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Hi, sam
I'm pleased you found my approach interesting and effective.  Sadly, short of all out world war, I don't think we are going to see much in the way of mutual respect and cooperation between the far left and the far right.  However I think these two radical elements actually form a relatively small, extremely vocal segment of our population.  Neither seems willing to accept the reality of the democratic principal that the majority, which is not nearly so radical in either direction, is supposed to rule.

posted by notapoet on September 18, 2009 at 12:30 AM | link to this | reply

I'm quite familiar with Campbell University, Buies Creek, and the surrounding area.  In fact a great aunt of mine was spent most of her adult life working for what was then a junior college known as Campbell College and most of the Lasater's and McKays living there, in Lillington, and all around Anderson Creek are my relatives,  I spent much of my childhood living in the Anderson Creek area around Cambro Pond.  Clyde Edgerton, whom I've met, is the same one you remember.  He is currently head of the Creative Writing Department at UNC Wilmington and between when you knew him and now he also taught creative writing at St. Andrews.  Raney his first novel.  Since then he has published several more successful novels, the most recent of which is The Bible Salesman, plus a couple of nonfiction books.  I've never had the privilege of taking one of his classes, but I have attended one of his personal appearances in Southern Pines where he read passages from Lunch at the Piccadilly and picked a mean bluegrass guitar with a friend and former teacher of mine, noted southern poet Steven Smith.  Real life is full of strange coincidences and surprising shared experiences.  Of course I think Clyde and I both feel it is you who is wrong.

posted by notapoet on September 18, 2009 at 12:21 AM | link to this | reply

I liked this discussion! I think the tongue tongue in cheek approach merits some thought! The disparity is always going to abound, it's closing the gap that will make for a productive society! sam

posted by sam444 on September 16, 2009 at 6:45 AM | link to this | reply

By the way, I know you are a Clyde Edgerton fan and if Clyde is the same one I knew then I know you remember the book Raney. If it is the same one, I did take a class of his in college when he was a professor at Campbell University 1977-1981. After reading your posts and comments, I would have to say that you are not far off from one of your favorite writers' beliefs albeit wrong, lol! Of course, you know my beliefs just by my name. Nebertheless, I thought that was interesting, for whatever that is worth. 

posted by RedStatesMan on September 15, 2009 at 8:33 PM | link to this | reply

Re: notapoet,
The question here lies in what is your son going to do with his life? What have you done with your life and that is not meant to belittle you or your son. What will you do with your own life? This wealthy guy obviously does not understand that the palace can crumble at any moment. I have no idea how much money you would have to make to pay 50k in taxes; thank God I do not have to worry about that problem. Now, do not misunderstand me here when I ask what is being done to pull yourself up? is your son 9 months old now or are you talking about the past?

posted by RedStatesMan on September 15, 2009 at 8:22 PM | link to this | reply

Thanks, xeno-x
I believe we have much in common in our backgrounds and consider your brief comment to be high praise from a near contemporary.

posted by notapoet on September 15, 2009 at 11:50 AM | link to this | reply

Thanks for your addendum.  Too often the ignorant and/or uncaring forget that tax dollars also pay for the infrastructure that not only benefits all of us, maintaining said infrastructure serves to provide jobs for people who want to work and pay their share of taxes to further contribute to the common good.  People can scream socialism and communism all they want.  But they tend to scream even louder when all the infrastructure begins to crumble because their isn't enough tax money available to adequately maintain it.

posted by notapoet on September 15, 2009 at 11:26 AM | link to this | reply

Thank you for the kind words and for sharing your personal story with us.  You understand the real American dream is to make the future better and brighter for those that follow us.  Your neighbor mistakenly thought it was the mere accumulation of wealth and status in the here and now.  Sadly that shortsightedness and greed serves too often to divide us into a nation of haves and have nots, and leaves us at the mercy of those who grasp at all the differences that can further divide us from within.

posted by notapoet on September 15, 2009 at 11:10 AM | link to this | reply

good thoughts

posted by Xeno-x on September 15, 2009 at 8:50 AM | link to this | reply

Also, I found it interesting that he seemed to believe that all of his taxes went to pay for other people's "mistakes".  Did he not also drive on the same roads we did, did he not attend public schools, did he not receive grants to go to college?  When we pay our taxes, it is not just to benefit others, but for our communities and our society as a whole.

posted by myrrhage_ on September 15, 2009 at 8:49 AM | link to this | reply

Thank you for an eloquent and thought-provoking post about such a divisive and emotional issue.   I remember an argument I had some 15 years ago with a wealthy neighbor over this very problem.  "I pay $50,000 in taxes a year," he ranted, "and I don't think I should have to pay for other people's mistakes."

I can understand him feeling that way - to a point.  But such a statement seems so ironic now.  How much does one have to make to pay that much in taxes?  And what would possess him to say such a thing to someone scraping by on less than $6,000 per year?

Oh, it was because of my "mistake":  My beautiful illegitimate 9-month-old son.  Never mind that his own daughter was born out of wedlock as well, and that he was dating a stripper (no judgement here, just indignation over the double standard).  He was clearly referring to my son, who deserved a chance at a better life despite my shortcomings.

posted by myrrhage_ on September 15, 2009 at 8:42 AM | link to this | reply

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