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Jul-26-2010 19:36printcomments

Movie Review: The Candidate

A defining movie for Americans?

Movie poster from The Candidate with Robert Redford
Movie poster from The Candidate with Robert Redford

(CALGARY, Alberta) - Americans, on the whole, just don’t get it. The more I watch America in decline, the more Americans I see believing either, it is not declining or, it is in some decline, but the American people, through the prescience of the Founding Fathers (sort of like waiting for Jesus) will magically make things the way they used to be and should be.

The Candidate stars Robert Redford as an activist lawyer in California. He is approached by Marvin, a political operative played by Peter Boyle. Boyle wants Redford to run as the Democratic candidate against the incumbent Republican. The deal is that Redford can run a completely free campaign and say whatever he wants.

And, says Boyle, “here’s your guarantee.” He writes two words on a matchbook “You Lose” and gives it to Redford. The point is that Redford has no chance of winning, so he doesn’t have to be “political” and can instead run a campaign to stir things up without pandering.

To jump to the end and spoil the suspense, Redford wins and at the end he gets Boyle alone in a room for thirty seconds and asks: “What do we do now?”

The movie is reasonably done, but would really only be of appeal to Redford fans and political junkies. I watched in the last guise and it wasn’t really an “eye opener”, but it confirmed today’s reality.

Redford talked about all the left-wing hot-button issues as opposed to Jarman Crocker, the Republican who’d held the seat for 18-years on a platform of God, Guns and Greed. Redford, instead, talked about a country that couldn’t feed everyone, couldn’t house everyone and left millions without health care—inadequate or none at all. He said that race was a divisive issue that had never been meaningfully addressed and resolved.

He went to a beach and, talking to the young people hanging around, pointed to a parking lot, saying, “there used to be beach there.” He went on to say that when he was their age they could swim in the ocean before it was turned into a “chemistry set”.

Now, for my punch line. The movie came out in 1972. Basically forty years ago. The lesson is simple. For those of us who remember 1972, America was struggling with a host of problems—Vietnam, Nixon, inflation, unemployment, pollution…

In forty years the American quandary has not only not improved, it’s become worse. Many Americans, and readers of S-N recognize this and despair at their impotence against a corrupt political machine—on every level. But it’s the tens of millions of others who deny this reality that keep the poisonous status quo in place. The open question to them is in two parts: When do you expect Jesus to come down from the cross and save a troubled nation? and, Where is the evidence that this might actually happen?

Daniel Johnson was born near the midpoint of the twentieth century in Calgary, Alberta. In his teens he knew he was going to be a writer, which is why he was one of only a handful of boys in his high school typing class — a skill he knew was going to be necessary. He defines himself as a social reformer, not a left winger, the latter being an ideological label which, he says, is why he is not an ideologue. From 1975 to 1981 he was reporter, photographer, then editor of the weekly Airdrie Echo. For more than ten years after that he worked with Peter C. Newman, Canada’s top business writer (notably on a series of books, The Canadian Establishment). Through this period Daniel also did some national radio and TV broadcasting. He gave up journalism in the early 1980s because he had no interest in being a hack writer for the mainstream media and became a software developer and programmer. He retired from computers last year and is now back to doing what he loves — writing and trying to make the world a better place

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Hank Ruark August 3, 2010 7:30 pm (Pacific time)

G. Layton: Dunno what you smoking, sir, but must be powerful stuff if your intellect so smothered as to accept the stuff you say is "correct". But then there are those who no matter what the facts show will still gurgle/down whatever slop is sluiced out for them. Have a good gurgle, sir, and don't mind the consequences when they arrive, soon...

Hank Ruark July 30, 2010 9:02 pm (Pacific time)

Friend Dj et al:
  Now that we've demonstrated what we mean by dialog --and by "wit, wisdom, will" too-- perhaps it is as well to end this enlightening project with a meaningful quote.

  May I suggest this one ?:
"If our fathers, in 1776, had acknowledged the principle that a majority had the right to rule the minority, we should never have become a nation; for they were in a small minority, as compared with those who claimed the right to rule over them."
 Lysander Spooner (1808-1887) Political theorist, activist, abolitionist, Source: No Treason, 1867

Gerald Layton August 1, 2010 2:46 pm (Pacific time)

Olaf Larson may be some worthless individual in the eyes of Ersun, but his narrative is accurate, so why the distraction Ersun?

Ersun Warncke July 31, 2010 3:45 pm (Pacific time)

Correction on previous comment: "Office of the Chief Technology Officer" is District of Columbia, not Federal Government... See the contract details here:

Ersun Warncke July 31, 2010 3:10 pm (Pacific time)

"Olaf Larson:" another(?) liar hiding behind anonymous proxy services to spew nonsense. This time a direct copy-and-paste of an article from "ATLAH World Ministries," and insane pseudo-Christian organization run by an ex-felon (James David Manning) with a self-awarded Ph.D. from one of the "seminaries" he operates. The author of the article is a man named "Michael Charles Master" is also author of a book called "Save America Now" (, another combination of right wing economic b.s. and fake Christian b.s. MCM also owns GiniCorp ( an IT company that uses a pre-made Network Solutions template for its website (i.e. a $100 dollar site). GiniCorp, and Michael Charles Master received a $270,000 dollar contract from from the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (Federal Agency) as a minority and small owned business. (Funny that they are getting $270k from fed gov for IT services when they can't build their own website). According to Network Solutions, ( is registered to Michael Charles Master at a residential home (8004 BYRNWOOD CT, McLean VA 22102) which currently happens to be for sale for $2.5 million dollars ( So there you have if folks: a dude living in a multi-million home, fleecing the Fed with minority contracts, and writing right wing articles against Obama and about how we need to cut spending and taxes. Funny world. I hope this little informational excursion puts some heat on this lying sack of s**t, or at least helps him sell his house. I bet he is well behind on those giant mortgage payments.

Olaf Larson July 31, 2010 1:43 pm (Pacific time)

I have been a distant observer of the United States, and have great hope for your recovery if you hurry and adjust your economic policies. Employment in the USA is about 130 million which is 18% below where is should be just to maintain the same economic condition as in 2001. There are several reasons for this...including that the segment of America that is between the ages of 40 and 55 is decreasing (that population segment is the economic driver for the economy) while the number of those who are over 65 is increasing. The cause for this is because of the extremely low birth rate from 1970 to 1985...not because of aging baby boomers, the oldest boomers now turning 64 this year. The ramifications of this are low GDP growth, Social Security insolvency, too few tax revenues (which would increase if tax cuts were made at the same level as Canada's on the corporate level, in fact deep tax cuts across the board would increase tax revenue), and rising healthcare costs per capita.
Democrats love to blame this on George W. Bush. But the fact is that when the Democrats took complete control of the Congress at the end of 2006, employment was about 137 million. During the last 4 years of Democrat control of the Congress, employment has decreased to 130 million. That should be compared to a net increase of jobs from 2002 to 2006 of 7 million jobs (130 million to 137 million) during the four years when the Republicans had complete control of Congress.
Democrats can say all they want about how the stimulus bill saved jobs, but the fact is that instead of growing jobs at 2% per year, there has been a 7 million net loss of jobs since the Democrats took control of Congress. A 2% increase for four years would be about 10 million jobs. So 10 million plus 7 million means that the Democrats have failed to produce 17 million jobs to maintain the economy. The ramifications are staggering to Social Security receipts, to growth in GDP, to tax revenues, to health insurance premiums, and to immigration. I realize the above is an over-simplification, but who so far in the current administration has provided any advice that has been of any substantive benefit? Those calling for tax cuts have the evidence from previous tax cutting models that it works.

When President Bill Clinton left office in 2001, the government had run surpluses for three straight years. By the time President George W. Bush left the White House, the government had run deficits for seven straight years, and the Congressional Budget Office projected a 2009 deficit of over $1 trillion.  DJ

Doug July 31, 2010 9:21 am (Pacific time)

Hank Ruark maybe what GL was referring to regarding "expulsion" was voting people out of office as per the statement "thus the expulsion by our voting Republic will soon begin." ? Anyway that's how I interpreted it, what say you GL? Though I don't agree about us not experiencing some "unraveling"---though this may be natural and what compels the voters to change current political power? Which appears to be a goal many voters desire at this time. Saturday mornings are all a bit sluggish for me. Need some coffee.

Hank Ruark July 30, 2010 8:33 pm (Pacific time)

Natalie: Friend N., your note really unneeded, since those of us who grew up with English resonating in both ears still "allatime" find its dimensions confusing, and we confuse it even more far too often. Happy for your continuing participation. Ersun: Per your experience with the hardhead in Chicago, even with his conversion after exposure to Oregon "air" (!), we may find some signs of conversion to irrefutable realities of "American exceptionalism" --but given other actualities you so comprehensively UNcover that may remain doubtful here. But surely your kind, fully detailed, highly enlightened AND enlightening Comment here cannot but support, strengthen and further illuminate my too-short summary: "...wit, wisdom, and will." The flat-fact, UNopen to any denial or even unintentional denigration, is that our 250 years of history spell out in at least six specific, well- documented eras, with the many irrefutable events of each, precisely WHAT and WHY and WHO is involved in each one -- to prove both my summary and the elements of "exceptionalism".

Ersun Warncke July 30, 2010 6:00 pm (Pacific time)

On the topic of direct observation shaping perspectives: I have a good friend who is an immigrant to this country who had lived in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Portland (where I met him). He had a very particular view of the U.S., Portland, and Oregon as a result of his experience. I could tell him that not everything was exactly as he perceived it (from my perspective) but that did not really change his experience based views. He later moved into a more rural part of Oregon, and thus expanded his social sphere a bit. After a while I discussed his observations with him, and his conclusion was that the society was "much more complex" than he had initially thought. I have had a similar reaction from every European I have met who I have discussed American culture with. Inevitably they have a view of America based on a highly consolidated international media and a few multi-national U.S. corporations (The U.S. to most foreigners is: McDonalds, KFC, Hollywood, and CNN) that is simply far too narrow to reflect the diversity of life, culture, and thought taking place in this enormous country. The U.S. is bigger than all of the E.U. combined, and so the idea of a homogeneous "American" is as absurd as the idea of a "European." The cultural differences of the Germans, the French, and the Spanish are unquestionably pronounced, and none would call themselves "Europeans," although Germany, France, and Spain are less dispersed than Washington, Oregon, and California. U.S. culture is far more complex, less well established, and much more rapidly changing than in any European country. The size of the U.S. guarantees the evolution of significant cultural variation over time between different regions, as do inconsistent immigration patterns, where consolidated groups of immigrants from different countries each make differing impacts on the emergence of local cultures. Most people inside the U.S. have a limited appreciation for the cultural diversity of our nation. People outside have almost no clue at all. Likewise, there is little appreciation for the complexities of our 50 state federal system, and the vigorous internal competition between the states and between regional corporate/family power groups. The problems of the U.S. are no secret, and I chronicle them in some detail in my writings, but what has to be remembered is that we also consistently deal with these problems despite the difficulties that I have just laid out. Are the challenges we face today worse than the Revolution, the Civil War, the Depression? Has this nation not had environmental disasters, immigration waves, systemic banking collapses, and wars before? Why should we be defeated now, by lesser troubles, when we have a blueprint already laid out for us as to how we should resolve our present problems? This is the cornerstone of American Optimism, which Hank often alludes to, and is well founded. The U.S. is the strongest country in the world because we are the most diverse, the most internally conflicted, and the most contentious, and yet we still resolve our differences peacefully (sometimes) and move forward at the end of the day. No other political entity on earth has ever come close to matching our capacity in this department, and so for better or worse, the American experiment keeps on rolling.

Hank Ruark July 30, 2010 3:47 pm (Pacific time)

Irony, thy name is "anonymous"! My apologies to all since it is absolute contempt of reader to slug Comment-space with dyslexia-inducing display with no culpability given via name of perpetrator... !! Re Ersun's finely-crafted detailed displacing discourse, can only say beats too-little, too-weak toottoots and for me comes through to "the heart of the matter" here. For any reliable relation and resonant response to the realities of any society, one must live, and perhaps even languish a bit, within it. That's WHY, obviously, our real historians seek out the sensible, rational, reasonable and respected writers from the past, knowing that they, in turn, will have walked in the same disappearing path...

Natalie July 30, 2010 3:02 pm (Pacific time)

Pardon my confusion. English as a 3-d language let me down yet again.

Ersun Warncke July 30, 2010 2:24 pm (Pacific time)

DJ: "God is one of the leading causes of death" is a pithy comment, but clearly ironic, as the main point is that delusional human beings who believe that they are following God's will are the greatest trouble of all. If the problem is delusional human beings, then God has nothing to do with it, nor does the particular type of delusion. If your God is free markets and money, and your God tells you to kill people to advance your holy cause of increased production and profits, then surely you are just as dangerous as any other holy warrior. You can talk about the horrible things done by the church, and they were horrible, but none of their torture devices were any match for napalm, white phosphorous, land mines, cluster bombs, and nuclear weapons, nor could they ever be deployed on a similar scale. Institutional religious have problems, but are they any greater than the problems of corporations (institutional religions with money as their God)? I think not. At least one starts from true universal principals, and while they fail to live up to them due to human nature, they make their best effort. The other starts from irrational principles of greed and lust for power, and their best efforts are aimed at personal, social, and environmental destruction. I would suggest that there is a strong link between the destruction of religious institutions and rise of capitalist corporate institutions as the guiding force in people's lives. I would also suggest that the perfectly obvious results of this have been disastrous. America started with no firmly established religious institutions, and the social order was purposefully inverted from the European scheme, placing the State above the church. As a result, religious institutions here have always been weak, divided, and infested with charlatans. However, that does not preclude an informed discussion of the beneficial roles of religion in society and the means of restoring religious values (universal justice, reason, compassion and respect for all life, fair distribution of resources, etc) to every day life.

Ersun: You talk about restoring religious values, "universal justice, reason, compassion and respect for all life, fair distribution of resources, etc." I would call those human values because they predate by centuries, the Western religions you are (presumably) referring to. 

Hank Ruark July 30, 2010 1:58 pm (Pacific time)

G.L. et al: You wrote: "...what people are witnessing is a developing expulsion, though for the untrained, that may appear to be an unraveling of our society. Our traditions and institutions are too well entrenched to allow the shenanigans we are experiencing to continue, thus the expulsion by our voting Republic will soon begin." Those words indicate a false reading of complex trends in the U.S., for most of us --as well as fly directly in the face of hallowed, treasured American values built into our Constitution. It is certainly fair to seek from you some clarification, sir, when you use terms such as "expulsion"...WHO is going to DECIDE, then CHOOSE-WHO, and HOW ENFORCE ? IF you writ such stuff here it is wise to be ready both to clarify AND defend, with some source documenting same and stronger than your own words.

Anonymous July 30, 2010 12:38 pm (Pacific time)

Natalie: "Massage" was intentional as demanded by content we are here discussing. Pardon the inevitable confusion for you, perhaps not so felt by most... DJ: Yours much earlier --"black magicians"-- proves up erroneous analysis OR unconscious attitude. For either or both, major essential resort is to real history, which you deny is now needed to understand actuality today. (Need quote-and-date ?) What you overlook is that the actuality you "massage" is not reality of American life today for many millions -- albeit too-true for other millions-- but only partial- story reflected via heavily distorted/perverted media. That's perhaps unavoidable via view from the upper reaches of the world even with snowshoe/removed !! You (and me, too !) are only and very simply reporters with what we learn coming from only limited sources --unless,until we live-and-learn right on the ground --as did de Tocqueville and every other full-scale and now-famed analyst/historian. Mine is limited-scale but at least built from long, often painful reality right here on the street, involved and invading the life of nearly every class and type and ever done same? Reporting teaches,among many other things, reliance on very direct, demanding experience. Nothing personal, keed, and welcome mat still out... SO come visit,live and participate, as other famed (and some notorious !!)writers have already done. Weather cool on Coast, so leave snowshoes at home... That may correct or at least redirect what is beginning to appea as nearly obsessed view from distance, based on what we know "down here" as perhaps "disturbed sources" driven by very complex motivation surely including private dollar-gain.

Gerald Layton July 30, 2010 8:44 am (Pacific time)

Yesterday, July 29,2010, the state of Arizona joined Alaska and Vermont,allowing their citizens to carry concealed handguns without requiring a permit. Those people who predict that this type of act will cause a bloodbath in the streets can now just wait and see if that happens. Since it has not happened in either Alaska or Vermont, nor in the states that provide concealed handgun licences, then these suggestions can be easily dismissed by the evidence. The same is true for all these so-called groups that are forming to overthrow the government. There is one thing we can count on, maybe two, and that is criminals do not care about the law, and the New York Times will never provide the Department of Justice database that shows crime is lower in areas where people exercise their Second Amendment rights. I believe this is also true in other areas of Western Civilization that allow for similar individual firearm ownership. America is certainly not unraveling, in fact what people are witnessing is a developing expulsion, though for the untrained, that may appear to be an unraveling of our society. Our traditions and institutions are too well entrenched to allow the shenanigans we are experiencing to continue, thus the expulsion by our voting Republic will soon begin.

Hank Ruark July 28, 2010 12:10 pm (Pacific time)

Friend Dan et al: You might be encouraged if you check out current story in this S-N re positive action by another S-N writer to provide in Oregon what is rapidly becoming a national trend: Much more attention to our system and its fundamental funding, including political dollars from any source. S-N today also carries still another detailed feature, with actual operational links ready for users,from known-reliable national non-profit/source. Surely neither happening in any way likely to be arriving without strong public opinion demanding precisely what is being offered NOW, with full cooperation forced by wit, will, wisdom of our people. SO perhaps proof-of-value on observation-visit by you not really now-demanded --only a bit more attention to news coverage right here in our own S-N !! Welcome still remains for you if you do venture South of the border...but read S-N first, to find out what's the latest actuality down here... Weather report prompts me to advise you snowshoes not now needed here...

Natalie July 30, 2010 12:51 am (Pacific time)

Ummm...don't want to sound ungrateful, but I'm not interested in a group massage. I'll be glad to pass my seat to Douglas Benson though. He should feel quite happy about such an opportunity.

Hank Ruari July 29, 2010 8:25 pm (Pacific time)

Friends Ersun, Natalie: See my last to DJ; will be glad to include you in my coming massage from -- how do I know ? !! But better you should advise as to what format and channel you prefer...would not want to scarify relations via scary- stuff wrongfully delivered... since S-N has reputation to uphold, which is why I query and question friend Dan...

Hank Ruari July 29, 2010 8:19 pm (Pacific time)

Friend Dan: Better sand than snow and mist and misapprehensions and misanalysis... Re "50-year debacle" how about two-century one re Brit and Empire and other piratical portions of pure history for anyone to read ? As in India, and Australia, with millions of "aborigines" laid to waste and billions in natural assets also squandered...and yet "the Empire" still exists. For any who do not read history, that may come as justification for 50-yr.-base for analysis, but some turn pages more deeply and rapidly than others, and may just possibly reach other rational and reasonable conclusions. In any case, our difference is simply arrogant assumption to speak from incomplete and imperfect data as if sure of future --which ain't nobody able to do...including you. Unfortunately, you'll have to live with your assumptions while I may just chuckle and lol from somewhere else...!! IF I can send you message, surely will do --what a hell of a story that'll be !!

Daniel Johnson July 29, 2010 4:03 pm (Pacific time)

Here's a story in today's NYT on the growth of militias being formed to oppose government with guns:
I read things like this everyday in the American press and, Hank Ruark notwithstanding, it is becoming increasingly obvious that US society is unravelling. I'm not wishing it or revelling in it, but it is an increasingly evident reality. What can be done? asked Natalie. There is no easy or obvious answer as this is an American decline that has been going on for a half century or more. Get your head out of the sand, Hank, and understand that the "wit and wisdom of the American people" are why you are in this mess.

Natalie July 29, 2010 12:43 pm (Pacific time)

Well, Hank Ruark, if you believe that Jesus WAS on that cross, then you should also believe the Bible when it teaches that He died and has risen in 3 days. So, technically, He isn't on the cross anymore. If you believe that Jesus did not exist, well, then there's no point in looking for a reliable report re when He's going to come off.

Ersun Warncke July 29, 2010 11:51 am (Pacific time)

Natalie, you raise a good point about Christianity and its moral teachings, which are certainly superior to what is offered by secular state "religions" such as communism and capitalism. Daniel, I think that you should the possibility that not all religion is whacky superstition, and that religion as a basic organizing ideology has served society well for many centuries and millennia. It should also be noted that the greatest period of war, violence, and atrocity both between man and man, and between man and the earth has come about coincidentally at the same time as the purposeful destruction of long standing religious institutions.

Ersun: It's important to distinguish between spiritual religion and the organized religion we have today. Charles Templeton was an evangelist preacher in the 1940s and 50s who team preached with Billy Graham to record crowds in such places as Madison Square Garden. In his memoir Farewell to God he wrote:

“Many think of the church as a sacred institution and of priests and the clergy as men wholly dedicated to the service of God and humankind. This assumption has not always been valid; indeed, it has seldom been so. In the Middle Ages, in particular, the Christian church approximated a terrorist organization, being the instigator and the protagonist in the indescribable horrors of the infamous Inquisition. In France and, later, in other parts of Europe, beginning in the fourteenth century and peaking in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, tens of thousands of innocent men and women—even children—were persecuted, arrested, imprisoned, tried in secret, tortured, flayed, hanged, or burned at the stake in a protracted obsession with heretics, witches, sorcerers, black magic and demon-possession.”

These atrocities continue today. As George Carlin said in one of his skits: “God is one of the leading causes of death. Has been for thousands of years. Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Christians, all taking turns killing each other because God told them it was a good idea.” 

Hank Ruark July 29, 2010 9:36 am (Pacific time)

Natalie et al: Perhaps you will find mine to another DJ/friend, in preceding essay-below, of full interest here since it speaks to the same basic points: No rational, reasonable U.S. person, even the most crusty Yankee or plantation-attitude Southerner, denies our major problems, mostly minor wounds self-inflicted by rapid social growth providing widespread opportunity for millions. What we find hard to swallow is outlander comment on what must remain an unknown future, with negativistic neoclassic current/eventism twisted as if trusty for that task. But, all in all, we welcome insights from any well-meaning source and if we suffer NOT in silence it ain't declaration of war across that peaceful border, in lands we all love. Those who visit for closer view usually volunteer what their own eyes has verified --somewhat less bitterized and in most ways at least a bit brighter than brought into view recently here. No reliable reports yet, I find, for Christ leaving that cross...

Natalie July 28, 2010 12:17 pm (Pacific time)

Thanks, DJ. Health care is a separate topic on which I don't debate. Working people should be able to afford braces for their kids instead of making them deal with the Drakula smile till they're adults. But you seem afraid to put in one line communism and helping each other. That IS one of the features of communism that supposedly should work. I'll dare to say that this idea was borrowed from the Bible (yeah-yeah, don't smirk). The early church started communities and sharing property. But communists missed the end of the story-it didn't work out very well then. Missed the fine prints, like always. I said it before that I truly believe only in 1 "ism"-humanitarianism. Every other one comes down to one thing- you have the power-you have everything; don't have power-be prepared to fight hard for your existence.

Hank Ruark July 27, 2010 8:19 pm (Pacific time)

Friend Dan: Thank you for your revealing and reassuring comment to friend Natalie. DO feel she expresses well precisely the heart of that "American exceptionalism" that does exist despite desperate denials, proven by 250 years of world leadership never earned by characteristics of which you complain so often,so vociferously. Re your stated goal as well-intentioned reformist, you might find it much more effective to outline for others at work in the same direction here precisely how you think that's possible to accomplish in complex society now numbering over 400 million and facing facts and fancies far more defeating even than those you so constantly work to communicate to us. Your choice of issues is in itself revealing comong from a Canadian, since both issues are surely well reflected in the same confrontational ways not only "there" where you are but also in the Empire Center, which I understand still doth rule regardless of allathose waves separating the two shores. But best to you and others there, surely improving under your constant guidance.

Natalie July 27, 2010 5:18 pm (Pacific time)

DJ: What do you expect Americans to do in the present circumstances? Bang their heads against the wall repeating "we're so done, we're so drowning?" I guess I can speak only for myself, so, no, I can't reveal my panic to my kids. Do I know we're in deep water? Yes. Afraid? Extremely. But we're still swimming. For how long shall we be able to stay afloat? I don't know. Shall we survive? I hope so. My biggest fear to see my kids hungry. And we're taking steps to prevent that. BTW just in case you have any doubts, I don't expect Jesus to save us magically from the crisis that He didn't create, and didn't wait for this unique occasion till 2010 to come down from the cross.

Natalie: My point was to be extreme in order to wake people up. What I would like to see Americans do is drop the Social Darwinism and understand that America is a society, which means that everyone is in it together. I refer specifically to universal health care which everyone should be in favour of instead of the "I've got mine" attitude of so many Americans. Mutual support is not communism. I wish you well, Natalie, along with millions of others.

In fact, try out David Brooks: 


Daniel Johnson July 27, 2010 3:47 pm (Pacific time)

Bob Herbert gets it. In his column: he writes: "the bottom is falling out for increasing numbers of Americans, and with the national employment situation stuck in an extended horror zone there is little to stop the free fall."

Henry Clay Ruark July 27, 2010 10:29 am (Pacific time)

Friend DJ et al:
  Your resort to faith --as "last resort" or not !-- is revealing and unintentionally comforting to the very large group you find so frustrating.

  That's consequence of our own self-understandings, DJ.
  One must be submerged for crucial time-period in any culture and/or economy for any real understanding of its fundamental essence.
  Next/best is solid long-term  study of its history IN EVERY ERA, from beginning to current consequential essence.
  (You'll recall ref. here and otherwise, repeated.)

  You've denied feeling need to study history, preferring to rely on what you see NOW --and thus feel-- about us.
  That's same mistake many "aggressors" have made in our admittedly "checkered past" !

  Do NOT label YOU "aggressor" but DO recommend early-history reading and years-long inside-
living experience here to aid your strong current insights.
  Many more of Founders strong feelings for what's right and how to achieve it come through every day, in every American life, than may appear from far outside "the culture".

  Yours obviously now based (solely ?) on only exterior examination --and that from within admittedly biased and partial viewpoint, inevitable in circumstances --and surely not your intent-or-choice...!
  Yours here refers to views over past 40 years --far from the perspective absolutely demanded for any beginning conclusions --after 250 years of world-shaping historical actions.
  Living contact with people and their culture is only true foundation for assessment --as any trained, skilled historian will confirm.
  Anything else is open to so much inevitable, unavoidable, and desecrating error --in both current reports AND even most careful interpretation of same-- to be deeply in doubt, demanding further contact for guaranteed verity.

  Take off those snowshoes and then toddle on down for full 2-yr. sojourn here, friend DJ.
  That may change not only your views but your own life.

  Be great pleasure to give you warm welcome here and then assist you in setting up wide tour for in-touch realities,in  perhaps ten/twenty states and at least ten cities...

Where I disagree with you Hank is that the FF caused America's problems today because of the system they set up all those years ago. If they were magicians, they were black magicians. 


Anonymous July 27, 2010 6:56 am (Pacific time)

Sir Daniel...I strongly urge you to go to the 14 minute mark on this video...Thanks for your time.

I watched the whole thing. Typical logical fallacy you're committing. Try to distract the reader from the issues in the story by pointing out how it's allegedly worse in Canada. Only the gormless fall for things like that.

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