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FROM READERS: Political involvement is a matter of human interest

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 | 1:44 p.m. CDT; updated 12:52 p.m. CDT, Monday, October 22, 2012
Derrick Fogle, a frequent Missourian commenter, believes that politics and government are simply a matter of human interest. Fogle is known by some as Columbia's "Hack Man," frequenting Liberty Plaza or Speaker's Circle to put on a show with his footbags, boom box, and camera. He works at MU as the Lead AudioVisual Systems Engineer, and is also an avid, lifelong "business class commuter" bicyclist.

Some mid-Missourians say they feel like being involved in politics is critically important. To find out what drives them, we're asking people about their political motivation and involvement. We will be periodically posting responses in our From Readers section.

Can you help round out the picture? Scroll to the bottom to find out how to add your voice.

Derrick Fogle is known by some as Columbia's "Hack Man," frequenting Liberty Plaza or Speaker's Circle to put on a show with his footbags, boom box and camera. He works at MU as the Lead AudioVisual Systems Engineer and is a frequent commenter on the Missourian's website.

1. Why is it important for you to be politically aware or involved this election season?

From a personal perspective, politics and government are simply a matter of human interest. This affects me, individually, and everyone, collectively; we all have a right to participate, within reason. This election season is important in terms of economics, civil liberties and the environment. There seems to be a pretty stark choice, vis-a-vis:

  • The choice of the conservative movement doubling down on the same supply-side economics that have gotten us where we are today, vs. at least not making that worse;
  • The choice of draconian civil controls placed on the population, especially regarding sexuality and reproduction, vs. significant advancements in gay rights, and again not making other areas worse; and
  • The choice of outright hostility towards issues of environmental quality, vs. at least some effort towards environmental health.

At least, I'll call those the big 3. There are certainly more.

2. Was there a specific event or time in your life that prompted your involvement?

Not really. I've been a bit of a civil rights, human rights and environmental activist all my life. I registered to vote as soon as I was old enough, and I've voted in every major, and most minor, elections since then. I've always voiced my opinion, but until the advent of discussion boards, the voice never went very far. Now, my voice gets more traction, but the gain is still relative.

I'm involved because I can be, and because I want to be. I've got good analytical skills, and I've got what I believe are some good suggestions. I'm going to put them out there, and see if they go anywhere.

And, screw the whole self-esteem movement. When the right-wing nutjobs are wrong, I'm going to call them on it, crack their knuckleheads, and let them know what I think of their delusional crap. ;-)

We want to hear what you have to say. Please send us your motivations for being politically involved by filling out the form below or emailing us your response to submissions@ColumbiaMissourian.com. We're looking for a diverse set of answers — long or short, broad or specific — from people of all political persuasions. If there's someone you'd like to hear from, let us know or forward the invitation along.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising Editor Joy Mayer.


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Comments

Joy Mayer October 17, 2012 | 1:49 p.m.

Hi, folks. Longtime commenter Derrick Fogle shares his perspective here on why it's important to be politically aware.

I thought I'd take this chance to point out that stories in our From Readers section are available to everyone, even after 24 hours. So if you've been looking for a chance to have a conversation with each other that extends beyond one day, here's your chance.

Joy Mayer
Director of community outreach
Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle October 17, 2012 | 3:09 p.m.

LOL, it's been long enough since I wrote this, even *I* was slightly taken aback to read my closing statement.

So, don't hold back, y'all... comments for reader submissions stay open, so have a field day! I know I haven't been around much lately, but I'll try to stick with this one. I'll even offer a Hacky Sack as a prize for the best "Colonel Klink" equivalent branding of me. ;-)

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams October 18, 2012 | 11:35 a.m.

Well, since no one is interested in commenting on Derrick's reasons for political involvement or setting himself up for taxpayer-funded knee/hip surgery at the age of 60, I thought I'd at least get his article up to 3 responses, even if my post is off-topic.

One of the bitter contentions in the Romney-Obama Debate II was the relative size and content of pensions.

Well, apparently Romney DOES have a larger pension than Obama....but Romney's is a privately funded one with no added taxpayer money. Obama's is all public since he's never held anything except a taxpayer-funded job. Romney WAS governor of Mass so I wondered why he did not get a pension from that; all I've been able to find is that he did NOT take a salary during that stint and, therefore, does not have any pension. Any truth to that?

Also, both men have money invested in China and the Caymans. Obama's money is invested through the various pension funds in Illinois, the investments of which he has no control. Similarly, Romney has investments in both places but, again, has no control. Apparently, both sets of investments are in blind trusts.

As near as I can tell, the MSM fact-checkers have missed all this or at least are not reporting it. I don't know why. BTW, who fact-checks the fact-checkers given that fact-checkers are MSM whose credibility seems a bit on the low side?

Of course, if Romney wins, he'll get a pension from us taxpayers. I don't know what happens if he serves for free, tho (wouldn't THAT be nice?).

There. I got you up to 3, Derrick.

PS: The other day, Rosman (or was it Warhover?) was discussing how paywalls have interfered with news research. I'm curious whether the Missourian access is limited to ALL parties including potential researchers from universities/media and the remaining hoi polloi, or whether there are exceptions to the policy. I was also curious why ANY media would search other media for "facts". Why would you do that? Seems to me that would/could be building a house of cards. Comments/clarifications would be appreciated.

PSS: We had the jello-shot-from-breasts controversy this last summer which all started from an anonymous letter that the Missourian refused to publish since the allegations were unproven. This was the only reason given for not publishing the letter. Since the allegations have been proven true, the stated reason for NOT publishing the letter is now gone, and we should expect that letter to be published.

Any time soon would be fine.

Or are there other reasons to which we are not privy?

(Report Comment)
Tom Warhover October 18, 2012 | 1:34 p.m.

There aren't specific exceptions for research institutions, Michael.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams October 18, 2012 | 3:01 p.m.

Tom: Thanks.

PS: Why haven't you published that anonymous letter?

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle October 19, 2012 | 10:09 p.m.

I see the equivalency as partly false: yes, the direction is roughly the same, but there's magnitudes of difference in sheer size. If you want to play that game, Bain got bailouts, too. There are no clean fingers here; they all are, or were, in the pie.

I also think the whole jello-shot thing was totally overblown. Staying on the equivalency theme, it reminds me of nothing more than the deluge of outrage over big bird, and binders. Spare me. Please.

I think Romney is going to win. His allies own a big chunk of the electronic voting machine industry used in the swing states. These systems are proprietary and fundamentally un-verifiable. I guess this, compared to all the outrage and legislative action over the laughably insignificant problem of in-person voter fraud, is one more equivalency issue to ponder.

Don't forget we're still waiting to see what the lame-duck session does about that whole "fiscal cliff" thingie. The paradox here is, if we were really truly genuinely concerned about the debt and deficit, isn't this exactly what we really need?

Obviously not. Why? Because everyone admits it would tank the economy and just cause another recession. Which, of course, is the wrong way to go if you want to grow the tax base. Ain't a 30+ year addiction to Keynesian sweet?

The good thing about a Romney win is that debts and deficits will no longer matter again, and we'll actually pass jobs bills and spending bills and start pissing away money even faster. A Romney presidency would almost certainly reverse Obama's trend of declining government employment, but the big-ticket items will be military and internal civilian control. Macro doesn't care that much why or where it's spent, as long as it's spent.

Cutting taxes won't do squat except raid the treasury. Why don't people understand the law of diminishing returns here? But, a big surge in government spending on the military will juice the economy just like it did for Reagan back in the day. Yes, Reagan started this. He changed the US from the largest creditor nation in the world to the largest debtor nation in the world. *tripled* the national debt with deficit spending. But again, spread the blame; everyone has done it ever since.

Just a solemn warning: stimulus dollars are only 1/3 as effective as they were back in the Reagan era. This is a matter of simple math; dollar for dollar, Romney's stimulus spending will be just as ineffective as Obama's. Possibly even less, if it's all pissed down the military rathole. That's one last issue of equivalency to think about: the aggregate waste and fraud in the military vs. that in social spending.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams October 19, 2012 | 11:40 p.m.

"I think Romney is going to win. His allies own a big chunk of the electronic voting machine industry used in the swing states.
______________

Derrick: You're not supposed to think up excuses before the election.

It's unseemly.

You're supposed to wait until after.......
_________________

Play with the electoral numbers. A Romney win ain't easy.
__________________

Equivalency??????? Your missive is not the normal Derrick writing. What u doin' on this Friday nite, man?

(Report Comment)
frank christian October 20, 2012 | 1:52 p.m.

DF admitted over a year ago (primarily due to my harping about the condemnation of "Reagan", for the reckless spending approved, with no budget, (tho one was legally required) by the Democratic controlled Congress) that Presidents alone are not responsible for the expenditures incurred by the federal government. Yet here we are, "Yes, Reagan started this. He changed the US from the largest creditor nation in the world to the largest debtor nation in the world. *tripled* the national debt with deficit spending." Reads like twisted, false, " normal Derrick writing" to me.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz October 20, 2012 | 3:26 p.m.

So Frank, why didn't Reagan veto the budget?

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle October 20, 2012 | 8:50 p.m.

Then again, the Scholastic survey says Obama, and that's never been wrong. But there's a lot of goofy "break the mold" kinda stuff in this election. The sheer scale of total political spending this year is off the charts. *This* - the political circus, is our new financial bubble.

The supposed opening of an 18-point lead among women between conventions and the first debate, only to see that disappear entirely after the first debate? That's just goofy. The polling swings are too big.

The fact that Obama let down his guard in the first debate really rattled people too. Maybe the debates don't matter (the latest one didn't budge the needle), but the people (or lack thereof) in the debate definitely do matter. Still, the polling swing toward Obama prior to the debate was irrationally large, and the snap-back half as equally so.

The this whole Benghazi thing... How many layers have been peeled off this onion now? Romney clearly threw the first punch in the politicization of this tragedy, but the tit-tat since then uncovers a level of malfeasance in every corner of our government that just boggles the mind. Fingers are swinging like windmills, while *everyone* was kicking the dog under the table.

And now, what's this, unilateral talks with Iran? Just before the foreign policy debate? And lower gas prices predicted? Tagg is gonna have to punch that button pretty hard, but... he can still do it.

Romney's got... 16 more days to go without saying something that comes off as a bit too crass and arrogant to a majority of Americans. And, the democrats have got about 10 more seconds to stop whining about big bird and binders.

We'll see...

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle October 20, 2012 | 8:52 p.m.

BTW, what do you think about "Grasshopper"? You remember the show? That probably skewers me through the soul well enough. ;-)

(Report Comment)
frank christian October 20, 2012 | 9:39 p.m.

Schultz, just when I start to believe your thought has some merit, you do it again. First, I wrote that the D' Congress under O'Neill, tho mandatory since 1974 never prepared a budget (if I'm wrong as I was about Pogo, I'll accept correction, as I did then). Second, a President must accept or reject spending bills, with their amendments and must decide the lesser of the evils. I heard it reported, but you must have at least read that Reagan fought the D' Congress every day over their spending and did indeed shut government down because of it!

Liberals falsifying that history is bad enough, but so called Libertarians joining them to prove points against conservatives, frankly, disgust me.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks October 21, 2012 | 10:50 a.m.

" think Romney is going to win. His allies own a big chunk of the electronic voting machine industry used in the swing states. These systems are proprietary and fundamentally un-verifiable. I guess this, compared to all the outrage and legislative action over the laughably insignificant problem of in-person voter fraud, is one more equivalency issue to ponder."

And here all i have seen is stories relating to George Soro's and his stake in the voting machines. Could it be they are both buying elections?

(Report Comment)
John Schultz October 21, 2012 | 1:37 p.m.

Frank, your irrational arguments crack me up. Libertarian join liberals on causes they both agree on. Libertarians join conservatives on causes they both agree on. However, I was not joining with Derrick when I asked that question, nor was I falsifying history. It's very simple, if the spending plan was so bad, then Reagan should have had the cojones to veto it.

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for President, vetoed over 750 bills while he was a two-term Republican governor in New Mexico, but he was apparently two conservative for a party that tried to appoint Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and finally Mitt Romeny as their nominee.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle October 21, 2012 | 1:44 p.m.

Just carrying on the theme of equivalency / duplicity here:

The standard Conservative image of Reagan as being this great and powerful president,
vs.
Frank's portrayal of him here, in this instance, as a mere victim of Democratic dominance.

The funniest part of this duplicity is, the next logical step is to conclude that it was Democratic power in Congress, not Reagan, who should take credit for whatever economic expansion took place back then.

Oh wait, no, there's a wall in y'all's brains between those two things, right? Thought so.

Like I said on another post now behind the paywall: "It's like a mobius strip of hypocrisy."

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle October 21, 2012 | 2:01 p.m.

Thanks for mentioning Gary Johnson. He's on the Missouri ballot. I just got my sample yesterday. He's the only candidate that has pledged to submit an actual balanced budget to Congress, in case any of you conservatives want to knock a hole in one of your brain-walls and let this fact through.

But, this is a slight departure from my recent theme of equivalency; this is an example of false dichotomy.

The media has shut out Gary Johnson (and Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, not on Missouri ballot). The popular appearance of the choice being strictly between the Democrat and the Republican is false. It's totally false. There are other parties and other voices that get shut out, year after year, while the circus of 2-party politics plays in the center ring and we all sit there glued to the show.

Gary Johnson's Website: http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/

Jill Stein's Website: http://www.jillstein.org/

Breaking the 2-party system will break the gridlock. Just sayin'...

(Report Comment)
frank christian October 21, 2012 | 3:20 p.m.

John S. " Libertarian join liberals on causes they both agree on." I can honestly make the same statement and it means nothing to either of us.

"It's very simple, if the spending plan was so bad, then Reagan should have had the cojones to veto it." What plan? Democrats were required to produce a 5 year budget for spending as per Congressional budget Control Act of 1974. O'Neill's D's, just as Pelosi and todays bunch, were not bothering. When they wanted to spend, they spent and up until Reagan, just monetized their debt with new issues of currency. Carter would have "broken the bank" if not for Reagan. If the Democrat Congress couldn't stop the deficit spending, couldn't print the money, then blame the American public for the devastating inflation caused by their action (NC Senator Stallings, on the Senate floor,"We Americans are consoooomin' too much!"), the only alternative was and is, Borrow the money! Isn't that simple?

You sum up 8 years of Reagan's work, with one sentence. "It's very simple, if the spending plan was so bad, then Reagan should have had the cojones to veto it."

That's more simplicity than I can handle.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor October 22, 2012 | 4:26 p.m.

I am going to chime in here on Libya. Mr Fogle says, "Clearly Romney threw the first punch in politicization of this tragedy." I take great exception to that statement. When the Owebama administration tried to cover up the truth and trot out administration officials to lie to the american public, so we would blame an idiot with a video camara instead of security lapses by the administration over a terrorist attack carried out on 9/11, they are the ones who clearly politicized this terrorist attack. The fact that Romney had to call them out on it is a tragedy in and of itself. Nevermind the "unbiased" moderator who jumped in and made misstatements herself, incorrectly defending Owebama and incorrectly saying that owebama called the attack a terrorist attack the next day when he most certainly did not, during the last debate. In case you missed it, she admitted that she was wrong and corrected herself afterwards when there were tens of millions fewer people to hear her. HMMM... glad she is unbiased... I wish I could see the faces of all those people who hear about Owebama's lies and cover ups for the first time. The lamestream media can control the message by choosing not to report on major issues that would be damaging to their annointed ones administration, but they can't control content when they are broadcasting Romney live. They can try by having the
"unbiased" moderator argue aginst Romney in a shameless 2 on 1, but they can't control it completely. This is why you are seeing such a Romney surge. Get used to it...

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle October 23, 2012 | 7:33 a.m.

Mike Mentor can't face reality. Romney is a cheap hack.

(Report Comment)
frank christian October 23, 2012 | 8:11 a.m.

"Romney is a cheap hack." So is Derrick Fogle!

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle October 23, 2012 | 8:17 a.m.

Carrying issues from the Akin story over here where we can still comment...

Here's a recent study from WUSTL: http://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/24334.a...

The effectiveness of birth control in reducing abortions is something I've harped on quite frequently. The above link is a study showing a dramatic decrease in unplanned pregnancies and abortions when free birth control is provided.

To all the people who try to separate birth control and abortion: crap. Pure baloney. Just one more instance of failing failing to make connections; and not just merely failing to make the connection, but willfully refusing to do so. Wallz in da Brainz.

The reality is: abortion foes don't really give a rat's rear end about the unborn. They're just busybodies being worried about other people having sex.

Anyone who is truly serious about reducing abortion would jump to support free, ubiquitous birth control for the entire population. That's what I've supported, and continue to support: Aggressive promotion, availability, and use of contraceptives - up to and including having our society provide it completely "free" - to reduce abortions.

Why? Because it's reality that actually works, instead of a bunch of fairy tales and selfish-righteous neo-morality, that doesn't.

(Report Comment)
frank christian October 23, 2012 | 9:08 a.m.

Carrying issues from the Debate back here: Obama could not provide answer for any of the problems discussed last night, except in the context of "The Government".

Government must stop rewarding companies that send jobs overseas. Gov't must collect a little more from those that have more. Gov't must invest more in "education". Gov't must hire more teachers for specific subjects.

Romney's best answer of the evening: "American education will be between our teachers, parents and students! Unions will have to stay behind!"

Romney's most truthful statement: "We have tried it your way and it has not worked!"

(Report Comment)
Rich C. October 23, 2012 | 9:51 a.m.

"Obama could not provide answer for any of the problems discussed last night"

And Romney gave plenty of solutions, right?

Hell, I'm still waiting on this imaginary tax plan he has up his sleeve.

(Report Comment)
frank christian October 23, 2012 | 10:33 a.m.

Obama has proven in these debates that he has no clue as to how to create a private sector job. (Having no use for a "private sector", may be prime in this affliction.)

Every Democrat knows and understands, Romney's solutions and they don't like them because they have worked against every recession. One that still wonders "what they are?", might picture the opposite of Obama's efforts.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield October 23, 2012 | 11:39 a.m.

"Anyone who is truly serious about reducing abortion would jump to support free, ubiquitous birth control for the entire population."

No such thing as free. What you advocate is forcing other people to pay for it. Birth control is pretty inexpensive -- less than a cell phone subscription -- and widely available. It's already 100 percent taxpayer-funded in many cases. For example, you can get condoms for free at the health department, and if you're a woman, you can get sterilized at no cost.

You need to tackle the bigger, more thorny questions. For example, what should society do about people who can't afford kids but choose to make them anyway, even when they can afford birth control or have it provided entirely at taxpayer cost? If you are against mandatory abortions in such cases, or banning those parents and children from welfare, are you willing to open your home and wallet to support them if the rest of us choose not to?

(Report Comment)
Rich C. October 23, 2012 | 3:02 p.m.

"One that still wonders "what they are?", might picture the opposite of Obama's efforts."

The reoccuring theme last night was Romney agreeing with Obama.

Romney: "If President, I'll do everything Obama has done over the past 4 years. BUT, I'll do it while being white."

(Report Comment)
frank christian October 23, 2012 | 3:43 p.m.

Romney only agreed with Obama on some of the war decisions, which Obama completed from the plans of W. Bush. It is difficult for a liberal, but one should somehow try to "get real".

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle November 3, 2012 | 12:42 a.m.

Jimmy: That's why I put it in quotes later in that same paragraph. Yes, just to be clear, by "free" I mean the cost born by society as a whole through taxation, so there's no direct cost to any one individual for it.

Of course not everyone is going to participate. Duh. But, it's still way more effective than a general "don't have sex" mantra. It's really the height of stupidity to not do something that will cause a vast improvement, just because it won't be perfect.

Even you, Jimmy, who frequently expresses his bitter disappointment over having to support poor children who need public assistance, who clearly puts money above people both born and unborn, should see the financial logic in dramatically reducing unwanted pregnancies. It's a very effective cost-saving investment.

The pound of cure becomes a real and tangible liability if the ounce of prevention is not offered, no matter how righteous you feel about it. This is exactly where the anti-abortion movement (and the money-is-god peeps too) are stuck: Refusing to offer the ounce of prevention, but complaining bitterly about being stuck with the pound of cure.

Since I know most conservatives here believe in the idea of authority, and punishment for poor behavior (except for cigarette smokers, LOL), I have two specific "disincentives" for people who still make mistakes and need an abortion when birth control is ubiquitous and essentially "free":

1st abortion: lesson learned, required 3-year reversible sterilization except by judicial waiver;

2nd abortion: permanent sterilization except by judicial waiver.

This would apply to both the pregnant woman *and* the father, BTW. Enforcement/participation on that, of course, will be far from perfect too. I'm guessing many women would shield the father from identification. But again, getting some would be better than getting none.

Make it "free" up front, required (but still free) if you make a mistake with it, then watch human-elected abortion rates plummet.

After that's under control, we can try to solve the much bigger abortion problem: those 7-8 million unborn babies God lets die every year. Maybe the Christians will choose to pray about that?

I'll choose to support science and medical research, including stem cell research, instead.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield November 3, 2012 | 8:20 p.m.

"I have two specific 'disincentives' for people who still make mistakes and need an abortion when birth control is ubiquitous and essentially 'free.'"

But what if they don't want an abortion? What if they want to have the child AND expect everyone else to pay for day care, Medicare, TANF and umpteen other entitlements?

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle November 4, 2012 | 9:23 a.m.

Then it happens, Jimmy. Suck it up. That's why it's so important to get the availability and use of birth control out there as the social norm FIRST. That's what will actually mitigate the vast majority of the problem.

I'll remind you our society's current approach to this issue is still a massive failure, satisfying neither the money-god people, or the fairy-tale-god people.

And here you are, still refusing to implement something that research indicates would make a big, positive difference, simply because: "But, but, but... it won't be perfect!"

This ideology is incredibly self-defeating. It's stupid, idiotic, and moronic.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield November 5, 2012 | 11:42 a.m.

No, Derrick, I refuse to suck it up. That's why I asked, "Are you willing to open your home and wallet to support them if the rest of us choose not to?"

How many women cite cost or availability as the reason for not using contraception? Just 12 percent, according to Guttmacher Institute, a Planned Parenthood offshoot. PP itself says that "more than 99 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44 who are sexually active have at some point used birth control." You don't get that level of usage when availability is limited.

No, the problem isn't the cost and availability of birth control. The problem is the selfish, irresponsible mindset of men and women who choose to make children they can't or won't support.

So again, are you willing to open your home and wallet to support them if the rest of us choose not to?

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle November 7, 2012 | 12:21 a.m.

Dear Jimmy: One more time: Suck it up. kthxbye

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle November 7, 2012 | 12:45 a.m.

President Barack Obama has been re-elected to a 2nd term, by the widest electoral college margin since Reagan.

Misogynists like Akin and Mourdock have been sent packing.

Record number of women in Senate, including openly gay Baldwin, and fierce public advocate Warren.

Cannabis has been fully legalized for recreational use in Colorado and
Washington, and medical pot has passed in a couple more states, too.

Gay Marriage has been approved in at least 3 more states, probably 4.

The conservative ideology has been soundly defeated. And, I sincerely hope Jimmy finally throws in the towel, packs his bags, and leaves the country, so he doesn't have to support all these freeloaders any more. That goes a million times more for the likes of Limbaugh, Beck, and Hannity.

If anyone thinks, after this, that elections can be won with money, hate, and dog whistles... you will be offered a piece of Karl Rove's flesh to feed on for now.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle November 7, 2012 | 1:15 a.m.

Nutjobs like Bachmann and West are out, too. Good Riddance!

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle November 7, 2012 | 1:27 a.m.

And now, the "uncertainty" is gone. Obama is staying. Obamacare is staying. Environmental regulations are staying. Like it or not, businesses can plan with a reasonable degree of certainty, for several years now.

Obama: Welcome to the Democrat's Reagan.

(Report Comment)
hank ottinger November 7, 2012 | 7:00 a.m.

The Republican Party could have easily succeeded in many races yesterday had it not cozied up to the far right tea party types. I imagine the leaders of the GOP (and who are they?) are doing some serious soul-searching this morning with regard to the future of their party.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield November 7, 2012 | 9:13 a.m.

One more time, Derrick: Are you willing to open your home and wallet to support them if the rest of us choose not to?

A simple yes or no will suffice. Which is it?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams November 7, 2012 | 9:26 a.m.

Lol. Derrick shoulda waited until the markets opened this morning before he got too cocky since, so far, the markets (and his taxpayer-funded 401K) are laughing at him. I guess he was too giddy and couldn't sleep last night, so he decided to post how all was well and secure with the nation....at 12:45 last night.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams November 7, 2012 | 9:44 a.m.

"The conservative ideology has been soundly defeated."
____________________

First, half the electorate says you're wrong.

Second, we have a divided government. Government has to have spending authorized by....whom? A related question: Who controls the House of Representatives?

Third, it will be quite interesting to see how the business and farming communities, the taxpaying entities responsible for you getting a monthly salary, react to all this over the long haul. Will they see stability and ramp up? Or will regulatory and taxation lines be crossed that make it not worthwhile. We'll see.

But, personally, I'd slow things down about 2-5%.

Just to be ornery.

I wanna see what happens when it's a choice. I'm pro-choice, dontcha know....

(Report Comment)
Matt Wilkinson November 7, 2012 | 10:35 a.m.

I'm enjoying the deafening silence from the worst of the trolls.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking November 7, 2012 | 10:37 a.m.

Michael Williams wrote:

"the markets (and his taxpayer-funded 401K) are laughing at him."

Give it a week or two. The stock market has been unexpectedly resilient these last few years.

"Or will regulatory and taxation lines be crossed that make it not worthwhile."

It's not just that. I'd say the most important uncertainty is consumer confidence. No business is going to expand if they're not seeing an increased demand for their product, and I suspect this is the most important reason we don't see a lot of expansion.

There's also a significantly tighter credit market that makes it difficult for consumers to buy on credit.

Are either of these things likely to be addressed by government? Do we want looser credit, given that was a central factor in the last recession? I don't know - we'll see.

DK

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin November 7, 2012 | 11:48 a.m.

Derrick say: "Nutjobs like Bachmann and West are out, too. Good Riddance!"

Bachmann won:
http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/201...

And the West race hasn't been called. It's so tight it squeaks:
http://www.politico.com/blogs/charlie-ma...

The country is divided and at this level, that's just fine with me. I like the pressure -- the checks and balances -- these divisions put on our leader/politicians. Unlike some, I don't trust most of them farther than I can throw them. I trust the American people to right the ship while these guys fight it out.

Speaking of fighting, my fave story of the evening is the Elizabeth Warren win in Mass. People may recall that she had a hard time getting traction, even in her own party, even with President Obama.

I've always liked her, especially her grasp of basic financial life for John and Jane Q. Public, and her focus -- not on corporations but on corruption.

She's been discerning enough to articulate that Big Business doesn't mean Bad Business, and that criminal elements are what cause the problems. She's also been astute enough to realize that government and politicians often aid and abet these criminal elements. More government doesn't automatically mean less corruption. "Smart," in governance, is more important than "large."

Sen. Warren is gonna give 'em hell on the Hill -- both parties and their special interest patrons. Go Liz!

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams November 7, 2012 | 1:18 p.m.

MarkF and MikeM

Yes, I agree the markets will do whatever they do and there's not a lot that I can (1) do about it or (2) predict about it. I was just gigging Derrick for blasting the forum with drunken giddiness last night. However, for now, we have the prospects of some serious "happenings" (fiscal cliff, debt ceilings, etc.) that I'm unsure a contrary House plus an opposing Senate and happy President will agree upon how to fix. It is the ANTICIPATION of no-fix that can really hurt the markets from now until then. As you alluded, uncertainty means "sell" and get on the sidelines.

I am in complete agreement that "confidence" is the name of the game, and I don't see much of it from either business folks or the consumers. I believe that even with high consumer confidence, tho, small business folks can get to the point of diminishing returns with respect to not only profits but general happiness as well. Why double in size when the headaches triple? All for less than 50 centavos on the dollar?

Your "credit comment" is spot on. I have little problem getting it, but I'm sure that's not true of many folks...at anything less than credit card interest rates.
____________________

MikeM: I'm very happy with gridlock, especially starting at the House of Representatives, the moneyman/woman. My only significant unhappiness is a Dem senate; there will be (likely) 2 SCOTUS retirements in Ginsberg and Breyer...fortunately both liberals. I think Scalia will stick with it for now, at least until 2016. I sure hope so. The REAL problem would be if Kennedy retires.

I am curious with your attribution of "criminal elements." You'll have to 'esplain that one to me. Are you talking about those who did not pay their mortgages, or those who mis-graded the bundled securities, or those who didn't want to hold the unbundled securities in the first place (hell, who would?), or the politicians who think everyone should have a house? I'm not saying the disaster was free of crime; it's just that I sure haven't seen much evidence of it except folks just sayin' so.

Just sayin'.........

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams November 7, 2012 | 1:31 p.m.

Also, MikeM and West

Ah, yes, those Floridians.

If there was ever evidence of failure of our educational system, it is found in Florida:

(1) Can't count,
(2) Can't read voting instructions, and
(3) Can't run an honest election.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams November 7, 2012 | 2:36 p.m.

Matt Wilkinson: "I'm enjoying the deafening silence from the worst of the trolls."
____________________

Congratulations. That post made you eligible for inclusion in the Columbia Hall of Trolls.

There's even a nice plaque.

Thanks for joining such a select group. You made it look easy.

(Report Comment)
Christopher Foote November 7, 2012 | 3:57 p.m.

@mw,

Single day changes do not really tell us much about trends, especially with respect to volatile markets. Stepping back and taking a long view is often much more informative.
For example, on Jan 19 2001 the DOW was at 10,587. On Jan 19 2009 the DOW was at 8,281.
Gain/loss for the poster boy of modern conservatism = -18%
Today the DOW closed at 12,933.
Gain/loss since Obama took office (including today's down-turn) = +56%
Here is a peer reviewed paper on the subject:
http://www.jstor.org/stable/3648176
or a graphical representation if you prefer:
http://www.bloomberg.com/chart/ipIOl6TOb...
Thus, if Mr. Fogle only cared about his 401k, he is justifiably happy with last night's results.

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin November 7, 2012 | 4:13 p.m.

"I am curious with your attribution of criminal elements."

Where do I begin? Members of this rogue's gallery have been tied to financial industry busts (housing, stocks, etc.) They are good examples:

Bernie Madoff
Angelo Mozilo
Richard Scrushy
Alberto Vilar
Allen Stanford
Bernard Ebbers
Dennis Kozlowski
Kenneth Ira Starr
Franklin Raines
Tom Petters
Raj Rajaratnam
Norman Schmidt
Bill Erpenbeck
Nicholas Cosmo
Shawn Merriman
Lee Farkas
Sam Israel
Anthony Elgindy
Jeanetta Standefor

Then there are the smaller players:

Regional mortgage fraudsters, e.g.
http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-09...

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/...

Politicians, individuals who bought too much house, etc. are more enablers than criminals; also, corruption in the ranks of government officials (e.g. Franklin Raines) plays a role.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams November 7, 2012 | 4:50 p.m.

Chris: Since you read my stuff, you must know that I follow the stock markets, gold, silver, land, and business quite closely. I'm fully aware one day does not a market make. If you'd have read my 1:18 pm post, you'd remember that I was just gigging Derrick's post-midnight bipolar high.

You should also know that a great deal of the market rise is due to vast amounts of money flowing into banks as a result of QE1, 2, and 3. Where do you think all that money went? Loans for private homes and construction workers? Uh-uh.

The market was more concerned today about the pending fiscal cliff than Obama's election (although the latter might be involved somewhat as less able to lead and encourage a final solution). I didn't want Derrick to know that, tho. He already prolly had a hangover and I didn't want to add to it.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams November 7, 2012 | 4:58 p.m.

MikeM: Thanks for the list, but a smaller one with individual explanations would have been better.

I agree that politicians and individuals who bought too much house, etc. are more enablers than criminals. But stupid is as stupid does. A person vying for votes or just plain stupid about things like interest rates, principal, money flow, etc., make themselves easy targets.

Fact is....if politicians and individuals had not been so stupid, this whole thing would have been a pro-choice abortion.

Like most other sports officials, I tend to place primary blame on the screwups who started a problem in the first place. My sympathy level is low for those folks, all the while I cheer the jail time of those who subsequently took advantage.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams November 7, 2012 | 5:15 p.m.

Chris: Further, you need to know that I think retirement plans, Social Security, 401Ks, the stock market (unless you're young), Roths, etc., are HORRIBLE retirement plans for the poor or middle classes. They are a sham and a sop. I wish I never had ANY of them. Why, you ask?

Because anyone who is 60 years old that doesn't have in excess of $750,000 socked away (NOT in a house) is in for a real rude awakening.

Why, you ask...again?

Because even a $750K investment in a rock solid Columbia muni-bond at a currently unheard-of 6% yields only $45K/year. That, plus SS, puts you at maybe 65K/year income when you retire. To someone used to...say....$75K or more of annual money, that's gonna be a real shock to be sure. How much will that $75K/year be worth a decade from now. Can you say, "Live with your kids?"

And it only goes down from there.

Being in the middle class when you retire sucks. Best not to be there. The middle class better start doing some serious personal math RIGHT NOW, 'cause you can't get back each passing year that you fail to act.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams November 7, 2012 | 6:58 p.m.

As far as the stock market goes, what do you think it means when only 39% of reporting companies on the exchanges meet their sales projections/expectations?

It means consumer demand sucks.

And what does it mean when those same companies are not projecting significant increases in sales growth over the next quarters/years?

It means the "consumer demand sucks" is projected to continue....by the companies who are in a better position to know than either you or I.

You have to ask yourself....what changes this?

See anything on the horizon?

I don't.

Got QE4?

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin November 7, 2012 | 8:30 p.m.

"Thanks for the list, but a smaller one with individual explanations would have been better."

For those who have time to pontificate on here all day and then ask others to do their research for them, maybe.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams November 7, 2012 | 9:49 p.m.

MikeM: Don't be so quick to take offense when none was intended. Go back and read my original post to you, then take the chip off your shoulder.

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin November 8, 2012 | 10:30 a.m.

No offense taken.

I read your posts.

Between "schooling" us about all manner of this and that -- retirement, the Supreme Court, 401Ks, the stock market, lazy, stupid Floridians, and so on -- you inducted someone into the "Columbia Hall of Trolls," complete with "plaque, for making it look easy."

Then you took me to school about how I should answer your questions.

Though I knew class was in session, I found that a bit presumptuous. Knowing that I was in danger of Hall of Trolls induction myself, I braved it anyway and commented accordingly.

I'll look for my plaque in the mail.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams November 8, 2012 | 6:30 p.m.

MikeM: I had no idea I was conducting a school. I was under the impression my posts were simply my opinions. If anyone learns something, it's probably just an accident.

Speaking of school, when's your next EEZ and/or rich-guy real estate tax posts?

As for the Troll Hall of Fame, have you forgotten? You already have your plaque.

You and I were charter members.

PS: You, too, are free to comment on "...retirement, the Supreme Court, 401Ks, the stock market, lazy, stupid Floridians, and so on." In fact, I encourage it. As for me, I'm carrying a heavy load; Ellis and others are no longer here, and somebody has to take up the slack.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams November 8, 2012 | 10:51 p.m.

Trevor: I'm locked out of that particular article, so I do not know what you posted to me. I decided to hijack Derrick's missive and communicate my lack of response.

I'd come up with the $5.95/month for access, but the last 2 days in the stock market have made my economy weaker and I need the money for beanie-weenies.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams November 11, 2012 | 12:03 p.m.

This link should be of interest to folks now that the phone has quit ringing and you don't have to slam it down in futile protest:

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/elec...

PS: I can proudly say I failed to listen to ANY political phone message from ANY political position. Not even the first 5 words. If you are a friend of mine and you called and did not say "Hello" within 1.5 seconds, I'm sorry I hung up on you. To all the rest....I'm not one bit sorry.

Ohhhh, how I wish "no call" could be extended to politics. I guess it would be too much to ask our politicians to include themselves in the "no call" legislation.

(Report Comment)
frank christian November 12, 2012 | 7:52 a.m.

The Map, "It fails to allow for the fact that the population of the red states is on average significantly lower than that of the blue ones." We can expect ALL blue states and no Republic, if the manipulation of our immigration by liberal democrats,is not stopped!

http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/arti...

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams November 12, 2012 | 8:45 a.m.

"We can expect ALL blue states"
____________________

Well.....I don't disagree.

It's a long-term approach.

(Report Comment)
frank christian November 12, 2012 | 9:20 a.m.

"It's a long-term approach."

Certainly, and it's been going on since 1996 with Clinton-Gore!
We are told how important the Hispanic vote has become in every election. We have not been told why. With no concern for safety of Americans, or security of America, liberals are filling the country with Democrat voters from any source they can get them. This is how an incumbent President with such a record of total failure and scandals mounting daily, can be re-elected to another term. I don't see any remedy.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams November 12, 2012 | 10:55 a.m.

Frank: I don't see any remedy.
________________

The remedy is long term, too, but you and I won't see it...probably.

Those folks from south of the border will eventually figure it out. All of them came here for something better, most will find it, and most will eventually not appreciate being treated as forever-dependent. I think most of these migrants view themselves as upwardly mobile; an upwardly-mobile and...especially... educated individual does not appreciate a political philosophy and strategy of life that keeps them dependent and holds them back. Remember this: The folks that come here are quite courageous with a personal strategy that says, "I want to do better, so leave me the hell alone!", not the kind that stayed in the comfort of New England but instead put their lives in danger by climbing aboard wagons, horses, and riverboats for a trip west. Personally, I've met these folks and I like them...even if they currently vote in a way NOT in their best long-term interests. Unlike many already in the US, they'll figure it out.

I'm sure of it.

That is NOT to say that I support open borders. I don't. I think ALL of our legislatures and presidents of the last 30 years have failed us in this regard. One of the prime duties of our government is to protect our borders; it doesn't even have the will to do that. That's disgusting.

(Report Comment)
frank christian November 12, 2012 | 1:12 p.m.

Mike -

The problem that Democrats!, not "ALL of our legislatures and presidents", have created is more simple than you profess. The type of people crossing, though many are criminal, are of no consequence. A people who have little, will naturally travel to the place where they see Much available to them. Republicans and honest Americans seeing that an open border to the south is now a danger to our security want to close it, then, with honest application of immigration laws, choose the honest and hard working prospects, as most other countries do. Democrats have fought tooth and nail to keep the border open only for the purpose we are discussing. This is the simple problem.

I disagree that the problem, artificially created, will "naturally" solve itself with any change in attitude of the unfortunates with everything to gain and practically nothing to lose by the status quo. Only changes in our law will cure this problem. Children born here are citizens, no matter who the parents are. Republicans and all who want a safe and secure America, know this and want to make the necessary legal changes. To do this, we must ask the new young voters to vote for legal actions that can cause deportation of their illegal parents. How would you vote?

In my view this is the near impossible solution, with the continued influx of the people involved assured, along with the deliverance of monetary gains promised by Democrats using taxpayer money to fulfill those promises, those Democrats will most certainly (as Barney Frank used to say) "have the votes" to pass or not pass whatever law they want.

I don't know the answer and do not consider the wait for the recipients of liberal generosity to tire of it is not a very good one either, IMO

I have gone to some lengths lately, to honestly show the covert, felonious, actions taken by the some of the most loved Democrats to gain and retain power over the people with this immigration issue. For them to be apparently ignored, with another "they all do it" statement is disturbing to me, but I suppose, I'll get over it.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams November 12, 2012 | 3:58 p.m.

Frank: I stand by my original statement that federal legislators and presidents over the last 3 decades have done poorly at protecting our borders. Would I say that liberals have a greater incentive to keep it more open?

Absolutely.

But, I also believe conservative presidents could have done MUCH better.

No, I do not believe in amnesty. That's like saying, "From this day forward, all past crimes in Columbia are forgiven, but from now on we play for keeps***. We do this because (1) we have compassion for all you criminals since we know you are poor and are trying to make money, and....mainly, (2) it's too hard to play catch-up."

***Fine print: Maybe.

I very much disagree with your statement, "will "naturally" solve itself with any change in attitude of the unfortunates with everything to gain and practically nothing to lose by the status quo." Here's why.....

I know many immigrants, now and in the past. Heck, I'm one 4 generations removed. Immigrants by their very nature are courageous, willing to leave their homeland, give up everything, and try for something better. That takes guts. I have known many kids from awfully poor families who, through the very strength of some inner character, decide to start mimicking successful people, get educated, make smart decisions, and over time join the upper 25 percenters of this nation. The very fact that they showed sufficient courage to immigrate in the first place tells me there is much hope from these folks. They are willing to change their failed culture and strategies of life. Again, that takes guts. Lots of them.

It's the too-many folks already here that have been stuck fast to the gov't teat for generations that are the REAL problem....a problem which will, of course, remain for another 100 years or more.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams November 12, 2012 | 4:46 p.m.

I don't know where else to post this, but I want to congratulate the photographer who took the picture of the snow geese flying through the reflected lights of nighttime Columbia. What a fantastic shot! And thanks to the Missourian editor who decided to show it to us.

Last night I was hearing geese overhead for a long time...until I fell asleep. Swan Lake north of here must be a ghost town. "OK, Bob....time to head south! Pack your feathers and let's go before the traffic gets too bad. Dang, too late. Ok, who gets to lead for this hour?"

(Report Comment)
Joy Mayer November 12, 2012 | 5:11 p.m.

Thanks, @Michael. The geese seem to be the talk of the town on this sleepy Monday! We just got permission from a reader to share some audio of the geese on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/ColumbiaMissouri...

I didn't hear them, but I sure wish I had.

Joy Mayer,
Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)
frank christian November 12, 2012 | 5:29 p.m.

Gee, Mike, you furnish more proof for my statement over many years that too many folks will blame anyone for any crime or mistake but, "Never Blame a Democrat, for Anything!"

3 decades ago, Reagan wanting to cure the immigration problem, signed a bill that was explained as granting amnesty to a few hundred thousand illegals while border security and immigration laws would be improved and enforced. The real number was 2.7M, the Democrat Congress never performed the latter part of enforcement and Reagan proclaimed that signing to be the biggest mistake of his Presidency. You now throw him in with all the irresponsible and illegal activities of the Democrats from then 'til now? W Bush, from Texas, got the message and began the necessary wall. Who has opposed it beside Democrats?

"I know many immigrants," So do I. We are discussing illegal immigrants. that we know nothing about. Many, even most may have the traits you approve of. But, they have to be sorted! Democrats, most prominent, Clinton and
Gore (several are in jail for the methods used to raise campaign funds for these two), have proven they are so interested in votes that they will do anything illegal or not to obtain voters.

The "natural way" was in reference to your solution. Watch the illegals come across and wait for them, to reject the "dole", tho the "teat" must look just as sweet to them as those having been there for years. "a problem which will, of course, remain for another 100 years or more." I had thought to ask if you did not reply, considering the disastrous changes, this President and the Democrats have made in 4 short years if we wait for the immigrants to correct our direction while voting for those Democrats to assure themselves a seat at our table, what will our Republic look like in 10 years, never mind 100?

Looking at, "But, I also believe conservative presidents could have done MUCH better.", and considering the crimes and misdemeanors Democrat Congresses and Presidents have committed while exploiting the immigration disaster and recalling "both parties are guilty" comments, I may not get over it.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams November 12, 2012 | 5:30 p.m.

Joy: I did NOT click on your audio link.

I heard enuf last night.

;^)

PS: If you EVER are visiting an area where there are 10's of thousands of geese, enjoying the beauty of all those birds....and all those birds decide to fly at the same time....well, let's just say it's a magnificent sight. BUT, if those birds head for you, get in the car and roll up the windows FAST. Why, you ask?

Because birds do the same thing humans do when they get up in the morning.

In a HUGE way. It's best to be under cover and have sufficient change for a car wash. But, it is funny to lock someone out of the car you don't like, so long as it isn't you.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams November 12, 2012 | 5:37 p.m.

But, they have to be sorted!
___________________

You and I would probably have flunked.

(Report Comment)
frank christian November 12, 2012 | 6:44 p.m.

"You and I would probably have flunked."

My wife did not and being naturalized in Clinton's early years, she had to take all the tests, questions and investigation. To reduce the deficit, I suppose, he did notify us in midst of the process, that price for Naturalization had been raised from $95. to $125. and that her application was on hold, until the additional $30 would be received.

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

Frank: My father in law had the opposite problem. He was in the USSR on business with his Russian-speaking VP. When they got ready to leave the country, my father in law gave his passport and visa to the "agent", only to be told "Where is your visa?" After a spirited exchange between his VP and the agent, his VP told him, "You'll need 50 bucks to find the visa."

He did, and...voila...it magically was found.

PS: There's lots of "tests" you and I would flunk.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle November 21, 2012 | 6:39 p.m.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking November 22, 2012 | 7:03 a.m.

Yes, and we should all be thankful for all the marvelous things we have and can do. No other people in history have been so blessed, and unfortunately we sometimes don't recognize that in our pursuit of material goods or promotion of political ideology. Even the poorest among us will live longer and better on the average than the aristocracy of 150 years ago. Americans are sometimes very bad at counting their blessings.

DK

(Report Comment)
frank christian November 22, 2012 | 9:01 a.m.

It is quite a nice day when two avowed atheists acknowledge value of such a religious occurrence as Thanksgiving Day. Thank you, both!

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking November 22, 2012 | 2:25 p.m.

Happy Thanksgiving to you too, Frank. I don't consider Thanksgiving a religious holiday - "blessed" doesn't need to have a religious meaning. In the US' context, it may as well mean "lucky" (we are an extremely lucky country).

Plus, I'm agnostic, not an atheist. There's a huge difference.

DK

(Report Comment)
hank ottinger November 22, 2012 | 2:47 p.m.

Frank, Thanksgiving is no more religious than Halloween. May you have a happy one, whichever you choose--or both!

(Report Comment)
frank christian November 22, 2012 | 3:09 p.m.

I see, then whom should we give our thanks unto, Obama and the central gov't?

(Report Comment)
hank ottinger November 22, 2012 | 8:52 p.m.

To whomever and whatever floats your boat, Mr. Christian.

(Report Comment)
frank christian November 22, 2012 | 9:44 p.m.

I believe it is your boat that has become the greater concern for the well being of a free America. Be glad to discuss this sentence with you at my earliest convenience - tomorrow.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking November 23, 2012 | 5:18 a.m.

I'm happy I'm lucky enough to be an American in these bountiful times. Whether that's being "thankful", I don't know.

But I also know it's not worth arguing about. Freedom of religion is freedom of religion, and it also means you're free to not have one. As long as everyone respects each others choices, we'll get along just fine.

DK

(Report Comment)
Ken Geringer November 23, 2012 | 2:39 p.m.

If you have more than 3 posts above, you may need new interests.

(Report Comment)
frank christian November 23, 2012 | 4:55 p.m.

Ken G. Curious, why would you write that? Oh, wait, this is going "above"!

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle November 27, 2012 | 11:54 p.m.

I've always considered Thanksgiving a "Fall Harvest" celebration, centered around an abundance of food. However, I believe it *IS* a good time to reflect on our overall abundance; of all things, beyond food, both countable, and not.

I personally see no problem with Frank's conflation of simple thankfulness, and spiritual prayer. What more should spiritual prayer be, than simple thankfulness?

(Report Comment)
frank christian November 28, 2012 | 9:02 a.m.

DF - I had intended to ask Mr. Ottinger about his assertion that Thanksgiving Day is not remembrance of a religious occurrence. He is more nearly my age, but you may be close enough.

I was born in Columbia and nearly all of my education was obtained here. Wikipedia still relates that, " The first Thanksgiving feast lasted three days, and was attended by 53 Pilgrims and 90 Native Americans.[3] The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating "thanksgivings"—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought." and that, "It has officially been an annual tradition since 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens".

This is the context in which the Day has always been explained to me through these years. We now have 3 opinions here, that Thanksgiving Day has nothing to do with "religion". Our teaching would have to be drastically, different. My question is, when, where and from whom, did you and yours obtain this New opinion?

(Report Comment)

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