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Author Topic: Limbaugh Foot Finally Gets Stuck in his Mouth
KidTokyo
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Oligarchy and conspiracy are not the same thing. Watergate was a conspiracy. Conspiracies are finite and specific. When a system is entrenched, generalized, and self-perpetuating it makes no sense to call it a conspiracy.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Sure, Tom. But that doesn't mean I can't poke fun of you for describing a conspiracy, and then repeating defensively that you hadn't actually used the word "conspiracy." That's like saying that Y inserted his penis into X's vagina, but then insisting that you hadn't used the word "sex" to describe the interaction between Y and X. It's a liver-spotted distinction.

quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Pete, when you criticize me for "tossing around 'conspirators,'" I think it's worth my while to point out that I have not in fact done so.

Sure, Tom. But that doesn't mean I can't poke fun of you for describing a conspiracy, and then repeating defensively that you hadn't actually used the word "conspiracy." That's like saying that Y inserted his penis into X's vagina, but then insisting that you hadn't used the word "sex" to describe the interaction between Y and X. It's a liver-spotted distinction.

Thanks for saving me the time of typing a new argument. Do you want to rephrase your silliness again, so I can give you the same reply?

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TomDavidson
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Sure. We can keep this going; it only makes you look stupid.

I have not called this a conspiracy. I don't believe I've described a conspiracy. You have posted all the ways in which you think it'd be fair to call these groups "conspiracies," and then mocked me as a conspiracy theorist for reminding you that they exist. In truth, I'm just better informed on this topic.

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DonaldD
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Are we all now in agreement that in many ways, there are groups that are more influential than Limbaugh in not just demonizing progressive positions but in effectively opposing them?
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Sure. We can keep this going; it only makes you look stupid.

I have not called this a conspiracy. I don't believe I've described a conspiracy. You have posted all the ways in which you think it'd be fair to call these groups "conspiracies," and then mocked me as a conspiracy theorist for reminding you that they exist.

No I didn't. And I think you know that I didn't. But you do so love to play martyr. [Roll Eyes]

But in case you really are as dumb as you pretend to be, my point re conspiracies was that the reaction against the word conspiracy is basically a beavis and butthead response.

he he he. conspiracy. does he wear a tinfoil hat? he he he.

Look up the word conspiracy in the dictionary; there's nothing paranoid about describing a conspiracy.

[ March 11, 2012, 01:22 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
Are we all now in agreement that in many ways, there are groups that are more influential than Limbaugh in not just demonizing progressive positions but in effectively opposing them?

I agree that there are groups that more effectively oppose progressive positions.

But I'm unaware of anyone that's more influential than Limbaugh in demonizing the idea of socialized medicine. I asked Tom if he knew of any other individual more influential in that respect, and he took us on a long song and dance that culminates, as usual, with him beating his chest pathetically and crying how mean I am to him.

Just answer the focking question, Tom. Do you know of any individuals more influential towards poisoning the American mind against Socialized medicine, or don't you? Spare us the distractathons and chest-beating, and just answer the question.

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DonaldD
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To be fair Pete, that is not what you asked - the word "individual" was not used in that context.  Tom first asked for clarification by writing the following:
quote:
Do you mean the people with a bigger audience, or the people with actual political power, or the people who are actually writing the soundbytes and controlling the conversation from their think tanks?
To which you responded with a) "I meant option 1, bigger audience and more credibility with that audience." and b) rhetorical red meat characterization of point 3, mocking Tom's belief in what what you construed as conspiracy theories (as distinct from conspiracies which are different animals completely and should not be conflated.)

In the dust up that followed, I don't think you and Tom explored the difference between his actual claim about "the people with a bigger audience" and your characterization of that position which might be construed to refer to an individual; can a group of people or an organization have "a bigger audience" or "more credibility with that audience"?  Obviously, yes.  But that probably wasn't how you meant it.

If you want him to explain whether he meant "individual" when he used the phrase "the people with a bigger audience" why not just ask?

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KidTokyo
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What Tom is describing is not a conspiracy, people.

Is. Not. "Conspiracy."

It's only a conspiracy if your definition of conspiracy is indistinguishable from "collaboration" or "cooperation."

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Grant
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I find it difficult to describe the current state of American democracy as Oligarchy.

An Oligarchy, at least in my mind, tends to be a state of government where power rests soley in the hands of the wealthy. In the United States, political power can be distilled down to it's simplest form, the vote. Everyone has a vote, not just the wealthy.

Wealth does seem to be directly related to how much ability you have to address the voters. This certainly puts a certain amount of power in the hands of wealthy organizations and people, but not total power. The majority of media is still, I believe, rather supportive of certain progressive ideals and plans. The media is still the strongest voice in the modern democracy, and I think it would be excessive to say that corporate interests totally control the entirety of the media.

As for Rush Limbaugh. I would have to say that he probably is one of the most powerful voices in mainstream conservative thought. Alot of people listen to Rush. Unless ALEC or CATO or the Heritage foundation truely do have their arm shoulder deep inside Rush, I don't see how their power actually equals his. I certainly believe that Rush probably reads material prepared by those institutions, I don't think those institutions actually control him.

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KidTokyo
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quote:
I find it difficult to describe the current state of American democracy as Oligarchy.

An Oligarchy, at least in my mind, tends to be a state of government where power rests soley in the hands of the wealthy. In the United States, political power can be distilled down to it's simplest form, the vote. Everyone has a vote, not just the wealthy.

Wealth does seem to be directly related to how much ability you have to address the voters. This certainly puts a certain amount of power in the hands of wealthy organizations and people, but not total power. The majority of media is still, I believe, rather supportive of certain progressive ideals and plans. The media is still the strongest voice in the modern democracy, and I think it would be excessive to say that corporate interests totally control the entirety of the media.

I think you draw your analysis too narrowly.

The influence of power comes in through the back end. Specifically, who gets to run for office in the first place? What issues are discussed in the mainstream media and political debates, and what options are put forward from either "wing" to address them? It's not only about whether or not you have a chance to vote, but what choices you actually have when you cast the ballot. A tremendous amount is removed, excised, censored, prohibited, distorted -- before you ever get to make your own decision about it. Not by the people running for office, but by the people who fund them and the media outlets they use to campaign. Our democracy is partly real, and partly an entertaining puppet show. No system is ever all one thing or the other. We are part democracy, but increasingly more of an oligarchy.

[ March 11, 2012, 11:08 AM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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KidTokyo
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quote:
The majority of media is still, I believe, rather supportive of certain progressive ideals and plans.
Socially, somewhat. Fiscally, not at all. "Progressive" economic solutions are almost completely shut out from serious discussion in the mainstream.
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Greg Davidson
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To an impartial observer, it would be hard to explain why, in the health care debate, there was almost no discussion of a single-payer system (used around the world and with arguably better results and lower costs). I am not saying that the media would have had to favor such a system, but merely to give it as much air-time as the imaginary "death panels" would have been a sign of neutrality. If the media were biased progressive, it might have actually given more attention to single-payer than death panels.

I think it would be more accurate to say that the media is biased to showy conflict that drives ratings.

[ March 11, 2012, 01:41 PM: Message edited by: Greg Davidson ]

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Pete at Home
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Kid, i am surprised that you would have us embrace the bevis and butthead dedinition of conspiracy (something that honkies in tinfoil hats talk about) rather than the legal or dictionary definition.
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Pete at Home
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Just to hwlp out .... we have here a group of people who seem hell bent on protecting Tom from feeling obkigated to answer my simple focking question. If you had comminicates your intent with each other by email before attempting this, that would constitute a conspiracy to enable Tom's laziness. But instead you all act individually, ergo no conspiracy.

Agreed?

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Pete at Home
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I think that Greg uz right. News orgs thrive overall on fear. Americans fear marxism, with some good reason. So it inflates ratings to play into the ignorant American assumption rhar SocMed equals socialism.
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KidTokyo
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quote:
Kid, i am surprised that you would have us embrace the bevis and butthead dedinition of conspiracy (something that honkies in tinfoil hats talk about) rather than the legal or dictionary definition.
The legal definition requires illegality. The "dictionary" definition is as follows:

quote:
con·spir·a·cy   [kuhn-spir-uh-see] Show IPA
noun, plural -cies.
1.
the act of conspiring.
2.
an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.
3.
a combination of persons for a secret, unlawful, or evil purpose: He joined the conspiracy to overthrow the government.
4.
Law . an agreement by two or more persons to commit a crime, fraud, or other wrongful act.
5.
any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result.

Only the fifth, or least common, corresponds to your view. It is analytically useless, for the reason I already stated -- i.e., it is no different that "collaboration" or "agreement." Rendering you argument purely semantic and pointless.

When people refer to "conspiracy" in a political discussion, they are talking about a cabal, a secret plot, a coup, something like that. In political discussions, we commonly distinguish that from status quo corruption and influence.

So what's your point? What do you gain by forcing the rest of us to adopt your obtuse semantics?

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KidTokyo
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quote:
If you had comminicates your intent with each other by email before attempting this, that would constitute a conspiracy to enable Tom's laziness. But instead you all act individually, ergo no conspiracy.

Agreed?

No. I would call that a prank. Calling that a conspiracy means you take this forum too seriously.
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AI Wessex
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Here's an article that gives more unintended support for the ACA, if not for a single payor system:
quote:
Mary Brown, a 56-year-old Florida woman who owned a small auto repair shop but had no health insurance, became the lead plaintiff challenging President Obama's healthcare law because she was passionate about the issue.

Brown "doesn't have insurance. She doesn't want to pay for it. And she doesn't want the government to tell her she has to have it," said Karen Harned, a lawyer for the National Federation of Independent Business. Brown is a plaintiff in the federation's case, which the Supreme Court plans to hear later this month.

But court records reveal that Brown and her husband filed for bankruptcy last fall with $4,500 in unpaid medical bills. Those bills could change Brown from a symbol of proud independence into an example of exactly the problem the healthcare law was intended to address.

FWIW, last month I had out-patient surgery. When the bills came in the total cost of the doctor's treatment, surgery, hospital and recovery is over $14,000. With insurance taken into account my share will be about $2,000. I needed the operation but would have put it off, perhaps forever, if I wasn't insured. Has that happened to you or one of your children?
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
quote:
If you had comminicates your intent with each other by email before attempting this, that would constitute a conspiracy to enable Tom's laziness. But instead you all act individually, ergo no conspiracy.

Agreed?

No. I would call that a prank. Calling that a conspiracy means you take this forum too seriously.
I didn't ask what you would personally call it. It would be a conspiracy, by definition. But I agree that if it happened, prank would be the politically safer word.


Most of the best pranks involve conspiracies. [Razz]

The problem isn't the word conspiracy but the antiparanoia paranoia that's grown up around the word.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
[QUOTE] Kid, i am surprised that you would have us embrace the bevis and butthead dedinition of conspiracy (something that honkies in tinfoil hats talk about) rather than the legal or dictionary definition.

The legal definition requires illegality. The "dictionary" definition is as follows:

quote:
con·spir·a·cy   [kuhn-spir-uh-see] Show IPA
noun, plural -cies.
1.
the act of conspiring.
2.
an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.

quote:
sur·rep·ti·tious/ˌsərəpˈtiSHəs/
Adjective:
Kept secret, esp. because it would not be approved of.

Think harder.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
What do you gain by forcing the rest of us to adopt your obtuse semantics?
Not trying to get you to adopt my semantics. Just to get y'all off my leg with this obtuse accusation that I was maligning Tom with the word "conspiracy." And to end this collusive distractathon that enables Tom to weasel out of answering my simple question about Rush Limbaugh.
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KidTokyo
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quote:
Not trying to get you to adopt my semantics. Just to get y'all off my leg with this obtuse accusation that I was maligning Tom with the word "conspiracy." And to end this collusive distractathon that enables Tom to weasel out of answering my simple question about Rush Limbaugh.
You're not maligning him but you're calling him a weasel?

When you call something a "conspiracy" you set a much higher standard of skepticism than is warranted for the phenomenon he is describing. That's why it's objectionable.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
quote:
Not trying to get you to adopt my semantics. Just to get y'all off my leg with this obtuse accusation that I was maligning Tom with the word "conspiracy." And to end this collusive distractathon that enables Tom to weasel out of answering my simple question about Rush Limbaugh.
You're not maligning him but you're calling him a weasel?
You're catching on, Kid. I said that I am not maligning Tom with the word "conspiracy."

I did not say that I was not maligning him with the word "weasel," which for 12 years has been Tom's favorite insult for me. But I'm not, since "malign" presumes "to speak (1) harmful (2) untruths about" while Tom clearly is weaseling out of a simple question here. You can't malign someone with the truth.

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Pete at Home
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"When you call something a "conspiracy" you set a much higher standard of skepticism than is warranted for the phenomenon he is describing."

Yes, when one is speaking to Beavis and Butthead. But you've already shown, unintentionally, that what it perfectly fit your definition #2.

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Pete at Home
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2.
an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.

What Tom described is a surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons.

What Tom described is also a PLOT.

It's also arguably an evil plan formulated in secret by two or more persons.

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KidTokyo
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Powerful interests have been manipulating democracy from the back-end for most of history. That is not a conspiracy. That is Ye Olde Reptilian Cortex in combination with Capitalism.

quote:
The problem isn't the word conspiracy but the antiparanoia paranoia that's grown up around the word.
So you're saying the common usage and context assigned to the word by mainstream society is wrong and you are right, is that it? Rather than deal with the issue, you want to deconstruct social discourse.

I'm not defending Tom. I'm sure his feelings are not hurt by you. I just don't know what you think you're accomplishing here.

Being sensitive to what words normally mean -- including their connotations -- is part of basic social conduct. Anyone can get up here and be clever and say "society is too sensitive about this word." So what? Grass is too green and there's skeeters in the summertime.

Let's get back to actually having a point.

These political organizations are not passing occurrences seeking to overthrow anything. They are protectors of the status quo. It's quite the opposite of what is normally meant or intended by conspiracy.

[ March 11, 2012, 11:53 PM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
So you're saying the common usage and context assigned to the word by mainstream society is wrong and you are right, is that it?

No. Beavis and Butthead aren't society, they are the dregs of society. The very dictionary definition that you provided bears out what I said.
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Pete at Home
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Here it is again, Kid. You claimed that my usage didn't work in until Def #5, but I've shown that my usage corresponds to the FIRST non-circular definition on your list:

quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
[QUOTE] Kid, i am surprised that you would have us embrace the bevis and butthead dedinition of conspiracy (something that honkies in tinfoil hats talk about) rather than the legal or dictionary definition.

The legal definition requires illegality. The "dictionary" definition is as follows:

quote:
con·spir·a·cy   [kuhn-spir-uh-see] Show IPA
noun, plural -cies.
1.
the act of conspiring.
2.
an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.

quote:
sur·rep·ti·tious/ˌsərəpˈtiSHəs/
Adjective:
Kept secret, esp. because it would not be approved of.

Think harder.

quote:
So you're saying the common usage and context assigned to the word by mainstream society is wrong and you are right, is that it?
it's MY use of the word "conspiracy" that's being attacked here. I'm not trying to force others to adopt my usage.

But I am pointing out the parallels between the spooky ways that some Americans use the word "conspiracy," to the brainwashed spooky ways that some Americans use the word "socialism."

[ March 12, 2012, 12:50 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Pete at Home
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"These political organizations are not passing occurrences seeking to overthrow anything. They are protectors of the status quo. It's quite the opposite of what is normally meant or intended by conspiracy."

Really? Where is that in the list of definitions you provided?

Weren't the American Tobacco companies conspiring to cover up research, in order to protect the status quo?

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Chael
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
I meant option 1, bigger audience and more credibility with that audience. But if you want to elaborate on option three, I'm sure that we'd all be entertained to hear your conspiracy theories. Are you referencing space aliens who want more pregnant women to experiment on, or Stem Cell research companies who want more abortions?

Since 'conspiracy' is not a dirty word in your idiolect, Pete, I have to admit that I don't understand your point here.

Can you elaborate?

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Pete at Home
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I would be delighted to elaborate, Chael. Thanks for asking. [Wink]

The idea of a conspiracy is not per se insane. In fact, I'd say that there are probably more actual conspiracies in the world than loopy conspiracy theories.

I think that Tom meant to say that the medical-industrial complex had lobbyists and think-tanks that conspire on means to poison the idea of socialized medicine. I think that's quite likely. Although I think that Greg Davidson is probably right that the news-entertainment complex, --

--(that's not Greg's word for it, and if you think I've misunderstood your meaning please correct me!)--

--which includes the individual named Rush Limbaugh, does substantial damage to the idea of Socialized Medicine without ever conspiring to do so, just because the news-entertainment complex thrives on fear. Viewers become addicted to the news through fear. no conspiracy necessary.

So my point was two-fold:

First of all, Tom is probably right to allege facts that fit the common dictionary definition of conspiracy. It's a reasonable theory. But he's probably wrong that the conspiracy plays a greater role than, say, Rush Limbaugh and other non-conspiring fearmongers.

Second of all, I made the point that although Tom's underlying theory is almost reasonable, that his actual wording, involving unseen people controlling conversations from their think tanks, really did sound black-helicopter loopy. But that's not Tom being nuts; he was probably just being lazy.

In summary, Tom was not as loopy as he appeared; he was simply wrong.

Clear?

[ March 12, 2012, 01:47 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Chael
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Clearer. I thank you for your elaboration. [Wink]

I, myself, only read Tom's wording as dramatic. Pithy, perhaps. Note that he did not say "conversations"--rather, "the conversation," which has a different implication.

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Pete at Home
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Very pithy. Poppa Bear O Reilly would be proud of him. [Wink]

But Tom really did emphasize that the, um, collaborative distortions as to Socialized Medicine had a greater effect than Rush Limbaugh and other individual fearmongering newsy entertainers, and I think that he's clearly wrong about that, for reasons explained by Greg.

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Chael
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Ah, well. Informing the other person of their wrongness is a grand old Ornery tradition. I have no quibble with that part.
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TomDavidson
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Pete, to what extent would someone have to demonstrate that ALEC (and similar organizations) provide talking points to pundits and other segments of the news media before you would believe that their influence over the news media -- non-conspiratorially, mind, as every organization I named actually provides public, web-accessible memos describing their strategies in this regard -- represents a substantial modifier to the "collaborative distortions" you've mentioned?
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KidTokyo
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No, Pete. You need to think harder.

Is a board meeting conducted "in secret"? Is lobbying done "in secret?" Do conspirators have their own websites which explain what they do and how they do it? Do conspirators use the court system, conducting activity on public record to further their goals?

Pull the other one. This is possibility the silliest conversation I've ever had with someone claiming to argue with intellectual honesty.

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KidTokyo
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This is from the Heritage website:

quote:
Candidate Briefings

As part of our goal to advance conservative public policies and educate our leaders, The Heritage Foundation offers unique and specialized briefings for any candidate seeking public office.As a candidate running for office, our personalized briefings provide one on one access to our issue experts who have extensive experience in the areas they cover. These frank discussions on the issues of your choosing will walk you through solutions, statistics, and talking points to help you better understand and communicate these critical issues.To help candidates learn more about the issues they face, we have released Issues 2010, a book summarizing key issues for campaigns nationwide. In addition to this broader product we also have developed research that is directly applicable to state-wide and congressional district seats. President Obama's proposed tax increases are available in this format, as well as the effects of Cap and Trade on states and congressional districts.If you are interested in scheduling a briefing for yourself or a candidate either in person or over the phone, please contact Landon Zinda or call 202-608-6205.

Here is Heritage influencing right-wing activism, just one example.

Here is something from ALEC's website:

quote:
Today, states face structural deficits created by overspending. Most of the legislative “fixes” over the past few years for state budget gaps have merely postponed or obscured the problems rather than addressing them directly.

ALEC’s State Budget Reform Toolkit will advance a set of budget and procurement best practices to guide state policymakers as they work to solve the current budget shortfalls, assisting legislators in prioritizing and more efficiently delivering core government services through advancing Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty.

For more information about the State Budget Reform Toolkit, contact Jonathan Williams, Director of ALEC’s Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force, at 202-742-8533 or at jwilliams@alec.org.

Here they are in action, HERE and HERE

People like Rush Limbaugh are entertainers, filling a market niche. They make money by saying the sorts of things that get them paid. They need to get the material from somewhere. You don't actually think Limbaugh sits around conducting his own research on law and policy, do you?

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KidTokyo
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And don't tell me that confidentiality is conspiracy, Pete, because that makes you a conspirator every time to confer with a client.
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Pete at Home
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I've certainly had prospective clients that tried to bring me in on a conspiracy, Kid. I.e. illegal or surreptitious acts. Fortunately I've said no, and the matter's never gone from solicitation to conspiracy.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
No, Pete. You need to think harder.

Is a board meeting conducted "in secret"? Is lobbying done "in secret?" Do conspirators have their own websites which explain what they do and how they do it? Do conspirators use the court system, conducting activity on public record to further their goals?

Objections, counselor; you're leading the witness. [Wink]
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