January 26, 2011

"I found last night's speech very dull, and I turned it off less than an hour into it."

From Jaltcoh, who's been a big Obama supporter for years.
The idea that we're supposed to be alarmed that other countries are making too much progress relative to us, and that this is going to be our motivation to make economic and technological progress, leaves me cold.

97 comments:

edutcher said...

Ruh roh.

He lost 2 Althouses in one night.

He's toast. You know what happens next?

Good morning, President Biden.

MayBee said...

Our Sputnik moment is being brought on by xenophobia.

Salamandyr said...

Jay Nordlinger made a similar point, that the success of one country improves the lot of all, that economic growth is not a zero-sum game.

This is the problem with Obama; he doesn't really believe that. And since he doesn't, he doesn't realize his opponents actually do. So, he mistakes our desire to see America succeed as a desire to see other countries fail. As such, his panders seem odd and off-putting, and fall on no fertile ears except the equally ignorant.

Scott M said...

This is a man who was told everyone is special and who was taught never to keep score in sports. He's also, apparently, never heard of the security dilemma from political science wonks. Competition, he holds, is for neolithic knuckle-draggers.

This is the mentality that amounts to rot from the core.

Trooper York said...

That's cold Jaltcoh. You found his speech dull and boring.

By the way did you ever read your blog?

Just sayn.

Trooper York said...

That was just a joke.

Sorta, kinda so to speak.

TosaGuy said...

I did mention in a different post that a whole generation that has been raised to be unimpressed by the US really won't be motivated toward anything that will make it great.

jaltcoh said...

I wouldn't say I've "been a big Obama supporter." I think he's been a pretty mediocre president.

Drew said...

Jay Nordlinger made a similar point, that the success of one country improves the lot of all, that economic growth is not a zero-sum game.

This is the problem with Obama; he doesn't really believe that. And since he doesn't, he doesn't realize his opponents actually do. So, he mistakes our desire to see America succeed as a desire to see other countries fail. As such, his panders seem odd and off-putting, and fall on no fertile ears except the equally ignorant.


Exactly what I attempted to say on the other thread, but eventually deleted because I couldn't quite put it into words. Obama has never really believed that "a rising tide lifts all boats." That sort of thinking is anathema to the left. In fact, the left cannot succeed unless they foment some sort of class warfare.

Larry J said...

I got him beat - I knew the SOTU speech was going to be a waste of time so I didn't watch at all, nor did I spend any time watching the news coverage this morning. Why anyone other than a political whore would want to watch a SOTU speech - regardless of president - is beyond me.

Florida said...

Why watch it, when you can read it ahead of time on Althouse? and not have to sit through Tom Brokow's masturbation.

Ewwwww.

Scott M said...

Apparently the history of the world, with ebbs and flows of power based closely on technological prowess, don't mean a lot to you, jaltcoh.

Drew said...

[B]eing #1 is a burden. I'd like to try being #2 for a while. Let another country take on the role of being officially at the top, and see how they like it. It hasn't been uniformly wonderful for the United States to have that distinction. I care so much more about whether this is a nice place to live.

I don't even know what that means. "A nice place to live"? Does that mean we'll all be soaking in Green nonsense with a New Socialist Order? No incandescent bulbs and we have high-speed rail and ride bikes everywhere? Europe-lite? (Or Dark?)

America is a "nice place to live" because we are (or were) #1. Because when we talked about Progress, we didn't mean "Progressive" (which is the most anti-Progress worldview I've ever encountered).

1jpb said...

"I wouldn't say I've "been a big Obama supporter." "

Wasn't Jalthcoh the HRC supporter? Maybe that was the other son.

Or, more likely, my vague recollections of all of this are completely wrong.

Anyway, he's just not that into the Weiner-aid.

paul a'barge said...

wow. An Obama supporter for years?

Have you seen a doctor about that?

Scott M said...

Do you, jaltcoh, pine for a Van Jonesesque social justice society in which you could put your life into a bowl, then draw another out at random, and still have a pretty good life? Does that appeal? Is it something we should enact policy toward achieving?

AJ Lynch said...

Obama only wants to be in charge of divvying up the pie. He does not know the pie can grow and that we can make more pies.

I believe Obama learnt that at Haaaarrrvard.

Sloanasaurus said...

This makes snes to me. America should be about freedom and liberty first and economics second. If a totalitarian regime such as Chiana can find a way to better us economically in the short term, we should not try to emulate the totalitarian regime.

China still has a million men in its secret police. The place is not free. Why do we want to be like them....

bagoh20 said...

If you don't lead, someone else will. If you think your values are worthwhile and good, then you simply must lead. Not all values are equal.

If you look back at history and feel that America was nothing special, then by all means get out of the way.

WV: "jackward" No shit.

jaltcoh said...

I don't even know what that means. "A nice place to live"?

Sorry, I thought it was a fairly common and comprehensible phrase. You know, like ... a good economy, relatively healthy citizens, social harmony, that kind of thing. I'm not trying to break new ground here.

Does that mean we'll all be soaking in Green nonsense with a New Socialist Order?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_charity

jaltcoh said...

Wasn't Jaltcoh the HRC supporter? Maybe that was the other son.

I supported Obama throughout the presidential race. My brother Chris supported Hillary.

Paddy O said...

"The idea that we're supposed to be alarmed that other countries are making too much progress relative to us, and that this is going to be our motivation to make economic and technological progress, leaves me cold."

Isn't this, essentially the whole "community organizer" mentality expanded to nations? We're supposed to be alarmed the rich are getting richer. We're supposed to be alarmed the wealthy aren't doing more. We're supposed to be alarmed if people do better than us.

It's all a zero sum competition, whoever Obama is trying to side with. Which probably says a lot about his own self-perception. Which is also why any talk, ever, of his bipartisanship was a ploy not a promise.

Smilin' Jack said...

From Jaltcoh, who's been a big Obama supporter for years--
The idea that we're supposed to be alarmed that other countries are making too much progress relative to us, and that this is going to be our motivation to make economic and technological progress, leaves me cold.


Envy and spite directed toward those more successful than you is the entire raison d'etre of the Democratic party.

David said...

"Control your own destiny or someone else will."

As true with nations as with individuals.

madawaskan said...

Does anyone know what Sputnik means in Russian?

Is it an acronym?

bagoh20 said...

A nice place to live is what you loose when you don't care enough to fight for it. Most nice places to live in the world today exist only because of either the umbrella of the U.S. military, or the success of the U.S. market and it's insatiable consumers and businessmen who never get enough military or other stuff. As nations go, the U.S. is the anti-slacker, or at least was. It's been making the world spin for 200 years now, because we were never OK with being second. As soon as we ARE OK with it, someone else will dominate, who's your daddy? Will he be nice? Will you be free?

madawaskan said...

So Chris is smarter.

Henry said...

I posted this link over at Jaltoc. Wouldn't it have been nice if Obama had been to this State Department lecture by Hans Rosling.

"The problem I have is that the world view my students have correspond to the reality in the world the year their teachers were born."

Sputnik indeed.

madawaskan said...

Or less easily fooled...

[wv:carma]

AllenS said...

I found last night's speech very dull, and I turned it off less than an hour into it.

How long did the damned thing go on for?

WV: hyporkn

Bruce Hayden said...

What do we have here, a family circus? Mom links to son John, and the first post there is from step-dad, and then there is a link back to mom.

Actually, thought it was cute.

Roger J. said...

Jaltcohen--I thought your classical musical moutain metaphor was quite insightful--its a good thing when individuals can articulate how they think about any concept as complicated as music--good job on that one sir.

t-man said...

jaltcoh Dowdified:

"I think he's ... pretty."

Christopher said...

Madawaskan - "sputnik" means "little traveler" in Russian. If you want an interesting overview of the whole kerfuffle, I recommend Paul Dickson's "Sputnik: The Shock of the Century." Easy reading; you could get through it in a day.

chuck b. said...

"How long did the damned thing go on for?"

Lol, and

"I think he's ... pretty."

Lol.

Imagine listening to a full hour of Obama. Has anyone done that? I would die. No, I wouldn't. I would take out my iPhone and start tweeting about the Hell I was in.

Did anyone not already know the US has to compete? (Besides Obama. I know he's figuring stuff out. "Evolving" as it were.)

Scott M said...

Easy reading; you could get through it in a day.

More or less like a pamphlet of Jewish sports heroes?

madawaskan said...

Christopher-

Thank you very much!

***********

jaltcoh

Sorry for teasing ya-I love firing up sibling rivalries.

Lincolntf said...

While it's nice to see reason settling in among Obama supporters, it kind of begs the question: What the hell did you ever see that was different than last night's SOTU? He's been giving the same speech for three years, with only the level of contempt for Americans being modulated up or down depending on the audience.
He's a weak-minded man in way over his head, same as he ever was.

Trooper York said...

"More or less like a pamphlet of Jewish sports heroes?"

Hey watch that. Ron Blomberg was a "True" Yankee.

E.M. Davis said...

Easy reading; you could get through it in a day.

More or less like a pamphlet of Jewish sports heroes?


No, more like "Achievements in British Dentistry."

Revenant said...

Sputnik was launched by a genocidal Communist dictatorship that was not only our sworn enemy, but capable of destroying all life on Earth. That's why Sputnik was shocking. We were "losing" to an enemy that had the capacity to obliterate us.

Our biggest modern rival, China, is a mere regional power whose economy relies on exporting goods and services to... er, us and our allies.

Scott M said...

No, more like "Achievements in British Dentistry."

We interviewed the guys from Space Hog (who are Brits) back in 2001 and one of the things my co-host asked was "since you've been in the US for a while, what's your strongest impression?"

He answered, "Well everything's bigger over here. Including the medical bills. I went to have a crown put on my tooth and it was $2000. Back in England, that's free."

To which, I answered, "They're used to fixing teeth in England, though, aren't they?"

He replied, "You got me on that one, mate. Being a dentist in England is like being a bus driver here."

I still have the recording of that one, including my inability to control my laughter.

Coketown said...

The Left found it tedious and boring; the Right found it tedious and boring. Campaign pledge fulfilled; Americans united at last.

This may warrant a poll.

Phil 3:14 said...

Just words.

Sigivald said...

I thought that Democrats, as more or less liberals of some sort or other, were supposed to like other countries also being wealthy.

Salamandyr got it equally correct - the wealth of other nations is not a threat (well, so long as they're not using it to become military threats, combined with hostile government), but a blessing.

Wealthier nations seem to be stabler, and most definitely provide better markets for our own goods.

Larry J said...

madawaskan said...
Does anyone know what Sputnik means in Russian?

Is it an acronym?


I looked it up:

Russian: Спутник, Russian pronunciation: [ˈsputnʲɪk], which is translated as 'companion' or 'satellite'

Sixty Grit said...

The key word is relative - they may or may not be getting richer, but we sure as hell are getting poorer.

madawaskan said...

Larry J-

Thanks.

*****************

What bothers me most about the China comparisons is that they fail to tell the complete truth.

China outside of Beijing and Shanghai-is...

well let's just say Americans across the board have a much higher standard of living.

In fact China could have a very real and growing problem of civil unrest.

In some of the factory towns the workers are daring to protest.

I don't know where you get the complete picture of China but it sure as hell isn't from Tom Freidman.

And as for their trains....

Has anyone experienced the security?

I hear they go through back packs and hand bags, once some American kids witnessed a kid with a balloon not only did they "take" the balloon they made the kid's mother inhale the contents.

The Crack Emcee said...

Two things:

jaltcoh,

I hate it when you Althouse's confuse me - what happened to Obama's "souring rhetoric"? It hasn't changed in all the years I've been watching the guy. Maybe it never existed, huh? Maybe YOU never existed. Think about that - could you have put aside your critical faculties so you could "believe what you want to believe"? Like I said, Obama hasn't changed. Maybe you have.

Welcome back.

Drew,

America is a "nice place to live" because we are (or were) #1.

We still are - #2 is actually, like, #16 - but it doesn't look that way when we compare ourselves to what we've been capable of. India's still pushing oxen. China, too, is a backwater. We're the victims of self-demoralization. Once we understand that - and eliminate the means by which we do it to ourselves (Kill - or, at least, shut up - the NewAge Boomers and their lousy mindset!) - we'll be back. It's inevitable.

This IS the New World - not the NewAge.

AJ Lynch said...

Obama needed last night's speech to be exceptional. It wasn't IMO.

madawaskan said...

Speaking of which if anyone followed Henry's link here is something Hans Rosling the Swedish health expert forgot to tell his audience about Mao's Great Leap Forward:

Chief changes in the lives of rural Chinese included the introduction of a mandatory process of agricultural collectivization, which was introduced incrementally. Private farming was prohibited, and those engaged in it were labeled as counter revolutionaries and persecuted. Restrictions on rural people were enforced through public struggle sessions, and social pressure. Rural industrialization, officially a priority of the campaign, saw "its development … aborted by the mistakes of the Great Leap Forward."[1] The Great Leap ended in catastrophe, resulting in tens of millions of excess deaths.[2] Recent research puts the death toll somewhere between 36 and 45 million.[3][4] Historian Frank Dikötter asserts that "coercion, terror, and systematic violence were the very foundation of the Great Leap Forward" and it "motivated one of the most deadly mass killings of human history."[5]

Scott M said...

All of that was because of Christianity, right mad? I'm sure someone told me it was...

Pogo said...

New Obama campaign slogan

He's soporific!!!

The Crack Emcee said...

jaltcoh,

I supported Obama throughout the presidential race. My brother Chris supported Hillary.

Then, now, don't forget all this is what you actively supported. I don't say that to rub it in your face but because I think it's an important political lesson. While you were getting all juiced up to force this disaster on us - and that's what it is - here's what I was thinking and feeling. You were crushing my world - which I wanted (and still want) to be good for us all. No one into Saul Alinsky (Bambi or Hillary) ever wanted that. They wanted exactly what I (and now we) got.

Let it be a lesson to you.

madawaskan said...

Scott M-

Oy!

Actually it could be just the Catholics.

******************


Anyone have the over-under on Mubarak?

The Crack Emcee said...

Bruce Hayden,

What do we have here, a family circus? Mom links to son John, and the first post there is from step-dad, and then there is a link back to mom.

Actually, thought it was cute.


When not one of them understands the basics of politics - and, I'm sure, actively shunned (or poo-pooed) anyone talking common sense - there ain't nothing "cute" about it.

I shudder to imagine the smug-assed party they had on election night for the mess this clown was bringing us.

These folks are supposed to be You, a professor! "smart", you know? They don't have anything to fall back on for their foolishness.

It's just sad, is what it is.

Henry said...

@madawaskan -- One of the stunning things about Rosling's data is that you can see the impact of the Great Leap Forward right in the animation. China's circle is rising in life expectancy when bam, it drops like Sonny Liston and goes nowhere for a count of 10. You can see it over and over in the animations.

In some of his presentations Rosling points it out. Sometimes he doesn't. But it's always there.

BJM said...

Re Sputnik...makes me wonder what Obama knows about China's military buildup that he's not telling us?

I had Obama up on muted TV (captioned) while I followed Althouse and Vodkapundit's live blogging for 20 minutes or so but this line kept playin' in my head

"She said that for over an hour
And I hung up.."


So did I.

PatCA said...

Also, the fake Norman Rockwell picture that presidents sometimes try to paint just seemed dumb and out of place. Since when does he get all misty eyed at the thought of Amerikkka?

Methadras said...

What do you expect from a marxist who has less than zero clue about an economy, much less global market forces? He's an idiot and he proves it daily. President Platitudipus strikes again.

madawaskan said...

Henry

He said he had a website right?

I'm going to go check it out-it was a pretty interesting speech-still he mentioned it in that clip without the-er, downside.

I've read your comments here long enough to take your word for it-that he usually includes it.

Thanks for the link to it.

Henry said...

Rosling's site is gapminder.org

He has a bunch of presentations on TED. Here he he is on Asia's Rise How and When. Check out 7:20 - 7:40.

DADvocate said...

the success of one country improves the lot of all, that economic growth is not a zero-sum game.

In graduate school we did a group exercise where we were divided into sub-groups and did an exercise in which our goal was to get the most points/money/something we could. We had to interact with the other groups to do this and our points depended on these interactions somehow. I can't remember the details.

We had not winner because to get the most points you could, you had to ensure the other teams got the most points they could also. But, all the groups saw it as a zero sum, winner take all situation and all underachieved.

It's still important for America to excel and we need to be less dependent on other countries. But, declaring it a crisis that other countries are excelling is only correct if they are hostile countries with bad intentions.

Of course, much of the reason we're not excelling as much is due to liberal pushed PC favoritism and crap that puts gender/race/national origin/etc above performance and ability in education and jobs.

Scott M said...

Of course, much of the reason we're not excelling as much is due to liberal pushed PC favoritism and crap that puts gender/race/national origin/etc above performance and ability in education and jobs.

HOWARD JOHNSON IS RIGHT!!!

madawaskan said...

Henry-

What's frustrating is that one of his measurements-for health is sanitation but then it only measures "urban" access.

The thing that bothers me most about Friedman is the China is glorious we have to compete set up he always builds-Obama seems to have bought that hook line and sinker.

It's the rural areas of China that interest me.

After all we all know how Mao got his start.

madawaskan said...

Henry

Ha! OK I saw that big red ball take the downward bounce-thanks for the link.

Seems like it's worth the full 15 minutes -I would say listen but the graphics demand the word -

watch.

jr565 said...

PatCA wrote:
Also, the fake Norman Rockwell picture that presidents sometimes try to paint just seemed dumb and out of place. Since when does he get all misty eyed at the thought of Amerikkka?


I remember a long time ago Hannity had an interview with Jeanin Garofolo where he asked if she believed in american exceptionalism, and she COULD NOT answer in the affirmative. All she could say was that Amerikkka has done some good things and some bad things (and of course the bad things outweighed the good). That is the liberal mindset for most libs. I think Obama is a bit more upbeat about Amerikka, at least in speeches, but isn't that really the view of most lib interest groups? That america is Amerikkka? For the feminists Amerikkka is patriarchal, for the various racial groups America is racist, for the gays america is intolerant and out of the Taliban. Most of them HATE america and could only be happy if America was changed from what it is to their left wing utopia, which is kind of why so many libs bought into Obama's messianic revolutionary language.
So when Obama spouts off about how great America is, I'm sure half his supporters are rolling their eyes realizing that those words are just a sop to the Tea Partiers who he's trying to rally to his side.

BJM said...

@Madawaskan

Anyone have the over-under on Mubarak?

Heh.

Henry said...

@madawaskan

What's frustrating is that one of his measurements-for health is sanitation but then it only measures "urban" access.

Good point. Rosling also uses infant mortality in one of his presentations and reporting for that data set has many well known problems.

Yet most of this disappears in the aggregate since Rosling is looking for macro trends over a century or more. The kind of tendentious nitpicking about marginal differences in national data is almost entirely absent from his thinking.

Alex said...

I hope the Republicans go to war over the requirement that insurance companies can't deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions. I mean WAR. This is a matter of principle. Profits over people!

DaveW said...

I thought that Democrats, as more or less liberals of some sort or other, were supposed to like other countries also being wealthy.

Yeah I used to think that too. I caught on that that's not what they think a several years ago. Obviously fewer poor people in India and China is good. Right?

Still haven't got that reconciled.

wv: vowelys: feminist non-consonants

BJM said...

@Paddy O

Which probably says a lot about his own self-perception.

Exactly.

MadisonMan said...

I had the same reaction as Allen to this blog post's title: How long was the damn thing if people are using phrases like less than an hour into it to describe things!

No one has ever said That political speech was too short. Yet somehow politicians never recognize that.

Trooper York said...

Obama was selling us really weak sauce

HOWARD JOHNSON HAS 28 FlAVORS!!!

Blue@9 said...

I do think Obama is a terrifically talented orator, but one area where I just do not find him credible is when he's expressing empathy about the painful effects of the economic downturn. Sorry, but the guy has never held a real job in the private sector. He's never been in a situation where paying bills or putting food on the table has been a central concern in his life.

I'm down if he wants to talk about America's future or whatnot, but spare us the stuff about how easy it was to find work in the old days and how hard it is now. What would he know about it?

Revenant said...

I hope the Republicans go to war over the requirement that insurance companies can't deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions. I mean WAR. This is a matter of principle.

Indeed it is: TANSTAAFL.

"I need $40,000 in treatments. I should be able to walk into your office, hand you a check for $500, and make you pay for the whole thing, even if you've never seen me before in your life".

How does that actually sound reasonable to anybody? What a picture-perfect example of human selfishness and greed that attitude is.

Alex said...

Health care should not be predicated on ability to pay. Why do all other advanced countries have this basic moral question figured out and America is on par with Russia.

Scott M said...

You're forgetting, Alex, that all the other "advanced" countries are basically in the same deep shit we are for pretty much, if no more so, the same reasons.

Your "advanced" countries are going to "advance" themselves into hyperinflation.

Why? Thatcher said it best.

Alex said...

Scott - just ask any Swede if they would trade their system with ours.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

So sorry to hurt the kid's feelings.

Scott M said...

Just how many Swedes do you know, Alex? Any in your family? My brother's in-laws are Swedes (married in Europe while stationed there). Does that count?

They love that fact that their out of pocket expenses are next to nothing. They absolutely HATE the waiting periods. They HATE the number of specialists there and often travel to Germany (where the rest of the family is) for private care.

Sound like any other single-payer system you know about, say north of the US?

And they managed this vaunted, loved system, per you, with an absolute fraction of the number of people we have.

Yeah, I think I see your point.

Trooper York said...

Chad Ochocinco is changing his name back to Chad Johnson.

CHAD JOHNSON IS RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

Scott M said...

HOWARD JOHNSON WANTS RESIDUALS!!!

Trooper York said...

COOKIE JOHNSON MAKES CRAPPY JEANS!!!!!

BJM said...

@Alex

I've lived and worked in Germany, France, Italy and the UK. I worked for an American company and when we interviewed local executives to join our team the first item on their negotiation list was Blue Cross coverage. The #1 item on mine was medical air evac to Switzerland.

Several industry colleagues died in auto accidents that would have been 100% survivable in the US. Congresswoman Giffords would not have survived her injuries in Europe and probably not in Canada either.

I have European friends who travel to Florida for checkups, medical procedures and dental work as part of their winter holidays.

Have a look at the average European's teeth, that will tell you all you need to know about their health care.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Health care should not be predicated on ability to pay.

Health care and health insurance are two completely different things.

Revenant said...

Health care should not be predicated on ability to pay.

Of course it should.

Lincolntf said...

The crux of the Lib argument: Doctors should all be forced to work for free. Or with you paying.

They're flexible that way.

Michael said...

I found it very discouraging to listen to this man recite platitudes and absurdities. How can he as well as his speech writers and handlers believe that any of this amounts to serious policy? How can they believe that this nonsense being repeated yet again means anything more than it did when it was uttered the last time and the time before that and the time before that.
I am afraid that they actually believe it and that is worth being frightened about.

Phil 3:14 said...

A poorly covered issue with China. (Ironic since Ryan's "thing" is the unsustainability of Social Security. China doesn't even have that!)

Just 31 percent of the Chinese workforce, mainly in the state sector, now receive a public pension. Most of the fast-growing private sector is excluded, as is the vast population of migrant workers. As for rural China, pensions are virtually non-existent.

and it gets worse:
Unless China sets up a much-improved rural social security network and medical care insurance system, we believe the rural sex ratio imbalance may deteriorate and continue to constrain rural consumption," CICC's economists said in a recent report.

Put's a whole new meaning to the phrase:
Youth in Asia

DADvocate said...

Chad Ochocinco is changing his name back to Chad Johnson.

Reebok, who ha a bunch of Ochocinco jerseys still in stock, is really pissed.

holdfast said...

This thread made me think of Heinlein - did Jaltcoh read any Heinlein growing up?

On Obamacare:

"There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him."
— Robert A. Heinlein (The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress)


On the culture:

"A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot..."
— Robert A. Heinlein


On American democracy:

"The America of my time line is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has eventually happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories. A perfect democracy, a ‘warm body’ democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction. It depends solely on the wisdom and self-restraint of citizens… which is opposed by the folly and lack of self-restraint of other citizens. What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes his own self-interest as he sees it… which for the majority translates as ‘Bread and Circuses.’

‘Bread and Circuses’ is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader—the barbarians enter Rome."
— Robert A. Heinlein

On poverty:

Robert A Heinlein: Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck."

phx said...

I don't have any idea who Jaltcoh is and I'm not up to reading the article right now. But that quote, what is that, narcissism?

bagoh20 said...

"Health care should not be predicated on ability to pay."

Nor should housing, food, heat, education, sex or any other thing, I'd rather not pay for.

bagoh20 said...

"Health care should not be predicated on ability to pay."

How about willingness to pay for it?

pinkmonkeybird said...

If a liberal college prof from WI can come to realize that this president is not what he'd sold us to be, then the country might be saved.

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