Sunday, March 30, 2014

A State of Will-ful Ignorance

What follows is a somewhat accurate commentary by Libertarian blogger Will Hart (or Willis Hart), except that most "states", historically speaking, have not been democratic or represented the will of the people. As such, the following is in reality quite dishonest, in that we KNOW the Hartster is talking about the US Federal government...

Willis Hart: On the State... It is the greatest source of death and destruction known to man (it isn't even a contest), and the fact that there are still people out there who so casually want to enhance its power is exceedingly troubling. (3/29/2014 AT 12:33pm).

In response all I can say is... DUH!! The state is the only entity that has the power to wage war, so OF COURSE it would be the greatest source of death and destruction. However, in a democracy it is THE PEOPLE who make the decisions, through their elected officials... arguably. A democracy requires, of course, that THE PEOPLE are informed and actually vote.

When they do the result will be a Democratic State that is a force for good in the lives of its citizens. And when the people don't stay informed or vote, that is when the special interests step in and take advantage of an apathetic electorate. In other words, it's all up to the people, but the Hartster OF COURSE completely ignores that reality. In his mind a powerful State representing the people is just as bad as a powerful State that represents the (the problem with our democracy), or itself (the problem with an aristocracy).

At least Willis makes no distinction what so ever with his commentary. He simply (and stupidly) says "State bad". And, while it most certainly is true that, even in a representative democracy, we must be wary of a State that does not act in the interest of THE PEOPLE, the answer is not to neuter government by striping it of it's power so it can't do evil OR good. The answer is for the electorate to get politically informed and participate!

There is a way by which we can ensure that the State works for us. But the Hartster clearly does not want that, which is why he conflates a representative democratic State that truly acts as a proxy for THE PEOPLE with a State that "is the greatest source of death and destruction known to man", and advocates disempowerment instead of fixing what's wrong. Disempower the State (representing THE PEOPLE) and the only ones left with any power will be the plutocrats.

Now, Willis may be eager to give up (stop trying to fix government and disempower it... thereby disempowering THE PEOPLE) - so we can surrender completely to the oligarchs... but I sure as hell am not.

OST #7. See also SWTD #245

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

In Regards To The Claim That The Civil War Was Fought Over States' Rights

According to a series of recent posts by Mr. Willis V. Hart the Civil War was not fought over slavery. Tariffs on Cotton was the reason, and those tariffs were a States' Rights issue. It is, however pretty easy to disprove bullplop like this - all one has to do is take a look at the Declaration of Causes of Seceding States which all cite slavery as their reason for leaving the union.

Between the dates 12/20/1860 and 11/20/1861 13 states ratified ordinances of secession, with four states - "Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas also issuing separate declarations of causes, in which they explained their reasons for secession" (quoted from Wikipedia).

Much of the complaining has to do with the North not adhering to the Fugitive Slave Clause contained in the 4th amendment to the Constitution (see here for the complete text of all four states' declarations).

Given the fact that four states specifically cited slavery as the reason they decided to leave the union, and no state ever cited States' Rights as a reason, it can be conclusively concluded that the Civil War was fought because of slavery. Case closed. The Civil War not fought because of tariffs or States' Rights. Both assertions (made on the blog of Mr. Willis Hart) are false and a disservice to those who seek an honest accounting of history.

Because without such an honest accounting we cannot acknowledge our mistakes and learn from them - which is exactly what many who dissemble on this issue desire. They don't want us to learn from history. Their desire is that minorities should continue to be discriminated against and deprived of their voting rights. I'm not saying this is Mr. Hart's motivation, but he surely is not a part of the solution with his recent (and numerous) Ahistorical commentaries on the subject of the Civil War and slavery.

OST #6. See also SWTD #242.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Willis Hart Taken In By Myth That Civil War Was About Tariffs

In a 3/15/2014 post the blogger Willis Hart speaks about the Civil War and how he believes we shouldn't have fought it. Regarding why President Lincoln decided fight a war to prevent the South from leaving the union, Mr. Hart says "my personal theory is that he just got so addicted to the tariff revenue... with which he was using to solidify his political power and cronyism that the dude literally couldn't stop himself".

Unfortunately for Willis, a 6/5/2013 NYT article titled "The Great Civil War Lie" points out that tariffs being the reason for sucession is a myth. According to the article, the North worried about England supporting Southern independance because of their "reliance on imported Southern cotton [and that] many in Britain thought that the" reason was the Morrill Tariff. These English pro-Southern succession believed the tariff "so incensed the Southern states that they left the union".

But the truth of the matter is that "passage of the tariff was possible because many tariff-averse Southerners had resigned from Congress after their states declared their secession". Furthermore, the article states that "Pro-Southern business interests and journalists fed the myth that the war was over trade, not slavery – the better to win over people who might be appalled at siding with slave owners against the forces of abolition".

And that is a myth that continues to this day. Because Southern history re-writers, still supporting "states rights" (code for laws intended to prevent Black voters from casting ballots), don't wish the truth about their shameful past to be known. And they surely do not want anyone pointing out the fact that discrimination is still very much alive in the South. When the Conservative SCOTUS members recently voted to strike down section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, Southern States immediately submitted legislation designed to disenfranchise Black voters.

No doubt Willis read about how tariffs were the reason for the Civil War on some Rightwing website - and the gullible fool (who is very much opposed to tariffs) ate it up. Further debunking Mr. Hart's assertion is the fact that the Morill tariff "replaced the low Tariff of 1857, which was written to benefit the South". Wikipedia notes that the original tariff was passed in "1842, but in 1846 the Democrats enacted the Walker Tariff, cutting tariff rates substantially. The Democrats cut rates even further in the Tariff of 1857, which was highly favorable to the South".

Also bogus are Mr. Hart's claims that Lincoln was "so addicted to the tariff revenue" and needed the money to support cronyism. The truth is that "the Treasury was in financial crisis, with less than $500,000 on hand and millions in unpaid bills. The Union urgently needed new revenue".

Willis is way wrong about tariffs causing the Civil War, as the tariff would not have been passed if the Southern states had not left the union. This is a chicken & egg argument, with Mr. Hart getting the order of how things played out mixed up. But, as I already noted, the dude is a strong supporter of unrestricted "free trade", so his falling for this BS is not surprising. Given that this old lie feeds into the Southern states desire to conceal the truth about their voting laws designed to restrict the voting rights of minorities, it is quite unfortunate.

OST #5. See also SWTD #241.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

On the Concept of an Arrogant Individual Wasting Valuable Moments of His Existence Posting Hundreds Of Times A Year To a True-Believing Libertarian Blog Titled "Contra O'Reilly"

Sad. Bizarre. Disturbing. Paranoiac. Jaundiced. Impoverished. Unrelenting. Over the top. I don't know if that even begins to cover it.

(Note: This commentary was written in response to a post authored by Mr. Hart in which he claims that I'm wasting my time).

OST #4. See also PPP #11.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Willis Hart's Oligarchic Stooge Talk

A note regarding the title of this blog... "Oligarchic Stooge Talk". It's a reference to the type of blog postings and discussions that take place on the blog of Willis Hart, "Contra O'Reilly", as well as a play on the URL of his blog, which is "Paranoiac Stooge Talk".

In Mr. Hart's mind many of the things people who don't agree with him say/believe are "paranoiac". It is paranoid, apparently, to be concerned about the immense wealth - and the power that comes with that wealth - of our oligarchic overlords. Mr. Hart would rather nobody shine a light on this problem, as then the electorate might vote in Progressives who try to do something about it.

That something might result in slightly higher taxes for the wealthy elites that Mr. Hart loves/bows down to, which he would likely find very unacceptable. This explains his hatred for the 99 percent movement (three posts on his blog that are "notes" to OWS).

Pretty disgusting stuff, in this commentary writer's opinion. Which is why this sickened individual decided to call out Mr. Hart via this blog. "Just say no to oligarchic stooge talk". The future of our nation depends on it. If the voters don't wake up to this reality we can kiss our prosperity goodbye. It is already slipping away.

OST #3

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

On Willis Hart's Idiotic & Islamophobic Assessment of Blowback

In a 3/9/2014 post the blogger Willis Hart addresses Ron Paul and says "for Mr. Paul or anybody to think that 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombings, and Benghazi wouldn't have happened had only our troops not been placed in Saudi Arabia for a spate is a little bit silly and naive in my estimation".

In reply I must say "what a dope". 9/11 was cited by bin Laden as his rationale, but a LOT more has happened since then, like the illegal invasion of 2 countries and sustained drone strikes that have killed thousands. The Boston Marathon bombings and Benghazi were blowback for those things, you dolt!

Mr. Hart goes on to list his problems with "radical Islam", and he has very valid concerns, but, in my estimation, a large number of those who have been "radicalized" chose the "revenge" route exactly because of our response to 9/11, which was for bush to take advantage of the shock of the nation, as well as the strong feeling at the time that we needed to strike back.

bush saw an opportunity to become a "war president", get political capital, use that to push his other agenda items and get elected to a second term. And it also presented a wonderful opportunity for the bushies to loot the treasury by way of "no bid" Afghanistan and Iraq "reconstruction" contracts.

And that Mr. Hart consistently has defended bush in regards to his lying and thieving is, in my opinion, thoroughly disgusting. Ron Paul, while I may strongly disagree with MOST of what he believes, is correct when he says 9/11 "was blowback for decades of US intervention in the Middle East". And he was also correct when he say "the last thing we needed was the government's response: more wars, a stepped-up police and surveillance state, and drones".

Yes, OBL "publicly denounced Saudi dependence on the U.S. military, arguing the two holiest shrines of Islam, Mecca and Medina, the cities in which the Prophet Mohamed received and recited Allah's message, should only be defended by Muslims" and cited our military presence in that country as the motivation for the 9/11 attacks, but Al Qaeda was (prior to 9/11) an obscure Islamic movement and most likely faded from existence is not for our military response.

It was our response post-9/11 that continued the blowback (and made it worse). Another response and the blowback surely would be much less than it is today. The Boston bombers specifically stated that the motivation for their actions was our killing of Muslims in our "war on terror".

That Willis Hart only cites Saudi Arabia as the only reason for the rise of radical Islam is more than a bit silly and naive in my estimation. The main point of his commentary is to push his Islamophobic POV in which the US is blameless and all fingers should be pointed at the "rag heads" practicing a religion he is biased against. (for the record WH doesn't use the term "rag head", but reading his commentary you very much expect him to).

OST #2. See also TADM #21 and SWTD #239.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Formerly The Will Hart Contra O'Reilly Response Page

Welcome to my new blog. The Will Hart Contra O'Reilly Response Page is a page attached to my blog (Sleeping with The Devil) that I set up to respond to posts and comments on the blog Contra O'Reilly, a blog I was banned from awhile back.

Given the fact that I still wish to respond to the nonsense of the blog proprietor, I originally set up a page on my blog where I could do just that. Now, on the advice of the blogger rAtional nAtion, I've decided a PAGE simply isn't enough. Hence this brand new blog.

All posts on this blog will be in response to, as previously noted, posts and comments on the Contra O'Reilly blog. The posts will be what my response would be if my commenting were still allowed on that blog. The Will Hart Contra O'Reilly Response Page should now be considered closed.

OST #1