Looking at the cross currents of historical and contemporary events
Tried to watch some of the GOP debate tonight -- first time I think fox news has ever been on my t.v. except the time I (honestly) thought I was watching a bad comedy show in 2001. Couldn't stick with it, though. Perry couldn't keep up, particularly on foreign policy, so he may be on his way down, which is a relief of sorts.
And long last the argument I've been waiting to hear from anyone:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htX2usfqMEs&feature=player_embedded&wpisrc=nl_pmfix#!
I just hope she ousts Scott Brown.
I tried to listen to the segments on the Fox News website and it just makes me sick. Santorum's response to the gay soldier on "Don't Ask Don't Tell" just shows how far away from the mainstream these candidates are. Even the military has said this was a failed policy, yet he would reinstate it as President (God forbid). Obviously, these candidates say these things purely to draw applause from the conservative audience. The GOP candidates forget that their audience is just as marginalized as the liberals. You can't win a national election without appealing to independent voters, or even primaries where independents can cross over and vote if they so choose. But, given this ugly crop of candidates, I suppose few indies will choose to do so.
I turned it on during the second hour and turned it off after that quip by Santorum -- the moderator said he was going to return to jobs, which meant more discussions of tax cuts. As for Santorum, he kept pushing the idea that you can't use the military to affect social policy -- I'd accuse him of not knowing his history, but he probably would object to an integrated military as well. And this was probably a mild response from him (i.e., sex not gays has no place in the military). Apparently he has been pretty outspoken against gays in any walk of life, so someone took some x-rated liberty with his name on google, which is pretty funny when you think about it!
As for Elizabeth Warren, she's already leading Brown by 2 points in the poll. I am so relieved that _someone_ is finally getting the real argument down about where these successful businesses come from in this country. Even Google started with a government grant. And you can't operate a factory or whatever without roads, bridges, police forces etc. Why no one has made this argument before is beyond me! Thank goodness for Elizabeth Warren. She should run for president.
It really is amazing to me to hear conservatives, particularly libertarians like Paul, decry government, when it has been the catalyst for industry in this country from the get go. I like to cite Hamilton's Report on Manufacturers 1791 whenever I see people say businesses can get along just fine without government.
Some Saturday morning reading:In the American political culture, opposition to “big government” has become an article of faith that brooks no contradiction. When I was in New Hampshire this summer, I accompanied Republican Congressman Charlie Bass on a visit to a small factory that produces industrial-strength air-conditioning filters. Bass asked the factory owner what he would do first if he were Obama. The owner replied immediately: “Cut spending.” Later, as I was touring the plant, I learned that schools, government buildings, and the military bought their filters there.As Bass was leaving, I asked the owner whether, in proposing that Obama reduce government spending, he wasn’t cutting off his nose to spite his face. He was taken aback and took a moment to reply. He began by denying that cutting federal spending would have any effect on his business, which was mostly local, but then acknowledged that schools and offices now had less money to buy filters. It was as if he had never made the connection before between his deep-seated cultural assumptions about government and the fate of his own business—and by extension that of other businesses.http://www.tnr.com/print/article/economy/magazine/94963/economic-doom
Yep, the opposition to "big government" has become an article of faith rather than reason, which is why Rick Perry is so easily able to exploit it on the campaign trail. The situation you note, av, sums it up in a nutshell.
I thought that article did a good job pointing out what the nation is up against. Very discouraging.My conservative, working class father said he always voted democratic, not because he necessarily believed in anything one way or the other, but because when the democrats were in power he had work. Seems pretty straight forward to me.
NOTE TO ROBERT: I found Washington in the garage. I knew he was in there somewhere -- just didn't know where. He was boxed up with Theodore Roosevelt, whom I hadn't even missed. (Also found the Civil War in the same general mess, I mean vicinity.)I turned most of the first draft of my dissertation in on Thursday so am actually getting around to cleaning my garage and emptying some boxes. What a mess!
BookTV has been covering the national book fair on the mail in D.C. I recorded the Saturday programs overnight. Have been watching a little of the live panels this afternoon. Kristie Miller, author of "Ellen and Edit: Woodrow Wilson's First Ladies" is almost finished.I was going to post a link to this yesterday, but my computer closing tabs in my browser when I tried to click to open them.
Nice bit of reporting here:http://www.thenation.com/article/163672/charles-koch-friedrich-hayek-use-social-security
AND IN THE GREAT NEWS DEPARTMENT:After losing touch with Donot for the last nine months, I just heard from him. He has been ill but is back home. His email made my day!
That's great! The contact that is. Last I talked with him, he was out of sorts over the situation at Melba, so I invited him to join us here.
I've been watching or mostly listening to the Prohibition series. I get tired of the Burns' formula, but there has been some interesting insights into America and its anti-immigrant culture. And some great footage of the Ku Klux Klan meetings in Washington, with what appears to be thousands on the mall. They were strict prohibitionists, at least for black people.
Anyone else watching it?Some of the reviews have talked about the parallels with marijuana laws in this country, and there certainly are similarities, with a good percentage of the population simply disregarding the law as they did during prohibition. But what struck me in the second segment was how, in spite of agreements and bribes in many cities to keep this very business-like, the nation still had an amazing amount of violence in places like Chicago. You also had untrained, gun-toting enforcers, who often got their jobs through patronage. These volatile conditions remind me more of Mexico.
HBO has a series a series set in prohibition days,http://www.hbo.com/boardwalk-empire/index.htmlfrom what little I have seen it is kind of a retro-Sopranos.
I've recorded the Prohibition series and watched some of it out of order while it was on. Thought the film and still pics were wonderful. I've read the Daniel Okrent book about Prohibition. The facts in the documentary follow that book as far as I can tell.
I have that book, Marti, but never read much of it. Maybe I should. I thought all the ways people got around the law -- including buying drug stores to dispense their "legal" liquor -- was interesting. And the way so many just figured out how to make it a business.It's also interesting how they circumvented the law by calling it a medicinal drug. We have lots of medicinal (marijuana) drug stores in Montana now too. My guess is both have medicinal properties -- I certainly like to think beer is good for you!I haven't seen the HBO series.