From the gilded age to the gilded cage

Greetings C99'ers. I know it's been a while from a resident ranter, reason being i had to pretty much disconnect. After Trump's victory my now rather estranged friends (and unfriends) on the left have well... I guess not changed is a diplomatic turn of phrase. And trying to get through to them has been draining. And with my personality politics has a habit of becoming all consuming, it turns me into a person I'd rather not be.

But looking back at my last couple essays It's depressing exactly how little has changed. From Russians in the closet to Nazis under the bed, to punching left on everyone from the greens on down, to having fully forgotten it feels like the values the party I once believed in once held...

It hurts, it really does... I still haven't gotten over the betrayal I witnessed during the primaries. That cemented a mistrust starting at the Dean scream in stone. Fairly certain I never will get over it either. If one thing hasn't changed it's my belief that both parties are hopelessly corrupt. As I see ACO gracing the cover of vanity fair while walking back every primary position? Controlled opposition is too nice a term. And let's not forget Howie either, as these days he's little more than a shill for insurance companies lined up at the taxpayer trough for those yummy ACA handouts. As a feckless party did squat for single payer despite having ample chance to do so. Didn't have the votes? Yeah right. Two heads, one snake, and I treat both equally as my enemy. Much to the consternation and confusion of said Democrat friends (Though these days I differentiate between Democrat and Liberal)

So what has me back now? It's an election year of course, and the vote shaming, the blue wave, the guilt trips, the MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION OF OUR LIVES!!!!! is hitting the mailers flooding my mailbox like the 275,342 most important elections ever before it. And my cynicism is in full swing as well as my opposition to voting period, I honestly don't see the point of replacing one bomb dropping banker puppet with another, when the only thing that changes is the letter in front of the person screwing us. Far as I'm concerned it's...

Republicans: You're screwed and so is the planet.
Democrats: You're screwed and so is the planet, but you get LGBT rights on the way down.

And as I've told friends, your gender, orientation, social status, race, all of it is pretty much pointless when you can't drink the water or breathe the air, dead is dead. And dead from recent reports looks to be 12 years away at best. And the dems response?

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/10/18/are-you-kidding-me-outrage-...

useless as ever.

But don't tell that to the assist...ahem "Resistance" Can't you see it Jesse, see the threats we face! Look at Kavanaugh for instance, and the trampling of women's rights!

As Schumer fast tracks federal appointments so dems can go home and pretend to care.
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/11/senate-democrats-judges-895168

And the DNC says they would still support any dem that voted for him
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/29/sparking-progressive-fury-t...

Me: Do you plan on talking at any point how Kav has a HORRIBLE record on the 1st and 4th amendments? How he had his fingerprints all over Bush era torture memos? His pro corporate stances?

Dems: No

Me: Whhhhy?!

Dems: CAUSE WOMEN!

Me: what?

Dems: We have to get them mad, get them to the polls! Get them to stand up against Trump and the sexism in the GOP!

Me: . . . Because that worked so well the first time. By any chance do you plan on actually say addressing wage inequality? Or any actual issue that might actually help women?

Dems: Wait you mean actually do something besides bank on anti trump sentiment to win? But ID pol is the way to win!

Me: And when you get Trump out, what have you won?

Dems: As another recent post put it you get the stare, then, "...BUT WE HAVE TO VOTE THEM OUT!"

And that's the part I have yet to get an answer on, it's a fun game though I invite others to try. Ask them that if they get everything they want, Trump gone, a blue wave in congress, a majority for the Democratic agenda. What have they won? They took back control? Control of what? What's the point of getting a shot at driving the bus when the seat belts are busted and the wheels are falling off? Who cares who controls a corrupt to the core system when the system itself is the problem? Who cares if you vote out the noisy Nazism of the Republicans if you replace them with the quiet Orwellian police state of the Democrats? With a side of endless war regardless?

But...but...TRUMP!

Yes yes Trump bad, but what makes you any better? After all lets take a look at some of the things Bombs and bailouts . . ahem . . hope and change actually did.

* Assassinate US citizens with drone strikes. And their children
https://theintercept.com/2017/01/30/obama-killed-a-16-year-old-american-...

* Repeal the Propaganda ban, making it legal to spread government propaganda via news outlets.
https://www.mintpressnews.com/planting-stories-in-the-press-lifting-of-u...

* Use the Espionage Act to prosecute more whistleblowers than all previous administrations combined. Including the prosecution of Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/mar/16/whistleblowers-double-st...

* Brokered $278 billion in weapon sales, double that of Bush, a majority of which are backing the Saudis
https://www.defenseone.com/business/2016/11/obamas-final-arms-export-tal...

But remember, only Trump has blood on his hands from a Saudi connection.

* Despite campaign pledges, worked to modernize and increase America's nuclear arsenal
https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2015/12/15/obama-backs-bigges...

* Drop bombs on 7 Muslim countries.
(Too many links to count)

* Initiated, and personally oversee a 'Secret Kill List.'
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/16/aclu-files-new-lawsuit-ove...

* Deploy Special Ops to 138 countries in 2016 - nearly double than under Bush.
https://www.thenation.com/article/american-special-forces-are-deployed-t...

* Mandate the Insider Threat Program which orders federal employees to report suspicious actions of their colleagues.
https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/special-reports/insider-threats/article...

* Sign a new the Patriot Act extension into law.
http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/05/27/congress.patriot.act/index.html

* End his term with 26171 bombs across the middle east, after 8 years of endless war
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/09/america-dropped-26...

And of course lets ask out Democrat friends to have a moment of honesty. If not even HALF of that were being done by Trump how fast would (or should) they be actually resisting?

But I guess a winning smile and a cool personality makes the snake oil go down easier? This is the problem right here, Democrats and others unable to realize Trump isn't an aberration. He's business as usual. The only difference is he's the skin pulled off to see the alien reptile overlords underneath. (points for the sci fi fans who get that reference) He's not the disease, he's the end result.

Meanwhile the complete utter lack of accountability, the fact Democrats are pathologically incapable of facing themselves in a way that would make Dorian Gray blush, is beyond infuriating. But what can you expect from a party that tries this brand of twisted logic to Justify calling Ivanka Trump a "c-word" When going off the deep end about that term being used by the right?

https://www.thecut.com/2018/05/samantha-bee-ivanka-trump-full-frontal.html

The fact that this mind warping excuse for the inexcusable is being uttered by the author of the Obama boys and Bernie bro hit pieces, someone who has made a history of turning any criticism of the party and her highness into sexism makes it all the more hilariously hypocritical too. How she could write this with a straight face is beyond me.

Lord knows I've tried to point his and others out too, and I've been called every name under the sun, but it's never really bothered me much until this week, call it the trigger for this rant. And I didn't have words for it until a comment from Can't Stop the Signal that resonated perfectly with what I'm facing.

This is done to make it near impossible to voice a genuinely left-wing opinion in this country, because you can either cheer on the distorted versions of left-wing beliefs and causes--which means that you're supporting the current homicidal, and indeed psychotic power structure--or you can critique those distortions--in which case, you're liable to look like you disagree with the old liberal verities about race, gender, and sexual orientation. If you choose the latter, you will be called a bigot or at least a right wing sympathizer, and some of the people who see you that way will genuinely believe it. Which is the worst of all, because it divides people of good will. The sockpuppets and trolls, especially the paid ones, can fuck off; the real damage they do does not lie in their insults but in the ways their discourse effectively sets good people at odds, making it seem that one cannot pursue the old left-wing goals AND be against bigotry of all kinds.

Or as I call it this week. When the second closest person to me in my life, a friend of 20+ years and I nearly derailed that friendship over my refusal to participate in a rigged voting process.

Now granted I can understand her reasoning and her fear. Since I've known her she's come out as Trans, she sports a hammer and sickle tattoo, and she's Jewish. So you can imagine how Trump declaring himself a nationalist went over with her. On top of his recent anti trans policy statements.

As she put it, "DON'T YOU ******* DARE SIT THIS ONE OUT!" And my attempt to offer a rational explanation of my viewpoint, "I don't think my voting out Trump is saving you, it's just turning you over to a different jailer." withered in a firestorm of fear fueled rage. Complete with being told that I was putting my principles ahead of the lives of her and other trans friends, and what if she was right and "We all end up in camps"

Now we have since (thank goodness) made up over this. Because again we both had tempers running high, I don't respond to guilt trips very well, guilt trips about voting even less. At the time I just wanted to fire back.

So let me get this straight, you want me to vote out Trump to make you feel safe...

So I have to accept another war monger neolib spreading death around the world, we're good with American made bombs blowing up Yemeni kids so YOU feel safe?

So I have to accept that my wife and I are going to stay paycheck to paycheck while trying to figure out how to pay a maxed CC (recent stretch of job hunting for us both) on top of her $600 ER visit and $4000 surgery because no one is addressing inequality or health care costs, but hey, least you are "safe"?

So I have to accept this planet is 12 years from being hopelessly cooked as I try to figure out if I even want to start a family, no one cares, but you're safe?

So I have to accept the same tired lesser evils that gave us Trump in the first place, I have to settle for solving this mess later because we have to get him out, I have to accept that nothing changes in our one party system so YOU feel safe?

We have to put everyone else on the planet to one side because you're scared?

I'm not sure if that price is worth it. Actually I'm sure it's not

Not to mention the short sighted selfish cowardice of it.

But it's the paradox CSTS perfectly highlights because of how we've been divided. You can't fight the system, because by doing so you come out as not supporting your friends. And it's not the first time I've found myself exposed to it now that I think about it. Many other trans friends in the support chat I'm a part of feel the same. They settle for getting rid of the R's because as one put it, "Dying on the hill alone for your ideals doesn't solve anything." attempts to point out the flaws in the party are "false equivalence" or "not caring about getting these racists out" Cue more self censorship on my part even though I want to scream, "And hiding in the castle living off crumbs from the nobles may be staying alive but is it living? The guy on the hill wouldn't be alone if you had the courage to stand with him!"

Another friends says "We have vote Dems, we can sort the mess out later, the R's have gone too far," Sort it out when? After the 275,372nd time I've heard this refrain too? We can reform the party next time because this election is "too important" News flash, every election is! And nothing changes as long as we keep playing the game by their rigged rules. Rigging made all the more obvious during the primaries, but again we can't protest it. After all do you want Trump?!

Cue another friend informing she's "Sick of male allies of convenience" While Bringing up Sophie Scholl and how she stood up for her belief no matter how hopeless it was. Yet somehow I don't think miss Scholl would have fought to replace one dictator with another. And I don't think she would have added to "Stand up for what you believe in, even if you are standing alone."*

*Unless it upsets the status quo and might interfere with my sides political goals.

It's why Trump calling himself a nationalist is meaningless in the big picture, nationalism is already here and both partisan cults are pushing it!

And to quote Orwell, a quote I found by accident while looking back through saved items, and I wasn't even planning to use yet fits so well.

“All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage — torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians — which does not change its moral color when it is committed by 'our' side . . . The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them”

But can you get that point across? Not against the entitlement, and the fact Democrats still think their farts are lavender scented (to use a more polite term) While they can't understand why someone may want to vote them out too. To move it into current events and the overarching theme. How could you oppose us when the other side supports rapists! Don't you believe women?

Two articles I suggest sharing on this front.

Ted Rall on how this backfired by unifying the Right against a common foe.
http://rall.com/2018/10/08/how-brett-kavanaugh-framed-himself-as-a-marty...

Medium blogger Meghan Daum
https://medium.com/s/powertrip/metoo-will-not-survive-unless-we-recogniz...

Who sums it up with one simple sentence that fits the entire landscape as it is.

#MeToo is important. #BelieveWomen is hollow sloganeering that will ultimately set us back rather than move us forward.

And this is my big fear, we've seen what hollow slogans with nothing behind them got us. And this is the best plan we have still? This is the plan that is going to "save" us from Trump and the right? This is what I have to vote for because we don't have any other options? It amazes and confuses me, why is this where we are?

And I go back to what my friend said at the end of our fight for the answer.

"Know this, I'll choose the jailer that feeds me three times a day and lets me exercise in the sun. Over the jailer who beats me and wants me dead."

This while she's posting links to do you hear the people sing and clamoring for revolution. And I'm screaming in my skull "How the HELL do you have a revolution when you just locked yourself in the cage!"

A pretty cage it may be, a cage that may keep you alive, but a cage is still a cage. And my vote would just add another bar to it when I want to smash the whole thing down. And I wonder how many people realize it too, how many accept it, how many (to quote the esteemed capt Reynolds) think that playing by the rules will buy them a nice life, even if the rules make them a slave. Because its the system we have, because we have to be pragmatic, because trying to change it means we are spoilers, because we can't right now because the repubs are worse...

Sigh... I wish I had an answer to this, to be honest the whole rant feels pointless as voting, if cathartic to put pen to virtual paper. As I look for answers not coming and find myself on the outside looking in, no one left to fight for because no one is willing to put up an actual fight. We limit ourselves to our cages, our "acceptable limits of debate", and we sing so sweetly from inside, thinking we're resisting, and the thought that people aren't blind to the bars but willing to accept them as the price of "winning"? That's the most depressing thought of all.

On an odd side note, when i searched the phrase "A gilded cage is still a cage." wondering where I had heard it or a possible origin I came upon a UK Supreme court case involving deprivation of liberty for patients suffering mental health issues. It was the president of the court, Lady Hale, who used it as part of her ruling. One piece on it here (https://www.brownejacobson.com/health/training-and-resources/legal-updat...)

I would personally apply her point to current events too, "It is axiomatic that people with disabilities, both mental and physical, have the same human rights as the rest of the human race."

Just go one step further in saying that everyone regardless of who they are should have the same rights as anyone else, gay straight trans, woman, man, black, white, purple with yellow polka dots, whatever and more to the point wherever. We have one race, human, end of discussion.

Now all we need to do is figure out a way to realize we aren't going to get to that point if we keep accepting lesser evilism as the cost. To throw one more cheesy sci fi reference in, the revolution people want isn't going to happen so long as they're willing to stay hooked up to the machines.

A prison is a prison is a prison. Sadly I am not holding out the hope enough people realize that and break free before it's too late.

See you in 12 years, if we even make it that far...

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Big Al's picture

Where to start? Like, what's the problem and what do we want? Maybe if enough people could agree on that we could figure out what to do about it.

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Wink's picture

give a fuck.
@Big Al
They just don't. Can't be bothered.
Is as simple as that.

They're happy making their $50K, $60K, $70K, and their friends all making $50K, $60K, $70K,
and they wonder what those making $20K, 30K, $40K are complaining about??
Becuz, obviously, if the $35K slackers went to college or simply worked harder they'd be making $50K, $60K, $70K like everybody else they know! Instead of their crappy $35K.
And if they're not... who cares??

The $60K crowd is happy making $60K, and can't be bothered about the whiney pants Libruls whining about this and that, becuz... well, becuz they're happy making $60K and everything else is irrelevant, a nuisance, doesn't affect them in any meaningful way, so... fuck the gays, fuck the illegals, I'm NOT going to pay for Your Health Insurance, so fuck Obamacare, fuck Med4All Berniecare, fuck. it. all.!!

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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.

snoopydawg's picture

@Wink

soon enough. It wasn't that long ago that people only making around $30,000 were able to make ends meet because soon it's going to be that $50,000 is not enough to live on. Or that when they go to retire they won't be able to rely on SS and Medicare because the democrats played along with republicans and decimated them. And then the banks crashed the economy again because congress refused to reinstate legislation so that they couldn't. Oh yes, they will eventually understand why people are 'whining'.

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Big Al's picture

@Wink attempt at debating our options.

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travelerxxx's picture

@Big Al

Thing is, Big Al, if I were to hide a recording device at my workplace and record the voices of my co-workers, Wink's last paragraph could pretty well serve as a transcript of the recording. I could walk down the street to another workplace and record similar. Walk the other direction and the results would be interchangeable. Don't shoot the messenger.

I think Wink is pretty close to the dividing line with his $60K mark. As you get much below that, you start seeing Trouble in River City. However, the average salary in the US isn't $60K; rather it's just below $45K. It isn't going to take much of a pebble in the pond to cause a ripple that causes people to at least begin to open their eyes. We already know that most American's budgets cannot withstand a random $400 emergency. So, people are already at the bleeding edge ... even those above the median mark.

My own opinion is that there something much larger than that pebble headed for the lake. When that hits - and it's going to hit, the waves are going to cause the authoritarian Trump to take action. I'm betting that Trump will respond the way all Republicans have responded (and that includes Obama). The days of any national politician, even Republicans, worrying about Moral Hazard are long past. And, as we know (but few Americans realize), the depositors are now on the hook for bank failures.

So, I'm saying that it's going to take some pain, felt at Main Street, USA, before folks begin to wake up. The more overheated and unstable the financial sector gets, the closer that pain is to coming. The cracks are already evident.

So, I believe it's vital to discuss our options. A whole lot of Wink's $60K people are going to be walking out their front door, their jobs either gone or in danger, their 401k plans reduced to pages of red ink, and - once the present politicians have completed their work - Social Security crippled ... and those people are going to be looking for answers. I hope we can discuss those answers here before the flood.

Lets keep going.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Wink

This really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.

Top Democrats are taking health care industry cash then opposing candidates who support “Medicare for all”

Seventy-five percent of Democrats support “Medicare for all.” But the American health care industry appears to have pushed Democratic leaders away from backing House candidates who would support universal public health insurance. This backhanded approach occurs as key lobbies for the industry have united in opposition to single-payer with the creation of the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future.

A new Tarbell analysis shows the health care industry as a whole is giving generously to leaders of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The DCCC describes itself as “charged with recruiting, assisting, funding, and electing Democrats” to the House. The industry includes pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, hospitals, nursing homes and professional health associations.

The industry investment appears to be paying off. Very few of the candidates endorsed by the DCCC in 2018 primary races support the idea of a national government health care program

Joe Kennedy the third is the largest recipient of health insurance money. Wonder what uncle Ted would have to say about this?

Among DCCC leaders, regional vice chair Rep. Joseph Kennedy III (D-Mass.) is the largest recipient of health care industry cash. Kennedy, who gained national profile when he was chosen to respond to Donald Trump’s State of the Union in January, has received $378,000 this cycle and more than $1 million in his career from the health sector. Drug companies alone have given him $132,000 this cycle, far more than the average amount drug companies have given Democrats ($26,265) or Republicans ($35.799) in the House.

Kennedy has also benefited financially from his own personal drug company investments. According to the Boston Globe, Kennedy has “earned stock value of up to $434,999” from his investments in Gilead Sciences Inc., the maker of the $1,000-a-pill Hepatitis C drug, Sovaldi.) Kennedy’s office did not respond to a request for a comment.

Go Democrats! Ride the Blue Wave all the way to the bank.

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Azazello's picture

@snoopydawg
When asked by a progressive Party member about HR.676 she said that she hadn't read the bill and could not comment on legislation that she hadn't read. Classic D-trip evasion, she knows damn well what HR.676 is.

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Wink's picture

but at least she's
@Azazello
"in favor" of "universal health care."
whatever the hell that is.
she defines it as "access for everyone."
whatever the hell that means.
What it doesn't mean is Med4All. {sigh}

So, I'm out canvassing (knocking on doors) for her - becuz the current (KochBros) Repub will soon kill what's left of this District if she wins again in 2020 (if she isn't by then running against Chucky Schumer, gawd help us) - and the biggest response i get is, "Election??" or, "just put me down for Obama... " smh. So... I'm not expecting any blue wave. And, really, if we can't find any excitement this year - mostly I get Libruls resigned to defeat becuz they see what I see - then I suspect and expect we're better off putting our effort towards building hippie co-ops of some sort. Off-grid communities and networks.

Lord knows I (and many others up this way) have tried to build excitement over the last 12 months! Only to find none. Lots of blank stares. Lots of, are you out of your effing mind?! Lots of, seriously?? But almost zero excitement. Most resigned to the fact that the RW has kicked our ass and there is no path back to "normal."

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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.

Azazello's picture

@Wink
I won't canvass for her. I vowed not to vote for any candidate who did not support MFA wholeheartedly. I broke that vow and voted for her but I'll be damned if I'll canvass for her too. This woman is a perfect example of what is wrong with the Democratic party.

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Wink's picture

Not even Big Insurance
@snoopydawg
and Big Pharma can kill MFA.
Not that they won't try. Bigly! Seriously Bigly!
Tossing all kinds of Big $$ at it to kill it!

And it's likely to take longer to happen than I thought it would.
Becuz of Dim party opposition.
But it's going to happen. 70% of Americans, including 50% of Repubs, want it.
Some even getting that it simply is about switching Payees, not about "how are you Libfucks going to PAY for it??" Some get that "we're already paying for it - just need to switch who we're paying it to." So, it's slowly happening. And that pace can only quicken, will reach a tipping point.

And, yeah, politicians will continue to oppose it!
But, their lame, "how are you going to PAY for it" will soon fall on deaf ears as more and more figure it out that, "whadaya mean?? we're Already paying for it!"
So, MFA will happen.
Not as soon as we'd like, as usual, but the current "System" is unsustainable.
And voters already know it is, their Premiums going thru the roof!

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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.

snoopydawg's picture

@Wink

The emphasis is on "access". This is what Feinstein was trying to sell too when she said that she was okay with MFA. "People will have access to universal health coverage.

People already have access to health insurance. What many don't have is money to pay for it. As the article states democrats are taking money to make sure that "single payer" never happens. As long as Pelosi, Schumer and the rest of the old guard are in control of the democrats they will never, ever pass it. If they really wanted to then they would have done it right after Obama was elected. They didn't. They don't. It really is that simple.

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Wink's picture

to stop it.
@snoopydawg
MFA has a life of its own, won't be denied.
'They' will most certainly slow it down!
But people Can Not currently afford the current System.
Something's gotta give.
I totally expect Bernie's MFA will be the winner.

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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.

snoopydawg's picture

Good to see you again and wowzer you came back with a doozy. This essay could be titled, when you say you miss Obama.

OAC is the sellout that some of us were saying she was, but so is the gilligan person running in Florida. (?) Looks like someone gave him the Israel talk.

IMG_2751.JPG

Welcome back to the blue blog and home to the Russian bots and trolls. And don't forget how important it is that you vote because the Supreme Court might be at stake.

Smile

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Pricknick's picture

I had the fortune of trying a sandwich made by a vender in the back of his wagon. The wagons were were affectionately known a "Ptomaine Tents".
While I can't remember the korean name for the dish, I do remember the vendors translation for it. It was called a "Walk Away".
How fortunate you were to realize you needed to walk away from the politics for a spell. Never hesitate to take the breaks when needed.
Well written essay and welcome back.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

Lookout's picture

..you want Coke or Pepsi. Come on which corporate choice is for you?

None the less I plan to bubble in my ballot and maybe it will be counted. Of course here in Alabama my vote is a fart in the wind...appropriate for an old fart I guess. Not even a blue trickle in this part of the world.

Some of my friends think they are informed by the NYT and WaPo...I leave them with their illusion. In that way we are both at peace with our views. Live and let live attitude required in these times I fear.

Vote or not...does it really matter? Guess it depends on where you are. Think the outcome in Brazil today will be positive? I'm betting on the fascists. Oh boy...more fascists.

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

I am glad I toured there a few years ago.
I would not go there now.

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snoopydawg's picture

@on the cusp

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It takes a lot more work to build a new party from the ground up than to take over an existing party, so we have a better chance of replicating the right-wing success by co-opting the Democratic party. I personally don't belong to the party right now but in this case, "not a psychopath" still gets my vote.

We as voters got rope-a-doped in 2008, just as we did in 1992. "Hope and Change" became "Look forward; not backward." The "Audacity of Hope" became, "Bail out a bank; punch a hippie; cave in to Republicans." The seductive "Yes we can!" became, "But we only have 59 votes!" (The "serious" Democrats' perennial excuse for getting nothing accomplished when they controlled both houses and the presidency.)

However, it does not mean rolling over and playing dead. We can't afford to let society collapse under the vain hope that it will prompt people to rise up in bloody revolution--as if that would solve anything besides making us all dead. (See Revolution, French. Move over Louis XVI; hello Napoleon.) The time to rise up is right freaking now. Vote as many Republican assholes out of office as possible. But don't let up--because the minute the Democratic establishment says, "We must support Our Trump. We don't want Our Trump to fail," we organize and vote those toad-lickers out of office in the next cycle. (Looking at YOU, Chucky the Schume!)

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10 users have voted.
Pricknick's picture

@SancheLlewellyn

we have a better chance of replicating the right-wing success by co-opting the Democratic party

How do you distinguish the difference between the parties? Look carefully because the leaders of both are entrenched, bonded, and tied at the hips and will be until the end of what time we have left.
I will not waste my time on either and that's why I will never vote for anybody who runs on the dim or repug ticket.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

@Pricknick But I can spot the Republicans from their Bronze Age superstitions and rejection of science (and any kind of human empathy). It does mean that, say, the Indiana Senate race is between an evil pro-rap Republican and an anti-rape Republican, as Joe Donnelly is a bigger ass that Joe Manchin (who couldn't be bothered to vote "rape is bad").

Want to build a third party? Build from the ground up. You can support Tim Canova over Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Less likely to have the spoiler effect in her district. Otherwise, I would say fund insurgent primary challenges against establishment Dems. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for example.

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@SancheLlewellyn @SancheLlewellyn @SancheLlewellyn
It was an interview of a professor somewhere who studies the history of political parties. Her point was that the US and other countries that have an all or nothing system where only 1 party can win a seat in a district at one time, tend to have only 2 major political parties. Other countries like, I think, Germany, have proportional representation so several parties can sit in a district at one time. These countries tend to have many political parties. She went on to say that change in the US has always been through changing the parties from within. That's why the Democrats of today are totally different from the post WWII Democrats and completely different from the post Civil War Democrats. The same goes for the Republicans. It was an interesting take.

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9 users have voted.

Beware the bullshit factories.

lotlizard's picture

@Timmethy2.0  
when electing a legislature.

Your “first vote” (Erststimme) is for the specific representative for your district. Your “second vote” (Zweitstimme) is for one of the political parties.

“Direct” candidates are those who run in specific districts. They win their seat directly with a simple plurality of “first votes.” A fixed number of seats are directly elected.

In addition to direct candidates, each party also supplies a list of names, its “list candidates.”

To achieve proportional representation, the “second votes” are tallied. The legislature is then “topped up” to achieve the correct number of seats for each party over a certain cutoff (usually five percent). This is how candidates from small parties who win no direct seats get elected.

The “topping up” starts by applying each qualifying party’s percentage to the minimum number of seats fixed by law, giving X, the minimum number of seats each party is entitled to. When X is greater than Y — the number of direct seats that party won — then the N = X – Y additional seats are awarded to the top N list candidates.

The “topping up” goes further in the case that Y is greater than X for some party (that is, it won more seats directly than it would be entitled to in the minimum-size legislature). In that case the size of the legislature is increased and additional list candidates from other parties taken on, until the correct proportions are obtained.

In the Hesse state election just concluded, the minimum size of the legislature would have been 110 seats. The actual size after “topping up” will be 137 seats.

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@Timmethy2.0

unless by "always" she means "since the Civil War".

The Republican party was not just rebranded Whigs - it was something quite new, filling the vacuum left when the Whig Party collapsed.

Before that, the Whigs were certainly not rebranded Federalists - they moved into the vacuum when the Federalists self-destructed and the Democratic(-Republican) party went Establishment.

It does seem that first there has to be a vacuum, though.

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13 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

@SancheLlewellyn we been trying to 'takeover?'

Like forever, right?

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dfarrah

voters, us, and to blame each other. The democratic leadership has been losing ground for 40 years. They've tried everything except standing up for the people that needed then the most.
Hillary Clinton railed at glass ceilings during her campaign, without a care for those on the bottom rungs, never to advance. At a certain point, soon, it won't matter what they do. As the right turns America into Mississippi c. 1950 we'll learn to keep our head down and mouths shut. We can wince inwardly at the n****r and f****t jokes and just hope we can keep our jobs, and hope our kids survive the environmental collapse. Democratic leadership brought us here as surely as Fox news and the republican party. All they cared about was our vote. We did that. What did they do with it?

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snoopydawg's picture

@Snode

Hillary Clinton railed at glass ceilings during her campaign, without a care for those on the bottom rungs, never to advance.

Trump at least acted like he cared that people were hurting economically, but Hillary insulted them instead of offering them a way of improving their lives. And that's why people were willing to take a chance on Bernie even after Barry's betrayal.

Another great point.

Democratic leadership brought us here as surely as Fox news and the republican party. All they cared about was our vote. We did that. What did they do with it?

Nada in 2006 and nada in 2009-2011 after the democrats ran on helping the working class. Imagine if they had passed single payer or did everything in their power to do so. They sure as hell wouldn't have lost close to 1,000 seats which turned the country red. Or maybe that's what they wanted to do. It would have been easy to stop it from happening.

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15 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

Amanda Matthews's picture

@Snode @Snode
women Hillary (and Obama for that matter) promoted were willing to stoop to anything just to be able to ride her coattails. And they did.

Phooey.

Now that that’s out of the way, I give up on the Dims because 1.) they screwed us in the primary so underhandedly and corruptly and then went on try to rig the election (and more); and 2.) when caught red handed turned around and said “either shut up and do as told or we’ll lock you out for sure”; and 3.) then they OPENLY said we didn’t have a damn thing to say about it?

Another thing, I don’t really feel all that thrilled about so darn many ex-Intelligence and military (I have always had military in my and am proud of it) that are running . Some of them seem to be candidates I probably use the words ‘Liberal’ or ‘Left ‘ or even maybe ‘Progressive’ to describe

Now the useless ones we already have are out telling people why we should continue to pay they’re salary and perk to continue to continue to be totally worthless to the majority of us.

In August

According to Kapur, this will bring Trump’s total number of confirmed district court judges to 33. These are lifetime appointments, meaning Trump nominees will shape the judiciary for years to come, long after he dies on the toilet, mid-tweet. Earlier this month, McConnell warned that the Senate would not be able to go home for recess until it had confirmed 12 judges.

https://splinternews.com/why-are-democrats-poised-to-let-7-trump-nominat...

In October

Democrats agree to confirm 15 of Trump's judicial picks to have time for campaigning

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2018/10/12/Democrats-agree-to-confirm-15...

How do you ‘work’ with that??

EDIT: fixed paragraph “Now the useless ones we already have...” so it made sense.

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15 users have voted.

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

snoopydawg's picture

@Amanda Matthews

when people like Kavanaugh* and all of those right wing judges are on the court? Any policies that democrats pass can be challenged and then there's those judges ready to shoot them down. This is what the kos kids who gave Manchin a pass for his vote for Kavanaugh* don't understand. They think that he did so he could win reelection. First off this is bull.... and secondly it won't matter if the democrats win both houses. They won't do jack ... for us. Eugene Debs said long ago that "it doesn't work trying to change the democrats from the inside." People have been saying that for over a century. Besides. Isn't Pelosi proud of being a capitalist? Why yes. She is. And as long as she, Schumer and the rest of the old guard are in charge of democrats nothing is going to change. "Never, ever" in Hillary's words.

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12 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

@snoopydawg The message at TOP is "So what, the democrats aren't going to do anything you want them to do. Vote d anyway! All your concerns are right there in the platform. Besides FDR New Deal 1930's. If the republicans win it's all your fault." The refusal to consider any other way is so impossible to understand, especially with the closeness of elections. If the democrats base is too small and their concerns too exclusive we're all going to live in republican world for the rest of our lives.

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@Amanda Matthews you have no knowledge of democratic judicial appointees.

Obama and Clinton had plenty of appointees.

There isn't any reason to complain about a process that has been routine since our government was established. The dems and repubs usually get their nominations appointed.

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2 users have voted.

dfarrah

Amanda Matthews's picture

@dfarrah
What you just wrote was an empty bit of smarm that has NO bearing on what I just said.

We just got screwed again and if you think acceptance is the way to go then more power to you. But “oh well” attitudes are the reason we’re in this mess. Repubs haven’t just ceded around 45 judicial appointments so they can go running off to bullshit their ‘constituents’ about why they need to maintain their place making laws and looking down at us telling us what to do, say, and think. All the while they’re telling us we’re too fucking stupid to know why we voted the way we did. I’ll help you out here, that would be the Dims.

And I wrote EXACTLY the way I feel. Sick and damn tired of the way they do business, for THEIR benefit and on our dime.

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0 users have voted.

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

Bollox Ref's picture

can mean 'oneself', which would describe Trump's driving force exactly.

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7 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

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12 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

It may very well be that Trump is just the evidence that the system is broken — not the crime.

Who were the actual criminals, then, who broke the system? Who allowed it to be broken on their watch without doing what they ought to have done, and very well could have done, to stop it?

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10 users have voted.

@lotlizard Lying to potential voters can only gain you so much. I think Obama was the greatest disappointment. The one that failed so many of the powerless that needed what the democrats promised, and failed to deliver.

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dkmich's picture

Somehow I've returned to if we can stall by bad Dems who are better than bad Republicans, maybe a miracle will happen.

Thanks for sharing.

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5 users have voted.

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

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

IMPORTANT? Like, I am supposed to know who she is? Because I don't think I ever heard of her.

Would I call dear Ivanka the 'c' word? No, nor anyone else either. The 'c' word does not belong in the vocabulary of any sensible woman, which dear Samantha is not, although unlike Cucumber Man she is at least funny. Mrs. Kushner I would describe as a vapid, overindulged, privileged, spoiled brat, une jeune fille mal eleve, and I don't give a damn what her religious preference might pretend to be. I defy anyone to present believable proof that this woman-child is in any way, shape or form a person of faith. She is somewhat less vulgar and clueless than Mme. Trump, or has better handlers, and I suppose she is "intelligent" enough to read the occasional book and pass exams. So, I imagine, is anyone reading this. Guess all of us also have the qualifications to be Presidential Counselors. Maybe we should all go in caravan to the WH and apply.

Apologies to French speakers, but my computer doesn't do accents.

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5 users have voted.

Nastarana

@Nastarana vitriol over Ivanka Trump is based on what exactly, other than your imagination?

She has never made the stupid, contemptuous comments like, for example, Barbara Bush used to.

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1 user has voted.

dfarrah

@dfarrah

She has never made the stupid, contemptuous comments like, for example, Barbara Bush used to.

THAT qualifies her to be Advisor to the President?????

I don't know about you, but I don't want that babe's manicured fingers on anything which affects my life.

Dragonkat slipped a gratuitous, IMO, aside about dear Ivanka into his, or is it her, otherwise excellent rant and I thought the aside deserved a response. Perhaps someone could be kind enough to explain to me why First Brat mustn't be criticized. And while they are at it, who the blank is Rebecca Traister and why do I need to pay her any attention? And, no, I won't "do my own research" about RT, I shall simply continue to ignore her.

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7 users have voted.

Nastarana

this very excellent rant, I had started reading Jason Stanley's book "How Fascism Works: The Politics Of Us And Them." He makes some extremely good points about fascism in America but then in Chapter 4 goes completely off the rails, IMHO, and babbles on about how Her "only" mistake, or "deviation from political norms" was calling Trump's supporters deplorables... When I find myself arguing endlessly with a book I pretty much need to put it down, and I certainly did. The points he makes about fascism are right on and of course Trump's actions are those of a fascist, but the idea that this all started with Trump? After this guy had made good historical points about this country's tendency toward fascism from pretty much the beginning? How he then went on about this country needing a "shared reality" so that we would all make proper decisions? Jesus, something right out of Obama's playbook about needing a "national narrative" which should scare hell out of all of us.

I may try to go back and finish it, we'll see and I will have to be in a certain mood to be able to do it, but the one sided slant just discredits his whole thesis, again IMHO. I'm betting his "solution" at the end of the day is to get out there and vote! Get out there and make that Blue Wave happen and we'll rid America of any fascist tendencies it has! We just have to get them elected and then we'll hold their feet to the fire! RESIST! I'm not sure at all I will be able to read that garbage and not throw the Kindle across the room...

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mhagle's picture

The dems will try to claim credit, but it is progressives, fed-up repubs, and formerly non-voters who are doing it.

When my daughter and I went to vote last Friday, the folks near the polling place holding up Beto signs wore Bernie shirts. And the repub folks had a Cruz sign, but then held both the repub and progressive dem candidate for Congress signs.

Voters in Texas vote electronically and then print a paper copy that is archived as well. Seems like it would be hard to cheat.

The most conservative church in town is feeding everyone at Thanksgiving. I am going to bake as much bread as I possibly can to contribute.

What's going on?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

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5 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

via mailers, live-person calls and robocalls, to vote by mail?

I'm not gonna.

Only reason I'm voting at all is the referendums and constitutional amendments.

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3 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Dammit. I was hoping to squeeze out 15 at least.

I want all my pets to be safely dead before the shit hits the fan.

Or is it just 12 years till there's no avoiding complete climate meltdown?

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2 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Republicans: You're screwed and so is the planet.
Democrats: You're screwed and so is the planet, but you get LGBT rights on the way down.

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4 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

(I don't know your personal demographics, so I don't know if you're a mansplainer or a whitesplainer or both), you'd know that worrying about things like climate collapse and nuclear war is just a sign of privilege. If the cops are trying to blow your head off every day, you don't have the leisure to worry about whether or not your grandkid will starve to death upon reaching adulthood because agriculture has collapsed, or die of thirst because there's not enough potable water. Nor do you have time to worry about your neighborhood being decimated by rising water and you and all your neighbors drowning.

Except, oh wait...there's not much talk about the constant murders-by-cop these days, either.

Hmm. Apparently there's only three or four problems worth talking about, and anything else makes you privileged.

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2 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Dying on the hill alone for your ideals doesn't solve anything." attempts to point out the flaws in the party are "false equivalence" or "not caring about getting these racists out"

These are talking points, as is this:

being told that I was putting my principles ahead of the lives of her and other trans friends, and what if she was right and "We all end up in camps"

The idea here, being pushed with greater and greater intensity since Obama, is that having moral principles is elitist.

It's a combination of the Clinton/Bush/Emmanuel/Obama scorn for morals and ideals and the working-class right wing anger at left-wingers who tell them the way they live is wrong, wrapped up in a candy shell of anti-bigotry.

Interestingly, getting a bunch of people terrified that they will be killed is the second best way to turn a bunch of ordinary people into fascists that we've yet discovered. The other way is to drive a bunch of ordinary people into poverty, hard, with everything wrecked around them. Fear, or despair. Great ways to turn people into fascists. And boy is it working on the left. Thing is, since a lot of the people they're targeting are also fascists, in basically the same way, it's not easy to see.

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2 users have voted.

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

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti