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1 Randall Gross  Fri, Sep 21, 2012 3:12:51am

Luddite that he is VDH doesn't recognize the fact that EBT cards are designed to ensure that people do not spend Federal and state food benefit dollars on items other than food. His assumption that the woman bought the TV with an EBT is ridiculous, when the terminals for EBT's at Wal Mart prevent using them to pay for TV's and like merchandise. Also note that his assumption that poor people don't deserve televisions in a modern world where TV"s are a major source of societal discourse, some education, and norms is really just an extension of Mitt's 47 percent statement.

2 researchok  Fri, Sep 21, 2012 6:46:35am

re: #1 Randall Gross

I don't post much of VDH's writings- I'm not a fan of the vast majority of commentary (I waffle between his simplistic./jingoistic view of the world) but I do believe the article offered up a good look t where he comes from.

What I find most interesting is his unshakable belief that history really does repeats itself. He refuses to acknowledge what are similarities between now and the past are really no more than optical illusions- different times, different places, different people all make for a different realities.

While it is true there are connecting parallels, to recent past events, to use the classics as a template to find solutions for contemporary problems is at best, problematic.

The classics are important, but not for their political lessons. We study the the classics so that we might address more moral and ethical matters- on what basis shall I make my decisions, what is really important in life, what do we want our kids to learn, what do we want to pass on to next generations, etc.

In a way, the classics are like religion- they can provide us with the tools we need to make the right decisions, guide our choices and so on.

We do not look at the classics for our answers- only for guidance. We are meant to choose for ourselves, predicated on current realities.

Clearly, Hanson is a bright guy- more than that, even. Maybe that is why I'm fascinated by him- he has the tools to differentiate between reality and the world he inhabits- be it his Grapes of Wrath background or the classics he is so attached to.

Anyway, I hope you read this.

3 wrenchwench  Fri, Sep 21, 2012 9:34:47am

re: #2 researchok

his Grapes of Wrath background

Either you don't know much about The Grapes of Wrath, or you don't know much about VDH, or you are dissing VDH as one of the villains of the book. The third option would be the most accurate use of the reference. VDH worked in orchards and arbors that were owned by his family. He was not a migrant laborer. He is an elitist.

The article you linked is an hagiography from the institution where VDH is a fellow, The Hoover Institution. Don't expect a clear, honest picture of him from this source.

4 researchok  Fri, Sep 21, 2012 10:09:44am

re: #3 wrenchwench

I was referring to his hardscrabble California agricultural background.

That his family owned orchards did not make them or him overly wealthy or elitists.

Not everyone who works land they own is elitist.

Further, while VDH is connected with Hoover that in no way means they cannot offer up a clear picture. Stanford is a world class institution with a world class faculty and staff. I see no reason their opinions are of lesser value than say, the opinions of the faculty or staff of the Kennedy School of Government opining on one of their own.

While Hoover is indeed conservative, that by no means makes them irrelevant. They are not considered a marginal group by anyone.

5 wrenchwench  Fri, Sep 21, 2012 11:03:24am

re: #4 researchok

I was referring to his hardscrabble California agricultural background.

That his family owned orchards did not make them or him overly wealthy or elitists.

Not everyone who works land they own is elitist.

Further, while VDH is connected with Hoover that in no way means they cannot offer up a clear picture. Stanford is a world class institution with a world class faculty and staff. I see no reason their opinions are of lesser value than say, the opinions of the faculty or staff of the Kennedy School of Government opining on one of their own.

While Hoover is indeed conservative, that by no means makes them irrelevant. They are not considered a marginal group by anyone.

Give me some evidence that anything about his background qualifies as 'hardscrabble'.

I didn't say his family was elitist or wealthy. I didn't say that people who work their own land are elitist. I said VDH is an elitist.

I didn't say the Hoover Institution is irrelevant or marginal. What I am saying is that they have a self-interest in promoting one of their fellows. I would not use them as an unbiased source on VDH's character. I base my assessment of his character on what he has written, and who he associates with, like the people at Human Events.

This is a puff piece. And even as a puff piece, they make him look stupid, as described in the first comment above, probably because the author and editors of this piece don't know any better either.


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