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Comments on "American liberals"

My question
Anyone know why American liberals like despots with mustaches? Think of Stalin, Castro, Ho Chi Minh, Saddam Hussein, ...
"We can't be too judgemental about Hitler and Stalin". I ask "Why not? What is a brain for?"

Comments (newest near the top, mostly)

I agree with someone??? March 2008 - I must have mis-understood -
Brian Carter

Just reading your site, and thought I'd throw in a thought or two... I ran across your site while searching for pictures of analog computers. I was trying to find a picture of one to email to a friend.

I'm certainly no fan of George Bush, and you'd probably consider me a liberal based on many of my views. For example, I think global warming is a real, man-made phenomenon, and I'm pro-choice, and I think the WPA was a great moment in American history. You see what I mean. I'm not a huge fan of Noam Chomsky, though, and I don't think every problem can be solved by just throwing money at it from the government; however the government can, I believe, do some things right, if not perfectly; take for example the building of the first long-distance telegraph, the financing, oversight and regulation of the transcontinental railroad, the building of the Panama Canal and the establishment of DARPAnet, which became the Internet. And, of course, there's the GI Bill.

However I just thought I'd say that I, too, am tired of hearing people on the left trash this country, and I keep wondering why the Democratic party's foreign policy on Iraq seems to be "Run Away Screaming Like Little Girls". I wish that more on the left would acknowledge the fine job our soldiers are doing in Iraq and understand that, while the reasons for the war are complex, and the fact that it was mismanaged for years is patently obvious, this does not give them a platform from which to launch hysterical tirades against the motivations of our government and from which to jump to the conclusion that George Bush "lied" about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I've voted Democratic for many years for obvious reasons; they tend to think like I do on many issues. I don't really consider myself a Democrat though. I'll vote for a moderate Republican, and just did in the primary in voting for John McCain. However, because the Republican party has been taken over by right-wing extremists, I've found it difficult to really trust even moderate Republicans because I know they'll face immense pressure from the right wing of their party.

Until recently it appeared that, though the Democratic party had moved left on some things, on the whole the Republicans seemed the more extreme party. However following this whole movement, it appears the Democrats have succumbed to the same extremism as the Republicans.

Now we're in a pickle. But along come Obama and McCain, two fairly moderate guys, and now I'm a much happier voter.

Anyway, I have a very good friend who's going back to Iraq with the 101st Air Assault Division on Sunday, and he's seen three good friends die over there already. I'm tired of people over here just flapping their gums without really thinking seemingly at all about the consequences of what they're saying. If anyone really read what Saddam planned on doing, they'd know that eventually he would've been able to build WMD's of some sort again, and that we'd have had to go over there anyway. But it's so much more fun to scream "No blood for oil!" until you're blue in the face and can't think straight.

So, as a "liberal" who doesn't hate America, I thought I'd write. I don't really consider myself a liberal but I imagine you probably would and, really, I think that the vast majority of liberals truly love America. I know it seems like there are just huge numbers of people who are just insane, Chavez- and Castro-loving pinkos, but you have to realize that those are the ones who just scream the loudest. I hate dictators of all stripes. They can all go to hell-- and I'm glad we helped the one in Baghdad along! I wish we'd done it *much better*, but that doesn't mean I think we're some evil empire. We're not. We're just, like it or not, the world's policeman, and if everyone would like to nominate a new World Policeman, I'd love to hear their choice, 'cause out of the available choices-- China, Russia, India-- they ain't gonna get better than us, I'm afraid.

Brian Carter

    I guess I would probably pigeon-hole you into
    which I think we need, rather than
    which I think is a waste of an otherwise maybe useful brain.
    You speak of "analog" - trying to assign pigeon-holes is similar
             to trying to digitize an analog voltage
                     - what resolution do you want ;-))
      Currently we have about 8 political pigeon-holes,
            which is about three bit resolution  ;-))

    Tried to find an area of disagreement, more that choice of similar adjectives.
     (maybe global warming - I think you would agree we are clearly warmer
            than during the last ice-age - maybe 13,000 years ago.
         And I clearly remember living in Minnesota in 1970,
              and worrying about the media threatened "New Ice Age?" )

        Maybe instead of "... WPA was a great moment ..."
        I would choose "... WPA was a very useful moment ..." -  
         Seem like we basically agree - well - whenever I agree with myself    ;-))

        About Obama, who doesn't want us to use his middle name - Hussein -
           Just when I was finally getting used to "Hillary Rodham Clinton"
                 and all too used to "William Jefferson Clinton"
                      all spoken in reverent tones by the media.
        Now, all of a sudden its just plain Hillary and Bill - strange -
        Anyway, we are finally finding out a little about Barack - 

Thanks for writing so thoughtfully :-))
   Ed Thelen

Katrina Relief, November 2005
----- Original Message ----- 
To: undisclosed-recipients: 
Sent: Sunday, November 20, 2005 9:08 AM

This NYT article 
[Nov 20, 2005
  "Storm Hit Little, but Aid Flowed to Inland City"]
 is lengthy but worth the read.  
   It might reshape your charitable donations in the future. 

Before you write that check to the Red Cross, read how your hard earned donation is 
thrown away by these masters of disaster!  Shreveport had the same degree of damage 
as Jackson.  We lost about $200 in food after 5 days with no power.  

I have since bought a portable generator (using my money).  Guess I shoulda signed 
up for the FREE MONEY GIVEAWAY at the Red Cross or FEMA. 

Consider the Salvation Army the next time you feel the need to donate.  
I think they show some degree of sanity in a world gone insane. 


Reply by Ed Thelen
I figure the out-of-state agencies are faced with "Mission Impossible"

They don't know squat, and have two choices
     a) be like a liberal and throw money liberally
          "Are you warm? Here is some money."
           and be criticized by people who didn't do squat

     b) be like a conservative and dole money conservatively
           "Do you have proof that is your house?
               Six people have used this picture already today."
           and be criticized by people who didn't do squat

It is easy to imagine a media person,  who didn't do squat,
    writing two articles, one favoring each side,
    and letting the editors,  who didn't do/know squat,
    choose which/both/neither to publish/televise.
  Editors are well aware that bad news/scandal sells better :-))

Reporters are faced with "publish or perish",
   if you don't please the editors,
   you are soon selling shoes or flipping hamburgers :-((

    Ed Thelen

A pro-defense liberal speaks, November 2005
Dear Mr. Thelen:

I wanted to write to congratulate you on your Nike Missile web site. It is a truly exceptional repository of historical information about an important part of America's military heritage and a reminder of our nation's need to remain always vigilant, especially in today's climate of terrorism.

I do, however, wish to take exception to some of your opening remarks regarding the negative context in which you castigate "liberals". I am strongly pro-defense in my orientation, and also strongly pro-liberal.

While that might seem to some a bit of a contradiction in terms, it is, when looked at with an unbiased eye, a perfectly appropriate combination. Liberal means, in the essential political definition of the term, an outlook (not ideology) that favors civil and political liberties, a democratic and republican system of government, and protection from arbitrary government authority and control through the rule of law.

[Ed Thelen's comments in italics] - I believe that my conservative and my libertarian friends claim the same beliefs. Is there some further "litmus test"?

In the more conventional definition of the term, liberal implies an open minded-ness to other points of view, tolerance for differing opinions, and a willingness to embrace a wide range of social and political discourse.

Again total agreement by all groups so far. - I presume -

Although it is popular and convenient to do so, it is simply wrong to imply that all those who hold themselves to a liberal view of American government have little use for protecting the very nation that makes possible the cherished and fragile rights we hold so dear.

AH - now we have a point to discuss - It seems to me that those media people who call them selves "liberal" seem almost universally to fight any use of force to slow totalitarian regimes - in the late 1900s being represented by the Soviets ( & North Korea & Cuba & N. Vietnam & China) and other Communists, and more lately some countries with high Muslim populations. The media didn't seem to mind when Clinton went to war against an elected government in East Europe.

The political terms 'right' and 'left' are useful in making sweeping generalizations, but they fail to account for the more passionate, complicated and often nuanced beliefs held by many people on either side of the so-called political divide.

Fully agree - but for brevity - and reduce interesting distractions, all sides seem to use bi-polar names ...

You don't have to be 'right-wing', 'left-wing', 'liberal' or 'republican' to believe that our nation must maintain a strong and vigilant defense.

I think all agree that common perception is that most 'left-wing', 'liberal' folks are "weak on defense"? Do you agree with that overly simplified generalization?

And Jane Fonda and Barbara Walters not withstanding, they don't speak for me and millions of other American's who might choose to call themselves liberal. But our nation is the great country it is because men and women have chosen to fight and die to protect their rights, indeed all of our rights, to live free.

Jane Fonda, Barbara Walters, Michael Moore, ... seem to get all the publicity in the media. I presume there is a "silent majority" of people of old fashioned liberal intent who feel grossly underrepresented in the loud media - but who seem to vote for whom ever the loud minority nominate??

As for the Swift Boaters, they too have the right to speak out as they wish, and certainly they have. People can decide for themselves to accept or reject what they say. I must say, though, that it troubles me that political discourse in our country has fallen to such a low that the service of a decorated Vietnam veteran, who enlisted of his own accord, must be subject to denigration.

There is a large body of opinion that Kerry, the 4 month wonder, was a fake. And that he faked to apply for his metals and wildly puffed up his war record - and used the above as a central point for his presidential race. And you will agree that his statements about atrocities after returning after 4 months in Vietnam were not true? (How the heck did he get out of Vietnam in just 4 months - most were stuck there for years!) He seems to have played to the media rather than reporting the alleged crimes to the military authorities.

Should we not then review the service records of all Veterans to "make sure" that the commendations and medals they received were justified, or should we just limit the review to so-called liberals?

If folks run for office claiming great things, I think those claims should be open for inspection. It is my understanding that Kerry has still not released his material - even after promising to do so during the recent election campaign.

------------------ a seeming break in the topic above --------

My grandfather fought in the Second World War as a US soldier in Europe, and told me stories about how some of the men who were of Jewish origin were often called 'kikes' and 'skulls' by the 'truer' patriots they served with. One story that stays with me is that of a Jewish private in his squad who was mortally wounded. As he lay dying in my grandfather's arms, another soldier came over and said "Hey, did the kike get it?" Those were the last words that private heard before he died. My grandfather never forgot that moment, nor the look on the dying soldiers face as the words hit him, probably with more impact than the machine bullets that took his life.

I was in the Army about 10 years later - 1954 - with people who said they were some form of "Jewishness" or other - apparently a verry complicated subject - and heard no such stuff.

However - when I was in high school, our plumber (Jerry Downs) was so close to the later character Archie Bunker as to be strange - same words, same tones, same build, similar face, same nose, same hair, (different wife and family!)

He lived 3 blocks away and we were friends. (He was a very friendly person.) We all just shrugged off Jerry's "quirks". In a small town you almost have to be tolerant, or you are at war with most.

Was that Jewish soldier a liberal? Who knows, maybe he was. Maybe he didn't really think about it too much. Maybe because he was Jewish the stereotype would be applied that he had to be because all Jews are, more or less. Does it even matter? Did he love his country less? I doubt it, on both accounts. My point, if I haven't made a hash so far, is that if our country isn't a liberal one, if it isn't also a conservative one too, then what are we fighting for? Good people can and will disagree about our nations policies, such as the decision to undertake the Iraq war. But isn't that ability to disagree, even strongly, precisely the kind of debate that demonstrates the quality of freedom we have?

I am now totally lost. Many people who claim to be Jewish support the state of Israel - not known for turn the other cheek too often. About disagreeing, of course disagree - heck I disagree with myself!!

And I have lots of puzzlements that I wonder about with my friends. Farm policy, patriot act, patent policy, - on and on -

Are any of us less patriotic for being on one side of that debate than the other? Surely that cannot be the case. Indeed, what are we protecting if not the freedoms this country represents to all of its citizens, indeed the rest of the world. We are a beacon of hope that men can in fact live free, and govern their affairs in a civilized manner that protects the rights of all men and women to a life of liberty and happiness.

I am not prepared to deal with the adjective "patriotic". My college liberal friends said that patriotism was jingoistic. They were talking about being governed by the United Nations, like Russia, China, France, ... Prepared to defend oneself is complicated and controversial enough for me!

I applaud the devotion and skill you have shown in creating your web site and look forward to returning to it to learn more about the history of American air defense.

Thank you for the effort, and the opportunity to share my thoughts with you.

Best Regards,

My grandson's middle name is David - a blessing on all people named David ;-))

Best Regards,
Ed Thelen

What's all the fuss?, August 2005
Forwarded by: Jake Jegelewicz < >
Subject: letter to Iraq!
I don't know this lady but I could not agree more!
The lady who wrote this letter is Pam Foster of Pamela Foster and
 Associates here  in Atlanta.  
She's been in business since 1980 doing interior design and home planning.  
She recently wrote a letter to a family member serving in Iraq.  Read it.
Subject: I don't care! WHAT'S ALL THE FUSS?
"Are we fighting a war on terror or aren't we? Was it or was it not
 started by Islamic people who brought it to our shores on September 11,  2001? 
Were people from all over the world, mostly Americans, not 
brutally  murdered that day, in downtown Manhattan, across the Potomac 
from our nation's capitol and in a field in Pennsylvania? 
Did nearly three thousand men, women and children die a horrible, 
burning or crushing death that day, or didn't they?
And I'm supposed to care that a copy of the Koran was "desecrated" 
when an overworked American soldier kicked it or got it wet? 
Well,I don't. I don't care at all.

 I'll start caring when Osama bin Laden turns himself in and repents for  
incinerating  all those innocent people on 9/11.

 I'll care about the Koran when the fanatics in the Middle East start
 caring about the Holy Bible, the mere possession of which is a crime in Saudi Arabia.

 I'll care when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi tells the world he is sorry for 
hacking  off Nick Berg's head while Berg screamed through his gurgling, slashed throat.

 I'll care when the cowardly so-called "insurgents" in Iraq come out and  
fight like men instead of disrespecting their own religion by hiding in mosques.
I'll care when the mindless zealots who blow themselves up in search of 
nirvana care about the innocent children within range of their suicide bombs.
I'll care when the American media stops pretending that their First
 Amendment  liberties are somehow derived from international law 
instead of the United States Constitution's Bill of Rights.
In the meantime, when I hear a story about a brave Marine roughing up an 
Iraqi terrorist to obtain information, know this: 
  I don't care.
When I see a fuzzy photo of a pile of naked Iraqi prisoners who 
have been humiliated in what amounts to a college hazing incident, 
   rest assured that I don't care.
When I see a wounded terrorist get shot in the head when he is told not to move 
because he might be booby-trapped, you can take it to the bank that I don't care.

 When I hear that a prisoner, who was issued a Koran and a prayer 
mat, and fed  "special" food that is paid for by my tax dollars, is complaining 
that his holy book is being "mishandled," 
you can absolutely believe in your heart of hearts  
 that I  don't care.
And oh, by the way, I've noticed that sometimes it's spelled "Koran" 
and other times "Quran." Well, Jimmy Crack Corn and -- 
  you guessed it -- I  don't care!" 

" liberal Bashing?", June 2005
From: "Jeffrey Miller" < >

> Ed,
> I'm a relatively young but pretty sincere military aviation and history
> buff, ...
> So maybe you can imagine how disappointed I was when I came back to the site
> after more than a year since having last saw it. What is all this
> liberal-bashing crap at the top of your page? I really thought that this was
> a cool, serious site about the preservation of history, not a blog about
> someone's political views. Did you feel you needed some diversity on your
> site...not enough useful info, I guess you had to break it up with some
> prejudice, some narrow-minded crap? ...
> Jeff Miller

I think the only "liberal bashing" is
"Anyone know why American liberals like despots with mustaches? Think of
Stalin, Castro, Ho Chi Minh, Saddam Hussein, ... - And tell political lies
about those who don't. "

Which asks the interesting "why"
   just why do liberals like a dictator?
     or at least try to get along with, be very polite to,  ....
(Do they like a bully father figure? Don't argue, just do as I tell you.
  Maybe they are fearful, and want to suck up to any threat?)

Maybe you can answer that?

    Ed Thelen

Probably the end of a long dialog
I had a long (seven e-mails) mostly polite conversation with
Ann Fawcett. I kind of think we said as much as we have to say - Here is my most recent response:
Mr. Thelen, 
> Now about that inflamatory question at the top 
> of your outstanding Nike missle site,  
> does it have to be there?   No need to reply.  

This world is not my dream world of 
  a) unlimited pizza for everyone
  b) no work required,
  c) instant painless comprehension of complex subjects
  d) no "bad guys" trying to grab "my stuff" or my life
      or force me to do things 
       - say march with Napoleon into Russia
       - try to survive in a gulag in Siberia
       - what ever in Iraq or North Korea or ...
  e) ...

I think it reasonable to ask why some people
in a democracy seem friendly with folks I consider "bad".

I find it interesting that you
  a) feel the question "inflammatory"
  b) refuse to suggest a "non-inflammatory" alternative.

> Just give the question some thought.  

Indeed -
> Me, rant?  Moi?  Isn't the question at the 
> top of the Nike missle site............a "rant"?   :-)

I make no statement other than the implication of 
what seems obvious.

You don't even bother to say that the implication
is incorrect.

In that sense, I figure you are part of the problem,
not part of the solution.

Hard to say "Cheers"
  Ed  Thelen

Practical Experience
A son who I mistakenly suggested should go to Berkeley responds - December 2004
The bit in the first table about the right to speak and not being gagged:

by attending U. C. Berkeley (home of the "Free Speech Movement"), I learned that freedom of speech largely belongs to one point of view, and if your speech does not agree, you are called a fascist, shouted down, or your newspapers are removed (stolen) from the newspaper racks.

Well, that's Berkeley for you.

When I was in school there, they claimed to be tolerant of everything except intolerance. Apparently intolerance is defined by having an alternate opinion.

Be Good


I get to try "Free Speech" also
----- Original Message ----- 
Sent: Monday, August 30, 2004 4:12 PM
Subject: Re: Nike web site:

> Ed
> Your political views are forced on me 
>    if I access your website.

> For some reason most of my friends are conservatives, 
>   however they don't force their views on me, 
>   and vice versa,

> I respect them, and they me.
> It is a great website...too bad.
> I am sure it is appreciated by most.

> Sincerely,
> Dick W
Well - Every time I open the local newspaper or see the local newscast I am served up politically filtered "news". This is my attempt to give some diversity to the world.

I live 30 miles south of Berkeley where there is no political diversity at all. Anyone voicing non-"liberal" views is shouted off the campus. (Berkeley was the home of "Free Speech" movement, remember?)

I feel like a wee small voice in the wilderness.

All during the Clinton years I kept mum - as though I was in a "worker's paradise"

- Russia, China, Cuba, ...

liberal Clinton gave nuclear reactors to Korea, useful secrets to China, basically ignored terrorist actions against us, and seemingly crippled U.S. intelligence and the U.S. military and ignored those who offered Usama bin Laden's head, ... All the while being a class A jerk and defended by the liberal media. The media even went to far in Clinton's early years that the presidency "ennobled" people - yeah - right up to the end selling presidential pardons and stealing the White House silverware !! I would be hiding in a cave from shame - Clinton is a media darling :-((

Now we are threatened with another class A jerk, who in 4 months seems to have collected more metals than deserved - Three purple hearts with no time in a medical facility? A silver star with an fake "V" for shooting at a guy running away?

(Well, that is his story!)
Then testified to congress about all the atrocities that not even the ever present media in Vietnam could find. And his "liberal" military and intelligence senate voting record --. Now after shaking Michael Moore's hand on stage he wants to gag Vietnam veterans who question him!

So you will just have to accept about 1 inch on my home page questioning "liberals" when/if you visit my web site.

(I presume you support folks risking life and limb fighting terrorism?)


Ed Thelen

True Confessions?
Steven Arterberry wrote (March 24, 2004)
> A real nice website.  I found it very informative.  Other 
> mustacioed liberals include Dr. Albert Schweitzer, 
> and, of course, our Lord Jesus Christ.  
Sorry, I could not find an authoritative picture,
but seems reasonable given the times.
> Mao was clean shaven as was Khruschev, Beria, et al.  
> Thomas E. Dewey  had one, but Stevenson and Truman did not . 
> Your point?
I guess my point - if any - is that a lot of "liberals" seem to like "one man rule", not a populist form of government of which democracy is one.

Just why some folks, especially those calling themselves "liberals", like dictatorial rule escapes me.

It seems so backward.
To me, "liberals" should be interested in promoting democracy, truth in government, open government, good pay for elected officials, all that good stuff !! Instead they cheered when Taiwan (a democracy) was thrown out of the U.N. - and they seem the same today.
True Confessions
I have worn a mustache for the past 20 years, and wore a protest beard when a boss at Control Data started to screw me - (I transferred to a better job ;-))

If I were dictator/"maximum leader"/"chief thug"/chairman/..., there would be no mosquitoes

- you can tell I was raised in Minnesota.
In Minnesota we had the expression
"Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Ed Thelen
P.S. I should look up a pictures of Marks, Engels, Lennin
>  I suspect that Ann Coulter has one though. 

John Kerry?
Ken Fraser (moderator of Ken's RCAT Korner) (March 15,2004)
suggests viewing

James L O'Connor (Feb 24, 2004)
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "James L O'Connor" 
> Ed, 
> From one Nike guy to another let's agree to disagree.

> I can remember JFK trying to overthrow Castro (mustache & beard) 
> but having the CIA screw it up (some things never change.)
Good point!!
I forgotabout/glossedover/... that. And I think his Secretary of State strongly requested removal of the air cover - not that it would have made any difference -
> How about our Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, selling 
< munitions to Saddam a few years back?
Could you be more specific?
> And Halliburton doing deals with Iran, Iraq and Syria 
> when Dick Cheney was President of Haliburton.
Weapons? Weapon making equipment? (lets not be too all encompassing).

Commercially we seem to deal with "any" people.

Oddly - during the height of the cold war, we were giving the Soviets "grain credits" so they could buy our (U.S.) wheat. Truly strange world -
Just why we free up Soviet people from the collectives to work in the munitions factories or be in military service I can't even guess!
(We even argued about whose "bottoms" (ships) would carry the grain - we argued about the cleanliness of the wheat - U.S. standards at that time were two rat turds per gill (?pint?), and we changed our standards - for the better.)
- I complained that we could have at least traded the very good Soviet tanks for our wheat.

I worked at Measurex (now part of Honeywell) in the late 1970s. We were subcontractors to Peugeot (French automotive) which was building a truck factory for the Soviets. We put in process control equipment, computers and software to measure the rubber thickness and composition for making truck tires. I imagine those trucks and tires later helped the Soviet arms industry and invasion of Afghanistan
- Go Figure -

> Personally I always thought Saddam was a deranged dictator.  
> But having lived through 9/11 her in NYC I now like to be sure 
> who the bad guys are. Saudi Arabia comes to mind 
> -- most of the hijackers came from there.  
> A lot > of Al Quida's funding comes from there -- 
> that's who we should have invaded!  Then North Korea.  
> Pakistan. Any third world country with atomic weapons.  
> Iraq should have been way down the line.  It certainly didn't
> merit 500 body bags with more arriving every week.
Maybe if Saddam had not played with the U.N. arms inspectors and then thrown them out, we might have had better "intelligence" :-(

Tough to get good info out of a Hitler/Stalin like government. Not many folks like to bet their family's lives on giving info to our known leaky CIA.

> Just had to get that off my chest!
> All the best -- love the site.
> Jim
Thanks much - it has been a blast - oops - it's lots of fun.
Ed Thelen

? conservatives do not like dictators with mustaches?
Roland Fleer

> What in the world makes you think conservatives do not like 
> dictators with  mustaches?
I don't happen to know any
  • granted that there must be some people who call themselves conservatives who "like" "dictators..."
  • there does seem to be a very high percentage of people who call themselves liberals who seem to support despots - "with mustaches"

In college (some 50 years ago) I would say something negative about Stalin and "purges" or the starvation of a million or so un-collectivized peasants. The liberals would say

"to make an omelet you need to crack a few eggs"
and then wander off with a smug smile.

As best I can tell, the same attitude exists today.

Over half my family, and half my friends call themselves "liberal". And they vigorously defend any "leftist" dictator, and mostly ignore other dictators
- and cheer when peaceful democratic Taiwan is voted out of the United Nations.

Granted this is a small sample of the world - that is in part why the question.

And we just have to have a little fun :-)) Discovery of beer made the difference

via J.P. Moore

The division of the human family into its two distinct branches, liberals and conservatives, occurred some 20,000 years ago.

Until then all humans coexisted as members of small bands of nomadic hunter/gatherers. A thousand generations ago, in the pivotal event of societal evolution, beer was invented. This epochal innovation was both the foundation of modern civilization and the occasion of the great bifurcation of humanity into its two distinct subgroups. Once beer was discovered, our prehistoric forebears decided it was time to settle down. Making beer required grain, and securing a steady supply of it ordained the invention of agriculture.

After that was accomplished, ancient man quickly, and unfairly, consigned actual cultivation to women. Men couldn't just run off, willy-nilly, however. Neither the glass bottle nor the aluminum can had yet been invented, so it was necessary to stick pretty close to home, and the brewery. This left our male ancestors with a lot of time on their hands, and led to the division of the species, which persists to this day.

Some men tried to conserve remnants of the old way of life (hence the term conservative") by spending their days in the open field in the dangerous pursuit of big game animals. At night they would roast their prey at a big barbecue, and afterwards sat around the fire drinking beer, passing wind and telling off-color jokes.

Other, more timid, souls stayed closer to home. They are responsible for the domestication of cats and the invention of group therapy. Mostly, they sat around worrying about how life wasn't fair and concocting elaborate schemes to "liberate" themselves from inequity (thus their designation as "liberals). In the evening they gathered around their fire, nibbling on fruit and nuts, sharing their innermost feelings. Today some liberals try to pretend they're really sort of conservative, and sometimes succeed in confusing people. The following are a few tips to use in distinguishing the two types:

By definition liberals believe in big government and high taxes. Life is unfair and the government is there to do something about it. Most people are too stupid to spend untaxed income wisely, they say, and high taxes allow liberals in government to do a better job of it. Conservatives don't like government, and, aside from the military, wish it would just go away. They hate taxes, regulations, speed limits, and small cars.

Typical conservatives are Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronald Reagan, Rush Limbaugh and, up there with the Big Man in the Sky, the incomparable John Wayne. Typical liberals are Dustin Hoffman, Shirley McLaine, Pee Wee Herman, Martin Sheen, Sean Penn, Barbra Streisand, Ted Turner and his former wife, the traitor Jane Fonda.

All conservatives drink beer. American beer. Some liberals like imported beer, but most prefer white Zinfandel wine or foreign water from a bottle.

Liberals like to drive Volvos and Saabs because they're made in socialist Sweden. They like to eat weird food because it's un-American. Your basic conservative vehicle, especially in Texas, is the Chevy Suburban. It's big, it's American, it's four wheel drive, and it sucks up the gas.

Conservatives eat beef, which they (surprise!) like to barbecue. Big game hunters are conservative. Interior decorators are liberal. Liberals invented the designated hitter rule in baseball because it wasn't fair" to make the poor pitcher take his turn at bat.

Conservatives, inspired by a remark of the legendary Pittsburgh Steeler linebacker Jack Lambert, believe quarterbacks should be required to wear skirts, so they can more easily be distinguished from real football players.

James Brown and Ray Charles are conservatives. Michael Jackson and Milli Vanilli are liberals.

Most social workers, personal injury lawyers, journalists, and group therapists are liberals. Most ranchers, loggers, professional soldiers, and steeplejacks are conservatives.

Liberal jurors distrust the prosecutors and police. Conservatives figure the defendant must be guilty or he wouldn't be on trial. Most conservatives not only believe in the death penalty, they would cheerfully implement it, personally, if called upon to do so. Liberals think capital punishment is a barbaric relic, and unfair to boot.

Liberals believe Europeans are, generally speaking, far more enlightened than Americans. Conservatives think they're basically decadent, as evidenced by their complete absence in wars.

Typical conservative movies are "Raising Arizona", "Patton", and "Conan the Barbarian". Typical liberal movies are "Prince of Tides", "Last Tango in Paris", and The Big Chill".

The quintessential liberal is the handicapper, the person who decides how much extra weight to saddle the faster horses with in order to make the race "fair".

The American cowboy, of course, is your basic, full bore conservative. A hundred years ago an Englishman in West Texas was trying to find the owner of a huge cattle ranch. He rode up to one of the ranch hands and asked, "Excuse me, but could you tell me where to find your Master?" To which the cowboy replied, "That sumbitch hasn't been born."

"We sleep safely in our beds, because rough men stand ready, in the night, to visit violence on those, who would harm us." George Orwell

Ann Coulter's book
Kevin Murphy asked a question about Nike site C-44, then

> With respect to your question about liberals worshipping
> mustache-wearing dictators, I found Ann Coulter's book ,
>    Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the
>     War on Terrorism,
> to be pertinent.
Guess I better look - it is a puzzlement to me -

There seems to be a human trait wishing for a powerful ?father? figure

and if religion is unpopular,
maybe a king/royalty/dictator is an acceptable substitute?

The wife and I have two large dogs, and it is worrisome to watch their all too "human" characteristics.
... jealousy, greed, "Territorial Imperative", compassion, submission, dominance, ...

Cheers, I think

Ed Thelen

Another aspect - this Princess Di thing?

Some not too bright clothes horse called "Di" marries a very boring Prince Charles. She follows the frequent pattern of having a couple of kids, and hanging out with any guy with a Mercedes, and many who don't.

Soon all the ladies magazines are covered with pictures of the Princess - taken by an increasing gang of photographers who make a good living hounding her and selling images of her to the ladies magazines. The ladies decry the hounding - but won't buy a magazine without a picture of the Princess in her latest fashion on the cover.

The Princess is killed on a Saturday night, in the back seat of a Mercedes, in another country - and her worshipers tell me what a great mother she was - and come unglued if I ask the obvious question of great motherhood vs. her apparent life style and how/when/where she got killed..

Is it fair to ask if most of the hysterical mourners were young liberals? Princess Di did not have a moustache! There must be an answer somewhere? (Certainly not in my physics book)

My comment on Chicago
When I (Ed Thelen) grew up in rural "upper Midwest", the popular saying was

"vote for the person, not the party".

Then I was in the Army in Chicago. The place was run by a "Democratic" "machine" - but folks did not want to associate their party with the crime and corruption, so the media tended to say "majority party".

The motto seemed to be "I belong to the majority party, and any majority party candidate (no matter how silly or corrupt) is better than any minority party candidate".

Now I live in big city California, and the game seems the same. Any distortion or lie (say from the LA Times) is just fine if it hurts a party "Y" candidate.

(Welcome to SERIOUS politics.)

If you have comments or suggestions, Send e-mail to Ed Thelen

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Started January 2004
Last updated March 2005