Calif. GOP Politics At This Point Paul Losch's Community Blog, posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Apr 16, 2010 at 5:59 pm Paul Losch is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
I want to make it clear that I think all the people running for Governor and US Senator on the GOP side are actually fine people, to be admired for what they have done in their lives. So far.
So why the hell are they pandering to California citizens they way they are? And I choose my words carefully, not Republican voters, California citizens.
Let's start with the Governator replacement:
Meg Whitman is back to her brand manager days at Procter and Gamble in the campaign. She talks up her "product benefits," and uses her marketing campaign to suggest that her "product" compares much better than Steve Poizner's "product."
Steve Poizner is from the Silicon Valley, and he has apparently decided that his strategy to get the nomination is to put all his resources into the San Joaquin Valley, according to a friend of mine in Fresno, with a very conservative message that likely would not go over well 'round here. How ironic that a guy who actually values the diversity we have around this part of the world is avoiding this area in his campaign.
I listen to sports games on the radio, but I do not buy Bud Light, despite the constant ads. Sorry Meg, the "frequency" does not work for me, but you definitely are "reaching."
I wish that Poizner would stay in his current job. He seems to have the right background and temperament for it.
As for Jerry Brown, the apparent Democratic opponent: he appears to still be a cheapskate, certainly compared to Meg and Steve. I shudder to think what will happen on the GOP side, whoever the nominee is, during the general campaign. Brown has so much baggage they will not have enough money to attack his various records. Not even Meg.
On the Seante side:
The thing that bothers me most about Carly are those weird ads on the internet. It reminds me of the attack ads on Walter Hewlett, son of Bill, when Hewlitt the younger opposed the HP/Compag merger. There is something pathological there.
A la Jerry Brown, we have heard very little from Tom Campbell, who used to hold the Congressional seat now occupied by Anna Eshoo. This guy has an incredible resume, and unlike Brown, I suspect he has a strategy that will present itself to the public in the coming days.
Are these GOP nominations being bought by people who may or may not be the best choices?
Posted by Brian, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 16, 2010 at 6:55 pm
As usual, it is hard to know what you actually stand for. You always like to "tee it up", then run from your own slice shot. There are others on this site who actually defend there own opinions, even when it becomes tough to do so.
Let me ask you a very fundamental question, Paul. If Palo Alto replaces park maintenace personnel with outside contractors, who employ illegal aliens, will you, as a member of the Parks and Rec Commission, enforce your mandate, and notify the federal authorities? After all, it is illegal to employ illegal aliens. If not, can you explain your position? Or will you just fall back on your "tee it up" excuse?
Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Apr 17, 2010 at 8:01 am Paul Losch is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
I appreciate that you read my blog and have opinions.
Your hypothetical around park maintenance--the City of Palo Alto management is very diligent about the contractors it hires. Consequently, I view the scenario you "tee up" as one that will not happen.
Back to the topic I "teed up:"
I don't like Carly, I like Tom Campbell, I prefer him over Senator Boxer.
I don't like any of the people running for Governor, but I think Meg is likely to win. She is a very capable person, but I am skeptical that her "three priorities" are achievable or the only challenges our next Governor faces. I really dislike her campaign strategy, which is why I refer to her taking a "Brand Manager" approach to running for office.
I hope others have opinions, too. That's whole point of my blog--not for me to merely spout my point of view.
Posted by Anon, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 17, 2010 at 8:34 am
Unfortunately, the party of Lincoln has become dominated and controlled by right wing extremists. I am one of those moderate voters who are looked down upon by "the base" of each party-- except on election day. As a fiscal conservative, I used to vote for Republicans frequently. I'm getting older, and I doubt at this point if I will ever vote for any Republican again before I die, because none of the Republican candidates has the guts to tell the ultra-right to go to hell. There is a resurgent racism evident, and while I loathe the actions of Wall Street as much as anyone, people who are attacking both Bush and Obama for not letting the country sink into a depressionary spiral are frankly completely ignorant of economics and history.
As for the politicians that you mention and allude to: Let's see: Tom Campbell voted along party lines to impeach Clinton, while protesting that Clinton made him do it because Clinton didn't act like a boy scout. Carly Fiorina did exactly what for HP? And has done what since? Meg Whitman knows how to run a business, but, as a moderate Republican, she feels it necessary to pander to the right wing constantly in order to get nominated, and those ads of hers are dumb, outrageous, and annoying. Jerry Brown? Don't get me started-- but, I will probably be forced to vote for him.
The fact is, as an overall moderate, a fiscally conservative social moderate-to-liberal, I hate primary season because of the veto power the extremists increasingly have over our choice of candidates and over the terms of debate.
Posted by Brian, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 17, 2010 at 1:11 pm
"Your hypothetical around park maintenance--the City of Palo Alto management is very diligent about the contractors it hires. Consequently, I view the scenario you "tee up" as one that will not happen."
Paul, you just performed the typical Palo Alto two-step. Even Texas politicians are not better at that little dance. Illegal aliens are already being used to maintain our parks. The contractors are the cut-outs.
Oh well, it was just a little test on my part. Your 'product' does not look very good to me, based on your answer. However, a larger point is that the 'product' of any politician is in the eyes of the beholder.
You don't like Poizner...OK. Your opinion. I guess my main issue with your post is that it comes off as a bit holier-than-thou, as well as a tad whiney. You would be better off telling us who you DO support, instead of acting like you can't stand the heat in the kitchen. If you were willing to take the heat, your blog would be a lot more interesting.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 18, 2010 at 12:13 am Walter_E_Wallis is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Any reference to leadership and republicans in the same discussion is oxymoronic. Willie Brown and his democrat successors, offering safe seats to incumbent republicans with gerrymanders, successfully neutered any possible republican leaders.
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Apr 20, 2010 at 3:20 pm
I will probably end up voting for Jerry Brown as well with some others here, but the guy has done really nothing but pop up a few times in the news saying he wants to do something or the other, and as mayor of Oakland I did not see much progress there.
Carly Fiorina ... all talk. Meg Whitman ... all talk. Tom Campbell ... I sort of like but he is a Republican and I refuse to vote for Republicans at this point. Barbara Boxer ... I don't think she is very smart, but she is on the right side of enough issues.
Posted by Darwin, a resident of another community, on Apr 21, 2010 at 12:45 pm
Another lazy and passive blog by Paul Losch. Would anyone even think to read these blogs if they weren't part of Palo Alto Online? If he's not trolling, he's writing these meandering sentences without any real point.
Palo Alto Online, can we please get some dynamic bloggers? I'd rather someone write something that I can disagree with than for someone to write something that is a bunch of nothing.
Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Apr 22, 2010 at 4:26 pm Paul Losch is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Thanks for the input.
I have had some conversation with the Weekly and we agree that I will weigh in more reguarly on by blogs, rather than raise a topic and see where it leads without my continued involvement.
Ground rule you both chose to violate: personal disparagement. I have no need to credentialize myself or justify my opinions on this blog site. It is fine to disagree with my POV, and I can assure you that it is grounded with my informed understanding of the matters I bring up.
If you are looking for a Glenn Beck or Rush, or counterpoint to them, shop elsewhere guys.
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Apr 22, 2010 at 11:57 pm
I hardly ever agree with most of the right of center status quo bloggers here, at least that is how they seem to me, but I have to give anyone credit for the endless amount of crap that gets hurled in the most rude unfair and unbalanced ways at anything.
What is wrong with everyone ... why can't we just have a civil discussion without calling people lazy and passive for just posting something. No one is forcing anyone to read or reply.
Someone ought to have a blog and have a class of two that people must pass and accept some rules for to create a blog that is productive ... but of course this means that we would also need and editor that is objective to delete posts or give feedback to people for the mistakes they make.
The way discourse is going in this country I wonder if we are going to be facing armed fighting and bombings soon. I'd like to think it is being provoked by some Orwellian media, but the scary thing is this is the way people behave in real life. Really pathetic and in a place like Palo Alto that is supposed to be a bit civilized.
Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Apr 23, 2010 at 7:29 am Paul Losch is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
It is quite a leap to suggest that my comment about Israel's treatment of the Palestinians indicates a "complete and total" lack of understanding of the situation there.
There were numerous comments by high level officials and experts outside of government that voiced opinions akin to mine when Biden was in Israel and the expansion of West Bank settlements was announced while he was there. Biden, and by extension, the United States, was insulted. That was the main point of my blog.
I am of the opinion that the State of Israel does not treat the Palestinians appropriately, and its behavior contributes to the intractibility of the conflict there.
The Paletinians also behave badly, especially in Gaza, but they are the weaker player, and their split governance does not make things any easier.
Posted by Boaz, a resident of the Greater Miranda neighborhood, on Apr 23, 2010 at 7:56 am
Sorry, Paul, I will stand by my comments about your lack of understanding of the Middle East. Your continued comments just go further to prove my point:
"the expansion of West Bank settlements was announced while he was there."
The housing was for East Jerusalem. Jerusalem is Israel's capital. we all know what happened (though you may not) between 1948 and 1967 when Jordan controlled East Jerusalem--Israel was denied access to their holy sites and their synagogues and cemetaries were desecrated. Israel should have been granted access, but were not.
"Biden, and by extension, the United States, was insulted. That was the main point of my blog."
Then why not say that--you rip into Israel with one-sided, derogatory comments.
"I am of the opinion that the State of Israel does not treat the Palestinians appropriately, and its behavior contributes to the intractibility of the conflict there."
You clearly still do not understand the sticking point to peace with the Palestinians. But let me explain it to you in a different way--why did Egypt and Jordan sign peace accords with Israel? Because they recognized Israel's right to exist.
"The Paletinians also behave badly, especially in Gaza, but they are the weaker player, and their split governance does not make things any easier."
That is an understatement--after Israel withdrew from Gaza and left greenhouses for jobs and revenue, the greenhouses were destroyed and a daily barrage of rockets were fired into Israel. This did not stop until Israel's last action in Gaza. I am sure if people were throwing stones at your house on a daily basis you would want the authoirities to do something. Now let's look at the west bank--the economy is better there, Israel has removed many of the checkpoints. The Palestinian police are policing the area and cooperating with Israel.
Why is that? Maybe because Fatah realizes that they must co-exist with Israel. Hamas does not. Are things perfect yet there? No, but it is a step in the right direction
"Let's move on, Boaz."
That is easy for you to say. it is your opinion and you can write what you want, but I reserve the right to address your comments in a civil manner
Sorry to all readers for digressing from the real topic of this blog, but Mr Losch's comments and, IMHO, his lack of knowledge or basis for his statements needed to be addressed
Posted by Darwin, a resident of another community, on Apr 23, 2010 at 11:03 am
I wasn't criticizing your point of view, I was criticizing your lack of one. Like I said in my post, I'd rather you have one than write a string of sentences with phrases like "I guess" or "I'm not sure" etc etc.
Furthermore, your whole Israel blog seemed like you read the NYT and decided to take the stance of their writers, but to not really provide any points of your own as the meat and potatoes of your blog.
I don't know you as a person, so these comments are not personal, nor should you take them that way. I DO know you as an editorial writer on these blogs, and that's what I have a problem with.
Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Apr 23, 2010 at 2:11 pm Paul Losch is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
I participated in a special Parks and Recreation Commission meeting last night about the next fiscal year budget, and a great deal of Park maintenance currently done by City employees is targeted to be outsourced in order to reduce overall costs to the City.
I specifically asked City Staff about how outside contractors will be selected, and I stand by my comment about the diligence of the process. The RFP's are very comprehensive, and only firms with the capacity to respond to such contracts will be able to respond, let alone awarded the work. This includes verifying that the employees performing the work are in this country legally.
I would like to understand better your allegation that there are illegal aliens working on behalf of the City. What evidence do you have to back up your claim?
Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Apr 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm Paul Losch is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
This will not become a pissing contest.
I went back to the "Irresponsible Israel" thread I posted in mid-March, and looked at the 100+ comments, looking carefully at yours and mine in particular.
You are consistent in your point of view, as am I. I am not one to question your depth of knowledge about what is going on in that part of the world, but I must tell you it is a cheap shot on your part to suggest I am "uninformed." How about you go back and read the blog and its trails, too?
It is facile to suggest that someone is "uninformed" when the person presents a point of view that differs from yours. Nothing I have said about this "Irresponsible Israel" blog is inaccurate. But like the Israelis and the Palestinians, we outside that part of the world have another lens through which we are looking. Your understanding of the situation is not superior to others in this on line forum, so get off your pedestal.
And let's get's back to the topic. I inviete Boaz to post another topic on the Middle East.
Posted by Brian, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 23, 2010 at 4:26 pm
"What evidence do you have to back up your claim?"
I have spoken to park supervisors, and they tell me that they are not allowed to inquire into the immigration status of workers (under contractors) at their parks. Also, I have spoken to a few contractor workers, and many of them do not speak a word of English, just Spanish.
Since such workers will be replacing current city workers, it is very important that such replacements be legal. What is the verification process that the contractors use to ensure that their workers are here legally? Does the city of Palo Alto do oversight on this issue? Would any contractor that is allowing illegal aliens to work for them be fired by the City?
Did you specifically ask city staff if the contractos verify immigration status...or are you doing the two-step again with a generic statement that implies that you did?
I will say this though...you are starting to engage in the debate, which makes your blog more interesting.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 23, 2010 at 6:15 pm
Actually the best solution to hostilities in the Holy Land is to also implement the General Petraeus strategy.Web Link
That is to demilitarize the Holy Land of nukes and everything else apart from small arms, put the Holy Land under his command and shield it against any outside attack.
We have built logic bombs into all the hardware and software we have given Israel so they will not/cannot resist us as we follow our best interests in the region.
With the $3 Billion per year we will save by stopping the handout to Israel this will be a cheaper and more productive strategy for us.
We should also review our handouts to Egypt, while we dole out $1000 per years to each Israeli citizen we also dole out $17 per year to every Egyptian.
The oil rich states in the Gulf should pick up the tab for their Arab brothers who have no oil to sell.
Americas best interest will be served by doing a deal with Iran so that we can exit AFPAK and Iraq-- the Republican Guard in Iran is a business-- we can do a deal with them that serves the USA interests in the region.
Paul did a great and courageous job in bring up the Holy Land issues and speaking the unvarnished truth about what is really going on there.
Posted by no., a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Apr 23, 2010 at 9:45 pm
Your whole perception of the middle east is predicated on the value of oil.
Were we less dependent on middle east oil, the value of a western civilization, with western levels of credibility, technology development, trade laws, and general ability to function in the current world would become more visible to you.
Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Apr 24, 2010 at 6:48 am Paul Losch is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
The meeting I mentioned took place Thursday night. The minutes are not available for a period of time, but they will eventually be posted. I am the one who asked the question, and it was answered by the Director of the Community Services Department, Greg Betts.
Posted by Brian, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 24, 2010 at 7:21 am
Could you please tell me exactly what your question was, and then the answer that you received? For example, are the contractors required to use E-Verify, or is a simple I-9 good enough? Does the city use E-Verify to check on the contractors?
There are no minutes for any PARC meetings since the beginning of the year.
Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Apr 24, 2010 at 7:48 am
I stated that a member of the community had expressed a point of view that illegal aliens were working for contractors who do work in Palo Alto, and what steps does the City take to assure that the contracters doing work on behalf of the City are in compliance with employment laws--words to that effect.
Greg's answer is that there is a pretty thick RFP that a prospective contractor must respond to. We did not get into a level of detail along the lines of your specifics, but if you want to get an answer to your question, I am sure that if you call the City Attorney's office, they can provide you an answer to your questions.
Posted by Boaz, a resident of the Greater Miranda neighborhood, on Apr 24, 2010 at 8:44 am
Paul--you are exteremly thin-skinned. I am not sure why you even bother writing a blog, if you cannot take some minor criticism. I said the you were "uninformed". That is my opinion. you will also note that the editors had no problems with my comments .You have the right to continue to stand by your comments.
If you want only praise for your writing then limit your blog comments to friends, family and those that agree with you.
You are amusing at times, I will give you that, Paul.
Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Apr 24, 2010 at 8:57 am
You are disingeuous.
I have no problem with people expressing POV's different from mine. Bring it on! That's what makes this fun.
For someone to suggest I have a "complete and total lack of understanding" around any topic, including matters with Israel and Palestine, is something else. Disagree with my POV, has it ever ocurred to you that people see the same dynamics in a different way than you do?
For what it is worth, I am an avid NPR listener, a NYT on line reader, and a daily PBS Newshour audience.
Posted by Brian, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 24, 2010 at 9:27 am
"Greg's answer is that there is a pretty thick RFP that a prospective contractor must respond to"
That is the two-step I am talking about. A thick RFP means nothing. That explains why we currently have illegal aliens doing some of our park work. It will only get worse when contractors get more of the action. Contractors are notrious for not bothering to verify legal immigration status. They can include as many I-9s as necessary in RFPs, but it means nothing. That is the reason that E-Verify was passed by Congress. E-Verify is not perfect, but it is pretty good, and getting better. E-Verify is very easy to use, and takes only a few minutes to use, and the answer comes back within a few minutes.
Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Apr 24, 2010 at 10:04 am
This clearly is something you are concerned about, and I think you need to pursue it at City Hall. I suggested you contact the City Attorney's office for starters, and I encourage you to pursue it further with other parts of City Staff if you think the problem you believe exists is one that merits deeper discussion.
Posted by Brian, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 24, 2010 at 12:00 pm
"which you need to back up with genuine evidence"
Now, how exactly would I go about that? I don't have access to their E-Verify files or I-9s. Adult males, who speak only Spanish and do the hard labor that (we are told) Americans will not do are almost certainly illegal aliens. That is why the park supervisors are not allowed to even ask the question. It is up the the city to verify its own work force. In fact, all city workers, whether directly employed or through contractors, should have their immigration status verified, using E-Verify. It's the law.
The entire reason that the city is "outsourcing" to contractors is that they can get the job done more cheaply. Compliant illegal workers make that possible. The ethical issue is, to me, obvious: Well paid American workers are getting fired in order to replace them with low-wage illegals.
Posted by who's burden, a resident of the Leland Manor/Garland Drive neighborhood, on Apr 24, 2010 at 3:20 pm
Do you really want the burden of verifying legality for work purposes to be on the general public?
Shouldn't there be a process that actually verifies legality for work purposes, rather than asks for it in an RFP?
As a consultant, surely you have seen RFP responses answer questions generally only to find that in the actual delivery things are changed. Much of many RFPs are check-boxes in order to meet too general requirements, and responses address that with their own generalities.
RFPs are a far cry from verification, and do not make credible assurance.
Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Apr 24, 2010 at 5:48 pm
The City of Palo Alto must hire contractors who employ people who are here legally.
When someone makes an allegation, the burden of proof is on that party to provide the evidence to back it up.
Due diligence by the City is also important, but is a different matter. It goes beyond an RFP, I agree. It is tantamount to an auditing process.
There are too many hypotheticals here, not enough concrete data points.
The key take away from me is to advise the Community Services Division management to make sure they have their ducks in a row when they bring on contractors as they plan to do. And I will ask them again in my capacity on the Parks and Recreation Commission how they will assure that the contractors have employees who are here legally.
Posted by Daniel, a resident of the Embarcadero Oaks/Leland neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2010 at 1:08 pm
There's no doubt that if we eliminate illegal immigration, there will be huge lines of US citizens applying to work crop pickers, busboys and other similar glorious jobs and all our problems will be solved. We will all be so happy to pay $10 for a pound of grapes since it will have been picked by true blue Americans. Moving right along, for Boaz, all you have to do is visit a west bank Israeli check-point to see how the Israelis treat the Palestinians, or watch IDF soldiers stand by while radical settler hooligans terrorize local Palestinian residents, and we haven't even touched on the land theft and racism. Tom Campbell is the only viable GOP candidate, although his libertarian views are totally impractical and while in congress he hadn't shown himself to be very independent or to be able to stand up to right wing pressure. Although I'd never vote for a Republican for any job, under any circumstances, I'd still like to remind everybody that under Jerry Brown California was a much better run state with better infrastructure, schools and future, and then we had a secession of Republican governors and like always, a democrats must now clean up their mess.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2010 at 4:57 pm
Many are now arguing that the extremist right wing regime in Israel has a vested interest in stirring up trouble between the Islam world and the US so that they can continue their colonial policy in the West Bank, under the RADAR.
Obama is no fool, not are his new team of advisers on the Holy Land.
Israel has a clear choice
1/ Continue to build a colonial, apartheid state that will be a pariah and demographically doomed in 15yrs, unless they carry out mass ethnic cleansing , in which case they are doomed-- or
2/ Comply with the US imposed solution, which is in our best interests
"Either way Mr Obama could be clearing away any last hope in the viability of the peace process, before coming up with his own plan. That would be based on the guidelines for a permanent status agreement which were offered by Bill Clinton in 2000, known as the Clinton Parameters.
It would then be endorsed by the EU, UN and Russia, who would then have to implement it.
Having declared the solution of the conflict vital to US interests, Mr Obama can hardly walk away.
Mr Netanyahu would kick and scream against an imposed plan, but that is the consequence of rejecting lesser demands now."Web Link
Posted by california pessimist, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2010 at 7:05 pm
Who cares, really, who wins the Gov race in California? The CA legislator and the majority of CA inhabitants now run the State, against the will of the taxpaying public, which is now a minority in the State.
So, it is already lost. We have gone over the "tipping" point and can not come back.
If Jerry gets in, it will be like Obama and the far left Dem control of the nation, only there will be a full and total far left control of the State also.
If one of the Repubs get in, regardless of who it is, s/he will be quickly neutered, unable to do anything s/he promised, stonewalled by a recalcitrant legislature and a hostile press.
Posted by California Pessimist, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2010 at 7:13 pm
" I refuse to vote for Republicans at this point" by Anon.
The above comment is what feeds my pessimism in California.
Wow...please replace any other word for "Republicans" and taste how it goes down the throat so bitterly.
Methinks you have no idea what a Republican is, and this would be no great surprise given how far of left of center our latest batch of national Repubs have been, lastly with McCain, who was further left in all ways than JFK was.
I recommend you not look at the "label" but at the proven history and proposals of each candidate.
Otherwise, you are just an "-ist". ( pick a name, I don't care)
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2010 at 7:25 pm
We dole out $ 3 billion dollars to Israel every year, $ 1000 per citizen
We dole out $2.2 billion dollars per year to Egypt $ 17 per citizen
Stopping this handout and investing that $5.2 billion at home per year will make a huge difference to our domestic economy. Neither Egypt nor Israel are relevant to our national interests-- Iraq, Iran and the Gulf states are relevant to our interests
We need a rational and prudent policy in the region that serves US interests
Posted by Anon, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 26, 2010 at 7:51 am
Posted by California Pessimist, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, 12 hours ago
"" I refuse to vote for Republicans at this point" by Anon."
I believe that you were referring to me.
"The above comment is what feeds my pessimism in California."
"Wow...please replace any other word for "Republicans" and taste how it goes down the throat so bitterly."
As I said in my original post, no Republican today dares to challenge the ultra-right. Meg Whitman could do that right now, since her positions on many *issues* are reasonable. But, she doesn't have the political guts to.
"Methinks you have no idea what a Republican is, and this would be no great surprise given how far of left of center our latest batch of national Repubs have been, lastly with McCain, who was further left in all ways than JFK was."
You are obviously too young to remember what the Republican party once was -- socially moderate to progressive, and fiscally conservative. Apparently you only remember the party after Nixon's "Southern Strategy".
"I recommend you not look at the "label" but at the proven history and proposals of each candidate."
Yes, and, I'm waiting for Republican candidates who are socially moderate to progressive, fiscally conservative, who won't pander to the extreme right wing.
"Otherwise, you are just an "-ist". ( pick a name, I don't care)"
You can call me a "Centr-ist". Unfortunately, people on both the Left and the Right consider that an epithet.
Posted by Daniel, a resident of the Embarcadero Oaks/Leland neighborhood, on Apr 26, 2010 at 1:47 pm
California Pessimist, do you realize that European conservatives like , Cameron, Sarkosy and Merkel, among others, would be considered as far left socialists in the US and that even the most progressive US Democrats would be considered as right wingers in Europe? Obama, for example, is considerably to the right of any European conservative leader. There's no such thing as far Left in the US, there's no such thing as Left in the US, period. When you call McCain, who is considered a right wing fascist in Europe "far of left of center", it makes as much sense as calling Osama bin-Laden a devout Zionist.
Posted by Brian, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 26, 2010 at 5:53 pm
Fascism is a derivative socialist model. It is not surprising that Europe gave it its full bloom. Europe is a true-beleiving statist society. Individualism is considered reprobate. European socialists want world government. What they don't understand is that such a government will be modeled after Muhammad, not Marx.
The CA governor's race offers a choice between those who want to head in the European direction, and those who want to maintain indivdual freedoms.
Posted by Daniel, a resident of the Embarcadero Oaks/Leland neighborhood, on Apr 26, 2010 at 6:26 pm
You must have skipped all your history lessons. "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini, 1932. The same thing happened in the Third Reich. "Individual freedom" is the US right wing's code words for a society in which the government is indistinguishable from corporations who own all politicians and write all legislation(remember how the energy company lobbyists wrote the energy bill during the Bush/Cheney administration?). It's macabre, because if the right wing has its way, all individual freedoms will be lost, not just reproductive rights and we will live in an Orwellian nightmare. The European experience offers a model in which corporations don't usurp individuals and control the government, our model is a fast track toward Mussolin type fascism.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 26, 2010 at 6:40 pm
The National Socialists used that name because it defined their mission
The modern equivalent may grow out of the Liberal Fascists Web Link
"Goldberg argues that fascist movements were and are left-wing.
He states that both modern liberalism and fascism descended from progressivism, and that prior to World War II, "fascism was widely viewed as a progressive social movement with many liberal and left-wing adherents in Europe and the United States".
Goldberg writes that there was more to fascism than bigotry and genocide, and argues that bigotry and genocide were not so much a feature of Italian fascism, but rather of German Nazism, which was forced upon the Italian fascists "after the Nazis had invaded northern Italy and created a puppet government in Salò."Web Link
Sound familiar to what could happen if we are not cautious
Gov. owning car companies, financial industries and imposing HSR etc "get those trains to run on time"
Posted by Brian, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 26, 2010 at 7:35 pm
"We are not fighting Jewish or Christian capitalism, we are fighting every capitalism: we are making the people completely free."
Htler also despised invidualism.
Some of the major corporations in Germany supported him, initially, because he pushed back against the communists. Hitler used them for a while in his war effort, but he had mo intention, whatsoever of allowing them to hold power after his war victory.
Hitler was a socialist. He was also a racist and Jew hater. He gained power primarily because he convinced the German volk that a socialist state would be their strength.
A little digging in the history books would be a good idea for you, Daniel.
Posted by Daniel, a resident of the Embarcadero Oaks/Leland neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2010 at 7:16 am
Hitler used the word "socialist" in his party's name in the same macabre fashion the Nazis posted that infamous sign "Arbeit macht frei" at the Auschwitz gates. A number of prominent and wealthy American businessmen helped to support fascist regimes in Europe from the 1920s through the 1940s. These people helped to support Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War of 1936, as well as Benito Mussolini, and Adolph Hitler.
Some of the primary and more famous Americans and companies that were involved with the fascist regimes of Europe are: William Randolph Hearst, Joseph Kennedy (JFK's father), Charles Lindbergh, John Rockefeller, Andrew Mellon (head of Alcoa, banker, and Secretary of Treasury), DuPont, General Motors, Standard Oil (now Exxon), Ford, ITT, Allen Dulles (later head of the CIA), Prescott Bush, National City Bank, and General Electric. American banks and businesses continued to support the fascist regimes of Europe legally up until the day Germany declared war on America and the activities were stopped under the Trading with the Enemy Act. Despite this, some companies and individuals still maintained a business relationship with the Third Reich. Ford and GM supplied European fascists with trucks and equipment as well as investing money in I.G. Farben plants. Standard Oil supplied the fascists with fuel. US Steel and Alcoa supplied them with critically needed metals. American banks gave them billion's of dollars worth of loans. Like I said, study some history.
Posted by Daniel, a resident of the Embarcadero Oaks/Leland neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2010 at 7:38 am
To most people, Hitler's beliefs belong to the extreme far right. For example, most conservatives believe in patriotism and a strong military; carry these beliefs far enough, and you arrive at Hitler's warring nationalism. This association has long been something of an embarrassment to the far right. To deflect such criticism, conservatives have recently launched a counter-attack, claiming that Hitler was a socialist, and therefore belongs to the political left, not the right.
The primary basis for this claim is that Hitler was a National Socialist. The word "National" evokes the state, and the word "Socialist" openly identifies itself as such.
However, there is no academic controversy over the status of this term: it was a misnomer. Misnomers are quite common in the history of political labels. Examples include the German Democratic Republic (which was neither) and Vladimir Zhirinovsky's "Liberal Democrat" party (which was also neither). The true question is not whether Hitler called his party "socialist," but whether or not it actually was.
In fact, socialism has never been tried at the national level anywhere in the world. This may surprise some people - after all, wasn't the Soviet Union socialist? The answer is no. Many nations and political parties have called themselves "socialist," but none have actually tried socialism.
Perhaps the primary concern of any political ideology is who gets to own and control the means the production. This includes factories, farmlands, machinery, etc. Generally there have been three approaches to this question. The first was aristocracy, in which a ruling elite owned the land and productive wealth, and peasants and serfs had to obey their orders in return for their livelihood. The second is capitalism, which has disbanded the ruling elite and allows a much broader range of private individuals to own the means of production. However, this ownership is limited to those who can afford to buy productive wealth; nearly all workers are excluded. The third (and untried) approach is socialism, where everyone owns and controls the means of production, by means of the vote. As you can see, there is a spectrum here, ranging from a few people owning productive wealth at one end, to everyone owning it at the other.
The Soviet Union failed to qualify as socialist because it was a dictatorship over workers - that is, a type of aristocracy, with a ruling elite in Moscow calling all the shots. Workers cannot own or control anything under a totalitarian government. In variants of socialism that call for a central government, that government is always a strong or even direct democracy… never a dictatorship. It doesn't matter if the dictator claims to be carrying out the will of the people, or calls himself a "socialist" or a "democrat." If the people themselves are not in control, then the system is, by definition, non-democratic and non-socialist.
And what of Nazi Germany? The idea that workers controlled the means of production in Nazi Germany is a bitter joke. It was actually a combination of aristocracy and capitalism. Technically, private businessmen owned and controlled the means of production. The Nazi "Charter of Labor" gave employers complete power over their workers. It established the employer as the "leader of the enterprise," and read: "The leader of the enterprise makes the decisions for the employees and laborers in all matters concerning the enterprise."
Posted by Germany was "left.", a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2010 at 9:24 am
Germany in that period was leftist by current US categorization. The government took over control via laws and schools of a huge part of its citizens' life. It gave special preferences based on race and ethnicity. Tried to control what adults do through their kids.
To the extent that a government tries to redistribute wealth, control behavior beyond that which is necessary for safety, defense and smooth operation of commerce, it is "leftist" as the term is used in the current US media.
The US government is trying to be inclusive and helpful to its people; Germany was trying to be exclusive and helpful to Hitler's vision. All the difference in the world.
Also, the US right wants government control over a limited and defined area of behavior, with few exceptions allowed, and the US left wants government control over a wider range of behavior, with many exceptions allowed. But Germany wanted the wide range of control with few exceptions, and the exceptions were based on power only. The US left leans toward exceptions based on tolerance, kindness, mercy and other such (Christian!) values.
Whether Germany was right or left matters no more than what color suit Hitler wore. Both right and left extremes can lead to terrible results.
You can say left is right and you can say right is right, but you won't be right.
Posted by Daniel, a resident of the Embarcadero Oaks/Leland neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2010 at 1:30 pm
US categorization, or rather US right wing catgorization of what's "Left" means is completely false and bogus. True Left means complete democracy through workers control of production means via a democratic vote. Corporatism is the exact opposite, it's tyrannical. Mussolini's fascism, Hitler's Nazism and the USSR's Bolshevism were different sides of the same coin:right wing fascism. The reason US robber barons and corporatists so enthusiastically aided and abbatted the fascists regimes in Europe throughout the 1930's and even clandestinely in some cases after it had been outlawed was because they were fellow travelers and kindred spirits. A corporatist state like the one we have now is one in which, under the charade of free elections, the government is controlled by corporations who finance and own the elected representatives and force them to pass laws, disband or not enforce regulations, all to the detriment of the general population. We are really living in a modern version of Musollini's Utopian state where corporate and state power have merged and became one. The fact that seemingly sane people are willing to vote for corporatists like Whitman or Fiona should chill anybody's blood.
Posted by Daniel, a resident of the Embarcadero Oaks/Leland neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2010 at 4:41 pm
Since "socialist" is in the name the Nazis decided to use, in their typical macabre fashion, that's enough "evidence" for the right.
Problem is, Hitler and the Nazis, in speech after speech, law after law, deed after deed, went after socialists, liberals and communists with a vengeance. They attacked them, imprisoned them, exiled or killed them. They were adamantly against the left and everything it stood for, and said so repeatedly. They despised the left. Anyone who thinks that name is proof needs to dig deeper. They need to google for quotes by Hitler and those who worked for him. They need to read history about the Third Reich and how it actually operated.
They should also think about other historical facts. Like how leftists from around the world flocked to Spain to fight the Fascists there. Franco and Mussolini were allies of Hitler. Hitler often stated his admiration for Mussolini and his Fascist movement. Many American right wing industrialists, financiers and corporatists admired Hitler and Mussolini and wanted the US to ally itself with the Third Reich and Mussolini's fascist Italy.
Also: Workers never controlled the means of production in Germany. Hitler went after union workers, syndicalists with a vengeance. Capitalism thrived in Germany under Hitler. He imported - by force, coercion and lies - millions of foreign workers to help German industry prosper and grow. Treated them like hell. But the big industrialist took major profits and kept them,.
Germany under Hitler was the opposite of a "worker's paradise".
America seems to be in the midst of more crazy talk than in the past, and it's been mainstreamed. Progressives need to be aware of this and counter it with facts, evidence, and confidence. Lastly, Brian, what has been tried in the states you mentioned as absolutely nothing to do with socialism, it was just another version of right wing tyranny.
Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on May 3, 2010 at 5:35 pm Paul Losch is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Well, Sunday's "debate" between Steve and Meg sure made it clear that they both are very flawed candidates, and unfit for office! Whatever one said, the other pointed out this and that which called the other's assertion into question.
Meg and Steve have accomplished a great deal in their adult lives, and I just find it disgusting that they have to stoop so low to win a primary election.