Republicans Don’t Give a Damn

Democrats will have a field day if Republicans leave town without another stimulus deal with just 90 days until the election. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) have already bashed Republicans over and over again for failing to come to the aid of Americans facing poverty, eviction and food insecurity while proposing in their bill a tax deductibility for business lunches. Pelosi had this stunning exchange with CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Thursday:

Jim Cramer: I like your spirit of being more upbeat, more optimistic, so I will offer this: Why can’t you go across the aisle and say, ‘Representative Lewis, civil rights legend, would have loved it if we could do something for the totally disenfranchised in this country. No matter what, can we give a huge chunk of money to the people who are disenfranchised, to minorities who want so badly to stay in business and can’t and to people who are trying to go to college or have student loans who are minorities who are the most affected because they had the least chance in our country?’ That’s got to be something both sides can agree to.
Speaker Pelosi: Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn for what you just described.
Jim Cramer: Ooh, jeez.
Speaker Pelosi: Yeah. That’s the problem. See, the thing is, they don’t believe in governance. They don’t believe in governance, and that requires some acts of government to do that. . . . And basically, economists tell us, spend the money, invest the money for those who need it the most, because they will spend it. It will be a stimulus or at least a stabilization of — and that’s a good thing. Consumer confidence is a good thing for the economy. You know that better than anyone.
OUCH!! The truth hurts, Trumpistas.
Karma is a bitch or a bastard, huh? Take your pick.

NBA coaches with at least 200 wins and a .500 winning percentage who have not won a Championship!

NBA coaches with at least 200 wins and a .500 winning percentage who have not won a championship title, by number of playoff wins and finals appearances

Jerry Sloan 26 1,221 .603 98 2
George Karl 27 1,175 .588 80 1
Rick Adelman 23 1,042 .582 79 2
Don Nelson 31 1,335 .557 75 0
Mike D’Antoni 16 668 .561 49 0
Stan Van Gundy 12 523 .577 48 1
Scott Brooks 11 486 .568 48 1
John MacLeod 18 707 .518 47 1
Flip Saunders 17 654 .525 47 0
Mike Brown 8 347 .616 47 1
Jeff Van Gundy 11 430 .575 44 1
Del Harris 14 556 .549 38 1
Cotton Fitzsimmons 21 832 .518 35 0
Doug Moe 15 628 .543 33 0
Fred Schaus 7 315 .563 33 0
Frank Vogel 9 353 .536 31 0
Joe Lapchick 9 326 .569 30 0
Mike Budenholzer 7 326 .585 27 0
Paul Westphal 10 318 .533 27 1
Brad Stevens 7 313 .563 27 0
Richie Guerin 8 327 .529 26 0
Tom Thibodeau 8 352 .589 24 0
Doug Collins 11 442 .521 23 0
Avery Johnson 7 254 .577 23 1
Dwane Casey 11 434 .524 21 0
Butch van Breda Kolff 9 266 .513 21 0
Mike Fratello 17 667 .549 20 0
Terry Stotts 12 469 .508 20 0
Stan Albeck 7 307 .535 18 0
Nate McMillan 16 655 .528 17 0
Bob Hill 9 310 .514 17 0
Billy Donovan 5 239 .610 15 0
Paul Seymour 8 271 .529 14 0
Kevin McHale 7 232 .556 13 0
Quin Snyder 6 268 .565 10 0
Vinny Del Negro 5 210 .533 10 0
Mike Malone 7 255 .511 7 0
Allan Bristow 5 207 .505 5 0

Bill Moyers’ A World of Ideas [Quotes]

Barbara Tuchman

How would you sum up the original idea of America? A liberation from tyranny which had existed for centuries, in which government was in the hands of rulers with no particular right other than dynastic, of nobles who had nothing but property to justify their exercise of rule, and the monarchs who had only heredity to justify thiers. The interesting thing was that I found that the Dutch had voiced the same thing when they abjured the rule of Spain. The Oath of Abjuration written almost 200 years before our declaration of independence contains almost the same words.

On the whole, the ruling groups don’t truly govern in the interests of the underprivileged classes. We are going to feel the effects, just as the French did when the French Revolution occurred, through the same ignoring of the misery of the poor classes, and to the same financial irresponsibility. What really started the French Revolution was the condition of the deficit, which was owed because of their help to us – which is again another irony.

If we are moved merely by greed, and there’s no longer any respect for decent or honest government, then we will suffer the results. We’ve been suffering from them ever since Watergate-and now again with the Iran-Contra business.

History’s lessons move very slowly. People don’t put them into operation right away, when they’ve become visible, but only when they rise to the surface, and begin to flood the bottoms of your cellars, only when they affect your own living conditions. In the Middle Ages, the sewage wasn’t properly disposed of, but people didn’t pay attention to it until the waters of the rivers and the filth rose over the doorsteps. Then they had to. That’s what is beginning to happen, it is beginning to rise over the doorsteps. It is already, isn’t it?

We’re becoming accustomed to an almost satisfied with people in government who are either venal or stupid. And with the emphasis on fundraising for all elections, which is ruining the electoral system, we will be accepting entertainers as our candidates, not those who have learned the processes and practices of government. You can’t govern without having to training in it. Even Plato said that a long time ago. You need to be trained in government, to exercise it, to practice it. But the American public is now satisfying itself with entertainers.

I think all these developments must certainly affect, if not the person in government, at least the office. And it would be too bad if we lost respect for the office. I think that’s the point I was trying to make in the chapter on popes in The March of Folly. The activity of the Popes themselves cost the papacy so much respect and so much prestige that it made the Reformation possible. It didn’t cause the Reformation, but it made the idea of overthrowing the Roman Church possible.

The trouble is that our public men are really artificial. They’re created by the most devastating tool technology has invented, which is the Teleprompter. They don’t speak spontaneously. You don’t hear them meet a situation out of their own minds. They read this thing that’s going around there in front of them, these words that have been created for them by PR men. This is not the real man that we see. It allows an inadequate, minor individual to appear to be a statesman because he’s got very good speechwriters, and to read the stuff off because he’s a trained actor.

Governments persist in folly because they don’t want to let go of their position, or their power. They are afraid that if they let go, if they say, we were wrong, or we’re doing the wrong thing, they will be booted out, or they will lose their status. It’s not wanting to be left out in the next White House luncheon, or to be shoved into the wilderness if you report unpleasing information.

People say, what’s the use of reading history? I say, well, what’s the use of Beethoven’s sonatas?

Revolutions produce other men, not new men. Halfway between truth and endless error, the mold of the species is permanent. That is Earth’s burden.

Michael Josephson

Now we don’t know what to believe. People don’t believe their own government. When we reach the point where we can’t even trust the facts are government gives us, then we have lost something very significant in a democracy.

If even a small minority of people will speak up and demand more of themselves and others, even if only in their own lives, we’ll turn the pendulum around, and we’ll begin to swing back to the days when we could be really proud of the kind of people we are because of what we contribute to each other and to society. Ethics is a minority movement, and always will be. But a strong minority can change the tenor of this society in a meaningful way.

Joseph Heller

Most of the voting and party membership is pretty much based on something that might be called parochial loyalties. That’s the reason someone like John Connolly could switch from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party so easily.

Normally, the candidates are supported by people who are from the same financial and social status. Whether they come from Democrats or Republicans, they are backed by money. Finance is extremely important in American politics. H. L. Menckin says that this is the only society in which virtue has become synonymous with money and that the United States is the only large state ever founded solely on the philosophy of business.

We can’t eliminate politics. And no one who has enjoyed democracy has knowingly voted for a different system of government. It is congenial, it is entertaining. For you and me, who are among those in this country who are well fed and well housed and who can be reasonably sure that their income will continue and enable us to live as we are living, there’s no substitute for democracy. Consider how few the alternatives are.

I do believe the individual is important. But the individual does not count to governments. Governments are not normally concerned with the welfare of the people they govern. Even history is not concerned with them. During Rembrandt’s life, the potato was brought over from South America and cultivated successfully in Europe during the Thirty Years’ War. The cultivation of the potato was more important to more people than was Rembrandt’s painting of Aristotle or William Harvey’s discovery of the circulation of blood. The potato gave tens of thousands of people life. You will not read about it.

We tend to measure progress by profit. That’s one way of looking at progress, but it’s not the only way. We have more millionaires now than any nation ever had in its history. At the same time, we have more homeless. We have very real problems here, and we don’t even seem to agree on what they are.

The motion in the Athenian assembly to invade Syracuse was deceitful, corrupt, stupid, chauvinistic, irrational and suicidal. It passed by a huge majority.

The emotions of people in a democratic society are no more rational than they are in any other type of society. They are manipulated. It is the function of leader in a democracy, if he wishes to be a leader, to manipulate the emotions and the ideas of the population.

The word quote “democracy” does not appear in the Constitution at all.

Money and conquest and commerce are the constants in human history.

Money goes where it will increase the fastest rather than where it is needed, and it has no national loyalties. We’ve seen that since the end of World War II. It may be that we no longer have to go to war to take possession of a country’s resources.

If you expect the democratic system of government to provide efficient government, you’re going to be disappointed. Hamilton and Jefferson and Carlyle and others assumed that in an industrial society the captains of industry would and should be the political leaders. They assumed that they would be men of intelligence, man of integrity, men of vision, and men who, having achieved wealth, would no longer have the accumulation of wealth as their goal and would be interested in the public good. That has not happened, as we know.

I believe the federal government is ungovernable.

We don’t have a tradition of revolution, and I don’t believe we’ll ever have another revolution, mainly because revolutions are middle-class phenomenon. Revolutions are not conducted by the most underprivileged in a society. They’re usually conducted by educated people. When Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death,” he was living in a part of the world that have more liberty than any other place.

Noam Chomsky

Even the mainstream Democratic theorists have always understood that when the voice of the people is heard, you’re in trouble, because the stupid and ignorant masses, as they are called, are going to make the wrong decisions. So, therefore, we have to have what Walter Lippman, back in 1920 or so, called “manufacture of consent.” We have to ensure that actual power is in the hands of what he called a specialized class – us smart guys, who are going to make the right decisions. We’ve got to keep the general population marginalized because they’re always going to make mistakes. The Founding Fathers had very strong feelings on this subject. The Federalists, for example, were very much afraid of popular democracy.

From a point of view which perceives democracy as a problem to be overcome, and sees the right solution is being farsighted leaders with a specialized class and social managers – from that point of view, you must find means of marginalizing the population. Reducing them to apathy and obedience, allowing them to participate in the political system, but as consumers, not as true participants.

We are the only major industrial democracy that doesn’t have a labor-based political party – a party based on the poor or the working class. We have only one political party – it’s the business party. We have two factions of the business party called the Democrats and the Republicans.

Listen to the words of wisdom

I just want to live in a sane, global, civil society where religion no longer divides human beings from one another. It is time we recognized that we are all members of the same sect: humanity.  – Sam Harris

Enhanced photo of Earth rising. NASA

“O my children! my poor children!
Listen to the words of wisdom,
Listen to the words of warning,
From the lips of the Great Spirit,
From the Master of Life, who made you!
“I have given you lands to hunt in,
I have given you streams to fish in,
I have given you bear and bison,
I have given you roe and reindeer,
I have given you brant and beaver,
Filled the marshes full of wild-fowl,
Filled the rivers full of fishes:
Why then are you not contented?
Why then will you hunt each other?
“I am weary of your quarrels,
Weary of your wars and bloodshed,
Weary of your prayers for vengeance,
Of your wranglings and dissensions;
All your strength is in your union,
All your danger is in discord;
Therefore be at peace henceforward,
And as brothers live together.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Do the TWIST 

 Some of my favorite movie plot twists (I don’t want to spoil any films you may not have seen, so read with care):

North by Northwest: Grace Kelly is actually an FBI informant who is found out by bad guys (James Mason and Martin Landau). Easter egg, in the shooting scene at the Mt. Rushmore restaurant, watch the young boy in the background cover his ears just before the gunfire occurs. Priceless.

Usual Suspects: Limping runt ends up being top dog.

Marathon Man: Diamonds thrown away at end.

Spellbound: Gregory Peck killed a man. But, he didn’t do it. But, he did do it. But, he didn’t do it.

Treasure of the Sierra Madre: Gold dust blows away in wind storm at finale.

Zulu: Final scene – you think 20,000 Zulu warriors are amassing for the coup de grace, but they pay their respects to the few remaining British soldiers and leave.

Charade: 1) Cary Grant is actually a government agent. 2) Hum-drum belongings contain an envelope with 3 stamps worth $250 thousand.

The List of Adrian Messanger: 1) Lots of disguised actors is loads of fun – Frank Sinatra, Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, and Burt Lancaster. 2) Final scene of a fox hunt: George C. Scott outwits Kirk Douglas – it is Douglas, while escaping, who gets impaled on tines of repositioned farm equipment.

Sixth Sense: Bruce Willis is a dead man walking.

Bedford Incident: After Navy Captain (Richard Widmark) destroys a Soviet submarine with a tactical nuke there are a few stunned seconds of silence. Then the sonarman cries out: “Incoming torpedoes!” The ship has no defenses and everyone is doomed. No winners here. The look exchanged between Widmark and Sidney Potier when they know they are about to die is chilling and one of the greatest scenes in film, IMHO.

Failsafe: Quid pro quo for blasting Moscow to eternity, President Henry Fonda gives the order to nuke New York, even though he knows his wife is there.

A Few Good Men: One of the Marines on trial did not actually hear the order for “code red” from an officer – he heard it from his Marine friend who told him about it. Devastating to the defense, it sets up a great scene between Tome Cruise and Demi Moore (“the galactically stupid”). Don’t get me wrong, I love Demi Moore in this movie – nobody ever looked so good in Navy dress whites.

12 Monkeys: Too many twists to enumerate. But here’s one: Madeline Stowe thinks everything falls into place after she makes a phone call alone in Times Square. But when she chats with Bruce Willis about it afterward, he is able to repeat word-for-word what she said in the phone conversation. He has heard a recording of the conversation (from the future) – Gotcha!

Dr. Strangelove: All the thermonuclear explosions at the ending, starting with the one in the War room. BTW (Easter egg), towards the end of the movie, watch the actor, Peter Bull, in the background breaking up laughing as actor Peter Sellers, as Dr. Stranglove, bites his own hand, trying to prevent his own arm from doing a Nazi salute.

Jerome Davis : World Traveler Promotes tours for Peace

By Betty Knosler
Lake-Sumter Sentinel
Tuesday, January 22, 1963

CLERMONT – Sociologist, educator, world traveler, (war correpondent – Ed.), and lecturer would only begin to describe Dr. Jerome Dwight Davis, winter visitor to Clermont.

Dr. Davis, born in Kyoto, Japan, of Congregationalist missionaries (Father: Jerome Dean Davis – Ed.) near the turn of the century, has also been the author of over 25 books and an international YMCA representative.

While an Oberlin College student, he decided that, although he would not enter the missionary field as did his father, who founded the largest Christian University in Japan, he would devote his life to helping people everywhere with no thought of gain.

Still a student at Union Theological Seminary, he became secretary to Sir Wilfred Grenfell as he built hospitals, schools, and churches throughout Labrador and the Maritime provinces of Canada.

DOING MOST of their traveling by small ship, they were aground three times, on fire once, lost an anchor and were also hit by a huge iceberg.

Using axes to free stateroom doors and then to free the ship from the iceberg, they continues on course.

From 1916 to 1918, at the request of Dr. John R. Mott, world head of the YMCA, Davis represented the YMCA in Russia. Beginning with prisoner of war camps for German and Austrian prisoners, he established medical, educational, religious, recreational and self-governing committees in 29 prisoner of war camps.

The improving of conditions in the POW camps eventually led to the establishment of the first YMCA for Russian soldiers in Russia. This work was accomplished while the Tsar was still in power.

DR. DAVIS, who has seen the evils of Communism through his many trips to Russia, is bitterly opposes to the Communist doctrine, and believes that the only hope of the world lies in the success of the United Nations and a genuine effort for peace.

Following World War I, he taught at Dartmouth and in the Yale University Divinity School. It was during his Yale period that he became president of the American Federation of Teachers for three years and was also president of the Eastern Sociological Society.

Dr. Davis was chairman of the legislative commission on Jails for the state of Connecticut for 12 years, during which time many reforms were instituted in the penal system.

HE ALSO founded the religion and labor foundation, now located in Washington, which was instrumental in focusing attention on the wrongs of the 12-hour day and the seven-day work week. This was abolished eight years after the foundation’s establishment.

Representing the YMCA again, from 1940 to 1943, Dr. Davis was director of YMCA work in the prisoner of war camps in all of Canada.

(In 1944, Dr. Davis was a war correspondent for the Toronto Star, stationed in Moscow – Ed.)

For the last few years Dr. Davis has devoted his time to lecturing, writing books and heading international good will tour groups each summer. These groups are composed of teachers, ministers, doctors and other professional people.

This summer, one group will go to West Africa and the Middle East and a second group will go to the Scandinavian countries, Russia, Turkestan and France.

The tours are sponsored by Promoting Enduring Peace, Inc., of which Dr. Davis is executive director. He believes that person to person contact wins friendship for the American in foreign lands.

The only way we can change the kind of world we are in is by slow, constructive change, not revolution.

On these tours, they try to prove to the people of the world that the U. S. has more to offer and can be of more assistance than can any other country or countries.

DR. DAVIS would welcome inquiries sent to either 489 Ocean Ave., West Haven, Conn., or 2025 Sunset Lane, Clermont, from anyone interested in these tours.

The latest book of Dr. Davis will be published by Citadel Press in cloth and paper editions in June. The book “World Leaders I have Known” includes stories on Sir Grenfell, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Emerson Fosdick, Walter Reuther, Sidney Hillman, Djilas, who is now in a Yugoslavian prison, Kagawa of Japan and Ghandi of India.

(Text entered by Peter Bakke)