Friday, September 15, 2006

Why Have Liberals Been Afraid?

The picture's of Daytona, in 1957. Posted by Picasa

The soul that is attached to anything, however much good there may be in it, will not arrive at the liberty of the divine.

---St. John of the Cross

The hermit doesn't sleep at night:
in love with the blue of the vacant moon.
The cool of the breeze
that rustles the trees
rustles him too.

---Ching An

The trouble is that you think you have time.

---Zen master

Yes, we accuse Rove/Bush of keeping the masses in cowering fear, but who's scared? My redneck neighbors have decals on their pickups pissing on fear. Their kids tool through the woods on their 4-wheelers with nary a care everyday. Those folks Support Our Troops with flags waving, trusting the security of the heartland to the War on Terror. The biggest horror of kids at school is if pizza gets taken off the cafeteria menu.

Yesterday I emailed a link Bob Sheak had sent along to an article at TomPaine by Robert L. Borosage. My friend Paul Quintanilla left a couple of comments about it at jazzoLOG, but concluded with these questions~~~

14 Sep 2006 @ 22:43 by Quinty @ : And yet another thing -
Why haven't the Democrats abopted Borosage's strategy?
After all, the idea of a "Manhattan project" for clean and self-sustaining energy resources has been around for a long time. The biggest argument, I guess, against it being cost. But we have no problem throwing billions away monthly on a wasteful war. For that we have unending funding.
(For the simple minded - dare I say? - violence is always an easy solution. By exerting a superior force of arms you can be sure to win. No questions asked. That is the current course we are on now.)
And the other approaches Borosage raised are fairly obvious too. But do many Democrats still feel they are too hot politically to handle? Does Bush's ship have to sink further before they may become palatable? What are the Democrats afraid of? Of the unknown? The future? Of getting it wrong? Of not being loved?
Then they don't deserve to lead. But then who do we got?

Others have been asking similar questions lately...including some members of Congress and even Colin Powell (finally!) who've seen through Bush's legislative attempt to be sure he and his people never can be tried for war crimes. When TruthOut sent us to Bill Fisher's blog yesterday to reminisce about the radio commentators of the McCarthy era , I realized as someone who was a teenager at the time how much like those days this country has become again.

One commentator Fisher didn't mention was Fulton Lewis Jr. I imagine Paul Harvey considers him something of a mentor. He broadcast everyday on the Mutual Network, one of whose stations I happened to work for after school. My sophomore high school year, WJOC was "honored" with the arrival of his son, Fulton Lewis III, for a few weeks. He apparently was training to take over his father's work and he broadcast over the network to the entire country every evening from our little station. During the day Fulton tooled around town in his sports car and visited the school libraries. Imagine what he found! Dirty communist books. I think Catcher In The Rye (1951) was one. Lewis III began a series of stories about the corrupt, unAmerican schools in Jamestown---a public school system that previously had been considered among the best in New York. The Superintendent of Schools was named Carlyle C. Ring. His son Gordy was a classmate of mine and a friend since kindergarten. Following Fulton's scathing series on how the Reds are in all the libraries...and the desired public panic, Dr. Ring was forced to resign. Shortly afterwards he died of a heart attack.

Today Fulton Lewis III, and probably his father, are forgotten. Carlyle Ring eventually got a school named after him that I see is listed at But at the time Dr. Ring's career and life depended on them, liberals were hiding under desks. And today we face a similar, and maybe worse, challenge. The current London Review of Books carries a column by NYU historian Tony Judt. Professor Judt's opinions are hotly contested around the world, but here he writes an answer of sorts to Paul's question about liberals...and challenges us to revive our fighting traditions. Have a good day!


jazzolog said...

I don't think I've heard of Nancy Greggs before, but this entry of hers at a site called DemocraticUnderground is getting emailed and posted all over the place right now. I owe my thanks for it to an online friend in Florida, who in the past has asked to remain anonymous because of the job she has. Hmmmm, if the Bushies pull off this election, we all may have to become anonymous and underground~~~

Let Me See If I've Got This 'RIGHT' ...
Posted by NanceGreggs in General Discussion: Politics
Sat Aug 26th 2006, 08:43 PM
Let Me See If I've Got This RIGHT ...
By Nancy Greggs

I’m supposed to believe that the man who sat in a classroom reading a kids’ book for seven minutes AFTER he was told the country was under attack, who was warned repeatedly about imminent threats against the country and chose to ignore them, who has traipsed off on vacation every time there is a domestic or international disaster, is a decisive man-of-action with the fortitude to run a nation.

I am supposed to believe that God himself chooses my nation’s leaders and that, in His infinite wisdom, he chose a lying, thieving, self-absorbed, pro-torture, pro-war, lazy frat-boy jerk like George W. Bush.

I am supposed to believe that the same man who used family money and influence to duck military duty, who has failed at every business venture he ever tried, who never did an honest day’s work or accomplished anything of value in his entire life, is fit to be Commander-in-Chief.

I am supposed to believe that a man who ignores the Constitution he swore to uphold, breaks the law with abandon, repeatedly lied about the reasons for going to war, its cost, its duration, and even its goals, is honest and trustworthy.

I am supposed to believe that the escalating violence, chaos and deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan are a sign of progress.

I am supposed to believe that a man who, by his own admission, does not read newspapers, who only meets with and listens to ‘yes’ men, who refuses to speak before any group that is not hand-picked from his staunchest supporters, is in touch with the realities of the world.

I am supposed to believe that sending US soldiers into combat without proper equipment or a viable military strategy, while decreasing their pensions and their benefits, is a patriotic display of supporting the troops.

I am supposed to believe that gutting the funding of social programs aimed at assisting the poor, the sick, the hungry and the homeless is the outcome of good Christians being in office, and that torturing, maiming and killing innocent civilians is “doing the Lord’s work”.

Oh, don’t go anywhere, because I haven’t even gotten started yet …

I am supposed to believe that a president who acts like an ill-mannered, oafish, mindless buffoon in public, both at home and in international settings, and a vice president who tells a colleague to go f*ck himself in the course of conducting the country’s business, are both deserving of respect.

I am supposed to believe that spying on US citizens, quashing free speech, and suspending laws that govern detention and confinement without just cause is preserving the tenets of democracy.

I am supposed to believe that alienating our allies, isolating ourselves from the world, refusing to use diplomacy instead of aggression, and causing people around the globe to hate us is the best way to protect my country from violent attack.

I am supposed to believe that no-bid contracts awarded to companies owned by members of this Administration, its families and its cronies is pure coincidence, and that secret meetings resulting in policies that enrich their supporters to the detriment of hard-working Americans is good and honest government.

Hold on, because there’s MORE of this crap ...

I am supposed to believe that outsourcing American jobs, under-funding our educational system, and plunging the country deeper into debt with every passing day will lead to a stronger, more competitive nation in the years to come.

I am supposed to believe that the same people who left NOLA to drown, who refuse to secure our borders, who refuse to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, and who initiate policies that incite anger and violence the world over are protecting my country from harm.

I am supposed to believe that an Administration whose policies make basic medical care and life-saving drugs unaffordable for millions of Americans is pro-life.

I am supposed to believe that elected representatives who voted for the Bankruptcy Bill, tax breaks for wealthy individuals, and tax subsidies for multi-billion dollar corporations are looking out for their constituents.

Along with all of the above, I am also supposed to believe that selling authority over our ports to foreign nations, selling our national lands to private interests, and selling our children’s future by burdening them with debt for decades to come is in the best interests of our country.

Drum roll, please -- here's the BIG FINALE ...

I am supposed to believe it is safe to board an airplane with a hold full of uninspected cargo as long as no passengers are in possession of baby formula, that a group of men in Britain were about to take down ten airliners without tickets or passports, that seven men in Miami were going to blow up buildings in cities they didn’t have the money to get to, that one lone guy in New York was going to take down the Brooklyn Bridge with a blow-torch, that if we leave Iraq every terrorist in the world is going to come to the US and fight us in the malls and the supermarkets, that the ‘Liberal media’ simply forgets to cover the lies, cover-ups and corruption of this Administration and its party members, that voting for a Democrat in Connecticut sends shockwaves of unbridled encouragement throughout the Muslim world, that a bunch of PNAC members whose predictions have been proven totally wrong in every instance should be dictating policy to my government, that our military isn’t stretched too thin and they are just recalling those who have already fulfilled their duty because they’ve got too much time on their hands, and that George W. Bush spends his summers reading CAMUS and SHAKESPEARE.

Oh, if only I were GULLIBLE, ILL-INFORMED, EASILY LED and TOTALLY STUPID – what a FINE Bush supporter I would have made!

jazzolog said...

I love this column today by Douglas Cunningham, who is business editor for the Times Herald-Record which serves New York's Hudson Valley and the Catskills. What I'm noticing, besides all he has to say, is what a grand new hideaway rehab has become! As Harry Shearer put it in a new song last night, "Avoid the TV gab, Check into Rehab Rehab"~~~

Time to switch teams
Monday October 9, 2006

My father, until he died, maintained that the biggest mistake he ever made was voting for Harry Truman in 1948.

Truman, of course, beat Thomas Dewey, though the polls and media heavyweights all said the Republican would win. I think about this, and I think, "Oh, to make such mistakes! Oh, to have such a luxury!"

We have no such luxury today. Today, Washington, D.C., our capital, has become drenched in money, corruption and sex. Its tawdriness is unbounded, its morals are in the gutter, its corruption runs like a sewer.

So it is that we come to Mark Foley, the former representative from Florida. As well, sex creep, pervert and predator of male pages under age 18.

Could we not have a nice, normal scandal, something involving Dick Nixon, maybe? Too much to ask today.

Foley ought to do the country a favor and take a long walk on a short pier. Is there nothing that's beyond the pale?

I've had it. The Republican leadership in the House, beginning with Speaker Dennis Hastert, has got to go. As in now. I'm thinking we need to plow through four or five people right below Hastert, too. If the Republican members of the House had any guts, they'd have ousted these people last week. If the Republican leadership had any shame, they would have quit last week.

Apparently, not very many people these days have either, at least in Washington. Anyone who knew anything about the scandal, I want them gone. If the Republicans come to be known as the party that protects gay sexual predators, we're finished. I am not ready to abandon the party of Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater to the likes of Mark Foley.

The Hastert storyline is one in which there's no percentage. The most degenerate gambler wouldn't place a bet on Hastert and the rest surviving. The Hastert line is this: I take responsibility, but I've done nothing wrong. This is no worse than Democratic sex scandals. We, personally, have done nothing wrong.

Well, to start with, you did nothing about Foley. Do we need to know more? The Republican sex scandals are suddenly pure and virginal? Foley, to the pier. Hastert, to the bench.

Some of you then trot out, Oh, sure, it's a sex scandal that gets you upset. Everything else was A-OK.

No, it's not just that we understand this sex scandal, though it is awfully easy to understand. Pretty much everyone knows, on a visceral level, that what has gone on with Foley is deeply wrong.

The reason Republicans are bent out of shape is that this Foley scandal is the proverbial last straw. We've had it. The out-of-control spending. The earmarks. The graft with the lobbyists. The arrogance. The abrogation of principles that Goldwater, Reagan and others worked decades to spread.

The Republicans will lose the House in November. Absent big changes, I have to say they deserve to. I will help them lose it, because in my own congressional district, Pennsylvania's 10th, I'm voting for Democrat Chris Carney. As the campaign literature for Carney slyly notes, he's been married for 18 years to his college sweetheart.

Why might he note that? Because his opponent, and the incumbent, Republican Don Sherwood, engaged in a five-year affair in Washington with a mistress some three decades his junior.

My father had choices. The Republicans offer me candidates who can't even keep their pants on. I've had it.

Douglas Cunningham's commentary appears on Mondays. Reach him at, or 346-3202.