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14 May 2014

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RetiredPatriot

Bravo Mr. Sale. Bravo!

RP

David Habakkuk

All,

I am not a great admirer of Peter Beinart, but some recent observations of his on Adelson seem worth quoting:

‘The ignorance is painful. At times, Adelson seems to suggest that Palestinians are a religion. (“They don’t want the Jews or any other religion to be alive.”) His claim that “all the terrorists are Islamists” reveals a lack of familiarity with, among others, Timothy McVeigh, Ted Kaczynski, the Klu Klux Klan, the Irish Republican Army, the Tamil Tigers, the Basque National Liberation Movement, the FARC, and the Jewish Defense League. Adelson is on record as admitting that “I don’t know the difference between the Shia and the Sunnis.”

‘This is what American democracy has come to. Because billionaires can now spend unlimited sums on political campaigns, a primitive old man, who knows almost nothing about Palestinians and Muslims except that they are all murderous savages, can summon the leading Republican presidential candidates to his casino and make them grovel for his affections.’

(See http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.583402 .)

seydlitz89

Nice essay Mr. Sale-

And of course thanks to Col. Lang for posting this.

I've been thinking about what you're written and have a couple points I wish to share:

First, there seems to be a bit of conflation with "the rich" as a historical entity in the US and the 1% of today. How do they actually compare? A hundred years ago, "the rich" were all for serving in the military, that's what the "Plattsburg" movement was all about. They saw it as their "responsibility". Of course there were exceptions, but as a group . . . Compare that with today. Also the US rich of a century ago represented tangible assets: steel mills, steamship lines, factories, railroads, oil fields, all integrated in social networks. There was of course finance, but that was only part of a larger whole and of course finance had a very different function. Today, how much of the 1% are actually involved in scams of various sorts: either Wall Street, milking the government, real estate bubbles . . . ? My point is that the difference is not the existence of an economic/political elite, but their attitude and where their wealth comes from, and how it is generated in relation to the mass of the population . . .

So there's the economic side, but what of the political? Why is there no reaction? I think people have been conditioned to see government as a "problem", not as a means to deal with problems. They feel no connection and thus are encouraged to vote according to values issues, essentially "making a statement" which is required once every two/four years. Albert Borgmann wrote "Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life" in 1984, where he introduced his concept of the "device paradigm" which sees "freedom" and "rights" in technological/consumerist terms.

William R. Cumming

Excellent discourse again from Richard! In the last six weeks recovery from viral attacks on my computer from either Russia or Ukraine or both and attack by herpes Zoster virus [shingles] I was forced to have spare time to reflect so able to read some books including a survey of Western Civilization. These writings seem supportive of Richard's conclusions.

Thanks again Richard. You and others here [especially Pat]are a treasure.

fanto

Anonymous, thanks for your reply.
I made the effort to look up the Wikipedia about the case you cite and the review shows me that 8 of 20 plaintiffs in the test have Italian names. For sake of argument, I propose to say that Italian men have the highest acumen to become firefighters in USA. Or else there is some kind of bias for them; if there is bias for any group, one must assume the possibility of a negative bias for another ethnic group, so one has to think about how “level” was the playing field, starting with the basic educatione and ‘closeness to education’ (a term the German author Sarrazin is using in his book “Deutschland schafft sich ab”). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricci_v._DeStefano )
I still think that Mr Sale is not talking about racial biases, but about the ‘level playing field’ many defenders of capitalism believe in. For understanding of wider philosophical/sociological issues the Capitalism presents I recommend the short essay by Bruce R. Scott “The Concept of Capitalism”, he tears the ‘level playing field’ theory in pieces. I do not remember if someone in Col. Lang’ commenters recommended it, or I picked it up elsewhere.

Alba Etie

oofda
We are beginning to see perhaps an outline of an national movement to address the income inequality issues that Senator Warren is campaigning for, and legislating to 'fix' . The First Monday movement in North Carolina is starting to spread into conservative parts of the state. I think we starting to see the Populist Right & Populist Left find common ground on the economic disparity issues. And is some very unexpected ways - the conservative Kansas State Representative has been battling the Koch Brothers money locally . It seems the Koch Brothers want to kill the wind energy & solar electricity initiatives there. The Koch Brothers & Shel Adelsen have spent a ton of money last two election cycles with little effect on the outcomes . Another indicator of push back against the American Oligarches is we are seeing a national movement to raise the minimum wage to $ 10.10 per hour . We shall see.

William R. Cumming

Congress has made it very difficult for even interested citizens to find out what they are doing. This is a deliberate strategy.

William R. Cumming

Agree with this superb comment!

Richard Sale

Excellent comment. Thank you.

Richard

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