Tuesday, July 8, 2008

READER COMMENTS

- - You said it, brother. In this antiseptic world of cold, gleaming surfaces where hardly anybody anymore is willing to get their hands dirty or mix it up with anyone who doesn't already see eye-to-eye with them, well, as you put it, not much happens. - Pablo Julian

- - Indeed, we are all Mannerists now.

- - I wish you would define who you're referring to. Does "liberal" equal "Democrat" exclusively? I consider myself liberal, though I very much disagree with the Democrats about how they approach governance. I have problems with Obama's apparent pandering to certain groups in his "Father's Day" speech. I also agree with Ralph Nader that Obama's "talking white". . . essentially keeping himself as far away from the African-American experience as he can. Still, I think what Imus said is ridiculous and indefensible. Did he make a mistake? I suppose you might be able to get that to fly, but after the series of "mistakes" he's made, maybe it would be better for him to retire. - Robbie

- - The only kind of humor that is even comprehensible to absolutists is bathroom and sex humor. They couldn't recognize sarcasm or irony to save their lives.

-- RIP George. Another of the few surviving voices of intelligent criticism of the American status quo has been stilled, and there seems to be little hope of a new generation to take their places. Carlin will be much missed around our household.

- - During a recent appearance on Keith Olbermann's MSNBC show, Carlin said that America was "finished" because "no one questions things anymore" and that the population had been bought off by distractions, toys and gizmos.

AMERICANS BECOMING MUCH MORE POLITICALLY SEGREGATED

- - I'm not overwhelmed by this self-segregation argument. It seems to me that economic factors, schools, and proximity to employment play a much larger role in people's residential selections than looking around at people's bumper stickers and coffee shops. But even if this is true, it's not the first time ever. There's a reason why we have places called Chinatown and Little Italy in this country. People like to mix with folks who understand them and that they can relate to. - Lars

- - Initially, that was true. However most of these communities have survived into times well beyond that point. People do tend to self-segregate based on cultural lines. It does not have to connote necessarily a totally negative state of affairs, if the people involved are doing it on a voluntary basis, and today, most self-segregators are doing just that.

- - The ability to customize one's news sources on the internet wouldn't possibly be contributing to the problem? How much diversity actually squeaks through the network of profiles, cookies, and personalized news pages? Mobility may not be so much the issue as gullibility.

- - "Force is a physical power; I do not see what morality can result from its effects. To yield to force is an act of necessity, not of will; it is at utmost an act of prudence. In what sense can it be a duty? Let assume for a moment this pretended right. I say that nothing results from it but inexplicable nonsense; for if force constitutes right, the effect changes with the cause, and any force which overcomes the first succeeds to its rights. . . . If a brigand should surprise me in the recesses of a wood, am I bound not only to give up my purse when forced, but am I morally bound to do so when I might conceal it? For, in effect, the pistol which he holds is a superior force. Let us agree, then, that might does not make right, and that we are bound to obey none but lawful authorities." -Jean-Jacques Rousseau

- - This article makes the common mistake of assuming people in the UK and US actually care about civilian casualties. One million civilians dead in Iraq so far, and all most Americans care about is paying a few cents more for gasoline.

- - As Alexander Solzhenitsyn said, "Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence. Any man who has once proclaimed violence as his method is inevitably forced to take the lie as his principle."

FREEING JULY 4TH

-- I really enjoyed the Ancients and Horribles parade in Chepachet RI, and two of us collected over 200 signatures walking up and down the route before the parade. And I always try to get to at least one fireworks show, usually in Assonet MA. I have also been known to conduct readings of the Declaration of Independence. - Greg, RI

-- Why the 4th of July birthday is no fun for me: When I think of and hear the words of the Declaration of Independence, which are so popular to repeat around this time, I keep going back to that "all men are created equal", and remember that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and some have estimated 1/3 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were former or present slave owners. What a bunch of hypocrites. The "all men are created equal" part should have been written all White men are created equal. Nearly 100 years later, my Great-grandmother Nancy was still a slave at Sudley Plantation. - Barbara BF, Minneapolis, MN

UPDATE: THE NEXT ILLEGAL WAR

- - The Democrats have made it perfectly clear that they have no interest in disrupting any significant portion of the Bush plan. A pox upon their house.

- - Any Congressional Democrats reading this need to get off their butts and impeach Bush and Cheney now. It is the only way to guarantee that we will have both a new President and no war in Iran come January.

SWAMPOODLE REPORT: THE COWBOYS AND THE IVIES

- - I wouldn't give Andrew Jackson a pass, because of his policies of Indian Removal and the Second Seminole War. Still, it looks like macho elite + intellectual elite = trouble.

HUNGER IN CITIES GROWING

- - Those who have access to any kind of land available for gardening ought to consider devoting a row for the less fortunate. We are allocating a percentage of everything we are able to grow for donation to both a local senior center and a local food bank. Additionally, we are trying to help establish a local community garden network. Others may consider doing something similar.

- - A Libertarian will be arriving soon to explain how their taxes shouldn't have to pay to feed starving people, blaming them for simply being lazy and jobless instead.

JOINT CHIEFS CHAIR OFF TO ISRAEL TO DISCUSS ILLEGAL WAR

- - An Israeli attack on Iran benefits the Islamic Republic. As Israel contemplates militarily striking Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons, Israel empowers the resolve of the Islamic Republic of Iran's hardliners to achieve greater security while harming United States strategic interests, Israeli security interests, Iranian dissident interests, and world economic interests.

Even if Iran's nuclear sites were bombed, virtually nothing could prevent the regime from rebuilding its nuclear sites. Bombing Iran would only further exacerbate and reinforce the belligerence of the fundamentalist regime, alienate pro-America Iranians, radicalize moderate support behind the unpopular regime, provide a pretext for the regime to crack down on human rights, and undermine the democratic movement in Iran. - Christopher

- - Israel is urging war for its own sick agendas. Unable to negotiate in good faith with its neighbors for 60 years, it has relied on U.S. financial and military aid to sustain itself. Look at Israel's track record of the past 8 years: Credible Israeli intelligence: 0%; percent of wars Israel has been able to manipulate the U.S. into fighting on its behalf: 100%. Sadly U.S. youth are enticed to enlist in the military to defend the nation, but in reality they murder and die for Israel and oil barons.

UN NUCLEAR WATCHDOG SAYS IRAN ATTACK WILL CREATE FIRESTORM

- - We can only hope that the military will summarily refuse to act on any command to attack Iraq from the criminal organization which is the Bush Administration. It should be obvious by now that these war criminals should not be heeded.

ONE IN FOUR AMERICANS CALL THEIR WORKPLACE A DICTATORSHIP

- - Many managers will cheerfully admit that democracy has nothing to do with the laws governing the workplace. For that matter, many teachers will cheerfully admit the same thing regarding the classroom, so it's small wonder that the average American worker - consumer drone grows up believing that he or she has no real rights worth defending. For all we preach in regard to the great god Demos, our observances of his principles are usually more honored in the breach than in their practice.

QADDAFI ON OBAMA

- - Does it ever strike anyone else as odd that, not infrequently, America's so-called "enemies" have more to say to us in the way of basic commonsense than many of our supposed allies?

-- Usually they convey more basic common sense than the mainstream media as well. You get a bigger daily dose of hate speech from the Hannitys, Coulters, and O'Reillys than the average Qaddafi or Osama appeal.

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