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PRESIDENTIAL SERIES > 11. NO ORDINARY TIME ~ CHAPTER 15 - 17 (379 - 455) (01/01/10 - 01/10/10) ~ No spoilers, please

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Hello Everyone,

For the week of January 1st through January 10th, we are reading the next 76 pages of No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

We are catching up now that the holidays are over. The reading assignment is 76 pages; rather than our usual 50; but an additional 4 days have been extended for reading the additional 26 pages. This will get us back on track after the holidays when most of us were occupied with family, friends, and get togethers.

The eleventh week's assignment is:

January

January 1 - January 10 ~~ Chapter Fifteen (379 – 400)
Chapter Fifteen – “We Are Striking Back” – page 379

Also ~~ Chapter 16 – 17 (401 – 455)

Chapter Sixteen – “The Greatest Man I Have Ever Known” – page 401

Chapter Seventeen – “It Is Blood on Your Hands” - page 432


We will open up a thread for each week's reading. Please make sure to post in the particular thread dedicated to those specific chapters and page numbers to avoid spoilers. We will also open up supplemental threads as we did for other spotlighted books.

This thread should only deal with this chapter and these pages. No spoilers, please.

Discussion on these sections will begin today January 1.

Welcome,

Bentley

TO SEE ALL PREVIOUS WEEKS' THREADS SELECT VIEW ALL




No Ordinary Time Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt The Home Front in World War II by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris Kearns Goodwin







message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 02, 2010 08:29AM) (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
After attending the exhibition yesterday at NYHS on FDR's advisors...(btw - it is a very very small exhibit) even though I enjoyed the little there was; I thought I would put together some information on the Brain Trust and FDR.

The Brain Trust was really a term which originated with FDR in terms of a group of close advisors he could depend upon to tell him the truth about what needed to be done in terms of the economy and other important issues of the day.

Wikipedia - About Brain Trust:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_Trust

Some books:

After Seven Years. (Franklin D. Roosevelt and the era of the New Deal) by Raymond Moley - no cover available and by Raymond Moley

Hoover, Roosevelt and the Brains Trust From Depression to New Deal by Eliot A. Rosen - no cover available and by Eliot A. Rosen

The Brains Trust by Rexford Guy Tugwell - no cover available and by Rexford Guy Tugwell

The Great Depression America 1929-1941 by Robert S. McElvaine Robert S. McElvaine

Google Book:

http://books.google.com/books?id=MpCT...

Note: if you run the cursor over the book cover; the title of each cited book is revealed.

Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site:

http://www.nps.gov/archive/elro/gloss...

Nothing to Fear FDR's Inner Circle and the Hundred Days That Created Modern America by Adam Cohen Adam Cohen


message 3: by Joe (new)

Joe (blues) I also saw the FDR's Advisors exhibit at the NYHS when I was there, but we rushed through it, unfortunately. But we wanted to concentrate on the Lincoln exhibit. Also, on the 4th floor, it was nice to see on display some original paintings of Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, Jay, and a few others. I remember seeing them during a junior highschool trip to NYC ages ago.


message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 03, 2010 02:01PM) (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Raymond Moley

Moley supported then New York Governor Franklin Roosevelt and recruited fellow Columbia professors to form the original "Brain Trust" to advise Roosevelt during his presidential campaign of 1932.

Despite ridicule from editorial and political cartoonists, the "Brain Trust" went to Washington and became powerful figures in Roosevelt's New Deal. Indeed,

Moley claimed credit for inventing the term "New Deal,"though its precise provenance remains open to debate. Praising the new president's first moves in March 1933, Moley concluded that capitalism "was saved in eight days."

In mid-1933 he broke with Roosevelt and became a conservative Republican. As a columnist for Newsweek magazine from 1937–1968, he became one of the best known critics of the New Deal and liberalism in general. Moley's After Seven Years (New York: 1939) was one of the first in-depth attacks on the New Deal, and remains one of the most powerful.

Moley was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Richard Nixon on April 22, 1970.

He wrote the majority of Roosevelt's first inaugural address, although he is not credited with penning the famous line, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

Raymond Moley also wrote various pamphlets and articles on the teaching of government.


Soource: Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_...

PDF file of Moley's book:

On line e book:

http://mises.org/books/after_seven_ye...

Statement on the death of Raymond Moley by President Ford:

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/ind...

This old video is remarkable for many reasons.....here is Mike Wallace puffing up a storm and interviewing Senator Wayne Morse in 5/26/57; Morse had changed parties and seemed to have a lot to say about everyone including Moley. I think the video is a classic. The commercials are unbelievable (lol).

http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/multimedia/...

However, there are other interviews which you can also watch that Mike Wallace did including one of Eleanor Roosevelt: (also in 1957)

This is a great interview; she answers questions about Ike, Churchill, her husband, Adlai Stevenson, Kennedy, garlic pills and many other topics. She is so well spoken and so politically correct.

HERE IS THE URL FOR THE ELEANOR ROOSEVELT INTERVIEW WITH MW (VIDEO)

http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/multimedia/...

Here is an index to many others: (all from the Ransom Center)

http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/collections...









message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Adolf Berle

Berle was educated at Harvard, and was a member of the Paris Peace Conference after World War I.

Unhappy with the terms of the Versailles Treaty, he resigned in protest. He became a professor of corporate law at Columbia Law School in 1927 and remained on the faculty until retiring in 1964.

He is best known for his groundbreaking work in corporate governance. His book, The Modern Corporation and Private Property, which he co-authored with the Economist Gardiner Means remains to this date most quoted text in corporate governance.

During the FDR Administration, Berle worked on the New Deal and the Good Neighbor Policy.

As Assistant Secretary of State (1938-1944) in charge of security, Berle had a 1939 meeting, arranged by journalist Isaac Don Levine, with former Soviet agent Whittaker Chambers, two days after the signing of the Hitler-Stalin pact.

In his notes of that meeting, which he titled "Underground Espionage Agent," Berle listed a series of names, including that of State Department official Alger Hiss, to which he appended the notation, "Member of the underground Com.--Active." In his 1973 memoirs, Levine wrote that Berle told him a few weeks later that he had brought the matter to FDR's attention, without success: “To the best of my recollection, the President dismissed the matter rather brusquely with an expletive remark on this order: ‘Oh, forget it, Adolf.’”

Berle later served as Ambassador to Brazil from 1945 to 1946, and was a founding member of the New York State Liberal Party. In 1961, he headed a task force for President John F. Kennedy that recommended the Alliance for Progress.

He published several books during his lifetime, including the groundbreaking work he authored with Gardiner Means called The Modern Corporation and Private Property, which was first published in 1932.


Source: Wikipedia


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Berle

Books:

Power Without Property A New Development in American Political Economy by Adolf Augustus Berle - no cover available on goodreads - book by Adolf Augustus Berle

Liberal Adolf A. Berle and the Vision of an American Era by Jordan A. Schwarz Jordan A. Schwarz

Tides of crisis A primer of foreign relations by Adolf Augustus Berle - no cover available - book by Adolf Augustus Berle

Power by Adolf Augustus Berle - no cover available - book by Adolf Augustus Berle

Latin America Diplomacy and Reality by Adolf Augustus Berle Adolf Augustus Berle

Twentieth-Century Capitalist Revolution by Adolf A. Berle - no cover available - book by Adolf Augustus Berle

Studies in the Law of Corporation Finance (Business Enterprises Reprint Series) by Adolf Augustus Berle - no cover available - book by Adolf A. Berle

The Modern Corporation and Private Property by Adolph Berle Adolph Berle




message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 04, 2010 02:26AM) (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Rexford Tugwell

Rexford G. Tugwell (1891-1979)

Born in upstate New York in 1891, Rexford G. Tugwell would perform a variety of functions for FDR from 1932 until the president's death in 1945.

Tugwell received his doctorate in economics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1922 and joined the faculty of Columbia University the following year.

In 1932, he played a key role in FDR's campaign, serving as his economic policy advisor and as a member of FDR's Brain Trust. FDR subsequently made him the assistant secretary of agriculture in 1933, promoted him to undersecretary in 1934, and then tapped him to head the Resettlement Administration in 1935.

During this time, Tugwell had a hand in crafting the Agricultural Adjustment Act and the National Industrial Recovery Act, and then under the auspices of the Resettlement Administration began work on the greenbelt communities—a quasi-utopian urban development project that sought to construct new self-sufficient cities from the ground up.

As the Resettlement Administration's head, Tugwell had authority over the greentown community of Arthurdale, a project in which the first lady had also taken a serious interest.

Although Tugwell and Eleanor Roosevelt clearly enjoyed each other's company and shared a mutual respect, their relationship was complicated by the first lady's special relationship with Arthurdale residents and her frequent attempts to intercede with Tugwell on their behalf.

After FDR's first term, Tugwell left the federal government for the private sector, but by 1938 he had reentered public service when he assumed chairmanship of the New York City Planning Commission between 1938 and 1940.

The following year, FDR brought Tugwell back into his services by appointing him governor of Puerto Rico, a position he held until 1946 when he left the government for good to pursue his academic career. Tugwell continued to write, publish, and lecture until his death in 1979.


Sources:

Beasley, Maurine H., Holly C. Shulman, and Henry R. Beasley, eds. The Eleanor Roosevelt Encyclopedia. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2001, 527-529.

The Concise Dictionary of American Biography . 5th ed. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1997, 1319.

Lash, Joseph. Eleanor and Franklin. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1971, 411-415.

The Eleanor Roosevelt Encyclopedia by Henry R. Beasley Henry R. Beasley

Eleanor & Franklin by Joseph P. Lash Joseph P. Lash

Concise Dictionary of American Biography by Charles Scribner Sons Charles Scribner Sons

Source for write-up: Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site

http://www.nps.gov/archive/elro/gloss...

Wikipedia article on Tugwell:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rexford_...

Books by Tugwell:

The Impact of War on American Life The Twentieth-Century Experience by Keith L. Nelson Keith L. Nelsonand Rexford G. Tugwell

Grover Cleveland by Rexford Guy Tugwell = no cover available on goodreads - book by Rexford Guy Tugwell

The Stricken Land The Story of Puerto Rico by Rexford Guy Tugwell Rexford Guy Tugwell

ADDITIONAL BOOKS BY TUGWELL - ALL WITH NO COVERS: (author's link already provided)

To the Lesser Heights of Morningside A Memoir

The art of politics, as practiced by three great Americans, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Luis Munoz Marin, and Fiorello H. La Guardia

The Brains Trust

Roosevelt's revolution The first year, a personal perspective

In Search of Roosevelt

The emerging Constitution,

The enlargement of the Presidency

Compromising of the Constitution

Changing the colonial climate

The Battle for Democracy

The industrial discipline and the governmental arts

BOOKS ABOUT TUGWELL:

Rexford G. Tugwell A Biography by Michael Vincent Namorato Michael Vincent Namorato

The Diary of Rexford G. Tugwell The New Deal, 1932-1935 (Contributions in Economics and Economic History) by Michael Vincent Namorato Michael Vincent Namorato

Note: Because in the unusual case of Tugwell's books where none of his covers were showing up on goodreads..I was forced for readibility issues to post the links to be able to differentiate between each book. However, I also spread out the notations for easy readability. Additionally, the author was already added.


message 7: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 03, 2010 04:40PM) (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Interesting interview with Tugwell:

Program 118: Beyond the Smoke-Filled Rooms

Rexford G. Tugwell, in an interview with the Center's Frank K. Kelly, examines the sort of political judgment exhibited by Lyndon Johnson in 1964 and Franklin Roosevelt in 1932, when they chose not to educate the people about the issues, even though they seemed to face an assured electoral victory, comparing it to his own experiences as governor of Puerto Rico. Sept. 14, 1964. [CSDI program number 118; UCSB tape number A7675/R7:]

http://www.library.ucsb.edu/speccoll/...

Source: The Center for the Study of Democratic
Institutions Audio Archive

Note: A good interview


message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 03, 2010 07:36PM) (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Joe wrote: "I also saw the FDR's Advisors exhibit at the NYHS when I was there, but we rushed through it, unfortunately. But we wanted to concentrate on the Lincoln exhibit. Also, on the 4th floor, it was nice..."


Joe...sorry...just saw your post. The best parts were the Columbia oral history interviews and the video they showed. They were quite good.

Yes, there was quite a lot to see...but I just focused mainly on AL and then did the FDR exhibit.

The Lincoln exhibit took a sizeable amount of time; I go through these kind of exhibits with a fine tooth comb. The AL exhibit was set up quite well.




message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 04, 2010 02:24AM) (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Bentley wrote: "Adolf Berle

Berle was educated at Harvard, and was a member of the Paris Peace Conference after World War I.

Unhappy with the terms of the Versailles Treaty, he resigned in protest. He became a ..."


Note: If you run your cursor over the book cover, you will see the title of the book itself and you also can use the link to obtain additional information.



message 10: by Vincent (new)

Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1186 comments For those of us also reading Linocln I note here titles of Tugwell's books, mentioned above and ask could not the same titles have been used for books about Lincoln's presidency

The emerging Constitution,

The enlargement of the Presidency

Compromising of the Constitution





message 11: by Vincent (new)

Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1186 comments Just some observations on this section and how this war must have been a unifying and maybe homoginizing force for America.
The sharing of rationing and the open opportunity for woman to learn and accomplish things they had never done in America. (Elsewhere in the world?)

In 1943 there were about 135 million americans - so figure maybe for males from 18 to 40 years old maybe 20 - 25% of the population - in 43 4.3 million were in uniform about 3% of the population - if 20% is the right figure for that age group of males then about 12% of the population in that group - Roosevelt authorized upt 7.5 million which would have been about 20% of that part of the population - all going through the same training - what a unifying force - no wonder the Roosevelt boys and the son-in-law felt that should go if they could.
Also our racial difficulties - the incarcerating the Japanese - treating those born here idfferently than those who came here as infants......... - also did the remark of the University of Arizona President that "these people are our enemies" imply that there might have been real danger to them. and thihs was an educated man I assume.
The battles of and with the unions - the loss or erosion of power for Churchill and the English - the failure to understand the holocaust........... very full pages



message 12: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Vince wrote: "For those of us also reading Linocln I note here titles of Tugwell's books, mentioned above and ask could not the same titles have been used for books about Lincoln's presidency

The emerging Con..."


Could be Vince or even George Bush's.




message 13: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Vince wrote: "Just some observations on this section and how this war must have been a unifying and maybe homoginizing force for America.
The sharing of rationing and the open opportunity for woman to learn a..."


Yes Vince there was a lot to cover in these pages...a larger subsection than normal after the holidays.




message 14: by Sera (new)

Sera | 145 comments I agree; there is a bunch of information here, but I really enjoyed seeing how far the US had come in 4 years. We made so much progress so quickly - it's funny how long it takes us to do anything these days.

I have about 70 pages left and will likely finish the book by week's end. Goodwin has done a great job with circling back on the numerous topics in this book so I'm really looking forward to reading what she has to say by the book's end.


message 15: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Good for you Sera..there is a lot in these chapters. Why do you think it takes our country so long to be able to do anything these days. What has changed...people, govt, confidence, etc.?



message 16: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 128 comments Vince is right; there is so much here it's hard to know where to start. I thing about Sera's question and I have to insert a somewhat negative thought. In the 1940's I think governing and decision making was still left to a much smaller group of people, at least at the national level. Today we have a much larger population, but also, people from many more backgrounds, social, economic, ethnic, understand the importance of evaluating govt decisions and actually trying to influence our direction. So our democratic process has gotten messier, politicians have a harder time figuring out what is politically expedient, but while it slows us down, I like to think in the long run it is healthier. WWII was, in my opinion, a very unique circumstance. I can forgive behavior, such as "ethnic panic" that I think is unforgivable today because people had less information in general. I keep thinking about how the personal telephone call was pretty much the only means of quick communication and was out of reach for many people in cost. Telegrams were fairly fast, but not instant. So a smaller number of relatively privileged people needed to make decisions for others. There just wasn't time in that situation for everyone to get every piece of information and weigh in.


message 17: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
And now I guess Andrea we have moved into the communication age where we have data overload.

I had not thought about the problems in communication...but Kearns did reference the confusion in the White House even trying to find out how bad the damage was at Pearl Harbor. Those were very different times.


message 18: by Vincent (new)

Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1186 comments The communication of data though is relatively inexpensive so we have blogs - networks - lots of folks making lots of commentary without any comparable cost. The folks with lots of money - like pharma and their lobbies - can use this low cost communications to mold how people view things.

The technological advancement has made it much harder - I mean without common and cheap flights would there have been a comparable 911 with that small effort and investment.

Without losing freedom I would like to see an increase in responsibility - talk is cheap I don't know how to do that.


message 19: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Yes Vince...I too doubt that a 9/11 would have been feasable. But who knows with Bin Laden bankrolling everything.

I would like to see an increase in personal responsibility too; but pretty soon I think we will be issued flight suits which we will have to fly in and nothing will be allowed on board.


message 20: by Sera (new)

Sera | 145 comments I think that one of the reasons that our government isn't as productive as had been in the past is that the horsetrading to get legislation passed has become out of control. Obama is currently under a lot of criticism b/c he wanted to have the health care debate live on television, but now his administration doesn't want to show it, because of all of the back room deals that will be made to get the legislation passed. Politics has always been about compromise, but now it's all about money. We now have to buy votes in Congress, which is not only expensive, but time consuming, since it seems that both Republicans and Democrats alike have their hands out. In the past, I've been a real political junkie, but frankly, I can't stomach it anymore. I guess that's why I'd rather read history books about the "good old days" than to see what's going on today.


message 21: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
What can I say Sera...having it live would have been interesting..but when you have problems within the party..it makes it rather hard. The insurance companies are paying the tab for these folks to even run for office...so some are in the pockets of the lobbyists. It is a shame about everything being so selfish and not about the country. I don't think the good old days were all that good...but I do think when the rubber met the road...the country was the top consideration. I do not think that is the way it is now.


message 22: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 10, 2010 07:35PM) (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
The Brain Trust were certainly trusted advisors; but the political animal which really helped FDR win was Louis Howe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Mc...

Louis McHenry Howe (January 14, 1871- April 18 ,1936) [1:] was an intimate friend and close political advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He, along with Eleanor Roosevelt and Margurite "Missy" LeHand, was one of the few close associates who supported FDR throughout the most difficult stages of his personal and political recuperation after being afflicted by paralytic illness.

Howe is most known for his fierce, astute, and lifelong devotion to the political career of Franklin D. Roosevelt who publicly credited him (along with James Farley) for his initial election in 1932.[2:] Howe was also well known for his ill health and diminutive appearance which was referred to as "gnome-like" or "ghoulish". Part of this antipathy to his appearance may well have been provoked by the success of the Roosevelt campaigns he managed, doubtless a contributing factor to his sickly appearance was his loss of 32 lbs during the 1932 campaign to elect Roosevelt when he worked day & night and slept in his clothes.[3:] Howe inspired legends concerning his power over the president. Howe didn't really mind the name calling and often when his phone rang he'd pick it up and say in a sepulchral voice, "This is the Medieval Gnome speaking." And, tying up many of the names which had been conferred on him, he even had cards printed with the title, "Colonel Louis Rasputin Voltaire Talleyrand Simon Legree Howe."[4:] He favored The New York Times' description of him as "The President's Other I.", The New York Herald Tribune stated of him, "His loyalty is not to himself, or to an abstract ideal of government, but solely to Franklin D. Roosevelt." He was in truth one of the most influential characters in the making of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt's political careers and perhaps most widely known under the title, "king-maker." Howe was also referred to as "The man behind Roosevelt" and Eleanor Roosevelt frankly credited him for his influence on her political development as well.


Source: Wikipedia (link above)


message 23: by Elizabeth S (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2011 comments Sera wrote: "...it seems that both Republicans and Democrats alike have their hands out. In the past, I've been a real political junkie, but frankly, I can't stomach it anymore. I guess that's why I'd rather read history books about the "good old days" than to see what's going on today."

Agreed. I try to avoid discussing politics for this reason. Plus the fact that so many around me are hard-core one direction or the other. Anytime someone says one political party is made up of [whatever is positive this week:] but the other party is made up of [whatever is negative this week:], it makes me raise my eyebrows.



message 24: by Elizabeth S (last edited Jan 14, 2010 02:21PM) (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2011 comments Some more thoughts on the Japanese-American internment. Often when discussing the issue, we end up debating how personally responsible FDR was for what happened. While I agree that responsibility goes all the way to the top, I think a lot of the blame should go to the "ethnic panic" stirred up by some people. Surely some of the rational in FDR's mind was that it was an explosive situation, he didn't have time to deal with it, and this would keep things from getting to the point where he would need to send in the national guard.

(I should also mention that when judging people of the past, I agree with Andrea (post 16) that we shouldn't judge people based on the standards and level of information we have today. There is a difference between people who knowledgeably make a mistake and those who ignorantly make a mistake.)

Also, I think FDR had a deep fear of spies. Back in Chapter 7 (page 173), the argument that convinced FDR to keep the nation's doors closed to Jewish refugees was the "fearsome stories purporting to prove that the refugees Eleanor and her friends wanted to bring into the country were not refugees at all, but German agents trying to use America's hospitality for their own dark purposes." Goodwin says that Long played "on the president's fears that spies had infiltrated the refugee stream."

And that was one of the big arguments for interring the Japanese Americans-- they might be spies. A couple of years ago I was in a book group that discussed The Invisible Thread about the author's experiences as a child in the camps. One of the ladies in the group was the daughter of two parents who had been in the camps. She brought a lot of interesting information about her parents' experiences and things she has uncovered herself. I asked her if there was even ONE spy or agent or anything found among the Japanese interred. She said not even one. Has anyone else heard anything differently? It seems to me to be even more tragic, knowing that the accusation against them proved completely untrue.

The Invisible Thread An Autobiography by Yoshiko Uchida Yoshiko Uchida


message 25: by Elizabeth S (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2011 comments On the military side of things, reading about the landing in Africa made me REALLY glad that wasn't the D-day landing. (See pages 386-387.) The disorganization and unnecessary equipment and confusions... ouch. It is a good thing some of this could get figured out before invading France.


message 26: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Great posts Elizabeth..long day in the city today and tonight.


message 27: by Sera (new)

Sera | 145 comments Great posts! I had a long week with work and the baby, but I'm hoping to finish the book this weekend.

I think that the point about the rationale for not allowing Jewish refugees into the country, because they could be spies, is a good one. So much of what had happening was new to the world so people made decisions within a context that neither they or anyone else had seen before. I was watching some WWII footage on the Military Channel last night and not even the Germans believed initially that Hitler was actually exterminating the Jewish people. It took awhile for that act to sink in, but even then, the Germans were so committed to Hitler's plan, that many of them believed that he was doing the right thing. Most of the footage was old and included first hand accounts of people who were close to Hitler. It was all quite fascinating if anyone is interested. The MC has history Fridays where the shows that they air are not military-focused.


message 28: by Elizabeth S (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2011 comments Sera wrote: "...not even the Germans believed initially that Hitler was actually exterminating the Jewish people. It took awhile for that act to sink in..."

I think you are really right about this, Sera, that people didn't really realize or believe what is happening. Looking back, because we know it happened, sometimes we forget how fantastic (as in unbelievable) the stories seemed. I can picture people saying, "Surely it couldn't be that bad." As Goodwin says on page 454, "Nor could most Americans, growing up in a democratic culture, comprehend the unprecedented scale and savagery of Hitler's determination to obliterate the Jews." As I wrote in my margin on page 396, "It just seems too horrible to be true."

And I guess that is part of the reason we have holocaust remembrances and museums and such. Because even now there are a few people who find it hard to believe it really happened. I must have grown up at just the right time and/or had the right kind of teachers, because I learned about it and felt the horror and the determination to never let it happen again. It wasn't until I was an adult that I learned that some people really didn't think the holocaust was real. I guess there are those who belong to the Flat Earth society, too.



message 29: by Elizabeth S (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2011 comments On page 443 the book mentions that Congress overrode FDR's veto of the Smith-Connally Act and that it was "only the eighth time in ten years that Congress had enacted a bill into law over Roosevelt's veto."

That made me wonder how common it was among other presidents. According to wikipedia, the first veto
was done by George Washington in 1792. The first Congressional override was in 1845. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veto#Uni...)

According to senate.gov, the number of vetos between 1789 and 2000 was 2550. The number of overrides was 106. (See http://www.senate.gov/reference/resou...) Not all that common.


message 30: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Interesting...I tried to figure out what it took to override a veto.

Referencing the philosophy of checks and balances in government by Montesquieu, it can be said that the power to override a Presidential veto is necessary to uphold checks and balances. Figure this: If the Congress was vastly affiliated with a specific party and planned for a bill to become an act, only to have it vetoed permanently by a polar-party President, nothing would be accomplished. Thusly, if Congress adamantly wanted to pass a bill, they could override the President's veto with 2/3 supporting consensus from both Congressional houses. (Take note that it takes 3/4 consensus from both houses to actually sent a bill to the White House for approval.)


message 31: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 54 comments Sera wrote in post #27: "The MC has history Fridays where the shows that they air are not military-focused. .."

-------------------------

Thanks for this info, Sera. I'll check this out. And as I read your post on a Friday this info is quite timely. :)




message 32: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 54 comments message 15: by Bentley,

Good for you Sera..there is a lot in these chapters. Why do you think it takes our country so long to be able to do anything these days. What has changed...people, govt, confidence, etc.?
--------------------------------------

message 20: by Sera


I think that one of the reasons that our government isn't as productive as had been in the past is that the horsetrading to get legislation passed has become out of control. Obama is currently under a lot of criticism b/c he wanted to have the health care debate live on television, but now his administration doesn't want to show it, because of all of the back room deals that will be made to get the legislation passed. Politics has always been about compromise, but now it's all about money.
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message 21: by Bentley,

What can I say Sera...having it live would have been interesting..but when you have problems within the party..it makes it rather hard. The insurance companies are paying the tab for these folks to even run for office...so some are in the pockets of the lobbyists. It is a shame about everything being so selfish and not about the country. I don't think the good old days were all that good...but I do think when the rubber met the road...the country was the top consideration. I do not think that is the way it is now.

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I believe the answer to your question, Bentley, is corporate money. Unfortunately yesterdays Supreme Court decision, as the NY Times notes in their editorial, is a major blow to our democracy.

Here is a link to their editorial.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/opi...


message 33: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Yes, Alias...I was totally disgusted with the Supreme Court yesterday and posted similar articles on the Amendments thread. Why don't they just call us United States of Exxon.


message 34: by James (last edited Jan 23, 2010 02:00AM) (new)

James It's an ominous development.
It will allow big business to dominate elections through sheer message overload, and hence to control the majority of elected officials by making sure they know they can be replaced if they don't meet the expectations of the corporate lobbies. Since many corporations are multinational, it will essentially enable other countries, via corporations they subsidize, to hijack elections here.
Mussolini never really made the remark attributed to him to the effect that "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power," but he might as well have.


message 35: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
It is extremely perilous in that they took a case where they did not have to even rule on financing....and made it one so that they could purposely make this ruling and affect this dynamic. I do not think it happened by accident and this is a clear example of an activist court. You raise an interesting point about multinational corporations. I have lost all admiration with this ruling...I felt similarly when they ruled on Bush versus Gore in the election and did not allow the ballots to be all recounted. A real low point for the Supreme Court.




message 36: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 54 comments James wrote: "Since many corporations are multinational, it will essentially enable other countries, via corporations they subsidize, to hijack elections here.."
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Excellent point, James. I didn't think of that.
Good grief what a bad situation this is. :(




message 37: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
The Supreme Court's gift to big business:

http://money.cnn.com/2010/01/22/news/...


message 38: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 54 comments Thank you for the link, Bentley. I am putting the Times editorial and your link in my copy of the book,

Gangs of America The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy (BK Currents) by Ted Nace Gangs of America: The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy By Ted Nace.

I read this book a few years ago and recommend it highly.


message 39: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Thank you Alias for your recommendation and you are welcome about the link.


message 40: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 54 comments Chapter 17- page 438
" Churchill asked if he could see the house of Barbara Frietchie, whose courage in placing a Union flag outside her attic window as the Confederate army marched by inspired John Greenleaf Whittier's poem "Barba Frietchie." The discussion prompted Roosevelt to quote the famous lines "shoot, if you must, this old gray head,/ But spare your country's flag, she said. When it was clear that this was as far as Roosevelt could go, Churchill chimed in quoting from memory the entire poem. While his companions were asking themselves how he could do this when he hadn't read the poem for thirty years...."

Here is the entire poem.

Barbara Frietchie

Up from the meadows rich with corn,
Clear in the cool September morn,

The clustered spires of Frederick stand
Green-walled by the hills of Maryland.

Round about them orchards sweep,
Apple and peach tree fruited deep,

Fair as the garden of the Lord
To the eyes of the famished rebel horde,

On that pleasant morn of the early fall
When Lee marched over the mountain-wall;

Over the mountains winding down,
Horse and foot, into Frederick town.

Forty flags with their silver stars,
Forty flags with their crimson bars,

Flapped in the morning wind: the sun
Of noon looked down, and saw not one.

Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then,
Bowed with her fourscore years and ten;

Bravest of all in Frederick town,
She took up the flag the men hauled down;

In her attic window the staff she set,
To show that one heart was loyal yet,

Up the street came the rebel tread,
Stonewall Jackson riding ahead.

Under his slouched hat left and right
He glanced; the old flag met his sight.

'Halt!' - the dust-brown ranks stood fast.
'Fire!' - out blazed the rifle-blast.

It shivered the window, pane and sash;
It rent the banner with seam and gash.

Quick, as it fell, from the broken staff
Dame Barbara snatched the silken scarf.

She leaned far out on the window-sill,
And shook it forth with a royal will.

'Shoot, if you must, this old gray head,
But spare your country's flag,' she said.

A shade of sadness, a blush of shame,
Over the face of the leader came;

The nobler nature within him stirred
To life at that woman's deed and word;

'Who touches a hair of yon gray head
Dies like a dog! March on! he said.

All day long through Frederick street
Sounded the tread of marching feet:

All day long that free flag tost
Over the heads of the rebel host.

Ever its torn folds rose and fell
On the loyal winds that loved it well;

And through the hill-gaps sunset light
Shone over it with a warm good-night.

Barbara Frietchie's work is o'er,
And the Rebel rides on his raids nor more.

Honor to her! and let a tear
Fall, for her sake, on Stonewalls' bier.

Over Barbara Frietchie's grave,
Flag of Freedom and Union, wave!

Peace and order and beauty draw
Round they symbol of light and law;

And ever the stars above look down
On thy stars below in Frederick town!

John Greenleaf Whittier

http://www.poemhunter.com/




message 41: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 25, 2010 09:27AM) (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Yes it is amazing isn't it...I posted on one of these threads (videos) ..where Richard Burton and another actor discussed how when Churchill was in the audience watching them act Shakespeare he would mouth every word and line and knew their entire part by heart.


message 42: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 54 comments Bentley wrote: "Yes it is amazing isn't it...I posted on one of these threads (videos) ..where Richard Burton and another actor discussed how when Churchill was in the audience watching them play Shakespeare he wo..."

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Churchill's memory and facility with words was astounding.

On TV this past Sunday, on one of the morning news shows, they were talking about Churchill and they used this apt quote by Murrow.


He mobilized the English language and sent it into battle to steady his fellow countrymen and hearten those Europeans upon whom the long dark night of tyranny had descended.
Edward R. Murrow, On Winston Churchill, 1954
US broadcast journalist & newscaster (1908 - 1965)




message 43: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Yes, very true about Churchill and another great - Morrow.


message 44: by Elizabeth S (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2011 comments Thanks for the entire poem, Alias. I had intended to look it up, but forgot. I keep forgetting how much Churchill knew about the American Civil War. He did write a book about it. It is actually part of his History of the English Speaking Peoples.

American Civil War (no cover) Winston S. Churchill

This is the link for the entire work: A History of the English Speaking Peoples - 4 Volumes.

I think the American Civil War is in the fourth volume: The Great Democracies, Volume 4 (A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, Volume IV) by Winston Spencer Churchill

Have I got it right?


message 45: by James (new)

James Churchill liked to think of himself as kind of a living bridge between Britain and the U.S., as his mother was American. He was very fond of this country.


message 46: by Vincent (new)

Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1186 comments Bentley wrote: "The Supreme Court's gift to big business:

http://money.cnn.com/2010/01/22/news/..."


So everyone - who is a lawyer???

if a corporation has "freedom of speech" does it not follow that it has a vote? Can the bill of rights be applied to non-humans - non-citizens?

Is such freedom of speech by corporations tax deductible - contribution are not I believe.




message 47: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 128 comments I've often thought over the years about the "legal fiction" that a corporation is an individual with rights. Maybe giving a corporation the right to vote will be one more step in that direction. It seems like it was originally developed mainly to save people from personal responsibility for things their corporations had done. Maybe time to revisit the whole concept? Sorry to be a bit off track.


message 48: by James (new)

James I believe you're right, Andrea - that exemption from liability is the main function of a corporation, in both the narrow legal and the broader moral sense. Have you seen the film "The Corporation"? It examines the behavior of corporations against the diagnostic criteria for antisocial personality disorder, i.e. sociopathy, and shows how behavior patterns that are normal for a corporation are pathological in an individual.
It kind of ties in with something M. Scott Peck wrote about in The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth
The Road Less Traveled A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth by M. Scott Peck - he wrote about a time when he worked at the Pentagon during the Vietnam war; he described how many people who sincerely felt that what the U.S. was doing in Vietnam was wrong felt that their jobs were such small parts of the system that they were neither responsible for it nor capable of doing anything to change it. I think a lot of people who work in or for corporations suffer from that same kind of blind spot.


message 49: by Vincent (new)

Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1186 comments James wrote: "I believe you're right, Andrea - that exemption from liability is the main function of a corporation, in both the narrow legal and the broader moral sense. Have you seen the film "The Corporation"?..."

Actually James and Andrea I believe it is not "exemption from liability" but rather "limitation of liability" as the justification of a corporate structure.

I would also think that any protections to corporations are for the purpose of protecting the property of the people. I don't see this giving corporations "rights". If an owner of shares in a corporation chooses to exercise his rights to benefit something he owns OK but not the owned thing. I think - still need a lawyer.






message 50: by James (new)

James From the website of the Legal Information Institute:
"The law treats a corporation as a legal "person" that has standing to sue and be sued, distinct from its stockholders. The legal independence of a corporation prevents shareholders from being personally liable for corporate debts. It also allows stockholders to sue the corporation through a derivative suit and makes ownership in the company (shares) easily transferable. The legal "person" status of corporations gives the business perpetual life; deaths of officials or stockholders do not alter the corporation's structure."
The problems are that (a) the stockholders who may benefit from a corporation's wrongdoing - for example, their stock is worth more because the corporation increased its net profits by cutting corners on product safety - are not liable for the harm to individuals or to society caused by that wrongdoing; and it's impossible to send a corporation to prison.


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