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Wonkette versus Rep. Michele Bachmann (R. - MN)

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July 03, 2009 – Comments (19)

Seems I'm not the only one who realized that the Left really really hates Michele Bachman. Libertarian Thomas Woods weighs in on Wonkette's (a popular Liberal blog) ridicule of Bachmann below.  I posted a Bachmann video the other day and the reaction from the Left was equally amusing.

And for those who missed out last weekend, here is Woods' destruction of the Robber Baron myth.  It's a classic.

David in Qatar

======================================================

Establishment Chic by Thomas Woods

Wonkette, if you have the good fortune of not knowing, is a left-liberal site that manages to consider itself cheeky and iconoclastic while endorsing only the most exquisitely conventional, establishment-approved opinions.  If you’re not located somewhere along that fantastic spectrum of genius that ranges from Chuck Schumer to Arlen Specter, Wonkette will expose you to the world as the misanthropic imbecile you obviously are.

In order to remain as predictable as possible, Wonkette’s writers have decided they really don’t like Rep. Michele Bachmann, member of Congress from Minnesota. Of all the geniuses in Congress, they select for special ridicule one of the tiny handful who actually ask an interesting question now and again.  By “interesting” I mean the kind of question no one at Newsweek, MSNBC, or, for that matter, Wonkette itself, would think to ask. That’s not because these questions are stupid; it’s because they’re not designed to flatter our overlords, portray them as indispensable, or show them the kind of reverence that Pravda once displayed for the Politburo.

Thus, for example, when 60 Minutes interviewed Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke several months ago, the questions were on the order of “What are the dangers now?  What keeps you up at night?”  Now there are some classic Wonkette questions.  Instead of asking how this guy could have been so wrong about practically everything he’s said since 2006—e.g., there’s no housing bubble, lending standards are sound, the housing bust should be over by December 2008—the establishment left wants to know what is troubling our great overlord, and how he intends to use his potions and incantations to slay the evils that afflict us.

But back to Rep. Bachmann. One reason Wonkette doesn’t like her is that she once asked Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner where he got the constitutional authority to do the things he’s doing. You might think so-called “progressives” would be interested in that question.  Once upon a time, progressives grew suspicious when government officials shoveled money to the richest people in the country, and had enough common sense not to accept the official rationales at face value. Surely this is an area in which the real left and the real right might join in happy concord, no?  I mean, the left coined the phrase question authority, right?

As it turns out, they really meant question authority except the Treasury secretary in a Democratic administration, or the Fed chairman, or the Washington Post, or the bipartisan foreign-policy consensus, or the regulatory establishment, or Paul Krugman, or the SEC, or the medical establishment, or the central bank, or the Officially Approved Version of American History you were taught in fourth grade. These are wonderful people and institutions, citizen.  They exist to protect you. Yes, yes, question authority and all that, but none of that applies to people and institutions that exist for your own good.  You would have to be deranged and anti-social to oppose them. Why, you’re not deranged and anti-social, are you?

Listen to Geithner’s answers for yourself. You can learn a lot about the Wonkette people by grasping that they consider these to be good answers, indeed so good that only a blockhead would be unsatisfied by them. Bachmann is asking where in the Constitution the authority comes from for the Treasury and the Fed to be taking over companies and engaging in the bailouts. Geithner replies that they are acting in accordance with legislation passed by Congress. Exactly how smart do you need to be to recognize that that is not even close to an answer to the question? Geithner then says something about “the laws of the land”—again, perfectly irrelevant.  Where in the Constitution does this authority come from?  An answer to that question is not even attempted.

So the Treasury secretary has no idea where the authority comes from to bail out some of the most reckless, idiotic, parasitic parties on Wall Street, and Wonkette thinks the person to condemn here is not the Treasury secretary himself but the member of Congress who corners him? Can you imagine the contempt in which a genuine progressive like Robert La Follette would have held these establishment hangers-on?

Wonkette also doesn’t like Rep. Bachmann because she’s interested in the Austrian School of economics, a subject about which they’ve collectively read half an entry at Wikipedia. That the Austrians predicted the current crisis at a time when Wonkette’s heroes were calling for the very policies that brought on the collapse (and yes, that includes Paul Krugman, his protestations to the contrary notwithstanding) impresses them not a whit. The Austrians, who constitute the oldest continuously existing school of economic thought in the world, are out of favor with the establishment, whose boots it refuses to lick, and that’s pretty much all Wonkette needs to know.

Even worse, and according to the article her worst offense, is that Rep. Bachmann has been learning this material recently, and other people have been glad that a member of Congress is showing interest in business cycle theory—a subject that is probably not at the very top of the reading lists of Chris Dodd or John McCain.  Now you can understand Wonkette’s ridicule, right?  She has attended lectures on the subject and read books. (What is that in your hand, citizen?  A book?)  We can’t have that—the most urgent need right now is for American congressmen to keep their present level of knowledge right where it is.

In particular, Rep. Bachmann has been reading my book Meltdown, which gives the free-market reply to the drones who tell us the crisis was caused by the “free market” and “deregulation.” Ron Paul, who wrote the book’s foreword, invited me to discuss it before a small group of congressmen in his office several months ago.

Now we really can’t have that. Why, this is an unapproved opinion! And since no one at Wonkette is familiar with Austrian business cycle theory, which pinpoints the roots of the boom-bust business cycle outside the boundaries of the free market, it can’t possibly amount to much. If it did, they’d already know about it. QED.

Perhaps indicative of the intelligence of Wonkette readers are the comments that follow.  One chap writes, “Is Austrian Economic theory the one where they march in wearing brownshirts and take all the businesses from the Jews? Laissez-faire, uber alles!”  In case you think that’s a moronic remark that no conscious person would utter, or a stupid and blockheaded smear of an entire country, recall that people who live in Austria are Officially Designated Oppressors who can be smeared and insulted in perpetuity, without provoking the sensitivity sessions, candlelight vigils, and all-around tears and sorrow that accompany insults to other groups.  Wonkette, natch, will decide for us which groups belong to which categories.

Piling on a bit, if I may, consider that the greatest of the Austrian economists, Ludwig von Mises, was a Jew who was forced to flee Nazi-controlled Europe, arriving in the United States in 1940 almost empty-handed and not speaking a word of English. The Nazis, who destroyed his library and papers, detested him because his message of freedom and the international division of labor was rather at odds with the autarkic, controlled economy of National Socialism.  So the least we might say is that our friend’s Nazi joke doesn’t really work.  He doesn’t strike me as the thirsting-for-knowledge sort, though, so I rather doubt he’ll one day come upon the truth and feel embarrassed.

The George W. Bush years were such an ordeal that I actually remember thinking that the left wasn’t all bad. With a few honorable exceptions, though, they are what they have always been: anti-intellectual apologists for the status quo masquerading as “agents of change.” They claim to be antiwar but make excuses for people who vote the funds for war. They claim to oppose the neoconservatives but happily applaud when their cult leader surrounds himself with them, and seem untroubled when Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol declares, in response to the president’s policy on Afghanistan, “All hail Obama!” And they’re all tears and pity for average Americans, while at the same time demonizing people who think there might be something a teensy weensy bit not-progressive about creating trillions of dollars and throwing it at the financial elite.

The Wonkette kids are like the popular group in high school that wanted to belong to the fashionable causes, since that’s what the other popular kids did, but made sure they weren’t too ostentatious in their devotion to those causes.  We can’t be too different, you understand. Just cool. Just different enough to be able to sneer at the rest of mankind and its stupid, unenlightened opinions, but not so different that we won’t get invited to cocktail parties at the homes of people who matter.

Now imagine those people running a website, and you’ve got Wonkette.

 

19 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On July 03, 2009 at 7:09 AM, pikerun2000 (< 20) wrote:

A good piece fit for the 4th of July.  We revolted against a country that forced us to pay income tax,  well took a percentage of what we produced,  then had the nerve to charge us a tax on products we received from them.  People were given property to live on and work but not own. 

 

We are headed that way.  For anyone concerned read the book US Constitution by the Heritage Foundation.  I is about 450 pages and a long read but it explains what it meant and how our elected officials have ammendend it or worse interpeted it for modern day use.

 

If we followed it we would not be in the debt we currently have or will have in the future.  There would never have been any entitlement programs that will soon bankrupt our country.  But every elected official takes an oath to uphold the constitution people say.  They do but they believe the also posses the power to interpet the constitution for their own purposes.

 

We will soon come to a crossroads to which we will be forced to make a choise;  either follow the original meaning of the constitution and give individual people the right to make choises on how to made a living,  were to live,  own property,  etc.  or let the governent make decisions for us.  like what type car to drive,  what energy to use and how much,  how news cars are to be built,  what new home should be constructed of and how energy efficient,  to live closer to my job and perhaps required to use the new light rail transportation that is soon to come.

 

I love this country because it gives me the liberty to move from one state to another,  find a better job,  use more elecricity when it gets to hot or cold,  go on a family vacation without feeling guilty about using gasoline,  to go to a "good" doctor that I want to see and has been with me for years.

 

Yes I know what is best for me and my family not some big government...... 

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#2) On July 03, 2009 at 7:37 AM, devoish (96.00) wrote:

Good for you Dave.

You have managed to hold the "Wonkette" weblog with its 1800 visits, some of them yours and Mr Woods, as representative of the "left" and "liberals".

And, you manage to suggest that the "Wonkette" attacked Rep. Bachmann for asking where in the Constitution Geithner gets his authority, when in fact, at least by the link you offered, the "Wonkette" mocked her for appearing to be reading questions she did not understand, not for the questions or asking them.

Anyway here is the quote you described as challenging Bachmann for questioning Geithner. Perhaps somewhere you could support Mr Woods and your inaccurate assertions with a Wonkette posting saying the question should not have been asked.

Remember when Michele Bachmann made America laugh again, with this? We laughed out of confusion, and sadness! Because it looked so much like Michele Bachmann had simply read a neat-sounding sentence or two in her wingnut conspiracy lunchtime book without really understanding it, but wanted to sound smart and so just went for it in her afternoon hearing. And now we know that this is exactly what happened.

Oh and BTW. Maybe Mr Woods should heed his own advice and drop the insulting adjectives out of his writings. Otherwise readers might think that phrases such as this one reveal more about Mr Woods character than the group he projected upon.

  We Libertarians can’t be too different, you understand. Just cool. Just different enough to be able to sneer at the rest of mankind and its stupid, unenlightened opinions, but not so different that we won’t get invited to cocktail parties at the homes of people who matter.

Happy 4th of July.

Celebrate Democracy.

Shares of EPG, converters of BS into saleable products were unmoved.

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#3) On July 03, 2009 at 7:49 AM, TMFBent (99.81) wrote:

Bachmann is asking where in the Constitution the authority comes from for the Treasury and the Fed to be taking over companies and engaging in the bailouts. Geithner replies that they are acting in accordance with legislation passed by Congress. Exactly how smart do you need to be to recognize that that is not even close to an answer to the question? Geithner then says something about “the laws of the land”—again, perfectly irrelevant.  Where in the Constitution does this authority come from?  An answer to that question is not even attempted.

The constitution is, for some reason, now the last-straw authority for those who don't like our nation's laws. Those who cleave to the opinion that the only valid authority comes to the constitution, and must be specifically described therin, have obviously never read the document they're using to justify their anger -- nor studied the history of its creation.

The constitution grants very few powers expressly. It's entire purpose it to set up a framework for the creation of subsequent legislation that allows the government to do what it deems necessary later on.

By asking an official who is given mandates via subsequent legislation where "in the constitution" he gets his authority, this representative is proving herself:

1) Disingenuous.

2) Ridiculously ill-informed about the history of her nation, her nation's laws, and the purpose of legislation our system of government

3) Just plain stupid.

4) Some mix of the above.

It's like asking a traffic cop where in the constitution he gets his authority to give you a ticket for running a red light. Or tossing you in jail for public drunkeness. He doesn't need constitutional authority to justify that. Subsequent legislation gives it to him.

Bachman, or you, may not like the answers. That's your prerogitive. However, Congress gave the Fed and the Treas really broad mandates, and they're acting within them. If you and Bachman want congress to reign them in, direct your ire toward the guys who set the rules, not the guys playing within those rules.

If Bachman doesn't like that answer, I've got a definitive one. Geithner gets his authority from section 8. If she can't understand how it flows from there to him, she doesn't deserve her seat.

    Section 8: The Congress shall have power

    To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

    To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;


    To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;

    To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

    To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;

    To establish post offices and post roads;

    To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;

    To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;

    To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;

    To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

    To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

    To provide and maintain a navy;

    To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

    To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

    To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;—And

    To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

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#4) On July 03, 2009 at 8:10 AM, pikerun2000 (< 20) wrote:

If Bachman doesn't like that answer, I've got a definitive one. Geithner gets his authority from section 8. If she can't understand how it flows from there to him, she doesn't deserve her seat.

 

The progressive view of Aticle I, Section 8 of our constitution.  The first congress wanted to help a company that need money but what did the federal government do?  And when Savanaha burned to the ground did the federal government pout federal money into rebuilding the city?

 

Nope.."general welfare" was to be for paying to keep a standing militia and paying down the federal debt.

 

Today it means anything Congress deems necessary to spend money on.

 

Remember that the framers wanted a small federal government and more power to individual states,  they believed a large goverment would lead to corruption and not provide empathy for the average person.

 

Best read the Federalsit or Anti- Federalist papers for a beter understanding of the true meaning of the constitution 

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#5) On July 03, 2009 at 8:17 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

TMFBent,

It's entire purpose it to set up a framework for the creation of subsequent legislation that allows the government to do what it deems necessary later on.

Who taught you such nonsense?  If that was the case, cite your source.  Here are the Federalist Papers, which since you are such an enlightened student of her nation's history, I am sure you have read. Point out where the Constitution was created with that purpose - as opposed to the purpose of LIMITING the power of government and maximizing the power of the individual.

This should be quite amusing, watching you hem and haw on a subject you know nothing about.

The ability to master the copy and paste function does not make you intelligent.

Way to make yourself look ridiculous though, or at least disingenuous.

David in Qatar

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#6) On July 03, 2009 at 8:19 AM, dbjella (< 20) wrote:

Dave -

The more blogs I read from you the more I am impressed with your thought process.  I am jealous actually.  What do you read? 

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#7) On July 03, 2009 at 8:40 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

devoish,

Like you're not a HUGE Wonkette fan. LMAO, did you read your own reaction to my last Bachmann blog?  Now I'm just gonna have to post one about her every day. so I can make her your hero!

(I still don't know anything about this woman - nor really care. This is just beyond amusing.)

I will celebrate central planning and oligarchy on the 4th of July, as that is what America now represents. 

I will also continue to monitor the increase in American militarism abroad under the Democrat supermajority, the loss of the lives of Americans in meaningless wars (like my brother Marines who died today in Afghanistan) as the Left impotently cheerleads the same policies they blasted only one year ago.

dbjella,

Reading list.  You can't go wrong there.  (But buy from Amazon - it's cheaper.)

David in Qatar

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#8) On July 03, 2009 at 8:53 AM, iksrog (< 20) wrote:

NOWHERE in the Constitution does it allow for congress to GIVE this power and the founders in their wildest dreams would never have even thought of this recourse. Congress must debate and allocate any funds; they cannot transfer this duty to an outside agency. It removes the transparency and the responsibility of such actions…as we see here by both Geithner and Uncle Ben. No amendment was used to establish a FED our to structure the powers of these two men and their position.When all of this fails, the congress can stand back and claim, “Well the Fed did this or did that, we can’t be held to account for all of their actions!”This is what Bachmann meant and for anyone NOT to question what has been going on for years is the real tragedy.We are truly experiencing taxation without representation as evidenced by the actions of these two quasi-government organizations. In the end, who is making and regulating commerce? Not the people, that is for sure.

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#9) On July 03, 2009 at 9:05 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

On a more serious note, in the spirit of Independence Day, here is a Constitution class, part 1 of 42, all available on YouTube:

Happy 4th weekend,

David in Qatar

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#10) On July 03, 2009 at 9:13 AM, ralphmachio (28.46) wrote:

dave and devoish-  Too bad your energy couldn't be better directed.  There is a left wing to the problem, and a right wing to the problem.  It seems as though Bill Kristol likes both sides, as long as they are preemptively striking some country at all times.  At this point arguing which political party has dropped the ball more often is kinda futile.  It only gives you the illusion of choice, and neither 'choice' does what it promised to get elected in the first place.  I sure don't see any troops coming home.  

And the fact that anyone would try and justify this government as constitutional is only proof that some people like things just the way they are.  Apparently, we can interpret that document to mean anything.  

But seriously, folks, I feel as though I'm watching a suspenseful detective movie, and the detectives are screwing around, beating around the bush when the bad guy is completely ignoring them, and planning his next caper.  'Beating around the bush' was much more applicable last year, I know.  

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#11) On July 03, 2009 at 9:24 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

ralphmachio,

Agreed in total. Good comment. I happen to be a pig sometimes, which means I like to roll around in the mud and get dirty. This post was all about my amusement, at the expense of the rent seekers, which I derived plenty of, and will now move on.

David in Qatar

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#12) On July 03, 2009 at 9:39 AM, saunafool (98.68) wrote:

David,

The reason that the Left does not like Michelle Bachman is because she says things like "real Americans" implying that there is some kind of test outside of citizenship that determines who has full rights in the U.S.

She also says a lot of really stupid stuff.

sf

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#13) On July 03, 2009 at 10:24 AM, Liberty2009 (< 20) wrote:

The leftist replies are a hoot.  Wonkette uses terms like "Paultard" and "Ron Paul circle jerks," and the libertarians are the problem?  Ha!

Anyone who thinks Art. 1, Sec. 8 grants the federal government the power toimplement legislation on whatever it wants is simply an imbecile who has never read anything about anything.  Hamilton's minority view of the general welfare clause is contradicted not just by Jefferson but also by Madison, not to mention St. George Tucker, Abel Upshur, John Taylor, and the like.  And Hamilton took something like the opposite of his later view before the Constitution was ratified.  In other words, he was a snake: he said it meant one thing to induce people's support, then turned around and said it meant something different.

As Madison said, what would be the point of enumerating the federal government's few powers if clauses like "general welfare" amounted to a grant of general legislative authority?

As for not piling on poor Secretary Geithner, since we should take up this outrage with Congress, in the old days Cabinet officials were expected -- horrors! -- to know a little something about the Constitution they operated under.  Hamilton may have been wrong, which he clearly was, but at least he could say something intelligent when asked this kind of question.

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#14) On July 03, 2009 at 10:34 AM, Liberty2009 (< 20) wrote:

Oh, and to the person who compares Bachmann to someone asking a police officer where he gets the constitutional authority to hand out tickets (or whatever): the fact that you don't see the difference is proof of the malpractice you suffered at the hands of your schoolteachers.  If an officer claimed federal authority to give you a ticket and you didn't challenge that, you would deserve what happened to you.  He has no authority whatever to do that, because the federal constitution grants him no such authority.  What authority he has derives from the powers reserved to the states under the 10th Amendment.

According to some of the commenters here, the 10th Amendment -- which for Jefferson was the "cornerstone" of the Constitution -- was actually superfluous and even confusing, since the federal government is allowed to take Art. 1, Sec. 8 and turn it into whatever grant of power it needs.

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#15) On July 03, 2009 at 1:38 PM, DaretothREdux (36.36) wrote:

Wow! This was fun. Thanks for that guys.

TMFBent....you're an idiot. 

I think that's what everyone else was trying to say in a kinder, more intelligent way...I chose brevity.

Dare

 

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#16) On July 04, 2009 at 12:49 AM, ajm101 (32.69) wrote:

Bachmann is the dumbest member of Congress.  DaretothREdux is clearly following her lead in CAPS, but slightly ruder.

@TMFBent, devoish - honestly, I would suggest ignoring Dave.  He's just a troll, or a program written by a troll that add copies and pastes entire articles from Mises that runs on a cron job.

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#17) On July 04, 2009 at 3:04 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

I'm not just a cron job. I'm a human being.  My name is David, not Dave.

I'm not just a cron job. I'm a human being.  My name is David, not Dave.

I'm not just a cron job. I'm a human being.  My name is David, not Dave.

Or am I a batch job? I'm so confused. I'm so confused. I'm so confused.

Oops, sorry, need to kill that process.  Crappy programming, ya know.

David in Qatar 

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#18) On July 04, 2009 at 3:18 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

saunafool,

I'm sure she does say quite a lot of stupid things. And I'm sure that she uses the term "real Americans" in a grandstanding way.  But that doesn't explain why the left (see TMFBent, devoish, and ajm101) hate her.

Let me explain.  How many Google searches will it take to get to the center of this lollipop?

In order for you to be right. There would have to be no one in Congress who fits the following 3 criteria:

1) The person says stupid stuff.

2) The person makes grandiose statements about the "real Americans" or some similar nonsense.

3) The person is not hated by the Left.

If I could find one person in Congress that fits those three criteria, would you be willing to admit that there must be some other reason the Left despises Michele Bachmann?

David in Qatar 

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#19) On July 06, 2009 at 2:09 AM, uclayoda87 (29.42) wrote:

Making logical arguments with facts does not make one a Troll.

The questions being asked should not be measured by the status of the individual posing the question, but by the merits of the question.

"I was born Feb. 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky. My parents were both born in Virginia, of undistinguished families--second families, perhaps I should say. My mother, who died in my tenth year, was of a family of the name of Hanks.... My father ... removed from Kentucky to ... Indiana, in my eighth year.... It was a wild region, with many bears and other wild animals still in the woods. There I grew up.... Of course when I came of age I did not know much. Still somehow, I could read, write, and cipher ... but that was all."

This man grew up and asked good questions and came up with even better answers, even though his status in our society was not always good.

The biography of this mysterious person can be found in the link below:

Mystery person

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