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Published: Thursday, Jan. 30 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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No One Of Consequence
West Jordan, UT

Thank you William for your example of sophistry, which is defined in the World English Dictionary as "a method of argument that is seemingly plausible though actually invalid and misleading".

We can split hairs about how the proponents of Communism, Socialism, Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism, Maoism, Facism and Obamaism have defined the terms for their own convenience or we can consider the commonality between them all: The common man/woman is incapable of running their own lives and so must be controlled, supported, directed, sanctioned and managed by those who are "wiser" and "more suited" to rule.

Because, after all, freedom is far too precious a commodity to allow just anyone to have it.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

When Obama was inaugurated, the economy was in free-fall. In fact it was declining faster than it did at any point during the great depression. There were voices who were calling on the president to nationalize both the banking industry and the auto industry. Had he actually been a communist that is precisely what he would have done. Instead he gave them both loans and let them pay them back, which they have done for the most part, leaving them under totally private ownership today.

No communist worth his salt would have allowed such a golden opportunity to slip through his fingers. No, the president is fairly ordinary Democratic politician, his policies no more communist than Harry Truman or JFK.

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao ste Tung, Castro among others were all Marxists (From each according to their ability and to each according to their needs) but as history has shown us, millions of innocent people were murdered by Marxists dictators enforcing Marxism's collectivism or communism. Because free people will not be forced to work for that which they will not receive so other may receive what they did not work for. That's called slavery! I may choose to give to someone according to their needs but being forced to do so is evil.

Furry1993
Ogden, UT

to William Gronberg -- well said. You are very right in your comment.

micawber
Centerville, UT

@No One of Consequence:
I feel just as free now as a did a decade or three decades ago. I continue to work, spend time with my family, and worship as I always have. I read widely and without censorship. I can (and sometimes do) disagree with the President without fear of repercussion.

Words like "Communist" or "socialist" do not illuminate public discourse, especially when they are misused. You obviously don't like President Obama, but he is no Communist.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

Bitter labelers unite. As to freedom, the de-criminalization of marijuana shows there is more freedom from arbitrary government control than ever.

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

one vote. Being addicted to marijuana is not freedom. Its the worst kind of slavery there is. Go visit an addiction recovery center for more information.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

If we compare Obama's vision of America with the vision of the Founding Fathers, we can clearly see that Obama's vision is very similar to King George's vision. King George saw the colonies as profit centers for England. He saw the people as his subjects. He saw an opportunity to exploit the colonies, just as England had exploit "colonies" all over the world.

Obama has no respect for the Constitution. He ignores it completely. In his State of the Union message, he "dared" Congress to stop him from using executive orders to do what ever he thought was proper and necessary. He does not believe that he is prohibited from legislating. That's what an executive order is; it is legislation.

Instead of quibbling about the word, "Communism", why not focus on the words, "Freedom", "Liberty", "Constitutional"?

Can anyone tell us that Obama, the Constitutional Scholar, limits his actions to those duties authorized in Article II?

Esquire
Springville, UT

I don't think we really want to go back to the days of McCarthyism and Red Baiting. Even hinting at our leaders, or those with contrary views, as being Marxists and Communists is wrong, extreme, and contrary to our American values going back to the Founding Fathers. Yesterday, on the pages of this website, I was called a communist by a far right wing commenter because I expressed my view that government had a constructive role in our lives. The far right loves attacking with extreme labels, which is wrong and toxic to public discourse. Tone down the rhetoric. Talk issues, not generalities and labels in order to suppress dialogue. Folks can disagree, but there is no need to overreact.

spring street
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

@no on of and thid

Like it or not the letter writer s correct Karl Marx did indeed coin the term communism and the definition iis exsactly as he states. The sopistiry comes from people like Mao and Stalin that attempted to justify their fascist activities by claiming they were communist and only trying to gain power for the people. Claiming any of those people are communist is like Russia claiming they are now a free capitalist society.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Agreed one vote, and mica.
I too, do not feel the weight of oppression from an over reaching government.

Attaching the sometimes conflicting labels to Obama has been a cornerstone of the conservative posters, which shows they have no idea what the definition of these differing "isms" are but they know they are bad, so we'll associate them with Obama.

Simply repeating falsehoods won't make them so.

Speaking of falsehoods, marijuana is not and never has been "addicting" anymore than chocolate or ice cream.
(But the truth and facts have never gotten in the way of conservative thinking.)
It's called freedom because you choose for yourself.
I don't understand the rights obsession with controlling peoples personal lives while crying for less regulation on businesses.

Badgerbadger
Murray, UT

"I don't think we really want to go back to the days of McCarthyism and Red Baiting."

Instead we are in the days of IRSism (targeting conservatives), and race baiting.

It is no better. You only think it is better because you are on the perpetrator side instead of the target side.

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

@ Happy Valley. Marijuana not addictive? Go talk to any drug addiction counselor about what got addicts addicted. Educate yourself! They are not called "potheads" for nothing.

joe5
South Jordan, UT

micawber and HVH: You must have a much different concept of freedom than I do. If it comes down to reading the books you want to, you can go on in your small sense of well-being. However I have seen and felt the oppressive hand of government in several instances. I'll give you just one.

My sister, a San Diego resident, volunteered to work in Colorado on the Mitt Romney campaign. She and a busload of like-minded people made the long journey and spent about a week in Colorado. Last year, her tax return was withheld pending an audit and with no explanation at all. Having an idea why she might have been singled out, she began to poll those who had been on the bus to/from Colorado and learned that over 70% of them had the exact same thing happening to them. By the way, those audits are still pending and those tax returns are still outstanding. For all I know, nobody at IRS is even looking at those files and it may be years, if ever, that it gets resolved.

Just because you haven't experienced it doesn't mean it isn't happening.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

" The common man/woman is incapable of running their own lives and so must be controlled, supported, directed, sanctioned and managed by those who are "wiser" and "more suited" to rule."

This is a joke... right? The common man is capable of securing this country against terrorist? The common man can provide emergency services for himself... right? The common man should be expected to be able to regulate his own neighborhood, ensure safe industry is co-located within. The common man is reasonably expected to educate his own enough to compete on a global employment stage. The common man should be able to ensure fair trade practices occur between counties for his or her services or product. The common man should be able to negotiate with food suppliers that the supply chain for food is safe.

We could go on for ever. If the author of that quote really believes they are capable of managing all those aspects of their lives on their own behalf, congratulations. Every aspect of our lives is interconnected to a thousand other points of influence. Communications, trade, financial services.... you think that system could operate without regulation or governmental controls....? Wow!

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

William,
you'd rather we said BO and his Stalinist policies? OK. BO and his Stalinist policies.

Roland,
those "loans" you say revived the economy? those were approved during the bush administration. thanks for recognizing what bush and paulson did to stabilize the economy. Too bad BO's Stalinist policies slowed the recovery.

micawber,
glad you can still worship as you wish - too bad small business owners who oppose gay marriage and employers who have religious prohibitions to abortion and birth control can no longer follow their faiths without BO and courts penalizing them.

Esquire,
why are your calls for constructive dialogue only directed at the right? do you not see what the left spews? When huffingtonpost commenters were calling for the death of bush advisors? when BO himself uses every speach he gives to excoriate his political opponents? When one vote calls those with whom he disagrees "bitter labelers"?

HVH
Simply repeating falsehoods won't make them so.
What you said is correct, but BO's constant repeat of falsehoods sure has a lot of people fooled.

CDC says marijuana is 3 X as carcinogenic as tobacco. Of course, truth has never gotten in the way of liberal thinking

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

William is right. It's more "Socialism" than "Communism". And it's not even real "Socialism".

But still... is the drift this direction the drift we WANT to take?

===

I like to help my neighbors just like everybody else, but I don't like the Government doing it for me, or forcing me to do it.

I also don't like the ever increasing regulation we are getting from our government (which originally was founded on the principle that the PEOPLE should have as much liberty as possible, and that America's representative democracy, that "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

We kill that when well meaning people in the government turn on the people and start regulating them to the nth degree.

We need to start a drift back towards the kind of government described in the Gettysburg Address, the Constitution, the Declaration of IN-dependence, and the Bill of Rights.

Just my opinion though...

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

RE: "Bitter labelers unite" (one vote).

Would that be like labeling me "racist" (IF I disagree with Obama)? Or an "AM radio listener"? Or a "Right-wing nut"? Hmmm?

Would it be like Esquire calling it "McCarthyism" and "Red Baiting"?

"Communism" is NOT a dirty word. Neither is "Socialism". We can say them without getting scolded. And we can face them for what they are in our discussions. And we can want to avoid them IF we want.

===

Happy Valley Heretic,
If marijuana is no more additive than chocolate ice cream... why do so many marijuana users go on to try harder drugs (and get addicted)... and not many ice cream users go on to try hard drugs?

Studies show that a HUGE percentage of marijuana users eventually try harder drugs. I don't think that relationship exists with ice cream. Obesity... maybe. But still, it's apples-to-oranges.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

Re: No One of Consequence "...Communism, Socialism, Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism, Maoism, Facism and Obamaism have defined the terms for their own convenience or we can consider the commonality between them all: The common man/woman is incapable of running their own lives and so must be controlled, supported, directed, sanctioned and managed by those who are "wiser" and "more suited" to rule."

That was not Marx's point at all. Marx sought to "lay bare" the process of capital accumulation in capitalism and labor's role in that accumulation. He did not deride labor or accuse them of being "incapable of running their own lives." But he did document quite well how the system, in this case capitalism, is all powerful, that it dictates behavior, that the process of buying and selling people (wage labor) drives out all other forms of human interaction. Marx appreciated the accomplishments of capitalism including its innovation. But in his view capitalism though a natural stage in human development would die. Is that not what we are seeing? The distributions of wealth and income are becoming fantastically top heavy - this is late stage capitalism. Get to know Marx.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

RE: "But in his view capitalism though a natural stage in human development would die"... (marxist)...

And yet... Carl Marx died, and every Marxist experiment has died a miserable failure, and Capitalism lives on, and on, and on... How long has Capitalism been around (not just in the United States but everywhere)???

And it's not dead yet.

Many Marxists HOPPED it would be dead after the 2009 stock market correction, but alas, it didn't. And it's healthy and doing fine again (much to the dismay of Marxists and the occupy wallstreet people).

====

If Marx was right, and capitalism was a temporary natural stage in human development that would die... when is it going to die? He's been dead for a long time, and yet it's pretty strong.

Capitalism needs corrections from time to time, but that doesn't mean it dies.

Marxism has died EVERY time, and in not much time, and in VERY ugly and often bloody failure. What did Carl Marx have to say about that?

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