Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Long Labor Day Weekend Meander

28 comments:

  1. Felt like we needed a new meander for the weekend. It's early because I'm headed west for a few days and probably won't have internet access.

    Happy Labor Day to everyone.

    (Nice color scheme, Gintaras)

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  2. I've always loved that pic but wonder how they changed places.For my next non fiction I decided to put FDR on hold till the next read and started"Summer World" by my favorite science/nature writer Bernd Heinrich before summer is over.In teresting that the hardcover cop has white paper but green ink.Don't recall anything but black in any book I've read before.

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  3. Great picture. Architects love it.

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  4. Hope that you all have a good Labor Day weekend. Mine started when I finished my temp work 11pm Thurs., but I'm working on Labor Day. This is good, because the hourly rate will be much higher for the holiday, but still under what I was earning (per hour) before my 2009 layoff from a law firm.

    I'm back to reading Taylor Branch's book about his meetings with Clinton during C's presidency.

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  5. Feel free to make a post on the Clinton book, marti. I have Blumenthal's biography of Clinton around here somewhere, which I've been meaning to read.

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  6. Here's another I really want to read:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/05/books/review/Bass-t.html

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  7. So many books so little time : (

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  8. I finished THE HARDING SCANDAL. It examines the correspondence between Carrie Phillips ang Warren G--they had a torrid relationship between 1905 and 1918...lots of letters now public. These range from very hot to very angry to just plain lovers quarrels. Underlying this thread is the investigation into whether Isabelle, Carries daughter, was involved with a character known as "The Countess" (Iona Zollern)was engaged ib spying for the Germans in WWI. The Countess was arrested, had a hearing, but was never prosecuted. Interesting reading--but sometimes vague and hard to follow. Read at your own peril. I enjoyed most of it...but in the end it left me up in the---did she...or didn't she? No answer was given or even hinted at.

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  9. I read a sample---30 pages-- Jack Rakove's REVOLUTIOARIES--about the founders--Rakove's idea is there were two sets of founders...those who declared independence and thse who wrote the Constitution. There is a 14 year difference and the maturation of a new generation...... Rakove writes a good book--usually on Constitutional subjects, so he's very qualified in this area...I read his other books--two of the anyway, so I'll try this one.

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  10. THE CLINTON TAPES by Taylor Branch is a very good read...I can't remember much detail, but I remember I really enjoyed it (my memory remains poor on detail, but fairly good on feelings, so I don't know what Branch said or wrote--but I know I liked it, that it was well done).
    My time is up-- Have a good evening.

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  11. I'm enjoying The Clinton Tapes. In a way, it's a review of what was going on at the time through the eyes of Taylor Branch as he spent time with Clinton and what Clinton talked to him about.

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  12. Yesterday Alternative Radio rebroadcast an 1989 speech by Daniel Schorr on the Reagan legacy. Absolutely fascinating.

    One of the legacies he points to is that after Reagan, the nation would be forced to put off addressing questions of health, education, infrastructure, etc., because we simply could no longer afford it (the result of starve the beast).

    All the social problems Reagan identified as "worthy" -- like fighting AIDS or improving education -- could only be addressed for the time being with what Reagan called "a down payment." The nation simply could not afford to do more.

    Seems like we're still living with that mindset today, in spite of the fact that we like to call ourselves the richest country on earth and can invade and occupy countries at will.

    The talk is available as a $5 download here, although it might be available for free somewhere else:

    http://www.alternativeradio.org/programs/SORD002.shtml

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  13. This goes with all the tax cuts over the years, which the Republicans so desperately want to make permanent. What a legacy!

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  14. I missed the opening remarks so not sure if the Alternative Radio folks made any attempt to put this in context or not. But the parallels were striking as I listened to Schorr (who was immediately recognizable by his voice and commentary).

    Then I read David Brooks this a.m. celebrating the conservative agenda. Even with some tempering of his argument for the sake of finding middle ground -- not all government is bad, according to Brooks -- he still fails to acknowledge that if it hadn't been for "big government" stepping in with (gulp) tax money, all those conservatives would be underwater now with the rest of us.

    It's socialism for the very rich, free markets for the rest of us. And still the Tea Party comes out for more of the same. That is the Reagan Legacy.

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  15. This is something the conservatives will refuse to accept. They will never admit that they were wrong, and that banking regulations are necessary.

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  16. Alas... They also refuse to admit they are responsible for what happened to the economy, although that was part of the Reagan's legacy (and plan) according to Schorr (speaking in 1989): cut taxes, run up a huge deficit through "critical" and "necessary" defense spending, and then simply raise up your hands in exasperation when there's simply not enough money to go around. That in turn leads to lower expectations but also lower quality of life for most Americans, which is also something they don't want to talk about.

    For me the argument isn't about less or more government -- but what kind of country you want to live in and then how do we achieve it. For some reason, people have bought that "freedom" line and so would rather pay less taxes than have libraries, quality schools, parks, even good roads and safe bridges, which I just don't understand.

    But I did find it ironic that some woman (clearly a republican) screamed bloody murder when they started shutting down the public rest stops in Arizona, claiming it was just a tactic to raise their taxes. What a country!

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  17. There is something oddly Chekhovian about these people. They seem utterly incapable of altering their future, frozen in some nostalgic vision of what was and thinking if they ignore the changes taking place, they can maintain these reveries, until the floor literally falls out underneath them.

    Of course, the older you get the harder it is change, redirect your life, come to terms with the matters at hand. But, what gets me is how many young persons continue to join the Republicans when there is simply no future in this party. It is all about the past, holding up Reagan as a quasi-religious icon for all that is good about conservatism.

    If things go to hell, blame it on the Democrats.

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  18. "That in turn leads to lower expectations but also lower quality of life for most Americans, which is also something they don't want to talk about."

    But it is what Arianna Huffington is talking about in her many appearances in connection with her new book "Third World America." From the interviews I've heard, it offers actions as well as a critique, the only one of which I recall is the campaign to get everyone to move their money to smaller banks and credit unions to focus money in one's local area (perhaps to punish the big guys, though it wasn't expressed as such).

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  19. Thanks, NY. I should take a look at her book. I tend to play fast and loose with pronouns. "They" in the above are the conservatives.

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  20. You all might want to visit The Fourth Branch blog

    http://www.thefourthbranch.com/

    for a discussion of Dinesh D'Souza's article in Forbes magazine and Newt's recent reliance on it.

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  21. I just read Maureen Dowd on that... And I thought things were scary in this country under Bush...

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/15/opinion/15dowd.html

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  22. Newt seems to think that Obama comes from Kenyan anti-colonial perspective,

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20100912/el_yblog_upshot/gingrich-obama-guided-by-kenyan-anti-colonial-worldview

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  23. As someone quipped at the Times, since when is being anti-colonial a bad thing -- but that is hardly, alas, where Obama is coming from. They just want to paint Obama as a some sort of foreign radical with a hidden agenda.

    I belong to a paleontology listserv and there's even someone there -- where evidence and critical thinking should be the rule -- who thinks Obama has been plotting to take over America and we've all fallen for it. It's very scary out there!

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  24. Yea, there are even a couple of "books" that pick up on the "Manchurian Candidate" theme, but if anyone had the chance to be indoctrinated overseas it was Mackie, who spent 5 years in a POW camp.

    I've long wondered what was so "heroic" about McCain's internment. After all, this was a guy who got shot down and captured by the Vietcong. Not exactly the stuff of legend. But, somehow he was able to cash in on his POW status when he returned home.

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  25. For what it's worth, I believe McCain refused repatriation when other fliers were not to be freed. If nothing else, that was the mark of a good team player; given his injuries (assuming they haven't been completely exaggerated), refusing to go free was a bit more than that. None of this absolves him of the foolishness of his more recent political behavior. I assume his wife wants to be First Lady and since she owns him he's trying to give her wnat she wants.

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  26. Hey Carol! Want to read some Bob Dylan with us?

    We should also check with Bo, Larch, Barton and some of some of other members to see if the book might interest them. Seems like this would be a good one for a variety of interests.

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  27. I'm assuming this is part of what Huffington is getting at. The Reagan/Bush legacy:

    Forty-four million people in the United States, or one in seven residents, lived in poverty in 2009, an increase of 4 million from the year before, the Census Bureau reported on Thursday.

    The poverty rate climbed to 14.3 percent — the highest since 1994 — from 13.2 percent in 2008. The rise was steepest for children, with one in five residents under 18 living below the official poverty line, the bureau said.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/17/us/17poverty.html

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  28. Yup, that is very much the kind of thing she was talking about. In the radio interview I heard (or maybe it was the segment I saw on BookTV), she admitted the "3rd world" in the title was designed to grab attention, but she described the basis for same and lots of callers-in to the radio interview-forum provided supporting anecdotal evidence.

    The last time I recall the phrase 3rd World was when it came to my mind when seeing video of New Orleans after Katrina and the movement of refugees out of there.

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