A Broken Nation

It should come as no surprise to anyone with walking around sense that there is something terribly wrong with the USA. It is broken and broken at a deep level. I think perhaps it always has been.

I was about to turn twelve when JFK was assassinated in 1963. That was my first inkling that something was seriously amiss in my own country. The murder in broad daylight of a beloved president was my first clue that the land I had been taught was the paragon of human and national virtue might be something else, something darker, maybe much darker.

Of course what I'd been taught of history by age twelve in 1963 was mostly fairy tales and nonsense. I now understand that for all of my life we have been living Eisenhower's nightmare, descending ever deeper into a cesspit of corruption and blood.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961, in his last speech as president warns of the MIC

That we did not heed Ike's warning is a pity beyond measure and now we live with the horrifying consequences of that failure.


Eisenhower's worst fears came true. We invent enemies to buy the bombs

Why do we still go to war? We seem unable to stop. We find any excuse for this post-imperial fidget and yet we keep getting trapped. Germans do not do it, or Spanish or Swedes. Britain's borders and British people have not been under serious threat for a generation. Yet time and again our leaders crave battle. Why?

Last week we got a glimpse of an answer and it was not nice. The outgoing US defence secretary, Robert Gates, berated Europe's "failure of political will" in not maintaining defence spending. He said Nato had declined into a "two-tier alliance" between those willing to wage war and those "who specialise in 'soft' humanitarian, development, peacekeeping and talking tasks". Peace, he implied, is for wimps. Real men buy bombs, and drop them.

Simon Jenkins

Yes, our nation is deeply broken and it's not just the Military Industrial Complex, though the enormity and significance of that cannot be overstated. The MIC overshadows all else, but it's also the overall culture of blatant lies, unrestrained propaganda, cheap tricks, tomfoolery, skullduggery and compulsive over-consumption. It's the money, the greed, the meaninglessness.

As a society long plagued by social inertia and backwards thinking, conservatives in this country took the flaws and shortcomings the hippies and the counter culture warned us about in the 60s, doubled down on them and made them into features, not bugs. Superficial? Check. Materialistic? Check. Irrational, short sighted, dishonest, environmentally and psychically destructive? Check, check, check, check and check.

Plastic people, oh baby now, you're such a drag

Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention

We've done precisely the wrong things at nearly every turn. Led by the conservatives of both wings of the duopoly, we have, for the most part, made social conditions progressively worse, not better. That is, worse for ordinary people, the poor and the working class, albeit better for the insanely rich - at least ostensibly and materially. But in truth, immeasurably worse for everyone. A degraded and broken global society hurts all of humanity.

We have neglected our schools, our poor and our prisons. We have continued the mindless pursuit of profits at the expense of virtually everything else – even our children. We have allowed corporations to become all powerful. We have allowed money to be defined as speech and corporations as persons. We have opened the flood gates to unlimited dark money in our political process, enshrining corruption as our guiding light and highest value.

We've allowed the conservative social message to dominate that sharing is un-American, compassion is passé, the little people and the rest of the world don't matter and all anybody needs is a warm gun.

Happiness is a warm gun (bang bang shoot shoot)
Happiness is a warm gun, mama (bang bang shoot shoot)
When I hold you in my arms (oh, yeah)
And I feel my finger on your trigger (oh, yeah)
I know nobody can do me no harm (oh, yeah)
Because, (happiness) is a warm gun, mama (bang bang shoot shoot)
Happiness is a warm gun, yes it is (bang bang shoot shoot)

The Beatles

We have allowed the warmongers and profiteers in the Military Industrial Complex to seize more and more power, perverting our democracy, undermining the advancement of society and spreading wars, violence, famine, ecological destruction and other horrors across the face of the earth. This shameful legacy amounts to a curse on our species.

As a nation we have behaved as if life were cheap, profits sacrosanct and nothing at all sacred: not the global ecology, not humanity, not the victims of our blood lust and profiteering, not the suffering masses.

Disillusioned words like bullets bark
As human gods aim for their mark
Made everything from toy guns that spark
To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
It's easy to see without looking too far
That not much is really sacred

Bob Dylan

Many of our present woes such as school shootings, mass murders, police violence, open racism, proud ignorance and the general level of mindless hatred can be traced back to things we allowed the ultra-rich and all-powerful warmongers to do to us - not necessarily in a grand Machiavellian scheme (with notable exceptions like the execrable Koch brothers) but just by being greedy, selfish, short-sighted and blinded by profits.

When people amass wealth and power beyond a certain level, they apparently lose their minds. American plutocrats are not rational, thoughtful, forward-looking people. They risk humanity itself by ignoring the damage we have done to the earth and stalling any fixes for climate change, ecological destruction and so forth. They have cheated the public out of the best possible education by choking off funds for public schools and jacking up the price of college while pouring trillions into the mindless and unjustifiable business of unnecessary war in a blindered, souless and morally bankrupt pursuit of profits over humanity.

Education, broadly speaking, is a desirable public good. The entire society benefits when everything possible is done to elevate the thinking, increase the knowledge and enhance the capacity for reason, critical analysis and problem solving for every single citizen. But instead of investing in public education we have lavished money on the MIC and endless wars, and now we live with the dysfunctional and deplorable consequences. What we have done to ourselves is insane. What we have done to the rest of the world is a disgrace. The guilt and shame alone should be enough to kill us.

U.S. ARMS SALES EXPLODE, GIVING MORE WEAPONS FOR WARS IN THE MIDDLE EAST

U.S. arms sales have surged significantly in the past four years as more weapons flowed to clients involved in violent conflicts in the Middle East, according to a conflict monitoring and disarmament analysis institute.

Newsweek

In our culture, it has become routine to respond to deep seated problems with knee-jerk superficialities. The solution to mass shootings, police violence, racism, hatred, foreverwar, a rising suicide rate, the opioid epidemic, etcetera is not some new bit of legislation or raising the age at which one can purchase an instrument of murder (not that those measures aren't welcome, but they are woefully insufficient).

Any real solution is not going to be about gun policy, arming everybody, banning violent video games or any superficial quick fix. These problems are symptomatic of deep underlying pathologies in our culture. These deep-running problems reflect the many ways human life has been cheapened and disrespected throughout our history, starting with the genocide against Native Americans, continuing through all the horrors of slavery and the war on the working class, and persisting into the present as embarrassing artifacts of a shameful, indecent and intolerable past. Isn't it high time for our petty irrational hatreds to be consigned to the dust bin of history? Isn't it time to start fixing what's broken? Isn't it time to start living up to our own lofty and laudable principles?

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

In the way that we think about ourselves, in the way we teach American history to our children, we focus almost exclusively on the good while ignoring, glossing over or distorting the rest. If we had courage, integrity and clarity we'd be teaching Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States and other books of that ilk; books that take a cold hard look at the facts, as best we can know them, and asks the hard questions. Then maybe we'd have less to crow about and more to atone for. And as painful as that might be, we'd at least have the clarity to go forward and an opportunity to work out our redemption.

We are undeniably broken. That is not meant to imply that we were ever whole. When our history is faced objectively, there are no “good old days” to get back to. This is not about going backwards, it's about going forward. The word progress has been much abused of late. You can't trust everyone who claims to be "progressive" but that doesn't mean that progress isn't a thing - it is, and given the state of the world, it's mandatory - not just desirable, mandatory. Progress or perish. It's that simple.

“Goodness, if we could spend the same money learning about the world that we spend on wars.... We’re so stupid aren’t we? We seem to have lost the connection between our clever brains and our hearts.”

Jane Goodall

We need to stop the wars, stop the killing, lift people up and respect human life. We cannot kill people every day all over the world and not expect that horror to seep into our bones and manifest in the schoolyard, the workplace and elsewhere. We must learn from our past to honestly value human life, not just in word but in deed. We have so much to make up for, we should be righting historical wrongs, not perpetuating them.

Never forget that children need something to look forward to. It is incumbent upon every member of society to work diligently for peace and opportunity for their sake. It is our responsibility to do all we can to ensure a vibrant, whole and healthy world for all people. It is up to us to build a future in which life is worth living for all children everywhere.

Every single human being on the planet deserves to live in peace and in a world that is not being raped, defiled and murdered by uncaring oligarchs and fossil fools looking to make a quick buck.

Our great challenge as Americans is to deconstruct and repurpose the Military Industrial Complex, scrub the militarism from our souls, de-escalate the wars and tensions around the world, ban the bomb at last, reign in the corrosive greed of the power elite, rid our political system of corruption, stop the mindless hatred and racism, respect all life on earth and act like an intelligent species that wishes to preserve itself and the planet upon which it depends.

Our times demand that we begin to cooperate, help each other and shun violence and war so that we might all survive. We cannot afford to continue to act like our ancient barbaric selves without regard for long term consequences, because the consequences of our own destructive behavior have become so incredibly dire.

We have a choice if we get serious about it. We don't have to continue to allow the most violent among us to exercise unrestrained power all over the world: not if we are a nation of laws, not if we are a democracy. Of course we're neither at the moment. We should rise up and change that. We should push for an America that lives up to its own standards and a USA that leads the world to peace and ecological sanity.

This primitive lust for violence, murder, mayhem, torture and war, and this capitalist lunacy that riches and profits justify anything and everything, no matter how depraved, are undermining our progress as a people and imposing unspeakable human misery on a wide swath of the world's population. In the mean time, the American war machine is gobbling up and pissing away precious resources while raining down unmerciful hell on some of the poorest people on earth. It's unjust, inhumane and inexcusable. It's crazy, flat out insane. It's human folly of the worst kind and a distraction none of us can afford. We, as a species, have pressing existential problems to address.

Here at home where no one is dropping bombs on our neighborhoods, we nonetheless pay a steep price to keep the war machine rolling along. We sacrifice a better life for all and hope for the future so these depraved power addicts can play army while looting the world. The militarists suck up the lion's share of our resources, what isn't handed to them they steal, and we desperately need for those resources to be applied wisely to real problems, not phony wars.


Has Our Government Spent $21 Trillion Of Our Money Without Telling Us?

“No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.” ~ Article I, Section 9, Clause 7, The US Constitution

Forbes

Because of the very dynamics Eisenhower warned us about in 1961, we find ourselves dominated by war profiteers, warmongers and militarists bent on global destruction for the sake of profits. Our challenge, both moral and existential, is to stop them. By doing so we can begin to fix ourselves, heal old wounds, make things right, ensure a reasonable life for our citizens and a desirable future for our descendants.

It is to our everlasting shame that we have unleashed these war criminals upon the earth. If we have a decent bone left in our collective body we will stop them. These tragic dynamics must change for the sake of all people everywhere. War and hate are not the way forward, peace and love are. The hippies tried to tell us. We should have listened.

It's time to fix America - down deep where it is broken.

Peace out.

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Comments

Sorry for the length.

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dkmich's picture

@OPOL

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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

earthling1's picture

@dkmich
on all 12 cylinders OPOL.
NO ONE could have said that better.
A gracious and humble thanks.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@OPOL

Hey everybody. Sorry for the length.

Sorry my eye! Nary a bite of fat or waste in the whole thing, if you ask me!

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 Thanks man.

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@thanatokephaloides

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4 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

jobu's picture

Perhaps the most important speech of the 20th century, IMHO.

His warning ignored, as you point out, has lead us to this stark reality:

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Is very bad to steal Jobu's Rum, is very bad...

@jobu Right on Jobu. Nice to see ya.

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jobu's picture

@OPOL As always. If I had a complaint, it would be about you not going on long enough.

As a society long plagued by social inertia and backwards thinking, conservatives in this country took the flaws and shortcomings the hippies and the counter culture warned us about in the 60s, doubled down on them and made them into features, not bugs. Superficial? Check. Materialistic? Check. Irrational, short sighted, dishonest, environmentally and psychically destructive? Check, check, check, check and check.

Interestingly, (or not) there is a song from my childhood that I had always listened to as a fluff piece, materialistic and trite. The rest of the performers work was solid. Later in life I saw him at an intimate venue in Pawling NY. It was there that I learned to my great (and pleasant) surprise that this song I thought of as a 'cream puff' was in fact a stealth anti-war masterpiece. Hey, ya never know, ya never stop learning.

Folk troubadour Jonathan Edwards is a master of the less-is-more approach - so much so that his best known song, "Sunshine," still sneaks up on listeners as a catchy, acoustic pop ditty, and then, on repeated hearings, becomes a bold indictment of authority and war.

I wonder if a younger generation understands the context, thinks of it as an anti-establishment, protest song?

If there's any doubt I erase that before I sing it each night. I tell them the finest time I got to sing it was at the May Day End the War Rally in 1971. It's a protest song about the war and how people can get us, peace-loving creatures, into these wars that have no end, no plan, no nothing, but are for people who make the machinery. It was true in 1952 when Eisenhower talked about it, it was true in the '60s when we were getting killed on college campuses for protesting it, and it's true today. I try to draw that parallel between then and now. Meanwhile I try not to bring the audience down too much. It's a tricky balance.

Well said, JE.

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Is very bad to steal Jobu's Rum, is very bad...

@jobu Awesome, jobu.

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@jobu I'll be damned if he'll run mine" I so remember that song and that lyric. I think at the time I was thinking more of adults in general but damn, it sure fits this country, doesn't it?

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@jobu
Maybe a little too liberal for today's Democratic party. The Democrat that Ike ran against, Adlai Stevenson, makes Bernie look like a Centrist. Too bad the Clintons did so much damage to the Democratic party.

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Beware the bullshit factories.

Eagles92's picture

Always so nice to see you.

No apologies for the length - it's a lost art thes days, and absolutely necessary to fully explain where we find ourselves. Way to fight the sound bytes.

(Now, I'm off to give it my full attention).

[EDIT for poor grammar and repetition].

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@Eagles92 Thanks Eagles.

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I can't even recall the last time we crossed paths: I'd guess at TOP before the 2016 purge. Good to see, read, and remember you OPOL.

Don't let the bastards get you down : )

@OPOL

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JVolvo2

@JVolvo2 Gracias, JV. Good to see you too.

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dkmich's picture

They plotted behind our backs, and they delivered a slow coup. They normalized evil and brainwashed an entire population. I don't foresee us ever returning to what I perceive as normal. The period of history when I was a little girl playing by the TV instead of listening to Eisenhower address the nation. A period in history when Eisenhower was an accomplice of the rich, and Democrats were still the party of FDR. We could be colonizing and mining space, but we chose war and fouling our own nest.

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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 Well put, dk...sad to say.

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15 users have voted.

@dkmich That and in 1968, and the routing of Nixon gave us a false sense that we won. In reality our present rulers were just waking. We brought down the democrat backroom dealers and a republican president and that gave them both reason to make sure we never had any real power again.

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zoebear's picture

The MIC will do to the rest of the world. Where school shootings will be a permanent part of the nations
landscape. The spread of war into more and more countries will be another permanent part of global landscape.

As I said in another thread, these inhuman monsters who wage war for profit on other people's children as if they are merely disposable carcasses, have debased us all with the horror they engage in using our tax dollars.

Thank you for taking the time to put into words what needs to be said.

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Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

@zoebear I'd give anything if it weren't so, but yep, well said.

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ggersh's picture

and to the victors go the spoils.

I truly wish to know if Ike tried to beat back the MIC/CIA
during his time as Prez

https://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/

"All my life I have been fighting against the spirit of narrowness and violence, arrogance, intolerance in its absolute, merciless consistency. I have also worked to overcome this spirit with its evil consequences, such as nationalism in excess, racial persecution, and materialism. In regards to this, the National Socialists are correct in killing me.

I have striven to make its consequences milder for its victims and to prepare the way for a change. In that, my conscience drove me – and in the end, that is a man's duty."

Helmuth James Graf von Moltke, Executed in Plötzensee Prison on 23 January 1945

"Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Executed in Flossenbürg Camp on 9 April 1945

As journalist activist Carl von Ossietzky put it, 'we cannot hope to affect the conscience of the world when our own conscience is asleep.'

Heroic virtue shines across the vast seas of history like beacons to those in the troubled waters of general deception.

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/01/big-money-behind-war-m...

Even with polls showing that the majority of Americans are opposed to continuing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the new military-industrial complex continues to easily muster the necessary support from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress. It is a testament to the influence of this alliance that hundreds of billions are being spent in Afghanistan and Iraq while Congress is planning to cut billions from core social programmes, including a possible rollback on Medicare due to lack of money. None of that matters. It doesn't even matter that Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called the US the enemy and said he wishes that he had joined the Taliban. Even the documented billions stolen by government officials in Iraq and Afghanistan are treated as a mere cost of doing business.

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“Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.”

Hannah Arendt

@ggersh Yea, verily.

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QMS's picture

@ggersh

It is a war to allow the few to starve the many. It is a war to allow the few to blind the many.

Kenneth Patchen in Memoirs of a Shy Pornographer

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14 users have voted.

Intelligence is being redefined as the ability to repeat ever more complex instructions.

ggersh's picture

@QMS with everything/everyone then we are the enemy

It's then way past time to STOP ALL WAR'S

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15 users have voted.

“Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.”

Hannah Arendt

Wink's picture

was just using that speech to cover his own implicit ass for the history books.
@ggersh
See! I warned ya! Don't blame me!
Or maybe he was giving us a genuine heads up.
Either way, at least the warning was given.
Not many, if any, of the "higher ups" then would even dare give that speech.

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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 No doubt that's true. He helped build the monster to win WWII, and then when it was over he realized the lid wouldn't go back on Pandora's box. So hypocritical, yes, but at least he warned us, which no politician alive today would do.

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Wink's picture

you, as always!
@OPOL
Keep rocking, 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.

Raggedy Ann's picture

There's so much to say on the subject and you've distilled it down to it's parts. That said, what occurs to me is this - we have been brainwashed to believe in the "American Dream." This is a fake dream which has resulted in our inattention to all else. A consequence:

We have neglected our schools, our poor and our prisons. We have continued the mindless pursuit of profits at the expense of virtually everything else – even our children. We have allowed corporations to become all powerful. We have allowed money to be defined as speech and corporations as persons. We have opened the flood gates to unlimited dark money in our political process, enshrining corruption as our guiding light and highest value.

Which has resulted in:

As a nation we have behaved as if life were cheap, profits sacrosanct and nothing at all sacred: not the global ecology, not humanity, not the victims of our blood lust and profiteering, not the suffering masses.

Without revolution, we are a black society, descending further into the tar pits of existence. Keep reminding us. Maybe we'll eventually get off our fat asses and act. I'm ready.
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 Thank you, RA. Always nice to see you.

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@Raggedy Ann believe in the the American Dream anymore. The American dream was a collective dream. When they isolated us and atomized us they made it impossible for us to share the dream. It dissolved. It's just cheap rhetoric on Independence Day. Now we glory in the nonexistent individual able to overcome all obstacles.

Maybe we can rebuild the dream bit by bit by reaching out to our next door neighbors and the family across the street.

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Wink's picture

to start the process, get the potty
@FuturePassed
stotted (as they say in Bahstin).
I'm ready too. Before I get much older.
Most people, Repub or Dem or... know we're fucked. They know it.
They just don't know what to do about it.
We had a Berniecrat meeting last night in gawd-forsaken deep red Lowville, NY (of all places) (pronounced Lau ville), about 20 miles from where I live, and 58 miles north of Utica). About 25 of us there and everyone was /is woke. And, as Red State as Lowville is - and it couldn't be any redder - I gotta believe there are more than the 25 of us at the meeting that wonder about the things we C99ers wonder about.
A lady at the meeting suggested a campaign of one issue or another, I forget the details, and suggested we use postcards. Postcards! "That will work!" I said out loud, and I believe they will! But, instead of postcards that cost money and stamps, I thought we could use those 3x5 lined note cards. And instead of those use 4x6 unlined note cards. They're cheap and they hold up better than a flyer. What do we do with those? We set up our printers to print four 4x6 ditties per page to glue or tape to the 4x6 unlined note cards. Then you've got yourself a 1776-style leaflet, flyer, or whatever they called them. Or, just print the 4x6 unlined note cards one at a time. What's printed on the cards? Three questions that can be answered Y or N; the message, "if you answered two or more questions Yes (or No) (depending on how we phrase the questions) please visit C99's newest webpage for more nonpartisan info on how you can help Americans working to restore America's sanity."
I'm thinking the three questions should be on Guns, Med Care For All and Income Inequality, but you may have a better three. What do we do with these cards? Hand them out to anyone and everyone. At the mall, at the gas station, the people on your street...
"Hey, if you're interested in todays hot button issues, you might be interested in what we're doing... " "No, it's nonpartisan and non church, check it out!"
One way to do it.

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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

I'd suggest making that public investment in publicly funded higher education, medical care for all and living wages, to make it more inclusive.

Gun legislation has been made into a trigger word indicating all-or-nothing to many among the long propagandized, this causing too many to mentally shut down at the mere mention of anything of the sort.

People who are under less stress and feeling generally less insecure because of having become less so in actuality would be better able to think before reacting, so personally, I'd consider it best to start on the most essential and universal basics, which would all also directly help to build the entire country and economy as well.

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6 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Wink's picture

what ideas are for. And part of the reason for this board, of course.
@Ellen North
And those are three good ones!
So, we need to put those in the form
of a simple question (which, luckily, are the only kind I know).
One, becuz they need to fit on a 4x6 card. Two, see one.
We also want a Yes resonse as opposed to a No response. So...
"Are you in favor of Medicare For All?"
"Are you in favor of affordable (free) community college?"
"Are you in favor of a living wage?"

We are a nonpartisan nonreligious community attempting to bring sanity back to America.
Please join us in the effort at www.bringbacksanity.com

Have at it as far as any editing.

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6 users have voted.

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

Is anyone else getting this? I've tried the link several times...

Hmm. We’re having trouble finding that site.

We can’t connect to the server at www.bringbacksanity.com.

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3 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Wink's picture

yet. I just checked to see
if it is available.
@Ellen North

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2 users have voted.

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

up
1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Wink's picture

this week - if it
@Ellen North
stops snowing - I'll attempt
to post a website by Sat. or Sun.

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1 user has voted.

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

up
2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Wink's picture

@Ellen North "Live," but it's getting there. You can find it at https://wokewins.wordpress.com/ Sorry this has taken so long, but I tried two other platforms before this Word Press effort.
@Ellen North
Anyway, by tomorrow, Sat., 3/24, you'll be able to get there via www.bringbacksanity.net (which won't be "Live" before then). I think Word Press allows multiple authors, so if you would like to be able to contribute posts there let me know. Thanks!

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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.

@FuturePassed "You'd have to be asleep to believe it." ~ St. George

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Wink's picture

more years out of St. George
@OPOL
and didn't get them. (sigh)
The Universe musta needed a smartass
comedian that was woke long before most of us.
Our loss. May St. George RIP.

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5 users have voted.

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.

enhydra lutris's picture

Forbes calling out the failure to abide by Article I, Section 9, Clause 7, The US Constitution. In theory, top level line item "budgets", spending bills, appropriations and the like can be delved into and ever greater levels of detail can be found. In theory, this information can be retrieved by any of us. Ignoring the extent to which that is or isn't generally true, there are two major holes in the theory.

One is the "black budget" stuff admittedly too sekret to tell, intended to be forever hidden and off-book. This is where war crimes, crimes against humanity and the like go to hide. Stuff we dare not admit we do and fund. That we have and admit to having such a category of expenditures is both amazing and appalling. How to stop it, given the miasma of security state propaganda, blackmail, and coercion is beyond me at this hour. Nonethelss, this needs to end, and soon, it is both emblematic of the problem, but really the crux and cause of much that is wrong with our approach to the world and its population, human and otherwise.

The other is DoD, the military and all that that encompasses. They routinely lose, mosplace and otherwise cannot for vast sums and it is a known and recurring problem. That is gross negligence, which is always, when knowingly engaged in, considered tantamount to wilfulness, to fraud. We should treat those funds as embezzled, heads should roll and relevant operational budgets should be stripped. This is a minor thing, but might send a message.

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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 Well said, brother. Amen.

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jobu's picture

@enhydra lutris

We should treat those funds as embezzled, heads should roll and relevant operational budgets should be stripped. This is a minor thing, but might send a message.

To OPOL's point regarding JFK, many believe that he was prepared to make some heads roll and some budgets stripped and some agencies broken into a thousand pieces.

Many believe that because of this, he was taken out. Accordingly, most Americans believe the Assassination Theory over the Lone Gunman/Single Bullet Theory.

Instead of the 'broad, sunlit uplands' of peace assured us in our victory over Nazi Facism foreseen by Winston Churchill in his Finest Hour speech, we seem to have, by our own accord, 'sunk into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister and perhaps more protracted (or permanent) by the lights of perverted science' (propaganda).

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Is very bad to steal Jobu's Rum, is very bad...

BrutallyHonest's picture

The United States rewards Sociopaths & Sociopathic Behavior.
This is the title of my first Youtube video that I am editing as we speak.
I was inspired by Linda Beigel (the mother of Scott Beigel) asking politicians to just "Be human!"

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@BrutallyHonest

I suppose that it's probably up by now, and I just haven't worked my way up to see it yet...

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

enhydra lutris's picture

cause of this state of affairs.

Of course what I'd been taught of history by age twelve in 1963 was mostly fairy tales and nonsense.

The history we are taught is myth, and self-serving myth. The national image and citizen self-image generated is one of right and privilege, the responsibility to run the world according to our lights because we are doing it for good and proper reasons, as we have always done in the past. The end, always for the greater good of humanity, for truth, justice and all that is decent, including DEMOCRACY (our way), justifies the means, any and every means we choose or have chosen to employ. We are exceptional and indespensible and must maintain overwhelming might in order to force gods will and design upon the rest of humanity and to quash any backsliding.

We have to stop this narrative as a nation, a people and as citizens. Those of us who are up to it need to speak the truth about our history, our acts, actions, motives, goals and purpose. We need to do so endlessly. We can't expect the government to do so, nris it likely that we can make it start to do so at any time in the near future, so it is up to us. We have to start correcting misrepresentations whenever and wherever, and telling the truth about our history. An aware and awake populace is necessary if we are to make much progress in changing the way things are going.

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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 Couldn't agree more. Well said.

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The Aspie Corner's picture

....who are still true believers when it comes to Agolf Twitler and his merry band of Robber Barons.

Meanwhile, he just booted Rex Tillerson and Mike Pompeo will be his replacement.

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Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

@The Aspie Corner What happens when you don't invest in public education, for two-hundred, Alex.

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We inherited the English culture of empire and violence. No wonder they are our best allies..we are them. We completely fail to self-examine our behaviors. The English rationalized that they were more civilized. We use "democracy" "freedom" and "rule of law" as our excuses and have taken it to the level of religion. Forget that and just look at out behaviors from genocide in early colonial times to fire-bombing cities when WWII was effectively concluded to leveling third-world countries post WWII. We are one nasty, aggressive country. Our religion keeps us from self-examination. Those things do not make you a moral country. Cause and effect are confused. Even the most progressive among us share in that problem.
I have heard it stated many times that democratic countries are less likely to make war. Yet the proof is the exact opposite, that is US is the most dangerous country in the world, by action and as shown by international poll after poll. These are orthogonal issues, and we have made our religion a cover-up for creating one nasty aggressive state.

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Capitalism has always been the rule of the people by the oligarchs. You only have two choices, eliminate them or restrict their power.

mimi's picture

because somehow I still hope that listening, reading, writing and talking will miraculously help people to find ways to fix the malaise. Thanks for your LONG essay, which was easy to follow and read to the end.
This paragraph I liked especially (ironically for its shortness):
Wink

We have neglected our schools, our poor and our prisons. We have continued the mindless pursuit of profits at the expense of virtually everything else – even our children. We have allowed corporations to become all powerful. We have allowed money to be defined as speech and corporations as persons. We have opened the flood gates to unlimited dark money in our political process, enshrining corruption as our guiding light and highest value.

and if the quote of Gates, in which he said that peace is for whimps, (the article said "implied" so it might not be the words proper Gates used?), then he was as bad as Rumsfeld, who also put down those of us in the EU, who hesitated to follow the US and NATO demands, referring to them as "Old Europe". If you wanted to please the US, you had to be the "New Europe". Gosh, I never forgot those words.

The outgoing US defence secretary, Robert Gates, berated Europe's "failure of political will" in not maintaining defence spending. He said Nato had declined into a "two-tier alliance" between those willing to wage war and those "who specialise in 'soft' humanitarian, development, peacekeeping and talking tasks". Peace, he implied, is for wimps. Real men buy bombs, and drop them.

And it still works, Germany's military tries to prove that we are still the "good allies" and get engaged in activities in Africa and ME and Afghanistan, which I am quite opposed to. And that is by our little, sweet, calmly speaking female Minister of Defense, Ursula van der Leyen. So far I am quite disappointed in our female Chancellor and Minister of Defense for their lack of independence and courage to oppose those policies that the US expect them to support. And it will be the same thing with our Social Democrats female politicians as well. So much for that. Apparently even if 'we don't say as the US says', we always 'do what the US does', it seems.

Well, this approach always works. Putting you down for not supporting US and NATO's intentions has been done since 9/11 or may be I personally became aware of it only by then. But you guys and gals are the experts and know your history. I just quack my words, because I feel like a duck, who is supposed to get in line and doesn't want to. "Quack the 'Quatsch'".

I was thirteen when there was the Cuba crisis, and it was the only time when I saw both my parents (in Germany) and both surviving longish pow times in Russia and longish marches on foot as refugees (from bombs) along with many others in my extended family), very worried and scared. I remember it, because it was the only time it happened. My parents were expecting war and I guess their own trauma haunted them and popped up to the surface so that we could see it as children. It never happened again.

Well, thanks for your essay. Words have meaning, dreams of resolving and fixing problems through discussions and debate are helpful to have, it is always giving someone some hope for some time. And during those short times bombs don't drop down, hopefully. Thanks for that.

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@mimi Thank you, mimi. I appreciate your kind words. We all have to struggle against this darkness, I think.

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EdMass's picture

Missed y'a brother.

We need to stop the wars, stop the killing, lift people up and respect human life

War and hate are not the way forward, peace and love are. The hippies tried to tell us. We should have listened.

Why am I in the past tense? Still here.

Why is this so hard? Every political philosophy and every gd religion tells what to do and how to do it.

The power of the State. It cannot be overcome by the masses anymore, I think. And yet, we all empower them because we're too busy doing other stuff?

Twitter vs Facebook vs Instragram vs Google vs Apple vs vs vs...

Sigh

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"I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you"

Alvin Lee - Ten Years After

Stop the War!

@EdMass Sorry for past-tensing you.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@EdMass

The power of the State. It cannot be overcome by the masses anymore, I think. And yet, we all empower them because we're too busy doing other stuff?

We don't "empower them". Matters have come to a point where they need us for nothing. Dollars, votes, you name it -- there's nothing us "little people" can do that will shut the Power down.

Sad

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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

Wink's picture

are of no consequence in their world.
@thanatokephaloides
None. Zero.
Yet they want to make the gap between us even larger so they can't see us, can't hear us, hope never to get so much as a glimpse of a shadow of the unwashed.

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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.

enhydra lutris's picture

@EdMass
birthday, my wife took me to the "Summer of Love" exhibition at the De Young. It was truly sad to see what that reality is now reduced to on exhibit walls.

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11 users have voted.

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 --

Meteor Man's picture

And understanding is necessary to wage our continuing battle against the dark forces controlling America. Your essay would make a terrific forward to A People's History. This is an excellent insight:

Any real solution is not going to be about gun policy, arming everybody, banning violent video games or any superficial quick fix.

Solutions to our crisis must be transformational rather than transactional. This was a key point made by Rev. Liz Theoharis in a recent online event for The Poor People's Campaign. We have to look beyond a policy, piece of legislation or narrow program.

Rev. Theoharis is working closely with Rev. Barber to capture the moral high ground and lead a transformational political and spiritual movement. More about her here:

Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis: Reflections on Religion, the Bible, and the Movement to End Poverty

https://kairoscenter.org/rev-dr-liz-theoharis-reflections-on-religion/

And their upcoming 40 Days of Action:

http://abc11.com/politics/poor-peoples-campaign-announces-40-days-of-act...

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18 users have voted.

"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

CB's picture

chained like an organ grinder’s monkey - while the pilots in the wheelhouse steer the course they choose."

You Still Don’t Know, Do You, Mr. Jones?
by Paul Edwards, March 13, 2018

A terrible fear is abroad in the land. The MSM has its thongs in a knot with dire warnings that our democracy is being attacked, subverted, betrayed. Between Putin and the Russians and Trump and his clowns the cry is that America teeters on the brink of losing our priceless, cherished democracy.

You’re late, people. Lifetimes too late...

Managing the Great Charade that supports the sanctified dogma that America is a democracy has been the first duty of the Capitalist engine that owns everything, from the Founders down to today’s Imperial goat’s nest.
...
Sleepers awake. Forget losing the democracy you never had. What should horrify you to the depth of your soul is that the Deep State, though gut-punched, is aroused, and that monster, now without mask or makeup, is bound and determined to rule, and steer us all toward terminal disaster.

The organ-grinder can now get on with its business, making money for the 1% of the 1%. They got a twofer with RussiaGate, the gibbon has been chained and is now dancing for the organ-grinder and giving the war-machine a raison d'être to double down on weapons of war.

But China and Russia will eventually be the big winners. They are putting most of their money into programs of social uplift, leaving the US Empire behind at an ever increasing rate. Hopefully, the US won't attempt to destroy the world on its way out.

Take note on how much the Chinese have improved their air quality in the last 5 years by switching to green energy.

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snoopydawg's picture

@CB

and probably with WWWIII. People have accepted with no evidence that Putin put Trump in the WH and is controlling him. Now they are accepting May's word that Russia poisoned an ex KGB/UK spy for no reason. The guy had been traded to the UK from a Russian prison in 2010, but for some reason Putin decided to off him a week ago. On top of that he also poisoned 500 people in the town.

If I were Putin and it seemed that the world was gunning for me, I think that I would not have drawn more attention to myself and blatantly poisoned someone who I didn't give 2 sh*ts about. But maybe that's just me. Putin might have really wanted that guy toasting the fishes.

He even went so far to use the most deadliest poison known. In fact it is so strong that just ONE drop can kill someone. Ooops, the guy and his daughter are not dead.

This shows how stupid this concept is. May says that about the poison and no one is picking up on the fact that he is not dead! Seriously big flaw in her argument. But then who needs facts when propaganda works so well?

I AM SICK AND TIRED OF RUSSIA GATE!! You???

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CB's picture

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg

Cui bono tells me Russia had fuck-all to do with this. The purveyors of the Steele Dossier had a much better reason to off Skripol in a public setting.

May doesn't have the experience or the intelligence to go up against Putin. It now appears Russia is starting to play hardball.

Russia to Britain: ‘don’t give 24 hour ultimatums to a nuclear power’
Russia sends formal note to Britain denying involvement in Skripal attack; threatens countermeasures

Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, has warned that if the British regulator Ofcom withdraws RT’s British broadcasting licence then – as it is apparently threatening to do – then Russia will retaliate by throwing out of Russia every British media outlet working in Russia

I can tell you right now that not a single British media outlet will be working in our country if they shut RT down

Zakharova has also warned the British of the unwisdom of giving 24 hour ultimatums to Russia – a nuclear power – and has waspishly and almost certainly rightly said that Theresa May is simply not in possession of the full facts about the Skripal case

Bearing in mind what the president [of Russia Vladimir Putin] said [in his State-of-the-Nation Address], no one can appear in his or her country’s parliament to say ‘I give Russia 24 hours……No one knows anything, including Theresa May, who has no actual fact in her hands

.
...
Meanwhile the Russians have also been accusing the British of ignoring the Chemical Weapons Convention, which they say stipulates joint investigations of incidents like the Skripal attack.
...

I AM SICK AND TIRED OF RUSSIA GATE!! You???

Very much so. Unfortunately we don't have any choice. The US and UK are going to blow their wad on this thing. They don't have much more and the public is starting to suffer attention deficit disorder for Russia Gate.

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snoopydawg's picture

Good for them to stand up to May's BS. This nerve agent has been around for a very long time and I'm sure that other countries could have figured out how to make it. Besides, why would Putin even want the guy dead? Cui Bono indeed.

Moon of Alabama also agrees that it might be related to the people who wrote the Steele dossier and he ties it back to the Clinton campaign. The guy might have been one of Steele's contacts. He didn't bother to go to Russia to get his information, he just called people on the phone to get it. Easy money.

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GreyWolf's picture

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@GreyWolf Thanks, GW.

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because what you wrote put into words just what I have been feeling and exactly what I needed to hear today from another, living, thinking human being.

Yes, it has all gone insane, so far insane that it makes the rest of us, like yourself, begin to question ourselves as to whether this or we are normal?

And what about the children?

Our children, who have no other background other than the history books that are being censored and never told all of the unvarnished ‘truth’ to start off with.

We truly only have one last chance to stand up for what we know and believe, if it’s not already too late.

I wish I could share you essay, far and wide and with your permission, I will.
It’s the best and most timely, I have ever read at Caucus99percent and I so do thank you for it.

If anyone were to stand a chance to save our lives, it’s people who write just as you did.

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@Sirena Thanks very much, Sirena. Of course, share all you want.

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Big Al's picture

Or whoever the next progressive democratic party savior might be.

An old saying comes to mind, some won't like it, "no guts, no glory".

The problem is our political system. When enough people decide to change it, then maybe we can have us some democracy. As long as we allow everything to be channeled through this duopoly political system, nothing can change and we will continue to be ruled by the rich.
I don't expect that from this site any longer. I think there are a lot of people here who have been so tied into the democratic party and electoral politics for so long, they can't see any other way.

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5 users have voted.

@Big Al Point taken, Big Al. I think our electoral system is FUBAR. Change is coming but most likely through some other avenue. Not sure what that's going to be, but we're not likely to vote our way out of our collective predicament.

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Wink's picture

other option.
@Big Al
We live in a duopoly. Besides...
How many blue dogs we got in the
party? How many Dems caucus with the progressive caucus?
Exactly.
Labels just don't mean that much as far as R. vs. D.
Most of the kids under 25 register as Independents.
By 2024 there will be more Is than Ds or Rs.
So the ballots might look different in 2024.
Three parties instead of two.

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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.

Lookout's picture

First, your essay was spot on! Thanks.

A simple way to rein in war would be to get congress to take back their constitutional role of declaring war.

Under Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, Congress has sole power "to declare war [and] grant letters of marque and reprisal." But Article II, Section 2 provides that "The president shall be Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States." While it's clear that the Framers intended for Congress alone to declare war, presidents don't always check with Congress before acting. After President Harry Truman bypassed Congress to go to war in Korea, presidents have paid almost no attention to the constitutional requirements.
In 1973, an irate Congress passed the War Powers Act in response to President Lyndon Johnson and President Richard Nixon's prosecution of the war in Vietnam without a congressional declaration. Under the War Powers Act, the president has 90 days after introducing troops into hostilities to obtain congressional approval of that action. It looks good on paper, but presidents have generally ignored the War Powers Act, citing Article II, Section 2 as their authority to send soldiers into combat.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2001/09/what_w...

There have been efforts to do so...
http://www.loufisher.org/docs/wpr/429.pdf

As long as Presidents can just crank up a war, for example against a country like Venezuela for trying to use their resources to empower their people instead of enriching the elite, we will remain in the forever war. My hope is that the US empire collapses (which is possible if the dollar crumbles).

Always a pleasure to share ideas with you OPOL.

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

@Lookout Thanks Lookout. It would be a step in the right direction for congress to do just that. Not sure I'd bet any money on them doing the right thing...but ya never know. Something's gotta give, eh?

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

@Ellen North TYVM.

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@OPOL

Hope you'll be hanging out/writing here lots - you've been missed!

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3 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.