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11 April 2015

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Peter C

I see the slow downward economic and social spiral accelerating. Prices are up and wages down. We don't make it here anymore. The drought in California will play havoc on food prices, prices up wages down for the not so affluent. The only break to the working class in the last 30 years, is the price of fuel down a bit.

When President Obama leaves office, how long till he is worth 300 million, then 500 million, and then over a Billion?

William R. Cumming

NOBLISSE OBLIGE?

Some estimates of Clinton family net worth range to $200M!

Babak Makkinejad

Walrus:

I like Elle magazine, it teaches women how to dress properly - all through out their lives.

And it does carry book reviews and assorted other cultural coverage.

What would all those clueless women who have been victims of mass Wal-Martization of America do without Elle?

Furthermore, what is wrong with aristocracy; how else can people learn correct speech, style, breeding etc.

I invite you to take a trip to Las Vegas and see for yourself what decades of rebellious egalitarianism has done to Americans.

volney

Hereditary oligarchy now, feudalism soon.

turcopolier

Walrus

We have always had an aristocracy, but the old money WASP hegemons often had the grace to think that public service was a gentleman's obligation and that making money was largely a prerequisite for the freedom to do the public good. A certain reticence was also thought wise. If you look around Washington you will find grand old houses now filled with conference centers, think tanks, clubs, embassies and the like. These were once the residences of US public servants. The older sons went into diplomatic work and the younger ones in the Army and Navy. That is all gone now with the exception of a few isolated remnants like Lincoln Chafee. The old aristocracy hides in the countryside behind their stone walls and winding avenues. The New People are of the river boat gambler school of ambition and grasping self service. Their rise to power is a sign of the impending doom of the Republic. How many sons and daughters of the "Duke, and the Dauphin" and the Snopeses risen to great wealth now serve in the armed forces? Tennessee William's play "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" now seems prophecy. pl

rjj

couthiness is analogous to truthiness, i'nit???

"correct speech, style, breeding etc." Holy Jumping Jane Austen (or Henry James) Bab.Mak.!!!!

Tyler

Walrus,

Wait until you get to see the spectacle of the Media trying to drag Hillary's carcass across the finish line of the Presidency. If this makes you vomit you better have an anti-emetic on a drip line.

Fred

Walrus,

".. a calling to make the world a better place. ... emblematic of the work Chelsea says she felt called to do."

You will notice that The United States of America doesn't make the list of countries Chelsea felt a calling to serve. Yep, we are all Trayvon now. Democratic politicians (or New Yorkers) don't give a damn about us until we dead - if we were shot by a white police officer and happen to be black - and they need our votes; or they need to distract us from another rip-off they are orchestrating. I wonder how soon she'll be jumping on the rape culture band wagon that Rolling Stone was trying to help gin up with that fake story about UVA?

Mark Logan

Walrus,

I'm not convinced a bit of aristocracy is a bad thing. Indeed I lean towards the opposite. None at all is worse, even doomed to failure. I can't damn the girl for seeking refinement and achieving a measure of it no matter how I might disagree with her policies. Label us hypocrites if you wish, but mindless adherence to ideals is not what we are about.

I am under the impression that nearly all of our old aristocracy was built on fortunes compiled by mud puddle shallow money worshiping scoundrels. They were sniffed at by the British aristocracy, justifiably so, but eventually some gained a enough depth to suffice for the conditions they encountered. I suspect Jacksonian revolutions are required to create new aristocracy every so often, if for no other reason than to check excessive inbreeding, but I dread them. Maybe Zorba is right, "Life is trouble."

CSP

I remember George Kennan telling a story in his memoir of being required to chaperon a young, petulant John Kennedy around Europe in the late 1930's.

And of course, Kennedy also did the book thing.

turcopolier

Mark Logan

"... sniffed at by the British aristocracy, justifiably so, but eventually some gained a enough depth to suffice for the conditions they encountered." Yes, but the British aristocracy had gained their elevated positions from ancestors who were every bit as grubby in their road to power and wealth. what matters is what such classes become in terms of service to the common good, not how their ancestors grubbed for money and won. IMO the Clintons and their kind represent a very early stage in that process, and the "dead souls" in places like the NSC Staff and State are just sad. pl

turcopolier

CSP

Yes, that is a perfect example of what we are talking about. JFK's earnest striving is sad in retrospect even unto his marriage to a daughter of the establishment and his subsequent betrayal of her. Kennedy's father so much wanted the transition to real status that he was willing to sacrifice anyone and anything to have it. pl

Hank Foresman

This raises the question why the two parties cannot find someone other than a Bush or a Clinton (in the past a Kennedy).

elev8

"The older sons went into diplomatic work and the younger ones in the Army and Navy."
I would think such an arrangement is more likely to be sustained with a conscription army and a diplomatic service that does not appear to put up some percentage of available posts to the least qualified bidders from among the self-made crowd.
The place of conscription seems to have been taken by the Great American Self-Recruitment Drive For Internships On Wall Street And In Silicon Valley, as all other kinds of service and experience are clearly inferior, if not completely worthless. (I don't know if I misremember the beginning of The Great Gatsby, but doesn't the narrator end up in the bond business precisely because he is somewhat aimless, undecided and mainly focused on avoiding the default career choices before him?)

turcopolier

elev8

I was thinking of the fairly small number of children of the elites who went to "elite" colleges (including the service academies) and chose to be career officers. These were important leavening because of their understanding of what was really going on outside the fairly closed world of career officers as well as their ability to communicate service points of view to the actual nomenklatura. At the same time there were well educated men among the draftee enlisted who chose to serve in tough options. I had a radio operator as a platoon leader who had an MA from NYU. There were several such among my 43 men. pl

turcopolier

Hank F.

IMO the present moneyed rabble have not yet evolved into a genuine ruling class. Thus the rats are still c]scrabbling in an unseemly manner for the cheese. pl

Brad Ruble

What better goal in a society than a carpenter with a masters in english lit.

William R. Cumming

P.L. Restrictions on outside EARNED INCOME for federal officers and employees did not exist before signing into law the DUAL COMPENSATION ACT OF 1947 but that law seldom enforced since access to federal income tax returns are denied to all federal ethics officials including OGE [OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS--established 1989]!

William R. Cumming

Hey she was the partner signing off on Web Hubbell's billings and Bill Clinton's numerous affairs!

William R. Cumming

ALL GREAT FORTUNES START WITH A CRIME?

William R. Cumming

Agree!

turcopolier

Brad Ruble

I had a cabinetmaker work in my house for a year who had a BA in English from Brown and who had been an apprentice at Taliesin West. He was a splendid man and a fine citizen. I sense a disdain for the Humanities in your comment. you are in Wyoming. Perhaps Cheney might have been a better man if he had been a Humanities educated person. As for my radio operator his MA was in in criminology. He went into the NYPD when he was discharged. pl

William R. Cumming

Contributors to Presidential candidates want to invest to the extent possible in candidates vetted over a long period for sharing values--specifically what issues or policies they are willingly to adopt to pay off contributors. IMO of course.

oofda

You aptly used the term "nomenkaltura"- a great choice of words. I can recall serving with several officers who came from elite families- concur that they were important additions - especially in branches like infantry and nuclear submarines.

nick b

Walrus,

I think you mistake celebrity for aristocracy here. America clearly has a celebrity class, though I truly doubt it has an actual aristocracy. In the article you cite, all the 'regalness' demonstrated by Chelsea Clinton can easily be attributed to a lifetime in front of the eye of media. After a lifetime of it, I would be surprised if anyone were unable to play the part, as it were. If she is destined for future office, it is due to name recognition and again, a lifetime worth of meeting and dealing with wealthy donors.

All one needs to do to realize there is no privileged aristocracy in America is to visit your local DMV office. You will see all sorts of people of different races and classes, all treated with equal disdain by the State's bureaucracy.

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