Ted Rall appears on MSNBC to promote revolution

Ted Rall appeared on MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan show to talk about his book “The Anti-American Manifesto” and the need for a left-wing revolution in America.

61 thoughts on “Ted Rall appears on MSNBC to promote revolution

  1. Yes, that’s Matt Bors’ awesome cover artwork. Aside from being a great editorial cartoonist, he’s also a brilliant designer. He created an instant classic!

    He chats up Talibs with the best of them too.

  2. I’ll give Ted the benefit of the doubt that he’s genuinely interested in a better America, but when I hear people say the banks are big and bad, I just want to know the names of the bankers who dragged people into their banks and MADE them sign for audacious house loans. No names? Of course, not. Real people with an unrealistic understanding of their own money and earning power signed those loans. When I went to the bank to get a loan, they gave me a range of what I could “afford”. The banks upper limit of what they said I could afford had no basis in reality. Just because the bank says they’ll lend me enough dough to build a mansion, doesn’t mean I have to get one. It was my choice to choose an affordable, sensible home.

    Was the bank trying to make a lot of money? Yes. They’ve always tried to do that. Were/are the banks greedy? Yes. Should they be held responsible via responsible legislation? Yes.
    But so are the people who are signing those loans that no one forced them to sign, greedy. If people were acting responsibility, they wouldn’t have signed loans they couldn’t afford. When people, such as Ted, try to demonize the greedy bank people or the few who have the gobs of money without including the average “Joe” and “Joette” as their own worst enemies, what is being said about the average people is that they’re too stupid to know better. That IS the inference. I don’t buy it. By trying to JUST paint the people with money as the bad folks, you are ADDING to the problem by not making everyone responsible for their irresponsibility.

    We, all of us, the rich and the poor, the huddled masses, reap what we sow. Instead of the hyperbole and the provocative rhetoric, maybe we should find an American solution to work together. In doing so, we all benefit.

  3. Are the books flammable, Ted? I only ask because, judging from the thumbs-down count, a nice book-burning would attract a pretty good crowd of our fellow cartoon-lovers.

  4. I don’t need to demonize bankers, Dan. They have done a fine job of it themselves, and not merely by greedily selling loans to suckers who couldn’t afford them. They’ve been forging foreclosures by the hundreds of thousands, even evicting people who never took out a loan.

    Of course, bankers are a manifestation of the most evil and inefficient economic system ever conceived, which is the target of my book.

    But I’d rather get back to the snarky comments about my stubble.

  5. ” the most evil and inefficient economic system ever conceived” on sale now for the holidays!

  6. ? the most evil and inefficient economic system ever conceived?

    Spoken like a true 19th century revolutionary.

  7. Notice how Ted totally did not address my point about how all of us need to take responsibility for our own greediness (a la signing, of our own free will, for insane house loans).

    That speaks volumes. He wants to just focus on those big, bad, profiteers. This reminds me of gambling. Gamblers don’t have the money taken out of their pockets. (neither do housing loan applicants) They offer it up. Think of the lottery. It’s been said,…lotteries are for people who are bad in math. That’s a funny line, but gambling has more to do with people being greedy. Then, when people get SO greedy they lose their house or whatever, we say, “Those poor people have a disease.” That’s some people’s way of letting them off the hook and saying “You’re not really responsible for what you do.” Many in this country are excellent enablers.

    I believe in my state the law makers said way back, “Let’s start a lottery so we can use the money for education.” That didn’t last long. The money started going to all other places. Those law makers should be held responsible for not using this money for the intended purpose. That was wrong, and like bad choices individuals make when spending money stupidly, they should be held to account.

    I don’t and would not deprive Ted of selling his book to people who want to buy it, and making gobs of profits. I’m sure Ted would not like people saying Ted’s just using people’s anger, hyped-up by the news media (on which he himself appeared) to personally profit by selling his book. Ted would not like people to call him opportunistic as in the case of bankers. After all, while probably most people would love to sell their own book and make lots of money by appearing on TV, very few will have the opportunity to do so because they, for whatever reason, are not as advantaged as Ted. If they held that against Ted, they would be wrong, and their jealousy would be showing. It’s Ted right to do what he’s doing just as it’s people’s right to buy or not buy his book. I’m not going to demonize Ted for what he does…it’s the American way. That said, please don’t go on and on about the evils of the bankers, etc. when the masses are suffering from the same deplorable greed. If so many of the masses were not so greedy, the money loaners would never be able to do what they do.

    There’s plenty of blame to go around, but I’m betting not as many people want to buy a book denouncing the greed of the book’s buyers. There’s not as much money in insulting (or, in this case, telling the truth about) your audience.

  8. Your argument is specious, Dan.

    Individual responsibility is a fine thing, and one everyone ought to embrace. But weakness doesn’t excuse the vultures who prey upon people who aren’t intelligent/strong/forceful.

    In the example you obsess over, bankers, it’s no doubt true that some people borrowed money they couldn’t afford to pay back. (Which, as a former banker, seems to me to be an example of the bankers being stupid. What about THEIR responsibility to accurately assess risk? But onward.)

    Like pornography, excess greed under the capitalist system is something we know when we see. A restaurant with a 3% profit margin? Most of us view that as reasonable. A software giant that charges $600 for a program that has been out for many years, and declares hundreds of millions of dollars in profits? Not so much.

    Either you get it or you don’t. You don’t get it. That’s fine. Most people do. Which is why capitalism isn’t going to be around forever.

  9. Ted, the banks have two responsibilities:

    One, as you state, is to accurately assess risk, and, in the olden days, that used to be it. For small community banks that hold their own paper, it remains it.

    But they also have a responsibility to make a profit, which, in those olden days and for those small banks, was a subset of #1. Thanks to the exploitation of deregulation and the transformation of loopholes into systems, the only “risk” they have to assess is the risk of being caught holding bad paper when the house of cards collapses. Otherwise, they pass it on in bundles (literally, that is – they bundle loans rather than selling them off individually) and their profit resides in their ability to sell those bundles.

    This is precisely why the problem was not simply poor risk management at the street level but out-and-out fraud — both in the sense of (often) giving people blue-sky visions of what they could afford and (in some cases) misstating their incomes and debts in order to qualify them.

    Once the commissions were collected and the paper passed on, it didn’t matter what the risks were. This is why Dan’s heartless view of life is also fiscally absurd — he not only doesn’t care what happens to people (his privilege), but he doesn’t see that systematically defrauding the public will ultimately lead to what happened in the crash — a bunch of Big Companies holding a massive load of bad paper.

    Thank god they have friends in high places, or we’d have all been screwed!

  10. Just watched the video clip and now I know more about what Dylan Ratigan thinks about the subject than what Ted Rall does. This is an interview? I’ll just go buy the book. (Maybe that was plan.)

  11. Thanks, John. I like Dylan, but one can’t encapsulate a 288-page book in a 6-minute interview.

    For example, the book does not call for a left-wing revolution. It calls for a revolution. I am a leftist, true. But I call for leftists and rightists who understand the doomed nature of this sinister system to work together. I also point out that what I want does not matter because, once the forces of revolt are unleashed, anything can and will happen.

    In fact, my refusal to specify a political doctrine has been the #1 criticism of the book by critics.

    Similarly, violence is a tiny part of what I’m talking about. A more extensive book on this topic is “How Non-Violence Protects the State,” which I quote in my Manifesto.

    The main point of my book is to get people thinking about politics in a new way. So far, so good!

  12. Jeff Stanson summed it all up.

    It would be a waste for me to go on and on with Ted. His self-proclaimed enlightenment opens him up to the evils of our ways. I’m blinded by the darkness of our capitalistic society.

    To quote Ted….”Either you get it or you don?t. You don?t get it. That?s fine. Most people do. Which is why capitalism isn?t going to be around forever.”

    You want a cartoon idea about total hypocrisy….acting TOTALLY capitalistic, bashing capitalism by selling a book on the evils of capitalism. Now, that’s funny is if weren’t so true.

    Now, if a person were donating all his proceeds to some anti-capitalism fund, there would be some merit (however misguided) in it. But since those who say capitalism is evil and yet, at the same time, use it to the hilt (even on TV which promotes their capitalistic ventures AND capitalism itself), the hypocrisy remains.

    I know I’m too dumb to not see through the veil of anti-capitalistic hypocrisy. I’m reminded of Al Gore and the GOBS (I’m liking the technical sounding of “GOBS”) of money he’s made on selling us his doomsday messages about global warming. I know I “don’t get it”, as Ted says, but my argument is specious anyways.

    Yeah, Jeff summed it up perfectly.

  13. Derf, are you hitting on me? I hope so.

    Dan, the argument that selling a book bashing capitalism is hypocritical is hoary and dumb. Until the revolution comes, we are forced to live under the capitalist system. My refusal to participate, even if I could pull it of, wouldn’t do anything to weaken it.

    To make my point, let’s turn it around:

    Let’s say that, right now, we lived under a system that you hated: communism. So you do what you can in order to change the system to one you like better, capitalism.

    Do you opt out of the communist system entirely? If so, you won’t get your message out. No, like everyone else, you join the Party and save your rubles and try to become famous–which requires sucking up to state-controlled media. You do it, not because you’re a hypocrite, but because you have to live in order to survive and because, if you don’t, you will never be in a position to articulate your message–that communism sucks–to a significant number of people.

    P.S. The thing about Al Gore is: he’s right. That should count for something. As opposed to the people who made GOBS of money (Thomas Friedman, Dick Cheney), being wrong.

  14. Is it really a bashing of capitalism or is it a bashing of our corporate controlled government? If you can’t see that our government now is completely controlled by the self interest of corporations, then you’re not seeing the forest for the trees. That’s not what we really wanted from capitalism.

  15. I’m not particularly revolutionary, but Dan Reynold’s defense of banker’s right to rip people off is absurd. Mike Peterson’s right–the banking crisis occurred because of deregulation, mainly the abolishment of the Glass-Steagall act. Yeah, people were greedy. Everyone is greedy. That’s why we need laws and institutions to protect people and the system. And, by the way, the fact the deregulation occurred under Clinton doesn’t mean it wasn’t, ultimately, a Republican idea. The Republicans STILL want to deregulate the banks. Defenders of “the free market” should at least acknowledge that our current system is, as many have said, capitalism on the way up and socialism on the way down. But Dan Reynold’s probably thinks that since its self-evident that rich people are just harder working and smarter than everyone else, they deserve to be able to game the system. Hey, only the strong survive! Welcome to the Middle Ages.
    A book on the need for left wing revolution, huh? Up against the wall, motherforkers! Hey, Ted, do you spell “America” with a “k”?

  16. @Ted. Don’t ask, don’t tell, big guy.

    27 dislikes (as I write this) for Bors’ cover. Like Obama, Ted is dragging down the poll numbers of anyone associated with him.

  17. Terry
    It’s a bit annoying when someone does not really read a post, but still responds to it.
    I NEVER defended bankers. I said just the opposite. I said BOTH the bankers and the people who take out loans that are over their head are responsible.

  18. Dan–I did read your post. In one sentence, you sum up exactly what’s wrong with it. You write as if both the bankers and the people they exploited bare equal responsibility for the crisis. They don’t. Saying they did is like saying that the people Bernie Madoff ripped off are just as responsible as he is because they didn’t look closely enough at the financial statements he sent them. Yes, people should have been more careful about borrowing money. But it was an largely an institutional, not a personal, abrogation of responsibility.

  19. Oops! I was seeking the dailycartoonist site but seem to have stumbled into a bizarre parallel universe where liberal cartoonists who demand top dollar for the fruits of their labour,are slicing and diceing the capitalist system that feeds them.I don’t know how the GLOBAL WARMING HOAX wormed its way into this thread. Suffice to say that the new green, is the old red. Follow the money, some of which has crashed and burned due to the collapse of the Carbon trading market on the Chicago exchange.
    Good luck with the book,Ted. We’ll never,ever, agree politically, but I think we’d both defend the right of all in a free society to voice opinions that others may find disagreeable if not downright nonsensical.

  20. Ted,

    can you link me to where John Locke says that “the people have an obligation to revolt when the government fails”?

    I studied Locke in college and enjoyed his work and I don’t recall him saying that. I know he believed that the right of revolt was something that belonged to the people. And that that right was derived from the inherent power of the people who create and maintain that society/government. But the closest I was able to find was something along these lines:

    “The obligations of the law of Nature cease not in society, but only in many cases are drawn closer, and have by human laws, known penalties annexed to them to enforce their obligation.”

    But whenever Locke talks about the “law of nature” he really is describing the “anti-society.” That state of nature, much akin to anarchy, in which no obligation to any other human exists beyond the Judeo-Christian “laws” that he ascribes to as each person’s responsibility to God.

    Setting aside that one must believe in the same rough religious outline as Locke to put any weight behind the theory (I’m betting Buddhists and Atheists might have a problem with Locke’s theories) Locke wasn’t talking about revolution.

    Locke considered revolution a part in the cycle of societal creation. A society is created, it becomes corrupt, mankind returns to that “state of nature”… very briefly as I recall from my old college days, before glomping together and forming a new society. And the beat goes on.

    Locke spent a lot of time repeating himself and talking about how the “state of nature” effects the various stages of societal creation and his most important, overarching theme throughout all of his arguments and treatises (I personally have always thought) could be summed up as “all the power in a society truly rests with the people and the people will tolerate a society until they can no longer tolerate it.

    People can tolerate a lot Ted. Look at the U.S.S.R. or China or North Korea or any of the many, many hellholes in this world. Do you really think we are so close to a revolution? I don’t think Locke would see it that way.

    And one thing that Locke never even touched on, which bothered me a bit, was the possibility that someone might get it right. That possibility that a society would be created that would evolve as the people and their needs would evolve and would never need to end in revolution and that brief return to the state of nature before trying something else.

    I agree with you Ted that the banks are far more responsible for where we are than the fools who signed on the dotted line. I agree that too much wealth is tied up in too few people. I agree that the corporations in this country are completely out of control.

    But you should remember that it was the progressives that changed our electoral system to allow the people to elect Senators which gutted states right. And when the Supreme Court made corporations “individuals” under the 14th there was a Democrat in the White House (Cleveland), a large Democratic majority in the House and only a small Republican Majority in the Senate (34 dems to 41 Reps).

    There are some changes that I would make in this country. I would make all elections publicly funded. I would amend the Constitution to include term limits for all federal elected positions. I would return Senators to a state legislature elected position (I think some states the Governor appointed the Senator but I can’t remember… but that would be fine too). I would eliminate the corporate entity as an individual and assign personal responsibility and liability for corporate action to the board and executives. I would institute a balanced budget amendment. I would amend the Constitution to make it easier to amend the Constitution. It’s too hard. We’ve had two amendments in the last forty or so years and they were pretty pointless. One was even ratified for years and no one knew about it.

    I would make some changes for sure. But I wouldn’t try and instigate a revolution. I still think we can fix what’s wrong with this country. It may take a lot of effort and a lot of time but I still have hope it can be done. I think your book is very premature and I do think you are trying to capitalize on the current “environment.” And I don’t think that what you have to say, assuming it’s in line with the interview and what you have said here, really helps anything at all. That sort of “take my ball and go home” mentality is one of the things that really has a grip on people in this country and it isn’t doing any one any good.

  21. “A lot of time”? We don’t have any time.

    The problems America faces are imminent and grave. We don’t have 50 years of dithering on the environment or unemployment or healthcare or education or trade or income inequality. I can’t predict which will destroy the country first, but we don’t stand a chance of survival under this broken, corrupt, utterly worthless system.

    And most Americans agree.

    The question is, what are we going to do? Something or nothing?

  22. Ok Chicken Little.

    I’d still like to know if you misquoted Locke like so many other progressives like to (and on TV no less… for shame).

    I’d also like a link to the poll or study where most Americans agree with your statement that:

    “we don?t stand a chance of survival under this broken, corrupt, utterly worthless system.”

    (I can hear that pollster call right now in my head… “Hello sir can I ask you some questions about your attitude towards the country right now?” Ok… “Would you agree or disagree with the following statement … We don’t stand a chance of survival under this broken, corrupt, utterly worthless system.”… huh? What!)

    Because that smacks of Rall-ism to me. I await your reply good sir.

  23. As I’ve written in my website’s email guidelines, I don’t play the Internet link game.

    Q: You’re lyin’. Show me a link, [insult]!

    A: Here [link].

    [Questioner vanishes.]

    Believe me, or not, it’s all the same to me. I’m not defending a Ph.D thesis here.

    I don’t make assertions that can’t easily be Googled. Moreover, my book is footnoted. Read it, then feel free to get in touch.

  24. I appreciate those folks who actually read what I said about how both people who take out audacious house loans AND bankers offering audacious loans need to both take responsibility.
    Why the posters who responded to me as if I had said “the bankers bear no responsibilitiy” is beyond me. I was quite clear.
    ANd Terry..
    I could not disagree more….your assumption is based on the notion that somehow institutions are not human, not made up of PEOPLE, real people, who are making decisions. “Institutions” don’t make decisions. People make decisions. Too many people throw words around like, “institution”, “the government”, etc. in a way so as to dehumanize them in such a way so they don’t need to bear responsibilty. This is a big part of the problems the US has, dehumanization.

  25. I don’t know a good reason to extend this conversation, but my experience as a business writer and as a consumer makes it easy to push my buttons. Okay, Dan, here’s what you said:

    “Real people with an unrealistic understanding of their own money and earning power signed those loans. When I went to the bank to get a loan, they gave me a range of what I could ?afford?. The banks upper limit of what they said I could afford had no basis in reality. Just because the bank says they?ll lend me enough dough to build a mansion, doesn?t mean I have to get one. It was my choice to choose an affordable, sensible home.”

    What you’ve just said is that banks take advantage of people who don’t have a realistic understanding of their own money and earning power. Bankers may be “real people,” but they are “real people” with an understanding of personal finance. By your own account, they consistently and blatantly give bad advice to people who don’t really understand personal finance in order to persuade them to make choices that won’t work out for the consumer but will work out for the bank.

    “Real People” can be con men. “Real people” can perpetrate systematic deception. “Real people” can be the scum of the earth. The fact that you were smart enough not to fall for a scam does not mean that the person who tried it was not trying to rip you off.

    If I walk through a bad neighborhood with a Rolex and somebody mugs me for it, yeah, maybe I was foolish. But surely you don’t see me and the mugger as equally guilty, do you?

  26. I’ve got to say that we are still living in the best of times despite who is in the White House. Our ancestors grew up during World War 1, lived through the REAL depression and then fought in World War II.
    All of that minus all the technological advances that make us comfortable today. Will it all come crashing down and soon?? It’s fun coffee talk. What medieval weapon will I wield when society collapses? What will 2012 bring?

    But a real revolution with chaos and violence doesn’t sound very appealing. Yeah war can be misguided and revolutions are not exempt. I hope no one does anything rash on account of Robespierre Rall.

  27. Besmirching capitalism to make a buck and satisfy a leftist fettish takes allotta Rall. Good luck with it, though!

  28. If a leftist radical makes volatile posts in a cartoonist forum but everyone ignored them, is he really there?

  29. Ted I never said you were lying about Locke. I am skeptical… that’s all. And I Googled your statement about Locke BEFORE I wrote my previous comment. Of course I did. I do my homework. And as I stated, I never saw anything that said that Locke believed it to be an “obligation of the people to revolt when the government fails.”

    Maybe I’m not as jaded as you because I’ve only been on TV once but personally I think it’s really important to be completely right and truthful when you are on TV. I’m not suggesting that people are… I’m not that foolish. But I’m not dealing with them, I’m talking to you. And you said something that sounded fishy to me. So I’m not suggesting you are wrong, just that I’d like some proof.

    And if you were exaggerating for dramatic effect just say so. Own it. It’s not like anyone’s going to hold you accountable for misquoting a dead philosopher.

    And if you think I’m going to go away just because you link me and prove me wrong you haven’t been paying attention.

    I don’t care what your book says, I’m not asking you to defend a thesis. I’m simply asking you to show me where Locks said what you said he said. If you can’t give me an exact location maybe you can ballpark it for me. 2nd Treatise? I’ll read it again if that’s what it takes. Just let me know.

    As for most Americans agreeing with you… I’ll see if I can get a copy of your book from the library. If you don’t want to link me that’s fine. I am once again skeptical that you will be able to back up your claim but I am curious. And you can be sure that if you don’t have a footnote to a study that backs up what you said we’ll be having this conversation again.

  30. Actually, Shane Davis, Rall the leftist radical is hardly being ignored. This discussion and the other one on Unpatriotic, Treasonous Garfield have generated a flurry of activity, most in response to Ted’s “volatile” posts. Without Ted stirring things up here (sorry, Alan) this site would be pretty boring.

    But that’s ok, Shane. Lots of folks have a loose grasp of facts these days.

    Whether you agree with him or not… and I generally agree with about half… Ted pushes buttons and riles people up. Isn’t that what political cartoonists are supposed to do??? Am I missing something here? How can a bunch of political cartoonists gripe about a guy making political statements, even outrageous ones? Are you guys that safe and dull?

    Or does the hallowed high ground of political commentary only apply in Dailycartoonistland when Jim Davis blunders and inadvertently draws the best political cartoon of the week?

  31. Derf,
    Buddy, dude, man… I may have finessed my jest too much. You missed what I was saying.

    You might just be suffering from the ‘loose grip’ virus plaguing all us safe, boring folk.

  32. A bunch of cartoonists can certainly gripe about trumped up nonsense from anyone, including political cartoonists, but especially a particular cartoonist name Ted Rall who will never run out of ludicrously vile things to say about the country that spawned him…

  33. Rob you are making excellent points that shouldn’t be ignored. That they are being ignored leads me to think that your points are more than likely valid ones.

  34. Rob and Rich:

    Google “Locke duty to revolt.” I didn’t become a teacher because it doesn’t pay well, and I’m certainly not going to do it for free unless I can sell some T-shirts too.

  35. And thanks, derf.

    BTW, Dave, I would seriously start to worry if you agreed with me. You’re like an intellectual compass that reliably points 180 degrees the wrong way.

  36. Ted that’s funny … teachers generally are paid better that cartoonists. Perhaps you chose incorrectly. Rather capitalist reasoning anyway for a non-capitalist (even though I know you’re just kidding).

    Sometimes it’s helpful to be willing to be a teacher if you want to persuade someone to your opinion. I know that rarely happens as most people with strong opinions won’t be swayed. However I can’t see many folks picking through the references in a book to see if it just a papery-blog or has some substance. Even if they could get the book in the local library.

    Anyway good luck with your book. Is this tied in anyway with your trip to the middle-east or is that project still in the works?

  37. August – I don’t dislike Ted, but I do detest the stupid things he says, of course. And Copying and pasting? If I posted in the wrong thread (internet glitch) that was a mistake and I’ll cop to that.

    Ted – from what you say and write, I didn’t know you had an intellectual compass at all, but I’ll take your word for it… 😉

    All the teachers I know seem pretty well paid, however, none of them are millionaires either.

  38. Rich: I’m working on a book about the Afghanistan trip (which, just to be annoying, is not actually in the Middle East). It will be journalistic, and has no relationship to the Manifesto except for the fact that the U.S. war against Afghanistan is just one more reason to say that our government sucks.

    Clayton: The revolution will not be webcomicked. But we will sell T-shirts.

  39. Ted, I was wondering if the Afghanistan book was going to be a graphic novel?

    Back to your current book, some excerpts I found online would lead me to classify it as pretty much a toxic rant. Granted these excerpts are probably out-of-context because the reviewer wasn’t a fan (to say the least) but even so they read pretty much like blog posts. As a result it saves me having to research your use of Locke. Just google the MSNBC interview or the book title and you’ll see what I mean.

    The U.S. government certainly has it’s problems but it is one of the more accessible governments to change from within. Still not easy, but easier that other forms. Most socialist, communist and dictatorships are pretty much the change-by-revolution types of governments (because there is very little if any way to change them from within their systems). If you think our politicians are bad (and I’m not disagreeing universally with that) just give government officials unlimited control of every aspect of your life tell me how there is any possible way they are not more corrupt with no ability to influence them.

    Anyway, enjoy the fruits of your rant in our capitalistic society. The Beatles song Revolution comes to mind.

    I keep getting this picture in my mind of the battle of the stereotypes – elitist hippies vs. tea partiers. Perhaps an attempted leftist revolution against a bunch bible-thumping, gun-toting, red necks wouldn’t have the results leftists would like anyway – but in the meantime it might sell books. 😉

  40. Rich, the Afghanistan book will be mixed media: cartoons, graphic novellas, photos and prose.

    As for the book, well, some people love it and some people hate it. Which, for me, is pretty standard. Suffice it to say that reading the whole thing gives you a complete picture; reading an excerpt does not.

    Certainly, in the past, the U.S. was highly adaptable. It has become clear in recent years, however, that it is unable and unwilling to even address, much less try to solve, the most serious problems we face. Here we are in the middle of an economic meltdown, and no politician has even *proposed* a jobs-creation bill. Kind of amazing.

  41. Ted, thanks for the Afghanistan book details. I agree with you about the dangers of going by excerpts and the lack of any efforts on job legislation.

    It seems no governmental system is working too well right now to fix the economy or create jobs. Often, even with the best of intentions, government only seems to interfer with economic recovery. For example, many argue that without any bailout (by either party), the economy would be further on the way to recovery now. Of course others argue we’d be in a depression – but we will never know since the government choose to reward failure. I don’t really want government to try to create jobs, but I’d go for them removing barriers for the private sector to do so – however, to your point, they’ve (government) done neither.

  42. I agree with Churchill in this case, who naturally disagrees with Ted. Here’s the Churchill quote:

    “Many forms of government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

    House of Commons, 11 November, 1947
    Winston Churchill

  43. Though capable of erudition and great eloquence, Churchill was also a bigot and militant colonialist oppressor:

    “It is alarming and also nauseating to see Mr. Gandhi, a seditious Middle-Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well-known in the East, striding half-naked up the steps of the Vice-regal palace…to parley on equal terms with the representative of the King-Emperor.”
    ?1931, discussing negotiations between Indian independence advocates and the King of England

    His analysis of politics was more than not fatally flawed:

    Hitler might yet “go down in history as the man who restored honour and peace of mind to the great Germanic nation and brought it back serene, helpful and strong, to the forefront of the European family circle.”

    And of course he helped start the Cold War, which split the World War II alliance and needlessly cost billions of dollars and millions of lives over the next 50 years.

    Speaking of democracy, do you think the U.S. is a democracy?

  44. Churchill was wrong about a great many things, particularly Ghandhi, but he was one of the first to see what Hitler was doing and tried to mobilize his country against it.
    Your partial quote is a great example of someone pulling material off the internet, either without having any understanding of the person they?re quoting and the context of the statement, or childishly distorting the context to support an erroneous position. Here is the FULL quote:

    ?It is not possible to form a just judgement of a public figure who has attained the enormous dimensions of Adolf Hitler until his life work as a whole is before us. Although no subsequent political – action can condone wrong deeds, history replete with examples of men; who have risen to power by employing stern, grim, and even frightful methods but who, nevertheless, when their life is revealed as whole, have been regarded as great figures whose lives have enriched the story of mankind. So may it be with Hitler.

    Such a final view is not vouchsafed to us today. We cannot tell whether Hitler will be the man who will once again let loose upon the world another war in which civilisation will irretrievably succumb, or whether he will go down in history as the man who restored honoured-peace of mind to the great Germanic nation and brought it back serene, helpful and strong, to the forefront of the European family circle. It is on this mystery of the future that history will pronounce. It is enough to say that both possibilities are open at the present moment. If, because the story is unfinished, because, indeed, its most fateful chapters have yet to be written, we are forced to dwell upon the darker side of his work and creed, we must never forget nor cease to hope for the bright alternative.?

    In 1935, Hitler had not yet shown all his cards, and Churchill, who had been having great concerns about Hitler as early as 1930, still held an open mind–although probably not too optimistically–to the possibility of
    something more positive evolving from his leadership.

    He was quickly disavowed of this hope and became the world?s most unambiguous, outspoken clarion call against Hitler, well before most others came around.

    Why his warnings about Russia, which helped start the cold war, would strike you as a negative, is bewildering. Well, maybe not, I?m sure you surmise that Russia rolling over the other eastern block countries, murdering and enslaving people like they did in Poland, or being unchecked as they built up their nuclear arsenal, to be an acceptable price paid for that worker?s utopia.

    I?m still wondering how you?ll implement that here? What income level will you have to be below to be able to vote? Where will you lock up all the Tea Party and Red State folk?

  45. You are mistaken; Hitler had indeed shown his cards by 1935. By then he had thrown socialist and communist opponents (the only real counterpoint to fascism) into Dachau. The Night of the Long Knives had taken place. And he had forced through the Ensbling Act.

    Churchill overlooked these things because he was, like Hitler, a right-winger. Just not as extreme of one.

    He later turned against Hitler when he began to see Nazi Germany as a threat to the economic hegemony of the British Empire.

    After the revolution, there won’t be different income levels.

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