Reality, it's a thing

NOTE: Most of you don't need to hear this. I know I'm preaching to the choir, but I need to say it and this is my only forum. I beg your indulgence.

I enter into this piece with extreme reluctance. 2016 broke my heart and ten years of raging against the stupidity of my own culture before that left me a bit of a wreck. It's taken a toll, psychologically, psychically and physically. I am now a cardiac patient struggling to stay alive. My medical situation is not dire and I don't want to give that impression - but it ain't what it used to be. I can't swear to it, but I believe that a decade of more-or-less constant fury and frustration arising from the simple act of paying attention to national and global matters has done a number on my heart...and that's just for starters.

profoundly-sick-society

I blogged for a solid decade, wrote my heart out, literally and figuratively, to try and push back against the rising tide of dumb, ignorant, cruel, myopic, shallow, petty and insane bullshit that has engulfed our culture. I tried to point out that the hippies were right back in the 1960s about how badly awry things had gone in this plastic war-loving land of profiteers and racist rightwing bullies, how far we had strayed from anything remotely like what we claim our values to be, how screwed ordinary people are for not having resisted the dumbness and the evil of the greedy, short-sighted and selfish rich. I'm talking about the mega-rich, the ones who have screwed us all. The ones who used their power to teach us to love war and hate the word socialism, because it threatened their grabby little kingdoms of pampered luxury and vice for the few, and pain, sorrow and heartbreak for the many.

say-no-to-socialism

They've also pushed racism, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia and a host of other social ills because screwing over the people and keeping them at each other's throats was good for the 1%.

Sagans-saddest-lesson

At any rate, I have, at the age of 66, been forced to pull back and turn away, to some extent at least, from my horror, rage and dismay at the monumental stupidity of 2016. And the years leading up to it of course. My damage is real. I know I'm not the only one.

So perhaps you can imagine my reluctance to delve back into these matters. Much to my chagrin, there's no avoiding it – not when I keep seeing otherwise intelligent and well-meaning people saying the most idiotic things. And especially not when they relentlessly attack those who are capable of seeing what they are not.

A few bullet points:

No one is fighting for your freedom
Your government is not your friend
Your representatives don't represent you
The media lies to us
The government lies to us
Our TVs lie to us
Our culture lies to us
Both political parties lie to us
You can't believe what you are told
Still, you are responsible for what's inside your own head
Education and Science are real and beneficial (though you might have to parse some words and define some terms)
There IS a class war and it's been going on for decades if not centuries, guess who's winning?
There is a military industrial complex and it's even worse than Eisenhower dared imagine, it's been the ruin of our nation, just as foretold by Ike himself (ironically, one of its architects)
Capitalism and it's demon spawn, mindless consumerism, have devastated the global environment, poisoning the air and the oceans, decimating the rainforests and destabilizing the planetary climate
Fossil fools and the evil billionaires they support have doomed humanity
Republicans are awful, Democrats are marginally less awful
Our political class is deeply and thoroughly corrupted
Greed has been our downfall
The Democratic Party has learned nothing by their cataclysmic mistakes in 2016

I still love the traditional democratic base, to the extent that they are liberal, true progressives, not greedheads, not defenders of the status quo and not supporters of war, but the party itself has lost its way and they don't appear to be coming back.

liberal-defined

Some more bullet points:

Hillary and the DNC's “Pied Piper Strategy” (google it if you don't know it) coupled with the shanking of Bernie Sanders and the ripping off of all his supporters is why we have the putrid reign of the Trump regime
We desperately needed a revolution is 2016 and we had a reasonably good one going before the DNC and HRC (and all their little toadies like the counter-revolutionaries at daily kos) murdered it
There are perfectly good reasons to hate HRC that don't include any falsehoods, conspiracy theories or Russian propaganda
If you hate war, fracking, and shameless self-enrichment, you have reason to at least strongly disapprove of HRC
HRC is objectively a horrible human being and absolutely the worst candidate the democratic party could have attempted to foist on the American people (I wrote a piece titled, 'Bernie Sanders is the only electable candidate we've got' in an attempt to explain this to a democratic audience – some of them got it, many did not)
She was the one person who couldn't beat the worst and most ridiculous candidate to ever run
She was a cheater and we are her victims
Yes, it's worse than tragic that Trump won, but it's not HRC who should be president, it's Bernie
And it's not people who didn't vote for Hillary who are responsible for Trump, it's Hillary herself and all the people so dumb and politically inept as to back her over Bernie Sanders

stealing-is-not-winning

I swore to never vote for HRC years ago, and I didn't. I voted for Jill Stein, the only peace candidate, not because I was especially enamored of her or thought she'd win or anything like that, but because that was the choice I was left with. I do have a conscience after all. I'm not saying I feel great about that choice. I'm troubled by it. Good God, look what happened! But I won't vote for war mongers – never again. I also have sworn off lesser evil voting. Give me something to vote FOR or fuck you. I'm sick and tired of electing people who immediately betray me and that's what the dems (the pols not the rank and file) have been doing for decades. They pander to the people, claiming to represent them, then once in office they busy themselves feathering their own nests, happily serve the 1% and connive with the republicans to push war and thievery and all we get are their bullshit excuses. The lesser evil is still evil. If that's the best choice you can give me, democrats, somebody slightly less evil than republican swine, then fuck you.

Lesser-evil-in-black-and-white-NEW

People have accused me of falling for smears, conspiracy theories or Russian propaganda because apparently there are no other possible reasons not to have voted for HRC.

No, I'm sorry, there are plenty of good true, objective reasons to have distrusted, hated or not voted for HRC, you know, Henry Fucking Kissinger's BFF, the queen of the Neolibs, the person who cheated us all out of the renewal of a Bernie Sanders presidency.

remember-kissinger-II-without-peaceout

Yeah, Bernie was imperfect and not political Jesus or anything, but out of all of them only Bernie was on the right track, and only Bernie had a smidgen of integrity – that's why he's the most popular politician in America now – by a wide margin – listen up democrats. HRC was the champion of global fracking and fossil fools everywhere, and a proud member of the ruling class who bragged about having both a private and public position on things, one for the banksters and Wall Street, and one for the rubes, those silly little voters. She was also one of the architects of the disasters in Libya, Honduras, Syria, etc, etc. You don't have to believe a single lie to hate this person. You have to believe a ton of them to like her.

Here she is on single payer health care, you know, that thing we all deserve and should have had long ago:

we-would-lose

Hillary has blood on her hands and doesn't seem to mind. This is how she talked about Qaddafi (a human being) being anally raped to death with a butcher knife, as a consequence of her imperial actions against Libya:

None of what I'm saying about her is a lie. None, zip, nada. It's all a matter of historical record. She voted for the Iraq War. Bernie voted against it. Here they are. You decide.

Whoever stole the DNC emails, they didn't write them. What they reveal is what they reveal. Please forgive the loathsome Trumpery in this video but here's Hillary trying to squirm out of her statement to Goldman Sachs, et al about being two-faced, how it's cool to lie to the rubes:

So if you blame Trump on people who didn't vote for HRC, or if you blame Trump on anyone other than Bill and/or Hillary Clinton and the DNC, then you are information challenged, to put it kindly. If you're a person who still loves HRC or wants to swallow a pack of lies or cling to some bogus version of reality because it feels better than the real thing (which is admittedly messy and awful), don't expect me to argue with you or try to explain anything further to you. I have lost all desire to engage with such ignorance and lack of respect for truth or reality. You are responsible for what's in your own head. That's on you. I'm done.

MLK-democratic-socialism-II-bw-CROPPED

Election days come and go. But the struggle of the people to create a government which represents all of us and not just the one percent - a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice - that struggle continues. ~ Bernie Sanders

Bernie-fuck-me

For many, the American dream has become a nightmare. ~ Bernie Sanders

hippies-peace-out

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Comments

Long time no see.

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Eagles92's picture

@OPOL You're a sight for sore eyes. Have missed your presence, and your voice; but understand and support your need to take care of you.

Solidarity, brother!

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@Eagles92 Thanks very much. Good to see you.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@OPOL Good to see you. I've missed essays like these.

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Thanks, old friend. Good to see you too.

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FreakFlagFly's picture

@OPOL Antitheist (GOS name) here:

I liked one of your comments and got a notice of a 3 day(?) - one week (?) ban. You got banned, too, and I checked one day and saw you had not signed in either from that point on. There were a dozen or so that got squelched that day. I wear it like a badge of honor...

I didn't even click to acknowledge the ban - I just closed the window and never signed in again... I still have max-mojo (like I'm still there) so I get a chuckle every time I have the rare occasion to go there.

Good to see you. We're the same age and come from a similar 60s ethos which I still carry with pride 50 years on. But for the first time in almost 50 years of voting, I am no longer registered D. I'm undeclared now and still get to vote in any primary in Alaska.

Anyway, the annual National Rainbow Gathering (https://www.forsythnews.com/video/studio-forsyth/studio-forsyth-explorin...) just happened and I felt the energy still. We are not alone: We will prevail, maybe not in our lifetime but we WILL prevail!

Take care!

#We Love You!

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detroitmechworks's picture

Can't disagree with anything you said, so as a member of the choir, I'll just toss in an Amen.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

@detroitmechworks Good to see you too, man. Hope all is well with you.

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detroitmechworks's picture

@OPOL Been on a roll recently as far as writing goes, so there's that. Physically doing better as well, apart from my gout which flares up every summer due to dehydration.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Eagles92's picture

@detroitmechworks Heh.

(Sorry, couldn't help myself). Wink

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lotlizard's picture

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@lotlizard I appreciate it, lotlizard. Mahalo.

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Sorry to hear of your health challenges. "I think we all died a little in that war!" -The Outlaw Jose Wales Meaning the 2016 primaries took much from many of us.

I wish I would have been old enough to be a hippy! My older brother used to dress like one and I thought he was a hippy but he still lived at home. I think he did it to piss off the conservative parents. Sadly today he is a staunch 2nd amender.

How can one person in their lifetime change centuries of constructs designed to protect the wealthy against the rest of us? You have done a fantastic job. Had it not been for you, and writers like you some like me would still not be woke.

Lookout said it perfectly in another essay:

Submitted by Lookout on Wed, 07/18/2018 -
tune in, drop out, and turn on
I no longer think there can be a political solution. We live in a pretend democracy...rigged and controlled by the oligarchs. To think that the political kabuki theater holds any promise is grasping at straws from my view. American democracy is an illusion.

Stop using fossil fuels, grow as much food as your situation allows, find like minded people to weather the disaster of climate chaos along side you, help young people as much as you can, speak truth to power, and help educate the public of the sham of our democracy and the shame of our war mongering national efforts.

I'm wondering what solutions you think exist.

I look forward to "seeing" you here as I know do many others. Take care!

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Peace out. Let's be radicals together on twitter. I'm at @Beddy63.

@WIProgressive TYVM. I appreciate the kind words.

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Amanda Matthews's picture

@WIProgressive

That’s funny. It sounds like you already ARE one. And there are many many more of you out there.

The old ideals aren’t dead. You’re standing up for the same rights and principles that people were fighting for back then. It’s the same people who were starting wars, destabilizing foreign countries, and stealing everything Including that which was nailed down who you’re fighting now. We used to call him “the man” for short. The faces may change, but their gameplan always remains the same. They are far more blatant in their corruption, greed, and cruelty than they used to be. They’ve dropped all pretense of acting civilized and humane. Now they’re just ghouls who are sucking the life out of everything and everyone. And when they’re done with us low-hanging fruit, they’ll turn on each other. Like they did when Bear Sterns bit it.

You have quite an interesting future ahead of you. As that tired old phrase goes, “the more things change, the more they remain the same”.

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

Good preach. First sorry to hear about your med problems. I'm near the same age and going through some stuff too, so.... Second, become as much of an expert on your disease as your docs, even more so. Use the same intelligence you use to research your blogs on your real enemy. Save the political stuff. You have that down pat.

The one thing you didn't mention about HER is that she wanted to go up against Trump. She just didn't fathom the depth of dislike people had for her. If only arrogance were fatal.

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@Snode Thanks, but that's what I was getting at by mentioning the "Pied Piper Strategy." They pushed for Trump to be their opponent, instructed their toadies in the media to 'take him seriously', etc. No doubt thinking, 'who couldn't beat Trump?' Well, now they know.

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gulfgal98's picture

And I am so grateful that you share it with us here. Thank you so very much for always being a beacon of clarity, regardless of the forum you have posted upon. This essay is a prime example of that clear eyed vision you have and share with us.

I, too, am very saddened by your health problems. I am in the same age group as you, well, a little older, but definitely not wiser than you, my friend. I am sending all good karma your way, especially in the area of you health.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West "...isn't the problem here that the government takes on, arbitrarily and without justification, an adversarial attitude towards its citizenry?" ~CantStoptheMacedonianSignal

@gulfgal98 Very nice to hear from you. Thank you for the kind words. Hope you are well.

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enhydra lutris's picture

about your ills. So, first of all, take care of yourself.

Thanks for this great column, summarizing and recapitulating so muc. Thanks also for all your great columns and tireless work over the years.

It's funny, but I once gave a speech from the Sproul Hall Steps at Cal that started with the words "This government is not your friend". Looking back, it is obvious that I erred in saying "this" instead of "the" and I love seeing that reflected in your second bullet point. The first 9 points have, in my lifetime, come to take on the aura of eternal verities, to which I must say right on, brother. They won't change until the system changes, until, as you note, we have a revolution.

So, yeah, right on brother, great to read you again. Love ya.

As always - power to the people especially the power to be true to their conscience. Hillary lost because she couldn't fool enough people enough of the time, for once we didn't --

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris Thanks. Always great to see you, e-l.

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divineorder's picture

Thanks for this essay.

Needed to be said.

And nobody does it bettah~!

"Keeps me from runnin', but just keep it comin' ......"

Hey, have you seen the following before?

At least the dood is optimistic about the US after the fall...

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/d7ykxx/us-power-will-decline-...

Galtung is not pessimistic about his forecasts, though. Having always seen the collapse of the "US empire" as inevitable—much like the collapse of the Soviet empire—he argues that there is real opportunity for a revitalization of the "American republic."

The American republic is characterised by its dynamism, its support for the ideals of freedom and liberty, its productivity and creativity, and its cosmopolitanism toward the 'other.'

Right on.

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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

@divineorder Thanks, that's cool. I remain stubbornly optimistic myself, at least on good days. I learned long ago that when hope is all you've got, don't let go. Great to see you, d-o.

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The Aspie Corner's picture

They're more than happy to play Washington Generals to the Repigs' Harlem Globetrotters. Trumpy Boy is the biggest ruse the Gentricratic Party ever pulled on its own voters. Sure, the cappie class may not think he's ideal but they've certainly had little trouble making his shit policies and erratic behavior work for them.

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@The Aspie Corner Well put. When you'd rather lose to Trump than win with Bernie, you just might be phucked in the head.

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LeChienHarry's picture

I look at the state of our planet, and feel my own health challenges are nothing more than a reflection or piece of the unbalanced state of our personal and global ecology.

To our best efforts, we must write and communicate for peers and especially those coming to take our places. They are more hurt than they may know. They have real fights on their hands.

It won't be easy, but maybe if we give them the gift of roads travelled that didn't pan out, we can save them some un necessary trial. They will need all the energy and fight in the right directions.

Thanks for showing up; thanks for sharing.

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You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again you did not know. ~ William Wiberforce

If you can donate, please! POP Money is available for bank-to-bank transfers. Email JtC to make a monthly donation.

@LeChienHarry Thanks much for the kind and positive words. And for giving my little hippie book as presents. Smile

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Eagles92's picture

@OPOL Can you point me to your little hippie book?

I think I might shortly be able to complete my holiday shopping ...

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@Eagles92 I'm a little embarassed by it now. It could be a lot better. But here's the link:

https://www.amazon.com/Wear-Your-Love-Like-Heaven/dp/1453731865

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Eagles92's picture

@OPOL What you wrote was a moment in time. Props for having the courage to put it out there; that's more than most can say. I look forward to reading, and gifting, it!

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@Eagles92 Thanks very much. I deeply appreciate it.

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@Eagles92 I followed the link and read some of it there. It's not as bad as I remembered. Thank FSM!

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ggersh's picture

May your health only improve.

As much as I hate twitterrump, he got
this right and I'm still waiting for
justice.

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“We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy”
Chris Hedges

@ggersh lol - thanks, gg.

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Arrow's picture

WE hear you loud and clear!

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I want a Pony!

@Arrow Thanks for the read. I appreciate it.

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Beautiful essay, and a real resource. Thank you for all that work and for saying it so clearly. Thank you especially for the Martin Luther King image and quote. You are making a difference even, and maybe even especially, when you're taking care of yourself and staying away from the stress of dealing with this nightmare.

My only way of staying sane and healthy, at an age slightly older than you, is to stay away from mainstream media. I find out about it secondarily, here and at other sites that give me hope. It is cowardly, I admit, but me screaming at my television or throwing it out the window won't make it easier for me to deal with what they're saying. I hope you will read the resources that give you hope and confidence in a sane future. Believing it's possible is part of the way to get there.

Again, OPOL, thank you and BRAVO!

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@Linda Wood Thanks so much. Yes, too much MSM can be harmful in the extreme.

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@Linda Wood I have found art, both making and consuming it to be a fairly good to excellent antidote. We have art so that we won't die of reality, someone said.

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I agree on some things, am to your left on other things and I still don't know what to make of Sanders, but I appreciate your essay.

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@HenryAWallace Gracias.

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@OPOL

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@HenryAWallace It's good to see you, HAW.

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Even when you post just to say your OT refuses to publish, your post is fascinating!

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Lookout's picture

When we speak truth to power, there is power in our words. Thanks for sharing the power of your words and images...never doubt the effect of our ripples.

ripples.jpg

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Lookout

never doubt the effect of our ripples.

I couldn't resist the temptation:

Wink

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@Lookout TYVM. Smile

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stay strong, we need your voice, hell, the world needs your voice.

Thank you Saseong.

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@JtC Thanks for all you do, for this forum and for still having me. Deeply appreciated.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

And recovery from your health issues!

There are perfectly good reasons to hate HRC that don't include any falsehoods, conspiracy theories or Russian propaganda
If you hate war, fracking, and shameless self-enrichment, you have reason to at least strongly disapprove of HRC
HRC is objectively a horrible human being and absolutely the worst candidate the democratic party could have attempted to foist on the American people

Yeah. This.

Please don't be such a stranger as before. We need you here.

n.b.: Although the temptation is great to have you post this over on kos, please don't. I fear actual carnage would result. Smile

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@thanatokephaloides lol - that's funny. Maybe I should post it at dkos just to watch the heads explode. Biggrin

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dkmich's picture

@OPOL

Besides, they don't deserve it.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

dkmich's picture

I get the anger and stress. Good thing for me I thrive on it. I am so sorry to hear it's getting to you and your health. Sit back and beam about Daniel. You did a good job dad.

I go between caring and not giving a FF. The only tool I have is my vote - maybe. It is likely a farce too. Any time you need to chat, we are here.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

@dkmich Good to see ya, dk. Yeah that vote thing, originally intended as such a great gift (one can argue), it has become a pretty complicated matter, whether it's fair, honest or effective can be hard to say. So it's hard to judge its value. In my own humble and possibly wrong opinion, it depends on whether or not we are given anything or anyone worth voting FOR. But that's just me. Cheers, old friend.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@dkmich

The only tool I have is my vote - maybe. It is likely a farce too.

You still have your voice, vote or not. Never forget that.

Wink

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

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Sigh

@UntimelyRippd I know.

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Wink's picture

good to see you,
my friend, as always!
2016 took its toll on many of us, and the Only good thing to come out of it was Hillary wasn't elected. To watch the Birchers and other Wingers dismantle this country before our very eyes is disheartening to say the very least. And if we don't soon get ourselves in the streets we're then going to watch the results on CSPAN instead: "The resolution has passed. The bill to totally fuck the 99% and rape and pillage what's left of the country goes to the president to be signed into law... "
Take good care my friend! Smile

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-1.9) All about building progressive media.

@Wink Thanks. You right.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

tk-rosa-luxemburg-socialism-or-barbarism.jpg

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@thanatokephaloides Right the fuck on.

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mhagle's picture

Sorry it has taken a toll on you. Sad

Remember how much the choir appreciates you!

Best wishes to you on this day.

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Marilyn

Let's save the planet for our kids. Tree Hugger to the end.

Raggedy Ann's picture

We 66-yo’s need to take care of ourselves. I’ve had challenges this year, as well.

Thanks for the essay. Spot on as usual. The dimwit running for Gov here stuck not one, but both feet in her mouth when she threw the progressives under the bus in an interview with the local rag. No one wants her GOP opponent, but she just shit in her living room. I can’t vote for her now.

We are living in unimaginable times. I hope to be alive to see if we come out of this alive.
Pleasantry

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

@Raggedy Ann Thanks, RA. Unimaginable times, how true that is.

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We just need a bigger choir. We need everyone on this planet in the choir, we all need to sing the songs of truth and justice and love and equality so loud the whole cosmos hears us, and welcomes us into the light of understanding. If that great day for humanity ever comes it will be because of people like you, brother.

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@Rusty1776 Right on, brother man.

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@Rusty1776
great to see your name again! Don't make yourself so scarce my friend.

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OMG! OPOL! long time no hear brother, soo glad you have checked in, as for the rest, my prayers and positive energy is flowing to you, ALL the White light I have is your's it's been 2 yrs since I heard from you, dkmich crossed posted to reddit on a sub I moderate, prwsag52 was my handle on DKOS, anyway come over to reddit /r/KossacksforSanders and drop a line, you are an "Elder Statesman" and most welcomed there!God bless my friend!

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@Urban Hillbilly You're awesome. Thank you.

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Read through and your bullet points are spot on. The essay was perfect.

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@ChezJfrey Much appreciated. Thank you for reading.

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smiley7's picture

clear, peace-loving thoughts and uplifting guidance; fortunate in having you around as often as circumstances allow.

Sending love, hugs, smiles and positive healing spirits!

calling from the heart...

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@smiley7 Thanks very much, smiley. Nice to see you, brother. I love that video.

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You brightened my days before the ban hammer fell at dkos. After that Boss Kos edict, I joined the hordes that left. I was an early member here, but in time found myself drifting to the reddit Way of the Bern sub, and that's where I learned that you were back with more heart and truth (https://caucus99percent.com/content/reality-its-thing).

As usual, I can't argue with a word you wrote. As a Stein voter largely for the reasons you expressed, here's my comment on Election 2016: I'm glad Clinton lost but sorry Trump won.

Your ending resonates particularly:

"So if you blame Trump on people who didn't vote for HRC, or if you blame Trump on anyone other than Bill and/or Hillary Clinton and the DNC, then you are information challenged, to put it kindly. If you're a person who still loves HRC or wants to swallow a pack of lies or cling to some bogus version of reality because it feels better than the real thing (which is admittedly messy and awful), don't expect me to argue with you or try to explain anything further to you. I have lost all desire to engage with such ignorance and lack of respect for truth or reality. You are responsible for what's in your own head."

Peace, and health, be with you. It is MOST EXCELLENT to be gifted a glimpse of your fighting spirit once again.

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"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." --Jiddu Krishnamurti

@2andfro Thanks very much. I appreciate the kind comment.

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Well, to be myself is to recommend a book. This is a novel with trees as characters.

From an interview

RICHARD POWERS: If anything, the intervening dozen years have deepened my desire to close the gap between people and other living things. The Echo Maker dealt in the strange intelligence of birds, an intelligence deep and foreign enough to be invisible to many of us. But it was also a story of forgotten kinship with creatures who have stunning navigational and problem-solving skills, who keep a complex and shared calendar, who gather in great communities and dance together and mate for life and sacrifice themselves for their young.

The Overstory may present an even greater challenge to the sense of exceptionalism we humans carry around inside us. It’s the story of immense, long-lived creatures whom many people think of as little more than simple automatons, but who, in fact, communicate and synchronize with each other both over the air and through complex underground networks, who trade with and protect and sustain their own and other species. It’s about immensely social beings with memory and agency who migrate and transform the soil and regulate the weather and create a breathable atmosphere. As the great Le Guin put it, the word for world is forest.

Our kinship with trees seems, at face value, much more distant and abstract, but we share a considerable amount of our genes with them, and they (trees come from many different families in their own right) represent several large branches of the single, ramifying experiment called life on earth, a big-boled thing on which we humans occupy just one small and remote branch. Trees exhibit a flexibility in the face of change and challenge that we used to think was exclusively animal in nature. We have depended on trees not just for the invention of civilization but for our very existence. Without them, no us .....

Here’s to Unsuicide: An Interview with Richard Powers

and a second article and interview

To what degree (if any) do you consider your work to be a moral or didactic project? Am I mistaken in feeling that The Overstory isn’t just a novel, but maybe a blueprint for being inducted into the “shimmering council” of the trees—something like a viable evangelism? Or does this idea just piss you off?

Goodness—what better way to start an interview than plunging into one of the most highly charged questions in the history of literature! Centuries of great writers have filled volumes exploring the proper position of the literary author along the spectrum of moral detachment and commitment. In the mid-19th century, the warring camps had their spokespeople in Tolstoy, who advocated for fiction that would raise consciousness and make readers into better people, and in Flaubert, who preached a moral detachment, urging writers to be like a remote, objective, hands-off God—“present everywhere and visible nowhere.”

In the last century, when I was growing up, the American version of this war was playing out between John Gardner and Gore Vidal. Vidal was the champion of aesthetic, belletristic freedom—the author who was above the fray, committed only to the free play of exploration and possibility. Gardner, in his controversial and influential book On Moral Fiction, wrote that fiction ought “to test human values, not for the purpose of preaching or peddling a particular ideology, but in a truly honest and open-minded effort to find out which best promotes human fulfillment.” Here’s the interesting thing: Don’t both these positions sound attractive and defensible?

If I were to name the prevailing aesthetic of the present concerning literary fiction, I’d say it leans toward the belletristic. Moral passion hasn’t been cool for some time; much better to gird yourself in irony and fatalistic detachment. Or to put it more sympathetically, contemporary literary fiction strives for the dialogical, where the conflicting moral positions of all the characters in the story are both defensible and flawed. But look at the standout books—the great war novels and postcolonial novels and novels of politics, social showdown and human abuse—and you’ll see a different story. These books know what’s wrong with the world and what it would take to better minister to the human condition.

RICHARD POWERS The biggest questions in literature

There is a fairly long section printed in a environmental publication. Some people read it thinking it was about real characters and were a little pissed that it was fiction.

I have thought about you often over the years and thank you for the efforts on DK which showed us the corruption of the dem party and the apologists there.

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@DonMidwest Thanks, Don. That's really interesting stuff. Great to see you, hope you are well.

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QMS's picture

@DonMidwest Also just finished Understory. Communication is not just for telebobbers anymore.

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You were one of the great voices of virtue and sanity over at that other site which shall not be named. Many of us were crestfallen when the witch commandeered the primary, and Bernie acquiesced. We have to step above the rage that engulfs us in the trenches against the willfully ignorant. Take care of yourself, and please keep writing as only you can.

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@BORG_US_BORG TYVM. I appreciate it.

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snoopydawg's picture

You always brought some sanity to the site that was losing it and it's good to see you again. Take care of and try not to be a stranger, mkay?

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Governments exist preeminently to maximize the profits, resources and the power of the wealthy

@snoopydawg Thanks, snoopy. Nice to see you.

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Funny thing, I just started looking in at this site again yesterday, and here you show up today. It's SOOOO good to see you writing again, my brother! I'm very sorry to read about your health troubles, and am glad you're focusing inward on caring for yourself.

I've started thinking more about retirement lately, although it'll probably still be 3-4 years away. Hubby and I are still actively pondering where we want to retire, to find possible respite from hellaceous climate and politics. A surprisingly hard question to answer. But we'll make a choice and find a place to grow old together -- health and texting drivers willing.

I've withdrawn from political activity after the faceplant the Democratic party took once they screwed Bernie and all of us over. I too voted for Stein, and I've never regretted it for a day. Hillary would be just as tragic a clusterfuck as Trump, just probably with more war and almost as much lying. Voting for Stein was the only way for me to say "a plague on both your houses." I still feel that way, and don't suspect my mind will change. Maybe the Kidz like your wonderful son will change my mind and give me hope again -- I'm too old, tired and cynical to do it anymore.

Be well, take care of yourself, and live in the love that fills your heart.

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Please help support caucus99percent!

@Dallasdoc Health and texting drivers willing.

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@Dallasdoc It's so great to hear from you. I've thought about you so many times and wondered how you were. So it's a delight to see your comment. Daniel is in Romania after having toured through Morocco. He loved that but really loves Bucharest. Yes, figuring out where to shelter from all that's coming is a challenge, to say the least. Please let me know what you decide or where you're considering, and please stay in touch. You sound happy and I'm very pleased for you. Take care, brother.

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@OPOL Working a lot, taking some time off in the mountains, done a couple of trips. I'm very fortunate, and I know it.

I think of you often as well, and am glad to see you've resurfaced. Always admired you excessively for your heart, your talent, your skill and your dedication. Banging our heads against the fence of the orange veal pen did get tiresome, didn't it? The place is a waste of electrons anymore, and both of us are well out of it. It's the Democratic Party in microcosm, and the way DK ejected real lefties mirrors what the Dems are still doing. They won't change, and I keep telling DemInvaders they're wasting their time. I huess they have to come to that conclusion for themselves. I've finally joined those whose efforts are aimed at protecting themselves. Maybe we can't, but it seems less futile than trying to change the Democratic Party.

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@Dallasdoc Yep, you're right about all of it. It's a pity and a head-scratcher, but whatcha gonna do? Take care, hermano.

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JekyllnHyde's picture

@OPOL

As so many others have mentioned above, you haven't lost your touch. I detect the same passion and commitment that was so evident in all the hard work you put in at DK. I think the 2016 Election and what unfolded during it took a toll on all of us. I am not a pessimist, though. Bernie Sanders is better positioned now than he was in April 2015, when he was an afterthought for all but a small minority of the electorate. Most of his issues, considered radical at the time, have largely become mainstream. No one sees him as a savior, but the man has more integrity and principles that any other American politician.

I'm so sorry to hear about your health issues and hope you're taking care of them. It's wonderful to read you again and I look forward to doing more of it. I'm optimistic that Dallasdoc will also start participating again. Your voices are needed. Thanks.

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A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

@JekyllnHyde Thanks, JiH. And thank you for all your hard work. You've done yeoman's work. Kudos to you.

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Eagles92's picture

@Dallasdoc So great to see you again as well. I have missed your voice, and understand everything you express a little further down. Still, I hope you drop in every so often. Be well!

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@Eagles92 Nice to see you too, Eagles92. I haven't gone anywhere, and will try to drop in now and then to say hello. Be well.

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smiley7's picture

@Dallasdoc

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@smiley7 Howdy Smiley!

I hope you're thriving and happy. Nice to run into you again.

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Citizen Of Earth's picture

You reminded me of the old happy hippy days (60s/70s) when the counter culture actually had an effect contributing to ending the Vietnam war nightmare. Changing public opinion seems to be a proven way to go. But back then, much of the music scene and musicians were politically oriented. And the 'message' got out via music. Minds got changed starting with the youth. I don't see that these days.

With Neoliberal and Fascists running the country you think there would be urgency about the American Dream turning to Nightmare. Bernie kinda lit the campfire with his campaign but the bastards expertly pissed on the flames to extinguish it. My new philosophy is 'Hey it could be worse'. And at this rate it probably will be.

I'm hoping today's youth will rise again and crush the fuckers. We'll see.

Take care of your health. I've developed high blood pressure in the past couple years too. Gee what could have caused that. Wink
I just went on Medicare. It costs about one fifth the cost of POS Obamacare. I have real healthcare again. Things are looking up in that respect.

Peace Out.

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Donnie The #ShitHole Douchebag. Fake Friend to the Working Class. Real Asshole.

@Citizen Of Earth TYVM, CoE. Great to see you.

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Lily O Lady's picture

the better of you.

My reasons for voting Stein align with yours. I wanted to write in Sanders in the general, but Georgia’s “sore loser” law would have made it a completely symbolic gesture. I wanted to try and send the message that threats and cheating were no way to get my vote. The DNC has made it abundantly clear that they don’t care what I think. That goes both ways.

Take care OPOL! You are a treasure of truth and reality.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

@Lily O Lady Right on, Lily O. Nice to see you, dear.

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Amanda Matthews's picture

Kudos!

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

@Amanda Matthews Thank you very much.

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NonnyO's picture

I've tried to post something to this thread for two days and haven't been able to do so. Will this go through?

~~~~~~~~~~

Well, this went through, but I tried to post the longer message and it won't go through..., nor will the same message go through in a PM to OPOL.

I give up.

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I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute ..., where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference. — President John F. Kennedy, Houston, TX, 12 September 1960

@NonnyO Don't give up, NonnyO. I'd so like to hear what you have to say. But if it's just too frustrating, I do understand.

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@NonnyO
I checked the logs and the reason your comment wouldn't post is because of the little yellow smiley face images that were embedded in it. Those little images are called unicode characters and our database doesn't recognize them and will give an error when you try to post them. Remove those images from your comment and then it will post.

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NonnyO's picture

@JtC
I was totally flummoxed about why I couldn't post. I appreciate the info and won't be adding any more emojis.

I've now been able to post the comment to OPOL, thanks to you.

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I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute ..., where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference. — President John F. Kennedy, Houston, TX, 12 September 1960

Bruddah.

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Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

The Angry Architect's picture

Thanks, brother. Nice to hear from you.
You work at GOS was always an inspiration to me - your passionate posts helped kindle in me a level of active engagement which I had not before embodied.

I believe what you have given has been magnified many times over and I thank you for the sacrifices you have made to our struggle.

AA

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The Angry Architect
"There is nothing more dangerous than the right answer to the wrong question."

NonnyO's picture

Nice to hear/read your voice again!

Empathies about your heart; I hope your medical issues can be managed nicely. Since last I saw you back at TOP, I've had both knees replaced, atrial fibrillation that led to an ablation (it had to be re-done eight and a half months later when it failed) and I'm now pacemaker dependent for my heartbeat, among other health issues. I also have a great-grandson nearly four years old, so everything political that I want for the future is about him, his generation, my granddaughter and her generation (Medicare for All, tuition-free education pre-K through college, decent jobs with livable wages, decent affordable housing, increasing Social Security to a livable income, etc.), as well as for disabled people and my own Baby Boomer generation since so many of us are on Medicare and Social Security now. My next big hurdle is finding a suitable senior living arrangement that accommodates my various health issues because I suspect my back is going to have to be operated on again (if my heart/pacemaker can deal with it); degenerative arthritis has once again taken its toll since my triple lumbar fusion in 2000 and I keep pinching my sciatic nerve.

I agree about the political situation taking a toll on one's heart. "Maybe next time" isn't going to work as long as we still have pre-programmable and/or hackable e-voting machines and difficult voter registration processes (often in the same states). We need PAPER BALLOTS and EASY voter registration (NOT listing political party affiliation which makes it easy to purge voter lists by political party), and open primaries that don't disenfranchise the non D&R voters for one thing, which also means it's less difficult to purge voter registration databases by political parties like they did in NY and elsewhere for Bernie voters; eliminating "provisional ballots" that don't get counted elsewhere also need to be accomplished. (See MN for easy voter registration, and we also have paper ballots.) We desperately need those changes BEFORE the 2020 election cycle..., because without those simple changes, the DNC WILL, AGAIN, take away Bernie's candidacy with their loyalty oath, if nothing else (like a second, third, fourth ballot for superdelegates, even if superdelegates can't do so with a first ballot), and we will be left with no one to vote for - AGAIN - except the candidates chosen for us. If they do that at the convention, it will likely be too late to register as an independent or a write-in candidate in most states, and voters will again lose a champion for the people as president.

I'd far rather see Bernie take over the Movement for a People's Party (started by Nick Brana who was involved with Bernie's campaign in 2016, currently not headed by anyone). I think Bernie is now well-known enough he could easily win the 2020 election with a third party (or no party, merely his name on a ballot) - IF the e-voting machines are replaced with paper ballots and states adopt some kind of common sense voter registration laws, forms (no asking for political party affiliation), and open primaries. Bernie has We the People behind him; he doesn't need a political party behind him.

For 2016 I decided I'd no longer vote "for" the "lesser of two evils" since that is still voting "for" evil and I've done that too many times. I left the prez section of my paper ballot blank and voted for acceptable down-ticket candidates.

My added personal restriction for 2018 and 2020 is that I will no longer vote "for" people of based on political party, but only FOR individual candidates whose stated political platforms conform with my political ideals; if none are acceptable, I'll leave the section blank as a "none of the above" protest. That means my current senators who are right of center DINOs won't get my vote in 2018 or 2020 . Klobuchar, who was on a Medicare for All forum with Bernie can't even say the words "Medicare for All." She uses the euphemisms like "universal health care" or "free market-based health care systems." Amy's FOR corporate control of our health insurance and health care, in other words, which might include "fixing ACA" if they get around to it (which will mean more profits for insurance, medical, and pharmaceutical corporations). The woman who took Franken's place, Tina Smith, former Lt Gov, helped arrange the corporate welfare to get a third stadium built in MN at taxpayer expense (one for the U of M, the other two for pro-sports teams), so she also does not get my vote. I've got my eye on a Green candidate running for Klobuchar's seat who lists Medicare for All on her platform, among other Berniecrat points (oh, and she's an openly trans-gender woman, but I can't honestly say I care about that, altho I wish her personal happiness; I'm only interested in her political platform because if we can get her elected her job will be to serve the people of this state).

I'll give new candidates with a Berniecrat political platform a chance over the corporate candidates who change their platform and stump speech at the last minute when I know darn good and well it's a pack of lies to get votes and they won't change anything if they are elected.

I can't discuss the whole "Russia, Russia, Russia" nonsense. The DNC hard drive was downloaded to a jump drive; it was not hacked, but media insists on not reading or reporting the disclaimers for both "security assessments" that came with the news that Russia may have somehow influenced or rigged our elections, but the assessments were "as is, there was no evidence to prove Russia meddled" (to paraphrase). No. The DNC, HRC, DWS, DB, JP, Superdelegates, and Moronic Media (who ignored Bernie by giving him seconds of attention while they gave Drumpf two or three billion in free advertising) are the ones who rigged the primaries and then the general election (which she lost in the electoral college anyway). I suspect the sometimes double-digit exit poll numbers that were drastically low compared to poll numbers for Her that were so high were all from states with e-voting machines that had been pre-programmed which is how she got "three million extra popular votes." In a country with monitored elections any numbers between exit polls and vote counts that exceed two percent is evidence of election fraud (not voter fraud), the results are thrown out, and a new election is called immediately. Interestingly, those same exit polls had matching numbers for Idiot Orange.

Russia had nothing to do with our elections. False "security assessments" based on lies and wishful thinking by the DNC and HRC to explain one of the alleged reasons why she lost the 2016 election is nothing but sour grapes; that she was the worst DNC corporate candidate hand-in-hand with the worst RNC corporate candidate The Donald has never been acknowledged. It's no wonder so many people stayed home. It's the equivalent of repetition of lies after 9/11 that convinced so many people Iraq had something to do with 9/11 when the one country who did was Saudi Arabia, but no one mentioned them. Someone forgot to tell them the fucking cold war ended decades ago and we don't need to have idiotic politicians like HRC or DJT or any of our more moronic legislators and political pundits threaten nuclear war over her falsehood about Russia hacking the elections. That the DNC computers are not connected to the e-voting machines doesn't seem to occur to anyone, nor the fact that good hackers could lay a false trail back to Russia (or anywhere else) and no one but a smarter forensic computer expert could detect it, and the DNC won't let any forensic experts near their hard drive.

Russia Hacking Absolutely NOT Confirmed By Intelligence Agencies [Jimmy Dore, Jan 11, 2017]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmpG97mGZhY

Proof That "Russia Hacked DNC Server" Is Bullsh*t Posted By The Nation Magazine [Jimmy Dore, August 12, 2017]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWYPmHJ3WeU

FBI Implicates Obama & Clinton In Russia Bribery Plot [Jimmy Dore, Oct 17, 2017]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iU715uplok

Part 1: NSA Whistleblower Tells How NSA Tracks You! w/Bill Binney [Jimmy Dore, Dec 14, 2017]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoeJeWfoSpQ

Part 2: NSA Genius Debunks Russiagate Once & For All [Jimmy Dore, Dec 14, 2017]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv0-Lnv0d0k

At the end of the Part 2 video, Jimmy mentions the documentary A Good American. It is about Bill Binney and his cohorts who developed ThinThread (mentioned in both videos of the hour interview Jimmy Dore made into two videos). NSA shut down Thin Thread a couple of weeks before 9/11, and they are saying ThinThread could have prevented 9/11.

Bill Binney, Kirk Wiebe, Edward Loomis, Tom Drake, Diane Roark, John Kiriakou, and Ray McGovern ARE geniuses. Binney, et alia, using ThinThread, had figured out how to spy on the bad guys, leave ordinary people alone and protect our privacy all at the same time; the program was discontinued the month before 9/11, a new, much less efficient program, was put online, and failed to catch the hijackers.

The bungling on the part of NSA and the government is... mind-boggling beyond imagination. [? Or else it was deliberate?]

A Good American: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=666wsDcoNrU
"The story of a terrorist monitoring system that was discontinued just weeks before 9/11. Featuring a former NSA analyst [Bill Binney] who was a leading expert on metadata responsible for the world's most sophisticated global monitoring effort."

FBI Russian Indictments Used To Silence The Left [Jimmy Dore, Feb 19, 2018]
.... Rosenstein said..., "there is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnPAxdII5PU

Bill Binney and the rest of the VIPS are some of my favorite modern heroes, along with Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.

Her Heinousness is on my permanent shit list and my opinions about Her and Her Criminal Cohorts mirrors yours. I could die deliriously happy having never heard her name or seen her or heard her voice again for the rest of my life. I do, however, have a song I dedicate to Her every time the ear worm enters my head. I didn't think it was possible to loathe a political figure as much as I loathe Her (and her DNC criminal cohorts), but every time She opens her maw I loathe Her more. This song is for Her:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxGYSyZ8VkM

Wishing you and yours happiness and as much health as you and they can muster! Take care!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The two unicode figures are gone....

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I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute ..., where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference. — President John F. Kennedy, Houston, TX, 12 September 1960

@NonnyO Thank you for persisting. I'm glad I got to read your comment. You wrote a book! It's all very well stated and, sadly, all true. I wish you all the best with your health and living situation. I empathize with all the pain, frustration and difficulty it must entail. People have often told me that getting old wasn't easy. What an outrageous understatement, eh?

I too worry about what kind of world our grandchildren will inherit. If we don't make big changes soon it's likely to end very badly. I know I'm not telling you anything. Here's to hope for the future and getting off our asses to finally fix those things that have gone so badly wrong. A political revolution couldn't hurt.

Thanks again for your wonderful comment. It is so nice to see you again. Best wishes and be well.

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I've missed your righteous and eloquent postings.

Sending my best vibes for your health. Been going through some health issues myself, though not as serious, and lost my brother from sudden heart failure. Sent me into a kind of existential/dark night of the soul crisis. Coming out the other side, more awake than ever now, thanks in no small part to listening to endless hours of Terrance McKenna and Alan Watts on youtube along with some other wise travelers.

We're similarly aged bro. The end of this part of the great mystery is staring us in the face, ain't it!

I've been hanging over at the Orange site still but venturing over here more and more. It's getting a bit ridiculous with many over there touting a two dimensional perspective of good guys vs bad guys regarding 2016, the "Rusher" thing, Bernie and Hillary etc. I'm a Bernie guy and for what he represents through and through and am right with you on the awfulness of Hillary and the corporate/militarist Dems. But I hold that more than one thing can be true at the same time.

Yes, no doubt Bernie was cheated out of the nomination - he was the best candidate and would have won and all you say so eloquently of the corporate neoliberal Democrats is true. But at the same time it can also be true that the Russians did electronically burglarize the DNC and Podesta and ran a large scale strategic targeted campaign based on the stolen data to help tRump win the electoral college. Both can be true and I believe there's incontrovertible evidence of that.

I did not vote for Hillary but would have if I was in a swing state. I look at it like this. tRump is not a rational actor. He's an existential threat to life on earth and I didn't want his stubby little fingers near the proverbial nuclear button. As god awful as Hillary is I do not believe she would start a nuclear war. Even the worst neocon war mongers have a rational sense of self preservation.

It's like this - the house is in fire and we need to put it out before it burns it all down. After we do that, we then need we to get rid of those complicit in making the house fire prone and complicit in starting it. And that is the Republican Party and the neocon/militarist Democratic establishment.

What do ya think?

Peace bro.

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@mkor7 Thanks for the interesting comment. You make many fine points and I basically agree with them all. Cheers, brother.

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