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Why do so many fear open conversation?

October 26, 2009

We have these things called blogs. We control them and we decide what we allow on them and what we don’t. That’s fair, it is a decision that belongs to each of us.  It’s a private property thing.  You know, when something is yours, you make such decisions.

Today, I made comment  at  http://thecapitolfaxblog.com/ concerning campaign finance proposals being touted. I offered my disagreement to current proposals and why I disagree. I also offered an alternative solution and why it would be better.

Rich Miller decided to set up a strawman by talking about how I must be against all taxation.

Notice there was nothing to address what I actually said, though words were injected, which I did not say, in order to laugh it off.

I tried to correct the situation and clarify that I was in no way talking about tax monies by demonstrating the difference between government authority due over dollars taxed away from people and how they lack authority over the money left after that taxation.

That was rebuffed as if it wasn’t even said.

Rich said “Sorry, but when you say “It is not the place of government to decide for us where we spend, or give, our money,” I can only take that to mean one thing.”

If it’s not the place of gvt to decide where to spend your money then you’re against taxation. Where is the straw man there?”

Now, he is clearly missing the point. Our money is money that belongs to us after we all pay our proper and lawful taxation.   He asked where the strawman is in that –  it is self evident because he is disregarding that, after taxes, government has no more authority over said money. That entity has already exercised it’s due authority. Clearly he believes that government has 100% authority over all money everywhere all the time.

I tried again to draw a line of distinction between pre tax and post tax dollars in efforts to remove taxation from the discussion. That effort was ignored as well.

Rich called what I said extremist. So I explained that he took it as such by injecting taxation into the discussion. I tried to explain that this is where the strawman came from.

So I tried it another way.  Then I decided to try a specific example.

In the mix was some chiding, which is to be expected when there is no way to ignore the point being made or destroy it with logical rebuttals. Then, of course, came the cheerleading about the chiding.

I responded to the everything said to me, but a funny thing happened.  Some comments were deleted. Imagine that.

I responded to Rich with a Mike Huckabee example in terms of his race against Mitt Romney. Chuck Norris was salty about campaign finance limitations imposed on everyone. Mitt is a rich man and could spend and spend and spend but Mike could not, as he is not rich. Chuck Norris wanted to level that playing field with money that belonged to him, he wanted to fund Mike’s campaign but was disallowed.  That comment was relegated to the dustbin instantly.

Gee I wonder why?  No way to justify it is there Rich? Much better to just ignore it, huh?

I had one more try at a response and this one I was able to copy and paste.  After a poke (not from Rich) about taking my 50 bucks and moving along, I responded with this;
“I would be happy to take my fifty bucks and move along, but government is trying to dictate where I can and can’t spend that fifty bucks and some are supporting government having authority over where that 50 bucks get spent.

Maybe some could facilitate my moving along with that 50 bucks if they agreed that it indeed belongs to me and I get to decide where to take it?”

Needless to say , that one hit the bricks too, but not before I could grab it.

There are those who seek open conversation about open government. There are those who seek control over the conversation to avoid the points of order they cannot justify with their own positions.  They are no better than the corrupt politicians they complain about – for they do the same things.

Rich Miller wants control over his website, and should have it, as it is his right. It belongs to him.  My point of continued engagement, after the attempted obfuscation about taxation, was that I hold that same control over money that belongs to me as he does regarding his blog.  Website  or money –   same difference.

I pretty much knew that I would be disallowed comments at some point because of the way the conversation was going.  I knew that when the eventual boot came, my point would be demonstrated by his own actions. And they were.  He exercised the very right I was trying to point out – that when you own something, it is your decision to make regardless of what others want done.

Rich got ahead of himself and got served and then couldn’t back out. The solution was to stifle conversation. Sounds kinda like an Obama tactic doesn’t it?

Rich Miller thinks that government should control every dollar everyone has. That much is clear. I wonder if he would like government to control every word he has too.  After all, if there should be no private property out of reach of government authority, then there should be no free speech either, right? Someone might just use them in some way that someone might deem “harmful”, huh?  Sheesh.  Read the Constitution, partner.

Who really needs those stinking rights, right Rich?  Unreal.

On thing is for sure, Rich can say anything he wants to here, and I won’t delete his comments.  The same cannot be said on his turf.

See, I don’t fear alternative viewpoints or positions. I cherish that we all have differences and aim to see those conversations happen out in the open the same way I call for government’s operation.  I guess that difference boils down to actually living by principles rather than jut paying lip service to them.

What follows is two (2)  separate copy and pastes I grabbed along the way so some of it is duplicated.

You be the judge of what took place in your own mind from your own perspective. The article was titled “Ethics showdown looms large”. I post here only the comments from that page to support what I have stated above. I make no attempt to snatch Rich’s content, I simply exercise fair use to demonstrate the full context of what took place.  It is my position that I returned snappishness after it was directed at me. One might call it an exercise of self defense.  But then, I suppose that too would be discounted along with the other rights being discounted in this exchange.

1.

– wordslinger – Monday, Oct 26, 09 @ 10:36 am:

Great story by Holland as related by Bernie S.

The fact that the Blago people were clueless as to the constitutional status of the Auditor General, and thought they could just roll him, would be hilarious if it weren’t so pathetic.

Given how ignorant and reckless they were, the Blago Gang had a long run.

2.

– Will County Woman – Monday, Oct 26, 09 @ 10:44 am:

Given his dubious history, I am very leery of reform efforts led by Pat Quinn. We all know how well his infamous cutback amendment turned out, and so does he these days. It has perhaps hurt him more than any other governor and is a painful reminder of the old adage “be careful what you wish for.”

I’m sure that the Quinn administration and campaign will try to make a big deal out of recall, and whatever reform comes out of the veto session, but if history is any indication Illinoisans won’t be better off because of anything that Quinn has done to reform Illinois government.

I understand that Quinn meant well on cutback, just as he means well in more recent times and today, but I just can’t trust that he knows what he is doing. I would prefer that he not be involved in the reform effort for fear that he’ll only do more harm than good (e.g., the Cutback Amendment). I agree with Spivak, technically Recall is not that great of a reform victory for voters.

3.

– Will County Woman – Monday, Oct 26, 09 @ 11:01 am:

what is most troubling is that Quinn supporters, even the political ones who ought to know better, go on and on about him being a “reformer,” yet they fail to make the connection between his most notable reform (cutback) and the problems in Springfield with too much power in the hands of too few, and all of the problems that has caused.

we’ll, it could be worse. instead of trying to sweep it under the carpet and pretend like he isn’t at fault, quinn and his supporters could be saying he made a mistake in the early 1980s and now he is trying to fix it. lol.

whatever.

4.

– VanillaMan – Monday, Oct 26, 09 @ 11:06 am:

appease the screamers

Call it whatever you want, but doing nothing is not an option. This government has no credibility without change either from within or from outside. The horrible problems we have right now are compounded by the historic corruption that has occured over the past decade. This is a one-two punch that would flatten any decent government. We don’t have mobs with pitchforks, so instead of watching the physical violence of The Inquisition or The Russian Revolution, we have the silent revolution of Illinois voters closing their wallets.

Our politicians pretend that citizens don’t care. Citizens are not asleep. The are angry about the pass they gave to the incumbants in 2006 and are unbelievably cynical right now.

I believe that this government has to demonstrate some signs of life to voters. Appease the screamers. Do something!

5.

– Mike Marvin – Monday, Oct 26, 09 @ 11:11 am:

Government has no business exercising authority over the wealth of Citizens. It is not the place of government to decide for us where we spend, or give, our money. This decision does not belong to politicians operating government, it belongs to individuals.

The responsibility to reject money “buying” an election rests with voters. No legislation can defer that responsibility.

Real reform and proper government action rests in forcing truthful information out of the shadows and into the public eye. Reform of substance consists of something relatively simple.

Candidates shall be required, concerning their campaigns, to account for every dollar coming in and every dollar going out. An ongoing list, updated at least every week, of all donations and who they come from, combined with another list of everything they spend that money on is all that is needed. Accounts receivable/accounts payable.

Government is not to decide for us, but it can be a employed to force truthful information out in the open so that voters can employ that information in making their own decisions.

Open and transparent government, what a novel idea. So why isn’t this the solution being embraced? Government itself doesn’t do this, as it pertains to it’s own operations, so how could they even try and demand candidates do so?

6.

– Rich Miller – Monday, Oct 26, 09 @ 11:24 am:

===It is not the place of government to decide for us where we spend, or give, our money.===

So, in other words, you’re against all taxation whatsoever.

lol

7.

– Mike Marvin – Monday, Oct 26, 09 @ 11:32 am:

Why put words in my mouth and then laugh at them?
You say “other words” because they are exactly that – other words.

Set up strawmen much, Rich?

Last time I checked, we weren’t talking about taxation. Such is the tools of those who obfuscate. We are talking about money that has zero to do with taxation. Right? Care to try again, and like maybe actually address the solution I put forward in it’s context?

You see, taxing money away from the Citizens and deciding where that money is spent is one thing, but deciding where what remains after that taxation, something know as Citizen’s wealth, is something altogether different. Wouldn’t you agree? I would look forward to you explaining how there isn’t a difference if you believe that to be the case.

8.

– Quinn T. Sential – Monday, Oct 26, 09 @ 11:33 am:

[“Is there even a shred of evidence that a legislator is under the thumb of a legislative leader because of campaign spending? I don’t see it,” [Harmon] said. “I see members elected from competitive districts vote in the best interests of their district, which is often counter to the way the legislative leader votes.”]

Man it’s not even Thursday afternoon yet, but Don Harmon; who you crapping?

9.

– Rich Miller – Monday, Oct 26, 09 @ 11:35 am:

Sorry, but when you say “It is not the place of government to decide for us where we spend, or give, our money,” I can only take that to mean one thing.

If it’s not the place of gvt to decide where to spend your money then you’re against taxation. Where is the straw man there?

10.

– Chicago Cynic – Monday, Oct 26, 09 @ 11:36 am:

Rich,

I had the exact same reaction to that ridiculous statement.

BTW, I love Don, but that’s just a ridiculous statement on his part. We all know how this game is played, particularly in the House. To suggest that getting elected with money provided largely by the Speaker will have no impact on legislators is just ridiculous on its face.

11.

– Rich Miller – Monday, Oct 26, 09 @ 11:39 am:

===You see, taxing money away from the Citizens and deciding where that money is spent is one thing, but deciding where what remains after that taxation, something know as Citizen’s wealth, is something altogether different. Wouldn’t you agree?===

No, I wouldn’t. Not totally, anyway. Try thinking that extremist statement through again, please.

12.

– Mike Marvin – Monday, Oct 26, 09 @ 11:43 am:

Extremist? Hardly, context was provided. ‘Tis you who took it as extremist and supported it supposedly being that way by adding words that were not present.

Ok, so you don’t agree totally. In what ways do you disagree?

13.

– Mike Marvin – Monday, Oct 26, 09 @ 11:49 am:

If I have in my possession 100 dollars and it is deemed that 50 of those dollars are to be taxed away, I am left with 50 dollars. That money belongs to me. I am respectfully ask you if government has authority over that remaining 50 dollars or if that authority belongs to me because I am it’s owner and I am to be secure in my possessions.

It is my position that it does belong to me to spend or give as I see fit. Do you disagree with that position?

14.

– Chicago Cynic – Monday, Oct 26, 09 @ 11:53 am:

So Mike I assume that means you’d like to do away with all tax deductions like the home mortgage deduction, the medical expense deduction, the deduction for dependents, etc? Because those deductions are government telling you what you should do with your money.

15.

– 47th Ward – Monday, Oct 26, 09 @ 11:57 am:

Mike Marvin,

You should probaby move along now. Rich isn’t going to debate you, that’s not what he does. Some of the rest of us might, but it’s Monday and we’re tired today.

Take your $50 and move along please.

16.

– Rich Miller – Monday, Oct 26, 09 @ 11:59 am:

===Do you disagree with that position? ===

Yes. Think about it. Could you use that money to pay an assassin? Could you use it to import a car that’s unsafe on the roads? Could you use it to buy heroin? Could you use it to bribe public officials? Could you use it to buy spoiled meat that you then sold to unwary customers? Could you use it to contribute more than $2500 to federal candidates?

You’re not in a college bull session here. Grow up.

17.

– Anonymous45 – Monday, Oct 26, 09 @ 12:04 pm:

Umm, WCW: Pat is willing to sign legislation that will allow for his own recall by the voters…I see this as putting your $ where your pen/mouth is…but I guess you won’t take this as a sign of Pat’s willingness to be scrutinized by the voters cuz you are so off the deep end…

18.

– Arthur Andersen – Monday, Oct 26, 09 @ 12:10 pm:

Clean your glasses, Don. We all see it.

19.

– Speaking at Will – Monday, Oct 26, 09 @ 12:15 pm:

== Take your $50 and move along please. ==

That should be on a T shirt! LOL

20.

– Mike Marvin – Monday, Oct 26, 09 @ 12:50 pm:

I would be happy to take my fifty bucks and move along, but government is trying to dictate where I can and can’t spend that fifty bucks and some are supporting government having authority over where that 50 bucks get spent.

Maybe some could facilitate my moving along with that 50 bucks if they agreed that it indeed belongs to me and I get to decide where to take it?

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