Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

February 3, 2009



Jesus, I know Jugg Dregg, the pencil-necked dauphin of the NH right wing. He's being hailed as a moderate, but that's not the Juggie I know.
I get the feeling that Obama likes things complicated. Everyone else is confused while he pretends to know what he's doing. Sort of the mirror opposite of W's management style.

This is the same Judd Greg that used to consult on a daily basis with Karl Rove. The senator from the darling state of the Free State movement being nominated for Secretary of Commerce--can the Libertarian business-as-usual crowd get a bigger wet kiss? Change you can count on. In the ethnic environment of my youth we used to called that chump change. And on it continues. . .


Big business is where wealth goes to become super-concentrated into the treasure chests of the few. But big business isn't the problem - the concentration of wealth and power into human hands it enables is the problem. Businesses can safely be big if the great fortunes are not allowed to be captured and kept forever by a few people at the top.

The automatic concentration of wealth and power into few hands can be countered for by sane restriction of private inheritance. The heirs have done nothing to create the wealth, so deceased estates above the first couple million should be inherited by the working public who were underpaid all along.

And I don't mean give the money to the government: I mean give their rightful wages back to the rightful earners.


Unfortunately Obama's and Washington's "high intelligence" seems to center around fattening their purses in the belief that wealth and power are genuine measures of the man. I wouldn't want to be lost in the woods with the lot of them as appears to be the case. The only real assets they possess are armaments and the immorality to use them. This all reminds me of the old saw that says the only thing wrong with Christianity is that it's never been tried. We could say the same for democracy.


If you read your own medical records now and then you will be astounded at how inaccurate they are. You can't evaluate erroneous test results, but notes thast medical personnel write can be wildly off by confusion, inattention and sometimes clearly self-serving to cover up mistakes, second- guess diagnoses, etc. Widely circulated, these errors can become untraceable and cast in stone.


Is it really so startling that those who call themselves progressive are generally as incapable of critical thought as those who label themselves conservative?

That for the overwhelming majority a world view is always the far greater determinant of position than thought, argument or reality testing?

That the greatest determiner of results in polls is usually the methodology and wording of the question, rather than the meaning of the query?

Inductive thought versus deductive logic: wisdom lies in knowing when and how to apply each. Along with reasonability testing and analytic processes.

I guess you're just longing for the good old Bush days.

Sam's studies apparently did not include epistemology. His definitions of inductive and deductive reasoning contrast with treatments of those concepts normally found in philosophy. One big problem with politicians is they do not think deductively, and this is no more clearly evidenced then in the prevailing belief that nuclear deterrence has ever been demonstrated, or is supported by the facts. On the other hand, the character Sherlock Holmes, stresses the importance of deductive reasoning for the detective gathering evidence. He has no idea what to look for unless he comes up with a theoretical explanation that might be tested by the evidence.

Sam does get it right, however, when he notes that theoretical/deductive accounts must always be submitted to tests against new facts. Theories based upon the facts, inductive theories, are not capable of entertaining new facts, and tend to shade over rapidly into dogma. They are not capable of generating testable hypotheses. Only deduction can do that.


I wish RIAA
would understand that letting people hear music and see programs and movies on the tiny pixeled screen can sell CDs and DVDs.
I have found music and movies I like on YouTube and seeing it there has caused me to buy products from the performers. If those vids weren't available, I never would have seen the artists or bought their CDs, t-shirts or attended their shows. I won't buy music from a performer I'm not familiar with from a written description of their music, and most other people feel the same way. Anyone who doesn't understand that is really confused or worse.


"Retired FBI officials asserted that the Bush administration was thoroughly briefed on the mortgage fraud crisis and its potential to cascade out of control with devastating financial consequences, but made the decision not to give back to the FBI the agents it needed to address the problem. After the terrorist attacks of 2001, about 2,400 agents were reassigned to counterterrorism duties. "

Yeah, but on the plus side, al-Qeda failed to launch a Ponzi scheme to ruin our economy.-- Polar Bear


As an Illinoisan, not only do I think the impeachment and removal of Rod Blagojevich was fair, but it was two or three years overdue.

In addition to the allegations of criminal behavior, this governor has antagonized the legislature, subverted the separation of powers, spent tax dollars without authorization, changed his demands in the middle of a negotiation in progress, going beyond the pale even by Illinois standards in seeking political gain for every executive decision, and generally having an imperious attitude while lacking stable leadership and basic competence. The state is a disaster after six years of his reign, and the federal charges of corruption are not an isolated incident but are simply the straw that broke the camel's back.

In the end, the Illinois Constitution states only that the state House determine "existence of cause for impeachment" and that the state Senate "do justice according to law" in trying the articles of impeachment. Impeachment is a political action -- a job performance hearing, if you will -- as distinguished from a criminal case with strict rules of evidence and a presumption of innocence until proof of guilt applies. The criteria by which an Illinois official is convicted on impeachment charges are thus determined solely in the consciences of the Senators who hold him in judgment. The outcome of an impeachment proceeding therefore doesn't require criminal behavior as a condition of conviction; the crux of the matter is nothing more than the question whether the official on trial is deemed fit to remain in office.

Not only was this judgment fair, there is evidence that the unanimous conviction of Blagojevich and lifetime ban on him serving in public office has the support of close to 90% of Illinois voters. - JRR

Does your second paragraph apply to our previous President?

Josh Goodman's article merely presented the question of whether having such vague "political" requirements for impeachment is such a good idea. Maybe the impeachment of Rod Blogojevich wasn't the best case to raise the question after, as shown by the 100% vote, but the idea of having some specific requirements for impeachment would not be a bad idea.

Josh Goodman states: "My question. . . is whether it (the 6th Amendment) should apply. There are, in my opinion, lots of good reasons that the 6th Amendment was included in the Constitution. It discourages frivolous prosecutions and helps ensure that the facts come out at trial. If it's a good idea for criminal trials, why isn't it a good idea for impeachment trials? Along the same lines, why shouldn't Illinois specify what constitutes an impeachable offense and what the standard for conviction is, whether it's "beyond a reasonable doubt" or something else?

Unless Blogojevich is convicted of a felony, an impeachment alone shouldn't restrict a person from running for another political office. That's punitive, has nothing to do with impeachment, and sounds like the reason for a future court case. This was not just a no confidence Vote.


Why do Americans love to jump to conclusions? Oh connery oh ho Connery, is it not jumping to conclusions, that whatever enemy we are fighting are all corrupt and evil and must be dehumanized?

is it not jumping to conclusions that whatever enemy we are fighting is always harming another ethnic group and they need and want our help?

is it not jumping to conclusions that the reason you and your family study military history, is because you respect and obey them, and not because your family wishs to critisize them for their authoritarian almost monarchy like chain of power?

Meh...At least Your post was better than most, like those who know the unknown only as ones who chop toes, or that belive their emotional appeal, when by finishing JROTC and joining they wouldn't get a good meal, or those beliving they are treated as a soldier of their country by the ones they serve, when to them they are only armed veal, and once the war was done, they would kick them onto the curb.

So I suppose your post has more highs than lows, even if it mows down this radicaly titled, but very persuasive and informative article, maybe i should dircect you to less radical articles, from C.A.M.S. and maybe you will learn that the military treats others like lambs.


Maybe it's time to page Dr. Howard Dean for a vetting and possible confirmation as Obama's Secretary of HHS as it looks like Daschle screwed up big time. But then Rahm the Knife would have to eat crow and those Chi-town boyz hate to do that. Since strategically, Dean was right and Emanuel was wrong, the Doc should have a shot but that's not the Chicago way. - Pete


Hell, I can make up what I'd do within 100 days, too. What the Greens don't realise is that their president would have to deal with Congress to achieve their "programs." - JayV

Reparations? Come on. Otherwise fine, but reparations discredit the entire party. That and pushing Ralphie out. Way to lose your momentum guys.

All these things have been supported by Nader who in 2004 spent a lot of time and money defending Green challenges to his ballot inclusion. For myself, I doubt I'll ever trust them again.


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