OtherArea: orange mound (by way of houston)
i said many years and that was a lie.
prior to my post last april it had been approximately 2 years, not may years as i stated.
my bad! :-)
i am writing a commentary on one of your aticles for the first time in many years.
in general i have found you to be a sober and fair political pundit about all things political in TN and (especially) MEMPHIS, even if your political inclinations and proclivities were veiled in a sometimes esoteric but always entertaining exegesis of the topic du jour.
i found your cogent and pithy analysis at once both entertaining and enlightening..... all the more so, given my background as an erstwhile democrat from ORANGE MOUND turned Libertarian who now resides in TX.
i became disenchanted with the "progressive" dominated democrat party approximately 10 years ago as a medical student in st. louis. i found that upon returning to MEMPHIS for my residency, i continued to morph into a more independent minded citizen who valued independence, agency, personal responsibility, and INFORMED civic engagement above fealty to a political party and that political party's agenda.
i have now become equally disenchanted with you Mr. Baker as i have seen you morph as well. unfotunately your metamorphosis has been into someone who seemingly is content to conform to the political wind du jour.
that is to say, in the past i appreciated your analyses because despite your leanings (read ideology) i always felt that you gave both arguments a fair shake with your final analysis favoring a nuanced argument in favor of the more "progressive" of the arguments.
i fear that such aplomb has been abandoned on your part in favor of "carrying the water", if your please, for your side.
it is most disconcerting Mr. Baker.
GODSPEED to you.
"the woods are lovely, dark, and deep
but i have promises to keep
and miles to go before i sleep
and miles to go before i sleep"
I must admit a longstanding appreciation of Jackson's musings on memphis politics, having measured him as a fair, conscientous and reasonable reporter who, but virtue of his background as a non-journalist, brings to the arena of local political reporting an oft needed but seldom realized air of intellectual curiosity and intellectual honesty.
it seems that most reporters on politics have an agenda that is about as tacitly veiled as Shaquille ONeal's height is.
that is why i am shocked that he would attach his name to this patently partisan piece of propaganda. I mean I'm really shocked by this.
i suppose there is the whole guilt by association thing not being particularly relevant in this setting since the byline for the tea party piece is clearly that of chris davis, however i find it keenly interesting that jackson's piece on the coon dinner -an objective assessment informed by years of following all things political in the Volunteer state- is paired with the hucksterism masquerading as journalism present in Chris Davis' piece.
this piece is at once both puzzling and informing.
One of the things that makes the BIG 3 much less competitive is the contractual arrangements arranged by the UAW. This allows UAW workers to earn twice what their counterparts at BMW,Mercedes Benz, Nissan, Toyota, & Honda make (not including benefits). When benefits for current & retired workers are factored in, it places the BIG 3 at a disadvantage when compared to the aforementioned foreign car companies that manufacture cars in this country.
now if u think that a 14 billion dollar bailout is going to correct this ongoing competitive disadvantage, then by all means support it.
if however you have a working knowledge of basic macroeconomics then you understand that the business model forced upon the BIG 3 by the UAW is a model doomed for failure. Even if the CEOs forfeited their large salaries(which i wish they would on principle alone), the downward spiral of the BIG 3 would continue.
corker, et. al, were attempting to address the flawed business model employed by the BIG3 in requesting these concessions, without causing bankruptcy(which will ultimately cause the BIG 3 AND the UAW to address the flawed business model currently in place).
i think corker is doing the fiscally responsible thing in this age of RECORD-SETTING spending deficits by the federal government. give him some credit for his resolve and priciples.
it's about time. Godspeed!
america is hardly a warmongering nation. i have readily admitted that the war in iraq was a mistake. allow me to further qualify that statement by saying that the iraq war was the biggest mistake in foreign policy that this country has ever made. we have a dumb, ill-informed president( who drank too much of the kool-aid that the neocons were shoveling into his mouth by the shovel-full) and a feckless congress to blame for that.
i stand by the president's decision to go to war with afghanistan however because they were directly responsible for the attacks of 9-11. our focus should have remained on afghanistan and a policy of containment should have been instituted to deal with iraq and its putative ties to islamic fundamentalist terrorists(note i am not impungning all muslims only fundamentalists who want a nuclear conflagration to hasten the return of the islamic messiah, the mahdi).
to jump from an ill-conceived war initiated by an ill-informed president and feckless congress to the posited position that we have a perpetual desire for war due to a bloated military budget is not only a non sequitir but is dangerous.
our defense budget is huge and could probably have stood to be cut prior to the iraq debacle, but to cut the defense department's funding at this point would be irresponsible. i don't know how many ways to express this FACT to you anti-war people: the islamic fundamentalist terrorists have expressed a desire to obtain nuclear weapons to create a nuclear armageddon and hasten the arrival of the islamic messiah, the mahdi. many believe that such a nuclear conflagration will begin with the USA and israel and spread around the world until the mahdi and allah quench the conflagration and establish a new world order with a muslim caliphate the world over. THEY REALLY BELIVE THIS SHIT!!!!!
listen to what these people say because they do not even pretend to sugarcoat this stuff. read it for yourself on the myriad websites on which they have posted this crap.
get your head out of the sand and realize that the world has bad players in it that wish us, and the rest of the civilized world, much harm.
i don't know what is more disheartening, the palpable contempt for the military voiced by the author or the support for the author's stance voiced by a clearly uninformed commentator.
the korean and vietnam wars were not cooked up by the pentagon to maintain the military's relevance. they were ill-fated attempts to manage the coldwar throught the containment policy initiated by one of America's briliiant political strategists, the Princeton political science professor George Keenan. He was also, by the way, the main architect of the Marshall Plan. His intellect was vast and his love of his country was even more all encompassing.
the korean and vietnam wars were responses to soviet/chinese attempts to expand the communist empire into indochina and the pacific rim.
the success of these campaigns can be argued, but to place the impetus for these wars on the pentagon is not only ill-informed but dangerous because the promulgation of such rhetoric endangers the very existence of our military.
since time immemorial nations from south africa to japan, china to rome, egypt to tenochtitlian have held the warrior in high esteem. with the advent of western governement it has been the warrior-statesman that has been held in high esteem. why? because every one of these nations recognized that the ability to defend there borders from outside aggressors was the most important responsibility of government/nationhood. without such warriors life is a never ending series of conflicts and pillaging.
fast forward to 2007. people in this nation now hold our warriors (read soldiers in today's parlance) in contempt. i suspect this stems from an attempt by americans to be more global in their outlooks. this is INCREDIBLY dangerous. these people turn to europe or south america or other socialist nations for our moral, political, and social compass.
this is even more dangerous. did these people forget that it was france who gave the world the marquis de sade, the bastille, the capricious barbarism of the french revolution that many academics revere. Socialism/Marxism that gave the world the killing fields of cambodia and the gulag of the soviet union. we should not be so quick to look to other nations for our moorings. it will ultimately prove to be our undoing.
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By Richard Alley
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