Top Leaderboard, Site wide
September 22, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Help us grow by sharing
and liking Truthdig:
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Newsletter

sign up to get updates


The Coming Climate Revolt
Education With a Debt Sentence
Political Will Is Only Barrier to 100 Percent Renewables




A Chronicle of Echoes


Truthdig Bazaar
Time of Useful Consciousness

Time of Useful Consciousness

By Lawrence Ferlinghetti
$22.95

more items

 
A/V Booth

Time for a Second Revolution?

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Jul 8, 2009
youtube.com

Hold on to your latte, there are some seriously pissed-off white Americans out there who are not happy with the way things are going—and they’re armed. Truthdig’s Chris Hedges leads this tour of “Americana: The 2nd Revolutionary War.”

VBS.tv:

Advertisement

Square, Site wide

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, July 29, 2009 at 3:59 am Link to this comment

Yeah, N-G, I guess the poorest do own something, their own name, whether it was an Americanized name like those that slave owners gave to the African imports, or whether they kept their tribally given one as did Kente Kunte.  And I guess the poorest own the small bit of air they breathe as long as they are permitted to live by society.  Some of the poor have ownership of their own psyches, and many have lost them, but then that is a loss of ownership not restricted to the poorest.  Yes, you did distance yourself from the numbers quite cleverly.  With no confusion, I did understand what you wrote and I did not really attribute them to you, but you were the source of those alleged stats at least on this forum.  I was merely requesting your opinion.  Sigh, I promise I will not ask for that again.

And, you are right about Bradford.  However, in the 17th century, he had not much to do with neither the Constitution nor the War of Independence in the 18th century, whereas TJ had much to do with it.  Thinking the new system created by the convention would hurt its economy, Rhode Island, sarcastically sometimes referred to as Rogue Island, and which was under the control of what was called the anti-federalist Country Party, was one of four states that did not sign the Constitution, and only ratified it once the Bill of Rights had been created in 1790, and then only because they were threatened to be frozen out economically was the state forced to sign.  But then TJ did not get to sign it either as he was in France.  Virginia was the last state to ratify the B of Rs at the founding era of the country.  However, Connecticut is the last one to ratify the B of Rs in 1939!  RI had actually rejected the War mainly because along with the others who refused signing on because they did not want slavery to be abolished, they wanted paper money to finance their farmer economy.  For just the opposite reason, sulking Massachusetts (finally signed in1939 also) and Virginia (finally in 1791) did not sign because they wanted to abolish slavery in the amendments.  Thousands of Blacks served with the British and many many more left America and sailed off with the Loyalists to become slaves in the West Indies.  Those who fought with the Revolutionaries stayed slaves becoming the cotton pickers of the plantation system.  I may have gotten some of this wrong or confused.  I welcome any and all corrections.  It was a long time ago that I assimilated this stuff. 

The intention of the U.S. Bill of Rights amendments was to prevent the federal government from limiting the basic rights of liberty for the citizens. It is often soul uplifting to read the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and then their history, or the reverse, history first.  Seems very odd to have to make a choice between the Bible and the confederation documents of this country.  They are not comparable, like apples and oranges.  The Bible does not guarantee rights; it gives only commandments about how, under the threat of painful death, one must necessarily live, and while not necessarily, one can actually like both apples and oranges.

Report this

By StuartH, July 28, 2009 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment

I think the question of the Bill of Rights or the Bible is interesting. 

When I was in college, in the early ‘70s, I was aware of a bunch of students who were into what was called then, the “New Right.”  They went to a lot of Bible studies and also were very interested in politics.  This was during the time when Karl Rove was a leader in this campus movement. 

The things I mainly remember from this were the idea that “for the righteous, the ends justify the means” which meant lying, primarily because there was a recognition that straight talk wouldn’t win elections.  I didn’t take this seriously until I started seeing some of these kids get elected to Congress. By 1980, this started to become a partnership between “born agains” who didn’t really need to know anything beyond those two words to vote as a bloc, and the oil industry interests who used the numbers of Christian conservatives ruthlessly for ends that had nothing to do with Christianity. 

What we are left with after this coalition, which was based on lies, has fallen apart, a bunch of confusion and anger.  We have the spectacle of Chrisians going for guns and standing pat on some comic book version of the Book of Revelations, itself a work of poetry and code based on ancient history.

Report this

By John Hanks, July 28, 2009 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Bill of Rights and the Bible are null and void.  The power of money and lies have made them useless.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, July 28, 2009 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment

Even the poorest own something. I said these aren’t my numbers and I didn’t indicate their preciseness. So you are reading what you want into them. Good for you, just don’t confuse what you say with what I say then misinterpret it. Of course that is your right.


“the Bill of Rights or the Bible?”Ozark Michael

Well in its truncated and redacted form it makes about as much sense as the oft misquoted problem of “shouting fire in a crowded building.” In the latter it is the problem of falsely making that shout that is the offense. It isn’t if the building is actually on fire. As to my quote, of which you use partially, but in its full form it concerned whether you would chose the Bible over the Bill of Rights in a gov’t to all of the people. Which you managed not to answer again. But then you answered by not answering!

The rabid reich wing are led by many who are openly or cryptically white supremacists. Hence the racist label by me. See? It isn’t hard if you would actually research the subject. There are many volumes and web sites devoted to it.

Actually the state/church separation goes back to the 1660’s and William Bradford. Tired of the Puritans theocracy went to found his own colony called Rhode Island and made it a haven for all of those free thinkers and worshippers not liking how the Puritans followed their version of Christianity.

In many ways we were free and in many others not. From black slavery since 1619-1865, then economic slavery up to about 1964. Though the wage disparity is still marked. Women too not even getting the vote till 1920 and they suffered terribly for it. Free for some not for others. A mixed bag.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, July 28, 2009 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

N-G, thank you for setting us straight, but doesn’t it sssseeeeem like the number of those who own 0%, that is, zilch, have been left out of the ratio.  I’m sure there is a segment that can be quantified who do not own a dime of the wealth, isn’t there?  I always thought they were called the Abject Poor.  Shall we consult with MarthaA before putting them in a Class? 

MarthaA, speaking of our new classification.  I can hang pretty easy with the 70% Marjority Common Population Class, but I cannot see it as a separate culture.  If it is indeed 70% (or by Night-Gaunt’s meticulous calculation, 65%), it has to be a 70% of a whole 100% culture.  Now there is much overlap of appreciation in certain cultural realms between the poorer 70% and the upper echelon richer 30% in terms of entertainment, using the same kind of cell phones, and wearing expensive athletic shoes, yet there is also a wide cultural chasm in terms of money in the bank, taking cruises, drinking the best wines in the world, clothes other than athletic shoes.  Both groups are rather materialistic though one group has more material than the other.

Retaining “good” things from the past is laudable and deserves respect.  It is the substance of healthy tradition.  That said, however, the Constitution conspicuously is devoid of the word God and the word is not written anywhere in the Bill of Rights.  It is interesting that although ratified mostly by Christian men from the states over which the document would be the ultimate guide for American civility, the Bill of Rights prohibits Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.  Neither Christians of any sect, nor non-Christians, nor secularists of any sort may not be prevented by the government from freely exercising their personal beliefs.  It struck me as peculiar when I learned about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in high school that those very Christian men composed the founding documents of this country specifically with no mention of God or any reference to Christianity.  About the only place that could possibly be stretched, really thinly, that a supernatural being was included in those truly secular documents is when the date was indicated, which was done at the convention when the Constitution was signed by the unanimous consent, I repeat, unanimous consent, of those very Christian men from the states present on the seventeenth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the independence of the United States of America the twelfth, most often written in the western civilization Latin traditional way of A.D. (Anno Domini, or year of our Lord)) writing the date that was in reality a fabricated date established using the alleged death of Jesus Christ. 

Or, it could be argued that the word God is invisible in the Constitution just as God is invisible to all living things.  Of course, I do not know for sure that non-humans cannot see God.  But neither do I not not know for sure since no non-human has indicated such vision to any human…that I know of.

Furthermore, though, since, unless they are militant, I have absolute tolerance and personal regard for the religious and non-religious alike, the idea of “Separation of Church and State.” is traceable to Thomas Jefferson long after the founding documents were written and signed.  In 1802 he wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut after receiving their letter in which they expressed concern about religious freedom.  Jefferson wrote:
  “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and State.” (my italics)

Priority is a private matter of perspective.

Report this
OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, July 28, 2009 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment

“the Bill of Rights or the Bible?”

This question is lately softened by offers of a truce. Live and let live. While this is meant to be a kindness to me personally, it would also imply an acceptance of the question. If i accept the question then I legitimize the prejudice behind it. 

“the Bill of Rights or the Bible?”

The question is ignoble and malicious. No amount of commitment to the Bill of Rights was or will be able to stem the question.

The question is ignorant of history, ignorant of Christianity. Yet it insists on a direct answer or it will be asked over and over and over. Apparently there are millions of people, perhaps tens of millions of US citizens, who need to be asked.

The question “Bill of Rights or the Bible?” is asked in the same spirit as the Inquistion, as the religious wars in England, as the witchhunts, as the McCarthy hearings.

Yes, it is the same spirit that asked a Protestant if they were more loyal to their faith or to the Catholic queen.

Yes, the same spirit that grilled Leftists about communist associations, about any criticism of the US, about any dreams for a better future.

In all cases the accused is tempted to sacrifice their integrity to get through the process unscathed. Honesty alone is not enough, one must perform a tightrope act which tries to say alive without completely selling out one’s integrity.

“the Bill of Rights or the Bible?”

The question doesnt go away. It is becoming more widespread. Public education which increasingly stresses the secular and excludes the religious makes the questioners more strident and confident even though they are progressively more ignorant with each graduating class.

Someday these ignoramuses are going to run things. Progressively more ignorant yet more dogmatic(also more atheist. is that a coincidence?) They have the potential to destroy the Bill of Rights in order to ‘protect’ it

So The question cant be dodged.

“Bill of Rights or Bible?”

So i finally answer: the Bible comes first over the Bill of Rights.

Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise.

What now, Night Gaunt?

Report this
OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, July 28, 2009 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

I did post about the Bill of Rights. The basic theme was that the Bill of Rights was the response of the people to the US Constitution.  “We wont approve this Constitution without some gaurantees in writing” was the people’s response. And who were the people back in those days? What were they like? Overwhelmingly Christian. Overwhelmingly fundamentalist Christians. The kind of person accused today of wanting theocratic fascism. (Wonder how they ever produced the most free society on earth?)

Naturally I stand in the same stream that they stood in. That means I would demand a Bill of Rights if there wasnt one. That means I support the Bill of Rights now.

In addition to that, I am a conservative. Which means I tend to emphasize retaining the good things from the past instead of ‘progressing’ beyond it. This anchors me to the Bill of Rights rather squarely.

Yet because I am a fundamentalist Christian in America today, all of that isnt good enough. I am seen as something akin to a terrorist, “just like a Muslim fundamentalist”, and that is said with surprising regularity. I thought it was a debate trick but it is said so often that it must be a widespread conviction. It is said by bloggers who are nice friendly people. It was said in this thread.

I am seen as something akin to a fascist. As the years go by i see this expressed more and more. Chris Hedges smiles as he holds up his book in the video. He is our resident expert.

So I am prodded. I have to pass a special test.

“Which is it, the Bill of Rights or the Bible?”

The same question is asked on talk2action. Note the title of the article below. (Also note Night Gaunt’s blog response, in which he uses the phrase “the racist fascist right” apparently to describe Newt and the right generally)

http://www.talk2action.org/story/2009/6/1/72658/95458/Front_Page/Which_is_it_Newt_Catholicism_or_the_Constitution_

I strongly disagree that the proper approach is for me to investigate the reasons for your prejudice. Prejudice is not fought against by dwelling on those instances which help reinforce it. Besides, I tried that for a few years and it didnt do any good.

I also strongly disagree that my answer should be made in private. The question is asked in the public forum. It is sold in bookstores. So the answer should not be answered in a closet or basement.

Public accusations deserve a public defense.


And so, hopefully tonite I will post my final and direct answer to “Bible or Bill of Rights”

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, July 28, 2009 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

The answer is:  The 70% Majority Common Population as a class and culture.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, July 28, 2009 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

Brevity sometimes trumps proper punctuation. But I strive none-the-less to do it correctly, hence the unwritten rule on correcting others.

The last numbers I saw was that the the richest;
10% owned 21% of the wealth, next
25% owned 72% and the rest
65% owned 7%

Not seen since 1929. During all the times when we have had Depressions and little depressions called recessions it has been this way. When the collective wealth is concentrated in a few hands the entire economy and human life are in dire straits. One can easily have social unrest leading to open rebellion and martial law. The Great Depression of 1869-1875 had just that. Martial law declared in at least three states and massive strikes added to the mix. Overblown stocks and financial instruments were the chief cause. Very expensive paper signifying nothing. No real work just paper that was inflated way beyond its actual worth as currency. Unlike then and in 1929 we had a middle class that had to fall too. Selling jobs short overseas too wasn’t a factor back then. Massive over population too figures into it.

With any sudden climate change it could bring chaos and armed conflict like it did in the 1300-1400’s. For the first time, a tropical disease is surviving in Italy!

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, July 28, 2009 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

Yes, StuartH, you do have a provocative thesis, and I completely agree.  In addition to what you say, I know this:  Try as hard as I might to edit my posts, every single one of them comes up with a typing error.  It is most confounding and I find most laughable, often belly laughable.  Sometimes the typos are fatal and completely undermine what I’ve wanted to say and emphasize!  I’m sure there will be one in this very post.  Mayyyyybbbbeeee not!  I’ve been real careful.  But in the last post I made here, I only have one idea where those blasted semi-colons came from.  I am convinced they were put there by da debble.

Conclusion:  My investment to be thoughtful goes down the proverbial toilet.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, July 28, 2009 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

Why MarthaA, I think you are onto something.  Could they not be called the
the 70% Majority Commoner Class or the 70%MC Class, or just the Commoner Class would suffice, But more simply can be identified as the MCCs, leaving off the 70% for the sake of efficiency due to ‘common’ knowledge acceptance that that majority is 70%? Or, even more succinct, the 70% Class could do the trick just as well.  Being a ‘poor’ teacher, I would definitely be square in the middle of the MCC Non-toadies.  Or, since the MCCs are exo-Noble and exo-Middle Class toadies, but are ‘other’ to the now nicely combined N&MC;-toadies, they could be called the Other Class who are identified now by necessity of existing outside the 30% of N&MC;-toadie Class.  The combination qualifies as most efficient, and simple is most memorable.  Now a clear Us/Them dichotomy is achieved and the news media should be able to handle that and the two distinct classes would also know their place.  The Us’s would be the N&MC;-toady Class and the Them’s would be the Other Class. I shall defer to you to make the choice of what to call the 70% non-toadies.

Report this

By StuartH, July 28, 2009 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

Considering the issue of understanding vs misunderstanding and the ability to write clearly enough to get past that problem, I read through the entire column of text below, since this thread began. 

I saw that my own comments were not as succinct or well written as I remembered them, and they were repetitive.  I copied them into a Word doc to study this. 

One of the problems in writing is that there is a boundary between public and private that has to be breached.  That would seem to be a simple problem to overcome.  But then there are ways we are taught to approach this which get in the way. 

I remember my mother having a problem with this.  She wanted to write, but then when asked anything about what was really interesting about family history she would relate standard wisdoms about privacy and “nobody’s business.”  That proved a permanent sort of block to engaging fully in a public dialogue. 

It turns out that the line between public and private is very hard to figure out, full of ambiguity and contradiction - and then there is the problem of time.

In reading all these comments, I continue to observe that using writing to achieve dialogue is a difficult thing to do well.  When writing, time is a challenge.  If you were going to publish something, you would think about the draft before you, which you had just finished, possibly overnight.  Then you would ask yourself if every assertion made was actually correct and represented in the best possible, clearest language.  You might do a bit of research to verify. Then you would edit, thinking as a reader.  Then you would post it. 

Ideally. 

However, the comment format here is really chatting on a phone line with typing.  So it is done fast.  The problem is to shortcut the process so that it approaches a finished communication.  Sometimes that works better than at other times.  There are quite a few posts, here and elsewhere that seem vague enough to require some study before meaning becomes evident.  Some remain mostly impenetrable.  When we are thinking in our private heads, we think the world grasps what we think without having to craft a bridge between the world in our head and the world outside.  The struggle is to overcome this. 

We The People have been living with the First Amendment for well over two hundred years and the immediacy of this medium has only been available for maybe a decade or so. 

I think the practice is worth a bit of energy investment. 

That is the real revolution.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, July 28, 2009 at 10:39 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

You have identified the Nobles as one Class that is at the top, and the Middle Class as that Class that is just below the Nobility; these I call the Nobles toadies.

If, for the sake of argument, we lump all of the Nobles and their toadies together into a 30% minority population, that would leave a 70% majority population in the United States that constitutes all of those “other people” that you make reference to.

If, for the sake of argument, all of those “other people” were lumped together as a Class that were not Noble, or toadies to the Noble, what would that 70% majority population that is not either Noble or toadies to the Nobles be called?

If all of those “other people” that you talk about are not Nobles, and are not Middle Class toadies to the Nobles, are they what the Nobles would call Commoners, common people?  Could it be that all of those “other people”, as Commoners of the Nobles, could constitute a Class and Culture of Common People that are not Noble, and are not Middle Class toadies to the Nobles?  Could it be that that 70% majority Common Population of Commoners, when lumped together, could make up a 70% majority Common Population that is a Class and Culture?  Could it be?

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, July 27, 2009 at 9:41 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA, your plethora of questions are tongue-twistingly complex, somewhat silly in part, and hence not easily answered unless some humor is also injected.  But you know that.  So I will try within the confines of my own learning to tidy up my vulgar usage and give a better account.

I don’t know anything about the 70% majority population.  Or if I do, it would be by oblivious default.  Who are they and where are they from?  Is that a ratio found in a country or does it extend to the entire world?  Perhaps on another planet?  Yeah, I know, they are the MIDDLE CLASS! Right?

Classically speaking, the middle class does have a definition, although definitions often have fuzzy boundaries, and from the history of its usage, the term middle class can be a moving target as well.  We could also at times say, tongue-in-cheek, “the poor middle class,” when it is perceived they are overly victimized usually through economic responsibilities, shouldering the brunt of financial crunches.

It is said by some that the American middle class is becoming the new working poor.  And Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) talks about the deserving and undeserving poor, and that the American middle class has slid into the realm of the poor. And in the category of class, the poor are those who are relegated to the alienated and marginalized, that is, they do have a position, they are the “lower” class members of the community.  However, if we have a lower, then we must also have an upper class, a ruling class, and a ruled class, an underclass and an overclass, a working class, and a lazy-non-working-monkey-ass class (who by the way is an unemployed simian from south London I’ve been told). Sigh. Guess it is a matter of head-spinning perspective.

For cultural parameters, the classic middle class are people who are neither at the height nor depth of a social order or what is commonly also called a hierarchy.  Having ascended into the common language in Britain during the industrial revolution, it was used then to characterize the professional and business class to make the distinction between those kinds of working groups and the titled noblemen/women.  When mercantilism gained economic importance, the word middle class was also used to separate the “moderately” wealthy from the exorbitantly wealthy.  Class structure is not limited to western cultures as tribes of all stripes have a class (or caste) system often having or having had a slave class.

When we use the word class today to distinguish one group from another, we are more than likely involved with economic stratification and that involves a range between poverty and wealth rather than actually distinct strata.  It also currently separates into classes what is called white-collar workers, or those who work for salaried wages in a comfortable ambience in contrast with blue-collar workers who perform manual labor and usually earn an hourly wage.  Some trivial information:  Priests, who wore white collars gave the name to that group, were at one time considered the “white-collared” workers for the various clerical jobs they performed.  The work clothes or uniforms of the blue-collar workers is what gave that “class” their name.

I hope I have sufficiently given attention to the blatant plebeian and crude definitional imprecision and I offer my humble apologies and hope to be less tawdry and resist commonly framing clear and distinct classes together in the future.  Please don’t tell Night-Gaunt about this episode.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, July 27, 2009 at 9:38 pm Link to this comment

oops, I did not close italics properly.  I’m sorry.  Indulge me as I am going to repost the whole enchilada for aesthetic purposes only.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, July 27, 2009 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA, your plethora of questions are tongue-twistingly complex, somewhat silly in part, and hence not easily answered unless some humor is also injected.  But you know that.  So I will try within the confines of my own learning to tidy up my vulgar usage and give a better account.

I don’t know anything about the 70% majority population.  Or if I do, it would be by oblivious default.  Who are they and where are they from?  Is that a ratio found in a country or does it extend to the entire world?  Perhaps on another planet?  Yeah, I know, they are the MIDDLE CLASS! Right?

Classically speaking, the middle class does have a definition, although definitions often have fuzzy boundaries, and from the history of its usage, the term middle class can be a moving target as well.  We could also at times say, tongue-in-cheek, “the poor[/] middle class,” when it is perceived they are overly victimized usually through economic responsibilities, shouldering the brunt of financial crunches. 

It is said by some that the American middle class is becoming the new working poor.  And Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) talks about the deserving and undeserving poor, and that the American middle class has slid into the realm of the poor. And in the category of class, the poor are those who are relegated to the alienated and marginalized, that is, they do have a position, they are the “lower” class members of the community.  However, if we have a lower, then we must also have an upper class, a ruling class, and a ruled class, an underclass and an overclass, a working class, and a lazy-non-working-monkey-ass class (who by the way is an unemployed simian from south London I’ve been told). Sigh. Guess it is a matter of head-spinning perspective. 

For cultural parameters, the classic middle class are people who are neither at the height nor depth of a social order or what is commonly also called a hierarchy.  Having ascended into the common language in Britain during the industrial revolution, it was used then to characterize the professional and business class to make the distinction between those kinds of working groups and the titled noblemen/women.  When mercantilism gained economic importance, the word middle class was also used to separate the “moderately” wealthy from the exorbitantly wealthy.  Class structure is not limited to western cultures as tribes of all stripes have a class (or caste) system often having or having had a slave class.

When we use the word class today to distinguish one group from another, we are more than likely involved with economic stratification and that involves a range between poverty and wealth rather than actually distinct strata.  It also currently separates into classes what is called white-collar workers, or those who work for salaried wages in a comfortable ambience in contrast with blue-collar workers who perform manual labor and usually earn an hourly wage.  Some trivial information:  Priests, who wore white collars gave the name to that group, were at one time considered the “white-collared” workers for the various clerical jobs they performed.  The work clothes or uniforms of the blue-collar workers is what gave that “class” their name.

I hope I have sufficiently given attention to the blatant plebeian and crude definitional imprecision and I offer my humble apologies and hope to be less tawdry and resist commonly framing clear and distinct classes together in the future.  Please don’t tell Night-Gaunt about this episode.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, July 27, 2009 at 5:27 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

You have used a common frame for the poor and working class.  If the middle class is a class, what are the cultural parameters of the Middle Class and what classes are they in the middle of, since the poor is not a class?  What class and culture does the poor belong to?  Is it the Middle Class?  What are the two classes on each side of the Middle Class?  What class and culture does the 70% majority population belong to?  Do they belong to the Middle Class?  Or, are they all poor? What class do those who own the means of production, distribution, banking and insurance belong to?  Do they belong to the Middle Class or one of the classes and cultures on either side of the Middle Class?

Report this

By John Hanks, July 27, 2009 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There are those who have little and want more.  There are those who have some and want more.  There are those who have everything and want more.  The middle class are those who walk out of the room when a discussion turns into an argument.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, July 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment

Dealing with Extremism in America…
The extremists, Left or the Right view themselves as exceptionally virtuous, morally superior, and they are absolutely convinced they are at the center of their political pole in their beliefs.

It would not take much to see how this point of view can lead to a distorted perception of reality. 

Now to be effective, one must be careful how one uses their words especially in the heat of anxiety.  The original sophist, Protagoras, was quite the intellect for whom Plato had high respect even though he wrote a dialogue about Protagoras showing the folly of charging a fee for his lectures on virtue.  The word has taken on a somewhat negative connotation over the millenia but the word sophistication comes from it. Also, there is a psychological effect when utilizing the principle of repetition, but unless some defintion of depth is associated with the word sophist in this context, it, I’m afraid, will sail over the heads of most who read here. But I enjoyed ThomasG’s almost poetic overuse of it at any rate.  Not that the denizens of TD are not intelligent and articulate, for they surely are… they are an impressive bunch even if I do not always, most always don’t, agree with most of them.  Nevertheless there are times when I do, and I am very often challenged by their thoughts as expressed in their comments.  The topics are always pithy and worth the time to think about.  I do believe we learn much from each other. 

Extreme militarist/political movements always beg the questions of why they congregate (pun intented since they are most always associated with a religion), what do they want to accomplish, and how fanatical are they with their contorted views and willing to go to achieve their promise of violent ends.  To answer these question will take more than a cursory reading of history and the effects of social stresses on the disaffected.

The degree of danger people face should these radical fanatics achieve their goals is the degree to which they are actually capable of violence. In counter degree, those at risk must find ways of protection.

Listening to Hedges video there are several instances of mistaken perceptions both by the militia-men/women and by Hedges.  This shows that one has to be careful not to simply take for granted the verity of those who side one is taking.

I should like to analyze these mistakes a bit later as the evening is demanding dinner and relaxed digestion.  Digestion in a couple of different ways as I have to digest what is said on that video again, as well as some of the comments so far made.

Report this
ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, July 27, 2009 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment

A second revolution?

President Obama says that he wants to look forward—not backwards; I wonder about anyone that does not want to hold the organized political sophists of the Right-Wing CONSERVATIVE EXTREMIST REPUBLICAN MOVEMENT responsible for their organized political sophistry that borrowed and spent the country into bankruptcy and destroyed the economy with FREE MARKET unregulated financialized CAPITALISM.

Those who would not look back and hold the organized political sophists of the Right-Wing CONSERVATIVE EXTREMIST REPUBLICAN MOVEMENT responsible for their organized sophist activity from the time of Goldwater, to Reagan, Bush I, Bush II to the present organized political sophists of the present Right-Wing CONSERVATIVE EXTREMIST REPUBLICAN MOVEMENT, who are trying to re-frame their sophistry and start the whole “dumb show” over again, are complicit with the activity of the sophists that bankrupted the United States and destroyed the U.S. Economy.

The people of the United States must look backwards, forwards and in every direction possible on the surface of the sphere to make certain that those who, by organized political sophist activity, created the present economic and political problems be held accountable and pay the price for their actions, so that the United States can move forward without starting the whole “dumb show” all over again.

Report this

By StuartH, July 27, 2009 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

A couple of points:

It is all too easy to say that “education is always up to chance.”  That is a prescription from the social Darwinians.

The cold fact is that the system for delivering public K-12 education is fraught with some very serious issues that could kill us if we let them go unaddressed.

At the center of I see conformism.  A lot of people who have been in education for a while seem to have had the stuffings knocked out of them.  They now avoid critical challenge and instead take the line of least resistance for the continued paycheck in it.  This is because the system has become governed by the sort of bureaucracy that itself is derived from a line of least resistance. 

Who is responsible?  It seems to me a vicious cycle.  Voters are also parents who may not support intellectual vigor and discipline.  Critical thinking may go against the wishes of those who see it as a threat.  Thus, at times when there are bond issues for schools, the bonds may be voted down in retribution. 

This impoverishes schools, and also punishes teachers who promote vigor in the learning environment.

Standardized testing arose to mitigate the way these arguments become politicized.  However, because learning is so complex and abstract, to create standardized tests and to support them throughout the whole system, seems to impose a statistical straitjacket on the art of education. 

It could be that standards could become more sophisticated, and this in theory might help the school districts that have the fewest resources and the most anti-education voters.  Or not.  It could also mitigate against the better school districts by imposing the will of the lower common denominator over everyone.

But I think the spiral of decline in public education over the past 30 years is very real.  The product of this is very real as well:  People who do not understand what is going on, who fear and hate complexity itself, and who are prone to leadership who are unscrupulous enough to pander to them.  That more and more such people make up a greater and greater percentage of the population is a real threat.

As for minorities affecting the overall testing results for English.  What I read blows this theory away and shows it to be simply racist. 

It happens that I read probably hundreds of essays that I could tell were from immigrant students.  Some of the very best papers I read.

Some of these stories of the risky adventure of immigration, whether from countries at war or from south of the border were incredibly vivid.  They made your heart pound.  In the end, you were impressed that they exhibited what they talked about which was a fervent desire to succeed in order to honor those who helped them who may not have survived. I wished they could be published.  However, tests are confidential for a lot of good reason.  Some students wrote about suicide, life threatening abuse, rape, teenage pregnancy, gang shootings or other highly sensitive things.

School counselors know these students and their stories and are in a position to help them. 

The main point being that minority, immigrant students can do well and may out-compete native born American students who are not motivated to learn, and whose community isn’t supporting them somehow in their striving to learn.  The African saying “It takes a village…” is all the more poignant when you reflect on the battered and fractured nature of “the village.”

It may be that one of the problems at the root of this is an all too common American cultural attitude that learning is un-macho.  In the cowboy westerns, heroes had a tendency to disdain book learning and people who valued it. 

So there are many dimensions to the vicious cycle we need to contemplate.  I think the article this thread derived from the the video shows why.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, July 27, 2009 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

I would agree with all of your comments on education in this country though I am not one to be a model for it as StuartH has pointed out.

I admit I wasn’t inclined to the rigid ways of school and did haphazardly if not erratically in it. I was most comfortable learning on my own and it shows. But then I never claimed to have intellectual gifts. Just an impetus to learn. It just tended to be in areas most would consider esoteric at best or useless at worse. I continue to learn right here. Where I find others who see my flaws and I can better fix them. Isn’t that the way we should be?

Education should only stop when your brain does and not before. And as Robert Heinlein said, “Specialization is for insects.”

It seems that some of the would be PTB want a much smaller highly educated work force and the rest of us could just go in a corner and die or immigrate or go on working a low wage job until death. Revolution from the inside comes first then the outside.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, July 27, 2009 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

StuartH, it is alarming.  I fully appreciate your involvement in reading for comprehension writing and understanding tests.  I too read student papers…up the wazoo!  The Writing Proficiency Exam, known as the Whoopie Test is required in many states for those seeking their first bachelor’s degree before graduating.  It is a most telling measure of the command of the language one has and in my mind a necessary indication of how well a graduating student can be predicted to do once thrown into the fracas of normal life (non-student life).  Like you, I found their writing skills, which is a direct ratio of their thinking skills, to be, in general, an abomination.  The assessment reading group often reflects together after an intense session, and they are always intense given the nature of the importance of this more or less quantification of qualification, and we, simply said, marvel at the dearth of accomplishment these people have. It is appalling. 

A great many, actually most, need remedial help and must be retested and are held from graduation until this is completed.  What a waste of human resource in both student-time and faculty since these people must be reprocessed in a system already overloaded with bodies supposedly with brains.  The demographics of ethnicity is almost unimportant unless there might be target cures for ignorance of the language is the intention.  This is not really the function of the universities and colleges but such knowledge could be addressed with remedial classes for those with language barriers (i.e., non-English speaking).  That in itself adds to the cost of managing the finances of an institution of higher education.  Somewhat akin to the cost of health care, the cost of education is one of those chronic mantric whines of the public, and rightly so.  One solution I see is that passing a WPE test be a condition for entrance, that is, before acceptance to a university or college rather than the “ending” requirement.  It seems to me that command of the language is requisite for “understanding” course content, even at the bachelor’s level!

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, July 27, 2009 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

MarthaA, I completely appreciated your succinct march through the history of the Constitution.  An excellent brief lecture for any class where its salient features are crucial but restricted due to time and subject-relevance constraints. Thank you. If you don’t mind I will borrow it when it could be appropriate.

While the Ehrenreich book has elements that are still relevant today, I disagree that the middle class harbors an elitism.  Elitism says there is reason for favored treatment because they are superior in some way and hence also ought to dominate all aspects of society.  The middle-class might be self-seeking and selfish, but then every identifiable strata of society are also so I don’t see that as a bonafide criticism.  What she brought to consciousness is the fact of business managements’ obscene financial compensation which has by leaps if not by bounds upwardly spiraled into multimillion dollar salaries by 2009.  I too am indignant as are all conscious Americans, middle class, working class, or poor!  The only ones not outraged are the wealthy which is where real elitism exists.  The other disturbing trend she highlighted is the ever extending distance between the middle and lower classes (lower class is a euphemism for the poor) and in direct ratio the increasing disregard for the economic injustices inherent with being stuck in the social layer known as “the poor,”  which gives birth to most of the aberrations that show up as a result of poverty such as crime, malnutrition, health problems, mental problems.  But I do not classify that as elitism, just an insensitivity caused by that fear of failure which is always on the verge of happening because of the social structure dynamics.  Only those ignorant and poor, who would work if any job were available, would not worry about being relegated to work for a hell known as Walmart.  Ehrenreich also proclaims education as the great equalizer. 

The social consciousness she admonishes as disappearing from the middle class would itself disappear when the middle class, mostly who are educated at least to the high school level, stop seeing the fruits of their labor being devoured by the wealthy and powerful.  It is vicious how the dynamics of the powerful act only to increase their power because they control the resources, which translates into wealth.  This is true within capitalism but also of most extreme social economies as well.  Can there be a sustainable egalitarian society in a mercantile-based, i.e., money-making communal environment, is the question?  This is what the economic arguments are all about because due to the ever ascending emergence of common awareness resulting from more sophisticated and available news media relentlessly portrays the abject disparity that exists between the wealthy and middle class then between the middle class and the poor.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, July 26, 2009 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment

SturatH,

An academic education is an absolute because of the New Class that have placed academic education, above common sense.  Read about the middle class suppositions imposed on everyone in “The Fear of Falling’ by Barbara Ehrenreich.  Now as far as education goes, an Associates Degree is what finishing High School used to be. This book is essential to understanding the NEW Middle Class we are dealing with today.

Report this

By John Hanks, July 26, 2009 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Educaton and experience are always largely up to chance.  The systematic destruction of learning through TV is not.  The media must be nationalized.

Report this

By StuartH, July 26, 2009 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous:

I will have to comb through your posts a couple of more times before coming back with something that might actually do them justice.  Great depth of thought, for an online discussion. 

I wanted to interject one thing from a recent experience.  I did a gig this spring in which I scored high school standardized tests.  I read some 7,000 or so one to two page essays and another 10,000 or so essay answers contained in about six lines on a series of social studies questions. 

Many of the other people who do this sort of thing are retired teachers or people in education who happen to be between consulting contracts, because of the economy this year.  They have experience at great depth over many years from many places.

My wife happens to be a librarian who has interacted with incoming freshmen at various universities over the past couple of decades or so, and most of the people she knows are from various parts of the educational community in various parts of the US. 

From an anecdotal point of view, I feel like I have had a peek into the status of education at the high school and K-12 level in the US, over the past two to three decades.

I think, if everyone could have done the reading that I just did, there would be sirens going off and alarm bells everywhere.  The ability to think, to critically reason, to understand questions and to have the knowledge with which to answer them, and the ability to use English effectively, are at what I would think ought to be considered Third World levels.  Our system has drastically eroded to the point where we are generating a public that could arguable be considered intellectually crippled.

This is one of the factors behind the so-called second revolution energy.  These people are not analyzing things well because they don’t know how to differentiate between BS coming from people who want to manipulate them and observations that they could make about the truth themselves.  They look to religious leaders because the magical thinking and dogmatism does what it did for people in medieval Europe - gives certainty to an otherwise enigmatic and overwhelmingly complex 21st century reality. 

I think the Obama administration has a huge set of problems that are absolutely paradigmatic in nature, somewhat because previous administrations, especially Bush, have failed to see these things piling up. 

A lot of people seem to think that letting education go and leaving it to chance is not a big deal.  But then, macho ignorance has always been fashionable in American culture.  We really have to throw that pose off.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, July 26, 2009 at 12:43 am Link to this comment

“The decline of the educational system” is the way StuartH put it.  As an academic I feel obligated to critique this decline very carefully since cultural, moral, and political issues are necessarily connected to the quality of public discourse and political culture in our democracy.  The intellectual vitality of the majority of the people is the promise of education, or if it isn’t, that is what it ought to be.  This should happen in general education with the hope that the child has been encouraged to learn and to learn in a well-ordered way in the home before he/she even sets foot into a school.  This is opposed to reactive and overly emotional thinking.  If this article of Hedges has any gravity at all, a massive effort to reform public education is obviously demanded.  Without overmagnifying it by calling it a crises, Obama just the other day turned his attention to this consequential issue.  Since nothing is for free, pumping money into the essentially lacking system is the indubitable way, but since this country is coming very close to unprecedented debt, we all have the imperative to read and assess what he means by “absolute transparency of how every dollar,” is the way he put it, is to be spent.  How do we recognize and realistically identify what will improve general education?  Where exactly do we begin? 

While I have an end degree and often extol the virtues of higher education, I do not agree that a college education is an absolute necessity.  If public education was adequate at the K-12 segment, people would have the skills to think orderly and then be able to make informed decisions.  In today’s world of specialization, that might not be enough to get a high paying job, but is that the paradigm goal in life?  What about being happy, is money the only ticket to happiness?  We need riches because in the kind of world we have today, that is what it takes to have a decent life.  It is a contorted view.  Being able to think methodically, systematically will allow one to decide what direction to take in education, if further education is desired, that will give them at least the opportunity for a happy outcome.  Of course other life issues enter in to the equation.

With a definite dependency relation, seems like the only way out of that unprecedented debt is to generate unprecedented prosperity and the way to generate prosperity is to generate jobs.  Unemployment is the dangerous element here.  The enormous bailout and stimulus of the financial/mortgage sector was just to stabilize an almost collapsed economy.  It was and is a necessary evil left by irresponsible politicians, Republicans and Democrats alike.  It does not solve the long run problem.  Only education that teaches people to think evaluatively will do that.

Night-Gaunt, you defensively do us both a disservice when you pre-admonish that I would necessarily, for some really mysterious reason, and in the manner that OM does that, criticize your views on anything.  I was merely characterizing your private argument, not what the argument was about,... at least not yet.  Actually, you have not indicated our disagreements.  BTW: Most who have testosterone flushes often do not know that they do as it can be an adaptive and permanent agonistic condition.  The cerebro is an imprecise descriptor, you must mean… cerebral cortex is quite connected to the male gonads… when you remember that you have them.  StuartH’s advice is better than you will allow yourself to think.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, July 25, 2009 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment

Yes I occasionally make mistakes in spelling. Thanks for the correction, I’ll do the same for you one day. I generally don’t because of the speed and time used and it would be considered poor etiquette to do so. Ideas are more important than spelling and punctuation though I work to be correct there as well.

Curiously I felt no testosterone flush while I wrote, just used my cerebro cortex not my gonads. They have little import in the conversation. Nor does vituperation.

You and I have disagreements over the problem of the ongoing second revolution, or as they might put it, the second reformation or third awakening. So I expect your criticism of my queries with OM abt Dominionism. You have eyes but do not see.

However if you listen to Glen Beck the conspiracy is with the Left and the Progressives who want to overthrow the gov’t by making it pay too much for welfare & have been trying to since 1904. That Obama is a “Marxist” (Marx wasn’t one) And it is tied up with ACORN and all of its affiliates. Wow, if Obama was really a follower of Marx I could rest easy. But he isn’t is he?

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, July 25, 2009 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment

I was quite stunned by the sagacity of StuartH’s several comments on this forum and I have to admit to being a fan.  I can see that his years as an academic and involvement in local politics has wizened his understanding of the way things are.  I have learned a great deal reading your words.

Because I am interested in the topic of this forum and wanted to get up to speed with all the comments, I dedicated today to read the entire forum (or whatever is left of it after TD slips the earlier part into spaces unknown).

The farce between OzarkMichael and Night Gaunt is amusing.  It is as if Armando Iannucci wrote the dialogue.  Boys, it is puerile not peruel.  And yes it is juvenile the argument over Dominionism.  Oi!  Sounds from the middle school playground!  Wow. what a dual display of testosterone! Remindful of Punch and Judy, except I can’t tell who is Punch and who is Judy.

And of course OM has prematurely and precipitously accused me of Froissement.  Shall we see how well I can glide in and out and parry with a self-avowed nemesis?  En guard, mon ami!

Ecoscience is a book of 1051 pages, printed in 1978.  As an antidote to the provocative but careless Zombietime article that is floating around, a thoughtful and candid review of Holdren and the evolution of his views on population control can be found at The American Prospect, http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=holdrens_controversial_population_control_past

I was sorry to see hark not continue with his incisive and perceptive remarks.  Perhaps he can be harkened back?  I don’t quite believe the public sector is being gobbled up by the private sector.  Who would serve the privateers if the public went away? 

Hedges is not the only one to inutit trouble and the potential for danger from the frustrated.  Eric Hoffer said it much better in his book True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements in 1951.  It is a small book and I recommend everyone read it who is concerned about such groups as the militias that have formed nationwhide.  It could go a long way in helping with that kind of critical thinking of which StuartH rightly insists.  Ignorant people historically have been set up.  In this case, StuartH theorizes it is the Republicans who have done that with their attitude of “screw the worker” without a plan to bring these ex-warriors home to a normal and occupied life.  No plan for work, no plan for health care, both physical and mental.  Yet, the weapons industry dances merrily on with hopscotch wars, one right after another.  Does it matter that they are justified or not?  Some argue that there are times when war is a necessary evil.  Are there?

KDelphi, I cannot help but ask you questions as often your commentaries more or less begs for them.  You said early on in the forum, “There is a plan for the US dividing up…”  Who has this plan, and what is the plan, and where did you learn of it?  Your somewhat offhand remark that a civil war may happen any way is very curious.  Do you have any idea what it would take for a nationwide civil war to take place?  Perhaps you might mean some local skirmishes?  Now wouldn’t the Federal Government call out the National Guard? (Whatever is left of them that haven’t been sent overseas, that is).  Isn’t that Napolitano’s office responsibility?

You say a lot, but KDelphi you leave much unclear.  What third-world conditions do so many, and how many, “here now live under?”  It is one thing to rant on about the state of the world, but please give us some substance.  The generic ‘we’ you and many others favor using, simply is not true.  I do not think these militia are the way you have characterized them.  These ex-soldiers are from a volunteer army.  They chose to become military.  The fact that they are sent to do war is their job whether it is a just war or not.  I think some sight of reality is being lost to rhetoric.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, July 25, 2009 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

Well StuartH where was I verbose over being clarified? I thought I managed to handle the queries and innuendo of Ozark Michael and stay on the topic. However you did not. Just an observation.

You should read Thomas Jefferson or Tom Paine or even Hamilton to see how they write. With those quill pens you subscribe too. I use words as tools to affect ideas and to communicate. Not as a means of impressing or gesticulating to others over some idea of posturing. I have no interest.

I am 51 years old and went to school in the 1960-1981 time frame. Nothing special there.

Report this

By StuartH, July 25, 2009 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

Ozark and Night:

What is frustrating about this thread from my perspective is that you focus on each other in a way that would be more appropriate through direct email instead of in a space like this. 

Also, I feel the breeze flowing out of all these words from the way the education system has been allowing people to pass without really learning to think, to argue and to write.  I feel sad about this and wish there was something I could do about it.  I might figure out some way in the long run.  But the whole educational system needs to fundamentally alter.  Teachers are so beaten down by the bureaucracy of it all that they have become conformists who shrug their shoulders and pass people instead of really doing some critical intervention. 

I feel America is being lost in the process.  Can we live up to our role as an enlightened public if we can no longer think with precision, clarity and from an ability to analyze a base of knowledge that is above comic book level?  That is scary.  As long as I have been around politics, I have seen a decline in literacy dumb down the debates and , to be brutally frank, cause an increase in the election of stupid leaders who get votes because they appeal to stupid voters.  Not a good trend when our problems are complicated enough that they require a Masters Degree level of concentration and analytical capability even at the local level.  The function the press used to fulfill in educating the voting public is just flat gone. 

I would admonish you both to consider how you are the hope of your generation because of taking an interest in issues and discussion.  How you can get a better education out of a system that is failing to educate, I can only speculate.  But the ability to argue isn’t about being obnoxiously argumentative.  It is about organizing the critical faculties of one’s mind so as to fully comprehend realities that so urgently need to be comprehended and to assemble, with others, some commonalities through differences to be able to create solutions.  This requires casting aside the temptation to use euphemistic language that alludes to things indirectly even though it is fashionable to be spooky about this.

Video games are about “bang, gotcha!”  Deliberation is about the harder effort to analyze differences and resolve to create decisions that might work through common agreements about what is possible.  That is impossible without the use of thinking that can be precise and direct and language useful as a steel tool.  You wouldn’t use a rubber wrench when working on a car.

What we see everyday is a whole lot of “gotcha” games cloaked in vague BS.  Thank God there are at least some people around who can ignore that and get on with business.  But what of a future populated by those who lack this capacity?  That is a crucial question.  A lot of people are ignoring this, and instead messing around with irrelevancies.

Try this as an exercise:  try spending a day in silence trying to figure out the most direct way to express a thought.  Then, carve a large bird feather into a quill and dip it into an inkwell.  Try to write that way.  This will cause, sooner or later, one’s writing to become economical and precise.  Or at least, think about doing this.  I think everyone in school should go through an exercise like that.  It might help restore the lost art of argument literacy.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, July 25, 2009 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

“But if we oppose a progressive policy, then we are suddenly ‘fascist Dominionists’ who need to be separated from the state, which is just another way of saying that we need to have our right to participate curtailed for the sake of the secular purity of the state.”Ozark Michael

Aren’t we supposed to defend our rights? I do not wish to oppress and will not. I wish to actually acknowledge and give more freedom to the individual to live their life, do you? Unless it is those who are bent on oppressing me. That isn’t a freedom. See any difference in this? Dominionists don’t have to be fascist but these certainly are. Do you agree with them? Must we have a theocracy ruled by the Bible as they see it? If so you are one of them, if not then you just may want to stop them too. But then isn’t that why you refused to answer my question about the Bill of Rights, for all, versus the Bible? It is better to be mum than lie. Your refusals are so transparent, at least to me.

You say that I am the one seeing boogie men everywhere implying that they really aren’t. That I am obsessed and not rational. Obsession isn’t always bad and can focus one to the subject. Fine, I would expect that from my opponent, disarm me by attacking my veracity and coherence. I know all the arguments against the idea of conspiracies. Yet we do see some fully open in that we may know they exist, even their function but no more than that. Any secret police and surveillance organization is just such. All you need is to sow doubt and you win.

I study many subjects including psychological warfare and the functioning of the human brain. I find our contests to be strengthening. A word of advice, don’t underestimate your opponent, it is a fatal weakness. I don’t. I am mostly self educated, autodidact, so I have no degrees or anything else that would show as any kind of higher education. But then I am just an Anarchist/Atheist/Athanist, so what do I know?

Everyone should be treated as if they are their own country and what they do within their boarders to themselves is their business and with others who mutually agree freely. Many of our laws would be struck down, just read the #9th Amendment on that. I would instigate a sunset provision for the remainder and it must be the unanimous consent of the governed. Does that sound like the workings of any kind of police state you are implying I am for?

Report this
OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, July 24, 2009 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment

There is no reason that subjects like the Death Penalty for instance require muted articulation - or any other subject.  If you can think about it, you should be able to write about it.

Unless the subject of death penalty was just an example of something, or being used as an object lession. In which case exactly what i think about it almost irrelevant. And this was the case. I was using the subject of the death penalty to show that whenever any Christian supports a progressive policy out of a biblical motive, they are applauded and encouraged to participate in the body politic. But if we oppose a progressive policy, then we are suddenly ‘fascist Dominionists’ who need to be separated from the state, which is just another way of saying that we need to have our right to participate curtailed for the sake of the secular purity of the state.

The language of people like Night Gaunt is marching towards that outcome. It is no less awful than what Night Gaunt fears from the Dominionists.

Instead of trying to present my opinion on this or that issue, I only refer to the issue as a tool to swerve Night Gaunt away from the prejudiced witch-hunt that he calls ‘Dominionism’, and which many of you might call ‘fascism’.

My actual opinions on topics become secondary. I sacrifice understanding in those areas to sharpen my point. Getting one person to change is much better than explaining my views clearly.

Now there are some serious ideas on the table and as usual i am going to fall far behind.

Because now Shenonymous is here. My favorite foil. My esteemed arch enemy. My evil twin!  She throws more at me than i can handle, because at least one remark of hers gets me derailed every time. So all bets are off.

Except Night Gaunt must recieve one answer from me. Later. I really have to go right now. And no posts tomorrow for sure. bbl.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, July 24, 2009 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, you’ve made a provocative suggestion.  I believe in healthy and so far I have not seen any congressional recommendations, nor presidential ones, that are healthy.  Nonetheless, squelching financial profiteers is demanded for a “healthy” society.  I agree, however, we cannot base this country on the back of those who profit, it is antithetical to a free society.  But rather it must be on the backs of those who profit unethically and unlawfully, which we certainly ought to prevent and prosecute with all our might.  Those rules and laws that are made must be made to be enforced and the enforcers forced to enforce.  That is the tricky part.  America is in dire need of healthcare reform and it needs to start with the cost of healthcare and pharmaceuticals.  I’m just afraid trimming Medicare will put elderly patients at risk.  Seems like a medical board of watchdogs is a possible feasible way to go, unless they get to be too powerful and zealously righteous.  What needs watched is not what doctors’ order, but the cost of what they order.  Hence it is a matter of who is watching the watchers.

KDelphi – which Democrats banned who from what websites?  I agree-if indeed it happened, such censorship is not only un-American, it is universally morally defective, ethically destitute and indefensible, and countercriticism must be pursued.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, July 24, 2009 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

I think Ozark Michael is confusing point-of-view with prejudice. I am prejudiced against anyone who wants to steal mine (and all others) rights to follow their own narrower way of doing things. Dominionists follow the parts of the Bible that they like and it isn’t the Beatitudes. More like Leviticus. To them slavery, torture and conquest are okay and sanctioned. We don’t have rights unless they are “God given” and you know what that means. If God gives, it can take away. Me I was born with those rights as my parents had before me, not from any deity. Others can try to take them away. There is a difference even if it is psychological.

I am not your enemy Ozark Michael but nor am I your friend, just a person on this space ship earth. We need to work together for Mutual Aid.

Report this

By StuartH, July 24, 2009 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous:

To me, the argument over what terms like socialism, capitalism or the other isms that propose a relationship between state and economy, is kind of like the blind men and the elephant parable. 

One of the things I like about these discussions is that it is a way of thinking with one’s fingertips, and thoughts sometimes spring from these discussions. 

It ocurred to me that, while there are people out shooting paintball guns and looking for a revolution, It is in fact happening all around us now. 

The terms above are morphing as we speak.  True laissez faire capitalism has become, over a century of time, impossible.  In the age of computers where transactions across oceans on a super massive scale are instantaneous and where too-large and unregulated stock traders can threaten the stability of the world’s economies, neither textbook socialism nor textbook capitalism actually exist anymore.  Something new is being born and we probably don’t have any terminology for it because no one knows what it is.

Talking with friends who are very experienced and skilled, but out of work, I realize that we are in a time of fundamental paradigm shift.  Many seem to be persuaded that the end of the recession will mean things getting “back to normal.”  Maybe the pace of home sales will stabilize to normal.  But I think the overall economy will never again rest in the same sockets.  This crisis came about because the people supposedly in the leadership failed to understand that paradigmatic change was already underway and if anything, made the mistake of trying to hold it back.

The questions related to how things will be different and what to do in order to take advantage of that are profound and not easily understood.  I don’t think that arguments over pre-existing terminologies do anything to help. 

This revolution is gunless.  There are no targets anywhere or they are everywhere all at once.  It is an evolutionary surge.

We are going through crisis on several levels.  The coming decades will see large scale, planetwide environmental issues turn into crisis episodes.  We will see serious problems with the supply of gas and oil because it is one resource that we will begin to run out of.  But there will be other resource shortage issues as well, as predicted by the 1973 book, Limits to Growth, that people have been castigating all this time. 

Will the entire human population survive into the 22nd century?  Probably not without very profound changes in the way we govern ourselves and do business.  We as a species can possibly be said to have developed the internet as a mechanism for putting our best minds online in a species-wide deliberation.  Perhaps in the next fifty years we will begin to see this.  Or not.

It could be that this will only kick in when there is a need to recover from a catastrophe of staggering proportions.  One hopes not, however.  One thing I fear though, is that those out in the woods harping on revolution, may be like the horses that don’t know what an earthquake is but are bucking and whinnying because they know something is coming.  Hopefully, the changes that are coming can be handled through science and through intelligent deliberation. Hopefully.

Report this

By StuartH, July 24, 2009 at 7:41 am Link to this comment

Ozark:

In the context of the discussion thread started by the article and video above, I want to respond, carefully to your last comment.  I feel it is important on the one hand, to acknowledge your feeling of prejudice from others while offering some comment on why you might be encountering negative attitudes about Christianity, even to the point where you characterize them as accusations of “fascism.”  Also that you think college professors are too leftist.

I think, from what I can tell about your writing, you are in the habit of guarding your thoughts and being vague, possibly out of fear of criticism.  This to me, as a writer who has been constructing narratives for a long time, is a stage of learning that shows more need for thought in relation to purpose.  That is always a challenge.  But writing isn’t merely about words.  You become more and more powerful as a writer, even in a blog context, as you are more and more able to think critically, especially from the Other’s standpoint.  This is of course, a lifelong pursuit.  Nobody really ever reaches the ideal.  I would encourage you to have more courage of your convictions, as well as to really put them through serious examination.

I went to a college funded by the Southern Baptist convention.  I wound up being very alienated and deciding over the years, especially after I began to encounter the Moral Majority element in politics, to quit calling myself a Christian.  What terminology to use as an alternative, I haven’t really figured out.

I have friends of all religious persuasions, including Buddhists, Muslims and Native American Church or traditional Indian lifeway adherents.  I think that the wiser people I know see God as respect for everyone and all things.  I have read a lot of history in order to try and understand what is going on and have seen a lot of violence in the European past as Christianity became, prior to the Middle Ages, a tool of controlling populations and turning free indigenous Celts into soldiers and poor people who were transported to America so that village subsistence agriculture could be enlarged in scale for more profit.

The use of “demonization” to cause individuals or groups to be ostracized, the burning of women at the stake for being herbal healers, the torture of people who wouldn’t go along with religion as enforcer of the state, these things still resonate more than we would like to admit. Now, “demonizing” only needs the merest allusion in order to be effective.  Same song, new verse.

Missionaries tend to be the same people they were hundreds of years ago.  The most aggressive proselytizers are not courteous at all.  They assume that one cannot know the truth because they do and they want to foist in on others whatever it takes.  That isn’t fascism.  But, as a state religion with the power to enforce adherence, it could be tyrannical.  There are some who would not be shy about using power in such a way.  Most Christians do not lust for this, but they aren’t the ones creating the issue.

So, perhaps knowing why people are upset with evangelizing Christians could be of use.  I think the Sermon on the Mount is valid.  I don’t think using the Book of Revelations is, especially not as an intimidation.  Nor should Christianity be about the Old Testament parts that are harsh and military.

As to college professors who seem lefty, I tend to think that education makes people more liberal seeming.  Generally I see this as the result of lots of study.  I encounter conservatives a lot of times as people who don’t have much knowledge of things and yet arrogantly insist others are wrong.  I also know conservatives who are flexible and capable, but they aren’t as likely to be heard from these days.  Whether left or right, it is the noisy obnoxious ones who get your attention.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, July 24, 2009 at 7:03 am Link to this comment

I see the cacophony and hysteria continues…but it is to be expected from the obsessive. It is encouraging to see a few introspective voices on TD.  One thing at a time.

hark has a sober and correct view in my opinion of the state of world wealth and power.  He says, It’s just how capitalism works, if left to itself, if unmanaged.  It doesn’t have to be this way, but it has corrupted our government, which is now nothing but an enabler, powerless or unwilling to stop it.

Either trade, industry and production are controlled by the private sector or is controlled by the government.  That is the simple difference between mercantile capitalism and socialism.  America began in the 18th century as capitalist having inherited its savor for private ownership from its European progenitors.  The smell of money is pungent and socialism, the final and extreme stage being communism, was also born in the 18th century and didn’t have a chance with the new Americans because of a class struggle of a different sort, and it doesn’t have a chance now.  Once the basis of its economy developed and commerce began, there was not much that would deter private ownership and operation of a burgeoning new country.  Capitalism is in American roots.  It is a mindset.  Prosperity was the icon and it rules today.  Dreams of egalitarian utopia are just that, a Poseidon dream.  It doesn’t matter that capitalism convenes power and wealth in the few who can accumulate it better than others and, because of that, those few control nearly every aspect of its society.  It is an either-or situation.  Socialism is of at least two species: social democracy and libertarian socialism.  Neither one of these will work in the US because of its wide diversity of population in ethnicity and beliefs mostly about work ethic, but also religion, ideas of personal freedom, and image of a future. 

hark’s idea of unmanaged capitalism is a degree off.  It does have to be that way.  Regardless of capitalist theory, free-market capitalism is the model and is based on free choice for consumers and producers who respond to the demand.  Governments are corrupt because of the ethos of the people who are in power.  That in its essence cannot be changed unless principles are taught generically within the family and social structure, then and only then can the economic culture change.  Fairness, economical moral principles, and integrity has to be taught so that it is indelible within the mind.  This is glacially generational and can only happen as a result of pervasive indoctrination.

Wide-spread rational planning for social consumption by the state is a chimera in this country and not much time ought to be wasted on pursuing broadly critical socialistic management.  Simply said, it will not happen and those who insist are like babies kicking their feet in the air.  The tug-of-economic-war is between the forces of communistic-socialism and laissez-faire.  We have to settle for a legislative argument. Taxing the wealthy for health reform is a way, but boneless, of inserting socialism into the solid capitalistic substructure. BTW: It is irrelevant which came first communism or nazism…nazism is a mentally aberrant attitude.

StuartH shows clear insight as well about American government non-involvement in “forced sterilization and abortion,” and why it would not be.  Holdren wrote his more or less Swiftian solution to overpopulation in the late 1970s and his projection has proved him correct.  In 1970 world population was 3.7 billion; today, the “practical reality” of the population of the world is more than 6.77 billion!  Do the math.  Has world resources increased?  Is hysteria justified?

Seems more true, however, that the argument against Obama’s health plan is obviously along Democratic/Republican party lines rather than racial and not at all on firm principles by either side.

Report this
OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, July 23, 2009 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment

Night Gaunt, I do not mean to ignore you. We will talk more. I will answer the main question you ask. I will also point out its prejudicial nature.

However I am squeezed by real life for two or three days. Hope to bbl.

Report this
OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, July 23, 2009 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment

StuartH said: The argument over fascism and communism and all that is hard for me to get very interested in.

I am glad for you, and I mean that. May I point out that if you were being called ‘fascist’ you might be a little more interested in arguing about what fascism really is.

It wasn’t that long ago that people who wanted social justice of any sort, especially civil rights, were discredited by merely being called communists.  This was not because they were, but because it worked.

Thats sad. But those very people have been tenured at universities for 30 years now. Odd that these very same people discredited Christians who spoke up for life by calling them fascists. Not because they were, but because it worked.

To actually debate means to gain mastery over the information basis, to then think clearly about what is meaningful, and then to articulate with clear and precise language so that others may be persuaded to a just conclusion and to hopefully then act on it.

Except when the Other has a prejudice. Especially if its a shared prejudice by the audience. The only hope in that situation is to be indirect, followed by a sudden stark remark or humorous reflection which throws light upon the prejudice. As long as the discussion goes on there is a chance of breaking through.

But your suggestion of being very clear and direct doesnt work. The prejudiced one simply ‘goes to the well’ immediately and it ends the argument, while the audience applauds him. Which result I have avoided thus far.

Yes, if we were in a town hall meeting trying to decide how the budget should be drawn up, clarity and then rational compromise is the name of the game. And I bow to you in that realm because i have no competency in that, but its obvious that you do. 

But clarity and compromise are not the correct response to prejudice.

Report this

By StuartH, July 23, 2009 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

Night Gaunt:

Moving a little closer to articulation that Thomas Paine would understand.

You know, the situation we are in is a bit like a Rorshack test, the famous ink blots that psychiatrists used to use.  You can see in it cause for despair, or cause for optimism, or maybe some of both. 

The corporate power that reigns through the use of money to control the mainstream media, and the corporate paradigm that many are intimidated into supporting, is truly a thing of staggering proportions and our world is, to a larger degree than we would like, controlled or influenced by it.

I was recently given to some degree of depression because I had finished a gig reading a lot of high school essays and social studies test questions from a couple of different states. 

The level of knowledge, ability to think critically -  and never mind English - is evidence of a crisis that is apparently hidden in plain sight.  If the Republic is founded on the principle of an enlightened public, then what happens when the public is not? 

You get the prospect of going back to a time when the public was illiterate and the ruling class was educated.  That is where the prospect of losing the American experiment to failure and moving towards Empire comes in.  But I think you have to be a pessimist to entirely think that our future was best described in movies like Mad Max, which describe a post acopalyptic setting back of the evolutionary clock. 

I have been reading these online posts for a little over a decade with the idea in mind of analyzing the level of what I call “political literacy.”  Generally what seems to me to be happening is that, while the educational system has been deteriorating over the decades, people who adopt the internet and use it fairly frequently are creating a renewed citizenship that has an interactive literacy.

In the long run, what will count is whether people move themselves towards being the enlightened public that the founders envisioned.  I think this is possible.  Look at all the outpouring of energy during the election in 2006 and last year.  The internet facilitated quite a lot of that. 

I agree with the sense that we are at a crossroads.  I don’t think pessimism is the only possible way to look at probably outcomes.  It may sound counter-intuitive to say so, but there is probably environmental catastrophe lurking up ahead in the coming decades.  This will provide a test.  My feeling is that the human evolutionary survival trait that will shape the future is that of our ability to collaboratively think our way out of true crisis circumstances.  I think we are practicing that capability right now.  We are in the midst of revolution,  not needing to look for one.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, July 23, 2009 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

“It was no accident that the Bush Administration was founded on abuse of language where truth was strictly a tactical concept and fuzzing and spinning were predominant to the point that they confused themselves. They expressed a zeitgeist, if you will, a paradigm of confused thinking abroad in the land.”JohnH

That was the entire main point of Eric Blair‘s “1984.” I know the difference between declaring I am clear and unobtrusive in my written speech, I have to prove it in what I say. [See Fox News for the example of “fair and balanced” as they say verse what they actually say.]

We already use pseudonyms here so being open about our beliefs should be easily done. Just not personal items, though I do from time to time give that out. The least thing I wish to be is speaking in code. I see and decipher that all the time from the CMSM. [Never forget the Corporate in the Main Stream Media, which is usually conservative and rabidly capitalist.] Their bottom line isn’t the truth but the $ they make for themselves.

To some being rude is to be open and above board, ‘telling it like it is.’ They confuse flouting social convention with truth telling. An unfortunate situation that I take on by not being that way. One can only show others how to act by acting in that way oneself.

What we need is a counter-revolution to the ills we see perpetrated to remove democracy, our republic, what freedoms we know we have, not to cause death, destruction and misery to others and to reign in capitalism and fundamentalisms of all kinds.

We are at a crossroads of our republic, very similar to many others that turned from being a republic to a dictatorship and empire. Only we let the oter part of our gov’t work as an empire overseas after conquering the rest of N. American to gain control “from sea to shining sea” to do it. Republics and empires do not mix well, eventually one must stop the other, we are finding the empire idea is winning over us at this time.

Report this

By John Hanks, July 23, 2009 at 8:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All totalitarians are sociopaths.  Sociopaths are Nazis.  They obtain their power as criminals through glorifying the state.  You’re right that the Nazis were post Communist.  Both movements were partially funded by rich American sociopaths.
The use of force and fraud and fight or flight are as old as man himself.  Most Republicans are malicious sociopaths suffering from paranoia and megalomania (They always go together.)

Report this

By StuartH, July 23, 2009 at 8:20 am Link to this comment

Night Gaunt, Ozark Micheal:

There is no reason that subjects like the Death Penalty for instance require muted articulation - or any other subject.  If you can think about it, you should be able to write about it.

The reason for this is a fad, a current style.  Having read a bunch of argument here, I think a key issue is clarity.  If you read work by Thomas Paine or Jefferson or any of the Founders, you see biting clarity.  They are still quotable over two hundred years later.  Clarity of thinking leads others, not only to be persuaded, but possibly to action.  The purpose of debate is to ultimately learn how to work with others in deciding on courses of action. 

One might think the declaration, “say what you mean,” would be easy.  If one really looks at it, there is a different principle.  Getting one’s brain in order is really deceptively difficult.  Writing can be a way of working that out.  Or not.

Our basic problem in this time, which by the way ties in to the lead article here, is that we have become a nation of people who prefer a role as consumers or as audience members to that of the citizen.  If you listen, you hear most people complain about the choices they see in terms of entertainment or what to buy.
They aren’t really debating.  They don’t know how.  Stop and think about that.
That is a terrible thing and something we should consider to a a prime issue.

To actually debate means to gain mastery over the information basis, to then think clearly about what is meaningful, and then to articulate with clear and precise language so that others may be persuaded to a just conclusion and to hopefully then act on it.

It was no accident that the Bush Administration was founded on abuse of language where truth was strictly a tactical concept and fuzzing and spinning were predominant to the point that they confused themselves. They expressed a zeitgeist, if you will, a paradigm of confused thinking abroad in the land.

Are we indeed the land of the free and the brave, or are we the land of conformists who cower lest they be clearly understood?  Do we faint at the prospect of someone actually noting what we really think and call for the spin doctor to cure us of this? How long can an America like this stand in history?

The argument over fascism and communism and all that is hard for me to get very interested in.  It wasn’t that long ago that people who wanted social justice of any sort, especially civil rights, were discredited by merely being called communists.  This was not because they were, but because it worked.

So, words lost meaning and became merely slapstick bats.  Or, more grimly, the echoes of burnings at the stake, the Inquisition’s torturers and the use of castigation and demonization to terrorize people into submission.

I think the Founders had it right.  Tyranny is the issue.  Call it a police state, call it whatever.  A strong man, or strong bureaucracy, or a strong military form of government that represses Bill of Rights sorts of freedoms in order to maintain a power base is a vestige of a long legacy in human history that the human race, as it evolves, will overcome.  At least that is the hope of social evolution that Enlightenment thinkers contemplated and which we, as their heirs, still struggle to define in practical terms. 

There needs to be order keeping for society to function, so those tensions between the security function and that which frees people; or between a concept of elite strategic capability and the ideal of consensus, is going to be the center of the problem of achieving a proper balance, no matter what.  It probably replicates the balance between right and left brain function at a meta level.  I think the internet and interactivity, with this little discussion as an example, represent the future potential of social evolution in only an embryonic form.  It could get quashed.  Or not.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, July 23, 2009 at 7:35 am Link to this comment

However acting like an animal doesn’t make one. I still treat animals humanely, don’t you? We don’t have that excuse. The predator is just doing what comes naturally to eat the prey, no morality involved unlike with human action. We can do immoral things, though my list would be slightly different than yours on that. But the basics are there like robbery, rape, torture and murder are all violations of a person. That I am against. Others are not so easily relegated to evil and bad things where we would probably differ. You might also call me a libertine along with being an Anarchist. I doubt if I have any real philosophical relation to Trotsky. I am against the death penalty, are you? A difficult and dangerous question I know, but I take risks.

You are still unknown to me, we would pass each other on the street or talk to each other and would be unaware that we are Ozark Michael & Night-gaunt. So what is with the paranoia? I guess you do put the Bible above the Bill of Rights which isn’t unexpected. You have many allies in this country who think it divine and natural. It is better not to say then say a lie isn’t it? However as long as you want that for yourself and not as a national Federal law then we have agreement.

The reason I am an Anarchist is because of the threat of a powerful few over the many and also the powerful many over the few. A conundrum and balancing act hard to make work.

John Hanks it is the people involved not so much the type of philosophy. [Though the philosophy as written by a Hitler or Stalin is different from what a Gandhi or Florence Nightingale would write and carry it out much differently.] Wouldn’t you say so John Hanks?

Report this
OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, July 22, 2009 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment

in other words, the so-called Communists leaders were actually Nazis

you are aware that Lenin and his gang were in power and perpetrating their crimes before there was a Nazi party. Nice try. 

There are conservatives who try to pull the same trick that you do. They say that Nazis are actually a type of Communist/Leftist.

But in fact if you go far enough to the left you are communist. far enough to the right and you are a Nazi.  both of those monsters have so much in common, that some say the political spectrum wraps around and the two extremes meet.

Report this

By John Hanks, July 22, 2009 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Communism is basically the belief that the workers should own and run all the farms and factories.  That’s it!  All the totalitarian stuff arose because Communism failed and various forms of National Socialism were substituted.  In other words, the so-called Communists leaders were actually Nazis, with the classic Nazi paranoid/megalomanic psychology.

Report this
OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, July 22, 2009 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

Well you caught me in an error, I should have looked into Trotsky’s past before including him. My error. I suppose it was because he turned against Stalin & Lenin who killed him in Mexico in 1940. Sympathy for the devil bites back

Your answer is artful and your honesty is disarming, so that was a good recovery. I point out two things: first, the tendency to refer to people of the opposing viewpoint as animals is a bit of a problem. It doesnt prove a bad soul but it is a danger sign.

Second, I think that as soon as the Communist theoretician/philosopher has a chance to put it into practice we see the same result as Lenin/Trotsky/Stalin. In other words, the only good communist is one who only dreams of it. 

I can live with idealists of any stripe. yes, there is something good that all idealists are after, I dont deny that.

Night Gaunt asks: Why don’t you check up on Barton he has a web site (can’t recall it right now) and you two should get along famously. Both of you look at history through the same Christian lens.

I did look Barton up when you mentioned it the first time. I never heard of him. Never read any of his books and dont need to. Perhaps I am similar to Barton… the way that you are similar to Trotsky. In both cases there are probably enough differences that it becomes a bit of a witchhunt, a type of are you now or have you ever been… do you have any association with…, (which is to say McCarthyism) and that is the line of questions that talk2action (and you) love to ask.

I have had to answer these questions many times before, with my academic and vocation/financial future at stake. You will undoubtably see that as evidence of my Dominionist tendency, instead of seeing it as a fault of people like you. So yes i am a little cagey while i tell the truth. Old habit.

The terribly unfair questions are asked by Leftists who lock themselves into a narrow prejudice. Give them a little power and nothing seems to restrain them. “All for the good cause,” must be what they think to themselves. One can only imagine what more power would do to them.

Maybe, just maybe, i can get you to snap out of it. Yes i know you are only a philosopher without any power. And now you know an awful lot about me too.

Report this

By KDelphi, July 22, 2009 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

Maybe I would be more prone to Dems if they stopped banning everyone from their websites who disagrees.

Its called censorship—its very un-American.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, July 22, 2009 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

Well you caught me in an error, I should have looked into Trotsky’s past before including him. My error. I suppose it was because he turned against Stalin & Lenin who killed him in Mexico in 1940. Sympathy for the devil bites back.

What questions haven’t I answered for you? Curious considering the amount you refuse and refused to again for specious reasons. I just want to be sure I’m getting it right. By being coy and cagey you veil yourself with innuendo which keeps you protected from criticism. Fine I shall only go with what I got and don’t criticize when I get it wrong because you didn’t specify.

Why don’t you check up on Barton he has a web site (can’t recall it right now) and you two should get along famously. Both of you look at history through the same Christian lens.

Have you read the TruthDig article on making our soldiers into Christian ones? It is part of the Dominionist plot against our republic. It is yours too you know even if you don’t believe in it.

Report this
OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, July 22, 2009 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

Night Gaunt said: To me Communism is what Lenin, Stalin, Mao and some others used as a form of state control. It had no connexion to Marx, Engels, Bakhunin, Goldman, Kropotkin and even Trotsky.

Trotsky. You couldnt be thinking of Lenin’s right hand man, Leon Trotsky? Because Leon Trotsky had an awful lot to do with the most brutal dictatorship of all time, which inflicted misery and mass death far surpassing any Dominionist you could imagine. When Trotsky spoke about treating people like “beasts” it may have seemed like a metaphor but it turned out not to be.

Hopefully you are referencing some obscure Trotsky.

Report this
OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, July 22, 2009 at 6:13 am Link to this comment

Night Gaunt says: You’ve already shown me you are a scholar of the David Barton school of Christian history so I am prepared

I dont even know who that is. I came up with this stuff all by myself. It is the culmination of many years of thought, although i lack some important perspective. Unlike StuartH, I have zero pratical political experience. Kudos to him.

So no, your prejudice is wrong again and you are not prepared. You just can’t help yourself, I guess.

Were you taught not answer direct questions directly, or did you acquire that skill on your own? However even so I see that you are not one for state/church separation within your veiled commentary.

People here are not going to be interested in my life story. I have hinted and provided more than enough info. It is good to read the reflections of StuartH and KDelphi, their personal details. I fouund it worthwhile. But this is a liberal and often atheist website so I do not expect the same patience to be shown to me.

I am trying to tell you, Night Gaunt, that i have already gone pretty far. Nothing is veiled. Work with what you have been given. I have been answering your questions but you are not answering mine

Report this

By KDelphi, July 21, 2009 at 11:35 pm Link to this comment

StuartH—Yuk@@@ I used to have 23 cats when I lived on a farm—all barn cats though…

I wish I had your faith in Obama…but that is not really a change for me. I just cant support Dems anymore.

I hope that I am wrong, I really do. But he seems awfully conservative—on military, tax policy, economic agaenda, health care, USA Patriot Act….if I were a moderate Dem, I would probably be happy. But, I think it will take more than an Obama agenda (yes, we have yet to see some of it) to fix the mess we have before us.

I am not trying to be argumentative, but, the continuation of these neo-liberal policies is killing people…I mean, really…the Af-Pak escalation…I could go on. I have.I just cannot be optimistic.

Good luck to you and all of us, my friend..

Report this

By StuartH, July 21, 2009 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi:

Akkkhh!  As I started typing here I stepped in some cat vomit neatly deposited right under my chair.  It immediately occurs to me that this whole subject brings out similar feelings of wishing it weren’t so. 

I think if I were 19 or 20 or so and was just back from Iraq I would not only share the feelings expressed in the video above, but would possible be trying to work out the right place to aim some kind of weapon - hopefully a Buck Rogers space laser. 

There are millions of targets for our frustration and they are all moving.  This is about what happens when almost 300 million people create an economy which necessitates decisionmaking that may be beyond anyone’s intelligence.

As I watch President Obama, the thing I am most amazed at is that he hasn’t so far done a “Buzz Aldrin” and decked some idiot.  I probably would have by now.
Instead he seems to be both very patient and aware of what all he has taken on.

If I am an optimist, it is because I have known quite few people like that whose purpose has stayed consistent for decades and who have actually succeeded in accomplishing truly difficult things.  Just not in a few months or years. 

But I can see how that is not what young people want to hear.

Report this

By KDelphi, July 21, 2009 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

StuartH—Points taken. I might add that I worked at a Viet Vet Ctr for awhile, so , while I dont excuse what some of these malitia groups are doing, particularly not those based on racial hatred, I know what it comes from . I urge them to channel their understandable rage in more constructive ways.

But, an angry, abused young man, who has been diagnosed with “personality disorder” to avoid paying benefits to him, that were promised ,is difficult to reason with…stop the wars and pay for health care for all who need it. Simplistic, I guess, but I just dont see any “non-spin” arguments against it.

The “deficit neutral” stuff really amazes me,(ie health care) when I think how we got into this deficit in the first place, via banks and excessive military, interferring in places we dont belong in ways that dont work…it just keeps me angry, but, torn in so many directions, I am afraid I am losing focus…anger will do that to you.

Report this

By StuartH, July 21, 2009 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi:

I think your points are well taken, now that I am better able to see what you mean.  The corporate problem is, I would say, about what you characterized it as. 

The essential problem, as you know, is that most people are afraid to think outside the box and corporations feed on this.  Security is so highly valued that people will trade in their hearts, minds and souls for it.  Conformity has become much more of a societal value than intellectual courage.  I would say this is the greatest reason why our politics seems constipated when important issues are on the table.  So many voters are.

Having lived on the Navajo Nation for some years kind of helps with the long perspective.  One of their observations is that it doesn’t do so much good for one kid to go off and get an education.  The entire community needs to rise for progress to be made.  That seems like wisdom about the truth of social evolution. 

It is true, if you aren’t angry, you probably aren’t paying attention.  But there is a need to continue the educational process.  It isn’t progress this month we are hoping for and working for, it is progress in terms of decades and generations.

So, I would say, stay angry, but don’t let it all paralyze you.  Someone with your life experience and wisdom is very needed.

Report this

By KDelphi, July 21, 2009 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

StuartH—I agree with almost everything you are saying, and perhaps I got away from the point of the thread—I am NOT defending these guys! I am a Socialist, fighting for a multiple party system—and eco-socialist , to be precise. I just ask the question, “what did people expect, when you send guys, during a depression off to fight a wqar for oil and Imperisoliams and they come home angry”.
I was a Social Worker for many years and have certainly been in the trenches. (Now I am in one myself and will never be middle class again despite hard work) When I get over feeling sorry for myself, I plan to get more involved again, but I just cant go with the Dems and their broken neo-liberal promises. I fought for Dems for almost half of my life—now I want something better. We need something better.

There is no inflexion in type, so I think our meanings get crossed. I dont do emoticons.

You sound like a good person—-we just disagree on how to get there and I just am totally anti-corporate. I wont explain why, but, I have experiences that led me to my conclusions, and many people have died over neo-liberal policies. The neo-liberal “cure” is often worse than the disease (no pun intended)

I am angry right now over the “dont add to the deficit” insurance industy reform—I wish theyd said that with the banks and the faux Stimulus plan…hell, I am angry all the time. But I am certainly not angry at any one race, I am angry at the system. I am so angry that I cannot support it at all anymore.

Report this

By StuartH, July 21, 2009 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi:

I have a lot of experience in practical politics.  I worked for some ten years to build a progressive coalition that melded minority interests in gaining access to decisionmaking at the local level, environmental groups concerned about developers paving everything over, conservative neighborhood groups concerned about rising taxes and utility rates, and others.  This was, as you can imagine, quite an exercise in listening to real people to find threads running through it all so that election campaigns could arise from this and win.  I moved from campaigning to citizen activism and leadership for the next ten years.  Now I am mulling over what I learned.  I take the trouble to put this out there because I notice that most people who comment don’t reveal where they get their conclusions from.

I am sensitive to the sense of burn out that comes from listening ad nauseum to the never ending political noise coming from all this.  I have felt this burn out and have taken time away from all of it.  It is a highly rational thing to do.

However, I think one should not mistake one’s own sense of having had too much of it, with a general sense that everyone should feel the same way at the same time.

Talk Radio tends to feed on this feeling and attempts to incite people to stay in this mood and even justifies an intensification of ultimate cynicism.  To an extent, the media reflects an interest in disempowering the public through promoting a paralysis through cynicism.  It works pretty well.  A lot of people are disempowered.

The article and video this thread started with reflects this trend.  Most people do not have time for deep reflection and therefore do not see this.  It is therefore, a potentially viable option to express frustration through the use of guns.

Politics, however, and active, responsible individual citizenship are the basis for the form of government we have.  If the Fourth Estate has been taken over by interests who want to hold us hostage, then we have to think through what appears to be going on to what actually is going on, and have the courage and stamina necessary to act on our roles as citizens.  We also have to realize that there is what I would call, “political literacy” that goes along with it.  This is what gives us our real power.  It is the ability to critically think through the propaganda and viral messages that we are bombarded with and seek the truth.  It is truly not easy. In fact, it is a long and frustrating process requiring a lot of patience and steel nerves.  I feel that it was 5-10 years after I got out of college that I was able to see past the education I had.  Largely, dealing with real people in a real local political context was my graduate school.  A lot of people prefer not to invest that much commitment to the learning curve and remain basically where they were when they graduated from high school.

If you really analyze it deeply, it is deeply frustrating, no question about it and there is no prospect that it will get better.  If anything, due to the complexity of contemporary issues, it will get way worse.  No revolution will change that.  i think what will govern the frustration quotient is the available human bandwidth.  That won’t change either.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, July 21, 2009 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

As usual your breezy analysis and light weight dissembling go a long way. Especially when you deflect and pose your own round about question based on my direct question? Were you taught not answer direct questions directly, or did you acquire that skill on your own? However even so I see that you are not one for state/church separation within your veiled commentary. If you aren’t explicit then I must dig for the implicit meanings. You’ve already shown me you are a scholar of the David Barton school of Christian history so I am prepared. You also have skill in the rhetorical and conversationalist areas of discourse. Good.

“What you are willing to overlook in yourself is the same thing you take a magnifying glass to when you see it in others. Some of the people you call “Dominionists” were really just ‘waxing metaphoric’, but that metaphor was enough for a scathing article in Talk2action. Enough to add them to your Dominionist Conspiracy scrapbook.”

I would say the same about you too in that area of what you overlook in yourself. But could you give one of those examples of metaphor you claim being used when it really is what they want to do? Do you agree with them in that area? You won’t say directly. You don’t want to reveal all of you positions on the Bible and what it means. Why?

Your reticence about direct questions to your Biblical beliefs I do find it suspicious since you should be comfortable in what they are and be ready, willing and able to promote them. But then they may hurt you attack on me and “Dominionism” in all of its forms disemboweling our republic right now if you agree with their take on it. To them the church can influence the state but the state can’t do the same to them.

Believe it or not I came to many of may conclusions about charity and helping the poor before I read the Bible and found many of its tenants good, bad and indifferent to our culture at large. Humanism is much better and without all the Wrath of God and Hell and irredeemable torture by the Loving Living God to mere misshapen mortals of ‘his’ own creation.

“We all know science is safe and good…” another straw man and done so poorly too. Science like anything else humans create are not neutral. So it is as good or bad as humans use it. Some things are just bad no matter how you try to use it like nuclear power. So don’t put that preconceived idea on me when you don’t believe it yourself and you don’t know that I accept such simplistic drivel. You underestimate me, I don’t do that to you do I?

You also never gave the passage and circumstances of you example of Joshuah saving a woman from death and using it in your posit about the death penalty. How about answering my question on that if you can?

Now I’m not talking over your head am I? I didn’t think these questions were hard or too personal are they? You attack my being suspicious when you dodge seemingly easy questions on my quest to learn more. I tell you my points of view on them.

Report this

By KDelphi, July 21, 2009 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

StuartH—I should make clear, I suppose, that I do not think myself “noble” because I dont support either party (I dont really have a choice—I’m sick of holding my nose) but I am disappointed that people like you—I think I saw where you were involved in some lawsuits, etc, hence having more power than people like me) continue to defend the status qou , Obama and the insurance companies.

It has nothign to do with “blacks” and I entirely resent the implication..

Report this

By KDelphi, July 21, 2009 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

StuartH—Yes, and some of us are so sick of both parties that, yes, we complain some, but going door to door for Democrats (moan) is so over for me.

Neither party represents me in the least. “If Dems just had a fillibuster proof majority?”—what crap you guys are full of!@

I saw a comercial (on a website) by Ron Paul on heatlh care calling it a “good”—jeez!! It most certainly is not, but, please, tell me how the Dem Plan treats it any differently?

The Kucinich plan, which does not treat it was a good, was voted against by most Dems

The difference with dems is, they do the same things, but “feel your pain”—I aint voting for that anymore. You can—you’ll be with a majority and that must feel good. Not exactly noble, though.

If you arent for the duopoly in the uS there is very little you can do. That doesnt mean I have to support one or other of the status quo

Report this
OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, July 21, 2009 at 11:16 am Link to this comment

Night Gaunt said: True, I was waxing metaphoric there concerning ‘beasts in human form’ when they really are human, just the worst type of R-Complex ‘reptiles’ concerning their behavior.

What you are willing to overlook in yourself is the same thing you take a magnifying glass to when you see it in others. Some of the people you call “Dominionists” were really just ‘waxing metaphoric’, but that metaphor was enough for a scathing article in Talk2action. Enough to add them to your Dominionist Conspiracy scrapbook.


Night Gaunt said: ‘Thou Shall Not Murder.’ Which the antidote to that is blood for blood or killing the killer is okay. Do you follow or negate that? Did Jesus/Joshua? Or was it that specific case and the woman wasn’t a murderer in the first place? Things aren’t as simple as you make them Ozark Michael. I will hold you to it.

Please do. There are some who have an exaggerated interpretation of the separation of Church and State, but by the very act of our discussion, we implicitly acknowledge that the Bible influences us and the government. As long as we can hold the door open for a biblical worldview to freely influence our lives and compete in the marketplace of ideas, and even influence the government, all is well. Is it simple? No, the particulars of life are always complicated. Even exegesis from the Bible can be complicated. 

But maybe your Leftist friends are right about separation of church and state. In which case I have a question: Your goal for the government to act with Charity is interesting… were you influenced in any degree directly or indirectly by the Bible to value “Charity” more than “Efficiency” or “Survival of the Fittest”? I suspect the answer is ‘yes’.

We all know that science is safe and good, but the Bible is dangerous and must not influence government. Since you might be tainted with a Biblical motive, you are hereby banished to the dark side of the wall of separation of church and state. No one can push their religious beliefs into the public sphere, so keep your faith to yourself, Bible boy.
 
eheheheh. Welcome to my world, Night Gaunt.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, July 20, 2009 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

“So if i wanted to do away with the death penalty because of what Jesus did for the woman who was about to be killed, that would be wrong?”Ozark Michael

That depends on if all elements of the Old Testament were negated, were they? If not then where is the selectivity? That means that the “Ten Commandments,” all three versions are negated? ‘Thou Shall Not Murder.’ Which the antidote to that is blood for blood or killing the killer is okay. Do you follow or negate that? Did Jesus/Joshua? Or was it that specific case and the woman wasn’t a murderer in the first place? Things aren’t as simple as you make them Ozark Michael. I will hold you to it.

”‘Beasts in human form’? If I ever said something like that you would say I was a ‘racist’ or a ‘fascist’, or a ‘Dominionist’ and that i was whipping up people to commit violent acts.”Ozark Michael

Actually, no I wouldn’t have since that in of itself does not make one a ‘racist,’ ‘fascist,’ nor ‘Dominionists’ in that context. True, I was waxing metaphoric there concerning ‘beasts in human form’ when they really are human, just the worst type of R-Complex ‘reptiles’ concerning their behavior. The Libertarians and those Repubicans and Democrats like them that believe that the most ruthless should survive and anyone else who can’t pay their way should get out of the way and die. If they want to that is. I am for charity and even better a way to have Capitalism and Socialism with as much autonomy as possible for the individual and no rights or organizations. One that does not lead us into debt as we are going too even faster than before. It looks grim for the Republic.

You and myself are fine unless I step on you foot or you write a law that makes some of what I do with myself or consenting adults illegal like certain sexual practices. You see fascists and their ilk, like Dominionists, would make sure those would be illegal and even give the death penalty. Or if their more moderate, just long stretches in those man made hell holes called prison. How does that sound to you?

Even the deer must defend itself against a lion if it is cornered. They will charge head down and horns arrayed to gore and gouge to escape. We shouldn’t have to do that but as the laws and their bodies are corrupted or turned we lose our legal chances. The USA with all of its faults must not fall. We must not have a shooting civil war. It would be the end of the country as we know it. We would reach levels #4 or #5 of social collapse. A very bad thing for us all, even the Dominionists who wish to rule us with an iron heel and strict Old Testament hand in the Calvanist mode.

Report this

By StuartH, July 20, 2009 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi, this thread began with the article and the video above.  It is a pretty good cross sectional slice into what I call the muscle headed reflex against the current administration, based in the warped Christianity that is somehow about guns.  Much of this energy comes from a deeply embedded hatred of blacks.

I think those who disparage Obama to the degree you do are not responding to policy arguments that would be there no matter who was in the White House at this time.  Rather it seems an indulgently emotional making the perfect the enemy of the good, which is a constant challenge in politics at any level. 

The stake are high.  The key problem with healthcare reform is that, since Nixon set the current system in motion, the insurance industry has embedded itself deeply into every aspect and has become incredibly powerful.  They are spending amounts of money that are hard to believe in an effort to bend Congress to their will.  Many votes in Congress are swayed by this money and by the seductions of these professionally charming and impressive people. 

No President of the United States actually has the power to overcome all this in one whack.  Obama is doing a great job of using his office with intelligence and skill in the face of all this. 

If you actually are interested in seeing healthcare reform take place I suggest you Google about this subject, locate the Blue Dog Democrats who are trying to undo reform, and phone their offices to help the effort to get them to back away from their opposition at this time.

You can be snarky all you want about the guy in the White House, as it is a great American pasttime, however, right now the battle is on.  So which side are you on? 

In my experience, people who like to complain about politics are least likely to actually involve themselves, since it puts one’s ego at stake.  It is about the most difficult thing one can be involved in, precisely because it involves other people who have different ways of thinking who must be dealt with for anything real to get done. 

One may find the fact that insurance companies are so powerful distasteful as most people do, but they exist and aren’t going away, so they must be dealt with.  That’s adult reality.

Report this
OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, July 20, 2009 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

StuartH said: I am very much in favor of Obama’s healthcare reform and do not see that judgements about this administration as “corrupt” are founded in anything but prejudice, probably because he is black.

And for you that ends the argument. A very simple world you live in.

For those who follow the news, there have been two cases of watchdog agency officials fired by Obama. One of them right in the middle of a investigating a major friend/donor to Obama, and the other was investigating some odd accounting at Amtrack, which is Joe Biden’s baby. Corruption is an equal opportunity employer, StuartH.

Night Gaunt said: Constantly making laws based on the Bible is wrong.

So if i wanted to do away with the death penalty because of what Jesus did for the woman who was about to be killed, that would be wrong?

Night Gaunt says: I wish our right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness included health care. To me a country that doesn’t is a barbaric place run by beasts in human form.

‘Beasts in human form’? If I ever said something like that you would say I was a ‘racist’ or a ‘fascist’, or a ‘Dominionist’ and that i was whipping up people to commit violent acts.

Respect must be from all sides. Would you go along with that Ozark Michael? Your answer will say much to me.

First, I have read what you write at talk2action and truthdig. It is going to be hard for you to keep gunning for ‘Dominionists’ and ‘Fascists’ while keeping the happy ‘Respect’ thing going. How will you spread fear and loathing of conservative Christians whilst in ‘Respect’ mode? If you start with ‘Respect’ then you will need more evidence and the complete story before you can condemn someone. But on the other hand, you wont find enough Dominionists’ that way. Dominionists is a great project in your life, it is like collecting stamps.

Second, it would be bad form on my part to say “Yes I will show Respect.” I would rather be known for what I do than the promises I make. Besides, I am rough sometimes.

Report this

By KDelphi, July 20, 2009 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

Saying that people who disagree with Obama’s policies is because he is black is nonsense (for most) and is belied by the fact that he was voted in by a majority of the population.

He doesnt give a damn about Af Ams either. All he cares about is the rich, like himself. He isnt “taking on” anything, except insurance industry money…if he “has balls” he had better drop them down, cause he’s not doing shit now.

Brains are useless without heart. People says he’s “cool”—more like cold! He is just like every other neo-liberal Democrat. I dont vote for those anymore.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, July 20, 2009 at 10:12 am Link to this comment

“Your assumptions say much about your suspicious nature, and your readiness to see evil in conservative Christians. It is a type of prejudice.

I was up front about it and it was you who didn’t answer a simple question. Who is the suspicious one here? I only became so when you refused to on specious reasons. As for being able to “see evil in conservative Christians” I know them by their works. They can’t keep their mind and hands out of my and many others pants, skirts and bedrooms. Constantly making laws based on the Bible is wrong. Censorship of items that don’t fit their Biblical Mandates is wrong. Me? As long as no one oppresses anyone else directly with their own way of doing things then I am happy. Respect must be from all sides. Would you go along with that Ozark Michael? Your answer will say much to me.

As for Shay‘s Rebellion it was one of several, later the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794 showed that certain central elements weren’t addressed after the coup had taken place. Yes a coup. I am one of those that does not like Federalism. We see where it has led us over these 233 years.

They could have revised the Articles and even set up a temporary way of paying the debt off without sacrificing liberty and creating a standing army under the President of the Congress. But the Federalists among them like Hamilton and John Jay had other plans for the nascent Republic. It was federal troops under Washington that put down the whiskey makers for protesting a tax on their wares. Remember that MarthaA and don’t forget all of those would be Daniel Shays and their militias all over the place wanting their rebellions too in our present time. Bad economic times and climate change can produce violence and dictatorship.

I wish our right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness included health care. To me a country that doesn’t is a barbaric place run by beasts in human form. Live or die they don’t care as long as you pay to play in the HMOs and PPOs. To me only a country that has matured as a people would think that health care is just a much a right as fire fighting and policing. I just wish Obama was for it. He isn’t. What it is is a version of Massachusetts care which is terrible indeed. Like in Texas where you must have car insurance by law. However what isn’t by law is that the insurance companies must offer very low cost simple coverage. So it is the fascist way of doing things. Gov’t helps insurance co. by oppressing its citizens to get insurance whether they can pay for it or not!

Report this

By StuartH, July 19, 2009 at 11:06 pm Link to this comment

I have fought some actual battles in the local political environment, and with a lot of lawyers to boot, over the Bill of Rights (particularly the First Amendment) and from this have gained a practical sense of government.  The Bill of Rights is a work of incredible genius and a great spirit of social justice.  It is a rare and valuable thing in this world to the point of deserving real awe - as well as lifelong meditation as to how this can be practical in everyday terms.

I am very much in favor of Obama’s healthcare reform and do not see that judgements about this administration as “corrupt” are founded in anything but prejudice, probably because he is black.  Face it: this is true for an awful lot of people who like to say outrageous things but don’t have the intellectual honesty to delve into what is real and true, nor the patience to face it. It is simply careless and lazy.

Healthcare reform, which by the way, has few if any Bill of Rights impacts, is absolutely essential.  The Nixon administration elected to set HMOs and insurance companies up as the governing powers in the health care field.  A laissez faire approach to regulating the private sector was really bullshit.  This was about setting up firewalls behind which people who have a lot of DNA in common with pirates are helping themselves to a lot of booty, using patient care as cash cows.  This has, over the past forty years grown to such a level that it threatens to cause a crippling economic blow to our society.  The Bush Administration certainly had no sense of there being a problem and would not have had any notion of what to do.  Hear no Evil, See no Evil.

The question is not only how do we get out from under this pending disaster, which has been affecting a lot of people for years, but how do we move towards a better system that won’t be a reinvention of the same problem.

At the center is hugely over inflated costs that the Mafia would admire and which are choking it all to death.  How can you stop this cost spiral?

The only way is to look at the whole, overall system and how interlocking interests might control costs if the money needed to cover necessities could be used in bargaining that might really leverage against the forces at work in raising those costs. 

What the American people are going to have to do is to invent a new system that will address the real dynamic issues. 

This is an example of an issue that cannot be addressed by muscle headed approaches like name calling and looking for somebody to shoot.  The best minds in the country are going to be challenged to the limit in addressing the “rocket science” of understanding what the true nature of the problems inside the system are and the best way to crack these problems open and apply the right solutions. 

I am proud of Obama for having the balls to take this on.  He also has the brains to understand that this will not be easy, and may take a great deal of pushing on his part and a lot of commitment to a fight that may seem impossible to win as the true contradictions at the heart of all this become more clear to more people.

I think the founding fathers would identify with how that feels.  I think we all need to be tough and move forward and not go wimpy.

Report this
OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, July 19, 2009 at 9:22 pm Link to this comment

@ MarthaA: Thank you for the history. Does nationalizing healthcare go against the Bill of Rights? i may be very much against Obama’s healthcare policy, and I see that his administration is going to be corrupt, but I can’t say that my reason has anything to do with Constitutional law. I dont understand the relation to Shays at all.

@StuartH, KDelphi, and Ben Carruth: your contributions are appreciated, although on my side there has been no time for questions or answers. I have written almost exclusively to Night Gaunt. I picked a fight with him and he has been a good sport, so he deserves full and undivided.

Peace.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, July 19, 2009 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael (cont.),

Delaware became the first state to ratify the new Constitution on Dec. 7, 1787; New Hampshire became the ninth on June 21, 1788, followed soon by New York and Virginia. North Carolina and Rhode Island refused until a bill of rights was added during the first administration of George Washington.

Our Bill of Rights was modeled after the Virginia Declaration of Rights crafted by George Mason. James Madison led the new Congress in proposing 12 amendments, ten of which became our Bill of Rights, the other two were not adopted. At last, we had a contract with America.

Just after the convention in Philadelphia, Ben Franklin was asked by an observer whether we now had a republic or a monarchy. Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

http://tucsoncitizen.com/wryheat/tag/shays-rebellion/

Shay’s Rebellion started the whole thing.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, July 19, 2009 at 8:43 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael (cont.),

Madison was a “Nationalist”, a supporter of a strong central government, but not as strong as envisioned by Alexander Hamilton. Madison wound up mediating between Hamilton and the strong states rights position such as that held by Thomas Jefferson. Although many of Madison’s specific proposals for the new constitution were not adopted, he did provide the philosophical basis which eventually carried the convention. Madison believed that government should be instituted to protect property, property in the broad sense. He was concerned about government power. He wrote “You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.” The government must be powerful enough to govern effectively, but not so powerful as to interfere with the legitimate liberties of the people. Madison envisioned a “national principle” wherein the government would act upon people directly rather than through the states. He promoted a “separation of powers” that would provide checks and balances within the government so that no one branch could, theoretically, gain too much power.

We all know how this story turns out, but how it got to the conclusion it did is a fascinating story. We owe James Madison for this knowledge because he is the only one who kept complete notes. Throughout that long summer, the delegates debated each point, came to conclusions, revisited and revised those conclusions, made and broke alliances and deals.

One of these deals makes an interesting sidelight. The original charters of many states had their territories running all the way to the Mississippi River. Many states ceded their western territories to the national government. But of vital interest was how these lands would be carved up into new states and how these states would be admitted to the union, because new states could upset the balance of power. As it happened, the Continental Congress was meeting in New York at the same time as the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. In New York, Congress was considering the Northwest Ordinance which would determine how states carved from the Northwest Territory would be admitted to the union. In Philadelphia, delegates were debating how black slaves would be counted for the purposes of taxation of their owners, and how they would be counted for purposes of a state’s representation in the new Congress. Three southern delegates disappeared from Philadelphia for several days. When they returned, it was reported that southern states agreed that new states carved out of the Northwest Territory would be admitted as “free” states. In Philadelphia, the delegates made a concession favorable to southern states on the questions mentioned.

Finally it was done. On September 17th, the delegates read through the new Constitution one last time and 40 of the 55 delegates affixed their signatures. When ratified by nine states, it would become law of the land. Now all they had to do was sell it to the states.

And they forgot a bill of rights! Most delegates thought a bill of rights was unnecessary because state constitutions contained such safeguards. But it was this issue that almost sank the Constitution; citizens of the states considered a bill of rights of paramount importance.

To help sell the new constitution, two New York lawyers, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay (later the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court), and a Virginia scholar and politician, James Madison, wrote a series of essays which became known as the Federalist Papers. These essays endeavored to justify the decision at Philadelphia and provide a primer to those who would debate ratification in the several states.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, July 19, 2009 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael (cont.),

The administration right now has no problem with passing trillions of dollars in debt along to the next generation - are you for this? Is this fair to our children and their children? Bring out the Daniel Shays in yourself - make a stand. Please get involved and make your voice The administration right now has no problem with passing trillions of heard. Stand up for the principles of what is right and just. Stand up for what Daniel Shays stood for.  Stand up for yourself.

http://www.americansfortheconstitution.com/history-lessons/daniel-shays-rebellion-the-start-of-it-all

http://www.AmericansForTheConstitution.com

By 1787, just four years after the conclusion of the War for Independence, the American states and their fledgling union were in trouble. The British still menaced from their lair in Canada; Spain was encroaching on the southwest and threatened to prohibit use of the Mississippi River for trade. American states were blocked from lucrative markets in the British-controlled West Indies. Individual states set up their own tariffs and treaties. The union under the Articles of Confederation was failing because the federal government had no power to enforce its laws. But the chief problem was money. The only hard currency was foreign, and it was scarce.

Both the national government and individual states had outstanding IOUs for expenses accrued during the war. Individual states issued paper money which soon became devalued. Many people were thrown into debtors prison because they didn’t have the hard currency to pay taxes and other expenses. Things came to a head when Massachusetts imposed a harsh tax to pay its debts. People were hard pressed to pay these taxes. Bands of farmers under the leadership of Daniel Shays closed courts, prohibited sheriffs from collecting taxes, and, when the Massachusetts militia came after them, attacked the arsenal at Springfield. Shays’ insurgents lost that battle, but later gained much through more lawful methods. The incident, however, had a profound effect on people and the nation. As a result, the Continental Congress called for a constitutional convention to convene in Philadelphia on May 14th.

Fifty-five delegates from 12 of the 13 states met during that sultry summer of 1787. (Rhode Island refused to participate.) Most delegates were veterans of the revolution, members of state legislatures or the Continental Congress. Most were wealthy businessmen, lawyers, judges or politicians, who had considerable experience in writing laws and constitutions within their own states. Most were well educated in the classics at colleges or through self-study, but there were some scoundrels as well.

Small states were fearful they would not have adequate representation in a new government. Large states were resentful that under the Articles of Confederation, each state had just one vote, a situation which was unfair to the population of big states. Some wanted a very strong central government; while others fought passionately for states’ rights. Western interests were at odds with the eastern establishment; rural interests competed with the large population centers; and the North and South were divided over both business and slavery. Given these contrary views, it is remarkable that anything was accomplished in Philadelphia, and several times the convention almost failed. But the delegates had an overriding common concern, the absolute necessity “to form a more perfect union,” and James Madison of Virginia had a plan.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, July 19, 2009 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael,

Daniel Shay’s Rebellion brought the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

SHAYS’ REBELLION: AMERICA’S FIRST CIVIL WAR examines a significant but often overlooked event in American history, an uprising that almost destroyed our young country but in the process led the way to the creation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

http://www.arp.tv/production.html?production=shays

There comes a point when the people just decide that enough is enough and this point may be coming soon for the American people. This makes me think back to the great Daniel Shays.  Back during the Revolutionary War, the farmers of New England participated in the victory by America - yet when it came time to be paid for their service - the government turned a cold shoulder.

It was Daniel Shays who stood up to this injustice. He took charge of a group and led a charge on a Federal arsenal in Springfield, Massachusetts in January 1787. In response to this revolution, Federal troops under Revolutionary War General Benjamin Lincoln came from Boston to defend the British stronghold.

During the short battle four men were killed and 20 wounded - all for what? - For the principles these men stood for.  They knew what was right and what the government should have done. But when the government did not act in these people’s best interest - rather than just letting it happen - these revolutionaries - headed by Daniel Shays made a stand. They stood for what they believed in.  They stood for what was right.

After this confrontation, it was soon realized that the national government under the Articles of Confederation was powerless to raise money to pay back any debt or to even pay back the soldiers for their service because each law that was to be passed had to be approved by every state - just one state saying “No” meant that the bill was defeated.

Therefore out of all of this - out of the lives that were lost in Springfield, Massachusetts - came the idea and the notion that a stronger Federal government was needed. And so came the birth of America and it’s Constitution - Later, in 1787 the Constitution became a reality.

You can thank the forming of a right and just government on this man Daniel Shays, who stood up for something that he believed in. This man did not just sit back and say “Oh well, there’s nothing we can do” - no - this man took action. And action is what is needed in America right now. Not the kind of spending action that the government wants but the action of the American people - to speak up and make their voices heard loud and clear.

Report this

By John Hanks, July 19, 2009 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As far as anybody really knows, Jesus was a composite put together at the council of Nicea (400 years after his time).  He is like Betty Crocker without her consistency.  The composite nature of Jesus is clear when you compare the four gospels.  As time went on, Christianity degenerated into a classic protection racket where a divine Jesus would protect you from hell.

Report this
OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, July 19, 2009 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

Night Gaunt says: I know why you won’t answer my question about what rules here in the USA, or should. The Bill of Rights or the Bible? Which should rule here Ozark Michael? Your refusal tells me more than the other things you do talk about.

Your assumptions say much about your suspicious nature, and your readiness to see evil in conservative Christians. It is a type of prejudice.

I was answering your questions. Scroll back a little. But I will spell it out in detail if you insist.

A God fearing people demanded a Bill of Rights or they wouldnt sign on to the Constitution. The Bill of Rights is the agreement… (well really its the necessary condition) ...for Americans to support the federal government. The Constitution was not enough and would never have been accepted alone. The people needed protection from the government on many levels, including free speech, including religion.

Knowing this, why would any American citizen, particularly a conservative, especially a Christian, want to remove the Bill of Rights? I have lived a long time and met a lot of people. I never heard any Christian wish to remove it. No one in my whole life! And i have met more people in a year than some people do in their lives.

Oh, but i am sure you can find the one in a million whacko somewhere. But its not real life, its ‘Truthdig’ or ‘Tank2action’ or ‘YouTube’ fuss and bother. It excites your prejudice so you seek it out, and have done so since 1990. 

You ask me, ‘what rules?’ OK, i answer you directly.

In my life Christ rules. The Bill of Rights doesnt save, guide or improve me. Every day at least once i think of what Christ would want from me in the particular situation. Rarely does the Bill of Rights come to mind.

So the Bill of Rights does not ‘rule’ me.  A God fearing people insisted on a Bill of Rights or they would not sign on to the Constitution. Those people had a Christian, Biblical understanding of God. They were far more fundamentalist than we are today.

Those of you who trumpet the ‘fundamentalism = fascism line should give this some thought:  The most fundamentalist Biblical world view in a nation that the world had ever seen ... is the ground from which our Bill of Rights arose.

Report this

By KDelphi, July 19, 2009 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment

Ozark—Most on the “left” do not defend “communism” (whatever that is). Socialists do not defend Cold War Communism (it usually only lasts a couple of weeks in any one country anyway).

StuartH—With deference to how dangerous these people could be, (since Wall St decided to send them to fight for their money)the muscle headed troops were not the people that got this country where it is. They have only superficial power.

It took intellectuals in bow-ties to really bring the country down.

The few that these angry right wingers will shoot or blow up will be tiny compared the the number who will starve because of the lies of Wall St and the dirty wars fought for their money.

As I said before, they are just misidentifying the enemy.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, July 19, 2009 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

Sorry the article here is “Turning Soldiers Into Crusaders.” Haste makes more errors. Though they may want to take a Turing test!

Report this

By John Hanks, July 19, 2009 at 11:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I prefer to see the distinction in terms of means.  However, I can’t disagree much with what you said.  I think it’s easier to think in terms of force (Nazis) and fraud (Fascists).  They are best at fraud through the media and word of mouth.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, July 19, 2009 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

John Hanks,

Fascism is strictly CORPORATIONS authoritatively controlling government using a RELIGIOUS facade—nothing more, nothing less.

As long as people have Left and Right sides to their bodies, there will be a Right and Left in government.  Even the Right and Left sides of a person’s body are not the exact same, but the whole is reflected.  The body will not function without the Left side and neither will the government.  When the Right reflects both sides as ONE without the Left—the left is diminished, but will always exist, unseen in a diminished hidden form, away from sight, in prisons, etc.

Nazism was the German form of FASCISM that used authoritarian CORPORATE governance with a RELIGIOUS FACE.

Authoritarian Corporate Fascism always presents with a religious face.  Corporate Nazi fascism used the Catholic religion, while authoritarian corporate fascism in the United States is using the Evangelical religion.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, July 18, 2009 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

June 26, 2009 “Turing Soldiers Into Crusaders.”

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, July 18, 2009 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

Look up a recent TruthDig article about our soldiers being prosciletized in their barracks and at the train fields right here. Look up http://www.militaryfreedomfoundation.org/ to see just one of the places where they are minting Christian soldiers on the taxpayer dime. It is just one of the areas they are working. Not the colorful ones you are thinking of like the Klan, I am talking about the quiet grey ones in our institutions doing their dirty work. It is real and it is very deep. I was thinking of “The Handmaid’s Tale” both book and movie by Margaret Atwood. She used her research in the 1980’s as the premise. I have been doing my own since 1990 and it looks like we could easily get a version of it for real. We have never been closer.

Report this

By John Hanks, July 18, 2009 at 8:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think the terms “left” and “right” are still meaningful generalizations.  They reflect the real differences between those who defend stolen privilege and those who do not.  I see Fascism as for those who use propaganda and lies.  Nazism as for those those who use muscle (law, military, police, firings, etc).  They both serve force and fraud which is what organized crime is all about.

Report this

By StuartH, July 18, 2009 at 7:40 am Link to this comment

“Maybe what we will get is a Second Reformation right here, an armed 2nd Great Awakening where the Bible will be plenary law backed by all the power of the state as church and corporation.?”  -Night Gaunt

Not a chance unless you have watched Mad Max and other movies like that over and over again and are therefore convinced the future accords with such a scenario. 

People can only believe in such scenarios through ignorance of reality outside of video games, movie scripts or comic books.  What is striking about what Chris Hedges work has shown, is that being completely out of it has not stopped a lot of people from going off and getting very riled up over the prospect of some kind of revolution or reformation. 

That’s because reality itself causes them anxiety and they think revolution is a way to have a reality that doesn’t cause them anxiety.

The truth is that the true nature of the problems we face as humans at this time in history causes us all anxiety.  Are we mature enough to face this honestly or do we prefer our little dreamworlds?

What has incited all this at this time is the underlying energy of racism that has been used as a way to fire the boilers of evangelical Christians and all the armchair commandos who get watch endless crime shows on TV and revel in vicarious vengeance against the most insane wackjob aspects that writers, struggling to outdo each other, can come up with.  It is a form of masturbation in which one’s adrenaline is pumped up through self righteousness.

This whole effort to build a national politics around crass exploitation, which people like Karl Rove, Ralph Reed, and the Moral Majority people excelled at, has failed.  It has an inherent weakness:  It can only work if there is specifically no critical thinking about the contradictions allowed. 

Now what has happened is that Rove, et al have retired into punditry so they are playing with fire by saying a bunch of stuff that they only partly believe. The only problem is that the core of their support base is taking this in with full fervor, since they have been indoctrinated against critical thinking. 

The danger here is that some of the more violence prone are somewhat likely to act on this.  We have to reflect on where people like Lee Harvey Oswald or TImothy McVeigh came from.
The environment around the current “revolutionaries” isn’t much different.  Their real frustration is that winning elections and policy debates takes more critical thinking and intellectual skill than they have patience for and if they feel they can never win on those grounds, maybe pulling triggers is more their style, never mind real consequences.  This fantasy is all about the image in the mirror, the camouflage, the tough look, the gun.

A second reformation?  More likely a splintering in which Christians who really believe in the Sermon on the Mount and are not Revelations-obsessed or Old Testament revisionists walk away from Christianity entirely into Buddhism or a rediscovery of Druid values or something else unless Christianity returns to its senses. Gun toting Bible thumpers are a huge turn off for most people. No difference between them and gun toting Koran thumpers.  Fools with guns are fools with guns, no matter what religious justification they choose to adopt.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, July 17, 2009 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

I know why you won’t answer my question about what rules here in the USA, or should. The Bill of Rights or the Bible? Which should rule here Ozark Michael? Your refusal tells me more than the other things you do talk about. I showed you mine, lets see yours. I can only go by what you say and what you refuse to talk about. The same as anyone else.

To me Communism is what Lenin, Stalin, Mao and some others used as a form of state control. It had no connexion to Marx, Engels, Bakhunin, Goldman, Kropotkin and even Trotsky. Cutting out the Church (Marx never said to) and taking over the corporation as central controlling bodies. The state replace the church as the source of leadership. A secular version of the God-King system of old.  I am against all of that even if it could save the human race. It wouldn’t be worth it to anyone. How about you Ozark Michael?

Maybe what we will get is a Second Reformation right here, an armed 2nd Great Awakening where the Bible will be plenary law backed by all the power of the state as church and corporation.?

Report this

By StuartH, July 17, 2009 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

The more I read comments from people who profess to be on the right, the more I feel like defending the left, even though I think such distinctions are nearly useless.

Even more useless though, are the generalizations repeated by people who think they are qualified to make them because they have often heard and therefore believe right wing memes.

There are some people who, largely because they are academically inclined, will identify at least somewhat with Marxist thinking about economics and society.  Having been involved in a lot of progressive grassroots politics, however, it is my considered observation (with some two decades of experience with real people) that most people are pragmatically oriented and not bookworms. 

The right uses the term “left” more than anyone else because there is a habit in conservative discourse to look for terms that supposedly disparage disagreements rather than acknowledge any intellectual validity to them.  What you hear from most people professing to be conservative advocates these days is a knee-jerk prejudice against the ideas of others, simply because they are the ideas of others. 

The article above, with the video about the muscle headed Christian militants, demonstrates this pretty well.  We need a revolution, according to these people, because we can’t stand the ideas of others, and especially if they are associated with minorities. Life has become too fast and complex so we need to get back to some prior “ideal” even though it never existed.

Frankly, we need to get past this kind of discourse a lot of people are stuck in, or we will become a third world nation full of people who look like they came out of the movie Deliverance. Education is being dumbed down, as it has been for a long time now, because of this tendency to disparage ideas because the whole concept of a “liberal” education is somehow anathema to conservatives. (That isn’t actually conservative in the Edmund Burke sense.)

Purposely muddying distinctions and accepting careless ignorantisms as gospel should can not be a basis for creating a superior political argument.  You can’t shoot sophisticated issues that probably require carefully applied scientific thinking in order for pragmatic progress to be found.

Maybe the problem is that this requires true mental discipline and the patience to embrace complexity.

Report this
OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, July 17, 2009 at 7:18 am Link to this comment

I said: Night Gaunt, you might say that ecology or overpopulation is a good cause to go “fascist” for.

Night Gaunt responds: Why is it in quotes if you believe it? Don’t you understand how to use them?

I am trained in the sciences, so I am mostly self taught about politics and history. But I know enough about the political spectrum to recognize that Holdren’s views are not Rightist Fascism but Leftist Communism. My problem is that the term Communism does not have the same sting as Fascism when I am talking with Leftists here at Truthdig. So I put fascism in quotes because in fact i know too well that the term is not correct, but that it has a sharp edge so I use it anyway. The quotes show that my conscience bothers me about the imprecision. So yes I do know. I know more than you think.

To a Leftist the term ‘Communism’ connotes a nice utopian vision which is only tainted by unfortunate recourse to draconian methods. There is a tendency on the Left to excuse these methods, or at best to recount the lofty goals of these methods. Which anyone can read the posts by Leftists here and see right before their own eyes.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, July 16, 2009 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

Well OzarkMichael you certainly have decided that I am a “fascist” haven’t you? Why is it in quotes if you believe it? Don’t you understand how to use them? I have not defended him at all. But it is hard to reason with an unreasoning person like yourself. You deny that overpopulation is a problem even as 4 billion people live very poor lives and the other 2 billion live beyond their means off of them. If you are blind I cannot make you see. That you must be willing to see and work to do it yourself.

The ‘main stream’ media as you call them are corporate and conservative but above all else are out for a buck. Mammon first then everything else is their way. It isn’t mine.

We will have to see how they each work out won’t we? Thanks for the link.

Report this

By StuartH, July 16, 2009 at 11:47 am Link to this comment

Having read the Holdren citation, my reaction is that Christian fundamentalists have a hard time imagining discourse in which there is an evolution of viewpoint over the course of time.  There is no chance that this Administration - or any other - would ever, under any circumstance propose forced sterilizations and abortions.  The history in which there were incidents in the past would seem to prove that there is a “third rail” there.  The more interesting question is what the science credentials are and whether the Bush Administration policy to shape science according to acceptability with right wing fundamenalism is going to continue.  Again, what fundamentalists don’t understand is that, without a dogmatic adherence to cant, there is dialogue and difference and debate.

That is the problem at this time with Christians in positions of influence or power.  The tradition seems fraught with an intolerance that harkens back to the Puritans.

THe point of the piece that all these comments are supposed to flow from, is exactly that.  Oddly, Christianity seems to have become a religion based on intolerance, racial bigotry and medievalism. 

THe fact that these muscle heads are going around waving guns in the name of Christianity and proposing a revolution is proof of just how inflexible, deterministic, hierarchically oriented and dogmatic the religion fostered in the name of Jesus of Galilee has become.  There is almost nothing about it that he would recognize. 

The American Revolution was a product of the Enlightenment.  What would a second revolution be, but a move backwards towards a new Dark Age under the present thinking?  Not an attractive prospect. 

Things are looking a bit chancy right now because we have a world population of going on ten billion people.  That makes all considerations about the right way to manage resources and economics and any sort of governmental policy extremely complicated at best.  Dogmatic approaches harking back to a “simpler” time when not so many minorities were involved in decisonmaking isn’t any sort of solution.  Of course, if your religion is about not thinking, then you don’t need to worry about practical realities.

Report this
OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, July 16, 2009 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

First, Night Gaunt, it must be encouraging for you to know that the New York Times shares your concern about Dr Collins at NIH. This link is to their article where they register ‘unease’ about him simply because he is a Christian. His “his very public embrace of religion” is something that we should all be concerned about, apparently. But thats the mainstream media for you. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/09/health/policy/09nih.html?_r=1

Meanwhile, about Obama’s pick for science czar, (Holdren) the man with dangerous fascist tendencies, there is not a peep. No “unease”, no article. No research.

Well, I guess that settles it for the spectators here. Since the mainstream media isnt concerned, there must be nothing to worry about!

But for Night Gaunt I post this link. You can see the book Holdren wrote. Scroll to the bottom to see it. the top just has commentary.

http://zombietime.com/john_holdren/


Night Gaunt, you might say that ecology or overpopulation is a good cause to go “fascist” for. I mean its for everyone’s sake, right? I beg to differ. “Fascism” is not good for your cause or mine.

I think research would show that Holdren’s dire predictions in the 1970s proved wrong anyway. I couldnt care less about that, though.

The “fascism” is the bad part, and so far he is getting away with it. But the good conservative websites are starting to see examine this stuff and maybe we will make the mainstream media notice.

It is interesting that websites like Truthdig and talk2action will never protest this sort of ‘fascism’. I guess its because the cause is acceptable to them.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, July 16, 2009 at 9:42 am Link to this comment

And as we have seen the companies that are in it are ready, willing and able to help gov’t's oppress and limit access to it at the drop of a dollar. As we can see in modern China and the USA.

Report this

By John Hanks, July 16, 2009 at 9:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The net is the most revolutionary development.  Word of mouth creates distrust.  And crooks need suckers.

Report this

By Ben Carruth, July 16, 2009 at 2:46 am Link to this comment

“One of the problems with any “revolution” is whether it is real or just a red herring…”
Quite so. There is real peril in a so-called “revolutionary” action that engages a society on a front on which it is prepared to respond. To be of lasting effect, a revolution must be one of method as well as message.

Compare the effectiveness (in observed policy change)of organized protest in the 1950’s with the `90s, or even the `70s. I believe there is a strong case to be made that a society develops a sort of antibody to a given expression of civil unrest, i.e. develops responses, expectations, and archetypes that dilute or even negate the effect of a given action. What was once shocking and thought-provoking becomes familiar, cliche, and ultimately dismissable.

A “revolution” modeled on the 1770’s is, at best, a disruptive farce. At worst, misdirected atrocity. If there is a war to be fought (and there’s ample room for debate on that point), it is on a field where the modern rifle is no more suitable, and no less antiquated, than the powder and paper musket.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, July 15, 2009 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment

One of the problems with any “revolution” is whether it is real or just a red herring to draw the real revolutionaries into a dead end or even a trap. Worse yet the real revolutionaries in power but not fully in charge, use these as scape goats or lackeys to do a job for them they are not aware of is the real reasons behind them. A tricky and sticky wicket in such tangles.

Report this

By John Hanks, July 15, 2009 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Revolutions are as corrupt as our stupid two party con jobs.  a habitual black hatred of the rich and their lackeys wouldn’t hurt though.

Report this

By LittlePinky82, July 15, 2009 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

I love how Jones talks about the politicians but he’s a major Ron Paul supporter.  With Jones and his like everything is new world order or tyranny unless it’s libertarianism since he is a libertarian.  Chris Hedges should get together with Max Blumenthal and do a film on these groups.  I loved “American Fascists.” The founders knew that things would change and things have changed before with women getting the right to vote and the Civil Rights Movement and whatnot.

A civil war?  At least 70% of the country is for a public health care plan and the last I saw Obama had pretty good approval ratings.  And what’s with the immigrant bashing? I bet all of them somewhere down the line came from other places.  Funny how a lot of these people are showing up with a black president and the democrats in charge. As a fellow white person these people are just ridiculous and shameful but as a fellow socialist with Chris Hedges (I’m a communist) I enjoy his writings and hearing him. Uh the 2nd Amendment is about having a militia and not an army. The guy is only a domestic terrorist if he goes all Timothy McVeigh.

The reason we’re in Iraq is for OPEC even though they didn’t really have anything compared to other countries like Venezuela for example. Timothy McVeigh worked for the federal govt? I missed that. It wasn’t Barack Obama’s Homeland Security but it was George W. Bush’s. President Obama had more support from the military than any other presidential nominee. Obama didn’t say he would get out as soon as he got in but like so many months. That guy is right about the Iraq and Afghanistan guys however and what they’re doing.

I don’t think that guy is a bad person but maybe mislead and misguided. I think it’s very important to understand what’s going on and Hedges is right.  Those militia’s in the 90’s were Timothy McVeigh. What does this guy expect is going to happen with killing people?  Does he think it’s any better if he kills government employee’s that he deems unworthy of living?  That’s just playing God. I think Hedges is right about violence and it will only make things worse.

Report this

By hippie4ever, July 13, 2009 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment

By BruSays, July 13 at 2:32 pm #
Boy, when I read the header, “Time for a Second Revolution?” I knew it would pull in a lot of nutcases. Looks like we weren’t disappointed.
_______________________________________________________________________________

I posted but BruSays, I don’t take it personally; I doubt you were referring to me. And yeah, you’re 100 percent right on.

Report this

By Ben Carruth, July 13, 2009 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment

One of the most daunting aspects of movements like the ones here reported is that many of the facts, themes, and events they decry are grounded in fact. The message resonates with peoples experience and responds to their ambiguity with certainty. It provides a clear, simply communicated explanation for the causes behind such personally devastating effects, this, in turn, providing a sense of mastery. The revelation of the secret is a powerful psychological tool, and one with a history of dreadful application.

“What is going on” is not as simple as a unified conspiracy. Corporatism is not a snake to be tidily beheaded. Centuries of inertia, deviation, and reduction in cultural values established from founding fathers that have become the Olympian founders of a “Holy State” are not effectively challenged through means of resolution that those same values demand.

One does not destroy a machine via the functions it encourages. Effective response demands the generation of tools and messages not directly derivative of the forces they are intended to thwart, and there lies the problem: there are few endeavors as demanding as genuine invention.

There are people who work in that direction and caught in the paradox it presents: a truly different message lacks cultural channels predisposed to its communication.

Report this
OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, July 13, 2009 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

@Brusays:  yes, you are superior to either one of us. We are having fun and a good chat, so dont worry your wise and sane mind about it.

Night Gaunt said: Do you think we have a population problem? That we are in need of some kind of Second Revolution? If so what kind of and in what way.

No. And No. So no revolution.

More religion, of you kind, or reinstate the Wall of Separation as is should be?

This question is moot because i dont support any revolution. I want to keep our rights as American citizens.

However, I note that you make this phrase: reinstate the Wall of Separation as it should be. Which sounds an alarm as if something is broken and needs fixed urgently. Is a Leftist revolution needed to repair the damage that has been done(or is being done) by the Dominionists?


You made so much of Holdren’s wants in a book that I haven’t read and don’t know the entire context of what he wanted.

Well, I take the blame for that. i will post a website later so you can see it. i gotta go for now.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, July 13, 2009 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

I gave the wrong link before, it is the http://www.militaryreligiousfreedomfoundation.org/ will fill you in on their encroachments to turn our military into Christian Soldiers. Sorry for the error.

As for Collins & Holdren I don’t know if either one is “dangerous” or not. You brought it up because of Holdren’s extreme views on stopping overpopulation, which I have not excused. Understanding the reasons is very different from accepting them, you should know that OzarkMichael.

Answering my question I have thus asked twice and answered myself isn’t off topic. You just don’t want to reveal your position on it. Could it somehow hurt you arguments you have in play against me? Just say so and I will stop wasting my time reiterating it.

Do you think we have a population problem? That we are in need of some kind of Second Revolution? If so what kind of and in what way. More religion, of you kind, or reinstate the Wall of Separation as is should be?

I brought up Collins because he is religious and in the Health and Human Srvs so his impact can be greater. Though I don’t know how he views certain things like women’s reproductive rights. That was my point. You made so much of Holdren’s wants in a book that I haven’t read and don’t know the entire context of what he wanted. Would you say there are ways of implementing his idea without forcing it on people?

Report this

Page 3 of 4 pages  <  1 2 3 4 >

 
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.