Saturday, September 16, 2006

What we must know...

A very bright young man at the the dinner table last night said that he didn't believe in mathematics. Say what?

What kind of of world what it be 2 + 2 didn't = 4 ? If 4 x 4 didn't = 16? if 16 + 16 didn't = 32? If the integers didn't go 1, 2, 3, 4 ?

Some really smart people try to show that 2 + 2 really = 5. They break fresh ground. They are innovative. They help mankind, as did Albert Einstein.

When I first came to work as a speech-writer in LBJ's White House in 1966 I asked the librarians for every quote book they could find. They found plenty.

I asked the carpenters to mount 16 Census maps on my wall --- just two doors down from
Vice - President Hubert Horatio Humprey suite of offices.

In a classic "Freudian slip" ex-President James Earl Carter called him "Hubert Horatio Hornblower." VP 3H did blow his own horn. For a cause: That Americans take care of the sickest, oldest, frailest, youngest among us." We have done that.

My # 1 Number One hero Sen Henry Martin "Scoop" Jackson said that Americans ought to combine realism with idealism in our foreign policy. He also agreed with 3H on domestic domestic spending. We have done that, unlike the policies promulgated by detentists, who wanted to cut a deal, most any deal, with USSR to keep the peace.

They probably extended The Cold War by a generation, propping up The Evil Empire, as President Ronald Reagan called the USSR. (There was much controversy about that phrase at the time. But they were surely both.)

Against the conventional wisdom, a phrase of the economist John Kenneth Galbraith, (a brilliant writer and often wrong-headed economist) RR and GWB#43 have followed the lead of of Scoop and Hubert.

They are/were ready to spend big bucks on the military for idealistic/realistic policies and big bucks those among those of us who need help --- and there are too many amongst us.

When I traveled for what was then called The United States Information Agency (and then was "subsumed" in a crass fight for money) I asked for two somehwat unusual requests after fulfilling my obligations: Press conferences, speeches etc. which I loved. I asked to see best demographer and the worst slum.

I've seen Latin American favelas and the Tondo in the Phillipines. Across the river from Calcutta (no garden spot) is Howrah , the worst place I have seen: Dry, parched, broiling sun beating down on poor, poor people who crippled their own children to make better beggars of them.

What a grand and gruesome speicies we are.

I too blow my horn and post my blogs and write a book for a cause --- Neo-Conservatism --- a much-maligned much mis-understood notion of governance, in the tradition, say I, of Scoop and VP 3H.


Ben

1 Comments:

Blogger A. J. said...

Interesting tye-in between neoconservatism and Hubert Humphrey. There has been much griping from libertarian types that neoconservatism is post-welfare state liberalism dressed up in different clothing. Is this a fair assessment, or are the neoconservatives "in the tradition" of the liberals in that they draw intellectual capital from them, but go in some new directions?

September 18, 2006  

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