Wednesday, August 5, 2009


My last post drew a comment from Jim about the death of our mutual boyhood friend Brian "Moose" Conlan in Viet Nam in 1966. It drew a few other responses as well. All of which leads me to add this PS to that last post:

I got out of a four-year hitch in the service in '66 and got back East in time to see my mother pass. I ended up in Iowa, with my wife Lee where I went to college on the GI Bill and heard about Moose's death in Viet Nam. I had already lost buddies in the service over there. Moose's passing hit me hard. I remember getting the message over the phone and seeing his handsome face with his little ironic smile and felt pretty angry and upset at policies that led us into such a morass (and at Moose's father's macho posturing and pushing Moose to emulate that).

It contributed to my becoming radicalized at the time. Unfortunately a lot of what I and my fellow radicals attempted to do to bring about change sometimes only added to more of the same or worse, ala dismissing both major political parties and thereby contributing to Nixon's win in '68 and the subsequent escalation of the war in Nam and the hundreds of thousands, millions, of deaths that might have been avoided had the Democratic candidate Humphrey won, despite his loyalty to LBJ as VP and what looked like his status quo pronouncements, at least as spread by the major media of the time.

My experience with idealism that in the long run (and sometimes the short, like the election of '68) contributed to the growth of a rightwing reaction and a rightwing takeover of much of the federal government for the next several decades, with a few exceptions, has led me to my present perspective of seeing things as they really are and looking for the best practical as well as possible outcome in otherwise miserable and tragic situations, whether domestic or international.

My sense so far is that Obama is coming from a similar place, possibly because of his unique upbringing and experiences as a mixed-race child brought up by a white mother and white grandparents in locations most "American" kids don't even know exist let alone where they might be and what life there might be like (Indonesia, etc.). He didn't go through the experiences of the 1960s, including the idealistic radicalism that led so many into the streets and the rightwing reactions that polarized the nation and lent support to Nixon and the rightwing Republican machine's tactics to exploit those divisions and any others they could create to their advantage, which they continue to do through the use of the big lie (i.e. healthcare will bankrupt and kill you, Obama isn't a "real American" etc.). But he seems to have studied and learned from the mistakes we made.

I would love to see him push more progressive policies and play harder ball with the rightwing Republicans and the more rightwing Dems in Congress, but his approach may in the end be more productive and create more change than the one I'd like to see him take might do (ala Bill Clinton's first weeks and months in office where his push for the acceptance of "gays" in the military and healthcare reform were attempted to be pushed through by a guy who could definitely play hardball with the rightwing Republicans and yet those major progressive policy changes failed. Obama has obviously learned from this as well).


JIm said...

Obama didn't go through the radicalized 60's, but he did learn his craft and style well as a lawyer for the criminal organization ACORN and in the Daly political machine of Chicago. Democrats are crying foul when Tea Party folks rallied, when just plain folks show up at town hall meetings and express their concern, sometimes in a loud voice when the politicians say stupid and illogical things like Spector that we must speed health care through even though it will not go into effect until 2013. All this is radicalization, but the ACORN organization, that terrorizes bankers wives’ and children at their homes, and whom Obama represented, is Democracy at work. The "Anointed One" seems to act "STUPIDLY" to the detriment of the country almost like his true aim is to bring Socialism to the USA even it ruins the incredible job creating engine of growth, called free enterprise.

JIm said...

If this were the only issue, it alone would make for a great clash of opinion and unreconcilable positions.

Gov't insurance would allow coverage for abortion

By RICARDO ALONSOZALDIVAR,Associated Press Writer - Thursday, August 6

A law called the Hyde amendment applies the restrictions to Medicaid, forcing states that cover abortion for low-income women to do so with their own money. Separate laws apply the restrictions to the federal employee health plan and military and other programs

The Democratic health care legislation as originally introduced in the House and Senate did not mention abortion. That rang alarm bells for abortion opponents.
Since abortion is a legal medical procedure, experts on both sides say not mentioning it would allow health care plans in the new insurance exchange to provide unrestricted coverage.
It would mirror the private insurance market, where abortion coverage is widely available. A Guttmacher Institute study found that 87 percent of typical employer plans covered abortion in 2002, while a Kaiser Family Foundation survey in 2003 found that 46 percent of workers in employer plans had coverage for abortions. The studies asked different questions, which might help explain the disparity in the results

JIm said...

Attention Liberals,

Just in case you find anything "FISHY" in my posts that could be construed as critical of Obama’s policies, as described by the White House information office, please forward my God dam email address to the God dam white house, attention the "Joker, Socialist in Chief”. Can you imagine if George W. had said to forward suspicious behavior or emails to the White House. Impeachment proceedings would have begun immediately. My email address is God bless America.

JIm said...

This is from the White Hose web site. I am going to report myself as an Obama critic of his govenment takeover of health care.

Facts Are Stubborn Things
;t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to . Here are the complete videos that Linda refers to. First from the AARP: Viewing this video requires Adobe Flash Player 8 or higher. Download the free player. And then from the President's news conference: Viewing

JIm said...

This morning I went to a public meeting with my Democrat Congressman Jared Polis of Boulder. Polis is a liberal in a safe liberal district with most of the voters from the very liberal college town of Boulder. The meeting was on a sidewalk, outside a coffee shop. There were 100 plus folks there. Polis spoke for about 5 minuets and took a few questions. He then insisted on following a written question format amongst small groups. It was orderly, but Polis spoke only for 5 minuets or so. Polis is a successful wealthy tech company owner who is favor of the public option. I attempted to ask him, if he thought it would be fair for the government to compete directly with his tech firm even though the government is not constrained with the expensive cost of capital which needs profits to grow. I also asked him to address the failure of Romney care in Mass. and the collapse of the Hawaii public program. He did neither. I was probably the most unruly in an orderly group. I did not hang around for his small group question mode, since it would be unlikely that I would change his mind. However, it is good for even a flaming liberal congressman to be aware of opposition to a government health care option in even a very liberal district.

Yesterday an office colleague of mine walked a couple of blocks to greet Nancy Pelosi and some local congressional people who are Democrats. There was a large anti govt. health care crowd with many hand written signs. There was a smaller pro crowd with professionally prepared posters. So much for Astroturf opposition. I saw nary a single swastika that Nancy had complained of. Nancy was speaking inside the building. Of course the meeting required tickets for supporters which screened out opponents. We left.

JIm said...

Does this bother anyone who was opposed to Bush's policy of screening for calls from terrorists outside the country to people inside the US.

White House to Open Gate on Tracking Web Browsing
Posted: 08/6/09Filed
A policy change under review by the White House would allow the federal government to begin tracking Internet traffic on its Web sites.

Since 2000, government Web sites have been banned from using cookies, which are identifying codes collected when a computer visits a Web site. When the computer returns, the Web site remembers the previous visits. The ban was enacted as a privacy protection. Since then, using cookies has become more common, and two weeks ago the White House announced plans to overturn the policy.