Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Looking Back on the Tea Party One Year Later

This Thursday in Wasilla, the most visible of our state's Tea Party "patriots" will gather - as they did the same day in 2009 - at the lakeside park on Lake Wasilla, to rail against big government spending.

Just like they did every year of the Bush administration, as he more than doubled the national debt. Oh, wait a minute. They didn't ....

They will be protesting the unprecedented steps to curtail personal liberties by the Obama administration, as they did every year since 2002, when they protested even more drastic steps by the Bush administration. Oh, wait a minute. They didn't ....

They will be protesting the huge bailouts of AIG, Wall Street bankers and such. They will be protesting the loss of hundreds of billions due to sole source contracts let out quietly by George W. Bush, just as they did every year that Bush's cronies wasted these trillions. Oh, wait a minute. They didn't ....

Here are some pictures, all but two of which I took, from last year's Tax Day and Memorial Day Wasilla rallies:

U.S. Rep. Don Young on Tax Day:

Rep. Wes Keller on Memorial Day:

Rep. Carl Gatto on Memorial Day:

Eddie Burke on Memorial Day:

Eddie Burke and me on Memorial Day:

Sens. Charlie Huggins and Linda Menard on Memorial Day:

The Crazy Woman on Memorial Day:


Anonymous said...

You know, those guys look so much like the teabaggers around NC...

BTW, who's more stupid, $P, who made $12M since last July or these idiots who've been funneling cash her way? Levi Johnston was right about her being a quitter for the money. And so was P.T. Barnum.

I'd feel sorry for those poor schlubs if they weren't so willfully ignorant.


Anonymous said...

Ahh crap. I've got to be in Wasilla this week. Ugh. I'll have to drive by "the event" real fast. If there's a puddle on the side of the road, due to the melting slush, I hope I don't splash anyone.... Gonna have to do my shopping in Anchorage too, the stores in Wasilla will just be too crowded with nutjobs.

KaJo said...

Linda Menard has piano legs...

(aw, that was mean of me)

I just got a letter from the Republican Congressional Committee, signed by John Boehner himself, asking me a whole bunch of questions about Nancy Pelosi, cap and trade, increased taxes for households, Nancy Pelosi, the direction the country is going, Nancy Pelosi...and of course, asking me to donate whatever I can.

I think John Boehner wants to bang the gavel in between shouts of "No you can't".

The letter didn't mention how the Republican Party's big-ticket donors have abandoned them because...maybe...the way the Republican Party's direction has gone these past couple of years?

I'm probably on their hit list now, because I checked "NO" on everything and also mentioned that 1) some of their issues have been debunked, and 2) John Boehner is a liar.

Maybe they can ask Sarah Palin for money. She's got a bit of an excess right now, it seems, and would have only $4,200,000 owed in income tax if that $12M was earned in one calendar year.

Chris said...


I've seen this thought floating around on the internet quite a bit. Basically, it seems to boil down to "Two wrongs make a right! You weren't upset with GWB so you have no right to be upset now!" I was distressed by many things in the Bush administration. One thing that motivates many folks to get off their couches today is that we didn't get the "change" that the American people overwhelmingly voted for. Instead we got more of it.

PROBLEM: GWB started a unsustainable entitlement program with no plan to pay for it (Medicare prescription drug benefit)
CHANGE: Health care reform creates a massive entitlement program with no realistic plan to pay for it

PROBLEM: GWB intruded on civil liberties with things like warrantless wiretaps, PATRIOT act, etc.
CHANGE: The executive branch now claims the power to assassinate American citizens abroad with no congressional or judicial oversight, continues to argue in favor of secret warrantless wiretaps, and is ramping up watchlist efforts.

PROBLEM: GWB's foreign policy distanced many friends and allies and lowered America's stature in the world. He was unable to resolve long-standing critical problems such as America's relationship with Iran or North Korea.
CHANGE: Long-standing allies such as the Brits and Israelis are more alienated today than nearly any period after WW2. Iran is still working on a nuclear program, and North Korea is still thumbing its nose at the world.

PROBLEM: GWB gave massive bailouts to the very people who created this financial mess, introducing even more moral hazard into the system.
CHANGE: The Obama administration supported even bigger bailouts for these same people, and started nationalizing major industries to boot and taking on their unsustainable liabilities -- yet more moral hazard.

PROBLEM: GWB waged two expensive overseas wars.
CHANGE: The Obama administration has thus far followed down GWB's drawdown plan in Iraq. He has stepped up the Afghanistan war, including an orders of magnitude increase in unaccountable drone strikes in Pakistan, as well as apparently American boots on the ground in Pakistan (did you read about the 3 uniformed US military that got blown up by an IED in Pakistan a few months ago?).

Chris said...

I was cautiously optimistic that Pres Obama would roll back the most egregious parts of the new national security state, come up with sustainable spending plans that reconciled future known expenses with income, and restore people's faith and good will in America both at home and abroad. This was a moment when I think we needed a Gerald Ford type, someone who was a centrist, a little boring, and able to restore trust and bring people together after a tough decade.

I am most disappointed because the Obama administration seems to have no interest in reversing the most egregious trends of the GWB administration. This isn't change -- this is doubling down, on many issues.

So that is why I at least am frustrated now, and I think I'm not alone. I think this is why Republicans from the libertarian wing of the party and independents felt marginalized by the neocon theocrats and voted in droves for "Blue Dog" democrats and for Obama. I wanted genuine change because there are obviously pressing challenges. I didn't want "more of the same."

I think the Dems would be much more appealing right now and could defuse much of the "Tea Party's" support by embracing their "Blue Dog's" agenda. Tack to the center, at least on economic issues, and push the pro-personal liberty agenda like reforminm Don't Ask Don't Tell, reforming and improving the DHS, etc. Unfortunately, that is about as likely as the Repubs shaking the neocon theocrats and embracing Ron Paul. So we will continue to have a hyperpartisan atmosphere that seems to result in eerily similar polices regardless of which party is in power.

Or, we can continue to insist that everyone that disagrees is either a knuckle-dragging rascist ignoramus bitterly clinging to their guns and religion, or a pinko communist extremist terrorist-lover. That, after all, is easier than realizing that there may be a great deal of common ground among many, many Americans.


Anonymous said...

I agree with a portion of what you've said above. However (BIG HOWEVER), given the state of rabbid partisan politics we see today, had The President been any less moderate in changing the course (Wars, Economy, Health Care, Climate Change) of this country, you'd see Fox News and Teabaggers burning down offices. (You may even see more domestic terrorism). I've already seen change for the better, and a see a lot more coming. We've had over a decade of miserable decisions leading us to this point, it'll take another 4 years to steer us out of this mess. It would take less time if the minority party and Fox News weren't throwing up lies and misinformation along the way.
Independent/Progressive Voter

freeper said...

It's revelatory that each of Chris' 'change' assertions is so very unrelated to the actual reality of what it is he thinks he might be saying.

Some folks only talk to see if someone might someday show them the way to reason out what they might have meant while they were talking.

Pretty much fits the bill as far as Chris goes,

I wonder how many folks have tried to tell him before and whether the internet is the only place he can still go on yammering without being interrupted and told he's full of baloney.

I'd deconstruct each false assertion point by point, but anyone who takes even a cursory glance at them will see the obvious disconnect from reality.

freeper said...

I'd ignore it and not make any comment,

....but that would lead to other equally obtuse moronic nonsense being offered up as if one could do so without being confronted about it being absolute inane fiction.

Chris said...


I think it may take more than four years... Does anyone honestly believe we'll be out of Afghanistan in four years? Even Iraq? Does anyone really think that the budget will be anywhere close to balanced in four years? Does anyone think that we'll have settled the issues of warrantless wiretaps and "unlawful combatants" and appropriate oversight of classified watchlisting in four years?

We've been going down a road for a long time and it will take even longer to change course, I think. If we even have the collective will to make genuine changes.

Freeper, all I'll say is that ad hominem attacks may be effective but that doesn't make them becoming or logical. Attack the idea or the policy, not the person. Why resort to personal attacks when there are areas of potential agreement to work from?


freeper said...

I did attack the body of your assertions,

if you don't care for that, then provide evidence to support your ludicrous and utterly fallacious assertions.

Just as your assertions concerning the START treaty bore no resemblance to any reality concerning said treaty, your assertions above are just as fictitious.

As to the personal attack, tough beans, if you weren't so obtuse and stopped offering up pure fictions maybe you wouldn't attract such attention.

Extricating yourself should be a snap, right ?

You've surely got the ability to provide the links that will lend credence to your assertions, right ?

Take it step by step,

(and see if you can refrain from attempting to walk back what you've stated so far. That ploy was laid bare the last time you attempted it, so don't bother trying it again.)

What is it you always sign off with ?

Cheers.... Yeah, that's it. Cheers, Chris, may your endeavor to lend substance to your yammering give you many tender moments.

freeper said...

Here's a good tip for 'helping out the Tea Party' idjits.

Out Crazy the Crazies.


Phil probably couldn't pull it off, (they all know him too well), but a Wasilla Chapter of 'Crash the Tea Party' could mine a wealth of opportunity.


Chris said...


Which of the above points is "pure fictions? Because you asked, here's some links to relatively credible sources.

- Voted for by 16 House Dems and 22 Senate Dems as well as sizeable Republican majorities
- HHS estimates cost from 2009-2018 at $727.3 billion (http://www.cms.hhs.gov/ReportsTrustFunds/downloads/tr2009.pdf). No plan to pay for it.

- 2010-2019: Costs about $200 bn/year. Reduces deficit by $143 billion... If Congress actually cuts reimbursement rates, imposes the "cadillac plan" tax in 2018, nobody changes their behavior to avoid the new taxes, and Congress doesn't run into trouble by borrowing another $53 bn from social security taxes and other taxes.
- Do you actually have high confidence that Congress will go through with raising taxes in 2018 and halving the rate that Medicare grows? And if a punitive 40% excise tax is imposed, do you think that people will just sit and pay it, or will they find ways to avoid it? I don't put that much faith in Congress' ability to make tough, unpopular decisions like that.

Chris said...

- Guantanamo is still not closed (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/01/22/politics/main6129494.shtml), and in fact, the prison in Bagram is still quietly growing. The Obama administration initially argued that the Bagram internees have no rights (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112861671) to habeaus corpus whatsoever, then essentially adopted Cheney-era Guantanamo challenge rules (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSB428763).
- Extraordinary rendition is still practiced (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/18/us/politics/18policy.html)
- Bush's practice of detaining unlawful combatants indefinitely without due process has been stepped up to include targeted killings of unlawful combatants, with minimal (or non-existent) judicial oversight (http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/04/08/olbermann)
- Despite promises (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/TransparencyandOpenGovernment/) of open government, the administration has embraced the Bush administration's state secrets doctrine (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/18/us/politics/18policy.html).
- Warrantless wiretapping: Promise (href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9845595-7.html) vs. action (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123638765474658467.html).
- The terror watchlist is growing ever-larger (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/07/us/07watch.html)

Chris said...


Damage to the "special relationship" with Britain:

North Korea still refusing to rejoin the 6PT (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2010/04/113_63530.html), at least until they get another handout...

Iran still working on its nuclear program...

...and China still opposing sanctions (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100413/pl_afp/usnuclearsummit).

Chris said...


- TARP: The Senate voted for the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (which enabled TARP, which enabled the AIG bailout) 74-25; in the house, (http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2008/roll681.xml) 263-171. In fact, Democrats voted 172-63 and Repubs 91-108. As a sitting US senator, Pres Obama voted for TARP (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aDRI3F1soZ8M&refer=home, http://www.cnbc.com/id/28619883). Pres Bush quickly signed it. Later, Pres Obama supported releasing more TARP funds even after some corruption was already obvious (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/15/tarp-vote-obama-wins-350_n_158292.html).

- HAMP: In theory helps small homeowners. In practice, increases payments to banks holding second liens by tens of billions of dollars and takes on bad mortgages at taxpayer expense (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704094104575143843436282202.html?mod=rss_Today%27s_Most_Popular).

- AUTO: As part of the expensive auto bailout and nationalization of GM, the taxpayer has now guaranteed private pension plans for unions which are estimated to cost billions which the auto companies are unlikely to be able to afford.

- Pres Obama nominated Fed chairman Ben Bernanke for another term (http://www.forbes.com/2009/08/25/obama-bernanke-federal-reserve-business-washington.htm); this is the same guy that loaned billions to AIG, Goldman Sachs, etc and strongly defends secrecy at the Fed.
(http://seekingalpha.com/article/159321-bloomberg-vs-the-fed-secrecy-and-moral-hazard, http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/economy/sectors-mainmenu-46/3169-fed-loses-secrecy-suit-considering-options)

Here's an opinion from the HuffPo (not generally known as a bastion of right-win teapartying) along these lines from a mainstream or Democratic-leaning journalist:

Chris said...


- Iraq Drawdown: "The United States should carefully monitor the situation inside Iraq as it continues the troop withdrawal outlined by the Bush administration, but it would be unwise to look for excuses to stay longer than Iraqis want."
-- http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/27/iraq.dems/index.html
-- http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/04/tricky_timelines.html

- Afghanistan
-- Reinforcements (http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/12/01/obama.afghanistan/index.html)
-- Will they actually leave in 2011? Doubtful. I've been there, and we will be in Afghanistan for quite some time. "Perhaps only a “handful” of American troops will be leaving Afghanistan in July 2011, the date President Obama has set to begin a gradual withdrawal, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said in an interview broadcast Sunday." (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/07/world/asia/07policy.html)

- Expansion of drone warefare
UAV strikes are up by an order of magnitude (http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/predators-over-pakistan). There is debate over whether they are effective or not, but in any event, it sounds like a continuation of Bush administration policy.

- Soldiers on the ground in Pakistan (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35211811/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/)

- Overall defense spending on the rise (http://washingtonindependent.com/75417/obama-is-spending-more-on-defense-than-bush)

How quiet the anti-war folks have become now that GWB is gone, although most of the policies pursued by the current administration are not very different...

Chris said...

I hope that was sufficient to address some of the concerns about unsourced statements. This is my radical idea of "change:"
- Fiscal sanity. That means cutting entitlements, expanding the tax base so that more than 1/2 of Americans pay some income taxes, and eliminating loopholes in the tax code. Our current course is unsustainable according to the CBO (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0410/35546.html).
- Cut backs in bailouts and corporate welfare for special interests, whether they be big banks, big unions, or big defense contractors.
- Improved oversight of overseas military conflict. Congress has abdicated many of their responsibilities in this realm, in my opinion, and given the executive branch a free pass. Additionally, I think the American people should be made aware of the costs of overseas conflict: whether that be by a regressive war tax (for example, a sales tax on every gallon gas equal to our Middle East military expenditures?) or a draft, it needs to be something that hits everyone equally so that voting for war becomes something to be carefully considered. I bet if Joe Taxpayer saw a $1.89/gallon tax at the pump he'd pay much more attention to the nature of our overseas adventures.
- Reassessing our "homeland security" and rolling back the most egregious post-9/11 attacks on civil liberties. Improved judicial and congressional oversight of questionable programs to preserve checks and balances on executive power.

I know that's dangerous and subversive "idjit" Tea Party right-wing nutjob crazy talk but I'd like to hope that at least some of those goals are things that we can all agree are wise ideas. On these key issues I see little difference between the Republican-controlled congress of the Bush years and events in the last two years. That is why I am most disappointed in Pres Obama: I think that his leadership on these key issues has not led us in a new direction, and we desperately need real change because these problems are serious and not going away by themselves.

Phil, I apologize for "spamming" your comments page. If you want me to move this somewhere else let me know and I'll take it elsewhere.


Philip Munger said...

I had a 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. workday on Tuesday. This morning has been my first chance to read through the comments to this thread. Thanks for being relatively civil, everyone.

Makabit Bat Guriel said...

Anonymous April 13 @ 9:15 a.m.

they don't look any different than any other protest left or right in this state. Last time I was at a left wing rally they weren't dressed any different.
The only thing missing here is the likes of Geoff Kennedy screaming with spittle flying all over the place or Diane Benson handing out fake dollar bills with websites that say the Jews are responsible for all the evils of the world. Yes, I was handed one of them by her so don't tell me it never happened! Maybe the ex-trucker (trucker? isn't that a job for ignorant right wingers?) didn't know? uh-huh!
Go figure...!

Philip Munger said...


That was Ray Metcalfe, not Diane Benson.

freeper said...

Your claim: Health care reform creates a massive entitlement program with no realistic plan to pay for it.

Your claim is fundamentally false, health care costs will be reduced from what they would have been if no change had been instituted, you ignore that basic reality to construct a false alternate reality where health care costs could somehow remain static in the future, nice trick to fool imbeciles, not any representation of reality, and instead of providing any proof or evidence to support your false assertion, you've only piled on even more what if's and unfounded assertions that rely on your ability to predict the future.

Save the crystal ball gazing powers for someone who might be impressed with that kind of hocus pocus.

Your claim: The executive branch now claims the power to assassinate American citizens abroad with no congressional or judicial oversight.

As has been pointed out in these comments before, the executive branch has not come out with some new power without congressional oversight.

Congress conceived and granted that authority to the office of the presidency several years back.

Again, your assertion simply ignores reality and promotes a false premise.

Your claim: Long-standing allies such as the Brits and Israelis are more alienated today than nearly any period after WW2. Iran is still working on a nuclear program, and North Korea is still thumbing its nose at the world.

Your assertion is that this opinion proves Obama hasn't improved foreign policy relations with the rest of the world.

Utter and senseless drivel, the facts don't support the notion that your simplified and truncated assertion even begins to assess the reality.

Your claim: The Obama administration supported even bigger bailouts for these same people, and started nationalizing major industries to boot and taking on their unsustainable liabilities -- yet more moral hazard.

You speak of moral hazard? At the same time you display no consistent pattern of possessing any definitive quantifiable moral rectitude ?

Perhaps you never read the classics, I'd suggest you start anew by reviewing Tacitus' accounts of the economic meltdown during the reign of Tiberius. It's all there, widespread bankruptcies, a real estate market collapse, general financial ruin. The meltdown during Tiberius' reign was finally halted by massive government spending and intervention.

That you and so many others suffer from either historical amnesia or outright ignorance of the past causes you live in an illusion that grants you no claim to speak of moral hazard.

You haven't demonstrated a capability to grasp simple economic truths, you've shown no comprehension of any sort of understanding of the vagaries inherent in various disparate economic theories, let alone have you demonstrated that you are grounded in a cohesive set of ethical practices centered around the ethic of consciously fostering support towards any sense of the public good which might have then led to your being capable of and adequately equipped for expounding about the verisimilitudes of the abstract concepts of moral hazard.

freeper said...

Quite frankly, chris, the only moral hazard you're likely to come up against any time soon is to be negated in form due to your lack of intellectual curiosity.

Your claim: The Obama administration has thus far followed down GWB's drawdown plan in Iraq.

Bush's drawdown plan ? If there was any doubt about how unmoored from reality your assertions have become, this is simple verification.

Simply put, you haven't demonstrated an ability to grasp or comprehend even the slightest complexity to the policies and/or underlying restraints on any given policies formulation beyond parroting whatever half-baked, simplified and deficient opinion which you can find to lend support to your basically flawed predisposition and preconceived delusional illusions.

Like I've said before, you might fool some other unhinged simpleton into thinking you know what you're talking about, but how much gratification does that give you ?

Apparently, that's where you've set your sights, actually acquiring any real insight into reality and how that reality intrudes on your preconceptions isn't likely to be anything your able or willing to rise to.

Come back sometime after you grasp the societal forces at play behind or under the surface of your malformed and illusory political constructs

Chris said...

Well Phil, so much for relatively civil.

Freeper, I put the effort into sourcing my positions with a wide variety of official government documents and mainstream media outlets. You have not sourced any of your assertions, and have presented only opinions.

Do you really think the CBO, GAO, Sec Def, CNN, WSJ, NYT, Dep't of HHS, HuffPo, Bloomberg, CBS, Reuters, and Guardian are all part of the vast right wing conspiracy? Ok, well, I'll give you the WSJ...

I'll acknowledge right now that these sources are not definitive peer-reviewed journals. I wouldn't use them as the sole research source for a master's thesis. But they are a step up from Wikipedia and an order of magnitude more credible than personal opinion. If you care to do the research to find a more credible source that challenges my assertions, I'd be happy to review it and reconsider my position -- and we'd both be better for the learning.


PS - Moral Hazard is an economic term, not an ethical judgment. I'm well aware of the "classics;" one of my favorite memories from my undergrad was struggling through De Bello Gallico, Cicero's letters and then pressing on through the other histories describing the fall of the Republic in the original Latin. Of course, at the time, it was very painful. I wish I could remember more of my Latin now...

Chris said...

PPS - I realized I forgot to source GW Bush's withdrawal plan. I just assumed that the SOFA was common knowledge as it was widely publicized at the time. GW's plan is embodied in the SOFA agreement signed with the Iraqis in 2008 (http://wapedia.mobi/en/U.S.%E2%80%93Iraq_Status_of_Forces_Agreement, http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2008/11/iraq-sofa-text/).

"It establishes that U.S. combat forces will withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009, and all U.S. forces will be completely out of Iraq by December 31, 2011..."

Looks like we are right on track! Remember, the Aug 2010 date from Pres Obama is only for "combat forces," which is really a very loose definition as we'll still have tens of thousands of troops in Iraq.

"President Obama has ordered all but 50,000 troops to leave Iraq by Aug. 31. The remainder will pull out by the end of next year under an Iraqi-American security agreement. "'The withdrawal pace remains on target for about 50,000 at the end of August 2010,' Feste said."

I'm pretty sure that everything else is adequately sourced above.

freeper said...

Moral hazard is limited in or by your mind to a simple economic term ? Without any ethical judgement?

It's not too late to avail yourself of continuing education programs....

I would guess if you base your 'economic theorem' on gambling, you could attempt to follow along with some evolutionary ambiguity about the definition of moral hazard and become disposed to limit your understanding to the point where you might define it as a simple economic term.

Of course you would have to somehow discount the fact that the 'hazard' in the original coinage of the term related to a dice game of the same name, and the moral in moral hazard referred to the preferential odds or risks of certain easily calculated societal outcomes based on the mathematics revealed because of the limited results possible doe to the number of sides of said dice in the game.

Today you'd find that in in what's called 'game theorem', but it's always been contained in what's known as systems management.

The term certainly isn't limited to just financial systems management, but applies just as well to system management where there is no financial risk or reward. Economy of risk or reward is not limited to strictly financial economic pursuits.

Moral hazard is a modifier and descriptive of risk in any contract, be it a business contract or a social contract or any other form describable through a form of systems management.

That the term was adopted by the insurance industry at one point, and not so coincidentally, altered and co-opted to describe a 180 degree turn in relation to it's original connotation, cannot today alter it's origins or it's original meanings.

It appears all that 'education' you thought you might have been swallowing has kept you from earning the capability of actual learning.

To state that there is no ethical judgement inherent in the term moral hazard is simply asinine as well as illiterate.

The definition of moral has in it's root the proper, ie good or bad, behavior of an individual in society,

You think they someone picked the word moral just because of the way the consonants rolled off their tongue and made for a more melodic delivery of their economic term, that it wasn't chosen for it's actual meaning ?

Run along now, go play in the street. Your brand of buffoonery is laughable and not of any value whatsoever.

Chris said...

I'm sorry that you disagree with the commonly accepted dictionary definition of words, which has been established for at least a century?

Function: noun
The possibility of loss to an insurance company (as by arson) arising from the character or circumstances of the insured moral hazard.
Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law

–noun (Insurance)
an insurance company's risk as to the insured's trustworthiness and honesty.
Origin: 1915–20
Random House Dictionary

If you refer to the etymology of "moral" you'll find that it actually does have value neutral senses. In fact, the first sense of "morally good" didn't occur until the middle ages (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=moral). At least one other person seems to think that the term moral hazard is value-neutral (http://www.thebigmoney.com/articles/moral-hazard/2008/09/19/what-moral-hazard?page=0,1).

I am done feeding the trolls; you must be a delight at parties. "I disagree with your opinion but am not willing to back my assertions with evidence, and by the way, you are an gullible, buffonish, lying, illiterate, uneducated, heartless, mindless, alcoholic sot, and thus are wrong." If that's not an ad hominem attack, it is at a minimum boorish and rude.

I'll let any potential readers of our interactions decide what they think for themselves and feel comfortable standing on my conduct. I'm not going to take things to your level, especially not in someone else's virtual space. I like Phil's music, I appreciate his activism and enthusiasm, and while I may not agree with every position he holds I can appreciate that I may learn something and challenge one of my own beliefs; I think we have a substantial amount of overlap on significant issues, as well. That is something that can be done with civility, and there is no justification to resort to name-calling.

Don't Feed The Trolls,

freeper said...

Belief in commonly held illusions and fantasy is what guarantees you won't be capable of 'taking things to any other level'.

As long as an illusion is shared, you're going to opt for the same delusion as if reality can be shuttled aside.

(Just as you haven't lent any evidence to refute the actual origins and meaning of the phrase moral hazard, instead opting for the adoption of the false and incorrect adapted meaning of the phrase carried out by some insurance agents who took the term and reverse engineered it's original definition to co-opt the term and insert it in their own private dialogue with their own opposing meaning.)

You show only that you prefer the phrase would not reflect it's reality, you prefer the false and reverse meaning illusion created for it.

Your every public act revealed on these pages demonstrates an identifiable and consistent trait of stubborn resistance to accepting any challenge to your 'beliefs'.

And chris, calling my assessment of your personal traits and characteristics an ad hominem attack is not evidence that I haven't pegged your bullshit for exactly what it is.