Saturday, June 30, 2012

Weekend Open Thread

Lots going on, and too many topics to mention and cover all by my lonesome.  Consider this your own have-at-it, no-holds-barred (within my admittedly lax boundaries) space. I will continue to moderate the comments, just to keep the spam and porn links at bay.

Personal anecdotes and book and movie and article reviews and recommendations continue to be welcomed and encouraged!

27 comments:

Pearl said...

This week end is Canada Day here and I want to wish a happy Fourth of July to all my American friends next weekend as well. Let us hope for a better future for the people of the world and encouragement to continue fighting for what we believe in. It is up to us to help shape what is to come and influence our progeny by our actions to continue to speak up and to be active in their communities to force change for their own futures. With best wishes to you Karen, and all of your fascinating readers. I look forward to your columns and replies.

Jay - Ottawa said...

Tomorrow, south of the border, a big election. Pray, brethren, that the PRD is not screwed again by fraud and corruption by the twin blights of PRI and PAN. I’m not going into any more detail on why Americans should get down on their knees tonight to pray over the Mexican election.

I want to talk about the music that’s needed to keep a revolution humming. Every revolution must have its music to succeed. Mexicans (and many unaware gringos) still sing or whistle tunes from the Mexican Revolution of 1910. Those were the days: radical, reformist, and ultra-secular.

In TruthDig today there’s an excellent account about music as it relates to the Mexican youth movement called “Yo soy 132.’ Sounds cryptic, but it’s brilliant. All will be made clear when you read this article:

http://www.truthdig.com/arts_culture/item/mexicos_yo_soy_132_sings_its_own_songs_20120629/

Mexico, shme-hee-ko, who cares? Well, “Yo soy 132” represents the Mexican spring, very much like the USA’s “Occupy.” What’s missing today from Occupy – other a few million people hanging back on the sidelines? Why, music!

There are labor songs, civil rights songs, anti-war songs, right? Occupy will fail unless it gets its act together on the musical front, in the same way “Yo Soy 132” is waking up to the need for tough lyrics set to catchy music to keep good ideas rolling around the heads of serious Mexicans 24/7. Can't get that tune out of your head, amigo? ¡Muy bien!

To my knowledge, the plutocracy hasn’t a clue on how to stop people from singing subversive lyrics. Anybody heard any such lyrics at Occupy lately? Don't send me stuff borrowed from the previous generation of lefties. Drums alone ain't gonna do it. We need new words and new melodies.

You heard it first here: Music is the indispensable ingredient that’s missing from Occupy. Where are our poets, our balladeers? Let us know if you hear anything.

Occupy (preferably with music)!

Will said...

@Jay,

To Zee or not to Zee, that is the question.

FWIW, I have no problem with Zee's "Zee, Zee and more Zee!" writing style. If I feel like reading his posts, I do; if I don't, I won't. It's that simple. As for sticking to the topic du jour, who cares? As the Boss Lady has said on many occasions, she takes care of comment moderation, so we shouldn't worry our pretty little heads about what is or is not appropriate for discussion.

@All,

As for films, I highly recommend The Matrix (1999). A sci-fi classic that is the perfect metaphor for our lives as lowly slaves to the 1% in modern society.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytftrd6rxps

P.S. I'm so glad to be here at Sardonicky with those who've bravely chosen to take the red pill.

spreadoption said...

Pearl, would you be willing to offer any comments about the swing to conservative politics in Canada? I hope your problems with the right-wing aren't parallel to ours here in the States, but I suspect they are. It seems the Americans, Canadians, and Europeans are all suffering the same overpowering affliction.

I'm American by birth but Canadian by heart, having grown up in BC and Quebec, and having returned as an adult for four more years. Now back in the States I'm concerned about my otherwise sensible Canadians.

The healthcare I enjoyed in Canada was fully the equal of the best I've experienced in the States, and far superior to most of it. What little extra I did pay in tax, I hardly noticed and never minded. It sure beats struggling with ever-increasing premiums, co-pays, and deductibles, and ever-declining benefits; and it sure beats the ever-present fear of a corporate profit-driven death-panel and medical bankruptcy. I don't know why we Americans support or even tolerate this moral and financial abuse.

Among my fondest hopes is that "my Canadians" can soon drive the conservatives out of power.

How's it going up there?

Denis Neville said...

There is prejudice against the use of quotations?

Anne Lavoie [previous thread] said, “it becomes boring when all I read are quotes or references from others rather than a condensation and commentary. I almost give up visiting this site when everything is impersonal and academic. I can get that anywhere and everywhere else. I particularly appreciate when others paraphrase, summarize, and opine on something read, saving me the time and effort of re-reading a lot of information that others have already spent time and effort digesting themselves. This isn't an academic contest where we out-source each other with references, although sometimes it seems that way.”

That makes sense! Express opinions and make assertions that needn't be collaborated or backed up with evidence!!! Self-censorship makes sense to you, but practicing self-control on what you choose to read doesn't apparently. Pity the poor souls forced to read the things they don't care to read. It must be a horrible situation to be in. Just give me Book-A-Minute? “Some pigs lead a revolt against people, act like jerks, and play poker.” – George Orwell, Animal Farm

Posting styles are different for everyone. Is anyone diminished by quotes or references? Don’t the exchange of quotes and references add to the debate and discussion? Might not someone even be enriched? Quotes are great because they can distill ideas very efficiently. I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself. I am never sure anyone really reads or finds interesting what I enjoy posting. I have discovered that a good way to know people is to observe the quotes they collect.

“There are no uninteresting things, only uninterested people.” - G.K. Chesterton

“I quote others only to better express myself. I have gathered a posy of other men's flowers, and nothing but the thread that binds them is my own.” - Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

"Anatole France frankly advised, 'When a thing has been said and said well, have no scruple. Take it and copy it.' Yes, indeed, but do more. Copy many well-said things. Pierce them together. Assimilate them. Make the process of reading them a way to form the mind and shape the soul. As anthologies can never be complete, we will never exhaust the ways quotations can enrich our lives.” - Gary Saul Morson, The Words of Others: From Quotations to Culture

I’m a quote junkie, an incurable quotation addict. I am no more able to resist a quotation than some people are able to refuse a drink. Collecting quotations has been my hobby since high school. I have notebooks stuffed with a lifetime collection of quotes.

Quotes and references hopefully spark curiosity in others. The cure for boredom is curiosity. Curiosity killed the cat? Curiosity was framed. Ignorance killed the cat!

Give me this day my daily bread and my quote of the day. “Quotology disdains no quotations whatsoever, a duty it bears stoutly, with bloodshot eyes and sagging shelves." - Willis Goth Regier

“How do people go to sleep? I might repeat to myself, slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound; if I can remember any of the damn things.” - Dorothy Parker, Here Lies

Anne Lavoie said...

@Jay

It would be nice for Occupy to have a symbol or a color as well as a song. I use a sunflower. I went to the thrift store and bought a bunch and I put one on each of my Occupy signs, and have one above the dash on my VW van. Of course no one knows what it stands for but me!

In regard to music, we do need songs to bind us together in this long-term struggle. I don't think there is anything as stirring as being part of a multitude of voices all singing together, especially when there is real depth of meaning and feeling behind it.

There is a lot about Occupy that is muted for one reason or another. I'll let you know when/if I hear our new anthem.

@ Karen - Thanks again for giving us this forum and for your always insightful and humorous writing. Much appreciated.

Karen Garcia said...

Here's my response to Douthat, whose take on the health care law is how it might have fatal consequences for politicians. The horror!

Ross, I realize it's not in your job description to write about the problems of ordinary, everyday people. But since the topic is health care, it would've been nice if you'd written just one sentence about how the law will affect your fellow human beings. Instead, your focus is on the fortunes of 1% politicians of the two corporate-owned parties. These elites will be enjoying top notch medical care for the rest of their lives, never having to worry about how they're going to pay for it, or whether they'll go bankrupt if a family member gets sick.

The only people facing possibly fatal consequences are the 50 million (and counting) people who have no money and no insurance. Three Americans are dying every hour for lack of basic medical care. Most people wanted single payer health care back in 2009, and what we got instead is a plan hatched in a conservative think tank and already adopted by one Gov. Willard Romney.

While its unpopularity is partially due to a GOP propaganda campaign, another problem is that most ordinary everyday people are not yet reaping its benefits. Maybe that will start changing this summer, when the predatory insurance companies will be forced to issue refund checks to the millions of subscribers who were overcharged on premiums.

Delay in the name of austerity, a right-wing fear-mongering campaign, a misplaced concern for corporate interests over the interests of ordinary, everyday people. Pity the poor elites.

Valerie said...

Thought I would weigh in on the topic of commenting since I am a regular here at Sardonicky. It seems to me that it is only polite to address the topics that Karen brings up, at least at the beginning of the thread. Once that topic has run its course, it seems fine to bring up something else but at the beginning of a thread, in my humble opinion, we should address the post.

I really appreciate the quotes and links that are provided by my fellow commenters. One of the best things about Sardonicky is that I not only learn a great deal from Karen but also from several of the regulars. I hope you will continue to share your links and quotes, which always are appropriate to the topic. I have often gone back and read the entire article after reading a quote given here at Sardonicky.

As well as sharing personal information - it is that whole issue of moderation. Too much is overdone, but some is nice. At least for me, some of you have become friends - good friends, and I feel really odd saying that because I used to think people who had friends through the Internet were strange. I have actually come to even care about some of you and when you don't weigh in, I wonder what has happened and if everything is OK in your lives. One thing I know is that the regulars are all good people who genuinely care about what is happening to our country and want to make it better. And I take comfort in knowing that I am not alone in how I see American politics. I would feel totally isolated if it weren’t for this blog and most certainly would have bowed out of politics if it wasn’t for several of you.

Karen Garcia said...

And here's another comment, this one in response to Tom Friedman's three thousandth column on exactly the same thing...

Is there a Centrist Cult deprogrammer in the house to perform an emergency intervention?

While it may be intellectually amusing to elevate Chief Justice Roberts to a pedestal he probably does not deserve, given his court's inexcusable Citizens United ruling, I somehow doubt that altruism was at the heart of his supposed about-face on health care. He's got decades to go before he sleeps, and I am sure he watches TV and reads newspapers and has an inkling of how utterly despised the third branch of government has become. Plus, ruling in favor of the ACA is a huge bonanza to the for-profit health insurance industry, which will suck in an estimated 30 million new customers thanks to an idea conceived by a conservative think tank, adopted by a Republican governor (Romney), and eagerly embraced by a cabal of corporate Democrats.

If your idea of a grand renewal, Mr. Friedman, includes polluting the water and raping the earth through fracking, advances in robotics (Predator drones?), cyber-gadgets in colleges to replace human instruction and critical thinking, and cloud computing as a magical gateway to prosperity and innovation, then I'm afraid somebody's fevered centrist imagination is also right up there in the clouds. Dark storm clouds. Clouds that are full of hot air.

Denis Neville said...

@ Will - Yes, it is the choice between the blissful ignorance of illusion (blue) and embracing the sometimes painful truth of reality (red).

@ Zee – I always take the time to read your posts and try to understand your points of view without bias (sometimes pretty hard to do!). The content of your positions has earned my respect. We simply don’t agree on some issues. But we are only debating subjects, not each other. We don't take it personally. We just agree to disagree. And that’s a good thing if we are all to live together and get along. What a boring world it would be if we were just one big vat of homogenized thought! Too often many of us end up in easily avoidable acrimonious disagreements because of a need to be right. “Duty Calls” http://xkcd.com/386/

Karen, A big thank you!!! For your always thought provoking comments and for providing this wonderful, enjoyable and educational forum for the rest of us.

Zee said...

@Neil—

As Karen has declared an “open thread” this weekend, perhaps I will not offend anyone if I go “off-topic” and return to your final post on the previous thread and offer you an apology.

I made the mistake of responding to you, @Denis and @Will in aggregate on the topic of Bush v. Gore and that was a mistake.

Of course, none of you referred to the Justices of the Supreme Court as “traitors” or “criminals.” I was responding to @Denis’s lengthy quote from Vincent Bugliosi, who certainly did refer to them as such, and did not make the point that I thought that Bugliosi was the one who was over the top to the point of being venomous or, at least, off-putting to further discussion.

I would never attempt to censor you—or anyone—in this forum, or anywhere else. You, @Denis and @Will have strong feelings about Bush v. Gore, and you are entitled to them and to make your opinions—and supporting facts—known. I happen to believe that Bugliosi is excessive in his language and likely to shut down any and all further discussion on the topic, but I would not care to see even him censored. You have no stronger an ally in support of the First Amendment than you do in me.

So again, I apologize for appearing to try to censor you. I enjoy our discussions here on Sardonicky, even when we disagree. Though I have been pleasantly surprised when I have found areas of mutual agreement with you, too.

On a slightly different note, yes, I do get my news from the Internet and TV, though my news sources have expanded since I started participating in, first, Reality Chex, and then here in Sardonicky. And I have a particular cause that I am involved with—or, at least, I am trying to become involved with—that involves me with people rather than the news.

But that’s not something that I care to discuss here. It would involve another personal “self-revelation” that some might regard as, well, “off-topic.”

If I can figure out how to contact you through your personal website, and if you would promise keep my e-mail and identity to yourself as @Valerie and @The Doktor have done, perhaps I can discuss that with you further off-line.

4Runner said...

@ Jay - Ottawa

Thanx for the heads-up on Yo Soy 132. Cool video.
As for other forums for new alternative music, I recommend the site "Amour & Discipline" (yeah, it sounds a bit S&M-ish). It's primarily a collective that advocates for internet rights & freedom. Based in France, it also promotes support for alt musicians and you'll get quite an earful here--some of it even tuneful!
For me it has a Dadaistic impulse that's a welcome relief from our corporate-controlled pop music scene.
Grammy shammy!!

Pearl said...

To spreadadoption: you asked me to comment on the conservative position in Canada now and what may ensue. As you know there are 3 parties consisting of the New Democratic party, the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party and although there have been swings back and forth between the Liberal Party and onservative party over the years with the New Democrats usually trailing,
this changed radically during last year's elections which kept Prime
Minister Harper in office once more and brought the New Democrats into second place. The NDP (new democrats) is a left of center party, the Liberals (who are not so liberal) represent the right of center (the center being similar to the middle of the U.S. Democratic party) and the
Conservatives the right wing or Republican base. As you mentioned, the same reasons for the conservatives gaining traction have to do with financial
concerns and wealthier Canadians being afraid of a move to the left during troubled times.

Elections can be called if any two parties join forces to call one and I hope that the NDP plus the Liberal party will cooperate with each other to challenge and overcome the influence of the right wing and Harper. The
problems involve differences within the NDP and Liberal parties which create conflicts between them and allow a conservative to stay in power. In last year's election, the Liberals did extremely poorly due to a leader who was totally inept (although an academic professor at the U. of Toronto), while the NDP was lead by an outstanding, brilliant man, Jack Layton who unfortunately died shortly before the election but whose abilities led the NDP into second place which was a historic event. Currently, the Liberal
party is going to meet before long to appoint another leader who will
hopefully be able to work with the new leader of the NDP who has a very fine resume. This is all a simplification of a complicated but interesting political arrangement and to add to it all, Quebec, which can be a firebrand
in opposing many Canadian conservative policies is part of the picture. (continued below.)

Pearl said...

(continued)Interestingly, one of the people being considered for the Liberal leadership is Justin Trudeau, the son of the former late Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau
who was quite effective in running the country on many issues.

There are a lot of grumblings about the haphazard and sloppy way Prime Minister Harper is handling issues, especially as he is happy to play footsie with the worst aspects of U.S. politics and representatives (like
the tar sands issue, etc.) and hopefully this may help end his current tenure. I am not sure when elections are next due but that could change depending on specific circumstances that may occur down the line. I will
leave out the fine points of many events that I am not an expert on, but you can look up anything about Canadian politics on the computer and they have some excellent summaries. At least in Canada, we have a chance to have better government with 3 parties, that can keep Prime Minister Harper somewhat in line, since if the other two parties are outraged enough by any of his decisions, they can call an election which may not work in Harper's
favor. I think this parliamentary system of government is more democratic than the entrenched two party system in the U.S. which seem more and more like each other as time goes on.

Perhaps the one or two Canadian readers of Karen's blog will weigh in as well. I really would like to obtain Canadian Citizenship to be able to vote here in the future as well as express my appreciation for residing here. I have all the papers to fill out but that in itself is a challenge to do. At
my age and with the many years I have lived here (48) I would not be
required to take any written exams thank goodness, as memorizing historical events of a country is not my best attribute. Also my son changed his citizenship (he is now a dual citizen but can only vote in one country and he chose Canada) and my daughter- in- law is Canadian as well as my
grandchildren of course, since they were all born here. Also, last but not least, the Canadian national anthem (O Canada)
is musically very beautiful and singable and I get tired of singers screeching out the the Star Spangled Banner which is really an impossible song to sing. So there you are and I hope I
helped clear up a few concerns. Of course no one can predict the future anymore but we can only hope for the best.

Zee said...

@ Denis and @Anne Lavoie—

(Here I go again, trying to respond to two comments at once. Still, I hope that I can keep the two responses more or less separate here and avoid any confusion.)

@Denis—

I am first and foremost a scientist, and I believe strongly in citations and supporting facts in any discussion. Especially coming from an often “contra” position, I try hard to have some external support for my various positions, so perhaps I over-cite , if there is such a word.

The citations that you and others provide, Denis, are very important to me in expanding my worldview, though I confess that I can’t always follow up on all of them. I am just not as fast as you. But I do try… And when @Valerie sends me something off-line, I do my very best to have a long look at it and to respond thoughtfully. Her experiences as both a teacher and Progressive Christian have special importance to me.


So, @Denis, keep the citations and cross-references coming. I will continue to try to explore them as I can.

I relish the debate of subjects, as you put it, and I really try hard not to take anything personally, and to be correspondingly civil in my commentary. If I occasionally read too much into the remarks of others—imagining them to be directed at me when perhaps they are not, and then foolishly responding to them—it probably has more to do with an obsessive-compulsive desire to persuade myself that I have been thorough in my understanding of what has been going on, and that I have not let any detail go “un-addressed,” than it has to do with self-absorption.

Does that make any sense? And if it does, well, it’s kind of nutty, isn’t it?

Still, @Anne Lavoie--

“self-revelations,” as @Jay calls them, are also important to me. It tells me where the participants in this forum are coming from based on their life experiences. It is not my intent to pry into your personal lives or to overdose you with mine, only to understand what has shaped your perspectives, and, occasionally, to help you understand what have shaped mine. Believe it or not, your personal experiences help me to analyze and modify my perspectives sometimes.

So, @Anne, thank you, too, for finding that occasional “personalization” of our experiences has value. In the future when I cite some supporting reference for some position of mine, I will try to do more than merely throw out a link for your perusal. I will try to summarize or paraphrase it, and, if possible, put it into perspective based on my personal experiences.

Finally, @Karen--

Thank you for providing us this most interesting and stimulating forum in which to discuss both current events and ideas. It is truly a labor of love, and I am grateful for being allowed to participate.

Valerie said...

Not sure if any of you heard this music. It was filmed by the Moyers team when they were preparing the show where Tom Morello was interviewed. I liked the songs written (I think) by Paul Stein. I am not too familiar with the old union songs so these songs might be basically the same songs with more current lyrics. Anyway, I like them and felt they had that universal appeal that folk music has which seems to cross generational boundaries. http://occuponics.com/2012/05/21/bill-moyers-company-covers-the-guitarmy/

You, as always, bring up a good point. Music is a powerful medium for getting across a message and it is definitely something the Occupy Movement would benefit from having.

Pearl said...

I must apologize to you Karen and the readers of your column about the line skipping of my last long missile which must make reading it difficult. I type things clearly but when sent out to be printed it jumps around. I am going to call my computer technician on Tuesday, after the current Holiday week end to come and see what can be done about it and will try and make my comments shorter in future, but Canadian politics are very complicated to explain shortly!

Karen Garcia said...

@All,

And I thank everyone too, for all your astute and thought-provoking and informative contributions.

Enjoy the weekend!

Patricia said...

I think I am still in shock about Roberts. And you are right no one talks or cares about the millions that go without health insurance. (including moi) I guess we can all drop dead. A jobs bill was passed, but unless you are a state employee, it probably won't help the average unemployed person.
There sure was a lot going on this week, and thank God the students that are burdened with debt and no jobs, are going to get a break.

Anne Lavoie said...

Re: Quotes and References

Quite awhile ago, some of us Sardonickistas didn't have a clue who Denis was when he posted Catch-22 quotes without any commentary whatsoever. Then it was another set of literary quotes in posts, all without personal comment. He was the Mystery Man! Eventually he added his own words and we got to know him here, and that was refreshing.

I realize though, that many of you know each other from another website, so maybe you knew Denis all along. I have read references from many of you to inside jokes and information about each other that leaves many at Sardonicky feeling like outsiders. I have to say that when only certain people are enthusiastically welcomed here because they were known by some of you elsewhere, other newbies are quite literally left unwelcomed.

Many of these readers who came from another website brought along not just this clique-like cohesiveness, but also a seeming assumption or expectation that we are arguing a case in court and need to provide a preponderance of evidence to support our argument to the judge, jury, or Mother Superior. (Ok, that's a Sardonicky inside joke for those who aren't longtime readers here.)

That expectation or pressure to provide sufficient evidence to support our position inhibits and effectively excludes those who simply want to express moral support by sharing similar viewpoints and opinions. I don't think we should discourage anyone from participating, wittingly or not, because they feel pressured to come up with enough supporting evidence to prove their case.

As Joe Bageant expressed in 'Deer Hunting with Jesus' and other places, liberals and Democrats tend towards intellectual snobbery that alienates them from others. It might have its place, but lets not give it a place here.

James F Traynor said...

I think it was Anne, back there somewhere, who mentioned sunflowers and took my mind off the Evinrude 40hp eTec that sits on the transom of my 17' Carolina Skiff and sorely needs a run.

Before living in a condo here in Florida we had a little place in Ballston Spa, NY, cheek to jowl with Saratoga Springs and not very far north of New Paltz where Karen lives. And, at the bottom of the kitchen steps, I planted, yearly, a bushy and beautiful sunflower plant.

Every morning I would sit on the bottom of the steps and submerge myself in the yellows and browns, watching the bees harvesting the nectar and pollen. They came in three sizes, small (Sweat bees), medium (Honey) and large (Bumble).The Bumbles were in charge and, should they become crowded, would lift a rear leg in admonition, sending the others off.

I planted the sunflower every year until its discovery by the squirrels. That was about the time the deer discovered our Hosta. And then there was the turkeys. Wonderful times.

Well, to shave, shower and attend to the eTec.

spreadoption said...

Pearl, Happy Canada Day and thank you so much for your update on the Canadian scene. Following Karen's invitation to an open weekend blog, and your opening note, I was delighted to follow my heart back to Canada, if only via the internet.

If only we had a parliament here in the States - how different we might be.

I was living outside Montreal when the FLQ was bombing mailboxes there, in protest against the central (English only) government in Ottawa. As crazy as we sometimes are, I somehow can't imagine that sort of thing happening here, thank goodness ... but then, who knows. We surely are a nation in decline and misdirected.

I will follow up on the young Mr. Trudeau. And best wishes for the NDP.

Pearl said...

I just finished reading an amusing recent report wherein the Republican establishment has "explained" the strange Roberts decision. He evidently suffers from epilepsy and is on medication which side effects they believe, create mental confusion, fuzzy thinking and lack of judgment! If this is indeed true, I think someone should sneak those medications into the food and drink of the other conservative members of the Supreme Court. However the side effects mentioned characterize most of Republican behavior. Some medical experts have given opinions on this latest face saving explanation for Roberts decision but cannot agree on its truthfulness or relevancy. This seemed like a genuine report being passed around the Republican hierarchy and not some satirical column by the opposition, which doesn't surprise me.

Zee said...

@Anne Lavoie—

Thank you once again for your candor. If I have contributed in any way to the sense of cliquishness that you feel, I deeply apologize. As a recent arrival here in Salon de Sardonicky, I have been made to feel quite welcome and I am quite angry with myself that I may have made those who arrived here long before I did to feel unwelcome in their own “home.”

There are really only three participants here at Sardonicky with whom I have prior acquaintance, and of them I only exchange occasional e-mails with two: @Valerie and @The Doktor, though sadly we have not heard from Dok in quite some time. @Kat has referred me to a number of books that I have found to be hugely eye-opening, and I am deeply in her debt for this. Though I am, however, disappointed that she still has not taken me up on my counter-suggestion that she read some Robert A. Heinlein as a way to understand some of the origins of my conservo-libertarian viewpoints. (An inside joke that I would be happy to explain at a later date, though it might be regarded by some as a diversion from the topic du jour. )

If you catch me exchanging what seem to be inside jokes with any of these three—or anyone else, for that matter—please feel free to call me on it, and if you are so inclined, ask me to explain myself.

Well, once again, I probably over-explain.

I am a relative newbie here myself, and I don’t have sufficient experience to know the difference between a true newbie and someone who has simply been away for a while. Still, I’ll try to be better about welcoming those whose names or pseudonyms are new to me.

It is a life-long professional compulsion for me to seek documented, external support for my positions. Still, I will do my best not to bully anyone who simply cares to offer moral support for a particular position and, for whatever reason, does not choose to provide “references.”

As we say in the UCC, “All are welcome here.”

Anne Lavoie said...

@Zee

We're cool. Thanks.

Peace,
Anne

Jay - Ottawa said...

Mexico follow-up: PRI won (36%) the presidency, followed by PRD (33%) and PAN (27%). Not good.

Sunflowers for OWS: Yes. Now gimme a song as big and bold.

Excellent article in the London Review of Books on why Obama acts like Obama:

"Quite consistently, in his presidency, Obama’s method of stopping a measure, a tendency or a worldly development he opposes has not been to stand in its way but to try to slow it down. Indeed, this is almost his only tactic, as if he believed you could stop a train from arriving at the wrong terminus by padding the railcars with very good shock absorbers. His present strategy is to continue slowly towards war with Iran, but not be seen to have arrived there by November."

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v34/n13/david-bromwich/diary

When you look back at his handling of the banking crisis, the generals' insistent press for more, the back and forth on Guantanamo, health care reform, the half-war of drones, the incremental whittling back of civil liberties, and those Grand Bargains he's always anxious to pull off in the spirit of togetherness with his arch-enemies -- the Bromwich insight fits.

All Obama knows how to do is slow things down a bit. Unlike King Solomon, Obama will always cut the baby in half as the first solution, time after time. That's just enough to hold the vote of most "pragmatic" liberals who, under the spell of fear, are trying to avoid both terrorism and the headlong rush over to the dark side under the banner of wild Republicans -- and the obliging Mitt Romney in particular.

Pearl said...

A further report about claims by Michael Savage an extremist of the Tea Party that Justice Roberts has epilepsy and medication he is taking is making him unable to think clearly has been denied by a reporter. It was stated in the article that although Roberts has had some seizures in the past, he does not have epilepsy nor is it believed that he is taking such
medications. It sounded accurate but this evident rumor started by Savage has been making the rounds. Never a dull moment.

Tonight CNN had a documentary about the health care crisis in the U.S. and how the country stacks up against other nations in the health care sweepstakes which was truly magnificent. The information was even beyond
what we have been concerned about and showed how successful Great Britain has been with their well functioning system. A doctor clearly stated that their patients are treated for their needs and money is not considered when
making medical decisions. How refreshing! I am amazed that they had such a fine, truthful report which seemed to indicate that many people involved with health care issues in the U.S. have become seriously alarmed finally.
I hope this will open up more intelligent reports and discussion along the lines that you, the readers of Karen's columns have
contributed.
It was listed under the title, Global Lessons, the GPS Roadmap for Saving Health Care and was narrated by Fareed Zakaria. I hope it is shown again.