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The Tea Party Movement Is a National Embarrassment

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Posted on Feb 13, 2010
don't tread on me
Flickr / Susan E Adams

By Stuart Whatley

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on The Huffington Post.

Last summer, when mass protests broke out in Iran following what was seen as a rigged election, Americans cried out in support of the uprising through all possible channels.  Some commentators here went so far as to claim credit for the “revolution,” as if it never could have happened without American political movements having already set the example. But despite the arrogance of that claim, the Iranian Green Movement is indeed an exertion of democratic will that resonates closely with many Americans—and for good reason.

America’s rich history of successful social and political movements, from its genesis onward, lends profound familiarity to the Iranian uprising, most of which has remained nonviolent. The enduring American symbolic identity—as a bastion of freedom and opportunity—is mostly justified when one considers the relative success of the Civil Rights or Feminist movements of the 20th Century, or of the ongoing LGBT rights movement, which continues to make incremental gains today. American democracy, fueled by an active populace—despite its numerous imperfections—remains the gold standard around the world.

It is against this venerable historical backdrop that one must concede that the most well known, highly publicized American social/political movement today—the tea party movement—is a national embarrassment.

At its core, the tea party movement is rife with contradiction, incoherence and a willful contempt for facts or reason. It is but a parody of the legitimate movements for which American democracy has historically been held in such high regard. It is, in fact, the latest installment in quite another American tradition: the exploitation of frustrated, desperate, and susceptible people by monied interests and profiteers.

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The impetus for the Civil Rights movement was centuries of racially based oppression at all levels of American government and society. The logic behind its call for equality was overwhelming. Now consider the tea party movement, whose foremost demand of a president who in his first month passed one of the biggest tax cuts ever... is for tax cuts. The movement’s incoherence is only illuminated further when this demand is uttered in the same sentence as its call for deficit reduction.

Though the movement claims to have no defined leadership, there are public figures and entities who nevertheless carry that mantle, which has led to perhaps its greatest irony: A portion of the American populace who carries a populist banner against the coddling of greedy bankers is led by some of the country’s most cynical and base profiteers. 

When the movement was christened last April for a large tax day protest, it was derived wholesale from the efforts of a registered corporate lobbyist and a right-leaning cable news network, whose president recently pointed out that it’s all about ratings. At the tea party’s national convention last weekend, its keynote speaker was a former governor who quit midterm in order to peddle a book that she didn’t write, but for which she collects most of the royalties. If this were Iran’s Green Movement, these would be the people slinging marked-up green headbands on the street corner.

Of course, the tea party is not without its whistleblowers. The $500 per plate entry fee to last week’s convention almost led to it being canceled altogether. But the exodus of reasonable elements will only homogenize the movement further towards a particularly polarizing worldview that opens itself to continued profit-driven exploitation.

In Authoritarianism & Polarization in American Politics, a revealing work of political science published last year that unfortunately went somewhat unnoticed, Marc J. Hetherington and Jonathan D. Weiler describe a specific worldview—authoritarianism—which they argue lies at the heart of political polarization in modern American politics. (It should be noted: their use of the term is not related to the more quotidian and overly negative connotation associated with despotic regimes; rather, it describes a particular lens through which certain people view the world, based on a wide range of scholarly work spanning the fields of psychology, sociology, political science, and other cognitive sciences.)

According to Hetherington and Weiler, authoritarians tend to rely more on emotion and instinct in decision-making, view politics in black and white, resent confusion or ambiguity in the social order, and are suspicious of specific groups who they believe could alter that order (typically gays and immigrants). The difference between authoritarians and nonauthoritarians, according to the authors, becomes far more pronounced during tumultuous economic or social periods when there are more perceived “threats.”  During such times, authoritarians in particular lose accuracy motivation and, “become much less interested than nonauthoritarians in seeking information that [is] balanced in its approach, and much more interested in pursuing one-sided information that reinforc[es] existing beliefs.” Or in other words, they are highly susceptible to misinformation campaigns, the likes of which pervaded the health care reform debate last summer.

Most every characteristic of an authoritarian worldview lends itself well to the impassioned rhetoric of the tea party movement and the shrewd players operating behind the scenes and atop the soap box. The movement’s overly simplified, often-confused solutions to complex problems align with authoritarians’ Manichean worldview. That Tom Tancredo’s anti-immigrant-laced speech at last weekend’s [Feb. 4-6] convention was well received comes as no surprise. And that this is the group who so often embraces proven falsehoods and spin-narratives to defend its anti-administration agenda should speak for itself with regards to accuracy motivation.

Despite the criticism it receives, the tea party continues to be praised as a political force. It is loud, passionate, and generally unconcerned with pesky things like facts or reasoned, practical solutions to the country’s problems. This bodes ill for 2010’s political environment, and it is a shameful representation of what constitutes an American political or social movement. While the tea party may alienate some who see it for the profit-machine that it is, others who share the fearful, intolerant authoritarian worldview that it is increasingly coalescing around will be lured in and pitted against the very people in power who could actually help them. That this movement has grown political legs is too bad, and by Hetherington and Weiler’s account, it means even more polarization is yet to come.

Stuart Whatley is an associate blog editor in the Washington, D.C., bureau of The Huffington Post. Click here to read this article on its original page.


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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 24, 2010 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

Here is John Stewart on Rupert Murdoch’s main man Glenn Beck, the leader of the Republican’s Tea Party:

http://rawstory.com/2010/02/stewart-beck-socialist-libraries/

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 24, 2010 at 10:39 am Link to this comment

Since my response has not been for a couple of days (from regular life
demands), this promises to be a bit long in trying to cover the bases.  GRYM:  I
have given your points of view much thought.  I do believe you are sincere and
hold your beliefs firmly.  You asked me a few questions and I will answer as
earnestly as I can as well. 

As a preamble I perceived from watching a great deal of the CPAC convention
speakers as the news shows gave the public (which was most illustrative of the
general attitude of the Republican faction).  I was appalled at the vitriol that
came out of their most celebrated mouths.  I was embarrassed that there were
humans that could speak such lies and prevarications.  Mitt Romney’s caustic
gibberish especially sounded incoherent and Beck and Limbaugh along with all,
ALL, of the other speakers said the most inane and poisonous things about
Obama and the Democratic agenda.  If you don’t think these people didn’t
sound like escaped inmates from an insane asylum and who don’t try to
represent “all” Republicans, then maybe you know different ones than the ones
who spoke at that convention.  Their name-calling bullshit was more
demagogic than it normally comes.  Even if I were for smaller government my
critical thinking mind would not let me be associated with those goons.  Not
one good idea was generated out of that convention and they spent “all” of
their time denigrating Obama, denigrating ordinary Americans and swelling
their heads drunk on the verbal bacteria they were spewing and trying to swell
their own impotent manhood that it was as I said embarrassing.  For me, a
centrist liberal, they made Republicanism look so bad to any rational person
that I know they have only given me the motivation to work to defeat them with
everything I’ve got.  the Republicans I know do not reduce themselves to the
slavish thinking of the maliciousness that came from these miscreants.  Name
one Republican politician who is a truly caring human for the general public,
just one. Then tell me how they are caring.  Be specific.  That CPAC group was
rabble and if they got in power they would with no doubt in my mind be the
ruination of America and finish the job that the Bush Administration started.

From what they said at that CPAC convention, I cannot come to any other
conclusion than Republicans speak with snake tongue.  It is a disease of those
who desire power and as much of the wealth of the nation as they can manage
to squeeze out of the general public.  Their attempt at subtle superficial
plausibility does not go over the heads of discriminating minds.  It is false
argument because they are targeting their “benevolent” comments towards the
very people they exploit.  Things they say sound good:  Limit central
government control (which always benefits the wealthy class, corporations,
banks, insurance companies and pharmaceuticals), put more money into the
pockets of the individuals (which works fine for those who have money, but not
so much for those who don’t, and it is the ones who don’t that the liberal
perspective intends to help).  I invite you to show me where I am wrong. 

You ask if I trust and believe that the federal government can better manage
“my” money than I do every day?  I can answer honestly yes I do think so
generally speaking since the entire country that covers almost 309 million
people and 3.5+ million square miles needs cooperative government
expressed in a central construction that can administer its constitutional
guarantees.  Plus financing a country that needs to have a unified national
philosophy when dealing with other countries and their myriad and various
social philosophies and governmental architecture I believe must have a strong
cohesive and central government.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 24, 2010 at 10:33 am Link to this comment

2. Reply to GRYM
Good old classical American politics understood the value of bargaining from
their ideologies, with a focus on the root word bargain.  I made a bit of a study
of the differences between the basic creeds of Republican and Democrat
political mindsets.  I am not going to give an in depth outline of these as
anyone who is interested in the reality of these perspectives ought to do their
own research. 

But briefly, Democrats are liberals and they come in a range of beliefs, from a
limited or centrist liberalism to an extremely progressive left who might prefer
to be called an Independent.  Essentially a Democrat would say that the proper
role for government is to regulate and oversee the economy. Liberals say it’s
proper for government to ensure that companies do the right thing (such as
pay minimum wages), and to ensure that people act responsibly in their
finances (such as requiring contributions to their own retirement savings). 
They promote social programs for the welfare of the nation’s people and to
fund national security, national natural resources, and support the education of
the nation’s mental wealth.

To be a Republican today means one is a fiscal conservatives, social
conservatives, neoconservatives, Moderates (neither extreme, partisan or
radical), and libertarians, also some prefer to be called Independent.  They
emphasize free markets capitalism and individual achievement as the primary
factors behind economic prosperity and the promotion of personal
responsibility over welfare programs.  They have waffled over support of Social
Security, Medicare and Medicaid, when it has been politically expedient but
generally they have been for the decimation of all three programs that have
provided the “security,” that is, seeking to prevent the poor or those vulnerable
to shocks and poverty from falling below a danger to a personal level of well-
being.  These programs are for the benefit to the needy and elderly who have
no resources.  To scrap them is the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard from the
conservative sector.  It is also hypocritical since millions of conservatives
receive those benefits themselves.  Go ahead and cut their benefits and see
how long they remain Republican.  Besides to scrap them and rebuild would
take decades.  It is plainly a stupid idea.  Conservatives also say that the proper
role for government is regulate and oversee morality.  Conservatives say it’s
proper for government to ensure that people are punished for immoral acts
(such as taking drugs), and that people act appropriately in their marriages
(such as banning homosexual marriage).  One of my children, whose character
and accomplishments I am extremely proud of, is gay and there are gays in the
rest of my family, wonderful and productive people, so I am certainly not in
agreement with the conservatives.  Nor do I agree with their views on abortion
and the rights of women.  Conservatives don’t give voice to spousal betrayal
unless it is a Democrat who has broken that moral law.  Their selective morality
is hypocritical at best and they hide their disingenuousness behind the cloaks
of religion. 

The issue of health care will have to be more considered later on.  But can you
honestly and with a straight face say you believe all insurance companies will
fall into true competition and not as they have historically simply escalate their
costs?  I believe they will race to see who can raise their prices more than the
others.  As profit motive is their motive.  You have not convinced me otherwise. 
To say competition always creates an atmosphere wherein prices fall and
services expand is a fallacy and a belief in the altruism of a business entity.  I
just look at the state of the credit card fiasco and the reform measures that
have hardly dented their vampirism.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, February 24, 2010 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

The puss of America seems obvious to me, tea bags for everyone, sponsored by Fox and cronies. It used to be a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage.

Now it has become a shopping cart for all and a room under any bridge! Little known hidden fact they do not want you to know, the government is offering shopping cart locks for people attending the Olympics and they will let people keep the locks until after the Oscars. Though it seems Fox and some people with teabags are screaming this is socialism and such a government wast of tax payer money, which they say is better utilized to pay for the War and future bile outs. 

Well it seems the economy is getting better, because they told me so and I noticed my credit card company has increased my credit line. So, I take advantage of it by maxing out my credit card.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 24, 2010 at 7:36 am Link to this comment

Manchild,

My offer still stands.  The day you actually prove one of your claims you and a friend will earn a complete steak dinner on me.

You claim to know and understand the mood and attitudes of Americans.  I still await those poll numbers you so forcefully and proudly heralded nearly two months past.

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By ardee, February 24, 2010 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, February 23 at 8:29 am

Isnt it “interesting” the way your meaning was so distorted by the usual porpagandist?

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By MarthaA, February 23, 2010 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

Is this the quote you are talking about, I just read it if it is, and it is a great quote:

“And as for Liz Cheney, well, how rich to be called a racist by someone whose ideological forebears opposed the entire progressive 20th century, and I mean all of it. Not just federal civil rights legislation but, you know, women’s suffrage and the end of child labor, too. Not to mention the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the Great Society, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, worker safety, fair housing, federal aid to education, public education generally, health insurance for indigent children, the Voting Rights Act, and the minimum wage. For the past century they have fought tooth and nail these things that have helped make America great.” - Mark Warren


The Republican Party has been against every bit of what is listed in this quote, because the Republican Party does not in any way represent the populace.  The Republican Party actually only represents big corporations, the elite, big industry, big banks, big insurance and big pharma.  Republicans provide good theater for representation, but always present reasons that they can not represent anything of benefit to the populace, ever.  There are absolutely no liberals in the Conservative Republican Party, therefore there should be no conservatives/moderates in the Democratic Party, if the populace wants any kind of representation, if not, the populace should march like Martin Luther King, Jr. for representation through a Parliamentary Political System, because the Two-Party Political System in the United States has failed.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 23, 2010 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

Is this the quote you are talking about, I just read it if it is, and it is a true:

“And as for Liz Cheney, well, how rich to be called a racist by someone whose ideological forebears opposed the entire progressive 20th century, and I mean all of it. Not just federal civil rights legislation but, you know, women’s suffrage and the end of child labor, too. Not to mention the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the Great Society, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, worker safety, fair housing, federal aid to education, public education generally, health insurance for indigent children, the Voting Rights Act, and the minimum wage. For the past century they have fought tooth and nail these things that have helped make America great.” - Mark Warren


The Republican Party has been against every bit of what is listed in this quote, because the Republican Party does not in any way represent the populace.  The Republican Party actually only represents big corporations, the elite, big industry, big banks, big insurance and big pharma.  Republicans provide good theater for representation, but always present reasons that they can not represent anything of benefit to the populace, ever.  There are absolutely no liberals in the Conservative Republican Party, therefore there should be no conservatives/moderates in the Democratic Party, if the populace wants any kind of representation, if not, the populace should march like Martin Luther King, Jr. for representation through a Parliamentary Political System, because the Two-Party Political System in the United States has failed.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 23, 2010 at 8:03 am Link to this comment

Sorry Martha.  The link I posted was somehow mangled.

http://realclearpolitics.blogs.time.com/2010/02/08/one-third-of-iowans-back-tea-party-movement/

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 23, 2010 at 7:23 am Link to this comment

MarthaA, - “The Tea Party Movement is a national embarrassment, but one the conservative, authoritative, autocratic, Right-Wing EXTREMISTS are controlling.”


Martha,

Perhaps you missed this previously.

-
“Lost in the stories coming from the Tea Party convention in Nashville this weekend are some eye-popping numbers from a Des Moines Register poll. A third of all Iowa voters, including nearly half of all independents, say they support the tea party movement.”

Political Breakdown of Tea Party Supporters.

49% Indipendents
34% Republicans
17% Democrats.

http://realclearpolitics.blogs.time.com/2010/02/08
/one-third-of-iowans-back-tea-party-movement/

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, February 23, 2010 at 7:11 am Link to this comment

What is with this “isn’t it interesting” crap? Seems most interesting.

Lets see if I can find something interesting with out using posters names.

Isn’t it interesting how some people who have an idea or opinion or belief seem to have it set in stone so they can always be right and everyone who disagrees is wrong?

Isn’t it interesting, as I usually see it “some” if not many people have their heads firmly implanted where the sun doesn’t shine?

Isn’t it interesting how people bicker on perceived reasons why they are getting so screwed, all the while the screwdrivers continue relentlessly buggering and so screwing?

Isn’t it interesting ignorance abounds with the abundance of dirty air in China, teabags in the USA and Hate of difference continues throughout the world without missing a beat?


Isn’t it interesting deceptions by opportunists are displayed as truth so to become belief a deluded reality of facts, and how the manipulators prod the deluded to die in the name these truths.

Isn’t it interesting how nothing has changed?

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 23, 2010 at 6:38 am Link to this comment

RenZo,

My point was not the minutia of cell phone technology and manufacturing.  The point was more toward the competition in services.

Can you revisit what I wrote with that context in place?  Or would it be better to share a few more of the tens of thousands of like examples?

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 23, 2010 at 6:23 am Link to this comment

“the LIBERAL states are being milked and robbed to fund the CONSERVATIVE states”

-

Now there are good states and bad states?  Poor hapless victimized liberal states and aggressor conservative states?

Good grief someone is full of fantasies of black and white political hatred.  Not a person on earth can argue with this type of ailing and deep seeded small minded bigotry.

The mind is a terrible thing to waist.  So is my time with this buffoon.

-

I am sorry group.  I don’t often speak of others in this manner.  I have little patience with this type of ugly and small-minded thinking.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 23, 2010 at 4:29 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man, February 22 at 12:43 pm #

Isn’t it interesting that people such as ITW will not discuss how each of the more liberal states in the U.S. are those in the most dire financial straights today?

Isn’t int interesting that Medicare faces $68 Trillion in unfunded liabilities? - Exactly as the more fiscally conservative minded warned of over two decades ago. - Verifiable.

Isn’t it interesting that Medicaid is the single largest expenditure bankrupting each of the 50 States today? - Verifiable.

Common sense tells us it’s time to try something different while providing social service to all in need.  ITW’s Symbalism over substance is both hollow and dangerous.

Americans don’t want great empty platitudes.  They want real and sustainable solutions.

Americans are tired of small minded bigotry and divisive partisan hatred.
********************************************

For 30 years we have been trying “something else” and the result was the biggest economic collapse since the great depression.

Yes, liberal states are in financial trouble. So are conservative states.  Despite its reputation, California, with it “props” has enacted some of the most extremely conservative policies, especially in the area of tax reform and tax reduction.  Thus, Governor Schwarzeneggar finds his hands totally tied when it comes to solving problems.

I live in “liberal” New Jersey. Part of our funding problem is that we send SO much of our income to the Federal Gov and so little gets spent here in return.  It’s EASY for Alabama to say “NJ, get your house in order” when the Feds spend $1.66 for every tax dollar Alabamians send to DC.  Notice that GRYM doesn’t discuss how the LIBERAL states are being milked and robbed to fund the CONSERVATIVE states—the ones that want to cut Federal spending (but only in the Liberal states).

Check out how YOUR state does in the Big Grab of American Tax Dollars!  You’ll find that with the exception of Texas, solid Red states almost universally get MORE Federal revenue than they contribute.  Blue states, excepting Hawaii and DC, typically get far LESS than they contribute. (And I won’t apologize for the other exceptions I might have missed).

http://taxfoundation.org/research/show/266.html

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 22, 2010 at 11:18 pm Link to this comment

The Tea Party Movement is a national embarrassment, but one the conservative, authoritative, autocratic, Right-Wing EXTREMISTS are controlling. 

Inside the Military-Industrial-Media Complex: Impacts on Movement for Social Justice by: Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed Sunday 27 December 2009

“It is up to the people to unite and oppose the common oppressors manifested in a militarist and unresponsive government along with their corporate media courtiers and PR propagandists.  Only then, when the public forms and controls its own information resources, will it be armed with the power that knowledge gives to move beyond the media induced mindsets that limit change to modest reform. Grassroots media providing voice to those who would challenge elite domination are our best hope to create a truly vibrant democratic society that promises as well as delivers liberty, peace, and economic justice to all.”

In the United States today, the rift between reality and reporting has peaked. There is no longer a mere credibility gap, but rather a literal Truth Emergency in which the most important information affecting people is concealed from view. Many Americans, relying on the mainstream corporate media, have serious difficulty accessing the truth while still believing that the information they receive is the reality. A Truth Emergency reflects cumulative failures of the fourth estate to act as a truly free press. This truth emergency is seen in inadequate coverage of fraudulent elections, pseudo 9/11 investigations, illegal preemptive wars, torture camps, doctored intelligence, and domestic surveillance.  Reliable information on these issues is systematically missing in corporate media outlets, where the vast majority of the American people continue to turn for news and information.

Consider these items of noteworthy conditions. US workers have been faced with a thirty-five year decline in real wages while the top few percent enjoy unparalleled wealth with strikingly low tax burdens. US schools, particularly in the west, are more segregated now than half a century ago. The US has the highest infant mortality rate among industrialized nations, is falling behind in scientific research and education, leads the world as a debtor nation, and is seriously lacking in healthcare quality and coverage, which results in the deaths of 18,000 people a year. America has entered another Gilded Age. Someone should alert the media.[v]

At present, the global dominance agenda includes penetration into the boardrooms of the corporate media in the US. Only 118 people comprise the membership on the boards of director of the ten big media giants. These 118 individuals in turn sit on the corporate boards of 288 national and international corporations. Four of the top 10 media corporations share board director positions with the major defense contractors including:

William Kennard: New York Times, Carlyle Group

Douglas Warner III, GE (NBC), Bechtel

John Bryson: Disney (ABC), Boeing

Alwyn Lewis: Disney (ABC), Halliburton

Douglas McCorkindale: Gannett, Lockheed-Martin.

Given an interlocked media network of connections with defense and other economic sectors, big media in the United States effectively represent the interests of corporate America. Media critic and historian Norman Solomon described the close financial and social links between the boards of large media-related corporations and Washington’s foreign-policy establishment: “One way or another, a military-industrial complex now extends to much of corporate media.”[vii] The Homeland Security Act Title II Section 201(d)(5) provides an example of the interlocked military-industrial-media complex.

(cont. on url)  http://www.truthout.org/topstories/122709vh4?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+TRUTHOUT+(t+r+u+t+h+o+u+t+|+News+Politics)&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher

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By RenZo, February 22, 2010 at 10:09 pm Link to this comment

I reflect reflection. Your first example of cell phones is silly and does not compute. I had one of the first cell phones $1800 and service was so bad it was barely worth carrying around as a novelty (money was cheap then, since as a doctor I billed insurance companies and they paid for much of what I billed).

Since those days (mid eighties I believe) all the components are cheaper: the software is better, the circuits on smaller boards with faster processing times, cooling is better for the boards, plastic components have advanced greatly, even the remainder of the technologies are now developed, manufactured and jobbed out to India, Thailand, China(PRC), Taiwan, Korea (not the cheapest), etc. There is still great profit at current prices because manufacturing is dislocated to cheaper labor areas, components are cheaper (in the global factory) and the companies all cross invest (don’t they?).
However, the cost of living in the US has increased substantially, and always will continue to increase - meaning that doctors nurses aides clerks janitors billing agents coding agents reimbursement specialists technologists of all types all need more money to live now (proportionally). They need to make more money, the equipment used costs more, more procedures are done now, care is more intensive, patients live longer, recuperate more often from surgeries, get organ transplants.

The point is that labor in the US (wait we could import doctors from Malaysia for you, but they want the same salary as US doctors once they get here) continues to escalate. Care costs more, more is done. In general medical care does not depend on foreign (global) labor, but home grown or at least home fed labor which needs to live decently (and access medical care).
That one argument is specious. Medical care is different than making Taiwanese widgets for the backyard. I am sure you will agree.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 22, 2010 at 9:51 pm Link to this comment

RenZo, - “I believe a good government can be trusted (because it is “ideally” made up of us, or others so much like “us” that it is the same as “us”). The way this “govt” works, I wouldn’t trust it to provide healthcare for all, no.”

-

I wanted this in a separate post.  So your answer is no.  In your real experience you do not trust the government to spend your money better or more efficiently than you do every day.

You will keep your costs down by choosing the best price.  You will insist on good service.  You will make damn sure you’re not over-billed.  You will not waste the money you have for health-care.  Whether you pay for it yourself, or your employer offers a benefit package or the government provides the dollars you will demand quality if you are in control!  Yes?

I can think of no more efficient way to cut waste and fraud.  You will do a terrific job of it.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 22, 2010 at 9:36 pm Link to this comment

RenZo,

Your understanding of an actual open market does not reflect tens of thousands of examples to the contrary.

25 years ago cell phones were the size of today’s Netbooks and cost $1600.00.  Service minutes began at $.50 but quickly dropped to $.35 after more than two companies began competing.  Prices continued to fall and services expanded at an astounding rate as more competition entered the fray.  Today one can get a cell phone for free if they choose a service.

Today we receive almost unlimited long distance calling and global Web connectivity.  Two buttons will connect us to the Library of Congress or pizza delivery as “value added services”.

Four months ago my service provider called asking if I wanted to cut my monthly charge in half for being such a good customer.  In reality my national carrier has been facing strong competition in this market.  An open market created an atmosphere in which this large national service company felt compelled to cut it’s rates by half in order to maintain me as a client for profit.

Six years ago there was two private companies offering MRI’s with a doctors proscription.  The cost was $475.00.  Today there are four private MRI services to choose from and the cost has been lowered to $175.00.  Today there is now no need for a prescription and two of the operators have added “open” MRI machines for those who are uncomfortable in enclosed spaces (value added services to attract MRI consumers).

I can give you tens of thousands of like examples.  Can you offer an example of an actual working model of what you would propose in health-care services?

-

Competition, my friend, authentic open competition, is the surest way to kill excessive profit.

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By RenZo, February 22, 2010 at 8:19 pm Link to this comment

GRYM,

Just your monnicker here invites all us marxist dilettantes to invent and count your evils. I agree, I distorted and ran with fantasies of what it must be that you meant, since you were not specific (in the note that I had read before writing, your long note to Shen.ous was not I think posted when I was writing).

I wanted to provoke you to explain what you think would work. I see more of that in the note to Shen.ous mentioned above. I don’t agree. Etc. etc. But I do want to emphasize that I know all the ‘goblins’ in my head far better, more intimately and in scrupulous detail, than I know you.

I believe a good government can be trusted (because it is “ideally” made up of us, or others so much like “us” that it is the same as “us”). The way this “govt” works, I wouldn’t trust it to provide healthcare for all, no. But insurance (for profit companies) will never work according to the theory you set out. I believe you said with real competition they will provide better services at lower prices. This does not make sense. Profit-imperative DICTATES that part (the bigger the better) of the payment is diverted to the shareholders, so of its essence for-profit-insurance will always find a way to increase profit (which inevitably means reducing service). Part of the profit will always go to finding new ways to reduce, trim, skim, slenderize and clip the payment of services. The more profit there is, the more will be spent on trying to find news ways to increase the profit. Profit is for corporations like crack is to an addict, there is never enough, even if it be fatal. Even in the case where outside regulation limits the amount of profit there will be a tendancy to spend progressively more to overcome the limitations. That seems to me to be the very definition of “for profit”: that is all the corporation is for - for profit.

And finally, as I imagine the scenario, with a regulated insurance industry (highly competitive, many smaller units even perhaps) the government effort at policing it would have to be so large that it might as well be policing itself doing the insuring job in the first place. I am not sure that is a dogma belonging to any political faction, but I think it does represent a fair picture of ‘vigorous’ capitalism.

Please let me know if I distort you written views, or how I am wrong. I have not yet looked for the details you pointed me towards, but I did expect it would be in an organized or even polemical tabular form (not more library research for me).

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By Shenonymous, February 22, 2010 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment

I visited and read the Hedges Boycott FedEx article and all the comments,
RenZo.  It is pretty much of a frenzy which is typical of Hedges’ intention. I am
never impressed by his articles.  His style most definitely agitates and attracts
the noncritical thinkers. Oh yeah. Most of them have blood in their eyes.  Oh
yeah.  There are a couple of them who showed up who are sober but they don’t
have a rat’s ass chance in a rat trap with a lure of velveeta cheese of being
heard.  You and No Mans Land can have it.  I know substitute teachers around
the country who make $8.00 an hour and get no health benefits. Oh yeah.

GRYM - Thank you for taking the time to be honest with my questions, for
even though I have criticisms, they can be seen as perplexions, as questions.  I
think I indicated I perceive two different kind of Republicans.  Those I know are
of the benign type who believe in small government and fiscal responsibility. 
Then there are the carnivorous as represented by non-politician Beck,
Limbaugh, et al and almost all of the shark Republican politicians in
Washington.  However, the other day I saw a very interesting interview with
Governor Jim Douglas, Republican of Vermont, and Democrat Governor Deval
Patrick.  Who work together on some commissions.  I was amazed at the civility
and apparently genuine caring of Jim Douglas of wanting to work towards
better government with Democrats.  I was very impressed with his attitude as it
was unique.  He actually seemed human.  I’ve never seen a Republican
politician speak that way.  So I think he was proof there might be those in the
Republican Party that might be less than a political animal.  That is not to say
there are not political animals in the Democratic Party.  Thinking one group is
does not preclude the other from it.  I think that is too easily a conclusion that
is jumped to.  Jumping to conclusions is the thing I dislike the most.  Douglas
was reminiscing about when Dems and Repubs actually worked together to
craft politics for the best result for the public they could make it rather than
putting everything on a competitive basis of who wins what.

I am very tired and want to answer your questions thoughtfully so if you will
excuse me for the night, I will consider what you said and get back again
tomorrow some time.

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By Shenonymous, February 22, 2010 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

RenZo, I have no affection for Hedges, not ever.  But I will check out your
excitement.  I have to go right now but I’ll be back (you can hear
Schwartzenegger can’t you?)

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By Go Right Young Man, February 22, 2010 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

RenZo, - “I would definitely like to see the source material for your assertion that M&M are the main reason states are “going bankrupt”.

-Look at each of the 50 State budgets and let us all know what you find.

“Now you say healthcare is needed for all, but somehow M&M shouldn’t be trusted to do it, rather some big hearted corporation that cares nothing for its shareholders’ profits and everything for the poor huddled masses? Really dood?”

-Really, Dude.  I wrote nothing of the kind.

“Further you object to funding less than a hundred million for Medicare, but agree with spending AT LEAST ONE TRILLION (that’s just on the visible books that we get to discuss) on killing the peasants in Afghanistan and Iraq?”

-Again, I wrote nothing of the kind.

“You don’t seem that simple, in the postings I have previously read. I must be missing something because I can’t believe you believe in those values.”

-I have a serious question.  How or why did you invent all these things you attribute to me to begin with?  I have written none of those things.  It’s as if you are arguing with a phantom.  A goblin you have in mind.

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By RenZo, February 22, 2010 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

ATTENTION EVERYONE

Check out Chris Hedges newest blog article.
http://www.truthdig.com/report
/item/boycott_fedex_20100222/?ln
Boycott Fedex.

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By RenZo, February 22, 2010 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

GRYM,
I would definitely like to see the source material for your assertion that M&M are the main reason states are “going bankrupt”. And please dont’ send me to Pat Buchanan’s Blog. Thank you.
Now you say healthcare is needed for all, but somehow M&M shouldn’t be trusted to do it, rather some big hearted corporation that cares nothing for its shareholders’ profits and everything for the poor huddled masses? Really dood?
Further you object to funding less than a hundred million for Medicare, but agree with spending AT LEAST ONE TRILLION (that’s just on the visible books that we get to discuss) on killing the peasants in Afghanistan and Iraq?
You don’t seem that simple, in the postings I have previously read. I must be missing something because I can’t believe you believe in those values.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 22, 2010 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

You wrote much in your last post.  I’ll be simplistic about what I wish to see changed in health-care and hope that you see me in place of the awful things you describe as a No Progress, Cold Hearted, Uncaring and Greedy Republican.  - That in itself simply does not describe any actual republican I have ever known.  If your heart believes in that cartoon characterization I cannot help but be frank and say that you have never taken the time, or held a genuine desire, to listen.  It pains me some to write it as I know you try to be fair-minded.  Unfortunately your entire last post displays a deep disdain for “those awful other people”.

Question: Does what you describe in republicans realistically fit the description of the people you actually know?  Or does it better reflect Washington/State politics and media’s love of controversy?

I believe one of those worlds is real and the other not.

-

Question:  Do you trust and believe that the federal government can better manage your money than you do every day?  I believe health-care decisions, like most everything else, should remain in the hands of the individual.

The U.S. can well afford to supplement all all who need health-care insurance.  According to the most common data that’s roughly 40 million people in the U.S.. Cover them all!  But there is simply no need to distribute all health-care insurance, or health-care services for that matter, to 360 million people. - Insurance and health-care service are two separate and distinct matters.

The fastest and most productive way to bring down prices, and simultaneously boast the quality of services for everyone, is to have an authentically open health-care market.  True competition for the services of 360 million people is guaranteed to drive down prices.  It works every time it’s tried - As an aside; there must be some controls and STRICT adherence to free market laws already in place.

Allow any and all insurance companies to sell there services anywhere.  Again the idea is to create true competition.  When individuals have a bevy of choices of one service over another this ALWAYS creates an atmosphere wherein prices fall and service expand in order to attract, in this case, the health-care consumer.  Prices WILL fall.  Services WILL rise.

KILL Medicare and Medicaid in their current forms. These models are, literally, unsustainable.  In their current forms these programs will never sustain an aging population.  Expanding these models only prolongs the inevitable.  Scrap them entirely and build them up again around an truly free and open market.  Services and quality will rise for the poorest and the elderly.

There would also have to be some type of taxpayer funded coverage for catastrophic circumstances for all those in need of it.  It will, necessarily, be expensive. Clearly, however, this type of coverage would be unavoidable.

-

Do keep in mind this is an extremely simplistic and brief bottom line approach to throw into this discussion.  I will never claim to hold the final answer to anything.  I do believe, however, that this approach lifts everyone’s quality of care and accomplish the one things most Americans are rightly clamoring for.  Lower costs for the care 80% claim they enjoy.  There is no need to throw the baby out.

Government is there to serve the people.  Absolutely!  Your approach, when fully applied, has proven to run into the terrific danger of making the individual dependent on, and subservient to, the central government.  History tells us that your approach often leads to massive starvation and poverty. - It also leads to larger than $68 Trillion in loans from others.

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By RenZo, February 22, 2010 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

SheNonyMous,
I am at heart a kind person. Dontchya Know.
You say no one seems to be having a similar problem. WRONG. Just after I advised you to write to the secret geeks behind the TruthDig curtain, I saw a change in the blogs here on TD. As you say they are now all almost full screen width, and nothing I did here at home changed my settings. I guessed it was your “email” to the geeks and their solution to the problem. I retired from the issue thinking I had been the key to its solution. I am disappointed to find I was not part of the solution. At least I can be sure I am not part of the problem. I am out of advice about your display screen adaptations. Sorry.

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By MarthaA, February 22, 2010 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment

The Bankruptcy Boys

By PAUL KRUGMAN of New York Times Published: February 21, 2010

Page 1 of 2

“O.K., the beast is starving. Now what? That’s the question confronting Republicans. But they’re refusing to answer, or even to engage in any serious discussion about what to do.

For readers who don’t know what I’m talking about: ever since Reagan, the G.O.P. has been run by people who want a much smaller government. In the famous words of the activist Grover Norquist, conservatives want to get the government “down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”

But there has always been a political problem with this agenda. Voters may say that they oppose big government, but the programs that actually dominate federal spending — Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — are very popular. So how can the public be persuaded to accept large spending cuts?

The conservative answer, which evolved in the late 1970s, would be dubbed “starving the beast” during the Reagan years. The idea — propounded by many members of the conservative intelligentsia, from Alan Greenspan to Irving Kristol — was basically that sympathetic politicians should engage in a game of bait and switch. Rather than proposing unpopular spending cuts, Republicans would push through popular tax cuts, with the deliberate intention of worsening the government’s fiscal position. Spending cuts could then be sold as a necessity rather than a choice, the only way to eliminate an unsustainable budget deficit.

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By MarthaA, February 22, 2010 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment

The Bankruptcy Boys

By PAUL KRUGMAN of New York Times Published: February 21, 2010

Page 2 of 2

And the deficit came. True, more than half of this year’s budget deficit is the result of the Great Recession, which has both depressed revenues and required a temporary surge in spending to contain the damage. But even when the crisis is over, the budget will remain deeply in the red, largely as a result of Bush-era tax cuts (and Bush-era unfunded wars). And the combination of an aging population and rising medical costs will, unless something is done, lead to explosive debt growth after 2020.

So the beast is starving, as planned. It should be time, then, for conservatives to explain which parts of the beast they want to cut. And President Obama has, in effect, invited them to do just that, by calling for a bipartisan deficit commission.

Many progressives were deeply worried by this proposal, fearing that it would turn into a kind of Trojan horse — in particular, that the commission would end up reviving the long-standing Republican goal of gutting Social Security. But they needn’t have worried: Senate Republicans overwhelmingly voted against legislation that would have created a commission with some actual power, and it is unlikely that anything meaningful will come from the much weaker commission Mr. Obama established by executive order.

Why are Republicans reluctant to sit down and talk? Because they would then be forced to put up or shut up. Since they’re adamantly opposed to reducing the deficit with tax increases, they would have to explain what spending they want to cut. And guess what? After three decades of preparing the ground for this moment, they’re still not willing to do that.

In fact, conservatives have backed away from spending cuts they themselves proposed in the past. In the 1990s, for example, Republicans in Congress tried to force through sharp cuts in Medicare. But now they have made opposition to any effort to spend Medicare funds more wisely the core of their campaign against health care reform (death panels!). And presidential hopefuls say things like this, from Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota: “I don’t think anybody’s gonna go back now and say, Let’s abolish, or reduce, Medicare and Medicaid.”

What about Social Security? Five years ago the Bush administration proposed limiting future payments to upper- and middle-income workers, in effect means-testing retirement benefits. But in December, The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page denounced any such means-testing, because “middle- and upper-middle-class (i.e., G.O.P.) voters would get less than they were promised in return for a lifetime of payroll taxes.” (Hmm. Since when do conservatives openly admit that the G.O.P. is the party of the affluent?)

At this point, then, Republicans insist that the deficit must be eliminated, but they’re not willing either to raise taxes or to support cuts in any major government programs. And they’re not willing to participate in serious bipartisan discussions, either, because that might force them to explain their plan — and there isn’t any plan, except to regain power.

But there is a kind of logic to the current Republican position: in effect, the party is doubling down on starve-the-beast. Depriving the government of revenue, it turns out, wasn’t enough to push politicians into dismantling the welfare state. So now the de facto strategy is to oppose any responsible action until we are in the midst of a fiscal catastrophe. You read it here first. —Paul Krugman New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/22/opinion/22krugman.html?ref=global-home

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By Shenonymous, February 22, 2010 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

Okay, GRYM, I have to say, with much chagrin, you got me there.  I am not one
of the rabid left so I tend not to listen too much to them, and I often criticize
them.  I have been thoroughly excoriated by them for being a centrist liberal
and absurdly accused of being a conservative!  I’ve been a liberal Democrat my
entire voting life.  I simply am not a groupie sheep.  I have never voted
Republican in any election.  Course I’ve never heard one who I thought had any
good ideas.  And I would vote for one if I thought they did.  You are right, there
is a partisan anger that comes from the left as well.  I think it is
counterproductive as much as I think are the Republican Ultra Right.  I know
centrist Republicans, some even in my own family, and some really good
friends who I love very much.  They are not fanatical and enjoy arguing civilly. 
We do give and take and if we are persuaded by the other’s point, why we give
in and say so with good feelings all around, it is not so defensive an
interaction.  I do not think the Democrats have all the right answers, and from
my liberal point of view central as it is, I have a very bleak view of the
Republicans in the political limelight.  While the radical left are hard left, they
do not obstruct the progress of the Democrats except to voice their
displeasure.  Hard leftists can impact the machinations of government by
abandoning the Democratic Party and becoming third-partyists or
independents thereby depleting effective opposition to the hard Right. When
push comes to shove though, these ultra-leftists would vote Democratic before
they ever voted for a Republican.  On the other hand Republicans do hinder in
concert because they act in unison as goose-stepping, no-progress, blocking
legislators. 

I do have liberal convictions though and think there is more caring for the
general public in the Democratic ideology.  I believe government is strictly for
the good of the general public.  I strongly encourage Democrats to get off their
butts and make a difference especially at the local level of politics.  That they
are in charge of their own government.

So what are your ideas for a better way?

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By Go Right Young Man, February 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

Before we get into the more weighty issues let’s look at the pages of Truthdig.  Let us be clear on the hatred and never ending name calling toward anyone who happens to sound conservative. 

Explain to me again how partisan politics comes only from the Right?

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By Shenonymous, February 22, 2010 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

Gee GRYM, I did quote you verbatim, except I did put in a hyphen between
small and minded, i.e., small-minded (more grammatically correct).  Putting
quotes around the word all was my intention to be grammatically inclusive.

Well I think dialogue needs to happen since your rhetorical interrogative
questions about the use of public money don’t really add anything to clarifying
why or how Republicans have a better way to use our money, inasmuch as they
get out of paying as much as possible and it is highly possible for them with all
their tax shelters, especially investment tax shelters instead of trickling down
their tax savings.  What is leading “us” toward financial disaster are the ghouls
on Wall Street and the Health Care Insurers, Pharmaceuticals, and health care
providers. 

I don’t mind and actually desire more dialogue but there is nothing constructive
coming from them nor from you as I can tell.  Thank you for bringing all the
warts to my attention but what exactly is your better plan since ordinary people
need the social programs?  And please, don’t forget to include the costs of
administering the better plan.  I keep hearing M&M are broken systems but that
has not yet been demonstrated.  It is my belief it is more political than a reality. 
In any case, how should they be reformed?  What are costs that can be cut? 
They are huge because for a century the population has been growing and
people have been underpaid for their labor and cannot afford the exorbitant
cost of healthcare.  AND healthcare providers have gouged every single penny
they could and then some exploiting the needy sick. That is why M&M costs so
GD much.  The entire Republican contingent argues for less and less but never
say exactly where the cuts ought to be made.  Please don’t make a comparison
with the blood-sucking credit card vultures whose rates are obscene are a
huge part of the ills in this country.  Please do give your ideas for a better way.
I for one am listening.  If your ideas are truly responsive to the needs of the
general public, they will resonate and others besides me will listen.  Be careful
when you speak of “each” of the 50 states, as they are sovereign and have
unique individual problems, California’s problems are not the same as New
Jersey’s.  Across the board may not work for “all.”

Likewise, no offense to your person.  Yes, far as I can see from all the
Republicans who speak out in all the media, I listen to them, I read their
sentiments, they do represent the frozen minded, self-serving, and bigoted
and partisan hatred.  They are the entrenched party of NO and they are
obstructionists.  Please show where this is not the case.  I see Democrats
consistently offering olive branches and Republicans not even half-assedly
attempting to negotiate rationally.  If I am wrong, don’t just say I am, show
me.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 22, 2010 at 10:22 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous, - “Well since I have not taken a poll, I don’t know if “all” Americans are tired of
small-minded bigotry and divisive partisan hatred.”

-

Please, if you were attempting to quote me, I beg you quote me accurately.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 22, 2010 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

You honestly believe that small minded bigotry and partisan hatred flows only one way?  You surprise me.

No offense directed toward you personally.  Expanding two broken systems (Medicare and Medicaid) is insanity.  These two models are leading us toward financial disaster.

YES medical services for all in need.  Nobody I am aware of is arguing for anything less.  But being tired of hearing about $68 Trillion in unfunded liabilities in the current Medicare model is, well, ludicrous.  That’s analogous to accumulating $10 million in credit card debt and simply telling your creditors and the courts that your tired of hearing about it.  One will only end up in bankruptcy or jail.  Or both. - This is what I meant by symbolism over substance.

-

Yes I have some ideas for a better way.  And they would help every family in the United States while not bankrupting each of the 50 States.

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By Shenonymous, February 22, 2010 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

Well since I have not taken a poll, I don’t know if “all” Americans are tired of
small-minded bigotry and divisive partisan hatred.  But I certainly am tired of it
going in one direction from the Right towards the Left!

GRYM:  you say “Americans don’t want great empty platitudes.  They want real
and sustainable solutions.”
Agreed, why is it the Republicans offer none?  Never offer “full” platitudes?

“Common sense tells us it’s time to try something different while providing
social service to all in need.”
Agreed.  Any common sense suggestions?

Frankly, I’m tired of hearing about Medicare and Medicaid costs.  People need
them, both.  The people, all of the people, especially the ones who cannot
afford M&M, need health care and this country is the only organization that can
provide it evenly across the board.  Leave it up to the state and it gets lumpy,
with some having okay benefits and others very scant and insufficient.  I
actually think both programs need expanded!  Better that the National Treasury
spend our money on our health care than other programs like the excessive
amount on the military.  If costs can be made more efficient that is one thing
but to just cut them because of stinginess of the self-serving upper middle and
upper classes who can afford health care, I say too bad.  A great percentage of
the general public also need a safety net of social security.  Most do put money
(SS taxes) into it in their work life.  The money is put into the safest investment
treasury bonds so it earns money.  All the money doesn’t come from the
government, it comes through the government who administers its
distribution.  The government then uses the funds collected in SS on things it
thinks it need to spend the money on.  Not sure what.  Only congress knows
for sure.  I do not think SS is just a trust fund money accumulation tank.  It is
an in and out situation.  Instead of SS and Medicare/Medicaid reform maybe the
Treasury Bond system needs looked at and the government’s use of SS and
M&M money.  Since the amount of money an individual receives in SS benefits
is dependent on a percentage of their earning power each person does not
receive the same benefit amount each month.  When stats are presented in a
pie graph, numbers are collectivized and only an overview is offered.  Actual
numbers of people and dollars paid out in comparison of money received by
the SS program and the value of the treasury bonds added in then a delta
difference can be shown for a realistic picture.  As it is these social programs
are only political footballs and the public never hears the truth.

That the conservatives warn of overspending is never surprising.  It is their MO
and constant mantra so the probability is they might be right at times.  But so
what?  They don’t want to fund any social program and they definitely are
an obstructionist entity when it comes to any government spending
unless it is for their own multi-billion dollar use of public funds such as on
preemptive wars and funding their crony industrial war machinery
manufacturers as well as obstructing any progress Obama has proposed, any
and every program of progress Obama has proposed!  Their behavior is
unconscionable and I think it is scandalous.  What are their proposals for
creating jobs?  Cut taxes, bullcrap.  What are their proposals for improving
infrastructure?  Cut taxes, more bullcrap.  What are their proposals for fixing
the financial catastrophe?  Cut taxes, more bullcrap.  Good grief, they have no
solution except to line their own pockets.  Trickle down is a GD myth.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 22, 2010 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

Isn’t it interesting that people such as ITW will not discuss how each of the more liberal states in the U.S. are those in the most dire financial straights today?

Isn’t int interesting that Medicare faces $68 Trillion in unfunded liabilities? - Exactly as the more fiscally conservative minded warned of over two decades ago. - Verifiable.

Isn’t it interesting that Medicaid is the single largest expenditure bankrupting each of the 50 States today? - Verifiable.

Common sense tells us it’s time to try something different while providing social service to all in need.  ITW’s Symbalism over substance is both hollow and dangerous.

Americans don’t want great empty platitudes.  They want real and sustainable solutions.

Americans are tired of small minded bigotry and divisive partisan hatred.

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By Leefeller, February 22, 2010 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

All this fretting and wringing of hands will make little difference, for when 2012 comes it is foretold the the world will end, the web will cease to be free and Palin will become president, hopefully in that order!

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By Shenonymous, February 21, 2010 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

No problemmo Rhett Butler RenZo, Scarlett She says others have made that
meeztake also.  I’m happy to say I Am Woman!  I’ll worry about it tomorrow. Is it
possible that someone can corrupt my computer remotely?  My Mac
supposedly has a good firewall, the campus server has huge firewalls.  But a
friend is not getting emails properly either that I’ve sent.  Something is amiss. I
still get that 16” wide text on this forum (but no others!). I’ve emailed the
webmaster to see if he knows what is wrong.  No one seems to be having a
similar problem. So deduction tells me there is something wrong with my
software????  I am soooo ignorant of these things.  You know, you are very kind
to have given me that technical advice about Firefox.  I am now saving
everything as rtf before posting.  If everyone would just limit their line length to
70 characters my computer screen would look a whole lot better on this forum.

Tropes and memes, same but different but really immaterial.  It seems to me
that there is a problem in perception.  Perceiving what the common population
(at least the voting population) are actually all about.  You think you see one
thing, them as a whole, when in reality they are a many disparate batch who
have to be shaped and shoveled into a mass movement.  It was done at the end
of the 60s and into the 70s but there was a huge cause celebre, the Vietnam
War, it was romantic to protest, and a lot of pot smoking helped that effort
too.  The young were itching to raise their bandanas and braless tops to thumb
their noses at mom, pop and the whole f’n world.  It is a function of the
hormones of the generation.  Do read if you never have, and reread it if you
have, Eric Hoffer’s book about mass movements, True Believer.  It is nonpareil.

Most these days cannot see that the raging conflagration that was back then is
sorely needed now.  Most sit at their computers or f’n twitter their f’n lives
away, and dream or imagine utopia and cutely or quasi-intellectually think the
madding crowd will up and follow reason and logic, when they don’t have a
clue that they have a f’n chance at a better life.  It is carpe diem for everybody. 
Get it now before it all goes away!  Nothing and nobody is telling “them” loud
and clear that there is even the possibility of a better life in terms that they can
understand.  Them is not us, who are awake who sees the insanity. They are
part of The Senseless, kept that way by forces of which they have no awareness. 
They are tossed back and forth by the radicals on both sides.  Huxley may have
been more prescient than even he knew.  The subliminal messages consistently
put on all media is to have fun fun fun forget reality, there is no reality, there is
no real hope.  Just have fun now. You can see it any minute of the day or night.
To get these living dead moving, something has to raise them up from the
dead.  The conscious has to find a way to wake up conscience.  It is not going
to happen with the kind of constant moaning and whining seen here on
Truthdig, on every blog on the Internet, it is the same.  Moaning and ranting is
the soup du jour.

Yes, ITW, it is funny but not really as we and the rest of the world trudge
through the mud of recovery. Governors are closer to flesh and blood people. 
The federal government only sees numbers.  But can anything really be
learned?  What signs will give us the hope it will take for some regeneration of
spirit to return?  Cynicism is rampant.  I thought I had a tiny corner of the
market on cynicism but I see even in that small space a crowd is pressing in.  It
is always a Wait and See game.  Perhaps we are too impatient.  I am an only
child, and was conditioned to be a demand baby by my ever-giving ever-
loving mom.  Spoilt up the yingyang.  But I have learned in the last five years to
be very very patient, as life demanded it to be!  It is a hard lesson but I believe
character building.

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By MarthaA, February 21, 2010 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

RenZo, February 21 at 4:20 pm,

Voters are waking up.  It is just a matter of time—3-5 years, more or less.  Many patriotic martyrs will die in the process of getting our country back from the fascists when the Liberals finally engage in the 40 year old ongoing Conservative Revolution against the populace.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 21, 2010 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

She,

Isn’t it funny that when GOPpers actually have to WORK and really MANAGE their opinions change.  Governors are forced, by necessity, to deal with real, everyday problems.  Congressmen and Senators do not.  So we see Crist and Schwarzeneggar and even more conservative governors taking on far more pragmatic positions in the face of actually HAVING TO GET SOMETHING DONE!

I expect Chris Cristie, here in NJ, will either get that message or be a one-term (if that) governor, since it’s clear already that he doesn’t have a clue.

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By MarthaA, February 21, 2010 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

Some people will never understand tropes and how tropes are used in politics.

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By no mans land, February 21, 2010 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

There is only one chance for Obama to have a second term. He has to accept that he will not get reelected and begin governing as though he’s only got one shot to get it right. If he does that, he’s got a chance to win back his base and perhaps enough independents. That is the only way he’ll be able to set anything ablaze. If not, many like myself will continue to see him as having been coopted by moneyied interests or simply not willing to take on the people who are doing this to him and us.

In the mean time, I highly recommend the video I posted. Electoral integrity has to be issue number one or we won’t have a democracy to fix. Take it from the two Supreme Court justices interviewed in the video.

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By RenZo, February 21, 2010 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

dear MarthaA

Wrong. It is gladdening and saddening that you are wrong. Americans are far, far too ruled by the cultural memes they were propagandized with in childhood. They were not told the truth about their cultural heritage; genocide, enslavement, war, cutthroat capitalism, arms sales, nuclear armament, classism, poverty, racism, imperialism, environmental spoilage et alia. Rather they were told their country was just, fair, kind, democratic, excellent, with opportunity for all. These memes persist by force of constant updating by the coporate media and corporate shills (like elected officials).

In spite of having the largest per capita proportion of population in prison IN THE WORLD, oppression in America is not yet even near what it takes to cause violent revolution. The culutural memes have totally convinced the populace that those in prison are “bad”, without questioning why there is so much profit in building new prisons (and who in society profits). Before the French Revolution (“qu’ils mangent des brioches”) they were actually starving, and as in Russia before the Oktoberskaya Revolutsie, the political oppression was severe and wide spread. Poverty, lack of medical care, and disenfranchisement are not sufficient to goad Americans into any sustained or organized violence. Beyond which it serves to note that any violent rebellion will be dealt with by the government and corporatist/corporate media very effectively as “terrorism” with appropriate gun battles and terrorist “deaths” (all unavoidable of course). It would be a new REALITY SHOW, you know, like everyone has been watching for the past fifteen years. A miniseries.

I say sadly because I wish America would rise up AS VOTERS and start and continue to elect honest populist candidates, and replace them immediately if they disappoint.But I say gladly because all this would take to rectify is AWAKENED voters, and no one more than the uninsured would die while the voting revolution took back government. Our system can only fight corporatism (which is fascism, by definition) by having educated, active, empowered voters - real model citizens who hold government responsible. It’s just hard if not impossible to fight against the cultural hegemony maintained by the oligarchy, the rich, the stockholders, the corporatists.

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By Shenonymous, February 21, 2010 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

An interesting CNN interview with two governors this morning had one
Democrat and one Republican governor.  Both of them were working quite well
together to solve their respective state’s problems.  They described what it was
like in days of old when Republicans and Democrats could actually work to the
benefit of the country.  They both criticized the actions of the Republicans’ of
today in Washington inability to work with the President to solve the enormous
problems that face this country all begun or instigated by the two in a row
Bush’s administrations but probably the seed of destruction were planted long
before that back to the Reagan era.  These men seemed most rational and I
could even listen to the Republican governor, as I find it quite difficult
ordinarily to listen to Republican Congressmen slipping and sliding all over the
place to avoid answering direct questions and lobbing the worst accusations at
Democrats. 

Now it seems to me that the calculated gridlock confabulated by the
conservative Republicans in Washington must be squashed and broken up.  Am
I the only one who thinks so?  I think that ultra conservative element in the
Republican Party is what is really damaging to the Republicans having any
useful idea that ccould benefit all Americans.  There is nothing wrong with
being fiscally responsible.  Both of the governors feel the stimulus was the
right thing to do and that both their states have benefitted from federal
government dollars.  The young Republican supporters at the CPAC convention
of Ron Paul is also very telling.  Ron Paul is in my mind one of the worst
Republicans out there with his extreme almost anarchic libertarian anti-women
ideology.  Nearly as bad as Newt Gingrich who is more of a demagogue than
Palin and who I think has an eye on running for the POTUS himself.  But
because of Ron Paul’s enthusiasm for his issues, the young Republicans are
excited think they are being enfranchised again, and want to be identified with
someone antiestablishment, meaning old gray heads of the Republican Party,
or so it seems. 

Republicans have a nasty scripted habit of criticizing Democrats up the wazoo
but do not offer any substitute program so their agenda remains shrouded in
ambiguity.  They definitely appear to be bigoted against this president no
matter what is proposed.  Even if they call the shots on different issues, they
vote no when it comes time to approve the bills.  This is quite crazymaking and
an incredible impediment and only the general public suffers.  This has to stop. 
How shall we stop it in the short run since we know it will take a major
overhaul in the long run.  I think there needs to be a wildfire of a grass roots
movement, burning the grass if need be to get the juices of excitement flowing
in the generally most socially conscious voters.  I realize that Obama has to get
that fire started and as I watch him these last few weeks he is doing that but he
cannot do it alone and it looks very much like that poor man is walking the
tightrope without a balance stick.

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By MarthaA, February 21, 2010 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

Judges, Representatives and Senators that the populace put in Congress and the Courts must be legally bound to their own representing, without the direct assistance of lobbyists seducing and paying them under the table to represent money, instead of the populace.  Otherwise, when the populace en masse realize that the populace’s has no representation what so ever in all three branches of government because of corruption, it shall not be long before the populace, who have nothing more to lose, like the Austin man, and rise up en masse against a sea of troubles to make their own solution, which will be a time of woe.

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By MarthaA, February 21, 2010 at 10:45 am Link to this comment

Judges, Representatives and Senators that the populace put in Congress and the Courts must be legally bound to their own representing, without the direct assistance of lobbyists seducing and paying them under the table to represent money, instead of the populace.  Otherwise, when the populace en masse realize that the populace’s has no representation what so ever in all three branches of government because of corruption, it shall not be long before the populace, who have nothing more to lose, like the Austin man, rise up en masse against a sea of troubles to make their own solution, which will be a time of woe.

The propagandized conservative jingoism of the Republican Tea Party is the problem, not the solution.

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By no mans land, February 21, 2010 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

Justice For Sale

Bill Moyers gives an in depth indictment of the impact of big money in the election of judges. 80% of America’s judges must be elected like politicians in order to be placed on the bench. Judges are forced to raise funds through the very lawyers representing the moneyied interests that will appear before them in court. One of the tragic results is the dumping of toxic waste into our drinking water.

Through interviews with sitting judges, media marketing professionals involved in the election of judges, and investigators, Moyers does an outstanding job illustrating not only the impact of lobbying in the judicial system, but how much more the justice system will be further corrupted by the Citizens United case. It’s a must see for every American.

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/02192010/watch.html

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By ardee, February 21, 2010 at 4:47 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, February 21 at 2:03 am

You might add the fact that, all the time Cheney was in charge, he was receiving retirement compensation from his old firm, stock options at very favorable prices and six figures in cash as well each year.

Of course the no-bid contracts with a guarantee of profit built in ( who makes such deals?) had nothing whatsoever to do with Cheney’s enormous profiting from said deals….if you are so agendized as to be completely out of touch or out of your mind. Or , as in the case of your current favorite target, have no respect whatsoever for the truth.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 20, 2010 at 10:03 pm Link to this comment

This is what I mean when I say that GRYM performs a useful, if unintentional, service by keeping us honest about how the right-wing thinks and twists facts:

We’ll not agree that Vice President Cheney’s involvement with Haliburton was ominous.  We’ll not agree that his involvement led to Haliburton’s No Bid Contracts (Haliburton was designed by the congress and already had the contracts for these services prior to his involvement with the company and the 2000 election).  We’ll not agree that these models we’re discussing are, necessarily, going to create, in and of themselves, For-Profit wars.  We’ll not agree that these companies have “unlimited budgets that will afford them “unlimited” lobbying monies.

These types of companies are unusual enough to warrant vigorous oversight. - Is it your understanding that these types of companies were designed “by the Right” or the Bush administration?  I can tell you that is not the case. 

Sounds well and good but doesn’t get around the fact that the preferred company was where the VP worked prior to his searching and finding HIMSELF as the ideal VP candidate.  This company profited HUGELY from the illegal and unnecessary Iraq War, and even cheated unmercifully, DEPRIVING OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN ARMS when they cheated.

And, like the myth that Barney Frank brought about the banking collapse, now he proposes the myth that Haliburton and its excesses are the fault of Congress, not the CEO that lead it up until his election as VP and his subsequent steering of no-bid contracts to that same firm—expectedly his future employer again.

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By RenZo, February 20, 2010 at 6:42 pm Link to this comment

Sheeeeenonymous

Apologies for the pronominal gender gaffe; I realized after posting (irretrievably) my first note about your formatting that it was “SHE”nonymous, not HEE-nonymous, and wondered at my assumptive jumps (a personal foible when wrong, but an intuitive genius when I am right).

What I meant is that GRYM and I both note that your postings are formatted really screwy – but only when we use our preferred browser Firefox (Mozilla). He and I both tried MS Internet Explorer and he tried a couple of others and only Firefox read the formatting as SCREWY (long lines followed by a short line of three words, then another long line followed by a short line of two words, etc). This means that although Firefox is the only browser that notices the line formatting codes put there by your text editor, there are some codes left in the text that you paste to TruthDig. You can minimize the formatting codes by saving the text as “plain text” or *.rtf but sometimes plain text editors stick the control codes for ‘line end’ or ‘carriage return’ at the end of each line (on their screen at home) so that the transposed text still has the codes-valid-at-home embedded when you paste it on TruthDig.

That Firefox finds them, interpretes them and plops them into your TruthDig text when I view it using Firefox means Firefox is doing something that all the other browsers handle better, in this case. When I copy your (screwy formatted) text and paste it into Word, it looks perfectly formatted so I can’t say your text editor is doing something WRONG, but Firefox thinks it is wrong. If you know what I mean.

I have noted the totally unreliable time stamps on the notes. I can’t figure out (nor have I wasted too much time on doing so) why TruthDig handles time stamps so weirdly, but there is your time, TruthDig server time, then there is Greenwich Mean Time which some servers like to reference as the one timezone in the world that everyone could use as standard. I actually suspect from the apparent randomness of the time stamp errors (which I only suspect are totally unorganized) that it is actually a programming error. Big systems are programmed in packets by different programmers or different teams, and sometimes little mismatches between the variables used will allow one variable to become the referent for the whole system. Now I also forgot to mention the fourth time zone in the mess which is the time zone of the person reading the postings. If I, for example, post something at 12 a.m. (midnight, right? 00:00 H) in EST, then you read it immediately as 9:00 pm PST, then the server thinks it is 6 a.m. GMT, then I look at my own just-posted-posting at 0:01a.m.EST——those would be represented by four different variables in the programers code, allowing four different sources of non agreement, depending on how the variables are supposed to interact, which ones are non functional, and which one takes precedence under which circumstances.

As for the hinky formatting on your browser screen of specific articles on TruthDig, it might be formatting in the article which your browser doesn’t like to handle (or can’t). Report it to the TruthDig administration. They should have heard other hints that could make them figure it out and correct it.

As for the remaining problem with your Apple Email: 

I don’t know nothin’ ‘bout no Apple Emails, Miss Scarlet, nothin’. No I don’t.

But again the TruthDig administration should push the issue over to their official geeks who can definitely solve the problem (and might even enjoy it, you can see how much fun this was for me). I am not a professional programmer, although I used to program of necessity in the 1980s.

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By Shenonymous, February 20, 2010 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment

Is there some reason, MarthaA, why you formatted the copied Alternet article
so wide in this forum?  Are you being cute?  I don’t appreciate it.  In reading
McGraw’s article, it was not formatted that way.  Hiss boo…  You ruined it for
the duration.  Hiss boo again.

In his passionate essay, McGraw gives a lot of putative statistics.  People,
families that is, have been working two jobs for decades.  This is not a new
piece of information. 

The fact that people are working more without a pay increase is also nothing
new.  But more importantly, what does McGraw offer as a remedy?  Critical
reporting is useless unless there is a fix offered for the problem.  We are used
to deceptive reporting by both the government and the media.  What else is
new?

His gloom and doom interrogatives are rhetorical unless he offers solutions.  If
he can garner all these statistics, surely he can offer some ways to reverse the
trends.  Seems like the new buzzword is “underwater.”  Everyone is using it
these days.

His generalized, therefore useless, solution is this, “Unless we all unite and
organize on common ground, our very way of life and the ideals that our
country was founded upon will continue to unravel.”
This is incredibly
naive thinking.  Who exactly is the “we” he is talking about?  You, me?  This “we”
is absurd.  It will take galvanizing the entire voting nation of ordinary people
into an organizing and effective entity.  Good luck.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 20, 2010 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

No_Man’s_Land, - “Those figures were for all of the 4th qtr. The announcement came in December. The article even lists what each company spent on lobbying in the 4th vs 3rd qtrs as well as the total revenues from their contracts for the year.”

-

Yes. I understood that.  I should have been more clear.  I assumed it was understood that decisions are made, machinations enroute, before announcements to a waiting global audience.

Presidential Candidate Obama was unambiguous for two years in regards to his Afghan/Pakistan intentions.  It seems clear to me the intention preceded all Washington/Military lobbyists.

We may agree on the all too common vulture mentality, however, we part ways on the notion that these companies and contracts play a leading role in global decisions.  I believe Afghanistan, Pakistan, Jordan, Iran, Israel, Poland, Russia, Britain and all of NATO, for example, play a far greater role in any U.S. President’s decisions. 

-

When did NATO reach an accord regarding Afghanistan after the inauguration of President Obama?  I would be willing to bet that all Washington/defense lobbying ramped up quickly after that day.  After other world leaders reached an accord in regards to their own interests.

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By MarthaA, February 20, 2010 at 5:51 pm Link to this comment

The Economic Elite Have Engineered an Extraordinary Coup, Threatening the Very Existence of the Middle Class

by David DeGraw - AlterNet http://www.alternet.org/story/145667/the_economic_elite_have_engineered_an_extraordinary_coup,_threatening_the_very_existence_of_the_middle_class

The economic elite have robbed us all. The amount of suffering in the United States of America is literally a crime against humanity. We all have very strong differences of opinion on many issues. However, like our founding fathers before us, we must put aside our differences and unite to fight a common enemy.

It has now become evident to a critical mass that the Republican and Democratic parties, along with all three branches of our government, have been bought off by a well-organized Economic Elite who are tactically destroying our way of life. The harsh truth is that 99 percent of the U.S. population no longer has political representation. The U.S. economy, government and tax system is now blatantly rigged against us.

Current statistical societal indicators clearly demonstrate that a strategic attack has been launched and an analysis of current governmental policies prove that conditions for 99 percent of Americans will continue to deteriorate. The Economic Elite have engineered a financial coup and have brought war to our doorstep…and make no mistake, they have launched a war to eliminate the U.S. middle class.

To those who feel I am using extreme rhetoric, I ask you to please take a few minutes of your time to hear me out and research the evidence put forth. The facts are there for the unprejudiced, rational and reasoned mind to absorb. It is the unfortunate reality of our current crisis.

Unless we all unite and organize on common ground, our very way of life and the ideals that our country was founded upon will continue to unravel.

America is the richest nation in history, yet we now have the highest poverty rate in the industrialized world with an unprecedented amount of Americans living in dire straights and over 50 million citizens already living in poverty.

The mainstream news media will numb us to this horrifying reality by endlessly talking about the latest numbers, but they never piece them together to show you the whole devastating picture, and they rarely show you all the immense individual suffering behind them. This is how they “normalize the unthinkable” and make us become passive in the face of such a high causality count.

Behind each of these numbers, is a tremendous amount of misery; the physical toll is only outdone by the severe psychological toll. Anyone who has had to put off medical care, or who couldn’t get medical care for one of their family members due to financial circumstances, can tell you about the psychological toll that is on top of the physical suffering. Anyone who has felt the stress of wondering how they were going to get their child’s next meal or their own, or the stress of not knowing how they are going to pay the mortgage, rent, electricity or heat bill, let alone the car payment, gas, phone, cable or Internet bill.

There are now well over 150 million Americans who feel stress over these things on a consistent basis. Over 60 percent of Americans now live paycheck to paycheck.

These are all basic things every person should be able to easily afford in a technologically advanced society such as ours. The reason we struggle with these things is because the Economic Elite have robbed us all. This amount of suffering in the United States of America is literally a crime against humanity.

Read the entire post at the following website:

http://www.alternet.org/story/145667/the_economic_elite_have_engineered_an_extraordinary_coup,_threatening_the_very_existence_of_the_middle_class

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By Shenonymous, February 20, 2010 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

Dear Dauntless Geek:  Ashamedly, and head hanging I have a #4.  I mentioned it
in my reply to GRYM. The times of my postings are always wrong.  When I post,
the hour that gets shown is 6 hours later than when I post!  Furthermore, I often
save copies of forums on which I post. If I go back to the web forum for some
reason, maybe to review what others have said or maybe I want to post a new
comment, the time will again be different on everyone’s posts not only mine.  Is
that a function of what time zone I have set for my computer?  That doesn’t seem
right since we all live in many various places and set our computers for our own
time zone. 

Whoopie! I’m trying MarthaA’s bolding codes.  They worked!  Yippie!!!

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By Shenonymous, February 20, 2010 at 5:07 pm Link to this comment

All technical - RenZo:  FYI, if you were referring to the formatting of my
posts, I am a She (a Her).  Thank you for your formatting observations.  I do
save TextEdit files as rtf but usually copy and post them before saving.  I used
to use Word but had “that” funny formatting problem.  So I will try your
suggestion.  Gawd, I’m glad someone is a geek out there!  Thank Gawd For
Geeks!  I used to say Thank Gawd for Greeks when I was studying Plato, et al.
hahaha but times have changed.  In comparison to Geek Gawds, I have a meek
knowledge about programming software.

I may be asking you to repeat yourself, or am being redundant to your
suggestion for TextEdit, if so please excuse my ignorance if I do.  JFMIP (Just
for my information, please):  So are you saying that if you use a different
browser than say MS Explorer,  like FireFox, or SeaMonkey, or Camino, the
formatting is all weirded out?  (I use Safari, Apple’s browser because I have an
iMac with 10.6.2 system and the browser comes with the system software. 
Explorer wasn’t compatible with the new iMacs.  At least months ago when I
tried to download it.  I could designate the other browsers as the home
browser, but I haven’t had any problems at least none I have been made aware
of until today.  Well, that is since I started using TextEdit set to a certain line
length.  At least not since it had happened some months ago when I upgraded
my system software and the latest MS Word.  The lines were breaking up and
not wrapping as it should.  Isn’t that odd? 

Then, #2, certain forums when accessed, show the article text as incredibly
long, meaning it does not wrap within the article nor in the comments, and
runs off the computer screen to the right even though I have a 20 inch apple
screen!  But sometimes if I re-access, say if someone makes a comment long
after the forum has pretty much died out, the text seems to have righted itself
to fit the screen properly.  This phenomenon does not happen to all forums
only a very few.  I.e., The War on Language (an old Chris Hedges article).  All
very weird.  Do you think that is an incompatibility between the browsers and
TD website program code?  Again, please pardon me if I seem like I am taking
advantage of an opportunity.  I am really.  But honestly I don’t have anyone else
to ask.  I hate software chat forums.  I just need to know a few things then I’m
out of Geekland faces!

Problem #3.  I use the Apple Mail email program, and Safari as a browser.  I
receive weirdly formatted email notifications from TD also, where the address
information at the top of the email comes in 10 lines sometimes more of code
from any forum with an article title that is over so many characters long, not
sure how many.  If the title of the forum article is short, no problem just
regular To/From/Subject/Date heading comes in. 

Formatting using square brackets and back slashes to close for special effects,
italics, bolding, etc., that I use was given by Truthdig.  I will try MarthaA’s
codes.  Thanks to anyone who posts some explanation of these aggravating
formatting things.  May I return the favor someday?

It is kind of crazymaking but I’ve learned to ignore it. But if it can be corrected I
would like to do that.

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By no mans land, February 20, 2010 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

Go Right:

Those figures were for all of the 4th qtr. The announcement came in December. The article even lists what each company spent on lobbying in the 4th vs 3rd qtrs as well as the total revenues from theri contracts for the year.

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By RenZo, February 20, 2010 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

Whichever combination of text editors/word processors you are using, it is not removing all extra “control codes” (invisible to users because they are codes to control text display, such as “line-end”, “return-carriage”, “paragraph”) from the ends of your lines. Perhaps if you SAVED the text as an *.rtf file or “plain text” THEN copied and pasted it, it might appear normal to us all.

It is only apparently Firefox which picks up the remaining control codes or tries to display them. In this one instance (I have experienced) MS Internet Explorer performs better than Firefox.

Seeing how much time I spent on this note reminds me what a geek I really am (as in computer nerd, egghead, etc.).

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By Go Right Young Man, February 20, 2010 at 3:40 pm Link to this comment

No_Man, - “During the lead up to the decision to surge in Afghanistan in late 2009, the top 10 defense contractors surged their lobbying dollars by 7.2 million in the months preceding the decision.”

-

I’m sorry, No-Man, but you are ever-so-slightly bending the chronological order of events and building your conclusion on those events. 

These various lobbying efforts you have noted actually took place as the administration announced its Afghan policy.  Not before (as in lobbying for more war). 

As usual, and per our 200-plus year history, a policy was announced and the vying for position commenced.  And please keep in mind that I have been clear that this stuff is both ugly and troublesome.  I share your concerns.

I’ll ask you to trust that I understand the Wink and the Nod.  But the conclusions we build from must first be supported by tangible patterns of events.  Otherwise we run the risk of beginning with a false premise and building on them. - Simply put; you and I have come to this subject from different angles and different starting points.

-

What solutions can you offer regarding the dearth of manpower and equipment we currently face?  Will you raise defense spending and institute the draft?  Any suggestions would be interesting at this point.

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By no mans land, February 20, 2010 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

Video: Scahill Testimony on Defense Contracting to Congress

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070528/scahill

On Haliburton

http://www.corpwatch.org/section.php?id=15

http://www.corporatewatch.org.uk/?lid=274

On Blackwater:

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20091221/scahill2

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By MarthaA, February 20, 2010 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment

i for italics: put an i   in between the opposing “v brackets”:  <>word(s) of choice<>

b for bold: put a b in between the opposing “v brackets”:    <> word(s) of choice<>

For embedding a url:  put opposing “v brackets” before and after the following:    a href=“url”> word(s) of choice </a

Always use a / to close.

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By no mans land, February 20, 2010 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

Here’s a good read on Dyncorp. It doesn’t specify influence in war, but on American Foreign Aid policy.

http://www.undispatch.com/node/9529

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By Go Right Young Man, February 20, 2010 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment

RenZo, - “Is it wrong to hope for excellence in one’s leaders?”

-

THANK YOU for the link.

-

I demand excellence from my city’s mayor on up to the President of the United States.  I actually demand it.  No surprise that I am often left sorely disappointed.

I know the various positions of my state legislatures on the issues important to me (Haliburton). - First and foremost I listen to each explain their respective positions before I listen to others explain a legislatures position.  Which means, for example, it is my habit to listen to the current president before I listen to Mitch McConnell or John Boehner tell us what the President said or did.  And when I write about listening I mean that I truly listen and check the speakers facts myself.  I will trust no media source to give me context and history.  Not any more.

I also hold the unbending belief that the humans on the democratic said of the isle are just like the humans on the republican side.  It’s simply fantasy, created by the individual and solidified by varying groups, to believe that one side of ideology is more greedy, sneaky, partisan or political than another.  I have seen history repeat itself too many times to believe in such a delusion. - I DO NOT intend to offend anyone.  I am simply being frank.

I also listen to Kings and Presidents with much focused attention.  By and large I will ignore the pundits, skeptics and supporters. - I do not spend time on TruthDig in order to figure out what U.S. policy should be.  I spend time here to see what others are thinking and talking about.

I will listen while I watch and note an individual or company’s actions.  I believe it is rarely more important what a person says than why they say it. - This is how I am able to see that the world of President Obama and King Hussein looks nothing like we see on the internet, television or the Miami Herald et al.

I follow the progression of events as they unfold through the years.  Again, largely ignoring the media. - If I want to know why Haliburton exists I return to those events and listen to what was said.  I will look at the legislation produced at the time.  I will follow Haliburton’s involvement in past and current events.  I can’t convey strongly enough how much I simply do not care what Olbermann or Hannity thinks of Haliburton.

-

I am listening to No_man and truly evaluating his point of view and information.  So far Haliburton does not frighten me.  In fact I find it truly interesting that the largest portion of the over-billing that occurred in the past 9 years was brought to our attention by Haliburton itself.  Not whistle-blowers or outside sources.

I have enough pause over this issue of For-Profit/No Bid Contracts to watch it closely myself.  In the case of Haliburton and Bechtel specifically I have watched closely for many years.  In fact several years before 2000.

I have a healthy pause over the situation.  I am not frightened over “For Profit Wars”.

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By no mans land, February 20, 2010 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

Go Right:

Here’s an interesting read for you. During the lead up to the decision to surge in Afghanistan in loate 2009, the top 10 defense contractors surged their lobbying dollars by 7.2 million in the months preceding the decision.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/21/top-defense-contractors-s_n_431542.html

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By no mans land, February 20, 2010 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

Go right
Unfortunately winks and nods don’t get recorded into the public record
unless they are investigated. I would point you to jeremy scahills work on
blackwater and eric prince’s web of connections. I would point you to
blackwater’s conduct in the war, which has been quite counter to the
stated objectives tactic techniques and procedures of the military efforts to
deescalate the violence in iraq. There is also an excellent documentary
called “why we fight” that is quit thorough and nonpartisan. And I would
encourage you to watch what these companies pay out in lobbying and
how those congressional members vote. I’ll dome digging for some more
specifics but some of this is really just common sense. All businesses try to
shape the environment they do business in and for those in the business
of war, it goes without saying that peace is bad for business.

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By RenZo, February 20, 2010 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

By golly, I thought Shenonymous must be doing something wrong also, but when following the example of GRYM, I use the MS product to browse instead of Firefox, his text is normal. So much for formatting text.

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By RenZo, February 20, 2010 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

mostly for GRYM,

If you are serious about how to format these posts, you can consult the following website where you can copy the before and after <> codes for each desired effect.

http://www.web-source.net/html_codes_chart.htm

Now about your politics: you assert simply that there could be influence on congressmen from no-bid-contract war mongers, but you will not believe it until it is PROVEN (this is another way to format text). Intellectually defensible, perhaps, if lives were not being lost in the process because of the slant cast on foreign situations, because of the unseen pressure and inducements which color the congressman’s perceptions, and keep us at war. The first law of sociology (oh, whathisname invented it) is that once an organization is founded in order to accomplish a specified goal, its first goal immediately becomes not its previous first goal, but continuing its existence. Same only to the nth power with corporations where such behavior is incentivized and promised to shareholders.

Further, morality sometimes demands not only avoiding actual commission of immoral acts, but also the active avoidance of SEEMING to commit immoral acts. You don’t need further explanations, you are quite smart enough to get the point.

Simply stated your rules for governmental behavior make it seem like your standards for personal morality might lie in the libertarian spectrum. I think we should expect and receive exemplary behavior from those we elect, not slimy, influence peddling, conniving, war mongering, padding their own futures and PROFITING from all decisions. Is it wrong to hope for excellence in one’s leaders?

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By Go Right Young Man, February 20, 2010 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

It must be my Firefox browser.  I looked at all the posts on this thread through Opera, Chrome and EI and they all render your post as you intended.  The problem is mine.  Darn it. LOL

Thank you for your time in explaining the brackets.

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By Shenonymous, February 20, 2010 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

oops. I see a sentence separated in my last post.  Damn!

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By Shenonymous, February 20, 2010 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

Oh sorry I forgot, here I am writing directly in the text box.  To italicize, use plain
square bracket [ then an i, then a / end bracket].  It might be that my just typing
that will have invoked the formatting.  We will see.  To do a bold, using brackets
again only substitute a b for the i.  I.e., (using square bracket and a b, then /
and another b end square bracket
.  If you mess up, it will affect the entire
previous thread!  Many of us have committed that posting sin. 

Upon previewing what I just wrote, it seems to have been said correctly.

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By Shenonymous, February 20, 2010 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment

Every so often the text does seem to have lost formatting but so far just a
couple of times on this thread.  Does it always look funny?  I cannot tell
because when I access the forum it looks just fine.  This happened before.
When I directly use the text box on the forum itself, it always comes up screwy. 
But I use TextEdit and MSWord to check how it looks, am careful not to enlarge
the forum text box and it always looks fine when I post then do a preview. 
Returning to the forum and submit it always looks fine.  I have no way of telling
it is messed up!  I really don’t know what more to do.  Sorry if it looks that way. 
I find the time of posting always weird too.  Like from the time zone where I
live my posts always show six hours later than when I posted.  I’ve contacted
the webmaster but he has never responded.  I’ve had others help me about this
problem, other posters who checked for me when they are on the forum but we
don’t alway co-post if you know what I mean.  Do you have any suggestions?

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By Go Right Young Man, February 20, 2010 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

You always offer interesting context and narratives.  Much appreciated.

Which text editor are you using that causes your posts to lose its formatting?

Does anyone know how others are able to italicize text on TruthDig posts?

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By Go Right Young Man, February 20, 2010 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment

No_Man, - “Those same companies that are supplimenting and replacing our military capability regularly lobby our congress. They provide lucrative revolving door positions to congress and military alike. And now, they are free to spend limitless amounts from their treasuries to influence the same congressman that you would like providing oversight. We have seen Dick Cheney, the former CEO of Haliburton, exude tremendous influence over policy and decision making that not only led to no bid contracts for Haliburton, but the waging of war itself. — And none of this is a problem for you?”

-

Can you provide me with information which I can study regarding DynCorp and others lobbying the U.S. congress to go to war?  That would interest me.

-

I simply do not yet put the same weight as you do onto this subject. 

We’ll not agree that Vice President Cheney’s involvement with Haliburton was ominous.  We’ll not agree that his involvement led to Haliburton’s No Bid Contracts (Haliburton was designed by the congress and already had the contracts for these services prior to his involvement with the company and the 2000 election).  We’ll not agree that these models we’re discussing are, necessarily, going to create, in and of themselves, For-Profit wars.  We’ll not agree that these companies have “unlimited budgets that will afford them “unlimited” lobbying monies.

These types of companies are unusual enough to warrant vigorous oversight. - Is it your understanding that these types of companies were designed “by the Right” or the Bush administration?  I can tell you that is not the case. 

-

The congress designed these models. 

Do you have a solution to the dearth of manpower and equipment amongst the Armed Services?  Are you willing to advocate a larger military budget and the re-introduction of the draft?  Any suggestions would be interesting to discuss.

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By Shenonymous, February 20, 2010 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

Why does anyone think they are entitled to free stuff?  Well, free air, okay, free
water.  Clean for both of them must be paid for as nobody works for free!  And
to keep them clean takes work and costly technology, but they should be
nearly free because the ordinary person is not directly making them dirty and
needs them to live healthy lives, uh has an inalienable right to them. 
Corporations are responsible.  Wanna bet they aren’t?  Of course as the
argument can go, and it is chicken/egg arguing, the ordinary person wants
things that farmers provide and corporations manufacture, hence they are
indirectly responsible for the pollution from the factories, and combine farms
but then corporations want to make tons of money so they cut costs in not
providing safeguards against pollution.  So where does it all get us.  Dead, even
the corporations. That is anti-Darwinian.  Guess, though, one could also argue
that being dead is a goal of God who then can populate his heaven with dem
daid spirichual bodies.  So it is pro-God to pollute.  No one likes that
argument?  Wonder why?  It is perfectly logical.

Free health care?  Sounds preposterous.  Must be some mistake.  Some
misunderstanding?.  There are too many who might want paid, health care
providers, you know, doctors, nurses, aides, builders of hospitals and
developers of life saving machines, ambulances, equipment like plasma
refrigerators, oh we could go on infinitely with that, pharmaceuticals who have
some right to remuneration but not the way they all stick it to those who need
medical help to live. What about the insurance companies who gouge the
public but who do provide payment for health service?

You know the whole concept of insurance is interesting.  People need good
health.  It seems to be a natural right. Don’t you think?  So they don’t have the
money to take care of their health (maybe self-caused maybe not, mostly not). 
The insurance companies are there to provide a safety net and pay for the
services needed for health when needed. 

However, insurance companies charge premiums beyond the cost of the health
care because they can, and while many need it many do not who pay for the
care whether or not they use it and insurance companies see an opportunity to
make tons of money.  Same thing with medicine and also, in many more cases
than is ethical, health care providers. 

Mainly, though, insurance companies are deferrers of cost.  At some point, the
piper needs paid.  The ones needing the health care don’t want to pay.  The
providers don’t want to do it for free, but the insurance companies don’t want
to pay either.  So what is the moral thing to do to save lives? 

The one needing health care somehow has to pay something.  A great many of
them have worked for companies that as part of their wages receives health
care insurance to cover most costs.  So it is not as bleak as it might look at
first.  But there are lots of people who did not work for companies who
provided adequate or any health care.  So they are stuck with their thumb up
their ass and die because they don’t have any means for health care.  Evidently
they did not have a natural right to good health.  How am I doing?  So far so
good? 

The tornado of health care costs has skyrocketed because there was no one
watching that the insurance companies did not grab all of the small dollars
most everyone has.  Lots of small dollars add up to billions because the
population is 307 billion in the US. So insurance companies make tons of
money while people die because they cannot afford health care. 

Tea Party shit! The government has a constitutional duty to make sure every
citizen has the minimal welfare provision of health, food, housing, and a
modicum of happiness, meaning a sufficient means to pursue a worthwhile life. 
While the latter is subjective, there is an objective obligation that it be
accessible.

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By no mans land, February 20, 2010 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

Go Right,

I appreciate your honest discussion here, but I must confess that I am disappointed. Your answer is precisely what Bradley meant when he said that we are nuclear giants but ethical infants. If you can’t see the moral dilemma of war for profit then I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to come to any sort of agreement. Nor am I sure you’ve thought this through completely.

Those same companies that are supplimenting and replacing our military capability regularly lobby our congress. They provide lucrative revolving door positions to congress and military alike. And now, they are free to spend limitless amounts from their treasuries to influence the same congressman that you would like providing oversight. We have seen Dick Cheney, the former CEO of Haliburton, exude tremendous influence over policy and decision making that not only led to no bid contracts for Haliburton, but the waging of war itself. And none of this is a problem for you?

Republican Dwight Eisenhower once said of then Decmocratic Senator Harry Truman that due to his efforts to combat war-profiteering, he probably “added another two divisions to the fight.” I tell you this because back then, our military and political leaders were much too aware of the impact war profiteering could have on the natinal machinations. They are the same people that the Right often celebrates as the “greatest generation.” And yet, the Right often embraces the exact oppososite of what they believed and stood for.

I’m afraid that your answer, while an attempt at centrism, has fallen short of the independence I was hoping you would express. If we as people and individuals don’t have a problem with war for profit, if we don’t have a problem with a system that incentivizes and perpetuates the impetus to go and remain at war, then we are already lost. We will suffer the consequences. The world will one day turn on us.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 20, 2010 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

No_Man,

While I share you concerns regarding “for-profit” NGO’s involvement in U.S. national defense I believe we will not share the same gravity of concern.  It’s important to understand why the Congress and Pentagon designed this model.

In short I will say that it’s vitally important to have congressional oversight of such firms.

The Haliburton and Dyncorp models, for example, was designed by the congress in the 1990’s to service the overall military in an “support” capacity.  In other words; these companies, by design, are meant to free up fighting forces that would otherwise be supplying logistical services. - Forks and knives.  Eating trays and latrines.  Hospital beds and fences.  Training and technical support.  All in order to keep to the “two battlefield”—“overwhelming force” defense doctrine.

It seems the Congress believed another draft was not the way to address the dearth of manpower and equipment after the popular “Peace dividend” cuts that followed the fall of the Soviet Union.

A word about No Bid Contracts.  The U.S. cannot take bids on contracts that are meant as aids in logistical support to troops BEFORE plans are made public.  Taking bids is a public forum. 

These models, while perhaps necessary at this time, are not to be trusted without question.  Vigorous oversight is vital.

Does this address your question to me?

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By RenZo, February 20, 2010 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

How much intelligence could you hope to find in a movement that takes its name from a technique of oral stimulation of male genitalia? Tea-Baggers: absolute idiots. But wait, what country did they grow up in?

I disagree with the author in only one (albeit major) point. I apparently grew up in the same country as Mr Whatley, and although I played “cowboys and indians” as a child, I never really swallowed the Cultural Hegemony that America was a “bastion of freedom and opportunity”. When I started forming my own opinions, I asked questions of teachers like:  what happened to the native Americans? why did America keep slavery for so long? And even today I ask myself why are gays and lesbians not provided the equal protection of marriage? So history and the current identity of the US looks different from my specific intellectual position inside its internal structure and meaning.

South Africa admitted its past and has struggled as a nation to believe in the work of its Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s. Post war Germany revised textbooks & curricula, adjusted its national identity and paid reparations to Jews for the genocide of the Nazi era. BUT, the US does not as a nation admit to harming natives who lived here for thousands of years before the slave trading christians arrived with modern weapons, nor has it offered reparations to the descendants of slaves freed less than(?) 150 years ago. OF COURSE the TBs believe their position is coherent: to reduce taxes AND reduce deficit AND reduce terrorism with new Crusades. As they demonstrate, it is fully American to brag about freedom and equality of opportunity while supporting the harshest internal national divisions between rich and poor in the world. It is fully American to claim to support democracy around the world, while supporting tyrants in some countries, fighting anti-democratic corporatist wars in others, and allowing legal and open corporate control of elections in our own country. It is fully American to claim that every fetus “has a right to life” but children already born do not have a similar right to nourishment, medical care and education. Most abstractly and precisely however, IT IS FULLY AMERICAN to lie very un-self-consciously, like a puppy peeing on the rug, about who you are and what you want, as long as you call yourself “free and equal”.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 20, 2010 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

MarthaA,

No health-care, anywhere in the world, is free.  I believe we should eliminate the word “free” from all discussions of health-care.

England taxes income, investment dividends and personal savings to pay for their social services.  Health-care is not free.

Also England is now attempting to inject more market forces into their health-care delivery system in order to better control costs.

England has long acknowledged that their system is very quickly going broke. It may be wise for us to take a more in-depth look at their situation before we proscribe it for the United States.

It’s worth repeating that no health-care delivery system is free.

Question:  Do you trust and believe the U.S. government spends your money more wisely than you do?

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By ofersince72, February 20, 2010 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

Sorry , we surely don’t have a solidly two party
system….we don’t even have a system anymore.

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By Shenonymous, February 20, 2010 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

Once again, MarthaA, I agree with you, that a parliamentary system could be a
better solution.  However, a tricameral as one model occurred in South Africa
begun in 1984 and lasted until 1994 set up to represent warring ethnicities:
58% White, 27.5% Colored; 16.5% Indian.  A representative electoral college
selected an executive State President who appointed a Cabinet of Ministers in
charge of general affairs.  The judiciary was independent and remains so today. 
However, as is the usual course of events in matters of politics and
partisanship, it ran into too many difficulties and transformed into the present
parliamentary form of today.  It was nonetheless more than an interesting
experiment in cooperative politics. 

A parliamentary form allows any number of parties to participate and a better
representation of the people would be possible.  As it is, the facts are as you
have stated.  At the national level, the US solidly has a two-party system, much
as there are those who blindly think it can be different.  20th/21st century
history of politics give evidence to that.  Changing the present constitutionally
based representative triple branch form of government that we have, Congress,
Executive, Judicial to a parliamentary form is an enormous undertaking and I do
not think is possible given the solid traction the present form has.  You would
have to come up with some pretty clever intelligentsia who could convince the
entire voting population that a change is in their best interest.  Then the
process of convincing each and every 50 sovereign states that the change is in
the best interest of that population.  Do you really think that is a viable option? 
I say no.

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By MarthaA, February 20, 2010 at 9:40 am Link to this comment

A Parliamentary Political System, similar to England, is preferable, because all factions have the ability to be represented in a Parliamentary Political System, which is probably why England has free health care for all their population; their populace is represented.

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By ofersince72, February 20, 2010 at 8:58 am Link to this comment

/\/\===*** O S U R 1 2 ***===/\/\

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By MarthaA, February 20, 2010 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

Some people will NEVER understand that our government is only a Two-Party Institutionalized Political System in the United States.  When the United States gets gutsy enough to get a Three-Party Institutionalized Political System,  it will make sense to run 3rd Party, now voting 3rd Party on a national basis is throwing your vote away.

You will know when the government has a Three-Party Political System institutionalized,  because both houses of Congress will have to be changed to accommodate the Third Political Party.  Now there are the Republicans on the Right and the Democrats on the Left.  Hopefully soon the populace will rally for a new third party, the Populace Party, or something similar.

For a Third Political Party, to represent the populace, it is necessary for the populace to think outside the box.

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By MarthaA, February 20, 2010 at 8:41 am Link to this comment

Some people will NEVER understand that our government is only a Two-Party Institutionalized Political System in the United States.  When the United States gets gutsy enough to get a Three-Party Institutionalized Political System,  it will make sense to run 3rd Party, now voting 3rd Party on a national basis is throwing your vote away.

You will know when the government has a Three-Party Political System institutionalized,  because both houses of Congress will have to be changed to accommodate the Third Political Party.  Now there are the Republicans on the Right and the Democrats on the Left.  Hopefully soon the populace will rally for a new third party, the Populace Party, or something similar.

For a Third Political Party, it is necessary to think outside the box.

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By no mans land, February 20, 2010 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

Go right,

I’m eager to hear your reaction to my latest post and whether or not you
condone what I’ve described.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 20, 2010 at 7:27 am Link to this comment

ITW,

There are two people on TruthDig in which I have called out as dishonest.  Manchild months ago and you very recently.  If you recall I also outed you as a hateful bigot.  Same with Manchild.

You can easily and quickly prove me completely wrong, and incidentally prove your abilities in reading comprehension, if you can show us where I wrote anything close to the following.

“And he (GRM) reminds us of what the Right will do to us if they ever return to power, and how they will clothe impoverishment in “Free Market”, a return to pollution in “deregulation”, public school religious education as “freedom from government interference in religion”, religion as “science”, and the silencing of dissent as “Liberty”.”

Several people here are having an interesting, productive and honorable discourse.  This seems not to interest you at all.

I will continue to believe you to be dishonest, and a hateful bigot, until you illustrate otherwise.

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By ardee, February 20, 2010 at 6:27 am Link to this comment

MarthaA, February 20 at 12:45 am #

Neither a Green vote nor an Independent vote will restructure the Democratic Party.

True, but voting Green is not intended to “fix” either Party , only to provide the means for establishing a Progressive voice in our govt., one not utterly owned by corporate money. I would concede that, as more and more break away from continued loyalty to a party that has betrayed us all, the Dems might very well be forced left to woo us back, but that is not my main thrust in support of third party politics.

A common theme runs through all your posts ; that “fixing” the Democratic Party is the only real solution. Yet I have only seen a suggestion that people join community Democratic Party organizations and work for change through primary selections of candidate favorable to progressive agendas.

As one who was a member of said organizations, and for years in fact, I will attest to the impossibility of bottom up change to a party that is driven solely from the top. I still await actual and specific recommendations from you and will, in their absence, continue to believe that ending the stranglehold of the Duopoly that runs our nation for the benefit of the privileged few by means of third party growth is the only real and peaceful means available to us.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 20, 2010 at 5:27 am Link to this comment

GRYM serves a very useful purpose here:

He continuously shows us what the Right is thinking, both politically and tactically.

He reminds us that they will twist any fact, bend any rule, make up any lie in their quest to return to power.

And he reminds us of what the Right will do to us if they ever return to power, and how they will clothe impoverishment in “Free Market”, a return to pollution in “deregulation”, public school religious education as “freedom from government interference in religion”, religion as “science”, and the silencing of dissent as “Liberty”.

He keeps it fresh in our minds of just how dangerous an arrogant, hateful, but attractive ignoramus Sarah Palin is.

And, to top it all off, GRYM deploys the Rightwing tactic of indiscriminately labeling EVERYONE who disputes his “facts” as “dishonest”.  It’s that use of “Big Lie” labeling that has been the Right’s most effective weapon.  They understand that a simple lie is easier to spout and goes farther than a complicated truth.

So GRYM keeps US honest.  As we play circular firing squad he comes here and reminds of just what a danger “shooting” each other is—because he and his fellow Foxers are out there waiting to steal our nation once again and finish the descent into a fascist dictatorship that Bush&Co; started.

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By ofersince72, February 19, 2010 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment

Martha you probably voted for Barrack believing
that would bring some form of liberal change of
policy.  It didn’t did it.

(excuse me,  I am not afraid of Limbaugh demonizing
  and prefer the word liberal to progressive)

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By ofersince72, February 19, 2010 at 9:38 pm Link to this comment

That primary theory holds NO WATER , sorry Martha
if you wait on the primaries for change in the
party it will much longer before the cows come home

The DNC is responsible for Cynthis McKinney losing
her primaries and tried to do the same to Kucinach.
They got the bucks.

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By MarthaA, February 19, 2010 at 8:45 pm Link to this comment

Neither a Green vote nor an Independent vote will restructure the Democratic Party. 

The Democratic Party can only be restructured from within the Democratic Party through Primary Elections, and no one can vote in the Democratic Party Primary Elections except registered members of the Democratic Party.

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By ofersince72, February 19, 2010 at 7:43 pm Link to this comment

A Green vote or other Independent vote is a vote
for the restructuring of the Democrat Party.

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By Shenonymous, February 19, 2010 at 7:38 pm Link to this comment

For the most part Go Right Young Man, in spite of being the Democrat (left but
to the center and often reviled for it) that I am, I don’t see much with which I
disagree with you about.  It is my stiff-necked belief that greed cannot be
eliminated from the human mind.  It is embedded in their genes. 

But we ought not to make the categorical mistake of defining greed for self-
interest.  One is nurture, the other is nature.  I do not say that there is not an
excellence in capitalism.  But I do say that when it runs amuck and people are
exploited for it, then it becomes immoral and the people have an inalienable
right to prevent and stop it if need be.  Social laws are the way to do that. 
Large societies such as the US need to have social programs so I do not have
disdain for some socialism.  But, I have expressed my view that people, as the
conscious human beings they are, have an inherent need to be simultaneously
both independent and a social animal. 

Each and every human has the need to be able to think freely and be able to
develop their humanity to the degree that they can, whether or not they do so,
they need the freedom to do so.  If that humanity means success at material
gain, then that is what they ought to be free to do as long as no one is harmed
in the process.  It is necessary that morality be attached to acquisition of
material accumulation.  At the same time humans cannot ignore the needs of
their society and the integrity of their country.  It is a matter of balance
between the individual and the society where a life is to be lived.

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By ofersince72, February 19, 2010 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

Martha, if you really like the Dem Party, or
believe that they are the only hope for some sort
of politcal fix,,

You need to quit voting for them for ANYTHING
local, state, federal, everything.

Let the party completly collapse and rebuild it.
It will not be fixed from within.

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By MarthaA, February 19, 2010 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

Hillary Clinton is definitely a conservative, corporate DLC cooperator with the conservative Right-Wing Republican EXTREMISTS.  The DLC New Democrats are the problem in the Democratic Party that needs to be primaried out.

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By ofersince72, February 19, 2010 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

Did anyone see the little exert of Hilary
delivering a speech to a woman’s college in Saudi?

I thought it was George Bush with blond hair..

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By MarthaA, February 19, 2010 at 6:42 pm Link to this comment

Deliverance from sin is on earth, before the return of Jesus, which may be a considerable length of time, regardless of what some people say.

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By ofersince72, February 19, 2010 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment

Jesus Christ,  I sure hope we don’t have to wait
another millenium for you to come back..
It’s getting bad down here Jesus…

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By MarthaA, February 19, 2010 at 6:21 pm Link to this comment

Only through prayer to God for deliverance and the acceptance of the blood of Jesus Christ shed for the redemption of sin can one escape a spirit of greed.  There are many people who are not greedy.

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By no mans land, February 19, 2010 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment

Go right

On greed, we may not be able to eliminate it but we certainly don’t need to
embrace, glorify or incentivize it the way we do. Case in point. Roughly 65%
of our military, particulalry the support functions, have now been
privatized. That means that 65% of what the military calls “the total force”
is now profit driven rather than mission driven. So what incentive does that
65% of our total military force have to win or end a war? What incentive
does it have to start or maintain one? Enter gen mccaffery of dyncorps,
who is paraded in front of the american public as a trusted expert to argue
for another 10 years in afghanistan. The people listen to him and agree
because he’s an expert when what’s really happening is that dyncorps is
shaping the political environment to accept a course of action strictly for its
own profits. The afghan people be damned and the blow back to american
interests and people be damned. For those of us who have lost family and
friends in these wars, that is a crime beyond comprehension. And now
what are they calling the war? “The era of persistent conflict.” Never-
ending war and perpetual profits for dyncorps. That’s the difference
between greed being an unfortunate trait that some people have and a
system that embraces it.

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By ofersince72, February 19, 2010 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment

After America’s industrial of 1861-65, the
labor movement stepped up in order to persuade
the Capitolists to share some of their wealth.
It was a long stuggle and many died, most at the
hands of national guards brought out at the
capitolists requests.
People were living in garbage cans for a few hours
then working eighteen to pay back the debt they
incurred for their pasage to the states.
These struggles persisted,  the capitolist never
gave anything up…
I also nnow of no FREE MARKET system that has ever
occurred.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 19, 2010 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

Yes. An echo.  LOL.

So forgive me for repeating myself.

It is my unbending belief that greed will never be eliminated from the human condition.  We would all be unsuccessful in gathering ten people who will agree on the very definition of “greed” - Is it greedy to feel a sense of anguish when a salesman or butcher, architect or the CEO of his company, small trucking operator or limousine service, when it is demanded that they give half or more of their labors to a central Washington that will, off the top, dump 30% into a greedy and wasteful black pit?  Or an arms race they, for personal reason, want no part of?  Or a war they disagree with?  Refuse collection in New York City?  Or $4 million for a study as to why a large pile of manure polluted a vacant lot in Kentucky?  Is it greedy not to want to line the pockets of some State Transportation Dept. bureaucrat?  Does this properly identify the greed and violence No_Man describes? 

What seems most missing in this type of discourse is the context. 

The majority of $millionnaires$, typically characterized by many as evil and greedy demons with their foot on the neck of the little guy, are hard working and sincerely giving human beings.  Progressives -used loosely- typically speak in terms of the pain these productive people cause to others and society as a whole.  Well, this simply does not effectively line up with the nature of daily American life.

Let’s not make humans into demons out of our own sense of “fairness”.  Let us also remember that most billionaire human beings are human like Opra and Buffet are human.  Like Cosby and Branson are human.  Or the evil and greedy CEO of Berkshire Hathaway who decided to donate most of his fortune—$31 billion—to the Gates foundation.  These people are not the exceptions.

-

Striving to build a global community or monetary system wherein there are no “Have and Have Not’s”, no sense of competition or pride, no motivation of gathering or accumulating for one’s self or family demands that humans not be human.

With all it’s ills and benefits the right of private property, the accumulation of wealth or possessions without confiscation, is essential to capitalism and a continually growing economy for all.

A representative form of government, with an independent judiciary, with as free and open commerce as possible under the law, allows for the greatest number of people to prosper. 

Competition is not violent.  Competition is not only basic human nature, it’s also proven to be the best way to drive down prices and raise services for everyone.  Particularly the poor.  It’s also the best way to promote innovation. 

Capitalism and the free market of ideas has lifted billions out of object poverty and away from subjugation and misery.

Large centrally controlled economies and services all too often lead to a narrowing of wealth into the hands of fewer and, very often, to lead to starvation and outright mass murder.

-

It swings both ways folks.  A large socialistic approach will, necessarily, put more power in the hands of Cheney/Palin when the pendulum swings that way.

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