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Total number of comments: 4 (since 2013-11-28 16:53:10)

Steve

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  • Your Election is being Bought by 47 Billionaires (and they are Buying War, Climate Change)
    • No one said this and what you present is a caricature and a straw-man, but that (i.e. the scenario you draw) is, in fact, what it amounts to: Romney has surrounded himself with the same neo-liberalists with whom Bush surrounded himself – it’s the same crew and they will dictate foreign policy. Not that Obama is any different. Indeed, Obama’s real crime is that he has been a bit too soft-spoken and apparently (please note, only apparently) benevolent, all the while tightening the reigns of tyranny to the point where the president now has vast autocratic and judicial power that even an Augustus or Tiberius would not have arrogated to himself (Tiberius famously rejected a policy of secret, extra-judicial assassination).

      Honestly, anyone stuck in the Conservative-Liberal/Republican-Democrat paradigm is not paying attention. One vote is not the same as having a voice, or a view that is predominate and to argue that my voice and vote count as much as a Koch or an Adelson is just plain disingenuous and dumb. Oil lobbyists do not “promote” views, AIPAC lobbyists to do not “promote” views, NRA lobbyists do not “promote” views in the way you and I would by visiting a rep in DC or voting in Congress. They use the power of money and intimidation and purchase huge amounts of elite influence. That is why, say, in the case of Palestine you almost never hear a Palestinian voice, or in the case of climate change, despite the scientific communities overwhelming (97 vs. 3%) consensus, you always get “balance” in the news via some un-credentialed crackpot who is the scientific equivalent of a Holocaust denier, and why gun control is utterly off the table (God, if you listen to my democratic rep or Obama they are scared to death of the issue).

      As to the internet as “equalizer”, that is simply navel gazing - the networks and major papers still predominate, hence when someone such as Thomas “Suck. On. This.” Friedman scribbles and babbles, people, unfortunately, listen – including our political elite. In fact, the wire services often drive even what’s reported by the “alternative” media. As for the left, while it is thrown some sops on network television, (a few minutes by Krugman here, a few by Greenwald there), you will never hear Chomsky interviewed on the mighty, liberal PBS Newshour, any more than you will have Jill Stein included in the presidential debates. And please, do tell, where the voices are in the MSM whose underlying principles are the fundamental human right to universal access to a living wage, health care, a strong social safety net, and a clean environment? Who believe that equal justice should be visited on any politician who commits war crimes and violates our constitution, whether a Bush (who did with gusto), or an Obama (who does with gusto)?

      As for Europeans having the same complaint (“Look at Willy over there – he spilled the milk! Never mind my mess!”), that does not mean the complaint is not valid. If Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Haiti, Honduras, Panama, El Salvador, etc. etc. etc. complained about the U.S. violating their sovereignty, would it mean we had not (by the way, we have, but the internet is good enough for you so you might not know that)?

      Your final point is particularly ludicrous. Look, 1% of the people in this country own more than the bottom 60%. That’s not a pinko-liberal notion, that is a simple fact based on which economists, social scientists, and government planners function.

      They can purchase enormous political influence and power. Koch is a prime example with their astro-turf Tea Party. Do you think it’s a f*****g coincidence that the Koch backed Tea Party is now a political dynamo taking over the House and found all over the MSM while Occupy flounders with a reputation as DFHs? The true Left, what little there is, works on a shoe-string. One simple example: what scenario seems more plausible to you: a few dedicated environmentalists and scientists working on a shoe string budget are making up climate change as an elaborate hoax in the interest of sneaking in a left wing agenda or the oil and coal companies are using their enormous profits to create a PR juggernaut to sow doubt and inaction on climate change because it’s in their interest due to the billions and billions in profit they bring in by selling their poison? Gosh, how many tree sitters control congressmen as opposed to how many oil and coal executives? I’m sure there is some balance there – must be 50% donations from Green Peace and 50% from Exxon. No? Gee, what a shock! Oh, but the right to vote makes the tree hugger and oil executive equal. Golly gee, what a great democracy!

      The tell-tale to that is that most public research polls show the US to be, in fact, a left-leaning country in terms of its political views and desires, but is malleable enough that both parties now can shape it to vote against its interest in the interest of the few. Romney may well become the next president, and if he does he will give himself a big ass tax break (How do you spell conflict of interest?), and his Catholic second in command will have LOTS of Eucharists to celebrate as he crucifies the poor and disenfranchised on a cross of avarice and intellectual cruelty and (paradoxically), ignorance.

      But long since, in the words of Agamemnon (via Homer) there is nothing left to do but to, “Let us each man go to his own country!”

      But for Infidel, if he still doesn’t get it, let me just quote Petronius from whom Dick Cheney stole a page: “Laecasin!”

  • Visiting Liberty Square (Occupy Wall Street)
    • Don't see a reply for DR BLC so I'll post it to my original post.

      I agree in no small part with this, but the scale could not have been foreseen. To say that is a vaticinium ex eventu. Much of what happened - torture, abdication of constitutional freedoms, spring in no small part from 9/11. Similarly, I don't see how we could have imagined to what extent the public would have been so complaint in the face of all of this. It's easy to say this in hindsight, but as an ancient historian, I always tell my students, you have to divest yourself of any notion that what happened in 50 BC could have been foreseen in 59 BC.

    • Thanks for the tip Jim. But I was thinking of the 60s and 70s (Phillips is a more contemporary author) - my parents lived through the Great Depression and WWII and they certainly had their influence on me. We thought these questions - torture, basic issues of economic justice with a view to averting totalitarianism, etc. - were settled to a substantial degree - the more fool us!

    • Dear Juan (if I may!):

      Thanks so much for the post and your continued work analyzing so many of the major issues that we collectively face.

      I would suggest that if the "message" of this movement is diffuse it is because over the past ten (and really, past thirty) years, we have been made into a country that is unrecognizable from the one I knew as a young boy in the late 60s and early 70s.

      Who could ever imagine such a massive redistribution of wealth from the poor and middle class to the wealthy? Who could imagine that we'd dispute the science of environmental disaster? Who could imagine that everything that brought about Nixon's resignation would be rendered legal? Who could imagine torture being embraced? Who could imagine the effective destruction of many of our most cherished freedoms? Who could imagine the complete corporate lock on all three major branches of government? Who could imagine an electorate so without virtue that it publicly boos gay servicemen, and cheers, like some Roman mob, executions and those left to die for lack of medical care? Who, in other words, could imagine such regression in so many areas of our society? Humans generally progress, no?

      The seeming lack of cohesion in what is desired by the protestors is in part, I feel, a response to the modern conservative strategy, whereby the policies are so mean, so stupid, so wrong on all fronts, that it renders any opponent of right wing ideology effectively paralyzed by the sheer amount of venom (like a spider) it injects into the body politic. One does not even know where to start.

      But that, I fear, is alas the whole point.

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