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"Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness." -- Blaise Pascal

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Recent Comments

Re: “Walmart anti-union video gets leaked

"The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor." -- Voltaire

16 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Snapback on 05/20/2015 at 5:01 PM

Re: “An open line: And a piece of cake for Tom Cotton and a computer task force

My dictionary says the phrase '"take the cake" means "to carry off the prize: rank first." Maybe he has an egocentric compulsion not only to take the cake, but also to eat it all.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Snapback on 04/03/2015 at 4:57 PM

Re: “Local 'leaders' fuss about Quapaw plans for a casino

I ran across something in an introductory essay, by Lewis Lapham, to the Spring, 2015, issue of Lapham's Quarterly magazine that might help us understand what is happening here. (This issue's theme is "Swindle & Fraud.") He asks rhetorically why the power of governmental leaders "to win and hold the heart of a people," which Joseph Goebbels held to require and justify the use of propaganda "failed in Germany's Third Reich but not in Ronald Reagans America." Lapham quotes St. Augustine, one of the founding fathers of the Catholic Church, as writing what may be the answer, at least in part: "Not everyone who says a false thing lies, if he believes or assumes what he says to be true...that man lies, who has one thing in his mind and utters another in words." A person who says something false, yet not be lying, if he thinks what he is saying to be so.

Lapham summarizes, "Goebbels knew he was lying; Ronald Reagan did not."

Posted by Snapback on 03/20/2015 at 9:29 AM

Re: “Legislative freebie theme song today: Beer Barrel Polka

This is off-topic, except that it mentions an Arkansas politician who ran against Obama, and I'm not sure the link will work, but nevertheless:

"In an open letter to Iranian leaders, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and 46 other Republicans said that without congressional approval, any deal between Iran and the U.S. would be merely an agreement between President Barack Obama and Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei."…

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Snapback on 03/09/2015 at 8:52 AM

Re: “Civil rights Saturday open line

No, those days are not gone. President Obama was correct, of course, in saying today that there has been improvement since the sixties, but he was also quite right in saying that the march for civil rights is not over. I read again today part of Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail," written in 1963, and found it still as moving in these days of white flight from the city of their employment to live and pay taxes elsewhere, these days of state dissolution of a school board elected arguably due to the right to vote for which the Pettus Bridge atrocity was suffered. I wonder if those who push for charter schools and various other promotions of "school choice" instead of sharing the effort and cost of providing a first-rate public education equally to all of the district's children, equally precious to their parents and equally derserving of reasons to hope, would not also be moved by a thoughtful reading of the Birmingham Jail letter. Dr. King noted that many supposedly supportive fellow clergymen counseled patience and waiting for a more propitious time. Here is part of what he wrote:

"We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was 'well timed' in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word 'Wait!' It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This 'wait' has almost always meant 'Never.' We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that 'justice too long delayed is justice denied.'

"We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, 'Wait.' But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six year old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five year old son who is asking: 'Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?'; when you take a cross county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading 'white' and 'colored'; when your first name becomes 'nigger,' your middle name becomes 'boy' (however old you are) and your last name becomes 'John,' and your wife and mother are never given the respected title 'Mrs.'; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of 'nobodiness'--then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.…

9 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Snapback on 03/07/2015 at 8:29 PM

Re: “Mike Huckabee exaggerate? Say it ain't so

Some of the best-educated people in the world have had no college degree. Take Harry Truman for example a self-educated President of the United States who read voraciously and said, "The only thing new in the world is the history you don't know." On the other hand, there seem to be many people with college degrees, sometimes more than one, who have voluminous ignorance. Some of them have attained positions in government legislatures and administrations without knowing the difference between education and training!

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Snapback on 02/24/2015 at 12:37 PM

Re: “Conway set to consider anti-discrimination rule for city employees

Arkansas is not the only state in which a conservative legislature is blocking local leadership that is relatively more liberal. Take Texas [Please!]:

"Darren Hodges, a Tea Party Republican and the mayor pro tem of the windy West Texas city of Fort Stockton, is a fierce defender of his town’s decision to ban plastic bags. It was a local solution to a local problem and one, he says, city officials had a “God-given right” to make.

"But the power of Fort Stockton and other cities to govern themselves is under attack in the state capital, Austin. The new Republican governor, Greg Abbott, has warned that several cities are undermining the business friendly 'Texas model' with a patchwork of ill-conceived regulations. Conservative legislators, already angered by a ban on fracking that was enacted by popular vote in the town of Denton last fall, quickly followed up with a host of bills to curtail local power."…

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Snapback on 02/23/2015 at 2:22 PM

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