Who’s the socialist?

There is actually only one letter that I plan to “republish” in blockquotes, this one that caught my eye in the 31st of July 2011 edition of the Spokesman-Review. It sets the stage for commentaries on all other letters…

Following the leader

Freedom of choice is one of the most important aspects of humanity.

Resistance to mandates reflects the reluctance of individuals to being told what to do, especially by secular autocrats. Authoritarian governments force their citizens to obey! We rebelled to shed the tyranny of a king.

Arabs are trying to free themselves from tyrants who suppress their ability to think for themselves. The “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and the “Borg” exemplify our fear and revulsion of the loss of individual choice. These are the metaphors for Communism, which we fought for over 50 years.

What would we think of someone who surrendered their freedom of choice to any secular ideologue? Not much! Yet, a man named Grover Norquist has commanded that state and federal legislators, governors and presidential candidates sign his no-tax pledge

Lists of lawmakers who have signed away their freedom to think and choose are available (www.atr.org). Dogmatic beliefs like this are comfortable because they remove any necessity to think.

Thinking is a painful but essential attribute of human beings.

Lemmings are not thinkers. They follow their leader no matter where he is headed. Quo vadis (where are you going) fellow Americans?

David T. Webb

So what would we make of a Rich Buonocore that if anyone dares to criticize the Republican party, or “The TEA Party,” then they must be “liberals” talking about themselves. His published rants (Coeur d’Alene Press 29 July 2011) included Nancy Pelosi and his total ignorance included President Obama. Even further, he proceeds to whine about the voters who are more tuned in to naming the top ten songs but can’t identify who the Vice President is… As this must be the reason why the Dems get into office…

If Mr. Buonocore were truly thinking, major corporations were never “driven out” of the country because Obama became president. But rather, because they received specific favored treatment from the U.S. Government to leave American shores and set up shop where the labor would be cheapest, environmental regs would either not exist or not be enforced, and they wouldn’t have to worry about dealing with pesky unions, pensions, and health care. If hard working Americans (to include the unions) have a hard time finding work, paying bills, etc.; blame it on the elected officials who bought into providing corporate welfare. That’s just one example of letting ideology take the place of doing some real thinking. Oh yes, it is always easier (a la Soviet style) to attack the opposition than look at the facts: GW Bush did relax environmental standards. Republican governors have signed on to anything that proves destructive to unions both public and private. All one has to do is read a newspaper or watch the news. Apparently, ideology has to come with a huge dose of ignorance, even when information is easy to obtain.

Then there is Phil Membury who thinks that people who complain about “the rich” should simply try investing. Then they’d get rich too, I suppose. Well, talk about two letters that work at cross-purposes to one another! If you invest, you get taxed! Then again, if you can’t meet the rent, pay bills, etc.; you couldn’t invest anyway! No use complaining about “the rich” here, they are already living high off the hog on tax breaks, loopholes, subsidies, tax cuts, and probably even federal grants. Let’s just instead bicker and spat about our “dumb” fellow Americans always voting for the “wrong people,” or who are encouraged to turn around and complain (rightly enough) about he kind of people who are certainly beneficiaries of capitalism (a system of distribution of wealth) who are more interested in wealth accumulation with the able assistance of our elected officials. It would never do to deal with that reality.

Then we have Daniel Brannon who’s “My Turn” column demonstrates anew why some people can’t handle the truth when it is expressed to them. Uh, having been born in Idaho and very specifically in Coeur d’Alene, I fail to know exactly what culture (to mean social identity) Idahoans truly have. But, I do know that you can’t confuse “traditions” (which can change with the wind, an influx of people from California into the state, or convincing the people to vote solidly for one party or another) with “culture.” If there is one enduring “tradition” that Idahoans by and large have, it is being insular, radical, bucking tradition (LOL!), and yes, definitely having more than a small dollop of prejudice in the Idahoan gene pool. Anybody who’d push “Christian” this or “Christian” that the moment an artist’s rendition of an ancient Hindu god gets put on Sherman Avenue, is factually bigoted. Facts, aren’t name calling. It reminds me of the SEA-TAC incident of a few years ago, when Lou Dobbs, still on CNN made a big issue of SEA-TAC Airport taking down the Yule trees rather than display the Menorah. And all the attacks by the “Christians” against the Rabbi for wanting a Menorah displayed. Apparently, trying to claim a Judeo-“Christian” tradition is fine politically; but the factual rejection of all things Jewish while embracing all things pagan is the reality. Of Mr. Brannon, I guess ignorance is bliss. But the writer whom Mr. Brannon had gotten rather incensed over did have a point about the lack of culture. Part of any society is the theater and the arts (the statue of Ganesha), our architecture, language, and what we eat. You can’t say that there is much about Idaho that is truly “home grown.” Not even our local Kootenai County Farmers’ Market is “home grown,” but rather, because Farmers’ Markets were showing up across the landscape, let’s try the same idea here. The point being, it was never original. Idahoans didn’t come up with it first. However, it is now a fixture and part of the culture of Kootenai County after more than 20 years. Just like imported Pizza Joints, fast food restaurants, and national chain stores that routinely show up here. But, I most certainly wouldn’t want to build a “social identity” around any of that. Rather, I’d look to history and what makes Idahoans different (especially after a few years of breathing the air or drinking the water). Uhm, the tendency to be “out to lunch” or literally clueless as the above examples show.

Other notables found in the letters columns, include this eye-rolling gem that part of our “debt” has to do with the U.S. refurbishing mosques in China, India, Pakistan, etc. That might just be news to the Muslims who’s understanding of any “assistance” we provide is typically in counter-terrorism. China might have a modicum of Muslims, but it would definitely frown on any material support for them. And Pakistan, where terrorism has immediately targeted a society that can claim western support to include it’s government officials, mosques refurbished by the U.S. (with reference to Obama being a “Muslim” perhaps?); would get blown up.

And finally, Dennis Hinrichsen who on the 31st of July 2011 in the Coeur d’Alene Press, accused President Obama of being an inept class warrior. Which by the way, Mr. Hinrichsen proved to be quite inept in how he put it all together. Precisely, “class” in American society refers not to social status, but rather to one’s (primarily) financial status. The more likely our elected officials are to cater to far wealthier people and major corporations, or the more likely certain types of restaurants, clubs, golf courses, etc. are prepared to cater to such people is because we deem wealth to have prestige. That with wealth, comes the sense of being among the elite. That is the consequence of living in a capitalist system that also, as a democracy, banned aristocracy a long time ago. What Mr. Hinrichsen doesn’t seem to realize is that “class” refers to European origins. Where “class” was indeed based on where you stood in the social hierarchy. If you were born into an aristocratic family, if you have the right political connections, if you have the right religious connections… The sorts of things that “class warriors” such as Karl Marx detested very much. In this country, since we engaged in a lot of work to never have such a social hierarchy to begin with, and produced a society based solely on opportunity, then the application of “class warrior” to the likes of Obama or the Democrats in general, is a real hoot. Ultimately, Mr. Hinrichsen demonstrated the same amount of ignorance and refusal to think, as others who’s views were discussed above. Besides Obama being a wealthy man who’d have to repudiate his own financial standing LOL! Maybe this last author needs to check out a class warrior found in his bible: It is far easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. It is actually Christian to be a “class warrior!”


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