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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Venice, California
Current location: St. Petersburg, Florida
Member since: Fri Jul 2, 2004, 04:55 PM
Number of posts: 13,650

Journal Archives

Warren Responds to Big Banks

Read here: Warren Fundraises Off Wall Street Threats

Seriously Bankers, you want to know what will finally convince Warren to run for POTUS, and convince a bunch of conservatives to throw a vote her way??

(Hint, you just did it...)

America is a Religion

DonViejo posted a great Salon article about how Ted Cruz is really running for High Priest of America, here:


In the first paragraph Salon briefly quotes political activist George Monbiot, from his article "America is a Religion", written in July 2003.

The quote was chilling, and the full article more so. From a populist perspective, a separation of Church and State should be a foundational principle of a democracy, placing the power to govern under the authority of the people, not under the authority of a God.

About the Religion that is America, Monbiot wrote:

...the formation of the American identity was part of a process of “supersession”. The Catholic Church claimed that it had supplanted the Jews as the elect, as the Jews had been repudiated by God. The English Protestants accused the Catholics of breaking faith, and claimed that THEY had become the beloved of God. The American revolutionaries believed that the English, in turn, had broken their covenant: the Americans had now become the chosen people, with a divine duty to deliver the world to God’s dominion."


"Gradually this notion of election has been conflated with another, still more dangerous idea. It is not just that the Americans are God’s chosen people; America itself is now perceived as a divine project. In his farewell presidential address, Ronald Reagan spoke of his country as a “shining city on a hill”, a reference to the Sermon on the Mount.7 But what Jesus was describing was not a temporal Jerusalem, but the kingdom of heaven. Not only, in Reagan’s account, was God’s kingdom to be found in the United States of America, but the kingdom of hell could also now be located on earth: the “evil empire” of the Soviet Union, against which His holy warriors were pitched.


Over a decade old, but with a quick coat of paint the article reads fresh.

Evil empires change over time, and though the Soviet Union is gone and our current face of Satan is Islam, we haven't become less devout missionaries for America. We've become more fervent. Satan is no longer a competing country, Satan is a competing religion.

One final quote:

In December 2001, Rudy Giuliani, the mayor of that city, delivered his last mayoral speech in St Paul’s Chapel, close to the site of the shattered twin towers. “All that matters,” he claimed, “is that you embrace America and understand its ideals and what it’s all about. Abraham Lincoln used to say that the test of your Americanism was … how much you believed in America. Because we’re like a religion really. A secular religion.” The chapel in which he spoke had been consecrated not just by God, but by the fact that George Washington had once prayed there. It was, he said, now “sacred ground to people who feel what America is all about”. The United States of America no longer needs to call upon God; it is God, and those who go abroad to spread the light do so in the name of a celestial domain. The flag has become as sacred as the Bible; the name of the nation as holy as the name of God. The presidency is turning into a priesthood.

The saying goes: "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross" -- but who knew the two items were really one and the same?

Let the "Fun" Begin

The Daily Beast:
Jackie Kucinich
Will Rahn

The last time we saw Clinton, she was on the defensive about her use of personal email at the State Department. On Thursday, addressing a room of happy campers, she was all sunshine.

America, meet fun Hillary.

A newly relaxed, approachable, and somewhat amusing Clinton was on full display Thursday at the American Camp Association’s Tri-State Conference in Atlantic City, where she gave what could be her last paid speech before launching a presidential campaign.

And first policy prescription for the room full of happy campers, before a veiled shot at the current Democratic president?

Have more fun.


Lets pass quickly over the anecdotes that Hillary thinks are fun (camping, her age) and make two observation:

"Fun Hillary" is an obvious attempt to take control of the narrative and switch the media focus away from "Risky Hillary" (comes complete with her own Yahoo email account, and special Kung-Fu Email-Deleting Grip!).

I'm not so concerned with the facts about the email issue itself, I'm concerned with the manner in which Hillary handles the media's perception of this issue. What Hillary does with her little email troubles speaks to her effectiveness as a campaigner, which, we are often told, is one of her strengths. . Her competency and her diplomatic skills are her major selling points. If she's viewed as someone who takes unnecessary risks with matters affecting our national security, she's toast.

Clinton could have went for "Bold" but she didn't. She could have owned the email issue and embraced the fact that she deleted emails with a comment like "Damn straight I deleted some emails - does America want her National Security issues floating around the Internet?" That's how Republicans would have dealt with the story...DARE anyone to challenge them on it. But she didn't.

Instead, Clinton went for "Fun." She was warmish, nearly fuzzy, and somewhat self-deprecating, and though she's never been as folksy as Bill, she was trying. I don't think she hurt herself, but I doubt she helped herself either, because she didn't change the narrative. She joked about her age. How does that inspire confidence again?

Clinton's answers to policy questions tell us more about how she'll act as President than as a campaigner. That's valuable. Let's go back to what Clinton said:

But the real fun began when she started talking about the political environment in Washington. Using camp metaphors, of course.

“The red cabin and the blue cabin have to come together and actually listen to each other. Wouldn’t that be a novel idea?” she said. “Sort of create this much more open dialog opportunity which I would like to see more of in this country.”

Later she stressed the importance of building relationships with the other side of the political aisle.

“I don’t think there is any substitute for building relationships, I just don’t,” she said.

Left unspoken was how the head counselor of the blue cabin has been routinely criticized for failing to forge a bond with the campers in the red cabin.

She also painted a rosy picture of Bill Clinton’s relationship with Newt Gingrich when the latter was House speaker, saying Gingrich would come over to the White House to hash out policies out with the president after he was done trashing them in public. They got stuff done. Politics, she stressed, is for people who know how to talk and compromise, and the red cabin talked to the blue cabin when the Clinton's were in charge.

So. Clinton wants to compromise with the Red Cabin? Really?

Has she NOT been paying attention to all the obstruction over the last 7 years, or is Clinton just hard wired to try to find a way to make Democrats more aligned with Conservatives? That doesn't sound very progressive to me. Doesn't sound "fun" either.

Maybe Hillary thinks there'll be compromise on both sides. If so, then I ask again: has she NOT been paying attention to all the obstruction over the last 7 years?

Remember her words: "Politics is for people who know how to talk and compromise, and the red cabin talked to the blue cabin when the Clinton's were in charge."


Let the "Fun" Begin.

Some Thoughts About Trolls

Some of our member have expressed concern about trolls in the group. As 2016 grows closer, the trolling issues will likely become more volatile, so we're taking some steps to help out:

1. In the beginning, our hosts agreed that we would all vote before we blocked someone. Since we've never had a split vote, and since the host voting takes time, that "rule" has been eliminated. Host can now act on their own discretion. This should speed up response time.

2. We have 5 hosts (myself, NYC_SKP, MannyGoldstein, rhett o rick, Cosmic Kitten), but we aren't on Host schedules, If you see or experience any trolling in the PRG, send a DU Mail to at least one of the hosts. The more hosts you notify, the quicker we will be likely to react.

3. Apart from banning people in advance of any trouble (which ain't going to happen here), notifying a host is the ONLY way to ensure that the PRG becomes a safe environment. If you really want this place safe, be proactive and participative.

Help us make this the place you want it to be. Post, support other posters, and don't let the trolls get away with their intimidation agenda.



The *** Platform

I've replaced blatant giveways to the administration with three stars: ***

Can you identify the source without Googling?

"The *** Administration has enforced more vigorously and effectively than ever before, the laws which protect the working standards of our people.

Workers have benefited by the progress which has been made in carrying out the programs and principles set forth in the *** platform. All workers have gained and unions have grown in strength and responsibility, and have increased their membership by 2 millions.

Furthermore, the process of free collective bargaining has been strengthened by the insistence of this Administration that labor and management settle their differences at the bargaining table without the intervention of the Government. This policy has brought to our country an unprecedented period of labor-management peace and understanding.

We applaud the effective, unhindered, collective bargaining which brought an early end to the *** strike, in contrast to the six months' upheaval, Presidential *** and ultimate Supreme Court intervention under the last *** Administration.

The *** Administration will continue to fight for dynamic and progressive programs which, among other things, will:

Stimulate improved job safety of our workers, through assistance to the States, employees and employers;

Continue and further perfect its programs of assistance to the millions of workers with special employment problems, such as older workers, handicapped workers, members of minority groups, and migratory workers;

Strengthen and improve the Federal-State Employment Service and improve the effectiveness of the unemployment insurance system;

Protect by law, the assets of employee welfare and benefit plans so that workers who are the beneficiaries can be assured of their rightful benefits;

Assure equal pay for equal work regardless of Sex;

Clarify and strengthen the eight-hour laws for the benefit of workers who are subject to federal wage standards on Federal and Federally-assisted construction, and maintain and continue the vigorous administration of the Federal prevailing minimum wage law for public supply contracts;

Extend the protection of the Federal minimum wage laws to as many more workers as is possible and practicable;

Continue to fight for the elimination of discrimination in employment because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry or sex;

Provide assistance to improve the economic conditions of areas faced with persistent and substantial unemployment;"

RIP John Belushi

today marks the 33rd anniversary of the death of John Belushi, who died in 1982 at the age of 33. Take a moment to remember this legend of comedy, and post your own favorite video:



We hit a milestone today with our 4,000 post!

Thank you 4,000 times!

Picking Sides

The other day I did my shopping, and yeah, I went to WalMart.

I know it's a shit place for Americans to shop, but it's the best place for a poor dad like me to buy groceries in my town.

I weighed the effect on the economy, and I weighed the effect on my family,

Then I picked a side.

So I was outside the devil's own store, waiting for a ride home from a friend, my cart full of groceries, when a man came ripping out the front door, a WalMart employee literally riding his back. They struggled right in front of me, and as the WalMart employee lost his grip, his captive made a break for it...

I knew he was a shoplifter. i also knew that if I pushed my cart a little to the right, I'd be in front of him. He'd go down, and the WalMart mountie would get his man.

So I picked a side.

I did nothing and the man escaped. I justified it to myself by telling myself that WalMart could easily absorb the cost, and that I really didn't give a damn if the Walton's lost out.

I have a feeling that as times get tougher, so will our choices. We will all eventually have to pick a side--corporatist or populist--and maybe sacrifice our short term interests (like my food budget) for our long term survival.

We will also have to ask if stealing from the Walton's is just petty theft, or if it can possibly be a measure of populist revolt? Consider the Boston Tea Party. All that tea in Boston harbor belonged to someone, and the only reason we remember the conspirators as patriots instead of as thieves is because we eventually won that war, and wrote that history.

How do we convey that message to a country, without looking like we are just empowering criminals?

How do we pick a side, and have America side with us?

A VERY Young Jon Stewart interviews George Carlin

Where's the ethical balance of America's scales of justice?

Thursday, February 5, 2015 | by Jim Hightower

Is it really "fair and balanced"? I don't mean the ridiculous Fox TV channel, whose right-wing ranters mock their own PR slogan – but, rather, a network that actually matters in our society: America's legal system.

To check the balance of the scales of justice, look at how the system treats the very rich… and the poor. As we've seen, Wall Street barons have grossly fattened themselves by running frauds and scams that wreaked trillions of dollars in damages to working families, homeowners, and taxpayers – yet not a single one of them has been indicted or even seriously pursued by the law. More recently, such corporate profiteers as JPMorgan Chase have paid billions of dollars in fines for serious criminal acts, but the executive criminals who pulled these capers have skated free without ever being charged.

Now, meet Gina Ray, who is neither a CEO nor a serious offender, but a hard-hit, low-income American. She's one of hundreds who're being jailed, not by the police, but by a growing network of corporate fee-chasers empowered by state legislatures to fine and imprison poor people who've committed minor infractions. Ms. Ray, an unemployed 31-year-old in Rural Alabama, got caught-up in this privatized probation system over a speeding ticket. Her problem mushroomed, and she was unable to pay, so the corporatized legal system locked her up and hit her with company fees for each of the 40 days she was behind bars. Her original $179 ticket has now surpassed $3,000. She was not told that she has a right to a court-appointed lawyer or offered any alternatives to more fines and jail. "We hear a lot of 'I can't pay the fee,'" says one of the private prosecutors, adding chillingly that, "It is not our job to figure that out."


That last sentence gave me a waking nightmare: "It is not our job to figure that out."

1. Private Prosecutors have no place in a Democracy
2. I'll tell you what else is not "your job to figure out"... innocence and guilt.

It is impossible to have a justice system that derives financial benefit from the guilt of the accused. When that happens, there is no justice - just profit.

Listen to Hightower lay it down in his own voice:

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