UNDERNEWS

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

May 15, 2009

READER COMMENTS

Excerpts from reader comments

AVOID SOCIALISM OR YOU COULD END UP LIKE NORWAY

NY Times used to fantasize about Sweden, too, but Sweden is full of immigrants now, and without oil money, the economy isn't so hot . . . so the once-tolerant, lefty Swedes are starting to veer sharp right, just like the Dutch now that their North Sea natural gas revenues have declined. When the oil cash disappears and Norway has to live on salt-cod again, the old Viking attitudes will be back . . . bank on it.

DESPITE HEAVY SUPPORT IN POLLS, SINGLE PAYER ADVOCATES SHUT OUT

I've heard Obama say that single-payer is too "radical" a change to introduce at this time. That's not a satisfactory answer. Why is it too radical? If Obama can explain to the people and gain support for other unpopular actions, why can't he explain about single-payer? Especially since many opinion polls suggest that single payer has broad support. - Linda R

HEY, IT WORKED FOR HITLER DIDN'T IT? EXPLORER SCOUTS TRAINED TO KILL PEOPLE.

Wow, this is great We are teaching and encouraging our youth to be thugs and bullies. The only thing missing here are the brown shirts of the Hitlerjugend. I fear that we are creating potential nightmares when we desensitize our youth and young men and women. I have watched this in Israel, the US Army, video games, violent movies, just to name a few. And we cloak it with the honor of patriotism, discipline, morality and other fine euphemisms. - Jerry Z

Guess you people don't know about the origins of the Boy Scouts . . . Baden-Powell started the organization to provide a pool of ready-trained young soldiers for Britain's colonial forces as a result of his experiences during the Boer War around the turn of the 19th century. Boy Scouts were never intended to be social workers. That's a post-1960s corruption of the movement.

That is not the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts I remember in the 1950's and 1960's. I don't remember social work as our raison d'etre. That said, I don't remember violence as one of our missions. If Baden_Powell so intended the Scouts as a military entity, I am glad that the BSA made a course correction for the better. Your rationalization is a poor excuse for dehumanizing our youth. I choose higher-minded aspirations over thuggery. - Jerry Z


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