Current location: northern California
Member since: Fri Jan 26, 2007, 08:20 PM
Number of posts: 4,717
Current location: northern California
Member since: Fri Jan 26, 2007, 08:20 PM
Number of posts: 4,717
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and I completely disagree with her statements about this situation vs. 1968.
She characterized the 1968 gathering as "a colossal … clashing of people who had a completely different view about the War and how we go forward." The two political environments have "nothing in common," she said, and conflating the contests is "ridiculous."
The Bernie campaign IS a completely different view about wars and about how we go forward. No matter how the establishment tries to convince us that we're all on the same page, we're not, not even close.
Corporate money makes damn certain of that. It has its own agenda, and infinite resources to convince us to not believe our own lying eyes.
The endless wars, poverty, incarceration, opposition to populist reforms and candidates, the failure to launch a moon-shot or Manhattan-project scale effort (we need one at a much larger scale than either of those) to stop climate change as we are passing unthinkable climate tipping points, the dependence on corporate money and corporate media to astro-turf phony candidates into perceived legitimacy, this is what we're dealing with.
1968 had nothing on this. I have no idea how the Democratic convention will unfold. My guess is the police state will succeed in keeping protesters far away from the site, so that their protests can be mostly ignored, unless they get violent, in which case it will get tons of attention and used to delegitimize the protester's demands. Dissent inside the convention itself will be very heavily managed and controlled. So we may not get a repeat of the 1968 fiasco, but not because of less angst, instead because of greater control structures.
I hope with all my heart that we don't simply accept defeat and move forward with corporate Democratic hedgemony, that is unacceptable, and if it happens, we will have to find another way to continue this fight, which is about everything that matters in this world.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Fri May 20, 2016, 04:07 PM (1 replies)
Presentation of non-supported allegations, repeated in so many different venues by so many establishment hacks who are getting their lead lines from the corporate-political pipeline, reinforce lies and misrepresentations to sell the American people on the need to attack people in foreign lands and spend all our money on the largest military machine ever seen on this planet.
It's worth looking at how this happens, how false or misleading premises are established as fact by endless repetition and selectively-edited quotes and clips.
I don't know if the majority of people will ever be capable of sorting through these kind of distortions to get any actual understanding of events. I doubt it.
So the only solution possible is to remove agendas from media. One way to do so is through democratization of media, such as what the internet allows. There are still distortions, but all sides are able to make their case, rather than only those who ally with corporate interests.
Another way is to prohibit for-profit corporations from doing news or political opinion on the airwaves or cable. A total non-profit news delivery model, with no corporate money allowed in the process. Kind of like what we need to do with our political campaigns.
We're not even close to having any actionable solution for this, nor even an agreed-on strategy. But until we do, the country will be running on consent given by people who are basing that consent on manufactured consensus and lies. And that''s no way to run a "democracy".
Posted by dreamnightwind | Fri May 20, 2016, 03:28 PM (1 replies)
Vote how you like, no problem, but you lost me there, great post till that, really excellent.
I've posted this before, but I see the fight as one against corporatism, and my working metaphor is swimming in a rip-tide. A rip-tide carries you out to sea, where you drown on your own far from help. You can swim towards shore as hard as you like, the problem is, you get tired and the rip-tide doesn't. Eventually you end up sleeping with the fishes. Is that pragmatic? Some say it keeps us moving more slowly in that direction. I don't see any real benefit to that, it's the direction that matters more than the velocity.
The way to beat a rip-tide is to swim side-ways. Rips are unforgiving but they are often narrow. By swimming to the side, rather than just going with the flow or fighting in its opposite direction (in my mind the Republicans represent going with the corporatism flow, and voting for Democrats supposedly slows that a little so represents swimming against the rip), you get a paradigm shift. No more tractor beam to heartless corporate profiteering. Without that, you can manage to swim ashore and start a better reality.
What do we find when we swim sideways? If we swim one way, we support only candidates who refuse corporate money and the fealty it brings. I consider this a viable path. If we swim the other way, we start a new party that states as a founding principle that it won't accept corporate money and that its candidates can't either. I also consider that a viable path. Anything else, I see as political suicide.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Mon May 16, 2016, 03:28 AM (1 replies)
So much for the land of the free.
And I don't remember voting for the installation of all of the surveillance cameras on every traffic signal either. They've been in place a number of years now, but I recall no actual pubic debate about it, or discussion of the costs, I just remember they gradually just quietly appeared. I see Merrily's post above, so I assume some or all of these cameras also record audio. It probably all gets stored, indexed, and served to various government agencies (and even worse, some private ones) from the monstrous data center they've constructed in Utah.
All my life we've joked about such things, now it's reality.
The dark side of this, and of drones, has yet to bite us, but it will. The fascist police state is being rolled out gradually, to allow people to acclimate to their incrementally lost freedoms.
The only way I can think of to address these problems is to get money out of politics, so we can have actual debates about what it is we want government to do for us, instead of learning after the fact what government is doing TO us.
The first step in that is to refuse to work for any condidate (freudian typo) who accepts corporate money. The entire fascist police state is the capture of our government by corporate money (which drives the war machine, extraction industries and cheap labor pools).
Bernie's candidacy is a great start. Also the list of Bernie Democrats tells us who is worth supporting. Once we get some people elected without corporate money, we will establish proof of concept, people will see who the genuine public servants are, and see the others as the frauds that they are. This is the road we must travel. On the journey, sing nasty songs to streetlights, you know they're listening.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Mon May 16, 2016, 03:10 AM (0 replies)
I am very sad to agree with all of it.
I remember when Bush (W) was being funny, he was speaking to a room filled with wealthy donors. He said something about how some people called those donors wealthy elites, but that he calls them his base.
I think the corporate wing of the Democratic Party, which is doing everything in its power to assert that it now IS the Democratic Party, has fallen to that level, where their base is no longer the average voter who wants so-called progressive policy as security from the ravages of untempered capitalism, their base is now the wealthy donor class and their policies are the ones the donor class wants, nothing more.
As to the rest of us, as this Nevada incident and countless others show, they really do want to smash us. They'd much rather have us join the unorganized and disempowered ranks of the unaffiliated independents than have us working to reform the party from within.
I think we should not make that choice, it's what they want and it gives us nothing. We need to work within the party, and kick ass, not settling for corporate policies, or we need to get very serious and start a competing party from the left that organizes with all of the urgency our situation demands. We can probably do both things simultaneously until a new party has a real primary, or until we get power back from the corporate Democrats.
I don't think I've ever seen anything from Skinner to suggest he is an ally of actual progressive reform, the corporate wing of the party is where it's at for him (I'd love to be wrong but there's too much evidence) so as well as looking hard at what party to work with, we need to look equally hard at what web home to use. I suggest one whose ownership is an ally rather than an adversary.
It's going to get worse before it gets better, but as you said, the battle is joined. Thanks for your posts, I often enjoy them.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Mon May 16, 2016, 02:47 AM (0 replies)
For decades now, I've been listening to women say how if women ran things, the world would be a better place, run with compassion, kindness, nurturing, diplomacy, non-aggression, and generally laying the opposite of all of the above on men and the patriarchy.
To that, I say bring it on! I'd be thrilled to live in such a world.
Hillary in no way embodies the promise of a less militant more nurturing leadership. I'd say the same for many women in power. I won't get into all of the issues involved with that, there are many, from having to conform to system norms to gain power, to some of the problems being human nature as much as they are male nature.
No matter the reason, at least not for purposes of this discussion. The sad reality is that electing a Margaret Thatcher, a Condoleeza Rice, a Claire McCaskill, a Hillary Clinton, a Sarah Palin, a Carly Fiorina, does nothing towards reaching those goals.
We not only have to elect or promote women to positions of power, we have to elect or promote the RIGHT women to positions of power. Jill Stein is such a woman. An up-and-comer is Seattle's Kshama Sawant (can't be POTUS, foreign-born). Elizabeth Warren (good on Wall St. issues, I need more convincing on other issues). Plenty of others too.
Hillary Clinton is not one of these women, and never will be. She has taken the other road, seeking full membership in and ideological solidarity with the forces that are the fundamental problem in our nation and our world.
Thank you Jill Stein for bringing this to the attention of many who would otherwise not have thought about it.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Tue May 10, 2016, 03:03 AM (1 replies)
You say we're in a 2-party system, but the electorate has left them both, because they are owned by the same large corporate donors.
"It's a numbers game. So, either you recognize who your opponent is, work to beat the living shit out of that opponent and make changes while you're in a position to, or you get left behind and whine about it."
I recognize who my opponent is, it's the donors/owners of both major parties. And it's well past time that everyone else recognizes this too. The numbers game supports my argument, not yours, voters who refuse to affiliate are by far larger in numbers than those that belong to either party.
The ideological struggle you speak of is mostly contrived by the powers that be, so we don't notice the Acme, Inc. armored truck being loaded up with all the money of the Treasury, to be shipped offshore to tax havens for the wealthy. We are up against an existential crisis as a species, climate change, are besieged by terrorists who are blowback to the policies of U.S. military "adventurism" and regime change that are done by both parties, globalization and the trade policies that enable it are eroding opportunities for good secure jobs (also pushed by both parties), on and on. I define our ideological struggle differently than you.
Finally, there's a great deal of general harm (your term) that is caused by corporate Democrats, who are using the people-first cred our party cultivated over long years of standing up for the little guy, to pass corporate agendas the people would more fiercely resist if they were being pushed by Republicans.
There are certainly real left-right divisions between Democrats and Republicans. Unfortunately, the far more urgent problems (climate change, endless wars, poverty, exploitation of desperate labor pools, mass incarceration and the police state, an out-of-control financial industry, many others) largely transcend these divisions. The presumptive party nominee is on the wrong side of every one of these issues, as is the party leadership. At this point our party has pretty much succumbed to corporate capture.
Can it be fixed internally, in-party? I certainly hope so. Many of us have watched this primary and seen what our party really stands for, and we're not seeing any sign of reform, the party has instead doubled-down on corporate supremacy. Defining our mission as simply opposing Republicans enables this.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Sun May 1, 2016, 07:34 PM (2 replies)
and some of the background links too.
For example, this one:
Rearming for the apocalypse
AMERICANS ARE IN near-panic over the danger posed by Islamic terrorists. That danger, however, pales beside an emerging new one. President Obama has proposed a frighteningly wrongheaded plan to “modernize” our nuclear arsenal at the unfathomable cost of about $1 trillion over the next 30 years. Terror will never reach even 1 percent of our population. Nuclear “modernization” increases the prospect of true devastation.
Besides these grave dangers — global proliferation, accidental war, and nuclear terror — there is another: national bankruptcy. Obama’s project is ruinously expensive. Admiral Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, calls it “spending ourselves into oblivion.”
Nuclear weapons are useful for deterrence only. The United States has more than enough for that purpose. Investing huge sums in a new arsenal will not protect us from tomorrow’s threats. Most depressing, the proposal for this investment comes from a president who campaigned on a pledge to reduce and seek to eliminate nuclear weapons — and who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his apparent sincerity. Keeping our country safe requires agile thinking, not reliance on policies shaped for a bygone age.
To respond to your post, I think the way to reach people, when campaigning, about the need to focus on domestic needs rather than the needs of empire, is to focus on the money. If the people of this country had someone pounding the military (and all its many associated agencies and costs) expenses into their heads, repeatedly and obstinately, they'd respond.
So why hasn't Bernie been pounding this message? I'm pretty sure he is fully on our side here, but has trimmed his messaging to a few targeted items that were chosen early in the campaign. Why? It might just be smart strategy on his part. Or it might be that he knows where the lines are, and doesn't want to be a martyr. I take heart from his debate statement, which he was ridiculed for, that the greatest security threat facing this nation is global climate change. Exactly right, he gets it.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Sun May 1, 2016, 06:14 PM (0 replies)
although it would more properly be iterative
step 1 decide you are going to be president
step 2 make a stump speech saying you'll fight inequality
step 3 make paid speech to the people responsible for said inequality. if any media are around fire up the white noise machine.
step 4 setup and attend $10,000+/plate fundraising dinner, give speech, collect money from the wealthy who would like to have you represent them
step 5 use that money against the candidate who has made it his life's work to fight inequality
step 6 evaluate if you have beaten the anti-inequality guy yet
Yes = you can move on to the step 7 general election
No = spawn a new thread at step 2 or step 3.
step 7 general election - fight with asshole billionaire who hammers you for taking all that money from the rich while saying you'll fight inequality
step 8 evaluate
Won the general election? Mission accomplished, thank your donors with policies that benefit them at the expense of everyone else
Lost? Blame the left for not fighting harder for you.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Fri Apr 29, 2016, 10:24 AM (0 replies)
What you're describing is exactly what got us in this mess, and how we never break free from it.
I think we're on a long slide towards corporate fascism and irreversible environmental destruction while greedy people fill their pockets working with and enabling those who are destructively plundering.
The operating analogy, to me, is a rip tide. The corporate flow is extremely powerful and controlling both parties. The Republican party, most of it anyway, is fine with this, go with the flow, it's free enterprise and will lift all boats. Truth is, only those in yachts are ok, the rest of us are sink or swim.
Members of the Democratic Party who don't like the whole slide into endless wars and environmental destruction, to me, are swimmers caught in the rip tide, and fighting against it to swim back to shore. They're losing this fight, but they're being pulled out to sea a little slower than those who don't fight the tide.
The way to beat a riptide is to stop fighting it, instead swimming sideways, essentially changing the entire context of the struggle so that you are swimming in a different context. Once you swim sideways far enough to escape the rip, everything is possible again, you have escaped the tractor beam of fascism and your efforts will propel you the direction you are trying to go.
I think we have to define, absolutely no compromise, that we're working, politically, in contexts that refuse corporate money. We can work on our party to be that context, to me that is great work but probably futile. We can work in other ways too, to create new vehicles for ending this riptide. Those are the interesting things happening right now. Vote however you want, but I'd advise looking into other ways to change things rather than just slowing down the corporate fascist rip-tide.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Fri Apr 29, 2016, 05:31 AM (3 replies)