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rhett o rick

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Gender: Male
Member since: Fri Apr 22, 2005, 12:05 PM
Number of posts: 50,990

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“The Oligarchy neither loves you nor hates you, but you have resources that they want.”*

“The Oligarchy neither loves you nor hates you, but you have resources that they want.”*

Some view the big corporations (Oligarchy) as monsters wishing for our demise. I don't believe that's completely true. I am sure you've heard the expression, “It's not personal, it's just business.” So what does that really mean? Well you might find that statement following a statement like this, “If you have to die for me to make a profit,...” This may sound a little harsh but that rational has been used by humans to justify all kinds of atrocities, against other life forms and against humans.

I think “It's not personal, it's just business” is the creed of many major corporations. Ford Motor Co. a couple of decades back determined the financial value of a human life when they decided it was better for their profits to not recall their pickups that were catching fire because of the design of the gas tank (They made a similar decision re. the Pinto) They decided it was better for profits to let people die and pay off the potential suits than to recall or redesign. There are many, many cases to prove that profits take precedence over most everything for the Oligarchy.

So what's my point? Corporations are creatures (certainly not human) that we, like Dr. Frankenstein, have created. We created them via laws and gave them special privileges and powers to allow them to be creative and help us with our lives. So what went wrong? We have allowed them, or in some cases, helped them become monsters. Some have deemed them “human-like” and gave them Constitutional rights.

Progressives see the dangers in the loss of our freedoms, liberties, and wealth, to the Corp-Monster (Oligarchy). Sadly the conservative Republicons and Democrats prefer the comfort (seemingly) of the power of a strong, tough authoritarian leadership that the Oligarchy provides. HRC provides that toughness as her supporters will tell you.
Fortunately some of the Peoples of the world have decided to wake up and smell the Oligarchy. These Peoples are revolting around the globe against the strangle-hold of the Big-Corp Monster (Oligarchy). One such revolt is happening right here in River City with the support for Sen Sanders, clearly the People's choice and not the choice of the Oligarchy.

*A modification of a quote, “The AI (Artificial Intelligence) does not hate you, nor does it love you, but you are made out of atoms which it can use for something else.” credited to Eliezer Yudkowsky, research fellow, Machine Intelligence, found in the book “Our Final Invention” by James Barrat.

Happy Halloween Cross-posted in GD: P

We live in an authoritarian society where tough is more important than empathy.

How often do you hear about the kid that complains about being bullied being punished and the bully let go? How better to push American Exceptionalism than to have tough leaders. In schools, sports, the military and religions, we are taught to obey and follow our authoritarian leaders. Gone are the days where we taught people to think for themselves, to be skeptical, and to not be afraid to question authority.

Eric Fromm nailed it with "The Authoritarian Personality". http://www.scribd.com/doc/89863857/The-Authoritarian-Personality-by-Erich-Fromm-1957

That may be true but I am going a different direction. IMO the main point when people refer to

the mythical "let them eat cake", is that there was no sarcasm in that statement. It showed a true disconnection between the aristocrats and the People. Granted there are many aristocrats that abhor the masses but there are more that are indifferent. They view us as cattle. They don't wish us ill will, they just won't do anything to help us if it costs them. In fact, if they need to harm us to make gains in wealth (power), it isn't personal, it's just business. I think the Third Way ideology includes this. They may honestly wish us well in gaining some social justice (good for their consciences) but not if it takes away from their primary goal in life, gain wealth. Wealth can be made, esp if there is an abundance of free resources or labor, but in today's world, it's much easier to steal it. The Wealthy have been stealing the wealth of the lower classes for decades now. When the oligarchy says, "Let them have same-sex marriage," I hear, "Let them eat cake."

I believe that candidate running with the backing of the oligarchy will follow the Third Way ideology. They might help us with some social justice but only if it doesn't interfere with their plans to steal our wealth.

What a great OP. This is exactly what I think this Group is for. This is an important subject

right here in River City DU. It's so easy to push people around (bully) people when one is anonymous. Some like to push others around or control others because they like it, and others do it to push their world view when they don't have a decent argument. Mostly it's conservatives that want to control others.

The prohibition of CT in GD is a great tool for those that like to see threads locked that they don't like. For example, when Snowden emerged, it was ok to the conservatives to speculate that he worked for the Chinese and Russians to harm the US. But if one tried to say that the government was trying to subvert our freedoms, the CT card was apt to come out. It's a tool to lock or hide discussion that one has no good argument against.

Let's talk about CT. Your discussion in the OP was great. But I would go a little farther in that CT is all around us. In our jobs, in our schools, in our organizations, etc. Everywhere small groups (or big) get together to "conspire" or to "plan or plot secretly". All conspiring isn't evil. Let's say at the PTA you and a group of others decide that Person A isn't the best president and you conspire to vote them out. Same at work. A group gets together to convince the boss that they should get the project instead of the other group. Conspiring happens all the time, for good or evil. And in politics conspiring is a way of life. Think Tanks should really be called "Conspiracy Tanks", although it's not all evil.

IMO the prohibition of CT here in DU is to prevent rehash of old conspiracy data in GD. But I believe that new data is fair game or if Jeb makes a statement about 9/11, it's fair game. The CT card is too often used to shut off discussions for political reasons.

Funny that you guys always ask questions but rarely give us your opinions.

Maybe afraid to commit.

I will be glad to share my opinions with you. Like Sen Sanders, I am not afraid to state where I stand on issues. Unlike HRC that likes to waffle or triangulate.

There is good reason to suspect that the NSA/CIA wield enormous powers without regard to the Constitution and with zero objective overview. It disturbs me greatly that we have both Republicons and Conservative Democrats that welcome that authoritarian leadership and the Constitution be damned. These Conservatives of both parties live in a denial bubble and want to severely punish those that dare speak out against the authoritarian leadership of the NSA/CIA. They don't like whistle-blowers, honest investigative journalists, protesters, and liberals. They apparently believe that it's worth it to give up their liberties and freedoms for the promise of security. Sadly they are willing to look the other way as millions and millions slide into poverty. They will vote to maintain the existing establishment and status quo. They pretend to be progressive when they believe the authoritarian's promises to fix some social injustices.

Clearly not enough is being done by the public to end gun violence. We, as a society, are all

guilty of using the Second Amendment for our rationalizations not to take actions needed. Changing laws to limit access to guns is the easy step and we aren't even doing that. The real problem is that we've built a society heavily based on authoritarianism. We like the tough guys that beat up the "bad" guys. Our country has for over a century been the biggest bully on the block. Just look at the Viet Nam War and the Iraq War. Our TV and movies are full of shows that feature good guys bullying perceived bad guys. Seems we believe it's a good thing to bully for goodness. Of course we all define goodness as we see fit.

The Second Amendment is merely an Amendment to our Constitution. It is not sacred. It wasn't even part of the original Constitution. It was a change to the Constitution. We need to change the Constitution again to end this madness, if we really want.
Posted by rhett o rick | Mon Oct 5, 2015, 09:48 AM (0 replies)

You are saying that Colin Powell fooled them. While the Germans and French were

telling the world that the intelligence was bogus, they believed Colin Powell about some pipes. Even if Powell was telling the truth, it would have been a very weak reason to justify killing a hundred thousands innocent Iraqi children. The pipes would have meant Iraq was in the process of building a facility to make WMD. Years away. No hurry. All other evidence at the time was debunked.

They trusted the Bush Admin. That is enough to disqualify them for the presidency of the USofA. Were you aware that the spent Uranium shells we used there left uranium dust and is causing cancer at a high rate. The deaths continue from that mistake. How many of our troops are living in our streets with injuries and mental disorders. All because the Bush Admin wanted the oil in Iraq. How many of those that made the decision got rich off the war?

If the excuse was we got bad intelligence, why wasn't the head of the CIA fired? He got the medal of freedom because his intelligence accomplished what was needed by those wanting war, wanting profits for our MIC at the terrible cost of Iraqi lives that some want to sweep under the carpet.

Because Ted Kennedy didn't blame them in public, doesn't mean anything in politics.

It was a mistake that killed maybe a million people and turned 5 million Iraqis into refugees, and some just turn their heads, look the other way and pretend it is inconsequential. Those responsible for the "mistake" need to be held responsible.

I listened to her speech. I was counting on her and other Democrats to tell the lying Bush and

Cheney to go to hell. But she didn't do that. She said a bunch of rhetoric that you kindly posted above: "My vote is not, however, a vote for any new doctrine of preemption, or for unilateralism, or for the arrogance of American power or purpose -- all of which carry grave dangers for our nation, for the rule of international law and for the peace and security of people throughout the world. " Nice words but her vote was just that.
She said, "it is a vote that puts awesome responsibility in the hands of our President and we say to him - use these powers wisely and as a last resort". She forgot pretty please I guess. She knew full well that she was giving the "awesome responsibility " to a nitwit and mr. Death. Was she fooled? Did George Bush fool her when most sensible people were screaming that it was all lies? No, she knew full well what she was doing. She betrayed her Party, the USofA, our troops, and the people of Iraq, but her friends made hundreds of millions off the war.

We need a change from the status quo that rewards the MIC with wars for profit.
Posted by rhett o rick | Wed Sep 9, 2015, 07:41 PM (0 replies)

If it's so far off the rails then it'd be easy to dispute.

I will be glad to tell you what I think is off the rails. The Princeton Study confirmed that we do not live in a democracy but an oligarchy where the billionaires and their puppets rule. They obviously have turned the complete Republican Party into clowns and have co opted the leadership of the Democratic Party. The DNC is being run by a tyrant. She has blatantly said that she will not answer to the grassroots and will severely limit debates which favors H. Clinton. The Clinton's wealth make them members in good standing of the 1%. H. Clinton has been very friendly to Goldman-Sachs and they love her or Jeb. When asked how she will fix the growing problem of wealth inequality, she tap-danced around the question and said that growing the economy will be the answer. Think about that. Growing the economy for the last 30 years means increasing profits for the corporations and exacerbates wealth inequality. Her solutions for college help is to ask taxpayers to pay the bill NOT THE 1%.

While things get worse and worse every day with regard to jobs, health care, college tuition, wars, environmental damage, NSA/CIA/Google/ATT spying, poverty, etc., she offers eight more years of the establishment status quo and some here are fine with that.

Well while some are in denial about the hundreds of thousands of deaths in the middle east, NSA/CIA spying, a poverty rate of 22% of American children, there are millions coming alive with the thought of real change. Not the bullcrap change that Obama promised then immediately forgot, but real change.
Posted by rhett o rick | Wed Sep 9, 2015, 09:25 AM (0 replies)

The Issues - Where Do You and Your Candidate Stand on Fracking?

As it becomes more difficult to extract gas from the ground, oil companies are turning more and more to processes like fracking.

Fracking is the injection of a high pressure mixture of water and chemicals into shale to crack the shale to release the trapped gas. (1)

Fracking uses extremely large amounts of fresh water plus a secret mixture of chemicals.

“Fracking requires between two and five million gallons of local freshwater per well - up to 100 times more than traditional extraction methods. “ (1)

While fracking may be beneficial to oil company profits, it's extremely bad for the environment. Water is one of the most important resources we have and fracking is contaminating billions of gallons, rendering it unfit for normal human use.

The chemicals used include carcinogens and toxins like, lead, uranium, mercury, ethylene glycol, radium, methanol, hydrochloric acid, formaldehyde, and over 500 more types. (2)

And what happens to the billions of gallons of contaminated fresh water? Great question.

While oil company profits are rising, peoples around the world are protesting the effect of fracking on their environments.

“PHILADELPHIA -- Demonstrators in the United States and other countries protested Saturday against the natural gas drilling process known as fracking that they say threatens public health and the environment.” (3)

So where do the candidates stand on this process of fracking our environment?

Hillary Clinton is a strong proponent of fracking. While working for the taxpayers as Secretary of State, she used the power of the US of A to convince foreign governments to begin or increase their use of fracking in spite of the protesting peoples in those countries.

“Clinton urged Bulgarian officials to give fracking another chance. According to Borissov, she agreed to help fly in the "best specialists on these new technologies to present the benefits to the Bulgarian people." But resistance only grew. The following month in neighboring Romania, thousands of people gathered to protest another Chevron fracking project, and Romania's parliament began weighing its own shale gas moratorium. Again Clinton intervened, dispatching her special envoy for energy in Eurasia, Richard Morningstar, to push back against the fracking bans.” (3)

So while peoples in countries around the world are protesting the destruction of their fresh water, Secretary Clinton was using our tax dollars to help Haliburton, Chevron, and other oil giants convince governments to use the environmentally damaging process of fracking.

While some try to say that Clinton and Senator Sanders are close on most issues, the fricking fracking issue shows that they are miles apart.

"I'm very proud that the state of Vermont banned fracking. I hope communities all over California, and all over America do the same."
Senator Bernie Sanders (4)


Oil companies are using the fracking process around the world to increase their profits while destroying the freshwater supplies of the people. And where are they going to dump their billions of gallons of toxic waste water? Probably not in their own backyard.

(1) http://www.cleanwateraction.org/page/fracking-process

(2) http://dangersoffracking.com/

(3) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/22/global-protests-fracking-globalfrackdown_n_1905034.html

(4) http://www.betterworld.net/quotes/bernie12.htm
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