Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html en-gb 30 Tue 27 Jan 2015 20:04:15 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html dennisjunior1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=99#comment225 Justin...Richard Nixon was the brightest of the recent American presidents wasn't he? Maybe, in some persons eyes that Richard Nixon was the brightest President in U.S. History!With Clinton a close second. What does this tell us? I think that Former President Clinton, was my generation's brightest Presidents...~Dennis Junior~ Wed 25 Feb 2009 04:12:52 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=99#comment224 A good read is here;-)ed Mon 02 Feb 2009 19:51:48 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=98#comment223 Tim, Dayton Ohio is considered one of the best examples of "Doughnut developement"Taught around the world as an example of inner city decay as a result of "out of town" developments.I had to write this just to include the real way of spelling 'duh nut' Mon 02 Feb 2009 17:35:51 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=98#comment222 Tim it would be a shame if those in yellowsprings had to go buy lawn mowers. Mon 02 Feb 2009 17:29:05 GMT+1 chronophobe http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=97#comment221 re: streetcars.They still run in Toronto. Vancouver still runs a lot of the electric buses (and has invested billions in light rail 'cuz of the 2010 Winter Olympics). But, as Tim has said, Toronto suffers horribly from sprawl. The tolerable part of the city (more than tolerable, actually, as it is a very civilized place to live) is between the lakeshore in the south and the big expressway in the North. As it happens, roughly the area served by the subway system. One drawback of public transit, though, are labour disputes. We have been living though a 50 odd day transit strike here in Ottawa. It was just ended when the Federal Gov't finally took up the issue and was threatening both sides with binding arbitration with no pre-conditions. The City and the Union saw the writing was on the wall and voluntarily agreed to same. In this cold, snowy winter the strike has had a huge impact on people, with the poorest and most vulnerable, as always, being the hardest hit. Yours,Pinko Sun 01 Feb 2009 17:09:22 GMT+1 timohio http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=97#comment220 Now that I think about it, when I still lived in Detroit, I think the city bought back from a city in Portugal some of the streetcars it sold off as part of the Great American Streetcar Scandal. Detroit was starting up a sort of ornamental streetcar system in the downtown area, and needed cars. More than a little ironic. Sun 01 Feb 2009 15:25:55 GMT+1 timohio http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=96#comment219 re. 216. Ed Iglehart:"the Great American streetcar scandal"Oh yes, people my age and older still grump about that. I don't think younger people have ever heard of it, though.When I lived in Detroit you could still see streetcar rails poking up out of asphalt street surfaces here and there. I think the streetcars were gone by the time I was a child, but I remember electric trolley buses in the downtown area that ran off overhead electric lines. As a kid I thought they were cool. But they disappeared decades ago.You could make a very good case for letting the auto companies downsize in a controlled fashion while starting up assembly lines for light rail cars and laying track for them in cities around the country. Now there's a public infrastructure project with long-term benefits. Or the auto companies could build the light rail cars themselves. Sun 01 Feb 2009 15:19:03 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=96#comment218 It seems the mods (who are as gods) don't like my links;-)ed Sun 01 Feb 2009 15:14:53 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=96#comment217 This post has been Removed Sun 01 Feb 2009 14:57:00 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=95#comment216 This post has been Removed Sun 01 Feb 2009 14:44:19 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=95#comment215 More on getting from trains to cars"National City Lines, Inc. (NCL), was a company formed in 1920, reorganized in 1936 into a holding company for the express purpose of acquiring local transit systems throughout the country.[1] In 1938, NCL entered into exclusive dealing arrangements and obtained equity funding from companies seeking to increase sales of commercial buses and supplies, including General Motors, Firestone Tire, Standard Oil of California and Phillips Petroleum, which enabled NCL to buy out more than 100 electric streetcar systems in 45 cities including, but not limited to, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Oakland, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, and Tulsa. Those systems were ultimately dismantled and replaced with bus systems in what became known as the Great American streetcar scandal.";-)ed Sun 01 Feb 2009 02:53:09 GMT+1 seanspa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=94#comment214 Ed, #214, shocking, I hadn't heard of this. The fines were laughable. The last link throws up a cause of the rise in asthma - tire dust. I suppose gas/petrol fumes don't help either. We need multi-person ATVs! Sun 01 Feb 2009 02:42:30 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=94#comment213 "How did we get from brains to trains?"Ask Firestone, the oil companies and GMHereandhereandhereSimple, reallyed Sun 01 Feb 2009 01:50:03 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=93#comment212 210 bere54"Does this make me a criminal?" I don't think so, glad you got away with it. I do not like to see them ticketing visitors' cars. You probably could not understand all our signage anyway. But it is one way of raising much needed revenue. Actually I'm surprised you found a parking spot. 211 timohioThe commute from the suburbs here is awful also. There are alternatives but people do not want to take them. We have many communities that are close to downtown. I live in what is considered a very"trendy" area and walk downtown. It's really fabulous. The car can stay in the garage for days. When my son was living at home, he walked to McGill. Generally, the closer to downtown the more expensive the area. I think that is true of Toronto also. Sun 01 Feb 2009 01:21:56 GMT+1 timohio http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=93#comment211 209. chronophobe:"There isn't a big pro-rail lobby that I know of."Actually the Ohio Department of Transportation had conducted a number of studies and come up with a plan called the Ohio Hub, which is an interconnected rail system linking most of the cities in Ohio and linking up with similar networks in neighboring states. There is an advocacy group, but everyone is daunted by the size of the investment. Sat 31 Jan 2009 23:43:28 GMT+1 timohio http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=92#comment210 re. 208. timewaitsfornoman:Montreal must have a more European attitude than most American cities. The public transportation sounds wonderful. Even the pattern of most people living near downtown rather than miles away in the suburbs sounds more like a European city than anything I've seen in the US. It sounds pretty different from Toronto, actually. Canadian friends who have lived in Toronto talk about the awful commute in from the suburbs.Of course, my one experience with Montreal was inching through it on a freeway 35 years ago on my way to Quebec city. Construction slowdowns, I think. All I've seen of Montreal is the freeway and the bumper of the car in front of me. It looked just like an American traffic jam except that the license plates were different. Sat 31 Jan 2009 23:38:43 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=92#comment209 timewaits:Yes, I was stunned at the cost to park at a meter the last time I was in Montreal, about a year and a half ago. And when my daughter and I toured McGill in 2000, we got lost and overstayed the meter and I got a $35 parking ticket, which also stunned me. I'm sorry to say I was so mad I never paid it, but fortunately had a new license plate the next time I went so was never caught out. Does this make me a criminal? Sat 31 Jan 2009 23:10:17 GMT+1 chronophobe http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=92#comment208 206 timohio How did we get from brains to trains?Via the ATV trail, of course!I think a new rail network is just the infrastructure project for the Obama age. But if it's ever gonna happen, the push will have to be pretty grassroots. There isn't a big pro-rail lobby that I know of. I'd always imagined such a project to be a TGV/Shinkansen sort of deal, but I like Bere54's idea of more local feeder/commuter upgrades. I lived in Japan for two years, and took the train everywhere. It was (and still is, I assume) a fantastic system. But they have higher population densities, and I think it still requires massive subsidies to work. Are we ready to give up on the damned car, yet?Yours,Canadian Pinko Sat 31 Jan 2009 21:44:20 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=91#comment207 We have a fairly good public transit system in Montreal. Americans always comment on it while visiting. Buses, metro, commuter trains, etc. We now have a bike path through the downtown core, a "car free day" once a year that wreaks havoc, disappearing parking lots and very expensive parking meters, all to encourage people to use public transportation.Many people still have only one car and if they live near downtown (which is common), no car. More because they don't want one, rather than cannot afford. And, what is great news, they are tearing down an elevated expressway and putting it on the ground, where it belongs! Sat 31 Jan 2009 21:22:16 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=91#comment206 timohio:From brains to trains is just one little consonant, but trains do make sense, and those with brains know it.The Amtrak train from White River Junction, VT, to New York City, one train a day, and back, is so popular now that you must have a reservation. And around holidays, one must make the reservation well in advance. I know this is only one leg of one line, but I think more and more people are wising up to the fact that simply because gas prices went down again we can't be assured they won't skyrocket again. And there's that global warming issue which finally seems to be accepted by the hoi polloi. I think if the trains are there, they will be used. Air travel has become such a trial and you never know when you'll sit on a runway for hours. For long distance travel, trains are looking better and better. I think the problem is that the government is way behind the people in its thinking. Sat 31 Jan 2009 20:08:04 GMT+1 timohio http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=90#comment205 re. 205. bere54:I think the usual argument is that there aren't enough riders to pay the cost of the service. Greyhound buses no longer go to many small towns for the same reason. However, we are quite willing to subsidize the auto industry by paying for the construction and maintenance of a free interstate highway system. Why is it a problem to subsidize public transportation--either buses or rail?In rural parts of Ohio, there are many small towns that would simply cease to exist if people didn't own cars. There used to be a system of interurban trolleys in my part of the state, but they disappeared once automobiles became common. When I was growing up in Detroit, it was quite common for families to have only one car. If Dad needed the car to go to work, Mom would walk to a neighborhood grocery store to do the shopping. Or there would be companies that would deliver staples like milk and bread to the home (every house had a "milk chute") and vendors driving through neighborhoods in trucks selling vegetables. But that entire network (which was actually more eco-friendly than what we have now) has disappeared. My point here is that when I was a child the US had a good passenger rail system, cities had good public transportation, and we all had a more sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle. But we traded all of that for the personal freedom of owning an automobile. I'll bet there are a lot of young people who don't understand why Rosa Parks's actions were so remarkable because they never see white people riding buses anyway. There are many things about the 50s and early 60s that I would not want to go back to, but perhaps the country should take a second look at the parts that were good.How did we get from brains to trains? Sat 31 Jan 2009 19:31:01 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=90#comment204 timohio"What we really need is public transportation in rural areas to get people to and from trains! Such as in just having the trains come all the way to where we are, on the tracks that are already there, to the depot that is already there. This could happen tomorrow. Why doesn't it? Sat 31 Jan 2009 18:16:17 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=89#comment203 201, tiptoplisamich;I can't claim to know what most of the younger generations want, but my own kids would love a new rail system, however long it takes to accomplish. Neither of my kids owns a car, nor do they want to own cars. My son took Amtrak from NYC to southern Virginia and back; he takes the train whenever he visits me, though that involves two hours of driving on my part. My daughter takes a bus from Boston to visit me, but of course the bus doesn't come all the way here either and also involves two hours of driving on my part. Such a pain.My children's friends seem to be more into small technology (iPods, phones, etc) than in cars, and most are environmentally conscious. So perhaps there's hope for the future in those younger generations. Sat 31 Jan 2009 18:13:05 GMT+1 timohio http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=89#comment202 re. 197. happylaze:Sadly, Antioch College closed a few years ago (although alumni still talk about opening it again). So I don't know whether Yellow Springs is still the non-conformist town it once was. I've never been there, but it looks pretty on the chamber of commerce website. Sat 31 Jan 2009 16:04:48 GMT+1 timohio http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=88#comment201 re. 201. tiptoplisamich:I agree with you about trains. I've taken trains in Europe, including the French TGV bullet train (which was quite an experience). I don't understand why my fellow Americans are so reluctant to support passenger rail. There are groups trying to get state support for a bullet train network in Ohio, but it's an uphill fight. Of course, as you say, the trains themselves are only part of the story. We need public transportation within cities to get people to and from the trains. But what an opportunity for a new jobs-creating industry! Sat 31 Jan 2009 15:59:44 GMT+1 tiptoplisamich http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=88#comment200 #193 Ed:I share your hope. President Obama's success means success for our nation. I genuinely hope for our President to succeed.(Disclaimer: I'm a conservative, mostly voting Republican, however my country comes before party---an enigma to my own and a nightmare for pollsters, I can assure you ;-)Peace to you :-)#196 bere54: I can only agree---very stupid! I just recently took the Amtrak from St. Louis to Chicago, then Chicago CTA train to my brother's house an hour west of Chicago where I then walked all of one block. It was fantastic! Perfectly comfortable, surprisingly on-time (given the fact that Amtrak must give way to freight trains and is dependably late on most occasions). I love to travel this way! My only problem was getting TO the St. Louis station, had to drive a car an hour to get there.......stupid! National public rail system would be such an excellent answer to so much: Gas consumption, pollution, even less money on car insurance premiums in the wake of fewer drivers on the road, creation of so many jobs. I just wonder if the American people can wrap their heads around such a long-term, complex project. Those that remember Eisenhower's Interstate project can remember and envision this new innovative solution, but I fear younger generations lack the patience and foresight to bring this to a funded reality in this I-want-results-now society we have. Still, we can hope (and call our elected officials!) :-) Sat 31 Jan 2009 12:32:39 GMT+1 Simon21 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=88#comment199 198. At 5:46pm on 30 Jan 2009, robloop wrote:158 allmymarblesYour comments re John Kennedy were quite brave on this blog and consequently gave me a good chuckle. He had charisma and undoubtedly was quite interesting - not least with Marilyn Monroe - but totally over-rated and had a good speech writer who added greatly to 'image'. Talk of his presidency representing 'Camelot' is a real load of mush, the primary similarity infidelity with him playing the Gwynavere role.Whereas Nixon was unfazed by the belligerent Krushchev, Kennedy wilted in their first meeting and emerged from it looking like a shaken and insecure little boy. If you can find them, look at the photos."Instead of reading this drivel read a bookand you will find Kennedy was president and Nixon was not. And Kennedy managed to avoid nuclear war, whereas Nixon placed his country on red alert when his attemtps to subvert the constitution were discovered.Only a complete idiot would put saving the world behind someone's sex life.But look who we are dealing with Fri 30 Jan 2009 20:02:51 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=87#comment198 197 happylaze:I AGREE with you - our economies must change if people and the planet are to survive. Our entire way of life must change. I'm just not very optimistic about it happening.Ann Coulter is a blithering ass. There is no justification whatsoever for her existence. If there were a god who created her, it was one hell of a nasty joke to play on humanity. But that not being the case, it is more likely that she is the creation of herself, self-groomed to attract attention so she can sit on talk shows in her undergarments and count on morons trying so hard to look up her chemise that they don't notice the drivel running out of her mouth. Fri 30 Jan 2009 19:51:34 GMT+1 robloop http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=87#comment197 158 allmymarbles Your comments re John Kennedy were quite brave on this blog and consequently gave me a good chuckle. He had charisma and undoubtedly was quite interesting - not least with Marilyn Monroe - but totally over-rated and had a good speech writer who added greatly to 'image'. Talk of his presidency representing 'Camelot' is a real load of mush, the primary similarity infidelity with him playing the Gwynavere role. Whereas Nixon was unfazed by the belligerent Krushchev, Kennedy wilted in their first meeting and emerged from it looking like a shaken and insecure little boy. If you can find them, look at the photos. Fri 30 Jan 2009 17:46:27 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=86#comment196 lol Bere.See I am not allowed to smoke a pipe quietly after walking into the woods. But they can trash the woods.I'm not disagreeing with you, really.But Here in Oregon where so many motor homes are made Our industry is in collapse.All built of dweebs going out for a blat on the weekend.I do think that loads of infernal combustion engines are offensive.Go to our local lakes and you can't go swimming. Not because of the pollution but because all those drunk jerks racing around with their penis replacements.BTW sean (it is illegal in oregon to float in a drift boat while drunk)Just as Ann coulter said The ethic of conservation is the explicit abnegation of man's dominion over the Earth. The lower species are here for our use. God said so: Go forth, be fruitful, multiply, and rape the planet — it's yours. That's our job: drilling, mining and stripping. Sweaters are the anti-Biblical view. Big gas-guzzling cars with phones and CD players and wet bars — that's the Biblical view.Oil Good; Democrats bad; October 12, 2000God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees. God said, 'Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It's yours.'And she is bloody serious she said something similar about boats and atv.To push her over the top would be enough of a reason to ban them for all americans.Bere we have to CHANGE our economies.Those based on waste have to change.While looking at Ann c quotes I noticed that she had a brief spell as MA2 ""The "European Union" happens to be composed of people who hate our guts. It is the continent where Moveon.org-style lunatics are the friendly, pro-American types and the rest are crazy Muslims.May, 2, 2007 [2]"Straight up MA.Timewaits. no railings because it is a gift site try the alchemy in etsy. send a request.180 TimohioIn conformist Ohio, if you put wildflowers in your front yard you would be more than strange. You might even be ticketed.Unless you live in yellow spring;) Fri 30 Jan 2009 16:55:16 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=86#comment195 189 tiptoplisamich:Honey bee insurance ??? 50 million Americans have no insurance and they're giving it to honey bees? What are they being insured against (or for)?You're absolutely right about long-term projects. What this country needs more than anything (besides national health care) is a state-of-the-art rail system, with trains that actually go where people want to go and arrive there reasonably on time and serve food that doesn't give you the runs for three days.My town has a beautifully renovated train depot (paid for mostly by grants). It is used as a visitors center and we have to drive an hour south of here to get on Amtrak. We even have the tracks here but they're used only for freight trains. Is this not STUPID! Fri 30 Jan 2009 16:53:54 GMT+1 chronophobe http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=85#comment194 re: 127 SamOooooh, mind the splinters!Tsk, tsk, Finbarr indeed...Yours,Pinko Fri 30 Jan 2009 14:44:09 GMT+1 hms_shannon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=85#comment193 Yumadeb & tiptoplisamichThat common sense is not very common is a fact.... Fri 30 Jan 2009 13:43:14 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=84#comment192 Lisa, Namaste "A mix of intellect and common sense is a rare thing, indeed. Adding the compassion of a heart? Where do we find such an elected official?"I remain hopeful that we have an example in the White House, Insha'Allah.Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Peaceed Fri 30 Jan 2009 13:42:49 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=84#comment191 Tipt Top Lisa, "we need substantial amounts of roads to get from here to there."Might I suggest a reconsideration of the (relatively recent) "need" to spend such a large proportion of our lives "in transit"?""...in pre-industrial country towns and city neighborhoods, the people who needed each other lived close to each other. This proximity was free, and it provided many benefits that were either free or comparatively cheap. This simple proximity has been destroyed and replaced by communications and transportation industries that are, again, enormously expensive and destructive, as well as extremely vulnerable to disruption.”-- Wendell Berry. “Search for Common Ground.” Home Economics, 1987. "Further questioning of the perceived "needs" of the Age of Scurryiing can be found in Thoreau and Illich....Just because we've re-built our culture on the basis of (virtually) unlimited cheap energy doesn't mean we "need" to continue on this suicidal path.Peaceed P.S. Post 123 has transmogrified itself into #177 Fri 30 Jan 2009 13:36:54 GMT+1 hms_shannon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=84#comment190 Do you folk think MA2 took the challange, to simplify simpliy, to his head rather than his heart ?. Fri 30 Jan 2009 12:10:11 GMT+1 tiptoplisamich http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=83#comment189 #188 yumadeb:As a fellow midwesterner, I'm familiar with the term "Educated Idiot". My father uses it often and has his own definition: Extremely intelligent, but couldn't find his/her way out of an open cardboard box. A mix of intellect and common sense is a rare thing, indeed. Adding the compassion of a heart? Where do we find such an elected official? Fri 30 Jan 2009 12:04:12 GMT+1 tiptoplisamich http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=83#comment188 #136 bere54:I see your point, truly I do. I guess I was expecting something that would stimulate the economy (for that amount of money) with impact more far-reaching. 20,000 laid-off Caterpillar workers are not going to be recalled for a possible crew of 10 people and 2 bulldozers to shovel out a few miles of dirt paths. I could certainly be wrong, but given the pork awards handed out from Congress in the past(both parties!) the ATV trails stink of someone getting their pet project funded.As for the sod at the mall, I just see this as a frivolous waste of taxpayer dollars at this present economic time. After all, landscaping the mall is not a long-time permanent job. I doubt the landscape hirees will be on the job long enough to qualify for medical benefits.Additionally, I do not sneer at ATV drivers or the recreational joy it brings them. To be honest, compared with the amount of vehicles on the roadways, I don't think a few ATVs are going to bring the planet to ruination by raising carbon levels. My main point is where is the logic (or lack of) when it comes to deciding where 800B dollars will have the most impact for the most people? Now we're learning about 150 million dollars included for honey bee insurance. #134 Ed:I would have liked to read your #123. Given your posts in the past, I can't imagine it being THAT controversial (moderators having a bad hair day, I guess). I take your point about new grass well. However, reality shows that---in the absense of national public transit convenient to more than metropolitan areas, we need substantial amounts of roads to get from here to there. In the absence of new roads being built, let's fix the crumbling pot-holed filled ones we have now. (In the midwest the snow will soon be melting and we'll be treated to the annual driving game of "Dodge the Craters or Pay the Mechanic". With an olive branch, I'll ask suggest mall sod money, honey bee insurance, ATV trail improvements, etc.. going toward the infrastructure dollars needed to upgrade public transport? A real, efficient public rail system that would connect us all much like the Eisenhower road program of the '50s. THAT is a stimulus inclusion that I could cheer for. Large numbers of long term jobs, more cars off the roads, less fuel consumption, and fewer pot holes ;-) Fri 30 Jan 2009 11:47:03 GMT+1 yumadeb http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=82#comment187 Where I come from, the Midwest, we have a term " an Educated Idiot"---that means a person who is very well educated at "book learning" but has no common sense, or as we Midwesterners would put it---"horse sense." I would like to have people with common sense who also understood the wider world, but most important of all is looking at the persons HEART---does this person care about the people, really?? or is all about the special interest groups that bought them? Fri 30 Jan 2009 05:08:52 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=82#comment186 This post has been Removed Fri 30 Jan 2009 03:55:57 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=81#comment185 Tim,Down under too? Fri 30 Jan 2009 03:46:48 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=81#comment184 Or Ralph's, but mostly he'd walk...;-)ed Fri 30 Jan 2009 03:24:10 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=80#comment183 176 Ed IglehartFirst - congratulations! How exciting!"Have you read "The Scotch"? If not, why not?"No good reason that I can think of. I will put it on my list. Even though our summer house is on the St. Lawrence, the island it is on has no cars and only a town truck to make deliveries. There is a small ferry that takes about four minutes. Sea-dos do not come close to shore so we are rarely bothered. It's more along the lines of kayaks and canoes. I love your can lamps and chandeliers. Do you ship to Canada? Fri 30 Jan 2009 03:23:38 GMT+1 timohio http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=80#comment182 re. 176. Iglehart:Concerning Walden. One of my wife's students once wrote about Thoreau "commuting with nature." The funny thing was, that's pretty much what he was doing. We all have an image of Thoreau out by himself in the wilderness. In reality he would take the train in to Mom's for dinner. Fri 30 Jan 2009 03:07:10 GMT+1 timohio http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=80#comment181 176. Ed Iglehart:Every summer for many years we rented a cottage on Lake Leelanau in Michigan. The south end of the lake, where we were, is long and narrow. Imagine, if you will, what marine vehicle that is perfect for. This past summer we rented a different cottage on the north part of the lake. It's smaller and more rounded. No personal watercraft to speak of. Lots of little sailboats, kayaks, canoes, rowboats. The occasional fisherman in a boat with an outboard. Heavenly. Fri 30 Jan 2009 03:03:56 GMT+1 timohio http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=79#comment180 re. 176. Ed Iglehart:Ed,You're a glassblower? Seriously? I'm at risk of blowing my cover here. No wonder I've always found your posts sensible, literate, and interesting ;-) Fri 30 Jan 2009 02:54:55 GMT+1 timohio http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=79#comment179 re. 175. bere54:Well, if it helps, I clear my neighbors' walks with my snowblower. We have a kind of competitive neighborliness thing going here. If I'm out first after the snowfall, I clear their walks. If they're up first, they do it. They're on different work schedules, so it evens out.In conformist Ohio, if you put wildflowers in your front yard you would be more than strange. You might even be ticketed.I have new neighbors on one side who have never raised vegetables. My mission for next summer is to turn them into urban farmers. With this economy in this region, it might even be a survival skill. Fri 30 Jan 2009 02:35:00 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=78#comment178 Bere,God on grass;-)ed Fri 30 Jan 2009 02:33:09 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=78#comment177 133 Simon21.No, not idealistic at all. This is something I have seen with my own eyes, and lived through, several times.In a professional environment, you can only fake it for so long: People can generally small a phony a mile away. The more highly skilled or highly competitive the workplace, the shorter the life expectancy of a would-be leader who just hasn't got the goods. 141 Sam. We must have gone to the same lectures. I couldn't agree more.143 Tim. Thanks.170 timewaits and 167 Gary:"So Galbraith held both seats on a two-person commission.""That's very amusing! And I like to think very Canadian."Yes, and even more Canadian if the commission then found that all its decisions were deadlocked because there was nobody to cast a tie-breaking vote, and so issued a majority report and a dissenting minority report, but couldn't decide which was which.... and then got stuck trying to determine whether it was an issue of federal or provincial power under s. 91 or s. 92. Fri 30 Jan 2009 02:17:51 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=77#comment176 Dear BBC Blog contributor,Thank you for contributing to a BBC Blog. Unfortunately we've had to remove your content belowPostings to BBC blogs will be removed if they advertise products or services for profit or gain....Regards,The BBC Blog TeamSubject:The case for brains in politicsPosting:Tiptop Lisa,New grass is better than more road-building and more cars. We need new ideas"The final chapter, May We Live in Interesting Times, presents 'some Modest Proposals for Profound Changes', including from the top down, an end to road-building and other destructive infrastructure projects, rebalancing taxes from income to consumption, ratification and enforcement of the Kyoto Protocol, and ending deforestation."Peace and a better economyed Fri 30 Jan 2009 01:27:06 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=77#comment175 Timewaits, "Canada! Galbraith was born here."Have you read "The Scotch"? If not, why not? Tom is my son, and does the metal. I do the glass, and Tom's Christine is becoming a pretty good glassblower too, and busy at present carrying my first grandchild...roll on July!Bere, Apologies. I have looked back. Actually, I love using my neighbour's "quad bike" (ATV) when he goes off for a few days I get to be his honorary stockman and ride all over some of the most scenic hills and woods...Tim,""The ATV, snowmobile and RV seem to be must-have items around here."And on any given lake on any given weekend day in the summer you will be plagued by jet-skis. Which are, in my opinion, instruments of Satan."Have you seen Ed Abbey's comments on the relation between speed and the requirement for space? "Once people are liberated from the confines of automobiles there will be a greatly increased interest in hiking, exploring, and back-country packtrips. Fortunately the parks, by the mere elimination of motor traffic, will come to seem far bigger than they are now -- there will be more room for more persons, an astonishing expansion of space. This follows from the interesting fact that a motorized vehicle, when not at rest, requires a volume of space far out of proportion to its size. To illustrate: imagine a lake approximately ten miles long and on the average one mile wide. A single motorboat could easily circumnavigate the lake in an hour; ten motorboats would begin to crowd it; twenty or thirty, all in operation, would dominate the lake to the exclusion of any other form of activity; and fifty would create the hazards, confusion, and turmoil that makes pleasure impossible. Suppose we banned motorboats and allowed only canoes and rowboats; we would see at once that the lake seemed ten or perhaps a hundred times bigger. The same thing holds true, to an even greater degree, for the automobile. Distance and space are functions of speed and time. Without expending a single dollar from the United States Treasury we could, if we wanted to, multiply the area of our national parks tenfold or a hundredfold -- simply by banning the private automobile. The next generation, all 250 million of them, would be grateful to us."from Polemic: Industrial Tourism, in Desert Solitaire - a "must read"Especially for Tim and Bere, but every home should have a copy, and, of course a copy of WaldenWe too are invaded by swarms of the greater buzzing aquaphallus, but fortunately the river is very tidal, so the infestations are relatively short. The behaviour is reminiscent of motorcycles - the ultimate in individual mobility which seems to require herd mentality for full enjoyment....Peaceed Fri 30 Jan 2009 01:08:19 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=76#comment174 timohio:I'll allow you your snow blower. I have something even better: a landlord with a pick-up and plow attachment. Does wonders for my back. AARP thinks I'm elderly too but I ignore them.When I had my own house, I rototilled (another noisy machine) my entire yard and planted wildflowers and perennials. I have become anti-grass (the little green blades, not the other kind). Who needs to spend all that time mowing? Meadows are so much more interesting and less trouble.Of course, a lot of people think I'm strange. Fri 30 Jan 2009 00:52:42 GMT+1 timohio http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=76#comment173 re. 173. bere54:Well, AARP seems to think I'm elderly, and I do have a bad back, so I guess my snowblower is okay. With the snow we've had this winter, I'm thankful for it.When my 25 year old Toro mower died, I got a rechargeable electric. The drop in decibels was wonderful. Thu 29 Jan 2009 23:55:52 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=76#comment172 timohio:Oh brother, do we ever have the jet-skis here too. And any time an attempt is made to ban them, for noise and pollution reasons, all hell breaks loose. So much for a quiet paddle around the lake.And back on the main topic, I would like to say that these are signs of both low intelligence and poor socializing, but if I did say that, which I'm not actually saying, someone will bite my head off.Another great source of noise and pollution here are snow blowers, but at least they serve a purpose; I'm going to be kind and assume they are used only by those who are elderly or have bad backs. Although I have seen them used in ways that appear to be recreational in a macho "I'm a guy with a noisy machine" sort of way.In my perfect world, not only would we do away with these items, but also with the ubiquitous weed-whackers and gasoline-powered lawn mowers, although these also don't qualify as recreational. I'm just so tired of all the noise. And the smell. Thu 29 Jan 2009 23:23:05 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=75#comment171 165 Gary_A_HillI should have added that Pearson was a really good man. But perhaps you already know that. Thu 29 Jan 2009 23:22:05 GMT+1 seanspa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=75#comment170 Tim, my dad hates jet-skis as he thinks of them as anti-social, so you are on to something. We actually - luckily - don't have that many around here, as most just want to cruise in boats drinking beer, fish, or both. Thu 29 Jan 2009 23:11:24 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=74#comment169 165 Gary_A_Hill"So Galbraith held both seats on a two-person commission."That's very amusing! And I like to think very Canadian. Thu 29 Jan 2009 22:37:40 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=74#comment168 seanspa #164:Nope, not Idaho. Close in climate but not geographically. I'm in the Socialist Republic of Vermont, and you'd be surprised how many anti-socialist, as well as anti-social, rip-roaring, ATV-riding, Republican-voting fellows we have up here in my corner. It belies our reputation for touch-feely, Birkenstock-wearing, aging trust fund hippies. Although there are plenty of those too. And excepting Hawaii, our state was highest in percentage of votes for Obama. Despite the fact the a lot of people here have seen black people only on TV and in the movies, which certainly don't give a realistic depiction.The one really good result of the high gas prices over the summer is that we didn't have traffic back-ups of RVs on our main street. The dearth was not only noticeable but heavenly. Except for the local economy. Thu 29 Jan 2009 22:28:29 GMT+1 timohio http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=73#comment167 re. 164. seanspa:"The ATV, snowmobile and RV seem to be must-have items around here."And on any given lake on any given weekend day in the summer you will be plagued by jet-skis. Which are, in my opinion, instruments of Satan.I can understand these kind of personal vehicles as transportation to do something interesting or useful, but most of the time people seem to roar around in them yelling "Wahoo! Wahoo!" How boring. But to attempt a desperate segue back to the original topic, is this behavior a sign of low intelligence or poor socializing? Thu 29 Jan 2009 22:10:18 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=73#comment166 161, Gary.Your link relies on imputed scores, not actual scores. If IQ's scores are suspect, imputed scores are totally unrelible. Thu 29 Jan 2009 21:48:38 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=73#comment165 Note that the report of IQs linked above was a hoax, however. Thu 29 Jan 2009 21:37:08 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=72#comment164 time.. (#162), yes, he was. There is an anecdote in Galbraith's memoirs reporting that JFK appointed him to some US-Canadian commission regarding some bilateral issue (commercial flights?), pointing out that he was a native Canadian. Pearson replied that "since he was one of ours" he would appoint him also. So Galbraith held both seats on a two-person commission. Thu 29 Jan 2009 21:20:08 GMT+1 seanspa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=72#comment163 bere54, your description of the mechanised activities in your state sound remarkably like the goings on in Idaho. The ATV, snowmobile and RV seem to be must-have items around here. Thu 29 Jan 2009 21:14:44 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=71#comment162 happylaze: All your arguments are good but the world is never going to be the perfection you lust for. I try to make a very light impact; living in a small town I am able to walk just about everywhere I need to go, have a small fuel-efficient car that I drive only once a week or so, use energy-efficient light bulbs and don't have them on more than necessary, don't buy stuff I don't need. But I'm realistic enough to know that most people are not willing to live as I do (certainly not in this country anyway) and I don't want to judge the ATV enthusiast as any worse than the person who drives 100 miles to an outlet mall to buy stuff they don't need anyway. There is no public transportation in this rural area though, and most people have to drive fairly long distances for work and necessary shopping. And I realize that the economy of my state would collapse without the ATVers, snowmobilers, and skiiers, not to mention the hordes who drive up here in their monster RVs in the summer and fall, spewing out exhaust and wasting huge amounts of gasoline (and causing everyone to drive 30 mph behind them).The problem is that humans have created a world where if everyone stops doing the things that damage the world, the economy will fare far worse than what we're seeing now. Is this the proverbial rock and a hard place? Is there anyone intelligent enough to fix it all? Thu 29 Jan 2009 20:40:42 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=71#comment161 160 seanspaThat what I always thought the reason was. How else do you get promoted, but I have to pretend to be talking about something else. Ummmmm....Oh I know - back to my favourite topic - Canada! Galbraith was born here. Thu 29 Jan 2009 20:27:29 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=70#comment160 all.. (#158), JFK has also been reported to have had an IQ as high as 174:http://www-cse.ucsd.edu/users/gary/iq.htmlIQ is just a score on a test, and although it is purported to be a measure of innate intelligence, there is clearly a lot of variance. Different tests can produce significantly different scores.I don't believe that any IQ test avoids cultural bias, and I don't believe that any one-dimensional measure of intelligence is adequate to characterize a person's brain performance. Thu 29 Jan 2009 20:14:09 GMT+1 seanspa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=70#comment159 timewaits, I too found that article interesting. The behaviour of the hawks around Kennedy would today be described as neo-con. Wanting to go to war purely to try out military capabilities seemed pretty sick. Thu 29 Jan 2009 19:53:55 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=69#comment158 happylaze"Ah time no bio."Very, but no staircase railings to choose from.They are the sort of things I like to place in my garden, beside the pond I created myself! Although mine are "store bought" as all our money goes into the house. I do not know what we were thinking! Perhaps I will try to post a picture of the pond, but I'm not very good at that stuff either.I really like what Ed does too (or perhaps it's his brother - unclear). They would be perfect for the country. Must tell him. Maybe I could become the Montreal distributor for both of you. Our recession is not as deep - yet! Thu 29 Jan 2009 19:52:44 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=69#comment157 I was googling the IQ's of presidents and what I found were not actual scores, but imputed scores. The only actual score I saw was for for JFK and that was 119. Given his background and education that is a remarkably low score. But then I never thought much of him. His administration was a lot of media hype. Charisma does not equal brains. Thu 29 Jan 2009 19:51:20 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=69#comment156 116, Saint."Richard Nixon was a reclusive paranoid megalomaniac, but he deserves credit for allowing Henry Kissinger to implement one of the best foreign policy strategies in recent memory. "Obviously, he was a crooked man consumed by hatred and ambition who would stop at nothing to achieve his goals. The main difference between him and W is that he was very intelligent."You are parroting the media. The reason for Nixon's fall was the media. He hated them, and vice versa. Thu 29 Jan 2009 19:45:45 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=68#comment155 153 Gary_A_Hill"interesting article" I thought so, glad you agree. So fascinating to learn what went on behind the scenes that we were not aware of at the time. Often very tragic though.But.... no more on the subject - I must be a "noman" of my word. Thu 29 Jan 2009 19:25:44 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=68#comment154 Ah time no bio. that would make sense.Not very good at that stuff did you like the made things? Thu 29 Jan 2009 19:08:34 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=67#comment153 147 bereYea I know we all have kinks, but burning gas to get nowhere has been shown to be less than benificial to the environment. It is indeed america's love of all things powered by gas that has led to some of the problems we face today.I agree that skiing is no better. all them cars going up to the slopes each weekend, with save the environment on the back.But that is the problem.I think before I do, I think about the environment before I do.Could I not have fun going for a walk instead. I decided that travel is not that great for the planet.I would love to see the Galapagos Islands, but do they need to see me. I would love to see the bears in the hills here.But do they need to see me. NOSo I wait until serendipity throws a bear my way.The intrusion on the wilderness by load ATV is shameful sorry I have no concern to help people ruin yet more because they have driven the animals away with the noise so they have to claim the right to go further into the wilderness to see anything.If you want to enjoy the wilderness go on foot. If you need more supplies take a donkey.Smoke a pipe it will cost less to the environment.(as long as it's outdoor stuff) Thu 29 Jan 2009 19:03:54 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=67#comment152 timewaitsfornoman (#146), I hadn't read it, but I just did. That is an interesting article. Thank you. Thu 29 Jan 2009 18:36:40 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=66#comment151 By the way, I notice that "colleagues" and "insightful" have been corrected in the above article. Good job! Thu 29 Jan 2009 18:31:38 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=66#comment150 Ed: Please see my post at 147. I think we may be talking at cross-purposes. Thu 29 Jan 2009 18:24:13 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=65#comment149 142 timohioDon't berate yourself. I am a freelance proofreader; it happens to be practically the only thing I am good at (I like to say that some people were born to play the piano; I was born to proofread), but I miss many errors in my own writing. Go figure. A very intelligent man once told me that when we read what we have written, what we see is what we knew we meant to say and therefore miss the mistakes or missing words. I console myself with this explanation; otherwise I would feel like an idiot. It also helps me give others some slack - except in published material - where have all the copyeditors gone? Thu 29 Jan 2009 17:25:44 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=65#comment148 Bere54, (with all the links included)ATVs are notoriously fuel-inefficient. Do you run yours on tax-free gas? I admit they're great for checking livestock, but, as a recreational device, I'm afraid they're typical of our comsumptive effluent society. I remember a quote from "Brave New World", "What good [to GDP] is a sport that doesn't require expensive specialised equipment?"Peace and fair sharesed Thu 29 Jan 2009 17:21:01 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=65#comment147 Bere54, ATVs are notoriously fuel-inefficient. Do you run yours on tax-free gas? I admit they're great for checking livestock, but, as a recreational device, I'm afraid they're typical of our comsumptive effluent society. I remember a quote from "Brave New World", "What good [to GDP] is a sport that doesn't require expensive specialised equipment?"Peace and fair sharesed Thu 29 Jan 2009 17:18:40 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=64#comment146 happylaze #140:ATV trails may seem like a waste of money to you (and it's certainly not an activity I would ever want to engage in), and of course you have a perfect right to your opinion, but I'd bet there are things you enjoy that may seem nonsensical and a waste of money to others. I happen to think that flinging oneself down a mountain on thin pieces of wood in the bitter cold is utterly ridiculous, but the skiing industry is big around here. Many people find great pleasure in standing around on pristine sod, whacking little balls into holes with flags in them, but golf courses are a terrible source of pollution what with all the chemicals necessary to keep that sod pristine. I also find it difficult to understand why anyone would choose to watch TV when they could read a book instead. We all have our little kinks. So perhaps a little tolerance of the choices of others is in order. Thu 29 Jan 2009 17:18:36 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=64#comment145 138 Gary_A_HillI know you do not think JFK belongs on this site but I did post what I thought was a very interesting article on #25. Perhaps you have already read it.I will say no more... Thu 29 Jan 2009 17:09:22 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=63#comment144 135 happylaze"Bio" I followed your instructions (if you remember) and then went to Bio - which was blank. If that helps any. Thu 29 Jan 2009 17:02:35 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=63#comment143 Also, regarding different intelligences (sorry to belabor the point but I think this is funny), my daughter's best friend completed his PhD in physics (rocket science) at the age of 26. He is a brilliant young man but has such a bad sense of direction that he probably could not find his way out of a paper bag. It is an unending source of amusement to his less brilliant friends. Thu 29 Jan 2009 17:01:36 GMT+1 timohio http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=62#comment142 re. 133. Simon21:I think it depends on the personalities involved. Highly skilled technical people with huge egos who don't respect anyone without their technical background would need to be led by a person with excellent technical skills. Sort of a first among equals environment. Even then you will get some snide comments about the leader's poor skills. On the other hand, technical people who understand that there is a difference between, say, designing a bridge and leading a design team that designs a bridge, will thrive with a leader who has enough of a technical background to understand what everyone is doing, but realizes that his or her role is to organize and facilitate the work of the team.Wow, that was a long sentence! Thu 29 Jan 2009 16:55:41 GMT+1 timohio http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=62#comment141 re. 137. bere54:I should say that my talents and abilities apparently don't include keyboarding or proofreading. I looked back at a couple of my posts here and wondered why I didn't catch the typos. I tell people where I work that if I could type decently, I could get a good job. Thu 29 Jan 2009 16:44:14 GMT+1 SamTyler1969 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=61#comment140 #130,Timmy,I think you sell yourself short. Being a leader isn't about having a title or being in the 'O' zone. It's about getting the best from an organization and helping others reach their full potential, even if that is greater than your own.Sounds to me like you are a true leader in every sense, one I would be proud to have in my own organization.Executive Sam Thu 29 Jan 2009 16:41:22 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=61#comment139 Oh and ATV trails so lazy sods can race around the wilderness making a mess of it. is a waste of money.Horse riding trails maybe. Thu 29 Jan 2009 16:26:39 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=61#comment138 "This is idealistic. A good leader's first quality is the ability to persuade others he is a good leader, regardless of his (or her)technical abilities."GW persuaded a few he was a good leader twice.It was the technical ablities that let him down. Or the ability to see that he may have got something wrong.Like his so called post war plan of having raves in Baghdad. Thu 29 Jan 2009 16:23:54 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=60#comment137 ikamaskelp (#117), no offence taken, but I still don't get your point about JFK. The history of the whole sordid affair is readily available; the Geneva Accords, the Pentagon Papers, and other summary histories are online. The escalation of American fighting forces under Johnson, and "Vietnamization" of the conflict under Nixon are well documented. Where do Eisenhower and JFK fit in?My view is simply that the American-Vietnam war begins with Eisenhower, and the Dulles brothers (Allen - CIA, and John Foster - State), who refused to support the Geneva Accords which called for a unified Vietnam. The US sponsored the creation of South Vietnam as a separate state with military assistance, equipment and "advisers." This policy did not change under JFK, and his Secretaries of Defense and State continued under Johnson when US involvement became full-blown war. Although Nixon (eventually) brought it to an end, this was not because of a rejection of the original policy, but merely because by that time Americans had had enough, and Nixon (and Kissinger) knew that it was unwinnable, and there was no reason to continue it.To summarize, I don't consider the American Vietnam war to be either a Republican or Democratic (or Johnsonian) mistake. All four presidents are responsible. The differences between them in the details I think less important than their shared idea that the US should reject the accord that ended the French Vietnam war and substitute our own political solution, enforced by military power.I'm hopeful that the Election of Obama will begin a new era of US foreign policy marked by greater respect for diplomacy and greater restraint in the use of military force. We'll see how it turns out. Thu 29 Jan 2009 16:17:52 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=60#comment136 #129:Yes, definitely there are different kinds of intelligence.Anecdote: I had a friend who years ago worked at a gas (petrol!) station in Ithaca, NY, while his wife was in graduate school at Cornell. (My friend had an MFA, which is why he was working at a gas station!). Carl Sagan was a frequent customer, and was never able to figure out how to work the self-service pump; my friend always had to pump the gas for him. I don't think anyone would argue that Carl Sagan was not intelligent, but the working of a gas pump was apparently not in the realm of his particular type of intelligence. Thu 29 Jan 2009 16:04:12 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=59#comment135 #119:You're probably right about contraceptives not stimulating the economy (I was just using that as an example of typical Republican behavior), but the other items you mention (new sod for the Mall, ATV trails) would actually provide jobs. Somebody has to do the work; the materials must be purchased. When the ATV trails are built, people will spend money to use them – new ATVs, gasoline for them, parts for older vehicles, etc. So it's not as frivolous as it seems. ATVing (as well as snowmobiling) is a popular activity where I live, and both are a source of revenue to the local economy. Tourists come, dragging their vehicles on trailers, stay in hotels, eat in restaurants. Our meals and restaurant tax is 9%, and our economy can't survive without that. Then there are the jobs created in the hotels and restaurants. It's sort of horizontal trickling.And in case you're thinking everyone will be too poor for recreation - even the locals here (who are not wealthy by any means) are die-hards when it comes to their outings on ATVs and snowmobiles. So please don't be too hasty to sneer at some of those items in the bill that may not make much sense to you. They make sense to others. Thu 29 Jan 2009 15:48:10 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=59#comment134 time bio?i' can't remember. smoke to much i suppose.lol Thu 29 Jan 2009 15:41:51 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=58#comment133 What's wrong with 123? It was simply a reply to Tip Top Lisa to say that new grass is better than new roads, and that new ideas are better than new bridges...Oh, welled Thu 29 Jan 2009 15:41:50 GMT+1 Simon21 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=58#comment132 Interestedforeigner wrote:41 Sam. That was a good post.95 Tim and 107 Sam.I went to a lecture and seminar similar to Sam's description where the speaker made the point that a successful leader: must have demonstrated technical excellence in the relevant field, or he or she will not be respected by highly technically skilled colleagues;"This is idealistic. A good leader's first quality is the ability to persuade others he is a good leader, regardless of his (or her)technical abilities. Thu 29 Jan 2009 15:39:02 GMT+1 hms_shannon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=57#comment131 #130 timohio. I would have given any thing to have some one like you on board when I was in business.You are the glue that keeps all together,clear unseen but totaly vital.... Thu 29 Jan 2009 15:29:55 GMT+1 timewaitsfornoman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=57#comment130 I read on the CBC comment page in reference to Obama's planned visit to Canada. A single line:"Hope he's not coming to ask for a loan."I had to laugh, but then I'm easily amused! Has humour been mentioned as a quality required to be a good leader? Not that I am one, I know my place, "second in command." At that I excel, perhaps timohio does too. A good second in command is extremely important.Please do not bring up Cheney. We all know which position he occupied. He was obviously a firm believer in those sport quotes, along the lines of: If you're not first, you're a loser." Or something.... Thu 29 Jan 2009 15:25:24 GMT+1 timohio http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=57#comment129 re. 107. SamTyler1969:Sam,With the passage of time and a lot of work experience, I've come to understand that I'm a lousy leader but a good coach. I'm basically a Type B personality. I have a wide range of good technical skills and I'm way over-educated for what I do. I do well in situations where someone else is leading who is secure and not intimidated by my educational background. What I've come to realize I can do is provide backup for my boss, mentoring for younger colleagues, and sometimes a shoulder to cry on. But to be a real leader, you have to have at least a bit of a Type A. In the right environment, I have a role to play in the group. In my individual work duties, I do best when my unit leader is enough of a Type A to run interference for me in difficult situations. It's a good tradeoff. The organization I'm in can't afford to have managers who do nothing but manage. All of the managers have individual responsibilities in addition to their managing duties. So, a good Number 2 is valuable, and that's what I am. It takes all kinds of personalities to make a successful organization. But it's hard to get a lot of Type As to understand that. Thu 29 Jan 2009 14:58:11 GMT+1 timohio http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=56#comment128 re. 100. bere54 wrote:"I'm not sure how a person with these limitations qualifies as having above average intelligence. I'm wondering who it is who says he has above average intelligence."I suppose that's really what we're discussing here. The popular conception of intelligence is that it's an all-or-nothing deal. You're either intelligent or you're not. I've been involved tangentially with education and learning theory, and I have a fair amount of education myself and work with people who also have a lot of education. And my job involves teaching people outside the classroom. It seems to me that intelligence is a matter of aptitudes and talents, some of which have bloomed due to upbringing and education. IQ test results and standardized test scores can be enhanced through the proper education, for example. There are lots of businesses in the US dedicated to improving teenagers' standardized test scores so they can get into the college they want to attend. And, to a certain extent, they work.Perceived intelligence is also a matter of the right person being in the right situation. I know a number of good classical musicians. They are a perfect fit for the situations they're in, but you definitely don't want them running a large organization. Condeleeza Rice seems to be an exception, since she is apparently a very good classical pianist, a successful academic, and a good Secretary of State. She must be unusually gifted.Intelligence can be enhanced. Maria Montessori demonstrated at the end of the 19th century that she could take a group of what were called at the time "idiots" and, using her education methods, enhance their abilities to the point where they could pass Italian stated examinations with above average scores. Conversely, a person with certain raw abilities and talents can stay forever stunted if they are in bad family situations or go to bad schools. And then there are people with various disabilities. I have long suspected that GWB has at least one learning disability. He seems distinctly dyslexic (which would explain the verbal gaffes) and I suspect he has some learning disabilities as well. That doesn't make him stupid or mean that he couldn't have been a good president under other circimstances. He was just woefully inadequate for the situation in which he found himself. Thu 29 Jan 2009 14:42:57 GMT+1 SamTyler1969 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=56#comment127 #108Timantha? Thu 29 Jan 2009 14:34:43 GMT+1 SamTyler1969 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/01/the_case_for_brains_in_politic.html?page=55#comment126 #104Pinky,You'd have to ask Laila about those few inches of wood between here and eternity.Kyack kyack.Finbarr Sam Thu 29 Jan 2009 14:34:09 GMT+1