A Delightful Post from CONTRARY BRIN

Why the Candidates Should (But Won’t) Stipulate

Take the day in 1992 when both Republican Senator Warren Rudman and Democrat Paul Tsongas made headlines declaring that everybody was at fault for the country’s fiscal condition at the time, from then-President Bush to the democrat-controlled Congress, to the American people. Responsible economists later credited Rudman and Tsongas for spurring reforms that helped lead to the Clinton era surpluses.

Around the same time, retired senator and conservative eminence gris Barry Goldwater denounced the followers of émigré philosopher Leo Strauss – so-called “neocons” – for hijacking Goldwater’s beloved movement over cliffs of romantic delusion. A more recent example of post retirement candor came When G.W. Bush’s ex-Treasury Secretary, Paul O’Neill, revealed a swamp of backroom dealings and ineptitude, explaining that he was “old and rich” and unafraid to speak his mind. On the other side, some claim that Senator Joe Lieberman really came into his own when he ran as an independent, shrugging off party discipline (if such a thing exists, among democrats.)


The article goes on to point out that candor is almost suicidal under the rules of our current system. Excellent thought. What I found more interesting was Brin’s awareness of Leo Strauss, the man behind the curtain of much of the modern Neoconservative movement. I wouldn’t have expected a scientist to have read so deeply into politics.

Yes, Strauss is mentioned in the histories you can find on the web about Neoconservatism but few point out his critical role in the movement, nor do they emphasize the manipulative nature of his teaching. The articles talk about Strauss teaching about a return to Classical values – this is utter nonsense, Strauss was designing a new political elite from his students, manipulative and power hungry. We will be dealing with his minions for decades to come. He planted the dragon seeds that bedevil our foreign policy even today. And they will be pulling many other strings as well.

So, Mr. Brin has impressed me and I wish him well. I think we share many of the same thoughts.

James Pilant

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Richard Eskow Explains the Central Demand of the Wall Street Protests – SANITY

Richard Eskow has written an article describing the Wall Street Protestors’ demands in one word – Sanity. Here’s a small sample from the article –

Here’s Occupy Wall Street’s “One Demand”: Sanity

Here’s how insane this country has become. You can find “liberal” pundits and leaders from both parties on every channel who will condemn American homeowners as morally bankrupt and unworthy of help. But the banks they trusted, who sold them mortgages on the false promise that real estate values would rise forever, and who then when on a crime spree, walked away free. And their CEOs are broacast and quoted as they were legitimate, mainstream American voices.

That’s insane.

While the middle class dies and the ranks of the poor swell, this country is talking about cutting the government’s spending. While one home in four is underwater, this country’s worried about the financial health of banks. While we fight two unnecessary wars, war criminals like Dick Cheney are given television platforms as if they were simply representing a different political point of view.

That’s insane.

I find these words compelling. I was reading the news when I came across an article in which Dick Cheney suggested that Barack Obama owed the previous administration an apology for criticizing their abandonment of civilized rules and their willingness to torture suspects. That is the world we live in, a place where we have prosecuted and executed a Japanese during the Second World War for waterboarding Americans but have no historical memory to realize it is a war crime. Currently the new media treats things like war crimes as matters of opinion, not facts based on law.

He’s quite right about the media finding certain points of view unpalatable. If tea party republicans threaten to destroy the credit of the United States it cannot be just their fault but the fault of both parties because that is the media narrative – both sides are corrupt and incompetent, a plague on both their houses. My loathing for the ineffectual Democratic Party can be noted by any reader but I can’t help but notice that in earlier debt ceiling votes the Democrats had no held the country as hostage. However, this simple fact could not be mentioned in media accounts because both sides “must” by definition be at fault.

It’s time for sanity, for reliance on the facts and a willingness to speak them. No she said – he said narrative, in which a media personality with the brain power of a small flower explains the horse race elements of a policy dispute but a real discussion in which the impact on Americans of the middle class are honestly discussed.

We can live in a world where things make sense, where justice matters and the media has a legitimate role to play in the political discussion that does no involve false equivalencies.

I strongly sympathize with the Wall Street Protestors. There is going to be a lot more of this. This is just the beginning. Those that make fun of the American Spring are out of touch with America and history.

History is in motion, not with the tired policies of our current place holder in the White House but with the disaffected and the unemployed, those that know the system no longer works.

James Pilant

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