You know, New York Times, if you keep this up, I might actually grow to like you!
Isn’t this great? Here’s hoping we’ll see something useful out of it:
ScienceDaily (Mar. 3, 2011) — For the first time, scientists discovered that a specific type of human cell, generated from stem cells and transplanted into spinal cord injured rats, provide tremendous benefit, not only repairing damage to the nervous system but helping the animals regain locomotor function as well.
The study, published March 2 in the journal PLoS ONE, focuses on human astrocytes — the major support cells in the central nervous system — and indicates that transplantation of these cells represents a potential new avenue for the treatment of spinal cord injuries and other central nervous system disorders.
Lucky, lucky us. I look forward to seeing the Delaware River aflame.
Written by Henry A. Wallace. An article in the New York Times, April 9, 1944. From Henry A. Wallace, Democracy Reborn (New York, 1944), edited by Russell Lord, p. 259.
Henry Wallace was one of two Republicans FDR appointed to cabinet positions; he served as Secretary of Agriculture, and was selected to run for vice president in 1940. He was an unusually progressive thinker, having started school lunches and food stamps during the Great Depression.
On returning from my trip to the West in February, I received a request from The New York Times to write a piece answering the following questions:
What is a fascist?
How many fascists have we?
How dangerous are they?
A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends. The supreme god of a fascist, to which his ends are directed, may be money or power; may be a race or a class; may be a military, clique or an economic group; or may be a culture, religion, or a political party.
The perfect type of fascist throughout recent centuries has been the Prussian Junker, who developed such hatred for other races and such allegiance to a military clique as to make him willing at all times to engage in any degree of deceit and violence necessary to place his culture and race astride the world. In every big nation of the world are at least a few people who have the fascist temperament. Every Jew-baiter, every Catholic hater, is a fascist at heart. The hoodlums who have been desecrating churches, cathedrals and synagogues in some of our larger cities are ripe material for fascist leadership.
The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others. Dangerous as these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands of other people who have never been mentioned. The really dangerous American fascists are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power. If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort. They are doing this even in those cases where they hope to have profitable connections with German chemical firms after the war ends. They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead.
American fascism will not be really dangerous until there is a purposeful coalition among the cartelists, the deliberate poisoners of public information, and those who stand for the K.K.K. type of demagoguery. The European brand of fascism will probably present its most serious postwar threat to us via Latin America. The effect of the war has been to raise the cost of living in most Latin American countries much faster than the wages of labor. The fascists in most Latin American countries tell the people that the reason their wages will not buy as much in the way of goods is because of Yankee imperialism. The fascists in Latin America learn to speak and act like natives. Our chemical and other manufacturing concerns are all too often ready to let the Germans have Latin American markets, provided the American companies can work out an arrangement which will enable them to charge high prices to the consumer inside the United States. Following this war, technology will have reached such a point that it will be possible for Germans, using South America as a base, to cause us much more difficulty in World War III than they did in World War II. The military and landowning cliques in many South American countries will find it attractive financially to work with German fascist concerns as well as expedient from the standpoint of temporary power politics.
Fascism is a worldwide disease. Its greatest threat to the United States will come after the war, either via Latin America or within the United States itself.
Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion. American fascists of this stamp were clandestinely aligned with their German counterparts before the war, and are even now preparing to resume where they left off, after “the present unpleasantness” ceases:
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This is not the man he voted for.
Matt Damon sat down with Piers Morgan for an interview that will air Thursday night, and among other things, talked about his feelings on the first two years of President Obama’s administration. During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Damon was a vocal Obama supporter, campaigning for the then-candidate at rallies, promoting him through aMoveOn video contest and attending fundraisers for him.
Now, he’s not so enthused about Obama. When asked if he was happy with the way the President is running the country, Damon said, point blank, “no.”
“I really think he misinterpreted his mandate. A friend of mine said to me the other day, I thought it was a great line, ‘I no longer hope for audacity,’” Damon said. “He’s doubled down on a lot of things, going back to education… the idea that we’re testing kids and we’re tying teachers salaries to how kids are performing on tests, that kind of mechanized thinking has nothing to do with higher order. We’re training them, not teaching them.
6:00pm pacific | 9:00 pm eastern
VIRTUALLY SPEAKING WITH JAY ACKROYD and GUEST LENORE SKENAZY
Lenore Skenazy – who coined the phrase “Free Range Kids” – is a syndicated columnist, author of Free-Range Kids: How to Raise Safe Self-Reliant Children Without Going Nuts with Worry, and very funny public speaker. Tonight she and Jay talk about sensible security: kids and parenting.
Listen at or after 6:00pm pacific | 9:00 pm eastern March 3
Not that the truth has much to do with anything these days, but E.J. Dionne nails it: It’s a lot easier to keep cutting than it is to come up with real solutions. Of course, the current austerity trend has much more to do with the long-term political interests of the Republican’ts, and not the actual needs of the economy:
If you want to get national attention as a governor these days, don’t try to be innovative about solving the problems you were elected to deal with – in education, transportation and health care. No, if you want ink and television time, just cut and cut and cut some more.
Almost no one in the national media is noticing governors who say the reasonable thing: that state budget deficits, caused largely by drops in revenue in the economic downturn, can’t be solved by cuts or tax increases alone.
There is nothing courageous about an ideological governor hacking away at programs that partisans of his philosophy, including campaign contributors, want eliminated. That’s staying in your comfort zone.
The brave ones are governors such as Jerry Brown in California, Dan Malloy in Connecticut, Pat Quinn in Illinois, Mark Dayton in Minnesota and Neil Abercrombie in Hawaii. They are declaring that you have to cut programs, even when your own side likes them, and raise taxes, which nobody likes much at all. Rhode Island’s Lincoln Chafee has warned of possible tax increases too.
Indeed, to the extent that Quinn received any national press coverage, he got pilloried in conservative outlets in January when he signed tax hikes that included a temporary increase in Illinois’ individual income tax rate from 3 percent to 5 percent.
Despite all the commotion around whether the federal government will shut down, the clamor in the states may be even more important than what’s happening in Washington, which is missing in action on the moment’s most vital fiscal question.
What states are doing to ease their fiscal agonies will only slow down our fragile economic recovery, and may stop it altogether. The last thing we need right now are state and local governments draining jobs and money from the economy, yet that is what they are being forced to do.
As the last three monthly reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed, an economy that created a net 317,000 private-sector jobs lost 70,000 state and local government jobs. Cutbacks are dead weight on the recovery.