I'm a Nobody, and you can be, too.

Somebody has been screwing up. We Americans are in the midst of some serious problems - endless wars, an endless cycle of economic depressions, recessions and panics and the failure to address climate change (except in giving lip service) which has the potential to make the planet uninhabitable by humans, just to mention a few of the screwups of the Somebodies.

You might ask, how did these Somebodies manage to get into a position to screw up so badly and why are they still in place?

Well, not surprisingly, the answer is complex, but, looking back we can see that when the American constitution was written, its creators favored a certain kind of Somebodies. The delegates to the Constitutional Convention were aristocrats - securities and land speculators, merchant shippers, slave-holding plantation owners and an assortment of the rich and well-born - the 1% of their time, and they wanted to keep their sort on top.

From Woody Holton's, Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution:

In Federalist #60, which appeared on February 23, 1788, Alexander Hamilton predicted that critics of national legislation would rarely be able to form "a concert of views, in any partial scheme of elections." One reason Gouverneur Morris was willing to allow voters to choose the president directly was that, though even "little combinations" could dominate elections "within a narrow sphere," voters would not be able to coalesce in "so great an extent of country" as the United States.

The best-known champion of the large polity was of course, Madison. The "Father of the Constitution" told his convention colleagues that by uniting Americans under one political roof, the new national charter would "divide the community into so great a number of interests & parties that ... they may not be apt to unite in the pursuit" of any particular goal. The manner in which Madison expressed his thesis in Federalist #63 was strange but telling; he declared that the Constitution would protect citizens from "the danger of combining." His October 24, 1787, letter to Jeferson was even bolder. "Divide et impera, the reprobated axiom of tyranny," Madison wrote, "is under certain qualifications, the only policy, by which a republic can be administered on just principles."

"Divide et impera" - an explosive phrase. Throughout the 1780s Americans who tried to organize campaigns in favor of relief legislation had discovered again and again just how hard it was to "act unaformly" over an extensive territory. Madison had made the same discovery, and it became one of his principal motives for shifting power for the state to the national level. Seldom would a majority of United States citizens share the same grievance. Even when they did, they would rarely be able "to discover their own strength," much less "act in unison with each other." It was the same strategy that Thomas Jefferson had urged Congress to employ against the United States's Indian neighbors - with the significant difference that Madison wanted to divide white Americans for their own good.

Would the new national government be equally impervious to every sort of grassroots pressure? Several Constitutional Convention delegates were sure that it would not, since some clusters of like-minded Americans would outdo others at achieving the unity that ensured influence. "The schemes of the Rich will be favored by the extent of the Country," Gouvernor Morris told his fellow delegates, Ordinary "people in such distant parts can not communicate & act in concert," placing them at a disadvantage compared with "those who have more Knowledge & intercourse" with each other.

The strategy of creating a large electorate for federal office has held up well in making certain that one would have to be a Somebody, possessing a certain celebrity or an ability to purchase the attentions of media outlets in order to obtain "name recognition," has held up well for the 1%. The advantage conferred by having the preponderance of the essential ingredient for electoral success at one's beck and call puts the Somebodies in the driver's seat.

While times have changed since the founding aristocrats set up the system (more people are enfranchised now and the people have developed greater means to organize) the 1% has managed to maintain control of the system.

How then to wrest control from the Somebodies?

"We stand today at a crossroads:
One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness.
The other leads to total extinction.
Let us hope we have the wisdom to make the right choice."

-- Woody Allen

My fellow Nobodies, we are up against it. In attempting to contest with the 1% for control of our "democracy," the 1% holds all of the systemic advantages. Along with controlling the government, the 1% and their corporations control the major media and use it to drive the public dialogue.

So what is left for we Nobodies with which to fight the power? Heh, we have a sense of humor, reserves of kindness and decency, a bunch of smart, creative people, lots of friends and lots of us can bake cupcakes or make a good macaroni salad...

Well ok then, we can win this thing, let's go!


Nobody will get money out of politics

Perhaps some of you are old enough to remember when Nobody's Fool staged the 1976 campaign "Nobody for President:"

While it is true that Nobody is already working for us in Washington and Nobody will get money out of politics, it would probably work a lot better if a whole bunch of Nobodies got together and worked on it - heck it'd even be sort of democratic.

This is where you come in. If, like me, you're a nobody, then I have a modest proposal. How about... (drum roll)

The Party of Nobodies!

Tah Dah!

So how do we get money out of politics like Nobody has done before? That's Nobody's business!

The secret to Nobodies success is to make money irrelevant to the process by winning elections without money.

It's so simple that Nobody has figured out how to do it.

The Party of Nobodies will eschew all donations of money to candidates. All candidates of the Party of Nobodies will run as write-in candidates. All Nobodies will ridicule the corrupt, venal, bipartisan politicians that take legal (and sometimes illegal) graft and revolving-door sinecures as, "The Coalition of the Bribed."

Just because lawmakers have defined bribery as a legal activity doesn't change the fact that it's bribery - and those folks should be called out on the carpet. Repeatedly.

Instead of giving money to candidates, Party of Nobody members and volunteers can make yard signs, post campaign videos on the internet, create flash mob actions, have parties with potluck or brown bag dinners, forward campaign materials from Party of Nobodies websites to your friends and family (especially the folks who keep sending you stuff about politicians from the Coalition of the Bribed)... you get the idea... be creative!


Nobodies have a platform

Which is currently in progress. Please add suggestions in the comments.

Nobodies will give all Americans a basic income

There is no good reason that every American should not have decent food, clothing, shelter, healthcare and educational opportunities. These things exist in abundance, the only reason that everybody doesn't have enough is because Somebody has been hogging things that they don't need.

Nobodies will create a means of distributing these things and a basic income to cover the essentials of life to all Americans.

Work that provides necessities will be automated to the largest degree practical and the production will be turned into public utilities. A jobs program will be created to provide other public needs that cannot be automated. Anyone who wants a job will be able to have one.

Land reform will provide those who enjoy farming with small farms, support will be provided for these farmers. Support will also be provided for the development of small, local, employee-owned businesses in a variety of necessary trades (eg. construction, plumbing, electrical, etc.).

Nobodies will prepare for a future with fewer jobs.

Americans have become considerably more productive over the last several decades, but Somebody has been hogging all the benefits of the growth. Further, the recent bankster-induced recession has caused a huge reduction of jobs available and as the economy has been replacing them, middle class wage jobs are being replaced with low-wage jobs.

The 1% wants to continue this destruction of decent-paying jobs by promoting globalization and awful "free trade" agreements.

What's worse than competing with a workforce that will labor for a fraction of what it costs to maintain a worker's family? How about competing with robots and software that work for nothing.

Nobodies see the opportunity here to liberate Americans from the need to perform drudgery in order to claim an often inadequate living standard, while Somebody absconds with the financialized value of their labor.

Nobodies also see the enormous available repurposable resources along with potential to liberate Americans from great burdens imposed by imperial military adventures demanded by the 1% to promote their business interests.

Nobodies will end US participation in wars of choice.

Nobodies will explain to the public that the "American Interests" that the Somebodies have for years been calling upon us to protect at the cost of blood and treasure are hugely profitable corporations, many of which can't even be bothered to pay their fair share of taxes.

Nobodies will cut the military budget.

American Military spending is out of control and the Somebodies in Washington are arguing about how much more to spend. Now, even the Pentagon can't stop the Somebodies from spending money on unneccessary war toys.

The Nobodies will shrink the military budget and the military mission. Nobodies will say that America is no longer the "indispensable nation", the world's policeman. Nobody knows how many military bases the US has on other countries land and Nobodies will close or mothball and bring home the troops from those bases that are not involved in a war declared by Congress. Nobodies will help America find the right size to be in the world, a part of the community of nations.

Nobody will restore America's honor by investigating and trying those who ordered torture and other war crimes.

Those who have committed war crimes by ordering or operating a program of torture, launching wars of choice or campaigns of assassination and terror will be referred for trial to the International Criminal Court, the government will fully cooperate in providing evidence. Those who have followed the unlawful orders will be allowed to testify in full before a truth commission and will be granted immunity for the crimes that they testify to. Destruction of evidence or giving false testimony will be punished severely.

Nobodies will close Guantanamo and all American black sites.

Disappearances and so-called "extraordinary renditions" will be ended, all disappeared individuals will be reappeared. Once Guantanamo has been closed, it will be returned to its rightful owner, the Cuban people.

Nobodies will recover America's history by aggressively declassifying documents that need not remain secret

Nobodies will reduce secrecy and appoint classification oversight boards made up of civilians from outside of the agencies that classify documents

There can be no real democracy if the people are unaware of what the government does in their names.

Nobodies will end the blanket surveillance of Americans and people around the world by the NSA.

Nobodies believe in the 4th Amendment protections that are due every American. Nobodies will close facilities that are used for bulk surveillance and repurpose them if possible. Nobodies will reverse executive orders that authorize warrantless spying.

Nobodies will put the NSA under civilian leadership and create rotating oversight panels composed of civilians who have no connection to the NSA, other government intelligence agencies or contractors.

Nobodies will end the war on drugs

Nobodies will decriminalize the personal use of all drugs. Nobodies will increase the availability of medical services for those who wish assistance with their drug behaviors.

Nobodies will stop the militarization of police and stop the police murders of people of color

Nobodies will end the federal programs that provide military weapons, vehicles, supplies and training to peace officers and arrange the return of all military equipment loaned or given to police forces. Nobodies will promote citizen oversight of police departments by people representative of the communities that peace officers serve in.

Nobodies will do way better than 40 acres and a mule

Many people built the nation we live in. Some who contributed greatly were not only uncompensated but were treated horribly. The Nobodies will promote awareness of their contributions and, in cooperation with the descendents of those who were so shamefully used, create a program of restitution and restoration.

Nobody will work to restore the rights and well-being of Native Americans

The treatment of the people who were native to this continent at the founding of the US is a national disgrace. The ongoing treatment of many of their descendants continues to confer shame upon our nation. In cooperation with the Native American community the Nobodies will create a program of restitution and restoration.

Nobodies will mandate equal pay for equal work and other measures to promote equality for all.

Nobodies will pursue a national dialogue on equality issues and gender from which policy will be created.

Nobodies will restore America's leadership role among the nations of the world.

The Nobodies have a dream - that the governments of the world's nations will compete on the basis of how much that they do to make the lives of their citizens the best that can be as well as the contribution that a nation makes to the health and well-being of less prosperous nations and people(s) in need. Nobodies will study and implement concepts such as Gross National Happiness. Nobodies dream that one day the world's statisticians will be consumed in a frenzy of activity trying to adequately express the great satisfaction and happiness of the people of the world.

Nobodies will see to it that America excels in measures of Gross National Happiness and cooperate with the community of nations to spread happiness broadly.

Nobodies will address climate change.

In the past, the Obama administration has undermined climate summits, using NSA spying to scupper agreements and successive failures after that have led to considerably diminished expectations for future international agreements:

The United Nations says it is already clear that promises for emissions curbs at a Paris summit in December 2015 will be too weak to get on track for a U.N. goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) above pre-industrial times.

Nobodies know that the stakes are too high to allow this sort of failure to continue.

Nobodies will engage the best scientists on earth to describe the means by which a significant decline in conditions can be avoided and will engage the public in determining which options to pursue beyond the obvious measures which Nobodies will, of course, get right to work on.

Nobodies will embark on an emergency program to convert America to renewable energy sources and leave fossils to rest in peace.

Nobodies will stop all fossil fuel subsidies:

In the United States, credible estimates of annual fossil fuel subsidies range from $10 billion to $52 billion annually yet these don’t even include costs borne by taxpayers related to the climate, local environmental, and health impacts of the fossil fuel industry. As of July 2014, Oil Change International estimates U.S. fossil fuel subsidies at $37.5 billion annually, including $21 billion in production and exploration subsidies.

Fossil fuel subsidies will be redirected to research and development of alternative renewable energy sources and the deployment of wind and solar energy collection devices to power all government buildings and facilities. If needed, a portion of the funds liberated by the reduction in military spending will be diverted to this program as well.

Nobodies will create a program called "Empowering the American People," which will heavily subsidize the development of regional and local small, employee-owned solar device production, installation and maintenance of consumer solar collection devices for individual American homes and apartment complexes. Individual installations will be favored over large, industrial scale facilities, because nobody believes that power is best dispersed as broadly as possible.

Nobodies will improve the management of public lands and resources

Nobodies will end all fossil fuel collection on public lands. Nobodies will re-evaluate the methods by which fees are assessed for commercial uses of public lands and resources to more appropriately reflect the value that the public provides commercial interests with.

Nobodies will distinguish the difference between corporations and people and right-size corporate rights

Corporations are not persons. Corporate personhood is a concept that has outlived its usefulness. The creation of "superpersons" driven by the sole command to maximize profits has wrought environmental destruction and both economic and political inequality in America.

Nobodies will see to it that corporations are made to serve the public interest and be limited in scope and purpose.

Nobodies will end so-called "free trade" agreements that disadvantage workers and the environment

Those "free trade" agreements that cannot be rewritten to bring all worker compensation, working conditions and rights up to a high international standard will be sent to the dustbin of history. Those agreements that cannot be rewritten to provide the sort of standards of environmental protection that are consistent with a clean and healthy environment and the mitigation of climate change will similarly be disposed of.

Nobodies will put the banksters in jail

Where statutes of limitations have not been run out by the negligence of Eric Holder's Department of "Justice," the banksters that caused the 2007 Great Recession will be tried for their frauds.

Nobodies will aggressively regulate the banking industry

Banks need regulation. Without it, they cause trouble.

Nobodies will end the tradition of bankers creating money

The government will create its own money and the Fed will be repurposed to act as a bank regulator and broker between the government and banks that wish to distribute government-created money

Nobody will end media consolidation

Rules will be rewritten to disallow the holding of multiple television and radio outlets or the ownership of both broadcast and print media. All broadcast licenses will require the airing of open public debates at election time as well as a greater amount of public service programming.

Nobodies will rework public education

Education at all levels will be available free to all Americans as they desire it. Government funding will be redirected from building more prisons and police programs to hiring more teachers, teacher's aides and guidance counselors. Adult education will be made available in public schools, community colleges and online for free.

Nobodies will expand Medicare to cover all Americans

What did I forget?

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Comments

Unabashed Liberal's picture

you're a d*mn good writer, Mr Joe Shikspak!

Good

I do have a couple of additions, though, that I'd like to mention later.

Sorta late to the Party today. Has this diary been posted at DKos?

A great platform for a third party candidate. since Dems would obviously never adopt these planks as part of their Party platform.

Thanks!

Mollie

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14 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

dkmich's picture

How about we secede and create our own little county.

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10 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

joe shikspack's picture

say is the name freedonia taken? B)

hail freedonia!

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9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

wouldn't be prudent at this juncture. B)

seriously, talking about a 3rd party at the gos is just asking for it there. it's one of the many reasons why i'm here. i want to be able to talk about politics with people who can put on their big boy (and girl) pants and express themselves freely without some moron shouting about how it's going to make the baby jesus obama weep.

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11 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

I love the final sentence of your comment. Those that support Obama at all costs are deluded IMO.
Every diary there about the TPP turns into 'it's not that bad, and I trust Obama on this'type of shit.
There are so many there that refuse to see his betrayals.
Your diary reminds me of the ending of Clancy's book " Executive Order".
A Japanese pilot crashed into the capital building when everyone was there like at the state of the Union address. They were swearing in the VP.
Everyone was killed and the new vp appointedNobody to congress.
Everything you wrote came true.
Best book ending ever.
Post it at KOS and let the chips fall.

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5 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

shaharazade's picture

dkos which I seem unable to let go of regardless of what a antidemocratic anti-human train wreck it is. I sty away for the most part but today the first thing I saw was an Egberto Willies classic bot response to Obama's Ramming the TPP through the farce of our so called legislative body. Surely this is a ruse or a 11th dimension fake out or some such delusional shit? Trust me! Send Me! Your wrong as you don't know the facts that nobody can know and live. The Democrat's in power are not only wrong but liars. And yet 'folks' need to realize that this is the inevitable 'world as we find it. Tough shit about your petty whimpering for democracy or equality. I am amazed at the lengths of hornswoggeling the Democratic party machine manages to pull off to appease the loyalist base. My god are they all devoid of logic?

WTF is wrong with ordinary people that they embrace their own oppression and destruction and call it Yankee Doodle Dandy.That's right Denise, they used to kill African Amercans by the thousands in the Reconstruction and now it's one at a time. One at a time? I don't think that's right. Next I hear she herself is in danger as they kill 'sisters' too. So tell me Denise like when are the cops going to descend the white upscale Hudson Valley and shoot your ass. I also hear from the major writers at dkos I used to protest and march but I'm just too old so now I just roll over and identify with the successful AA 'leaders' and pundirts who preach the gospel of pull your pants up. Get yourself a pair of yuppie Harvard kackie pants and don't talk back Yakety Yak Don't talk back.. Major in constitutional law you slacker criminals and learn how to turn crime into power and big bucks. Reality bites and take a big bite of our poisoned apple and call it inevitable.

My rant after dealing with my daily dose of reading the news and dkos today, oh boy.

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5 users have voted.

I could get completely behind that platform.

Here's a possible starting point for some of the economic aspects.

If nothing else, it's worth checking out.

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8 users have voted.

They say that there's a broken light for every heart on Broadway
They say that life's a game and then they take the board away
They give you masks and costumes and an outline of the story
And leave you all to improvise their vicious cabaret-- A. Moore

joe shikspack's picture

i loved the illuminati trilogy and some of wilson's other stuff. i'll check it out.

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4 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

I like the platform, although I've got a different view on a few and at least one I feel is critical that is
not on the list. Not sure about the process however and even more, not sure this is the way we should play.
I think third party is an option that should be taken. But I'm not sure they can break through the institutional
and systemic grip the rich have on us, nor that playing by current rules, ex. 535 reps, etc., is what we should
focus on. Also relative to the process, there would have to be major work done to even allow a third party to
compete no matter how many pot lucks before that would work, I know here in Washington State for sure.
But I like to say all options should be on the table. It's just that some of the more risky, extreme options are
being pushed aside by the focus on using the systems that are captured and corrupted to try to make change.

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7 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

Since I agree we should try the third party option along with other options, I think the Party of Nobodies is Fucking Perfect.

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6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

please let me know what the addition is and i am completely open to discussing views of the various suggestions that i threw out.

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6 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

due to the intense propaganda assault on our brains during our lifetimes. The Federal Reserve System.
Abolish it and install public banking. I believe what was said by famous people in the past about the Fed
is absolutely true and if we allow them to continue that criminal enterprise, we'll always be just serfs.
But like I said, I don't suggest it be on your list, it would scare too many people off. Kind of like if you
included one demanding we know what is in Area 51.

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9 users have voted.
shaharazade's picture

that was divested and not owned by wall street was thrown around in 2010 by the so called progressives as a campaign issue in Oregon. Bill Bradbury (Oregon's SoS) a liberal hippie college friend of Eric's ran on this popular issue. After the spectacular crash in 2008-9 people we're very open to state, regional and local solutions to big money vice like grip on all levels of the economy. We worked for a young supposed liberal who was a major proponent of the state bank and a regional economy. He ran and won with 85% of the vote. He ran as a Democrat and as a WFP candidate. Once elected he fizzled out and became just another bent pol in Salem. He quit in mid way in his second term and ran for city supervisor and then proceeded to grease the way for developers in demolishing his district an inner city leftie neighborhood.

It just won't work to use the electoral system at any level. It's all too awash with corporate money and neoliberal free market cappie assholes. Public banking, a great idea, is not going to be offered by any official channel regardless of how liberal, progressive, populist or green they pretend to be. Nobodies like us can put their money in ethical reliable credit union's but the Feds still call the shots. Lorette Lynch is a major enabler of bankster's and it pisses me off that the Democratic party has elevated this corporate tool to AG.

My grandpa was a rancher in the San Fernando Valley which was rural when the biggie depression 1920's crash occurred. all his money and mortgage was held by his local Grange assoc. They worked with him and even took barter so that he did not lose his land and lively hood. There is nothing like this for people to fall back on. The Feds or the states now, would shut down and declare illegal a banking alternative that was for and by people who pooled their resources to help their communities and did not 'invest' in the casino.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

I think you're spot on in your sentiment that,


It just won't work to use the electoral system at any level. It's all too awash with corporate money and neoliberal free market cappie assholes.

and,

Not only give up the Democratic party, but give up believing the this is a representational democratic republic.

Your vote does nothing but ratify the oligarchical global collectivist's. It gives your consent to whoever the rulers of the world decides best represents their interests. Everything else is a side show, a kabuki show that preys on all humanities worst instincts and fears.

Also, I'm not sure "why," or exactly when it happened, but sometime since my parent's generation, it seems that the broad American populace has begun to lose its ability to engage in critical thinking.

And from what I've read, this phenomenon even has 'business' worried.

Which is sorta amusing when you consider that they only have themselves to blame--since they have pushed (and succeeded in) avoiding paying taxes for decades, now--allowing our educational systems to go down the crapper.

When will enough, be enough?

"Things" have got to turn around, or this country is doomed.

And I fear that we'll soon wish that we were a Banana Republic, if the US doesn't change its economic course.

Heck, we've known since 2010 or thereabouts, that "Census shows 1 in 2 people are poor or low-income."

Census show 1 in 2 people are poor or low-income

Nearly half of Americans are low-income as rising expenses, unemployment shrink middle class
By Hope Yen, Associated Press
December 15, 2011 12:40 PM

1 out of 2 Americans poor or low income, Getty Photo.jpg[Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images, file. Juan Morena sits on a Los Angeles, Calif., sidewalk as he waits for the St. Francis Center soup kitchen to open on Sept. 13.]

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Squeezed by rising living costs, a record number of Americans — nearly 1 in 2 — have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income.

The latest census data depict a middle class that's shrinking as unemployment stays high and the government's safety net frays. The new numbers follow years of stagnating wages for the middle class that have hurt millions of workers and families. . . .

What more does it take for the American People to wake up, and demand change?

Mollie

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11 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

mimi's picture

believing they have a representational democratic republic.

So, that being said, how and where do you have to make changes to get your "dream vision of a representational democratic republic" that would serve everybody with proportional democratically elected representatives that actually serve the product of equality and justice for all with humanity and social compassion to everybody?

May be it's the Congress, stupid.

National Congressional Reformers. The Party by Nobodies for Everybody. Ok, don't get upset. I am just blah-blah-ing.

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flowerfarmer's picture

What more does it take for the American People to wake up, and demand change? - See more at: http://www.caucus99percent.com/content/im-nobody-and-you-can-be-too-0#st...

We have no power within the current system to demand anything of real value.
The social network would seem to be the only avenue we have to reach a tipping point for a write-in candidate.

Nothing to lose is where we are.

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5 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

We worked for a young supposed liberal who was a major proponent of the state bank and a regional economy. He ran and won with 85% of the vote. He ran as a Democrat and as a WFP candidate. Once elected he fizzled out and became just another bent pol in Salem. He quit in mid way in his second term and ran for city supervisor and then proceeded to grease the way for developers in demolishing his district an inner city leftie neighborhood.

it's impossible to prevent a pol from turning bad once elected, no matter how much s/he pledges fealty to our platform prior to election. i wonder, though, if there is a way to perhaps improve our odds. perhaps we could include in our party rules that all candidates that we support are not career politicians, nor lobbyists or in related professions. perhaps we ought to also consider automatically disqualifying for support people who have had careers in certain professions, like high-level bankers, upper management of large corporations, etc.

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Big Al's picture

My bad. Carry on.

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7 users have voted.
mimi's picture

I can't see how any platform from anyone's third party could be implemented without completely changing Congress rules, electoral college, campaign finance. Others said that in this thread. They don't believe you can work with the current electoral college. So, I wonder if that would not be a prerequisite to everything.

Nobody's Party could be made known through music. There would need to be a theme song that goes viral. Bands all over the country could play it and spread the idea. That would be the nobody movement's fun part. I can see that it would inspire people.

But as conditions are so serious, there needs to be a serious part in there as well, which to me would mean there is no way the Nobody Party would not make it its unconditional goal to change Congress rules. The part where democracy and equality for anybody gets killed is in the way Congress serves democracy and equality to nobody. That's the main problem to me.

Please don't be offended. As an outsider the electoral made me crazy since I became aware of it (ten years ago). As to me it's so difficult to understand the legal underpinnings to the way Congress works, I never tried to dig into it. Beyond my pay grade. Now I am retired and though I a dead tired, may be I can at least grasp a little bit of it.

I could see myself working as an activist for changing Congress rules. That I would support a platform you described in your diary is a given. It makes me so nervous that we have to fight for that platform to begin with. Nobody should have to fight for Nobody's platform. It should be everybody's right to see them implemented as a base.

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M1K3L's picture

I read a headline (but not the article, yet) on Facebook saying that members of Rage Against the Machine, Public Enemy, and Cypress Hill are forming a super-group. I could see them recording music for the revolution...

See right through the red, white and blue disguise
With lecture I puncture the structure of lies
Installed in our minds and attempting
To hold us back
We've got to take it back
Holes in our spirit causin' tears and fears
One-sided stories for years and years and years
I'm inferior? Who's inferior?
Yeah, we need to check the interior
Of the system that cares about only one culture
And that is why
We gotta take the power back

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"There’s nothing revolutionary about a movement that retreats into an endorsement of the lesser of two evils." Scott McLarty @ CounterPunch

mimi's picture

Congress, I think congressional and electoral rules have to be changed. I have started reading the book "Unlock Congress" and hope it gives me more insight where "the system of the somebodies" is rigged and how the "party of nobodies" have to fight for changing the rules, which are all designed to give the somebodies the power to keep the nobodies out of power, misrepresented, betrayed and in the dark.

I think it will take me a while. Hopefully I find in there something that I can write about.

Your style is very interesting, Mr. Shikspack. I am a nobody and support the platform. Now we also would have to add to the platform all demands we would have to change the rules of how congress operates and of how congress gets elected and changes the rules for the Supreme Court.

Nobodies are going to win. Smile

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Big Al's picture

I would imagine there are groups working on these things, as there usually is with about everything. Another situation
of how can we get more people together instead of everybody doing their own thing.

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4 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

many of the problems facing third parties at election time are around ballot access issues. the rules for ballot access are generally made state by state and vary across the country. state governments are dominated by bipartisans who can make it very tough for third party candidates to get access to the ballot.

one of the main reasons that i suggest that a third party run its candidates as write-ins is to elide many of the problems of ballot access and fundraising. it is a foregone conclusion that our candidates will be locked out of debates and most media coverage, but i think that there is a way to turn that into a virtue and an advantage rather than a reason for defeating ourselves before we start with a sense of futility.

if you poke around you'll find stuff about obstacles to third parties. here's an excerpt from a pbs bit about it:

Perhaps the most significant of the obstacles facing third party candidates is the winner-take-all system. In most states, the presidential candidate with the highest percentage of votes gets all the state’s electoral votes.

“There’s no reward for second place,” said John F. Bibby, University of Wisconsin professor and co-author of the book, “Two Parties — Or More? The American Party System”. “With a single elected president if you’re going to have a chance to win the states, which are all awarded on a winner-take-all basis, again you don’t have a chance. The incentive is to form broad-based parties that have a chance to win in the Electoral College.

In his book, Bibby and co-author L. Sandy Maisel point to Ross Perot in 1992, who had widespread appeal but not enough to win a state completely.

Third party candidates also are at a disadvantage because of federal campaign finance laws, rules that dictate who can enter presidential debates, and a lack of media attention.

“It’s very difficult for third parties to get media coverage,” Bibby said. “In Nader’s last run, the questions they asked him “Why are you running?” (came) all the time, not about the substance of his campaign.”

In addition, a significant amount of paperwork is required to become a viable candidate. When Ralph Nader announced in February 2004 that he would seek the presidential nomination, he was required to collect 1.5 million signatures in all states to appear on the ballot. Deadlines for those signatures begin as early as May 2004.

Campaign finance rules say that a political party can only get government funding to run a race if it received a certain percentage of votes from the previous election. Often this leaves third party candidates to fund their own campaigns. With less media coverage, the candidates are left to find other means of exposure to raise the millions of dollars it takes to run a successful campaign.

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6 users have voted.
mimi's picture

and people of that party write in any candidate they like? How many different ones would that be. Sorry, I am a bit confused.

So, and why not to put on the platform this stuff:

1. get rid of "winner take all" rules or
2. Extend U.S. House Terms to four years
3. Eliminate Gerrymandering
4. Expand the primaries (Any candidate from any party can write in any candidate he/she wishes and any voter is permitted to vote for any candidate she wishes.
5. Use a proportional representation, which would make multi-seat districts possible (almost all Western democracies have that, the US is a rare and dysfunctional exception).
6. Abolish the filibuster
7. Oh and fuck off all those campaign finance rules that finances the somebodies and bankrupt the nobodies.
8. Restore Majority Rule in the US Senate. Make the "nuclear option" unnecessary.

You know nobody of the nobodies wants nuclear stuff destroying their democracy.

Thanks for the links. I really want to learn more about it. Because the "system" isn't clear to me and feels like "systematic failure" all too often.

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3 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

the idea is that the party will decide on candidates. ideally, local, state and national party of nobodies groups will form and will decide among themselves which candidate (who agrees to enact the platform if elected) to support.

i concentrated on figuring out how to break the power of money and parties without having a critical mass of elected nobodies, because obtaining such a majority could take considerable time.

i'm completely open to adding planks about proportional representation or instant runoff voting or any of the many schemes out there that would open up the system to become more representative of the electorate.

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5 users have voted.
mimi's picture

I am sorry. Complicated stuff for me. No offense. And of course I just let my thoughts out and didn't mean that in any way seriously. It's just stuff I sometimes think about.

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4 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

I've long thought it would be good to rent out a large conference hall or gym or something and get as many
"like minded" activists and citizens together and brainstorm a revolution. A process we used when I was with the Fed
was dividing up the room into tables and each table would take on an issue. We would use flip charts stationed around
the room and just brainstorm all the factors or elements of the issue no matter how trivial or far out. All tables would do
their thing then we'd open it up for the other tables to look at who would go to the flip charts and put marks next to the
ones they liked best. The lists would be downsized based on which ones got the most marks then the tables would go
back to refine them and make their arguments. All tables would do this then all tables would present arguments which
would be debated by the entire room. A non-participating professional facilitator would be used to guide the group to
consensus then the tables were responsible for taking it forward.

That said, if we were discussing all options and possibilities, one thing I'd wonder about is how this could fit with a global people's
movement, which is what we really need, and one that is effectively happening now.

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4 users have voted.
shaharazade's picture

meet up was held and organized back in the day. This was during the Bush regime and it drew a lot of diverse people together. My table was filled with teachers and school board types who we're really pissed off with the 'No Child's Ass Left Behind' program. There we're even sane Republican's in attendance because people had had enough. These days people seem willing to go along with every damn thing the pols tell them is inevitable and at least we're better then the real evil.

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4 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

i am not a practical politician, i am an idealist and an "idea hamster."

it's my feeling that if we can create and articulate an appealing and compelling vision of a different future in which folks can participate, we might find that even if we fail to take over the government, our ideas can seed changes.

for example, occupy was an enormous conceptual advance despite the fact that its organizing tactic is no longer viable due to the reaction of the snouts.

it seems to me that our best bet might be to advance this in a way that people are never quite sure if we are fully serious. in fact, i think that we should never be completely serious in the sense that this becomes dull political work. we should have fun while we are doing it. doing fun things is contagious socially and could potentially be quite subversive to the current system. i would like to laugh the clowns that are currently running the circus out of the tent.

to go a step further, we should never allow ourselves to think that winning elections is the same as winning power. that is a whole other thing. we should be thinking about how to subvert the power structure while we participate in the grand illusion of elections.

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6 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

Not serious but completely serious while spreading a message. I remember a movie called Amazing Grace
and Chuck about a kid who wanted to abolish nuclear weapons. An NBA basketball player picked up on it and
decided not to play until nuclear weapons were abolished. It caught the public's imagination and exploded into
a huge movement that ended with the U.S. Prez and Russian Prez agreeing to do it. A fantasy sure, but the point
is I've thought there has to be something to catch the public's attention, that's just how it is.

I think you're on to something. Have you searched for anything similar relative to the Nobody Party?

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4 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

the nobody for president campaign, which was a significant rhetorical inspiration for me, was a campaign to prompt people to place "none of the above" votes on the ballot to protest the awful choices that are imposed on voters by the bipartisans. there have also been a variety of "comedy candidates" like pat paulsen over the years and lots of people run write-in campaigns, but i'm not aware of any party that combines the elements that i envision. though, like i said, i've done no research so, i might have reinvented the wheel.

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6 users have voted.
mimi's picture

I'd have to say you are a clown, cleverly disguised as a nobody. Smile

I remain just one thing, and one thing only, and that is a clown. It places me on a far higher plane than any politician. - Charlie Chaplin
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4 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

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4 users have voted.
mimi's picture

I thought you had not understood it was meant as a compliment at first.

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3 users have voted.
shaharazade's picture

and not so riled up and pissed off at the fact that ordinary people have been thwarted and stopped from any parliamentary means of addressing their grievences, on every level Yes on this

"it seems to me that our best bet might be to advance this in a way that people are never quite sure if we are fully serious. in fact, i think that we should never be completely serious in the sense that this becomes dull political work. we should have fun while we are doing it. doing fun things is contagious socially and could potentially be quite subversive to the current system. i would like to laugh the clowns that are currently running the circus out of the tent."

Thanks for the diary. Today it cheered me up. Last night I was so bummed out I got in a big argument with my wonderful liberal husband about OWS. Like mimi says perhaps I need a break from reading the news. Oh boy.

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5 users have voted.
JayRaye's picture

and this seems like a great start to a party platform. Of course it would require a lot of discussion, but this is a great start to that discussion.

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9 users have voted.

Never be deceived that the rich will allow you to vote away their wealth.-Lucy Parsons

joe shikspack's picture

for example, one of the things that i meant to include but forgot to was a plank about labor organizations. personally i'm in favor of big bill's "one big union," but we should seriously give some thought as to how to support the organizations that exist now in their time of need.

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8 users have voted.
shaharazade's picture

the Democratic party but give up believing the this is a representational democratic republic. Your vote does nothing but ratify the oligarchical global collectivist's. It gives your consent to whoever the rulers of the world decides best represents their interests. Everything else is a side show, a kabuki show that preys on all humanities worst instincts and fears. They can dress this inhumanity and destruction up as inevitable or the way of the world but man oh man it's the monkeys paw. Always has been regardless of form it comes in. When they call it progress or 'the way forward' and wrap it up in patriotic, nationalistic, cultural wars, us against them they do win. We end up spinning our wheels against an ancient evil that has no better side and who's main end is to do us all harm.

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8 users have voted.
shaharazade's picture

I will try to register in the Nobody Party. Right now I'm in partisan party Limbo. I quit the Democratic party and joined the Working Families Party. That was a mistake. Several months later a dude registering new members for WFP in front of my local health food store said we are on a drive to register more centrist Dems. as members. That and their weasel moves with the Democrat's and being burned locally with their endorsements made me no longer willing to be a WFP member. So where do you effectively go with your affiliation, registration or vote? I voted for Jill Stein a Green in 2012 and was amazed that she got less then 5% of the vote. Indies are not the answer as they fall into partisan lines which offer once again Dems. or Repugs.

Until ordinary people get to a point where they are no longer 'comfortable' or getting by and stop going along with the 'screw or get screwed' status quo nothing will dislodge this Vampire Squid. So how do we pry it off? That to me is the only way to get any relief. We can argue forever about the founder's visions of oligarchical collectivism but unless people stop consenting to this global screw in a critical mass it will just continue and grow. I keep returning to Naomi Klein's 'The Shock Doctrine' antidote to this beast, community. Personally I think this whole freaking mess will have to be brought down or collapse of it's own top heavy too big before any party platform or any reform is possible. Sounds grim as nobody like a collapse, revolution or even change. It's scary and unknown territory. Anarchy oh noes! Chaos oh noes!.

Like dkos used to advocate we need to crash those gates. It needs to be global as even as pathetic and flawed as our founder's were about real democracy their system of governance with checks and balances of powers and bill of rights was a good start which has been totally reversed everywhere. I don't the blame the founders that's too easy. I blame this current crop of global Visigoths who have destroyed all the seeds of enlightenment and democracy from our collective past and declared them obsolete or an impediment to the world as we find it.

I think it might be too late to sort the good from the bad as far as the history that led us here but the principles the American founders and other democracies throughout history need to be kept alive. People made our founders include the Bill of Rights and restrain the power. How do we the people once again stop giving consent and impose some restraint to the ever present powers that proclaim they are inevitable and unstoppable.

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

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8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

I keep returning to Naomi Klein's 'The Shock Doctrine' antidote to this beast, community.

i see this as a project to build community and to create community space. to use social connections as the medium through which our political messages are communicated and consciousness is raised. just like for a while a "fake news" show carried more actual news than the "real" news media, our party will leverage humor and artistic creativity to both have a good time and create a culture around our issues.

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7 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

I have seen, and have used, 3 different nicknames for "shaharazade."

It seems only fitting (to me) that you be the final arbiter--which is the preferred/appropriate nickname?

Scratch one-s headShar, Shaz, or Shah?

Thank you in advance!

Smile

Mollie

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4 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

shaharazade's picture

as I recognize it when reading. Shah doesn't scan as my husband handle is Shaharazade's the storytelling wife's husband, Shahryar . I think the real spelling is Scheherazade. I was working on designing and producing a catalog for an artist's show when I first registered at dkos. The artist worked in glass mosaic and her show's theme was pieces in Arabic motifs. Shaharazade was the name of one of her pieces and I just used her spelling which I had been typing for weeks.

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6 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

that I Goggled the names [a long time ago], since your two handles were similar and appeared to be related. It is interesting how you selected your name. I suspect that many of our user names have a story behind them. Mine does, as well. Wink

Mollie

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6 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

Shahryar's picture

I'd seen all these people refer to their spouses as Mr so-and-so or Mrs-whatever-my-name-is so I considered Mr. Shaharazade, then thought I'd go and find out the guy's name and use that. The slightly uncomfortable thing about it is the fictional Shahryar was a killer who was tamed by shaz...but still, he was a killer! The whole point of that book is that he married women in the day, slept with them at night, killed them in the morning, married another one and so on, until Shaharazade started spinning her cliff-hangers. After 1001 nights he didn't want to kill her anymore. Wow. What a nice fellow!

and she stayed married to him.

anyway, so she's shaz, I'm shah.

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5 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

quick Google search just rendered bare basics--i.e., that they are the names of characters from an Arabian fable.

They're neat names, but I'm always concerned that I will misspell them, since they're not exactly 'common' names. So abbreviations help a lot!

Thanks, shah.

Mollie

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3 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

shaharazade's picture

I would like to hear yours. So do tell if your so inclined.

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3 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

to tell.

Perhaps I should have said that my handle, as for many people, "has some significance to me."

Long story short, when I signed up at DKos, our second oldest dog of three, was a dear little Miniature Schnauzer--registered name, "Yogi's Music City Mollie." Obviously, Mollie came from Nashville (TN).

MCM's namesake was my paternal Grandmother, Molly. (Sadly, I have only the one recollection of this Grandmother--visiting her at age 6, weeks before she passed away.)

So, I guess I got a little carried away, saying that there's a story to tell. Yours about a project was more interesting!

Wink

Mollie

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4 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

shaharazade's picture

it's a good two tiered story. Two of our cats, now deceased, we're named after my maternal grandparents Madge and Charlie. I was very close to these grandparents up until I was 14 when my grandmother Madge died. Charlie died several years before Madge both cats and grandparents. I always wondered about your handle previous to unabashed liberal which is self explanatory.

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gulfgal98's picture

I am really sorry that I missed this diary in real time as I was out of the house most of yesterday afternoon and evening. Below are a few of my first impressions upon reading this great diary.

In a nutshell, it is about making government work for we the people and claiming the commons back for the common good. I love it!

I believe Occupy was on the right track toward these ends. Their tactics for doing so were too highly visible and led to their rapid growth as a movement. The threat of Occupy at upsetting the status quo was very real. This is exactly why Occupy had to crushed.

A party of Nobodies might just work as we fly under the radar. The overwhelming majority of people are so angry and dissatisfied with our current oligarchal system that they have dropped out completely. We need to be ready to move forward are the empire becomes weakened.

As I read this and when I think about Pluto's terrific diary about how the United States is being marginalized financially on the world stage, the oligarch's influence will become greatly weakened and there is great opportunity for us, we the people. I firmly believe the era of the oligarchs is about to end and the empire is ready to collapse. No empire lasts forever and most collapse from within. I am one of those who believes that when the American empire collapses, it will be a good thing for all of mankind. The time will be ripe for the Nobodies to take charge.

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8 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

"Propaganda is one hell of a drug." Abby Martin

"Politicians are cowards." Mike Gravel

shaharazade's picture

and I hope it's points become a political reality. I was feeling real depressed last night so I did not respond positively to Joe's excellent Nobodies party platform. It makes me very angry that our system is so messed up by design that platforms are just like our constitution and rule of law are unenforceable quaint pieces of paper.

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5 users have voted.
gulfgal98's picture

Joe has presented this as a platform for a political party. And I totally agree with that. But I believe that real change comes from social movements. So what I see is that we present this to every day people and use it as a catalyst for a social movement that morphs into a political movement. Yeah, it is thinking big, but so was Occupy. And I honestly think Occupy was the harbinger of future social movements that belong to the people. Why not the Nobodies movement?

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6 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

"Propaganda is one hell of a drug." Abby Martin

"Politicians are cowards." Mike Gravel

It seems to me that wars can happen for a reason. The war against ISIL is because it is seen as a threat to the US.

ISIL has declared war on the US with its actions. So I would ask those who are critical of foreign policy some questions. Do you regard ISIL as a threat? What method would you use to tackle this threat?

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1 user has voted.

Don't fight the stream - Tyr Anasazi

gulfgal98's picture

The US has been waging decades of war in the Middle East. We need an enemy to keep the MIC rolling, so we keep hearing about a new one regularly. The very people we have condemned are those that we once supported, such as Al Qeada and I believe ISIL is an offshoot of the so called freedom fighters in Syria that we were supporting.

Perhaps the reason they hate us is because we have been overthrowing governments (Iran in the 1950's through Ukraine today with multiple stable govts overthrown leading to chaos in those nations), waging wars of choice (Iraq?) and wars via proxy (Ukraine), and killing tens of thousands of innocent people in these countries. The number of and participation in terrorist groups has risen severely since the US launched its war in Iraq and is continuing to rise.

I am opposed to all wars, but particularly to the latest varieties that we have been engaging in leading us to a state of endless war. Now the hawks are pushing for war with Iran. This country cannot afford any more wars period. Iran is a stable and relatively modern state and yet the hawks are proposing to make it into another Iraq in which at least one half million Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the US war of choice there. It is a racket that enriches the MIC. It is time to stop the madness and the waste of human lives. Plus we could save trillions of our own dollars (estimated $4.5 to $6 Trillion in Iraq and Afghanistan alone as of 2013) and spend it here at home. The biggest single threat to peace in the world is the United States.,

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6 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

"Propaganda is one hell of a drug." Abby Martin

"Politicians are cowards." Mike Gravel

The motivation of ISIL is pretty clear to me. I would ask you to look at the wikipedia page on ISIL. I see no indication there that America being the bad guy is to blame.

The issue is a particular view of religion and the desire is to use violence to stop this

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0 users have voted.

Don't fight the stream - Tyr Anasazi

shaharazade's picture

with you here Gideon. Particular violent views of religion are not limited to the Muslim religion. Using violence to stop another religion's view's we consider a threat to our own violent extremist view of manifest destiny or world domination seems like a oxymoron and an example of double think. Religion has nothing to do with our endless war agenda. If it did we would not elevate our own American Taliban to positions of power or tolerate religious nut's imposing the Christian version of Sharia law on our own country.

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6 users have voted.

The desire to confront ISIL comes from the perceived threat to the US from a particular group with a particular viewpoint.

If there are alternatives which are demonstrably better, I am all for it.

However, let us quantify the better solution, otherwise we run the risk of falling into the trap, indicated by this H.L.Mencken quote "there is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong"

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0 users have voted.

Don't fight the stream - Tyr Anasazi

Big Al's picture

I mean, the whole ISIS thing has been manufactured by Israel, the U.S. and others. But beside that,
what would be the threat to the U.S.?

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shaharazade's picture

the reason's for going to war have been expanded to include any threat to our interests or any resistance to our preemptive Bush Doctrine. Nation building invasion's and humanitarian interventions are all part of the Orwellian mentality that says war is peace and ignorance is strength. There is always the next scary Goldstein coming down the road and threatening our transnational interests. We literally create these boogie men terrorist's. The endless war is self perpetuating a necon wet dream that keeps on giving. The enemy is constantly morphing nebulous and the masters of war never win by design.

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6 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

Libya, Syria, and now Yemen (Houthis are enemies of IS).

U.S. figures who say Daesh (IS) is a threat are talking out of both sides of their mouths, and are often the same figures who have been consistently lying and promoting war ever since Project for the New American Century and Bush 43's invasion of Iraq.

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Gerrit's picture

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Resilience: practical action to improve things we can control.
3D+: developing language for postmodern spirituality.

Gerrit's picture

it and comment when you have a moment over a cup of coffee. The comments too; they're full of gems.

Consider organizing a meet-up with c99ers and Bernie youth in your area. Have a beer or so. Discuss forming a new, progressive party and joe's platform. I think the alliance of wrinkly hippies and activist youth would be highly creative :=) Not to mention fun! Be the elders; let the youngsters run with it. What do you think?

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0 users have voted.

Resilience: practical action to improve things we can control.
3D+: developing language for postmodern spirituality.