What’s NOT to like about Democratic values?

I found Mr. Christian Eck's view — that Democratic values are somehow not complementary to "mountain values" — most shortsighted and offensive ["Democrats Don't Represent Our Mountain Values," May 5]. Let's look another way at some of the ones he lists:

Limited government. These two words mean absolutely nothing without the details. Does it mean fewer police, less money for education and allowing the deterioration of public roads and bridges? These are some of the things that government does.

Lower taxes. President Obama has lowered taxes to levels not seen since the 1950s. How much lower can they go without increasing public suffering? There is no free lunch.

Guns, guns, guns. The NRA continually thwarts even the simplest and most sane safeguards for firearms. Anyone can buy an AK-47. Gun-death [rates] in the U.S. outnumber [those of] any other civilized Western country. "Mountain values"?

State and local government meddling, interfering, coercing and making more difficult a woman's legal right to choose.

A defense budget larger than the entire budget of most countries. Our young men and women still stationed all over the world — still in Germany and Japan — to name only two of 135! Wars of choice — like Iraq, that sap the wealth of our nation, and our fine young men and women.

Individual freedom. To do what, exactly? Avoid house or car insurance? To pollute the air and the water? To drive 80 miles per hour in a school zone? Conveniently, Mr. Eck doesn't say what he would do with additional "freedom" in our society.

Democrats have been behind most of the features of our society that the average citizen holds dear: Social Security, Medicare, the GI bill, child labor laws, health care, the Voting Rights Act, and the largest economic expansion in peacetime history — under President Clinton. I wonder which of these benefits Mr. Eck would take from us to achieve his version of "mountain values."

— Mark C. Yungbluth
Asheville

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51 thoughts on “What’s NOT to like about Democratic values?

  1. JWTJr

    Too bad things are not this simple.

    These last few letters on why we should all be alike/different seem like they came from the ACT.

    Boring

  2. Dionysis

    “Too bad things are not this simple.”

    Actually, some things ARE “this simple.” For example, when Mr. Eck wrote that “individual freedom” was a “mountain value” and then proceeded to maintain that “public prayer” to “Jesus” was somehow consistent with “individual
    freedom,” then he was quite simply WRONG, and seemed oblivious to the inconsistency. That was simple to see right away. When he wrote complaining about “lower taxes,” he didn’t acknowledge that 95% of the public received a tax cut (in fact, the only tax increased under the current administration is the tax on tobacco products), nor did he note that some of the largest tax increases in modern history came under Republican rule (‘simple’ if one even bothers to skim recent history). When Mr. Eck brought up the ubiquitous ‘wah, Democrats want to take my guns away’, it was very simple to show that under the current administration, gun ‘rights’ have expanded, no diminished.

    Lastly, when the current letter-writer notes that “Democrats have been behind most of the features…” that is true. Nothing complicated or untrue about it; it is just that simple.

    And some of us find that public refutation of untrue nonsense is not boring at all, but instead, gratifying.

  3. JWTJr

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on the simpleness of our community. I have issues with both letters. This county will never be homogeneous.

    Here’s something the letter carrier was wrong about:

    “Largest economic expansion in peacetime history — under President Clinton.”

    He was right that Bill was responsible …. Bill Gates and the technology sector, not Bill Clinton.

  4. Dionysis

    ““Largest economic expansion in peacetime history — under President Clinton.”

    He was right that Bill was responsible …. Bill Gates and the technology sector, not Bill Clinton.”

    I didn’t interpret the comment to mean that Clinton was single-handedly responsible for the economic boom, only that it happened under Clinton (which is true, of course).

  5. entopticon

    He was right that Bill was responsible …. Bill Gates and the technology sector, not Bill Clinton.

    Yes Jr, we are well aware of the rules in your Fox news fueled parallel universe. Democrats can’t even take credit for any successes that happened under them, and Republicans are never to blame for the bad things that happened under them. Never mind reality, you will always have Fox news to feed you nonsensical talking points in lieu of cogent arguments, and that’s all that matters.

  6. JWTJr

    “I didn’t interpret the comment to mean that Clinton was single-handedly responsible for the economic boom, only that it happened under Clinton (which is true, of course).”

    I think the letter writer did imply that Bill C had a significant hand in the expansion. Why else would he include it in the letter? Bill was too busy doing MonicaL and all the other women he abused to get in Bill Gates’ way.

    Ent – You don’t get credit for things you didn’t do.

    I’ve not mentioned Fox News. You must stay up at night hating those guys.

  7. Ken Hanke

    I have issues with both letters.

    Indeed? Did you feel the need to weigh in on the first one? I don’t recall that you did. You claim this middle-of-the-road stance, but you always seem to show up to support a conservative point. Don’t think I’ve ever seen you attack one.

  8. entopticon

    You don’t get credit for things you didn’t do.

    Yeah, it’s not like the Clinton and Gore administration was extremely implemental in creating the massive infrastructure necessary for for the dot.com revolution to happen… oh wait, yeah it was. How inconvenient for your irrelevant narrative.

    I’ve not mentioned Fox News.

    No, you just parrot their asinine talking points here on a daily basis, as if they were real arguments. There are plenty of things that the Clinton Administration can be aptly criticized for, but the right-wing extremist rhetoric suggesting that the Democrats shouldn’t get any of the credit for the successes of their administration, and the Repugs shouldn’t be blamed for the failures of theirs, is just laughable. Yet here you are parroting that nonsense anyway.

    You must stay up at night hating those guys.

    Yeah, I stay up at night hating Fox News. That’s how I roll.

  9. Piffy!

    [b]This county will never be homogeneous.[/b]

    yeah, but saying we all have similar values isnt saying we are “homogeneous”. Its as if you have no idea the difference between poo and shinola.

  10. JWTJr

    “Indeed? Did you feel the need to weigh in on the first one? I don’t recall that you did. You claim this middle-of-the-road stance, but you always seem to show up to support a conservative point. Don’t think I’ve ever seen you attack one.”

    You are right I didn’t comment on both letters. I don’t read everything as soon as it comes out. Forgive me for having a life. I’m now on the record for having issues with both letters.

    We agreed on the gay/lesbian rights issue in the very last active discussion. I’m also a tree hugger. How soon you forget.

    As much as you hate it, there is a middle.

  11. JWTJr

    “Yeah, it’s not like the Clinton and Gore administration was extremely implemental in creating the massive infrastructure necessary for for the dot.com revolution to happen.”

    If you mean they didn’t get in the way, a monkey could do that.

    Oh I forgot …. Al Gore invented the internet.

    I don’t watch Fox News or any other cable loud mouth. If you didn’t, you’d probably be happier.

  12. JWTJr

    “yeah, but saying we all have similar values isnt saying we are “homogeneous”. Its as if you have no idea the difference between poo and shinola.”

    Piffy – why not get your buddies to spray paint that onto a local business? It should go down in history. Maybe do it to the business owners affected by your other buddies the Anarchists. They prob all take art classes together.

  13. entopticon

    If you mean they didn’t get in the way, a monkey could do that.

    Oh I forgot …. Al Gore invented the internet.

    Jeez, you really do say some of the most ridiculously ignorant things sometimes. If you had even the slightest understanding of the issue that you are so quick to sanctimoniously rant about, you would be extremely embarrassed by the idiocy of those remarks. Al Gore created and introduced the High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991, which was irrefutably an extremely important step in the internet revolution, leading to the development of the National Information Infrastructure under the Clinton Administration, which went on to heavily support the foundational technologies and infrastructure that made the success of people such as Bill Gates possible.

    But as usual, all you can do is parrot the same old Fox News/Rush Limbaugh rhetoric about Al Gore inventing the internet, because you have no real argument, only right-wing blather.

  14. JWTJr

    Ent – I don’t think regulation and a little grant money kick started the internet. It was way bigger than that. Things with giant potential don’t depend on grant money to get started.

  15. entopticon

    I’m also a tree hugger. How soon you forget.

    Now that’s rich. After countless posts about how global warming is a liberal conspiracy, Jr has the audacity to call himself a tree hugger. That puts a whole new spin on passive aggressive relationships, or rough sex of a botanical sort.

    As much as you hate it, there is a middle.

    Yeah, Jr is smack dab in the middle of the political spectrum. He just parrots Rush Limbaugh’s talking points all day long to try to keep us off the scent of his centrism.

  16. entopticon

    Ent – I don’t think

    I strongly agree with that part of your statement.

    Among many other things, Mosaic, the graphical web browser that popularized the web and led to the familiar interface of all web browsers as we know them was born out of the Gore Act. By many accounts, Gore’s act pushed the technology ahead by quite a few years. Your blather about a little grant money is just ignorance at its ugly worst. Gore was a profoundly important force in the implementation, infrastructure, and popularization of the internet, as was the Clinton Administration, but as usual, just more parroting of Rush Limbaugh’s asinine soundbites in lieu of cogent arguments from you.

  17. entopticon

    “Piffy – why not get your buddies to spray paint that onto a local business? It should go down in history. Maybe do it to the business owners affected by your other buddies the Anarchists. They prob all take art classes together.”

    What the heck does this thread have to do with anarchists and spray-paint? The nonsensical spray-paint obsession is getting to be pretty bizarre.

  18. Dionysis

    “Oh I forgot …. Al Gore invented the internet.”

    Although entopticon has already addressed this, please note that by repeating the lie that has its origin with Rush Limbaugh, it’s impossible to accept your claim of some kind of middle position. Gore never said that, and to regurgitate that blatant lie speaks volumes.

  19. Ken Hanke

    You are right I didn’t comment on both letters. I don’t read everything as soon as it comes out. Forgive me for having a life. I’m now on the record for having issues with both letters

    So you completely missed the existence of a letter that generated over 50 responses? But you honed right in on this one that is a rebuttal to it?

    As much as you hate it, there is a middle.

    Funny thing about that supposed middle is that it always seems to be leaning the right.

  20. Piffy!

    [b]As much as you hate it, there is a middle. [/b]

    Indeed. And you do not even begin to represent it.

  21. Piffy!

    JWT jr is for good things and against bad things and all good things in moderation!

    And remember, he is a ‘moderate’ but Obama is a radical leftist.

  22. Piffy!

    JWT is a ‘moderate’ in the same sense that Republicans call themselves ‘independent’ to avoid admitting to supporting Bush for 8 years.

    [b]What the heck does this thread have to do with anarchists and spray-paint? The nonsensical spray-paint obsession is getting to be pretty bizarre. [/b]

    I even made him his own thread a while ago so he could present whatever evidence he had against me, but he prefers to make asinine comments with no connection to reality.

    Kind of like his ‘moderate’ commentary in this thread.

  23. nuvue

    Limbaugh is a moderate, he liked oxycontin moderately.

    What is shinola anyway??

  24. Daniel Withrow

    “In politics, everyone regards themselves as moderate, because they know some other sumbitch who’s twice as crazy as they are.” -Timothy Tyson

  25. Piffy!

    [b]guess I could have gotten off my Segway and looked it up[/b]

    That’s the closest thing to a FTW this thread is ever gonna have.

    I’m calling it.

  26. invisiblefriend

    Im glad im not stuck on an elevator with all you guys.

  27. Dionysis

    “Im glad im not stuck on an elevator with all you guys.”

    I don’t know about the others, but I am crestfallen to learn this.

  28. Dread P. Roberts

    Im glad im not stuck on an elevator with all you guys.

    Oh, I don’t know – elevator fisticuffs could be rather amusing under the right context, with some jazzy tunes. I got this visual of entopticon and Tim Peck in an elevator, with “Why can’t we be friends?” playing in the background.

    Speaking of which, where the heck is good ol’ Mr. Peck? How can he possibly resist this article? It’s like a big, jucy Peck steak. Hmm, maybe he’ll pop up now that I’ve mentioned him.

  29. JWTJr

    “Funny thing about that supposed middle is that it always seems to be leaning the right.”

    To the right of you that’s for sure.

  30. entopticon

    There is certainly much not to like about the values of blue dog Democrats (the last vestige of the Dixiecrats) such as our own Heath Shuler.

    From Credo Action:

    “Your member of Congress, Heath Shuler, just sold you out to AT&T, Verizon and Comcast.

    Infuriatingly, he was among 74 House Democrats who signed industry-backed letters telling the FCC to abandon efforts to protect Internet users by prohibiting big companies from blocking Internet traffic.

    Not only is this letter an attack on net neutrality, but by signing the industry letter, your member of Congress is attempting to drastically undercut the FCC’s ability to make a fast, affordable and open Internet available to everyone in America — he is actually taking a position against the interests of rural and low-income communities.

    This is unacceptable.

    We need to make sure Rep. Shuler knows that his constituents are paying attention and will hold him accountable when he undermines net neutrality protections.

    What this comes down to is a principle known as “net neutrality.” Net neutrality means that Internet users, not Internet service providers, should be in control. It ensures that Internet service providers can’t speed up, slow down, or block Web content based on its source, ownership, or destination.

    Of course broadband providers are insisting that we should just trust them and there’s no need for consumers to be protected by net neutrality rules. But we cannot trust AT&T, Verizon or Comcast to protect a free and open Internet any more than we could trust BP to protect the oceans.

    Without strong net neutrality rules, we might have to rely upon the good will of large telecoms to protect our access to the diversity of political perspectives. We might have to trust companies like Comcast, which actively and secretly interfered with users’ ability to access popular video, photo and music sharing applications. We might have to trust companies like AT&T, which censored anti-Bush comments made by Pearl Jam’s lead singer during a concert.

    A free and open Internet is an important part of 21st Century democracy, but Rep. Shuler signed a letter that undercut the efforts of the FCC to make sure the Internet stays free and open.
    In other words, he decided to stand with wealthy corporations rather than stand up for your interests.

    The simple fact of the matter is that powerful companies with a vested interest in this fight like AT&T have armies of lobbyists to push their agenda.

    If Rep. Shuler is going to get the message that it’s unacceptable for him to sell out his constituents, it’s only going to be because people like you speak up.”

  31. Ken Hanke

    To the right of you that’s for sure

    True enough. I don’t pretend to be other than liberal.

  32. Jessica B.

    JWTJr. says: “Ent – I don’t think regulation and a little grant money kick started the internet. It was way bigger than that. Things with giant potential don’t depend on grant money to get started. ”

    No, but they often depend on someone in politics taking the initiative.

    http://www.snopes.com/quotes/internet.asp

  33. Piffy!

    [b]True enough. I don’t pretend to be other than liberal[/b]

    That’s your tactical mistake, Ken. Amnesia-cons claim to be the Middle, even though they represent the far Right. Liberals, on the other hand, admit to being on the LEft, which is clearly their mistake since “Middle” has now been redefined to mean Corporate handouts, unilateral wars, and the Christian Church.

  34. JWTJr

    ““Middle” has now been redefined to mean Corporate handouts, unilateral wars, and the Christian Church.””

    Say what you want about some group you stratify and name with your own semantics, I’ve never advocated any of that.

  35. JWTJr

    Jessica – “No, but they often depend on someone in politics taking the initiative.”

    You are correct. They often do. However, the internet wasn’t an ‘often’ situation. It was the internet. The technology community was going to explode with or without Congress.

  36. entopticon

    It was the internet. The technology community was going to explode with or without Congress.

    Good to see you are such an expert Jr. Where have I heard that before?…. Oh yeah, from Rush Limbaugh. The same guy who thinks that the oil spill will take care of itself because oil is a “natural” substance. I’m glad that you know more than many of the world’s leading technologists, who believe that the Gore Act and the Clinton Administration’s support played a key role in the expedition of the internet.

    Back in the Clinton Administration, I consulted on graphical interfaces for a number of technologists and reviewed papers on information technologies for academic journals, but how could I possibly know as much about it as Jr.

    I think you mean well Jr, but you are so clouded by the right wing extremist talking points that you immerse yourself in that you can’t see the nose in front of your face.

  37. Piffy!

    [b]Say what you want about some group you stratify and name with your own semantics, I’ve never advocated any of that. [/b]

    And i didn’t say you did. I said that many claim that is the middle.

  38. Unni Krishnan Atiyodi

    Democracy is a farce when all are not voting. If thirty percent exercises the franchise, those who got 16% votes win. So the 16% can rule the country. Besides there is no method to withdraw the ruler before the period by the people. Power, as we know, has a tendency to corrupt. So an enlightened society alone deserves democracy. A pious dictator may be better than a corrupt democrat. Democracy is being praised by all not thinking that rotten milk and eggs are intolerable. A matured and educated society alone make democracy fruitful. Most of the citizens are bothered about their privations.

  39. travelah

    Lower taxes. President Obama has lowered taxes to levels not seen since the 1950s. How much lower can they go without increasing public suffering? There is no free lunch.

    That is just plain funny.

  40. Dionysis

    “Lower taxes. President Obama has lowered taxes to levels not seen since the 1950s. How much lower can they go without increasing public suffering? There is no free lunch.”

    “That is just plain funny.”

    So are you.

    “Middle-income Americans are now paying federal taxes at or near historically low levels, according to the latest available data. That’s true whether it comes to their federal income taxes or their total federal taxes.

    Income taxes: A family of four in the exact middle of the income spectrum will pay only 4.6 percent of its income in federal income taxes this year, according to a new analysis by the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center. This is the second-lowest percentage in the past 50 years.

    Overall federal taxes: Middle-income households are paying overall federal taxes — which include income as well as payroll and excise taxes — at or near their lowest levels in decades, according to the latest data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)…

    With the new (Obama) tax cut, the median family’s federal income taxes will equal just 4.6 percent of its income in 2009. That is lower than in any year since 1955 (the first year for which these data are available) except for 2008, when another stimulus-related tax cut was in effect.”

    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3151

  41. entopticon

    Dionysis, now you have gone and confronted traveliar with the facts, which is something that he clearly has no room for in his parallel world. What need does he have for irrefutable facts when he can just parrot fallacious right-wing extremist drivel instead?

    But don’t worry yourself too much, because although a reasonable person would be embarrassed, or at least slowed down when confronted with the fact that their rhetoric is not born out by the facts, traveliar has never been one to be burdened by small inconveniences like continuity of reason.

  42. Dionysis

    “…traveliar has never been one to be burdened by small inconveniences like continuity of reason.”

    Yes, that’s true, but it must make for less mental ‘clutter’ to deal with. Facts can be so pesky.

  43. travelah

    Poor D … you failed to add in all the other tax increases. On top of that, trying to give credit to Obama for our current income tax rates in comparison to the 1950s just makes this all the more humorous.

  44. Dionysis

    “Poor D … you failed to add in all the other tax increases. On top of that, trying to give credit to Obama for our current income tax rates in comparison to the 1950s just makes this all the more humorous.”

    Poor T; when faced with facts at variance with his version of reality, he offers mushy verbiage devoid of any factual refutation, as well as diverging from the relevant point made by the letter-writer.

    Again, nothing here can come close to the humor embodied in your delusional perspective. Refute with facts if you have them, obfuscate with BS if you don’t.

  45. travelah

    Poor blind D …
    Facts might make your head spin. The last change to income tax brackets or rates was in 2003 with Bush’s Jobs and Growth Tax Reconciliation Act of 2003. That was the last time any tax rates were changed in the US. Prior to that there were bracket or rate changes in 2001, 1993, 1990, 1986, 1984, 1982, 1981, 1978, 1977, 1976, 1969 and on and on. There have been no bracket or rates changes to the federal income tax statutes since 2003, absolutely none under Obama. In fact, Democrats have long threatened to allow the 2003 cuts to expire on January 1, 2011 with Obie Mao Kanobi’s full support.
    Perhaps you are highly confused or think that the supposed one time stimulus spending tax rebate given predominantly to people who don’t pay income taxes in the first places gives Obama bragging rights as the President who gave Americans the lowest tax rates in history? Funny thing that … not only was Bush the last President to push a lowering of brackets and rates through Congress but he also had not one but two stimulus tax rebates.

    Now just remember to flush after you digest these facts.

  46. entopticon

    Now that’s rich… according to traveliar, the actual amount that people were taxed under Obama is irrelevant. Virtually everyone in America making under $250k a year, and that is the vast majority of Americans, saw a tax decrease under Obama, but that doesn’t jive with traveliar’s cartoonishly ignorant right wing extremist conspiracy theory about how “Oba Mao” is really a Marxist mole looking to destroy America, so facts be damned.

  47. travelah

    Even a moron could understand that effective tax rates are where they are today because of previous administrations and not because of the current Congress and White House. … but apparently not all.

  48. Dionysis

    “Poor blind D …
    Facts might make your head spin.”

    Nope, not blind at all; in fact, I can clearly see your own tunnel-vision. And facts that are irrelevant to the letter-writer’s point (“Obama has lowered taxes to levels not seen since the 1950s”) don’t make my head spin, but they do induce a bit of head shaking. You can drone on endlessly with such diversionary twaddle till the cows come home and it still remains diversionary twaddle. You have not refuted the point: taxes are at their lowest level in 60 years.

    “Federal, state and local taxes — including income, property, sales and other taxes — consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. That rate is far below the historic average of 12% for the last half-century. The overall tax burden hit bottom in December at 8.8% of income before rising slightly in the first three months of 2010…

    That conclusion echoed a similar finding from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities last month. CBPP found

    ‘Middle-income Americans are now paying federal taxes at or near historically low levels, according to the latest available data. That’s true whether it comes to their federal income taxes or their total federal taxes.’

    Several factors are fueling the reduced tax bill. For starters, the Bush recession has battered Americans’ incomes and slashed sales tax revenue. New and expanded tax credits signed into law by presidents Clinton and Bush also lightened the tax burden for working families. And importantly, the $160 billion in tax cuts delivered by the Obama stimulus program helped refill Americans’ bank accounts.”

    http://crooksandliars.com/jon-perr/taxes-hit-lowest-level-since-1950

    “Democrats have long threatened to allow the 2003 cuts to expire on January 1, 2011 with Obie Mao Kanobi’s full support.”

    A classic example of spin; the 2003 tax cuts are SUPPOSED TO EXPIRE BY LAW, under Bush’s own plan. They should expire, and your wording makes a lame effort to impugn Democrats (just for chuckles, no doubt). “Threatened to allow” indeed. Oh, and your referring to the President of the United States as ‘Obie Mao Kanobi’ shows a level of decorum, propriety and civility rarely seen these days. Outside of Tea-bagger bitch fests, that is.

    “Perhaps you are highly confused or think that the supposed one time stimulus spending tax rebate given predominantly to people who don’t pay income taxes in the first places gives Obama bragging rights as the President who gave Americans the lowest tax rates in history?”

    No, I’m not confused. Perhaps you, however, you have a pathological aversion to actually dealing with the reality presented to you, so instead you attempt to avoid it by trying to change the wording actually used to, oh, something like ‘tax rates’.

    “Now just remember to flush after you digest these facts.”

    Since your ‘facts’ are irrelevant to the actual topic at hand, I need not concern myself with digesting them.

    Are you paying more or less in taxes now than you were in 2008? If yes, then you’re among those who earn 250K or more per year (which would explain why the very mention of taxes seems to cause an immediate tightening of your sphincter).

    “Even a moron could understand that effective tax rates are where they are today because of previous administrations and not because of the current Congress and White House. … but apparently not all.”

    Even a moron can see that you’ve failed to counter the letter-writer’s point and are trying desperately to switch topics.

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