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Resorting to name-calling? At least get it right (LIBERAL BEMOANS USE OF THE 'C-WORD')
SouthtownStar - Chicago ^ | July 11, 2010 | Kathleen Rooney

Posted on 07/11/2010 8:33:17 AM PDT by Chi-townChief

Last Saturday afternoon, my sister and her husband were out in Lemont to attend their niece's fourth birthday party. Burgers and brats were sizzling on the grill, presents were piled on the living room coffee table, and the U.S.-Ghana World Cup game was playing on the flatscreen.

When one of the other guests discovered that my sister and her husband were not rooting for the Americans, but rather were quietly pulling for the underdog Ghana, he became belligerent, calling them a number of names that are unprintable in a family newspaper but also asserting that they were "a couple of filthy communists," "total commies," "godless commies," etc., etc., pursuing them through the party - ignoring their reluctance to engage him and their insistence that it was just a soccer match and thus no big deal who anybody rooted for - until they had no choice but to leave.

Such uncivil and combative behavior is boorish and horrible regardless of the epithets the man happened to be using. But his repeated variation on the theme of "communist" is just one more example of an increasingly obnoxious trend that has been plaguing the so-called "discourse" of the American right.

This trend, of course, is the rampant misuse and frequent misapplication of the terms "communism" and "communist" that keep getting tossed around angrily by name-calling conservatives in relation to any idea that is not marching in absolute lockstep with their own ideology.

"Communism" and "communist" are real and useful terms with precise meanings and histories. But they are almost never properly employed anymore. Instead, what conservatives generally mean when they name-call someone a "communist" is: "I disagree with you, and I resent and oppose your democratic right to hold and express an opinion that is different from mine, antithetical as that is to the entire concept and spirit of democracy."

So, today's column is about words, definitions and really saying what you honestly mean. And, conservatives, I'm not necessarily saying that you shouldn't call anyone a "communist." I'm just here to help you make sure that if you do, you're doing it correctly, and that if what you really mean is, "Anybody with perspectives or values that differ from my own needs to shut up and go away," then you can just say that instead!

For starters, to return to the unfortunate incident in Lemont, is being a fan of a different sports team than someone else really the same as communism? Which is to say, is it identical - per the actual definition of "communism" - to: embracing a social structure in which classes are eradicated and property is commonly controlled? No. It might make you mad or confused to view a sporting event at which not every single spectator feels like chanting "USA!" and "We're No. 1!", but it is not, technically, "communist."

As you have likely noticed, though, the gross misapplication of the terms "communism" and "communist" is not limited to children's birthday parties in the south suburbs. These errors are everywhere in the so-called American political "conversation."

On June 24, for instance, Glenn Beck, who already has established himself as a misuser extraordinaire of the whole notion of communism, dedicated that evening's entire program to attempting to rehabilitate the reputation of red-baiting Sen. Joseph McCarthy and to defining virtually each and every progressive idea or cause as equivalent to "communism."

Because it is sad to see proud Americans such as Glenn Beck and the gentleman at the party want, so badly, to express themselves with great clarity and insight, yet be unable to do so accurately, I propose the following simple, three-question checklist of queries you can use whenever you feel your lips twitch to form the C-word.

Just ask yourself: Is the thing or idea that I am attempting to berate or dismiss out of hand with a single word (as opposed to thoughtful debate):

1. A political theory of total collectivism in an utterly classless and stateless society? If no, don't say "communist"; just say, "Shut up." If yes, go right ahead.

2. An economic system based on the principle "From each according to their ability, to each according to their need"? If no, don't say "communist"; just say, "I am incapable of listening to, let alone respecting or considering, an opinion that is not the same as mine." If yes, go right ahead.

3. A form of socialism that abolishes private ownership? If no, don't say "communist"; just say, "My ignorance makes me defensive and hostile toward people who make different decisions than I do." If yes, go right ahead.

See? Easy. Clip this column. Stick it to your fridge with an American flag magnet. Put it in your wallet next to your National Rifle Association membership card. Whatever. It's a free country.

And free means free to have your own opinion. So don't wear out the words "commie" or "communist," which certainly have their uses but possibly not the ones you think.

While I am making lists, here are a handful of beliefs with which you may disagree, but which, if you do agree with them, do not automatically render you a "communist" - "godless," "filthy," or otherwise:

• A new path to citizenship for immigrants to this country.

• Environmental protections.

• Equal rights for gay, lesbian and transgendered people.

• Equal rights for women.

• The idea that massive, faceless, multibillion-dollar corporations are not, in fact, "human" and should not be treated as such under the law.

• The idea that the government can provide useful services and programs besides just the imperialist spread of war, aka "defense."

• Public transportation and/or bicycles.

• Paying your taxes.

• The separation of church and state.

• Vegetarianism/veganism.

• Universal health care.

I could continue with this list, but these are just the tip of the complicated iceberg of views I have recently expressed, which have subsequently gotten me declared, incorrectly, an adherent of "communism" in various private and public settings. There is a lot to discuss about each of these issues, but there is not a lot to indicate that any of them are especially "red"/"pinko"/"dirty commie."

Would it be preferable to engage in a discourse that really was a discourse? In which nuance and debate were genuinely welcome, and differing opinions and suggestions were not rejected summarily with a single, curt word? Sure it would.

But in the meantime, if you are going to call somebody a reductive and belittling name bec ause they think thoughts that are not identical to yours, then please, have some pride, and at least call the right ones.

KATHLEEN ROONEY IS A FORMER U.S. SENATE AIDE AND WRITER LIVING IN CHICAGO. HER LATEST BOOK OF ESSAYS IS "FOR YOU, FOR YOU I AM TRILLING THESE SONGS."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: commies; liberals; rats; worldcup
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To: Chi-townChief
"Communism" and "communist" are real and useful terms with precise meanings and histories. But they are almost never properly employed anymore.

LOL! This is from a political point of view that throws around "Nazi," "Fascist," "racist," "apartheid," etc.

51 posted on 07/11/2010 9:38:01 AM PDT by denydenydeny ("Why should I feed pirates?"--Russian officer off Somalia)
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To: xp38
"The people mentioned in this piece were cheering Ghana because the participants were black."

Must be hell for them to decide who to root for at an NBA game.

52 posted on 07/11/2010 9:38:52 AM PDT by Enterprise (As a disaster unfolds, a putz putts.)
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To: Chi-townChief
Well, without more discussion, it's impossible to know if the Ghana fans were Communists or simply anti-American, unpatriotic, and disloyal. Or, possibly they were black and pulling for Ghana because they were racists. We simply don't know. I find Rooney's definition of Communism telling...

Just ask yourself: Is the thing or idea that I am attempting to berate or dismiss out of hand with a single word (as opposed to thoughtful debate):

1. A political theory of total collectivism in an utterly classless and stateless society? If no, don't say "communist"; just say, "Shut up." If yes, go right ahead.

2. An economic system based on the principle "From each according to their ability, to each according to their need"? If no, don't say "communist"; just say, "I am incapable of listening to, let alone respecting or considering, an opinion that is not the same as mine." If yes, go right ahead.

3. A form of socialism that abolishes private ownership? If no, don't say "communist"; just say, "My ignorance makes me defensive and hostile toward people who make different decisions than I do." If yes, go right ahead

Didn't she just define the entire Obama administration and the bulk of the democrat party?
53 posted on 07/11/2010 9:43:26 AM PDT by Entrepreneur (The environmental movement is filled with watermelons - green on the outside, red on the inside)
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To: Chi-townChief

Obviously the years of hopping from bed to bed have caused her brains to be completely effed out.


54 posted on 07/11/2010 9:53:15 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: xp38
The people mentioned in this piece were cheering Ghana because the participants were black.

Yes, you broke the code.
Addtionally, theGhana players were NOT American, and in the crowd described by this simple liberal Rooney, there were likely few people who were not bitter, America-hating mice.

55 posted on 07/11/2010 9:56:51 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: arrogantsob

Yes, I was thinking the same thing. As I read the rather childishly executed ‘essay’ I assumed that she was an ordinary citizen not accustomed to writing for the public eye. And then I read that she was a ‘congressional writer’?!


56 posted on 07/11/2010 10:04:03 AM PDT by ransomnote
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To: Chi-townChief
KATHLEEN ROONEY IS A FORMER U.S. SENATE AIDE

Thank God it's 'former'. I'll just bet I know which US Senator she's a 'former' aid to.

L

57 posted on 07/11/2010 10:06:26 AM PDT by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: DManA

I get the impression that this...’essayist’...goes around seething with rage at conservatives and all it takes is for some anonymous boorish person of unknown political persuasion to cut her off in traffic, take her parking space, or steal her morning newspaper for her to ‘let us have it’; we are to blame for every tear and disappointment.
It’s kind of amusing, for some strange reason, to see an ‘essayist’ of third rate skill holding herself up as suitable school mistress fit to ‘teach’ people who read and write better than does. Once again, a liberal is only happy when telling others how to act.


58 posted on 07/11/2010 10:11:46 AM PDT by ransomnote
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To: Chi-townChief
what conservatives generally mean when they name-call someone a "communist" is: "I disagree with you, and I resent and oppose your democratic right to hold and express an opinion that is different from mine, antithetical as that is to the entire concept and spirit of democracy."

Glad she stated this relatively early in her piece, saved me reading the rest.

59 posted on 07/11/2010 10:13:20 AM PDT by kanawa (Obama - "It's going to take a while for us to dig ourselves out of this hole.'')
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To: A_Former_Democrat
The left demands different standards of conduct from people who oppose them. Here are a few images from the Bush years that weren't a problem for them:


60 posted on 07/11/2010 10:22:22 AM PDT by Richard Kimball (We're all criminals. They just haven't figured out what some of us have done yet.)
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To: Lancey Howard
bitter, America-hating mice

I'm finding a way to steal this phrase, Lancey.

61 posted on 07/11/2010 10:26:30 AM PDT by denydenydeny ("Why should I feed pirates?"--Russian officer off Somalia)
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To: Lancey Howard
So... she does nude modeling?

Indeed, and from her writings, nude modeling is the only worthwhile thing she's ever done.
62 posted on 07/11/2010 10:37:59 AM PDT by Dr.Zoidberg (Warning: Sarcasm/humor is always engaged. Failure to recognize this may lead to misunderstandings.)
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Why don’t Rooney and her phony baloney sister move to Ghana? Or someplace equally far and foreign. By the way, I don’t for one minute believe the fabricated Lamont “incident.” Although I DO believe that Rooney and her kind consistently root against America. Heck, they cheer for America to lose wars, why wouldn’t they side with America’s opponents in something as frivolous as a soccer game?


63 posted on 07/11/2010 11:13:21 AM PDT by Godwin1
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To: Chi-townChief

How about "Illuminati"?

That has a specific meaning too.
Apparently there is also a handshake.
And puppet strings.


And population control.

"Most of us believe socialism is what the socialists want us to believe it is - a share-the-wealth program. That is the theory. But is that how it works?... If one understands that socialism is not a share-the-wealth program, but is in reality a method to consolidate and control the wealth, then the seeming paradox of super-rich men promoting socialism becomes no paradox at all. Instead it becomes the logical, even the perfect tool of power-seeking megalomaniacs. Communism, or more accurately, socialism, is not a movement of the downtrodden masses, but of the economic elite." - Gary Allen, None Dare Call It Conspiracy


64 posted on 07/11/2010 11:15:49 AM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: Chi-townChief
Paying your taxes

The article revolves all around her, so why didn't she write the belief: Paying my taxes?

65 posted on 07/11/2010 11:31:52 AM PDT by Reeses (Sowcialist: a voter bought with food stamps)
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To: Chi-townChief

Why did they have a soccer game on? It’s so GAY


66 posted on 07/11/2010 11:38:28 AM PDT by faucetman (Just the facts ma'am, just the facts)
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To: Chi-townChief

Communist.


67 posted on 07/11/2010 11:43:41 AM PDT by Trillian
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To: Chi-townChief
Kathleen Rooney should do less column writing and wayyyyyyyyyyy more nude modeling.

It seems that Kathleen Rooney is doing a metaphysical form of nude modeling in the last part of her article by espousing the principles exposed in Cleon Skousen's "The Naked Communist." Glenn Beck has referred to Mr. Skousen, too.

68 posted on 07/11/2010 12:53:03 PM PDT by Stepan12 (Palin & Bolton in 2012)
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To: Grunthor

The guest way out of line was the one that wouldn’t shut up...One does not make everyone uncomfortable when being a guest at someone else’s home....I’d have a few things to say to such a bore, then I would leave...The hostess should have shut the guy up....and if he couldn’t, she should have told him to leave....one name to drop off for any future partys.


69 posted on 07/11/2010 1:03:37 PM PDT by goat granny
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Rooney worked for Turban Durbin: the guy who called GIs Nazis. ‘Nough said


70 posted on 07/11/2010 1:34:07 PM PDT by Godwin1
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To: Chi-townChief
Resorting to name-calling?

Kathleen's confused. When I call her ideas 'communist', I'm not name calling. I'm commenting on how her views are alike with communist and socialist goals. How can she be 'insulted' if it is what it is?

71 posted on 07/11/2010 2:39:30 PM PDT by fortunecookie (Please pray for Anna, age 7, who waits for a new kidney.)
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To: Chi-townChief
attempting to rehabilitate the reputation of red-baiting Sen. Joseph McCarthy

THAT tired old canard. Ann Coulter demolished this leftoid crap years ago.

72 posted on 07/11/2010 2:48:46 PM PDT by don-o (My son, Ben - Marine Lance Corporal texted me at 0330 on 2/3/10: AMERICA!)
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To: Entrepreneur
Didn't she just define the entire Obama administration and the bulk of the democrat party?

I think there is more as regards Communism. Not only is there Karl Marx's economic Communism (theory of surplus value), but there is also cultural Communism, to use William Lind's description, or kitsch Communism to use David Horowitz's description; e.g., so-called political correctness.

PC is a form of Communism. Gramsci wanted to destroy the culture or Communism would never take root in western Europe or the U.S.

David Horowitz refers to PC a kitsch Communism because it is just so ridiculous or unimanginable. At least Marx's view of a classless society is imaginable, but a raceless, sexless (in terms of sex differences) society is ridiculous. PC is a further degraded form of Communism and one can taunt un American types as Communist because they probably regard America as imperialistic in keeping with Lenin's work of imperialism being another wretched stage of Capitalism.

73 posted on 07/11/2010 3:28:42 PM PDT by Stepan12 (Palin & Bolton in 2012)
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To: Entrepreneur
Incidentally, I admit in this talkshow I taunted this Leftwinger as a Commie so I may be the one that Karen Rooney is talking about.

A Leftist on talkradio (David Brudnoy's) was mean to me so I taunted him as a Commie

74 posted on 07/11/2010 3:36:52 PM PDT by Stepan12 (Palin & Bolton in 2012)
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To: ml/nj

Part of the problem is that really aren’t any communists anymore. Except for their true kook fringe, the left has more or less given up on the whole collective ownership of the means of production thing. Enough history has happened that even they realize that their preferred system is a failure in terms of its ability to create wealth. If the world went socialist, a third of humanity would immediately die of starvation. Even the left can see this. So they’ve more or less ceded that function to people who can perform actually produce, and resigned themselves to being a modifying force rather than the primary force. Their role now is to redistribute and to regulate and to demonize and to moralize and to nanny people around and to do everything they can on the social front to make middle America feel threatened and uncomfortable. The particular forms that this tends to take are more amorphous and less neatly categorized than the writer suggests, and so her little list is pretty worthless. Socialism has become kind of like pornography in that it’s about impossible to define but you know it when you see it.


75 posted on 07/11/2010 3:53:50 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Lazamataz

See, I was thinking the c word was 4 letters, Laz, when I started reading this little article.

Actually, ‘it’ must be somewhat large in this case, eh?

Please tell me you wouldn’t hit this. ;>


76 posted on 07/11/2010 3:57:14 PM PDT by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spirito Sancto.)
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To: combat_boots

Hell yeah, I'd hit it.

77 posted on 07/11/2010 5:01:24 PM PDT by Lazamataz
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To: Chi-townChief
"Last Saturday afternoon, my sister and her husband were out in Lemont to attend their niece's fourth birthday party. Burgers and brats were sizzling on the grill,..."

My goodness -- since bratwurst is not a staple of the Deep South -- I first imagined burgers and shreiking 4yo's on the grill when I read that sentence.

78 posted on 07/11/2010 5:12:04 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies. Plan it.)
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To: Chi-townChief

I agree with much of what she says here.

I would love to have a discussion with her about my own designation for the political system that the current crop of “progressives” in America are espousing: One-World Fascism, or CommuFascist.

She would have to start over in her screed against me, since her comments 1,2, and 3 do not apply.


79 posted on 07/11/2010 5:14:10 PM PDT by AFPhys ((Praying for our troops, our citizens, that the Bible and Freedom become basis of the US law again))
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To: Chi-townChief

Whenever I watch the World Cup, I root for the Amphetamines.


80 posted on 07/11/2010 7:20:45 PM PDT by sig226 (Bring back Jimmy Carter!!!)
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To: Chi-townChief
Instead, what conservatives generally mean when they name-call someone a "communist" is: "I disagree with you, and I resent and oppose your democratic right to hold and express an opinion that is different from mine, antithetical as that is to the entire concept and spirit of democracy."

Ah, so a communist is the same thing as a racist to the liberals...someone they don't agree with.

81 posted on 07/11/2010 9:16:56 PM PDT by highlander_UW (Education is too important to abdicate control of it to the government)
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To: Chi-townChief

>> Kathleen Rooney: Such uncivil and combative behavior is boorish and horrible regardless...

LOL - the pen is mightier than the boor.


82 posted on 07/11/2010 9:29:49 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Your Hope has been redistributed. Here's your Change.)
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To: rfp1234
Pics, please.

sure....hows this one?

well, you did ask for one.


83 posted on 07/11/2010 9:48:50 PM PDT by skinkinthegrass (Zer0 to the voters: "Here's my DeathCARE Plan"...now....just die (quicky), please. :^)
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To: Chi-townChief

Sen. Durbin staffer Kathleen Rooney fired for writing a too-revealing book

Kathleen Rooney (Courtesy of Counterpoint Press)
There’s a reason people get nervous around writers: You never know what might end up in their books.

Kathleen Rooney, a staffer for Sen. Dick Durbin, was fired earlier this month after the release of her latest book, “For You, for You I Am Trilling These Songs.” The autobiographical essays include three chapters about working in a Senate office: insider gossip, staff secrets and a complicated flirtation between the author and her boss, Durbin’s state director in Illinois.

Rooney, 29, has always blended politics and writing. She started as a summer intern in the Democratic senator’s Chicago office in 1999, worked two more summers, then returned full time as a Senate aide in 2007. Along the way, the GW grad published four other books: “Reading With Oprah,” two collections of poetry and a memoir about working as an artist’s model.


84 posted on 07/11/2010 10:01:09 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: Stepan12

David Brudnoy was known as a libertarian, and generally on the conservative side of libertarianism, although he often went off the reservation on one political issue or another.


85 posted on 07/11/2010 10:19:18 PM PDT by Lucius Cornelius Sulla (Good night. I expect more respect tomorrow - Danny H (RIP))
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To: skinkinthegrass
AAAAH! AAAAAGHHH!! FOUL! My eyes, my eyes!

That was low, dude.

86 posted on 07/12/2010 12:09:42 AM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: Stepan12
PC is a further degraded form of Communism .....

May I disagree a little? I'd say instead that it's the Frankfurt School rolling around in the mud and brawling, trying to reduce everything to ashes in their best "Disco Inferno" style.

Of course, their argument that all the bourgeois organs and institutions need to be destroyed down to the last brick so that tabula rasa Communism can arise unsullied from the foul ashes, is a huge lie, since they had before them even when they generated that pap, the example of the Russian Bolsheviks of 1917, who did no such thing after they stormed the Winter Palace but simply renamed the state ministries in an attempt to get other people THINK DIFFERENTLY about them after they came under Communist control.

So much for "burn that mother down!"

87 posted on 07/12/2010 12:17:40 AM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: sergeantdave
....at her next tofu and MD 20-20 party with the Black Panthers she’ll be craning her neck to listen for compliments on how enlightened and open-minded she is.

She'll get 'em, too, the first time she takes a bundle of coats back to the spare bedroom.

88 posted on 07/12/2010 12:20:25 AM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: JRios1968

I love that ‘argument’.

Soccer: biggest teams with the biggest money and the biggest support and stadiums buy the best players and get the biggest amount of TV money and revenue.
Pure capitalism.

American sports like the NFL, NBA, MLB: leagues set up so no one team can have all the best players, draft systems set up to ensure equality and parity.

AND ITS SOCCER THAT SOCIALIST AND COMMUNIST?....


89 posted on 07/12/2010 2:20:02 AM PDT by the scotsman
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To: lentulusgracchus
Antonio Gramsci is the other notable in this PC stuff and he saw the Communism was not popular with the workers of western Europe and he tried to do something about it. And that something was the collapse of western culture.
90 posted on 07/12/2010 4:18:12 AM PDT by Stepan12 (Palin & Bolton in 2012)
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To: Stepan12
Which was very much what Slick and Beast did, after the defeat of their healthcare grab-attempt, to screw over people's healthcare so they'd demand "single payer" (Sovietcare).

They tore down the Chinese wall that had separated medical practices and patient-doctor relationships from the insurance business. They deliberately let the insurance companies into medical practice, knowing they'd screw things up and make a big stink -- just to kill off fee-for-service medicine, which is the only honest, straight-up medical care.

They were and are conspiratorial scum. Which is easy to understand, considering that Hillary was/is an Alinsky whore and Slick's a Benedict Arnold sellout to the Chinese government.

Self-respecting flatworms and cockroaches cross the street when they see those two coming.

91 posted on 07/12/2010 4:32:16 AM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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