« Joe Meadors to Governor Perry | Main | Zionism At Risk By: Robert K. Lifton »

04 July 2011


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

William R. Cumming

Terrific post so thanks Dr. Silverman! The elected politicians really do not want to govern and have other reasons for seeking office. Usually corrupt reasons IMO!



Speaking of founding fathers, could John Jay get elected today?

Jay not only founded the African Free School in New York City, as Governor of New York he signed the bill that ended slavery.

R Whitman

I generally do not like thse "doom and gloom" pieces about the United States. Right now we are going through a down period in our national psyche. The last time this happened was in the 1970's. My parents told me about a similar time in the 1930's.

The United States is all about the future, not the past and certainly not about feeling miserable in the present.

At the risk of sounding like an American cheerleader, in the future, probably sooner than we can imagine, the US will be in much better shape physically, mentally and financially. We need to quit feeling sorry for ourselves.


In the National Air & Space Museum, I saw this along one of the displays:

"The first airlines began to fly only 11 years after the Wright brothers' first flights in 1903-and they quickly began to fail. They could not make enough money to survive.

To help create an air transportation network, the US government began flying the mail. Once reliable service was established, the Post Office turned over air mail delivery to private companies. By 1927, a commercial airline system had been born.

a. Is it true?
b. Would it be feasible in today's political climate?

Patrick Lang


"The United States is all about the future, not the past" IMO that attitude is why we keep making the same mistakes over and over again. pl

Adam L Silverman

Arun: the quote about the aviation industry is accurate - as far as I know. What is interesting, however, is that the air line industry has always been heavily subsidized by the government as it is a very unprofitable business model. I'll pull the citation later and put it up in comments, but several years ago when doing research on aviation security I came across the profit data for the airlines prior to 2001 and with projections out through the 2020s or 2030s. Basically the industries profits almost always track $0, the only real periods of profitability correspond to federal bailouts,

To answer your second question: no, it wouldn't be possible today to do this. Please remember that when President Obama and his administration, in what we now know was a successful attempt to stabilize the US auto manufacturing industry, partially nationalized and subsidized two of the big three US auto makers, preserving the companies and the majority of the jobs, he was pilloried for it. He's still being attacked over it, yet had 2/3rds of Detroit's auto manufacturing collapsed it would have taken the rest of the industry down with it. All the companies -American, Japanese, German, etc - all make, buy, and sell parts for each other whether they're in union shops in the upper mid West or non union plants in the South. Things like this are definitely covered under the no good deed goes unpunished rule.

Adam L Silverman

Mr. Whitman,

I respectfully gave to disagree. We don't live in the future, we live in the present. And to get to an acceptable future we have to be able to dispassionately review the problem sets we face and come to workable solutions to resolve them. This requires an accurate command of the facts, especially accurate historical information, not revisionism. It is important to remember that one of the drivers of the Texas history book rewrite, the rewrite that I referenced which removes Thomas Jefferson, is Reverend David Barton. Reverend Barton has been invited to Congress to teach classes on the constitution by Congresswoman Bachmann for her tea party caucus . Reality is often unpleasant, but it is important that in both domestic and foreign policy that we deal with it.

William P. Fitzgerald III

Pat Lang, et.al.,

I urge you to read, or re-read, Dr. Silverman's reply to Mr. Whitman. The three sentences beginning with "We don't" comprise as good a definition of the liberal mind as I've seen.


Adam L Silverman

Mr. Fitzgerald,

Is that a good thing or a bad thing?



Colonel Lang,

"The United States is all about the future, not the past".

Ignoring for a moment other issues with the above sentence,perhaps we should return to an earlier syntax and semantics and write:

"The United States ARE all about the future, not the past."

USMC 65-72
FBI 72-96



The condemnation of the automotive bailout is the best distraction the bailed out bankers on WallStreet have ever had.


Dr. Silverman,

Excellent response. We need to know the past to understand the present to plan for the future.

My old age is showing but human beings are taught. My world view comes from the public schools in the State of Washington. Red Seattle / 1919 General Strike and the 1930’s Longshoreman Strikes were never mention. Even so, there is now a concerted conservative campaign to discredit public school teachers and promote vouchers, home schooling and charter schools; in order to eliminate history, science, and the arts. They are creating the 21st Century digitalized mind bots.

When I was growing up these conservatives were the far right kooks of the Birch Society. Beyond the death, wounding and lost treasure, the greatest tragedy of the Vietnam War is that the disgust at government for lying to the people and losing the war was the traction that it gave to these conservatives that ultimately led to the current corporate takeover of the federal government.

Brent Wiggans

All this talk of “flyover country” and “coastal elites” is more than an acknowledgement of cultural differences and interests; it is a bellwether of political chaos. Why can’t our republic contain them both? Since when did they become mortal enemies in an existential struggle? Some have become convinced that their differences cannot be accommodated since we got the notion that the pie we are fighting for shares of is diminishing. The benefits of a national aggregation of our far-flung and unevenly distributed resources are forgotten as we become convinced that they are shrinking and that their allocation is corrupt and unfair. In this time of distress one of our two great political parties has made it their doctrine to enable the few at the top to acquire the lion’s share of the national wealth and we speak here, almost casually, of breaking apart our country in a squabble over what is left.


Sally Hemmings was Mrs. Jefferson's half-sister. DNA evidence does not prove Thomas Jefferson fathered Sally Hemmings children. It could just have well been his nephew who was a known "alley cat" and Sally Hemming's births happened 9 months after his visits to his uncle.

Abigail Adams worried about Sally Hemmings accompanying his daughter to France because she was extremely beautiful. TJ may have fathered SH's children but there is not proof positive he did.

William P. Fitzgerald III

Dr. Silverman,

It is, of course, a good thing.



"...thirteen sovereign states were replaced by one sovereign state made up of thirteen semi or limited sovereign components governed by the concept of federalism." - ALS

Dr. Silverman, the States surrendered their sovereignty when the 17th Amendment was ratified.

IMHO, this was a catastrophic mistake against the balance of power between the Federal Government and the States, but reality is what it is.

Patrick Lang


Sovereignty in the US is shared among three elements; federal government, state governments, and the citizens. pl

Patrick Lang


Even if TJ did father SH's children I know of no evidence that Jefferson started "interfering" with her before the death of her half sister, his wife. Why is it so surprising that he would "take up" with his wife's sister after her death? She evidently looked just like Mrs. Jefferson. Let us not forget that she could have remained in France and returned because he asked her to do so. pl

Nancy K

Brent Wiggens, I so agree with you. I live in Calif near the coast, does that make me a coastal elite. I am soooo sick of the terms elite and fly over as the defining characteristics of a state. Our country is becoming wacky. There is really nothing very united about us anymore, maybe there never has been, I was just unaware.
Maybe we should just divide up and each state keeps it own revenue. California and New York may not mind that but I'm guessing West Virginia, Alabama or Mississippi might not be too happy. Texas needs bailing out because of it's massisve drought. Who would bail it out if it were it's own country. Good thing there is no global warming or they could be in even more trouble in the future.
If I sound disgusted, it is because I am. I realize all countries probably have their differences, but ours are getting out of control.



I have no problem with the idea of Jefferson taking up with Sally Hemmings. A movie with Nick Nolte is of that perception. The proof he did is not 100% positive.

Patrick Lang

NancyK et al

To be in the "coastal elite" you haveto be in the "elite." Otherwise you are just coastal. :)

Roy G.

Thanks for your comment to NancyK, Col. Lang to clear up that point. Thinking about it further, I may suggest that a more proper term for Zacharia and his ilk would be the 'global elite,' who have understood their mutual interests supersede any national/tribal/religious/moral allegiances they may have had.

Brent, I agree with your point, and Nancy K's, as well as Vietnam Vet's, and believe that they are all linked. It was mentioned in a recent post that the plans for the Patriot Act were sitting on the shelf, waiting to be implemented; the same is true for FOX News, which we recently learned was cooked up by Roger Ailes during his time as sorcerer's apprentice during the Nixon administration:


It is We The People who have been targeted by the elites for subjugation; first came the carrots, now come the sticks.


Nancy K,
as for the California revenue, did you offset that against the debt?
Best of luck.

Eric Welch

I think it's less a battle between dual federalism and cooperative federalism than simply excessive self-interest. Congressmen no longer have legislative aims; rather their sole interest is to get re-elected, over and over again. To do this they have to raise money for the next election cycle from the moment they take office and to do that they must cater to a.) the most vocal, and b.) the most rich, usually corporate interests.

We live now in a political environment where representatives from states who receive substantial federal largesse like Kentucky and Alaska argue for smaller government and lower taxes while they demand more federal support for local initiatives.

It boggles the mind. I seriously think the time is ripe for a third party candidate.

William R. Cumming

No airline has ever made a profit in each year it existed and in reality many only exist because of federal or other nation-state subsidy.

It is false to assume that the USA airline business is a private enterprise in almost any way.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad