53 Esquire

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About 53 Esquire

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  • Birthday 05/19/1968

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    Abuja, Nigeria
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  • Springsteen fan since?
  • Does Mary's dress wave or sway?
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    Springsteen - my wife - my dogs
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  1. C4G is right - those poor people with $350 to spend on a book like this! How dare Landau et al (Why do people always blame Jon?) Taking advantage of them! Bruce should never have tried to fill that market place demand! Seriously a silly answer.
  2. The political wisdom of Arnold Palmer, a celebrity who not to run for office Arnold Palmer died at 87 Sunday without ever having run for office, despite several efforts by Republicans to get him to do so. They had good reason to want him. And he flirted with it. But while he had strong hands, he did not have the stomach for what he would ultimately conclude was the poison of an increasingly partisan game of politics. Plus, he once said, he wasn’t “clever enough” to be president; he feared he would blurt out whatever he thought. The setting was the late 1960s and early ’70s, as the nation was embroiled in Vietnam and then the Watergate scandal and as a crooked vice president was forced to resign, Arnold Palmer was one of the most popular public figures in America. He was handsome, squeaky clean, famous and widely admired, all the things Richard Nixon was not, a trifecta for a Republican Party seeking to burnish a badly tarnished image. “Palmer went to bed with charisma,” golfer Sam Snead said of him, and “woke up the next morning with more.” “Arnie’s Army” of fans did not stop at the golf course. People who knew nothing of golf, knew Palmer — from his many ads, endorsements and TV appearances. He once subbed, woodenly it was reported, as host on “the Tonight Show.” Wherever he went, he was hounded for autographs, and he invariably obliged. A longtime aide told Golf Digest in 2007 that Palmer had signed an average of a hundred autographs every day of his life, for a rough total by that year of nearly three million. And, by the way, he was a Republican. He could have run for office and probably won. At least that’s what a group of rich backers thought. One day, during the Watergate scandal, when Republicans were looking for a clean face, he found himself in Houston in a room full of just such men. One, an oil mogul, took him aside and invited him into a private meeting room. “Waiting there,” he would recall in “A Golfer’s Life,” his memoir, “was a group of truly heavy hitters from the business and financial world. … It was quickly explained to me that if I was willing to toss my golf visor into the public arena of high public office, these men would be ‘very interested’ in providing the kind of political clout and financial wherewithal I would surely need.” Palmer was tempted. “The thought of running for office had crossed my mind before, probably on several occasions.” After all, there wasn’t a major tournament he had played where groups of fans weren’t holding up signs saying “Arnie for President.” But after saying he was flattered, he politely declined. Among his reasons: “I’m prone to say what’s on my mind without worrying about the consequences.” And he remembered what his father told him: “That a smart man learned early what he did best and kept on doing it.” Arnold Palmer knew what he was and what he wasn’t, a unique quality then and now. He had been asked before about running for office, in 1964 and 1969. In 1964 he brushed it off, saying, “No, I’m not clever enough. Someone did tell me, though that Sam Snead and I got one write-in vote for President but they didn’t say what it was President of,” the New York Times reported. In 1969, he had been urged by Pennsylvanians to run for governor in his home state and, by all accounts, considered it seriously but rejected the idea once more. But, he was not apolitical, by any means. Though his father was “a devoted Roosevelt man,” and a lifelong Democrat, Palmer was a “middle-of-the-road Republican.” “What I mean by that,” he wrote, “is that the ideals of President Eisenhower, Lincoln and other leaders of the Republican Party seemed to represent — a passionate belief in the limitless benefits of personal freedom, governed by an equally strong sense of personal responsibility — were part of a belief system with which I was more comfortable.” While staying out of the ring, he donated money in modest sums to those in it, most recently to Patrick J. Toomey, the Republican senator from Pennsylvania. He gave mostly to Pennsylvanians and mostly to Republicans, among them Republicans Mitt Romney in 2012, John McCain in 2008, and Rick Santorum in 2006 and the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2000 but also to former Democratic Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania. He worshiped President Eisenhower, with whom he played golf frequently. “I really liked Ike,” he wrote, “though I wouldn’t have dared call him that. You wouldn’t be off the mark to say I even loved him as a second father.” It was Eisenhower who made him aware that his best public function could be as an example to others. “The old general who had sent men who were barely more than boys onto Normandy’s beaches in defense of liberty was determined to make me aware of the valuable service I could perform as a role model to thousands of young people,” Palmer wrote. “In a tumultuous period of time that would soon begin to devalue such traditional notions, President Eisenhower believed fervently in the power of heroes to transform lives — and he spared no opportunity to remind me that I had the rare opportunity to be such a hero.” And he was curious about Richard M. Nixon, who once, to his utter surprise and bewilderment, asked him his advice on what how to extricate the U.S. from Vietnam. “Well, I started, a touch reluctantly,” he wrote, and told Nixon that “if the decision were mine to make I guess I wouldn’t pussyfoot around. Let’s get this thing over as quickly as possible, for everyone’s sake. Why not go for the green.” Those who were present, including then-Vice President Gerald Ford, thought he was joking. “They all had a good laugh at that. … But I really wasn’t trying to be funny. It wasn’t that I’m such a political hawk. On the contrary, I’m a confirmed moderate thinker and as I’ve aged, I’ve learned the great value of diplomacy and seeking an honorable peace. But part of that wisdom is knowing when to fight and another part is knowing when to fight harder — a lesson I learned as far back in the streets of Youngstown.” His memoir does hint at regret for not doing more to integrate the PGA, notorious until recent years for holding tournaments at clubs that did not admit blacks. He had plenty of critics on that score and conceded that “by some yardstick measurements,” they were right. “It wasn’t in my nature to openly attack the organization or lead the crusade for change, actions that probably would have made me a lot of enemies in an organization that had done so many good things for the game of golf” that was otherwise “honorable and well intentioned.” Palmer was too nice. And he worried about losing his friends and making enemies. “I probably have too many close friendships on both sides of the political aisle to ever throw my hat into the ring,” he wrote. Palmer, particularly as he grew older, was unhappy with the “poisoning” of the political process by “intense partisanship,” for which he said had no taste. And besides, he wrote, “golf is political enough without adding professional Democrats and Republicans into the mix.”
  3. And no one is saying white people are not killed unjustly by the police - they are - just as a much lower rate.
  4. Absolutely. Of course it's all a little more nuanced than that - I certainly was a little more casual in my writing, than I would have been had I been writing a legal brief. When the system writ large clearly demonstrates a lack of concern for one group you can in fact "hardly blame" that group from deciding the implicit agreement, the "social contract," however you want to put the arrangement we call civilization and society is now void. Put another way - when one party clearly breaches a contract, either by notification or action the other party is no longer bound by that agreement. North Carolina has a demonstrated recent history of breaching the contract to protect some of it's citizens. Why should they expect that group to keep their end of the bargain up? That question is not rhetorical. Additionally, I would note what I have written here is not defense - it is analysis.
  5. We are living in a strange time right now - politics in the United States is not fundamentally left/right, Conservative/Liberal, even GOP/Democrat - I have read some commentary that sees it as more the haves v. The have nots - but that does not seem to capture it either. But if you told me 8 years ago I would think Barack Obama was one of the better pols on the national stage I would have said you are crazy - but there you go. ETA: When I became a U.S. Army Judge Advocate I was re-commissioned by the President; when I became a Foreign Service Officer I also received a commission from the President - I was always at least vaguely pleased it was signed by a history making President - now I am even happier.
  6. In my view it would inaccurate and a mistake to look at the civil disturbance as merely a response to this one incident. Charlotte has had several cases of questionable police shootings. Moreover North Carolina has a long history of racial discrimination and animus. The voter ID law recently overturned by the Federal Courts was clearly designed to limit the franchise when it comes to African Americans. One can hardly blame the African American citizens of Charlotte and North Carolina form believing they have no vested intererst in the current power structure and thus attacking it.
  7. I had to provide more justification to kill someone in Iraq than that.
  8. Following these discussions, and having had them in other venues, the Marxist always seems to gloss over where the "means of production" come from - if I have a computer and an idea for an app, but no ability to make that app - but I pay someone to use my computer and my idea to create the app - how am I exploiting them - maybe they are exploiting me - they are using the tools I have provided - - Were the Big Three automakers exploiting their workers in the 70s and 80s - or where the workers and the UAW exploiting the Big Three and more largely the American public? The cars they were turning out were pure crap and they had the nerve to complain that people bought higher quality Japanese cars. While its true parties frequently don't have equal bargaining power - how they leverage that power is not always clear cut.
  9. Assad's possession and use of chemical weapons is pretty well documented by numerous sources.
  10. You have the United States - which needs to reign in it's intervention in places like Syria, Libya, Iraq - et al - - Then you have Russia that actually invades European nations and annexes parts of them . . .
  11. Honestly I have no idea how you could come up with a system that would make sense, make most people happy, and be realistic. He simply could not create the supply of time to meet the demand.
  12. This is actually a great post. Best defense of Marxist thought on this board ever.
  13. You are right - as a message board you get to make all sorts of comments and not have to back them up. Some people say Jimmy James does that all the time, I dunno- you tell me. That last part seems to be gross generalization, but some people say that -
  14. So he takes a legal (state) tax exemption on a piece of property in NJ. How exactly does that reflect on his views about how much tax, as a percentage or absolute dollar amount he should pay on income v. how much other people should pay on income? The charge is clearly one of a double standard for tax rules. Please show me, specifically how Bruce has said or advocated one thing about tax policy, but then done something else for himself. If I buy a farm in New Jersey as a Foreign Service Officer and then have someone else work it is the exemption not available to me?