Member since: Fri Jul 4, 2008, 02:39 PM
Number of posts: 4,671
Member since: Fri Jul 4, 2008, 02:39 PM
Number of posts: 4,671
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People who haven’t been paying attention for very long, could be excused for believing conservatives were always crazy, evil, (torture, defending murder of the unarmed, starting aggressive wars) disconnected from reality and were hell-bent on making the country worse on a daily basis. Threatening to shut down the government during every budget battle was not the norm. Defending torture was not the norm. Denying science was not the norm – but it is now.
This is not to say there weren’t crazy, stupid, bigoted humans that would and should embarrass every decent person. But those people were the fringe, not the mainstream. Like most things, it’s a matter of degrees. Decades ago a relatively small percentage of people belonged to, or held the beliefs of the John Birch Society. In the 21st century, those ideas are mainstream and held by those in power. People on right-wing media, including Fox- and their followers - parrot talking points indistinguishable from white-supremacists, while simultaneously denying their racism. (If one needs confirmation of the overt racism of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, et al, look it up on “The Google.” It’s everywhere. Over two years covering two black men standing on stairs is not news, it’s manipulation and insulting propaganda. And it’s one of thousands of examples.)
The following interview was from 1970 and featured Milton Friedman, Russell Kirk, M. Stanton Evans and William Rusher. You may agree with some of the things said, some things you may vehemently disagree with; but their reasoning was still based in reality. Their motives and conclusions didn’t seem to be rationalizations for punishment, and it seems to me, they would have laughed at the idea of discounting science.
People on Fox News like Jesse Watters, Eric Bolling and Greg Gutfeld (Sean Hannity and Dennis Miller, too), are as far removed from these people as Niagara Falls is from a sewage treatment plant.
(It’s an hour long, but five or ten minutes will suffice to make the point.)
On edit: I know that some, especially in the South were even worse than the conservatives of today. But those on this recording would have a hell of a time being represented on today's conservative media or the Republican Party.
Posted by 20score | Sat Dec 13, 2014, 09:24 PM (24 replies)
My eyes have been opened on the subject of spying by the repeated accusations of being a libertarian (the fact that I have always found their views on corporate rights and lack of social conscience repellant, is irrelevant) and the typhoon of talking points that are thrown at anyone who breaches the subject. All I can say is, thank you for your relentless assault on those who remained true to passé ideals. It really is the moral duty of a good person to destroy the messenger...Who knew? And here is a partial list of those conscience breaking, character crushing talking points:
The program has been compromised...Everyone already knew...The leakers are traitors... It's all legal...No one expects privacy nowadays...We're at war...I trust our president...We're only spying on the terrorists...The critics hate our president...Paulbot!
Lets look into the Nixonian and Bushie catalogs - The program has been compromised...Everyone already knew...The leakers are traitors...It's all legal...We're at war...I trust our president...We're only spying on the terrorists...The critics hate our president...Communist!
Posted by 20score | Sun Dec 7, 2014, 02:06 PM (38 replies)
To call this a mistake strains credulity. Robert McCullough, Sheila Whirley and Kathi Alizadeh should be disbarred.
Posted by 20score | Thu Nov 27, 2014, 03:11 PM (115 replies)
The authoritarian, 'war on reality' mind has always eluded and disgusted me. There are mountains of evidence proving the NSA is over-stepping its authority, the Constitution and in the process, making this a much less free country. But just like the climate change deniers and creationists before you, you attack the messenger because you have no real case. It's all been laid out thousands of times before. You and your ilk were wrong then, and you're wrong now. I'm not going to restate the obvious. The documents are everywhere. Their own documents! (But here's a link, anyway. A few thousand pages refuting your bullshit positions.)
Does this make those who attack Snowden and Greenwald while ignoring the real story bad people? Fuck yes it does, and it makes me ill.
I used to like to write long and thoughtful arguments on this and other subjects, (and still do, most of the time) but today I just don't have the patience. I admit to this failing. Although I usually consider myself calm, every once in awhile injustice, stupidity or the powerful and their minions trying to destroy good people so they can continue their crimes - that almost universally hurt those they are sworn to protect - just brings out in me a need to rant.
Posted by 20score | Sat Oct 25, 2014, 07:07 PM (336 replies)
I'll propose one answer –and there are many, many things to be done - about police brutality, the drug war and its excesses, and institutionalized aggression.
Wearing cameras is great, but it won't solve everything. Many people in the country, unfortunately, can only be motivated by fear and or money. Empathy and doing the right thing eludes them. They're too dumb, too selfish or too callous to care. (Maybe too busy.) So, to get people involved will take informing the citizens about the costs to the taxpayer,s of employing the worst officers.
There are over two hundred SWAT raids a day in the USA. That number is staggering. Tens of thousands of raids per year, executed for trivial reasons. Property destroyed, innocent people wounded or killed, a mockery made of freedom and the country's values, etc. There are also four hundred people a year killed by cops. Germany fired 85 shots in 2011, British officers fired 3 in 2012. Nobody knows how many thousands of rounds were fired by our police last year, but over 400 people were killed. Yes, our country is larger and more violent. But not to that degree. Not even close. Those numbers in-and-of themselves are a criminal indictment of our system. It's sickening, embarrassing and shows a pathology that should not be allowed to continue.
My proposition is to educate the people on the billions of dollars spent defending the criminals in our employ. Demand the local politicians, whether in New York and Los Angeles, or in Bill Wyoming - if these officers do the wrong thing and cost the town, county, state or city money, they will lose their jobs. Immediately.
Listen to what the experts have to say on the subject. (This alone should be its own post.) Watch and learn:
Added on edit:
Posted by 20score | Sat Oct 25, 2014, 04:26 PM (16 replies)
Looking for advice, please. A job that matters.
There are a lot of smart and well informed people on this site, so I thought it couldn’t hurt to ask for a little help.
Background: I have a pretty good job now, one that pays and has benefits. (Actually took a few years to get into this position, as it’s a government job. It involves researching regulations and writing. ) And because of the large bills I have, even though I’m willing to take a pay cut, if I get a new job, it must pay well.
And here’s my question: My entire life I’ve cared about injustice, the environment, animals, overpopulation and the suffering of innocent people. Are there organizations that will hire full time workers, and pay enough to live on? (Live in a very expensive part of the country, btw.)
I’ve made a decision to change careers after 30 years. The sooner I get out, the better. Life is short. And yes, I know there are millions in a worse situation; my idea is to help some of them if I can. Thank you for your input!
Posted by 20score | Thu Sep 25, 2014, 02:53 PM (6 replies)
In order for the 1033 and other programs to be more equitable, the Pentagon is equipping the Placerville, California DMV with five new M1 Abrams Tanks. Also, the TSA in Big Timber, Montana will be receiving an undisclosed number of laser guided, Starstreak surface to air missiles (SAM).
Pentagon spokesperson, Gail Griffith spoke to reporters about the expanded program. “Well, we really have more tanks and missiles than we know what to do with, so we thought this would be a win-win,” she said in a serious tone. “The idea is to protect small town DMV offices first, then eventually have tanks at every office in the country. You can’t be too safe, and people waiting in lines are already angry, and hence are potential terrorists. And TSA is incredibly unpopular now, so they need very heavy armament… I think that’s obvious.” Holding off questions with a raised hand, she continued, “After we have equipped the DMV and TSA offices, we will be making sure our water treatment plants are safe by equipping them with armed drones.”
Placerville, California DMV issued the following statement to the press: “When our office learned that the LA School District was receiving assault rifles, armored vehicles and grenade launchers, we of course agreed that all schools need that type of protection. But we also thought there isn’t a DMV office in the country that isn’t in desperate need of a few tanks. We are always looking for ways to make our driving citizens feel safer. So our office is proud to be the first of many DMV offices equipped for today’s dangerous circumstances.”
This paper tried to contact the TSA in Big Timber, Montana only to find that no office there exists. So, we contacted the TSA in Washington, DC. “That is posing a bit of a problem for us, to be honest” said media relations manager, Tim Nuenins. “But not an insurmountable one. We are confident that the office will be set up and staffed before the arrival of the surface to air missiles.”
“If I may,” asked this reporter. “If Big Timber was too small for the TSA and has no commercial flights, why are surface to air missiles a necessity now?”
“We like to be pro-active,” said Mr. Nuenins. “Safety and Security First, that’s our motto.”
“I think it’s, ‘not on my watch.’”
“Oh, right. But regardless, Big Timber will now have the safest airport in the country. I know your next question will be, ‘Sure the skies will be safe around Big Timber, but what if something happens on the ground?’ Well, we have thought of that, and that’s why we are also receiving one hundred grenades for each of our agents. We hope that will make everyone feel safe.”
Posted by 20score | Fri Sep 19, 2014, 06:33 PM (35 replies)
Source: The Guardian
It has been a bad week for democracy in Athens. All around this great Greek city, the politics of hate now lurk. On Friday I got a taste of it in the tiny Italian-style cafe I frequent off Syntagma Square.
It arrived in the form of two middle-aged men, both supporters of the neo-fascist Golden Dawn – and, by their own account, the holders of university degrees, well-travelled and well-informed. Over espressos, they began to engage in an animated discussion about all that is wrong with Greece.
The first, a self-described businessman decked out in designer suit, brogues and silk tie, blamed the country's economic collapse on malfeasance, corruption and uncontrolled immigration. "The only way to teach our filthy politicians is to bring in Golden Dawn," he trilled, his eyes locked in a fierce glare. "These gentlemen are patriots, proud Greek nationalists, and they know how to deal with the scum, the foreigners who never pay taxes, who steal our jobs, who have taken over our streets."
Dismissing charges that Golden Dawn is a criminal gang masquerading as a political group, the second – a self-described government employee – said the far right was the best response yet to the great Jewish conspiracy of an interconnected banking system that has come with globalisation. "Let's not forget all the faggots and the Jews, the wankers who control the banks, the foreigners who are behind them, who came in and fucked Greece," he insisted. "The criminals who have governed us, who have robbed us of our future, of our dreams, need a big thwack."
Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/07/greece-golden-dawn-fascism-threat-to-democracy
Nazis anywhere, especially when gaining political power, are a threat to freedom, conscience and the safety of many people. I don't know what the answer is, except that like anything more complicated then a drink of water, there needs to be more than one answer; more than one way to fight them.
Posted by 20score | Sat Jun 7, 2014, 05:40 PM (13 replies)
Last year senators Grassley and Levin introduced Senate Resolution 202 which, “Designates July 30, 2013, as National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.” It was agreed to by Unanimous Consent.
Taking into account the heroic actions of Chelsea Manning followed by the unconscionable treatment she received, then the dismissal by the media and those in power of the crimes she exposed. Considering the courage exhibited by Edward Snowden as those in power and in the media devote massive amounts of time and energy to character assassination – while shifting focus away from unconstitutional and power-abusing actions on a monumental scale – and the sacrifices he’s made to inform the public about ubiquitous spying. Thinking about honoring those such as William Binney and Russ Tice who warned the country in 2002 and 2005, respectively, about NSA spying. Giving thought to John Kiriakou, the CIA whistleblower who after exposing torture, was the only person to receive prison time for the torture scandal.
In 1777 two naval officers, Samuel Shaw and Richard Marven exposed the torture of British POWs during the Revolutionary War. The Continental Congress enacted the first whistleblower protection law on July 30, 1778 by unanimous vote. There have been dozens of others since then who risked their jobs, freedom, possessions, reputations and sometimes their lives in order to stop injustices and inform the public of wrong-doings. They deserve their own day. It’s time to make July 30th a holiday.
Posted by 20score | Sat May 31, 2014, 07:58 PM (11 replies)
(Not afraid to put this in writing due to my natural ability to see the future. John Edward - the psychic - has nothin’ on me!)
Future generations will look back at our time and the conventional wisdom will hold the following positions - or your money back.
1. The Iraq War was a moral and moronic failure.
2. Global warming should have been dealt with decades ago and the deniers of yesteryear sucked as humans.
3. Over-population is a very, very big problem. Biggest really.
4. George Bush was a humorous, criminal, embarrassment.
5. Edward Snowden was a hero. So was Glen Greenwald.
6. Taking care of the middle and working classes was a damned good idea. We should have kept up with it.
7. Making the ultra-wealthy and corporations pay their fair share of taxes should have been carried on through the 21st century.
8. Mountaintop removal was just plain evil.
9. Solar and hydrogen power are far better than fossil fuels.
10. People attracted to the same sex are able to marry whomever they choose and the world kept spinning.
11. A few extremely wealthy people in a land filled with a majority that find it hard to take care of basic needs - does not a great country make.
12. Our ancestors gave up our rights far too easily. What was wrong with them?
My crystal ball needs to recharge its aura… or something. May be back later to add to this list.
Posted by 20score | Sun May 18, 2014, 06:06 PM (61 replies)