June 3, 2006

Jim Mowen jumps into blogsphere, casting himself as a middle of the road kind of guy.

This is somewhat of a hoot.

Just noticed a new blog with the initially baffling title "Left-Right-Wrong" listed on the D/A blog roundup page and gave it a look.

The site has a mission statement of sorts in the header which reads,
There is an Ultra-Right in this Country, and an Ultra-Left, both are equally as dangerous. This site is for those people intelligent enough to 'stay away from the 'kool-aid' of each 'ultra-side'. Let's discuss 'issues' based on facts. If we reasonably and logically discuss issues, we all can come closer to voicing our opinions, voting and living as Americans first - and as a party affiliation second. If you have a specific 'ultra' agenda, please go elsewhere. Thank you for joining in!
OK, that's a perfectly legitmate outlook, of course, but what made my eyebrows shoot skyward was when I noticed who's producing the blog.

None other than right-wing fundementalist and defeated Republican congressional candidate, Jim Mowen. Somehow, calls for meeting in the middle sound pretty strange coming from Mowen. The guy is about as far from the middle of the road as a person can get.

But typically for folks of his stripe, I'm sure he's so convinced of the rightness and purity of his views that he firmly believes that he's smack in the middle of the political spectrum and considers himself open minded and tolerant. (Even while favoring putting the government in people's bedrooms and legislating morality. HIS morality, natch.)

In fact, based on the positions he favored during the campaign, Mowen showed that while he may not be out on the extreme right wing fringe, it's a short trip from where he stands.

Yet Mowen warns partisans on either end of the spectrum away from the blog.

Guess only those out on the right edge of the political spectrum will be considered "intelligent enough to stay away from the "kool-ade" of each "ultra-side".

God works in mysterious ways.


At 6/03/2006 11:46 AM, Blogger IHG said...

Thanks for the review, now here is a challenge,

1. Read my blog,
2. Feel free to comment on whatever you feel is blatent ultra right-wing conservative.

I think that you will find it difficult. The fact is that it is easy to label people, as you are apparently fond of doing, when you yourself hide who you are. If you are so fond of your beliefs, allow yourself to be identified with them. How valuable can your opinions be if you will not even stand by them?

However, I will stand by my opinions and beliefs. I will allow you to be your critical-self with them. However, I only ask that you refrain from your pompous steriotypes and discuss facts.

If you think that you know me, please state where my positions are not in the middle of the political spectrum. And again, please feel free to watch the blog and tell me where my positions are not middle.

I look forward to seeing if you will be able to come up with anything other than ultra left-wing ramblings.

At 6/03/2006 3:41 PM, Blogger DookOfURL said...

I agree with ihg here. Let's get real here----"center" is in the eye of the beholder.

I'm not going to criticize you, Dope,for being anonymous, because I'm anonymous too.

But I was someone who encouraged ihg to begin blogging, and I'm happy he decided to do it. One reason is we need more political diversity in our local blogs----most local bloggers (when identified) are left-wing. Another thing is that ihg brings a unique voice and experience on economic development matters here in the QCs, something you evidently think we don't need.

At 6/03/2006 4:16 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I haven't had time to respond to "IHG", whoever it may be, for scolding me and suggesting my opinions aren't to be take seriously because I'm anonymous. (Of course, they make this judgement anonymously. Just can't beat that for pure irony.)

He or she also has the rather bizarre view that if I'm anonymous, I don't stand behind my views.

Pretty dumb in light of the fact that I've been standing behind my views for over a year now.

They also think my opinions are somehow not "valuable" unless I attach a DIFFERENT name to them.

Expressing my views as The Inside Dope means that my views don't count, I guess.

But if I call myself Bob, or Ted, or Steve, or Alice or Pedro, or LaFonda, or Pierre, or Frank, or Betty, I guess THEN my views would magically become "valuable."

I'd point out as well that I've always welcomed other bloggers to the scene, as I welcome this one.

I have no reason to feel otherwise. I think it's great that more people are starting blogs and I expect this one will do just fine.

The more the merrier in my view.

And I don't give a rat's ass where someone stands politically, everyone has a right to start a blog. To think otherwise is ridiculous and petty.

I'm not sure where you get the idea that I think that any input or insight on development is "not needed". I've certainly never expressed a view anywhere close to that.

I wish more people would step forward and participate and comment here, and lend their knowledge and perspective to things.

Instead, they sit back, say nothing at all or if they do, they simply attack me for expressing my views.

Apparently, rather than participate and make this blog more lively and diverse, they feel that they need to start their own blogs.

I've also noticed that if it weren't for me, at least one, if not two blogs wouldn't even exist.

It was my prompting people to register with blogspot that caused one or two to go ahead and start their own blogs.

That's fine with me, and good luck to them.

I don't have time to respond to the rest of the mysterious "IHG"s browbeating of me for being anonymous or the rest of his comment, but expect to do so later if I can find the time.

(Actually, I had a complete reply written only to have it vanish into thin air when I attempted to submit it here. It didn't go through and was lost entirely. Now I have to try to reconstruct the damn thing. Ugh.)

At 6/03/2006 5:17 PM, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Three points:

1. "Blatent" is probably an attempt to express "Blatant";

2. So I guess non-pompous "steriotypes" are OK. Kind of reminds me of when the Canadian sprinter flunked the steroid test--He protested "I didn't steal no Stereo!"

3. IF IHG and Mowen are the same guy, they have a totally whacked position on Unemployment compensation and "community service".

Thank you and God Bless the United States of America

At 6/03/2006 5:19 PM, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Just don't call yourself "Alice" one day and "Pedro" the next. Increases wardrobe costs.

At 6/03/2006 5:50 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...


So true. I can't even afford enough clothes as it is, let alone having to "accessorize".

And I recall Mowen being whole-heartedly in favor of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as well, despite the fact that the reserves there would supply the country's needs for only a few months.

I'm sure some carribou don't think he's "mainstream" at least. But I suppose they're just ultra-extremists too.

At 6/03/2006 5:56 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...


So true. I can't even afford enough clothes as it is, let alone having to "accessorize".

And I recall Mowen being whole-heartedly in favor of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as well, despite the fact that the reserves there would supply the country's needs for only a few months.

I'm sure some carribou don't think he's "mainstream" at least. But I suppose they're just ultra-extremists too.

Then there's his firmly anti-choice views and support for the government making criminals out of doctors or women who terminate a pregnancy, and of course, he doesn't feel gay people should have the same rights as the rest of us, neither of which are supported by a majority in the country.

If the shoe were on the other foot, I'm sure he'd consider those views "extreme", since that's become so common these days.

Actually, all sorts of issues which don't enjoy anything close to the support of a majority of Americans are firmly and rightously believed to be correct by the right, and anyone who disagrees is nearly automatically labeled an extremist, even though it's the right who's views are out of the mainstream.

At 6/03/2006 6:08 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Here's just one issue of many where Mowen isn't "middle-of-the-road" and stand firmly on the right.

He thinks massive tax cuts for those making a half million dollars or more, including multi-millionaires, should be made permanent, despite the fact that a majority of economists feel that it's been a disaster and a serious danger to our country's economic future.

At a time when the Republican lead government is spending us into unheard of record level deficits as far as the eye can see, with only more and more coming down the road, Mowen and other's feel it's the perfect time to cut the country's tax revenues by TRILLIONS of dollars.

If that's not out there, I don't know what is.

Trickle down has been tried in the past and even it's prime architect described it as a sham and "voodoo" economics.(David Stockman)

It failed then, and it's failing now, yet Mowen apparently supports an economy where if you click your heels together three times and slash the obligation of the very wealthiest among us to give back to the country that made it possible, then the economy will magically grow.

Make the rich richer, the poor poorer, and with a little miracle thrown into the equation somewhere, it will all work out great.

Talk about a "faith-based" view of economic reality.

There's all sorts of issues where he's no-where near the middle of the road, including the rather daft idea that sending our sons and daughters to be cannon fodder in Iraq is somehow prventing the "terrists" from attacking us here.

That, quite simply, is ridiculous logic on its face.

At 6/04/2006 2:40 PM, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Oh and he's either on a long vacation or he whacks posts which disagree with him. I wrote a fairly long reply to his absurd proposal that people on Unemployment, you know, the folks we are trying to turn back into TAXPAYERS, should do "community service". It was my postion that their job is look for a job or train for the next job. (That also happens to be the public policy of the state of Illinois.).

Anyway, it has not emerged onto his supposedly "free-for-all" blog. So much for the free exchange of ideas.

At 6/04/2006 6:32 PM, Blogger tiz said...

"Women are basically created to give birth"

That sounds like a moderate position to me. He at least leaves the door open for things like leaving the kitchen and voting.

At 6/05/2006 6:46 AM, Blogger IHG said...

Please excuse the misunderstanding, IHG and Jim Mowen are the same - I will make certain that this is clear from now on.

As for the 'tax the rich mentality'/ 'trickle down economics' issue, please let's understand that about 40% of the citizens of this country pay NO taxes and the richest 10% of this country pay 90% of the taxes.

As for trickle-down economics...back in the late 80's, liberals worked through a tax-the-rich scheme called 'The Luxury Tax'. Without being long-winded about this, the fact is that 150,000 union jobs were lost on the East Coast (ship/ boat building industry) and the law/ tax was repealed. Trickle-down economics in reverse.

As for TIZ comment...come on TIZ, do you believe everything you read in the paper? I was discussing the abortion issue with the reporter. I was discussing the issues that the pro-abortion never wants to discuss, (1) the physical consequences of abortion (that women who have abortions are far more likely to have breast cancer) and, (2) the emotional consequences of abortion. Specifically, I said...

Biologically, women, not men, were created to give birth (a fact, TIZ, that I suspect that you would agree with). When a women chooses to work directly against this issue, there can be serious emotional consequences. I, in fact, then spoke directly to an issue of this nature that I witnessed firsthand, 20-years after the abortion.

The writer of the article does not dispute this discussion, he still stands by his (mis) quote. As I told him, either he is a terrible writer (which I do not believe) or he had an agenda.

I would be happy to address any other topics - and will, over time, in Right-Left-Wrong.

Have a great day!

At 6/05/2006 12:57 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

A couple things you conveniently left out of your post are, A. where are you getting your data that the top 10% of the wealthiest in our society pay 90% of the taxes, and B. what percent of the wealth of this country does that top 10% control?

The top ONE PERCENT of the population, a very very tiny number, control THIRTY percent of the wealth in the country.

The top FIVE PERCENT control FIFTY FOUR percent of the wealth.

The top TEN PERCENT of the population controls SIXTY SEVEN percent of wealth,

and the top TWENTY PERCENT control a whopping EIGHTY ONE PERCENT of total net worth held.

Yeah...we need to do something about that.

But it's not enacting tax breaks to skew those numbers even further in the direction of the very wealthy.

The first line of a detailed study written by a University of Virginia professor and a Federal Reserve Bank member and professor from the University of Minnesota reads, "In the United States wealth is highly concentrated and very unequally distributed."

And you're arguing that they should pay LESS taxes? That the already horribly skewed distribution of wealth should be increased?

Are you seriously making the case that you think the already enormous inequality in wealth is not big enough and so tax policy should be jiggered to ensure that more income flows to those who already are making tens of thousands PER DAY?

And this at a time when the country is nearly buried in debt and record deficits, fighting an unending war and beset with huge problems at home such as Katrina and "homeland" security?

You think that's what should be a priority right now? Giving tax breaks to the very richest in the country?

And if you check your figures, you'd quickly find that these top 10% of the very rich that we're supposed to feel are so mistreated for pay FAR FAR less tax as a percentage of income than the clerk at Wal-Mart or you or I or the manager of a dry cleaners or anyone else.

Trying to convince people that the ultra wealthy are put upon is the message of someone who's either gullible, has fantasies of being allowed into the top 10% (keep dreaming) or at least getting their favor (which you might if you keep spouting such nonsense in their behalf) or is simply a willing mouthpiece for their interests.

I simply fail to see how making tax breaks for the very wealthiest of this country, a small percentage which already controls a proportion of the country's wealth far, far, far out of proportion to their numbers, is morally right or responsible.

It sounds like more of that odd perversion of Christianity that conflates wealth with moral worth. A sort of capitalist corpratocracy which throws out all the admonissions to make sure the poor and needy are cared for first and that we are our brother's keeper, and instead adheres to the survival of the fittest, dog eat dog view and feels the wealthy are somehow favored by God (or that God will make them rich if they adhere to their leaders wishes) while those less fortunate are poor due to moral defects and therefore deserve no compassion or help.

Sort of a version of Christianity where miraculously, greed is suddenly a virtue, as is veiled bigotry and disdain for the poor, and anyone who dosn't share their beliefs, for that matter.

When you succumb to the belief that your political views are God's will, there's not much room for compromise. That can lead to a LOT of problems which we're currently witnessing.

I think the mullah led governments of the mid-east are a good example of where that leads.

At 6/05/2006 1:17 PM, Blogger IHG said...

Dope, what on earth are you talking about? How does my faith, which you know nothing about, make it into your extremely long-winded discussion of your Socialist-manefesto?

I have never mentioned faith, yet again, you want to label me something for what reason, to make yourself sound more clever?

We live in the greatest Country on earth. The US has this distinction because of the free-market system. Are some people going to have more than others - certainly. Are we going to have people that are struggling - certainly.

However, to suggest that people paying millions of dollars per year in income taxes are greedy or terrible Americans stepping all over the little guy - you are just out of line.

Just for you, I will get the detailed information and provide a blog on the true facts of both taxes - and the real facts on the tax reduction. I hope that information from a leading accounting firm is ok for you, that this would not be the "capitalistic pigs protecting their own."

However, I am going to have to leave you to your own devices - you seem so steadfast on labeling me - and you seem to have so few objective thoughts, that i suspect that few people take you very seriously, other than maybe the few other socialists that we might have here in the Quad-Cities.

I certainly see why you would never dream of allowing your true identity to be known.

At 6/06/2006 2:21 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Well Jim, ya can't say I didn't try.

You're quite possibly the biggest hypocrite I've come across in a long long time.

You state your mission on your blog as trying to find common ground, dealing with issues squarely and fairly and avoiding extremes on either side. Fair enough.

But yet when I simply responded to your statements and provided facts and figures as well as my views on things, you ... well, you freaked out, essentially.

To me, it seems you are essentially saying, and correct me if I'm wrong, "You disagree with me TOO much, your views are not close enough to mine, therefore, I refuse to recognize your views, refuse to even acknowledge them, and refuse to debate with you."

Seems like a pretty arrogant way to do business to me, as well as a convenient ploy to avoid having to defend your views or prove mine wrong.

You get flustered, didn't know what to say or how to respond. You're backed into a corner with no way out without looking foolish, and so... what do you do?

Well, first thing you do is that while whining about my labeling you, you label my views as a "socialist manifesto".


I guess that excuses you from having to respond to the facts and opinions in my comment, debating them, or even thinking about what I wrote. Wrap them up in a neat little category and toss them all out.

What a cop-out.

Not too confident of your beliefs or ability to defend them I guess. You're probably much more used to those who agree with you and apparently fall apart when anyone questions your views in a fundamental way or holds views too far from your own.

And just for good measure, you pretend that you don't understand English and simply can't understand what I wrote.

Hell, have someone else read it for you. Perhaps a kid who's handy, I’m sure they’d get it.

It's not pretty, nor is anywhere close to the most cogent writing ever. I write when I can, and unfortunately that’s often after a zillion other obligations when I’m very tired. I apologize as far as it not being perfectly laid out or it taking a little effort to comprehend.

But the points are all there and I know for certain that my writing is clear enough for anyone interested in actually comprehending them. But you can't seem to muster the effort.

So just slap a bogey-man label on me and my views, say they're so crazy your poor brain isn't capable of the small effort it would take to understand it and .... walk away.

Nice work Jim. Saves you from being humiliated and defending your views or proving mine wrong.

You would have been a star on the floor of congress. If anyone challenged you, you'd grab your papers in a huff, call them whatever ten-cent hot-button epithet came to mind, and stomp back to your office.

Conservative theory crumbles like a $2 suitcase in the rain when faced with facts, reality and history. It's really not that hard to demolish and debunk it.

The truth is, it is in every sense of the word, "faith-based" as it requires that reality and historical fact be suspended and scoffed at by its adherents.

Yet I figured you'd last a little longer than this before running off in a snit.

I'd also hasten to point out that I didn't say a word about your faith.

I find it quite interesting that you immediately assumed that I was referring to you specifically when I expressed my views on this perversion of Christianity currently infesting Republican politics which stands it's basic tenets of compassion and tolerance on their heads.

Interesting indeed. If the shoe fits and all that I guess.

So by the way you tossed it out like an epithet that we can assume you think socialism is a very insidious and evil system? That's fine. You have every right to think so if you wish.

I myself don’t think pure socialism is a very good system and it’s failed historically. But a healthy dose of socialism in the mix is both good and necessary. And if you were honest, you’d realize that our system has all sorts of “socialist” aspects to it, some you'd likely never dare oppose.

Do you want them all eliminated? Which ones would you do away with? What about social security and other so-called entitlement programs? In the trash? Too "socialist" for you? Would you dump every New Deal program?

Do you, in your ideological purity, want to eliminate taxes completely and just let everyone fend for themselves? Survival of the fittest? Government has no role in caring for the least of these?

Privatize our roads until they're all toll roads? Privatize school systems? Hey, that's a great idea.

Be honest. Is that what you'd like to see happen?

I don't want to misunderstand you, and perhaps you support social programs for the needy. But based on reading your web site, I feel on firm ground in doubting it.

Return to social darwinism? That'll work. We did that that last time economic disparity was extreme back in the robber baron era of the 1800's and it was a smash hit. Bring back poor houses, child labor, eliminate income taxes, what the heck.

If anyone is poor or destitute, it's the result of some moral defect anyway and they don't deserve our common support and assistance.

Hell, just wipe out the middle class altogether. It seems everything the Republicans propose is designed with that eventuality down the road in mind anyway.

I also find a huge cognitive disconnect in your brand of "anti-government" conservative.

You want to eliminate Government and feel it’s “the problem” as an article of faith, yet you want to get into government yourself in the worst way, (and I do mean worst. Maybe that's why you don't win around here.) thus becoming the very government you condemn and scorn.

I wish you could square that one up for me.

The right, and particularly the Christian right, don't want government telling them what to do. They want government out of their lives. But boy, do they ever want to get elected so they can tell other people what to do.

I'd also note, if I may, that the anti-government, anti-"tax and spend" right has shattered all previous records for pork spending as well as deficits, and has created the largest expansion of bureaucracy in history (homeland security) and that's not an easy feat. But they've managed to beat it by a long shot and it's still growing.)

So Jim, enjoy your blog where you are the one who determines who is too "extreme" to debate and who isn't, making it essentially an endless circle-jerk among the like-minded. I'm sure it will be riveting.

This should work out nicely for you, placing yourself in your self-described "center" that all other views must therefore revolve around, and only dealing with people who don't differ from your views too very much either way. What's that called again? Oh yeah, preaching to the choir.

Facing those whose views differ significantly from yours is obviously outside your "comfort zone" and we've just seen how you act when that happens.

Boy, you are really are arrogant and a bit stuffy. But that's not always bad. It's good to stick by your beliefs.

But it's also nice if you can defend them honestly without evading them by simply slapping a label on your opponent and then pronouncing them not worthy of your time. That's bullshit and you know it.

But thanks for making a token effort, and my sincere apologies as well for causing you to struggle through long comments.

I guess I have a lot to say. Sorry. Perhaps you should feel honored that I’d spend this much time and effort to respond?

Or maybe that’s not your style evidently.

I just write what I'd tell you to your face. But of course, go ahead and label it a "rant" or "screed" and suggest the length alone means I'm not to be taken seriously. If you have to resort to that little dodge too, go ahead.

Besides, you shouldn't be afraid of me.

This blog isn't my personal soapbox, or at least I certainly never intended it to be that alone. But if no one else is willing to step up and debate, then I’ll not shy away.

Several hundred people read the blog daily, and they certainly don't all agree with my views or opinions. I neither expect that nor does it bother me.

There might be someone out there who's not too hard to debate or would be closer to your views so it wouldn't be too tough on you.

I can't say, but maybe the many other readers here might enjoy hearing you try to makes sense our of your political views when they are challenged, not simply pontificating or pronouncing them to a like-minded audience.

Come back again if you ever feel you can handle having your views questioned and debated and are capable of defending them based on facts and reality.

I'd probably enjoy it.

But you just took your ball and went home.


At 6/06/2006 6:50 AM, Blogger IHG said...

Oh my goodness, Dope, relax a little. Simmer down there big-boy!

Wow, where did that come from? All I said was that I thought that you were off base by suggesting that individuals that are paying millions of dollars a year (individually) are greedy and owe more to the Country.

You take that and go into a frenzy far too long for me to deal with. I will stand by my comments and allow your readers to determine who they think may be reasonable in their position, comments and response.

Again, I have no idea of who you are, but I would suggest a little more time of relaxation, as this blogging thing has you wound a little too tight.

At 6/06/2006 4:52 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I'm not "uptight", I just tend to get a little pissed when thinking about what the right is doing to this great country.

And run your blog for a year, then get back with me and we'll see how cool, calm, and collected you are by then.


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