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Jon Erik Kingstad

Afton, MN
Commenter for
4 years 23 weeks

Recent Comments

It's obvious to me that at least one side doesn't have a basic understanding of the other side's arguments. My observation is that that side does not want to understand the other side's arguments. This may arise because of an increasingly dogmatic libertarianism of that side that has made a fetish of nonexistent "free markets" and has no idea of his governments make any market workable, if not feasible.

But what about the side that says "government can do something" to help? I count...

a very good point. I hadn't heard that Hillary Clinton is charging $200,000 per speech. I quite agree that charging a speaking fee of $200,000 to a group consisting of Goldman Sachs, Kohlberg, Carlyl, etc. is little more than a campaign contribution. I suppose Clinton rationalizes this by the idea that the campaign finance laws do not kick in until she is an official candidate and she has a right to charge what the market will bear to those who will pay to hear her.

But as you...

In the spirit of offering a better understanding of my leftish understanding of "free markets", I'll try to explain. If your understanding of a "free market" is that it exists whenever you have choice between competing products or services, that's not what I understand the "Right" means when it is taking a position on government noninterference. Do you have a choice when you want to obtain a mortgage? An internet provider? An electric company? Or even a house or apartment?

...

There's some truth in your comment that "governments end up controlling the people for the good of the economy." I disagree that the Left has no problem with that. Except that the Left would say that the Right has no problem with the government controlling the people for the good of the rich, substituting the word "rich" for the word "economy."

Maybe part of the misunderstanding between the Right and Left is in defining what has exactly been the trend and how the rich have become the...

Is to replace the current slate of ideologue justices on the US Supreme Court that will overrule the bad decisions Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas (and Lewis Powell too) and the rest have hung us with. Corporations are juridical entities and have no "free speech" rights. Period. There needs to be stricter legislative controls. Justice Black and Douglas once wrote a dissent in which the laid out the case for overruling the 1884 Santa Clara County decision where the Court simply declared that "...

Posted on 06/07/14 at 11:50 am in response to Franken and Ted Cruz on a campaign-finance constitutional amendment

I'm disappointed the Al Franken is touting this amendment as a cure to Citizen's United and McCutcheon. Having an amendment authorizing Congress to regulate "political contributions" begs the question of what exactly are "political contributions" and sets the stage for a totally needless confrontation with the First Amendment. A Supreme Court construing it would undoubtedly side with the First Amendment. This proposed amendment would likely resolve nothing.

Citizen's United was a bad...

Posted on 06/09/14 at 07:54 am in response to Franken and Ted Cruz on a campaign-finance constitutional amendment

Even the Supreme Court didn't find "all campaign finance laws" unconstitutional." If all campaign finance laws were a violation of the First Amendment, why wouldn't laws prohibiting influence peddling and graft be unconstitutional as well?

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/203

I mean, why should it be against the law to pay a member of Congress to for "...

Posted on 06/10/14 at 08:06 am in response to Franken and Ted Cruz on a campaign-finance constitutional amendment

You are right to say receiving or spending unlimited amounts of money on a political campaign does not constitute fraud. A member of Congress receiving unlimited amounts of money or spending unlimited amounts of money on a member of Congress for the purpose of placing the private interest of the spender or the receiver above the public's or nation's interest is called corruption. Fraud has little or nothing to do with what makes this conduct a crime. Which is not to say that part of the...

What is "CAGW"? What is the "CAGW crowd"? And where in the article is any "CAGW position" even mentioned, as if such a thing even existed? What is the "CAGW position" this column so vainly overreaches to support?

Your comment about the damage in the photo not being from rising seawater recalls to mind the position of the insurance industry after Katrina denying claims for hurricane damage if it was from flooding and water surges not force of wind. As if floods and water damage cannot...

"CAGW" as you have now helpfully defined it so I understand what you mean, is not a simple "yes/no" or "either/or" issue. It is a complex of issues. We humans have no shortage of arrogance in plenty of categories and I'm completely in agreement with you that arrogance of any one person or group of people should not drive policy or debate about "CAGW" or any other issue for that matter. And I can agree that we do need to move beyond any hysteria and have an open and honest debate about the...