Friday, August 27, 2010

Restoring Honor?


You really have to marvel at the lengths the hypocritical right wing will go to in making its voice heard.  This latest political stunt by Glenn Beck, although he calls it a "non-partisan rally," is perhaps his boldest move yet.  It was bad enough seeing him crib titles from Thomas Paine, but here he is now trying to claim the mantle, or in this case monument, of Abraham Lincoln.  A man whose principles he knows absolutely nothing about.  Not only that, he consciously picks the date of MLK's transcendent I Have a Dream speech to stage this Beckapalooza and inviting Grizzly Mom herself, Sarah Palin, to give the keynote speech.

Quite frankly, I find it repulsive, but sadly this is what I've come to expect from these self-serving political pundits who parade themselves as the voice of the people.  I'm curious what "honor" he is "restoring," as I thought the Obama administration was all about restoring honor after 8 years of dragging the US Flag and Constitution through the mud in the form of two uncalled for wars, the complete disregard for international protocol and law, and the total disrespect for human rights.  But, I guess "honor" has become a relative term.

66 comments:

  1. Is that an actual photo of the Beck business at the memorial?

    I know these kinds of comparisons are over the top, but he honestly reminds me of what Hitler was probably like in person -- a little man with a huge fragile ego.

    I may have mentioned this here earlier, but when I first saw him I thought he was a comedian (ditto Matt Drudge). Not very funny in the way he writes on his black board, but an off beat political comedian nonetheless. Hard to believe people take him seriously and think they are getting, gulp, an education.

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  2. Don't get in the gutter with them--That was Eisenhower's advice regarding McCarthy. Let them destroys themselves. Its all narrow minded bigotry based on fear of the"other." The danger is that it will end in violence like the abortion dispute did. Tis time its religios intolerance and xenophobia combined with paranoia. Beck is getting more extreme with time and one day he'll destroy himelf. It's agood time to re-read Hofstadter's The Paranoid Style of American politics andto remember the self destruction of Dick Nixon and Joe McCarhy.

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  3. Maybe Hofstadter's "Anti-Intellectualism in American Life" would also be appropriate.

    I'm late but no less sincere in welcoming you back, Robert. Long may you wave.

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  4. It certaintly would be. I'll see if I can get a copy...Thaks I'm very happy to be able to back---but remember I can't read anymore exceot for a Kindle Book becayse its got a gray backgroud.I'm going to see if I can read on the new NOOK next week. I'll let you know--but right now I'm vwey satified with the Kindle----My occipital lobe is permanently damaged precluding me from reading blak on white print---ain't that weird? It's ok with me--I'm practically all fixed--99 & 44/100 % back to normal after 13 months of very productive changes.

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  5. My computer time is up for the night---not allowed to strain my eyes. Next week I can add 15 minutes to my time and if it works--another 15 minutes the following week..Have a good evening.. Bob

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  6. Thank God Sponge Bob is in color Robert.I was half joking on my facebook page the other night after I uncovered my copy of Traitor to His Class under a pile of mags .I mentioned I was thinking of making it my next non fiction read and wondering what would have happened if Fox News and the current gang of right wing talkers had been around in FDR'S day.

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  7. Robert, I can change the text and background colors to make it easier to read. What combination would best suit you?

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  8. JAbed (did I get it right): Anyhow---the right wing was very much alive under FDR ny it ripprd him unmrcifully until he died.

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  9. Gintaras: A medium to a dark gray helps--it neutralizes (sic) the gray spots I see--the damaged nerve endings which distort thing. The Kindle has a gray fixed background. A computer refreshes periodically and I can sense and it throws me off--but now I've learned to tolerate someof it, allowing me to return here with more confidence and with greater ease.OOPs, I see the spots again, so I'll czll it quits for a while and come back later on. They are blocking "o's" and p's. Talk to you later...

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  10. Robert, how nice to see you here on a regular basis again. Really feels like old times.

    I'm sure Gintaras can work some magic to make this easier on your eyes. In the meantime, do you know about "readability?" It was posted once at the NY Times and I use it from time to time with smaller print (or pages with lots of busy graphics etc.). It may also help you focus.

    It's free -- you just "drag" their icon onto your browser's tool bar.

    I tried and it doesn't work on the home page here, but once you open a thread like this one to comment, all you have to do is click on it, and it zeros right in on the text. Might be worth a try:

    http://lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability/

    Also, most browsers have a view option which you can use to make type bigger on the screen. The type here is smallish on my screen, which I like -- but for you larger overall might also help with the blurring letters.

    Good to have you back!

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  11. Robert,I know you are right about the right under FDR.I was referring to the TV medium and the internet medium of present day having the ability to intensify things.By the way I was bosox on the NYTimes forums.Good to hear from you Robert.

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  12. I actually like this more.I have a tube monitor yet and the it cuts out the flickering one could see on the white background.Who Knew?!

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  13. ''these self-serving political pundits who parade themselves as the voice of the people''

    What is even sadder is the unwillingness of the Democrats to answer these idiodicies with rallies of their own. Bush lost millions of jobs, Obama created 4.5 million -- so where is the open praise by Dems? Obama ended the recession - again, where is the open praise? He has now reduced the military presence in the Middle East - shouldn't people be celebrating?

    Instead, right wingers are saying things are far worse today under Obama. So why are the Democrats silent yet again? And why didn't they attack Bush like Obama is being attacked and like Clinton was beforehand?

    In all honesty, I cannot blame the Republicans for being enterprising. They are smart enough to realize that telling lies has its rewards in politics. But why haven't Democrats resorted to the same tactics? Clearly, it is their failure to engage in this same strategy that costs them elections. After all, it's all about choice.

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  14. Looks like they brought all their blankets and coolers with them as they managed to cover more "area" than the great MLK rally all those years ago. Apparently the NPS no longer does crowd estimates, but Beck boasted of 500,000.

    Whatever the count, he wins. This rally garnered the attention he was looking for even if it didn't appear to serve any major purpose whatsoever. As you say, Trip, there really is little to bemoan in the current administration, as Obama has done pretty much what he set out to do, and what people voted him in office to do.

    The watered down health care bill should have come as a relief to Republicans, not a concern, as it will have little affect on their precious private health insurers. Instead, it provides the opportunity for those who don't have health care insurance to get it at slightly reduced premiums.

    But rallies like these aren't about logic or any serious concern with real issues. They are just politic stunts meant to draw attention to those who stage them, giving persons like Beck and Palin a false sense of relevance and importance.

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  15. Hi Robert. Great to see that you have been back in here.

    I think that the Nook has a lighter background than the Kindle 2 and the K3 that has just come out is also lighter for more contrast (probably not what you want). But I'm sure that you are looking at the Nook in-store before you purchase.

    I often make text on the computer screen larger by pressing CTRL/+ (or CTRL/- to make smaller again).

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  16. A woman who was in my HS class (only know her now through facebook) went to the Beck rally on Saturday. Amazes me how these people are taken in by all this BS. She posted on FB that she was so inspired and was there with her daughter and grandchildren. I realized that some of my old classmates were Republican, but that doesn't mean that they need to follow Beck and Palin (or does it -- is this what the Republican party has come to?).

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  17. I have the "readability" feature on my Mozilla Firefox browser, but it doesn't work in Google Chrome, which is what I use most of the time now.

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  18. I find the same posts on my facebook, marti. I was responding for awhile but gave up. Basically, these persons are anti-government and Beck and Palin appeal to them emotionally.

    I can understand someone being taken in by Ron Paul, as he can at least articulate a Libertarian position, much like John Anderson did years ago, but Beck and Palin work on the most guttural level. I suppose that is why they have more followers.

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  19. As has been pointed out many times by many people, the Tea Partiers are anti-government until they feel the pinch. Then they suffer some kind of anti-government amnesia.

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  20. No, then they're anti-government because it doesn't do _enough_ for them.

    If you haven't already, be sure to see Rich's column on the backers of the Tea Party.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/opinion/29rich.html

    One would hope that people would at least be curious enough to want to know who finances these things and at least ask why? But then again, the Republicans have also starved the school systems, too -- no government intervention there! -- so they have a pretty uneducated electorate to work with these days.

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  21. The part that really gets under my skin about this is the "restoring honor" bit -- we've lost it because we've let a black man and his family into the _White_ House. Let's get back to when there was real "honor" in this country, when George W and his family and friends were in charge.

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  22. Come now, av, don't you know this was a "non-partisan" rally! Maybe they were implying that they wanted the Republicans to return to being the Party of Lincoln?

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  23. Yeah, right....! Even Lincoln with his backwoods origins would probably detract from the "honor" of the White House, in the same way that Clinton and his origins did.

    Not to mention Lincoln's federalism and his ability to expand his idea about what constituted an American.

    I thought things were scary when Bush was in charge, but it appears I didn't know how lucky we were. What a country. It's probably a good thing I don't watch the news as often anymore.

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  24. The media is the problem. Had not Beck gotten all that media attention I doubt more than 20 or 30,000 persons would have shown up for the event. But, thanks go to CNN and the major networks for pumping up his rally.

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  25. Without Bush we would not have Obama. As much as I like him, I'm not sure the trade off is good enough.

    AVRDS, don't stop listening to the news (you don't have to watch it).

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  26. Without Bush -- think of Gore for those same eight years, as much as I disliked him at the time -- we wouldn't be in all the messes and on-going occupations we're in today. So you're right, we wouldn't have been so mobilized to get Obama in (although my guess is he would have made it eventually from the Senate -- every one said so after he spoke at the Democratic convention way back when they had speakers like Obama).

    I'm too much of a political junkie to give up the news entirely. But there was a time when I watched at least three hours a night, depending on what was going on. Or I was glued to NPR.

    Now during the week I try to get Hardball online -- which is always iffy for some reason. If there's an issue I'm particularly interested in (like the end of the occupation -- I refuse to call it a war), I watch Maddow online. But that's about it other than the NYTimes and occasionally the Washington Post.

    I gave up on listening regularly to NPR awhile back. Too much entertainment, and not enough reporting and analysis (she says, loyally watching Chris Matthews each night).

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  27. If we had had Gore instead of Bush there would have been no invasion of Iraq, a SCOTUS more to my liking, and some better tax policies. He and Tipper might still be together, too. It was a terrible loss. As for the news, indeed, we have NPR lite most of the time nowadays. I largely blame pandering to the short attention span of the 30-50 demographic. In an effort to compensate, I have the BBC on from midnight till 5 am, and since I'm wakeful I get to hear a different line quite a lot, although they have too much US and not enough international news these days.

    PROTOCOL question: A woman who works with me at Friends of the Library seems like someone who would be a good addition here; how can I ask her (if I may) to drop by and check us out? She is more interested in philosophy than history, but plenty interested in both.

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  28. She can log on and make comments by simply subscribing to Google. Is she would like to make lead posts I would need an e-mail address in order to send her a request to be a contributor. It depends on how much she wants to involve herself.

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  29. Cool! Might also help if we have a book chosen.

    While we kill time discussing American politics and other meanders about this, that, and the other thing from time to time, what makes this a great site is that we really do read and discuss books.

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  30. According to Matthews, 87,000 people -- plus or minus 9,000 -- turned out for the Beck revival. This is according to CBS which hired a company to estimate the crowd using aerial photographs:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20015115-503544.html

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  31. Again, according to Matthews, Michelle Bachman estimated in excess of 1 million.

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  32. No doubt it would have been better to have Gore, but eventually the Democrats would have had to succumb to the Republicans. If not Dubya, then Jeb or someone else of pretty much the same ilk.

    What gets me is how the Repugs have cast themselves as ultra-conservatives. I would think this is far away from the platform Ron Paul imagined in 2008, even though he is generally regarded as the godfather of this Tea Party movement. What we have now is a bunch of neo-fascists parading as "Libertarians," led by political wash-outs like Dick Armey and Sarah Palin. They've managed to overrun the Republican Party but I would like to think that so-called Independents won't fall for this cock and bull story, no matter how disgruntled they might be with Democrats at the moment.

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  33. Let's hope so, although right now the prospect doesn't look good. I figure this is a good year to seriously volunteer for someone again. I'm thinking Russ Feingold, since even he is at risk apparently, but I haven't quite decided yet.

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  34. Carol, I should look into streaming BBC. I used to listen regularly. We get BBC news on the radio for half an hour mid-day, and it's always excellent. I used to be a regular reader of English newspapers (and still read them on occasion), but for some reason I got out of the habit. I should really get back into that, too.

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  35. Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann told supporters shortly after the rally that "we're not going to let anyone get away with saying there were less than a million here today — because we were witnesses."

    I don't think dear Michelle can look much past her own nose, but funny to see the right wing media pick up on such huge numbers,

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20100830/cm_yblog_upshot/glenn-beck-rally-sparks-debate-over-crowd-size

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  36. BBC has its own biases. I prefer the print media these days, picking up the occasional bit of news on television. For a short while we were getting al Jazeera, which does give you a different perspective on the Middle East, but it was quickly dropped from our cable line up. Still check it out on the Internet from time to time,

    http://english.aljazeera.net/

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  37. That's one of the advantages of reading and/or watching different sources.

    After 9/11 the news from Europe seemed much more "fair and balanced" than what we were getting here. Plus, "journalists" like Judith Miller at the Times were in the pocket of the administration, so it was very difficult to get any perspective then. That's when I started reading the Guardian and the Independent -- even the Times of London -- in earnest.

    I personally like Chris Matthews, mostly because he is so transparent you don't have to second guess him. And for some odd reason he can attract people from the right on his show so you can at least hear their point of view -- or at least when Chris isn't talking over them.

    For a long time he also was the only of that msnbc evening lineup who had real diversity in those who commented.

    Maddow, though, seems the real journalist/reporter. So if I want deep analysis, I turn to her.

    (For real diversity I once tried Morning Joe but he seems like nothing more than a loud bully.)

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  38. In defense of the BBC, I lived in London twice and was amazed when I came back home and watched the news -- even then (the mid- to late-70s) it was clear it was meant only as entertainment when compared to the coverage I had been used to in England.

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  39. Thanks for the info, Gintaras.

    BOOKS: The Friends of the Library big used book sale is coming up toward the end of September. Few if any of the half-million books on offer cost more than $5; most are $2 or $3. Anything anyone would like me to pick up?

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  40. Courtesy of The Atlantic

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/features/view/feature/Dropkick-Lincoln-1932

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  41. I read The Atlantic every month (a little to my right, good fiction, some good writing in general) and have never before looked at its website. Thanx for taking us there, nyt.

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  42. Good evening: My screen is has turned dark gray. I thank whoever did that, but find that the shade of gray is too dark for me. Is therea lighter shade to help me out?

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  43. I notice when I right clicked snd pressed SELECT ALL, everything came up with a bright blue with white print.Can this be done? Can you up my font size two levels?

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  44. How do you do things like that --- the white on blue is stunning. What a change--it might prove better than gray

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  45. The thougt of Glen Beck, evangelist asking Americans to stop the divisiveness is enouhj to question his hold on reality. I think he needs psychiatric care before he begins to talk to God directly--he is approaching a dangerous phase in his personality presentation...He now believes he has been destined by God for some vague purpose. On topof it all,he is paranoid and truly belives we are doomed unless we change. That's a dangerous though process for anybody with power he has...He's begun a ministry of sorts--watc out, the fun is about to begin--he's out of control now

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  46. This gray is a lighter, robert. Font sizes you can adjust through your computer, by "zooming in" in the "view" heading on Mozilla Firefox, which I use, or by enlarging the fonts on other browsers.

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  47. Beck comes across as an aspiring Hitler. It is obvious that this guy wants desperately to get into politics. Broadcasting isn't enough for him and a rally like this is his way to "legitimize" his draw.

    For years now he has posting one bestseller after another, presented as some clever perversion of a well-known title or phrase. He seems to view himself as a true blue patriot, or should I say red, as those seem to be the states he appeals to.

    I imagine 200 or 300,000 persons could turn up for a rally like this. It doesn't seem to take much to draw these "patriots" out of the woodwork. There are enough of them in the states around DC to achieve a number like this, but the 100,000 number is probably closer to the mark.

    The funny part is that Beck seems more concerned with his numbers than anything else, which leads one to ask "where's the beef?"

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  48. Good Lord!!!!!! THAT'S PERFECT!!! Thank you so much---its so much easier to read---not perfect, but as close as can be gotten.

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  49. Beck reminds me of the character played by Andy Griffth or Griffin in "A FACE IN THE CROWD" ---Lonesom Rhodes---play stupid and naive while you manipulate your audiene--but as I remember the character, Rhodes believed everything he said----Beck? I don't know---he can't be that stupid. Professionally people of his personality disorder who are also addicted or alcoholic, are also intensely angry. Find out where the anger comes from and a professional can trace it back to anxirty and through frustration, into depression---that's why Beck got suicidal earlier in his life--his anger turne inward----but now the question is--how does he get rid of anger--turning to God will sometimes work, but with him it hasn't.
    Thaks again Gintaras, your a life saver.This is great Bob Whelan

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  50. What a productive day.People have done so much to help me that its hard to express my appreciation clearly--but each thing done for me brings me closer to total normality--I can't wait to call my opthamologist. Its 4AM here and time to sleep for a few hours
    God that screen looks good!!!!

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  51. What worries me the most is how the Democrats once again let themselves be suckered into the Republicans' game. I was fit to be tied when Harry Reid weighed in on the mosque "controversy," saying he disagreed with Obama. What the hell was Reid thinking. It was neither a matter that should have concerned him nor one he needed to address, but there he was trying to align himself with the "public opinion."

    Reid is one Democrat I wouldn't mind seeing go down in November, but unfortunately the alternative is ten times worse. I think for a lot of voters this Fall it is going to be a choice of the lesser of two evils, or most cases mediocrities.

    Public opinion has long influenced political discourse, but it seems to have reached a new low these days. It appears the press has little other news it wants to report.

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  52. Lonesome Rhodes... so that's where that name comes from! Keith Olbermann calls him Lonesome Rhodes Beck.

    Nice to start the morning with such great news -- Robert is back! -- and great conversation. A great joke at the Atlantic, too!

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  53. ROBERT WHELAN, I described your problem to my favorite ophthalmologist, Anna Fierz (called anagram in the old forums), and she asked if you have tinted glasses. Not knowing, I thought I'd mention her question to you. My mother's ophthalmologist has suggested that two or even three pair in varying tints of grey would help her; whether that's a prescription for you I know not.

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  54. When A Face in the Crowd was on TCM a few months ago and I watched it for the first time the host mentioned that about Olbermann calling him that.It's a chilling and great movie with an incredible job by Andy Griffith in a dramatic role and of course a great screenplay by Bud Schulberg.

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  55. Thanks Carol. Its goog yo keep in mind that my eye specialists, three of them, keep telling me my eyes are not the problem, its my brain and that glasses won't help (some suggested prisms)but I'll l00k into gray tinted glasses and ask my family doctor and the psychiatrist/nuerologist I worked with for 30 years. This new gray background on this site really helps.

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  56. On Saturday our hero (Glen Beck) with a quavering voice said that he had visited Mount Vernon and "Held in my hands Washington's First Inaugural." Today the curator said that he did not: "He nver got near it!" The man has no regard for the truth. He and Palin seem to be trying to evangelize politics--a very dangerous move in many respects. God and Politics don't mix very well. torm signals rose during the weeken when somebody declared that Mormonism was not Christianity--here comes a split in Fundamentalism at a time when there is already a serious cultural split in America.Chris Matthews skirted around this today on his TV program. Good article on Palin in VANITY FAIR this week. Is Populim running rampant now?Another Amy Semple McPherson? Huey Long? Father Coughlin? Lonesom Rhodes?

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  57. Never seizes to amaze me how these charlatans drag our founding fathers' names through the mud.

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  58. Haven't been on here for a couple of days. I'm glad the gray background works for Robert. I like it too. I usually see white background on the computer and it's almost as bad as a flashlight.

    I often Olbermann and Maddow and am starting to watch more of Chris Matthews on the midnight repeat.

    Saw something on MSNBC two nights ago about the new issue of Vanity Fair article about Palin. Most pundits think she is running for president.

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  59. I'm spending my weekend finishing a fairly mundane book--THE HARDING SCANDALS--the letters between Warren Harding and Carrie Phillips and the possibiility that Isabelle, her sister, might have been a Germsn Spy during WWI--I'll let you know how it turns out

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  60. Given my age,fe things surprize me----but the thoughtof Sean Wilentz--whose every book I try to read--being put in the same setence as Bob Dylan---a celebraty I used to hiss and boo as he screeched his songs in no-name Village cafes in 1960--just freaks me out....SEAN WILENTZ just published a bookentitled BOB DYLAN'S AMERICA!!! I need to go to church tomorrow. This week with Beck, Palin and now Dylan has discombobulated me....SeeNY TIMES sunday bookREVIEW OF THE BOOK......ooops i'M NOT goingto try to fix this post up---have a good holiday

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  61. You are a person of great depths, Robert. It is just lovely to have you posting here.

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  62. Well, maybe it can go in the something for everyone dept.: I've been a very big Dylan fan since the mid-60s when I used to listen to the records and laboriously copy out his lyrics to include in letters to my brother in Vietnam era Air Force. I completely understand why he would be picked as emblematic, though I don't know Wilentz's work. To put Dylan in some--ANY-category with Palin and Beck...well,I hope you make it to church ;-).

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  63. NYTPerdu:
    I didn't know Wilentz grew up in the Village in the 60's--the same years I went to NYU down there.We probably hung out at the same cafes. Wilentz is one of the most prominent American historians alive today. There ia A movement of late to characterize Bob Dylan as defining music during the late twentieth century.Oxford University Press has a new series on great Americans and it has only three volumes thus far: Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and BOB DYLAN...what an odd combination. I think Franklin would be very happy.Jefferson might be perplexed---as am I. However the book is on the Kindle and I'll read it there this month.

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