A Federal education program that works

Nobody knows how to fix U.S. public schools. We spend more money per pupil than countries with significantly better results and there is no correlation between money spent on students and success on tests or in life. It is not really so hard to understand. Education is complex and variable. One plan doesn’t fit all, so we have to try lots of things. One things that does work is the school choice program in Washington.

This program gives poor kids that chance to get out of poor schools. It is the only Federally funded school choice program in the U.S. The MIT study references above indicates that it turns out $2.62 in benefits for every dollar spent.

But there is more than money. They kids lucky enough to win the lottery to get into the choice program have a 12% higher graduation rate than similar kids who were stuck in the DC public schools. Kids who graduate from HS are less likely to commit crimes, more likely to hold a job and they even live longer on average. This simple program seems to be one of the best anti-poverty and anti-crime programs ever devised.

President Obama tried to kill the program in 2009. Fortunately the congressed stayed his hand and restored funding. Why anybody would want to shut down one of the few successful Federal education programs is beyond me. This should be expanded. In any case, the program benefits the mostly black students enrolled, which add another permutation. This is one of the most effective anti-poverty, anti-crime and pro-civil right programs in the Federal portfolio. Let's do more of what works.

Posted by Christine & John at February 6, 2013 6:48 PM
Comments
Comment #361443

Remember, when President Obama took office he said that he would evaluate what works, not go by partisanship. One of his first acts was to delay the report that showed how well the Washington DC program was working and authorized the program to end.

A great read to be had on the topic is by Michelle Rhee

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/04/michelle-rhee-my-break-with-the-democrats.html

As a lifelong Democrat, controversial education reformer Michelle Rhee never thought she’d support school vouchers. Until she did. In Radical, she details her transformation.

Here’s the question we Democrats need to ask ourselves: Are we beholden to the public school system at any cost, or are we beholden to the public school child at any cost?

Who am I, I thought, to deny this mom and her child an opportunity for a better school, even if that meant help with a seventy-five-hundred-dollar voucher? If they got a voucher, and her child could attend a really good Catholic school, perhaps, why would I stand in the way—especially since I don’t have a high-quality DCPS alternative?

I just couldn’t look mother after mother in the eye and deny their children the opportunity I wanted for my own children. It would have required me to say, “Gee, I’m sorry, you’re just going to have to suck it up. I know your elementary school is a failing school, and your child will probably not learn how to read, but I really need five more years to fix the system. And while I’m fixing the system, I need you and your neighbors to be really patient. Hang in there with me. Things will get better. I promise.”

If someone said that to me, I’d have said, “You may need more time to fix the system but my kid doesn’t have time. She has only one chance to attend first grade, and if she can’t learn to read by the end of first grade, her chances for success in life will be compromised. So with all due respect—heck no!”

Another good resource is Reason TV’s on DC’s Voucher Program

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7FS5B-CynM

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 6, 2013 7:49 PM
Comment #361453

I suppose this comment would not just apply to schools in poor parts of the country but everywhere. It’s my goal one day to create curriculum that teaches kids more about money and entrepreneurialism. The money piece could be centered around investing, the stock market and how all of that works. Also, the basics about saving and the different types of interest bearing accounts etc. The entrepreneurial piece would help to teach kids how to identify their passions and on a small level how they can turn it into a business and grow from there. Business plans, etc. Kids who deal drugs always say the same thing…we do it for the money. Can you imagine if they learned about all of these other things in highschool? Some of those kids would see how much fun business can be without breaking laws. They could focus their passion and energy on something other than drugs, gangs and violence.

Posted by: BZA at February 7, 2013 2:02 AM
Comment #361459

Another good op-ed by a democrat for school vouchers…

http://www.redefinedonline.org/2013/02/private-school-vouchers-mesh-with-progressive-democratic-party-values/

The truth is, Democrats have a longer history than Republicans of supporting educational choice.

The late Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan once crafted a tuition tax credit measure with Republican Sen. Bob Packwood that garnered 50 co-sponsors, including Sen. George McGovern and 23 other Democrats. Both McGovern and Sen. Hubert Humphrey ran for president on Democratic platforms that included support for tuition tax credits. In fact, the Democratic Party didn’t abandon its support of public funding for private school choice until the National Education Association gave Jimmy Carter its first-ever presidential endorsement in 1976. With that endorsement, Carter reversed field.

Despite charges to the contrary, school choice is not a right-wing plot to privatize public education. McGovern, Moynihan and Humphrey were not right-wing zealots, and neither are the increasing numbers of modern Democrats who want to give more options to underprivileged and struggling students.

I hope more liberals will join the school choice movement. Poverty, hopelessness and despair are powerful enemies, and our nation’s disadvantaged children need all the allies they can get.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 7, 2013 2:47 PM
Comment #361465

Guys lets face it vouchers work for a small group of people. Just like the private prison industry the private education industry skims off the cream of the crop and leaves behind the more challenging students. The public schools are then stuck additional costs and less revenue.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 8, 2013 10:09 AM
Comment #361468

Yea, the small group of people who are allowed to use them. Everybody else has to deal with pessimistic Democratics interested only in securing their power and influence over the process.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 8, 2013 4:09 PM
Comment #361469

j2t2

The DC slots are distributed by lottery. The study shows the kids who get in through the random process do significantly better than those left in the public system. Clearly something that happens in the better schools improves their life chances. The cost of the vouchers is less than the per pupil cost of the public schools. They are just better.

Generally speaking people do better when they are given choices. I know this freedom thing confounds liberals, but it is true.

This little program is one of the best anti-poverty programs the Feds have devised. You are willing to punish hundreds of kids in poverty because you cannot have a program that is equal to all. I prefer to save some. This is the difference between conservatives and liberals. Liberals will send everybody to hell rather than let some help themselves.

Beyond that, choice improves the rest of the public schools. Entrenched interests must change in the face of competition. I think it is more important to protect the kids than the entrenched unionized interests. Again this is a difference between us. Conservatives are interested in the kid’s futures; liberals protect the adults who “teach” them.

Posted by: C&J at February 8, 2013 5:00 PM
Comment #361471
Generally speaking people do better when they are given choices. I know this freedom thing confounds liberals, but it is true.

Choices! They were lucky enough to get an opportunity, that’s not freedom that is luck of the draw, C&J. Using such nonsensical bumper sticker slogans really doesn’t solve the problems we have with the many who did not get the “freedom” to to go to a private school.


The cost of the vouchers is less than the per pupil cost of the public schools. They are just better.

What do you mean by this C&J. Are you saying the private schools cost less or the vouchers cost less and the remaining costs are subsidized by others? I doubt the cost is cheaper at all 73 private schools C&J that sounds like conservative myth.

You are willing to punish hundreds of kids in poverty because you cannot have a program that is equal to all. I prefer to save some. This is the difference between conservatives and liberals. Liberals will send everybody to hell rather than let some help themselves.

So is it a requirement that the kid be in poverty to get a voucher and therefore it’s not a true lottery? This tripe you use to make your weak case for a voucher system is old C&J. There is nothing wrong with saving some C&J but you makes it obvious this approach only puts a band aid on the gushing wound. We need real answers not an answer for the lucky few. Conservatives want to put on a show and make one believe things are all right because a few have been fortunate. Halfassed comes to mind, halfassed solution to a problem.

Entrenched interests must change in the face of competition. I think it is more important to protect the kids than the entrenched unionized interests.

Ahh now we come to the real issue lets bust the unions. Lets make it appear it is the unions causing the problem, what silliness. Just like the starve the beast strategy used to make the government small conservatives want to privatize schools and bust unions.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 8, 2013 11:31 PM
Comment #361474

j2t2

Re the cost of vouchers - in this case and in most cases the value of the voucher is less than the per pupil cost of the failing public school. I am just saying this simple thing. It is not surprising that the service can be delivered more cheaply by a private or charter school than by a public bureaucracy.

Re lottery etc - there is a serious difference of ideas here. It tends often to break on conservative-liberal lines, but certainly not always.

I believe in doing what I can and not being overly concerned about the things I cannot effectively address. I do not have the capacity to solve all the problems, but if I take care of my part and others do the same, we will all be better off. People like you want to focus on the the whole problem at once. This sounds much more noble, but is an ineffective abdication of responsibility. My father used to use the vulgar but descriptive phrase, “like pissing in the ocean and waiting for the flood.”

In a system as large and complex as the American educational system, we need to have lots of options. We can learn some things from other models, but cannot adopt them wholesale, since the U.S. it too big and diverse. The best school system in the world, according to the Piza figures, is in Finland. The Finnish system is completely public but with school choice. Finnish students can choose their schools. Schools have significant autonomy. On the other side, there are excellent schools in Asia that require strict adherence to determined curriculum.

We can impose neither of these systems on the whole U.S. But we can allow some students, teachers and administrators to experiment with what works best for them. As with anything, some will produce better than average results and some worse. But the creation of more option and ideas enriches most participants in the total system and moves it forward. If our primary concern is that people might develop at different rates, we really cannot have any progress, for difference in development is inherent in any situation of change.

I think it is interesting that we use the words “conservative” and “liberal” here. Your proposals are “conservative” in that you are arguing for protection of the status quo, which we all believe is not acceptable. You want to push more resources at the problem w/o changing its fundamentals. I am advocating a “liberal” line of intelligent change and progress.

Posted by: C&J at February 9, 2013 5:09 AM
Comment #361475

I think there is some headway being made here, C&J. j2t2 admits there is a problem with public education. I have yet to see j2t2’s solutions, though. It sounds like more of the same. Bitch because a non-Democratic brought it up.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 9, 2013 5:10 AM
Comment #361479

The problem with conservative thinking is “any option is a good option”. While it is generally good to have options the conservatives like to dwell on bad options, options that attack the public schools. We all know the private schools can be more selective and take only the model students. We know they can get rid of those that do not make the grade, send them back to public schools, while the public schools are obligated to teach those kids.

They tell us any private school is better than any public school because the private school has no bureaucracy. They also get involved in public schools with laws like NCLB that creates a larger bureaucracy. Perhaps if conservatives were not intentionally trying to damage the public schools systems with bogus religion based science programs and other destructive plans to get rid of the unions the schools could do better with less bureaucracy. It also seems that when we get rid of the bureaucracy we get rid of the standards that make our schools effective.

It seems to me the whole conservative movement attack on public schools is driven by those that would have us believe the church schools could do better jobs than the public schools. Many times they do but then they are more selective and discriminatory about who they teach.

http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pubs/studies/2006461.asp

“Vouchers fail to put private education in reach of students from the neediest families. Voucher programs do not cover the full cost of tuition at many private schools, leaving families and the schools to make up the difference. New Orleans, for example, caps voucher payments at $6,300, though the area’s elite private schools charge tuitions of over $20,000 a year. [Times-Picayune] Vouchers also fail to help low-income families meet other costs of private education, such as uniforms, books, and transportation.”

http://www.ourfuture.org/makingsense/factsheet/school-vouchers

http://askville.amazon.com/Catholic-schools-public/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=1542060


“My colleagues Lyndsey Layton and Emma Brown revealed that the $133 million appropriated for vouchers in the District since 2004 have gone to private schools with no requirements to report publicly how well their students are doing. Some of those schools have dubious curriculums and inadequate facilities. At least eight of the 52 schools with voucher students are not accredited.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/class-struggle/post/why-private-school-vouchers-arent-enough/2012/11/20/e975ffb0-332e-11e2-bfd5-e202b6d7b501_blog.html

Posted by: j2t2 at February 9, 2013 10:17 AM
Comment #361480

j2t2

Many public schools are excellent. I am a graduate of both public schools and public universities (mostly) as are my kids. I didn’t really consider sending them to private schools, but I was able to “shop around” to live in a good public school district. Our school district spends less per pupil than DC does. In fact, although we have some of the best schools in the U.S., we spend less than many of the poorly performing districts. IMO, one reason is exactly our parental bargaining power. While I did not send my kids to private school, the public school folks know that people like me could do it. It keeps them on their toes.

School vouchers need not be ONLY for private schools. Part of the school choice movement involves letting students choose different public schools.

The general idea is that funding follows the student and not the building. Kids with special needs could get a higher stipend so that to compensate. Most students will probably choose a convenient neighborhood school if it is acceptable. But if that school is bad enough to drive students out, we should help them find a place to go.

I am enthusiastically in favor of public education, but that education need not be delivered by a specific public bureaucracy.

I believe in trusting people to make important decisions about their own lives. Some people will make poor choices; others better ones. But in an environment of empowered choices the general level rises.

Your choice of articles indicates our difference of priorities. You are interested in creating equality even if this means lowering general standards for everyone. I am more interested in excellence and higher standards even if this means less equality. Both these arguments are intellectually defensible, but I think mine works better in real life.

Posted by: C&J at February 9, 2013 10:30 AM
Comment #361500

phx8 and most of my liberal friends here

You guys constantly engage in guilt by association attack, talking about Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity, implying or saying outright that anybody who associates with them can be ignored.

There are several things wrong with this line. First, the source of an argument may influence how you receive it, but it does not and cannot determine its validity. Even the worst person in the world may have a valid point of view on a particular point issue.

We generally dislike Nazis, but they were advocates of wildlife conservation, good highways, support for science and various social welfare programs that most Americans and probably all liberals would support. Rejecting an argument because of the source has been recognized as a logical fallacy since ancient times. It even has a Latin name - ad hominem.

The second point is invalid guilt by association. You guys find extreme views, which few of us have espoused and attribute them to the group.

The last point is more practical. Most of the conservatives who write here rarely listen to Limbaugh or Hannity. It seems that liberals here listen more, since they seem to know exactly what these guys are saying.

Unfortunately, it works for you both in reality but especially in your own minds. We have to spend time explaining that we are not supporting the particular person, but you all self righteously continue to believe in your own straw man.

Posted by: C&J at February 10, 2013 5:10 AM
Comment #361501
You guys constantly engage in guilt by association attack, talking about Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity, implying or saying outright that anybody who associates with them can be ignored.

ROTFLMAO! Seriously C&J you are invoking ad hominem attacks, by those that disagree with you, using Hannity and Limbaugh to do so. Seriously! Perhaps you should be ignored when you do this but because the issue is to serious to ignore you I will respond instead. Better yet here are two relative links for all to read.

http://blog.thephoenix.com/BLOGS/outsidetheframe/archive/2010/04/14/the-john-t-simpson-guide-to-right-wing-rhetoric.aspx

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/maddow-nra-ad-attacking-obama-is-latest-example-of-right-wing-media-trolling/

Posted by: j2t2 at February 10, 2013 10:11 AM
Comment #361502

j2t2

All I ask of you is not to bring up Hannity, Limbaugh etc unless someone tries to use them as a source. If I link to one of these guys, you may point out that you discount the OPINION, but you are not allowed to just say that they are wrong about facts. If Hannity says that there are 50 states, for example, you cannot just say it is not true.

If you think that I am invoking an ad homiem attack by asking you not to do the above, I suggest you study a bit more about what an ad hominem attack means.

I have indeed sometimes lamented your lack of eduction in some areas of endeavor, but it is not an ad hominem attack since I still address your comments. Only on a couple of occasions have I just given up because I thought you were too ill informed about a subject to understand the arguments, i.e. taking about Nazis and communists. In those cases, I have said so openly. I know that you reject my formulations and you are welcome to consider me equally ill informed, but I simply state in those case that we have no basis for discussion. If you want to believe that I am too stupid to understand your complex arguments, that is your right. I don’t care.

This reference to right wing guys is not like that. I rarely listen to Hannity or Limbaugh and I don’t believe that I have ever linked to anything they have said or written.

Almost all my sources are moderate. I read the “Economist” and WSJ. I listen to several hours of NPR on podcast most days. Most of my other sources are foreign. And I read a lot of books. You may indeed think that my ideas are stupid, but they did not originate with the sources you mention so you are not allowed to use them as rebuttal.

Posted by: C&J at February 10, 2013 11:41 AM
Comment #361504

C&J The irony here is how you cannot seem to see the irony here. I am saying it is simply ludicrous for a conservative to accuse anyone of ad hominem attacks as conservative movement leaders such as Hannity, Limbaugh, Malakin and such have elevated ad hominem attacks to an art form. It is a question of the pot calling the kettle black.

You allow the Hannity’s and Limbaugh’s to hide behind your “moderation”. The movement is bigger than you and many on the right believe the Hannity’s and Limbaugh if they were to say there are 60 states. You reap what you sow.

As Faux is the leading “news” source and Limbaugh the leading TRC for many conservatives I find it hard to believe that most right wing commentators here on WB are not influenced by then directly or indirectly. I can understand that they are but a few of many conservative propagandist and some do follow others but the influence of Limbaugh and Hannity is substantial.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 10, 2013 12:28 PM
Comment #361505

I’m surprised you listen to Limbaugh and Hannity to be such an expert on what they say and what influence they have. Your attention to Limbaugh and Hannity and what they have to offer and your watching Fox news in general shows a level of fairness I hadn’t expected from you. Keep up the good work, j2t2.

Your attention to Fox News, Limbaugh, and Hannity shows you are Fair and Balanced.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 10, 2013 12:55 PM
Comment #361510

J2t2

This is exactly your problem. You want to anathematize all conservatives because you don’t like what some say or do. I fought fascists and communists too long to accept that your sorts of ideas can keep me quiet. As I probably told you before, I have faced down lots of tougher totalitarians than the wimpy version I find on Watchblog. You will not be able to intimidate me.

As I told you, I am generally unaware of things Hannity or Limbaugh say. It is not my problem if they offend you any more than it is your problem if I am offended by Rachel Maddow or Ed Schultz. I am willing to reap whatever I sew. I have no responsibility for the actions of others who receive no support from me.

If you had listened better in college, you may recognize that many of my arguments come from sources much older than Hannity. I suppose someone like you thinks that we should abandon Aristotle, Locke or Burke if anybody you don’t like picks up similar ideas.

I object to your anti-intellectual ideas. I don’t mind talking to you, but it is not much fun trying to give you all the remedial classes.

I have tried to explain it to you many different ways. It looks like it is beyond your ken. If you have problems with what I say, you may criticize that. If you want to associate me with others who I have not cited or even mention, I am under no obligation to take it seriously. I can recommend several books if you want about logic and freedom, but I do not have the time to educate you enough to understand.

Posted by: C&J at February 10, 2013 5:09 PM
Comment #361522
This is exactly your problem. You want to anathematize all conservatives because you don’t like what some say or do.

I don’t find it to be a problem at all, C&J. The conservatives have, as a group, been responsible for many myths, misinformation , half truths and outright lies over the past 30 years. Whether they be followers or listeners they are part of the conservative movement. The few intelligent ones that have spoken out against the excesses of the movement have been ostracized by many conservatives in this group. I think of Frum and Stockman in particular. To listen to you one would believe Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck, Coulter, Milikin et al are not conservatives. Is this the new message conservatives are now using C&J? the latest Luntzism to try to convince us the party of stupid really isn’t?

Are you telling us you denounce these right wing attack dogs as “constantly engaged in guilt by association attacks” like you claim we do here on WB? The fact is C&J you are but one part of the conservative voice, you are outshouted by the movement leaders such as those I have just mentioned. So when I refer to conservatives it may not be you specifically I refer to and usually it is clear that is the case. While taking one for the team is charming C&J many of us still see the team you are on.

I find these guys reprehensible as it seems you do. I have for years now but it seems you have just come around to seeing them for what they are, the conservatism that many Americans are tiring of. Yet they represent the huge majority of conservatives in the nation today. It is for you to deal with IMHO not me.

As I probably told you before, I have faced down lots of tougher totalitarians than the wimpy version I find on Watchblog. You will not be able to intimidate me.

I find it amazing that you have even found a totalitarian, wimpy or not, on WB that didn’t take your side on the various issues. If you are actually reading what I write you will find that I haven’t even threatened you C&J so, or tried to intimidate you in any way. So while it is dramatic your veiled accusations are without merit, groundless.

So in true conservative fashion you have decided it is liberals who have a lock on ad hominem attacks. Well I disagree with you and have shown you why. It seems you have moved on to the strawman attacks with all this anti intellectual, tired of educating me jibberish. The fact is C&J you did bring up Hannity and Limbaugh first in this thread. It was you who tried to tell us we did this! I suggest you recommend the books on logic to your conservative allies in talk radio and on Faux.


Posted by: j2t2 at February 10, 2013 9:34 PM
Comment #361525

j2t2

I am responsible for what I say, not what others say who you identify as like me. If you cannot understand this simple concept, I can understand why you would stand with the totalitarians. I helped beat back your sort on a couple of occasions and can do it again. See how this works? Probably not.

Re totalitarians - you are acting like a totalitarian and you do not take my side, therefore the totalitarians, at least not all, take my side.

I am on the side of freedom and individual rights. Totalitarians judge individuals by groups and impute guilt by association, as you do.

You have shown me nothing but bigotry. If you disagree with what I say, I am glad to defend it. If you disagree with others, talk to them. I am not an expert on what Limbaugh or Hannity say. Since you evidently watch them more than I do, you may explain it, but it says nothing about me.

“The fact is C&J you did bring up Hannity and Limbaugh first in this thread.” - actually, I posted that on the wrong thread. My bad. On the other thread, “You should definitely believe fellow conservatives, Republicans, Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, and so on, and make it known, sing it loud; in fact, we progressives are absolutely counting on it” That is why I brought it up first on this one. I apologize if it confused you.

However, it is true that I have no association with what they say. Even worse than guilt by association is guilt by purported association. I have never cited either of them as a source. If I do, you can rebut. Otherwise you have only your evidently fecund, if somewhat hateful, imagination to connect us.

Re books on logic etc - We all could use more erudition. It would be more fun if we could make allusions and expect more people to understand.

Posted by: C&J at February 10, 2013 10:12 PM
Comment #361527

It seems to me that j2t2, as well as Stephen Daugherty, are on marching orders to “say it as many times as possible to eventually make it true”. The sad part is many, many things they repeat over and over, they as a collective body are guilty of themselves.

Such as:

The conservatives have, as a group, been responsible for many myths, misinformation , half truths and outright lies over the past 30 years.

It’s like the last 100 years of progressive myths, misinformation, half truths and outright lies don’t exist. Moreover, j2t2 and Stephen Daugherty think their precious Democratics are incapable of creating myths and misinformation, or lying. They have deluded themselves into thinking that Democratics are as pure as the wind driven snow and are incapable of any imperfection.

It’s sad that they cannot let themselves enjoy some of the good and decent things conservatism can bring to people’s lives.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 10, 2013 11:57 PM
Comment #361529

C&J still trying with the totalitarian strawman? It is really to nonsensical to bother with. The simple fact is when you tell us “You guys constantly engage in guilt by association attack,” you are grouping us together just as I include conservatives in the same group as you. You can claim freedom and individual rights but like so much that is conservative it is just more Orwellian re-branding intended to fool the general public into believing you guys are something you are not. You can’t have it both ways.


Weary look back on my comments the past several years and find where I have said anything close to your wild and incorrect claim “They have deluded themselves into thinking that Democratics are as pure as the wind driven snow and are incapable of any imperfection.” or of course you can admit your comment is drivel.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 11, 2013 2:35 AM
Comment #361536

Your way or the highway, right j2t2?

Look back on your comments and point to when you have criticized any Democratic.

Did you criticize the frozen cash guy or did you stay mum? Did you criticize Ted Kennedy’s indiscretions or did you stay mum? Did you criticize Obama’s votes “present” or did you stay mum? Did you criticize Fast and Furious or did you make excuses? Did you criticize the Benghazi attack or did you hide behind excuses? Did you criticize Obamas four years of ignoring the economy? Did you criticize the lies and deceit used to get Obamacare passed? Did you criticize the bribes used to sway Democratics to vote for Obamacare?

You have no room to criticize Republicans, j2t2. Your posts demonstrate an attitude that is just as bad as the worst Republican when it comes to blind partisan politics. Your posts demonstrate a position as gullible as any other blind partisan hack.


Posted by: Weary Willie at February 11, 2013 8:54 AM
Comment #361537

j2t2

Totalitarians of the last century were diverse in many ways. What they shared in common was a belief in the total supremacy of the state (hence the name totalitarian)and the classification of individuals immutable into group categories that determined their fates.

Free people treat people as individuals. We judge them based on what they do or on the content of their characters, not on the group we put them into.

When I refer to “you guys” I mean it literally. People like you, Stephen an others do that. I am referring to your behaviors specifically. Indeed, I refer to “liberals” as a category of people who do and believe certain things. Unlike you, however, I do not blame individuals for the group. If you, as an individual, tell me that you do not favor government regulation, I do not tell you that you have no right to say that because of your group membership. That is the important distinction.

If you can find a single case in the many year and many words I have written where I have attributed group characteristics to an individual who said he diverged from the group, please let me know. I either wrote poorly or was drunk when I wrote it because it is not something I do.

The bottom line is that I use groups as convenient categories, understanding that there is significant individual differences. When I get more information about the individual, I use that rather than group membership.

You did the opposite. You put me in the conservative group, which is logical. But as you learned more about my particular ideas, you refused to modify your outlook. In fact you doubled down on your stereotype.

What I say about you is based on what you write. Your writings indicate an intolerance of diverse ideas of others and an inability to process new or dis-confirming evidence. This is not because you are a liberal, although I think you may have embraced liberalism as a means of exercising your preexisting predilections. This is based ONLY on my current information. If I found evidence that contracted these things, I would change my mind. What would you do?

Posted by: C&J at February 11, 2013 9:01 AM
Comment #361538
You have no room to criticize Republicans, j2t2.

Yes I do, Weary, just because you may not like it doesn’t mean I lose the right to say what I want. In fact I don’t have to criticize dems unless I choose to, nor do I have to defend them unless I choose to. Such a lapse in logic suggesting I have to criticize dems in order to criticize conservatives.


C&J totalitarians hide behind individual rights,they use it as a tool in this day and age just as the fascist do. Just like conservatives, but then you are leading us off on a tangent aren’t you. Such a conservative tactic, in fact #5 on the list.
I find it encouraging that you distance yourself from the aforementioned conservatives Limbaugh,Hannity et al as they truly are a such a foolish bunch to be able to have such large conservative audiences . It gives many of us hope as we see conservatives distancing themselves from the vast majority of the movement followers.

But don’t you find it funny how you like to use luntzism such as “Free people treat people as individuals. We judge them based on what they do or on the content of their characters, not on the group we put them into” while you defend your use of grouping people the same a everyone else here on WB. Which is conservative tactic #2.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 11, 2013 9:54 AM
Comment #361543

j2t2

How do you believe totalitarians hide behind individuals right? I don’t recall any speeches by Stalin, Hitler or Mao that advocated the rights of individuals against those of the collective. I would be interested to read them if you have a copy.

Re Limbaugh etc - I don’t distance myself from them. I just have no connection. I really don’t have much of an opinion either way, no dog in that fight.

Re Luntz - I was using phrases like that before he wrote his books or appeared on television. I learned my business fighting Soviet communism. Luntz was still in college, maybe high school when I was doing that. I learned to talk like that from absorbing the ideas that made America great. Look to there for the music of my phrases. Maybe Luntz copied me.

Posted by: C&J at February 11, 2013 12:56 PM
Comment #361546

I am not trying to take your right away, j2t2. That is what separates me from you. I am simply saying you cannot criticize a Republican without making yourself look like a hypocrite.
I am not saying that you must criticize a Democratic each time you criticize a Republican either. I am only pointing out your hypocrisy when you criticize Republican for the same things Democratics do on a regular basis but ignore it when the Democratics do it.

The internet and your favorite talk show hosts have demonstrated, time and time again, the hypocrisy of the Democratics. There will be a time when your MSM will faulter and your MSM emperor will have no cloths. Dan Rather leads the way. NBC executive, what’s his name, went into the breech recently. Soon, God willing, Brietbart, Hannity, Limbaugh, Drudge, Malkin, and those who simply have a different opinion, will become the voice of truth everyone will hear. Maybe then our ambassador in Benghazi and his brave companions will get some justice and your god will get his.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 11, 2013 3:42 PM
Comment #361571
How do you believe totalitarians hide behind individuals right? I don’t recall any speeches by Stalin, Hitler or Mao that advocated the rights of individuals against those of the collective. I would be interested to read them if you have a copy.

Because of history C&J, You like to point to Hitler which is a right wing example of totalitarianism. But that only scratches the surface when it comes to autocratic governments and the right wingers. So quickly who was it that helped overthrow Mossadegh which led to the right wing dictatorship of the Shah in Iran? Who was it that propped up Marcos in the Philippines? Who was it that ousted Lumumba in the Congo only to see Mobutu rise to power? Who was it that supported the downfall of Allende that led to the right wing Pinochet dictatorship? The commie hunters, that’s who. The supposed defenders of individual rights- the conservatives of the USofA. Saint Reagan himself a leader in talking individual rights while suppressing the rights of others. The conservative movement bellars “individual rights” whilst doing their utmost to be the authoritarian power in this country.

When I hear conservatives talk about individual rights I understand they actually are referring to the economic rights of the aristocracy and piss on everyone else.

Re Limbaugh etc - I don’t distance myself from them. I just have no connection. I really don’t have much of an opinion either way, no dog in that fight.

“When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” Edmund Burke or the more modern version attributed to Burke “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

I know how ironic. By allowing the hypocrisy of the TRC’s to go unchallenged you have done conservatism a disservice IMHO. I choose to challenge.

I learned to talk like that from absorbing the ideas that made America great.

A very bold statement C&J. You choose deception, ruse and subterfuge in word and thought over clarity truth and honesty. Spoken like a true conservative.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 12, 2013 12:15 PM
Comment #361572
I am not trying to take your right away, j2t2. That is what separates me from you. I am simply saying you cannot criticize a Republican without making yourself look like a hypocrite.

Weary, You are trying to coerce me into accepting the fallacy that I must criticize all or none. The false dilemma fallacy. It is not hypocrisy it is logic that I use, which is what separates me from you ;)

Posted by: j2t2 at February 12, 2013 12:21 PM
Comment #361576

j2t2

I asked for a simple source. Find me a totalitarian on the left or the right who championed the rights of ordinary individuals over that of the collective or the state.

Totalitarianism by its definition subordinates everything to the state.

I know you hate people you consider right wingers. I don’t hate people; I hate some behaviors that they do. It doesn’t matter to me if you call them left or right. I dislike behaviors that subordinate individuals to the state. I understand that there are some situations of emergency where that is necessary, but generally people should be left alone as much as possible to make their own decisions. Totalitarians have an opposite point of view.

Re commie hunters - we sometimes embraced nasty guys with the justification of keeping out nastier guys. For example, we allied with Stalin against Hitler. Both were horrible totalitarians, but Hitler seemed the more dangerous of the two. The same goes for smaller bad guys. Allende was on the way to establishing a Cuba style dictatorship. Allende left power voluntarily and today Chile is the only fully developed country in Latin America.

Choices among bad options will always be questionable.

re - Edmund Burke - there are lots of bad guys with higher priority than Limbaugh. I am pretty busy doing things I do. I have learned that those who try to do everything end up doing nothing.

Re my words - That is indeed where I learned these things, along with the classics when I studied Greek and Latin. I have always been honest with what I write and say. I understand that it might be hard for you to understand and forgive you for your lack of education that makes it difficult to understand honesty.

Posted by: C&J at February 12, 2013 2:04 PM
Comment #361577
In fact I don’t have to criticize dems unless I choose to, nor do I have to defend them unless I choose to.
Posted by: j2t2 at February 11, 2013 9:54 AM

I am not trying to coerce you. I am simply pointing out your hypocrisy. You will jump on a Republican in a heartbeat but you “choose” not to when a Democratic is involved.

That’s hypocrisy, j2t2.


Posted by: Weary Willie at February 12, 2013 3:02 PM
Comment #361582
I know you hate people you consider right wingers.

C&J come on, I don’t hate anyone. It’s the sin not the sinner and I believe I have said so on different occasions here on WB. In fact many conservatives I know are good people. IMHO they have been led astray but they are good people none the less.

As far as totalitarians C&J the simple answer is here on WB I don’t know of any wimpy or not. Isn’t that the comment that got us off on this tangent?

How many dictators could come to this country and tell us they were going to subject us to a dictatorship? Instead IMHO ” If fascism comes it will not be identified with any “shirt” movement, nor with an “insignia,” but it will probably be “wrapped up in the American flag and heralded as a plea for liberty and preservation of the constitution.”“

James Waterman Wise, Jr.,

and I do agree with him, I also believe a charismatic leader could lead many conservative movement followers into a dictatorship for this country. They wouldn’t see it coming were it wrapped in the flag and he was waving a cross.

Choices among bad options will always be questionable.

I understand that C&J. The Russians kept Hitler busy on the East side for a long while and lost more people in WWII than we did, many millions more. They should have been at the table when the war ended , the guilty brought to justice and the spoils divided. But that is a bad example IMHO.

Wasn’t Mossadegh, Allende, Lumumba elected by the people only to be replaced by a totalitarian General/ Dictator? All in the name of fighting commies. We justified the suppression of the people of these countries in the name of fighting commies C&J. We helped take away their individual rights to save them from the commies. What were we involved in their internal affairs for anyway? So IMHO the bad options you speak of was all the reason conservatives needed to take away the rights of others to protect the aristocracy in this country. Why would we think they won’t do it again, this time because we are saving the Christians from the Muslims or the atheist or some such reason. Why would we not prop up a dictator here to gain oil for the corporations like we did with the Shah in Iran. Why would conservatives who held non intervention opinions before WWII intervene later, using the commies as the reason, if they believed in individual rights.


I have always been honest with what I write and say.

I believe you write what you believe to be true C&J. But there are times when you buy into Luntzism. When you enter the world of Luntzisms the intent is to deceive not clarify. He is shucking for power at any cost. It is this type of hucksterism that leads people down the wrong path. Certainly you don’t want to be identified with that type of propaganda and ruin your reputation.

I understand that it might be hard for you to understand and forgive you for your lack of education that makes it difficult to understand honesty.

I don’t need to know Greek and Latin to know the reason Luntz and other propagandist need to “re-brand” their ideology to influence those that would not buy into it otherwise. It has nothing to do with honesty C&J. It seems education is not the relevant factor here, it may be experience that allows one to see thru the fog of Luntzisms. Remember what Abe Lincoln said about the calf’s tail, C&J, just because you call it a leg doesn’t mean it is a leg.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 12, 2013 4:42 PM
Comment #361629


Look, j2t2! Another Democratic hypocrite!

WSJ: SEN. LEVIN’S DUAL STANDARDS FOR CONFIRMING CABINET NOMINEES

Birds of a feather, eh j2t2?

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 13, 2013 3:19 PM
Comment #361640

j2t2

You keep on trying to associate me with others. I mention the Greek and Latin because that is where I began to learn the methods of logic etc that I use with you. I did not learn from Luntz or Limbaugh. I have nothing against those guys, but there just is not much connection.

I have never heard of James Wiseman Wise and don’t know why you quote him as an authority.

Re Russians at the table - they were. They took over half of Europe and oppressed Poles, Czech etc for the next fifty years.

Re Mossedeh, Allende etc. - not by majorities. This is a problem with some of these systems. Like Hitler, Allende won around a third of the vote. That did not give him the right to change the Chilean constitution, just as our president cannot even with 51%. Rule of law.

I also think you overestimate “interventions”. We sometimes took sides in local matters. We never had complete control. And it was not always or even mostly a conservative policy. Remember what FDR said about Somoza in Nicaragua or John Kennedy and LBJ’s interventions. Obama’s drone policy is interventionist. We protect what we think are our interests.

We get blamed either way. Clinton’s biggest regret was NOT intervening in Rwanda. If Syria turns out badly we will be blamed for doing too little. If we had acted otherwise we would be blamed for doing too much. Big guys like us get the blame from the little guys.

Re Lutzism - I fail to understand how I can be repeating what I do not read. I also was using most of these same sorts of arguments when Luntz was still in HS.

I am just not one-dimensional as your stereotype. In all honesty, I really do not think you are up to understanding many of my arguments. That is why you label them in ways that helps you think you understand.

Posted by: C&J at February 13, 2013 5:41 PM
Comment #361661
In all honesty, I really do not think you are up to understanding many of my arguments. That is why you label them in ways that helps you think you understand.

Well the arguments you use C&J are so complex and all..HAHAHAHA! Seriously the fact is you are not arguing C&J you are running away from the issue using diversions and logical fallacies, pretty simple stuff.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 13, 2013 11:50 PM
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