Sunday, September 28, 2008

On Sun, Sep 28, 2008 at 9:48 AM, Maura Domashinski <> wrote:


I am curious to read/hear your thoughts on this.




i was disappointed they didn't put "support capital punishment" in between say, abortion and euthanasia.

if you live in a state that has capital punishment, by inferrence, you support it. that's why i'm finally proud to be a nj citizen.

and as to "non-negotiable", all i can say is "who says?"

while it's most heartening people bring their religiously-born values to the public forum (see Stephen L Carter for all the wisdom you need on that point), it's quite another to say that "my list is non-negotiable".

one of the frustrating things about being a liberal is defending people's right to hold such views. certainly there are any number of people who will accept exactly that list because it's dressed in ecclesiastical garb; i grudgingly admit the view than you can bring a list of non-negotiable items to the public forum; i don't accept it on it's face. nor do i categorically endorse any of the five non-negotiable positions, though generally disagree with the stand against stem-cell research, and homosexual marriage (and generally agree with the others). if the catholic church doesn't want to sanctify same-sex marriage, it won't cause me to leave; if the state of nj were to pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting it, i'd think about relocating.

on the subect of who says this with what authority, since that aspect is important to a catholic, you will note the lack of official seal (imprimatur) on the document. while there are lots of quotes from cathoic teaching, they are editor's quotes, and selected to make political, rather than faith-based points. which is why no teacher of the faith (a bishop) has put his (sadly, only male) signature on the document. there are a handful of bishops who do endorse these points, and may consider this as the one non-negotiable list. though i'd chuckle to think if you considered those bishops of like mind that could all agree (without negotiation) the contents of the non-negotiable list.

and why hasn't this happened? becuase a sufficient plurality of catholic bishops, already financially strapped, would be loath to see the likely challenge to their tax-exempt status should anyone claim promulgating this list crossed the line of endorsing specific candidates. while they've cleverly avoided specific candidates, their implicit (and selective) endorsement by withholding sacraments is about as close as they dare go.

+=+-- dad

cc: cta-nj

Tuesday, September 16, 2008



   without reading your reply, something i failed to mention in my last letter:   recently on one of the movie channels, we saw Dr Zhivago.   it was big when i was a lad, possibly before your time.   as you know, it was written by boris pasternak, and if ever there was one to talk about the repressive soviet system, that evil against which we all struggle, it was pasternak. (or, ok maybe solzhenitsyn)  well, there's a moment in the movie, when the ... family, with ralph richardson as the father and geraldine chaplin as the daughter, where they are herded onto a cattle car, "only 50 to a car, we don't want you crowded",   and after the horrid sanitary rules are spelled out, a policeman shackles one of the "passengers", played by klaus kinski (i just checked) who has the line:  "I'm the only free person on this train", as he struggles with his shackles.

  so what did pasternak mean?

  i think you confuse "freedom" with "security".    those herded onto the cattle car not in shackles were simply going along.  the prisoner was the only one fighting for "freedom".   and, consequently, he was the only one who was free.  i'd observe the defenders (and occupiers) of freedom, are those who struggle against the closer evil.    it was _really_ interesting, the few lines in the movie, where the policeman/guard was assuring the human cattle that "the line is clear", sounds too much like the hollow assurances given by this, and a (not too likely) future republican administration.  "the battle is far away, don't worry. "

  i've put the movie "1984" on our netflix queue; it's not currently available.  i wonder why?   is it the news of the day looks too much like the perpetual state of war "far away".  that's the thing which most disturbed me about this administration's raison d'etre:  "we'll fight them over there so they don't come over here".   that has much more to do with a false sense of security than anything passing for freedom.

+=+-- Citizen Marty McGowan  & @
"you were so funny, it was all i could do to keep from laughing"

Monday, September 15, 2008

Re: ?? Obama on BAIPA

 other than your first two sentences, it was all drivel.  i heartily agree that freedom is in jeopardy.

the biggest threat to our freedom is right here.,  bush-cheney in their campaign of fear and abridgement of civil rights in the name of "safety" have been the biggest threat to freedom.

stop listening to those arguments which are UNcritcal if you want to find out about loss of freedom. 

your slavish alignment with this past administration is well detailed in "It Can't Happen Here", published > 70 yrs ago.  _exactly_ the same arguments were being made by people as un-equipped as yourself to see what was really happening.

cheney and karl rove set out to increase, if not aggrandize the power of the executive.  you would say "good, we need a strong firm hand on the ship of state."   to which i say, "not unless it's aware of the waters it's sailing in"   a subject manifestly clear to anyone who's ever taken even a dingy out of the smallest slip.  

my motto:

     reality over ideals
     people over things
     practical over all.

you still have yet to address how mccain represents change.  or is he lying to us?  are you willing to tolerate the lie?

McCain brings us

   a. same campaign staff
   b. same foreign policy, and
   c. same domestic/economic policy

as the most miserable 8 years in the nation's history.

When you respond to this one, then we'll examine how (or not) your president (surely NOT mine) increased our freedoms over his tenure.  

Since you took the trouble to write, I'll spare you the screed you deserve, except to offer this little insight.   I'm not feeling too sorry for the boys down on wall street who were packing their bags today, especially the rather large number who applauded elliot spiitzer's demise.   i feel badly, of course, of his betrayal of the public trust, but, i feel even worse that his demise, and loss of regulatory muscle was even a bigger tragedy for your daughter, my children and theirs than you care to acknowledge.

I hope you don't think the people who needed more regulation were likely Democratic, rather than Republican voters.   I'll give you any odds you want that the boys who gamed the system, inflated the values, and passed on the risk while skimming the cream were at least 3 to 1 republicans vs democrats.  Suggest i'm wrong there.

finally,  since you raise the subject of "values", we can work on that one later; you've guessed that i'm no more "reasonable" than you are, and deal my arguments from "faith" as you do.  _except_ i like my faith, which i "believe" really puts people first.


On Mon, Sep 15, 2008 at 3:01 PM, Wronka, Edward <> wrote:
In my own words....

I believe that the freedom that we in the United States enjoy isn't
guaranteed. Indeed, mere circumstances prevented Hitler from directly
attacking our freedom--i.e. he was separated by an ocean and the
Japanese army woke our nation up to the threat he posed before Hitler
was in a position to overcome the distance of the Atlantic ocean.

When I look at the world I see a huge divide between the haves and the
have-nots....those which have human freedom and those who do not.

      when i ride the NJ Transit NE Corridor from Linden thru Elizabeth and Newark,
    I see more "have nots" than you can imagine.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Re: ?? Obama on BAIPA


it's not that you are dumb; you've accepted your side's arguments on faith, which is not to be denied, a sound basis to take a position on, except, you refuse to admit it (therefore, i conclude you believe that somehow faith < reason)

the republican party is not dumb, indeed very smart, since it relies on it's ability to fool a great number of people to take positions contrary to their own best interests.

i'd be much more interested in your positions, faith-, and/or reason-inspired, if you told me what it was _costing_ you to take that position.

what i'm trying to tell you is that you're endorsing the positions of power brokers, who are asking _our_ people, yours and mine, to do the dying and financial sacrificing.   to the extent you refuse to consider that possibility you are not dumb, simply ignorEnt.

    ignorent:  (adj)  willful disregard of facts.

from Marty McGowan's Dictionary of Political Observation. 

i'm really only interested in what _you_ have to say, not some self-serving quote from anywhere.  you are yet to take on my observation that wrt the mccain campaign:

  •     the staff is Rove re-treads  (lincoln missed this one:  "you can fool enough of the people enough of the time" -- K Rove)
  •     the foreign policy is indistinguishable from the last 8 years,
  •     the tax policy is           "                         "                 "  (mega-dittos -- B. F. R. Limbaugh)

and that somehow these facts = change.  I don't think so.

Now as for Obama,  let's try civility for a while, even though his positions may represent some tired old liberal themes, not all that new (or liberal, according to the ubiquitous "some") , _except_ they haven't been tried for 8, or 28 years, take your pick, so i call it "change".

to mis-quote someone,  "it all depends on what your definition of ``change'' is"

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Are the Republicans Cynical

I was think of sending this one to Ed, but he's a little fed up on my rhetorical challenges of late.

Are the Republicans cynical when they use arguments, that could be turned against them, when they hope that voters can't play a little mental role reversal.   Let's see if this doesn't help answer the question.

The now-disgraced Phil Gramm had it right when he said we are a nation of whiners.  Actually there aren't that many.  Just enough to crowd into  (fill?) the Excel Center in St Paul.  As the Republican's listen to their red-meat wing, we are supposed to believe it's the media, and the sexist reportage that is the source of any anti-Palin sentiment.   For some time, I"ve felt if someone was calling you a {something}IST, you should pay attention. Am I a sexist, racist, capitalist, communist, .... ?   It used to be worth a gut-check.    Maybe the criticism is justified.   Not any more when it comes from a Republican.   "Let me tell you what you are, I know.  w.r.t. Palin any objection you have is because you are sexist.  Don't bother me with any facts.  That's the way it is."    Isn't that whining?

but why cynical?   a handful of people who orchestrate such simple drivel have thought it through;   "We can use this argument since the Democrats don't _dare_ use it's flip side:  they'd have to whine that the objections to Obama are racist.   They're not that stupid."   So that's where it lands.   "We can whine sexist and they don't have a comeback"

And, the good news is:  we stay off the issues.