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Posted on Apr 4, 2012
AP/Charles Dharapak

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

By Robert Scheer

The Republicans are a sick joke, and their narrow ideological stupidity has left rational voters no choice in the coming presidential election but Barack Obama. With Ron Paul out of it and warmongering hedge fund hustler Mitt Romney the likely Republican nominee, the GOP has defined itself indelibly as the party of moneyed greed and unfettered imperialism.

It is with chilling certainty that one can predict that a single Romney appointee to the Supreme Court would seal the coup of the 1 percent that already is well on its way toward purchasing the nation’s political soul. Romney is the quintessential Citizens United super PAC candidate, a man who has turned avarice into virtue and comes to us now as a once-moderate politician transformed into the ultimate prophet of imperial hubris, blaming everyone from the Chinese to laid-off American workers for our problems. Everyone, that is, except the Wall Street-dominated GOP, which midwifed the Great Recession under George W. Bush and now seeks to blame Obama for the enormous deficit spawned by the party’s wanton behavior.

Without a militarily sophisticated enemy anywhere on the planet, the United States, thanks to the Bush-bloated budget, now spends almost as much on defense as the rest of the world combined. Yet the GOP honchos dare claim they are for small government even as their chosen candidate champs at the bit to go to war with Iran.

They obviously learned nothing from the disasters of Bush the Second, who hijacked the tragedy of 9/11 to launch the most wasteful orgy of military spending in U.S. history in his failed effort to take out an al-Qaida enemy that had no significant military arsenal. That enemy was later eliminated by Obama, whom the Republicans still obstinately refuse to credit for accomplishing what Bush failed to. Can you imagine the explosion of preening self-congratulation that would have resulted if a GOP president had done the deed?

The red-ink deficits that had been stanched under Bill Clinton came to gush uncontrollably because of the swollen military budgets, compounded by the severe costs of the recession that occurred on Bush’s watch.

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But the Republicans refuse to take ownership of the collapse resulting from their longstanding advocacy of radical financial deregulation that led to the derivatives bubble, hundreds of trillions of dollars of toxic junk, now a permanent, nightmarish feature of the world’s economy. Romney, who made his fortune through such financial finagling, even has the effrontery to call for more of the same and blame Obama’s tepid efforts at establishing some sane speed limits for the financial highway as a cause of our ongoing crisis.

So insanely gullible are Republican voters that they buy Mitt’s line that bailing out the auto industry to save the heart of America’s legendary industrial base was an example of big-government waste. Yet to them the almost unimaginable sum spent on the Wall Street bailout represents prudent small-government fiscal responsibility.

The incumbent president has his failings, but compared to Mitt Romney he is a paradigm of considered and compassionate thought. As Obama put it in a speech before a journalism group this week, we are saddled with a national debt “that has grown over the last decade, primarily as a result of two wars, two massive tax cuts, and an unprecedented financial crisis, [and] that will have to be paid down.” But instead of dealing with the causes of that debt, Romney has called for an increase in military spending, continued tax breaks for the rich and reversal of the very limited restraints on corporate greed that Obama managed to get through Congress. He has endorsed the House-passed Paul Ryan budget, which, as Obama noted, even Newt Gingrich once derided as “radical” and an effort at “right-wing social engineering.”

Such radicalism leaves Obama as the “moderate” choice in the coming election, defending centrist programs that Republicans in the past helped originate. Indeed, the big attack on Obama will involve what the Republicans call Obamacare—which was modeled in every important respect on Romneycare, enacted when the GOP candidate was governor of Massachusetts.

The overarching lesson of this primary season is that Romney and the Republicans he seeks to win over are incapable of embracing the very moderation that, particularly in the golden era of Dwight Eisenhower, defined the party. Instead, they are now a reckless force bent on destroying the essential social contract that has been the basis of America’s economic and social progress.

As Obama said Tuesday in addressing the editors and reporters: “... We’re going to have to answer a central question as a nation. ... Can we succeed as a country where a shrinking number of people do exceedingly well, while a growing number struggle to get by? ... This is not just another run-of-the-mill political debate. ... It’s the defining issue of our time.”

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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moonraven's avatar

By moonraven, April 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

True, Gary, on another thread I described the US government having opened hunting season on its citizens as one of the indicators that the US is in decline.

Of course it has always been hunting season if the game in question is NOT a citizen, but perhaps, an undocumented worker.

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Gary Mont's avatar

By Gary Mont, April 11, 2012 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

moonraven wrote: “Too bad common sense is scarce as hens’ teeth in the US.

Actually, common sense is illegal.

It is currently considered to be “aiding and abetting the enemy of the state(*1)” and is dealt with in the same fashion as all other terrorist-friendly activities - by incarceration in one of the many for-profit prisons that constitute the major stock choice of government officials and corporate bigwigs.

(*1) Since the current enemy of the state happens to be the American public, this is a very accurate definition.

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By Gary Mont, April 11, 2012 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_suicidal_state_and_the_war_on_youth_20120411/

One damn fine article right here on TD says it all.

While the article refers to the perps behind the facade as Neo-Liberals, the process is entirely fascist and the end results will be exactly what a corporate state desires.

Check it out.

John: ”...these parasites won’t go away when the wealth is drained…...when the wealth of the land has been drained, there are still the people themselves.”

Actually, they will leave because it is easy wealth they seek - maximum profittable businesses with the least expense.

Remember, these are simply businessmen, not statesmen, who form fascist regimes.

The MAFIA is also composed of businessmen.

When the money is all gone, the public, having nothing left to lose, will revolt en mass and will tear down everything that stands in their way.

As I said before many times, Fascism is the precursor to the death throes of a nation.

The article above lists the numerous ways that this ancient regime is draining the American Nation of its wealth and health and even calls it a suicidal nation.

Once this process is complete, the parasite always moves on to another victim. Its simply the nature of the parasite.

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moonraven's avatar

By moonraven, April 11, 2012 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

Gary:

Good comments.

Too bad common sense is scarce as hens’ teeth in the US.

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moonraven's avatar

By moonraven, April 11, 2012 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

Leefeeler wrote the following as a personal attack against me:

“Mooney who hates white folk because she tells us she is an American Indian (Or Mexican Indian?)  long of tooth who finds calling everyone else who is not her, gringos so from now on it is Eugeics Mooney”

I do not HATE anyone, of any color, but after that ageist sexist racist personal attack against me, if I were the sort of mean-spirited type that is amply represented here by you and others I could make an exception in your case.

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moonraven's avatar

By moonraven, April 11, 2012 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

John Best:

Yes, I am honest.  And I am also honest when I tell you that I do not have any respect for wimps, weaklings and folks talking out of both sides of their mouth to protect what little they have of patrimony instead of trying to insure the survival of life forms on this planet.

You wrote to another poster:

“Mark, what does Venezuela and boycotting an election have in common?  Chavez was elected, yes?  Several times.  Not that I look for a cult of personality, a strong man, as Gary suggests.”

I am going to jump in here as I spend a fair amount of time in Venezuela and support the Bolivarian Revolution.

Venezuela has voting machines that also leave a paper trail and can therefore be audited—and they HAVE been audited.  That is NOT the case in the US where voting results can be manipulated or the provisions of the constitution simply violated as in 2000 when the election SHOULD have gone to the House of Representatives to be decided, and was instead decided by a group of unelected judges, many of whom had been appointed by the candidate who LOST the popular vote’s FATHER.  Venezuela’s elections have been certified as fair by several bodies, including the OEA, the EU and the Carter Center despite the opposition’s perennial screams of fraud.

One time the opposition boycotted the elections for National Assembly members—which in the case of Venezuela did NOT make sense as elections are more fair than just about anyplace else on the planet and which did not make sense as an opposition strategy even—as it left the opposition with ZERO representation in the legislature!

It makes sense to boycott elections in the US because they are an insult to the electorate—corporations simply BUY the president, governors and legislatures as once again an unelected body of mossback judges ruled that corporations are people and can therefore give as much as they want to election campaigns.  Votes are not audited nor auditable and absentee votes are routinely tossed in the trash can.  Voting machines can be programmed for whatever outcome is desired by the foks in power.  Voting is foolish under those circumstances, and to vote only indicates that you are a vote junkie.

As for your slurs against Chavez that he is Stalin (cult of personality) or a dictator (string man), those show your venality and lack of honesty as you are just posting US government hatespeech against a non-white democratically elected leader who has dramatically improved the conditions for his people and who contrls the single largest reserves of petroleum on the planet.

Your lack of honesty, John, says it all.  When argument fails, you just lie.

For that reason, I consider you a troll.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 11, 2012 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

Gary, not to go off on a tangent, but I wonder who is the next Obama?  Look how fast the guy rose to dethrone Hillary.  Not that the Clintons are not already faces of Corporate Democrats, but they might have been too hard to control and given too much to the people.  Anyway, surely the 2016 Manchurian candidate is out there being groomed.  Or by then will the charade of Democracy be unnecessary? 

But back on your thread…..these parasites won’t go away when the wealth is drained…...when the wealth of the land has been drained, there are still the people themselves.  I heard a commercial for a dentist who specializes in children who concluded by saying ‘because children are our most precious commodity.

I agree that ‘We the People’ must get in a mindset to ‘go French’ on them and participate in general strikes and well coordinated boycotts.  But I want to say something here…...  the ‘American people’ are almost impossible to reach.  True boycotts derived from national unity are supplanted by placebo ‘protests’, little more than theatrical staged productions.  The ‘hip radical’ set is just a tool-puppet of Madison Ave.  So if we are to really wrest power back from those who have bought it (on our dime), we need underlying cultural change from the self-centered materialistic consumer mentality with which we’ve been hypnotized.

Our media, and our language have been stolen and we are harnessed by them.  I’m sorry to throw bricks, but how are we going to establish a widespread underground resistance movement when we can’t even get a civil discussion among people with common interests here on a place like TD?  The minute one thinks about going underground, one must become legitimately paranoid about the counter insurgency apparatus already in place.  That aside, this is a cultural war.  ‘Middle America’ is brainwashed.  This is why Europe and France in particular are reviled by the power-elite.  How can one win those hearts and minds back?  And what is realistic to win them back to?  These are the challenges of our day.

And frankly, we shouldn’t discuss these things in public, and I am concerned about the internet in general.  The sorts of networks one forms to move humanity in a better direction precisely resemble ‘terrorist networks’.  We’re screwed.  Then again, perhaps by some miracle every server farm on the earth will someday vanish.  I’ll miss Wikipedia.

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By Leefeller, April 11, 2012 at 10:57 am Link to this comment

Attempted humor Korky? Asking Anarchists to unite and vote against voting is like;....... like the ultimo oxymoron! Very hell harry ass!

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By Gary Mont, April 11, 2012 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

OK Just to get this back on topic…

The Republicans are running a mad-hatter campaign because Obama is their man and they want him to stay in power long enough to get all the freedom and justice rooted out of the American way and buried at sea beside Osama.

By producing only utter whackjobs as candidates for Republican President, they have forced the public to vote Obama as POTUS once again.

Knowing that nobody was going to accept a third Diebold Term from GWB, it was necessary to field a ringer that could reasonably be perceived as having won the majority vote. A Black Democrat with a silver tongue was perfect.

The current Republican campaign is so completely bizarre because they want the public to assume that even Republicans will be voting for Obama this time.

The few among you with functioning brain cells will realize that this means that the Republicans and the Democrats are one and the same - the Parasite Party.

The reason I keep saying that America must begin general strikes to retake their country, is that the poeple who have occupied your offices of power have no intention of handing your country back to you until it has been literally drained of its wealth.

They will use every tool at their disposal - your laws, army, police and news media - to maintain control of this multi billion dollar a year golden goose.

They have been planning this take-over for many decades - Read PNAC - Plan for a North American Conquest, publically titled Plan for a North American Century.

Its a battle plan.

It is their business plan.

They will not go quietly into the night until after they have wrested every last dime from the American population. Then they will simply travel to their castles and estates in France, Spain and Russia and begin the process of destroying Europe.

While I would love to make-believe that there is still hope of a political solution to this crisis, it is not really a political crisis and the political system itself is no longer truly a political system.

You now have a corporate system. Its called Fascism.
Its the final stage before the death of a nation.

You cannot petition your government with grievances anymore.

Your government is merely a brand name and it belongs to Corporate America and corporate America does not work that way. A corporation’s only purpose is profit. Any other purpose claimed by a corporation is purely PR, and a lie.

You’d be just as successful petitioning Ford, Monsanto, or JPL with your political grievances.

A vote for Obama IS a vote for Fascism, continued fake Terrorist threats, devastation of the environment, public poverty, eternal war, and eventual dissolution of the Constitution to provide security for the Surveillance State..

Fascists always hide behind a disguise.

The name Nazi, (the only really famous corporate government), is actually short-form for National Socialist, which it is obviously not of course.

Like all fascist regimes, the Nazis had to hide behind a benign disguise to prevent the population from learning its true malignant nature until after it had taken over the government.

Fascism, like any parasite, once attached, has to be excised - it will never willingly let go.

Obama is the newest disguise of the Parasite Party. 

Excise it, or die a very ignoble national death.

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By Korky Day, April 11, 2012 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

I respect anarchists and urge them to unite and try to build up their numbers so they can make an attempt to create anarchism, to boycott elections, etc.  Too bad they are ignoring my challenge (2012 April 10 at 2:57 am).

They could, for instance, start a pledge drive (for free!) at http://www.pledgebank.com .  Sure, it is not a perfect system, but they are suggesting no better strategy.

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By Korky Day, April 11, 2012 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

Mark E. Smith touches on some of the current troubles of pro-rep (proportional representation) in Europe (2012 April 10, 5:07 pm).  However, look at the bigger picture.  Is Europe better off than the USA.  Yes, much!  Especially in the countries which have had pro-rep for decades, such as northern Europe.  They are much closer to real democracy.  Much less war.  Much less disparity between rich and poor.  Much better trains.  Income tax return on one page.  Free higher education.  Serious about global warming.  Less war on drug users.  More abortion rights.  More women in parliament.  More child care.  Less religious fundamentalism.  Single-payer health care.  What the USA could be with pro-rep.  Not perfect, but much better.

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By Ed Romano, April 11, 2012 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

Lee, Who was it said, I am not a troll? I’m just guessing here….. Richard Nixon ?

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, April 11, 2012 at 8:29 am Link to this comment

Damn John… not believing in the existence of ‘isms’ ... sounds very much like one of those fanatical believers in atheism?

Actually, I remember Lew Cifer another past poster saying the same thing, I requested him to explain and he never did.

Who was the person who stated; “I am not a troll”.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, April 11, 2012 at 8:09 am Link to this comment

Very Amusing Mark,... being off topic talking about being off topic!

Well, Anarchy dost not appeal to me, unless I happened to be living in Somalia and was king or War Lord!

Robert Sheers first sentence seemz to be on topic; “The Republicans are a sick joke” and far as me memory goes back on this thread, at least for a while, nobody has addressed the sick joke? The elephant in the Room, personally I have a fondness for elephants as a large animal and really wish the Republicans would find a much more suitable mascot,... my first choice would be the dildo but I hear they are extinct?

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By Ed Romano, April 11, 2012 at 7:43 am Link to this comment

John. I read your idea about having politicians agree to a contract. I’d take that step further and require an I.Q test and a rigid psyhcological test. I think we would soon run out of candidates because , as the psychiatrist C.S. Blumen pointed out…the pursuit of political power is a psychotic pursuit.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 11, 2012 at 7:22 am Link to this comment

Gary I apologize for completely missing the post of April 10 at 6:04.  No, I do not believe in ‘capitalism’.  I don’t believe in any of the ‘ism’s’ except as arbitrary and theoretical tools in the classroom.  The ‘American Dream’ is a marketing tool to promote consumerism and materialism, two bad habits of people which can unfortunately be cultivated effectively by using jealousy, greed, etc.  I have spoken specifically about the terrible mistake of allowing our mass media to be supported by commercial interests, and now that we have two-way brain-to-brain connectivity of the ‘net, I am concerned we didn’t learn our lesson the first time. 

I completely agree with your rules for ‘public service’, and would add a few.  Lee said it in a less specific form, ‘get the money out’. 

You ask, “Do you not still feel that the system can work to bring about changes necessary for the survival of America?”  No.  Not by itself.  But it can be used to acheive small bits of justice here and there.  Can it be saved?  Perhaps by filling it with the type of politician you describe, and watching them, yes.  But we need to stop worshiping money generally!  Our underling culture does not respect dedicated service for it’s own sake.  WE HAVE TO ADDRESS THE UNDERLYING CULTURAL ISSUES!  I’ve blamed how the media is used.  We have to abandon ‘hip’ activism in favor of boring activism involving people who are not ‘cool’.  Lot’s of stuff there.

You ask, “Do you not still believe your vote WILL be counted honestly?”  No, but I can still flip the finger to the man by ‘participating’ and voting Mickey Mouse.  Or, I can go with the anti-incumbent strategy.  But abandoning elections, as Mr. Smith suggests?  No.  boycotting elections plays so perfectly into the hands of the corpo-ologarchy.

This, “Their final income should be determined by popular tally, according to how successful they were in creating opportunities for American and human advancement.”  has to be done in accordance with some ‘general good for the COMMON wealth’ sort of criteria to prevent politicians buying votes by handing out favors to special interest groups.  A tricky one to implement.

As you may recall, in the past I’ve advocated a contract for politicians, administered by a new sort of party with priority on keeping opportunists out of government.  This is a way to get the idea going within the current system, but I don;t see any parties putting their politicians under a contract of ethics and compensation.

Look, I’m glad you’re back, and will pay more attention to your posts.  I know they are worthwhile, and well intentioned.  Again apologies, I do miss entire posts in the frenzy. 

Now to waste some time on Mark, just because I have to scratch an itch.  Your post indicates your world view is one of extremes, of good-vs-evil.  And it starts off with a typical character attack, “....while evil people tend to think that everyone else is also basically evil”.  Which is a gross generalization.  “everyone else is evil”?  No, I did not imply that.  Realistically, there are folks hard pressed and powerful among the global population who will likely (and have shown the ambition) to gravitate toward a higher level of evildoing.   

But your ongoing attempted character assassinations reveals you are willing to use the tactics of your supposed adversaries against me, a mere participant in a (hopefully civil) discussion.  Again, I question your motives.  OK, itch gone. 

And som

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Mark E. Smith's avatar

By Mark E. Smith, April 11, 2012 at 6:56 am Link to this comment

Trolls are people who post comments that are off topic or devoid of content, make no substantive or constructive contribution to a discussion, often consist of nothing but ad hominem (statements directed at people rather than toward the issue or topic at hand), and are meant only to distract and disrupt rather than to discuss.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 11, 2012 at 6:51 am Link to this comment

Me?  A ‘system guy’?  Not entierly.  One foot in the system, one foot out Lee. 

We should be working the system, yes, but we should also be doing targeted global strikes and boycotts, more Wikileaks sort of stuff (bank records of politicians and lobbyists), local ‘scandal hunts’ on politicians, and things I won’t incriminate myself as having even thought.  But I tell you, if you subject bank, real estate, phone, airline, hotel, and other records to the same sort of “integrated data / network analysis” algorithms the gummint uses to circumvent probable cause and catch terrorists, you’d turn up a shitload of corruption lickety split.  Hack the hell out of the bastards,  then publish the names/offenses and let the mob justice run free for a while.  Anyway, I bet you’d find 80-90% of the government is just doing a boring job.  It’s a workhorse with some evil pigs at the reigns. 

But what about heterochromatic?  By the way, het, please explain how you came to “phoenixons”.  From phoenix?

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Mark E. Smith's avatar

By Mark E. Smith, April 11, 2012 at 6:48 am Link to this comment

John, if you answered Gary’s reasonable questions, perhaps this thread would be more productive.

“As for levels of government, state, vs. county, vs. municipal, vs. anarchy, the argument is simple.  Even if we were to acheive a Utopian balance of ‘perfect anarchy’, another superpower would arise.  We do not have a monopoly on evil, it is like seeds of weeds in the soil waiting for opportunity.”

That’s one of the usual excuses for genocide—that if we don’t do it, somebody else will. Good people tend to think that everyone else is also basically good, while evil people tend to think that everyone else is also basically evil. Your viewpoint reveals more about you than about the world.

“‘Governments’ are organizations to concentrate power.  Corporations are organizations to concentrate power.”

You got that right. Power, by its very nature, corrupts, and the more concentrated power is, the more corrupt it becomes. Since both governments and corporations exist to concentrate power, they exist to create corruption.

“In theory at least, governments have some obligation to be responsible to your average penniless citizen, and to ‘the common man’.  Corporations have no such responsibility.”

In reality, governments exist to concentrate power, just as you said, so they have no obligation, theoretical or otherwise, to be responsible to those without power. Particularly if those without power are stupid enough to delegate any power they might otherwise have, to governments which will use that power against them.

“Granted, corrupted governments carry out the will of those corporations and individuals who are the most aggressive and wealthy.  The corruption is the problem.  Without modestly uncorrupted governments, there is no force to represent the average schmo against the interests of the extreme rich.”

The corruption stems from the concentrations of power which are not possible without military force to enable them to exploit the average shmo and to pillage and pollute the planet. Governments exist to concentrate power, as you said, so their responsibility is to represent the greatest concentrations of power and protect them against the average shmo. Eliminate government and the average shmo will not allow themself to be exploited by anyone. If government didn’t make laws against or even kill workers striking for better conditions, corporations would have to give in to workers’ demands or be unable to produce anything.

“Utopian visions are an irresistible distraction.  I submit ‘Anarchy’ is merely one of those visions.”

Utopian means impossibly idealistic. Imagining that institutions which exist to concentrate power could protect the average shmo against concentrations of power is impossibly idealistic. Also irrational and illogical. Anarchism, which would eliminate concentrations of power and ensure that power was distributed equally among all, is eminently practical and possible.

Without government, concentrations of power could not exist because people wouldn’t stand for it. Notice how violently government cracks down on people peacefully protesting Wall Street corruption. Without government to protect them, corporations couldn’t get away with being as corrupt as they are.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, April 11, 2012 at 6:41 am Link to this comment

My apologies to Clash, Max, Xing, Oregon Charles and the ever Green David, and Hetro, but you guys seem for now, just out of my proliferate view?

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By heterochromatic, April 11, 2012 at 6:39 am Link to this comment

à votre santé.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, April 11, 2012 at 6:25 am Link to this comment

Last Page of chiropractors, twisting me thoughtless logic into one of those famous GW Bush Pretzels choking the life out of whats left of me poor brain!

Geebibiz on a cracker,  it appears everyone has come out of the closet and done their show and tell, I feel so much better about things, especially my sanity knowing that some are not playing with a full deck.

Lets see we have Bill, the Peter to get Paul guy who has a proclivity to have excessively windy dissertations about his naval, (Talking about Bill not Paul)  before his great coming out of the closet.

Then we have Mark who spends his time on what seems running in place treadmill which does not move,... because electricity is an option only for the War Lord.

Mooney who hates white folk because she tells us she is an American Indian (Or Mexican Indian?)  long of tooth who finds calling everyone else who is not her, gringos so from now on it is Eugeics Mooney

Gary the mind reader, who sort of emulates Ozark Michaela ability to read minds with absolute certainty and tells everyone other people what they believe instead of what they should believe according to what he believes?

She the Democrat liberal who seems to want to work with heaven forbid, the existing system along John Best who also seems to prefer a work in the system concept.

And one must never forget Ed, (I know this will piss you off, but I really did not want to but could not help myself) agnostic whiner.

The Missing link seems to be a Conservative with authoritarian vittles, unless Bill could be one of those sill hiding in the closet?

Just me deluded Tequila blurred vision of where things happen to be and from here it appears this is groundhog day all over again!

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 11, 2012 at 5:08 am Link to this comment

Gary, threads go where they go, no apology necessary.  And what did they do with the real Gary Mont?  Half your post reads like a tea-party incantation.  ‘Damn gummint is the problem’ sort of stuff.

WRT the statement: “In fact, George Bush showed the world that America can run just fine for a decade with no federal government at all, since the Bush administration was little more than a gang of thieves spending all their time plotting the theft of various national treasures and running damage control operations”

Despite the crimes you mention, the government did get out medicare payments, some legitimate subsidies, scholarships, some legitimate research grants, social security payments, etc.  Unfortunately, the wealthy did not pay their fair share with respect to benefits received, namely, the benefits of a stable and prosperous society to maintain their standing. 

Unfortunately, while Bush and company were pillaging, we went into debt to fund the functions of government. 

As for levels of government, state, vs. county, vs. municipal, vs. anarchy, the argument is simple.  Even if we were to acheive a Utopian balance of ‘perfect anarchy’, another superpower would arise.  We do not have a monopoly on evil, it is like seeds of weeds in the soil waiting for opportunity. 

‘Governments’ are organizations to concentrate power.  Corporations are organizations to concentrate power.  In theory at least, governments have some obligation to be responsible to your average penniless citizen, and to ‘the common man’.  Corporations have no such responsibility.

Granted, corrupted governments carry out the will of those corporations and individuals who are the most aggressive and wealthy.  The corruption is the problem.  Without modestly uncorrupted governments, there is no force to represent the average schmo against the interests of the extreme rich. 

Ask yourself why so many people can trace DNA to Genghis Khan.  Imagine what a modern Khan would look like?  Leefeller is right, we have to get the money out of government.  Can we do it if we recognize and abandon the irresistible ideas which force auto-squabbling amongst ourselves?  Who knows?  We should try. 

Utopian visions are an irresistible distraction.  I submit ‘Anarchy’ is merely one of those visions.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 11, 2012 at 1:37 am Link to this comment

Gary Mont writes, “In fact, George Bush showed the world that America can run just fine for a decade with no federal government at all, since the Bush administration was little more than a gang of thieves spending all their time plotting the theft of various national treasures and running damage control operations.”

We have a winner!

In fact, since the US survived Bush, an administration that was intent on causing as much harm and damage to the country as it could, we could certainly survive an absence of government. In other words, it doesn’t take much math to figure out that if a lesser evil is better than a greater evil, no evil at all (the absence of evil) is better than both.

For some, the Obama administration is considered a lesser evil, despite having caused more damage to the economy and the environment than the Bush administration did. Imagine the paradise this country could be if instead of a government that causes more harm or a government that causes less harm, we had no government, and thus no harm to the country by those in power at all!

Winner! Winner! Winner!

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By Gary Mont, April 11, 2012 at 12:30 am Link to this comment

Mark E. Smith wrote: “I am advocating the end of government. I believe that government isn’t necessary in order for people to do whatever is necessary to feed themselves and their kids.”

=======

I have to agree that Anarchism should be the real goal of any civilization.

I believe that government itself as an institution has been obsolete since the advent of the personal computer and very likely, long before that.

In fact, I think that 99% of today’s “crisis” are created by government specifically to keep the populations believing that politics is still a necessary evil and I’m certain that politicians know full well that government is more of a burden upon a civilization than a boon.

It is very likely that without government’s interference, people would have long ago reached a state where everyone had access to everything needed for survival, comfort and recreation.

I believe government is the single greatest expense a nation faces and it returns nothing but false crisis, scientifically derived disinformation

It manipulates the economy for redistribution of the nation’s wealth in order to keep the working classes working, making the parasite classes rich.

I’m absolutely certain that any and all governments will eventually fall into the fascist cronyism state, just as any institution that deals with money in any way will eventually attract and be taken over by those who wish only to gain access to the money flow.

In fact, George Bush showed the world that America can run just fine for a decade with no federal government at all, since the Bush administration was little more than a gang of thieves spending all their time plotting the theft of various national treasures and running damage control operations.

I think its fairly obvious that the populations would continue to go to work in order to earn money whether there was a federal government or not and I would think that all the functions of the modern federal government could be handled by a few astute teens and some good computers - in their spare time.

Local governments on the other hand might take some serious thought in order to find working replacements. I could be wrong however, as I’ve never given the replacement of local governments much thought.

However, years of experience have shown me that if you positively use the word “anarchy” in any discussion, everyone simply turns away or throws rocks. They mostly seem to think that it means chaos, compliments of a government mandated education no doubt. In my opinion, government equals chaos.

The word “anarchy” is; by design, the most feared word in the english language today.

Because of this misperception on the part of the majority of humans today methinks an interim process must replace government before true anarchy could be even considered, let alone realized.

My apologies to the readers once again for this decidely off-topic post.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 10, 2012 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment

Gary Mont writes, “I assume that nobody here is advocating the end of government - merely the end of the current form of government by the rich for the rich. After all, everyone still seems to be demanding laws be made and upheld and I cannot imagine any other form of enforcement than government.”

I am advocating the end of government. I believe that government isn’t necessary in order for people to do whatever is necessary to feed themselves and their kids. Maybe you wouldn’t eat unless a government forced you to, but most people would. In fact many people have died from hunger strikes in protest against government injustice.

I don’t think that laws are necessary either. As for upholding and maintaining public order, all that is necessary is mutual agreement that nobody has the right to harm anyone else, and that if anyone tries, everyone else will come to the rescue of the victim.

Anarchy means without government. I’m an anarchist. I think that the worst possible way to ensure civil rights and human rights is to leave them up to legislatures, courts, and governments. One day they make it illegal to harbor a fugitive slave, the next day they make it illegal to own a slave. One day they make it illegal to drink alcoholic beverages, the next day alcohol is legal but marijuana is not. One day they decide to grant certain rights, the next day, on a whim, they can decide to take those rights away.

Leaving justice and equity in the hands of legislature, courts, and government agencies, is no better than leaving them up to a roll of the dice.

It is quite possible to have social order without government. That’s what anarchism is about. Absence of government is also called direct democracy, where instead of delegating others to make and uphold laws and to have power over them, people decide directly what must be done and do it themselves.

Many people in the US are afraid of other people and put their trust in government to protect them from other people. I don’t trust government. I live in a low-income senior apartment building and some of my neighbors are right-wing, stupid, ignorant, and racists, while others are leftist, intelligent, informed and egalitarian. But every single resident here is capable of paying their rent on time, because anyone who isn’t finds themselves evicted. Since being able to pay one’s rent requires being able to handle one’s finances and balance one’s budget, something our government obviously cannot do, I believe that even the most loathsome of my neighbors is more competent than anyone in this government.

Another indication was when our local newspaper ran a poll a few years back asking people what their highest priority was. Many expected others to say things like the economy, war, immigration, gun rights, gay rights, reproductive rights, etc., but when the results were in the overwhelming majority of people, left, right, and center, said that their highest priority was fixing the potholes. Now that may not be the most environmentally correct answer in the world, as better roads would encourage more fossil fuel use, but if government of, by, and for the people means that everyone would get out and fix the potholes, instead of having to beg local government to do it, it doesn’t frighten me at all. I could live with it—in fact I’d prefer it to the status quo.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 10, 2012 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

John, I hope you will respond to Gary’s points and answer his questions.

If voting was a way to make my voice heard, I’d vote. Voting in this system is a way to silence myself and give my voice to whoever happens to be elected, empowering them to make decisions without consulting me. If I want to use my voice to say that I do not want more war or more bailouts, I cannot do it by voting to allow whoever is elected to make such decisions, particularly in a system where politicians do not allow public opinion to influence policy decisions. Voting isn’t using your voice or participating, it is gagging yourself and letting whoever is elected make your decisions for you.

“So, you agree, “Of course corporo-oligarchists and their adherents will interpret any lack of support for their system in the most false and demeaning ways possible.”  I assume you also agree they will interpret in the ways that give them greatest advantage…...in the way that empowers them maximally.”

Of course they’ll interpret any lack of support for their system in ways that will demean those suggesting that the system not be supported, and so as to encourage people to vote their support for the system, as it is the votes, the consent of the governed, that empowers and legitimizes them.

“Then what of the ramifications?  You would certainly not want to additionally empower these people, correct?”

When people are elected, they take power. When you vote in elections where somebody will take power, you are empowering whoever that might happen to be. If you don’t want to empower them, don’t vote. Without voter turnout, they could still take power, but it would be illegitimate power without the consent of the governed.

“On the other side of the coin, where lack of participation would be hoped to disempower, how specifically would lack of participation in elections disempower these ‘people’, the corpo-ologarchy?”

Not voting doesn’t disempower the oligarchy, it merely deprives them of the consent of the governed and delegitimizes them. I give some examples of how it works here:

http://fubarandgrill.org/node/1172

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 10, 2012 at 7:40 pm Link to this comment

“If you really cared, you’d insist on having a voice in those decisions yourself.”  Precisely, by making your voice heard in some way.  If a third party isn’t adequate, some form of ‘participation’ by protest, or by disruptive voting must occur.  Voting for Mickey Mouse is minimally disruptive I admit, but at least one didn’t sit by silently, a non-participant.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 10, 2012 at 7:36 pm Link to this comment

So, you agree, “Of course corporo-oligarchists and their adherents will interpret any lack of support for their system in the most false and demeaning ways possible.”  I assume you also agree they will interpret in the ways that give them greatest advantage…...in the way that empowers them maximally. 

Then what of the ramifications?  You would certainly not want to additionally empower these people, correct? 

On the other side of the coin, where lack of participation would be hoped to disempower, how specifically would lack of participation in elections disempower these ‘people’, the corpo-ologarchy?

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By Mark E. Smith, April 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

John Best writes, “You do not address the likelihood that lack of participation will be interpreted as apathy, laziness of satisfaction, whichever suits the corp-oligarchists purpose.”

Of course corporo-oligarchists and their adherents will interpret any lack of support for their system in the most false and demeaning ways possible. That’s straight out of the CIA’s old KUBARK psychological operations manual.

Zionists will always interpret any criticism of Israel, no matter how valid and well-documented, as mere anti-Semitism. Capitalists will always interpret any dissent from capitalism as Communism, terrorism, or something else they consider a perjorative.

Voting to delegate important decisions to whoever happens to win an election, despite the fact that the election isn’t verifiable and can be easily rigged, is apathy.

As I said to Leefeller, if I intend to do something, really want to do something, and care about it getting done, I’ll do it. It is only if I don’t really care about it getting done that, instead of doing it, I’ll hold an election to delegate the decision as to whether or not it should be done to whoever happens to win.

A parent who cares about their child’s health, will give their kids healthy, nutritious food. An apathetic parent who doesn’t really care about the health of their kids, will leave it up to government to decide what their kids eat, and their kids may end up eating pink slime and GMOs that have been banned in countries that actually tested them.

Are we having a dispute about the meaning of apathy? It means not caring. If you vote to delegate important decisions to whoever happens to win an election, it is obvious that you don’t really care what decisions are made. If you really cared, you’d insist on having a voice in those decisions yourself.

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By Gary Mont, April 10, 2012 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

Hi John, nice to be back.
Nice to have a computer again!

As to my comments, while I may have missed on the minutae, I note sadly that much of what I stated was entirely ignored.

Are you not a proponent of Capitalism??

Do you not still believe in the American Dream?

Do you not still feel that the system can work to bring about changes necessary for the survival of America?

Do you not still believe your vote WILL be counted honestly?

Same questions to you as well Leefeller.

And Leefeller, I agree totally that mixing politics and money is absolutely guaranteed to create exactly the sort of situation America now finds itself in.

I assume that nobody here is advocating the end of government - merely the end of the current form of government by the rich for the rich. After all, everyone still seems to be demanding laws be made and upheld and I cannot imagine any other form of enforcement than government.

However, in my opinion, politicians should be chosen from the poorest families by popular public selection and receive no income until after their term is finished.

A publicly visible expense account and complete accomodations for food, housing and travel would suffice to cover all expenses incurred in office.

Their final income should be determined by popular tally, according to how successful they were in creating opportunities for American and human advancement.

Recieving gifts while in office terminates the term and negates any possibility of public office ever again. The runner up assumes office for the duration of the term.

Sending gifts to elected officials results in 10 years incarceration without parole and massive fines.

Lobbying is nothing more than legalized corporate bribery and must be outlawed immeditaely. It should be seen as treasonous activity, since it is designed specifically to illicit favourable political actions for the few at the expense of the public.

Electing the wealthy to public office - those who have usually no need to work or struggle for anything - is foolishness and guaranteed to fail.

In the vast majority of cases, the wealthy candidates did not even create their own wealth - sons and daughters of the mega-rich - and have never wanted for anything since they were born.

Most of those who made their own wealth, did so through criminal methods and were simply not caught, or more often, used their ill-gotten wealth to play the system and remain free and uncharged with any crime through bribery and intimidation. Dick Cheney comes to mind immediately.

These are not the sort of poeple who will do for others before themselves. These are the sort of people who currently hold public office and who today sit back and watch America slide into fascism and poverty, while they bet with each other on the number of foreclosures, or the number of domestic violence murders. These are the sort of people who allow corporations to take out life insurance policies on employees - gambling that they WILL die on the job.

These are the kinds of folks that’ll use public funds to bail out criminal corporations and dishonest banks.

Currently, the purpose of government is to insure that the public does not get ahead monetarily, by disseminating the enourmous extra wealth it creates among those members of society who need it the least, but who will quietly accept it and kick back the desired percentage - the mega-wealthy. To this end, it is an extremely successful operation and Obama is one of its best conductors to date.

This is the sort of reality that most Americans cannot actually wrap their heads around because it goes entirely against their education/programming.

The vote is fixed.
The system is broken.
America is under occupation.

These too are realities that few people can perceive.
Mainly because they don’t want to.

I am a little surprised that Shenonymous has not yet responded, however, I suspect She is planning a true ass-wooping reply. smile

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 10, 2012 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment

Well Mark, you and I have had this discussion before, we differ on opinions.  You make the general statement, “it is elections that empower the corporo-oligarchists.” then go on to cite cases where it doesn’t or power is moderated by particular types of elections. 

You do not address the likelihood that lack of participation will be interpreted as apathy, laziness of satisfaction, whichever suits the corp-oligarchists purpose.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 10, 2012 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

This is what I believe about the value of voting:

A democratic system of government is one in which power is vested in the hands of the people. That’s the dictionary definition and even Ray agreed to it.


An undemocratic system of government is one in which power is vested in the hands of the government. That government could be a dictatorship, a monarchy, a plutocracy, an oligarchy, or even a pseudo-democracy, but if power is vested in the hands of the government rather than in the hands of the people, the system does not meet the definition of a democratic form of government.


In a democratic form of government, where power is vested in the hands of the people, voting is the most precious right of all, as it is the way that the people exercise the power vested in them, either directly by voting on issues, budgets, and policies, or indirectly by voting for representatives who are obligated to represent their constituents and can be directly recalled by the people at any time that they fail to represent the people who elected them.


In an undemocratic form of government, where power is vested in the hands of the government rather than in the hands of the people, voting is totally worthless and a waste of time, as the people do not have power and the government doesn’t have to count their votes, can miscount and/or ignore their votes, can overrule the popular vote, and elected representatives are not obligated to represent their constituents but can represent their personal beliefs or philosophies, their big donors, or whatever they wish, and cannot be held accountable as long as they continue in office, which is the only time that people need them to represent the interests of the people.


In an undemocratic form of government, voters can hope that their votes might be counted, can hope that their elected officials might represent them, but have no power to ensure that their votes are counted or that their elected officials actually represent them. In an undemocratic system of government power is not vested in the hands of the people, so all people can do is petition and hope.


The system makes all the difference. As an analogy, breathing is a good thing and we humans couldn’t survive without being able to breathe. But underwater or in a toxic environment filled with lethal gas, breathing can bring about death more quickly than holding one’s breath and trying to escape. Breathing isn’t always a good thing, it is only a good thing in an environment with oxygen suitable for human life.


The same is true of voting. In a democratic system, voting is precious and essential. In an undemocratic system, it can be fatal, as it can allow the destruction of the economy, military adventurism, obstacles to basic human rights such as jobs, education, food, clothing, shelter, and health care, and other tragic consequences of allowing government to exercise uncontrolled power rather than vesting power in the hands of the people.


I do not oppose voting any more than I oppose breathing. I oppose voting only when it occurs within an undemocratic form of government, thus legitimizing an undemocratic form of government and consenting to be governed undemocratically, just as I oppose breathing only when in a toxic or anaerobic environment where breathing can be fatal. Just as I would want to try to help anyone trapped in a toxic or anaerobic environment hold their breath until they could escape, I want to try to help people trapped in an undemocratic form of government withhold their votes until they can escape. It all depends on the system.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 10, 2012 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment

John Best, it is elections that empower the corporo-oligarchists. That’s why they fund the elections, so that they can claim the consent of the governed. If people don’t vote, they cannot make that claim.

My Egyptian friends were already engaged in violence. Over a thousand of them were killed and more than 15,000 imprisoned and tortured in their struggle to oust Mubarak. All I did was explain to them that if they relied on elections, Mubarak might be gone but his military junta regime would remain in power, which it has. Many of them did boycott the election, but unfortunately not enough.

You ask, “Mark, what does Venezuela and boycotting an election have in common?  Chavez was elected, yes?  Several times.”

I have a friend who lives in Caracas, so I asked him how Chavez could have been elected. It turned out that even under their corrupt oligarchy, Venezuelan elections were much more democratic than ours. First of all, they are allowed to vote directly for President and Vice-President, something our Constitution forbids us. Secondly, the popular vote is the final say and cannot be stopped or overturned by anyone for any reason. Thirdly, their elections are verifiable. Everyone gets a receipt showing how they voted. In the case of a dispute, the receipts are counted so that no ballot stuffing, computer hacking, or “glitch” can be accepted instead of a true vote count.

“...if a good congressperson manages to get past the corpo-ologarchical gauntlet,” it doesn’t matter if they are elected, as they would not have enough power to break the iron lock that the 1% have over this government. Not only wouldn’t a good President be able to overrule a corporate Congress, Supreme Court, and military-industrial complex, but if they persisted in trying they’d be JFK-ed.

“And how pray tell in an anarchical system are you going to get , and I quote, ‘.....a guarantee that everyone would have the right to food, housing, and health care’?  What a diversion this anarchy discussion is.  Getting boooooooring.”

Because that is the basis of anarchism. Read The Conquest of Bread by Kropotkin. Whereas the basis of capitalism is to ensure that only some have access to the necessities of live, and that only to the minimum extent necessary to further enrich their rulers, anarchism posits that nobody has the right to appropriate the commons as private property. Simply by eliminating the inequitable distribution of food, we would have plenty of food to go around for everyone and no hunger. Food Not Bombs is an anarchist organization that takes surplus food which would otherwise go to waste and uses it to feed people. Anarchists don’t have the goal of making a profit, even if it involves withholding necessities from those without purchasing power, or selling products that are toxic and cause great harm, the way that capitalists do.

“Please just state clearly if it is, or is not your objective, to discourage people from voting.”

YES! It is my objective to discourage people from voting. I thought I had made that plain.

Nobody fought and died for the right to cast uncounted, unverifiable ballots for candidates who could not be held accountable.

Nobody fought and died for the right to vote for politicians who do not allow public opinion to influence their policy decisions.

I am not opposed to voting per se. I’m only opposed to voting in and for undemocratic systems of government.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 10, 2012 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment

Korky, it is true that without proportional representation it is very likely that half the population will go unrepresented, the way it is here. But in the UK and other European countries where parties that claimed to represent workers or the left got seats in Parliament, they ended up being nothing more than swing votes for the corporate parties. In several countries where the Greens managed to become part of the political power structure, it corrupted them the way that power always corrupts. No matter how good your platform, you cannot change the system by seeking power within it.

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By Korky Day, April 10, 2012 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment

2/3 of the new Egyptian parliament was elected last year with pro-rep (proportional representation), so now the USA electoral system is only 222 years behind Egypt.  With pro-rep in the USA there would be no Duopoly, no 2-party system, and probably no poverty or war.  So don’t just vote against war or poverty, vote FOR pro-rep, which my Green Party supports.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 10, 2012 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

Mark, with regard to “....but they cannot be accomplished by voting in elections funded to the tune of billions of dollars by the banks, the big corporations, and the military-industrial complex”  Nobody said elections are a remedy to a damn thing.  Many calls for additional action have been made.  Elections don;t necessarily accomplish anything positive, especially at national levels, but not having elections, can indeed do something quite negative….empower the very corpo-ologarchists you claim to abhor.  So, this makes me question the sincerity of such a claim. 

By encouraging your Egyptian friends not to vote, what alternative did you leave them?  Violence?  Subjugation by those who sieze power through intimidation?  Voting is showing yourself standing to be counted, showing yourself not to be cowering, or apathetic.  You did your Egyptian ‘friends’ a disservice…..they are not as brain-dead as we are, they have a better chance to screen out the sort of political filth we see here. 

You are a spoiler.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 10, 2012 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment

Mark, what does Venezuela and boycotting an election have in common?  Chavez was elected, yes?  Several times.  Not that I look for a cult of personality, a strong man, as Gary suggests.  A reasonable Congress is all that is needed here.  But are you advocating that we boycott elections, so that even if a good congressperson manages to get past the corpo-ologarchical gauntlet, there will be no-one to elect them? 

And how pray tell in an anarchical system are you going to get , and I quote, “.....a guarantee that everyone would have the right to food, housing, and health care”?  What a diversion this anarchy discussion is.  Getting boooooooring.

Please just state clearly if it is, or is not your objective, to discourage people from voting.  That I believe, is the topic not anarchy.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 10, 2012 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller, you stated goals of, “...getting the money out, getting the lobbyist out of the hallways of Congress and..[eliminating]...unfairness and inequity plus inequality..” are commendable, but they cannot be accomplished by voting in elections funded to the tune of billions of dollars by the banks, the big corporations, and the military-industrial complex. No corporation would spend money funding elections that might result in the loss of their ability to lobby. No defense contractor would spend money on elections that might result in fewer wars.

In ther 2008 election Dennis Kuchinich was the Democratic Party’s peace candidate. But before he dropped out of the race, he stated publicly that his candidacy was a long shot and that if he wasn’t nominated, he would throw his support to whichever of his good friends, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, got the Democratic nomination. In the end he threw his support to Obama who was committed to expanding the wars. Why would somebody who wants peace support a pro-war candidate? Because he never really wanted peace. It was a good way to pretend to take the moral high ground while still supporting a genocidal system. You don’t get peace by voting for war, and the excuse that you have to vote for war because otherwise you might get war, is no excuse at all. If you really want peace, you do not have to vote in any election that you know can result only in war, nor can you help bring about peace by voting in such elections.

When the Egyptians overthrew Mubarak, the first thing that Hillary Clinton did was suggest that they hold “democratic elections.” I warned my Egyptian friends on Twitter that it was a bad idea, and that they would end up with the same kind of system that we have here in the US, a system controlled by the military-industrial complex with a puppet civilian government incapable of denying the Pentagon anything it wants—and so eager to please the powers that be that it often insists on giving the Pentagon money and weapons that it neither needs nor wants. And that’s exactly what happened. They got a transitional “civilian” government that was made up of the old Mubarak military junta, and the CIA’s chief Egyptian torturer is now running for President.

Good intentions are not enough. For there to be a better society, people have to take responsibility for their actions. It doesn’t help the victims when people say that, yes, they voted for war, but they really intended to vote for peace, peace just wasn’t a viable option in that election.

Suppose (merely hypothetically, of course)I intend to give you ten dollars, Leefeller. But instead of giving it to you, I vote in an election to determine who will decide if I can give you ten dollars or not. Of course I will vote only for candidates who say they will or might at least be persuaded to allow me to give you that ten bucks. After all, that’s my intention, right? But I think I’d be more effective if I skipped the election and just gave you the ten bucks—wouldn’t you agree?

Delegating your responsibilities to others is the opposite of taking responsibility for your actions. If you really want to get the money out of politics and to alleviate corruption, injustice, and inequality, you wouldn’t leave such decisions up to somebody else, particularly not somebody running in an election to be part of a system based on corruption, injustice, and inequality.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm Link to this comment

Moonraven, you said, “.... it’s in MY self-interest that you folks keep drinking the koolaid and do NOT overthrow the system.”  I thank you sincerely.  That is honest.  One does not see much of that. 

But Gary, you’re seeing what you want.  And Geez man, your post shocked me.  Though it’s good to hear from you.

I’ve never endorsed our circus of an election process in any way, and have hinted we have to do far more than vote.  In fact, the only reason I believe we should continue with the farse, probably rigged, (and I know something about firmware) is, and I repeat, by not voting we provide no reason whatsoever to discourage the fascists you speak of. 

There is a reason America has more millionaires per-capita than most countries, this is a safe haven for them.  And that aint good.  They don’t make ‘jobs’, they make slaves.  Their goal is simple: stay on top. 

Some global private interests have become so destructive to ‘human dignity’ (for lack of a better term) that sadly, there are few forces capable of regulating them.  That the government is 50%? 90%? controlled by these interests may be reason to discard our government, but can that be done by not voting?  The machinery which is in place in our government can be used to various purposes, good and bad simultaneously at every time in history.  Perhaps it’s crazy to think of progress as just swinging the pendulum back to ‘more good please, less bad’, but if the alternative is a system crash, yikes, people are gonna die horribly.  What the hell, it may be unavoidable….....humanity is in uncharted waters bro.  I’ll do what I’ve always done…..find a way. 

By the way, I’m not a Democrat.  I’ve also stated I belong to the political party recommended by George Washington in one of his last official acts…...the NO PARTY AFFILIATION party.  They’re horrible, they’re tools of special interests, and dominated by money.  When I do vote Democrat, I’m voting usually anti-Republican, but I’ve voted for many third party candidates, and written in ‘Mickey Mouse’ many times.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 10, 2012 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment

John Best writes, “Anyhow, I was fixing my roof and I thought about Mark Smiths statements,  ‘Do I wish to crash the genocidal capitalist imperialist system? Yes.’ And if you could do that without disrupting retirees social security checks, kids education, medicare, medicaid, and a number of other systems people depend on, I’d give you my blessing.”

What if, instead of retirees’ Social Security checks, Medicare, and Medic-Aid, we had a guarantee that everyone would have the right to food, housing, and health care? Venezuela had a (mostly) nonviolenht revolution more than 12 years ago and it is now the 5th happiest country in the world. When they ousted their oligarchy it did not disrupt or discontinue social systems, it enlarged and enhanced them. They have almost totally eliminated severe poverty. As for education, why should it be designed to produce dumbed-down kids instead of informed citizens? Venezuela has totally eradicated illiteracy but the US has not. Venezuela doesn’t have an anarchist system, which I believe would be even better, but it now has a much better system than it had under the capitalist oligarchy that the US still suffers from. Crashing a cruel, corrupt, and genocidal system doesn’t necessarily mean having nothing at all or things getting worse, as you seem to fear—it practice it has led to great improvements in the life of the vast majority. The “downside” is that this was accomplished by depriving the 1% of their political power, which they greatly resent, and they spend millions trying to restore poverty and corruption to Venezuela.

I think Gary Mont’s and Ed Romano’s observations are very astute and mostly correct.

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By Leefeller, April 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment

Mark, your explanation of the Malatesta story seems similar to “Platos Cave” except the escapee is still deluded?

Gary, Appreciate your attmept to corn-hole me, I cannot and will not speak for others. Over time I have learned and attempted to not put words in other peoples mouths and what act like I know what they are thinking or not thinking, I have a saying Gary? “I Occupy me own mind”. 

One can only make assumptions and form opinions on what other people are about. In my case, it seems you may have missed the boat on what I perceive and do not perceive, but I am not offended by it, just amused! It seems you have surmised and assumed with certitude what I believe, think, feel which is only your opinion. I suspect this may be some of the problem John Best has described earlier about communication?

Case in your point, which seems so off the mark: “It is impossible for them to even momentarily conceive of the possibility that the system has been so badly bent by billioniares, organized crime and corporations-with-humnan-rights, that voting no longer works to elicit change.”

Now I would never cite my opinion of what you believe Gary and nor would I attempt to surmise what those beliefs even consist of. Hell, not even sure if I am a good person. 

Since I have been attempting with a degree of consistency, expressing my fetish on getting the money out, getting the lobbyist out of the hallways of Congress and have recently repeatedly mentioned OWS and their messages of disenfranchisement, unfairness and inequity plus inequality as real major problems facing our nation, I do not have any recourse but to roll me eyes and throw my hands in the air and do a Tequila Hat Dance!

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By moonraven, April 10, 2012 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment

Trolling is as trolling does.

If you engage in the act of trolling—which all three of the posters mentioned have done, but which also other folks such as the piecework poster heteronym/imax veryactively do as well, how can you NOT be a troll?

Just as ignorance of the law is not a defense, ignorance of one’s milieu does not make one a good person.

I am not here to judge who is or is not a good person.

I am here to evaluate your (plural) reality contact and your potential for overthrowing a perverse system.

Why?

Because, as a Native American who isnt getting any younger, it’s in MY self-interest that you folks keep drinking the koolaid and do NOT overthrow the system.

That way the rogue state of the US will be flushed into the sewers of history faster, and then

“Maybe we’ll get our land back”

(if you don’t get the reference, watch the 1970s cult film Kid Blue, with Dennis Hopper and Warren Oates and you WILL get the joke. Or maybe not.)

Keep on voting, suckers!

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By Ed Romano, April 10, 2012 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment

Mark, I found your exposition of the nature of the system compelling. But it demands more from ordinary people than they have been willing to give historically. Lenin said that he could make the revolution in Russia with a core of followers less than 2%. He did it, and once it was done the majority of people set about fitting themselves into the new reality whether they liked it nor not. ( Before the flag wavers go berserk here I am not advocating a Bolshevik revolution.) I think you are absolutley right when you write that the majority are not willing to make changes while their own situatiion is fourishing or even bearable. I seem to remember that Jefferson said something similar. You can uncover the cancerous wound that America has become until your arm falls off….you are not going to convince these folks…..Perhaps you are familar with Henrick Ibsen’s play, The Enemy Of The People. In the play the entire economy and well being of the towns people depend on the so called healing waters of a local spring. People come from all over Europe to bathe in these waters believing that the water has beneficial health properties. One man, I think he was a chemist or the like, examines the water and finds that is is actually poison and anyone who bathes in it is in danger of dire danger of severe health problems or worse. He tells the people on the town what he has discovered. You can guess the response. At the end of the play the man and his family are lying prone on their living room floor as bricks and stones come crashing through the window.
  When opponemnts of the system start out they   usually think that the terrible things they are describing must be evident to everyone, and it only takes some education to make them see it. You seem to have been at this for awhile, and are probably close to understanding that it is not education that is lacking in them. It is the will. Those who want to change the system in a radical way can make best use of their time by conversing with and planning with others who are like minded. .....You are probably familiar with the once famous words of Joe Hill the I.W.W. organizer, When they stood him up in front of a firing squad in Utah, his last words were, ” Don’t mourn for me, boys. Organize.” That was a hundred years ago. Nothing has changed.

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By Gary Mont, April 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

An observation - and my apologies in advance for this off topic post, and for any misjudgements.

Leefeller, John Best amd Shenonymous are not trolls.

They are actually concerned American Citizens who believe that the American Political System - based on Capitalism and Democracy - still works.

They still believe in the American Dream.

They believe that the “right” man in office, is the medicine necessary to end the affliction that has brought America to its current level of corruption and despair. They seek a benign King.

They believe that this can only be done through the democratic process of one person, one vote. And they believe that their brand of politician - democrat - is the only choice that will succeed in repairing the damage.

It is simply impossible for them to perceive of an America that has been successfully invaded, conquered and occupied by a force as anti-democratic as corporatism-fascism.

Especially when the invaders are the cream of American Capitalism.

It is impossible for them to even momentarily conceive of the possibility that the system has been so badly bent by billioniares, organized crime and corporations-with-humnan-rights, that voting no longer works to elicit change.

While they can understand that the Diebolde machines constitute a threat to the voting process, they simply cannot allow themselves to believe that the entire voting system has been stolen and now works only for the benefit of the corporatists who currently operate America as a business.

I suspect they have each made a good living through capitalism and are simply loathe to consider that capitalism itself could be the underlying cause of the nation’s ills. Incapable of such consideration, they will always come to some other conclusion as to what the underlying problem must be and thus always shoot to the left or right of the target when aiming to fix the system.

Thay hope that the right political party and the right politicians in office will save the day and prove that capitalism is the right system for America and to that end, they wish to perpetuate the system as it is today, with only changes to the names in office.

It is completely outside their ability to perceive that the capitalist system always prefers fascism over democracy and eventually gravitates to crony corporatism every time.

But they are definitely not trolls in my opinion.

I think they are just good, but misguided Americans and in fact represent the majority of American citizens today.

It is not an easy thing to see past the desired perceptions of the mind and admit they do not reflect an acurate picture of the world outside the mind.

It is akin to admitting that one was mistaken.

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By - bill, April 10, 2012 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment

I ‘kinda’ thought the same myself, tic, which is why I took a quick look around to see what the accepted definitions were.

‘Apologist’ is a word I also use a lot, and I think it is usually better descriptive of what I believe about the people I apply it to.  But I’m not sure it’s sufficient to describe what people like Scheer and Dionne have started doing at TD recently:  I don’t suggest that they’re expecting any compensation, but I do believe that they’re to some degree deliberately attempting to influence people’s behavior by exaggerating some points at the expense of others that don’t fit their agenda.

To put it another way, perhaps ‘having an agenda’ is to my mind the difference between being a shill (even an uncompensated one) and merely an apologist.

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By heterochromatic, April 10, 2012 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment

bill—- I kinda think that “shill”  invariably notes a lack of sincerity.


how about “apologist”, maybe that’ll suit you better than shill.

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By - bill, April 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment

In my experience the main problem with ‘trolls’ is the readiness with which so many progressives (of whom I’d really like to be able to expect better) apply that label to anyone who is so presumptuous as to disagree with their own preferred approaches to problems the nature of which they and those they call ‘trolls’ agree upon completely.  Such people seem to have an inexhaustible capacity to ignore the fact that viewpoints on solutions can legitimately and even radically differ, and instead see the mere presentation of such competing viewpoints as evidence of nefarious intent.

People like me are inclined to jam such reactions right back down their throats, and I believe justifiably.  Calling someone a troll without reasonably strong evidence to that effect is McCarthyism at its finest, and particularly disgusting in a venue where that kind of behavior should be most rejected.

There are a great many people on the Internet whose opinions I believe vary across a spectrum from ill-considered to poorly-informed to completely unfounded to downright nut-ball, and they often offer them up with remarkable confidence, zeal, and persistence.  I don’t hesitate to challenge them about the basis for those opinions (if I don’t think that would simply be a waste of my time), but I don’t consider them to be trolls.

After writing the above I suddenly become more conscious of my own frequent use of the term ‘shill’ to describe people who advocate aggressively for some idea or institution (the Democratic party being a particular favorite in the venues that I frequent) rather than simply place their own opinions out for evaluation.  A quick glance at WP indicates that a shill need not NECESSARILY be someone who is being (or may expect to be) compensated in some manner for their efforts to promote some cause, but I should probably at least make that distinction clear when I believe (as I usually do) that the ‘shilling’ arises from honest personal belief (however misguided it may seem).

John just provided a perhaps illustrative example of shilling in his link to Kos - someone who was certainly ACTING for a long time like a person who might be expecting to profit in personal terms from his strong advocacy for the Democratic party (I’ve heard that DailyKos may more recently have progressed somewhat beyond that, which would if true be welcome news).  Kos’s statement in that link (“As Democrats fought the Iraq supplementals in 2007”) struck a personal chord with me, since my own newly-minted progressive-sounding Rep who had expressly pledged to oppose any such supplemental that lacked a time-table for withdrawal caved in to pressure from Pelosi to cast the deciding vote to pass such a measure only 2 months after taking office.  Was Kos deliberately suggesting that Democrats as a group were opposing such supplementals despite knowledge to the contrary (i.e., actively shilling) or simply ‘way too ignorant to be commenting upon the matter (i.e., more passively shilling based on his biases)?

In any event, please stop calling people trolls or even intimating that they may be without STRONG evidence to that effect:  I’d prefer not to have to waste time straightening you out (though I don’t consider this post to have been a waste of time, since it made me think a bit).

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By moonraven, April 10, 2012 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

John wrote:

“The clowns you elect merely think you are fat, happy enough, and/or lazy.”

They are right, too.

Which is why voting is for suckers.

And apparently for liars—folks who blanch and stuff their fingers in their ears when they hear the word genocide.

“Naw, white folks got nuttin’ ta do with that ole genocide.”

Wall of denial thicker than the Wall of China.

Genocide denyers off the planet NOW!

That oughta clear the room for some real conversation….

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By moonraven, April 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

Leefeeler:

Yep, we will definitely not agree.

You think things are okay.

I know they are not.

And it’s hard for me to believe that you had no idea where I was “coming from” until I responded to your fishing expedition about trolls.

Trolls do come out from under those bridges and they do try to eat Billy Goat Gruff, if memory serves me.

Incidentally, in my Learning to Learn workshops the most important tool to learn is that of critical thinking.

Just a word to the wise learner….

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By moonraven, April 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

Leefeeler:

Yep, we will definitely not agree.

You think things are okay.

I know they are not.

And it’s hard for me to believe that you had no idea where I was “coming from” until I responded to your fishing expedition about trolls.

Trolls do come out from under those bridges and they do try to eat Billy Goat Gruff, if memory serves me.

Inciddentally, in my Learning to Learn workshops the most important tool to learn is that of critical thinking.

Just a word to the wise learner….

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 10, 2012 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

Well, thanks She.  I owe you one. 

Anyhow, I was fixing my roof and I thought about Mark Smiths statements,  “Do I wish to crash the genocidal capitalist imperialist system? Yes.”  And if you could do that without disrupting retirees social security checks, kids education, medicare, medicaid, and a number of other systems people depend on, I’d give you my blessing. 

Smith goes on to say, “Do voters wish to perpetuate the genocidal capitalist system? Yes.”  Well, thanks for answering for all of the rest of us, but the answer for this voter is NO.  There are a lot of options in addition to voting.  There are extreme problems with corruption and abuse of power, but you have only hallucinations to show the way from here to your happy-land of your flavor of anarchy.

On a related topic, ‘types of trolls’, I’ve run into people who I swear must be on trust funds.  They’re so beholding to the system it’s laughable, yet, they seem to want to rebel, to do that hip, cool anarchy thing.. ‘Social anarchists’.  Go and get a black hoodie, a ski mask, some designer accessories, and plot treason. Then grab a nice latte on the way home, or a bite at a trendy place.  These are real hypocrites.  Some are pretty sharp.  Their social standing is determined by how extreme left they can display themselves.  And it works!  If they disrupt or deter a serious process, they perpetuate the, uh, what did Smith call it?  The ’ genocidal capitalist imperialist system’ that supports them.  Rebellious (appearing) spoiled trust-fund brats of privilege.  Unproductive leeches.  Yep, once in a while you get a whiff of that sort of troll here in TD.

99.9% of these good folk here at TD are motivated primarily by what they think fills their bank accounts.  Boycotting elections maintains the status quo better than anything.  The clowns you elect merely think you are fat, happy enough, and/or lazy.

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By Leefeller, April 10, 2012 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

John I avoided naming any one person as troll, because my suspicions where only conjecture in me mind, I was asking for clarity of what people believe and hope from their government and from other posters, my intent was not to directly point at any one person, and surely not calling them a troll. I sort of received the response I was looking for, Mark Smith and Moonravin both exceeded my simplest expectations of what they expect or demand from society But what seems so disappointing (not that you should give a shit) with both of you (Mark and Moon) was your typical caustic final sentences a return to the same caustic insulting level not worthy of propagating respect, but maybe this is the intents?

Possibly I do may not find fault with your premises,  I suspect I find fault much more with the approach, if one is to have a mutual agreement, I would suspect loosing the abrupt curtness would be handy?

Of course I am probably not one who should talk about other peoples insulting habits? Thing is I do not have all the answers, and every time I learn something which I did not know before, I am elated for my ignorance has diminished ever so slightly, for me learning is an important staple of life like Tequila!

I doubt most people who post here have all or even some of the answer’s, though they act like it. When I observe and perceive the impression of self absorbed absolutism’s, sponsored with self righteous certainty,  this is when I knock my Tequila over!

Moon, thanks for your explanation and you too Mark, we will continue to disagree with little chance of a mutual agreement, but I appreciate knowing where you happen to be coming from and possibility where you may be heading, we obviously disagree, so be it.

As for trolls,... they are old Scandinavian folk legends which live under bridges, and are supposedly quite annoying!

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By moonraven, April 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment

Shenny:

I thought that in order to vote, even in 40% illiterate Gringotoxicwastedumplandia, you had to be LITERATE.

I don’t give a flying fart who you vote for.  Vote for your Aunt Fanny for all I care.  I have not lived in the US for the past 20 years, and any suffering that comes upon you vote-machine junkies will be well-deserved.

No sympathy from me, pathetic whiners.

I will put on my dancing mocassins when ole Gringolandia is finally flushed.

Hurry up and vote, willya—I want to dance on my land in my lifetime, and I am not getting any younger!

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By Shenonymous, April 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

Well if John Best is a troll, which he isn’t, he is smarter than any of
you real trolls and much more thoughtful in an overarching way not
in the narrow-minded way Mark E and Moonraven are.  Yeah, you
can call me names if you need to.  You two are stuck in a fantasy that
you can subvert the voters of America when you are really having
hissy fits and only showing it on Truthdig. Goahead and troll all you
want, it is hysterically funny just how delusional you can be.  At least
the Greens are advocating voting their ideology and they really have
my respect if not my agreement.  That is the beauty of having the right
to vote, that you can consciously vote your conscience.

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By heterochromatic, April 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

paranoid delusions and bullshit——it’s what’s for dinner in the land of cuervo
lunar.

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By moonraven, April 10, 2012 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment

John :

YOU are a troll.

A troll shilling for voting.

Voting is for suckers.

Whether one is a troll or not does NOT depend on the poster’s environment or his effect upon same.

You, for example, are a troll because your INTENT is to TROLL—aka to disprupt dialog and to attack folks who disagree with you not by reasoned arguments but by obscenities and ad hominems.

You have no idea what anarchy even is.  There are many kinds—hint, hint, nudge, nudge.  This poster, for example is an anarchist in the mold of Kropotkin, Gramsci and Emiliano Zapata—who was assassinated on this very day in 1919.

This site is crawling with low-roller g-men.  You appear to be one of those.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 10, 2012 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

Mark Smith, the use of the word ‘cowardly’ seems a way to cast aspersions.  Anarchists can be a type of troll, or they might not.  It depends on their effect on the forum.  There is at least one respected anarchist on TD, clearly not a troll. 

To withdraw from voting might make a statement in ones own mind, but one could easily argue the effect would be to give greater license to those nasty bastards who rely on apathy.  You won;t even sucees in crashing the system, you’ll give ‘them’ the confidence to double-down. 

Given, people need to do many other things besides voting.  But people should also turn out in huge numbers to vote for any non-packaged corporate candidate, or a single agreed upon fictitious one.  I nominate Nun of The Above.  Start a movement.

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By moonraven, April 10, 2012 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

Mark:

Right back at ya.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 10, 2012 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

Bravo, moonraven!

Tell it!

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By Mark E. Smith, April 10, 2012 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment

The use of the word troll seems to be a cowardly way of avoiding the use of the word anarchist.

Those who have never read Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Goldman, Magon, Malatesta, and the writings of hundreds of other anarchists, believe, due to their ignorance and mass media brainwashing, that anarchism means crashing the system and leaving behind nothing but chaos and disorder.

Malatesta compared this to someone whose legs are bound, but who manages to ambulate anyway, with great difficulty, and has come to believe that without the bindings, he would be unable to move at all. Voters believe that the system that takes away their freedom is the only thing that keeps them free.

Many people believe that unless it was necessary in order to pay rent and buy food, nobody would work at all. If that was true, the human species would have died out long before capitalism was invented. It’s like slaveowners who believed that if Blacks weren’t enslaved and beaten, they would be too lazy to work. Of they wouldn’t want to work solely to enrich their oppressors, but humans are usually happy to work for their own subsistence and betterment, and to make other people happy.

Do I wish to crash the genocidal capitalist imperialist system? Yes.

Do voters wish to perpetuate the genocidal capitalist system? Yes.

Having mass murderers and those who support a system based on mass murder call me names is at least an indication that they understand that I want their genocides to stop. Of course that is something they fear and oppose. Without genocide, their system couldn’t function.

Not voting to perpetuate it wouldn’t necessarily crash the system, but it would demonstrate clearly that the system no longer had the consent of the governed.

I’ve been taken to task many times over the past six years that I’ve been advocating an election boycott, for insisting that those who vote for a government guilty of genocide, are collaborators in genocide. Critics try to argue that those who vote to delegate war powers to a government guilty of war crimes, aren’t necessarily in favor of war, they just don’t have any other choice. I have another choice—I won’t vote in any election where the preordained result is more war—so I don’t respect people who allow others to limit their options.

On one forum I was debating with a woman who said she voted because she wanted to preserve middle class values. She admitted knowing about the war crimes, atrocities, and genocides that the US government has committed, but tried to insist that she wasn’t in favor of war crimes. Later in the discussion she admitted that she was actually low income, but that she considered herself to be middle class. I said that if she knew she wasn’t middle class, but considered herself to be middle class anyway, she was lying to herself, so I had no reason to believe that she wouldn’t also lie to me.

If the system was able to maintain itself without wars of aggression based on lies, and if it ensured the general welfare before, or at least while pursuing those wars, there might be reason not to want to crash the system. That doesn’t happen to be the case.

I won’t vote to perpetuate a system based on genocide for profit or a system that benefits the few at the expense of the many. Those who accuse me of wanting to crash the system are correct. I’d like to do so legally and nonviolently, if possible, but I do not wish to perpetuate such a system. Those who do should check themselves before calling other people names.

Am I trolling your precious genocidal system? You bet your violent, greedy, materialistic ass I am. It is the very least I can do out of respect for humanity, human rights, and the survival of the planet.

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By moonraven, April 10, 2012 at 11:48 am Link to this comment

I have yet to run across any EXCEPTIONS.

Apologies.

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By moonraven, April 10, 2012 at 11:47 am Link to this comment

Leefeeler:

I have posted on rightwing sites.  The Miami herald, I thought, would be a particularly hairy one what with all the anti-castrsist and anti-chavez trolls there.

I stopped doing so when I saw that those sites were exactly the same as the sites that call themselves “progressive” and are not—such as truthdig and commondreams. 

There are:
a few posters posting ideologically and seriously, and the rest are folks posting because they have nothing better to do,
folks selling their products (sic) and shilling for their astrological or other services websites,  trolls on their own
or trolls sponsored by various US government agencies to disrupt any discussion of serious issues in a serious manner.

All political sites in the US have the following priorities:

1.  Maintain white power at all costs.

2.  Maintain the current one-party political system at all costs.

3.  Maintain the capitalist/imperialist foreign and domestic policy at all costs

To further those priorities they routinely: 

1.  Harrass and ban non-white commentators.

2.  Try to shout down anyone who advocates not voting in elections or voting en blanco, calling that person a troll—crash the system troll or by any other epithet, unpatriotic ( patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels and its population is enormous), a commie (the old Cold War Caper), or posting that the person in question makes kiddie porno films in the third world or gives blow jobs to goats on a regular basis.

3.  Promote and support invasions of all non-white countries on the planet which have resources the US wants (What is our oil doing under their sand?)

I have yet to run across any acceptions.

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By moonraven, April 10, 2012 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

Mark Smith:  Please clue me in on this “Spanish Revolution”.

To the best of my knowledge, Spain is one country in which no revolution has ever taken place.

Unless you call Franco’s uprising against the government of Spain in 1936 which kicked off the Spanish Civil War a revolution.

I don’t.  It was a fascist coup, sponsored by the Falange, Mussolinni, Hitler and the Roman Catholic Church.

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By heterochromatic, April 10, 2012 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

—-But I think there are enough ‘trolls’ of a certain
category to get a name.  This category seems to want to
crash everything and hope for the best.  As if by magic
some benevolent unseen force will guide us to a better
system of governance.  It’s as silly as the unseen hand
of the market, but you see them all the time.—-


phoenixons.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 10, 2012 at 8:32 am Link to this comment

This…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)
lead here…
http://thehill.com/opinion/columnists/markos-moulitas/24407-dems-ignore-concern-trolls
...seems to sum up a few comments.

But I think there are enough ‘trolls’ of a certain category to get a name.  This category seems to want to crash everything and hope for the best.  As if by magic some benevolent unseen force will guide us to a better system of governance.  It’s as silly as the unseen hand of the market, but you see them all the time. 

Mark Smith seems outwardly to be a ‘crash the system troll’ (still working on a more concise word, help?) but his prescription, given on a ‘leftish’ site,  clearly is of tactical assistance to one particular party that shall go unnamed.  So, he might actually be a ‘concern troll’ (as descried in the wikipedia article) disguising himself as a ‘crash the system troll’.  Now, isn’t that clearer?

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 10, 2012 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

Lee, when I see a gap between what people prescribe, particularly when it comes to voting, and their justifications, I mutter “troll”.  The word ‘troll’ has become a catch-all.  From the alleged ‘paid disruptors’ to the well-meaning ‘blathermouth’, all have various detrimental effects to coalescing action and unity.

In common, the types of trolls have plausible deniability.  They differ in tactics and some, Mark Smith for instance, makes extreme ‘leftish’ gestures which make on wonder if they are simply misdirected or are really that clever. 

But I am sick of just calling them ‘trolls’.  These forums are a relatively new form of two-way mass communication, and if we do not work out effective language, (new, precise words), we will forever be divided and conquered, even on this new technology, the beacon of hope to save the future.  Onward Rocinante!

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By Shenonymous, April 10, 2012 at 8:05 am Link to this comment

In many senses the comments are astute and correctly observed.  But
there is voting day, and millions of Americans do vote, less if the
Republicans had their disenfranchising way, and we do watch election
results.

Whether government is “good” or not is a perception of where one is in
their mental political ideology.  What is meant by a “real” vote is not
clear.  And the claim that every president ever elected is related is
strange and no genealogical proof is provided.

Many of the public did demand something be done about the second
GWB term that was awarded by the Conservative Supreme Court and
that is why a Democratic vote this fall is imperative in order to change
the extreme right-wing coloration of that Court.  One can choose to
ignore the importance of the Supreme Court if one wishes but it should
not be expected that many will ignore it.  Overnight changes are not as
easy as butter in a July sun.  It is “unreasonable expectations” that is at
fault with the political cognizants and why a lot of moaning and groaning
goes on.  It is a capitulation to uselessness that causes the apathy except
what happens in the constant whining that goes on. 

Whatever corruption there is, the people must still make the Herculean
effort to resist it by exercising their vote to reconstruct the government
that is theirs by Constitutional right.  The freedom to speak and the right
to vote is the one haven the people of a society has to counteract
suppression.  One may stay away from the polls if they want but they are
naive if it is thought all voters will stay away.  Even if they did, who ever
does vote, even if it is only 15% of the voting population, that 15% will
determine what kind of politicians are elected.  The majority of the entire
number who do vote wins.  Secret ballot is sacrosanct since there would
be violence against voters by KKK type thugs if names were known.  Hell
there is thuggery going on right now to keep people from voting.  The
call to not vote on blogs is one of those ways to also impair voters’
rights.

Agreed, corporate personhood needs to be reversed, but it must be
legislated out!  Those “slew of new restrictions” being demanded is
“required” to be done by legislative action.  Made law by those in
Congress.  It will take a significant change in the composition of partisan
politician to change any laws in Congress that would put the country on
the side of the common population.

When it is said that there is a need to reinstate lost banking regulations…
etc., what might not be realized is that the “you” that is being addressed
to take action is precisely Congress!  It is not that the sentiments to
eliminate the power of the financial masters are wrong, it is just that they
are pointing at a chimera when comments are addressed to a collective
“you” as if “you-the-public” has the ability to make those changes
without the instrument of Congress.  “You-the-public” does not exist as
a cohesive body politic.  Changes have to be incremental and worked
through a Congress whose composition becomes changed through the
power of the vote.  Change Congress and you change the power of Wall
Street.

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By Leefeller, April 10, 2012 at 7:52 am Link to this comment

Why do I feel the need to be cautious and suspicious of some other posters motives? Not sure, but I have always felt TD is a very liberal site, letting people give a broad composition of opinions and ideas. Stemming from ideas which appear as deluded posted by alleged liberals to even absolutist conservatives Tea Party’s folks like Ozark Michael and a few others.

Some posters make their political agendas very clear and readers are aware of their positions with out question. For example the Shester is and has clearly stated she is a Democrat and if I recall a liberal one at that.

Many others claim nothing except complain about the system, how it cannot work, it can be done better with some obscure unwarranted possibility or occasionally we find posters who may support a third party, which has the traction of climbing a slippery slope of sopping wet Dog poo! (being polite). 

When I look at the big picture, I feel the opportunists, the manipulators and those who would seek power at any cost would destroy our nation and the people in order to seek or keep their wealth and power.  You know true patriots, like Karl Rove and other right wing dog whistle tooters. The Yin and Yan of it.

Division is a key to power usually connected at the anal cavity with money, seemingly to keep the huddled massed at each others throats, bickering and even if necessary killing each other, after all people are a commodity to be taken advantage of, as long as one profits from the consumerism state.

Voting for what appears a corrupt system in your eyes is not seen the same in my eyes.  From what some posters have written here, the only way to change the system from what exists is apparently to promote something else, a whole series of something else’s have been presented here to me by other posters. So far not one of them seems viable, and worthy of my consideration. In fact I am suspect of many of these manufactured ideas and so called options as to their real drive and motive? 

Why here? I ask… do any of you post on conservative sites, the other side as I see them?  Again I suspect there is a tainted insincerity in what I see as many divisive cross purpose agendas posted here, as politics is so damn dirty for those who wallow in it, well I guess I am a 50/50 believer, maybe as an agnostic in the existence of trolls?

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By Caroline K., April 10, 2012 at 7:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Romney-conomist Greg Mankiw wants a further $2/gallon gas tax?
Posted at 11:44 am on March 8, 2012 by Twitchy Staff | View Comments
Michelle Malkin
?
@michellemalkin
RT @Rachel4newt: @michellemalkin Top Romney Adviser Wants $2.00 Plus Hike
in Gas Tax is.gd/EyvYPj

http://twitchy.com/2012/03/08/romney-conomist-greg-mankiw-wants-a-
further-$2gallon-gas-tax/

Mitt Romney implemented socialized medicine
Mitt Romney gave cars with AAA memberships to welfare recipients
Mitt Romney worked with John Holdren who now works for the African usurper’s
EPA.
Trent Lott supports Mitt Romney.  He works for a lobbying firm that represents GE and Jeffrey Imelt.  Didn’t I read somewhere, that Imelt is going to support Mitt Romney? 

A Conservative aka Constitutionalist, originalist, would never vote for Mitt
Romney.

Mitt Romney’s actions speak for themselves.  I hope people will stop listening to him, and looking at what he’s done in the past.  If you vote for him, you do so at
your own risk.  He will manage the decline or our freedoms, nothing more.

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By john francis lee, April 10, 2012 at 4:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris Hedges wrote this morning in ‘The Real Health Care Debate’:

’ There is no substantial difference between Obama and Romney. They are abject servants of the corporate state. And if you vote for one you vote for the other.

’ But you would never know this by listening to the Democratic Party and the advocacy groups… intent on re-electing Obama. It is the very sad legacy of the liberal class that it proves in election cycle after election cycle that it espouses moral and political positions it will not pay a price to defend. ‘

I’m not sure why Chris Hedges continues to afford cover for this site when he’s in such obvious, fundamental disagreement with the proprietorship.

But his continuing support of this site is making me wonder if he really means what he says.

This is the second time I’ve posted a comment pointing out and, now, since my first comment has been censored, questioning the dissonance between the songs that Hedges and this site are singing.

If this comment is censored as well… I’ll really have to question Chris Hedges’ bona fides. Posting on a censored site is… like voting for Obama.

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By Korky Day, April 10, 2012 at 3:57 am Link to this comment

Mark E. Smith seems to ignore how election boycotts “work” in other countries.  I can remember it working only in a country with someone that everyone acknowledges is a dictator who’s trying to hang on while putting on a show of democracy.  If Smith wants to duplicate that in the USA, I wish him luck.  But I doubt it will work because many too few acknowledge that they are in a (rotating) dictatorship. 

Still seems he’s too lazy “to put his minute where he mouth is”—and start a pledge drive (for free!) at http://www.pledgebank.com .

Or does he or anyone have a better plan?

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Mark E. Smith's avatar

By Mark E. Smith, April 9, 2012 at 11:38 pm Link to this comment

Korky, this topic is about US elections, not Canadian elections.

More than 92% of ballots cast here are “counted” by central tabulators. It is impossible to watch a computer count the votes. You can watch what it shows on the monitor, but it could easily have been programmed to miscount the votes and show a false total on the monitor.

Here in San Diego, when election observers tried to watch the monitor screen showing the central tabulator count on election night as the votes came in, they found that the designated area for observers did not afford a view of the monitor. When one guy insisted on being able to see the monitor screen, the Registrar of Voters had him arrested. This isn’t Canada.

And while it is hard work to organize people to do anything, it takes no effort at all to boycott an election. Half the electorate here in the US already doesn’t vote, so they don’t need to be educated or organized. Of the other half, the half that votes, fewer than 10% of them approve of the system of government they’re voting for. These are people who watch TV, shop at Wal-Mart, and are too apathetic to care what government does to them or their children.

The US government has rewarded corporations for outsourcing US jobs, allowed banks to illegally foreclose on US homes, and taken taxpayer money and spent it on wars and bailouts that the majority of voters don’t approve of. Before such people could be organized, they’d have to be educated, and you can’t educate somebody who isn’t interested, thinks they already know it all, or isn’t intelligent enough and willing enough to become informed, to be educable.

False beliefs cannot be changed with facts. Those who believe that voting is their voice in government, simply refuse to listen when one administration after another, both Democratic and Republican administrations, tells them that this government does not and will not allow public opinion to influence policy decisions. No matter how many times the candidates they vote for betray them, they’ll continue to believe that their vote is a voice in government, when it obviously is not.

A friend in Europe once asked me what sort of country I live in. I told him that I don’t live in a country, I live in a large, open insane asylum pretending to be a country. Einstein is said to have defined insanity as repeating the same experiment over and over and expecting different results. By that definition, all voters are clinically insane. You can’t organize the insane. All we can hope for is that by some miracle they become rational and lucid and stop repeating the same mistake over and over. It may be a futile hope, but it is our only one.

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By Korky Day, April 9, 2012 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment

Mark E. Smith says, “An election boycott will work if enough people don’t vote, Korky.  A pledge is meaningless. Some people will sign a pledge but not keep it, while others who don’t intend to vote won’t bother to sign a pledge.”

Mark is wrong.  Not enough people are likely to boycott the voting unless they have organized beforehand to increase the chances that enough of them are going to join the effort to make it succeed. 

There’s no getting around the work of organizing the people.  But it is a lot easier now with the Internet.  If you want to WORK on your strategy, whether it is boycotting the ballot, a general strike, or uniting behind a challenger to the Duopoly, then go ahead and start a pledge drive using http://www.pledgebank.com
But I’m warning you:  it’s not easy.  It’s work.  You’ll meet resistance.

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By Korky Day, April 9, 2012 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment

I think Gary Mont is wrong and that there is a way to try to make sure that your vote gets counted.  You can volunteer to be a poll-watcher.  Here in Canada we call them scrutineers.  I’ve done the job.  If enough people do it, the ballots would be watched without a break between casting and the official results.
The reason the Australians invented the secret ballot was to prevent voters from being intimidated and bribed into voting as they were told.

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By john francis lee, April 9, 2012 at 8:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris Hedges, The real debate about health care:

’ There is no substantial difference between Obama and Romney. They are abject servants of the corporate state. And if you vote for one you vote for the other.

’ But you would never know this by listening to the Democratic Party and the advocacy groups.. ’ and Democratic stooges like Robert Scheer.

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Clash's avatar

By Clash, April 9, 2012 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment

Sorry Mark, your correct homo sapien has never been civilized, that was the irony of the comment, oh well.

What about occupying the elections? Occupying BP, Chevron, Monsanto, Exon, damn while were at it how about occupying the military, university, media, industrial complex? That’s right I forgot, most have a vested interest, in not having that happen simply because that’s were they have their retirement funds invested.


Doesn’t really matter though, in a few year’s if homo sapien’s continue on the path they have collectively chosen there wont be anything to argue about, change is always happening whether it is noticed or not, then we will see who the whiners really are.

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Gary Mont's avatar

By Gary Mont, April 9, 2012 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment

If the Vote was an effective way to select good government, it would be made immediately illegal.

What good is all this talk of a vote when George W Bush has already showed you all that the vote is a pure scam, designed simply to keep people believing they have a choice.

If as I originally posted under this topic, that all US presidents are indeed related to the same line of - British Royalty - then there has never been a real “Vote” held in the USA. One would think that such a claim demands more than mere out-of-hand dismissal. There is no possibility that every US president ever elected being related could be a coincidence.

Regardless, the US election system has been shown to be fully compromised by GWB’s second term in office, and the public is demanding - nothing - be done about it.

Why?

Because Americans cannot bear to believe even momentarily that the Land of the Free Fantasy is not true and has simply decided to hold fast to the pretty lies issuing from the White House instead of looking the ugly truth in the eye. As usual. It is exactly the attitude that the fascist are depending upon to win this war.

Voting in the next election will not gain you anything but four more years of whatever Wall Street and the MAFIA have already set in motion. If a majority votes for a “figurehead” that is not on the graft-roll - (assuming all candidates are not already bought and sold) - the votes would simply be miscounted and the chosen one would win as usual.

What benefit can you derive from voting when the system is fixed and your vote is only counted if its for the corporate candidate already selected by the Wall Street board of directors??

How is voting in a fixed election any different than not voting at all. One way. Your vote legitimizes the election process and the (s)elected crook pre-chosen by the Elite whether you voted for him or not. Since there is no way to verify whether your vote was counted or discarded, the counters of the vote get to choose the winner regardless of the true vote tally.

======

You need to sign your ballots for elections to be honestly conducted. A secret ballot allows, and almost demands corruption. Laws making all election fixing practices equivalent to treason might be a good idea as well.

You need to remove the illegally-won (from a footnote) corporate personhood from the law books and reinstate the laws against corporate interference in government with far harsher penalties.

You need to reinstate the lost banking regulations and in fact, place a slew of new restrictions on their operations including oversight and continuous scrutiny. They handle the nation’s wealth and have shown repeatedly that they are incapable of doing so honesty when not constantly under public scrutiny.

You need to call a general strike and demand a return to honest government and the resignation of every single crook in Washington and in state and city offices throughout the union.

You need to consider optional methods of gaining representation beyond the televised quadrannual popularity contest of corporate-owned billionaires.

or…

You need to change the TV channel and place your head back inside your asshole… the currently patriotic thing to do.

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By - bill, April 9, 2012 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

You’re confused, Leef:  the people here (unlike you) have taken Einstein’s definition of insanity to heart (doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result) and have CEASED being mentally-challenged.

By the way, please try to get your facts straight:  I don’t advocating voting Republican for national offices to ‘show the Democratic party what for’ - I advocate it as an active attempt to destroy the national Democratic establishment, pure and simple (though would accept a truly reformed national establishment if that unlikely event were to occur).

I don’t claim to hold a monopoly on a potentially effective different way of doing things to try to achieve that different result which we all want, and wish all those well who have broken the chains that the national Democrats forged for them (and a well-forged set of chains they indeed were, if one can truly admire something so evil).  Together, we should eventually either manage to make the pernicious national Democratic establishment sufficiently irrelevant to allow a real progressive party to challenge the status quo, or scare it sufficiently to make it finally (and TRULY) shape up.

Though they don’t tend to hold to their convictions when it counts after reaching D.C., I do still encourage supporting progressives in Democratic primaries and it’s CONCEIVABLE that if we got enough into Congress they would make a difference (the few new ones we do manage to elect just can’t hold their own against the party pros, and wind up doing what they’re told).  If I lived in Massachusetts I’d support Elizabeth Warren, since she certainly has a good progressive resume and has never had an opportunity in Congress to tarnish it (that’s the way I felt about my Rep in 2006, but she didn’t have nearly the cojones that Warren appears to have).

But I would oppose ANY incumbent national Democrat, even poor Dennis Kucinich if he were still running (unless, of course, he were running as an independent against Obama…):  I still think Dennis’s heart is in the right place, but he just didn’t have the courage of his convictions when push came to shove during the health-care ‘reform’ finale - and (along with the 60+ members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus who joined him in reneging on their written pledge to oppose any health-care ‘reform’ package that lacked a strong ‘public option’) we just can’t afford feel-good/do-not-so-much progressives in Congress any more rather then the real, stand-up-on-your-hind-legs-and-be-counted-when-it-matters thing.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, April 9, 2012 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

Lets see now, vote green which takes the vote away from the bestist of the worstist of the alleged evils. Bill here says vote Republican, because it shows a what for! A few or a couple of people say vote El blanco so we can have a more authoritarian government to see what happens and now it has been said fact is crazier then fiction?

Hell all of you clowns should just vote Repulsive Republican to make sure they win, which brings me back to my assertions, me thinks some of you are Republicans in Drag or not so knuckle dragging?

Then there are those who believe the votes are not even counted, so I suppose not voting is the same thing as the votes not getting counted? Well maybe Apathy is the ticket, so don’t not vote, let the Repulsions get in so we can have the real thing instead of the best of two evils, what a bunch of whiney butts!

Damn it Bill your premise is sinking in on these idiots! Hell, lets vote Tea Bag or not vote so they can at least find someone born in the USA?  Sure both parties are the same, ... I do not think so, maybe it is an manipulative illusion, but me thinks the only thing which will work would be to get the money out, everything else seems to be a circle jerk.

OWS may be the peoples only hope, I do not see the Greens doing diddly squat except making it easier for the Republicans, Hell if I was a Republican, I would support the greens for obvious reasons, as a Democrat I was rooting for Sanatorium or Bachmann to become the Replication moron running in place!

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By moonraven, April 9, 2012 at 11:09 am Link to this comment

Someone told me this once:

NEVER COME BETWEEN AN ADDICT AND HIS/HER ADDICTIVE SUBSTANCE.

You folks are addicted to pimping for patriotism and voting.

There is a movement afoot here in mexico, where presidential elections will be held July 1—if the current government doesn’t make an auto-coup claiming that conditions do not exist for safe and reliable elections—for voting en blanco.

What that means is variable, but one of the options is checking all the boxes on the ballot, thereby annulling the ballot.  Other means are available and can be combined with folks showing up and refusing to vote.  Or not showing up at all.

A few years back, Jose Saramago, fairly recently diseased but a Nobel laureate for Literature (and frequently nominated for the Peace prize that Obomber has made forever a farce) wrote a novel called Ensayo sobre la lucidez, in which an election is held and a great number of folks decide to votar en blanco.  The government annuls the election and keeps holding elections with the predictable result that the number of folks voting en blanco increases with each election day—and to which the government respond by committing more and more authoritarian acts.

I am not going to tell you how the novel ends, as I believe that it is available in English translation as LUCIDITY—a state of being that is apparently absent from the majority of folks in the US, and certainly from more than the majority posting on this site.

Every time you vote you pledge allegiance to the very system you are complaining about!

You think that is rational?

I sure as hell don’t.

But if that’s what it takes for my people to put on our dancing mocassins and celebrate the end of the rogue settler state in North America called the U.S. I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth….

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By Mark E. Smith, April 9, 2012 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

In the 2000 Presidential race, the lesser evil, Al Gore, won the popular vote, but due to Supreme Court intervention, the greater evil, Bush, took office.

In the 2004 Presidential race, the lesser evil, John Kerry, won the popular vote, but once again the greater evil, Bush again, took office.

In the 2008 Presidential election, the lesser evil, Barack Obama, won the popular vote, took office, and turned out to be a great evil than Bush, expanding the wars, increasing the bailouts, and taking away civil libeerties that all democratic countries have enjoyed since the 13th Century Magna Carta, such as not being arrested or assassinated without due process.

In all these races, many people voted for the lesser evil, voted for third party candidates, or voted for Mickey Mouse, but it did not prevent the greater evil, funded by the Koch brothers and the large corporations from continuing to run the country.

Neither would an election boycott, but with a successful election boycott the government would not be able to claim the consent of John Best, Leefeller, Clash, and all the others who have been voting for lesser evils and getting greater and greater evils for decades. Lesser evil voting not only doesn’t work, it results in greater and greater evils.

But voters are so apathetic that they are totally unaware of the harm they have been doing to this country and are champing at the big to get out there and consent to further destruction of our economy, more wars, and more favoritism for the rich, with their express consent to be governed by whoever happens to win, which won’t be Mickey Mouse.

Voters know that if they leave policy decisions up to elected officials, there will be more wars, more income disparities, fewer civil rights, and less justice, but they’re so apathetic that they don’t care.

Voters have short attention spans. They may spend four years protesting wars, but comes election time they’ll vote in elections which, no matter who is election, will result in more wars. They’re incapable of understanding that no matter who is elected, the military-industrial complex has the power to ensure that there are more wars.

Voters are people who consider themselves incompetent and need to designate guardians to manage their affairs for them.

Voters fear their neighbors more than they fear the government. Sure the government no long allows them the Constitutional rights they once thought they had, but if they don’t vote, their neighbors might vote, and they’re afraid that their neighbors might vote for the greater evil. In truth, if the majority voted for the greater evil, the Supreme Court could simply refuse to allow the votes to be counted again, and install the lesser evil. Voters can’t understand that votes which do not have to be counted aren’t real votes.

But I don’t believe these are real voters. They are literate and capable of using computers, so they can’t possibly be as stupid as voters. They are probably all political party operatives helping the Koch brothers get out the vote. Remember, if the Koch borthers’ candidate “wins” the “election,” it is with the consent of ALL voters, not just those who voted for that candidate. Anyone who votes, consents to be governed by whoever wins. So the political party operatives, knowing how unpalatable their candidates are, urge people to vote for third parties or Mickey Mouse, so that whoever the elites have chosen to win the sham election, will have sufficient turnout to make it look like they have the consent of the governed.

Your vote is your consent. If you don’t want to keep getting screwed, stop consenting.

You might get screwed anyway, but at least have the dignity and self-respect to stop bending over for it.

Don’t vote. Boycott 2012!

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 9, 2012 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

Damn right Lee.  Simply boycotting is idiotic.  It would likely empower those bastards who are counting on apathy.  A huge green flag to let the screwing escalate exponentially.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, April 9, 2012 at 6:36 am Link to this comment

If I would conjured an observational view of what would constitute and make up the most stupid, ignorant and imbecilic gathering of morons in the history of human kind, it previously would have included a gathering of nitwits requiring the presence of Sanatorium, Bachmann and Palin, but now I see my list has moved on to some of the posters here on Truth Dig!

Since we are now in the prediction business!
Lets see, if you do not vote this will send them a message they will regret? Surly they will be scratching their pointed opportunist heads and say, ‘Oh My…. The huddled masses must be angry, Golly that damn that voter fraud idea was genus, and really worked and we got rid of Obama, so our grand plan worked’

‘Well now we can get rid of all those damn liberals on Supreme Court, and Holy Moldy, our ass hole in Wisconsin Walker did not not get recalled, boy now we can make Corporations more than people too and look at all the new red states we picked up, Boy Karl, getting everyone to not vote was almost a rocket science Idea and those Koch Brother Tea Bags really kicked ass this time around.”

Not voting? Yeah, this will really show them, giving them my 6 year old’s silent treatment, yeah this is really going to work, maybe you can hold your breath too?

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Clash's avatar

By Clash, April 9, 2012 at 6:10 am Link to this comment

FDR, LBJ, Nixon, Carter, Regan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and now Obama, all were guilty of those things you accuse the emperor of. The question at hand is do you want to live in an empire that mains stability with the projection of power by any means, with all the comforts it provides, or do you want to live in a democratic republic and live with the consequences of pulling back from the world stage? Empire or republic is question going forward. Once that is decided by? A plan for getting there would be much more coherent.

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By Leefeller, April 9, 2012 at 5:48 am Link to this comment

Geezez, yeh lets get everyone to not vote, like then we can show the Koch Brothers and Red State Repulsions there voter registration restrictions where a real big wast of time and money, yeh that will really show them.

The new plan is the old plan, its called apathy!

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 9, 2012 at 4:59 am Link to this comment

Please, instead of boycotting, everyone agree to vote for Mickey Mouse?  Or a IrishiItalian Nun called O’DeAbove? 

A simple boycott would allow a legal process of transferring power to the lessor of two evils to continue unabated.  A ‘majority’ of the electorate will still have elected the bogus duopoly candidate.  The only way the peoples mandate to be governed, our consent can be withheld is to actively vote ‘No’.

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Mark E. Smith's avatar

By Mark E. Smith, April 9, 2012 at 2:21 am Link to this comment

An election boycott will work if enough people don’t vote, Korky.

A pledge is meaningless. Some people will sign a pledge but not keep it, while others who don’t intend to vote won’t bother to sign a pledge.

At the moment, despite the rants of the political party operatives, my guess is that there will be an extremely low turnout in November. There’s really no candidate with any chance of winning who is worth voting for, and lesser evil voters have become greatly disillusioned with that option because no matter how many times they vote for the lesser evil, the government just keeps getting more and more evil.

Many people won’t admit publicly that they don’t intend to vote, because they don’t want to be attacked by political party operatives. I’m pretty sure that the turnout in November will be lower than it was in the 2010 midterm election, and definitely less than is customary in a presidential race. Six years ago, when I began publicly advocating that people boycott elections, hardly anyone dared to agree with me. Today there are many who aren’t afraid to state publicly that voting won’t change anything and that they no longer intend to vote. And they represent a much larger group who also won’t vote, but see no reason to subject themselves to ad hominem attacks by saying so on public forums.

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By Korky Day, April 9, 2012 at 1:25 am Link to this comment

Mark E. Smith (below) wants everyone to boycott elections.  That would work only if enough people pledge beforehand to so boycott, at least 66 million people (half the likely voters).  They could set up such a pledge drive at http://www.pledgebank.com .

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Mark E. Smith's avatar

By Mark E. Smith, April 9, 2012 at 12:39 am Link to this comment

“For my own part, I have always reproached the políticos for standing in the elections because that was tantamount to wiping out the potential for revolution in economic, political and social terms or, in other words, destroying the very basis of the revolution.” José Peirats, The CNT in the Spanish Revolution

Those willing to run for office or vote are people who are happy with the current system. They might wish for some minor reforms, but they don’t want real change.

Even a vote for a peace candidate, is a vote to delegate war powers to government. That peace candidate may or may not be elected, and if elected, may or may not be able to end the wars. Those who really want peace refuse to pay taxes to fund wars, and refuse to vote to delegate war powers to government.

Although the elites have the money and power, and we would not likely succeed in any violent confrontation, their only legitimacy comes from the consent of the governed. Without people voting to empower and legitimize the government, it would be an illegitimate government and would lose international allies and credit, making it less capable of wanton destruction and war crimes.

Saying that you want peace, but voting in elections where peace candidates can’t win, and even if they won, wouldn’t have enough power to end the wars, is hypocrisy and apathy. If you vote in an election when you know that it can only result in more war, you are pro-war or you just don’t care.

Protesting war by voting in elections that delegate war powers to a government based on a war economy and engaged in endless wars, is self-defeating. It isn’t protesting war, it is supporting war. It’s like protesting a big box store by shopping there, or protesting a big bank by opening an account there.

One of the ways that political party operatives and corporate shills get out the vote is to tell people that it doesn’t matter who they vote for, that they don’t have to vote Democrat or Republican but can vote third party, cast a blank ballot, or write in Mickey Mouse. They’re actually telling people that their votes don’t count in Mickey Mouse US elections, but they want people to vote so that the corporate-owned war criminal government can continue to claim the consent of the governed.

Consent isn’t based on who you vote for, which might not be recorded or could be flipped by the computers to a different candidate. Consent is based on turnout. If fewer than 10% of voters approve of government, which happens to be the case, but 50% of the electorate votes, the government just says that half the country is apathetic, but the other half consents. Yet when Obama & McCain insisted they would increase the bailouts, about 90% of the electorate contacted the government to voice their opposition.

Nonvoters aren’t apathetic. We go to great lengths to speak out against government and to try to have our voices heard. It is voters who are apathetic—they are content to cast their ballots and let whoever wins (or is substituted for the winner by the Supreme Court) make all their decisions for them. They don’t really care who is elected or what the government does, they just want to be able to shirk their responsibility as citizens and delegate all decision-making to somebody else. That’s apathy.

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By Korky Day, April 9, 2012 at 12:11 am Link to this comment

Someone calling him/herself
“John Best asks, “What IS Progress”?”
says (below, 2012 April 8, 3:58 pm) that if my Green Party replaced the Democratic Party in the Duopoly, that we’d become corrupted, too, just like the Democratic Party.  That would be true, but only if we Greens were unable to institute pro-rep (proportional representation).  The USA system has always corrupted well-meaning people in any of the top-2 parties.  The only cure is with electoral reform, necessarily as radical as changing to pro-rep, as all self-respecting countries in the world have done.

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By Korky Day, April 8, 2012 at 11:57 pm Link to this comment

Cliff Carson (below at 2012 April 6, 5:29 am) mentions that anti-Duopolists should unite.  True.  But we can still vote anti-Duopoly in the meantime.  We don’t have to wait until 2016.  Maybe we can use Americans Elect to elect someone anti-Duopoly to the presidency and vice-presidency, like maybe Ron Paul (Republican and Liberarian) teamed with Cynthia McKinney (Green Party, ex-Democrat).  Maybe AE will fiddle with the process, but maybe not.  No harm in trying.

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By Korky Day, April 8, 2012 at 11:46 pm Link to this comment

A general strike, as suggested by Gary Mont, below, is another activity which could be promoted at http://www.pledgebank.com .
I’m in favour.

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By Korky Day, April 8, 2012 at 11:42 pm Link to this comment

Who would a lesser-of-2-evils voter pick in an election, I wonder, Hitler or Stalin?  I’d vote Green, but I know I’m unrealistic, almost a traitor to my country.  The Greens aren’t popular enough yet, so I know I’m supposed to wait until they don’t need my vote much, then I can vote for them.
Sarcasm aside, though, the USA has been suffering under the 2-party system for a couple of centuries.  It will never stop until something like pro-rep (proportional representation) is brought in.  So don’t vote for anyone who is NOT going to bring in pro-rep, if you have a choice.
If a Green is on the ballot, you have a choice.
All us Greens are for pro-rep.  So is Dennis Kucinich.

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Mark E. Smith's avatar

By Mark E. Smith, April 8, 2012 at 10:42 pm Link to this comment

@Clash Sorry, but a country that bombs little kids in their sleep and calls it collateral damage, is not a civilization.

Will Rogers once said, “This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.”

Voting is like handing a hammer to a baby, and then whining about it when the baby breaks things.

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Clash's avatar

By Clash, April 8, 2012 at 6:15 pm Link to this comment

It must be great to know exactly what emperor Obama is thinking at any given moment, and if you really do know, well then it should be simple for any one of you to unseat him. Though I think that not one person who posts here could stand in his shoes for more than an hour let alone try to keep your civilization together for four years.

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By - bill, April 8, 2012 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment

When the Obama apologists can’t find any other excuse for his miserable performance in office compared to the way he campaigned, they resort to misdirection.  At least they’re dedicated…

One such misdirection has cropped up here lately:  the assertion that Obama just couldn’t get anything done because of all those nasty conservatives (some even admit - albeit reluctantly - that some of those conservatives could be found within the Democratic party, but of course they’re supposedly the exception).

Now, of course, had Obama hit the ground running and rallied the HUGE public support that he had generated he could have put those conservatives on the spot and gotten the public to DEMAND real ‘change we can believe in’ and ‘an end to business as usual’.  But once in office he was a changed man (and not for the better).

Beyond that monumental failure to capitalize on the political leverage he had when taking office (and since he is not a politically stupid man it’s extremely difficult to believe that this failure was unintentional), a more fundamental problem is not that Obama failed to SUCCEED in accomplishing what he claimed that he wanted to accomplish but that he didn’t even TRY to and in many cases actively worked behind the scenes AGAINST accomplishing those goals.  I just listed a few of the most glaring examples of this off the top of my head in http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/five_hypocrites_and_one_bad_plan_20120329/#477715 so won’t duplicate that content here.

How one can escape the conclusion that the national Democratic establishment (Obama most definitely included) does not WANT the kind of change that Obama so conspicuously campaigned on is difficult to imagine, though the fear of what recognizing that would imply could help explain it.  We’ve seen it in the cooption of apparently progressive newcomers as soon as they took office (my own Rep reneged on her promise to oppose any war funding bill that lacked a time-table for withdrawal only 2 MONTHS after taking her seat - because Pelosi needed her vote - and for 4 full years never managed to become a co-sponsor of HR676 despite having campaigned on a Medicare for All platform), in the mass defection of EVERY SINGLE ONE of the 60-plus members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus who had pledged, in writing, to oppose any health-care ‘reform’ package that lacked a strong ‘public option’, in the failure to take advantage of the unexpected opportunity to resurrect the ‘public option’ in the reconciliation package that immediately followed the Affordable Care Act and which only 50 Senators would have had to support to pass it (instead, Obama, Pelosi, and Reid made sure that no such measure ever made it to the floor) - the list goes on and on.

If the apologists would just stick to promoting ‘lesser evilism’ rather than try to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse I think they’d have better luck:  as the 2010 elections quite emphatically demonstrated, even the Great Unwashed have some recognition of BS when they see it.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 8, 2012 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment

I think any President can accomplish more if the electorate provides vocal support after the election.  Not to stick up for Obama, but once elected, the public seemed so burnt out we all sat back and watched quietly.  How can any officeholder carry political clout unless the electorate is ready willing and able to vote said officeholders opponents out of office? 

Obama is not an LBJ or an FDR…..he needs the electorate to serve as his backbone, or giving a bit of cerdit, at least to watch his back.

We are asleep, living our boring self-obsessed lives.  Everybody in DC knows this. 

On another topic, third parties…..go for it in local and state elections and prove you can come up with a formula to resist corruption better than the duopoly.  Unless there is something new in the operating procedures, the incorporation, the charter of a third party, something legal with teeth, why (should one become successful) would they not become corrupted too?  Why would effort expended toward a third party not be better expended to de-louse an existing party?  So I say…..play with it, prototype it, but at the federal presidential level, no.  One huge and common error is we put so much faith in the ‘big one’, the Presidential election, then sit back and hope everything goes well.  Huge mistake, that isn;t how the system works.  If we can;t resist tinkering with third parties at the federal level, then by all means, give Bernie Sanders some company.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 8, 2012 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

Aw gee, Leefeller, never an insult to be likened as your twin.  We can
be great evil twins as the windbags toot it on these forums, and I don’t
ever mind being in your evil company. Hell, I’m just looking for the
Great Unyun Goddess come to save all us evil singing cicadas!

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, April 8, 2012 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

Max, lesser evil is nothing more than the glass half empty, every 4 years Max, has it been that long?

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