[W]e need to give up our (often unconscious) fantasy that Obama was our messiah who would save us and the world, we can and must still retain our understanding that the suffering in this world through poverty and oppression, the destruction of the environment and the possibility of ending all human and animal life on the planet Earth, and the survival of our own souls and mental health requires that we revive a movement based on love, kindness, generosity, ecological sanity, and caring for each other, including everyone on the planet. And, indeed, were the Democrats to put those values at the forefront of their own reelection campaigns, they’d be far more successful than trying to defend policies or legislation that has been more about compromising with the powerful than promoting a fundamentally different kind of world.
So, they want to save our souls and place the emphasis on love, kindness, generosity and caring for others? Great!
But is seems that the worlds great religions have talked about this for centuries. What has got in the way is that human nature dictates that people look out for themselves and their families first. Which is the attitude that the liberals say they want to get rid of.
Supposedly, according to Rabbi Lerner, the liberals are immune to this. And to prove it to us, they’re going to get rid of all these things by passing laws against them.
But the one thing that has made the Constitution last so long is that it was written with the understanding of the frailties of human nature. That’s why there are the checks and balances. James Madison, the father of the Constitution said in Federalist No. 51;
T]he great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others. The provision for defence must in this, as in all other cases, be made commensurate to the danger of attack. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions. ( n.d., 337)
So the good Rabbi argues that men are not angels, but Liberals are?
It would seem that all things good are attributed to Liberals and Progressive and all things evil to Conservatives and Libertarians simply by self-acclamation. It would also seem that the Liberals hold themselves to be Holy Knights who fight for right and all others are heathens who must be eliminated or subjugated.
The problem they’re having is that their earthly paradise can only be achieved and maintained by force. There is no way to do these things any other way. Dissent cannot be allowed because dissent sows doubt and absolute faith is required in order to sustain paradise. Each must toil and be rewarded in kind with each other. All must be equal, but some must be more equal than others since there has to be direction.
The way Rabbi Lerner wishes can only lead not to “love, kindness, generosity, ecological sanity, and caring for each other” but the age old destructive values of envy, greed and resentment.
The mini-series, called “The Kennedys,” is the brainchild of Joel Surnow, a creator of the Fox action show “24” and an outspoken political conservative. That raised alarms among Kennedy partisans when the History channel said in December that it would pick up the project.
Now a documentary filmmaker who makes no secret of his liberal politics is releasing an Internet video in which Kennedy scholars say the scripts offer a portrait of the president and his family that is, at best, inaccurate, and at worst, a hatchet job.
If you look objectively at JFK’s Presidency the only conclusion that you can come to is that it was an unmitigated disaster. Unfortunately there are still many people that have a lot invested, both emotionally and financially, in the Kennedy myth.
Even putting aside the shady dealings in Illinois and the acknowledged “investment” in West Virginia, there is still a lot for JFK to answer for. Assassination transformed him from a conniving politician into a secular Saint.
He froze up when facing the Bay of Pigs. He couldn’t bring himself to call it off, or support it. So he kinda sorta supported it, but was relieved when it failed.
At the 1961 Vienna Summit, Khrushchev dominated him and confirmed his (Khrushchev) picture of him as the son of a rich man who had used his father’s money to get elected. Based on this assessment Khrushchev went forward with both the Berlin Wall, and the Cuban Missiles.
Then Kennedy figured that he should show toughness by pouring advisers into South Vietnam. Even going so far as to ignore the Saigon Embassy advice and using his personal insider diplomat, Maxwell Taylor, to bypass them. We all know how that turned out. and there is not credible evidence that Kennedy was planning to pull out of Vietnam. He couldn’t allow the Communists to see him backing down…again.
He appointed his brother Bobby as Attorney General. Bobby conspired with J. Edgar Hoover to wiretap people that might cause the President problems and with the CIA in increasingly bizzare plots to assassinate Fidel Castro. People whine about Hoover but forget that RFK was privy to much of his shenanigans.
The world would probably have been a far different place if Richard Nixon had been elected. Khrushchev had had personal contact with Nixon and knew he was no shallow ‘pretty boy’. He might have thought twice about pushing Nixon’s buttons.
How might have that worked out in Berlin, Cuba and Vietnam?
A SIGN of a cell’s age could help predict the onset of dementia. Elderly people are more likely to develop cognitive problems if their telomeres – the stretches of DNA that cap the ends of chromosomes – are shorter than those of their peers.
I’ve learned some new words.One is “autocannibalism,” coined in French but equally appropriate in English. It describes what happens when a militia here in eastern Congo’s endless war cuts flesh from living victims and forces them to eat it.
Another is “re-rape.” The need for that term arose because doctors were seeing women and girls raped, re-raped and re-raped again, here in the world capital of murder, rape, mutilation.
And what is Kristof’s reaction to such savagery?
[I]sn’t it time for the U.S. to lead a major, global diplomatic push for peace?
No Mr. Kristof, it’s time for the inhabitants of the Dark Continent to give up their wait for the white bwana to come save them and take care of the problem themselves.
I’m not even sure I think that is possible. But if it is, it is not going to be accomplished by the former white colonialists parachuting back into their countries with plans and timetables. There’s a distinct element of “They’re Wogs, Y’know.” hiding under the carefully articulated phrases meant to convey that the whites really “care”, while shaking their heads an muttering to themselves about the unchangeability of Africa.
I rarely read Kristof. He lives in a world so alien from the one I live in that I have to wonder that he can survive. His previously Quixotic quest to save two bar girls in Cambodia ran into real life when he returned and found that one of the girls had gong right back to the brothel. The other was probably not far behind. If Kristof spent more time with the objects of his pity and less time talking to people that make their living extracting money from guilt bound foreigners, he might actually learn something.
But, since he does make his living as a guilt bound liberal, it wouldn’t pay.
All of Oregon’s Representatives, except the lone Republican, vote to spend $50M to purchase beachfront property in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands.
How many Oregon businesses and workers benefited from this spending?
That’s OK, the money is
coming from the Social Security Trust Fund anyhow. Actually it will come from money borrowed from China to redeem the T-bills that make up the Social Security Trust Fund. (Social Security is now paying out more than they take in, so the government has to come up with the funds to pay back the money we already paid in. But who do you think is going pay the Chinese?)
I guess they needed a place that was nominally in the U.S. where they can loll on the beach. You and I certainly won’t be able to afford to go there.
Carbon trading is a system that caps the amount of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, that companies may emit each year. Companies exceeding their quota can buy extra certificates from those companies that succeeded in shrinking their carbon footprint by adopting environmentally friendly technology or modifying production in other ways.
The system is the main tool used by the European Union to meet its ambitious pollution-reduction goals.
But since the start of the system in Europe, coal-burning utilities have earned windfall profits, while the prices of credits have never been high enough for long enough to force utilities and businesses to replace conventional power with significant amounts of renewable energy or other clean sources.
Meanwhile, in Blue/Green Oregon;
SALEM — Big wind energy projects no longer need state incentives, Gov. Ted Kulongoski said today, as lawmakers explored a plan to rein in the soaring costs of Oregon’s tax breaks for green energy.
At a meeting with newspaper editors from across the state, Kulongoski said the $11 million in state tax credits routinely given to 10 megawatt-plus wind farms has “run its course.”
“Do they need the state to subsidize them? No,” Kulongoski said.
His comments came shortly after state officials released a revised price tag of the Oregon Business Energy Tax Credit, which has grown at a brisk pace: $235 million for the current two-year budget cycle, growing to an estimated $374 million for 2011-13.
Those numbers are far higher than estimates from a year ago and have prompted a top-to-bottom review of the incentives. Legislators say the subsidies sap money from public schools and other state services.
At Kulongoski’s request, lawmakers in 2007 expanded the incentives to try to entice wind, solar and other green energy projects to set up shop in Oregon. Since then, the cost of the incentives has grown by 50 percent per year — faster than any other program in state government. Investigations by The Oregonian found that state officials intentionally downplayed cost estimates and that millions of dollars have been wasted on projects that went bankrupt or never performed as promised.
Subsidies are part of the package that Obama wants under the rubric of a “jobs bill”. It didn’t work in Oregon, why do they think it’s going to work nationwide>
Just over a year into his tenure, America’s 44th president governs a bitterly divided nation, a world increasingly hard to manage and an America that seems more disillusioned than ever with Washington’s ways. What went wrong?
Pundits, Democratic lawmakers and opinion pollsters offer a smorgasbord of reasons – from Mr Obama’s decision to devote his first year in office to healthcare reform, to the president’s inability to convince voters he can “feel their [economic] pain”, to the apparent ungovernability of today’s Washington. All may indeed have contributed to the quandary in which Mr Obama finds himself. But those around him have a more specific diagnosis – and one that is striking in its uniformity. The Obama White House is geared for campaigning rather than governing, they say.
In dozens of interviews with his closest allies and friends in Washington – most of them given unattributably in order to protect their access to the Oval Office – each observes that the president draws on the advice of a very tight circle. The inner core consists of just four people – Rahm Emanuel, the pugnacious chief of staff; David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, his senior advisers; and Robert Gibbs, his communications chief.
Can you imagine what the headlines would be in the New York Times and Washington Post if President Bush had cut himself off from all but a handful of advisers?
But the problem with Obama’s White House is that his inner core are all accomplished politicians, they know how to have meetings and score points. But they have no idea and have no experience with actually governing. They went into the White House with the belief that Obama had been elected King instead of President. They thought that they could accomplish things simply by ordering them to be so.
Obama himself has had only one political race where he had a credible opponent, and he lost. His other races, for the State and U.S. Senate were won by behind the scenes maneuvering to eliminate the opposition. His Senate career was unremarkable. He has never had to persuade, cajole and compromise. He doesn’t know how, and that’s what you do in Washington DC.
He’s in a box. He can’t get anywhere if he doesn’t get some new advisers, and he is not going to get anywhere if he gets rid of them. I think that he has goals, but he doesn’t really have any idea of how to achieve them.