Let the Debate begin! - Granite Grok

Let the Debate begin!

The ‘Grok takes on NH Insider!

(Or is it the other way around?) 

Skip and Chaz are debating –  let the games begin!

Chaz Proulx of NH Insider has posted a couple of articles (here and here) on what I call creeping socialism.  Well, he found my posting here in rebuttal kind of by accident (there is no way to do a Trackback back to NH Insider).  He posted some comments to the end of my post as a result.

My feeling was that why hide the back and forth in the Comment section – we here at the ‘Grok are here to opine and debate in the public square!  So I am now able to announce that Chaz and I will begin a blog debate – mano y mano, blog y blog.  Front page, all up front.

Then at some point, we’ll quicken the pace and intensity on Meet The New Press!  Yes, you’ll be able to hear us hash it all out as to why I’m right and he’s wrong (doubtless, he’ll say the same thing about me and my stances).

We publicize – you decide!

The actual debate will be in a Point – Counterpoint fashion that will start Real Soon Now – we kinda have it down as far as What; just trying to figuring out the actual timing. 

Anyways, after the jump will be my comments to his that he left to my post here

Comment One by Chaz:

I just re read this and it looks like someone named Skip (not Betsy) believes he has called me a socialist and that I don’t like it. I have NEVER had a conversation or blog debate with this person. Skip, I’m happy to debate, but come out of the shadows.


Well, if one is advocating for government control of those things that otherwise should be in the free marketplace, that in and of itself is a socialist tendency.

No, we have never talked before, but given that this is the blogosphere, if you write it, someone will riff it.  So I did!

However, more speech is the alternative to restrictions.  So, I am hoping that the debate will work!



Comment Two by Chaz:

Skip I’ll start by answering your question. You stated that I didn’t like it when you called me a socialist. Well I don’t know you or recall having that conversation. Then you challenged me to a debate. Except you didn’t get hold of me. You posted it, but left me out. I just happened to pick this thread up by accident. Hence my comment about the shadows. No biggie. I accept your proposal, but you have to understand that I am big time busy right now. Also interested in the show you mentioned, but I know nothing about that at all either. Please fill me in Sincerely Cz


Nope, as I said above, I was just reacting to what you had written.  My apologies for not sending an email.  I will say that I tried to find a Trackback mechanism on NH Insider, but could not find one (the usual way to let an Author know that you are using their post as material).

My apologies.

As far as big time busy – Hah!  I KNOW the feeling!  I will send you the link to the show.



Comment Three by C,haz:

Debate: Skip, first I’d like to make a few corrections for the record. May article was about my personal political orientation/philosophy. I use the term PRAGMATIC PROGRESSIVE. ( not practical progressive). So could we clear that error. Secondly, you begin your article with this sentence: "I guess Chaz Proulx didn’t like it when I called him a socialist as he’d rather call himself a practical progressive. Now, I have nothing personal against Chaz, but if the claims are to be made, let’s have the debate!" My question is when and under what circumstance did you call me a socialist? Did you do that under the comments at my column using an anonymous name? What gives?


Once again.  we are going to debate in the open!  

While I wish to "keep the powder dry", generally socialists believe that government should be in charge – the marketplace is "too undependable" and chaotic and thus, believe that the free marketplace must be regulated and managed.  In the case of healthcare, by advocating that government have the controlling interest (if not the actual ownership of production), Chaz is demonstrating a bent towards a socialist methodology of doling out rationed healthcare.



Comment Four by Chaz:

Skip Next, could you explain why the term PRAGMATIC PROGRESSIVE is an oxymoron? I’ll cut and paste excerpts from my article below so your readers can see my "logic." Whether they agree or not–I think they should see what I wrote in defense of of the term PRAGMATIC PROGRESSIVE.


I see nothing pragmatic by swapping in a governmental layer of bureaucracy in managing my or society’s healthcare needs or its delivery system.  This country was founded on a limited governmental philosophy; expanding it by $110 Billion (Hillary’s estimates) is once again making government more instrusive.  And if history is to be trusted, the cost will end up way north of her estimate.

That is progress – to completely alter 16% of our GDP for only about 6% of our population?  The words "fly" and "howitzer" come to mind.

Progressive?  Pretty much, it seems to add up to three things:

  • Let’s regulate business more and more
  • Let’s spend more money
  • Let’s act more like the European Union (who economy growth lag well behind ours and are going less and less democratic – a sure recipe for success, right?) 



Comment Five by Chaz:

Skip– Here’s my entire text. Please note that I took care to explain both the adjective (pragmatic) and the noun (progressive). I think I made it clear enough, but am happy to elaborate for you and your readers: "In the weeks ahead I intend to write more about the merits of universal health care, an idea that I see as practical and entirely appropriate for government to pursue. Now a lot of people believe I must be a liberal ideologue or a socialist to promote a government health care program. I think now is a good time to dispel that notion and to share my personal political philosophy. If someone were to ask me what political label I’m comfortable with I’d answer that I’m a pragmatic progressive. Pragmatic progressive is my personal term for my brand of thinking. I’m pragmatic in the sense that I like things that work. I’m progressive in the sense that I believe that government can be an agent for good. Many activists are thinking this way too—but to my knowledge no one has defined it. I hope the term catches on. Let’s look at the merits of pragmatism. Americans have understood this for since the early days. Hence “a stitch in time saves nine” and “a penny saved is a dollar earned.” Pragmatism is a nuts and bolts way of approaching problems. Think of it this way: If you are painting your house you can just slap some paint over everything and hope for the best or you can pressure wash it, scrape it and prime it before applying a top coat. That costs more time and more money but down the road it is worth the effort. Same thing if you are working on your car and it take three hours just to get at a worn out part. Do you want to replace is with a quality part after all that work? I do, even if it costs more. My time is worth a lot to me and I hate to fix the same thing twice. I want it to stay fixed. “Time is money.” Here’s the most important point. Pragmatism isn’t ideological. Contrary to what my critics might think I am not guided by any ideology. Sure, I lean left, but I don’t trust the logic of ideologues on either end of the political spectrum. As for why I’m a progressive (n) let me just quote the American Heritage College Dictionary pro-gres-ive (adj) 3 Promoting or favoring progress toward better conditions or new policies, ideas, or methods. Coming soon: Why Universal Health Care Will Strengthen the U.S. Economy"


See my post – hah!



Comment Six by Chaz:

Skip Last question for now. Would you source your definition of socialism for me. It seems to be from Wikipedia. If that is correct let’s look at the entire definition. I’m not concerned personally whether people think I’m a socialist. (I’m not and I know that.) But we can get to that later. For now though the word socialist is important because you and your are using it as a scare tactic. I’m old enough to remember Joseph McCarthy. The red scare at that time had some basis in reality but ever since has been used and abused beyond rationality. The Republican presidential candidates are using that tactic and it shows up in Libertarian argument as well. So, again we need to know more about your sources.


Yes, the definition that I
used was from Wikipedia.  Scare tactic?  Yes, and no.  One is as a warning. My whole life was spent watching Communism until it imploded – and yes, that does mold an outlook on life (but not to the point of having a hammer and everything else is nail).  I have watched the EU go more and more socialistic over the last 20-30 years and now see the trouble they are in.  That may change, given that finally an EU leader has stated that the model to now work towards is OURS (e.g., Sarkozy of France).

If that is true, WHY in God’s green earth would we want to emulate failed policies?

It is obvious that we are at the opposite end of the spectrum on this……