Letters to the Editor

(April 7, 2008)


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"So?" Asked The Dark Lord: Jan Baughman's Five Years And Still Drinking The Kool-Aid

Aloha Jan,

Read your article first -- not because it was first -- but because of the title... How many people do not really "know"/remember the Kool-Aid???

Normally, I catch very little TV news, BUT, the other day with no children around, I "scanned" my reception (a bamboo pole with coaxial line measured to receive PBS from Maui, but I also catch with supreme clarity a church channel, FOX somewhat clear, and I think an ABC affiliate -- in other words, Martha Raddatz). I happened on the exact interview with seconds to spare on each side and saw "the dark lord" say "SO?" Have you actually seen it??? It completely blew my mind!!!

Essentially, I see no mainstream news and I guess this could be the norm, but I stopped in my dishwashing tracks and then turned back to PBS kids before I shut the whole thing down! If that brief segment could be played over and over (at least 7 times in the Rovian world...) a few more people would wake up!!! The arrogance of the expression and tone of voice DO NOT come through in your writing of the exchange, sorry to say. If you have not seen it, try -- it looks like a wonderful Barbara Walters couch/living room set and then he just says "So?" to all of us.

Just yesterday was a neighborhood (sort of) gathering (we live in the boonies also on the Hamakua coast and have LOTS of new folks/money/mansions on a hill -- far from our 640 square foot house -- with "mainland mentalities." I did not know over 1/2 of the attendees and they were not really from the neighborhood) An "old" neighbor, who built, bought, sold, profited all in two years, and is now working another space by a beach to do the same came up to a couple of us and baitingly asked, "so, who are you liberals gonna vote for?" Love the guy, he was a great "uncle-type" for my son (minus the wanting to take him to church thing), but I did not take it. I replied, "Well, I wish I had someone to vote for that really had the best interest of ALL of the American people in mind, but they don't seem to be around..." Conversation ended. If only there had been some Kool-Aid to offer and toast with....

Many of us "in the hood" are really striving to create community in the truest sense of the word, certainly that entails empathy that you ended with... Local community may be, sooner than we think, all that we really have. In Hawaii, when the barges and containers stop, and they will, life will change. Intellectual empathy, along with integrity and a few other "virtues" are in short supply, but, thankfully, with the work of you and Gilles, and many others that we do not hear of, not altogether missing!!! Yee Haa! Continue your excellent work (though a link -- M. Doliner -- I sent to my mother's financial advisor in Texas was considered a "left-wing liberal college professor's rant"). He has yet to respond to the questions I sent following the article -- asking someone "in the know," and giving the offer to explain, rather than relying only on my assumptions.

Malama Pono,

Mike Pacheco
Hakalau, The Big Island, Hawaii - March 24, 2008

[ed. "Well, I wish I had someone to vote for that really had the best interest of ALL of the American people in mind, but they don't seem to be around..." Hmm, why not try Ralph Nader? If you do not try, you'll never know, right? As for Cheney's arrogance not captured in Jan's article, the video can be viewed, at least as of today, at http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4482897 and http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Asked_about_US_opposition_to_war_0319.html (it has been removed from YouTube due to terms of use violations...)]


A Famous Citation: Jan Baughman interviews Gilles d'Aymery, Inside Swans' Engine Room (May 2006)

To the Editor:

Just in case no one has yet pointed it out to you, the framed quotation that you refer to in the interview on the 10th anniversary of Swans was from Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), the 30th president of the USA.

Joseph Turner
Portland, Oregon, USA - March 31, 2008

[ed. My thanks to Mr. Turner. I had always wondered the provenance of that citation. Here it is again: "Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." (Note that in the interview the last sentence is missing as it was not included in the frame.)


Beating a Dreadful Foreclosure: Michael Doliner's A Quick Look At The Credit Crisis

To the Editor:

Just one additional comment about my article on the credit crisis. If you are threatened with foreclosure you should read this article:

Banks Lose to Deadbeat Homeowners as Loans Sold in Bonds Vanish, by Bob Ivry, Bloomberg.com, Feb. 22, 2008.

The institution that is trying to foreclose on you needs to prove that they own the note, and with all the mortgage shenanigans of the last few years that is not always easy. You may get lucky. If the Fed can do a Bear Stearns you are allowed to use any legal means too. Their incompetence might let you off the hook!

Michael Doliner
Ithaca, New York, USA - April 2, 2008


Barack Obama, a Progressive? And America, a Democracy? Gilles d'Aymery's Blips #67

Hey Monsieur d'Aymery,

It must be April Fools Day because here, in Paris, commentators are all excited by the progressiveness of Barack Obama -- almost a leftist, they say.

More seriously, I'm getting confused by your strident declamation that the USA is a "most undemocratic country." That's not what the school books teach our kids -- you know, the greatest democracy in the world... Have you lost your mind?

Allez, bon vent. Give 'em hell.

Alouette Arouet
Paris, France - April 1, 2008

[ed. Increase the military budget, add 90,000 troops, keep all military options on the table, no universal health care... These are just four examples of how progressive Barack Obama is. But, hey, he's new blood. Clap on, clap off, clap on, clap off... Look, the only progressive candidate in the horse race is Ralph Nader. As to the greatest democracy in the world, read the Blips #68.]


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Published April 7, 2008
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