As most of you’d have read by now, there’s a small movement promoting a petition at whitehouse.gov to punish CNN commentator Piers Morgan for his caustic comments against the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre in wake of the awful Sandy Hook tragedy. They’re petitioning to deport Morgan, a British citizen, despite the fact that in the United States we have not only a Second Amendment, but the First. I posted my somewhat tongue in cheek quip below to the Huffington Post:
How about deporting Wayne LaPierre to the Congo where he could lead his child soldiers in the glorious revolution against brains?”
The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki, in “Call That A Budget?” commenting on the part of Paul Ryan’s draconian Tea Party budget proposal ingenuously called “Repairing the Social Safety Net” :
But when Ryan explains that he’s doing things like cutting Medicaid in order to help “the less fortunate get back on their feet” one hears echoes of Judge Smails, in “Caddyshack,” explaining that he sentenced young criminals to death because “I felt I owed it to them.”
If you didn’t catch the remarks of David Brooks on PBS NewsHour on December 16, or again on Charlie Rose last night, it’s in the embedded PBS news clip, and I excerpted the transcript below:
What’s been interesting to me is the structure of the whole thing. The Democrats want to give the Republicans a tax break — tax cuts for the American people, and the Republicans are saying, no, no. We want more.
It’s a bit like a parent going to a kid and saying, we’re going to take you to Disney World. And the kids say, we will agree to go to Disney World if you give us an Xbox and an iPhone. And the parents say, no, but you will love Disney World. Give us the Xbox. And then they say, okay, we will give you the Xbox and Disney World.
I wrote the quote below early this morning, posting it to my Facebook status and quotes database. The old truism says, “be careful what we wish for, because we just might get it.” To take one example out of so many, just look at the events leading the people of Germany into World War II: unemployment, inflation, civil unrest. Many there thought they saw a way out of a troubled two decades. The world remembers well the inexorable march of terror, secrecy and butchery that followed. Their nation was pushed into the Third Reich, albeit on false pretenses in a chaotic political time, but inescapably, this could not have happened without popular support. Mostly, ordinary citizens said they imagined their candidate would at least make the trains run on time, didn’t they?
Once we citizens elect any politician on a promise to denigrate, deny or obstruct equal rights for others, even others of whom we may disapprove, no longer can we trust in our own equal access to justice and fair play — even when we were secure in those beliefs before. — Alex Forbes
I was updating some obsolete links on this site’s old HTML pages when I stumbled across this old somewhat startling passage of mine. I wrote it in 1998 about an even older 1989 writing project.
If you disagree strongly with the economic premise that 20th century Americans, despite unprecedented national prosperity, have largely been shafted out of any “excess disposable income” (savings) from the best and most productive years of their lives, then you’re going to object, on moral or patriotic grounds, to this Pravda project.
Pravda was my 1989 attempt to make some sense of the unfolding drama in the old Soviet Union. I gave up editing and revising this over-100 page project because events neatly outstripped my ability to keep up with them. It’s not recommended for the faint of heart: I keep it for its historical and archival value of the sense of those times.
If my quote seemed relevant in 1998, as we gear up for the 2012 presidential elections, it seems prophetic now.
Even in America we still find political groups who, with a dismissive label ‘agenda,’ deprecate and demean the honest quest of minority groups for equality in rights and civil liberties. No such group, now or ever, can be a trustworthy defender of individual rights for ANY segment or sector of society.
The most extravagant idea that can be born in the head of a political thinker is to believe that it suffices for people to enter, weapons in hand, among a foreign people and expect to have its laws and constitution embraced. It is in the nature of things that the progress of Reason is slow and no one loves armed missionaries; the first lesson of nature and prudence is to repulse them as enemies. One can encourage freedom, never create it by an invading force.” (Maximilien de Robespierre, 1791)