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Old 10-25-2013, 12:37 PM   #931
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I get the impression that anyone who holds the founding fathers on such high pedestals are obsessed with thinking that America is so superior to other nations. Its kind of like they are also saying Jefferson, Washington, Hancock and all the others were like messiahs of some sort. Granted, many people in other countries may be very proud of their founders, or those who built their country up, but our attitude seems more snooty than simple national pride.
I really don't have a problem with "myth" - it is has a place in every culture. The important thing about any myth is the "idea" - not the particulars of the life of the mythic figure. We have to agree that "America" has been one heck of an experiment. Despite the human weakness of many of the "Founding Fathers" - their documents have withstood the test of time because they have a firm foundation, but enough flexibility to move along with the forces of social change. Sort of like a modern skyscraper, strong enough at the bottom to be built tall, but flexible enough at the top to withstand high winds and earthquakes.

Unfortunately, many focus on a single aspect of Founding Fathers (the fact they were Christian [even if by culture more than by choice] - or that some had slaves and were hypocrites) - but the most important aspect of these men are the ideas that they conveyed and the documents they produced.

The words of the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble of the Constitution are historic and beautiful - as well as the Gettysburg Address (not technically a "founding" document, but certainly captures the America we are still trying to bring forth). Conservatives can't stake claim to these any more than liberals...they transcend politics.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:39 PM   #932
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Well stated.
Thank you
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:42 PM   #933
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I really don't have a problem with "myth" - it is has a place in every culture. The important thing about any myth is the "idea" - not the particulars of the life of the mythic figure. We have to agree that "America" has been one heck of an experiment. Despite the human weakness of many of the "Founding Fathers" - their documents have withstood the test of time because they have a firm foundation, but enough flexibility to move along with the forces of social change. Sort of like a modern skyscraper, strong enough at the bottom to be built tall, but flexible enough at the top to withstand high winds and earthquakes.

Unfortunately, many focus on a single aspect of Founding Fathers (the fact they were Christian [even if by culture more than by choice] - or that some had slaves and were hypocrites) - but the most important aspect of these men are the ideas that they conveyed and the documents they produced.

The words of the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble of the Constitution are historic and beautiful - as well as the Gettysburg Address (not technically a "founding" document, but certainly captures the America we are still trying to bring forth). Conservatives can't stake claim to these any more than liberals...they transcend politics.
I agree and I'm proud that the US achieved so much as a result of this experiment. I just don't like the superiority complex some people have in regards to that.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:51 PM   #934
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I agree and I'm proud that the US achieved so much as a result of this experiment. I just don't like the superiority complex some people have in regards to that.
Yes - the problem is with the current batch of conservatives trying to re-write the myth. If I were a Democratic candidate, I would really focus on the "purpose" of the whole system: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. To me, that covers everything from income equality to universal healthcare to the NEA to education to a strong defense. I would be quoting the Founding Fathers and Lincoln all the time.

My opening statement: "The Republican Party stole these myths from our Fourth Grade textbooks, we're stealing them back."
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Old 10-25-2013, 04:42 PM   #935
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For everyone wondering why there's always two political parties here, no matter how often Americans grumble about it, here is why:

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“The desire for a third party is not sufficient to ensure there will be one,” Mr. Jones adds. “Structural factors in the U.S. election system and the parties’ own abilities to adapt to changing public preferences have helped the Republican and Democratic parties to remain the dominant parties in U.S. government for more than 150 years. Third parties that have emerged to challenge their dominance have not been able to sustain any degree of electoral success.”
Read more: Third party fever: record number of Americans want a political alternative - Washington Times
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Old 10-27-2013, 05:56 AM   #936
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NYT: In Fed and Out, Many Now Think Inflation Helps
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:06 AM   #937
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I said it here more than once that inflation is likely our best way out. Maybe the only way at this point.
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Old 10-27-2013, 01:08 PM   #938
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For everyone wondering why there's always two political parties here, no matter how often Americans grumble about it, here is why:
In the Virginia governor's race, it's good to see the 3rd party candidate doing well in the polls (Sarvis at around 10-12%). I may vote for him over the Democrat (McAuliffe). This may be the most popular 3rd party candidate Virginia has had.
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:10 PM   #939
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In the Virginia governor's race, it's good to see the 3rd party candidate doing well in the polls (Sarvis at around 10-12%). I may vote for him over the Democrat (McAuliffe). This may be the most popular 3rd party candidate Virginia has had.
But how far would it go and for how long? Every time we get hope that a third political party would become more mainstream (thanks to the moderate success of Ross Perot, Jesse Ventura, Ralph Nader, etc.) nothing happens and we continue with the same warring Democrats and Republicans. The quote I used from the link I posted perfectly explains why it is almost a fantasy that there will be a major third party in this country.
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:17 PM   #940
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From that same NYT piece on inflation:

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All this talk has prompted dismay among economists who see little benefit in inflation, and who warn that the Fed could lose control of prices as the economy recovers. As inflation accelerates, economists agree that any benefits can be quickly outstripped by the disruptive consequences of people rushing to spend money as soon as possible. Rising inflation also punishes people living on fixed incomes, and it discourages lending and long-term investments, imposing an enduring restraint on economic growth even if the inflation subsides.

“The spectacle of American central bankers trying to press the inflation rate higher in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis is virtually without precedent,” Alan Greenspan, the former Fed chairman, wrote in a new book, “The Map and the Territory.” He said the effort could end in double-digit inflation.

The current generation of policy makers came of age in the 1970s, when a higher tolerance for inflation did not deliver the promised benefits. Instead, Western economies fell into “stagflation” — rising prices, little growth.
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Old 10-27-2013, 03:18 PM   #941
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But how far would it go and for how long? Every time we get hope that a third political party would become more mainstream (thanks to the moderate success of Ross Perot, Jesse Ventura, Ralph Nader, etc.) nothing happens and we continue with the same warring Democrats and Republicans. The quote I used from the link I posted perfectly explains why it is almost a fantasy that there will be a major third party in this country.
The two major parties' approval ratings are at or near all time lows (43% for Democrats and 28% for GOP). I think we'll see more successful third party candidates over time if the trend of declining approval of the major parties continues.
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Old 10-27-2013, 05:49 PM   #942
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From that same NYT piece on inflation:
A lot of the reluctance re: inflation precisely comes from the experience of the 1970s. The problem with inflation is that you want some inflation but not too much. Except that the rate of inflation can be very hard to control, particularly when it exceeds a threshold, past which you can very quickly find yourself in a hyperinflation type of scenario.

But I really don't see a viable third way out...at this point I really believe that inflation is the best tool we have. The reactionary views borne of the 1970s have, IMO, helped create the current situation.
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:18 PM   #943
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Inflation won't solve the debt problem if deficits are high. If debt it high, it will bring that down in real terms, but debt will climb higher if the government is forced to pay higher yields on its debt. And inflation could spook investors into demanding higher yields for a time after it dies down, in case the inflation happens again.
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:49 PM   #944
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I think the writer(s) of the Declaration chose the word "Creator" very specifically - in order to be generic. Meaning - anyone can fill in the blank. Jefferson was known as a Deist - a believer in the idea of a perfect, transcendent being that may have ultimately "created" the universe and its governing principles - but is not intimately involved in the daily lives of men.
Yes, correct. And because the Constitution also reaffirms the natural right of freedom of conscience the religious faith, or lack thereof, of the citizen is largely irrelevant. What is important is the nourishment of the belief that certain rights exist irrespective of the government.

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Yes - the problem is with the current batch of conservatives trying to re-write the myth.
It would be harder for conservatives to "re-write" the myth if the president wasn't always re-writing the Declaration
Obama Omits "Creator" from the Declaration of Independence - YouTube
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If I were a Democratic candidate, I would really focus on the "purpose" of the whole system: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. To me, that covers everything from income equality to universal healthcare to the NEA to education to a strong defense. I would be quoting the Founding Fathers and Lincoln all the time.
You lose me here.
The Constitution is a document limiting the scope of the federal government and the Bill of Rights are negative rights in that they protect the citizen from government. In other words, the Constitution is a document to protect the rights of citizens and the civil society from an abusive government; not a guarantor of positive rights such as the right of equality of outcome, the right to heath care or the right to a job with a living wage. It is the civil society (including private enterprise)--not a top-down-centralized government--conservatives argue is the most efficient and moral method to develop, deliver and administer health care, education, charity, energy, housing, food, etc.
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:19 PM   #945
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Inflation won't solve the debt problem if deficits are high. If debt it high, it will bring that down in real terms, but debt will climb higher if the government is forced to pay higher yields on its debt. And inflation could spook investors into demanding higher yields for a time after it dies down, in case the inflation happens again.
Um, the deficit's been at its lowest right now.

What People (Don’t) Know About The Deficit

Google Consumer Survey: How do you think the US Federal Government's yearly budget deficit has changed since January 2010?
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