Town Square

Legalizing Internet Gambling

Original post made by Cindy Cross on Aug 20, 2011

Legalizing Internet Gambling by Cindy Cross
A large amount of cash is flooding Sacramento from lobbyists representing Indian tribes and other groups seeking to legalize on-line gambling. This will be the third year since the Federal government banned on-line gambling.
Off shore internet gambling thrived until earlier this year when government prosecutors indicted the top on-line executives brazen enough to ignore the government ban. Even if California voters passed legislation to legalize internet gambling, the state would have to find a legal means of side-stepping the federal ban.
Two bills are currently up for debate; SB-40 by Senator Lou Correa, D-Santa Anna, would only legalize on-line poker, and SB-45 by Senator Rod Wright, D-Inglewood, would legalize all kinds of on-line gambling.
Indian tribes Morongo and San Miguel are the most vocal tribes pressing for passage of either bill. Together, the tribes have paid over a half a million dollars in 2010 and half of 2011 on lobbyist. Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown is a major lobbyist for the Morongo tribe.
Other Indian tribes are unhappy with either bill and have spent over $1.2 million last year to oppose them. They argue that SB-40 and SB-45 do not give them enough opportunity to make money through internet gambling.
Up for grabs are millions of dollars that Indian tribes could reap from on-line gamblers. The state could potentially collect hundreds of millions in needed tax revenues.
Ultimately, if on-line gambling were legalized in California, the revenue would have to come from somewhere. That 'somewhere' would be the thousands of people losing money every day. Gambling addicts happy about how easy it now is to empty their bank accounts into the computer with the slim chance of winning. No more drive to the casino or card room. Imagine gambling from the comfort of home, office, or Starbucks—anywhere with internet access.
The state of the economy is too fragile to risk the financial stability of the middle class. If people want to give their money away, let's not make it so easy for them.


Posted by Tony, a resident of Foothill Farms
on Aug 21, 2011 at 12:43 am

VERY insightful ... for a plagiarist hack.

Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown
on Aug 21, 2011 at 9:56 am

Indian gaming is the biggest theft of our money that has ever been invented. The tribes do not pay taxes, they pay profits out in tax free dividends to anyone with a vague connection to being a member of the tribe. The tribes have their own laws and enforcement, what happens on the reservation stays on the reservations and as sovereign nations our laws do not touch them.
I personally know a fireman (not in Pleasanton) who collected more than a hundred thousand dollars last year alone in tax free money. The tribal members are required to live on the reservation to get that. He does not. His job requires him to live within a certain distance of his city of employment. He does. Great, he lies to the government to get the tax free money, he collects his taxpayer funded salary and he will collect his taxpayer funded retirement at age 50.
Could the system be any more screwed up?
We need to ban Indian gaming with the tax free income, allow internet gambling but tax the HELL out of it. If those fools want to throw away their money, great, increase the tax coffers. Oh yeah, if you ever, even once use internet gaming you forfeit the right to public assistance of ANY kind for life!

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Aug 21, 2011 at 11:06 am


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Aug 21, 2011 at 5:44 pm

I'm outdone by all the jealous bugs that have trouble accepting that indians have a few extra gold coins? All of a sudden indians that live on the rez are ripping your off? duh...

How do you suppose indians died during the westward movement in the US? It tickles me to think that they own a few casinos. What's the problem with private ownership by indians? Pleeeeeeeeeze esplain.

I think that most Americans are ticked off that indians have out slicked them on with ownership of money making casinos. They earn multi-millions and they deserved to keep working and bringing in the CASH! If some of you had your druthers, I have a hunch that you would engage in genocide against indians and I don't mean maybe. yup...most of you will help them disappear off the face of the earth...just like ancestors did. kill, kill, kill...BUSTED!

Plus, what do I care if you know a fireman? dodo bird...

Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown
on Aug 21, 2011 at 5:52 pm

As usual Cholo you miss the point entirely.
This has nothing to do with Indians, or anyone else, owning a money making venture. It has everything to do with them paying no tax on any of the earnings. Not just those on the reservations, anyone who can claim any tenuous connection at all with some tribe stands to get hundreds of thousands of dollars of TAX FREE money. Who do you think subsidizes that?
Stupid, just plain stupid.

Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown
on Aug 21, 2011 at 10:53 pm

You are a moron if you think that I do not advocate taxing the catholic church. All churches. That was not part of this discussion. This has nothing to do with who has the most money. In spite of your erroneous assumptions, I have more than enough money to live out my life and then some. This is a matter of what is right and what is wrong.

Posted by Silvio, a resident of Downtown
on Aug 22, 2011 at 10:51 am

Since GE and most other corporations didn't pay any taxes this year, why put the onus on Native Americans? Hint: More racism from the right-wing skinhead tea party crowd.

Posted by Neighbor, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Aug 22, 2011 at 12:17 pm

to Silvio - I rather doubted your contention that GE hadn't paid any taxes this year to I looked at their current Annual Report. Contrary to what you claim, GE paid $2.7 Billion dollars in taxes for 2010.

Posted by Neighbor, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Aug 22, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Oops - should have read: I looked...

Posted by Pablo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2011 at 3:34 pm

47% of americans and 40% eligible california pay zero income tax so what are you thoughts on the fairness of that?

Posted by Gerry, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Aug 22, 2011 at 7:12 pm

@ Neighbor,

Neighbor is either an idiot or he/she's intentionally lying. GE made 14 billion in profits in 2010; 5.4 billion in profits in their US operations.

GE paid ZERO income taxes in 2010. They DID pay 2.7 billion in lobbying efforts, which apparently Neighbor thinks is the same as paying taxes.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 22, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Does anyone here have anything to back up their claims about GE's taxes either for or against? From what I could find, the IRS was mighty happy in 2006 when GE e-filed their 24,000 page Federal return. It's difficult to audit such a huge return, which appears to be part of what the so-called "tax benefit" is. Also, doesn't FICA count as a tax?

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Aug 22, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Does anybody have the exact amount of $$$$$$$$$$$$ the Roman Catholic Church paid in income taxes in 2010?

just need of some posters to blow a fuse...

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Aug 22, 2011 at 8:20 pm

American Indians Pay Taxes: Web Link

This is basic information that may be of interest.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Aug 22, 2011 at 8:25 pm

A bill to Tax the Roman Catholic Church: Web Link

I hope that this doesn't give some of the angry posters that we may be on the same page...tee hee hee, tee hee hee...

Posted by Neighbor, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Aug 22, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Gerry - not sure why you feel you need for name-calling - but you can see page 35 of the GE 2010 Annual Report yourself and see the $2.7 billion tax figure. It's certainly possible that I'm misreading it but I don't believe so. If you think I am I'd be intereested in hearing your interpretation. Google GE Annual Report and that will take you to it.

Posted by Gerry, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Aug 22, 2011 at 11:49 pm

There are about 65 million sites, many of which show indisputable evidence that GE did NOT pay income taxes in 2010. I shouldn't have to tell people this, though I suspect they're 'playing dumb', but a quick look-see at Google -- GE taxes in 2010 -- offers up a rather long list of sources.

I do not believe GE report, which doesn't indicate how much of its initial taxes where RETURNED at end of year.

Why, too, the surprise, when MOST large corps pay little or no income taxes? But of course why would this be interesting when a teacher is making 80 grand without health benefits, right? Or when Native American casinos, located on sovereign territory, doesn't pay tax? The right-wing witch hunters are all about scapegoating the easy targets, while the big corps and the rich continue to fleece the public.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 23, 2011 at 8:51 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Ah yes, the sixty-five million or so blogs all copying, pasting and cross-linking the same spin on GE yet not one talks about online gambling or Native American casinos. When Silvio writes "any taxes", let's stick to talking about "any taxes" and not further the spin by writing "income taxes".

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 23, 2011 at 8:52 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Not one credible news source has any follow-up on GE's taxes past April. They're just as confused as the rest of us on what the truth actually is.

Posted by Yet Another Witch Hunter, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 23, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Why bother with all the reports to the effect that GE and other large corps aren't paying taxes? 65 million reports to that effect? They all draw upon one another, so they must be invalid. Heck nobody knows! I mean nobody! And I'm too lazy to find out, except to invalidate all the media reports which GE didn't bother to refute.

Forget about it. What's more interesting is that there's a certain former school principal with a pension over 100 grand. Now there's something to REALLY sink one's teeth into.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 23, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Looks like someone is upset that their red herring about GE not paying "any taxes" was called out for the spin it is. Why bother with the difference between income taxes, "any taxes", and un-taxable expatriate income when the goal is to deceive?

Posted by Yet Another Witch Hunter, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 23, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Let's see.... Despite reports in NYTimes and other media outlets that GE paid no taxes for 2010, and despite no refutation from GE, there must be SOME tax that GE paid SOMEWHERE. Maybe they paid a property tax somewhere? Or maybe their corporate bigwigs paid sales tax on the hotels they stayed at around the country? I mean I have to come up with SOMETHING to refute the claim that GE paid no taxes. Of course all I have to go on is a bunch of paid-off bloggers who claim the NYTimes and others are wrong, but I mean there must be SOME way of deflecting attention away from GE so that we can refocus on teacher salaries and pensions.

One thing I can do is split a hair: well, maybe GE didn't pay any INCOME taxes, but surely they must have paid SOME taxes. SOMEwhere. Be that as it may, my job is to get people thinking about the corruption of 3rd grade teachers. Corporations? Why, they're people who work hard and deserve every tax deduction their billions and billions in lobbying fees succeed in getting.

So, to summarize. Let's forget about GE, shall we? I mean SOMEWHERE they MUST be paying taxes, right? And what does this have to do with teacher pensions anyway?

I know. I'll accuse the NYTimes of tossing out a red herring. Because SOMEwhere GE must have paid SOME taxes, however miniscule, right? This may SEEM disingenuous on my part. But it isn't. HONEST INJUN.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 23, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

We already know that you can split a hair on what "any taxes" means and still not explain what it has to do with Native Americans or internet gambling. Maybe next you can try to explain the kinds of tax deductions billions and billions in lobbying fees succeed in getting for teachers? Seems like very little for so much money.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 23, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I think it is obvious to most people that GE pays "any" taxes other than income, but what I really am more interested in is what their income tax obligation was for 2010. That's why I asked above if posters here could back up their assertions either for or against.

Here's the "latest" news on the subject from April 13, 2011. Web Link

"we know this for sure that GE hasn't yet filed their tax return, and they have I believe up until September to do so. So the simplest answer is no one knows yet. The most approximate answer is that they expect, so they say, to have what's called a "small positive tax liability," which means when they check the line on the corporate tax form that's filed with the IRS, the number that they owe for taxes. Just like the number when you file your personal income tax returns, there's a number somewhere on the form on the 1040 that says what you owe.
Theoretically, it could mean $10 or it could mean $100 million because for GE, a $150 billion corporation, $100 million is a small sum of money. But we don't know, and they of course haven't yet filed their tax returns."

I'm sure once they file we'll see the story hitting the news again. In other words, don't believe any claims that you read on this and the sixty-five million other sites that say GE paid no taxes.

Posted by Gerry, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Aug 23, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Let's take the high estimate: 100 million. If that is true, that would mean GE is paying a rate of less than 2% on its profits; if it's 100 million on its world-wide profits, then it's less than 1%.

If it is substantially less than 100 million (likely) it means that GE is paying virtually nothing.

Wishful thinking were this fact to be shunted aside; for then we could go back to addressing the really important issues -- like Native American gaming casinos paying no taxes, or teachers' pensions being higher than those of womens shoe salesmen.

Ah yes, Stacey again with her rare acumen which fails to offer her any perspective on big picture.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 23, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Gerry, when you say GE "profits", are you referring to US-taxable income or gross global income? I think everyone here who has ever had to file a federal income tax return knows what an adjusted gross income is. Please be clear so that everyone knows exactly what you're talking about.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 23, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Gerry, try reading further about the issue from the sixty-five million Google search hits on the subject. GE is reporting a net effective tax rate of 7.4% on its US taxable income, up from -10.5% in 2009 and 5.5% in 2008 (but no where near the 15-20% for most of the decade). Trust the experts. GE's ex-IRS tax employees know a lot more than us about its tax return. We'll know more once they actually file and the news outlets get their hands on the data.

Posted by Leland, a resident of Happy Valley
on Aug 24, 2011 at 7:41 am

I agree with Stacey. Corporattions are people too, and before someone starts criticizing GE for not paying its fair share in taxes, they should first know where its CEO stands on whether the Lions or Packers will win the North Central division, and whether Eli Manning is now a better quarterback than Tom Brady. Fact is, GE has always been a stand-up contributor to our nation. The work the company did on the Hudson River is beyond reproach. My Daddy had invested a good deal in GE's operations in Troy, NY until the feds came in with the idea that pollution is more important to them than people. As a person, GE had every reason to claim that its feelings were hurt.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 24, 2011 at 10:12 am

Stacey is a registered user.

To the poster who appropriates fictional characters and thinks they're fooling everyone here,

Someone like Leland, who knows so much about money, having inherited it from his Daddy, certainly could provide more insight about "any" taxes paid by GE in 2010 than the investigative journalists working on the story (how much has NYT's investigative journalism department shrunk?). I bet Leland employs the same tax strategies as GE in order to keep his Daddy's money intact, if only Leland's creator could understand what GE's 7000 tax department employees who were hired away from the IRS know and educate us all on it through more Leland-fiction. I bet Immelt would be more than happy to discuss this all with Leland and set the record straight.

But seriously, don't you ever get tired of writing so much fiction here for so little reward with characters you didn't even bother to invent? How do you keep up with all the different fictional characters you've written under? I know I could never be such a prolific fiction writer such as yourself unless I got paid to do it. It seems like such a waste of time rather than deriving intellectual stimulation and learning opportunities from sincere debate. Is that how you do it, you get paid?

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 24, 2011 at 10:27 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Personally I haven't read any of Ayn Rand so I'm not sure where Leland comes from exactly, but from what I've gathered from reading a lot of references to her work in Robert Anton Wilson books, she seems rather to elevate the "producer" over the "consumer". In that regard, I don't see much difference between her ideas and union goals. John Galt is like his own one-person union going on strike. I also love how both ideal communism and ideal Rand seem to leave no state government structures. Sounds like two sides to the same coin to me.

Posted by Tony, a resident of Spotorno Ranch
on Aug 24, 2011 at 11:12 am

Like Stacey, I haven't read Ayn Rand. And like Stacey I haven't read Marx or Engels or Lenin either. But they're the same, really. Stacey's well-documented nonfictional account is good enough to me. The rest of youse are just spouting fiction. Stacey is the fact-based one.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 24, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Then you should try reading the Communist Manifesto some time. Perhaps you would come to the same conclusions about it as I did long ago.

Posted by Yet Another Witch Hunter, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 24, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Stacey is known for some real doozies, but her Fountainhead-ComManifesto comparison really does take the cake. It's got to rank on top of the top ten list of most ignorant things posted on the PW site.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 24, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Right up there with the claim that GE didn't pay any taxes, eh?

Posted by Yet Another Witch Hunter, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 24, 2011 at 3:46 pm

With one of her several ignorance flanks highly exposed, Stacey resorts to a catty one-liner. This is in keeping with her having read a 70-page propaganda screed, The Communist Manifesto, and, on the basis of the "knowledge" she gained from the reading, comparing it to Ayn Rand who she claims not to have read. I nominate for this year's top Ignorance Award. Once again, get her outside the parameters of a 200-word USA Today story, and she's lost at sea.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 24, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

So you're saying you've read Ayn Rand? Then you can explain John Galt's strike and how it is nothing like a union going on strike. I think that's the real way to expose or refute what someone else writes, discuss the actual subject and provide some reputable sources for your own claims, just like I challenged your claim about GE not paying any taxes.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 24, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I look at it this way. Not everyone has read the Bible, but a lot of people have read either parts of it or have never read it at all and still know something about what is in it. But someone who has actually read the Bible from cover to cover could clarify and explain where someone was being ignorant about its contents. Those who haven't read it could only claim another way being ignorant. So I can only surmise that if I'm ignorant about John Galt's strike, another could actually educate beyond just saying I'm ignorant. No teacher I know would tell a child that they are just being ignorant and then not educate.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 24, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Edit: "could only claim another of being ignorant without it actually being true."

Sort of like how I can't claim that GE did or didn't pay any taxes or didn't pay income taxes and be certain of the truth of that statement when no one has been able to read the income tax return yet.

Posted by Yet Another Witch Hunter, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 24, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Stacey opines: "Not everyone has read the Bible, but a lot of people have read either parts of it or have never read it at all and still know something about what is in it."

Yeah, well that's true, Stace. Where it gets a little bit tedious is when the ignoramus who hasn't read the Bible knocks on one's door in order to proselytize. Or, to extend the analogy, it gets a bit tedious when a poster who doesn't have a clue about either
Ayn Rand or communist thought, purports to say something meaningful about either -- or, in this case, about both. It comes across as sheer ignorance. Sorry. In the former case, I tend to boot the proselytizers down my driveway with an admonishment that they should at least read the book before knocking on my door. In your case, I have tended to call an ignorant statement what it is -- made even more ignorant in the context of you whining about others' fictions.

Stace then continues: "So I can only surmise that if I'm ignorant about John Galt's strike, another could actually educate beyond just saying I'm ignorant." Well, I often don't have the time to tell a proselytizer how the New Testament is different from the Old. By having placed themselves outside of my front door, they've already established themselves as being cognitively deficient and beyond the reach of reason.

Similarly with Stace's claim that John Galt's strike is like a one-member union doing so, and that Ayn Rand's fiction-based antigovt zeal is akin to communism. Galt's strike is based upon selfish individualism. Union strikes are an expression of COLLECTIVE consciousness. So, too, Rand's selfish individualism -- an antiquated idea rooted in 17th century thought -- is opposed to the state because the state is said to impair the selfish individual's will to exploit others anyway he/she desires. Communism, here restricting my comment to Marxist communism, is an expression of an historical movement that is predicated on advanced consciousness -- one by which empathy and the realization that one's self (as producer, consumer, citizen, moral being) is bound up in the Universal of humanness. Rand's individual is I-based; Marx's is we-based. Poor Galt is unable to grasp what those around him seem to have figured out but Galt hasn't -- namely, that there are higher forms of individualism than the selfish variety, ones that enable the individual to co-exist with the recognition that we are all in this together. Marx's individual understands that, being a member of a class system, there is a need to, among other things, explode the myths of 'freedom' and 'individualism' that obscure the reality of class-based power and exploitation. True freedom and individualism are not possible until we get past the restricted consciousness and cognitive deficit of the selfish individualists.

Beyond this I shall not go, because Stacey has demonstrated time and again on these posts that her own consciousness is of the selfish individualist, 17th century variety. Along with the consciousness is attached a cogntiive-moral deficit, as the typical right-winger -- authoritarian, selfish, nonempathetic -- is incapable of thinking in terms beyond that of primitive, selfish individualism.

There ya have it, Stace. Now, let the face-saving begin....

Posted by Gerry, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Aug 24, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Say there, Yet another Witch Hunter. Aren't you throwing pearls before the swine?

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 24, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Yet Another Witch Hunter,

At least now we're getting somewhere with the sincere intellectual stimulation aspect of writing here. Galt's strike and a union strike both derive their source of power from their positions as producers in an economy. I wasn't as clear on that above. Addressing your thoughts about individual vs. collective consciousness, Galt supposedly convinces other producers to join his strike and they do (not all though). Galt's strike, while giving the appearance of that of a selfish individual, in practice becomes the action of a selfish collective who could give a rat's a** about the rest of the society around them. Again, what is the difference?

Notice that I purposely didn't offer my conclusion about the Communist Manifesto from so long ago. My conclusion conforms quite well with what you wrote above. The Manifesto describes an ideal system, a utopia, that would work perfectly _if only_ everyone would behave according to what it says in there. And therein lies the path to tyranny for all ideologies. Communism, Objectivism, Libertarianism, Socialism, Constructivism, all -isms only work for Perfect People. By "Perfect People" I mean an idealized set of human behaviors to which all members of a particular society must conform. You put the same idea as "advanced consciousness ... bound up in the Universal of humanness". Everyone is supposed to obtain this certain "advanced consciousness" and come to a certain realization. _If only!_ There's always a subset of any society that doesn't care about someone's fantasies about an advanced consciousness. There's always a subset, a minority, that will even go out of their way to oppose someone else's Universal whatever. It sounds like BS to them. They're not odd or different or inhuman or immoral or even bad. They are expressing the full range of human behaviors that haven't been reduced to an idealized set. The end result of this mismatch of reality is not a utopia, but tyranny, even by those systems which profess to be non-oppressive. This is why we find that Communism in practice devolved into yet another system of authoritarian oppression. This is also how we can explain certain social policies on the right that try to use the power of government to make people conform to a certain way. It is also why Ayn Rand's state-less society doesn't work, because it only hopes that everyone will want to achieve perfection and not be greedy and exploit others (let's remember that Marx thought eventually that there would be no need for a State after the dictatorship of the proletariat phase of the Revolution).

As RAW put it, if Atlas can shrug and Telemachus can sneeze, why can't Satan repent?

Posted by Yet Another Witch Hunter, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 25, 2011 at 12:41 am

Well Stace,

You make me feel like I just as well should be arguing with steve. In a word, you don't know what you are talking about.

As expected, you're unable to recognize the difference between Galt's selfish individualism and an advanced workers' class consciousness. The one is about maximizing one's self gain; the other is about bringing about a societal form that is predicated on the collective's overcoming of class-based power and systematic exploitation.

You don't recognize the difference because you yourself are mired in selfish individualism and its attendant cognitive deficit. This is best indicated by your inability to recognize Marx's concept of class consciousness as anything but a fantasy. I feel sorry for you. Anything Universal is a mere fantasy, right Stace? Universal human rights is a fantasy, right Stace? (For the only thing that is REAL, in Stacey's world, is what Stacey desires.)

You go on to call Marx's idea of communism "an ideal system," a "utopia." Silly girl. You haven't read Marx; or if you had, your own cognitive deficiencies prohibited you from understanding a pretty straightforward text. I'm not even talking about Marx's serious works -- e.g., Capital. No, I'm talking about the Communist Manifesto which you claim to have read. You must have missed a critical 20 pages or so (out of 75-80), in which Marx distinguishes his idea of communism from the ideas of the utopian socialists and other idealists. You must have missed the overall thrust of the text -- namely, that the idea of communism is a material force, an empirical reality evidenced in workers' class consciousness and practices. "A specter (sic?) is hovering over Europe, and that specter IS communism." That's the first sentence of his little propaganda leaflet, which you either haven't read, or claim to have read but have failed miserably to grasp. No, what you offer instead, is a tired, lame-brained John Birch Society "criticism" of Marx.

Poor Stace appears unable to grasp the idea that people's consciousness can change. Once upon a time, the American idea of individualism was predicated on ownership -- of things, and of people as things. Consciousness changed with the idea that all humans possess a slate of universal rights -- including that of not being enslaved by others. Just a fantasy, right? Just utopian thinking right? Just another form of idealism that is bound to turn into tyranny, right Stace? And so a consciousness predicated on the idea that humans have a universal right to exist without being systematically exploited must simply be a fantasy, right Stace?

Like I stated, your ignorance is showing, and it's not very pretty at all. You seem unable to grasp the difference between a materialist philosophy, based upon a rigorous critique of the logic of capital, and a charicatured character in a pulp fiction novel. Like I say, once out of your 200-word USA Today element, you show yourself to be completely at sea.

What is most sad, in my view, is that it is the likes of you and the other right-wing fruitcakes who seem so desperately to what to influence how my kids are educated. If there is such a thing as dystopia, it consists of massive ignornace of the kind being apparently shamelessly advanced -- without embarassment, mind you! -- by the likes of Stacey and her zany crowd of poorly educated, right-wing know-nothings.

Posted by Yet Another Witch Hunter, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 25, 2011 at 12:47 am

I might add that your emphasis on 'sincere intellectual stimulation' is nothing but failed face-saving blather. Where I come from, sincere intellectual discourse is entered into by people who have something to say, based upon having done some reading beyond wikipedia and John Birch Society leaflets.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 25, 2011 at 9:44 am

Stacey is a registered user.

"Face-saving" would imply that there is something to be saved from, like what one would do after being shown that GE didn't file their income tax return yet and they don't want to abandon their untenable claim. Where I come from, how I was educated, we didn't shop around to find which philosophy we liked enough to hang our hats on. We pulled in ideas from diverse places to challenge our own beliefs and formulate new philosophies. Thus one can set up two seemingly diametrically opposed ideologies, like putting Ayn Rand next to Communism, find the common ground between them both and not be wrong in the sense of making a claim with no factual basis. What I offered is play, an exploration of ideas and the free exchange of them, nothing more.

Moreover, the idea that some anonymous and unverified poster thinks they can stick derogatory labels on another person and call their ideas "exposed, proven wrong, refuted, etc." is laughable at best. Sometimes I too feel like I'm arguing with steve when reading your responses. You both write in the same manner, with name-calling and making grave assumptions about each other and that's why both of you will always be wrong.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 25, 2011 at 10:07 am

Stacey is a registered user.

BTW, I've never read any John Birch Society leaflets either. John Birch Society wasn't taught in high school, which is when I last read the Communist Manifesto. Sounds like a high school kid can come to the same conclusion about it independently.

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

Stacey is a registered user.

Sorry, I made it sound like the Communist Manifesto was taught in high school. It wasn't. We just had a copy laying around.

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

Stacey is a registered user.

Oh, and one more thing. You keep saying something about me wanting to influence how your kid is educated. I've never written anything to that effect. I've never had an issue with what goes on in the classroom and that you keep mistaking someone taking issue with how the district is managed with what goes on inside the classrooms only shows your unwillingness to talk on the same page as everyone else, like talking about income taxes when everyone else is talking about any taxes.

Posted by Just Another Witch Hunter, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 25, 2011 at 11:02 am

Oh, I see, now Stacey claims she was just "playing" with ideas. That she hasn't read Ayn Rand at all, and hasn't read Marx's little Manifesto since high school, but decided to "play" with the ideas of both. Strikes me as par for the course. Upon being pressed, she admits being ignorant about both Rand and Marx. Okay. Sounds like typical right-wing activity. Why bother to read when there are so many corporations to defend, teachers to bash? And thanks for the implicit invitation for readers to not take her or her ideas seriously. Play on with your ignorance, Stacey, play on! Kind of like Palin plays with Paul Revere's ride, or how Bachman plays with slavery and the founding fathers' views. A fact here, a fantastic idea there, play around with them a bit and, zounds!, here we have it!

I'm relieved Stacey isn't influential when it comes to my kids' education. Stacey claims where she was educated she wasn't taught to shop around for a philosophy upon which to hang her hat. Apparently, she wasn't encouraged to acquaint herself with any philosophy whatsoever. I'm thankful that my kids have good teachers who expose them to a good range of philosophies, and have them READ them with the intent to understand them before 'playing' with their ideas.

The best Stacey seems to have offered here is that a New York Times article which stated that GE paid no 2010 taxes may, perhaps (stress on perhaps) is not 100% accurate. Close, but not 100%. The second best she seems to have offered is that anyone who has cited the NYT piece should be embarassed and apparently want to seek to save face. So, Stacey has latched onto a "fact." But, like Palin or Bachman, when it comes to packaging that fact or any others into a coherent idea or set of ideas she's left adrift playing on in her own ignorance, and wailing again and again about how most posters aren't registered by their first names. Now that's a philosophy worth hanging one's hat on!

Well, from my standpoint, I'm happy to have exposed how the know-nothing has nothing to offer except play products created out of the doo-doo found in her own playpen of self-professed ignorance.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 25, 2011 at 11:57 am

Stacey is a registered user.

*sigh* The usual response that can be expected from you... how you've exposed something (but not really, you made it up) then throw in a derogatory label or two. It's like making up stories about Obama being born in Kenya so see, now he's exposed as being unqualified to be President! It's proven! The vast majority of people see through that.

You still haven't answered whether you've read Ayn Rand yourself. I suppose that is because you haven't either. Perhaps you're like me, you've grown to become disinterested in reading fiction.

Posted by Just One More Witch Hunter, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 25, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Talking as if I know something about Ayn Rand, without having read many/all of her novels, really would expose me as something of an intellectual lightweight. Talking as if I know something about Karl Marx, without having read many/most of his writings, really would expose me as something of an intellectual lightweight. Making claims about their similarities/differences without having read with some understanding either of them, would expose any claims I make about either as being, at best, ignorant, perhaps even placing such among the top ten ignoramus doozers on the PW site.

Tell ya what, Stace. Next time you hear Obama state after giving a speech that he didn't mean anything by it, that he was just 'playing with ideas' that he knows nothing about, tell us and I'll be happy to jump aboard the right-wing bandwagon and criticize him. Until then, I'll leave the claims that he isn't an American citizen, and other similar kinds of outlandish nonsense, to Sarah, Michele, yourself, and other right-wing ignoramuses.

Posted by Just Another Witch Hunter, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 25, 2011 at 1:33 pm

p.s. I was assigned to read Ayn Rand's 'Fountainhead' in high school. Being an impressionable 16 years old, the book by Rand as well as her others that I then soon devoured impressed me for about 15 minutes. Soon after, Martin Luther King was shot, and I compared Rand's hero Galt with a real-life King. Upshot: King's life and message left me far more impressed than that of the fictionalized Galt.

My high school did not have us read any of Karl Marx's works. I wish it had. There's a reason why Marx's ideas have resonated with millions for over a century and a half. Those ideas contain some of the best of Kant and Hegel among others, who provided a much richer view of what it means to be human than did the likes of selfish individualists like Thomas Hobbes and John Locke who wrote centuries earlier. I dare say I believe it impossible for anyone to have read Jean Jacques Rousseau, Immanual Kant, Georg WF Hegel, Karl Marx and then find Ayn Rand's ideas to be even remotely plausible. It's like asking someone familiar with the repertoire of Beethovan to come around to the view that Whoopie John's polka offers a better aesthetic alternative.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

So you're old enough to have been in high school when Martin Luther King was assassinated yet you still write in such a manner that most people would consider to be juvenile? Amazing!

Incidentally, there's a reason why Marx's ideas have also been rejected by millions. The experiment has been run and found to be a total failure. Just like Ayn Rand's ideal society.

Posted by Just Another Face Saver, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 25, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Ewww. Snarky Stacey! Instead of professing against a body of ideas Stace has demonstrated she knows nothing about, she might try reading something other than wikipedia and John Birch Society propaganda leaflets. Blaming Marx's ideas for so-called Marxist experiments is like blaming Christ's ideas for the Spanish Inquisition or two centuries of American foreign policy. Stace's ignorance, and her willingness to continue displaying it here, apparently knows no bounds ... and no shame.

She's been given several opportunities to wax eloquent on Rand, Marx, and the ideas of others -- that SHE introduced! -- but she shies away while at the same time pontificating that this site is meant for serious intellectual discussion. The contradiction is priceless. The gal is hilarious!!
Unable to discuss ideas in any informed manner, it all becomes an exercise in attempting to save face with constant allusions to the immaturity of others and, her old fave, that she somehow deserves to be recognized as more credible because she (sometimes?) uses her registered first name.

Constrained by an obvious limitation in reading, restricted by cognitive deficit (see all her failed attempts to address questions re. the self and individualism), she insists that all posters write (in as lame a manner) as she does. Had she read Marx's writings with any seriousness (though she won't/hasn't because he's out of her depth) she might come to appreciate a rich diversity of rhetorical options available to serious writers. Marx, for example, tsk-tsk, had a penchant for calling his political/philosophical opponents unflattering names. On Stace's pinched view, I guess that's reason enough to not read him.

There's a reason there are few if any well-educated, intelligent right wingers on these posts. There's a reason why the current crop of GOP presidential candidates probably couldn't figure amongst themselves how to change a tire let alone run a country. There's a reason why there are so pitifully few right-wingers in academia. There is no intellectual substance to their claims. Only selfish individualism, accompanied with strategic thinking meant to compensate for moral-cognitive failings.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 25, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I said I haven't read Ayn Rand so why on earth would you be giving me opportunities to wax eloquently on her? I was giving you the opportunity to educate rather than ridicule (see post about reading the Bible). Perhaps we should stop trying to give each other opportunities.