louis c's Journal
Home country: USA
Current location: Boston
Member since: Fri May 14, 2004, 04:52 PM
Number of posts: 4,769
Home country: USA
Current location: Boston
Member since: Fri May 14, 2004, 04:52 PM
Number of posts: 4,769
- 2016 (1)
- February (1)
- 2015 (13)
- 2014 (9)
- 2013 (26)
- 2012 (73)
Here is a true story from my youth.
I've been a member of DU since 2004 (I know, I let my star expire, but truly, the check is in the mail), so some of you may have read some of my posts before.
I'm 63 years old and politics has been in my blood since birth. My Dad was a school board member or a city councilor in my home town for 5 decades.
But mostly, he was well known for being an administrative assistant to Senator Edward W. Brooke. They were the best of friends. In fact, my father Christened Brooke's oldest daughter, Remi, when she converted to Catholicism.
I was a McCarthy Democrat at 16 years old. An anti-Vietnam War activist at 17 years old.
So, here's the story. In 1969 my late Father (He was 42 years old at the time) comes home for dinner very, very upset. He accompanied the Senator to a commencement exercise at Wellesley College. he said that this "girl" got up and blasted the Senator, right while he sat there, after he spoke at their graduation, and embarrassed him. Mostly for not being enough of a force against the war, but also for not speaking up against poverty and other liberal causes. She lectured him. Right there. As he sat there, politely.
I defended the "girl", not knowing who she was. I told my father that I loved and respected Ed for all he has done for our family, but his voice should be stronger against the war and would carry more weight against Nixon, because he was a Republican.
Boy, that didn't go over well at the dinner table. We had many a debate over the war and politics. But I learned a lot from my Father, because we had some real tough political debates in our time. I love my Father and admired his courage. Looking back at it all now, it took real balls for an Italian to back a black man for elective office in my home town. And my dad was with Ed Brooke from 1960.
But, I digress. Back to the night in 1969, when my Father was upset with this unknown "girl" who embarrassed his friend and was defended at his own dinner table by his ungrateful, punk of a son. Even if we were both right, in retrospect, he believed neither of us "got it" at the time.
I relate this story because my Dad and I were as close as a Father and Son could be. I ran his campaigns and he won every time, right up to his death in 1997. We would joke about that day in 1969, especially when Bill Clinton became President and that "girl" in our story became "First Lady".
So, when twenty something Democrats want to talk about speaking truth to power or be political revolutionaries, that's great. But please respect those of us who were there before you and were "once like you are now". And especially remember, there are few, if any young people today who ever made a political mark like Hillary Rodham did in Massachusetts when she was just 22 years old.
Hillary D. Rodham's 1969 Student Commencement Speech
Ruth M. Adams, ninth president of Wellesley College, introduced Hillary D. Rodham '69, at the 91st commencement exercises.
In addition to inviting Senator Brooke to speak to them this morning, the Class of '69 has expressed a desire to speak to them and for them at this morning's commencement. There was no debate so far as I could ascertain as to who their spokesman was to be: Miss Hillary Rodham. Member of this graduating class, she is a major in political science and a candidate for the degree with honors. In four years she has combined academic ability with active service to the College, her junior year having served as a Vil Junior, and then as a member of Senate and during the past year as president of College Government and presiding officer of College Senate. She is also cheerful, good humored, good company, and a good friend to all of us and it is a great pleasure to present to this audience Miss Hillary Rodham.
Remarks of Hillary D. Rodham
I am very glad that Miss Adams made it clear that what I am speaking for today is all of us—the 400 of us—and I find myself in a familiar position, that of reacting, something that our generation has been doing for quite a while now. We're not in the positions yet of leadership and power, but we do have that indispensable task of criticizing and constructive protest and I find myself reacting just briefly to some of the things that Senator Brooke said. This has to be brief because I do have a little speech to give.
Part of the problem with empathy with professed goals is that empathy doesn't do us anything. We've had lots of empathy; we've had lots of sympathy, but we feel that for too long our leaders have used politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible, possible. What does it mean to hear that 13.3 percent of the people in this country are below the poverty line? That's a percentage. We're not interested in social reconstruction; it's human reconstruction. How can we talk about percentages and trends? The complexities are not lost in our analyses, but perhaps they're just put into what we consider a more human and eventually a more progressive perspective.
The question about possible and impossible was one that we brought with us to Wellesley four years ago. We arrived not yet knowing what was not possible. Consequently, we expected a lot. Our attitudes are easily understood having grown up, having come to consciousness in the first five years of this decade—years dominated by men with dreams, men in the civil rights movement, the Peace Corps, the space program—so we arrived at Wellesley and we found, as all of us have found, that there was a gap between expectation and realities. But it wasn't a discouraging gap and it didn't turn us into cynical, bitter old women at the age of 18. It just inspired us to do something about that gap. What we did is often difficult for some people to understand. They ask us quite often: "Why, if you're dissatisfied, do you stay in a place?" Well, if you didn't care a lot about it you wouldn't stay. It's almost as though my mother used to say, "I'll always love you but there are times when I certainly won't like you." Our love for this place, this particular place, Wellesley College, coupled with our freedom from the burden of an inauthentic reality allowed us to question basic assumptions underlying our education.
Before the days of the media orchestrated demonstrations, we had our own gathering over in Founder's parking lot. We protested against the rigid academic distribution requirement. We worked for a pass-fail system. We worked for a say in some of the process of academic decision making. And luckily we were in a place where, when we questioned the meaning of a liberal arts education there were people with enough imagination to respond to that questioning. So we have made progress. We have achieved some of the things that initially saw as lacking in that gap between expectation and reality. Our concerns were not, of course, solely academic as all of us know. We worried about inside Wellesley questions of admissions, the kind of people that should be coming to Wellesley, the process for getting them here. We questioned about what responsibility we should have both for our lives as individuals and for our lives as members of a collective group.
Coupled with our concerns for the Wellesley inside here in the community were our concerns for what happened beyond Hathaway House. We wanted to know what relationship Wellesley was going to have to the outer world. We were lucky in that one of the first things Miss Adams did was to set up a cross-registration with MIT because everyone knows that education just can't have any parochial bounds any more. One of the other things that we did was the Upward Bound program. There are so many other things that we could talk about; so many attempts, at least the way we saw it, to pull ourselves into the world outside. And I think we've succeeded. There will be an Upward Bound program, just for one example, on the campus this summer.
Many of the issues that I've mentioned—those of sharing power and responsibility, those of assuming power and responsibility—have been general concerns on campuses throughout the world. But underlying those concerns there is a theme, a theme which is so trite and so old because the words are so familiar. It talks about integrity and trust and respect. Words have a funny way of trapping our minds on the way to our tongues but there are necessary means even in this multimedia age for attempting to come to grasps with some of the inarticulate maybe even inarticulable things that we're feeling.
We are, all of us, exploring a world that none of us even understands and attempting to create within that uncertainty. But there are some things we feel, feelings that our prevailing, acquisitive, and competitive corporate life, including tragically the universities, is not the way of life for us. We're searching for more immediate, ecstatic, and penetrating modes of living. And so our questions, our questions about our institutions, about our colleges, about our churches, about our government continue. The questions about those institutions are familiar to all of us. We have seen heralded across the newspapers. Senator Brooke has suggested some of them this morning. But along with using these words—integrity, trust, and respect—in regard to institutions and leaders we're perhaps harshest with them in regard to ourselves.
Every protest, every dissent, whether it's an individual academic paper or Founder's parking lot demonstration, is unabashedly an attempt to forge an identity in this particular age. That attempt at forging for many of us over the past four years has meant coming to terms with our humanness. Within the context of a society that we perceive—now we can talk about reality, and I would like to talk about reality sometime, authentic reality, inauthentic reality, and what we have to accept of what we see—but our perception of it is that it hovers often between the possibility of disaster and the potentiality for imaginatively responding to men's needs. There's a very strange conservative strain that goes through a lot of New Left, collegiate protests that I find very intriguing because it harkens back to a lot of the old virtues, to the fulfillment of original ideas. And it's also a very unique American experience. It's such a great adventure. If the experiment in human living doesn't work in this country, in this age, it's not going to work anywhere.
But we also know that to be educated, the goal of it must be human liberation. A liberation enabling each of us to fulfill our capacity so as to be free to create within and around ourselves. To be educated to freedom must be evidenced in action, and here again is where we ask ourselves, as we have asked our parents and our teachers, questions about integrity, trust, and respect. Those three words mean different things to all of us. Some of the things they can mean, for instance: Integrity, the courage to be whole, to try to mold an entire person in this particular context, living in relation to one another in the full poetry of existence. If the only tool we have ultimately to use is our lives, so we use it in the way we can by choosing a way to live that will demonstrate the way we feel and the way we know. Integrity—a man like Paul Santmire. Trust. This is one word that when I asked the class at our rehearsal what it was they wanted me to say for them, everyone came up to me and said "Talk about trust, talk about the lack of trust both for us and the way we feel about others. Talk about the trust bust." What can you say about it? What can you say about a feeling that permeates a generation and that perhaps is not even understood by those who are distrusted? All they can do is keep trying again and again and again. There's that wonderful line in "East Coker" by Eliot about there's only the trying, again and again and again; to win again what we've lost before.
And then respect. There's that mutuality of respect between people where you don't see people as percentage points. Where you don't manipulate people. Where you're not interested in social engineering for people. The struggle for an integrated life existing in an atmosphere of communal trust and respect is one with desperately important political and social consequences. And the word consequences of course catapults us into the future. One of the most tragic things that happened yesterday, a beautiful day, was that I was talking to a woman who said that she wouldn't want to be me for anything in the world. She wouldn't want to live today and look ahead to what it is she sees because she's afraid. Fear is always with us but we just don't have time for it. Not now.
There are two people that I would like to thank before concluding. That's Ellie Acheson, who is the spearhead for this, and also Nancy Scheibner who wrote this poem which is the last thing that I would like to read:
My entrance into the world of so-called "social problems"
Must be with quiet laughter, or not at all.
The hollow men of anger and bitterness
The bountiful ladies of righteous degradation
All must be left to a bygone age.
And the purpose of history is to provide a receptacle
For all those myths and oddments
Which oddly we have acquired
And from which we would become unburdened
To create a newer world
To transform the future into the present.
We have no need of false revolutions
In a world where categories tend to tyrannize our minds
And hang our wills up on narrow pegs.
It is well at every given moment to seek the limits in our lives.
And once those limits are understood
To understand that limitations no longer exist.
Earth could be fair. And you and I must be free
Not to save the world in a glorious crusade
Not to kill ourselves with a nameless gnawing pain
But to practice with all the skill of our being
The art of making possible.
Posted by louis c | Fri Feb 12, 2016, 06:35 PM (12 replies)
Our Thoughts and Prayers are with the People of France and we will once again triumph over evil.
Posted by louis c | Mon Nov 16, 2015, 07:40 AM (6 replies)
Say what you may about Ted Cruz, or Donald Trump, or Jeb Bush. I agree, they all suck.
But today, every American with a brain should celebrate the fact that the biggest piece of shit to have held public office in this country in over 60 years has dropped out of the race for President.
Posted by louis c | Mon Sep 21, 2015, 06:45 PM (10 replies)
‘Brady Is Free’: Obama, Others Reference QB At Boston Labor Day Event
September 7, 2015 12:43 PM
BOSTON (CBS) – Football and politics don’t always go hand in hand. But on Labor Day in Boston they did, thanks to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
Brady, who successfully challenged his 4-game DeflateGate suspension, was referenced multiple times during the annual Labor Day union rally and breakfast at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston.
Among those mentioning Brady was President Barack Obama, who didn’t waste any time with a DeflateGate reference.
“It’s always good to be back in Boston, especially when the weather’s like this. Pretty soon fall is going to be in the air. Students are coming back. The Pats kick off on Thursday. Brady is free,” Obama said with a smile.
“Even Brady’s happy he’s got a union,” the president said later in his speech. “When Brady needs a union, we definitely need a union.”
Earlier in the event, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey joked about Brady’s union success.
“No one will question the balls of a union member ever again,” joked Markey, referencing Brady and his allegedly deflated footballs.
Steve Tolman, president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, mentioned Brady during his speech as well.
“It’s because of the union that Tom Brady had the right to challenge the unfair punishment handed down by the NFL,” Tolman told the crowd.
Posted by louis c | Mon Sep 7, 2015, 05:41 PM (2 replies)
I was at the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, Greater Boston Labor Council Annual Labor Day Breakfast today.
I was seated at table 12 in the third row. There were nearly 100 rows, so I had a great seat. At the end, I was at the rope line as the President was leaving and I shook his hand and thanked him for coming to Boston.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke before the President arrived at the Park Plaza.
Senator Warren was by far the best speaker of the day.
Did you know that the top 25 hedge fund earners made more money last year than every kindergarten teacher in the United States, combined?
Did you know that from 1935 until 1980, the bottom 90% of wage earners gained 70% of all new income, but from 1980 until 2012 that same 90% received 0%? That's right, Senator Warren said. While for 45 years the top 10% got 30% of new income, in the next 32 years they got it all. 100%.
The President said that Brady should be happy he was in a union and also said that if he were starting out and wanted to get a job to raise his family, he would certainly join a union. That brought everyone to their feet.
Security wasn't too bad. I got there early (7:00 AM) and just got home (1:00 PM).
But, all in all, it was a Labor Day I will never forget.
Thank you for coming to Boston today, Mr. President.
Posted by louis c | Mon Sep 7, 2015, 12:03 PM (51 replies)
I am so excited to be hearing the President speak tomorrow at the annual Labor Day Breakfast in Boston.
The Labor Day Breakfast is being held at the Park Plaza and begins at 9:00 AM.
As a member of the Greater Boston Labor Council who sits on the board of the Committee on Political Education, I will have a pretty good seat for the festivities.
The schedule includes our Senator, Elizabeth Warren, our Mayor and former President of the Greater Boston Building Trades, Marty Walsh and the President of the United States, Barak Obama.
This will be a great day.
Posted by louis c | Sun Sep 6, 2015, 03:14 PM (43 replies)
Whether or not you are a Patriots' Fan or you hate the fact that they win all the time, you have to admit that the Brady Deflategate saga was quite a lesson to many people on the advantages of being in a union and working under a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
Take, for instance, the players involved with "Bountygate". The New Orleans players that were suspended had all of their punishments dramatically reduced, or, in some cases, completely vacated. The coach, Shawn Payton, worked for management and was, in essence, an employee at will. He had no recourse because he had no employee rights. Therefore, he lost a full year of work, his salary and a hefty fine.
This should be a lesson to everyone in the work-place. Being a union member and working under a CBA, you can only be disciplined for "Just Cause" and not because someone in management thinks you are "generally aware" of another's misconduct, if the misconduct isn't even proven to have taken place in the first instance.
So, whether you work for $20 million a year or $20 thousand a year, only unions give you rights in the work-place.
Posted by louis c | Thu Sep 3, 2015, 06:07 PM (51 replies)
Mr. Trump, you have stated on many occasions that you are not beholden to lobbyists who "buy" politicians, because you don't accept their donations.
You admit that the current system is "corrupt".
Do you denounce the Citizens United Supreme Court decision and will you state, here and now, that any politician who accepts money from the Koch Brothers, the largest political contributors with strings attached, are corrupt?
Posted by louis c | Wed Aug 19, 2015, 06:24 PM (1 replies)
I've been giving some thought about the "Black Lives Matter" movement.
I was involved as a young man in the civil rights movement and my late Father was a very close friend and political ally of Senator Ed Brooke of Mass. (1966-1978).
I like to pride myself in being an aging liberal (63 yrs. old).
I understand that blacks are being oppressed and treated unfairly by everyone in authority, especially black men.
But when others say that all lives matter, why do the demonstrators get so upset with folks who seem to be allies?
Like I said, I gave it some thought.
Then, it dawned on me. The attention should be going to the ones who need it. And the ones who need it are offended that we (whites) don't get it, because it's so obvious.
So, I came up with this analogy that seems to explain it in clearly simple terms.
Let's say there are 8 houses on a street and one is engulfed in flames. At that moment in time, that's the house that matters. The rest are safe. The neighbors need to come to the aid of the burning house. Sure, all the houses matter, but you are insulting the owner of the burning house if you even mention that. It's his (or her) house that is in urgent need, and only an idiot wouldn't be able to see that in real time.
Posted by louis c | Thu Aug 13, 2015, 04:27 PM (10 replies)
My debate question for each Republican candidate.
How can they answer that question without creating a problem?
I know "I fully expect to be the nominee, so that question is irrelevant" is most likely the answer.
But press him. "So, tonight, you can't commit to supporting the Republican nominee, whoever it is, unless you win the nomination?"
Can all 8 others answer the same way, without it looking obvious?
Posted by louis c | Fri Jul 31, 2015, 06:55 PM (5 replies)