Monday, October 28, 2013

Lou Reed

Very early yesterday morning, out of the blue, I posted a You Tube link to a recording by Lou Reed  on my Facebook page. It was a song called "Lisa Says", recorded in a Texas nightclub in 1969. A few hours later I received an email from my old pal, Tad DeLuccia, who informed me that Lou Reed was gone forever. Although it made me sad to hear about his passing, considering Reed's excesses in life, seventy-one years is a pretty good run. I suppose we should be grateful to have had him for as long as we did.

Sad song....Sad song....

Until yesterday afternoon I knew next-to-nothing about Lou Reed. All I knew about the man was his age (which I looked up a few years ago for a piece I was writing about my high school years). I never knew, for example, that his father was an accountant and that he was raised in a typical middle class home on suburban Long Island. I never knew that he was Jewish. I never knew that in the fifties he had undergone electroshock therapy in order to "cure" his bisexuality - nor was I aware that he was bisexual. I never knew he began his career as a staff writer for the infamous, low-budget label, Pickwick Records. I had no idea that he had undergone a liver transplant earlier in the year, and that in recent months he had become quite frail. His death took me totally by surprise. There was just so much that I didn't know about Lou Reed - which is an astounding thing when you take into consideration the fact that I have been listening to (and loving) his music for almost forty years now.

Perhaps I was afraid where my inquiries might take me. I have done so much research on the life of John Lennon that I think I could sit down and write a five-hundred-page biography of him without the benefit of notes. My initial hero-worship of John has been diminished somewhat by the sad reality that there were more-than-a-few periods of his life where I would not have chosen to be his friend. The man could be a real bastard when the mood struck him. He was a horrifically flawed human being. Wasn't he a bit like you and me? This is what is known as acquiring "more information than I needed to know".

Whatever the private failings of John Lennon and Lou Reed might have been, their influence on twentieth-century rock 'n' roll cannot be denied. 

Rock 'n' Roll Animal, 1974
I first discovered the music of Lou Reed in the summer of 1974 when an 8-Track tape of something called "Rock 'n' Roll Animal" started making the rounds among my high school friends. At first glance I wasn't very impressed; for starers the title was really stupid - and the cover photo was beyond ridiculous. Lou definitely did not make a good first impression. But when I heard the sounds emanating from inside that little plastic cartridge I was floored. Recorded in Brooklyn, NY at Howard Stein's Academy of Music on December 21, 1973, it remains one of my all-time favorite, rock concert records. The followup album, "Lou Reed Live" (recorded during the same performance) is almost as good. His renditions of "Heroin" and "Rock 'n' Roll" are gut-wrenching and wondrous. Both songs he had recorded years before with his groundbreaking and influential band, Velvet Underground. And yet on Rock 'n' Roll Animal, Lou turned both of those songs upside down and inside out, effectively recomposing them without changing a note or a lyric. The guitar work on these two records by my old Facebook chum, Dick Wagner, is indescribable. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of either one of them. Neither will disappoint.

As 1974 wore on I discovered more of Lou Reed's work. His 1972 album, "Transformer", was an awesome collage of wit (Goodnight, Ladies) and joy (Satellite of Love). But it was a discovery I made in the early months of 1975 that really  "transformed" me.

In Berlin by the wall
You  were five foot, ten inches tall
It was very nice
Oh, honey, it was paradise

Berlin, 1973
"Berlin", recorded in 1973, damn-near blew my mind. It is, in my opinion, Lou Reed's masterpiece. A concept album that tells the sad story of a drug-addicted couple living in postwar Germany, it is Lou Reed on the mountaintop. Berlin is not the kind of record to play if you want to be uplifted. It's imagery of lost love, suicide, violence, addiction and despair is stark and, at times, brutal. And yet, despite these things, it's a beautiful album - darkly so. Not long ago Reed told an interviewer that he was unable to listen his early work because all he could hear was "what's wrong" with the recordings. I have to take issue with that. From beginning to end, Berlin is perfection. Were I to make a list for you of the top five LP's to come out of the rock era, Berlin would most certainly be on that list. As I stated before, it is a masterpiece. End of argument.

Oh, it's such a perfect day
I'm glad I spent it with you
Such a perfect day
You just keep me hanging on
You just keep me hanging on.... 

Coney Island Baby, 1975
The best rock concert I ever attended - in my life - occurred on the night of May 3, 1975, at the Capital Theater in Passaic, New Jersey. Lou Reed was promoting his new album, "Coney Island Baby". Even his warmup act, a band called "String Driven Thing", was fantastic. My gang and I had choice seats - eighth row, center! Some members of the audience were quite hostile that night - but Lou gave as good as he got. That's what made the show so memorable. Lou Reed was always great, but when he was pissed he was unforgettable. Toward the end of the performance, he responded to that hostility by having the band play very low, almost at a whisper. Someone yelled out, "WE CAN'T HEAR YOU, LOU!" to which he replied, "Now you get the point". I imagine that Lou Reed probably didn't have a very good time that night which - if true - is a shame. Lou, if you can hear me, I want you to know that I went away from that performance thinking it would never again get that good. It never has. I imagine it never will. That night was as good as it gets.

After the show was over, about eight of us piled into my friend John Corwin's car for the sixty-mile ride back home. We were beside ourselves with the realization that we had just spent the evening with The Man. Lou Reed captured our imaginations at the moment they were ripe for the capturing. He never really let go. He still speaks to us in ways that are not easy to define. His music made us feel just a bit freer, and listening to those recordings all these decades later makes one quite nostalgic; they transport us back to a time when anything seemed possible. Hearing again the hypnotic words and music of "Ennui" from the Sally can't Dance album takes my mind back to the Capital Theater on May 3, 1975. It was such a perfect day. I'm glad we spent it with Lou.

Sally Can't Dance, 1974
So there goes Lou Reed bopping off into eternity. There will never be another one like him, that's a given. The man was a true American original, the poet laureate of lower Manhattan. 

The closest thing he ever came to having a hit record was 1972's "Walk on the Wild Side" which made it to number sixteen on  Billboard's Top 100 chart. Its relative success more-than-likely took him by complete surprise. Commercial appeal never meant a damned thing to Lou Reed. All the guy ever wanted to do was to play rock 'n' roll music. "I was made for rock 'n' roll" he once said. It's a statement that's impossible to disagree with.

Lou Reed spoke for the misfits, the outcasts and the disaffected. No small wonder why I loved this guy so much.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Staring at my picture book
She looks like Mary Queen of Scots
She seemed very real to me
Just goes to show how wrong you can be 


Sad Song 
by Lou Reed

From the Conclusion of Berlin. 


Here's Lou being interviewed by Charlie Rose. It's quite revealing and he's very funny at times:
Gotta love the man!


At 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Democrats accusing the Tea Party are like the Nazis accusing Jews and the Democrats remain the party of the Ku Klux Klan. Oh, let's read Tom Degan's article since his taste in music is so sophisticated.

At 11:02 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Thanks Tom.

And thanks for the "Walk on the Wild Side", Lou.

As you noted about Lennon and Lou, artists we revere may not be persons we'd like to hang out with. Or worse yet, vice versa.

Performing artists, more often than not, suffer with the demons of substance abuse and other personality flaws. The entertainment business itself can be senseless, cruel and frustrating. And it's not limited to Rock and Roll. Many prominent jazz musicians were hampered by drugs and alcohol. Hank Williams and Johnny Cash had similar issues. Elvis was so screwed up on drugs he wanted Nixon to give him a roll as a drug warrior. No doubt classical composers and musicians were also mere humans coping as they could in difficult situations.

Imagine having your work and livelihood depend on the approval and tastes of the public. That's begging for rejection while hoping for validation. Maddening in itself.

Most of them have been critical of the flaws in their early works. They are their own toughest critics.

At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How could Lou afford a liver transplant before the ACA Tax when into effect?

Pam Kehaly, president of Anthem Blue Cross in California, said she received a recent letter from a young woman complaining about a 50% rate hike related to the healthcare law.
" I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it."

"America’s chickens are coming home to roost", yup that's for sure.

At 12:30 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Jeez Anonymous, give it a REST will you?

Not a Lou Reed fan myself, but I can appreciate the talent and influence on artists I DO like.

R.I.P Lou.

At 4:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rock n Roll Animal was the soundtrack of my youth. Intro/Sweet Jane was the hightlight of the album. Never had anthing hit my like that. He was of his time and there will never be another like him.



At 2:44 PM, Anonymous Orange Inn, Esq. said...

Triple five POP, is that you? Is that you, 555 POP?

Only the author and I know what the above means (except for our dear departed dads, Dave & Jack).

I heard the news Sunday, "Oh Boy" - Lou Reed gone. Sad song indeed. As I was driving home from a University where I teach, I thought Tom is going to write a tribute to Lou. And I was correct. Unlike our author, I did know those facts and more about Lou. After abruptly quitting the Velvets in August of 1970 on the heels of "Loaded", a fantastic record, Lou quit music altogether and went back to work for his accountant dad. It was Lisa Robinson, the rock critic and her music producer husband, Richard Robinson who convinced Lou to speak with Dennis Katz, the man who signed David Bowie to RCA. And thank God they did - Lou was offered a two-album contract from RCA. His first albmum entitled simply "Lou Reed" so horrified RCA executives that they were considering breaching his contract. Had that happened, "Transformer" would never have been. Enter stage right David Bowie and Mick Ronson - Co-Producers of "Transformer."

I agree with Tom that Rock "N" Roll Animal is in the top 3 of alltime great live albums. This is in large part to the dynamic guitar tag team of Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner. These guys were amazing! And that December 1973 night in Brooklyn, ALL of them were in the ZONE. "Lou Reed Live" is from that same show and just as good, in my opinion. I also agree that "Berlin" is an absolute masterpiece. Perhaps the most depressingly beautiful (oxymoron?) album of all time. Lou with stellar studio musicians. I was once in a meeting of people where last names don't get mentioned. I was listening to a guy named Michael and went up to him after and spoke to him. He said he played some music professionally so of course I said I played guitar.... About 6 months later, I happened to look at the NY Times obituary and there was Michael's picture - it was Michael Brecker!! And I didn't even know it! What humility he had - but what is the connection to Lou - check the credits - Michael played sax on "Berlin." In fact, check out his discography - he has played with everyone.

I have never commented on any of Tom's writing although I love to read it. But here, I just had to. We are very old friends - remember the day at your dad's apartment above the old Goshen Hospital - I think it was Abbey Road, Berlin, and Gin & Tonics. And Tad, I am happy to see you are alive and hopefully well. Your basement will always be etched in my mind and the many eyelid movies way back then.

I am grateful - I should not be able to put three sentences together yet they gave me three academic degrees and a license to practice law (no kidding).

As for politics, while I agree with some of our articulate author's views and disagree with others, that's what's great about America - we can agree to disagree and not get stoned to death!

I think the people in Washington should take a cue from a very scared Mick Jagger back in December of 1969 when he said,

"Brothers and Sisters, Brothers and Sisters. Why are we fighting? Why are we fighting? We don't want to fight - everybody just cooooool out."


At 2:53 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...


I've been looking all over for you! Please do send me an e-mail. I'd love to get together one of these days.

555 POP indeed!

Did you read about the visit I made to the Abbey Road Studios three years ago? Here's a link to it:

Our EXCELLENT Adventures at Abby Road

Get in touch with me, Buster!


At 10:16 AM, Blogger Aly said...

Great tribute Tom. Best Always

At 11:52 AM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

How liberalism has changed the music landscape from when Mr. Reed first started. And this is "progressive"?

"A popular jazz band named Shokaboza that "blends jazz and old school funk, with a West African beat" has just been told by Hampshire College in Massachusetts that it is "too white" to be allowed to perform a scheduled Halloween party gig on campus. Gawker reports:

In a statement released by Shokazoba shortly after the abrupt cancellation, the band blamed "30 students" who complained "that we were too white to play Afro-beat."

The school's HYPE Committee, which organized Friday's Hampshire Halloween event, released its own statement saying it made the decision to pull the "predominantly white" Shokazoba from the line-up after students expressed concerns "about cultural appropriation and the need to respect marginalized cultures."

Though the school claims the decision was "not based on the band's racial identity" but rather "on the intensity and tone" of the "increasingly aggressive" comments left on the committee's Facebook page, Shokazoba insists it was "discriminated against by people who had never even met us or heard one note of our music."

Read more:
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Sorry for the most recent loss of your Uncle. It's been a tough month for you, now with the death of Lou. I wish I could have seen Lou perform live, if for nothing else than to experience his unique crowd control method.

At 1:21 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Just the facts, does EVERY blog need to be turned into a political whine fest? With the exception of Ted Nugent and maybe Gene Simmons, almost ALL rock n rollers are "progressive". If it were up to conservatives we'd all be suffering with Pat Boone and the Osmands.

At 3:45 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 3:48 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

liberalism has changed the music landscape...

Not at all. This is utterly false and foolish generalization and Right Wing resentment. If anything has "changed the music landscape" it would be the capitalist corporate suits who push and peddle artificial canned crap.

And guess who wanted to burn records, ban and censor the Beatles back in the day?


Guess who was outraged by "satanic" messages in Metal?


And guess who wanted to ban John Lennon's "Imagine" after 9-11.

That's right. Con-servatives.

And this is "progressive"?

No, this is neither liberalism nor "progressive". It is whining by a very small minority of "politically correct" idiots who complained they weren't getting authentic Afro-beat.

But someone needs to blame liberals for EVERYTHING, don't they?

At 4:04 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

Explain then, the reason for the action that took place against this band, if it is not liberalism? Simple as that.

At 4:48 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

Got some other things for you to think about.

"And guess who wanted to burn records, ban and censor the Beatles back in the day?


Guess who was outraged by "satanic" messages in Metal?


And guess who wanted to ban John Lennon's "Imagine" after 9-11.

That's right. Con-servatives."

No doubt you are correct that conservatives WANTED the satanic messages stopped, the banning of Imagine, etc. The thing to keep in mind is wanting to do is not near the same as STOPPING a band from performing and making a living because they have no member of a specific race in it's make up. Not because of their message but based on race, this is happening. That is what has happened today after five years of Americas first black President, we now have affirmative action and racial quotas for bands.

Now tell us, has Imagine stopped being played by radio stations? Were and are the sales of Imagine and Metal CD's, etc. prevented? Are you able to still buy either today, as you could back in the day? So has the wanting to of conservatives caused estate of Lennon or Metal bands a loss of any work? Has their race effected their profitability, ability to work in their trade? (I understand that Lennon is dead, and from what I can see so is thankful, Metal music, but I'm sure your are smart enough to get my point.)

I can tell you with 100% assurance that if a non white band was stopped from playing Beach Boys music, the screams of racism would, rightfully so, deafen you. The entire talking head line up at MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, FOX, CNN, would be blaming white America, not just "a very small minority of "politically correct" idiots".

Here you are saying that the opposition to the band playing was because of "not getting authentic Afro-beat", when the true reason was that the band had no black members! Read the article, where is the mention of the quality of their music?

Are you willing to give the same pass to the Tea Party or the GOP? That they are "a very small minority" of those groups?

So yes, I blame the P.C. of the left along with all their allowing black racism towards whites for this.

At 5:33 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

It just amazes me the lengths some people will go to to turn a perfectly benign essay into a reason to whine about someone elses politics.

Just the facts, isn't there a tea party rally somewhere that you are missing?

At 5:46 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Of course you blame “the left along with all their allowing black racism towards whites for this”. You blame the left for “destroying America” and for the Bush recession too. It’s your indoctrination.

Since you want to blame liberals, then you need actual liberals to blame. I certainly don’t support the decision. I don’t know any liberals that agree.

This incident was not “stopping” the band from making a living. They were paid. And they will probably be getting many more gigs thanks to the publicity of this event.

A statement posted on the private liberal arts college's website:
"Some members of our student community questioned the selection of [the] band, asking whether it was a predominantly white Afrobeat band and expressing concerns about cultural appropriation and the need to respect marginalized cultures."
"Some students were having a discussion on Facebook about whether having a band play Afrobeat music was cultural appropriation," Hampshire College Communications Director Elaine Thomas explained.
"But Internet trolls injected themselves into the conversation, [saying things] that frankly had nothing to do with the event," Thomas also said, adding that the "aggressive" nature of some of the comments called into question the college's ability "to have a safe and healthy event."

“Aggressive internet trolls” Imagine such a thing. LOL! Sounds like someone we know.
No black members and the phrase “cultural appropriation” really amounts to "not getting authentic Afro-beat”. Honest.

Now tell us, has Imagine stopped being played by radio stations?

How about I answer as many of your questions as you do mine? LOL!

Still demanding answers in your one way game? Of course.

The “2001 Clear Channel memorandum” is a controversial document distributed by Clear Channel Communications shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, to the more than 1,200 radio stations they owned. The memo contained a long list of what the memo termed "lyrically questionable" songs.

Were and are the sales of Imagine and Metal CD's, etc. prevented?

Let’s check out con-servative Walmart in their own words.

Wal-Mart Stores, Sam's Club and (collectively "Wal-Mart") do not carry recordings designated with the Parental Advisory Label.

There you go, sport, con-servative censorship. No wonder sane people reject your anti-American, anti-free speech ideology.

At 6:55 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

Parental Advisory Label.
Was that started by the late well, known conservative, Mrs. Al Gore?

"The final straw was when some pervert from who-knows-where started posting adolescent porn sites." Tom Degan.
Is this censorship?

What about the ratings on movies that prevents certain movies from being viewed by people under a certain age, is that censorship?

I see you can not or will not answer the questions, much less address the positions listed, because to do so would require you to think way too deeply. I am very sorry for stretching your mind that way, I hope you recover from the pain and anger you are feeling soon.

The issue I brought up was not censorship. The topic was about racism that was keeping a band from playing and earning a living. Nothing about what they would say, or the quality of their music, but simply being prevented from working because of their race. face it and deal with that truth.

Now you can throw out mislabels, relativism, stretching of the true facts all that care to do. The truth is still there, regardless of any attempts to deflect.

Would this be a liberals reaction if a non white band was stopped from playing Beach Boys music, because of their not having any white members in their band?
I'm not aware of many totally black Heavy Metal bands and know Lennon was white, which supports the truth that the reason for being opposed to their music or a song, was not race driven, but content driven, or at least driven by the songs timing.

Are you willing to give the same pass to the Tea Party or the GOP? That they are "a very small minority" of those groups, of "politically correct" idiots'? I guess not, because of a narrow minded, liberal agenda being subscribed to.

So yes, I hold Liberals responsible for this "affirmative action" in music. Yes, I blame the Left for allowing black racism towards whites to exist and creating an environment that anyone exposing it, gets them painted as a racist.

I wonder if Lennon or Lou Reed would defend the actions of those who are prevented this band to earn a living because they are all white?

At 7:05 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

I see you can not or will not answer the questions, much less address the positions listed,

Yes, we know what you "see", or more aptly, refuse to see, from your bubble. LOL!

At 9:36 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

As I said, I am sorry for causing you so much stress with the positions I've outlined in my posts. My suggestion is that you stop reading them.

At 10:13 PM, Blogger Reno Edre said...

We've lost a true legend.

At 12:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope all of you watch this so you can see for your self what he is about instead of taking the word of someone else.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the political face of the recent government shutdown, will make his first late night TV appearance on Nov. 8 when he guests on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

My suggestion is that you stop reading them.

Oh, that's how you do it. We were right, you don't even read what we write. Must be against Bubble policy.

At 6:50 PM, Anonymous Richard Stacy said...

Four suckers and seven years ago I brought forth on this continent, a new paradigm, conceived in fascist socialism, and dedicated to the proposition that all people should be equal --under me. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether my new paradigm, or any paradigm so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We never meet on the battlefield of that war on account of I am chicken to take responsibility for jack and the MSM agrees. Rather, I have come to force Obamacare upon you, and offer you a deep discount on a final resting place for those who are gonna give their lives that I and my cronies might live high on the hog while you all wither away supporting us. It is altogether not fitting and proper that we should do this because I'm a poor disadvantaged minority and don't you ever forget that. I just found out about all this from the news, like you did. But, in a larger sense, I cannot dedicate—I cannot consecrate—I cannot hallow—this paradigm—without brave voters, living and dead, especially the dead, who voted to elect me. Elections have consequences; thank you. I won you lost. The world will little note, nor long remember what I say here, but it can never forget what I did to you. It is for me the anointed one and my crony Google & Verizon techies, rather, to be dedicated to finish the unfinished train wreck I have thus far so nobly advanced with the help of Senile Secretary Sibelius. It is rather for me to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before me—that from you low-information voters I take increased devotion to that cause for which you ignorantly gave the last full measure of devotion—that I here highly resolve that health care shall not have died in vain—that this government, under God, shall have a new birth of tyrannical control— and that government of me, by me, for me, shall not perish from the earth.

Richard Stacy

At 9:30 PM, Anonymous James said...

Fascist socialism, does that even exists? This country's Fascist tendencies really got a huge boost during the Chaney administration and Obama's TPP will complete the process. I do not see any Socialistic policies being enacted under Obama, the term is be used erroneously.

Conservatives try to label Socialism negatively,which to me points out their ignorance of the concept.
My relatives in Norway live in a real Socialist society and their standard of living is fantastic. Their average per-capita income of over Ninety two thousand is the second highest in the world. Cradle to grave healthcare, free collage and mandatory 8 to 10 weeks vacation a year is just some of the perks of living in a Socialist country. We are living like shit compared to them.

At 10:04 PM, Anonymous Thomas Sowell said...


"It bothers me a little when conservatives call Barack Obama a "socialist." He certainly is an enemy of the free market, and wants politicians and bureaucrats to make the fundamental decisions about the economy. But that does not mean that he wants government ownership of the means of production, which has long been a standard definition of socialism.

What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector.

Politically, it is heads-I-win when things go right, and tails-you-lose when things go wrong. This is far preferable, from Obama's point of view, since it gives him a variety of scapegoats for all his failed policies, without having to use President Bush as a scapegoat all the time.

Government ownership of the means of production means that politicians also own the consequences of their policies, and have to face responsibility when those consequences are disastrous -- something that Barack Obama avoids like the plague.

Thus the Obama administration can arbitrarily force insurance companies to cover the children of their customers until the children are 26 years old. Obviously, this creates favorable publicity for President Obama. But if this and other government edicts cause insurance premiums to rise, then that is something that can be blamed on the "greed" of the insurance companies.

The same principle, or lack of principle, applies to many other privately owned businesses. It is a very successful political ploy that can be adapted to all sorts of situations.

One of the reasons why both pro-Obama and anti-Obama observers may be reluctant to see him as fascist is that both tend to accept the prevailing notion that fascism is on the political right, while it is obvious that Obama is on the political left.

Back in the 1920s, however, when fascism was a new political development, it was widely -- and correctly -- regarded as being on the political left. Jonah Goldberg's great book "Liberal Fascism" cites overwhelming evidence of the fascists' consistent pursuit of the goals of the left, and of the left's embrace of the fascists as one of their own during the 1920s.

Mussolini, the originator of fascism, was lionized by the left, both in Europe and in America, during the 1920s. Even Hitler, who adopted fascist ideas in the 1920s, was seen by some, including W.E.B. Du Bois, as a man of the left.

Thomas Sowell

At 10:05 PM, Anonymous Thomas Sowell said...


It was in the 1930s, when ugly internal and international actions by Hitler and Mussolini repelled the world, that the left distanced themselves from fascism and its Nazi offshoot -- and verbally transferred these totalitarian dictatorships to the right, saddling their opponents with these pariahs.

What socialism, fascism and other ideologies of the left have in common is an assumption that some very wise people -- like themselves -- need to take decisions out of the hands of lesser people, like the rest of us, and impose those decisions by government fiat.

The left's vision is not only a vision of the world, but also a vision of themselves, as superior beings pursuing superior ends. In the United States, however, this vision conflicts with a Constitution that begins, "We the People..."

That is why the left has for more than a century been trying to get the Constitution's limitations on government loosened or evaded by judges' new interpretations, based on notions of "a living Constitution" that will take decisions out of the hands of "We the People," and transfer those decisions to our betters.

The self-flattery of the vision of the left also gives its true believers a huge ego stake in that vision, which means that mere facts are unlikely to make them reconsider, regardless of what evidence piles up against the vision of the left, and regardless of its disastrous consequences.

Only our own awareness of the huge stakes involved can save us from the rampaging presumptions of our betters, whether they are called socialists or fascists. So long as we buy their heady rhetoric, we are selling our birthright of freedom.

Thomas Sowell

At 11:00 PM, Anonymous James said...

"The self-flattery of the vision of the left also gives its true believers a huge ego stake in that vision, which means that mere facts are unlikely to make them reconsider, regardless of what evidence piles up against the vision of the left, and regardless of its disastrous consequences".

Why are so many Conservatives absolute cowards when it comes to honestly looking at the policies and actions of their own party. This country started its downhill slide starting in the year 2000 not 2008 as they would like to believe. Obama is continuing and expanding the political policies created in 2000-2008

In 15 years of following politics I have never debated a Conservative that was able to criticize their own party. And that is a ludicrous position to be in considering where we are today.

At 12:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

James, you know why?

Well, the definition of a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality. Maybe that gives you some insight.

Anyway, what does your post have to do with the answer to your question given by Thomas Sowell?

At 9:07 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Sore loser Republicans just can't stop WHINING can they? Even in a thread that has NOTHING to do with politics. Very sad.

At 9:45 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10:36 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

“Liberals are fascists” has been the new Big Lie and projection from the radical Right.

Never mind history shows us fascists persecuted liberals and socialists along with Jews and communists.

Never mind fascists whip up belligerent nationalism and start wars of aggression based on lies.

But that “can’t happen here” by self proclaimed conservative Republicans, right?

“Politically, it is heads-I-win when things go right, and tails-you-lose when things go wrong.“

How about more tangible reality? Financially, for Wall Street, “it is heads-I-win when things go right, and tails-you-lose when things go wrong”

This isn’t Obama the socialist, or Bush the conservative, for that matter. It is corporatism. Socialized cost for corporate profit. American presidents are becoming more managers of empire than leaders of the free world.

"He is not a socialist. He is a corporatist." - Ron Paul’s description of Obama at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference

Right Wing corporatism is the enemy of freedom, prosperity and democracy. Nearly all R's, most D's and yes, even so-called “libertarians” have all supported the Big Money corporatism that is buying and stealing the government, that is supposed to be of, by and for the people.

"Con-servatives" are the dupes who blindly support the narrow agenda of the corporatist economic elites. "Con-servatives" drink the Right Wing corporatist Koolade that says liberals are fascists, or liberals are destroying America. All the while the corporatist state undermines the middle class and suppresses democracy while it expands warrantless surveillance, permanent war and militarization of law enforcement.

I would hope real conservatives, as opposed to con-servatives, join real liberals in working to preserve our prosperity, democracy and Bill of Rights.

We can see a glimmer of that possibility manifesting itself at the recent rally against NSA surveillance.

William Evans, of Richmond, Virginia, may have best embodied the nonpartisan atmosphere and message of the event. He wore a "Richmond Tea Party" baseball cap, as well as a Code Pink sticker saying "Make Out, Not War". "We may not always agree on our belief system," he added, "but thank God we agree on the constitution."

At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't you have a gay marriage thread to haunt at the Washington Post?

Note: If disagreeing with Obama is racist because he is black, then could the same be said about disagreeing with Sowell?

At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


"Washington (CNN) - Senate Democrats voted unanimously three years ago to support the Obamacare rule that is largely responsible for some of the health insurance cancellation letters that are going out.

In September 2010, Senate Republicans brought a resolution to the floor to block implementation of the grandfather rule, warning that it would result in canceled policies and violate President Barack Obama’s promise that people could keep their insurance if they liked it.

“The District of Columbia is an island surrounded by reality. Only in the District of Columbia could you get away with telling the people if you like what you have you can keep it, and then pass regulations six months later that do just the opposite and figure that people are going to ignore it. But common sense is eventually going to prevail in this town and common sense is going to have to prevail on this piece of legislation as well,” Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said at the time.

“The administration’s own regulations prove this is not the case. Under the grandfathering regulation, according to the White House’s own economic impact analysis, as many as 69 percent of businesses will lose their grandfathered status by 2013 and be forced to buy government-approved plans,” the Iowa Republican said.

On a party line vote, Democrats killed the resolution, which could come back to haunt vulnerable Democrats up for re-election this year."

And who keeps asking where is the GOP plan?

At 10:49 AM, Anonymous the truth will set us free said...

More lies from you know who!

At 10:58 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

And who keeps asking where is the GOP plan?

That would be me.

And who never answers?

That would be you.

At 3:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

“The president’s credibility is on the line,” said former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean in an interview with MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts. Dean dismissed a POLITICO editorial which laid the blame for the Affordable Care Act’s(TAX) failures at the foot of the Republican Party on Friday, saying that the program’s fate will depend on whether or not it works and not the GOP.

Asked about the POLITICO story which accused Republicans of effectively blocking the success of the ACA(TAX), Dean said that it was best “to just ignore them entirely.”

“This thing – program – is going to rise and fall not on what the Republican say or do, because their, actually, their ratings are far lower than the president’s,” he continued. “It’s going to rise and fall on whether we can get this thing running properly or not, and we have to focus on that and not pay so much attention to these whack jobs in Congress that are trying to undermine the thing and have forgotten that they’re actually supposed to serve the American people.”

“I think the Republicans have essentially eliminated their brand as a serious contention in America politics,” Dean added. “The problem is we’ve got to deliver this. It has entirely to do with Democrats. The Republicans are irrelevant to this debate.”

He concluded by noting that President Barack Obama has to deliver because his credibility is on the line.
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough tore into President Barack Obama and his administration on Friday for his effort to link the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act(TAX) to his 2012 general election opponent, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Scarborough said it was the height of hypocrisy for Obama to attempt to rehabilitate Romney’s health care record after his campaign essentially accused him of causing the death of a woman.

The MSNBC hosts began by noting that Friday marked the first full month after the debut of the ACA’s(TAX) insurance exchanges. They cited a CBS News report which revealed that the government saw six people sign up for the program on its first day.

“This is their landmark achievement, they’ve had two years to prepare for it, and only six people can enroll?” Scarborough asked.

“That’s a bad headline,” Mika Brzezinski said. “I don’t think that’s the case now, but let’s see.”

She said that the White House is citing the Massachusetts model where small numbers of people enrolled initially but more began to sign up towards end of the open enrollment

“The same man that accused Mitt Romney of killing a woman – remember that?” Scarborough asked Nicolle Wallace. “Mitt Romney killed my wife. He’s such a beast, such a horrible human being. Mitt Romney killed my wife. Barack Obama claimed that.”

Brzezinski countered that a group only peripherally affiliated with the president’s campaign ran that ad, but Scarborough continued press the point.

“The story’s bad enough, you don’t need to do that,” Brzezinski pleaded. Scarborough insisted he would continue with his point. He said it was inappropriate for the president to attempt to mitigate the political damage the ACA(TAX) roll-out is doing his administration by linking it to the law Romney signed in Massachusetts.

“It’s absolutely staggering,” Scarborough said.

“It’s not lost on the public,” Wallace replied.

“I think his pattern of being a bystander when things are going badly,” she continued, “the public has started to see through this.”

At 12:11 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

"Mitt Romney killed my wife. Barack Obama claimed that.”

Brzezinski countered that a group only peripherally affiliated with the president’s campaign ran that ad,
but that fact, as well as the fact Obama was neither in the add nor did he "approve the message" is lost in the bubble.

Oh, look! Benghazi! Death panels! Marxist!

Obama is just another corporatist, but the bubble people will never know that. It's not in their indoctrination.

At 1:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank God for the news media or Obama would never know what what is going on in his Presidency!

Obama lied to the American people.

At 2:00 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Obama lied to the American people.

Nobody died

Bush lied to the American people.

Thousands died.

Better hate the Black guy.

At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Harry said...

Obama is still lying to the American people.
The full impact of these lies are yet to be felt.
Play the race card, what else is there left to do when you support Obama?

Two wrongs don't make a right.

At 2:20 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Harry Chuckie, if you hate Obama for his lies, but give Bush a pass, chances are you are a racist, card or no card.

At 6:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama is still lying to America.

At 6:44 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

I was not aware that this artice had anything to do with Obama or politics. Conservatives can find any reason to whine and cry.

At 11:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conservatives whine and cry over Obama still lying to the American people. Liberals think it's funny.

Liberals want to talk about dead singers, Ted Cruz, former President Bush all in an attempt to protect the current man in the White House. Wont work, Obama is a liar and continues to lie us. Deal with that.
Oh, I forgot, I must be a racist for telling the truth about Obama lying, cause he was raised a poor black child. He can't help it. It is somebody else fault, he didn't know what was going on.
America, the chicken have come home to roost@

Hey Mozart, shouldn't you be watching "American Greed" on CNBC?

At 12:02 AM, Anonymous Blame the White Guy said...

Still believe that Bush lied about WMD's. Here's an inconvenient truth.

The massive cache of almost 400,000 Iraq war documents released by the WikiLeaks Web site revealed that small amounts of chemical weapons were found in Iraq and continued to surface for years after the 2003 US invasion, Wired magazine reported.

The documents showed that US troops continued to find chemical weapons and labs for years after the invasion, including remnants of Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons arsenal — most of which had been destroyed following the Gulf War.

Yellow Cake to go with that Sir?
AP updated 7/5/2008 6:57:12 PM ET

The last major remnant of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program — a huge stockpile of concentrated natural uranium — reached a Canadian port Saturday to complete a secret U.S. operation that included a two-week airlift from Baghdad and a ship voyage crossing two oceans.

The removal of 550 metric tons of "yellowcake" — the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment — was a significant step toward closing the books on Saddam's nuclear legacy. It also brought relief to U.S. and Iraqi authorities who had worried the cache would reach insurgents or smugglers crossing to Iran to aid its nuclear ambitions.

What's now left is the final and complicated push to clean up the remaining radioactive debris at the former Tuwaitha nuclear complex about 12 miles south of Baghdad — using teams that include Iraqi experts recently trained in the Chernobyl fallout zone in Ukraine.

"Everyone is very happy to have this safely out of Iraq," said a senior U.S. official who outlined the nearly three-month operation to The Associated Press. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

While yellowcake alone is not considered potent enough for a so-called "dirty bomb" — a conventional explosive that disperses radioactive material — it could stir widespread panic if incorporated in a blast. Yellowcake also can be enriched for use in reactors and, at higher levels, nuclear weapons using sophisticated equipment.

The Iraqi government sold the yellowcake to a Canadian uranium producer, Cameco Corp., in a transaction the official described as worth "tens of millions of dollars." A Cameco spokesman, Lyle Krahn, declined to discuss the price, but said the yellowcake will be processed at facilities in Ontario for use in energy-producing reactors.

"We are pleased ... that we have taken (the yellowcake) from a volatile region into a stable area to produce clean electricity," he said.

Secret mission
The deal culminated more than a year of intense diplomatic and military initiatives — kept hushed in fear of ambushes or attacks once the convoys were under way: first carrying 3,500 barrels by road to Baghdad, then on 37 military flights to the Indian Ocean atoll of Diego Garcia and finally aboard a U.S.-flagged ship for a 8,500-mile trip to Montreal.

In August 2004, American troops were able to buy containers from locals of what they thought was liquid sulfur mustard, a blister agent, the documents revealed. The chemicals were triple-sealed and taken to a secure site.

Also in 2004, troops discovered a chemical lab in a house in Fallujah during a battle with insurgents. A chemical cache was also found in the city.

At 1:48 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Blame the White Guy "Still believe that Bush lied about WMD's. Here's an inconvenient truth."
Ah hah! Blame the White Guy's right! Saddam Obama Hussein was using the yellow cake obtained before 1991 that was UN catalogued, sealed and inspected for something something! Take that, concept of time as a line, rather than series of dots to be reorganized to support whatever narrative is in vogue today!
And Iraq had small amounts of blister agents. Blister agents! Boy, if Saddam Obama Hussein had ever used his small amounts of blister agents, delivering them to American shores with delivery systems he didn't have, he'd have faced a big surprise: a counter attack with ridiculously larger US stockpiles of exactly the same damn thing! And, just as bad, he might even have had white phosphorus artillery rounds. We know they were used at Fallujah. Don't deny it, Tom Degan! You can't! Mostly because they were ours, but still, if instead of ours they'd have been his, and if they were his and he used them then he'd have literally set the people of Fallujah on the kind of fire that water can't put out! Think about it, Tom Degan!
Don't you understand, Tom Degan? Imagine if Saddam Obama Hussein had strapped that catalogued and sealed yellow cake from 1981 to UN inspectors and sent them, covered in small amounts of blister agent and loaded them in to our own white phosphorus shells, firing them at America! Do you know the damage that could have been done, in this wildly hypothetical scenario? Do you?! That's right: basically nothing. Because it wouldn't happen. But it could happen! Can you imagine what would happen if we didn't act on every petty hypothetical? I don't even know how bad the hypothetical damage could be from a theoretical attack could be!
I bet you feel pretty foolish about Lou Reed's Obamacare now, Tom Degan!

At 7:35 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

I love embarrassed conservatives. It took them 30 years to live down NIxn and it may be 100 before they get over Bush and stop trying to BLAME Obama for all the problems the GOP caused from 2001-2009. They can't stop whining even when the article has nothing to do with politics. R>I.P. Lou.

At 9:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The VERY affordable ACA TAX.

The penalties for being uninsured start at $95 per year, but the penalties can't be collected by the IRS if a person does not have a tax refund to attach.
The out of pocket costs required by Obamacare's Silver Plan for a non-smoking mother and father with two children making a gross before income taxes of $50,000 (roughly average salary for VA) would be $13,765 per year including the deductible of $10,400. That's 28% of their gross income -- not very affordable and about the same as guidelines for a mortgage payment. For such a family making $100,000 of gross income, The cost would be $21,431 including the deductible of $12,700, or 21% of gross income.

OBAMA and the Democrat Party are liars.

At 9:58 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Anonymous, what does that(even if it were true) have to do with Lou Reed?

At 10:56 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Chuckie told us now he deals with facts

My suggestion is that you stop reading them.

Still believe that Bush DIDN”T lie about WMD's?

LIE #1: "The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program ... Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons." -- President Bush, Oct. 7, 2002, in Cincinnati.

LIE #2: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." -- President Bush, Jan.28, 2003, in the State of the Union address.

LIE #3: "We believe [Saddam] has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." -- Vice President Cheney on March 16, 2003 on "Meet the Press."

LIE #4: "[The CIA possesses] solid reporting of senior-level contacts between Iraq and al-Qaeda going back a decade." -- CIA Director George Tenet in a written statement released Oct. 7, 2002 and echoed in that evening's speech by President Bush.

LIE #5: "We've learned that Iraq has trained al-Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases ... Alliance with terrorists could allow the Iraqi regime to attack America without leaving any fingerprints."-- President Bush, Oct. 7.

LIE #6: "We have also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas. We are concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] for missions targeting the United States."-- President Bush, Oct. 7.

LIE #7: "We have seen intelligence over many months that they have chemical and biological weapons, and that they have dispersed them and that they're weaponized and that, in one case at least, the command and control arrangements have been established." -- President Bush, Feb. 8, 2003, in a national radio address.

LIE #8: "Our conservative estimate is that Iraq today has a stockpile of between 100 and 500 tons of chemical weapons agent. That is enough to fill 16,000 battlefield rockets."-- Secretary of State Colin Powell, Feb. 5 2003, in remarks to the UN Security Council.

LIE #9: "We know where [Iraq's WMD] are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south, and north somewhat." -- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, March 30, 2003, in statements to the press.

LIE #10: "Yes, we found a biological laboratory in Iraq which the UN prohibited." -- President Bush in remarks in Poland, published internationally June 1, 2003.

I even left out the "nukular" aluminum tubes.

Until Chuckie can show us a lot of contrary evidence, not just a few degraded remnants, we really still believe that Bush lied about WMD's. Any person not in the Cult Bubble would agree.

Or, better yet, he can just follow his own advice: My suggestion is that you stop reading them.

Obama lied to the American people.

Nobody died

Bush lied to the American people.

Thousands died.

Better believe the white guy and hate the Black Guy.

Chuckie’s practically begging to show us he is a racist. And proud of it, apparently.

At 11:05 AM, Anonymous James said...

Can you believe it! the story is false. Iraq stopped production of WMD in 1992 after the first gulf war. And gas based WMD only have a shelf live of 4 years. By 2003 you could put them on your cereal. Redeeming the Chaney admin is impossible. The same can be said about Obama after he leaves office also.

At 2:29 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous "The out of pocket costs required by Obamacare's Silver Plan for a non-smoking mother and father with two children making a gross before income taxes…"
A copy/paste from a citation-free chain e-mail. Fun! (And extra joy for all those who have copied and passed the email also passing the missing word, as shown both above and in a cursory googling)
Exercise: What's the annual out-of-pocket for the family of four mentioned in the story (at both $50K and $100K)? What's the maximum annual out-of-pocket for a family under Obamare irrespective of income? Compare and contrast the first set and the last number.
Extra credit: Assuming similar coverage and monthy premiums, what's the annual out-of-pocket for the family of four mention in the story in the indiviual market before the ACA?

At 2:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I guess these people also lied?

At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama continues to lie to the American People.

At 2:51 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

And I guess these people also lied?

Yes, in fact Clapper has been recently telling lies to Congress.

Still no evidence, sport?

Who needs any stinkin evidence when you have your Cult Bubble beliefs, eh?

At 2:49 PM, Anonymous Occidental Hotel said...


The Orange Inn Esquire told me that he left a note for you here, so I thought that I would drop by and check it out. He was right - this was a wonderful eulogy. My Lou Reed interests probably run more toward the New York album era, but that's to be expected I guess with the age difference. I hope all is well with you and when I next pass through Goshen, I'll try to stop by and say hello. - Chris Barron

At 9:09 PM, Anonymous Lisa tolbert said...

O good grief, anonymous! White people rules 101: whoever brings up Hitler first automatically loses the argument.


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