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How the Corporations Broke Ralph Nader and America, Too

Posted on Apr 5, 2010
Ralph Nader
AP / Carolyn Kaster

By Chris Hedges

Ralph Nader’s descent from being one of the most respected and powerful men in the country to being a pariah illustrates the totality of the corporate coup. Nader’s marginalization was not accidental. It was orchestrated to thwart the legislation that Nader and his allies—who once consisted of many in the Democratic Party—enacted to prevent corporate abuse, fraud and control. He was targeted to be destroyed. And by the time he was shut out of the political process with the election of Ronald Reagan, the government was in the hands of corporations. Nader’s fate mirrors our own.

“The press discovered citizen investigators around the mid-1960s,” Nader told me when we spoke a few days ago. “I was one of them. I would go down with the press releases, the findings, the story suggestions and the internal documents and give it to a variety of reporters. I would go to Congress and generate hearings. Oftentimes I would be the lead witness. What was interesting was the novelty; the press gravitates to novelty. They achieved great things. There was collaboration. We provided the newsworthy material. They covered it. The legislation passed. Regulations were issued. Lives were saved. Other civic movements began to flower.”

Nader was singled out for destruction, as Henriette Mantel and Stephen Skrovan point out in their engaging documentary movie on Nader, “An Unreasonable Man.” General Motors had him followed in an attempt to blackmail him. It sent an attractive woman to his neighborhood Safeway supermarket in a bid to meet him while he was shopping and then seduce him; the attempt failed, and GM, when exposed, had to issue a public apology. 

But far from ending their effort to destroy Nader, corporations unleashed a much more sophisticated and well-funded attack. In 1971, the corporate lawyer and future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell wrote an eight-page memo, titled “Attack on American Free Enterprise System,” in which he named Nader as the chief nemesis of corporations. It became the blueprint for corporate resurgence. Powell’s memo led to the establishment of the Business Roundtable, which amassed enough money and power to direct government policy and mold public opinion. The Powell memo outlined ways corporations could shut out those who, in “the college campus, the pulpit, the media, the intellectual and literary journals,” were hostile to corporate interests. Powell called for the establishment of lavishly funded think tanks and conservative institutes to churn out ideological tracts that attacked government regulation and environmental protection. His memo led to the successful effort to place corporate-friendly academics and economists in universities and on the airwaves, as well as drive out those in the public sphere who questioned the rise of unchecked corporate power and deregulation. It saw the establishment of organizations to monitor and pressure the media to report favorably on issues that furthered corporate interests. And it led to the building of legal organizations to promote corporate interests in the courts and appointment of sympathetic judges to the bench. 

“It was off to the races,” Nader said. “You could hardly keep count of the number of right-wing corporate-funded think tanks. These think tanks specialized, especially against the tort system. We struggled through the Nixon and early Ford years, when inflation was a big issue. Nixon did things that horrified conservatives. He signed into law OSHA, the Environmental Protection Agency and air and water pollution acts because he was afraid of the people from the rumble that came out of the 1960s. He was the last Republican president to be afraid of liberals.”


Square, Site wide
The corporations carefully studied and emulated the tactics of the consumer advocate they wanted to destroy. “Ralph Nader came along and did serious journalism; that is what his early stuff was, such as ‘Unsafe at Any Speed,’ ” the investigative journalist David Cay Johnston told me. “The big books they [Nader and associates] put out were serious, first-rate journalism. Corporate America was terrified by this. They went to school on Nader. They said, ‘We see how you do this.’ You gather material, you get people who are articulate, you hone how you present this and the corporations copy-catted him with one big difference—they had no regard for the truth. Nader may have had a consumer ideology, but he was not trying to sell you a product. He is trying to tell the truth as best as he can determine it. It does not mean it is the truth. It means it is the truth as best as he and his people can determine the truth. And he told you where he was coming from.”

The Congress, between 1966 and 1973, passed 25 pieces of consumer legislation, nearly all of which Nader had a hand in authoring. The auto and highway safety laws, the meat and poultry inspection laws, the oil pipeline safety laws, the product safety laws, the update on flammable fabric laws, the air pollution control act, the water pollution control act, the EPA, OSHA and the Environmental Council in the White House transformed the political landscape. Nader by 1973 was named the fourth most influential person in the country after Richard Nixon, Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren and the labor leader George Meany.

“Then something very interesting happened,” Nader said. “The pressure of these meetings by the corporations like General Motors, the oil companies and the drug companies with the editorial people, and probably with the publishers, coincided with the emergence of the most destructive force to the citizen movement—Abe Rosenthal, the editor of The New York Times. Rosenthal was a right-winger from Canada who hated communism, came here and hated progressivism. The Times was not doing that well at the time. Rosenthal was commissioned to expand his suburban sections, which required a lot of advertising. He was very receptive to the entreaties of corporations, and he did not like me. I would give material to Jack Morris in the Washington bureau and it would not get in the paper.”

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By Anarcissie, August 30, 2010 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous—I was just trying to deal with the problem Ofersince72 posed.  Actually, it was posed back in the 1960s by a satirical book called Report From Iron Mountain.  The book had considerable influence on my thinking.  It has had a curious history since its publication, often taken to be the real thing by conspiracy theorists.

As it happened, once peace threatened seriously to break out the problem was quickly solved.  But just in case the threat returns, we need to be prepared.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

The way I see it we won’t gain economic stability until after the Republic is in ruins and their (oligarchs’) Holy American Empire is being built and enforced in its place. Because what they are allowing and promoting now of rampant speculation and unsecured debt instruments etc would doom their Empire too in short order. Ironic no?

We could avoid that by stopping it now but too many in both parties are allowing to to continue, funded by our bailouts. Ironic, no?

Of course if they fail to establish order and stability soon enough we could plunge past step 3 into 4 to the bottom 5 as sees it concerning the steps to collapse. We must not reach that point. We are still in step 2 boardering on 3.

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By Shenonymous, August 30, 2010 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment

Both good ideas Night-Gaunt.  A “New Deal” solution has been
suggested by a number of people, including myself, that renewing
the infrastructure that is very much needed would provide an huge
amount of jobs that would last for years and years.  Hopefully, then
manufacturers would have restructured and started hiring again
because a market had been brought back to health.

If the bloody Republicans could be kept from stopping legislation that
would work towards fixing this country, it is my belief American could
regain is economic balance. Their behavior on the small business
legislation is an abomination.  For crying out loud they even helped to
draft it! 

As far as the military expenditures, I have no knowledge and would
have to rely on people like you to present accurate figures.  I don’t
know what it takes to keep American safe.  I doesn’t seem that a one-
to-one ratio with what other countries spend is reasonable.  10x is
quite a theoretical figure.  Public reports from DOD would be good to
see and maybe WikiLeaks could focus on that instead of publishing
thousands of ridiculous documents about military maneuvers.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 30, 2010 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

One solution suggested by a close friend was to the employment problem is to train doctors and nurses for we have a chronic shortage of that and hospitals. Some of that money could go there, another is like what was done in the 1930’s, employ all the millions not working to rebuild our infrastructure that has been allowed to decay. Plenty of work there.

We need to cut our nat’l security budget by at least 90% because it is at least 10X the amount spent by all the other countries on this earth. Then after reorganization we can cut it again.

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By Shenonymous, August 30, 2010 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

offersince72, I think you have the question of this and the last century!
I don’t know about you, but I keep my ears out for that Knight in
Shining Armor who says the right demagogic words that will charm
my vote right out of me.  Aren’t you too?

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By ofersince72, August 30, 2010 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

Our nation has become trapped by this war machine that
all of us created.  It is not undoable but will require
participation by everyone to reverse this.

  We have progressed so far with a military employment
system, that it now owns us. It owns everyone of our
It is our civic duty to reverse this.
Not only has it wrecked our economy, it is responsible
for death all over the world.

So I am just proposing, what if we got what wanted, peace.
How do we go about it?
The political dialogue in our country is being manipulated
There are some good minds on TD, so why do they keep
letting the MSMs and mainstream newspapers control the
the political dialogue?
Why can’t we address the REAL issues, we don’t need
Beck and Maddow to tell us what America’s issues are.

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By Shenonymous, August 30, 2010 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

I agree with everything you said, Anarcisse, except for one small item:
I would let the tax break for the wealthy run out.  Not in eight years,
not really since Reagan, have they put their socked away boon from
the Republicans back into production or restructured the consumption
market so that the economy worked for everybody such that the
Democrats have been kept busy just trying to cover the ordinary
person’s ass.  It is indisputable the Republicans want to keep it that
way.  They fill their personal coffers while everyone else just reacts to
the financial shithole they put this country in.

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By Anarcissie, August 30, 2010 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

To make the suggestion I reported more specific:

1.  Cut war, spook, military foreign aid budgets by 2/3.  Now we have $600B we didn’t have before.

2.  $300B goes to a $2000 tax cut to each taxpayer, either off their income taxes or their payroll (social security) taxes.  This is spaced out over a year to give the economy time to adjust production to increased spending and investment in consumer goods. 

3.  The other $300B goes into a massive public-works program mostly focused on our rather deteriorated infrastructure and public amenities, on the development of domestic energy resources, and on the mitigation and prevention of global warming effects.  In other words, taking care of business for once.

That’s the first year.

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By ofersince72, August 30, 2010 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

Thank you She,

I agree very much with you.

It is what scares the politicians.

Until these problems are worked out,
we will have more of the same.

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By Shenonymous, August 30, 2010 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

Or how to provide meaningful and more than temporary jobs for
returning servicemen/women?  I’ve been asking that question for a
couple of years now.  No one has addressed it either in the news or on
TD!  Is this an irrational question?  I believe that is partly why the wars
have not been rushed to end.  Not only will the returning military flood
the jobs market, but the hospitals, and the psychologists’ and park
benches.  What is this country to do with these hundreds of thousands
of people? These are real problems and not things to disregard or sweep
under the political carpets.

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By ofersince72, August 30, 2010 at 10:30 am Link to this comment


What I have been wanting to do is have ideas about
what if we stopped war.

Every poster on Truth Dig speaks of stopping our

If all troops were recalled, what would it look like
..........if we down sized the war budget…..........
how would the nation adjust.
it is an economic employment problem.

how would we handle the mass unemployment?

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By Anarcissie, August 29, 2010 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

ofersince72—Wasn’t it you that said that what we needed was not a peace movement but a democracy movement?

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By ofersince72, August 29, 2010 at 5:46 pm Link to this comment

What Americans are having dished out to them now, we
had coming to us for a long, long, time..
The problem is, most of our victims didn’t.  Until the
public realizes they are to fault as much as the Government, we have yet another trap to keep us in the
status quo of a deteriorating society. Until both
progressives and conservatives take their fingers and
turn them around and point them back at themselves and
quit blaming the other, we will have staus quo deteriorating society.  If both the progressives and the
conservatives see their complicity in this mess, it will
go a long way to unifying this divide and solving the
complex problem switching this destructive economic
employment system.

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By ofersince72, August 29, 2010 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment

Anar, what you are implying defies what
Rev. Martin Luther King preached.  He often said that
the Civil Rights movement wasn’t about HIM, or any one
person.  But in a sense, that is what we have done.
To say that a peace process couldn’t occur because of one
person being removed from office, implies a disturbing
reality.  It is saying, that the political process is
lost and that we are under a military facist government.
There are no arguments from me there.
  But it does mean, that all the debate on Truth Dig is
revolved around all the wrong issues.

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By ofersince72, August 29, 2010 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

Evan at that, there is no plan

for the What If…....Americans got what they wanted..
A president that said “No More War” and meant it.

We will never get this president if we don’t have solutions of how to get past this question.

To say, “all is lost” and it is impossible to achieve
getting this leader, and if we do he/she will be removed
from office by any means, makes a point….
Why Vote Then?
And why make just one post on Truth Dig?
And why make the admission that evil is more powerful
than good?

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By Anarcissie, August 28, 2010 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

I think most of the American ruling class would find an assassination uncomfortably messy.  Not things aren’t already pretty messy.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 28, 2010 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

A presidential assassination would also benefit those crypto-fascists who have planned our demise for generations. The top 10% want a modern form of feudalism and the rest of us as cheap disposable flesh robots. That and once they dominate the earth and convert humanity to their version of Christianity, or kill them or enslave them, their deity will return. No “rapture” for them but plenty of religious/strategic/economic wars will still be waged. Domination is the reason for existence.

The last time we saw anything like this was emanating from Germany from 1923-1945 and variations plague us today. It isn’t exactly like that but it has too many messianic and romantic similarities. However unlike Germany of that time the USA of this time can make it stick for most of the earth, depending on how unrestrained these authoritarians are.

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By Anarcissie, August 28, 2010 at 7:58 am Link to this comment

ofersince72, August 27 at 8:36 pm:
’... And I am presenting,
what if we get what we want in 2012,  a president that
says, no more war,  how will we go about this?  We all
know it is about $$$$$, a little employment, and a few
at the top that are really running the show getting rich.
We all know all this already, debate it every day.
Is it just debate for debates sake?  Or do citizens really
want to know how we do this? It doesn’t get discussed.’

I think it’s obvious that if a person who intended to end the wars and the empire became president of the present U.S. by some fluke, he or she would simply be removed by whatever means was necessary.  What would be required to actually terminate the wars, the empire, the MIC, would be, preceding the appearance of this wonderful president, a widespread mass anti-war movement, in effect a change of the balance of social forces.  That means a lot of local organizing over a long period of time.  Some people may be doing this but they don’t seem to be participating in Truthdig discussions, which seem rather to be about people’s longing for the Good King who will set all to rights in a moment.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 27, 2010 at 8:33 pm Link to this comment

We have been tied into knots to logjam us while they get away with sucking the life out of our Republic. Its working.


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By ofersince72, August 27, 2010 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

Most everyone that posts on TD, speaks of stopping

the War On Terror, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But few to no one speaks of what this will entail.

Everyone speaks of drastically down sizing the MIC, the

greatest cause of world conflict. No one speaks of what

this will entail.  You can’t do either one without a

plan.  Windmills and solar panels are not going to solve

the problem of down sizing the MIC.  Mostly because

there hasn’t been any type of plan laid out by anyone

how to address this employment shift,  the public, if not

by mouth, keeps supporting and enabling the military

adventures and massacre that is needed to support the

military employment industry.  So I , in my own sort of

way, am trying to get conversation in this direction,

rather than the mosquedebating.  And I am presenting,

what if we get what we want in 2012,  a president that

says, no more war,  how will we go about this?  We all

know it is about $$$$$, a little employment, and a few

at the top that are really running the show getting rich.

We all know all this already, debate it every day.

Is it just debate for debates sake?  Or do citizens really

want to know how we do this? It doesn’t get discussed.

(P.S. Night-Gaunt,  I already gave a Democrat solution
to the campaign financing mess.  The democrats last election, claimed that their party is a private party and
they can make the rules they want. So they could make
any rules within the party they want about $$$$$$ if they
desired to!!!)

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By Night-Gaunt, August 27, 2010 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

I would want that too but there is little hope which is wasted on the hopeless. The question is is there still room for hope? [One that isn’t being used to lead the people on down the wrong path as Obama has been doing.] With the kinds of people in our corporate gov’t such men and women of such integrity and support of the Constitution/Bill of Rights have little hope of being elected or appointed unless it is in some area that wouldn’t interfere with the continuing imperial build up. I wish more would get elected but it is very hard, much harder now with the latest Supreme Court ruling allowing Corporations to give what they want without limit. A very bad turn.

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By Shenonymous, August 27, 2010 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps we, as having passed puberty some time ago, can turn this
forum back to its topic.  I should like to move on and let bygones be
bygones.  This name calling as you rightly noted Night-Gaunt is
completely unnecessary and childish.  offersince72 is a champion of
Ralph Nader and that content is what should be addressed not the fact
that he writes one line posts.  For myself I don’t care if he wrote one
word posts.  I just dump them.  Actually I do gander at them before I
do.  I don’t know why, I think out of respect that this guy has such
passion to spend that kind of time.  There are a few who use up TD
space, I’ve been accused of it myself as I do wax long sometimes.  And
I always suggest that those who can’t abide my long posts to just pass
them by with glazed eyes.  Trashing unappreciated posts is as easy as
pie.  offresince72 perhaps has a very small computer (lol). 

It is my opinion which is worth only something to myself, is that Nader
is a has been.  And while it is not absolute, I highly doubt he would
respond back to offersince72.  But no matter, it is like theater of the
absurd and offersince72 is giving a soliloquy.  Nader was/is a brilliant
man for whom I even campaigned in the very distant past, but I soon
saw he was more egotistical than caring about what it was he
advocated.  His unsatisfied an blazing need to be president overrode
everything else and he persisted in trying to catch that ever elusive
carousel ring.  It was not to be because in spite of his brilliance and
excellent ideas, he just did not appeal to the public.  Very much like the
very dear Dennis Kucinich, who I wish did have more charisma.  It is
too bad that neither of these fine minds were not able to overcome the
dazzle of the other candidates who they ran against. It has been my
wish that Nader (and Kucinich for that matter) would become part of
the government as a Cabinet member or some other appropriate
appointment. But he never could take anything less than the POTUS
position.  That is too bad since this country could have benefitted
greatly, I think, from his involvement.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 27, 2010 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

Ardee I once defended you from such attacks yu were suffering under, then when I did you turned around and did the same thing to someone else. Which I mildly chastised you on it, then you got pissed at me for not choosing sides. Hence the reference.

I disagree with your assessment of Shenonymous (such name calling distortions are childish and debasing, for the name caller,) I have been called worse. But if you don’t have anything substantive then I see why you use the easy fall back. Very easy to do, so no real brain engagement in actual debate. So how about using some more of it to do something harder (for a time) and debate. Shouting epithets at each other isn’t a debate. Its an argument one step away from violence—which is how it usually happens. So we are protected from that here.

The mega-corps still have their tendrils deep in our gov’t perverting everything. That is what we should be debating not the writer or what wasn’t covered in a single limited article. Such diversions are one of the means of deflection from what is important.

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By ofersince72, August 27, 2010 at 5:05 am Link to this comment

Hey Ralph

  Don’t you like the way we celebrate the

  I H A V E A D R E A M S P E E C H   by


              K I N G
every year, and get farther, and farther away from the
dream.  But you know those politicians Ralph. always show.

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By ofersince72, August 27, 2010 at 12:39 am Link to this comment

Hey Ralph again,

Hedges is OK but, real stupid if he believes
corporations broke you! ! ! !!! !!!

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By ofersince72, August 27, 2010 at 12:37 am Link to this comment

Well Ralph,

  Since we got so rudely interrupted,  thought I would
come over here.  See what I mean Ralph,  well preaching
to the choir with you, none of the “feel gooders” want a

  Just comment and bitch, pretend they are an
intellectual, get that, posters on Truth Dig.
Not one solution even muttered from any of them except,
Grayson is our savior now, everyone go vote democrat,
we have a real go getter savior now! !!! !!! !!! !!!.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 27, 2010 at 3:41 am Link to this comment

I am equally sorry to see you attempt to whitewash the antics of perhaps the single most egregious poster on this forum,, Shrewnonymous.

Gee, and I thought I was the “most egregious poster” to RD’s now warped mind.  When did I lose out to “Shrew”? 

What have I got to do to get the the #1 spot back again? 

Would it help if I said “Ralph Nader betrayed America by not pulling out of the 2000 race”?

RD’s obnoxious with his recent turn to ad hominem attacks but I’ll give him credit where credit is due: there are definitely more egregious and obnoxious posters than him (at least 3 come immediately to mind—and one is part of “The Contingent”).

Sometimes I think someone else started using RD’s account because his whole personality altered a few months ago, as reflected in his change from rational to rabid in his conflicts with other posters.

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By Shenonymous, April 26, 2010 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, I have thanked you, where you did not get so much as a
tip of the hat from the AH.  He even went so far as to call you blind! 
Sort of thumbing his nose at you!  What an ass.  So well.  Some were
born without manners or raised that way.  But I did not ask you to step
in, my thanks anyway for it is the honorable man’s act.  Of course you
are not expected to “take sides.”  Why start looking closely at the
history and the dynamics now to see which of us started the vile savage
personal attack.  I go it alone, the Shrew.  I don’t need any help.  I only
demand absolute personal regard and when I don’t get it, expect verbal
ordnance.  By the way, did you know that the tree shrew is the ancestor
of all humans via the simian route?  So actually I don’t mind being
called a shrew.  The mindless one obviously was not aware of the high
complement he has paid me.  Being a ‘good’ citizen will be as hard for
him to achieve as it is for him to have anything of worth to say other
than spew.  So I am the Shrew and ardee is the Spew.  LOL

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By Night-Gaunt, April 26, 2010 at 10:33 am Link to this comment

I admit the role of an unpaid, and usually despised diplomat just gets me in the middle of two fronts. Being in the middle isn’t something I envy to anyone. A thankless job and maybe I should just stay out of it. I know that both parties are well skilled in the sharpened knives and brickbats of verbiage so neither is poorly armed. In fact I have made sure my skills are never used in that way. [It is too easy.] But I am weak and have an ego no matter how starved I keep it and even upon occasion I let slip the Lip of the Dogs of Flame War. I don’t play favorites and will not now.

So why not stay on topic and do it from there and see if personal attacks can be left out it? It would take a certain strength to do so. Questioning ones logic or information or observations are very different from impugning another’s character. That is in fact of the gutter, no matter who does it or for whatever reason. But then what I say is mine alone, I speak for no others. I am to blame for what I say—no others. But then courtesy and decorum and actual use of the proper elements of debate aren’t part of usual school courses. One of many sad defects of our educational system and the down side of such Anarchic freedoms here. But I can live with it.

I will see just how Obama actually does anything passed his words or will he wait for the corrupt Congress to manufacture a bitter pill and let Wall St. and the Banks skid off free again. I choose the latter as a better bet.

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By ardee, April 25, 2010 at 4:35 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, April 22 at 9:25 pm #

I am sorry to see Ardee going after Shenonymous and the responses.

I am equally sorry to see you attempt to whitewash the antics of perhaps the single most egregious poster on this forum,, Shrewnonymous. She is nothing more, and certainly nothing less than a shill for the status quo and the Democrats. That is ,of course, her right. But what I object so strenuously to is her self righteous bullshit about fairness and honest debate all the while savaging any and all who dare disagree with her. I think her first response to my original objection speaks volumes, is typical, and her subsequent responses make your position rather questionable, to say the least.

You usually demonstrate a large degree of fairness and good judgment, perhaps your long association with this hypocrite has caused a blind spot? In the end it matters little, I will be coming here far less frequently, and then mostly to read the articles. The run up to the Nov. elections is beginning and groundwork must be laid. Thus I leave the field to the self righteous little folks like Shrew and ITW while I try hard to be a good citizen and actually do something concrete.

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By OzarkMichael, April 24, 2010 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

I found it strange last week that the announcement by the SEC that it would investigate Goldman Sachs coincided with Obama’s attack on Wall Street. I dont think it was coincidental, and I hear that it will be investigated.

But now another coincidence: Suddenly it is discovered that the SEC has lots of employees who were watching porn instead of working. This has been going on for awhile and it is odd that just after SEC goes after Goldman Sachs, the SEC gets a black eye. I dont think its coincidental either.

Politics is a rough game all around.

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By Shenonymous, April 23, 2010 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment

Your efforts to arbitrate a more peaceful interaction between others
and myself Night-Gaunt is not going unappreciated by me.  The live
and let live philosophy you have voiced on occasion is I think the best
advice for persons of tolerance can have.  Thank you for the honorable
attempt to alleviate the rancor that developed. 

It seems like Obama has not minced his words on what he would sign
into law as the Senate goes into debate about how to rewrite governing
rules of the financial megacosm.  He said without eqivocation that
consumer protection must be amplified, limit the size of banks and any
risks they may take, impose much needed reforms on executive
compensation, and provide for greater transparency for derivatives, but
it is still considerably ambiguous and will be until the Senate crafts the
set of commands, and let us hope they indeed are commands and not
merely figurative hyperbole.  I will be optimistic and maintain high
hope.  The country and the world is watching.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 23, 2010 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment

Why don’t we get the Tea-Baggers to elect Ralph as their President?  Seems like an optimal solution to me…. (snicker…)

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By Night-Gaunt, April 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

I am sorry to see Ardee going after Shenonymous and the responses. I will only say that it tends to be Ardee who perceives some slight even if it isn’t directed at him. He needs to see why he has such a persecution complex. One thing I know is that knowledge & intelligence of a greater order can be intimidating to others who see it as an attack on them. A common occurance, sorry to say. I know that when I first started posting I got similar responses. It wasn’t so much what I said but how I said it. Too many people are playing defend my turf instead of dealing with the issues. They think someone is attacking them because of how they think and write. It is a game of egos that just works to put us all in the shitter. Now enough of that for me I shall comment no more. They are adults and they will hash it out in some fashion.

It will be interesting to see if Obama actually means for the Wall Street’ers to be put under control or not. I doubt it myself.

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By Shenonymous, April 22, 2010 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

As a sideline cheerleader (without pompoms) ofersince72, you suck big
time.  You need to get a life.  What is wrong with you?  Don’t you have
anything better to do than act like an idiot?  Are you a She hater too? 
Why don’t you guys form a Hate the Shrew Club then you can have
meetings and you know, get it on, mannn.  Your life must be so boring it

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By ofersince72, April 22, 2010 at 5:41 am Link to this comment

Wow Ardee , she really told you,

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By Shenonymous, April 22, 2010 at 4:40 am Link to this comment

ardee, you are tiresome and a bore.  Get a life.  You are simply a
blowhard and if your private life is anything like you are online
everyone around you must be miserable.  You accuse like a thug and
never ever give examples that is because you have nothing of any
importance to say and like a petulant turdy kid who just wants to hang
around with the big boys trying to piss as far as they do but problem is
you can’t, you’re just a little weenie.  Maybe that is it?  A Napoleon
complex!  Yup, I’ve hit on it!  Yup, self-control is not something you
have and you should get some medical help or a package of Amends.

Now how really important to anyone’s life is that photo?  The fact is
that it shows one human being executing another and that is the
riveting attraction, isn’t it?  Seeing the bullet smash into the skull of
another, the moment of death.  Gripping isn’t it?  The love of
perversion by the perverse.  Does it really matter if it was a Cong being
murdered who murdered others?  It might have mattered at the
moment, but now?  Does it really matter now?  A hundred years from
now, no one who sees this picture will have any emotion except
revulsion of seeing how humans treat one another.  ardee is remindful
of the shooter and I the Cong and according to his account of me he
has every right to bludgeon my character every time he tries to piss in
the pot.  Well, here’s my middle finger ardee, every time you post
something despicable about me you get it.  Even if I am not here, you
get it, it is a constant.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 22, 2010 at 4:13 am Link to this comment

Nope, that one doesn’t work either, but it DOES take you to the links that do work.

I’m not WWW savvy enough to know why the links won’t work directly.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 22, 2010 at 4:11 am Link to this comment


I tried the link and it doesn’t work.

Just google “Viet Cong Execution photo” and click on the first item that appears and you’ll go to that link.

Must be the diacritical marks that mess up the link.

But this link should work:

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By Inherit The Wind, April 22, 2010 at 4:07 am Link to this comment

ardee, April 22 at 7:15 am #

Inherit The Wind, April 21 at 11:24 pm

You have, and for any number of posts, tested my credibility. But this ignorant refusal to consider that the summary execution of a ‘suspected’ VC is a travesty of any model of justice and makes your post a hit piece against me as well as a proof of your own need to reexamine your belief system.

Making up a history of the acts of that executed man gives you no cred and only hastens the descent of your repute.

In answer to your repeated vicious stupidity, I need offer only the following Wikipedia link:

Notice that the PHOTOGRAPHER himself says his award-winning picture was totally misleading and implies it was effectively a lie.

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By ardee, April 22, 2010 at 3:28 am Link to this comment

As to Shrewnonymous’ hisotry of distortion and insult I believe that any long term visitor to this site is rather aware of that history. Just the response to my correction, one that was certainly within the bounds of civility, a civility she seldom deserves in fact, would negate her childish tantrum that followed.

She is, in the end, a vicious democratic loyalist, and being loyal to her chosen party is not the problem, it is the viciousness she displays when that loyalty is challenged, as exemplified right here in this thread, needing, despite her Joan of Arc protestations of innocence, no further example.

Everyone makes mistakes, it is the human condition, just look at the mistakes her parents made for corroboration. But lies and distortions, when repeated in numerous posts, especially when they consistently are used in feeble attempts to boost her own political choices, seem to make her worthlessness clear enough.

I come here much less frequently of late, as real political activism concurrent with the coming election cycle take up more of my time. But I will, as I always have, continue to post responses in line with the reception my comments receive. If one is civil one will get civility, if one is a childish shrew with self control issues, well, what can I say, I am happy to respond in kind.

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By ardee, April 22, 2010 at 3:15 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, April 21 at 11:24 pm

You have, and for any number of posts, tested my credibility. But this ignorant refusal to consider that the summary execution of a ‘suspected’ VC is a travesty of any model of justice and makes your post a hit piece against me as well as a proof of your own need to reexamine your belief system.

Making up a history of the acts of that executed man gives you no cred and only hastens the descent of your repute.

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By ofersince72, April 21, 2010 at 11:55 pm Link to this comment

The democrats had sixty Senators
  A whopping majority in the House
  and a Democrat President

  and still found a way to construct a bill
  that would deny the citizens of D.C. the
  right to vote.
  Even found a way to blame it on the republicans

  The Democrats refuse to release the money for
  the black farmers that have been discrimitated
  against with farm subsidies for years and years.
  GO DEMOCRATS,  SEE, their actions don’t warrent
  the minority vote.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 21, 2010 at 7:24 pm Link to this comment

Ardee and N-G need to do a little research into that incident.  It was blown up as evidence of corruption and murder of an ordinary guy by a psycho police general.

But, like many things that become iconographic, the truth was far different and far darker.  You might as well attack the police for killing a suicide bomber before he got a chance to set off his vest.  I was shocked to learn years later that the “victim” was a really, really nasty and dangerous sonuvabitch who had just killed a bunch of people.

But I don’t expect Ardee to have the curiosity or interest in looking beyond the icon and the myth.

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By ofersince72, April 21, 2010 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment

Ardee she admitted it,  a waste of space !!!

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By Shenonymous, April 21, 2010 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

Well, let’s see.  Seeing is often a matter of personal bias.  I admit my
seeing is and I do try to mediate my blindness with terms of
uncertainty, such as “I think” or “it seems.”  If Night-Gaunt missed
ardee’s spite it might have been because I did not accuse him of spite,
but I did accuse ardee of sulfuric venom and being unconscious enough
to not be able to intuit what I was talking about.  He still does not and I
am not sure Night-Gaunt does either.  If Night-Gaunt does not agree
with the emotional force of the photo regardless of who the primary
characters were, that is his prerogative, but that was the point.  I do
not as a rule direct any comments to ardee, but he takes them
personally because of his conceit. Nor do I ever denigrate anyone until
they lash at me.  ardee does not miss a post I make where he is
participating without making some denigrating remark which shows me
his petty preoccupation and why he is unable to make any worthwhile
contributing comments.  He has been doing this crap out of his
inordinate hatred of me for a long time, and he may carry that burden
as long as he wants.  Hatred festers and eats one from the inside out. 
Soon there won’t be any outside for his self-poisoning acid to eat. It
has already affected his mind.  I had offered a peace a long time ago
but his dogged hatred just keeps his motormouth going. 

If ardee wishes to continue the public combat I will certainly
accommodate him for I will not allow such denigration of me or my
character or my thinking at all.  He can go straight to hell and so can
anyone who wishes to agree with him.  There are civil ways of
correcting me, but ardee chooses to be sarcastic and denigrating out of
his unbridled hatred and this time he said “Shot by a South
Vietnamese police chief not by either the VC or the NVA. But then one
who unfailingly supports the status quo would not be expected to
really remember the numerous incidents when that status quo led us
into further chaos.”
and I took umbrage to it as a final straw. 

Now I don’t know how anyone could misinterpret that he was referring
to my mistake, (which I promptly acknowledged), and he further
implied that I support some unspecified status quo, and that for some
other unexplained babbled reason am unable to remember blah blah
blah…Well fuck him.  ardee thinks I am omnipotent, omniscient, and
omnipresent like a goddess.  His stupid expectations are because he is
just a toady.  Well I have to admit to being one step lower than a deity
and do make mistakes, rarely but mistakes they are.  People without
hate in their minds always forgive me because they are susceptible to
mistakes too.  Does anyone here, except Leefeller, not make mistakes? 
I see Leefeller as a deity. 

It would all be funny as hell if ardee wasn’t such a miasmal wart.  He
claims I post lies, but he only accuses without saying where I lied.  That
is slander. He has such a view of his own self importance that he
thinks he is owed a reply to his bullshit.  He consistently calls me a
shrew, for which he can go fuck himself.  He is not owed one second of
this shrew’s civility.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  If
anyone disagrees with me they are welcome to express their
disagreement but do not call me names or defame my thinking or the
Shedragon will breath fire on you and burn you to death.

This really is a waste of Truthdig space but if ardee cannot control his
malignant criticisms then let the fun begin.

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By ardee, April 21, 2010 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, April 21 at 8:01 am

Thank you for exposing yourself so eloquently to the entire forum. If one as even tempered and fair minded as Night Gaunt found no venom in my post then I am satisfied. You are about as phony as they come Shrew. That you would think such a childish rant would offend a grown up is sort of puzzling, but then, you had to be you after all.

You have every right to support the democratic party if that is your sincere belief, just as I have every right to note how your veneer of civilized debate disintegrates far too easily. If you truly believed in your position I doubt you would be lying and distorting so readily.

Yet you have posted lies, especially a recent one regarding your contention that democrats have controlled our economic downturn and that the foreclosure nightmare has waned. I note the way you slunk away when I informed you that said foreclosures were up 35% in the first quarter of this year.

You preach civility, excepting of course when you post twelve paragraph efforts maligning ten people. I stand by both my words and the civility in which they were couched. I am grateful for your crap ,though, as it proves my point about you far, far more eloquently than ever I could.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 21, 2010 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

Well you did say “I think” just to show you weren’t certain of who and whom. But was Ardee being spiteful? I am sorry I didn’t see it in the text. But then maybe I just missed it? However vituperation solves nothing however anger is a part of the human condition and plagues and vexes me no end. I would be very happy without it.

Yes that police chief got to live his life out in the USA as I recall. I do believe the man shot in the head was tried an convicted on the street as a traitor by him. Don’t you just love instant justice? (sarcasm)

I wonder how many people here agreed with it? Here in the USA that is now as well as then.

Also in that picture of people running away from the destruction, especially the naked girl, was so because an explosion had blown off all her clothes. She was that close to it.

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By Shenonymous, April 21, 2010 at 4:01 am Link to this comment

Yup, 5 yups, I did make that mistake.  Was it worth your sulfuric
venom, asshole ardee, who never says anything worthwhile?  I know, I
know you love to smell your old socks with your used shorts thrown in
for a slightly different aroma.  I know, I know, you love the smell of
sulphur. Some small minds do.  It’s a fetish, isn’t it?  Yes, I apologize
for the error.  It was the image that I was talking about, which if you
were conscious you would have intuited, the impact of images, which is
something you cannot ever appreciate with your diminished brain.  So
now you have pissed me off royally and now we can show our hostility
again.  Just so you know, I had my Wheaties this morning.  I’m ready
dahling.  Shall we waste a lot of this forum’s space?  Okie doakie. 
Some people love to be beaten in public, right ardee?  Were you so
beaten as a kid that you’ve grown to love it?  Yup, it is a pathology you
show on these forums.

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By ardee, April 21, 2010 at 2:58 am Link to this comment

Then there was the photo of a Vietnamese man being shot in the head by I think it was the VietCong.

Shot by a South Vietnamese police chief not by either the VC or the NVA. But then one who unfailingly supports the status quo would not be expected to really remember the numerous incidents when that status quo led us into further chaos.

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By stcfarms, April 20, 2010 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

If we could get all Americans to read Vance Packard’s “The hidden Persuaders”
perhaps the cycle of lies could be broken.

By Night-Gaunt, April 20 at 2:55 pm #

In the past such control would have been called “god’s spell” but today it is
just the mass hypnotism of want regardless of whether it is really good for us
in the long run. That is what is used on us by the corporate culture to continue
to buy what they have to offer.

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By Shenonymous, April 20, 2010 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment

I was not a supporter of Kucinich in the 2008 election primary.  I was
not that familiar with his record, and when I heard him speak, I did not
think he was electable for POTUS.  I was more interested in putting the
Democratic Party in office than any particular candidate.  Kucinich, for
me, has proved his ability to compromise his principles for a greater
principle.  Get the health care referendum on the lawbooks, and fix the
gaps in later.  It was a hard compromise for him and I know for many
progressives who have almost shut him out, which is unfortunate since
he does seem to be a very principled man.  In the voting booth I still
vote for my causes, not the man.  As I said, all politicians lie.  But my
principles stand firm.  However since politics is basically a negotiable
way of civil interaction, the wisdom of the future may tint principles
into pastels of what they started out to be in full color almost always.
With the hope of renegotiation in the future.  Laws are always hard
knocked out between pros and cons.

N-G is right and right to bring Bernays to the attention of the forum. 
Graphic design and the advertising world and propaganda of the 20th
century is well described by Bernays, at
There is not a dearth of articles, bios, or comments about the impact of
Bernays on the world of spin.  Yup, well-known in the field, but the
public needs reminded loudly and frequently to what degree they are
being manipulated by both the corporate world and by political
organizations.  I have a daughter in the Graphics Design business and I
used Bernays in critiquing the propaganda uses of art in CT classes.
Then as experiential evidence, just listen to the repetitive litany of the
Republican Coalition against Obama and the democratic efforts (the
latest against financial reform!) and the way Islamists keep their
propaganda going in their culture to keep up the hatred against
America.  It works, people’s minds are malleable through words and
images.  I vividly remember that photo of a terrified young Vietnamese
girl running naked down the road towards the photographer and with
fiery background and many others running also.  It was such a visual
shock.  Then there was the photo of a Vietnamese man being shot in
the head by I think it was the VietCong.  Very shocking again. I think
those images gave the public such revulsion that it helped end that

What is very interesting is the photo of the late great Howard Zinn but
nary a word is said by him nor about him in Bernays article.  It shows
how powerful images can be.  As it looks as if Zinn gives legitimacy of
his notability to the contents of the article. And so it goes.

There is a psychology of learning.  Howard Gardner, psychologist and
educator, proposes seven kinds of learning and if the propagandists
can key into all of these then their impact on public opinion is almost
100%.  But this is an old criticism.  I remember when subliminal
advertising was the big news debate in the late seventies and eighties. 
Unless the thesis is repeated occasionally over time people become
distracted by newer and newer phenomena and suffer the Principle of
Forgetting (Psych. 308).  That is why subliminal propaganda works so
well.  Take a look at The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets
and Remembers, Daniel L. Schacter.

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By Aquifer, April 20, 2010 at 11:57 am Link to this comment


I notice you didn’t mention Kucinich. I realize that he dropped out, in March, I
think, but he participated in the early debates. What was your assessment of
him? Did you disagree with his principles? And I am still curious, could you
foresee a situation in which you would break with your party in the election
booth over principles, and if so, what might those principles be?


I have indeed heard of Edward Bernays, the patron saint of Madison Avenue.
Somehow I had the idea that he helped Wilson sell the idea of WW1 to a very
reluctant American public, and because of that success, was adopted by the
aforesaid MA, did I get that wrong?

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By Shenonymous, April 20, 2010 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

In the case of the ‘08 election, the candidate embodied my principles
(causes): Obama.  At the beginning I was impressed with John Edwards
who took a stand against the corporate leviathan (of course as did
Nader perceptibly even stronger).  Edwards dropped out in May ‘08
long before his extra-marital peccadillo scandal, which I see now in
retrospect that it was providential he was overly eclipsed by the Obama
person.  While Hillary represented the possibility of a first woman as
president, and that appealed to my consciousness of the steep climb
women’s equality has been forced to take, I do not know exactly why I
preferred Obama.  I certainly was inspired by his campaign rhetoric (it
is all rhetoric by all candidates, but I listen to the essential promises of
actions).  I didn’t think Clinton would have done that well against
McCain/Palin because it seemed the Palin effect (the female impact)
depleted the novelty of a woman for president.  Too much comparison
would have been made by the media focus on that, which I thought
would have diminished partisan issues.  Clinton had more money at
one time to campaign against the field of candidates but Obama
attracted more by the time he got to Pennsylvania.  I don’t know for
sure, it was a strange primary election scenario, a woman and a black
man, and old man BIden, and a young Ken Doll?  I think Clinton was a
strong minded person, and the woman thing became for me a
secondary matter.  I went with Obama as it intrigued me more that this
country could possibly get over the racist thing, maybe at least make a
larger leap away from it.  That really became a beacon for me, a white
woman, liberal in most things.  It was a unique opportunity for the
black population and I felt a woman’s chance was not annulled if a
black man was elected this time (he was only half black anyway so it
seems race was only half as much a problem, weird rationalization, I
know).  Such was my rationale as far as I can dig it out.

Yes, these posts can become pithy, or voluble, be that as it may.  We
all have our styles and I abjure the gadfly approach and rarely make
succinct smart remarks (though not absolutely) much to the chagrin of
many posters here.  Telle est la vie.

You said, Aquifer, “The problem seems to be what our gauge for the
truth is. If our gauge for the truth is because some authority that we
recognize as such says it is so, then the only way to argue another
point of view is to suggest that that authority is not infallible”
agree without reservation.  Truth seems to elude all politicians and they
are all we have.  Even if we decide ourselves to run for office, I am too
cynical to think not falling into falsehood more frequently than
occasionally is what would evolve.  I think it is the nature of politics to
lie.  Maybe there is some sort of device that could be invented someday
that would force truth to be the motivation.  A sort of Reducer to the
Truth Machine?  LOL Or was that already taken care of by a Pinocchio
phenomenon?  The politician;s nose would grow every time they told a
lie.  Oh my, then surgeons would get a whole lot of business! 

I too was raised a Catholic, Italian with some Greek thrown in is a sure
bet for VERY deep Catholicism.  Ha! I saw a lot of hypocrisy in the
family (some of whom also brushed the periphery of the organized
crime brotherhood, how could they help it? the same excuse is used by
young ethnic groups in the LA area and elsewhere.  It is nurture not
nature.).  Well that affected my perceptions that all was not as it
seemed and as I became educated, the bane of religion, I shed all
vestiges of it.  So authority went the same way.  Independent by
education, but maybe genetic too.  Sooo my u-turn against the
mandate of the Garden which I came to renounce even under the threat
of mortality.

Way too much prolixity here.  I think I’ve covered your interrogation.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 20, 2010 at 10:55 am Link to this comment

What is the measure of truth? Its veracity or its marketability to those who would hear it? Too often we see a delicious lie go viral while an unpalatable truth die in the dustbin of the circular file. It is psychology as well as semiotics and the general way humans think and also how they can be manipulated. The human species has had plenty of practice with the most propagandized (successfully) is in the USA & continues to be. The corporations market our reality as much as products to be sold. The logos as marketing tool both in gov’t as well as product lines to be sold.

People still have the mistaken idea that Joseph Goebbles, the Propaganda Minister of Germany during WWII is the quintessential metonym of the propagandist. He was a piker compared to the real God Father Edward Bernays who took the teachings of psychiatry and the mind from Sigmund Freud and turned them to mass manipulation of minds to sell anything. From fashion styles to war fare he and an army of marketeers did it and made handsome profits for them.  Goebbles learned from him! Bernays did it for a far longer time and perfected it in this country from the 1920’s-1990’s when he died. He is almost unknown outside of the marketing area of business. He needs to be learned and studied to be able to see how effective he still is long after his death. We live it today as does so many in the 1st world; about 3 billion. They have been expanding under the shock doctrine of disaster Capitalism into every corner of the earth. Not place will be safe from them.

“Edward Louis Bernays (November 22, 1891 – March 9, 1995, was an American pioneer in the field of public relations along with Ivy Lee, referred to in his obituary as “the father of public relations”.[1] Combining the ideas of Gustave Le Bon and Wilfred Trotter on crowd psychology with the psychoanalytical ideas of his uncle, Dr. Sigmund Freud, Bernays was one of the first to attempt to manipulate public opinion using the subconscious.”

In the past such control would have been called “god’s spell” but today it is just the mass hypnotism of want regardless of whether it is really good for us in the long run. That is what is used on us by the corporate culture to continue to buy what they have to offer.

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By Aquifer, April 20, 2010 at 7:56 am Link to this comment


If you’re still there ......

Where to begin - let’s see

“I do believe in the electoral process and if my cause or candidate loses, then I
live with it until I can campaign for it the next time.  It’s my responsibility to
convince others to vote with me in favor of my causes/candidates.
............. I would vote for an Indy over a Dem if the Democrat ?nominated
showed me he/she was inadequate.  I look for the candidate ?closest to my

For me, the cause is more important than the candidate or the party. For
example, when Kucinich lost the Dem. primary, I switched to Nader - same
causes, different candidates. So perhaps I could ask you, who was the Dem
closer to your principles in the ‘08 Pres. Dem primaries? Who did you vote for?
What is more important to you, if you had to choose - candidate or principles?
Or is the principle of party the most important?

“direct democracy at the local and state levels, ?where the people vote directly
for politicians who in turn directly work ?for their constituencies. 
Only a ?representative form of government works at the national level”

I thought “direct democracy” was where the people voted directly on the
issues, as in the old New England Town Meetings. At the local level, with the
exception of the rare (I live in NY) initiative and referenda we are allowed or
must petition for (been there, done that), our governments are still at the
representative level, same as national. Local guys are theoretically more
accessible, but, and I speak from experience, the same dynamics operate on
the local level - a smaller scale, to be sure, but also with smaller resources to
fight them with.

“what is said on these kinds of forums changes ?anything, I’d have to laugh too.”

Shucks, no, I never had any illusion about changing anything “out there” by
posting, I was merely wondering whether it was possible to even change
anything “in here”.

“Say a thing enough times ?and it becomes believed even though it is a lie.  It is
a classic strategy.  ?Problem is the Democrats have not learned that lesson.”

Oh dear, I think the Dems have learned that lesson very well indeed. The
problem seems to be what our gauge for the truth is. If our gauge for the truth
is because some authority that we recognize as such says it is so, then the only
way to argue another point of view is to suggest that that authority is not
infallible - I grew up Roman Catholic, VERY Roman Catholic, so I know whereof I
speak. I am very attuned to arguments that end “because so and so says or
does it, it must be so or correct”. So perhaps it might be useful to elucidate the
sources that one, by choice, or “political theology” has granted the mantle of
authority.  I have found that process very enlightening for myself.

“If I am wrong, can you bet someone will show me how?”

Now, I grant you, I plucked that off the end of a long post with many points,
but I thought the wording was intriguing. I don’t know if I could bet someone
could show you how, I’m still trying to figure that out which is why I keep
coming back. This is interesting and elucidating, I haven’t given up yet ......

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By ofersince72, April 19, 2010 at 1:59 am Link to this comment

Here is what I vote on federal, state and local

1 peace
2 civil rights
3 social and economic justice
4 equal and fair PUBLIC education
5 trade agreements that will enhance job growth
6 stewardship of the planet
7 downsizing the MIC that every Congressional district
  is dependent on, finding other jobs to replace them.
8 affordable health care for all.
The Democrats always professed to work for all of the
above, mostly talk as their leadership has proved. The
republicans would do themselves well to get rid and wash
their hands of the racist fringe element that clings to
them,  that is the only difference between the two parties
Both are equally guilty of institutional racism as our
prison population proves.
Neither party represents any of thoses issues, the Dems
get the civi rights pass only because of a few on the
fringes in the republican party, not for their actions.

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By ofersince72, April 19, 2010 at 1:22 am Link to this comment

It is humorus,  all the damning that i did
  to the democrats this past week,  the only
  defense anyone had all week was…

  They are better than Sara Palin….WOW…

  Don’t worry TD, I am giving it a break this week
  I am going to a libertarian blog
  and give them hell this week..that ought to
  be interesting and fun….maybe even dangerous.

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By Shenonymous, April 18, 2010 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

It is hard to say whether Colby made a pithy observation that contains a
general truth, or if it is an abrupt pronouncement that has only a germ of
truth.  What is the measure?

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By ofersince72, April 18, 2010 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment

“The Central Intelligence Agency owns
  everyone of significance in the
  Major Media.”

  W I L L I A M   C O L B Y
former director CIA

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By Shenonymous, April 18, 2010 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment

ofersince72 says - the McCain , Lieberman bill, which will have not
many changes made to it, will farther trample on the bill of?rights, and
make it legal this time.

What action are you taking to defeat the bill?

Hypothetically speaking:  If you have any loved ones, and that
American-mutated-Islamist terrorist murdered your loved ones, what
would you then say? 

The license to kill an American who was an American might well be a
breach of the Constitution but the argument is against one who has
forfeited his American status when he chose to become an enemy of
America and vowed to kill as many Americans as possible.  The
Presidential sanctioning of the practice is not as Greenwald argues,
setting a precedence for future presidents. It was already a precedence
when George Bush was President. Seems to me that rational not
emotional argument needs to be made.  Some may not have confidence
in the President because of a political bias, but most do trust that
Highest Officer of Our Nation would not use the decree frivolously.

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By ofersince72, April 18, 2010 at 4:42 pm Link to this comment

I also don’t believe in the TOOTH FAIRY, i grew up.

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By ofersince72, April 18, 2010 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment

“The ideal weapons system is built in 435
  congressional districts and it doesn’t
  matter if it works or not”  (former pentagon official)

I am tired of that philosophy,  it is not going to change
unless WE do it.  Now that we have sent all of our
manufacturing jobs overseas, it now has also become
our employment system..
How much longer do you want to wait? (or believe we can

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By ofersince72, April 18, 2010 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment

I have long grown tired of the CIA dictating foreign
policy for Wall Street, making our whole foriegn policy
wrapped in secrecy things we should know.

The only reason they keep everything such a secret
is to protect them from us,  not to protect us.

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By ofersince72, April 18, 2010 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment

I don’t believe in executing anyone without a trial,
but to do so to an American Citizen is trampling on the
bill of rights.  Both parties complicate.
I believe, with all the blood and money spent to secure
the Caspian Sea Basin,  the Taliban government could have
been negotiated with,  we didn’t need to make up a story
about a boogyman in a cave and destabilize a region of
countries in doing so.

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By ofersince72, April 18, 2010 at 3:53 pm Link to this comment

the McCain , Lieberman bill, which will have not many
changes made to it, will farther trample on the bill of
rights, and make it legal this time.
Both parties will be complicate.

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By ofersince72, April 18, 2010 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment

Night Gaunt that is my whole point, the Dems have
all those, yet,  look at what the lawmakers do. They
don’t deserve the support from very good people as

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By Night-Gaunt, April 18, 2010 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

The “Democrat” party you say ofersince72? You do know that is what the Reich Wing calls it now don’t you? It is a slight against them even though they too often agree with the Republicans on corporate and Capitalist issues than not. Just look at Obama‘s actions on that recently with the Health Care bill. There is another problem. When you have two parties joined at the body to their corporate masters and hermetically sealed so as to be untouchable what do you do? Any third parties have to scale Mt. Everest to get to where the official parties sit nice and dry. What can you do to such a closed system? At least the Democrats still have some Moderates, Liberals and Progressives in it unlike the Republicans but for how much longer?

As long as they can be corporate funded and million/billionaires can pay for their own we will never have a real representation we need. Once those in office get their way and wreck the economy and debase gov’t then the last of the New Deal will be gone and all we will have when they rebuild is corporate world—-with a theocratic patina. Just imagine our country without even the tattered vestiges of our Bill of Rights? I could be wrong but I think I am far closer than Glenn Beck who promotes a preposterous idea that Progressives are doing it in both parties. Not a chance.

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By Shenonymous, April 18, 2010 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

They, who? exactly? I do and I’m a Democrat.  Who cares if you want to
be a Democrat or not, anyway?  I don’t.

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By ofersince72, April 18, 2010 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

time and time again ,  you give every good reason
to abandon the DEMOCRAT party.

  They stand for none of the ideals you speak of.

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By Shenonymous, April 18, 2010 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

Not so fast OzarkMichael, my friend, you can’t get away that easy. 
Soundbites will not answer adequately so I will take my time, as usual
to be my garroulus self. But first, Good Sunday Morning, I haven’t
forgotten my promise.  I want to thank you for giving me reason to
speak about these things, and I might as well do my thing all at once,
now, as off-line life calls.

Cronyism spoils is as old as politics itself. Nothing new to moan about.
If it wasn’t expeditious for the powerful it would have ended long ago,
from ancient royal dynasties to current partisan favors.  Do say how it
may universally be surgically removed?

You noted that government is a large part of our economy with what I
sense as the usual conservative critique and that naturally created a
puzzlement for me, the perennial liberal, albeit a fiscally restrained
liberal which some farther to the left would consider quite the
oxymoron, but so be it.  Government is large because not only is the
population large, but the disparity in resources is huge.  AlterNet article
by David DeGraw sums it up:
The Richest 1% have captured American’s wealth.  That means, if he is
correct, and by all of the references he pretty well is, 99% of Americans
are financially at a big loss.  There are implications there and I would
hope others will spell them out!

Having to look at the facts of the nature of the population.  According
to the US Department of Labor, 35 major metropolitan areas have
unemployment rates at 15% or more. 

According to the United States Conference of Mayors, 2001, and 2005,
University of Maryland study, and the Encyclopedia of Homelessness the
main cause is the lack of affordable housing.
The three next primary causes are:
mental illness or the lack of needed services,
substance abuse and lack of needed services.
low-paying jobs.

The minor causes cited by the mayors were:
Prisoner release.
Domestic violence.

And from a 2004 analysis Donohoe, Martin, M.D., comes the report
“Homelessness in the United States: History, Epidemiology, Health
Issues, Women, and Public Policy”, Ob/Gyn & Women’s Health journal,
2004;9(2) July 7, 2004.

Many complain that “American materialism is a beacon of mediocrity,”
along with French writer Georges Duhamel.  Maybe so…but materialism
is not a perspective owned only by Americans!  Every country in the
world harbors mainly materialists and the desire to have as much as
possible.  America is just too easy a target because it is so large, so
diverse, so constitutionalized, and soooo coveted.  Envy produces a
very acrid mentality.  Should we suppose, I who have never gone
hungry in my entire life, that being hungry is not too much into the
yardstick of what it means to be a materialist?

The “stimulus package” was indeed inaugurated to avert an all out
depression.  And by the latest news accounts, financial news accounts,
it is working, particularly for states where even Republican governors
are giving evidence of its working, peeking its beautiful head up
through the doldrums.  What has been a runaway economic train that
got started in the 80s and was almost unstoppable until that Black
President put his hand on the gaping wound and is stitching it back
together again like a Humpty Dumpty.  Only the insatiable and
characterless Republicans, royal Republicans, all those the King’s men,
are determined to stop him dead in his tracks with murderous
language as a constant peppering of their public rhetoric.  Hard to say
what might be said behind closed doors!  Get out your guns?  The only
reason the American people are against Obama’s fixes is because of
the shrewd cultivation of fear engendered by the avaricious Republicans
and for no other reason.

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By Shenonymous, April 18, 2010 at 9:26 am Link to this comment

A telling Report done in 2005 from the US Conference of Mayors
available in pdf format, Hunger and Homelessness Survey, more or less
puts a halo of truth on the matter. The cardboard sign that reads I’m
Just Hungry says it all for me.  How about you?  Isn’t it more than mere
personal opinion that if we are social human beings and choose to live
in a defined society that we then have some responsibility towards
those who can’t make a decent life, even though there is no absolute
or universal imperative that one has to do so?  Isn’t it counter to so-
called Christian values that on one side of the mouth shouts about the
sanctity of life then on the other side has no feeling for those who will
die because of inadequate food, shelter, and health care, the latter
being equally critical?
US Conference of Mayors/Sodexho Hunger and Homelessness Survey:

Then, the criticism of Obama, who has to administer the disaster he
acquired, is parochial at best.  How long is it reasonable to expect that
a catastrophe of that magnitude to be repaired?  A year?  It was not
just one problem, but every single area in which government must be
by fiat involved was infected.  Not affected, but infected with a disease
of depleting the American coffers that had been balanced at the end of
the Clinton era.  The opposition creates a denigrating campaign against
every single effort he makes to help this country and he gets
disgusting filth out of their mouths. 

How blind are we supposed to be?  Completely by your standards of
the open sore that was left for the next president, be it Obama or
anyone else, and the war cries we hear today is just one way of
covering up the injustice that put this country in the tentative position
Obama is now in, with relentless howling from the side that actually
created the holocaust of the American treasury.  It is most incredible,
and of Greek tragedian proportions.

Your so-called government ‘shakedown’ occurred because the
Republican supported corporate world wanted to retain their profit
margin at the expense of the American public.  The lone warrior Obama
counters the gash with antidotes that may or may not fix the fatal blow
dealt to us, the American people, by the Republican mind set all the
way from Reaganomics, well nearly fatal.  Some injuries take a complete
transfusion to save a life and there has to be some blood in the bank
that may become completely depleted for success to be available.

The myth of the American public’s anger and displeasure is perpetrated
by Republican publicists and propagandists who planted the seeds of
discontent at every opportunity they could.  Say a thing enough times
and it becomes believed even though it is a lie.  It is a classic strategy. 
Problem is the Democrats have not learned that lesson.  They repeat
the truth only to themselves and hence lose face with the public. 

See, the public does not really like the Republican agenda, never have
and never will because they know deep in their hearts the Republican
platform excludes them and only includes those who have resources
and wants above all else to protect those personal resources, but they
are scared into thinking the Democrats frittered away their inheritance
of solvency and freedoms.  Yup, it is the culture of fear that is the
constant litany of the Republicans.  Neat and smart and clever.  5 Yups. 
But I predict that the public will be enlightened enough to overcome. 
Mann that sounds like Martin, doesn’t it?  His job is not yet done.

If I am wrong, can you bet someone will show me how?

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By Shenonymous, April 18, 2010 at 3:25 am Link to this comment

Since I believe you asked in earnest, Aquifer, two questions, and as
entertaining as it might be to try, I venture a reply:

1) Do you think voting has the potential to produce change?  Yes,
otherwise I would not vote, but I do believe in the electoral process and
if my cause or candidate loses, then I live with it until I can campaign
for it the next time.  It’s my responsibility to convince others to vote
with me in favor of my causes/candidates.  I believe in the voice of the
people starting with direct democracy at the local and state levels,
where the people vote directly for politicians who in turn directly work
for their constituencies.  The politicians in those positions are more
readily accessible and their career affected more easily.  Only a
representative form of government works at the national level mainly
because of the breadth of any legislation and how wide a population is
affected by the legislative action.  Using a three-dimensional model: 
There is the cause, who it affects, and how long it affects. 

Now if you asked if what is said on these kinds of forums changes
anything, I’d have to laugh too.  Most of the time all the issues are
already decided by the politicians and all we are left with are the dregs
to grind our teeth on.  Here it is a huff and puff contest as in the big
bad wolf, lots of hot air (not excluding my own).

2) Would you ever vote for an Indy over a Dem?  If not, why not? 
Yup, I would.  I would vote for an Indy over a Dem if the Democrat
nominated showed me he/she was inadequate.  I look for the candidate
closest to my principles, and I know they might not win.  Just as often
as not they don’t.  How about you?

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By ofersince72, April 17, 2010 at 4:28 am Link to this comment

  fiscal conservative
  tough on terror
  for peace
  fund resourse wars

  just a few of the beliefs that Democrat lawmakers
  what to be assossiated with..
When you try to stand for everything , you stand for
nothing ..

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By Shaman, April 17, 2010 at 1:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Does anyone here read Ralph Nader’s weekly blog ? If not, I encourage you to do so. As always, another interesting one this week regarding the abysmal interest rates (near 0%) we get on our savings accounts.

Near the end, he writes:
“But there are many amendments in the Senate debate starting next week. So let your Senator know you are supporting FCA (Financial Consumers’ Association) and then let Senators Schumer and Dodd know that you want them to do likewise—now, without delay. (The Congressional telephone is 202-224-3121).”
In other words, it’s up to you, me and the rest of the American public to get active and keep pressure on Congress to do what is best.

Go to: Nader dot org

...and I would also advise you to call that phone number.

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By elisalouisa, April 16, 2010 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment

Aquifer:I suppose it is rather foolish of me to think anything I could say could possibly change anyone’s mind .....

Such thoughts could be put on the back burner for future comment. As Gerard said on another blog, “one never knows where a thought will take root.” As for me, my views can be altered and have been and shall continue to be. I would not want it otherwise especially when you consider the alternatives, stagnation or
worse yet, regression.

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By Aquifer, April 16, 2010 at 11:35 am Link to this comment


Point well taken. I suppose it is rather foolish of me to think anything I could say
could possibly change anyone’s mind .....

But I would still like to see if I can figure a few things out by asking a few
questions and parsing the answers, fully realizing that I may be part of the
entertainment - shucks, I don’t mind. In fact I think it a useful function in life to
give folks a few laughs now and then .....

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By Anarcissie, April 16, 2010 at 9:07 am Link to this comment

Aquifer, April 13 at 2:02 pm:
’... As far as sitting on our butts posting on obscure blogs, were you standing when you posted? (Sorry, I’m trying to clean up my act, was that too insulting?)’

Not at all.  After all, it was I who first used the term here and the derision it implies.  The difference between me and some other people is that I don’t regard my writing and reading on blogs to be activism.  For me, it’s entertainment, with maybe a little instruction thrown in; but it is not activism.  As far as I know, no political fact has been changed by my writing in the 20+ years I’ve been on the Net.  If I saw any sign of that now I think I’d be deeply suspicious of it.

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By Leefeller, April 16, 2010 at 7:56 am Link to this comment

Aquifer, just a thought here!

If Aquifer’s apologizing ever exceeded the threshold of acceptance, I could be forced to jump in and ask for a refund?

Aquifer, no need to apologize, with me you would be advised to kknock it off.

I see some of the posters on stage as elephants (not the Republican kind)  doing a well rehearsed River Dance while other posters seem as blind mice attempting to capture the show.

Occasionally I find myself using a scraper cleaning the stage during intermission!

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By elisalouisa, April 16, 2010 at 7:25 am Link to this comment

They are taking all you have and you do not see it. Still locked into the two party system, hopefully three for some of you. Truth is we do have a third party and that third party rules. Yes, it is a shadow party which many to their detriment refuse to acknowledge. That third party is The Corporation, they have
no color for they are but a shadow and rule with an invisible hand.  Lobbyists with bushels of cash call the shots. Look at the housing mess, the banks and now healthcare. It’s not for the people, laws are passed in favor of the corporations. The insurance companies, the pharmaceuticals, the builders, etc.,they rule. 
There was a time in the not-to-distant past when some in Congress would stand up to this third party. That time has come and gone. Who really knows what went on when Kucinich rode on Air Force I with Obama? Talk about grassroots government, the “third party” rules there also now, making certain those who are not attuned to their wants and needs don’t get too far in our system.
So go ahead and outwit each other as to which party does more for the country and slander those who might have a slight bone to pick. The invisible hand awaits and takes while you flitter away the day.

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By Aquifer, April 16, 2010 at 6:45 am Link to this comment


I didn’t mean that question as a retort, so I hope you don’t take it as such. I was
just surprised - thought maybe you had just gotten bored and went off to greener

I really do like your sense of humor, now that I’m getting a bit more attuned to it.

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By Shenonymous, April 16, 2010 at 4:44 am Link to this comment

Yes, I took a detour but I will definitely continue our discussion.  I think
the Medicare question does need talked about as if it wasn’t a football
so I’ll try to bring something positive to the floor.  As I said, Aquifer, it
was most refreshing you found this forum.  Isn’t that what an aquifer
does?  Isn’t it an underground layer of rock full of water that can be
extracted using a water well.  Great name as it gives what is needed but
is sturdy as a rock! 

Another slight digression.  Can’t help it sometimes.  It’s my
uncontrollable nature. But I have to go off to work and won’t be able to
write a response until after dinner tonight.  But I shall return!  I agree
this kind of discussion is needed. 

I see the microscopic mind has shown up again.  It is so funny that his
big head houses such a tiny brain.  He is like a wart and we all know
warts are viruses.  Ho hum, what a bore as he never has anything of
merit to add, he is only full of the shit that burbbles around in his
brain to draw comments from.  Reminds me of someone else who lived
with a bucket of shit on his head for ever so long.  It give me great joy
that the HWHABOSOHH spends so much time on little old me!  You
know what they say, it doesn’t matter if you say nice things about me
or speak your usual fecal matter, just so you say something! LOL

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By Aquifer, April 16, 2010 at 3:06 am Link to this comment


It is not a question of Medicare SELF destructing, it is a matter of it being slowly
starved to death ......


You’re still here?

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By ardee, April 16, 2010 at 3:06 am Link to this comment

It must be nice to live with ones head in a dark deep hole as it does enable one to ignore everything in the world that might impinge upon ones loyalties, such as those to a political party that has betrayed most if not all of the very reasons one gives for supporting them.

After minimizing the damage to the economy that Democrats are certainly complicit with the GOP in causing we find her statement dis-proven the very next day by figures showing foreclosures up 35% in the first quarter of this year. Ahh well, they were all probably Greens anyway,huh Shrew?

Further, in detailing reasons for her loyalty to Democrats she mentions womens rights, shortly after the Democrats weakened a womans right to abortion in order to pass a seriously flawed health care bill.

Free speech is a fine concept, its even the law of the land. Though if one is a progressive democrat or a member of either the progressive or black caucus one might find ones free speech falling on deaf ears of course.

As to maintaining a military presence….huh???? But,after all, one is entitled to ignore fact and reality in maintaining ones allegiances isnt one?

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By Aquifer, April 16, 2010 at 2:54 am Link to this comment

Well it appears the Dems pulled a rabbit (or some small critter) out of the hat
(or out of their shoe) at the last minute and restored the Docs Medicare
payments - temporarily, until we go through the same charade again next year. 

I can hear “I told you so”, Shenonymous, but my critique remains. I don’t think
you understand the degree of discontent out there. The underlying payment
formula needs to be fixed and has for some time. While the Dems have bought
into the Rep. mantra of Medicare is broken, they don’t seem terribly interested
in fixing it, though there is no better time than now when they have more
power than they will for some time. Taking the extra payments from the
Medicare Advantage programs (in the recent “historic” legislation) is a step in
the right direction, but it’s like bailing out a leaking ship with a teaspoon, or
that old deck chairs on the Titanic thing. I do believe this Nov. will be “a day of
reckoning”. It would be a comedy of errors except that it isn’t very funny.
Comedy becomes tragedy all too quickly. ....

When I speak of my concern for the system in healthcare, I speak from
experience, from the trenches. I am not defending a Doc’s right to make as
much as he/she can - much discussion needs to go on there. But you can toy
with folks only so long before they quit in disgust. This riding in at the last
moment to rescue the maiden in distress gets old quickly, especially when its
clear the hand with which he/she is holding her is well greased. Soon enough it
dawns on the maiden that the rider either doesn’t know how or doesn’t intend to
leave her in a safe place; she is still in jeopardy and must fend for herself. And
that is not a good place to leave healthcare.  Or to put it another way, in keeping
with my previous metaphor, band-aids are never much good at stopping bleeding,
they only cover it up for a time. Pressure is what is needed. And I think that gets
us back to the substance of our previous, temporarily interrupted, discussion.

That is, if you are still interested in participating .....

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By Leefeller, April 16, 2010 at 1:51 am Link to this comment

Some of my worst friends are Republicans!

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By ofersince72, April 16, 2010 at 12:07 am Link to this comment


  I am happy for you that the Democrat Party and their
policy represents your aspirations of governance.

Not mine, unfortunatly,

Peace, good luck and happiness….......OFER

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By Shenonymous, April 15, 2010 at 11:04 pm Link to this comment

A compress will do the trick, dear medical doctors.  The hyperbole is
running away with itself.  Just spin yourselves around three times, make
a wish, and poof, the Democrats will what?  Disappear?  Not a chance. 
Nor will Medicare self-destruct. 

If you want hyperbole, here is the grandmistress:  Hyperbole is her
middle name.  What on earth could being driven over a cliff mean,
metaphorically speaking?  A strong dose of mental health might do the
trick, for a trick is what it will take.  The best loved metaphor for the
current litter of Republicans is to be armed to the teeth with tools used
in hunting, attacking, force for the purpose of causing harm or damage
to lay seige to the black man who occupies “their” White House. 
Chimpanzees have been observed to use 26 different tools to hunt,
including the trimming a tool tip to a point to be used as a spear.

As I contemplate the barbarian behavior, for the most part verbal but
having camp followers threatening more and more physical aggression,
of the presently attending Republicans as they have almost weekly
hoopla war hooping good old time delirium that often falls into
hysteria truly transporting their gushing rabble into a frenzy is a
theater to behold in ‘absolute’ stupefaction.  Every day as we head
towards various elections, November this year being the first big target,
I fear violence will show its hideous head.  If any party needs revision,
it is that the Grand Old Party find itself as it once was, a party mostly of
integrity.  Well, maybe I exaggerate,...again.  I recall Barry Goldwater’s
campaign and John Stormer’s None Dare Call It Treason, Haley’s A
Texan Looks at Lyndon, maniacal Schlafly’s A Choice Not an Echo and
The Gravediggers all of which were calculated to incite hysteria about
the spectre of communism that was about to take over the country’s
liberals and get Goldwater elected.  Way…elll, it didn’t work, did it? 

So now, once again, there is acrimony in their mouths, acid that will
eventually eat them from the inside out because that is how acid works.

And up until this latest grotesque ensemble that has assembled
themselves to screech out the vilest anti-Americanisms that staggers
the imagination, up until these, I could welcome their philosophy of
fiscal restraint, even giving them applause for it, I could even
countenance their shouting about family values until their sinners
began falling out like fleas on a mangy dog. 

Not sure I absolutely agree with anyone, as absolute is sooo definite
but but but sooo liable to equivocation when it is sooo desired.  That
the political parties need repaired seems at least on this web political
magazine to be unanimous.  There is much more to be said, but first
things first, like clarifying the air a bit and I have to go off to
slumberland to be bright-eyed and bushy tailed for work (watch it! no
comment invited for that last statement!).  Tamarra a look at the
experiment for on the face of it, there is much to disagree with.  But in
a civil manner, as is our usual habit, even though it may seem my
criticism of Republicans might not be congenial, and it was not
intended to be, I do not attack anyone’s person, eh OM?

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By Aquifer, April 15, 2010 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment

Night- Gaunt,

I absolutely agree with you, but the reason I am trying to engage with others in
this discussion is that there are many who still believe that their only potential
political salvation lies in continuing to support one of the two parties. In my
opinion, continuing to engage is the only way to potentially break through this
impasse. I also do think it is potentially possible to reform the major parties
(shucks, look at the Reps - they are being “reformed” from the party of Lincoln
to the party of Earl Gray, as in tea, by a concerted effort from a determined
group). Frankly, I don’t care which, if any, “Party” fixes things, as long as they
get fixed.

I just finished reading a blurb on NPR (I know the critique of this outlet, but the
blurb makes my point about the incompetence of the party in power).

As only Nixon could go to China, only the Dems can destroy Medicare. Docs are
so pissed at the failure to fix the rate structure that they will start withdrawing
in droves. Patients, not finding Docs, will blame this on the government for
screwing up and demand that “government get out of Medicare”. Reps will
jump all over this and propose a “better, private system”. Voila! end of
Medicare! While we sit around nitpicking about the relative merits or lack thereof
of this new healthcare bill, the one system we have that IS working reasonably well,
Medicare, is being undermined by the same party that started it 45 years ago.

Whether or not this is being done by intent or sheer incompetence doesn’t really
matter, in the end the result is the same. We need new progressive (or
whatever you want to call it) blood and the Dems, at this point, seem incapable
of producing it. We need to REALLY talk about how to find this new blood and
begin the transfusion, NOW! The patient is bleeding to death before our eyes and
I am desperate to find the pressure point to stop the hemorrhage.

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By OzarkMichael, April 15, 2010 at 7:39 pm Link to this comment

Night Gaunt might be right. The following post is written as an experiment. i am going to assume he is right and see where it leads:

While it was always true in the past that victorious political parties could hand out the fruits of victory to their friends and supporters, those fruits were not many and not so large, since government was not so large.

But think about today. Because government is such a large part of our economy the winning political party has a lot more goodies to hand out to its members. On top of that think of the two ‘stimulus packages’ as trillion dollar EXTRA helpings of give-a-ways added to the trough. Obama gets to administer the majority of Bush’s ‘stimulus’ trillion as well as his own. Plus take-overs, unions, etc.

Not only that, but any area that the government even threatens to regulate becomes something like a shakedown, as the worried corporations send lobbyists with bucketloads of cash to plea-bargain a better deal. Thats why the healthcare debate was so wonderful for the government. For example, Obama raked in at least 100 billion for the Democratic party that we know of. And when he finally signed the legislation… who knows what deals and deposits are buried in the 2300 page smorgasboard of perks and regulations?

Democrats knew the majority of the American people were against it but they passed it anyway. The idealist will say its because Democrats are so altruistic… Oh dear, no! The truth is there was too much money at stake. Uncountable trillions more dollars of power for the government. How could they not enact the legislation? How could they leave all that authority dispersed?

So power has been and will continue to be harnessed at the center(federal government). Its all for a “good cause”. Which by the way, will be like all other “good causes”. It will cost twice what they expect, but that makes it even more attractive to the legislators. Remember that government power works on the opposite principle of a corporation, ie, while the corporation must acquire ungodly ammounts of money to become powerful, a government must spend ungodly amounts to gain power. as Rahm Emmanual said from day one: “Lets not waste this crisis!”

And by golly, Obama has outdone all expectations.

Power concentrated in one place is nice and tidy, but not conducive to freedom. We had a heritage of freedom, but we traded it for a pocket full of mumbles(such are promises).

I doubt that anything short of a revolution will budge us from the Democrat/Republican lock on power.

During the last few decades, and certainly from here on out, there is no 3rd political party that can match the money and muscle that comes from being part of big government. The more Democrats and Republicans spend the more powerful they are. Whether they spend it on guns(war) or butter(giveaways) they are using our money to entrench their power. Both parties have ways of buying loyalty that are wrong at worst or unsavory at best.

But that isnt all. The ‘losing’ Republican party still gets money. Maybe about half as much money as the victorious Democrats. The ‘losing’ Republicans will also get the support of most of the independant people who can see what a swindle job the President has done. It is a swindle. He has taken the money from our children and our grandchildren. But it increases the power of the government and entrenches the two two political parties ever deeper.

In the next election the Republicans will win, and the roles will be reversed. But its the same dance.

End of the thought experiment. How did I do?

About my friend Shenonymous. I hope She doesnt mean it about shootings and cliffs and mad dogs. I hope it was all metaphorical. But one never knows. They say too much learning can finally unhinge a great mind. And I should know.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 15, 2010 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

I meant “spending in politics.”

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By Night-Gaunt, April 15, 2010 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

If I may interject, the two party system is one where all others are locked out. Unlike in previous times there is no way for another party(s) to ever take over. As an example if the the hermetically sealed two-party only system was in place during the Whigs we would still have the Whigs now. So it is the system that needs to be freed up from the duopoly first. That and have gov’t funding of parties running, no independently wealthy types/corporations funding themselves as they own the parties. Sending money in politics isn’t “free speech” unlike the way it is portrayed now. Until those items are changed we will be caught between two moribund parties mummified and in charged kept moving by the big money donors/owners we have now. When bribery is institutionalized how can a democratic-republic exist except in name only?

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By Aquifer, April 15, 2010 at 9:20 am Link to this comment


Hmm, I just thought of another approach that might serve to elucidate the
source of our differences, might be crazy, but what the heck.

The issue may be what to do with broken things. I THINK you think
the Dem Party is broken right now and you want to fix it. Others think
we should just throw it away (and still others, I suppose, think it is just fine the
way it is).

I, by nature and by training, am a “fixer-upper”. (Shucks, would anyone want a
healthcare provider who would just throw you away if you were broken?) I have
a 17 year old car (right now in the fixit shop), a 30 year old snow blower and
>20 year old washer both of which I have repaired with JB Weld (great stuff by
the way, I recommend it highly), and I just got my 8 year old computer
repaired, so I think I can establish my bona fides in the fixer upper
department. I pride myself, not on having the newest and shiniest, but on
having good old stuff. I believe in substance and function over form - it (like I)
may not be handsome/pretty, but it works and that is all I ask; do I need it and
does it work. In fact, I tend to go to extremes in this area; I have to plead with
people to fix things when they keep telling me “it isn’t worth it, buy a new one,
it’s cheaper.” I will continue to try to fix things long after most would throw
them away.

But there comes a time when no matter how hard one tries, both with broken
people and broken things, one can’t fix them anymore ( I am speaking in the
physical sense), and one has to let them go - actually they expire whether one
LETS them go or not. (I am afraid that I am facing that situation with my car, it
is suffering from terminal rust.)

So, perhaps, the relevant questions are: 1) do we need at least 2 parties? 2) is at least
one of the 2 major parties, for purposes of THIS discussion - the Dem Party - broken?
3) If so, is it worth fixing?  4) if so, CAN it be fixed, and 5) if so, what’s the best way
to fix it? (Granted the Dem Party isn’t a physical thing and so I suppose some might
argue that the analogy doesn’t apply, but I think one can extract similar lines of thinking
and approaches to both - to fix or not to fix, when to let go, etc.)

I THINK for most of us here, the answers to 1 and 2 are yes, so perhaps it is the answers
to 3, 4, and 5 that define the differences and we could start there. I gather from your posts
that you think it’s worth it to fix it AND that it CAN be fixed. Others would
disagree. (Underneath the food fights, I think one can extract this basic dichotomy.)

I admit that on 2, I agree with you, with the caveat that it’s worth fixing only to
the extent that it continues to HONESTLY attempt to perform its purported
function, which to my mind, at least, is to represent the best interests of ALL
the folk in the ways you have mentioned. Maybe THAT’S where the debate
begins .....

I, for one, have come to feel that it is not, with the exception of a few outliers, 
HONESTLY trying anymore. For me, there are certain benchmarks that I use to
determine how honest those efforts are. I hear a lot of rhetoric, but I don’t see any real
action and I don’t think it’s all the fault of Rep. obstructionism. Perhaps the debate
actually revolves around what those benchmarks should be? .....

I don’t know, what do you think?

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By Aquifer, April 15, 2010 at 7:30 am Link to this comment


Thank you for expounding on your underlying beliefs! I don’t know for sure,
but I would guess that many, if not most, of the folks who post here believe in
many, if not most, of those things as well. (And, by the way, for what it’s worth,
I think the way you expressed them was quite fine, but do you really believe in
“capital punishment for political degenerates! “) 

Perhaps you may be weary of our interaction, but I would like to continue to
interact because I think we are circling in on what may be an underlying source
of continued rancor among folks who seem to fundamentally believe and hold
dear many of the same things.

(As an aside, I am very frustrated with myself for my lack of concision, and,
frankly, with the inherent limitations of online fora - I think we might actually
be able to reach SOME sort of agreement in verbal conversation, over, maybe,
an hour or two, with many arguments due to misunderstanding or
miscommunication easily eliminated, but these fora require the same
conversation to be stretched over days. Plus, I am a two fingered typist and it
takes me FOREVER to type anything I think MIGHT be worth saying in any thing
approaching a coherent manner. Having said that, I would like to continue
because I think such conversations, insofar as they don’t degenerate into name
calling, are really important to have - without them we will continue to work at
cross purposes, when what we all really need, among other things, is to get
together and FIX this mess of a government we have. And I’m a stubborn SOB, I
don’t like to quit until, at least, I think I understand what’s really going on
between mutual combatants who are, ostensibly, on the same side, and I don’t
think I do right now.)

With the preceding in mind, let me try to see if I can ask some questions the
answers to which I need in order to figure out how to advance, not simply
prolong, the conversation. I don’t know if these are the correct questions, (and
perhaps you might think the answers to some are obvious, but sometimes what
one thinks is obvious is not so to everyone) but let’s start and see where we go.
To whit :

1) Do you think voting has the potential to produce change?

2) Would you ever vote for an Indy over a Dem?  If not, why not?

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By ofersince72, April 15, 2010 at 5:41 am Link to this comment

you mis understood me,  I said you had lofty virtues,
but they are not going to be achieved through the
Democrat Party.  I am not trying to talk big nor do I
claim to have the intellect to, just years of experience
following and voting Democrat.
  The Democrat party, that has proved time and again that
they are very little less of an evil,  will never be
changed from within,  it will be impossible to vote
enough so called “progressive” lawmakers to make a change
from a party that represents the coropstacracy to one that
represents you and me.  That is why I believe the quickest
way is euthanasia for them.  Vote independent, so the
the repubs gain control , so what, they will destroy

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By Shenonymous, April 15, 2010 at 5:04 am Link to this comment

Well, I did forget one biggie, I was sooo sleepy so I forgive myself.  I
believe in freedom of speech that Democrats hold dear but not the
scurvybrained Republicans. And I do not hear any third-party extolling
the virtues of free speech either.  So okay, you telokin disagree with
“some” of my principles.  Would you be brave enough to say which
ones?  I would not want to stifle anyone’s sentiments unless they were
harmful to others, slanderous, or seditious.  Hate speech is allowable
much as it is despicable.  To choose to use it is cowardly but there is a
race of cowards in the world and they have the right to be what they

ofersince72, since you hate my principles, you might brave the forum
and give yours.  You talk a big talk, but put your stanadards where your
mouth is.  It wasn’t to prevent Dr. Johnsen’s nomination that Obama
submitted her name!  It won’t matter who he tries to appoint, the
Republicans will interfere because of their racist agenda.  And yes I am
against political assassinations but I am not against the truth of
showing scumbags for what they are.  You might be more careful at
the local level who you sent to Washington. 

Could the Republicans in their vicious attempted homicide of Obama
with their executioners Palin, Boehner, Gingrich, Limbaugh, Beck, et al
please be driven over the cliff?  I do believe in capital punishment for
political degenerates!  And using their favorite metaphor, mad dogs
need to be put out of their misery.  Yup, with all those high ideals I
listed above, I do believe in firing squads.  All I hear from the
Democrats is a bunch of mealy mouth list of “look what we pooped in
our pants!”  They are a bunch of dunderheads.  Yup, I agree.  The litter
of politicians we have ought to be aborted.  Guess those old folks in
Florida shows the Republicans a thing or two.

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By ofersince72, April 15, 2010 at 1:41 am Link to this comment

it also sounds like O’s supporters want to control who
gets to blog on the internet which doesn’t suprise me.

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By ofersince72, April 15, 2010 at 1:33 am Link to this comment

Throwing slurs seems to be O’s supporters only defense.

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By ofersince72, April 15, 2010 at 1:29 am Link to this comment

anyone that dosn’t agree with Obama politics is
considered illiterate by O’s supporters here on TD.

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By ofersince72, April 15, 2010 at 12:41 am Link to this comment

When Obama nominated Ms. Johnsen, the Dems had
60 votes in the Senate, but did not vote,
he, if was really committed to her nomination as
legal counsil, he could have made her a recess appointment.  Neither occurred.  She was against
political assassinations, something that i am sure you
are against

You are a person with very good and high ideals,
I wish myself that the dems would stand for what you
hold so high.  I too have been a registared Dem for
many years, about forty, and have been disappointed
time after time.  I will not deny that they have thrown
a few peanuts.

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