Re: Celebrate: corrections
Now I'm really annoyed: I take two days off from this list and all sorts of error creeps in -- compared to which Paul Anderson's gum-pigment- ratio test is small potatoes.
So, as my civic duty and debt to this list, I correct a couple of commentaries.
Dave Rose was not removed from the list for his political opinions, but for the abusive (and as I recall, ad feminam) explosions by which he expressed (or in fact debased) them.
"Share the wealth" is, as we see, an easily abused expression, but in the current context just another term for taxation. If we don't "share the wealth" through taxes, we can't build highways, bridges or parks, pay for police & fire departments, public schools or public hospitals, even the state-supported schools where some of us (lucky dogs) teach --- among many other public necessities & amenities.
"National health insurance" might look like "socialism" to those with employer-paid health insurance or the wealth to purchase it (or pay medical bills) privately. Low income workers (including most artists, writers and other free lancers) may lack health care entirely, perhaps one reason why, to our eternal shame, both infant and adult mortality rates in the US are higher than in all but a few other "first world" countries.
"Death taxes" hardly prevent "giving your children an inheritance," although, those laws having been written by lawyers, you do have to pay tribute to the legal gods to maximize it.(And I mention in passing that unmarried gay couples are at extra risk, therefore especially in need of legal expertise.)
I've read numerous tax reports, including current political platforms, and found no evidence that creative work is, dollar for dollar, taxed beyond non-creative work or work by any other independent entrepreneur.
I, too, grew up during the reign of Hitler and Stalin, and have read representative literature (both fiction and memoir) from those cultures as well as the testimony of refugees. There is/was and can be no way on earth either of those figures could be seen, in or out of their own countries, as "benevolent dictators." Except for a few sycophants and cowed or brainwashed citizens, they were seen, even by supporters, who approved their goals and their ethnic or political "cleansing", as ruthless murderers and all-powerful"dictators."
"Learning from history" is possible only when the "history" given is real, not debased or tendentious. Even more important, history rarely in fact repeats itself, except in terms so general as to be meaningless.
The first amendment to the constitution promises freedom of religion, speech, the press, peaceable assembly and petition for redress of grievances. I'm not aware of how Obama's election threatens any of these, tho maybe I missed something. (The meaning of the 2nd amendment in modern life is so fiercely debated that even I won't go there today.)
As for "creativity" only flourishing in a "free society,"that's more platitude than hard fact. It can in any event depend not only on the society, but also the eye of the beholder. By our standards, for instance, China is far from free, but some enviably great art is made there and some thoroughly debased art flourishes in our "free society."
"Socialist" societies can also be free in ways we are not, and also produce brilliant art, as for instance in Scandanavia. (I think in particular of Swedish ceramics and Danish modern furniture, among many other art -- and government -- forms not requiring our approval.)
I'm unaware of the Pilgrims' attempts at "communism," but suspect the term is loosely applied. In any event, "communism" had no theoretical existence until Marx & Engels' theories of "ownership of the means of production" etc., which didn't exist before the 19th century when capitalism and industrializtion took those means out of the hands of the "common man." For pilgrims, those means could be shovel, plow, fish hook, axe, etc., and widely available.
Again, re "learning from history": The ability to separate fact from opinion is crucial in that endeavor.
love & kisses,