The only movies I’ve seen with Gene Wilder are The Producers, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask, Silver Streak, Stir Crazy, and one of my favorite movies ever, Young Frankenstein, which he co-wrote. They were all released between 1967 and 1980. But he was always excellent then and in a couple of episodes of Will and Grace early this century. Gene Wilder on The Truth | Blank on Blank | PBS Digital Studios, plus Evanier and Tom Straw remember.
After Frank Gifford died last weekend, someone wrote, “Many happy memories sitting on the couch with my dad watching Gifford and the New York Giants on a Sunday afternoon.” True of my dad and me as well. Later, I watched him co-host Monday Night Football.
This is some hope for you liberals who are feeling a bit… down after November 4.
Somehow, I have received in the (snail) mail the current (October 2014) issue of Imprimis. The article, The Case Against Liberal Compassion by William Voegeli, the Senior Editor of Claremont Review of Books, arrived right after the 2014 midterm elections. He attacks “the five big program areas that make up our welfare state.”
Basically, it’s the same old trope about liberals using other people’s money to do good. He uses the Affordable Care Act, and specifically the disastrous rollout of the Obamacare website as “proof”, ignoring the value of the actual program to the previously unemployed.
In fact, I believe that it would be a very good thing to reduce the number of working families who are on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which I knew as Food Stamps. Ultimately, the government is supplementing Wal-Mart and McDonalds and those other businesses providing less than livable wages to their employees, expanding the welfare state.
Everything the Democrats support is on the wrong scale: We want to raise the minimum wage, and subsidize your health insurance, and pay women the same as men, and cut back the war on minor drugs, and create jobs building infrastructure, and put a little less carbon in the air. All good stuff…
What the current Democratic strategy misses is precisely the caring-about-things-that-don’t-directly-affect-you that the Republican story inspires…
It may also provide some hope for you liberals who are feeling a bit… down after November 4.
So, yes, I’ll still accept the liberal mantle. Unlike the straw horse argument by Voegeli, I DO value the implementation of efficiency. Too often, though, those “efficiencies” are implemented to either line the pockets of the connected or obfuscate the real problems.
Flag-waving, depending on whom you talk to, is either something one overthinks or doesn’t think about at all…
I’ve never owned any flag, unless Phillies pennants or rainbow Gay Pride banners count.I’m not what you would call a flag-waver. Now that I had one, I felt more puzzled than partisan. What if I spilled something on it? Burnt it in the fireplace by accident?
This debate turned into an allegory for my relationship with my country. Right wingers like my father revere flags and distrust government; lefties like me find flag-waving an empty gesture and place more importance on public trusts. I was of the same mind as Samuel Johnson, who wrote that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.
I’m rather of the same mind as Nester, who I have met in real life, though, in fact, I do have some little US flags in our house, almost all of them secured by The Daughter
Rex Smith, the editor of that same publication, what my friend Dan Van Riper calls the local Hearst rag, wrote on July 4:
Real patriotism demands accommodation of our vast differences. American democracy is fueled by disagreement: Losers and winners are equally entitled to express and hold their conflicting beliefs. You’ve got to love a country that really delivers on that promise.
So it’s hard not to view the rise of hyperpartisanship as an unpatriotic development. It’s not enough nowadays to argue passionately over issues. Now the path to victory usually includes character assassination and vows not to have anything to do with the other side. Instead of viewing issues pragmatically, and resolving conflicts with a solution that works best for the most people, politicians and thought leaders now pitch arguments as moral conflicts and demand dogmatic allegiance.
Hyperpartisanship, which I noted a few days ago is rampant in America, often paints people like me as unpatriotic; this, perhaps unsurprisingly, really ticks me off. I mean What IS American culture? I may spend the rest of my life figuring that out.
I’d probably be categorized as a liberal – though I wouldn’t necessarily write that in my Times Union blog, like Ken Screven did – I find it useful to read other points of view. That doesn’t mean that I need to read/listen to Rush Limbaugh, because I’ve deemed him an unreliable reporter, let’s say. Still, I find no need to sign online petitions to have his show canceled.
I see myself as a patriot. I vote, ALWAYS. I do really well on those online citizenship tests, such as this one (50/50, thank you very much) and this one and even this one, as an old political science major should.
Blind allegiance, though, is not my thing. Which reminds me, I know the fourth verse of the Star-Spangled Banner, from memory, and more songs deemed patriotic than most – did you know Hail, Columbia [LISTEN] was essentially the national anthem before 1931? – a function of learning them in fourth and fifth grade.