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Make Your Vote Count for Socialism

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Posted on Feb 28, 2012
Lillian Thurston

Stewart Alexander, Socialist Party presidential candidate in 2012.

By Scott Tucker

Stewart Alexander believes fair elections are worth a fair fight and he’s asking for your vote. The Occupy Wall Street movement encouraged a more honest discussion of class and capitalism in this country, but Alexander is not simply a critic of big banks and high finance. He is a democratic socialist, an African-American community activist and the presidential candidate of the Socialist Party in 2012.

Alexander believes the candidate of “hope and change” is a defender of the status quo and of corporate rule. In his words:

“The phrase that came to mind immediately upon hearing President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech is ‘too little, too late.’ After spending the last few years coddling the banks and the richest 1 percent, Obama has the nerve to now call for ‘economic fairness.’ To him, this means tweaking payroll taxes and making a rhetorical call to reverse the Bush tax cuts for the rich. For working people in America, real fairness means the right to a job, a guarantee of health care for all and an end to the military-industrial complex. Obama won’t deliver this. That’s why I am running for president against him.”

The boom-and-bust cycles of capitalism require a semblance of representative government, even though Congress has become the front office of the corporate state. Even the most “progressive” reforms of the tax code now proposed by career politicians remain a form of institutionalized robbery of the working and middle classes.

“This is why,” Alexander says, “we propose creating a progressive tax structure where the rich pay far more than the average working person. In a democratic socialist society neither Obama nor Romney would be allowed to pay an effective tax rate of 26 percent and 17 percent, respectively. Corporate taxation, financial gains taxes and personal income taxes will be modernized—all loopholes will be closed and the rich will pay a steep tax on their income. This is what economic fairness looks like to a socialist.”

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Is a radical revision of the tax code the whole program of democratic socialism? No, but it is certainly one reform consistent with social democracy in the realm of the economy. Alexander is not simply a “left-wing Keynesian” reformer. After all, economist Paul Krugman plays that part admirably in the Op-Ed pages of The New York Times. Krugman repeatedly insists that the Obama administration must ramp up a “stimulus package” that might actually stimulate, rather than stifle, the economy. But Krugman would need genuine social democrats in the White House to listen to his advice, whereas Obama has filled his inner circle with Wall Street aristocrats such as Timothy Geithner. Alexander’s reform of the tax code has a much deeper foundation in workplace democracy, and in working class solidarity across national borders.

Alexander has also been a strong critic of Obama’s “continuation of the Bush era security state policies.” He has the same moral fire and political clarity as Eugene Debs, a Socialist presidential candidate who won 6 percent of the national vote in 1912, and gained more than 900,000 votes in 1920 even when he was behind bars at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary. Debs called for working class unity against war and imperialism, and he paid a high price. We now live under a regime of escalating state surveillance and police repression, and Alexander’s class conscious policy of peacemaking will not earn him a Nobel Peace Prize:

“Obama’s approval of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) annihilates centuries of civil rights protections,” Alexander writes. “The president now has the right to indefinitely jail any citizen in America without having to work within the protections of habeas corpus. Added to the NDAA is the fact that, as I write this, Bradley Manning is rotting in a jail cell. Manning is Obama’s prisoner—a moral testament to the president’s commitment to continue the job of restricting civil liberties.”

Alexander was born in Newport News, Va., in 1951. He was one of eight children of Stewart Alexander, a brick mason and minister, and Ann E. McClenney, a nurse and housewife. In 1953, the family moved to the community of Watts in Los Angeles. Bricklaying and masonry jobs were scarcer in Los Angeles, and the family endured some hard times. At the age of 16, Alexander worked nights with his father cleaning airport terminals.

In the late ’60s, Alexander attended George Washington High School in Los Angeles County. Though integration of public schools had become public policy, the foundation of the educational system fractured along lines of race and class. By the time Alexander graduated from high school in 1970, the school had fewer than 50 white students. This was part of a wider social pattern that became known as “white flight.”

In December 1970, Alexander joined the Air Force and trained as a transportation and cargo specialist. Later he attended college full time at a Cal State University campus. One professor actively discouraged his studies, and when he quit college he began working 40-plus hours a week as a stocking clerk. During this time he married his first wife, Freda Alexander, and they had one son.

After working as a licensed general contractor and with Lockheed Aircraft in Burbank, Calif., he returned to Los Angeles and applied for a job as a warehouseman and forklift driver. Though his military experience made him well qualified for the job, the warehouse manager refused to interview him. Only the threat of a lawsuit (including filing a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) gained him the interview and the job.

The manager later confessed to Alexander that it was his policy to hire only blacks who were “twice as good” as whites on the job. Having fought to get that job, being “twice as good” also meant that Alexander (one of only two African-Americans among 200 employees) had to work more than twice as hard.

During this time Alexander began working with civic and community groups, including the NAACP. He later traveled to Tampa, Fla., working as a grocery clerk and as an organizer with the Florida Consumer Action Network (FCAN). In 1986, Ralph Nader was the guest speaker at the state convention of FCAN, and Alexander joined him in political discussions during the event. Alexander also worked briefly with an affiliate organization, the Long Island Citizens Campaign. Both groups were formed to protect the environment and the health and safety of consumers.


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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, March 17, 2012 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

Aw –bill.  You are just agitattin’.  You know very well I was only
demonstrating that even perfect Sweden wasn’t absolutely perfect,
and I picked up the information on their very own website.  So why
don’t you just go pull the thorns out of your head while I crawl out
from under my favorite rock?

But I do thank you for saving me the trouble of expanding on the
conservatives’ myth of Social Security.

I can now get back to liberalism which got its modern boost from
the collapse of Marxism in the 20th century.  As political scientist,
Alan Wolfe, shrewdly observed, liberalism gestated in Europe between
the end of Marxism in 1968 and the rise of conservatism in the 1990s
and found its temporary home among the pre-left-winger European
intellectuals.  However, their absorption into the neoconservative right
thirty-years later upon becoming disaffected with modernism, religious
faith was being questioned and traditionalism came under fire.  The
notion of manifestoes became popular and everyone and their mother
were writing up and signing manifestoes leaving liberalism up to the
academics whose publish-or-perish creed produced countless books
about how liberals ought to be responsible for the correct thinking
about multiculturalism, religion, equality of the races, sexes, and
animal rights as well as planet rights. And last but not least free speech
had the highest berth in sociology.  All these were rightly taken up as
human issues kept subdued by the self-serving conservative and post
modern anti-democratic, impulses.  But the plethora of books are much
too dense for the average reader, and technical according to discipline
that made liberalism uninviting and rather unappealing to the average
reader.  The less principled ordinary population could not grasp how
liberalism really described those features that were crucial for their well-
being.  It has taken decades of hard work for journalists hand-in-hand
with the enlightened academic to finally be able to bring to the
consciousness of the general public the distinctive foundation of the
social propositions of liberalism.  A little history of the liberal political
point of view cannot help but be helpful when discussion is on the table. 
More is on the
way, you’re so lucky…but time for an evening break.  Tamarra is another
day. 

Although I’ve read several books on capitalism, I will print out Ed’s
contribution for as Aristotle once said, “every man has a little bit of
the truth,” uh…er..every man or woman, that is.  The trick is to learn
how to filter out that little bit.  (Harry was a bit of a dandy and it is
written, a “misogynist,”) but that did not stop him from having some
extraordinary insights into human and physical and metaphysical
nature; oh…and some not so very incredible, but telle est la vie.

Report this

By Ed Romano, March 17, 2012 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

Well, since we seem to have recieved a lesson from Socialism 101 perhaps I would be allowed to give a short one on Capitalism…..It is customary to view our government as an impartial agency representing the interests of all sections of the people. Plainly stated, this view is wrong. In an exploitattive society, the state cannot impartially serve the interests of everyone, for the interests of the exploiters and the exploited are diametrically opposed. On the contrary, it is the instrument of the exploiting class, a means of legalizing and enforcing the property relations on which the system of exploitation is based. In modern times the state is the political organ not of the capitalist class as a whole but of super capital in particular, to whose advantage it operates at the expense of all other sections of the people. And to an ever greater degree, government intervention in the economy is invoked by these capitalists as a means of fattening their profits at the people’s cost. In a host of ways, such as gigantic subsidies and give aways, tax rebates , a tax table rigged in their favor and other devices to “stimulate investment”, and above all the tens of billions a year in lucrative military contracts, the economic resourses of the state are used to funnel money into the coffers of the big corporations, while the working people foot the bill through a regressive tax system.
....As long as the economic and political life of the country is controled by super capital the battle against poverty and inequity will be uphill and the achievable gains limited. Within the framework of capitalism any program of reforms can bring about only the alleviation of poverty, not its cure. To abolish it will require going far beyond such measures as public works, higher unemployment compensation or improved education. It will require the elimination of the basic cause of poverty, which is capitalist exploitation itself. At the same time, however, a many pronged immediate attack is essential both to alleviate poverty and as a prerequisite to any more radical measures in the future….. Clearly, then, the war for a just society is not a fight of all good men against some disembodied evil.It is a fight against super capital, whose profits are secured at the cost of mass poverty and the disruption of decent order. To believe that the government, which in our case is wholly the instrument of capitalist control, can be made to act for the mass of citizens and against the minority of capitalists, is to engage in a delusion of the first order…. The movement to bring about the needed change is weak and fragmented at the moment, but it is growing. Change is in the wind. The contradictions of the system are chipping away at the foundation. Which side are you on brother ( or sister as the case may be)?

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By - bill, March 17, 2012 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

I don’t suppose you’d consider remaining under your rock unless you’ve actually got something to say, Leef?  Oh, well.

I’ll be interested in seeing others’ reactions to your claim to “have pointed out some of (Sweden’s) problems” caused by socialism, Shen - since the only problems you pointed out were certainly not ones that *I* associate with Sweden (or with most other countries currently characterized as socialistic).

I was also interested to hear you pick up the Republican meme that Social Security is ‘going broke today’ (as with many such a relatively recent Republican meme, since only about a dozen years ago Republicans like noted liberal Bill Archer - that’s sarcasm, Shen, in case you don’t know who he is - staunchly defended the integrity of the Social Security Trust Fund, composed of Treasury Bonds backed by “the full faith and credit of the United States government”, as being comparable in financial solidity to the similar United States Treasury bonds issued to citizens and foreign countries).  The Trust Fund ensures all scheduled payments for about the next quarter-century with NO changes to the system, after which payments will drop to about 75% of the scheduled amounts (but simply restoring the ceiling on FICA taxation to cover 90% of national income, as it was supposed to according to the mid-1980s Greenspan Commission reforms, is all it would take to keep SS completely solvent right out to the end of its 75-year planning horizon if that increase also covers the revenue lost by having allowed it to fall below that level lately - a new ceiling of around $200,000 would be about right for this).

And redeeming the bonds in the Trust Fund won’t affect deficits or the national debt by a penny, since the money borrowed from it is ALREADY reflected in the national debt and the bonds can therefore be redeemed by simply transferring that debt to other debt instruments (thus leaving the total debt and deficit unchanged).

The hand-wringing by Republicans (and waffling by Democrats, conspicuously including Obama who emphatically stated that he was willing to put ‘everything’ - including SS - on the negotiating table) is smoke and mirrors over the cash-flow reality that incoming yearly revenue from FICA taxation is no longer sufficient to cover out-going SS payments (though even so in-coming revenue PLUS accumulating Trust Fund interest IS still sufficient and will be for a few more years yet, as long as the government honors its commitment to make up the Trust Fund revenue losses caused by the current ‘FICA tax holiday’ measures from the General Fund).  That, however, is wholly irrelevant, because for the last quarter-century we’ve been paying EXTRA in FICA taxes precisely to COVER this cash-flow shortfall through about 2036, so the money is already there (see above explanation of how straight-forward it is to redeem the bonds in which it resides).

Parroting ‘conventional wisdom’ (something of an oxymoron) is what pundits do, Shen.  Actually knowing what you’re talking about is something quite different.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, March 17, 2012 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

Really –bill you are continuing to over-emote. 

Taking a look at socialism, especially in view of the fact that Republicans
regularly attempt to use the word as a derogatory description of those
who are not Republicans, but more because enough time has passed
where history can be looked at with a new generation’s perceptions for
how it fares in the world today, where it failed, where it succeeded. 
There are elements in socialism that large societies seriously ought to
consider.

Much to the disgust of the Republicans, the US has a mixed economy
and several social programs are without a doubt related to socialism;
Social Security for one, Medicare for another, and all other programs
that either are not paid for by the private sector, or are self-funding, are
subsidized by the federal government.  Social Security and Medicare are
two programs that provide millions upon millions of disadvantaged with
the freedom from the occurrence or risk of old age poverty and medical
care for the elderly who would have to withstand the vagaries of life
beyond the age of being able to earn a living enough to completely
pay for healthcare at a time when the cost of healthcare is beyond
affordability.  In the case of Social Security, it is an insurance program
that workers pay for out of their paychecks and the only reason it is
going broke today is because the Congress has deemed it has the right
to redirect funds from Social Security to other government funded
programs, including the military.  Social Security was originally called the
Economic Security Act and the program SSI Supplemental Security Income
was called Old Age Assistance. 

Socialism as a an economic program promised prosperity, equality,
and security, but too often it delivered poverty, misery, and tyranny. And
equality was achieved only in the sense that everyone was equal in his or
her misery.  One of the major problems with governance under socialism
and its more radical spawn is the coercion factor, with only a few excep-
tions, both systems are forced on unwilling people by military regimes.
It is a way to exploit the society’s population under the guise of a Big
Brother who “would take care of all of the people.”  Except usually it does
not work in favor of the people.

Historically, socialism has failed due to corruption and despotism.
If there was a way to prevent that evolution, socialism might have a
chance.  Sweden’s structure is considered socialistic and while I pointed
out some of its problems, Sweden is fairly successful.  It is not that there
has not already been discussion of socialism on this forum, the topic of
Sweden has already been discussed and there is no need to repeat it.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 17, 2012 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

Bill thanks for the physical and mental analysis of my condition, typically very condescending of you Bill! Never heard of the straw man before Bill,.... though Ozark Michale struts his around Truthdig on occasion.

‘Villagers in Solapur India gather every year to drop screaming babies from a fifty-foot-tall temple tower to a group of men on the ground below, holding a bed sheet to catch them. The event is said to bring good luck to the infants, and in the 500 years the tradition has existed, participants claim to have never lost a single child.’

Speaking from both sides of ones mouth seems very Republican or is it now conservative, Maddow according to Bill comes as a surprise, since I only watched one show this week. It seems Rachel Maddow had a Smarmy Republican Senator from Oklahoma on her show, who actually seemed almost so condescending and pompous, for some damn reason reminisced me of you Bill!

Global Warming dost not exist according the the factoid Republican Senator from Oklahoma just as the men from Solapur India ‘claim to have never lost a single child.’

Vote Republican Bill, though you claimed deluded reason for doing so appears like road apples behind Ozark Michale’s mounted Straw Man!

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By - bill, March 17, 2012 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

My word, Shen, you really ARE the Ann Coulter of the Democratic Party - shrill, combative, and completely impervious to facts.  At least Rachel Maddow remains entertaining even when she’s shilling for the party and has a lot of worthwhile insights to contribute when she isn’t.

I very specifically refuted a claim of yours in my last post, with 3 specific examples with quotes and dates, in two of which you referred to MY chauvinism (which you’ve still not provided a single example of) and in the third of which you referred to Ed’s despite having clearly claimed that you had made NO such earlier references, provoked or not.  But, as usual, facts just roll off you like water off a duck’s back.

Nor, of course, are you particularly careful about facts yourself.  I particularly enjoyed your claim (March 14 at 1:24 pm) that “Like… Ross Perot… they lose in the most glaring
way as election percentages are embarrassingly almost nonexistent” - when in 1992, despite having DROPPED OUT OF THE RUNNING for several months (before which polling at various times had given him 20% to 39% support, the latter a clear lead), Perot still garnered 18.9% of the popular vote that November, more than half of George H. W. Bush’s 37% total and not much under half of Bill Clinton’s 43%.  Your reckless generalizations are usually too vague to refute so concretely, so I won’t bother dredging up others.

Your reading is consistently sloppy, your research is sloppy-to-nonexistent, your analyses are sloppy-to-flat-out-wrong, and thus inevitably your debating is abjectly incompetent - making your accusation that Ed ‘blathers’ pretty hilarious.  All of these defects, rather than being genetic in nature, are eminently rectifiable - but you clearly lack the self-discipline or self-awareness to try (and that, I suppose, COULD be more genetic in nature).

People like you and ardee have all the characteristics of individuals who don’t regularly take the medication required to control their temperament.  If you’re back on it I guess that’s good - but it doesn’t excuse your lapses while you weren’t.

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By Ed Romano, March 17, 2012 at 9:42 am Link to this comment

Perhaps I’m wrong but I thought this site was providing a forum to discuss socialism. ( Make your vote count for socialism ?) Since ours is not a socialist society we could be discussing ways to change that, or reasons why we think it’s not a good idea.,,,not focusing on why we should support political parties and measures that only go to prop up a decaying system….I’d like to know a little more about the Green Party. Where does it stand regarding corporatism…in how many states will it be on the ballot etc.

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, March 17, 2012 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

In the midst of a whole lot of darkly comedic narcissistic interpersonal focused hysteria, the holy rat on topically interjected a reasoned argument:

“Well, if [the “American people” needing a voice] were social-democrat types, the Green Party might represent them, whereas the Democratic Party doesn’t and won’t.  That’s a very substantial segment of the electorate we’re talking about.

Secondly, even if the Greens didn’t win, they’d pull the Democrats back toward the Left.  As long as there is no significant party to the Left, the Democrats will continue to move rightward.  Why not, if the proggies have nowhere else to go?”

_________________________

Unfortunately, there’s nothing funny about “progressives” regularly refusing to be reasoned out of the (D) voting they never reasoned themselves into.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, March 17, 2012 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

Korky Day, no one else has addressed your comments, so I will take
the bull by the horns to say I think you are honestly trying to get a
dignified conversation going on this forum that will authentically deal
with political ideas that affect us as decent citizens of this politically
plagued country.  None of us has an absolute answer and that is why
I think we are here, trying to sort out what is the best way to live, we
each have not found that, so I suspect.  I have not heard of the
Democratic Party in Canada which you say promotes proportional
presentation.  I’d like to know more about this group so will check
them out online.  Maybe we can learn from looking at another way
of political practice.

It seems that using the term Democratic Party gives a toxic reaction
to many on this forum, and just that in itself obstructs any favorable
cadence for advancing understanding.  So forthwith, for me, the term
liberalism will replace the term Democratic Party since it is the spirit of
liberalism that attracts me to the Party not any party structure itself.  It is
my intention to present why I think liberalism is the saving grace of this
country.  And I hope you would take the time to explain why you think
the Greens would be (and others to advocate their way of thinking).

So with that as a plan, there are several aspects of liberalism that I think
are essential for a healthy government that I do not see as components
of any other political philosophy of our day.  To put it as succinctly as I
can (which is not always really succinct, I admit, but I will try), first, if
there is to be a government it must be stipulated that it be based on the
consent of the governed.  That to me is the essential antidote against the
suppression of absolute power of monarchy, tyranny, dictatorship. From
that foundation, then, it seems to me, is the root of everything else that
comes to describe a government of the people by the people.  And it
cannot healthily be anything else.  Societies are best, therefore, when
organized by freedom and equality, where no one can righteously take
away what naturally belongs to someone else.  These two aspects,
freedom and equality are the most important details of liberalism. 
Liberalism is a way of thinking and behaving.  There is no argument
liberalism is suffering from a contemporary crisis of confidence as being
the only way a body politic can live a good life.  But it’s underlying
philosophy is its understanding of human nature, its respect for both
individualism and equality of the members of a society, its intellectual
openness, it commitment to fairness, and therefore is the only system
of political principles that can guide rightly the practical and social
affairs among people.  Liberalism is needed if we are to respect the
integrity of other human beings, create institutions that serve their
needs and encourage each person to shape their own future. 

More will be said on behalf of liberalism in subsequent posts no doubt,
or hopefully no doubt in response to others’ comments.  But at this point
I’m just trying to help you (and myself) get an on-topic discussion going.

Report this

By Ed Romano, March 17, 2012 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

Bill, Did you compare her to “nasty republicans”. I’m pretty sure I didn’t, but I’m lumped into that accusation also….and couldn’t hers be considered a chauvanistic anti male rant ? Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander ? But perhaps it’s more important for us to figure out which one of us is the more ......incompetent, fuzzy, sophomoric, pedestrian thinking, chauvanist…On a sober note ...you said earlier that I seemed to be more tolerant etc etc… It’s not something I can claim as a virtue. I happen to believe in the teachings of someone who said…Judge not and you shall not be judged…. and love your neighbor. I’m an unprofitable servant so I don’t often live up to these demands, but I’m always uncomfortable when I don’t. Shen has been presenting herself as a voice of reason here and I take no joy in seeing her remove that mask. She is still a valuable person and a worthy opponent at times to tilt against. She would ,and probably will, take exception to this….but I think she is a little too thin skinned to be involved in a give and take discussion. And this too is not a crime. Let’s agree to disagree and if something is said that causes us to grind our teeth a little….try to be big enough to let it roll off our backs. This is just my thought. I’m not trying to tell you what to do. Of course, something that is glaringly out of place needs to be challenged….other than that…c’est la vie.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, March 17, 2012 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

A fact is a fact is a fact and a fact is not something you seem to
know what one is.  And good day to you too.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, March 17, 2012 at 6:36 am Link to this comment

There is an old saying misery loves company and it looks like the
men on this forum love to cozy up with one another for comfort.
If anyone is incompentent it is the pair of you, -bill and Ed,
incompetent to deal with someone who calls you out for your
egregious behavior online.  Oh of course She doth protest too
much.  Why for you, She ought not to protest at all!  QED you
make my point precisely.  You give the classic feint of those who
are intimidated.  You do not even see how pedestrian your thinking
is.  You are accusative of me without showing exactly where you claim
I maligned some faceless others.  You cavalierly speak of a specific
example but do not actually give the example.  What kind of fuzzy logic
do you think youcan get away with?  Your comparison between me and
the nasty Republicans about denial is ridiculously sophomoric, and
irrelevant by the way.  But your ego and lack of skill in rational argument
prevents you from seeing just how much.  My comment on March 15 at
5:20 pm was in response to
Ed Romano, March 15 at 10:06 am
Bill, How aobut cutting the tree at such an angle that it squashes her
house. Depending on how much of an itch mite she is….you might
consider waiting until she isn’t home.

and
Ed Romano, March 15 at 6:23 am
OH Shen, Shen ! I have respected your position even though I think it is
in need of renovation, But when you say the children of today are
smarter than children were in the past….I think it may be time to take a
couple of aspirins and call the doctor in the morning.

So when you take me to task –bill you ought to be thorough.  Ed’s were
chauvinistic remarks.  You are a sloppy thinker.

We have mutual lack of respect –bill.  It is based on your pathetic
defensive attacks on me with little comments trying to tie me to others
like nasty Republcians and the reprobate ardee.  I’ve already given a
partial list of the chauvinistic comments Ed has made, make note that I
said partial, and I could list the uncountable times you’ve done similarly
in your posts but you know what, you just aren’t worth it.  You pretend
to be unconscious of your miserable subterfuge.  You can’t argue with
me directly so you bring in others as a contrivance to construct some
make-believe Shenonymous.  It is a truly paltry kind of argument you
demonstrate.

If you don’t want to be shown up for the puffed-up inauthentic-thinkers
you really are, you would be wise to pick on someone else.

Report this

By Ed Romano, March 17, 2012 at 6:36 am Link to this comment

Okay lady ( am I allowed to call you that ?). I’m not going to try navigating through the devious swamp you laid out. It would be foolish to try. You have allied yourself with a politics of the past.That’s your right, but as I said earlier you do not have a right to invent your own facts. Your latest rant… ( I’m not using this word in an insulting manner here because that’s exactly and obviously what it is - a rant )....your latest rant is not worthy of the respect I once thought you deserved. You have done yourself a disservice. I’m sorry for the role I may have played in it. Good day.

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By Korky Day, March 17, 2012 at 2:36 am Link to this comment

This discussion’s non-commenting readers (if any are left) must be wishing that we would solve our inter-personal problems elsewhere.  My e-mail address is at the top at http://www.korky.ca
although my time for such things is short.

Report this

By - bill, March 16, 2012 at 10:58 pm Link to this comment

Ed, either you’re far more tolerant of aggressive incompetence than I am or you’re just much more of a gentleman (in a generic rather than any sexist sense).

The lady doth protest too much, methinks - though may simply be so dazzled by what she considers to be her compelling insight that she cannot avoid babbling on at such length.

Shen, I’ll leave answering most of the content in your recent diatribes to anyone you maligned who cares to bother, but I will specifically confront your blatantly false claim of not having suggested the presence of misogyny before now (since I certainly would not have made that observation without basis and do not intend to let you get away with such a bald-faced denial of it - a characteristic which you share, somewhat ironically, with those nasty Republicans and a bad habit of yours in other contexts as well, but this specific example will do for now).

My comment “As for Shen, it seems that she’s quick to equate any criticism of her with some kind of misogyny” was posted March 16 at 3:19 pm.  It referred to your statements “I don’t have time for the likes of chauvinists like yourself either –bill” and “Oh, yeah, I already diagnosed it, chauvinism” made on March 15 at 5:20 pm (which aside from effectively refuting your statement “Well look at my posts… you will not see one instance of my calling anyone a misogynist…until this very post I am now making” dated March 16 at 4:47 pm were also gratuitous, since I had made no remotely ‘chauvinistic’ statement about you, nor have I since).

(By the way, I was careful to say ‘some kind of misogyny’ to make it clear that I was using the term ‘misogyny’ broadly, which certainly includes male chauvinism.  See Wikipedia if you’re in doubt about this.)

That’s two instances refuting your ‘not one instance’ already.  Then you asked Ed “Is that jaundiceness of mind directed only at women who stand up to you or men too?” (March 16 at 10:35 am) - a question which unquestionably at least SUGGESTS chauvinism (especially since you had accused him of it along with me in that earlier post I just cited).  To be sure, it was in response to being called “My Dear Little Pussy Cat”, but that only constitutes provocation and does not change the fact that this was a THIRD instance in which you had suggested ‘some kind of misogyny’ - all within 24 hours of your outraged denial.

I can’t speak for anyone else, Shen, but MY lack of respect for you is in no way based upon your sex:  it’s based upon your manifest lack of interest in what others are really saying (your recent characterizations of what I’ve said being particularly laughable) plus a shallowness of intellect that completely wastes your obvious quickness of mind and facile delivery.

You and ardee really do seem to have quite a lot in common (aside from politically, of course), but for a long time in this discussion you managed to remain civil.  I first advanced my position that the national Democratic establishment needed to be destroyed by voting Republican on March 3rd and repeated it several times since, but you were complimenting me on my postings and apparently considering me an ally at least through March 11th and did not start becoming noticeably hostile until late on March 14th.  You seemed to retain you good impression of Ed until around that time as well, despite some clear divisions since at least March 4/5.

Of course, you may just not have been paying attention all that time.  But if you were, if you’re intellectually honest I suggest that you ask yourself whether anything occurred in the rest of your life around the 12th - 14th that might have significantly affected your attitude here.

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By Shenonymous, March 16, 2012 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment

The line “You are not Snow White here, baby,” belies your chauvinistic
sexism Ed Romano.  Like who the fuck do you think you are, jackass?
Did you like that?  It is equivalent!

In the spirit of what you proposed, Korky…seems more clarification
is still needed if this discussion is to go forward. As printed directly
from the forum:
Shenonymous, Mar. 4 2:59 pm

Ed Romano, I am merely repeating what was reported
in the news. See http://anunreasonableman.com/
That does not mean I assign ?blame for Gore’s loss of the
election. You can rant against published ?facts if you want to.

Obviously, Ed, you have interpreted my statement “you can rant
against published facts” as my saying you were ranting against
published facts.  You did not finish the sentence…”if you want to.” 
You refuse to see the difference that I was making a point of
possibility not actual behavior, and that the possibility is one
THAT COULD HAVE BEEN chosen, NOT THAT IT WAS chosen. Again:
I did not say you DID rant or that you WERE ranting. It appears to
me you have an obstinate mental astigmatism, which I find totally
astounding and can only account for it as an aberration caused by a
particular gender orientation. This is a kind of balmy he said/she said,
but it seems it has to be vetted before either of us can put it to rest.
Now exactly what the hell did you mean by saying “Ardee has taught
her well?” That was direct brutalization at my character!

Looking at your post of Mar, 16 12:06 pm it is a litany of what appears
as facts but they are not. They are a mere reporting what you’ve read
somewhere but you have not said where. You rely on what is “common”
knowledge, but in the kind of accusation you are trying to build against
me, they are not legitimate enough.  There are no facts.  And who
exactly are the pygmies and what did you mean they all ran home and
got their blow guns. Sounds like you are feeling intimidated but hiding it
from dreamed up ghosts. Pygmy ghosts albeit. But oh no…since it would
appear you directed the blow-gunning colony of pygmies comment as a
covert bullet you shot at me, as your next sentence gives the clue when
you were raising your hands in mock defense “All I did was ask if the
discussion…..” What a whiner! But I am impressed you see me as an
entire tribe even if it is of pygmies, as they can be deadly!  It would be
nice if YOU would stop calling names and casting emotionally charged
predisposed biased remarks then pretending innocence of any such
masculinism. I wonder if you are even aware that you do that? I wonder
about your awareness in general. You feel so intimidated that you have
to fire a bullet called Ardee at me! That is miserable and jumping on the
back of someone who maybe better than you at vilifying me? Oh yeah. 
Then you feebly try to butcher me even more with your “balls” statement.
That did not build up your integrity one millimeter.

Then you fictionalize some cock’n bull story about my defense of the
liberal Democrats and call me “whacky,” another vile name but expected
out of your retarded mouth. But you know what? You have not demoted
them one bit. The Democrats do champion the 99%, who else is? The
Democrats do fight against the military budget, who else does? The
Democrats do defend women’s rights, who else is? The Democrats do
fight for the nutrition of the children of the poor, who else does? The
Democrats do oppose the manufacturing vultures, the auto industry was
saved by Democrats, who else did? The Democrats do care what happens
to janitors, clerks, mail, and garbage men, take notice of Wisconsin
Democrats, and who else does? I don’t give a damn if you support the
liberal Democrats. It won’t make a difference if you don’t. I’ve given my
arguments several times now and I’m willing to go on in the manner
Korky Day suggests but with you, Ed, I am finished.

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By Anarcissie, March 16, 2012 at 9:24 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, March 16 at 6:18 pm:

‘Fair enough Korky Day.  State why anyone should adopt the Greens as the political voice for the American people.’

Well, if they were social-democrat types, the Green Party might represent them, whereas the Democratic Party doesn’t and won’t.  That’s a very substantial segment of the electorate we’re talking about.

Secondly, even if the Greens didn’t win, they’d pull the Democrats back toward the Left.  As long as there is no significant party to the Left, the Democrats will continue to move rightward.  Why not, if the proggies have nowhere else to go?

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By Korky Day, March 16, 2012 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment

My causes include not just the Green Party, but any party, such as the New Democratic Party in Canada, which supports proportional presentation (pro-rep) and other remedies for pseudo-democracy.  The remedies are under-appreciated in Canada and almost unknown in the USA, but are used in most countries.  I’ve been explaining those ideas here for nearly a month, and elsewhere on TruthDig.  Perhaps Stewart Alexander, the presidential candidate of the Socialist Party in the article above, also knows about pro-rep.  A few days ago I wrote to him c/o his party, inviting him and them to join us in this discussion.  Maybe they are not impressed with us commenters enough to do so.

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By Ed Romano, March 16, 2012 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment

Shen, I am deeply sorry…sincerely sorry that it has come to this, But if you will check the posting of Mar. 2.59 you will see that you wrote to me, “you can rant against published facts”. I certinly didn’t send that post to myself. Now you say that I have given out with “unsubstantiated pronouncements”. In my last post I listed a good number of undeniable statements that would be very hard to deny this side of an asylum.  But in your response you have not made any factual statements either of your own or to challenge what I charged. I am not trying to destroy you. Please reread what you posted. Isn’t it totally a personal attack….that adds nothing to the topic supposedly under discussion? Do you notice that all this was brought about because I asked the simple question whether these discussions wouln’t be more productive if we stopped trying to tear each other apart? And do you remember that you accused me of “blathering” for asking the question ? And have you noticed that NO ONE has bothered to answer my question? You are not Snow White here, baby.  The smears you hurled at me are understandable ...they are a simple human response when a person feels they have been demeaned. I understand where they are coming from…. You are entitled to your beliefs and your opinions….in fact I will go so far as to say…if they are sincerely held they are almost sacred, but you are not entilted to your own facts. I think it is disengenuous to offer a liberal democratic agenda to folks when we consider that the party was partner in creating the disaster that is the U.S, today. You don’t believe that, But God help us, Shem you must understand why people think your approach is twangy…...Maybe I shouldn’t have said this. At the moment it is not the problem under discussion….. It’s almost bed time. Let’s hit the sack and say a few prayers that we will wake up tomorrow a little wiser ...with a little more understanding and perhaps a little charity.

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By Shenonymous, March 16, 2012 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment

Fair enough Korky Day.  State why anyone should adopt the Greens
as the political voice for the American people.

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By Korky Day, March 16, 2012 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

I am not sure if sexism accounts for nastiness herein.  If anyone is guilty I urge them to stop.  Nevertheless, it is not always necessary to defend oneself if the reader can see who’s at fault.
So many attacks and defences, I fear, only drive away our readers.
We are most educational when we are talking ideas, not about each other.

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By Korky Day, March 16, 2012 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment

My goal in these comments is to recruit people to my causes.  I genuinely like most people, including all the other commenters herein.
As for writing style, therefore, I think it’s best to write these comments directed to the general reader, not to other commenters.
Furthermore, if we commenters want many readers (and converts), we will try to write each comment so that it stands on its own, so readers can understand it without having to read other comments.

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By Shenonymous, March 16, 2012 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

Most likely nobody cares, but if there is interest in who is serving
crap to whom, a review of the thread is all that is needed.  Probably
too long for most to read, so just glide on by these two posts if you
please.  I am comfortable that not one ounce of guano was served
by me in the three pages that stitches this forum together. But Korky
Day, would you please sign language to your brethren to stop their
petty “personal chitchat” because this woman will not let any poor
substitute for a man “crap” on her, not one little turd.  A hornet’s
nest was stirred when it someone dared to insult me earlier in this
forum.

A time travel of the melodramatic development of crap:  The parting
of the ways begins at March 4, 9:18 a.m. then a bit wider at 11:22 a.m. 
I posted no name calling or denigration of Ed’s person at March 4 2:59
p.m.  But I am standing for what I believe in.  I did not accuse Ed of
ranting but he chose to elevate what I said to that. And I make express
note of it at March 4 6:55 p.m. And the divide gets wider.  Funny how
all youse guys are so intimidated by one small woman!  It is hilarious
and noted as such by the visionary Leefeller.  (theway chimes in on the
gangbanging at March 5, 12:52 a.m. and I respond in self-defense at
5:19 a.m.). 

I suppose if I were a traditionally compliant female I would have
bowed my head and let the denigration slide on by.  BUT I AIN’T,
FELLAS!  At March 5 6:45 a.m. Ed unjustly implies I do not report facts. 
But I supply references for all observations I offer.  At March 5 3:40 p.m.
I take issue with the accusation that the Democrats are all conservatives
(something Anarcisse earlier also accused).  But I do not call anyone
names for disagreeing with me.  But again I am expected to be compliant
with a point of view I do not hold?  NOT EVEN A SLIM CHANCE!

But Romano is not satisfied to allow me my opinion, belittling me
as being some kind of pretender and disengenuous of being a liberal
Democrat.  Barack Obama is not “my” President, he is the President of
this country.  He happens to be a Democrat who would better be able
to legislate the kinds of liberal programs I support than anyone else on
the scene.  But the somewhat furious Romano accuses me of not “really”
being cognizant of what the Democrats of today stand for.

Again at March 5 6:32 p.m. I defend my opinion of the Democrats
WITHOUT even the hint of the delusion I think permeates the minds
of a few who populate this forum.  I restrain my personal opinion mainly
because it is simply “my” opinion.  But I do believe we are all entitled,
no…have the right, to our own opinions.  But all Romano, et al, is
expressing…are unsubstantiated pronouncements. 

This is all while David J. Cyr makes innuendoes about the crimes of
the Democrats (Ds) using his picayune habit of putting his reference in
parentheses, ala (Ds) and (Rs).  And then in his passive aggressive style
talks about the Siren (ahem guess who is the Siren on all TD forums?) as
some sort of deceiver!  Deceiving what exactly?  Again the aspersion is
not so subtle, but then that really was what was intended, right?.  What a
hoot!  And what a fool is Cyr.  And you call me youthful, do you
Romano?

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By Shenonymous, March 16, 2012 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

Some of you appear never to have progressed mentally beyond the
seventh grade! And I doubt you would even know what that means. 
Romano, where is your ability to see?  M’thinks in truth it’s tucked
under a facade of patronization and your ego won’t let you see it
and so it is sticking in your throat.  Well, once more Cyr cannot get
away with his smarmy overtones.

Actually at March 6, 4:24 a.m. Korky Day makes a fairly civil argument
against me and though I disagree, I respect him for it.  He presents a
challenge that I then needed to think through in reply.  But then ardee
jumps in to spoil the moment with his usual contemptible and schizzie,
foul smelling, putrid attacks against me never with any verifiable
references of what he accuses of me!  And Ed even commented about
how “[he] cringes at some of the invective ardee uses to describe a
point of view that differs from his own,” but later Ed decides to use
them himself.  How vicariously full of integrity you are Ed!  What a laugh! 
But again, in my following responding post at March 7 5:51 a.m. I do not
call either the foulmouthed ardee, nor Korky Day who besmirches me
and the party I choose as a political camping ground.  I explain why I
remain Democratic but again, it is not allowed to hold an opinion
different than the thugs that roam this forum who are fascistically
intolerant.

It should be interesting to anyone fairminded that Shenonymous is not a
name-caller and only on defense retaliates when preemptively attacked,
albeit with undaunting force. You’re not used to it are you boys?

Korky accused me of lying at March 6, 10:54 a.m. about the quietude
of the third-parties.  Not so.  They indeed are quiet and several other
posters have now testified to it besides me, but accusing me of lying
must comfort Korky who cannot defend against my observation. 
Whatever evidence of Green renown he offers is pretty inconsequential
at a national level, and we are here talking no less than about a national
election. But the thuggery against me continues.

Well getting a bit frustrated, I do make note of the incessant whining
from third-partiers at March 6, 11:47 and what I consider Korky’s
bullshit criticism of my using the term third-party.  I didn’t make up
the term, it is in the common language for christsake.

I defend myself against the bullshitting malignant minded ardee,
March 6, 1:34 p.m.  And Korky March 6, 5:39 pm. falls into a waxed
prevarication about me faulting him and his contingent not having
much national media coverage and a pathetic invitation for me to self-
immolate. What kind of human being would suggest such a thing? One
with a very weak morality that is who! The thuggery is relentless isn’t it? 
You poor asses.

There is much more, but it has been demonstrated enough what kind of
treatment posse-minded autocrats deal to those not of their persuasion
except for this one last quote that shows how idiotic are the thugs.  It is
about as asinine as asininity can be:

Korky Day, March 9 7:56 am

Shenonymous wrote about anti-Duopolists like me, “That tiny
minority are responsible for being tiny.”?That’s like saying a school-yard
bully’s victim is at fault when none of the on-lookers defend her.?It is
solely Shenonymous’s fault that my Green Party is not one member
bigger.

Oh yes, it will be claimed that I have no right to defend myself as I do,
as –bill does in his last post, and that I cry misogyny when criticized. 
Well look at my posts, all of them on all three page you ninnies (that’s
a name Ed calls all of you by the way), and you will not see one instance
of my calling anyone a misogynist…until this very post I am now making. 
Either you are willing to see the truth, or you are not, for it is glaringly
apparent that it is a few small-minded men who are impugning my
character and slandering my beliefs, and lying about what I say.

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By - bill, March 16, 2012 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment

Y’know, Leef, if you laid off the tequila for a while your brain might start to recover, at least somewhat.

But in the spirit of charity toward those excessively afflicted by spirits (which is at least as much a medical problem as a personal defect), I’ll make one more attempt to educate you:

Do you know what a ‘straw man’ is?  It’s an assertion (or rhetorical question) raised to discredit a debating opponent that does not actually bear any relationship to what said opponent has argued.  In Shen’s case, the straw man is the intimation that I have ever suggested, even obliquely, that I support ANY of the kinds of Republican positions which she then proceeds to list ad nauseam.  That’s why I simply advised her to rectify her abject cluelessness by revisiting what she had so clearly not managed to assimilate on first reading.

Had you bothered to read what I’ve been writing here, as I also suggested in your case, even your sodden mind MIGHT have stumbled upon the presence of this straw man yourself.  It MIGHT have also have managed to wrap itself around the concept that the voting approach I’ve been talking about is ‘strategic’ (if you’re acquainted with that term in this context) in nature rather than one that more directly reflects my policy preferences (it really wouldn’t have taken much such wrapping given that I’ve described how I voted for Nader and his Green positions for the past two presidential election cycles, but then your mind does not seem to be very flexible in its current condition).

Given all that, it’s hardly surprising that you blew through the tree analogy without noticing the fact that Shen’s tree was described as both prettier and at least marginally less rotten than the other one but had to come down first for purely pragmatic reasons.  The phrase ‘pearls before swine’ comes to mind, but I’ll remind myself again that your problem is in large part medical in nature and try to sympathize a bit more.

Now, I’ve said multiple times here that I don’t expect others to ADOPT my position.  And in your case it has clearly been unrealistic to expect you even merely to UNDERSTAND it.  So I’ll just suggest that at the barest minimum you should try to understand your OWN intellectual limitations and refrain from making judgments about things you so clearly can’t (or at least aren’t willing to try to) understand, rather than simply continue to babble incompetently about them.

As for Shen, it seems that she’s quick to equate any criticism of her with some kind of misogyny, rather than accept the fact that incompetence (and being called out for it) is by no means limited to the male sex.  This does seem to shed a bit more light on her other intellectual peculiarities (not that they’re all that unusual:  the ‘modified Obamabot’ species does not appear to be in any way endangered - which is a pity, because if it WERE endangered I could support not letting it die out completely, just for diversity’s sake).

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By Ed Romano, March 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment

Wow. Looks like I really stirred up the pygmies here. They all ran home and got their blow guns.And just think, all I did was ask if the discussion wouldn’t be more productive if we stopped calling each other names. Among other things I’m told that this suggestion was “complaining”. On the other hand we have someone ( Ardee has taught her well )...someone who lives in a society where less that 1% of the population owns MORE than the bottom 50%...where newspapers are reporting a rise in hunger and malnutrition among children…where the manufacturing ability of the nation has been dismantled by a group of economic vampires seeking to find workers who will work for 50 cents an hour,... where we have a murderous government that makes war of women,  children and unarmed civilians,... where that same government has formulated a new doctrine that says we no longer have to wait until the nation is attacked, but we can ourselves attack another nation if we just SUSPECT that it might be a threat at some future date,... where we have OVER 900 military bases in OVER 100 nations around the globe,... where OVER 50% of the national budget is spent on the military,... where the infrastucture of the nation, including the prison system. which was built with our taxes is slowly but surely being “privatized”, where janitors, clerks, mail and garbage men….the people who do the real work in this country are taxed higher than millionaires who do none….(Whew ! ).... we are treated to an endless barrage of reasons why should all support the liberal democrats, the very folks who sat by while all this was transpiring and in most cases cooperated with it…we should support these fakers because they’re the ones who have the formula to make everything hunky dory. If anybody believes this I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell them….Talk about having balls…she’s the one accusing me of dishing out crap…God must love whacky people. He made so many of them….So this how it goes. You wanted me stirred up. You got it.

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By Shenonymous, March 16, 2012 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment

Okay

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By Korky Day, March 16, 2012 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

Let’s write more thinking of the public who might be reading to learn politics - and less personal chit-chat.

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By Shenonymous, March 16, 2012 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

My Dear Little Pussy Cat. - That was really not so bad, Ed.  Is that
jaundiceness of mind directed only at women who stand up to you
or men too?  I too rrr eeee aa llll yy don’t care what you say.  Of
course we all have free speech but we are judged on what we say. 
And what does that matter on an electronic medium, eh right?  We
always have the cover of the ‘Net. Indeed, just roll your eyes and
scroll past my posts that might require too much reflection of one
with ADS. You shouldn’t be be too offended if I defend myself but
as a natural impulse I always offer more for the inquiring soul.  Just
review the comments and you would see that though I have a talent
to sling them (which many truthdippers have discovered), I do not ever
initiate name calling,...even if Leefeller loves to collect them.  Is that
civil intercourse with or without an aspirin?

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By Leefeller, March 16, 2012 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

Closed minded, jacket booted Nazi Zionist tree sitting owl,... Leefeller swooping here!

In the past I have been called many names and I wear them proudly, like man girl sexist welders scars…. or Joe the Plumbers knots on me head. 

Now for civil discourse, I suspect this means defined according to the scripted myopic demolition of the word by self righteous perspiration, of just what ‘civil’ means.  Civil intercourse dost not include thy respect of a whiner, instead it seems to require a four letter word followed by a noun!

It should be known how hard it is to swoop wearing Jack boots?

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By Anarcissie, March 16, 2012 at 10:39 am Link to this comment

Ed—As far as I’m concerned you can write anything you want.  You were the person complaining, not I.

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By Shenonymous, March 16, 2012 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

The crap that is becoming typical of your posts Ed Romano belies
your piggishness.  It must be getting comfortable to swim around
in malicious spitefulness.  Not only do you need a dictionary in my
opinion, but an unabridged thesaurus would do you some service
as well as reflecting on self-respect.

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By Ed Romano, March 16, 2012 at 10:02 am Link to this comment

Whoa !She’s the one who accused me of"blathering”. And, as a matter of fact,although I do read some of her stuff I don’t read many because she sings the same song over and over.  You don’t really think I’m saying folks here should be “uncritical”. Be honest with yourself. That would be utterly foolish in a forum that is about nothing so much as varying points of view. If you think name calling advances the dialog am I allowed to disagree ?  And if I err at times by slipping into the same bag as I’m critizing how does that make the argument any less worth considering ? But thank you for the lesson.

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By Anarcissie, March 16, 2012 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

Ed—if you want people to be ‘civil’, which in your case seems to mean ‘uncritical’, you probably are going to have to be ‘civil’ yourself.  For instance, if you think Shenonymous’s messages are too long or have too many long words, you could forgo reading them, and then you wouldn’t have to be offended by them.

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By Ed Romano, March 16, 2012 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

My Dear Little Pussy Cat. I don’t really don’t need someone who sounds like she sleeps with a dictionary to straighten me out on blathering. May I suggest that many of the items you post might be mercifully shortened with a little less blathering on your part and a little more editing ?

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By Shenonymous, March 16, 2012 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

It does look as though the parents of Occupy are schizoid when it
comes to capitalism.  Their “corporation” advertises its products are
made in fair-trade factories, with unionized worker rights, and support
the communities where their factories are.  Now not sounding like pure
free-market capitalists, they do sound like participants in socialized
capitalism, the very thing I’ve been mentioning on this website for over
a year.  It is somewhat comforting that the political/economic concept
is gaining positive public notice.  And it is a peaceful endeavor as well,
actually insidiously peaceful.

With as few in number of anarchists as there are, their impact is
overstated, hardly frightening Obama and company from the Social
Security assaults from the Right-Wing libertarian extremists.  SS was
scheduled to never be “on the table,” because the multitudes have
thought about it and voiced their wishes, strenuously.  We don’t see
any liberals breaking windows or stacking up bricks either.  But here
is a thought:  With the few in number of anarchists as there are, in spite
of their desire to stop the present political system from destroying the
world (and there are millions of liberals who have the same desire, and
obviously have the numbers), all the anarchists can do is to make small
trouble, sort of like gnats at a picnic.  But the picnickers have bug spray. 
There is, so I’ve heard, magic in numbers.  Well the more voices the
louder the chorus, even for cicadas, so I’ve heard also.

Good grief Romano, what are you blathering about?  You’ve been a rather
intelligent and forceful poster up to the most recent posts and now you
look as if you are sinking fast into the “poor me” crowd.  Sheesh!

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By Ed Romano, March 16, 2012 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

Has anyone noticed that some of the posters on these sites are like owls in a tree just waiting for a mouse to pop out so they can swoop down deposit a little snide remark (to show how superior they are)
and head right back to the tree to prepare a new pouncing. Whatever happened to the idea of civil discourse or is this what happens when the people we disagree with can’t see who we are ? Is it still possible to disagree with someone’s position without calling them a liar, a chauvinist,arrogant, suffering from a malady, duped, incompetent, clueless, rotten,
a pal of Rush Limbaugh,a whiner, a crap disher, an insincere double speaker…the beat goes on. How about a moratorium on this stuff. No one is infallible.

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By Anarcissie, March 16, 2012 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

Adbusters is probably not a totalitarian institution which enforces a thoroughly elaborated, consistent dogma on its writers.  So it is possible that some of them think capitalism is salvageable while other’s don’t.  If you want a consistent line I’d suggest some other publication—L’Osservatore Romano, perhaps.

No doubt breaking store windows contributes little to the replacement of liberalism-capitalism with something better.  At least, this is a criticism which is often made within the activist community, and is, as we know all too well, a tedious staple of the mainstream media. 

However, anarchists not only have to work on constructing a post-capitalist social order, they, like many other people, would like to stop the present political system from destroying the world.  In order to do this, given that they are neither many nor powerful nor rich, they have to make trouble.

So a few hundred anarchists and other radicals went and camped out in a park in Lower Manhattan, and infiltrated themselves, that must have been fun, and made more trouble than all the millions of liberal and progressive columnists, bloggists, and politicos pounding their innumerable keyboards.  They seem to have frightened Mr. O and his friends so much that Social Security was taken off the chopping block.  It’s something to think about.  And they didn’t even break any store windows that time.

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By Leefeller, March 16, 2012 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

Ok Mr. Bill showing ones colors is very much appreciated,... now I recall the previous passing of Mr. Bill, hence the condescending patronizing performance, double speak and apparent insincerity.

She asked the following of Mr. Bill;

“Okay.  So of the following, just to be clear, would
you please name each of the Republican anti-democratic issues you support (which incidentally that the Democrats do not) but will nonetheless acutely affect the general public: Anti-abortion and anti-contraception; less taxes for the corporate world and wealthy; to continue to think up new ways to ruin the economy so that black Barack
Obama doesn’t get reelected, you know, calling a spade a spade, the racism that is rampant in the 21st century Republican Party?”

Mr. Bill’s emulation of an emasculated RD level response jogged me memory, makes me wonder are both Republicans in drag?

Yeah! I am going to vote for the Racist Republican party, so we can begin removing more women’s rights and lower the taxes on the filthy rich, raise the taxes on the least able to pay so the alleged job creators can trickle down on the huddled masses.

Mr. Bill, the tree analogy really sucked, but I was keeping it to me closed minded self out of politeness, me closed tequila soaked mind was able to grasp something through all the Bill fluff and BS me suspensions are supersaturated with a conclusion; ....‘geeze…. Bill sounds just like a Republican,  talks like a Republican, is going to vote like a Republican and finally he responds just like a Republican, so me closed minded synipiisis is Bill must be a Republican.”

Me closed minded self still suggests, we must get the money out, which may happen about the same time as the much anticipated,.... baseless breath Resurrection, which means Fox can dish out some more unbalanced News!

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By Ed Romano, March 16, 2012 at 7:44 am Link to this comment

Ah. We’re back to capitalism. Good. This morning’s front page story in The Globe covers the massive power outage in downtown Boston yesterday. The mayor and others are angry that power has not yet been fully restored, as the power copmpany said it would be,and are demanding answers from the company. Isn’t this a little like demanding answers from the outlaws holding up the stage coach ?....Also on the front page is the hair raising tale of meat being held in freezers by the school dept.( until they get the okay to feed it to the kids)... because it is suspected of being infected with something called “pink slime” and has been treated with ammonia.
  A few years ago one of the major chicken processors in the country ( somewhere in the south )
was told it could not sell tons of chicken meat because it was contaminated beyond that allowed by the government guide lines. So what did these captains of industry do? They told their agents (stooges really)in Washington to raise the allowable level of contamination. This was promptly done and the chicken was brought to market….. These are a few instances that illstrate what it means to have the goods and services that everyone needs left in the hands of profit mongers to deliver. ....In a modern society everyone need access to things like food, electricity, medical care, telephone etc. It is close to insanity to say that people should be denied these necessities unless capitalists can profit from it. Since we don’t like to think of ourselves as insane, we cover up reality with terms that, if not outrightly justifying the system,make it seem like a resonable arrangement….. Okay kiddies. Get the bricks ready.

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By Ed Romano, March 16, 2012 at 7:15 am Link to this comment

Gee. The amount of charity we’re finding on this site
wouldn’t take up much room in a dwarf’s thimble. Dare I say that there are many different kinds of “anarchists’. There was Ravachol, the Parisian bomb thrower, and Prince Kropotkin, a much more mild mannered opponent of State power. Doesn’t it make sense to think that the main organizers of the movement realize that smashing store windows ( for example ) is not going to win them any followers ?
Hold up you hand for yes. Now, if that is true, kiddies. Wouldn’t it seem that people who do smash store windows are infiltrators in the movement or
are simply not in agreement with the general aims of OWS? This would seem to be a reasonable reading of the post. but instead we witness it being used to subtly paint it as the thought of a fool….If that is to be the tenor of people who want to change society in a meaningful way ....good luck. You’re going to need a lot of it.

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By Shenonymous, March 16, 2012 at 12:16 am Link to this comment

Because they seem to be suffering a similar malady, and if they are
not too arrogant to think they can learn something by looking outside
of themselves, the American Greens could do themselves a favor to
read and understand what is happening to the Greens in Europe.
http://www.theeuros.eu/spip.php?page=print&id_article=4828&lang=fr

It does seem awfully silly to infer that the founder of a movement
infiltrates it.  Speaking of infiltrating, I’m finding it interesting that
the Canadian outfit, Adbusters, and the progenitor of the Occupy
Movement in the United States, among other things, has had such
an impact on American politics causing an insurrection of a good
many fed up Americans, fed up with being the gullible prey of the
financial and corporate world.  At least that is what OWS started out
to look like was their intention.  There are aspects of Occupy that are
eminently and without argument health enhancing to the governance
of the American people such as the effort to nullify, or at least neutralize,
the chokehold corporations have on every facet of people’s lives.  But
because an activist organization appears to contain beneficial intentions,
it is urgent that keen understanding and an examination of their entire
proposition be made.  One often doesn’t realize their integrity is
compromised when choosing to participate in a romantic and
adventurous crusade.

Their rhetoric is remarkably convincing and easy to see how guileless
searching minds could be seduced into joining a movement to “fight
corruption,” or at least having a nice ring to it and the appearance
to fight corruption, “We want folks to get mad about corporate
disinformation, injustices in the global economy, and any industry
that pollutes our physical or mental commons.”  And the captivating
enchantment of the mystical coloration of anarchism is beguiling to
young adults with a warrior spirit who are charmed into thinking that
the abolition of government is the indispensable condition for social
reform, and to give birth to the magical idea that has to be said in
dramatic tones, political liberty.  The doctrine that constituted forms
and institutions of society and government that systems of order must
be destroyed.  But with anarchists there is no conception what chain
reaction, aftershocks, and dangerous consequences have potential
possibility.  Eric Hoffer’s True Believer has been reified and all his
cautions are vitally important to be integrated into one’s thinking. 
I suppose one has to force oneself to be rational.

In reading the information at the Adbusters’ website a glaring
contradiction is conspicuous.  There is what can be called a kind of
litany about being anticapitalist.  For instance in an Adbusters’ magazine
article, Feb. 15, 2012, “The Fight Against Capitalism,” by Nicole Demby,
http://www.adbusters.org/magazine/100/fight-against-capitalism.html
she states “While #OWS still encompasses within it a multiplicity of
tactics, opinions, and degrees of political radicalism, the evidence is all
too clear that the soul of Occupy is anticapitalist, and the desire for a
different system is a desire for a protest movement whose grasp on our
lives is more holistic.”

Yet on another webpage of Adbusters’, the advertisment page
for one of the products they sell, Blackspot shoes, is the following
declaration: “Our hope is that people with similar philosophies will be
inspired by our experiment in grassroots capitalism and start their own
business ventures, spreading indie culture and providing ever more
alternatives to buying from megacorporations.” 
http://www.adbusters.org/campaigns/blackspot 

So we see that ALL of capitalism is not eschewed, just the kind that
is not Adbusters’ kind and if it has the word grassroots attached, then it
is “all right capitalism.”  Hmmmm Does anyone else find that curious?

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By Anarcissie, March 15, 2012 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment

The people who started OWS are primarily anarchists (as far as I know—I haven’t done a survey yet).  However, the thought of them ‘infiltrating’ the movement they started is interesting.

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By Ed Romano, March 15, 2012 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

My God Shen…. was my litle tale that obscure ? It had absolutely nothing to do with you or anything you wrote .I was trying to show how the so called anarchists infiltrating the OW movement are not intent on listening to possible ways to solve problems, but would rather go right ahead and destroy the whole house….. the aspirin thing was not meant to say you need something to calm you down….it was meant….oh, well. Think what you like.

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By Shenonymous, March 15, 2012 at 6:20 pm Link to this comment

Gee whiskers Ed Romano, maybe you need a couple tablespoons
of Kopectate?  Maybe you also think I ought to squeeze those
couple of aspirins between my knees too? Limbaugh’s aspirins
lives on and on and on.  Maybe you and your comrade ninnies (only
you know who they are) are luddites who are not in the company of
youngsters enough?

I don’t have time for the likes of chauvinists like yourself either –bill. 
So far as I am concerned you are welcome to take a hike.  You can’t
seem to read any better than the others you accuse of not being able
to.  I’ve said nothing about changing the nature or shape of trees, and
here you and Ed Romano are arguing about how and when to smash my
house and how exactly one ought to cut a tree?  What is the matter with
you and Ed, jeezus?  Oh, yeah, I already diagnosed it, chauvinism.  I add
belligerent as well.  I said I’d fix the roof on a house where I resided that
was damaged and not level it obviously as a metaphor for not destroying
the Democratic Party on account of some rotten members. And as far as
my opinion of Democrats goes, I’ve been much clearer and more critical
than you can bring your defensive selves to give me credit.  Okay. so that
is how you work.  The fact is there is no third-party that has made any
headway in gaining national attention.  The newcomer scott425 articu-
lated excellently well the problem with the third-partiers.  Alexander
Stewart for the Socialists can’t hold a match let alone a candle to Bernie
Sanders.  Why would anyone vote for such a cipher of a candidate, who
by the way also self-appointed himself as much as the other guy,
uh…Rocky somebody, uh…oh yeah…Anderson (did he really nominate
and elect himself?
)...for the other nearly unknown party, albeit even
less unknown than the Greens, the Justice Party? 

Well…all this notwithstanding, I had a great day at the museum and
enjoyed rooms and rooms of the most wonderful aht.  It was
truthfully exhilarating and uplifting.  I highly recommend it.

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By Korky Day, March 15, 2012 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

I try to answer every serious criticism of me I read here (that I haven’t already explained).
Too bad some others don’t.

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By - bill, March 15, 2012 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment

If you indeed understood my tale of trees, Ed, then you completely failed to convey whatever point it was that you wished to make.

Care to try again somewhat less metaphorically?  That might make it easier to determine which of us is having difficulty understanding the other (or, perhaps, that both of us are).

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By Ed Romano, March 15, 2012 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

I think that I shall never see
      the people posting here agree.
  I understood your tale of the trees, Bill. I then used it to make a point of my own.

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By Ed Romano, March 15, 2012 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

I think that I shall never see
      the people posting here agree.
  I understood your tale of the trees, Bill. I then used it to make a point of my own.

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By - bill, March 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

I guess my tree analogy wasn’t very effective, Ed, since you don’t appear to have understood it either.

I have no desire to destroy Shen’s house (which she appears to have thought I felt was rotten, rather than the trees), and even if I did the trees would not allow me to (have you ever tried to make a large, heavily-leaning tree fall anywhere but pretty near where it wanted to?).  If she becomes enough of a pest over the matter I’ll just ignore her.

My point was that these are my trees, on my property, threatening my house, and it’s my decision how to deal with them (by analogy, my decision about what party support strategy to pursue to try to achieve what I want to achieve).  People with very similar aims can (and very often do) look at the same set of circumstances and come up with radically different approaches to dealing with them, and often many of these differing approaches are equally reasonable and defensible given only small differences in the underlying assumptions.

Closed minds just can’t appreciate this, and while they may timidly poke around the edges (e.g., Shen’s agreement that the behavior of the national Democratic establishment bears no relation at all to the virtues which she claims - and I at least to a degree agree with - for the Democratic party’s rank and file) when those explorations are followed to a possible logical conclusion (e.g., that said national Democratic establishment needs to be destroyed) they quickly scurry back into their comfort zone, often with some nasty inveective thrown back over their shoulders at those who tempted them out of it.

Returning to the analogy, Shen thinks trees can be changed without having been cultured from an early age by a skilled arborist (a problem that Korky appears to recognize, but then he ignores the fact that while one can’t easily CHANGE a tree, one CAN easily just cut it down when it’s in the way).  If I believed that, I’d certainly be much more inclined to take that route than the one I’ve chosen (I like majestic old trees a lot:  that’s why I built our house among them) - so I can understand her viewpoint as being reasonable for her even though I don’t share that particular underlying assumption.

Similarly (and leaving the analogy again, because it doesn’t cover this case as specifically), I can understand David’s belief that IF ONLY a whole bunch of people didn’t view the ineffectiveness of the Green Party as I view it then it could become more effective, even while not sharing that view myself (because I believe it places the cart directly in front of the horse, which is a lousy position in which to get any real hauling done).

In both cases, I see the proposed solutions as having been seriously tried (the election of Democratic Congressional majorities in 2006 and even stronger ones in 2008 plus a president as well, and the promising growth of the Green Party in the mid-to-late ‘90s) and having subsequently and quite decisively failed to achieve anything resembling the desired result.  So I think we need to try something else, and have a reasonable explanation for why what I’m proposing might work where the others did not.

Counter-intuitive though it may be, so is lighting a backfire to create a firebreak - thereby causing some temporary additional damage in order to prevent far greater future damage.  I’ve never asked anyone else to ADOPT this solution but I refuse to accept denigration as a ‘Mad Hatter’ or ‘GOPer’ for having advanced it - especially given the lack of any other promising suggestions that did not depend heavily upon closing one’s eyes tightly and fervently repeating “I DO believe in fairies!” until Tinker Bell appeared.

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By Ed Romano, March 15, 2012 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

Bill, How aobut cutting the tree at such an angle that it squashes her house. Depending on how much of an itch mite she is….you might consider waiting until she isn’t home. This proposal might be seen as taking a lesson from the folks who want to discredit OWS by smashing up a lot of property. Should we wait and see if the matter can be resolved reasonably? Personally, I think it might be a kick to land the lumber on the biddy’s roof, but maybe we should consider what the effect might be on the neighborhood we all mujst live in ?

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By Korky Day, March 15, 2012 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

I try not to insult libertarians too much.  So far, they have been willing to ally with me (as a Green) and work with me.
We do so though we each are appalled:  they that I, for instance, want to “steal” from billionaires to create jobs for society’s disposable people, and I because they don’t mind if the environment collapses, as long as it’s privately “owned”.

“bill’s” tree analogy (2012 March 14, 10:58 pm) might work better if he realized that the trees can’t be changed much (or in the long run) without constitutional amendment.  (The little improvements help, nonetheless, such as ranked voting in San Francisco.)
The other commenters herein seem to be ignoring my points about electoral reform (more important than election reform).

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By scott425, March 15, 2012 at 10:33 am Link to this comment

I see alot of discussion here about Nader 2000/2004—would like to add my 2 cents.

Nader repeatedly justified his campaign in 2000 as a campaign to “build a party”.  By failing to do that (eg try to build up an alternative..much less join it) he discredited himself and discredited his campaign.  So it wasn’t a surprise when many of his allies abandoned him in 2004.

That said, the Greens were also at fault for not simply endorsing Nader in 2004.  Whatever their reasons for this…it discredited the party.

So I think both Nader and the Greens share about equal blame for the implosion of left-wing 3rd party politics.

Returning to the present day, we have Stein and Anderson now in competition to become the new Nader.

David Cyr writes…

In the best possible light, the Justice Party is an intended to be harmless to Power corporate party operative created dissident (D) “progressive” cult of Rocky personality masquerading as an alternative political party. Rocky both nominated and elected himself, and instantly his “grassroots party” machinery miraculously materialized.

This is a serious accusation….why do u say this?  Are you suggesting Anderson is some kind of false front?

As far as 3rd party politics goes, I think there are a couple factors standing in the way of success..

1) Corporate control of the media.  But this is no longer such a road-block with the internet.

2) Third parties are too ideological.  Politics is the art of the possible.  In order to challenge the 2-party duopoly, a 3rd party movement requires a pragmatic coalition of various factions (who don’t necessarily agree on every detail) who can unite around a few key issues/demands.  Leave ideological purity to the philosophers—politics requires agreeing to disagree about the little things and coming together around the big things.

So for me a key criteria of a 3rd party that is authentic and not a false front is that they are trying to build productive pragmatic coalitions and they are prepared to make compromises to expand the tent.

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By - bill, March 15, 2012 at 7:54 am Link to this comment

I try not to waste excessive amounts of time attempting to educate the ineducable and/or incompetent, Shen.  Have a nice life.

Seems as if you may be in the same boat, Leef - but I gave Shen another chance to correct her abysmal understanding so I guess I should give you another as well.  If you have difficulty extracting information from analogies you could try the earlier material that I’ve posted (for some funny reason I expect people who take it upon themselves to criticize others to acquaint themselves with what they’re criticizing); if you’d like to stick with the analogy, you might first observe that BOTH trees had to be carefully cut down and their placement required that the nearer tree come down first.

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By Leefeller, March 15, 2012 at 7:37 am Link to this comment

Whats with the rotten tree analogy? Especially when the first tree to be cut down is the one shading my house from non existent global warming? Me thinks cutting down the tree with obviously less rot to make the more rotten tree fall down on its own seems a tad delusional,  ... making an example are we?  Bills approach from what I have read dost not make sense, except for its madness, except if Bill happens to really be a GOPER, hell then why not vote for the Democrats so the GOP fails using the same approach?  Vote Democrats, as the lone protest vote, well Bill, after all I guess the idea is everyone is suppose to vote Republican just to see if your premise works for the success of the GOP and the fall of the Democrats, I see nothing but business as usual?

By the way Bill, demanding someone to reread what one has written here on TD in the past does not mean everyone caught it or remembers it, especially with all the extra flack and stuff hitting the wall around here on TD! It would be big of you to possibly refer to a posting date, so one dost not have to wade through everything written.  I suppose did not happen, because it may not exist? (geez, for some reason I lost all my tabs and yellow underlining Bill) Bill referring to RD as reference and his approach seems a cheap shot to She, I would have been expecting more!  She asked for specifics which I find most people refuse to answer, for then tripping over their feet of clay becomes more like the self crashing GOP tree, which by the way is only rotten to me and I suppose a few others, but not all the people who are blind to their cause.

Summarizing your theory Bill. Me thinks the possibility exists Bill; you may be propagating groundwork for GOP success by using a Mad Hatter approach, what ever works, Right! If this is true Bill I suppose and can fairly suspect you may be working as a supporter for the success of the GOP through your enhancing the rotten tree analogy?

Sometimes motive needs to be questioned, just as authority!

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By Ed Romano, March 15, 2012 at 7:23 am Link to this comment

OH Shen, Shen ! I have respected your position even though I think it is in need of renovation, But when you say the children of today are smarter than children were in the past….I think it may be time to take a couple of aspirins and call the doctor in the morning. I’m now guessing you are a lot younger than I thought. My I humbly suggest that being able to manipulate Ipods and video games or hop up and down to rap “music” does not mean there is intelligence at work. We ....us older ninnys… have created a nation of nincompoops who would probably be seen as needing keepers if they lived in earlier times. Yes. Yes. I know…it’s cynical. The thing is it’s also observable reality.

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By Shenonymous, March 15, 2012 at 7:11 am Link to this comment

And it is not surprising the calcified mind of a sour-grapes
disappointed third-party apostle of a political party that hardly
has a waft of wind these days would confuse the intentions of a
partisan of the people with those who are self-serving, such as
himself.  It looks as though hardened hubris clouds his mind.

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By David J. Cyr, March 15, 2012 at 6:33 am Link to this comment

It’s not surprising that a (D) dedicated liberal would consider an old rotten tree to be a good strong house.

A “progressive” reformer is a person who’s content with painting over any rot that should be removed.

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By Shenonymous, March 15, 2012 at 6:24 am Link to this comment

- bill, March 14 at 8:49 pm

Too bad, Shen:  it turns out that you really don’t have the
ghost of a clue after all, and that ardee, unpleasant though he
has been, may not have been completely inaccurate in his
descriptions of you.

Difference of opinion yes, but I would not
have expected you to sink into malignity and certainly not to
the depth of spite and viciousness of ardee’s –bill.  But there are
all kinds of corrosive reprobates in the world.  So you just like to win
and will stoop to no bottom degree of malice to do so.  Okay. 

Aw…Gee whiz –bill, I disagree that the house I live in is rotten to the
core.  The house is strong, it is some of the residents who are rotten to
the core. I will do my part within my power to bring my house back to
admirable condition.  The other house, however, is on its way to
crumbling with the depravity of its residents.  I also have explained that
often enough –bill.  I am not assuring you of anything.  I feel responsible
for the lesser advantaged in my, our, country. Obviously you would give
them up for some foregone concluded principle, trees, if you prefer.

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By David J. Cyr, March 15, 2012 at 5:46 am Link to this comment

No arborist’s advice is needed to know
whether blue or red rot is first felled low
if people’s party votes don’t in 2012 show
no real alternative party here will ever grow

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By - bill, March 14, 2012 at 11:58 pm Link to this comment

Aw, shucks, Shen - you managed to keep your posts civilized for a long time despite having major disagreements with several people here, so perhaps you were just having a senior moment of the kind that seem to afflict ardee with far greater frequency.

Here’s another tree metaphor to try to help you understand what you so clearly didn’t before:

When we built our house decades ago we did so in the shadow of two marvelous, already-old trees.  They both leaned toward the house site and we knew that sometime down the road we might have to do something about them, but meanwhile we enjoyed them immensely.

Now, however, they’re both rotten - to the core, in fact, even though from the outside they don’t look it at all.  If we get another storm like the one a decade ago on 9/11 - or perhaps even a weaker one - they’ll come down, and both will fall on our house.

When we told our neighbor Shen that we were going to cut them down before they fell down in an uncontrolled disaster she was upset - especially about the one closer to the house, which has always been prettier and may even now be a bit sturdier, and where our children played together while growing up.  She assured us that her favorite tree would protect us from the other if it fell, but since she’s fairly nearsighted we suspected that she could not actually see how rotten the nearer tree was (and in any event might have a slightly different viewpoint on the matter since she did not perceive her own house as being in danger).

She was even more upset when we explained that we had to cut the nearer tree down first because otherwise there was no way to cut the farther one down without it hitting the nearer one when it fell (knocking it into our house).  She even accused us of preferring the other tree and being angry with her favorite tree, rather than accepting this as merely a rational decision about the only order in which the situation could be resolved.

Another neighbor (David) said that all we had to do was plant a vigorous, new tree between both old trees and the house to protect us when they fell.  I’m sure his intentions were good (as were Shen’s), but I don’t think he understands how trees grow when they first have to ‘break canopy’ (if they manage to break it at all).

It does strike us as somewhat presumptuous for our neighbors to hold such strong views about what we should do on our own property (and to impute motives to us which are different from those which we’ve explained to them), but accepting the quirks of one’s neighbors is part of living in a community (and if they think that we’re quirky that wouldn’t be too surprising either).  Once both old trees are gone new growth will be able to thrive and our house should be safe for another generation or three.  So we have no doubts about going ahead with our plan, even if others do.

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By - bill, March 14, 2012 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment

Too bad, Shen:  it turns out that you really don’t have the ghost of a clue after all, and that ardee, unpleasant though he has been, may not have been completely inaccurate in his descriptions of you.

I’m not going to bother repeating what I’ve already explained, since I believe I did so with more than sufficient clarity for anyone who actually bothered to read rather than skim it.  Should you wish to correct your gross misunderstanding of it, it’s still right there waiting.

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By Shenonymous, March 14, 2012 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment

Your solution, -bill, seems to be to let your vengeful rage lead to
electing those that have no care of the general welfare of the people
in order to get back at some perceived transgression of collusion (not
really specified BTW) by stereotyping, to use your own word, and
blaming the entire political body of Democrats, condemning the all
for those mitigating aberrants that ends up punishing the general
public while not correctly assigning culpability to the Republican Party
whose express primary agenda is to further mutilate the middle class,
and who act as perpetrators of pushing the poor deeper into poverty
and a life of misery.  Okay.  So of the following, just to be clear, would
you please name each of the Republican anti-democratic issues you
support (which incidentally that the Democrats do not) but will
nonetheless acutely affect the general public: Anti-abortion and anti-
contraception; less taxes for the corporate world and wealthy; to
continue to think up new ways to ruin the economy so that black Barack
Obama doesn’t get reelected, you know, calling a spade a spade, the
racism that is rampant in the 21st century Republican Party?  Let’s add in
the Hispanics in that racism equation.  How about supporting the blazing
speculation in the oil markets causing the gas prices to go up; or the
Republican unrelenting bent on destroying Social Security and Medicare? 
What about their Christian Right plan to put the government on a
theological basis?  Or to destroy the union safety nets for teachers,
firemen, policemen, paramedics, garbage collectors, etc., and how about
deunionization to increase income inequality and erode even more the
middle class forcing more into poverty, everyone knows how vulturous
are employers?  Course one of the most egregious is the all out effort to
deprive voters of the right to vote?  How about the effort to destroy the
EPA and the protections for ordinary folks for at least clean water?  How
about ending public education altogether?  Are these the kinds of things
you are advocating?  Surely you could at least admit to the degree to
which you can boast to stand on these issues?

Then, responding to David S. Cyr’s steadystream monotonous routine
self-pitying tendency this time to bewail the future of our children is
really such a bland and commonplace canard.  All the extremist pseudo
politicos’ “lament,” rather insincerely, what future generations will face if
the nebulous Green program is not adopted and still relatively unknown
Jill Stein not be elected to what? to become President of the United
States?  The fact is the political reality is now, not 50 years from now. 
The children of today are a lot smarter than us, their parents, and I’m
convinced the next generation will see ways to change the system if it
indeed needs to be changed and it will simply evolve naturally.  They will
at the least be 50 years old and will have the accumulated intelligence of
five decades to work out any needed solutions.  As a parent and
grandparent, I am not worried about them.

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By - bill, March 14, 2012 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

Be careful about stereotypes, Korky:  libertarianism is only ‘cruel and selfish’ in the same sense that socialism is ‘confiscatory and autocratic’, and many (perhaps most) libertarians are only ‘misguided’ in the same sense that enthusiastic Greens are.

In other words, while there are people at both extremes of the political spectrum, MOST libertarians and MOST Greens accept that some kind of balance should be struck between individual liberty and private ownership on the one hand and the welfare of society as a whole and its less fortunate members on the other.

Attempting to manipulate people to further your own priorities without any respect for theirs is close enough to what the duopoly that you so detest does that this should give you pause even if more abstract ethical considerations do not.  The way to build effective and lasting coalitions is to build them on trust and understanding, and libertarians and Greens have sufficient common ground (if they can get past the kind of stereotyping that you seem stuck in) to do so even if they may be inclined to vigorous debate about exactly where that balance I mentioned should be struck while finding it.

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By Korky Day, March 14, 2012 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

I thank Shenonymous for the links, which I will read.
The parliamentary system, as we have in Canada, is not much better than the USA’s Duopoly.  We work for proportional representation (pro-rep) here, too.

While libertarianism is cruel and selfish, libertarians themselves can be good temporary allies, since they are simply misguided and not very treacherous, like many good people in the Duopoly.

The opportunity could come with a Ross Perot or Ralph Nader type.  It might come with the Occupy Movement.  Or some new upsurge on the Internet.  We should also be working to get electoral reform on the ballot, especially in states with the initiative.  Or convincing Ron Paul to support pro-rep.

Whatever it is, when our opportunity comes to break the 2-party choke-hold, we must be ready to take it.  We must constantly be trying new ideas and take all opportunities, as we don’t know ahead of time which will succeed.  You will miss the chance if you are busy working for and apologizing for the Duopoly.

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By Shenonymous, March 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

At least you realize the problem, Korky Day, and surprisingly very
well.  A parliamentary-styled government might do better than the
two-party system. Reading up on the history of the two party system
in the US is worth the time. Yes, there is a tyranny of the two-party
system, but politics of the day will not allow much change even if
third-partiers stamp and scream and hissy fit trying like hell to
change it. It isn’t going to happen because the structure as it now
stands holds all the cards for change. The two-party beast is too
big to get enough advocates for changes of any significance to be
made. There is a libertarian effort to create a parliamentary system
but it would only solidify an anti-democratic basis of a pluralistic
America.  A parliamentary system has its disadvantages too.

The problem IMO is that the current system is open to demagogues who
know how to push the most sensitive emotional buttons, both sides and
particularly the extremists of libertarian, anarchistic, and conservative
types, neither of which respond positively to the social welfare needs of
the people not privileged as they are.  But until change is in the wind,
real change that is, not some fantasized change, we have to work for
change within the system that is rooted.

Exercising critical thinking and checking things out for oneself an
approximation to the truth when reading anything takes time and
most are way too lazy and unwilling to really confirm things in print.

The history of the two-party system:
http://www.thegreenpapers.com/Hx/AmericanMajorParties.html
For an online (free) history of the election system in the US, see
http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=14291969  on the left
side is a column Table of Contents and you can click on any chapter
title.  That goes from the beginning in 1776 to 1988.  Politics has
morphed since the 80s and further reading to see what has happened
historically to the two parties needs to be seen.  For a general descrip-
tion of the political atmosphere in the US, the Wikipedia entry is a
fairly fast read and very informative with many further references:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_parties_in_the_United_States
The Democrats’ stand on campaign financing is incorrectly reported
the Their website: http://www.democrats.org/issues/fair_elections
shows they are fierce advocates of getting the money out of politics. 
“Democrats are committed to reining in the power of special interests
and ensuring free and fair elections in which every American has a
voice.”

This country does not seem to be capable of actually electing a third-
party candidate for POTUS, Korky Day.  Why?  Because every couple of
decades or so there is a frothing undulation of anti-liberal sentiment
that comes with immature petulant whining, usually stronger from
the self-serving right but not excluding the far extreme left with a
fanaticism of liberty that would deprive those lacking opportunities
and advantages enjoyed by other members of American society. 
However, someone always makes a twiddle for it.  Like Ron Paul or a
Ross Perot in the now distant past, and they lose in the most glaring
way as election percentages are embarrassingly almost nonexistent
and their hem-holding attendants return to their regular bitching,
moaning, and groaning over how they can’t get much traction in
the midst of the American people.  They haven’t a clue that they are
speaking to the poor majority who doesn’t give a rat’s ass for their
selfish libertarian values.  It is as predictable as the new moon tides. 
Contingents show up like clockwork in amazement speculating if the
time for a third party is now?  When a stimulating program for the
“majority” of ordinary people is offered calling for them to pay attention,
then they will.  Until then, plugging away seems to be the only option.

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By David J. Cyr, March 14, 2012 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment

If “progressives” remove the (greater part of the Problem) (D) half of the corporate party by supporting the (R) half, there won’t be any change at all, other than relabeling (D)s to be (R)s… and some greater transparency in old liberals being irredeemably addicted to voting for money manufactured corporate party candidates.

People who won’t vote for a non-corporate political alternative’s opposition to the corporate party now won’t have any opportunity to vote for one later… after the complete collapse. If the young want a future, 2012 will near surely be there last chance to save it through occupying the vote to vote with revolutionary purpose against **ALL** of the corporate (R) & (D) party’s candidates.

Our children don’t have 50 years, or even 1 year to waste upon trusting in the devious Democrats who add to corporate profits, by subtracting from the days of human habitable climate remaining.

If (D) evil win over the good again on the 2012 ballot, then the bullet will be the only option left for the young.

GOOD vs (D) EVIL

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=499&Itemid=1

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By - bill, March 14, 2012 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

To paraphrase one of my favorite James Bond moments, “I don’t expect the Democratic establishment to ‘clean up its act’, Mr. Leef:  I expect it to die.”  It would be much more convenient to get it to shape up (REALLY shape up) and thus avoid the need to build something better essentially from scratch, but given the Democratic Party’s current makeup I consider that unlikely to occur.

So your understanding of my position is fundamentally flawed (though I recognize how strange it must seem to someone who may not have wholly separated himself from the influence of the duopoly - and that’s not meant as an insult, just an observation).  I see voting Republican as the way to get rid of one half of the duopoly, after which beating the other half will no longer be faced with the currently insurmountable obstacle of lesser-evilism and have a much better chance of succeeding than it has today.

Another possibility is that giving the Republican party temporary complete control will cause conditions to worsen so quickly that we won’t need to build a new progressive party and sell its virtues much at all:  the population will rise up in anger and throw out the rascals themselves with minimal encouragement.  That’s a bit more dicey (when a country’s people rise up in anger it’s hard to be certain what will happen), but still a better shot than the current situation, where things are getting worse sufficiently slowly (under Democratic as well as Republican leadership) that the Great Unwashed remain insufficiently alarmed to do anything about it (much like the famous analogy of the frog which allows itself to be boiled alive as long as the water temperature is increased slowly enough).

The bottom line is that we need to do SOMETHING and for over a decade now the Democratic establishment has successfully blocked any effective effort.  In 2004 they skillfully put an end to Howard Dean’s insurrection and elevated lesser-evilism to a fine art in convincing progressives that this was ‘the most important election in our lifetime’ (right…).  In 2006 they rode a ‘reverse our course’ platform to victory, then quietly abandoned it after taking Congressional control.  In 2008 Obama ran a brilliantly inspirational campaign for ‘change we can believe in’ and ‘and end to business as usual’, then once elected so blatantly reverted to the same-old, same-old that even many of his ardent supporters shook their heads in disbelief.  So in 2010 they stayed home and gave Republicans more control - and lesser-evilism the shot in the arm that it needed to keep progressives in line this year (I honestly think that was Obama’s plan all along, but have no clear evidence upon which to base that suspicion).

That’s the basis for my belief that the Democratic establishment (not the Republicans) are the worst problem that we face.  Until we fix that, I see no hope of getting money out of politics or converting to something like proportional representation, because the duopoly is too skilled at managing the electorate to allow such electoral revolutions to occur.

I’d sure like to hear a better idea for how to get out of this mess because I’m no more comfortable with my approach than you are, but so far I haven’t - and what I’m even less comfortable with is sitting in the pot like that frog while the temperature keeps rising.

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By Shenonymous, March 14, 2012 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

ardee, you are simply a bitter blatherer.  You only lie accusing me
of lying as you never show how I’ve lied or exactly about what I’ve
lied.  You are a sham of a human being with nothing issuing from
an apparently shrunken brain.  You are a laughing stock rep for the
Greens.  Gawd help them if you are the usual sniveler.  I’m glad I
give you at least some reason to live.

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By ardee, March 14, 2012 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

I’ve made mine because I am not wont to tear down my house because it has a bad roof.  I would rather fix the roof, and get rid of the bad shingles.  The liberal ideology is infinitely more humane than the conservative and that is where I reside.  There to put it bluntly, will not be a third-party that will advocate all of the social programs that would keep the people of this nation healthy. 

It took me a minute to stop laughing at this smarmy and untruthful statement. Never once has this poster admitted anything wrong with her party, nor has she ever suggested any way of curing the ills she refuses to acknowledge.

The last sentence is pure hogwash sans any meaning whatsoever.

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By Ed Romano, March 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

Shem, Not to be funny but Freedom and Illusion can be found in a cardboard box under my bed. Not having had one’s brains certified by the higher education industry is an impediment to publication. I did have some interest from the Martin Buber publishing house but that fell through. Still, whenever I am tempted to hang up my pen I always remember something Jack Reed ( Ten Days That Shook The World ) said when someone said a piece Reed was writing was too controversial to find a publisher. Reed said…It’s not my job to publish anything. I’m a writer. My job is to write…...Here’s a quote I found in this morn ing’s paper that you might appreciate. It’s from F. Scott Fitzgerald….One should be able to see that things are hopeless yet be determined to make them otherwise.
  The gist of Freedom and Illusion is that as humans we all proceed in the world based on illusions.
Some of these may touch reality at various points and are therefore more valuable than illusions that are deficient in this respect. The idea and definitions can’t be presented here, but the reason why I developed it was something that had been brewing in my mind for many years. Why are people so prone to follow so called leaders often to their own detriment? I thought that if it could be shown that “leaders” proceed according to illusions that may or may not be in touch with reality, and if people recognized how illusions work in their own lives it would be easier for them to spot illusions that were were being foisted onto them by others. ... I’m afraid this doesn’t do justice to the argument, but it’s the bare bones.

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By Ed Romano, March 14, 2012 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

Shem, Within the system as it is now constituted your position is perfectly sane. The Republican Party stands for everything evil while masquerading as a party of freedom. But once a person steps outside the walls of the system they begin to see things from a different perspective. I do not fault you for your views.  The opposition could use a voice like yours.

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By Korky Day, March 14, 2012 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

“bill” asked me, “when do YOU expect to defeat the duopoly using YOUR strategy?”

I don’t know, and you’ve made me realize that I should have asked my question better, namely:

Do they realize that the USA’s main problem is the 2-party system?
Do they expect to defeat the Duopoly by voting for pro-Duopolist candidates sooner than voting against them?  If not, when will they switch to my strategy?  When the spectre of the other party in the Duopoly gaining power doesn’t look too horrible?  (Don’t hold your breath!)

“bill’s” strategy of voting for the worse of 2 evils is extremely creative!  But it won’t work for 2 major reasons:  (1) hardly anyone will do it, and (2) because the causes of the 2 party system are left intact (in the Constitution), even if the Democratic Party were to be destroyed, as “bill” would like, another party would take its place, and that party would either be pro-Duopolist or would be forced by those constitutional causes to become pro-Duopolist.

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By Shenonymous, March 14, 2012 at 8:24 am Link to this comment

I very much would like to read your essay Freedom and Illusion, Ed
Romano.  I have a few books on the concept of freedom and your
essay might dovetail well among them.  Where can it be found?

It is nervously dismaying that the disaffected like –bill and company
have decided to join the Republican juggernauts.  But it is his/their
choice.  I’ve made mine because I am not wont to tear down my house
because it has a bad roof.  I would rather fix the roof, and get rid of
the bad shingles.  The liberal ideology is infinitely more humane than
the conservative and that is where I reside.  There to put it bluntly, will
not be a third-party that will advocate all of the social programs that
would keep the people of this nation healthy. 

In the realm of governments, there is nothing more evil than the self-
serving Republicans and their theologically based anti-democratic
government.  The Republican Party is the Party Against the People.  If
any group of people are depraved it is the Republicans and I don’t have
to say it as they demonstrate it every single day.  And there is only one
party is that is The Party For the People, and that is the Democratic Party.

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By Leefeller, March 14, 2012 at 8:06 am Link to this comment

Bill, the premise of voting for the worstest political party as some Strange Love theory of making the second worst party clean up its act, seems so far fetched to me and a tad deluded, though I find this approach quite amusing.  For some reason,  I Imagine someone back in 1930’s Germany applying the same;.... ‘Bill worstest’ theory by saying; ‘I voted for Hitler just to show those Whemier guys what’s what, until they wake up’. ...  Applying the worstist furstust theory to other parts of life becomes even much more amusing to me, sounds so damn Puritan?  The ‘worstist firstist’  mantra,  also conjures up from the deep recesses of me mind,  something called ‘deadly compliance’, which works like this; you want me to do such and such;... ‘then I will show you’. I do not believe it will work, but go for it Bill!


Mr. Worstist Furstist goes home and his wife just refuses to cook his favorite meatloaf for dinner, so to make his point, Mr. Worstist refuses to eat Home Southern Fried Chicken and instead runs to the local McDonalds to eat some pink slime McNuggets apparently in his mind making his point by eating the worstist.

On the other hand I guess my myopic theory sees the third party whiners here on TD in a slightly different light,... Apparently they go to McDonald’s every night to make their point, until the wife will make meatloaf or runs until she runs off with the Southern Fried Chicken loving bible salesman.

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By David J. Cyr, March 14, 2012 at 6:04 am Link to this comment

The (D)evil’s operatives are always insisting that the only way to possibly ever get good policies is to vote for the “best & brightest” at evil doing Democrats.

Now, after the deeply depraved Democrat majority didn’t produce any good the (D) dedicated say what’s needed is for more people to vote to get greater depravity from Democrats.

There’s nothing more irrational than a person who believes it’s best to MoveOn in the wrong direction because so many others are MovingOn in the wrong direction.

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By Ed Romano, March 14, 2012 at 5:26 am Link to this comment

Shen, Glad you like the word ‘hypnoid” . I coined it for an essay I wrote titled , Freedom and Illusion…...I’m aware that the Republicans have fielded a crop of candidates that seem
to be far out of the mainstream of current American concerns. Slim as the chance may be that one of them could become President….we have been down this road before. Seemingly strange philosophies have not always proved a barrier to election. I realize that these four men are probably tilting against a windmill. What disturbs me is that millions of our fellow citizens are solidly in their corner. I’ve been around awhile and I can’t remember the country ever being as divided as it is now.

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By - bill, March 14, 2012 at 1:45 am Link to this comment

For that matter, Korky, exactly when do YOU expect to defeat the duopoly using YOUR strategy?  It certainly appears to me that the Green Party reached its zenith in this country a dozen years ago, took a major dive in the 2004 election, and has been pretty much stagnant ever since - and stagnancy only helps perpetuate the status quo rather than offers any prospect of changing it.

I ceased being a duopoly voter in early 2004, after it became clear (with Kerry’s mad rush to the right after his nomination) that the national Democratic establishment was not at all interested in standing up to the neocons.  Then two years ago, after it became clear that said national Democratic establishment was not merely ossified and gutless but was in fact actively in league with the neocons, I changed strategy again, decided that my first priority should be elimination of said establishment, and that supporting Republicans at the national level offered the best prospect of doing that (by doubling the effectiveness of my vote and any other efforts I made:  rather than continuing to vote my conscience and merely deprive national Democrats of my vote, which certainly felt good but didn’t seem to be accomplishing much, supporting national Republicans would be twice as effective at evicting Democrats from office to leave a vacuum which more deserving organizations could then mobilize to fill).

Given how close elections often are (especially in a swing state like mine), doubling the impact of one’s support is not a negligible thing.  I’d gladly go back to supporting third-party progressives if those parties showed any real signs of life (and for new parties will give them a shot even without such evidence in any race which is not predicted to be close enough that my vote might help change the outcome, just as I’d do for a really credible Democrat like Elizabeth Warren who had no incumbent record to make her unacceptable), but until that happens I believe that destroying ONE of the members of the duopoly has a far better chance of success than taking both on at once (and their controlled media as well) - and the national Democratic establishment is in my opinion the proper target, both because progressives can have more effect on it than on the Republican party and because eliminating the Republican party would still leave the treacherous Democrats in a position to block the rise of effective parties on the left.

I believe that this strategy, if followed by even a relatively small percentage of progressives, could marginalize the national Democratic establishment in as little as a half-dozen years (3 biennial election cycles) - far more quickly than there’s any prospect of making a new party sufficiently potent to challenge them.  If you’ve got a strategy that you think could succeed anywhere nearly that quickly, by all means let us in on it (if it’s the institution of proportional representation, please be very specific about exactly how you plan to get it passed into law and how long that will take).

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By Korky Day, March 14, 2012 at 12:15 am Link to this comment

Usually when nice people vote for the lesser of 2 evils they claim that sometime in the future they will vote (and take other actions) to change the 2-party system so that they never again have to vote for the lesser of 2 evils. 

Sometimes, after maybe 8 or 16 or 32 years of voting like that, they realize that the 2-party system never allows a convenient time to change the 2-party system. 

When enough people realize THAT, a plurality or majority or more will vote against the Duopoly.  If you are a leader-type, you do that already, before it looks likely to succeed.  If you are a follower-type, you jump on the bandwagon only when it looks big enough.

Perhaps Duopoly voters (like Shenonymous) would like to write here when they estimate that they will defeat the Duopoly using their present strategy.

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By Shenonymous, March 13, 2012 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

-bill, I yield that we simply see the world differently, at least the world
of politics, and that neither of us will be disposed to think otherwise
than we do.  I certainly can leave it at that without referring further to
what each of us may t be ignoring.  It is not without much effort and
angst that the corporatocratic Democrats in Congress shall also have
to be replaced in their next election. I realize it is an uphill climb to
outfit our governing body with politicians who actually will represent
the people and not the vulture venture financial enterprising political
power.

The action of some of the House Democrats today is more disconcerting
than the Republican primaries and much noise from the American people
has to be made.  I might be pissing in the wind but because they have
the numbers in human flesh, even if so many are somnambulant voters, I
will keep trying to transform the Democratic Party from within into the
party which they are supposed to be.  We each have our respective
strategies. 

Ed Romano – it has to be remembered that those voting in the four
primaries today are Republican voters, a rather closed system.  You
have sharply noticed the results do not reflect how the entire country
would vote in a national general election.  There are forces at work
nationwide that will hand a good many Republicans their walking papers,
in spite of the seeming amnesia of electing George W twice and dispel
the apparent hypnoidic hysteria.  Their illness falls in the same category
as the hypnoid phenomena as does the stigmata of saints, which led to
the suggestion that saints exhibiting such effects in fact were hysterics. 
Such hysteria seems to perfectly describe the theater of the Republican
primary elections, all of the actors.  Also the effect of the news media’s
incessant minute-by-minutes account of these elections is pathological. 
I love the word hypnoid!  They can be called Republicanistas and it would
be a perfect demonym for Republicans.  Some hope is showing in
Wisconsin in the people’s effort to recall Walker.  It is at this level that
direct democracy can work.  Perhaps that will be the long awaited sign
that the manic Right-Wing Conservative zeitgeist is wavering, money and
all?

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By Ed Romano, March 13, 2012 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

Tonight I have been watching the returns if the Republican primaries. Rick Santorum has won in Alabama and is leading ion Mississippi. I think that
a case can be made that we are now living in a national mental institution. That so many people can
vote for this authoritarian hypnoid ,whose mind is cast in cement, would seem to make discussions such as the the one on this site academic. It’s a bit like discussing the dinner menu on the Titanic as the band strikes up - Nearer My God To Thee. I don’t believe this man would have a chance in the general election ( but who would have dreamed George Bush would become President TWICE ).... I don’t believe he would prevail in the general election but just the idea that so many people would cast a vote for him makes me want to put bars on all my windows and move down the cellar.

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By - bill, March 13, 2012 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment

I’m not sure why you keep repeating yourself, Shen:  I already told you that I fully understand your position and I meant it - I just don’t agree with it.

You appear determined to ignore the obvious truth that the Democratic establishment (led buy Obama for the past 3+ years, 2 of them with STRONG majorities in BOTH houses of Congress) has vigorously pursued most of the policies of the Bush II administration rather than done anything significant to slow them down, let alone actually reverse their course.  Why you think that this makes them significantly better than the Republicans you so detest is not clear, but I accept that you do - just as you should accept that I don’t.  Why you think that they’ll allow the party to be improved incrementally, when during the 2007 - 2011 period when they controlled both houses of Congress they successfully coopted EVERY progressive there whenever they needed their vote, is also a mystery to me (though the most obvious explanation is simple denial).

Enough, already.  I really do understand your position, and won’t bother presenting mine again.  To me, the national Democratic establishment is fully as odious as their Republican counterparts - the more so because they try to convince us they’re something different - and thus ripe for disembowelment (whereas the Republicans aren’t at all dependent upon the support of progressives and thus relatively unreachable).  To you, they’re not even in the same ball park.  Neither of us seems likely to change our mind about this.

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By Shenonymous, March 13, 2012 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment

There are threats and then there are threats that could cause one to
slash their own throat from having dogmatic principles.  I have a few
of those myself, dogmatic principles, but I see myself as protecting
my throat with them. 

As I’ve said, emphatically, -bill, I am disappointed in many Democrat
politicians, but will qualify that to say there are some I respect.  I get
about a dozen emails every single day asking for contributions from
this and that political organization.  That is every single day without
their putting forth any f’n comprehensive liberal program they would
support.  They just make a skimpy case for sending them money. I write
back every single day that they can kiss my dago ass until I see them not
only advocating loudly their support of the liberal programs I hold dear,
they have to actually pass legislation that supports the liberal programs I
hold dear, and single payer health insurance is one of those.

Nonetheless, I am even more pragmatic than you.  To have a rat’s ass
chance at passing liberal programs I hold dear, it cannot be done with
the Republican stronghold that is chocking the Congress with anti-
democratic programs. And definitely not with a Republican president. 
These are bald-faced facts.  The mere thought of that possibility gives
me the shivers.  Another fact: Registered Democrats, vastly outnumber
by the millions any third party star-gazing, by a factor of 210 times the
number of registered Greens.  As Anarcissie so cogently noted the name
of the game is to win.

There is no coherent third-party program offered and no third-party
coherent candidate that has any national exposure to speak of.  As I
mentioned already, the only third-party politician who has integrity
and votes in his Senatorial seat for those social programs I hold dear
is Bernie Sanders.  Sanders supports the Democrats in all issues and
supports Obama.  His rationale is also pragmatic.  He understands the
math.  There are a few Democrats I think are worthy of the office of
President and actually I think Obama is one of them.  I think he is a
centrist that progressives and hard leftists simply hate but I do not
hate him.  I understand his position of being smack dab in the middle
of a Republican dominated Congress.  How would any other, say third-
party candidate, handle the Republican hegemony in Congress?  Other
Democrats I would support for president is Martin O’Malley, Governor
of Maryland.  Elizabeth Warren is another strong liberal I would definitely
support and do, at least for her bid for Senator in Massachusetts.  She is
so strong she could run for POTUS in 2016 and become the first woman
President.  I can support Dennis Kucinich if he were to run again.  These
are just a few to show there are worthy people I hold as more than
capable.

And no, definitely not will I let up on my relentless effort to defeat
all Republicans everywhere for every election.  They are the immediate
and present danger facing Americans.  Third-party worshippers can work
to build a constituency by giving an algorithm of how they would
actually implement a program that would support each and all of the
social wekfare programs on behalf of the American people.  Nothing
less will convince me there might be an alternative, oh and one more
thing, to completely defuse any idea of a theocratically involved
government.  But third-party ingress into national politics for me to be
interested will have to be at mid-term elections when the presidency is
not at risk.

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By - bill, March 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment

I do understand your position, Shen:  we simply disagree about what’s the most feasible way to break the stranglehold of the two major party establishments on this country.

I made my pledge BEFORE Obama, Reid, and Pelosi deliberately kept resurrection of the public option out of the reconciliation package (which required only 50 Senate votes - plus Joe Biden’s tie-breaker - to pass), as an indication of just how disgusted many Democrats would be if it was not included.  Keeping that pledge is a matter both of conscience and of pragmatism:  if we don’t follow through on our threats, we’ll never be a force to be reckoned with.

As for destroying the Republican party, good luck with that.  I’ll continue to try to destroy the national Democratic establishment, since that appears to me to be a far easier goal to accomplish and would, I believe, be far more effective (since if the Republican party were destroyed this would simply leave the current corrupt and decidedly right-of-center Democratic establishment in complete control with no real competition, whereas there are plenty of progressives champing at the bit for the opportunity to seek better representation once the ‘lesser of two evils’ grasp of the national Democrats on so many progressive votes has been broken).

If you want people like me back in the fold, I suggest that rather than devote your efforts to eliminating Republicans you instead devote them to making Democrats worth voting for (itself not an easy task, but probably both easier and more ultimately effective than the one you’ve set for yourself).  As long as Democrats like Obama avidly pursue the atrocities of the previous administration (you do understand who has been responsible for the actions of our military over the past 3+ years, don’t you - and the continuing erosion of civil liberties we’ve suffered over that period?), I’ll have no reason at all to prefer them over Republicans and my reasoning above will guide my activities.

Thanks for the history lesson, David.  It’s hardly surprising that political corruption still abounds in the home of the legendary Tammany Hall, but personal experience to that effect is much more persuasive than vague accusations.  Whether outright voter fraud accounted for anything like the entire difference between Nader’s modest success and the Green Party’s lack of it in 2004 remains an open question (as does whether Nader votes were similarly suppressed), but what you and your wife encountered was both chilling and important to express.

Which really doesn’t address the GP’s failure in abandoning Nader (even if he abandoned them first).  It may have seemed the appropriate thing to do at the time, but given the hindsight we have 8 years later it was not.  It’s about time the GP faced up to the fact that politics is not some kind of late-night college freshman bull session but serious business requiring serious (and sometimes difficult) decisions about what’s most important to become effective without abandoning one’s core principles (REALLY core principles, not just would-be-nices).  Let us know if that happens.

(I’ve never thought of myself as a Naderite, by the way, since I’ve never forgiven him for his role in destroying a promising and innovative - for us - American car by publishing “Unsafe At Any Speed” a couple of years after his safety complaints about it, such as they were, had already been addressed by design changes which he never bothered to acknowledge.  He’s just been the best of the sub-optimal choices available to me.)

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By Korky Day, March 13, 2012 at 10:56 am Link to this comment

bill wrote, “evil Democratic wizards which you believe control the political Universe”.
So many of the commenters here forget that the 2-party system was created not by anything or anyone recently.  It is the inevitable result of these 2 features of the original Constitution:
1.  The lack of proportional representation (pro-rep).
2.  The separately elected executive, which prevents the 3 or 4-way split you typically see in the parliamentary system.
Dennis Kucinich is the only nationally-known Duopolist candidate who would work to bring in pro-rep, as far as I know, so supporting any of the others perpetuates the 2-party system forever.  I have a bit of hope for Ron Paul, though.  I am active in the Green Party.

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By Shenonymous, March 13, 2012 at 8:04 am Link to this comment

The anti-democrats have spoken, who by default intentionally or
not support the Right-Wing program to disassemble democracy.

- bill, I did actually cast a Republican vote for national
office in 2010, having pledged to do so at the close of
the health-care ‘reform’ debacle until such time as a
public option became law (a policy which I intend to
continue unless some third party becomes sufficiently
effective to challenge the Democratic hegemony over
the Left, since I want the Democratic party destroyed
if it persists in refusing to reform itself).

From your logic, there is no hope of a public option becoming law as
long as a Republican dominated government exists.  There is no other
party than the Democratic Party within whispering distance to change
that.  Waiting for a third-party option to rectify what has been imposed
on the American people will allow the Republicans to do even more
damage given the expressed intentions of all the Republican candidates
and by their unexpressed approval all Republican voters, your logic
spells disaster.

I want the Republican Party destroyed more than you do the Democrats. 
For with them this country will sink into abject anti-democracy, loss of
protective social programs for the less fortunate, and a “hegemonic”
theocractic government not unlike Iran.  The troops, are going to be
coming home, sooner than promised due to the insanity of a few of
American’s finest, oh yeah.  Murdering innocents is not the motto of
the American military, or is it?  The Republicans are trying to steamroll
war with Iran, which is their residual fealty to the armaments corpoRat-
ocrats, with emphasis on Rats, without regard for human life on both
sides, American and Irani.

The fact about third party Greens is that they are barely conspicuous,
a non-entity party that has no political clout except in rare partisan
pockets.  The Socialists have at least a speaking chance with politicians
like Bernie Sanders, not inarticulates like Stewart Alexander.  But where
are the other Socialists who are the equivalent of Sanders?  Sanders is a
Lone Ranger not even with a Tonto.

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By David J. Cyr, March 13, 2012 at 6:14 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, bill:

“Nader did just fine by comparison in those two elections - it was the Green Party which tanked.

The GP’s problem was that they didn’t value Nader enough to make sure he continued to feel welcome there.”
___________

Nader both could have been and surely would have been the GP’s candidate for POTUS in 2004, if he had only been willing to participate in the party’s primary. He wanted the Green ballot line without undergoing the party’s democratic process… not even a democratic process in which he would surely have been party convention nomination elected at “Hello.”

Nader has never belonged to a political party. Early on, Nader helped the Greens and the Greens helped Nader, but by 2004 Nader’s use of the word “we” was that of a royal “We.” Historically, charismatic leaders have usefully led the Left upward, but then too often their egos have led the followers into a complete corruption of principles. The 2004 GP primary presented the question of whether Nader and the (person over party) devout Naderites should participate in building an alternative political party, or the party should become wholly consumed in a cult of personality.

As for vote counts comparing Nader’s campaign and the GP’s candidate (Cobb) in 2004, some curious things occurred there.

Example:

While it appears that the corporate (R) & (D) party controlled Board of Elections may have counted all of Nader’s votes throughout all of New York State, it openly and systematically (as transparently as the KGB) suppressed the votes for Cobb. I voted for Cobb, here in upstate NY, but the certified election result showed no votes (ZERO) for Cobb in my county. I contested the vote count, and — after examining the record of the machine I had voted on — the BoE begrudgingly had the New York State election result re-certified to count my vote. They refused to record any other uncounted votes of other Cobb voters, who hadn’t personally contested the vote count themselves. Very few other Greens were willing to individually stand up to personally challenge the BoE bureaucracy, and the party apparatus of the GPNYS was too weakened by the defection of Naderites to then challenge the count on behalf of all its registrants.

My wife was registered to vote downstate in 2004, in the City of Thieves (NYC). Her machine was mechanically jammed in a manner that would not allow her to vote for Cobb. She requested use of another machine, but the (R) & (D) poll workers told her she couldn’t and that her vote would be counted as a non-vote because she hadn’t voted on the machine that wouldn’t allow her to vote for whom she wanted. She was unaware then that she could have demanded use of a provisional paper ballot; and the poll workers were acting in an illegal manner in there not having offered her that option, nor in any way assisting to overcome the impediments to her casting her desired vote. At that time, there were over 20,000 Green Party registrants in the 5 boroughs of New York City. The (D) faction dominated NYC BoE reported ZERO votes cast for the Green Party’s candidate.

The corporate-state fears the development of non-corporate alternative political parties, but has no fear of cults of personality.

Note: In the best possible light, the Justice Party is an intended to be harmless to Power corporate party operative created dissident (D) “progressive” cult of Rocky personality masquerading as an alternative political party. Rocky both nominated and elected himself, and instantly his “grassroots party” machinery miraculously materialized.

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By ardee, March 13, 2012 at 3:01 am Link to this comment

By Anarcissie, March 12 at 7:57 am Link to this comment

The point of doing electoral politics is to win or at least threaten to win.

The point of voting is expressing ones opinion and supporting the platform that best serves that purpose. If one only votes for a potential winner then one ill serves the democratic process.

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By - bill, March 12, 2012 at 11:15 pm Link to this comment

Again you’re confused, David.  Nader did just fine by comparison in those two elections - it was the Green Party which tanked.

The GP’s problem was that they didn’t value Nader enough to make sure he continued to feel welcome there.  And they were the ones who paid the price for that.

If the GP weren’t so manifestly incompetent no one would be looking for a different ‘means for “progressive” liberals to comfortably vote for the Green Party’s platform’ - since the GP would be the logical choice for such voters.  Until you and your ilk manage to wrap what passes for your intellects around the fact that people currently outside the GP do not find it a reasonable target for their support, and that this has absolutely nothing to do with their being in some manner brainwashed by those evil Democratic wizards which you believe control the political Universe (since once someone decides to vote outside the duopoly they really do take a look around to see what’s available to them), you’ll just continue pissing against the wind and raving about how unjust it is that your shoes are always wet.

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By David J. Cyr, March 12, 2012 at 10:55 pm Link to this comment

Uncontested popularly supported majorities dependably produce a continuum of evil policies.

Good doesn’t come from a popular majority, unless it fears rising support for good minorities.

A liberal is a person dedicated to ensuring that elections will provide the least good possible.

The Justice Party provides a means for “progressive” liberals to comfortably vote for the Green Party’s platform… while safely voting for a candidate conveniently just-in-time manufactured by the (D)evil’s faction of the corporate party machine.

Half of the corporate compliant majority is fooled every time by the corporate party’s Republicans, and the other half is fooled every time by the corporate party’s Democrats.

The problem with Nader was that he chose to be a consumer advocate candidate, in two elections when solidarity to build a people’s party advocacy was most needed.

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By - bill, March 12, 2012 at 7:43 pm Link to this comment

“The Green Party provided an available good non-corporate electoral option for eco-sensible people to choose.”

If ecologically-aware people were simply indiscriminately looking for something other than the two major parties to vote for your point might be more persuasive.  Unfortunately for the GP, Nader provided a far more credible choice for such people in 2004 and 2008 - so I chose that option and considering how thoroughly Nader’s vote trounced the GP vote in those years it’s clear that so did most others looking for an ‘eco-sensible’ choice.

I take my political choices very seriously indeed, David.  The reason I haven’t voted for the Green Party is because by all the evidence the Green Party appears to me to be an unfortunate joke not worth wasting my vote on (so I target my vote elsewhere, though not to national Democrats since early 2004).  This year, we’ll see how Rocky Anderson fares compared with the GP.  If I don’t vote Republican (which I’d only do in races that seemed close in my state - I do find it extremely unpalatable), I’ll be giving him my vote.

People like you make the GP look even more like a bad joke, and therefore a bad choice, than its pitiful performance does.  Knock yourself out if you’d like that impression to be further strengthened; change your tactics and focus if you’d like a different outcome.

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By David J. Cyr, March 12, 2012 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE, bill:

“And yet the Green Party didn’t even exist in this country until well after these commitments on our part, and neither I nor my wife has ever voted for a GP candidate”
__________

The Green Party provided an available good non-corporate electoral option for eco-sensible people to choose.

If all the proud to be “green” living liberal “progressives” would have registered Green, party built Green, and only voted for Greens they would have provided the good strong sustainable policy electoral alternative they say they’d prefer to have, and they’d have seen Greens elected too, rather than now comfortably and conveniently claiming that Greens are “irrelevant” because they didn’t have the support of all those “green” people who could have elected them.

Our children won’t have a future worth having — if they have any future at all — because too many millions of their parents thought their consumer choices were so much more important than their political choices.

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By - bill, March 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

I don’t have to ‘reread’ what you said, David:  unlike you, I’m very, very good at understanding what I read the first time I read it.

You said:

If the Green Party was as “irrelevant” as its irredeemably (D) dedicated detractors claim, then every evil thing — from the most powerful of fossil fuel extractors down to the limpest liberal — wouldn’t be now constantly advertising themselves as being earth-friendly “green.”


This very clearly attributes increased green-awareness on the part of the public to the efforts of the Green party - and very specifically to its recent efforts, since the assertions of irrelevance you attempt to refute in this manner have been about its relatively recent lack of efficacy (post-2000, when Nader’s Green candidacy was definitely not irrelevant).

I’m sure that you’d LIKE the Green Party to receive credit for the improvement in ecological awareness in this country (superficial though much of it may be), but given that the GP’s performance in attracting support and votes has been so abysmal over the past decade that thesis is very difficult to sustain.

For example, I’ve been a serious supporter of ‘green’ policies for at least 22 years (I was generally sympathetic to them earlier, but when I built our home in 1990 I gave those sympathies physical form by carefully designing it to require no electric or fossil fuel heat in a winter climate where temperatures drop to -10 F at times and sunlight is only a sometime thing).  In my 48+ years of car ownership I’ve never owned one that averaged less than 32 mpg, and since 1985 they’ve averaged over 40 mpg.  We recycle religiously and consume sparingly.  Etc.

And yet the Green Party didn’t even exist in this country until well after these commitments on our part, and neither I nor my wife has ever voted for a GP candidate (by the time I stopped voting Democratic in 2004 the GP had already started looking sufficiently ineffective that I voted for Nader instead).  Given how few others have been voting for the GP recently, it seems entirely reasonable to assume that the increase in support for small-g green behavior is a cause, rather than an effect, of whatever small success the GP is currently enjoying.

You clearly just don’t get it.  Unfortunately, people like you (by virtue of claiming that The GP Is Doing Just Fine, Thank You Very Much) are a major part of what’s keeping the GP from regaining a position of at least some significance in our political process.

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By David J. Cyr, March 12, 2012 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE, bill:

“David seems to be confusing increasing public awareness of small-g green issues (as reflected in the response of advertisers to it) with increasing importance of the large-G Green Party in this country.”
____________

No. Try rereading what David wrote.

Liberal voters have been so focused upon “winning” seats to get more evil done “better” that they’ve not noticed (or conveniently chose to ignore) that the “losing” Green Party successfully influenced both the people’s culture and the corporate culture to seek greener more sustainable solutions… or, to at least personally or corporately advertise their support of green solutions to others even if they wouldn’t provide those greener solutions themselves.

Greens get more good actually done while “losing” than the corporate party’s liberals get done when they “win.”

Liberals believe that “progressives” succeeding in only appearing to want good policies should be considered a “Personal Best” prize worthy success.

A “dissident” Democrat who MovesOn from voting for Democrats to voting for Republicans continues voting for the same corporate party neoliberal policies, with just a different colored wrapper and different corporate sponsors.

Nothing betrays the deepest of corporate party dedication more than a claim of being ready and willing to support a “3rd party” only after others have done the work to build it into the 2nd party that’s missing in this allegedly “2-party” system.

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By Ed Romano, March 12, 2012 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

David, I think you’re wrong. The Democrats will appear as the saviors of Social Security, because the Republicans will call for an 80% deduction in benefits, but the Democrats will boldly say NO…only 70%.

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By - bill, March 12, 2012 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

It’s indeed unfortunate that there seems to be nearly as much knee-jerking (rather than critical analysis) on the part of progressives these days as there is on the right - and in neither case is it attractive.  I suspect this is a testament to the efficacy of the two major parties in polarizing the debate sufficiently that even those at the extremes (who don’t like either major party) have been caught up in that polarization.

David seems to be confusing increasing public awareness of small-g green issues (as reflected in the response of advertisers to it) with increasing importance of the large-G Green Party in this country.  It would indeed not be unreasonable to expect that change in public sentiment to have increased Green Party support, but the fact that it does not seem to have done so (as recently as the Massachusetts gubernatorial election only 16 months ago) is just another indication of how ineffective the Green Party has been in capitalizing on favorable circumstances to mobilize support.

Back when the Green Party DID threaten to take enough votes away from Democrats to help swing elections I took it fairly seriously and welcomed its presence (even though I did vote for Gore in 2000, at that time not yet having realized just how accurate Nader’s characterization of the duopoly was).  Now that it has sunk below independent Nader candidacies, the Libertarians, and even the Constitution Party in its ability to attract votes, I don’t find that argument about its relevance nearly as persuasive (though do appreciate what little it may be able to do to help continue to keep small-g green issues in the public conversation).

David (like ardee) also makes the error of equating lack of respect for the Greens as support for the Democrats.  I stopped voting Democratic for national offices in early 2004 when Kerry made his mad rush to the right (with one exception for a promising fresh new face in 2006, an exception I came to regret not long thereafter), and voted third-party when available or simply left the national ballot slots blank (or wrote in sentiments like “Bring the troops home!” or “Medicare for All”).  I did actually cast a Republican vote for national office in 2010, having pledged to do so at the close of the health-care ‘reform’ debacle until such time as a public option became law (a policy which I intend to continue unless some third party becomes sufficiently effective to challenge the Democratic hegemony over the Left, since I want the Democratic party destroyed if it persists in refusing to reform itself).

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By Leefeller, March 12, 2012 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

Cryer’s ‘conspiracy of liberals’ sounds so damn similar to Omypoo’s closed minded right wing fear mongering, showing little differences in manifestations from the tea bag right and the alleged supporters of the Green bag left.  Seemingly two peas in a pod! Any person capable of reason, must question the sincerity and intent of such generalizing and question for what cause?  One is led to believe this is in order to get people to vote for the greens? At the same time also clearly suggests the Greens are not liberal?

From what I have read here by alleged Green supporters the Tea Baggers have the same consistent capability of disenfranchisement with equal merit in degrees of disrespect to differences of opinion! 

‘All you Green Baggers are such a hoot!

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By David J. Cyr, March 12, 2012 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

Generations have had Social Security because the corporate party’s Democrats just feared that too many people might otherwise possibly vote for Socialists. Policies can be won and cultures can be changed by the campaigns of alternative candidates — if significant sized minority supported — even if never elected. Far more good has been gotten in elections from good unpopular candidates never elected than from evil candidates popularly elected.

With anything labeled “Socialist” having been so permanently politically black listed by the conspiracy of liberals, now the feverishly racing to the bottom Democrats will take Social Security away, if the corporate party has no fear of people rising to vote for Greens.

The corporate-state doesn’t care which of its interchangeable (R) & (D) corporate party factions is more popular. It only fears having a non-corporate electoral alternative become popular.

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By Anarcissie, March 12, 2012 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

The point of doing electoral politics is to win or at least threaten to win.

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By David J. Cyr, March 12, 2012 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

If the Green Party was as “irrelevant” as its irredeemably (D) dedicated detractors claim, then every evil thing — from the most powerful of fossil fuel extractors down to the limpest liberal — wouldn’t be now constantly advertising themselves as being earth-friendly “green.”

Liberals intent upon helping their evil be greater to “win” — in a competition between mutually immoral evils — fail to either understand or appreciate the great good that a good principled moral minority can get done, even when “losing” elections.

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