Conservative commentary: Reliving 1773

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— On Dec. 16, 1773, a meeting was organized by the Sons of Liberty and chaired by Samuel Adams at Boston's Old South Meeting House. The meeting was one of a series that had been organized to address the considerable objections of the colonists to the Tea Act. After Adams announced that, "This meeting can do nothing further to save the country," a band of between 30 and 130 men, some thinly disguised as American Indians, left the meeting bound for Boston Harbor. The men then boarded the Dartmouth, the Eleanor and the Beaver, and they dumped 342 chests of tea into the water to protest the tax and the manner in which it had been imposed.

This was the Boston Tea Party. Its participants are our philosophical forebearers - common people standing up against the intrusion of government and the unfair imposition of taxes.

About 236 years later on April 15, 2009, Denver's 9News reported, "A large protest was held outside the Routt County Courthouse in Steamboat Springs." This was, of course, the locally organized Tea Party, held on the same date as hundreds of others across the country, and inspired by the spirit of 1773. As one of the organizers of this Tea Party, I spoke with dozens of enthusiastic participants, all of whom were asking, "What do we do next?"

The crowd's enthusiasm and the desire to take a stand has resulted in the formation of the 1773 Club - commemorating the efforts of the brave people of Boston who stood up against government oppression in that year.

I am pleased to note that, despite mud season, about 50 people assembled Tuesday at the inaugural meeting of Steamboat's 1773 Club. In addition, and largely through connections with the Leadership Program of the Rockies, other 1773 Clubs are springing up across the state.

I have been asked to make the purpose of the 1773 Club clear. Here is my view of our mission:

The 1773 Club is a nonpartisan organization existing to promote the principles of the Constitution of the United States: liberty, limited government, lower taxes, fiscal responsibility, free-market capitalism, a strong national defense and individual rights and responsibilities.

We are firm believers in the notion that the United States is great because of its people and their freedom - not because of its government. We would hold with Gen. George Washington in his observation that, "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." And with Thomas Jefferson, who observed, "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have."

We will make our voices heard. We will fight for your freedom, even if you are not inclined to do so yourself. You see, we also learned this from Jefferson: "When the people fear the government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

As Dr. Benjamin Franklin observed, the Constitution gives us "A republic, if you can keep it." That is precisely what we intend to do, and like Winston Churchill, "We will never surrender."

We invite like-minded patriots to join us in protecting our rights and our country - our Shining City on a Hill.

Rick Akin is an attorney practicing in Steamboat Springs and Austin, Texas; a former member of the Steamboat Pilot & Today Editorial Board; and a director of The Steamboat Institute. His great-grandparents moved to Steamboat in 1926. He holds a BA from the University of Oklahoma and a doctorate from the University of Texas.

Comments

Duke_bets 5 years, 6 months ago

Fred - Refer to snowbow's post on 5/17/09 at 7:44 a.m.. There's a challenge for you. Duke bets that your agenda follows suit with R or D. Sad but true.

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 6 months ago

Dukey, Again, do you have any thoughts of your own? You seem to do a lot of speculating about what others might think, and how they voted. I will continue to picture you as a lightweight until I see evidence to the contrary.

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 6 months ago

I just read a column where China is getting worried about our money, according to the Dallas Fed, their estimate of unfunded entitlements is 99 trillion. Tea party anyone? I think that at this point political affiliation is irrelevant, thats why we are meeting. See you there.

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beentheredonethat 5 years, 7 months ago

great article, which helps reinforce the fact, that the republican party is of the past and belongs in the past.......ashes to ashes.

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ybul 5 years, 7 months ago

Snow, you ever stop to consider that many of those who espouse these beliefs are not Republicans, even if some are, and did speak up against excessive spending, wire taps, etc..

Just because I do not believe in the government equalizing pay, providing health care and lending a helping hand to the poor. That does not mean I do not personally give and work towards better health care, raising others standards of living, etc.. I just do not believe that uses 75% of its funds on administration is actually doing us any good. I believe that health care starts with a good diet and living in a clean environment. Which the government has used subsidies to screw up our nutrition and while the EPA tries to regulate pollution, it still allows it at the public's expense.

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 7 months ago

Rick, I can vouch for your lineage, I knew them well.

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 7 months ago

It appears that the masters of ridicule are alive and well, a proven tactic to level the playing field for lightweights. Saul Alinsky would be proud. Does anyone have any ideas to make this country, on life support, find the way back to solvency? The 1773 group is looking to find answers, mistakes of the past are behind us and we are looking to contribute discussions and solutions to help build a better country. Right now I don't see anyone or party holding the high ground. Personally I think that we have made foolish mistakes and spent like drunken sailors, today it looks like we are again going to try to prove the "money is no object" theory to be correct. All are welcome to come, we need everyones ideas as this is grass roots. Our political system seems neutered by ideology and special interests, maybe a movement like this can let ordinary folk start our own revolution. See you there and God save America.

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Rick Akin 5 years, 7 months ago

Snowbow, As you might appreciate, each of us has 8 great-grandparents, only two of whom normally share our surname. My great-grandparents who moved here from the family homestead in Oklahoma were Joe and Aurie Bradburn. They lived here until their deaths. They operated a Texaco station, which as best I can tell, was located at 7th and Lincoln. You might repeat your search for the name "Bradburn." You will find that several family members have lived here.

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trump_suit 5 years, 7 months ago

Got to agree with snowbow here. Where were all the naysayers when the Bush administration took us to war without the funding to pay for it? It was the first time in our countries history that we engaged in a war without raising taxes to pay for it.

If you add the true costs into the budgets for the last 8 years, the Bush administration is responsible for the largest deficeits in history and Obama is looking for that first place prize.

While I am concerned about the current administrations spending habits, I also read that many of our most knowledgable economists think that the TARP and stimulus plans are in fact the right approach. I do not pretend to know what is best for our economy at large.

What I do know is that there are roughly 24000 people living in Routt county. If you can show me a valid group or protest that pulls even 1% of our population, I might begin to agree that you have started a protest movement. Until then, you just sound like sour grapes Republicans that want someone else in charge.

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seeuski 5 years, 7 months ago

Answer to the complaint of high spending under Bush. The Repubs lost the house and senate and the White House. It's called election losses and many people expressed themselves by voting out the biggest spenders. It will swing back around next time though because it's not just the spending this time.

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 7 months ago

Trump, Our budget is mostly entitlements, Bush had a war that cost money, no doubt, but he did not spend any other money an lavish ideas. The problem is spending beyond our means and O is certainly making his contribution. One may laugh at our effort, but do you have a better idea? If you do, I'm sure that we will jump right in. God save America!

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trump_suit 5 years, 7 months ago

Fred,

Not laughing, I might even join if I see common ground.

What I am saying is that for all of the media coverage that the Tea Parties received nationwide and locally, they did not manage to pull together even 1/2 of 1% the population. During the campaign, BO routinely filled stadiums with 80K + people. If he came to Steamboat today and offered to speak, I assure you that the attendance would be higher than the Tea Party recieved.

If the anger of the population is so high, the attendance would match. Until then I stand by my words.

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seeuski 5 years, 7 months ago

What a profound statement. Obama would outdraw the local Tea Party attendees. DUH! No one will disagree that Obama is a charismatic speaker and the Obamamania was and still is record setting. The fact that Obama has done the opposite of what he campaigned on is not going unnoticed by those who are not under the spell. The scalpel has turned into a silver spoon. The cap and tax along with many other tax hike programs will affect those who expected to be one of the 95%ers. Its the unions, ACORN and CEO's who are the benefactors.

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Rick Akin 5 years, 7 months ago

Trump, The U.S. Census estimates the Routt County population at 22,980. 1% would be 230. One half of 1% would be 115. Despite the Pilot's lowball estimate, there were between 200 and 250 participants at the Steamboat Tea Party, which was held in the afternoon of a work day and included no celebrities appearing in person. (Some estimated 300, but I think that is high.) I know this because I had 100 handouts with contact information for elected representatives and we ran out well before half the crowd was covered. So, can we put you down to attend the next 1773 Club meeting on June 16?

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trump_suit 5 years, 7 months ago

Rick,

According to the same article, at least some of the attendance was from Moffat county where a protest was not organized. How many people does that add?

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Rick Akin 5 years, 7 months ago

Trump, Actually, you are incorrect. There was a Tea Party in Craig as well. I don't know how many attended the Craig event. The estimated population of Moffat County is 13,840. 1% would be 138 and one half percent would be 69. Even ignoring the Craig attendance. we still beat your half percent standard. We may very well have beat your 1% if Craig is included. So, should I be looking for your RSVP? If you are not a Republican, don't worry. There are lots of 1773 Club members that are not Republicans.

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playa46 5 years, 7 months ago

Rick- I am sorry people don't agree with you. I am sorry that you lost the election and have the need to "save America and our freedom". Please, I am not happy the way things are going right now, but let's think for a moment. I am sure you wanted McCain as president, McCain wanted 90% of everything Bush did, where did that lead us? You can attack O and the democrats all day, just remember you wanted another Bush as president.

There is no freedom to save. Be thankful you live in America, I am sure you would be saying different if you lived in another place. The Republicans are not dead, it will swing back, not now, but in time. And don't worry, there are Republicans who are not 1773 Club Members. Good luck...with whatever it is you hope to accomplish.

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Murray Tucker 5 years, 7 months ago

This discussion brings to mind a speech by that other great Republican, Spiro Agnew: "nattering nabobs of negativism" to which he added the less famous but still hilarious ending: "They have formed their own 4-H Club -- the "hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history."

Thought I'd just throw (back) some humor since we're mentioning 1773- may as well look at 1970!

ENJOY

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JustSomeJoe 5 years, 7 months ago

Rick - do you think you would have formed the 1773 club if McCain was in the White House right now? I suspect your "club" is an opposition-only proposition. As long as your party is not in power, your club will be active.

I looked for your previous conservative commentary on your opposition to the suspension of habeas corpus, warantless wiretapping, and cruel and unusual punishment during the previous administration. After all, you stated the 1773 club is for individual rights and responsibilities. What rights could be more important than the fourth, sixth and eighth amendements in our Bill of Rights? I guess you missed out on that opportunity to stand up to "intrusion of government" like your philosophical forebearers. Perhaps they are in the Austin paper.

I also looked for your conservative commentary on the profligate spending during the previous "conservative" administration. I find it puzzling to not complain during the "spending" phase of the credit cycle, but to pull out all the stops when the bill comes due. We have been in tax cut mentality for the past 20 years or so, but unfortunately our bills are coming due in quite the convergence of storms; our entitlements, our foreign war committments, the medical health of our country, the deregulation of our financial markets. To suggest to cut all spending now, to deny that a government's role is to stimulate the economy is to stick your head in the sand. I certainly don't think everything Obama is doing is the correct path. However, I'm with the 61% of the country approve of the job he's doing so far.

Wrapping yourself in "patriot's clothing" is insincere at best. I know you said you are nonpartisan, but come on, who are you kidding? What you need to be doing is working towards the center to comprise on what needs to be fixed in this country. The GOP suffered its worst presidential defeat in 44 years, and has lost 50+ house seats and 15 senate seats since 2006. Instead of working towards moderation, Reagan's big tent is collapsing in on itself because the rhetoric is getting worse almost every day.

Case in point. Thanks to JLM and seeuski for their monitoring of the 24 hour news cycle. Without these two, how would we know about the angle of Saudi bow or the type of handshake Chavez received? I find it amazing that they can take the banality of the 24 hour news media and take it lower. I'm not sure how we move away from this acrimony. How is it helpful to call the Vice President an "a$$clown"? Of course, JLM has called me that as well, so I guess the Vice President is in good company.

So Rick, good luck with your club. I suggest you drop the duplicitous patriot and tea party references as you only use them when they are convenient for your party.

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seeuski 5 years, 7 months ago

Saul Alinsky, Nancy Pelosi and now Maureen Dowd, the head plagiariser, talking points central. What a crew you all follow and this paper prints. If Ann Coulter had admitted to plagiarism, whew what an outroar there would be.

McCain, 90% of Bush's policies? list please. As apposed to the plagiarised talking points from Dowd/Olberman/Pelosi and Co. Atleast McCain had his pen with him at every campaign stop unlike Obama who just bragged about having a scalpel, you all bought that line with the hook and sinker. A little joke: Did you here the one about the (fill in the blank) man who held a gun to his head and as the police approached he shouted, stop or I'll shoot him? Your backup Pres or VP just did the same by telling the world where the VP fallout shelter is. What a dunce!!!! And he is supposed to be your comfort blanket for an inexperienced President Obama. Ha ha!!

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JLM 5 years, 7 months ago

The most efficient forms of conversation?

Telephone, telegraph, tele-Joe Biden something is a secret! LOL

Joe Biden, an a$$clown extraordinaire!

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jk 5 years, 7 months ago

Are you sure you want to bash Biden ?The Republican choice for VP is probably why you genuises lost the election in the first place.

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Duke_bets 5 years, 7 months ago

Fred, seeuski, and JLM - All 3 of you voted for McCain and Palin. When you bash the Dems and rant on politics, please remember your choice for president.

seeuski - If you don't have the ability to write a proper English sentence, please stop. Your elementary education level speaks much louder than your posts.

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JLM 5 years, 7 months ago

Duke, babe, the election is over. Elections are contests to pick winners and then they are over. They serve no other purpose. The election is over.

Obama ran the better campaign with a better fundraising operation, a better social media strategy and a better tactical strategy --- hanging Bush around McCain's neck like a pork chop. McCain was a particularly weak, inarticulate, unprofessional and uninspiring candidate --- the opinion of the ballot box for sure.

It is only the policies of our government, in this instance the Obama administration, which are important now. The election --- it's over and done with.

I am completely comfortable with Obama on a personal note and fully embrace and support the significance of our first black (well, half black, anyway) President. I wish him good luck, Godspeed and fair winds. He won the election in a convincing manner.

Don't get me wrong --- the home boy can't dance at all --- his Inaugural "old school" junior high prom performance was particularly lame; and, he is not even 7th string at UNC. He thinks he is a bit cooler than he really is. But I can go along w/ his faux coolness.

He has some very, very strange views on the economy and how our capitalist system works. He thinks you can make war on the most productive segment of our society and then inspire them to create jobs --- hmmmm? Not bloody likely!

No President can govern the way that he campaigned --- fair? Maybe not but true nonetheless. Obama has embraced a number of policies which he had specifically rejected in his campaign?

Why does this happen? Because he now gets the same information that George W Bush did in the Presidential Daily Brief. The decisions are driven by the facts and the reality of those non-political members of the government who really know the issues --- not the Facebook crowd. One would have to offer a bit of begruding respect that he has the wits to change his mind. This may not make the left leaning half wits happy but he is doing the right thing. Good on him!

His policies? Do I dig them? Well, not so much. I think Obama Motors will turn out to be one of the top 3 bad economic decisions ever made in the history of our country. It will be a colossal failure. I am going "Edsel" on Obama Motors. Time will tell.

The election is over, move on.org, Dukey!

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JLM 5 years, 7 months ago

Just Some Joseph ---

Please accept my most abject apology for calling you an a$$clown. I honestly don't recall whether I did or not but if you say so, I am sure I did. Sorry.

I do not know you but certainly you are not in the same league as the VP as it relates to a$$clownishness. The VP is a 9-ring Barnum & Bailey a$$clown.

Again, please accept my apology and I promise to temper my ad hominem attacks in the future. You are not an a$$clown and I am sorry that I said you were. That was mean and small and I am very, very sorry.

Please accept my apology ---

JLM

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playa46 5 years, 7 months ago

JLM- Yes, the election plays a big part in this "club". Who cares if it is over? I imagine this would not happen if McCain were president. You have been saying how Obama does not fit your ideals since the election, and you still say it. Nothing has changed, and yes, the election does matter.

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Robert Miner 5 years, 7 months ago

What is the contact email or phone for the 1773 group for someone who would like to participate?

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JLM 5 years, 7 months ago

@play

Of course the policies of the President and his Administration play a part in the formation of this group --- cause this group disagrees with the policies of the President and his Administration.

If McCain had been elected President, he would not have enacted the policies with which the 1773 group disagrees --- so you are exactly right --- not likely to have formed. Duh!

So what?

I disagree with many of Obama's policies --- surely nobody, even the big time kool aid drinkers like you agree with all of his policies. I don't disagree with all of his policies but I do disagree with many. I disagreed with these policies before Obama was even elected to the Senate.

The election is over. Campaign rhetoric has now given way to actual governance. Campaign promises --- which were never going to be delivered upon anyway --- have evaporated and the tough business of governance is now at hand.

The disaffection which is manifested by the emergence of groups such as the 1773 group is not built along the lines of a political party but rather a governing philosophy. People are profoundly frustrated with a government which demands sacrifices of them and fails to solve fundamental real world problems while enacting policies which will likely prove to be be disastrous.

If there is a unifying theme perhaps it is the uncommon nature of common sense. People are mad and tired of the fundamental dishonesty of government as practiced by this Administration. That anger and fatigue transcends party and idealogy.

The real question is whether we possess the same determination as our Founding Fathers to take on powerful forces in the pursuit of personal freedom.

Of course, it's all George Bush's fault! LOL

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Rick Akin 5 years, 7 months ago

Robert, You can email the 1773 Club at: info@steamboatinstitute.com Let us know if you would like to be added to our email list.

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Rick Akin 5 years, 7 months ago

Sorry Robert, I messed up the email address. It is : info@steamboatinstitute.org The Steamboat Institute is a 501(c)(3) so it is a .org address.

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 7 months ago

California is having their own tea party today to vote on 42B more to bail out this social experiment. My guess is, that just as our group, they have had enough. Ahhhnold seems to agree with me, as he is already in Washington with a boatload of IOU's. Any gamblers willing to wage against him, I'm covering all bets, so we all get to help Cal, that lives considerably higher on the hog than we do. The word from the state is, that if the money is not forthcoming, police, fire, and other services will be curtailed as well as turning the crooks out of prison. How about the unionized state employees and a myriad of social engineering goodies take a hit. This state is the poster boy for spending beyond one's means and we get to subsidize them. Join us as this folly transcends party, and we ain't seen nothing yet. God save America.

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Duke_bets 5 years, 7 months ago

JLM - You are the one that singled out the Vice Pres., not me. I know the election is over, but clowns like yourself keep crying over the Dems being in power.

seeuski - Nice job! You spelled 2 words correctly in a row. That could possibly be a record for you. Of course, all 5 year olds can also spell those same words. That is a start.

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 7 months ago

Dukey, If I had your political IQ I would not criticize anyone. A little reverse ridicule seems justifiable in this case.

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Duke_bets 5 years, 7 months ago

Fred - Your political IQ led you to vote for Palin. You actually did that!

And, your actual IQ is similar to that of seeuski. One proper sentence from either of you would be a blessing.

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trump_suit 5 years, 7 months ago

So where where the protests as the Bush administration trampled our personal privacy rights with things like illegal wiretapping, bypassing the FISA courts, and the marvelous FBI program known as "Carnivore"??

Another example, how about the millions of emails that were deleted from both the whitehouse and RNC servers in direct violation of our national law. That did not happen by accident or carelessness. The contents of those deleted email conversations would be interesting at least!

Let us not forget that the US defined "waterboarding" as torture during the Vietnam era, but during Bush/Cheney is was just "necessary".

Each of those examples should serve as a reminder that what your 1773 group is really protesting is tax and spend democrats. In JLM's words:

"The real question is whether we possess the same determination as our Founding Fathers to take on powerful forces in the pursuit of personal freedom."

So what really is your agenda?

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JLM 5 years, 7 months ago

It's not just "tax and spend" Democrats --- it's an administration which has no fundamental understanding of capitalism, free markets and business run by guys who are not smart enough to pay their own taxes or understand Turbo Tax. It's both a crisis of fundamental competence and a total lack of common sense.

Today the government is planning to take possession of GM through the bankruptcy courts after having initially disavowed bankruptcy as a credible means of solving this problem --- a self inflicted problem of allegiance to the raw political power of the UAW, mind you.

In the GM bankruptcy, the government (that would be all of us, folks) will take responsibility for all of the outstanding warranties and forgive the funds lent thus far to GM while paying off the securied bond holders in full.

The government will actually own the "good" operating divisions of GM while stuffing the "bad" units into the bankruptcy court. The United States of America will actually be in the car business with a management which has been unable to perform and a work force (the UAW) which has wrecked the expense structure of the company. Oh, yeah, they make really bad cars.

Having cost almost $25B thus far, this is only going to get more and more expensive.

The jobs? The jobs are going to be exported to China --- GM in China is going to produce American cars and reimport them into the US. You can't make this kind of stuff up, folks.

Here's the big issue --- they could have saved the money and allowed GM to go into bankruptcy without all the head fakes and the additional $25B!

That's what people are pissed off about.

What a learning experience! Of course, the tuition is a bit steep at $15B --- the portion to be forgiven. Worse, still our fate is still in the hands of the same management and work force which wrecked the company in the first place.

People are mad --- about a lot of things --- and they should be!

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 7 months ago

Dukey, I am challenging you to contribute to the conversation with ideas that you might have. I just don't see anything other than speculation presented as fact, and ridicule. What are "your" thoughts, give us something to chew on?

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 6 months ago

Actually, we might need to start kissing China's butt so they help calm down North Korea. Should we go ahead and be in a 3rd war? How will we pay for that? And did China buy up all our debt in just the last 3 months of Obama or just the last 2 years of non-GOP controlled Congress? Nooooo...they've been buying it up during the last 8 years of liberal spending. We lowered taxes just so that could happen- we let someone else buy our debt instead of paying as we went. The only difference between Conservatives and Liberals is that Cons want to spend on credit and Liberals want to spend and pay it off. Ask yourself something- do you put more on credit in your private life than you pay off immediately? If you do...you helped pave the way for China to own our debt.

And if healthcare is nationalized...won't that actually keep it status quo for illegals? Right now, if an illegal goes to the emergency room, is there a good chance they'll run out on the bill or get deported to Mexico...and we'll still pay for it? At least with nationlized heatlhcare, the rest of us might actually be able to afford going to the doctor some day.

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seeuski 5 years, 6 months ago

There is a reason Clinton and Pelosi have visited China recently. The Chinese are warning our new leaders about our spending habits because we are so indebted to them. What could that mean in negotiating trade agreements? Are we in a position of strength or weakness? The American consumer better beware of inferior Chinese imports similar to the toxic baby toys, food etc. etc. and don't count on our Gov't to warn us because that only upsets the Chinese and we need their loan guarantees to fund all of the new liberal spending, especially the billions for nationalized healthcare for all, including illegals.

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JLM 5 years, 6 months ago

The current administration is running off to China to ingratiate themselves because they are naive and inexperienced.

The Chinese have a HUGE trade surplus with the United States. Why? Because the US is their largest market for the low cost mass produced goods which are their manufacturing sweet spot. Do you know that the Chinese actually export finished stone to the US --- transportation costs and all.

This trade surplus results in their receiving and holding huge amounts of our currency. So what can they do with it?

They can buy Treasuries and they can pay for oil. The entire world oil market is settled in US dollars. There is a very good reason for that.

The Chinese have a huge current and growing need for energy and they will ultimately need all of those dollars. Their $1T surplus of US dollars will disappear pretty quick as the price of oil edges up.

Remember two things:

  1. The Chinese have almost 3 billion people and we have about 300 million people. Our economy is larger and far more powerful than theirs. Now. Maybe not always.

  2. The US underwrites the world's safety with American blood and treasure. This is a huge cost. Now. The world will continue to take advantage of American largess as long as we keep paying the bills.

Why do you think the French tell us --- "Uhhh, we'll be glad to help our American allies. Please send us ONE Gitmo prisoner."

How many Americans died to save the Froggs from the Krauts in two world wars? Too many!

China is our greatest potential long term adversary. The Russians are an asterisk now --- absent only a nuclear arsenal of very questionable reliability.

The Chinese have begun to spend a fortune on building a blue water navy --- hell, they really don't even have an aircraft carrier yet.

The Chinese are the North Koreans since the time of the Korean War. The North Koreans cannot feed their own people. The North Koreans don't dare to fart without checking with the Chinese. Every provocation is pre-approved by the Chinese.

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freerider 5 years, 6 months ago

JLM get a life..you really think a lot about your OPINION ...and that it matters...got news for you it doesn't and nobody cares what you say here

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 6 months ago

JLM- China's population is around 1.5 billion right now. So, should we then go after China and/or North Korea into war, or should we stroke China a little to calm down the North so as to avoid another war and to avoid having them decide they own us by virtue of their sale receipt?

And what you do think other countries are going to do in this day and age when it comes to world police? Do someone a favor, and it becomes your job, if I remember correctly. We basically appointed ourselves in that task. We sent our military into 1 war to find who bombed us. Then we sent them to another war to nation build at our discretion. WE did that part...not anyone else. We imposed our will in Iraq- their people didn't ask us to come there to free them. We just decided they felt that way. And all the while, we let North Korea and Iran plug away at becoming stronger nuclear threats.

Yep- we went after Saddam for thinking he wanted to somehow acquire WMD's from other countries and instead, allowed those types of countries to actually further their development of those same WMD's for just such a purpose. Yep. That's like a child finding your gun and you decide to break the child's hands so as not to hold the gun instead of just taking the gun away.

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