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J. KARL MILLER: Who decreed wealth and profit evil?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CDT; updated 6:54 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Permit me to paraphrase Matthew 19:24, King James Bible: And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to seek or to contribute to he who would seek public office without being sorely demagogued as unfit, immoral or out of touch with the middle class.

I suppose I should qualify the above by adding "rich woman" lest my readers accuse me of soldiering in the war on women and, by specifying, "particularly, if the wealthy individual(s) happen to be of the conservative stripe." Now, before I am drawn, quartered and hung out to dry for that partisan statement, let us compare the venom leveled at Gov. Mitt Romney, Sen. John McCain (for his many residences) and the much-maligned Koch brothers, with the passes generously bequeathed to the likes of Sen. John Kerry and George Soros.

I am uncertain just when the accumulation of wealth and earning a profit became evil — or at least downright unseemly — and enjoying riches and/or success came to be the antithesis of honesty, integrity and character in seeking or holding public office. It would seem more reasonable that one's previous leadership, business or investment success would be more highly sought after by an electorate than those with mediocrity or failure as their lot.

Among my circle of friends, acquaintances and political confederates, the absolute nadir of this denigration of wealth is represented by the Occupy movement and its throngs of hygienically challenged, lazy, undisciplined, unruly and, for the most part, clueless genre clamoring for "their share" of bounty not earned. One can feel sympathetic for those wanting through no part of their own, but for the something-for-nothing crowd, sympathy can be found between schmuck and syrphus (genus of flies) in the dictionary.

Call it what you will — class envy, class warfare, the curse of the green-eyed monster or just plain old garden variety jealousy — to covet or to harbor an inordinate desire for that belonging to another is not only wrong, it is also unhealthy.  While envy has always been a part of man's makeup, this current state of covetous behavior has never been this acute among Americans.

For evidence, let us return to the thrilling days of yesteryear, not so far back as to hear the thundering hooves of the great horse Silver but merely to the 1930s and '40s of my youth. Growing up on a share-cropped farm with my parents and siblings, attending a one-room grammar school for eight years and a public high school for four, I cannot recall any of the anger and envy now directed at the wealthy.

However, that was before the spate of social engineers, television talking heads and level-the-playing-field politicians began to orchestrate the "them vs. us" doctrine so popular with the baby boomer and "me first" generations. That was also an era in which almost everyone was responsible for daily chores and reading was the preferred method of learning.

One of the literary giants of my youth was Horatio Alger Jr. and his nearly 50 novels of poor-boy-makes-good. There was "Ragged Dick," "Paul the Peddler," "Andy Grant's Pluck," "Only an Irish Boy" and "Do and Dare" — all tales of youngsters who lifted themselves from poverty by dint of initiative, honest hard work and solid character — and without government subsidy.

By today's standard, the dialogue is somewhat stilted and corny, but the message is clear — other than poor physical and/or mental health, the sole bar to success lies in the individual's lack of goals, endurance and self-reliance. The American dream is alive and well, however, it is not projected on the screens of the lethargic, the slothful and the fainthearted.

The popular notion that virtually all of those with wealth and power achieved their successes not by hard work but through trickery, inheritance, deceit and by criminal pursuit is simply not accurate. While believing so doubtless lifts the self-esteem of low achievers, most of the accumulated wealth in the U.S. was earned by someone's hard work, attention to detail and studying the markets.

Blaming, denigrating and even cursing the wealthy is hardly a recipe for economic fairness or justice. Nor, likewise, is levying punitive taxes against those who earn but 19 percent of the income but already pay nearly 40 percent of the income tax, regardless of the equally predictable and ludicrous polling results.

Granted, there are the unscrupulous and greedy among the country's wealthy, but, likewise there are also grifters, welfare cheats, thieves and scalawags in the ranks of the less affluent. Conversely, a survey done for the United States Trust Company illustrates the level of philanthropy among the top 1 percent.  Ninety-seven percent of those surveyed donate to charitable causes for an average of 8 percent of their after-tax income.

Regardless of those who believe the rich are somehow obligated to share their bounty, it is not in the best interests of either freedom or growth for the government to decide how much wealth an individual may accumulate, who may accumulate those riches and, through the means of taxation, usurp the prerogative of charitable giving.

To level the playing field by redistributing wealth destroys individual incentive and initiative. Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed (our Declaration of Independence) — that consent is neither sanctioned by opinion poll nor by mob rule.

J. Karl Miller retired as a colonel in the Marine Corps. He is a Columbia resident and can be reached via email at JKarlUSMC@aol.com. Questions? Contact Elizabeth Conner.


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Comments

Michael Williams May 9, 2012 | 7:47 a.m.

Excellent column that sums things up quite nicely.

And I'm the first commenter (yea for me) on a column that will set a new and true-blue Missourian record for angry posts.

You left out only one thing in this statement, Colonel: You said, "...it is not in the best interests of either freedom or growth for the government to decide how much wealth an individual may accumulate..."

Fact is, you'll not get a liberal to tell you how much wealth is too much.

Outside beckons.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush May 9, 2012 | 7:56 a.m.

Poor, sad billionaires.
They're weeping all the way to
The bank and their homes.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush May 9, 2012 | 8:05 a.m.

To be affluent,
Is to be a victim? Don't
Carry their water.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush May 9, 2012 | 8:32 a.m.

No war on women,
But there's a war on wealth? This
Is bizzaro world.

(Report Comment)
Greg Allen May 9, 2012 | 8:44 a.m.

With capitalism as our economic base, of course we will have wealthy and poor. There's no sin in being successful. But I think what the 99 percenters are concerned about is that money is power, and those with it control policy, which often ends up benefitting themselves. If things were framed as unequal distribution of power, instead of wealth, we would see a concern for our democracy.

BTW, though I am no historian, if we go further back in history than Col. Miller's youth, weren't there laws that had to be enacted because the wealthy oil, railroad, and other magnates wielded too much power in the late 1800's and early 1900's?

(Report Comment)
Brendon Steenbergen May 9, 2012 | 9:11 a.m.

@Greg Allen, I also couldn't wait to weigh in on JKarl's bizarro world memory of the Great Depression when wealth disparity was at its peak in the 20th century and caused a huge backlash culminating in the New Deal.

It's not having wealth that people find distasteful, it's the indifference for their fellow man, as well as the impression that accumulating wealth is the paramount virtue of the human character.

I agree that wealth is often an indication of success, but other attributes often come with the bounty. This is where JKarl's omitted portion of the Bible verse comes into play. Perhaps JKarl believes the New Testament is playing partisan politics by stating "...than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." Maybe that explains its omission. There was a time when it was considered a Christian virtue to be wary of extravagance.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith May 9, 2012 | 9:27 a.m.

There always needs to be a "bad guy."

For National SOCIALISM the bad guy was the Jews, who were SUPPOSED to own most of the wealth in Germany. Interestingly, the Jewish population in Germany in 1933 was less than 1% of the total population*. There's that "1%" business again!

Let's switch to the Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics. There you had a choice of whom to hate. There was the good old bourgeoisie - God love 'em - or you could go to the countryside and savage the Kulaks. How could one tell the difference between an oppressed peasant and a Kulak? It wasn't that easy. Maybe a Kulak had a cow* or some extra chickens, making that person an enemy of the state.

This hating business is VERY important! Without it many of the haters might be forced to confront their own inadequacies. We most certainly can't have that!

Is there a course in the university system for hating the wealthy? Can't find any listed for UMKC, UMSL or MS&T.

*- If the Jewish population in Germany was that low, where did all those liquidated Jews come from? They came from German-occupied territory, especially Poland and the occupied portion of the Soviet Union.

**-Williams, you Capitalist pig, if you have any cattle on your farm you'd better be prepared to lose them. :)

(Report Comment)
Brendon Steenbergen May 9, 2012 | 9:39 a.m.

Hold on. Not done disagreeing with The Great Scowler. I started reading the article and began thinking 'what about the way John Kerry was blasted for being an out of touch old money elitist!?!' only to finish the paragraph and learn from JKarl that my memory must deceive me and this never happened at all.

I seem to remember wind surfing and lacrosse photos being used against Kerry. I even remember The Onion spoofing Kerry as giving a campaign speech from the bow of a yacht. Also attacks on his heiress wife. These are all figments of my imagination though because JKarl says this never happened.

As for Soros, I've rarely seen his name listed in any media outlet without the the prefix 'billionaire' attached to it as if it's an invective.

(Report Comment)
Gary Straub May 9, 2012 | 10:16 a.m.

It's very humorous how some middle class people who probably claim to be Christians find it much easier to ridicule the scriptures than to allow themselves to see how it was the 'too big to fail' banks, insurance, and oil corporations that lost so many peoples savings. This seems to have been going on for as long as greedy men realized that they could produce nothing and had nothing to barter as they made nothing, convinced the average Joe's that a little piece of metal with some squiggly lines on it was worth as much as a shoe, or clothes, or a building. Since that worked out so well they made bigger pieces worth worth even more. That, of course, was not enough for those that do nothing so they convinced those that actually produced goods that they could borrow some metal thingies - which had enormous value - to expand their business and only have to pay back with their wares. Then Jesus kicked them out of the temples and tore down the temple and never preached in a temple again. We all know how that turned out.

(Report Comment)
Ryan Gavin May 9, 2012 | 10:54 a.m.

What Miller fails to understand, and I think others taking similar positions don't get, is that people aren't angry that people are wealthy. It's that they're making their exorbitant wealth at the general populace's expense.

There are facts that back this claim up. (Numbers ahead come from the Congressional Budget Office.) Since 1980, the top 1 percent of earners' average household income has risen from $0.6 million to $1.9 million. Other income brackets have remained essentially unchanged, though the top 2 percent through 20 percent did see slight gains. The change in share of the top 1 percent's national income during that time has risen more than 120 percent. So they are bringing in significantly more money than they were.

Now, as some people would like you to believe, the super wealthy feel like they're being unfairly taxed on this income, so they have the right to bring in more. This is patently untrue. In 1945, the tax rate on millionaires was 66.4 percent. LBJ cut it to 55.3 percent 20 years later. Under St. Reagan and his cuts, they still paid 47.7 percent. And now, thanks to the Bush tax cuts (and Obama's refusal to let them expire) they pay just 32.4 percent. (Numbers sited from the non-partisan Tax Foundation.)

That doesn't even touch on the increasing disparity between executives pay and their lower level employees (yes, they work hard, though I'm willing to bet it's not 240 percent harder than it was 30 years ago.) Or the continued decrease of corporate tax levels. Or the despicable behavior of corporate executives who used taxpayer bailout money to pay themselves bonuses after sinking their companies (though I do hold both parties accountable for not putting any restrictions on the money they dished out).

So, Mr. Miller, we are not angry that there are wealthy people and that some are profiting. That's American. What's not is that the system is being gamed to give them every possible break and that it's crushing the rest of us in the process.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking May 9, 2012 | 11:20 a.m.

Ryan Gavin wrote;

"It's that they're making their exorbitant wealth at the general populace's expense."

This is incorrect. Most of the money that has enriched the top earners has been loaned into existence by banks, or generated in derivatives markets. It has not been taken from the middle class. It would have happened with or without a middle class (other than some of them took out risky loans, and they're as much to blame for that as the banks are). You can't point to income inequality and say that it's evidence the wealthy are taking advantage of the middle class.

The middle class is shrinking because the bulk of GDP is now in finance, insurance, and real estate, which generate many fewer high paying jobs per dollar of GDP than manufacturing did. The conversation we should be having is not to affix blame, but if there's anything we can do about that, and if not, what policies should we undertake. A class warfare message is not productive here. The "1%", by and large, has not done anything wrong except take advantage of a financial situation, and virtually all of it was legal.

DK

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking May 9, 2012 | 11:41 a.m.

Brendon Steengarden wrote:

"It's not having wealth that people find distasteful, it's the indifference for their fellow man"

From the article:

"Ninety-seven percent of those surveyed donate to charitable causes for an average of 8 percent of their after tax income."

If this is accurate, it means that the "1%" gives to charity at a rate of about $1.5 trillion (approximate total after tax income) x 0.08 = $120 billion. There's a total of about $300 billion in charitable contributions in the US every year (I believe that includes churches as well as secular giving), so that's 40% of charitable giving from 1% of the population. I'd say they seem to care about their fellow man. If they didn't, why give at all? Why not just keep it all for themselves?

DK

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller May 9, 2012 | 11:57 a.m.

Mr Steenburger,

The only media source to ridicule Senator Kerry for being out of touch and marrying (twice) for money was the obviously biased and thus ignored by liberals/progressives FOX News. And, do you really consider "billionaire" a term of invective?
If you are a closet fan of FOX, you may lose your membership in the "I am a victim class" or the Dan Rather Fan Club. You did not view Kerry Bashing on MSNBC, CBS, CNN, NBC or ABC nor did you hear it on Air America.

Substantive discussion/disagreement is welcomed--self-indulging nitpicking is hardly relevant.

(Report Comment)
Brendon Steenbergen May 9, 2012 | 12:09 p.m.

@MarkFoeking. Very good questions. To which I say, I did not mean to imply that all wealthy people are indifferent to their fellow man, not by a long shot. I meant only to say that middle and lower class people take umbrage with wealthy people who do display that trait (i.e. the Madoff's of the world).

Secondly, charitable giving is quite virtuous, but may not be a perfect indicator of altruism. Wonderful contributions to food banks, humane societies, and health organizations are made indeed, but we also count donations to opera houses and private clubs, etc despite their dubious social good.

The final question, why give at all is quite easy to answer. Our income tax system that heavily rewards giving with tax deductions. I'm not just talking about your straight gift that gets you a deduction, I'm talking about complex charitable trusts and gift annuities that help to avoid inheritance taxes, alleviate tax burdens from windfall income years (i.e. you make $80k a year from your small business and then you sell your business for $3 million and face a new giant tax burden), etc. There are many incentives to give besides altruism.

That being said, I don't judge any gift or the giver. I agree with an earlier comment, I don't judge the wealth itself. There are jerks at all income levels. I just excuse the behavior more of the schlub who has to drive the beat-up 1991 Corolla. I get why he's in a foul mood.

(Report Comment)
Brendon Steenbergen May 9, 2012 | 12:20 p.m.

Mr. Karl Miller must not be reading me right. I did not say that I consider the term billionaire an invective, I said it is placed before Soros' name as one by media outlets. I've been quoted in the paper before, but no one listed me as hundredaire.

I alsoooo disagree with his assertion that ONLY Fox picked on Kerry for his wealth. Digging up other instances is only a Google search away.

I don't get how my comments were self-indulgent or give me a claim at victimdom (a word I just invented). I never mentioned myself and reject Mr. Karl Miller's invitation to the club (which he invented).

Two straight weeks of accusing my eloquent and poignant comments of being self-indulgent. The only thing I indulge in is Mr. Grouchy's weekly delivery of written tripe.

(Report Comment)
Brendon Steenbergen May 9, 2012 | 12:30 p.m.

Alsooooo, JKarl believes my comments have lacked substance, so I would like to add a bit of it to this forum. One can check to make sure I'm recalling this right but I believe in 2004 the RNC itself put a game on its website called "Kerryopoly" in which you could play as someone with a $40K a year salary who tries to land on one of Kerry's many homes and properties winning things like $1,000 haircuts and private jets, and other property of Kerry's.

At that time the RNC was downright indignant with Mr. Kerry's indulgence in the fruits of capitalism.

....but, JKarl says none of this ever happened, so I could be wrong.

(Report Comment)
Christopher Foote May 9, 2012 | 12:54 p.m.

How many pro-regressive tax rate columns can Mr. Miller pen without explicitly stating he supports regressive rates?
The vast majority of the governed support the principle of progressive taxation, this includes many (most?) economists on the right. The father of modern capitalism, Adam Smith, supported progressive taxation as well.
I fail to see how the tax rates we had under say Reagan or even Clinton are a tyranny of the masses representing wanton theft from the producers of society, but than I was never a fan of Atlas Shrugged...

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller May 9, 2012 | 1:20 p.m.

Mr Foote,

It should not come as a surprise to anyone that the vast majority of the governed would prefer that someone other than they pay the taxes. We see that every time the issue of raising property taxes is an option--those who don't own property can be expected to vote a resounding yes.

No government ever taxed its way into prosperity--perhaps the fans of progressive tax rates can prove otherwise?

(Report Comment)
David Rosman May 9, 2012 | 1:33 p.m.

Karl - Good column sir, but didn't Jesus also stress giving to the poor in Matthew 19:21?
'Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”'

In fact, your suggestion that all rich individuals and corporations have been vilified is not true, re: Bill Gate and Warren Buffet. Millionaire celebrities have given their time and moneys to many humanitarian causes. Corporations as YUM! and Pepsico give generously to nonprofits. They are not "evil."

But when an individual seeks wealth without giving back to the community... well that is just not Christian or humane, is it.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield May 9, 2012 | 1:46 p.m.

Note that Buffett and Gates are giving their money to charity. They could just as easily write a check to the U.S. Treasury, but the fact that they don't indicates that they believe the private sector can spend their money more effectively. And the rest of those who pay taxes aren't supposed to complain when the government

(Report Comment)
Brendon Steenbergen May 9, 2012 | 2:30 p.m.

@Bearfield You might want to review Buffett's many many writings on this topic and revise your statements. No need to use his charitable gifts as a proxy for his opinion. He has written explicitly about this many times.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield May 9, 2012 | 2:57 p.m.

Not sure what you're referring to, Brendon. If you mean writings such as his op-ed saying that he and those like him shouldn't be "coddled" and should pay higher taxes, as I've posted before, he can always pay more than just what he owes instead of waiting for Congress to force him to put his money where his mouth is. If he truly believed that the government could spend his money more effectively than the Gates Foundation and other charities, then he would write the checks accordingly.

(Report Comment)
Justin Thomas May 9, 2012 | 3:05 p.m.

Yay, my homeowners insurance went up nearly 10% for the second consecutive year. Not one claim, ever. Can't find a better way to make money, can they? Here, let me get this for you: "Oh, poor me. I am a victim."

Stop doing the rest of us a dis-service by trying to protect the salaries and benefits of corporate CEOs who provide no, very negligible, or detrimental services to society.

Development is not all about financial accumulation, or the growth of destructive economic industries. I'm afraid your notions of freedom and growth have played themselves out, and the picture is not particularly pretty for most of us. This picture was not painted by me; don't blame me if what you think you see is ugly.

Surely you wouldn't suggest that we are nothing more than an angry mob when we call out corporate leaders for human rights violations and environmental destruction, would you? What about for cultural and social destruction?

Ideally, the rich probably should not be obligated to share their bounty, but they could at least show other people a little more respect. Are you willing to use philanthropy as an excuse for ignoring questions about how that money was made and accumulated in the first place? It seems so.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith May 9, 2012 | 3:30 p.m.

Not certain I agree with paying more than you owe, although you may if you wish.

Paying more federal taxes than one actually owes is a bit like saying "no" to your boyfriend's attempts to unbutton your blouse while at the same time YOU are unbuttoning your blouse. Neither the boyfriend nor the Treasury Department requires encouragement. :)

I do believe there will NEVER be sufficient taxes to continuously operate our federal government in break-even condition.

PS: Miller, I don't care what the university records say: you're one of us!

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield May 9, 2012 | 3:42 p.m.

Justin, your -- and my -- insurance increased largely because Missouri has had so many disasters over the past year, such as the Joplin and STL tornadoes. Another reason is because insurance companies also get a lot of revenue from their investments, many of which are still recovering.

As for respect, it goes both ways. I'm not a 1 percenter or even a 10 percenter, but even at my income level, it's really annoying to have people constantly trying to put their hands deeper into my pocket because they don't want to prioritize. Student debt is a good example: That's avoidable if the parents and, later on, the teenagers put away everything they can for college instead of buying iPads or having cable or a smartphone. And when they get to college, don't rent an apartment that has so many amenities. That's how I got through college and grad school with zero debt.

Steve Jobs, Sam Walton and most other 1 percenters got that way because millions of average Joes and Janes bought what they were selling, not because the government took the money from everyone else's pockets and gave it to them. If you don't like that Jobs got rich, or that Apple or GM pay little or no taxes, don't buy their products. If enough average people do likewise, then those CEOs and companies will feel the pinch. But that and avoiding problems such as debt all begin by denying yourself lots of amenities such as an iPad or smartphone or HBO. Are you, unlike Buffett, willing to put your money where your mouth is?

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking May 9, 2012 | 3:51 p.m.

Jimmy Bearfield wrote:

"They could just as easily write a check to the U.S. Treasury, but the fact that they don't indicates that they believe the private sector can spend their money more effectively."

That's more because they have control over what the money is used for. A lot of charities have come under fire for excessive administrative costs, so it's not necessarily true that private charities can use it more effectively.

Justin Thomas wrote:

"questions about how that money was made and accumulated in the first place? It seems so."

The diversity of sources of that income are probably as diverse as the "1%" is itself. You might want to look at the Forbes 400 list (Google is your friend) and see how few of those people ever took a bailout, and the diverse sources of their wealth.

The fact that some corporate CEO makes $20 million in total compensation does not affect me in the least. it also does not affect the price of their product or the bottom line of his company. For most CEO's in that position, their compensation is an infinitesimal part of the company's operating expenses. Pluys, if they weren'y paying the CEO that, someone else would. It's a market like anything else.

I have no problem paying someone responsible for billion dollar decisions millions of dollars a year. Their responsibilities are hundreds or thousands of times that of a rank and file worker. Shouldn't they be paid hundreds or thousands of times more?

DK

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield May 9, 2012 | 4:02 p.m.

"A lot of charities have come under fire for excessive administrative costs, so it's not necessarily true that private charities can use it more effectively."

Then why is Buffett giving his money to charities rather than to the Treasury? He's the one running around saying and writing that he doesn't pay enough in taxes. He needs to shut up and start putting his money where his mouth is. He can do that by writing a check to the Treasury for an amount that he believes is his fair share.

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum May 9, 2012 | 4:07 p.m.

A haiku:

miller, a fossil
myopic, unwavering
in his diatribes

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking May 9, 2012 | 4:08 p.m.

Jimmy Bearfield wrote:

"Then why is Buffett giving his money to charities rather than to the Treasury"

Because he can pick the charity. He can specify what cause he wants to donate to. He can't do that if he writes a check to the Treasury - it just goes in the general pot.

DK

(Report Comment)
Brendon Steenbergen May 9, 2012 | 4:17 p.m.

Brilliant, Louis. Here's my Miller haiku attempt...

Misses the Fifties,
loves Ben-Gay and scares children,
No haircuts in years.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield May 9, 2012 | 4:27 p.m.

"Because he can pick the charity. He can specify what cause he wants to donate to. He can't do that if he writes a check to the Treasury - it just goes in the general pot."

Does he believe that will change if he gets his wish and the government agrees that he shouldn't be "coddled" and instead should pay higher taxes? If he doesn't believe that he'll suddenly have a choice about how the government spends his money, then why wait? Why not cut the check now?

In all of his interviews and op-eds, I've never heard or read him say a thing about agreeing to pay higher taxes on the condition that he can start choosing how the government spends his money. Unless I've missed it, he's never objected about having it all go into the general pot.

(Report Comment)
Christopher Foote May 9, 2012 | 4:32 p.m.

@Mr. Miller,

Using GDP growth as a proxy for prosperity, the data over the last 80 years indicates that there is a slight negative correlation with lower top marginal rates and GDP growth (see the downward sloping dashed line):
http://thoughtstate.blogspot.com/2011/01...
This does not necessarily mean that higher taxes on top earners will lead to greater GDP growth (I personally believe that taxes and growth are not strongly linked), but it does rather unequivocally demonstrate that lower taxes on the "job creators" is not the panacea you often bray about. Higher taxes do have a significant impact on the deficit though, which is why I think we should raise them.

(Report Comment)
Brendon Steenbergen May 9, 2012 | 4:35 p.m.

@foote Excellent comment aside, your use of the word "bray" has been my favorite part of this forum thusfar.

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller May 9, 2012 | 4:41 p.m.

Dave,

Thanks for the kind words. Nevertheless, I know of very few who are financially able to do so (myself included) who do not donate to the poor through charitable causes or even directly in many instances. Almost everyone feels both sympathy and some responsibility for the widows and orphans.

Where reasonable people draw the line is the abundance of entitlement spending doled out to and expected by the layabouts, chiselers and faux disabled who milk the system.

I doubt seriously that Jesus would look favorably on welfare cheats, the rapidly growing something for nothing crowd or the pettifoggers who represent them.

I give what I can afford to charity; however, I am not ready to sell my posessions in support of some poverty pimp who has the time and wherewithall to protest his plight--whether on Wall Street or in front of the local Post Office.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield May 9, 2012 | 4:41 p.m.

"Higher taxes do have a significant impact on the deficit"

Only if the government cuts spending, too, instead of viewing the extra revenue as an excuse to spend the same or more. I'm not willing to bet my money on that.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith May 9, 2012 | 5:46 p.m.

The most fascinating aspect of the nonsense mouthed by OWS is their apparent supposition that whatever the sins of the "1%," the remaining 99% of Americans constitute a homogeneous group. I doubt that at any time in the history of our republic have 99% of Americans represented a homogeneous group.

Sounds like scripted class warfare. Let's see, what political group is THAT historically associated with?

See my post near the top of these comments. Still asking in what course at MU that's taught? Can't locate any such course at UMKC, UMSL or MS&T (which collectively account for more than 50% of the System's students).

BTW, according to Columbia Daily Tribune this week, UMKC is considering petitioning the Curators to have the words "University of Missouri" REMOVED from their campus name. MS&T succeeded in getting that done in 2008, by unanimous Curator vote. UMKC and MS&T do have something in common: both use the academy system of campus management.

(Report Comment)
David Butz May 9, 2012 | 7:59 p.m.

We have had several wars which public opinion was against. Each of them resulted in large profits for military-related corporations and some ex generals affiliated with them. Seldom are the profits publicly tied to the lobbying efforts that generated them.

If big corporations are simply doing what society needs done, why is there a K street in Washington buying our senators and their aides lunches all summer long? Perhaps our intrepid reporter could report every week on the top 5 lobbying expenditures in DC and what they hoped to gain for their money.

It isn't free enterprise that workers dislike, it's massive bribery and collusion. When did you last see a big story about lobbyists? They're out there every day, worse than bank robbers, but no surveillance video ever seems to catch them and make it on to the evening news.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop May 9, 2012 | 8:43 p.m.

Mssrs. Bush, Allen, Straub, Gavin, Foecking, Steenbergen, Rosman, Thomas, Schneebaum, and Foote decide to open a poultry farm. They raise large plump hens and given them to the poor. The EPA, FDA, and state regulatory agencies come in and shut them down because a snail darter was found adjacent to their farm.

They sue KFC.

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum May 9, 2012 | 8:57 p.m.

@ Brendon -- a wonderful piece.

Don Milsop opens a poultry farm, he treats the confined hens with antibiotics, steroids, and chemicals. He sells his plump hens to Tyson et al. who process the hen-meat into a fine paste. Fast-food establishments sell $1 chicken sandwiches to the poor. The chemical runoff and fecal discharge from the Milsop broiler farm arrives to the local stream where all aquatic lifeforms are eradicated. The poor eat their $1 chicken sandwiches and wonder what happened to the stream they used to play in as children. Conservatives rejoice...

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop May 9, 2012 | 9:07 p.m.

Louis Schneebaum opens a chicken farm. He sells his chickens to Tyson, who gives 80% of their political donations to Democrats:

http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/neigh...

Schneebaum, like Bob Kerrey, doesn't pay health care for his part time workers, but touts universal health care for others. Schneebaum moves his yacht to another state to avoid paying taxes.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop May 9, 2012 | 9:33 p.m.

Louis, I'm guessing you don't know much about poulty farms. Virtually nothing goes to waste. It's resold for various uses...feed for pigs and cattle mostly. Before this was popular, the high nitrate content of chicken manure was used as a source for making gunpowder. The rest was slopped to pigs. My uncle's scientific research led to his finding the cure for trichinosis in chickens and pigs, which made them much safer for human consumption (and eliminated a prime health reason for keeping kosher).

Farmers do everything they can to ensure nothing goes to waste. It's called making them more profitable.

http://www.pickle-publishing.com/papers/...

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith May 9, 2012 | 11:57 p.m.

The group (see Milsop's list of names, above) realizes that competition in chicken raising is very strong (if you've shoveled chicken manure on a hot summer day you know just how "strong" it can be) and decides to go for raising turkeys instead. But not just any species of turkey: ocellated turkeys from Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. Exotics fetch better retail prices.

A date has been set for their case to be tried in federal court.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt May 10, 2012 | 12:40 a.m.

I've asked this question before and have yet to come across an answer: Would there be nothing wrong with the picture if there was a single trillionaire in the US and 40% of the population lived below the poverty line?

I've also mentioned this before, but it's worth repeating: The notion that people earn or deserve their (mis)fortunes is simply nonsense. We are not self-made.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt May 10, 2012 | 1:13 a.m.

Karl said: "Where reasonable people draw the line is the abundance of entitlement spending doled out to and expected by the layabouts, chiselers and faux disabled who milk the system."

Yes, this is so much worse than the entitlement spending doled out to and expected by the filthy rich who've hired full-time staff to milk the system for them, isn't it?

It's a question of means and ends. People like Karl are all about giving more money to the "job creators" in the hope that they create more jobs, despite the fact that the sole reason these guys create jobs at all is to make money.

"Here you go, Mr. Billionaire. Have some money so that you can make more money."

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop May 10, 2012 | 4:25 a.m.

Only to a liberal is letting a company keep more of the profits they earned "welfare", but giving money to somebody who didn't earn it an "entitlement".

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith May 10, 2012 | 5:36 a.m.

Twenty-four hours later I don't believe any of us has specifically addressed J. Karl Miller's INITIAL question.

Interestingly, while there have been various persons who have found wealth and profit evil the name virtually everyone could agree upon is another guy named "Karl," Karl Marx.

Why is it, that in these arguments against Miller, nobody wants to proffer that name? Is it because the ideas hatched by Marx have been subsequently discredited?

Or is it because Karl - Marx, not Miller - is known to have personally been such a nice, upstanding guy. Although born a Jew, Marx was seriously anti-semitic; he is known to have been a lousy husband and father (well, when you're busy saving the working class, how could you possibly find time to discharge marital or parental obligations?) and he was a financial deadbeat. Marx borrowed significantly from his associates, with apparently no intent of repaying the "loans."

Marx's philosophy clearly seems to have been that he was "owed" something. Golly gee, nobody has that attitude today. :)

Is all that covered in some course at MU? Maybe it's the same course that teaches students to hate the rich. Got to hate somebody!

I'd post more, but I need to work on my "manifesto" (advocating free love and endless quantities of George Killian's Red Lager).

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop May 10, 2012 | 7:14 a.m.

Ellis, as common sense returns to the electorate, and the tide of liberalism wanes, those problems addressed by Colonel Miller's column will fade too.

As Lincoln stated, you can't fool all of the people all of the time.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking May 10, 2012 | 8:05 a.m.

Jonathan Hopfenblatt wrote:

"Would there be nothing wrong with the picture if there was a single trillionaire in the US and 40% of the population lived below the poverty line?"

This is more or less the situation leading up to the French Revolution. Such a situation isn't even remotely true today.

The wealth of the "99%" is what matters. By most accounts people are doing well enough that they're not plotting anything more than what to watch on Netflix tonight. Comparing our GINI coefficient to that of countries in sub Saharan Africa neglects the fact that the average per capita income here is hundreds of times what it is there. The poorest among us live better than the average person there.

Don Milsop worte:

"as common sense returns to the electorate, and the tide of liberalism wanes,"

No. I expect the election to be too close to call, particularly if the economy continues to improve. Plus, it doesn't really matter - there's very little fundamental difference between Romney and Obama.

For everything that changes when Congress or the White House changes parties, a hundred atay the same. There is no "tide of liberalism" any more than there is a "war on Women". Our government is structured so any changes are little ones.

The economy is too large and too loosely controlled to be affected to any great extent by government action, excpet in those cases where rules have to be created to stop abuses. We have some of the least regulation in the first world, as well as the lowest overall taxes. But all conservatives seem to do is complain about it, just like liberals complain about non-existent threats to their health (chemicals and pesticides) and voting rights (ID requirements).

Things must really be going pretty well if these little things are all we can find to fight about in legislatures. The big stuff is out of government's control (at least, to the extent we the people would tolerate control). The biggest thing the government has control over is the national debt, and we don't see a whole of progress toward solving that now, do we?

DK

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush May 10, 2012 | 8:22 a.m.

The Cuyahoga
River caught fire. Chemicals,
Humans made it burn.

As I hold eyeless
Gulf shrimp, tell me more about
Nonexistent threats.

(Report Comment)
Brendon Steenbergen May 10, 2012 | 8:26 a.m.

I prefer beef, Don.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking May 10, 2012 | 8:44 a.m.

Gregg Bush wrote:

"The Cuyahoga
River caught fire. Chemicals,
Humans made it burn."

That's one of the cases where rules were created to curb abuses. That whole area has made an amazing comeback.

"As I hold eyeless
Gulf shrimp, tell me more about
Nonexistent threats."

First, the fact that the oil spill affected animal health does not mean human health is affected, either directly or even by eating the shrimp. Invertebrate responses to chemical stress is often very different from mammalian response. When a testing laboratory says not to eat the shrimp, then worry about it.

You could eat a cancerous tumor with zero chance of getting cancer. The factors that created the tumor are not present to any extent in the tissue. THey act at the level of one cell, where a tumor may contain trillions. Dilution is your friend (so is digestion).

Do you drive? Is your food transported in by oil? Then you've contributed to this just like I and everyone else has (and I do pretty well at NOT contributing to it). We've done very well at cleaning up our pollution, and the fact that it happens sometimes is due to the fact we use, and waste, so much STUFF.

To hear some tell it, we ahould all be dying from chemical and pesticide poisoning, when in fact we just seem to keep living longer. In fact, the greatest threat to our life expectancy is overeating and lack of exercise, not pollution. There's more poison, naturally, in most vegetables and fruits than you'd ever get from pesticide residues.

DK

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith May 10, 2012 | 8:50 a.m.

"A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can depend on the support of Paul." - George Bernard Shaw

[Peter's comments on that situation are very interesting but cannot be published in a family newspaper.]

Thank you, Mark Foecking, for your remark concerning the wealth factor inherent in the "99%." This is where Marx and the Marxists ran into trouble: the dire and very real circumstances that underpinned Marxist theory at its inception had already begun to change for the better (with little help from Marxism itself).

But to the Marxist and pseudo-Marxist it is still the 19th Century. Would that we could "park" them there!

(Report Comment)
Gary Straub May 10, 2012 | 9:19 a.m.

"This is incorrect. Most of the money that has enriched the top earners has been loaned into existence by banks, or generated in derivatives markets. It has not been taken from the middle class. It would have happened with or without a middle class (other than some of them took out risky loans, and they're as much to blame for that as the banks are)."

Just exactly where do you think the banks got the money to loan?

"No government ever taxed its way into prosperity--perhaps the fans of progressive tax rates can prove otherwise?"

Interesting comment, perhaps you could explain how a government could be prosperous without taxes. How can a government have anything without taxes? Oh...I know, I know pick me - state controlled business. That's the ticket, let's make our government be self-supporting.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams May 10, 2012 | 9:29 a.m.

Greg Allen posted, (May 9, 2012 | 8:44 a.m.): "With capitalism as our economic base, of course we will have wealthy and poor. There's no sin in being successful. But I think what the 99 percenters are concerned about is that money is power, and those with it control policy, which often ends up benefitting themselves. If things were framed as unequal distribution of power, instead of wealth, we would see a concern for our democracy.
__________________________

Few here have taken this tack so directly and I'm glad someone at last did so. I've been posting here for....over a year?....and I wondered how long it would take.

It's true. Money IS power. And it is on THIS that folks should concentrate.

Unfortunately, while Greg may believe this (and I think he's right), I do NOT believe most other posters here think so. Why do I think this?

Because the argument is always on how to get money from the rich and distribute it to those less rich. Via taxes.

Could someone please explain to me how taxing the rich reduces their power-over-policy one significant whit?

When the argument is about an unequal distribution of wealth, that tells me that "envy" is the motivator rather than trying to get the unequal distribution of power under control.

This is why I think JKarl is exactly right. The argument centers on the evils of wealth accumulation, and political hay is to be made by constructing a class war. It isn't about power for most liberals....it's about having what someone else has, without doing what others did to get it.

In the last year, the closest any posters came to the money-is-power argument was the discussion on the SCOTUS ruling on corporate donations. The power of their posts, however, was negated by the simple fact that writers skewered ONLY business corporations, but totally ignored the money-is-power similarities of their favored sons....things like unions, MoveOn.org, George Soros, so-called advocacy groups, and the like. There indeed is a good rich and a bad rich.

So, I believe that while Greg is right about what the argument motivation SHOULD be, it's actually envy driving this particular bus.

Most conservatives tend to support billionaires. It's NOT that the billionaires are particularly liked. But many conservatives aspire to be wealthier (or stay that way) through their choices and hard work and risk-taking, and they are absolutely convinced that once billionaires and upper-millionaires are tax-raped by those who are envious, those doing the raping will move closer to the decimal place of the rest of us.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking May 10, 2012 | 9:53 a.m.

Gary Straub wrote:

"Just exactly where do you think the banks got the money to loan?"

Look up "fractional reserve banking". Banks create these funds out of thin air, either themselves or through overnight loans from the Fed. It makes tremendous monetarty growth possible, but it also causes this wealth to be based on a mere promise to pay (debt). Therefore it is subject to sudden loss of value, like what we saw in 2008.

DK

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams May 10, 2012 | 9:57 a.m.

Gary asks, "Just exactly where do you think the banks got the money to loan?"
______________________

As someone else posted above, a whole bunch of it was PRINTED INTO EXISTENCE!!!! It's been going on for decades, and the Obama years of QE1 and QE2 give it a rather hefty goose.

The middle class's contribution was spend, spend, spend on stuff they thought they needed, but didn't, and every time the middle class spent a dollar it went to someone who was getting wealthier!

I bet you helped, aided, and abetted, too.

For example, do you use Facebook? Congratulations. You just helped make a bunch of millionaires. Have you attended a pro-ball game recently? Congratulations. Have you attended a movie? Congratulations. Have you purchased ANYTHING? Congratulations.

You have met the enemy and it's you.

And then you gripe about it as if you have no culpability whatsoever.

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller May 10, 2012 | 11:02 a.m.

Ellis,
You make a very valid point in your comment "Twenty-four hours later I don't believe any of us has specifically addressed J. Karl Miller's INITIAL question."

Unfortunately, that is a normal practice enjoyed by many who respond. It is infinitely easier when one does not understand the message, the message attacks one's sacred cow or it offers one an opportunity to post cute but hardly relevant comments to attack the messenger. It has always been more fun to criticize than to create.

Don't get me wrong--I am not complaining. Reading these posts is among my favorite sources of entertainment--the personal attacks are the most amusing. Informed people discuss the issues--the others call names.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith May 10, 2012 | 11:23 a.m.

@ J. Karl:

For some time, as we have wound our way through these tortured sessions, I've not only wondered about possible ties to the ravings of that other Karl [Marx] but also if there's a tie to Freud's "penis envy." Granted, Freud advanced his theory in a different context, but maybe it applies as well. I'll definitely go along with "envy."

"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." - Sigmund Freud

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking May 10, 2012 | 11:47 a.m.

Michael Williams wrote:

"Because the argument is always on how to get money from the rich and distribute it to those less rich. Via taxes."

Well, that might be the case with OWS and other posters here, but another consideration is simply taxation to balance the budget.

Redistribution to low-income people (TANF, WIC, Medicaid, the various tax credits like EIC, etc) is really a fairly small part of the total budget (IIRC it's less than 15%). Social Security is funded by payroll taxes (which are not a big part of the "1%"'s tax burden) and it's considered a retirement benefit rather than an entitlement (even though it really is an entitlement). Try getting legislators to mess with Social Security. Just try.

Similarly, when a choice between cuts to reduce 2% of the FY 2011 deficit or 4% of it caused one of the most bitter partisan battles in memory last spring, one shouldn't be optimistic that much is going to get cut. Even the "doomsday cuts" (which I'm betting will never happen) are only maybe 5% of the projected budget. We're stuck with spending near current levels for the forseeable future.

Most taxes go to support the military and veterans care, the regulatory component of government, research and statistical management, and a whole bunch of functions that private industry typically hasn't undertaken because they weren't immediately profitable (e. g. interstate highways, space exploration, national parks, weather services, etc.). None of these are redistributive, and they form the bulk of government spending.

Calls to raise taxes aren't necessarily about transferring wealth from the rich to the poor. History shows that usually doesn't produce lasting prosperity. They can also simply be about the government meeting its obligations without a limitless credit card, and the rich are able to supply more because they're, well, RICH. It's simply a matter of fiscal responsibility.

DK

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking May 10, 2012 | 11:54 a.m.

And I really do agree that a lot of it is about envy. Influence of money in government is not good for the republic, but I wonder if anyone has a good handle on how much that really happens. Bribery and conspiracy are felonies, and they tend to make big headlines when they involve legislators.

DK

(Report Comment)
Brendon Steenbergen May 10, 2012 | 12:00 p.m.

I really do wonder if JKarl and now Ellis actually read the comments before they respond. The initial question has been repeatedly addressed. I'll try to sum up for you both. My apologies to anyone's arguemnt I left out.

The question was: "Who decreed wealth and profit evil?"
Most common response was in the neighborhood of....
* No one. This is a red herring argument. Wealth and profit are not inherently evil. Profit from unethical practice is unjust. Ignoring the plight of the less fortunate is unjust. Celebrating wealth above all other virtue is also misdirected. Having plenty and earning is not evil to most on the right and left. Seriously!
* My argument is that the answer to JKarl's question is in the bible verse he first references. It's just that he eliminated the important part of the verse. Christians have long been wary of the corruption that can arise from wealth and power. It's not the accumulation that makes it tough to get through that needle-head. It's the misappropriation of wealth.

I do take umbrage with JKarl's accusation that "cute" comments are the easy response. He tends to dismiss those who disagree with him as not understanding his message, rather than having legitimate alternative arguments.

I also think he does not have a radar for sarcasm or the power of cutting statements. Long diatribes full of pasted regurgitated opinions from other websites is not always the best method of communicating an argument, though it is the only variety that JKarl accepts as valid.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield May 10, 2012 | 12:18 p.m.

"I've asked this question before and have yet to come across an answer: Would there be nothing wrong with the picture if there was a single trillionaire in the US and 40% of the population lived below the poverty line?"

You received several answers at www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2011/...

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams May 10, 2012 | 12:25 p.m.

Mark: Calls to raise taxes aren't necessarily about transferring wealth from the rich to the poor.
______________________

They are in this place. They are in the media. They are in the rhetoric of liberal politicians, various activists, and the Democratic party.

This can not be denied with credibility.

Otherwise, you and I are on relatively the same wavelength.
______________________

Brendon: A couple of times now you've blamed JKarl, Ellis, and perhaps a few others for not "getting" what you post.

Perhaps YOU are not expressing yourself clearly and convincingly.

Conversation is a two-way street. Just because someone does not agree does not mean they didn't "listen"; rather, they may have found your argument unconvincing.

Also, if you are a regular reader of this forum, I can see no way you can conclude many of those posting here truly believe "having plenty and earning is not evil to most on the right and left."

Wealth is most certainly an evil to many folks, and most of them are liberal.

(Report Comment)
Brendon Steenbergen May 10, 2012 | 1:52 p.m.

@michaelwilliams. I made that very argument of "not getting" to JKarl. Perhaps I was not making myself clear when I did.

I wouldn't necessarily refer to this forum as 'conversation.' It's more akin to a bunch of people talking at each other.

I respectfully disagree with your last statement. While a few do feel that way, most on this forum and in society do not. I consider myself liberal and do not vilify wealth. Most everyone liberal I know feels the same. I know that's anecdotal but it counts for something.

(Report Comment)
matt arnall May 10, 2012 | 3:38 p.m.

Brendon, you made clear points and reiterated those points. The "wolf pack" as I like to call them are unwilling to listen to reasonable arguements. I continue to post on Millers articles because at times he says things that are outragous and I can't help but to pipe up, but any wish that you may have to get though to these individuals is not going to happen. The people such as yourself are needed to stand your ground against the pack but don't hope for the impossible.

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller May 10, 2012 | 3:57 p.m.

Michael,

I believe you, Ellis and I "get" Mr Steenbergen all too well. He is one of those poor unfortunates destined to go through life pushing on doors marked pull.

It appears that liberals never change..they tend to love jobs yet despise those who create them.

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller May 10, 2012 | 4:02 p.m.

Mr Steenburger,

You allege that Ellis and I don't "get" you.

In your initial posting, you took me to task for not including all of the Bible verse. Perhaps you either missed or don't really understand what "paraphrase" means. Next, you chose to nitpick my examples of media bias toward selected wealthy persons--really a reach toward irrelevance.

From there, you have been all over the place..from exchanging "cute" haiku's to personal insults, to congratulating others for their personal insults to posting generalizations that were either false premises or had no bearing on the original subject. Lastly, you lament that no one understands ("gets") you.

I have no idea of your background, education, employment record or standing in the community--however, your commentary and style are hardly the mark of a grownup.

If you believe I have crossed the line--be my guest and report me..but, before you do, I would suggest you peruse your multiple postings for content and suitability.

Have a nice day..

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams May 10, 2012 | 4:20 p.m.

Sometimes folks adopt a "victimhood" posture, and it's so ingrained they don't even know it.

To wit:

"wolf pack"
unwilling to listen to reasonable arguments
at times says things that are outrageous
I can't help but to pipe up
The people such as yourself are needed
stand your ground against the pack
but don't hope for the impossible.

Cry me a river. Pitiful.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt May 10, 2012 | 4:48 p.m.

Jimmy Bearfield said: "You received several answers at www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2011/...

Actually, no, I didn't. The only one who actually bothered to provide an answer was Mark Foecking, just as he did here. Everyone else pretty much said "lol ur question is stupid no way it happens."

Thanks for giving me that link, though. I can now just recycle the numbers instead of having to look them up again:

There are ~413 billionaires in the US and their total net worth is ~$1.5 trillion. ~15% of the population lives below the poverty line. In other words, my hypothetical isn't as unrealistic as everyone says. Income inequality is growing too, aka the rich are getting richer faster than the non-rich.

People who speak against income inequality are usually asked this question: "How much wealth should a person be allowed to keep?" Well, those who speak against "wealth redistribution" get to answer one themselves: "How high can income inequality climb before we recognize there's a problem?"

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams May 10, 2012 | 5:25 p.m.

You can make the percentage living in poverty as high or low as you wish, depending upon where you set the defining line.

But, I expect 15% in poverty is about the best you can do if you define the line honestly. Unemployment at its best is 5% and probably includes those who have physical or mental difficulties that need our help. The remaining 5-10% drop from school, practice bad financial habits, make chronically-poor long-term decisions in favor of pseudo-short term outcomes, etc., and are always going to be there no matter how much you are willing to give away other peoples' money. Quite frankly, I've personally given up on this particular group. I believe they are products of their own decisions and there's not a damned thing I can do about it. As a group, they are forever lost.

Some will view that as unsympathetic. I understand and even have urges of semi-agreement. But, each of us can only do so much, the bow will only bend so far, and there comes a time where a people have to recognize they should put their efforts on things where they CAN make a difference.

Everything else is hitting your head against a brick wall.

(Report Comment)
matt arnall May 10, 2012 | 5:44 p.m.

Mike Williams- what makes you think that I don't look on you as pitiful as well. Your grand self perception is rediculous. You are in the top of the class at spelling, as you gleefully have shown me in the past. You are bigotted, snide, distasteful in most ways. The malace that you hold for me is understood. Victim is the favorite term that your pack has used recently, to the point of saying that anyone that doesn't think like you is a victim. I don't agree with this statement (aside from being a victim of reading your incoherent rants). You dispise my point of view and I welcome that. If people like you don't think much of me, that tells me I am doing something right, as your points that you try to make generally turn my stomach. You hold yourself in this elevated place, looking down at anyone who disagrees with you. Hate me. Please. If you are hot, I want to be cold. If you are red, then call me blue. You are a true picture of who I do NOT want to be and how I do not want to think and act. There are two sides to every story. Compromise is key to getting anywhere, and you have shown no willingness to comprise. As I said last time you and I went back and forth, conversing with you is like conversing with a tree (no offense to trees). Point being, you could talk all day to a tree, but you are never going to get a reasonable response. I simply gave a heads up to Brendon that his statements were not going to go anywhere when they are addressed to the likes of you. You have choosen a side and that is where you stand. Good for you. In regards to this article, who decreed wealth and profit evil. No one. It is a popular talking point for conservative types and the GOP. I bust my ass everyday to make ends meet and take care of me and mine. If I play my cards right and have a little luck I would welcome gaining the title of "wealthy" some day in the distant future. The issue that I have (and Brendon) is that in this day and age, many wealthy can play by their own, made-up-as-they-go rules to greatly increase their wealth while taking away my ability to make ends meet and any future chance I may have at obtaining wealth or at the very least meeting me and my families needs. That is what upsets me. A level playing field is what I demand. I play be the rules and so should everyone else, including the wealthy. If they do, then great. If they don't, then I want to take my ball and go to a field where I have a chance to succeed. That is my point. Is that clear enough for you. How from that statement am I a victim? Let me have it Mike Williams. I am ready for your rebuttal.
PS- how was my spelling?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith May 10, 2012 | 5:46 p.m.

Yes, it's true, Karl. While those of us from MS&T can only read with great difficulty, we are able to read, but it's also true that highly esoteric texts pose problems for us. :)

I continue to wonder how well Karl Marx, possibly history's greatest poster boy for class warfare, would fit in with Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Columbia, Occupy Granny's Outhouse, etc.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams May 10, 2012 | 6:36 p.m.

Well, I never!

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield May 10, 2012 | 6:57 p.m.

"Actually, no, I didn't."

Actually, you did. You just don't like to admit it.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop May 10, 2012 | 7:37 p.m.

With apologies to Roger Miller

Got a letter just this mornin'
It was postmarked Omaha
It was typed and neatly written
Offerin' me a decent job
Decent job and decent wages
But no expenses or a car
So I'll just sit here on Wall Street
Beneath my bright red star

Haha I wake up smelly and a grinning'
Got a cell phone and Che hat
Got student loans that my folks pay on
No skills but who needs that
I'm the poster boy for Obama care
Hate corps love my Gucci's too
Arrived here in my Daddy's Jag
Omaha I don't need you

Stay tuned: we're gonna have a Van Jones revolutionary video produced by Madison Avenue that you can watch on your iPad in a minute.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop May 10, 2012 | 7:51 p.m.

Matt, you make this silly presumption that the rich don't play by the same rules. That's complete nonsense. The rich play by the rules and have far greater oversight and regulation on them than the poor or middle class. You forget too that most of the rich were once amongst the poor and middle class.

They rose to the top. Sometimes it's skill, sometimes it's quirk of fate. Rappers making tens of millions of dollars aren't running all overthemselves to help stop gang violence, drugs, or out of wedlock births. But any rich on the side of the left you and your kind are perfectly willing to excuse. If you weren't, you'd disassociate yourselves from the likes of Soros and Maher.

Stop whining.

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum May 10, 2012 | 8:13 p.m.

"Class warfare"... What an asinine phrase to throw around. The capital gains tax needs to go up. At around 15%, the rate is at its lowest since the Great Depression.

Even Reagan, who so-called conservatives have an almost erotic fixation on, taxed capital gains from 20 to 28%. When you use the term 'punish the wealthy', you are stepping away from logic, into the field of demagoguery. Surely, none of us are "pro" wasteful government expenditures--however, as ethical human beings, we are compelled to take care of our brothers and sisters when they are ill, unemployed, crippled, or insane. We require infrastructure, the construction of which is often not inherently profitable. Society requires many things, things that cost money and benefit both the wealthy and the poor.

At any rate, a large bulk of the so-called conservative vote comes from an irrationally-charged religious movement whose primary focus is to impose a religious framework onto a pre-existing non-religious architecture.

Most 'liberals' would not be so virulently anti-conservative if conservatives won elections on the merits of their fiscal policies, rather than by decrying blacks, women, and gays.

Yes--blacks, women, and gays. Conservatives have evolved slowly when it comes to each of these groups--groups whose rights, by the way, should never be determined by a popular vote. North Carolina conservatives put the gay marriage ban on their ballot to specifically prevent two citizens exercising their rights as free people under the law. If left up to North Carolina, how long do you think they'd have continued to keep slaves? How long until they'd have decided to pass their own civil rights act?

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop May 10, 2012 | 8:42 p.m.

Louis, you just continue to whine and moan. We'll leave you behind because you are never going to figure it out. You'll just wallow and bellow life's not fair. Tough. Deal with it.

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum May 10, 2012 | 8:54 p.m.

Don, please add something to the conversation other than abject banality. Just because someone is compassionate, rather than miserly, doesn't necessarily imply that they exist in a state of pecuniary deficiency... You and Shiller examine societal issues only at the most base level.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt May 11, 2012 | 12:05 a.m.

Jimmy Bearfield: "Actually, you did. You just don't like to admit it."

Uh, I've been in discussions on this website where it was pretty much me against everyone else, and I've responded to virtually all comments headed my direction. A few people here are also familiar with my awesome ability to ramble endlessly about anything and everything, at any time of the day. So, if I say that I didn't get any responses, it really is because I didn't get any responses. I don't duck away from arguments.

So yeah, I didn't get any responses. I actually re-read all the comments in case I missed one or didn't remember it, which is how I knew that Mark was the only person to actually give an answer.

I could go ahead and quote you every comment in that article that ISN'T an answer, but for the sake of brevity, perhaps you'd like to quote one that is. You don't even have to quote it: A name and time stamp will do, and I'll look it up myself.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop May 11, 2012 | 2:34 a.m.

Louis, you haven't learned yet that what you lack in a common sense approach to life can not be equalized or exceeded by any measure of expounding or use of a sophisticated vocabulary.

The founding fathers were quite content to call King George a tyrant.

"A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people."

I am quite content to call President Obama a socialist. The only reason he's not a communist is because he simply couldn't get away with it under our system of government. And this system is what the left seeks to change and bend to their will.

"He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance."

He has appointed avowed communists to high office. He has advisors that think in term of rule and not govern:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7Nlq80DV...

You will not like it Louis. You will scream and cry and holler and decry, but it won't change the facts. We will continue to support your right to do so, because we want the world to know what you stand for. But you can not force us to listen, and we will not have our liberty crushed on the altar of your socialist gods.

Deal with it.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking May 11, 2012 | 4:28 a.m.

Don Milsop wrote:

"He has appointed avowed communists to high office. He has advisors that think in term of rule and not govern:"

Your video is close to 4 years old. "Rule" may be an unfortunate choice of words in that context, but the reality is that not much has really changed since then.

Whatever you think "socialist" means, it hasn't happened. What can't you do now that you could four years ago? I can't think of anything particularly important.

DK

(Report Comment)
Bob Brandon May 11, 2012 | 6:59 a.m.

"Among my circle of friends, acquaintances and political confederates..."

Well, if thinking in a box is a virtue, at least we now know the dimensions of the one within which the good Colonel thinks.

(Report Comment)
Brendon Steenbergen May 11, 2012 | 9:42 a.m.

Wow! I have really sparked the ire of JKarl.

To Jkarl:

I do think it is important that I address what you have said because you are clearly irritated by me. First of all, I actually do enjoy reading your columns weekly, that should be clear from my involvement in this forum. I seldom agree with you, and I have written many things that you have deemed 'cute' and 'insults'. I have written earlier but I'd like to reiterate that these comments were all in sarcasm and jest. If you are insulted I apologize, but based on the demeanor of your responses, I do not think you have an appreciation for my sarcasm...which is subjective so that's fine. But I did feel it important to clarify the spirit of my comments. They are not intended to be venomous and I think if you review the frivolousness of the attacks you might agree that they were intended to be harmless.

Speaking of subjective, you have called my previous comments substance-free but when I disputed your opinion on media bias, rather than point out why my argument is faulty, you accused me of "nitpicking" and using "false premises". I would like an objective answer to why one's examples are facts and another's examples are nitpicking. You also accused me of not understanding paraphrasing, but that is also untrue.

The point I was making and that no one has addressed is that your question is about wealth and evil, yet the verse you chose from the scripture addresses that very question. Why do you need to paraphrase at all. My question to you and other conservative commentors is this; what do you believe the message of that bible verse is? My personal feeling is that the trappings of wealth makes it easier to stray from Christ's teachings and one must be ever cognizant of the unfortunate once they themselves become blessed with wealth. That has been the overall response I have to this article, and I believe it is based in scripture.

I would like to know what conservatives take from that passage, because though I often disagree with them, I believe all on this board are likely good people who lead productive lives. I'd like to know their take.

(Report Comment)
Brendon Steenbergen May 11, 2012 | 9:43 a.m.

As to your stating that 'no one gets me.' I have never made that claim. I claimed that you, JKarl and one other did not understand my message. You yourself on this very forum claimed that those who disagree with you do not get or understand your message. Please to not act as if I am playing the victim whilst ignoring your own posts. It is too blatantly hypocritical and undermines your arguments.

Also, I have no intention of "reporting you" (to what authority, I have no idea, or for what"). But please, do not question my maturity based on my posts. My greatest crime is disagreeing with you, and my posts are riddled with 'I respectfully disagree' and 'very good questions'. I rarely ever see you JKarl or any of the most outspoken conservatives on this forum even concede that a sensible argument has been made if you disagree with it.

There are arguments that I don't hold but I recognize a valid line of reasoning is behind them. There are also arguments that I believe are totally baseless. I hope that your views are also as nuanced.

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum May 11, 2012 | 11:53 a.m.

I gather that Miller served in some branch of the armed forces, achieving the rank of colonel. Therefore, he's right about 'stuff'. How could he ever concede? In case you missed the memo: "Colonels are never mistaken".

(Report Comment)
Brendon Steenbergen May 11, 2012 | 12:07 p.m.

I respect JKarl for his service to our country. I'm sure he's a good man, husband, father, Marine, and American. I respect all of those things. I also disagree with a significant portion of his world view. We live in a great country that allows all of those things to coexist.

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum May 11, 2012 | 1:49 p.m.

Our country is a mixed bag. Sure, we can argue freely about our political views--but, at the same time, 'conservatives' actively discriminate against one group after another. The latest being gays. I'm not sure, actively hating gays, and putting civil rights law up to state-level popular votes is peaceful coexistence. I also don't necessarily appreciate the service of everyone who has served in the military. Why should I? Our country's last four major armed conflicts have been global embarrassments and have cost us our chance at fixing some of our society's ills. The targeted strike on Bin Laden should have been the plan from day 1. You don't invade a country to make a handful of arrests/assassinations. Everyone in the army today has volunteered for it and the financial benefits for doing so are quite generous: healthcare, housing for the entire family, food assistance, college paid, and so on and so forth...

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield May 11, 2012 | 2:49 p.m.

"I could go ahead and quote you every comment in that article that ISN'T an answer, but for the sake of brevity, perhaps you'd like to quote one that is. You don't even have to quote it: A name and time stamp will do, and I'll look it up myself."

I can't do much more than tell you to go back to that page. Frank and I were among the people who answered. I can't help it if those answers weren't what you hoped for. That's your problem, not everyone else's.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt May 11, 2012 | 4:37 p.m.

Uh, you CAN do much more than that. You can actually go the link yourself, and point me to where the question was answered. I've gone through that link twice already and I have not found an answer.

Here's another thing you can do: You can also restate the answer you gave, since you said just now that you answered the question already and apparently I'm either in denial or simply making stuff up. Whatever answer you gave then will surely be an answer now, won't it? Oh wait, I forgot that you can't do much more than just tell me to go back to the page (lol).

(p.s. No, "answering" my question with another question such as "What if it's not a person but a government?" is not an answer, literally or figuratively.)

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt May 11, 2012 | 4:46 p.m.

Weird how apparently I'm in denial about that earlier discussion and all the great answers I was given, when this denial wasn't pointed out, at all, in the discussion itself.

I asked the same question at least three times, and each subsequent time I specifically pointed out that no one had yet answered the question. Not a single person told me "dude, person X already answered; you're just in denial about it." Now, evidently, it's painfully obvious that back then I was just dancing around the subject, or whatever.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop May 11, 2012 | 9:02 p.m.

Homosexuals are not discriminated against. They have just as much right to marry somebody of the opposite sex as anybody else.

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 11, 2012 | 9:29 p.m.

Just got here. Liberals, liberals, liberals!

Col., you may, or may not have set some records with your piece. Not doubt Brenden Steenbergen, must have, in his attempt to justify his self esteem promoted attack against your text. He has no justification, so naturally You had to become "next".

"I consider myself liberal and do not vilify
wealth. Most everyone liberal I know feels the same. I know that's anecdotal but it counts for something." This was one of his "dandies". He and they, only vilify those that Have the wealth, especially if they complain when it is taken from them, even to "cure our social ills". The Administration that these support has done more to destroy wealth in this country than any before them. Everything done has been opposite to the things previously done to stop recession. They have stepped up the decline of the U.S. economy to the level of U.N. anticipated take over to frightening proportions, while they profess concern for our U.S. "poor".

L. Schneebaum, gives a few gems. "conservatives' actively discriminate against one group after another. The latest being gays. I'm not sure, actively hating gays, and putting civil rights law up to state-level popular votes is peaceful coexistence." We've heard of "paint with a wide brush", but, this is ridiculous. Gays are a liberal Democrat protected group, thus, Obama's "out" and "The latest being gays."

"I also don't necessarily appreciate the service of everyone who has served in the military. Why should I? Our country's last four major armed conflicts have been global embarrassments and have cost us our chance at fixing some of our society's ills." I absolutely do not appreciate the first sentence of this confession of the liberal position on the history of our great country, by Mr. Schneebaum. Our global embarrassment has occurred unbelievably in the last 3 years from this prez, no one else! Then he gives us, at the "cost us our chance at fixing some of our society's ills." 5T$ new debt. Say, 1T$ for the wars. Where is the 4T$? We shouldn't have any "society's ills"!

Libs, libs, libs. What a bunch!

(Report Comment)
Brian Trenhaile May 11, 2012 | 11:26 p.m.

"confession of the liberal position on the history of our great country".

No, Frank. That is the confession of one liberal's position. This is not THE liberal position on our country. I suppose you will continue to decry "painting with a wide brush" while doing just that.

"Our global embarrassment has occurred unbelievably in the last 3 years from this prez, no one else!"

So that whole invading Iraq for non-existent WMDs thing wasn't an embarrassment? An that "MIssion Accomplished" banner...That wasn't embarrassing at all?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith May 11, 2012 | 11:55 p.m.

Frank Christian said, "Just got here." Don't fret, Frank, you haven't missed much, but to employ an ancient Phelps County, Missouri saying, some folks have been posting here like they are "madder than a scalded dog."

Damn! I'm out of Skoal. Now I'll probably go into nicotine withdrawal. People who attend college in the Missouri Ozarks end up having all sorts of bad habits. :)

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop May 12, 2012 | 12:50 a.m.

Ellis, could you use a piece of old fashioned sugar cane to chew on?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith May 12, 2012 | 5:36 a.m.

@ Don Milsop:

Sugar cane? Anything in a [or for a] pinch. (Oh, that's awful!)

BTW, we already have a state (Iowa) in this part of the United States where same sex marriage is legal.

But Iowans aren't fair: they won't allow a young man to marry his sister. Hell of a note when you have to go outside your family to find a STRANGER to marry! :)

(Report Comment)
matt arnall May 12, 2012 | 6:23 a.m.

I have never heard more hot air come out of anyone's mouth than the nonsense that Frank spews. Just amazing. Could you be any more of a one sided bigot? You attack someone for something, and the next line you do the same thing yourself. A little self-realization would do wonders for you.

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 12, 2012 | 9:00 a.m.

Brian Trenhaile - "That is the confession of one liberal's position. This is not THE liberal position on our country."

Then, why didn't YOU call him on it!

To bother answering your recitation of liberal spinning crap, is a waste. "So that whole invading Iraq for non-existent WMDs thing wasn't an embarrassment?" Even if this were only reason for invasion and it was not, the whole damn world thought there were WMDs and you must know it. Yet again, maybe not!

If anyone should be embarrassed about the Rush L. comment it should be you (that, of course would require a conscience). Media Matters quote ended with phrase "some odd percent". Your Rush link did not. Your original Did. How did you obtain the Rush link before you copied MM? Jeez.

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 12, 2012 | 9:12 a.m.

matt arnall - Tell a liberal the truth and one becomes "a one sided bigot".

Rather than relieve yourself with words "hot air" and "nonsense" in reference to my post, how about take a day off and try to disprove one point?

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 12, 2012 | 9:21 a.m.

Ellis - Hope this post lasts until you can read it.

The young mountain man showed up back home on the night of his honeymoon. Saying, "Daddy she was a virgin!" The father replies,"Son, you were right to come home! If her own Family won't have her... "

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop May 12, 2012 | 9:37 a.m.

Frank, perhaps a short review of history might be appropriate for Brian:

1. Saddam possessed WMDs.
2. Saddam used WMDs.
3. According to the cease-fire agreement, it was not up to us to prove Saddam had WMDs, it was up to Saddam to prove he did NOT have WMDs.

Let's add:

4. If you violate the terms of a cease-fire, i.e., firing on planes opposing you, you might be subject to an immediate butt kicking.

Now let's add a few more facts about Iraq:

Within months of the cease-fire in 1991, Saddam's forces had fired on US planes six times in violation of the cease-fire. In spite of numerous UN resolutions, Saddam did not comply with the violations of the cease-fire:

http://www.iraqwatch.org/government/US/C......

In 1998, President Clinton said regime change was our goal in Iraq.
Finally, take a very close look at all the quotes by Dems stating that Saddam had WMDs, many of which were before President Bush ever ran for President in 2000.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/wmdqu......

So please Brian, cut the nonsense about non-existent WMDs. It was CIA director George Tenet, who was appointed to that position by President Clinton, who told President Bush it was a "slam dunk" that Saddam had WMDs. Should not Bush have taken his CIA director's word, particularly since Bill Clinton would never have hired him had he not been competent, correct?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith May 12, 2012 | 10:00 a.m.

@ Frank:

I think the post will hold up well past my seeing it. Funny, I was thinking about posting the same thing.

As for some of the other posts here, I've never claimed to understand the Liberal psyche.

The other local newspaper informed us last Tuesday that another UM System campus wants to change its name. That's something actually interesting. It's been five years since the last time that happened. HOW FAST TIME FLIES WHEN WE'RE HAVING SO MUCH FUN!

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller May 12, 2012 | 10:15 a.m.

Ellis, Don and Frank,

Messrs. Steenbergen, Scneebaum, Hopfenblatt, Trenhaile and Arnall have continued to make the point I introduced earlier--in lieu of an intellectual discussion/disagreement or objective criticism of my op/ed, they continue to attack me as the object of their displeasure. And, remaining true to their leftist mainstream media doctrinaire, they snarl and claw at any others who dare refute their overlong, self adulating prose.

One of life's lessons yet unlearned in their education is "when one finds himself in a hole, it is time to stop digging.

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 12, 2012 | 10:35 a.m.

Ellis - "I was thinking about posting the same thing."

I knew it was old, but had no idea it was That old! (laff)

(Report Comment)
matt arnall May 12, 2012 | 10:35 a.m.

The definition of a bigot is as follows:
1.intolerant person: somebody with strong opinions, especially on politics, religion, or ethnicity, who refuses to accept different views.
Does this sound like anyone you know, Frank.

Don- the findings by the US military clearly state that there were no WDMs. I know this is hard to swallow, but you saying otherwise doesn't change facts.

Miller- I haven't addressed you specifically at all in this discussion, therefore you couldn't have been attacked by me. Wouldn't you be playing the victim card here, which you and your tribe hate. Hypocritical, isn't it. If you are looking for an intellectual discussion, you might trying being objective and intelligent as opposed to blindly onesided and ignorant. Another one of lifes lessons is that there are two sides to every story. You and your followers never prove anything you say. You are not objective. You are blatently bigotted towards people that are not like you. AND for an ex military man, you are completely disrespectful to the current administration which was selected by a majority of the people in this great country. Just cause you have a bunch of years under your belt does not mean that you are always right in your opinions. Actually, you and yours are starting to look like senile in your outlandish comments and arguements. Birds of a feather.

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 12, 2012 | 10:57 a.m.

matt arnall - "Does this sound like anyone you know, Frank." Actually, yes! The description fits You, to a T!

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop May 12, 2012 | 11:21 a.m.

If you bothered to read Matt, you would find out there were WMDs found. This 2006 memo from the House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee proves that:

http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/Iraq...

Now add this from the rest of the UNSCOM report:

UNSCOM has destroyed all Iraqi chemical weapons uncovered - 38,500 chemical munitions, 690 tons of chemical weapons agents, 3,000 tons of precursor chemicals, and 426 pieces of chemical production equipment items - and the destruction operation was formally ended on June 14, 1994. However, UNSCOM said February 28, 1998 that it had found that shells taken from Iraq in 1996 contained 97% pure mustard gas, raising questions of whether or not it was produced after 1991. UNSCOM's October 6, 1998 report said that some further progress had been made but that Iraq refused to give UNSCOM an Air Force facility documentation that could explain the fate of all of the 100,000 chemical munitions produced for use in the Iran-Iraq war. Iraq did allow UNSCOM to take notes from the document, which was found July 18, 1998, but UNSCOM wants to take possession of the document. About 170 chemical sites are under long term monitoring. Iraq has not signed the Chemical Weapons Convention that took effect April 29, 1997.

The primary remaining area of chemical weapons inquiry is production of VX nerve agent, and September 1998 technical talks confirmed that Iraq has not cleared up remaining questions in this area. Iraq did not include VX in its initial postwar declarations, and, until 1995, denied having produced any VX. No VX stockpile has been found but Iraq has admitted to producing over 4 tons of VX. Unaccounted for is 600 tons of VX precursors -enough to produce 200 tons of VX. In late June 1998, UNSCOM revealed that some unearthed missile warheads, tested in a U.S. Army lab, contained traces of VX, contradicting Iraq's repeated assertions that it had not succeeded in weaponizing the agent. An UNSCOM report of October 26 on the VX issue did not contradict the U.S. findings, but it indicated that French and Swiss sampling of the warheads did not find conclusive evidence that the warhead samples tested by their labs contained VX. (For further information, see CRS Report 98-129, Iraqi Chemical and Biological Weapons Capabilities, by Steve Bowman.)

Matt, Brian, you do the same thing Tim Dance does. You only read things that support your position. When I do my research, I'm looking also for credible documentation that supports or refutes my position. I still have a standing $100 reward for anybody who can find credible evidence that the founding fathers did not intend the second amendment to be an individual right.

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller May 12, 2012 | 1:02 p.m.

Mr Arnall,

Was this not your post "Brendon, you made clear points and reiterated those points. The "wolf pack" as I like to call them are unwilling to listen to reasonable arguements. I continue to post on Millers articles because at times he says things that are outragous and I can't help but to pipe up, but any wish that you may have to get though to these individuals is not going to happen. The people such as yourself are needed to stand your ground against the pack but don't hope for the impossible." or is someone else posting in your name?

Or, is there another "Miller" who makes "outrageous" posts or.do you consider that a compliment?

You appear to have a short memory.

(Report Comment)
matt arnall May 12, 2012 | 1:52 p.m.

Yep you are quite right. I used your name to reference your articles. I did not however make any attacks on you, reference your name in conversation, or have any dialogue with you at all until my last post. You are smarter than this. You can see the difference, can't you? I mean, come on. You are grasping at straws. It is like playing cards with my brothers kids around here. You and your group are a bunch of bigots that make poor arguements and gang attack anyone that disagrees. You all are so blinded that you insist that you know your target up one side and down another, when most the time you pull crap from the air, put words in the mouth of the one that disagrees with you, and just look like a gang of bullies. It is offensive to see it coming from a group of men that should have some tact about yourselves. But it is easy to be tough while behind the computer screen and I can tell that it is something that you all enjoy. Problem is, I ain't the one that will just lay down and take all the nonsense that you toss out there. Your ways are sad and I hope that when I am your age I conduct myself with a little more dignity. In the mean time, I will continue to disagree with your thinking that you are always right, cause you just are not.

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 12, 2012 | 3:05 p.m.

"A mind is a terrible thing to waste."

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith May 12, 2012 | 5:43 p.m.

@ Frank:

Yes, a mind IS a terrible thing to waste, and for those who have weight problems but love to eat fattening food, "a waist is a terrible thing to mind."

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz May 12, 2012 | 6:15 p.m.

Don, where did you copy the WMD text from? It is not in the Fox News PDF, which had much less information as it was a summary and not necessarily of the document you copied from. Thanks.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop May 12, 2012 | 9:06 p.m.

John, my apologies. Here's the CRS report to congress on Unscom:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/librar...

Matt, and other detractors of Colonel Miller. As the former United States Marine Corps liaison to congress, I am pretty confident that what Colonel Miller posts are well researched and include a basis of sound logic and common sense. He is quite used to dealing with how the real world works.

Once you mature beyond the thinking of your liberal professors, I'm sure you too will reach many of the same conclusions as Colonel Miller. Hopefully you'll survive the learning process to reach adult maturity.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield May 12, 2012 | 9:32 p.m.

"So, if I say that I didn't get any responses, it really is because I didn't get any responses."

Here's one: "What if that trillionare were not a person, but a government?" You'll have to hit the link to get Frank's response.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams May 12, 2012 | 9:56 p.m.

Don posts the CRS Report for Congress:
_______________

Ouch.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop May 12, 2012 | 10:26 p.m.

Frank, Ellis,

In the case of some, a waste is a terrible thing to mind.

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 13, 2012 | 11:55 a.m.

Don M. - Thanks for the Iraqi WMD information. Many of these folks must now admit, at least to themselves, that they have been, are being, lied to.

Problem is, they will still rationalize the culprit as Fox News!

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush May 16, 2012 | 12:47 p.m.

Changing the goalposts -
Powell's UN speech addressed, too,
Nuclear weapons.

You should read the things
You post: "clean bill of health on
Nuclear issues."

A bully doesn't
Need a reason to pounce, they'll
Make one up after.

Obviously it
Feels good misremembering
The past. There, there. Ouch.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop May 16, 2012 | 2:17 p.m.

Gregg, doesn't change the facts posted.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush May 16, 2012 | 4:23 p.m.

Misremembering
Doesn't change the facts posted;
It just negates them.

Relevancy is
Crucial. Facts: water is wet,
And east rising sun.

An Etch-a-sketch mind
Is useful to a lemming
Conductor, not me.

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum May 16, 2012 | 4:43 p.m.

Don -- Gregg wins.

(Report Comment)

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