Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Shop the Truthdig Gift Guide 2014
December 18, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Get Truthdig's headlines in your inbox!


Weather Extremes Rise as Planet Gets Hotter and Colder






Truthdig Bazaar more items

 
Report

Liberals Are Useless

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

Posted on Dec 7, 2009
AP / Jens Meyer

A woman in Germany selects a candy box with President Barack Obama’s face on it.

By Chris Hedges

Liberals are a useless lot. They talk about peace and do nothing to challenge our permanent war economy. They claim to support the working class, and vote for candidates that glibly defend the North American Free Trade Agreement. They insist they believe in welfare, the right to organize, universal health care and a host of other socially progressive causes, and will not risk stepping out of the mainstream to fight for them. The only talent they seem to possess is the ability to write abject, cloying letters to Barack Obama—as if he reads them—asking the president to come back to his “true” self. This sterile moral posturing, which is not only useless but humiliating, has made America’s liberal class an object of public derision.

I am not disappointed in Obama. I don’t feel betrayed. I don’t wonder when he is going to be Obama. I did not vote for the man. I vote socialist, which in my case meant Ralph Nader, but could have meant Cynthia McKinney. How can an organization with the oxymoronic title Progressives for Obama even exist? Liberal groups like these make political satire obsolete. Obama was and is a brand. He is a product of the Chicago political machine. He has been skillfully packaged as the new face of the corporate state. I don’t dislike Obama—I would much rather listen to him than his smug and venal predecessor—though I expected nothing but a continuation of the corporate rape of the country. And that is what he has delivered.

“You have a tug of war with one side pulling,” Ralph Nader told me when we met Saturday afternoon. “The corporate interests pull on the Democratic Party the way they pull on the Republican Party. If you are a ‘least-worst’ voter you don’t want to disturb John Kerry on the war, so you call off the anti-war demonstrations in 2004. You don’t want to disturb Obama because McCain is worse. And every four years both parties get worse. There is no pull. That is the dilemma of The Nation and The Progressive and other similar publications. There is no breaking point. What is the breaking point? The criminal war of aggression in Iraq? The escalation of the war in Afghanistan? Forty-five thousand people dying a year because they can’t afford health insurance? The hollowing out of communities and sending the jobs to fascist and communist regimes overseas that know how to put the workers in their place? There is no breaking point. And when there is no breaking point you do not have a moral compass.”

I save my anger for our bankrupt liberal intelligentsia of which, sadly, I guess I am a member. Liberals are the defeated, self-absorbed Mouse Man in Dostoevsky’s “Notes From Underground.” They embrace cynicism, a cloak for their cowardice and impotence. They, like Dostoevsky’s depraved character, have come to believe that the “conscious inertia” of the underground surpasses all other forms of existence. They too use inaction and empty moral posturing, not to affect change but to engage in an orgy of self-adulation and self-pity. They too refuse to act or engage with anyone not cowering in the underground. This choice does not satisfy the Mouse Man, as it does not satisfy our liberal class, but neither has the strength to change. The gravest danger we face as a nation is not from the far right, although it may well inherit power, but from a bankrupt liberal class that has lost the will to fight and the moral courage to stand up for what it espouses.

Anyone who says he or she cares about the working class in this country should have walked out on the Democratic Party in 1994 with the passage of NAFTA. And it has only been downhill since. If welfare reform, the 1999 Financial Services Modernization Act, which gutted the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act—designed to prevent the kind of banking crisis we are now undergoing—and the craven decision by the Democratic Congress to continue to fund and expand our imperial wars were not enough to make you revolt, how about the refusal to restore habeas corpus, end torture in our offshore penal colonies, abolish George W. Bush’s secrecy laws or halt the warrantless wiretapping and monitoring of American citizens? The imperial projects and the corporate state have not altered under Obama. The state kills as ruthlessly and indiscriminately in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan as it did under Bush. It steals from the U.S. treasury as rapaciously to enrich the corporate elite. It, too, bows before the conservative Israel lobby, refuses to enact serious environmental or health care reform, regulate Wall Street, end our relationship with private mercenary contractors or stop handing obscene sums of money, some $1 trillion a year, to the military and arms industry. At what point do we stop being a doormat? At what point do we fight back? We may lose if we step outside the mainstream, but at least we will salvage our self-esteem and integrity.

Advertisement

Square, Site wide

New and Improved Comments

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

By ardee, September 30, 2010 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

MrXfromPlanetX, September 29 at 12:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

People wouldn’t have to vote for some other party if they would get off their butts and turn out for primaries, and if their states have them caucuses.

The crappy candidates need to get knocked off a ballot before General Election.  If people are unenthusiastic about this upcoming election, which I admit I’m not happy about, we need to get out and shake up who we and everyone else has to vote for in the fall.

Perhaps on your home planet one finds worthy candidates in the primaries. Here on Earth we find that the duopoly controls the names appearing on those ballots, controls the cash thereby controlling the candidate. Ever try to get a democrat on a democratic primary? Or better still, try to shake some campaign funds loose for that candidate?

Report this

By MrXfromPlanetX, September 28, 2010 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

People wouldn’t have to vote for some other party if they would get off their butts and turn out for primaries, and if their states have them caucuses.

The crappy candidates need to get knocked off a ballot before General Election.  If people are unenthusiastic about this upcoming election, which I admit I’m not happy about, we need to get out and shake up who we and everyone else has to vote for in the fall.

The problem is we have let establishment Democrats or Republicans run Primaries and elections.  The way I see it is Independents are the biggest problem in the country because they wait for everyone else to decide for them and then turn out to vote in the fall for the predetermined candidates.

The problem is you have to look at how mainstream people actually vote http://elections.utah.gov/electionresults.html  For example in my state for the 2008 election: McCain 596,030   Obama 327,670   Baldwin 12,012   Barr 6,966   Nader 8,416.

In my state everyone pretty much votes Republican. I hope every state has this kind of data avialable.

It would be very hard to swing enough votes for any of the third party candidates to have won.  McCain was put on the ballot by 3000 some odd delegates elected at caucuses.  It’s far easier to turn up at a caucus and become one of the 3000+ than to change the voting habits of 500,000+ people.

This is the same for Democrats.  Do you see what I’m getting at?  People should analyze the voting habits of the majority and than figure out which party they need to be active in to shake things up.

That’s what corporations do.  They analyze the situation and figure out how they can be most effective at changing it.  You may think this is unethical, but neither are the corporations and the politicians.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, March 23, 2010 at 7:45 pm Link to this comment

Based on the Washington Post’s Voting List, there are 34 Democrats that need to be removed and replaced through the 2010 Primaries this year:

ALABAMA - 3 to replace in the 2nd, 4th & 7th Districts,

ARKANSAS - 1 to replace in the 1st District,

GEORGIA - 2 to replace in the 8th & 12th Districts,

IDAHO - 1 to replace in the 1st District,

ILLINOIS - 1 to replace in the 3rd District,

KENTUCKY - 1 to replace in the 6th District,

LOUISIANA - 1 to replace in the 3rd District,

MASSACHUSETTS - 1 to replace in the 9th District,

MARYLAND - 1 to replace in the 1st District,

MINNESOTA - 1 to replace in the 7th District,

MISSOURI - 1 to replace in the 4th District,

MISSISSIPPI - 2 to replace in the 1st & 4th Districts,

N.CAROLINA - 3 to replace in the 7th, 8th, & 11th Districts.

NEW JERSEY -1 to replace in the 3rd District,

NEW MEXICO - 1 to replace in the 2nd District,

NEW YORK - 2 to replace in the 13th & 24th District,

OHIO - 1 to replace in the 18th District,

OKLAHOMA - 1 to replace in the 2nd District,

PENNSYLVANIA - 2 to replace in the 4th & 17th Districts,

S. DAKOTA - 1 to replace,

TENNESSEE - 2 to replace in the 4th & 8th Districts,

TEXAS - 1 to replace in the 17th District,

UTAH - 1 to replace in the 2nd District, and

VIRGINIA - 2 to replace in the 2nd & 9th Districts.

Report this

By Constantone, March 21, 2010 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All Talk? We just passed health care. sweety. What the hell have you done for the American people lately?

Report this

By SystemsThinker, February 9, 2010 at 8:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The problem is that the nature of the US electoral system, campaign finance system and institutional rules of our government lock progressives into a very real catch-22. And rather than strategically attack those issues locking us into those catch-22’s, too many progressives focus on alternately pushing for and then giving up on symptomatic issues.

But these symptomatic issues simply cannot ever be changed within the context of the current political mechanisms. Progressives are wasting a lot of time and energy with this ineffective strategy.

They need to focus like a laser on a few core democracy issues - instant runoff voting, public financing of elections, filibuster reform, media reform, presidential debate reforms and so on.

I write about this in two pieces:

In What Michael Moore Really Teaches Us About Political and Social Change In America, I talk about how Moore is an example of this very pattern, making great movies about symptomatic issues like war, health care, economics, yet rarely hitting on the key leverage points for change.

See it at http://www.systemsthinker.com/blog/2007/08/michael-moore-social-change-in-america/

In The Key Issue Suspiciously Missing from Ralph Nader’s “Table”, I explain how Ralph Nader’s failure to focus on election reform measures like Instant Runoff Voting reveals something key about his real motives as compared to what he claims them to be. It is another great example of misguided progressive priorities.

See it at http://www.systemsthinker.com/blog/2008/02/key-issue-missing-from-ralph-nader-table/

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, December 24, 2009 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

No I just want those who claim another has done something to actually prove it. It is a bad habit I see of those who claim another has done or said something wrong but leave it to others to find. No go doesn’t work. Till you understand that then only those who eat rumors like their facts will listen and promulgate what you say sans proof. A simple question. Can you even do it? If this were a debate you would lose. Think of it that way. I do.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Quintessential Quanza and Happy Holidays to all and to all…

Report this

By ardee, December 24, 2009 at 4:32 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, December 23 at 2:57 pm

None so blind, heh?

While I have ended this “conversation ” with Dave, I add one more comment to you.

That you are a person of discernment makes your pretense at failure to see either Dave’s bullshit fictions or my continual posting of the three major changes in his story that led me to my conclusion that the entire effort is a work of fiction most puzzling.

But whatever dude, happy holidays to you, as for Dave, a lump of coal in his stocking.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, December 23, 2009 at 10:57 am Link to this comment

Ardee you made the charges so you show us what exactly what DaveZx3 has said that is “false” don’t dissemble and squirm out of it. Just asking a reasonable question that deserves a reasonable answer.

“I came in to work in the middle of the night a few years ago when there was an outage at a regional power company.  The crews that had been brought in to fix the problem were all asleep in their cars in the parking lot, including the supervisor.  They were on double time, but did not think it was important enough to actually go in and try to get the equipment working. “-DaveZx3

This is the exact quote of your contention Ardee, where are the “lies” in it? (Calling someone a liar is very strong and done all too easily on such forums. Prudence would be better along with patience.) Show me the lies or retract your accusation and apologize to DaveZx3. Otherwise I will apologize to you for being wrong. With out decorum we have warfare.

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 23, 2009 at 7:55 am Link to this comment

OK, here is the last word:

We had an outage at one of four chip burning plants.
The word outage would be defined as #2.a. below.

Definition:  OUTAGE
1 : a quantity or bulk of something lost in transportation or storage
2 a : a failure or interruption in use or functioning b : a period of interruption especially of electric current

If that is obfuscation, it does not say much for TruthDig members, too many of whom would rather call someone a liar than look up in a dictionary such a terribly complex word as “outage”.

Report this

By ardee, December 23, 2009 at 5:52 am Link to this comment

My last word to one who increasingly looks to be about fifteen years old.

Your three posts reek of fictionalization. If you are as clumsy a liar as it appears you to be then dont lie.

Wriggle all you wish little man, an outage that is then not an outage is clumsy and stupidly written. It serves only the cause of obfuscation.

You were far better off spouting about how religious belief trumps science. But not so much.

Have the last word child. I know what you are.

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 23, 2009 at 5:31 am Link to this comment

By ardee, December 23 at 8:23 am #

“Three separate comments from Davie boy about the same incident. If this is not obfuscation then it is the product of a very confused mind”.

Again, for the umteenth time, I was not writing a technical dissertation.  If one knows absolutely nothing about how wood chip burning biomass power plants operate, they can still understand the point of my writing. 

It was about how people do not always live up to the trust placed in them.  Simple.  Where is the obfuscation?

It is not obfuscation if the reader is not knowledgeable about the subject, or does not take the time to google the subject to understand how biomass plants, which are many times auxiliary in nature, can have outages which do not cause electrical outages on the grid.  Very high demand could cause brownout conditions, but under normal load conditions, there is no electrical outage, such as a blown transformer, downed lines, etc. 

The nature of the point did not warrant all the technical discussion. 

It is like saying, “I went out to go to work, and my car did not start”  Would it be obfuscation if I did not discuss the theory of the internal combustion engine to declare that simple pont? 

I think you are just irritated because you thought I criticized union members.  There was no mention of unions or union members.  It was not about that.

It was a simple point, “you cannot always trust people to do what they say they are going to do”

Maybe it is not even a true statement, but I believe it to be true, so I commented to that effect. 

I offered to put this dead horse to rest long ago,  and I asked for acknowledgement that I was not talking about unions.  Also asked to be acknowledged that I do not “run away”, and for this reason, I feel I must defend myself to the end of this absurd, unwarranted attack, which I guess I will.

Report this

By ardee, December 23, 2009 at 4:23 am Link to this comment

I came in to work in the middle of the night a few years ago when there was an outage at a regional power company.

This was not an electrical outage.  It was a chip burning plant, and the contract crew was brought in during the off hours to help with the clean up so the technicians could get in later and analyze why the whole thing clogged up and shut down.

Here are a few biomass plants that I knew about going back about 10 years ago. 

****************

Three separate comments from Davie boy about the same incident. If this is not obfuscation then it is the product of a very confused mind.

Methinks, Mr.Gaunt that you belabor a point to make one. I also think you can cite chapter and verse of this fellows distortions if not outright lies.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, December 22, 2009 at 10:32 am Link to this comment

Actually Ardee since it is you who say DaveZx3 has been using “false figures” then it is up to you to produce them for us in an easy to read format. So since you see them then show us. Shouldn’t be hard.

Now if my conspiracy scenario is wrong then we shall just fall into a place even worse than in the 1890’s for most people—socially. I have no expectation of being proven right because I want to be dead wrong on both. I want us to reclaim our secular republic and to use the words of the Federalist Constitution and Anti-Federalist Bill of Rights to apply to all of us equally instead of only some unequally.

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 22, 2009 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

By Night-Gaunt, December 21 at 1:36 pm #

“Part of the plan to break down our republic and build up an empire in its place. Definitely on the naughty list.”

I agree with the majority of your statements here Night-Gaunt.  Especially the idea of breaking down our republic.  I think that is the goal of most of the issues that are being fought so passionately today.  One of the best ways to destroy a nation is to bankrupt it.  And this seems to be a goal of repubs and dems alike, at least at the highest levels. 

I defend my knowledge of the God of Abraham.  I do not defend any religions, politics or man-made ideologies.  My knowledge of God is a fact to me, based on experience. 

If I get criticized for not being able to articulate that experience to the satisfaction of others. I can accept that.  But I do not knowingly post any ideas, figures, examples or conclusions that I know or suspect to be false.  I do post ideas, figures, examples or conclusions that others think are false, and they are certainly free to debate these issues.

I do know that many times things are read into a statement or post, such as when ardee read in that I criticized unions on this very thread.  The work crew I was talking about was not a union crew, and I did not even mention anything about unions. 

But I have been accused of falsley accusing unions, and no one (NO ONE) is willing to go back and read the post on this thread to see and admit the truth. 

So I have little time to entertain this idea that I, in the words of ardee,

“Dave has posted false figures, false examples and false conclusions, a myriad of times”.

If I make mistakes, I apologize, but I do not knowingly post falsities.  In fact, due to the unpopularity of my posts, I go out of my way to make sure I can back up any figures or examples that I post.  Maybe not to the satisfaction of critics, but I can’t help that. 

It may be True that no matter the Truth, all will not accept it.  And no matter what we hold as true, it could turn out to be false, including my own held truths. 

There are thousands of things going on that are very mysterious and unexplained by science or otherwise, and we are all delusional if any one of us thinks they have the absolute truth on almost any of these mysteries. 

But I have come to believe in the God of Abraham, and I have had experiences, which I spoke of in other threads, which lead me to say that God is a fact to me.  I will probably be called a fool by many, but I am going to have to defend this consistently. 

Christmas is a farce invented by religon, but it is also ingrained in our culture, so strictly from a cultural standpoint, Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to all.

Report this

By ardee, December 22, 2009 at 3:47 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, December 21 at 1:36 pm

I didnt mean to imply that DBM was the only arbiter of truth here, nor does your real point escape me.

Report this

By ardee, December 22, 2009 at 3:42 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, December 21 at 1:36 pm #

Ardee why don’t you list for us some of the things that DaveZx3 has stated that are false in your eyes?

*****************************

Rather than reinvent the wheel I suggest your reread the exchanges between this cretin and DBM. Dave has posted false figures, false examples and false conclusions, a myriad of times.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, December 21, 2009 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

Ardee why don’t you list for us some of the things that DaveZx3 has stated that are false in your eyes? I am interested but please be specific in your charges just as I or anyone else must be when charging another.

From an operational standpoint Liberals are useless for they are out gunned, out organized, out funded and are least effective next to the parallel gov’t of interlocking corporations, their Think Tanks, military, surveillance, food, water, police, fire etc and it is deep within our own gov’t and funded by us! At this point they get all the money and are doing things our gov’t use to do & are being made rich and powerful by us. [Part of the plan to break down our republic and build up an empire in its place. Definitely on the naughty list.]

Now if we could all just get along and act as humanists to each other all the time and not just for this brief time of Yule. Happy Holidays! (Covers them all. Even Atheists want to have fun and be happy.)

Report this

By johannes, December 21, 2009 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

To Dave ZX


I thank you for your good wishes, and the same to you and your famelie.

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 21, 2009 at 5:43 am Link to this comment

ardee,

“Dave, you post falsehoods and then, when they are exposed as such, as they have been repeatedly ( sidebar needed to note that this forum has a major shortcoming in that folks like Dave can do this knowing that the history of postings is erased far too quickly), you run away”.

Will you kindly admit that:

1.  I do not run away, that I am one of the most persistent defenders of my statements and postings, and you, yourself have commented on my persistence.

2.  That on many occasions you simply misread my posts, such as accusing me of criticizing union people on this thread, where I never did so.  Go back and look.  Nothing was said or insinuated about unions, period, you made that up. 

What do you mean by saying “folks like Dave”?  Christians? Conservatives?  Liars?  Idiots?  It is another generalization and judgement, which I strenously object to. 

I knew nothing about how long posts are kept on Truth Dig.  Nor do I care.

Anyway, I will agree to put this dead horse to rest if you do.

Report this

By ardee, December 21, 2009 at 4:04 am Link to this comment

I thought it was about sharing ideas and comments.  I never dreamed it was about assessing and apparently judging and categorizing each other.

It is about exactly that Dave and nice to know that, despite your penchant for distortion and false assumption, you do understand what it is you attempt to subvert.

Dave, you post falsehoods and then, when they are exposed as such, as they have been repeatedly ( sidebar needed to note that this forum has a major shortcoming in that folks like Dave can do this knowing that the history of postings is erased far too quickly), you run away.

I am sorry that you require such personal reference but I do try to post critique about your ideas and not your personality, and fail about as often as do you ,yourself.

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 20, 2009 at 4:24 pm Link to this comment

ardee, December 20 at 12:26 pm #
“Dear Dave,  I am confident in my assessment of you, your style, and your history here”.

I thought it was about sharing ideas and comments.  I never dreamed it was about assessing and apparently judging and categorizing each other.

elisalouisa, Great poem.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family as well.  I know I am not allowed to say that, but I am old fashioned, and do not actually mind being judged for being exactly who I am.  I don’t make any apologizes for it either. 

So Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.  And peace on Earth, good will to all as well, including ardee.

Report this

By elisalouisa, December 20, 2009 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

Lighten up you guys.  Maybe this poem will make you smile.

Politically Correct Santa

‘Twas the night before Christmas and Santa’s a wreck…
How to live in a world that’s politically correct?

His workers no longer would answer to “Elves”,
“Vertically Challenged” they were calling themselves.

And labor conditions at the north pole
Were alleged by the union to stifle the soul.

Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety,
Released to the wilds by the Humane Society.

And equal employment had made it quite clear
That Santa had better not use just reindeer.

So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid,
Were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid!?

The runners had been removed from his sleigh;
The ruts were termed dangerous by the E.P.A.

And people had started to call for the cops
When they heard sled noises on their roof-tops.

Second-hand smoke from his pipe had his workers quite frightened.
His fur trimmed red suit was called “Unenlightened.”

And to show you the strangeness of life’s ebbs and flows:
Rudolf was suing over unauthorized use of his nose
And had gone on Geraldo, in front of the nation,
Demanding millions in over-due compensation.

So, half of the reindeer were gone; and his wife,
Who suddenly said she’d enough of this life,
Joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz,
Demanding from now on her title was Ms.

And as for the gifts, why, he’d ne’er had a notion
That making a choice could cause so much commotion.

Nothing of leather, nothing of fur,
Which meant nothing for him. And nothing for her.

Nothing that might be construed to pollute.
Nothing to aim. Nothing to shoot.
Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls. Or just for the boys.
Nothing that claimed to be gender specific.
Nothing that’s warlike or non-pacific.
No candy or sweets…they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth.

And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden,
Were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden.

For they raised the hackles of those psychological
Who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.

No baseball, no football…someone could get hurt;
Besides, playing sports exposed kids to dirt.

Dolls were said to be sexist, and should be passe;
And Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.

So Santa just stood there, disheveled, perplexed;
He just could not figure out what to do next.

He tried to be merry, tried to be gay,
But you’ve got to be careful with that word today.

His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground;
Nothing fully acceptable was to be found.

Something special was needed, a gift that he might
Give to all without angering the left or the right.

A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision,
Each group of people, every religion;
Every ethnicity, every hue,
Everyone, everywhere…even you.

So here is that gift, it’s price beyond worth…

“May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on earth.”

This document is copyright (c) Harvey Ehrlich 1992.

Report this

By ardee, December 20, 2009 at 8:26 am Link to this comment

Dear Dave,

I am confident in my assessment of you, your style, and your history here.

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 20, 2009 at 6:42 am Link to this comment

ardee, December 20 at 8:07 am #

“So, shut the f#@k up with the cheap sarcasm and try to be clearer in the future. Your (probably fictional ) account of UNION MEMBERS sleeping in their cars reminds me of the complaints we receive about lineman sitting around;”

They were not UNION MEMBERS.  Where did you ever get that idea?  You always say I am lying, when you never actually know what I am saying in the first place.  I am tired of being called a liar by someone who does not even know what he read, and then gets indignant when I try to defend myself. 

Before you call someone a liar, you better be real sure you know what you are saying.  You go off the deep end a little too easily for some reason. 

The only simple point that was trying to be made was that some people do not live up to the trust placed in them.  If that were not true, there would not be so many broken families spread across this country.

Why can’t you just accept that simple point? 

If you, or anyone else, can point out where I lied about this, or any other post, I would be very surprised.  Mostly what I see are people who jump to conclusions and judge based on their own preconceived notions, as you did here. 

I said “sleeping in cars”, and you went off on a tangent based on your own experience, instead of perceiving what the writer was attempting to communicate.  Then when called on it, you resort to the F—word and call me a liar.

If you feel your actions are justifiable, then point out my lies, otherwise you can feel free not to respond to my posts anymore.

Report this

By ardee, December 20, 2009 at 4:07 am Link to this comment

DaveZx3, December 20 at 7:15 am

Are you really such a child? You contributed to my confusion with your verbiage thus try harder to both make your point and do so with civility.

While I am certainly willing to get down in the mud, especially with one like you who has a history of distortions and outright lies, I do try to post with civility when the responses are such that they allow me to do so.

So, shut the f#@k up with the cheap sarcasm and try to be clearer in the future. Your (probably fictional ) account of union members sleeping in their cars reminds me of the complaints we receive about lineman sitting around; in actuality they are waiting for others to switch power routings thus enabling them to shut down the area in need of repair.

But , of course, reality plays little part in your endless propaganda.

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 20, 2009 at 3:15 am Link to this comment

ardee,

I should not have been so insensitive.  After remembering your political persuasions and considering the topic of the above article, I should have known to do the googling for you.  So, here is a fairly straightforward explanation of a biomass woodchip burning electrical generating plant. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biomass_Fuelled_Power_Plants

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 20, 2009 at 2:51 am Link to this comment

ardee, December 19 at 6:00 pm #

For someone who claims to work in a power company you show a great ignorance of Biomass.

Many Biomass Plants burn wood chips.  You have many of them right in your state, why don’t you look them up.

Many power companies own or operate Biomass plants (chip burning or otherwise)  Some buy the power from independent power producers. 

The power generated is put onto the grid in paralell with the with other sources.  In many cases there are multiple burners at one location.  They are maintenance intensive, and any outage does not interrupt electrical service to the grid.

It is like a personal windmill generator, where you parallel into the line, and if your generator goes down, you just revert back to commercial energy.

I can’t believe you don’t understand this stuff.  Why do you think I gave you about twenty examples to google. 

Do something besides criticize blindly everything you don’t compprehend.

Report this

By ardee, December 19, 2009 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

Dave you have succeeded in totally confusing me:

I came in to work in the middle of the night a few years ago when there was an outage at a regional power company

This was not an electrical outage.  It was a chip burning plant, and the contract crew was brought in during the off hours to help with the clean up so the technicians could get in later and analyze why the whole thing clogged up and shut down.

Here are a few biomass plants that I knew about going back about 10 years ago. 
*****************************
So, either it was or it wasnt an electrical outage, and it was or it wasnt a power plant, or it was or it wasnt a chip burning plant ( not even sure what that one is..burning computer chips?, burning wood chips?

Or it was or it wasnt a biomass plant…....

I have a great idea, Im going to take an aspirin and forget about this entire conversation…..

Report this

By garth, December 19, 2009 at 8:35 am Link to this comment

There’s one positive aspect to the abominable years of Bush and Cheney, and that is that we didn’t elect Joe “The Liberal” Leiberman to be one heartbeat from the Preseidency. Just think of what we would’ve gotten. No Child Left Behind, (No Stone Left Unturned), 9/11, the War in Afghanistan, the War in Iraq, the Bankruptcy bill, soaring Defense spending, War crimes, Medicare Part D with the donut hole,  highest prices for drugs in the world, and finally the collapse of the banks and the bailout. 
These things might pale compared to what we would’ve gotten with Joe as a possible head of state.
Lately, they are saying that Joe all one way.  He only looks out for Numero Uno.  Well, that’s the chickenfeed that the neo-liberal Powermakers are feeding the so-called Liberal press.  Joe’s a team player like Mary Landrieu before him and now the Senator from South Park, Ben Nelson.  They are obstructionists, only these three players are in the Democratic tent.

When Obama called the Wall Streeteers “fat cats” it was with the permission of Lloyd Blankfein.  Blankfein said to Obama that,
“It was all right to criticize the bankers.  Just don’t make a habit of it.  “Look at me!  Don’t make a habit of it.  Okay, now, run along.”

Report this

By elisalouisa, December 18, 2009 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

Sodium
You are right about sticking to the topic at hand. However, we
must remember that not all posters come to this room with this same intentions or for that matter the same moral compass. Who knows what inner pain may be the cause of some posts. We can reject any writing as not worthy of our time for time is precious. Folktruther kept us in line usually with a comment that left a big smile on my face.  However, he has not been around as
of late. 
At times I think it positive that we can stray so off subject, other times I wish Truthdig would be more definitive as to subject matter. Your fourth paragraph of 12/17 at 12:10 pm post aptly describes the negative part of having no restraints on posting.
I agree with much of what you say except that you have been too kind in your
comments about me.There are so many good posters on Truthdig who add much in the way of knowledge and also to my pleasure in the fact that I am not alone in my views.  Even if I am at odds with some posts and it happens quite often, I may put comments on the back burner for further reference.  As for the others, we can choose to ignore whatever posts we wish and go on to the next one. Having said that, may I say
that there is the challenge, to not take the bait and move on.

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 18, 2009 at 4:05 am Link to this comment

ardee, December 17 at 5:34 pm #

Here are a few biomass plants that I knew about going back about 10 years ago.  These types of plants use contractors regularly because when they are operating, few employees are required, but when they go down for scheduled maintenance or unscheduled maintenance, very large numbers of employees are required.  It is common, I think, for these guys to have ongoing contracts with various types of electrical and environmental contracting companies. 

Bay Front Station, Ashland, Wisconsin

Kettle Falls Station, Kettle Falls, Washington

McNeil Generating Station, Burlington, Vermont

Wheelabrator Shasta Plant, Anderson, California

San Joaquin Valley Energy Partners, Chowchilla, El Nido, and Madera, California

Boralex Stratton Energy, Stratton, Maine

Tracy Biomass Plant, Tracy, California

Tacoma Steam Plant No. 2, Tacoma, Washington

Colmac Energy, Mecca, California

Grayling Generating Station, Grayling, Michigan

Williams Lake Generating Station, British Columbia, Canada

Multitrade Project, Hurt, Virginia Ridge Generating Station, Auburndale, Florida

Greenidge Station, Dresden, New York

Camas Cogeneration Plant, Camas, Washington

Snohomish County PUD/Kimberly-Clark Corp., Everett, Washington

Okeelanta Cogeneration Plant, South Bay, Florida

Lahti Gasification Cofiring Project, Lahti, Finland

Report this

By Sodium, December 17, 2009 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: DavidZx3,December 17 at 5:03 pm.

David,

The content of your above post is fine,including the
definition of PLAGIARISM,which you correctly have framed between two quotation marks. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that since the quotation marks explicitly tell me that it is not a definition of your own invention,but from some other source you may be ready to specify if asked to do so.


The plagiarizer I was referring to in my earlier post copied a large part of an article from the “National Review” magazine without even cared to put what he copied word for word between quotation marks and at the top of that the plagiarizer was giving the impression it was all his/her thoughts. I profoundly detest that as much as I abhor bigotry.

David: Thank you for your constructive comments. That is the way to achieve a healthy debate of any issue. Splendid,indeed.

Report this

By ardee, December 17, 2009 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment

I came in to work in the middle of the night a few years ago when there was an outage at a regional power company.

This was not an electrical outage.  It was a chip burning plant,

I am confused, frankly, Dave….but that is a frequent occurance. As an employee of a major California utility I confess to no knowledge of a utility owning a chip burning plant….or of private contractors responding to outages.

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 17, 2009 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

Sodium, December 17 at 12:10 pm #

“sometimes ago,one honest poster pointed out that such and such post was a copy of an article published in the “National Review” magazine. I made a point in checking the “National Review” and indeed it was word for word plagiarism. And inspite of confronting the poster…”

I hope we are all in agreement that the below definition of plagiarism is acceptable.

Definition: “the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work”

It is “representation of the words as one’s own original work”  that is the devious act. 

In this type of forum, where we are not getting paid for our comments, I think that one could even be forgiven for not attributing, as long as the quoted words are somehow separated and identified, such as in quotes.  Like I put your words up at the top in quotes to separate them from the following words which I wrote.  As long as no outright deception is intended, I can forgive reasonably obvious quoting of others to make a point.

Such as when I pasted the dictionary definition of plagiarism, without attributing the specific dictionary. 

This is an informal forum, but people should be prepared to state their sources if challenged.

I hope we are in agreement on these points.  It is an important issue, even in an informal forum.

Report this

By Sodium, December 17, 2009 at 8:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For elisalouisa and ardee,

Please accept my sincere “THANK YOU” for your genuine
courtesy. Most appreciated.

I wish I have more time to follow thoroughly on what is going on on Truthdig’s posts. However,I am content to read Chris Hedges’column every week and may be other writers’ columns such as the columns written by Robert Scheer,Joe Conason,Eugene Robinson or may be others,depending on the time available at my disposal.

I feel that I must tell you that both of you write good,honest posts and more equally important is the fact that both of you really try hard to adhere firmly to the topic at hand. Deviating from the topic at hand leads usually to hijacking the whole forum to what the hijackers have in mind. Some of them are merely pretenders and like to parade their phony “knowledge” that is sometimes a copy,word for word,from a book. In a couple of cases I could remember from which book the copying was done because the two books from which plagiarism occurred were treasured by me. However,one may be able to detect whether or not plagiarism was going on by paying attention to differences in writing style that might have existed from one paragraph to another. In fact,sometimes ago,one honest poster pointed out that such and such post was a copy of an article published in the “National Review” magazine. I made a point in checking the “National Review” and indeed it was word for word plagiarism. And inspite of confronting the poster who committed the dishonest act of plagiarism,that particular poster has not disappear with shame from posting on Truthdig. That poster still posts on Thruthdig website. UNREAL!!

And to prove that deviation from the topic at hand can be so destructive to the health of a positive debate,discussion and dialogue,one only needs reviewing some of the past forums in which deviation took place to find out that different hijackers showered,at the end,each others as well as the innocent posters with a contest of unlimited insults. Why? Because the debate instead of remaining a debate it has become,at least to the hijackers,a game everyone of them feels that he or she must win. PITY!! When that
happens,best approach is to ignore completely such posters and move on to another forum. I did notice on couple of occasions that elisalouisa had wisely done so and I was so proud and pleased by her positive thinking and action. Such loud,repulsive,assertive,arrogant and “of-the-knowing-it-all-type” hijackers and obnoxious pretenders deserve no lesser an act than what elisalouisa’s wise mind inspired her to ignore
in the two incidents I personally had witnessed.

IT IS USELESS AND WASTE Of TIME TO GET INVOLVE WITH ARROGANT HIJACKERS AND OBNOXIOUS PRETENDERS IN INSULTING COMPITITIONS.

I know that,sometimes,it is just too difficult to discipline one’s self to refrain from confronting an insult with an insult,because human passion likes to get even with insulters. But after profound reflections,it is really not a positive thing to do.

Please remember that posters who are honest with good intent do post to exchange views in order to help one another and even inspire one another,but never,never and more never(s)to insult one another.

If you are well aware of all of the above,please forgive me and consider my ranting as a reminder only.

Although I know that I have,somehow,deviated from the topic at hand,but I do not feel guilty because of the importance of the subject I deliberately touched on in the above outline. I trust that you will understand my genuine intent.

Thank you again.

Report this

By garth, December 16, 2009 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

I agree with ThomasG in the following:

“I mentioned to Heather that Wall Street and Main Street do not represent the American Populace, that Back Street is representative of the American Populace and Heather agreed in this regard.

Back Street is the Majority Population of the United States; NOT Wall Street or Main Street and Back Street is left out of dialogue and consideration.  Main Street is represented by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Wall Street is represented by both Houses of the Congress and the Government of the United States.  Back Street is completely left out of dialogue and consideration and is not represented by the Chamber of Commerce, the Congress of the United States and the Government of the United States.”

A study was done recently about those who make slightly above poverty who do not qualify for any tax relief.  It’s a sizable part of the population.  They are stuck, frozen, in that segment of the population according to the breakdown of income levels.  They have NO voice in our representative government, and no where to go.

I had friends who lived in gated communities—Walpole State Prison, Concord House of Correction, and one lived on an island, Deer Island. 

I went to a lunch recently with people I used to work with who are still working.  They are not concerned with Health Insurance, the Wars.  Their issues are plasma screen tvs or LCD versus LED.  In serious, business-like tones they later discussed the new billing practices to offer customers in a business agreement.
The Back Street People, and the forgotten ones in the side streets and alley-ways are like throwaway cards in a vicious game of winner-take-all poker.

I also agree with ThomasG about the dozen or so issues that seem to paralyze any forward social movement in this country.  In the 60s it was civil rights.  In those days, some could not see the proposition that all men are created equal.  I remember an argument my room mate got into outside a Toddler House restaurant in the South after closing. 
He was from Ohio and declared that we are all brothers (This was before Women’s Liberation.).  The cracker he was arguing with replied, “He may be your brother, but he’s no relation of mine.”
These sorts of arguments, like Gay rights, Woman’s rights, Shared Community instead of Every Man For Himself, require only that the person has some “feeling” about the issue.  Even the dumbest of us can take part in the debate.  And after all, we seem to be a nation of neurotics.  They want a marriage, though, where we accept all that they believe and then their neuroses will be our neuroses.
The last point, and I am coming from a clearly distinguishable point of view, is that their arguments, cloaked in Think Tank Logic, have resulted in a society that just does not work.
Bring back public hangings, and let’s start with Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs as a shot accross the bow.

Peace

Report this

By truedigger3, December 16, 2009 at 7:23 am Link to this comment

Re: By DaveZx3, December 16 at 11:08 am #


Dave,

Thank you for the clarification and please accept my apology.
Of course some people sleep in the night shift especially if they were in an isolated spot and/or are just on standby or on call and nothing has to be ready in the morning.

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 16, 2009 at 7:08 am Link to this comment

td3,

It was not an electrical outage, it was one of 4 chip burning plants that went out.  This represented less than 2% of generation capability, which also included 2 larger coal burning plants, all in parallel, so no electrical outages were incurred. 

Sorry for not being clearer.  It was not meant to be a technical example, but rather the issue of trust.

Having spent more than my share of working in the wee, wee hours, I have many more stories of people sleeping on the job.  Including the guy who told me he always slept, and set an alarm clock to make sure he woke up before the morning shift came in.  He was in an isolated part of the shop, and he said one morning his alarm didn’t go off, and he overslept.  I asked him what happened, and he said he had to put in for overtime (with a straight face)  That is true, so help me.

Report this

By truedigger3, December 16, 2009 at 6:44 am Link to this comment

DaveZx3 wrote:
“The crews that had been brought in to fix the problem were all asleep in their cars in the parking lot, including the supervisor.  They were on double time, but did not think it was important enough to actually go in and try to get the equipment working.”
____________________________________________________

Dave, You made this up, Didn’t you? This couldn’t have happened during an outage.!!Shame on you!

However I tend to agree with you that direct democracy is nothing but a rule of what could be a fickle, tyrannical and dangerous mob.
Our current system is good with its checks and balances but it is not perfect, but also nothing is perfect in this world.
Dishonest and corrupt politicians can corrupt any system no matter how good that system is.
There has to be a way to decouple big money from politics and politicians.
May be public financing of elections is a very good first step.

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 16, 2009 at 5:19 am Link to this comment

ardee,

It was brought up to show that people at all levels can violate the trust that is placed in them. 

This was not an electrical outage.  It was a chip burning plant, and the contract crew was brought in during the off hours to help with the clean up so the technicians could get in later and analyze why the whole thing clogged up and shut down.  I was a contractor myself, and was brought in to do some other unrelated electrical work.  I came in real early to get my stuff finished as well, and was very surprised to see that the crew had not even gotten started yet, since they had been on the clock for over four hours.  I knocked on the window of the supervisors car, and he jumped up, and was as embarrased as hell.  Didn’t say anything, he just rounded up the guys and they got to work.  Held me up for a while,and the technicians had to sit around for a little while, but nothing else was ever made of it. 

It had nothing to do with being “illustrative of a weakness in many folks, failing to correctly analyze empirical evidence prior to leaping to incorrect conclusions”  It had to do with a group of guys sleeping on the job because they thought they could get away with it and still finish before anyone got there. 

The example was brought up showing that not being trusty can happen anywhere, anytime, but I think we still have to trust the system to work in spite of some occurences of violating the trust, politicians and otherwise.

As Mark E. Smith would have it, trust is for suckers, which I do not believe.  Without honor, integrity and trust, there is no chance for anything good to happen.

Report this

By ardee, December 16, 2009 at 3:40 am Link to this comment

I came in to work in the middle of the night a few years ago when there was an outage at a regional power copany.  The crews that had been brought in to fix the problem were all asleep in their cars in the parking lot, including the supervisor.

Exactly what the hell that has to do with the topic escapes me. However, in the interest of clarity I would explain that there are clearances involved in such repairs. Crews assess and then others in remote locations switch power to alternative lines allowing the crews to effect repairs without themselves becoming “crispy critters”. I am puzzled that these “crews” were in their private vehicles rather than in line trucks containing all the necessary equipment…...

This is, I believe, illustrative of a weakness in many folks, failing to correctly analyze empirical evidence prior to leaping to incorrect conclusions.

I do, however, agree in substance with much of what Dave noted.

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 16, 2009 at 3:28 am Link to this comment

I trust the US Constitution and the system of checks and balances type government which it established a hell of a lot more than I trust a fickle 51% of the populace.

The population, meaning every single person, has already shown they could not be trusted with doing their civic duty.  Not just politicians, but every one. 

Your assertion that politicians are the only ones that cannot be trusted is absurd.  Everyone cheats and abuses the system from the lowest to the highest.  And they wink as they do it.  It is a joke.

I came in to work in the middle of the night a few years ago when there was an outage at a regional power copany.  The crews that had been brought in to fix the problem were all asleep in their cars in the parking lot, including the supervisor.  They were on double time, but did not think it was important enough to actually go in and try to get the equipment working. 

So where is trust?  If I can’t trust anyone, then I damn sure am not going to let some hyped up, Glenn Beck majority, dictate my future.  And I bring Beck up only for the fact that his viewing audience share could easily translate into a majority on any given issue.

So here again, take the pure, direct democracy and put it back in the closet.  I am not for it.

Report this
Mark E. Smith's avatar

By Mark E. Smith, December 16, 2009 at 1:21 am Link to this comment

Trust is for suckers, Dave. Only con men need you to trust them. Honest people do everything out in the open where it can be seen and verified. They don’t need hordes of people to verify the votes in Ireland, Germany, Canada, Australia, or anyplace else where votes are counted publicly rather than behind closed doors or inside voting machines. They vote, they count the votes publicly, and that’s that. There’s no reason to protest because they don’t have faith-based elections with secret vote counts like we do, and everyone interested can directly observe the count instead of having to trust that it might have been accurate.

If you went to buy a used car, would you buy it sight unseen and trust the word of the salesman? So why would you buy an election that way? How about a dealership where their contract says that if you happen to get a good car, they can demand you give it back and substitute a lemon instead?

Trust is for suckers, Dave. We don’t have the power to impeach, only Congress has that power and CON-gress is the biggest CON game ever invented. Obviously you favored the crony bailouts and didn’t mind trillions of dollars of taxpayer money being given away to big corporate campaign donors with no oversight whatsoever. I find your trust amusing and I’d like to interest you in a first-class bridge I happen to own the title to and would be willing to sell cheap. wink

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 15, 2009 at 10:49 pm Link to this comment

Mark E. Smith, you do not trust the US Constitution, you don’t trust the Supreme Court, you do not trust that the people can elect a president using the electoral college system, you don’t trust the vote counters, you do not trust the power of the people to impeach, but you would have complete faith and trust in every and all 51% of the vote on any subject in a pure, direct democracy. 

That goes beyond naive.  If for no other reason than the idea that you would bitterly complain after every vote, which your side lost by a few points or less, that the vote counters cannot be trusted. 

I can envision a country where no one would be without a job.  We would all be employed watching the vote counters and watching the vote counter watchers, and watching the vote counter watcher, watchers.  And in the end, the losers would still complain and post criticisms regarding the idiots who established the pure direct democracy that is screwing them so badly.

Report this
Mark E. Smith's avatar

By Mark E. Smith, December 15, 2009 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

Thank you, ThomasG, you are very well informed.

Ardee and Night Gaunt, you seem to think that voters have a voice in government. Where was that voice in 2000?

Ardee wrote, “Considering that the other two branches of our govt are exactly subject to voter acceptance or rejection and the SC is not reflects on the checks and balance our founders created.”

Sorry, Ardee. We are not allowed to vote for the executive branch. Only the Electoral College can do that, their vote is subject to acceptance or rejection by Congress, and THAT decision is subject to acceptance or rejection by the Supreme Court. We can express our preference for the oligarch or oligarchical puppet we’d prefer, but our preference is NOT the final say and is subject to acceptance or rejection by the oligarchy itself.

Night-Gaunt wrote, “We have already seen when the majority speak, the minority is given the shiv in the heart. Like in California and proposition 8 for instance.”

Well please, then, tell me how you know that the central tabulators counted the votes accurately, because nobody else in the world knows that for certain. When votes are counted secretly, as are 80% of the votes in U.S. elections, nobody can ever know for sure if the majority spoke or if the owner of the company that manufactures and programs the central tabulators that count the votes spoke.

We’ve got another election coming up and California is going to elect a lot of oligarchs, war profiteers, and people the voters don’t want, because the votes are counted secretly by central tabulators. Those tabulators will, as usual, be programmed to allocate a certain percentage of the vote to each candidate and that percentage is chosen by the guy who signs the programmer’s paycheck. All they need is for a lot of people to vote and that is assured because legalizing marijuana will be on the ballot, along with marriage equality and a lot of other hot-button issues.

Okay, so we’ll (not me—I don’t vote) be legitimizing our government and authorizing torture, wars of aggression, and crimes against humanity in our name, but I don’t suppose that married people who are sufficiently stoned would give a hoot.

Legal pot and marriage equality are so strongly supported in California that it is very likely that both will pass, not because of people voting for them, but because in return for accepting, condoning, and authorizing trillions of dollars for bailouts and for torture, wars of aggressions, and crimes against humanity, the oligarchy is willing to let people indulge themselves.

So this time they may allow those votes to be counted accurately, or even allocate more of the votes to the selfish, indulgent issues to ensure that they pass, as a reward for those voters willing to tolerate the theft of trillions of dollars for bailouts and for torture, wars of aggression, and crimes against humanity. The oligarchy is only concerned with the trillions of dollars and in return for authorizing them to steal trillions of dollars, kill millions of innocent people, and destroy the planet for profit, they’re happy to reward voters with simple, selfish indulgences—at least until the Supreme Court strikes down both issues.

And then all the liberals will go into a blue funk and hope that maybe in a hundred years enough justices will die and there will be some liberal presidents to appoint some more liberal justices.

Isn’t that how democracy works? Pie in the sky when they die?

Report this

By mandinka, December 15, 2009 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

night lets see majority gives the shiv to the minority, no I don’t think so, gays are after society’s approval of their life style and when ever the issue is voted on the answer is always the same NO. Gays are free to live their perverted life style how ever that maybe no one is bothering them but please stop asking for normal folks approval of your lifestyle.
As for abortion 1.3 million babies are killed every year and you act as if they are an apple or a pear. Libs pass all kinds of laws to protect snails, and minnows and squirrels but draw the line at babies. Its a reflection of their misguide and sick view of society

Report this
ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, December 15, 2009 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

Mark E. Smith, December 15 at 2:14 pm and all interested in democracy for the populace:

Here are some organizations involved in organizing Nation Wide Left-Wing Protest Movements:

Americans For Financial Reform http://www.ourfinancialsecurity.org Heather Booth can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

National Peoples Action http://www.showdowninamerica.org  George Goehl can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Midwestern Academy is a training place for protest organizers whose president is also Heather Booth.

Bill Moyers on PBS “Bill Moyers Journal” interviewed both Heather Booth and George Goehl at the following link:

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/12112009/watch.html

The American Populace needs to agitate for a Multi-Party Political system in the United States, so that ALL political factions in the United States can be represented by coalition governance.

You will notice Heather Booth in the Bill Moyers interview repeatedly makes mention of “Main Street” in relation to protest movements representative of the American populace.

I mentioned to Heather that Wall Street and Main Street do not represent the American Populace, that Back Street is representative of the American Populace and Heather agreed in this regard.

Back Street is the Majority Population of the United States; NOT Wall Street or Main Street and Back Street is left out of dialogue and consideration.  Main Street is represented by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Wall Street is represented by both Houses of the Congress and the Government of the United States.  Back Street is completely left out of dialogue and consideration and is not represented by the Chamber of Commerce, the Congress of the United States and the Government of the United States.

The movements the Americans For Financial Reform and the National Peoples Action are organizing all over the United States are to benefit the American Populace.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, December 15, 2009 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

“Life, Liberty & Pursuit of Happiness” was in the Declaration of Independence preamble, whereas in the Constitution is was “Life, Liberty and Property” which I smell the hand of Alexander Hamilton there. But we unlike our founders, have worked to make those words ring true for all and not just the white, male, Christian gentry landowners as was originally intended. Curious that the oligarchs want to keep it to its original context isn’t it? And that is seems to be embodied in the creed of the Conservatives who wish to conserve the idea of human liberty to themselves alone.

We see time and again when the envelope of liberties wishes to naturally expand among those who fight it are those who recent gained their own liberty. But then just as with speech it is liberty for those of whom we disapprove who must also have that facility or we too are in danger of being oppressed again. When will those selfish ones understand that fact. Must I remind them of Rev. Neimoller‘s lament of his stay in the Nazi Hieligstatd? “They came for the Jews but I did nothing for I wasn’t a Jew…”

Report this
ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, December 15, 2009 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

Mark E. Smith, December 15 at 11:07 am,  December 15 at 12:28 pm and December 15 at 2:14 pm,

I agree with much of what you have said in your posts.

When the Founding Fathers said, “We the People of the United States” they were not talking about the American Populace, they were talking about themselves as the ascendant American Aristocracy.

It is time that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with freedom and justice for all apply to more than the American Aristocracy as intended by the Founding Fathers of the American Aristocracy; it is time that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with freedom and justice for all be applied to the masses of the American Populace.

With awareness, the “sleepers” of the American Populace will rise from their slumber, become aware and demand their rights and by democratic process take the rights the American Aristocracy granted to themselves in the U.S. Constitution as their own and make a NEW U.S. Constitution to enshrine the rights of the American Populace as a whole, rather than just life, liberty and happiness with freedom and justice for the American Aristocracy at the expense of the American Populace.

Report this

By ardee, December 15, 2009 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

Mark E. Smith, December 15 at 11:07 am #

The three branches of govt. were carefully crafted I think and the fact of a Court that is the final arbiter of the meaning of constitutional law being not subject to the whims of the voter is a purposive
step. Considering that the other two branches of our govt are exactly subject to voter acceptance or rejection and the SC is not reflects on the checks and balance our founders created.

We live in a time of change and great stress, one in which our nation is sorely tested, as well as being exposed for its imperialism and corruption as never before. I think it obvious that change is needed and may very well be in the offing, if economic stress is an arbiter of said change and I think it certainly may be such.

But I do not accept your contention that our Supreme Court is the evil that enables, that award goes to those who use the power of their money to subvert our democratic institutions and th epoliticians too weak or too reedy to put the needs and wishes of the populace above their own immediate gratification.

Certainly we are in dire need of change, the question being what form that change should take. As I believe our Constitution a living,breathing and most adaptable instrument, and the basic foundation of our governance sound enough to enable reformation rather than destruction, I stand firm.

I do appreciate your posts,Mr.Smith, but wish you stated what you see as replacement rather than simply being critical sans solution.

Sodium I am so glad to see you back here, not for your alliances as much as for your insight and erudition.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, December 15, 2009 at 10:58 am Link to this comment

Mandinka has this strange view of history but typical of the right wing slant. Read Howard Zinn‘s “History of the American People” to see what happened to all the others not listed in your version of history. The one generally taught in our schools both gov’t and private. It left out a few million details. Your statement about MSNBC is any indicator of your attention span and perspicacity then I understand your present distorted view of history.

We have already seen when the majority speak, the minority is given the shiv in the heart. Like in California and proposition 8 for instance. I hope the Supreme Court will over turn it in Cal. Or how such abominations as the “Defense of (heterosexual) Marriage Act” polluted all of our rights. As for abortion to those who are against it then don’t have one but don’t you dare tell a woman that she can’t control her body! That is slavery and we have laws against that. [The 14th Amendment.] But such laws are only as good as those who write them an enforce them. Some of the most despotic nations have plenty of laws and strict enforcement—-except for the elites of course. [See Singapore on that—no caning for the rich only the not-rich.]

We have been bamboozled, repressed, and emasculated as we have had deliberate sabotage of our gov’t & economy by those who would use it then throw it away for a real empire. Once that isn’t like our present kluge hybrid of Republic and empire. To fall as an empire we must first fall as a Republic and they plan to make it to where our failure looks like it was our form of gov’t not what they did to it. These are all local ultra-rich and many of them ultra-fundamentalists who want a corporate theocracy here and they are very close to getting it. I won’t rest easy until I am sure we won’t still plunge into the economic abyss we are still poised over. That is their final trump card. (As Machiavelli said that you can’t build a new gov’t until you brought down the old one.)

Chile took 24 years before the Liberals took back their country from the oligarchs and Chicago School of Freidman Economics.

Report this
Mark E. Smith's avatar

By Mark E. Smith, December 15, 2009 at 10:14 am Link to this comment

Dave asks, “If there was suddenly a pure democracy, would you live absolutely by the vote of the majority…?”

Yes, Dave, I would. I live in a large senior building with many residents. Some are good, some are bad. Some are smart, some are dumb. Some are right-wing, some are left-wing. But ALL of them can balance a budget and pay their bills on time, or they wouldn’t be here—they’d be evicted. Every single one of them, good, bad, smart, dumb, left, or right, is more competent than anyone in the White House or Congress. I may not like some of them, but I’d prefer to live by majority rule, than in an oligarchy where the rich minority makes the rules.

Dave writes, “I cannot really understand your reasoning.  Maybe if you could tell me whee there are some successful pure democracies.”

I don’t know of a pure democracy, but there are many countries that have democratic forms of government. There are many countries where ALL the votes have to be counted BEFORE a candidate can be sworn into office, and the vote of the people CANNOT be overridden. There are many countries with proportional representation (otherwise known as no taxation without representation) so that minorities have a voice in government instead of our two-party, winner-take-all system. One friend in the U.K. told me he was taught in grade school that a country that doesn’t have proportional representtion cannot be called a democracy. He couldn’t understand how Americans could be so deluded as to think that we have a democratic form of government when we don’t even have proportional representation.

I don’t say that people would or could right all wrongs, that’s a straw man you made up out of whole cloth. I’m just saying that we could do a heck of a better job than what’s going on now.

Celebrities and politicians don’t mirror our values, unless we happen to be rich, ambitious, greedy, and opportunistic.

Most of us do our jobs. That’s what we workers, laborers, peons, serfs, and wage slaves have always done and will always do. The rich profit from our labor. That’s what they’ve always done and they will always do. As soon as we realize that we do not have to continue to allow ourselves to be exploited, and we begin to understand that government of the people, by the people, and for the people IS our job, we’ll do it.

Why do you think that the rich are called the leisure class and most of us (including those who still think they’re middle class because they haven’t yet been laid off, lost their health insurance, and had their homes foreclosed, but are still only one or two paychecks away from homelessness) are called the working class? Because we do all the work. The worker-owned collectives in Spain and other countries found that management was a myth. As soon as they were rid of management, production and profits increased, and working conditions improved. Corporate lackeys should be called mismanagement rather than management. If they could manage anything, we’d still have a stable economy instead of one crisis after another. Management is just a bunch of fascist bureaucrats, just doing their job, with no humanity whatsoever, operating ruthlessly our of fear, and unable to do anything but follow orders—even when those orders are against their own best interests. You yourself said that people would become management out of fear of otherwise being relegated to labor and being treated by others the way that they’re treating us.

Oligarchy, or he who has the gold makes the rules, will never beat the original Golden Rule to do unto others as you would have others do unto you. That’s what free, self-respecting people do. Only fearful fascists treat others the way they would not want to be treated themselves. But there’s a reason for the Golden Rule. It’s what Solzhenitzen said was a saying in the Soviet gulag: “Me today, you tomorrow.”

Remember that, Dave. All empires fall and ours is about to set a new world record for brevity.

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 15, 2009 at 8:33 am Link to this comment

Mark E. Smith, December 15 at 11:07 am #

Still naive, I am afraid.  You assume that if the people somehow could get this power that you say they do not already have, that in their infinite wisdom, justice and compassion,  they would right all wrongs.

Watch people.  The government is representative of the population.  We have politicians who mirror our own values.  We have celebrities who mirror our own values.  We are who we are, and we want what we want, and are willing to deprive others to get it.  This is historically true.  If the people do not assume their responsibilities in a republic, why would they suddenly do so in a democracy? 

If there was suddenly a pure democracy, would you live absolutely by the vote of the majority, no matter what it was?  Majorities are fickle.

I would be willing to bet you would still be complaining, unless you were in the majority, I guess.

I cannot really understand your reasoning.  Maybe if you could tell me whee there are some successful pure democracies.

Report this
Mark E. Smith's avatar

By Mark E. Smith, December 15, 2009 at 8:28 am Link to this comment

DaveZx3 writes, “It would be safe to say that possibly 3 of our last 3 presidents would probably have been impeached if all it took was a popular vote, majority rule.”

Yup. And that would have saved millions of innocent lives and trillions of wasted dollars.

Dave continues, “Also, the fear was that a majority could vote to enslave a minority…This could be accomplished by salarying the supervisory middle class all the way down to one rung above entry level.”

Sorry, Dave. In order for business to be profitable, the majority of workers have to be low wage. Under any capitalist system there will always be a majority of the lowest paid. No matter how much you try to enlarge the middle class (yes, there is such a thing—we even used to have one in the U.S.), each manager supervises several workers. Since there have to be more laborers than managers, if you cap labor wages, you ensure that there is an even larger poor majority.

Dave continues, “As it is, politicians spend too much time worrying about polls and the whims of their constituents, most of which are purely selfish in nature.”

Really? So how do you explain that DURING the ‘08 election campaign, the time when candidates should supposedly be MOST concerned about polls and the whims of their constituents, BOTH major party candidates issued a joint statement support the bailouts even though public input was running 90% against the bailouts.

Dave continues, “The reason the US has bad government is because of the laziness, selfishness and short-sightedness of the electorate…”

Sure, the right-wing always blames the victim.

Dave writes, “Politicians should and could be held accountable by being voted out of office or impeached (including rogue Supreme Court Justices) by the power of the will of the people.”

It seems that you are unaware of the nature of our government. ONLY Congress can remove a sitting member of Congress and ONLY Congress can impeach. Since we have no way to hold Congressmembers accountable during their terms of office, we have no power to exercise our will through them. 

It is the oligarchy that uses divide and conquer tactics to keep us powerless. There are controversial issues and people are easily frightened by the spectre of the minority becoming a majority and having their way. That can’t happen, of course. A business that tried to have more management than workers would go broke quickly. The only place the wealthy, right-wing oligarchical minority can be a majority is in Congress and on the Supreme Court.

But the fearmongers need only point to people like you and mandinka to terrorize the majority into letting decisions be made by Congress and the Supreme Court, where decisions will usually be made in the interests of the oligarchy rather than in the interests of the majority of citizens, instead of demanding a direct vote where we would always win.

You’re a tiny minority here just as you are everywhere in this country except for your own right-wing conclaves. There will ALWAYS be more poor and working class people than rich people, and as for the managerial middle class, they seem to have learned their lesson. It’s too late for them now, but when they willingly helped outsource other people’s jobs so that they could prove their loyalty to the company rather than to their fellow workers, they should have known that they were dooming their own jobs. Who did they think they’d supervise when the workers they fired were gone?

Try googling for discrimination against the nouveau poor—now that they’re joining the lines at the soup kitchens and homeless shelters they can’t understand why the people they fired don’t welcome them with open arms. Sure, they’re sorry and they admit they were wrong, but it is sort of like a cop being sent to prison—they had no mercy or compassion when they were persecuting us, and it is silly of them to expect us to feel mercy or compassion for them.

Report this

By elisalouisa, December 15, 2009 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

Nice to have you back Sodium. Your posts are informative and well thought out,
especially your response to Anarcissie on Dec. 14 at 6:39 a.m. I also am time
limited for short periods due to family obligations. However, I do think it is
important to be involved and know what is going on. Truthdig is a good source
not just because of Chris Hedges and other articles; the posters add much,
whether I am in agreement or not. FYI I am reading ‘American Fascists’ which you recommended. Chris Hedges takes ‘em all on doesn’t he?

Report this

By DaveZx3, December 15, 2009 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

There is a lot of naivete going on in this thread, especially Mark E. Smith’s ideas regarding pure democracy. 

Mark, the founders of this country gave a lot of thought to these issues, as can be read in any account of the process. 

Pure democracy was rejected because of the instability which would result.  It would be safe to say that possibly 3 of our last 3 presidents would probably have been impeached if all it took was a popular vote, majority rule. 

Also, the fear was that a majority could vote to enslave a minority.  Like legal slavery or corporate slavery.  Could you imagine a majority of corporate types voting to enact a maximum wage instead of a minimum wage for labor?  This could be accomplished by salarying the supervisory middle class all the way down to one rung above entry level.  The middle class would play along, fearing to be demoted down to labor.

This country got away with historical slavery of the black man by ignoring that blacks had rights too, just like now they get away with abortion by ignoring that the technically unborn have rights, declaring them to be not human.  This is fascist in its application.  In a democracy, any class could be voted to be subhuman.  The disabled, elderly, illiterate, on and on.  We are on the verge of doing these things even now, but a democracy would make it even easier. 

No pure democracy for me, thank you.  I will live and die with our republic and our constitution of checks and balances, where no one can vote to take away my inalienable rights. (theoretically)  Of course, if we fall asleep at the wheel, anything can happen, and is happening.  The constitution needs to be enforced, defended and understood for our country to succeed. 

As it is, politicians spend too much time worrying about polls and the whims of their constituents, most of which are purely selfish in nature. 

The reason the US has bad government is because of the laziness, selfishness and short-sightedness of the electorate, in addition to a certain degree of illiteracy regarding the nature of our government. 

Politicians should and could be held accountable by being voted out of office or impeached (including rogue Supreme Court Justices) by the power of the will of the people. 

But the people have rendered themselves powerless by allowing an almost 50/50 polarization to divide them.  Instead of coming together on the 1000s of issues that there is consensus, they instead choose to focus on the few dozen issues on which there is absolutely no consensus, and in fact very, very hostile disagreement.

I have my own ideas as to why these few dozen issues are so hotly debated, and why it always comes down to right vs left, as though there are two completely diverse and distinct ideologies running parallel through the population.  I wonder if anyone could hazard a guess as to what the real division is, and why it is manifesting so heavily now, as opposed to say 60 years ago?

The problem is not the founding documents or form of government.  Honest, honorable people could live under most reasonable forms of government.  The problem is the division and polarity itself.  It is like the Hatfield’s and McCoys where one side never passes up the chance to (verbally) assasinate a member of the other side, and the feud can never end until both sides are obliterated.

Report this
Mark E. Smith's avatar

By Mark E. Smith, December 15, 2009 at 7:07 am Link to this comment

Ardee, imagine a slavemaster who treated his or her slaves better than most citizens. A slavemaster who believed that slaves were humans, entitled to equal rights, and didn’t make them work, educated them, ensured that they had the best food, clothes, and health care money could buy, etc. Would that make slavery okay?

You write, “The makeup of the Court is subject to the mortality of its members and the politics of the President at the time of vacancy.”

That’s the problem. It is NOT subject to the will of the people, therefore it is incompatible with the most basic, fundamental principle of democracy, that supreme power be vested in the hands of the people.

Wise decisions made by one Supreme Court can be reversed by the next Supreme Court, and we have no recourse. Al Gore pointed out that the only recourse to a Supreme Court decision was armed revolution. They have the same supreme power that King George with his Divine Right had. You either submitted to his edicts, or it was war.

In a democratic form of governent, either a direct democracy or a democratic republic, the supreme power over government must be the will of the people, not the will of their King, President, Parliament, Congress, or Supreme Court.

Please read my post again. That a particular Supreme Court may be benevolent is irrelevant. There are benevolent tyrants also, but tyranny is not a good idea. There can be benevolent slaveholders, but slavery is not a good idea.

Just because we were taught to believe that what we have is a representative democracy, doesn’t mean that it is true. We’ve never experienced a democratic form of government, but some of us are literate and can use a dictionary. In a democratic form of government, supreme power is vested in the hands of the people, not in a supreme court.

The liars on the right would like us to trust government and to fear and distrust our fellow citizens, but the right is always a small minority that gets its way through lies, brute force, and terror. Their divisive tactics are what keep people voting, despite knowing that our votes don’t really count and can be overridden. They always put the most controversial candidates and issues on the ballot so that people who believe in the system will vote for the lesser evil, or their emotional issues, or cast a protest vote, but won’t challenge the system itself by refusing to legitimize it by voting.

Our system is not legitimate because it is not a democratic form of government.

Just look how many lies there are in the preamble to the Constitution. It should say, “We the Oligarchs of the United States of America, in Order to ensure that we can continue to rule and to accumulate unlimited amounts of property, to ensure that there will never be justice for people of color and the poor, to ensure domestic divisiveness and hatreds, to have the power to commit genocide here and abroad, to deny the general Welfare, and to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves even if by so doing we destroy the world our progeny were meant to inherit, do ordain and establish….etc.” And even though the Constitution did absolutely NOTHING to accomplish the lies stated in the preamble, the Supreme Court ruled that the intent of the framers stated in the preamble is NOT part of the Constitution.

Would you be willing to submit to a benevolent tyranny or dictatorship? Would you let me be your king or master as long as I treated you well? Or do you consider yourself capable of self-governance and not in need of a king or master no matter how benevolent?

We are actually not incompetents in need of guardians. It is the oligarchy that is incompetent. We do the work, they do nothing but exploit and destroy. Yes, many of us, being human, are foolish and unwise at times, but the President, Congress, and the Supreme Court are mere humans also and no wiser or more competent than we are. We need to stop worshipping them and to develop some self-respect.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, December 15, 2009 at 5:54 am Link to this comment

Nay, only Conservatives are useless.  Conservatives are the mistletoe eating the tree.

Report this

By ardee, December 15, 2009 at 4:25 am Link to this comment

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/04/19/public-opinion-on-abortion/

I urge those who believe mandinka to be a truth teller to use the link provided for the truth regarding public opinion on abortion.

I find it a shame when I encounter those like this person who fail to give proper respect to truth over ideology.

Mark Smith
You seem to base your desire to overhaul our democratic republic on an assumption of the overwhelming power of the Supreme Court. I would ask if you would entertain a more long range view of that court?

As it is currently composed it slants rightward to be certain, yet it was not always such and it shares responsibility for far reaching and wise decisions in our past. The makeup of the Court is subject to the mortality of its members and the politics of the President at the time of vacancy.

Report this

By mandinka, December 14, 2009 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

Mark I couldn’t agree more that when given the choice the general pubic are against abortion on demand, quotas, cap and tax, healthcare for illegals and amnesty are the right wing no just main stream.
If you look at all the social ills of this country they weren’t a function of the legislature but rather the unelected SC. How else could any reasonable person believe murdering 1.3 million people a year is a good thing or that quotas would ever been something the founding fathers would have condoned.
That’s why libs would rather get to the SC with a case knowing full well that they don’t have the votes to carry their radical thinking, That’s why the libs were eager to get the 2000 election to the SC hoping that LWNJ would carry the day. Fortunately the supremes realized that you can’t have 4000 ways of counting a single ballot and the electron stood as the people voted

Report this

By mandinka, December 14, 2009 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment

poordigger, guess history isn’t a topic that interests you your idea of this country must be formed in a coma

Report this
Mark E. Smith's avatar

By Mark E. Smith, December 14, 2009 at 10:22 am Link to this comment

Ardee writes, “Instant Runoff Voting, an ending to the power of money in government by making elections free are not really sweeping changes, yet they would have sweeping reformative powers.”

Our Constitution did not vest supreme power in the hands of the people (the dictionary definition of a democratic form of government), it vested supreme power, the highest law of the land which cannot be appealed, in an unelected supreme court.

How would IRV, publicly funded elections, or any other electoral reforms prevent the supreme court from stopping the vote count, nullifying the popular vote, and installing a candidate of their choice as they did in 2000?

There are no reforms that could change the basic form of our government which is a top-down hierarchical oligarchy in which the popular vote is not the final say and we have no way to hold federal officials accountable during their terms of office. In other words, when it comes to federal officials, the ones with the most power are appointed, not elected, and we cannot directly elect or directly remove any of the rest of them. We have to ask Congress to do it for us, and since we have no way to hold them accountable, why should they?

Any regulatory reforms made by Congress or the Supreme Court can be deregulated by a future Congress or Supreme Court, as happened with most of FDR’s regulatory reforms.

Congress and the Supreme Court can regulate monopolies one year, deregulate them the next, reregulate them the next, deregulate them again the next, etc. It’s like an abuser who is violent one day, all apologies the next, violent again the next, all apologies the next, etc. As long as they have the power and we don’t, the best we can hope for is interims of benevolent tyranny between periods of malevolent tyranny. Only a new Constitution can vest power in the hands of the people and ensure that we do not have a tyranny.

In countries with direct democracy they do not need term limits as they can, by voting, directly remove the President or any other federal official from office at any time and the popular vote is the final say and cannot be subverted by anyone—no Electoral College, Congress, or Supreme Court can override the popular vote. And while you may find this incredibly difficult to believe, in democratic forms of government, no candidate can be sworn into office before EVERY SINGLE VOTE HAS BEEN COUNTED. Believe it! We have meaningless symbolic referendums, they have genuine elections.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, December 14, 2009 at 9:23 am Link to this comment

At the time the U.S. Constitution was enacted, in most places only White males with a substantial amount of property could vote.  Thus, although the right to vote was widely distributed, it was held by a small minority with specific class interests.  This is not what we call a democracy today (nor was it so called then.) 

The political configuration specified by the Constitution reflected the conditions of political power in the country, which mainly rested on land ownership.  As power passed from landowners to industrialists, the political institutions were changed from agricultural ones to industrial ones.  As of the 20th century, the electorate was greatly widened and was controlled through the media (a set of industries, mostly newspapers around 1900).  But there has never been a time when the government was actually democratic, not in 1800, nor 1900, nor now.

There would be many problems in retrofitting democracy in a large, powerful imperial state like the U.S.  For one thing, there is a basic problem similar to that which occurs with socialism: most people do not want to take the time, trouble and personal risk required to govern themselves.  People’s minds would have to change about this.  Another problem is that very few questions can be resolved satisfactorily in binary-outcome, winner-take-all voting; hence, the best solutions would have to be negotiated by representatives.  But the more representation, the less actual democracy.  A third problem is the sheer volume of information which must be processed if, as is the case in the U.S. and most other states, the dominant political philosophy gives the state totalitarian purview, if not powers.  Then there is a need for centralized authority to wage the constant wars, financial jiggering and damage control necessary to keep a large, monolithic state in business.  There are more; this is just the top of the list.

Democracy began as an advertising slogan; if you want to make it real, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

Report this

By truedigger3, December 14, 2009 at 6:25 am Link to this comment

Mandinka wrote:
“I would much rather be subject to the whims of corporations than the totalitarian government that we have in place now.
also notice the ties to the ACLU which has always been a communist front organization and the zany concept of separation of church and state.”
_____________________________________________________

REALLY!! No Kidding.
Anyone write such a dumb stupid statement is either a hired mouth-piece or completely politically naive brain-washed completely ignorant of history individual.!!
I don’t know whether I laugh or cry??!!

Report this

By Sodium, December 14, 2009 at 4:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To: rainbowlaw,elisalouisa and ardee and to everyone else who supports and admires the writings of Chris Hedges as I do.

Chris Hedges is as usual at it;brilliantly has constructed a coherent column/article in which he has eloquently pin pointed the reasons why liberals have been useless. He has pin pointed the following reasons for his column,“Liberals Are Useless” and I cite them as he has written them for emphasis:

* They talk about peace and do nothing to challenge our permament war economy.

* They claim to support the working class and vote candidates that glibly defend the North American Free Trade Agreement.

* They insist they believe in welfare,the right to organize,universal health care and a host of other socially progressive causes and will not risk stepping out of the main stream to fight for them.

In my views,in addition to the above listed reasons,there are equally important reasons Mr. Hedges either overlooked or did not see a point in touching them. These reasons are as follows:

(1) The liberals total failure in conducting an investigation about those who were involved in making the decision to destroy Iraq as a functioning country and as one of the original founders of the United Nations in 1940s. War crimes are involved in the destruction of Iraq and to my knowledge no liberal cares to legally chase the perpetrators. Why?

(2) In 2006 midterm election,the liberals became the majority in both houses of Congress and yet the new Speaker of the house made it clear,on day one after the election,that “impeachment is off the table” That were exactly her words. Why?

(3) Just racently,Cheney has the shameless guts of accusing the elected President of the U.S. as “giving comfort to the enemy” because President Obama allowed the trial of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad to be held in a federal court in New York. As one cable TV anochor person described Cheney shameless remarks as amount to accusing the elected President Obama of “treason”.

If the liberals had done what they were supposed to do,Cheney would have been spending his time with his lawyers to protect his ass from ending up in prison,instead of spending times making desrtuctive speeches against the elected President of the U.S.


Therefore before any liberal starts looking for a narrow opening,here and there, in order to attack,(not really criticize),Chris Hedges,I suggest they look in the mirror long and hard to see their own enormous deficiencies.

Report this

By ardee, December 14, 2009 at 3:44 am Link to this comment

Mark E. Smith, December 14 at 3:09 am

“The revolution will not be televised.”

I disagree with your assessment of both the intent of our founders and the description you offer that they were oligarchs.

I readily accept that we currently see an oligarchic-like govt in that a small and elite group make all the decisions. Perhaps the fault of this evolution of our democracy lies in our inability to reign in those who decide, but my reading of the Constitution as well as its meaning and intent as defined so well in The Federalist Papers, which was a selling of the proposed new govt in a series of articles in NY newspapers, remains that this was far from intended.

I agree wholeheartedly that we need changes, but not so much a completely new governance as a reformation of what is wrong with this one. Instant Runoff Voting, an ending to the power of money in government by making elections free are not really sweeping changes, yet they would have sweeping reformative powers.

Report this

By Sodium, December 14, 2009 at 2:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Anarcissie,December 7 at 12:53 pm.

Quote
======

I will obliged elisalouse and complain briefly that,once again,Hedges waxing about the obvious. However,there is something more important here. I think rainbowlaw is showing you the out,the way forward. I guess it was inspired by Hedges’s article,so I have to give him a pass this time.

Unquote
========

Anar,

I had intended to respond to your above Re earlier,but some family obligations had required my immediate attention and consequently I had to postpone the intended response to you. My apology for the tardiness.

After following the writing of Chris Hedges for the last approximately 20 years I have developed a profound admiration for his eloquence,honesty,the high moral high ground he has never flinched from adhering to,his broad knowledge,especially his sense of history of foreign people and cultures and at the top of all that he has the brillance in constructing a coherent column every week of each month of each year. It takes patience,self-discipline and indeed personal determination to live up to all that. One of my late friends was a professional writer. That was the way he made his living. I once was in his home office sipping coffee his gracious wife offered me. While I was sipping my coffee and he was typing,I had noticed that he typed page after page but tore them apart and threw them all in the wast basket. I asked him why he has wasted so many papers! His answer was that writing professionally was full of frustration and agony because you knew that there were out there others whose job was to tear apart every sentence you might have written. Hence,writing professionally is self-agonizing or rather it is self-torturing.

That is my response to the first sentence in your above Re. And I trust that you will consider.

As to your second sentence concerning your advice to elisalouisa about the rainbowlaw determined activity,I have the same feeling and hunches. I totally agree with every word you have conveyed to elisalouisa. In fact,I am highly impressed by what the rainblowlaw have been doing. More power to them.I wish them more and more success in running and managing their lives as they see fit. 

As to your third and last sentence in the above quote,I do respect your passing grade. At least,it is not an “F” and thank you for the “C”,I guess. I consider that to be a genuine progress. Keep it up,Anar,and I will remain in agreement with what you write as I was in time past. I am assuming,here,that you care to have my agreement. If not,it is okay too.

In short,Chris Hedges is mainly a POINTER whose ability and talent is really in eloquently POINTING the crisis,the problem or the social ills of a society. Such ability and talent are   rarely matched by other journalists or other professional writers. I do not expect Hedges to suggest solutions to problems,let alone to recommend them. That is not his job. That is a collective job that must be achieved by the governed citizens-exactly as the wonderful activists of rainbowlaw have done for themselves.

Report this
Mark E. Smith's avatar

By Mark E. Smith, December 13, 2009 at 11:09 pm Link to this comment

This is exactly why we can’t have a revolution.

Too many people think that our Constitution gave us a republic and since a republic is a democratic form of government, they believe that we basically have a democratic form of government, albeit somewhat corrupted.

We never had a republic. Benjamin Franklin lied. We never had a democratic form of government and our Constitution didn’t give us one. A democratic form of government is one in which supreme power over government is vested in the hands of the people. A republic, or represenative democracy, is a democratic form of government where the people exercise their supreme power through their representatives.

Our Constitution never gave us a Constitutional way to hold our representatives accountable, so we cannot exercise our will through them. Just prior to the ‘08 election the Democrats and Republicans in Congress had a 10% or 11% approval rating among their own party’s voters. They have not been exercising our will. They do not represent us and we can not hold them accountable.

Many people fear democracy. But if you poll the U.S. public with regard to reproductive rights, civil rights, war, health care, the environment, and any other issue you’d care to name, the majority are not right-wing. If we had a direct democracy and could vote on issues directly, we’d win on every issue.

Mandinka, of course, fears that, and is certain that it would be easier to convince an unelected supreme court to make decisions Mandinka prefers, than to allow people to vote directly. Mandinka would prefer government by corporations, which is pure fascism, to any form of democracy.

But we can’t have a revolution because there are still too many people who believe that our Constitution gave us a democratic form of government. Why? Because they can vote. Yes, they saw in 2000 that our vote doesn’t really count and can be ignored and overridden. But as long as they can vote, they don’t care if their vote doesn’t really count, because they equate voting with democracy. Hitler was elected but Germany didn’t have a democracy under Hitler. Stalin held elections but the Soviet Union didn’t have a democracy. Voting does NOT equal democracy.

Our Constitution, written by oligarchs, gave us an oligarchy. Mandinka believes that it isn’t oligarchical enough and most Americans believe that it is too oligarchical. But either way it is not and never has been a democracy or a republic. It’s an oligarchy.

And until we get a real Constitution written by We the People (not by “representatives”—we have to actually have a direct vote on everything in it) rather than what we have now, which is a Constitution written by We the Oligarchs who did not consider Native Americans, slaves, workers, or women to be people, foreign-owned corporations will continue to have more political and Constitutional rights in this country than ordinary citizens.

If the supreme court decides to let corporations donate unlimited amounts to political campaigns, China, which holds enough of our national debt to be able to use a few billion dollars for the purpose, could ensure that we get a President who is in favor of mandatory population control and who will appoint supreme court justices who feel the same way. If mandinka thinks the ACLU is Communist, just wait until our trading partner, China, through its U.S. corporations, can donate unlimited amounts of money to political campaigns.

Most of our corporations do their manufacturing in China anyway, even if they aren’t Chinese owned. If mandinka wants corporate rule with China owning or controlling most of our corporations, mandinka is NOT opposed to Communism. Sure the Chinese government does business just like capitalists, but it retains centralized power and it enforces population control. I guess that must be what mandinka wants.

Report this

By mandinka, December 13, 2009 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

gaunt, I wasn’t aware that msnbc was a news channel from the few times I clicked ny it it reminds me of desperate housewives. a station looking for someone anyone to watch it.
international laws only exist to the victor in any conflict or issue. How many VC were brought up on charges, or dictators far and wide who leave poppa doc, idid amine, castro, mao, stalin etc etc. For you to pretend that there is international law is bogus on its face.
as to your point on corporations I would much rather be subject to the whims of corporations than the totalitarian government that we have in place now.
also notice the ties to the ACLU which has always been a communist front organization and the zany concept of separation of church and state. No matter how many times I have read the constitution that concept never appeared. The same about legalize killing of 1.3 million citizens a year

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, December 13, 2009 at 8:13 pm Link to this comment

Mandinka you are confusing MSNBC with Fox “News” by far just as you seem ignorant of international law that the USA constantly flaunts because it is a nuclear bully or better yet a terrorist state. [Hint; war isn’t a pleasant past time or benevolent act.] A “hyper power” which no one else will dare cross. Either buy in, bribed, terrorized to shut up or are ignored.

We aren’t a full empire yet, we still have half functioning vestiges left of our republic. The Republic must fall first before the empire, didn’t you know? Once we collapse as a republic the parallel gov’t of corporations will take over and then we will have a smooth running killing machine. No more laws against torture (enhanced interrogation) and aggressive wars (supreme war crime that Japan and Germany were convicted on in 1945-47) and any thing else they want will get done and no Bill of Rights to get in their way. No ACLU either and no separation of church and state just like with corporations right now.

Since 1980 we have been under assault by those in our country who despise us as equals and want us back to the way it was before 1901. If you are rich, Mandinka then you will be fine, if not just another schlub trying to find and keep a job no matter how hard it is and how poorly you will be payed.

Report this
ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, December 13, 2009 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

Liberals are useful—— Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMISTS are useless.

Report this

By mandinka, December 13, 2009 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment

Mark I couldn’t agree more with your conclusion, seeing as how this country murders 1.3 million children a year. That is the real genocide and yet they pretend that its necessary and legal

Report this
Mark E. Smith's avatar

By Mark E. Smith, December 12, 2009 at 8:41 pm Link to this comment

Actually, wars of aggession, torture, and crimes against humanity aren’t legal. Everyone who has perpetrated such atrocities, from Hitler to Pol Pot to Idi Amin, to Bush, Cheney, and now Obama, has declared that what they were doing was not only legal but necessary. According to international law, for a genocidaire and their henchmen to have “legalized” crimes against humanity, is no defense. Unfortunately, apart from a very few countries with democratic forms of government, there is usually no way to bring them to justice.

It is a precedent in the United States for each new President to pardon or at least not prosecute their predecessor for crimes against humanity, due to the simple fact that they in turn will also need pardoning or protection from prosecution for their own crimes against humanity.

But just because a bank robber or a drunk driver might not get caught, arrested, and prosecuted, it does not make bank robbery or drunk driving legal.

Report this

By mandinka, December 12, 2009 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment

night I agree that msnbc has some some great commentators unfortunately I stopped watching because the truth meter is off the scale. If it was easier to tell the truth they would still lie.
As for corporate media as I said earlier your confusing ownership with editorial content. When it comes to content the state run media has their daily meeting with the WH to discuss their policy initiatives and how the networks should spin them.
As to the comment regarding Bush and Cheney I’m at a loss they did nothing illegal and deserve our thanks for a job well done.

Report this

By lichen, December 12, 2009 at 8:17 pm Link to this comment

Yes, the “liberals,” i.e. mainstream center-right democrat partisans, are ineffective, hypocritical, corporatist, war-criminal supporting scum.  Thankfully, those of us on the independent left have always been against wars, including and especially when the murderer is a democrat, such as obama, who is responsible for his actions, and should be brought to hague along with the clintons and bushes.

Report this
ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, December 12, 2009 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment

Drizzt396, December 12 at 6:38 pm,

In the respect that you are becoming aware that awareness is the precursor to revolution, I agree with your post.

Report this

By Drizzt396, December 12, 2009 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

Yes and then there’s the awesome ‘I’m so much better than you’ smugness you get from the third-party crowd. You do your political/social ideals no favors with this post. I’m probably more radical than you are Chris, yet I vote dem. This is why:

Gotta love it when the liberals themselves spend more time decrying themselves then doing anything. If anything that piece is a demonstration of why republicans get so much more done when they’re in office—they fall into lockstep with their ‘infallible’ leader.

I look at it this way: in the status quo, either a democrat or a republican will be elected for any important office. I *much* prefer the democrats—I see the lack of (or very little) difference on corporate economics, but I value my social liberties too much not to vote dem. If Al Gore is less of a pussy and actually proves that he won, we don’t have the NSA gathering up every single scrap of info they can find on every single American. To me, that’s worth the price of ‘staying in the mainstream’.

Ironically there are lessons you can take from Obama here: you work with the status quo you’re given. So in the short term you make the decisions that are going to get you the most—in this case, voting and supporting democrats, and calling them out when their corporatist influences become glaringly apparent. Voting third-party accomplishes nothing in the short term because they simply aren’t viable…yet.

This doesn’t mean you neglect the long term. And the only way each of us individually can try and wrest the long-term future of the country from the vested interests (military-industrial and corporate) is by doing what we can to change the hearts and minds of those around us by highlighting the ridiculousness of American culture. Voting third party accomplishes nothing until there are enough open minds receptive to the idea. And accomplishes nothing with the third parties we have in the status quo. Indeed, it’s doubtful voting will ever bring a radical shift to the system—diebold, et al. won’t let it.

Just enjoy the end of the empire while we live through it. Trying to salvage this nation is pointless, just like it was pointless to salvage Rome, or Charlemagne’s empire, or the British Empire. I could care less about the rest of the country right now—the only place I care about is the Rocky Mountain West.

Inherit The Wind’s post at 9:12 on 12/9 (funny, that) puts you to shame, Chris. Please read that, then spend a week with mescaline on a vision quest. K? Thanks. Bye.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, December 12, 2009 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment

Yes Mandika corporate ownership of the airwaves and work very closely with gov’t but you have it backwards. It is corporate owned gov’t! Why else did Bush/Cheney get off scott-free? Why is Obama doing the same? Read alternate media like Fairness And Accuracy In Reporting and you will see what corporate media is either leaving out, twisting or misrepresenting all the time. Also MSNBC has some nice politically incorrect for the reich wing shows like Ed Schultz, Keith Olberman & Rachel Maddow will help broaden you narrow perspectives. [Yes I do check out Fox “News” too.]

As for unions I wish I had worked in a job that had unions. You are alone and powerless otherwise which is just what the corporate world wants you to be. So you are shill for corporations eh, Mandika? Even of on your own you have been brain washed by them to believe this crap.

Technically the dinosaurs didn’t all die out some evolved into birds! So they are still going on since the end of the Permian some 250 million years ago when their remote ancestors first crawled among the cycades.

Report this

By truedigger3, December 12, 2009 at 11:48 am Link to this comment

Leefeller wrote:
“Ronald Reagan was such an enlightened fellow, the best President ever, it brings a tear to me eye when I think of such greatness!

The war against the Unions started with the Steel Strike in the early 1900’s when the good old boys got together and turned public opinion against the Union and workers, saying they were socialists and commies, the start of something still carried out today!”
____________________________________________________

The war against the unions started in earnest by the “good liberal” Carter when he deregulated the trucking and airlines industries. There was a setback to unionism in 1947 by enacting the Taft-Hartley law restricting the ability to unionize work places.
The words socialists and commies were not used in the early 1900’s. The word used at that time was anarchists, which was very alarming to the public. 

I share your love and adulation for Reagan.!! Just kidding! Just kidding. He was a real enemy of the middle class and workers.!
Can you believe many Democrats voted for him!! “Reagan Democrats” my ass, such a bunch of another “good liberals”

Report this

By mandinka, December 12, 2009 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

Lots of comments today from the Unions united to end employment crowd. 3.5 million jobs lost under Regan as opposed to the 4 million jobs lost in 10 months under barak!!!! My My.
Dinosaurs lasted until the big bang and unions lasted until a similar big bang called global competation. Why the snit about walmart??? Workers thee have every option in the world to form unions they choose not to so they must be happy with their employer, you may choose not to work there but that’s a personal decision.
Every where a union gets its hand into a business its a slow bleed until its demise. Look at supermarkets those with unions ultimately fail because their labor costs drive away customers who shop for the best price and value. Steel went away due to labor costs, same for autos, copper the list is endless when ever blue collar workers unite the business is doomed WHY because they bring nothing to the table that can’t be replicated anywhere else cheaper and done just as well.
The only place that unions survive is where there is no competation, the public sector where performance, quality and customer satisfaction mean nothing since they have jobs for life and money is no object.
Cities, counties, states and the Fed gov’t is going broke but what me worry there is plenty more $$ where that came from so they just raise taxes

Report this

By Michael Shaw, December 12, 2009 at 11:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So what does Chris Hedges want? An armed revolt? That is the only thing that will unseat this corporate bought government. As for the rest of what Mr. Hedges says, speak for yourself. Many of us so called useless liberals have been in the trenches before Mr. Hedges was born, risking at times both life and limb. As for Nader(whom I like personally), even if by some remote miracle he got elected president, where would his support come from? There simply aren’t enough people around to run for enough seats in the congress or senate to do anything. Also the two party system has locked out third party candidates from debates and made it difficult if not impossible to even get them on a ballot! I agree progressives should be moving away from the democrats(in fact I believe they already are) that are themselves not progressive. That’s why I voted for Dennis Kucinich in the last primary. When I was left with a choice between Obama and John McCain what on earth could I have done? Sat back and let the GOP continue the neocon fascism we had under Bush? McKinney and Nader will never gain the support needed to affect real and meaningful progressive change. It seems to me Nader’s ideology is to let the fascists win and when things get bad enough everyone will wise up. Dare I say under this premise it will be too late. It may well already be!

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, December 12, 2009 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

“Mandinka is part of the Ronald Reagan War on Unions that began in 1981 and cost the USA 3.5 MILLION jobs even before the Recession started.”

Not sure what Mandinka is part of, but he seems to like waving his ignorance around like a teabag at a imbecile rally!

Ronald Reagan was such an enlightened fellow, the best President ever, it brings a tear to me eye when I think of such greatness!

The war against the Unions started with the Steel Strike in the early 1900’s when the good old boys got together and turned public opinion against the Union and workers, saying they were socialists and commies, the start of something still carried out today!

Labor history has been most ugly, from factories burning down with out fire exits killing many workers, to what we have today NAFTA and jobs gone. So using people against people, works very well for the powers that be, as the old saying goes divide and control?

Blame it on the liberals, they are so useless!

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, December 12, 2009 at 6:10 am Link to this comment

Mandika makes the classic mistake of seeing how in ONE union there were some excesses and extrapolates that ALL unions must be that way.

He further ignores the fact that all unions are is a member-owned corporation that provides labor to other corporations. 

Mandinka has NO problem with Apple deciding that ONLY the incompetent AT&T will be able to be provided with its iPhones and that Apple can set the most absurd conditions without any recourse (if your iPhone’s battery dies after 1 day, Apple takes NO responsibility for it and you must pay $200 to get it replaced—still with no guarantee).

So…if the UAW is viewed as being somewhat similar to Apple, what’s your problem, Mandinka?  Meanwhile, when the Sherman Anti-Trust Act went into effect, it was initially used almost exclusively against labor unions—until the Wagner Act excluded them.

And, like all blind “conservatives” (where’s GRYM?) Mandinka ignores the fundamental REASON for unions—corporate exploitation of labor—company towns, company stores, company script instead of pay, lack of safety standards, etc, etc, etc.  We see Wal-Mart bringing much of this back in the USA, complaining they can’t survive with a union (although Wal-Mart stores overseas thrive even though they are forced to allow their workers to be unionized).

Mandinka is part of the Ronald Reagan War on Unions that began in 1981 and cost the USA 3.5 MILLION jobs even before the Recession started.  3.5 million jobs lost to overseas companies in China, Mexico, India, Viet Nam, and Indonesia.  How can this be good for America?

Report this

By ardee, December 12, 2009 at 4:03 am Link to this comment

Bottom line Unions are a throw back to the dinosaurs and those who belong have a brain the size of the dinosaurs

Bottom line, dinosaurs existed on the earth for one hundred and sixty five million years, a rather successful reign. The rest of your nonsense shows only that you havent a clue as to the historical value of unionism to the workforce.

Report this

By truedigger3, December 12, 2009 at 3:57 am Link to this comment

Re: By mandinka, December 11 at 9:48 pm #

Mandinka,

What you are saying about unions and its peopel are pure fabricated rubbish. You never worked a day in your life in a factory.
So, you like what Walmart is doing to its people.??!!
You are nothing but a hired hack.! Who is paying you?
I guess may be Walmart or the heritage foundation!

Report this

By mandinka, December 11, 2009 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment

brklguy, what absolute pap, I’ve been a union member not by choice but forced to when I work in the steel mills and got to see 1st hand the feather bedding and lazy union workers. Typical union worker, that in its self is an oxymoron, at best did 3 hours of labor so that they could then qualify for OT.
I’ve been around the UAW for many years and they had no loyalty to the company that paid them or the products they produced. If you asked the union morons who they worked for they would say the UAW how truly sad.
As for gov’t creating jobs, let see with the stimulus $$ spent so far each of these “jobs created” only cost $975,000 EACH, great news. The growing size of the federal bureaucracy is staggering with the avg civil servant making $120K a year compared to Joe Taxpayer making $57K now that is good news for my yet unborn grandkids to be saddled with the nonsense.
As for the military, in case you haven’t been paying attention there is NO unions in the military and they don’t have card check either.
Bottom line Unions are a throw back to the dinosaurs and those who belong have a brain the size of the dinosaurs

Report this

By mandinka, December 11, 2009 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment

Night gaunt corporate media??? Your talking ownership VS editorial decisions, the state run media is just that what they cover, when and how often. This isn’t some sort of conservative tirade but a reflection of what baraks own media folks have admitted to… They started meeting DAILY with the lead op ed writers for the 3 major TV networks,+ NYT, Wash Post, Chicago Tribune and LAT to address what they would write about and how the nightly news would cover it.
So a stealth candidate was allowed to run under the radar with 0 criticism and land in the WH. The media then and now failed to perform their role in society to report the news not get in bed with their quota son

Report this

By whenpigsfly, December 11, 2009 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

Chris Hedges always makes me think. This time he made me weep: truth hurts.

Report this

By Cheshire Cat, December 11, 2009 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree with every syllable, except the “I don’t dislike Obama” part.  I revile him more than his predessor, in part because he’s far more smug and in part because he works the “I’m a liberal who likes to talk about the poor but doesn’t like the smell of the poor” angle for his own relentless ego.

Most of the bottom-rung people I work with are conservatives.  I trust them far more than liberals.

The realy issue is: we need to grow the hell up and stop pretending the vast majority of people have any kind of power whatsoever in this aristocracy.

Report this

By Carmody, December 11, 2009 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie,

Many thanks for the advice.

carmody

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, December 11, 2009 at 9:26 am Link to this comment

Carmody—I recommend you make contact with local people you can get to know personally.  They will almost certainly have mailing lists, web sites, and so on.  There are several modes of information distribution, but which ones are reliable and which are run by the police, agents-provocateurs, trolls, jokers, or other undesirable types is hard to say without experience.

Report this

By bklynguy, December 11, 2009 at 8:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let me weigh in here to denounce the phony baloney right wing “Joe the Plumber Wannabe” populism for the unmitigated garbage that it is. As mentioned before, I am a lunchpail Democrat born & raised in a small Pennsylvania industrial town near Reading, Pa, which just happened to be a major center of socialist activism through the 1st half of the 20th century. I have spent more time on Main St. than Floridian or Mandinka or any of these other conservo snot-nosed brats who would turn pale at the thought of having to work on a factory floor. Now, perhaps those folks in my home town wouldn’t be socialists but they would run you out of town before they would me once they heard you spout your dittohead rhetoric about unions being all mob-run, if not Commie-controlled and how those overpaid, lazy, good-for-nothing American workers, like the UAW workers at GM and Chrysler, are responsible for all our economic problems. Go ahead, denounce card check and see how far you get.  Would you have the courage to tell the Main St folks ALL of what modern conservatism stands for. Go on, tell them how Social Security and Medicare are wasteful big governnment handouts for those too stupid to become billionnaire Wall St. traders. Tell them that universal health care is a Nazi-inspired plot by Obama and the liberals to exterminate grandma and if you’re not rich enough to pay for your own health care, then you deserve to die. Nah, you righties are the cowards; all you would do wave your teabags and carry pictures of Obama dressed up like Hitler os some other childish nonsense.

Now Mandinka’s comment about government not creating a single job is a great relief to me since I thought he was going to go on about all those overpaid incompetent government bureaucrats but since government doesn’t create jobs, that army of bureaucrats doesn’t exist. Thanks for confirming that. Speaking of armies, since government can’t solve any problems, I’m sure you are advocating the imnmediate return of our troops from Iraq & Afghanistan since they’re government emmployees who can’t do anything right. You were against the Iraqi adventure from the start for that very reason, right? Though I wouldn’t go on about incompetent government to certain public employees like cops & firemen. They may take exception to what you say and encourage you to go about fuly-armed in your own private fire engine and they may not take your call for help if you get in a fire fight.

As for Mr Hedges and his fellow liberal bashers, I think it’s time you you to recognize and fight the real enemy unless you want Floridian, Mandinka and their comrades to run this country.

Report this
Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, December 10, 2009 at 10:48 pm Link to this comment

Mandinka, you will find that the main stream conservative corporate media (CMSM) does that often. That it is controlled by the same corporate interests that permeate our gov’t and military and churches should bother you. Unless you agree and that is why you use them as a compass to who to listen to and who not to like ANSWER. Feel mind controlled yet? You never will if you don’t see it now. You are buffaloed.

Report this

By Carmody, December 10, 2009 at 8:37 pm Link to this comment

In the 60s we had alternate sources of media to get the word out re where the demos were to take place, etc.

Can people tell me where I can go now to find out re demonstrations, before and after?

The major media certainly will never tell us.

Thanks for the help, and yes I already know of CH and Dec. 12th.

Report this

By mandinka, December 10, 2009 at 6:12 pm Link to this comment

Well looks like ANSWER is another left wing socialist group with no following comprised of anarchists. They are so out of the main stream even the state run media refuses to cover them and that says a lot. The very idea that government can create jobs or solve any problem is laughable on its face and time tested nonsense

Report this

By cocostar, December 10, 2009 at 5:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Its amazing to me that all conservatives have the mental ability to know exactly what every liberal has in their mind and exactly what their thought or reply will be to any situation known to man. They seem to know exactly who is responsible for anything that their right wing pundits program them not to believe in or anything that goes wrong at any time. They are never responsible for anything that goes wrong or is not right. They are all so super intelligent that the liberals control everything that happens in this country even when their party is in total charge. Their number one goal is to change the meaning of liberal from what is “right”, to what is always wrong.
95% of everything you do is the liberal thing to do. If its not try this, don’t pay your tax’s or any of your bills, don’t put gas in your car, drive on the wrong side of the road, fire up a smoke in church, believe right is now wrong. Let some idiot tell you your so stupid that your not at all liberal. Disagree with everything all the time.
Basically you can’t comprehend the difference between what is right and moral to what is idiotic.

Report this

By ardee, December 10, 2009 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment

Don’t believe me? I dare any one of you unamerican parasitc leaches to come down to main street USA and start spouting that BS and see how long it takes for you to get run out on a rail.

Perhaps Floridian is unaware that, during the runup to the invasion of Iraq, the chief sponsor of many of the demonstrations, the main organizer of many in fact, was a group named ANSWER. ANSWER characterizes itself as anti-imperialist, and its steering committee consists of socialists, civil rights advocates, and left-wing or progressive organizations from the Muslim, Arab, Palestinian, Filipino, Haitian, and Latin American communities. ANSWER was formed at the initiative of Ramsey Clark and the International Action Center; many of ANSWER’s leaders were members of Workers World Party at the time of ANSWER’s founding, and are current members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

Now I understand the difficulty many Floridians face in reading and understanding written words as exemplified by the fiasco in voting during the 2000 election, but this particular Floridian seems to fail even that low standard in his total ignorance of the facts of recent American protest movements.

Report this

By gatecrasher (reg. pending), December 10, 2009 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

alpha personalities bullying ordinary people is an affliction of social life. hedges is just a typical roaring alpha. (so is obama if you want the god’s honest truth without so much as a primer coat- so is tiger woods.) hedges flies around the world on the liberal dime kibitzing about wars. this gives him unlimited cache and oodles of cutie pies snuggling up. over the appletinis it becomes clear to him that the problem is that the millions of working people supporting humane polital values with the few hours and the few dollars they can spare just aren’t… well, heroic enough… for hedges. as social dynamics go, the truth is again proven that worrying about enemies is a fool’s waste of time- your destruction always lies with your own. all the humanist left needs right now is denegration from someone we look up to. perfect touch, perfect timing to kill the new obama generation before it votes a second time. in the defeat and humiliation of obama’s center right policies after taking in the gullible with a change campaign, the alpha always seeks to separate himself from the detritus of failure. the fact is that everybody but dennis kucinich got taken- more or less- despite the fact that obama disavowed all progressive policies in specific during the campaign. and why exactly wouldn’t the oligarchy invent their own opposition? we know that rick davis and roger ailes are shrewder than any left wing strategist since the kennedy years. they’re just better operatives- which no left-wing alpha can admit- but any mere liberal guy has seen proven over and over.

Report this
Virginia777's avatar

By Virginia777, December 10, 2009 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

we can’t be worn out (even though we are) we (the Left) have to fight to regain momentum, this is urgent.

We have to mobilize and fight the disinformation wave that the right is pressing on us, from all sides. We have to mobilize to address social justice issues, which have been so ignored.

Report this
Virginia777's avatar

By Virginia777, December 10, 2009 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

you got that so right, elisalouisa, I’m with you!

Report this

Page 1 of 4 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »

 
Monsters of Our Own Creation? Get tickets for this Truthdig discussion of America's role in the Middle East.
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 

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

Like Truthdig on Facebook