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bemildred

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: LA/CA/Left Coast
Home country: Amurkin
Current location: Amurka
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 78,128

About Me

Only intelligent beings can care what happens, it\'s a big responsibility.

Journal Archives

Yes, it's the cheap labor conservatives, and it started in the 70s.

And it will stay that way until we tax the shit out of them again.

In chess, if you have no good options, and still must move, it's called Zugzwang.

And it means you lose. And losing always "looks weak".

Sometimes doing "nothing" is the best thing you can do, it's like "waiting" a bit. In fact, in my experience, most of the time, it's not time yet, there are no useful things you can do yet, so you wait.

Not everything can be fixed, and of those things which can be fixed, often it's still the case that YOU can't fix them.

People who try to threaten you or anger you or disgust you to get you to do something when you don't want to are salesmen, merchants, and they are not your friends. The very fact they are so vehement to get you to do something, this person who does not know you from Adam, and willing to jerk your chain emotionally to get at you, tells you to ignore what they say, they have an agenda, and it's not your well-being and autonomy.

Edit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zugzwang

Yes, and I'm kind of stunned to realize our government are such a bunch of fools, still.

I mean they seem to think this sort of thing is cool or brilliant or something, whereas it appears to me to be very old school and more or less proven to fail, this totalitarian governance/surveillance idea.

I mean I expect the spooks to be fools, it's their job to be anal about data, but in the higher reaches of government, I expect some sort of cognizance of the danger TO THEM which this sort of program presents.

About Snowden:

1.) You have to understand, he cleaned their clock, took it all, and he made sure to seal the deal before he went public. And he is going to screw all our "security" friends too, in Europe and elsewhere, who will not be grateful to us for that.

2.) They are used to being the guys who know, the guys who are wise, so they are in a state of panic. Us people out here in TV-land have never had such illusions of control, we never feel safe, so we can handle it better.

3.) This is what they do, the NSA, steal information and keep it secret so the government can USE IT, and they have been totally punked by one of their pet nerds. Of course they are pissed, and everything really is on the table, for them.

4.) Most of all, the spooks are being laughed at, the NSA is being laughed at, the national security state is being seen as the Keystone Kops. The Russians and the Chinese have already been here, now it's our turn, since we decided to go with the totalitarian methods too. And apparently it is just as corrosive to competence and good governance here as it was in those places.

5.) The Russian and Chinese reaction has been illuminating, you can see that they are bemused, and yet they don't want to piss off the angry guy any more than he already is, and they know they will be dealing with us when this "crisis" is long forgotten.

We used to have the talking filibuster, why was it made silent?

I'll tell you why, because a more aroused and involved electorate (crazy or not) made it more dangerous to stall public business in public. Anonymity is good for them, but not for us, we need to be watched.

The filibuster used to be used rarely, to be used on matters of principle, now it is used as a fund-raising tool.

Right now deals are being made, policy traded back and forth, and all in "quiet rooms", like Mr Romney says.

It is rare for anybody to give up power willingly.

And the filibuster represents (negatively) one of the closest things to individual autocratic power in the Congress. So if we want to get rid of the filibuster, we're going to have to throw enough of the Senators out of office first. Then they will listen to our views, not before.

I find that a difficult question to resolve, what to think of his performance so far.

On the one hand, as the first AA President, I think his first and most important job was to "succeed", to get re-elected, which he did, and handily too, brilliantly. And I find that an inarguable good thing, very important, maybe the most important thing, that he could do.

And he also seems to have brought into being the first new ruling electoral coalition since the "Solid South" gave way to the "Southern Strategy"; based on women, "minorities", and the young, and I find that very hopeful, the prospect of finally breaking the stranglehold of the plutocrats, war lovers, and racists on our politics.

But i find it easy to argue that he started out naive and has been more cautious than might have been necessary, and he is clearly not a "left-winger" such as you or I would think of it. But then so were Carter and Clinton, in their individual ways, if anything O has been a quick study. So it's also easy to come up with excuses. It's mainly the extension of the wars I find hard to swallow, strategically I see it, but morally and ethically I cannot.

So I'm kind of waiting to see how the 2nd term goes before I try to sum things up. So far there has been much to complain of, and yet we can already see a more assertive tone in the second term, and I think he is going to beat the Republicans like a gong from here on out, as long as he keeps the Democratic Congress at his back and stays safe.

Yep, it's very expensive too, and creates a lot of professional criminals.

But we are in the midst of a huge identity crisis (you will note that we cannot agree and have not been able to agree as to who we really are, we are like a bag of wildcats trying to walk down the road) and so everybody wants to get even with anybody who is not like them. Lots of whining about unity, but always somebody else who has to change.,

WRT FBI, entrapment: I think it's laziness and ambition, too lazy to hunt criminals in the wild, and to impatient to wait until you find some, so you fish for them, with plenty of bait, chum the water a bit maybe. I quote from Henry Miller:

For the man in the paddock, whose duty it is to sweep up manure,
the supreme terror is the possibility of a world without horses.
-- Henry Miller in Tropic of Cancer"

For the FBI, suitably important criminals are like horses, that without which there is nothing. And real criminals are smart and dangerous, dumb guys are much more managable, easier to get them convicted, etc. So they are proactive, as we say.

I am cynical, I understand it perfectly. But I don't approve.

If you have an authoritarian bent, the last thing you want is a bunch of people asking questions. You want obedience. And the world is full of people that want to be told what to do, to belong to a tribe or a club or a gang or a clan. That plays out everyday in our politics.

There is sort of a bootstrap problem, if you get enough people well enough educated and empowered, it becomes harder to reverse. Before then, it is relatively easy to drag us back into the Hobbesian mud with a bit of violence, xenophobia, and misdirection.

When I was a kid they still had civics classes and they were still trying to really educate us to compete with the commies. I have hidden under my school desk and kissed my ass goodbye. But they started vigorously dumbing it all back down after the Vietnam debacle. It was like we failed because they lost that stupid war. Correcting an "excess of democracy".

I think there is a large element of not wanting to pay for it too.

We are long past the point where we can afford to be dumb, or cheap.
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