PearlY 5 days, 8 hours ago on Letter - ‘America,’ the movie, worth seeing

I was unaware that the Republicans have elected a single person who detonated bombs and instigated riots to advance his political views the way Ayers did. I'm also unaware that we've elected anybody whose campaign for his first political office was launched at a gathering at the home of such an individual, the way Obama's was.

It's ridiculous to compare Ted Cruz to Bill Ayers, but it is typical of the overblown reaction of many liberals to anybody who forcefully advances conservative positions.

It's ironic you would offer Reagan as a conservative who was NOT "far-out" in his views and was NOT "radical," because those are exactly the charges that were leveled against him by Democrats back then. Reagan would have no trouble getting through a Republican primary today, and his views were not significantly different from Ted Cruz's.

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PearlY 1 week ago on Letter - Sheriff Turner’s debate question was mean-spirited

I don't understand. Aren't both of Sheriff Turner's challengers law enforcement employees of the Sheriff's Office? If the case Sheriff Turner was asking about was important to the performance of their duties, it would seem to me that it is his responsibility to see that his subordinates are current in their training.

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PearlY 1 week ago on Blasts blamed on hash oil lead to federal charges

“We need to explain to people what the risks and dangers are.”

Sure, that sounds like a great solution to people blowing up their apartment buildings manufacturing hash oil after personal warnings from police. Let's set up 12 new federal programs, 8 state ones, and 3 local ones to tackle that. It's not like boiling off butane SOUNDS inherently dangerous or anything.

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PearlY 1 week ago on Letter - ‘America,’ the movie, worth seeing

Steve, Bangladesh has been a pretty good ally to America. It doesn't deserve to be saddled with the likes of either of those folks. If we send them to Nauru, though, they'll have to deal with each other, which should be punishment enough.

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PearlY 1 week ago on Letter - ‘America,’ the movie, worth seeing

I don't get Netflix but I'll watch it on Amazon Prime. I'll even spring for paying for it, since you forked over some dough on "America." Having read Reich's frequent guest columns in the Wall Street Journal for years, though, I'm pretty sure that I will only find it intellectually competent if the honesty factor isn't counted. Reich has always seemed like one of the smartest and most intellectually dishonest people around.

That being said, to the extent that his thesis has to do with the challenges facing the middle class today, I don't disagree with it. Americans have every right to be anxious about our economy. (Although, and I don't mean this in a good way, I suspect those anxieties will seem laughably trivial in 10-15 years, if not sooner.)

Reich and I will probably differ, though, on the causes and solutions to those anxieties, and the relevance of "inequality" to either. I'll watch it tonight. Have to haul my creaky bones off now to do a project I'd be hiring some young person to do if I had fewer anxieties about the future of our economy ;-)

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PearlY 1 week, 1 day ago on Letter - ‘America,’ the movie, worth seeing

fatherof5, I promise not to hold you as a liberal responsible for whatever Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, and other liberal pontificators say (and I'll even throw in Joe Biden), if you'll promise not to hold us conservatives responsible for what Pat Buchanan and other conservative pontificators say.

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PearlY 1 week, 1 day ago on Letter - ‘America,’ the movie, worth seeing

As I was thinking more about your remark about the implication of D'Souza's portrayal of the black millionaire, it occurs to me to ask, if it indeed WAS his intended implication that "blacks can find the American dream, if they only apply themselves", what exactly is it about that statement that is intolerable to so many liberals? The opposite statement, that no matter how hard they apply themselves, the American dream is completely unachievable for any black person, is obviously false, isn't it? If you were a black parent, is that what you would tell your child - that no matter how hard she works, how intelligent she is, how good a grounding you give her in education, character, etc., she has no future? Or perhaps you would tell her that her only future is political activism. Isn't that convenient for the Left? Black surgeons, black software developers, black McDonald's franchisees, they aren't 'authentic' unless they contribute generously to liberal candidates.

Is it unfair that many blacks in this country have fewer economic, educational and cultural resources for success than many whites? Yes. But there's never been and never will be a "fair" distribution of attributes helpful to success, whether it be brains, beauty, health, temperament, drive, whatever. It might be true that society can give some help to those who lack some of those things, but it's also true that nobody gets "boosted" to success without making a very strong commitment of whatever resources they DO have, and people don't make commitments if they see no hope and are given a ready outside blame-catcher as an excuse for all their failures.

If you've ever read the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, you probably remember his conclusion about what his life of slavery would have been like if he'd never been sent to Baltimore. But I remember thinking his life still would have been like that, even in Baltimore, if he hadn't been ingenious enough to trick neighborhood boys into teaching him to read and write and hadn't preserved his determination to be free. You will draw the implication from that that I think people who don't similarly pull themselves up by their bootstraps deserve what they get. Wrong. I'm saying that if I were a slave, I'd be aided far more by knowing Douglass's story than by all the compassion, sympathy, "programs" and excuses today's liberals could come up with for me. Tragically, most Democrat strongholds don't teach their children (of any race) to read well enough to read Douglass today

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PearlY 1 week, 1 day ago on Letter - ‘America,’ the movie, worth seeing

Maybe it's really NOT there. Some of what you're criticizing in the movie is not in the script, but in the inferences you choose to draw from it. You draw those inferences because you assume that's how conservatives think. Since I know most of us DON'T think that way, I draw different inferences. (I may also draw different inferences from the Lucifer reference because of what I remember of my Milton.)

You don't elect many of your nuts? Then who's been running Detroit, New Orleans, Chicago, DC, and just about every single other dysfunctional city in the country, not to mention the great state of California which is circling the drain as we speak? Which reminds me of Rod Blagojevich. Which reminds me of Edwin Edwards, although he hasn't been elected lately. And how about (just off the top of my head) past and current Congresscritters Jim Traficant, Dennis Kucinich, Maxine Waters, Jesse Jackson Jr., Andrew Weiner, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Mel Reynolds, Jim McDermott, Alcee Hastings, David Wu, John Edwards (who, granted, hid it well for a long time), Phil Hare, Hank ("will Guam tip over") Johnson, Pete Stark, William Jefferson, and if we're talking "radicals", there are dozens of Democrats in Congress who have never found an expansion of government power and (except for the military) an expansion of the government's budget that they don't insist is absolutely critical.

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PearlY 1 week, 2 days ago on Letter - ‘America,’ the movie, worth seeing

You contend that D'Souza "falsely established how liberals think" by quoting radical leftists. Did he truly or falsely establish how radical leftists think? Because that's who he was attacking in this movie.

You must have seen a different movie than I saw if you thought he was suggesting that Native Americans and slaves "didn't have it as bad as we've been led to believe." What he did do is remind us that America's grievous sins were not unique to this country, while our efforts to redeem ourselves were. It's easy to note that Britain abolished slavery before the US did, but then, by the time Britain abolished it, it was substantially out of the slave trade and had no powerful countervailing forces to contend with. The United States didn't establish slavery in this country, but it did set in place the ethos that led to its abolition at huge cost "four score and seven years" later.

D'Souza was trying to make the point, which the left in general tends to ignore, that what is "exceptional" about America is not, as you put it, our prosperity, philanthropy or even our "ideals" but the change America brought about in the very concept of conflict, ultimately replacing the "conquest ethic" as D'Souza calls it, with a new vision.

Most of the people I know well are liberals, fatherof5, and this film accurately describes about a third of them (and no, not as Satan-worshipers, which you know darn well he didn't say). But that third is by far the most politically active and evangelistic. Moreover, of those in academia and in government, the description is probably accurate for more than half, and they carry a disproportionate weight.

I believe you, and I know most of my liberal friends, don't "want" a totalitarian state or "anything remotely like that." But your difference with conservatives on "the role of government, on tax policy, on many social issues" is that you are comfortable with the role of government being paramount in virtually all things, in the implementation of which you readily accept whatever degree of coerciveness is needed.

If you went to the grocery store and the government insisted that, in order to buy some chicken for your family's dinner you also had to buy broccoli and apples, would that be totalitarian? To me it would, and to me, that's what the ACA did. Broccoli and apples may be healthy for most people, but it's simply not the government's job to force us to do things even if they might, on average, be healthier. Granted, it's a benevolent despotism, and until they start shooting the objectors, seemingly benign. But differences on "the role of government" are, in fact, hugely important. And just because you don't recognize yourself as tolerant of despotism, doesn't mean others might not see you that way.

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