Skipping the agitation cycle

There are things we can all do to seek change in a civil way

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Late last week, angry truckers were planning to clog up the Washington, D.C., Beltway, while fuming military veterans planned an assault on closed D.C. memorials.

Meanwhile, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll last week showed a whopping 60 percent of Americans would replace the entire 535 members of Congress if they could.

Other than the 1960s, it’s hard to remember a time in our lives when this country was as
divided and agitated.

Division, by itself, isn’t unhealthy, as long as it’s along the lines of intellectual disagreement. And the nation really has become more divided intellectually in recent decades, with the growth of conservatism and alternative media. The country might have been more divided years ago if we’d had this many sources of information. But back in the day, with a liberal media cabal controlling all three networks and Democrats controlling Congress, there wasn’t much call for dissension.

Now there is. The trick, though, is how to do division without the agitation.

We’re not doing that so well at this point.

House Republicans ignited much of the current contretemps with their attempt to use the government shutdown to try to make Democrats eat Obamacare whole. While a growing number of Americans would like to pull up a chair and watch that, it wasn’t going to happen. It was a failed strategy.

That GOP gambit – along with the Democrats’ decision in 2009 to pass the Affordable Care Act without any support from Republicans – has divided the nation like never before since the ’60s.

And agitated us.

We wouldn’t propose an end to protest. In certain doses and in prescribed ways, it’s as American as apple pie. But protesting alone won’t get us where we need to go.

Ultimately, cooler heads must prevail. And some folks are already trying that.

You’ll be glad to know a group called No Labels (www.nolabels.org) – formed after the Affordable Care Act was passed on a purely partisan vote – has helped create what is essentially a Problem-Solving Caucus in Congress – 87 members, from both parties, who meet regularly with members of the other party to seek common ground. It’s an organization that our frequent columnist Ed Conant of Savannah has touted.

No Labels has advocated for a great, no-brainer bill withholding the pay for members of Congress when they don’t approve a federal budget. It also supports a package of eight other bills to make government more efficient, such as multi-year budgeting; agency consolidation; video conferencing, to replace half the government’s travel budget and more.

There are things we as individuals can do as well, including:

• keep up with current events and newsmakers; knowledge is power

• keep after your elected officials, and keep them accountable

• get involved and work to get your favorite candidates elected

• don’t encourage the yelling on television; turn it off

• share information with friends, certainly, but don’t get caught up in heated political arguments with acquaintances or strangers; keep it civil

• support government reforms, such as those No Labels is proposing, as well as term limits and spending limits for Congress (see our editorial Oct. 13)

• work hard to be self-reliant, productive and giving

And if there are “bums” in Congress who need to go, remember who put them there – and vow to never do it again.

Comments (43) Add comment
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deestafford
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deestafford 10/13/13 - 11:26 pm
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Don't fall for this "No labels" group.

If you look closely at some of its proposals and who are the members you will see some whisy- washy folks in there who really don't want limited government and less taxes. You will see they are more on the moderate and progressive side than you would think.

People need to stand and fight. The Republicans too many times have said, "Now is not the time to make as a stand. Let's do it latter when we do so and so." McCain never fought when he was running. Romney never fought. The last debt ceiling the time for fighting was to be the budgeting process. When the budgeting process time came it was "less fight at the ballot box".

It's always some excuse not to fight but to cave to the statists and I for one am getting pretty sick and tired of swallowing all this pond scum and told to just drink a little right now because this ain't the time to fight.

The power of the purse is with the House according to the Constitution and we can't let the President or the Senate take that away. We need to go through the process of passing bills and sending them to the Senate. If they died there it is THEIR fault for not doing their constitutional duty and the House should take to every airway they can and explain so in very clear, understandable and forceful language...not some Washington speak.

We have a Constitution and we should follow it because we a country of laws and not of man....no matter what Obama and Reid may try to make everyone believe.

GACopprhed
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GACopprhed 10/14/13 - 03:41 am
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The Constitution also
Unpublished

The Constitution also provides "checks and balances" so that when one small portion of the House (Republicans didn't win a majority of the popular vote there either) tries to do something that is extremist it get stopped in it's tracks. Americans are growing weary of the Tea Party's antics, led by someone not even born in the USA, and is NOT eligible to run for the Presidency.

carcraft
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carcraft 10/14/13 - 05:37 am
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You mean like when Obama

You mean like when Obama refuses to enforce immigration law? Like when Obama picks and chooses what Americans die in drone strikes? The American you mentioned is eligible to be a Congress man and yes under the law he does have a right to protest, you know, sorta like occupy Wall Street! The Constitution does have checks and balances so when one party gets to much power and wants to "fundamentally " alter America the other party can check that move!

justthefacts
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justthefacts 10/14/13 - 06:39 am
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Ironic, ain't it?

"led by someone not even born in the USA, and is NOT eligible to run for the Presidency."

TrukinRanger
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TrukinRanger 10/14/13 - 06:46 am
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At least the 3 major networks
Unpublished

At least the 3 major networks are representing the majority of Americans and not just the gerrymandered republicans in office.

myfather15
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myfather15 10/14/13 - 06:53 am
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Guys, just remember;

We've got to pass the bill, for people to see what's in it!! So, basically, they want you to blindly believe that liberals are the SAVIORS of this Country. This Country is broken and has been from the beginning and THEY are the only ones who can fix it.

myfather15
55764
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myfather15 10/14/13 - 07:07 am
6
3
Matt; 24: 5-7

"5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

6And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places."

Nation against nation, kingdom against kingom!! Famines, pestilences, earthquakes, etc.

Now, before some numbskull points out that things have ALWAYS been this way, and there has always been nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom; I want to point out that I agree completely!!!

The big difference and probably the most important part of this scripture is that you will HEAR about them and SEE them!! How will you do this? Television, Radio and Internet!!!

Now days, IF you pay attention to world events; watching the news and being WATCHMAN, that Christ tells us to be; you will have this stuff POUNDED into your head constantly!! All the nations turmoil between themselves. Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iran, Korea, Vietnam and the MANY more. In the 1800's and early 1900's, if war broke out in the Middle east or elsewhere, it would be weeks or months before we learned of it. Today, if Israel launches missiles at Iran, we will know about it before the first missile strikes Iranian soil. It would be broadcast while the missiles are still in the air. THIS is the most important aspect of the prophecy!! Not that it will happen, because it has always happened. But you will HEAR and SEE it happening, more and more!!

Also, didn't the Chronicle just have an article about ANTS lately. Some NEW type of pest ant that is coming to Georgia and is suppose to be worse than fire ants??

In my opinion, television and internet are probably the most important tools to get God's message to the people, IF they will be watchmen and pay attention. If all you watch is Duck Dynasty or Wife Swap; I'm not sure you are getting the message!!

Also, many shall come in Christ's name saying I AM A CHRISTIAN, believe them NOT!! Everyone that claims to be Christian are NOT!! It's that simple!! "By their fruits, ye shall know them." In other words, by what they PRODUCE, ye shall know them. If they CLAIM to be Christian, but everything they do is against the Bible, you probably shouldn't listen to them.

localguy55
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localguy55 10/14/13 - 07:17 am
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I do not remember reading

I do not remember reading about great moderates in history. We need strong willed conservative leaders that stick to the principals of the constiuents that elected them in the first place.

As said by deestafford, this "no labels" thing is just a ruse set up by more regressives and Marxist leaning people to lull conservative leaning people into agreeing with an agenda that is not a mutual compromise but one that is more left leaning as opposed to a middle ground solution. It's just another trick by the left.

nocnoc
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nocnoc 10/14/13 - 07:39 am
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The writer seeks peace and harmony

The No Labels message is veiled and keenly woven to hid the intent.
But I see a underlying message that Congress needs to get along and vote to halt the shutdown.

Yes we need a few Bridge Builders.

NO we don't need a group neutrals running the show, because some things that may work in socialist Europe, are just totally wrong for America.

America needs LEADERS that are working for the USA not towards building a USSA.

Take some time and research the "No Labels" founders and co-founders references and quotes. Form your own opinion and you make find they are not so Neutral.

SRD
449
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SRD 10/14/13 - 08:00 am
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ASSAULT?

The first paragraph of this is a LIE.... Get your story straight, the vets who were coming out never ever threatened an assault. And why does't this article even address Obama and his failed Health Care Plan or lack of a budget!!!!!

Riverman1
86822
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Riverman1 10/14/13 - 09:00 am
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Not A Washington Machine, But An Iron Curtain

There’s a recognition that’s been going around for a few months. A cold civil war is in progress. Socialists are making a determined effort to seize the assets of those who have accumulated moderate wealth in their lives.

60 percent of families who made under $50,000 voted Democratic compared to 45 percent who made over $50,000. According to CBS News exit polls from the 2012 election: 93 percent of blacks voted for Obama and 71 percent of Hispanics. While only 39 percent of whites voted for Obama. Just look around at the use of Section 8 housing, EBT cards, free medical care, welfare, big tax refunds for those who don’t make enough and free school breakfasts and lunches, YEAR ROUND.

Once we come to the realization of what’s happening, maybe we will accurately respond. The Chronicle and Ed Conant are still in denial. It took the free people of the world a period to get over their denial that Stalin was making slaves out of Eastern Europe, but the understanding did eventually come when the facts could no longer be ignored. An iron curtain has descended over America dividing the productive people and those who strive to take our freedoms for government checks.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 10/14/13 - 08:32 am
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Don't the majority of

Don't the majority of American find fault and dislike the ACA. Why is a small minority like the Tea Party getting the blame. Progressive are a minority and they accept no blame for anything because it always someone else's fault.

ymnbde
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ymnbde 10/14/13 - 08:35 am
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in the interest of moderation

can a liberal please tell me
how increasing the ratio
of doctors to patients
will do no harm
it's a simple fundamental question

deestafford
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deestafford 10/14/13 - 08:41 am
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Localguy, Not only are there no books there are no

monuments in the park either.

A moderate is a wind vane that goes which ever way the wind blows at the moment.

What's that country and western song, "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."?

The only thing you find in the middle of the road are yellow stripes and dead 'possums.

chascushman
6653
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chascushman 10/14/13 - 08:46 am
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4
" Socialists are making a
Unpublished

" Socialists are making a determined effort to seize the assets of those who have accumulated moderate wealth in their lives."
Riverman, you are correct. Marxist and communist have taken over the democrat party and there are many socialist in the GOP like Graham and McCain. The lying, racist, America hating Marxist/communist will not stop until he achieves 'Social Justice' even if it destroys this country. He is one evil S*B!

deestafford
28611
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deestafford 10/14/13 - 10:58 am
6
3
One thing many folks don't know about is a study being done

by te Obama administration, and it was also looked at by the Clinton administration, is the confiscation of personal retirement accounts such as 401K's and all others. The rationale is there are trillions of dollars sitting there that the government can use in its redistribution policies. The government would take a person's money from the retirement account and then decide how much the person should be given back monthly.

This has recently happened in a couple of South American countries.

It is not a far fetched idea and is supported by Jesse Jackson and others of his irk. This plan is being seriously studied. I just wish I could recall the sources I had for this.

willie7
984
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willie7 10/14/13 - 11:21 am
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I commend the Chronicle staff
Unpublished

I commend the Chronicle staff for two reasonable editorials recently.

GACopprhed
2136
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GACopprhed 10/14/13 - 11:30 am
2
7
Bizkit 8:32
Unpublished

" Progressive are a minority " What statistics did you get that from? Electoral statistics say that Democrats won the popular vote totally in the Senate, the House and the Presidency. How does that make "Progressives" the minority? I know, the electoral statistics are skewed, made up, or just blatant lies, I suppose.

GACopprhed
2136
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GACopprhed 10/14/13 - 11:37 am
3
7
ymnbde
Unpublished

Because ymnbde it won't happen. Your premise is based on the possibility that the lucrative earnings that are afforded to and by the medical industry and will continue to be afforded by them will not entice others to enter the field. The amount of people who need health care hasn't changed, only the number of them who will NOT be paying for that care. So, with more health care getting paid for, there will be more people who will be willing to enter the system to do the work. Your idea is patently wrong on it's face.

GACopprhed
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GACopprhed 10/14/13 - 11:42 am
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7
deestafford
Unpublished

Unless you post NON-partisan proof of your assertion, it's just more scare tactics put out there by the Republican "sour-grape" machine, not unlike death panels, "swift-boating" and the biggest Republican lie of all....Reagan was a fiscal conservative who didn't raise taxes. By the way, he didn't win the Cold War either...he wasn't that good. He was just another Nixon-like crook.

GACopprhed
2136
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GACopprhed 10/14/13 - 12:36 pm
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KSL, could you post a
Unpublished

KSL, could you post a non-partisan, unskewed basis other than one that tries to blame the ACA, but directly lays the blame on INSURANCE companies? You blame the ACA, which is patently false, instead of putting the responsibility directly on the real cause, an insurance company. Also, something garnered from a forum doesn't really hold water. it's not unlike taking some of the posts from this forum as fact.

chascushman
6653
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chascushman 10/14/13 - 12:36 pm
4
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"How does that make
Unpublished

"How does that make "Progressives" the minority?"
GACop, most democrats will not admit to being a 'Progressive' which is just another word for Marxist/communist. But you are correct most democrats are Marxists/communists. The moochers outnumber the workers.

KSL
134138
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KSL 10/14/13 - 12:44 pm
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2
Did they or did they not fire

Did they or did they not fire the doctors? I don't give a rat's rear about the opinion of the blogger. I was more interested in the comments from the Medical Association and their concerns.

GACopprhed
2136
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GACopprhed 10/14/13 - 12:46 pm
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No, it's a term that
Unpublished

No, it's a term that REPUBLICANS use. Progressive means moving forward, conservative means opposed to it. That's something I learned in Political Science courses. Asserting that Democrats/liberals are socialist or Communist is Republican propaganda, that at best is only humorous.

Bizkit
32867
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Bizkit 10/14/13 - 12:47 pm
4
2
Progressive's are a minority

Progressive's are a minority of the Congress and the voting population, because Moderates supported Obama doesn't make them progressive just like when they supported Bush it didn't make them conservative. America is still is mostly conservative and moderates generally slightly right. I've voted for Dems and Reps and don't oblige to either. I contend people didn't vote for Obama but voted against the "mormon" Romney. There is a long standing animosity of American toward mormons. By your logic because the House went to Rep because of the Tea Party then most of America is tea party supporters. Get it. Actually most Americans do support the Tea party in their effort to reduce spending-close to that 70% mark you rambled about.

GACopprhed
2136
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GACopprhed 10/14/13 - 12:51 pm
4
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They are looking at the
Unpublished

They are looking at the insurance company. The blame is not the ACA, but the greedy insurance company. Profit, not the ACA is responsible. Post something that proves that somewhere in the law, it was mandated to fire the doctors, otherwise, just say the truth, that insurance companies, wishing to continue to make the obscene profits that have been the primary cause for the constantly increasing cost of health care, fired the doctors. The truth is simple, and it's there for all to see.

Young Fred
17860
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Young Fred 10/14/13 - 12:57 pm
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2
“No Labels”, is a label, a

“No Labels”, is a label, a very beguiling label.

One has to wonder where we’d be as a nation if the No Labels group held the populace’s ear during our founding.

I agree with Localguy55, I don’t remember many famous milksop’s in our history.

Bizkit
32867
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Bizkit 10/14/13 - 12:58 pm
3
2
It isn't propaganda-go the

It isn't propaganda-go the Communist Party USA website where they state they support Obama because he support the same goals and ideology as they. It doesn't mean all progressives are communist. Just like really only 9% of professor claim to be communist (unlike Cruz's statements about Harvard you'd be more likely to find one at a small liberal arts college), 30% progressive, and another 14-15 middle leaning left (I was in the 14-15% group but I run middle right). I like to use that communist rhetoric because Dems always like to use trash talk against the idiot Rep so I figure a turnabout is fair play.

GACopprhed
2136
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GACopprhed 10/14/13 - 01:02 pm
3
3
Moderates supported Bush?
Unpublished

Moderates supported Bush? That's a good one. The House went Republican because of Tea Party supporters? No, the MAJORITY of the popular votes went to DEMOCRATS, not Tea Party or Republicans. Tea Party support is under 30% of even Republicans, and have less that 26% approval among all Americans. They are extremists, and have no place in this country, any more than McCarthyites had in the 50s. I won't bother to post polls, as they will just be ignored in here.
Edit: I changed my mind, here's Republican/Tea Party Cruz polls:"For the tea party, it’s 21 percent/47 percent, the Republican Party is 24 percent/53 percent and Ted Cruz is 14 percent/28 percent."
This is from a Dallas paper, in a conservative state and city,as the source: http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2013/10/poll-ted-cruz-and-gop-tak...

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