Very nice post. I am grateful for the way in which you select the quotes you wish to highlight and argue or expand on them.
I also respect your boldness in sticking your chin out and getting hit so often.
I think there is ferment out there that has yet to settle. Right now the internet and new media are still new and people are still learning to use them. The loudest voices are trying to shout out the more deliberative ones. I think people like George Will are attacked because they have been around for years and were unable to prevent the world from turning. Passion, not reason, dictates the assault. And simple jealousy.
Personally, I am a registered Democrat and have been since I was 18. Before 9/11 I was reflexive and didn't think much about it, just voted with the Democratic herd. Since 9/11 I have evolved in a much more conservative direction. But I take the Tea Parties with a grain or salt, I have not made up my mind about Sarah Palin (she is light on critical experience and could have a better education - but our current president destroyed the unstated reqirements for "qualifications") and I was willing to listen to the birth certificate arguments (and evern read the lawsuits) before deciding that the proponents have no evidence and not much law behind them. I am still deciding whether the Natural Born Citizen clause is itself an anachronism (note that the Founders didn't define natural born citizenship or place the burden of proof on the candidate, signs they themselves didn't feel it critically important. The Founders didn't even amend changes when they got around to Free Speech, etc.)
In other words I try not to reject arguments out-of-hand without deliberation.
I think there are millions of voters out there who are broadly similar to me. They know something is wrong, and think that the country should be more "conservative" - whatever that means to them. Now they are listening to the extremes and will eventually move toward the middle. The so-called "Center Right."
It would be nice in the meantime to stop name-calling and argue the arguments not the motives of the arguer.
Thanks again.Comment Posted By Jim On 18.02.2010 @ 12:39
I agree with your comments about Humphrey and his essential integrity. I also agree that patriotism is hard to put into words and those words are frequently unsuccessful when you claim the word for your own. I don't even think MacArthur (who was a patriot but had an outsized ego) called himself a patriot in public. I am almost certain Eisenhower did not. I would be floored if George C. Marshall did. That's three generals, lots of other people are true patriots too and don't beat a drum.
But I think you are too hard on Sarah in this case. The response seems directed entirely at NASCAR and seems to me appropriate. Her aver that she isn't there for politics is also boilerplate. Any politician who is thought to be running for office will always be asked a variation of that question and they will always answer as she did, more or less. It sounds to me like she is saying she is there for the event and not on a campaign swing. A "let's talk about that later" type of answer.Comment Posted By Jim On 16.02.2010 @ 12:20
I see the incredible trolls that infest this site are at it again with quotes a dead man made circa 1960 (supposed to show how racist Republicans are - yet this registered Dem thinks the ;ibs arethe true bigots) ....and arguing that the Russians defeated Germany. Well, sort of. They killed more of their own people than the Germans did but they did fight the Germans - when their armies weren't attacking each other. And they used millions of tons of critcally needed British and American aid from food stuff to trucks to airplanes and God alone knows what else. It is entirely possible the Murmansk Run defeated Hitler. Who actually defeated himself in large part. BTW Who else thinks having them "rescue" France would have been a good idea?
On to your post....
We will have to swallow a bitter pill before we get real reform. That pill is the realization that individuals in both parties are guilty of creating this mess and bipartisan prosecution (plus a whole lot of economic pain) are critical to solving our current disaster. I think the Tea Partiers get it. They go silent when they hear Joe Farah go on about the BC issue but demand economic accountability. I hope they do and am looking with real curiousity toward 11/10.
Meanwhile, it is business as usual in DC with the same cast of characters doing the same economic mischief over two or morre administrationns. Presidents Obama and Bush are guilty but Obama is dpoing more damage, cheer leading trolls notwithstanding.
I also note that Bottoms failed to mention the Nazi-Soviet pact - the most cynical deal in diplomatic history. It was signed 2 days before the Germans invaded Poland - where they proceeded to divvy up the country with Stalin.
Stalin's treachery helped start World War II. The Pact enabled Hitler to invade by assuring that he would only have to fight a one front war. And you might want to ask Mr. Bottoms where the Soviets would have been without the massive amount of assistance supplied by the US to fight in the first place.
The Russian winter killed more Germans that the Red Army.
ed.Comment Posted By Jim On 12.02.2010 @ 15:34
...As far as obsolescence is concerned I recently read there is a move is hyper-green circles to replace the toilet with a simple bucket and handfuls of sawdust to stifle odors and jump start the conversion from waste to fertilizer (they say it works). The result becomes compost. I am not clear quite what they do while they are awaiting the transformation from excrement to fertilizer. Or what you do with the large quantities of fertilizer you generate. The article didn't mention toilet paper, dare I assume they go au naturel in this area as well? This movement (pun? what pun?) must be true. I read it in a major newsmagazine. I do remember many years ago watching a talk show where an earnest do-gooder was touting the virtues of the toilet less house. He, too had a specially designed bucket in mind and the house had some vent system because he evidently was not so convinced that there would be no odor.Comment Posted By Jim On 9.02.2010 @ 21:21
I really enjoy your "off topic" adventures...thanks!Comment Posted By Jim On 9.02.2010 @ 13:07
There has been an "unholy alliance" of profiteers, media, entertainment businesses and politicians. That alliance has consistently presented worse than the worst possible scenarios as beyond argument and imminent. Ratings and (as we now see) coerced business opportunities have been the motivation.
How to fix it?
Sometimes I despair. Every third show on the "History" channel is about Nostradamus, vampires, aliens, ghosts,crypto zoology, Truthers and murder. The rest is Adolf Hitler. In politics we have this mess created by Congress over the last 30 years. Democrats and Republicans both. The current administration is taking us off a cliff. I read today that some "strategists" are urging Republicans to strangle the good parts of President Obama's weak and paltry first steps at finacial reform. The very thing we need most and need immediately is being turned into a football by partisans on both sides.
So an increasingly ill-informed public (the trolls here always talk about the God-fearing in this light but the other side has no idea what carbon dioxide is and wants to treat it as a toxin because they got their science from their astrologer) duels with venal hacks of both parties. All presided over by a clueless administration.Comment Posted By Jim On 2.02.2010 @ 14:59
It is worth remembering that police beat journalism is the most one-sided in the field. You get the cops story and nothing from the arrestee. No one will let the arrestee speak for fear he will violate his rights, and a smart arrestee isn't going to talk. The lawyer almost always says almost nothing and waits to work in court. If the media stays interested that is when the people find out about the inevitable other side. It is interesting that the journalism profession does not as a rule do anything much to blunt the assumption almost all of us make that the arrestee is guilty because he was, well, arrested. Newspapers, for example rarely seem to run paragraphs saying something like "X police agency makes x thousand arrests per year, and in x percent of the cases charges are dropped, a settlement agreement is reached on a lesser charge or the case is otherwise disposed. No more than x percent actually go to trial. Of the x percent of cases going to trial x percent result in conviction." Some formula like that that at least shows a little scepticism about the guilt of the arrestee.Comment Posted By Jim On 27.01.2010 @ 13:57
IMO this arrest is pretty weird and so is the conduct alleged. Who would want to be sandwiched between an outraged US Senator and the FBI??
This should be very interesting as more facts come out.
I liked your post very much. When you shout "Shut up and Vote!" on an unpopular bill, don't be surprised when people are suspicious about it. Especially when it does not deliver at all on the promises behind the demand to "Shut up and Vote!"
I believe the real problem with the stimulus bill is that it was a diversion from the real source of the problems in the economy. Our woes are due to a number of long-standing federal policies championed by Bernanke, Geithner, Summers, and hence President Obama. Individuals in both parties are guilty for creating the bubble economy. The bubbles started forming in the 80's and have simply gotten bigger. We have to pop the current bubble. Taking tax money from us and passing it around might be nice and might even do some good. Infrastructure is a good thing. But it won't solve the problem. I think there are enough finance, econ and business majors in the general population who realize this, which is part and parcel of the anger.Comment Posted By Jim On 25.01.2010 @ 15:25
President Obama's election campaign essentially destroyed campaign finance reform in this country and there was nary a peep out of these usual suspects. Despite the fact that Democrats had championed public financing of elections for 30 years. Now they are livid because they worked the current law so well. McCain-Feingold had to go and it is good that it took a "severe blow." Now to apply the rules fairly. As I understand it McCain has to account for every penny of his campaign because he accepted public funds. President Obama faces no audit because he did not. Both the Republicans and Hillary Clinton's people have filed allegations about numerous and very important finance violations. President Obama's campaign finances should be audited by an independent organization to see just how much money came from Soros, Palestinian refugee camps, Kenya and other questionable or flatly illegal sources. Meanwhile, all the braying from the left about McCain-Feingold is just that, braying.Comment Posted By Jim On 23.01.2010 @ 11:59
The banks created the bubble economy that still threatens to destroy us. For 30 years Congress has abetted them. The last four administrations turned blind eyes (or worse). I believe the ugly facts were presented to President Obama after his election. Unfortunately, President Obama spent his first year shying away from solving the issue - in fact principal architects of the bubble - you can call them the foxes - were left to guard the henhouse. Geithner and company should never have been appointed and should have deparated long ago. It is understandable why President Obama was gun shy because the pain of bursting the bubble will be enormous. Unfortunately, ignoring it only makes it worse. He has frittered away the year with huge and expensive red herrings such as stimuli, bailouts, cash for clunkers and the health care bill. All were advertised as economy fixes. None of them worked. Most of his actions are perceived as failures. Now he is talking about taking on the banks - which should have been done on Day One. In other words, he is being forced to face the problem he and the foxes hoped to avoid. But he is now sailing into rough water with severely diminished political capital.And he is trying to fix the problem with Bernanke, Geithner and Summers still advising him. There are very rough times ahead.Comment Posted By Jim On 21.01.2010 @ 12:48