyone else. Look the other way as Jane's own corporate fascism is free to do as it pleases. "I got mine."

I wonder if the poll Jane references is the same one that found even larger support for closing corporate tax loopholes, you know, the idea that Jane argued against. Closing such loopholes just might make her Wall St. gambler's pension earn less from its corporate investments. Can't have that. "I got mine."

Lastly, Jane doesn't believe in any democracy that allows workers to opt-out of unions. Universal human rights are only as useful to Jane as long as she can exclude the right to not be compelled to join any organization.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 26, 2011 at 10:16 am

Gollum, Those are straightforward questions to get at _your_ beliefs. I didn't ask you to define democracy.

But the poll has been done (probably numerous times): "Sixty-six percent of respondents said that they backed increasing income taxes on individuals earning over $200,000 and families earning at least $250,000, while only 32 percent were opposed." Web Link Of course, no one is calling for a "full-scale redistribution of wealth." And that is because the nation is built on the opportunity to be in the top 50, 10, 1, or .1%.
Here's a survey question for an Occupy gathering: "You've just won $350 million in the powerball lottery; how much will you willing give to each person gathered here today?" We may already have the answer from your story about your young college student who inherited $700,000 from a street person after talking to him and buying him a sandwich. She bought a Lexus, you will recall.

Please provide examples of the antithetical ways wealth is being used. Please provide examples of the exploitations of Buffett (who you lauded for calling for higher taxes) and Gates or any other of the top .1%.

Of course people will vote in their own self interest; they vote as individuals and for themselves, not everyone else.

Careful, Gollum, Buffett and Gates are giving away their personal wealth; no one was talking about corporations. Please explain how you can contribute to how and where these two spend their money.

The rest is just you trying to attribute things to me that I've never said. What CEOs make, remember, is a contract with shareholders via their corporate boards. See STRS.

The super train! The communities this would blast through don't want the super train, particularly Palo Alto, certainly a stronghold for Democrats—you would override them? You don't "defer" at all.

Again, I asked what _you_ think. If you wish to defer to the rest of America, well then who should pay, what should be paid, and by what rules has already been determined by the democratic process by individuals who chose their representatives.


Posted by hoops, a resident of Mohr Park
on Nov 26, 2011 at 11:19 am

Let's just make this simple .Self-interest and greed.Money equals power.Lobbyists.Is there one wealthy person in the top 1% who got there without making their fortune based on the people paying for their services or products.Without the general populace you are not wealthy.Without the general populace you have no police,no military to keep you safe in your 12000 sq.ft mansion.Just pay a little higher taxes and end all of this total b.s.A simple example.....Bill Gates.He started Microsoft.He is wealthy because you and I bought his products and people like you and I made and develpoed his products.He had a great idea but he is penniless without us.It is a juvenile argument but at its core it is the simple truth.Pay a little moe tax and stop all the B.S.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 26, 2011 at 11:56 am

Hoops, So, A makes it; B might buy it; C-P might come to work for A and benefit from stock options; Q-W work in businesses that support A; X might invest in A's or Q-W's stocks on Wall Street; A, C-P, and X might get rich if it's a good enough product; B's purchase inspires another idea or use and B sells it to A or Y (and the process starts all over). Meanwhile, all pay taxes on the income, the capital gains, the interest on savings. A likely pays more than others. Maybe A _should_ pay more (why does over-penalizing success make sense), but nobody went into this blindly from the beginning. Who wouldn't love to have what A has, but how much is more and for what purpose? How will the money be used?

It is a separate issue for those who truly gained through lousy/illegal actions at the expense of taxpayers via bailouts. There hasn't been much if any restitution there.


Posted by Jiaf, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 26, 2011 at 12:28 pm

The GOP's idea of closing tax loopholes is akin to Mitt Romney laying off 1000 workers and calling his action 'restructuring'. Who's fooling whom?

But I digress. Back to the fascist girls. They claim I'm self-centered, but then when I defer to the American public's idea of what counts as fair redistribution of income (e.g., higher taxes on the rich), they cry out for my own personal view. The Fat Kath refers to the top 50% or top 10% as if those are fixed categories. Let me tell you something, Fat Kath. There's a big difference between the top 10% possessing, say, 15% of the nation's wealth and what we have today with the top 10% possessing 80% of the nation's wealth.

Fat Kath seems horrified that a woman who inherited 700 grand from a homeless man the woman had befriended would purchase with it a Lexus. Oh my Gawd! But what the fascist Fat Lady doesn't (can't) comprehend is that the woman who inherited 700 grand did not acquire it through exploitation of others' labor. Big capitalists cannot make their fortunes without standing on the backs of (and crushing) the people they employ. Using military, police, private thugs, and buying off "intellectuals," big capitalists have been able to "normalize" a condition that puts 80% of the wealth in 10% of the population's hands. It is a mainstay of capitalism. Put up a mall, and then make sure that there are low-income apartment bldgs nearby for the minimum wage workers. Capitalist pay their workers only as much as it takes to get the worker to return to work the next day. If a worker produces 1000 widgets per hour, and the capitalist can get by paying the worker for only producing 10 widgets, keeping the profit from 990 widgets for himself, that is what he does. It amounts to capitalist exploitation of labor. Yep, MAYBE the pay for 10 widgets is enough for the worker to barely support a family; maybe not. Point is, in capitalism's systematic exploitation of labor, the capitalist couldn't care less whether the laborer lives or dies (especially when there is another worker to work at bare minimum as replacement). As a democratic socialist, I believe that capitalism should be and can be replaced by democratic means. I think a genuinely democratic society where people are well educated and well informed of facts and have genuine voice will reveal an impetus to move in the direction of socialism.

Socialism is not antithetical to wealth (e.g., owning a Lexus). It _is_ antithetical to an accumulation of wealth based upon human beings' exploitation of other human beings.

One way to move in this direction (there are many, and too numerous to explicate here), is to take John Rawls' redistribution principle seriously. In brief: any policy or program that benefits the wealthiest should be offset by even more benefits going to the poorest. This should amount to a steady narrowing of the gap between rich and poor. In our society, the rich end up paying approximately 8-9% of their income in taxes; the poor end up paying 11% of their income in taxes. An example: we already have a "higher" tax rate for rich. But it needs to be extended much farther than that. No one making subsistance wages should be forced to pay a 7% sales tax on consumer items. Conversely, in order to make up for the lost tax revenue, the wealthy should be forced to pay, say, a 20% sales tax on their purchases. Keeping matters simple, for the sake of argument, a single mother of two earning 22 thousand per year would pay no taxes whatsoever, which would allow her to maximize the 22 thousand for her and her kids. The Fat Kat earning a million per year will have to pay more (as calculated by the 'lost revenue' brought about by tax relief for the poor). Call me crazy, but I do not see a qualitative difference between $1 mill and a 1/2 mill. Nor do I think most Americans would, either.(Most Americans favor an economic distribution system [e.g., Sweden's] where the top 20% of income earners earn 36% of the nation's total income pie. I call this a good start....)

Does this mean _substantially_ higher taxes for the rich -- the 10% that already own 80% of America's wealth? Of course it does. But it also means lowering/eliminating the taxes of those who occupy the lowest rungs of the economic ladder.

Does socialism mean nationalizing all capitalist (exploitative) enterprises? Perhaps. Or perhaps not. If capitalists are willing to forego the unjust profits they take from workers' hides, then no. If capitalists are willing to sell their holdings to the workers who sustain them, then no. Point is: many different options ... all of which would likely ensure that 1 in 5 kids in America will not go to bed hungry. In virtually every scenario, the capitalist would have to relinquish a goodly part of his wealth. Poor thing! But wealth accumulated via exploitation of humans is not a right. It is simply a dollar amount that a democratic nation can decide to distribute in ways that reflect the public will. (And, oh, I can hear the fascist girls, Fat Kath and her cloying-for-attention daughter,Stace, already crying a river at the very thought that the fat kat capitalist might have to sacrifice any part of his bliss. Tsk, tsk.)


Posted by Brad, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 26, 2011 at 12:35 pm

jiaf,
you are too entrenched with your liberal ideals so it is futile debating you.

however, your comment...

"Socialism is not antithetical to wealth (e.g., owning a Lexus). It _is_ antithetical to an accumulation of wealth based upon human beings' exploitation of other human beings."

... is accurate IF you only consider that the Ruling Class (in this case Obama and his cronies) become wealthy under socialism...at the expense of those who are ruled.

BTW: what country has your ideal economic model? what is your benchmark? where has your ideal economic model been successful?

I am waiting with baited breath to hear (largely because all of the experiments in socialism are abject failures...except to those who are of the Ruling Class.






Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 26, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Wait, so if the giver (guy from Minnesota I believe) exploited others in order to leave $700,000, that's okay? And receiving an inheritance, the willing passage of wealth on to others, that's okay? You're imploding.

I'll try to get through the rest of your post . . .


Posted by Jimbo is a fool, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 26, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Brad/Jimbo is too much of a clown to respond to with any seriousness. I've just stated at least three times in recent posts that I am a democratic socialist, yet he persists in calling me a liberal. Conclusion: Brad/Jimbo doesn't know the difference between liberalism and socialism. According to Jimbo the Goof's comic book view of the world, they must both be bad. Hey kids, go to school. Study hard. Look at the 'brain' of Jimbo: that's what happens when you don't do well in school.


Posted by Jiaf, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 26, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Fat Kath assumes the guy from Minnesota who left a young woman 700K when he died could only have gotten that money from exploitation of others. I guess, despite her denials, she knows the capitalist system pretty well. And, obviously, she supports the system and its basis in exploitation. Heck, I guess we need exploitation if the top 1% is to experience what she calls "its bliss," which seems to be Fat Kath's paramount concern.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 26, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Gollum, I said what if--you are still agreeing that one giving their wealth to another was a good thing. Imploding.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 26, 2011 at 2:23 pm

The original questions were asked of you. It was clear. As to the young lady, she took inherited wealth and used her freedom to purchase a Lexus. Good for her! But _she_ made that choice, not a collective, who may have chosen to buy their own Lexuses.

The part about the mall is just so much made up hooey. I wonder how many miles in commutes are made in trains, buses, and automobiles around the Bay Area so people get to where the competitive pay and benefits are.

There is more information readily accessible to all now than ever before; and access to information is a train that won't stop. I'm pretty sure what individuals will then want to know is how best to get a piece of the American pie; not how to earn their piece and give it away to everyone else or even how to take it, unearned, from everyone else. Every person of age already has a genuine voice, it's called a vote. World's shortest book: "Great Soviet Advancements in Society." (You can insert Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea . . . ) Of course it would never be published in your vision as it isn't in everyone's best interest. Go to China and watch the evening news, where the screen goes blank when the topic is not approved.

When you get to a comfortable living without much effort (and in some cases no effort) and a guarantee that standard will never deteriorate, there is no motivation to do more. I grew up in Chicago and saw the "benefits" of US welfare programs.

So a young lady who inherits $700,000 and buys a Lexus, will pay a higher sales tax on her Lexus? And the millionaire who drives a beater or maybe buys a Taurus pays what? Or do you suggest that everyone carry some kind of identification that says they pay 0% or 20%. No one will vote for that. A single mother of two earning $22K already (essentially) recoups sales taxes through the earned income tax credit. Is your suggestion they pay no sales tax and get the earned income tax credit? Ask someone if they would rather earn $500K or $1M, even with higher taxes—can't imagine anyone choosing the lower amount, the extra $500K will add to that individual's (and family's) quality of life.

Please define unjust profits. (Here is a short piece of an interview about greed: Web Link ) And just where are the workers coming up with money to buy the holdings of the capitalists? And then don't the capitalists still make money in the transaction? There are employee stock option plans already, so, hmmm, wealth is being shared. Theoretically, a collective of employees can already go out and buy up all the available stock of their publicly traded employer. In America, the employees of a company can also move across the street and compete with their former employer and even agree to a socialist system within their company. See, you can be a socialist in practice in a capitalist society, but not a capitalist in a socialist society.

Still waiting for you to agree to send a redacted (explanation of the word somewhere above if you forgot) contribution receipt to benefit hungry children for me to match. In this case, use action, not your words.


Posted by Jiaf, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 26, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Hey Fat Kath, if that's all you can muster -- a weak attempt to trip someone up because they bypassed questions of inheritance (among many other things they bypassed for the sake of short attention spans) -- then you really don't have much to say, do you? Permit me to be the first to ask: Anyone surprised? This from a woman who believes it is more important for some (her, Fat Kath) to have the dream of making it rich than for society to eradicate a condition which leaves one in five American children going to bed hungry at night.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 26, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Spoke too soon, eh?

A couple of suggestions for you to put your money where your mouth is: The Weekly's Holiday Fund (there's a coupon in the paper--The Holiday Fund, Pleasanton Weekly, 5506 Sunol Blvd., Suite 100, Pleasanton 94566. Make checks payable to Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund) or give directly to the Open Heart Kitchen. Both are local. www.openhearkitchen.org Be sure to let me know.


Posted by Jiaf, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 26, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Oh, okay, she has more! Fat Kath says: "Ask someone if they would rather earn $500K or $1M, even with higher taxes—can't imagine anyone choosing the lower amount, the extra $500K will add to that individual's (and family's) quality of life." And so there we are fixated on the 'quality of life' of he who makes 500K or 1 million per year. I'm sure the rich appreciate this kind of bootlicker fawning over their need for a quality of life. But I've got a counteridea, Fat Kath. Let's ask the populace whether they'd choose 1 mil or 500K for the Fat Kat.

In the meantime, Fat Kath thinks it's just peachy-keen that the single mother of two making 22K per year gets her earned income tax credit. Fat Kath can't wrap herself around the possibility that, yes, an 'income card' might be distributed throughout society that entitles the poorest fifth of the nation -- who currently pay a greater percentage of their income in taxes than do the rich -- to a sales tax exemption.

Her simplistic idea that we all have effective voice is contained in the idea that we _vote_. Ever see a major election decided by one vote, Kath? Didn't think so. When I say voice, I mean the difference between: one the one hand, an OWS camper screaming at the top of her voice at tall financial bldgs that surround her, built on her labor and standing there to protect and rationalize inhumane hording of wealth among a few; and, on the other hand, one of the Koch brothers who can call up most politicians and get through within a matter of seconds (see Wisconsin Governor), and this not even to mention the hundreds of millions of dollars spent to make sure pols are made to hear the lobbying voice of the wealthy in both ears, day in and day out. Fat Kath can't even see the difference. (Yet, she and her tea baggy ilk rue ACORN and other voter-activist groups. Why? Because they are threatened by poor people having the vote.)

And then she joins arms with the idiot Jimbo and likens democratic socialism with anything authoritarian she can drudge up. Oh, yeah, and cites the anachronistic 19th-century throwback, Milton Friedman, as her own authority. That's the same Milton Friedman who never met a ruthless, blood-lusting dictator he didn't like. (See Chile's Pinochet for a taste of what Fat Kath lusts for in her identification with Friedman.)

My family spent over three hours on Thanksgiving assisting at a Harvest Giveaway of food to impoverished folks. And we try to do similar acts at least a couple of times per month. But I guess that doesn't count in Fat Kath's estimation, because it doesn't translate into a legal form with dollar amounts. How lifelessly pathetic so many in society have become!


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 26, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Gollum, Your original post: "Call me crazy, but I do not see a qualitative difference between $1 mill and a 1/2 mill. Nor do I think most Americans would, either." Yes, they would. Vote a mil or half that for a Fat Cat, based on what? Those votes are available with every shareholders proxy. See STRS.

No one even wants national IDs and you think they will want one that points out they are poor? What are you smoking?

Votes, hey, I come from a state where the dead vote--but only if they are democrats in this case. See first Mayor Daley.

What politicians were being called? Who put them in office? This is a blue state, right? Please define inhumane hoarding of wealth.

Handing out food donated by others is a great way to volunteer. Pulling out your wallet to provide the food is, well, edible (especially because most food banks are asking for food/donations to provide for those in need).


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 26, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Not to skip the Friedman/Pinochet thing--there's more to it than you imply. But just accepting that no individual is perfect (see Clinton, Kennedy, etc.), one easily realizes that their ideas are still valid.


Posted by Patriot, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Kathleen,

I got the email with that Friedman clip today too, and frankly I don't get why people like it that much. Even in this short clip there is much that is doubtful. His claim about major achievements misses things like man's landing on the moon, and plenty of other major scientific breakthroughs.

Don't you find him way too extreme in general. Did you ever see his debates with William F. Buckley Jr. in which Friedman said that wanted to roll back the bank act and securities regulation, eliminating insider trading laws and laws against securities fraud. The guy was way out there.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 26, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Patriot, I didn't get Friedman in an email. Interesting if it is making the rounds; there are longer clips. Grew up in Chicago, so Friedman and Donahue were big at the time. I don't subscribe to everything one person has to say just because some of what they have to say makes sense. But there's also the whole baby, bathwater thing. I actually sat through a presentation by Robert Reich once and thought he had some good things to offer, but can't find much since then where I would agree. Also listened to David Kessler when he headed the FDA (he was addressing new labeling laws to a non-receptive crowd); I was able to talk to him afterwards about the good those labels would do. Easy given that no one else wanted to, of course.

One of the things Friedman discusses in another clip with Donahue is the cycle of poverty being (I paraphrase) caused in part by lousy schools and low minimum wages. He indicates it's a failure of government policies. Still true.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 26, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

"If capitalists are willing to forego the unjust profits they take from workers' hides, then no. If capitalists are willing to sell their holdings to the workers who sustain them, then no."

When Jane writes "capitalist", she excludes herself from the equation. She would never sell her gambler's pension which depends upon the unjust profits she takes from workers' hides. "I got mine!", Jane cries as she tries to rationalize why it's ok for her but no one else.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 26, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Kathleen,

I don't know why you would try to engage in some sort of giving competition with Jane. This disingenuous lady continuously calls you names and refuses to engage in civil debate. You say 1% and she says 10% while she cherry picks data from a poll she doesn't even cite. She can't even talk straight with you. Then she advertises what she supposedly did this Thanksgiving to help the needy, as if that somehow excuses the way she treats people. You're just stroking her narcissism. We all donate and volunteer in our own way and no one needs Jane's approval.


Posted by Brad, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 26, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Note that our 'brilliant' resident democrat socialist JIAF, still has not provided his utopian benchmark country he'd like America to replicate regarding its economic system. Apparently free-market capitalism just doesn't work for him.

So what is it marxist jiaf?

North Korea?
Venezuela?
China?
Other?

???


Posted by Jimbo is a fool, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 27, 2011 at 1:13 am

After the fascist core of the likes of Fat Kath and the Slithery Stace was revealed, they wailed about their critics not revealing what the critics themselves stand for. It's easy to criticize but it's harder to put forward something positive, they both hissed in unison.

So, I openly declared my political leanings, and offered something positive as well. None on the right has any familiarity with redistributive ideas such as John Rawls, nor do they possess the cognitive sophistication to even begin to understand his overall philosophy. And even if they did, it would mean nothing to them because they don't _want_ redistribution (unless it means cutting teachers' pensions). They only want the rich to be able to experience "that bliss" that comes from being rich. Thus, Fat Kath holds up the likes of Milton Friedman, the guy with a mid-19th century economic viewpoint and an undying love for bloodlusting dictators. The Slithering Stace keeps railing about how a democratic socialist cannot be a democratic socialist in a capitalist-fascist society such as we have and that she supports, but does not confront the ideas of democratic socialism with any coherent counter of her own. All either of them have is arguments that resemble a wet tea bag that cannot stand up on its own.

Both the Fat Kath and the Slithering Stace, as this discussion has evolved, reveal increasingly how much they share with the Steves and Jimbo/Brads of the world both in perspective and moral-cognitive capacity. And that, I'm afraid, is the kindest thing to be said about them. Jimbo/Brad doesn't know the difference between N. Korea and Sweden; Fat Kath can't tell the difference between a corporate share-holders' meeting and a democratic populace acting in ways true to democracy. [Duhhhhhh, they both vote, don't they?] Slithering Stace can only chime in with desperate, cloying attempts to appear relevant. Why bother engaging the mythical Jane, she screams, while she herself engages her time and again thereby verifying how Jane's shining light weakens the forces of darkness and all like Stace who slither in its muck.

They say nothing about the plight of impoverished children in this country, because out of moral-cognitive deficiency, which forms the basis of their fascist thought, they can only kiss the boots of the leaders of corporatacracy, and with their eyes glazed over in dollar-signs, talk about how the rich realizing "their bliss" trumps all other concerns. Don't take money from the rich! Only take it from teachers' salaries and pensions! This is what "freedom" is about, they proclaim. We all know better. Much better.


Posted by Jimbo is a fool, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 27, 2011 at 1:19 am

Oh, yeah, and it's typical of the Fat Kath to think that throwing a few bucks at a food kitchen for the homeless is more substantial than actually engaging in volunteer work at the kitchen. Wow. Beyond words.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 27, 2011 at 7:56 am

Jiaf, You are talking about 1 in 5 being _hungry_. I said I thought the volunteering was great--go back and read it. If people don't donate the food, you'd have nothing to hand out and pat yourself on the back about. Wow. Beyond words.

You misstate Friedman and Pinochet; it's easy enough to find. Either way, you want a certain percent of the population to give (everything mostly) to another percentage of the population. I want people to be able to get an education and get their own. Let everyone with an interest in learning but with no ability to pay come to UC Berkeley for _free_. They will have access to "world class professors" who will be opening doors for those who would not otherwise have had the chance. It will never happen because there's no room for anyone who hasn't met all the criteria, including money, to be allowed into this public institution.

Difference between North Korea and Sweden are the degrees of socialism. Good read from a speech by the Prime Minister of Sweden to the London School of Economics: Web Link "The New Swedish Model: A Reform Agenda for Growth and the Environment" Mr. Reinfeldt talks about the growth of 100 years being destroyed in 25 and their shift away from socialism.

I've already noted that I know a lot about the challenges of poverty; you ignore it. No one ever said to me, "They shouldn't have all that." I was raised to understand that no one owed me anything just by mere fact of my being born--I had to earn it.
The local construction worker who wintered in the south on unemployment was cheating. Certain individuals on Wall Street cheated. But, people who worked hard and made a fortune, or even inherited a fortune, owe me nothing. Close loopholes; eliminate deductions; but taking money just because people have it, cheating.



Posted by Brad, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 27, 2011 at 8:08 am

Note to the students reading this that JIAF has STILL NOT provided us with an answer to my question below...
------

What utopian benchmark country would you like America to replicate regarding its economic system. Apparently free-market capitalism just doesn't work for you.

So what is it marxist jiaf?

North Korea?

Venezuela?

China?

Other?
-------

That is because he CANNOT. Instead this slobbering fool provides us with a rambling illogical rant. He probably has a shrine in his home for the Anti-American Noam Chomsky and worships other leftists who are a danger to America.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 27, 2011 at 8:56 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Yep, why bother engaging in a civil debate with Jane? There's little reason to give sincere attention to someone who herself is insincere. Jane's posts become longer, more bizarre, more fictionalized, and further away from addressing her Wall St. gambler's pension and all the other instances of her being disingenuous. Perfect. Her attempts to divert away from the truth couldn't be more transparent.

Jane should go back to doing what she is best at: writing misanthropic characterizations of children and their parents.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 27, 2011 at 9:18 am

Stacey is a registered user.

"The Slithering Stace keeps railing about how a democratic socialist cannot be a democratic socialist in a capitalist-fascist society such as we have and that she supports, but does not confront the ideas of democratic socialism with any coherent counter of her own."

Sorry to burst your narcissistic bubble, Jane, but I've already learned enough from your numerous and overly wordy posts here to know better than to give the serious subjects you want to bring up any serious attention.

You, talking about how capitalists need to give their holdings to the workers, are yourself a capitalist who refuses to give your holdings to the workers. That's REALLY RICH! I could care less if you classify yourself as a democratic socialist. It isn't _I_ who is posting about Monsanto GMO corn. You brought the subject up!


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 27, 2011 at 9:19 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Hey Jane, one word: Greece. I'll let you go figure that one out yourself, but I'm not holding my breath.


Posted by hoops, a resident of Mohr Park
on Nov 27, 2011 at 12:11 pm

I watched Grover N. on 60 Minutes.It almost made me throw up.No wonder there is nothing done about all of these issues.HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY HAVE A CONGRESS GOVERN WITH B.S.LIKE THE NEVER EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE RAISE TAXES PLEDGE.How can any independent thinking intelligent human being sign something so absolute in nature in a rapidly changing world.The taxing job creator argument is so dishonest.Look at the tax rates after WWII when this country was built and became great.Look at them now.End of story.It really is as simple as the people that have the money have the power and will do or say anything to keep it.You can have all your fancy arguments about why it is so hurtful to tax the rich but it is all b.s.They want to make a simple reality complicated and confused to keep their treasure.Gov't wastes an incredible amount of money as well.The public pensions that were created through greed and self interest are really killing us now.It is the same old I got mine b.s. Self interest and greed my friends.Our politicians are so weak and beholden to special interests I see little hope.We are DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY.


Posted by Jiaf, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 27, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Fat Kath plummets into the depths of Jimbo/Brad's idiocy when she states: "Difference between North Korea and Sweden are the degrees of socialism." She is so utterly wrapped up in John Birch Society pablum that she's unable to understand the qualitative difference -- i.e., a difference in kind -- between a democratic socialist nation like Sweden and an authoritarian nation like N. Korea. But, then, given her idolization of Milton Friedman, she doesn't recognize the importance of what kind of political form exists alongside a specific economic form. For Fat Kath, capitalism is great, even if it's headed by a heinous monster like Pinochet; all forms of socialism (even democratic ones) are bad because they take money from the rich. Most literate folks know the difference that Fat Kath doesn't: Sweden's socialism is democratically legitimated; N. Korea is imposed by a tyrant.

Yep, Fat Kath lifted herself up by her own bootstraps. No one helped her. She raised herself without family; she had no teachers as she educated herself outside of the classroom; she only purchased books at private book stores because public libraries are socialist and she didn't want to take anything that was a handout; she never in her life used public roads but rather always walked barefoot through fields and briar patches because she didn't want anyone thinking she was sponging off US taxpayers. And other ridiculous self-centered pap. So, she says, _of course_ she doesn't want to help anyone else. What she earned she's going to keep to do with what _she_ pleases, and the democratic populace's will be damned.

The Slithering Stace continues her confusion. She is so overwrought by the quality of my arguments that she confuses me with "Jane" and someone else who wrote a very compelling post on the horrors of Monsanto. Gotta tell ya, I know nothing about Monsanto. Neither does Stace. But she's so obsessed with my identity, that anyone posting an articulate, well-reasoned post is immediately demonized and called "Jane." What a sad cut-out the Slitherer is. Her confusion continues with her one-word post on Greece -- you know, that European nation in some economic difficulty because the rich have never paid their fair share in taxes. Again, very sad.

I must close off this post now, as the Jimbo/Fat Kath/Stacey triad are now all clamouring that my posts are too wordy. They begin reading and by the 2nd paragraph their heads are set off spinning while they search their brains for a Rush Limbaugh comeback. Got Clown Club?


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 27, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

... Says the poster who keeps responding to my posts addressed to Jane.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 27, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Hoops wrote: "The taxing job creator argument is so dishonest."

You got that right. Jobs are not created NOW.


Posted by Patriot, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Brad,

What is so bad about China? They seem to be doing pretty well lately. You might want to spend some time there. My company does more sales in China than in does in the US.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 27, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Gollum, Once again you twist; turn yourself inside out; pepper your diatribe with lies; and . . . I'm sorry, make what point? Three people with questions are enough to make you leave these posts? Gonna have to remember that.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 27, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Even China understands that a mixed economy is better than communism's central economic planning. They've learned to use capitalism as a weapon and have done so quite well.


Posted by Brad, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 27, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Our resident marxist JIAF continues to dig him/herself a hole.

On a couple occasions s/he has referenced Sweden vs. North Korea and even tho s/he didn't answer my question directly, one can only assume s/he longs for an economic model in America that is similar to Sweden.

Well, Marxist JIAF, you must not be paying much attention to current events in Sweden. It's democrat socialist economic system was an abject failure until recently. It is now turning itself around because of the free market principles it now has adopted.

Web Link

From my scorecard, I asked you a couple times what your utopian economic model is. You swung twice and whiffed. That was strike two. You then puffed up Sweden but didn't acknowledge that its recent successes are BECAUSE of its free market principles. That is a big strike three. You are pathetic.


Posted by Jimbo is a fool, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 27, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Make what _point_? Is it not enough to expose the foolishness of Fat Kath's rich-following-their-bliss-and-the-poor-be-damned brand of libertarian tea bagger nonsense? No, Fat Kath asked for more and I provided it. Problem is, in order to comprehend my points one must be able to draw key distinctions between a democratic socialism, state socialism (N.Korea), and fascist capitalism as promoted by the GOP and the other tea bagger idiocracy. I offered up for discussion John Rawls' redistributive principle; Fat Kath offered the never-saw-a-fascist-dictator-I-didn't-like Milton Friedman. I offer a principle of collective obligation to help uplift the poorest members of society; Fat Kath reminds us time and again of how she pulled _herself_ up by her own bootstraps and then walked in those boots all the way to NoCal from Chicago.

Stacey remains stuck playing the name game. You're really Jane, you're really Mickey, you're really the Monsanto poster, you're really Jiaf. Can't seem to stop the record from replaying in her little head.

And the clown Jimbo/Brad, competing for the crown of Village Idiot, can't tell the difference between a liberal and a democratic socialist, a democratic socialist nation from a totalitarian dictatorship, a democratic socialist from a Marxist. So stuck on level 5 cognitive development (Lawrence Kohlberg), he's unable to differentiate between an idea and a utopia. He tells everyone he's keeping score. As if anyone on these posts could care any less about a single thing he does or says.

My fave, though, is how this triad of clowns ballyhoos the length of my paragraphs. It is as if they've never in their lives read a political treatise ... on anything. "It's no fair!" they seem to be wailing. "You're only able to best us because your sentences are longer than ours!" Or, in Fat Kath's words: "You're verbose!" Oooooh, okay. I can only imagine these three eely little things slithering to wikipedia to learn the comicbook version of Rawls, only to find out that you actually have to have read his 400+ page treatise on "A Theory of Justice" before you can even begin to grasp his arguments. "Too wordy!" they cry out, all three of them.


Posted by Brad, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 27, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Oooooo...John Rawls! Your logic makes perfect sense now! The John Rawls has defined your benchmark utopian political and economic philosophy! Never mind that it has never been implemented or adopted by any country! But yes, let's experiment and start with America!

You and Michael Moore would make good buddies.


Posted by hoops, a resident of Mohr Park
on Nov 27, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Greed and self-interest.It all comes down to that.The rich and the powerful will sell their souls to keep the status quo.It was the same in 1900,1800,1700,1600,1500.......It will always be.Amen.You really do not need deep intellectual arguments to solve the major problems.The answer is so simple and right in front of your faces.Tax reform,debt,SS,medicare.....get rid of all the political b.s.and they are all easily solved with a little bit of sacrifice by all.Greed also of course leads to corruption.In my little pollyannie world it would be so easy to fix these things.We are all just too smart to put aside all the b.s. and get it done.We are destoying our country because we are all idiots.


Posted by Brad, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 27, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Hoopster, focus dude.
The primary Greed occurring is by the democrat party at the State and Federal level. Government cannot grow large enough for them nor their pockets cannot be filled enough. They are confiscating our wealth and then 'redistributing' it to their democrat cronies who will in turn ensure that democrats remain in office.

Take a good look at government greed.

And I submit to you that in the private sector, the main economic driver is not greed...but self-interest which is very different and a win-win for both the consumer and provider.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 27, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Okay Fibber McGee, you said you'd go away. Degrees of socialism; it's still socialism. Please provide examples of _recognized_ fascist capitalistic countries—hint, the US isn't one—and there aren't any. You repeat yourself often. Look up Friedman. No one said the poor be damned, well, it turns out, except for you. If I have personal knowledge of being poor, you rail at me about what you say happened in order to get through it. So when you argue for helping the poor, you mean only the poor _you_ deem worthy. You uplift no one. Imploding.

How about your postings as Lookie Lou and getting shut down for bad behavior?

Gosh, so your posts are visions of utopia and people care what you do or say? Wow. Beyond words. Aeolist. Imploding.


Posted by Patriot, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Brad,

As I said above, the Republicans are just as guilty as the Democrats in causing our financial crisis. The bulk of the redistribution of wealth is happening in the departments of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Treasury (bailouts), and the Federal Reserve (more bailouts). Republicans and Democrats both are behind all of these.


Posted by Jimbo is a fool, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 27, 2011 at 10:45 pm

"Degrees of socialism; it's still socialism." So says Fat Kath. So, again, she equates Sweden with N. Korea. Poorly educated, I would guess.

I don't have to point to a fascist capitalist country. I will, however, point my finger straight at Fat Kath as being an instance of fascist mentality within American capitalism (which does indeed have distinctive fascist elements within it -- such as the Fat Kath and her shared ideology with all her tea bagger minions). Nazi Germany, by the way, was fascist (capitalism-cum-corporatism) and was then harnessed and used by Adolph Hitler under the rubric of national socialism. But Fat Kath, uneducated as to various qualitatively different forms of socialism, will no doubt argue that Nazi Germany wasn't fascist but was SOCIALIST, and then posit that there is no _qualitative_ difference between Nazi Germany and modern day Sweden. Her brash ignorance is appalling.

I don't have to "look up" Milton Friedman, as the Fat Kath recommends. Fat Kath talks about him like he's something she looked up on youtube or something. I don't have to "look him up" because I have read every one of his major works. Fat Kath's advocacy of Friedman I guess comes from that riveting 2-minute piece on youtube that left her so mesmerized.

Fat Kath increasingly gives evidence that she isn't very smart, at all. I'm not making fun of her poverty or anyone else's. But I am very much making fun of her belief that she picked herself up by her own bootstraps. Not that there's anything wrong with attempting to do so; but in fact it is impossible to do. If you want yourself to be picked up by your own bootstraps you're going to have to appeal to someone for assistance. The Fat Kath wants us to believe that she moved from poverty to big-time thanksgiving spender all on her own. The very idea of that is what deserves ridicule. Then, as she uses her own deluded idea of self advancement, and distinguishes it from people who haven't advanced with the same kind of luck she has had, she deserves not only ridicule but scorn.

Hoops, I've got news for you: 1900 was quite different from 1800 which was quite different from 1700 ... well I _hope_ you get my point. Moreover, there is nothing in history to suggest that the rich will always act the same way; nor must they necessarily prevail. Keep talking your simplistic, Republican talking points like overhauling social security and medicare and, like the Fat Kath, you'll be doing the bidding of the rich and powerful and the fascist society towards which they are moving us. You might try reading up on American and European history. I especially recommend you read in the area of collective movements and the impetus towards increased democratization across the globe. If you don't, I fear you're destined to repeat idiotic notions -- like Slithering Stace's naive claim that the tea baggers and OWS are simply different in degree, or Fat Kath's ignorant assertion that the OWS campaigners are "spoiled brats." Such, of course, couldn't be farther from the truth.

Final comment: The only thing in modern history that has kept America from becoming a wholly fascist nation is the Democratic Party and those who comprise it -- workers, unionists, ethnic and racial minority groups, recent immigrants, gays, students, women (especially those with a feminist consciousness), environmentalists, and I'm sure I'm omitting others. Inasmuch as the fascist wing of the populace, led by the GOP and tea baggers, has been having its way over the past 30 years or so, the Dems haven't been as effective in representing their constituents as they had been, say, in the 50s and 60s. But we have currently an extremely interesting popular revolt, nascent socialist, unmistakably anti-fascist, which is urging the left to stand up and give a better showing than they have in recent decades. We live in extremely interesting times.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 27, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

What a load of tripe written by the "I got mine" capitalist. Check out how Jane just dissed all you recent immigrants, women, gays, students, workers, unionists, and ethnic and racial minorities who are not members of the Democratic party. I suppose some people are better than I at determining the quality of tripe. It'll still be tripe.


Posted by Jiaf, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 27, 2011 at 11:36 pm

And once again Stace the tripe expert reveals her sweeping intellect and tells us upon which side of history she stands.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 27, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I'm Jane. I'm superior to you all with my awesomely superior arguments that outclass everyone else here. You can tell how super superior I am because in order to comprehend my arguments, you must have read all the volumes by John Rawls, Max Weber, Karl Marx, Plato, and then some. And even then, none of you will ever be able to understand my superior arguments and it won't be because I can't write coherently. I'm on my side of history and no one else's. I will always trump you through my use of name-calling, misrepresentations, and cherry picking until I'm right. And when I read this I will feign offense that Stacey is using extreme sarcasm against me even though I have used the technique myself. That's how superior I am to you all.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 28, 2011 at 8:32 am

Still degrees of socialism—North Korea on one end and Sweden at the other running away as fast as it can.

Let's make this easy for you—not a tea bagger, not a fascist, the US is certainly not Nazi Germany or headed in that direction. Why the qualifier of "modern day" Sweden; were you making one of your twisted lies turn on yourself, again?

Then you read why Friedman went to Chile.

Well, see, all that jumping around—tell me this isn't mockery of the poor. You wrote: "Yep, Fat Kath lifted herself up by her own bootstraps. No one helped her. She raised herself without family; she had no teachers as she educated herself outside of the classroom; she only purchased books at private book stores because public libraries are socialist and she didn't want to take anything that was a handout; she never in her life used public roads but rather always walked barefoot through fields and briar patches because she didn't want anyone thinking she was sponging off US taxpayers." I was a kid at the time, of course. My family worked and paid taxes, of course. While my parents were able, I went to Catholic schools. And when money was tight, they took on additional jobs. No welfare, no unemployment, no handouts. Libraries and roads are socialist—maybe, by the teeniest _degree_, given your penchant for calling everything socialist to suit your arguments. Did like to run barefoot when I could. And I'm sure if my father met you, he'd have balled up his blue collar, union, Democrat fist (it was Chicago, remember?) and point a finger at you and call you a fool.

Don't hold up the Democrats as saviors. You keep equating hoarding of wealth with fascism, yet we have wealthy Democrats: Kennedys, Rockefellers, Clintons, Gore, Kerry, Harman, Buchanan (FL), Feinstein and getting richer (insider trading isn't insider trading if you are, say, Nancy Pelosi, et al) with friends like billionaires Warren Buffet (although he contributes to a lot of campaigns), George Sorros, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Charles Koch, Kirk Kerkorian, Abigail Johnson, Steven Ballmer, and we could include more from Hollywood. And before you fire up your keyboard, the same lists exist for wealthy Republicans. They _all_, regardless of affiliation, are keeping their powder dry.

Best political cartoon of the weekend (I paraphrase) about the failed Super Committee: "Oh no, we failed, and it's the other side's fault, and now the clock will run out on increased taxes, and _you_ will have to pay the $1.3 trillion."


Posted by steve, a resident of Parkside
on Nov 28, 2011 at 8:52 am

More people would take Jane's arguments seriously if only she_could_figure_out_how_to_use_the_spacebar_instead_of_the_underline_key. It's an ugly soapbox you're standing on, Jane. Go preach your drivel elsewhere. Perhaps the People's Republic of Berkeley, where the over-educated go dfor attention.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 28, 2011 at 9:01 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Kathleen,

You forgot Jon Corzine in that list, the Democratic senator and governor from New Jersey (who some say purchased his own election with his earnings from Wall St.) and lousy risk manager. He epitomizes crony capitalism in the worst way. The guy is proof positive that even utter failures can still win big through successful gaming of the government/business complex to the detriment of everyone else.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 28, 2011 at 9:04 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Maybe Corzine will finally be prosecuted over MF Global. Or maybe he'll reinvent himself and end up on the CalPERS board.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 28, 2011 at 9:14 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Uh oh, Jane isn't going to like this because it's the same as my idiotic idea that the Tea Party and OWS have common interests.

Web Link

"When you see the dollars the banks got, it's hard to make the case these were successful institutions," says Sherrod Brown, a Democratic Senator from Ohio who in 2010 introduced an unsuccessful bill to limit bank size. "This is an issue that can unite the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street. There are lawmakers in both parties who would change their votes now."


Posted by Jimbo is a fool, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 28, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Call themselves whatever they wish, fascist is as fascist does. And I'll pass on any attempt to educate these squawking fascists as to the qualitative differences between democratic socialism and totalitarian state socialism (hint: one embraces democratic politics, the other embraces the jackboot). It truly is impossible on this thread to effectively correct such blind ignorance.

For to be an effective educator, it is best to assume an open mind. If the mind is closed, no amount of reasonable instruction will prove effective. (See, for example, the classical conservative Allan Bloom's commentary in his "Closing of the American Mind." Don't give me Plato, just tell me how to make lots and lots of money!) I think the fascist club of Fat Kath/Slithering Stace/Jimbo-Brad has provided ample demonstration of my point.

Let's see, I've been called a liar by a pompous, narcissistic commentator who is unable to distinguish literal from rhetorical tropes such as metaphor and hyperbole. ("You're lying!!! I never said I walked barefoot from Chicago to No-Cal!!!) I've been called verbose, as my arguments apparently assume too much from the likes of the cognitively stunted fascist club. (See the Fat Kath's inability to analytically distinguish democracy from totalitarianism, or her inability to analytically distinguish a lie from hyperbole, a factual rendition of history from a parody of Brad-the-goofball's 6th-grade level 'effort' to tell us what Thanksgiving is all about.)

The fascists on this thread claim I've read too much, and that what I have read and cite goes beyond the little right-wing, fascist blogs that defines the fascist club's own reading comfort zone. (This really does send a Red Flag up as to what they _really_ think about education.) The fascist-racist Steve (in the US, fascism and racism usually do tend to go hand in hand), unable to enter into the discussion with anything intellectually substantive, can only complain that I tend to use the _underline_ symbol instead of a space bar [???] when attempting to italicize my words. The Slithering Stace offers a rhetorical quip by a US Senator as evidence that her tea bagger friends and OWS share common views -- and this after bemoaning that I engage in 'cherry picking' to support my views.

And there you have it folks! P-town's finest right-wing commentators, fascists one and all. Their everyday comments dominate these threads, and give the impression that the only "civil" discourse worth having must fall within the boundary lines drawn by right-wingers and right-wingers alone. Confronted by ideas that refuse to be so corralled, they resort to every means possible to drown those ideas out. Their last resort has been to criticize the democratic socialist because she's too good of a swimmer.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 28, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Look, I'm Jane!

Fascist is as fascist does but I'll insist that everyone call me a democratic socialist even though capitalist is as capitalist does! I got mine! Pay attention to what I say about qualitative differences and democratic socialism. What? No one wants to afford me any courtesies of civil discourse because I don't afford them the same courtesies? Then you must all be closed minded idiots unable to offer anything intellectually substantive! And don't call me a liar even though I frequently lie about what others say. Kathleen says 1% and I respond 10%! I lie too that they said that I read too much, even though they never really said that. I also lie about the political orientations of others. Even though fascist is as fascist does, I'll ignore any liberal ideas expressed by others, like universal health care. And only I am allowed to cherry pick! Only I am allowed to criticize spelling and grammar, not you! And no I will not thank you for not pointing out when I misspelled "begger" in another thread because I must drown out the opposition. Also, don't call me a liar even though I call everyone an idiot. Only I can use name-calling! Only me! I got mine! Don't call my posts verbose! Padding my arguments with dramatic fluff and name-calling is super superior quality stuff that outclasses everyone!


Posted by hoops, a resident of Mohr Park
on Nov 28, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Brad...Listen to yourself.The same old b.s..Demonize the democrats because all they want to do is take all our money.There are somwe extreme dems who would be happy with a socialist society.But there are some extreme repubs who are worse on the opposite side.So just keep believing the other side is evil and that is what is destroying our country.You say there is not greed in the private sector but only self-interest....which you say is a good thing.So all the million dollar plus bonuses on Wall st.is not greed??All the corp boards lined with other ceo's that establish salaries and bonuses is not greed???The retirement packages are not greed??You do not think the leaders at say Walmart who make millions off the backs of all their lowest wage possible employees is not based on greed.I do.You can go down the line at most...not all...big corps and those at the top make as much as they can and they keep the wages of the people who work for them as low as they can.What constitutes greed to me is simple.Take Walmart as an example.Just maybe if they paid their employees 3 or 4 more dollars an hour and made 50 million instead of 60 million maybe they would care a little more about peoples lives instead of ridiculous levels of wealth.I am of course making up numbers but you get the point.Of course the conservative view is make every penny and keep every penny because it is your right.Survival of the fittest.They lose siight of the fact that there would be no Walmart without there 8 dollar an hour minions.I am not against people being rich.I believe you usually get what you EARN.I am against a system that is so distorted and manipulated to make the rich richer and those in power more powerful.


Posted by hoops, a resident of Mohr Park
on Nov 28, 2011 at 3:30 pm

There are some very well educated people on this thread with of course very different opinions.What strikes me the most reading your comments and attacks upon each other is that you are more concerned with showing how smart you are and your deep intellectual bonafides,that you fail to see the SIMPLE REASONS THESE PROBLEMS EXIST.I will say it again...greed and self interest.The problem is people will not change their basic nature,so these problems will go on forever,or until there is a DIRE SITUATION that puts our very survival as a country at stake.Not very academic,not real deep and I will be ridiculed for my comments...BUT THE SIMPLE SAD TRUTH.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 28, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Your lies become hyperbole only in your rearview mirror.

"Men must choose between the market economy and socialism. They cannot evade deciding between these alternatives by adopting a middle-of-the-road position, whatever name they may give to it." --Ludwig von Mises And from the DSA web site, opening paragraph: "The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is the largest socialist organization in the United States, and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International. DSA's members are building progressive movements for social change while establishing an openly socialist presence in American communities and politics."

"And there you have it folks!"


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 28, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

hoops,

Oh, Jane sees the simple reasons. She just doesn't think that they apply to her, that she's deserving and entitled to reap all of the profits and none of the losses from the risks taken with her gambler's pension.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 28, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Kathleen,

I'm sure George Papandreou has a lot more time on his hands as president of the Socialist International ever since his "leadership" of the Greek debt crisis. Hahahaha!


Posted by Jimbo is a fool, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 28, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Re. Stace. Obsessed much? In fact, she doesn't have a clue what might be my current occupation and whether I'm drawing a pension or not. Since she can't begin to successfully counter my comments and the ideas they express, all she can do is impose a superficial identity upon me and then say there's a contradiction between my ideas and who she (quite mistakenly) says I am. But, truly, I take no offense at her obsession over my identity and her wont to define me not based on what I write but rather on who she wants so desperately to believe I am. For, at base, she is a silly goose who harbors a set of deep fascist beliefs.

Sorry, Hoops, but I cannot agree with you. The issues are complex, and they run deeply. Democratic socialism v. fascism (e.g., the fascist crowd on these posts) rests on quite different assumptions regarding humans and their potentiality to improve society for the betterment of all; rests on quite different views on history and what we are to learn from it; rests on quite different views regarding how to interpret 'reality' and what is to be learned from it. Common sense sometimes can be sensible; at others it can be quite common. Re. the latter, common sense is no more than one possible theoretical perspective. Theorists historically have been about providing alternative perspectives that shed light on how a singular common sense, experience-based theory can tend to shutter out all kinds of complexity and human possibility. Despite the anti-intellectualist leanings of the fascists Fat Kath, Slithering Stace, Jimbo/Brad and rest of the crew, I see many reasons to honor these theorists and their heroic efforts by treating their ideas seriously.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 28, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Aw poor Jane, doesn't like others assuming who she is. But don't let that stop her from assuming everything about everyone else!


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 28, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Remember, only Jane is allowed to be obsessed with other posters. Only Jane is entitled to have her arguments handled with the courtesy of being countered on their own merits without misrepresentation. "I got mine."


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 28, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Hoops, No saints among elected officials that I can see. We can talk about what it takes to get elected and how by the time one make it to D.C. they are beholding to a lot of special interests. A lot of democrats are tied to unions; a lot of Republicans, sadly, are tied to the tea party and/or the religious right. As to corporate greed, as long as a company is publicly held (and even privately held companies face this issue, but we don't get to see it), shareholders have to hold their boards accountable. And big pension funds can go first to start those changes (but then they'd have to live by what they preach). Those who are members of those pension funds can push them in that direction too.

People who broke the law on Wall Street need to pay for those sins. But then, someone in the government has to agree to go after them, and so far all we've seen the government go after them with is our money. I mean that literally, by the way. There were banks, healthy banks, forced to take TARP funds "for the good of the community."

Do you mean retirement packages, such as public pensions, or do you mean exit packages for ousted CEOs? In the first case, where it is actually our money, we haven't got much choice and making a change is nearly impossible. In the latter case, it's back to the shareholders; however, at least there you can choose not buy the company's products. No one at WalMart is forced to work there. Ask them if they want to leave (I understand with the current economy they may need the job). And employees are fighting some of the equity issues from within, as they should.

I hope you don't get ridiculed; only one person out here who starts, enjoys, and ends with ridicule.


Posted by hoops, a resident of Mohr Park
on Nov 28, 2011 at 4:44 pm

I realize I am coming from a world of make-believe but I still believe my point is valid because if you eliminate the greed and self interest from politics and business the problems would have workable solutions..Of course my argument is bordering on saying get rid of all the evil in the world and our problems will be solved.Our politics have almost if not actually gotten to that point.Democrats vs.Republicans ....good vs.evil or evil vs.good depending on your beliefs.So sad.Anyone see 60 Minutes and the story on insider trading by congress.That is the best example I can give about greed and self interest.Disgusting.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 28, 2011 at 4:47 pm

But Gollum, you said you were a retired professor stuck in the, was it anti-intellectual hell?, that is Pleasanton with two college-aged students on the East Coast. Don't tell me you . . . used hyperbole!


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 28, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Hoops, I saw the insider trading piece in the paper. Pelosi is one, Boehner another. Again, no saints on either side of the aisle. OWS and Tea Party members ought to do a million man march on D.C. and tell congress they are all in trouble. They stopped representing all of us a long time ago.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 28, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Hoops,

But, you see, there's qualitative degrees of difference between Congressional insider trading and Wall St. CEO insider trading that you just won't understand because you're a fascist and haven't read any Corzine, a real theorist whose heroic efforts should be honored. LOL!


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 28, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Remember, Pelosi and Corzine are all on the right side of history because they're in the party that keeps fascism out of America and money in their own pockets! That big D next to their title says it all. Boehner's got an R so he's on the dark side.


Posted by Jiaf, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 28, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Hi, everyone, notice me and my leftist rants. I have used the term fascist approx. 50 times since these posts started. But, really, I'm more intelligent (and misguided) than anyone in Pleasanton. No, I'm not insecure at all. I'm so glad you all have noticed me, otherwise I'd have to do some harm to myself. There, I feel so much better....fascists.


Posted by Jimbo is a fool, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 28, 2011 at 8:20 pm

He or she who harbors fascist beliefs, as measured by their words and/or actions, earns the title of fascist. Any pathetic stooge who has nothing of substance to offer and so resorts to calling himself Jiaf is nothing but a mental midget. (But by all means I do hope he'll continue with his antics, as they only indicate the sorry state of the fascists who contribute to these posts and, at least in the stooge's case, a deep-seated desire to be Jimbo is a fool.)

The fascist clownesses Fat Kath and the Slithering Snake continue to offer nothing more than cloying and repeatedly errant stabs at my identity. It is, after all, their obsession. Retired professor? Really? And retired from where? And professor in the US or some other country? Still, unable to discredit my ideas, they can only peck at my heels by surmising one or another identity.

What always absolutely slays me, however, is how these morally and cognitively stunted clowns are unable to even begin to fathom that there are people in this world who have no trouble acting on behalf of the collective good, even if so acting may _seemingly_ contradict their own individual interests. Thus, according to their morally truncated claims, Nancy Pelosi cannot possibly be acting on behalf of working-class people, women, people of color, environmental activists. Why, say the clown sisters? Because Nancy Pelosi is rich. Were the clown sisters in Pelosi's position, of course, their own self interest would have to prevail. Why? Because they are incapable of taking a moral stand that might possibly separate them from what they call the right of the rich to "pursue their bliss." It's enough to turn one's stomach.

What the fascist sisters are unable to comprehend, is that for an individual to act in support of the collective good (e.g., Pelosi, often, though not always) is the highest form of realizing one's own self interest. Of course, since 'self interest' to the Fat Kath and Slithering I-got-mine! Stace means only wealth and wealth alone, they most assuredly have no idea what I am even talking about.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 28, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Ah Jane, you're too funny. You don't like being fed your own medicine. You're like a whiny little kid who pushes everyone around then cries when you get pushed back.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 28, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Scratch that! You're like a whiny little privileged white kid from an affluent family who pushes everyone around then cries when you get pushed back!


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 28, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

The only collective good that Pelosi is acting in is in the corporations' collective good! Remember D-Boxer's ineffective bill to repatriate corporate profits from overseas, you know, the one where the profits ended up in bonuses still and which homeland-only corporations subsidized? They want to do it again (because certainly doing the exact same thing twice and expecting different results is sane?)!

For someone who claims to be a democratic socialist, Jane sure misses the boat when the subject turns to corporate socialism (because she actually benefits from the current system).


Posted by Jiaf, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 28, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Note how the Slithering one does not deny or refute the charge that she is morally and cognitively stunted, that she can think of self interest in no other terms than dollars. That is why her and the other tea baggers, including the I'm-not-a-tea-bagger Fat Kath, have nothing to say about the 1 in 5 children going to bed hungry this evening. If it's a choice between assisting the millions of impoverished in this country or permitting the rich 10% with their 80% of the nation's wealth "to follow their bliss" (Fat Kath's chosen words) the choice for them is simple: bliss trumps starving children. Nice!

In fact, that _is_ the choice the nation faces, but all the fascist sisters can wail about is teachers unions and their pensions, or, in Fat Kath's case, brag about how being a Catholic girl in Chicago she never took a hand-out in her life, calling use of public libraries and highways and receiving assistance from public school-educated doctors and other professions critical to life needs really, truly, not all that significant. I wonder what she'd be saying today if, say, as a 10 year-old, her father had split, and her disabled mother was left to care for Fat Kath and her three siblings without child support. I wonder what she'd be saying today if, in that same unhappy scenario, her mother had 'broken down' and appealed to the state for public (taxpayer) assistance. Guess she'd have to dismiss her mother on account of showing such unwarranted weakness. Better, after all, for her mother to be left to fend on her own; and if she can't make it, well, too bad for her and the kids. That's the price of the rich being able to "follow their bliss," right Fat Kath?

I'm not crying at all about the obsession with my identity. Carry on girls and boys! All the obsession does is underscore the pitiful weakness of what they have to say on a substantive level. No less revealing is the claim by the Slithering one that she's being 'pushed around' in this discussion and the other discussion she obsessively harks back to. In fact, as has been patently obvious since this thread was started, she's unable to muster the validity claims necessary to refute my own. Rather than own up to the weakness of her own position, she terms herself being 'pushed around'. The poor victim, Stace.


Posted by Patriot, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 28, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Stacey,

Thanks for posting that article on the FED bailouts. I sure hope more people read it and maybe hold our politicians responsible.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 28, 2011 at 11:49 pm

All I did was quote what you have claimed as your identity in other posts. Pretty sure none of us care who you really are.

Pelosi is getting richer and hoarding wealth and cheating to accomplish it; you've gone through virtual reams of paper about the evils of hoarding wealth. Imploding.

In the US, you are free to "act in support of the collective good" to achieve "the highest form of realizing one's own self interest" without . . . 'building progressive movements for social change while establishing an openly socialist presence in American communities and politics.'

In other words, spend more time following your own advice. The members of _this_ community are already doing what they can, according to each individual's beliefs and ability. No one here needs your brand of 'education.'


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 29, 2011 at 12:57 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Jane wrote: "Note how the Slithering one does not deny or refute the charge that she is morally and cognitively stunted"

Aw, look at poor Jane. She's still demanding that I satisfy her whims like the whiny little kid and then acts bothered that I don't obey. Excuse me if I don't shed a tear. I have absolutely no obligation to give you any respect. You know the old saying, "Treat others as you wish to be treated." You've earned the treatment you dish out. No one cares about your qualitative degrees of differences or how many books you've read. That's the trouble when you engage in your style of rhetoric: your message gets lost. And for what? Because someone spoke truth to power regarding public pensions. You're a big joke.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 29, 2011 at 1:02 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Jane,

Cash out your Wall St. gambler's pension and feed the 1 in 5 children. Pensions trump starving children!


Posted by Jiaf, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 29, 2011 at 11:35 am

Ewwww. The girls are getting testy! They are unable to offer suitable rejoinder to my substantive claims, but instead can only engage in anti-intellectual blather. (Stacey the blog reader doesn't like books, and given her stunted moral-cognitive level, refuses to admit there can be a difference between quantitative and qualitative difference: it all boils down to money, money, money for her.)

Guess I must have pushed a hot button when I exposed the two fascists as being more interested in rich people "pursuing their bliss" than poor kids going hungry. (Simply look at their constant verbal gyrations in defense of the wealthy top 1% or 10%, and their silence when it comes to the needs of impoverished people.) Yet the pompous narcissistic one presumes to speak for the entire community; and then there's the Slithering One's final quip: "Pensions trump starving children!" Nice. Quite a pair, these two, along with the idiot Jimbo/Brad, they represent a distinctive moral-cognitive inability to distinguish between self interest and the collective good. And then the Slithering One delivers her crushingly uncivil blow: She claims to have no obligation to give me her respect. No respect from a fascist? How will I be able to sleep tonight.

Top 10% of populace owns 80% of the wealth in this country. At the same time, 1 in 5 kids in the United States is at or below poverty line. But let's continue to celebrate the bliss of the rich and dismiss those who persist in pointing to the appalling contradiction. So say the Fat Kath and the Slithering Stace as spokeswomen for the community. Spokeswomen for the local fascist society, more like it.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 29, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I can tell when my button pushing is working on Jane because she increases her use of the word "fascist" and her posts become more full of that dramatic fluff that is wholly irrelevant to anything substantive (which she _always_ tries to pass off as "superior"). But what point is she trying to make? That some posters who she doesn't like are idiots and morally deficient? We all get that already, ad nauseum. But ask yourself, what kind of point is that? The top 10% of the populace own 80% of the wealth and 1 in 5 children in the US are at or below the poverty line (assuming these statistics are even correct in the first place) and all Jane can do is to devote the majority of her posts to writing about how everyone else is an idiot? Wonderful, Jane!


Posted by Jiaf, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 29, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Stace attempts to deflect attention from herself by slithering into the category "everyone is an idiot." Not "everyone," Stace. Just you and a couple of your tea baggy cronies who spew fascist assumptions and beliefs while denying that you do so. So, you really mean to suggest that the statistics I offer may not be correct? That's how you choose to deal with it? But aren't you the Little Miss Internet Girl? Too busy pursuing your own bliss to check out something so fundamentally true and relatively widely circulated? My, you and you alone really are quite a dish!


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 29, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Aw poor, lazy Jane now expects everyone to do her citations for her. Perhaps mommy will swoop in and demand an A for giving your "best effort".


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 29, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Gollum,

The 10 % of the wealthy in this country include (repeat) Pelosi, who is getting richer and hoarding wealth and cheating to accomplish it. The rules and your rants don't apply to those you perceive as being on your side. Those who are able are doing what they can for the 1 in 5. Call Ms. Pelos;, she can pull something from her personal stash rather than out of the pockets of the rest of America.

The only one trying to impose anything on anyone is you. I'd tell you to move where you are more comfortable, but you don't actually live here.

Person most obsessed with wealth: Jiaf: 33 mentions And fascist or fascism: 47 Imploding.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 29, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Ah, the bliss of Michael Moore. LOL!


Posted by Jiaf, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 29, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Counting the number of words in another's postings? No obsession there! What's your identity??? Where do you _really_ live??? Hilarious!!! And since Nance Pelosi and Michael Moore are fat cat richies, so Jiaf's ideas are obviously invalid. These two fascist, bliss-seeking queens are a laugh a minute!!!


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 29, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Look Gollum, the computer can count, and I'm just confirming you are not a member of this community.

Of course your ideas are invalid. There isn't a socialist success story, particularly if measured by the people trapped in it and no matter what modifier you put in front of it. You dismiss rather than engage in a reasoned discussion. You damn opposing views without reason. If others adopt your tone and "writing style," they're getting testy. You excuse fat cat democrats because, hmmm, that's a different kind of wealth. Your best defense is to state how smart you are, and to then run away under cover of name calling. You ridicule the poor, unless you are quoting statistics. You post as if no one will figure out it is you. There is no honesty in anything you present. Piece of work. Imploding.


Posted by Jiaf, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 29, 2011 at 4:32 pm

When the Fat Kath and her counting computer state that I'm "not a member of this community," if they mean I am not a member of the P-town fascist clown club, then they're definitely onto something. When they say they speak for the community, they are correct only with the caveat that 'the community' they refer to is the aforementioned fascist clown club.

Neither Fat Kath nor her counting computer know what they are talking about when they claim that there is no such thing as a socialist success story. Ever read about citizens in self-described democratic socialist states feeling trapped in them? Neither have I. Instead of linking everything democratic and socialist with N. Korea, they might try looking underneath Fat Kath's own big fat nose. For there is quite an impressive array of successful socialist programs operating right here in the United States. These include, for example, public education, public transportation, medicare, "Obamacare" -- hmmmm, sure don't hear those Republican pres candidates talking about repealing "Obamacare" very often anymore, do we? Why not? Because the overwhelming majority of socialist programs in the United States -- many still in a state of imperfection -- have or will have shown themselves to be a distinct advance over what they have or will have replaced.

Over the past century or so, largely on account of progressive workers' unions, minority group activists, women, students, the state has responded to an increasingly enlightened public that recognizes that the principles of democratic socialism are far more preferable than the let-them-eat-cake-or-die ideologies of capitalism-corporatism. Oh, we usually haven't called these progressive principles 'democratic-socialist' because highly financed right-wing propaganda has succeeded in linking anything that is progressive, democratic, and socialist to communism, Marxism, and totalitarianism. See the steady stream of uproariously funny rants by the likes of Jimbo and steve, trapped inside their ignorant little skulls, who are too stupid to even begin to appreciate differences between democratic and socialist ideas, on the one hand, Marxist-Leninist ideas on the other. (Hint: one is motivated by increased democratization, the other by power.) See the likes of the fascist sisters, Fat Kath and Slithering Stace, taking their cues from Fox News and the right-wing, fascist blogosphere and linking up anything socialist with N. Korea and other authoritarian states.

Although a majority of America's populace has learned that progressive, democratic-socialist policies and practices must be called something else than what they are in order to escape the well-financed right-wing's attempts to liken them to Marxism, the contents of those policies and practices are unmistakably socialist in content. The struggle on behalf of democratic socialist principles is ongoing. It takes place on numerous sites that range from street OWS protests, to courtrooms, to local and nat'l elections. The struggle is increasingly between democratic-socialist principles and the ideologies of fascism. The reason why public discourse has recently become so polarized is not because people on both sides have suddenly become uncivil. No, it is because the struggle has become increasingly more stark. The Democratic Party, always with trepidation, and always needing a spurring from the majority of the populace, represents saving those democratic-socialist laws and policies that already exist, and promoting those that inevitably must (and will) exist -- such as eradicating the inhuman disparity of wealth between the Fat Kath's "blissful rich" and the majority of working-class peoples in this nation. Those siding with the right, ever richly rewarded by the upper crust that feeds upon the working classes through unfair tax policies and exploitative labor practices, can only squawk and peck away at those who critique the remaining injustices before us.

When pressed, the right-wing fascists begin to show their true colors. Hence the Fat Kath's woefully ignorant: "There isn't a socialist success story, particularly if measured by the people trapped in it [sic] and no matter what modifier you put in front of it." I don't know whether it is sheer stupidity or blind faith she places in the mythological idea of blissfulness that she erroneously associates with being rich. Either way, the statement is laughably wrongheaded ... until, that is, one recognizes the extreme perniciousness that emanates from its core. And the two fascist queens demand respect? Sorry. No can do.


Posted by Brad, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 29, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Kathleen, notice how the slobbering marxist, jiaf, has still not provided us with any examples of countries where his socialist/marxist ideology has been successful.


Posted by Jiaf, a resident of Downtown
on Nov 29, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Brad/Jimbo has just clearly demonstrated that he doesn't know how to read. I don't know that he could have said anything dumber than what he has just stated.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 29, 2011 at 5:33 pm

A lot to get through here; I'll enumerate. (1) Please cite where I "say they speak for the community." (2) "Kath's own big fat nose . . ." It's actually kinda cute. (3) socialist "programs"—not countries as asked for (that is correct by the way). (4) Public education, with some amazing exceptions, is a mess (crumbling under the weight of pension plans for one) and arguably not supposed to be federal. (5) Public transportation, is this your train to San Diego that no one wants? (6) Medicare, please. (7) Obamacare, experiment hasn't been run, but see #6 for a likely outcome. (8) "Progressive workers' unions." I'll let that just settle in all by itself. (9) I read (imagine that) some pieces on how socialists like to co-opt the meanings of progressive and Democratic to lend legitimacy to their 'vision.' (10) We like 'The News Hour' in our house. (12) Loooooong paragraph, but no one here is touting fascism; remember, you use it to make it sound like you have something real to battle. (13) "Saving those democratic-socialist laws and policies" . . . (say this like a sneeze) Pelosi (also feel free to interchange with the likes of Boehner). (14) I am the working class, Bozo (isn't he a clown?). (15) "The statement is laughably wrongheaded." Didn't I mention dismissive? (17) Please cite where I demanded respect, least of which would be from you. Imp., well, you know.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 29, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Oh great... Jane's blessed us with another five paragraphs of dramatic fluff and name-calling to try to prove to us that she is super superior. It is sad to watch a supposed intellectual blind herself with binary groupthink. The whiny little kid is really spittin' mad now. Fabricating the idea that public education and health care are socialist programs only shows, once again, how wrong Jane is.


Posted by Jiaf, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 29, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Not much to go through here. Looks like an attempt to offer some flip, superficial remarks as part of an overall cut-and-run from ideas strategy while at the same time attempting to offer the appearance of saving face.

Re (1): Fat Kath takes on the guise of self-appointed spokesperson and states: "The members of _this_ community are already doing what they can, according to each individual's beliefs and ability. No one here needs your brand of 'education.'" Apparently, she can't recall having written this. Talk about implosion. (2): the nose may or may not be cute -- narcissistic gazing into the mirror too long? -- but it clearly obstructs your ability to see the obvious right in front of your face. (3) yes, democratically established socialist programs. There also are democratic socialist countries (still in their formative stages, such as the Scandinavians). (4) Public education not in the Constitution, and there the Fat Kath goes wearing her tri-pointed tea bagger hat again. (5) public transportation? No, it is the city bus I've taken to and from my workplace at different points in my life that enabled me to live without reliance upon a car. But the Fat Kath will probably say that that form of socialism robs me of the bliss of owning a Hummer (6) "Medicare, please." Nice! ... (8) Can't admit that minimum wage and laws against child labor came from progressive unions' efforts. Oh, that's right, the Fat Kath doesn't care a rat's pitooey for working-class people and their kids, as their needs rank far below the more important interests of the wealthy in "realizing their bliss." [.......] How disappointing. Truly.

Not worth going through the remainder of self-deceptive quips and denials. Too skimpy on ideas, and as per usual, way too Fat on the need to save Kath's face.


Posted by Jiaf, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 29, 2011 at 6:09 pm

The fascist queens really need to get their stories straight. One of them acknowledges that public education and health care are democratically spawned examples of socialist programs and practices, the other one calls any such assertion a fabrication. Why the contradiction? I don't think either knows a whit about what democratic socialism is or the kinds of ideas that legitimate its motives and instantiations.

Spittin' mad? Why then am I laughing so at the idiocy of your posts?


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 29, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I dunno Jane. You tell us why the contradiction. It's your fantasy about Kathleen and I, after all. Fascist clown club members aren't allowed to hold differing views because one might agree with you? Oh poor Jane! You and Kathleen both believe public education to be an invention from socialists. That's exactly what I expect from both of you Leftist Loon Leaguers.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 29, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Jane wrote: "(8) Can't admit that minimum wage and laws against child labor came from progressive unions' efforts. "

The Leftist Loon League is cherry picking again. Let's add some more stuff onto this list.

- Card check
- Loss of secret ballot
- Forced membership or dues
- Hiring hall cronyism
- Pension fund fleecing
- Anti-organizing efforts (Some unions won't allow their own employees to unionize. It's true!)


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 29, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Jane also wrote: "the need to save Kath's face"

Oh, how could I miss it!? LOL! Saying the other is trying to save face is Jane's usual way of signaling that she's trying to save her own face.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 29, 2011 at 7:18 pm

(1) Doesn't make me the spokesperson; it's just a fact. Probably the fact for any community. Read: freedom. (2) Nahhhh. (3) Formative stages and running away. (4) No hats. Doesn't change the truth. (5) Hyperbole; you missed it. (6) Not nice, really. Gonna kill us. (8) Again, born, raised in the working class – many of whom have found their bliss, by the way. It's not exclusive to the rich.

Ooooo, and cherry picking!


Posted by Jiaf, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 29, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Well, there's the Slithering Stace pointing to how beleaguered unions have tightened their ranks against attempts to bust them up. All her supposed critique can do is point to matters that are internal to unions and their democratically elected leadership. Doesn't want to admit that unions have been an extraordinary progressive force in this country and for decades set industry-wide standards for nonunion as well as unionized workers' efforts to extract a fairer wage from capitalist profiteers. If unions are to be critiqued it is because they have been 'too successful', with money-grubbing capitalists going abroad in order to undercut unions' inroads towards getting their workers a fairer wage. (Why do you think companies/corporations spend so much money in order to bust them up?) Her daffy examples, accompanied with silence on union advances, suggests strongly that she's against child labor laws, federally regulated workplace safety regulations, and the minimum wage -- all union achievements. And she talks about freedom. Yeah, freedom for capitalist pigs to exploit human beings for profit.

Then there's Fat Kath's critique of public education. "Crumbling under the weight of pensions," she quips. What a joke. The US socialist public education system is hands down the greatest educational system in the world. Students from all over the world are tripping over themselves to gain admission to US public universities; don't see much of a reverse trend at all. If our socialist public education system still shows room for progress, it is not because of pensions. Rather, it is because of widespread poverty in this country, created and sustained by capitalist power, exploitation, and greed. As study after study shows, with very few exceptions, public schools in relatively wealthy communities are more successful than public schools in economically depressed communities. Why? Because teachers cannot maximize their potentials as teachers without parental cooperation. In economically depressed communities, parental cooperation is considerably harder to elicit, as holding down two jobs, or extreme exhaustion or, yes, extreme depression and attempts to cope with alcohol and drugs, militates strongly against vigilant attendance at parent-teacher meetings. The problem is poverty. That's the dirty little secret that Fat Kath's and Slithering Stace's obsession with teachers' pensions tries to ignore. The fascist right is only too happy to endorse their obsession. You won't hear them talk about a need to eradicate poverty, because that would entail that the rich contribute their fair share for the greater good of society.

Fat Kath claims to be working class. Here are her words: "I am the working class, Bozo." (Note how she feels so comfortable in this context, talking about being working class, hurling a name at those she disagrees with. See? That's what happens when you're aiming upward!) But then she denies her own class roots: "Born, raised in the working class -- many of whom have found their bliss, by the way. It's not exclusive to the rich." If this isn't the saddest case of class denial I have ever seen, I don't know what is. Stats show an extreme unlikelihood that a child born in poverty will go on to succeed in the upper echelons of education; stats show how the typical child's working-class 'success' is that of going an educational rung or half-rung more than his/her parents. That is, the child of working-class high school educated is likely to stop at a high school education; in the event they go on, it is most probable that they will go on to earn an AA or a BA from a working-class university, meant for working-class students, and structured to help working-class students get working-class jobs. In contrast, look at how the class system is stacked in favor of upper class kids. They don't drop out; and they are statistically highly likely to earn post-grad degrees in law, medicine, sciences, business, etc. The class system is so stacked in favor of the rich and to the disadvantage to the poor that it can only revolt anyone who considers it seriously. But there's the fascist Fat Kath telling us to forget about class inequality and its crushing effects upon the working classes because, statistically speaking, once in a (very great) while, there emerges an exception who is able to advance into the world of the wealthy elite. "Many of [the working class] whom have found their bliss[!!!]" What a glop of distorted, untrue gunk she offers.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 29, 2011 at 11:35 pm

Fact—jobs are being cut, K-12 education is struggling, universities are increasing tuitions to cover the pay of administrators, negotiated raises aren't going to faculty (but it's the state's fault), and the predicted necessary increases to these same systems to try to cover PERS and STRS will further cripple the system. Yep, crumbling is accurate. Wealthier school districts are attempting to address the needs of students at risk, disproportionality, and are reaching out to parents of these students. See Ravenswood (East Palo Alto). A good portion of the K-8 population is bused to other districts and there are no public high schools there. Other communities are doing this work. See Oakland, who actually prevents students (after a certain number make it out) from leaving to go to other public and private schools, even though this is the parents' desire. See those who believe a voucher is a threat to the status quo and not an opportunity for the disadvantaged. See the KIPP schools whose demands on the entire family are quite high and the students are succeeding. Watch the coverage that 'The News Hour' is doing (for 18 months I believe) on education, particularly the district in Indiana that has had to allow students to use vouchers or go to neighboring public schools and the kids are succeeding. Learn how to fish, Gollum. And "their fair share" is still undefined (ignoring who already pays the largest share already) and directed only to the giant pot in DC with the hole in the bottom.

Let's see, you start with "Fat Kath" and end with "hurling a name at those she disagrees with." Hyperbole? Irony? An avalanche of insults and I'm the one who should behave. You are back to imploding. I can see you in front of a classroom, "Poor little dear, statistics show you aren't going to make it, so let's not bother, no one expects you to succeed anyway." That's all you know—your supposed intellectual superiority, your reading, your statistics—just ask you. Gollum knows best.

And look at your clear disdain—"working class high school educated . . . working class university . . . for working class students . . . to get working class jobs." Who ever told a kid that? Let's also recall that while military universities are ranked high (and depending on the criteria, first), Gollum let us know how utterly impossible that was. Yes, I see the glop—you keep writing it.

So, let's put all of us out of the misery that is you. Have the last wordsssssssssss, as I'm sure you will, and then put a cork in it (yes, this comes from my working class roots). People will recognize it for the socialist agenda you promote.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 29, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Sorry Kathleen, I can't imagine Jane in front of a classroom. She's the lady who writes misanthropic characterizations of Pleasanton's children on threads that the children will almost certainly read. Great teachers build others up. Jane only tries to knock others down. Maybe that's why she went into administration.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 30, 2011 at 12:45 am

Stacey is a registered user.

"Because teachers cannot maximize their potentials as teachers without parental cooperation."

What nonsense! This statement shows how soft-headed Jane really is. Jane says that individuals cannot maximize their own potentials, that individuals have no ability to advance themselves and overcome obstacles that life throws up. What she's really saying is that some teachers have to work harder than others and oh, how unfair is that?! This is typical statist thinking from someone who is unable to conceive of true freedom of the mind. Parents have nothing to do with how a teacher teaches or reaches out to particular students. Next Jane will be suggesting that the higher achieving students should give their answers to the lower achieving students because it's so unfair that they have to work harder to achieve the same outcome!

Moreover, and contrary to Jane, study after study shows that great teachers are able to overcome any parental disadvantages that a student may have. That isn't to say that the parental role in the education equation should not be questioned. By all means, Jane would find me in agreement with her that schools should address that part of the equation too even though it is only the teacher side of the equation that schools have control over. It is only to say that a great teacher _can_ maximize _a student's potential_ without parental cooperation. It's harder work, sure, but there's teachers proving that it can be done every day.


Posted by Jiaf, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 30, 2011 at 10:56 am

Whoa, notice the feigned outrage and bluster by the fascist twins, Fat Kath and Slithering Stace! The Fat Kath cares nothing about impoverished children; nor does she give two hoots about how poverty negatively impacts children's ability to learn. All she can do is seemingly use tea-bagger cut and paste jobs from the fascist Steve's and Arnold's posts. Public schools are bad. Pensions are out of control. I don't want to pay higher taxes. Blah, blah, blah.

I haven't criticized the Fat Kath's vindictive use of name-calling one bit. What I am saying, which she is apparently too thick to recognize, is that when one adopts a working-class persona, it suddenly becomes much easier to hurl names at one's opponents. She is a living example of this point. But the Fat Kath wants it both ways. She wants to identify with the working class while at the same time dismissing the formidible obstacles imposed upon the working class by the structures and practices of the dominant class ruled social class system. After all, Fat Kath 'made it'! So why should SHE bother fretting about the tens of millions who don't? Not HER problem. After all, she's realizing HER bliss. That's freedom. In a pig's eye it is. That's selfishness in the extreme.

The Slithering Stace suddenly becomes an expert on teaching! Gotta love it, in between bouts of throwing up. The Slitherer ignores the poverty question and directs her wrath toward teachers who she expects to go it alone, irrespective of the student's chronic gum pain, or lack of nourishment, or being psychologically traumatized by parental violence and abuses at home. These are insignificant matters for teachers, the Slitherer assures us. It's the great teacher's task to maximize the potential of each of her 32 students, and this is doable irrespective of the child's helter-skelter home life. Such is the myth she has somewhere swallowed whole and now spews out for us all to witness. Fact is, this snake knows nothing about poverty and nothing about teaching.

A great teacher starts with the reality of existing conditions. If existing conditions -- social class structure, dominated by elite rule -- pose significant barriers, as virtually all social science confirms they do, then the great teacher doesn't ignore the barriers and replace them with some fantasy-feel-good-movie-myth; rather, the great teacher exposes the barriers, shows why they persist, and helps students develop learning and life options that enable them to overcome those barriers. This often means critically dismantling those barriers and replacing them with pathways that lead to the good life. But this creepy crawler, in her home-based, right-wing blog-saturated mythological fantasy world, tells teachers to ignore reality. _PRETEND_ that those obstacles don't exist! And what does she offer as antidote? Nothing. Schools are schools, teachers are teachers, unjust and inhuman social conditions are what they are ... let's talk instead about terrible teachers' unions. The superficiality of her view of teaching and education is matched only by the idiocy that informs it.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 30, 2011 at 11:51 am

(1) "Fat Kath cares nothing about impoverished children; nor does she give two hoots about how poverty negatively impacts children's ability to learn." Please cite.
(2) Worked in public education for 16 years. Don't need to copy Steve or Arnold for my posts.
(3) "I don't want to pay higher taxes." Please cite.
(4) Never lost my roots, I just tend to be polite. As opposed to the aeolist that is you, who name calls because you have no class.
(5) Define "made it." "So why should SHE bother fretting about the tens of millions who don't? Not HER problem." Please cite.
(6) "teachers . . . go it alone, irrespective of the student's chronic gum pain, or lack of nourishment, or being psychologically traumatized by parental violence and abuses at home" or the incompetent tenured teachers who are moved from school to school or the abuses of the Gollum telling them they can't possibly succeed.
(7) "rather, the great teacher exposes the barriers, shows why they persist, and helps students develop learning and life options that enable them to overcome those barriers. This often means critically dismantling those barriers . . ." Double speak. Socialist thinking (dismantling) rather than teaching how to get around, over, or under said barriers. And Gollum's barriers are defined as anything that's in the way of taking what you want from others. The barriers are "dominated by elite rule," but if you tear them down, you can steal from their endeavors and "[replace] them with pathways that lead to the good life." Making them the new elite rule to be torn down . . .

"You turn that big flashing martyr sign on your head up any brighter and you're going to singe off your pointy little moron head." Mary M. Byers


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 30, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

The only one who is suggesting that teachers go it alone and pretend that realities don't exist is Jane. Makes perfect sense. Jane always sticks her head in the sand and pretends her Wall Street gambler's pension realities don't exist. But that's expected of a supposed education expert who can't even get straight whose potential a teacher maximizes and suggests that teachers have no ability to improve their own skills without parental cooperation.

Unbelievable too that Jane tries to disagree with me on something we agree on: that great teachers can maximize a student's potential without parental cooperation (add in universal health care too). She's a divisive person and cares little for solving problems beyond what benefits herself. She's the exact reason why we're in such trouble in America. We need leaders who can make common cause, not leaders who only spend their time making special interest cause.


Posted by Jiaf, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 30, 2011 at 10:21 pm

I'm going to have difficulty sleeping tonight after receiving such harsh verbal tongue-lashings from the Fat Kath and Slithering Stacey.

Fat Kath should realize that I don't need to cite anything. Fat Kath and Fat Kath alone has amply demonstrated what a selfish and ideologically restricted goose she is. Neither Fat Kath nor her fascist sidekick knows the first thing about teaching. A great teacher, for example, say, one who has received three teacher of the year awards at two different institutions, does not attempt to help students evade or slip beneath or circumvent real-life barriers. (Students are not mice.) Nor does a great teacher pretend to ignore the extent of those barriers and how formidible they are. A great teacher offers many (often competing) perspectives to students to assist them in developing an understanding of what the real world is like, and offers them knowledge and skills to help them decide how they desire to dismantle barriers along the way toward realizing the good life and its intimate connections with making the world a better place.

Fat Kath says this kind of thinking constitutes a "socialist agenda", and that it's doublespeak. Like I say, what a goose. She doesn't want educators or students even touching those barriers, let alone dismantling them, because so doing would involve things like redistribution of wealth, an elimination of class domination and control, eradicating ignorance and ideological fantasy (see, e.g., the goose in the above posts) and making this world we live in consistent with universal principles of justice and equality. She has been asked repeatedly to consider the disabled single parent with three kids, or the student with chronic tooth decay but whose parents can't afford to take him to the dentist, or the psychologically traumatized student who has an abusive parent at home, or a student whose most nuitritious meal during the day is the pizza she gets served in the school cafeteria. All the tea bagger goose can do is waddle in front of the headlights and talk about preserving rich people's right to experience their own bliss. She lives in an ideational egg, sheltered by a silly ideology that discourages empathy for the downtrodden, impoverished, and oppressed; and she finds her comfort zone writing in cahoots with the great right-wing intellects who populate these threads.

And the Slithering Stace? With each word she writes, it becomes increasingly obvious. She is one very embittered person. Never has she met a public employee's pension that she doesn't dislike. Never has she met a union that she doesn't detest. And as for her claims about teaching? It is apparent she knows nothing about teaching whatsoever and, in fact, shows quite clearly that she doesn't care about kids at all. No, she uses kids, classrooms, and matters educational as a pretense for obsessively railing against the true objects of her hatred: union teachers and the pensions they earn over the course of their careers. Note how she cannot even refer to a critic of her precious the-rich-deserve-all-their-wealth world without becoming entangled in her diatribe against (her fantasy-filled delusion about) the critic's pension. She is fixated on the subject, she is filled with hate, and it is not at all a pretty sight.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 30, 2011 at 11:54 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

"one who has received three teacher of the year awards at two different institutions"

Hi, here's your worthless recognition for being such a great charity worker. Thanks for playing. Sorry you can't afford to live here. We had to give your merit pay to your coworkers, the other 'me-too' unions, the pay-as-you-go retiree health care and your underfunded Wall St. gambler's pension. By the way, we're sorry but we have to let you go because you don't have enough seniority. We hate to give your kids to Henrietta over here, but we have no choice because that's how your union boss, Jane, likes it.

(Yep, that's what Jane gives to those she supposedly stands in solidarity with: framed paper to hang on the wall of the rented apartment. Not surprised to see Jane continue to talk about _public employee_ retirement. There's a retirement security problem for the 99% in this country and the only thing Jane can speak to is her own 10% special interest. "I got mine." And what is with Jane comparing students to mice?! She's one crazy lady! It's too funny that Jane pretends that detailing _how_ a great teacher can help a student overcome their parental disadvantages is in any way disagreeing with me _that_ a great teacher can help a student overcome their parental disadvantages. Must be another one of Jane's super superior outclassing arguments. LOL!)


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 1, 2011 at 6:53 am

I asked you to cite where I've said anything you attribute to me. You can't, unless you twist it to suit your needs. This isn't about evading or slipping; try using the gate or hopping over the fence; there is rarely need for destruction to achieve a goal (see your comments on Thoreau, King, and Gandhi). The good life has limits by your description, because if you become wealthy, you are the enemy or, at a minimum, are to give it all to some agenda you support. I'm sorry about the teacher of the year awards, not because you may have won them, but because of the tremendous waste of time they are for the teacher and other staff members filling out paperwork to prove a great teacher's worth. Mind you, recognizing the best and rewarding them with merit pay and/or better pay and/or the opportunity to share their successful practices with peers is well worth the time. Every school administrator, other teachers, students, and parents already know who the best teachers are.

Redistribution of wealth does not accomplish what you desire. Between the money and the disabled parent with three kids there is a whole lot of bureaucracy--bloated departments full of people checking paperwork. The good news, all those people have pretty good jobs and pensions; the bad news, very little, if any, of the stolen wealth will ever make it to the parent and kids. A perfect example has become the high speed train you support. A lot of jobs temporarily would be created with money that could go to better, more direct use (like education) . . . if there actually was money. An aside, the best of the best in government has determined tomato paste is a vegetable—good thing for the pizza then. You clearly don't know me (or any of the other people you rant about on these posts) given all the false attributions regarding, well, anything. I do what I can for others; always have. If you did, your posts would dwindle to the actual topic at hand.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 1, 2011 at 11:10 am

Imagine, a Republican senator with some good ideas: Web Link

"Meanwhile, direct handouts for millionaires have included $74 million in unemployment checks, $316 million in farm subsidies, $89 million for preservation of ranches and estates, $9 billion in retirement checks and $7.5 million to compensate for damages caused by emergencies to property that should have been insured. Millionaires have even borrowed $16 million in government-backed education loans to attend college since 2007."

Of course, Democrats won't go for cutting farm subsidies or ranch subsidies, and fellow Republicans will find fault too. And it still won't cover all the spending, nor is there any guarantee that these additional revenues won't just fund some new boondoggle.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegseggerh, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 1, 2011 at 11:37 am

Here's another interesting story from today's Chronicle: Web Link

"'Time and time again, rather than protecting the needs of students and California families, the regents and trustees line the pockets of their top executives,' Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, said Wednesday after learning that the pay raises were among the actions taken by the regents in a Monday teleconference protested by students on campuses around the state."


Posted by John, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 1, 2011 at 8:39 pm

How sad that Kathleen now calls teacher recognition awards a waste of time. Merit pay? What a joke! We would all be getting raises for our continued improvements that we have shown every year through more ways than just our test scores. Those raises would go over really well in this town! What a joke your comments continue to be. What a shame you choose to slam our schools with nonstop year round posts of only opinions, stating them as fact. What a shame so many believe you.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 1, 2011 at 10:01 pm

John, I had to work on one in PUSD with a very deserving teacher besieged by paperwork. I'd be happy to help with a parcel tax solely for merit pay, and I think it would go over well. The more who could earn it, the better it is for our students. I don't slam the schools, just the poor management of finances. I try to be very clear about facts vs opinion. I also worked in a district that did not apply for any awards--schools, teachers, etc. It wasn't necessary.


Posted by John, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 1, 2011 at 10:12 pm

What you do is more deceiving Kathleen- you discredit the work of so many here in this district- Ive been reading your vitriol for years now. Followed by the repetitive "who me?" defense or the claims of being attacked. Your comments on class size, teachers judgement on what programs are valuable, seniority, the list goes on and on....these all have been topics you post degrading, disregarding teachers, and frankly showing you are really not in tune with what actually goes on in our classrooms. What a shame, really I dont need to hear your excuses, experience, or lies.... I frankly am beyond sick of what you single handedly have worked tirelessly posting regarding our schools. And you dont even hear yourself, do you, not even when others try to say it nicely.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 1, 2011 at 10:42 pm

No one generally attacks me except Gollum. When I speak about class size (expensive and not likely the most important tool needed given funding shortages) or seniority (not a basis for staff reductions), I do not say Pleasanton has bad teachers or schools. I have often said that teachers and the classroom are where we should start and build out from there, meaning curriculum and program. I've seen what the most dedicated teachers can do. The best teachers, and there are many, have my absolute respect. If it's the parcel tax attempts you speak of, it's all out here somewhere. I felt that specific language was needed, for counselors, or assistant principals, or teachers aids--even CSR, although it is not my personal first choice--and I also said that staff and the community should make those choices. I have many reasons to support our schools and do so with both time and money even now. I was not, clearly, a fan of the previous administration. You can call me if you'd like to talk; don't even have to say who you are.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 2, 2011 at 9:35 am

Stacey is a registered user.

The continual disregard and degrading of taxpayers is absolutely disgusting. We've been footing the bill for years for all manner of government excesses. And now when we have an extreme economic contraction and unemployment numbers of historic proportions while the big government/special interest complex continues to sap our patience, the "I got mine" cries over the mere suggestion of ways to send money to classrooms rather than automatic raises is a big slap in the face at taxpayers. What a shame indeed.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 2, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Interesting opinion about the cost of a college education: Web Link


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