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Member since: Thu Dec 30, 2004, 03:05 PM
Number of posts: 15,741

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Looks like Obama is on the TV pre-caving to Republican demands. nt

Why one of my people refused to vote:

Here's a Facebook exchange with one of my millennials who sat out:

(OCT 29) Me: Not voting isn't rebellion, it's surrender!

THEM: The exact opposite is true. The electoral system is the illusion of democracy, and by voting all we're doing is reinforcing the legitimacy of that illusion. Given that the corporate elite own both major parties and the entire political establishment, who you vote for doesn't matter. The same elite class retains power regardless of who wins the elections that are set up as a distraction; the illusion that we as individuals have a say in the government. Voting is surrender. The only effective way of influencing change is the building of mass movements.

ME: Whatever system you might set up will not work, if nobody votes. Fact is that the ruling elites rule tightens when fewer people go to the poles.

THEM: Again, the opposite is true. The power of the ruling elite is strengthened when you DO vote, because you're playing their little game they set up to distract everyone from the fact that their class is running the show regardless. Instead of voting, we need to be figuring out how to remove that class from power, and you can't do that while participating in their fictional elections. Just look at what happened with Obama. He was one of the most liberal members of the senate, and once he took power under this system he became just like Bush, or even worse in some ways. Voting means nothing if the system is fraudulent. And given that the system is fraudulent, voting actually makes it more difficult to create positive change, because by voting you're giving credibility to the clown show that's designed to distract everyone from the truth. Rebellion is the only answer, and you can't rebel against a system you're actively participating in and legitimizing.

Think of it like a game of Monopoly. The game board is the system. And since the capitalist elite invented the game, they start off with 5x as much money as you, and every time they pass Go they get 5x as much money as you. Also, because they own the system, they already have hotels on 90% of the board at the start of the game. And they say to you... "If you want some control over the system you have to play this game I invented." But the game is rigged. You can't win. Within a few moves you're bankrupt and the elite are just richer and more powerful than they were before. In a situation like that Monopoly game the only logical solution is to refuse to play, and flip the board over so you can establish a fair game; a game that isn't rigged by the corporate elite.

ME: This ballot initiative is on the Cali ballot this year: "CISS Proposition 47 Criminal Trials - Reduces the classification of most nonviolent crimes from a felony to a misdemeanor".

In my view, that's a positive step forward if it passes

Now vote!

THEM: Laws that pass can always be undone in time. Just look at how the civil rights act is currently being gutted. Voting isn't the answer. The answer is a new system of government. We can't reform our way out of this.

ME: I suppose you prefer Cannabis users be imprisoned too... because that's how cannabis laws have been reformed - by people voting!

And then there is the minimum wage - republicans want to eliminate it, Democrats are trying to increase it!

THEM: yes, there are some differences between the parties, but the system is totally owned and controlled by the corporate elite. To them it's just plan A or plan B, and they're fine with either one. And they want us to think it's so important to choose between the parties because that's how they retain power over us. It's like, if you're in jail and they institute some kind of prisoner election to determine the conditions inside the prison. They don't really care about the results as long as we stay behind bars. What I want is to escape, to get out of prison entirely, not to focus on tiny reforms that keep us distracted just enough to prevent us from breaking out. We can't be free if we keep playing their rigged game that keeps us imprisoned. What we need to be doing is planning a jail break.

ME: I understand your point. But you not voting is exactly what they want you to do. Watch this short clip from 1980:

Paul Weyrich - "I don't want everybody to vote" (Goo Goo)
Paul Weyrich, "father" of the right-wing movement and...

THEM: That argument is ridiculous on the face of itself, because it assumes that there is some sort of substantial moral difference between the parties. My position is that there isn't. And, again, the exact opposite of this argument is actually true. VOTING is what the establishment WANTS you to do, because it keeps you invested in the system, rather than working to undermine and oppose the system. Voting gives the system the credibility and legitimacy that it NEEDS to maintain its power. If we all stopped voting because we realized that it was doing nothing for us, then the establishment capitalist elite would freak the heck out, because their system would be in danger of losing its "right" to rule over us. Again, you can not oppose a system if you're busy supporting it.

ME: If voting is so unimportant , then why are the Koch brothers spending billions to elect candidates that want to eliminate the minimum wage, social security, and Medicare?

And there's more than just candidates at stake, there are ballot issues that will legalize cannabis, raise the minimum wage, force insurance companies to lower rates, and reduce non-violent felonies to misdemeanors at stake.

THEM: The Koch brothers are part of the elite ruling class. Their class will retain power regardless of who wins the elections. They just happen to have a strong preference between Plan A and Plan A1. Others in their class might be more willing to make some small economic concessions to the poor, but that isn't really a major factor to the overall economic system. What I mean is, yes, raising the minimum wage would help poor people somewhat, but it doesn't change the fact that we live under a system in which the rich exploit the poor for profit. I want an end to that exploitation altogether, not just institute some kind of essentially irreverent reform that doesn't fundamentally change anything.

Well, that's the gist of it.

What I get from it is that people stayed home because they could not see a clear difference between the parties.

This is why centrist, third-way policies are a disaster.

Let me say, this is from a highly intelligent, well educated millennial with a good, upper middle class income, who works at a company that is a household name to us all.

Minimum Wage Hikes Approved By Voters in Every State it Was on the Ballot


5 States Back Minimum Wage Hikes; Mass. Approves Paid Sick Leave

The midterms saw nearly 150 ballot measures nationwide. Voters in four traditionally conservative states approved initiatives that will raise the minimum wage — in Alaska, Nebraska, South Dakota and Arkansas. Voters in Illinois also backed an increase to $10 an hour, although state lawmakers will have final say.

In Massachusetts, voters approved a landmark measure that will provide workers with the strongest paid sick leave requirements in the country, up to 40 hours per year.

Voter turnout among lowest on record for midterm election


How many days til impeachment, you reckon?

Posted by grahamhgreen | Wed Nov 5, 2014, 01:00 AM (7 replies)

Onshore Wind electricity is cheaper than natural gas, nuclear and coal power.

A study commissioned by the EU shows that onshore wind electricity is cheaper than natural gas, nuclear and coal power. The study takes into account climate change, human health and the like for a more complete total cost of energy production. The study found that the cost per megawatt-hour is about $133 for onshore wind, $235 for offshore wind, $168 for nuclear, $207 for gas, $274 for photovoltaic and between $205 and $295 for coal. European Wind Energy Association's deputy CEO Justin Wilkes says, "Not only does the Commission's report show the alarming cost of coal but it also presents onshore wind as both cheaper and more environmentally-friendly."

EWEA said onshore and offshore wind technologies also have room for significant cost reduction. Coal on the other hand is a fully mature technology and is unlikely to reduce costs any further.

“We are heavily subsidising the dirtiest form of electricity generation while proponents use coal’s supposed affordability as a justification for its continued use,” added Wilkes. “The irony is that coal is the most expensive form of energy in the European Union. This report shows that we should use the 2030 climate and energy package as a foundation for increasing the use of wind energy in Europe to improve our competitiveness, security and environment.”Read more at Domestic Fuel.


Number of global billionaires has doubled since the financial crisis


The influential report is supported by Bank of England chief economist Andrew Haldane and Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. It notes that since 2009 one million women have died in childcare due to lack of basic health care, and that 57m children are currently missing out on any form of education.

The charity, which published the report as part of its new Even It Up campaign, also found that the richest 85 people in the world have the same wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population.
This group saw its wealth increase by a staggering £412m every day in the last year, while Oxfam now estimates that there are 16 billionaires in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 358m people live in extreme poverty.


By calling for a shift of taxation from labour towards wealth and capital, the charity risks being attacked by those on the economic right, who accuse it of politicising the international debate surround poverty..

Wealth tax??? Hell yes.

It's a 1400 year old war. We can not 'win it'.


It is a persistent error by the United States, Britain and their allies in the West to underestimate the extent to which the Sunni-Shia confrontation determines what happens in the Middle East. This is particularly so in those countries in which the Shia, or sects demonised by Sunni governments as Shia, form a significant part of the population. The blindness of the western powers is to a degree self-serving and intentional: it makes it easier for them to ally themselves with the theocratic absolute monarchies of the Gulf without having to admit they have thereby plugged into a bigoted and sectarian agenda.
The Sunni-Shia battle is growing by the day involving communities like the Alawites of Syria, the Alevi of Turkey and the Houthi of Yemen, whose Shia credentials might have been doubted a few decades ago by the Shia of Iran, Iraq and Lebanon. But people’s national and religious identities are defined as much by the perceptions and actions of their enemies as by their own beliefs. Denunciations of the Houthi of Yemen, who have recently captured the capital Sanaa, by Saudis as Shia and pawns of Iran tend to be self-fulfilling. When I asked some Alevi in Istanbul last year if they saw themselves as part of the wider Shia world, they said that their problem was that many Sunni saw them as such.
The same is true of Syria. Whatever the popular origins of the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad and his government in 2011, it swiftly took a sectarian form. This happened because sectarian divisions were always very real and because Sunni states like Saudi Arabia and Turkey channelled their support towards jihadis, thus preparing the ground for the dominance of the rebel movement by Islamic State (IS) and Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qa’ida’s affiliate in Syria.
It has been politically convenient for the US, Britain and their allies to pretend that there is a “moderate” non-jihadi rebel movement capable of fighting both IS and the Assad government. In reality, the civil war in Syria is all too real and sectarian killers are not all confined to IS. Earlier this year I was on the outskirts of Adra, a town north of Damascus, part of which had been captured by rebels from Douma who had killed many non-Sunni. One highly secular Alawite family had blown themselves up with grenades, children as well as parents, because they believed they would all be tortured to death by the rebels.
In Syria the western powers blithely pretend that the rebels, especially the famous “moderates” are less sectarian than they are. In Baghdad they do the exact opposite and pretend that the Shia-dominated government and its armed forces do not have a sectarian agenda. The reality is that the most effective military force on the government side is the Shia militias who murder and kidnap Sunni with impunity as shown by a recent Amnesty International report. If the United States and others back the government with embedded advisers calling in air strikes, it will be supporting the Shia in a war against the 5 or 6 million Sunni in Iraq. Anti-Sunni sectarian cleansing has already started in Diyala, Hilla and other provinces around Baghdad. It is self-deceiving to believe the recapture of Mosul or other Sunni cities by the government will be welcomed by the terrified local inhabitants.
These sectarian wars cannot really be won by either side. The most positive thing that outside powers can do in Syria is to arrange a ceasefire between anti-IS forces, both government and rebel. Hatred is too great for a political solution in Syria, but a truce is feasible if backed by outside powers such as the US, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
When it comes to the broader Sunni-Shia confrontation, the US, Britain and their allies need to end their blindness, calculated though it is, towards the Sunni sectarianism of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies. Speaking of Sheikh Nimr, Yusuf al-Khoei, a prominent campaigner for Shia-Sunni dialogue, says “it makes a mockery of Saudi claims to be fighting extremism when they threaten to kill a prominent member of the Shia community in their country. It makes it impossible to have a dialogue with them.”

Ottawa shooter tried to rob Vancouver McDonald’s with stick (crack addict)

Read more: http://bc.ctvnews.ca/ottawa-shooter-tried-to-rob-vancouver-mcdonald-s-with-stick-1.2068636#ixzz3H2rFYFpZ

Ottawa shooter Michael Zehaf Bibeau attempted to confess to a historical armed robbery that the RCMP believed didn’t happen, then attempted an armed robbery at a McDonald’s to go to jail, court recordings provided to CTV News show.

It was all part of a bizarre plan by the man who attacked Parliament Hill to get to jail to atone for his sins and get clean from a crack addiction, the audio recordings show.

12 Year Old Peace Prize Winner Tells Obama. 'Send Books Not Guns' Obama Responds

Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, who won the Nobel Peace Prize — and was shot in the head by the Taliban — for advocating girls' education, told President Barack Obama he could "change the world" if only he'd send books instead of guns to other countries, she said Tuesday.

"My message was very simple," Malala, who is now 17, said Tuesday at the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia, speaking of her recent meeting with the president. "I said instead of sending guns, send books. Instead of sending weapons, send teachers." Asked by the host, Ronan Farrow of MSNBC, how Obama reacted, she said simply that his response was "pretty political."


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