Ted Kennedy Is Dead. Long Live Ted Kennedy.
The honeymoon of new American liberalism begun by Obama’s presidential election seems to have died with Ted Kennedy. Reflections on the Lion of the Senate seem to come in three kinds: anecdote, admiration and politics-as-usual. For a sample of all three, check out the New York Times’ compilation.
But Ted Kennedy is no more dead than his brother John; no more dead than George Washington. People are more than flesh and blood: they have the ability to inspire. We keep past generations alive in our own image. Likewise, the American liberalist ideal will only die if we allow it to, and if we allow it to die, we will have killed it.
What seems generally agreed upon is that Kennedy was a tireless pioneer of America’s progressive social agenda, especially after his failed challenge against President Carter in 1980 refocused his ambition. Behind his passionate speeches for social issues such as education, civil rights and health care, Kennedy was a skilled negotiator who relied on the lessons he gleaned from history (he is the third-longest serving Senator in history) to persuade his fellow Senators to take up his cause.
Praise for Kennedy from the American left is a given, but that it also comes from the American right is considerable. John McCain has honored Kennedy as a skilled negotiator capable of uniting the two parties to pass legislation (the irony is that they are funded by the same lobbies; Kennedy commented on the rising influence of money in Washington in one of his last interviews).
While some, perhaps nobly, use Kennedy’s death to advance his healthcare agenda, others simply lament the loss of his negotiating skills as a sign that, given the state of the healthcare debate in America, The End is surely near. But who among them will issue the challenge to live up to Kennedy’s ability as an effective politician?
Who is the next Ted Kennedy of the American Congress?
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Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.
The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
When these companies compete, in the current system, the people lose.
- When a company reaches the top of the ladder, they typically kick it away so that others cannot climb up on it. The aim? So that another company can't compete.
- When this phenomenon happens in the pharmaceutical world, companies quickly apply for broad protection of their patents, which can last up to 20 years, and fence off research areas for others. The result of this? They stay at the top of the ladder, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
- Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation the same as product invention. Companies should still receive an incentive for coming up with new products, he says, but not 20 years if the product is the result of "tweaking" an existing one.
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