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gifford1967
06-08-2004, 02:11 PM
I'm starting this thread as a space where Reagan's policies can be freely discussed and debated. Personally, I have refrained from commenting in the threads about his illness and death out of respect for him and his supporters. However, I think it is very important to rigorously examine his presidency and it's consequences.

My personal politics were heavily influenced by the Reagan Administration. As a teenager, I saw the movie Salvador, which deals with U.S. policy in El Salvador at the time of the transition between the Carter and Reagan administrations. I was stunned and found it very difficult to believe that the U.S. would support a regime like that in El Salvador, that was responsible for torturing and massacring thousands of their own people, as well as the rape and murder of U.S. nuns. So, I began to research the subject on my own and found the broad outlines of the situation depicted in Salvador to be accurate. That process began my active participation in politics.

RocketMan Tex
06-08-2004, 02:51 PM
The only thing you have to do in order to understand the legacy of Ronald Reagan's presidency is take a look at a homeless person at an intersection, begging for money.

basso
06-08-2004, 02:53 PM
excellent oped in the WSJ today on reaganism, and how it differs from traditional conservatism and rightist movements in other nations. i agree that what truely distinguishes his legacy, and modern conservatism, be it neo, religious, or paleo, is it's optimism. i do wish modern conservatism could find a way to incorporate values in the moral sense w/o the accompanying culture war overtones. i'm largely uncomfortable with the influence of religion in politics, the left is just as guilty in its absolutist positions on some issues such as abortion (some restrictions are reasonable), the death penalty (with incontrovertible DNA evidence), gun control (hand guns and automatic weapons should be outlawed), and gay marriage (it's inevitable, and social conservatives should recognize it strengthens the family).

http://www.opinionjournal.com/ac/?id=110005188

--
Reaganism
The Gipper's brand of conservatism is unique to America.
BY JOHN MICKLETHWAIT AND ADRIAN WOOLDRIDGE
Tuesday, June 8, 2004

There is one thing that virtually every obituarist, left, right or center, has agreed upon about Ronald Reagan: that he was a "conservative"--the embodiment of a movement that first appeared on the national stage with Barry Goldwater in 1964, seized the White House through the Gipper's 1980 victory and still holds the presidency under George W. Bush. But what exactly does "conservative" mean?

For Mr. Reagan himself, his creed often seemed a matter of emotion rather than philosophy, and it was broad enough to include raising taxes (on occasion) and signing one of America's most liberal abortion laws (which he did in California). As if to underline those contradictions, Mr. Reagan has duly been hailed this week as an inspiration, both by Buchananite isolationists and by imperialist neoconservatives; by libertarians and by Christian moralists; by Arnold Schwarzenegger and by Jerry Falwell.

This fuzzyness about Reaganism reflects a more general fuzzyness about American conservatism in general. Some of the American right's great chroniclers, including George Nash, have concluded that its contradictions make it pointless to define: American conservatism is simply what American conservatives do. Mr. Reagan plainly had no conservative equivalent of Mao's Red Book, no uniform that fitted all his followers. Indeed, the movement that gathered around him (and still gathers around Mr. Bush) was similar to a medieval army, with people wearing the tunics of different causes, such as property rights or the right to life.

But stand back and compare Ronald Reagan's very American brand of conservatism with its counterparts around the world, and you can identify a clear mainstream. There has been, to put it bluntly, nothing like it anywhere else.

American conservatives have been exceptional in two ways: in the ideas that they espouse and the movement they have created. Mr. Reagan typified both. The best way to think about the ideas he preached, from his speeches for Barry Goldwater in 1964 to his last letter in 1994, is as a reformation.

Mr. Reagan may not have been an intellectual, but his sort of conservatism, just like the religious upheaval started by Martin Luther (another anti-intellectual populist) 500 years ago, combined renewal with heresy. The established faith that Mr. Reagan's generation of American conservatives reinterpreted was classical conservatism (the conservatism whose most eloquent prophet remains Edmund Burke), and the heresy they introduced was classical liberalism (the creed of the Enlightenment and John Stuart Mill).

Traditional conservatism was based on six principles: a suspicion of the power of the state; a preference for liberty over equality; unashamed patriotism; a belief in established institutions and hierarchies; a pessimistic, backward-looking pragmatism; and elitism. This was the creed that Burke shaped into a philosophy in the 18th century--and that most famous conservatives, from Prince Metternich to Winston Churchill, understood in their bones. Mr. Reagan's conservatism exaggerated the first three of Burke's principles and contradicted the last three.

The exaggerations are the easiest to spot. Ronald Reagan did not merely dislike taxation in the manner of the East Coast Rockefeller Republicans who ran his party in the 1950s; he saw government as the enemy. An early patron of Freedom Forum bookshops in California (where they sold books with titles like "The Naked Communist"), he also took a Western approach to individual freedom, whether it was allowing people to carry guns or tolerating a high level of inequality. As for patriotism, conservatives are a nationalistic bunch, but Mr. Reagan celebrated his country in religious terms--as "the city on the hill" that God had chosen as the special agent of His purpose on earth.

If Reaganism had been merely a more vigorous form of old-style conservatism, then it would have been more predictable. In fact, Mr. Reagan-- who began his political life as a New Deal Democrat--took a resolutely liberal approach to Burke's last three principles: hierarchy, pessimism and elitism.

The heroes of Burke's conservatism were paternalist squires, who knew their place in society and made sure everybody else did as well. Mr. Reagan's heroes were rugged individualists, defined by the fact that they do not know their place. He packed his kitchen cabinet with entrepreneurs who built up businesses out of nothing and he worshipped the cowboy. He kept a bronze saddle in the Oval Office and--rather magnificently--rushed to appoint Malcolm Baldridge as commerce secretary when he discovered that he liked going to rodeos.

Mr. Reagan took an equally heretical attitude to the fifth attribute, pessimism. Churchill famously "preferred the past to the present and the present to the future." By contrast, Mr. Reagan was fond of Tom Paine's adage that "we have it in our power to begin the world over again." When Walter Mondale questioned the cost of America's space program, Mr. Reagan proclaimed that "the American people would rather reach for the stars than reach for excuses why we shouldn't."

As for the sixth characteristic, elitism, instead of dreaming about creating an educated "clerisy" (as Coleridge and T.S. Eliot did) Mr. Reagan was a populist who argued that "Bedtime for Bonzo made more sense than what they were doing in Washington." His was the conservatism not of country clubs and boardrooms, but of talk radio, precinct meetings and tax revolts.

Like all generalizations, ours come with exceptions. Mr. Reagan allied himself with authoritarian Evangelicals; some fairly feudal Southerners; elitist neoconservatives; and William Buckley, who founded The National Review in 1955 with the intention of standing "athwart history, yelling 'Stop!'" American conservatism, indeed, has many tributaries. Yet the mainstream that gathered around Mr. Reagan still looks distinct--not just from the more tepid Republicanism that preceded it, but also markedly from European conservatives.

The only European who spoke the same language as Ronald Reagan was Margaret Thatcher; and, as time slips by, she seems an ever more heretical figure--an American conservative who happened to be born in Grantham, not Houston. Her heirs in Britain's Conservative Party seem unsure whether they should cut taxes, even though the state eats up roughly 10% more of the economy than it does in America--and Britain, remember, is the country which is closest to America.

This points to the exceptional strength of the movement that Mr. Reagan helped foster. When he went searching for radical ideas in the 1950s, he turned to European intellectuals such as Friedrich Hayek; there was no rive droite of conservative think tanks or foundations. Nowadays, it is no exaggeration to say that one building--1150 17th St. in Washington, D.C., which houses both the American Enterprise Institute and The Weekly Standard, as well as some smaller conservative organizations--contains more conservative standard-bearers than most European countries; and there are similar idea-labs in every state in the union.

As for brawn, there are no European equivalents of America's antitax crusaders, gun-rights activists or religious right. America has 200 Christian TV channels and 1,500 Christian radio stations; nothing similar exists in Europe.

These footsoldiers have changed American conservatism since Mr. Reagan left office. In particular, social conservatives have given Mr. Bush's presidency a much harder line on moral issues than Mr. Reagan, an easy-going divorcee, would have appreciated. But it is still plainly the same movement, particularly in its Southern and Western heartland.

The fundamental fact about American conservatism is not just that it is conservatism but that it is "American." Reaganism has survived in so much better shape than Thatcherism because it went with the grain of American culture, tapping into many of the deepest sentiments in American life: religiosity, capitalism, patriotism, individualism, optimism. Look at any comparative poll overseas of national attitudes, and these are the areas where the U.S. sticks out a mile. Which perhaps also helps to explain why no other country has a similar force. Reaganism may have had its contradictions; but, from a global point of view, it still looks like America--only more so.

Messrs. Micklethwait and Wooldridge, of The Economist, are the authors of "The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America," just published by Penguin. This is part of an occasional series.

basso
06-08-2004, 02:54 PM
Originally posted by RocketMan Tex
The only thing you have to do in order to understand the legacy of Ronald Reagan's presidency is take a look at a homeless person at an intersection, begging for money.

riiiiiiight, because reagan created the homeless....

B-Bob
06-08-2004, 02:57 PM
Originally posted by basso
riiiiiiight, because reagan created the homeless....
basso, I appreciate the WSJ article, and honestly agree with over half of the paragraph you first posted in your own words, but Reagan's domestic policies did augment the homeless population, particularly the mentally ill homeless population. Waves of people were quite literally turned out of group homes onto the streets. It's just true. I literally watched it in one case.

There were certainly homeless people from the dawn of civilization onward, but if we're going to be honest about Reagan, he did decide to gut certain social programs. Some problems got a lot worse. He wasn't perfect.

basso
06-08-2004, 03:00 PM
i've posted this before, but the federalist society has reagan listed at number 8 on it's list of presidents, ahead of wilson and eisenhower, but behind truman and TR.

http://www.opinionjournal.com/hail/rankings.html

SamFisher
06-08-2004, 03:02 PM
Originally posted by basso
i've posted this before, but the federalist society has reagan listed at number 8 on it's list of presidents, ahead of wilson and eisenhower, but behind truman and TR.

http://www.opinionjournal.com/hail/rankings.html

I'm surprised he finished that low in a Federalist society poll. I would think they would have him in the top 5.

No Worries
06-08-2004, 03:03 PM
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/06/07/1927239

Noam Chomsky on Reagan's Legacy: Bush Has Resurrected "The Most Extremist, Arrogant, Violent and Dangerous Elements" of Reagan's White House
BY AMY GOODMAN

DEMOCRACY NOW - The network and newspaper coverage of the death of Ronald Reagan has brought forth a chorus of praise from Democrats and Republicans alike. Much of the reporting and commentary, under the guise of respecting the dead, has represented a dramatic rewriting of the history of the Reagan years in office.

Looking back at the Reagan presidency doesn't mean we actually have to look back. Many of the same people who populated his administration are in the George W. Bush administration as well: James Baker, Elliot Abrams, Paul Wolfowitz, Colin Powell, John Poindexter, John Negroponte, just to name a few.

We asked leading dissident Noam Chomsky to reflect on the policies of Reagan's administration during his 8 years in power and Reagan's influence on the current Bush Administration.


AMY GOODMAN: Noam Chomsky, can you talk about this, the people that are now running the administration are some of the very people who ran the Reagan administration more than 20 years ago?

NOAM CHOMSKY: That's quite true. The Reagan administration is either the same people or their immediate mentors for the most part. I think one can say that the current administration is a selection of the more extremist and arrogant and violent and dangerous elements of the Reagan administration. So on things like - I mean, that is true on domestic and international policy they are, both in the Reagan years and now, they are committed to dismantling the components of the government that serve the general population -- social security, public schools and so on and so forth, but in a more extreme fashion now. Partly because they think they have achieved a sort of higher stage from which to launch the attack, and internationally it's pretty obvious. In fact, many of the older Reaganites and Bush, number one people have been concerned, even appalled by the extremism of the current administration in the international domain. That's why there was unprecedented elite criticism of the national security strategy and the implementation in Iraq - narrow criticism, but significant. So, yes, they're there, in fact, you cannot -- some of the examples are remarkable, including the ones that you mentioned. And very timely they picked Negroponte, who of course has just been appointed, the new ambassador to Iraq where he will head the biggest diplomatic mission in the world. The pretense is that we need this huge diplomatic mission to transfer full sovereignty to Iraqis and that's so close to self-contradiction that you have to admire commentators who sort of pretend not to notice what it means, also to overlook, consciously, what his role was in the Reagan administration. He also provided -- he was an ambassador in the Reagan years, ambassador to Honduras where he presided over the biggest C.I.A. station in the world, and the second largest embassy in Latin America, not because Honduras was of any particular significance to the U.S., but because he was responsible for supervising the bases from which the U.S. mercenary army was attacking in Nicaragua, and which ended up practically destroying it. By now, Nicaragua is lucky to survive a few generations. That was one part of the massive international terrorist campaign that the Reaganites carried out in the 1980's under the pretense they were fighting a war on terror. They declared a war on terror in 1981 with pretty much the same rhetoric that they used when they re-declared it in September 2001. It was a murderous terrorist war. It devastated Central America, had horrendous effects elsewhere in the world. In the case of Nicaragua, it was so extreme that they were condemned by the World Court, by two supporting Security Council Resolutions that the U.S. had to veto, after which, of course, they rejected the court judgment and then escalated the war to the point where finally the effects were extraordinary. By the analysis of their own specialists, the per capita deaths in Nicaragua would be comparable to about 2.5 million in the United States, which as they have pointed out is greater than the total number of casualties in all U.S. wars, including the Civil War and all wars in the 20th century, and what's left of the society is a wreck. Since the U.S. took over again, it's gone even more downhill. Now the second poorest in the hemisphere after Haiti and not coincidentally, the second major target of U.S. intervention in the 20th century after Haiti, which is first. The recent health administration statistics show that about 60% of children under two are suffering from severe anemia caused by malnutrition and probable brain damage. Costa Rica, the United States is trying to - doing enough low-level work so that they can send back some remittances to keep the families alive. It's a real victory. You can understand why Colin Powell and others are so proud of it. But Negroponte was charge of it in the first half the decade directly, and in the second half more indirectly in the State Department and National Security staff where he was Powell's adviser. And now he is -- he is supposed to undertake the same role and similar role in Iraq. He was called in Nicaragua "The Proconsul," and the "Wall Street Journal" was honest enough to run an article in which they headlined "Modern Proconsul" on which they mentioned his background in Nicaragua without going into it much and said, yes he will be the proconsul of Iraq. Now, that's a direct continuity, but there's a lot more than that. What you mentioned is correct. Elliot Abrams is an extreme case. I mean, he's now the head of the Middle East section of the National Security Council. He was -- as you know, he was sentenced for lying to Congress. He got a presidential pardon, but he was one of the most -- he was in charge in the State Department of the Central American atrocities, and on the Middle East, he is way out at the extreme end of the spectrum. This does reflect the -- in a way the continuity of policies, but also the shift towards extremism within that continuity.

AMY GOODMAN: There was a very little critical comment about President Reagan this weekend on his death perhaps explained by his death, what happens when a person dies, and what people say or perhaps also because there is a kind of rewriting of history that has been going on. But one of the few people who were quoted in the mainstream media was the Mexican foreign minister, Jorge -- the former Mexican Jorge Castenada, whose father served as foreign minister as well in 1979 to 1982 who said Reagan was extremely unpopular in Mexico when he was president because of his policies in Central America, and what was viewed in Mexico as a Mexico-bashing campaign over drug trafficking. Reagan's involvement in Nicaragua and El Salvador, viewed in Mexico, he said was unwarranted meddling that was "interventionist, rooted in cold war rivalries and disrespectful of international law." Castenada conditioned, "not only were his policies viewed negatively, but he pressured Mexico enormously to change its foreign policies."

NOAM CHOMSKY: That's correct. Casteneda is being diplomatic. He's understating with regard to the international law and with regard to the intervention. It was - it ended up with a couple hundred thousand people being killed and four countries ruined. And even the world - the US - the people now in office in Washington have the unique honor of being the only ones in the world who have been condemned by the World Court for international terrorism. That's a little more than what he said, but that's what he's aiming at. The unpopularity continues. The latest figures show that this George Bush, number two, latest Latin American figures, among Latin American elites, the ones who tend to be more supportive of the United States, I think it was about close to 90% opposition throughout the hemisphere and approximately, if I remember, 98% opposition to him in Mexico. But to be accurate, we should say that this goes way back. So, John F. Kennedy was -- tried very hard to get Mexico to line up in his anti-Cuba crusade. A famous comment by a Mexican foreign minister when Kennedy tried to convince him that Cuba was to join in the terrorist war against Cuba and the economic embargo strangulation, in fact on the grounds that Cuba was a threat to the security of the hemisphere and the Mexican ambassador said he had to decline, the prime minister had to decline because if he tried to tell people in Mexico that Cuba was a security threat, 40 million Mexicans would die laughing, which is approximately the right answer. Here not so. The one point on which I think Casteneda's comment that you quote is really misleading is when he refers to cold war thinking and rivalries. There were no Russians in Latin America. In fact, the U.S. was trying very hard to bring them in. Take, say, Nicaragua, when the terrorist war against Nicaragua really took off, Nicaragua tried to get some military aid to defend itself. And they went first to European countries, France, others. The Reagan administration put extreme pressure on them not to send military aid because they were desperately eager for Nicaragua to get military aid from Russia or indirectly through Cuba. So they could then present it as a cold war issue. Nicaragua didn't fall into the trap as Guatemala had in 1954, basically the same scenario. So, they didn't get jet planes from Russia to defend their airspace against the U.S. attacks. They had every right to do it, but the responsibility to do it, but they understood the consequences. So, the Reagan administration had to float constant stories about how Nicaragua was getting MIG jets from Russia in order to try to create a cold war conflict. Actually it's very revealing to see the reaction here to those stories. Of course, Nicaragua had every right to do it. The C.I.A. had complete control over Nicaragua's airspace and was using it. It was using it to send communications to the guerrilla army, which was -- guerrilla is a funny word for it, computers and helicopters and so on to send them instructions so that they could follow the U.S. command orders to avoid the Sandinista army, the Nicaraguan army and to attack what are called soft targets, undefended civilian targets. It's a country that doesn't have a right to defend its airspace to protect that, I don't know what you can say. So obviously, they are a right to do it, but they didn't. They allowed the U.S. to have control of the airspace and to attack -- to use it to attack undefended targets.

AMY GOODMAN: Noam Chomsky, you have written about the U.S. as being only country in the world to be convicted in the World Court of terrorism. And this had to do with the bombing of the Nicaraguan harbor, which took place under Reagan. Can you talk about that?

NOAM CHOMSKY: Yeah. That, too, is a little misleading. Nicaragua was hoping to end the confrontation through legal means, through diplomatic means.

AMY GOODMAN: I mean the mining of the harbor.

NOAM CHOMSKY: Yes, the mining of the harbors. They decided to -- they asked a legal team headed by a very distinguished American international lawyer, A. Chayes, professor of law at Harvard who had long government service, and that legal team decided to construct an extremely narrow case. So, they kept to matters that were totally uncontroversial, as the U.S. conceded like the mining of the harbors, but it was only a toothpick on a mountain. They picked the narrowest point in the hope that they could get a judgment from the World Court, which would lead the United States to back off from the whole international terrorist campaign, and they did win a judgment from the court, which ordered the U.S. to terminate any actions, any violent actions against Nicaragua, which went way beyond mining of the harbors. That was the least of it. So, yes, that was the narrow content of the court decision, although, if you read the decision, the court decision that goes well beyond, they're all conscious of the much wider terrorist campaign, but the Harvard - the Chayes run legal team didn't bring it up for good reasons. Because they didn't want any controversy at the court hearings about the facts. There was no controversy about that, since it was conceded. However, it should be read as a much broader indictment, and a very important one. I mean, the term that was used by the court was "unlawful use of force," which is the technical term for the informal notion, international terrorism. There's no legal definition of international terrorism in the international domain. So I bet it was in effect a condemnation of international terrorism over a much broader domain. However, we should bare in mind, it's important for us, that horrible as the Nicaragua war was, it wasn't the worst. Guatemala and El Salvador were worse. I suggest that in Nicaragua, the reason was that in Nicaragua, the population at least had an army to defend it. In El Salvador and Guatemala, the terrorist forces attacking the population were the army and the other security forces. There was no one to bring a case to the World Court that can be brought by governments, not by peasants being slaughtered.

...

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Chomsky, I wouldn't want to end this discussion without talking about the Reagan years and Africa, particularly southern Africa.

NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, the official policy was called "constructive engagement." I recall it during the 1980s, by then there was enormous pressure to end all support for the apartheid government. Congress passed legislation barring trade and aid. The Reagan administration found ways to evade the congressional legislation, and in fact trade with South Africa increased in the latter part of the decade. This is incidentally the period when Collin Powell moved to the position of national security adviser.

The U.S. was strongly supporting the apartheid regime directly and then indirectly through allies. Israel was helping get around the embargo. Rather as in Central America where the clandestine terror made use of other states that served as -- that helped the administration get around congressional legislation. In the case of South Africa, just look at the rough figures. In Angola and Mozambique, the neighboring countries, in those countries alone, the South African depredations killed about million-and-a-half people and led to some $60 billion in damage during the period of constructive engagement with the u.s. support. It was a horror story.

FranchiseBlade
06-08-2004, 03:05 PM
Reagan was smarter than Bush when it came to tax cuts. He did make some tax cuts but at least he then immediately raised taxes in other areas to offset it somewhat. Yes the deficit and debt were increased by him, partially due to his economic policies and in part due to other factors only one of which was congressional spending. Reagan never had a balanced budget, and presided over the highest unemployment since the depression.

In foreign policy there was his support of leftovers from the Samosa Regime in Nicaragua, he mined the harbors of that country which was never a threat to the U.S. He dealt arms to terrorist nations, and vetoed sanctions aimed at ending Apartheid rule in S. Africa. Luckily for Black South Africans congress overrode Reagan's veto.

basso
06-08-2004, 03:08 PM
Originally posted by B-Bob
basso, I appreciate the WSJ article, and honestly agree with over half of the paragraph you first posted in your own words, but Reagan's domestic policies did augment the homeless population, particularly the mentally ill homeless population. Waves of people were quite literally turned out of group homes onto the streets. It's just true. I literally watched it in one case.

There were certainly homeless people from the dawn of civilization onward, but if we're going to be honest about Reagan, he did decide to gut certain social programs. Some problems got a lot worse. He wasn't perfect.

hey, i didn't vote for the guy and i'm well aware of his shortcomings, and i've got many gay friends who blame him for the aids crisis, or at least the slow response to it. he also slashed funding for the arts, which i've got some problems with, although the NEA brought many of its problems on itself.

mental institutions are state institutions however, and to blame nyc's or san francisco's homeless problems on reagan is reaching.

SamFisher
06-08-2004, 03:08 PM
Originally posted by FranchiseBlade

In foreign policy there was his support of leftovers from the Samosa Regime in Nicaragua, .

No.......please, not this again!!!!! Are you guys channelling W or what?

http://www.rajfoods.co.uk/ready2/product/foodservice/snacks/samosa.jpg
mmmmm........leftover samosas.....
:mad: ;)

RocketMan Tex
06-08-2004, 03:12 PM
Originally posted by basso
riiiiiiight, because reagan created the homeless....

Wake up basso. Reagan's domestic policies literally pushed thousands of American citizens onto the street. If you don't believe this fact, then I suggest you take your blinders off and study the facts. Reagan cut federal funds to the states, which forced the states to close state programs that in turn forced these people onto the streets. To not blame this on Reagan is sheer naivete.

Buck Turgidson
06-08-2004, 03:13 PM
I would highly recommend reading Reagan: A Life in Letters. Definitely a more nuanced and intellectual man than is commonly portrayed.

No Worries
06-08-2004, 03:20 PM
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/06/07/2022257

Robert Parry On What the Corporate Media Forgot: The Reagan Administration's Manipulation of Intelligence and Exaggeration of Threats
BY AMY GOODMAN

DEMOCRACY NOW - "The U.S. News media's reaction to Ronald Reagan's death is putting on display what has happened to American public debate in the years since Reagan's political rise in the late 70's: a near total collapse of serious analytical thinking at the national level." So begins Robert Parry's latest piece at consortiumnews.com called "Raiding Reagan, A Bogus Legacy." Robert Parry is a veteran journalist. For years he worked as an investigative reporter for the associated press and "Newsweek" magazine. His reporting led to the exposure of what's now known as the Iran-Contra scandal.

This is what President Reagan had to say as the Iran-Contra scandal was breaking:

(Tape) PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: We did not -- repeat, did not -- trade weapons or anything else for hostages. Nor will we.

AMY GOODMAN: That was President Reagan in 1986, but his statements changed a few months later.

(Tape) PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: A few months ago, I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not.

AMY GOODMAN: President Reagan in 1986. Investigative reporter, Robert Parry, especially for listeners for viewers who were kids or not even born at the time, explain the Iran-Contra scandal, please.

ROBERT PARRY: Well, Amy, the Iran-Contra scandal comes out of a couple of different initiatives that the Reagan administration was following. One was as Dr. Chomsky mentioned the war in Nicaragua, which had to be done with a great deal of deception surrounding it, because congress had opposed much of that effort. The international community had opposed much of that effort, so the Reagan administration essentially took it underground with the work people like Elliot Abrams and Oliver North and John Poindexter. On one side there was an effort to maintain support for the contras, who were engaged in fighting the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. On the other side, there was a long-running policy, which we have traced back now to 1981 of secretly helping the Iranian government arm itself. That was in the context of the Iran-Iraq war where the U.S. policy became basically to secretly support both sides -- both the Iranian fundamentalist government of Khomeini, and the more secular government of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. You had those two policies running in parallel form, and then when the financing for the contras became more and more problematic, the Reagan administration decided to use some of the profits from selling arms to the Iranians to help support the contras. So, that became known as the Iran-Contra scandal when it finally broke.

AMY GOODMAN: And what about the context for this taking place. I wanted to play for you Ed Meese, the former attorney general, who is the one who broke to the national media the Reagan administration's admission of what had taken place. He was interviewed yesterday on Wolf Blitzer's "Late Edition" on CNN. This is former Reagan attorney general, Edwin Meese.

(Tape) EDWIN MEESE: The association or relationship with moderate forces in Iran, and part of the agreement to show good faith was to provide some defensive weapons for them. Separately from that, we had the support of the freedom fighters. When you had some people in the White House that unauthorized -- took some of the profits from the sale of arms to Iran and diverted them to the support of the freedom fighters. That was the problem.

AMY GOODMAN: He then went on to say, and I'd like to continue this quote of Edwin Meese, just to bring it right back up, to talk about president Reagan, what he did in terms of his admission. This is again former attorney general Edwin Meese.

(Tape) EDWIN MEESE: I told the President what happened, and he said, Ed, we have to get this out to the American people as quickly as we can. He called the cabinet first and we had a meeting in which it was revealed to the cabinet. An hour later, he brought in the congressional leaders and presented the whole picture to them, and then at noon, brought the press together, had a press conference, and he introduced the subject and then he was actually entertaining the Supreme Court for lunch that day, and he had to excuse himself to do that, and he asked me, then, to explain the details to the press corps. It was something that he knew nothing about while it was going on in terms of the unauthorized activity, and which he was -- was quick to make sure that all of the facts came out to the public. I think that in itself probably saved his Presidency, at least enabled him to continue to be a successful president over the next two years, which were critical in ultimately our relationship with the Soviet Union and ending the cold war.

AMY GOODMAN: Former Reagan attorney general, Edwin Meese. Your response, Bob Parry.

ROBERT PARRY: Well, that really is not quite true. It is true that they -- that the -- Edwin Meese put out at a press conference in November of 1986, the basic facts that Oliver North and the team was working with made this transfer of money from the Iran shipment weapons to the contras. However, the -- what happened after that was simply a -- the placing of the original cover-up, which had been to protect Oliver North to making him the fall guy and essentially imposing a second cover-up. Which was designed to protect Ronald Reagan, Vice President George Bush, the Central Intelligence Agency and other entities of the administration that had been deeply involved in this operation in a very -- in various ways. It took a lot more work both from in the press and most significantly by Lawrence Walsh, the special prosecutor who investigated the Iran-Contra scandal to break through many, many barriers. Lawrence Walsh, a patrician republican, if you remember, named his book on this topic, "Firewall." The reason he used the name -- the title "Firewall" is because a firewall had been built to protect Ronald Reagan, George Bush Sr. and other elements of the administration from the spread of the scandal. We learned later as the thing played out that there was a -- the C.I.A. remained directly involved in these operations, really through to the end. So, it wasn't a case of just Oliver North and a few men of zeal taking action, it was a case of an administration essentially bringing the policy underground and then when it was exposed in part, just replacing it with a new cover-up.

AMY GOODMAN: Robert Parry today. The kind of discussion we're hearing over the last few days is more than the discussion of a man who has just died, but it's talking about a rewriting of the historical record. Can you talk about this discussion, whether it is in Central America or whether it's the discussion of President Reagan winning the cold war?

ROBERT PARRY: Well, I think in essence Amy, what we have seen here is a continuation in this administration of some of the approaches that became -- that really became very prominent in the Reagan administration. First, there is the manipulating of intelligence, exaggerating dangers that occurred both in strategic level with the Soviet Union in trying to present the Soviet Union as much more aggressive and powerful and effective than it turned out to be. It was a country on the verge of collapse. Then also exaggerating the threats from praises like Nicaragua, which were a Third World countries that were very much on the defensive and they were presented as threats to the United States. This was a systematic falsification of U.S. Intelligence and occurred at the C.I.A. The analytical division of the C.I.A. was virtually destroyed during that period of the 1980's under Bill Casey and Robert Gates. This was very important because before then, there was much more independence within the C.I.A.'s analytical division. Afterwards, there became -- the C.I.A. basically became a conveyor belt for propaganda. We have seen that reoccur now with the Iraq situation when again, intelligence was falsified, and the threats were exaggerated, and then policies were put together to respond to those exaggerated threats. We have just seen the continuation of some very deceptive approaches to government and many of the people that took part in them has -- I think the first caller mentioned and Dr. Chomsky mentioned were the same people involved today. And they just continued to follow the same policies. It was also an important element of this, which goes to the idea of perception management, which was a concept that was put in place during the early 80's and the basic idea was that if you managed the perceptions to the American people about various event, particularly foreign events, that you can taken take actions that would not be supported by the American people, if seen in their full context. What we have seen with that is the idea if the people of the United States perceive Nicaragua to be a threat to their security, they would support the sending of weapons and the supporting the contras. If they saw the Sandinistas as being what they were, a struggling little government in Nicaragua, they probably wouldn't. The problem has often been that in the case of these kinds of events, perception management became the role. That's continued to today with Iraq.

Rocket River
06-08-2004, 03:28 PM
Traditional conservatism was based on six principles: a suspicion of the power of the state; a preference for liberty over equality; unashamed patriotism; a belief in established institutions and hierarchies; a pessimistic, backward-looking pragmatism; and elitism. This was the creed that Burke shaped into a philosophy in the 18th century--and that most famous conservatives, from Prince Metternich to Winston Churchill, understood in their bones. Mr. Reagan's conservatism exaggerated the first three of Burke's principles and contradicted the last three.


is this truly the Principals of Conservatism??

this is the 1st time i've seen them wrote down

Rocket River

Faos
06-08-2004, 03:41 PM
Originally posted by basso
riiiiiiight, because reagan created the homeless....

Didn't Clinton have 8 years to fix the homeless problem?

Rocket River
06-08-2004, 03:47 PM
Originally posted by Faos
Didn't Clinton have 8 years to fix the homeless problem?

somethings cannot be so easily UN?FIXEd

Try putting the toothpaste back in the tube

Rocket River

GladiatoRowdy
06-08-2004, 04:02 PM
Originally posted by Faos
Didn't Clinton have 8 years to fix the homeless problem?

During how many of those years did the GOP control the Congress???

Deji
06-08-2004, 04:31 PM
When I was working out yesterday, I watched the little scroll at the bottom of CNN that said all "non-essential federal employees" would be off from work out of respect to Reagan.

I was thinking how ironic that was. It made me laugh.

rimrocker
06-08-2004, 05:30 PM
And the Band Played On, by Randy Shilts.

A great and frustrating and maddening read. Still holds up.

gifford1967
06-08-2004, 05:41 PM
The ONE thing I agreed with Reagan on is- You Don't Negotiate With Terrorists. Then he went and traded weapons to the IRAINIANS for hostages! It really was un - F--ing - believable.

Grizzled
06-08-2004, 06:03 PM
Mango posted:
THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN: IT'S NOT WHAT YOU THINK

....... Brzezinski:: "According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 December 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.


Interviewer:
"In other words, when the Soviets justified their intervention (in Afghanistan) by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan ... they were telling the truth. You don't regret that today?


Brzezinski:
"Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: 'We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war'. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war insupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire."..........

Great find Mango. That’s very interesting. It suggests that in this policy at least the Reagan administration wasn’t that far out of step with what the previous administrations had been doing. But I hope that from our perspective now, 25 years later, we can all see that allying with and arming men like Bin Laden and Hussein leads to disastrous consequences. Such acts are at best a moral relativism that most surely sows the seeds of future problems and misery, whether it was done initially by Carter, or Reagan, or whoever.

In the day horrible things were clearly felt justified by those in power as long as they were deemed to be part of the “war against communism” (sound familiar?). But if you want to seriously address the question “why does so much of the world hate America”, as has been done on this board many times, then this history needs to be front and centre.

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. If a distant nation that couldn’t care less about yours started a Vietnam type war in your country, using it as nothing more than a pawn to diminish the power of yet another foreign country, how much would you hate them? If your town was destroyed, your family and friends slaughtered in this war, how deep would your hate be? Would you view that country as evil? If you reversed the roles, how many Americans would come to view the ones who created the “Vietnam” in their country as evil? Now repeat the effects of this kind of meddling throughout the Middle East. In Iran the US was involved is situations from backing the Shah to the Iran-Iraq war to the Iran-Contra affair. In Iraq the US was involved in allying with Hussein from early on in his reign, including the Iran-Iraq war where young children were sent to die by the thousands and the gassing of his own citizens, to invading the country and killing thousands of innocent citizens to get rid of Hussein. In Saudi Arabia the US has supported, and presidents have even had personal friendships with, the hated non-democratic regime of the radical Islamic nation (with far more terrorist connections that Iraq) and is perceived to be exploiting their resources … etc. etc. etc. All of these mostly clearly immoral acts, justified by the excuse that they were part of the “war on communism” or otherwise “protected” American interests, formed the seeds of what our generation is reaping today.

The question is now, what has our generation learned from this? Have we learned? Are we now sowing the seeds of peace in the Middle East, or the seeds of continuing and future hate and grief?

(And for those who see the world only in terms of belonging either to the Republican tribe or the Democrat tribe and believe that whatever tribe you’re in can do no wrong and the other can do no right, don’t even respond to this. This is for a discussion amongst intelligent, independent thinking people, people who are prepared to think about a new future and not just stagnant tribal warfare.)

bamaslammer
06-08-2004, 06:05 PM
We forget that we were trying to get hostages out of Lebanon. So what if he sold them a few obsolete Phantom fighter planes and some HAWK and TOW missiles? We raped them on the prices :D and were able to fund revolutionaries fighting against a Communist dictatorship in Nicaragua. But then again, the Left never met a Communist dictator they didn't love.:rolleyes:

I just wish Reagan could have done what he really wanted to do and that was take an axe to the size of the bloated Federal govt. That would have been nice to see the end of the entitlement hell and lots of useless agencies.

He rebuilt our military from its sad-sack state from the Carter years and the Russkies collapsed trying to keep up. We won the war without firing a single shot.

He cut a ridiculously high tax rate and the economy BOOMED, despite all the doom and gloom from the left that tax cuts are so horrible for the economy....

He made a big mistake in going into Lebanon and a ton of American Marines died needlessly. But in the end, he succeeded more than he failed. I do tremendously miss him and I wish Bush was half the president that Reagan was.

giddyup
06-08-2004, 06:10 PM
Originally posted by andymoon
During how many of those years did the GOP control the Congress???
Who declared the war on poverty? When? How much? How effective?

gifford1967
06-08-2004, 06:14 PM
Originally posted by Grizzled
Mango posted:Great find Mango. That’s very interesting. It suggests that in this policy at least the Reagan administration wasn’t that far out of step with what the previous administrations had been doing.

I think that you will find Reagan's foriegn policy in many ways was on the same trajectory as Carter's and previous Administrations. However, the Reagan Administration took these policies to the extreme (especially in Latin America) and probably did a lot more damage than say Carter would have.

Grizzled
06-08-2004, 06:22 PM
Originally posted by gifford1967
The ONE thing I agreed with Reagan on is- You Don't Negotiate With Terrorists. Then he went and traded weapons to the IRAINIANS for hostages! It really was un - F--ing - believable.

I keep hearing that he had a clear message, but I saw nothing of the sort. I saw simple minded rhetoric that seemed to brainwash the public and mask actions that were almost directly contradictory, (if you’ll pardon the pun ;)), to the actions of his administration, like the one you pointed out.

Another particularly freaky one was the fact that in public he portrayed himself as a “Christian” and yet in private he and Nancy consulted the occult. Creepy, creepy, creepy stuff.

He talked endlessly about the evils of communism, but didn’t seem to understand what it is, and isn’t. It was like some simple minded mantra he kept repeating. He preached “freedom” while at the same time meddling in the affairs of countless nations around the globe, and while his administration literally attacked free and democratically elected governments like the one in Nicaragua. That’s worth repeating. His administration illegally, as well as immorally, funded mercenaries to kill innocent people in a direct attack on a free and democratic nation, in a direct attack on freedom and democracy itself. This is the legacy of Reagan and his administration for most people outside of the US.

ROXRAN
06-08-2004, 06:24 PM
I've got many, many family members who say the years of Samosa, was a lot better than the Sandanista takeover and horrific deeds afterwards...I will believe them versus anyone who hasn't been there, and tries to put a political spin on things...

ROXRAN
06-08-2004, 06:30 PM
Originally posted by Grizzled
...his administration literally attacked free and democratically elected governments like the one in Nicaragua.

My mother was born in Manaugua, Nicaragua in 1950, and said this is not true...She lived for over 20 years in the country, and said Reagan was a godsend...She thanks him for cleaning up the mess Carter made...

Grizzled
06-08-2004, 06:34 PM
Originally posted by ROXRAN
I've got many, many family members who say the years of Samosa, was a lot better than the Sandanista takeover and horrific deeds afterwards...I will believe them versus anyone who hasn't been there, and tries to put a political spin on things...

Do you believe in freedom and democracy? The issue here is as simple as that. The Sandinistas were a democratically elected government. I’m sure I could easily find people who say that things are bad for them in the US. Would that give another nation the right to overthrow your government? Al Qaeda would say yes. I say no. What do you say?

ROXRAN
06-08-2004, 06:50 PM
Originally posted by Grizzled
Do you believe in freedom and democracy? The issue here is as simple as that. The Sandinistas were a democratically elected government. I’m sure I could easily find people who say that things are bad for them in the US. Would that give another nation the right to overthrow your government? Al Qaeda would say yes. I say no. What do you say?

To confirm this, I asked my Mother,...and yes they instilled an "elected" government, but she said among the people, among the everyday person, there was WIDESPREAD talk and issues of armed intimidations and sneaky-business concerning the votes and how the Sandinistas had staged the takeover plan from the start...

My Mother NEVER lies, and I can refer her with any question you may have during that time...I have to let you know, her father was a military officer for Samosa (who died there - My grandfather), but my Mother is the kind who would call it evenly as she sees it...
Thanks to Reagan,...many of my relatives were able to move here right after the chaos in the late 70's/ early 80(s), and my cousins now have children born here...

basso
06-08-2004, 06:57 PM
Originally posted by Grizzled
Do you believe in freedom and democracy? The issue here is as simple as that. The Sandinistas were a democratically elected government. I’m sure I could easily find people who say that things are bad for them in the US. Would that give another nation the right to overthrow your government? Al Qaeda would say yes. I say no. What do you say?

reminds me of a debate i once had w/ a guy in chile about pinochet and allende. i was singing down there during the first election in the mid-80s, the one where allwyn defeated pinochet. my dad had spent several months in santiago during the '70s, both pre and post coup. i stayed in a hotel overlooking the presidential palace and a small park that fighters flew over as they straffed the palace during the coup. in any case, i had an impassioned debate with an old friend of my dad's, a doctor who was voting for pinochet. i couldn't believe it, talked about the human rights abuses under pinochet, the disapperances, the missing (http://imdb.com/title/tt0084335/). his response brought me up short, and has stayed with me for nearly 20 years: "isn't the ability to earn a living, a strong economy, a human right too?"

this guy had no connection to pinochet, wasn't in the army, had friends who'd died, yet still though allende had to go, and by any means possible. i supported pinochet's (btw, the chilleans don't pronounce it as if it were french, they pronounce the second syllable w/ a hard "CH" like "cheese" and so it rhymes w/ "jet") arrest in england, but sometimes the west (http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?playlistId=388668&selectedItemId=388650), despite the best intentions of human rights activists, really don't understand everything that's going on in other countries.

gifford1967
06-08-2004, 07:03 PM
Originally posted by basso
reminds me of a debate i once had w/ a guy in chile about pinochet and allende. i was singing down there during the first election in the mid-80s, the one where allwyn defeated pinochet. my dad had spent several months in santiago during the '70s, both pre and post coup. i stayed in a hotel overlooking the presidential palace and a small park that fighters flew over as they straffed the palace during the coup. in any case, i had an impassioned debate with an old friend of my dad's, a doctor who was voting for pinochet. i couldn't believe it, talked about the human rights abuses under pinochet, the disapperances, the missing (http://imdb.com/title/tt0084335/). his response brought me up short, and has stayed with me for nearly 20 years: "isn't the ability to earn a living, a strong economy, a human right too?"

this guy had no connection to pinochet, wasn't in the army, had friends who'd died, yet still though allende had to go, and by any means possible. i supported pinochet's (btw, the chilleans don't pronounce it as if it were french, they pronounce the second syllable w/ a hard "CH" like "cheese" and so it rhymes w/ "jet") arrest in england, but sometimes the west (http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?playlistId=388668&selectedItemId=388650), despite the best intentions of human rights activists, really don't understand everything that's going on in other countries.

Do some research on U.S. interference in the Chilean economy while Allende was president. I believe Kissinger said we were going "make the economy scream."

gifford1967
06-08-2004, 07:05 PM
Originally posted by ROXRAN
To confirm this, I asked my Mother,...and yes they instilled an "elected" government, but she said among the people, among the everyday person, there was WIDESPREAD talk and issues of armed intimidations and sneaky-business concerning the votes and how the Sandinistas had staged the takeover plan from the start...

My Mother NEVER lies, and I can refer her with any question you may have during that time...I have to let you know, her father was a military officer for Samosa (who died there - My grandfather), but my Mother is the kind who would call it evenly as she sees it...
Thanks to Reagan,...many of my relatives were able to move here right after the chaos in the late 70's/ early 80(s), and my cousins now have children born here...


How did Somosa leave office?

How did Ortega leave office?

Now which government was democratic?

bnb
06-08-2004, 07:06 PM
Great post Grizzled.

Sometimes, though, i wonder whether dirty tricks are just part of the game. While we (the US) is secretly supporting one side, who is supporting the other? Does it matter. (And does the US appear worse only because it has a system that eventually shines a light on its misdeeds). I'm not suggesting 'anything goes' but rather reluctantly recognizing that it may not be a play nice world.

If funding Bin Laden contributed to the end of the cold war, it therefore contributed to the tearing down of the Berlin wall, reunification of Germany, free elections in Eastern Europe etc..etc. So while these acts sow the seeds of future problems and misery, i think you could just as easily suggest they also sow the seeds of independence, liberty and prosperity. (Forgive me -- i'm not so good with the poetic symbolism :)). I recognize this is an 'ends justify the means' argument, but I think we should recognize who is funding the 'other' side, and consider that their objectives may not be as pure as we'd like.

I wonder if we're too idealistic to suggest that if we treated the world as we wished to be treated, then they would respond in kind. It seems inconsistent to denounce the US acceptance of the Saudi regime, yet also denounce involvement in Iraq, past involvement in Iran and Afghanistan. Are we to be isolationalist, or not? Do we let the regions determine their own leadership. -- And do we assume that other forces are not actively pursuing their own agendas. (I'll concur with Roxran re my experience with the Nicaraguan revolution. When the 'will of the people' is cited -- we'll often have differing views on what, in fact, was their will..and who the 'people' are.

Some of the 'hatred' of the US, i believe, has more to do with the US being the big guy on the scene. It's easier to rally the masses against the big bad US than to actually provide health, electricity, water, education and security to your people. And liberties are generally out of the question! The anti-US rallying cry is extremely powerful. Did Iran fix its problems when the US puppet was disposed? Are they better off today?

The US has certainly supported its share of despots. And i'm glad when it's taken to task for doing so.

But i think we are grossly oversimplifying when we suggest that anti-US sentiment is purely a result of US actions -- or that those actions were necessarily has heinous as they appear in isolation.

FranchiseBlade
06-08-2004, 07:16 PM
Roxran,

Did your family own property under the Samoza regime? Did they lose any of that property while the Sandinistas were in charge? Did they own property under both, and have their taxes jacked up greatly under the Sandinistas?

I know that both of these things happened to people in transition between the two regimes. I was just curious if your family was affected in this way.

bnb
06-08-2004, 07:17 PM
Originally posted by gifford1967
Do some research on U.S. interference in the Chilean economy while Allende was president. I believe Kissinger said we were going "make the economy scream."

That is a huge factor.

It's a dirty, dirty, game.

However, I think we're being naive if we suggest the US is the only player.

Read Roxran's mom's concerns about Nicaraguan elections. My mom's family shares her disdain for the Sandinistas. And they've never had any connections to the SamoZa, government, or significant business interests - and my Mom's quite lefty overall.

Grizzled
06-08-2004, 07:19 PM
Originally posted by ROXRAN
To confirm this, I asked my Mother,...and yes they instilled an "elected" government, but she said among the people, among the everyday person, there was WIDESPREAD talk and issues of armed intimidations and sneaky-business concerning the votes and how the Sandinistas had staged the takeover plan from the start...

My Mother NEVER lies, and I can refer her with any question you may have during that time...I have to let you know, her father was a military officer for Samosa (who died there - My grandfather), but my Mother is the kind who would call it evenly as she sees it...
Thanks to Reagan,...many of my relatives were able to move here right after the chaos in the late 70's/ early 80(s), and my cousins now have children born here...

You’re putting me in a position where if I disagree with you I will questioning you mother’s integrity. That’s not the kind of discussion I want to get into. Let’s just look at the very high level facts. The Samosa regime was a dictatorship which, by definition, is not a free and democratic form of governance. The Sandinistas were a democratically elected government, and when they subsequently lost an election they relinquished power. I submit to you that if their democratic principles were merely a sham, they would not have stepped down when they lost the election.

In any dictatorship there are people who do well. Almost invariably these are people associated with the ruling group. When a country is liberated and a people set free, those associated with the ruling group usually lose their privileges. Not everybody gets richer or gains status when a dictatorship is toppled.

B-Bob
06-08-2004, 07:21 PM
Can we all agree that simplifying another country's internal conflicts to a black-and-white banalities is about as appropriate as doing the same thing for the US? ...

Oh wait, a lot of us actually do simplify our internal conflicts to absolutist banalities. Nevermind.

bnb
06-08-2004, 07:21 PM
Grizz:

If you don't stop discussing SamoSa...SamFisher's going to blast you. Consider yourself warned.

basso
06-08-2004, 07:27 PM
Originally posted by gifford1967
Do some research on U.S. interference in the Chilean economy while Allende was president. I believe Kissinger said we were going "make the economy scream."

perhaps, but allende was nationalizing industries, essentially turning the country into a socialist state. that's the real reason the economy went, err, south. i'm not defending the coup, just making two points. a) elected governments aren't faultless, and b) we're sometimes rather patrionizing in our views about what's best for other countries. it'd be interesting to see a poll today on how modern chile views the allende years.

btw, lan Chile- hands down, most beautiful stewardesses flying...

ROXRAN
06-08-2004, 07:36 PM
Originally posted by FranchiseBlade
Roxran,

Did your family own property under the Samoza regime? Did they lose any of that property while the Sandinistas were in charge? Did they own property under both, and have their taxes jacked up greatly under the Sandinistas?

I know that both of these things happened to people in transition between the two regimes. I was just curious if your family was affected in this way.

I wish my Mom was here now to advise me on the proper answers like she was a few minutes ago, but I will add to this later, if I need to be corrected on what I will say:...

1. Yes, the culture is very different...even though My mother's family was poor, they still had "house servant" type people - If this makes any sense...I believe, My grandfather also had property on Corn Island...

2. They lost a lot of property, and to my family's (my Mom and her relatives) anguish, they demolished my grandfather's grave...Everything they pretty much had, was left behind or taken over...

3. As far as taxes go, only 1 or 2 distant relatives on my Mother's side still live there...so we don't know...we know it did get better there, but the country is still in bad shape overall...

4. My mother has never returned since being there in her early 20's...Since my Grandfather was a close military officer and bodyguard to Samosa, there was talk among the few relatives on my mother's side, that the Sandinistas realized this, and she might not come back...This has caused a lot of anguish and pain for her...

My mother admits Samoza was no saint, and he was capable of some shady things...But, My mother has affirmed to me that the absolute majority of Nicaraguans did not freely want the Sandinistas to takeover like they did...

ROXRAN
06-08-2004, 07:37 PM
Originally posted by bnb
Grizz:

If you don't stop discussing SamoSa...SamFisher's going to blast you. Consider yourself warned.

This goes for me too...My Mom should slap me now...:o

bnb
06-08-2004, 07:42 PM
Originally posted by ROXRAN
This goes for me too...My Mom should slap me now...:o

Goes for me too!

Thank's to Sam, we went out for Indian food the other day. An unexpected, but tasty, consequence of a day flinging poo.

And proof positive that good does come from mucking about over here.

wizkid83
06-08-2004, 07:59 PM
Originally posted by Grizzled
Do you believe in freedom and democracy? The issue here is as simple as that. The Sandinistas were a democratically elected government. I’m sure I could easily find people who say that things are bad for them in the US. Would that give another nation the right to overthrow your government? Al Qaeda would say yes. I say no. What do you say?


To be fair, most of the founding fathers of this country did not believe in "democracy", they were mostly wealthy and well eductated and fear the "mobocracy" of a mass that's uneducated and poor. They wanted much more a plutocracy (some even wanted a new monarchy) which is why we have an electorate system today.

I believe democracy is the best political system to ensure equality in rights, freedom and pursuit of happiness. However, while the democratic system in U.S. has been able to change and grow through time to it's present day form (perhaps the best gov't system ever up to this point), many nations democracy try to emulate the U.S. without the foundation and growing pains that U.S. democracy goes through. It's like trying to run before you walked.

In short, many "democracies' in the world fail to provide a stable environment because they simply wouldn't work in the environment of that country at this point. It would be much better if they had a slow gradual (though progressive) process to improve the government while maintaining stability.

Grizzled
06-08-2004, 09:24 PM
Sometimes, though, i wonder whether dirty tricks are just part of the game. While we (the US) is secretly supporting one side, who is supporting the other? Does it matter. (And does the US appear worse only because it has a system that eventually shines a light on its misdeeds). I'm not suggesting 'anything goes' but rather reluctantly recognizing that it may not be a play nice world.
I think the ethical position is the one to hold on to and I think it has a lot of power to influence people. I look to Ghandi, MLK, Nelson Mandela and in Canada Tommy Douglas as examples. I’m not suggesting that any of these people are perfect, just that they strove for what was ethical and right and didn’t give in to cynicism or deceit. (I also think that they understood the concept of justice to be something that is increasing understood and refined as one pursues it rather than a complete predefined set of conditions. So I think of it in a Habermasian sense, which, incidentally, I find completely consistent with the Christian concept of justice … but this is a bit of a tangent. ;) )

If funding Bin Laden contributed to the end of the cold war, it therefore contributed to the tearing down of the Berlin wall, reunification of Germany, free elections in Eastern Europe etc..etc. So while these acts sow the seeds of future problems and misery, i think you could just as easily suggest they also sow the seeds of independence, liberty and prosperity. (Forgive me -- i'm not so good with the poetic symbolism). I recognize this is an 'ends justify the means' argument, but I think we should recognize who is funding the 'other' side, and consider that their objectives may not be as pure as we'd like.
This is the other argument, but it’s not one I agree with. To deal with the last point first, the means create ends in themselves. Often this is overlooked and people simply don’t see the connections, or they chose to believe that the means will simple result in an unfortunate, but localized, wrong. But in a systems theory sense, as we have seen again and again, every action produces a reaction that becomes part of a chain of reactions, and here we are now dealing with 9/11 and Bin Laden today, for the last several years, and for how many years to come? Can we trace it all back to the earlier American involvement with him? No, no more than we can trace the other chain of events you present. But we can see trends and patterns and we can make educated assessments of the cause and effect relationships. What I am suggesting is that the ethical approach is a means that produces ends too, but predominantly positive ends. So, my position is that having an objective that is ethical, and a means that is ethical, produces a chain reaction of events that has a greater chance of achieving long term success. The other side may well not be using such noble means, but that will ultimately work against them, and increase our advantage.

To deal with your second point, the USSR was in an advanced state of collapse at the time anyway. For the most part Reagan just happened to be standing there when it collapsed beside him. The real credit belongs to a truly intelligent and visionary man, Mikhail Gorbachev, who engineered the peaceful dismantling and transition of his own nation into a radically different group of nations governed in a radically different way. No mean feat. How exactly Reagan gets so much credit for this is a wonder.

I wonder if we're too idealistic to suggest that if we treated the world as we wished to be treated, then they would respond in kind.
I’m not suggesting that it’s a perfect, flawless relationship. I am suggesting that on balance, in the long run, it will tend to work this way. What do you propose as an alternative? If we willingly break from adhering to just principles do we not give licence to and even encourage our adversaries to do the same? Is this not essentially the attitude that has got us to where we are now? Under these conditions, how could we call Bin Laden wrong? Would he not just be breaking the morals he sees fit to in this situation to achieve his end? Do you see the trap here?

It seems inconsistent to denounce the US acceptance of the Saudi regime, yet also denounce involvement in Iraq, past involvement in Iran and Afghanistan. Are we to be isolationalist, or not?
You seem to be saying that the only form involvement is unethical involvement. I am not at all saying that there should be no involvement, but I am saying that it should be ethical involvement. The US could have been involved in all these countries, but in different ways.

Do we let the regions determine their own leadership. -- And do we assume that other forces are not actively pursuing their own agendas. (I'll concur with Roxran re my experience with the Nicaraguan revolution. When the 'will of the people' is cited -- we'll often have differing views on what, in fact, was their will..and who the 'people' are.
Umm… yes we let the regions determine their own leadership, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have any positive involvement. I’m not sure where you’re going with this one. Where do you stand on the issues of “democracy” and “freedom”? We may have to get back to some more basic issues. Sure, there will always be elements that pursue their own agendas. I’m not catching your point.

Re: Nicaragua. Yes, it is often not a simple thing to determine what is really happening in a given situation. That’s not an excuse not to try to do it. Many human rights groups denounced Samosa and praised the Sandinistas. If you want to put forward a validity claim suggesting that this was not a fair depiction of these two groups I’d be interested in hearing it. No group has the right to define or declare what is right. Validity claims are resolved through a discursive process aimed at forming a common understanding. Any issue can be put on the table, so if you wish to make a counter argument, please do.

Some of the 'hatred' of the US, i believe, has more to do with the US being the big guy on the scene. It's easier to rally the masses against the big bad US than to actually provide health, electricity, water, education and security to your people. And liberties are generally out of the question! The anti-US rallying cry is extremely powerful. Did Iran fix its problems when the US puppet was disposed? Are they better off today?
There is certainly an element of this, but are you suggesting that this negates the responsibility of the US for its interventions there?! Surely not. Saying that the US/West has done some horrible things in the ME for which it deserves blame is not saying that the people in non-puppet governments are blameless for their conduct. These are two separate issues.

In answer to your last question, I’m sure most people would say yes. More importantly, though, perhaps just now the country has matured enough to get it past both the extremist past of the Shah, the US puppet, and the extremist religious rule which owed a lot its character to being a response to the Shah. One form of extremism, to a significant extent, bred another, both justifying breaking their own moral codes on the grounds that they were addressing a greater evil. This is exactly what I’m talking about. Now after a number of years of relative peace the younger generation is much less radical and seems poised to throw off the now outdated attitude of the current leadership. And I’m sure they are a region quite capable of governing themselves. They don’t need the west negatively interfering. If we were to topple the current regime and put in another puppet I’m sure that would radicalize the nation yet again. Again, the ethical approach has been the successful one.

The US has certainly supported its share of despots. And i'm glad when it's taken to task for doing so. But i think we are grossly oversimplifying when we suggest that anti-US sentiment is purely a result of US actions -- or that those actions were necessarily has heinous as they appear in isolation.
I don’t recall saying that anti-US sentiment was purley a result of US actions. In fact I would call that a misrepresentation of what I have said. And I, personally, don’t see the point in discussing relative heinousness. It is governments that declare themselves morally superior and thereby excuse their commission of only “moderately heinous” acts that are the very source of the ongoing problems that I’m speaking of.

Grizzled
06-08-2004, 09:29 PM
Originally posted by wizkid83
To be fair, most of the founding fathers of this country did not believe in "democracy", they were mostly wealthy and well eductated and fear the "mobocracy" of a mass that's uneducated and poor. They wanted much more a plutocracy (some even wanted a new monarchy) which is why we have an electorate system today.

I believe democracy is the best political system to ensure equality in rights, freedom and pursuit of happiness. However, while the democratic system in U.S. has been able to change and grow through time to it's present day form (perhaps the best gov't system ever up to this point), many nations democracy try to emulate the U.S. without the foundation and growing pains that U.S. democracy goes through. It's like trying to run before you walked.

In short, many "democracies' in the world fail to provide a stable environment because they simply wouldn't work in the environment of that country at this point. It would be much better if they had a slow gradual (though progressive) process to improve the government while maintaining stability.

This is all very true, (and very relevant to the situation in Iraq, btw), but in the case of Nicaragua we comparing a dictatorship that was widely criticized by human rights groups to a fledgling democracy. In this situation, for the reasons you mentioned, some struggle with implementing the democracy would be understandable, but I think it would be pretty hard to argue that the dictatorship was somehow more just than the democracy.

SamFisher
06-08-2004, 09:30 PM
Originally posted by bnb
Goes for me too!

Thank's to Sam, we went out for Indian food the other day. An unexpected, but tasty, consequence of a day flinging poo.

And proof positive that good does come from mucking about over here.

You know, I actually used to hate Indian food, and would have wildly flung poo at it last year at this time. However, when I was in Mongolia last year, after weeks of eating mostly flavorless yak and mutton, I found an Indian place in UlaanBataar that was the answer to my prayers. Now I love the stuff.

gifford1967
06-08-2004, 10:35 PM
Originally posted by basso
perhaps, but allende was nationalizing industries, essentially turning the country into a socialist state. that's the real reason the economy went, err, south. i'm not defending the coup, just making two points. a) elected governments aren't faultless, and b) we're sometimes rather patrionizing in our views about what's best for other countries. it'd be interesting to see a poll today on how modern chile views the allende years.

btw, lan Chile- hands down, most beautiful stewardesses flying...


I submit that any government in Latin America, no matter what its economic system, could not withstand the determined opposition of the most powerful country in the history of the world. Chile never had an opportunity to find out if Allende's way would work. And in fact that was exactly the point of the U.S. interference there. I think it's the opposite of patronizing to let other countries choose their own and not interfere in their internal affairs.

FranchiseBlade
06-08-2004, 11:08 PM
Originally posted by SamFisher
You know, I actually used to hate Indian food, and would have wildly flung poo at it last year at this time. However, when I was in Mongolia last year, after weeks of eating mostly flavorless yak and mutton, I found an Indian place in UlaanBataar that was the answer to my prayers. Now I love the stuff.

Sam, NY is the place to get Indian food too. I'm sure you know about India row down in the east village, and there are a lot of good and bad places there. My favorite used to be Panna II. They had been declining in quality shortly before I moved away from NY, but the place is cheap was still fairly decent.

There is also a great Indian restaurant on 72nd between B'WAY and Columbus, if I remember correctly. I wish I could remember the name of it but I can't. IT was definitely good but a little more pricey. Sadly though it was decorated with Christmas lights year round, some of which are mounted on the wall still in their containers. That was always a sweet bonus of going to Panna II.

nyrocket
06-08-2004, 11:32 PM
Originally posted by FranchiseBlade
Sam, NY is the place to get Indian food too. I'm sure you know about India row down in the east village, and there are a lot of good and bad places there. My favorite used to be Panna II. They had been declining in quality shortly before I moved away from NY, but the place is cheap was still fairly decent.

There is also a great Indian restaurant on 72nd between B'WAY and Columbus, if I remember correctly. I wish I could remember the name of it but I can't. IT was definitely good but a little more pricey. Sadly though it was decorated with Christmas lights year round, some of which are mounted on the wall still in their containers. That was always a sweet bonus of going to Panna II.

Don't even mess around, dude, go to Jackson Heights. Although there is/was one place on East 6th that I particularly liked, and it too was decorated with Christmas lights. I considered this a bonus.

The weird, hole in the wall places up and down Church Street are worth checking into, and there's a place in Soho just east of 6th Ave on Grand Street perhaps that is far better than you would think it would be.

Damn, I miss NYC sometimes.

As usual, I concur with Gifford. Reagan's thoroughly regrettable and sometimes detestable term informed my political gestation as a teen and a young adult.

SamFisher
06-08-2004, 11:39 PM
Originally posted by nyrocket
Don't even mess around, dude, go to Jackson Heights. Although there is/was one place on East 6th that I particularly liked, and it too was decorated with Christmas lights. I considered this a bonus.

The weird, hole in the wall places up and down Church Street are worth checking into, and there's a place in Soho just east of 6th Ave on Grand Street perhaps that is far better than you would think it would be.

Damn, I miss NYC sometimes.

As usual, I concur with Gifford. Reagan's thoroughly regrettable and sometimes detestable term informed my political gestation as a teen and a young adult.

LOL, one Indian place on East 6th with christmas lights? You're going to have to be a little more specific on that one! That's like saying "that starbucks in midtown!":D

nyrocket
06-09-2004, 12:36 AM
Originally posted by SamFisher
LOL, one Indian place on East 6th with christmas lights? You're going to have to be a little more specific on that one! That's like saying "that starbucks in midtown!":D

Yeah, yeah, I know. Or the Sbarro's in Times Square. I was just mentioning that my preferred place on East 6th has Christmas lights and that I sort of like it. It also has a discoball. That narrows it down some, huh?

Who the hell knows what the name of the place is? It's on the south side of the street, obviously. It's about a quarter of the way into the block going west from 1st Ave, no more than a third of the way down the block. There's no live music inside. The lights are the small sort intended for a tree, and they are multicolored. As I recall, the predominant color of the interior is light blue.

That eliminates a good handful of prospects at least.

Mango
06-09-2004, 02:00 AM
Originally posted by Grizzled
Mango posted:


Great find Mango. That’s very interesting. It suggests that in this policy at least the Reagan administration wasn’t that far out of step with what the previous administrations had been doing. But I hope that from our perspective now, 25 years later, we can all see that allying with and arming men like Bin Laden and Hussein leads to disastrous consequences. Such acts are at best a moral relativism that most surely sows the seeds of future problems and misery, whether it was done initially by Carter, or Reagan, or whoever.

In the day horrible things were clearly felt justified by those in power as long as they were deemed to be part of the “war against communism” (sound familiar?). But if you want to seriously address the question “why does so much of the world hate America”, as has been done on this board many times, then this history needs to be front and centre.

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. If a distant nation that couldn’t care less about yours started a Vietnam type war in your country, using it as nothing more than a pawn to diminish the power of yet another foreign country, how much would you hate them? If your town was destroyed, your family and friends slaughtered in this war, how deep would your hate be? Would you view that country as evil? If you reversed the roles, how many Americans would come to view the ones who created the “Vietnam” in their country as evil? Now repeat the effects of this kind of meddling throughout the Middle East. In Iran the US was involved is situations from backing the Shah to the Iran-Iraq war to the Iran-Contra affair. In Iraq the US was involved in allying with Hussein from early on in his reign, including the Iran-Iraq war where young children were sent to die by the thousands and the gassing of his own citizens, to invading the country and killing thousands of innocent citizens to get rid of Hussein. In Saudi Arabia the US has supported, and presidents have even had personal friendships with, the hated non-democratic regime of the radical Islamic nation (with far more terrorist connections that Iraq) and is perceived to be exploiting their resources … etc. etc. etc. All of these mostly clearly immoral acts, justified by the excuse that they were part of the “war on communism” or otherwise “protected” American interests, formed the seeds of what our generation is reaping today.

The question is now, what has our generation learned from this? Have we learned? Are we now sowing the seeds of peace in the Middle East, or the seeds of continuing and future hate and grief?

(And for those who see the world only in terms of belonging either to the Republican tribe or the Democrat tribe and believe that whatever tribe you’re in can do no wrong and the other can do no right, don’t even respond to this. This is for a discussion amongst intelligent, independent thinking people, people who are prepared to think about a new future and not just stagnant tribal warfare.)

A thread without <i>tribal warfare</i> is quite rare in 2004.....so I had better enjoy the moment while it exists.

If you are interested in the Afghanistan topic.........here are a few more links:

<a HREF="http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cold.war/episodes/20/">Soldiers of God (1975 - 1988)</a>

<a HREF="http://www.cia.gov/csi/monograph/afghanistan/">Predicting the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan: The Intelligence Community's Record</a>

I have some really detailed links from the <i>National Security Archive</i>, but not sure about the demand for them.



We (USA, Canada, Great Britian) have had things happen exceptionally well for quite some time and we probably don't appreciate it enough. Yes, we can always improve things, but our system of government and relative stability is something rarely seen in other parts of the world. I know that somebody will suggest the countries of Northern Europe being our equal (superiors?) in those areas, but they lack the immigration issues, diversity in ethnic groups, language barriers - conflicts, religious diversity and other factors that the USA, Canada and Great Britian have gone through.

We have had leaders that generally mean well when embarking on Foreign Policy projects, but things sometimes go in a different direction(s) than planned. Perhaps some of it is a backlash of not being involved enough in Europe (Continent) between WW I and WW II and a silent vow to at least try something rather than let things fester as happened between the two World Wars. <i>Don't just stand there, Do Something!</i> mindset.


Do the countries always make the right decision when they embark on these <i>projects</i>? Of course not because of several factors:

1) Things are often unique in foreign affairs. An auto dealer can pull up records on how blue luxury cars have sold for the last three months and have a general idea on how they will sell next month. A Department Store will have records on the sales of leather coats in the prior years and will be able to write a decent order for the upcoming fall-winter season. Radical Islam had minimal contact with the Western World prior to the 1970's and few people could imagine how it would morph and actually attack the Western World rather than just be a relatively defensive force to repel <i>Communism</i> in Afghanistan in its early stages.


2) Accomplishment of the primary (sole?) goal in a Foreign Affairs <i>project</i> is often the only benchmark (scoring mechanism) used, unless a <b>Major</b> negative consequence is evident immediately.


3) It will always be difficult to <i>put ourselves in the shoes</i> of others because of the different perspectives that we have on an situation - issue. The analysts will sometimes get it right when predicting outcomes, but perfection will always be over the horizon and never to be attained.

4) That we often remain fighting the <i>war</i> that has already been decided and not able to raise our heads to see other situations arising.

5) Hindsight will always be perfect and every leader (that has had to make significant decisions) will have some failures. We are only human.


An example of differences between countries:

The United States has historical ties with Liberia and has stepped in from time to time to stabilize the situation when things get gritty. Should more be done than a temporary patch? That will always be open to debate until Liberia becomes a stable country and that could be for the next 20 - 50 - 100 years.

Germany had some colonial efforts in present day Rwanda, Burundi and other parts of Africa. I have seen zero to minimal action from Germany to help settle things when things get <i>gritty</i> in that part of the world.

Belgium had colonial efforts in Congo & surrounding areas and there also seems to be zero to minimal effort by Belgium to step
up and help in some way when things get <i>gritty</i> in that part of Africa.


Is the present day isolationism that Continental Europe tends to favor correct? In some situations it might be and in other situations it is defintely not. The Balkans situation of the 90's failed to motivate the Continental Europeans to handle a Foreign Policy situation on their own doorstep and it took leadership & action by other countries (outside Continental Europe) to help stabilize the situation.

Is the <i>fixit</i> mentality of the USA and Great Britain correct? In some situations it might be and other situations it probably isn't.


There is a plan - project called the <i>Barcelona Process</i> that is an attempt by the EU to transition - modernise (reform?) some of the countries of the Eastern and Southern Mediterranean.

<a HREF="http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/euromed/">Barcelona Process</a>

One of the apparent limits of the Barcelona Process is that it desn't include countries at risk such as Saudi Arabia because they are not part of the Mediterranean basin of countries.

Recently, the Bush Administration has been working on the <i>Greater Middle East Initiative</i> which will try to encourage change in the Arab world. There be some overlap with the <i>Barcelona Process</i> that the EU has been promoting, but the <i>Barcelona Process</i> doesn't cover Saudi Arabia which seems to be the next <i>Big</i> situation.

The UN Human Development Program for the Arab countries is only a few years old and definitely a few years late in starting.

The intents and actions of the EU, US and UN to foster development & change in the Middle East bring up the question of who should take the lead on this project.

1) The US because it has been in the <i>fixit</i> mode for decades and feels the need to change the situation in the Arab World (rightly or wrongly).

2) The EU because:

* It made the first step in this direction - initiative
* Has the geographic proximity
* Economic ties
* The immigration crossover with the Arab World and more able to walk in their shoes than the US could

3) The UN because they have a broader scope than the EU has with the <i>Barcelona Process</i> and would be viewed as having less of an agenda than the US would appear to have. Plus they are the UN and the task is ideally suited for them.


Discussing possible scenarios in Saudi is best left for another thread as well as possible outcomes in Pakistan. Both are interesting siuations because of the impact that they can have on the world situation.

<hr color=green>

I just went back to review and it seems that I strayed a bit from the ideas and questions you posed for me. Too late for me to change everything, but my intentions were good.

bamaslammer
06-09-2004, 06:06 AM
Originally posted by gifford1967
I submit that any government in Latin America, no matter what its economic system, could not withstand the determined opposition of the most powerful country in the history of the world. Chile never had an opportunity to find out if Allende's way would work. And in fact that was exactly the point of the U.S. interference there. I think it's the opposite of patronizing to let other countries choose their own and not interfere in their internal affairs.
Socialism never works. Wonder why the Third World is so poor? You can blame outdated command economies and lack of liberty for that, not "U.S. economic imperialism."

bamaslammer
06-09-2004, 06:08 AM
Originally posted by Grizzled
Do you believe in freedom and democracy? The issue here is as simple as that. The Sandinistas were a democratically elected government. I’m sure I could easily find people who say that things are bad for them in the US. Would that give another nation the right to overthrow your government? Al Qaeda would say yes. I say no. What do you say?
No they were not. They came to power in a coup de tat.

GladiatoRowdy
06-09-2004, 08:25 AM
Originally posted by giddyup
Who declared the war on poverty? When? How much? How effective?

Answer the question.

GladiatoRowdy
06-09-2004, 08:26 AM
Originally posted by bamaslammer
Socialism never works. Wonder why the Third World is so poor? You can blame outdated command economies and lack of liberty for that, not "U.S. economic imperialism."

You are absolutely right that socialism doesn't work. What you are absolutely INCORRECT about is that the liberals in America want socialism.

gifford1967
06-09-2004, 09:37 AM
Originally posted by bamaslammer
Socialism never works. Wonder why the Third World is so poor? You can blame outdated command economies and lack of liberty for that, not "U.S. economic imperialism."

Bama, please define what you mean by "socialism" and "work".

Please list ten countries that you consider are working and that have what you consider capitalist economic systems?

Then we might be able to have a conversation, because as it is I have no idea how you define socialism versus capitalism. Is Canada a socialist system or capitalist one in your mind? How about France, Germany, England, Spain, Italy? These are sincere questions.

basso
06-09-2004, 10:09 AM
Originally posted by FranchiseBlade
There is also a great Indian restaurant on 72nd between B'WAY and Columbus, if I remember correctly.

Poona. we've lived down the block from them for ten years, but i was always slightly put off by the name and the slightly seedy looking exterior, so i never went in. about a year ago, a friend was in town and told us he'd recently eaten there and how great it was. we ordered in, and have been regulars ever since! i particularly recommend the chicken tikka mahkni, kinda like tikka marsala, but less tomatos. lamb sahg, while not on the menu, is also excellent.

another great place in sapphire on the west side of broadway, around 61st. more expensive, but the coookings more sophisticated too. lunch is a great deal though. lastly, for an incredibly romantic evening, with very good food, try Nirvana on central park south. it's on the 15th floor of a small building between 5th and 6th, and the restaurant overlooks the park. go at dusk, and watch the light come on- just magical.

btw, several indian friends have told me jackson heights is the best place to get authentic indian food in NYC. i haven't been, but perhaps it's a trip for the Clutch BBS NYC chapter?

FranchiseBlade
06-09-2004, 10:23 AM
Originally posted by basso
Poona. we've lived down the block from them for ten years, but i was always slightly put off by the name and the slightly seedy looking exterior, so i never went in. about a year ago, a friend was in town and told us he'd recently eaten there and how great it was. we ordered in, and have been regulars ever since! i particularly recommend the chicken tikka mahkni, kinda like tikka marsala, but less tomatos. lamb sahg, while not on the menu, is also excellent.

another great place in sapphire on the west side of broadway, around 61st. more expensive, but the coookings more sophisticated too. lunch is a great deal though. lastly, for an incredibly romantic evening, with very good food, try Nirvana on central park south. it's on the 15th floor of a small building between 5th and 6th, and the restaurant overlooks the park. go at dusk, and watch the light come on- just magical.

btw, several indian friends have told me jackson heights is the best place to get authentic indian food in NYC. i haven't been, but perhaps it's a trip for the Clutch BBS NYC chapter?

Yes that's the place! I have also heard about Jackson Heights but never made it there for Indian food. There was a "real" Texas bar-b-q place in Queens that I got food from once. They had more than just bar-b-q chicken or Carolina Style pulled pork(not that there is anything wrong with that. I like that too.) But I was homesick, and my wife found the place in Queens. It was pretty good, and the only genuine Texas style bbq I had the whole time I was in NY.

Queens also had some excellent Korean food. Better than just about any of the eateries around 35th and 36th street. But of those I liked Mandu bar a lot.

SamFisher
06-09-2004, 10:51 AM
Originally posted by FranchiseBlade
Yes that's the place! I have also heard about Jackson Heights but never made it there for Indian food. There was a "real" Texas bar-b-q place in Queens that I got food from once. They had more than just bar-b-q chicken or Carolina Style pulled pork(not that there is anything wrong with that. I like that too.) But I was homesick, and my wife found the place in Queens. It was pretty good, and the only genuine Texas style bbq I had the whole time I was in NY.

Queens also had some excellent Korean food. Better than just about any of the eateries around 35th and 36th street. But of those I liked Mandu bar a lot.

You know, a Korean guy I met last year who now lives in Seoul told me that the Korean food in NYC is as good/better than anything you can get in Korea and cheaper too

mc mark
06-09-2004, 10:58 AM
Originally posted by FranchiseBlade
There was a "real" Texas bar-b-q place in Queens that I got food from once. They had more than just bar-b-q chicken or Carolina Style pulled pork(not that there is anything wrong with that. I like that too.) But I was homesick, and my wife found the place in Queens. It was pretty good, and the only genuine Texas style bbq I had the whole time I was in NY.


FB I think the place you're thinking about is Pearson's. It's off Queens Blvd? Sort of a bar with "Texas" BBQ in the back? Although it's as close to Texas as you can get in Queens NY, it's okay. I wasn't that impressed. But Texas kind of holds the bar pretty high in my opinion.

Finding good BBQ in New York is next to impossible because of the laws banning open spit grills in the city.

"sigh"

FranchiseBlade
06-09-2004, 11:03 AM
Originally posted by mc mark
FB I think the place you're thinking about is Pearson's. It's off Queens Blvd? Sort of a bar with "Texas" BBQ in the back? Although it's as close to Texas as you can get in Queens NY, it's okay. I wasn't that impressed. But Texas kind of holds the bar pretty high in my opinion.

Finding good BBQ in New York is next to impossible because of the laws banning open spit grills in the city.

"sigh"

Exactly the pit laws make good bbq in NY next to impossible. That's one thing that bothers me when NY'ers act like they have the best restaurants in the world. Two things you can't get there are good Tex-Mex and good BBQ. I know those aren't 4 star eateries or anything, but I rate from the bottom up. Sure they have some top quality 5 star dining, but for many of us that's a once a year(if that) type experience.

SamFisher
06-09-2004, 11:13 AM
Originally posted by FranchiseBlade
Exactly the pit laws make good bbq in NY next to impossible. That's one thing that bothers me when NY'ers act like they have the best restaurants in the world. Two things you can't get there are good Tex-Mex and good BBQ. I know those aren't 4 star eateries or anything, but I rate from the bottom up. Sure they have some top quality 5 star dining, but for many of us that's a once a year(if that) type experience.

Oh man, I have searched for a good texmex restaurant for 4 years running now. Nothing doing.:(

mc mark
06-09-2004, 11:18 AM
Originally posted by SamFisher
Oh man, I have searched for a good texmex restaurant for 4 years running now. Nothing doing.:(

The closest I've found is Mi Nidito @ 8th ave and 53rd.

It's pretty darn close.

RocketMan Tex
06-09-2004, 11:20 AM
I love how this thread has been taken over by a restaurant discussion!:)

MadMax
06-09-2004, 11:21 AM
Originally posted by RocketMan Tex
I love how this thread has been taken over by a restaurant discussion!:)

that's the way Ronnie would have wanted it! :D

mc mark
06-09-2004, 11:21 AM
Reagan would be proud! Food is very bipartisan. :)

B-Bob
06-09-2004, 11:25 AM
We will have to complete this thread with a big helping of jelly beans, one of my favorite things about Ronnie. :)

Grizzled
06-09-2004, 11:30 AM
Very interesting stuff as usual Mango. I’ll respond to part of it now and hopefully get to more later tomorrow.

We have had leaders that generally mean well when embarking on Foreign Policy projects, but things sometimes go in a different direction(s) than planned. Perhaps some of it is a backlash of not being involved enough in Europe (Continent) between WW I and WW II and a silent vow to at least try something rather than let things fester as happened between the two World Wars. Don't just stand there, Do Something! mindset.
Good point, but there have also been lessons on not charging in too quickly without due preparation, like Vietnam. I certainly agree that past lessons need to be drawn on to the extent that this can be done, which brings me to a slightly tangential question. I’ve heard Bob Woodward say in some recent interviews that GWB admitted to never having discussed the Iraq situation with his father. I was stunned by that because Sr. obviously faced a serious decision at the end of the first Gulf War as to whether or not to go into Iraq, and he decided not to. Why on earth would GWB not use that resource, one that would have been so easily accessible to him? It’s almost as though he wasn’t interested in learning from past lessons. What’s your take on this?

Do the countries always make the right decision when they embark on these projects? Of course not because of several factors:

1) Things are often unique in foreign affairs. An auto dealer can pull up records on how blue luxury cars have sold for the last three months and have a general idea on how they will sell next month. A Department Store will have records on the sales of leather coats in the prior years and will be able to write a decent order for the upcoming fall-winter season. Radical Islam had minimal contact with the Western World prior to the 1970's and few people could imagine how it would morph and actually attack the Western World rather than just be a relatively defensive force to repel Communism in Afghanistan in its early stages.
One classification system calls these Renegade Projects, project that have never been done before or that have a high degree of complexity and unknowns. For such projects you put a lot of time and effort in up front doing risk analysis, contingency planning, avoidance planning, etc. This still doesn’t guarantee that you won’t encounter problems, of course, but you ought to have thought through not only the obvious risks but also the not so obvious ones, and a few of the critical long shot ones too. It’s true that the world did not know much about radical Islam, but it did know something about the risks of forming alliances with shady characters and about backlashes in countries that feel they’ve been exploited. The revolution in Iran leading to the fall of the Shah and the hostage taking was happening at about the same time after all.

2) Accomplishment of the primary (sole?) goal in a Foreign Affairs project is often the only benchmark (scoring mechanism) used, unless a Major negative consequence is evident immediately.
This is a BIG problem. If you don’t do some diligent thinking around a project, considering the broader stakeholder group, especially on complex and high risk projects, you are going to get blind sided a lot and in big ways. This happens on construction projects all the time, even though it’s fairly basic PM theory at this point (although it probably wasn’t then). It’s the overlooked thing that jumps up to bite you and delays your project or adds significant extra cost. The trick is not to overlook that thing. To do that you need to think though and around your project and consult people and do some brain storming and risk analysis ahead of time. If you just take the position that nothing matters but the main objective and you only focus on it, then you’re a dead man walking. That is like putting on a blindfold and running across a freeway.

3) It will always be difficult to put ourselves in the shoes of others because of the different perspectives that we have on an situation - issue. The analysts will sometimes get it right when predicting outcomes, but perfection will always be over the horizon and never to be attained.
You are right that it is difficult and you are right you will never get it completely right (and this is a very important point to remember) but it’s a very worthwhile exercise. And it builds the more you do it. The more you try to understand someone else’s position and the more you ask them and talk to them about it (or people like them) the more you will learn about the context they are working out of. (But you will never get all the way there and it is essential that you never slip into believing that you have, because at that point you stop learning and stop being alert for critical new information). This is incredibly powerful knowledge because it often profoundly changes your understanding of the broader context and how your position fits into it. In philosophical terms, this works essentially like communicative reason as opposed to instrumental reason.

4) That we often remain fighting the war that has already been decided and not able to raise our heads to see other situations arising.
Similar comments #2 above. You HAVE to have your head up, otherwise you won’t know where you’re going. This may sound obvious but it also happens all the time, often when someone hasn’t done enough front end planning. When they start getting blind sided by big problems they didn’t anticipate they get panicky because they are often too far in at this point to easily deal with these problems, so they often just bury their head and plough on, often making their problems worse.

5) Hindsight will always be perfect and every leader (that has had to make significant decisions) will have some failures. We are only human.
Absolutely, but they should also endeavour to learn from their failures, and the failures of others, and not repeat them. If someone keeps making the same kind of mistake it is not simply bad luck.


Oh yeah, and I stand corrected. It's Samozzzzza. Samosa = good. Samoza = bad. ;)

basso
06-09-2004, 11:30 AM
Originally posted by FranchiseBlade
Exactly the pit laws make good bbq in NY next to impossible. That's one thing that bothers me when NY'ers act like they have the best restaurants in the world. Two things you can't get there are good Tex-Mex and good BBQ. I know those aren't 4 star eateries or anything, but I rate from the bottom up. Sure they have some top quality 5 star dining, but for many of us that's a once a year(if that) type experience.

definitely true, but manhattanites now have hope: Daisy May's real BBQ on 11th and 46th. unfortunately, and inexplixably, they're closed weekends, but the pulled pork is the equivalent of anything i ate in memphis, and the ribs are pretty spectacular too.

i think this thread needs to give a shout out to calvin trillin about now!

SamFisher
06-09-2004, 11:35 AM
FWIW, the Blue Smoke (a decent, though a bit too hip BBQ eatery) Big Apple Barbecue block party is this weekend (over on E.20-something).

I haven't been but a friend of mine went and said it was good last year. I would go this year but am stuck in San Fran on business from tomorrow thru the weekend.

http://www.bluesmoke.com/blue/secondary/events.html

(basso, check the link, Calvin Trillin will be there!)

basso
06-09-2004, 11:49 AM
Originally posted by SamFisher
FWIW, the Blue Smoke (a decent, though a bit too hip BBQ eatery) Big Apple Barbecue block party is this weekend (over on E.20-something).

I haven't been but a friend of mine went and said it was good last year. I would go this year but am stuck in San Fran on business from tomorrow thru the weekend.

http://www.bluesmoke.com/blue/secondary/events.html

(basso, check the link, Calvin Trillin will be there!)

east 27th. used to be called 27 standard and was a "nouvelle american" place- not bad, with an excellent jazz club in the basement, 27 standard, which is still there. blue smoke is part of the danny mayer empire. haven't been yet, but i hear it's good. but high-end bbq seems like a contradiction in terms.

Grizzled
06-09-2004, 11:51 AM
Originally posted by bamaslammer
Socialism never works. Wonder why the Third World is so poor? You can blame outdated command economies and lack of liberty for that, not "U.S. economic imperialism."

What a silly comment. There are many socialist countries that have a higher standard of living and enjoyment of life factors than the US (democratic socialist countries that is).

Typically in third world countries the progression to popular socialist governments is a step toward freedom and a better life for the vast majority of the people and away from oppressive dictatorships. See Nicaragua for an example.

The Sandinistas did overthrow the brutal dictatorship with a revolution, but as soon as they could they held an election, which they won. And when they lost a subsequent election, they respected the will of the people and stepped down. Clearly they believe in democracy and were a liberating movement for Nicaragua. If you really believe in freedom as you have claimed on this board, you should be praising the Sandinistas.

bnb
06-09-2004, 11:55 AM
Thanks for the post Mango.

Between yourself and Grizzled i can see i'm quickly outgunned in historical knowledge. Though i'm becoming much more versed in Indian cuisine opportunities in NY.

Grizzled, you effectively picked apart the weaknesses in my discussion. Valid points. I'm certainly much more cynical about the workings of the world than you are. In theory, and from a distance, i'll agree with virtually all your positions.

On the micro level, my uncertainty arises from talking with people without a political agenda who are directly affected by some of these policies. Basso made reference to a doctor in Chili. I've heard similar concerns from people from Iran and Nicaragua. People concerned not so much about political systems, or theories of governance, but rather about day to day living. The observations you hear from individuals, rather than read in a book, or see summarized in a study.

On a macro level, i see highly complicated and intertwined factors influencing world events that lose their significance when taken in isolation. Deji (i think) posted a great perspective on US funding of the Israel and Egyptian militaries - and the success thereof in maintaining peace. Mango's observes, quite fairly i'd say, that 'who knew?' about Islamic Fundamentalism, taken in context, is not necessarily as reckless as it appears today. I suggest you may be looking critically at the 'bad' and less so at the 'good.' Mango's original post was about policy that certainly affected the fall of the iron curtain, yet you appear to dismiss these events by suggesting Russia was collapsing anyways. Perhaps it was collapsing anyway, at least in part, due to the culmination of these various events.

All i'm saying, in a long convoluted way, is that these events are far more complicated and reaching than we sometimes admit. That our actions are not as short-sighted, or as partisan as they lend themselves to be portrayed in hindsight. And that our leaders may well genuinely have very good intentions in what they're doing.

This shouldn't absolve them from responsibility and accountability when they 'break the rules.' And process is exceedingly important even if the 'other guys' don't abide by it. I'm just not as receptive anymore to arguments that pin the majority of the responsibility of abuses around the world to US actions, either directly, or by suggesting that even when the US is not involved its simply a reaction to US involvement or non-involvement -- without at least recognizing that other factions are equally, or sometimes more so, at play.

SamFisher
06-09-2004, 11:56 AM
Originally posted by basso
east 27th. used to be called 27 standard and was a "nouvelle american" place- not bad, with an excellent jazz club in the basement, 27 standard, which is still there. blue smoke is part of the danny mayer empire. haven't been yet, but i hear it's good. but high-end bbq seems like a contradiction in terms.

People say the food there isn'at as good as it should be, whatever that means. I went once and thought it was good. Of course, I believe I was pretty drunk at that point so I don't know what to say about that.

nyrocket
06-09-2004, 11:59 AM
There is no Tex-Mex in NYC. Forget it. (Why you would want it is another story.)

There are plenty of taquerias in Sunset Heights, on the extreme west side of Manhattan and in east Harlem. One two five.

My favorite new find is a place called Selena, 252 West 38th Street. Try it. You will like it. That's a promise from good old nyrocket.

If you clowns organize a BBS trip to Jackson Heights, I may well fly up for the occasion.

FranchiseBlade
06-09-2004, 01:02 PM
Originally posted by nyrocket
There is no Tex-Mex in NYC. Forget it. (Why you would want it is another story.)

There are plenty of taquerias in Sunset Heights, on the extreme west side of Manhattan and in east Harlem. One two five.

My favorite new find is a place called Selena, 252 West 38th Street. Try it. You will like it. That's a promise from good old nyrocket.

If you clowns organize a BBS trip to Jackson Heights, I may well fly up for the occasion.

Selena's was one of my favorites too when I just had to get something that resembled the food I knew back home in Texas. It wasn't great by Texas standards, but the place was a lot of fun. The beer was cold, and sometimes guys would get up and start singing Mexican Kareoke. It was a good time.

I knew someone who worked at Blue Smoke, and somebody else who was offered a job there but didn't take it. It got a lot of write ups a year or two ago, but I didn't go there. It seemed like a gourmet kind of bbq. And when I think bbq I don't think gourmet. But the food is supposed to be good, it just seemed a little too hip for me. I agree with that.

That's good news about Daisy Mae's bbq. If I go back to NY I will have to check it out.

Sorry for derailing this thread. I guess all this talk about NY food made miss NY a little bit. I moved only a year ago, and I don't miss it too often, but sometimes things like this get me feeling sentimental.

Chance
06-09-2004, 01:12 PM
A little off subject but...FYI - Our sister station will be carrying the funeral in its entiretee.

FM 100.3 in Houston.

~Chance

bamaslammer
06-09-2004, 01:26 PM
Originally posted by Grizzled
What a silly comment. There are many socialist countries that have a higher standard of living and enjoyment of life factors than the US (democratic socialist countries that is).

Typically in third world countries the progression to popular socialist governments is a step toward freedom and a better life for the vast majority of the people and away from oppressive dictatorships. See Nicaragua for an example.

The Sandinistas did overthrow the brutal dictatorship with a revolution, but as soon as they could they held an election, which they won. And when they lost a subsequent election, they respected the will of the people and stepped down. Clearly they believe in democracy and were a liberating movement for Nicaragua. If you really believe in freedom as you have claimed on this board, you should be praising the Sandinistas.
Are you kidding me? Those nations also have higher umemployment, confiscatory taxes and a ridiculously govt. mandated, lazy, 30 hour work week. Who works 40 hours a week? I work 70 during football season and sometimes that is not enough to get everything done. This is an amazing piece that totally deconstructs the reasons for the left and why they are so flawed. He calls a spade a spade.

Why Socialism Is the People’s Choice
by James Ostrowski, June 2003

Why is socialism more popular than capitalism? We have had 150 years to dissect socialism in theory. We have had 100 years to see socialism in action. Socialism, extensive government control over the economy, is a disaster in theory and a disaster in practice. The superiority of capitalism over socialism has been amply demonstrated by Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, Murray Rothbard, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, and others. Yet it continues to be the dominant political philosophy, even in the United States. Here, in what the rest of the world sees as an anarcho-capitalist jungle, we have socialized medicine, socialized education, and socialized retirement. The state seizes 40 percent of our income and tells us what we can and cannot do with what we keep. Virtually every aspect of the economy is regulated. The long-term trend is toward ever-greater government control over the economy, our property, and our lives. This trend continues even though capitalism works and socialism does not.

Capitalism works by protecting private property and freedom of contract, thereby encouraging people to use their abilities and resources to produce goods and services that are most likely to be urgently demanded by others. Capitalism works because, unlike competing systems, it does not depend on the quality of its overseers. Capitalism’s overseer is the price system, which, far from being dependant on the will of a small number of politicians, is the expression of the totality of all human knowledge about the value and scarcity of goods, services, and resources. Capitalism works by harnessing, through the principles of specialization and the division of labor, human diversity and inequality, allowing people with different backgrounds and talents to trade for mutual advantage.

Capitalism works because it does not require central planning; rather, capitalism is what happens naturally and spontaneously when there is no such planning. As seen, for example, in prison-er-of-war camps, markets arise spontaneously from individuals acting to advance their own interests. Markets are natural; they just happen. The formula for establishing a capitalist system is: don’t just do something, stand there. Which leads into my last point that capitalism works because it requires no change in human nature and works just fine with the natural tendency of people to act to further the welfare of themselves and their families. Here is a system that arises naturally and spontaneously, is governed by the price system, not by politicians or dictators, encourages people to be productive and cooperate with others, and works well with people as they are.

In contrast, socialism does not work, because it acts, as it must, through the coercive apparatus of the state. Therefore, in its interactions with people, there is always at least one party forced to participate and who is, therefore, abused and exploited.

Socialism does not work, because, while capitalist decisions are made by individuals and firms that know more about their particular circumstances than anyone else could possibly know, socialist planners cannot know nearly as much about the persons and institutions they deal with and thus are forced to make and enforce arbitrary general rules that apply the same to different people and different circumstances, regardless of the absurd or unjust consequences.

Socialism does not work, because, in the words of Frédéric Bastiat, people are not clay. They always react and respond to the state’s use of power against them (or for them) in ways that result in unintended and negative consequences from the state’s point of view. This is called blowback in foreign-policy matters; however, domestic examples of blowback include the crime wave unleashed by the “war on drugs” and the Great Society’s destruction of the family structure of the poor.

Socialism does not work, because, instead of allowing the price system to be a vehicle of rational economic planning, it sabotages the price system as much as possible. In its extreme form, socialism would eliminate prices for capital goods — by seizing them — and thereby cause economic annihilation. Even socialism’s less extreme interventions injure the price system. Taxation, inflation, subsidies, occupational licensure, collective bargaining mandates, and so on all distort market prices and cripple their ability to convey accurate information about preferences and scarcities.

Socialism’s popularity

Why then is socialism so popular? The reasons are not complicated. First, socialism allows people to spend other people’s money. Let’s avoid the phrase “steal other people’s money,” because only libertarians see it that way.

Nevertheless, however socialists justify this spending, even they realize they are taking other people’s money. Yes, I know some socialists deny the very concept of private ownership. But even they realize that socialism takes money and property that is possessed by some and transfers possession to others so they can spend or use it.

Reason No. 1: Socialism allows people to spend other people’s money without feeling guilty about it.

Second, there is a related but distinct craving that animates socialism, as noted by many commentators. Envy is a strong emotion that has always had a powerful impact on society and politics. Envy is “a painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage” (Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary). Because no one admits to acting on the basis of envy, the term “equality” — robbed of its original and legitimate meaning in classical liberal thought — is used instead. Socialism is the perfect political expression of envious people because it purports to rein in greedy and wealthy capitalists and usher in social equality.

Reason No. 2: Socialism satisfies the deeply felt and widely held emotion of envy.

Third, free-market capitalism emphasizes the individual’s responsibility for his own economic welfare. Socialism professes to place this responsibility outside the individual and with the state. Many people are happy to be rid of this burden and glad to be able to blame others for their problems. Unlike Reasons No. 1 and No. 2, this reason for the popularity of socialism is one trumpeted by its proponents. They do not see the obvious downside of the structural reduction of individual economic responsibility: laziness, profligacy, and passivity.

Reason No. 3: Socialism purports to relieve people of the burden of worrying about their economic well-being.

Fourth, in a secular age, socialism acts as a religion-substitute. Traditionally, religion would offer solace to people facing the numerous traumas of life. Now, for millions of people, socialism plays that role. “For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, the oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely, the pangs of despised love, the law’s delay, the insolence of office and the spurns that patient merit of the unworthy takes, when he” could overcome all these problems with socialism?

Utopian socialism — all socialism is utopian — purports to offer a solution to virtually all human problems. In contrast, the claims of capitalism are seen as too modest, and hard work is required as well. There is no need to quote a Marxist on the all-encompassing promises of socialism. Lyndon Johnson will do fine. In a speech given on May 22, 1964, Johnson promised that his Great Society would “pursue the happiness of our people,” conquer “boredom and restlessness,” and satisfy the “desire for beauty” and the “hunger for community.” All this and beat the Viet Cong too. Amazing!

Reason No. 4: Socialism is a secular substitute for religion and offers people (false) solace against the traumas of this life.

I considered giving intellectuals their own special reason for worshipping the state, but I decided that to explain why 95 percent of intellectuals have a ferocious love for socialism you merely have to combine and intensify all four reasons already stated.

These are some of the main reasons that socialism, which is silly in theory and lethal in practice, remains so popular, even in a society such as ours, whose fabulous wealth is the result of the shrinking capitalist remnants of the economy.

James Ostrowski is an attorney in Buffalo and serves as a policy advisor for The Future of Freedom Foundation.

link (http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0306f.asp)

gifford1967
06-09-2004, 01:35 PM
Originally posted by bamaslammer
Are you kidding me? Those nations also have higher umemployment, confiscatory taxes and a ridiculously govt. mandated, lazy, 30 hour work week. Who works 40 hours a week? I work 70 during football season and sometimes that is not enough to get everything done. This is an amazing piece that totally deconstructs the reasons for the left and why they are so flawed. He calls a spade a spade.


link (http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0306f.asp)


Bama please respond to this post.




Bama, please define what you mean by "socialism" and "work".

Please list ten countries that you consider are working and that have what you consider capitalist economic systems?

Then we might be able to have a conversation, because as it is I have no idea how you define socialism versus capitalism. Is Canada a socialist system or capitalist one in your mind? How about France, Germany, England, Spain, Italy? These are sincere questions.

B-Bob
06-09-2004, 01:40 PM
Who gloats that the 40-hour workweek is a thing of the past?

Fat cat business owners who benefit from the destruction of organized labor, you might guess?

No. The workers are celebrating how much they have to work. We all see this behavior, yes even (gasp!) in universities. My colleagues and I frequently talk about all-night experiments, runs that last the whole weekend, etc, etc.

Such a successful screwing over of American labor could never have been imagined by the employers of the early 20th century. We've bought it hook, line, and sinker. It's amazing really.

Buck Turgidson
06-09-2004, 02:02 PM
My Lord Chancellor, Mr. Speaker:

The journey of which this visit forms a part is a long one. Already it has taken me to two great cities of the West, Rome and Paris, and to the economic summit at Versailles. And there, once again, our sister democracies have proved that even in a time of severe economic strain, free peoples can work together freely and voluntarily to address problems as serious as inflation, unemployment, trade, and economic development in a spirit of cooperation and solidarity.

Other milestones lie ahead. Later this week, in Germany, we and our NATO allies will discuss measures for our joint defense and America's latest initiatives for a more peaceful, secure world through arms reductions.

Each stop of this trip is important, but among them all, this moment occupies a special place in my heart and in the hearts of my countrymen -- a moment of kinship and homecoming in these hallowed halls.

Speaking for all Americans, I want to say how very much at home we feel in your house. Every American would, because this is, as we have been so eloquently told, one of democracy's shrines. Here the rights of free people and the processes of representation have been debated and refined.

It has been said that an institution is the lengthening shadow of a man. This institution is the lengthening shadow of all the men and women who have sat here and all those who have voted to send representatives here.

This is my second visit to Great Britain as President of the United States. My first opportunity to stand on British soil occurred almost a year and a half ago when your Prime Minister graciously hosted a diplomatic dinner at the British Embassy in Washington. Mrs. Thatcher said then that she hoped I was not distressed to find staring down at me from the grand staircase a portrait of His Royal Majesty King George III. She suggested it was best to let bygones be bygones, and in view of our two countries' remarkable friendship in succeeding years, she added that most Englishmen today would agree with Thomas Jefferson that ``a little rebellion now and then is a very good thing.''

Well, from here I will go to Bonn and then Berlin, where there stands a grim symbol of power untamed. The Berlin Wall, that dreadful gray gash across the city, is in its third decade. It is the fitting signature of the regime that built it.

And a few hundred kilometers behind the Berlin Wall, there is another symbol. In the center of Warsaw, there is a sign that notes the distances to two capitals. In one direction it points toward Moscow. In the other it points toward Brussels, headquarters of Western Europe's tangible unity. The marker says that the distances from Warsaw to Moscow and Warsaw to Brussels are equal. The sign makes this point: Poland is not East or West. Poland is at the center of European civilization. It has contributed mightily to that civilization. It is doing so today by being magnificently unreconciled to oppression.

Poland's struggle to be Poland and to secure the basic rights we often take for granted demonstrates why we dare not take those rights for granted. Gladstone, defending the Reform Bill of 1866, declared, ``You cannot fight against the future. Time is on our side.'' It was easier to believe in the march of democracy in Gladstone's day -- in that high noon of Victorian optimism.

We're approaching the end of a bloody century plagued by a terrible political invention -- totalitarianism. Optimism comes less easily today, not because democracy is less vigorous, but because democracy's enemies have refined their instruments of repression. Yet optimism is in order, because day by day democracy is proving itself to be a not-at-all-fragile flower. From Stettin on the Baltic to Varna on the Black Sea, the regimes planted by totalitarianism have had more than 30 years to establish their legitimacy. But none -- not one regime -- has yet been able to risk free elections. Regimes planted by bayonets do not take root.

The strength of the Solidarity movement in Poland demonstrates the truth told in an underground joke in the Soviet Union. It is that the Soviet Union would remain a one-party nation even if an opposition party were permitted, because everyone would join the opposition party.

America's time as a player on the stage of world history has been brief. I think understanding this fact has always made you patient with your younger cousins -- well, not always patient. I do recall that on one occasion, Sir Winston Churchill said in exasperation about one of our most distinguished diplomats: ``He is the only case I know of a bull who carries his china shop with him.''

But witty as Sir Winston was, he also had that special attribute of great statesmen -- the gift of vision, the willingness to see the future based on the experience of the past. It is this sense of history, this understanding of the past that I want to talk with you about today, for it is in remembering what we share of the past that our two nations can make common cause for the future.

We have not inherited an easy world. If developments like the Industrial Revolution, which began here in England, and the gifts of science and technology have made life much easier for us, they have also made it more dangerous. There are threats now to our freedom, indeed to our very existence, that other generations could never even have imagined.

There is first the threat of global war. No President, no Congress, no Prime Minister, no Parliament can spend a day entirely free of this threat. And I don't have to tell you that in today's world the existence of nuclear weapons could mean, if not the extinction of mankind, then surely the end of civilization as we know it. That's why negotiations on intermediate-range nuclear forces now underway in Europe and the START talks -- Strategic Arms Reduction Talks -- which will begin later this month, are not just critical to American or Western policy; they are critical to mankind. Our commitment to early success in these negotiations is firm and unshakable, and our purpose is clear: reducing the risk of war by reducing the means of waging war on both sides.

At the same time there is a threat posed to human freedom by the enormous power of the modern state. History teaches the dangers of government that overreaches -- political control taking precedence over free economic growth, secret police, mindless bureaucracy, all combining to stifle individual excellence and personal freedom.

Now, I'm aware that among us here and throughout Europe there is legitimate disagreement over the extent to which the public sector should play a role in a nation's economy and life. But on one point all of us are united -- our abhorrence of dictatorship in all its forms, but most particularly totalitarianism and the terrible inhumanities it has caused in our time -- the great purge, Auschwitz and Dachau, the Gulag, and Cambodia.
Historians looking back at our time will note the consistent restraint and peaceful intentions of the West. They will note that it was the democracies who refused to use the threat of their nuclear monopoly in the forties and early fifties for territorial or imperial gain. Had that nuclear monopoly been in the hands of the Communist world, the map of Europe -- indeed, the world -- would look very different today. And certainly they will note it was not the democracies that invaded Afghanistan or supressed Polish Solidarity or used chemical and toxin warfare in Afghanistan and Southeast Asia.

If history teaches anything it teaches self-delusion in the face of unpleasant facts is folly. We see around us today the marks of our terrible dilemma -- predictions of doomsday, antinuclear demonstrations, an arms race in which the West must, for its own protection, be an unwilling participant. At the same time we see totalitarian forces in the world who seek subversion and conflict around the globe to further their barbarous assault on the human spirit. What, then, is our course? Must civilization perish in a hail of fiery atoms?

Must freedom wither in a quiet, deadening accommodation with totalitarian evil?

Sir Winston Churchill refused to accept the inevitability of war or even that it was imminent. He said, ``I do not believe that Soviet Russia desires war. What they desire is the fruits of war and the indefinite expansion of their power and doctrines. But what we have to consider here today while time remains is the permanent prevention of war and the establishment of conditions of freedom and democracy as rapidly as possible in all countries.''

Well, this is precisely our mission today: to preserve freedom as well as peace. It may not be easy to see; but I believe we live now at a turning point.

In an ironic sense Karl Marx was right. We are witnessing today a great revolutionary crisis, a crisis where the demands of the economic order are conflicting directly with those of the political order. But the crisis is happening not in the free, non-Marxist West, but in the home of Marxist-Leninism, the Soviet Union. It is the Soviet Union that runs against the tide of history by denying human freedom and human dignity to its citizens. It also is in deep economic difficulty. The rate of growth in the national product has been steadily declining since the fifties and is less than half of what it was then.

The dimensions of this failure are astounding: A country which employs one-fifth of its population in agriculture is unable to feed its own people. Were it not for the private sector, the tiny private sector tolerated in Soviet agriculture, the country might be on the brink of famine. These private plots occupy a bare 3 percent of the arable land but account for nearly one-quarter of Soviet farm output and nearly one-third of meat products and vegetables. Overcentralized, with little or no incentives, year after year the Soviet system pours its best resource into the making of instruments of destruction. The constant shrinkage of economic growth combined with the growth of military production is putting a heavy strain on the Soviet people. What we see here is a political structure that no longer corresponds to its economic base, a society where productive forces are hampered by political ones.

The decay of the Soviet experiment should come as no surprise to us. Wherever the comparisons have been made between free and closed societies -- West Germany and East Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia, Malaysia and Vietnam -- it is the democratic countries what are prosperous and responsive to the needs of their people. And one of the simple but overwhelming facts of our time is this: Of all the millions of refugees we've seen in the modern world, their flight is always away from, not toward the Communist world. Today on the NATO line, our military forces face east to prevent a possible invasion. On the other side of the line, the Soviet forces also face east to prevent their people from leaving.

The hard evidence of totalitarian rule has caused in mankind an uprising of the intellect and will. Whether it is the growth of the new schools of economics in America or England or the appearance of the so-called new philosophers in France, there is one unifying thread running through the intellectual work of these groups -- rejection of the arbitrary power of the state, the refusal to subordinate the rights of the individual to the superstate, the realization that collectivism stifles all the best human impulses.

Since the exodus from Egypt, historians have written of those who sacrificed and struggled for freedom -- the stand at Thermopylae, the revolt of Spartacus, the storming of the Bastille, the Warsaw uprising in World War II. More recently we've seen evidence of this same human impulse in one of the developing nations in Central America. For months and months the world news media covered the fighting in El Salvador. Day after day we were treated to stories and film slanted toward the brave freedom-fighters battling oppressive government forces in behalf of the silent, suffering people of that tortured country.

And then one day those silent, suffering people were offered a chance to vote, to choose the kind of government they wanted. Suddenly the freedom-fighters in the hills were exposed for what they really are -- Cuban-backed guerrillas who want power for themselves, and their backers, not democracy for the people. They threatened death to any who voted, and destroyed hundreds of buses and trucks to keep the people from getting to the polling places. But on election day, the people of El Salvador, an unprecedented 1.4 million of them, braved ambush and gunfire, and trudged for miles to vote for freedom.

They stood for hours in the hot sun waiting for their turn to vote. Members of our Congress who went there as observers told me of a women who was wounded by rifle fire on the way to the polls, who refused to leave the line to have her wound treated until after she had voted. A grandmother, who had been told by the guerrillas she would be killed when she returned from the polls, and she told the guerrillas, ``You can kill me, you can kill my family, kill my neighbors, but you can't kill us all.'' The real freedom-fighters of El Salvador turned out to be the people of that country -- the young, the old, the in-between.

Strange, but in my own country there's been little if any news coverage of that war since the election. Now, perhaps they'll say it's -- well, because there are newer struggles now.

On distant islands in the South Atlantic young men are fighting for Britain. And, yes, voices have been raised protesting their sacrifice for lumps of rock and earth so far away. But those young men aren't fighting for mere real estate. They fight for a cause -- for the belief that armed aggression must not be allowed to succeed, and the people must participate in the decisions of government -- [applause] -- the decisions of government under the rule of law. If there had been firmer support for that principle some 45 years ago, perhaps our generation wouldn't have suffered the bloodletting of World War II.

In the Middle East now the guns sound once more, this time in Lebanon, a country that for too long has had to endure the tragedy of civil war, terrorism, and foreign intervention and occupation. The fighting in Lebanon on the part of all parties must stop, and Israel should bring its forces home. But this is not enough. We must all work to stamp out the scourge of terrorism that in the Middle East makes war an ever-present threat.

But beyond the troublespots lies a deeper, more positive pattern. Around the world today, the democratic revolution is gathering new strength. In India a critical test has been passed with the peaceful change of governing political parties. In Africa, Nigeria is moving into remarkable and unmistakable ways to build and strengthen its democratic institutions. In the Caribbean and Central America, 16 of 24 countries have freely elected governments. And in the United Nations, 8 of the 10 developing nations which have joined that body in the past 5 years are democracies.

In the Communist world as well, man's instinctive desire for freedom and self-determination surfaces again and again. To be sure, there are grim reminders of how brutally the police state attempts to snuff out this quest for self-rule -- 1953 in East Germany, 1956 in Hungary, 1968 in Czechoslovakia, 1981 in Poland. But the struggle continues in Poland. And we know that there are even those who strive and suffer for freedom within the confines of the Soviet Union itself. How we conduct ourselves here in the Western democracies will determine whether this trend continues.

No, democracy is not a fragile flower. Still it needs cultivating. If the rest of this century is to witness the gradual growth of freedom and democratic ideals, we must take actions to assist the campaign for democracy.

Some argue that we should encourage democratic change in right-wing dictatorships, but not in Communist regimes. Well, to accept this preposterous notion -- as some well-meaning people have -- is to invite the argument that once countries achieve a nuclear capability, they should be allowed an undisturbed reign of terror over their own citizens.

We reject this course.

As for the Soviet view, Chairman Brezhnev repeatedly has stressed that the competition of ideas and systems must continue and that this is entirely consistent with relaxation of tensions and peace.

Well, we ask only that these systems begin by living up to their own constitutions, abiding by their own laws, and complying with the international obligations they have undertaken. We ask only for a process, a direction, a basic code of decency, not for an instant transformation.

We cannot ignore the fact that even without our encouragement there has been and will continue to be repeated explosions against repression and dictatorships. The Soviet Union itself is not immune to this reality. Any system is inherently unstable that has no peaceful means to legitimize its leaders. In such cases, the very repressiveness of the state ultimately drives people to resist it, if necessary, by force.

While we must be cautious about forcing the pace of change, we must not hesitate to declare our ultimate objectives and to take concrete actions to move toward them. We must be staunch in our conviction that freedom is not the sole prerogative of a lucky few, but the inalienable and universal right of all human beings. So states the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which, among other things, guarantees free elections.

The objective I propose is quite simple to state: to foster the infrastructure of democracy, the system of a free press, unions, political parties, universities, which allows a people to choose their own way to develop their own culture, to reconcile their own differences through peaceful means.

This is not cultural imperialism, it is providing the means for genuine self-determination and protection for diversity. Democracy already flourishes in countries with very different cultures and historical experiences. It would be cultural condescension, or worse, to say that any people prefer dictatorship to democracy. Who would voluntarily choose not to have the right to vote, decide to purchase government propaganda handouts instead of independent newspapers, prefer government to worker-controlled unions, opt for land to be owned by the state instead of those who till it, want government repression of religious liberty, a single political party instead of a free choice, a rigid cultural orthodoxy instead of democratic tolerance and diversity?

Since 1917 the Soviet Union has given covert political training and assistance to Marxist-Leninists in many countries. Of course, it also has promoted the use of violence and subversion by these same forces. Over the past several decades, West European and other Social Democrats, Christian Democrats, and leaders have offered open assistance to fraternal, political, and social institutions to bring about peaceful and democratic progress. Appropriately, for a vigorous new democracy, the Federal Republic of Germany's political foundations have become a major force in this effort.

We in America now intend to take additional steps, as many of our allies have already done, toward realizing this same goal. The chairmen and other leaders of the national Republican and Democratic Party organizations are initiating a study with the bipartisan American political foundation to determine how the United States can best contribute as a nation to the global campaign for democracy now gathering force. They will have the cooperation of congressional leaders of both parties, along with representatives of business, labor, and other major institutions in our society. I look forward to receiving their recommendations and to working with these institutions and the Congress in the common task of strengthening democracy throughout the world.

It is time that we committed ourselves as a nation -- in both the pubic and private sectors -- to assisting democratic development.

We plan to consult with leaders of other nations as well. There is a proposal before the Council of Europe to invite parliamentarians from democratic countries to a meeting next year in Strasbourg. That prestigious gathering could consider ways to help democratic political movements.

This November in Washington there will take place an international meeting on free elections. And next spring there will be a conference of world authorities on constitutionalism and self-goverment hosted by the Chief Justice of the United States. Authorities from a number of developing and developed countries -- judges, philosophers, and politicians with practical experience -- have agreed to explore how to turn principle into practice and further the rule of law.

At the same time, we invite the Soviet Union to consider with us how the competition of ideas and values -- which it is committed to support -- can be conducted on a peaceful and reciprocal basis. For example, I am prepared to offer President Brezhnev an opportunity to speak to the American people on our television if he will allow me the same opportunity with the Soviet people. We also suggest that panels of our newsmen periodically appear on each other's television to discuss major events.

Now, I don't wish to sound overly optimistic, yet the Soviet Union is not immune from the reality of what is going on in the world. It has happened in the past -- a small ruling elite either mistakenly attempts to ease domestic unrest through greater repression and foreign adventure, or it chooses a wiser course. It begins to allow its people a voice in their own destiny. Even if this latter process is not realized soon, I believe the renewed strength of the democratic movement, complemented by a global campaign for freedom, will strengthen the prospects for arms control and a world at peace.

I have discussed on other occasions, including my address on May 9th, the elements of Western policies toward the Soviet Union to safeguard our interests and protect the peace. What I am describing now is a plan and a hope for the long term -- the march of freedom and democracy which will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash-heap of history as it has left other tyrannies which stifle the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of the people. And that's why we must continue our efforts to strengthen NATO even as we move forward with our Zero-Option initiative in the negotiations on intermediate-range forces and our proposal for a one-third reduction in strategic ballistic missile warheads.

Our military strength is a prerequisite to peace, but let it be clear we maintain this strength in the hope it will never be used, for the ultimate determinant in the struggle that's now going on in the world will not be bombs and rockets, but a test of wills and ideas, a trial of spiritual resolve, the values we hold, the beliefs we cherish, the ideals to which we are dedicated.

The British people know that, given strong leadership, time and a little bit of hope, the forces of good ultimately rally and triumph over evil. Here among you is the cradle of self-government, the Mother of Parliaments. Here is the enduring greatness of the British contribution to mankind, the great civilized ideas: individual liberty, representative government, and the rule of law under God.

I've often wondered about the shyness of some of us in the West about standing for these ideals that have done so much to ease the plight of man and the hardships of our imperfect world. This reluctance to use those vast resources at our command reminds me of the elderly lady whose home was bombed in the Blitz. As the rescuers moved about, they found a bottle of brandy she'd stored behind the staircase, which was all that was left standing. And since she was barely conscious, one of the workers pulled the cork to give her a taste of it. She came around immediately and said, ``Here now -- there now, put it back. That's for emergencies.''

Well, the emergency is upon us. Let us be shy no longer. Let us go to our strength. Let us offer hope. Let us tell the world that a new age is not only possible but probable.

During the dark days of the Second World War, when this island was incandescent with courage, Winston Churchill exclaimed about Britain's adversaries, ``What kind of a people do they think we are?'' Well, Britain's adversaries found out what extraordinary people the British are. But all the democracies paid a terrible price for allowing the dictators to underestimate us. We dare not make that mistake again. So, let us ask ourselves, ``What kind of people do we think we are?'' And let us answer, ``Free people, worthy of freedom and determined not only to remain so but to help others gain their freedom as well.''

Sir Winston led his people to great victory in war and then lost an election just as the fruits of victory were about to be enjoyed. But he left office honorably, and, as it turned out, temporarily, knowing that the liberty of his people was more important than the fate of any single leader. History recalls his greatness in ways no dictator will ever know. And he left us a message of hope for the future, as timely now as when he first uttered it, as opposition leader in the Commons nearly 27 years ago, when he said, ``When we look back on all the perils through which we have passed and at the mighty foes that we have laid low and all the dark and deadly designs that we have frustrated, why should we fear for our future? We have,'' he said, ``come safely through the worst.''

Well, the task I've set forth will long outlive our own generation. But together, we too have come through the worst. Let us now begin a major effort to secure the best -- a crusade for freedom that will engage the faith and fortitude of the next generation. For the sake of peace and justice, let us move toward a world in which all people are at last free to determine their own destiny.

Thank you.

Ronald Reagan, before the House of Commons

In 1983, I was confined to an eight-by-ten-foot prison cell on the border of Siberia. My Soviet jailers gave me the privilege of reading the latest copy of Pravda. Splashed across the front page was a condemnation of President Ronald Reagan for having the temerity to call the Soviet Union an "evil empire." Tapping on walls and talking through toilets, word of Reagan's "provocation" quickly spread throughout the prison. We dissidents were ecstatic. Finally, the leader of the free world had spoken the truth – a truth that burned inside the heart of each and every one of us.

Natan Sharansky, in yesterday's Jerusalem Post

mc mark
06-09-2004, 02:42 PM
Many Still Troubled by Reagan's Legacy

By BETH FOUHY, Associated Press Writer

SAN FRANCISCO - As one of the first physicians to confront AIDS when it began its rampage through the gay community, Dr. Marcus Conant lobbied the Reagan administration in 1982 to launch an emergency campaign to educate Americans about the disease.

It took the president five more years to publicly mention the crisis. By then, almost 21,000 Americans had died and thousands more had been diagnosed. Conant, who lost scores of friends and patients to the disease, is still deeply angry — one of many Americans who view Reagan's legacy in a harsh light.

"Ronald Reagan and his administration could have made a substantial difference, but for ideological reasons, political reasons, moral reasons, they didn't do it," said the San Francisco dermatologist, who now deals with a new generation of AIDS patients. "President Reagan and his administration committed a crime, not just a sin."

Despite the accolades lavished upon Reagan since his death Saturday — for ending the Cold War, for restoring the nation's optimism — his many detractors remember him as a right-wing ideologue beholden to monied interests and insensitive to the needs of the most vulnerable Americans.

Bruce Cain, a political analyst at the University of California, Berkeley, said Reagan singularly brought conservatism into the mainstream during his presidency, an orthodoxy that has made Democrats and liberals an enduring minority in Washington.

"What made things worse for them is that he was an extremely influential figure, and his ideas had lasting impact," Cain said.

Elected on a promise to slash taxes and crack down on freeloading "welfare queens," Reagan depicted government as wasteful and minimized its capacity to help people, ideas that survive today. Reagan also dealt a blow to organized labor by firing the striking air traffic controllers, and appointed Antonin Scalia, still the Supreme Court's most conservative jurist.

Reagan's weakening of the social safety net by dismantling longtime Democratic "Great Society" programs arguably vexes his critics the most. By persuading Congress to approve sweeping tax cuts for the wealthy while slashing welfare benefits and other social services like the federal housing assistance program, Reagan was blamed for a huge surge in the nation's poor and homeless population.

Many won't forget his administration's proposal to classify ketchup as a vegetable as a way of further reducing spending on federally subsidized school lunches.

"Ronald Reagan really was a modern day Robin Hood in reverse — he stole from the poor and gave to the rich," said Michael Stoops, a longtime advocate for the homeless in Washington.

Critics give Reagan grudging credit for his ability to connect with working-class voters, who would come to be known as Reagan Democrats. He also galvanized conservative Christians to participate in the political process — even while putting some of their more prized goals on the back burner, like restricting abortion rights or restoring prayer in public school.

But other activists point to Reagan's early silence on the AIDS crisis as doing the bidding of the far right, with devastating results.

In San Francisco, the number of AIDS cases peaked during the Reagan administration. AIDS activist Rene Durazzo remembers it as a frightening time when "chronic death" seemed to pervade the city streets.

"The number of people dying was horrific. The disease was very visible — people were suffering and wasting," Durazzo said. "It was a very volatile environment, there was so much anger at the government for not paying attention."

In the end, critics say Reagan's enduring legacy may be the generation of Republican leaders — including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, House Majority Leader Tom Delay, and to some extent George W. Bush — who came of age during his presidency and have pursued a conservative social agenda with even greater gusto. That, in turn, helped create the bitterly divided political environment that exists to this day.

"The tone has gotten more venomous, largely because of the people who came after Reagan and carried the Reagan banner," said Roger Hickey, co-director of Campaign for America's Future, a liberal advocacy group. "I give him full credit for unleashing the vast right-wing conspiracy."

No Worries
06-09-2004, 02:53 PM
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=18898
Ronald Reagan: Still the Teflon President?
By Joe Strupp, Editor & Publisher
June 8, 2004

The death of Ronald Reagan has become yet another reminder that news organizations often turn sentimental at the death of a former leader, no matter what legacy he or she leaves behind.

Reagan's death, especially following the tragedy and torture of Alzheimer's disease, likely struck editors and reporters with a responsibility to go easy on the former president. Few, after all, protested the sacking of the CBS television movie about Reagan a few months back.

And the man did win two presidential elections, the second by a landslide, and led a rebirth of a Republican party that had been rocked by Watergate and other scandals. But let's not forget that the often-mocked Bill Clinton accomplished much the same for his party, and despite the Lewinsky disgrace, left office with approval ratings higher than Reagan's (and no federal budget deficit, to boot).

So the overwhelming praise for a president who plunged the nation into its worst deficit ever, ignored and cut public money for the poor, while also ignoring the AIDS crisis, is a bit tough to take. During my years at Brooklyn College, between 1984 and 1988, countless classmates had to drop out or find other ways to pay for school because of Reagan's policies, which included slashing federal grants for poor students and cutting survivor benefits for families of the disabled.

Not to mention the Iran-contra scandal, failed 'supply-side economics,' the ludicrous invasion of Grenada, 241 dead Marines in Lebanon, and a costly military buildup that may have contributed to the breakup of the Soviet Union (there were plenty of other reasons too) but also kept us closer to nuclear war than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis, besides leaving us billions of dollars in debt.

And should we even mention the many senior Reagan officials, including ex-White House aide Michael Deaver and national security adviser Robert McFarlane, convicted of various offenses? What about Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, indicted but later pardoned by the first President Bush?

Paying respect is one thing, and well deserved, but the way the press is gushing over Reagan is too much to take, sparking renewed talk of putting him on the $10 bill or Mount Rushmore.

The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz noted today that when the media, back in the 1980s, dubbed Reagan the "Teflon" president "it was not meant as a compliment." Apparently, he is still the Teflon president, even in death.

Some newspapers, at least, have readily acknowledged some of his many shortcomings in editorials, even if it's only a fraction of their overall rosy review.

The Philadelphia Inquirer stated, "Yes, he butchered facts, invented anecdotes, indulged White House chaos, and seemed dreamily unaware of the illegal deeds done during Iran-contra. He was guilty of all that, as well as union-busting, callousness to the poor, a failure to grasp America's multicultural destiny." The Boston Globe, meanwhile, declared the "Reagan legacy also includes the improbable Star Wars' missile defense proposal and the shameful Iran-Contra scandal. And the humming economy was energized in large part by deep tax cuts and heavy military spending that together produced crippling budget deficits. Reagan did little to advance such goals as education or civil rights."

The New York Times recalled, "Mr. Reagan's decision to send marines to Lebanon was disastrous, however, and his invasion of Grenada pure melodrama. His most reckless episode involved the scheme to supply weapons to Iran as ransom for Americans who were being held hostage in Lebanon, and to use the proceeds to illegally finance contra insurgents in Nicaragua."

Had you read the Washington Post, you would have found, "A lot of people were hurt by these policies, a fact that in our view did not weigh heavily enough on this president. His intermittent denigration of government, and of people who depended on government services, fed into and bolstered hurtful and unfair stereotypes."

For me, however, the Los Angeles Times, which had the advantage of following Reagan from his first days as California governor, seemed to offer the best assessment, declaring that his administration had far more problems than most other papers admitted.

"As president, Reagan was genial, ever-smiling – ignoring unpleasant facts, idealizing hopeful fantasies," the paper's editorial said. "The mark of Reagan's presidency was paradox. Having campaigned as an implacable foe of government deficit spending, he left office with a federal debt that was nearly triple its level when he was inaugurated. He succumbed, as Bush has, to the fallacious 'supply side' economic notion that government revenues rise if taxes are cut."

The L.A. Times continued, "Hero though Reagan was to so many Americans, his legacy is marred. Economically, the Reagan years were epitomized by a freewheeling entrepreneurialism and free spending. But the affluent got more affluent and the poor got poorer. The number of families living below the poverty line increased by one-third. The Reagan administration's zeal for deregulation of industry helped create the savings and loan debacle, which left taxpayers holding the bag for billions of dollars in losses."

Still, the fact that enough other papers all but glossed over his troubles concerns me. Newspapers, especially on the editorial page, are looked upon to give fair assessments of politicians, especially one as powerful and impactful as Reagan. And yet we see The Las Vegas Review- Journal rewriting history in defending Reagan's poor economic practices by blaming Congress: "Critics will no doubt point to ballooning budget deficits in the 1980s, ignoring the fact that Congress refused to implement the lean budgets the Reagan administration proposed and instead went on a spending spree facilitated by the overflowing federal coffers triggered when the president's tax cuts pulled the country out of its economic doldrums and led to unprecedented growth."

Among the worst, however, was The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, which also apparently likes to ignore the facts, in claiming that Reagan "took full responsibility" for Iran-contra. When was this? When he continuously claimed not to remember his involvement?

Maybe that is just what happens when people die. The death of Richard Nixon 10 years ago – the last U.S. president to pass on – also sparked positive reviews of many elements of his life, but his Watergate legacy and other lowly acts often held center stage. In Nixon's case, however, it was hard to ignore such an obvious downfall.

In Reagan's case, his genial public persona, and Alzheimer's end, may have made it more difficult to knock down a popular leader, despite the fact that some argue Iran-Contra was a more impeachable offense than Watergate.

Maybe it's to be expected that the press, when covering a leader's death, will take a kinder, gentler approach. But in the interests of fair, accurate journalism – something that has become a leading issue in the media today – no former leader should be above a frank, complete, and balanced assessment.

Joe Strupp (jstrupp@editorandpublisher.com) is senior editor for E&P.

real_egal
06-09-2004, 02:53 PM
As a non-American, I can notice that all the props given to Reagon's presidency in the media lately. Of course, his passing away is a big event, and to pay tribute to him, especially a very likable person, is surely good gesture. But I heard a lot about that he boosted confidence in American and caused the collapse of Soviet Union, which I can not quite understand. I always think American people as a whole, is a very confident nation, although sometimes appears to me a little bit over-confident:) And Gorbachov should have taken the most credit of UdSSR's collapse and Berlin Wall's break-down. And I am also very puzzled, how come Clinton is not liked that much. In his term, you guys actually had a surplus, and the unemployment was low, and US became the sole super power in the world and super rich. Remember the early 90s, when Japanese real estate giants took most of the seats in Top 10 richest person in the world, and all the large US organizations were screming to adapt Japanese enterprise management models? Whether it should be credited to him or not, but those were good times for you I guess. He cheated on his wife, like the other 50% men. Of course he said "American people, I did not have sex with this woman", under oath. But the starting point was still his relationship with a intern, which of course became a critical "national secret" issue, so that he had to decribe all the details in front of everyone. But I couldn't understand why everyone is making fun of him on TV, and critisizing everything he did.

No Worries
06-09-2004, 02:55 PM
The Reagan administration's zeal for deregulation of industry helped create the savings and loan debacle, which left taxpayers holding the bag for billions of dollars in losses.

Make that a $500 billion loss, which was accounted for off-the-books during GHWB's Presidency.

FranchiseBlade
06-09-2004, 03:11 PM
The thing that's funny is people's credit with Reagan for winning the cold war. He did play a part, and he does deserve some credit. But the Berlin wall was not torn down because Reagan got out there and said, 'tear down this wall Mr. Gorbachev' The fact is that Gorbachev had as much if not more to do with the end of the Soviet Union's communism. He entered office with the idea of Glasnost and reform firmly in hand. To ignore his own ideas of change and sweeping reforms is to ignore the whole picture. Yes there has been some over positive looks on his legacy, but I believe it will even out over time.

basso
06-09-2004, 06:14 PM
watching the funeral procession now. i can remember where i was when i heard kennedy was shot (i was 5!), but i don't remember the funeral, nor do i remember seeing anything like this when Ike, LBJ, or truman died. nixon's funeral, although i think wall street was closed, wasn't a state affair. was JFK's the last such funeral?

SamFisher
06-09-2004, 06:20 PM
Originally posted by basso
watching the funeral procession now. i can remember where i was when i heard kennedy was shot (i was 5!), but i don't remember the funeral, nor do i remember seeing anything like this when Ike, LBJ, or truman died. nixon's funeral, although i think wall street was closed, wasn't a state affair. was JFK's the last such funeral?

I don't know, but this is the most obsessively news covered traveling corpse since, uh, since Reagan was in office! Zing!

basso
06-09-2004, 06:20 PM
damn, a friend just called and accused reagan of going to tehran to prevent the hostages from being released until he could be inaugurated. i chose not to...engage...

basso
06-09-2004, 06:24 PM
must be pool cameras. cnn and fox have the same feed. a general just said a 21 "ship" flyover will occur. are these flying boats? i knew reagan was old, but....

basso
06-09-2004, 06:25 PM
btw, anybody know how old nancy is?

basso
06-09-2004, 06:31 PM
ok, fox says a "cassion" carried eisenhower and lbj, so obviously they got the parade. ike died in '69, truman in '72, LBJ in '73.

rimrocker
06-09-2004, 06:45 PM
Originally posted by basso
btw, anybody know how old nancy is?

80 I believe.

Deckard
06-09-2004, 06:47 PM
Originally posted by basso
ok, fox says a "cassion" carried eisenhower and lbj, so obviously they got the parade. ike died in '69, truman in '72, LBJ in '73.
It's a state funeral for a former President. I remember watching JFK's on TV, and it was similar. For some reason, the ones you mentioned are hazy for me. Honestly can't recall how elaborate they were, but I don't think this one is too unusual and certainly not inappropriate.

Reagan made quite an impact on the country for 8 years, whether one liked the impact or not. I enjoyed voting against him twice and didn't enjoy his election victories, but there's no denying that he was a presence. When Clinton dies, I suspect we'll see a similar event and reaction, although some may find that hard to believe. Time puts everything in a different lens... often in soft focus. These events draw us closer together as a nation. They are our Presidents, whether we voted for them or not.

basso
06-09-2004, 06:54 PM
Originally posted by Deckard
It's a state funeral for a former President. I remember watching JFK's on TV, and it was similar. For some reason, the ones you mentioned are hazy for me. Honestly can't recall how elaborate they were, but I don't think this one is too unusual and certainly not inappropriate.

Reagan made quite an impact on the country for 8 years, whether one liked the impact or not. I enjoyed voting against him twice and didn't enjoy his election victories, but there's no denying that he was a presence. When Clinton dies, I suspect we'll see a similar event and reaction, although some may find that hard to believe. Time puts everything in a different lens... often in soft focus. These events draw us closer together as a nation. They are our Presidents, whether we voted for them or not.

yeah, i think the circumstances of JFK's death are why we remember that event, and the others died before the ubiquity of cable TV and the internet. nixon's funeral was more subdude, for obvious reasons. i thought all of this was friday, for some reason. isn't the street closed then?

Deckard
06-09-2004, 06:59 PM
Originally posted by basso
yeah, i think the circumstances of JFK's death are why we remember that event, and the others died before the ubiquity of cable TV and the internet. nixon's funeral was more subdude, for obvious reasons. i thought all of this was friday, for some reason. isn't the street closed then?
Isn't he going to be placed under the Capitol rotunda until Friday? I thought that was where he was going today.

Grizzled
06-09-2004, 07:57 PM
bnb said:
Between yourself and Grizzled i can see i'm quickly outgunned in historical knowledge. Though i'm becoming much more versed in Indian cuisine opportunities in NY.
These are places where you can find good Samosa, no doubt, not to be confused with Samoza, which would undoubtedly be quite a bit tougher and not nearly as satisfying. ;)

Grizzled, you effectively picked apart the weaknesses in my discussion. Valid points. I'm certainly much more cynical about the workings of the world than you are. In theory, and from a distance, i'll agree with virtually all your positions.

On the micro level, my uncertainty arises from talking with people without a political agenda who are directly affected by some of these policies. Basso made reference to a doctor in Chili. I've heard similar concerns from people from Iran and Nicaragua. People concerned not so much about political systems, or theories of governance, but rather about day to day living. The observations you hear from individuals, rather than read in a book, or see summarized in a study.

Thanks for the compliment, and you raise a very good point. The macro/micro perspectives you mention are a good way to look at it. Ken Wilber talked about something like this in one of his books and it struck me as being quite true. He also pointed out that liberals tend to view the world from the macro perspective, thinking about things deterministically, in terms of programs and policies which will shape society, and not really considering the role of personal responsibility or how many of these policies look and work from the perspective of the individual. Conservatives on the other hand tend to look only at the micro level view, the world of personal responsibility and personal freedoms. The result, says Wilber, is that the two often tend to talk past one another, essentially talking about two different perspective of the same issue. Future leaders, that would be our generation, must learn to look at the world from both perspectives, he says, and find the appropriate balances and positive sum gains based on an understanding of both perspectives.

In answer to the problems you pose, a typical answer from the traditional liberal perspective would be that a simgle individual’s opinion and rights don't take precedence over the majority’s opinion and rights. And this is true, but it's only one part of issue. Looking at it from the individual’s perspective we may well be able to identify concerns that could be addressed without taking away from the rights of the majority. I think we’d have to know more about what the Chilean Dr.’s concerns were to address that particular situation here, but let’s say his concerns were with an oppressive bureaucracy. Typically that can be changed and streamlined without compromising the higher level objectives. If he objected to an extra 10% income tax that was being used for education or healthcare or infrastructure otoh, then I would say that that should not be changed and he should be helped to understand that what is good for the nation and the people will also be good for him, i.e. he will have more business because more people will be able to afford his services. He will be safer with better policing and less poverty, etc. In short, there are positive sum gains in almost every situation that are good for almost everybody concerned, and these are what should be sought without consideration for whether the fit traditional liberal views or traditional conservative views.

On a macro level, i see highly complicated and intertwined factors influencing world events that lose their significance when taken in isolation. Deji (i think) posted a great perspective on US funding of the Israel and Egyptian militaries - and the success thereof in maintaining peace. Mango's observes, quite fairly i'd say, that 'who knew?' about Islamic Fundamentalism, taken in context, is not necessarily as reckless as it appears today. I suggest you may be looking critically at the 'bad' and less so at the 'good.'
I agree that the complexities are huge, but if you are suggesting that this should be an excuse to throw up our hands and claim we can’t know anything and therefore we shouldn’t do anything, then I would wholeheartedly disagree. That point of view is the postmodernist/poststructuralist type thinking that Habermas calls a new conservatism. "There are no metanarratives, there no universal moralities, so we should just do nothing let the status quo be." This works fine if you happen to be in a privileged position, but it does nothing to help you if you’re not. This is why Habermas says it’s not progressive but really a new form of conservatism. I think we should try to do “good”, but never fool ourselves into believing we know exactly what that is. We need to continually and humbly reflect on what we’re doing and what is really going on in the contexts we’re intervening in, and to continually and perpetually strive to find our mistakes and correct them. Adorno and Lyotard were wrong, IMO. Habermas is pretty darn close to having it right.

Mango's original post was about policy that certainly affected the fall of the iron curtain, yet you appear to dismiss these events by suggesting Russia was collapsing anyways. Perhaps it was collapsing anyway, at least in part, due to the culmination of these various events.
I think it’s generally acknowledged that the Soviet Union was collapsing on its own anyway, but that’s no trivial matter. The failure of a super power has all kinds of very significant risk factors associated with it. That this was negotiated without a shot (I don’t recall one being fired internally either, or any kind of coup attempt) is remarkable. I will agree that Reagan played a part in this, a very significant part, but I think it’s more his simplemindedness that deserves the credit than his clever strategy. It allowed, IMO, Gorbachev to essentially work the situation for the USSR’s maximum benefit, which, thanks to Gorbachev’s intelligence and vision, was very much in line with what was in the best long term interests of both countries. Unless you think Reagan would have actually pushed the button and his handlers would have allowed this to happen, and more importantly unless you believe Gorbachev believed this, then all of Reagan’s theatrics were strictly for domestic consumption.

The genius, IMO, is in what Gorbachev did, and heaven only knows how he did it. He would have had to convince a lot of powerful people that what he was proposing was best for the USSR, and best for them personally. Perhaps, for speculation sake, he used the burning platform approach. “Gentlemen, the situation we’re in now is unsustainable. The Soviet system as we have known it is doomed to collapse.” And he would have had to prove it to them. The huge inefficiencies and corruption in the system were well known. Nonetheless, this would have been a bitter, bitter pill for many of them to swallow. At this point a lot of options, many not very pleasant, would be floating through the heads of these still powerful men. What Gorbachev has to do then is paint a clear vision of a better future, and define a clear path how to get there. It may have gone something like this. (In your best Russian accent) “Gentlemen, this is what we are dealing with in Reagan. He sees the world this way, and what is important to him (even if he’s not aware of it) and his party is how this plays domestically. There is room for us to make a very good deal for ourselves here. If we don’t use the exit opportunity that is in front of us now, we may never get the same chance again. We may be able to hold out for another 10 years, but then we’ll all freeze in the dark and all hell will break lose domestically. What Reagan really wants is to be seen as strong and a hero at home. What we need is money, lots and lots of it, and time to radically restructure our economy. I can get this as part of the deal. Of course there will also be very nice nest eggs for all of you to take care of yourselves and your families too. So Gentlemen, will it be 10 more years of sliding down hill after which time we all freeze in the dark, or do you want an infusion of hundreds of millions of dollars to try to reform our economies, and, of course, to be independently wealthy yourselves? Remember that a future president may not be as easy to deal with. A smarter man will undoubtedly be more meddling and want a more complicated deal. Dealing with Carter or Nixon would not have been nearly as straightforward as dealing with Reagan. This is a one time opportunity that we should not pass up.” Of course he’s going to phrase it in a way that is most positive for them. The fact remains that their country/powerbase was collapsing, so he would have had to show them a better future and convince them that it was a realistic possibility.

All i'm saying, in a long convoluted way, is that these events are far more complicated and reaching than we sometimes admit.
Agreed

That our actions are not as short-sighted, or as partisan as they lend themselves to be portrayed in hindsight. And that our leaders may well genuinely have very good intentions in what they're doing.
I’ll have to give a yes and no answer to this. There are honest mistakes, and there are foolish and self-serving mistakes. And if we look closer at the individual situation I think we can begin to tell which is which, although we can never claim 100% certainty.

This shouldn't absolve them from responsibility and accountability when they 'break the rules.' And process is exceedingly important even if the 'other guys' don't abide by it. I'm just not as receptive anymore to arguments that pin the majority of the responsibility of abuses around the world to US actions, either directly, or by suggesting that even when the US is not involved its simply a reaction to US involvement or non-involvement -- without at least recognizing that other factions are equally, or sometimes more so, at play.
I think that perhaps you haven’t been around for some of our other political discussion, and I haven’t been around much myself for a while, but I have actually have a very similar opinion to yours. The US is in a very difficult position as the world’s most powerful nation. For some people they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. And other counties, like Canada for example, will never face the same kind of dilemmas. Further, we freeload off the American military essentially using them for our security while spending almost nothing on our own, so we are by no means as pure as the driven snow ourselves. (I wonder how many Texans are familiar with that saying ;)). That said, IMHO, Reagan was the scariest, least competent, most immoral president that I know anything about. But I’ve also said that that is my perspective as a non-American, as a Canadian. For reasons that escape me, he clearly played quite differently domestically, but I wasn’t there to see it.

bnb
06-09-2004, 08:28 PM
Thanks for taking the time to respond Grizz. I pretty much agree with all of what you wrote.

Except you called me a conservative. And that hurts.

I was pretty cool with the "Post modernist/ Post structuralist" label, and was all set to grow a goatee and buy a turtle-neck, but then i read how you defined it, and wasn't so sure it was a compliment ;).

mc mark
06-09-2004, 08:35 PM
Time puts everything in a different lens... often in soft focus. These events draw us closer together as a nation. They are our Presidents, whether we voted for them or not.

amen

Basso I think LBJ in 73 was the last state funeral.

The last few posts have been nice.

edit: ops! Basso, I see you found it.

Castor27
06-09-2004, 10:19 PM
Not sure if they have a state funeral everytime a president dies but there is a 300 page manual for conducting one. However, the family does have some input on certain things that are done and how they are handled.

No Worries
06-10-2004, 01:01 PM
Reagan 32, Clinton 0

Reagan administration era convictions in the Iran-contra scandal:

14 (two overturned on appeal)

Reagan officials convicted for illegal lobbying:

2 (Lyn Nofziger, White House political director, convicted to 30 days and $30,000 fine, overturned on appeal; Michael Deaver, White House deputy chief of staff, convicted and $100,000, given probation.)

Reagan officials convicted in Housing and Urban Development department scandal:

16

Total Reagan era felony convictions: 32


Clinton administration officials indicted and/or convicted in connection with Whitewater:

0

Clinton administration officials indicted and/or convicted in connection with Travel Office allegations:

0

Clinton administration officials indicted and/or convicted in connection with alleged abuse of FBI files:

0

Clinton administration officials indicted and/of convicted in connection with Lewinsky matter:

0

Clinton administration officials indicted and/or convicted in connection with the Independent Counsel investigation of Interior Secretary Bruce Babbit:

0

Clinton administration officials indicted and/or convicted in connection with the Independent Counsel investigation of Labor Secretary Alexis Herman:

0

Clinton administration officials indicted and/or convicted in connection with the Independent Counsel investigation of Americorps director Eli Siegal:

0

Clinton administration officials indicted and/or convicted in connection with the
Independent Counsel investigation of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown:

0 (Investigation abandoned upon Brown’s death in nation’s service)

Clinton Administration officials convicted in connection with the Independent Counsel investigation of Agriculture Secretary Michael Espy:

0 (Espy acquitted of all charges. Judge sharply rebukes Independent Counsel Donald Smaltz for bringing case in the first place.)

Other:

HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for misstating to the F.B.I. the amount of money he gave his girlfriend;

Assistant Attorney-General Webster Hubbell convicted of embezzling funds from Rose Law Firm before his federal appointment; that is, stealing from his law partners, including Hillary Rodham Clinton; Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker, a political rival of Bill Clinton’s, convicted on charges involving local television licensing, and nothing at all to do with Clinton; Jim and Susan McDougal, convicted of crimes in Whitewater matter. In summation to the court, Independent Counsel declares that President Clinton is innocent of wrongdoing.

Total Convictions era felony convictions: 0

http://thepragmaticprogressive.blogspot.com/2004_03_07_thepragmaticprogressive_archive.html

B-Bob
06-10-2004, 01:02 PM
Originally posted by No Worries
Reagan 32, Clinton 0

Dude, Reagan kicked his ass so bad! A shutout!

MadMax
06-10-2004, 01:03 PM
when I think of Henry Cisneros...President Reagan does NOT come to mind.

No Worries
06-10-2004, 01:27 PM
From Independent Council Lawrence E. Walsh's final report on his Iran/Contra investigation (1994?) ...

Overall Conclusions

The investigations and prosecutions have shown that high-ranking Administration officials violated laws and executive orders in the Iran/contra matter.

Independent Counsel concluded that:

the sales of arms to Iran contravened United States Government policy and may have violated the Arms Export Control Act1

the provision and coordination of support to the contras violated the Boland Amendment ban on aid to military activities in Nicaragua;

the policies behind both the Iran and contra operations were fully reviewed and developed at the highest levels of the Reagan Administration;

although there was little evidence of National Security Council level knowledge of most of the actual contra-support operations, there was no evidence that any NSC member dissented from the underlying policykeeping the contras alive despite congressional limitations on contra support;

the Iran operations were carried out with the knowledge of, among others, President Ronald Reagan, Vice President George Bush, Secretary of State George P. Shultz, Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger, Director of Central Intelligence William J. Casey, and national security advisers Robert C. McFarlane and John M. Poindexter; of these officials, only Weinberger and Shultz dissented from the policy decision, and Weinberger eventually acquiesced by ordering the Department of Defense to provide the necessary arms; and

large volumes of highly relevant, contemporaneously created documents were systematically and willfully withheld from investigators by several Reagan Administration officials.

following the revelation of these operations in October and November 1986, Reagan Administration officials deliberately deceived the Congress and the public about the level and extent of official knowledge of and support for these operations.

In addition, Independent Counsel concluded that the off-the-books nature of the Iran and contra operations gave line-level personnel the opportunity to commit money crimes.

http://www.pinknoiz.com/covert/icsummary.html

No Worries
06-10-2004, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by MadMax
when I think of Henry Cisneros...President Reagan does NOT come to mind.
When I think of Henry Cisneros, I think of Smarty Pants running out of gas at the end of the Belmont.

ima_drummer2k
06-10-2004, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by No Worries
Reagan 32, Clinton 0

Reagan administration era convictions in the Iran-contra scandal:

Recruiter: Have you ever been convicted of a felony?

John Winger: Convicted? No...

MadMax
06-10-2004, 01:33 PM
Originally posted by No Worries
When I think of Henry Cisneros, I think of Smarty Pants running out of gas at the end of the Belmont.

i think of his jackass jockey who runs him full-out in his longest race ever with no regard for his own statements that he's a push-button horse!!! he had no business having that kind of lead going into the final turn. no business, i tell you!!!!! :mad: :mad: :mad:


(i feel better now)

GreenVegan76
06-10-2004, 01:46 PM
http://www.bartcop.com/but-he...1.jpg

rimrocker
06-10-2004, 05:27 PM
Just for grins, here are the other two in the series...

http://www.bartcop.com/but-he...2.jpg

http://www.bartcop.com/but-he...3.jpg

No Worries
06-10-2004, 05:42 PM
As an aside, while looking for Raygun bashing articles to post here I came across this site:

http://articles.findarticles.com/p/search?tb=art&qt=%2BPresidents+%2BEvaluation

It really is just a collection of links to article wrt ranking the US presidents. Many interesting reads have followed.

Enjoy.

Mango
06-10-2004, 05:56 PM
Grizzled,

Could you send me an email?

basso
06-10-2004, 06:26 PM
there's an important part of the reagan legacy we've missed:

http://search.excaliburfilms.com/gif/excal/largemoviepicU582J/vhs_4675V1.jpg

met her once- pretty hot in person too.

Grizzled
06-10-2004, 06:39 PM
The “Canadian response” to Reagan’s passing. :rolleyes:

Good golly! CNN is doing a first class con job on American public today. I flip on the television to see former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney giving the “Canadian response” to Reagan’s death and legacy. Brian Mulroney was our PM for most of the time Reagan was in power, and he and Ron were buddies. (There are rumours that some of Reagan’s neo-con spin doctors both helped get Mulroney get elected as leader of the Progressive Conservative party, and helped his party win the 1984 federal election). But Mulroney is widely considered to be the worst PM in the history of Canada and is easily the most disliked if not despised. Part of this legacy, but by no means all of it, is due to the fact that he was a strong supporter of Reagan. He also pulled off a feat that I’m not sure has ever been surpassed in major national election anywhere. He led his party from a majority government position of 169 seats in 1988 to a simply massive defeat in 1993. To be completely accurate he bailed out a few months before the 93 election and Kim Campbell was the official leader for the historic defeat, but the defeat belonged to no one but Mulroney. He led his party from 169 seats in 1988 to 2 in 1993. No, I’m not missing a digit. 1 and another 1 makes 2. They went from 42% of the popular vote to 16%. He killed the party, permanently. They limped along for another 10 years on the margins, but a party that existed before the fathers of confederation brought this country into existence in was destroyed and no longer exists because of the gross incompetence and unpopularity of Brian Mulroney.

And this after noon CNN is presenting him as the voice of Canada giving the Canadian perspective on Reagan’s passing. Un … freakin’ … believable …

Grizzled
06-10-2004, 06:42 PM
Originally posted by Mango
Grizzled,

Could you send me an email?

Done!

Grizzled
06-10-2004, 07:56 PM
Here's a more accurate reflection of how Canadians veiw Reagan's legacy:

Jun. 7, 2004. 01:00 AM
Editorial: Reagan's great appeal


If Ronald Reagan can't be counted among America's truly great presidents, he was easily one of the most popular. He cheated an assassin's bullet, beat back cancer, and appealed with certainty and strength to his country's "best hopes," not its darkest fears.

The Great Communicator's cheery optimism —"America is back"— served as a restorative tonic to a nation that feared the Soviet Union, was battered by Vietnam, Watergate and economic turmoil, felt humiliated during the Iran hostage-taking, and was nagged by a sense of decline.

Reagan's death Saturday deprives the United States of a Republican icon who turned the nation against "big government." And whose terms saw the Cold War wind down without a shot being fired, and America emerge as the undisputed global hyper-power.

While Reagan was considered a friend to Canada by former prime minister Brian Mulroney, many Canadians felt the pair were too close. They never warmed to Reagan's Red-baiting rhetoric, his support for rightwing causes in Central America, or his discredited Reaganomics trickle-down economic policy.

Indeed, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau felt compelled to end his own career with a global peace campaign, to reassure the Russians that their views on détente, and political and economic reform, had traction in the West. That was how tense things were during much of Reagan's tenure from 1980 to 1988.

Reagan railed at the Communist "evil empire," launched the $30 billion "Star Wars" missile defence program that threatened to scuttle détente and which still doesn't work, and presided over a military build-up that persuaded the Soviets they could never outspend their rivals.

If he can't be credited with bringing down the rotten Soviet empire, like Pope John Paul II, he demoralized its leaders, and nudged things along.

Yet Reagan's attitudes weren't frozen in amber. By 1988, when former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev promised glasnost and perestroika, Reagan declared Gorbachev to be "a serious man seeking serious reform" who deserved America's support. The two cut a historic arms deal.

Americans basked in Reagan's sunny, almost obstinate, optimism, and forgave him any number of sins. At times, Reagan's certitude masked an infirm grasp of the facts, a passive indifference to who was minding the White House store, and callousness toward the needy.

He was notoriously inattentive to details, even before his Alzheimer's disease became public a decade ago.

While he preached small government his $1 trillion military build-up and freewheeling tax cuts helped triple the U.S. deficit, and plunged a third more American families into poverty. The U.S. quit Lebanon when terrorists struck its troops. And his second term was tainted when he approved the sale of arms to Iran to gain the release of U.S. hostages, and some profits were given to Contra insurgents fighting Nicaragua's Sandinista government.

But Reagan —sportscaster, Hollywood B movie hero and the last real Cold Warrior—would become the only modern president to quit office more popular than when he arrived.

He made Americans feel good, appealing to their pride and patriotism, and they thanked him for it.
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1086559808909&call_pageid=968256290204&col=968350116795

basso
06-10-2004, 08:20 PM
Originally posted by Grizzled
There are rumours that some of Reagan’s neo-con spin doctors both helped get Mulroney get elected as leader of the Progressive Conservative party, and helped his party win the 1984 federal election

neoconservatism didn't exist during reagan's terms, they're a mid-90's phenomenom.

Grizzled
06-10-2004, 08:33 PM
It’s a fuzzy term to be sure, but it was certainly used by many in the 80’s to refer to Reagan’s administration.

Neoconservatism (United States)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Neoconservatism refers to the political goals and ideology of the "new conservatives" in the United States, characterized by hawkish views on foreign policy and a lesser emphasis on social issues and minimal government than other strains of American conservatism. The "newness" refers either to being new to American conservatism (often coming from liberal or socialist backgrounds) or to being part of a "new wave" of conservative thought and political organization. In both meanings the term is sometimes used pejoratively.

More specifically, the term refers to journalists, pundits, policy analysts, and institutions affiliated with policy think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and periodicals such as Commentary and The Weekly Standard. The neoconservatives, often dubbed the neocons by supporters and critics alike, are credited with (or blamed for) influencing U.S. foreign policy, especially under the administrations of Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) and George W. Bush (2001-present)….
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoconservatism_%28United_States%29

MadMax
06-11-2004, 02:11 PM
Like him or not...can you imagine spending your day this way? Carrying a sign at a dead man's funeral saying the deceased is in hell? Great. :rolleyes: What a sad life to carry that much venom around.


http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20040611/capt.zeb10206111551.ronald_reagan_zeb102.jpg

wouldabeen23
06-11-2004, 02:41 PM
Originally posted by MadMax
Like him or not...can you imagine spending your day this way? Carrying a sign at a dead man's funeral saying the deceased is in hell? Great. :rolleyes: What a sad life to carry that much venom around.


http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20040611/capt.zeb10206111551.ronald_reagan_zeb102.jpg

Why on earth are these folks saying he will end up in hell?? Did he not do enough to oppose abortion or gays??

ima_drummer2k
06-11-2004, 02:42 PM
Man, I'll bet those people are just a barrel of laughs at parties...

FranchiseBlade
06-11-2004, 02:57 PM
That's a ridiculous thin to do at a funeral. It's a ridiculous thing to do not at a funeral. However, at least in the Christian religion, it's not those people who decides what happens. It's not the (Christian)homophobes that say that Mathew Sheppard is in hell who decide either.

The way I believe I'm not in charge of who goes where, so I don't spend my time proclaiming where any person's soul will be after death. I leave that up to God, and try to live in the way I believe God wants. I'll never get it perfect so until I do that's where most of my energy goes.

MadMax
06-11-2004, 03:02 PM
Originally posted by FranchiseBlade
That's a ridiculous thin to do at a funeral. It's a ridiculous thing to do not at a funeral. However, at least in the Christian religion, it's not those people who decides what happens. It's not the (Christian)homophobes that say that Mathew Sheppard is in hell who decide either.

The way I believe I'm not in charge of who goes where, so I don't spend my time proclaiming where any person's soul will be after death. I leave that up to God, and try to live in the way I believe God wants. I'll never get it perfect so until I do that's where most of my energy goes.

EXACTLY!

bamaslammer
06-11-2004, 03:10 PM
Originally posted by MadMax
Like him or not...can you imagine spending your day this way? Carrying a sign at a dead man's funeral saying the deceased is in hell? Great. :rolleyes: What a sad life to carry that much venom around.


http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20040611/capt.zeb10206111551.ronald_reagan_zeb102.jpg
Those are sick, sick bastards. Some tear gas, a squad of riot gear clad cops with baseball bats and some water hoses would take care of that human debris.

Grizzled
06-11-2004, 03:29 PM
Originally posted by FranchiseBlade
That's a ridiculous thin to do at a funeral. It's a ridiculous thing to do not at a funeral. However, at least in the Christian religion, it's not those people who decides what happens. It's not the (Christian)homophobes that say that Mathew Sheppard is in hell who decide either.

The way I believe I'm not in charge of who goes where, so I don't spend my time proclaiming where any person's soul will be after death. I leave that up to God, and try to live in the way I believe God wants. I'll never get it perfect so until I do that's where most of my energy goes.

I'll third that. I wrote this before I read your post, so it overlaps, but I'll post it anyway:

That’s the mirror image of the judgementalism that you see from many in the Christian right. No one has any right to judge another man, not from the left or the right or from any direction. That’s God’s job. We need to discern for ourselves, and we can comment on the actions of his administration, but you can’t justify that. That kind of thing even undermines the litigate criticisms of his administration.

wouldabeen23
06-11-2004, 03:29 PM
Originally posted by bamaslammer
Those are sick, sick bastards. Some tear gas, a squad of riot gear clad cops with baseball bats and some water hoses would take care of that human debris.

I agree, SICK bastards--your solution would be great except for that whole "free speech" thing...what a BUMMER

MadMax
06-11-2004, 03:32 PM
Originally posted by Grizzled
I'll third that. I wrote this before I read your post, so it overlaps, but I'll post it anyway:

That’s the mirror image of the judgementalism that you see from many in the Christian right. No one has any right to judge another man, not from the left or the right or from any direction. That’s God’s job. We need to discern for ourselves, and we can comment on the actions of his administration, but you can’t justify that. That kind of thing even undermines the litigate criticisms of his administration.

man, i wish you posted here more!

B-Bob
06-11-2004, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by MadMax
http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20040611/capt.zeb10206111551.ronald_reagan_zeb102.jpg
Why is someone holding up a "No Turn On Red" sign? I don't get it. Freaks.

RocketMan Tex
06-11-2004, 05:05 PM
Originally posted by bamaslammer
Those are sick, sick bastards. Some tear gas, a squad of riot gear clad cops with baseball bats and some water hoses would take care of that human debris.

And, of course, those who will be holding up "Clinton in Hell" signs at his funeral 20 years from now will be God fearing patriotic Americans, right bama?:rolleyes:

bnb
06-11-2004, 05:14 PM
Originally posted by B-Bob
Why is someone holding up a "No Turn On Red" sign? I don't get it. Freaks.

That's Bamma holding up the "no lefties" sign. ;)

Grizzled
06-11-2004, 05:19 PM
Originally posted by MadMax
man, i wish you posted here more!

I’ve been dropping in from time to time but haven’t had the time to get involved in any of the discussions. I saw some threads where I thought you were doing a great job explaining and representing the Christian faith. One of the great things about this board for me has been to come to know someone from the “Christian right” who I clearly sense knows the same God I do. Prior to this, I’ll have to admit, I could not conceive how anybody on in the Christian right could possibly be a real Christian, and much of that I think came from what I saw of the leaders of the CR who supported Reagan. While I think no more highly of Reagan today, or those leaders of the CR, I now can see that this is not the entirety of who the people in the CR churches are. We have a whole lot more common ground than I thought, and I think there’s room for the CR and CL to understand each other even more in the future too.

Grizzled
06-11-2004, 05:35 PM
Reagan administration’s knowledge of and assistance with Iraq’s WMD:

Use of chemical weapons during the war with Iran
In 1980 the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency filed a report asserting that Iraq had been actively acquiring chemical weapons capacities for several years. Subsequent events proved that this estimate was very likely correct.
In 1982 Iraqi forces started deploying chemical weapons against Iranian troops. In 1983 the use was greatly increased.
In 1982 the Reagan administration removed Iraq from the U.S. State Department's list of countries sponsoring terrorism. This opened the gate to U.S. trade and support of Iraq during the war with Iran. In 1983 the Reagan administration secretly administered the channeling of U.S. weaponry to Iraq, after special envoy Donald Rumsfeld helped formally reestablish relations cut off in the Six-Day War of 1967.
The Washington post reported that in 1984 [b]the CIA secretely started feeding intelligence to the Iraqi army. This included assistance in targeting chemical weapons strikes. The same year it was confirmed beyond doubt by European doctors and U.N. expert missions that Iraq was employing chemical weapons against the Iranians.
Despite this the Reagan administration re-established full diplomatic ties with Iraq on 26 November the same year and continued supplying Iraq with intelligence and equipment.
The Halabja incident
On 23 March western media sources reported from Halabja in Iraqi Kurdistan, that several days before Iraq had launched a large scale chemical assault on the town. Later estimates were that 4000 people had been killed.
The incident caused an international outcry against the Iraqis. Later that year the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the "Prevention of Genocide Act", cutting off all U.S. assistance to Iraq and stopping U.S. imports of Iraqi oil. The Reagan administration opposed the bill, calling it premature, and eventually prevented it from taking effect.
The Iraqis blamed the Halabja attack on Iranian forces. [1] (http://www.gwu.edu/%7Ensarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB107/iraq11.pdf) This was still the position of Saddam Hussein in his December 2003 captivity. Some evidence appears to support this theory. A report at the time by the United States Defense Intelligence Agency asserted that evidence of blood agent use was found in bodies of dead Kurds. At the time of the attack Iran was reportedly using the blood agent cyanide whereas Iraq was employing mustard gas. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Physicians for Human Rights disagree with this, since the symptoms they found all corresponded to both mustard and sarin gas, and there was little evidence to suggest cyanide poisoning.
End of the war with Iran
While numerous Security Council resolutions condemned the use of chemical weapons in the Iraq-Iran war the U.S. veto prevented any explicit condemnation of the Iraqis for years. As the war came to an end so did the last documented uses of WMD's in Iraq.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction
------
So when you hear all the accolades being heaped on Reagan today, give at least a little thought to the relatives of the families and children that Reagan’s administration helped Hussein target with his WMD. Think of the over 1 million killed in the Iran-Iraq war, including young children barely able to hold a gun up who Saddam sent to the slaughter. Remember that during this time the Reagan administration had Hussein removed from the terrorist list and aided his war effort. Remember that during that war the Reagan administration was also making secret deals with Iran, selling them weapons to fuel their war effort. His administration was helping both sides kill each other, to the tune of over 1 million dead.

How much hate do you think this has spawned in the Arab world toward the US and the west? Put yourself in their shoes, the shoes of relatives of the dead, of the innocent citizens of these countries, of the people in the region who are proud of there Arab history and have a love for their people. How much hate? Do you think it’s possible that these acts could have radicalised enough people to create a terrorist movement in response? I suspect that to no small extent what we are reaping today in terms of the hatred of extremist groups is our harvest for what our governments sowed in the 80’s. (I include like minded leaders like Thatcher and Mulroney. This was by no means a phenomenon that existed only in the US, but it is Reagan’s administration that is the topic here.)

Ronald Reagan was an actor who knew how to deliver a convincing line. That’s what good actors do. They are trained to play characters very different from who they really are. Reagan played a loveable 50’s type character, one that someone Jimmy Stewart or Andy Griffith would have played. But if you look at the character that Reagan portrayed, and compare it to the things he and his administration did, they did not match.

The 80’s were the decade where style reigned supreme over substance. They were the decade when the boomers started selling out en masse and stuffing their pockets at the expense of the poor, the weak and the sick. They were a time when a charismatic leader with a smile and charming rendition of Irish Eyes are Smiling could effectively mask the corruption, incompetence and even immoral acts of an administration (Reagan, and Mulroney, Van Der Zalm, Ralf Klein, and Grant Devine as Canadian examples). Seldom has so much damage been done by so few in such a short period of time.

I believe one can trace clear logical paths from their actions to the legacy we’re left with today. Such is the harvest of at the very least extreme moral relativism, and at worst straight immorality. With this knowledge and this perspective the question is now in front of us. What will we sow for our children and our children’s children? If Bush and Harper in Canada are starting to give you déjà vu, then it’s time to think hard about going in another direction. If no other direction looks very good (as is the case in Canada), it’s time to develop a new one. It’s time that this generation stood up and started moving our countries forward, not backward to the kind of thinking and morality that brought us what we have now.

Chump
06-11-2004, 05:45 PM
Originally posted by bamaslammer
Those are sick, sick bastards. Some tear gas, a squad of riot gear clad cops with baseball bats and some water hoses would take care of that human debris.

Bill of Rights
Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

you may find it in bad taste, as I do, but as long as they are peaceful, they have every right to be there and express themselves


back to your socialism is the great evil of the world posts

The United Nations Human Development Index (http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2003/pdf/presskit/HDR03_PKE_HDI.pdf)

1.Norway
2. Iceland
3. Sweden
4. Australia
5. Netherlands
6. Belgium
7. United States
8. Canada
9. Japan
10. Switzerland
11. Denmark
12. Ireland
13. U.K.
14. Finland
15. Luxemberg
16. Austria
17. France
18. Germany
19. Spain
20. New Zealand


Does anyone else spot a trend here? hmmmmmmm

Pole
06-11-2004, 05:46 PM
OMG!!!--It's Grizzled.


I'll be making me yearly pilgrimage to the holy land (Vancouver) in just a few weeks.

Grizzled
06-11-2004, 06:00 PM
Originally posted by Pole
OMG!!!--It's Grizzled.


I'll be making me yearly pilgrimage to the holy land (Vancouver) in just a few weeks.

Hey Pole!

Have you talked to bnb about that trip yet? He lives in VanCity, and I’ve always wondered if runs a B&B. ???

basso
06-11-2004, 06:25 PM
Originally posted by Chump


back to your socialism is the great evil of the world posts

The United Nations Human Development Index (http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2003/pdf/presskit/HDR03_PKE_HDI.pdf)

1.Norway
2. Iceland
3. Sweden
4. Australia
5. Netherlands
6. Belgium
7. United States
8. Canada
9. Japan
10. Switzerland
11. Denmark
12. Ireland
13. U.K.
14. Finland
15. Luxemberg
16. Austria
17. France
18. Germany
19. Spain
20. New Zealand


Does anyone else spot a trend here? hmmmmmmm

what's your point with this list? while the socialist or leftist party may be in power in many of them, they're not "socilaist" in the soviet union sense. they're democratic governments, who've elected socialist parties. not the same thing.

grizzled, re your dig at mulroney earlier: i thought he was particularly eloquent in his eulogy today.

FranchiseBlade
06-11-2004, 06:29 PM
Originally posted by basso
what's your point with this list? while the socialist or leftist party may be in power in many of them, they're not "socilaist" in the soviet union sense. they're democratic governments, who've elected socialist parties. not the same thing.

grizzled, re your dig at mulroney earlier: i thought he was particularly eloquent in his eulogy today.

Socialism is very compatible with Democratically elected governments. I do agree that the Soviet method of governing was not democratic though. But I don't consider them to be the true model for socialism. The were authoritarian, and definitely not democratic.

Grizzled
06-11-2004, 06:59 PM
grizzled, re your dig at mulroney earlier: i thought he was particularly eloquent in his eulogy today.

I’m not surprised. He's good at that. He can turn on the charm too. It’s what his government did, however, that people despise him for. And I don’t think I was taking a dig at him, not a gratuitous one anyway. They guy went from 169 seats to 2. He went from 42% to 16% of the popular vote. He killed an over 100 year old party. As a politician, how do you get any more unpopular that that? I’m not sure a more stinging indictment has ever been delivered in the history of western democracy. The people have spoken loud and clear.

GladiatoRowdy
06-12-2004, 12:19 AM
This is pretty long and all about drug policy, so skip it if you don't care.

http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/341/reagan.shtml

The Reagan-Era Drug War Legacy 6/11/04

Former President Ronald Reagan died Saturday at the age of 93, and since then discussion of his political legacy has filled the airwaves and countless newspaper and magazine column inches. Perhaps out of deference to the former national leader, much of the discussion has been laudatory, at times even hagiographic, and many Americans certainly feel that way about the two-term former president. Reagan made his mark – for better, worse, or both, his two terms left the nation and the world changed places. To change things, however, also means to incur one's share of controversy; on great issues such as economic policy, the end of the Cold War, and "culture war" issues such as abortion or homosexuality – or drugs – the Reagan legacy is and will continue to be a matter of discussion and debate for long after the ceremony and honors of an in-state funeral have concluded.

When it comes to Reagan's legacy in drug policy – the drug war, of which he played a major though not lone role in escalating to an unprecedented level – even staunch Reagan enthusiasts are less likely to brag about it than other issues he impacted. Though polling has found that 3/4 of Americans support the drug war, polls also show that 3/4 of Americans consider the drug war to be a failure, and a number of high-level Reagan administration officials have broken fundamentally with the drug war ideology his administration vigorously espoused – votes of confidence in neither case by any means. While some drug war advocates point to decreases in casual drug use rates during the 1980s as measured by government surveys, others point to much more hard-hitting and more accurately measured phenomena such as increased drug trade violence, constant addiction rates, an explosion of HIV transmission through injection drug use, and the rapid growth, seemingly from nowhere, of crack cocaine into a widespread habit having deleterious effects on the nation's inner cities.

Among drug reformers, no matter their position on the ideological spectrum, there is little debate about it: Reagan's drug policy legacy is a disaster. For all the people contacted by DRCNet for this article – which included both critics and admirers of the Reagan presidency overall – the question was not whether Reagan's drug policies were bad, but how bad and how much of the blame he shares with others. To drug reformers, the Reagan-era represented a traumatic disappointment, a time when the nation hurtled down a path of massive suffering, waste and injustice.

Of course, Reagan didn't create the war on drugs by himself. That the rampant escalation of the drug war in the 1980s was a bipartisan affair is unquestionable. It was Democrats in Congress, for instance, who took the lead on mandatory minimum sentencing in the middle of the decade. And, as we shall see below, Democrats and Republicans were in the grips of a race to the bottom to see who could be "toughest" on crime and drugs.

Nor can Reagan cannot be held directly responsible for its deepening since then, under Democratic and Republican presidents alike, and at least some of the seeds of the drug war, such as an incarceration rate still spiraling far beyond any previous time in history. As a graph on the web site of The Sentencing Project illustrates (http://www.sentencingproject.org/issues_01.cfm), America's incarceration binge began during the Nixon presidency and continued unbroken under both his successor, Gerald Ford, and Reagan's immediate predecessor, Jimmy Carter, a Democrat. Even as social tolerance and progressive criminal justice ideals seemed to be taking root in the public consciousness, and as marijuana decriminalization appeared to be on the way with bipartisan support, the prisons continued to grow.

But Reagan lit the fire, and in the years since he took office tens of millions of people have been arrested under the drug laws, millions have been sent to prison, and hundreds of billions of dollars have been incinerated in a program that epitomizes big, intrusive government in one of its most violent forms. And while Reagan did made the occasional gesture, such as allowing the tiny federal medical marijuana program to function, or said the occasional word suggesting a lighter touch might work, those good deeds pale in comparison with an enduring legacy of police and prisons, searches and seizures, and a population ever more surveilled in the name of its own well-being. It was during the presidency of Ronald Reagan that narcotics law enforcement morphed into drug war overdrive with a series of ever more draconian drug laws and an attitude of repressive "zero tolerance" emanating from the White House. Here are some of the lowlights of Reagan-era drug policy:

Erosion of the Posse Comitatus Act, the 1868 law that forbids federal troops from engaging in domestic law enforcement activities. It was the erosion of Posse Comitatus that led to the killing of US citizen Esequiel Hernandez by US Marines outside Redford, Texas, and the use of military equipment and personnel against the Branch Davidians in Waco in 1993 (under the pretext that they were cooking meth).
Zero-tolerance "Just Say No" as a public policy approach to drug use. "Not long ago in Oakland, California, I was asked by a group of children what to do if they were offered drugs," explained Nancy Reagan in 1986. "And I answered, 'Just Say No.' Soon after that those children in Oakland formed a Just Say No Club and now there are over 10,000 such clubs all over the country."
Passage of the 1986 crime bill, notable for the imposition of mandatory minimum sentences for the first time since 1970. This act also created the federal Sentencing Commission and the current system of federal sentencing guidelines, which did away with parole in the federal system, ensuring that prisoners would serve at least 85% of their sentences. And it included asset forfeiture.
Passage of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, which established a federal death penalty for "drug kingpins." Reagan signed that bill in his wife's honor.
The home page of the Cato Institute (http://www.cato.org), a libertarian think tank in Washington, DC, features a glowing homage to Reagan, but the former president wins no drug policy kudos from Cato's Timothy Lynch. "When it comes to the drug war, there's just not much good that can be said about Reagan's policy," Lynch conceded. "It was bad, no doubt about it."
Still, unlike his successor, Reagan did not bother to do away with the federal government's limited medical marijuana access program, Lynch pointed out. "The program was modest and people had to jump through a lot of hoops, but there was at least an administration that recognized that sick people may need these things."

And, he added, the 1980s drug war was a bipartisan game. "Remember, Congress back then was controlled by Democrats, who not only did not need to have their arms twisted, but in many cases were trying to get to Reagan's right on these issues," Lynch recalled. "After basketball player Len Bias died of cocaine, it was House Speaker Tip O'Neill (D-MA) who was hearing from his constituents about it – Bias had been drafted by the Celtics – and he came back after that saying 'we're going to get the Republicans on drugs.' O'Neill tasked the Democrats and their staffers to come up with harsh measures, and they did."

"That's true, they all get credit," said Eric Sterling, who as counsel to the House Judiciary Committee was present at the creation of much of Reagan-era drug policy legislation. "But Reagan certainly deserves much of the blame. Presidents are responsible for their appointments, and he appointed White House drug advisors who were small minded, who believed and said preposterous things," Sterling told DRCNet. "His drug advisor Carleton Turner was quoted in Time saying using marijuana leads to homosexuality. When Reagan came in, the people he put in charge of the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA) began purging libraries of materials that contained facts about drugs that were no longer politically acceptable. His top advisor for law enforcement matters and later his attorney general was Ed Meese, who as a California prosecutor had experienced the 1960s at Berkeley. Meese saw marijuana as a great social evil."

"It wasn't just the Republicans," agreed Arnold Trebach (http://www.trebach.org), a pioneer in American drug reform and founder of the Drug Policy Foundation in 1988. "But Reagan just swept the country along with him. It was that the country was in a state of hysteria, Democrats and Republicans alike. He tapped into this hysteria and drove it to incredible heights. Everybody jumped on the bandwagon. We forget the extent to which everyone was into this. There was a phrase both parties used, 'no one to the right of me on the drug issue,'" Trebach recalled.

"I admire Reagan for ending the Cold War, but in the drug policy arena, he was just horrible," said Trebach, whose book "The Great American Drug War" was written as Reagan-era drug laws began to bite. "If you want a taste of the hysteria and the fear, read my book. You had kids turning in their mothers for smoking pot and people like Joyce Nalepka saying that was the right thing to do. You had Reagan pushing to get rid of Posse Comitatus so he could use the armed forces in the drug war. He was for freedom, but like so many people, not when it came to drugs. The Reagan era spawned all sorts of nasty innovations, and while not all of them came from the White House, they were all part of that same intrusive spirit. We are still suffering from that to this day," he told DRCNet.

"I was going around the country at the time and I had just gone on marijuana raids with the DEA in California, and when I got back to Washington, I decided that instead of writing more books, I would create a drug reform organization," Trebach explained. "The formation of the Drug Policy Foundation and the birth of the modern drug reform movement was a direct result of the horrors of the Reagan drug war."

"Drug policy was one of the few areas where Reagan strayed from his conservative philosophy by expanding the power of the government and undermining the Constitution," said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance (http://www.drugpolicy.org), the lineal descendant of Trebach's Drug Policy Foundation. "The cost to taxpayers and civil liberties has been tremendous. It is sadly ironic," he told DRCNet. "This is a man who warned that government can't solve all problems and that government can do more harm than good, and there is no better example of that than his own war on drugs, with its increased overdoses, broken families, effect on the Constitution, and all the rest."

But Reagan wasn't alone in the drug war debacle of the 1980s, Piper hastened to add. "Reagan was a cheerleader for harsher drug penalties, but at same time both parties were rushing to be the first to advocate tougher penalties. Sen. Joe Biden and Rep. Charlie Rangel and other Democrats leading the charge deserve much of the blame," he said. "At least, those Democrats have come around a little. Rangel has realized that what he did caused more harm than good and is working for change, and even Biden is at least coming around a bit on mandatory minimums. But I don't know that Reagan ever looked back and realized he was wrong."

But in an interview conducted in 1986 and reported by The Economist in 1996, Reagan showed at least some sensitivity to issues of privacy and liberty in the drug war. "I have great concerns," Reagan said, when asked about mandatory drug testing for federal employees. Except for groups such as air traffic controllers and federal agents who carry guns, "I would rather see a voluntary program." Should drug users go to jail? asked the interviewer. "No," he replied. "I think we should offer help for them." And while he said he personally favored executing drug dealers, he thought such a law would "divide our ranks" and "would be counterproductive."

The Economist published those comments in an article making the point that Reagan appeared downright moderate compared to President Bill Clinton and his Republican challenger Sen. Bob Dole as they struggled to out-drug war each other in the 1996 presidential campaign. Clinton was bragging about adding more drug crimes to the death penalty list and urging that teens be forced to take drug tests before they could get a drivers' license. "The Clinton Administration has taken the Republican drug war to soaring new heights of Draconian ineffectiveness," the Economist noted dourly.

"People remember Reagan's charming smile and personality, but they forget the mean-spiritedness of many of his policies," said Keith Stroup, director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (http://www.norml.org), who has been monitoring presidential drug policies since the days of Richard Nixon. "For those of us in drug policy reform, it is hard to feel anything but disappointment in a man who seemed so congenial but unaware of uncaring about the fact that he was filling the jails with nonviolent drug offenders," he told DRCNet. "I don't want to dance on anyone's grave, but Ronald Reagan was certainly no friend of marijuana smokers."


Nancy Reagan's "Just
Say No" Campaign
Stroup also pointed a finger at Nancy Reagan and her "Just Say No" slogan. "Nancy Reagan's 'Just Say No' did the work of dumbing down the debate on drugs in this country. Instead of recognizing drug use as a complex problem and people as complex beings, she gave us the idea that we could fix everything if we just said no. If that were the case, we wouldn't have a drug problem in this country," Stroup said. "They were only interested in using the criminal justice system. There was no attempt to treat drug use as a medical problem. Anyone who used illicit drugs had a character flaw and needed to be jailed. Alcohol, on the other hand, was no problem whatsoever."

"You can't talk about this without talking about Nancy Reagan," agreed Sterling. "She was extremely influential in policy, especially drug policy in the White House. She had been condemned for bringing an imperial style to the White House after the homespun Carters, and her advisors said she had to find a public service issue to improve her profile. She got drugs, and her 'Just Say No' program came to symbolize an approach toward drug abuse prevention that focused primarily on young people who never used drugs, while it completely ignored talking realistically to young people who were using drugs."

Sterling also pointed to another area where Nancy Reagan's role was pivotal. "She became the honorary chair of the national federation of parents for drug-free youth and led an enormous effort to organize Republican women in the context of the anti-drug effort," he said. "This has continued to the present day. What ostensibly are volunteer parent organizations are in fact recipients of lots of grant money from a variety of federal agencies. This was a way to counter the growing and genuine critiques of Reagan economic and social policies. Urban communities were being destroyed by those policies, but the drug-free groups organized in the context of fighting drugs, not poverty or injustice."

And just as Arnold Trebach gave Reagan-era drug war horrors the credit for inspiring him to found the Drug Policy Foundation, Sterling gives Nancy Reagan perverse credit for impelling new approaches to drug abuse. "Harm reduction became civil society's response to the head-in-the-sand 'Just Say No' approach," he said.

Although the impetus for marijuana reform under Reagan's predecessor, Jimmy Carter, had faded before Reagan took office, the Reagan administration absolutely froze any progress toward reform, Stroup said. "In 1979, Nebraska was the last state to decriminalize marijuana, but after that the message went out that marijuana smokers were no longer to be treated as decent people. That held for Republicans and Democrats alike," Stroup recalled.

"During the 1970s, we had Democrats like Harold Hughes of Iowa and Philip Hart of Michigan, as well as Republicans like Jacob Javits of New York, who would sponsor decriminalization bills every year in Congress. Up until 1981 or 1982, it was possible to have an honest debate over marijuana policy, but after the arrival of the Reaganites it was no longer acceptable for mainstream politicians to argue for decrim instead of filling our jails with pot smokers. The last decrim bill was introduced in 1982 or 1983, and I'm sorry to say that streak remains unbroken to this day."

"Drug use is a profoundly social phenomenon," Sterling pointed out. "Lawmakers tend to forget that and think that drug use is a consequence of inadequate law enforcement or not enough tough laws, but people make decisions about drugs in the same utterly unpredictable way in which hair style changes, or facial hair, or clothing styles. And there is a certain zeitgeist, or spirit of the times. Most of what we think of as the "1960s" really took place in the 1970s – the climax of the civil rights struggle, the bloodletting in Vietnam, the student protests leading to the killing of students at Kent State and Jackson State, protests in Washington where tens of thousands of demonstrators were illegally arrested. There was a level of social conflict that was really intense. Then after Nixon came Jimmy Carter, a calming figure. Carter wanted marijuana decriminalization, the country was smoking pot, and it fit into an attitude of mellowness after the conflict and violence," Sterling explained.

"Then came Reagan. He rejected the mellow, homespun approach for grand style. I remember his inauguration; Washington was suffering from limousine gridlock. Reagan came in with a transforming national message: We're Number One, we're the greatest, the most powerful, the strongest. There is a drug that fits that zeitgeist. It's cocaine. It was the cocaine '80s, although not for long because of the price to be paid. But if you were on Wall Street or an athlete, it was the drug that made you smarter, faster, better. And the Reagan drug policy had set the stage for the cocaine boom."

"Having been a lifelong Goldwater Republican, I welcomed Reagan's election," said Dale Gieringer, director of California NORML. "By the end of his regime, I was appalled by the mounting wreckage caused by his blithe, hypocritical abandonment of free-market, limited-government principles in waging the war on drugs. Personally, I don't hold Ronald Reagan 100% responsible for the complete disaster; Democrats cheered him along and rivaled him in proposing tough anti-drug measures. Reagan was a product of his generation, ignorant of marijuana, and responding to a powerful tide of genuine, popular, anti-drug sentiment that swept the nation during the coke-addled '80s."

It was not only Reagan's drug policies, but his willingness to abandon them in the pursuit of "higher purposes" with some very shady characters that disturbed Sanho Tree, drug policy analyst for the Institute of for Policy Studies (http://www.ips-dc.org/projects/drugpolicy.htm). "Reagan preached 'Just Say No' and sought tougher criminal penalties while his administration worked hand in hand with some of the most notorious drug traffickers in the world," Tree pointed out. "Ollie North and his gang knowingly worked with drug smugglers in order to send the profits to a mercenary army called the Contras working for the CIA to overthrow the elected leftist government of Nicaragua. The Contras practiced some of the most horrific forms of terror and mutilation ever known in this hemisphere. Their human rights record was so blood curdling that Congress forbade military assistance to them – hence the turn to covert drug funding for the Contras."

And if by the mid-1980s American elites had said good-bye to cocaine, there was room down-market. By the mid-1980s, the beginning of Reagan's second term, as cocaine flooded the streets of American cities, crack cocaine appeared and, along with it, crack hysteria. It was different when the cocaine users were poor and black instead of wealthy and white.

But the Reagan administration's turning of a blind eye to other armed irregulars was to have even more long-lasting consequences, said Tree. "In Afghanistan, Reagan sought to give the Soviets their own taste of Vietnam, so the CIA funded and trained the fundamentalist mujahadeen, including Osama bin Laden. These forces quickly turned to opium poppy cultivation to supplement their CIA funding and now Afghanistan produces three-quarters of the world's heroin," the analyst said. According to numerous reports, profits from that trade are helping to finance Al Qaeda and the Taliban (not to mention warlords within the US-backed Afghan government of Hamid Karzai). "Reagan called these armies 'freedom fighters' and the 'moral equivalent of our founding fathers. The founding fathers grew hemp for peaceful purposes -- they didn't traffic in cocaine and heroin in order to wage war! In fact, one could argue that Reagan's foreign policy gave birth to the original 'narco-terrorists,' the Contras and the mujahadeen."

Eric Sterling summed up the Reagan era. "When Reagan came into office, marijuana was cheap and plentiful, cocaine was scarce and expensive, and AIDS was unknown. When Reagan left office, pot was expensive and hard to find, cocaine was cheap and plentiful, and AIDS had become a full-blown epidemic he refused to address."

At least a few Reagan administration officials have publicly taken drug reform stances since the Reagan-era ended. George Shultz, Reagan's Secretary of State, has questioned prohibition and spoken at reform gatherings, including two events for police leaders and public officials organized by former San Jose and Kansas City police chief Joseph McNamara at Stanford's Hoover Institution. And Reagan aide Lyn Nofziger has discussed his own medical use of marijuana and championed that issue in conservative publications such as National Review. Perhaps more of the participants in the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush drug war will rethink that area of policy and perhaps it will make a difference.

bamaslammer
06-12-2004, 12:25 AM
Originally posted by Chump
Bill of Rights
Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

you may find it in bad taste, as I do, but as long as they are peaceful, they have every right to be there and express themselves


back to your socialism is the great evil of the world posts

The United Nations Human Development Index (http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2003/pdf/presskit/HDR03_PKE_HDI.pdf)

1.Norway
2. Iceland
3. Sweden
4. Australia
5. Netherlands
6. Belgium
7. United States
8. Canada
9. Japan
10. Switzerland
11. Denmark
12. Ireland
13. U.K.
14. Finland
15. Luxemberg
16. Austria
17. France
18. Germany
19. Spain
20. New Zealand


Does anyone else spot a trend here? hmmmmmmm
Define "human development." I'm just amazed that so many people who live in the most powerful economy in the world would want to kill the golden goose with socialist psychobabble. Capitalism and freedom are the means by which we are the world's wealthiest nation. To state otherwise is sheer lunacy. Socialism is a failure because it saps the desire of people to work hard (since they are being leeched off of so badly by a parasite class of leeches) since they are so over-taxed. The free market is the ultimate solution to most problems.

GladiatoRowdy
06-12-2004, 12:38 AM
Originally posted by bamaslammer
Define "human development." I'm just amazed that so many people who live in the most powerful economy in the world would want to kill the golden goose with socialist psychobabble. Capitalism and freedom are the means by which we are the world's wealthiest nation. To state otherwise is sheer lunacy. Socialism is a failure because it saps the desire of people to work hard (since they are being leeched off of so badly by a parasite class of leeches) since they are so over-taxed. The free market is the ultimate solution to most problems.

Actually, the "human development index" (HDI) was created by the UN to measure various metrics as they relate to standard of living. These metrics are real GDP and life expectancy along with health and education levels. While we are far and above the other countries in real GDP, we rank below them on the HDI because our life expectancy at birth number is considerably lower than Norway, Sweden, and Canada. Those countries have hybridized their systems in order to maximize things like health care and education.

GDP is not the only measure of happiness and social stability in a country. Some things are far more important than the economy.

While the free market can solve many problems, it should be clear that there are some problems that can be better solved another way. Nobody is advocating socialism, which pretty much anybody with brains has accepted. Despite your continued bleatings about socialist and communist boogeymen, nobody (except the Green Party) is pushing those forms of government. In many cases, the government CAN solve many problems that the free market simply will not.

bamaslammer
06-12-2004, 12:55 AM
Originally posted by andymoon
Actually, the "human development index" (HDI) was created by the UN to measure various metrics as they relate to standard of living. These metrics are real GDP and life expectancy along with health and education levels. While we are far and above the other countries in real GDP, we rank below them on the HDI because our life expectancy at birth number is considerably lower than Norway, Sweden, and Canada. Those countries have hybridized their systems in order to maximize things like health care and education.

GDP is not the only measure of happiness and social stability in a country. Some things are far more important than the economy.

While the free market can solve many problems, it should be clear that there are some problems that can be better solved another way. Nobody is advocating socialism, which pretty much anybody with brains has accepted. Despite your continued bleatings about socialist and communist boogeymen, nobody (except the Green Party) is pushing those forms of government. In many cases, the government CAN solve many problems that the free market simply will not.
But it does not solve those problems efficently or effectively. Govt. by its very nature is a wasteful entity. Anything that is not driven by profit motive to perfection is untrustworthy. What incentive is there for govt. to serve us when:
A. govt. workers are extremely difficult to fire. Thus why should they do their jobs when they know they can not/will not be axed?
B. agencies remain around long after their usefulness has expired.
C. Since they are not motivated by profit, the attitude "good enough for govt. work" mires us in mediocrity. Pretty much anything govt touches turns to dust.

Grizzled
06-12-2004, 01:13 AM
bamaslammer, I’ve got a couple of questions for you.

1. What would happen to America if there were no army and no police, i.e. if they were both disbanded or all shipped to some desert island? Phrased another way, does American need its armed forces and police forces?

2. How could you have an army and police forces without a government?

If you work your way through these questions you will see why government is not only a good thing, it’s an essential thing.

Deckard
06-12-2004, 01:38 AM
Originally posted by bamaslammer
But it does not solve those problems efficently or effectively. Govt. by its very nature is a wasteful entity. Anything that is not driven by profit motive to perfection is untrustworthy. What incentive is there for govt. to serve us when:
A. govt. workers are extremely difficult to fire. Thus why should they do their jobs when they know they can not/will not be axed?
B. agencies remain around long after their usefulness has expired.
C. Since they are not motivated by profit, the attitude "good enough for govt. work" mires us in mediocrity. Pretty much anything govt touches turns to dust.
Good lord. What complete and utter BS. Can you come up with something that doesn't sound like it's straight from the Limbaugh Institute of Ridiculous and Absurd Soundbites?

The government is not the source of all evil. If it wasn't around, you'd soon realize it.

govt. workers are extremely difficult to fire. Thus why should they do their jobs when they know they can not/will not be axed? -bamaslammer

What garbage. Do you sit around and dream this stuff up? Or is there a handbook of crappy far-right, anti-government junk that you get this from. I know several state government workers who work their ass off, and they are not some tiny minority I looked around for so I could attempt to make a point. They are paid less for the same work compared to what they could get in the private sector. They work their tail off and they rarely get a pay increase. They are getting their benefits slashed every year... benefits which were a big reason they put up with the low pay and rare salary bumps, and they have to hear garbage like this.

Truly, bama, you have no clue. One can find lousy government workers and lousy government agencies. Most of them aren't, but sure, you can find them. And you know what? You can find lousy workers in the private sector and you can find lousy businesses. Big hairy deal. Get a grip, man. You're on the wrong planet. I don't know what world you think this is, but clearly, you got off at the wrong spinning round ball.

GladiatoRowdy
06-12-2004, 01:49 AM
Originally posted by bamaslammer
But it does not solve those problems efficently or effectively. Govt. by its very nature is a wasteful entity. Anything that is not driven by profit motive to perfection is untrustworthy. What incentive is there for govt. to serve us when:
A. govt. workers are extremely difficult to fire. Thus why should they do their jobs when they know they can not/will not be axed?

I agree that we should do some things to raise government efficiency, but we can make those improvements in the existing agencies. We can improve efficiency and productivity of government workers, for example, by tying bonuses to increased efficiency and productivity.

Originally posted by bamaslammer

B. agencies remain around long after their usefulness has expired.

Which is why every single new agency should have a sunset clause.

Originally posted by bamaslammer

C. Since they are not motivated by profit, the attitude "good enough for govt. work" mires us in mediocrity. Pretty much anything govt touches turns to dust.

Again, there are some things that cannot be measured in terms of profit.

Who profits when a country has a lower infant mortality rate? (the whole country)

Who profits with a highly educated workforce? (the entire country)

Who profits when a large percentage of the population has health care? (the entire country)

The same government you decry as making everything "turn to dust" has also solved a host of problems that would NEVER have been resolved were it left up to private industry.

Chump
06-12-2004, 02:07 AM
Originally posted by basso
what's your point with this list? while the socialist or leftist party may be in power in many of them, they're not "socilaist" in the soviet union sense. they're democratic governments, who've elected socialist parties. not the same thing.



The 'trend' I was refering to wasn't about socialist govt per say, but that just about every country on that list has large socialist social programs that bs depises and claims are holding us all back. All the top standard of living countries endorse the very programs that bs claims stifle prosperity. The list speaks for itself in pointing out the lunacy of bs's view that "Socialism is a failure because it saps the desire of people to work hard (since they are being leeched off of so badly by a parasite class of leeches) since they are so over-taxed. "

bamaslammer
06-12-2004, 10:17 AM
I knew I'd get a knee-jerk reaction from the left. Of course we need a govt. to provide for the common defense for enemies foreign and domestic. Of course we need a Federal govt. to coin money and take care of treaties. But anything else is just ridiculous. We have gazzillions of regulations and regulators to enforce them that are not rooted in common sense. We have a parasite class of people who depend solely on govt.'s ability to steal what I make and give to them thanks to their power of force. Just look at the Post Office, Amtrack and the stupid baggage screeners among others to tell me about how govt is "good." The waste in every movement up there is amazing. Imagine more of your tax dollars closer to home could do for you. I'm shocked that so many of you on the left don't trust Bush at all, yet you never question the motives of a labryinthine bureaucracy that exists only to service itself.

The Founders never intended the Federal govt. to become as big and as invasive as it is now. The states should have the greatest say in most matters, but thanks to that godawful Constitutional amendment which allowed senators to be elected rather than appointed by state legislators, the state govt has no voice in Washington.

Grizzled
06-12-2004, 11:54 AM
This is in response to BS’s earlier article which I think is relevant to this thread because it relates to Reagan’s incessant anti-“communist” rhetoric, even though it’s pretty clear that he didn’t really understand what communism is.

Ideal communism is a theoretical state where no government exists at all. From the things you’ve posted, BS, I think that you may favour the Ideal Communist point of view, at least in this regard. This isn’t workable, however, because people can’t be counted on to conduct themselves ethically all the time. What would end up happening is that wealth would be accumulated in the hands of a few who would crate monopolies and use unfair business practices to drive out fair competition and you’d end up with essentially an oligarchy or even a dictatorship. Rules and regulations therefore must be implemented, and there must be some way to enforce them, i.e. a government. But the government can’t be without controls either else it could abuse it’s power and eventually become dictatorial too, so (ideally) a government should be held accountable to the general population through a democracy where (almost) anybody can put forward ideas and run and be elected. The government should be representative of the people, so again (almost) anybody should have the means to, and be able to run.

How much government control there should be over the economy and the lives of the people is up to the people and the particular conditions of that state. In practice there is a spectrum, so presenting democratic socialism and capitalism as two discrete options is not a true representation of how it works in practice. When it is presented this way, either by the left or the right, it is often simply political rhetoric, instrumental reason, for the purpose of manipulating people, not for the purpose of increasing understanding (which would involve the use of communicative reason). This piece bears a lot of the earmarks of the former.

Why is socialism more popular than capitalism? We have had 150 years to dissect socialism in theory. We have had 100 years to see socialism in action. Socialism, extensive government control over the economy, is a disaster in theory and a disaster in practice.
This statement is clearly not true, but presumably he’s going to try to justify it further on so I’ll hold off on my comments.

The superiority of capitalism over socialism has been amply demonstrated by Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, Murray Rothbard, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, and others. Yet it continues to be the dominant political philosophy, even in the United States. Here, in what the rest of the world sees as an anarcho-capitalist jungle, we have socialized medicine, socialized education, and socialized retirement.
You also have socialized tax collection, police enforcement, and sewage collection. Should we privatize tax collection? What say we let any citizen pay for an audit and investigation of any other citizen? If tax evasion is found the person who paid for the audit gets a percentage. Or how about we privatize the police? We can pay them based on performance, the more crooks they lock up the more we pay them. I think an enterprising entrepreneur could even combine the first two, and use his police force to watch possible tax evaders, and then lock them up when they’re caught! Sounds like a perfect system, doesn’t it?

And about the sewage collection. Clearly having only one sewer line coming into everybody’s home is an abomination, an ugly example of “communism” at work. Every house should have at least 3 so the home owner can chose. That would clearly be best for the consumer, right? Never mind the fact that 3 sets of sewer lines would have to run down every street and lead to 3 different sewage treatment plants. What’s best for the consumer is choice!

Ok, clearly I’m being a bit facetious, but I hope I’ve made my point. There are many instances where it doesn’t make sense to have a market controlled service, where a single provider, watched over and made accountable by a democratically elected government, is the best way to go.

The state seizes 40 percent of our income and tells us what we can and cannot do with what we keep.
Huh??

Virtually every aspect of the economy is regulated. The long-term trend is toward ever-greater government control over the economy, our property, and our lives. This trend continues even though capitalism works and socialism does not.
Again, more odd statements. In a fair market economy you need rules. They are a good thing. I would say that the trend is in many areas to less government control, not more, but these are things that change as conditions change and as people decide they should change. And again, “socialism” has clearly proved to be extremely successful.

Capitalism works by protecting private property and freedom of contract, thereby encouraging people to use their abilities and resources to produce goods and services that are most likely to be urgently demanded by others. Capitalism works because, unlike competing systems, it does not depend on the quality of its overseers. Capitalism’s overseer is the price system, which, far from being dependant on the will of a small number of politicians, is the expression of the totality of all human knowledge about the value and scarcity of goods, services, and resources. Capitalism works by harnessing, through the principles of specialization and the division of labor, human diversity and inequality, allowing people with different backgrounds and talents to trade for mutual advantage.
Private property and contract law are protected by rules and laws that are enforced by the government and legal system. This is one confused man. In one paragraph he attacks government, and in the next he hold up as examples of capitalism the very things that regulations and government provide. Can this man be taken seriously after this? Capitalism is based on the rules of fair trade, which cannot exist without government and the enforcement of laws.

Capitalism works because it does not require central planning; rather, capitalism is what happens naturally and spontaneously when there is no such planning.
Of course it does. The market pace has to be regulated by a common set of rules. It must be a level playing field, and this requires central planning and decision making. This guy either has no idea what he’s talking about, or this is all part of some kind of deceptive rhetoric.

Markets are natural; they just happen.
False again.

The formula for establishing a capitalist system is: don’t just do something, stand there. Which leads into my last point that capitalism works because it requires no change in human nature and works just fine with the natural tendency of people to act to further the welfare of themselves and their families.
It is exactly because people work for their own interests that the market needs rules to keep it fair. Hello Enron anyone? This was an example of people looking out for their own interests. What they were doing, however, was not fair business practice. No regulation means all-Enron, all the time. Regulation (formed and enforced by government) means that this kind of practice is illegal and the market is kept fair and healthy.

In contrast, socialism does not work, because it acts, as it must, through the coercive apparatus of the state. Therefore, in its interactions with people, there is always at least one party forced to participate and who is, therefore, abused and exploited.
Were the con men and women of Enron abused and exploited by the state when they were called to justice? Is this guy an anarchist? The very purpose of state intervention, ideally, is fairness and justice. You used to be a soldier didn’t you bamaslammer? How can you stomach what this guy is saying? He is attacking your very profession.

Socialism does not work, because, while capitalist decisions are made by individuals and firms that know more about their particular circumstances than anyone else could possibly know, socialist planners cannot know nearly as much about the persons and institutions they deal with and thus are forced to make and enforce arbitrary general rules that apply the same to different people and different circumstances, regardless of the absurd or unjust consequences.
??? It almost seems like he’s talking about totalitarianism now. It certainly doesn’t relate to socialism. This is one confused man.

Socialism does not work, because, in the words of Frédéric Bastiat, people are not clay. They always react and respond to the state’s use of power against them (or for them) in ways that result in unintended and negative consequences from the state’s point of view. This is called blowback in foreign-policy matters; however, domestic examples of blowback include the crime wave unleashed by the “war on drugs” and the Great Society’s destruction of the family structure of the poor.
Ok, this is not even followable at this point. “War on drugs” presumably refers to the US so he’s suggesting that the US is a totalitarian regime?? How can you stomach this stuff BS? What’s your point in posting it?

Socialism does not work, because, instead of allowing the price system to be a vehicle of rational economic planning, it sabotages the price system as much as possible. In its extreme form, socialism would eliminate prices for capital goods — by seizing them — and thereby cause economic annihilation. Even socialism’s less extreme interventions injure the price system. Taxation, inflation, subsidies, occupational licensure, collective bargaining mandates, and so on all distort market prices and cripple their ability to convey accurate information about preferences and scarcities.
I can’t detect any logic or relation to real world facts or issues here at all. Is he trying to talk about totalitarianism?! Other things he’s mentioning seem to refer to fair market regulation. Ideal (extreme?) communism is a state where no government exists at all. This is one confused, confused man.

Why then is socialism so popular? The reasons are not complicated. First, socialism allows people to spend other people’s money. Let’s avoid the phrase “steal other people’s money,” because only libertarians see it that way.

Nevertheless, however socialists justify this spending, even they realize they are taking other people’s money. Yes, I know some socialists deny the very concept of private ownership. But even they realize that socialism takes money and property that is possessed by some and transfers possession to others so they can spend or use it.

Reason No. 1: Socialism allows people to spend other people’s money without feeling guilty about it.

Second, there is a related but distinct craving that animates socialism, as noted by many commentators. Envy is a strong emotion that has always had a powerful impact on society and politics. Envy is “a painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage” (Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary). Because no one admits to acting on the basis of envy, the term “equality” — robbed of its original and legitimate meaning in classical liberal thought — is used instead. Socialism is the perfect political expression of envious people because it purports to rein in greedy and wealthy capitalists and usher in social equality.

Reason No. 2: Socialism satisfies the deeply felt and widely held emotion of envy.

Third, free-market capitalism emphasizes the individual’s responsibility for his own economic welfare. Socialism professes to place this responsibility outside the individual and with the state. Many people are happy to be rid of this burden and glad to be able to blame others for their problems. Unlike Reasons No. 1 and No. 2, this reason for the popularity of socialism is one trumpeted by its proponents. They do not see the obvious downside of the structural reduction of individual economic responsibility: laziness, profligacy, and passivity.

Reason No. 3: Socialism purports to relieve people of the burden of worrying about their economic well-being.

Fourth, in a secular age, socialism acts as a religion-substitute. Traditionally, religion would offer solace to people facing the numerous traumas of life. Now, for millions of people, socialism plays that role. “For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, the oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely, the pangs of despised love, the law’s delay, the insolence of office and the spurns that patient merit of the unworthy takes, when he” could overcome all these problems with socialism?

Utopian socialism — all socialism is utopian — purports to offer a solution to virtually all human problems. In contrast, the claims of capitalism are seen as too modest, and hard work is required as well. There is no need to quote a Marxist on the all-encompassing promises of socialism. Lyndon Johnson will do fine. In a speech given on May 22, 1964, Johnson promised that his Great Society would “pursue the happiness of our people,” conquer “boredom and restlessness,” and satisfy the “desire for beauty” and the “hunger for community.” All this and beat the Viet Cong too. Amazing!

Reason No. 4: Socialism is a secular substitute for religion and offers people (false) solace against the traumas of this life.

I considered giving intellectuals their own special reason for worshipping the state, but I decided that to explain why 95 percent of intellectuals have a ferocious love for socialism you merely have to combine and intensify all four reasons already stated.

These are some of the main reasons that socialism, which is silly in theory and lethal in practice, remains so popular, even in a society such as ours, whose fabulous wealth is the result of the shrinking capitalist remnants of the economy.

James Ostrowski is an attorney in Buffalo and serves as a policy advisor for The Future of Freedom Foundation.
There is no way this guy is an attorney. This is just rambling jibber with no relation to real world fact or events. It’s so whacked you can’t even follow it to respond to it!

BS – What was your point in posting this? I would think that someone in your position would be quite offended by many of the things this guy is saying. He would appear to be an enemy of the constitution, and enemy of the free market system, an enemy of law and order and justice. WOW!

Just to tie that secularism bit to Nicaragua in any way I can think of, which is where this started, the Sandinistas had a Christian foundation. They were closely tied to Christian Liberation Theology.

FranchiseBlade
06-12-2004, 12:26 PM
Bamma which of these Federal regulations do you find has hampered the U.S.? And in what way has the negative of these particular programs outweighted the benefits of them?

1.Rural Electrification

2.The Interstate Highway System

3.National Institutes of Health

4.Youth Summer Jobs Program

5.The FAA

6.Lighthouses

7.Federal Penitentiaries

8.National Park System

9.guaranteed student loans

10.Aid to Israel

11.Aid to Greece

12.Aid to Afghanistan

13.Aid to Iraq

14.Head Start

15.The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

16.Public Libraries

17.The GI Bill

18.FDA

Othere things that wouldn't be around without Government regulation

A. Child Labor Laws

B. Integrated Schools

C. Automobile manufacturers wouldn't have seat belts installed in cars.

D. Monopolies would be legal. There wouldn't be any anti-trust legislation.

E. It would be legal to have asbestos in any amount in the workplace.

F. There would be no over time.

G. There would be no forty hour work week

H. There would be no sick days

I. There would be no leave for pregnancy or child care

J. Price Fixing between producers to gouge the consumers would be legal.

K.There would be no maternity leave for working mothers(or fathers)

L. There was no standard for foods sold to the public. There were problems with unhealthy and dangerous foods being sold.

The list goes on and on. Bamma or others might say that those things are all good, but that they should be the responsibility of local govts. Well some of them such as the interstate highways couldn't be by definition. Secondly all of those things were unable to be dealt with locally and were problems until the Federal government stepped in to correct matters. Many of these things such as Child labor laws, food safety, forcing the auto manufacturers to install seat belts, work safety regulations etc. were actually costing people their lives in the name of profit and the 'free market'.

We are familiar with the saying that 'those that don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.' That seems to be the case for those who want to repeal or remove all or some of the govt. regulations that protect us.

111chase111
06-12-2004, 12:29 PM
Originally posted by Grizzled
This is in response to BS’s earlier article which I think is relevant to this thread because it relates to Reagan’s incessant anti-“communist” rhetoric, even though it’s pretty clear that he didn’t really understand what communism is.

How was it "pretty clear that he didn't really understand what communism is"? Did he not understand "pure" communisim? Did he not understand communism as it was practiced in the Soviet Union and Cuba? Did he actually understand the differences but didn't bother to focus on "pure" communism because "pure" communism didn't/doesn't exist on a national scale? What makes you say he didn't understand what Communisim was? Did you ever talk to him about it? Did you ever read anything he wrote about it? Or are you taking the word of political enemies that he didn't know? Just curious.

Grizzled
06-12-2004, 12:58 PM
Originally posted by 111chase111
How was it "pretty clear that he didn't really understand what communism is"? Did he not understand "pure" communisim? Did he not understand communism as it was practiced in the Soviet Union and Cuba? Did he actually understand the differences but didn't bother to focus on "pure" communism because "pure" communism didn't/doesn't exist on a national scale? What makes you say he didn't understand what Communisim was? Did you ever talk to him about it? Did you ever read anything he wrote about it? Or are you taking the word of political enemies that he didn't know? Just curious.

Well, he kept saying that he was against the “evil of communism.” So what was he against? He became a friend of Gorbachev, who was the leader of the USSR at the time, so he didn’t seem think he was “evil”. It almost sounds like he was referring to totalitarianism, but then he (or at least his administration) supported Saddam Hussein and even tried to overthrow a democratically elected government in Nicaragua, seemingly in favour of the preceding dictatorship! So that can’t be it. What exactly was he talking about when he said he stood against the “evil of communism”?? Frankly, it sounded like he was just repeating a line out of a 50’s era McCarthy influenced movie without really understanding what he was talking about. If his thinking was any more sophisticated that this I’d be interested in hearing about it.

GladiatoRowdy
06-12-2004, 02:33 PM
Originally posted by bamaslammer
I knew I'd get a knee-jerk reaction from the left. Of course we need a govt. to provide for the common defense for enemies foreign and domestic. Of course we need a Federal govt. to coin money and take care of treaties. But anything else is just ridiculous. We have gazzillions of regulations and regulators to enforce them that are not rooted in common sense. We have a parasite class of people who depend solely on govt.'s ability to steal what I make and give to them thanks to their power of force. Just look at the Post Office, Amtrack and the stupid baggage screeners among others to tell me about how govt is "good." The waste in every movement up there is amazing. Imagine more of your tax dollars closer to home could do for you. I'm shocked that so many of you on the left don't trust Bush at all, yet you never question the motives of a labryinthine bureaucracy that exists only to service itself.

The Founders never intended the Federal govt. to become as big and as invasive as it is now. The states should have the greatest say in most matters, but thanks to that godawful Constitutional amendment which allowed senators to be elected rather than appointed by state legislators, the state govt has no voice in Washington.

No knee jerk reactions here but yours. I have held out hope that you might actually be intelligent and openminded enough to debate reasonably, but you simply choose to use one-liners and cliches. Please respond to the questions asked above if you would like to be taken seriously.

Fegwu
06-12-2004, 03:29 PM
Does anyone know if President Reagan's ex-wife is still alive and if she attended the funeral.

Mango
06-12-2004, 03:56 PM
Originally posted by andymoon


But the Reagan administration's turning of a blind eye to other armed irregulars was to have even more long-lasting consequences, said Tree. "In Afghanistan, Reagan sought to give the Soviets their own taste of Vietnam, so the CIA funded and trained the fundamentalist mujahadeen, including Osama bin Laden. These forces quickly turned to opium poppy cultivation to supplement their CIA funding and now Afghanistan produces three-quarters of the world's heroin," the analyst said. According to numerous reports, profits from that trade are helping to finance Al Qaeda and the Taliban (not to mention warlords within the US-backed Afghan government of Hamid Karzai).

"Reagan called these armies 'freedom fighters' and the 'moral equivalent of our founding fathers. The founding fathers grew hemp for peaceful purposes -- they didn't traffic in cocaine and heroin in order to wage war! In fact, one could argue that Reagan's foreign policy gave birth to the original 'narco-terrorists,' the Contras and the mujahadeen."



Please STOP posting the truncated version of the Afghanistan story.
Tell it entirely or don't tell it all.

GladiatoRowdy
06-12-2004, 09:16 PM
Originally posted by Mango
Please STOP posting the truncated version of the Afghanistan story.
Tell it entirely or don't tell it all.

The article in question was written by someone other than me, which means it is not for me to edit. In addition, it was a piece specifically focused on drug policy and as such, did not need to go into complete detail about Afghanistan.

If YOU would like the full Afghanistan story posted here, please feel free.

GladiatoRowdy
06-12-2004, 09:16 PM
Originally posted by Fegwu
Does anyone know if President Reagan's ex-wife is still alive and if she attended the funeral.

Was Nancy his second wife?

Learn something new every day.

Mango
06-12-2004, 10:29 PM
Originally posted by andymoon
The article in question was written by someone other than me, which means it is not for me to edit. In addition, it was a piece specifically focused on drug policy and as such, did not need to go into complete detail about Afghanistan.

If YOU would like the full Afghanistan story posted here, please feel free.

You could have deleted the part that was incomplete and misleading.

Insert this:
<i>.............</i>
to show that you eliminated something.
<b>
Quoting from articles that have incomplete & misleading sections leads to reader(s) thinking that other parts of the article may also be incomplete & have misleading sections.
</b>
Why bring up the Reagan Administration part without bringing up the Carter Administration part in regards to the Afghanistan story? It would only have cost him another sentence or two to add the Carter Administration part and based on the article length, brevity didn't seem to be a goal.

<a HREF="http://www.counterpunch.org/brzezinski.html">Zbigniew Brzezinski: How Jimmy Carter and I Started the Mujahideen</a>

<i>Interview of Zbigniew Brzezinski Le Nouvel Observateur (France), Jan 15-21, 1998, p. 76*

Q: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs ["From the Shadows"], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?

Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?

Brzezinski: It isn't quite that. We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.

Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn't believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don't regret anything today?

Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic [integrisme], having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated: Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.

Brzezinski: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn't a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.

* There are at least two editions of this magazine; with the perhaps sole exception of the Library of Congress, the version sent to the United States is shorter than the French version, and the Brzezinski interview was not included in the shorter version.

The above has been translated from the French by Bill Blum author of the indispensible, "Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II" and "Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower"
</i>

If that source is unacceptable, let me know and I will try to come up with another one

Fegwu
06-12-2004, 10:42 PM
Originally posted by andymoon
Was Nancy his second wife?

Learn something new every day.


Yes Nancy is not his first.

Jane Wyman was Reagan's first wife back in the '40s.

No Worries
06-12-2004, 11:02 PM
Jane Wyman was Reagan's first wife back in the '40s.

It would be interesting to know why Reagan and the first wife split. I do remembering reading that Jane had their first child just seven months after they got married. I have always heard that the first child sometime arrives real early ;)

Fegwu
06-12-2004, 11:25 PM
Originally posted by No Worries
Jane Wyman was Reagan's first wife back in the '40s.

It would be interesting to know why Reagan and the first wife split. I do remembering reading that Jane had their first child just seven months after they got married. I have always heard that the first child sometime arrives real early ;)


Jane Wyman is/was an Oscar award winner.

According to TIME, they got divorced in 1948. Wyman actually sued for divorce charging extreem mental cruelty, and she also complained in her own words......"I just couldn't stand to watch that dismal Kings Row one more time."

Fegwu
06-12-2004, 11:32 PM
Lookie here.....look what I found.



Jane Wyman issues statement on the death of Ronald Reagan

The Bakersfield Californian ^ | 11June 2004 | Associated Press


Posted on 06/11/2004 7:38:32 PM PDT by A.A. Cunningham


The Associated Press

Posted: Friday June 11th, 2004, 5:15 PM Last Updated: Friday June 11th, 2004, 6:40 PM

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) - Jane Wyman, the first wife of Ronald Reagan, has released a statement through a friend praising the nation's 40th president. Wyman was married to Reagan from 1940 to 1949, but had limited contact with him after their divorce.

Virginia Zamboni, a friend of Wyman's, said the Oscar-winning actress gave her permission to relay a statement to The Desert Sun newspaper in which Wyman said, "America has lost a great president and a great, kind and gentle man."

Reagan and Wyman had a daughter, Maureen, who died in 2001 of cancer. They also adopted a son, Michael, and had a third child who died a day after birth.

Wyman, 90, won an Academy Award in 1949 for her role in "Johnny Belinda."

Wyman has been in contact with Michael Reagan since the former president's death.


The Link (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1152168/posts)

GladiatoRowdy
06-13-2004, 11:11 AM
Originally posted by Mango
You could have deleted the part that was incomplete and misleading.

Insert this:
<i>.............</i>
to show that you eliminated something.
<b>
Quoting from articles that have incomplete & misleading sections leads to reader(s) thinking that other parts of the article may also be incomplete & have misleading sections.
</b>
Why bring up the Reagan Administration part without bringing up the Carter Administration part in regards to the Afghanistan story? It would only have cost him another sentence or two to add the Carter Administration part and based on the article length, brevity didn't seem to be a goal.

<a HREF="http://www.counterpunch.org/brzezinski.html">Zbigniew Brzezinski: How Jimmy Carter and I Started the Mujahideen</a>

<i>Interview of Zbigniew Brzezinski Le Nouvel Observateur (France), Jan 15-21, 1998, p. 76*

Q: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs ["From the Shadows"], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?

Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?

Brzezinski: It isn't quite that. We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.

Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn't believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don't regret anything today?

Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic [integrisme], having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated: Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.

Brzezinski: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn't a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.

* There are at least two editions of this magazine; with the perhaps sole exception of the Library of Congress, the version sent to the United States is shorter than the French version, and the Brzezinski interview was not included in the shorter version.

The above has been translated from the French by Bill Blum author of the indispensible, "Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II" and "Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower"
</i>

If that source is unacceptable, let me know and I will try to come up with another one

I will NOT edit someone else's article because YOU have a problem with the way he wrote it. Besides, the article was on Reagan's DRUG WAR LEGACY and as such, did not have anything whatsoever to do with Carter.

You did what you felt you needed to do in posting that interview, but it would be completely WRONG of me to post an article and then sanitize it by taking out a paragraph. If I wrote an article and someone else did that, I would absolutely ream them and tell them to post ALL of my article or none at all.

basso
06-13-2004, 12:46 PM
Originally posted by No Worries
Jane Wyman was Reagan's first wife back in the '40s.

It would be interesting to know why Reagan and the first wife split. I do remembering reading that Jane had their first child just seven months after they got married. I have always heard that the first child sometime arrives real early ;)

yeah, ours arrived after 12 years...:rolleyes:

Mango
06-13-2004, 04:16 PM
Originally posted by andymoon
I will NOT edit someone else's article because YOU have a problem with the way he wrote it. Besides, the article was on Reagan's DRUG WAR LEGACY and as such, did not have anything whatsoever to do with Carter.

You did what you felt you needed to do in posting that interview, but it would be completely WRONG of me to post an article and then sanitize it by taking out a paragraph. If I wrote an article and someone else did that, I would absolutely ream them and tell them to post ALL of my article or none at all.

Did you send him an email to tell him that you used his article?


But the Reagan administration's turning of a blind eye to other armed irregulars was to have even more long-lasting consequences, said Tree. "In Afghanistan, Reagan sought to give the Soviets their own taste of Vietnam, so the CIA funded and trained the fundamentalist mujahadeen, including Osama bin Laden. These forces quickly turned to opium poppy cultivation to supplement their CIA funding and now Afghanistan produces three-quarters of the world's heroin," the analyst said. According to numerous reports, profits from that trade are helping to finance Al Qaeda and the Taliban (not to mention warlords within the US-backed Afghan government of Hamid Karzai). "Reagan called these armies 'freedom fighters' and the 'moral equivalent of our founding fathers. The founding fathers grew hemp for peaceful purposes -- they didn't traffic in cocaine and heroin in order to wage war! In fact, one could argue that Reagan's foreign policy gave birth to the original 'narco-terrorists,' the Contras and the mujahadeen."


The policy of getting <i>fundamentalist mujahadeen</i> to fight against the Soviets originated with the Carter Administration as did the concept of giving the Soviets their own taste of Vietnam. Since the Carter Administration:

1) Came up with the idea of giving the Soviets their own Vietnam

2) Started the contacts and funding of the fundamentalist
mujahadeen

it does have plenty to do with the Carter Administration.

GladiatoRowdy
06-13-2004, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by Mango
Did you send him an email to tell him that you used his article?


But the Reagan administration's turning of a blind eye to other armed irregulars was to have even more long-lasting consequences, said Tree. "In Afghanistan, Reagan sought to give the Soviets their own taste of Vietnam, so the CIA funded and trained the fundamentalist mujahadeen, including Osama bin Laden. These forces quickly turned to opium poppy cultivation to supplement their CIA funding and now Afghanistan produces three-quarters of the world's heroin," the analyst said. According to numerous reports, profits from that trade are helping to finance Al Qaeda and the Taliban (not to mention warlords within the US-backed Afghan government of Hamid Karzai). "Reagan called these armies 'freedom fighters' and the 'moral equivalent of our founding fathers. The founding fathers grew hemp for peaceful purposes -- they didn't traffic in cocaine and heroin in order to wage war! In fact, one could argue that Reagan's foreign policy gave birth to the original 'narco-terrorists,' the Contras and the mujahadeen."


The policy of getting <i>fundamentalist mujahadeen</i> to fight against the Soviets originated with the Carter Administration as did the concept of giving the Soviets their own taste of Vietnam. Since the Carter Administration:

1) Came up with the idea of giving the Soviets their own Vietnam

2) Started the contacts and funding of the fundamentalist
mujahadeen

it does have plenty to do with the Carter Administration.

Not in that particular piece, which was about the drug war. The author chose to gloss over the minutae in favor of the commonly accepted wisdom that, though the policy may have started under Carter (as the "War on Drugs" started under Nixon), it was vastly expanded under Reagan and, as such, had as much or more to do with Reagan than with Carter (just as the vast expansion of the war on drugs has had as much to do with EVERY president since as it has to do with Nixon). IIRC, the Soviets invaded Afghanistan at virtually the 11th hour of Carter's presidency, which would mean that the vast majority of OUR support of the muhjadeen came from Reagan.

And I don't have to send him an email, he gives free permission to reproduce his works as long as a link or attribution is given. If you are going to create a stink about his view of the Afghanistan/USSR conflict, I suggest you contact him, you can find his email at www.stopthedrugwar.com.

Mango
06-13-2004, 07:10 PM
Go back to discussing drugs because I have other things to do.

No Worries
06-13-2004, 11:24 PM
Another good read ...

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2003/0301.green.html
Reagan's Liberal Legacy
What the new literature on the Gipper won't tell you.
By Joshua Green

It's conservative lore that Reagan the icon cut taxes, while George H.W. Bush the renegade raised them. As Stockman recalls, "No one was authorized to talk about tax increases on Ronald Reagan's watch, no matter what kind of tax, no matter how justified it was." Yet raising taxes is exactly what Reagan did. He did not always instigate those hikes or agree to them willingly--but he signed off on them. One year after his massive tax cut, Reagan agreed to a tax increase to reduce the deficit that restored fully one-third of the previous year's reduction. (In a bizarre bit of self-deception, Reagan, who never came to terms with this episode of ideological apostasy, persuaded himself that the three-year, $100 billion tax hike--the largest since World War II--was actually "tax reform" that closed loopholes in his earlier cut and therefore didn't count as raising taxes.)

Faced with looming deficits, Reagan raised taxes again in 1983 with a gasoline tax and once more in 1984, this time by $50 billion over three years, mainly through closing tax loopholes for business. Despite the fact that such increases were anathema to conservatives--and probably cost Reagan's successor, George H.W. Bush, reelection--Reagan raised taxes a grand total of four times just between 1982-84.

...

Reagan continued these "modest rollbacks" in his second term. The historic Tax Reform Act of 1986, though it achieved the supply side goal of lowering individual income tax rates, was a startlingly progressive reform. The plan imposed the largest corporate tax increase in history--an act utterly unimaginable for any conservative to support today. Just two years after declaring, "there is no justification" for taxing corporate income, Reagan raised corporate taxes by $120 billion over five years and closed corporate tax loopholes worth about $300 billion over that same period. In addition to broadening the tax base, the plan increased standard deductions and personal exemptions to the point that no family with an income below the poverty line would have to pay federal income tax. Even at the time, conservatives within Reagan's administration were aghast. According to Wall Street Journal reporters Jeffrey Birnbaum and Alan Murray, whose book Showdown at Gucci Gulch chronicles the 1986 measure, "the conservative president's support for an effort once considered the bastion of liberals carried tremendous symbolic significance." When Reagan's conservative acting chief economic adviser, William Niskanen, was apprised of the plan he replied, "Walter Mondale would have been proud."

GreenVegan76
06-14-2004, 01:28 PM
It's interesting that Bush found time to attend Reagan's funeral, but refuses to attend the services of men and women he sent to die.

B-Bob
06-14-2004, 01:44 PM
Interesting: my parents were really pissed about all the pomp and circumstance about the funeral. They both voted for Reagan twice and generally liked him, but they thought the funeral was a big waste of taxpayer money. :eek:

My father said presidents really get to call their shots over their funerals, and apparently Truman was well-known for requesting the most modest funeral possible. He said something to the effect that "he wouldn't be there to enjoy it," and the US had more important things to spend money on.

Anyone know if Reagan got to leave wishes for his funeral? sorry if this has already been discusses, but I didn't see it explicitly.

ima_drummer2k
06-14-2004, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by GreenVegan76
It's interesting that Bush found time to attend Reagan's funeral, but refuses to attend the services of men and women he sent to die.
How many war-time Presidents have gone to funerals of soldiers killed in action?

B-Bob, I believe when you first become President they ask you whether you want a 'state funeral' or not when you croak.

GladiatoRowdy
06-14-2004, 01:51 PM
Originally posted by B-Bob
Interesting: my parents were really pissed about all the pomp and circumstance about the funeral. They both voted for Reagan twice and generally liked him, but they thought the funeral was a big waste of taxpayer money. :eek:

My father said presidents really get to call their shots over their funerals, and apparently Truman was well-known for requesting the most modest funeral possible. He said something to the effect that "he wouldn't be there to enjoy it," and the US had more important things to spend money on.

Anyone know if Reagan got to leave wishes for his funeral? sorry if this has already been discusses, but I didn't see it explicitly.

I heard that he started planning it in '81. Of course, that was reported on the "liberal media" (one of the big three, ABC, NBC, or CBS) so I can't vouch for the accuracy.

B-Bob
06-14-2004, 01:53 PM
Originally posted by ima_drummer2k
How many war-time Presidents have gone to funerals of soldiers killed in action?

B-Bob, I believe when you first become President they ask you whether you want a 'state funeral' or not when you croak.
thanks Ima, and andymoon. I had read they get to say "state" or not, but my parents strongly believed that they get to say much more about the details than that.

ima, I don't think many presidents at all have attended soldier funerals. I would think two parts go like this: (1) do you end up showing special preference to a soldier since you can't attend all of them?, and (2) would the opposition party just blame you for taking advantage of death for a media appearance? You just can't win when soldiers are getting killed, it seems to me.

bobrek
06-14-2004, 01:54 PM
Originally posted by andymoon
I heard that he started planning it in '81. Of course, that was reported on the "liberal media" (one of the big three, ABC, NBC, or CBS) so I can't vouch for the accuracy.

Apparently one of the first things a newly elected president has to do is plan his funeral.

MadMax
06-14-2004, 02:02 PM
Originally posted by Grizzled
I’ve been dropping in from time to time but haven’t had the time to get involved in any of the discussions. I saw some threads where I thought you were doing a great job explaining and representing the Christian faith. One of the great things about this board for me has been to come to know someone from the “Christian right” who I clearly sense knows the same God I do. Prior to this, I’ll have to admit, I could not conceive how anybody on in the Christian right could possibly be a real Christian, and much of that I think came from what I saw of the leaders of the CR who supported Reagan. While I think no more highly of Reagan today, or those leaders of the CR, I now can see that this is not the entirety of who the people in the CR churches are. We have a whole lot more common ground than I thought, and I think there’s room for the CR and CL to understand each other even more in the future too.

i agree with you...but i might point out that i feel i've moved more to the CL in the past year or so. but you're right...we shouldn't be dividing, but trying to find our common ground.

thanks for your kind words!

FranchiseBlade
06-14-2004, 02:57 PM
Personally I love the pomp and circumstance surrounding Reagan's funeral. I would want more of it. The more ceremony the better, I think. I would like it if they had giant stone litres with raised images of the president on top of them to bury them in, much like was done with European nobility. One bagpiper playing one song was not enough.

gifford1967
06-16-2004, 05:52 PM
Reagan's Family Criticizes Use Of Reagan In Anti-Kerry Ad
Family Says Group Does Not Have Permission To Use Reagan's Image


http://www.nbc6.net/news/3424816/detail.html


WASHINGTON -- Ronald Reagan's family is criticizing the use of the late president's image in a conservative political ad endorsing President George W. Bush.


The ad comparing Bush's war on terror with Reagan's battle against communism is being run by the conservative interest groupClub for Growth starting Wednesday. It shows footage of Reagan at the Berlin Wall, and Bush at ground zero.


The ad also said Democratic presidential contender John Kerry was "wrong then, wrong now" on national security.


A Reagan family spokeswoman said the group does not have permission to use Reagan's image in the ad because doing so implies his endorsement.

Club for Growth said it wants to show how similar Bush and Reagan have been "in terms of fighting evil." A Kerry spokesman said it's "pretty sad" that Bush supporters are already politicizing the nation's farewell to Reagan.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

B-Bob
06-16-2004, 06:11 PM
Weird how that article keeps breaking into random questions. Guess journalism school ain't what it used to be.

gifford1967
06-16-2004, 07:09 PM
Originally posted by B-Bob
Weird how that article keeps breaking into random questions. Guess journalism school ain't what it used to be.

Yes that was weird. Almost as weird as their mysterious disappearance.

B-Bob
06-16-2004, 08:33 PM
censorship! bring back the intriguing questions! :D

Blatz
06-16-2004, 11:45 PM
Originally posted by ima_drummer2k
B-Bob, I believe when you first become President they ask you whether you want a 'state funeral' or not when you croak.

Yes and I think that it is updated every year.

giddyup
06-17-2004, 05:01 AM
Originally posted by B-Bob
You just can't win when soldiers are getting killed, it seems to me.
... and don't forget the coup de grace: you get criticized for not going ultimately, too. Damned if you do; damned if you don't.

rhadamanthus
06-17-2004, 08:48 AM
http://images.chron.com/content/chronicle/comics/archive/2004/6/17/Boondocks.316.g.gif


I thought this was funny in a sad way. The media has been treating him like a 20th century Jesus.

mc mark
06-17-2004, 09:05 AM
Originally posted by rhadamanthus

I thought this was funny in a sad way. The media has been treating him like a 20th century Jesus.

that dam liberal media...

basso
06-17-2004, 10:27 AM
just don't say anything bad about ray charles! they should've played his recording of "america the beautiful" at reagan's funeral. apparently it was one of reagan's favorite songs.