Presidents Day Open Thread

Your turn. Here's an open thread, all topics welcoem.

< Comparing Systems of Military Detentions and Trials | Occupy Prisons Day >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    President's Day (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by lentinel on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 02:20:27 PM EST
    Let's see.

    Lincoln, a great president, was born on February 12th.
    Let's commemorate his birth.

    But Washington, born on February 22nd was our very first president. We should commemorate his birth too....

    That's an awful lot of commemoratin'.

    I have it: Let's split the difference, celebrate somewhere between the two and sell towels and bed sheets at a discount.

    Now you're talkin'.

    My grandmother was born on (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Anne on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 02:36:14 PM EST
    February 22, and her parents named her "Georgia;" she's been gone now since 1972, but I remember her every year on what I still think of as "Washington's Birthday."

    Good grief, telling that story makes me feel older than dirt ...


    my grandfather (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 03:44:05 PM EST
    was born on February 22, 1892, & died in 1967

    but he was basically a mean old coot, so it takes something like your comment to remind me that this would have been his 120th birthday


    forgot to say (none / 0) (#20)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 03:44:43 PM EST
    his middle name was George

    Anne (none / 0) (#25)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 05:20:07 PM EST
    can you repost your comment about Marcy's post without quoting so many paragraphs? Thanks, I had to delete your comment because it quoted way too much.

    You can still call it Washington's Birthday :) (none / 0) (#56)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 07:44:19 AM EST
    (even though according to old style calendars, his birthday was probably February 11th).

    The legal holiday name, under Section 6103 of Title 5 of the United States Code, is "Washington's Birthday."

    There is no legal holiday called "President's Day", and in fact, was basically a creation of retail establishments after the holiday was moved to the 3rd Monday in February.


    Geroge Santayana (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Zorba on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 07:00:41 PM EST
    said it all:

    "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"

    And repeat, and repeat, and repeat.  Apparently, we'll never learn.   :-(


    And Hegel said, (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by desertswine on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 07:51:22 PM EST
    The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.  

    At walmart ;-) (none / 0) (#12)
    by Edger on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 02:33:17 PM EST
    Yeah (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by cal1942 on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 05:59:08 PM EST
    Let's all be Yankee Doodle dandies buying Washington's Birthday stuff made in China.

    What a sorry state we're in.


    Well, but (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Edger on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 07:01:40 PM EST
    walmart is an American "people" now too according to Citizens United, no? So it would really be buying American, wouldn't it? And probably 99% of the money you spend there would go to support Sam in heaven, right?

    Santorum: bible says it's OK to ruin the planet (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 12:07:59 PM EST
    I see that he has really gone there - The Lord said man has dominion over the plants and animals, so what's all this worry about climate change and pollution for?

    when your destination is heaven (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by CST on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 12:12:57 PM EST
    I guess it doesn't really matter what happens on earth right?

    The luxury of not caring.


    Santorum has friends in high places, apparently (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Edger on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 12:59:14 PM EST

    Barack Obama has been just as zealous as George Bush in stripping away environmental, health and safety protection at the behest of industry, it turns out.

    Some environmental organisations were beginning to suspect this, after Obama over-ruled his scientific advisors and blocked stronger ozone standards. Now, a new report [pdf] from the Centre for Progressive Reform has dug up some key data revealing that the White House in the age of Obama has been just as receptive to the pleadings of industry lobbyists as it was in the Bush era. And it goes far beyond ozone.

    Under Obama, a little known corner of the White House - known as the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, or Oira - has changed more than 80% of the rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

    None of these were changes for the good, the report says.

    "Every single study of its performance, including this one, shows that Oira serves as a one-way ratchet, eroding the protections that agency specialists have decided are necessary under detailed statutory mandates, following years -- even decades -- of work."

    The only difference (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 04:54:59 PM EST
    ...is that the environmental lobbyists aren't SCREAMING when Obama does it.....

    Well, environmentalists are (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Edger on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 06:43:42 PM EST
    ( 22,000,000 results ) but they are getting virtually zero mainstream media coverage.

    Obama supporters are pretty quiet about it though, for some reason. Like they've been pretty silent about things like this, too.

    It would be a lot worse if a republican president was doing these things though - then you wouldn't be able to hear yourself think over the screams of Obama supporters and their demands for impeachment.


    Repeat performance of Reagan's (none / 0) (#66)
    by christinep on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 12:29:42 PM EST
    Secretary of the Interior, James Watt.  Most mainline religions emphasize Stewardship responsibility of humankind to care for the Earth given us (including Roman Catholics.). Santorum echoes the Dominion statements & approach so publicized during Reagan's first term...a position at the core of unmitigated & loosely regulated development...oil pipelines & all.

    There is a very interesting 16 minute interview (none / 0) (#1)
    by Edger on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 01:00:51 PM EST
    this morning from TRNN. Pay Jay talking with journalist Max Blumenthal in a very wide ranging discussion of the Israeli and US creep towards attacking Iran, discussing among other things Obama being manipulated and boxed in by Israel through Lieberman and Republicans into doing their bidding.

    Also Netanyahu's fearmongering in Israel about an Iranian bomb is starting to cause a pending brain drain in Israel - the best and brightest most highly educated Ashkenazi Israeli's are applying for passports and preparing to leave Israel - move Israeli demographics away from a Jewish majority. In other words Netanyahu's own fearmongering is threatening to destroy the Zionist State.

    General Dempsey weighs in also...

    US General: "Iran a Rational Actor", but is US one?

    I don't see Obama being boxed (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 01:33:13 PM EST
    in by Israel.  We don't want Iran to have nuclear capabilities.  When Obama first came into office he sent giant bombs to Israel to "deal" with this.  I believe he has sent them "parts" to build even larger ones....probably with an instruction booklet :)  We are using Israel to do what we don't want to be responsible for doing.

    I don't think it matters (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Edger on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 01:58:14 PM EST
    who is publicly "seen" to be doing it. Either way it will be the US Government doing it either directly or through a proxy. And it will make the current global economy look like boom times.

    Also, in a vindicating(?) testament to the delivery of freedom and democracy at gun, bomb, and drone point around the world, several thousand Pakistanis joined Taliban and other US listed "terror groups" as they poured onto the streets of Islamabad Monday, chanting "death to America"...

    "America can never be our friend, it is our biggest enemy. America will be defeated in Afghanistan and divided into pieces," Mian Aslam, a former lawmaker from the religious Jamaat-e-Islami party told the rally.

    Banners strung up in Islamabad denounced US drone strikes on Islamist militants, the government's decision to grant India most favoured nation status in a bid to ease trade, and re-opening the Afghan border to NATO convoys.

    "Go America Go," "No to NATO," "Arrogant Americans - others are also human beings," and "the chains of slavery will now break up," they read.

    "The friend of the US is a traitor," "the friend of (Pakistani President Asif Ali) Zardari is a traitor" and "the friend of (Afghan President Hamid) Karzai is traitor," shouted the crowd.

    On the lighter side (none / 0) (#8)
    by Edger on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 02:04:51 PM EST
    I'm running a copy of this off (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 05:33:07 AM EST
    Are you (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Edger on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 09:42:49 AM EST
    cleared for that level? ;-)

    You want to know what's funny? (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 09:47:30 AM EST
    I know someone around here who will probably take it to work because everyone isn't blind :)

    Carefull now... (none / 0) (#60)
    by Edger on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 09:51:47 AM EST
    Remember Bradley Manning!

    That's different (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 09:53:55 AM EST
    You can't share the certified verbatim, I'm just speculating :)

    Morning Madness ;-) (none / 0) (#62)
    by Edger on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 09:59:27 AM EST
    The 10 Most Excellent Reasons to Attack Iran

    1. Iran has threatened to fight back if attacked, and that's a war crime. War crimes must be punished.

    There is (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by lentinel on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 02:32:18 PM EST
    no way that I see Obama being "boxed in" by Israel.

    If anything, I see Israel as the surrogate for the US were they to be crazy enough to attack Iran.

    I hardly see Obama as being against an attack as dumb as this. He bellowed as loudly as McCain during the campaign of '08 about the "grave threat " of Iran.

    And now, against a fat-headed Republican, Obama will have the green light to show us how tough he is. And not just from pressure from the opposition. This is the real him. And he knows that no one from the left, who still think that he is their only hope of having a progressive SCOTUS, will oppose him were he to incinerate a few thousand additional people in the pursuit of a  Middle-East dominated by American nuclear weaponry.


    Speaking of SCOTUS, I posted (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Anne on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 05:39:47 PM EST
    an excerpt earlier today from a Marcy Wheeler post, that offers some interesting thinking about where the Court might be headed.

    Tom Goldstein, from SCOTUSblog, believes that When Ruth Bader Ginsburg steps down, and assuming Obama gets re-elected, that he will nominate another woman, possibly a woman of color.

    Marcy's not so sure about that, and has some ideas of her own; here's a little bit:

    I think Obama would love to appoint Cass Sunstein, and while Sunstein would be a difficult confirmation, Obama may be willing to fight for his friend. For any progressive, Sunstein would be a catastrophically bad choice, which is likely a positive to Obama and his "insider brain trust". The other possibility to fear is Merrick Garland of the DC Circuit, who has already been heavily vetted by the Obama regime (along with Elena Kagan for John Paul Stevens' seat). Garland is a horribly mushy, moderate centrist, and borders on being too old for lengthy service. Garland would be another Kagan in that, even though a Democratic selection, he would substantially move the Court to the right from the Justice he is replacing. Garland would be a safe, and confirmable choice (Orrin Hatch loves him just to give you an idea).

    Garland is a real possibility, both because of his centrist appeal to Obama and his confirmability. And herein lies the other point I wish to make in this discussion, the flimsiness of Barack Obama's relentless mindset of dogged centrism and playing it safe compromise to chalk up any claim of victory, even if it is diluted to absurdity. It is the enduring hallmark of the "success" of the Obama Presidency.

    But what Marcy is most disturbed by is the lack of real fight Obama has evinced for shoring up the Federal Judiciary with solid liberal jurists, turning back from what she termed the "hard conservative Federalist society bent that has been installed and meticulously grown by the Reagan and two Bush Administrations."

    She reminds us that this - not just SCOTUS - was a major goal behind electing a Democrat in 2008, and that what we have gotten instead is a "flippant opportunism toward established Constitutional restraints and a malignant neglect of the judiciary composition and direction."

    When you don't fight for the Goodwin Lius and the Dawn Johnsens, you do so at your own peril because, as Marcy says, "[t]he Republicans have a couple dozen Brett Kavanaughs teed up waiting in the wings, and liberals cannot muster even one Goodwin Liu."

    Food for thought - someone please pass the Maalox.


    The mushy centrist Dem judges (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Peter G on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 07:34:32 PM EST
    are still enough better than the hard-right Republican jurists that Obama can always count on "think of the courts" as a basis to get liberals to vote for him, without nominating hardly any actual liberals to the bench.

    Oh, Donald, maybe if you clutch your (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by Anne on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 09:00:58 PM EST
    pearls a little tighter, you'll feel better.

    But, seriously, Donald, if the Supreme Court was a reason to vote for Obama, so was the Federal judiciary - or do you disagree that playing the kind of elections-have-consequences hardball that Republicans play could have made a considerable difference in making some headway in a better direction.  Could there have at least been an actual effort?

    Honestly, Donald, I don't know if hope jumped off a cliff when it realized Obama wasn't going to be able to put his money where his mouth was, or if Democrats like you pushed it so you wouldn't have to keep being reminded of it.

    Either way, settling for mediocre and constantly whining that it's too hard to aim higher is just sad.

    The times call for more vision, more guts and more leadership than we're getting, and you're not just pushing that that's acceptable, you're holdng people like me up as being unreasonable.

    What a world.


    Donald, I don't see how (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by sj on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 09:07:16 PM EST
    we can rebuild that coalition if we stand pat with what we have.  Those are two opposing forces.  One is moving forward and the other is standing still.

    As for drawing lines in the sand:  the opposition has been doing that for a couple of decades.  And we keep crossing over those lines into their territory.  Maybe they're not serious players, but why should they care?  They're getting most of what they want.

    And how, exactly, does getting into a "peeing contest" with GOP make things worse when it is already at the "no progress" stage?


    The cloture vote (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Edger on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 09:33:58 PM EST
    on Liu's nomination to the 9th circuit court was May 19, 2011.

    Seven Republican Senators were needed to break the filibuster. Eleven of them broke ranks the previous week to allow the confirmation of trial lawyer Jack McConnell to the Rhode Island District Court, as a result of intense lobbying of them particularly by Sen Jack Reed (D-R.I.)

    McConnell, 52, [had] a long résumé of supporting Democratic causes, including the campaigns of Reed and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.). He was treasurer of Rhode Island's Democratic state committee from 1995 to 2009. He was state chair for Bill Bradley's presidential campaign in 1999-2000, and he was an elector for Obama in 2009.

    Prior to Liu none of Obama's judicial nominees had been successfully filibustered.

    But Liu's confirmation was blocked by an insurmountable "solid block of 43 Republican senators who weren't ever going to let it reach the floor", of course.

    There was nothing that could be done, despite the fact that that solid block was full of cracks and only a convenient excuse for not fighting to overcome it, I suppose.


    Awesome (2.00 / 1) (#67)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 12:50:46 PM EST
    analysis of a supreme court pick who hasn't been selected to replace a position that hasn't been vacated in the wonderful world of make believe.
    And then use that analysis to prove that Obama has not kept his promises when it comes to the court.

    No wonder you think that your points on Obama are compelling.  If I created anti-Obama arguments based on things he hasn't done yet and then used that to attack him, I'd think my points were pretty compelling to.

    Meanwhile, back in the real world . . .

    At this point before, no one really had Santomayor or Kagan at the top of their lists and there is no reason to think that these stories should hold any more merit.

    In addition, I am sure you think that Kagan and Santomayor or conservative foxnews devotees so your perspective is fairly fixed anyway.


    Isn't that the same thing...? (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 02:11:04 PM EST
    ...analysis of a supreme court pick who hasn't been selected to replace a position that hasn't been vacated in the wonderful world of make believe.

    As running around with your hair on fire saying  "McCain would have been worse on the two openings on SCOTUS!!!" because, of course, it assumes that a) two openings would have occurred under a McCain presidency to begin with, and b) the Dem Senate would had the same non-existent backbone?

    It's amazing how you can spin a story to fit the cheerleading.


    Hogwash (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by CoralGables on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 03:00:38 PM EST
    So, you know with absolute certainty (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 08:16:48 AM EST
    That had McCain been elected he would have had TMtwo picks for the Court?

    Amazing.  What are tonight's lottery numbers?


    Two things: those were the opinions of (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 04:20:54 PM EST
    Tom Goldstein and Marcy Wheeler.

    And, a decision came down in an important case today that likely weakened Miranda a little bit more.  Kagan voted with the conservative majority.

    Oh, one more thing: it's not "Santomayor," it's "Sotomayor."


    Well at least (none / 0) (#14)
    by Edger on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 02:36:44 PM EST
    let him pretend to be forced into it so his accolytes can say it's not his fault, eh? ;-)

    Besides (none / 0) (#15)
    by Edger on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 02:38:30 PM EST
    there are oil company ceo's wasting away out there, and something has be done to help the poor buggers out...

    kdog (none / 0) (#3)
    by CoralGables on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 01:47:08 PM EST
    as a lovely break from the world around you today (unless you are in Mexico or at the ponies), if you haven't see this article today on the early days of those Amazin Mets it's definitely worth a read

    Ah hem, (none / 0) (#4)
    by NYShooter on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 01:54:36 PM EST
    I hope you don't mind me butting in here, but as a fellow New Yawkah, and having personally lived through those humiliating early years (continuing through the current humiliating years,) and speaking only for myself..

    Once was enough!

    But, thank you; I know your intentions were heartfelt.


    More than heartlfelt (none / 0) (#7)
    by CoralGables on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 02:02:55 PM EST
    I lived those Mets teams starting in 1967 (How could the Yankees trade Roger Maris). Just wish I could have enjoyed the Marvelous Marv years too. It would have made 1969 even more meaningful.

    Thanks CG... (none / 0) (#63)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 11:11:48 AM EST
    that was an enjoyable read.

    50 years we've almost gone full circle...we're losers again, only not so loveable.  


    New fiction at the Dadler story blog (none / 0) (#6)
    by Dadler on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 02:00:20 PM EST
    Oh, and my USF Dons upset Gonzaga (none / 0) (#10)
    by Dadler on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 02:22:56 PM EST
    Saturday night on the hilltop in The City.  One of y'all coulda gone.  Great game.  Hoping for a nice run to end the season, maybe a nice conference tourney run to the NCAAs.  They have beaten Gonzaga, come within a point of BYU, and St. Mary's is hobbling right now.  It could happen.

    Anyone else starting to get (none / 0) (#17)
    by Edger on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 02:47:17 PM EST
    Spanish language spam lately? I started getting it a couple of months ago and now it seems it's up to about 50 or 60 a day...

    perhaps if you (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 03:40:45 PM EST
    were to produce your long-form birth certificate, Edger, those Spanish-speaking spammers would stop assuming you were born in a Spanish-speaking country & thus clued in to their lingo

    Now there's a thought, ¿eh? ;-) (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Edger on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 03:48:29 PM EST
    did you use the Google translator for Spanish (none / 0) (#27)
    by DFLer on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 05:26:21 PM EST
    by chance?

    I used the google translator for Korean a few months ago, and now get tons of Korean spam.


    Yes, but (none / 0) (#34)
    by Edger on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 06:49:15 PM EST
    I use it regularly for quite a few different languages.

    still...the evil google has deep tentacles! (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by DFLer on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 07:31:47 PM EST
    sitemeter slowing things down today (none / 0) (#21)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 03:45:34 PM EST

    I wasn't online so I didn't (none / 0) (#26)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 05:21:42 PM EST
    see, is anyone else having that problem? It was fixed a few weeks ago and I haven't had any delay problems since (except Sat. night when the whole site was done for about 5 hours.)

    Not that problem... (none / 0) (#29)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 05:48:48 PM EST
    but the Jr. High behavior and name calling that was rampant here yesterday is a little tiresome.  

    what thread was it in (none / 0) (#42)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 08:15:25 PM EST
    I'll go clean it.

    Wanting to learn Spanish (none / 0) (#23)
    by shoephone on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 04:11:27 PM EST
    From looking through reviews of language software programs, "Tell Me More" gets highest ratings among  North American learners (and for the highest price besides "Fluenz.") Rosetta Stone gets pretty good reviews too, at a bit better price. The big drawback: Rosetta Stone only offers beginning Spanish and I'm looking for something at least through intermediate. On occasion, I may have the opportunity to practice in person with a native Spanish speaker.

    Any advice or opinions on which would be best? I'm trying to learn enough to be marginally fluent within 6 months for work purposes.

    Re: Spanish braodcasts (none / 0) (#33)
    by shoephone on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 06:34:58 PM EST
    Yes, we get V-Me (Local PBS-HD2). The Spanish soap opera station is a hoot, and usually not too hard to figure out, even w/out understanding the spoken language!
    I took three years of French, so at least I have some background in Latin languages. I'm realistic enough to know I won't end up being fluent, or that learning it at an adult's age will be easy. But it would really help with some of the Spanish speaking clients whose kids I tutor.

    anbody (none / 0) (#37)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 07:21:22 PM EST
    else noticing how the GOP is trying to rewrite their history of racial relations by talking about stuff that went on 150 years ago but conveniently ignoring the last 40 years?

    I'm sorry, but these are just the simple facts. (none / 0) (#41)
    by Edger on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 07:55:24 PM EST
    For as long as I can remember, this country has gotten itself all worked up every four years or so trying to pick just the right person to be in charge of the executive branch. It's always a mess, and it always turns out the same way: We elect a president, and everything goes to pot. And now I hear we're going to have to go through this again!
    Before we get sucked into another whole rigmarole about national parties narrowing down their primary fields to select a nominee they hope appeals to the broadest cross-section of Americans, it's time to realize that the presidency itself is the real problem, and we need a change. Think about it. When have we ever not had a president? Never. Not since we ratified the Constitution and established ourselves as a democratic republic, anyway, and that's more than enough time to see that presidents do America more harm than good.

    Take all the worst periods in American history--Vietnam, the Great Depression, Prohibition. In every case, without fail, we have had a president as the head of state. Who has signed every single bad bill into law? A president. What about the president who got us into the Civil War? He was a president through and through, just like the rest of the presidents. The truth is, you look at every major crisis, flu epidemic, and time of civil strife, and who has been sitting in the Oval Office? A damn president.

    I'm sorry, but these are just the simple facts.

    -- The Last Thing America Needs Is Another President

    Donald I find it (none / 0) (#44)
    by fishcamp on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 08:35:31 PM EST
    hard to believe that you can understand Spanish but not speak it well.  It's the opposite for me but maybe it's because the Cuban version of Spanish spoken down here in the Keys sounds like one long difficult word.  I also took German in school and can speak some but truly understand nothing.

    It's not hard (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Zorba on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 08:58:34 PM EST
    for me to understand this at all.  I can understand Greek far better than I can speak it.  I learned Greek as a young child even before I learned English.  As I got older, my parents stopped speaking it at home, and eventually I got less and less fluent.  I heard Greek at church every Sunday (granted, this was New Testament Greek, not modern Greek, but there are very many similarities), but did not have as much opportunity to speak it.  When I hear words spoken in Greek (or read them), the words come back to me and I understand them, but I cannot necessarily pull them out of my memory bank to speak them when needed.

    It the same for me with Spanish (5.00 / 0) (#48)
    by sj on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 09:18:20 PM EST
    I have to start thinking in Spanish before the vocabulary comes back to me and I don't have many opportunities for that these days.  My folks always spoke of mixture of Spanish and English, but we always responded in English.  My paternal grandfather was my only relative who pretty much refused to speak English.  And he understood it well enough that we communicated just fine.

    We had a potluck at my home a few years ago that represented 4 generations and a big chunk of my Dad's side of the family.  It lasted from about 1:00 in the afternoon until the wee hours of the morning.  It was wonderful going from room to room.  Dropping into this conversation for a while before going on to that one.  I loved the sound of voices coming from everywhere, and the kids laughing and running out, then in, then back out again.  But I was keenly aware that there was much, much less Spanish being spoken when most of the "adults" were my generation rather than my father's.


    I can totally relate (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Zorba on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 09:35:26 PM EST
    I also used to find that when I went back home to visit, the more time I spent with my older relatives (while they were still alive), who mostly spoke Greek to each other, the more would come back to me.  It's there somewhere in the old memory banks, it's just not as easy to access "on demand."  The other thing that always used to amuse me is all the gossip I used to pick up from the Greek-speaking relatives, who did not realize just how much Greek I still understood.  I always knew who was getting divorced, who was pregnant, who was "fooling around," etc.  Interesting stuff!    

    I'm not nearly fluent (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 08:44:30 AM EST
    in Spanish - only had a couple of years in HS, but I can still understand it a lot better than I can speak it. It seems to me the comprehension part of my foreign language brain works a lot better than the composition part.

    A couple of co-workers and I had the experience in Japan of trying to communicate and automatically reaching for our most fluent foreign language - Spanish! Not helpful!


    Great writing (none / 0) (#53)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 06:14:41 AM EST
    I feel we have had many other great Presidents though outside of FDR.  I personally like to focus on great policy from Presidents vs. someone who is akin to God.  It is more realistic to get some great policy out of a President than it is to get a deity out of a President.

    Sadly, with money being the first (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 07:03:27 AM EST
    bar that presidential hopefuls have to get over, the reality is that good policy doesn't always go along for the leap.

    We aren't ever going to get the kind of quality we need until we get the private money out of the process - and I don't see that happening in my lifetime.

    We might still end up with a candidate like Santorum, who doesn't have a whole lot of money, but whose brain has been fried by religion, but he might be opposed by presidential wanna-bes who would make that both more obvious and less appealing.

    It was bad enough before Citizens United, but since?  Maybe what we need is a matching program: if the Sheldon Adelsons knew that their multi-million dollar SuperPAC donations would have to be matched - by them - with equal donations to the US government, where they might be used for things they detest - like programs for the poor and women's health programs - they'd think twice about getting involved in politics and have to content themselves instead with building more ugly and gargantuan homes for their oversized egos.

    We need to get the money out of the election process.  Period.


    Absolutely (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 07:42:51 AM EST