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21 August 2011


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I'm getting tired of this Zakaria character. One of the first things I did after coming to the US was to read up on the country's history. Zakaria seems to be under the notion that the Government is supreme. Well, had he read anything about the US, he would have known that it is the *Constitution* that is supreme. It is that document that protects this nation from the tyranny of the majority. It is the same document that shaped the evolution of this country from the age when a part of its populace were slaves to the time when the son of an African immigrant could be its Commander in chief.

John Minnerath

I read his article about how good a parliamentary government would be for our country.
Stunned is hardly the word.
He hasn't just not "arrived", he sounds like he's still on his motor scooter trying to get to the train station to get the hell out of India.
What a total jerk!


your post is racist, but I guess you don't even realize it

Green Zone Cafe

So, in a fistfight between Fareed and Chris Matthews, who would you be rooting for, Colonel?

William R. Cumming

I argue that the facile talking class as opposed to the governance classes (Does this include the Armed Forces?) would perhaps argue a great deal differently inf they had at least had to deal with the gravitas and weight of governance where often the choices are between not good and bad but different bad choices. Still I don't object to his arguing as one of the prominent so-called "Public Intellectuals" of our day. I would recommend that he read the novels of C.P. Snow and others (including "Corridors of Power") so that more pros and cons are weighed by him in his advocacy. Hey he is more attractive than the Indian Doctor Azziz in E.M. Forsters story "Passage to India" made as a movie. And that bothers me also. Have all the ugly people with much to offer been dismissed by our TV culture?

Perhaps a new reality show wherein the uglies get their day? Perhaps even an "ugly" party candidate for the Presidency?

Patrick Lang


How pathetic. Just another of his New York pals writing from a "newsweek.com" address. Can't you get anything into your little PC brain other than the usual coastal nonsense about things like race. "Indian?" That's "racist?" Don't bother to write again. I don't provide space for fools. pl

William R. Cumming

JYD! Do we know if Obama's father was a resident alien or on student visa? I don't believe he ever became US citizen but don't know for sure.

And what did that immigrant do with his life? Perhaps you know of an article or book that discusses it?


The 1133rd Iowa National Guard has had many homecomings and parades here over the past few years. And they are always referred to as patriotic Iowans and are deeply attached to their local community. With a totally federalized military that perception might change as you say.

One change in federal organization that might have some merit worth considering is the separation of "head of state" from "head of government", and that could happen without a parliamentary system.

For those who like a parliamentary system, as far as I know, nothing prohibits any state government from adopting one. Might be an interesting experiment.


Col. Lang, with the greatest respect for you and the State Of Virginia, how do you propose that the States deal efficiently with issues that transcend state boundaries?

I have no dog in this fight, but the costs inherent in maintaining Fifty State Governments need to be recognised and accepted by the citizens of each State.

Zakaria may be a jerk, but the issue he raises does exist. If it is ignored isn't America setting itself up for Balkanization and the poverty that attaches? ....Or an American, and bloody, Risorgimento?

Us foreigners want to know.

William R. Cumming

Hey let's talk race a moment or perhaps ethnicity or religion? What is Fareed's background? Published where?

William R. Cumming

From Wikipedia:
Early life

Zakaria was born in Mumbai (then Bombay), Maharashtra, India, to a Konkani Muslim family.[4] His father, Rafiq Zakaria, was a politician associated with the Indian National Congress and an Islamic scholar. His mother, Fatima Zakaria, was for a time the editor of the Sunday Times of India.

Zakaria attended the Cathedral and John Connon School in Mumbai. He received a A.B. degree from Yale University,[2] where he was president of the Yale Political Union, editor-in-chief of the Yale Political Monthly, a member of the Scroll and Key society, and a member of the Party of the Right. He later earned a Ph.D degree in political science from Harvard University in 1993,[2] where he studied under Samuel P. Huntington and Stanley Hoffmann.

Patrick Lang


"He later earned a Ph.D degree in political science from Harvard University in 1993,[2] where he studied under Samuel P. Huntington and Stanley Hoffmann."

So what? Does that make him more American than the rest of us? pl

Patrick Lang


You sound as "foreign" in the head as FZ. We actually believe in federalism here. Most of us think that the shared sovereignty of the states with the federal government protects out liberties. I have worked most of my life in the federal intelligence bureaucracy. If given the kind of power that FZ wants to give them, the police and intelligence people would reduce us all to the status of federal property. FZ tried today to talk to someone recently departed from the DNI's office. In the course of that discussion it became obvious that FZ knows nothing but academic platitudes about how government actually works. His discussions of the structure of Amerian government are reminiscent of high school civics classes. pl

Patrick Lang


Matthews would not be able to fight him. he would defer on the grounds that this would be unjust in dealing with a first generation American (homage to cindy)

BTW, have you seen the absurdity in which Matthews says that Obama "came to the US" but still is president. WAA. pl


Fareed Zakaria is just another celebrity columnist in the mode of Thomas L. Friedman; inventor of the famous "Friedman Unit": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedman_(unit)

Why waste time reading / listening / discussing his views?

William R. Cumming

PL! You always have known that since Harvard is the repository of all wisdom ("The Best and the
David Halberstram) and the fact that a Harvard degree is always mentioned by the holder in the first 15 minutes of conversation as in "when I was in Harvard" that those degree holders hold a special position in American life and outweigh
all others to the degree they are owed deference.

As with TEXANS I would argue that those attending and/or graduating from Harvard should be disqualified from the highest office as foreign born.


Well, as a naturalized US citizen, he certainly has as much right as anyone else to have an opinion about how the United States should be run...that pretty well comes with the territory, I guess.

But I certainly reserve the right to have an opinion about his thoughts - and I must admit I'm fairly attached to the way we do things now. I doubt that I'm alone in this.


Respectfully to all, The United States is currently under a system similar to Parliamentary Government.

Remember, Voters do not elect The President, but an Electoral College to make that selection for them.

IMHO, there would not be any great change in having The Congress elect The President.

I don't see what the big deal is unless you favor the winner take all the state's Electoral Votes versus taking individual districts vote.

Adam L Silverman

Mr. Cumming: Harvard, the Emory of the North! Of course I'm partisan, I went to the real Emory.


The video is here: http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2011/08/20/fareeds-take-does-america-need-a-prime-minister/

Particularly ignorant is his condemnation of our country's "irresolvable claims" between the executive and legislative branches "that invite constant struggle."

I think your average high school student would know that THAT WAS BY DESIGN!!! Corruption by corporate/special interest money of those that are supposed to be representing us is a separate issue and is at the root of our current dysfunction, not the nature of the founding and defining law of our land.

In any case, anyone who believes that politics is anything but "constant struggle" is truly a fool.


@WRC: "As with TEXANS I would argue that those attending and/or graduating from Harvard should be disqualified from the highest office as foreign born."

Discriminatory. What about a quarantine (40 years) for the health of the body politic.


So the Gentleman is a disciple of the "Clash of Civilizations" master. Interesting.

Well one can't remake the world order until the mere common man is put into line with effective "governance" from above.


Colonel Lang,

I didn't watch the FZ segment this AM, so I am wading into this minefield with ignorance on my side.

So, that said, and working from your description above entirely (which goes to my understanding of it), how would a parliamentary system create "states, [that] are a mere nostalgic reminder of an outmoded and foolish past and are administrative units of the national government?"

Canada has had a parliamentary system since 1863, with its provinces operating almost like mini-countries within that system (meaning separate powers) until Trudeau confederated them in 1983 (he was desperate to have that legacy) and made them subservient to the federal weal. Nonetheless, the provinces, even now, have separate powers. For example, each province operates and controls its own health care system and rules, taxation, natural resources, energy, education, transportation, communications (up to a point), etcetera. What the provinces don't control are human rights, the rights of citizens, immigration, privacy, their equivalent of the FCC (etc), and defense and federal budget policy.

Canada still has "Rep by Pop," representation by population.

So how does FZ's idea of a parliamentary system differ from that parliamentary system operating north of us where the provinces (states) are definitely not 'administrative units of the national government', but are still somewhat semi-autonomous, although not to the degree pre-1983?


Patrick Lang


No. He separately has advocated these different things that have a cumulative effect. pl

Patrick Lang


I never disputed his right to these thoughts. I DO dispute the thoughts. pl

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