To the streets

Montana lawmakers instigating an uprising

| February 24, 2011

By the time you read this, the 2011 Legislature will have reached its halfway point, and the taillights, as they say, will be heading out of town. Montana legislators will have stuffed through a pile of last-minute bills to meet the transmittal deadline before heading home to their businesses, farms, ranches, family and friends. But they'll also be going back to face the voters. And this time around, it would behoove all Montanans to let their legislators know what they do or don't like about the session so far.

Judging from the hundreds of people who crammed the Capitol this week to protest the Legislature's actions on issues ranging from environmental degradation to public education, legislators are likely to get an earful. The Wisconsin revolution—in which tens of thousands of public employees, union members and their supporters have taken over their Capitol—may move west should the ears of those pushing the green buttons for a host of egregious measures remain plugged to the pleas of the populace.

In Wisconsin's showdown, a newly elected Republican governor, backed by Republican majorities, has declared war on one of the longest-held traditions in the history of American labor politics—the right to collectively bargain with state, local and federal governments to determine the pay, benefits and costs for any given workforce. But because Wisconsin's governor and legislative majorities turned a deaf ear—and even threatened to call out the National Guard on his own citizenry—the issue has turned confrontational, with Democratic legislators leaving the state entirely to deny the Republicans the quorum they need to vote on the controversial measures.

Could a similar situation happen here? Yep, it sure could. This session, by most accounts, is the worst in memory for a variety of reasons. The House has already passed a bill by Speaker Mike Milburn, R-Cascade, to repeal the citizen-passed initiative to allow the use of medical cannabis—ignoring the testimony of hundreds of fellow Montanans who praised the benefit of using cannabis medicinally for a wide variety of maladies. That recent polls show a significant majority of Montanans still support legalized medicinal cannabis—despite the constant drumbeat from the anti-cannabis crusade—likewise appears to have no effect on these self-righteous but factually challenged do-gooders.

Or how about last week's fiascos in which hundreds of Montanans who had traveled treacherous roads in winter weather to testify on bills were told they would not even be allowed to stand before committee podiums and put their names on record as opponents or proponents? To their credit, Democrats finally stood up and called foul, but like the citizens, their voices also went unheeded.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau summed up the situation succinctly this week when she told the cheering crowd of protesters: "There's a political circus going on inside that building and it's a circus that will last for generations." Juneau said the Republican majorities in the House and Senate were "introducing unconstitutional laws that make the state I love the laughing stock of the country." Juneau went on to hit exactly those themes that have set the Wisconsin legislature on fire. "They're making public employees punching bags. They're inside, slashing and burning MEPA [Montana Environmental Policy Act]. They're saying climate change is a good thing. They're gutting the Endangered Species Act. They're attempting to change the constitutional mandate for a clean and healthful environment."

Indeed, the runaway Republicans are doing that and more. Even Gov. Schweitzer, who has often criticized Congress and the federal government, is in shock at the dozen bills that selectively "nullify" certain federal laws. In an impromptu meeting with House Democrats this week, Schweitzer called the bills "un-American" and said they don't represent Montana values and make us look like we're harkening back to the days of the Civil War.

Even normally staid mainstream media editorial boards are starting to raise their eyebrows at the proceedings in Helena. I bet we're likely to see some pretty harsh criticism come this weekend, when legislators are back reading their hometown papers.

The problem is, nothing so far seems to affect the Republicans. Not testimony, not the flood of angry letters to editors, not legal advice from experts in Constitutional law and, surprisingly, not even fiscal notes that suggest some of their changes will do little but cost the state more money. Given that, should the second half of the session mirror the first, it's going to cost taxpayers a lot more money because the state will be in court continuously trying to uphold these inane laws from challenges that are likely to rain down from all sides. And speaking of circuses, what an act it will be to see Attorney General Steve Bullock, a Democrat, try to defend these indefensible laws.

But perhaps there is more in the air than just another Arctic cold front swooping down on Montana this weekend. Perhaps we will be inspired by the revolutions sweeping the Middle East that are tossing out dictators and corrupt politicians like trash. Or maybe the example set by the brave citizen takeover of the Wisconsin Capitol will ignite similar passions of Montanans to do the same. At this point, when the rights and wishes of Montanans are ignored in favor of narrowly drawn religious tenets, profit-driven corporations and outright secessionists, it just might be time to take it to the streets.

This weekend could make all the difference, depending on what reactions await legislators when they leave the rarified—some would say horribly polluted—atmosphere of the Capitol. Let's give them a half-time show to remember and remind them that they were elected to serve the people—and not the other way around.

Helena's George Ochenski rattles the cage of the political establishment as a political analyst for the Independent. Contact Ochenski at

Comments (53)

Showing 1-25 of 53

Let me start back at the beginning. I posted a reaction to George's column in which I stated that the people had "taken to the streets" last November. I doubted that an uprising would occur from Montanans reacting to the current legislative session. For that, I was called delusional. But guess what, I was right.

I was not grasping at straws in my last post. Just describing where my views come from and why I tend to argue based on my life's experience instead of linking to other articles found on the web. You say that I am "obsessed with food stamp stories" simply because I happened to use one as an illustration. I guess I could say that you are obsessed with the religion of the founding fathers for your incorrect assertion that they were "mostly athiest or agnostic".

You say that this is not about me, but just an in depth discussion of issues. But I find that it is completely about me and other conservatives that think as I do. You act as if we come from another planet and feel the need to constantly psychoanalyze us simply because we see the world differently than you.

At least I am honest enough with myself to realize that I have a conservative worldview and that I see happenings in the world around me as reinforcing those views. After reading the entirety of your comments, I believe that you do much the same thing. Except, it seems to me that you also seek out news stories and historical accounts that fit in with your preconceptions and decide that they must be true, and that everything else is false. Of course, you would never admit that. You obviously have a very high opinion of yourself and couldn't possibly be wrong about anything.

Anyway, I am glad to have been a part of this record-setting comments section. It wouldn't have happened without me and it gave you plenty to do with your time. I'm sure that you think that you provided interesting and fascinating facts to a huge audience, but I would be surprised if more than a handful of people read the whole thing. Heck, I barely made it through some of your novels. But, I guess it's been fun in a twisted sort of way. I promise to bring plenty of facts with me the next time I jump into one of these discussions just to see what you do with them. Until then, ta ta!

Posted by J.O. on 03/03/2011 at 6:25 PM


Thanks for being a springboard. This thread made it possible to post all sorts of factual information. You have served a beneficial purpose.

But since you seem to be obsessed with food stamp stories I will tell a real life story related to food stamps.

I don't think a vehicle is part of food stamp qualifications, and in most places in America a person cannot get along without a car. I have a conservative friend who lost lots of money when Montana Power was fleeced (engineered by conservative criminals) and has a very low retirement income. He also lost money when a Republican lawyer set up an investment for him as a part owner of an office building. The whole thing was a Ponzi scheme that folded and left the investors with almost nothing. But the lawyer was paid very well. My friend's food stamp review said his income was low enough but he still had a modest gold investment, thus he did not qualify. They reviewed his tax returns as well. He and his wife are having a hard time now, no fault of their own. Even the co-pays on Medicare are a problem for them as they are for me after my savings went to medical costs. And in reality the food stamp program becomes a subsidy for corporate foods that millions of American cannot afford due to a disparity of wealth that continues to grow. I am not being judgmental and suggesting that you are blind to the suffering of others, but before food stamps, millions of Americans were literally malnourished or even starving while living in the wealthiest nation on earth. And even with food stamps, many high quality foods are unaffordable. Etc.

I must say that you seem to be grasping at straws in your last post. Again this is not about you, but just an in depth discussion of issues. Part of such a process does include the credibility and rationality of a writer. And in my opinion, due your inability to address the issues and back up your statements with facts, you probably got a D- for rational content in this thread. My last post documented war crimes in Iraq and you come back with your teenage story about food stamps. Also you have a habit of saying things leave you wide open in a debate format. Do your homework and put on your thinking cap before writing. And how strange, you love to dump sarcasm on others but don't think sarcasm is funny when it comes your way ? What can I say ?

Have a quality day !

Posted by JConrad on 03/03/2011 at 10:34 AM

Wow, JC, that is rich! I tell of a story (one of many I have personally witnessed) of welfare fraud and you have the audacity to question it and say: "Similar food stamp stories are all over the internet on right wing websites. They are so common that a person must question if they are true."

So now, things that I have personally witnessed also have to be questioned. I was a young kid in high school at the time. I had no political worldview. I just saw what I saw and it had an impact on me. Must not have been true though. My delusions were developed at an early age!

I get the distinct feeling that you often see things that conflict with your way of thinking and you simply black them out like "oh, that didn't really happen".

Oh, and I did quit that lousy union job. I upgraded to my current job where I got a very substantial pay increase and benefits that those union guys would drool over. You're sitting there thinking "this guy is just making stuff up now, 'cause NOBODY gets better pay than union workers!" What a farce.

Posted by J.O. on 03/02/2011 at 8:30 PM


That Toronto Sun article reads more like an opinion piece. Why do I get the feeling that you spend your days perusing the "internets" looking for news articles that fit with your already defined worldview, and then decide that those must be the real facts?

For instance, I found that Iraq war casualty numbers ranged from a low of 87,000 to a high of over a million. That's quite a wide margin! And, of course the deaths are pretty much reported as "Iraqi deaths" as if they were mostly innocent civilians rather than armed and hostile insurgents. I would bet that you believe that the higher casualty numbers are the most accurate.

Also, Iraq's oil industry is growing which is very important for the country. They sell their oil on the open market and have benefitted from the recent rise in oil prices. But "big oil" must be and always is bad in your eyes.

Oh, and I did a quick look at this statement from one of your previous manifestoes:

"The founding fathers were either agnostic or atheist"

Even the most ardent supporters of the "America is not a Christian Nation" crowd that I found would not have called any of the founders athiest or agnostic. Some were Diests, but most were very devout, church-going Christians. But, I am sure that you found the "fact" that they were mostly athiests somewhere and decided that they must be accurate because it fit nicely with your worldview.

jdogg, I used that food stamp example as an anecdote. Surely you know what an anecdote is. I am also sure that many people quietly pay with food stamps and go on their way. However, that experience and many others opened my eyes to the fact that people routinely abuse the system. And I believe that the system abuses the people right back. It robs many of their dignity and drive. It has been said that all too often the safety net becomes a hammock. I am sure that is the case far more often than most liberals are willing to admit.

Posted by J.O. on 03/02/2011 at 8:16 PM

"I remember a lady paying for her groceries with food stamps while pointing out to her friend, the cashier, her brand new red sports car!"

Similar food stamp stories are all over the internet on right wing websites. They are so common that a person must question if they are true.

And granting that this actually happened, did J.O check her license and registration to verify it was actually her car ? Maybe it was borrowed to go to the grocery store and she was trying to impress someone.

But any real food stamp fraud is a drop in the bucket compared to the fraud generated by the conservative policies that set the stage for Wall Street and Bankster crimes in addition to corporate tax evasion.

The line that I belong to union and they do nothing for me is another classic in right wing chat rooms. But the facts are that union jobs are some of the few remaining providing benefits. But if J.O. really does dislike his union he should find a non-union job. Maybe he could find a non-union job at less pay with no benefits and then try to provide health care for his family ? Or how about retirement with no pension or S.S., or God forbid, Medicare ?

Nothing personal J.O. but I am just exploring the validity of right wing ideology and you have entered the public forum as pundit and judging others. I actually have what might be considered "conservative" friends but most of the people I communicate with are more open-minded.

Ya' know not all those who refuse to worship at the alter of Bush ideology are evil people. I happen to have beliefs that fall into the Christian category as well as other beliefs. I think the last true Christian operating at the highest levels of compassionate activism was Dr. King while putting his life on the line to help others. What do many of the "Christian" leaders preach today, but pray for what you want for yourself. Fantastic !

And on Iraq, a good friend of mine who has a relative "serving" said his nephew admitted that shooting unarmed civilians was commonplace. No consequences. The documented and publicized war crimes are just the tip of the iceberg. And the overall Iraqi death count is unknown, conservatively at 100,000, perhaps as high as 400,000 while they posed zero threat to America. But as Wolfowitz said to Congress to sell the war, "That country is floating on a sea of oil." But what the hell, they are all Haji just like the Vietnamese were all gooks. But as Gen. Tommy Franks said, "We don't do body counts." Vietnamese body count, about 3 Million.

I hope my grandchildren live in a better world.

Posted by JConrad on 03/02/2011 at 7:16 PM

Hey JC, these days that makes you a 'socialist.' dontcha know?

Posted by Al V. on 03/02/2011 at 4:43 PM

"I remember a lady paying for her groceries with food stamps while pointing out to her friend, the cashier, her brand new red sports car!"

But, how many times did food stamp families just quietly pay and leave? People only notice and remember the most extreme cases of abuse. A greedy few will always find a way to manipulate the system. It seems that you have your "welfare queen" while us liberal-esque types got our Bernies and AIGs. While neither deserves my respect, I can tell you which ones of the three I'd rather see incarcerated.

Posted by theJdogg on 03/02/2011 at 4:19 PM

For the record, I don't do illegal drugs or medical marijuana. But what does my personal life have to do with the issues ?

I am retired on S.S. and a state pension. But because that does not cover all of my expenses, I have a private part-time business.

I supported a family of four, with a son who served in the military, yet he questions the Iraq situation now that he has shed his youthful military indoctrination.

And on the related retirement issue, I am outraged that the conservatives (and some "liberals") want to kill S.S. (as they have intended for decades) or turn it over to the crooks on Wall Street. S.S. is a trust account created with our money. It is not a welfare "entitlement" but our money, plain and simple. S.S. is solvent for many years to come and would be in even better shape if Congress (including Demos) would simply make good on the estimated $3 Trillion they have "borrowed" from S.S. to pay for other things (like wars) and have replaced with treasury bonds, essentially I.O.U's. But this debt will be difficult to repay while running up more debt with $Trillions wasted on the invasions and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan including well documented fraud in billing for services by private contractors and the so-called reconstruction projects. Etc.

Shadow should look into Xe (formerly Blackwater) as they pay better for killing people, although their goons do not enjoy all of the socialistic military benefits.

So, I must admit I do not march in lockstep with American corporate imperial foreign policy.


And here is a little information from a mainstream newspaper. The private corporatization of Iraq includes oil and banking and an emerging corporate interest in Iraq's agriculture. This nothing more than expanding corporate markets at the barrel of a gun, or depleted uranium weapons. Opps, I forgot, facts are nothing but "claptrap".

Published on Sunday, August 8, 2010 by the Toronto Sun

Iraq: It All Boils Down to Oil

U.S. won’t leave Iraq’s energy reserves untended after its troops pull out
by Eric Margolis

Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama restated his vow to pull all U.S. combat troops out of Iraq by the end of this month, and the remaining U.S. garrison by the end of 2011.

Has America's long goodbye to Iraq really begun?

The 50,000 U.S. troops left until 2011 will supposedly "advise and assist" and perform "anti-terrorism" missions and training.

These troops will likely be six armor-heavy combat brigades, backed by warplanes from U.S. air bases in the Gulf.

A U.S. brigade withdrawn from Iraq will go to neighboring Kuwait. Most of the rest will transfer to Afghanistan.

No word about the 85,000 U.S.-paid mercenaries (a.k.a. "contractors") in Iraq.

In his impressive new book, Oil, writer Tom Bower notes America's trinity is "God, guns and gasoline."

Iraq's oil reserves are an estimated 112 billion barrels, the world's second largest behind Saudi Arabia. Canada ranks third.

Iraq also has vast natural gas reserves, an increasingly important fuel and raw material. Oil-hungry India and China are eyeing Iraq.

America's once mighty oil firms, the "seven sisters," have been elbowed out of most of the world's oil fields by nationalist governments.

Iraq's ex-ruler, Saddam Hussein, kicked foreign oil firms out of Iraq, and so sealed his fate. Big Oil moved back into Iraq behind invading U.S. troops in 2003, and is taking over Iraq's oil production and exporting.

It's unlikely the U.S. will cut Iraq loose.

Washington seems to be following the same control model set up in the 1920s by the British Empire to secure Mesopotamia's oil. Namely: Install a puppet ruler, create a native army to protect him, leave some British troops and strong RAF units in desert bases ready to bomb any miscreants who disturbed the Pax Brittanica - and keep cheap oil flowing.

Washington is building a $740 million US new embassy in Baghdad for 800 personnel, as well as giant new fortified embassies in the Afghan capital Kabul and Islamabad, Pakistan, (cost $1 billion) that may hold 1,000 "diplomats."

Osama bin Laden calls them, "Crusader Fortresses."

The U.S. hopes the Shia Maliki regime it installed in Baghdad will keep a lid on Iraq while allowing almost-independent Kurdistan to remain a Kuwait-like U.S. protectorate. But given Iraq's fractured history, this seems unlikely.

American "liberation" left Iraq politically, economically, and socially shattered. Republican crowing about victory in Iraq thanks to the famous "surge" hides the grim truth.

Reputable studies estimate Iraq's death toll at hundreds of thousands to one million, not counting claims by UN observers that 500,000 Iraqi children died from disease as a result of the U.S.-led embargo before 2003.

Four million Sunni Iraqis remain refugees, half abroad, victims of Shia ethnic cleansing. Death squads haunt the land. Large numbers of Iraqi doctors and scientists have been murdered.

A maze of U.S.-built concrete walls cut up and control major cities. Electricity only works a few hours daily in 40 C heat.

Cancers from depleted uranium fired by U.S. cannons are becoming epidemic.

"They create a desert, and call it peace," as Tacitus memorably said of Rome's solution for Carthage.

If all U.S. troops are removed, the Maliki sock puppet regime won't last long.

A real Iraqi regime nationalist would re-nationalize oil, rearm, rebuild the ruined nation and rejoin the Arab confrontation against Israel.

Or, Iran would end up dominating Iraq.

It's unlikely Washington would accept either outcome.

Iraqi resistance to foreign occupation has abated as the pullout date nears.

U.S. casualties have fallen sharply because U.S. troops are being kept on their bases.

But this could quickly change.

The highest-ranking surviving Ba'ath Party leader, Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, just declared a new push against the occupiers and their Shia allies.

The outlook for Iraq is probably more violence and turmoil.

U.S. troops may have to remain to protect America's oil companies and prevent Iraq from disintegrating.

The excuse, of course, will be "fighting terrorism," but the real reason, as in Afghanistan, will be oil which - of course - is next to God
© 2010 Toronto Sun

Our heroic American soldiers in Iraq are not defending our "freedoms" but are killing for corporate profit with the tab being picked up by the U.S. taxpayers in the form of debt.

And of course as we are all aware, I hope, specific war crimes have been part of the invasion of Iraq with the overall invasion being one huge war crime as a war of aggression or war against peace under international law.

The following is a short list, but if the truth were ever known about Nam, the atrocities in Iraq are relatively mild.

* War crimes, crimes against humanity: Mahmudiyah killings involving the rape and murder of a 14 year old girl and the murder of her family by U.S. troops.
* Blackwater Baghdad shootings On September 16, 2007, Blackwater military contractors shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square, Baghdad.[142] The fatalities occurred while a Blackwater Personal Security Detail (PSD) was escorting a convoy of US State Department vehicles en route to a meeting in western Baghdad with United States Agency for International Development officials. The shooting led to the unraveling of the North Carolina-based company, which since has replaced its management and changed its name to Xe Services.
* Beginning in 2004, accounts of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse, including torture, rape, sodomy, and homicide of prisoners held in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq (also known as Baghdad Correctional Facility) came to public attention. These acts were committed by military police personnel of the United States Army together with additional US governmental agencies.

Quite some time ago, decorated Marine General, Smedley Butler blew the whistle.

“War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses."

"I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket."

"There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its "finger men" to point out enemies, its "muscle men" to destroy enemies, its "brain men" to plan war preparations, and a "Big Boss" Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism."

"During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”


Posted by JConrad on 03/02/2011 at 3:51 PM

Shadow, I have to wonder what you are talking about when you say that you were fighting for my rights. What rights are you referring to? I think you are confused when you say something like that. I think the reason you were there was to further an agenda forced on us by the Cheney/Bush administration and big oil. Where were the WMDs? I’m not aware that they ever surfaced.

F…ing stupid doesn’t even begin to describe what that whole mess has been about, as it doesn’t even begin to describe your pathetic approach to understanding and explicating what benefit the agenda you appear to support has for the ordinary citizen. Is it in our best interest to have the military overrun a country on the say so of faulty intelligence?

There really was no insurgency in Iraq UNTIL we went in looking for WMDs. I don’t think you even understand how examples like JC used are to illustrate positions. You seem like just another doofus that thinks shouting someone down is the best approach. Nazis, for your information used tactics exactly like you are employing in your approach—they were called storm troopers.

I also don’t get your innuendo (no not an Italian suppository) concerning Congress and government. If you are so gung ho about criticizing a citizen for questioning the military, then you had better re-evaluate why you fight? If you are protecting rights, I guess the first right is freedom of speech, which is by the way, why most people rationalize democracy and its process. If it wasn’t for questioning individuals like JC, we would be forced to do anything the military wishes. That is why the military is subservient to the civilian authority, or don’t you understand it? That is why you are protecting freedom, to allow all points of view. If you don't understand that, you really are a dumbass.

I find it humorous that you go for the juggler and accuse JC of some kind of drug use; when you can't think, throw in a non sequitar. I also find it amusing that some dipshit like you just assumes that someone is a democrat because they disagree with your miniscule worldview; you wouldn't know the difference between progressives and radicals if it wasn't something you had seen on Fox.

Maybe you should just go out and huff on the tailpipe of a semi, it might at least make you a better person because then you wouldn’t be able to talk like the outrageous idiot that you appear to be. Maybe I'm wrong, you might be more lucid. The voters did not ask the legislators to deal with cultural issues; they want their rights protected, jobs, and a stable economy. By the way, it is butt hurt junior.

Posted by stoopid01 on 03/02/2011 at 1:15 PM

opps, the first post was delayed for some reason, so I wrote it again.

Cheers !

Posted by JConrad on 03/02/2011 at 1:08 PM


Interesting post, but every time I call your bluff, you pull another card from under the table. You have gone off on tangents rather than address the factual information and issues of the thread.

And you said, "you and all of your liberal friends".

Did I say I am a "liberal".

I am neither a liberal or a conservative. The simplistic "liberal" label you attached to me came from your head. Some of my views could be labeled as "liberal" and some seen as "conservative". I take people and politicians and issues one at a time.

When it comes to guns I am somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan, if I may use a cliche.

And I have opposed Democrats (as well as Republicans) on a variety of issues and have actually played a role in creating laws in Montana expressing the will of the people. I am 64 with lots of true stories to tell.

I brought up the Founding Fathers as they created a constitution based on the principles of democracy and acknowledging the rights of all of the people. Yet by today's political standards they would be labeled "extremists. They totally opposed the idea of big money controlling the nation. It was a real and radical revolution.

And may I suggest that for all practical purposes we presently have one party system in Washington run by big money special interests. Both parties have sold us out. But one small variation is that Demos give more support to education and a few other watered-down populist issues. Polls reveal that most Americans have almost no faith in our elected Congress.

And, I hesitate to mention the Nation article again, but on the basis of the very debatable issue of budget projections, you dismissed all of the documented factual information in the article. You have been blinded by your ideology. One clear fact is that Tea Party Walker gave huge tax breaks to the very corporations that put him in power. Hardly a "grassroots" politician. And the Koch brothers are engaging in union busting through their political puppets. And what a surprise the "Libertarian" Koch brothers are scamming Federal subsidy programs. You suggested that because they claim to be Libertarians that they could not possibly be the "boogeyman". Sorry to bring this up again, but you still don't get it.

And you are now assuming that just because an article comes from the Wall Street Journal that it is true and should not be questioned !

Once again: "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.". Thomas Jefferson

It may be pointless to try to introduce objective facts into your tightly conditioned mind, but this is not about you, but rather the issues and objectivity and the chance to post information for all readers.

Thus, based on the facts, I say it is time for another revolution by any means necessary.

Posted by JConrad on 03/02/2011 at 1:05 PM

Interesting reply.

But it seems when I call your bluff, you just pull another card from under the table. The content of your new post goes off on variety of tangents rather than dealing with the issues of this thread.

And you said: "you and all of your liberal friends"

Did I say I am a "liberal" ? I am afraid your brain has imposed that simple label on me.

I have views that could be called "liberal", and I have views that would be considered "conservative". I don't buy either label. I take issues and politicians one at a time. But the general truth is that we have a one party system, more of less, with Democrats and Republicans both owned by big money special interests. But one minor difference is that on education, the democrats give it more attention.

But, I have opposed Democrats on many occasions and have played a role in making news laws in Montana reflecting the will of the people. I am 64 and have a lot of true stories to tell.

However, when it comes to guns, I am somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan, if I may use a cliche.

I brought up the founding fathers because they were total patriots, yet by the narrow dualistic definitions dominating today's political circus would be branded as "liberals" or even "radical extremists".

I am suggesting that you are responding to issues as being absolutely right or wrong based upon your ideology, not facts.

You imposed this mindset on the Nation article (and on other issues) when you did not agree with one debatable point and then dismissed all of the objective information. The essential issues were that Walker was bribed by special interests and the Koch brothers have a national agenda to destroy collective bargaining along with other policies linked to their business interests. And the state employees are willing to limit their wages if necessary, but not give up collective bargaining.

And why should corporations be allowed to evade taxes while accepting Federal subsidies as do the Koch brothers ? The Tea Party is huge lie and once again the voters have been duped.

And where will this stop, when Americans work for a dollar an hour or less like the Chinese ?

The events in Wisconsin are exactly what the founding fathers wanted to prevent, a situation where big money (usually corporations) destroys the core structures of a democracy. The principles of democracy are the foundation for our Constitutional Republic. At the time it was a real revolution.

Ever hear of the Hudson Bay Company or the East India company ? These were two giant global corporations engaged in criminal imperialism to deliver profits to their investors. And the British military backed them up. The idea was to kill everyone who stood in the way of big business. But our patriots said no and resisted.

Time for another revolution by any means necessary.


Posted by JConrad on 03/02/2011 at 11:34 AM

OMG what did I miss out on here. Oh yea I am one of them people serving our country and was busy fighting for your rights to be stupid. First, JConrad you’re a moron and have no earthly idea what you’re talking about. Taking information from the Rolling Stones rag and thinking its complete truth all the time just proves how stupid you are and how little you truly know about the government. It’s a rag that is trying to sale itself. Then there is the comparison to Nazi Germany. CRAZY! Yea little JConrad we have little Nazi’s running around in Congress and all over the government! You disrespect the U.S. War Fighter with some of the stuff you post. Huff on that pipe some more. Kill them brain cells and become the problem and burden on society, it’s all free and check out the colors. It sound to me like you’re a DEM who is but hurt because the voters came out and said no more to your stupid idea’s!

Posted by Shadow on 03/02/2011 at 5:28 AM

I'm a dem and I live the American dream. You know the old saying "You don't have to be crazy to be a Republican?" But, it is a prerequisite these days. I am continually amazed at how stupid Republicans are. They don't live the American dream, they KOW TOW to the wealthy. So, JC, I bet you got a nice kurtzy.

Posted by Al V. on 03/01/2011 at 9:19 PM


I was going to tell you not to waste your time with a big response... Uh, too late, I guess.

OK, it has been well established that I am, in fact, delusional. I guess that I, and all of the conservatives that think like I do, are stuck in the Matrix, while you and all of your liberal friends took the “red pill” and can see how things "really are."

So, the things that I see and experience are not as they really are. My life is not what it seems! For instance, in my delusional state of mind, I have a good job. But in reality, I am a wage slave. My wife is also a wage slave. Even though we both get what we consider to be very fair pay and good benefits. Hmmmm, I never knew I should be so dissatisfied with my job!

We also can get health care quickly and affordably from highly talented doctors, nurses and technicians. While some of my Canadian relatives are shocked that we don’t have to wait for months to see a specialist, and are also surprised that our health care system is not quite the hellish mess that the Canadian media paints it as being. But in your reality, we should rebel against this corporate health care system, because it isn’t actually meeting our needs and somebody is probably making obscene profits from it.

Friends of mine that have served in the military in Iraq must also be lying to me. Either that, or they have told me of the torture they were ordered to commit and shown me the fingers that they collected as souvenirs (or was the Finger Collection Brigade not deployed in Iraq?). But in my delusional state, I could not process what I was hearing. Instead, I heard them tell stories of doing good things, building schools and helping the locals. Wow, this delusion thing is powerful!

You would like me to post a bunch of links to bolster my arguments. I guess that’s reasonable to expect. But I figure that it would be an exercise in futility with you. I think it would be , ahem, delusional of me to expect to change your mind. I mean, if I were to post some well-documented article from, say, the Wall Street Journal, I would expect you to come back with a litany of links and articles to dispute whatever I had posted. That’s why I refer to this as a game. It seems like a game of one upmanship to me. Maybe next time, I’ll post a link just to see what happens.

So instead, I like to post my opinions. Opinions that have been developed through my upbringing and my life experience. What I see around me. And what I have seen in my life is that liberal policies tend to sound good on paper, but simply do not work in the real world. It is human nature to be lazy and to take the easy road, and many liberal policies reward laziness.

As an ancedotal example. When I was a young guy, working at a grocery store in Virginia (a wage slave at such a young age!) I remember a lady paying for her groceries with food stamps while pointing out to her friend, the cashier, her brand new red sports car! I also remember witnessing customers on numerous occasions getting very angry that they were restricted from buying certain items with their food stamps or WIC checks. I’m sure that you might argue that these were isolated and rare happenings, but I saw it enough to affect my opinions of many welfare programs. Those incidents are just a drop in the bucket to what I have witnessed.

That is just a small example of why I tend to argue from my life’s experience rather than relying on what some media outlet might report. I’m pretty cynical. I think everybody is capable of pushing their agenda, no matter how “objective” they may claim to be.

But, I guess since I’m delusional, I should believe what you are telling me rather than believe my lying eyes. Well, right now my lying eyes are telling me that there are a couple of hungry deer in my backyard. I’m going to go out and feed them.

Before I go, I will address one point of yours:

You said, “On the socialist word. Ochenski is clearly not a socialist. And what European type programs are you referring to ? Again you provide no facts to support your opinions.”

Is not the very single payer, government run health care that you and Ochenski desire a “European type program”? And isn’t it generally described as “socialized health care”? And those European countries that you describe as “democratic capitalist” are also reffered to as “social democracies”? We are, are we not, a Constitutional Republic that was founded upon the principles of limited government? How then is government “limited” if it can take over an industry as huge as the health care industry? That sounds like vastly expanded government to me.

Well, JC. Until next’s been a hoot!

Posted by J.O. on 03/01/2011 at 8:12 PM


Good to hear from you. I get the feeling that you are a worker ant not a wealthy capitalist. And if I am critical of Demos, it is only because I believe in the American dream.


Posted by JConrad on 03/01/2011 at 7:18 PM

I was kidding, it was 6 hours between posts. Little did I know that you were working on a manifesto. GO is not a socialist by any stretch of the imagination. Nor is he a progressive or liberal. He is an upper cruster, at least that is where he skis.

Posted by Al V. on 03/01/2011 at 3:41 PM

Bizarre comment AIV, "Its like they stop and think and forget to get started again." Makes no sense at all. Did you mean, It's like they stop thinking and forget to get started again. ?

Well here is a quickie today with G.O.'s new column appearing on Thurs.

But thanks J.O. for participating. You have provided a counterpoint that has expanded the comments and the article.This is at great public forum.

And as I have said before, J.O., this is not about you and me, but about the issues, at least for me. I am not alone here and some of us are simply asking you to present facts that can sustain your opinions and rant.

Just a few points.

On the socialist word. Ochenski is clearly not a socialist. And what European type programs are you referring to ? Again you provide no facts to support your opinions. Your lack of substance has been the point all along. I would even venture that you are using the unpopular word socialist as way of negating everything he writes. This appears to be your word game.

And national health care does NOT mean a nation has become socialist. It should be considered as an essential public service. Nearly every developed country on earth provides public health care with the full support of the taxpayers.

Americans are also in favor of a public option, but it was crushed. Canada has public health care that operates at a fraction or our costs and some say provides better care. And what about the 40 million Americans who cannot afford medical insurance ? Canada is not a socialist country and the European countries you are referring to are in fact democratic capitalist countries, some of which have a higher standard of living than us.

Again your reasoning does not hold water and you have not explained why our corporate health care (huge profits for insurance companies and the medical industrial complex) is a beneficial system ?

And wow, an MRI costs less than a hundred dollars in Japan and the same thing here is over $1,000. And medications ? Conservative Baucus made sure that the medicare program cannot bid for the lowest drug prices (what happened to the conservative "free market nonsense ?) as the VA does making it possible to deliver the drugs at a lower cost to vets in need. And corporate lobbyists put the pressure on Congress to make it illegal for citizen medical co-ops to purchase less expensive drugs from Canada. Is that a "free market", it is a monopoly ! Cheaper drugs could come from Canada or other nations, but no, the corporate policy is law. And the list of such pro-corporate anti-taxpaying citizen legislation is endless. This is not democracy.

And, I am not a socialist either simply because I am in favor of the public option that the insurance and medical corporations killed. So we are stuck with their system which by some estimates means that 40% of every health care dollar goes to corporate "overhead" or profit taking. Switzerland actually has corporate health care which is available to everyone, but, it is a regulated industry, hence cost to the public is reasonable. And it would be considered a scandal in Switzerland if someone went into serious debt over medical expenses. But in America, medical debt is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy.

Yet, health care is one issue where you refuse to consider facts and what a burden corporate health care has become. If you deny this reality it would indicate you have actually have cognition problems. Your brain is conditioned to filter out all information not part of the internal program

And wow, you said, "But after reading your comments, it seems obvious that those statements are but a minor embellishment. "

No, your conclusions that you cannot back up are huge distortions. Again, the principle is that a person should back up their beliefs with real facts and information. You are not being objective but are operating with an irrational belief system, or possibly playing games as you have suggested. Yet, it would appear that you are projecting your belief system in a delusional manner.

However, I do enjoy semantics which has giant ramifications. Words become labels that can distort reality, meaning facts and actual events are ignored by delusional use of language. Of course it is possible that the language game is part a larger political plan.

I asked for a definition of "liberal claptrap", not just claptrap. That phrase is a label invented primarily by the right wing propaganda folks. And most words have connotative meanings that influence someone experiencing the words. The word clap has for centuries referred to venereal disease. The use of the word clap here does not mean clapping hands together. Trap has a clear meaning. So your nasty implication is that all liberal thought is like a sexually transmitted disease ? So, you label the Nation article as liberal claptrap thus ignoring all of the valid documentation in the article.

Here's' and interesting item by Dryden:

"For while he nibbles at her Am’rous Trap
She gets the Mony but he gets the Clap.’ (Poor Pensive Punck, poem by John Dryden,

And speaking of great English language literature, you have once again missed the meaning of my words.

"Like this little tidbit from an earlier comment of yours: “if you find yourself starving, we will make it legal to grind your hungry children into high protein flesh burgers for the dinner table or for sale to fast food corporations or possibly our cattle.”

Wake up, this is pure sarcasm, which you seem to enjoy. I even gave readers a hint with the words, " a modest proposal". A Modest Proposal, by Jonathan Swift, is recognized as one of the finest satirical essays ever written.…

And Swift's essay is based upon the fact that economic policies created by wealthy British created near starvation conditions for subjects of the empire, especially the Irish.

And do the following political views from the past sound familiar ? This type of thinking has become the current conservative ideology in action, and what Walker promotes by eliminating collective bargaining in Wisconsin. Once again, conservative compassion in action. They are taking us back in time to some of worst political and economic conditions in history.…

"At the start of a new industrial age in the 18th century, it was believed that "people are the riches of the nation", and there was a general faith in an economy that paid its workers low wages because high wages meant workers would work less.[20] Furthermore, "in the mercantilist view no child was too young to go into industry". In those times, the "somewhat more humane attitudes of an earlier day had all but disappeared and the laborer had come to be regarded as a commodity".

It is important to be well read and to understand history as to not repeat mistakes from the past. One of your statements says you approve of learning from the past.

So back to Wisconsin and how you and Walker like to overlook facts.

"Less than a month ago, a Fiscal Bureau memo reported that the state had a $121.4 million surplus through the remainder of the current fiscal year."

That is a fact that is now under attack by Governor Walker, whom the conservative publication Human Events refers to as the “new hero” of the Republican right."

The projected fiscal crisis that Walker's bean counters claim is of course affected by the huge tax breaks that Walker immediately gave to corporations that funded his campaign. And of course the key point in the article is that Walker (and other politicians backed by the Koch brothers) are attempting to take away the right for labor to engage in collective bargaining. The Wisconsin "deficit" is also affected by Walker rejecting Federal project funds because the projects are not favored by the corporations that own Walker, the Tea Party man. Walker has been bribed.

A recent poll indicates that about 60% of voters polled are against eliminating the right to collective bargaining.

Walker is actually using government to put a greater burden on the average person in Wisconsin. I would hardly call this consistent with Tea Party (and Republican) promises to get government off our backs and to not let special interests rule our "democracy". He is also rejecting Federal funding for Medicaid which is money that would benefit Wisconsin's economy and citizens.

Again, you have ignored all of the extensive facts presented in the Nation article. Great thinking.

And are the Koch brothers free market Libertarians ? No, they are profiting from Federal programs (corporate welfare...or socialism for the elite) and actually got their early seed capital by aiding Stalin, who was perhaps the worst dictator in history. One might call the Koch family business in Russia to be treason.

And you said, "For instance, you seem to despise America’s military to the point that you believe practically anything negative that is reported about them."

Not true. I only presented recent factual events about our military, plain and simple.

You are again expressing your own delusional preconceptions and distorting what I have clearly stated in my posts. The military is essential for national defense but, in my opinion, should not be used to further the private interests of globalized American corporations while burdening the taxpayer with debt that then effects our domestic economy. And even you in the past have suggested that the "defense" budget could be trimmed. DUH !

And here you go again. "I do wonder if you “love” America."

Did I ever say I do not believe in our nation ? I am very patriotic in the sense of upholding a genuine democracy and speaking out against those who use money power to subvert our democracy. So, what's love got to do with it ? I just want see our democracy restored and for the nation to prosper. The most patriotic thing a person can do is to question government at every opportunity.

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." Thomas Jefferson

And speaking of the founding fathers, they opposed the potential abuses of corporate power as well as banking. They had seen these systems create mass suffering in Europe and around the world. Congress once had the power to review corporations and cancel their charters. Not so anymore. So what do we have now, banksters and unregulated corporate power destroying the American standard of living and corrupting our so-called democratic government.

Opps...I nearly forgot. The founding fathers were either agnostic or atheist having seen church and state corruptions that plagued Europe for centuries. But the Christian conservatives love to hark back to he founding fathers while revising history. What happened to the facts ?

Now we have evangelicals and fun-duh-mentalists actually working with Republican conservatives to make laws and campaign policies. A clear violations of the principle of separation of church and state.

The good and obedient working class fundamental folks have become a big part of the Republican base but have been duped into supporting policies of the wealthy and corporations that are against their best interests. And we now have Montana legislators cooking up bills based on religious beliefs at the request of their constituents.

The real conservative agenda, as opposed to their rhetoric, violates the essential principles or our democracy. Thus I patriotically oppose such policies as being undemocratic. Is that so hard to understand ?

And, you said, "I was called “delusional” simply because I doubted Ochenski’s prediction that Montanans would “take to the streets” as a result of the legislative session."

No. I did not comment on "take to the streets". Once again I am suggesting that your posts are not consistent with real facts or what might be called reality. So I will stick with my opinion that you are delusional as are millions of Americans.

Once again the definition of delusional:

"A false belief strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence, especially as a symptom of mental illness"

And to expand the discussion there are many historic examples of mass delusions in various societies. The Germans once thought Hitler and the Nazis were a great idea and gave nearly fanatical support. But millions of deaths and the destruction of their nation later provided the experiential facts that verify such beliefs were simply not valid. So sad.

In my humble opinion I am suggesting that our nation actually suffers from a variety of mass delusions promoted mainly by the "conservatives". "Trickle Down" economics has been proven to be a delusion. Deregulation of our utilities was a disaster as was deregulation of national financial markets. Just facts exposing the spin.

And why do I use the word fascist ? Because it is here already in a disguised form. This is true, just follow the money. Our government policies are largely controlled by campaign donations of corporations and the wealthy elie. And, the "conservatives" in the Supreme Court recently expanded corporate influence thus giving big money more power. Not very democratic.

In the words of a notorious Fascist eventually hung by the people of Italy:

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”

Benito Mussolini quotes (Italian dictator, 1883-1945)

But as you have said more than once, no matter what information is presented, your beliefs will not be changed. This is delusional.

I rest my case for the moment.

Posted by JConrad on 03/01/2011 at 3:03 PM

I hate it when people let work get in the way of a comment. Its like they stop and think and forget to get started again.

Posted by Al V. on 02/28/2011 at 8:08 PM

Does anyone find it strange that the same issues are cropping up in so many states? Its like Republicans are all thinking the same things in Wisconsin, Montana, Indiana, Florida, Colorado, Oklahoma, etc. The fact that it is all based on the same lies nationwide makes it almost comic in nature. I guess they are all hooked on Koch.

Posted by Al V. on 02/28/2011 at 2:06 PM

J.O. thanks for the response. It has a very different tone as if written by another person. Will try to reply tomorrow as today is already taken up by work.

Posted by JConrad on 02/28/2011 at 10:29 AM


Let me start with this. You say that all I have done is take cheap shots at the author and those commenting here. What do you call a cheap shot? I was called “delusional” simply because I doubted Ochenski’s prediction that Montanans would “take to the streets” as a result of the legislative session. That sounds like a cheap shot to me. How about the fact that because I disagree with you I must have cognitive dissonance and have my “intellectual competency” questioned?

How about the fact that you and the other other commenters here cannot seem to make an adult argument without name calling? When I read the comments, I see terms like “Repugnants”, “Republipukes”, “evangelical nutjobs”, “dumbass minions” , “bullies”, and more to describe their opposition. Not to mention the numerous Nazi and Fascist comparisons. Why is it you liberals who “just want to debate the issues” can’t seem to go five seconds without resorting to childish insults?

OK. Ochenski might not like to be called a socialist. He can defend himself, can’t he? Would it be fair to say that he advocates for the U.S. to adopt many European-type social programs that could be called socialist? Or socialist-lite? I think I recall you asking “what’s wrong with socialized medicine” last week, so why be so offended at the word socialist?

As to your precious article from the Nation. I’m sorry that I used a term that you are not familiar with.

Claptrap --Pretentious, insincere, or empty language.

I hope that helps.

The article as I read it basically stated that Wisconsin is not in a fiscal crisis RIGHT NOW so the Governor is being disingenuous in his fight with the unions. The problem I had with the article is that even though it was admitted that a fiscal crisis is coming to WI in the form of a 3+ Billion dollar shortfall next year, the Governor shouldn’t be doing what he’s doing now because a mandatory “trigger point” has not yet been reached. But wait. Isn’t it a good idea for our elected leaders to try to fix things BEFORE they get out of hand? The public sector unions in WI have garnered very pricey pension and benefit deals for their members in the past. These contracts are unsustainable and a huge drain on the state’s budget, and I believe it is mark of good leadership to take these situations on and deal with them now rather than putting them off in perpetuity.

About these statements:

"America is evil!

Life sucks in this crappy country!

The world is going to burn up due to global warming!

Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Fast Food and Big Tobacco run our lives!

Big Government is great!

Everything is a conspiracy!"

I know that you haven’t actually said any of these things and can’t believe that you didn’t recognize my sarcasm. But after reading your comments, it seems obvious that those statements are but a minor embellishment.

For instance, you seem to despise America’s military to the point that you believe practically anything negative that is reported about them. (This is why I repeatedly suggest that you must love or any of Alex Jones’ publications... he HATES the “military industrial complex” and tells the most vile stories imaginable about the US Military).

You also have a very dark and disturbing view of corporate America. Like this little tidbit from an earlier comment of yours: “if you find yourself starving, we will make it legal to grind your hungry children into high protein flesh burgers for the dinner table or for sale to fast food corporations or possibly our cattle.” Plus, aren’t we all “wage slaves” to corporate America in your eyes?

I do wonder if you “love” America. Because I’m sure ,like most liberals, you believe this country 1)Has many unforgivable sins in it’s past, 2) Has caused many, if not most of the major problems in the world, 3) Is one of the major causes of “global warming”, 4) Probably deserves anything bad that happens to it, 5) Gets into “illegal wars”, 6) Has absolutely no regard for the poor, 7) Is an Imperialist, polluting, greedy, bully of a country, and on and on...

I just don’t see that magnifying everything bad or even questionable that this country has ever done equals “love of country”. Most conservatives that I know don’t believe “America, right or wrong” as we are often accused, but that we can forgive mistakes from our past and learn from them. Sounds a bit more like “love” to me.

Anyway, I hadn’t planned on such a lengthy response, but thanks to the weather it seemed like a good (although, I’m pretty sure, pointless) exercise. Now I guess you’ll come back at me with some more psychoanalysis or something. I bet you have the time!

Posted by J.O. on 02/27/2011 at 5:41 PM


What I am contributing to the article and discussion is not a matter of winning or losing. I am presenting information that is not "common knowledge" and engaging in what should be an open debate which is a very democratic tradition.

What you have done over and over again with this column is to take cheap shots at the author and those commenting without ever backing up your talk. And I have yet to see anything from you that is even remotely original, just a litany right wing cliches.

Is Ochenski a "socialist" ? Hardly, he is more like a moderate progressive and goes after Democrats and Republicans alike with journalist integrity and with summary opinions included. I don't always agree with him but he does put out a lot of information, especially from the under-belly of state politics thus expanding the political forum.

And, for example, I would think that your meaningless term, "liberal claptrap" is something you are aping from a right wing website ? It is hardly an intelligent response to the Nation article on Walker and his links to the Koch brothers and their political agendas.

And might I suggest that your new conspiracy theory about this being a "game " is an extension of your own ego involvement ? Apparently you approach this as a game of winning or losing with rhetorical banter rather than objectivity.

And now your are using "time" as an excuse for not dealing with situation you have provoked. Being honest does not take any more time than playing ideological and rhetorical games. Excuse me dear, I have a headache tonight.

And on the issue of your cognitive abilities, your responses to my writing are at best delusional, but I reserve the possibility that you know better but are simply trying to distort my positions and brand me with your own bullshit and attempting to negate the real information I am presenting without even dealing with the issues. A classic right wing political tactic.

You stated:

"America is evil!

Life sucks in this crappy country!

The world is going to burn up due to global warming!

Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Fast Food and Big Tobacco run our lives!

Big Government is great!

Everything is a conspiracy!"

If you think I actually said these things, you are an incompetent reader and perhaps blinded by your belief system and your inability to objectively evaluate something outside of your rigid beliefs.

In general, the right wing has managed to impose a narrow type of "thinking" on our political system and our overall culture which is far cry from the democratic traditions originated by the Greeks. I consider this to be a serious dumbing down of our society with grave consequences.

Or in the immortal words of Sgt. Friday, "Just the facts ma'ma"

Posted by JConrad on 02/27/2011 at 1:13 PM

Well, JC, you win. Seriously. In the war of words and links I have to hand it to you. If I write one paragraph, you respond with ten. I can't keep up. I don't have the time. So, crack open a beer and celebrate. I have a feeling that this will be the highlight of your week.

I was going to take the time to respond to you. (Not to your last post though... that's just some real condescending shit) But I know that I can't "win". I know how your game is played and I don't really feel like playing it anymore. I know that if I had no job, no family and no life, I would have the time to find plenty of links online with their own "facts" that would dispute the "facts" in your link. Then you could respond back with more links and "facts" to dispute my links, etc. Neither of us would change the other's mind and the debate could theoretically go on forever. Well, that gets old pretty quickly if you ask me. So, enjoy your "victory", I'm sure it will make for one wild weekend!

Posted by J.O. on 02/26/2011 at 9:14 PM

Sorry about the minor typos. Getting old, never really learned how to type, and need to proof read properly before posting.

"read a text and heard a lecture"


"and backing your ranting with factual information"

And, J.O. since you apparently have a sense of humor, however malicious, by suggesting that G.O. has his "panties in a bind", I would like to propose a study in cognition and communication. Actually I think your comment would have been more interesting by saying that he has his thong in bind.

So, just for fun, let's pretend you are a chimpanzee in a zoo and I am an animal cognitive psychologist trying to understand what is going on in your fuzzy little head. But you are an exceptional primate who can read and write unlike those who can only learn a limited number of words and respond through sign language. Some brains are more evolved than others. Think of this as a pop quiz that must be completed within a 45 minute class.

Unfortunately, I could not find a definition of your term, "liberal claptrap" via Google, so first define this term you may have created or have copied from a source while noting the source. This is important as it appears you rejected the entire Nation article because it is "liberal claptrap" and nothing more.

But it is worth noting that I did find definitions for the word liberal which the conservatives claim is a viewpoint that is the source of all evil in America, more or less.

a. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.

b. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.

Liberal sounds pretty scary but please enlighten us on the meaning of "claptrap".

Next read the Nation article carefully on Gov. Walker in Wisconsin and the Koch Bros.

Then write about a hundred words or more condensing the factual information presented in the article. For this summary of information you may not interject your own opinions or distort the text. Just the facts directly from the article.

Then write about a hundred words or more expressing your personal response to the information in the article and why you have made such conclusions. But if you digress from the content of the text in your response you must document and support your claims and define all words that are not in dictionaries. Conclusions not supported by factual information are not allowed.

I think everyone interested in this article and the comment thread would love to know more about your mind.

Posted by JConrad on 02/26/2011 at 6:46 PM
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