woo me with science
woo me with science's Journal
Member since: Tue Jan 13, 2004, 09:24 PM
Number of posts: 27,893
Number of posts: 27,893
The weird surge in popularity of libertarian-leaning candidates is not because there has been an inexplicable surge in Ayn Rand devotees. Most people who would end up voting for a Paul would never label themselves as "Libertarians." They are the independents in the middle who have been lurching back and forth between the major parties trying desperately to find someone who will represent them.
We're not talking about the tiny group of self-identified Libertarians in your survey, who have always constituted the base of the fringe Libertarian Party. We're talking about a larger group in the middle, actual Americans who are frustrated as hell with the corruption of both major political parties. They are frustrated as hell that no major party is representing their interests anymore and looking for a new political home.
Mass spying on Americans? Both parties support it.
Handing the internet to corporations? Both parties support it.
Austerity for the masses? Both parties support it.
Cutting social safety nets? Both parties support it.
Corporatists in the cabinet? Both parties support it.
Tolling our interstate highways? Both parties support it.
Corporate education policy? Both parties support it.
Bank bailouts? Both parties support it.
Ignoring the trillions stashed overseas? Both parties support it.
Trans-Pacific Job/Wage Killing Secret Agreement? Both parties support it.
Drilling and fracking? Both parties support it.
Wars on medical marijuana instead of corrupt banks?
Deregulation of the food industry? Both parties support it.
GMO's? Both parties support it.
Militarized police and assaults on protesters? Both parties support it.
Indefinite detention? Both parties support it.
Drone wars and kill lists? Both parties support it.
Targeting of journalists and whistleblowers? Both parties support it.
Private prisons replacing public prisons? Both parties support it.
Unions? Both parties view them with contempt.
Perhaps the corporate-purchased parties themselves have something to do with this conclusion by the American people:
Posted by woo me with science | Tue Aug 26, 2014, 09:25 AM (1 replies)
The effects of continued corporate warfare on this nation will be a disaster for all Americans, but *especially* women and minorities.
I don't know how the Third Way anticipates being able to protect values of racial and gender equality by supporting candidates whose policies are dismantling the very economic and democratic systems that make it possible for them to be empowered.
Posted by woo me with science | Sun Aug 24, 2014, 08:07 PM (3 replies)
Why do corporatists and investment bankers infiltrate a party? Why the massive corporate backing of groups like the Third Way and the pouring of billions into running corporate candidates and establishing a strong corporate presence in the Democratic party?
It's because the Democratic Party *was* the opposition party standing in their way. Now they own it.
Here's the important part: They didn't buy it because of some perverse affection for the Democratic Party or the color blue on the Democratic Party pom poms. They did it to advance the corporate policy agenda that rakes in billions in wealth and power.
They don't give a rat's ass what party actually wins, as long as the win accomplishes the goal for which they spent billions running candidates to infiltrate the party in the first place. They are the same people backing corporatists in both parties. They will work together and USE the parties to ensure the victory of whichever party or candidate can best serve their interests at the moment.
Running HIllary to the right of Paul pretty much locks in the agenda they want either way. And running Paul has the added benefit of possibly appealing to those who are disgusted with both parties, by giving the illusion that something radically different is being offered. It could dupe a lot of people into remaining passive about what is being done to us for at least one more election cycle, by making them believe, one more time, that merely voting is going to be enough.
Posted by woo me with science | Sun Aug 24, 2014, 03:12 PM (73 replies)
Reposting my response from when you posted this the first time:
I think you are right.
I have been fascinated by the ostentatiousness of Hillary's Third Way, neocon campaign, by the trumpeting of her "gaffes" about being poor by the corporate media, and by the level of deliberate obnoxiousness of many of her mouthpieces online. It would hardly be possible to run a campaign better suited to alienating the Democratic base and voters generally.
I thought for a while that the plan was just to infuriate the base as much as possible so that when a fake stealth populist appeared late in the game, Democrats would rally around him or her mindlessly and without demanding any serious vetting.
But in watching the play, I have decided that it's more likely that the corporate PTB have decided that it's time for a Republican.
I agree with you that Rand Paul will run on all those things, appealing to the general mood of the country, which is sick and tired of war and the shredding of our Constitution.
I think Hillary will run ostentatiously to the right of him and is planned and expected to lose.
By then we will be embroiled in another war, and all promises of reining in the military or reducing the police state can be explained away as impossible for the time being, and we will instead receive more major privatization and gutting of social programs.
We are screwed no matter which is elected, because Hillary will have already run on all the things Rand Paul will end up actually doing.
The PTB have us by the throat, because they own both parties, and they will play us once again. If genuine, non-corporate, non-infiltrating Democrats had any power left in the party at all, Paul wouldn't have to be a problem. He wouldn't even have to be an afterthought.
People are drawn to these formerly fringe Libertarians and libertarian-style Republicans only because they say some of the right things re: reining in warmongering, curbing the drug wars, and stopping the outrageous surveillance state. Every poll shows that people across party lines despise their willingness to scrap social programs/gut Social Security. All Democrats would have to do to blow them away would be to re-embrace the principles and policies they were supposed to stand for all along but have abandoned since selling out to corporate interests: being the party that reins in Wall Street, ends the surveillance state and the police state, restores our Constitution, reduces inequality, ends the outrageous drug wars, and STRENGTHENS social safety nets.
But our party is purchased now by the same ones who own the Republicans, and that's not going to happen.
So corporate Democrats will threaten and bully that we must support Hillary in order to avoid Paul, and they will claim to be vindicated when Paul is a disaster for human beings. But the truth is that The PTB will pursue their agenda under either one of them. Hillary's ostentatiously Third Way/neocon/neolib campaign is designed and backed by corporatists to enable or even ensure the coming of Paul and the continuation of the corporate takeover of this nation.
Posted by woo me with science | Sun Aug 24, 2014, 11:04 AM (4 replies)
I'm not a political scientist, and I appraise the words based on how I believe they are interpreted by average citizens who hear the labels. You're absolutely correct that they are used consistently to describe neoliberal and Third Way politicians. I detest their use, because I think they have popular connotations that actively disguise the true extremism and antidemocratic nature of the policies involved.
"Centrism" to me carries a deliberate connotation of being "in the center"..in other words, not extreme in either direction. Ditto for the word "moderate," which is constantly used to describe Third Way politicians whose policies are anything but moderate in the traditional sense of the word.
Austerity and attacks on safety nets in a country that has already devastated its middle class are opposed by over 80 percent of Americans across party lines, yet these Third Way economic positions are nevertheless described as "centrist," as though they fell in the mainstream of American opinion. Policies coming out of our government now routinely bear little resemblance to what people have repeatedly stated in polls that they want, and neoliberal politicians lie their way through campaigns because they realize how unpopular their positions really are...yet we persist in calling them "centrists."
Secret laws, secret courts, "Kill Lists"/indefinite detention without due process, and mass surveillance in the United States of America are extreme violations of our Constitution and should not be considered "moderate" positions in any sense of the word. They are extreme, even fascistic policies, yet the politicians who espouse them are permitted by us to describe themselves as "moderates."
I think we need to start using the words, "corporatist," "extreme," and even "fascist" to describe what is happening in this country under the corporatist/neoconservative/neoliberal/Third Way agenda. We are witnessing a malignant merger of state and corporations and the active dismantling of important Constitutional protections. The corporate state is pouring our tax dollars into propaganda and marketing for their agenda, and IMO the vast majority of Americans, while aware of their own economic pain, have little understanding of the peril facing our democratic institutions and basic Constitutional protections.
We use words that suggest the current neoliberal and neocon policies are business as usual in America...just another flavor of policies that Americans can trust still fall safely within the boundaries of a democratic, constitutional, representative political system. They are "centrist" or "moderate." But they really aren't...and I think we need to adjust our labels to drive home the seriousness of the crisis we face.
Posted by woo me with science | Wed Jul 16, 2014, 11:09 AM (3 replies)
You say, "fair point," yet your next sentence accuses me of "hurling personal insults at Democrats."
It's a baseless accusation that reflects on your own conduct here rather than mine. You are the only one in this conversation who has repeatedly tried to make it personal, and you continue to do so. It is revelatory as to your lack of argument.
Your comments about Haiti here are similarly nonresponsive. More to the point, they are weirdly and dishonestly avoidant of the longstanding and continuing history of US corporate and military domination and exploitation of Haiti. You opine about poverty in Haiti "even before the earthquake," as though the earthquake, rather than decades of military and political manipulation, prevention of any development of independence through denial of sovereignty, installation of corporate goals rather than goals for Haitians, and coup/installation of government to enable theft and stripping by corporations of the country's own resources were not at fault. You ignore the more recent massive privatization forced on Haiti by the US and its allies after the 2004 coup and the neoliberal "restructuring programs" that have deepened poverty for Haitians through familiar Shock Doctrine measures like making IMF loans conditional on the implementation of vicious neoliberal wage and social policies.
In short, you deal with the accusation of US corporate exploitation of Haiti by utterly ignoring it and adding baseless personal attacks to distract from the fact you are ignoring it.
Corporate exploitation of Haiti, resulting in the deaths of countless Haitians and unfathomable misery over the decades, has been and remains a national shame for the US. More importantly, it serves as a deadly warning of what happens to countries and human beings when governments are subverted for corporate interests rather than human interests.
Decades and decades ago, the US took control of Haiti by force and changed its Constitution to allow corporations to seize the land of the Haitian people. Now we're facing relentless attempts by corporate-bought politicians to dismantle our own Constitutional protections and grow the power of corporations over our lives through predatory "trade agreements" that will overrule the will of the people on issues ranging from environmental regulation to worker protections.
Americans have largely been insulated from the effects of US corporate policy all over the world. We mostly grew up believing that hunger and privation just happen, usually over there somewhere, to people who don't look like us and for reasons that are never quite clear. But there are reasons. Corporations don't operate on morality. For them, there is no currency in a government, "of, by, and for the people." The only consideration is profit.
The global corporatists are just getting started here. But they have already impoverished and killed masses of human beings all over the world, for profit. We are not special to them.
We cannot afford four more years of allowing corporatists to grow their power in Washington. We can't afford continued assaults on our Constitutional protections and the growth of this surveillance state. We can't afford more austerity and privatization and protection of banks over people. And we can't afford Hillary's TPP.
Posted by woo me with science | Tue Jun 24, 2014, 08:03 PM (2 replies)
and wild conspiracy theories depend on the flatly absurd suggestion that governments and corporations do not spend millions, billions, to advertise, propagandize, and shape public opinion.
That the programs already exist is not in dispute. That the motivation to use them is strong is not debatable. Nor are the deep pockets of those whose interests they serve.
A primary goal of any group that seeks to impose major policy against the will and interests of the majority is to manage public opinion and public response so as to reduce the likelihood of pushback and revolt. Millions of us are being driven into poverty, and our Constitutional protections are being stripped. Of course great attention and money will be poured into managing public opinion and creating the illusion that the people support what is being done to them.
We already know these programs exist and are being used, not only within smaller political groups but also at the very highest levels of government, thanks to Sunstein's writings and the leaks by Snowden. They are a wholly predictable extension of the advertising and propaganda that already deluge our media and that are inherent in any major political struggle for power. Before we had the technology for interactive propaganda on the internet, we saw the cable news channels twisted into a steady diet of distractions, misrepresentations, and corporate talking points.
History shows that the tactics available to be used, will be used, in the struggle for political power and wealth. We have been carefully taught as Americans that it couldn't happen here; we are taught to associate these kinds of direct manipulations of citizens with totalitarian states, not ostensibly "representative" governments like our own. But we really aren't special, and what is happening in America right now is just one more example of the battles for power we have seen throughout history, by those who invariably claimed they were working in the best interests of the people.
Of course it exists, and of course it is here.
Posted by woo me with science | Mon Jun 2, 2014, 05:01 PM (2 replies)
Those who build surveillance machines also build propaganda machines. A great deal of effort and resources are being poured into trying to give the false impression that Americans support our own government's abuses of power against us, and that we have contempt for those who exposed them.
It's no accident that the very small group of the loudest smearers of Greenwald are also overwhelmingly the most reliable attackers of liberals and defenders of every corporate outrage coming out of this administration: the TPP, indefinite detention, secret laws, secret courts, assaults on journalism, handing the internet to corporations, drone wars, drilling, fracking, corporate education, privatization, deregulation, etc., etc., etc.
DU overwhelmingly supports the actions of Greenwald and Snowden, as shown in virtually every poll posted here. This group uses the very same tactics, over and over again, including attacks on the messengers, mocking, swarming, and endless diversion from what is really important here: government abuse of power. It is all very familiar, and the tactics detailed in the links below.
Let's repost some reminders of what we are really dealing with here:
Posted by woo me with science | Mon Jun 2, 2014, 12:04 AM (476 replies)
This is just this month, with impressive new Third Way efforts in the areas of mass surveillance, "Kill Lists," corporate health insurance, murdering net neutrality, right-wing appointments, warmongering, toll interstates, *and* environmental and educational assaults!
And, hey kids, the month's not even over yet!
White House colluded with House Republicans *against* Democrats to WEAKEN surveillance bill.
White House (again) Seeks Legal Immunity For Firms That Hand Over Customer Data
Obama Administration To Reveal Justification For Drone Strikes On U.S. Citizens
Obama administration quietly approves new loopholes to help insurance companies gouge patients:
No single payer according to Obama's HHS nominee.
The murder of net neutrality
Obama's Crony Capitalism will Kill Net Neutrality. *New* FCC Staff in bed with ISP's
Democratic Opposition Lines Up Against Obama Judicial Nominee
Secret trade memos calling for more fracking and offshore drilling
Obama's Defense Department Refuses to Tell Senate Which Groups We’re at War With
President Obama close to authorizing mission led by the US military to train moderate Syrian rebels
Syrian rebels describe U.S.-backed training in Qatar in new documentary
Ethics watchdog calls for investigation of EPA assault on renewable fuels.
This Trade Deal Will Make You Sick, Maybe Give You Mad Cow
Why do we bother: Feds Ever-So-Gently File Criminal Charges Against Credit Suisse
Too Big to Jail: DOJ Charges Two Banks with Criminal Acts, But Will Not Hold Them Criminally Accountable
College presidents upset. Obama's Ed Dept says rating colleges will be like "rating a blender".
Opening the US interstate system to tolling
And after all that hard work, it's no surprise that Our President put on his comfortable walking shoes and headed out for some golf:
White House downplays golf outing with Bain Capital lobbyist
Posted by woo me with science | Tue May 27, 2014, 12:40 PM (410 replies)
that focused on the real hijacking of this country by corporate interests?
One that wasn't co-opted by corporate media and propagandists to ramp up partisan divisions and ridicule the idea of real change?
One that didn't set the people against each other so that there is always one group ridiculing the other and ensuring that no real change can ever happen, because the people cannot unite against the corporate vultures bleeding all of us?
One that focused on the fleecing of ALL of us, the 99 percent, and the fact that corporate interests have stolen our representation in this country?
One that focused on bringing all Americans together to get corporate money out of our politics and our media, and return our governent to the people?
Posted by woo me with science | Sat May 17, 2014, 11:32 AM (50 replies)