Is Center for Inquiry Forums the correct title?

These forums are not particularly friendly to irrational inquiries. Certainly there should be a place for irrational inquiries, hence the categories such as “The paranormal and supernatural” are included, but, it seems to me that the main forum title may be problematic in that it might initially seem inviting to people who are naturally inquisitive but who are not particularly accustomed to critical thinking.

Perhaps the forum title would better be something like: Center for Rational Inquiry Forums

How much critical thinking goes on here? Take away the political and the climate change. What do you have left? There is a sort of following of who said or wrote something of interest. But not much on individual thinking. You give a good personal opinion. But you are not here much and one of the few who does not get criticized for individual thought. What we really need to get on this site are some real progressives. The site has fake progressives pushing phony democratic rhetoric backing phony “crises” of progressives. Where’s the critical thinking in that? A good critical question of thought will stop any debate on this site.

Hey MikeYohoe,

Thanks [sarcastic] for telling others what they think. Your words, “The site has fake progressives,” shows how interested you are in actually listening… you’ve written off everything someone has to say before you even hear it.

At least I know, from your own words, that communicating with you is a waste of effort. Thanks [genuine] for the time-saving tip!

Your welcome. It is obvious that you are not looking to communicate. Or you would not twist my statements.

Are today’s Progressives actually “totalitarians”?

“Progressive” – The new word for “Communist”.

What’s the difference between a liberal and a progressive? Liberalism and progressivism have few philosophical constraints on policy matters.

What’s the difference between socialism and progressivism?

Today left-liberal progressivism has slowly transformed into “FILL IN THE BLANK”.

Is being a progressive and good or bad thing?

Today’s left-liberal progressivism has slowly transformed itself into a thing with which no one can reason or compromise.

— Joseph Epstein, WSJ, “Americans Turned to Trump to Roll Back the Progressive Tide,” 19 Nov. 2018

Are today’s Progressives actually “totalitarians”?

A-No. Progressives support a constitutional democratic republican form of government. We just have a different sensibility than conservatives on what “provide for the general welfare” means, the fairness of progressive taxation, the 9th and 10th amendments, and having empathy for others as opposed to using them for greed and then kicking them to the curb.

“Progressive” – The new word for “Communist”.

A-No. Communist countries are dictatorships wherein people do not have rights as we know them. Progressives support a mixed model that is found in all Western countries today, private ownership, capitalism, progressive taxation, socialistic options for healthcare, education, public safety, and retirement.

What’s the difference between a liberal and a progressive?

A-Not much, just rebranding, kind of like going from negro to black. When the opposition succeeds in getting negative strawmen to stick against a label then change the label. SOP

Hey guys, how about starting a thread under “politics and social issues” on the what progressives are?

If not, I’ll put my 2 cents worth in here. Our current crop of new progressives are DEFINITELY NOT bent toward totalitarianism. Those who self define as socialists, identify as DEMOCRATIC Socialists, IOW, democratic is the OPPOSITE of totalitarianism. Our current POTUS is MUCH more bent (in his attitude and practice) toward the possibility of becoming a totalitarian.

Next, our progressives are NOTHING like Communists. They are all for Capitalism but with the added ingredient of Socialist controls on that Capitalism. (Controls that lessen the amount of disparity, exploitation, and injustice for regular people in a Capitalist system, that always arise when there are no controls. Plus they believe that govt can perform some critically needed services, better than profit takers will.)

As far as the difference between our current liberals v progressives, The way i see it, the progressives are the ones who are no longer interested in trying to make wimpy, go nowhere, compromises, with opponents who have shown they will never compromise anyway. Our so called moderate liberals are still under the impression that social gains can be achieved a little at a time.


I get a different take on POTUS. I see the President as being progressive. Right now the lower income workers are finally seeing their income rising. He is cutting the caste system by exposing the Deep State. And he is getting ready to put some trust back into the government. What’s not to like about our President? The most progressive thing he is doing is calling out the press.

When you say that our progressives are nothing like Communists. You’re right, what progressives have to go through a generation of socialism to prepare for Communism. Just look at Venezuela, they are inching closer to Communism every year since becoming socialists. What you call Capitalism is more Opportunism working in an environment of Regulations. Most small working business are just a lawsuit away from going under. That is not a good atmosphere for Capitalism to thrive in. Venezuela put Socialist controls on Capitalism and one of the richest countries in the world is now having a hard time taking care if its people and has no credit left.

I think the new and young Liberals and Progressives are to greedy and self centered to get anything done right now. Student debt and demanding free schooling and medical. Along with a living income. Has got the Liberals and Progressives stuck in the mud. Until they can deal with their own desires they have no business telling others how to live.


I would not change the name – Center for Inquiry.

Names can grow on you and “Inquiry” has grown on me.

Mike u don’t seem to know about Venezuela. Chavez took over the oil industry (the country’s main source of wealth) and eventually mismanaged it into the ground. That is nothing like what progressives are advocating. It is BS to say that govt adjusting tax codes, incentives and spending within the capitalistic structure will lead to Venezuelan style socialism and then to Communism. It is actually beyond BS. Are the other industrialized nations of the world, who have provided healthcare and low cost education FOR A RELATIVELY LONG TIME now, about to become Communist?

And re: small business, I think they would be better off if progressive goals were actualized.

Your paradigm that progressives are “greedy” (for expecting affordable healthcare and education and a living wage for their work) while the most exploitative profitized wealth raking industries and individuals are not? That is a back asswards mindset.

“Socialist” programs are what make a civilized society.

A purely capitalistic society is patently not even close to a good society.

Ignore labels and choose what you think makes a good society, then incorporate those things. Allowing labels to influence your thinking is extremely not smart.


“What’s not to like about our President?”

He’s made his money on bankruptcy scams for decades so now he is taking it all the way to the federal government.

The scheme is simple. Borrow a lot of money for some project or other, then siphon off much of that money into other corporate and private entities while everybody is flush with borrowed cash. When the cash runs out collapse the deal with bankruptcy, stiff who you can, distribute assets for pennies on the dollar, and keep the siphoned off cash.

Borrowing trillions makes things seem very prosperous, until the fall.

Bill Clinton balanced the budget and Barack Obama brought deficits down year by year. Republicans borrow like criminal drunks with your credit card.



Mike u don’t seem to know about Venezuela. I know more that you are guessing by doing business there several times.

Chavez took over the oil industry (the country’s main source of wealth) and eventually mismanaged it into the ground. Chavez socialized the oil industry.

That is nothing like what progressives are advocating. Of course, they are. Nobody today in America, the biggest capitalist system in the world wants to be an employer. Why?

It is BS to say that govt adjusting tax codes, incentives and spending within the capitalistic structure will lead to Venezuelan style socialism and then to Communism. That’s where you are wrong. You don’t have to manage the company to have control of the company. A few regulations and you give the controlling power to the workers. Don’t even have to change a tax code.

It is actually beyond BS. Are the other industrialized nations of the world, who have provided healthcare and low cost education FOR A RELATIVELY LONG TIME now, about to become Communist? Can you name a few? I like the list of the next countries America will have to bail out and give your wealth to. I am interested in low cost education. That would be great for America. We pay to much for nothing today.

And re: small business, I think they would be better off if progressive goals were actualized. I agree, I am for progressive movement forward. But only in a system that is following the Laws of God. Note; for those who are not familiar with the Laws of God. They are also called Nature’s Laws. They are not about religion, they are about how civilizations should operate.

Your paradigm that progressives are “greedy” (for expecting affordable healthcare and education and a living wage for their work) while the most exploitative profitized wealth raking industries and individuals are not? That is a back asswards mindset. Like I said, you do not understand greed. Jesus said it best, give Cesar what is Cesar’s. In other words, don’t be greedy. When you want something, you think it is ok to go and steal from someone else’s hard work so you can have more? What you are saying will work. You can steal from those that have and you will get at least 20 good years of living off the work of others. Then all the wealth will be gone. Then what will you do when there is no one left to steal from? Maybe work in a sweat shop making clothes for the people in China to earn enough to eat for a day.

expecting affordable healthcare and education and a living wage for their work. Sorry, you gave all the money away to other people and countries. Yes, there was enough money for you to have world class healthcare and education. And to be able to retire at full wage when you reached 55. So, stop being a cry baby because you gave it all away. Not only yours, but your children and grandchildren’s wealth too. And you are trying to bring another million illegals here this year. A lot of the people are coming here to get your benefits. And you are fighting to give your money to them. And then you want to go steal money from other people. Then you have the gall to say I have a back asswards mindset.

Mike, u can lay off calling me a cry baby and unamerican, (I am not crying. I am telling it like it is. And I have always been a patriotic American.)

Your conception of “greed” is a foremost example of your ass backwards mindset. U used Jesus “Render unto Caesar…” quote to mean “don’t be greedy”. I am not religious, but u are taking that quote, SO out of context in a back asswards way. Jesus was responding to opponents who were trying to trick him into saying that people should not pay tribute (taxes) to Caesar (the govt). So Jesus undermined their attempt to “gotcha” him, when Jesus basically said “Pay taxes and give God what is due to God.” Somehow u have turned that around to say that Jesus was saying “don’t advocate that the VERY rich pay more taxes because you would be stealing from them.” Jesus was not saying anything at all about that. (BTW, Jesus’s teachings in general, would have been much more in line with a social and economic justice agenda, than with a hand’s off capitalist agenda. Speak with Pope Francis if u don’t believe me.)

The VERY rich are not going to go broke from paying a high share of taxes. Because all the proposals for such, start after a relatively high base amount. e.g., Warren’s proposal of 70% tax is on income AFTER the 1st $50 MILLION. So the VERY wealthy are not going to go broke, they will remain very wealthy. (In the 50’s, a heyday for a strong emerging middle class, the tax rate for the wealthy was 90%.) SO your concerns that the rich will have their wealth “stolen” down to nothing is BS.

Your calling progressive taxation “stealing” is BS. Those who are fortunate enough by virtue of inheritance, or intense focus and effort to gain wealth, or by having particular skills or talents, or even by trickery, manipulation, and shameless exploitation of others can have their wealth, which in our society they have more of everything, (including more of a voice in policies, since money is speech and corporations are people). They also have MORE “justice” in our criminal “justice” system.

Okay, they are going to have more of everything than the less financially fortunate, or more than those who are simply about living and providing something to their world, than they are about accumulating exorbitant wealth. But after a point, the amount of wealth of the exorbitantly wealthy, becomes redundant. And the DISPARITY of wealth becomes untenable. If u want to know who is metaphorically “stealing”, you should look to see where the money is. Did they top .1% of wealthy people, earn all of that excessive wealth, by being smart or talented or by the sweat of their brow? (some of it, maybe, but not all of it) Do Americans who work multiple jobs, and are still on the verge of being completely broke, deserve to be at the mercy of one health dilemma that will destroy them? Do young people deserve to have no chance to buy a home because they have college debt that is more that the cost of a home? Do they deserve this in a country where the wealthiest have more wealth than most people can even imagine? I and others say that to whom much is given, much is expected. It is not stealing to expect that those who have more wealth than is reasonable, contribute to the rest of their society, to the extent that the disparity of wealth is not so amazingly out of whack.

Your concern for the extravagantly wealthy and accusations of the least fortunate of stealing from the rich, is one of your most back assward ideas. Are not corporations that make extraordinary profits “stealing” from their workers by making those profits, to a great extent off of their employees efforts, then not sharing the profits with them, at all, but giving crazy bonuses to the CEO types? In the U.S., corporate profits have gone up and up and up. Production has gone up and up and up. Workers pay has stayed the same. Is that not a kind of theft?




Not to overshadow Tim’s excellent overview of economics, but here’s a simple question, the idea that taxes are “stealing” is based on the assumption that everyone earns their pay commensurate with the value of their work, no more, no less. Capital is created by human work, that is, all the work involved with creating a product, but it is never the property of the employee, only the owner. To me, that is stealing from the employee every time they punch the clock. How is not?


Thanks for the post TimB. I’m not American and I’m not that up on politics, even in my own country. But I do know what kind of society I want and how the political parties will generally move us towards or away from what I want.

It actually scares me to see so many of my fellow Canadians who are mindlessly attached to right-wing ideologies and put absolutely no thought into anything political. Sometimes my conversations with my closest friends get way too heated, and I have to leave the situation before I lose too much respect for them. These are folks who are moral and intelligent and kind, yet hold political beliefs on nothing more than faith. Not surprisingly these people are all very strong Christians, so they’re very comfortable having faith that they’re right and ignoring rational arguments and facts that don’t agree with their beliefs.

just thinking about this topic bums me out a lot.


3point, From what little I know about Canadian policies, you all seem to be way ahead of us in some ways, at least. e.g., in healthcare, and legalization of marijuana, and recognition of AGW.

Re: The mystery of how “Christians” can be so off the mark in what is Christ-like in their political beliefs is VERY evident in the U.S. But, I guess, that religious people, in general, who are accustomed to believing by faith, rather than by rational facts, are easily able to believe by faith in lies, such as the ones that our current POTUS routinely issues. There is a very large and active voting block called evangelical Christians. They are avid Trumpists.

Tim, we’re far from immune to the exact problems you have. At least our fanatics aren’t as fanatical as yours… yet.

Most people I know like or even love Trump and are excited to hear their favorite Canadian politician use the same ideas as him. Hearing people I know and love say and agree with terrible things is no fun.

I live in small-town rural Alberta, and we’re the part of the country that most closely resembles the Trump supporter in our voting and religious ‘thinking’. So I rarely let my opinion be known to friends and family, and never in public in order to not be shunned by my neighbors or even vandalized. It’s actually safer to reveal my atheism to a stranger than my political views.


It is distressing to hear that so many Canadians love the current POTUS. I guess I thought that most Canadians were humanistic rather than white-nationalistic.

It depends where you live. I’m surrounded by mostly ‘red-neck’ conservatives, but in the cities there are more open-minded folks.

Our provincial election is a few weeks away and the rhetoric is absolutely insane. If the NDP (center-left political party) get in again, I actually worry about what the UCP (right wing political party) supporters will do.

What is it about Trump people like?

Or perhaps - What’s going on inside people who love Trump?

Is honesty and rationally evaluating all sides of an issue really that hated?

Is Me First really the end-all in their minds?