December 28, 2009

Racine stories of the decade

As 2009 winds down the media is spicing its annual "Year in Review" lists by a multiple of 10. "Decade in Review" lists are now in vogue, and who are we to miss a passing fad? We reviewed 2009 here. Now we'll take a look at the last 10 years, which have seen some pretty cool stories.

Consider this story a work in progress. We'll add and subtract as needed, so feel free to jump in with construction/destructive criticism. Also, because dates run together in our brains, these stories are in no particular order of chronology or importance.

Alright then .... here we go:

Sewer deal
We'll expand on this later, but the sewer deal between Racine and the surrounding communities east of I-94 was clearly a big deal. One of the clearest signs of its importance are, well, signs. Mount Pleasant and Caledonia each have their own signs along I-94; those signs used to only read Racine. The villages will be the engine for growth in eastern Racine County for the next decade.

North Beach revival
North Beach started the decade as a forgotten/ignored resource in the city. It ended the decade as one of Racine's jewels. Dr. Julie Kinzelman and her staff cleaned up the water for swimming in Lake Michigan, the community built a playground and supported the North Beach Oasis and the convention and visitors bureau brought in triathlons and volleyball tournaments. The result: North Beach may be the best beach on Lake Michigan.

Laurel Clark
Racine's astronaut was killed in a dramatic shuttle explosion on Feb. 1, 2003. The nation, even the world, turned its attention to Racine following the tragedy.

Becker arrest
Former Mayor Gary Becker's arrest and guilty pleas belongs on this list. Becker was the most influential mayor of the decade - and also the biggest failure.

Battleground Racine
The county remained about as evenly split between Democrats and Republicans as possible throughout the decade. We voted for Presidents Bush and Obama, for Sens. Stepp and Lehman, for Rep. Paul Ryan and Sens. Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold. We're not red or blue. We're purple.

Economy
Unfortunately, the local economy is purple from the lumps it took over the last 10 years. The city's unemployment rate was among the top two in the state throughout the decade, the CNH tractor plant is now an empty field and several local manufacturers closed their doors. It wasn't all bad. SC Johnson remains a nationally celebrated employer, Ruud Lighting has some exciting things going on and Modine got its share of praise, among others.

Downtown
But it wasn't all bad news. Downtown Racine made a remarkable turnaround over the last 10 years thanks to the new Johnson Bank Building, the reconstruction of Main and Sixth streets and an influx of restaurants, shops, businesses and events Downtown. We take some heat for focusing coverage on Downtown, but it really is one of the business success stories over the last decade.

Rep. Paul Ryan
Our congressman went from one of the youngest members in the House to one of the most powerful. He's being talked about as a presidential candidate some day, and it's hard to go a week without seeing him on national TV. It was a good decade for Ryan.

Snowdance
The Over Our Head Players created a 10-minute play writing competition that's drawn hundreds of submissions from authors around the world. It's an entirely original theatrical event that's only gotten better of with time. A great addition to Racine's rich theatre scene.

Park, St. Cat's win championships
On the local sports front, Park High's football team won a state championship in 2005 thanks to John Clay, whose gone on to star at the University of Wisconsin. (Interesting side note: Park is the only D1 school in Wisconsin to win a championship in football, basketball and baseball.) Racine basketball continued to be among the best in the state. St. Cat's was one of the state's top basketball dynasty after winning four titles in five years.

116 comments:

  1. Good decade for Ryan - bad for Kenosha, Racine and Janesville. He is using our community as his stepping stone. I want someone who cares about us - Democrat or Republican

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  2. Blame Ryan for everthing...give me a break already.
    Nice story.
    SDJ

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  3. Horlick won at least a couple state championships in this decade, including the 2004 Division 1 state volleyball championship.

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  4. We also lost Harborfest

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  5. What has Ryan done for SE Wisconsin?

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  6. Obviously enough the keep getting ~65% of the vote in his district. He can't keep everyone happy.

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  7. What about the BS "Ten Year Plan" by our illustrious leader John Dickert? That's a "story" all right; a fictitious story at that.

    Are you guys too connected to him to write about that?????

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  8. "We also lost Harborfest"

    They didn't leave, they folded. Big difference.

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  9. We wrote about the missing 10-year plan here.

    But it's hard to argue a mayor in office less than a year is one of the top stories of the decade.

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  10. The past decade just happened to parallel my first 10 years in Racine, and I’d have to agree that improvements downtown and at North Beach top the list.

    The changes in downtown, the skyline, 6th Street, the State and Main area, are remarkable for a city this size.

    North Beach went from being a dangerous place closed down for pollution every other week into a real destination spot, with the Oasis and Kid’s Cove, and the cleanest and best beach on the lakes.

    Downtown restaurants are good to excellent, street festivals are fun and exciting, shops are interesting and inventive.

    Racine’s the best place I’ve ever lived, and that’s why we’re staying here.

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  11. Could not agree more!
    SDJ

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  12. Dear Randolph and SDJ, If you're rich, Racine is a great place to live. However, for poor people, the Dumbbell City is nothing but a source of pounding, pugnacious pain. (Just try to find a job which pays a living wage or apply for fuel assistance and you'll swiftly see what sort of municipality Racine really is--a corrupt little company town run by and for big-buck business bullies.) As for the astronaut and her tragic death,most of the people in my working class neighborhood didn't recognize her name when I mentioned her and asked them for their opinions of the lady and her achievements. (Around here, folks are more interested in down-to-earth survival-related issues instead of space travel and its proponents. After I'd given my neighbors some information about the astronaut, they shrugged their shoulders and said that the space program should have been shut down years ago or, better yet, should never have been launched in the first place. (Here in low-income Racine, NASA is perceived as an immense waste of money and/or something which benefits a certain aviation-obsessed corporate crime family and its class brothers at the expense of the rest of our citizens.)

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  13. Mr Angry -

    You are just plain ignorant, as are your angry masses. "Here in low-income Racine, NASA is perceived as an immense waste of money and/or something which benefits a certain aviation-obsessed corporate crime family and its class brothers at the expense of the rest of our citizens." That is not a low-income attitude, it is a high-ignorance attitude. If they don't understand the benefits space exploration has provided to the world at large, then the schools here have failed them or they weren't paying attention.

    Just what "working class" neighborhood do you live in? By the amount of bitching you do, I'm guessing it is somewhere on the North side of town.

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  14. Another story is how our two US Senators don't listen to those that don't agree with their actions. I have repeatedly shared my concerns about the rising debt, runaway spending and the expensive healthcare bills being considered. In return I get canned responses quoting cost and revenue estimates that even the CBO doesn't support. These two are deaf to those of us who vote. To me when your elected officials aren't listening but rather say they are voting based on false or flawed information then that's news.

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  15. I agree Randolph!!
    It's only been 7 years for me and I have seen progress. Some areas I was hoping would improve, have not yet. Either way, it's a pretty good place to live. I visit other towns our size and have a hard time finding the same offerings of restuarants, festivals, lake recreations, etc. as Racine has to offer. Yes, there are many faults -- but it's not unique to our town -- please expand your horizons and travel around and see the rest of the world before complaining about a place that is probably the only one you have ever experienced, AND if you are so disgusted with it -- PLEASE LEAVE -- I'll help you pack.

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  16. Another change in the last decade: carpetbaggers telling lifelong residents of Racine to leave. If the elitists brought some jobs to this city, I could understand their attitude, but it seems to simply be one of "we want your town, GTFO!" They oink all over downtown while Racine natives die in the surrounding neighborhoods.

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  17. Hey Dustin and Pete - what about Party On The Pavement? It has become one of the largest 1 day free festivals in the Midwest and draws from all over. A group of merchants started this and opted to keep it a free event for families and it is now extremely successful and popular. Kudos to those who worked so long and hard to establish this great event. It certainly is one of the best ongoing stories of the decade.

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  18. Orbs -

    You can call me a "carpetbagger" but for the last four years I have helped over 200 residents through a service project I created. What have you done (other than complained)?:) Really, I would love to hear . . .

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  19. Fantastik! Now that is the attitude we need in this town.
    SDJ

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  20. Oops...fantastic that is.

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  21. Carpetbaggers???? Ha, that's hilarious. Sounds like typical left-wing drivel from OrbsCorb who apparently is depending on government to improve Racine. Basic tenent of capitalism is free mobility of labor, and that an influx people is a positive stimulant for the local economy. Oh, let me guess, the carpetbaggers are "stealing" jobs from locals. Makes perfect sense, comrade, you go ahead and wait for city government to bail you out and create jobs for you. The rest of us "carpetbaggers" will continue to better ourselves, our skill sets, and our value to employers so that we can spend more money with local businesses.

    "Racine natives die in surrounding neighborhoods"???? A tad over-dramatic, don't you think? Exactly how many deaths were there this year in Racine attributed to starvation or other such economic hardships?

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  22. Anon 12:39,

    I work when I can, and some would call me poor. I do the best I can. I don't know who you are or who you think your talking for, but I know what NASA is and I know who that astronaut was. The way you write about people in this town is wrong. Just because I am not rich or own a business doesn't mean I am stupid.

    I have lived in some really bad places, Racine isn't close. Why don't you talk for yourself, I didn't elect you to talk for me so please stop.

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  23. Calling all positive people - let's take back these posts from all the "orbs's" out there in 2010. Negitivity breeds more negativity.

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  24. Another change in the last decade: anonymous online snipers. Anyone who wishes to discuss this with me may, as always, click on my avatar for an email address. I will gladly sit down with you to talk.

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  25. Shut up obscrobs, Us POSITIVE people attack others anonymously.
    Come on POSITIVE peoples and hide behind your keyboartds while you attack Racines negative peoples.

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  26. Orbs is right. You idiots have no clue. I hope you and your families suffer immense tragedies, real soon.

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  27. Don't know what that was? Positive people don't attack.

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  28. I am not an idiot nor have I called you any bad names. Hope all goes well for you and your loved ones. Don't ever give up. Been there.
    SDJ

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  29. 11:05

    Too many people like you in this town is the problem. Name calling and wishing bad on people really does not help but seems to be the way Racinians think if you read these posts. I positivily need to get out of here!

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  30. The poor race relationship in Racine should be the #1 story.
    #2 should be how the mayor killed the Corrine Owens project so his friend who donated to his campayn can do the State Street development.

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  31. Dear 6:53 AM, No, I'm not Mr. Angry. (Apparently you think that there's only one angry man in Racine.) As for the merits and demerits of the space program, opinions vary. In my immediate neighborhood (an area adjacent to the Cesar Chavez Community Center), most people see NASA and its antics as an expensive farce. To most impoverished toilers, the billions blown on space exploration should have been spent on social programs to help our less-fortunate citizens. Among people worried about rent or property taxes, utility bills and the high cost of groceries, scientific innovation is meaningless. Believe me, the down-to-earth drudges of this sad city don't give a rodent's rear about high-tech toys and other byproducts of the space program. Please get real.

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  32. As a matter of fact, many working class residents of Racine hate high tech because they view it as a destroyer of simple jobs which paid a living wage. (Not so many decades ago, a guy could drop out of high school and obtain a family-supporting job. Then some people who were too clever by half and a richmen's government in cahoots with these gadgeteers ruined the ordinary workers' relatively comfortable lifestyle. Now, if the laborers want a decent paycheck they have to shell out cash they don't possess to acquire training and credentials which may become obsolete by the time they obtain them. No wonder they're angry! Since the space program is associated with high tech, they despise it.)

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  33. Regardless of the reasons for their attitude, my neighbors don't accord any respect to astronauts and scientists.

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  34. "Expensive farce"...sounds like socialism.

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  35. "As a matter of fact, many working class residents of Racine hate high tech because they view it as a destroyer of simple jobs which paid a living wage."

    Typical attitude of the uneducated. Fear the unknown, fear progress.

    Take control of your lives, people. Don't wait for things to happen to you - make things happen!

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  36. I like the hypocrisy that Mr. Angry gets caught in as he is complaining about technology while typing it on a computer only to be viewed by the masses instantly.
    Maybe he should chisel all his complaints on stone tablets instead. He might appreciate technology then.
    What do you think of the article?
    SDJ

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  37. Dear 2:12 PM. For everyone's sake, please pray that the people whom the oligarchy taunts and torments don't "make things happen." Telling downtrodden drudges to "make things happen" is tantamount to prodding a caged animal. If and when the critter escapes, those who abused it may be extremely sorry.

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  38. WOW the person who says Racine is the best place they've ever lived must have lived in some God-awful places!

    I have lived in many different cities and different states and I can honestly say Racine is by far the WORST place I have ever lived without any exaggeration whatsoever.

    What is good about Racine? We've got the lake, but there are lots of other cities on the lake that are an improvement over Racine.

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  39. Sounds very threatening.

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  40. Dear SDJ, Nope, I'm not Mister Angry, so I can't speak for him. However, I can tell you that our marginalized citizens don't care about technological bells and whistles.

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  41. Nobody said it was the best place to live, just better than most (although Mrs. Angry did mention something along those lines).

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  42. Then turn off your computer and give it to someone that can put it to good use.

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  43. "I've lived in many cities and Racine is be far the WORST"

    I'd love to hear what cities those are. Really, not for any other purpose than to put them on my list to visit (if they are so great.)

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  44. There are a lot of things that people need done. Find a need and fill it. Drive people to their doctor appointments. Shovel snow. Help someone insulate a room. Repair a garage door.

    There are some dollars to be earned without having to go through an employment process. It's certainly worth asking around.

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  45. Dear 3:22 PM, There are dollars to be earned as you said. Even so, a lot of those bucks come from dope dealing or fencing hot merchandise. In case you aren't aware of the facts of life in Racine's 'hood, that's how plenty of folks survive. Then, of course, there's larceny--we seem to have scads of robberies and burglaries here. And don't forget our prostitution industry... Seriously speaking, until we give our citizens the same social safety net which every other developed nation bestows on its people, poverty and despair will drive our poor, our semi-employed toilers and our struggling lower middle class to commit crimes galore.

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  46. Crime is committed by the lazy looking for an easy buck. I am currently defined as lower middle class but yet I do not commit these crimes (or any crimes for that matter). My ancestors made it quite clear to me the difference between right and wrong.
    As proven in many previous weblogs, socialism does not put a halt to crime. Their safety nets are collapsing. These are facts. I don't care what your "friends" say. I have lived there. Socialism is failing. It is only letting the rich get richer. Look it up, go there, or better yet, try living there!
    I really don't want to hear anymore of your communist drivel until you have lived there! That place was taking damned near 75% of what I "toiled" for. And for what? Support the rich monarchy and the lazy.
    Stop blaming your woes on everyone else but yourself!

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  47. I forgot, nice article.

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  48. and now for something completely different... YAY SNOWDANCE! Racine's very own original comedy competition with scripts from around the globe! It just happens to be opening it's 6th run at the end of January- bringing Racine and original comedies in to the NEXT decade! Thanks for the top 10 vote Pete and Dustin!

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  49. Anon 11:34

    Don't let the door hit you in the rear-end when you leave.

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  50. Dear 5:19 PM, I have friends who reside in the Western European social democracies. The folks whom you accuse of laziness are happy people enjoying a system which caps their work weeks at thirty-eight to forty hours. What's more, they receive anywhere from five to eight weeks of paid vacation per year. Unlike American wage slaves, Western European toilers aren't worked to death for the benefit of an economic elite. On the contrary, their governments protect them from exploitation by the moolah masters. (Over there, the money mutts know better than to abuse their employees. In many European nations, the government can punish would-be labor exploiters by freezing their assets or seizing their companies.) Here in America, a ruthless oligarchy forces us to focus well-nigh exclusively on our jobs. By contrast, Western Europeans--who see work as only a part of human existence--are allowed sufficient leisure to enjoy their lives. (One reason the rich are afraid of socialism and social safety nets for rank-and-file people is the fact that once folks get used to short work weeks, long vacations and protection from poverty, they'll never go back to free enterprise and our grim capitalist rat race.)

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  51. Yay Snowdance!

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  52. I don't want to hear anymore propaganda thrown up on their tourism pages, wiki or the communist manifesto. Live there! It will change your mind.

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  53. 1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
    2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
    3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
    4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
    5. Centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
    6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in he hands of the state.
    7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
    8. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
    9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
    10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc.
    -Communist Manifesto
    Didn't work then, won't work now.

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  54. "the billions blown on space exploration should have been spent on social programs to help our less-fortunate citizens."

    We already have countless "social programs" that have spent trillions since their inception and have done nothing but create an entrenched bureaucracy running our lives. How much do you want?

    Compassion shouldn't be measured by how much money government takes from me and gives to others. That isn't compassion; it's robbery.

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  55. Unlike many of the whiners out here that talk about excess hours and not enough vacation pay, there are actually people that enjoy their jobs, don't mind putting in additional hours and effort to see their companies exceed which in turn makes them more financially secure. The problem with many of you, you don't enjoy your jobs, put in as little effort possible, have no cares for the success of the company and have no pride in what you do.

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  56. The Underground Conservative says, "We already have countless 'social programs' that have spent trillions since their inception and have done nothing but create an entrenched bureaucracy running our lives."

    In reality, the poverty rate has been cut in half since the 1950s, with the number of elderly people living in poverty dropping most dramatically.

    Sounds as if somebody's doing something right.

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  57. Randy - show us proof of your statement.

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  58. and how 'bout that Snowdance 10-Minute Comedy Festival, eh?

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  59. The turnaround of North Beach was huge. My kids and I enjoy it every chance we get. Thanks Bob for all the effort on Kid's Cove.
    SDJ

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  60. Anon, 2:17,

    Do your own research, but you can start at census.gov. For a good overview, check out the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.

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  61. Lies, damned lies, and statistics.

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  62. Randy - if you make a claim, you should be able to back it up. Why do I need to research something you said. I'm begining to think there is no validity to it.

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  63. Anon,

    Why don't you ask this guy to back up this completely counterfactual statement:

    "We already have countless 'social programs' that have spent trillions since their inception and have done nothing but create an entrenched bureaucracy running our lives." - The Underground conservative.

    Especially when anybody with eyes and a brain who's been alive the past 50 years knows that this is complete hogwash.

    You want to protest government intrusion in your life, OK, do that.

    But don't deny that social programs since the New Deal and The Great Society haven't made the lives of millions of people better economically and given millions more better nutrition, housing, a new start in life, because the experience of the near-past century simply belies it.

    I'm tired of so-called conservatives - basically blatant liars - who spout ideology in place of history and facts.

    You're entitled to your own opinion, but you're not entitled to your own facts.

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  64. Anon, Underground, et. al.,

    Argue it this way instead; at least it’d have some philosophical validity instead of just meaningless hype:

    “Yes, the government has vastly improved the social security of millions of Americans over the past 70 years, but at what cost?

    “True, government programs backed by both parties over the decades have built a social safety net for the poor and the elderly, but what about all the other Americans in between who have given up their own resources to pay the bill?

    “Shouldn’t society rather be built on principles of individual effort and risk, where the smart and the lucky and the privileged gain and others less smart, less privileged and less lucky fend for themselves?

    “That way, hard work, entrepreneurism and independent judgment would count much, much more, and people who strive to accomplish these goals could keep more of their hard-earned rewards.

    “Investment of these resources in the private sector would benefit people far more than transfer payment taxes. Instead of welfare, Medicaid, Social Security and Medicare, we’d have more real jobs and economic growth. There would be much more incentive to strive, especially for those on the lowest rungs of society’s ladder.

    “There are private charities and churches to help the poor and disabled. Grown children with elderly parents should be caring for older members of their own family, without the need for government transfer payments in the manner of Social Security. When medical bills are due, other family members should be responsible, rather than relying on government Medicare.

    “People should be saving for their own retirement rather than paying Social Security taxes.

    “If they’re not smart, lucky and thrifty enough during their career, they shouldn’t expect the next generation of workers to support them.

    “That’s the real American way.”


    Be honest.

    Then see if you can win elections with it.

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  65. Ben Gregory of Racine broke the 4 minute mile becoming the 290th American to accomplish this great feat. Maybe that should be a top story.

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  66. Dear 11:08 AM, Please get real. In case nobody ever told you the facts of life, work is a curse. (If you don't believe me, read the third chapter of Genesis.) The Western European toilers, who work only as much as they must in order to survive, are smarter than our brainwashed bipedal beavers. Anyone who tells you that work is good wants to exploit you and your labor.

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  67. I am not a brainwashed beaver! Calling people names is a sign of immaturity. You need to stop bullying people!
    SDJ

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  68. Dear SDJ, I didn't call you a brainwashed bipedal beaver. Rather, I said that many American toilers have been turned into workaholic wageslaves for the benefit of the elite. In no other developed post-industrial country do the ruling classes expect ordinary laborers to groove on work. If you tell a Western European that you're passionate about your job, he'll either change the subject or laugh in your face. Over there, the people are smart, they know what work is and they're not about to do any more of it than they have to do in order to survive.

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  69. Don't deny your cyber-bullying efforts by covering it up with ideals championed by Marx himself.

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  70. If you're addressing me, please don't worry--I'm not a cyber-bully.

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  71. As for Marx,I'd rather work with his ideas than the right wing ballyhoo spouted by the late, far-from-great Ayn Rand. Although the rich may not like it, someday America will have a Marxist economic system.

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  72. I'm not carrying shrapnel for 40 years just so you can instill your Marxist beliefs on everyone. You have a complete lack of respect for those that died and were injured fighting those clowns!
    You want communism, then go somewhere that has it.
    Communism/socialism is not a government, it is a disease!

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  73. Socialism is a sane, humane economic system infinitely superior to capitalism. Although the rich and the would-be wealthy are in a state of arty-tarty denial, capitalism is on its way to oblivion.

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  74. You need to get over your lust for a failed philosophy. Use basic mathematics. Communism fails under every scenario, both in theory and practice.

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  75. Although some forms of communism have failed, socialism works. All you have to do is visit Denmark to see how well ordinary folks live in a socialist economic system. The Danes are so far ahead of us when it comes to health care, education, job training and a decent standard of living for their people that America looks downright antediluvian. Best of all, in Denmark nobody suffers from the economic woes which plague our people. For Danes, getting sick or losing a job isn't a tragedy. They know that their government cares about them and will help them to the best of its ability.

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  76. That's more than our corrupt excuse for a government would do.

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  77. Socialism is just a newer, nicer word for communism.

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  78. No way! Ask any Dane, Swede or Norwegian--socialism isn't communism. Rather, it's just plain human decency plus common sense. If socialism were so awful, the Danes wouldn't be ranked by the National Science Foundation as the happiest people on earth.

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  79. ummm...I left Denmark. I thought I explained things to you once.
    Try living there. Not everything in chat rooms or on tourism sites is correct. You have NO right to compare the two when you haven't lived there!!!

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  80. Although I haven't resided in Denmark, I have friends who live there and love it. How you view the Danish system depends on your priorities. If you wish to accumulate a mega-fortune and exploit wage-slaves galore, Denmark isn't your idea of Utopia. However, if you want to live comfortably and you'd like to see your fellow-citizens protected from poverty, Denmark is great.

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  81. Try viewing it from the inside!

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  82. If I had the means to move there, I would go to Denmark a.s.a.p. However, I'm poor and family responsibilities have pretty much confined me to Racine. Regardless, my friends who reside there like the social programs, the short work week and the five weeks of paid vacation mandated by the government.

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  83. If your life doesn't revolve around your job, Denmark is the place to live.

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  84. If your life doesn't revolve around being rewarded for the fruits of your labor, Denmark is the place to live (for a while until the system completely fails).

    Racine stories of the decade: "Woman who did not live in Denmark praises Denmark and replies to EVERY post in this manner."

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  85. If you're writing about me, I'm a guy, not a gal. Regardless, the National Science Foundation--which isn't a left wing think tank--ranks the Danes as the happiest people on earth. When folks don't have to fret about foreclosures, pink slips and other capitalist woes, they can relax and treat each other well. If people know that their government will help them in time of need, they'll be far more law-abiding than our insecure people. Denmark values the greatest well-being of the greatest number more than an individual's opportunity to trick his fellow-citizens while piling up a fortune. Unlike our sad land and its got-loot leaders, Denmark has its priorities in order.

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  86. Who wouldn't want free to low cost health care, free to low cost higher education, a forty hour work week and five weeks paid vacation per year? Denmark has all of the above plus adequate unemployment compensation and programs for seniors and the disabled which make our programs look Dickensian.

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  87. Another reason Denmark is so great is the fact that 85% of its workers are unionized. (We all know which anti-union corporate crime family dominates Racine for its own swinish benefit. We also know what a poverty pit Racine is for everyone who isn't a Waxie or a Carnauba Cornell carpetbagger.)

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  88. I'm not a Waxie or a Carnauba Cornell carpetbagger as you say. But where I live and who I associate with is not what I call a money pit. Pull yourself out of the gutter and Racine will no longer be a money pit in your own mind. Life is great - it's about time you do something to enjoy it.

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  89. Telling the poor to pull themselves up out of the gutter is tantamount to asking a blind man to admire Maestro Leonardo's superb brushwork or describe a glorious sunset. Buddy, it isn't going to happen. As for exhorting the poor to enjoy life, it's proof that our privileged class doesn't have a clue concerning the misery which it so blithely inflicts on the marginalized majority.

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  90. With all the foreclosures and business failures in Racine, telling our less-fortunate fellow citizens to enjoy life is either cruel or crazy.

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  91. Not marginalized, nor suffering misery and not privileged. Please speak for yourself please, not others.
    SDJ

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  92. 8:59 - you are so wrong once again minimizing people's ability. Don't tell a person that has vision problems they can't enjoy these things. With other senses, smell, touch, hearing as someone descibes the things they are looking at in their own mind they can capture the essence of the moment. I'd say you do not have a clue and any person with vision problems would be very offended by your comments. Therefore nothing is impossible!

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  93. I forgot to mention all the people still in their homes and all the businesses still operating.

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  94. 9:02 - It is what it is. You can be miserable or you make the best of your situation and strive to improve it.

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  95. Please save the Transcendentalist propaganda for motivational seminars and other corporate gatherings. Within twenty years, capitalism's victims--who vastly outnumber its victors--will elect officials who'll dismantle the free enterprise system.

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  96. Look...a flying pig.
    SDJ

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  97. Mr. Angry - on and on and on and on - how tiresome.

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  98. Dear SDJ, Indeed, the corporate pigs WILL fly, fleeing to Asia where they'll still be able to exploit the poor for another generation or two. Even so, America will at long last join the rest of the developed post-industrial SOCIALIST world.

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  99. No, I'm not Mister Angry. However, the truth--tedious though it may appear to some--remains the truth.

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  100. Mr. Angry - "you don't know the truth!"

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  101. Dear Mister Arrogant, Ask the National Science Foundation about the Western European systems in general and the Danish system in particular. Pretty soon, something resembling those systems will replace our dysfunctional brand of capitalism.

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  102. Mr. Angry - I don't have to ask anyone anything. I'm in great shape my family is in great shape and we are financially sound for years to come: I'll throw you a few bread crumbs if you want, you sad old soul.

    Mr. Arrogant

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  103. http://mises.org/story/1274

    This is what you want? Try living there!

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  104. Dear Mr. Arrogant, Once again, you have lived down to your name. Someday, a common man's government will make your class give the less-fortunate more than a handful of crumbs. Enjoy your goodies while your ownership of them is still legal.

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  105. arrogance: an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions.

    This definition fits only one here but he is probably too stubborn (or angry) to admit it.

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  106. Depending on the circumstances, the adjective "arrogant" can apply to any of us. Let's agree to disagree with each other in a mutually-respectful manner.

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  107. Mr. Angry - you enjoy the crumbs. That is all you'll ever see. White, rye or whole wheat?

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  108. History will decide who subsists on crumbs.

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