622 Comments
Mar 2·edited Mar 2

“One sacrificed himself to save the country, the other one sacrificed the country to save himself.”

There is a very prescient parallel here in this country, as one is attempting to sacrifice all of us to save himself.

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Mar 2·edited Mar 2

Well stated, Ransom Rideout, clearly understood.

But it goes far beyond even that. The words "to save" (himself) are not necessary. The real meaning:

TO SACRIFICE ALL TO HIMSELF.

The worldwide plague of narcissistic perverts -- Putin, Trump, Kim, Netanyahu, Modi, Orban, Wilders, Bolsonaro and myriad others -- is a plague of SELF-IDOLATERS.

They may, like the Israeli mis-leader, sacrifice all, sacrifice the lives of thousands of innocents, women, children, to save themselves from the humiliation of having to face justice and the consequences of their actions. Berlusconi's political career focused on keeping him out of prison, Trump is trying to do likewise... and to take revenge.

But the nub of it all is that these cosmic monsters know one god only, their infinitely inflated ego.

Navalny: a true exemplar. A secular saint.

No one even distantly matching his stature has yet emerged in America.

SOON, SOME WILL.

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Your statement of “worldwide plague of narcissistic perverts” brings to my mind how these ineffective “ leaders” responded to Covid. TFG not doing a damn thing saying it’ll be gone in Spring like magic, while we all suffered! While millions died and he blamed Obama for not keeping emergency supplies current.

Biden started turning us around immediately. The press says he’s old. But I believe history will show us he’s the best president we’ve ever had.

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I agree 1000%. The very best president!

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I don't agree with the statement that Biden is our best president ever. I certainly agree that he has been an excellent president and stands head and shoulders above his predecessor. In a Biden - Trump election, there is no doubt in my mind who is the superior candidate.

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He was handed a mess. He got to do the cleanup after a fire. Unfortunately, I do not think he will not be a memorable president. Trump will go down in history books. Putin Not Yeltsin, Hitler not Merkel.

Judging by what is happening today, no one has learned from the past. Colleges should require an American history(2 semester). This would be more useful than learning to speak a language most of us will never use.

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I agree with Karen below that Biden was handed a mess and he certainly did a LOT to help fix the problems generated by Trump from 2017 to 2021. However I also agree with Charles that Biden is NOT our "best" President either. He did a terrific job on many issues but he also failed in a number of ways. Most important, I think he did not take the mantle of the Democratic party and make sure it was set up to provide leadership for the foreseeable future and as a result he permitted himself to be placed in the position of "heir apparent" to himself. He NEEDED to recognize that his age is a potentially serious debilitating condition that jeopardizes his chances of being elected again and thus jeopardizes the security of the nation going forward, especially in the face of GOP Maga Trump leadership. If he loses this upcoming election (hopefully not, but not completely unthinkable either, especially after winning in 2016 against pretty much all odds) we will all pay for Biden's failure.

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There’s an old saying:” when I point at you I am really pointing at myself.”

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Hillary ran an awful campaign and was a flawed candidate who thought she was a shoe in. Her ego was as big as Don’s. Joe needs to focus on what he accomplished with NATO, the long overdue infrastructure bill and the potential in the Chips and Science bill. Of course the stupid Republican IVF policy in Alabama has a role as does abortion. And what an ass Don is.

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Mar 3·edited Mar 3

Re. America's (and Israel's) most egregious failure, see below.

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The only consolation, if it is one, is many who died were tfg followers.

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Yea, but that's not quite known to be true. Historically Democratic voters may have been on the front lines as essential workers. It may be them who died more often in Republican-led districts.

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Mar 2·edited Mar 2

Jerry H: Actually, it is known to some extent:

https://www.npr.org/2023/07/25/1189939229/covid-deaths-democrats-republicans-gap-study

The original article on which this NPR report is based appeared in JAMA Internal Medicine. (Of course this is all liberal-biased mainstream fake news.)

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While that may be true there were plenty of Democrats and systems (education & healthcare) that died and suffered immeasurably due to the intentional harm tffg caused the world during Covid

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Ohio? The review did quantify the limitations of the survey. It did not say this is it black or white.

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Not nearly enough of them, however.

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Please, that is NOT something any of us should be saying, even in jest. People lost their lives in the pandemic, mostly without regard to what political affiliation they were. Trump's lack of leadship not withstanding, NO ONE should be joking about the death of people from the pandemic any more than anyone should be joking about the death of civilians in Ukraine or Gaza.

Please.

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Didn't the trump administration cut the budget for the department which would've made sure a program for such things as the pandemic could be handled? I believe some of the medical equipment needed special handling to keep them viable which was not done (budget cuts). Anyone hear of the Ebola pandemic during Obama's term? It did come into the country and was stopped in its tracts. That's why no one heard of it.

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What Obama put in place to help protect the population if a contagion entered our borders, tRump tore up the playbook soon after entering office.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/obama-team-left-pandemic-playbook-for-trump-administration-officials-confirm

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Yes, the Ebola virus was stopped by Obama's health administration, but it is basically erroneous to compare Ebola with Covid. Ebola is NOT spread by aerosol contact but rather by direct bodily fluid contact. That kind of contact occurs much less between humans. It is also much more severe than Covid when you DO catch it and so it becomes clear fairly quickly when someone's bodily fluid might effect you. Simply being in the same household as another Covid-infected person creates potential spread that is not the case with Ebola. So the communication of Ebola, while significantly MORE dangerous, is much less likely to happen unless you intentionally submit yourself to it. Covid, while theoretically less fatal, creates much more communication and at the outset, before there was any kind of vaccination available, made it much deadlier in the general population.

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Mar 3·edited Mar 3

Denise, the best President EVER? After FDR and Jimmy Carter, the best in my lifetime. Yet far from perfect, sometimes betrayed by his very expertise, because long, extensive and deep experience does tend to entail a number of automatic settings, and these have proved worse than unfortunate in relation to the suppurating, unhealed wound of Israel/Palestine.

The total destruction of Gaza and the massacre of tens of thousands of civilians, including vast numbers of innocent women and children, have no possible connection with defense or the saving of hostages.

If anyone can justify this and its seemingly uncritical, even enthusiastic, acceptance by all the American Right to me -- or better, to the Israeli people, to former premier Ehud Olmert who thinks (politely) that the current Prime Minister has had "a breakdown", they are welcome. How anyone who remembers what the Jewish people suffered when I was a small child can justify behavior reminiscent of Saddam and the Al-Assads' most heinous crimes against their own cities, I don't know.

Dayan's IDF in 1967 was a model army. Today's army behaves like a rabble. Understandable. Totally inexcusable.

Unlike most of you, I remember what it is like to be bombed. I was a 4-year old in London on the night when the first V1 rockets rained down on the city and I have never forgotten that night which implanted in me a lasting horror of the bombing of cities.

Anywhere. By anyone.

That is why I have spent so much time in Germany, trying both to overcome my own deep fears and to reach a deep understanding with my younger friends in that country. (I know too the former Leningrad and have spent time with friends in Kiev -- the city of Babi Yar -- long before the present horrors. They looked forward to the day when they could take me to visit Crimea...)

Explain to me jaw jaw diplomacy when thousands of children are daily suffering dreadful injuries and over ten thousand have been killed. Explain to me why America could not airdrop food and essential supplies to the homeless and starving. Explain why America has refused to press for an urgent ceasefire when extremist members of the Israeli government speak of war aims more important than the lives of their compatriots taken hostage.

Young Americans who express disgust with President Biden's policy here may lack perspective when it comes to their ultimate responsibility as citizens -- but is that not normal for the young? This is HIGHLY important, for these should be, should have been, among his strongest supporters in the defense of democracy from Trump's intended destruction of all the country's institutions and freedoms.

I have written now of things that mystify me but which call to mind uncomfortable memories of what's most horrific in US history -- "The only good Injun is a dead Injun".

Exported from Brooklyn and the Bronx to the West Bank of the Jordan.

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Mar 3·edited Mar 3

BTW, my personal opinion is that the best President since FDR was Jimmy Carter. And I have a hard time placing Biden until his first term is over and we can figure out how his entire Presidency stacks up. I could see arguments for Kennedy, Johnson, Obama and even Eisenhower. Reagan would be selected by a lot of GOP but he would be in the middle of my list, along with GHWB. GWB is down there near the bottom, and Nixon is obviously just above the last choice.

On the other hand, the WORST is pretty simple. #45 so leads the pack that it boggles the mind.

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Mar 3·edited Mar 3

If you look at what Nixon actually did and got done, I don't think that placing below W will be at all so obvious.

A crook, a sleazy politician, he was far from incompetent. And for his policies he'd have been thrown out of today's hijacked simulacrum of the onetime GOP.

Momentous, the opening to Red China, previously a hole in the map...

*

I am no admirer.

At school in England when I'll have been eleven, a well-respected teacher came in one morning and said:

"If you ever have any say in the matter, make sure that Richard Nixon never becomes president of the United States of America."

I don't know if any of my classmates understood.

I did.

Living near Capetown from late 1946 till end '49, we had a steady supply of American magazines in the house.

I followed the Alger Hiss case, then all the doings of HUAC, getting to recognize all the characters in the Red Scare drama at age 8-9: Sen. Joe McCarthy, Cohn (Trump's mentor) and Schine, Whittaker Chambers and, of course, Richard Nixon.

At the same time, the National Party replaced Smuts' United Party in South Africa, bringing in Apartheid and a heap of race laws, regulations and official signs, everywhere, everywhere.

So this, together with watching the local baboon pack (once narrowly escaping death after a territorial offense, when they rolled an avalanche of rocks on me and my friend at the foot of the cliff...) was where my political education began.

I found American politics and politicians (apart from Ike) strikingly UGLY.

Especially McCarthy, Nixon and the menacing and grossly obese (rare in those days) Whittaker Chambers...

UGLY.

Likewise the faces and expressions of angry white people in the Cape when giving orders to "the lesser breeds"...

Curious, this business of ugly grown-ups and the beginnings of my political education...

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Mar 3·edited Mar 3

Peter, I expect we are probably both not all that much in disagreement. I was trying to play a little safe in putting Nixon near the bottom, but I also agree that he, in many ways, did some things for our country that were far superior to almost anything that has been done by GOP Presidents certainly since Bush 2 and to some degree since Reagan. Nixon was a globalist, at a time when many GOP party members were clear isolationists. It is what made Nixon such a fascinating figure in my mind, both terrifically open-minded about the world condition and yet so incredibly myopic about his own (and his minions') misdeeds. He COULD have gone down as one of the much better Presidents in history (as you note, the opening to China was huge) but for his own personal failings. Trump, on the other hand, has literally zero positive outlook on the world seeing everything only in terms of what happens to him. Sigh...

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Will that historical judgement come within our lifetime?

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I like what you say Peter very much. Dr Richardson does an excellent job presenting her analysis of historical economic factors that drive and impact our country. Her story about Andrew Carnegie is interesting. He did some good things with his pile of gold; he paid to establish libraries all over the country… particularly in rural areas. I’ve seen a few of them over the years. The buildings are beautifully designed and well constructed.

We do have many saints in America, today. Perhaps they aren’t as well known as Alexei Navalny but that’s no problem. Our healthcare heroes during and after the pandemic are a prime example as are so many environmentalists working tirelessly to beat back the worst effects of air and water pollution that have gone on to warm our planet. Saints are everywhere. This is said to thank and celebrate the living ones as well as honor them.

Of course, the sacrifices of martyrs like Navalny can resonate long and loudly but I wish he didn’t have to die to achieve it. We wish him Godspeed and thank him too, for his bravery and selflessness..and his humor. He is missed and perhaps his loss will be made up by the next person willing to stand. I think it will.

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Add Jimmy Carter to the litany of American saints!

‘There you go again’ sneered Reagan in their debate! Little did cheerleader Ronnie know that then President Carter would dedicate his next 50 years to serving human kind!

Keep ‘going’ Jimmy!

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Jimmy Carter is the first person I thought of also when thinking of American saints.

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What about Black women who put their lives on the line? Modern examples include Fanni Willis and Stacey Abrams in Georgia and Leticia James in New York. How about Alvin Bragg, a Black DA prosecuting Trump for falsifying election records? How about Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, Black election workers who won a defamation suit against Rudy Giuliani? These are all Blacks who have put their lives on hold and on the line to speak truth to power and justice upon destructive narcissists. Are they saints? Or are they simply Americans who keep the American spirit burning inside? Either way, they deserve mention and respect. It's an irony that the historically oppressed are now prosecuting the privileged oppressors while many of the rest of us enjoy our comfort and safety.

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There are really no saints. There are, however, people of conscience and courage. When we use the word "saint" we pull the individual out of the realm of humanness, when it's far more powerful to see them as human beings among us.

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Like the little black girl in the movie on PBS last night, “Akeelah and the Bee”. Her courage was palpable. It’s a “10”. Shows again tonight on PBS at 9pm.

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Mar 2·edited Mar 3

J. Nol, I should not have used the term “saint” because it is so deeply misunderstood by most people nowadays, not excluding some who offer prayers before plaster statues—but are at least sincere in their devotion...

There was, in fact, a reason for my doing so: hearing that some religious people think Alexei Navalny will end up by being canonized…

When Pope John Paul II canonized Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, the Founder of Opus Dei, following a highly speeded-up process, I remarked that I never knew canonization was the Church’s Order of Lenin. The intellectual and organizational qualities of the Opus Dei founder, his foresight, his political and social acumen, are not in doubt; but it feels more than strange to find such a one in the same stable as Francis of Assisi or Juan de Yepes y Alvarez, Saint John of the Cross, even Ignacio de Loyola...

And even when we come across a case as extraordinary as that of young Thérèse Martin—Saint Thérèse of Lisieux—even more extraordinary is the Catholic Church's pomp-and-propaganda exploitation of a brief life of such intense love and austere simplicity.

Can’t help recalling the great Spanish film director Luis Buñuel calling the vast basilica dedicated to Thérèse “the Lisieux gasworks”.

Likewise the Russian Orthodox Church's problematic political saints like Vladimir, a prince of Kievan Rus, or Alexander Nevsky—a protector figure, inspiration to the country's defenders—or, given the disastrous errors of their reign and the immeasurable cost of those errors for Russia, for Europe, for the world, Saint Nicholas and Saint Alexandra... the last Tsar and Tsaritsa... At the same time, I am aware of two things: the wide overlap between the sacred and the profane in Tsarist Russia and consequently in the Russian psyche... and the disheartening awfulness of the commandeering by the Putin regime of the Russian Orthodox Church, via its KGB Patriarch, turning it into a subordinate branch of that regime, purged of many good, honest priests and genuine ordinary Christians. Perhaps unsurprising in an organization that excommunicated Leo Tolstoy in 1901… but even that made more sense than what we are seeing today…

Not content with destroying the present and future of both Russia and Ukraine with the human sacrifice of both countries’ young men, the dictator and his cabal of crazed mythomaniac ideologues have set out to co-opt for their dirty work the Russian soul itself—or at least the aspect of it that empowers and gives meaning to spiritual core of the Orthodox Church.

To conclude, what I see behind the word "SAINT" is not someone radically different from the rest of us but simply one who has expressed all the finer human qualities to the limit of their potential and, in so doing, found her or himself.

That said, I’d rather seek terms for such heroic figures other than those long abused by priests for purposes of religious propaganda. Fundamentally, we’re talking here of a phenomenon quite beyond the confines of organized religion.

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"I see behind this word is not someone radically different from the rest of us but simply one who has expressed all the finer human qualities to the limit of their potential and, in so doing, found her or himself." With this statement I agree. People like these demonstrate what is possible in being human, and those others you referred to of course, showed us the depths humans can fall to as well.

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They have been standing up to bullies for generations. It matters! 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼

Preparation, strength, and wisdom makes for heros and sheros❤️

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Jerry, I had the people you mention very much in mind when I was writing. I, for example, am immensely impressed by the shining, exemplary qualities of Stacy Abrams. And there are plenty of others.

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Well, I am going to have to disagree with you on Fani WIllis. It is becoming clearer and clearer that she failed to observe proper decorum for someone with such an important office and as a result, a carefully structured criminal trial against the Trump minions is now likely to go off the rails because of her own self-interest. This is in GREAT contrast to Leticia James who has done a superb job of carefully and methodically bringing the appropriate charges against Trump and so far, winning all of her cases. On the face of it, WIllis has probably so jeopardized her attempted prosecution that it will fail at least for the next year or so. In the end, I expect her to be recused at least from the case she brought against the Trump rabble (along with her paramour Wade) and that will leave the Georgia case, which started out looking like the best laid plan, up in smoke, at least for the foreseeable future. Once Georgia figures out where to send the case, and if they choose another DA who will put in the effort, the case might get back on track (assuming Trump is not reelected in November) but it won't happen in 2024 in time for the upcoming election, sigh. Nothing she has done will, it appears, effect Trump's guilt or not, but it will create a huge and unnecessary delay.

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Jim, I agree that we disagree on Willis. Her personal affair really has no bearing under her suitability to prosecute the case under Georgia law. I was concerned about this the same as you but then realized that the folks who are pursuing this case are doing so in spite of the harassment and threats they received and continue to. If they are thrown together in an intense case and their feeling bloom, that is human. Blaming them for human impulses that logically have no conflict with the mission is blaming the victim. While on the one hand the judge should have already thrown this sideshow out, on the other, he's allowed all this to preserve the record for the inevitable appeal. Yes, all this is a complication, but it doesn't take away from Willis' bravery and competence.

To repeat, Willis nor Wade got rich from their prosecution of Trump and whatever relationship they actually had does not present a conflict of interest. I'd actually be quite shocked if McAfee rules against Willis. He showed a lot of IMpatience toward the defense's arguments during the evidentiary hearing and the Trump team's key witness, Bradley, testified he was only speculating. There's no "there: there.

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Yep you are right, we have to disagree. Prosecuting attorneys MUST be held to a MUCH higher standard than anyone else involved in a lawsuit except the judge. Prosecutors do NOT represent a person or company, they represent all of us. They are NOT there to find anyone guilty, they are there to ensure justice is done. They can NOT under any circumstances even APPEAR to be biased or seeking some other benefit. My biggest concern about this is twofold: (1) throughout this entire charade, Willis and Wade have repeatedly concealed the full extent of their relationship and then grudgingly given ground as the whole story came out in the press That greatly diminishes their credibility IMHO. And district attorneys MUST have INCREDIBLE credibility or they are damaged goods. (2) it seems clear now that their actual relationship began before Wade was appointed to his position on the case, and (a) he is apparently not highly qualified for the role and (b) he and Willis have been able to share the "benefits" conferred on him by being appointed, i.e., $650,000 paid in approx 18 months, which is, at least in Georgia, a LOT of money for a government attorney (Willis doesn't make anywhere near that much as DA). This leads me to the at least POSSIBLE conclusion that they are both benefitinng at the expense of the state.

As I said, NONE of this has ANYTHING to do with the actual case in terms of Trump/et al's guilt, but unfortunately that ship has sailed and now whatever they do that might be potentially a conflict of interest is involved in the case, like it or not. She should never have appointed him to the positionn and now they got caught.

Game over, in my book. They both need to move on, as their credibility, regardless of whether or not there IS a "there" there, is completely shot and they can no longer prosecute this case.

And remember I was a HUGE supporter of the case WIllis was bringing against Trump. So this feeling I have is TOTALLY grounded in my belief about the proper execution of the laws, and their ability to do that now, not whether they did anything "legally wrong". That bar is NOT the bar they needed to clear. It was much higher and they missed by a mile, IMHO.

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Yes, wonderful about the libraries ... a true gift for the U.S. But .... not good to his workers, fearing that paying them too much would corrupt them! Yikes!

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Mar 2·edited Mar 2

well paid workers circulates immediately back into the economy with consumer demand, property acquisition, homes, appliances on and on. That translates into goods and services stimulation, translates finally into great profits. What's the big problem????

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His workers might be starving but they could borrow books to improve their minds.

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Mar 2·edited Mar 2

[Edited for greater clarity]

Yes. Carnegie was very much a capitalist of his time. He didn't just believe what he proclaimed, he acted accordingly.

After him came benefactors like Ford with the most dreadful downsides.

More recently, we have seen major philanthropists like Bill Gates and seriously motivated men of immense talent like Steve Jobs.

The case of Konosuke Matsushita in Japan goes, perhaps, even deeper, being very much here and now, yet rooted in an older, more seasoned culture, one that accords greater importance to balance and harmony in all things. I'm sure he and other leading figures of his generation will have learned much from the catastrophes brought upon his country and Asia by the hubris and excesses of Japan's prewar military regime.

But generally speaking what we have been seeing in the past half-century is the rise of insatiable, unchecked greed, vanity, meanness and stupidity in scale with the number of zeros that represent billionaires' fortunes, alongside a bigger and bigger tonnage of the outsize bath toys these unfortunates call "yachts".

These poor so-and-sos are toppling society with their thieving from the foundations to build their top-heavy sybaritic paradise...

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Mar 2·edited Mar 2

I forgot to mention the very special case of George Soros, who has an extraordinary, perhaps unique record, an heroic one, in that not one of his good deeds has been forgiven by the Great and Good or by the Great and Bad.

The perfect scapegoat for all the world's extremists, oppressors and anti-Semites, always of the Right, sometimes of the Left, hated, demonized and blamed by Orban, by Putin, by Trump, by Netanyahu... for anything and everything wrong with the world, everything from bad weather to financial crashes...

Look at this item on a film biopic made by the son of Bob Dylan!

https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/2021-06-16/ty-article-magazine/why-do-so-many-hate-george-soros/0000017f-f00c-d8a1-a5ff-f08e13830000

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Wait wait! Don't Tell Me! You mean George Soros is NOT responsible for all of the bad weather we are having?

I am stunned!

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If only, if only USians could get it through our collective head that democracy and capitalism are not identical, or even inextricable. In fact, they run in separate lanes. They *can* support and strengthen each other, but they can also be at odds -- and when they're at odds, as in the U.S. since the beginning of the Reagan administration, capitalism tends to hollow out democracy. (Thank you, Citizens United.)

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I and a friend once wrote a letter to the Editor of the Economist who believed that capitalism must inevitably be accompanied by democracy in China, whereas we did not.

He did not publish our letter but did us the honor of answering it.

Within a year, his view switched to ours.

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After watching what happened after the Soviet Union disintegrated and, later, the utter stupidity of promoting "regime change" in Iraq, I'm amazed that anyone continues to *really* believe it. OTOH, it's become clear that a significant chunk of the capitalist crowd isn't all that wild about democracy either.

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I wonder if he fully believed, or if this was a way to justify his rapacious behavior. The idea that there's something special about those who accumulated mounds of money and power, is so like all the white privileged men who can't see how much they were helped by an unfair system. There is no such thing as making it on your own merit.

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Not to their extent, no. The only idea I can come up with for thinking you alone have made all your wealth, without considering ALL those who worked to make it happen, is greed. Plain and simple.

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Exactly.

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My favorite Justice Thomas who used the Affirmative Action program has or wants to end it. Nothing like climbing the ladder and then pull it up after you.

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I am assuming, Karen, that "My favorite Justice Thomas" is dripping with sarcasm. I certainly HOPE so LOL!

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However, I believe I understand his dilemma. While I agree with Affirmative Action to try to right the wrongs of discrimination, it can put the individual person receiving the help in a uncomfortable position. If you are perceived as benefitting from Affirmative Action, are you also seen as someone who isn't really capable of doing the work to get there? This is one way that racism is so insidious. Either you can't do the work because you belong to an "inferior" race, or you got to get there because of the boost you got from a government program and not your own efforts. The reality is that we all benefit from the system in some way, and nobody ever is a success only because of their own individual efforts. The system just makes it easier for some of us than the rest.

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The belief that people who amass wealth are somehow blessed by a higher power and those who are poor are being punished for something is older than any religion. In fact it was, before empire was allowed to remove him from Christianity, one of the things Jesus spoke out against the most.

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Peter, you are on a roll this am. Thank you.

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Peter B: It's true that Bill Gates has given a lot of money to philanthropic causes, but there has also been extensive criticism of him (and other gazillionaire philanthropists) because much of their philanthropy is directed to causes of their own preference rather than of general well being. One that comes to mind is Gates's support of "education reform" based on ever more infiltration of technology into the education process. Guess who benefits most from that, whereas whether such innovations benefit students is still in question.

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I think it's also useful to remember the scope of our civilization. I recall that in Gate's annual letter from a couple of years ago he responded to the suggestion that he eliminate our nation's homelessness problem with his vast fortune. He pointed out that the entire Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation would only be able to operate the L.A. County school system for 2-3 months. Private philanthropy doesn't begin to satisfy the needs that government struggles with every single day.

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Indeed. A part of every dollar that swells the use of technology in the public school system goes to Micro$oft and then back into Bill's pocketbook. This isn't the WORST thing that could happen (putting dollars into Elon Musk's pocketbook would vastly outrank that at least IMHO LOL). I personally believe that technology does help most students to some level, but I am not at all sure the cost-benefit equation is totally positive. This should be studied further in order to figure out the proper way it should be handled in the future. One major concern is that when money is granted to purchase computers, there is rarely an equivalent grant to fund both maintenance and an endowment to support future upgrades. Computers obsolesce quite rapidly as it turns out and many schools end up stuck with very old computers after 3-5 years with no funds to buy new ones. There should be a requirement that any grant for purchase of new equipment be paired with an endowment grant to help support upgrades in the future.

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I didn't go into this, but thanks for clarifying an important point. I didn't want to associate Gates with the pernicious ideological nonsenses from another age propagated by Henry Ford and still, alas, with us. But it is quite true that the man's no doubt excellent intentions are vitiated by built-in techie prejudices and blind spots. A certain scientistic absolutism. He does what he can, but this basically good work may sometimes have reinforced corporate power and the abuses that arise therefrom.

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Peter Burnett, I don't see how Gates or Jobs are evil and selfish. Matsoshita I know only a little about, and his philosophy seems to he a derivative of Japanese culture, and I can see how that could be distorted to create a toxic workaholic culture, but I don't know if he was evil. I ask this because your comment leads me to think you feel that all ultra wealthy people must be greedy and evil, which sound either religious or Marxist.

I suspect you're not at all a zealot, so I'm wondering how you've come to this opinion. If I'm wrong in my interpretation, just tell me I'm full of shit. I won't take offense, and still buy you a beer or a soda just to have a serious conversation.

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Eat the rich. Lightly sauteed with a nice Chianti.

Proper taxation may make them "less rich," but they'll still be rich.

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Thank you, TC. Paying their responsible share of taxes will still leave them with plenty to spread around according to their interests and interpretation of what society needs. Their contributions are welcome but the first responsibility is to contribute fully to the public good via taxation. Of course, there are fair criticisms of government spending, but it is the surest way to lift everyone, not just those on the radar of the non elected super wealthy. (Not to mention that not all the super wealthy consider themselves trustees of funds for societal welfare ala Carnegie …. Hence the even greater need for fair taxes.)

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If there were a 100% tax on everything above a certain amount, the rich would have to find different ways to compete with each other rather than increasing their takings.

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No, Jerry, you have totally, but totally, misread me, and I wonder how or where I can have been so unclear that this should have been possible.

Ah... now I understand... I mentioned Gates and Jobs immediately after Henry Ford who, as I said, had serious downsides including anti-Semitism that got him involved with Hitler. At the same time as remembering the company in which Ford's political and social beliefs, including eugenism -- beliefs all too common in men of his time -- landed him up, I am very aware of the man's great positive contributions to America and to the world...

I'll correct the layout now to eliminate that misunderstanding.

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Yes and yes.

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Mar 2·edited Mar 2

We may not have a secular saint like Navalny (who was no liberal in his politics), but we don’t need saints when we have good, honest and faithful leaders.

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Jon, pardon me, but I have tried to answer your good point together with John Sharkey's.

It's the worst times that call for heroes and saints.

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Goo is good. 😙

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LOL. Thanks for noticing. Fixed

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Waiting, for nigh on to 40+ years

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Right on:, Jeri!

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Wish I could see a light at the end of the tunnel. But carry that candle.

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I too, Jeri. Remembering what we learned and did as children during WWII, spending my “second childhood” printing GOTV postcards (printing like first grade—I was the best printer in my class—because “they don’t teach cursive any more,” taking away the one art many children ever had with all its benefits for the brain) as fast as I can. Today continuing to work on 250 for Sherrod Brown which are **** to cram onto some postcards. To work.

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I had no idea cursive wasn’t being taught until my straight A, 15 year old granddaughter asked me to read a birthday card message for her because she couldn’t read cursive. I was flabbergasted. Still am, though now they have brought it back into the curriculum.

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Will join the post card brigade soon as my move is completed. good for you

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Let us remember that cursive was invented to speed up writing when it was necessary for commerce. Today when most commerce communicates by keyboard, printing makes for much easier deciphering of the few handwritten notes we see. I have never been a fan of cursive and abandoned it as soon as I could.

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Let’s not forget Martin Luther King, Jr. one of our own true saints will to sacrifice for others.

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As I said before, there are no saints. MLK wasn't a saint, but he certainly was a man of great courage and conviction. It's much more powerful to see him and others like him as human beings, than to suggest there's something special about them. This makes it more real, that we all have such choices to make, whether to be a force for good or ill.

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I disagree. There are saints and MLK was/is one of them. All the saints of the various denominations were also human beings who stepped up with courage and conviction in a time and place that made them special.

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So are you saying that they weren't human? When we single out human beings as saints, are we drawing on the supernatural? MLK was certainly a man of courage and vision, but he was also a flawed human being. It seems much more realistic to see these people who step up to do the right thing as human beings, because it makes clear that we all have the option to be that courageous, despite our flawed natures. When we call them saints it lets the rest of us off the hook.

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Just curious… do you not think of saints as human beings ? it has always been my understanding that they were saints because ,being human, they reached a higher level by means of a lot of hard grunt effort.

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A US Nalvany will emerge as soon as we look like Russia...

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Martin Luther King comes to my mind.

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Sure. It must be rather obvious that he came to mine.

Hard times do call for saints and, no less, for selfless heroes like Garibaldi. Like Navalny. Like MLK himself, whose life was cut short so that we never saw the full flowering of his immense qualities.

Like the small, simple giant Thich Nhat Hanh, whom MLK so admired... and whose virtue was spotlit by his being persona non grata both for the American establishment and for the Vietnamese Communist Party.

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Sadly one (or some) have to be so articulate to convey themself to the people who are and have been primed to only look up to popular perfect specimens before giving a listen.

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Mar 2·edited Mar 2

John Sharkey, Susan may be right. After all, if Christ were to come to America as a flesh-and-blood human being, would he be recognized by any but a few ordinary people? It seems improbable that he'd be recognized by many, maybe most, of those who like to think of themselves as Christians. Many of them would prefer Trump...

What's for certain is that he would be in grave danger.

Likewise anyone like Navalny, even purified by suffering as he was. So purified that he was able to withstand Putin's personal version of the death of a thousand cuts -- and always come out from the punishment cell laughing and mocking Putin and his tormentors. He was, paradoxically, far, far stronger than those who killed him but could not touch his spirit.

*

To John Margolis -- to whom, apologies for answering his good point here -- I'd say that almost all human beings are flawed, and the greatest and the best often have flaws to match their qualities. But we already do have many good people, sound, upstanding human beings, and we neglect or -- as you point out -- ignore them.

Wrong gender, wrong color, wrong age, wrong appearance, wrong tribe. And, as you suggest, the kind of profile that corresponds to people's notions of Mr. Right -- note, Mister, never Ms.-- is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Such people will come into their own after the Satanic figures have been put where they belong.

At this juncture, when we are dangerously close to joining the Russians, the Ukrainians and other victims of the most cruel oppression, we desperately need inspirational figures. I hope some are already waiting in the wings.

I hope, too, that -- whatever the price they and we must pay -- they will be heard and followed. And... WE SHALL OVERCOME!

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Mar 2·edited Mar 2

Granted the power of a charismatic leader, but realize they are nothing without an intelligent, committed team, from top ... to "bottom....

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I'm sure you meant "nothing without".

Not quite "nothing". Let's leave that to the likes of Hitler and DT -- minus quantities with immense compensatory powers gained from resentment that enable them to give voice to all the pent-up rage and hatred lying in the depths of the collective unconscious.

Navalny was an unequalled communicator, one who allied verbal mastery with brilliant, biting humor. He quite naturally built up good teams, although it is said that a team member may have betrayed him into returning to Russia prematurely, acting in the belief that he would not be arrested. This seems somehow improbable to me. He must have known all the precedents, must have known what he faced.

He knew too that killing a man's body is not difficult, killing his spirit, the ideas he represents, is almost impossible. Life is not like a Western movie in which all the villains bite the dust and the hero rides off into the sunset.

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Yes, i corrected the typo. I was thinking in terms of wielding political power. thanks for comments on Navalny.

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Perhaps as Caesar ruled the world that Jesus emerged and technically facilitated his killing which ushered in the rest of Christianity and its history -The Holy Roman Empire didn’t quite help Democracy flourish but ironically somehow we are here today wishing our country and perhaps one party could both help God out and also stay out of what goes on in that endeavor (please excuse the ambiguities and rabbit holes zzzz)

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Mar 2·edited Mar 2

My reply to you (was) disappeared. But I shall come back to you now. One moment...

Sorry, John, got sidetracked.

Basically, Constantine, a later Caesar, saw in Christ's religion a marvelous tool for the unification of a vast and diverse empire, and while the imposition of political and social unity gave immense power to both Church and Empire and went a long way to creating a great new civilization, it suppressed essential aspects of Christ's teaching and replaced them by compulsory belief in myths that don't hang together and are completely at odds with that teaching—which remains radical, and utterly subversive of the world we have built for ourselves, a world that is now falling apart.

So much so that the term “Christian” seems often to be a misnomer, as what is taught now and has been for centuries is in basic respects deeply opposed to what Jesus taught and often consists of all that he preached against.

The Reformation was an attempt to get back down to basics but, even there, fundamentalism, gross literalist misinterpretation of the metaphors, the parables used by Jesus in his teaching, has tended to paint a dualistic picture of a deity separate from and above his creatures, essentially transcendent, while neglecting the lifeblood of the Gospel message, God’s indwelling presence in and among us. In other words, a living message, buried under a vast heap of doctrinal detritus. One that could hardly be more relevant for Westerners.

How so? Because monotheism and the consequent belief in one truth underlie the growth of our cultures and our power… while our present exclusive focus on appearances and externals and neglect of all that’s inward, the very nature of the mind that perceives phenomena, even the unfathomable complexity of the human brain that mediates our perceptions and tries to understand what it perceives, lies at the root of today’s vast turbulent confusion, the worldwide crisis of civilization, of survival.

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Peter, don't forget to vote.

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I'm a concerned foreigner, a Brit living in exile. I have no vote in the US.

My concern is that, such is American power that the whole world is directly affected for better or for worse by who holds power in Washington and how they exercise it.

I love my country, but in geopolitical terms it has become a mere sideshow.

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Carnegie was opposed to helping people who fell on hard times because he thought it would make them lazy. Today’s American Oligarchs still believe in that useful, guilt-assuaging trope. That’s why the GOP wants to cut Food Supports, Medicaid, and criminalize homelessness. They believe they are eliminating disincentives to work. I find that odd, as hunger, homelessness and illness don’t tend to make for good workers. These <mostly> wealthy men have jumped on the bandwagon of greed and cruelty. We certainly can’t afford to put one back in the Oval Office - let alone allow them to decide how their “excess” wealth (would they believe that there is such a thing as excess wealth??!!) would be spent for the “betterment” of society!!

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Mar 2·edited Mar 2

Goes even farther back than Carnegie: Calvinist preacher Cotton Mather (d. 1728) declared that "For those who indulge themselves in idleness, the express command of God unto us is, that we should let them starve." Cruelty has been baked into certain realms of our culture for centuries.

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I don’t remember God saying that. Pretty sure Jesus said nothing of the sort. “Let them starve?” Their children, too?

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Mar 2·edited Mar 2

Found the verse he's citing in 2 Thess, but it naturally didn't have the "OT" tone that Mather gave it.

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Peter, thank you for this excellent post noting the world wide plague of awful people in power. Many times I sit here and curse the fact that so many have to live under these monsters. I do hope your final sentence is true.

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Thank you, Michele. We surely need hope but must we not be fuelled above all by determination?

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Absolutely. I see lots of determined folks here.

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We shall overcome, thank you Peter and Michele.

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Hopefully we will get our heads out of tRump’s rear soon! We are beginning to really smell like pUtin😵‍💫

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I guess we can only hope. And stay informed. And vote.

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If you haven't seen Putin's Palace, please watch it--it's long, but amazing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_tFSWZXKN0

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My sentiments exactly. You hit the nail on the head!

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And it's very obvious.

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No secret, in Your face and on tv, ad nauseam.

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Mar 2·edited Mar 2

Mr Burnett's thinking is compelling. I have been hearing the Putin apologists deride Navalny's politics as nationalistic, ant-Muslim (or something), etc. These people overlook that people are imperfect and what counts is who they become when times are dark and our better angels are required. I certainly trust that Mr Navalny's views softened as he suffered and came to see the suffering of others.

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:7163945355150094337/

Even if those feelings -- alleged -- persisted, I would ask this question: President Johnson was probably racist until the day he died. But does that flaw, if it existed, negate the compassion and justice of his civil rights laws and beyond? My current whimsical hope? That these protests at the funeral rhyme historically with the food riots of February 1917.

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Not President, SPEAKER Johnson is the topic here. But, yes, humans may evolve.

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Mar 2·edited Mar 2

I hope my last comment to you was not posted. Meant to say hello. Needless no say, I am not a fan of Mikey Mouse or of the nattering nabobs of narcissism to whom he capitulates. I did mean President Johnson because I have noticed people seeking to negate the bravery of Mr Navalny owing to past political views. People pick out one flaw or mistake to attack the greatness of great people all the while not understanding that it is those flaws which make them great. Why? Because great people do great things despite those flaws. More importantly, for me at least, those flaws signal that these great men and women were not special or anointed by G-D; that is to say: one has no excuse for not trying by sitting back.

P.S., my first comment, thankfully not posted, was far too venomous. Speaker Johnson is a decent man; unfortunately he is proving not to be a gutsy one.

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Disappointing, but not surprising, to learn that he is in the pay of Russians, which helps explain his devotion to Trump. Totally agree with you about flaws and greatness. Well said and thank you.

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I did see this interview on MSNBC. I am satisfied that Putin is probably blackmailing Trump with photos and recordings of Trump in Moscow hotel rooms with young Russian ladies. But, I could be wrong.

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No Richard, it is deep admiration from long before he was President. There were love letters.

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Christopher, there was a clip of the Australian prime minister likening 45’s adoration of Putin to that of a 12-year-old meeting the captain of the high school football team. That captures the wish to be like that person when you “grow up” !

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was this the previous Australian prime minister?

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Before Trump became POTUS, he had trips to Russia. I've read about the "golden showers" that Trump participated in, among other things.

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Yes Richard, we all have.

But that is not the explanation, it's much deeper, more sinister.

It is hero-worship, he wants to emulate him. That is his role model - the ultimate mob boss.

The pee pee tape is a red herring.

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You could be correct on this, Christopher. There's this article in The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/books/archive/2024/03/jacob-heilbrunn-america-last-trump-putin/677609/?utm_campaign=atlantic-daily-newsletter&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20240301&utm_term=The+Atlantic+Daily

Still, I think that someday we'll discover that there are tapes and photos.

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Such deep affinities, the most successful robber, the Grandmaster of Crime, and the would-be Don at the head of the Cupola.

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and Ray Cohn

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There are social media musings that TFG also idolized Hitler. Very gossipy rumors that he keeps Mein Kampf on his nightstand and raised by a German Nazi nanny. But I’ve never seen nor heard of a verifiable source for the gossip.

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I've always suspected (no, no evidence) that Trump has a pile of money in Russia. Wasn't there a hotel he was building in Russia?? When did he EVER do a business deal that wasn't shady??

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Hmmm. A pile of Trump money in Russia? Could be that Putin has not only blackmailed him but has also bribed him since Putin may now be the richest man in the world. Money well spent.

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Richard, I’ve always thought putin the putrid had photos/videos of little t he could use as blackmail.

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I think that someday they will appear, perhaps after Putin's death.

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If golden showers were the only thing Putain has on the Orange monster from Merde Largo, it’s nowhere enough as the monster has no shame.

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I believe Cheetolinni loves Putin because he admires his brutality. Putin kills his adversaries. If Cheetolinni wins in November, he will portray himself as a strongman like his idol. Who knows what he will do to his so-called enemies. SCOTUS and other judge’s are giving him a pass and are doing everything possible to allow him to escape accountability for his transgressions against our country. Putin is never held accountable either. Heaven help us if he is successful.

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Brilliant ‘wordsmithing’! Brava!

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Well, IF the Supreme Court decides (heaven help us!) that in fact the President does have absolute immunity from prosecution, it might be appropriate for Biden to place a contract on Trump, Johnson, McConnell and the six GOP Supreme Court justices. I mean if the President is immune, that immunity cuts both ways. And it is limited to the president so Trump already missed his chance to do this, but Biden is the current President and could eliminate all of the GOP opposition in a single stroke of the pen.

I am NOT suggesting that this is RIGHT, only that if it is in fact the way our Supreme Court now sees our government, what's good for the Republican goose should also be good for the Democratic gander.

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Richard, I think that it may be more basic than that—money. Putin holds the reins of those who supply loans when no one else will loan 45 any money. We’re going to see who comes to 45’s financial aid now that he’s unable to “negotiate” his appeal bonds. BTW, his offer of 1/4 of his bond reflects how he treats those who sign contracts with him.

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TFFG is now on the hook for more than 1/2 billion dollars. He is up against the wall. Why, oh why, do his MAGA true believers still follow him? This letter helping to explain that was published in today's edition of the Palm Beach Post:

MAGA likes Trump’s views

Re 'Defeating Biden seems the MAGA end-all' (Feb28):

I had an immediate flash-back to an issue that I pondered several years ago. I wondered, 'Who in the world would vote for Donald Trump? What were they thinking?' I got lucky. It turns out that two professors at the University of Kansas, David Norman Smith and Eric Hanley, wondered the same thing. They researched the issue and published their findings in February 2018, in a study entitled 'The Anger Games: Who Voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 Election and Why?' published in Critical Sociology . Their findings? They voted for Trump because they share his views on race, women’s rights, immigrants and gay rights. The economy had nothing to do with their support.

Richard Sutherland, Lakeland

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Not just "share his views" but revel in the permission to be angry and hateful towards those groups.

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It's deeper than anger at cultural issues. And we need to recognize the economic context.

1. MAGA followers distain those who have led both parties. They feel looked down upon. They resent the huge increase in inequality.

2. The "traditional" Republican Party has nothing to show the people for their rule except deeper public debt. When Trump said "the system is rigged" it echoed since it felt true. And largely remains true. Starting with Reagan, "cutting taxes" became their religion. They used the "voodoo economics" of "supply-side" thinking to promise great benefits (see the new book "Power to Destroy" by Michael Graetz that lays out the history of this debt-generating change). On top of that the Republicans added harsh criticism of Democrat politicians and signed onto many aspects of the cultural war. All in a (fairly successful) effort to get elected. And the Democrats, seeking election, eventually became reluctant partners in allowing the public to forget that spending requires roughly corresponding tax revenue. That never made any sense but, in a world ready to buy our bonds (for a while), reality has been delayed.

3. We have a constitution (unstable and ineffective presidential "checks and balances" type instead of a responsive parliamentary type) and election system that drives us towards two parties dominated by extremes. Instead of the kind of multi-party system that can find room for and promote compromise (hence action). So, we have seen the conversion of the Republican party into the Trump party. See, for example, David Dayen's January essay "America is not a Democracy":

https://prospect.org/politics/2024-01-29-america-is-not-democracy/

4. Finally, media changes and campaign finance have distorted the flow of truth to the public. Nearly everybody misses the point that the rich and successful have been financing our elections with a relatively tiny amount of money. $10 billion in 2022 and probably double that in 2024. Please think for a moment how small that amount of money is in a $26 trillion dollar economy. A federal campaign finance voucher program of roughly the same size (costing the average taxpayer the cost of a single cup of coffee a year in taxes) would at least clear the air of lies and allow candidates to focus on truth.

https://open.substack.com/pub/michaelfoxworth/p/achilles-heel-of-control-by-big-campaign?r=33ahhb&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web&showWelcomeOnShare=true

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I agree with MOST of what you say here. I will take slight issue with your financial statement. $20 billion dollars (the suggested cost of the 2024 election) is probably pretty close to correct. You say that would cost each taxpayer roughly a cup of coffee per year. You MUST be drinking incredibly great coffee :-). With 300,000,000 people in the country, that's $66/person. WOW, that is the most expensive coffee I have ever heard of LOL! And probably slightly more because not ALL of our 300,000,000 people are taxpayers.

I will say though that I completely agree that state or federally financed elections should be required and private organizations should be absolutely BARRED from spending money on electoral politics. We need to eliminate PACs completely and require that everyone who donates to any political contests be identified with the amount contributed.

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You are so correct, Mary! He caused 4 casinos to go bankrupt in Atlantic City with the help of greedy loan officers in American banks!

He rebounded with $$$$ money from Deutsche Bank whose capital came from newly minted Russian oligarchs! Lest we forget, after the Soviet Union dissolved, the American Congress loosened banking regulations so that the Russian oligarchs could launder their looted funds here!

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Mar 2·edited Mar 2

I watched an interesting British documentary; opening national systems to offshore money was an effort by both Britain and then US to reduce capital outflows. The Russians were only one piece in this. Must watch again to better understand. Here it is.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=np_ylvc8Zj8

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Could just be idol worship, but with chump’s track record, I agree with you. Although, the MAGAt crowd would love some chump porn…

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“But what about…” Hunter’s laptop?! Frankly, I admire the man Hunter Biden is becoming.

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If you are still on that platform that has gone into the toilet that Professor Richardson is still a part of, here is an amazing link regarding some questioning of Hunter Bident:

https://twitter.com/krassenstein/status/1763647872472416494?cxt=HBwW3IO8uaqZ3vkwAAAA&cn=ZmxleGlibGVfcmVjcw%3D%3D&refsrc=email

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I’ve never had a Xitter (because the pronunciation makes me laugh) account, but was able to read the Q&A. Thank you for sharing!! 😂👍🏻

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I know from personal family experience that family members who have had "problems" can become what they were meant to be with love and support. Thankfully, he had the love and support and is coming into his own. And kicking arse in the House.

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Jeri, the thought of Trump in porn is oh so nauseating.

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With no doubt, a low I can do without.

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😝

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Yes. I also think Putin/Trump has kompromat on many Republicans. Lindsey Graham comes to mind. Note that we can't talk about Trump any longer without including the shadow leader of the Republican Party. Vlad the Bad.

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Bill, you note: "Note that we can't talk about Trump any longer without including the shadow leader of the Republican Party. Vlad the Bad."

You are correct. I get the feeling that this country has become one humongous insane asylum. There are 60 million or so crazies running about this country.

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Insane or compromised. Too many very hawkish Republicans are now in full support of Putin. Look at Lindsey Graham - former defense hawk, former "never Trumper". Something smells funny. The FBI informant revealed to be a Russian plant should inspire us to dig. We should be terrified and motivated.

Russians play a long game of infiltration and kompromat. The GOP may now be in the "Grip Of Putin" via various files and sundry embarrassments. Russia didn't abandon its techniques of intelligence gathering and blackmail when they gave up "Communism". After all, look at where Putin was hatched. GOP may now be an extension of the FSB (formerly FSK and KGB).

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The scuttlebut is that Senator Graham is gay (I will NOT use the nickname that many people use to demean that). Whether he is or isn't does not matter. Why it matters is that for so long, it was a (contrived, to my mind) situation that was based on the degree of "compromise" that could be extracted from someone to keep that "secret". Alan Turing, anyone?

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What a sad commentary that Graham would possibly worry that his career would be threatened by his sexual orientation. But I guess where he lives, too many don't support such diversity. Ooops, I said a "bad" word. /s

I speculate that you are right. But the actual gayness might be less of a problem than what his actions might have been. Who knows. I don't care. He just creeps me out with his Trump ring kissing.

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But interestingly, there appear to be more Republicans who might be compromised by personal exposure than Democrats. So-called "religious right" GOP leaders (as was true with religious leaders themselves like Jim Bakker and Jerry Falwell) seem to be quite fond of hypocrisy. Look at the recently departed leader of the GOP in Florida Christian Ziegler and his spouse. Personally, I could care less that either of them were fond of threesomes. If it floats your boat, why not? What gripes me is the hypocrisy of advocating so-called "conservative" sexual norms while actually acting on much more liberal notions themselves, and still holding everyone ELSE to the original standards.

So if Graham is gay or not, that is fine with me. But if he permits himself to be held at "gunpoint" because he can't be public about his personal sexuality (whatever it is) well THAT is a real crime.

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Agreed

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Anybody who saw the pics from Helsinki had no doubt. It was indeed, creepy. Like puppet and puppet master. Bet that is exactly when they planned the invasion. Snag. Chump lost, damn, but there are ways to get chump back. Just be patient…

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THAT, is an interesting thought. Trump was pure obsequiousness in Putin's presence and then Trump confiscated the interpreter's notes after the 2 hour meeting with Putin. I can't help but think that Trump is a traitor to this country, through and through. His malignant narcissism reduces him to nothing but deteriorating flesh, a complete cipher.

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Yes he is a traitor. MSM needs to stop calling one on tffg's indictments the 'documents case'. He is indicted for 'espionage' which includes stealing confidential documents from the government that is he is undoubtedly sharing with our enemies.

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Mar 2·edited Mar 2

Malignant narcissism is a dangerous condition. Both chump and Putin are patient...

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I agree, of course, that malignant narcissism is a dangerous condition, particularly where there are those who wield some power over others. Some may say that, as a human, it deprives the infected (afflicted) with the capacity to feel empathy. I have literally seen animals in the wild show more care for fellow creatures than Trump does for anything, including humans.

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Actually the lack of empathy is a trait that both narcissists and sociopaths share.

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So true, wild animals show much more "humanity." a clue, people

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If t is not a traitor, the word means nothing. He is the biggest TRAITOR I know about!

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Well, it was not creepy to me. What was creepy to me was that Trump's flatulent fawning was NOT creepy but right on schedule. I sense an almost homo-erotic element to Trump's creepiness.

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almost as bad as chump porn

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Is it just awe; …. or is it that Trump owes a great deal of money to Putin, who has essentially financed Trump personally & politically?

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And Turnbull was no gem.

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"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."

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One presidential candidate made the killing of Alexey Navalny about himself while the other goes and meets with the grieving family and promises support for their cause. Yep, they are EXACTLY the same.

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Yep, a lady where I live said I’m sitting this one out, both crooks. I said surely you jest, can’t see any difference??? People are turned off. Sad sad sad

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I encounter people at work that say they will only vote for Dumpty. It’s hard to just focus on work and ignore that part of them. That’s why to me it was so important for him to be ineligible to be on the ballot. But I wanted most of the Texas politicians to be ineligible to be on the ballot!

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They have worked long and hard to fool all of us, not only the fools. They have been very successful and it's a slog to turn it around. The majority needs to act like one. Hard to remember in Texas, but I do.

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Denise, that is similar to the work environment I left. I retired before the 2016 election, but still worked part-time through 2022. At least Oregon doesn't have the same "leadership" as Texas does, a fact bemoaned by almost everyone back at my old agency.

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Jeri, they're not only turned off. Where I live many/most of them make 'low information voters' look like news hounds!

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It is scary in Texas, Beto had troops motivated, but Repubs cheat so much that the deck is stacked. Even motivation is squashed after so long.

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I hope I live long enough to say I told you say - Again.

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over and over

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Thank you. But the comparison goes deeper, doesn’t it? Perhaps, to be charitable, Republicans insist that Joe Biden must be corrupt, because they cannot imagine someone sacrificing the chance to profit from the nation he serves.

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How can you show compassion to the willfully and intentionally ignorant? That's my question for myself.

I shared this link earlier in the comments, but it kind of illustrates what you are saying in your last sentence here:

https://twitter.com/krassenstein/status/1763647872472416494?cxt=HBwW3IO8uaqZ3vkwAAAA&cn=ZmxleGlibGVfcmVjcw%3D%3D&refsrc=email

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Ransom, as well as in Israel where Netanyahoo seems bent on destroying not only Hamas but any possible chance for any plausible coexistence with what Arabs who haven't been indiscriminately wiped out can be arranged or sustained!

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The same could be said of Trump, just minus the word "sacrifice". Trump has never sacrificed anything for anyone in his sad, pathetic life.

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Sounds like Bonhoeffer and von Stauffenberg on the one hand and Himmler and Hitler on the other.

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So well said, Ransom. And a wonderful comment conversation as well. Bravo/a!

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The number of likes on your comment reflects how most of us feel.

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Thank you Harvey. This sense of community is very comforting in these trying times. The number is quite overwhelming.

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The parallel is not just Putin and He who shall not be named - but also with Bebe

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The paralell is infinite. I only described ONE.

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Bravo Ransom, you took the words right out of my head when I read that as well.

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I was just going to say the same thing!

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I agree with you !It’s sad that someone like PUTTIE is running Russia!!He doesn’t care what he’s doing to his own people!!It’s terrible !!

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My thoughts exactly

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How can the Republicans think that taking any of our social security away is a winning proposal? Remove the cap. If corporations are people then people pay taxes. Fund the IRS to make sure tax cheats don’t!

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The whole (Republican) idea of incorporation is to provide nearly all the benefits of a citizen with nearly none of the responsibilities . Come to think of it, that's the status (and them some) ordinary Republicans claim for themselves. Look at "He Who Feels No Shame."

"The only corporate social responsibility a company has is to maximize its profits."

- Milton Friedman

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"Privatize the profits and socialize the costs."

It's another unspoken, guiding principle of the stakeholder capitalists.

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Well stated.

Cut nothing but regulations and taxes

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That is certainly what is happening, from who got bailed out in the "Great Recession" to the fact that I am forced to communicate with my doctors (Optum owns it all) online, got email to to open My Chart but could not, changed password and got a message I could not be verified and to call a number, was on "hold" for 1 hr 50min before giving up and got on eventually. But that experience is becoming typical. The largest companies want zero contact with customers, apart from access to their bank account. "Deregulation" means we are increasingly living under the rules that giant corporations set for us. Increasingly they shed responsibilities. How many person-hours are spent on "hold" these days? Increasingly they do as they please.

Who are the real "stakeholders"? Are they not, in the end, all of us? Ultimately all of the inhabitants (human and not) on the entire planet?

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never forget that MF was a fraud. His Nobel Prize should be revoked.

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Heh “ the Nobel Prize “. I remember being in second grade and how we treasured those little stars that our teacher would reward us with. There were different colors representing different values the most valued was the gold star. Then one day on my way to the Saturday matinee I stopped off at Shaws variety store to get my pea shooter and supply of peas. It was then that I noticed the little boxes of stars of all colors. And I could get all I wanted for the price of a pea shooter. I spent my money on the pea shooter which to me still had some value. Gee I was so much wiser then.

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We got the stars too. I don't think the Nobel Prize is meaningless, but there has been some funky stuff in the the politics of who does and does not get one. I just don't know about the merit of all of Friedman's work, but I doubt his callous disregard for his sense of responsibility to society would have pleased the founder of the the prize. Clever people can be cads. Friedman's formula is a patent recipe for sociopathy, and it's not like "no one could have predicted it". Look up the British East India Company.

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Excellent point Gjay15

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along with Rush Limbaugh's and Gym Jordans.

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J L, it’s no longer even the philanthropy of Carnegie with his spreading libraries to small and large towns or Ford making it possible for workers to own the products. Now it’s just to make as much money as possible for the people at the top.

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Don't forget Andrew Carnegie was a robber baron, who promoted the idea that a few wealthy men should control society, rather than have an equitable society for everyone. A few libraries spread around, while a nice idea, pales in comparison to a more just and equitable system.

P.S. I lived in a town with a Carnegie library.

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Yup. Unaccountable "power tends to corrupt", often to the point of sociopathy, is one of history's more salient motifs.

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Same here. As a kid, I read with great interest a biography series called "Childhood of Famous Americans", and impressed my parents when I told them that our Public Library in Medford, OR was a Carnegie Library (I'm guessing 3rd or 4th grade at that time). When I hit the age where I was in the "upstairs" (adult) library more than "downstairs" (children's) library, my Dad asked me to read more about Carnegie and Henry Ford. He didn't ask me to do a report or anything, but we did have an interesting "out to breakfast" conversation about those to "pillars" of the US.

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Worth asking who supports what.

"Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights. Nor is it denied that there is, and probably always will be, a relation between labor and capital producing mutual benefits." - Lincoln

Of course that capital is not necessarily private capital, nor should all of it be. Robber barons, be they royal or monopolistic are the enemy of liberty and justice for all. Part of that mix is free enterprise, but the notion that business should be a special ethics-free zone, and that laws should protect companies, not workers, customers, or communities is bat guano insane.

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