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Profile Information

Name: Paul McKibbins
Gender: Male
Hometown: New York City
Home country: USA
Current location: Catskill Mountains
Member since: Mon Jun 5, 2006, 05:16 PM
Number of posts: 17,888

About Me

Lifelong Democrat

Journal Archives

Longer than 20 years

The partisan and corrosive attacks by Republicans on both Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton go back more than 25 to 30 years dating to Mr. Clinton's terms as Governor of Arkansas. The constant spewing of lies, spurious charges and garbage by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Jerry Falwell, Newt Gingrich and other Republican hypocrites has never provided the kill shot that they desperately hoped for. Gosh, is it possible that the Clintons aren't guilty of anything?

Those GOP losers hoped that they could destroy the Clintons with innuendo and insinuations and falsehoods. The great irony is that they impeached him for lying about sex but many of them, especially Speaker Gingrich, lost their gigs because they had their own skeletons in their closets. Of course, the Senate didn't convict him so he retained his office and President Clinton had terrific approval ratings when he left office. Was he perfect? Of course not. Neither are you or I. But he was better for our country than the alternatives and Secretary Clinton has the opportunity of the ages ahead of her. She'll get my vote.

Every time the Republicans have gone after the Clintons, (or the Obamas, for that matter), they have failed. How stupid are they?

Well, they're about to nominate Donald Trump for president.

They're stupid.

And Donald Trump is an idiot.

Great good luck and absorb all of the amazing sensations you can!

This is one of those unique and tremendous moments in a life time and I'm certain you'll be an inspiration to your audience.

In my family, we have had quite a few teachers. My grandmother was a music teacher, my grandfather a dental instructor and my aunt was a special ed teacher early in the history of the acceptance of that particular need. My brother teaches high school English, my niece is a first grade teacher and I've taught a little in high schools and somewhat more at the collegiate level. Teachers are so important to the success of a society. Democracy fails if the voters don't have critical thinking skills. An ignorant populace is easily swayed by a charismatic leader, (sound familiar?). This is why the classic civilizations of Greece and Rome valued what we call a Liberal Arts curriculum. It provides the broadest perspective of the world and develops a curiosity of the mind.

Will your speech at the Lincoln Memorial be based on your essay? It's so powerful and honest that I'm certain you'll express yourself effectively and passionately. If I may offer a small suggestion, perhaps you could add a sentence or two about your students and your experiences teaching them. It's clear that you love your work, your students and their well-being and this small addition could punch up your commitment to them as having been the driving force behind your actions and principles.

Good luck and thank you for your story and fighting the good fight!

Huge bummer

TekServe has been a life saver for me dozens of times since the early 1990's. This is a huge loss for NYC Mac users.

I, too, used to know one of the owners, David Lerner, who I met through a mutual friend, a young man named David Pogue. David P., of course, was an early proponent of the Mac and he was the president of NYMUG, the New York Mac Users Group. I think I remember going to a couple of meetings held at their original location. He would go on to have a rather brilliant career as a technology writer, author and musician. I lost touch with David L. but always went to his store for my computer needs.

The original space was several floors above its current street level location. You got off this old elevator and entered a computer hobbyist's playroom. It was crowded with equipment, a lot of it old relics like old radios and tape recorders. Later, they would display a collection of Apple computers through the years, kind of an historical museum trip down computer memory lane. There were these large white boards that had the computer products available with listings of models, CPU speeds, amounts of RAM and prices. The young people who worked there were always polite, knowledgable and interested in your needs. Their prices were competitive and they always had the extra computer stuff one needs, like cables, books, memory chips and many other accessories.

It occurred to me, the last time I was there, that there was a different feeling to the place. It wasn't quite as busy- I guess the Apple Stores have sliced into their customer base- and now I know it was a sense of doom that overhung the place. In the past, their technicians always made any repairs or upgrades themselves. This time, however, all they did was act as a middleman between me and Apple's repair facility. In fact, they completely mis-diagnosed the problem I had; it didm't matter as the repair was a fixed-cost service. Still, it was curious.

TekServe was the place to go to see new equipment, talk with other users and techies and hear gossip, tips and tricks for computer users. i'll miss them.

Senator Kennedy's challenge of President Carter for the nomination...

..was disastrous for Democrats and Progressives and the policies that they collectively believe in. It was also disastrous for the United States and her citizens.

In the midst of an economic/energy crisis and an international hostage and diplomatic crises- issues that the president has very little ability to influence- a member of the president's own party challenged his legitimacy. Senator Kennedy's actions undermined the president's credibility. After all, if President Carter can't get the support of his own party how can he get the support of the American people?

I won't judge Senator Kennedy's intentions or ambitions or desires for our country. By all that he did in his life, it's clear that he was a true American, a true Democrat and a true supporter of the common man.

However, his decision to run for president demonstrated that he lacked the judgment and wisdom for that office. To a more cognizant man, his own personal history would have been an indicator of the problems to come. There was an arrogance to his campaign that implied that he was entitled to this nomination because of his, and his family's, efforts on behalf of Americans. But the baggage he carried far exceeded any political issues President Carter had as a candidate in the General Election.

By dividing the Democratic Party, Senator Kennedy inadvertently opened the door for President Carter's defeat.

We'll never know if President Carter would have defeated Ronald Reagan if Senator Kennedy hadn't challenged him. in the end, it's just speculation anyway. But one thing is clear: the election of Ronald Reagan was disastrous for our great nation and his presidency did much to diminish our country.

Donald Trump doesn't know what he's gotten himself into

There's been much speculation about what motivated Donald Trump to run for president. The suggested impulses range from his ego to Bill Clinton made him do it.

Regardless, one thing is clear: Donald Trump has no idea what he's in for.

The Republican Primaries were infantile from the beginning. Consider that there were 17 entrants once the campaigns began and of those, only 3 or 4 were seriously credentialed for the gig. Most of them were jokers looking to raise their public profile to increase their personal marketability. Does anyone really think that Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina or most of the others thought they had a chance to win the nomination? Rand Paul? Really?! Of course they didn't. This exercise was simply to increase their Q-Score, that is, their fame with the general public.

It was easy for a childishly loud-mouthed blowhard to take them down. The more serious candidates, (bear with me, please!), like John Katich, Jeb! Bush, maybe Marco Rubio and even Chris Christie couldn't possibly fight back because they came from the establishment. Mr. Tump's support has come from the people the GOP has used and abused for decades. The establishment candidates were blind to this because it had never happened before.

There are two dynamics that allowed Donald Trump to escape serious scrutiny during the GOP primaries. First, there were so many candidates, many of whom had been in the public eye for years. Second, the story that news services focused on was how outlandish and outrageous Mr. Trump was behaving and that he had tapped into a powerful, if small, political undercurrent in the US.

Those days are over for Donald Trump.

Here we are heading towards the General Election and each day or so, another little story from Mr. Trump's past comes out:
- He promised to make a charitable contribution but he didn't
- He misused money from his Foundation
- He didn't contribute to his Foundation
- He doesn't have any money for his campaign
- His campaign is in shambles
- His shoddy business practices are coming to light
- Banks won't lend him money

This drip-drip of unpleasant history will continue day after day. As you know, that's what happens during a presidential campaign.

In short, Mr. Trump is starting to get the scrutiny that all presidential candidates are privileged(!) to receive. If you've followed anything of his life, you'll realize that for the first time, he's going to be under an unrelenting microscope. Everything he's ever done or said will be regurgitated and hyper-analyzed. I hope for the day when several of his former employees gather up there guts to violate their Non-Disclosure Agreements and tells us what they know.

Never before has Donald Trump had to provide concrete answers for his affairs. Using his bluster and bullying and bullshit, he's always been able to side-step away from any real accountability. He's used his lawyers as shields. But that won't work in a presidential campaign. Mr. Trump won't be able to take the unrelenting pressure. He's been coddled in his bubble for so long that he has no idea of the shit-storm he's about to experience.

It will be an amazing show to watch.

It couldn't happen to a more worthy man.

Mitt Romney had a real campaign

Donald Trump's campaign is a shambles. He has a ridiculously disorganized and diminutive organizational structure. His financing is deplorable. His message management is incohesive. Most importantly, he's spent the past year alienating much of the Republican infrastructure, otherwise known as the GOP Establishment. With so much chaos, this isn't a serious endeavor.

With all of that amateurism, I'm confident that Mr. Trump's team looking into Governor Christie have no idea what they are supposed to do. By contrast, Governor Romney had built a national organization, raised money, wooed important Party personnel and understood the intensity of the process. He had experienced advisors who knew how to investigate-to-discover information about potential running mates.

It's been said that if a betrothed couple can make it through their engagement, they have a fairly good chance of succeeding at marriage. Similarly, how a candidate runs their campaign demonstrates their potential ability to run the country. By that measure, Donald Trump is woefully way out of his league.

He's also an idiot.

The long view of history

The difference between 1964 and now is vast. Keep in mind that in those days, Republicans and Democrats mostly worked together to run our country. Although they had serious disagreements about policies, for the most part they did their jobs and kept the country functioning.

Today, we have a vast chasm between the parties and the Republicans have repeatedly demonstrated that they don't want to govern. They don't want to do anything for our country. They don't pass bills. They don't hold hearings on presidential appointments. They shut down the government. The Democrats try to function but their power is limited by their minority status. Our president has had to take extraordinary steps just to keep the lights on in DC.

Back in '64, Barry Goldwater didn't really represent the majority of Republicans, many of whom were quite moderate. I'm sure you've heard it said that if he were alive today, Dwight Eisenhower would be a liberal Democrat. (wink) But the conservative movement, mostly led by William F. Buckley, Jr. among others, hadn't yet matured into a powerful national force. Since 1980, we've had to fight the Dark Side of American politics and we've lost far too many battles over those years. The success of the conservatives has allowed them to become more and more extreme which is a big part of why they are fracturing: their coalition has finally shown its cracks.

One other point about the 1964 election. It's always struck me that the US had lost its president to an assassin only a year before. Perhaps the electorate wasn't ready for that amount of political instability in such a short time. President Johnson really didn't have to work up much of a sweat to defeat Senator Goldwater. Today, the polarization of our nation means that Secretary Clinton could have more of a challenge on her hands.

This is the reflection of the state of our education system

These young men are earnest and clearly love their country. But they have absolutely no critical thinking abilities. One fellow said that he was in line with every on of Donald Trump's policy positions. But except for a few broad strokes, (Mexican wall, deportation of illegals, etc.), Mr. Trump hasn't articulated any policy positions and certainly none with detailed explanations.

The unending destruction of our public education system has been a Republican goal for decades. Those policies have moved education away from teaching and forcefully towards teaching for the tests. The young gentlemen in the video probably graduated from high school and might be attending colleges. They can speak complete sentences that articulate their views, something that their candidate of choice cannot do. But there's something missing in their brains if they can't see the danger that Mr. Trump represents.

An understanding of history, political science (i.e., social studies), cultures and languages, along with other disciplines, provides a broad education and intellectual skills for making sound judgments in life. The Founding Fathers understood that for democracy to work, the voting public had to be well-informed which is one of the reasons we have a free press. If the public doesn't have the judgmental ability, then they can be manipulated by fear, hatred and disinformation.

Ever since President Reagan killed the Fairness Doctrine, our media has been in a death spiral resulting in "news" that is nothing more than stenography of official press releases. These young men don't have the critical thinking skills to see that.

You really can't blame "the media"

Your thesis is right on the money, Stinky, and I agree that stupid people will vote for stupid people.

The media, however, isn't to blame; it's the stupid people. Stupid people don't educate themselves about facts and knowledge. Sadly, there are far too many stupid people and the Brexit vote illustrates that the Stupid isn't limited to the USA.

For the most part, the posters on Democratic Underground are informed and intelligent members of society. They make it their responsibility to search out the news from various sources and then try to distill some kind of "truth" from it all. There are others in our society that perform this basic civic duty to be well informed using whatever sources they have available.

Conversely, far too many Americans (and presumably, citizens of other countries) don't try to be informed. They get their news from "The Today Show" or Fox News or Headline News. The complexity of the 21st century world cannot be distilled and understood in the 15-second sound bites or brief internet headlines that make up most of broadcast and published news. It's the responsibility of an informed public to oversee its government. That's why our Constitution begins with, "We, The People..." Unfortunately, far too many people, particularly on the political right, have embraced ignorance as a strength.

So, I believe it's the stupid people's fault. If they weren't stupid, we'd have better news. In the end, all media is a reflection of its society.

Donald Trump's wall

Here's an interesting little article about the wall Donald Trump has said he'll build along the US-Mexican border:


As with everything else that Mr. Trump has proposed, he's never provided any thoughtful details about his project. According to the article, the "Safe Fence Act" that was begun during the George W. Bush Administration was estimated to cost about $3 million per mile. A wall is more expensive to build than a fence and the Bush Administration estimate was too low for their project.

So here's a simple thought experiment. The US/Mexican border is just under 2,000 miles long. If the wall were budgeted at a conservative $5 million per mile, that's $10 billion. Mr. Trump has claimed that Mexico will pay for the wall without explaining how. If they won't, how will the US pay for it?

This is just a dumb and impossible endeavor. Aside from the economics involved, the terrain and access are extremely difficult in many places along the border making this a logistical nightmare. Additionally, much of the property the wall would occupy is privately owned which would require legal proceedings to obtain or access that land.

Mr. Trump's other ideas are equally idiotic. For example, he has said that he'll deport 11 million illegal immigrants within 18 months of his inauguration. A simple outline of the logistics involved demonstrate the massive scale- and impossibility- of such a plan.

- First you have to have a tremendously large police force to identify, find and take into custody 11 million people. I live in New York City which has a population of 8.4 million. Image trying to round them all up! Throw in the state of Connecticut next door with it's 3.6 million and that's the scale he's talking about. It's a completely unserious proposal.

- Second, you have to have a place to hold them in custody. (Please don't mention Godwin's Law; this is only for comparison of scale.) The Nazis rounded up roughly 8-10 million people over a period of about 6 years. Where is Mr. Trump going to keep all of these people? Plus, the detainees have to be housed, clothed and fed as well as provided with medical care. Sounds impractical and very expensive to me.

- Third, if we still have the rule of law, then Mr. Trump has to have an immigration court hearing for each person. That means there have to be judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys for each individual as well as court officials, transportation, etc. If you think our courts are congested now, just imagine what would happen under Mr. Trump's plan.

- Fourth, if all goes according to Mr. Trump's idea, then the detainees have to be sent back to their home countries. Commercial airlines fly about 8 million passengers a day. Using rounded numbers, if you airlift 11 million people in 18 months, you've added about 25,000 passengers to that daily tally. Of course, they will be prisoners which means you have to add police escorts for them so you're doubling the number of passengers to an additional 50,000 per day. Aside from the additional volume of passengers (aren't many of our airports already over-crowded?), where is the money to pay for all that travel going to come from?

- Fifth, the whole thing is probably unconstitutional.

Donald Trump is the least serious person who has ever run for president and that includes the honorable Pat Paulsen.

The Republicans own their nominee. But I'll add this: at least Donald Trump has ideas, however impractical they may be. The Republicans in Washington have nothing other than obstructionism.
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