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Thu Jan 2, 2014, 09:06 PM

Two Questions:

[1] What American (or Americans), living or deceased, would you say represents what you consider among the very best our society has produced?

[2] Why?

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Arrow 104 replies Author Time Post
Reply Two Questions: (Original post)
H2O Man Jan 2014 OP
MannyGoldstein Jan 2014 #1
madrchsod Jan 2014 #23
Warpy Jan 2014 #50
democrank Jan 2014 #2
Kingofalldems Jan 2014 #3
lob1 Jan 2014 #55
NYC_SKP Jan 2014 #4
A-Schwarzenegger Jan 2014 #5
scarletwoman Jan 2014 #6
hootinholler Jan 2014 #18
scarletwoman Jan 2014 #22
hootinholler Jan 2014 #31
scarletwoman Jan 2014 #32
A-Schwarzenegger Jan 2014 #36
scarletwoman Jan 2014 #37
hootinholler Jan 2014 #40
A-Schwarzenegger Jan 2014 #42
hootinholler Jan 2014 #39
scarletwoman Jan 2014 #43
hootinholler Jan 2014 #49
hfojvt Jan 2014 #82
El_Johns Jan 2014 #71
A-Schwarzenegger Jan 2014 #80
2naSalit Jan 2014 #73
ljm2002 Jan 2014 #7
Scuba Jan 2014 #8
etherealtruth Jan 2014 #11
scarletwoman Jan 2014 #9
Adam051188 Jan 2014 #10
Adam051188 Jan 2014 #24
Luminous Animal Jan 2014 #12
Bluenorthwest Jan 2014 #25
TBF Jan 2014 #13
westerebus Jan 2014 #14
Tierra_y_Libertad Jan 2014 #15
rug Jan 2014 #16
Laughing Mirror Jan 2014 #86
Brother Buzz Jan 2014 #17
FreeJoe Jan 2014 #100
scarletwoman Jan 2014 #19
Bluenorthwest Jan 2014 #20
madrchsod Jan 2014 #21
Kaleva Jan 2014 #26
El_Johns Jan 2014 #72
GliderGuider Jan 2014 #27
scarletwoman Jan 2014 #29
LiberalEsto Jan 2014 #104
Agony Jan 2014 #28
quinnox Jan 2014 #30
Beringia Jan 2014 #33
Nye Bevan Jan 2014 #41
A-Schwarzenegger Jan 2014 #56
Warren DeMontague Jan 2014 #34
scarletwoman Jan 2014 #35
H2O Man Jan 2014 #54
scarletwoman Jan 2014 #62
Zorra Jan 2014 #38
H2O Man Jan 2014 #44
hootinholler Jan 2014 #45
H2O Man Jan 2014 #46
scarletwoman Jan 2014 #52
H2O Man Jan 2014 #53
catbyte Jan 2014 #77
Skittles Jan 2014 #47
A-Schwarzenegger Jan 2014 #51
H2O Man Jan 2014 #48
LeftyMom Jan 2014 #57
Beringia Jan 2014 #66
abelenkpe Jan 2014 #58
immoderate Jan 2014 #59
A-Schwarzenegger Jan 2014 #60
scarletwoman Jan 2014 #64
A-Schwarzenegger Jan 2014 #65
Mister Ed Jan 2014 #61
NoOneMan Jan 2014 #63
polichick Jan 2014 #68
Egalitarian Thug Jan 2014 #67
scarletwoman Jan 2014 #69
Drew Richards Jan 2014 #70
H2O Man Jan 2014 #87
Drew Richards Jan 2014 #91
arely staircase Jan 2014 #99
Rex Jan 2014 #74
El_Johns Jan 2014 #75
catbyte Jan 2014 #76
babylonsister Jan 2014 #78
westerebus Jan 2014 #79
B Calm Jan 2014 #88
westerebus Jan 2014 #102
CFLDem Jan 2014 #96
westerebus Jan 2014 #103
hfojvt Jan 2014 #81
PDJane Jan 2014 #83
countryjake Jan 2014 #84
villager Jan 2014 #85
FSogol Jan 2014 #89
ZombieHorde Jan 2014 #90
WilliamPitt Jan 2014 #92
randome Jan 2014 #93
TexasBushwhacker Jan 2014 #94
LanternWaste Jan 2014 #95
CFLDem Jan 2014 #97
arely staircase Jan 2014 #98
FreeJoe Jan 2014 #101

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 09:33 PM

1. Ben Franklin, Lincoln, FDR, Ike

 

I expect Elizabeth Warren to join that group as well... My fingers are crossed.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 10:56 PM

23. if she runs i think she`ll win...

given my age this might be the last time i might get a chance to vote for a woman!

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 12:35 AM

50. Ben Franklin is at the top of my list, also

He was a great wit, bon vivant, revolutionary, diplomat, and inventor who refused patents and profits on things he thought people needed too much to tie up in red tape and unnecessary expense.

FDR and Teddy Roosevelt are there for being traitors to their class and bringing us much needed relief from plutocracy, even though it was only temporary in both cases.

Nikola Tesla is sort of ours, giving us AC current that could be transmitted over long distances, unlike DC.

Alice Paul for her tireless effort to get women full recognition under the constitution as citizens deserving full civil rights. We're still waiting for that.

Margaret Sanger for her crusade to get women the contraception they needed in order to take control of their own lives, hugely benefiting the female half of the population.

And there are too many more to list.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 09:37 PM

2. A thought-provoking question.

There are many, but the first that came to mind was former President Jimmy Carter. Such a principled, humble, kind man who sets a profound example for all.

I`ve always thought President Carter was way too good for Washington. He didn`t seem willing to sell out. He didn`t seem interested in hiring a crafty handler to remake him into something the latest focus group approved of. He always seemed guided by long-held principles.

When I think of President Carter, I think of him building houses for Habitat for Humanity. I think of all his messages of peace and all his trips of goodwill. I hear him speaking for the voiceless and I hear him speaking out when others lack the courage. And, he does it year after year after year.
I have immense respect for the man.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 09:37 PM

3. Mark Twain.

Way ahead of his time.

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Response to Kingofalldems (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 12:44 AM

55. You beat me to it, Kingofalldems.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 09:38 PM

4. My list would include James Earl Carter, 39th President of the United States.

 

Working just for people who were active in my memory and lifetime.

I think Carter was prescient, he saw two crises for the nation that none of his successors have seriously addressed.

I thought a lot about our nation and what I should do as president. And Sunday night before last, I made a speech about two problems of our country—energy and malaise.


We have only recently seen some leadership on the energy issue but hardly a peep from Washington about our national malaise. It's as if we're sleepwalking.

That's just a representative taste of what I admire about him.

I honor the great work he's been doing post-presidency and believe that the enormous disrespect he gets from the RW and other corners proves his integrity.


America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense ... human rights invented America.

Jimmy Carter Farewell address, January 14, 1981.


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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 09:42 PM

5. Dylan, Malcolm X, Flannery O'Connor, Bill W.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 09:43 PM

6. Without giving your question much thought, the names that immediately lept to mind were

Walt Whitman and Herman Melville.

This leap of thought was so spontaneous and unmeditated, I would be hard-pressed to explain why. I suppose it's just that I so love what they wrote.

I was an English major. And, I suppose, a charter member of Garrison Keillor's P.O.E.M.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 10:48 PM

18. Melville? Seriously?

He wrote what one book that while popular, I found rather sophomoric in its story telling.

Now that Sam Clements guy, there was an American Writer.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #18)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 10:54 PM

22. What can I say? I read Moby Dick from cover to cover 4 times.

I guess I had Melville mania.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #22)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 11:16 PM

31. The 19th Century one hit wonder



At least you didn't say Louis L'Amour or some pulp fiction writer.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #31)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 11:24 PM

32. You're just being mean.



I'm not going to apologize, I loved that book.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #32)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 11:33 PM

36. hoot read the Classics Illustrated version.

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Response to A-Schwarzenegger (Reply #36)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 11:36 PM

37. Oh wow - I totally remember those!

I read the Classics Illustrated version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame! Formidable!

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Response to A-Schwarzenegger (Reply #36)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 12:01 AM

40. Nah it was some book club leather bound edition

I do have a few volumes of 19th century engineering examples covering bridges, steeples, vaulted spaces, etc. I find them fascinating. The point is that pretty books tend to stick around and the copy of Moby Dick is pretty. Nice navy blue leather.

Or did you mean to imply some comic book version? Should I google Classics Illustrated?

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #40)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 12:06 AM

42. No.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #32)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 11:53 PM

39. Hey I'm not criticizing *you*



I will admit that back in the day, I wore out the Boston Album. So I can kinda relate.



I'm surprised Thoreau hasn't been mentioned. Or maybe Mitchum for being able to beat any subject from the dawn of time to present day.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #39)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 12:11 AM

43. Forgive me, but I don't really know what the "Boston Album" might be.

I'm vaguely aware that there once was a rock group named "Boston", but if that's what you're referring to, it's totally lost on me. I couldn't possibly name a single song of theirs.

When I dropped out at the end of the 60s, I really dropped out. My awareness of popular culture from about 1972 on is pretty nil.

Re: Thoreau - I thought he was mentioned somewhere in this thread, but I'd have to read back through it to be sure.

Mitchum? Sorry, don't know who you mean. Unless you mean James A. Michener, author of innumerable long-winded soap opera novels - none of which I've ever read.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #43)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 12:35 AM

49. Michener! Of Course!

Wow, I mangled his name. Ive read several chapters of his, couldn't hack it. But you have to give him thud factor lol.

Yes it was the rock band, basically a one hit wonder.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #49)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 03:46 AM

82. I read something ABOUT Michener

It was said that he did a lot of research and included a lot of facts in his novels. In that way, he felt his readers were getting something out of just otherwise mindless entertainment.

And Boston? For myself, I would take Boston any day over many other bands who may have produced more hits - like say, the Rolling Stones or The Police.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 02:11 AM

71. I think Melville is quintessentially American, and "Bartleby the Scrivener" is genius -- & also

 

quintessentially American -- on the dark side.

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #71)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 03:14 AM

80. I have often thought about reading "Bartleby the Scrivener" but

I would prefer not to.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 02:14 AM

73. Hmmm

According to Wiki he wrote a book "Typee" about living among cannibals that was very popular and "Moby Dick" was rather unpopular and basically ended his book-writing career. But he did write a number of short stories that are interesting - some of which I had to read in college - and quite a collection of poetry as well - some of which I also read in college.

The short stories that I read were sort of fables, and rather touching and the poetry was bad either. But I am glad that I wasn't assigned "Moby Dick", don't think I could have survived it and that's coming from someone who likes to read.

At any rate, he wasn't exactly a "one hit wonder" in the way you contend.

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

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 09:53 PM

7. Mark Twain.

Funny. Original. Strong recognizably American voice, told American stories. Everything you want in a literary figure, and he did it American-style!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 09:56 PM

8. MLK and RFK.

 

And my late friend Jim.


The first two for their fierce commitment to civil rights. The third for having been the most caring, honorable and humble man I ever knew.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 10:20 PM

11. A very moving remembrance of Jim

He must have been very special!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 10:09 PM

9. I have to kick this because I really want to read more responses. (nt)

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 10:18 PM

10. excellent question

 

I can't think of better responses than George Washington with JFK/Abraham Lincoln 2nd place right now, but this is one to think about.

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Response to Adam051188 (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 10:57 PM

24. haven't seen Harriet Tubman's name yet

 

it really depends on what qualities you consider "quintessential american" i guess. for me it's selfless courage in the face of adversity. brains, creativity and talent are great but not really requisite.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 10:23 PM

12. Helen Keller, socialist, labor rights activist, suffragist, early supporter of the NAACP...

an amazing person.

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 10:59 PM

25. Such an excellent choice.

 

Amazing is exactly the word.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 10:24 PM

13. Eugene V. Debs -

Eugene Victor "Gene" Debs (November 5, 1855 – October 20, 1926) was an American union leader, one of the founding members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies), and several times the candidate of the Socialist Party of America for President of the United States.

Why? Because he cared about non-wealthy folks, advocated for them, and fought capitalism.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 10:27 PM

14. Three.

Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Eleanor Roosevelt, who made the declaration of human rights possible.

Martin Luther King, who exposed the forces of evil that divide us for their gain.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 10:28 PM

15. Mark Twain, Joseph Heller, Henry James, Emma Goldman, Edward Snowden, Joan Baez,

 

Margaret Sanger, Walt Whitman, Marlon Brando, Rosa Parks, Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky.

Just off the top of my head.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 10:34 PM

16. Claudette Colvin

 



When she was 15, she refused to move to the back of the bus and give up her seat to a white person — nine months before Rosa Parks did the very same thing.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=101719889

Because of the thousands who just went along, she didn't.



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Response to rug (Reply #16)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 09:55 AM

86. Thank you for remembering this remarkable forgotten woman

I used to have a picture of her as my avatar. Needless to say, nobody knew who she was.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 10:37 PM

17. Will Rogers

Any guy that can make a living twirling a rope while spinning wisdom is all right in my book.

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Response to Brother Buzz (Reply #17)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 01:58 PM

100. +1

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 10:50 PM

19. I'll add some more names in order to keep this kicked up.

In no particular order:
Mark Twain, of course.
Pete Seeger.
Paul Wellstone.
Aldo Leopold.
Willard Munger.
Gore Vidal.
Eleanor Roosevelt.
Helen Keller.
Emma Goldman - although did "our" society produce her, or did Europe?
Angela Davis.
Malcolm X.
Peter Matthiessen.
Winona LaDuke.
Betty Friedan.
Helen Thomas.
Rachel Carson.

I'm sure I could list many more.

As to the 2nd question, "Why?" I would say that each of these persons brought their own unique viewpoints and challenges to the status quo.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 10:53 PM

20. Duke Ellington, Kurt Vonnegut, Susan B Anthony, Orson Wells, Harvey Milk, Malcolm X.

 

Miles, Tennessee, Ginsberg, Guthrie, Ali, Dylan, Martin, Lincoln.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 10:54 PM

21. ike....

a brilliant general during ww2. foreign policy was`t one of his highlights but given the times....
domestic policies were his greatest achievements. civil rights and the modernization of america. post war prosperity and the birth of the middle class.

his warning about the military industrial complex places him on my list of one of our very best.

i`ll place lbj a very close second

how did i forget carter? best president after he left office in our history.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 11:03 PM

26. The millions of Americans who struggled most every day and died forgotten.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #26)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 02:13 AM

72. +1

 

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 11:04 PM

27. Smedley Butler and Edward Snowden

 

Butler is an obvious choice for stopping the Business Plot and for being a consummate anti-war soldier.

Snowden exemplifies the dedication to truth and justice at great personal cost - the belief that underpins everything the United States likes to imagine it is.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #27)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 11:06 PM

29. Hear, hear!

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #27)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 08:26 PM

104. +100! nt

 

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 11:05 PM

28. living - Bernie Sanders why? he knows what empathy is. deceased - they're all dead...

but I would throw in Paul Wellstone anyway. Same reason, he understood that people are what matter most.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 11:09 PM

30. Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King. In the modern day - Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald

 

are some names that immediately come to mind. Also John F. Kennedy, J.D. Salinger, Frank Herbert, Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, John von Neumann, and many others in the past that I am forgetting.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 11:25 PM

33. A long list



charles darwin
barbie
carlos castenada
richard mclean
james mathewson
dad
thomas merton, dorothy day
roosevelt
MLK
jimmy carter
james cagney
juan felipe herrera
albert schweitzer
charles laughton
marilyn monroe
picasso
isadora duncan
woodie guthrie
studs terkel
jacque cousteau
jules verne
lame deer
cat stevens, janis joplin
black elk
farley mowat
johnny moses
brooke medicine eagle
jane goodall
mike royko
dalai lama
obama
henry ford
kurt vonnegut
abraham lincoln
thomas edison
burt lancaster

Because they all inspired me at some point in my life, opened my eyes to possibilities or had a huge impact in my eyes on the development of America or extremely creative.

They are not all Americans though.

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Response to Beringia (Reply #33)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 12:02 AM

41. Nobody as disgustingly anti-Semitic as Henry Ford deserves a place on the list (nt)

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Response to Beringia (Reply #33)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 12:44 AM

56. Thomas Merton, yes.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 11:32 PM

35. Waterman, it's not like you to post and run. I'm looking forward to you making some comments here.

In any case, I appreciate your posing these questions.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #35)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 12:42 AM

54. We're having a big storm

in the northeast; I had to bring my puppy out to play. He loves the snow & cold weather!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #54)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 01:02 AM

62. It's been below zero here for most of a month.

Plenty of snow, but my "puppy" (13+ years old) is not so enamored anymore.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 11:41 PM

38. I'm kind of partial to Sojourner Truth in the historical figure category

Born a slave, she was a strong willed black woman who started with absolutely nothing, escaped slavery at 30 yrs old, and against all odds became an important and effective figure in the struggles for abolition of slavery, slave rights, women's rights, religious tolerance, prison reform, banning capital punishment, and other equality and rights causes.

I'm also partial to Chief Joseph, but I wouldn't say he was exactly produced by American society.

And then there's my old friend Butch, born with terribly crippling birth defects, who could not walk and barely had use of one hand, who got around in an electric wheelchair and worked to partially support himself.

Despite all this, Butch was the happiest person I ever met, had a keen wit and a kind and sunny disposition. I met Butch when I became executive director of a small non-profit corporation that provided recreational and leisure services to severely developmentally disabled persons. We had 26 clients, but I found that I enjoyed Butch's company so much I left the office behind every Thursday just so I could take Butch on outings in one of our company rigs. I used the excuse that I was "keeping in touch with what was going on in the field".

Butch was the strongest, most courageous person I ever met, and his personal happiness in the face of devastating physical handicaps that would have crushed me into a puddle of melted chicken fat led me to view him as the most courageous person I ever knew, and I don't do heroes, but if I did, my hero would be Butch.

I am the happiest person in the world, and a large part of the reason for this was the lessons that Butch taught me.

I'm still working on being kind, like Butch was, and he's number one on my list of the best of America.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 12:24 AM

44. A few of mine:

Malcolm X: He spoke the Truth as best he could; the last 2 years of his life in particular.

Martin Luther King, Jr: He was passionate for social justice.

Robert F. Kennedy: He was kind of a prick up until the Cuban crisis; that and Dallas resulted in his transformation, one of the most significant in our nation's history.

Muhammad Ali: "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. Rumble, Young Man, rumble!"

I am perhaps a product of my generation.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 12:26 AM

45. I simply can't answer this question

America is too diverse and oxymoronic.

Engineering has to be up there. Those NASA boys did a bang up job when they were funded.

Generosity is up there as well. Many, many poor people I have known and know are the first to offer what they have when you are in need.

But there's so much more that I just can't capture in my mind to name it.

In the realm of business maybe Milton Hershey? A man who used his business to develop a community, paid decent living wages and founded a Boys school / Orphanage that still takes in children today.

JFK has to be on the list, from his WWII service on to the Presidency. Diverting the money from the MIC to NASA with the Moon shot was pure brilliance.

FDR is as well not just for SS, but also for how WWII was handled. If any face should be added to Rushmore it should be his. Teddy was a pretty good example only in the notion of National Parks. I'm not to sure the great white fleet was such a good idea.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 12:29 AM

46. Some others:

Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Black Elk, Red Jacket, Corn Planter, Chief Joseph ......

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #46)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 12:40 AM

52. John Trudell. Vine Deloria.

Edward Said.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #52)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 12:40 AM

53. Yep.

Good choices.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #46)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 02:36 AM

77. +1000

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 12:30 AM

47. OK

Abraham Lincoln, because without him America would be split like Korea and Rosa Parks whose memory will forever shame those who say, "That's just the way it is."

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Response to Skittles (Reply #47)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 12:38 AM

51. Yes, Rosa Parks, of course.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 12:31 AM

48. A couple of friends:

Dr. Rubin "Hurricane" Carter and Chief Paul Waterman.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 12:45 AM

57. Jodette Johnson.

She's not famous (outside of Sacramento) but she's the best person I've ever known.

Here's a little article about her, it doesn't adequately communicate what an amazing person she is. http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/best-belly-dancer-with-a/content?oid=555071

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Response to LeftyMom (Reply #57)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 01:17 AM

66. Very cool

She helps the homeless very privately.


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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 12:50 AM

58. RFK, MLK, FDR

But they all lived and died before I was born.

Kinda depressing.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 12:51 AM

59. To those above, I would add Robert Ingersoll and Dizzy Gillespie.

 

Dizzy, after all, did run for president.

--imm

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 12:52 AM

60. Oh, Eugene McCarthy.

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Response to A-Schwarzenegger (Reply #60)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 01:04 AM

64. Yes!

I would also add George McGovern.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #64)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 01:05 AM

65. Yep.

Both walked into the fire.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 12:58 AM

61. You've never heard of them. Neither have I.

They are kind, and humble, and anonymous. They are everywhere. They are the secret field marshals in the war between good and evil.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 01:03 AM

63. I don't think the best our society has produced is newsworthy enough to know by name

 

I imagine they are a nature loving conservationalist that replants trees, creates art, lives small, loves all, humble as hell, dedicates their life to spreading beauty to those around them and lends a hand whenever they can without losing themselves in a blinding cause. Someone that if everyone was, the world would be eternally blissful

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #63)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 01:45 AM

68. Good answer.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 01:41 AM

67. Thomas Paine and Howard Zinn, though I could choose so many others.

 

These men are both under appreciated bookends of our nation so far. They both paid personally for writing truth during times of universal deceit.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 01:45 AM

69. Grace Lee Boggs. (nt)

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 02:06 AM

70. Its obvious the answer is. Ron popeil and the sham wow guy!

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Response to Drew Richards (Reply #70)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 11:11 AM

87. "the sham wow guy"

did significant -- if underappreciated -- research on the re-programming of the pseudo-para-DNA of stepford husbands and wives across the nation. He truly changed the way that Fox News' audience viewed stains on society. And, like Jesus and Santa, he was a great white American.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #87)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 11:51 AM

91. OMG H20 you crack me up

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Response to Drew Richards (Reply #70)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 01:33 PM

99. didn't the sham wow guybgo fucking nuts or something? nt

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 02:20 AM

74. George Washington Carver

 

nt.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 02:20 AM

75. When I lived in Europe, I had a circle of acquaintances who, when I was in a bad mood or

 

displayed cynicism or depression/fear/indecision, would say: "C'mon, you're American!"

Exploring what they meant by this I learned that this quintessential "American" they referred to was slightly naive but optimistic, open-hearted, generous & can-do, and that was what they saw as best in the American character.

OTOH, when I committed other faux pas they'd say "Oh, you're so American!". So there was a reverse mirror image to that one.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 02:31 AM

76. Martin Luther King, Jr.

For spending & giving his life in the quest for non-violent social change.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 02:41 AM

78. John Lewis is right up there...

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

Because he's never stopped righting wrongs, or trying to.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 02:57 AM

79. George Carlin.

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Response to westerebus (Reply #79)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 11:13 AM

88. ditto

 

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Response to B Calm (Reply #88)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 02:18 PM

102. truth to power..

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Response to westerebus (Reply #79)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 01:17 PM

96. I'll drink to that

 

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Response to CFLDem (Reply #96)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 02:19 PM

103. cheers

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 03:40 AM

81. Jonas Salk, Thomas Edison, Vida Dutton Scudder

Salk - "Until 1955, when the Salk vaccine was introduced, polio was considered the most frightening public health problem of the post-war United States. Annual epidemics were increasingly devastating. The 1952 epidemic was the worst outbreak in the nation's history. Of nearly 58,000 cases reported that year, 3,145 people died and 21,269 were left with mild to disabling paralysis,[1] with most of its victims being children." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonas_Salk

Edison - lightbulb, phonograph, etc.

Scudder - Well, I am just a huge fan. "Scudder began teaching at Wellesley College. Her love of scholarship was matched by her social conscience and deep spirituality. As a young woman, Scudder founded the College Settlements Association, joined the Society of Christian Socialists, .." That, right there, seems like the top to me - love of scholarship and social conscience.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 04:25 AM

83. Complex Question............

Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, both clear eyed academics who saw the flaws and the pain in the system and tried to fix it.

JFK, for truly understanding the financial system and the best and worst of said system, and who was ready to fix what he could when assassinated.

Jimmy Carter, for being ahead of his time, for understanding what a reliance on fossil fuels was going to cause, and for removing himself from the Baptist Church when it went against his ideals.

Sojourner Truth, for being a beacon of hope and a model of blunt speaking.

Julian Assange, for attempting to fix the secrecy that surrounds our government's actions.

Snowden, for bringing the discussion about government spying on citizens out in the open.

Collectively, these groups:

Right Wing Watch
The Southern Poverty Law Centre
CREW

for their championship of the downtrodden and their clear eye on the growth of hate groups and militias.

I tend to like Mark Twain for getting his point across with humour; there are two others in the same vein. One is Ambrose Beirce. The other is Garrison Keillor. Oh, and Jim Wright of Stonekettle Station.

FDR and his wife, Eleanor, who I suspect might have been the brains of the operation, because of their collective commitment to worker rights and human rights and a fair system.

Mother Jones, the woman who almost single-handedly worked for child labour laws ... and won, eventually.

Addie Wyatt, who fought for women workers, for equal rights and equal treatment.

Clara Lemlich Shavelson, a garment worker who was eventually blacklisted for her commitment to working women's rights and immigrant labour rights, and who eventually became a suffragette.

Frederick Douglass, a hero and abolitionist, who escaped slavery and prevailed against cruelty and oppression, and who was a key figure in the abolition of slavery.

And many, many more that I can't remember at 3:25 EST!!!










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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 04:44 AM

84. Clara Lemlich, she fought tirelessly for worker's rights, to the very end.

She's been my hero ever since I, too, was a member of the ILGWU, many many years ago.

Fred Hampton, another incredible organizer of working people, so much so that our government decided to take him out before he ever really had a chance to accomplish his goals.

Woody Guthrie, an incredible voice for the working class.

Tecumseh, was very much a "product" of American society, in his response to the genocide of the original people. He served his people well.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 05:03 AM

85. some very great names here. let me add Satchel Paige, Randolph Bourne and Aldo Leopold to the list

 

It's late, or I'd annotate those choices....

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 11:34 AM

89. Roberto Clemente, Groucho Marx, Jack Benny, Louis Armstrong, Annie Peck, Joey Ramone,

Twain, Vonngeut, Scott Joplin, Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, Lou Gehrig, Jimmy Stewart, Frank Capra, Alexander Gramham Bell, Lewis and Clark, Bob and Ray, Jefferson, Andy Warhol...

This list could just keep going.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 11:39 AM

90. MLK for his argumentation and fearless civil rights work.

Susan B. Anthony for her contributions to politics.

Joseph Campbell for his contributions to theology.

Robert Anton Wilson for his contributions to philosophy.

Kenneth Burke for his contributions to rhetoric.

Noam Chomsky for his contributions to rhetoric.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 11:55 AM

92. Norman Borlaug

 

Saved more lives than can accurately be measured.

Norman Ernest Borlaug (March 25, 1914 – September 12, 2009) was an American biologist, humanitarian and Nobel laureate who has been called "the father of the Green Revolution," "agriculture's greatest spokesperson" and "The Man Who Saved A Billion Lives". He is one of seven people to have won the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, and was also awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian honor.

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

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 12:00 PM

93. Stephen Colbert.

 

He's brilliant and he knows how to inoculate us against the Conservative virus.
[hr][font color="blue"][center]You should never stop having childhood dreams.[/center][/font][hr]

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 12:50 PM

94. Dorothy and Bob DeBolt

They are a couple that made it their mission in life to adopt special needs children. A documentary was made about them called "Who Are the DeBolts? And Where Did They Get 19 Kids?".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Are_the_DeBolts%3F_And_Where_Did_They_Get_Nineteen_Kids%3F

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 01:16 PM

95. FDR, Harry Hopkins, Steven Spielberg, George Gershwin and Upton Sinclair.

FDR, Harry Hopkins, Steven Spielberg, George Gershwin and Upton Sinclair.

Each has done so very much to achieve a collective, rather than individual, road-map to happiness, whether that be through the arts or through policy.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 01:19 PM

97. Republican Jesus

 

Clearly the founder of our great nation!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 01:31 PM

98. Lincoln, MLK for how they shaped the country politically

Mark Twain, H L Mencken and HS Thompson for their observations of it.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 02:02 PM

101. my dad

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