We Don't Live in a Democracy

We don't live in a democracy, you know that don't you? Seems like everyone I say that to acknowledges it. They'll say, "well sure, it's not a democracy but a republic". Or, "yes of course, the rich control the government". Or, "well, the system of government is a representative democracy, but not a "real" democracy".

But we all, as a country, pretend we live in a democracy. The writers talk about how democracy is dying or in trouble like we live in a democracy. They say if we don't watch out, we won't have any more democracy! At every sporting event the people stand and sing praises to the United States land of the free, home of the brave, like we live in a democracy. We have elections and all these commercials telling us "our vote counts!" and that what we're doing is democracy.

But it's all bullshit. It's an illusion created to keep the people from demanding real democracy. And it works. It works so fucking well that very few question the structure and purpose of our political system. The only pushback is about tweaking it like "get the money out of politics", or "hold the politicians accountable", or "abolish the electoral college" or other bullshit that won't change a damn thing.

Is that OK? Is it OK that we don't live in a democracy? Is that something that we just have to accept as a fact of life? That it can't be changed and there is nothing we can do about it, because of course, we don't live in a democracy. Kind of an Orwellian loop.

Or do you think that can be changed via this political system that was set up as a representative democracy?

It's basically been scientifically proven that we do not live in a representative democracy. Those so called representatives consistently and definitively take actions that represent the One Percent, not the rest of us. There really is no doubt.

Basically, it's always been that way. This representative government has always primarily if not totally, as in the last forty years, represented the rich and powerful.

Do you really think that can change by electing politicians for either the democratic or republican parties? If so, how? Have you thought that through? Played it out?

Maybe you're satisfied with that. Maybe you think that this is just the way it is and we have to do the best with what we've got. Maybe you believe that a representative democracy is the best option, better than direct democracy, because of that "mob rule" thing, and that we just need to rid the system of the corruption. Or maybe you think democracy is just a fantasy and those of us advocating for it just need to get over it.

We're humans after all, we're meant to be ruled over by rich, greedy bastards. That's life, get over it.

I've been thinking about this latest Trump thing, him talking about permitting people from "Shithole" countries into this undemocratic country. Acting like he's some kind of fucking King or something. Nobody talks about that, they prefer to believe Trump is just a figurehead. Another liberal/left copout.

The reaction in this country is somewhat depressing because of the number of white people who agree with what Trump said. I say "white people" because I seriously doubt most people of color are having orgasms of joy about having a racist fuck as President.

It makes me think there simply are not enough people in this country that want real democracy. Another Orwellian loop, democratically, democracy loses. The majority speak, they don't fucking want it. They want Trump. Or before that they wanted Obama. That's their democracy, man.

I don't know, we seem to be in some kind of a vortex at this time, stardate 2018. We're a year into Trump and it seems like we're in a waiting game. Waiting for the next election. Waiting for what Trump will say next. Waiting for nuclear fucking war. Waiting for the missiles to hit.

Jesus, that's just chickenshit, waiting for the missiles to hit. And then saying, "I was so scared!" and not thinking about doing something about such an absurd situation. Almost as much as waiting to elect more of the same bullshit politicians we have now. Just waiting for what ever has been decided to happen.

I don't know if we have a revolution in us. If we do it's going to have to come from a small minority of very determined people. If not we're all just along for a sick ass ride.

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Big Al's picture

It's not directed at C99 members but Americans in general. For those offended, just pass on by. I'm just not sure what else to say lately.

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Meteor Man's picture

We might as well all get stoned and enjoy the ride.

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

Big Al's picture

@Meteor Man life is too short and we only get one. But I can never allow myself to forget what those at the top are doing to others.

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Meteor Man's picture

@Big Al
The PTB generate way too many negative waves that seriously harsh on my mellow. I have been doing everything I can since we rode around in the back of a pickup truck shouting anti-war slogans and cussing out Nixon and LBJ back in 1969.

Until I started smoking Kush in 1968 I was a good little mama's boy who followed all the rules and always did my homework. Kush opened my mind and woke me up. Now it helps me preserve what little sanity I manage to cling to. God Bless Cali Kush and The Kush Gods!

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

riverlover's picture

and Water runs clockwise down the drain (I think). Those of us older should consider public protest. En masse. We have little to lose but for asset seizure. How far have we fallen to nod while our rights have been stripped?

It's the olders who recall what we were taught in school. And then witnessed the sequel. Millennials were not necessarily taught the same myths. But we can shove that myth forward towards a new reality. They (millennials) often can't, stuck in wage-earning productivity for something.

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Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

Centaurea's picture

I'd recommend reading
Caity Johnstone's latest article. She says some things that I've been thinking about for a while now, regarding the American people's ineffectual and zombie-like reaction to being oppressed by the oligarchy.

Vast amounts of money and resources have been funneled into the research and development of the science of propaganda and psyops for over a century, and this advanced arsenal of psychological weaponry has been pointed squarely at manipulating and controlling the way Americans think and vote for generations. They are the victims of this psychological abuse, and the oligarchs who are using it to rule them are the victimizers.

Caity likens the current mindset and emotional state of the USA to that of a cult.

Have you ever tried to help a friend or family member get out of a cult? It’s not easy. In fact, most times it’s nearly impossible and it requires more love and patience than many of us have in the tank. Cults are held in place by a few key factors — to be a good cult leader, you have to isolate your members from normal society, frighten them regularly into a state of dissociation, hypnotize them while they’re in that state of dissociation with your commands, present yourself as their savior, and suck them dry of their resources while presenting enlightenment/heaven/salvation/the rapture/Trump’s impeachment/single payer healthcare as just around the corner.

She specifically mentions Stockholm syndrome, a form of trauma bonding. This is very common in abuse victims. They become emotionally bonded to the abuser, and will defend and protect the abuser, refusing to leave, but instead clinging to the toxic situation for dear life. It involves a sense of learned helplessness, rendering them incapable of acting in their own best interest.

It's my personal belief that the American psyche is suffering from a massive, collective case of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), going back for generations, and which is constantly being triggered and reinforced.

I don't think this explains everything, but it does explain a lot.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

snoopydawg's picture

@Centaurea

I write a lot of incendiary things in this gig, but one of the things I regularly say which gets pushed back on most angrily is my insistence that the American people are, generally speaking and at their core, good. And that backlash is virtually always coming from Americans.

How many times did we encounter this on ToP? Anyone who said anything slightly critical of Obama's actions were told to STFU and then 50 comments followed about how we were racists and other names? This is still happening there. There was a diary today telling democrats that they need to buck up and fight back against the republicans and it got 200 rec's and 500+ comments. I'm sure you can imagine how that went. Backlash for truthfully telling the truth. Cult like behavior is a great description of the New Democrats.

We have been frogs in their boiling pond and they keep turning up the heat. I keep waiting for the temperature that will get us to jump out of the pond, but we keep taking the heat. I thought that people would refuse to play the TSA's mindless game when they were first created, but each time they added a new restriction people just took it. "It's for our safety from the terrorists who want to kill us for some unknown reason." The same with their illegal spying, the cops that murder us and our blood thirsty wars of aggression. "The troops are fighting for our freedoms and we have to fight them over there," ad nauseum. People believe that this country has the right to kill anyone in other countries for whatever reason including a first strike on North Korea, Iran or in any Middle Eastern country, but gawd forbid if anyone fights us in return or self defense.

I thought that their tax bill might be the final straw, but again I was wrong. Some people are actually cheering for it and think that it's okay for rich people to not pay their taxes. Especially corporations because they create the jobs.

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

@snoopydawg people there actually come out and say NAFTA was a good thing, things are great because Wall St. is 25,000, people should just go back to learn coding or something and move to where the jobs are (pull themselves up by their bootstraps)and just live with less, because automation. And yes, entitlements and the deficit is a problem. Also they're all racists and abuse women.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Snode

Guess what website gave him crap for doing that? This is taking blind loyalty too far. The one thing I haven't seen yet is a resurgent left that opposes the never ending wars, especially the genocidal one in Yemen. In fact, this is the only blog I've seen reporting on it. If the media doesn't cover something it's not happening.

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

@snoopydawg

Just to mention, internet trolling by governments, corporations, specific politicians/would-be politicians running for Their Turn as President, etc., is not just for disinformation and other manipulation.

There are an awful lot of internet trolls hired by various of those with an interest in division of the public and a loss of faith in both each other's basic and shared humanity and in institutions like government which, properly run, would be serving the public interest rather than draining said public for the benefit of The Psychopaths and Parasites That (shouldn't) Be. A united demand for government of, by and for the people, with equal rights, treatment and opportunity for all is the last thing they want, and convincing the general population that nearly everyone else out there sucks kinda stymies that. They want us to feel discouraged and alone/uncaring of others, making it easier to bulldoze/bullshit us.

Divided and alone, we fall so easily...

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

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

snoopydawg's picture

@Ellen North

We watched as they flooded ToP with their innuendos of Her not being the person we said she was. A warmonger? Hillary? No she isn't, how can you say such a thing? The banker's BFF? Nope. Pro fracking? Nope again. She isn't going to pass the TPP because she changed her mind. And even after saying that universal health care will never, ever happen people continued to say that she would work for it. Heh, every now and then I can't help myself and I post something over there. Whoboy, the insults I receive are funny. Smile

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

@snoopydawg

Lol, insults from such as those who declared even the posting of any particularly telling video/transcript of one of Hillary's speeches - even when presented without added commentary - to be 'right-wing' propaganda, without even realizing that they were identifying the TPP-pushing Fracking Queen's own words as such, must be particularly amusing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpvuXVu8o0w

The Monks-No Shame

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

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

Big Al's picture

@Centaurea extreme but I get her point. The problem relative to democracy is most people do know the deal. We know the rich control things, that goes way, way back. It's not a new phenomenon in American society. We know our national government is corrupt and sucks. Congress the last twenty years has received historically low approval ratings, even dipping in single digits at one point. The "deep state" is so well known now they use it in commercials. The saying, "you can't believe everything you read in the newspapers" has been around since the beginning of this country.

I have been telling people for a decade the truth but it doesn't really sink in to most, like most people don't really want to know that truth. Is that what cult members do? Maybe.

I think the bigger problem is there seems to be no way out. Or the only solutions, like a revolution, seem so difficult that no one really believes they can happen.

I don't really want to absolve the American people from their responsibilities. Information, facts, etc. are readily available. And I think there is a certain percentage who, like I said in the essay, prefer it the way it is. Not all humans are good humans. I've seen studies which estimate good humans at around 75-80%. Whether that's true I don't know but there's a lot of greed, lust for power and sociopathy. There is good and evil in this world and a range in between.

Relative to stupid, I don't see anything wrong with calling most Americans stupid. I was stupid once, not that I still can't be. We're all stupid in our own ways. That doesn't mean we can't change. But you have to want to change and right now, not enough of us do.

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earthling1's picture

@Big Al
Can't help thinking about a streetside interview on the evening news last week. It was a poor Palestinian father in Jerusalem being asked about his feelings regarding Trumps decision to move our embassy.
Aside from his displeasure at Trumps decision, the said something else that
I thought profound.
He said that he had nothing against the American people. That he liked the American people. But he hated the American government, especially the military.
I've heard this before, from Iranians on the street. I've heard Russian citizens say the same thing, they like and admire the American people as a whole.
Through 50 years of propaganda have convinced us we are hated as a people, it simply is not true.
They hate our rulers.
It is our rulers who pull the strings and push the buttons that bring death and misery to them and the rest of the world.
It is our wealthy elite and corporate raiders that destroy their elected governments and rape their country,s resources. And as long as the PTB keep the American people convinced the foreigners want to kill us, not much will change.
The reality is, they want to kill our ruling class.
IMHO.

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

Big Al's picture

@earthling1 I lived in West Germany for five years in the 80's, before the wall came down. Played basketball in the bundesliga, was the only American on the team (they were allowed one foreigner per team at the time). I had many conversations with a number of teammates about politics, America and Germany and that was the same sentiment then. Although like we do in this country, some wondered why we don't do more to stop it. Just like many Americans wonder why Germans didn't do more to stop the Holocaust.
But in the end we all know who and what the primary problem is.

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Wink's picture

most are scared $h!tless
@Big Al
to say or do anything.
They see the armored vehicles, cops dressed like storm troopers. They know if they say or do anything it may cost them their job. Or worse. Jail.
There is no outrage becuz most of us are just hoping to hang on to our $50K jobs, hoping TPTB leave us alone after fucking the poor and working poor, hoping this all goes away after Trump leaves office. Why no outrage? Becuz we're hoping "They" won't notice us as they're pummeling everyone else, if we just remain quiet and obedient "They" will leave the rest of us alone.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

ggersh's picture

@Wink First they came ...
"First they came..." is a poem written by German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller. It is about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis' rise to power and subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group. Many variations and adaptations in the spirit of the original have been published in the English language. It deals with themes of persecution, guilt and responsibility.
More at Wikipedia

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Joementia says to protesters no looting, just peaceful protests or IOW's

"I can excuse extrajudical murder, but property damage is a step too far."

NO MORE WAR

snoopydawg's picture

@ggersh

People cheer when another immigrant is deported after spending decades here and having their families torn asunder just because they were brought here as children. A 39 year old man was deported to Mexico after spending almost 4 decades here. What is going to happen to him when he gets to Mexico? He won't have any support structure in place for a job or housing, etc. This is what people are cheering for and it makes me sick.

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

Daenerys's picture

@snoopydawg How can they deport people who are technically citizens? I just don't get it.
Shame on the USA!!

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This shit is bananas.

snoopydawg's picture

@Daenerys

It has something to do with how old they are, not how old they were when they were brought here. This guy was 9 when his parents came here, but he's being deported because he is over the age deadline Obama created when he signed DACA. This is what the article stated. DACA is for only a specific time period.

But still, I would think that because he married a US citizen he would be naturalized or something. Still to deport someone who has spent so many years here and has so many ties to the country is an injustice, IMO. I have no idea what the rules are for some one to become a citizen. But to see how happy people are that he is being deported is disgusting. How does his being here affect those who are cheering his deportation?

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

@Big Al told me recently she is almost to "where I am" regarding full cynicism and things in this country really getting any better. Almost there, but she said it is hard for her to give up that last tiny shred of optimism that real change will happen. I get that, I some days have a tiny little kernel of it, I understand how hard it is. As we all are probably totally aware, there really are days I wish I'd never read what I've now read, I wish I could go back to that naivete that said everything will really be OK, but I cannot. And would that make me happier? Somehow I don't think so. But hey, I keep on spreading that wealth of cynicism around so eventually, she's going to be right exactly where I am, and sooner rather than later.

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Only a fool lets someone else tell him who his enemy is. Assata Shakur

snoopydawg's picture

Twitter proves her point.

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

Centaurea's picture

@snoopydawg Caity posted a link to this article in her FB group. Some people understood what she was saying and made some thoughtful comments. Others, not so much. I can understand their frustration, but I also understand how the traumatized psyche operates.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

mimi's picture

waking up and reading your serious rant is not the most helpful way to start the day. There is nothing in your rant I would not agree with. Just the conclusion out of your thoughts may be different.

If you live not in a Democracy, there are no sure legal tools available to get rid of the oppressions and abuse of the dysfunctional system, as all legal matters allowed in the non-democratic state are kabuki fights designed to obfuscate the fact that there are no non-violent solutions. And if there were some such available, it's a matter of coincidence and chance of them to happen. You can't real manage them. They happen or don't happen. A matter of "good luck" or "bad luck".

Why does it matter, if one little unknown crazy nutcase pushes the button, some "deep state" (that term is already so frigging stupid to use I start to hate it) manages to scare the population into a freaking-out-of-fear status of submission to their own oppressing state, or if some idiot of an elected official orders to push the buttons? You have no tools to fight that other than the ones that will kill you or abuse and oppress you further even more. So, what is the solution to your pipe dream of managing a 'revolution' out loud?

To talk against you now, feels like I betray the 'real ' warriors for justice, peace and freedom. I don't. But it's hard to deal with not seeing solutions to the problem and not getting offered ones while reading the rant.

We are all victims of our own helplessness. The victimizers in the end included. But that takes decades to realize.

Nothing for Un-Good. ('no offense'). You do your best to make us aware of the situation. I respect that. I am not the "enemy". I just don't believe anymore in something that would resemble a plan to go forward and succeed in changing the status quo of your nation's status of a fake democracy.

Is that the same as "giving up"? I don't know. I guess people will do what they always did. Making personal decisions about how best to "fight" oppression and abuse. And I don't blame anyone for staying silent and being not sure about what to do.

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SnappleBC's picture

@mimi

Nothing for Un-Good. ('no offense'). You do your best to make us aware of the situation. I respect that. I am not the "enemy". I just don't believe anymore in something that would resemble a plan to go forward and succeed in changing the status quo of your nation's status of a fake democracy.

You said it yourself: "There are no non-violent solutions".

Well, there ya go. Sure, it's a crappy plan in a lot of ways but to my understanding it is history's go-to choice. When I think about the future, I think armed insurrection is looking more and more likely every year. Who knows when that'll happen but it must happen eventually. This is not the first time history has seen a situation like this. I'm sure it won't be the last. It's not hard to understand the cycle and the various possible outcomes.

Of course, what is different this time around is that this time the elite will have robotic warriors to defend themselves from the masses. Our historical numerical advantage will soon be worth nothing. As I play that out, the robots slaughter the masses then become the workers for the elites. It sounds like elite paradise except, of course, they will then start feeding on each other and the cycle will repeat... just in a smaller pool and more vicious.

I'd like to not see outcomes like that but I don't know how to get off the ride.

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A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

earthling1's picture

@SnappleBC
'Bout sums it up for me.
Been racking my brain to come up with a plan. How do I plan for what the future will surely bring. Dystopia.
Save cash? Most likely the greenback will be worthless.
Buy a farm? If they don't tax me out of it, Monsanto will bankrupt me over seeds.
Buy guns an ammo? No way will anyone go up against the military, which now includes the police.
Move to another country? Not possible unless you are independently wealthy as no other country will support you as a non- citizen.
Buy precious metals? No garrantee that will not be manipulated in price or legality.
Arrow,s lifestyle is looking better and better.
Buy a bluewater sailboat and live the high seas.
IMHO.

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

mimi's picture

@earthling1
other than in a case of your life being in immediate danger. And save some green backs. It costs money you have to pay the crooks if you need to escape. You will detect that other countries may save your life, but not solve the problems you try to escape from in your home country.

Just my 0.02 cents - these are Euro cents ... Smile

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@earthling1 Every day. Buy a house out in the middle of nowhere and learn to farm or at least grow my own? Start amassing some cash in case the damned grid goes down and whatever savings I have is wiped out because it's only numbers in a computer? I don't consider another country as much as really, there is no place to run, the neo-liberal shit machine is global now.

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Only a fool lets someone else tell him who his enemy is. Assata Shakur

SnappleBC's picture

@lizzyh7

Is that if it's "the grid" that is killing you then you need to get off the grid... way way off the grid. You need to be in some place uninteresting to the elites so they won't know that you are there or care. Of course you sacrifice modern medicine not to mention most or all creature comforts. At my age it's not worth it.

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A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

Big Al's picture

@SnappleBC but I continue to believe there is a solution, or are solutions, that don't require violence. That's not to say there won't be violence, the state will ensure it when the time comes. They use violence now and have always used violence. But the revolutionary tactics can be non-violent and it can be televised.

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mimi's picture

@Big Al

But the revolutionary tactics can be non-violent and it can be televised.

All I get from TV is confusion. I really like to learn about the non-violent tactics which will be televised and recognized by the audience.

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SnappleBC's picture

@Big Al

The plutocrats don't care. The plutocrats' robotic warriors won't care. That's why it's different this time. In the very near future, they will be able to win and just mop up 7 billion of us. Do I believe they are evil enough to do just that? Sure, they show no indication of remorse at slaughtering millions to achieve their goals today. If the current trends continue sooner or later the masses will be forced into rebellion. At that point the goal of the plutocrats will be to put down that rebellion. If they have robotic warriors they will be able to do so.

The only other alternative I can see is the distant hope that they come to their senses before it gets there and decide on a more moderate course. I'm not seeing any signs of that. Are you? I see distant beacons of hope like the success of Sanders and Corbyn and ?The New NZ Leader?. But those are tiny isolated examples in an otherwise dismal political landscape.

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A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

Wink's picture

@mimi

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

Wow! Just a wow! essay!

But we mustn't forget the epic degree of media brainwashing the American people have been subjected to, over an extended period spanning generations. Some have overcome much of it - others may follow. That being why censorship and other outright ludicrous propaganda efforts are now so blatant and intensified.TPTB wouldn't be doing this if they weren't scared of American citizens and the citizens of the world turning against their various destructive and global agendas - which means that there's still a chance for democracy and actual freedom for The People of Earth to seek to make their own destinies in a more sane, equitable and sustainable manner. Without self-appointed fascist overlords micromanaging their lives, suffering and deaths while draining and poisoning the world of life.

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

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

ggersh's picture

@Ellen North “A society that loses its sense of outrage is doomed to extinction.”

Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Defining Deviancy Down

https://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/

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Joementia says to protesters no looting, just peaceful protests or IOW's

"I can excuse extrajudical murder, but property damage is a step too far."

NO MORE WAR

@ggersh

Although I suspect the rest of us feel enough outrage to make up for the rest.

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

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

Wink's picture

a miracle.
@Ellen North
I still hold out hope that you're right, but there's nothing to suggest any such hope. I'm lucky in that my 30-something nephew, who lives just 12 blocks away is a gun dealer, dealing in rifles. I suspect I'll need one.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

@Wink

But the entire world is under immediate and deadly threat from the US Psychopaths and Parasites That (shouldn't) Be, so perhaps they'll be charged with the international laws they've conspired to break and the war crimes they've committed/permitted/facilitated in an international Court and a global wrench thrown in the machinery grinding us all to ashes and dust. Still dreaming...

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

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

once other countries get the ball rolling.
There is something in the air in developing countries. They do not admire rich people as we do.

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mimi's picture

@on the cusp @on the cusp (edit for clarification)
that my husband said back in the early 2000 that he has no doubt that people in North Africa,in the Sahel zone and South of it (Western and Central Africa) below will "blow up".

On the other hand I don't believe that any other allies of the US in Europe or Northern Hemisphere will "help to get the ball rolling". I believe that to be wishful thinking. And of course I am clueless why my former husband thought it will "blow up" and what it would do "to change the power balance between rich and poor nations and peoples". He was very close to people on both sides and got into many conflicts about it. May he RIP. I think a lot lately about him. Sorry to glide into OT all the time.

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@mimi Americans have been led believe we have opportunity for upward mobility if we just work hard, make smart decisions. Consequently, many people admire billionaires for being smart, disregarding the advantages of being born into inherited wealth.
In contrast, every Guatemalan is aware that the 14 families that own everything worth owning got their wealth by bribery, corruption, and inheritance. The people regard them as powerful, not admirable or smart or innovative. Mexico is another example of a country with very few rich people, yet it has the 4th largest GDP in the world. Those rich people own the damn government and are feared and hated, not admired.
We still have people in the US that can't give up the American Dream. Developing countries never had a dream to begin with. I am convinced developing countries will lead the revolution.

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mimi's picture

@mimi .many American have been led to believe. I got my shock lately about it through a 27 year old girl, who especially bought into the "if you work hard enough and make smart decisions, you can be somebody and advance etc." meme. She works hard in a job that pays her very little and is always with one leg hanging from the cliff. I just can't understand how so many here in the US are so mislead or blind to the impact of class differences. It's something I can't really follow as a German. What kind of manipulation of the psychological kind did this to the kids? And it's just heart-breaking to see that, because she is such a well-meaning and loving person. I could talk about an example how deep the fear of losing shelter or job really is and to what kind of up-side down perception it can lead to. I don't want to talk about it anymore. It makes me so depressed.

Ok, can't really talk about it. Aah and I forgot about Lumumba. Another one who got "thrown over the cliff" with the help of the US. They say those parts of Africa are places where the sun never shines, but in all that darkness they see more clearly and are less blind. Very confusing, some times.

Sigh.

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snoopydawg's picture

@mimi

I too don't understand that type of thinking, so you're not alone on this. I too read this type of thinking about rich people who didn't have to struggle to make their obscene wealth. Very few athletes are lucky enough to hit the big time and make millions. But what about actors who are worth hundreds of millions just because they too were lucky enough to be spotted by someone in the industry? Most regular Joe's will never be able to make more than a couple hundred thousand during their lifetimes. My wish is to win the lottery or find bags of cash, neither one is a possibility. Especially the lottery because Utah doesn't have it. Smile

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

Daenerys's picture

@mimi The economic boom of the 50s-70s went away, but the brainwashing got left behind. My generation grew up being told "You can be anything you want to be! Just work hard enough! it's easy!! America is the greatest country on earth!!1" Well some of us have woke up and realized it's all a lie, basically everything we learned in school about the good old USA is a lie.
There's a lot of people who haven't figured out yet that the world has changed so drastically since then; they think well, I did it so why can't they? They're just being lazy! Entitled brats! Snowflakes! Ad nauseam. Barf.
How do we undo such thorough brainwashing? I don't know. I mean, all you have to do is look around. Talk to millennials and see how we're struggling just to survive. It doesn't have to be this way.

Shame on the USA.

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This shit is bananas.

mimi's picture

@Daenerys
... I wished I had more than that as an answer and a solution. I wait for a "Geistesblitz" (flash of genius) to find the solution. God should hurry up to give me one...
Air kiss

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Strife Delivery's picture

When it comes to government models, there are certain areas where I can envision democracy as a necessary feature due to the gravity of the topic.

Taxation, war, environment, infrastructure, etc.

But, when it comes down to the minutia of societal functions, I don't mind elected officials.

We as a city elect Jimmy as our sewer and water guy. Instead of the city needing to come together and vote every single time for a decision, well we have Jimmy. Now that doesn't mean that Jimmy is immune from the concerns of society if he messes up. But, this is his area that he focuses on all the time vs. the city coming together to vote on an area they might not be familiar with.

Edit: I don't remember having to ever need to put something in the subject line when making a comment. Often if you don't it just makes the first sentence of whatever you wrote as the subject line. It wouldn't let me post the comment without putting something in subject line.

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Big Al's picture

@Strife Delivery JtC put in to remove all those reply numbers.

And I agree with you on the system of government. Even under direct democracy, citizens would not be able to participate in every decision making process or decision necessary to run a government. But there are plenty of examples to work with, such as Switzerland's and some state governments that combine direct democracy with representative democracy.

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the most useless thing we have is a vote. We show up every 2-4 years and vote, and things get worse. But......it's the one thing they want, they need....somehow there is a solution there.

And the ruling elite sense this, with their fear of OWS, and the militarization of police forces, they are preparing for something.

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@Snode Protesters were beaten, shot, kettled, arrested, spied on, fired, ignored by the media, as Obama had a disgusted look on his face, and bankers stood on the balcony sipping champagne.
OWS demonstrated how swiftly and brutally a nation-wide protest can be stopped. The 1% was a phone call away from activating the police and military to protect them, and they made that call.
If anything, OWS was a good practice run for the 1% ahead of the next protest.
Maybe I missed some bankers shitting their pants. Maybe I was not paying enough attention.

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WaterLily's picture

@on the cusp But I think you're both on the same page. If the 1%ers didn't fear OWS, they wouldn't have felt the need to do what you outlined to the protesters.

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@WaterLily as anything but fear of the poors.
I doubt they were calling 911 for help and rescue. I imagine they called the White House, or Senators, or police chiefs and told them to put a stop to the aggravating nonsense immediately. If they had any doubt the OWS movement, and the next one, and the next one might get out of hand, they have no doubt now.
I actually do not recall any 1%er even filing a criminal complaint.
Nothing in my lifetime has demonstrated the futility of mass protest in the US as did OWS.

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@WaterLily I am wondering if am missing some information. I truly wish the 99% scared the oligarchs.
I don't think they have any reason to lose sleep. They have police protection. No worries.

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snoopydawg's picture

@on the cusp

How many cities had a huge police presence during OWS and how much money did they spend on that and their planning to dismantle it? No they weren't scared, but they were pissed off that people dared to question the bailout.

Does anyone know if OWS is still helping people with their bills or foreclosures? A lot of the money that they collected for the protests was used to help people. I'll see if I can find anything about this.

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

@on the cusp either, yet. But they have to keep their "narrative" at all costs and they do see they're losing it. All this censorship shit shows their fear to me there. It's not the kind of fear we know, but they do not want to lose out on spinning it to the best of their ability. They still feel, or at least sure make an effort at kabuki enough to appear, that they need us somehow. There are days I don't get that either, with all they do that is so blatant to those of us out here. But they know there are just enough people who still genuinely fear the "left" even if there is very little real power on that left.

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Only a fool lets someone else tell him who his enemy is. Assata Shakur

@WaterLily I think they saw a critical mass forming of people on the left. It's always been class war. They've been (are still) waiting and preparing for this.

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@on the cusp It was the co ordination of the White House and every law enforcement agency on down to beat cop in response to OWS. The police used every dirty trick and assault to provoke a reaction. If there was a response I have no doubt there would be dozens dead. I thought that it was stupid that they had no leaders and demands. If there were leaders they would most likely be rotting in solitary in supermax ADX Florence still awaiting trial.

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Wink's picture

of the 1% with
@on the cusp
their Neegan $h!tting Pants™
on, but there's no doubt the 99% got their attention.
Lack of media coverage (what protest?) did as much to kill OWS as did the champagne and caviar dumped on the masses by Wall Street asshats.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

@Wink If the banksters had been concerned, if the protesters had frightened them, if they saw a huge challenge to their power, if they didn't want to lose or change their narrative, all they had to do to quell the uprising was make a call.
If they had a single ounce of fear, they would have changed some policy somewhere as appeasement..
Instead, they got tax reform. And spying on citizens. And the end of net neutrality.
If the 1% is actually afraid of the 99%, they would be tossing us some brioche.

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Wink's picture

them more had it
@on the cusp
started the end of April,
beginning of May instead of September. Amazing how warm weather makes for better occupy camping. Too, they could have losed the mic check nonsense. Occupy shot themselves in the foot too many times, and the weather didn't help, but if run with better leader$h!p very likely would have put many an oligarch in their Neegan $h!tting Pants™, and might still hold weight today. Alas...

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

@Wink yet, in hindsight, policies got worse, and protesting without a stated goal and stated list of demands may have made mass protests in the future more difficult.
Maybe the future "stay home, do not work, do not consume, do not pay taxes" protest should be unseen. Nobody in the streets to be targeted by the cops.
Maybe millions and millions of people at home. Not presenting a target.

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Wink's picture

for current times.
@on the cusp
But speaking just for the 2011 fiasco,
it would have worked better had they started organizing on college campii starting April one, and launched the campaign on the Friday nearest May one. That's at the very end of the college year, all but exams to finish, and the college kids would have had all summer to rally and camp. Just those extry four months of warm weather would have made a world of difference.
As for today, yeah, we're likely better off with most of us staying home, a few of us at demonstrations to show on social media that, yes, something in fact IS happening.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

snoopydawg's picture

@on the cusp

Maybe the future "stay home, do not work, do not consume, do not pay taxes" protest should be unseen. Nobody in the streets to be targeted by the cops.

A massive targeted boycott, work stoppages and not paying taxes. It would take millions being involved with this though to have any effect. But I think that if people targeted one company and stayed with it until the company's profits took a hit, this might work. Look at what happened when blacks stopped taking the buses. The bus boycott got the attention they wanted and buses were desegregated. It took over a year for it to work, but look at what came from it. I wonder if any boycott would take that long if enough people participated in it? But we have the power to make it work, besides are we just going to keep taking what the PTB throw at us? I think we have taken it long enough as it is.

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

travelerxxx's picture

@snoopydawg

I like the one company (corporation) at a time idea. Some of these mighty capitalistic icons are actually very vulnerable to even a slight drop in profits. In fact, some of them claim that the margins are so thin that they must remain open on holidays, etc., else they immediately hemorrhage red ink.

Walmart comes to mind. In fact, I would like to nominate Walmart as the first target to be laid low by The People.

You wouldn't get the entire population to participate, but you don't need them. Not at all. If Walmart sees a sudden drop in traffic of as little as 10%, they are in serious trouble.

Would Walmart employees lose jobs? Yes. However, any loss would be taken up by Walmart's competition. Those competitors would be doing much better and need help ... and would most likely pay better -- especially after watching the demise of the mighty Walmart and not wanting to be Target #2.

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snoopydawg's picture

@travelerxxx

They have put the most mom and pop stores out of commission as well as other specialty businesses and they have received a lot of money from the government in subsidies and tax breaks and they have cost it the most because of how many of their employees receive governmental assistance such as food stamps, Medicaid and other benefits.

I'd love to see Amazon targeted next, but it would take a lot more people involved to take their business elsewhere. Bezos is a threat because he is buying up so many other businesses and creating a monopoly. Cities are trying to outbid each other to have him build his warehouses in their city and giving him millions in tax breaks and other insensitives that will have an effect on schools and other services because of the amount of tax breaks he will receive.

The boycotts could also include ExxonMobile gas stations. Exxon has polluted enough lands and waterways all over the globe and even when they are held accountable for their actions, they have enough power to get their fines reduced or they just don't pay them.

Start with Walmart and Exxon to see how effective the boycotts are. This takes the police out of the equation because we know that we can't fight them.

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

WaterLily's picture

@snoopydawg Whether an unintentional auto-correct or a deliberate word use, this is brilliant.

I'd love Amazon to be the first target, but agree with your assessment of the inherent challenges. I'll happily participate in any widespread boycott -- although I've been boycotting Walmart for years already.

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WaterLily's picture

@snoopydawg This entire story makes me gag.

It asked candidates to include in their bids a variety of detailed information about the area, including potential building sites, crime and traffic stats and nearby recreational opportunities. And it asked cities and states to describe the tax incentives available to offset Amazon’s costs for building and operating its second headquarters.

I had to stop reading because my head was about to spontaneously combust.

Can we please boycott Bezos?

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travelerxxx's picture

@WaterLily

As much as I detest Bezos, I think it would be a strategic error to tackle Amazon first, or even simultaneously with Walmart. Go for Walmart first. Americans have a long history with Walmart; many know someone who has been adversely affected by them. Whether it's due to their habit of limiting worker's hours to preclude paying benefits, their strong-arm tactics with suppliers, their turning the downtown areas of thousands of American towns into blighted slum districts, their almost militant anti-union stance, and other things, Americans are quite familiar with Walmart. You'd be hard pressed to find someone who hasn't dealt with Walmart on some level, and a large number of Americans have now come to understand that Walmart is not their friend, nor the friend of their community. Many of these issues would be relatively easy to leverage, and many folks would not need much of a push to not turn into that Walmart lot.

You can attract those who would like to Make American Great Again by pointing out how Walmart has changed from the Sam Walton days (when American-made goods were actually featured in the stores) to now contracting with practical slave labor camps in sundry parts of the world. China almost need not be mentioned, but of course, since most items in any Walmart are manufactured there, it must be. Short of selling American flags, there's no problem with framing Walmart as an unpatriotic, greed-filled bad citizen.

Further, Walmart is not doing so hot right now. Remember, they just closed quite a few Sam's Club stores across the nation. Yes, they are saying they will re-purpose many of them as "distribution centers" (evidently in an attempt to take on the likes of Amazon), nevertheless, they still shut them down. My point is that Walmart is vulnerable in a way that Amazon is not right now. While I personally salivate with the thought of going after Amazon, I think there are just too many opportunities available in regard to Walmart.

Oddly enough, any boycott of Walmart would probably help to pad Amazon's bottom line. Further, it could push Walmart toward more of an online presence and less of a brick-and-mortar company. It could be that Walmart already understands they are doomed as brick-and-mortar entity, i.e., the death of retail. Considering that any Walmart boycott could actually propel them into a more prominent online position, a boycott might actually be a blessing in disguise for them. I would consider that to be an unintended consequence - a backfire.

Lots of things to consider here. Further, this idea needs be brought up at other like-minded discussion sites. Ask around, see what your friends and neighbors think.

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Local real estate and business interests. David Sirota has documented how in CO frackers prevented the publication of location of wells. Real estate interests. All of these local mafias act no different than local Russian gangsters. Then we have national oligarchs like those in the MIC and Walmart and oil industries whose power runs from DC to very local. And in some areas people are free of various local and national mafias. Witness the legalization of pot and passage of min. wage laws.

Elections seem not to be about implementing the will of the people, but ensuring stability of system. That was Hillary's message and local democratic party candidates.

Americans don't see the corruption because they don't they have to face the corruption face-to-face. For example, to get a driver's license does not require a fee and a kickback/bribe. And even then the amounts stolen are "incremental" as with asset forfeiture and massive number of auto-related tickets. Or the system of escalating court fees which can be handled by the middle classes but not by the working poor.

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snoopydawg's picture

@MrWebster

Elections seem not to be about implementing the will of the people, but ensuring stability of system. That was Hillary's message and local democratic party candidates.

I didn't see this was happening until Obama happened and continued on with the things that Clinton and Bush did. Clinton was able to pass the republicans wet dream on welfare reform and both he and Obama were willing to put social security up for the banks. Bill and Newt were ready to sign the legislation until the Lewinsky scandal broke.

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

QMS's picture

one of our posters has the sig line .... something's happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear ...

I see it as establishing borders. Just as Syria kicked the US military out of their country, all the media could report on is the big new effort of the US military to 'protect the border'. And the UN, massing multinational troops at the Russian borders. If the military can't invade, it will surround the territory they want to conquer until the time is right.

Just as the department of interior has established their own borders within the US, we should follow suit. Establish our own boundaries in order to protect the interior. History has shown circling the wagons to be an effective defense. A large enough territory can not be ignored, see Catalonia. The world is on our side.

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Big Al's picture

@QMS country but the US won't go. Moon of Alabama has a good summary of what's going on.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48609.htm

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Wink's picture

protest anthems still
@QMS
somewhat relevant, yet not a peep from the millenials. One would think that this is their time, that songs reflecting these uncertain times would be all over the radio dial calling fellow millenials to action. Instead... Stephen Stills from 1968.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

snoopydawg's picture

@Wink

Millennials have grown up with the way things are now. Anyone who was born after 9/11 only knows this country at war. How many of them understand that spying on us is illegal? Or any of the other legislation that was passed before they were born? Did their parents have decent paying jobs at one time? Gone to college and graduate without staggering debt? Or any of the other things that we grew up with?

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

Wink's picture

I keep expecting
@snoopydawg
millenials to light this
candle, but, alas, and again, it's up to Boomers.
Drag out and fire up the CSNY records!

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

Big Al's picture

@snoopydawg calling out My Generation.

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Daenerys's picture

@Wink To be fair, most pop music these days is formulaic bullshit put out by people who can't write.
One does come to mind, though not necessarily a protest song but is pretty blatantly about the impending climate crisis:

Back on the subject of protest, look what happened to OWS. To Bernie. To DAPL and BLM. An so on and so on. Every time we try to protest we get spanked by the militarized police. As for the wars, the MSM tells us we've won or are winning, so what's the point of protesting? I get it. What CAN we do? I don't know how we can wrest control from the sociopaths. If I did know I'd be out there doing it. As would a lot of us I bet.

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This shit is bananas.

Wink's picture

It's just that
@Daenerys
I'm so friggin' old to be
out there carrying signs. The 2016 Bernie rallies had a Lot of 20-somethings and 30-somethings rallying with us geezers. I was blown away to see so many "kids!" "Get this, Joe, there are people here under 50! Some even have hair color!" He laughed, but he got that it was a pretty big deal that the "kids" came out in crappy early Spring weather (snow flakes in the air) to rally for Bernie. So maybe there's hope. Thanks for the tune, too.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

snoopydawg's picture

@Daenerys

You're right about this. It's going to take all generations fighting for what we want. The protests from OWS on have been practice for the police-industrial-spying-complexes just in case we decide to rise up. And look at what happened to the protesters at Trump's inauguration. They are being charged with felony rioting even though many of them weren't even protesting, just walking past or watching. And anything people do is going to be known before it happens. The DHS is getting people's Facebook pages to help them convict people for collusion. Funny that, ehh? But it's serious for the people who are on trial. I'd say that this is fascism or a police state mentality.

There is no way that we can peacefully protest against them. They are waiting for this and they are very well equipped. We've seen people almost being killed by cops shooting their "less lethal weapons" at people's heads. Scott Olsen will never be the same after they fractured his skull. A woman at the DAPL protests might have lost her arm after a less lethal weapon was shot at her.

How long until this country sends this type of devices at us? I hope people watch this video of the equipment that is being used in other countries. This is what we'd be up against and why peaceful protest won't work. Of course violent protests won't work either.

Hopefully Big Al's essay will have some ideas for us. (hint, hint) Smile

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

WaterLily's picture

@Wink I'm not sure there's an effective way to reach Millennials with 60s protest songs, at least not en masse. Which radio stations are going to play them? Certainly not the corporate-controlled ones.

But ... BUT. What about current college students? Most campuses have their own stations, right, with student DJs largely in charge of their own shows? Hmm.

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earthling1's picture

Buffalo Springfield

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.