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August 15, 2011

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I read the article and enjoyed it. I was 13 when Bobby Thomson hit the 'shot heard around the world'. I was a semi-official bat/ball boy for the Atlanta Crackers and Bobby Thomson and I had something in common, beyond baseball. I felt sad for Ralph Branca.

I am who I am and Ralph Branca is who he is. You is a construct in someone else's consciousness and likely never matches reality. That mismatch can cause many problems for individuals and society if taken too seriously.

I hear what you are saying, but aren't there things that you are that are based on what you were told by other people? And if you were told that those things were not true?

what this story most makes me think of is my italian grandmother who, as a young immigrant, always introduced herself as "kitty" rather than "caterina".

hey, if you really squinted hard, she could've been irish. not.

or my buddy whose grandparent's last name was magically transformed in the halls of ellis island from "faybusovitch" to "bishop".

"What if it weren't you?"

Walker Percy intimated that question and similar ones in journal articles, essays, novels, and finally in a "Self" help book unlike any other you've run across.

How does the unknowable self, in unknowing despair, of the Kierkegaardian variety, awaken to itself, like an amnesiac suddenly coming to, perhaps on a battlefield, and beholding his hand, the first thing he sees, for the first authentic time.

I was struck by Branca's Catholic explanation of the fateful pitch to Thomson (maybe Bobby was tipped to the pitch by a confederate in the stands in the awesome daily cheat and lie that is may-the-best-man-win fair play America), that he was chosen by God for that moment because his faith would see him through, and then his Jewish explanation that God was punishing him for some original crime.

Two different ways of apprehending the self in the Cosmos.

I've often wondered about the stoicism of Bill Buckner in that regard and now I see that Larry David has worked Buckner's fate into his show, the suffering Jew recognizing suffering and resurrecting Buckner, the man.

http://www.showbiz411.com/2011/07/07/curb-your-enthusiasm-returns-the-red-soxs-bill-buckner-triumphs

What if Ralph Branca, instead of awakening to his Jewishness over lunch, had been told he really wasn't who he thought he was, but instead was Bill Buckner.

What then?

In related news, I see that the jackass, piece of subhuman co*kbulge cracker garbage Rick Perry, who somehow has gone directly to the head of the line to get some Texas slime all over the rest of us, has questioned Ben Sholom Bernacke's loyalty to his country and threatened him with some Texas "ugly", were the money Jew to set foot in that pile of sh*t state.

What, would Texans drag Bernacke wrapped in chains behind their 4 x 4, on any old drag-a-Jew-to-death Tuesday?

And this questioning of the White House nigger's loyalty to America as well? What's with that? It's so, I don't know, so JFK-murdered-in-Dallas of the place. (I'll only mention in passing hedge-fund co*ksucker and FOX filth Eric Bolling, who is all over the free airwaves today calling Warren Buffett a socialist)

Now I know for a fact there are some decent human beings domiciled in Texas (our own MacKinney Texas, former OBWI poster Publius, and I have a cousin and a couple of friends from down there), but I've got to ask, when you let one of your own go to the head of the line to represent y'all, is this the best you can do?

Along with that last piece of Republican sh*t who has nearly brought America to its knees.

Concealed carry? I hear tell Perry used to wear blue jeans so tight that he was constantly tugging at his crotch in public, so much that his nickname was "Crotch".

Then he murdered a probably innocent man, and then was acclaimed by some d*ckless Texan f*ck that "It takes balls to execute an innocent man!"

But this concealed carry deal? Perry won't say (but he managed to not say and boast about his big c*ck at the same time) whether he was carrying firepower during his Iowa sh*tstorm, despite the fact that I wouldn't be permitted to conceal carry at the same venue, so I guess all things are not equal in the Bogus Land of Hate.

Which raises a question about how one should behave in this armed clown casino saloon of an America the armed, vermin Teapublican Party is fashioning for the rest of us.

Say, you're sitting in a bar and you're concealed carrying a tidy sidearm, safety off, and Rick Perry is having a cool Christianist lemonade at the next table but is kind of staring at you and in that all-encompassing, judgemental, generalizing way cracker filth have about them, he has you sized up as one of them socialist, pansy, disloyal liberal gummint critters and you know he's carrying cause he's got two bulges in his big boy manpants and coyote blood on his tooled boots and ... suddenly .. he makes a quick, but in the excitement of the moment, very wrong-looking move toward one of the bulges, difficult to tell which is which.

Maybe he just giving himself a reach-around to sort of adjust his little-used manhood, and then again, maybe he wasn't, but was looking to grab some of that Lee Harvey Oswald firepower.

What is your choice at that moment?

I'd say, given the violent, threatening nature of the nitwit Confederate's public trash talk, and the cut of his coiffure, that a guy would be a real conservative if he drew his concealed pistol real quick-like and shot that dapper c*cksucker through his black heart and called it a victory for good, decent civilization.

Michelle Death Bachmann, in a bid to make Rick Death Perry look like the President of something (maybe Pakistan), today wished Elvis Presley, who was known to shoot TVs with his concealed carrys, and whose music she steals for her own purposes, a very Happy Birthday.

Course, today is the anniversary of the day the King died, which given every Republican's middle name, is probably why she's so happy.

Let's get that woman's finger on the red button, shall we. I can't wait to see her well-thought-out presidential position papers on murdering Americans by eliminating Medicare.

Also Sarah Death Palin skedaddled back to Alaska in the grifter van.


'I hear what you are saying, but aren't there things that you are that are based on what you were told by other people?'

If an individual allows or succumbs to this as some part of the essence of his/her being, the result is passive and an objective of others' consciousness. At times, this may result in being viewed as a victim, dupe, fool, or other not so flattering images, e.g. 'sex object'.

Better to be the 'subject' and act accordingly.

More murder in Texas. Or is it mass suicide? Can't wait until it all goes national. From Kevin Drum:

"Like many Texans, Alvin Berry voted Yes on Proposition 12, a 2003 initiative that limited pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice suits. “I think there are too many frivolous lawsuits,” he told Texas Monthly reporter Mimi Swartz.

But then Berry suffered some malpractice of his own: a doctor who ignored a set of plainly dangerous lab results for months. When the doctor finally ordered a biopsy, he discovered that Berry had prostate cancer that had spread to his bones in 20 places. He gave Berry five years to live.

Unlike Jordan Fogal, Berry had the right to go to court. In theory, anyway. In practice, as his lawyer explained to him, it’s now usually an exercise in futility. Because of the new damage caps, it’s not worth it for lawyers to take anything but the most slam-dunk cases. What’s more, even if you can find a lawyer to represent you, insurance companies have very little incentive to settle since their losses are limited by law. Thus, between court costs, attorneys’ fees, and other expenses, Berry would be lucky to recover $75,000. Maybe not even that much. Given that reality, was he really willing to sign up for two years of litigation? Most people aren’t."

What if Texas politicians weren't Texas politicans.

I'd still know what they are.

BTW, as we enter this political season, we see a lot of efforts to tell other people what or who they are as opposed to telling them the more important facts about what one likes or dislikes about their actual political acts and positions. President Obama seems not to approve of being called a 'socialist'. I find that amusing.

But then Berry suffered some malpractice of his own

Karma's a b*tch.

President Obama seems not to approve of being called a 'socialist'. I find that amusing.

It escapes me why "socialist" is a bad word.

Stalinist, Nazi, fascist. I get the opprobrium.

"Socialist" seems, to me, to be approximately the political economy analogue of "Quaker".

'It escapes me why "socialist" is a bad word.

Stalinist, Nazi, fascist. I get the opprobrium.

"Socialist" seems, to me, to be approximately the political economy analogue of "Quaker".'

Exactly. That's why I thought it amusing.

After a comment drought of several days' duration, nothing refreshes like a tall, cool glass of Countme-In.

As for the profound question of "self", I repeat something I have said many times before: "you" are not what you think, but what you say; not what you "feel", but what you do; not what's locked up in your heart or in your soul, but what escapes the event horizon of your own skin and affects the rest of the universe. As far as the universe is concerned, anyhow.

What I'm trying to say is best encapsulated by a question I once overheard someone ask a kibbitzer at the chess tables in Harvard Square: "Excuse me, sir, are you an a$$hole, or are you just acting like one?"

--TP

"'Socialist' seems, to me, to be approximately the political economy analogue of Quaker'."

Well, maybe that's because you've studied up, or something, russell. Because to a lot of people, words are connotations, as in Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Stalinists) or National Socialist German Worker's Party (NAZIs).

Not: "Socialism is a political and economic theory of that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole." But even if you do take the commonly accepted definition, it's really not about private enterprise. Obama is about private enterprise, regulated and assisted by government as necessary.

"You is a construct in someone else's consciousness and likely never matches reality."

"President Obama seems not to approve of being called a 'socialist'. I find that amusing."

Countme In are amused too.

Maybe Obama objects to being called a socialist because he isn't one. He's asserting a accurate sense of self against an in accurate label.

I guess the cowardly Republican murderous scum don't like armed opinionated liberals showing up at their "public" meetings:

http://www.balloon-juice.com/2011/08/16/the-best-democracy-money-can-buy/

Obama is about private enterprise, regulated and assisted by government as necessary.

Yes, I think that's about right.

Maybe Obama objects to being called a socialist because he isn't one.

Yes, I think that's about right.

I just find it very weird that we somehow changed from being a nation based on and dedicated to representative government and the rule of law, into a nation based on and dedicated to capitalism as a form of political economy.

That was not a given even as recently as forty years ago, when I was a kid.

Nowadays the question is not even on the table. To raise it is to count yourself among the speakers of some kind of crazy moonman gibberish.

I wish I could be amused, but I'm not. I'm stuck with disgusted.

Here's a place for them to hide. Stop momentarily at the border so I can kick you in your fat libertarian a*s as my tax dollars stamp your vermin passport:

http://www.balloon-juice.com/2011/08/16/ship-of-fools-no-really/

Floating, no building codes, weapons, but Dagny Taggert will be available for bukkake kaereoke (and maybe they'll even spell it correctly) Wednesdays.

I hope they take their non-productive whining Medicare mummys and daddys with them, but not before they turn in their scooters and catheters ouch!

GOB: "I find that amusing." (context: GOB observes Obama objecting to being called a socialist-and smirks).

Similarly, many, but not all, conservatives object to being called fascists. Well, now I guess we can both share a mutually good-hearted laugh, eh, GOB?

Ha. Ha. Ha. Ho. Ho. Ho.

"I just find it very weird that we somehow changed from being a nation based on and dedicated to representative government and the rule of law, into a nation based on and dedicated to capitalism as a form of political economy.

That was not a given even as recently as forty years ago, when I was a kid."

Really? I was also a kid 40 years ago. I remember capitalism being quite an important concept during those Cold War days. In fact, the country from the outset was built on the concept of private property. The Constitution protects property rights, and the right of contract. Certainly the New Deal days brought a larger role for government, but Roosevelt rejected the term "socialism" as applied to his policies.

I don't remember that many people called themselves socialists when I was a kid, although I do remember many people (including my own family) being liberal Democrats who believed in strong government regulation, worker protections through unions and collective bargaining, progress in civil rights, strong public education, social security, medical care, a strong social safety net - including food and basic housing guarantees, etc. But government can protect citizens while still maintaining the possibility of private enterprise, financed by private capital and powered by private innovation. In fact, most Democrats would argue that strong government (done wisely) can promote private enterprise by fostering a well-educated, healthy population, and promoting a healthy competitive environment where the rules of the game are enforced. This isn't socialism.

Where I do think times have changed is that "Gilded Age" legal doctrines have come back into fashion. This is mostly because the federal courts, since the Reagan era, have been populated with large numbers of Republican judges - a phenomenon that has significantly compromised the ability for individual humans to combat large corporate interests, both in court and in the voting booth. Most Democratic politicians, including Obama, are not more conservative than their predecessors (although Bill Clinton certainly represented the conservative wing of the party), but they used to have the help of the courts. Today's Democrats would have embraced, for example, the public health care option. Not wanting to be defeated by the organized health care lobby (the Harry and Louise phenomenon of the '90's), they chose an incremental approach (based on the "exchange" system). But even that more cautious program is facing the possibility of being struck down - something that, you're right, wouldn't have happened 40 years ago, because the courts were not anti-regulatory then. Most Democrats still want to "spread the wealth around" but face these stronger obstacles, because Republicans are more firmly entrenched.

The Republicans have maintained a consistent effort to bring about their agenda, whereas Democrats are intermittently enthusiastic, but then impatient, undisciplined, and apathetic, and don't get out the vote when they get "disappointed" that their leader doesn't see eye to eye with each and every one of them on every little thing. Meanwhile, on off years - when "disappointment" has its inevitable effect, there come more and more Republican judges (at every level) making more and more egregious decisions like Citizens United, making it more and more impossible for progress to be made.

In fact, the country from the outset was built on the concept of private property.

I would say this overstates a bit. The right to own private property and use it as you wish is certainly there, but it's not the whole enchilada.

And, the right to hold and use private property does not equal capitalism.

Nor does the right to hold and use private property mean that all property is private.

I do remember many people (including my own family) being liberal Democrats who believed in strong government regulation, worker protections through unions and collective bargaining, progress in civil rights, strong public education, social security, medical care, a strong social safety net - including food and basic housing guarantees, etc.

Yeah, me too. We remember the same things.

But government can protect citizens while still maintaining the possibility of private enterprise, financed by private capital and powered by private innovation.

Sounds good to me.

This isn't socialism.

I basically agree with you. Or, it's certainly not a total socialist program.

It's publicly owned and operated stuff filling in where it makes sense. Call it whatever you like.

To be clear, I'm not calling for or advocating socialism, in the classic sense of public ownership of the means of production. Certainly not all means of production.

It might make sense for a given thing to be publicly owned and operated, or it might not. There's nothing in our Constitution or our form of government that either requires or forbids either approach.

The only thing that is nailed down is that if property *is* private, the private ownership must be respected, and private contracts must also be respected.

Beyond that, it's a question of whatever makes sense. As far as I'm concerned.

Every citizen of the state of Alaska gets a check for not quite $2K, every year. Because the state of Alaska owns and manages the mineral rights for the benefit of the citizens.

Socialism? Yes, it is.

Is there a problem? No, not really.

I agree that, 40 years ago, very few people would have willingly embraced the label "socialism". Even though they supported, and participated in, many institutions that were publicly owned and operated.

I also agree that Roosevelt strongly wished to not have the New Deal innovations labelled as "socialist".

Both of those facts make my point. The United States has always had a mix of publicly and privately owned enterprises. And/or, privately owned enterprises with public support of one form or another.

We just can't call it socialist, or the flying monkeys will be launched. It's nutty.

I remember when the Soviet Union imploded, twenty years ago. It was seen, not as the triumph of Constitutional representative self-government, but of capitalism.

At that point, I said to myself, we're screwed, because we've forgotten why we started this whole experiment in the first place.

Nothing I've seen in the last twenty years has made me think any different.

I agree with you, russell, for the most part, except that I think Obama doesn't want to be perceived or labelled as "socialist" for the same reasons FDR didn't. Except that he has even more reason to worry about it since he's a scary, black Kenyan terrorist fist-bumper, etc., whereas Roosevelt was a wealthy blue blood.

I really enjoyed a comment by somebody named Tom on The Washington Monthly blog not long ago. I see now (because I was just looking for a link) that it was posted on Andrew Sullivan's blog, so I'll use that link here. It makes some sense to me, and at the very least, it's a thoughtful analysis.

I think Obama doesn't want to be perceived or labelled as "socialist" for the same reasons FDR didn't.

We're actually in agreement there.

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