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Ben Barnes to Break Silence on "60 Minutes"

by : Eric Boehlert
Thursday September 2, 2004 - 04:58
17 comments

By Eric Boehlert

The Republican campaign gets ready for shock waves, as the former Texas official who says he pulled strings to get George W. Bush into the Air National Guard finally goes public.

The campaign battle over Vietnam War records is still raging, but President Bush may soon be the one answering uncomfortable questions about his past service. Ben Barnes, the former lieutenant governor of Texas, will finally break his silence and talk to the press about what role he played in helping Bush get a coveted slot in the Texas Air National Guard in 1968. Sources say Barnes has already sat down for a "60 Minutes" interview that will air a week from Sunday. A "60 Minutes" spokesperson declined to comment, saying the program does not discuss reports that are in progress.

Barnes made headlines last week when his videotaped comments that he was "very ashamed" of getting Bush into the National Guard began circulating on the Web. He said the remorse was prompted by a recent visit to the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, where he saw the names of thousands of other young men who did not enjoy the connections of the Bush family. Barnes made his comments in May and the video was posted on a pro-Kerry Web site in June, but word of it only began to spread widely last Friday.

Over the weekend, the national press, which for weeks has been amplifying factually challenged allegations against John Kerry by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, gave Barnes’ stunning remarks only cursory coverage. The Washington Post, for instance, ran a brief wire story on Saturday, the same day it printed yet another exhaustive piece about allegations surrounding Kerry’s war past. In a subsequent WashingtonPost.com online chat, the Post reporter covering the Swift boat story suggested Barnes’ comments didn’t qualify as "fresh information," and consequently he wasn’t interested in "simply regurgitating old controversies." The New York Times ran a brief item on Barnes’ statements deep inside its Saturday news section, next to yet another lengthy profile of Kerry’s longtime Swift boat nemesis, John O’Neill.

With Barnes now being featured in a sit-down interview with "60 Minutes," the highly rated CBS news magazine, reporters may finally be forced to address the consistent curiosities of Bush’s National Guard record. Such as why, after nearly a decade of sifting through military records, neither Bush nor his team of longtime advisors can piece together a coherent explanation for his whereabouts, particularly after April 1972 when Bush inexplicably stopped flying and moved to Alabama, failed to take his physical exam, was grounded by his superiors, and by all accounts failed to show up for weekend training for months at a time. Bush received an honorable discharge in 1973 in order to attend Harvard Business School. Bush supporters insist the honorable discharge proves his service was above reproach. But military legal experts note honorable discharges, particularly in the early ’70s as the Vietnam War was winding down, do not indicate unblemished military records.

Rather than offering insight into Bush’s so-called missing year, Barnes has firsthand knowledge of how Bush was able to get into the Guard. During the Vietnam War, Guard members were rarely called up for duty in Vietnam, making it a top choice among those seeking to avoid serving in war torn Southeast Asia. (On his Air Force pilot application, when asked about an overseas assignment, Bush checked "do not volunteer.") In fact, Bush’s Guard unit was known as the Champagne Unit, because among its members were sons of prominent Texas politicians and businessmen.

Throughout his political career Bush has adamantly denied that he got a Guard pilot spot through preferential treatment. That, despite the fact Bush was jumped ahead of a nationwide waiting list of 100,000 Guard applicants, while achieving the lowest possible passing grade on his pilot aptitude test for would-be fliers, and listing "none" as his background qualifications.

Barnes, once a rising star in Texas politics, insists strings were pulled on Bush’s behalf, and he helped pull them. Speaking to Kerry supporters in Austin, Texas, in May, he said, "I got a young man named George W. Bush into the Texas National Guard ... I got a lot of other people in the National Guard because I thought that was what people should do when you’re in office, and you help a lot of rich people." Recalling a recent visit to the Vietnam Memorial, Barnes added, "I looked at the names of the people that died in Vietnam, and I became more ashamed of myself than I have ever been, because it was the worst thing I ever did, was help a lot of wealthy supporters and a lot of people who had family names of importance get into the National Guard. And I’m very sorry about that, and I’m very ashamed."

That story is entirely consistent with the statement Barnes made five years ago, when he revealed that in 1968 he made the phone call to the head of the Texas Air National Guard at the request of the late Sidney Adger, a Houston oil man and longtime Bush family friend. At the time, neither Bush nor his campaign directly denied the story. Bush simply stressed that neither he nor his father had made a call on his behalf, and he was unaware of any other such string pulling.

"Ben Barnes is a key to this election because he knows firsthand what happened in 1968," says Paul Alexander, director of "Brothers in Arms," a new pro-Kerry documentary about the Democratic candidate’s Vietnam experience. Alexander has also written extensively about Bush’s past. "Barnes is an eyewitness."

Barnes is a Kerry supporter, and the White House last week tried to depict him as a longtime partisan. But the fact is, Barnes for years resisted any attempt to get dragged into a political debate about Bush’s war record. It was only under threat of legal action back in 1999 - and only after efforts to assert "executive privilege" failed - that Barnes came forward with his statement about helping Bush. (And even then, Barnes issued it through his attorney, refusing to answer press questions.) The lawsuit was brought by a disgruntled Texas lottery executive who charged that his former company, which Barnes lobbied for, was able to keep a lucrative Texas state contract in exchange for Barnes’ remaining silent about helping Bush get into the Guard. The case was later settled out of court, with the executive receiving $300,000.

In 1998 Barnes even met privately with Bush’s then-campaign manager and current commerce secretary, Donald Evans, in order to give him a heads up about the unfolding Guard story. Bush himself sent Barnes a note thanking him "for his candor" on the matter.

Whether Bush still appreciates Barnes’ "candor" next week remains to be seen.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090...



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> Ben Barnes to Break Silence on "60 Minutes"
Sunday September 5 - 03:27 - Posted by 0dbf87949053e94b...

What I see in this article is a lot of accusations and the only thing to back it up is one person’s so called I witness account. Unlike the swiftboat accusations where you have 250 witnesses on one side and 14 on the other. I could care less about what either Kerry or Bush did while serving during the vietnam war, except for what Kerry did when he got back. To accuse all of those names listed on the Vietnam War Memorial as war criminals and confessing to be one himself, to me is unacceptable actions. How can Barnes go to that memorial and see those names and the first thing that comes to mind is he supposedly kept Bush out of the war. The first thing that should have come to his mind was what Kerry did to all those names on the memorial and also all those who served in that war. He should have been remembering Kerry before Congress calling these men war criminals. He should have been concerned that Kerry admitted himslef that he too was a war criminal. Now he says he is a Kerry supporter because he saw the names on that memorial and thought he had done something so terribly wrong that he needed confession and to put his confession out in public and at this time before the election. How could a man look at that memorial and feel deep regret over one man serving in the National Guard and another man condeming all of those names and all of those who served in Vietnam? That is the question I would like to ask Mr. Barnes.




> Ben Barnes to Break Silence on "60 Minutes"
Sunday September 5 - 23:08 - Posted by c5c19e79f27a0aa1...

This guys is ugly and his momma dresses him funny.



> Ben Barnes to Break Silence on "60 Minutes"
Monday September 6 - 02:35 - Posted by 6117fd91f4d64566...

Your "250 witnesses" aren’t witnesses if they don’t have firsthand knowledge, which they don’t. In my profession, trial lawyer, no intelligent judge would allow any of your "250 witnesses" to testify under oath in a court of law.

Now, not that it matters to you, but the 14 witnesses on the so-called other side are true witnesses b/c they actually witnessed the facts of which they speak. (Novel concept, eh?)

Now, after defaming Kerry’s Vietnam record based on fabricated testimony, you backtrack by claiming no interest in bush’s or kerry’s vietnam-era record. i suggest that you make this statement b/c you really have no interest in discussing bush’s record. fact is, bush hid behind daddy like a yellow-bellied coward to get his national guard assignment. of course you don’t want to discuss that history.

i, for one, believe kerry’s and bush’s histories are relevant, terribly relevant. kerry volunteered and fought, returned from vietnam and fought again to end the vietnam war mistake — 58,000 americans died for no good reason. bush, on the other hand, hid behind daddy, became a drunk (or was he a drunk before the national guard?), started businesses through daddy’s connections, ran those businesses into the ground, became president of the texas rangers through daddy’s connections and proceeded to make a cool $16,000,000 from the generosity of the taxpayers buying his team a stadium and land to build it on ...

no, little georgie boy is now, and has always been, a spoiled, rotten brat!!!



> Ben Barnes to Break Silence on "60 Minutes"
Tuesday September 7 - 12:55 - Posted by 1122a42601ceb4e3...

Bush is good at hiding like a yellow bellied coward....remember how he hid in Nebraska under the bed during the 9/11 attack????? What a piece of hypocritical work W is and we will all remember him for that....just like we remember Nixon the lying piece of shit that he was. His dad was a whimp but Jr. is a full blown coward of the first kind. Then there was all of that swaggering aroung the battleship after we "won" the Iraq war dressed up in a pilot’s uniform pretending that he was a military man....what a joke. It would almost be funny if his tenure in office had not been so disgraceful and disasterous to our country.....Let’s all pitch out this bunch of coward shitheads that never served in the military including W who didn’t really serve in the military either, it was just pretend, which he is really good at too.....he has been a pretend president for the last 3 plus years....Our country can not stand another 4 years of this fool and his evil administration. Ever notice that Rummy is strangely absent I kind of miss his squinting down so that you can not see his eyes while he tells another wooper for W???? No wonder W. won’t just boot him, he needs all the professional liars he can surround himself with...I see where these bastards are getting ready to tell the baby boomers that all their social security money is gone (what lock box), and that they are going to have to pass laws that that is okay cause they needed to steal it from us...they needed it to buy bombs from their own corporations to drop on some skinny brown people, etc....then there is the airline bankrupcies (yeah right) where the plan is to allow the airlines to not pay the pensions of its retiring employees their bennefits.....these corporate bastards and the Bushco have cooked up a plan to send the taxpayers the bill for the private industry pensions of the airline corporations I kidd you not....I thought we had seen the last of Neil Bush but apparently he has been put in charge of the latest taxpayer S&L style rip off. But we knew it would happen. They are only going to get one term so they are like theives in the jewelry store robbery grabbing up everything before they make their get away. And one more thing if Martha Stewart’s crime should be punished by going to jail, then Kenny Boy’s crime should be the death penalty, so what is the delay??????? Any of you Nascar dads know what is taking so long to get ’ol Kenny Boy?????



> Ben Barnes to Break Silence on "60 Minutes"
Monday September 6 - 03:28 - Posted by 0bce17c0015b2aec...

Until you listen to Kerry’s full Senate committee testimony given April 22, 1971 and understand the circumstances that he refers to war crimes being committed, I think you whould stop repeating the lies that Bushes campaign keep foisting on the American public. Why can’t the media show the whole testimony, show the context, show the facts... instead of showing everyones opinions. Then I wouldn’t mind how people made up their minds. But I resent that we are fed clips and rhetoric and told what to believe and then have someone tell the me that Kerry was "The Enemy" after Viet Nam. Get over it.

It looks like this 60 minutes interview may never see the light of day anyway.... I have a hard time believing that this story, as damning as it is, will make 15 minutes air time in the major media. What a shame!



> Ben Barnes to Break Silence on "60 Minutes"
Monday September 6 - 03:48 - Posted by d1156547bf402675...

Another lie from a Bush "plant"...."Unlike the swiftboat accusations where you have 250 witnesses on one side and 14 on the other?" You’ve got it backwards... there are only about 60 swiftboat liars..most of them Republican or on the Bush payroll. All the Kerry veterans were THERE...what are their reason to defend Kerry??? The TRUTH maybe???
The real problem is we have a COWARD in the White House and he should be impeached for lying to the American people.
In 2 months. we will have the opportunity to send him back to Crawford TX, and he should consider himself lucky...in another time he would be facing war crime charges.



> Ben Barnes to Break Silence on "60 Minutes"
Monday September 6 - 05:25 - Posted by 667d6be8464e9cc6...

This is why the Republicans have a problem with this issue

Kerry served the people of the United States of America, along with people such as John McCain and Max Cleland whilst the guys below had other idea’s, people on both sides of the aisle did not serve so they should not assasinate John Kerry and the national media could have killed this attack by noting these facts.

*George W Bush - refused to volunteer and jumped the que of 100,000 men to get the position in the national guard.
*George Pataki - deferred poor eyesight
*Rudolph Giulliani - fedreal judge gave him a deferment.
*Arnold Schwarzenegger did not serve Austrian Army as he had a body building contest, said he would go to prison instead, what a girlyman.
* Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert - avoided the draft
* Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey - avoided the draft, did not serve.
* House Majority Leader Tom Delay - avoided the draft, did not serve (1). "So many minority youths had volunteered ... that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like himself." his own words.
* House Majority Whip Roy Blunt - did not serve
* Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist - did not serve.
* Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, R-KY - did not serve (1)
* Rick Santorum, R-PA, third ranking Republican in the Senate - did not serve. (1)
* Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott - avoided the draft, did not serve.
* Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld - served in the U.S. Navy (1954-57) as an aviator and flight instructor. (1) Served as President Reagan’s Special Envoy to the Middle East and met with Saddam Hussein twice in 1983 and 1984.
* GW Bush - Huh?
* VP Cheney - several deferments (1, 2), the last by marriage (in his own words, "had other priorities than military service") * Att’y Gen. John Ashcroft - did not serve (1, 2); received seven deferment to teach business ed at SW Missouri State
* Jeb Bush, Florida Governor - did not serve. (1)
* Karl Rove - avoided the draft, did not serve (1), too busy being a Republican.



> Ben Barnes to Break Silence on "60 Minutes"
Monday September 6 - 05:31 - Posted by a2b07b2cd7899696...

I still haven’t figured out how or why 250 men managed such close proximity to the battle event(s) in question ... O’Neil, for one, didn’t serve concurrently with Kerry (same boat, different time). How he could have bore witness is beyond me. Any social and cognitive psychologist with expertise on the fallibility of memory could write a nice paper on the extraordinary absurdities surrounding this political and social farce. It’ll certainly make prime material for introductory texts on social / political psychology and cognition.

The White House dismissal of Barne’s asserations because of his being a Democrat is ludicrous (does being Republican disqualify their assertions?); as if the Swift Boat vets didn’t have an ax to grind. What do you expect for an election year? Nice work Mr. Rove! (the scent of Karl Rove all over the Swift Boat sham). Swift B. got way more media coverage than journalistic standards should have allowed; Bush’s gapped past is more than fair game. HHansen Austin,Tx



> Ben Barnes to Break Silence on "60 Minutes"
Monday September 6 - 16:28 - Posted by a537335dc1e97e7e...

...Its "EYE witness", not "person’s so called I witness account..."



"B B B"
Wednesday September 8 - 00:19 - Posted by 2082847fc54a6799...

"B B B" = "Bust Bushie’s Butt"

Ah, yes, poetic (and political) justice. It’s about time. After all the @#$%^&* Bushie, Rove, and their lackeys have been pulling, I cannot wait to see GW get skewered by Ben Barnes’ (and others’ ) revelations. Be sure to read www.dailykos.com as well as www.mydd.com if you would like to learn more about all of the accusations about Bush’s alcoholic, puking days as a rich preppie. I’m not so sure that Jesus (nor the Great Goddess) are going to forgive him . . . ever!



> Ben Barnes to Break Silence on "60 Minutes"
Monday September 6 - 02:52 - Posted by 81b7ea4a11e6c3fa...

Kerry served honorably in Vietnam. His military records prove that fact. Bush served in the plush National guard state side. Many of Bushes military records are "missing". Case closed. Kerry wins, Bush loses. It is a cheap shot to disperage the metals and ribbons that our Vietnam Vets received for going to war for us.




> Ben Barnes to Break Silence on "60 Minutes"
Monday September 6 - 03:52 - Posted by b4f0c478afa70563...

If you want to read actual facts about Kerry’s voting record a good site is Fact Check. It puts down Kerry and Bush’s misleading commercials and commentary by politicians and TV personalities.

Anyway, you can read up on Kerry’s voting record on defense here:
http://www.factcheck.org/article.as...

You can read the comments he made about war crimes IN CONTEXT here:
http://www.factcheck.org/article.as...

Fact is Kerry talked about accusations other people made during that testimony. He didn’t say everyone did this that was in Vietnam. He said that a lot of people were, however. And the fact is that’s absolutely true. Are you trying to say that it’s ok to kill innocent people as long as it’s in some other country? People seem to be really confused about what patriotism actually is. To the point that they will excuse horrible inhuman behavior. IMO that is absolutely sickening.




> Ben Barnes to Break Silence on "60 Minutes"
Friday September 10 - 01:44 - Posted by 4e6008f0ada28fb2...

Excellent post. And thanks for the link to the FactCheck site.



> Ben Barnes to Break Silence on "60 Minutes"
Monday September 6 - 21:27 - Posted by ca93fdb425652d7c...

Dear Mr. Barnes, Can’t you go out on the campaign trail for Sen. Kerry? Remind the public
how many lives have been sacrificed and how many have been injured and maimed in Iraq.
Remind people of the 5 deferments that Cheney had during Vietnam. I would certainly send
you a donation. The truth of this administration has to be spread. I admire your courage and
honesty. Jane Ryan




> Ben Barnes to Break Silence on "60 Minutes"
Wednesday September 8 - 09:29 - Posted by 1122a42601ceb4e3...

Well said Jane, the women in this country are so well informed and hard for Mr. Bush and his big business cronies to fool, with the help of woman power (over 50% of the voters) we will get rid of that bad rubbish, and we will all be watching 60 minutes.



> Ben Barnes to Break Silence on "60 Minutes"
Thursday September 9 - 04:58 - Posted by 3aa36814b27748b7...

September 08, 2004, 10:01 AM

Media complicit in Barnes fibs over Bush Guard Service
By Phil Magness

One week ago Chronically Biased exposed the fact that former Texas politician Ben Barnes, who is now waging allegations against President Bush’s national guard service, can’t even get his own story straight. Barnes claims to have used the Texas Lieutenant Governor’s office to secure a spot for Bush in the Texas Air National Guard despite the fact that Bush entered the service almost a year before Barnes even won that post.

Naturally, the same media establishment that gave John Kerry a pass over his claim that Richard Nixon secretly sent him into Cambodia a month before Nixon’s inauguration has accepted the Barnes fib without question. Barnes will be featured tonight in a nationally broadcast interview with Dan Rather where he is expected to restate the same allegations against Bush.

A quick review of the media’s coverage of this event reveals full fledged complicity in spreading Barnes’ fib through both inferences and direct assertions that contradict his known term of office as Lieutenant Governor. Other sources have even reprinted Barnes’ claim without so much as even mentioning that he wasn’t Lieutenant Governor at the time he claims.

Here’s a brief roundup of the stories leading up to Rather’s interview.

The Washington Post:

A senior Texas politician has told close friends that he recommended George W. Bush for a pilot’s slot in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam war because he was eager to “collect chits” from an influential political family. The reported comments by former Texas lieutenant governor Ben Barnes add fuel to a long-running controversy over how Bush got a slot in an outfit known as the “Champagne Unit” because it included so many sons of prominent Texans.

The UK Independent:

The first salvo is due to be fired on CBS tonight, when Ben Barnes, a Democrat and the lieutenant governor of Texas in 1968, will explain his role in securing for the 22-year-old Yale graduate Bush a coveted place in the state’s Air National Guard - a unit so full of the sons of Texas’s rich and powerful that it was known as the “Champagne Unit”.

Salon.com:

Ben Barnes, the former lieutenant governor of Texas, will finally break his silence and talk to the press about what role he played in helping Bush get a coveted slot in the Texas Air National Guard in 1968. Sources say Barnes has already sat down for a “60 Minutes” interview that will air next week. A “60 Minutes” spokesperson declined to comment, saying the program does not discuss reports that are in progress. Barnes made headlines last week when his videotaped comments that he was “very ashamed” of getting Bush into the National Guard began circulating on the Web.

Dallas Morning News/KHOU:

“The latest battle in this year’s presidential political war is another fight over a 30-year-old war.

The former Lt. Governor of Texas now admits he helped George W. Bush get into the National Guard during Vietnam.
Implications that George W. Bush benefited from using influence to get into the National Guard slot — that kept him out of Vietnam — surfaced years ago. But now, a popular click on the Web is a video of former Lt. Governor Ben Barnes.

”See, I got a young man named George W. Bush into the National Guard when I was the Lt. Governor of Texas and I’m not necessarily proud of that,“ says Barnes.”

All of this makes for a convenient story if you’re a Kerry supporter except, again, for one pesky little fact: Ben Barnes was not Lieutenant Governor in 1968 when Bush joined up. He was a lame duck Speaker of the House seeking election as Lite Guv in a year when the legislature was out of session and when he appears to have spent an extended period overseas on a UN job for LBJ.

Of course the most bizarre lie to emerge so far comes from Democrats.com, an “unofficial” Democratic Party organization that was set up four years ago by a bunch of ex-Clinton administration insiders including John Kerry’s new pollster Stan Greenburg. Democrats.com, it seems, doesn’t want you to know that Ben Barnes is heading up their nominee’s fundraising projects in Texas so they’re claiming that he’s a Republican!

Ben Barnes, a Republican who was first the Texas House Speaker and then later Texas’s Lt. Governor, came forward to confess that he helped Bush and other privileged young men get into safe, cushy spots in the National Guard during Vietnam. By giving these young men these slots, Barnes acknowledges that he, in effect, sent other, less privileged young men to their deaths.

All of this hints upon another question that’s certainly fair game considering the nature of Barnes’ allegations. Exactly why is the media giving any credibility to Ben Barnes in the first place? The ENTIRE story is based on Barnes’ word against anybody elses and, quite frankly, Ben Barnes isn’t exactly the most credible source in the world. In fact, Ben Barnes’ undisputed 40 year track record of corruption, shady business arrangements, and fibs concocted for political gain is enough to put an ex-Soviet cleptocrat turned third world arms dealer to shame.

There is some good news to all this though. When the Democrats are turning to a disgraced political cockroach who is best remembered for getting booted out of office by the voters over his central role in the Sharpstown Stock Scandal we know that they’re getting desperate!



> Ben Barnes to Break Silence on "60 Minutes"
Monday September 13 - 06:34 - Posted by 1122a42601ceb4e3...

The most interesting thing about the story though it may have come from a Republican/Democrat liar is that Bush did get into the Guard due to political favors, and that is a fact that can not be disputed.






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International initiative to stop the war in Syria Yes to democracy, no to foreign intervention!
Thursday 13 December
Your support here: http://www.peaceinsyria.org/support.php We, the undersigned, who are part of an international civil society increasingly worried about the awful bloodshed of the Syrian people, are supporting a political initiative based on the results of a fact-finding mission which some of our colleagues undertook to Beirut and Damascus in September 2012. This initiative consists in calling for a delegation of highranking personalities and public figures to go to Syria in order to (...)
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THE KU KLUX KLAN ONCE AGAIN CONTROLS INDIANA
Monday 12 November
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
7 comments
At first glance, the results of America’s 2012 election appear to be a triumph for social, racial, and economic justice and progress in the United States: California voters passed a proposition requiring the rich to shoulder their fair share of the tax burden; Two states, Colorado and Washington, legalized the recreational use of marijuana, while Massachusetts approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes; Washington and two other states, Maine and Maryland, legalized same-sex (...)
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I’VE DECIDED TO "WASTE" MY VOTE
Sunday 28 October
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
In a 2004 episode of Comedy Central’s animated series South Park, an election was held to determine whether the new mascot for the town’s elementary school would be a “giant douche” or a “turd sandwich.” Confronted with these two equally unpalatable choices, one child, Stan Marsh, refused to vote at all, which resulted in his ostracization and subsequent banishment from the town. Although this satirical vulgarity was intended as a commentary on the two (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART IV
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
1 comment
PART I PART II PART III If there is one major inconsistency in life, it is that young people who know little more than family, friends and school are suddenly, at the age of eighteen, supposed to decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, because of their limited life experiences, the illusions they have about certain occupations do not always comport to the realities. I discovered this the first time I went to college. About a year into my studies, I (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART III
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART II PART IV Disillusioned with the machinations of so-called “traditional” colleges, I became an adjunct instructor at several “for-profit” colleges. Thanks largely to the power and pervasiveness of the Internet, “for-profit” colleges (hereinafter for-profits) have become a growing phenomenon in America. They have also been the subject of much political debate and the focus of a Frontline special entitled College Inc. Unlike traditional (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART II
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART III PART IV Several years ago, a young lady came into the college where I was teaching to inquire about a full-time instructor’s position in the sociology department. She was advised that only adjunct positions were available. Her response was, “No thanks. Once an adjunct, always an adjunct.” Her words still echo in my mind. Even as colleges and universities raise their tuition costs, they are relying more and more on adjunct instructors. Adjuncts are (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART I
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART II PART III PART IV When The Bill of Rights was added to the United States Constitution over two hundred years ago, Americans were blessed with many rights considered to be “fundamental.” One conspicuously missing, however, was the right to an education. This was not surprising given the tenor of the times. America was primarily an agrarian culture, and education, especially higher education, was viewed as a privilege reserved for the children of the rich and (...)
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ONE SOLITARY LIFE, PART TWO
Monday 30 July
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
3 comments
If there is one universal question that haunts all human beings at some point in their lives, it is, “Why do we die?” Death, after all, is the great illogic. It ultimately claims all, the rich and the poor, the mighty and the small, the good and the evil. Death also has the capability to make most human pursuits—such as the quest for wealth, fame and power—vacuous and fleeting. Given this reality, I have often wondered why so many people are still willing to (...)
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HOW MUCH CORRUPTION CAN DEMOCRACY ENDURE?
Thursday 28 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
6 comments
How much corruption can a “democracy” endure before it ceases to be a democracy? If five venal, mendacious, duplicitous, amoral, biased and (dare I say it) satanic Supreme Court “justices”—John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy—have their way, America will soon find out. In several previous articles for Pravda.Ru, I have consistently warned how the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision is one of the (...)
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DEMOCRACY IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS, PART TWO
Tuesday 12 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
1 comment
Imagine, if you will, that the United States government passes a law banning advertisers from sponsoring commercials on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show or Rupert Murdoch’s Fox (Faux) “News” Network. On one hand, there would be two decided advantages to this ban: The National IQ would undoubtedly increase several percentage points, and manipulative pseudo-journalists would no longer be able to appeal to the basest instincts in human nature for ratings and profit while (...)
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DEMOCRACY IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS
Thursday 7 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
4 comments
LIVE, from the State that brought you Senator Joseph McCarthy, Wisconsin voters now proudly present, fresh from his recall election victory, Governor Scott Walker! At first glance, it is almost unfathomable that anyone with a modicum of intelligence would have voted to retain Scott Walker as Wisconsin’s governor. This, after all, is a man who openly declared he is trying to destroy the rights of workers through a “divide and conquer” strategy; who received 61% of the (...)
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PEOPLE WITHOUT SOULS
Tuesday 13 March
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
2 comments
A question I’ve frequently been asked since I began writing for Pravda.Ru in 2003 is, “Why did you become disillusioned with the practice of law?” This question is understandable, particularly since, in most people’s minds, being an attorney is synonymous with wealth and political power. I’ve always been reluctant to answer this question for fear it will discourage conscientious and ethical people from pursuing careers in the legal profession—a (...)
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MAY GOD DAMN WALL STREET, THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND THE SUPREME COURT
Monday 13 February
by : David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
3 comments
Don’t say I didn’t warn you. In my article The Greatest Threat to America, I stated that the five so-called “conservative” members of the United States Supreme Court—Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Roberts and Kennedy—“have destroyed American democracy and its fundamental freedoms more ruthlessly and effectively than any terrorist group in the world” (Pravda.Ru 01/27/2010). They accomplished this in the 2010 case of Citizens United v. Federal (...)
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