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Premature Fretting on the Left

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Posted on Dec 11, 2008

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

    Oh, my: Barack Obama is still more than a month away from assuming the presidency and already there are reports about “the left” being dispirited about change it no longer believes in.

    These fears—in this case expressed by a rather small number of bloggers and writers—are aggravated by praise for Obama’s transition choices from conservatives who seem relieved that the president-elect is neither Lenin nor Robespierre.

    There is nothing new about anxiety among progressives that the candidate they just elected is destined to break their ideological hearts. In his journals, no less a loyalist to John F. Kennedy than the late historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. expressed dismay during the 1960 transition period over Kennedy’s apparent attraction to “a collection of rather respectable and conservative names for the Cabinet.”

    In a Dec. 1 journal entry, Schlesinger described a meeting in which he told Kennedy “that the liberals were concerned about having a spokesman in the Cabinet.” Kennedy replied: “Yes, I know, the liberals want visual reassurance just like everybody else. But they shouldn’t worry. What matters is the program. We are going down the line on the program.”

    Schlesinger concluded that Kennedy was seeking “an administration of conservative men and liberal measures,” an intriguing notion to apply to Obama.

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    As it happens, Obama’s team is by most reasonable tests somewhere to the left of the one Kennedy assembled. That’s because reality has moved left, particularly over the last six months. When a Republican administration presides over—let’s call it what it is—the partial socialization of the finance industry, and when even conservatives are calling for large-scale deficit spending, the very definition of the political center needs to be revised.

    But there’s another problem with the “disillusioned left” story line. If those looking for a split consulted with the most progressive members of Congress, they would discover a certain serenity about the direction the next president will take.

    Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent who proudly describes himself as a democratic socialist, has as much of a claim as anyone to speak for the left. He thinks those who see Obama as drifting right are overlooking the importance of the president-elect’s past as a community organizer and also his “sense of history.”

    “I believe he understands that he is coming into office at a time when the country faces more problems than at any time since 1933,” Sanders told me. “The American people are prepared to support strong action.”

    Sanders acknowledges “concerns” that key Obama appointees supported financial deregulation in the past. He called them “some of the people responsible for getting us into where we are right now.”

    But Democrats, Sanders says, realize the burden they bear with full control of the government’s elected branches: “If they don’t begin to really deliver for the middle class in this country, they’ve got nobody to blame but themselves.” Obama’s pledge on Thursday to push hard for health care reform suggests that he shares Sanders’ view.

    Sen. Sherrod Brown, another hero to economic populists, argues that even Obama’s appointees among the middle-of-the-road veterans of Bill Clinton’s administration “have all moved from where they were” because economic circumstances have changed so much since the early 1990s.

    “I think they pay much more attention to middle-class needs right now—the shrinking middle class and the gap between rich and poor,” the Ohio Democrat said. “I think they understand their mistakes on deregulation.” Like Sanders, Brown stresses Obama’s past as an organizer. “I think his sentiments are progressive,” Brown says.

    Like most successful politicians, Obama is a protean figure. His progressive views and cautious instincts send different messages to different people—one reason why his approval rating hit 73 percent in a Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey released Thursday.

    It’s also plain that Obama is no left-winger. In the 2008 Democratic primaries, John Edwards was the candidate of the economic left, Rep. Dennis Kucinich the standard-bearer of the staunchly anti-war left. Obama’s campaign advisers were moderately progressive, not radical.

    This means that parts of the political left will have some differences with Obama over the next four years, but it doesn’t mean that most on the left are already disillusioned with him.

    Take it from Arthur Schlesinger. In his 1960 diary entry, he ascribed to Kennedy the view that “especially with a liberal Congress, conservative-appearing men can win more support for liberal measures than all-outers.” Schlesinger added: “Of course there is something to this argument.”

    E.J. Dionne’s e-mail address is postchat(at)aol.com.

    © 2008, Washington Post Writers Group


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katsteevns's avatar

By katsteevns, January 15, 2009 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

@ Maani

From The Washington Post
Reviewed by Jonathan Rauch

For all his celebrity on the academic and activist left, Noam Chomsky, the linguist turned gadfly, goes all but unnoticed inside the Capital Beltway. And this neglect, according to Chomsky’s new collection of op-ed articles, Interventions, is not benign. “Chomsky’s op-eds have been picked up widely by the international press,” according to an editor’s note, but American “‘newspapers of record’ have declined to publish them.” When I picked up the new Chomsky collection, my first reaction was to be glad that City Lights Books—“published at the City Lights Bookstore,“in San Francisco—had brought out what promised to be a refreshing, if sometimes infuriating, challenge to conventional smugness. No such luck.

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By Maani, December 29, 2008 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

Skruff:

You say, “Additionally you have been exposed for what you are by others on a seperate thread.”

Sorry to bust your bubble, but two obviously very young “newbies” have not “exposed” anything.  I have been here for years and have RARELY been accused of anything more than an overabundance of passion and an occasional overstatement or error.  In fact, if I HAD been doing anything wrong - and “stirring up conflict” for its own sake is unacceptable on this site - then TD admin would have contacted me privately to reprimand me.  Yet EXACTLY the opposite has occurred: I have an exceptionally good relationship with TD admin (with whom I am not “connected” in any other way), and remain among their most trusted “watchers” here.  By all means feel free to report me if you think I am out of line.  However, the very few times that occurred, TD came to the conclusion that the OTHER people were overreacting.

You say “You called me ‘an angry person’ because I told you we were not on the same side.”

No, I did not call you an angry person because we disagreed.  I called you an angry person because I have never met ANYONE - EVER - who responded to a COMPLIMENT with anger and combativeness.  To whit:

My comment: “I am encouraged to hear what you were able to accomplish in Worcester, Mass.”

Your response: “Read again Maani.. I was a SMALL part of what was accomplished in ONE NEIGHBORHOOD of Worcester. The effort was Massachusetts wide, and taken in small bites.”

No graciousness, no appreciation, just anger and combativeness. I leave it to others to see this dialogue and come to their own conclusions.

Finally, you say that although we are not on the same side, “That doesn’t make me ‘angry’ it just makes me a realist.”

And I agree: if it were solely that we are not on the same side, then that is a realistic comment to make.  But it goes beyond that, as your inability to accept a compliment proves.

Peace.  (But I don’t really mean it…or do I?  Only my deity knows for sure…LOL)

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By Skruff, December 29, 2008 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Maani

“I suggested anger management classes.  (I also suggested re-channeling that anger.) And if you go back and read my post from 12/18 at 9:59 - and follow back to your post that I was responding to - you will see that my comments were appropriate.”

I see no such thing. additionally you have been exposed for what you are by others on a seperate thread (Warren Is Worth the Headache). Your purpose (like so many xtians) is to hide behind a “Peace” facade while stirring up conflict among others. I call these folks the Jim Baker Xtians.  hate served with a dose of “Peace” as a word only.

You called me “an angry person” because I told you we were not on the same side.. We’re not not now not ever. That doesn’t make me “angry” it just makes me a realist.

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By katsteevns, December 29, 2008 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

@ Skruff

This is the Xtian message in a nutshell.

Love your brother as yourself, you live,
Love your life more than God, you die.

Anything else you hear is BS.

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By Maani, December 29, 2008 at 10:12 am Link to this comment

Skruff:

To my comment that “I can assure you that I am not angry about anything.  I’m just not an angry type of person,” you reply “But you have no trouble labeling other ‘passionate’ persons as ‘angry’ even going so far as to suggest they ‘take something’ or ‘get therapy.’”

No, not “other passionate persons” - only you.  Here are my two comments in that regard:

“I have rarely met anyone so angry, mean-spirited and downright unpleasant as you are.  However, rather than attack those who share your concerns, try channeling that anger back toward the system and into something constructive.”

“Has anyone ever told you that you are in SERIOUS need of anger management classes?”

So I did NOT say you need to “take something” or “get therapy”; I suggested anger management classes.  (I also suggested re-channeling that anger.)  And if you go back and read my post from 12/18 at 9:59 - and follow back to your post that I was responding to - you will see that my comments were appropriate.  After all, you cannot even take a compliment without turning it into an argument.  If that is “passion,” then I am Charles Darwin.

“I find strong Xtian beliefs tend to do that to the believers, yet another measure of the failure of jesus to convey any useable message.”

Nice try at a straw man argument.  Even were it true that “strong Christian beliefs tend to” make (SOME) people angry - and even assuming that I am one of those people (which I am not) - how do you know that I was not that way long before I believed in God, much less became a Christian?

Peace.

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By Skruff, December 29, 2008 at 7:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“I can assure you that I am not angry about anything.  I’m just not an a(n)gry type of person.

BUT you have no trouble labling other “pationate” persons as “angry” even going so far as to suggest they “take something” or “get therapy”

Pardon me if I use the same ruleryou use… you are an angry person//// I find strong Xtian beliefs tend to do that to the believers, yet another measure of the failure of jesus to convey any useable message.

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By Anarcissie, December 27, 2008 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

Maani’... And yet, that would be antithetical to the (assumed) purpose of investigative reporting: to report WITHOUT bias, WITHOUT “subverting” anything. ...’

The Times, like every other producer of descriptive language, is biased, if only by the same inevitable framing and confinement to a personal point of view which limits all of us.  Their bias, being insufferably bourgeois, happens to rub me the wrong way, but if they didn’t have that bias, they’d have another one.

But anyway, if it’s not subversive, what good is it?

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By Maani, December 27, 2008 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi:

I can assure you that I am not angry about anything.  I’m just not an agry type of person.

As with many others, I think you confuse “passion” with “anger.”  And as we both agree, it is often difficult to tell the difference in the cold, sterile world of cyberspace.

I am admittedly “passionate,” and when I debate with people, that passion is unquestionably evident.  But it would be wrong to equate it with “anger.”  I think if you met me, you would probably not be able to wrap your mind around the person you are having a coffe with and the person who is posting to TD, because you would see that I am among the most “non-angry” people one is ever likely to find.

Re the Quaker School, I know what you are talking about.  I attended a Quaker summer camp three years in a row (I was an atheist then), and except for the Sunday morning meeting and prayer, one could easily forget that they were Quakers.  I always loved them for that - even after I became a believer many years later and looked back on it.

Finally, you suggest that “let people forget that I am a Christian.”  As I noted, I have NEVER brought up my faith unless (i) the thread itself suggested it (as with Rick Warren), or (ii) someone else brought it up first, and I RESPONDED to it.  At that point, all bets are off the table.  LOL.

Ultimately, I have less of an issue with you than I do with fellowdigger, who really IS angry, and who accuses others of anger in order to cover his/her own issues.  I have met posters like fellowdigger on TD before, and I can only feel bad about the depth of their anger, and their deep-seated disdain for ANYTHING having to do with faith/religion.

Peace.

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By KDelphi, December 27, 2008 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

maani—How am i “assuming bad intentions”?? I was merely stating how difficult it often is (esp. for a visually-based person) to interpret peoples’ meaning accurately online. You said yourself, that it happens often.

If you mean about the emoticons, I wish I could give you an example, but I’d have to dig back..when someone rips you a new one, and, puts a smiley face at the end—I find it offensive. Maybe it is meant to soften the blow, but, if you suspect that you need to, maybe you should rethink your entire post. I have. I have apologized to people online, the next day,when I thought I let my emmotions carry the day.When it is warranted. I woud suspect that alot of peopple sometimes regret somethig theyve said., Perhaps they thinkthey “lose pride” or something by not admitting it. I dont think so.

It seems to be similar to someone saying, “You dont look near as fat as you are in those pants” and then smiling…

You are angry about something, I do not know what it is.

I like some of the Editorials on NYT,. I said that I didnt like all of it.

My sister and I (well, both of them) are all our “family” has left, and, any of us would die for the other. My Dad taught me that much. But, he was a differnt kind of christian. You would hardly know he was, unless you brought it up.(you probably would)

I went to a Quaker College, where they hardly discussed their religion at all (As one Quaker in here, one day, strqightened me out on). I would often forget that it was a Quaker school at all.. but, when it came time to protest the School of the Americas, they were always on the front lines. Iraq, too. (78 yr old Larry Gara and me in front of WPAFB, getting our pic taken together—for about the 100th time—this time by Honeland Secutity) I suspect he knowws I am an agnostic. I dont think he cares. He cares what I do and say.

You should let people do that once in awhile with you, maani—let them forget you are a christian. I am trying very hard not to argue with you, It doesnt seem to be working. Maybe we just disagree too much.

I think that what Anarcissie meant was that, often, it seems that the NYT is devolving into a blather of Dowd and Brooks. But, I cannot speak for Anarcissie. They are ceratainly not known for their stance on issues of the underlcasses.

Please excuse typos—my hands are getting tired.

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By katsteevns, December 27, 2008 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

@ Maani

Thanks Buddy for setting me straight as usual.LOL
I am not surprised at your surprise.

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By Maani, December 27, 2008 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie:

“You’ve sure got a stronger stomach than I.  I know I should read it to keep an eye on the ruling class, or rather, the ruling class’s idea of what its servants should think.”

Are you familiar with the phrase “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer?”  LOL.  And then thee is Sun Tzu, who said that you can only defeat your enemies if you know their tactics, etc.  In order to do that, one needs to remain familiar with their instruments, etc.  LOL.

KDelphi:

You seem not to want to give people the benefit of the doubt.  Rather, you seem to “read” the “worst” into people’s intentions.  Perhaps a good start on your end would be to refrain from doing this.

Re you and your sister, I find that interesting because exactly the opposite was the case in my family.  We debated (and argued) mightily during the primary campaign (my mom and I supported Hillary, my two brother supported Obama).  Often things got pretty darn heated.  And yet…for us, “what happens in cyberspace STAYS in cyberspace”; i.e., when we spoke to each other by phone or got together, there was NO tension whatsoever.  I suppose it is a form of cognitive dissonance…LOL.

katsteevns:

I must admit surprise that you believe there is an “ethical core” even at the NYT (which is NOT a “financial institution”).  I happen to agree, and I think this is what Anarcissie is missing: she says, “You’d think some of the writers would be clever enough to surreptitiously subvert the dominant paradigm and all that, wouldn’t you?”  And yet, that would be antithetical to the (assumed) purpose of investigative reporting: to report WITHOUT bias, WITHOUT “subverting” anything.  That is what Op-Ed pages are for.

Peace.

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By katsteevns, December 27, 2008 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

@ Maani
I wouldn’t say that I was disputatious person, But I do argue that although there is a strong ethical core in most US financial institutions such as the NYT. This core begins to disintegrate the higher one is placed on the ladder of authority. So, at the top, decisions being made are made for the most part with profit as a higher priority than the overall needs of the community being affected.

If you want to call that “cynicism”,then you are entitled. But it is not so. It is merely a observation of what capitalism does to good people.

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By KDelphi, December 27, 2008 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie—I dont read it much, except online. My sister reads it online except for holidays and Sundays.(She gets the whole paper, stil, I think…) I like SOME of the columnists.

But, it is true—it is becoming more difficult to stomach. The ones I tend to like are , nowadays, summarily “shown their place” by some of the “louder” columnists, also.

Maani—I disagree with you on, well, alot. But, I had a problem with that (maybe still do???)—there is no way to accurately display what you are feeling , when you post by word processor. (Anger seems to come through just fine, on the other hand!)

My sister and I were so combative about S. Obama for awhile, I stopped the emails and called her—I was afraid we were actually going to say things we didnt mean! But, alot of people felt so strongly about this election, I believe, because, even GOP, eveyone is SOOO sick of what has been going on. We may just disagree as to how it should be changed,

I’ve found emoticons to be a little cloying, but, I occasionally type one in. I’m, just too lazy to go after the yellow fadces.Plus, I’ve seen people use emoticons to say some really cruel stuff, and, then give a wink and a smile…it’s disconcerting.

BUT—am I interpreting correctly? I dont know. I usually “go alot” on peoples body language, expressionsk the way words are said.. So, I am at a disadvantage here. Hell, I sometimes seem to “sense” an emotion , in the air.If I can look you in the eye, I am very hard to lie to. I had to learn to read it. But, words, are…words.

It is not mysticism—you just know someone well, they walk in the room, and you “feel”—tension, anger, happiness, fear. But, here it is little black lines…

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By Anarcissie, December 27, 2008 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi:
’... Anarcissie—Yes, VERY bourgeois—but the NYT always is. They still have some good articles and columnists. ...’

You’ve sure got a stronger stomach than I.  I know I should read it to keep an eye on the ruling class, or rather, the ruling class’s idea of what its servants should think, but about 20 years ago I realized I just couldn’t take it any more.  The article about shoplifting shows it hasn’t changed; it’s as insufferable as ever.  You’d think some of the writers would be clever enough to surreptitiously subvert the dominant paradigm and all that, wouldn’t you?  But no.

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By Maani, December 27, 2008 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

KDelphi:

“Maani—I do not see what katstevens was saying as “combative” at all.”

Perhaps “combative” was a strong word.  But since it did not follow from anything I DID say, and it was “accusatory” in some sense, I used that word.  Perhaps “assumptive” would have been a better word.

“Maybe you mis-interpret, or maybe you sound a little so yourself, and get such a response??? I dont know. Just an idea…”

There is no question that cyberspace can be “cold,” and that it is very easy to misinterpret or misread something, especially without the benefit of emoticons.  When “LOL” has to suffice as the sole method for expressing something less than completely serious, things CAN (and often do) create tension where none should be created.

Peace.

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By KDelphi, December 27, 2008 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

I havent been here in a few days, but I got a “reminder” email, so I am trying to figure out what has happened here…

My sister read me the NYT article on shoplifting—she , who has lived in NY, and read the Times , like , forever , interpreted it to be a story about whaT lengths people were being forced to go to. I think our exaltation of BUYING at Xmas makes it worse. Especially for parents of small children.

Anarcissie—Yes, VERY bourgeois—but the NYT always is. They still have some good articles and columnists.

Maani—I do not see what katstevens was saying , as “combative” at all. But, I remembered that you said that to me a couple of times, and I was not trying to be either. Maybe you mis-interpret, or , maybe you sound a little so yourself, and, get such a response??? I dont know. Just an idea…

Combative Christians reminds me of my college mascot (football) at Wilming ton College—“The Fighting Quakers”, with a little guy like the Oats box, with a green football , running…lol!! They have since changed it to “Fighting Greens” or something…I think that kat is British or Canadian? Probably wrong—I’m guessing. People raised in other cultures sometimes find combativeness in religious people disarming—to say the least. We have “christians” here in the uS that would make Bloody King Richard look like Ghanidi!

(No, not Maani)

But—-they love you!!

Speaking of shoplifting, as everyone was doing:

I stole “viewmaster pics” when I was 5—I remember, because my mom said no, so I just—took them! I was showing the baby in the back seat, and my mom asked if I had taken them. I said yes. She made me go back in, apologize, and, promise to pay back the price *(the pics werent damaged) from weeding the garden, washing clothes, etc. The worst was the HUMILIATION! Everyone in the store!! AAuggh!

Then, when I lived on the beach/streets , I stole food and change from the founntains alot. I didnt see it as stealing. Indeed, if it is, it is of the variety that people were SHOT for doing in New Orlean during Hurrican eKatrina—taking bread a pop—-BOOM!! Its’ Blackwater!! Shame…

So, what do we think , when a person is unemployed, perhaps, uneducated, has children, the food banks are empty, and, it is Xmas. Is it “stealing”? Just would like to know what y’all think.(After attempting to panhandle, lets say, which, here you must get a license for $4.50 to do!! Pretty fricking ridiculous)

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By Maani, December 27, 2008 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

katsteevns:

I’m not sure where your latest post comes from.  Where do I suggest anything to the contrary?  It sounds like you are simply being combative for its own sake.  I happen to agree with all the points of your post.

Peace.

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By katsteevns, December 27, 2008 at 6:03 am Link to this comment

@ Maani
I hate to break it to you, but you are living in a dream world if you believe that this capitalistic class society operates with any more than a mere semblance of equity.

Government was created to protect those with property. That is it’s main function.If you hadn’t noticed, that property is being consolidated an what is now an alarming rate and this has become more visible to the common citizen.

Corporations support social programs and education because they need a front to blur the fact that they are basically capital accumulating enterprises that will sacrifice the individual rights of the many to gain capital for the few.This is why corporations have fought so hard to have the same rights as an individual.

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By Maani, December 26, 2008 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie:

You’re right, I’m cynical; also pessimistic, paranoid, and decadent.  These are qualities I’ve cultivated carefully over the years and they’ve served me well.”

They may have served you well, but I have to feel somewhat sorry for you if those are the approaches from which you operate, and the “burdens” that you live under.  (LOL?)

Peace.

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By Anarcissie, December 26, 2008 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

Maani: ’.... Did you actually READ the article?  Because I do not see what you and katsteevns are seeing.  Rather, the article (and even those quoted in it - whether law enforcement, store owners or others) states over and over that, as a result of the economy (which every article in the NYT CLEARLY blames on the Fed, Wall Street, banks, etc.), more people are more desperate, which is leading to more shoplifting.

That does NOT sound to me like an attack on desperate people, but an attack on the circumstances that MADE them desperate…. ‘

But its tone is soooo bourgeois, the insufferably smug sense of privilege and entitlement leaks through every syllable.  You know, we, the writers and readers of the Times, are managing the system and the normally upstanding poor are getting out of hand, tut-tut, we must wrinkle up our brows for a minute and think earnestly about it.

One thing you will seldom see in the Times is a story like that written from the point of view of the shoplifter.  And I do mean seldom.

You’re right, I’m cynical; also pessimistic, paranoid, and decadent.  These are qualities I’ve cultivated carefully over the years and they’ve served me well.  Although in dealing with the ruling class one is hardly ever up to their level of play.

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By katsteevns, December 26, 2008 at 6:28 am Link to this comment

Impartiality and objectivity are actually relative in this instance.The Left must work much harder to have their views printed in the conservative press. This means that they must be doubley sure that their facts are straight because the scrutiny they recieve is heaped on thick.

The necessity for widespread pardons from Bush and the numbers I mentioned earlier speak for themselves.

I agree with what you said,I obviously have plenty to learn. But just take a watch sometime at Amy Goodman on her news program. Then tell me if you think she is injecting her opinion into the broadcast anymore than a mainstream anchor would do.

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By Maani, December 25, 2008 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie:

Since we (including Folktruther) are apparently in an “owning up” modd (LOL), I did something similar to you - I had planned to purchase only a couple of items so didn’t take a basket, but ended with more than I could carry, so I put two small items in my pocket, fully intending to take them out when I got to the register.

However, in my case, I did not even get a chance to take them out of my pocket and explain the situation before a security guard accused me of shoplifting and had me arrested.  I spent a few hours behind bars, got bailed out by friends, and ended up paying a $300 fine for petit larceny.  Oh well.

Needless to say, I take a basket now no matter HOW much I expect to buy…LOL.

Peace.

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By Folktruther, December 25, 2008 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie—Thanks for the tip on shoplifting.  We are pretty flush now but you never know.  Unfortunately when I was four or five years old I saw a toy car in the neighbor’s yard that had real rubber tires!  It stole it.  I had to.  I wanted to see it go down the neigboring hill on its rubber tires.

Unfortunately, when I put it on the hill, it just sat there, even after a little push.  I felt awful, and took the stinking car back.  this has haunted me all my life and has made it very inconveient to steal things.  (Except from the government of course.)  But I suppose I could practice if things got desperate.  As they might.

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By Maani, December 25, 2008 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

katsteevns:

“Why are the people whom I mentioned not writing for the NYT?  Because they talk too much about the downside of capitalism and how it destroys and indebts other nations. This no one wants to hear about. They clearly should be and would probably not turn down the opportunity if it were given them.”

No, they are not writing for the NYT because they are not “reporters” in the generally accepted definition of that term; i.e., they are not required to be “impartial” in their reporting.  They may, in fact, “report” news, but within that reporting they are also openly opining and providing “editorial” comments.  Note that all of these people HAVE appeared on the Op-Ed page of the NYT, which is where they belong.

Anarcissie:

Did you actually READ the article?  Because I do not see what you and katsteevns are seeing.  Rather, the article (and even those quoted in it - whether law enforcement, store owners or others) states over and over that, as a result of the economy (which every article in the NYT CLEARLY blames on the Fed, Wall Street, banks, etc.), more people are more desperate, which is leading to more shoplifting.

That does NOT sound to me like an attack on desperate people, but an attack on the circumstances that MADE them desperate.

I am continually shocked by the cynicism that I find vis-a-vis how some TDers “read” certain things.

Peace.

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By Anarcissie, December 25, 2008 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

I stole some children’s sneakers from a store once; I was broke and baby needed shoes.  However, it was sort of inadvertent.  I had a few items in one hand and the sneakers in the other.  I dropped the items in hand 1 on the checkout counter and fished around in my pocket for the little money that was there, while keeping hand 2 still and below the countertop.  The beauty of this method is that if you’re caught out you can say it was a mistake, which in my case it was—I hadn’t intended to steal the sneakers.  I didn’t notice I had them until I had walked out of the store.  I sure didn’t go back to pay for them though—$3 meant food for lunch!  Later I learned that this is a tried and true method employed by seasoned shoplifters everywhere.  Keep it in mind for a rainy day, or rather, a hungry day.

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By katsteevns, December 25, 2008 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

Yes, I am skeptical of the motives of the rich especially since they have the power to end war and don’t do it, as if the kinetic energy of the presidency was unstoppable. Six years and counting in Iraq. That is a long time to sit by and rake in the profits while 100’s of 1000s of innocents fall by the sword. The poor man fights the rich man’s wars, NOT the sons and daughters of the rich man.

Also , why are the people whom I mentioned not writing for the NYT? Because they talk too much about the downside of capitalism and how it destroys and indebts other nations. This no one wants to hear about. They clearly should be and would probably not turn down the opportunity if it were given them.

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By Anarcissie, December 25, 2008 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

katsteevns: ’... The only reason I can see for this article is to reinforce the belief that our culture is full of people who need to be put behind bars. ...’

It isn’t?

Given the way our lords and masters dominate our culture as well as our political life, I’d say the culture is exactly that, full of people who need to be put behind bars, or worse, starting at the very top.

What the Times is fretting about is the possibility that the lower orders are getting out of hand.  The great problem confronting the ruling class today is how to make the working people pay for the r.c.‘s errors and disasters, and their general block-headedness, without occasioning some kind of unpleasant political upheaval.  Stealing from a major corporation is a kind of revolt against the state.  It’s my understanding that the average soul can become quite skilled at it in a short time.  Why should the upper class have all the fun?

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By Maani, December 25, 2008 at 10:50 am Link to this comment

katsteevns:

Anything a citizen does to survive now is just a symptom of the core problem.”

I agree.

“The only reason I can see for this article is to reinforce the belief that our culture is full of people who need to be put behind bars.”

Then you ARE “reading too much” into it - or at least looking at it from the MOST cynical perspective.

“Why then do you never see articles on the front page from people like Noam Chomsky, Michael Parenti, Cornell West, Amy Goodman, Jeremy Scahill, etc.? It is because the paper is bias towards big money.”

You don’t see articles by them because they do not write for the NYT.  But you DO see articles JUST as scathing (and many far more so) about “the Pentagon, banks, Federal Reserve, etc. who are among the biggest shoplifters.”  These articles may not be written by the likes of Chomsky, West, Goodman et al, but they are being written, and published, more often than not on the front page.

Peace.

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By katsteevns, December 25, 2008 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

Ok….But it is a little upsetting to me when the wrongs of poor citizens are plastered on the front page. Do we need to draw attention away from where the bulk of the money is flowing(Pentagon,banks,Federal Reserve, etc.)who are among the biggest shoplifters? Anything a citizen does to survive now is just a symptom of the core problem. That is, of course, unless one believes in the “war on terror” rhetoric.
The only reason I can see for this article is to reinforce the belief that our culture is full of people who need to be put behind bars. The headline is the message, the text is simply justification for the headline.
It may appear as if I am reading too much into this,but if this is true, why then do you never see articles on the front page from people like Noam Chomsky,Michael Parenti,Cornell West,Amy Goodman,Jeremy Scahill, etc.? It is because the paper is bias towards big money.

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By Maani, December 23, 2008 at 9:12 pm Link to this comment

katsteevns:

“shoplifter article—Maybe the NYT should be looking for bigger fish to fry.”

It’s not a matter of “frying fish.”  It is good that they are reporting - on the front page, no less - how the economy is affecting some people, driving them to do things they would not normally do.  Other than suggesting that all crime is “wrong,” the NYT was not making a moral statement, only an observation.

Peace.

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By katsteevns, December 23, 2008 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment

RE: shoplifter article—Maybe the NYT should be looking for bigger fish to fry.

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By Maani, December 23, 2008 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

Though I didn’t need the NYT to tell me what I already knew…

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/23/nyregion/23homeless.html?sq=shelters&st=cse&scp=1&pagewanted=print

Also, this is another sad sign of the times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/23/us/23shoplift.html?sq=shoplifting&st=cse&scp=1&pagewanted=print

Peace.

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By Anarcissie, December 21, 2008 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

Pity would be no more
If we did not make someone poor

  —William Blake

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By katsteevns, December 21, 2008 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment

You people might want to watch this:
http://www.ipeace.me/video/marianne-williamson-in-1

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By Maani, December 20, 2008 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie:

Sad, but true.  What is needed is the “political will” to put homelessness at the TOP of the list, rather than the bottom.  As katsteevns notes, we are talking about living, breathing people, not just a “concept.”

Peace.

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By KDelphi, December 20, 2008 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie and katstevens—True, true, very sad and true…

Homes, not bombs, both here and in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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By Anarcissie, December 20, 2008 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

“We” do know how to solve the problem of homelessness.  “We” don’t want to.

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By Maani, December 20, 2008 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment

katsteevns:

“[W]hen the fight for funding for social programs is always akin to pulling teeth while billions just flow like water into other sectors of the economy,enriching the few, then I have a problem with that.”

Re this, you’ll get no argument from me!

“I think that advanced medicine and science are fine but why not concentrate on the living people who walk the earth NOW and worry about extending lives and finding cures later? A simple respect for human life is in order.”

One could argue that BOTH show respect for human life.  And, again, the two need not be mutually exclusive.  But I can’t help but agree with you on your basic point here.

Peace.

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By katsteevns, December 20, 2008 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

@ Maani
Well, I agree with you about the problem not being so simply as I suggested. The “causes” need to be addressed as well.

But, when the fight for funding for social programs is always akin to pulling teeth while billions just flow like water into other sectors of the economy,enriching the few, then I have a problem with that. The myth of the trickle down effect is mere propaganda.
I think that advanced medicine and science are fine but why not concentrate on the living people who walk the earth NOW and worry about extending lives and finding cures later? A simple respect for human life is in order.
  The hundreds of thousands of Iraqi dead is only one of many examples of concrete evidence that something is very wrong with the way we spend our money. I am forever shocked at the lack of grief among US citizens in respect to the carnage we have wrought overseas.

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By KDelphi, December 20, 2008 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

Lesure Suit Larry—I think that the motel chit is a great idea! (Who’s “fighting”?) They used to do it when I was in Berlin, New Hampshire…

I thought I put this up here, so, please excuse, if I just don tsee it.

In my city, if you want to “panhandle”, you have to get a license (about $5) to just ASK FOR MONEY for a cup of coffee, or, offer to do someone’s windshield!Out shelters are packed, and food banks empty. I have no idea where people are going. They keep tearing down any little “tent cities” they set up at Vietnam Vets Mem Park, etc.

I was homeless in “warm areas”, it was still not “fun”.
, but didnt have to worry about freezing..

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By Maani, December 20, 2008 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

katsteevns:

I forgot to add that the other critical issue in reducing homelessness is dealing with the factors that CAUSE homelessness (other than those out of the reasonable control of the affected; e.g., fire).

Because if all we do is tackle current homelessness, no matter how much time, effort and money is thrown at it, if we do not deal with the system that CREATES homelessness, then it will be a never-ending cycle.

Peace.

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By Maani, December 20, 2008 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

katsteevns:

“One of the things that really irks me about the US is how there is so much enthusiasm and cash flow going in the direction of science with it’s endless campaign towards “cures” and hopes for the “future”. We can’t even solve the elementary problem of homelessness, not to mention wars and genocide.
There are not enough of the right people who realize that if we don’t take care of our own first, then all other endeavors (in the long run) are basically futile.  That is how I feel about it anyway.”

Setting aside “wars and genocide” (which are not “elementary problems”...LOL), the issue of science (cures, future) vs. homelessness need not be so starkly drawn.  What is wrong (as you seem to suggest) is a matter of setting priorities.  That is, homelessness seems to be very far down the list, despite the fact that we are talking about living, breathing human beings.  We need not “lower” the priorities of science in order to “raise” the priority of homelessness.

As well, homelessness is not as “elementary” a problem as some might think.  In my experience, there are four types of homeless.  At the “top” are those who are still fairly compos mentis, and both able and willing to help themselves (and be helped) back to some sense of a “normal” life.  Then there are those who could live “independently” if provided with a roof over their heads and social services (optimally on-site); e.g., the non-addicted mentally ill.  Next are those who have more severe issues, including alcohol and/or drug problems, compounded by various degrees of mental illness.  Some (if not many) of these could be helped, but it would require a great deal more time, effort, money, etc. to do so.  Then there is the “bottom quarter” for whom assistance is all but futile; indeed, many are openly (even vehemently) hostile to it.  If you gave these people an apartment, SSI or other income, social services AND a couple of thousand in the bank, they would be homeless against within weeks, if not days.

That said, more money and resources could and should be put toward drastically reducing the number of homeless in America, starting with homeless families with children.  We may never totally “eliminate” homelessness, but we can damn sure minimize it.

Peace.

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By katsteevns, December 20, 2008 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

One of the things that really irks me about the US is how there is so much enthusiasm and cash flow going in the direction of science with it’s endless campaign towards “cures” and hopes for the “future”. We can’t even solve the elementary problem of homelessness, not to mention wars and genocide.
There are not enough of the right people who realize that if we don’t take care of our own first, then all other endeavors (in the long run) are basically futile.That is how I feel about it anyway.

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By Maani, December 20, 2008 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie:

“In my experience with homelessness, I was just as glad when people didn’t notice me, because one aspect of homelessness is vulnerability to physical attack, not only by criminals, but by upright citizens like the police.”

Depending on the jurisdiction a homeless person lives in, it is of course true that they can be more vulnerable.  After all, there are far too many tragic stories of homeless people being beaten up, and even torched to death.  Thankfully, in NYC, despite having the largest number of homeless, we have very very few tragedies of that nature.

And yes, occasionally even the police can be “less than gentle” in dealing with the homeless.  In NYC, the cops are taught to provide whatever assistance they can - they are even given cards with the names and addresses of shelters and social service agencies to give to the homeless.  True, there are a few “bad apples” who “roust” the homeless (but never violently).  But for the most part, cops in NYC are pretty good about it.

Peace.

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By Anarcissie, December 20, 2008 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

In my experience with homelessness, I was just as glad when people didn’t notice me, because one aspect of homelessness is vulnerability to physical attack, not only by criminals, but by upright citizens like the police.

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By Leisure Suit Larry, December 20, 2008 at 7:03 am Link to this comment
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By katsteevns2, December 19 at 5:17 pm #

“Being homeless in NYC is no picnic”

You think? 

At least NYC has heat grates and subway tunnels. Try bring homeless in St Paul, Buffalo, or Burlington.

No one talks of being homeless in Gallup (NM) but every winter at least a score of people freeze to death.  The police laughingly refer to these bodies as popcicles. Most are alcholic natives from the Fort Defiance Reservation.  Rapid City (ND) has a similar situation the difference is Rapid City gets colder faster, and there is not even a decent bridge under which to sleep.

I saw one solution to the “homeless” problem when traveling in Canada. In Calgary, they gave out “motel chits” instead of maintaining a shelter. The chits were redemed by the motel against their property tax. At the time Calgary was allowing $15 per night. A good way for summer tourist communities to make use of empty motel rooms.

It is thinking rather than fighting which might help resolve this issue. of course we’re human, and would rather fight!

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By Maani, December 19, 2008 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment

katsteevns:

“Being homeless in NYC is no picnic, I can tell you.  If you have no friends, you are always on thin ice physically and emotionally.”

Actually, having no friends is not even the worst thing.  Many of the adult homeless I work with have family (either parent(s) or sibling(s)) - but have been completely disowned by them.  And no, it is not always because of alcohol or drug addiction.

But you are right nonetheless: when you befriend a homeless person - not just helping them financially, if you are able to, but simply saying “hello” when you see them, asking how they are, LETTING THEM KNOW THEY ARE VISIBLE HUMAN BEINGS - it does help.

Peace.

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By katsteevns2, December 19, 2008 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Being homeless in NYC is no picnic, I can tell you.If you have no friends, you are always on thin ice physically and emotionally.

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By Maani, December 19, 2008 at 10:39 am Link to this comment

Skruff:

Has anyone ever told you that you are in SERIOUS need of anger management classes?

Peace.

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By Skruff, December 19, 2008 at 7:46 am Link to this comment
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Maani
“I can assure you that I have helped place as many homeless people in permanent housing in four years as you have in 40.”

No you can’t nor can I ass-u-me you have not. You are in a high state of huberous, and similar to your “Clarence-Thomas’ like friend, believe you have all the answers, even answers as to what I have done over the years.  I said NOTHING about personally closing institutions, I said NOTHING about numbers of people I have worked with over my years in that field. In point of fact, for all you know I could have been a janitor, or a receptionist in the agencies in which I worked.

BUT This ain’t about you or me, it sure as hell isn’t about “god” or the devil. It is about a situation which needs to be corrected….neither of us has accomplished that! Neither of us has even made a chip…or it would have been headline news.

Piss!

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By KDelphi, December 18, 2008 at 11:57 pm Link to this comment

scruff—I only told you “war stories” because you said that I “didnt know what I was talking about”.

I did, and, I do.

You told a few yourself. Mostly complaining about the institutions you seem to have worked at yourself.

Did you try to change them? How could you do it for 40 years, and, then , what did you just “wake up” to how horrible it was?

Maybe you did follow some people after they were closed. hell, maybe you even helped to close them. But, you did not follow most of them into the neighborhoods that they wer returned to.

“Choice” can only be made IF you have one! Give them one, and, let them make it. If you dont you are just trying to make yourself feel better.

I was all for deinstitutionalization—I sounds really good. And, it coudl be. But, as now “unfunded” it is horrible.

I dont even belive that the motivatios of the higherups were pure=—they just wanted to save money.

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By Maani, December 18, 2008 at 10:07 pm Link to this comment

Skruff:

“You are in favor of old style mental institutions, and (assumedly) orphanages for the children (of which you speak) I imagine (due to your professed religious beliefs) that this is some type of “calling” or “ministry” we’ve been there before.”

Excu-u-u-se me?!  Where on earth did you get THAT idea?!  I had merely remarked that they are BETTER than the ultimate alternative: freezing to death on the street.

I am not “for” “old-style mental institutions.”  And as for “orphanges,” I did not “speak” of them at any time (you cannot find that word in ANY of my posts).  However, I would say that they are appropriate in some specific instances, but are not a panacea.

I have devoted the last four years of my life to helping get the homeless off the streets and into permanent housing, with or without social services (but hopefully with), and helping them navigate the byzantine bureaucracy of the public assistance system in NYC.  I did not want to play tit-for-tat with you, but since you insist, I can assure you that I have helped place as many homeless people in permanent housing in four years as you have in 40.  (Or however long you have been working at it.)

As well, in 1988 (long before I became a minister) I was the founder and co-chair of NYC’s first “Tier III” facility for homeless mothers with children - a $10 million project that my committee created from the ground up.  It is the most successful facility of its type anywhere in the country.

I have rarely met anyone so angry, mean-spirited and downright unpleasant as you are.  However, rather than attack those who share your concerns, try channeling that anger back toward the system and into something constructive.

Peace.

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By Maani, December 18, 2008 at 6:42 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi:

No “savant” I!  LOL.  You are right: I came from a family that lived that way.  My parents were both members of the American Labor Party in the 40s and 50s.  (My father actually served as controller.) I attended my first anti-war rally (in DC) when I was 8 (1966).  We attended at least one anti-war protest each year after that (mostly DC or NYC), and, as noted, we were tear-gassed in 1970 when an agent provocateur (probably CIA) set an information booth on fire near where we were.  My parents took it in stride (i.e., they were not overly concerned, since tear gas is not particularly dangerous), but they were able to move us (my older brother was there as well) away so we did not get caught up in the arrest net.

My parents were definitely “progressive” in that sense: we were raised on civil rights and other progressive causes, and taught about equality and community.  My mother was a feminist before the word was coined (she was an active feminist when Steinem and Friedan were still in high school!).  And when she “came out” after separating from my father, she helped found a number of major gay and lesbian organizations in NYC and DC (to which she moved a short while later).

My older brother was a political organizer at Northwestern University during the anti-war movement, and my younger brother graduated cum laude from Columbia in poli-sci, was circulation director for a major leftist publication for 10 years, and then membership director for a major pro-choice organization for 15 years.

So, yes, I come from a family of serious activists, and I feel privileged to have been given that upbringing.

Peace.

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By KDelphi, December 18, 2008 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

Maani—I agree with all of it…

Well, I sure as hell wasnt concerned with social justice at 12 years old. lol.

You must have been a “savant”—or come from a family that “lived” that kind of thing.

My dad was very socially “aware”, but he was a professor, so , he just demonstrated with students sometimes, did some testifying against automotive companies, that made unsafe vehicles, etc.

I guess I mean that, he always made sure he was legal. I couldnt really blame him—hell, he didnt get married and have kids until his late 30s..

Well, I guess i was about 13 when I went to a protest with my sister—but they had bands and wine. I think I went for the—bands and wine.

I never did much more until college. My sister did, though. My dad would be going out to the Base, and, she would be outside, protesting. A co-worker asked him what he thought—he said that he aimed to raise “free spirits” and that he had done so. But, she had quite the FBI File , at one time…

I know what you mean about people not being wiling to get “uncomfortable”. But, perhaps there is a change coming. We do have to be careful , I think , what we put our ass on the line for,. We can only die once.(I only have one life to give for my country , to STOP killing…)

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By Skruff, December 18, 2008 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment
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“For goodness’ sake, Skruff, we are both on the same side”

NO, we are not…  “PEACE” changes nothing.

AND

You said: “As well, you only posted four times, and I went through all of them.  At no point did you make any comment on shelters, particularly with specific regard to my comments.  Perhaps you MEANT to do so, but you did not.”

BUT I said on December 17….
BTW Why do you believe adults would rather freeze on the street than go to a shelter?  Do you suppose they have fun watching their toes fall off?

They are mostly crazy, BUT that doesn’t always translate to “stupid

Which is the post I believed you were replying to.

Additionally you said:
“Are you ALWAYS so confrontational and combative, even when people are complimenting you?”

Damn straight! I hate getting my ass kissed ESPECIALLY by someone Who I do not know. I’m not telling you “war stories” (like KDelphi)I’m questioning the wisdom of locking homeless people away (where they can’t be seen) as a treatment method.

You are in favor of old style mental institutions, and (assumedly) orphanages for the children (of which you speak) I imagine (due to your professed religious beliefs) that this is some type of “calling” or “ministry” we’ve been there before. 

That’s my message There’s no way we’re anywhere near the “same side!”

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By Maani, December 18, 2008 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi:

“I assume you are talking USA, when you say that so many have been assassinated. NO matter, I guess. We can include Ghandi, Jesus, etc.”

You are right; I was initially talking about figures like Evers, Malcolm X, MLK et al - even Milk and Lennon.  But you are equally correct that there were so many others throughout the world.

“Dont you think that they thought it was worth it? I know I’m going to die anyway. I would rather be blown up than to die, frozen, in the streets. There are things worth dying for (social changes that benefit millions) and things that are not (killing “terrorists”).”

I was not making a moral judgment.  That said, I fully agree with you.  In fact, I have lived my life that way for over 30 years - putting my life where my principles are.  I was tear-gassed for the first time at an anti-war rally when I was 12; trained in non-violent civil disobedience (NVCD) when I was 17; spent time in jail with the Berrigan brothers (among others) for engaging in NVCD; jumped the fence at the Shoreham nuclear facility with 700 others, once again spending time in jail (this protest was the straw that broke the camel’s back: Shoreham was never completed, and eventually dismantled); chained myself to the fence at the General Dynamics nuclear sub plant the day that Carter christened a new sub (and came close to having my head bashed in by riot-geared troopers); etc.

These days, I speak at various political meetings and protests, telling people that one of the reasons so many political causes fail is because people are afraid to TRULY follow through with NVCD and other actions, because people are afraid to be injured, or go to jail - or, possibly, die for that cause.

I am not “judging” people here: I can understand why, for example, a husband or wife with kids, etc. may be concerned about incarceration, injury or death.  I am merely saying that unless and until people are WILLING to risk themselves for the cause(s) they believe in and speak out about - Rosa Parks risking jail by sitting in the front of the bus, MLK and others risking jail, physical harm, possibly death, by marching and demonstrating and engaging in NVCD, etc. - those causes will not have the necessary power to be effective and bring about the changes they seek.

Peace.

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By KDelphi, December 18, 2008 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

Maani—I assume you are talking USA, when you say that so many have been assassinated. NO matter, I guess. We can include Ghandi, Jesus, etc.


Dont you think that they thought it was worth it? I know I’m going to die anyway. I would rather be blown up than to die, frozen, in the streets.

There are things worth dying for (social changes that benefit millions) and things that are not (killing “terrorists”)

I like what Andrew Young had to say about it, “It is a blesssing to die for a cause, because it is so easy to die for nothing.”

Yes, the “war on drugs” (like the war on terror—I believe—war on an action or concept) is useless. The US uses more drugs, pharmaceutical and non, than any other country in the world.(Except when we need them and cant afford them) Yet, we blow people up for growing and producing what WE buy! I think it is because it cuts down on pharmaceutical profits…and, I am still not convinced that crack was not introduced, intentionally. I have no proof of it.

The Rx Drug Bill was a big wet kiss on the ass to the pharmaceutical corp. So is the ban on pot for deadly diseases.Daschle/Baucus type “market based” plans wil be the same.

The haves and have mores dont care if the poor live or die, but, most wish they would hurry up and do the latter. The poor, the disabled, the elderly, even children—anyone who doesnt contribute to the miliartary industrial complex.


Scruff—I cannot believe that you think that there are caregivers on the STREETS for the mentally disabled, and kids…why dont we just call Father “whats-his-name”” and re-open Boys Town, as Gingrich said?

I believe in “freedom” and “choice”. I also believe in stepping in and making choices for people who , so obviously, cannot make them for themselvs. I am talking about some , who, were institutinalized, maybe 35 years, and BAM! Here is a room (no view) with no furniture—dont remember how to temp the bath water? Dont know for sure how to use a stove or hot plate? You’ll figure it out! Why? Because ,. there is not enough funding , and the ratio of social worker with a beeper, is about 18:1…

 

Inside (as in, in a building), if it is large, and not supervised,. some will die. On the streets of NYC or Cleveland—if uncovered, almost ALL would die tonight. That is dying for nothing. They do not have a choice. They are not “deciding” to be outside. If they are mentally capable of making such a decisiion—good. But, from Willowbrook, or Orient, we are not talkign about this…“free to die with their rights on”?

katstevens—good quote! by Korten!

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By Maani, December 18, 2008 at 10:59 am Link to this comment

Skruff:

I said, “I am encouraged to hear what you were able to accomplish in Worcester, Mass.”  to which you replied, “Read again Maani.. I was a SMALL part of what was accomplished in ONE NEIGHBORHOOD of Worcester. The effort was Massachusetts wide, and taken in small bites.”

Are you ALWAYS so confrontational and combative, even when people are complimenting you?

You said, “[I] also know New York… Born there at 137 Senator Street Brooklyn. Worked briefly for Bruce Ritter before he was caught diddling the children at his Covenant House Shelter. New York (as you may or may not know) can’t be taken as one giant problem. it is hundreds of neighborhoods. That is the way to deal with it. Only outsiders look UP at the tall buildings.”

Once again, you are combative without cause.  I am very well aware of how NYC is set up vis-a-vis “neighborhoods”: I was born and raised here, and have spent over 40 years in the same apartment, but traveling throughout the city and learning about its various “local communities.”

“Your point about the shelters? that people get ripped off, beaten, and otherwise molested?  I thought that is what I said.  Are you that dense? or are you attempting a Hillary type spin game?”

And again, combative without cause.  As well, you only posted four times, and I went through all of them.  At no point did you make any comment on shelters, particularly with specific regard to my comments.  Perhaps you MEANT to do so, but you did not.

For goodness’ sake, Skruff, we are both on the same side, trying to do the good work of outreach and advocacy for the homeless (among other things).  Why then do you feel it so necessary to attack me constantly, and engage in defensiveness and insult?

Peace.

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By Maani, December 18, 2008 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

katsteevns:

“I seriously believe that the ‘war on drugs’ is an integral component of the ‘war on the poor.’ I think that drugs are allowed to enter the country in such large quantities because the powers that be simply want as many people medicated as possible so that they can not learn to think for themselves.”

That the U.S. government “allows” drugs into the country has been true since the 1960s.  But why stop with the poor? (Though you are correct in that regard.)  It is true on ALL levels: after all, don’t you think the Wall St. brokers (as one example) are happy to have their cocaine?  That is serves to keep them “satisfied” and “complacent” in some regards?

“If they could, I believe the poor would become organized enough to make big changes in the system or at least rebel with great effect.”

For certain.  And at those times when a leader HAS risen from among the poor, and has (among other things) had the courage to say what you are saying, they are assassinated as quickly as possible by the same “powers that be” that control the influx of drugs.  I’m sure you can name at least half a dozen if you stop to think about it.

“I think that pharmaceutical giants participate in this ‘war’ as well.”

Actually, the war being waged by the pharmaceutical industry (with the tacit consent of the government and the psychiatric community) is far broader, deeper and more nefarious - more like Huxley’s Brave New World in which people are medicated practically from birth and remain medicated throughout their lives.  Think about it.  Children are started on Ritalin and other drugs as early as three (even though it is now being suggested that children are being misdiagnosed - often deliberately - with ADD, hyperactivism, etc.).  By their early teens, they are switched to Paxil, Wellbutrin, Celexa, Prozac or other mid-level mood stabilizer or antidepressant.  (Some are even prescribed Zyprexa, a powerful anti-psychotic, even though most do not need it.)  And, of course, when they reach adulthood, they either remain on Prozac or switch to Valium, Halcion, etc.

Yup.  This is our “brave new world” of keeping the masses medicated and complacent via drugs, both legal and illegal.

Peace.

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By Skruff, December 18, 2008 at 7:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By Maani, December 17 at 11:21 am #

“I am encouraged to hear what you were able to accomplish in Worcester, Mass.”

Read again Maani.. I was a SMALL part of what was accomplished in ONE NEIGHBORHOOD of Worcester. The effort was Massachusetts wide, and taken in small bites.

ALSO I know New York… Born there at 137 Senator Street Brooklyn.

Worked briefly for Bruce Ritter before he was caught diddling the children at his Covenant House Shelter.

New York (as you may or may not know) can’t be taken as one giant problem. it is hundreds of neighborhoods. That is the way to deal with it. Only outsiders look UP at the tall buildings.

your point about the shelters? that people get ripped off, beaten, and otherwise molested?  I thought that is what I said.  Are you that dense? or are you attempting a Hillary type spin game?

Piss

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By katsteevns, December 18, 2008 at 6:48 am Link to this comment

@ Maani.

I seriously believe that the “war on drugs” is an integral component of the “war on the poor”. I think that drugs are allowed to enter the country in such large quantities because the powers that be simply want as many people medicated as possible so that they can not learn to think for themselves.
If they could, I believe the poor would become organized enough to make big changes in the system or at least rebel with great effect. I think that pharmaceutical giants participate in this “war” as well.

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By katsteevns, December 18, 2008 at 6:47 am Link to this comment

@ Manni.

I seriously believe that the “war on drugs” is an integral component of the “war on the poor”. I think that drugs are allowed to enter the country in such large quantities because the powers that be simply want as many people medicated as possible so that they can not learn to think for themselves.
If they could, I believe the poor would become organized enough to make big changes in the system or at least rebel with great effect. I think that pharmaceutical giants participate in this “war” as well.

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By KDelphi, December 17, 2008 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

Maani—WELL GOOD!!!

lol….

peace

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By Maani, December 17, 2008 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi:

You’ll get no argument from me!  I have been screaming the same thing for years!

Peace.

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By KDelphi, December 17, 2008 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment

I am sorry, but this is nonsense!! What is needed here is NOT more “charity”! These kids, and adults did NOTHING WRONG! We need to spend the money necessary to help them!

If we do not, we wil never be a moral and civil society! Charity is not “reliable”—charitable contributions, go up and down at whim, and, are down , horribly, even this “season” since the stock market crash!

It is sad now, that , when I see it snow, all I can think about is how many people wil die tonight…

Care for these people , who are NOT at fault of anything—most of them—lol—shoudl not deteriotarate, whomever is president, governor, etc. nor who f*cks up on Wall St.

The US is at the bottom rung of the ladder when it comes to social service safety nets. We just let people fall. For shame!It has never been acceptable, and with all the fricking wealthy billions and gazzilionaires, it is officially unthinkable and a disagrace!

Sorry—I just get so ANGRY!!!

People should NOT be on the the streets ! People should NOT be in instutitutions. People should have homes, and, by that, I do not necessarily mean individual houses.

And, if we had avoided the bailout, or reversed the tax cuts, we could have helped them provide for themselves, or , provided for them…

What a f*cking shame!

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By Maani, December 17, 2008 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

Skruff:

I am encouraged to hear what you were able to accomplish in Worcester, Mass.  But Worcester (pop. 176,000) is not NYC (pop. 8 million).  To compare homelessness in the two cities, either by sheer numbers or anything else, is folly.

There are dozens of agencies here that attempt to help the homeless.  (I belong to a few of them.)  But the city, the agencies and virutally everyone else are often working at cross-purposes, with very little funding.  So despite the valiant and noble efforts of many, many people, the bureaucracy and other factors create obstacle after obstacle for TRULY helping the homeless.

And yes, there are “caregivers on the street” (I am one), but the amount we can do is also limited by circumstances beyond our “reasonable) control.  Of course we fight those circumstances as best as we can; but it is always an uphill battle.

You ask, “Why do you believe adults would rather freeze on the street than go to a shelter?  Do you suppose they have fun watching their toes fall off?”

I don’t know about the shelters in Worcester, but some (maybe most) of my homeless charges WOULD rather freeze on the street than go to a shelter because the shelters are dangerous: not only have many of my charges lost everything they have (which is obviously not much) as a result of rampant theft at shelters (some of them more than once), but some of them have been injured in fights - many of which had nothing to do with them, but in the close quarters of a shelter, they ended up injured in the melees, sometimes seriously.

Note that I am not trying to “compare” our concern and work for the homeless.  You have been doing it longer, and in different ways, and have accomplished much.  I have only been doing it for about four years, and I do what I can given the difficulties and restrictions inherent in the largest metropolis in the world - one in which the homeless are, sadly, not at the top of most people’s list, including city government.

Peace.

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By Skruff, December 17, 2008 at 7:12 am Link to this comment
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Maani:

“...if you are suggesting that children are “better off” on the street than in an institution of ANY sort (even Willowbrook at its worst), it is YOU who is not just uninformed, but, despite your good work, callous.  After all, even a “20 to 1” ration is better than a ZERO to one ratio - with the children often left to fend for themselves with NO protection or social services.”

Read my post again Maani. I “informed” you that children are often left to “fend for themselves” INSIDE these big institutions, the only difference is INSIDE is out of sight of the people who might care and do some good. Secondly; who says there are no “caregivers” on the street?

I know Street children, worked with them in Worcester, they came to my big victorian house in troops till The City and finally the Commonwealth had to do something (I was only licensed for 6) The Commonwealth put together a “Community circle” agency. it used college students (for credit and a small stipend paid through the Universities work studies program)to go to the neighborhoods where homeless children roamed in packs. they convinced store owners that it would be more profitable for them to give clothing, food and services rather than pay higher insurance rates for vandalism. I guess some on this board would call that extortion, BUT after the program was instituted, crime in the Main South neighborhood decreased noticeably. These college students tutored children, rode school busses, mediated landlord tenant disputes, and generally rowed upriver to find what was causing the homelessness rather than crisis work after the fact. They got people jobs, Started AA groups, worked between the police and the community, and generally made a harsh gray neighborhood grow green in the spring.  It was absolutely AMAZING, and I was privledged to be a small part of it. 

Oh, and BTW the program was instituted by a Republican Governor, the same one who had previously closed the Commonwealth’s 150 year old reform schools.

Children I worked with from this era still call here, and send xmas cards. 

BTW Why do you believe adults would rather freeze on the street than go to a shelter?  Do you suppose they have fun watching their toes fall off?

They are mostly crazy, BUT that doesn’t always translate to “stupid”

As to your other remark that I may be uninformed myself, or possibally callous, I suggest a third option (even for children) I value freedom over comfort, and occasionally even over life.

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By Maani, December 16, 2008 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

Skruff:

“My work within institutions wasn’t “occasional” For close to forty years I have fostered and adopted children from these places, and often (by default) getting their (almost child) parents in the bargain.”

I never suggested your work was “occasional,” only that mine was.

Re “Your contention that children are “better off” in Willowbrook (at its worst!!!) is an uninformed statement,” if you are suggesting that children are “better off” on the street than in an institution of ANY sort (even Willowbrook at its worst), it is YOU who is not just uninformed, but, despite your good work, callous.  After all, even a “20 to 1” ration is better than a ZERO to one ratio - with the children often left to fend for themselves with NO protection or social services.

Peace.

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By KDelphi, December 16, 2008 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

Scruff—Smaller is not inherently better. especially when it is done, almost entirely, to save money.(I’m a female—bro—lol)I know that some think it was not—my “clients” were not able to be “placed’, and, many were considered to be pretty “dangerous”. (I did lose a tooth—they paid to cap it—broke my thumb, had a chair put a big bleed on my bad leg, and other things—but I never got bored! I cant say that for all the “rooms” in the workshops!lol)

Some were very “big” (I had a young man who was placed and belted into a wheelchair so he wouldnt run—he was autistic—, so he had “built himself up”—he looked like a football player, at 6’6” and muscular as hell!). Most of the “kids” I had were adults, or, quickly on their way to being so. I had two families show up for meetings.

These people were never going to be fostered nor adopted. Most of the former residents of institutions will not be. Those are just the facts. But, most can learn to live in a structured group environment—especiially the ones who are not mentally unable or , formerly, mentally retarded—many are autistic, psychiatrically challenged, etc. They become institutionalized—many appear mentally retarded, and, are, in fact, not. Some cannot recover—most can. It doesnt take patience—it takes fascination with human behavior—at least that is what I think.

I know the smell well. I had , to start, 13 incontinent adults—not one coudl/would speak. None could feed themselves—they were used to their food being ground up and having it poured into their mouths.

By the time I, and my two aides, had worked with them for l8 mos., here in Ohio,( I got in my accident—I returned to work elsewhere, after being out for two years—they held my job for 18 mos until I asked thej not o),8 were speaking, all were signing or indicating preferences, all but one were feeding theselves. I am not complainign about the clients I got!I asked for them—I find autism, etc, fascinating, if challenging.


The answer woudl be to improve the staff ratios, open group homes in communities, and COVER EVERYONE with universal heath care. The answer, unforutnately,  is more money.

To be honest, I wouldnt have worked AT one of those snake pits for $150,00 a year. I was asked to take a positoin at Mont Developmental Cnter, as “Head” of one of the worst “houses”, which I described in my past post (AFTER the institution). I had turned the state in many times, and, my boss ( at county) had backed me! SOME things got changed—then, they had the nerve to ask me to come work for them!

I know you said “40 yrs”—that was obviously many years ago. I do not know how you did it.I worked for the smaller places—never for large institutions. I worked in the village of Berlin, New Hampshire, for Comm Mental Health—mostly long term psychiatric and brain damaged, in group “therapy” and sheltered workshops. (after MS)

I only worked there about 18 mos. As you may know,—not from New Hmapshire? Get the f*ck out!—ESPECIALLY if youre a liberal or a female that likes to go out at night! Kindve useless anyway, huh?

I worked for 10 yrs in this part of Ohio, for about 5 up Northern Ohio, about 5 in a small group home (private—gawd, it was better! Ratios, 2:1!).I also worked some in Florida. I bounced around, and, while off work, I went back to university, here in Ohio. I never worked with severely mentally disabled after that. Mostly severe psychiatric, like schizophrenia, etc.

I had “people” out of Gallopolis, Massillon State, Orient, and Dayton MH Center, also, private homes for autistic, Lebanon Correctional Institute, etc.

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By Folktruther, December 16, 2008 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie-  well, I suppose that’s another way of saying it.  And it is true that there will be a difference of style and marginal differences of day to day policies of O vs Bush.

But I don’t see how any significant change is possible.  The banks and corporations contol the government and for significant change, the government has to regulate and impose policies against the banks and corporations.  Everyone might agree that something different must be done, as in Israel, but the power is lacking to do it.

Your riff on scarcity was positively brilliant.  Scarcity is not merely necessary for profit, it is necessary for power.

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By Skruff, December 16, 2008 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Maani
“Re your response to Scruff, I agree with you, also from personal experience.  I also worked with people at Willowbrook, Creedmor and other facilities, though only occasionally”

My work within institutions wasn’t “occasional” For close to forty years I have fostered and adopted children from these places, and often (by default) getting their (almost child) parents in the bargin. Your contention that children are “better off” in Willowbrook (at its worst!!!) is an uninformed statement.

Did you know that the staff to patient ratio in 1968 was 20 to one, and that they had to count telephone operators and maintainance staff to get to that figure?  Are you aware that children were left in their own shit for days (DAYS not hours)at a time, that marginally functional people got worse while “in care?” that rapes and sexual abuse were common between inmate and inmate, and inmate and staff?

It is absolutely no use trying to convey the conditions I found while working in Maine New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, and Massachusetts. One can’t put smell across on the internet!

and KDelphi

“People in the tenches often end up cleanig up the messes of these so-called “liberals”, and we are sick of it..”

Amen brother!  Where did you work in New Hampshire, and when. I worked for First Circle Home in Weare, Philbrick in Concord, and The Big reform school down on North river road in manchester, they called it the “State Indrustrial School” in those days, Then it became the New Hampshite Youth Development Center in the late 70’s, I hear it’s gone now.  Good fucken riddance


I still believe smaller is better when treating people.

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By Anarcissie, December 16, 2008 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

Folktruther:
You are wrong, Anarcissie.  Obiden is not a continuation of Clinton, he is a continuation of Bush. The Bushites have successfully conducted a political revolution, much as occurred in the Roman transition from a Republic to an Empire. Just as the Roman emperor was a military dictator, so the superpresident is, with Congress, the Supreme Court and legal system, deprived of the ability to constrain administrative power. ...

As I see it there has been a very steady push on the part of the ruling class to eliminate Constitutional and other limits on the power of the presidency, which evidently they believe they can control.  (Echoes of the Weimar Republic!)  9/11 and a post-Reagan Republican administration gave this project great impetus.  In this sense I don’t think there is a great difference between Obama, the Bushes, the Clintons, the Kennedys, their various mafias, and the rest of the royalty.  As I’ve said before, if Mr. O was not fully signed on to the policies and programs of the ruling class, he would have gotten nowhere near the presidency.

However, I expect to see quite a few differences between Mr. O and his immediate predecessor in the areas of day-to-day policy and general style.  Moreover, it appears that the economic fables of the last 28 years are coming to a ruinous end, so that Mr. O’s hand may be forced by events in ways none of us can predict.

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By Anarcissie, December 16, 2008 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

Maani—scarcity is not only necessary to profit, it is necessary to the maintenance of the domination of the political system by capitalists, upon which their preferred economic status depends.  If there is scarcity, then we urgently require growth and an elite class to manage it; without it, we could fire the bosses.

As a result, a major task of the capitalist state is the manufacture of scarcity.

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By screamingpalm, December 15, 2008 at 10:08 pm Link to this comment

Inherit:

While I agree with some of your examples, it is hardly a reason for me to support the Democrats when they helped to pass FISA and the Patriot Act, were just as at fault- and arguably more so in the deregulation of every sector and the economic crisis, not to mention all the other legislation I have already mentioned that was passed under Clinton-Gore.

It is pointless for me to rehash it, the links and examples are there. There were also studies done that revealed that had Nader not run, Gore would have done worse. Others say that it forced him to take a slightly more progressive stand- which was fairly popular at the time, especially after 8 years of corporate Democrats avoiding progressive issues.

Regardless, Gore was not entitled to my vote.


Maani:

Thank you for being resonable about the Gore-lost-because-of-Nader debate.

On Salazar, well obviously I share your disgust. However, Folktruther makes some good points and I have to admit that I am surprised- and confused considering your defiant support of Gore. If you haven’t looked at the link I posted before, it does have some interesting information.

http://www.debatethis.org/gore/enviro/naderopenletter.html#globalwarming

“-Voted against the CAFE fuel standards for cars and trucks”

Quote:
“The Clinton-Gore Administration did not even propose any across the board fuel CAFE standard increases during its 8-year administration. Thanks to that freeze and the effect of the exemptions given to SUVs, average fuel efficiency is now down to 24.5 mpg, the lowest level seen since 1980. Clinton-Gore in their 1992 campaign, promised that in 2000 A.D., the average would reach 40 mpg.”


“-Voted to end protections re offshore drilling in Florida’s Gulf Coast”


Quote:
“Meanwhile, when the presidential debate touched on oil exploration, Gore “bravely” defends the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that focus groups have shown him he cannot give up. Under cover of that stand, though, he has opened up the Arctic National Petroleum Reserve, 2000 miles of southeastern Alaska coastline, and parts of the California coastline, not to mention selling off the Elk Hills Petroleum reserve to Occidental Oil, his family’s patron company, in the largest privatization in American government history. Now Gore seems poised to break another promise and allow drilling along the Florida coastline, which he has promised never to do. As long as it’s not ANWR, it’s likely at risk under a Gore administration.”


“-Actively opposed endangered species listing for black-tailed prairie dog “

Quote:
“For other resource extraction issues, the public good has been sold to highest bidders under the guise of conservation. The Administration set aside lands, not in National Parks, but rather in National Monuments that often can allow grazing, helicopter logging, and even hard rock mining. Logging has continued under this “earth-friendly” administration:  Clinton-Gore signed the “salvage rider” that suspended the Endangered Species Act despite claiming they opposed it.”


I guess my point is, I don’t understand where you stand on- or how important the environment is to you?

(I guess I ended up rehashing some stuff after all wink )

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By Clash, December 15, 2008 at 10:03 pm Link to this comment

maani;

It is a sorry state of affairs when you assume someone one you don’t even no is stupid. I had asked that some here on the boards look at the information I presented and comment, that’s all. Nor did I accuse any of these persons of doing anything, again you assumed this, as far as your acronyms well believe what you want if it makes you feel good.

The organizations, they work in secret to control the world economy, thus controlling the populace secret being the key word. That you agreed that at least ten% of the people mentioned belonged to one or more of these groups was what I was after. You see maani I have always known there are people more educated than I, although most of the time they show this with a great deal more courtesy.

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By Folktruther, December 15, 2008 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment

Maani- I never cease to be astonished at what influences people.  Sec of Interior?  Mean to animals?  After Obama’s previous appointments of war mongers and neoliberals?

Still, I suppose you have to ask the question of what Obama is thinking berfore you can answer it.

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By Maani, December 15, 2008 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment

Holy Cow!  Obama just named Ken Salazar as Sec’y of the Interior!  This is BY FAR the worst choice he has made yet!  This guy is a nightmare!  Just a few things:

-Friend and supporter of Alberto Gonzales

-Supported Joe Lieberman over Ned Lamont

-Actively opposed endangered species listing for black-tailed prairie dog

-Voted against the CAFE fuel standards for cars and trucks

-Voted to end protections re offshore drilling in Florida’s Gulf Coast

-Voted against a bill that would require the Army Corp of Engineers to consider global warming when planning water projects

-Has a 60% rating from the Defenders of Wilderness, a 25% rating by the Humane Society of the U.S., and a 0% rating from the Fund for Animals

And that’s just the Wiki stuff!  I’m sure there is even more if his Senate voting record is checked.

Yikes!  He sounds like another James Watt!  What on God’s great earth is Obama thinking?!?!?!

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By Maani, December 15, 2008 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi, katseevns:

Re the alleged “war on the poor,” it is actually not so much a “war” as a consequence of our economic system.  In “Zeitgeist:Addendum” (for which I provide the link below), there is an explanation for this: “Efficiency, sustainability and abundance are the enemies of profit.”  In other words, we live in a profit-driven system, one in which “abundance” is an enemy of profit, so “scarcity” is encouraged and purposely created.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7065205277695921912

Peace.

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By katsteevns, December 15, 2008 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment

@KDelphi
I agree. It is a DELIBERATE war on the poor. It is the nature of the beast(capitalism), which induces good men to become animals.

And because of the following:
Chauvinism as Nationalism
Chauvinism is an almost natural product of the national concept insofar as it springs directly from the old idea of the “national mission.” ... (A) nation’s mission might be interpreted precisely as bringing its light to other, less fortunate peoples that, for whatever reason, have miraculously been left by history without a national mission. As long as this concept did not develop into the ideology of chauvinism and remained in the rather vague realm of national or even nationalistic pride, it frequently resulted in a high sense of responsibility for the welfare of (sic) backward peoples.- Wiki-

In the 1980s capitalism triumphed over communism. In the 1990s it triumphed over democracy.
~ David Korten

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By KDelphi, December 15, 2008 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment

maani—thanks. I dont want to argue anymore. I think we just disagree because I came out so strongly against evangelicalism and we got off on the wrong foot. It was not personal, and I did not mean to make a permanent enemy, There is no piont. I am an agnostic, but, I agree with you on larger points. So, lets REALLY have, peace, ok?

katstevens—Actually, I said it—“war on the poor”
—were you agreeing or disagreeing? I still think alot of this is all about poverty..most politicians wont even use ther word anymore…I guess they want evryone to think that they are middle class.

i think that alot of US ‘wars” are about the poor…

Povery is not a crime—it is a condition. It is usually brought about by many factors. It is , most often, not the fault of the person suffering from it. In general, I woudl say that it is societies responsibility to elliviate it. Would you agree?

Look at all this money we spent on—NOTHING! Death, misery, more golden toilet seats for Trump. And we still cannot see to it that no US person lies in the snow? What bullshit!

Morality is at issue here…we are sinking into Third World status…

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By Maani, December 15, 2008 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi:

Re the NWO stuff, we can let it rest.

Re your response to Scruff, I agree with you, also from personal experience.  I also worked with people at Willowbrook, Creedmor and other facilities, though only occasionally.

Then I watched through the late 70s and early 80s as three things occurred simultaneously: budget cuts for affordable housing; budget cuts for institutions of this kind; and landlords intimidating and/or burning people out of SROs in order to build luxury housing.

In 1975, the number of homeless in NYC was estimated at 3,000 to 4,000.  By 1985, the number was over 30,000 - including over 5,000 children.

As one whose primary ministry is outreach to and advocacy for the homeless, I can tell you that that number has not changed much over two decades.  All that happens is that the homeless get “shuffled” from streets to shelters and back.  Yes, there are occasional “gains” for them: organizations that provide semi-permanent housing, social services, etc., and, once in a great while, a city-led housing effect.  But nothing substantial ever changes.

And you are right: for the mentally ill homeless, even a nightmare like Willowbrook or Creedmor (in their last days) was preferable to the nightmare of the streets.

Peace.

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By KDelphi, December 15, 2008 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

Skruff-Actually, when I first read your post, I was going to say that you were right about Clinton on balancing the budget. I was being emotional.

However, budget cuts at the state level (and lower) were swift, under Reagan, Clinton , and, Dubya!. Some of it was our GOP governors. But, the feds cut, too. When they do that, people on welfare and in institutions, are not “placed in a least restrictive environment”, but, end up on the street , or, in places like Ohio Developmental Center, which, although somehwat smaller, was almost as bad as the “Big Ones” People in the suburbs just didnt have to see it!. I would come to pick people up for workshop—they would be lying in piss and shit, naked, still in bed, and the “workers” or “houseparents”, would be in the kitchen , playing cards and smoking. It would sometimes take me a good 3 hours to get most of them ready. Many had no clothes that were clean nor shoes in winter.

I reported it all right! To my boss, who was a good guy. He TRIED to help—I reported it to county, to state, to fed—we got NOTHING—from Reagan OR Clinton!

In NH, it was much the same, although it was a small town , so people did more “charity”. Charity is not what is needed here.

What is needed is a return to the Comm MH Centers of JFK ( he did that right!) and national universal heatlh care—mental health and diabiltiy parity.

I present the “facts” as they were here ...they were brutal, and, as you can see, I am angry about it to this day…

People in the tenches often end up cleanig up the messes of these so-called “liberals”, and we are sick of it..

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By KDelphi, December 15, 2008 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

Maani—I do not know all the acronymns, because I have not “studied them for 25 yrs” (or was it 15?), and I do not wish to. My brother in law, a law prof at Fordham, wrote a book called “The War at Home”—he also wrote others. He has a somewhat different take on it.(Some, he would probably also agree with you) My point was not whether clash was ‘wrong” (I dont know) , but, that you often state opinion as facts…

Scruff—Actually YOU have no idea what you are talking about! I worked with kids from Willow brook , Orient State Insti and Gallopolis—-and others. Maybe you worked there—where did they go after wards? To state and county institutions like where I worked—with NO increase in funds!!

More neo-liberal policies, made to look like “social concern”, actually a self-righteous group of budget cutters who tried to make it look like they cared—maybe some did not know—we sure as hell did! WE GOT THEM__all at one!

Only Half the Story
Rocco L. Motto, M.D

Here in California, during Ronald Reagan’s tenure as governor, the number of mentally ill people in the state hospital system dropped from 26,500 in 1967 to 6,400 in 1974. While many thought that deinstitutionalization represented progress, the truth is that former patients were residing in our parks, on streets and sidewalks, or in doorways of various establishments in numbers that now reach into the thousands.

Any study of the move to deinstitutionalize must include the thousands that are no longer in our institutions, but make up the core group of the homeless individuals. I hope that all such studies will credit Reagan for being so vigorous in emptying state hospitals in a system that had been ranked either first or second from 1960 until Reagan became governor

I have many others..

Conventional wisdom suggests that the reduction of funding for social welfare policies during the 1980s is the result of a conservative backlash against the welfare state. With such a backlash, it should be expected that changes in the policies toward involuntary commitment of the mentally ill reflect a generally conservative approach to social policy more generally. In this case, however, the complex of social forces that lead to less restrictive guidelines for involuntary commitment are not the result of conservative politics per se, but rather a coalition of fiscal conservatives, law and order Republicans, relatives of mentally ill patients, and the practitioners working with those patients. Combined with a sharp rise in homelessness during the 1980s, Ronald Reagan pursued a policy toward the treatment of mental illness that satisfied special interest groups and the demands of the business community, but failed to address the issue: the treatment of mental illness

First I did NOT say that they werent snake pits,nor that people should STAY there (but, I still submit that it beat the streets—you cant even admnit yourself voluntarily anymore!). I said that the “group homes ” never materialized. It was to SAVE MONEY! Get real!

“This paper provides an illustration of this co-optation by examining the policies regarding involuntary commitment of the mentally ill. The shifts in such policies were not the result of overt attempts at change, but rather part of an overall effort to realign the political economy to be more profitable for business. The overall result was that political discourse shifted from a focus on social policy to a focus on fiscal policy. As such, social programs that necessitated financial outlays on the part of the federal government were overlooked in favour of policies that seemed less costly.”

Were you born yesterday?

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By katsteevns, December 15, 2008 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

———————————————————————————-
By Skruff, December 15 at 6:18 am #

“The “war on drugs” (war on the poor).The “war on terror” (war on the poor).”
————————————————————————————-

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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By Maani, December 15, 2008 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

KDelphi:

“You either think it is okay that so many Obama appointees belong to these orgs, or you dont.”

As noted, some of those “orgs” are more troubling than others.  But I maintain that (i) a simple “association” with one or more of these orgs does not automatically imply an active connection, and (ii) even “membership” in these orgs need not automatically be seen as “nefarious” in some sense. Am I concerned?  Yes, but not to the degree that some others here seem to be.

“‘If you dont know these acronyms’ it indicates a ‘knowledge gap?’ That is just bizarre.”

No it isn’t.  Clash was throwing around some of the orgs with those acronyms as if he actually knew and understood exactly who they, what they do, how they operate, etc. (to say nothing of whether the people he “accused” of being members of them actually are so).  He doesn’t.  Neither do you.  Anyone who HAS studied the NWO (New World Order) would KNOW those acronyms IMMEDIATELY.  That was my point.  For the record, they are CFR (Council on Foreign Relations), TC (Trilateral Commission), BG (Bilderberg Group), COR (Council of Rome), RIIA (Royal Institute of Int’l Affairs), TCG (The Carlyle Group).

“But, I am intrigued by your expertise on NWO—do you have a link, or a book, perhaps?”

Not yet, but I’m working on it.  I HAVE compiled the first comprehensive list of the members of the “Big Six” NWO orgs (as above), to the degree that that information is available (and when you spend 20 years digging as deeply and fervently as I have, you can ferret out more than you think).

“I stand by what I said…[I]f Obama does not deliver more than ‘change from Bush,’ it will not be tolerated by the majority. I hope I am right. You probably do not.”

It is not a matter of whether I hope you are right, or even whether I agree with you.  The issue is, and has always been, what was Obama’s definition of “change,” and what “degree” of that change can he or will he act on.  You and I disagree on both the “definition” and “degree” of the “change” he promised.  Of COURSE I’d like to see more change than less.  But that is not the issue.

“[I]f anyone supports Nader, Socialism, or anything else, all you can do is mock.  But that is okay—I believe you have a right to express your opinion…unlike, apparently, many Democrats.”

No, I do not mock.  I disagree strongly, and provide my reasons for disagreement.  Nor have I, personally, given you any reason to believe that you are not entitled to your opinion just as I am entitled to mine.  If you wish to make accusations, make them against people for whom they fit.

ITW:

“And [Nader voters] DID have an effect in 2000.”

I feel it necessary to qualify this, because you seem to be overstating your case.

Gore did NOT lose the election because of Nader.  Indeed, if Nader had not run, the result would have been the same, since he did not capture any electoral votes, and Gore WON the popular vote even WITHOUT Nader’s votes.

Gore lost because (i) he ran a poor campaign, (ii) he distanced himself from Clinton (which ended up being the WRONG choice), (iii) election chicanery in Florida, and (iv) the Supreme Court “coronation.”

Peace.

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By Skruff, December 15, 2008 at 7:18 am Link to this comment
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By KDelphi, December 14 at 5:11 pm #


“maani—Clinton “balanced the budget” on the backs of the poor! Anyone can do that.

Clinton DIDN’T “Balance the budget. He used paper schemes to alter the preception of the deficit.  There is ALWAYS a defict when we OWE more than we pay. or when we borrow to cover deficit spending.

“Welfare “reform”. That may have sounded good. But, I was working as a social worker part of that time, and, believe me, plenty of people were just thrown into the streets. Many are still there.”

Actually “welfare reform” as passed by a Republican majority and signed by B. Clinton couldn’t have put anyone on the streets for 5 years from the enactment of that legislation. and by 2001, many States had covered the loss of federal dollars and modified their plans to keep the money flowing.  Here in Maine, poor folks are treated to a virtual salad-bar of programs from wich to pick…. and guess what, poor children still suffer.

Reagan , smiliarly, instituted “de-institutionalization”, which turned out to be nothing more than a way to close mental hospitals…and put the people into non-existent “group homes”...people still do not want them in “their neighborhoods”.

Obviously you haven’t a clue here. The big institutions (Like Letchworth, and Willowbrook) were snake pits… A real horror, far beyond anything we have on shore today. (I witnessed one child almost beaten to death for the high crime of bedwetting. except for the efforts of several other adults standing around, the child would have been tossed out a fourth floor window.  AND Reagan had NOTHING to do with de-institutionalization EXCEPT to sign a reauthorization of JJDPA, a fine piece of legislation which kept child prisioners and adult prisoners seperated. the largest part of de-institutionalization was accomplisher under Nixon and Carter. it was a great effort on the part of government for confined individuals.

The “war on drugs” (war on the poor).The “war on terror” (war on the poor). The war on “whatever the hell”  Every President since Truman has had a “war on drugs”

Although I agree with the thrust of your argument (Government is inefficant and ineffective?) I don’t see how misrepresenting the facts helps the argument at all.

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By Anarcissie, December 15, 2008 at 7:17 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind:
‘You know, I’m 53 years old and I don’t remember ONE Democratic President that the far Left didn’t eviscerate.  That’s JFK, LBJ, Carter, Clinton, and now (before he’s even President), Obama.

And it’s always the same bullshit.  The far left wants a Marxist/Socialist President—and is continually pissed that America has no intention of electing one.

So I’m tired of the same old criticisms that really come down to: We, the 1% of the Left, condemn the other 99% for not embracing Socialism and a Socialist President, and never see the difference between Republicans and non-Socialist Democrats.  Just read this thread and hundreds of similar posts.  They all say the same thing. Again, again, and again…

Well, you know, speaking the truth to power and all that.  The real Left is, yes, 1% or 1/10 of 1% of the population, so it will never take power, but it can make a lot of trouble and cause certain kinds of progress that way.  Public discourse and public consciousness have changed significantly in the last century or so, partly as a result of leftist agitation and propaganda.  Some of it, like the Civil Rights movement, has become an article of faith even on the Right.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 15, 2008 at 4:37 am Link to this comment

screamingpalm, December 14 at 7:58 pm #

Wow Inherit, is that all we can expect from the intellectual Left? Throw your hands up and call bullshit? I tend to be open minded, please tell me why I should support the Democratic party. Some examples perhaps?

Maybe the conservatives have a point when they say that you are free to express yourself as long as you say only what liberals deem appropriate.

As long as the Democrats continue their elitist snobbery, the divisions will remain on the left.
*************************************************

When the same silly arguments and complaints get repeated ad nausea for 47 years by the same far, far left minority and their descendants, I do call “BULLSHIT!”  Vote for whomever you like—it’s still a semi-free country despite Bush’s efforts to change that.

And you all DID have an effect in 2000. The result? Unemployment and underemployment is at 11%. We are in 2 wars, one of which was totally “frivolous” and illegal and has gotten nearly a million people killed.  The other, I believe, was necessary, but was totally fucked up in order to fight the illegal Iraq war, and now, even if we get out of Iraq, is threatening to turn into another Iraq. And, in Afghanistan, NONE of the mission objectives have been achieved.

So..as a result of you and your “I’m not voting Dem, I’m voting Nader” we got:
1) Warnings of a major attack ignored, as late as Aug 2001.
2) The surplus turned to a deficit with major tax cuts to the wealthiest.
3) The Patriot Act, the MCA, the revised FISA, the HSA.
4) The politicization of every executive agency—unprecedented in our history—even Reagan and Nixon didn’t place zampoliti in very agency.
5) A totally destroyed FEMA, with horrendous results to the victims.
6) 5 anti-choice, anti-liberty Supreme Court justices forming the worst majority decisions since Plessy vs Ferguson.
7) Not just de-reg of every industry, but deliberately AIDING them to rape the public and the environment.
8) A collapsed economic system
9) George W. Bush, hands-down the worst President, by far in the history of the Republic.  Even such awful notables as John Tyler, James Buchanan, US Grant, Warren G. Harding, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan all did better jobs than this arrogant, ignorant, incompetent coward.

Thanks, though, for thinking of me as the “intellectual left”.  It’s obviously not deserved but it’s nice to be put in the same class as Paul Krugman and the late, great Molly Ivins.

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By KDelphi, December 15, 2008 at 1:32 am Link to this comment

Maani—You have HONESTLY got to be kidding me—lol!!!

“Let me give you the facts, since, as noted, I have spent over 20 years studying, researching and compiling information on the NWO orgs, including CFR, TC, BG, COR, RIIA, and TCG.  (If you don’t know these abbreviations, that simply proves my point about our relative knowledge here.)...”

Clash already stated many facts. Some, you just repeated. You either think it is ok that so many Obama appointtees belong to these org. , or, you dont…just naming the organizaitons and admitting that, yes alot of these people DO belong to them—what is that??

Does NWO mean “New World Order, or Natl Wresting Org”? CFR—Council on Foreign Relations or Code of Fed Reg.? (What is your degree in—acronyms?)COR—Comm for External Relations or Comm for Intl Affairs and European Realaions?  COR—Church of Resurrection or Contracting Offcier Rep?

Cmon, maani—jeez…I mean, “if you dont know these acronyms, ” it indicates a “knowledge gap”?? That is just bizarre…

Center for Am., Progress is the neo-liberal version of the Project for the New Am Century—-
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/12/military_priorities.html

Any group- that still thinks that there is a winnable “war on terror” is NOT “progresive”.

From their website:

“Restoring Am. Military Leadership”—real “progresive”

“... growing and modernizing the force. The next administration should therefore keep the defense budget flat over the next four years, adjusting for inflation and fluctuations in the U.S. dollar.
It also aims to guide policymakers and the general public about what a new administration will need to do to restore American military power..”

What, no cuts? When we are at our highest budget levels since WW II?? A true “progressive” woudl not want to “restore military power and leadership” , nor fight a non-existent, “war on terror”. I do not think that the world looks to the uS for moral leadership anynmore. I am not sure that they should.

The “good” legislation you mention (ie Clinton) WAS full of loopholes..you can smoke it or not.You give no facts to despute it. Sometimes, you just puzzle me—you just ignore what you wish.I am also puzzled by Dems NEED to “defend” “everything Obama”—WHY? What do you care what a few “leftist wackos” think??

But, I am intriguied by your expertise on NWO—do you have a link, or a book, perhaps?

I stand by what I said. In general, if Obama does not deliver more than “change from Bush”, it will not be tolerated by the majority. I hope I am right. You probably do not.

I also think that the Dems knew damn well that Obama “indicated” more “change” than that. But, they are a little “light ” on facts…make no promises, than you can get re-elected on lies….the Dems assume that progressives have nowwehre else to go. I think that this election just may be the end of that crap. But, if anyone supports Nader, Socialism, or anything else, all you can do is mock. But that is ok—I believe you have a right to express your opinion…unlike, apparently, many Democrats.

You do that alot—-respond to opinions as if they can be proven or not…they cant.

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By CJ, December 15, 2008 at 12:24 am Link to this comment

I appreciate Dionne’s humor, “…neither Lenin nor Robespierre.” And no doubt Obama’s choices are more leftish than were Kennedy’s, JFK having been more hawkish than Obama. (Remember, anyone? “Best and the Brightest”?) I appreciate too Dionne’s noting of remarks on the part of Senator Sanders, but we know already that by “healthcare reform,” Obama does not mean so-called “single-payer,” which means that he, like both Clintons, subscribes to the notion that private insurers be included. When insurers are the principle source of disaster.

Reality moved left, as both Marx and Dickens observed, during the mid-to-late 19th Century, while bourgeois ideology has budged only slightly to portside since the French Revolution. (Tom [never-cited] Paine was also observant—long before Marx and Dickens.) No matter how many foreclosures and job losses.

Dionne is right to note, via Sherrod Brown, that Dems have been forced to pay some attention, but then there was that (mostly) unstructured Wall Street bailout. (Which I backed myself, but only if rigidly structured.) Otherwise, Dems as much as Repubs are at least 20 years late on the scene of crime, damage long done.

Re what constitutes “left.” It’s become fashionable to deny altogether left-right continuum as Arianna Huffington did just the other night on Maddow’s program.

Chomsky has talked and written of Lippmann’s (erstwhile socialist) propagandizing of two-tier “democracy”—one for us and one for them. “Us” are those who know better, FOR “them,” who are those believed—only by “us”—not to know better. Those consisting of human beings who labor in various kinds of specialized trenches. That is, those not of the intelligentsia, much less of the ruling class.

Interesting, and a little ironic, what Schlesinger wrote in his diary of Kennedy’s thoughts to do with a liberal Congress wherein were “conservative-appearing men,” not “all-outers.” I think mistaken, though I hope not.

Kennedy was, as Obama is, of Harvard, though of far more elite background than Obama. But Obama attended Harvard, which seems to be place where heads (including Lippmann’s) go to be shrunk. (Larry Summers?) There is a reason that average, more-or-less-populist minded are so skeptical of liberals with their paved-with-good-intentions roads to hell.

“Left” (in America) is believed to denote “liberal.” While those left of that are regarded as “loony.” Obama is not on the left. Were he, he’d not have been elected. Dionne is partly right (no pun, obviously) to write that Edwards and Kucinich were more champions for poverty-stricken and anti-war. Both hover somewhere on the still-pertinent continuum between liberal and left.

To be on the political-economic left is to be at least a little radical, to understand that there is no such thing as having and eating cake. To understand that if universal healthcare is the goal, then insurers have to be eliminated from the equation. That waging “war on terror” is to invite terror. That not only do other people have to be spoken with but also allowed to say how it is and will be. (South Africa) That intelligentsias and ruling classes are sources of problems. Kennedy was an elitist, and so is Obama. Kennedy was and Obama is guilty of thinking too much of himself as potential savior. Along with all those who voted for one or both, thinking themselves also doing nothing less than greatest good. A leftist knows that whatever chaos might ensue it would be better to leave matters to any but those who would be leaders. Whether of American conservative or liberal stripe. To be left is also to be not so far from being true conservative. NOT reactionary, which is flipside of liberal. If this is what Huffington meant, then good enough.  But I don’t think this is what she meant, knowing that she, like all liberals and all reactionaries, believes that “mass” is in need of instruction.

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By Clash, December 14, 2008 at 11:48 pm Link to this comment

maani;

Lie down with fleas get up with dogs

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By Maani, December 14, 2008 at 10:32 pm Link to this comment

Clash:

Your first link is simply a website, with no direction to what supports your claims.  The second link is an article which not only doesn’t support your claim, but doesn’t mention ANY of the people (other than Hillary) you claim are members of BG.

Let me give you the facts, since, as noted, I have spent over 20 years studying, researching and compiling information on the NWO orgs, including CFR, TC, BG, COR, RIIA, and TCG.  (If you don’t know these abbreviations, that simply proves my point about our relative knowledge here.)

First, re CFR, they are no longer what they once were.  Not only have they been “watered down” to an enormous degree, but over the past 10-15 years they have moved decidedly to the center from their previous conservative-reactionary position.  Of the name you mention, only Geithner, Volcker, Clinton, Summers and Rice are active CFR members.  But then, so are Tom Brokaw and Angelina Jolie (among many others). And I’m not scared of THEM.  LOL.  Seriously, though, I no longer count CFR as a “serious” NWO group, though I continue to watch them and monitor their goings-on.

Re TC, only Volcker and Clinton are active members.  TC remains a dangerous NWO org, and bears continual watching.

Re BG, Daniel Estulin has literally “written the book” on them (“The True Story of The Bilderberg Group”).  I highly recommend it.  Of those you mention, only Volcker and Clinton are known active members.  And BG is without question the MOST dangerous and powerful of all the NWO orgs.

Re Gates and Rice, much more disturbing is that they are both members of the Aspen Strategy Group, a mostly neocon think tank that includes such people as Cheney, C. Rice, Wolfowitz, Perle, and…Philip Zelikow, the Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission.  [N.B. S. Rice is also a “fellow” at the mostly-conservative Brookings Institute.]

Re Biden, you could not be more wrong.  Not only is he not an active member of either BG or CFR, he is a principal in the Center for American Progress, one of the only truly progressive think tanks in the world (Liz Edwards is also a member).

Ultimately, though, the mere “throwing around” of alleged “memberships” in the NWO groups means almost nothing.  Many politicians (and others) address these groups (or, in the case of CFR, write articles for their actually very excellent magazine, Foreign Affairs), but are not “members,” and may not even support their policies.  What you are creating is “guilt by association” - even if the association is tenuous.

I am not suggesting that the NWO orgs should not be monitored; they should, and I have been doing so for decades.  But you really need to know and understand EXACTLY who they are, what they do and how they operate before you can even MAKE such associations, much less presume some “nefariousness” in those associations.

Peace.

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By screamingpalm, December 14, 2008 at 9:56 pm Link to this comment

——————————————————————————-
By Maani, December 14 at 8:39 pm #

ScreamingPalm:

“As usual, how dare progressives challenge or question the establishment or status quo.”

Ahem…we are simply disagreeing.  I do not see why you need to ratchet this up to some sort of blanket attack on progressives.

“What are some of the “GOOD” legislation passed under Clinton. Especially any that would balance out or forgive any of the bad that I pointed out earlier?”

Well, what may “balance out or forgive” things for YOU may be different from what may “balance out and forgive” things for me, or anyone else.  So THAT part of your request is unlikely to go anywhere.

As for “good” legislation: The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993; The Brady Bill; expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit; the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997; the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act; the Adoption and Safe Families Act; the Foster Care Independence Act; the Digital Millennium Copyright Act; the Minimum Wage Increase; creation of AmeriCorps; and most significantly the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it!  LOL.

Peace.
——————————————————————————-

First, thank you for leaving out my typo :D.

As far as the “good” legislation, most of those aren’t worth the paper they were written on… much less do they outweigh the harmful legislation passed by Clinton. For an example, I was fired from a job while on FMLA. Most of the progressive legislation Clinton passed had so many loopholes that benefited Big Business at the expense of the working class. The minimum wage increase is so laughable, do I really need to discuss that one? The Brady bill and the Earned Income Tax Credit I will agree with you on.

If you consider these to outweigh the harm done to the environment and the WTO and NAFTA legislation under Clinton-Gore, then I agree that we differ tremendously on opinion.

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By Maani, December 14, 2008 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment

Clash:

‘You care to provide some support for your claims re these people’s “memberships” in Bilderberg, CFR and TC?  I happen to have researched the NWO orgs for over twenty years, and only a few of the people you list are members of one or more of those groups.

I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.  Otherwise, you had better retract your claims.

Peace.

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By Maani, December 14, 2008 at 9:39 pm Link to this comment

ITW:

Bravo!

KDelphi:

“If you think that most people will accept that Obama just meant “change from Bush”—you just have to be kidding me.”

Actually, he DID word it that way sometimes, talking about not “doing things the same old [Bush] way and expecting different results.  That hasn’t worked.”  This was part of his stump speech for quite a while until he started getting more “detailed” - yet even his details were by no means “progessive” in the sense that you and others seem to believe they were.

ScreamingPalm:

“As usual, how dare progressives challenge or question the establishment or status quo.”

Ahem…we are simply disagreeing.  I do not see why you need to ratchet this up to some sort of blanket attack on progressives.

“What are some of the “GOOD” legislation passed under Clinton. Especially any that would balance out or forgive any of the bad that I pointed out earlier?”

Well, what may “balance out or forgive” things for YOU may be different from what may “balance out and forgive” things for me, or anyone else.  So THAT part of your request is unlikely to go anywhere.

As for “good” legislation: The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993; The Brady Bill; expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit; the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997; the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act; the Adoption and Safe Families Act; the Foster Care Independence Act; the Digital Millennium Copyright Act; the Minimum Wage Increase; creation of AmeriCorps; and most significantly the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it!  LOL.

Peace.

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By Clash, December 14, 2008 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment

PART 2:
8. BILL RICHARDSON – COMMERCE SECRETARY
Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, former U.S. congressman, chairman of the Democratic National Convention in 2004, employee of Kissinger Associates, UN ambassador, governor of New Mexico, energy secretary, major player in the Monica Lewinsky cover-up with Bilderberg luminary Vernon Jordan.
9. ROBERT GATES – DEFENSE SECRETARY
Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, former CIA Director, defense secretary under President Bush, co-chaired CFR task force with Zbigniew Brzezinski, knee-deep in the Iran-Contra scandal, named in a 1999 class action lawsuit pertaining to the Mena drug trafficking affair.
10. TOM DASCHLE – HEALTH SECRETARY
Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, former Senate majority leader, Citibank lackey, mentored by Robert Rubin.
11. ERIC HOLDER – ATTORNEY GENERAL
Key person in the pardon of racketeer Marc Rich, deputy attorney general under Janet Reno, facilitated the pardon of 16 Puerto Rican FALN terrorists under Bill Clinton.
12. JANET NAPOLITANO – HOMELAND SECURITY DIRECTOR
Council on Foreign Relations, Arizona governor, attorney for Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas hearings, U.S. attorney during the Clinton administration, instrumental in the OKC cover-up, where she declared, “We’ll pursue every bit of evidence and every lead,” described as another Janet Reno, soft on illegal immigration (i.e. pro-amnesty and drivers licenses to illegals).
13. GEN. JAMES L. JONES – NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR
Bilderberg, Trilateral Commission, European supreme allied commander, special envoy for Middle-East Security during Bush administration, board of directors for Chevron and Boeing, NATO commander, member of Brent Scowcroft’s Institute for International Affairs along with Zbigniew Brzezinski, Bobby Ray Inman, Bilderberg luminary Henry Kissinger and former CIA Director John Deutch.
14. SUSAN RICE – U.N. AMBASSADOR
Council on Foreign Relations, Rhodes scholar, campaign foreign policy advisor to presidential candidates John Kerry and Michael Dukakis, member of Bill Clinton’s National Security Council and assistant secretary of state for Africa, member of the Brookings Institute (funded by the Ford Foundation and the Rockefellers), and member of the Aspen Strategy Group (teeming with Bilderberg insiders such as Richard Armitage, Brent Scowcroft, and Madeleine Albright

Yes you may say conspiracy theory but to my understanding they all belong to the same club and we are not members.They have a plan and we are only pieces in the game

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By Clash, December 14, 2008 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

PART 1
It seems that there is a question to who is in control and why neither voting, protesting nor interaction with our elected representative’s ever seems to work. Well since you are truth diggers I present you with this information for you to check out:
1.  TIMOTHY GEITHNER – TREASURY SECRETARY
Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, president and CEO of Federal Reserve Bank of New York, director of policy development for IMF, member Group of Thirty (G30), employed at Kissinger & Associates, architect of the recent 2008 financial bailouts, mentored by Lawrence Summers and Robert Rubin.
2. PAUL VOLCKER – ECONOMIC RECOVERY ADVISORY BOARD
Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, North American chairman of Trilateral Commission, Federal Reserve chairman during Carter and Reagan administrations, president of Federal Reserve Bank of New York, G30 member, chairman Rothschild Wolfensohn Company, key figure in the collapse of the gold standard during the Nixon administration, longtime associate of the Rockefeller family.
3. RAHM EMANUEL – CHIEF OF STAFF
Member of Israeli Defense Force, staunch Zionist, senator, Board of Directors for Freddie Mac, member of Bill Clinton’s finance campaign committee, made $16.2 million during 2.5 years as an investment banker for Wasserstein Perella. His father was a member of the Israeli Irgun terrorist group.
4. LAWRENCE SUMMERS – NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL
Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, treasury secretary during Clinton administration, chief economist at World Bank, former president of Harvard University, Brookings Institute board member, huge proponent of globalization while working for the IMF, prot駩 of David Rockefeller, mentored by Robert Rubin.
5. DAVID AXELROD – SENIOR ADVISOR
Political consultant whose past clients include Sens. Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Christopher Dodd; main Obama fixer in the William Ayers and Reverend Wright scandals.
6. HILLARY CLINTON – SECRETARY OF STATE
Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, clandestine CIA asset used to infiltrate the anti-war movement at Yale University and the Watergate hearings, senior partner at the Rose Law Firm, key figure in the Mena drug trafficking affair, architect of the Waco disaster, implicated in the murder/ cover-up of Vince Foster, and many other deaths.
7. JOSEPH BIDEN – VICE PRESIDENT
Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senator since 1972, member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, current chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, strong Zionist sympathizer who recently told Rabbi Mark S. Golub of Shalom TV, “I am a Zionist. You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist”.

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By screamingpalm, December 14, 2008 at 8:58 pm Link to this comment

Wow Inherit, is that all we can expect from the intellectual Left? Throw your hands up and call bullshit? I tend to be open minded, please tell me why I should support the Democratic party. Some examples perhaps?

Maybe the conservatives have a point when they say that you are free to express yourself as long as you say only what liberals deem appropriate.

As long as the Democrats continue their elitist snobbery, the divisions will remain on the left.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 14, 2008 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment

You know, I’m 53 years old and I don’t remember ONE Democratic President that the far Left didn’t eviscerate.  That’s JFK, LBJ, Carter, Clinton, and now (before he’s even President), Obama.

And it’s always the same bullshit.  The far left wants a Marxist/Socialist President—and is continually pissed that America has no intention of electing one.

So I’m tired of the same old criticisms that really come down to: We, the 1% of the Left, condemn the other 99% for not embracing Socialism and a Socialist President, and never see the difference between Republicans and non-Socialist Democrats.  Just read this thread and hundreds of similar posts.  They all say the same thing. Again, again, and again…

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