Election: Is This the Beginning of America's "Fourth Republic"?

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84 Responses to “Election: Is This the Beginning of America's "Fourth Republic"?”

  1. Svenski says:

    Oh Please. Give me a break. The guy isn’t even in office yet. Why doesn’t he just picture Obama at the right hand of Jesus and get it over with.

  2. Teller says:

    Day 3. Note to self:

    1. Jump-start economy
    2. End Iraq War
    3. Fix health care
    4. Solve energy crisis
    5. Get dog
    6. Usher in New Era

  3. noen says:

    Iwood
    “Disagreement over the historical causes of the Civil War is cause for accusations of racism and glee at pending disenfranchisement?”

    Zuzu is an ardent supporter of Ron Paul and on the extreme end of conservative libertarianism. Ron Paul is well known to be a crypto racist and I have argued that point here before. When you do as Zuzu has done to oppose the very idea that slavery had anything at all to do with the civil war or your extremist policies are such that they disproportionately impact minorities and the poor and you couldn’t care less. Well that is just racism by another name.

    “Glee at pending disenfranchisement”?

    Oh for Christ’s sake knock off the drama theatrics . You’re not disenfranchised, just out of power. Hopefully for a very very long time.

    Zuzu
    “Libertarian / free market economics had nothing to do with the crashed global economy. It had everything to do with sloppy monetary policy, military Keynesianism, and socialism for the rich.”

    Notice how you never actually make an argument Zuzu? All you ever do is cut ‘n paste and link to wikipedia. Are you capable of making one at all? Perhaps if you stopped hyperventilating whenever someone says anything that doesn’t fit with your extremist politics you could pause, think, and engage in reasoned discourse.

    “I realize this is an internet argument and all, but that’s so fckng out of line and offensive.”

    It’s no offense to offend the offensive. It is a common enough tactic among white supremacists and assorted bigots to claim that the civil war wasn’t “really” about slavery but instead about states rights. That is correct, the right of the states to practice slavery. This is the rubric under which racists have hidden for a long time because it is no longer socially acceptable to be openly racist. But if the policies you espouse betray a consistent bias that favors one race over another I feel justified in calling it what it is.

    Antinous
    “Manners, please.”

    People should be called out when they put forward racist ideas. The tactic of claiming that the civil rights conflicts of the past weren’t really about race but about states rights is an old one. I would say the same for someone who said that conflicts over gay marriage aren’t “really” about homophobia but about “the defense of marriage” or whatever. I would not hesitate to impolitely call that person out on their homophobia too. Wouldn’t you? There is a danger in being too mannered.

    • Antinous says:

      There is a danger in being too mannered.

      But using ‘crypto-racist’ is not an argument, just an epithet. I don’t have a problem with you explaining why someone’s economic theories are to the detriment of one or more classes of people.

  4. zuzu says:
    (Note: I’m talking about the material, real-world manufacturing and utility economy, not the illusory “information economy” beloved of globalization enthusiasts in the 1990s, who pretended that deindustrialization by outsourcing was a higher state of industrialism.)

    Pretended? What pretending?

    The information economy (i.e. knowledge workers) is still true, and has never been debunked.

    What has been debunked is the shifting definition of “service economy” (during the GW Bush presidency) from meaning “retail sales jobs + knowledge workers” to meaning “retail sales jobs + speculation ponzi scheme based on credit expansion and consumerism”. The necessary credit crunch (due to the business cycle being caused by credit expansion) has proven that the latter is unsustainable (by definition an artificial boom).

    But the idea that only robots and poor people actually make copies of physical things (which have already been invented), while the invention of new things through research and development (or the capitalization of new platforms for development — ala eBay, Amazon, and other Long Tail enterprises) is and has been where the real economic growth has been all along.

    Is it any wonder that once the aforementioned ponzi bubble burst, that “everyone” (e.g. Thomas L. Friedman, et. al.) fell back on, “oh yeah, innovators and entrepreneurs will get us out of this economic cataclysm!”

    But as for a manufacturing economy… sorry, the USA can’t “go home again”… to compete directly with Brazil, Russian, India, and China (BRIC).

    Industrialization has long since solved the problem of making enough (i.e. economy of scale); the remaining question has been “What should we make?” (i.e. disruptive innovation, mass-customization, and augmenting human intellect)

  5. Antinous says:

    The “compelling interests” of society obviously need to be weighed against the freedom and autonomy of the individual. Restrictions on murder and theft are clear examples where individual autonomy properly loses. Such things are minimum requirements for the longevity of the state.

    You’ve proven my point. You’ve drawn a line where you believe that it belongs and defined it as a fact.

  6. richoid says:

    We can only hope it’s the post-mythological age. I can dream, can’t I?

  7. fltndboat says:

    Protecting emotions from intellect is not easy for intellectuals. Learning that the intellect is our lowest and slowest interface with the world takes time and work. This article is low calorie mind junk. Author may look into burrito tasting as carrier option.

  8. NeonCat says:

    The more snippets of Salon political articles I see, the more I’m glad that I don’t read Salon political articles. From blaming libertarians for the economy to the items ZuZu commented on so well, it would be bad for my blood pressure to read the actual articles.

  9. hooeezit says:

    @Zuzu (#5): Great observation. I recently read Peter Schiff’s Crashproof, and I see the point in most of what he says. But I was uneasy about something that didn’t quite make sense and I wasn’t able to put my finger on it till I read your comment above.

    From what I can tell, and I’m no economist, the best way to figure out if an economic system is sustainable is to replace monetary exchange with the barter system and see if the exchange of goods and services then makes sense. If you see an obvious discrepancy, the system is going to fail at some point. If the discrepancy isn’t quite obvious, then it’s possible that smart policy makers will spot the discrepancy and nudge the system over to sustainability. I don’t know yet whether we are experiencing the former or the latter.

  10. zuzu says:

    The Civil War was fought over slavery, not steam engines,

    No, the American Civil War was fought over the consequences of tariffs and Federal economic hegemony, not slavery. So, it’d actually be more accurate to claim that it was fought over steam engines.

    the New Deal, for all of FDR’s commitment to nationwide electrical power fed by hydroelectric dam projects, was animated by a vision of social justice.

    Yet such universal service mandates, as with the Communications Act of 1934, are what gave birth to the unintended consequences of telecom monopolies we’re strangled by today. (Or, sticking with electricity distribution rather than telecommunications, why we have an unwieldy and centrally managed spoke-and-hub distribution system, instead of distributed generation.)

    Never mind that FDR’s New Deal was ostensibly a “kinder, gentler fascism” to the kinds established in Germany, Italy, and Russia.

    Again, to cite the translated quote of Joseph Goebbels, during the New Deal, before aggression between the USA and the Third Reich began:

    I’m very interested in social developments in America. I believe that President Roosevelt has chosen the right path. We are dealing with the greatest social problems ever known. Millions of unemployed must get their jobs back, and this cannot be left to private initiative. It is the government that must tackle the problem.

  11. Tdawwg says:

    Uh, “The illusory information economy”? You mean the one that lets me read this kind of BS on a … computer? That illusory economy? D’OKAY….

  12. IWood says:

    noen @ #44:

    Oh for Christ’s sake knock off the drama theatrics. You’re not disenfranchised, just out of power. Hopefully for a very very long time.

    It seems to me that your conclusion that I’m a Republican (or a neocon, or perhaps a conservative, but certainly an Other of some kind) isn’t the result of pausing, thinking, and engaging in reasoned discourse while breathing in a calm and controlled manner.

  13. Pyre says:

    Lind seems to wave away the “information economy” — the era of the World Wide Web — a bit too blithely.

    Could that possibly be because of which administration should be named?

    Despite the aberration of the Bush/Cheney years, we might properly still call this the Clinton/Gore era, hopefully to be set back on track by Obama/Biden.

  14. OM says:

    “The Civil War was fought over slavery”

    …No, the War of Northern Agression was fought over state’s rights. Slavery was simply a weapon and later retconned into the moral justification.

  15. noen says:

    Zuzu
    Logic matters, associations and allegiances don’t.

    When? When will I see a single argument? All you ever do Zuzu is cut and paste from wikipedia. You don’t argue, you don’t put forward your reasons. Everything you’ve presented on this thread and in most others is cobbled together from wikipedia and other sources. I feel like I’m talking to a machine, a well trained expert system sure but there’s nothing behind it. Put down the damned wiki and tell me what you think.

    zyodei
    Abraham Lincoln was one of the greatest villians in American history

    Wow – President Barak HUSSEIN Obama is bringing ALL the crackers out of the woodwork. OH! Look what I did! I did a google search, maybe you can too!?

    Abraham Lincoln racist

    Read the first one:

    “I agree with Judge Douglas that he [a black] is not my equal in many respects, certainly not in color — perhaps not in intellectual and moral endowments; but in the right to eat the bread without leave of anybody else which his own hand earns, he is my equal and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal of every other man.”

    You see, race 150 years ago was conceived of a lot differently than today. Everything was. You might even say it was a different era all together. What happens is that people with their own bigoted agenda attempt to co-opt historical figures. So you get bullshit like Nazi’s were really on the left or that that feminists were the perpetrators of eugenics and other nonsense. When you look into it and don’t just read from a small selection of writers you find out the truth was a lot more complicated and not easily reducible to trivial quotes like yours.

    It took me five min. to learn more about Abraham Lincoln and his true opinions on race matters than it appears you know zyodei. Why is that? Why do I have to do the simple google search and read a few paragraphs to know that you are full of shit? Why is that zyodei? Could it be that you are just another bigot spreading your filth on the internet? Maybe not, maybe you’re just ignorant and too lazy to bother because it fits in with all the rest of the crap you’ve filled your mind with. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and go with the later.

  16. dougrogers says:

    “Industrialization has long since solved the problem of making enough (i.e. economy of scale); the remaining question has been “What should we make?” ”

    Yeah, we can make enough…. of anything. What needs desperately to be fixed is the control and distribution systems. How do we fix greed and fear? How do we fix, say, the government of Burma? or Somalia?

  17. zuzu says:

    Zuzu is an ardent supporter of Ron Paul and on the extreme end of conservative libertarianism. Ron Paul is well known to be a crypto racist and I have argued that point here before. When you do as Zuzu has done to oppose the very idea that slavery had anything at all to do with the civil war or your extremist policies are such that they disproportionately impact minorities and the poor and you couldn’t care less. Well that is just racism by another name.

    1.) Extreme end of conservative libertarianism? Me? Hardly. I don’t care much for labels, but if I had to pick one for myself it’d certainly be closer to free-market anarchism, anarcho-capitalism, or agorism. Perhaps even Left-libertarian. I’m a fiscal conservative (believing in positive economic analysis) but in no way a social conservative. I’m strongly opposed to the use of violence by anyone (including the State), I support the prison abolition movement, and I’m relatively (for a libertarian) soft on contract law due to incomplete contracts and bounded rationality. I favor gun rights, and morphological freedom — which includes cognitive liberty, legal recreational drug use, and legal abortions. I’m an atheist, but I also don’t subscribe to Richard Dawkins’ anti-religion view principally because I don’t believe that science is The Truth either, just a really useful model / perspective of reality.

    2.) I generally support Ron Paul, as much as I will support any politician (which is never “ardent”). I was familiar with his writings from the Lew Rockwell / Mises community years before he became “internet famous”. I have yet to see any substantiation of the claim to his racism other than the citation of one ghostwritten newsletter, and generally view such claims as a grasping personal attack. (Show me more evidence and I’ll reconsider.)

    Regardless, there’s no “transitive property of racism” by which I would support the social construction of race in any circumstance. My view is that the very concept “race” is complete bullshit, particularly since we’ve for decades known about genetics. Even Linnean taxonomy is being discarded in favor of phylogenetic taxonomy and DNA barcoding.

    It is a common enough tactic among white supremacists and assorted bigots to claim that the civil war wasn’t “really” about slavery but instead about states rights.

    I’m thoroughly offended at the accusation of being a racist because it’s completely baseless. If we were in the same room, I’d throw a drink in your face.

    As has been said earlier, the whitewashing of the American Civil War as a just cause of abolition is a retroactive continuity (retcon). (History is written by the victors.) War is always based in economics.

    Clearly slavery is an abomination, denying self-ownership and consequently self-determination / autonomy.

    Simply put, Noen, you’re attacking me in name, but actually attacking a straw man caricature which has never existed except in your own head. It’s as ridiculous and unfounded as “Obama the muslim secret terrorist”. Consequently, you come off as sounding exactly like the mentalities you claim to detest. Shame on you.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Despite the fading tinges of cynicism, this moment really does feel to me like 1960 just after JFK got elected. Or rather, what I imagine it must have been like, judging by the newsreels and the TV coverage back then. I wasn’t around in 1960, alas.

    The past 15 years have taught us cynical despait, but I really hope we can get past that sufficiently to see that Obama is a remarkable guy. He has a unique combo of cool distance and passionate inspiration. Not many leaders boast that mix.

    Too, extraordinary technological developments wait in the wings, soon to be born. Rapreps, a cornucopia of new biotechnologies ranging from regrowing limbs to gene therapy that promises to eliminate obesity or even a predisposition toward pathological violence; extraordinary new materials from self-assembling molecular machines to lenses with negative indices of refraction, to super-strong ultralight materials like buckypaper.

    Amid the temptation to dismiss Obama’s soaring visions, let’s not forget that we surely live in the golden age of mathematics (more math has been done in the last 30 years than in the entirety of previous human history), the golden age of astronomy (just within the last 10 years we’ve discovered dark matter, dark energy, and a vast Great Attractor which produces matter flows beyond the reach of the visible universe), along with the golden age of computer science, the golden age of molecular biology, and, well… The list goes on, doesn’t it?

    War has become uneconomic for the first time in human history. As a race, homo sapiens has stepped back from nuclear weapons and shown the maturity to put them away. Despite temporary setbacks like Proposition 8, as a society we continue to expand the circle of those about whom we care. Some people see piles of corpses and a ruined world in the future. I see wonders beyond imagining. A history of continually decreasing violence and ever-escalating levels of education and quality of life throughout human history, for all people everywhere on earth, suggests that my perspective is more realistic.

  19. Antinous says:

    Why doesn’t he just picture Obama at the right hand of Jesus and get it over with.

    A) Many readers would consider that defamatory to President-Elect Obama.
    B) How do you get from picturing him with three presidents to picturing him with Jesus? Whether or not he does anything useful as President, the fact that he was elected represents an enormous change in the way the US does business.

  20. Dan says:

    Salon opinion pieces (and aren’t they all opinion pieces?) tend to play fast and loose with the facts in the service of fitting their ideological framework.

  21. valdis says:

    @anonymous@17: “I find it interesting that his arc period (72 years) is a multiple of the voting age. This suggests a link, perhaps, to how political ideals and priorities are formed in a voters mind.”

    Too bad that for most of those arcs, the voting age was 21, not 18. That didn’t happen till the 26th Amendment was ratified in 1971.

  22. noen says:

    The next eight years will be sweet listening to the screeching from the Libertarian wack-a-doodles every time they are reminded they crashed the global economy.

    Once again, populists and libertarians emphasizing different parts of the Jeffersonian legacy tinkered with the new order but failed to overturn it. Under Reagan and the second Bush, the right managed to cut income taxes and capital gains taxes. But their failure to shrink the size of post-New Deal government meant that their tax cuts, instead of inspiring less spending, merely produced enormous deficits.

    Exactly, and that is a reality that you simply cannot runaway from.

    No, the American Civil War was fought over the consequences of tariffs and Federal economic hegemony, not slavery.

    Spkn lk tr crypt-rcst, nvr vr dmt tht scl njstc mttrs. Bt dn’t fr, y’ll gt yr trn n 2040. njy yr tm n th wldrnss.

  23. Tom says:

    If the War Between the States was fought by the North on civil rights grounds, why was the Emancipation Proclamation not fully issued until the war had been going on for almost two years?

    And why was the initial version so limited?

  24. IWood says:

    Antinous @ #46:

    You’ve proven my point. You’ve drawn a line where you believe that it belongs and defined it as a fact.

    Unless you’re arguing that restrictions on murder and theft are unnecessary for the functioning of a healthy society, I fail to see the relevance. And, as the “convenient line” we were discussing concerned parenting, I don’t believe that you’ve proven anything.

    In terms of first principles, it sounds to me like you may object to the premise that an individual can posit the existence of objective facts in non-mathematical matters (or maybe you don’t concede that much, I don’t know). That would mean that any further discussion of this particular issue is kind of pointless without addressing that.

    But! I’m all Bauer-like and I’m OUT OF TIME.

    Tschüs!

    [Boom!]

    • Antinous says:

      it sounds to me like you may object to the premise that an individual can posit the existence of objective facts in non-mathematical matters

      I’m pretty far toward the relativist end of the continuum, so yeah.

      Unless you’re arguing that restrictions on murder and theft are unnecessary for the functioning of a healthy society

      Although I would like to go on record as being opposed to murder and theft, they’re just two out of a fairly infinite number of possible causes of human misery. We’ve selected some of those causes as ‘crimes’ or ‘sins’ and others as inalienable rights – in a fashion which correlates poorly with the actual effects on people’s lives.

      Much of the world’s population considers a woman publicly displaying her kneecap to be a heinous violation of the social order. Is our presentation of opinions and prejudices as ‘fact’ more valid than theirs? Moral and ethical judgments aren’t facts; they’re just judgments.

  25. IamInnocent says:

    @ZUZU:
    Thanks for all the typing that you’re saving me.

    The Civil War over slavery… I want my 10 minutes back!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Regardless of what you think about his predictions, the pattern is clear enough and interesting. And we seem poised to make another comeback, if you’re willing to consider Bush a tragedy on par with the Civil and 2nd World Wars (lol).

    I find it interesting that his arc period (72 years) is a multiple of the voting age. This suggests a link, perhaps, to how political ideals and priorities are formed in a voters mind.

  27. IWood says:

    batu b @ #1:

    Looks like the Obama administration is going to hold us accountable! Nice!

    I was under the impression that the government was accountable to the citizenry, not vice-versa.

  28. IWood says:

    noen @ #15:

    Spkn lk tr crypt-rcst, nvr vr dmt tht scl njstc mttrs. Bt dn’t fr, y’ll gt yr trn n 2040. njy yr tm n th wldrnss.

    Disagreement over the historical causes of the Civil War is cause for accusations of racism and glee at pending disenfranchisement?

    Sweet.

  29. IWood says:

    Also, regarding the “America Serves” program as described on change.gov.

    Does anyone else see a conflict between this:

    When you choose to serve — whether it’s your nation, your community or simply your neighborhood — you are connected to that fundamental American ideal that we want life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness not just for ourselves, but for all Americans.

    [Emphasis mine]

    And this:

    Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year.

    [Emphasis mine]

  30. Scarybug says:

    @15 While I think it’s bullshit to say that slavery was not a major reason for the civil war, it’s a bit of a stretch to cry “racist” over it. I’m sure there’s a bit of lingering confederate nationalism that makes southerners not want to feel too guilty over the civil war, but I don’t think you can call it “crypto-racist”.

  31. zyodei says:

    #73 Noen: Yes, sir, I did google just that term. And I read just that article at about.com that you quote from. However, I didn’t stop there, I also perused the next dozen articles or so too, in preparing to write that comment. Almost all of them disagreed with the about.com article. I read many different comments about the book written by the Executive Editor of Ebony Magazine, “Forced Into Glory,” including the one you quote from.

    The #1 google result to a question does define unquestionable truth.

    Now, should I have called him a villain? Maybe my wording was too harsh, words like that rarely lead to good debate. Lincoln was, of course, a complex man.

    But here’s the base of the story: Lincoln felt that Whites and Blacks could never really live together in harmoney, he wrote many astonishingly bigoted lines, and he felt that the best way for Whites and Blacks to get along was if there was an ocean between us. That is, free the slaves and ship them all to Liberia.

    Now, that you have called me a “bigot” twice, I challenge you to find anything in what I wrote that backs that claim up. Are you suggesting that because I question the historical record of a powerful white man I am a “bigot”? Perhaps I am “bigoted” against men named “Abraham Lincoln?” That’s a strong word, you should not throw it around so lightly.

  32. zyodei says:

    Haha..excuse me, The #1 google result to a question does NOT define unquestionable truth.

    If only it were so easy :)

    On another point, #68, claiming that Greenspan is a “libertarian” is pretty stupid. Most branches of Libertarianism call for the abolition of the Federal Reserve. If Greenspan had not been pumping up the money supply through the 2000s, this crisis wouldn’t have happend. But that pumping of the money supply was hardly “libertarian”

    And, for all your talk of “racism” in your posts, I would like to make two assertations. 1) The War on Drugs is the most actively racist policy in America today. It causes tremendous tangible damage to the lives of Blacks and Hispanics all across the country. Anyone who seeks to end it would do tremendous immediate good to minorities in America.

    2) Just because someone does not agree with your views of what is needed to heal the racial divide in America, does not make them a racist. You should not throw that word around so casually.

  33. zuzu says:

    The next eight years will be sweet listening to the screeching from the Libertarian wack-a-doodles every time they are reminded they crashed the global economy.

    Oh my fucking god, Noen.

    Libertarian / free market economics had nothing to do with the crashed global economy. It had everything to do with sloppy monetary policy, military Keynesianism, and socialism for the rich. Please stop repeating that misinformation. (That’s what I meant by you acting as Fox News does.)

    Once again, populists and libertarians emphasizing different parts of the Jeffersonian legacy tinkered with the new order but failed to overturn it. Under Reagan and the second Bush, the right managed to cut income taxes and capital gains taxes. But their failure to shrink the size of post-New Deal government meant that their tax cuts, instead of inspiring less spending, merely produced enormous deficits.

    Exactly, and that is a reality that you simply cannot runaway from.

    Agreed.

    Spkn lk tr crypt-rcst, nvr vr dmt tht scl njstc mttrs.

    Ok, I realize this is an internet argument and all, but that’s so fckng out of line and offensive.

  34. Kieran O'Neill says:

    #9: Zuzu, since this seems to have gotten ignored, I’m going to respond to your suggestion that the New Deal constituted fascism:

    1. The argument seems to be that the New Deal was providing jobs, etc for people left destitute by the great depression, which Nazism was also doing in Germany, therefore the two are equatable. This sounds a lot like the “Hitler liked dogs. Hitler was a very evil man. Therefore, people who like dogs are evil.” fallacy.

    2. I note that there is strong opinion that the New Deal constituted liberalism. Indeed, the term “New Deal Liberalism” seems to be in reasonably common use in some circles.

    Personally, I see the New Deal as simply a move towards social democracy – the incorporation of socialist principles (e.g. a state-run social welfare system) into a system that remained strongly libertarian.

    That said,

    Noen: You could have made your points in a more civil tone. You’re attacking Zuzu as a person, rather than addressing his/her arguments.

  35. dougrogers says:

    hey, #19, IWOOD…. the much despised neocon crypto-libertarian government of Mike Harris in Ontario decreed that it was okay for adults to play in traffic without bicycle helmets also mandated 40 hours of community service to graduate from high school.

    I’d have preferred they mandate the helmets, but the obligatory volunteer hours have been very good for kids, and frankly ridiculously easy to meet. Both my children have already done far far more than they need at events and organizations they love to participate in.

  36. zuzu says:

    @ Noen

    When? When will I see a single argument? All you ever do Zuzu is cut and paste from wikipedia. You don’t argue, you don’t put forward your reasons. … Put down the damned wiki and tell me what you think.

    You’re frustrated because I use hyperlinks on the World Wide Web?! That’s the purpose of the WWW.

    I’m not sure what argument you’re looking for from me at this point. That not all views can be pigeonholed as part of either “the Left” or “the Right”? That according to deductive consequential analysis pure capitalism is sustainable? That Neo-Cons did not ever practice “free markets” but just transferred wealth to the already rich?

    @Kieran O’Neill

    1. The argument seems to be that the New Deal was providing jobs, etc for people left destitute by the great depression, which Nazism was also doing in Germany, therefore the two are equatable. This sounds a lot like the “Hitler liked dogs. Hitler was a very evil man. Therefore, people who like dogs are evil.” fallacy.

    No, the reasoning is more sophisticated and logical than that. The issue of concern is how they did what they did. The ends never justify the means.

    For a more thorough juxtaposition, check out Three New Deals: Reflections on Roosevelt’s America, Mussolini’s Italy, and Hitler’s Germany, 1933-1939 by Wolfgang Schivelbusch.

    Liberty (classical liberalism) is like an automata; you define the first principles, and all the complex and unexpected consequences are legitimate outcomes of that.

    The Constitution is a “suicide pact”, because to discard the Constitution accomplishes the same dissolution of government, only in the immediate rather than possibly later.

    The Roman Empire was still called a Republic all the way until the collapse of classic (Western) civilization.

  37. Roach says:

    How did he not mention that all three presided over massive wars?

    Although they’re generally wars that we now consider ‘good,’ though I’m qualifiedly with the Lincoln critics, that seems like something that should’ve been mentioned along with all the wonderful technological progress and such.

  38. dougrogers says:

    “you may object to the premise that an individual can posit the existence of objective facts in non-mathematical matters”

    Yes, I absolutely object to the idea that there are objective facts outside of Mathematics. And even that isn’t conclusively proven – Goedel for instance – and have ever since I was eighteen and arguing with budding Objectivists. There are only things we all agree on. There is no objective fact outside of our perception of it. It therefore cannot be objective.

  39. FoetusNail says:

    First the Civil War was about States’ rights, the right of slave holding states to continue to hold human beings as chattel. Sorry, but I’m from the South, have family members that fought in that nightmare and it’s rumored one of the uncles murdered a black man in broad daylight in the middle of town without being arrested. Yeah, it was about States’ rights alright.

    Secondly, this one is from Kahlil Gibran for Antinous, whom I almost always agree.

    Your children are not your children.
    They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
    They come through you but not from you.
    And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

  40. noen says:

    Iwood
    “it sounds to me like you may object to the premise that an individual can posit the existence of objective facts in non-mathematical matters”

    One cannot posit objective facts even in mathematical matters but that never stopped Ayn Rand. Objectivism is a laughing stock, I needed a good chuckle, thanks.

    Zuzu
    Extreme end of conservative libertarianism? Me? Hardly.

    Yes, I know that you want to present libertarianism as if it exists in some nebulous other world. It doesn’t, libertarianism is a right-wing ideology and while it employs different reasons still gets to the same failed policies as the conservatives: free markets, enlightened self interest and all the rest.

    And here is where I bring this back on topic. It is these policies that have failed and that failure marks the end of an era. It doesn’t matter how you derived them any more than it matters what car you drove to get under the GOP’s big tent. The policies of the libertarians, the neocons and the religious right have all failed. Spin all you like, it is a pin that fixes you to the political entomologist’s board. From which your Zen will never free you. The label is affixed and into the cabinet drawer you go.

    I generally support Ron Paul, as much as I will support any politician (which is never “ardent”).

    Be like the wind grasshopper. Never hold a fixed opinion and you’ll never be wrong. Still… you were pretty ardent in this thread

    Presidential candidate Ron Paul picks his fave superhero

    I have yet to see any substantiation of the claim to his racism other than the citation of one ghostwritten newsletter, and generally view such claims as a grasping personal attack.

    I’ve made the argument here before however David Neiwert at Orcinus is the best resource:

    Google search of Orcinus

    The real Ron Paul surfaces

    Ron Paul vs. the New World Order

    Ron Paul and his followers

    and generally view such claims as a grasping personal attack

    Of course you do.

  41. ravenword says:

    Re: mandatory community service for middle school, high school and college students, it’s unclear exactly how that will be enforced, but I can see it being beneficial.

    When I was a high school student in Florida, every resident of the state was eligible for a 100% tuition scholarship to a state school (you had to meet the criteria for acceptance, but if you got in it was free) if they had a decent GPA, SAT score, and 75 hours of community service. As a result, basically every college-bound student in the state became involved in after-school clubs, electives, church groups, or non-profit organizations in order to earn and document those service hours. The kids probably would have done so anyway, since extra-curricular activities of some kind are now considered important for college admissions, but the program led to more careful choices in those extracurriculars in order to give something back to the community, and led some non-traditionally service-based groups to get into community service (e.g. the soccer team getting together to plant trees) to help their students meet the standard.

    Forcing people to do something for the good of their community/country doesn’t sound appealing, but we already contribute a sizable fraction of our income to that cause. It’s not unreasonable to suggest a portion of our time (equal to, at most, 2.5 work weeks of time out of the year — most of us give way more than 2.5 weeks’ pay in taxes).

  42. zuzu says:

    neocon crypto-libertarian government of Mike Harris

    I’m having trouble parsing this. You can’t be both a libertarian and a Neo-Con.

    As for compulsory volunteerism… well, that’s just an oxymoron.

    I grew up fine without bike helmets, but they’re a smart move if you’re usually riding with vehicular traffic. I see that as a decision for parents and their children, however, not the State. (I also think that restrictions on sale and use of consumer fireworks have significantly contributed to the infantilization of the population. People can assess risk for themselves.)

    I was also swamped with actual school work throughout junior and senior high school. I can’t imagine where the resources for these mandates of graduation projects and community service are supposed to come from. (It’s bad enough with No Child Left Behind, states that have Regents exams, and SAT / ACT testing.)

    It feels like everyone in a position of authority is conspiring to eliminate individual private time for the cultivation of inner life — the same way that committee meetings were used in 1984. As an introverted geek (INTP), I find this forced socialization trend far more threatening than the phantom menace of “terrorism”.

    • Antinous says:

      I was also swamped with actual school work throughout junior and senior high school. I can’t imagine where the resources for these mandates of graduation projects and community service are supposed to come from.

      I think that part of the idea is to raise human beings rather than robots.

  43. noen says:

    The last three links didn’t post for some reason. I don’t know why. They are easily found though.

    • Antinous says:

      The last three links didn’t post for some reason.

      There’s no html in your comment where those links are meant to go. Weird. That’s a glitch that I haven’t seen yet.

  44. Deviant says:

    Noen, grouping libertarians with neo-cons and the religious right ends all serious consideration of your point. Please tell me how anything done by the Bush administration (who embodies the latter two) has anything whatsoever in common with libertarianism.

  45. IWood says:

    dougrogers @ #23

    Fair enough. Language matters, though. Compulsion != choice, and shouldn’t be framed as such.

  46. FoetusNail says:

    Zuzu

    War is always based in economics.

    Mostly true, I would agree. And slaves being the most valuable objects in the south, their importation restricted, and the southern economy dependent upon their virtually free labor somehow fails to qualify as an economic issue worthy of war?

    Once again that war was about slavery, without slavery there would not have been an economic issue worth risking everything. And yes, that economic issue was preserved by States’ rights. Slavery was at the root of the southern economy and their need to preserve their version of States’ rights.

    • Antinous says:

      I concur with FoetusNail in that one can’t separate the economics of the war from the social structure that was the central fact of those economics. Slavery is both an economic and social system.

  47. FoetusNail says:

    And as far as those who take the position that the Civil War was not about slavery, but States’ rights not being racists, all I can say is the only ones I’ve ever heard make that claim are white, and I usually get the impression they are racists. The Klan will tell you it was about States’ rights too. So, please pardon those of us that make that assumption.

  48. zuzu says:

    @ FoetusNail

    * Tariff of Abominations
    * Morrill Tariff
    * Panic of 1857

    Slavery played only a partial economic role in leading up to the Nullification Crisis and American Civil War. Check out Tariffs, Blockades, and Inflation: The Economics of the Civil War by Thornton and Ekelund.

  49. zuzu says:

    Forcing people to do something for the good of their community/country doesn’t sound appealing, but we already contribute a sizable fraction of our income to that cause. It’s not unreasonable to suggest a portion of our time (equal to, at most, 2.5 work weeks of time out of the year — most of us give way more than 2.5 weeks’ pay in taxes).

    But what if my contributions are informal and difficult to measure, such as contributing development to Free Software?

    We’re running into the “if you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist” problems of Six Sigma; just ask how well implementation of that went over in a creative enterprise such as Sun Microsystems.

  50. zuzu says:

    And as far as those who take the position that the Civil War was not about slavery, but States’ rights not being racists, all I can say is the only ones I’ve ever heard make that claim are white, and I usually get the impression they are racists. … So, please pardon those of us that make that assumption.

    Didn’t you see the Simpsons episode where Apu has to pass his United States citizenship exam? (I mention this because The Simpsons is very mainstream.)

    Proctor: All right, here’s your last question. What was the cause of the Civil War?
    Apu: Actually, there were numerous causes. Aside from the obvious schism between the abolitionists and the anti-abolitionists, there were economic factors, both domestic and inter–
    Proctor: Wait, wait… just say slavery.
    Apu: Slavery it is, sir.

  51. IWood says:

    ravenword @ #25:

    When I was a high school student in Florida, every resident of the state was eligible for a 100% tuition scholarship to a state school (you had to meet the criteria for acceptance, but if you got in it was free) if they had a decent GPA, SAT score, and 75 hours of community service.

    That’s an incentive, not a requirement.

    It’s not unreasonable to suggest a portion of our time (equal to, at most, 2.5 work weeks of time out of the year — most of us give way more than 2.5 weeks’ pay in taxes).

    You’re right, but the America Serves program doesn’t sound like a suggestion to me.

    Also: what ZuZu @ #26 said. My real problem with this sort of thing is that it suggests an underlying philosophy in which it is the job of government to make people better. I strongly disagree with that idea. Cap’n Tightpants agrees with me, so I know I’m right.

  52. Tom says:

    Yeah, the “obligatory community service hours” in Ontario have been surprisingly non-fascist. One of my kids is doing his by teaching the younger kids at his dojo, which gives him a good job reference as well as some excellent experience.

    Like most laws of this kind, when there is genuine community support for the program it creates opportunities rather than burdens for the kids who want them, and the kids who don’t want them find ways to skive out of it.

    The unfortunate fact is that no government anywhere ever has been remotely as unobtrusive as libertarians want governments to be, nor as clinically divorced from social and cultural realities as libertarians want them to be.

    Although it is true that governments have a nominal monopoly on legal use of force (try telling that to unions and strike-breakers, though…) it is also true that governments are organic outgrowths of popular will, and ALWAYS rule by the consent of the governed, even in nutjob dictatorships. The threshold at which people withdraw their consent can be raised by draconian measures, but it cannot be eliminated.

    Back to topic: the current industrial revolution is one of communications and computation, which is what “the information economy” is all about. We live in the age of exotic materials and intelligent machines. We are only just beginning to exploit the economic and cultural opportunities those technologies make possible.

    It is quite reasonable to expect that historians will peg the start of the 21st century as the beginnings of the new industrial revolution, when ubiquitous computation and engineered materials started to have a real impact on people’s lives. The way President-Elect Obama (still feels real good to type that) took advantage of ubiquitous communications and computation in his campaign is just one indication of their future importance.

    We have not much more idea what the future will look like than someone in would have right after the Crash of ’29. In their case, the future wasn’t so bright, in part because the new technologies of their era were naturally centralizing, catering to the totalitarian political impulses that were sweeping the world. In our case, the new technologies enable individuals far more than organizations, and allow kinds of dissent and disagreement that have never been possible before.

  53. zuzu says:

    I think that part of the idea is to raise human beings rather than robots.

    Who is doing the “raising” in this statement? Teachers? or parents?

    Also, I don’t see homework load being reduced at all; if anything it’s only increased. Children can’t refuse; schooling is compulsory by law. Parents are penalized by the state for truant children.

    Is expanding the role of formal schooling in children’s lives (beyond school hours) really necessary? What will be lost due to opportunity costs?

  54. IWood says:

    Antinous @ #29

    I think that part of the idea is to raise human beings rather than robots.

    I believe that raising human beings (or robots) is the purview of parents, not the state.

    • Antinous says:

      I believe that raising human beings (or robots) is the purview of parents, not the state.

      Does that include not bothering to teach them to read? Marrying them to older cousins? Indoctrinating them as warriors for religion? Where do you draw the line? I assume that you draw it exactly where it’s convenient for you.

      Society has a compelling interest in preventing parents from raising their children to be anti-social or unable to function. I utterly repudiate the notion that children are the property of their parents, which is the argument that underlies your comment.

  55. zuzu says:

    @ IWood

    Also: what ZuZu @ #26 said. My real problem with this sort of thing is that it suggests an underlying philosophy in which it is the job of government to make people better. I strongly disagree with that idea. Cap’n Tightpants agrees with me, so I know I’m right.

    Completely agree. :D

    * Hidden curriculum
    * Critical pedagogy
    * John Taylor Gatto
    * John Holt
    * Ivan Illich: Deschooling Society
    * The Teenage Liberation Handbook
    * Unschooling
    * Youth empowerment
    * Autonomy

  56. zuzu says:

    @ Noen

    Yes, I know that you want to present libertarianism as if it exists in some nebulous other world. It doesn’t, libertarianism is a right-wing ideology and while it employs different reasons still gets to the same failed policies as the conservatives: free markets, enlightened self interest and all the rest.

    And here is where I bring this back on topic. It is these policies that have failed and that failure marks the end of an era. It doesn’t matter how you derived them any more than it matters what car you drove to get under the GOP’s big tent. The policies of the libertarians, the neocons and the religious right have all failed. Spin all you like, it is a pin that fixes you to the political entomologist’s board. From which your Zen will never free you. The label is affixed and into the cabinet drawer you go.

    Your dependence on left-right politics labels is very much a golden hammer: “When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

    Put another way, you’re invoking a false dichotomy between “the Left” and “the Right”, or between “Good” and “Evil”. This “picking sides” stuff is nonsense. To quote Aeon Flux, “I take no side.”

    Still… you were pretty ardent in this thread. Presidential candidate Ron Paul picks his fave superhero

    Because I believe he was right on those issues. I don’t care about the man, I care about the issues. Conversely, I think he’s quite ignorant on the subjects of biological evolution, anthropogenic climate change, and reproductive rights. (Or perhaps he was playing to his perceived audience.) But nobody’s perfect, especially politicians.

  57. zuzu says:

    I utterly repudiate the notion that children are the property of their parents, which is the argument that underlies your comment.

    Do you argue that they’re the property of the state? …which implicitly underlies the legal argument of in loco parentis.

    • Antinous says:

      Do you argue that they’re the property of the state?

      No. Just that there’s a continuum between personal liberty and social cohesion. People (particularly Americans) tend to think that the place that they’ve staked out on that continuum is somehow intrinsically correct and right. We end up arguing the Constitution in the same terms that we would use to talk about the laws of physics. In reality, it’s just the endless struggle between social agreements and personal convictions.

  58. Deviant says:

    Antinous,

    You’re making a false dichotomy here by using examples where the parental teachings massively interfere with the liberties of others. We draw lines every day. That’s the purpose of law.

    Children are the responsibility of their parents. Government cannot teach love and compassion–only individuals can.

  59. mchacotay says:

    Hey, I dont know, but this sounds a little like Asimov’s Hari Seldon. Which is fine, by the way :)

  60. FoetusNail says:

    Zuzu, the link to the Panic of 1857 states:

    The Tariff Act of 1857 reduced the average tariff rate to about 20%. The reduction was written by Southerners in Congress and supported by most economic interests nationwide with the exception of sheep farmers and some iron companies in Pennsyslvania. It had the effect or removing the tariff issue as a major source of North-South contention. The South was much less hard-hit than other regions because of the stability of the cotton market.

    What they don’t mention, though I would bet my case buck it’s true, the cotton market was stable because the labor market was stable.

    The Morrill Tariff was adopted in April of 1861, after the formation of the Confederacy in February of the same year. Lincoln, who had declared “Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free…” was elected in Nov. 1860. The link to the Morrill Tariff quotes Karl Marx:

    Naturally, in America everyone knew that from 1846 to 1861 a free trade system prevailed, and that Representative Morrill carried his protectionist tariff through Congress only in 1861, after the rebellion had already broken out. Secession, therefore, did not take place because the Morrill tariff had gone through Congress, but, at most, the Morrill tariff went through Congress because secession had taken place.[8]

    The following is from a speech by Henry Clay on abolitionist petitions in the Senate, February 7, 1839, in Swain, The Life and Speeches of Henry Clay, 2:398, 410

    With them [abolitionists] the right of property is nothing; the deficiency of the powers of the general government is nothing; the acknowledged and incontestible powers of the States are nothing; a civil war, a dissolution of the Union, and the overthrow of a government in which are concentrated the fondest hopes of the civilized world, are nothing. A single idea has taken possession of their minds, and onward they pursue it, overlooking all barriers, and regardless of all consequences…

    A third impediment to immediate abolition is to be found in the immense amount of capital which is invested in slave property. The total number of slaves in the United States, according to the last enumeration of the population, was a little upwards of two millions. Assuming their increase at a ratio, which it probably is, of five per cent. per annum, their present number would be three millions. The average value of slaves at this time is stated by persons well informed to be as high as five hundred dollars each. To be certainly within the mark, let us suppose that it is only four hundred dollars. The total value, then, by that estimate, of the slave property in the United States, is twelve hundred millions of dollars. This property is diffused throughout all classes and conditions of society. It is owned by widows and orphans, by the aged and infirm, as well as the sound and vigorous. It is the subject of mortgages, deeds of trust, and family settlements. It has been made the basis of numerous debts contracted upon its faith, and is the sole reliance, in many instances, of creditors within and without the slave States, for the payment of debts due to them. And now it is rashly proposed, by a single fiat of legislation, to annihilate this immense amount of property! To annihilate it without indemnity and without compensation to its owners! Does any considerate man believe it to be possible to effect such an object without convulsion, revolution, and bloodshed? I know that there is a visionary dogma, which holds that negro slaves cannot be the subject of property.I shall not dwell long on this speculative abstraction. That is property which the law declares to be property.

    I was not born in the South, but of the south. My Grandmothers sent The Flag and a box of soil to my mother, who placed my newborn feet in the soil and The Flag under my pillow. When The Flag was finally taken down in much of the South, my grandmother looked at me and asked, what are they doing to our flag? Almost every woman in my family until the last generation was a member of the Daughters of the Confederacy. I was taught in the womb that slavery had nothing to do with the Northern War of Aggression. Coming to believe slavery was the biggest single cause of that war was not easy; I cannot so easily go back.

  61. noen says:

    There’s no html in your comment where those links are meant to go. Weird. That’s a glitch that I haven’t seen yet.

    Probably on my end then.

    Deviant
    Noen, grouping libertarians with neo-cons and the religious right ends all serious consideration of your point.

    While there are libertarians who consider themselves liberal they are very few and fewer still are the liberals who would accept them. They exist, but by far and away libertarianism has been deeply associated, esp. here in the US, with those on the right. Hayek, Friedman, and especially that raving nutcase Ayn Rand. For the last thirty years our economics has been donimated by the Randian libertarian policies of Greenspan and his successors.

    It is the height of insanity to claim at this date that it all never happened. The the libertarians never allied themselves with the GOP and were granted unprecedented freedom to enact their pet ideas.

    And it all came crashing down.

    That’s what this article is about and you will never be able to run away from it.

    Zuzu
    I don’t care about the man, I care about the issues. [...] “I take no side.”

    Wheeeeeeee!!! I’m spinning round and round! I get to demand firm positions and iron logic from everyone else but when it comes to me I am as free as the wind!!! Wheeeeee!!!! I prove my BS Libertarian ideas by quoting a cartoon!!

  62. alowishus says:

    @ZUZU: Agreed about homework. Or should we say busywork. My wife and I will likely home school or charter school our son because public education does nothing but crush creativity and free thinking. And damnit, he’s going to go to a free-thinking school because we say so! Oh, wait . . .

  63. FoetusNail says:

    BTW, using Clay’s estimated value of all slaves held in 1839 $1,200,000,000, those slaves would be worth as much as $10 Trillion dollars today, using the relative share of GDP.

  64. Antinous says:

    Here’s an answer to some questions.

    US President-elect Barack Obama will seek to reverse Bush administration policies when he enters office on 20 January, his transition chief said. John Podesta said executive orders by President George W Bush on issues such as stem cell research and oil drilling were at odds with Mr Obama’s views. He said they could be easily repealed as no Congressional action was needed.

  65. Takuan says:

    Noen, Zuzu: we all know you both have brains. Please demonstrate your respect for the rest of us by acknowledging that fact in each other. We all have sufficient real enemies.

  66. IWood says:

    Antinous @ #35:

    Does that include not bothering to teach them to read? Marrying them to older cousins? Indoctrinating them as warriors for religion? Where do you draw the line? I assume that you draw it exactly where it’s convenient for you.

    You’re free to assume that, but you’d be wrong.

    Society has a compelling interest in preventing parents from raising their children to be anti-social or unable to function. I utterly repudiate the notion that children are the property of their parents, which is the argument that underlies your comment.

    Actually, it’s not. That’s another assumption you’re making.

    Your argument is reductio ad absurdum. I seriously doubt that the current lack of compulsory community service has resulted in an parents raising “anti-social” kids who are “unable to function.”

    The “compelling interests” of society obviously need to be weighed against the freedom and autonomy of the individual. Restrictions on murder and theft are clear examples where individual autonomy properly loses. Such things are minimum requirements for the longevity of the state.

    I’d also argue that equal treatment of all citizens is a compelling interest and a minimum requirement (hence civil rights, gay marriage, etc.) In those instances, some individuals are going to have to abide by laws with which they do not necessarily agree.

    These days, it’s also an increasingly compelling interest to have at least a modicum of education. But I don’t believe that such education must be totally administered by the state. At the very least, standardized testing–which still leaves a bad taste in my mouth–can provide some form of results measurement, regardless of how the education was acquired.

    Society is rapidly evolving new methods of incentive and disincentive which reward or punish poorly educated folks. I’ll admit that the government can and probably should nudge the incentives along when necessary.

    Is compulsory service such a nudge? Possibly…but I don’t think so. My instinct is that it should be incentivized, like Ravenword’s Florida experience, rather than required.

  67. zuzu says:

    My wife and I will likely home school or charter school our son because public education does nothing but crush creativity and free thinking.

    Oh, and I nearly forgot the textbook selection process:

    The Muddle Machine: Confessions of a Textbook Editor (Edutopia)

    And damnit, he’s going to go to a free-thinking school because we say so! Oh, wait . . .

    Hehehe :p

  68. zyodei says:

    I’m going to pop in to make just one assertation: Abraham Lincoln was one of the greatest villians in American history, and his worship needs to stop. He was a power hungry racist, and by establishing the idea of an unlimited “war time presidency,” directly paved the way for the likes of George W. Bush.

    The tragic thing is, in the long term, the greatest losers of the Civil War were southern blacks. Because we chose war to end slavery, instead of finding a way to do it *peacefully* like EVERY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WESTERN WORLD managed to do, southern blacks would not have been subjected to the wrath of destitute southerners for the next hundred years. The Civil War brought about the immediate end of slavery (in order to give the north the moral high ground and prevent European powers from joining the fray), but it also brought about Jim Crow, the Klu Klux Klan, and a situation where many blacks lived in virtual slavery for 100 years.

    In the long run, WAR NEVER WORKS.

    Abraham Lincoln:

    “I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races – that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/htmlContent.jhtml?html=/archive/2000/06/04/wlin04.html

    From Wiki:

    During the Civil War, Lincoln appropriated powers no previous President had wielded: he used his war powers to proclaim a blockade, suspended the writ of habeas corpus, spent money without congressional authorization, and imprisoned 18,000 suspected Confederate sympathizers without trial.

    Sounds like anyone we know?

    What do you make of that fact that all three of these revered presidents ruled in times of war (G.W. as general, at least)? Is that the central defining theme of the “American Republic?”

  69. zuzu says:

    While there are libertarians who consider themselves liberal they are very few and fewer still are the liberals who would accept them. They exist, but by far and away libertarianism has been deeply associated, esp. here in the US, with those on the right. Hayek, Friedman, and especially that raving nutcase Ayn Rand. For the last thirty years our economics has been donimated by the Randian libertarian policies of Greenspan and his successors.

    It is the height of insanity to claim at this date that it all never happened. The the libertarians never allied themselves with the GOP and were granted unprecedented freedom to enact their pet ideas.

    Wheeeeeeee!!! I’m spinning round and round! I get to demand firm positions and iron logic from everyone else but when it comes to me I am as free as the wind!!! Wheeeeee!!!! I prove my BS Libertarian ideas by quoting a cartoon!!

    Certainly the height of maturity, you’ve got there.

    Logic matters, associations and allegiances don’t.

    Why are you so intent on joining (and cheerleading) a clique instead of figuring things out for yourself and deducing your own conclusions?

    This is as infuriating as in Life of Brian:

    Look, you’ve got it all wrong. You don’t need to follow me. You don’t need to follow anybody. You’ve got to think for yourselves. You’re all individuals! You’ve all got to work it out for yourselves!

  70. zuzu says:

    @ Alowishus

    What do you think of Montessori schools? I really like the concept of providing resources (e.g. computers, musical instruments, books, music, art supplies, electronics, Legos, etc.) available and allowing children to choose for themselves what they want to learn and ask for help from an expert teacher when required. Similar to Jerome Bruner‘s instructional scaffolding.

    I should also point out:

    * Alan Kay’s Squeak Smalltalk and Dynabook (i.e. OLPC)
    * Constructionist learning
    * Experiential education
    * Seymour Papert and LOGO
    * A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer

  71. FoetusNail says:

    Zyodei, I just would not use the word villain, nor would I describe him as power hungry. Lincoln believed as most Americans in the superior nature of the white race. However, considering the gravity of the situation with which he was faced his actions were acceptable.

    And yes, it seems war does define us. This is why I never understood GW Bush’s need to lie to get the American people to go to war in Afghanistan or even Iraq. Maybe it’s just tradition to lie about going to war, but we have never said no. My biggest complaint at times is not the war as much as the lies.

    If they truly believed we had to go to war to replace the bases abandoned in Saudi Arabia to secure the future oil reserves of the entire Middle East. Then most Americans would, with only a little prodding, have said, hell yes. Instead Colin Powell ruined his chance of being America’s first black President, when he held up that vile and those photos, and lied for the Neo-cons.

  72. batu b says:

    “That is why it is too early to predict the outline of the Fourth American Republic.”

    Uh, yeah, you said it yourself man. Is it just me or is speculative political writing about the present as seen as history from the lens of the imagined future a brain-suck? If writers keep pushing this dreck on us, the history that will be written will be that of loaf-citizenry rather than engaged citizenry!
    One of things I was really impressed by on the change.gov site was the America Serves tab – that looks like a pretty broad program, and one that wasn’t even really talked about in the campaign coverage. Looks like the Obama administration is going to hold us accountable! Nice!

  73. MarlboroTestMonkey7 says:

    Maybe just a chance meeting of occurrence and persona, I believe. Still, it won’t stop the writers to give a shot at “I said it first”. Good luck.

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