Saturday, November 10, 2007

Oakland Press - Knollenberg got it wrong on SCHIP

This is the Oakland Press version of my guest opinion about Joe Knollenberg's opposition to the SCHIP bill. It's been edited since I wrote it, but you get the point.

Trent Wisecup Bullying a Constituent

Keith Olbermann Covers Trent Wisecup's Outburst in Rochester


Chet said...

Bruce, having an opinion on SCHIP seems fine, but continued reposting of the trent photo is irrelevant and proves your just out to get the guy. He was ill at the time.

Bruce Fealk said...

Chet, he says he was ill, which is different than being ill. Trent had a chance to show some regret for his actions and chose not to, and I don't think that is the fault of bi-polar disorder. It is relevant, especially since Joe Knollenberg hasn't said a word about the incident or offered an apology for Trent's actions. Plus, in the Keith Olbermann piece, Rachel Maddow comments that Joe's staff made a conscious decision to treat me the way Trent did should they encounter me. Does everyone on Joe's staff have bi-polar disorder, or just really bad judgment?

And talk about being out to get a guy, sending my brother's letter to the press trying to discredit me, was that part of his illness too?

Since you made no comments about my analysis of Joe's Guest Opinion being full of lies, I assume you agree with me that Joe was misleading the voters with his comments about SCHIP. I'm glad to see you agree.

Hank said...

You talk about raising the tax on cigarettes resulting in fewer kids starting. True enough and it's a good thing. But don't you see there being fewer smokers overall? Between this tax, smoking bans, etc., more people will stop smoking, or smoke off the black market resulting in fewer tax dollars, not more. THEN where will the money come from? NO ONE has offered any alternative for funding of the program, NO ONE! The state of Washington learned a lesson from outrageous tobacco taxes. They raised the percentage to 129% ... when revenues plummeted, they dropped it down to a more reasonable level. This funding of this bill is not going to work.

Bruce Fealk said...

That's your opinion.

How's the funding for the war going? We are borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars to fund the disaster in Iraq, and no one questions that. Seems that finding alternative funding should the need arise, would be a worthy way to spend our tax dollars, taking care of children's health, don't you think?

Hank said...

You can bring in other issues to deflect the focus if you care to, that's up to you. Personally, I won't vote for anyone that supports any bill ... SCHIP or not ... knowing that the funding will soon decrease to a point where it cannot support the program, and there is no PLAN, at least, for alternative funding. Yeah I know, the war, the war, the war. I feel strongly about the war as well, but citing one mistake to justify another mistake doesn't really help move things forward, now does it?

Bruce Fealk said...

You didn't offer any proof that the funding will dry up, just one person's opinion. I'm sure if it came to be a factor another form of funding could be found.

I don't trust Republicans on fiscal responsibility at all. Whatever form of funding is necessary is worth it to ensure healthy children. That's what it's all about. I choose health care over warfare every time.

Perhaps we could, say, end the war in Iraq to help pay for health care for our citizens. I'd say that's a much better use of taxpayer dollars. It's the pro-life thing to do.

Chet said...

you say your sane, which is differnet from being sane.

not commenting and agreeing are different things. you know that.

even if trent did not have a condition, your repeated use of the image in irrelevant places degrades your other arguments. get over it - you got his goat, got yourself some fame, now get over it.

Chet said...

People question Iraq's costs, Bruce. Indeed, you have. And you have questioned budget deficits. So you need to answer the where's the money coming from question to remain consistent.

But you're not consistent. Never have been.

Bruce Fealk said...

The money is coming from the $.61 tax on cigarettes. Joe seems to think that requires 22 million new smokers, which may be true, but the 22 million new smokers happen whether there's an increased tax or not.

Since apparently is still on staff with Joe and Trent says he speaks for Joe, I think it's relevant, especially since Joe hasn't made any public comment about Trent's outburst. So apparently he condoned it, as allueded to in the MSNBC Countdown story.

Hank said...

Money for war or money for kids. Bruce, are you really that simplistically minded? Look up compromise in the dictionary ... not everything is black and white. If the only way you can make your point is to say you're either for the war of for "kids", you're not really worth my keystrokes here.

And really, quoting Keith Olberman doesn't really score you big points with many people ... other than Keith Olberman. You might as well cite Rosie O'Donnell in terms of credibility. I'm outta here. I'll post elsewhere. Thanks for the time and space ... hope it wasnt' ALL wasted.

Bruce Fealk said...

I wonder if that's what you'd say about Bill O'Liely. Since Keith Olbermann now regularly has more viewers than O'Liely, I'd say some people are watching and paying attention. Keith's ratings are up dramatically, and he got a huge pay increase, which I'm sure NBC wouldn't have given him if he weren't pulling viewers.

Chet said...

Bruce, who cares what Olbermann or O-Reilly make, or who has more viewers.

The point is you are hammering on irrelevant points because of your blind hatred of Joe, and in the meantime you can't even take care of relations with your family. Your priorities are backwards.

Bruce Fealk said...

I don't really hate Joe on a personal level at all. I hate what he stands for and his policies. There's a difference. As far as my family, that's none of you damn business, Chet.

This is about saving America, so it's bigger than my family. My family situation will hopefully work its way out.

Hank said...

You're right, it's no business of ours really, what your family situation is, although it doesn't sound good. I'm not aware of the issues. BUT ... family issues are NOT secondary to America ... family issues ARE America. You're priorities seem a little off kilter. Our civil liberties have been eroded bit by bit. Legislators have taken away many of our freedoms, many of our choices in the name of "protecting" us. Let me protect myself from the evils of smoking, trans fats, children's playground toys, etc. I'm a big boy and can make my own decisions. If a restaurant allows smoking and I don't like it, I don't go there! Seems pretty simple to me. Government has no business ... no RIGHT ... to dictate that for me! The risks associated with second hand smoke have been WAAAAYYYYY overstated. Read the literature like I have and you'll too see that legislators ... on BOTH sides ... need to pass new laws to justify their existence. I'm tired of it and you should be too. It's out of control and getting worse!

Bruce Fealk said...

You are right about one thing, Chet, you are a BIG boy and the health risks of obesity are well documented. The problem is, there are some dangers only the government can protect us from, corporate greed, pollution, and other public services. Privitization doesn't work in all cases. In fact, based on the Bush administration's use of privitization, it doesn't work, period.

Hank said...

You should at least know who you're talking to before you spew the usual, predictable sewage. Chet didn't write that he's a big boy, I did. My name is Hank, only 4 letters like "Chet" but they only share 1 letter in common. I'm not obese, probably in a lot better shape than you there Bruce (see, I didn't call you Chet). You've shown yourself for what you are here Brucie ... you don't care about anything except getting your "message" out, even though it's pretty much the same rehashed crap you put on the Kos or MoveOn. Enjoy your blog, good luck with your family issues.


Bruce Fealk said...

Sorry for the misidentification, Hank. You're new here as far as commenting. My comment was meant for Chet. My apologies. Your comments sound so much like Chet, I got confused. You must have gone to the same Republican messaging school.

Hank said...

Maybe we just both really smart ....

Bruce Fealk said...

I am confident it's not because you're both smart.

djtyg said...

Wow, Bruce. Chet's fake outrage meter is off the charts today! First he whines that you're picking on Trent, then he goes and brings up your family.

If hypocrisy and fake outrage could be currency, Chet could pull a DeVos and fund his own gubanatorial race!

But it's good to see he took some time off from his cross burning to respond...

MIKE said...

Chet/Hank - think you both are missing the point. Is Bruce on a mission - you bet. He - and I for sure, believe that Knollenberg has a terrible voting record for issues we believe in. The media has ignored those issues, or glossed over them. Blogs seem to be the only source of alternative opinions anymore. But let us keep the diatribe to the merits - or lack thereof, of any particular issue or vote cast by Knollenberg. It was Knollenberg and his staff that chose to make it personal, not Bruce. I saw for a brief moment, one lame attempt to debate the issue - the value of a tax increase on smokes to fund the SCHIP program. Had you kept it at that, it would have been worthy of following the argument. Sadly, you two seem more intent on insulting the messenger, then debating the issue. If you want to win the hearts and minds of people, you do so by elevating the debate to the level of pro & con on the merits - not by debasing the character of the messenger. If you think Knollenberg has the right position on these issues, then champion them. Don't denegrate Bruce because he thinks Knollenberg is wrong on these issues. I think Knollenberg is wrong on most issues too. That is why I'm voting for change next year.

Chet said...


I'm all for debating issues, and we've debated the SCHIP issue ad nauseum in other forums and posts. But it was Bruce who chose to "tie" SCHIP to Trent Wisecup here by posting the photo. I began by noting the irrelevance of that to the issue. It continues by continuing personal attacks on my weight and morally bankrupt insinuations that I burn crosses (I despise the Klan - so I take it dty, you'll condemn the Michigan Democratic Party chairman for representing the KKK?).

Bruce, one of your comments stuck out:

This is about saving America, so it's bigger than my family. My family situation will hopefully work its way out.

I guess that the difference between conservatives and liberals. We believe individuals taking care of themselves, and families taking care of themselves, "saves" America (if that is even a valuable framework - I think some on the right, just as you on the left, have delusions of grandiosity in believing that you can "save" America -- from what? its' natural evolution to whatever freedom brings it? are you going to save us "from ourselves", Bruce? from overeating, smoking, etc.?).

If I and my family are not contributing to the world's problems, we're the first step to solving them. That's why my family comes first. Once you achieve independence, you can be interdependent. Does that mean I stop my charity (or focus) at the family door. Of course not. I believe that we all have an individual obligation to chip in to helping others, but only have we achieve independence, again.

And instead of saving the world, why don't you save, say, Detroit. And there's nothing wrong with voting nationally based on your views - I'm sure you and others believe in your world views and voting is how you change big things like the world, but don't consider the rest of us evil because we disagree with your world views (and really, we don't disagree that much anyway -- mostly in approach, and we agree on more things that are just assumed and not argued about because those agreements were made years and centuries ago in some cases).

Bruce Fealk said...

Chet, you do have one thing right. Republicans believe in a me society. As long as they have theirs, to hell with everyone else.

Democrats believe in a we society where we take responsibility for everyone's well being and share responsibility for things like clean air, clean water, economic justice, freedom of speech, encouraging diversity of thought and other diversity.

Democrats are the party of hope.

Republicans are the party of fear.

I proudly choose to be a Democrat based on those core principles.

Chet said...

Don't twist my words, Bruce.

And boy, are you lost in your own rhetoric. You've got a bad case of the partisans - BOTH PARTIES have used fear where they perceive it to be a gain, and both parties have given us false hope.

Republicans generally, like most independents and even Democrats, and myself specifically, believe in helping other people. We just appreciate that you must prevent yourself from being a problem for society before helping others. If you're in a lake and drowning, Bruce, you need to get to a point where you can start swimming yourself before you try to save someone else.

Secondarily, you believe in a society "where we take responsibility for everyone's well being". Keep your hands off my well-being, Bruce - or at least keep your hands off of the well-being of those who are not drowning (save those who are). Obviously, if you're taking care of me to the degree you assert your desire to, "freedom of speech" and "diversity of thought" are out the window. Democrats used to believe in those things, but when "other diversity" and similar issues become more important, Democrats threw free speech to the wind. For example, DTY labels people cross-burners when they disagree with him (certainly within his own free speech right to make a fool of himself, but not very tolerant of other ideas and a lowly tactic), universities quash people like you who "follow" Democrat Congressional candidates around, and in general, and the leading left-wing websites like ML and BFM openly engage in curtailing "diversity of thought" by banning conservatives or perceived conservatives.

As to "clean air and clean water", Republican presidents passed bills on both those issues (Nixon and Bush Sr.). Teddy Roosevelt was the first environmental president. And even Libertarians believe in protecting property rights and that property right protection provides better environmental stewardship because people care more about what they own than what they don't (they don't believe in any public property, which I find a bit to the extreme, but public property can be protected as a property right if you treat the government as a corporation and it enforces laws against damaging public property in the same ways as laws against damaging private property) - which, when properly enforced, allows adequate protection of the environment. So Republicans have no philosophical problems with protecting the environment. The worst damage to the environment ever done by any society was done by the Soviet Union, where property rights didn't exist.

As to "economic justice", I don't know what that vague phrase means? If it means everyone should have an equal set of opportunities, primarily through access to education, I'm with you (although you know the means will spark debate). If it means a guy like you, who chooses not to work should have the same amount of money as someone else -- nope.

Bruce Fealk said...

Chet, the modern Republican party, the George W. Bush loyalists are the people I'm specifically speaking to, don't give a whit abou the environment.

Nixon obviously did, but the Nixonian Republican party is long gone, as is the party as it behaved under Dwight Eisenhower. The current iteration of the Republican party favors privitization of all aspects of American life, including the military through companies such as Blackwater, KBR and others. That hasn't worked out so well, what with the contractors killing innocent Iraqis and generally making a mess of the security situation in Baghdad and the reconstruction process.

The latest DoD authorization even tries to sneak in using the military domestically, which sounds like Bush is preparing for martial law to me.

As far as fear, I will give you the fact that both parties have used fear at times. What I'm specifically referring to is the use of fear to allow the government to justify warrantless wiretapping and torture, just to name a couple examples.