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yurbud

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Member since: Sun Jul 11, 2004, 07:58 PM
Number of posts: 34,813

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Why doesn't government ASK us what we think instead of spying on us?

If it really wants to know how we feel asking is always cheaper than spying.

Edward Snowden
http://www.politico.com/story/2013/12/edward-snowden-christmas-message-101529.html


This is so obvious I'm surprised it hasn't been said more often and loudly.

Why do you suppose the government chooses this spying approach rather than asking both in polls and open ended questions to the general public?

They certainly do polling on various issues. Wouldn't it be cheaper to do that on a larger scale with less push-poll and questions that limit your choices instead of large scale spying on us?

Why the spying approach?

I have an idea, but I'd like to hear what other people think.

If Santa was black, who would be the best actor to play him?

I'm trying to think of someone so warm and reassuring that even Fox News reporters would want to sit on his lap like a fatter Bill Cosby or Morgan Freeman, Charles S. Dutton, Michael Clarke Duncan, or Cedric the Entertainer.

EDIT: It would probably be even more funny to think of who the Fox Newsies would LEAST like to see come down their chimney or kissing mommy underneath the mistletoe like Samuel L Jackson, Ice T, Wesley Snipes, Flava Flav, Lil Wayne, or whichever rapper they find most horrifying.

Wall Street is a crack addict

Samuel L Jackson is Wall Street in JUNGLE FEVER and the rest of America is Wesley Snipes.

It's eerie how close the dialogue mirrors the Social Security debate in Washington too except politicians are trying figure out how to make robbing old people legal.

THOM HARTMANN: Corporate Dems in DC in Freakout Mode--Liz Warren Threatens Their Power

This is a tough one to limit to four paragraphs, but the essence is corporate Democrats are afraid of Elizabeth Warren because her message is resonating and they know what they are saying about Social Security and how to fix it is a bald-faced lie.

As Paul Krugman recently said, the Third Way folks look at a potential shortfall in revenues twenty years down the road that may lead to cuts in benefits, so their solution is to cut benefits NOW (they step around any mention of raising or eliminating the cap like it's a cat turd on the carpet).

We need Democrats who are listening to and looking out for us, not taking orders from Wall Street even when it means cutting the little bit of Social Security they have left after Wall Street stole their private pension and their house.

Wall Street is a fucking crack addict who gets mad at their family for holding back a dime that they could spend on their habit, even if that dime is all that keeps grandma alive.

We can't afford politicians that keep giving the junkies what they want.

Jim Kessler and the corporate Democrat “moderate” types who support Third Way are absolutely terrified. They’re terrified that Elizabeth Warren and her supporters will upend the stranglehold they’ve had on Democratic politics since the Clinton era.

Warren has said that she won’t run for President in 2016, but that doesn’t really matter. Because even if she makes good on her promise to fill out her Senate term, Warren’s message and her supporters will continue to threaten what the Democratic establishment sees as an easy road to a second Clinton presidency.

***
And here’s the thing—those establishment Democrats know that Elizabeth Warren is spot-on when it comes to policy issues.

The idea that Social Security is about to go bankrupt is just completely false. It’s currently running a $2.8 trillion surplus, a surplus that’s expected to rise even higher by 2020.

***

And as everyone learned back in 2008 when the financial system collapsed, the 401(k)’s that many Americans now rely on to make ends meet when they leave their jobs are risky and unstable...

http://www.alternet.org/economy/corporate-democrats-dc-already-freakout-mode-liz-warren-threatens-their-power

BEST Baby Jesus Christmas toon this year:

?197

Mandela's death shows Republican hypocrisy on violence

The second most common slam of Mandela by right wingers after being a communist is that the ANC committed acts of violence.

Aren't these the same people that support military as a FIRST resort, the death penalty for as many crimes and people as possible, and even the legal use of deadly force when you feel frightened by a black person?

I think we already saw their hypocrisy on stand your ground with the case of that black woman who fired a warning shot and got 20 years in Florida around the same time George Zimmerman got off, but this is further confirmation that they only like violence by and for the benefit of THEM.

It could also be that at heart they are profound cowards, just like Mitt Romney who was brave when it came to beating up a single gay kid when he was backed up by a whole gang, but was too chickenshit to fight in Vietnam.

They are a lynch mob that hates the idea of their victims being able to fight back, and runs screaming to their mama when they do.

does any government have standing to arrest bush at Mandela's funeral?

or even make a credible threat of arresting him for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Iraq and Afghan Wars?

that would remind people that his crimes have gone unpunished, and remind his victims and him that we haven't forgotten.

NAOMI KLEIN: South African Democracy Born in Economic Chains

This is excerpted from what looks like most of chapter on South Africa in Naomi Klein's THE SHOCK DOCTRINE.

It is not just about the tragedy of the stolen dreams of South Africans, but a lesson for us about what part of the system needs to be attacked to get the results in our daily lives we want.

It also explains why no matter which party we vote into power, we get mostly the same economic policy--just as South Africa did when they trade the Apartheid government for the ANC.

Banks and the economic sector should be subordinate to democracy or we don't have a democracy at all.

What happened in those negotiations is that the ANC found itself caught in a new kind of web, one made of arcane rules and regulations, all designed to confine and constrain the power of elected leaders. As the web descended on the country, only a few people even noticed it was there, but when the new government came to power and tried to move freely, to give its voters the tangible benefits of liberation they expected and thought they had voted for, the strands of the web tightened and the administration discovered that its powers were tightly bound. Patrick Bond, who worked as an economic adviser in Mandela’s office during the first years of ANC rule, recalls that the in-house quip was "Hey, we’ve got the state, where’s the power?" As the new government attempted to make tangible the dreams of the Freedom Charter, it discovered that the power was elsewhere.

Want to redistribute land? Impossible—at the last minute, the negotiators agreed to add a clause to the new constitution that protects all private property, making land reform virtually impossible. Want to create jobs for millions of unemployed workers? Can’t—hundreds of factories were actually about to close because the ANC had signed on to the GATT, the precursor to the World Trade Organization, which made it illegal to subsidize the auto plants and textile factories. Want to get free AIDS drugs to the townships, where the disease is spreading with terrifying speed? That violates an intellectual property rights commitment under the WTO, which the ANC joined with no public debate as a continuation of the GATT. Need money to build more and larger houses for the poor and to bring free electricity to the townships? Sorry—the budget is being eaten up servicing the massive debt, passed on quietly by the apartheid government. Print more money? Tell that to the apartheid-era head of the central bank. Free water for all? Not likely. The World Bank, with its large in-country contingent of economists, researchers and trainers (a self-proclaimed "Knowledge Bank"), is making private-sector partnerships the service norm. Want to impose currency controls to guard against wild speculation? That would violate the $850 million IMF deal, signed, conveniently enough, right before the elections. Raise the minimum wage to close the apartheid income gap? Nope. The IMF deal promises "wage restraint."12 And don’t even think about ignoring these commitments— any change will be regarded as evidence of dangerous national untrustworthiness, a lack of commitment to “reform,” an absence of a "rules-based system." All of which will lead to currency crashes, aid cuts and capital flight. The bottom line was that South Africa was free but simultaneously captured; each one of these arcane acronyms represented a different thread in the web that pinned down the limbs of the new government.

A long-time anti-apartheid activist, Rassool Snyman, described the trap to me in stark terms. "They never freed us. They only took the chain from around our neck and put it on our ankles." Yasmin Sooka, a prominent South African human rights activist, told me that the transition "was business saying, ‘We’ll keep everything and you will rule in name. . . . You can have political power, you can have the façade of governing, but the real governance will take place somewhere else.’" †, 13 It was a process of infantilization that is common to so-called transitional countries—new governments are, in effect, given the keys to the house but not the combination to the safe.


***

Not only did the volatile market not like the idea of a liberated Mandela, but just a few misplaced words from him or his fellow ANC leaders could lead to an earth-shaking stampede by what the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has aptly termed "the electronic herd."23 The stampede that greeted Mandela’s release was just the start of what became a call-and-response between the ANC leadership and the financial markets—a shock dialogue that trained the party in the new rules of the game. Every time a top party official said something that hinted that the ominous Freedom Charter might still become policy, the market responded with a shock, sending the rand into free fall. The rules were simple and crude, the electronic equivalent of monosyllabic grunts: justice—expensive, sell; status quo—good, buy. When, shortly after his release, Mandela once again spoke out in favour of nationalization at a private lunch with leading businessmen, "the All-Gold Index plunged by 5 per cent."24

https://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/02/14-11

Mandela’s Tarnished Legacy (making a deal with the neoliberal devil)

One of the heart-breaking things reading Naomi Klein's THE SHOCK DOCTRINE was how neoliberal bankers took the most triumphant moments of 80's and 90's and turned them to dust in people's mouths, from the Solidarity movement in Poland, the collapse of the Soviet Union--to the end of Apartheid in South Africa.

The demands of international bankers and the corporate order made the democratic and racial equality gains of the people moot because wages and worker's rights had to be kept down, as did spending on programs to reduce poverty.

Sound familiar?

We have to fight that agenda whatever party or person it comes from.

by John Pilger

...Around the same time, Mandela was conducting his own secret negotiations. In 1982, he had been moved from Robben Island to Pollsmoor Prison, where he could receive and entertain people. The apartheid regime’s aim was to split the ANC between the “moderates” they could “do business with” (Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and Oliver Tambo) and those in the frontline townships who led the United Democratic Front (UDF). On 5 July, 1989, Mandela was spirited out of prison to meet P.W. Botha, the white minority president known as the Groot Krokodil (Big Crocodile). Mandela was delighted that Botha poured the tea.

With democratic elections in 1994, racial apartheid was ended, and economic apartheid had a new face. During the 1980s, the Botha regime had offered black businessmen generous loans, allowing them set up companies outside the Bantustans. A new black bourgeoisie emerged quickly, along with a rampant cronyism. ANC chieftains moved into mansions in “golf and country estates”. As disparities between white and black narrowed, they widened between black and black.

The familiar refrain that the new wealth would “trickle down” and “create jobs” was lost in dodgy merger deals and “restructuring” that cost jobs. For foreign companies, a black face on the board often ensured that nothing had changed. In 2001, George Soros told the Davos Economic Forum, “South Africa is in the hands of international capital.”

In the townships, people felt little change and were subjected to apartheid-era evictions; some expressed nostalgia for the “order” of the old regime. The post-apartheid achievements in de-segregating daily life in South Africa, including schools, were undercut by the extremes and corruption of a “neoliberalism” to which the ANC devoted itself. This led directly to state crimes such as the massacre of 34 miners at Marikana in 2012, which evoked the infamous Sharpeville massacre more than half a century earlier. Both had been protests about injustice.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/07/11/mandelas-tarnished-legacy/

What have conservatives said about Dem women & others WORSE than Martin Bashir resigned for?

While Bashir's comment was over the top (though put so elegantly, I was surprised a right winger could unpack it), I can think of any number of times right wingers have gone as far or farther and NOT resigned.

The most recent (maybe) is Rush Limbaugh call Sandra Fluke a slut and a prostitute:

Limbaugh slams Fluke on his show, claiming that she is asking the government to subsidize her sex life. "What does that make her?" he asks. "It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She's having so much sex she can't afford contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex."

http://theweek.com/article/index/225214/rush-limbaugh-vs-sandra-fluke-a-timeline


And of course the long list of unfounded accusations they have made against Hillary: lesbian, witch, murderer...ad nauseum.

What else have they said that equals or surpasses Bashir?

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