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Mr. Stolar might want to brush up on American history PDF Print E-mail

Letter to the Editor:

In a recent letter, Tim Stolar lets us know what he thinks about Barack Obama — that the president has done nothing for the country and, in fact, is attempting to “subjugate us.”

These are pretty strong words, so one would think Mr. Stolar would give us some specifics as to why he believes this to be true. Instead, we are presented with the usual (and quite predictable) Obama-as-Socialist tyrant rhetoric that has stood for analysis among many of the political right.

Stolar offers up his unique version of history to hammer home that message, even citing the great Edmund Burke’s quote about historical memory. Certainly we should all learn from history, but accuracy and fairness need to be a part of that process. And Stolar’s thesis, that the Obama presidency (and his alone) is responsible for the rise of Big Government and a turn toward socialism, does not quite measure up to those standards.

“He has taken freedoms away . . . He has put us deeper in debt,” writes Stolar. But which freedoms, exactly? He does refer to the IRS, National Security Administration (NSA) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as being “rampant with unbelievable power,”?but fails to mention that all of these agencies, and their powers, predate the Obama administration, and even his birth in the case of the IRS and NSA. The TSA, of course, was established by his predecessor. Executive overreach has been at least a potential problem for the entirety of the United States’ history, but Barack Obama is no Richard Nixon, or even George W. Bush.

Mr. Stolar wants us to believe that the national debt and accompanying budget deficits are somehow the sole responsibility of Barack Obama. This completely ignores the history of massive debt increase by both Ronald Reagan and, again, George W. Bush, as well as the reality of the Great Recession which any reputable economist would tell you necessitated greater government spending.

If more Americans are on welfare, it might just be because of the huge job losses suffered at the end of the Bush administration. But no such recognition is forthcoming — nor as well any workable definition of “welfare.” Also missing is an honest admission that current and future budget deficits are, under this administration, falling at the fastest rates in decades.

Moving on, one can only marvel at Stolar’s third-grade treatment of American history. He claims the founders and others came here to escape counties with a “socialist-totalitarian type of government.” It is obvious that, in keeping with the theme, he wants to label as the Socialist subjugator, while completely ignoring any historical reality. While there were certainly repressive monarchies and the remnants of a rigid feudal economic system, socialism, in its modern understanding, did not even exist in the 18th century. The same is true for the existence of the modern-era totalitarian state. His choice of wording reveals a clear ideological intent.

Keeping up with the “escape” theme, he then claims that “those who stayed in their home country were poor, murdered, terrorized and trampled upon.” He contrasts this with the standard idealized notion of an American utopia of unfettered freedom and opportunity.

While this may have been true for some (white males, for instance), it completely ignores a broad sweep of real American history, especially as it pertains to African slavery and Jim Crow, or the brutal treatment (even genocide) of Native Americans. And, of course, it took a constitutional amendment in the 20th century to recognize the right of women to vote.

Mr. Stolar might want to revisit Edmund Burk.

Jeff Laadt

Eagle River

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 2:54 PM


-28 #36 Frank Gabl 2013-07-02 02:30

I’m not looking for the last word so please feel free to take it. But of course, if I feel a stone was left unturned I’ll let you know.

Actually, up until your last paragraph my mind was already formulating a response something along the lines of: Wow, a sliver of common ground; even though we’ll never see anything in common about socialist philosophy of any kind and I don’t necessarily care what the citizens of socialist nations attest to. After all, I grew up in America and what do you think airplanes were invented for anyways?

And, I’m flabbergasted that you would characterize my thoughts over the banning of DDT as “oddly perturbed” or that your emotional response to the extermination of 56.4 million developing lives since Roe v. Wade is one of a sigh and “eyes glazing over” being that you’re all about compassion and, wait for it, the “common good.”

Continued below:
-31 #35 Frank Gabl 2013-07-02 02:28

I mean being conservative and obviously not in the slightest capable of the same level of goodness as my leftist opponents, I don’t understand why going down the “old abortion road” and related videos, has made my eyes tear up even once, let alone the many times it has. Weird.

Finally, please don’t tell Tim that I said this but he’s really thin-skinned. You merely likened his treatment of American history to that of a third-grader when in the past you’ve implied that I was a racist and a conspiracy theorist, the honorable doctor (I made up the honorable part) called me a liar and that I was calling for an armed revolution (that’s your jobs) and a certain professor and former shaper of young minds - besides calling me a racist like you - pledged to drive 350 miles at $4 per gal. to kiss whatever body part I so desired.

What do “you” do for an encore? It’s been almost a year and he might start come a callin’, Jeff.
+22 #34 Jeff Laadt 2013-07-01 21:48
Where you and I differ is in our interpretations . You, and Stolar I guess, seem insistent on labeling any form of "socialism" (from Marxism on down to modern democratic socialism) as oppressive to the very people it strives to support. That may be historically true in some well-known instances, but is hardly universal. Ask the French, the Germans, and the Scandinavians if they feel oppressed. My guess is that they do not.

On other matters: you seem oddly perturbed about the history of DDT. Yes, I know, its about us "radical environmentalis ts." I have no comment. And we've been down that old abortion road so often, my eyes are glazing over. (That's what we mass murderers do.)

Jeff Laadt
+20 #33 Jeff Laadt 2013-07-01 21:32
I rather enjoyed Jonah Goldberg's article on socialism and Obama; he even seems a bit more tolerant of Saul Alinsky than you. And, yes, on the political spectrum there is room for an almost infinite numbers of "definitions" for any ideology, including socialism, libertarianism, conservatism -- you name it. Meanings evolve over time and space.

In the case of "socialism" I absolutely agree that, at its core, it implies a greater role for government. And that, further, it has an interest in maintaining the well-being (however defined) of the majority of citizens. Hence concepts such as universal health insurance, a robust safety-net and (gasp!) redistributioni st tax policies to offset the inevitable inequities of market incomes (inherent in capitalist systems.)

Sounds like European social democracy. The democracy part is important to keep in mind, as virtually all of the Euro states are thriving democracies.

-21 #32 2013-07-01 15:36
You don't want to get into a snark contest? That's funny.

Two typo's in one thread okay. But hey, let's add another one!

I thought you didn't want to get into a snark contest? Or was that another typo?

Excuse me for taking it as a personal attack, but you have been known to do that to many others.
-23 #31 Frank Gabl 2013-07-01 11:01

I can only marvel at your third-grade reasoning (I chose to divisively use that phrase of incivility and ridicule in order to inject a playful dose of contempt as well as marginalize the points you’ve made, a la Alinsky - your “great American” communist elbow-rubber) in regards to socialism is so typical of leftists who deliberately portray the phenomenon in its classic and largely defunct sense in order to obfuscate reality.

Just as there are many variations of capitalism, socialism has been reshaped through the years into whatever form it takes at that time to control the people caught in its web of oppression.

Cont. below:
-23 #30 Frank Gabl 2013-07-01 10:59

But rather than attempting to put forth a counterargument in my own words, which could just as easily be discounted as I am discounting your third-grade interpretation of socialist or socialism, I rather present this comprehensive research into the subject, which for anyone interested, will make them more versed on the topic than you could ever hope to be.

And by the way, as a nation, or at least those with realistic thought patterns, we are well beyond debating whether or not the community divider is a “socialist” and are now engaged in debating just what type of socialist this dishonest, morally bankrupt and generally corrupt manipulator is.

-23 #29 Frank Gabl 2013-07-01 10:57

Moving on to your third-grade critique of what you perceive to be Tim’s (and the like-minded) “white-washing” of American history, you stated in post 19: “And I repeat my objection to Tim's Norman Rockwell portrait of American history. His is a history that recognizes only the "good stuff" while completely ignoring the historical record of millions of Americans. Tim wants to dismiss this as "something about racism or how whites are oppressive"; but slavery, racism, and oppression are as much a part of American history as the successes of European colonization. Why is this so hard to admit?”

But frankly Jeff, your special brand of snobbish hypocrisy is stunning.

Cont. below:
-23 #28 Frank Gabl 2013-07-01 10:55

For instance, I find it flat-out preposterous how leftists sanctimoniously play the “genocide” and “white-washing” card only over select causes that make themselves feel good such as anti-black racism, slavery or the mistreatment of the American Indian that the vast majority of us have never even had a hand in, while dishonestly ignoring the genocide and liberal-washing of atrocities that they themselves are accountable for simply through their support of social/progressive liberalism which is inherently notorious for producing inhumane, even, inhuman consequences.

Environmentalis m, population control and the genocide of 100-200 million:

Cont. below:
-23 #27 Frank Gabl 2013-07-01 10:53

Modern-day African-American genocide:

Bleeding hearts and the destruction of African-American prosperity:

56.4 million - and counting at a rate of 1.2 million per year:

By its nature, social liberalism continues the brutal treatment of Native Americans:

(Although the entire documentary is eye-opening, the segment referenced starts at the 5:40 mark)


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