• comment on a post Where did the Party go? over 7 years ago

    Had he been elected in 1896, he would have been the youngest president in history.

    And the first undiluted fundamentalist with all that implies.

    Best,  Terry

  • on a comment on Where did the Party go? over 7 years ago

    Hubert Humphrey was wrong about some things, like the Vietnam war.

    Nawwww.  Hubert Humphrey sold his soul to the devil, like John McCain, in order to be president.  Didn't work for Humphrey and won't work for McCain.

    The nomination of JFK over Humphrey brought us the Vietnam War.  After he lost the election for president, Humphrey ruefully complained that he would have ended the war.  Might have been helpful if he opposed LBJ rather than playing lapdog but then Humphrey couldn't have even been nominated.

    That ol' divil fools you.  Not good to even lend him your soul.

    Best,  Terry

  • on a comment on Where did the Party go? over 7 years ago

    Jeffersonians, from the actual day of Jefferson all the way down to today, with guys like Russ Feingold, Jerry Brown, and Ron Paul (not all Jeffersonians are liberal), have usually been right

    I am a little bemused by equating Ron Paul with the other two while acknowledging your main point.

    Libertarians are essentially anarchists.  They are extreme liberals in philosophy in the same way that Manicheans (who wanted to separate the good spiritual soul from the bad material body by, for example, poisoning water wells) could be thought of as Christians.  In no way are they conservatives despite the current idiocy that makes them out to be such.

    Thank you for your cogent thoughts.

    Best,  Terry

  • on a comment on The lessons of Ned Lamont over 7 years ago

    you should have voted for Nader Mr. Previn.

    Mr. Previn probably didn't but I did.  I have voted for lots of those who didn't cotton to the like of Joe Lieberman posing as a Democrat.  Lieberman is where he belongs - in the Connecticut for Lieberman Party.

    "I don't know anybody that didn't vote Perot," one of my sons told me once.  He probably didn't talk politics with his bosses who probably wanted those upper class tax breaks while empowering powering the poor and disabled to look out for themselves.

    Those anxious to do in third party candidates like Ralph Nader and learn the attraction of a John McCain have only to find their appeal to voters rather than harming the Democratic Party with worthless attacks.

    Years ago I went to an organization meeting of Perot's Independence Party here in New York.  I was appalled that nearly everyone attending was wildly excited about implementing Newt Gingrich's manifesto.  Later the maverick Republican unification candidate, Sherry Boehlert [Boehlert once considered running in the Democratic as well as Republican primaries and would have probably won both], reported that the one group that voted against him were the Perot voters.  Rather obviously those voters weren't represented at that organization meeting anymore than I was or at least their views weren't fully explored.

    I am not so sure the Blue Dog Democrat representative replacing Boehlert is better.  I even voted for Boehlert once when he was excoriated by Newt.  My theory was that if Newt detested you, you couldn't be all bad.  No accident at all that Newt is a big fan of the Clintons, who did more damage to the Democratic Party than a herd of elephants to an African villager's vegetable garden.

    Best,  Terry

  • comment on a post Where did the Party go? over 7 years ago

    Sooo ... let me get this straight:  Hubert was an "elitist," and you think "popular people-based politics" means going back to Jefferson by way of ... William "Monkey Trial" Jennings Bryan.  Sure.  Why not?

    Enough to worry about a clown who puts DLC-spouting routineers like Sherrod Brown, who worry a lot about tax breaks for the "suffering middle class," and Jim Webb, who wants to give a voice to those without a voice, into a populist box without getting into the "elitist" Hubert Humphrey, who helped drive Jesse Helms, Strom Thurmond and other segregationists into the welcoming arms of the Republican Party.

    Jeff Taylor provides powerful evidence that men are monkeys after all - monkey see, monkey do.  

    Sorry, Bryan.  You couldn't even be elected in Kansas no more.  Even the monkeys are upper class with Sherrod Brown these days.

    Best,  Terry

  • comment on a post Who is James Webb? over 7 years ago

    Well, I can identify one prominent Washingtonian who doesn't think it's a dream: George Will.

    Has George Will ever been right about anything?

    You think George Will has time to sit down and write an hysteric character assassination unless he thinks the stakes are pretty high?

    I agree with that and have said so previously.

    Webb represents a very real threat aside from any aspirations to be president.

    As a counterpoint you might want to consider the influence a Jesse Helms wielded - or even far more potent and somwhat bizarre, Joe McCarthy.  Elsewhere Huey Long has been discussed.  FDR was less than thrilled with the attraction of a true populist during the Great Depression.

    I could go on and on but you get the point I am sure.

    And hope you are right.

    Best,  Terry

  • on a comment on Who is James Webb? over 7 years ago

    Their final and most pathetic swiftboating attempt, attacking Webb's novels, probably backfired more than any of the others.  It certainly put Webb over the 50% mark in the polls just in time for the election.

    You certain about that are you?

    You may be right for all I - or probably anyone - knows but it would be interesting to see a definitive analysis.  We know that Mrs. Cheney was questioned about her own "pornography." [hehe]  And others were mentioned.  But I found the tut-tuting by the usual stiffs on MSNBC and elsewhere less than reassuring.  Many other things are always going on.  Sure would be comforting to know that the voters made a reasoned decision and did indeed react against the dirtball but it would also be rather rare.

    : let's drop the talk about Webb as a presidential candidate for now.  We need him and about 75 more like him in the U.S. Senate right about now.

    Think you can find one more, let alone 75 more?

    For what little it's worth, I think Webb is a very independent voice - a maverick if you will. Rather incongruous for one with a military background since taking orders is what the military does but there it is. If there were an abundance of such folk, trying to get agreement on much of anything would be like trying to herd cats.

    Great to have people like Webb. He is my idea of a true liberal unlike the routineers without an independent thought in their life that others think are "real" liberals.  But it might not be so hot if there were too many.  Then again there is little danger.

    I think it is little more than a dream that Webb would even consider running for president - but what a wonderful dream it is.  Good to see others besides myself suggest it as a possibility.  I am frankly amazed and delighted.

    Best,  Terry

  • Reactionary conservatives

    No such beast, Paul.

    George W. Bush is excellent proof.

    many people have only the vaguest notion of what liberalism means.

    Like yourself, for instance?

    'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,' it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.'

    'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

    'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master - that's all.'

    - Alice in Wonderland

    In fairy tales and in the hands of spin doctors, words can have all manner of meanings if one wishes to be master like Humpty Dumpty.

    For those who have outgrown fairy tales, liberal has the same old meaning it has always had no matter how badly soiled it seems to be from misuse.

    Liberals look forward to the future, to reform and renewal.  They look to freedom and limited government.  They prefer schools and universities to prisons and chains and walls and barriers.

    Some are plumb against that.  They fear the future.  They are called conservatives.

    People that want to go back to a dreamy time that never was are reactionaries.

    It is all quite simple.

    Best,  Terry

  • comment on a post Free West Papua over 7 years ago

    (AR) JAKARTA -- Two prominent experts on Indonesia had opposite reactions to charges that U.S. President Bill Clinton had favored Jakarta when dealing with East Timor and human rights issues after he received campaign contributions from an Indonesian billionaire.

    Meanwhile, the French news agency AFP reports that the billionaire believed to be a source of the huge campaign donations to Clinton also enjoyed strong ties to the best-known leaders of the Christian Right, who visited his offices in a Jakarta suburb to pray.

    http://www.monitor.net/monitor/9610a/ria dyconnections.html

    I wonder if Al Gore would care to speak on environmental issues in Papua New Guinea as well as East Timor?

    Maybe offer a little prayer too.

    Best,  Terry

  • on a comment on Open Thread over 7 years ago

    Mary Matalin clear wears the pants.

    Best,  Terry

  • i'm not sure you could characterize paul hackett or jim webb as a liberal the way most liberals understand the term.

    Officially anointed liberals, like saints, often aren't.

    I have wondered how it can be that people have no trouble identifying their left from their right at in community settings, in foreign countries and are completely baffled in national politics.

    It is not the position on taxes, on the environment, on gun control, on abortion, on balanced budgets.  It is not whether they call themselves Democrats or Republicans or Greens or independents.  

    Maybe the most anointed liberal of them all who isn't is Michael Kinsley.  I was rather surprised that he defended his supposed liberalism on television once, saying that critics were wrong.  They were on the money.  Kinsley is a fine, perceptive, intelligent, good-hearted fellow and a superb writer.  But he ain't no liberal.

    CONSERVATIVE, n.
        A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. - The Devil's Dictionary

    And there you have it in the most basic terms.

    The conservative wants to protect what is.  He will use all the powers of government to protect privilege and position.  He fears the future and the common folk.

    The liberal hungers for change, for renewal, for reform, for a voice for those left out, for fairness and freedom.

    An anarchist would be an extreme liberal just as a reactionary is an extreme conservative.

    The aristocratic Michael Kinsley sneers at the commoners.  The old soldier Jim Webb wants to give those left out a voice.

    Michael Kinsley is a conservative.  Jim Webb is a liberal.

    Simple is it not?

    Most of our politicians range from conservative to reactionary.  The reactionary dreams of a time that never was like Reagan's simplistic and rather laughable "city on a hill."  The liberal dreams of what might be.  One looks back, one looks forward.  Neither have particularly good eyesight.  The conservative at least knows what is.

    Best,  Terry

  • Didn't the Irish immigrants suffer from discrimination in the early 20th century in the northeast?

    Bit earlier than that.

    The Irish were the first slaves imported from Europe.  Later there were the indentured servants.

    The Puck cartoons show how well the Irish were regarded around the beginning of the 20th Century.

    A bit of trivia.  We slept in the Irish maid's bed in the Borden murder mansion in Fall River that is now a bed and breakfast.  It is commonly suggested that "Maggie" (Bridget Sullivan was her name but Maggie was always the name given to Irish maids) was the actual killer.  If there was any way on earth the deed could have been pinned on Bridget, it would have been.  She was actually in full view from the street washing windows outside when the murders occurred.  The only ones lower than the Irish were the "Portuguese."  "Portuguese" were most anyone else that weren't English or Irish.

    I had a wonderful brochure from a ladies charitable auxiliary in Albany around that period that talked about the drunken, heathen Irish among all the charitable doings.  Had us dead to rights you might say. :-)

    Best,  Terry

  • definitely the base has made it clear that the flaw in the Bush strategy was that he veered from conservatism

    Sure.  You bet.  Yup.

    It's like the neocons saying that trying to convert Iraq to democracy was a fine idea but Bush screwed it up.

    It is curious to me that the mythology of balanced budgets, cautious spending and small government has even been sold to liberals as the hallmarks of conservatism when the precise opposite is true.

    There is a hilarious scene in the book by Reagan's original budget guru, who was "taken to the woodshed" by Reagan when he acknowledged the farcical nature of the budget projections.  While still in Reagan's good graces, the fellow got an appointment to talk to The Gipper so he could express his concern about deficits.  This is a rough approximation of how it went:

    OBM Director:  We need to reduce the red ink.

    Reagan:  Right.  I have always been against deficits.

    OBM: One way is to cut defense spending.

    Reagan:  We need a strong defense.

    OMB; We have a terrible problem with budget deficits.

    Reagan:  I have always been against those.

    OBM: But the Defense Department spends a lot of money.

    Reagan:  We need a strong defense.

    The OBM Director left in a daze and soon was eased out.  The deficits and spending and government exploded.  The debt finally was greater than the debt run up by all the presidents in the two centuries before Reagan while the country went from the world's biggest creditor to the world's biggest mooch.

    Then it all got worse, much worse, under conservative management.

    But people still believe in the myth.

    It's a religion or something.

    By the way, the Great Taxcutter, Reagan, gave lower paid workers the greatest tax increase ever while cutting taxes on the - ahem - middle class.  Regular DLC'er.

    Best,  Terry

  • > Not much on genetics are you?

    No, not particularly.  Frankly, who cares whether the earliest people to migrate to North America were caucasian or not?

    You don't care whether a drug kills you while curing others?  When the FDA warns doctors that "Asians" are particularly susceptible to a muscle-wasting disease caused by anti-cholesterol drugs, would it not be nice to know what an Asian might be?  It could be life-threatening to announce to imbibers in a Dublin pub that Irish should avoid Guinness because of the "Celtic Curse," hemochromatosis (iron overload), to which the Irish are particularly susceptible but I suspect many Irish in this country need not worry.

    The amazingly fertile Irish and Cherokees, to the exclusion of many other races, may not accord so easily with genetics.  I was frankly surprised that my wife's Texas relatives discussed the possibility that the Cherokee great grandmother may not have been - ahem - full blooded like all others are.

    Good you have admitted to being a Native American and Irish too.  Confession is good for the soul.

    Watch out for Guinness.  It's loaded with iron.

    Best,  Terry

  • Thank you.

    He cares about nanotechnology and energy research

    That be nice.  From the link:

    "We need to first determine for ourselves, are all aspects of nanotechnolgy are safe, which ones aren't, and how do we protect our selves," he said.

    Looking at the example of such technology as genetically altered grains, Gordon noted that genetically altered foods have been rejected by much of the rest of the world because of safety concerns.

    I have wondered if Transylvanians would refuse to use genetically modified garlic to ward off vampires.  I would ask my son's Transylvanian girlfriend but she doesn't seem to know a whole lot about superstitions.

    There is a very strong undercurrent of superstition in the American public as well as the rest of the world.  Genetically modified crops that can save on land, labor, fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides are inhibited in this country as well as internationally while gene-splicing of viruses that could present horrendous threats is carried on with limited concern.

    Safety concerns in drugs are obviously very real but the issue can protect the behemoths at the expense of innovative biotechs while causing untold death and disability.  Oddly the Naderites are among the main culprits in protecting the Mercks and Pfizers and spreading disinformation.

    Would love to hear more from Bart Gordon despite some dubious credentials and a perhaps understandable modesty about addressing issues germane to his chairmanship to Science, being he is from Tennessee and all.

    Best,  Terry

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