Thursday, January 07, 2010

Has anything changed in 30 years?

Just wandering around the web and stumbled back on this:

Jimmy Carter's "Crisis of Confidence" Speech from July 15, 1979.

The last eight years make Jimmy look like a prophet, which, he was.


Grant said...

Yes, but.

As a wise man once said, "If the audience esteems a given quality, we must say that our hero has that quality."

John Jost said...

If you think Al Gore is a moron, READ ONE OF HIS BOOKS, then come back.

Rich Kasten said...

A prophet, huh? That is a pretty high value put on a poor President, a Palestinian supporter, and a bitter old ex-President.

Hang your hat on somebody else - anybody else, Mark.

Mpeterson said...

Do you mean Jimmy Carter, the former President who oversaw greater US GDP growth than Reagan, helped to create the US nuclear Navy, taught Sunday School and won the Nobel Peace Prize, who got the Israelis to sit down with their enemies, who clearly enunciated the moral malaise that still grips America, was right about our dependence on foreign oil and the need for alternative energy development, and has spent most of the last 20 years helping alleviate disease in Africa and promoting Habitat For Humanity? That guy?

What I know for sure about him is that he's not bitter.

I was happy to vote for him in 1976 and haven't been as happy since.

Call me a romantic, Rich. History shows that siding with the human values of justice and moral decency against economic or ideological ones doesn't usually pay off, but it's a losing side I don't mind being associated with.

If you prefer Reagan, with his lower GDP, massive debt accumulation, shifting the tax burden on to the middle class, and conducting illegal wars -- but what a smile, eh? -- you're welcome to him.

Rich Kasten said...

Surely you are not going to point to a Nobel Peace Prize as an accomplishment - Arafat? Obama?

Isn't it a great feeling when you romantically look back at only the positives - or perceived positives? What a prophet - supporting the takedown of the Shah of Iran... Now we have to deal with much worse.

And you really have the rose colored glasses on if you do not know he is bitter. Routinely he talked about his embarrassment by American dealings when overseas (Guantonimo, etc.) And his continuous bringing up of racism with those that do not agree with Obama has worn thin.

Mpeterson said...

Every American who's spent any time overseas has experienced that, Rich. -- I mean, if they get out of their hotels and get to meet regular people.

It isn't bitterness to be disappointed when your country misbehaves. I used to be able to go to China and hold my head up and say "yeah, in America, we don't allow political prisoners, in America we don't hold people in prison without charging them, in America we believe in the dignity of the individual and never torture people." Shoot, aren't you embarrassed by the fact that the Chinese can now say that we're no different than they are? I am.

But that's not bitterness, that's just disappointment.

But are you kidding about the Shah?? Do you actually know any Iranians? I knew tonnes of them in college -- all of them middle and upper middle class kids sent to America *by the Shah* to pick up engineering and medical degrees and essentially every last one of them hated him with a passion. Every last one of them was trying to figure out how NOT to go home and how to get their families out. SAVAK made the Gestapo look like a bunch of kindergarten teachers. We tolerated this behavior, as we always did in those days, (remember who put him into power) because of the Soviets.

His overthrowal was his own doing, and inevitable.

Rich Kasten said...

So then you have no problem with our going into Iraq then and removing another bad leader? Good to know! When we finally invade Iran and remove the same - I can count on a post with support.

By your rationale - Bush was a prophet then as well!

Rich Kasten said...

Oh, and the Gitmo guys - they are prisoners of war - not political prisoners. But, I am sure you already know that.

Mpeterson said...

In fact, the "prisoners" at Gitmo *aren't* prisoners of war, Rich -- as you should very well know.

They're "enemy combatants"-- a phraseology implemented specifically to avoid the implications of treating them as "prisoners of war" -- something Mr. Bush and his cadre understood perfectly well. This is the very distinction that justified their use of rendition and torture and dodged our treaty obligations and made American look like a gang of vengeful and entitled adolescents.

But I'm even more disappointed by what I can only characterize as your willful ignorance about all of the points you dodged. You're usually so much more careful and thoughtful when it comes to economic matters closer to home.

Rich Kasten said...

Enemy combatants, prisoners of war, potato, potato (that phrase does not work when typed). Can't argue the points I bring up, so you bring up the ones I didn't address? Seems as though two are playing the game.

I think you need the semester break to end and get back in the saddle.