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Belly Button Lint

Original post made by Tom Cushing, Danville, on Nov 20, 2012

It’s navel gazing season again, as it is in the wake of every general election. Both sides are analyzing the results of this month’s electoral festivities, from very different perspectives.

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Comments (9)

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Posted by Heaven 17
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 21, 2012 at 9:49 pm

You, Mr. Cushing, are a clown. No, I take that back. You are a sophist. No matter what the point, your inept way, or ways of spinning yarn for the sake of a tall tale is... Boring. I think you argue for the sake of argument. Nothing compelling seems to dribble out of that hole beneath your nose. True, you do have the right to speak as you see fit. The problem is that you attempt to write in a way that appears scholarly, snobby and a great deal conceded. Instead of trying to impress the reader with what I assume is your poor excuse for academic brilliance, may I suggest you tone it down a notch and speak to the masses in a language that they can all understand.

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Posted by Dave
a resident of Danville
on Nov 21, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Yes, Tom, let's all follow Heaven 17's lead and take the spelling "down a notch," too, while we're at it.

Or maybe Heaven 17 should just go back to school and learn how to spell "conceited."

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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 22, 2012 at 7:47 am

IK, R?

I'm surprised that someone who uses "sophist" in a sentence has difficulty with the any of the words in my column. But it's probably true, to paraphrase the philosopher Dean Martin, that everybody's somebody's boring pedant. Tough grader, that H17.

That said, while he's right that I'm free to write this stuff, it's also true that no one is compelled to read it. Seriously!

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Posted by Thirdeye
a resident of another community
on Nov 23, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Trouble for the GOP is, they stopped being fiscal conservatives when they endorsed the Reagan and Bush deficits. Now they're the big-borrowing party of special interests. It's a cynial alliance of the super-rich, neocon imperialists, and religious and racial bigots. The Democrats are now the fiscally conservative party. A Republican party espousing true individual liberty a la Gary Johnson would be useful as a counterforce against the Democrats' propensity for ham-handed social engineering, but that is not the Republican Party we have today it seems at least a generation away. Jindal's belief that "softening the tone" of agendas that are fundamentally backward, vicious, and stupid will be enough shows that he still doesn't get it.

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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Thanks for your comment, Third Eye. What to do about/with the folks who ID and vote primarily as Evangelicals is a central GOP dilemma.

I don't know if they personally "get" it, but I think what Frum and Jindal are both saying is that the Religious Right has become a bit of an embarrassment to the GOP, and a barrier to attracting the new people the Party wants to grow with. That said, their continuing Influence is demonstrated by Marco Rubio's recent refusal to call bs on the Age of the Earth, and his characterization of that question as a "debate among theologians" (might there be a place for scientists at that table, Marco?).

If Evangelicals constitute about 25% of the Republican base, you risk a lot if you boot, try to muzzle, or even ignore them. And they will certainly weigh-in on important issues like climate change (mankind's dominion over the earth, and all that). I think that's a tough call.

It's also interesting how the GOP's reputation for fiscal discipline continues to endure, despite Mr. Reagan's downright Keynesian stimulus package, centered on the Defense infrastructure, and Mr. Bush2's what-was-he-thinking? The Tea Party wing certainly stands for that, to a fault in my view, but they can't command a Party majority, and their zeal makes them difficult partners in a coalition.

Anyway, thanks again for chiming-in in a way that invites discussion of the column -- I hope we get more of that.

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Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Nov 29, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Tom wants to help the Republican party??? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

Wait a minute. Let me catch my breath. Ok.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 29, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Help the GOP? Where’s you get that idea, S-P? I really just want to see them reclaim their Party from the Far Right. I’m very much in favor of reasonable opposition, because I think it’s healthy to have a reasonable debate. I could’ve voted for the reasonable Jon Huntsman, I think, and I hope he accepts another role in this Administration – Secretary of State would suit me fine. I was also hoping to encourage a conversation among Republicans about their Party’s future as they see it. Honest.

Maybe a personal story will help.

I was walking on the Carmel beach with my dogs over Thanksgiving weekend. A bottle washed-up, with a Genie inside -- he granted me a wish. I looked out over the beautiful ocean colors and thought about how I’ve always liked Hawaii -- but I hate to fly, and I get seasick.

“So,” sez I, “I’d like you to build me a bridge to Hawaii.” The Genie looked sad, and talked about all the difficulties of constructing such a bridge – the distance, the ocean depth, the tides and currents, storms, etc.

So I said, “Okay then, I want to understand how Republicans think. I want to know what the Tea Partiers think they’re doing, what the obstructionism is really all about, why they hate Mr. Obama with such a passion and why they think it’s their business to deny gay people full social participation. I also wonder how they think they can survive on mostly old white men.”

To which the Genie replied …

“Were you thinking two lanes, or four?”

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Posted by Mike Jilth
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Nov 30, 2012 at 11:55 pm

Were you talking to yourself on that beach too? And by the way, please do something about the format/file type that you use; .doc vs .docx perhaps?

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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Alamo
on Dec 1, 2012 at 9:24 am

Pretty much, yeah.

As to the "typeset" problem, it's a major PITA. I compose these things in M$Word 2010, then save them as a plain text document, then cut-and-paste them into the blank the DX provides to upload content. Usually they a fine for a few days, and then that funky punctuation shows up -- sometimes, but not always. I've also tried notepad, to no better avail.

Madame Editor has tried to get their IT person to solve it, as well, but so far no luck. Any specific suggestions would be worth a try, short of composing the whole article in the blank -- tried that, but got interrupted in the middle and it disappeared. Some long-suffering readers might consider that an improvement, it's not my "deliverable."

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