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Posted on Oct 13, 2008
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

The rage bubbling up from America’s impoverished and disenfranchised working class, glimpsed at John McCain campaign rallies, presages a looming and dangerous right-wing backlash.

By Chris Hedges

(Page 2)

The Patriot Act, the FISA Reform Act, the suspension of habeas corpus, the open use of torture in our offshore penal colonies, the stationing of a combat brigade on American soil, the seas of surveillance cameras, the brutal assaults against activists in Denver and St. Paul are converging to determine our future. Those dark forces arrayed against American democracy are waiting for a moment to strike, a national crisis that will allow them in the name of national security and moral renewal to shred the Constitution. They have the tools. They will use fear, chaos, the hatred for the ruling elites and the specter of left-wing dissent and terrorism to impose draconian controls to extinguish our democracy. And while they do it they will be waving the American flag, singing patriotic slogans and clutching the Christian cross. Fuld, I expect, will be one of many corporatists happy to contribute to the cause.

This is a defining moment in American history. The next few weeks and months will see us stabilize and weather this crisis or descend into a terrifying dystopia. I place no hope in Obama or the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party is a pathetic example of liberal, bourgeois impotence, hypocrisy and complacency. It has been bought off. I will vote, if only as a form of protest against our corporate state and an homage to Polanyi’s brilliance, for Ralph Nader. I would like to offer hope, but it is more important to be a realist. No ethic or act of resistance is worth anything if it is not based on the real. And the real, I am afraid, does not look good.

Chris Hedges’ column appears Mondays on Truthdig. Hedges, a Pulitzer prize winner and a former foreign correspondent for The New York Times, is the author of “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.”

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By cyrena, October 20, 2008 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

II

And speaking of ‘venomous’, we see through all of this inflammatory rhetoric as well. I can throw out as many adjectives as you can, but at the end of the day, you wind up with exactly what Leefeller pointed out, and I reposted for your consideration…

“…When the argument becomes about the argument, and not the topic, there are no right or wrong answers..”

OPINIONS can rarely be taken out of any discussions about politics or religion, because OPINIONS are ideology, and we all have them. What we CAN and MUST do, is to recognize the difference between the facts/reality, and what are opinions/ideology informed by those facts.

So save the rhetoric and your emotional ideology, because Chris is right that these are perilous times, (again, he’s a little late out of the gate there) and we need to stay on point.

And NO, Obama is not ‘the one’ because there isn’t a ‘one’. I’ve said that a few million times, because that’s a matter of Civics 101. We don’t do monarchies here. It is NOWHERE in the bold print or the fine print.

As for all the rest, grow a thicker skin.

Then there’s this:

•  “These comments are rude and show your contempt for the opinion of others.  In addition you’ve also went so far as to claim that I’m racist regarding Arabs when the reality is I’ll be voting for an Arab-American.  That was a deliberate attempt to skew the facts.  Invoking the point that NADER and not Obama was an Arab American was racist.  However you obviously did not care in the least the repercussions your comments could have or you wouldn’t have made them.”

YOU again skewed my own remarks, and called them racist. I was very clear in what I was pointing out. I was pointing to the hypocritical IRONY, (based on IGNORANCE) of the woman who was howling about not wanting Barack Obama as president, because she thought he was an ‘Arab’. And in the intentionally created climate of racist Islamophobia, IGNORANT people have decided to associate ‘Arab’ with “terrorist”. I pointed to the hypocrisy of the fact that the same ignorant people who are associating Obama with “Arabs who blow things up” are supporting Ralph Nader, who HAPPENS TO BE AN ARAB.

Now THAT was the purpose of my comments, so don’t tell me that I wouldn’t have made them. My point was clearly made. If there were ‘repercussions’ they would only be on the ignorant racists, and THAT was my whole point. I couldn’t give less than a damn that you plan to vote for an Arab. If Obama *was* an Arab, I’d be voting for one myself.

But then, this race thing really only matters to ignorants and racists. Since Obama is clearly the most qualified of all the candidates that have offered themselves up for the position, it wouldn’t matter to me what color/race/ethnicity/religion he or any of the rest of them happened to be. But then I’m not racist or ignorant.

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By Tony Wicher, October 20, 2008 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment

FENWICK,

Fine, do what you want. It’s a free country. I’m just trying to keep it that way. I’ll agree, if you live in Massachusetts, you could vote for Nader without hurting anything, except, of course, the national popular vote total where I would like to see as massive a landslide as possible. We not only have to win, we have to massively crush the Republicans, because this is the only way no-balls Democrats might start to grow some and vote the way we progressives want them to.

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By Shenonymous, October 20, 2008 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

It is rather sophomoric to think that a human, a politician at that, is a deity and attains to be “The One.”  You might check your needs quotient to see why it is you seek “The One.”  Also, one must seriously engage in a dialogue with oneself and ask to what degree am I assessing the information?  How much am I relying on others, besides the candidates, to provide the answers for my thoughts?  Why am I not able to evaluate the information bombarding my senses myself?  Some booze or drug of choice might help numb the pain you get from the answers.

It might really be “last rites” if Republicans win again, so every vote counts.  Sending a message through a protest vote may be on the order of sending it to Alpha Centauri where nobody is there, and by the slightest chance Carl Sagan is wrong and there is, they just wouldn’t give a F*CK!.  Get a grip.

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By Tony Wicher, October 20, 2008 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

By Outraged, October 20 at 11:24 am

Well, I certainly agree with Hedges that these are dangerous times and that we are on the verge of complete fascist takeover. It will happen if the Republicans are allowed to steal this election. Where I disagree with Hedges is that I think by far the most effective thing anyone can do to prevent this is to support Obama, Howard Dean and the Democratic Party by any means available. I just called the DNC and told them they should spend 20 million starting right now on a massive national ad campaign that comes right out and says: “Beware! Republicans are trying to steal your right to vote!”, and telling voters nationwide how to protect themselves from these voter suppression tactics. In Colorado, I hear that over twenty percent of the voter registration rolls have been purged. There should be national ads as well as ads to target specific states such as Colorado and Florida where Republican Secretaries of State are purging voter rolls in a manner that targets Democratic constituencies and is guaranteed to prevent millions of valid voters from voting. That’s what I consider to be a realistic way to fight against fascism.  What does Hedges have to offer? Nothing but despair. That’s because he lives in an idealistic world.

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By Tony Wicher, October 20, 2008 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

Well, if you Nader followers won’t take it from me, take it from Noam Chomsky. Vote Obama!

http://therealnews.com/t/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=2593

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By Outraged, October 20, 2008 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment

Re: Tony Wicher

Your comment: “Hedges is a total idealist. He is anything but a realist. His grasp on political reality is tenuous at best.”

I disagree.  I’d be interested to know how you come to your conclusion?  I feel you are not taking Hedges seriously enough, he’s seen it happen, how MORE REAL can you get.  He is saying that if we continue going down this road to ruin, and he’s seen it happen are we making an INFORMED decision.  Is this the best we can do, does everyone truly understand the gravity of the situation..?  As in the excerpt below: 

An economic collapse does not only mean the degradation of trade and commerce, food shortages, bankruptcies and unemployment; it means the systematic dynamiting of the foundations of a society. I watched this happen in Yugoslavia. I fear I am watching it happen here in the United States.

I feel Hedges understands the REALITY of an economic collapse and what could have been done BUT WASN’T (politically) in other countries.  As he says:

“Financial collapses lead to political extremism. The rage bubbling up from our impoverished and disenfranchised working class, glimpsed at John McCain rallies, presages a looming and dangerous right-wing backlash.

“....as unemployment skyrockets and as home values go up in smoke, we must prepare for the political resurgence of a reinvigorated radical Christian right. The engine of this mass movement—as is true for all radical movements—is personal and economic despair. And despair, in an age of increasing shortages, poverty and hopelessness, will be one of our few surplus commodities.

I don’t feel Hedges is speaking of political “idealism” but more of finding a VIABLE political option to hopefully thwart a very possible dangerous reality.

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By Anarcissie, October 20, 2008 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

Leefeller: ’... One thing we must consider, this is a form of entertainment?’

I certainly think so.  Here I am, performing the important task of letting the world know what’s what, instead of cleaning the cat box, washing the kitchen floor, taking out the garbage, picking up my clothes from the bedroom floor, going to the laundromat, taking the junk out of the front room, hiding the air conditioner, finding the vacuum cleaner, going to the grocery store, paying my bills, repaving the bathroom, ....  What could pull me away from these lovely enterprises other than sheer amusement and ecstatic delight?

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By Leefeller, October 20, 2008 at 10:08 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie,

You may be correct, most people are leading with their egos and confrontational egos at that. Listening or reading in our case on the web, is something most posters may do not seem to have the ability to do ojectivity.  Sometimes when I read something, how it was stated becomes the issue, instead of the issue itself. This may be my ego?  Usually I am willing to discuss anything of interest and have changed my mind by a worthy exchange of opinions.  Ego need not part of discussion, we have seen the bickering going on and on. 

Engaging ideas and discussing issues in depth should be a learning experience. Some people feel the last word is the winner, their ongoing contention kind of reminds me of siblings in the back seat of a car.

One thing we must consider, this is a form of entertainment?

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By Anarcissie, October 20, 2008 at 9:42 am Link to this comment

I must say I haven’t observed people changing their minds very much, and that’s 20 years or so of observation.  Things I’ve read have changed my mind, of course, but I’m an outlier—an extraterrestrial.  (Well, there has to be some explanation.)

I could be wrong, of course.  I’ve never seen a scientific study of how participating in discussions on the Net affects people’s opinions about public issues.

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By Folktruther, October 20, 2008 at 9:01 am Link to this comment

I actually agree with Tony Wicher, Anarcissie, that people’s outlook are influenced by communal discussion on the web.  Although you are quite right that our opinions are linked to our self images, formulating them for other people clarifies them and allows them to be stated more briefly and simply.  And in the process of doing so implications that would not otherwise emerge can be stated explicitly.

For example, you got me interested in cooperatives.

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By Tony Wicher, October 20, 2008 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

By Outraged, October 19 at 8:54 pm #
I would like to offer hope, but it is more important to be a realist. No ethic or act of resistance is worth anything if it is not based on the real. And the real, I am afraid, does not look good.”
————————————————————————-
Hedges is a total idealist. He is anything but a realist. His grasp on political reality is tenuous at best.

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By timbryan, October 20, 2008 at 6:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What few will openly talk about:

http://www.natall.com/free-speech/fs0203c.html

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By Tony Wicher, October 20, 2008 at 12:49 am Link to this comment

By Anarcissie, October 19 at 7:27 pm #


Tony—to clarify: I think it’s obvious that one vote out of a hundred million has an infinitesimal chance of changing the outcome of an election.  Infinitesimal means, for all practical purposes, zero.  But you might want to go ahead and try to get other people to vote as you like anyway because you have a mystical belief in some kind of overarching collective thing that is going to elect someone or other.  To me, that’s a religious view, and you’re welcome to it; I’m not telling you not to vote, or not to convince others to vote.  I just don’t happen to have much belief in that view of things.  If I vote for Obama it will not be because I think it will change the outcome of the election but because McCain’s campaign has become utterly repulsive and deserves the strongest possible rejection.

I think, though, that haranguing people on the Net is pretty much a waste of time even if you do believe your vote is significant and you can change the minds of others whose votes are also significant.  The kind of people who write on the Net by and large attach their opinions to their egos, and any attempt to change their minds is read as an attempt to subjugate and defeat them.  At least, that’s how they appear to me; Net habitués whose minds change are extremely rare.  Hence I recommend giving money to the candidates of your choice and seeing if you can do any footwork and personal contact for them.  Save the Net for your own entertainment and enlightenment.
——————————————————————————
Some people do change their minds in various ways as a result of participation in such internet dialogues as this one. Me, for example. I change my mind, I learn a lot, I am both entertained and enlightened by some of the exchanges I have been a part of here. If some have found my posts enlightening, I am sure I have found some other’s posts equally so.

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By Outraged, October 19, 2008 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment

Re: lewb

Your comments: “Obama showed promise,but he has compromised on important issues to get elected. We will see if he delivers. I hope I am wrong about Obama.Nothing would make me feel better than to wrong about Obama.”

“I don’ dislike Obama. I don’t believe he’s the one.”

I agree.  Often the comments here devolve into a love-hate thing.  It isn’t about loving or hating Obama, or even McCain.  It’s about assessing the information available, looking at track records, stepping out of our norms and engaging history as a window into our future.  To whit, I’d like too emphasize, “Nothing would make me feel better than to wrong about Obama.

I also agree with Chris Hedges and his summation:

This is a defining moment in American history. The next few weeks and months will see us stabilize and weather this crisis or descend into a terrifying dystopia. I place no hope in Obama or the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party is a pathetic example of liberal, bourgeois impotence, hypocrisy and complacency. It has been bought off. I will vote, if only as a form of protest against our corporate state and an homage to Polanyi’s brilliance, for Ralph Nader. I would like to offer hope, but it is more important to be a realist. No ethic or act of resistance is worth anything if it is not based on the real. And the real, I am afraid, does not look good.

Thank you Chris Hedges. Good article.

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By Outraged, October 19, 2008 at 9:05 pm Link to this comment

Obama is using the same political rhetoric of Clinton and is about as genuine.  To call either centrist is to claim a zebra has spots.

Obama says he supports our civil liberties but voted to reaffirm the PATRIOT Act and FISA. He says he will expand the Pentagon budget, and on Israel he promises to do whatever it takes to protect the country from “terrorists,” paying little to no attention to the plight of Palestinians and their suffering in Gaza.

The good senator also wants to put Americans to work with a neo-Keynesian economic plan, producing millions of “green jobs” across the country. Our addiction to foreign crude surely needs to be dealt with, but Obama’s call for diversified energy sources includes some not so great alternatives, such as nuclear power, clean coal, and more domestic oil production.

Obama also claims to speak for the underprivileged but has refused to support a cap on credit card interest rates and has spoken little about the ruthless prison industry, the war on drugs or the death penalty—all of which unfairly affect the poor….

“...Such a political philosophy (bigotry) is void of historic truths. One need look no further than Cintontime to grasp the amount of abuse the Democrats are allowed to commit because they are not Republicans. It’s the political version of the battered wife syndrome. Once Democrats are elected and things don’t change, progressives are still silent. And Clinton’s legacy is a long, ugly list of betrayal indeed: NAFTA, Welfare Reform, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty and Iraq Liberation Acts, the Salvage Rider, and the shattering of Glass-Steagal, which is greatly responsible for the current market meltdown.

So don’t fear standing up and voting for what you believe in, no matter how fringe or foolish you are made out to be by others who claim to know better than you. Our democracy is in peril. War rages on. Jobs are scarce and the environment is being destroyed at an exponential rate. Voting on the likelihood of perceived social gains in the short-term is not only erroneous; it is without a true understanding of what it is going to take to bring about real change in this country.

http://www.palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=14193

“Joseph Biden is neither a Jew nor an Israeli. He is the Democratic vice presidential candidate who unabashedly declared, “The Democrats’ support for Israel comes from our gut . . . and ends up in our heads.” Sound familiar? Haven’t we already had eight years of a president who “thinks” with his gut and expects the rest of us to behave like dung beetle larvae? Speaking strictly for myself, I’m tired of their balls of poo.

Could it be there is no difference, no possibility of change as Obama promises, between the Democratic and Republican parties’ subservience to Israel’s shadow government on K Street or their tacit support of Israel’s internationally condemned policies toward the Palestinians?

http://www.counterpunch.org/weitzel09022008.html

In his signing statement, President Clinton was praised by Vice President NAFTA as an issue that was able to “transcend ideology” and gain bipartisan support. Clinton compared the signing of NAFTA to the fall of the Berlin wall, while promising that “NAFTA means jobs.
American jobs, and good-paying American jobs.” Clinton promised that “NAFTA will create 200,000 American jobs in the first two years of its effect” and “a million jobs in the first five years of its impact.” Of course, this did not happen.

For residents of Michigan, the impacts of the NAFTA have hit close to home. As corporations have moved jobs outside of the United States to maximize profits by paying lower wages and to escape regulations, the economy in Michigan has suffered.

http://www.mediamouse.org/features/060107bill_.php

Public Citizen Ten Year Track Record of NAFTA
http://www.citizen.org/documents/NAFTA_10_democracy.pdf

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By Outraged, October 19, 2008 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment

Re: cyrena

Your comment(of many):

You also fail to understand or acknowledge the difference between respect for an opinion, and agreement with it. I can respect what your opinion means to you, but it doesn’t mean that I always can or will agree with it. And my disinclination to sugar coat things isn’t an indication of rudeness. What I think you’re reading is impatience, and my own patience is actually more enduring than the average person’s patience. I’ll take all the time in the world to find a way to explain a concept to someone who clearly wants to understand the concept, (whether they agree with it or not). But I’m smart enough to know when someone is deliberately and willfully refusing to acknowledge or ‘grasp’ something, just because they don’t like whatever it is.

>>This is what you claim, but your venomous attacks certainly prove the opposite .

“anyone who has the blessing of a whole view, and not a constipated one,”

“you’re still just slipping further and further into your own delusional and neurotic world.”

“you never did tell me how YOUR Congress people and YOUR Senators voted on the FISA legislation, so I decided to look it up myself.” (this is just creepy)

“why did you not lobby both of your OWN senators to vote Nay on that bill?” (you haven’t any premise, what would you know of this AT ALL)

“Pretty convenient to demand participation in the debates, when he’s never been willing to take part in any of the rest of the system, to have the guts to defend a position, based on his own supposed ‘ideals’.

Now I would have been OK with Nader in the debates, because contrary to what you and he seem to believe,”  (So…first you say it’s “not okay” and then say it’s okay….????)

“which is what he was attempting to do by telling his cult”

“demonizing Obama doesn’t make your guy look any better.”

Things you’ve called others

“You’re kidding, right? Or deaf, mute and BLIND maybe???”

“How about really, really, really SLOW on the uptake? Or do you and the rest of you Naderites suffer from an iodine deficiency?”

“May you should try this yourself…specifically the OBSERVATION AND INTELLECTUAL PROCESSING part.”

“Make sure your table salt is iodized, and see a geriatrics specialist. They have new suggestion to help old people now…to try to catch them up.”

These comments are rude and show your contempt for the opinion of others.  In addition you’ve also went so far as to claim that I’m racist regarding Arabs when the reality is I’ll be voting for an Arab-American.  That was a deliberate attempt to skew the facts.  Invoking the point that NADER and not Obama was an Arab American was racist.  However you obviously did not care in the least the repercussions your comments could have or you wouldn’t have made them.

Your constant reference to those who support Nader as “Naderites” shows your debased view of others opinions.  If I am a Naderite(in your opinion) then are you an Obamabot?

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By Anarcissie, October 19, 2008 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment

Tony—to clarify: I think it’s obvious that one vote out of a hundred million has an infinitesimal chance of changing the outcome of an election.  Infinitesimal means, for all practical purposes, zero.  But you might want to go ahead and try to get other people to vote as you like anyway because you have a mystical belief in some kind of overarching collective thing that is going to elect someone or other.  To me, that’s a religious view, and you’re welcome to it; I’m not telling you not to vote, or not to convince others to vote.  I just don’t happen to have much belief in that view of things.  If I vote for Obama it will not be because I think it will change the outcome of the election but because McCain’s campaign has become utterly repulsive and deserves the strongest possible rejection.

I think, though, that haranguing people on the Net is pretty much a waste of time even if you do believe your vote is significant and you can change the minds of others whose votes are also significant.  The kind of people who write on the Net by and large attach their opinions to their egos, and any attempt to change their minds is read as an attempt to subjugate and defeat them.  At least, that’s how they appear to me; Net habitués whose minds change are extremely rare.  Hence I recommend giving money to the candidates of your choice and seeing if you can do any footwork and personal contact for them.  Save the Net for your own entertainment and enlightenment.

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By cyrena, October 19, 2008 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment

Tony Wicher writes

•  There is no such thing as “the One” unless you are thinking of Neo in “The Matrix”. Obama is just one guy, not “the” one.

Thanks for pointing this out. Obama has indeed repeatedly explained this. In fact, he’s made it clear time and time again, that this election is NOT ‘about’ HIM! It isn’t. It’s about US, primarily because that’s what a democracy is. I think I’ve mentioned this a few times. Naderites seem to be more inclined toward a monarchy. By their very nature, monarchies are authoritarian, as are Theocracies. That isn’t what we have, nor should it be the goal. So, like the old song says, (and as a few of the participants of the old Civil Rights Movement have suggested), “We don’t need another hero.”

What has happened, (unfortunately in my own opinion) is that the political cesspool of negative attacks (in both the Clinton and now the McCain campaigns) have done their best to MAKE this about Obama, when theoretically, it shouldn’t be about any ‘one’ person, and like Tony says, there is no such thing as ‘the one’.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 19, 2008 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment

Tony Wicher, October 19 at 11:37 am #

Re: Outraged, October 16 at 3:05 pm #
Re: ITW

Everything ITW says about the last eight years is true; however, it is also true that the process of deregulation has been going on since before the Reagan administration, and Clinton tried but did not succeed in reversing the momentum of Republican rule and social and economic decline that began with the Vietnam War and has continued for forty years. He did what was politically possible, but many problems, in both foreign domestic policy were swept under the rug during the Clinton years, problems that the Obama administration will now have to deal with.

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

Yeah, but it’s really tough to argue that what is going on NOW is directly connected to the election of 1980 and the entry of extreme Right-Winger Ronald Reagan into the White House, 27 years and 9 months ago.  People just don’t understand that it all began that sorry day in January of 1981.

I just had this discussion with a Conservative friend (who’s voting for Obama because he’s saying neither McCain nor Palin is a Conservative) and he was trashing Jimmy Carter.  Then I pointed out that the “stagflation” that cost Carter the election was a large part the responsibility of Paul Volker.  Then I said “And didn’t Reagan keep Volker and his policies on?” “yes” “So the policies that made Carter look bad later made Reagan look good when they finally bore fruit, didn’t they?”  He just got really thoughtful…

Then I pointed out that Carter was warning us about energy and foreign oil, and that Reagan just shut that all down…He didn’t have too much to say on that either.

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By Leefeller, October 19, 2008 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

“I see many believe Obama to be the anointed one.”

Do you mean to smear or rub with oil or jelly? Referring to Obama to be conferd divine going into holy office or as others have stated since the beginning of this campaign calling Obama a rock star? Finally are you just saying he is the leading candidate?

Your list of concerns toward Obama are founded but repetitious for many of us who have the same concerns and been voicing them relentlessly here on TD since the beginning of time, what choices do we have?  If you say Nader, I will have an very polite answer for you. 

Read Tony Wicher’s list posted by She, and if you do not like or feel it possible, fine.  Make a recommendation and support it, or please do not vote at all.

We have been screwed by corporate interests starting in the early twentieth century, so do you have someone in your pocket who will jump on 98 years of corporate crap, keeping it to yourself?  Ron Paul, doubt it.

We have two shity parties, deal with it, some of us are.

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By Tony Wicher, October 19, 2008 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

By Leisure Suit Larry, October 19 at 5:09 am #
(Unregistered commenter)

lewb, October 18 at 4:24 pm

I think Obama has progressive intellectual roots that go back to early childhood. He is also black

He’s black?  What a surprise.  So is Clarence Thomas, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and JC Watts of Oklahoma.
—————————————————————————-
LSL,

Note the way you carefully clip off the rest of my sentence, which was “He is also black AND I DON’T THINK HE HAS FORGOTTEN IT”. Unlike Condolezza Rice, Clarence Thomas and JC Watts, whom I would describe as Oreo Cookies, Obama is half black inside as well as out.

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By Tony Wicher, October 19, 2008 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

Didn’t you listen to Obama’s remarks at the Al Smith dinner. In the Al Smith dinner, Obama said he wasn’t “the One”; he was actually born on the planet Krypton and was sent by his father Jor-El to save the Earth. At least he’s trying to diminish expectations. There is no cult of personality here.  There is no such thing as “the One” unless you are thinking of Neo in “The Matrix”. Obama is just one guy, not “the” one. There is a historic political sea-change happening now which Obama no more created than you or I. But he has been prescient in seeing it coming and has skillfully positioned himself to lead the country in these difficult times. The forces of history have thrown up this leader; the leader has not created the movement. He’s not Superman, but I think he will provide the leadership we need.

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By Back bencher, October 19, 2008 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Tony Wicher, October 19 at 11:37 am

“Clinton tried but did not succeed in reversing the momentum of Republican rule and social and economic decline that began with the Vietnam War”

Please don’t make me fucken laugh…

Eisenhower (R) began the Vietnam war, Kennedy (D)continued it, Johnson (D) Escalated it (with a Bush-like lie) Nixon (R)  pushed it across borders and Ford (R) ended it. Nixon (R)deregulated Oil, Carter (D)partially deregulated Banks, Telecoms, and Airlines and Reagan continued the process. Democrats largly controled congress during those years, and went along with the executive branch, no matter which party controlled the White House.

Clinton, Your hero agreed with the Republican majority to compleatly deregulate the banking industry abandoning Democratic New Deal principles created after the last depression. In 1999, he and the Republicans compleated work on a bill which would repeal The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. his words; “This is an antiquated piece of legislation, no longer necessary in a global economy” 

is an OOPS appropriate here?

Clinton a backwoods governor from a “right to work” state was and is a political animal intersted (as they are) only with his own grasp on power, and his own financil well being.  During the Bush years it is reported (but not confirmed because even during Hillary’s campaign he refused to release his personal wealth figure) he made 300 million dollars, and got out days before the crash.

Clinton has as much in common with a factory worker or a motel janitor as I have with a Somolian. He did nothing for working folk, except make sure they had lots of extra time when he sent their jobs off-shore.

Barr in 08

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By lewb, October 19, 2008 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

I see many believe Obama to be the anointed one. The one who will reverse the current situation. Will he rein in the obscene military budget? Will he make the repeal of Taft-Hartley Act a priority. His campaign has raised $605 million in campaign funds,itself an obscene amount. I don’t believe Obama can separate himself from the influence of people who threw him the money. I would like to believe he is the one,but his connections to people with lobbies to the special interests make me believe otherwise. I voted for Clinton and I was disappointed with his administrations. I believe Obama will also be a disappointment too. Clinton showed promise but he bowed to the military after they mauled him. He should have pushed for national healthcare himself instead of having Hillary be the frontman.Obama showed promise,but he has compromised on important issues to get elected. We will see if he delivers. I hope I am wrong about Obama.Nothing would make me feel better than to wrong about Obama. The bad guys are kicking we the people in the face. I believe there has to be a movement away from consumerism and its false premises. We have the capacity to change the direction to course for a self sustaining economy,one that put’s people ahead of corporations. I fear we are preaching to the choir
commenting here.Many people are fooled by the right wing and their ilk.Progressives have an uphill climb against them.I am afraid of the horrific possibilities that are rearing their heads. I don’ dislike Obama. I don’t believe he’s the one.

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By Tony Wicher, October 19, 2008 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

Re: Outraged, October 16 at 3:05 pm #
Re: ITW

Everything ITW says about the last eight years is true; however, it is also true that the process of deregulation has been going on since before the Reagan administration, and Clinton tried but did not succeed in reversing the momentum of Republican rule and social and economic decline that began with the Vietnam War and has continued for forty years. He did what was politically possible, but many problems, in both foreign domestic policy were swept under the rug during the Clinton years, problems that the Obama administration will now have to deal with.

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By Tony Wicher, October 19, 2008 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

By Anarcissie, October 18 at 7:29 pm #


Tony Wicher: ‘… The main point of voting is to exercise one’s POWER as a citizen of a democracy to move the country in the direction one thinks best. If you say that power is insignificant, you are saying that democracy has no meaning. ...’


On the contrary, democracy has a number of meanings, but except in myth one of them is not that you have the power to affect the outcome of a presidential election by casting a vote.  This also applies to the people you’re haranguing about voting for Nader. 

If you really want to maximize your effect on the election, do as one of my friends did last Sunday: go to a “battleground” state, and harangue the undecided voters.  (She went to Pennsylvania and was given a list of haranguees by the Democratic Party there.)

Be careful how you harangue them, though, or the effect you have may not be the one you desire.
——————————————————————————-
Anarcissie,

You just don’t make any sense.  I don’t have the power to affect the outcome of a presidential election by casting my vote? What??? This is a myth? What??? Since they don’t matter anyway, I guess you wouldn’t mind if the Republicans steal our votes through fraud and voter suppression?

In my last post I also said that we can multiply our power as individual citizens by persuading (“haranguing”) other citizens to vote as we do. I don’t have to physically travel to “battleground states”, because I can do so just as well from my desk at home, as indeed I am doing right now. In this way I am doing much more than merely voting; I am entering into political dialogue with my fellow citizens (including you) in an attempt to help create a general political consensus. Such a consensus is in fact taking shape and I am proud of my role in helping to lead it.

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By Shenonymous, October 19, 2008 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

I always have the greatest respect for our elders, especially Tao Walker and his sage advice.  The problem I always have though with the American Indian perspective is that first of all most Americans do not have that superpatient psychological perspective because most have a sanguine super sensitive nature that is awfully difficult to eject.  It is very similar to the Buddhist view, to meditate to find one’s real self.  The Buddha noticed a long time ago how violent men can be and figured out how to throw a roadblock in their path.  Meditation on the nature of reality.  It is a nice bit of advice, to slow down, become calm in one’s head (mind) and heart (spirit), but for 305,450,160 and counting as of 17:29 GMT (EST+5) Oct 19, 2008, it becomes moot given the reality of human nature en masse. Perhaps if smoking peyote became a national pastime???  Or Proud Mary legalized???  I my humble opinion it will take some hallucinogenic to calm down this huge population.  Knock them on their collective ass.

Also given the incessant conditioning the corportacracy provides, it is impossible for even a simple majority to calm down.  It can work for small tribes or therapy groups, especially testosterone-laden Texas Hold’em poker-playing male therapy groups.  The politics of fear feeds the utter dread most Americans are experiencing daily.  Humans are naturally reactive, particularly when survival is at stake then it becomes a frantic reaction.  That is what is happening with our current money-based problems.  The Profit Motives are inexorably on the move and hardly stoppable.  It is obvious that Britain knows best, and that Paulson is trying to figure a way to save face.  Unfortunatley, it is all Sitting Bull shit.

You are so right in your Lockheedean advice.  However, change on the order we are thinking about, massive change of a massive number of people, can only be done slowly, because it is cannot go faster even if it wanted to.  It is inescapably and helplessly glacial in its movement.  And I’m afraid the world cannot wait, nor can this country.  Paying for under-the-bridge outhouses, might work.  Especially if the sewage can be sent to Corporate Headquarters and their political buddies’ offices. That would make revenge very satisfying.  Maybe we can get our revenge by sending a black and white man to the White House?

But thank your anyway for your brand of sage advice.  It, along with Tao Walker’s and Sodium’s too by the way, is always appreciate.

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By Leefeller, October 19, 2008 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

She,

Your post was comprehensive and very worthy of reflection and comment. Two items to which I would like to comment.

“More and more people are looking for and finding alternative lifestyles, “more” pastoral so to speak, more “cooperatives.” And the room under bridges will soon become very very crowded. Over dramatic.  Yeah, probably. History repeats itself. “

Your Paragraph above, reminds me of Tao Walker’s comments in many respects, he has suggested in his very special way, for us as a people to calm down and live our lives as people instead of programed puppets. Tao says it much more eloquently than the disservice I do here.  The key word, which called to me is “pastoral”, reminding me of Tao Walkers words of serene therapy.

Now for the room under the bridges, this could become prime penthouse living, especially bridges with secure shopping cart parking parking facilities.  Would providing restrooms be called socialism, no I guess not as long as they were pay toilets. 

She, your Tony Wicher list of suggestions may makes or be very close to the lofty grade of wisdom, we discussed elsewhere.  “Change” as I learned at Lockheed, needs to be done slowly allowing people to feel involved and connected and part of the the change, shoving it down their collective throats, only works for those doing the shoving, others may not appreciate the fact that some of use our not geese.

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By Anarcissie, October 19, 2008 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous:
‘Anarcissie, would you please explain “cooperative” HMOs and insurance systems.  I haven’t heard of such agencies. Is there one in existence that we can see as a model? ...’

A cooperative is a business owned by its employees, or by its customers (a consumers’ cooperative), or both, and governed democratically—one person has one vote, rather than as with a traditional corporation, where one share has one vote and a few big shareholders can outvote everyone else.  Obviously such a system could be applied to running HMOs or insurance companies.  The management would be highly motivated to pursue the interests of its clients, since they would be elected by the clients.

Last time I looked (using Google) I found a few cooperative HMOs in, as I recall, Wisconsin.  Since I don’t live in or near Wisconsin, I can’t make a personal evaluation.  The lack of them elsewhere suggests political or legal impediments, although as I said previously most people seem uninterested in such things anyway.

I think there is a good possibility of civil violence regardless of whether or how the people are indoctrinated by the authorities.  Authentic culture might make a difference.  In any case, violence is unlikely to fix anything unless, as in Germany, there is so much of it and the destruction is so total that a shift in culture takes place.  Marx’s idea of a violent collapse of capitalism and the succession of a socialist workers’ regime was based in part on the idea that people are rational, but the ones we see around us are not.  The prospects of a Marxist transformation of society as described in the Manifesto are, then, rather dim, and I suggest waiting for some other bus.

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By Leisure Suit Larry, October 19, 2008 at 6:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

lewb, October 18 at 4:24 pm

I think Obama has progressive intellectual roots that go back to early childhood. He is also black

He’s black?  What a surprise.  So is Clarence Thomas, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and JC Watts of Oklahoma. Bobby Jindel is Indian,but in hispart of the State he could pass for “black, and I’ll wager none of these folks forgets for one day that they are minority. To suggest otherwise is to engage in a racism akin to that to Lester Maddox, or Louise Day Hicks who was only 12000 votes short od being mayor of Boston in 1967. All the racism isn’t in the south.

I’ve still got a felony on my record for “crossing state lines to start a riot,” in a case tried in Birmingham Alabama in 1967. I know about old fashioned racism in these “united” States.


Obama’s roots are intelectual, I question “progressive” true progressives such as Mike Dukakis, are marginalized by our “selection process.”

I’m not sure Obama is the correct man for the job, That opinion has nothing to do with his color…. I’d vote for Elenor Holmes Norton in a second!

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By Shenonymous, October 19, 2008 at 4:49 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, would you please explain “cooperative” HMOs and insurance systems.  I haven’t heard of such agencies. Is there one in existence that we can see as a model?

Marx said the only way to “fix it” is for a violent revolution.  That won’t happen in this country because while many people are not schooled, and as class-minded people would called them, are the ignorant class, there are millions more who are, unlike the Russian and Chinese peasants who hadn’t a clue what was coming down on them.  Their proletariat, or working class were ignorant as well, having been unschooled, the bourgeois, or middle class or property owners, were also ignorant but these were not as large in number to be able to resist the violent overthrow of the fascist, totalitarian communists.  That was a whole different world where communication was practically zero compared to what society has today where information is sent in an instant.  Besides even in those circumstances, communism failed miserably and now the big kahunas are becoming capitalist behemoths. Now that is an irony.

The only possible overthrow here could be a military one, but that isn’t even likely since the military honorably serve the commander-in-chief and if they were going to commit a coup they would have done it already to overthrow the current worst president this country has ever had. 

So here we are, left to our own devices to suffer another depression.  Since it is a world wide disease, it cannot be stopped and much of life, economic life that is, will devolve. 

I mean what if we all got so poor we couldn’t afford the energy to turn on the television, or run our computer! Drive our cars.  How many of you are motocrossing anymore?  So the little boys fun is on the decline.  Oh my gawd!  What is going to happen to MIT?  Don’t laugh, it has happened to some people already.  More and more people are looking for and finding alternative lifestyles, “more” pastoral so to speak, more “cooperatives.”  And the room under bridges will soon become very very crowded. Over dramatic.  Yeah, probably. History repeats itself.

I mean the Profit Motives (the PMs, no I do not mean PMSers) will be desperate to bring some semblance of a market back so they may continue to accumulate their obscene wealth.  They already have or are planning to print more money!  Which I think is about as obscene a government gesture as Bush has already caused.  I mean folks, in eight short years, or long ones however you want to look at it, one presidential administration has ruined this country in every way possible; yes, with the help of both political parties. 

Wicher has the right six steps to “fix” it.  The people need to organize.  But you know what?  Poignantly contrary to what is intended, that is, the madness is, “We the People,” will by necessity create our own new set of politicians, since they are the ones who run organizations, and by any other name are still the nauseating dregs of society.  Or will we create a benevolent philosopher king?  It is so Greek tragedean, or a Shakespearean calamity, or a Samuel Beckett absurdity.  It will be an interesting drama whatever it turns out to be.  We can call it The Money Market Scaaaramble, a comedy in one act.  Oh what pessimism.

Worth repeating over and over again: The Wicher Plan
(1) Vote for Barack Obama.
(2) Vote for a filibuster-proof Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate.
(3) Follow the Howard Dean strategy of finding progressive Democrats to run against corporate Democrats. Hold their feet to the fire. Replace the Feinsteins with more Boxers.  (This means a bit of work though, to learn to see the distinctions.)
(4) Work with labor unions, which will now have a much more sympathetic ear in Washington. Press for repeal of Taft-Hartley.
(5) Organize huge anti-war rallies.
(6) In general, push your progressive agenda.
At last, someone in the White House will be listening.
Sigh

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By cyrena, October 19, 2008 at 4:44 am Link to this comment

yes lewb,

I remember it all, though I was relatively young at the time, and I’ve certainly spent years studying and teaching it since. That’s how critically important those years were to the legal and social history of this nation. And we continue to study and teach it, so that people will KNOW that history, and how it changed the basic fabric.

My comments weren’t venomous by any stretch of the imagination. What they were, (and specifically in response to what I very specifically reposted from your post) were incredulous that you honestly didn’t see the fascism that has already taken place in the past 8 years. That in addition to what is clearly the most severe economic depression we’ve seen since the Great Depression was something you suggested as a possible ‘if’. It just makes me wonder where you and so many others, (so I’m not just singling you out) have been for the past several years.
So yes, I’m consistently amazed AND dismayed, when I realize how many people (like you) still don’t get what’s happening in front of your very eyes. Because, the fact that so many still haven’t ‘got it’ is the reason it’s been allowed to go this far. That was my point, and it’s because this is such a frightening thing to witness.

Unfortunately, it is people like Nader who have simply not kept up, and so the same seems to be the case of those of his followers. You are trying to connect that Era and the issues involved, with what is happening now, as if simple demonstrations or taking to the streets is going to accomplish what that accomplished, and it’s far beyond that. This isn’t about a racial climate or segregation, because it’s no longer just black folks being victimized. THAT’S the point.
So no, I haven’t forgotten the racial climate of those days, but the same ignorance that created that, has created an even more dangerous environment since, because the first tool of the fascist is to divide and conquer, so they can divide and rule. That’s what’s happened. We are now in a far greater ‘class war’ than the racial environment of 50 years ago produced, and it’s not just about racial minorities.

Be that as it may, I’m not suggesting that Nader didn’t have good ideas, or that he didn’t contribute to beneficial legislation in terms of consumer rights and safety. It’s just that it doesn’t have anything to do with the racial climate of the Civil Rights Struggle, and it has nothing to do with the fascism that has developed over the past few decades in terms of the ever increasing meld between the Corporations and the Government, so that they are now one and the same. THAT is fascism, and it’s been here for a while. Since 9/11, nearly all of the previous gains of the CRM, in addition to the basic liberties and rights set out in the Constitution have been overturned in some very dangerous ways…putting us right in the mouth of the beast already. With a Supreme Court sitting on a razors edge, it would take only the election of John McCain to create a totalitarian entity that would dwarf that of Hitler and his Nazis. The so-called ‘war on terror’ is fascism writ LARGE! That doesn’t even begin to consider Cheney’s Unitary Executive, or the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive defense, and I could go on. It just dates your concerns of the past, because those gains have long become undone. In other words, those dots don’t connect, and that was the point of my response.

I highly recommend the work of Naomi Wolf, “The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot”,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjALf12PAWc
in addition to Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine” and Sheldon Wolin’s “Democracy Inc, The Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism”. There’s a new beast to add to the old one of the troubled 50’s and 60’s. And, it’s far more destructive.

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By lewb, October 18, 2008 at 10:00 pm Link to this comment

Dear Cyrena why so venomous? Did you forget the racial climate in the late 50’s into the 60’s? I remember Bull Connor,George Wallace,Strom Thurmond and other prominent politicians who fought to keep segregation. No one knew whether they would win out. There were murders in the south that didn’t even go to trial because of the majority of people in the south sympathized with the segregationists. The “government” had been dragging their feet for a long time. The resistance by politicians and complicit police forced the government’s hand. The
TV was a nightly parade of atrocious behavior by the segregationists. Please don’t degrade your arguments by demeaning me. It shows your intolerance to differing opinions. Fascist sentiment comes through in your comments. I respect your opinions,I just don’t agree.

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By Anarcissie, October 18, 2008 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment

lewb:
‘All these comments miss the point. This mess we are in has been in the making for an awful long time. This country has been sliding away from democracy and towards a corporate state. What’s to be done to fix it?’

First you have to figure out some way to get people to want to fix it.  Most people, or at least most Americans, and apparently even a lot of people posting on this leftie web site, are more or less happy with the corporate state.  The soi-disants “progressives”, by and large, would be happy enough with a kinder, gentler board of directors.

I’ll give one example.  Right now we have corporate medical care.  Some people want Single Payer, which is corporate medical care administered by the government.  Nobody (almost) wants to talk about people’s autonomous health care, which would be based on cooperative HMOs and insurance systems.  It’s not that it’s rejected: it’s so outlandish to the average soul that it’s not even an issue.

Sometimes, when I’m out doing my little bits of activism, I wonder: Why am I bothering?  Why am I annoying these people?

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By Anarcissie, October 18, 2008 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment

Tony Wicher: ’... The main point of voting is to exercise one’s POWER as a citizen of a democracy to move the country in the direction one thinks best. If you say that power is insignificant, you are saying that democracy has no meaning. ...’

On the contrary, democracy has a number of meanings, but except in myth one of them is not that you have the power to affect the outcome of a presidential election by casting a vote.  This also applies to the people you’re haranguing about voting for Nader. 

If you really want to maximize your effect on the election, do as one of my friends did last Sunday: go to a “battleground” state, and harangue the undecided voters.  (She went to Pennsylvania and was given a list of haranguees by the Democratic Party there.) 

Be careful how you harangue them, though, or the effect you have may not be the one you desire.

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By Shenonymous, October 18, 2008 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

lewb-I believe a great many of us have realized Nader has been right all along.  Surprise!  His being right is not the problem, it is his personality that has not been attractive all these years.  The fact that money talks ought not to surprise anybody.  What do you expect the corporations or wealth to do?  They have agendas they want to protect.  Labor will protect its own self-interest too, no surprise ought to be there either.  Those are three sectors but young voters, the poor, the middle class, are also sectors voting for their own self-interest.  Tony Wicher outlined a six-step list of what can be done that looks easily implemented.  What do you find wrong with it?  I don’t find a thing.

Just a reminder, Obama is half-black.  He is half in the white race as well.  It wholly bothers me that the fact that he is half white is always dismissed as nonexistent!  I do not forget it even though his race, regardless whether he is white or black, is important.  It only become an issue when one side is illustrated as if only its race mattered!

I realize the black community is ecstatic Obama is on the brink of becoming president as they may feel vindicated for their dreadful history. And I sympathize with that completely.  But I think it important that this man has feet in both races and represents a historical handshake between them.

I have joined the DFA.  Unfortunately there is no organization in the redneck ultra-conservative area of Texass where I live.  I will do my part other ways. (And yes, I am planning to move)

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By Tony Wicher, October 18, 2008 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment

I just watched the McLaughlin Group and heard them say Obama has socialist roots and intends to preside over the socialization of America. Sounds good to me.

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By cyrena, October 18, 2008 at 6:56 pm Link to this comment

By lewb, October 18 at 4:24 pm

•  “If we slide into depression then we will also have to worry about fascism making an appearance.”

~~

*IF* we slide into a depression?????

*THEN* we will also have worry about fascism making an appearance??????

You’re kidding, right? Or deaf, mute and BLIND maybe???

How about really, really, really SLOW on the uptake? Or do you and the rest of you Naderites suffer from an iodine deficiency? You’re stuck in the past of 40 years ago, and you DON’T even understand THAT!

Lyndon Johnson, for all his faults, accomplished the most important legislation of the 20th Century, IN CONJUNCTION with a Democratic Congress, and a progress Warren Supreme Court. And it wasn’t just ‘minorities’ who forced the series of legislation that became know as the Civil Rights Laws. Rather, it was a majority!!! Of course we had great leaders to assist in the efforts to organize and force the issue, but we would have gotten NOWHERE, (we hadn’t for the previous 200+ years) without a coordination of progressives acting in concert for the right issues, at the right time…though long overdue.

The downturn began with Regan, and we have become a corportacracy over the past 27 years. Fascism was FULLY incorporated with the coup of 2000, when the fascists overthrew the government. Where the hell have you been the past 8 years?

So lewb, here’s some advice from Inherit the Wind..

“..By Inherit The Wind, October 18 at 4:29 pm #
lewb, October 18 at 4:24 pm #
to Tony Wicher: What makes you believe Obama is not part of the problem.
Observation and intellectual processing.”

May you should try this yourself…specifically the OBSERVATION AND INTELLECTUAL PROCESSING part.

Make sure your table salt is iodized, and see a geriatrics specialist. They have new suggestion to help old people now…to try to catch them up.

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By Tony Wicher, October 18, 2008 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

Where are all the progressives to run against the status quo? You asked how we can fight against the corporatization of America. Well, I suggest you visit Howard Dean’s Democracy for America site, http://www.democracyforamerica.com/

DFA describes itself as follows:

Democracy for America is our nation’s largest progressive political action community. With over 725,000 members nationwide, DFA is a grassroots powerhouse working to change our country and the Democratic Party from the bottom-up. We provide campaign training, organizing resources, and media exposure so our members have the power to support progressive issues and candidates up and down the ballot. Join us in the fight to take our country back!

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By Tony Wicher, October 18, 2008 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment

By lewb, October 18 at 4:24 pm

I think Obama has progressive intellectual roots that go back to early childhood. He is also black and I don’t think he has forgotten it. He has run as clean a presidential campaign as has ever been run. He has said what was necessary and kept his mouth shut when necessary to win power, but he has said and done nothing that indicates to me that his instincts are not fundamentally progressive.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 18, 2008 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment

lewb, October 18 at 4:24 pm #

to Tony Wicher: What makes you believe Obama is not part of the problem.


Observation and intellectual processing.

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By lewb, October 18, 2008 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment

to Tony Wicher: What makes you believe Obama is not part of the problem. A filibuster proof Congress is no assurance they won’t vote to continue the corporate state. Where are progressives who can run against the status quo? Bernie Sanders is an Independent, because he knows the Democrats are no better than the Republicans. The Labor Unions have become irrelevant because they suffer the same disease as the politicians,their own self interests. There aren’t enough people uncomfortable yet to join in mass protests yet. Young people again need to lead the way like the Sixties protests. People in the minority are always
responsible for change. People who dismiss Ralph Nader will come to realize he has been right all along. The Democrats had majorities in both House of Congress during the Johnson Administration and Labor was closely allied with the Democrats. Nothing was done to repeal Taft-Hartley. Money talked then and it is talking now. If we slide into depression then we will also have to worry about fascism making an appearance. Politicians are not about to rock the gravy boat. I pray the people see the light. Hold onto your hats an ill wind is gonna blow.

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By Tony Wicher, October 18, 2008 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

By lewb, October 18 at 12:13 pm #


All these comments miss the point. This mess we are in has been in the making for an awful long time. This country has been sliding away from democracy and towards a corporate state. What’s to be done to fix it?
—————————————————————————-
(1) Vote for Barack Obama.
(2) Vote for a filibuster-proof Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate.
(3) Follow the Howard Dean strategy of finding progressive Democrats to run against corporate Democrats. Hold their feet to the fire. Replace the Feinsteins with more Boxers.
(4) Work with labor unions, which will now have a much more sympathetic ear in Washington. Press for repeal of Taft-Hartley.
(5) Organize huge anti-war rallies.
(6) In general, push your progressive agenda. At last, someone in the White House will be listening.

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By Tony Wicher, October 18, 2008 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, October 18 at 10:56 am #

There are two ways that a government typically is tempted to interfere with the economy. The first is through the initiation of force, and the second is through socialized industries. Neither of these activities are aligned with the proper role of government, and are both unacceptable.
——————————————————————————
The purpose of the government is not to “interfere” in the economy, but to regulate it. In the absence of such regulation, capitalist economy collapses of its own internal contradictions. That is where Marx is right as has been proved by history over and over again. Capitalist economy requires government regulation by democratic govenment. Regulation is different from centralized, command and control economic planning. The free market still consists of millions of individual businesses and workers and consumers making individual economic decisions, each in their own economic self-interest. Regulation does not interfere with, but rather facilitates and stabilizes the free market.

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By lewb, October 18, 2008 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

All these comments miss the point. This mess we are in has been in the making for an awful long time. This country has been sliding away from democracy and towards a corporate state. What’s to be done to fix it?

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By Shenonymous, October 18, 2008 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

Oraculate, Oct. 17, 4:30 amThere is a real genius to the evil design of things these days. If it was not so dangerous and of such ultimate consequence you might stand back and look at it as a masterpiece. Since I am trying to squeeze into my life a quickie education in economics, I am very much interested in your post and views however, I find this opening statement vague.  Could you please explain what that evil design is and who has designed it?

vigdor, I thoroughly appreciate your links to lovers of democracy and your comments.  I have checked both sites out and find them extremely helpful and surprisingly closely reflect my amorphous thinking that needs to be a lot more clarified.  I shall have to reread all the information as well as all of the links that reside therein.  I particularly found Gene Callahan’s treatise “The Right to Walk Away,” edifying. See http://www.panarchy.org/callahan/walkaway.2003.html
I recommend everyone read it and I am sending it to many friends and relatives.  Also informative is the 1968 essay Toward a General Theory of Planning by Hasa Ozbekhan at
http://www.panarchy.org/ozbekhan/planning.1968.html

It is my opinion that Laissez Faire capitalism might work for a small organization, where controls would be within and based on the close proximity of the entities to one another hence a self-generating regulatory policing of economic exercises.  But in a huge and dense population such as the United States, China, Russia, it is difficult, if at all possible, to not have a control provided by enforceable democratic central government regulation Democracy, that represents the individual through their chosen organization whether it be a Congressional format or other avenues such as through referendums, is without a doubt the best government for a large disparate populations.

Landauer and Rowlands (2001) says of Laissez Faire Capitalism - “Laissez Faire” is French for “leave alone” which means that the government leaves the people alone regarding all economic activities. It is the separation of economy and state.

There are two ways that a government typically is tempted to interfere with the economy. The first is through the initiation of force, and the second is through socialized industries. Neither of these activities are aligned with the proper role of government, and are both unacceptable.

“Laissez Faire Capitalism” is actually redundant, due to the nature of Capitalism. Therefore, simply “Capitalism” is sufficient to get the point across although historically it has been misrepresented as compatible with government economic interference.

Others discuss an idea called ruthless laissez faire capitalism that give notice to extreme individualism, which is what I see as an intense anarchic view of economics.  This view it is said believes other persons count for little to nothing and it is ‘natural’ and appropriate to exploit the weaker entities.  It is one of the tenets of the greed perspective. It is accused that laissez faire organizations provide the ‘atomistic, egotistic mentality’ that elevates this basic self-interested behavior.  This vision of economics seems to be the modus operandi of the American corporatists for the last 40 or so years under various presidential administrations and various configurations of Congress.

It is extremely dubious because no convincing proof is offered, that Darwinianism, as claimed by some Creationists, gives rise to ruthless laissez faire capitalism perspective when trying to impose biology to economics.

There is an excellent well-rounded description of laissez-faire at the Wikipedia site.  It would do readers a lot of good to do some personal research rather than to rely on all the posters here since they do not seem to be in agreement even though all of them appear to argue mightily and well even if on opposing sides.  It is difficult to sort out who might have the correct view.

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By Tony Wicher, October 18, 2008 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

ITW,

Clinton was also terrible on Afghanistan, basically he neglected the place from the start of his administration. If he had been paying attention, Al Qaeda would not have happened to begin with. Again, the luxury of ignoring Afghanistan is one that Obama will not have. These are the reasons I was unhappy with Clinton and was glad to have Obama to back this time out.

Brzezinski, one of Obama’s most prominent advisors, has said the last thing he wants is to get bogged down in Afghanistan as he provoked the Soviets to do. It will be fascinating to see what kind of policy he does come up with. Those Taliban are really ornery!

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By Tony Wicher, October 18, 2008 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

By vigdor, October 18 at 7:28 am #


ORACUTATE, on Oct 17th says: “Personally, I like capitalism; it works great if you enforce the principles of law and accounting.”
——————————————————————————-
vigdor,

The problem is not capitalism but laissez-faire capitalism. On the one hand, “free market” entrepenurial activity is a fundamental engine of economic production. However, by itself this leads to an oligarchic society with increasing concentration of power in the hands of a few and extremes of poverty and wealth which eventually leads to social collapse. So Marx correctly established. Therefore such activity must occur within a framework of rules and regulations and taxation that prevent these extremes from occurring, while still allowing the market to function. When the power of capital is allowed to take over the government, as we have seen under Republican administrations in recent decades, the result is no regulation and a rapidly deteriorating economy and society. This natural tension between government and capital is the very heart of the political process. The object is always to maintain a dynamic balance.

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By Tony Wicher, October 18, 2008 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

By Outraged, October 15 at 9:51 pm #


Re: Tony Wicher

Let me infuse some clarity.  This is “a nice speech” but, the FACTS do not back it up.
——————————————————————————-
Outraged,

This is clarity? Where are your facts, then? The rest of your post does not contain any, only your totally unsubstantiated opinion that everything Obama was saying about Roberts applies just as much to Obama himself.

What Obama was saying in his statement about Roberts, if you care to try to understand it, is that he believes Roberts would be too inclined to legitimize power whether or not it is used in an oppressive way. Obama is playing to win, that is to take power. Power in itself is neither good nor evil. Human society exists to generate power, the power of organized, goal-directed social activity. Obama is making a moral judgment about how power should be used, a moral outlook which he would like to see in any Supreme Court justice he nominates. He believe power should be used to lift up the powerless, not oppress them. He does not believe Roberts shares this fundamental moral outlook, or that Roberts would be sensitive to oppression. However Obama may have compromised in various votes and statements he has made in his efforts to take power, it is my intuition, my character judgment, that this fundamental sensitivity remains and will guide his presidency.

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By Tony Wicher, October 18, 2008 at 9:07 am Link to this comment

ITW,

There is no doubt that the Bush/Cheney administration ran this country into a ditch. With Clinton we had, comparatively speaking, eight years of peace and prosperity. Hoping that an Obama administration will be at least as good as the Clinton administration is all the reason any sane person should need to vote for Obama. However, I will say that the Clinton administration had many failings, especially in foreign policy, because Clinton had a tendency to sweep problems under the political rug instead of dealing with them. That particularly applies to the Israel/Palestine conflict, which was allowed to fester for Clinton’s entire administration. It would have required more political courage than Clinton possessed to reject the Sharon settlement plan and get a real peace agreement. Obama will not be able to afford that luxury. Of course, the political climate is different now. Clinton had to deal with a Republican majority. Conditions should be much more favorable for political and social progress now.

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By Anarcissie, October 18, 2008 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie: ’... I think, though, that if you really want to create a different kind of politics, you should be worrying less about the monarchical presidency and more about what’s going on in your Congressional district.  The virtue of the Green and Libertarian Parties is that they try to organize locally as well as run presidential candidates.’

Outraged:
‘Again, I agree.  However, the president SIGNS the bill. And a president who CARES about The People and is not bought out by monied interests, will more readily enact legislation in The Peoples interests.’

No such person is going to be elected in the U.S. without a party organization, and even if by chance one were, she or he would be unable to govern without a party organization.  A substantial party organization.

I’m not arguing against voting for a presidential candidate who represents certain ideas you like, even though you know he’s going to lose.  But if you are actually concerned with affecting the way in which government is exercised, you have to start at the lower levels, organize locally, and get people like Congresspersons, state legislators, and mayors elected.  A party that can’t do this isn’t going anywhere.  A president at odds with most of the Congress isn’t going to accomplish anything.  For all the U.S.‘s faults, it still does have a civil society of sorts—if it didn’t we wouldn’t be talking about third parties—second parties—anyway.

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By Tony Wicher, October 18, 2008 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

By Anarcissie, October 17 at 9:36 am #


Nader is not going to become president, and your vote isn’t going to decide the election no matter who you are or who you vote for.  The main point of voting for Nader or anyone else, from the point of view of an individual voter, is to make a statement about your beliefs and preferences.
——————————————————————————-
No so, Anarcissie. Anybody wanting to “make a statement” can march around with a sign or post a comment to this blog or write a letter to the editor. The main point of voting is to exercise one’s POWER as a citizen of a democracy to move the country in the direction one thinks best. If you say that power is insignificant, you are saying that democracy has no meaning. Democracy also gives each of us the opportunity to multiply our power as individual citizens by activism, which means by persuading others to vote our way. Without the actual, meaningful power of the vote the whole exercise is pointless. Naderites will never get beyond “making statements” to the actual business of politics, which is taking and wielding power, whether for private greed or for the good of the country.

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By vigdor, October 18, 2008 at 8:28 am Link to this comment

ORACUTATE, on Oct 17th says: “Personally, I like capitalism; it works great if you enforce the principles of law and accounting.”

It would be helpful to learn what principle of law the writer is thinking of that mandates capitalism?  I recall, the 19th-century economic theory of laissez faire capitalism, is without a mandate in the American Constitution as Mr. Justice Holmes explained in his famous dissent in Lochner v. New York, 198 US 45, 74-76 (1904).

ORACUTATE, on Oct 17th also says:  “The G-8 collectively agreed to national-ize to some degree their banks and it appears as though Gordon Brown was ahead of the curve. If you can do that what else can you do? You start out solving a crisis and discover new models to play with and perhaps serendipity meets ambition.”

It is certainly true, business produces conflict that can be brough to the surface where solutions to underlying problems may be designed.  This is best practice of management but I question whether this practice arises from capitalist values.  Perhaps the writer would tell us what capitalist values he/she refers to?  In the LoD Values Transformation Matrix, http://sunsite.utk.edu/FINS/loversofdemocracy/Transformative_New_Deal.htm#ANT we can see the decadent capitalist theory of action for “Individualism” and “The Morality of the Marketplace” which is what produced the current financial crisis. The antidote for this condition is “Interpersonal Competence” and “The Morality of Sustainable Development”  which is a theory of action embraced by democratic sustainability.  The conflict is marketability versus sustainability.  Democracy not capitalism supports what we all want, is this not true?

ORACUTATE, on Oct 17th also says: “There is a room full of cigar smoke right now discussing your future. They know better than you. If all economies are inter-connected then how do you continue to maintain national sovereignty?”

This is an interesting question that tells me we are engaged in real dialogue with a caring individual.  In a diaogue we must guarantee individal autonomy while in pursuit of group wisdom.  This means the value of economic and social inter-connection is not necessarily bad for any individal or group.  We need the diversity of perspective of the community group because our individual grasp of the community situation is very limited. We simply cannot see the whole picture without the wisdom of the integrated group world-view.  But when we obtain the understanding and grasp of this holistic picture of the problem situation made possible by meaningful group dialogue, everyone is a winner.  The way of the individual alone is too narrow and a guarantee of erroneous priorities, as my colleague Aleco Christakis explains in our article on the New Agora, http://sunsite.utk.edu/FINS/loversofdemocracy/NewAgora.htm

Vigdor Schreibman
GOOGLE: LOVERS OF DEMOCRACY (1st in the list of 2,000,000 Google pages on that topic)

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By Shenonymous, October 18, 2008 at 7:44 am Link to this comment

While I agree with much of what you said cyrena, the problem I see as present with the office of the president as constructed by the Constitution and its separation of powers is that the president, outside the scope of the office, brings a godlike hammer down on his partisan Congressmen, both Senators and House Reps, when he is not happy with the Congressional results. He gets his henchmen to drive nails in his own party’s politicians’ palms and feeds them the metaphorical equivalent of strychnine (part of his politics of fear strategy).  Doesn’t always work, but sometimes it does.  And he wields his granted power of the veto.  So that even if a piece of legislation passes the two legislative bodies, he can assign the bill to a long hellish process impeding the will of the Congress, which could include rehashing the bill and revoting.  This time around though the bill could lose with more partisan votes, which was the intention of the president.  I realize there are bills that a presidential veto doesn’t mean the death of the bill.  But my point is that the president has more power than a first consent of Congress.  He has a fist that can stymie much good legislation which is what has happened more than occasionally in the last eight years.  It happened under Clinton as well but not as conspicuously or notoriously as Georgie Porgie’s.  Am I wrong on this?

Watching Nader on The News Hour interview it struck me that he does have an amazing grasp of the financial problem and its origins and how to fix it without decimating the nation’s treasury, and which actually could provide the means to pay for most of the 850 billion dollar and counting bailout with his .1% tax on security derivative transactions would generate 500 billion dollars in just the first 12 months of implementation.  That seems a worth proposal at which to look more closely. That interview is worth watching and then reading the transcript.  At least Nader does have a specific idea on how to not use the country’s money that is so desperately needed for other necessary programs.  The problem with Nader, though, as you have said, I have said numerous times too, and others, is himself and for some reason if we took the time to psychologically analyze it, he just does not appeal to very many people.  He has his cult followers that cannot be denied, but he has alienated the rest of the political world.  For instance, if he was so good why didn’t he and Kucinich team up?  Kucinich is another one with incredibly good ideas and every body, well that is outside of the right-wing camp, agrees, except he too has problems of charisma with the majority of the voting population.  So good ideas are not enough.  I wasn’t so sure about the rest of his solutions to the national and world problems facing the presidency, but they are worth reviewing again.

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By Back bencher, October 18, 2008 at 6:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ITW says:

“No,
We were in a mild down-turn, DELIBERATELY SET OFF BY ALAN GREENSPAN who literally decided to “show” Wall Street who REALLY ran things and therefore unnecessarily tightened the money supply.”

Yeap it’s all the Jew’s fault, a thread visable in all ITW’s posts.

This “mild downturn” has nothing to do with the subprime loan fiasco, nor with people living on their credit cards for ten years. It has nothing to do with our policy to fight a war, and borrow the money from the Chinese, Indians, and Saudis. It has nothing to do with Carter’s deregulation of intrest rates, Reagan’s further deregulation of banks, or Clinton’s Republican “free market” fervor.

And no one has learned anything.

News Item:

GMC (lost 35Billion last year) is going to use it’s employees retirement funds (the last item in the black column) to leverage buy-out the almost dead Crysler Corp…. and they don’t even get Walter’s jewel, The Crysler building, because the owners sold most of that to a business group from the Middle East.

A country with no pride no manufcturing base, and no one who wants to work is a country on it’s last legs… This attu=itude transends the Bush administration, Alan Greenspan, or any one single person or group. It took a long time to bring the USA down, but we’re all complicit

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By cyrena, October 18, 2008 at 5:14 am Link to this comment

1
•  “…In addition, I do not find ITW nor cyrena to be WRONG, I find them to be consistently, deliberately, skewing facts, ignoring facts and in general rude and dictatorial…”

Outraged, this is subjective rhetoric, and that’s why you get frustrated with me, and probably with ITW, and probably why you don’t like Obama anymore. More than anything, you’ve fallen into the typically disingenuous practice of accusing whoever you’re opponent of the moment is, of behavior that YOU are actually engaging in.

You use subjective and inflammatory rhetoric like ‘consistently’ and ‘deliberately’ skewing facts, when in reality, we’re only presenting FACTS in the face of your rhetoric, and you end up looking foolish, because you’re emotionally invested in being RIGHT, about something that doesn’t have a right or wrong answer. You’re invested in having others AGREE with you, and when we don’t, it’s not enough for you to accept that we simply don’t agree, because facts combined with individual judgment, knowledge, and personal experience, create different opinions and value systems.

I have never ‘ignored’ actual facts, so I resent the accusation. I don’t SKEW them either, but rather the opposite. I separate the fact from the rhetoric. What you’re not able to grasp, (for whatever the reason) is that not everyone puts the same collection of facts together in the same way, because most ‘facts’ cannot be assembled in a stand alone type circumstance, which is what you attempt to do. In other words, the same thing that you’re accusing us of. You cherry pick information that will suit your agenda, (whatever it happens to be), and all of that sounds fine and good until somebody says/asks: “well, what about this, or what about that? Aren’t these OTHER things ‘facts’ as well?”

Then, instead of THINKING it through from a neutral stand point, (minus your personal biases) you try to bluff your way through, or blame somebody for being ‘dictatorial’ just because you’ve been challenged.

Now a different person, would actually WELCOME such challenges to our thinking, hypothesis, whatever. In fact, that’s what happens in academia, if one has a QUALITY mentor. We can’t grow in our intellect or anything else, if somebody just always agrees with everything we say, because that’s not real life, and it doesn’t do you any good. If any of us wants to hold a conviction about anything, we have to be prepared to defend it. If you can’t defend the stuff rationally, and logically, you will be dismissed. It’s that simple. Not because I say it, or god says it, or yahoudi says it, but just because that’s the way it is. And I don’t wanna just know what somebody thinks, I wanna know WHY they think it. You’ve not really been able to come up with much of the second part of that exercise. There’s certainly no ‘crime’ in that, but it basically means that you can’t make your argument or defend your position if you can’t come up with a rationale or logic to explain why you think what you do.

You also fail to understand or acknowledge the difference between respect for an opinion, and agreement with it. I can respect what your opinion means to you, but it doesn’t mean that I always can or will agree with it. And my disinclination to sugar coat things isn’t an indication of rudeness. What I think you’re reading is impatience, and my own patience is actually more enduring than the average person’s patience. I’ll take all the time in the world to find a way to explain a concept to someone who clearly wants to understand the concept, (whether they agree with it or not). But I’m smart enough to know when someone is deliberately and willfully refusing to acknowledge or ‘grasp’ something, just because they don’t like whatever it is. It’s immature and/or neurotic.

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By cyrena, October 18, 2008 at 5:13 am Link to this comment

2
Your comment here is more of the same:

•  “…Then again, it seems in their minds that not voting for Obama or facing the facts of Obama’s record to be heresy..”

This is petty bullshit, and you’re damn sure not relaying what’s in MY mind. I don’t think that you not voting for Obama is heresy, I think it’s plain damn STUPID, from a pragmatic standpoint, and based on long term consequences, and more than how you happen to ‘feel’. But, that’s just my own pragmatic opinion, because I think in a *whole* view instead of from an ideological one degree view.

What annoys me is that I have been very vocal on these forums in reference to my admiration and respect for most of Nader’s accomplishments, and I even agree, for the most part, with his ideology. But he does not have, and never has had, the temperament to be a statesman. That’s it. He cannot work with others because he is totally inflexible. And the thing is, he may be 95% correct in the things that matter the most, but if he can’t get the rest of the operation to go along with him, then it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference if he right or not!! Now YOU find this obstinacy to be an admirable thing, and there may be times and circumstances when it is. But not as a president or a statesman. And that’s exactly the point that Leefeller was making about him being a ‘divider’ and it’s the same very undesirable character flaw that we see in George Bush. It might not produce the same disastrous results, because Nader is obviously of a much higher intellect than GW is, and obviously maintains a high level of moral standards. But it’s STILL a character flaw for anyone holding the office of the US President, just because of the nature of our size and composition, and political structure. We are NOT a Monarchy Outraged, and we’re not a Theocracy.

So I don’t know if you need a more in-depth study of civics and political science or what, but there’s a reason for the separation of powers built into the foundation of the constitution. You like to go on about what Nader would or wouldn’t ‘sign’ as president, but that concept is a dictatorial one. In our set-up, the LAWS originate in Congress, and the President has his/her veto power, and the Congress has THEIR veto power. If a president has an agenda or policies that he or she wants to pursue, then he or she needs the consent of the Congress to get that accomplished.

I have never claimed Barack Obama to be some sort of a superman or mover of mountains, because he isn’t. I don’t always agree with him, because in some matters, *I* would probably say or do it differently. But overall, he’s the best prospect that the US has had in a long time, for considering the whole, and NOT the special interests of a few. He also perfectly understands the interconnectedness of what makes the whole, when you’re perfectly willing to split the baby in half to make a point, or to hold someone as some ideological hostage over a principle instead of a reality.

Would Dennis Kucinich have been just as acceptable in terms of the most urgent requirements of our political body? Well I certainly think so, but he’s run into some troubles in not being able to bring everyone else around. Whether that be a personal failing, or just a matter of time and circumstance is a matter for consideration I suppose. But I’d take him over Nader any day of the week.

Last but probably most importantly, your arguments are weak. Leefeller has said far, far, far more succinctly, what I’ve just tried to get across in all of these words:

•  “When the argument becomes about the argument instead of the topic, there is no right or wrong.”

This explains how you go off track, though I would add to it, something that one of my favorite professors and colleagues always tells her classes: There is no one ‘right’ answer, but there ARE ‘wrong’ answers.

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By cyrena, October 18, 2008 at 5:11 am Link to this comment

3
I would also add that anytime anyone tries to make themselves, or their cause, or whatever, ‘look good’ by tearing down the other, it backfires. We saw it happen with Hillary, and it’s now destroying McCain. (though he didn’t have much going for him to begin with.)

You’ve done this consistently for some months now; constantly nit picking at whatever you disagree with about Obama, to show how Nader is somehow better. But you don’t really come up with anything that makes Nader any better, WITHOUT demonizing Obama. The reason this backfires is twofold. First, because what YOU personally object to about Obama isn’t necessarily what another voter would object to. In some cases, what you complain about, and how you prioritize or otherwise value those complaints isn’t the way someone else would.

The other reason it backfires, (at least as an argument strategy) is because you have nothing more than what Nader SAYS, to offer any proof/fact that he would do anything any differently. He’s never exposed himself to such a challenge, namely by running for political office. So he can SAY anything. (so can I) But without exposing himself to the hard negotiations (and the language) of the bills/legislation being proposed, there’s no *record* to know WHAT he would do, or if it would work, or if he could convince others to sign on to it as well. So, while you talk about the ‘facts’ of Obama’s record in what is a very stand alone black and white paradigm, (without any consideration of the circumstances in play in any given situation) Nader doesn’t even HAVE a record, because aside from his inventions and other suggested legislation that Congress has adopted, (decades ago) he’s avoided ever creating one.

At the end of the day outraged, I don’t care how you vote, nor am I trying to dictate how you vote, and I’m not buying the heresy BS rhetoric either. That’s from your religious text, and has nothing to do with the real life mechanisms of a political body, no matter how imperfect they may be. There are many of these ‘right’ answers at play here, based on what is a very flawed electoral system. But, that’s what we have. So on the one hand, moineau reminds us how precious every single vote is, and she’s right, because the race issue (Obama’s) in this election prevents it from being anything close to the landslide that it SHOULD be, if reason and logic were the determining factors. We’ve already seen one man win the popular vote, and lose the election. That’s another of those ‘just the way it is things’.

On the other hand, anarcisse reminds us that no one individual vote is going to determine the results of this election, and that too is true, again because of the flawed electoral system. So your ‘one’ vote isn’t going to matter, and you can and should do whatever you’re gonna do. But you’ll be doing it based on what makes YOU ‘feel’ good, and not because of what is a common good result. BECAUSE..the reality is that Nader cannot win this time, just like he hasn’t been able to win the last 4 times that he’s run. That’s the reality, even if you don’t like it. There’s a whole bunch of reality that I don’t like, but I’ve yet to prove that ignoring or denying it is a preferable option, because it isn’t.

And again, my own reminder…demonizing Obama doesn’t make your guy look any better. Your guy has to look better on his own, and then present himself as the better candidate. So far, he hasn’t done that, and it damn sure isn’t because he hasn’t had multiple opportunities to do it. He just hasn’t wanted to do the work. And this time around, he’s NOT the better candidate.

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By Outraged, October 18, 2008 at 12:22 am Link to this comment

Re: Lew Banelis

Absoulutely. I agree. Thank you.

Re: Anarcissie:

Your comment: “I think, though, that if you really want to create a different kind of politics, you should be worrying less about the monarchical presidency and more about what’s going on in your Congressional district.  The virtue of the Green and Libertarian Parties is that they try to organize locally as well as run presidential candidates.

Again, I agree.  However, the president SIGNS the bill. And a president who CARES about The People and is not bought out by monied interests, will more readily enact legislation in The Peoples interests.

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By Lew Banelis, October 17, 2008 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Remember Jesse Ventura in Minnesota? When he was allowed in the debates for governor,his poll numbers shot up and he went on to win the election. Where is the outrage by the voters over the sham of the presidential debates? The two parties collude to keep out all others that will threaten their hold on power. Neither party will change the status quo. The country is spiraling into God know’s what.

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By Anarcissie, October 17, 2008 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

Nader is not going to become president, and your vote isn’t going to decide the election no matter who you are or who you vote for.  The main point of voting for Nader or anyone else, from the point of view of an individual voter, is to make a statement about your beliefs and preferences.  It will be added to a hundred million others, but maybe it matters anyway.  Sometimes losing third-party votes do seem to make a difference: back in the 1960s, when David McReynolds got 3000 votes running (with no financial backing) as an anti-war insurgent against the establishment, pro-war Democrat—a unusually large figure in that context—it made possible Bella Abzug’s victorious insurgency two years later, because it showed potential backers what could be done.

I think, though, that if you really want to create a different kind of politics, you should be worrying less about the monarchical presidency and more about what’s going on in your Congressional district.  The virtue of the Green and Libertarian Parties is that they try to organize locally as well as run presidential candidates.

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By moineau, October 17, 2008 at 7:37 am Link to this comment

if you like kucinich, he’s fighting for his life in his re-election bid and could use some money. ~lt

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By Anarcissie, October 17, 2008 at 7:24 am Link to this comment

moineau: ’... chris, you must realize, i’m sure you do, that obama cannot win and say everything you would like at the same time. do you really have so little faith in the invisible? i believe that much that has not been said WILL be said by obama but after the election. ...’

I doubt that Obama is running under false pretenses.

It is true he allowed lefties to believe he was some sort of radical before he secured the nomination (and dumped them quickly enough afterward), but he didn’t lie to them and his record shows that he is a rather cautious, conservative, middle-of-the-road established-order Democrat.  In any case, acting as president will require attention to the same sort of politics getting to be president required.

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By Leefeller, October 17, 2008 at 7:18 am Link to this comment

For me Kucinich offered the very closest to my (I guess) liberal political bias.  If I wanted to waste my vote I would write him in. Seeing Kucinich dumped on the side of the road, faster than a grabage sack full of empty beer cans after a Moose Turd Palin Ralley, bothered me.   

What bothers me more, is the raging ignorance supporting McCain and his negative campaign.  Ignorance makes it so easy to get some of the people to vote against their own best interests.  McCain bought us Joe the moron Plumber, like he represents the middle class, the guy turned out to be a fable like Chris Hedges presidential choice. 

Nader speaks a great line, very much like Kucinich he promotes the same values, ideas and political agendas I support and believe in. My Common sense and reason, predict my Liberal or progressive ideas are not going to happen, anyway not in my lifetime. 

Nader seems divisive to me, if he became president, he would be a lame duck, maybe doing what he is doing now, dividing more of the people.  Is Nader winning in Ohio?  Get real, would he have a shot campaigning in Ohio were the morons roam. Does Nader even have a shot at any one state? 

Seems Chris Hedges, believes in the reality of his fables and the reality of the impossible, all he needs is faith. It is more effective and has more merit to reminisce about Kucinich.

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By moineau, October 17, 2008 at 4:35 am Link to this comment

virginia, i like your style! good point.

i have always appreciated chris hedges too, so much, and have been sensitized and put on alert by his important books on war and on christian/religious fundamentalism. but i don’t understand why he is anti-obama.

chris, you must realize, i’m sure you do, that obama cannot win and say everything you would like at the same time. do you really have so little faith in the invisible? i believe that much that has not been said WILL be said by obama but after the election. to garner more than 5% of the vote, one has to know when to keep one’s mouth shut as much as it is to know when to speak out. i have been an advocate and learned this lesson over and over as i tried to change a world that was holding on to old like it was gold.

i believe a fundamental change is coming to this country and to this world. i guess i have caught the bug of the “audacity to hope”. i worship no one, neither man nor god; i only work hard to learn, understand and try to apply good, the eternal student. i see too many good liberal soldiers marching ALONGSIDE barack obama for good things NOT to happen. wish you’d join us.

please, chris, reconsider your vote as i have asked you once before. i’m not telling you what to believe, think, do or say. i’m just asking you to reconsider. a voice crying in the wilderness is good but many voices crying in the wilderness is better. please join our many voices before and after this election and don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. (a bit cliche for this poet, but couldn’t think of another at this late hour :>>))

every vote is going to be precious. you can see that the republicans are going to try to throw this election again. like you, i’ve been extremely disappointed in the democrats especially since bill clinton, and this election cycle with nancy pelosi and her centrist friends who seem to cuddle up with the criminal president; it’s been despicable.

however, mccain/palin will be much worse, your worst fears and all you’ve warned us against realized, and they cannot be allowed to win. barack obama will be different both because he is different and because we’ll make him different. i know we can do it. we can change this country, this world, but we need you too. xoxoxox ~laura tattoo, astoria, oregon

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By Shenonymous, October 17, 2008 at 4:22 am Link to this comment

Oops, the last post was for another forum.  And so it goes.  Thank you AC and BR.

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By Shenonymous, October 17, 2008 at 4:18 am Link to this comment

My socialist mind agrees with you KDelphi.  The more I read and talk to people and see what is happening in this country and in the world the more i am convinced that the capitalist perspective only furthers the profit motive as you defined it; the empty pursuit of useless profits.  It is also the baronial system where the class system works to insure a heavy but very small elite at the top and the large sweating laborers at the bottom and a huge disenfranchised in the middle with very little incentive so hence the need for a welfare state.  I abhor communism as it has always fallen into the evilest of totalitarian corruption and the exploited poor by the tons of millions no matter where it was imposed have died and lived in abjectly horrible conditions. 

Social democracy would fix that, I am firmly convinced.  But changing from capitalism to an egalitarian economic system is next to impossible if not impossible which I think it is given the wealthy and powerful corporate-sustained, greedy, profit motive class.  I mean just watch the Market Reports where there is a view of those bidders on Wall Street at the Market Exchange houses, and they look like insane fools.  Yes, I love that quote Outraged and will make a small poster of it and put it up on the wall, If you are going to walk on thin ice, you might as well dance.  Oh boy, that is the best one I’ve heard in a long time.  And the Dr. Seuss one was a doozie too.  Thank you.  Yes, I know that was on another forum.  It’s all right.

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By Oraculate, October 17, 2008 at 2:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is a real genius to the evil design of things these days. If it was not so dangerous and of such ultimate consequence you might stand back and look at it as a masterpiece. The tendency will be to act in the extreme as history indicates. Exactly what and who will fill the void is only a guess but I wager freedom suffers. I do not seek to endorse any side but that which is quintessentially American. Live free or die.

As for officials, elites, criminals and con artists who swindled decent Americans I suggest the aggrieved exact the right to investigate and punish. Justice can preserve order and re-establish best practices. You can’t have every single institution simultaneously fail the American people and then ask those entities to solve the crisis. That is like asking the criminal class to prosecute itself. We need a restoration of American principles for the people by the people. If we do not re-affirm those principles then we will be subject to a fascist regime. I know more than a few Americans clamoring for “Frontier Justice”. Can you blame them? No satisfaction is being offered. We have laws to punish thieves, apply them.

You can get to fascism a lot of different ways. There’s always a flag, sometimes a religion, an ideology, that “ism” of choice that finally went bad. Personally, I like capitalism; it works great if you enforce the principles of law and accounting. The G-8 collectively agreed to national-ize to some degree their banks and it appears as though Gordon Brown was ahead of the curve. If you can do that what else can you do? You start out solving a crisis and discover new models to play with and perhaps serendipity meets ambition. There is a room full of cigar smoke right now discussing your future. They know better than you. If all economies are inter-connected then how do you continue to maintain national sovereignty?

I believe Chris Hedges to be a very circumspect individual who is vigilant about the truth. I doubt he has any illusions to fall back on. 

How does America lose its democracy?  Economic desperation drives the herd into its embrace but I think it probably finds its savior in collectivism advocated more by the left than a promise of salvation from the Christian right. I think Senator Obama has the leadership skills and consensus building necessary to bring about change, just like he has maintained all along. I think he will move us with great skill, diplomacy and subtlety to accept the unacceptable. Given the chance Senator McCain would grab more executive power like President Bush. That’s for clumsy oafs with domestic ambitions. The promise of Senator Obama is his potential as an international statesman. America as a sovereign nation is disappearing subsumed by globalization. I believe our democracy will be diffused into that larger ever-homogeneous design. Governments will collaborate to such a degree that cultural distinctions will masquerade as national sovereignty. Senator Obama is more suited to this emerging collectivism to which I am opposed.

Any and every extreme fundamentalist is an opportunity to consolidate against threat. The terrorists have been ideal since they can be positioned without a collective identity and are in endless supply. They are the enemy without an army, an apparition that materializes and de-materializes. To many Americans they must seem like Freddie Krueger and this is Nightmare on Elm Street. That’s been very useful to our current President in his war on freedom and the expansion of executive powers.

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By Virginia777, October 17, 2008 at 12:44 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges, I adore you, but you are really testing me with your Obama viewpoint!!

What you are leaving out of all your arguments, is Race.

Yugoslavia, the Weimar Republic, czarist Russia are all European examples (i.e. white). To ignore the race factor in this election, is to ignore the legacy 300 years of slavery on American soil!

Race (and racism) has been brought to the forefront in this country by this election, and we have a real chance here for change for the better (and not the worst, which has been recently revealed at the Palin rallys).

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By Outraged, October 16, 2008 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment

Re: Anarcissie

Your comment: The power and vitality of science lies in the fact that it is always wrong.  Every scientist worthy of the name knows that whatever answers are found are always provisional.

I hear ya, of course (and you knew this was coming right….LOL)

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind”

Dr. Seuss

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By Outraged, October 16, 2008 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

Re: Shenonymous

I hear ya.  Its…its…would the term “mind-blowing” work?  And the more you investigate, the uglier it gets, somewhat like doing exploratory surgery and finding the patient is riddled with cancer….. not good.

Re: ITW

You: We were in a mild down-turn, DELIBERATELY SET OFF BY ALAN GREENSPAN

me: Only when examined throught the lens of a microscope, try a telescope.

You: POW!

me: I agree.  On the other hand, these things may APPEAR to happen in short time frames but in reality the scope is much larger.

You: Now, I know you’ll come up with some crackpot crazy reason why the fundamental contradictions of the American system caused this catastrophe, but there is clear, hard evidence that it could EASILY have been avoided had Al Gore become President in 2001.

me: You must KNOW by now that I absolutely CAN…. but I prefer not too, where’s the challenge in that…?

In addition, Bush could’ve EASILY avoided this too, so its a moot point.  But he didn’t. The election was stolen, and what Gore “would’ve done” is speculation, no matter how you slice it.

Anyway, I found this thought for the day.  The author is unknown but I certainly understand his/her premise.

“If you are going to walk on thin ice, you might as well dance.”
Author:—Anonymous

That’s my “peace pipe”.  Touche.

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By cyrena, October 16, 2008 at 9:22 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

I thought they were just gonna borrow more from China or the Saudis. Of course I also thought they were gonna use all of our Social Security money.

Can’t see how printing more USD’s are gonna help. Maybe they’ll print UK pounds (worth nearly twice as much) or EUR’s, worth about 1 and 1/3rd as much.

I don’t get how backing it in gold makes a difference, even if there IS gold at Fort Knox. I mean, how do you go about actually paying in gold? Are they gonna take a bunch of gold blocks out of storage and use them as currency? Can they do direct deposit with gold to issue SS checks?

I think I’m more ignorant than you are.

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By Anarcissie, October 16, 2008 at 9:01 pm Link to this comment

I believe the inflation of credit goes back to well before 2000 or 2001.  Recall that in 1987 the Fed told certain people at the NYSE they could have all the money (credit) they wanted as long as they kept the market from cratering.  I am not sure you have a steady policy from then on (or preceding instances of credit inflation) but as I recall the Fed rate was well below the rate of inflation though most of the 00’s, and probably before.  I think Gore would have been strongly tempted to play along, because whoever pulled the plug would be held responsible for the discomforts of the ensuing correction.

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By Shenonymous, October 16, 2008 at 8:33 pm Link to this comment

This might be a silly question, but where is the 850 billion dollars exactly coming from and then on top of that how much interest is there going to have to be paid?  Doesn’t that have to be added in to the total payback?  How does it get paid back?  Are they really going to print more money?  What does printing money do since it has to be covered by the Federal Reserve gold right?  Or doesn’t the USA have gold anymore, what about silver or other precious metals?  Or doesn’t anybody give a plug nickel?  Or a flying fig, or a f*ckin pig?  How does the Federal Reserve get more gold or whatever it is they have at Fort Knox?  Or doesn’t that exist anymore either?  I apologize for my ignorance, but I never really had to know this stuff before because we never dreamed there would be a deep depression.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 16, 2008 at 7:36 pm Link to this comment

No,
We were in a mild down-turn, DELIBERATELY SET OFF BY ALAN GREENSPAN who literally decided to “show” Wall Street who REALLY ran things and therefore unnecessarily tightened the money supply.

We were coming out of but Bush, IN CASE YOU FORGOT, converted the budget surplus into a deficit.

What does this mean?  It means the Federal Government has to BORROW MONEY to pay the bills, and it borrows a hell of a lot—under Bush this was going to 250-300 billion dollars.

Then you add in the TOTALLY ILLEGAL and UNNECSSARY Iraq war and THAT is funded by borrowing—120 billion a year.

POW! We are now SUCKING 400-500 BILLION DOLLARS out of the international credit market—and we do it from 2001 to 2008—7 years…over 3 TRILLION dollars.  Oh, and did I forget? We ALSO have to pay interest on that money, too.  This put insanely huge amounts of pressure on the international credit market.

And THAT “my friends” was both the gasoline and the match that started this wildfire.  The system wasn’t collapsing when Bush took office—he SET OFF the collapse.

Now, I know you’ll come up with some crackpot crazy reason why the fundamental contradictions of the American system caused this catastrophe, but there is clear, hard evidence that it could EASILY have been avoided had Al Gore become President in 2001.

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By Outraged, October 16, 2008 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment

Re: ITW

Did I forget, cherry-pick? When I said this…”I do not find ITW nor cyrena to be WRONG, I find them to be consistently, deliberately, skewing facts, ignoring facts and in general rude and dictatorial.

Here is the remainder of the post(mine) you were addressing.

BTW, I disagree with your assertion regarding the state of the state when Bush took office.  We were on a downward spiral BECAUSE of deregulation, Bush made it much worse but we were by no means, doing well.

Although on second thought, it would be more accurate to say the state of the state was on a collision course because of deregulation, Bush made it much worse but we were by no means, doing well.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 16, 2008 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

Outraged:

Here’s what you posted:
Your comment:  ”Obama’s far from perfect.  But at least he represents a chance to return to sane policies that, on January 20, 2001, presented George W. Bush with a nation at peace, a balanced budget with NO DEFICIT, an economy in a very mild down-turn, and the two newest Supreme Court judges who were sane, not extreme Right-wing-wackos.”

Here again, I disagree, BECAUSE of the choices Obama has made.  I’m not the one seeing a messiah. It is you.  You attack and disparage my perspective and my person, BECAUSE YOU HAVE NOTHING TO BACK UP YOUR ARGUMENT.  Nothing.

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

See the two bolded sections? The first is what I wrote, the second is what you wrote, which makes no sense at all.  If you don’t understand that, I cannot help you.

You are right I have nothing to back up my argument that the United States of America was in far better shape on Jan 20, 2001 than it is today.

I cannot show that we had a budget surplus and today have nearly a half-trillion budget deficit.
I cannot show that unemployment was lower than today.
I cannot show that the value of peoples’ 401Ks was safer than today.
I cannot show that we weren’t at war in Iraq and Afghanistan but are today.
I cannot show that deregulation was accelerated between then and today.
I cannot show that the Patriot Act was put in place between then and today.
I cannot show that the Military Commissions Act was put in place between then and today.
I cannot show that the 1978 FISA was gutted between then and today.
I cannot show that waterboarding became policy signed-off on by the President between then and today.
I cannot show that over 750 signing statements were used by the President to completely change legislation between then and today.
I cannot show that American citizens were arrested in the USA and imprisoned for years without charges being brought on specious grounds they are “enemy agents” between then and today.
I cannot show that Samuel Alito and John Roberts were made Supreme Court Justices between then and today.

You are right. I have no facts. I cannot show ANYTHING the proves that the US is far, far worse of today than it was when George W. Bush was inaugurated.

Everyone who agrees with Outraged, please do three back flips with a half-twist in pike position!

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By Anarcissie, October 16, 2008 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

Outraged:
Re: Lefeller

Your comment: ”Being wrong about something, is nothing to be ashamed.
Always being right about something, should be reason to be ashamed.”

I agree only with the first part of your premise.  The second however I find ridiculous.  Should a surgeon be ashamed he is always right, or a mathematician, or anyone for that matter. ...

The power and vitality of science lies in the fact that it is always wrong.  Every scientist worthy of the name knows that whatever answers are found are always provisional.

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By Leefeller, October 16, 2008 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

Outraged,

No I was not addressing you specifically, for some reason you must have thought so? 

Brain Surgery and math are not the same as politics and religion, since I have not seen either a discussion on brain surgery or math the comparison seems a red herring comparing science to opinion? 
Specific Implication perceived by you was not attempted, it would be better to say general consumption was the intent. 

Not voting for Obama is not heresy facts or no facts, your defense and offense is not necessary, unless changing opinions is your goal.  Healthy discussion can be a good way to learn new ideas from different opinions.  Ego may be a determent to positive disagreement. 

Appreciate you comments, politics as in religion are empty of reason, both are devised by man.  (not woman) 

For what is worth, I respect your voting for Nader, I just do not happen to agree.  When the argument becomes about the argument instead of the topic, there is no right or wrong. McCain and his agenda a case in point.

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By Outraged, October 16, 2008 at 10:56 am Link to this comment

Re: Lefeller

Your comment: “Being wrong about something, is nothing to be ashamed.
Always being right about something, should be reason to be ashamed.”

I agree only with the first part of your premise.  The second however I find ridiculous.  Should a surgeon be ashamed he is always right, or a mathematician, or anyone for that matter.

I appears you are attempting to make the implication that I’m not being caring enough of others feelings.  I find that specious.  The road goes both ways.

In addition, I do not find ITW nor cyrena to be WRONG, I find them to be consistently, deliberately, skewing facts, ignoring facts and in general rude and dictatorial.

Then again, it seems in their minds that not voting for Obama or facing the facts of Obama’s record to be heresy.  In this regard, it is understandable, still unbecoming….. but understandable.

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By Leefeller, October 16, 2008 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

Being wrong about something, is nothing to be ashamed.
Always being right about something, should be reason to be ashamed.

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By Outraged, October 16, 2008 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

Re: ITW

Your comment:  “Obama’s far from perfect.  But at least he represents a chance to return to sane policies that, on January 20, 2001, presented George W. Bush with a nation at peace, a balanced budget with NO DEFICIT, an economy in a very mild down-turn, and the two newest Supreme Court judges who were sane, not extreme Right-wing-wackos.”

Here again, I disagree, BECAUSE of the choices Obama has made.  I’m not the one seeing a messiah. It is you.  You attack and disparage my perspective and my person, BECAUSE YOU HAVE NOTHING TO BACK UP YOUR ARGUMENT.  Nothing.

Apparently this makes you feel intelligent and is inside your comfort zone, much like cyrena.  The bully on the block is normally the least competent of the greater majority.

So when or if Obama is elected and empties the last of the treasury into the pockets of crooks, signs more of your rights away, plants the seeds of theocracy, institutes more free trade deals, installs kangaroo courts and on and on….. then come talk to me about “our big chance” to save the world with king Obama.

BTW, I disagree with your assertion regarding the state of the state when Bush took office.  We were on a downward spiral BECAUSE of deregulation, Bush made it much worse but we were by no means, doing well.

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By Shenonymous, October 16, 2008 at 7:35 am Link to this comment

Leefeller reminds me of a Zen roshi.  His sagacious comments are always to the point and are poignant, blunt, and mind expanding.  A roshi always has a paddle and as he navigates around those meditating in a seshin, if he sees someone not seeking nirvana, then WHACK! he smacks them.  Yeowieeeee kazowieee How can he tell?  Well, he is a roshi!  Been there done that kind of guy.

Funny thing, though, in the interview Nader gave on The News Hour the other night, I thought he expressed his really insightful ideas the best so far and I was among those who thought this guy could be a valuable asset to any administration if and only if he could get beyond his own personality. Unfortunately, he can’t and that is why it is not surprising his popularity is diminishing.  Too bad.  If anybody is interested visit http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/july-dec08/nader_10-14.html
for a full transcript.  It is very informative about Nader.

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By Leefeller, October 16, 2008 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

Did you notice Nader is going down on the Polls?

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By Inherit The Wind, October 16, 2008 at 4:37 am Link to this comment

BTW,
Charter schools have existed in New York City for many, many years.  My 83 year-old father-in-law went to Stuyvesant High School, for which you need to pass a competitive test.  There’s Bronx High School of Science, the School for the Performing Arts, etc.

All these are part of the NYC public school system.

Stuyvesant is known as one of the very best high schools in America.  Its grads include four Nobel Prize winners, actors like Tim Robbins and James Cagney, and even Theolonius Monk.

If Stuy and its sister schools don’t qualify as Charter schools, then they need to change the definition!

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By Inherit The Wind, October 16, 2008 at 4:26 am Link to this comment

ony Wicher, October 15 at 8:47 pm #

Re Outraged, October 15 at 8:06 pm #
Re: ITW

Your comment: ”This is SO inane….Do you REALLY BELIEVE Barack Obama will appoint another Antonin Scalia or John Roberts???????????

YES
——————————————————————————-
Outraged,

Even after his forthright defense of abortion rights and Roe v Wade tonight in the debate? Even given the fact that he voted against Roberts? Here is his comment after the Roberts confirmation: ..........

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

Tony, Cyrena,
You are dealing with extreme cognitive dissonance here.  Outraged cannot admit ANYTHING that challenges his basic, false Nadering thesis that “there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the parties”, even if his life DEPENDED on it!

Because it does.  As does mine and yours, and our freedom.

Obama’s far from perfect.  But at least he represents a chance to return to sane policies that, on January 20, 2001, presented George W. Bush with a nation at peace, a balanced budget with NO DEFICIT, an economy in a very mild down-turn, and the two newest Supreme Court judges who were sane, not extreme Right-wing-wackos.

McCain means more of the same. “I’m not George Bush” means he’s admitting that HIS party has been a cataclysmic failure.

But Outraged is on some kind of holy mission to bring the word of the new Messiah, Blessed Ralph, to all us sinners.  NOTHING you say, no fact you introduce, no argument you make will change his mind, because he knows “the Truth”.  Remember that Jesus (at least in the Bible that survived the Conference at Nicaea) argues for ignorance to Thomas “Blessed are they who have not seen, yet believed.”

You might as well argue with Pat Robertson’s devoted followers. It’s the same mentality.

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By Outraged, October 16, 2008 at 12:06 am Link to this comment

Re: cyrena

I will admit that I didn’t read your ENTIRE RANT, the “Obama as God” thing gets stale.

Either way, your comment: “Charter Schools are PUBLIC SCHOOLS Outraged,  All I can say to you is this, either check your crystal ball again or knock off the “spin”.  They may be “open to the public” but they are RAN by private entities.

Remember when you were arguing this or that about what Scheer said regarding the system being rigged against third parties…?

Robert Scheer: ” I don’t think we’re likely to get a third party—the system is rigged against it—

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20071105_robert_scheer_debates_ralph_nader/

In addition, for the record (cause I think Scheer IS A GOOD GUY)  he also said this in that same debate.

I just want to throw me two cents in here and end on a constructive note. Repeat what I said before. Ralph Nader has been one of the great citizens in this country’s history. And I don’t think he cost Gore or Kerry the election. I agree with that analysis, I think that they shot themselves in the foot. And I think they should have run a more vigorous, progressive campaign. In Gore’s case, no one has mentioned it, but he distanced himself from Clinton, who was enormously popular, and he failed to carry his own home state. And if you can’t carry your own home state, you haven’t done something right in that connection. So I agree with Ralph that he should not be held responsible for the state of the country, in any negative way. I think he has been an incredibly useful person, I’m not being condescending here—this is heartfelt. I think he’s a great person. And I do think he has the right to run. ... (pg. 5, the very end)
 

BTW, my sister had someone knock on her door “encouraging” her to vote for Obama.  She’s not into ANY of the BS, she told them she wasn’t voting for ANYONE.  Can hardly blame her, all the liars and such.  Anyway, apparently this woman became upset and according to my sister “beside herself”.  She then proclaimed, “Obama loves you”.  LOL. LOL. LOL.

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By cyrena, October 15, 2008 at 11:06 pm Link to this comment

“Obama himself has not protected our Constitutional Rights, so what reason would we have to believe that he would appoint a “sane” judge?  We don’t.”

~~

Actually Outraged…

*WE* do! In fact, anyone who has the blessing of a whole view, and not a constipated one, knows perfectly well that Obama will appoint a SANE judge, because we have more than a few who are qualified. It took some seriously diabolical energy on the part of the radical right, to come up with someone as unqualified and dangerous as the likes of Clarence Thomas. (actually, it was political cynicism at its worse)

And…IN OBAMA’S OWN WORDS, (though he didn’t have to say this for most of us with a full view) John McCain will appoint a USSC that will set women and minority rights back to the Stone Age. (actually, it’s women who would suffer the most from a McCain/Palin Supreme Court.

For you to suggest that Obama has failed to protect our Constitutional rights tells me that you still think we’re a monarchy or a one-person government, and as much as I hate trying to force this reality on you, (because I don’t like ‘forcing’ anything) the fact is that we aren’t. No matter what Cheney and Addington write, or say..that’s not reality Outraged.

So, you can keep going on and on and on about Obama’s ‘vote’ on this that or the other thing. But unless you’re figuring in the reality, (like if his vote could have made a difference in any of those cases) then you’re still just slipping further and further into your own delusional and neurotic world.

Now you never did tell me how YOUR Congress people and YOUR Senators voted on the FISA legislation, so I decided to look it up myself. Like my own State’s Senators, (both Democrats) one voted yea, and one voted nay. A reminder…the FISA bill passed in the Senate, 69-28. Ted Kennedy didn’t vote, and neither did Sessions of Alabama. Biden, by the way, voted Nay.

Now I didn’t get to the House-Congress people, since there are so many more of them. Be that as it may, why did you not lobby both of your OWN senators to vote Nay on that bill? Please don’t tell me that none of these other Senator’s votes mattered, because they weren’t running for President, because that’s exactly what is so wrong with your overall logic. Again, the vote was 69 YEA to 28 NAY. Now when people start demanding that their representatives vote their interests, (that includes you) you might have a different result. Rest assured, I won’t be voting for Dianne Feinstein next time around, because this isn’t the ONLY thing (not even the most IMPORTANT thing) that she’s screwed up.

You mentioned in an earlier comment, that you were confident that a wannabe President Nader would not have ‘signed’ such a legislation. That’s a non-entity, because *I’m* confident that a soon-to-be President Obama wouldn’t have DEMANDED it in the first place. The most recent FISA legislation happened after years of haggling over what was DEMANDED by the Dick Bush Admin as a CYA, to ‘make retroactively legal’ what has been illegal since 1978..(and before actually, except the reiteration was obviously necessary after Nixon thought that HE was above the law).

So, our Congress spent valuable time haggling over what should have been spent on impeaching the sons of bitches. And finally, in a Senate vote of 69 to 28, they passed a piece of legislation, (not as bad as some other stuff they’ve passed, but bad enough) that Obama’s vote as a Senator, could not have changed, one way or the other. We’ve been through this before.

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By cyrena, October 15, 2008 at 11:05 pm Link to this comment

2 of 2 response to Outraged

And, we will NEVER KNOW how a Congressman Nader, or a Senator Nader would have voted, since Mr. Nader has managed to keep himself immune from such political quandaries. Based on that, you have no reason to have ANY confidence on how Nader would have voted, because he’s never allowed himself to be put to such a test. And, the same thing holds for the debates. Pretty convenient to demand participation in the debates, when he’s never been willing to take part in any of the rest of the system, to have the guts to defend a position, based on his own supposed ‘ideals’.

Now I would have been OK with Nader in the debates, because contrary to what you and he seem to believe, the debate participants didn’t get to select the questions. He would have been forced to answer the same questions that the rest of the candidates responded to, and to defend his answers. He wouldn’t have been able to set the agenda, which is what he was attempting to do by telling his cult (ahead of time) what the candidates should or should not mention, even though he didn’t know the questions. Does that mean that he would have responded with the points that he wanted to make, REGARDLESS of what the questions were? That’s what it sounds like to me. Pretty authoritarian, huh? That’s why he would have LOST the debates. That’s why McCain lost all of the debates, even though Obama was far, far, far, too easy on him. At the end though, we saw the clear difference between a statesman and a corrupt low-life politician.

Of course with Nader, we’ll never know.

OH…BTW, you never did get back to me on the issue of the ‘vouchers’ for elementary education. Gee, I’m so glad that came up in the debates. It proved what I was already thinking. Obama does NOT support ‘vouchers’ but McCain obviously DOES. Obama supports Charter Schools, and I’m damned sure glad that he does. Charter Schools are PUBLIC SCHOOLS Outraged, (just in case you didn’t know). All three of my sister’s children have benefitted from that Charter School system. It requires some imput from parents though…might that be the difference?

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By Outraged, October 15, 2008 at 10:51 pm Link to this comment

Re: Tony Wicher

Let me infuse some clarity.  This is “a nice speech” but, the FACTS do not back it up.

Take Obama’s supposed position and translate.

I was impressed with that statement because I view the law in much the same way. The problem I had is that when I examined Judge Roberts’(Obama’s) record and history of public service, it is my personal estimation that he has far more often used his formidable skills on behalf of the strong in opposition to the weak. In his work in the White House(SENATE) and the Solicitor General’s Office(the ILLINOIS LEGISLATURE), he seemed to have consistently sided with those who were dismissive of efforts to eradicate the remnants of racial discrimination(THE PEOPLE’S INTERESTS) in our political process. In these same positions, he seemed dismissive of the concerns that it is harder to make it in this world and in this economy when you are a woman(POOR) rather than a man(RICH).

I want to take Judge Roberts(OBAMA) at his word that he doesn’t like bullies and he sees the law and the Court as a means of evening the playing field between the strong and the weak. But given the gravity of the position to which he will undoubtedly ascend and the gravity of the decisions in which he will undoubtedly participate during his tenure on the Court(AS PRESIDENT), I ultimately have to give more weight to his deeds and the overarching political philosophy that he appears to have shared with those in power than to the assuring words that he provided me in our meeting(IN HIS SPEECHES).

The bottom line is this: I will be voting against John Roberts’(OBAMA) nomination(CANDIDACY)

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By Tony Wicher, October 15, 2008 at 9:47 pm Link to this comment

Re Outraged, October 15 at 8:06 pm #
Re: ITW

Your comment: ”This is SO inane….Do you REALLY BELIEVE Barack Obama will appoint another Antonin Scalia or John Roberts???????????

YES
——————————————————————————-
Outraged,

Even after his forthright defense of abortion rights and Roe v Wade tonight in the debate? Even given the fact that he voted against Roberts? Here is his comment after the Roberts confirmation:

The problem I face—a problem that has been voiced by some of my other colleagues, both those who are voting for Mr. Roberts and those who are voting against Mr. Roberts—is that while adherence to legal precedent and rules of statutory or constitutional construction will dispose of 95 percent of the cases that come before a court, so that both a Scalia and a Ginsburg will arrive at the same place most of the time on those 95 percent of the cases—what matters on the Supreme Court is those 5 percent of cases that are truly difficult. In those cases, adherence to precedent and rules of construction and interpretation will only get you through the 25th mile of the marathon. That last mile can only be determined on the basis of one’s deepest values, one’s core concerns, one’s broader perspectives on how the world works, and the depth and breadth of one’s empathy.

In those 5 percent of hard cases, the constitutional text will not be directly on point. The language of the statute will not be perfectly clear. Legal process alone will not lead you to a rule of decision. In those circumstances, your decisions about whether affirmative action is an appropriate response to the history of discrimination in this country or whether a general right of privacy encompasses a more specific right of women to control their reproductive decisions or whether the commerce clause empowers Congress to speak on those issues of broad national concern that may be only tangentially related to what is easily defined as interstate commerce, whether a person who is disabled has the right to be accommodated so they can work alongside those who are nondisabled—in those difficult cases, the critical ingredient is supplied by what is in the judge’s heart.

I talked to Judge Roberts about this. Judge Roberts confessed that, unlike maybe professional politicians, it is not easy for him to talk about his values and his deeper feelings. That is not how he is trained. He did say he doesn’t like bullies and has always viewed the law as a way of evening out the playing field between the strong and the weak.

I was impressed with that statement because I view the law in much the same way. The problem I had is that when I examined Judge Roberts’ record and history of public service, it is my personal estimation that he has far more often used his formidable skills on behalf of the strong in opposition to the weak. In his work in the White House and the Solicitor General’s Office, he seemed to have consistently sided with those who were dismissive of efforts to eradicate the remnants of racial discrimination in our political process. In these same positions, he seemed dismissive of the concerns that it is harder to make it in this world and in this economy when you are a woman rather than a man.

I want to take Judge Roberts at his word that he doesn’t like bullies and he sees the law and the Court as a means of evening the playing field between the strong and the weak. But given the gravity of the position to which he will undoubtedly ascend and the gravity of the decisions in which he will undoubtedly participate during his tenure on the Court, I ultimately have to give more weight to his deeds and the overarching political philosophy that he appears to have shared with those in power than to the assuring words that he provided me in our meeting.

The bottom line is this: I will be voting against John Roberts’ nomination…

http://obama.senate.gov/press/050922-remarks_of_sena/

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By Outraged, October 15, 2008 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

Re: ITW

Your comment: “This is SO inane….Do you REALLY BELIEVE Barack Obama will appoint another Antonin Scalia or John Roberts???????????

YES

He supports the kangaroo courts for the detainees…. and he’s selling it as “BIPARTISAN”.  Also, I’m beginning to see WHY cyrena called Obama an enigma (which I thought at first, ridiculous) he’s certainly hasn’t been on the side of the people.  And if you’re NOT on our side…... who’s side are you on….?

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By Outraged, October 15, 2008 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment

Re: cyrena

Earlier you posted this link to a speech Obama had made.

http://usliberals.about.com/od/extraordinaryspeeches/a/ObamaTorture.htm

This was regarding Obama’s position on torture.  But cyrena, have you REALLY addressed what he’s said here?  The facts.

Obama endorses the military tribunals, the ones commonly known as kangaroo courts.  He said,

“The problem with this bill is not that it’s too tough on terrorists. The problem with this bill is that it’s sloppy.
And the reason it’s sloppy is because we rushed it to serve political purposes instead of taking the time to do the job right.

I’ve heard, for example, the argument that it should be military courts, and not federal judges, who should make decisions on these detainees. I actually agree with that.

He explains:  “Indeed, the regulations that are supposed to be governing administrative hearings for these detainees, which should have been issued months ago, still haven’t been issued.

Instead, we have rushed through a bill that stands a good chance of being challenged once again in the Supreme Court.”

He then goes on to talk political rhetoric regarding “the innocents” detained without cause and yadda…yadda.  LISTEN

Obama: “We could’ve drafted a bipartisan, well-structured bill that provided adequate due process through the military courts, had an effective review process that would’ve prevented frivolous lawsuits being filed and kept lawyers from clogging our courts, but upheld the basic ideals that have made this country great.

“Frivolous lawsuits” is the NEOCON/BUSH mantra.  In addition, Obama IS ENDORSING these kangaroo courts for detainees.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 15, 2008 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment

Outraged, October 15 at 1:42 pm #

Re: ITW

It’s hard to justify your summation.  “Obama appoints sane judge to USSC who understands the Constitution.”

Obama himself has not protected our Constitutional Rights, so what reason would we have to believe that he would appoint a “sane” judge?  We don’t.

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

Who is “we”?

This is SO inane….Do you REALLY BELIEVE Barack Obama will appoint another Antonin Scalia or John Roberts???????????

Are you that twisted and gnarled into your cognitive dissonance that you don’t expect appointments that are far more reasonable than those George W. Bush has made??

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By cyrena, October 15, 2008 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment

Laura,

I would love to be in touch, and I will indeed drop you a line. I’m still on the move (or so to speak - feels like I’ve been this way TOOOO long - puts meaning to the ‘journey’ terminology) but I’ve saved the address, and will be in touch soon. Thanks!! smile

Anarcisse,

You’re absolutely correct. We can never ‘go back’ and I don’t use that word (never) lightly. (other than to never say never).

But…Natural Law hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s still here. Kinda like the Sun, and the Sky, and all of that. So, just like we need to start using the Sun’s energy more efficiently, (instead of relying on the artificial stuff) we can do the same with Natural Law. It’s actually the base for the rest of the laws that have come about. I know, I know. That’s a whole ‘nother conversation. We can talk about that forever…

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By Anarcissie, October 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm Link to this comment

cyrena: ’... We’ll survive only to the extent that we can return to Natural Law, and the Natural Order.’

On the other hand, ‘you can’t go home again.’  In fact, you can’t even step in the same river twice.

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By Shenonymous, October 15, 2008 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment

I’ve no connection with the corporatocracy in the least in the way insinuated, yet I can recognize a loser when I see one whether he is a warrior against the corporate world or a waffling old senator.

And yes it is important to not be cocky and every vote counts.  To change regimes in Wasington DC, vote Obama/Biden.

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By lewb, October 15, 2008 at 5:07 pm Link to this comment

People who think Ralph Nader is not viable,have been hustled by the corporatocracy. The fact that they believe this,means the corporatocracy has won. It’s a matter of time before democracy will be morphed into a corporate state. When it happens there will be no going back. Remember Germany in 1933. I’m sure they didn’t it would happen to them either.

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By moineau, October 15, 2008 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment

cyrena, if you would like, drop me a line at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). i’d like to keep in closer touch (once you get settled that is). ~laura

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By moineau, October 15, 2008 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

it’s important not to be too cocky (and that’s reflexive :>)) about obama’s big lead. they say, subtract 7 from the total. we can hope that the youth vote was under-polled due to the cell phone issue and that the bradley effect has vanished with some form of expanded consciousness (post-racial era), but until the election is done, we don’t know how things could turn. that’s why i say, EVERY OBAMA VOTE IS PRECIOUS. if you absolutely do not want mccain/palin to win, you must vote obama.

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