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Sun Nov 8, 2015, 03:49 PM

Count Down

MSNBC’s “First in the South” interviews with the three democratic candidates for president was outstanding. Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton all provided the types of answers to Rachel Maddow’s questions that demonstrated they would be intellectually fit to serve as President of the United States. These three candidates have significant areas where they agree upon goals and values, although there are differences in how each believes that, as president, they might move towards achieving these goals.

There are, of course, also differences between the three. Each has had a unique life-experience, and that impacts their perception. This obviously involves the way they understand the wide range of problems confronting the US, both domestically and globally. Thus, each has a different belief in how to approach these problems. More, because each one is a human being, they have both strengths and weaknesses.

The contrast between the three democratic candidates and their republican counterparts is stark. While no matter who is elected next November, he or she will have some common features. Some of these include the self-evident: that person will reside in the White House, deal with a broken Congress (indeed, both the House and Senate are damaged institutions), and be confronted with an unstable global reality.

That person will be dealing with the synergy of inter-related problems that include the environment; an economy that exploit’s the poor, and threatens th middle class; and the Balkanization of ethnic and religious groups, both domestically and globally; In my opinion, the democratic candidates each have a far more rational and ethical approach to what their role as president would be, but also display a far superior of character -- including emotional stability.

When we look at that curious characteristic -- emotional stability -- the candidates from the two major political parties provide an intensely distinct choice. While the three democratic candidates attempt to engage the nation in an honest conversation rooted in logic and rational thought, the republican candidates display dishonesty in their appeal to negative emotions: anxiety, fear, prejudice, and hatred.

It should be crystal clear to thinking people that one path offers hope, and the other promises destruction. It should be obvious to all conscious people that the republican approach can only add new problems that add to the crisis that we are already deeply entrenched in. This is not a closely-held secret, nor is it a great mystery.

This makes the third presidential primary season that I’ve been participated in on DU. In the 2004 and 2008 primaries -- at least in my opinion -- there was a combination of insightful debate and destructive arguing on this forum. Indeed, I found the ‘08 season had a higher level of toxicity than the previous one, although there were enough meaningful discussions to make it worthwhile to participate.

This year, although I have read numerous OP/threads, I’ve generally avoided taking part in them. It’s not that I’m somehow less interested in the primaries, or think the current events are somehow less important. Quite the opposite: I believe that the 2016 elections -- presidential, congressional, and those at the state and local levels -- are as important as any in our nation’s history …..and far more important than the majority of those in the past.

More, because of Donald Trump’s ability to manipulate the manner in which the internet influences people’s perceptions, similar to Reagan’s ability to convince people that lies were truth, and truth lies, the negativity that saturates so many OP/threads on DU:GD Primaries is troubling. It is as if many people have willingly stepped into the stream of Trump consciousness, and are becoming carried away by its undercurrents. Insults are Trump’s tongue, and acrimony his language …..just as delusional thinking defines this fellow Ben Carson.

Each of our life experiences and current situations will result in our interpreting the democratic candidates differently. If we then take the stance that our opinion is right, and represents the entire truth, and is the only truth, it makes meaningful discussion impossible. It leads to OP/threads that, by no coincidence, mirror the televised republican debates, with cheap shots and insults.

I’m not foolish enough to think that one brief essay being posted by an old man from the margins of society will change the tone here. But each and every one of us can adjust the manner in which we take part in discussions and debates here.

I can dream, can’t I?

Peace,
H2O Man

115 replies, 12638 views

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Arrow 115 replies Author Time Post
Reply Count Down (Original post)
H2O Man Nov 2015 OP
suffragette Nov 2015 #1
H2O Man Nov 2015 #2
suffragette Nov 2015 #26
H2O Man Nov 2015 #45
unapatriciated Nov 2015 #3
H2O Man Nov 2015 #6
Persondem Nov 2015 #4
H2O Man Nov 2015 #7
Skidmore Nov 2015 #5
H2O Man Nov 2015 #8
gregcrawford Nov 2015 #9
H2O Man Nov 2015 #14
gregcrawford Nov 2015 #20
H2O Man Nov 2015 #56
Liberal Jesus Freak Nov 2015 #10
H2O Man Nov 2015 #19
gregcrawford Nov 2015 #22
H2O Man Nov 2015 #23
gregcrawford Nov 2015 #24
H2O Man Nov 2015 #27
gregcrawford Nov 2015 #41
H2O Man Nov 2015 #43
gregcrawford Nov 2015 #44
H2O Man Nov 2015 #97
gregcrawford Nov 2015 #98
Old Codger Nov 2015 #11
H2O Man Nov 2015 #21
DFW Nov 2015 #57
AuntPatsy Nov 2015 #12
H2O Man Nov 2015 #25
SCantiGOP Nov 2015 #13
H2O Man Nov 2015 #28
cantbeserious Nov 2015 #15
H2O Man Nov 2015 #29
BeanMusical Nov 2015 #16
H2O Man Nov 2015 #30
Bluenorthwest Nov 2015 #17
H2O Man Nov 2015 #31
one_voice Nov 2015 #18
H2O Man Nov 2015 #32
ms liberty Nov 2015 #33
H2O Man Nov 2015 #34
aikoaiko Nov 2015 #35
H2O Man Nov 2015 #36
MuseRider Nov 2015 #37
H2O Man Nov 2015 #38
MuseRider Nov 2015 #40
Dem2 Nov 2015 #39
H2O Man Nov 2015 #42
Zorra Nov 2015 #46
Ino Nov 2015 #49
Kermitt Gribble Nov 2015 #47
H2O Man Nov 2015 #51
Hekate Nov 2015 #48
H2O Man Nov 2015 #53
malthaussen Nov 2015 #95
annabanana Nov 2015 #50
H2O Man Nov 2015 #54
lark Nov 2015 #52
H2O Man Nov 2015 #55
DFW Nov 2015 #58
rosesaylavee Nov 2015 #59
DFW Nov 2015 #63
H2O Man Nov 2015 #66
DFW Nov 2015 #70
H2O Man Nov 2015 #74
DFW Nov 2015 #79
H2O Man Nov 2015 #85
DFW Nov 2015 #90
Art_from_Ark Nov 2015 #60
DFW Nov 2015 #61
Art_from_Ark Nov 2015 #64
DFW Nov 2015 #65
Art_from_Ark Nov 2015 #67
DFW Nov 2015 #71
Art_from_Ark Nov 2015 #72
DFW Nov 2015 #81
Art_from_Ark Nov 2015 #84
Art_from_Ark Nov 2015 #73
Art_from_Ark Nov 2015 #78
H2O Man Nov 2015 #68
Art_from_Ark Nov 2015 #75
H2O Man Nov 2015 #76
Art_from_Ark Nov 2015 #77
H2O Man Nov 2015 #80
Art_from_Ark Nov 2015 #88
DFW Nov 2015 #82
H2O Man Nov 2015 #86
DFW Nov 2015 #87
H2O Man Nov 2015 #92
DFW Nov 2015 #93
BlueMTexpat Nov 2015 #62
H2O Man Nov 2015 #69
mmonk Nov 2015 #83
H2O Man Nov 2015 #89
mmonk Nov 2015 #91
antigop Nov 2015 #102
mmonk Nov 2015 #103
malthaussen Nov 2015 #94
H2O Man Nov 2015 #96
malthaussen Nov 2015 #112
H2O Man Nov 2015 #114
malthaussen Nov 2015 #115
iwillalwayswonderwhy Nov 2015 #99
H2O Man Nov 2015 #104
DFW Nov 2015 #100
H2O Man Nov 2015 #105
DFW Nov 2015 #106
H2O Man Nov 2015 #108
Maedhros Nov 2015 #101
H2O Man Nov 2015 #107
mmonk Nov 2015 #109
malthaussen Nov 2015 #113
NastyRiffraff Nov 2015 #110
H2O Man Nov 2015 #111

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 04:11 PM

1. I'm also reading and dreaming

K&R

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Response to suffragette (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 04:19 PM

2. Thank you.

I've been reading through a number of the newer OP/threads here this afternoon, and finding myself wondering why so many miss the numerous important issues involved in the 2016 elections.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 07:47 PM

26. It can be easy to get stuck in a pattern and hard to get unstuck

especially once the adreline is pumping and sides are taken.

Been there, done that.

Can't say I won't again.

Having a genuine dialogue about issues, even a passionate tough dialogue, takes a different approach and perspective. Much harder in some ways, but much more worthwhile.

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Response to suffragette (Reply #26)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 12:15 PM

45. Good points ....

Very valid and important point .....it is easy to get either sucked into a silly quarrel, or to fall into the habit of reacting to some of the nonsense here. And I have no problem in admitting that, over the years, I've done that myself. Too many times, in fact. Way too many times.....

In my own experience, I've found that doing so actually takes about the exact same amount of energy, as does attempting to take the high road.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 04:26 PM

3. also dreaming.

I do have a primary candidate that I will be voting for, but am under no allusion about the qualifications of all the candidates. I will have no problem voting for any of the three that are running.

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Response to unapatriciated (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 05:00 PM

6. Very good!

I've stopped saying much, even here at home. My kids are tired of hearing me say that I've met both Sanders and Clinton a few times over the years. (grin)

I do respect that people have strong feelings about the democratic candidates. They have good reason to.

Thank you.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 04:34 PM

4. Nicely said. K & R .. you have hit upon a key difference in Dem vs. GOP candidates.

This ...

While the three democratic candidates attempt to engage the nation in an honest conversation rooted in logic and rational thought, the republican candidates display dishonesty in their appeal to negative emotions: anxiety, fear, prejudice, and hatred.

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Response to Persondem (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 05:02 PM

7. Thank you!

I think that is a key point. Maybe it is so obvious, that people either take it for granted, or even forget it. But it is extremely important.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 04:38 PM

5. Wise words from a wise man.

Peace to you, my friend.

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 05:03 PM

8. Well, thank you!

I wasn't sure that anyone would read -- much less comment upon -- my OP. So having one of the most highly-respected DU community members say such a kind thing means a great deal to me. I really do appreciate it!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 05:19 PM

9. Eloquent and articulate...

... a point well made with which I wholeheartedly concur!

I'm a marginalized old fart, too, and I won't shut up, either. Go get 'em, Waterman!

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Response to gregcrawford (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 06:14 PM

14. Thanks!

I've cut back on some social-political activities recently, but still do a bit. I helped run a campaign where a District Attorney faced a challenge from a tea party fellow, who works for the gas industry. Happy to say that we got four times as many votes as the guy.

Also, I helped an elderly woman -- who happens to be my sister -- get a "buy-out" on her house and property, as it has become polluted by the plume of a toxic industrial waste dump. I got it out-of-court, and for twice as much as I assumed we might settle for.

Small stuff, to be sure. But if people invested more time on those types of little things, I am confident that we would better position ourselves for the bigger struggles.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #14)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 07:36 PM

20. Enduring success is built on the solid foundation of small victories...

... and please permit me to express my profound admiration for your efforts!

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Response to gregcrawford (Reply #20)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 05:13 PM

56. Thanks!

I like to think about RFK's famous speech in South Africa, where he said that while very few individuals can change history, most real progress is the result of lots and lots of people contributing their efforts to a larger movement. By no coincidence, that speech was given in the final years of his life, at the time he was undergoing the transformation. He showed that, in order to bring about meaningful change, we must undergo meaningful changes.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 05:37 PM

10. Brilliant. Thank you.

You've been on my mind lately. Hope all is well and you have a lovely holiday season

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Response to Liberal Jesus Freak (Reply #10)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 07:35 PM

19. Thank you, my Friend!

Years ago, my friend Rubin Carter taught me a story about Moses. I’m sure that I’ll get a few details wrong, but I’ll try:


When the king of Egypt learned that the prophet Moses was traveling through his territory, he tasked two trusted aides -- I think one was a social worker, the other an artist -- to go and find him. He promised to reward the one who brought back the most detailed information on Mose, and to punish the other.

Upon their return, they reported on Moses’ character. The social worker said that Moses was angry, hostile, suspicious, mean, and potentially violent. The artist painted a picture of a serene, gentle, kind man. The king was furious -- for these described two different men! Who should he reward, he asked? And who should he punish?

Suddenly, Moses stepped forward, and said, “You must reward both the social worker, and the artist, for they are both accurate. For I was, and can be, angry, hostile, suspicious, mean, and violent. Too often, these have been my first nature. Yet, with constant attention, my second nature is to be serene, gentle, and kind.”


I’ve had a number of family crises that have been occupying a lot of my time and energy. But I’m good, I think. Old, tired, and sore! (grin) But I’m good.

In dealing with these issues, I’ve needed to be at my best. And that has included putting aside any and all anger that I risked feeling against one person, for the good of yet another person. And that can be a challenge …..especially in one case, that involves my youngest daughter. The “old me” tries to strike up a conversation with me, and I don’t want to hear him right now. My daughter’s well-being always comes before my allowing myself to be furious.

Funny thing: I was able to resolve a very difficult problem. In fact, I think it helps me in better dealing with issues, than walking around angry.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #19)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 07:44 PM

22. Was that Reuben "Hurricane" Carter by any chance?

The hardships and indignities he endured would have broken lesser men, and he was a great fighter in his day, and a hero to millions. If it is the same man, I'm sure you remember Bob Dylan's ballad in tribute to him. If it's not the same fellow then, in the immortal words of Roseanna Roseannadanna, "Never mind!"

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Response to gregcrawford (Reply #22)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 07:45 PM

23. Yes.

Rubin and I were close friends for over 40 years. He was a wonderful human being.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #23)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 07:47 PM

24. I envy you that honor!

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Response to gregcrawford (Reply #24)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 07:56 PM

27. Right.

I recently let one of my closest associates read some of Rubin's letters from the period his friends call his "Buddha phase." It's just before he met the Canadians, and beyond. He opted to remain extremely solitary for a couple years. I was one of two people he communicated with.....

Among my associates' PhD's is one in philosophy. I think that is part of what fascinates him about those letters. He insists that I write a book, based on our experiences .....from a very confident 13-year old amateur boxer, already featured in some top boxing magazines, and the former middleweight contender, currently in prison on a false conviction. I would later work on his defense, and later, work with him on a couple of books. Ha! We had some adventures, Rubin and I.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #27)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 10:29 PM

41. I notice...

... that you spell his name differently than the classic spelling I remember seeing in print. Was that Mr. Carter's preferred spelling?

Being a voracious reader, I would very much like to read that book based on your experiences. Please write it soon; we ain't gittin' any younger!

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Response to gregcrawford (Reply #41)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:02 AM

43. "Rubin" was what

his parents named him, and what he was known by throughout his life. A few authors did use the different spellings from time to time. But the correct one is Rubin. And he preferred "Rube" for those who knew him well.

I've got to finish another book, and send it off to the agent that the publisher's assigned to me (or assigned me to). But you've got me thinking already, about the huge amount of materials that I have from my old friend .....from my days as the angriest young man in America, to when we were two old men, enjoying the miracle of life.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #43)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 08:15 AM

44. Thanks for the clarification...

... I will remember that in any future references.

Ah, publishers... they are a breed apart. The one I was working with went bankrupt, so POOF! went the royalties. Now I have to find another one. It has been my experience that agents don't want author/illustrators of children's books because they can't make enough money, and few publishers accept unagented work. Is Catch-22 times two Catch-44?

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Response to gregcrawford (Reply #44)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 03:30 PM

97. Our conversation here

got me looking through my files etc.

I was a young teenager when I first wrote to Rubin, before people like Ali and Dylan brought his case to the public's attention. I had become convinced that he was innocent, so I let him know that I was planning to get him out of prison .....and, oh, by the way, since I was destined to become a world champion, I'd let him train and manage my career. Ha! He found the 13-year old kid amusing, I guess, as we began corresponding.

He was finishing his first autobiography, "The 16th Round." Frequently, he would tell his story on a cassette tape-recorder, then type it up. He began sending me those tapes, and soon, others. And letters, as well as various court documents, articles he had submitted to a prison newspaper, and documents put out by the prison administration.

After the retrial, when he kept himself in isolation from the outside world, Rubin would send lengthy letters that focused almost entirely upon philosophy and human evolution (not in the physical sense). By this time, I was a college student. I was active in the effort to get the state university system to divest in South Africa, plus attempting to gather support for Rubin among college students. These actions got the attention of some folks in offices in DC, who first advised me to find a better "cause," and eventually sent agents to the college, to try to shut down our work. Gracious!

Upon his eventual release, of course, he moved to Canada. The Canadian group attempted to cut him off from his friends and associates in the US .....they went so far as to say rude things about the Irish! I was pleased when he separated from them (it was frustrating to drive to Canada, only to find that they had "emergencies" that required Rubin to be elsewhere.

When things got back to abnormal, we were able to communicate on the phone and internet, and get together every now and then. I particularly enjoyed being able to get an 18-year old kid, literally given a life sentence for a "blow job," out of state prison, with Rubin and Myron's assistance. Also, to work with him on a couple books .....one on "forgiveness," to which he contributed a chapter, and his second autobiography. Rubin was frustrated when the publisher refused to include some solid documentation on the police-political corruption that poisoned his trials in New Jersey. These included documents from police & prosecutors' files.

So, I can see two possibilities -- three, if the two were combined: the story of our friendship, and the truth about the 1966 murders he was convicted of.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #97)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 03:41 PM

98. I was not aware of the Canadian episode...

... my understanding of Mr. Carter's circumstances is superficial, but you have piqued my interest and I will definitely do some research to expand my knowledge.

I will eagerly await the publication of your book!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 05:41 PM

11. As usual

 

I fine articulate essay on pertinent points. You have never let me down.

I am pretty tired of seeing the constant bickering between the camps, it seriously disappointed me when some people had respected for many years came out with the name calling and derision that was posted a while back.... and I really am tired of putting so many on ignore....At this point I am pretty much done trying to keep up with all of it, I will continue to read and rec some posts that are worth while (IMHOP) anyway and I will vote for my candidate in the primary. I will also vote for whomever the Dem candidate is in the general, any one of them is so far better than the selection from the opposition...

Thank you for putting this out here in a form that we can all understand and should be able to agree with..

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Response to Old Codger (Reply #11)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 07:43 PM

21. Exactly!

You raise one of the single most important points -- and I thank you for that! Because far too often, we witness people we have long respected, getting caught up in nonsense. We notice that in a different way than we do when someone we recognize as a jackass says the same thing. In fact, I can remember being part of some stupid arguments in 2008 …..and no one dragged me, kicking and screaming, into those exchanges: I jumped in, head first!

The curious thing about DU is that the community has a large number of bright, informed, and creative citizens. And there is always the potential, at any second, for an informative, intense, and educational to discussion to break out.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #21)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 06:22 PM

57. A potential seldom realized these days

As you so accurately pointed out.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 05:54 PM

12. Much needed and well stated.. recommended

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Response to AuntPatsy (Reply #12)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 07:47 PM

25. Thank you!

Long time, no see! How have you been?

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 06:01 PM

13. Best post of the last month

Thanks

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Response to SCantiGOP (Reply #13)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 07:57 PM

28. Thanks!

I appreciate that!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 06:36 PM

15. One Can Dream - Even Hope - Won't Change The Dynamic Of This Election Cycle - The 99% vs The 1%

eom

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #15)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 08:09 PM

29. Respectfully agree & disagree.

It depends, I believe, in how one dreams. There is a huge difference, for example, between the common human feature in which people are “asleep” in the sense that they are not conscious of their humanity. But there is also the dreaming of a prophet such as Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who gave a fairly famous speech known popularly as, “I Have a Dream.”

Now, one thing that I am fully confident that we can agree upon -- you and I -- is that King’s dream was not futile. It wasn’t a waste of time -- his or ours‘. It was an essential part of his campaign for human dignity, and more, it was beautiful. And it nurtured the better parts of America ……dare I suggest, a part of the American dream?

I dream a great deal, and am proud of it. Also, other than possibly those fully employed in social-political activism, I’ good with comparing notes ….histories, education formal and otherwise, and successes, with anyone in North America. I’m not saying better, or more valuable. Just that I’m okay on that.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 06:42 PM

16. Kick and R

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Response to BeanMusical (Reply #16)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 08:09 PM

30. Thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 07:03 PM

17. Could not agree more.

 

Some here seem dedicated to treating our candidates candidates as if they were just like the Trump sideshow and GOP clowncar. Many seem to desire intently to see all discourse reduced to venom and caricature. I think those who want to play like that are not really interested in policy and thus might be happier backing a Republican or just watching a lot of the Kardashians.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #17)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 08:13 PM

31. As unpleasant as it

may be to consider, there is a very real possibility that some of the specimens you make note of have actually seen the currently playing episode of the Kardashians -- including twice on re-runs, besides tuning in as we speak. Indeed, they may have the full history on DVDs.

The only possible difference I might have to your post is that I am fully convinced that they would be equally unhappy with a republican. If a democrat doesn't make them happy, a republican surely would not.

Complaining, on the other hand, does make them happy.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 07:13 PM

18. K&R

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Response to one_voice (Reply #18)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 08:14 PM

32. Thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 08:21 PM

33. K&R. You're not the only dreamer

I have no one on ignore, and no forums trashed, so I am seeing all of the nonsense in technicolor. And it is ugly. I'm trying very hard to not engage, and it's working about 95% of the time; I think 100% is probably out of reach, lol! Remember the "Let it Sink" mantra of several years ago? I'm using it as a template, and have encouraged others to use it as well. When I do write a response, I write it, read it, and most of the time, erase it and back away from the keyboard! I'm trying to be a voice of measure, reason and civility when I do follow through and hit post my reply rather than erase. I hope I'm succeeding, but who knows, really if anyone is even listening to anyone else ?

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Response to ms liberty (Reply #33)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 08:34 PM

34. "Let It Sink"

Oh, I love it! Perfect! Thank you so much for reminding us of that!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 08:39 PM

35. Meh. I'm not ready to sing kumbaya.



Maybe later, waterman.

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Response to aikoaiko (Reply #35)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 08:43 PM

36. That's fine.

I'm not, either .....and have not suggested anyone do so. There is a difference between having a debate, including a heated one, and the nonsense too often found here.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 09:42 PM

37. Ahhhh, thanks.

Good to see you again.

Each election seems to get worse, I agree with you about 2004 and 2008. It is uncomfortable again and has become a place where it is hard to discuss anything.

Peaceful dreams to you.

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Response to MuseRider (Reply #37)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 09:47 PM

38. And thank you!

Maybe we could advocate for two sub-forums: "rational discussion & reasoned debate," and "angry, name-calling, insulting nonsense"?

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #38)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 09:57 PM

40. Very good ideas!

There are surely members for each and even some for both!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Nov 8, 2015, 09:52 PM

39. Thanks for putting into words

what many of us are thinking as we see so many of the subject lines and shake our head. It's discouraging and I don't think that's what we need right now.

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Response to Dem2 (Reply #39)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 07:48 AM

42. Thank you.

I think that there are lots of DU community members who would like to participate in discussions on the democratic primaries, but not engage in the nastiness-bitterness found on this forum. As you note, it is discouraging.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 12:16 PM

46. Bernie Sanders is to Hillary Clinton as Hillary Clinton is to a Republican.

Someone has to have the desire, the will, and the courage to take a stand against greedy, wealthy powerful commercial interests, to at least try to alter the course of the insane environmental destruction.

To paraphrase Alanis Obamsawin ~

*The US operates on a depletion economy which leaves destruction in its wake. Republicans and neoliberals are driven by a terrible sense of deficiency. When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realize, too late, that their wealth is not in your bank accounts and that you can’t eat their money.*

The Scorpion and the Frog

A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the
scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The
frog asks, "How do I know you won't sting me?" The scorpion
says, "Because if I do, I will die too."

The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream,
the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of
paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown,
but has just enough time to gasp "Why?"

The scorpion replied,

"Its my nature."


http://www.democraticunderground.com/1251495072

Given a choice, I'd rather be bitten by a copperhead than a Mojave rattler. But what I'd really like would be to just watch a garter snake eat the bugs that are destroying my garden.

May not be able to reply, I'm leaving for a remote area with no internet for awhile.

Thanks for your attempt at encouragement.

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Response to Zorra (Reply #46)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 02:49 PM

49. An apt parable...

Hillary is a Scorpio.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:39 PM

47. Completely agree

Thanks for the great post, as usual, H20 Man!

K&R!

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Response to Kermitt Gribble (Reply #47)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 03:39 PM

51. Thank you!

I'm pleased that you and others like my OP.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 02:36 PM

48. Now that I'm reading through the entire thread, I see you once again bringing out the best in DU

KnR, and all the best to you and yours.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #48)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 03:50 PM

53. I'm impressed with

the responses to the OP. I think it shows quite clearly that a lot of people who are very interested in the primary contest are not happy with the general tune here.

I enjoy debate -- heck, I was raised in an Irish-American family, and we debated everything. Even argued, at least once, if I recall accurately. I think that I could easily make a strong case for any one of the three democratic candidates being a very good US President. But, I have no interest in attacking the character of any one of the three.

Say rude things about the republican candidates? That's different. I'm in on that.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #53)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 12:07 PM

95. Making a strong case for, say, Mr Huckabee would be more challenging

A good way to sharpen one's sophistical skills, I've no doubt.

But I mourn even that the GOP has descended to the current level of absurdity. Even 2012's candidate was not so horrible as the current selection -- and one of these individuals will be presented to the American people as a viable alternative for President in just one short year. I weep for our country.

-- Mal

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 03:27 PM

50. kicking for as many

eyes as possible.

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Response to annabanana (Reply #50)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 03:51 PM

54. Thank you!

I definitely appreciate that.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 03:40 PM

52. I agree, it was a delightful forum.

1,000,000 times better than the debates forum when they really aren't debates at all, just recitation of talking points. I also agree that it was inspiring as well. I've decided not to open up any thread that talks bad about a Dem candidate, just not going to give that any energy. There are enough here that are driving those buses. I fear that the worst of them are condoning not voting if their "perfect" candidate isn't in the general and so are really serving to help what they say they dislike/fear the most.

Vote blue.

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Response to lark (Reply #52)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 04:22 PM

55. Well said!

I respect each of the three candidates in our primary contest. I'm not expecting a "perfect" candidate -- the closest to being that, in my lifetime, was Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and he was very much human. His ability to focus upon the good potential in people, in that strange year of 1968, was unique. But our three candidates all are looking to institute social justice in the manner that RFK spoke of, rather than openly opposing it, as are the republican candidates.

I feel torn sometimes, watching the republican "debates." While they can be hilarious, in an almost surreal sense, I believe that their absolute lack of character documents the terrible pathology that damages our society. The very thought that any one of them could, under any circumstance, become president, is outrageous. But, again thinking of '68, it is possible.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #55)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 06:41 PM

58. I remember 1968 well

The first appearance of the Nixon "Dirty Tricks Team," and they were so proud of themselves (Roger Ailes is an alumnus).

I remember Bobby, too. Such a shy, almost introverted type of man who nevertheless found his voice at a time when it most needed to be heard. My father and he were friends, and I occasionally got to talk to him. We were frequent "hang outs" at his Senate office. What a dark world it became after Nixon and Agnew took office. I think the roots of the ugliness we now see on here were planted in those years. Tearing people apart who disagreed with you became not only acceptable, but fashionable. From Charlie Gooddell to Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson, it was that party's M.O., and the success of that M.O. was not lost on the worst elements of both sides of the aisle. Indeed, like an evil Jinn, it returns to haunt us every 4 years with seemingly increasing intensity.

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Response to DFW (Reply #58)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 01:02 AM

59. Evil Jinns - good way to describe it

Thank you for the snapshot of what you experienced... I think we can take it back even further to the three terms of FDR and Bush's grandfather. How galling it must have been that Republicans were responsible for the Great Depression and then be out of the White House for 4 terms. I know it's not been proven but I do hope to see evidence that they are responsible for the assassinations in the 60s and all the dirty tricks forward from that time.

What will it take to fix this country?

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Response to rosesaylavee (Reply #59)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 05:50 AM

63. McCarthy was also an influence

Yes, he was discredited (I'm sure Eisenhower was horrified at what he did, but didn't know how to publicly disavow him). But he still has his defenders even to this day.

One ironic thing: McCarthy would have gotten nowhere today. Imagine Rachel Maddow and Jon Stewart fact-checking every ridiculous claim McCarthy made the moment he made it!

Most great civilizations rot from within before they fall to pressure from without. Infighting and the success of extremists always points to a weakness exploited by clever people with no conscience. I see everything from Nixon's Dirty Tricks Team to Republican-programmed electronic voting machines on up to Citizens United as part of this.

Like the old saying goes, all that is needed for evil men to triumph is for good men to do nothing. So far (and this bastion may also crumble one day if it should fall into "our" hands), the Supreme Court has been the last line of defense. Sure, there has been the occasional nut case out there saying they will not obey the Supreme Court if they rule the "wrong" way, but they don't run things in America. Not yet, anyway. So, as long as the Court's word IS law, I see us getting nowhere until we make the Republican-installed majority into a minority. What use is a Voting Rights Act if the Court says it is invalid? What use are campaign contribution limits if the Court says they can be circumvented?

Barring incredible advances in medical technology, there will be vacancies on the Supreme Court in the next few years. In ANY other westernized country, a group of third-rate entertainers like Trump, Carson and Rubio wouldn't even merit coverage beyond sketches on comedy shows. Somehow, in the good old USA, they are currently the top 3 contenders for the nomination of one of the two major political parties. Any one of them would get over 40% of the vote, too.

"What will it take to fix this country," indeed?

Some will predictably and angrily trash me for my answer, but I think that the first thing we have to do is vote, come hell or high water (in Florida and SC, not just an expression any more, either) for our nominee. What our national fate will ultimately hinge on isn't whether it's Bernie (no, he's NOT unelectable), Hillary (no, she's NOT an evil "corporatist," whatever that is supposed to mean), or O'Malley, (no, it's NOT impossible he could suddenly surge if the other two falter). What our fate will depend on is making sure people like Trump, Carson, or Rubio do NOT EVER get to appoint members of the Supreme Court--AND that the Democratic President and Attorney General take seriously their sworn obligation to enforce the decisions of a liberal majority on the Court, and tolerate NO flouting or violation of the rights we are supposed to have had since 1787.

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Response to DFW (Reply #63)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 08:05 AM

66. Very interesting.

I agree fully with your last paragraph, and that we must vote .....but I will suggest one modification: we have a year's worth of time between now and Election Day. Thus, we should be investing much of that time in voter registration and voter education.

It's curious how times change. In some places -- at least in rural, upstate New York -- I can help people register on-line to vote. Just one example is my youngest daughter; she turned 18 in June, registered, and was able to vote last week in our local elections. Thank you, internet. Now, she's active on campus, registering young Democrats, and participating in forums to educate her friends on the issues involved.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #66)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 08:16 AM

70. I'm of two minds about online registration

I like that it can be done, if safeguards are in place. I'm sure that in places like Ohio, where the whole election apparatus is in the hands of unscrupulous corrupt Republicans, that it is entirely possible that a few hundred thousand non-existent Republican voters will be registered, and turn out to loyally vote Republican next November, even if they no more exist than do a herd of unicorns living in Central Park. The penalty for such an action should be Draconian, so as to discourage it. I mean like a mandatory 40 year no parole sentence. The whole history of the world went south as a result of the 2000 and 2004 elections. We weren't the only ones screwed.

You mentioned rural upstate New York. Anywhere near Watertown, by any chance?

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Response to DFW (Reply #70)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 08:28 AM

74. I was near Watertown

over the weekend; I picked up my youngest daughter at Wells College, near Ithaca, and traveled up to St. Lawrence University, to visit her sister. My older daughter was in a play there on Saturday night. She is also a social-political activist on her campus.

I live between Binghamton and Oneonta, on the edge of the state's Southern Tier. Over the past decades, I led voter registration campaigns in Broome, Chenango, Delaware, and Otsego Counties. Even in this area, there have been efforts to discourage our efforts. In the past, we required the generous assistance of friends from the Center for Constitutional Rights to remove the road-blocks to voter registration that the local republican machine attempted to place in front of us.

Thus, I share your concerns about internet registration. My daughters attribute that largely to my lack of comfort with technology. I always did enjoy getting a couple associates, and going door-to-door in the "low-income" neighborhoods in area towns and villages, and registering people. And helping to organize a system that increased the likelihood of folks actually going to the voting booth come election day.

Your posts have got me thinking about those "good old days" .....sorry that I get carried away.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #74)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 08:45 AM

79. My father's paper was the Watertown times

He sometimes wrote for the Binghamton Sun and the Oswego paper, too, if something happened that affected those towns. He was later known as "the Dean" of the New York print press reporters in Washington, and although he worked for a paper that was considered an insignificant small town rag in the big national scheme of things, he was elected president of the Gridiron Club in Washington, which is the journalistc equivalent of being elected Pope by the college of Cardinals. Usually it's only the big stars of the press that get there. At the annual March roast, the President of the United States addresses the president of the Gridiron Club as "Mr. President."

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Response to DFW (Reply #79)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 08:59 AM

85. Interesting!

Speaking of "a different time" ....journalism was different then, too. And I'm not saying superior in every way. But very, very different.

While this is speculation upon my part, I think it is likely that your Dad might have encountered some of my father's siblings over the years. Several were involved, over the years, with state and national politics, in different ways.

Hey, thank you so much for sharing the information that you have added to this thread. I've really enjoyed it.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #85)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 09:17 AM

90. It's certainly possible.

Even right wing pundits like Robert Novak freely admitted that when he got to Washington (1957), he asked whom to ask about learning the ropes in "this town (i.e. Washington)." He was pointed in the direction of my dad's small office in the National Press Building at 14th and F. They remained friends until my dad died, even though Novak's political leanings were abhorrent to my father.

I finally decided that my batteries were at a dangerously low level, and cancelled my appointments in Sprout City today to stay home and vegetate for a day. So, I am playing bloggery for intermediates today. I'm glad my little trips down Memory Lane connected with a few people, such as you and Art. Some people seem to think American History began with a Big Bang in 1980, 1992 or even 2008.

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Response to DFW (Reply #58)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 01:20 AM

60. Wow- you actually got to talk with Bobby Kennedy?



I "knew" him only briefly-- from the time in March or maybe April 1968 when "Bobby fever" was sweeping through my school, to that awful day some 2 months later when I learned that his life had been cut short. *Sigh*

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #60)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 05:18 AM

61. Well, sure, but don't forget:

My dad and RFK were friends. Joe and Bobby, Jr. were classmates of mine for a while, and my dad used to take me up to Bobby's Senate office all the time. I was going to school in DC, and used to take the bus downtown and go with my dad up to the Capitol when he had people to see. He had to know ALL Senators and Reps from all Great Lakes states, so I met most of those guys. Since my dad's paper was in a small town on the St. Lawrence Seaway, he was in contact with the Senators from NY and the Reps from northern NY State all the time. I used to flirt (right, at age 15 and 16) with one of his receptionists, a beauty named Brandi, and when she confessed to me she was getting married, I wailed that she should have let me complete my puberty before deciding not to give me chance. In those days, you just walked into the Capitol or Senate Office Buildings and walked in to the office you wanted to go to. It was a VERY different time.

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Response to DFW (Reply #61)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 07:48 AM

64. Cool!

So that means you also got to meet other '60s icons like Birch Bayh and Everett Dirksen?

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #64)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 08:04 AM

65. Bayh only briefly, but Dirksen was a hoot

Dirksen loved to entertain. He was a chain-smoker, and his voice was smoothy-gravelly. They used to call him the "oliaginous wizard of ooze." He used to hold court in the Senate Press Gallery. Even though I usually didn't know what he was talking about, I was always fascinated by the show. I don't recall what the connection was, Idaho being nowhere near the Great Lakes, but Frank and Forrest Church used to come out to the house on weekends, and my dad and Frank Church were locked in conversation for hours on end. Forrest was several years older than I was, and when you're ten, that makes a lot of difference in whether or not you have anything in common or not.

The only Republican I remember coming out to the house was Charlie Gooddell, famously called by Agnew "the Christine Jorgenson of the Republican Party," since Gooddell had nothing but criticism of how Nixon was conducting the Vietnam conflict. The guy who replaced Gooddell in the Senate, Jim Buckley (Bill's brother), was my first introduction into a scary Washington reality: on occasion, people you think are the Devil incarnate politically turn out to be nice guys. I was perplexed by that for a long time. "I hate everything this guy says. Why isn't he an asshole?" Jake Javits was out at the house, too, I'm sure, but I mostly remember him from seeing him in DC. Pierre Salinger lived near us, so he sometimes showed up, too. At my dad's urging, Salinger got JFK to autograph a photo of himself and dedicate it to me "with best wishes" for my 11th birthday. I still have that photo right here in the house, in its original frame from 1963.

Like I said, different times.

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Response to DFW (Reply #65)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 08:10 AM

67. OMG

So many '60s icons whom I only got to see on Meet the Press, Issues and Answers, and Face the Nation.

By any chance, do you remember a comic strip from that era that featured a "Senator Snort"? I think it was called "Grin and Bear It"

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #67)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 08:18 AM

71. I only remember Grin and Bear It

I might remember Senator Snort if I saw it again (?)

My dad was on Meet The Press several times. That was back in the days when the name of the program actually depicted its content.

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Response to DFW (Reply #71)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 08:23 AM

72. In used to watch that show with my grandfather on Sundays in the '60s

So I might have seen your father on it!

The first one I remember was when Arkansas's Senator J. William Fulbright was discussing the Vietnam War in 1966.

"Meet the Press. An unrehearsed press conference, featuring your moderator, Lawrence Spivak"

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #72)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 08:51 AM

81. Larry Spivak used to run MTP as his own personal fifedom

But he DID get interesting guests on, and he DID always invite 3 members of the press to ask the guest questions, usually making an effort to select journalists whose papers (only newspapers in those days) covered areas that were related to the guest. Spivak NEVER discussed questions in advance with the reporters he invited, and everyone was free to ask what he or she considered relevant.

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Response to DFW (Reply #81)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 08:58 AM

84. So it actually was "an unrehearsed press conference"

That was my grandfather's favorite Sunday morning show.

Sometimes, we'd watch one of the other political discussion shows. I remember the theme song from "Issues and Answers" at that time was from Carmina Burana.

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Response to DFW (Reply #71)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 08:25 AM

73. Grin and Bear It

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Response to DFW (Reply #71)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 08:42 AM

78. The incomparable Senator Snort!

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Response to DFW (Reply #65)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 08:12 AM

68. I still have

(and wear) the tie-clip that Robert F. Kennedy handed out on the courthouse steps in Norwich, NY, in 1964, while campaigning for the Senate. Different times, but the same values .....

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #68)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 08:28 AM

75. Cool!

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #75)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 08:32 AM

76. A couple of years ago,

when Robert, Jr., and I were holding a meeting with the grass roots leaders of environmental advocates at his office at Pace, he kept staring at the tie clip. I offered it to him, but he said "No, thank you, it's obviously something you value very much."

Instead, I gave him a necklace I had made using a 7,000+ year old projectile point that I had found.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #76)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 08:34 AM

77. Wow!

And to think that there are some people on this site who delight in trashing Robert Jr.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #77)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 08:50 AM

80. Right.

There is a cluster of jackasses that coordinate attacks on Robert's character on the internet. Now, he and I do not agree on every issue under the sun. But in the decades I've known him, he is among the most hard-working, honest, and sincere individuals I've known.

Back in 1998, when my nephew -- a high school scholar-athlete -- was savagely attacked by a gang of 17 racist thugs, and left for dead, Robert immediately came to my sister and brother-in-law's aid. Robert had never met them, but was horrified when an associate, Mark Sullivan, told him about the incident. The gang were white men who resented a brown-skinned student getting state-wide press for his scholastic and athletic accomplishments. Robert's support meant the world to my family, and our community.

Over the years, we have been able to trace a significant amount of the hatred aimed at Robert to a couple of the industries he has opposed in court. I'm not suggesting all disagreement with him is part of a conspiracy. But the coordinated efforts are.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #80)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 09:12 AM

88. I'll tell you one thing

If I ever see anyone on this site trashing Robert, Jr. again, I'm going to let them have a huge piece of my mind. And if that means I get a hide for it, it will be damn well worth it!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #76)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 08:54 AM

82. My younger daughter graduated Pace Law in 2010!

Bobby Jr. disappeared right after the graduation ceremony, but he did speak briefly, and Lisa Jackson was the commencement speaker.

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Response to DFW (Reply #82)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 09:01 AM

86. Now, ain't that something?

Small world, sometimes.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #86)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 09:11 AM

87. Small Democratic board, too, don't forget

Back in the late spring of 2008--high primary season--, I posted something about a meeting I had with Al Gore and Howard Dean, and about how they spoke about the big picture (i.e. the November election) being far more important than primary squabbles, and how both of them had been in a position to find that out first hand. I got trashed right and left with "oh sure, Howard Dean and Al Gore would meet with the likes of YOU?" Saner posters pointed out that on a Democratic board, some Democrats were bound to know others (and a couple of posters already knew that Howard was a personal friend).

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Response to DFW (Reply #87)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 09:37 AM

92. Right.

You are bringing back some interesting memories here! This might not be directly related to your point in this post, but I think there's a connection.

Years ago, towards the end of a local public presentation, Governor Mario Cuomo sought me out for a private conversation. We discussed a case involving Native American burial protection. A local newspaper reporter saw the Governor approach me, and had listened in from a distance that allowed him to pick up on the general topic.

The next day, that private meeting was included in the front-page article about Governor Cuomo's visit. At work, a fellow who I had considered a friend -- a casual friend, not a close friend -- felt the urge to say some bitter and nasty things about me .....both to my face, and behind my back. I was a bit taken back, because I have never considered myself to be "important," and certainly not in the manner this guy was saying. His bitterness wasn't my problem: he owned it.

That evening, my younger son, then in grade school, told me that he had "realized something interesting" that day in one of his classes. He told me that he had always assumed that all of his friends' fathers were frequently featured in the newspapers and televised news. But, that day, he realized that it was just his father who was.

Funny how different people react or respond to such things.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #92)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 10:41 AM

93. I never met Cuomo

My Dad knew him well, of course. Part of his job description.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 05:50 AM

62. Outstanding OP!

I can't K & R enough! But please know how much it is appreciated!

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Response to BlueMTexpat (Reply #62)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 08:13 AM

69. Well, thank you!

And please know how happy I am that you like the OP!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 08:58 AM

83. I've left here except for perusing for good articles and found your post.

You provided a good tone in your op that is sorely needed. I've decided to leave the political arena and just try to improve my community in very trying circumstances. I'm pretty locked out of the political process as a voter due to gerrymandering. I personally find little good going forward to the condition of the citizen in the status quo. I know little positive change is going to occur under conditions of gerrymandering, the radical control of the House of Representatives and a Third Way Party as opposition. The change needed will not come from the parties or status quo. It will take the people if it is to be done. The time required will be long but I'll try to contribute in the real world when able. The tone here in GD: P is too toxic to engage in for useful purposes though you found a way with your post for a moment. Keep up the good work you do and I will be contacting you shortly.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #83)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 09:13 AM

89. Thanks, Buddy!

I don't think that it is a coincidence that "old-timers" like you and I have been withdrawing from more and more of the "debates" on DU in recent times. It's not the same type of discussion-debates that used to define DU. Indeed, much of what is found on the GD Primary forum resembles a republican primary debate, than anything meaningful.

Is it possible to revive the value of DU? Maybe. I'm still willing to try. I know that the potential power the old DU had was real. In fact, it was real enough that the opposition might well have found it worthy of disrupting. Speculation on my part, of course!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #89)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 09:21 AM

91. Indeed. Your speculation may very well be right on point.

It would be great to bring back more thinking and discussion for the common good. Not sure this primary season will be when it can occur but going forward, anything is possible. We just have to believe and then see if we can make it so.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #83)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 05:19 PM

102. "The change needed will not come from the parties or status quo."

I so agree with you.

I came to the conclusion a long time ago that things are going to have to get a lot worse before they get better.

There are still too many people who
1) benefit from the status quo
2) haven't been harmed (yet)

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Response to antigop (Reply #102)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 05:28 PM

103. Yes.

A matter of time.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 11:37 AM

94. Not unlike you, I don't choose to participate in these bunfights

What causes me to mourn is that our politics has, I think, so far moved into the cult of personality as to make rational discourse all but impossible. Dare to disagree, however mildly, with any candidate's position on this or that issue, and one is labelled a "hater" and the substance of his argument ignored, or distorted beyond all recognition. I have in the past noticed that there are people here whose primary concern seems to be "winning" a debate at all costs, no matter the price in intellectual honesty or the search for truth. I think this is in large part a consequence of "celebrity politics," in which the main concern seems to be with appearances and star-quality, and the minions of this or that politician often remind me of that Alabama football fan who murdered a person in a bar because the latter was not sad enough that Alabama lost. It goes without saying that this condition is endemic on the Right, where the two most popular candidates have scarcely uttered a true thing between them, but I am sorry that the same thing appears to be taking control on the Left as well, or at least in some of the more vocal inmates of the Left.

And, dear Sir. we apparently find ourselves living in a country where one of the most burning issues of the day is the color a coffee shop chooses for its cups. One does not have to be an old fogey, I hope, to find this a little painful, to say nothing of embarrassing.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #94)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 02:50 PM

96. Well said.

Very well said, indeed!

Far too many of the OP/threads here resemble the republican debates. They are shallow, bitter, and without intellectual merit. Either one candidate is identified as a hero, capable of saving us; or pegged as a monster, intent upon destroying the nation and all of its citizens. The very concept of electing a president to represent democratic values is lost in the nonsense that substitutes for meaningful discourse.

Such behavior could not come about at a worse time. In the years that I've been a member of this community, people have rightfully expressed concern that the party's leadership has shifted far too far to the right. Yet, the current "debates" about Clinton vs Sanders show that lots of people here are more than willing to invest their energies in behaving exactly like the idiots in the tea party/ right-wing of the republican party.

I'm not a delicate butterfly, with easily hurt feelings. Nor am I in need of an upbeat, chipper pep-talk, to encourage that I develop a thicker skin, thus allowing me to engage in debates with a rough, tough crowd. I'm no more interested in participating in those discussions, than I would be interested in debating the greatness of Dick Cheney with his supporters.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #96)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 10:31 AM

112. I wonder how much this trend towards extremism

is reflected in our "all or nothing" approach to policing, in "zero tolerance" policies in schools and other institutions, and in the general attitude of "do unto others before they do unto you, and do it ten times worse." There seems to be a clear linkage there, and it comes down to not using the brain with discretion at all. Of course, these attitudes are strengthened by racism and hatred of "the other," and if there is one thing our society seems very adept at doing, it is packaging people into smaller and smaller compartments of "otherness," so that instead of realizing a brotherhood of all, we proceed to the philosophy of "every man for himself." Being a nasty, suspicious, paranoid individual, I cannot help but think that, while certainly much of this movement is organic, there nevertheless are lurking in the background persons of ill-will who want things exactly as they are going. There is obvious advantage to fragmenting one's enemies -- and if one is at war with the whole world, then where does that lead?

One of my first disappointments with Mr Obama came during his debates with Mr McCain. He was asked a question about how he felt about the toxic atmosphere of the election (they hadn't seen anything yet). I thought his answer was telling, because he smiled and replied that "we" knew it would be a "tough" election, and "we" weren't afraid of anything (have I mentioned before how much I hate the tendency of people to use the first person plural to refer to themeslves?). The point being, apparently, that it was "tough" and somehow manly or otherwise powerful to be rude, endure rudeness, and live in a barrage of stones, that somehow this was a positive trait. It puzzled me then, because it seemed to be not just perpetuating, but glorifying the kind of atmosphere we're talking about. How often do we hear of "tough" decisions being made (which often to me seem not very tough at all, if one operates from principles of human rights and dignity, and not expediency), of the power and potency of this candidate or another? Are we electing the Chief Pugilist (saving your presence) or the Chief Executive? How have we come to the point where a President is celebrated because he authorized the successful killing of someone?

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #112)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 11:02 AM

114. That is key to

understanding why these things are happening at an ever-increasing pace. And it is always more important to know "why," than "how." Indeed, if we look at but one recent example of hatred becoming manifest in the daily lives of a significant portion of our population, we see definitive proof of that. Let's consider Black Lives Matter for a moment.

In individual cases, the less insightful among us get caught up on "how" .....and thus tend to focus almost exclusively upon the behavior of the victim of police (or related) shootings. The classic example being that young man Trayvon, murdered by Zimmerman. If Trayvon hadn't done this, or if he only did that. No! Zimmerman went out into the darkness prepared to shoot someone. Why?

Be it this example, or one of the dozens of police shootings, or the brutal incidents in schools, or road rage .....it's not how, it is why. Why? Because the angers, fears, anxieties, and hatreds of the group must find expression; and that expression comes by either an individual or small group, in the most convenient setting -- where there is a conflict between strict rules in the aggressive person's mind, and the more socially-acceptable guidelines for behavior in the victim's mind.

The curious reality is that "hatred" does not exist in the real world; it is only found in the gray matter of human's brains. Yet, it demands existence. And thus, it seeps out between the cracks of strict rules and general guidelines. Over, and over, and over.

The insightful voices of Black Lives Matter ask us to consider why? Because this social dynamic can never be resolved, if we do not answer that question. Yet, it is uncomfortable, so others resort to "how," and all lives matter.

I've gotta grab my first cup of coffee of the morning. I hope to continue this discussion, once I'm awake enough to make sense. (grin)

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #114)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 02:44 PM

115. Today is a day for being ruminant...

... I am always reflective on 11/11, since I think WWI glaringly shows the inadequacy of what some of us are pleased to call "Western Civilization." In another venue, I posted Wilfred Owen's "Dulce et Decorum Est" and have been having a fruitful conversation on the impulse to create poetry. I think one might easily find a correlation between the violence and fury of 100 years ago and today's (not that this doesn't equally apply to violence in any era).

I think much of the current crop of violence, both internally and externally to the country, come from the perception of those at the top of the food chain that there is a threat to the status quo. (One could extend that to the conflicts between supporters of this or that candidate for the Democratic nomination, but I'll leave that correlation be, it hardly requires imagination) Though it is interesting that much of the retail violence is acted out by persons who, in fact, are only marginally closer to the top of the food chain than their victims. This is, in a manner of speaking, the first smokescreen, for one can always find an argument that race hatred is subsumed in class hatred (and thus we have bootless arguments about social and economic justice, as if one could exist without the other). Did you encounter the argument, in re Trayvon Martin, that Zimmerman could not have been motivated by racism, because he "isn't white?" That one left me with my jaw on the floor, because so many assumptions are contained within it. Yet more than just ignorant, gun-slinging rednecks will offer variations on that theme, when they want to prove that racism does not exist (or anyway, that they aren't racist), and that All Lives Matter even though the black ones are the ones most consistently at risk. But then, it is also true that All Lives Matter, or even that Cop Lives Matter, so one is really being partisan if he neglects to voice that truism. Actually, I think that's rather similar to those who demand we "support the troops" while agitating for them to be sent to Syria to fight ISIS and/or overthrow Assad. How easy it is to hide behind platitudes!

"Perception," though, is key. How many of our gunmen and lawmen perceive themselves to be at the top of the food chain, and thus threatened by the ambiguity of equality for those further down, even while those who really do sit at the top are laughing up their sleeves at such ignorance? But because they perceive themselves to be at the top, or aspire to be at the top, aspire to be accepted in the club (which acceptance will never happen, however many millions they may make, or people they may kill), they act as if they are, and act out the fear that the top just won't be so exclusive if we let "them" in. That's one of the reasons I think schadenfreude is too-often neglected as a motivation for bloody-mindedness. The whole essence of having an "other" consists in the ability to look down on them, and thus build ourselves up on their bodies, which motivation has especial poignancy if we have a gnawing suspicion that we really aren't at the top, anyway.

And of course, it isn't just gunplay where we see this acted out, but in sexual assault (almost invariably a result of the kinds of aggression we're talking about here), and even, perhaps, in milder form, in debates on a political board. How much of conduct, I wonder, is dictated by the perception of the standards of the group with whom we wish to be identified? And indeed, how much of conduct is dictated by wanting to do such a thing, or act in such a way, that that group will accept us, and that it will be defended from the pollution of the "other?" It is sad to contemplate that murdering a young man, or raping a young woman, or dropping bombs on a perceived "enemy" might all just be variations on the desire to say "what a good boy am I!"

-- Mal

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 04:10 PM

99. Lovely post

I have felt the tug to jump into the fray a couple of times, but as you can see by my post count, I read more than I write. Sometimes I see a nugget of wisdom that is so good it just begs for a rec and a comment. This is one of those moments. Quite rare these days.

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Response to iwillalwayswonderwhy (Reply #99)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 05:58 PM

104. Thank you!

It has become increasingly more comfortable for me to read OP/threads once or twice a week, rather than participating in daily discussions, as I used to. And so I understand why others are cutting back, or even leaving DU. Yet, at the same time, I wish there was an increase in our taking part in the various discussions, because I think DU could again serve a meaningful purpose ....for there's always been some arguing here, there was more insightful conversations going on.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 05:04 PM

100. By the way, check your PM

I sent you a link that will go a long way to explain where I come from.

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Response to DFW (Reply #100)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 05:59 PM

105. Very much appreciated!

I really enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing this with me.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #105)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 06:07 PM

106. You would relate to the subject matter, I was confident

And it was right up your alley in more than just a figurative sense.

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Response to DFW (Reply #106)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 06:21 PM

108. Very impressive!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 05:17 PM

101. You posted this:

 

Each of our life experiences and current situations will result in our interpreting the democratic candidates differently. If we then take the stance that our opinion is right, and represents the entire truth, and is the only truth, it makes meaningful discussion impossible. It leads to OP/threads that, by no coincidence, mirror the televised republican debates, with cheap shots and insults.


A reasonable paragraph, at first glance. Yet it assumes that we are only arguing about preferences or opinions, and doesn't apply to instances of demonstrated fact.

For example, if someone posts that "Bernie Sanders refused to meet with BLM activists", and actual evidence is posted showing that he did meet with them, it's fair to take the stance that one is correct based upon the evidence - even in the face of passionate opposition that insists that the contrary is true.

I do not think it is accurate to depict the disagreements between Hillary and Bernie supporters as simply a clash of opinion. For the most part, the friction between the two groups results from repeated false assertions from Hillary supporters and the exasperation that results from having to prove them wrong AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN.

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #101)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 06:20 PM

107. Thank you for

posting your thoughts here. I appreciate that while you voicing opposition to what I stated in the OP, you did so in a manner that was not disrespectful, or offensive.

More, I think that, if we look closer, at least parts of your objection can be put in a different context, even while using the exact same example as you did. Let's take a look .....

You quote what I said about "opinions," and then went on to speak about "facts." Although the two are closely related, they are distinct. Hence, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan's infamous saying, "You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts."

Facts are, well, facts. For example, it is a fact that "2 + 2 = 4." That is not an opinion. An opinion is an individual's belief, based upon their interpretation of facts, truths, and experiences.

A person who doesn't know the fact that "2 + 2 = 4" is ignorant of that fact. A person who refuses to believe that "2 + 2 = 4" is stupid. Thus, it cannot be said that's their opinion, for it is the result of being uneducated, mis-educated, or lacking in rather basic math skills. In many instances found in discussions here, when it involves social-political issues, people express Indeed, we see this in too many of the arguments about Black Lives Matter .....and Clinton verses Sanders.

Hence, my point did not suggest that "facts" are something that everyone is entitled to deny when it's convenient. There is nothing in the OP -- or anything that I've ever wrote -- that suggests this. Rather, I clearly said "opinions" .....that good people can interpret "facts," especially when there are several involved, differently, without being under-handed or dishonest.


This, of course, is not to say that there are not dishonest, ignorant, and/or mis-educated people on DU. I do not doubt that, from time to time, some people here look to stir the pot, and disrupt meaningful conversations .....and, possibly, are itching to start fights. I am convinced that I've seen exactly that type of behavior a few times.

Peace,
Pat

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #101)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 06:28 PM

109. While much of what you say is true,

we must remind ourselves that discussion can bear fruit. I, more than most it seems except for those that gave up and are no longer here, see the futility more than I would like. I'm only here today because of H20 Man's post. I gave up because here it really is too futile it seems. But he gave enough energy to believe anyway, if not for just today. So therefore, I stuck around today. Tomorrow, it may fall back to when I left.

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #101)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 10:51 AM

113. Endless arguing over facts...

... is an excellent way to distract from having to argue about anything else. I think, in the face of obstinate refusal to admit facts, one should not fall into the trap of arguing about them, as it can only give credence to the opposition. A fact is a thing verifiable and documented, so one's obligation when facts are misrepresented extends exactly to providing links to the verification and documentation and no farther.

-- Mal

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 08:29 PM

110. I'm dreaming with you!

Thank you so much for posting this, H20 Man; I've always enjoyed your thoughtful posts, even when I disagree somewhat. (I definitely don't disagree here.)

I have a preferred candidate. but any one of the three Democrats running would be infinitely better than any of the Republicans. Period. We can certainly debate the merits/demerits of the three Dems, but we cannot and must not seriously think, as some did in the Bush/Gore campaigns, that there is little or no difference between the two parties and their candidates. Yes, right here on DU people actually said there was no difference between Bush and Gore! That's when I get angry, when I see things like that.

Anyway, thanks again for your very useful and intelligent post.

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Response to NastyRiffraff (Reply #110)

Tue Nov 10, 2015, 08:41 PM

111. Thanks!

I disagree with myself, sometimes.

It's funny, thinking about this general topic: I grew up in an economically disadvantaged home. We were so poor, that when I read "Angela's Ashes," I found myself being envious. So, other than doing farm-work and home-work, my brothers and my hobby was arguing. We'd argue about two things -- boxing and politics. Daily.It was our favorite form of entertainment, next to actually boxing. So it's not that I am offended by serious debate, but like yourself and others here, wish that this translated into serious, meaningful discussions here. The issues involved are too important to waste time with foolish quarreling.

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